Scary evil Christians

Everybody must have read Michelle Goldberg’s “Kingdom Coming: the Rise of Christian Nationalism” by now, right? This quote from George Grant, one of the big guys with televangelist D. James Kennedy, is simply chilling:

Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.
But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice.
It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.
It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.
It is dominion we are after.
World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less…
Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ.

George Grant is a Christian Reconstructionist, one of those nice theocrats who admire the tactics, if not the superstitions, of Islamic extremists: he wrote a book called The Family Under Siege, for instance, that admires the idea of returning to the death penalty for homosexuality. For a glimpse of the kind of sewer rat that finds Grant to be a paragon, you can take a look at this review (warning: National Vanguard site. Don’t click if you are at all squeamish about explicit hatred and repugnant stupidity).

A lot of the article is getting into David Neiwert’s territory, the rise of a potential American fascism.

A few days before Bush’s second inauguration, The New York Times carried a story headlined “Warning from a Student of Democracy’s Collapse” about Fritz Stern, a refugee from Nazi Germany, professor emeritus of history at Columbia, and scholar of fascism. It quoted a speech he had given in Germany that drew parallels between Nazism and the American religious right. “Some people recognized the moral perils of mixing religion and politics,” he was quoted saying of prewar Germany, “but many more were seduced by it. It was the pseudo-religious transfiguration of politics that largely ensured [Hitler’s] success, notably in Protestant areas.”

It’s not surprising that Stern is alarmed. Reading his forty-five-year-old book “The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology,” I shivered at its contemporary resonance. “The ideologists of the conservative revolution superimposed a vision of national redemption upon their dissatisfaction with liberal culture and with the loss of authoritative faith,” he wrote in the introduction. “They posed as the true champions of nationalism, and berated the socialists for their internationalism, and the liberals for their pacifism and their indifference to national greatness.”

These goose-stepping bible-thumpers have an enemy, too. Jews are a prominent part of that foe, but guess where the real problem lies? Godless humanists.

Tim LaHaye, who is most famous for putting a Tom Clancy gloss on premillennialist theology in the Left Behind thrillers that he co-writes with Jerry Jenkins, was heavily influenced by Schaeffer, to whom he dedicated his book “The Battle for the Mind.” That book married Schaeffer’s theories to a conspiratorial view of history and politics, arguing, “Most people today do not realize what humanism really is and how it is destroying our culture, families, country — and, one day, the entire world. Most of the evils in the world today can be traced to humanism, which has taken over our government, the UN, education, TV, and most of the other influential things of life.

“We must remove all humanists from public office and replace them with pro-moral political leaders,” LaHaye wrote.

There’s a long list of names in the article—in addition to D. James Kennedy and LaHaye, there’s the laughable Kirk Cameron, David Limbaugh, Charles Colson, Tom DeLay, Duane Gish, Donald Wildmon, etc.—a whole kook’s parade of characters. It’s easy to dismiss them as jokes, but then you realize that these people are all regularly in the news, and not at all unfavorably; their ideas are ridiculous, but when was the last time you saw the mainstream media point out that these people are deranged and dangerously influential? They just keep plugging along, taking advantage of their religious façade to deflect criticism, spreading their rot throughout the country.

By the way, quite a few of the names mentioned are in that “America, Return to God!” glossy that I mentioned before. These people have money and access to power, and they are working hard to gain more. Know of any secular institutions that are working to oppose them?


  1. Nietzsche'sGhost says

    Hey, y’all

    Can anyone help us poor Alabama citizens from crazy fundamentalists? This link will show you the character that is running for Governor as you are reading this…and has a good chance of winning. I think you all know him; the “Ten Commandments Judge”. Please don’t forget that some intellectuals are geographically challenged. Leaving us to majority rules is like saying people who live in New Orleans should just move away from hurricanes. Check out the idiocy on this link. Shudder with me….

  2. says

    Well, if you really belived in a sky god and further more believed you actually knew what this sky god wanted, wouldn’t you want to shape society accordingly? It’s just those who either doubt that this sky god exists or doubt that we can actually know what it would want if it existed, who see a problem with theocracy.

  3. Carlie says

    Interesting interview with the author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism today on Terri Gross

    Scary, scary stuff.

