This article attacks Conservative Christians though we recognise that Liberal Christians can be better.

Dominionism is a political and religious philosophy that seeks to make the United States government a Christian theocracy[1]. (Most Dominionists try to avoid using this name. Regardless, it is usually applied to any Christian movement with these explicit or implicit goals.)

Dominionists believe that all the Old Testament laws should be kept, and enforced by the U.S. legal system, which would entail a substantial increase in the use of capital punishment. Additionally they also believe that that biblical injunctions regarding slavery should be followed[2][3].

Its ideologies are promoted by authors such as Gary North and David Barton.

Origin of the term

The term "Dominionism" comes from Genesis 1:26 of the King James Version of the Bible, which reads:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them 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.

In every other verse of the King James Version where the word "dominion" occurs, the word either refers to God's dominion over the world and all of its people; or to the dominion of a king over his kingdom, as in Psalms 72 ("The reign of a righteous king"). This is the only time when the word is applied to all men.

Unfortunately, this misinterpretation of the original text that may have altered world history for the worse. The original word is more accurately translated as "stewardship." This may explain why English-speaking countries are more likely to be polluting colonialists than non-English-speaking Christian nations.

One explanation for this error is that King James I -- a Scottish king who was trying to solidify power after being crowned England's new king -- wanted his translation of the Bible to re-enforce his divine right to rule as he saw fit.

Dominionist theology

Main article: Millennialism

Dominionism is often connected with the theological position known as postmillennialism, which envisions a period of one thousand years prior to the eventual Second coming of Christ during which the "Kingdom of God" will gradually gain ground against the forces that oppose it. For that reason, these "hard dominionists" usually work towards a general Christianization of society in the belief that this will help bring about the "Kingdom of God" and eventually the Second coming.

In this, they differ from the premillennialists, who believe that the Second coming itself will mark the beginning of the millennium, and thus tend to focus more on the conversion of individuals than of society as such.

Dominionists believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. As such, they believe that God "gave man dominion over the earth." Since these folks think Jesus will come again, that he will take the righteous to heaven and that he will destroy the non-believers, this allows them to pollute the earth, destroy eco-systems and generally not give a shit about the fate of Earth. When God has your back and will take you to Heaven, why care about the state of the planet?

Dominionism in fiction

The "Republic of Gilead" in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale represented one scenario of a Dominionist takeover in the United States after an environmental disaster drastically reduced the reproductive capacity of the population. Another example of Dominionism is 'If this goes on...' by Robert A. Heinlein, where an evangelical preacher named Nehemiah Scudder takes control of the Executive Branch of the United States Government, and imposes fundamentalist law over the country.

A threat to freedom?

Many people argue about the subject of personal freedom in a theocracy, but the dominionists themselves see no lack of freedom as they believe following the bible is freedom. As a result, a group of teachers and intellectuals from Cornell University created Theocracy Watch to combat the dominionism movement.

See also


  1. In this case "Christian" usually means extreme fundamentalist Protestant.
  2. "Dominionism". May 18, 2005.
  3. Enyart, Bob. "God and the Death Penalty".

External links

Adapted from RationalWiki

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