Ted Cruz, Dominionism and Jesus

Submitted By: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger

Ted_Cruz,_official_portrait,_113th_CongressAs a Jew who is familiar with “The Gospels” there is something perplexing about some Christians in America who have risen to power in our political process within the last four decades. Much of Jesus message, as detailed in “The Gospels” has been one of sympathy to the poor, enmity to the rich and love for humanity. I can give you the time tested quotes but just about everyone is familiar with them. Indeed through my childhood and formative teen years Christmastime every year would yield endless repetition of “Peace on Earth, Good Will to All Men”. Sometime in the 1970’s people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell gained prominence and political power preaching their version of Christianity. These Christians became Kingmakers as it was assumed and actually true that their millions of followers would vote as a bloc. The Christianity that they preached had little to do with the American Christianity that I grew up with. To be sure their teachings on sexuality differed little from Christian thought for the previous 1,700 years and so abortion was evil, virginity was prized and sexuality was to be performed in subscribed methodology. What was different was that this version of Christian belief was a far more muscular and mach one. War was good when fought for American principles of capitalism and self interest. The wealthy needn’t worry about the “eye of the camel.” Poverty was seen as the result of moral failure. Rendering unto Caesar (the Government) was no longer the moral thing to do.

Now knowing history there were always periods where certain Christian leaders were in favor of warfare, favored the wealthy and sought to kill non-believers. Nevertheless, all through those era’s the same message of peace and love was preached as doctrine, whilst the religious leadership ignored the dichotomy of their own works. However, hypocrisies have always existed in every religious belief. The overriding principles always remained static, even if logic had to be twisted to ignore the obvious dichotomy. This is certainly true of the religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam, that each give their own interpretation of the “Torah.” The most glaring example of this is the entire Chapter of Genesis, which is literally riddled with dichotomy. Who did Cain, Abel and Seth marry and where did their brides come from? The standard method of dismissing these dichotomies was to ignore them and censor the questioner. Today though, in certain Christian circles these overarching principles derived from the teachings of Jesus have become ignored, to be replaced by a new “Dominionist” view, which would turn Jesus into a warlike, wealthy Republican that hated government and taxes. That is the subject of this guest blog.Chris Hedges is a well-know investigative journalist, who admittedly has a more dyspeptic view of the world than I do. Yet he is a brilliant person and very often nails a particular topic. This week I read an article by him that I received via OpEdNews http://www.opednews.com a blog I subscribe to. The articles title is: “The Radical Christian Right and the War on Government”. http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Radical-Christian-Righ-by-Chris-Hedges-Christian-Right_Government-Bullying_Government-Corruption_Right-Wing-Extremists-131007-879.html

Hedges article begins:

“There is a desire felt by tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement known as the Christian right, to destroy the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment, radically diminish the role of government to create a theocratic state based on “biblical law,” and force a recalcitrant world to bend to the will of an imperial and “Christian” America. Its public face is on display in the House of Representatives. This ideology, which is the driving force behind the shutdown of the government, calls for the eradication of social “deviants,” beginning with gay men and lesbians, whose sexual orientation, those in the movement say, is a curse and an illness, contaminating the American family and the country. 

Once these “deviants” are removed, other “deviants,” including Muslims, liberals, feminists, intellectuals, left-wing activists, undocumented workers, poor African-Americans and those dismissed as “nominal Christians” — meaning Christians who do not embrace this peculiar interpretation of the Bible — will also be ruthlessly repressed. The “deviant” government bureaucrats, the “deviant” media, the “deviant” schools and the “deviant” churches, all agents of Satan, will be crushed or radically reformed. The rights of these “deviants” will be annulled. “Christian values” and “family values” will, in the new state, be propagated by all institutions. Education and social welfare will be handed over to the church. Facts and self-criticism will be replaced with relentless indoctrination.”

His description of this movement, called Dominionism, comports with my own view of what has happened to some Christians in America, who have intertwined Jesus with the Republican Party and its current driving force the “Tea Party”, which is a faux movement established by and led by some of the wealthiest families in our country. Hedges goes on to talk about Senator Ted Cruz, who very quickly has been seen as a “White Knight” for this movement and a hopeful Presidential contender:

“U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz — whose father is Rafael Cruz, a rabid right-wing Christian preacher and the director of the Purifying Fire International ministry — and legions of the senator’s wealthy supporters, some of whom orchestrated the shutdown, are rooted in a radical Christian ideology known as Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism. 

