I’m a Dominionist? I Had No Idea

by David French

After reading Bill Keller and Ryan Lizza, I was determined to investigate the looming threat of “Dominionism.” Who are these nefarious people? How great a threat are they? They must be powerful, because they apparently influence two of the three leading Republican candidates for president. They had to be quite secretive because I’d never heard of them. And that puzzled me, honestly. After all, I’m a card-carrying member of the Religious Right, with a history stretching way back to the era of leg warmers and real Christian rock. I’ve been to all the meetings (including Values Voter and CNP), I’ve read all the books, and even though I’m not a member of the Arlington Group, some of my homies are. I can flash about nine Christian gang signs on command, know all the three-step handshake/chest-bump/hug combinations, and have even seen scratchy videotapes of Francis Schaeffer promoting his nefarious effort to peacefully overturn laws that permit doctors to kill children in the womb.

I began combing the Internet. Really, my pride was at stake. There are Christians that powerful, and I don’t even know who they are? I’ve never even heard of them? I’ve been a guest on Focus on the Family and The 700 Club for goodness sakes! So it was with great relief that I discovered this dialogue between Sarah Posner and Anthea Butler. Called “Beyond Alarmism and Denial in the Dominion Debate,” its tone was decidedly non-hysterical, and at least one of the participants had actual experience attending Christian events. Then I stumbled on this paragraph:

That’s too narrow [they were discussing efforts to minimize dominionism], and I think has (1) opened a door for the dominionism deniers, and (2) caused people to overlook some of the real-world creations of dominionism. The religious right has, in so many ways, succeeded in creating institutions meant to supplant “secular” ones. One of the founders of Oral Roberts University law school (where Michele Bachmann earned her law degree) called this his “dominion mandate.” Look at Regent University, where Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell earned his graduate degrees, or Liberty University Law School, where students are taught to engage in “civil disobedience” when a court order conflicts, in their view, with “biblical law,” or the Alliance Defense Fund, a law firm created to take on cases that would result in overturning of Supreme Court jurisprudence on separation of church and state. That’s the sort of thing dominionism has actually accomplished, in the legal field alone.

I almost spit out my coffee. I have direct ties to two of the most dominionist legal organizations in the U.S.! I’m a former Senior Counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund, and not only that, I actually led its largest litigation group. As for Regent, I currently work for Regent Professor and ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow (I’m a senior counsel at the ACLJ). I’m even speaking at Regent next month.  

So, here I am.  A legal dominionist. You got me. Time for me to come clean. Here in dominionist circles, my most recent court victory established that professors do in fact have free speech rights in their teaching and scholarship. For that effort, I enlisted the aid of notorious dominionists at the American Association of University Professors. Currently, I’m fully engaged in ensuring that a UCLA professor keeps his job after exposing bad environmental science. I’m working closely with FIRE, an organization led by a “pro-choice liberal” and Huffpo blogger.

And as for my efforts on the church/state front? My most prominent current case involves protecting the Ground Zero Cross from efforts by the American Atheists to have it removed from the September 11 Memorial Museum on the grounds that the very “existence” of the cross gives them “headaches” and causes “depression.” If you believe, for example, that crosses on public land can honor veterans and fallen police officers, then you’re a dominionist too.

I guess it’s time for me — like Anakin Skywalker — to embrace my destiny on the dark side.  Someone alert K-Lo, a dominionist is on the Corner!

What a joke. What a complete farce. If originalist legal arguments and a call to return our country to its founding constitutional ideals constitute dominionism, which social conservatives aren’t dominionist? Is free speech a dominionist concept? What about religious liberty? How about protecting life and ensuring that it cannot be taken without due process of law?  

We’re all dominionists now.

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