Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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Showing that (Sadly) dominionism is not a problem restricted to the US

Australia also has a growing problem with dominionists, and in fact, from dominionist groups that may sound very familiar to US readers.

Family First (http://www.familyfirst.org.au) is a political party in Australia that, like dominionist groups (such as Focus on the Family) here in the States, practices "stealth dominionism" in claiming publically that it is merely a party focusing on "family concerns".

The truth is that Family First was founded by multiple heads of the Australian branch of the Assemblies of God and is increasingly regarded as a de facto political wing of the AoG in Australia (a bit of backgrounder; generally the AoG is the biggest non-Catholic/non-Anglican church in Australia, certainly the largest pentecostal one by far).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_First_Party has info (pro and con) on this particular dominionist group.

http://www.abc.net.au/central/stories/s1218591.htm has a commentary from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, including statements by a member related to "deliverance ministry" as practiced within the group/denomination (specifically telling people to tear down liquor stores/beer stores and Moslem mosques to "pull down Satan's strongholds").

http://www.crikey.com.au/articles/2004/09/21-0001.html has information ergarding the links between Family First and AoG (and further firming up the fact that it is in fact de facto a political wing of the denomination).

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/10/15/1097784045621.html also has another report on the group, including a telling statement where the public face slips and the "private face" shows:

Fielding is not the only one to be gagged: all hopefuls were disendorsed as party candidates after the election to prevent them speaking on behalf of Family First. Harris admits the decision was partly due to the conduct of some representatives during the poll campaign.

A volunteer was disciplined for answering "yes" when asked whether Family First backed lesbians being burned to death.

(In my experience, at least in the group I walked away from...yes, they would have supported lesbians being burned to death, and a lot more people besides :P More info on the particular quote in question: http://atheism.about.com/b/a/117359.htm)

The AoG has a history of dominionist activity in the US that is quite well documented (known AoG associated dominionists in the US government include ex-Attorney General John Ashcroft, the main advisor on religious issues to George W Bush, and Admiral Boykin; as far as dominionist orgs themselves, many local branches of dominionist groups like AFA are in effect run by persons in AoG churches) and the church itself is a heavy practitioner of "deliverance ministry"--a form of dominionism that states that everything outside the church group is infested with demons (and all ills are the result of demonic influence) and that people must "take dominion over Satan" and "tear down Satan's strongholds" in all areas including takeover of the government--dominionism and the prevailing "demon haunted world", especially in AoG churches practicing "Third Wave"/"Brownsville/Pensacola" type theology, are very much two sides of the same helix). John Ashcroft, interestingly, was an example of how this is often done in practice (both in his political views and his "eccentricities" such as annointing areas with Wesson oil and covering up Lady Justice's boobies). The AoG also has a known history of "stealth evangelism" and in fact considers it completely acceptable and desirable. (For the record, I am a walkaway from an AoG church, so I do know of what I speak.)

The AoG has also, almost since its inception, heavily targeted other countries--especially in South Korea and in Australia. Australia in particular has given press regarding scandals among AoG churches, many involving involuntary exorcisms and diversion of funds. In fact, many exit counselors in Australia are beginning to consider the AoG in and of itself a coercive group (which would fit the experiences of myself and other walkaways from that denomination). (http://www.geocities.com/hotsprings/3658/ has a good page on this in general) This is something that the US has exported to Oz, and they are having to deal with it as a result...

Interestingly, there are indications of at least sympathies betwen the Australian dominionists and the American ones (aside from the AoG being heavily involved in both): http://au.messages.yahoo.com/news/top-stories/17610/ Howard, the present PM of Australia, is also heavily influenced by dominionists including Family First (see article below); furthermore, Family First has stated publically that American dominionists are whom they take example from (http://neovox.cortland.edu/vox/vox_100/vox_100.html) and at least one documentary has commented on the "heavily American flavour" of Family First (http://reviews.media-culture.org.au/article.php?sid=1175)

There's also evidence they're (much like the dominionist groups that are heavily AoG and Southern Baptist influenced here in the US) using explicitly sectarian tests for things like refugee status: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/apr2005/refu-a04_prn.shtml (And people WONDER why I say Oz is *NOT* an option for people who may need to make refugee plans in the event the dominionists *do* take over completely.)

Anyways, this is posted to show that the same people who are causing the problem in the US are now trying to cause similar problems for other countries, and that it is NOT a problem of the US alone. Countries *IN GENERAL* and people *in general* are going to need to take much more of a proactive stance to make sure people like this never get *in* office, and also to make sure regulations are passed and *enforced* to make sure the crossing of religious and political lines doesn't happen. We do *not* need a "Christian Taliban" in Oz or the US.

It's also interesting how the same usual suspects seem to be responsible :P (Now *tell* me again that I'm exaggerating?)

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