On [Bachmann's] state-senate-campaign website, she recommended a book co-authored by Grant titled Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of Robert E. Lee, which, as Lizza reported, depicted the civil war as a battle between the devout Christian South and the Godless North, and lauded slavery as a benevolent institution.
The latest proposed victim in our struggle against terrorism is Army Lt. General William G. "Jerry" Boykin, recently named Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. His mission is to reinvigorate the search for bin Laden, Mullah Omar and other leaders of global terrorism. By training and experience he is marvelously prepared for his new duties -- having risen from a Delta Force commando to top-secret Joint Special Operations Command, through the CIA, to command of the Army's Special Forces. For a quarter century he has been fighting terror with his bare hands, his fine mind and his faith-shaped soul. It is that last matter -- his faith, and his willingness to give politically incorrect witness to that faith in Christian churches -- that has drawn furious media and political fire in the last week. The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Howard Dean, The Egyptian Foreign Minister and other less lofty entities have all called for his removal from office because of his expressed religious views. And, of course, these calls for his head are all made on behalf of religious tolerance.
While the full text of the general's comments will not been released by the Los Angeles Times columnist who secretly recorded them during the general's witness in churches in Oklahoma, Oregon and Florida, the purportedly scandalous bits have been selectively published in print and on television. General Boykin said the terrorists come from "the principalities of darkness," that they are "demonic," and they hate us because "We're a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian, and the enemy is a guy named Satan." The general also recounted the time he was chasing down a Somali warlord who was bragging that the Americans would not capture him because his god, Allah, would protect him. "Well," Boykin responded, "my God is bigger than his God. I knew my God was a real God, and his was an idol."
Rick Perry on Bush: 'He's a Yale Graduate; I'm a Texas A&M Grad'
“I think it’s time for us to just hand it over to God, and say, ‘God: You’re going to have to fix this,’” he said in a speech in May, explaining how some of the nation’s most serious problems could be solved.
The race to lead the Texas House of Representatives has taken a religious turn, with some conservatives in the state suggesting that the speaker of the House, who is a Jewish Republican, should be replaced by a "Christian conservative."
Over the past month, in a spate of e-mails and political pitches, conservative opponents of incumbent Speaker Joe Straus have said they want him replaced not because of his Jewish religion, but because of his betrayal of Republican principles.
But several of Straus' critics have noted how important it is that a Christian be named to take his place. These discussions have been made public by a series of media reports, drawing condemnation from some corners and making others in the GOP more than a bit uncomfortable.
In one e-mail conversation between two members of the State Republican Executive Committee, official John Cook stressed the need for a Christian to lead other Christians in the legislature.
"We elected a house with Christian, conservative values. We now want a true Christian, conservative running it," Cook said in the Nov. 30 e-mail, first published by the Texas Observer.
Cook, confirming the e-mail's authenticity, told FoxNews.com that his conversation was not about Straus' religion and that he didn't even know until recently that Straus was Jewish. But he stood by his belief that Christian conservatives should lead.
"My e-mail said nothing about Jewish people. I just want Christian conservatives in office," he said.
We have not seen this sort of thing at the highest levels of the Republican Party before. Those of us who wrote about the Christian fundamentalist influence on the Bush administration were alarmed that one of his advisers, Marvin Olasky, was associated with Christian Reconstructionism. It seemed unthinkable, at the time, that an American president was taking advice from even a single person whose ideas were so inimical to democracy.
One could go on and on listing the Dominionist influences on Bachmann’s thinking. She often cites Francis Schaeffer, the godfather of the anti-abortion movement, who held seminars on Rushdoony’s work and helped disseminate his ideas to a larger evangelical audience.
Perry has given self-proclaimed prophets and apostles leading roles in The Response, a much-publicized Christians-only prayer rally that Perry is organizing at Houston’s Reliant Stadium on Aug. 6.
The Response has engendered widespread criticism of its deliberate blurring of church and state and for the involvement of the American Family Association, labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its leadership’s homophobic and anti-Muslim statements. But it’s the involvement of New Apostolic leaders that’s more telling about Perry’s convictions and campaign strategy.
Peter Wagner, the founder of the movement, for example, has said that he supernaturally—when he was in Germany in 2001, God acted through him to end mad cow disease in Germany. So they actually—they think that they have some supernatural abilities, at least as God works through them, to do things in what they call "the natural." The natural is basically the real world. So they—the supernatural and the natural, for them, are constantly interacting, and they’re kind of the bridge between the two.
