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Author Topic: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States  (Read 4042 times)

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Offline CaughtByMoonlightTopic starter

Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« on: July 03, 2013, 11:42:06 AM »
The Supreme Court, as you may have heard, struck down the Defense of Marriage Act recently. This ruling allows same-sex couples to marry. In reaction to that, some politicians have announced that they are not bound by the ruling to recognize same-sex marriage as legal. Their reasoning is that the ruling is defiant of "God's Law".

I find this disturbing for a good many reasons, not the least of which is that the United State Constitution is designed to take religion out of lawmaking. Legislators take an oath to defend the Constitution. Nevertheless, Christianity (or a particular flavor thereof) seems to have taken hold of many legislators these days. That this is true is reflected in a number of current debates, including many issues women's health and autonomy to make their own health decisions.

Further, at least one and perhaps several potential Presidential candidates have on their staffs individuals who write and speak on the desirability of turning (they say, returning, but that's debatable) the United States into a Christian-ruled country. Not just any Christianity, however. Their sort of Christianity. These people as a group are usually called Dominionists, after the belief they hold that America should be under the dominion of God and Christ.

I am trying to be as respectful as I can here. However, as a woman, a pagan, and a couple other flavors of person that would be deeply impacted by any turn of events in that direction, I am really disturbed by all this. (I have a huge Wiccan symbolic tattoo on my body, so my faith is written large on me.) It's easy to say that these folks represent the "whackmobile nutjob wing" of the political spectrum. But their voices are getting louder and more shrill, and even the media is not writing them off as crazy and therefore not newsworthy.

I'd like to hear from others how they feel about this turn of events. No matter what your religious or political beliefs, let me know how you think Dominionism would affect you.


Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2013, 12:29:50 PM »
As someone who is a very pro-privacy and outspoken (since highschool) about the dangers of fundamentalism and dominionism, I can't begin to list the reasons I've worried about a 'fundamentalist American government.' I know I'd be in trouble, literally DOZENS of my friends would be in trouble and a good chuck of my family would be. Yeah, my older brother is the 'typical' Conservative Republican (save his distressing insistence that the Constitution is the foundation of law and not a convenient guideline to be cast aside when it runs against your desires) so the only problem he and his family would have is the 'deviant' brother who speaks his mind and the brother who is married to a 'mexican'.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2013, 12:42:46 PM »
Dominionism is indeed disturbing in many respects. However, I would not set too much stock in pronouncements of defiance and talk about "God's law" in this case. It has the ring of similar rhetoric about Obamacare and I suspect is more in the line of hot air being blown for the sake of the base than any real commitment to civil disobedience.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2013, 01:04:15 PM »
I'm also Pagan, and make no bones about it.  I will go so far as to say that churches should not be forced to perform marriages to anyone they don't want to, but that's a completely separate thing from saying that those marriages are illegal.  Technically speaking, a Roman Catholic who gets divorced can not be married in another Roman Catholic church unless the previous marriage was officially annulled.  That doesn't mean that Liz Taylor's six or seven marriages after her first (depending on whether you count Richard Burton twice) would have been illegal - among other things, she wasn't Roman Catholic. 

If you love someone and want to marry them, and your church doesn't support that, you have loads of options - from changing to a more supportive church to going with a Justice of the Peace.  And if the United States somehow repealed the First Amendment, you'd have people busting down the border gates to get out.

Offline CaughtByMoonlightTopic starter

Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2013, 01:09:59 PM »
I'm also Pagan, and make no bones about it.  I will go so far as to say that churches should not be forced to perform marriages to anyone they don't want to, but that's a completely separate thing from saying that those marriages are illegal.  Technically speaking, a Roman Catholic who gets divorced can not be married in another Roman Catholic church unless the previous marriage was officially annulled.  That doesn't mean that Liz Taylor's six or seven marriages after her first (depending on whether you count Richard Burton twice) would have been illegal - among other things, she wasn't Roman Catholic. 

If you love someone and want to marry them, and your church doesn't support that, you have loads of options - from changing to a more supportive church to going with a Justice of the Peace.  And if the United States somehow repealed the First Amendment, you'd have people busting down the border gates to get out.

I'm in complete agreement with you. If a church prefers not to conduct those wedding ceremonies, fine. It's their preference, and they can choose not to. The idea that someone can or should choose their own preference and elevate said preference to law is what's really upsetting to me.

As for busting the gates to get out... there are those who will bust gates AND lock the gates behind them as they leave. Quarantine is a lovely way to keep infection from spreading. (Not that any particular faith should be considered as a disease. However, wanting your own way all the time at the expense of others IS infectious.)

