By: Quinn Blackwood
I. The Threat
I have undertaken the writing of this essay because of a threat facing our nation and secular values that has so far gone largely unchallenged in the mainstream. I am not speaking about Islam, but about a facet of fundamentalist Christianity calling itself dominionism.
If you are not already familiar with that term I will briefly touch on its meaning. Dominionism is the idea that the United States is a Christian nation. In addition, there are some dominions that admit the US is not Christian, but actively work to make it such.
Dominions may have different motivations. Some of them believe America is their god’s nation. Others hold that secularism is man-made and even Satanic, similar to Jihadist Muslims. What they all agree on is that they are fundamentally opposed to our American way, and will change it by any means possible.
This is the primary basis for my case against the dominionist movement. It isn’t that I hate anyone, or would advocate for their harm. Some of these extremists hate us, and would even call for our harm if they had government support. We already know this from the statements of various pastors such as Charles L Worley in North Carolina, who recently called on the government to build concentration camps for gay and lesbian persons. Other pastors have called for similar treatment of atheists (non-believers), and even advocate for deporting Hindus and Buddhists.
We see this is not a case of rather we want to be against anyone or not. They are against us. They have decided to come against the majority of society, and so we have not chosen our enemy. Sometimes our enemies choose us.
It doesn’t matter if you are an atheist, a pagan, a Hindu, a Jew, or whatever you may consider yourself- this is a threat facing all of us. We must stop shutting our eyes and stopping our ears to it, pretending to ourselves it isn’t there while it wrecks a great deal of social havoc.
II. The Economic Cost
The first and possibly most important aspect of the domionist threat is the effect it has on employment and the economy.
Some may think there is no possible effect a religious movement could have on the economy, but this is very short-sighted. In the first place, it is largely right-wing Christians who vote in politicians that enable corporate abuses. Indeed, many of these politicians are ‘Christians’ themselves.
I could give you a number of reasons as to why a Christian might enable such abuses, but one of them is that churches themselves function like corporations.
Try envisioning one of these mega churches in a city near you. Most of them require tithes or membership fees to be a congregant. There are thousands of these mega churches in the United States, with thousands of members paying in. Just imagine how much net worth that amounts to!
These churches take in mass profits with a special concession even corporations aren’t given- they get to keep all their profit because of tax exempt status.
Just imagine how much money could be circulating in the economy, creating social programs and jobs, but instead is being circulated into church bank accounts.
I will gladly admit this tax exemption was a right granted to churches for charity purposes, but they haven’t upheld their end of the deal. One of the stipulations of 501c3 status is that no exempt religious organization is to use their money to fund political causes.
This is something the churches have not followed, a recent example being the LDS Church putting well over a million dollars into California’s Proposition 8 bill. Other examples are the North American Bishop’s Conference setting up causes to combat abortion. In doing this these churches have overstepped their bounds.
Not only do these churches blantantly rob from our economy, being allowed to hoard all their profits, but then they violate the conditions of the law that allows them to do so.
They’re not content to hold our resources hostage, but demonstrate their contempt and disregard for our nation’s laws at every oppurtunity they get.
My question is why must we allow them to hoard billions of dollars while they openly flaunt their distaste and total disregard for America and our values? Why don’t we enforce the penalty called for when an organization violates tax exempt status? Why allow ourselves and our children to be cheated?
Any such organization found to be engaging in politics should have their tax exempt status revoked immediately. I suggest we seize their churches and their assets, that we may put them to the use of the common good.
Why do we defend them when they show nothing except contempt for us? We as Americans have the duty to uphold their rights to religion, but we do not have the duty to let ourselves be abused and exploited.
III. The Educational Cost
Another way in which the extremists damage our society is in matters of education.
Modern education functions on an international standard, in which it is expected that all first world nations will establish educational systems that equip children with the knowledge and skills needed to advance technology and cooperation among people.
Against this vision of togetherness and advancement come the dominionists, who demand that we not teach students the facts about certain things. Furthermore, they call for us to put Christianity and their scripture into the schools.
It is obvious why they would wish for such a thing, they want to force our children to accept their worldview. They know that children are impressionable, and so they seek to exploit the most vulnerable members of our society. They also prey upon the poor and mentally handicapped.
One would think that if Christianity were obviously true- as they often claim, it wouldn’t be necessary for them to resort to such methods. Christianity would stand out as true to everyone, and there would be no disagreement. Instead, they prey upon the most vulnerable and helpless, and they do this for the advancement of the dominionist cause.
They do not care if our children fall behind the rest of the world in education. They don’t mind poisoning the minds of the youth with their vicious bigotry and lies, just as long as it advances their ranks, and puts more money in their pockets.
What has their form of religion ever taught people except prejudice, violence, exploitation, and preying upon the innocent? Look at the values they put into their children! The children of such parents grow up to be bullies that push other kids around and degrade them constantly, even pushing many to suicide.
Isn’t it just the height of irony that this is the fruits of a religion claiming to be about love? It is quite the opposite! It is a religion of hate, violence, and discord, just like it has been for centuries prior.
I know I cannot be the only American that tires of this menance and drain upon our society. Isn’t it high time we stop simply lying down and taking their abuses?
IV. The Social Cost
I have been laying out examples of the social costs of Christian extremism so far in this essay, but now I’d like to expound a little more on that theme.
What damage it does to our society to allow the Christians to exploit our resources, to hijack our educational system, and to promote their bigotry and lies! Why do we keep silent about it? It furthers only their agenda to takeover and destroy America as we know it.
