Senate "annointer" curses WV mine families
dogemperor printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:27:42 PM EST
It's a rare event when the dominionists show their "private" face in public.  (Dominionists do have a definite "private" speech--to their fellow dominionists--and a "public" face.  The private one is usually far uglier.)

Pat Robertson is an example of one of the dominionists showing his "private" face in public a lot recently--to the point that other dominionists are now disavowing him (after his latest showing of the "private face" of dominionism may well have sunk the chances for a dominionist theme park planned in Israel in a historic district).

Another recent example I found of the "private face" of dominionism showing up in public is in regards to one of the three people who tried to literally hex the Senate in the name of Christ by "annointing" the seats with cooking oil.

Most of the readers of Talk2Action are now familiar with the "Reverend" Rob Schenck.  Schenck is the head pastor of the National Communities Church, a large Assemblies of God church in Washington, DC of some notoriety (among other things, John Ashcroft was reportedly a regular attendee).

For those who aren't familiar with Schenck, I'll refresh your memories.  He was one of three people who walked into the Senate chambers and "annointed" all of the seats with oil and "prayed over them" in an attempt at literally hexing the entire Senate in the name of Christ to vote for Alito's confirmation.

(The use of cooking oil to "annoint" objects is a peculiarity in pentecostal circles that are descended from the Assemblies of God and within the AoG; the practice originally started with "name it and claim it" faith healers, and is now heavily used in "spiritual warfare" circles within those churches--partly as an extension of the "dominion theology" that both are extensions of (within the Assemblies of God and its related groups such as International Foursquare, Calvary Chapel, Vineyard, etc.).  Seeing as one of the explicit teachings in "word-faith" theology is that all illness--including infectious diseases such as the cold or flu--is the result of demonic possession (infectious disease is seen as "solidified living corruption"--demonic ectoplasm--and hereditary diseases are seen as the result of "generational curses") this is actually a somewhat logical extension in the strange world of dominion theology.

(Annointing with oil is also generally not done to explicitly bless an object or person, but rather as a sort of territorial marking.  Examples of this in dominionist circles include this page (which shows the original bit of scripture-twisting used by word-faith preachers to do the whole "annointing with oil" thing; the site's links page is explicitly not only dominionist but premillenial-dispensationalist), this site ( is a dominionist "deliverance ministry" site) that uses excerpts from an exorcism manual distributed by Moody Bible Institute; a dominionist "word-faith" healing manual that notes the use of Wesson oil (this church may be affiliated with International Foursquare, a descendent denomination of the Assemblies of God (and the world's first "radio church") or the Evangelical Covenant Church, and is apparently premillenial dispensationalist); and finally another example from a dominionist church noting how the Wesson oil is seen mostly as a "tie" or "representing the Holy Spirit", not explicitly to bless someone. (The last is from a church affiliated with Calvary Chapel, which also operates one of the largest "religiocasting" networks in the US--largely via a multitude of front companies and largely as translator networks.))

I am glad to say that, at least from what I have been seeing and hearing, the "annointing" may not have worked as well as hoped--there are now quite serious questions being asked regarding Alito's involvement in a potentially racist group, among other things.

As for Schenck and his church, based on some background research on the Elim Bible Institute (the religious institution--less a seminary and more of a "Bible college"--that both Schenck and, notably, Randall Terry (yes, as in Operation Rescue and Operation Save American Randall Terry, as in "promoting militia groups" Randall Terry, one and the same) graduated from) there are some interesting connections.  (It actually took a fair amount of research to conclusively prove that he and his church are part of the Assemblies--as I've noted in past, in particular with a group called the "Seven Project", even the Assemblies of God's own official "missionary" and "outreach" projects do their best to hide their links to the parent church.)

Based on some background research on the Elim Bible Institute (which per its academic programs page may be linked with the Assemblies of God seminary), both it and its parent church (Elim Full Gospel) may be either AoG or part of an AoG splinter group and has been specifically linked with the "Brownsville" nee Third Wave movement in that denomination.  (The "Brownsville" or "Third Wave" movement is especially dominionist; in fact, part of the basic theology of the movement is that the "saved" are part of "Joel's Army"--an "endtime overcomer" army whose purpose is to "secure God's blessing" by taking over the government and other secular institutions.  There is also an extremely heavy emphasis on "spiritual warfare" in this group--which no doubt influenced both Schenck and Terry.)

