Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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Thoughts on the "war" against dominionism

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]lihan161051)

War is what's left when everything, even diplomacy, fails and you are left with an enemy whose disagreements with you are so basic and so fundamental that you cannot hope to reason with him. This is important because there is no true winning or losing in a war, there is simply survival and defense of what is most meaningful to you.

And defense is the ultimate goal of any war, preserving what is important against someone's best efforts to destroy it. Even offensive tactics have a defensive goal, or at least they should.

In this current situation, that is key to understanding the best way to defeat the dominionists -- war has been declared against everyone opposed to theocratic dominionism, and unless that threat is countered it's very likely that we will see much more aggressive efforts to impose dominionist theology and agendas on virtually every aspect of this society, some of which may be deliberately kept secret (due to the knowledge that they will be very unpopular when finally revealed) until after it is too late to organize effective opposition to them. The nature of the dominionist threat is that we have to guess at what the dominionists will do if given the power they are clearly trying to establish and consolidate through our government, our schools, and almost every other means of coercion or indoctrination they can assert, and make the assumption that the worst of what they will subject us to has yet to be revealed and must be inferred from what small amounts of information leak through to us.

So "war" is appropriate, but not in the traditional sense of individual attacks against individual dominionist players by the opposition. Our "war" is in the more abstract sense of making this enemy unable to pose a threat to us, and this can be done without violence.

The power source for the dominionist culture is clearly the coercive nature of the "churches" (and I use the quotes deliberately, these are not what I consider legitimate churches in any sense of the word) that they use to establish their support, both financial and social, within the larger society. These "churches" specialize in extracting large amounts of money from their congregants (much greater than the traditional "tithe" of 10%, I've heard) and coercing their congregants into supporting the agendas of their leaders unquestioningly and, more importantly, voting as directed when dominionist candidates are seeking strategically critical offices.

This power source can be cut off very effectively by education, especially education focusing on the critical early teen years when children are most susceptible to dominionist recruitment tactics. The coercive nature of dominionist organizations actually makes this job substantially easier, as most if not all of the preemptive educational tactics that are effective against more marginal coercive/cult organizations are almost completely applicable to dominionist "church" recruitment as well -- familiarizing as many people as possible with what coercive/cult organizations do to win over new converts, especially recognizing the "too good to be true" early behavior (lovebombing, etc.) and the bizarre claims of a typical coercive organization to a privileged place in society. More often than not, these are all most people will see before sinking so deep in the organization's spell that they can no longer muster critical awareness.

By starving the movement of new members, and thus new money and new votes, the basic power source of the movement is taken away, and more people come to recognize the dominionist "churches" as an aberration from their own experiences with the "church" recruitment/indoctrination, particularly if the focus of the education effort is on any coercive/cult group, not specifically dominionist, and people are left to make the connection themselves, thus avoiding the usual backlash tactic of claiming such education is anti-Christian "persecution". It could also have a synergistic effect of raising public awareness of dominionism as an aberration and not representative of most mainstream Christianity, thus depriving the dominionists of the "human shields" behind which they normally tend to hide.

Another benefit of allowing people to form their own informed judgments of dominionism from experiences of direct contact is that they are far more likely to become our allies. And make no mistake, we need plenty of allies to have any measurable effect on the dominionist movement. Currently, the resistance isn't even large enough to fill up the floor of one megachurch arena, and for the education strategy to work we need persuasive and attractive educational materials and a means to get them in front of everyone likely to be targeted by a dominionist "church", which at the minimum is every middle/high school counselor in the country. This doesn't come cheap, and requires a lot of effort as well as a lot of investment.

Basic education will go a long way toward hardening this society to the particular form of "gaming the system" the dominionists have been exploiting so successfully in the past couple of decades. It won't eliminate the problem of "gaming the system" itself, obviously, since the moment the system is changed to make one form of "gaming" it not pay off, someone else will begin working on new ways to exploit the new system, but some change is better than none at all.

Beyond basic hardening of the system, the other major strategy should be exposing the anti-Christian nature of dominionist theology and how it exploits majority religious attitudes in our society. Education can help here, but is best applied indirectly, using the "backward" strategy of educating people on coercive and destructive behaviors and allowing people to discover these behaviors in dominionist-run organizations on their own. As long as we focus on dominionism itself, it will always be possible to claim "persecution against Christians" and use the misguided support thus generated to defend dominionist agendas, whereas as soon as mainstream Christians understand that we are not attacking them but going after the people hiding behind them, we gain some powerful allies in that area as well. (Been seeing hints that this may be happening already, and if so, it's definitely worth helping that along.)

I may add to this later, but this was what came into my head pretty much fully formed this morning. Hopefully it can be hammered down into a more concise mission statement .. ;-)

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