Over the second half of the twentieth century, Evangelical Protestantism has been transformed from an insular world-denying religious movement into a powerful political movement currently ascendant within the Republican Party and within the federal judiciary. Dominion Theology, or Dominionism, is a movement dating to the beginning of the 1980s which is based around the view that certain forms of Christianity must dominate society and the state. Early forms of Dominionism were tied to Christian Reconstructionism, a theocratic ideology in which much of Jewish Mosaic Law would be enforced by the state. As it is practiced today, however, it is more simply the theocratic politicization of Evangelical Fundamentalist Reformed Protestant Christianity.
This goal of Christian dominance of US and ultimately global society has multifarious particular instantiations. It is described (originally by Pentecostals, including by Trump-aligned Pentecostal pastor Paula White) in terms of seven “mountains”: religion, economics, media, entertainment, (the previous two are merged in this essay, and are mostly worth distinguishing to preserve the religiously-important number seven), education, family and government.
Evangelicalism dates back to the First Great Awakening of the mid-18th century. Oddly enough from today’s perspective, it is not in itself necessarily a political movement. One of its tenets is called “activism” but this was not historically a term referring to political activity. In fact, many of those most fervently supportive of the United States’ constitutional secularism could be categorized as Evangelical. This activism carried in itself, however, the potential to negate the movement’s staid quietism.Continue reading “Crown Him with Many Crowns: Dominion Theology in the United States”