I don’t usually read Michael Gerson in the WaPo, but saw this link. I think he’s on to something:
Evangelicals, warned liberal theologian Albert Outler, “want a society ruled by those who know what the word of God is. The technical name for that is ‘theocracy,’ and their Napoleon, whether he likes it or not, is Jimmy Carter.” When Carter turned out to be less than Napoleonic, George W. Bush was identified as “the first prince of the theocratic states of America.” Bush, according to one entirely fictional account, was converted to “Dominionism” — a kind of Christian Wahhabism — by Assemblies of God pastors who provided him “explicit coaching.”
Now the heroes of the Tea Party movement, it turns out, are also closet theocrats. “If you want to understand Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry,” argues Michelle Goldberg in Newsweek/Daily Beast, “understanding Dominionism isn’t optional.” A recent New Yorker profile by Ryan Lizza contends that Bachmann has been influenced by a variety of theocratic thinkers who have preached Christian holy war.
The Dominionist goal is the imposition of a Christian version of sharia law in which adulterers, homosexuals and perhaps recalcitrant children would be subject to capital punishment. It is enough to spoil the sleep of any New Yorker subscriber. But there is a problem: Dominionism, though possessing cosmic ambitions, is a movement that could fit in a phone booth. The followers of R.J. Rushdoony produce more books than converts.
So it becomes necessary to stretch the case a bit. Perry admittedly doesn’t attend a Dominionist church or make Dominionist arguments, but he once allowed himself to be prayed for by some suspicious characters. Bachmann once attended a school that had a law review that said some disturbing things. She assisted a professor who once spoke at a convention that included some alarming people. Her belief that federal tax rates should not be higher than 10 percent, Goldberg explains, is “common in Reconstructionist circles.”
The evidence that Bachmann may countenance the death penalty for adulterers? Support for low marginal tax rates.
Such secularism shows a remarkable lack of self-consciousness. Like any ideology, this one has philosophic roots that are subject to argument. Yet secularists often assume their view is the definition of neutrality and thus deserves a privileged public place. The argument that religion is fundamentally illiberal thus provides an excuse to treat it illiberally. Pluralism is defined as the silencing of religious people.
Bravo. I am not religious in any way, shape, or form, but I do not need to make fun of religious people to feel superior. I do not need to feel superior at all. They’ve got millennia of cultural history and a holy book to back their beliefs; what have I got?
Liberals, I find, are kind and generous people if they don’t feel threatened. Question their worldview, however, announce that you intend to make the government “irrelevant” in the lives of many people, and they go bat[bleep], stark raving bat[bleep]. Maxine Waters tells the Tea Party to go “straight to hell”, Pelosi and Biden call its members “terrorists”, Janeane Garofalo calls them “racists, straight up”, and now some dingbat Congresswoman I’ve never heard of says… well, let her say it:
“The real enemy is the Tea Party –- let’s remember that,” said Rep. Frederica Wilson of Miami Gardens, host of the meeting and jobs fair. “The Tea Party holds Congress hostage … They have one goal in mind, and that’s to make President Obama a one-term president.”
Okay, she’s not a total dingbat. She got that right.
But if the Tea Party stands for one thing, it is low taxes and limited government (one thing by virtue of their interconnectedness). Everything else liberals spew is a projection from their paranoid and diseased minds.
And they are diseased. Who makes up this sick stuff, and talks so abusively?
For his part, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said the Tea Party should be called “the Fort Sumter Tea Party that sought to maintain states’ rights and slavery.”
Sick and abusive people, it follows. Thy names are Liberals.