This ideology calls on anointed “Christian” leaders to take over the state and make the goals and laws of the nation “biblical.” It seeks to reduce government to organizing little more than defense, internal security and the protection of property rights. It fuses with the Christian religion the iconography and language of American imperialism and nationalism, along with the cruelest aspects of corporate capitalism. The intellectual and moral hollowness of the ideology, its flagrant distortion and misuse of the Bible, the contradictions that abound within it — its leaders champion small government and a large military, as if the military is not part of government — and its laughable pseudo-science are impervious to reason and fact. And that is why the movement is dangerous.

The cult of masculinity, as in all fascist movements, pervades the ideology of the Christian right. The movement uses religion to sanctify military and heroic “virtues,” glorify blind obedience and order over reason and conscience, and pander to the euphoria of collective emotions. Feminism and homosexuality, believers are told, have rendered the American male physically and spiritually impotent. Jesus, for the Christian right, is a man of action, casting out demons, battling the Antichrist, attacking hypocrites and ultimately slaying nonbelievers.”

Up until reading this I didn’t know much about Ted Cruz, other than he was a right wing Texas Senator, who was pushing the government shut-down tactic, which we see in play today. I did know he was a Harvard graduate and presumably a bright man. Because of that it seemed to me that his positions were the mere political posturing of yet another sociopathic office seeker. The information about Ted Cruz’s father certainly clarifies the picture more because I can now accept that Cruz is a true believer in what he is spouting.

“This cult of masculinity, with its glorification of violence, is appealing to the powerless. It stokes the anger of many Americans, mostly white and economically disadvantaged, and encourages them to lash back at those who, they are told, seek to destroy them. The paranoia about the outside world is fostered by bizarre conspiracy theories, many of which are prominent in the rhetoric of those leading the government shutdown. Believers, especially now, are called to a perpetual state of war with the “secular humanist” state. The march, they believe, is irreversible. Global war, even nuclear war, is the joyful harbinger of the Second Coming. And leading the avenging armies is an angry, violent Messiah who dooms billions of apostates to death.”  

In progressive, moderate and liberal circles the question of why many working class people vote Republican, against their self-interest has risen continually. I think Hedges supplies part of the answer above. We know that far more women than men elected President Obama in both his runs for office. A cult of masculinity has been asserted. A cult that disdains women’s equality, would take control of their bodies, make them subservient to their spouses, refuse them birth control and even take away their right to vote. In our Macho culture, where a male who earns little is scorned; is perpetually afraid of losing his job; yet is nevertheless encouraged to “be a man”; the need to find someone to blame, or something to empower him is overwhelming. In some Churches that preach he is his wife’s boss and those values of macho masculinity are his right/heritage, many men find succor. What has helped with this is the reinforcement of outlets like FOXNews and clever campaigns of propaganda sponsored by billionaires, who are the people actually repressing them.

“Dominionists believe they are engaged in an epic battle against the forces of Satan. They live in a binary world of black and white. They feel they are victims, surrounded by sinister groups bent on their destruction. They have anointed themselves as agents of God who alone know God’s will. They sanctify their rage. This rage lies at the center of the ideology. It leaves them sputtering inanities about Barack Obama, his corporate-sponsored health care reform bill, his alleged mandated suicide counseling or “death panels” for seniors under the bill, his supposed secret alliance with radical Muslims, and “creeping socialism.” They see the government bureaucracy as being controlled by “secular humanists” who want to destroy the family and make war against the purity of their belief system. They seek total cultural and political domination.

All ideological, theological and political debates with the radical Christian right are useless. It cares nothing for rational thought and discussion. Its adherents are using the space within the open society to destroy the open society itself. Our naive attempts to placate a movement bent on our destruction, to prove to it that we too have “values,” only strengthen its supposed legitimacy and increase our own weakness.

