Another Senior Journalist Confesses to Ignorance
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 08:15:17 PM EST
First, two veteran CNN journalists admitted that they had never heard of such major terms as dominionism, Christian Reconstructionism or the New Apostolic Reformation until reading an article by Michelle Goldberg on The Daily Beast.   Now comes religion writer Lisa Miller of The Washington Post with a column in which she describes the New Apostolic Reformation as "a previously unknown Christian group."   One could say many things about the NAR. Low profile, perhaps. Publicity shy, maybe.  But the NAR is far from unknown, except perhaps to Lisa Miller.
Megachurch pastor Ted Haggard wrote about the NAR in a book published in 1998. By 2003, he was elected president of the National Association of Evangelicals and was one of the best known and most visible figures in evangelicalism.  Bruce Wilson reported on this in the prominent online magazine Religion Dispatches in 2009.  Haggard worked closely with NAR founder C.Peter Wagner in promoting the movement, which was rooted in the Pentecostal/Charismatic "Third Wave" of the 1980s and 90s. Wagner himself writes about NAR in a book in 2002.

Of course, neither Wagner nor Haggard were marginal or obscure figures. Wagner is a widely published author who was for 30 years (among other things) a professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary.  As Wilson reported, Wagner was busy doing high profile teaching and publishing and working with vast networks of apostles and prophets, worldwide from his World Prayer Center, and the Wagner Leadership Institute.  Wagner's views have been controversial among many evangelicals, even as they have been widely influential among others.  

The NAR splashed dramatically on the national radar screen in 2008 when Sarah Palin's involvement was widely reported. Bill Berkowitz summarized in a retrospective article last year on AlterNet:  

Presidential campaign watchers got their first taste of the New Apostolic Reformation when it was revealed that Sarah Palin, while mayor of Wasilla, had been prayed over in a laying-on-of-hands by Rev. Thomas Muthee of Kenya, director of the NAR East Africa Spiritual Warfare Network, in a ceremony designed to protect Palin from witches and demons. Muthee, it turns out, is famous in his native land for driving out of town a woman he deemed a witch, a charge that had her neighbors calling for her stoning.

Palin, according to Alaskan Apostle Mary Glazier, became part of her prayer network at the age of 24. Wasilla is no stranger to wandering NAR leaders. Last June, Apostle Lance Wallnau stopped through in the course of his world travels, promoting the movement's Reclaiming the Seven Mountains of Culture campaign at Wasilla Alaska Assembly of God Church -- the very church at which Muthee laid hands on Palin. (The "seven mountains" are the realms of business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family and religion.) Other NAR luminaries dropping by Wasilla last year include leading international Apostles Naomi Dowdy and Dutch Sheets.

There were a number of videos documenting Palin's involvement in NAR, made during the 2008 elections.  These were widely discussed and footage of Palin appearing at NAR ceremonies was even shown on national television.  Here is one by Bruce Wilson.

Its bad enough that Miller hasn't heard of such a major movement in evangelicalism and so presumes that no one else could have either.  What's worse is that she writes that the recent stories in The New Yorker, The Texas Observer and The Daily Beast "raise real concerns about the world views of two prospective Republican nominees"  -- and then spends the rest of the piece telling us why we should not be concerned.  Her main point is that not all evangelicals think like that.  True.  But no one said that they do.

She says that the "echo-chamber effect" of the articles "reignites old anxieties among liberals about evangelical Christians."  This might be an interesting point, but she does not bother to provide any evidence that this might be so, and if it was, what the consequences might be.  And while we might not be surprised to find liberals who make broad brush generalizations about evangelicals, what is astounding is that Miller would try to make her point by making broad brush generalizations about liberals.  

The very next sentence is similarly revealing.  "Some on the left" she claims, "seem suspicious that a firm belief in Jesus equals a desire to take over the world."   That may be. But she does not say who, or how many, the extent that such views might exist  and of what consequence they might be.  

The whole column is like this.

"'Dominionism'", she declares, "is the paranoid mot du jour."  Unfortunately, she does not say who exactly is being paranoid or what exactly they are paranoid about.  

If the knocking down of straw men is remarkable in this piece, so is the use of false equivalence.

