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A Push For Theocracy

Bobble-Beck II

Image by Truthout.org via Flickr

Okay, so I’m going to get a little conspiracy-theory on you.

Another way to read the recent victories by Tea Party candidates is the beginning of a resurgence of the evangelical right.

The reigning king and queen of the Tea Party movement are Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, respectively.

Beck was a coke-addled obnoxious radio shock jock until he found Mormonism a few years ago. His recent multimedia rally to supplant Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic civil rights march on Washington, DC was laden with evangelical overtones.

Beck often presents himself as a messianic figure who has answers from on high for the problems he sees plaguing America.

Mormons and the evangelical right have much in common, and when Beck met Palin on his Fox program, it was clear the two hit it off.

Palin, for her part, has jetted her way across the country to hand-pick Tea Party candidates with the right religious qualifications.

Christine O’Donnell is a great example of a successful Palin-backed fundamentalist Christian candidate.

Her creepy evangelical past is well-documented, and she is the undeniable darling of the Christian Right masses.

She is connected to the New Apostolic Reformation, which seeks to unite all Protestants in a post-denominational movement to transform the world through politics and “direct action”.

One of the movement’s “victories” is the adoptions by the Ugandan government of anti-gay policies that make homosexuality a crime punishable by death.

Bill Maher cut to the chase in his recent interview on the Larry King show (at about 1:10 mins into the clip):

The Newsweek article he mentions is here.

The Vanity Fair article is here.

The movement is not a loose organization of churches holding bake sales to raise money for a new organ. The movement is a hierarchical army committed to creating a theocracy — or at least greatly increasing religious influence on government.

The Vanity Fair article explains:

The term “prayer warrior” describes a person who offers a specific kind of supplication: asking God to direct an unseen battle between forces of light and darkness—literal angels and demons—that some Christians believe is occurring all around us. A leading member of Wasilla’s Church on the Rock, the non-denominational evangelical congregation where Palin sometimes attends worship, confirmed this understanding of the term. When Palin thanks prayer warriors for keeping her covered, she is thanking them for calling on angels to shield her from demonic attacks.

Except that the definition is too benign. It does not at all capture what the agenda and goals of this network are.

It is unlikely that many of the rank and file Tea Party protesters understand the agenda of some of their leaders. It’s unclear if they would even care.

The hostility to other religions, uncompromising warfare on a healthy government and vehement opposition to rights for gays tracks perfectly with the aims of the New Apostolic Reformation.

Beck, a master of promotion whose ego seems to know no bounds, seems to delight in the control his mastery of the language of the evangelical movement gives him over his fawning audience.

It’s not clear what his goal is, and at times it seems like he has only half-formulated a direction for his movement. For now he seems content to bask in the attention his religiously-driven followers give him.

Clearly he intends to increase the influence of religion on American politics.

And he and Palin have an army at their disposal.

Most religious Americans hold views far more moderate than those being espoused by the soldiers and officers of this new religious right.

For those who reject the idea of theocracy, and value the freedom of all Americans to practice any brand of religion that they choose (or, like me, none at all), this is a scary time.

-Chris

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September 16, 2010 - Posted by | Politics, Religion, Republicans, Tea Party | , , , , , , ,

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