Dominionists have to operate, for now, in what they see as the contaminated environment of the secular, liberal state. They work with the rest of us only because they must. Given enough power — and they are working hard to get it — any such cooperation will vanish. They are no different from the vanguard described by Lenin or the Islamic terrorists who shaved off their beards, adopted Western dress and watched pay-for-view pornography in their hotel rooms the night before hijacking a plane for a suicide attack. The elect alone, like the Grand Inquisitor, are sanctioned to know the truth. And in the pursuit of their truth they have no moral constraints.”

Chris Hedges connects many more dots in his article and I urge you to read the rest of it here: http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Radical-Christian-Righ-by-Chris-Hedges-Christian-Right_Government-Bullying_Government-Corruption_Right-Wing-Extremists-131007-879.html

We have seen some on this blog who either subscribe to Dominionist belief, or who are fellow travelers in the movement to “Christianize” America, by turning it into a theologically driven country. Hedges point that you can’t reason with them resonates with me. Despite any surface pretensions of “Christian Charity” or “Love the sinner, hate the sin” the truth is that in power these true believers would ruthlessly destroy all who didn’t publicly adhere to its beliefs. We see in many the blog posts here what happens when Islamic extremists gain power over Countries whose majority is Muslim. Despite the fact of their seeming acceptance of a pluralistic system, once they attain power, they ruthlessly dispose of any who do not follow their particular form of orthodoxy. The same thing is true of the Dominionist Christian Movement in the United States. They will seem to participate in our Constitutional processes as a tactic to gradually assume power. Once that goal has been achieved then they will not hesitate to enforce their views relentlessly and recklessly.

While Dominionists achieving power this would be a disaster for the United States, it also would most probably mark the end of humanity. The end game for these believers is “Resurrection” and the return of Jesus leading his armies to Armageddon marking the end of the world. In power, with nuclear armaments and a pretend Jesus to lead them, their ascendancy could well mark the end of of humanity.

Submitted By: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger

171 thoughts on “Ted Cruz, Dominionism and Jesus

    • Mary Gibbs wrote: “This entire article is fabrication…………how sad that you believe this junk.”

      Hi Mary. If you read through the comments, you will see that not everyone believes this article. Feel free to add your comments of exactly what it is that you disagree with.

  1. Since we moved last May, we have been to numerous churches looking for a church home. To say it has been difficult is an under statement, but it has opened my eyes to what the non-believers experience when coming to a new church for help.
    Jesus was asked that some people were saying He was a follower of the teachings of Paul and that others were saying Jesus was a follower of John the Baptist, but Jesus answered that He only was a follower of His Father in Heaven. Jesus knew that someday there would be the questions of who do we follow. Do you follow the teachings of the Methodist, or the Baptist, or the Nazarenes, or the Pentecost, or the ‘whatever denomination’? I choose to follow Jesus who said He follows His Father. Jesus was very clear when asked this question, was He not?
    Jesus asked John the Baptist to baptize Him. John jumped back and said that he could not baptize Jesus the son of God. Jesus said that it wasn’t man that would baptize, but the Holy Spirit. Denominations that are trying to force you to be baptized in their church, even though you were already baptized in another; must ask themselves if they are better than the Holy Spirit who baptized me once, just as He baptized Jesus just once. A man calling himself a pastor of a denomination cannot baptize nor provide salvation to another individual; that is only provided by the Holy Spirit or Jesus.
    Are churches becoming more powerful than God? Have the churches become a sacred society that keeps those out of their buildings that think different from their interpretations? Are the churches today what Jesus warned us of when asked who He followed? When a church has closed communion for members ONLY, are they saying only they have Jesus and THEY are not going to share?

  2. How is the Right’s defining of “deviants” substantially different from how the Nazis did it early on in Germany? (Many of those professed to be Christian) How far does it have to go before we draw the parallels and put a stop to it? Already the poor are being forced into ghettos; the poor are the 21st Century’s equivalent of the European Jews. They will start there. Will there be resettlement of the undesirables? Will they have to wear symbols in public? Is it OK just to have a whole huge segment of the purchased press air rants against all deviants and package it as news? This is scary stuff; all the more so because it is backed by people with so much money that they can -and do- buy any mouthpiece they want. They can buy all of the communications networks and publishing. Keep freedom alive; the internet may be our best hope.

