For the past year, press reports have been ablaze with reports of the stagnation of the American political system. Even the most mundane issues are contested as a partisan affair. The floor of Congress has been degraded to something comparable to a primary school playground, with all of its petty rivalries, grudges, temper tantrums, backhanded compliments, and two faced agreements. Almost any player or bystander of the world stage will agree: America is quickly becoming a bastion of radical politics, some of which is outright ridiculous and others quite dangerous.
Perhaps the most alarming political movement active in the United States today is the “Dominionist” movement. Dominionism is basically the belief that Humanity has been placed upon the Earth, by God, to dominate the ecosystem, and establish a dominion, for our sole benefit, over the planet. This dominion allows us to do with the Earth as we desire. As you can well imagine, this point of view is held in high esteem by corporate types, Tea Party enthusiasts, and fundamentalists alike. Despite the fact that some of the adherents of this movement dispute the name “Dominionist”, perhaps due to the possible negative denotation, one thing is clear: the Dominionists are determined to dramatically alter the political and social arena of the nation on a mass scale.
To understand why Dominionism is such a detrimental idea, you must familiarize yourself with its tenets. The agenda typical of the Domionionists is as follows: They typically support a large expansion in the role of the church in governmental affairs, including welfare and community projects. Abortion and stem cell research is reviled, and would not be allowed to continue under the Dominionist regime. Prayer and the ten commandments would be reintroduced in education, along with creationist theory. Also, other faiths would take the backseat in public affairs and governmental functions, as the Dominionists openly pursue a “Christian nation”. As you may well assume, many of these pontifications are starkly contradictory to the U.S. Constitution, which declares that no faith shall reign supreme over another, and actually checks the possibility of a “dictatorship of the masses”.
Although only a fraction of Americans support this stance, the very existence of a movement such as this is a testament to both the state of the political system, and the nature of the American people. In no other industrialized nation is a blatantly religious political movement considered part of the mainstream, but in America, it is completely at home. Just one example of the acceptance of this movement is the current presidential primary. There are at least two candidates that have espoused views similar to Dominionism, all on the Republican side of the field: Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann. Rick Perry has actively portrayed his faith in his public life, even holding a state sanctioned prayer meeting in Reliant Stadium to combat the nations troubles. In an address to the state of Texas early this summer, Perry requested Texans to pray for rain, an action more reminiscent of a shaman than a 21st century American governor. Bachmann has been just as active, constantly calling upon her faith as a qualification for the president, as well as plugging her husband’s “Christian Homosexual Cure Center”.
Perhaps the only thing the Dominionist cause does not have is a chance. Although it may garner as much as twenty-five percent of the population’s sympathy, it will most likely not gain control of center stage. Religiosity in America is declining, with 16% of Americans claiming no religious opinion. Even more condemning to the cause is the current views of the youth. In a recent poll conducted by the Roman Catholic Monash University, 20% of today’s youth declare Atheism, and another 32% declare uncertainty in a Deities existence. Despite the apparent marginalization of Dominionism and other movements like it, one thing is clear: it is an embarrassment to have a mainstream movement such as this alive and well in America.