Ms. TABACHNICK: But having that background, having the Southern Baptist background and growing up in the Deep South, has helped me to be able to do this research. And it's also helped me to realize something that might not be apparent to some other people looking at the movement, that this is quite radically different than the evangelicalism of my youth. And the things that we've been talking about are not representative of evangelicalism. They're not representative of conservative evangelicalism. So I think that's important to keep in mind.
This is a movement that is growing in popularity and I think one of the ways they have been able to do that is they're not very identifiable to most people. They're just presented as nondenominational or just Christian. But it is an identifiable movement now with an identifiable ideology.
Dominionism. This refers to the desire that some of my friends and I have to follow Jesus and do what He wants. One of the things He does want He taught us to pray for in the Lord's Prayer: "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." This means that we do our best to see that what we know is characteristic of heaven work its way into the warp and woof of our society here on earth. Think of heaven: no injustice, no poverty, righteousness, peace, prosperity, no disease, love, no corruption, no crime, no misery, no racism, and I could go on. Wouldn't you like your city to display those characteristics?
You know what the human race enjoys and what it doesn't enjoy. It has invented a heaven out of its own head, all by itself: guess what it is like! In fifteen hundred eternities you couldn't do it. The ablest mind known to you or me in fifty million aeons couldn't do it. Very well, I will tell you about it.
1. First of all, I recall to your attention the extraordinary fact with which I began. To wit, that the human being, like the immortals, naturally places sexual intercourse far and away above all other joys -- yet he has left it out of his heaven! The very thought of it excites him; opportunity sets him wild; in this state he will risk life, reputation, everything -- even his queer heaven itself -- to make good that opportunity and ride it to the overwhelming climax. From youth to middle age all men and all women prize copulation above all other pleasures combined, yet it is actually as I have said: it is not in their heaven; prayer takes its place.
They prize it thus highly; yet, like all their so-called "boons," it is a poor thing. At its very best and longest the act is brief beyond imagination -- the imagination of an immortal, I mean. In the matter of repetition the man is limited -- oh, quite beyond immortal conception. We who continue the act and its supremest ecstasies unbroken and without withdrawal for centuries, will never be able to understand or adequately pity the awful poverty of these people in that rich gift which, possessed as we possess it, makes all other possessions trivial and not worth the trouble of invoicing.
2. In man's heaven everybody sings! The man who did not sing on earth sings there; the man who could not sing on earth is able to do it there. The universal singing is not casual, not occasional, not relieved by intervals of quiet; it goes on, all day long, and every day, during a stretch of twelve hours. And everybody stays; whereas in the earth the place would be empty in two hours. The singing is of hymns alone. Nay, it is of one hymn alone. The words are always the same, in number they are only about a dozen, there is no rhyme, there is no poetry: "Hosannah, hosannah, hosannah, Lord God of Sabaoth, 'rah! 'rah! 'rah! siss! -- boom! ... a-a-ah!"
3. Meantime, every person is playing on a harp -- those millions and millions! -- whereas not more than twenty in the thousand of them could play an instrument in the earth, or ever wanted to.
Consider the deafening hurricane of sound -- millions and millions of voices screaming at once and millions and millions of harps gritting their teeth at the same time! I ask you: is it hideous, is it odious, is it horrible?
Consider further: it is a praise service; a service of compliment, of flattery, of adulation! Do you ask who it is that is willing to endure this strange compliment, this insane compliment; and who not only endures it, but likes it, enjoys it, requires if, commands it? Hold your breath!
It is God! This race's god, I mean. He sits on his throne, attended by his four and twenty elders and some other dignitaries pertaining to his court, and looks out over his miles and miles of tempestuous worshipers, and smiles, and purrs, and nods his satisfaction northward, eastward, southward; as quaint and nave a spectacle as has yet been imagined in this universe, I take it.
It is easy to see that the inventor of the heavens did not originate the idea, but copied it from the show-ceremonies of some sorry little sovereign State up in the back settlements of the Orient somewhere.
Ms. TABACHNICK: They have interesting campaigns. One that's been very successful for the last few years is called the Seven Mountains campaign. And what this means is they teach that they are reclaiming the seven mountains of culture and society. And those mountains are arts and entertainment, business, education, family, government, media and religion.
And business is considered to be one of the most important mountains to reclaim control because this is the way that they finance the other mountains.