"Elim Full Gospel" is also a term almost exclusively used by AoG churches and seminaries, as sort of a "brand name"; the association of John Ashcroft with the National Community Church (John Ashcroft is part of a multigenerational AoG family, and reportedly had a similar "annointing" ceremony done by none other than Clarence Thomas and his father (an AoG preacher who founded "Chi Alpha", an Assemblies-run Campus Crusade for Christ clone that is one of a very large number of front groups connected to the AoG) upon his nomination to the US Attorney-General) is also rather suspicious.  In addition, research on the National Community Church itself shows that it is an AoG church (the website does not reveal this, and as noted, quite a few Assemblies churches don't even note they are affiliated with the denomination without quite a bit of digging on the website--often only having indications in the links section or cross-promotion of Assemblies of God preachers).

I've wirtten quite a bit on the history of dominion theology within the AoG, so I won't repeat myself here.  I also won't duplicate what I've said here in past on the AoG and efforts at sheep-stealing and promotion of dominionism in mainstream churches (of which there are quite a number of them).

Anyways, back to Schenck.  Schenck is apparently not only a member of, but a founder of, a group called the "National Clergy Council" which is a network of dominionist-friendly pastors.  The executive council of the group is particularly telling, as it includes quite a rogue's gallery: the heads of Life Education and Resources Network (a dominionist "pro-life" group), Faith and Action, and The Truth Matters (a dominionist group run by an Assemblies-affiliated preacher who is also apparently on the board of the AoG Seminary); a Maryland church worker who is simultaneously executive secretary of a statewide dominionist "homeschool" association as well as head of the African-American Life Alliance (one of the groups claiming birth control and abortion are a backdoor genocide program against African-Americans) and a regional director for the Constitution Party for Prince George's County; a blatantly Christian Reconstructionist lawyer who writes for numerous dominionist groups including Faith and Action as well as American Vision (actually listed as a hate group by SPLC) and Covenant News; a pastor of a Cincinatti-area AoG church (again, the church's website does not admit this, but they do promote Royal Rangers (an AoG "Christian Alternative" to Boy Scouts) and this AoG ministry listing lists the church) who is not only linked with Operation Save America but--disturbingly--is not only directly linked with the Brownsville aka "Third Wave" movement but is also (even more disturbingly) head of the Children's Services Board of Butler County and is also a major source of "faith based coercion" in Butler County's juvenile correctional facilities; a dominionist minister in Ohio directly involved in a state court Ten Commandments case (they lost, BTW) who showed a bit of Christian Zionist tendencies by shipping the monument he had placed on a public school grounds to Israel and is head of a local "pro-Ten-Commandments" organisation that is in turnlinked to a group supporting Roy Moore; a pastor of a New York AoG church (in a rarity, it actually admits its Assemblies of God connections) who was who has done surreptitious "annointings" of Madison Square Garden with Schenck to "protect" the Republican National Convention attendees, is connected with the Christian Defense Coalition as well as a dominionist group called National Pastor's Prayer Network  and who is promoted in word-faith and "spiritual warfare" circles in the pentecostal community; the husband and wife team leaders of an Assemblies of God megachurch in Louisiana (again, the church never reveals its AoG links--we have to go to a listing from the Louisiana AoG to find this, and the solitary mention of the AoG in the website at all is with related missions) which has links to Faith and Action, actively promotes dominionist groups on its "Links" page, and practices coercive "cell church" techniques almost universally condemned by exit counselors; an explicitly dominionist pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Pennsylvania who has pushed for "ten commandments" displays (sneaking them in as tools for "character education" in similar manner to "Character First!"), has fought to keep a local gas-n-groceries chain from selling beer (!), is apparently a Christian Zionist and has condemned Israeli concessions on land, and has links to numerous dominionist groups including a local chapter of the AFA; and finally the head of the Christian Defense Coalition (whose page is apparently quite dead) who was also a partner in crime in both the Madison Square Garden and Senate Chambers "annointings".