  3. A very powerful message regarding the movement that seeks to establish theocracy in America. The article suggests, however, that somehow Dominionism is at fault for the concept of a world at war with Satan. If there was ever doubt that we are in opposition with unseen dark forces, then the proof can surely be found within many of the gated communities of the Church. The Pharisees are alive and well in 2013, a sure harbinger of the 2nd coming if there ever was one …

  4. Bob McDonnell, my state’s governor, is a product of (Soli Deo Gloria!) Pat Robertson’s Regent University, and he told us all who he is and what he serves in his master’s thesis: God guides him. God as defined by his interpretation of God’s inerrant scripture. When he was running for office, the Washington Post asked him about what he’d written in his masters thesis, and he replied that he no longer held those beliefs. But actions speak louder. His record in Virginia has been one incessant push to enact those very beliefs.

    McDonnell’s thesis defines the pro-working family Democratic position — health care reform, minimum wage, etc. — as negative, using quotations around the word family when the family in question doesn’t fit his definition. He also uses the term “deviant.” What becomes clear is that he sincerely believes his version of the Republican position is God-given. (Other positions are not. I suppose they are deviant.) Which is to say McDonnell is willing to speak for God. That is the classic definition of irreverence.
    Deeming man basically bad, McDonnell draws the conclusion that government, being man-made, should not be trusted. Why, I cannot help but wonder, would a man holding such beliefs seek to be governor?

    It’s becoming more and more clear.

    • “What becomes clear is that he sincerely believes his version of the Republican position is God-given. (Other positions are not. I suppose they are deviant.) Which is to say McDonnell is willing to speak for God. That is the classic definition of irreverence.”

      Deborah Conner,

      I couldn’t agree with you more. What I’d add is that beyond irreverence one might even say pretending to speak for God is blasphemy. The people who see humanity as inherently evil always strike me as people with evil in their own heart that hey project onto others.

  5. Mike, a while back I was mocked at a different site for bringing up the book “A Handmaid’s Tale” while discussing the rampant anti women’s legislation happening at the state level and attempts at the federal level. The mocker was a rightist who sees absolutely nothing wrong with laws that would circumvent Roe v.Wade. It’s that paternal ideology that is pervasive in Christian Fundamentalism. Yes, domination of women is part and parcel of it. Legislatiing morality, especially when it’s connected to religious belief systems is a big step toward theocracy. Those poor Iranian women didn’t know what was going to hit them after they protested in the streets to oust the Shah.

    I don’t understand why some rightists who claim to be atheists or not religious don’t have more red flags going up in their heads when they see and hear what these Dominionists are all about. Do they so desperately seek the Presidency they just don’t care? Or do they have faith that it would never com to that. As I said on the other thread, never say never. Who would’ve thought that a Representative of the US would say a woman can “shut that whole thing down” regarding pregnancy and rape.

    • I don’t understand it, either. I live in Wichita Falls, TX, a red town in a red state. I’m a 60 year old woman with a daughter, and I’ve been a teacher for 35 years. I can make lists of how women and education have suffered because of the “right”, and the most frightening part – they are not through, and they are not stopping. Dominionism is appalling!

    • “Mike, a while back I was mocked at a different site for bringing up the book “A Handmaid’s Tale” while discussing the rampant anti women’s legislation happening at the state level and attempts at the federal level.”

      Annie,

      It happened that I was thinking about that bleak book as I wrote my piece. That book described the vision that these people have for America and it ain’t funny.

      • Mike Spindell wrote: “That book described the vision that these people have for America and it ain’t funny.”

        No, it is not the vision of these people, but the fictional imagination of an author who fears what these people might do.

        • “No, it is not the vision of these people, but the fictional imagination of an author who fears what these people might do.”

          DavidM,

          Yet that “fictional imagination” has its roots in the reality of the dominionist movement. Even you, who I assume would categorically state that you’re not a Dominionist, believes that man should rule over woman and that homosexuality shouldn’t be given license.

