As of today, two of the top three candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination belong to a form of Christian fundamentalism whose radical beliefs are only now surfacing as the extreme right wing views of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry come more sharply into focus. For many, the threat of having a black President has contributed to the rise of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry as national candidates and there is no doubt that when Rick Perry says “a black cloud hangs over America” he is referring to Obama. Race will be the hidden factor in the 2012 Presidential election, but you will not find it mentioned in the press–it’s a national taboo. Although seemingly divergent in political origins, Perry and Bachmann share an emphasis on a form of Christian fundamentalism that is an un-American plan to enslave the United States in a Biblical Theocracy embodied in what’s known as “Dominionism.” Most of us don’t try to make a habit of acquiring carnal knowledge of Christian fundamentalist religious sects. But, it appears that the race for the Republican nomination for 2012 will involve the most theocratic slate of candidates in history, with the theocratic base of both Bachmann and Perry embedded within an anti-democracy, anti-U.S. Constitution thread: indeed they both favor a Biblical, Christian dictatorship, though they won’t admit to it. But, thanks to a few journalists, they don’t have to. The radical belief system promoted by Perry and Bachmann has not yet entered the stage of visibility, or microscopic examination, except in a few important articles. And, as their story emerges, it is becoming apparent that their radical religious indoctrination has been shared by very few in America and certainly not by most of the supporters whose donations allow their candidacies to flourish, at least for the moment. With Rick Perry now amping up his run for the Republican nomination (he has never lost an election and has been elected three times to the Governorship of Texas), we are likely to hear more about the radical religious views of both Perry and Bachmann, who share similar beliefs. The sooner the better. They are both doctrinaires of Dominionism and their similarities and differences are elaborated in Michelle Goldberg’s article “A Christian Plot for Domination?” appearing a few weeks ago in the Daily Beast.
Although the versions of their radical fundamentalism are slightly dissimilar, with somewhat different historical and regional origins, both Perry and Bachmann share an identity with far right views that include an “End of Days” prediction that wants to account for everything, including the idea that Global Climate Change is God’s punishment for violating Biblical law, primarily because of abortion and same-sex marriage. It thus has nothing to do with science, which they of course denounce but nevertheless incorporate into the relgious doomsday predictions. In their religious sects, which claim to have many modern day prophets, they aspire to a Biblical theocracy in America and want to impose the death penalty for things like abortion and same sex marriage. They don’t support public education because they believe in home education and they dislike the constitution of the United States because it promotes the separation of church and state. You will also want to check out Forrest Wilder’s article “Rick Perry’s Army of God” in the Texas Observer, which also has a section called “The Perry Trail,” where a more complete description of his positions on a wide spectrum of issues can be found. But, the press adores Rick Perry, because he makes outrageous, highly quotable statements, such as his suggestion that Ben Bernanke, Chair of the FDIC, was guilty of treasonous behavior and added “I don’t know what y’all would do to him in Iowa, but we—we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.” Paul Krugman has picked up on the implications and obvious ignorance of Perry’s statements, especially related to the economy. All Republican candidates are now fully insulated from answering any questions posed by those from the political center or from more progressive public figures. The press as well likes Bachmann for many of the same reasons. But rather than quoting these two candidates, reporters should spend more time investigating the origins of their beliefs that helped generate the comments in the first place, mistakenly uttered or not. This is not quite the “devil made me do it” time.
Dominionists believe that the Civil War was fought between the Godly South and the Godless North and that slaves were appropriately treated and should be so treated again someday. Bachmann’s history is also detailed in Ryan Lizza’s article in The New Yorker, “Leap of Faith.” These stories are not those of people who turned to Christian fundamentalism because they attended a megachurch and got hooked on the music. These two politicians, now vying for the Presidency of the United States, have committed themselves to a fundamentally anti-American, anti-democratic, Christianized society ruled by Biblical law. Global Warming will cease to be a problem once the earth has been cleansed of abortion, homosexuality and other competing religions. Neither candidate will admit to these beliefs because their objective is to slip into office under the radar screen, but as the articles point out, they do admit to certain beliefs of Dominionism and not infrequently slips of the tongue reveal the underlying principles of those beliefs. Perry has never ducked the opportunity to mix church and state. Yes, should either one get into office, we will not suddenly become a Biblical Christian country overnight, but the power of the Presidency to create new constituencies in the vast stretches of America should not be treated lightly. Remember how the Swift Boaters turned John Kerry’s candidacy upside down and created an image of him where a significant number of voters concluded that he didn’t deserve his Vietnam war medals. That was the result of an extensive campaign with people like T. Boone Pickens financing the effort. The capacity of wealthy corporations and individuals to sway the electorate has only increased since the 2004 election.
More and more, the election of 2012 is shaping up to be the next chapter in American history and with global climate change denial a part of the Republican platform, the election may turn out to determine the future of our planet and the animals we share it with. We have probably said many times over that this election is special, especially in recent elections, but never before in our history have we faced a list of candidates, bolstered by free-spending wealthy interests, that do not support our own constitutional rights and want to springboard from America to rule the world on a cleansed Christianized planet. Surely you ask, I am joking. My reply is let’s not run the risk of that experiment.
It appears that the presidential election of 2012 may well come down to electorate turnout. The conservative wing of the Republican Party is energized, mobilized, and wants to keep the House, win the Senate and the Presidency. And, there are these new photo-ID voter requirements that are present in many states that will bias the state against the liberal and progressive vote. Can Obama re-mobilize the 29 million voters that put him into office in 2008, but stayed home for the mid-term election of 2010? The combination of wild enthusiasm for Perry and Bachmann, combined with apathy over the job that Obama is doing, runs the risk of putting someone utterly foreign to our history in the White House. Perhaps Perry and Bachmann will implode under the weight of a little sunshine projected onto their beliefs, and incompetence. But I fear this is an election where those issues may be masked by the economy and the polls which show that most Americans do not think their children will have a better future in life than the life they have enjoyed.
This election will have components, that fly underneath the radar screen of polling numbers and questions. Will you vote for the Republican candidate because he is white? That may be a motivating factor but how many polls will actually ask that question? Perhaps Obama can get his engine and ours revved up with his Jobs bill that he will announce in September, 2011. But somehow, and I hope it’s not true, I fear that Obama will run with only modest enthusiasm because of unfulfilled expectations and the Republican candidate will be greeted by mad cheering crowds dreaming of a new America that cannot be delivered no matter who is President. Obama has to find a way to reverse this trend, not with speeches, but with actions and determination, done without splitting some imaginary line down the presumed center. The country is not center–as polls have long been demonstrating, but veers towards the left on most social issues. Will the Arab Spring spill over into America as it spilled over into Wisconsin? So far in poll numbers pitting Perry against Obama it is 47 to 47. But, when it’s all said and done, I believe that Mitt Romney will be the Republican candidate as he seems more like a bobble-headed doll who resurfaces after each drowning.
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