  4. Dior says

    I also read Stern’s book. There are more scary parallels. Hitler concocted a phoney event to invade Poland (Iraq). Gebels’, Hitlers pr “press secretary”, stratey is page one of this administrations press kit. nearly a quote don’t sue me if i missed a word or two, but he said “If you tell a lie loud enough and long enough, people will begin to believe it”.(Pretty much anything said by this president)

  5. says

    LaHaye: “We must remove all humanists from public office and replace them with pro-moral political leaders.”

    There are humanists who hold public office? When did this take place? ;)

  6. John Green says

    There are two obvious problems with theocratic rule.

    The first is what to do with people who worship a different god, or none at all.

    The second is that no god writes in convincing mile-high letters of fire the answers to such practical questions as:

    What should the interest rate be?

    What should the tax rates be?

    Are we doing more good than harm in Iraq?

    How can we safely get energy with least damage to the environment?

    Should we vote for Tweedledum or Tweedledee at the next election?

    There are many pressing practical questions like these, with no obvious answers from god. If I am wrong, please direct me and the world’s TV cameras to the place where god’s obvious, convincing and up-to-date answers can be seen.

    Lacking supernatural answers, theocracy turns out to mean rule by experts in the art of interpreting ancient texts. These experts naturally conclude that they are the only ones expert enough to choose their successors. Theocracy becomes a kind of oligarchy tending to gerontocracy, with opaque battles for authority. Iran is an example.

    How shall we oppose theocracy while offering a constructive alternative vision? It takes careful, patient work to explain that there is no eternal life and no revenge after death, and that the best we can hope for is present amelioration rather than eternal triumph. The public mood wants instant results, not a careful explanation of the benefits of clear thinking and scepticism.

    Apologies for my pessimism.

    John Green

  7. Jake B. Cool says

    One thing to keep in mind is two one of the conditions Paxton identifies in _Anatomy of Fascism_, which is what Neiwert relied on to write “The Rise of Pseudo-Fascism”, are “the need for authority by natural leaders, always male, culminating in a national chief who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s destiny” and “the superiority of the leader’s instincts over abstract and universal reason”. When Neiwert wrote this in early 2004 or so, George Bush still had that cachet. But he definitely doesn’t any longer. Even his supporters recognize that he’s fumbling for his survival. Now, it’s possible that another such will rise soon. But who? It won’t be Jeb Bush, not sharing that name. The only conservative with enough general popularity that I can think of is John McCain. Personally, my view of McCain has always been defined by the S&L scandal and I wouldn’t put anything past him, but there’s no way that far-right Christians are going to accept him.
    So, it’ll probably be a junta. The evangelicals can join together and drag us down in self-righteous idiocy, a little more directly than they did in Holland and Britain, as Kevin Phillips was so kind as to point out in his recent book.

  8. Henry says

    Yeah, these nutters have been around a while. I’ve even made them the villain of the sci-fi story I’m writing. Nothing like seeing Dominionist nutjobs getting attacked by werewolves….

  9. Tara Mobley says

    It really is chilling. I don’t want to deal with their “Christian” values. I don’t want to live in their idea of a “Christian” nation. I want to live in a secular nation.

    Christian Reconstructionism is a terrifying aspect of a sick belief system.

  10. Caledonian says

    The thing about Christian Dominionism is that God is always on the side with the most artillery. Our task is to make sure that side is ours.

  11. says

    PhaWRONGula writes:

    “It’s Dominion* we’re after,” the preacher did say:
    “‘Midst the beans and the leeks and the summer-squash gay,
    We’ll sample the fruits of the fields and the seas;
    The gifts of the earth, and the vines, and the trees;
    The honey prepared by industrious bees;
    The preserves you can and the meats that you freeze…”

    (Phunicular gives up on trying to get trackback pings through to scienceblogs, guessing that ‘You are pinging trackbacks too quickly. Please try again later.’ means that all blogs are treated as one blog for trackback timing constraints.)

  12. says

    These lunatics have been emboldened by Bush and the Republicans. The blame lies squarely on their shoulders.

  13. The Amazing Kim says

    Ah, America.

    You’re all nuts. Please fix it soon, the rest of the world is getting (more) nervous. Also, could ju think about getting some left-wing politicians somewhere – the choice between right-wing and insane crazy entreme right-wing doesn’t seem to be doing much for you.


  14. Caledonian says

    These lunatics have been emboldened by Bush and the Republicans. The blame lies squarely on their shoulders.

