Douthatism Gets A Priestly Rebuke
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:26:45 PM EST
In my last post I touched upon New York Times columnist Ross Douthat's pooh-poohing the idea that Dominionism might play in White House policy should either Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann be elected president. Douthat's piece was primarily directed at Times colleague Bill Keller's call for the 2012 GOP  Presidential contenders to answer "tough questions" about whether their personal religious beliefs would adversely affect freedom of conscience of other Americans. Douthat ignored the NAR's hostility to Catholicism and other faiths.

But while Douthat -- a convert to a orthodox Catholicism -- might find it easy to blow off the concerns of a fellow columnist (and admitted lapsed Catholic), it is less so when they are raised by a Catholic priest with a national audience.

Father Edward L. Beck is the one of the celebrants (and producer) of The Sunday Mass, a weekly televised Catholic Mass. Presented by the Passionist Order is intended for the disabled, shut-ins and other Catholics who have difficulty getting to Church (I am virtually a weekly viewer). Far from being a cultural warrior, Beck and his fellow priests focus on issues such as love, forgiveness and the struggles of everyday life.

Father Beck is also a religious commentator for ABC News and he has some questions for several of the GOP candidates now running for president.

In his last commentary, -- and without having to name names -- the soft-spoken priest offered a powerful rebuke to the likes of Douthat and other conservative pundits who assured us that Perry's and Bachmann's Dominionist followers were nothing to worry about.

But there is cause for concern. Father Beck started out by wondering if Michele Bachman's "joke" about Hurricane Irene being wrath from above. He then wondered out loud about "her sense from God to run for office. Father found this "perplexing" by this belief since God seemingly gave both Rick Santorum and Herman Cain the same sense.

Father Beck then raised questions of potential conflicts between the Constitution and personal faith; he asked, which would win?

Finally, Father Beck asked of Rick Perry, "If America is the chosen country by God, what about the other countries?" He immediately followed up with the statement, "Talk about Dominion theology!" The television priest obviously threw that comment in to show the likes of Douthat that he is paying attention, well aware of a Dominionist agenda that would relegate other faiths to a state of sufferance. And in doing so doing, he has obliquely, raised a warning flag to those who are paying attention, that we need to know a lot more about Perry's relationship with the likes of C. Peter Wagner and other New Apostolic Reformation ministers - several of whom have spoken with hostility towards Catholicism.

Ross Douthat may well be using his status as a convert to Catholicism to distra?ct attention from the NAR's Dominionist agenda and its influence upon those who would occupy the executive branch of our government (We might call it Douthatism). These are questions that cannot go unanswered.

Fortunately, there is a prominent priest who is not going to let him get away with it.  

And while we're at it, let's hear it for ABC News for picking a mainstream Catholic voice.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:31:16 PM EST
He's written some good books on spirituality, and it's good to see him get some attention rather than John McCloskey or similar robots.

by khughes1963 on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 01:15:01 PM EST

I consider myself a very lapsed catholic and it is priest such as this that make me proud of my baptism. I am delaying confirmation until I feel the church is more a church rather then another international charitable organization, but every so often even a skeptic like me feels better about organized religion writ large.

by Hirador on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 06:51:42 PM EST

I have been asked frequently over the past few weeks, here in my very RED county, which GOP nominee I support more, Bachmann or Perry. When I say, "Neither," people think I've lost my mind. Wouldn't it be nice, their argument goes, to have a government that puts Christ first?

My standard reply is that I would love to live in a country ruled by people who put the principles of Jesus first, as those are also the principles (generally speaking) of Buddha, Mohammed, Isaiah, and any number of teachers and philosophers throughout history. But I do not want to live in a theocracy because that would mean other people could tell me that my way of worshipping God is wrong and force me to change by law. No, thank you.

On occasion, this results in people looking more closely at the candidates. Only if they come back to me about other candidates do I let them know that the only one I even want to think about as president is Jon Huntsman...but everyone knows he "believes" in evolution and that makes him equally unpalatable to them.

Thank goodness the IRS does allow me to have and express a personal opinion outside the church!

by RevRuthUCC on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 03:15:31 PM EST

My first question is also a suggestion. An IRS Agent should be sitting in every pew to see what is being "spewed" from the pulpits. Why aren't they? It's obvious Dominionism is a religio/political theology. After all is not the entire goal of dominionist to take dominion, over the "Seven Mountains" of society? And is not government one of the "mountains"? It's good to have this insidious movement out from under the covers. It's good to see the "deniers" exposed, for it is time for the showdown. It's clear through their teaching, democracy has no place in their "Kingdom". The choice is ours in 2012. Theocracy or democracy.

by Yogino on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 02:58:47 PM EST
monitoring congregations would be an affront to the Constitution.

There is also specific legislation barring the IRS from investigating a house of worship for violations of the 501c3 tax code, absent a specific complaint, with sufficient evidence.

There are ways to address these things without turning the U.S. into a police state.

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