"Certain journalists" she claims, "use 'dominionist' the way some folks on Fox News use the word 'sharia.'"  She does not name any journalists who do this. She offers no examples of scary misuse of the term dominionist. She makes no effort to show how her unsubstantiated charge against  unnamed journalists is in anyway like what happens on Fox News.  

Finally, there is her stated reason for this column. "It's a plea," she writes, "given the acrimonious tone of our political discourse, for a certain amount of dispassionate care in the coverage of religion."  

I hope Miller will take her own plea to heart.

Frank Schaeffer  also had a  mostly great article about Bachmann and the religious right at d_by_my_dad_and_his_christian_reconstructionist_friends_--_here%2 7s_why_that%27s_terrifying/ . He also points out that he believes that there are too many sane Christians to allow these fakes to take over, even as he points out that majority opinion is the last thing these folks would respect.

Just like the European bird, the wren is blind to the threat posed by the cuckoo in its nest and thinks it the best of all possible wrens as it claims perfection in all the things the wren measures. But all those measures are simply camouflage of its real intentions that do not include anything good for wrens.

Dominionists and their subversion (steeplejacking) of Christian churches and organizations, and the building of their own front groups has been well documented on this site, and though the similarity with other theocratic right wing groups set on subversion of other religions has been less documented here, the remarkable similarity of all of them to each other more than to the religion they camouflage in is the key IMHO to defeating their agenda, as well as using each other to stir up bigotry in their hosts to give each other more power.

I believe the real Cuckoo Metaphor (as opposed to just a synonym for crazy) is the process that can make the most headway in the discussion. It changes the discussion from "our religion vs their religion" to every religion has theocratic cuckoos that need to be opposed with out bothering about what religion they want to impose, as it would have little in common with the honorable form of that religion in any case.

by FreeDem on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 12:44:32 AM EST

"Dominionists and their subversion (steeplejacking) of Christian churches and organizations, and the building of their own front groups has been well documented on this site, and though the similarity with other theocratic right wing groups set on subversion of other religions has been less documented here, the remarkable similarity of all of them to each other more than to the religion they camouflage in is the key IMHO to defeating their agenda, as well as using each other to stir up bigotry in their hosts to give each other more power."

I have a hard time understanding what you are trying to convey due to the overuse of run-on sentences.

by LupusGreywalker on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 10:04:27 AM EST

When writing a school essay, make sure to keep your body paragraphs to a bare minimum. This means one paragraph detailing the main thesis statement of your essay , another paragraph for the supporting details (e.g., your research, conclusions, and recommendations), and a third paragraph that close your essay. Your body paragraphs should not be longer than a single sentence. Lengthy, disjointed body paragraphs do not provide clear information to readers and will often be ignored. In addition to not including too many body paragraphs, it is also unprofessional to include extraneous details like your personal motto at the very end of an essay.Also, avoid including a thesis statement in your body paragraphs. The thesis statement is nothing more than a list of things that you are arguing or stating as part of your essay. If it is lengthy and contains fluff, then you are committing a writing mistake that will be nearly impossible to correct. Additionally, it will take too long to read for people to take your essay seriously if there is no direct appeal to them as a potential reader.Finally, do not forget about your illustrations and graphs! It is perfectly acceptable to include one or two graphs, especially if you are arguing a particular point of view. However, your essay should be able to stand on its own, without relying on your illustrations to take it over. Allowing the pictures to be your only tool in your essay is the best way to achieve this goal. Remember, your pictures should just help add color and depth to your piece, they should not serve as the main focus of your essay. The best way to write good essays is to keep the focus on the ideas and arguments within your essay and use pictures, charts, and graphs only when necessary.

by dawnbailey1974 on Fri Mar 19, 2021 at 02:17:11 AM EST

interesting thoughts

by dawnbailey1974 on Fri Mar 19, 2021 at 02:14:57 AM EST

Lisa Miller's ignorance of the New Apostolic Reformation is unnecessary given the fact that Peter Wagner's apostles have published dozens (probably hundreds, in fact) of books and their movement has produced many thousands of hours of conference footage, a good deal of which now gets internationally broadcast on God TV--to millions of believers worldwide.