    These lunatics have been emboldened by the sad state of education and publically inculcated attitudes towards nonsense that have been worsening for decades.

    Tell me: does any blame ever fall on the shoulders of those who aren’t the mortal enemies of the Democrats?

  15. Christian says

    I have to say that I fear organized religion, since in so many cases it is used to justify atrocities. Yes, the crusades are long over, but these reconstructionists appear to be foaming at the mouth for them to begin again, to bring about a world under god. To close to sounding like the Taliban for my comfort. Gee, weren’t they supposed to be the bad guys?

    I would honestly prefer to live under an atheist dictator than live under a theocracy. At least the atheist dictator could be honest about his motives. But, generally speaking, it seems that dictators need to appeal to some sort of crutch for their population. In the US case, it is religion, in 1930’s Germany, it was Nationilism.

    Creepy is all I can say in summation.

  16. G. Tingey says

    All you can do is what some of the people I used to work with some years ago did.

    Get ready to run.
    I used to know someone who was lucky(?) enough to have been locked up by both the Nazis AND the Soviets.
    He was lucky because he was still alive.

    When Gilead come, leave – Canada (breifly) then Australia or Europe(Britain preferred)

    If you try to fight it in what was the USA, you’ll be killed.

  17. says

    The first is what to do with people who worship a different god, or none at all.

    In the event that the word of God can’t convince everybody, we will arrange for internment areas – in the mid-west, probably – where these poor delusional people can live out their lives in peace, without polluting our great nation any firther.

    The second is that no god writes in convincing mile-high letters of fire the answers to such practical questions as:

    Why do you doubt the very word of God? Why do you doubt that we are faithfully repeating what God has whispered to us in the silence of our hearts? Perhaps this is a good time to introduce you to our innovative internment program?

    What should the interest rate be?

    What should the tax rates be?

    Are we doing more good than harm in Iraq?

    How can we safely get energy with least damage to the environment?

    When we have created the Kingdom of God here on Earth, these superficial issues will of courswe resolve themselves. In fact, this is a good test of our direction; if we still have pesky issues like these, it’s a sure sign that we have not yet realized the true Vision of God and that He is Displeased. We will need to redouble our efforts to flush out the nonbelievers, doubters and fifth-columnists within our rmidst and send them for reeducation at our hugely successful internment areas. Only then will we truly have succeeded.

    Should we vote for Tweedledum or Tweedledee at the next election?

    How can you presume to vote about the word of God? No eaders are necessary anymore, just a humble sheperd such as me, to relay the True Word of God.

  18. The Amazing Kim says

    When Gilead come, leave – Canada (breifly) then Australia or Europe(Britain preferred)

    Not Australia. We’re not accepting refugees here. Though they might make an exception, depending on the colour of your skin. Try New Zealand first, they have sheep and hobbits and stuff there.

  19. says

    Try New Zealand first, they have sheep and hobbits and stuff there.

    I thought it was Indonesia that had the Hobbits.

  20. Molly, NYC says

    As others have pointed out, the kind of people who pray to God for guidance usually find that God agrees with them about everything they’re inclined to believe, tells them whatever they’d hope to hear and advises them to do whatever they want to do.

    Of course, from their end, it’s the merest coincidence that the Almighty wants the world to look like an extremely rich, extremely white, narrowly-defined-Christian guys’ fantasy life.

  21. spencer says

    The first is what to do with people who worship a different god, or none at all.

    That’s not a problem for them.

    Their answer is execution. Or, if they’re feeling generous, banishment. But probably execution.

  22. WV Kim says

    A friend of mine at work has revealed that in the early 1980’s he was a committed Dominionist, and he says that the people who would impose literal Biblical rule upon our country are relentless. He certainly renewed my paranoia when he said they would never stop, that they would always work to implement their version of a Christian theocracy, Terminators for God, that they have been working for many decades, and it’s no accident that they have now achieved a minor ascendency. They seek to place people in small local offices as well, work from the grassroots. It made me ashamed when I went to vote in our primary election the other day (new computerized voting machines, but not made by Diebold, and they obviously left a paper trail, color in the circle as in standardized school tests, the paper slid from a pizza box -like container into a ballot holder). I wasn’t sure where all the candidates stood in the county, and even the state senate or representative choices. Just voting Democrat is not enough, according to my friend. We become fixated on national level elections (thank Bobbie Byrd from WV for being the conscience of the Senate on Iraq and scoring the new radio telescope at the Green Bank Observatory, that was an easy choice to mark). Beware the insidious persistent Dominionists working from the groud up.

