Sunday, August 21, 2011

I know what I did this summer

[Definitely click to embiggen and read.]

Besides melting, boy-maintaining, reading, drinking iced-tea, eating watermelon, and playing with Photoshop, I was able to get in some high-quality sleeping, although I did have a few nightmares, most of them brought on by daytime musing on the prospect of a right-wing religious ideologue winning the presidency next year.

These nightmares intensified when I learned more about NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation movement, and its far-reaching involvement in American society, culture, and politics. NAR is the force behind newly-announced presidential candidate, Texas Governor Rick Perry. From the Texas Observer (emphasis mine):
Unlike other radical religious groups, the New Apostles believe political activism is part of their divine mission. “Whereas their spiritual forefathers in the Pentecostal movement would have eschewed involvement in politics, the New Apostles believe they have a divine mandate to rescue a decaying American society,” said Margaret Poloma, a practicing Pentecostal and professor of sociology at the University of Akron. “Their apostolic vision is to usher in the Kingdom of God.”

“Where does God stop and they begin?” she asks. “I don't think they know the difference.”

Poloma is one of the few academics who has closely studied the apostolic movement. It’s largely escaped notice, in part, because it lacks the traditional structures of either politics or religion, says Rachel Tabachnick, a researcher who has covered the movement extensively for, a left-leaning site that covers the religious right.

“It’s fairly recent and it just doesn’t fit into people’s pre-conceived notions,” she says. “They can’t get their head around something that isn’t denominational.”

The movement operates through a loose but interlocking array of churches, ministries, councils and seminaries—many of them in Texas. But mostly it holds together through the friendships and alliances of its prophets and apostles.

The Response itself seems patterned on TheCall, day-long worship and prayer rallies usually laced with anti-gay and anti-abortion messages. TheCall—also the name of a Kansas City-based organization—is led by Lou Engle, an apostle who looks a bit like Mr. Magoo and has the unnerving habit of rocking back and forth while shouting at his audience in a raspy voice. (Engle is also closely associated with the International House of Prayer—, Mike Bickle’s 24/7 prayer center in Kansas City.) Engle frequently mobilizes his followers in the service of earthly causes, holding raucous prayer events in California to help pass Prop 8, the anti-gay marriage initiative, and making an appearance in Uganda last year to lend aid to those trying to pass a law that would have imposed the death penalty on homosexuals. But Engle's larger aim is Christian control of government.

“The church’s vocation is to rule history with God,” he has said. “We are called into the very image of the Trinity himself, that we are to be His friends and partners for world dominion.”

“It sounds so fringe but yet it’s not fringe,” Tabachnick says. “They’ve been working with Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Sam Brownback, and now Rick Perry. ... They are becoming much more politically noticeable.” [...]

The New Apostles talk about taking dominion over American society in pastoral terms. They refer to the “Seven Mountains” of society: family, religion, arts and entertainment, media, government, education, and business. These are the nerve centers of society that God (or his people) must control.
I plan to keep close tabs on these worrisome gentlefolk. NARWatch makes it easy--bookmarked and done (thanks, Rachel!) (To really stay up-to-the-minute, be sure to like NARWatch on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.)

Sorry, fundies, you may have succeeded in passing anti-women laws like mandatory ultrasounds in Florida, but I'm not ready to change my name to OfRobert and give up reading books. Not just yet.


  1. Can we except Gov. Rick Perry or Rep. Michele Bachmann to start speaking in tongues on the campaign trail? I have been to a Pentecostal service and it is weird.

  2. Yikes, Michael, I hope not. Although it would be entertaining.

    Then again, so is snake-handling. Sort of.

    As if the country didn't have enough problems--now we've got batshit-crazy, pathologically abstinent climate-change deniers running for president. On the GOP ticket, Special Closet division.

  3. Deborah,

    First of all welcome back!

    Second, not wanting to give you even more nightmares but, do a little research on Dominionist Christianity. A good place to start is here.

    Very scary stuff. . .

  4. Glad you are willing to blog, in these terrible hours..
    Michael Gerson has a strikingly dishonest piece up at WaPo

    Commenters are quoting stuff like Ahmanson and the platform of the Texas Republicans back at him. Gerson is a joke, but the Reconstructionists are not.

  5. Yes, G. Burtis! Leah Burton does an excellent job at

    And thanks Deborah for the NARWatch info.

  6. I didn't know what Dominionist Christianity and the NAR was until yesterday when I heard a segment about it on NPR. It would be a joke except for the fact there are so many supporters. The alignment of Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Sam Brownback and Rick Perry with the broad goals of the NAR is more than a little disturbing. On the other hand if these individuals believe in demon maps it's easy to understand why they don't believe in global warming. Overall it seems we'll be a small step away from the Dark Ages if these clowns get into (more) power and they'll be proclaiming that the sun and planets rotate around the earth...

  7. I'd say these folks have more of a shot at running things than the Sharia Islamists they're always squawking about.

  8. Here is a video clearly laying out the "Seven Mountains" and the Dominionist's ideas on it..

    (Via Joe.My.God)

  9. Mr. Bill, thank you for those links.

    Whew, what a wild couple of weeks. I think the boys are finally settled into the school routine, and so am I--to a point. Of course my car had a catastrophic failure of its computerization, and it apparently needs a new starter among other bits and peices, so there goes a four figure sum, no doubt. Booo. But other than that, I am in a decent mood and looking forward to some autumn weather in a month or so.

  10. P.S. I am working on an interesting bit of research right now, about some well-known dominionists (to invoke the current lingo) and their monetary influence on our Congress and presidential candidates. Stay tuned.