Other folks involved in the NCC's executive council include: the head of the American Anglican Church (a split from the Episcopalian Church by conservative members friendly towards dominionist causes and specifically over ordination of LGBT individuals); an Ohio pastor of an "independent" neopentecostal church involved in one of the largest "affinity fraud" pyramid schemes targeting dominionist churches ever prosecuted in the US; the head pastor of a Christian Nationalist church in Ohio; the head pastor of an Assemblies of God church in Utah (which, as per usual, doesn't advertise it's an AoG church--that info was found via a copy of his resume at the AoG's jobs website), the head of a neopentecostal church in New York who is linked with the National Pro-Life Center (another dominionist "pro-life" group); the head pastor of a Baltimore-area "Charismatic Episcopal" church (another breakaway branch from Episcopalianism, tends to be friendly towards neopentecostal causes); the pastor of a large Baptist church of uncertain denomination who is associated with Faith and Action' the pastor of a church in Ohio which is connected to dominionist-run "pregnancy counseling centers" in that state; a pastor of a small "interdenominational" dominionist church (with no website) that is revealed to be an Assemblies-associated church via an AoG ministries page and is also heavily involved in dominionist movements fighting same-sex marriage; a pastor (who styles himself "Bishop") who runs a stealth-evangelism "charity" whose ministerial recommendations are to a one from AoG preachers including Schenck and who is in fact a graduate of a bible college which later moved to Virginia and ultimately shut down and which was affiliated with Foursquare; a pastor of a Assemblies of God church in New Jersey (which, again, doesn't state it's an AoG church; much of the evidence is from promotion of groups like "Youth Alive" (which is an AoG youth ministry) and its operation of a satellite school of Elim Bible Institute--the same Elim Bible Institute Schenck is a grad of) who was intimately connected with a case where a mother starved four of her children (only being found out when the eldest--who weighed only 45 pounds at age 19--was found scrounging for food in garbage, even to the point of bailing out the parents and defending them in the press, accusing the eldest child of lying about abuse before a Congressional committee, and (when not supporting parents who nearly starve their kids to death) has supported "messianic Moslem" campaigns to convert Moslems to "halal Christianity"; a New Jersey area pastor of a "nondenominational"  church (which in fact is a church affiliated with the "Evangelical Church Alliance", an ordination mill geared towards neopentecostal churches) who runs a small televangelism empire and also has a large number of stealth evangelism "outreaches" as well as links to New Tribes Missions (a "missionary" group which has engaged in extremely coercive tactics including literal conversions of Native American and Papuan peoples at gunpoint and literally rounding up people like cattle to corral them in missions--actions which have led to literal "Indian Wars", the deaths of entire villages due to foreign diseases, and calls in multiple nations for their removal including Venezuela, Paraguay and the Phillipines); and lastly, a pastor of a dominionist church ("Word Alive Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship") which apparently is the only church in its denomination ("Full Gospel Baptist Churches International")--neither of which have webpages--who has a history of supporting dominionist causes including with Faith and Action but is otherwise a complete cypher.

(If you've noticed a pattern, you'd be right.  Firstly, there are a ton of folks affiliated with the Assemblies of God--now you all know what I mean when I say that the denomination is dominionist at its core!--and there are also quite a number of folks affiliated with the scarier pro-life groups (and the ones more closely connected to the hardcore "Christian Nationalist" and Christian Reconstructionist wings of the dominionist movement).  Yes, we have quite a rogue's gallery here.)

In fact, it can legitimately be argued that the "National Clergy Council" is in fact a front group of Faith and Action.

Anyways,  it seems that the Drive-By Annointer Schenck may have well pulled a Pat Robertson.

Pretty much everyone is aware of the mining tragedy that occured in the Sago mine near Tallmansville, West Virginia some days back.  Of thirteen miners--only one survived; sadly, for a good part of an hour people at a prayer vigil for the miners were lead to believe the miners were alive only to have their hopes dashed when the news of what actually happened reached topside.

Many of the people--quite understandably--were distraught, especially after thinking a miracle had happened; even the pastor of Sago Baptist Church was quotedby the press:

''But then . . . it never should have been allowed to happen.'' Rev. Miller hesitated. "Then they had this terrible letdown. Some of them -- not a majority -- some of them even questioned whether there was a God.''

John Casto, church trustee of Sago Baptist, also remembers that dark day:

As Monday gave way to Tuesday morning and still no word, hope began to flag. By then, hundreds of friends and family had crowded into the church. Then came word, like an answer to all those prayers, that all but one of the miners were coming home. The word was "12 alive.''

''People started praying and rejoicing,'' said Casto. They sang hymns. They stood in the aisles and lifted their arms to God. In those next three hours, six people moved to the front of the church and announced that in the wake of this miracle, they were ready to be saved, right then, right there in the Sago Baptist Church, and turn their lives over to Jesus.

Word came that the rescued miners would be brought to the church. ''They were going to come walking right through the door and right down that aisle,'' Casto said. "Every time the door opened, we would turn, like this was going to be that time.''

Instead, a squad of grim-faced state troopers came through the doorway, followed by a representative of the conglomerate that owns the Sago mine. God's miracle devolved into 12 dead miners. And one survivor, 26-year-old Randal McCloy, in desperate condition.

''People went hollering and running outside,'' Casto said. "The preacher said we had to keep faith in God. Someone shouted, 'What God?'''

