Well, it seems that the Christian Dominionists, those pesky people who yearn for an America governed by biblical law, are at long last getting some attention from the media. As veteran writer on the Religious Right Fred Clarkson wrote the other day on Talk2Action:
“You could probably hear my dropping jaw hitting the floor when I heard Jack Cafferty and Wolf Blitzer say they had never heard of dominionism until they read Michelle Goldberg’s article on The Daily Beast. They apparently had never heard of Christian Reconstructionism or the New Apostolic Reformation either. Goldberg’s article on Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann’s relationship to all of this was certainly well done. But it is amazing that no other journalist of any prominence had looked into it before Goldberg’s revelations.”
To those of us who have been watching and writing about these religio-political movements for years, this sudden media acknowledgement that these movements actually exist and are newsworthy (now that two presidential candidates are tied to them) is somewhat of a mixed blessing. I’ve heard the same thing from several of my fellow “fundie fighters” this week — we’re thrilled that the media is finally paying attention, but frustrated that the people reporting on this stuff don’t understand it well enough to adequately cover it.
So, I’ve decided to give my recommendations for some good resources for people who want a crash course from the real experts on these various movements, all of which have aspects that overlap, but can be categorized into four distinct goups.
The New Apostolic Reformation (Rick Perry’s pals who Rachel Maddow recently reported on): Talk2Action’s Rachel Tabachnick has done the heavy lifting for this one, compiling a great resource page, which can be found here.
The Dominionists: Leah Burton’s website godsownparty.com is the place to go. Leah also has a book coming out on September 4th called God, Guns, & Greed: A Dangerous Path for America, which is now available for pre-order (and I pre-recommend).
The Christian Reconstructionists: Let’s go with Fred Clarkson on this one, and the four-part breakdown that he wrote way back in 1994 for The Public Eye Magazine. (I actually highly recommend anything that either Fred Clarkson or Chip Berlet have written for The Public Eye over the years, so do some exploring on this site.)
The Christian Zionists: Definitely the “Special Focus” page that Bruce Wilson put together on Talk2Action.
Also, if you haven’t read the 2006 book Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism by Michelle Goldberg (whose recent Daily Beast article is what made CNN take notice of the Dominionists), that’s another good place to start, so read it.