in the Barre Montpelier, Vt., Times-Argus on Monday provides the springboard
for today's discussion. The writer, Marc Alexander, says that the paper's editorial
cartoonist, Kevin Siers "refers to Republicans Frist and DeLay and indirectly
to their connection to the Christian Reconstructionists, also known as Dominionists.
Although there is an article in the current Harpers magazine, few in the
mainstream media have followed these radical Christians. The Dominionists are
a minority of conservative, of even fundamentalist Christians. They do not believe
in the separation of church and state, in fact they believe the United States
should be a Christian state. By Christian they mean their version of Christianity,
an Old Testament version, crusaders for Christ. They believe in the Second Coming,
Armageddon, and soonso why worry about the environment or entitlement programs.
And why tolerate other world religions, or Catholics or most Protestants for that
"Who are these Dominionists. The founding leader is
the Rev. D. James Kennedy with a 10,000 strong congregation in Florida, who has
preached: 'As the vice-regents of God, we are to bring His truth and His will
to bear on every sphere of our world and our society. We are to exercise godly
dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government … our
entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors — in short, over
every aspect and institution of human society.'"
is another paragraph in the letter quoting a liberal Republican to the effect
that religion is ruining the party, but that's beyond the scope of this discussion.
(Frankly, I am not "Republican" enough to care about that.) There is much food
for thought in this letter. There are untruths as well as truths worth commenting.
I have been a "dominionist" (lowercase "d" because there
is no organization taking that name, at least that I know of or am a member of)
most of my life. Dominion means "lordship," and in this case refers to the Lordship
of Christ. As a slogan of the Jesus Movement revival of the 1970's often said,
"you can't have Christ as your savior if He's not also your Lord." Despite the
widespread assent to this idea, relatively few professing believers in Christ
give much thought to the implications of the Lordship of Christ. To embrace the
implications of this proposition is to be, first, a theoretical thinker and, second,
a dominionist. I was a "dominionist" decades before I knew of D. James Kennedy
(no relation) and my major published book was in the marketplace advocating the
same philosophy described here (as it pertains to journalism), before he became
its best known American advocate by virtue of his media exposure. I do agree with
everything attributed to him above (though not the interpretation of it Marc Alexander
is imputing), but hasten to say this is not connected with so-called "Reconstructionist
Christians," with whom I claim very little common ground.
running out of "space" for today so will take up these points in later entries.
For now, two teasers: Though perhaps Reconstructionists (I have no interest in
speaking for that tiny movement which I'm guessing is smaller even than the membership
of Dr. Kennedy's Florida congregation) may not believe in separation of church
and state, for dominionists that doctrine is a fundamental building block of our
Christian worldview. And not only do dominionists not promote making
America a Christian state, the movement is the major proponent there is of true
pluralism in politics and social structures of all kinds.
close by explaining the title I chose for today's post. If Christ is God, as Christians
all profess (and those who deny it are mistaken if they think they are Christians),
the world is His. Everything is under his dominion. To be His subjects is to be
under His dominion in our worship but also our vocations, our families and marriages,
our recreational and entertainment pursuits, our legal and political theory and
practice...in everything. To deny Him dominion in any thing is to be, in that
thing (more correctly "those things") an atheist.
complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonals for 2001 - 2005