Apparently, to Reverend "Drive-By Annointer" Schenck and his fellow compatriots at the National Clergy Council, this was an unpardonable sin--as Schenck released an official statement through Agape Press, the official newspaper of the American Family Association:

Conservative Christian leader Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council said yesterday that, although millions of prayers were being offered across the nation, he was struck by the irony of the situation, which he feels demonstrates a sad truth about America. "We often turn to God only when we feel like nothing else can be done," Schenck notes. "And, in the Bible, God rebuked nations who only turned to Him in their most extreme moments of need." But sadly, the Christian activist observes, "That has been our tradition in the United States. Whenever we find ourselves in a situation where we get to the end of our own resources, we turn to God." Schenck says it is ironic that a culture that tries to banish God from its existence seeks His intervention under circumstances like the tragedy that unfolded in West Virginia this week.

Yes, you read that right.  The (Not-So-Right) Reverend Schenck flat out condemned the people of Tallmansville, West Virginia for having a legitimate crisis of faith for what was probably the worst moment in their lives.

Shades of scores of dominionists claiming  Hurricane Katrina was God's wrath on New Orleans.

But seriously, this is the actual face of dominionism--if you don't toe the line, if you have a crisis of faith--you're seen as someone to be rebuked and spit on, not comforted.

Already, Rev. Schenck is trying to backpedal rather desperately--partly because the statement is starting to make national press.

But look upon that.  That's the real face of dominionism.  That's the actual face they show to people among their own.  "You see, those people--their relatives died because they weren't good dominionist like us.  They deserved it."

It's basically a suit-and-tie version of the same hateful pap that Fred "" Phelps promotes (and yes, sadly, Phelps--always among the first to blame any disaster on Divine Retribution aside from his childrearing practices--has already announced plans to picket the funeral of the miners).

Don't be fooled by the public face.  Slipups like Pat Robertson's as of late, and this one--that's the real face that dominionists desperately don't want the world to see.

All the more reason to shine nice, cleansing light on the mess, don't you think?

despite the revelations of Robertson's 'private face'.
See my comment here for details.

by Nell on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 10:05:11 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

The Republican Diversity Program... Is Working
The Washington Post recently underscored the larger point in this post, which goes far beyond the issues of the GOP diversity program. So I......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Unholy Alliance for Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety
When I obtained a post from a private email listserv of gun control advocates, I wasn't sure what to do with it. Then I......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Bobby Jindal's Big Rally for Christian Right Dominion
There is a big Christian Right rally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Saturday, January 24th. The event, called The Response, is intended to, among......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
Dominionism, Gov. Rick Perry and The Response Rally of 2011
The David Pakman Show recently rebroadcast this "Classic Interview"  with Rachel Tabachnick in which they discuss her groundbreaking work on the New Apostolic Reformation,......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Religious Freedom as Revolution
In which I discuss Religious Freedom Day on the David Pakman Show. I said, among other things, "The idea of religious freedom was one......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
President Obama's Religious Freedom Day Proclamation
As is the annual custom, Mr. Obama issued the the Presidential Proclamation for Religious Freedom Day, 2015. I have republished the whole thing after......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Seize the Day (Religious Freedom Day) on Social Media
Today is Religious Freedom Day! And there are ways to participate on social media on this, the most important national Day that most of......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Silencing Dissent: How Biased Civil Rights Policies Stifle Dialogue on Israel
"Silencing Dissent: How Biased Civil Rights Policies Stifle Dialogue on Israel" is a new article in Tikkun Magazine, (January 2015) by Chip Berlet and......
By Chip Berlet (0 comments)
Antisemitism and Islamophobia on U.S. College Campuses
Here are the Recommendations from the Report "Constructing Campus Conflict: Antisemitism and Islamophobia on U.S. College Campuses, 2007-2011: published by Political Research Associates, 2014......
By Chip Berlet (1 comment)
What Did Jefferson & 18th Century Evangelicals Have in Common?
What did Jefferson and 18th century evangelicals have in common?  If you guessed separation of church and state, you can go to the head......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Waking the Sleeping Beast of Religious Liberty
This piece originally appeared as an op-ed at LGBTQ Nation. Something remarkable happened in the run up to the decision of the U.S. Supreme......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Rousing Remarks: Remembering Mario Cuomo's Powerful Speech On Religion And Politics
Two memorable speeches were delivered in the early 1980s on separation of church and state. The first was by U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Huckabee Dumps Fox News -- Might Jump in to the Race for 2016
According to a statement on his web site, tonight will be Mike Huckabee's last show on Fox where he has held forth on Saturday......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Seize The Day!: Upcoming Religious Freedom Event Provides An Opportunity For Separation Advocates
Note: Like all of my posts, this one is a cross-post from Americans United's "Wall of Separation" blog. Two weeks from today, the nation......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
War on Public Education
     Will Rogers once said "the schools ain't what they used to be and then again never was." Public education has become the......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)

Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (0 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (0 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.