Their agenda is what it always has been. Their forefathers before them kept Europe in the iron clutches of church tyranny for centuries, oppressing all minorities such as Jews, pagans, and homosexuals. Anyone who resisted their order was a target for their attrocities.
All we have to do is look at the Crusades and the Inquisition. Science was kept down with an iron fist. Gallileo was condemned as a heretic for daring to suggest the church could be wrong, and ordered to surrender all his scientific research on penalty of torture and death otherwise.
Is this not still what they do today? They demand that any science that suggests their religion could be wrong be kept silent and not taught in the schools.
I offer you also the case of Martin Luther, who wrote a pamphlet called ‘On the Jews and their Lies’. This pamphlet was the most commonly published and circulated work in Nazi Germany. In this work Luther called for the expulsion or removal of all Jews from Germany. This is what Hitler called the Jewish Question on how to remove all Jews from Europe.
Finally it resulted in the ‘final solution’, and all Jews were ordered to be exterminated immediately. The fact is that Germany was in name Christian and Protestant while this was going on. The Nazi regime tried to promote a type of state Protestantism called ‘Positive Christianity’, which called for the removal of all Jewish elements from the faith.
Again and again this religion creates social divisions and unrest, and is their chief advocator. The church was responsible for the martyrdom of the blessed priestess-philosopher Hypatia, who they skinned alive! All because they didn’t want a woman ruling over them.
Yes, this religion’s disdain women is rivaled only by their disdain of homosexuals and atheists. Their teacher Paul, who they seem to follow even more than Jesus, says:
‘Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing’- (1 Timothy 2:11-15)
Now I ask you- is the above not one of the most disgusting things ever written about women? Its no wonder they would take away a woman’s right to make a decision about her own body without a thought. According to their teacher Paul women are unintelligent, gulliable, and easy to decieve!
How any self-respecting woman can call themselves a follower of this book is a mystery to me. We see nothing but this kind of strife and bigotry all over their religion’s history, just as we still see today.
They tried to take down Ancient Rome to set up their Jesus in the place of Caesar, and history tells us the result. They became twice as brutal and warmongering as the system they spoke against, and that was always their intent.
Roman history tells us a very different story than the Christians with their typical martyrdom complex. According to them the Christians were violent rebel-rousers and seditionists, actively opposing the Roman system.
We know from history that Rome was generally tolerant when it came to other religions. They allowed Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and other kinds of paganism to be practiced freely within their borders. All they required was loyalty to the state.
Isn’t that what any system would require? Even our modern American government grants freedom of religion to all, but that doesn’t include freedom to be disloyal and incite terrorism.
That is just what these Christians did according to the Roman histories. They actively incited sedition against the ruling power. They even desecrated temples, topled over statues, and set fire to Rome on numerous occasions. What would we call this, if not terrorism?
Fundamentalists would still do it today. They want control of our country, and that is the sole purpose of dominionism. They want to put homosexuals into camps. They want to jail atheists. They want to suppress paganism, and take children away from pagan parents. Don’t think these are just mad ravings to be dismissed, this is their sincere desire.
They hoard money and actively work against our educational system for this cause. They stand against women’s and gay rights for this cause. All for the cause of returning the west to their tyranny.
Listen to their politicians talk about the new America, an America where homosexuality would be discouraged, and even prosecuted according to a Texas lawmaker.
The question is are we going to remain silent? Are we going to let them make this new America? Are we going to let them gain control of the government?
Conclusion: The Solution
Understandably this is a lot to think about, and its something many of us would rather just ignore, but we cannot be silent. History tells us that the cost of silence is the victory of the oppressor.
We do have a duty to stand up for the rights of all, but we cannot allow abuses and social detriment under the banner of religious freedom.
If a Christian or various churches pose no harm to the secular order, but rather promote social justice and fairness, my case is not against them. It shouldn’t be denied that such good Christians exist, or that all worldviews have their extremists.
Rather I present here a proposed solution for the dominionist problem, a threat to all of us, even to any moderate Christians that may read this. You do not really think fundamentalists are any friend to you? They do not consider your Christians because of your liberal stances. They would turn on you in a heartbeat, given the oppurtunity, and believe they were doing your god a service.
My suggestion is simple- we don’t allow them to cheat us. We don’t sit by and allow their abuses. If they want to hijack politics we should revoke their tax exempt status immediately, and make them pay taxes.
If a religious organization is caught funneling money into a political cause like the LDS recently did with Proposition 8 they need to be made an example of and penalized. Let their churches and their assets be seized.
If they turn millitant than let history be a warning to all- they will not stop until they have overpowered us, and made us their slaves or worse.
If they turn militant they should be treated as traitors. If we do not they will totally overrun and destroy our secular system. They are quite clear it is their goal to do this.
Is it not disloyalty to our American liberties to call for such things as they often do? Is it not a crime of the worst kind to prey upon the vulnerable, to make our children in schools their target?
We want what any society would want, for our children to succeed and excell among the world’s nations. What do they want except to steep our society in ignorance and division?
I hope I have given you all something to think about in this essay, but I predict that this country is headed toward a bad place if we do not stop these extremists. The solution to this threat is a problem that no doubt requires a lot of careful thought, so let’s not grasp for simple solutions.
A complex problem never has a simple solution.
I have written this essay not only to provoke thought on this issue, but so we can think about what divides us. I am for the betterment and unity of humanity.
Your affectionate friend