Christian dominionists eyeing Detroit, Muslims, demons?

Aug 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm
Christian dominionism hadn't registered on our radars until its recent discussion in a New Yorker piece on the rise of Michele Bachmann and a (to our reading off-target) rebuttal to coverage of the movement at the Daily Beast site. Here's how The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza describes the movement, which Bachman embraced through the theologian Francis Schaeffer:

[Schaeffer] was a major contributor to the school of thought now known as Dominionism, which relies on Genesis 1:26, where man is urged to “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Sara Diamond, who has written several books about evangelical movements in America, has succinctly defined the philosophy that resulted from Schaeffer’s interpretation: “Christians, and Christians alone, are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns.”

We expect to hear a lot more about this after hearing Terry Gross' Aug. 24 Fresh Air broadcast, "The Evangelicals Engaged In Spiritual Warfare,"  with researcher Rachel Tabachnick, further exploring dominionism and related Christian-right groups and ideology, including some followers who plan a major event in Detroit on Nov. 11.

From the NPR website summary of the show, there's this about the upcoming Detroit event by followers of Lou Engle:

The purpose of the prayer rally, says Tabachnick, is to "fight the demonic spirit of Islam."

"In other words, [they want] to conduct spiritual warfare against the spiritual demons which they claim hold Muslims in bondage and keep them from converting," she says. "Of course, this is expressed in terms of love. They say 'We don't hate Muslims. We love Muslims. But we hate that they are in spiritual bondage and don't convert to Christianity.' "

Also from the NPR website:

One of Engle's previous rallies took place in Uganda in May 2010, shortly after an anti-homosexuality bill had been proposed.

"Various people got on the stage [at his rally] and promoted the anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda, which is a very draconian bill that would allow for executions for certain offenses, and would also allow for people who don't report homosexual history to be jailed," she says. "The apostles have had a long history in Uganda, and some of them have had close relationships with both political and religious leaders there. In fact, an apostle in Uganda takes credit for promoting the anti-homosexuality bill and was recognized by the parliament in Uganda when the bill was introduced."