The Theocrats' New Clothes: A Naked Call for Political Dominion
Event organizers worked hard to pretend that it was not the de facto launch of Gov. Bobby Jindal's campaign for president. Event organizers also had to work hard before and after the fact at pretending that the prayer rally was not political, when it was transparently so. In addition to the politically ambitious governor who played host to the prayer rally, the event showcased a local pastor who showed off the elected officials who are members of his congregation. The idea here, was that Christians of the right sort should run for office. And of course, rally organizers had also held a day long training for clergy who are considering running for office. Gov. Jindal said he wrote to 100,000 pastors, hoping that a thousand would come to Baton Rogue for the training. (No word on the turnout for the training.)
All that was disingenuous and snoozy enough to explain why the turnout for The Response was so disappointing. Although there were some big name evangelists and Christian music acts on hand, they had not been advertised in advance, as is customary in this sector. (The only advertised names were Gov. Jindal and the local event organizers). Nevertheless, those in attendance -- and those of us who watched the proceedings on God TV -- were treated to a naked call for Christian political dominion from the top Christian Right leader in the state.
Gene Mills, the president of the Louisiana Family Foundation, of which Tony Perkins, the current head of the Washington, DC-based Family Research Council, was the founding president, invoked the dominionist vision articulated by leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation to take the "seven mountains" of society. (The Louisiana Family Foundation is part of the national political network of Focus on the Family, whose political arm is called Citizen Link.)
As Rachel Tabachnick put it in her groundbreaking article in The Public Eye,
Disdain for traditional institutions and seminary training is common across the movement, and leaders are provided certificates, including doctorates, for completing courses on apostolic government, submission to authority, combating demons, and the "Seven Mountains Mandate." The latter is a campaign that teaches how to take "dominion" over the seven power centers of society: arts and entertainment, businesses, education, family, government, media, and religion.
Mills said it was "not coincidental" that he said that he and other sponsors of the event had gathered on December 20, 2013, the 200th anniversary of Louisiana, and knelt in prayer with Gov. Jindal "asking God to break unholy alliances" that stand against them, and to "forge... holy and righteous alliances."
Right Wing Watch reported that Mills declared that the mountains "are currently under enemy occupation right now" and need to be taken by "the body of Christ" by which he means the Church (at least the church that comprises Christians of The Right Sort.)
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