In addition, NAR theology has led to very public rifts among Christian conservatives. Marsha West and Brannon Howse, previously affiliated with the American Family Association, have recently leveled a barrage of criticism against the AFA for partnering with the NAR's apostles, in conjunction with Rick Perry's The Response event.

Conservative criticism of the NAR is hardly new however--the so-called "discernment ministries" have been closely tracking the movement, which they accuse of heresy, for more than a decade (two decades, in some cases).

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 08:25:21 AM EST

.. ministries have lives to live, jobs to attend to, and never enough time or money to focus on the NAR culture. Not too many of my Pentecostal or Charismatic brethren are going to fund my efforts in this regard nor help me pay my own bills - but then again, I've not tried to be a Perry Stone or a Hank Hanegraaf figure either. I do what I can, though. There's just never enough time ..

by rev rafael on Sat Aug 27, 2011 at 11:02:50 AM EST

Journalists living in the Northeast and on the West Coast tend to ignore The Rest of US. They don't have the experience of driving between cities and finding nothing but rock 'n roll, country music, and religious programs on the FM radio. They don't see ads for revivals to be held at their local Family stadium / convention center (yes, that's the name of the local suburban stadium/ concert venue/convention center, as opposed to the urban counterparts). They don't see "Christian bookstores" containing free "Christian yellow pages" at their local strip mall. They don't have people asking which church they attend.

If you live in the Midwest or the South, the above phenomena are prominent enough for the curious non-Evangelical to conclude that there is an Evangelical subculture out there.

WaPo reads like a company newspaper, and no doubt the religion news is covered with a strong slant toward politics. That still doesn't explain why the religion reporter is ignorant of the politicized versions of Evangelical Christianity. Coastal snobbery? (eh, being paranoid again...)

by NancyP on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 02:19:45 PM EST

... starting to throw around the names of the movements that we've been covering here for years, I decided to post some links to resources on my new blog (I'm not leaving TTA here, I just now have another blog over at the new site) so people know where to find out about the various religio-political  movements.

For the NAR, I recommended Rachel Tabachnick's NAR resource page here at TTA; for Christian Zionism I recommended to Bruce Wilson's "Special Focus" page, also here on TTA; for Dominionism I recommended Leah Burton's, which has a great Dominionism 101 crash course for people who are just now hearing about these people; and for Christian Reconstructionism, I recommended Fred's four-part break down from The Public Eye. When did Fred write this? Way back in 1994! The mainstream so-called "religion reporters" just haven't been paying attention or reading anything that the people who have been following and reporting on these movements have been writing for years, and in some cases decades.

For me, it's the same thing with all the journalists who are just now discovering David Barton. All of a sudden there are all these people writing about Barton who didn't even know who he was a year ago. The problem is that, while it's good that this is bringing mainstream attention to Barton, these journalists don't seem to really grasp his influence or the influence of his historical revisionism. They're only writing about him because this stuff is a hot topic at the moment.

by Chris Rodda on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 11:25:18 AM EST

One thing I need to stress is that while these groups have different names and different ideologies, for the most part they believe they have to FORCE it on others, which is the essence of dominionism.  They may have their differences, but they do work together for the same goal... taking over the world "for Christ" and forcing their own version of "Christianity" on others.

There may be different branches in dominionism, but we shouldn't focus so much on the trees (or species of trees) that we miss the forest.

by ArchaeoBob on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 10:22:42 PM EST

I had missed this post by Frederick until today when you linked to it in your piece referring to my writing. This is excellent and a robust challenge to people who want to continue to deny the significance of NAR.

by gregmetzger on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 08:57:43 AM EST

Overall, tire scanners are an invaluable tool for vehicle maintenance, as they can provide accurate readings regarding the health and condition of your tires. By using the latest technologies.

by Neon38 on Fri Mar 24, 2023 at 06:39:46 AM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (374 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (198 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (110 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (101 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (113 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (144 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (126 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (118 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (250 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (64 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (161 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (176 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (70 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (80 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (218 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (253 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (107 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (211 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (165 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (163 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (169 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (156 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (130 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (330 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (148 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (90 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (214 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.