  6. Good for you on this article. And I beg people to start to do the research and expose them for what they are. Aside from the fact thier theological roots lie with RJ.Rouss, an extremist Nazi loving Theologian who spawned a lot of Amercian subgroups, the radical spin that they put on the Bible and the heavy emphasis on “New Prophecies” made up by bizarre self-proclaimed prophets should make people stop and ask a few questions. They hide behind about 15 closesly related sub groups(Quiverfull, N.A.R, Christian Reconstructionists) and about 400 affilitated legitimate churches. They have INFILTRATED or influenced many innocent Churches who hear “Christian” and ” Jesus” and think they are talking “Christian” as in mainstream Christian. However they are NOT. Their theology includes “supernatural” god-like “Super Christians” who are ABOVE THE LAW and who rule for life, or until Jesus comes. When they say taking money from the ungodly to do God’s work on earth, we “hear” it as taking money from those corps and individuals who blatantly stole from our economy or evaded taxes to help the poor.(After all, Jesus repeatedly taught serving the poor). That is NOT what they mean. The “ungodly” that they wish to take from are: Homosexuals, abortion seeking women, JEWS who don’t immediately covert, Roman Catholics and MANY OTHER MAINSTREAM CHRISTIAN GROUPS WHO DO NOT SUBMIT TO THIER RADICAL THEOLOGY.Yes, Virginia, this means you. Any Christian who refuses to respect the God-like leader is in trouble. Read Jeff Sharlet’s book tHE FAMILY and see how little this group refers to the Bible. Then look at Cindy Jacobs, Domionists, Peter Wagner and others and how they all OVERLAP and say the same thing….Then look at who they worship and who funds them:Big oil, big biz
    Essentially they are making things up and we will end up “worshipping” our leaders as infallible gods. And by the way, if Jesus does not suddenly appear, these same “chosen ones” will be glad to handle and spend your money(after siezing control of the banking systems) until he does.Essentially we will be right back to PAGAN ROME, wherein the EMPEROR was worshipped as a god. AND THIS IS CHRISTIANITY?

  7. Rafael Cruz, (ABC News), says he is not affiliated with Purifying
    Fire ministries of Suzanne and Benny Hinn. He is a “one man”
    ministry called Purifying Ministries according to the office of Sen. Cruz.

  8. Res ipsa loquitur (“The thing itself speaks”). Sorry. I don’t think that applies here. This article and most of the posts seem to be nothing more than paranoid projection. As a generality (you have to speak generally in situations like this) Conservatives and Conservative Christians have no interest in Christian govt. It is actually the opposite. Conservatives, as a matter of fervently held doctrine, oppose religious govt and are totally supportive of secular govt. Any attempt by some micro sect to tilt against that windmill is doomed to failure.

  9. You ruined your credibility when you claimed that right wing Christians brutally suppress others while you ignore rampant intolerance of Christian students by their teachers, the media’s stubborn refusal to report on leftist hate speech, the Obama IRS’s extreme prejudice toward conservative groups, etc. In short, being a Christian in this country means being suppressed continually by snotty, bigoted, ignorant leftists.

  10. The very far right want to establish corporations to be unbridled. Their greed and ignorance stirred along with the blindness of their faith, have no rationality to their thoughts, ideas, takeover of the U.S. by a theocratic order under “Biblical Law” according to their interpretation of the bible. Their agenda to undermine all social programs that assist the poor, sick, and the elderly. The form of economics would require people to look for God and not the government for help. So severe is this theocracy that it would extend capital punishment [to] blasphemy, heresy, adultery, and homosexuals. I sure love to inform these evangelicals that King James was a homosexual, and his friends and family affectionately, called him “Queen James,” and all references of the King James bible totally left out homosexuality as a sin. Since than, “King James” was revised in the 1930’s and “homosexual” was put back in the bible.

    • Patricia Blea wrote: “Their agenda to undermine all social programs that assist the poor, sick, and the elderly.”

      Actually, this statement is not true. Most on the right believe that social programs should be done by individuals, charities and corporations, not by government. The reason is that government takes money by force, which is like legalized stealing. Also, experience has taught us that government is inherently wasteful because it does not earn the money they receive. They are basically spending money that somebody else earned. In contrast, individuals and corporations are spending the money that they earned to help the poor. This is a motivation for them to spend the money wisely on social programs. Charities receive money voluntarily, so if they are not wise in what they do, people can choose to give to another charity instead. With government, there is no choice.

  11. “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.” This prophetic quote from two decades ago was authored by the late Sen. BARRY GOLDWATER. Ted Cruz is Goldwater’s worst fears come to life.

  12. This author could obviously use a little refresher in history. The biggest threat to ‘deviants’ in the history of the world have been big central gov’ts.

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