GROSS: So when they want to, like, reclaim government or politics, what does that mean?
Ms. TABACHNICK: They teach, quite literally, that these mountains have fallen under the control of demonic influences in society. And therefore, they must reclaim them for God in order to bring about the kingdom of God on Earth.
GROSS: And what are some of the major issues that they think are important?
Ms. TABACHNICK: Well, they're the typical religious right hot-button issues, if you will - anti-abortion, anti-gay rights - but they also have a laissez-faire market ideology, the belief that government should not be involved in social safety nets, that the country is becoming socialist, if not communist - so a Tea Party mentality.
GROSS: And I think that they also advocate - tell me if I'm wrong here - the privatization of schools - of the school system.
Ms. TABACHNICK: Yes. All of the typical, you know, what we've come to call Tea Party issues of very small government. And in the case of the apostles, they believe this because they believe that a large government, or government that handles the safety net, is taking away what is the domain of the church and of Christianity.
GROSS: And what kind of authority do they want in government?
Ms. TABACHNICK: They want the authority to align government with what they believe is the kingdom of God, with biblical values in their interpretation.
Let me back up and say something about dominionism. Dominionism is very different than having strong beliefs or even having very strong beliefs about one's evangelical values. Dominionism is very controversial inside of the conservative and evangelical world. It's a specific theology that states that somehow God lost control of the Earth when Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden and that humans must help God regain control of the Earth. And the way that they do this is by taking dominion over society and government.
The apostles and prophets have an interesting twist on this. They're not the only dominionist movement out there. Some people may be familiar with Rushdoony and Christian Reconstructionism. This is a different brand of dominionism.
And the apostles teach what's called strategic-level spiritual warfare with the idea being that the reason why there is sin and corruption and poverty on the Earth is because the Earth is controlled by a hierarchy of demons under the authority of Satan.
And so they teach that not just evangelizing souls one by one, as we're accustomed to hearing about, they teach that they will go into a geographic region or to a people-group and conduct these spiritual warfare activities in order to remove the demons from the entire population or the demonic control over the entire population. And this is what makes what they're doing quite different than other conservative evangelical or fundamentalist groups of the past.
Ms. TABACHNICK: Let me explain this concept of strategic-level spiritual warfare. They teach that there are three levels of spiritual warfare. The first is ground-level warfare, which is expulsion of demons - exorcism, if you will, of demons from individuals. This is nothing new. We've seen this for centuries. They have a little - a controversial twist to it because they teach that born-again Christians can harbor these demons.
Then they have a second level called occult-level spiritual warfare. This they say is fighting freemasonry, Eastern religions and witchcraft. Then there's the third level, strategic-level spiritual warfare, which is removing these principalities they call them, the most powerful demons that hold in spiritual bondage entire populations. And this might be a community, a geographic area, what they call a people group, an ethnic group or a religious group. They literally name these demons and then go on these excursions to fight these demons.
GROSS: So let me see if I understand this. Does that mean that these prayer groups are trying to exorcise mosques and get the demons out of mosques so that Muslims can convert to Christianity?
Ms. TABACHNICK: They see the demon as holding sway over a large area, so over not just the mosque but the entire people group. Let me give you a specific example about this and this is something that's coming up this November. Several groups have come together for another The Call event which will be in Detroit on November 11th. And the purpose of this one is to fight the demonic spirit of Islam.
Now I was listening to a recording. They're in preparation for this and this has been going on all throughout the year. And one of the leading apostles, and one who endorsed Perry's event, was speaking in a conference call to a group, and they placed these recordings online, and explaining to them the way that they were preparing for The Call Detroit. And one of the things that they're doing is they're literally going and putting a stake in the ground with a verse from Jeremiah at every Masonic lodge in the state. They have a ceremony to fight the demons and then they put the stake in the ground.
This is a type of ceremony that's been taking place all over the country. In all 50 states, ceremonies, which they call divorcing Baal - Baal being what the Israelites worshiped when they abandoned God in the Old Testament.
GROSS: So the event is in Detroit, which is very near Dearborn, Michigan, which has I think the - or one of the largest populations of Muslims in the United States.
Ms. TABACHNICK: Mm-hmm.
GROSS: Is that significant?
Ms. TABACHNICK: Yes, that's very significant. The purpose of that event is to fight the spirit of Islam. In other words, to conduct spiritual warfare against the demons which they claim hold Muslims in bondage and keep them from converting. Now, 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.
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