  23. wswilso says

    It’s ironic that the title “The Battle for the Mind” has been re-used by
    the Christo-Fasicsts. I strongly recommend the book of the same title by
    a British Psychologist William Sargent. It is an eye-opening study of
    brainwashing, cults, the Stockholm Syndrome and PTSD.

    It is quite enlightening to see the point-by-point congruity between the
    methods applied by John Wesley’s Hellfire conversion sermons, as
    described by him in his diary, in the initiatory ordeal vigil of the
    Jesuits and in a field manual on brainwashing from the Chinese People’s

    Full Title:
    Battle for the mind,: A physiology of conversion and brain-washing

    # Hardcover: 263 pages
    # Publisher: Greenwood Press Reprint; Reprint edition (January 9, 1975)
    # Language: English
    # ISBN: 0837168996

    # Paperback: 300 pages
    # Publisher: Malor Books; Reprint edition (August 1997)
    # Language: English
    # ISBN: 1883536065

    # Unknown Binding: 218 pages
    # Publisher: Pan Books (January 1, 1959)
    # Language: English
    # ASIN: B0007JC8AY

  24. says


    To defeat the rising ‘theocratic age’, one must strike at the root cause of the problem!

    The doctrines by which fundamentalism maintains authority over the hearts and minds of the faithful ARE the root cause and must be shown to be ‘false’.

    It is not enough to rant against ‘religion’ – this approach has a negative effect in that it is most likely to cause a retreat ‘behind the barricades’.

    Because of this, my conviction, I created a webblog and issued the following:


    Propositions to be addressed by the Christian Churches:

    There is no biblical basis for the doctrines of ‘Virgin Birth’ (Miraculous Incarnation), ‘Trinity’, or ‘Transubstantiation’

    There is no biblical basis for the various ‘divinity’ teachings about Jesus of Nazareth

    There is no biblical basis for the teachings about ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’

    Propositions to be addressed by Islam:

    The ‘virgin’ birth of Jesus through Mary is demonstrably false

    The doctrine, being false, calls into question the Koran’s supposed authorship by the God of ‘Truth’.

    The above doctrines and teachings are being subjected to critical examination and systematically proven false.

    Needless to say, the political and social consequences arising from the ‘challenge’ can be hardly over-estimated.

    Note: For the skeptics – yes, it is possible to demonstrate that the above doctrines are NOT in the bible!

  25. Lya Kahlo says

    So, um, can someone explain the difference between Muslim terrorists and these whackadoos again?

  26. says

    Hullo PZ! Long time no chat. I looked for secular organizations specifically working against Dominionists, and you know, it’s hard to find them. Even’s action link only takes you to Americans United. The closest thing I could find was

  27. Jody says

    Responding to Vynette as I have elsewhere:

    If she was arguing that only “unreliable” verses or mistranslated verses are the sources of these doctrines or that they were demonstrably false, she would at least have a defensible (though wrong) argument. But to assert that these doctrines aren’t supported biblically (“There is no biblical basis”) is just nuts.

    Miraculous Incarnation:

    Matthew 1:18 “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.”

    Trinity (all in one verse):

    Luke 1:35 “The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

    Transubstantiation I don’t buy as I always thought that Jesus was speaking metaphorically as did my church (conservative Southern Baptist). However, transubstantiation does have a biblical basis (her criteria), it just rests on a bad interpretation:

    Luke 22:19-20 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

    In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

    Divinity of Jesus:
    There’s bunch of passages on this and typically the weaker claim is made that Jesus never claimed divinity himself in the Bible. However that too is false.

    John 10:24-38 24The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

    25Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.

    31Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

    33″We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.

    34Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came–and the Scripture cannot be broken– 36what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. 38 But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.

    Not clear on which aspect of heaven she means, but ummm… Our Father who art in where now? (For eternal life aspect of heaven see the above passage and um John 3:16)

    Hell: Cake knows this one (the following passage is known as the “sheeps and goats” passage).

    Matthew 25:31-46: 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

    34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

    41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

    44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

    45 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

    46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    (emphasis mine throughout)