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2013, 01:12:22 PM »
Dominionism is indeed disturbing in many respects. However, I would not set too much stock in pronouncements of defiance and talk about "God's law" in this case. It has the ring of similar rhetoric about Obamacare and I suspect is more in the line of hot air being blown for the sake of the base than any real commitment to civil disobedience.

I didn't buy into it .. back in the 80s when the 'Moral Majority' were around. This is a renewed surge. It's like a wearing tidal movement. It's small steps over long periods of time. Look over the last 3 decades. Consider how things have changed. You're not just looking at your lifetime.. but your kids lifetime. These changes we're looking at today..were started around the time I was born in the late 60s. We started adding entitlements and cutting out the less desireable tax breaks and opening loopholes outside the country. You had groups replacing the old groups that supported each party. Conservative Christians started moving into the right and organized labor was replaced by the 60s radical movements in the democratic party. (It was that break between the DNC and Organized labor that ensured Reagan's victory in '80)

You're not looking at a single action in isolation but the result of dozens. With the slow wear of perceptions and actions. Look at the recent Supreme Court cases.. One you had the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act..which will catalyze the reactionary crowd on an off year election. On the other.. you have the overturning of the Voting Rights Acts protection sections. (Fun note.. Texas was gerrymandering districts 2 HOURS after it's decision)

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2013, 01:22:21 PM »
I think that's all completely right, Callie. But on this issue I think the conservative tide is retreating, not advancing; though on the whole the story of the past forty-plus years is one of the right out-organizing and out-chutzpahing other parts of the political spectrum -- a process that may or may not by now be coming to its end point -- gay rights is one of those few issues on the progressive side of things that had a really organized movement behind it to wear away at society from the left instead of the right.

(At least inside America. What may be more disturbing about Dominionism on the gay rights front is its activism abroad, cf. for example the Family's connection with and fostering of a viciously homophobic movement in Uganda.)

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2013, 01:26:09 PM »
I think that's all completely right, Callie. But on this issue I think the conservative tide is retreating, not advancing; though on the whole the story of the past forty-plus years is one of the right out-organizing and out-chutzpahing other parts of the political spectrum -- a process that may or may not by now be coming to its end point -- gay rights is one of those few issues on the progressive side of things that had a really organized movement behind it to wear away at society from the left instead of the right.

(At least inside America. What may be more disturbing about Dominionism on the gay rights front is its activism abroad, cf. for example the Family's connection with and fostering of a viciously homophobic movement in Uganda.)

I disagree Cyrano.. I think, however, that we are at a pivot point. If we can find a rational moderate leader, on either side, who can speak up and survive the massive media scrutiny it might abate. Problem is cronyism and an encroached system in place might make it very very hard to work back in time lines less that what it took to put in place.

We need to 'clear cut' the K-street influence and roll back some of the corporate influences a LOT. Legally..there is a need for LIMITED Corporate Personhood, but what we have now.. way out of proportion with what is needed legally to disassociate stockholders from the companies they own..

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2013, 01:39:32 PM »
Well, part of this too is that the conservative movement basically exists to line the pockets of its real one-percenter base and to con people into voting for various policies designed primarily for that purpose. If the anti-gay platform is wearing out its welcome as one of those cons and stands to divide the movement's marks voters instead of rallying them, it's likely the Repubs will have no problem with chucking it. That is the other part of this picture.

I also completely agree that what's needed most urgently is someone willing to confront the issue of corporate influence. That person will, however, have to be willing to be seen -- however rational and moderate their actual objective may be -- as being a "radical leftist" by the current warped establishment standards. Obama tried working within the parameters of the officially "rational and moderate" and can be said to have made it incontestable that the Dems explored this route to its utmost; what's most likely needed now (though people won't want to hear it) is a Dem leader who is willing to engage the Repubs as the antagonists they in fact are. It will be a thankless job, one that will be accused persistently of "divisiveness" as if the division hasn't already been there for multiple decades. I don't know if anyone will really want it.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 01:40:47 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2013, 01:46:19 PM »
My biggest issue is I see NO one in the moderate quadrant on either side to step up and take the White House next time around. We're looking at Romney 2.0 or worse.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2013, 01:56:07 PM »
The Dems have plenty of people in the "moderate quadrant." That's their problem. They are generally too moderate to actually tackle what is rotting the Republic. (Having to deal with "Blue Dogs" in their own caucus doesn't help matters.) But they do have a couple of figures who could come closer to playing the "radical" role that is needed, Corey Booker and perhaps Elizabeth Warren being the frontrunners among them.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2013, 02:10:00 PM »
I think it's unfortunate that the religious segment of the right has managed to create such a poor image for conservative principles and small government ideologies.  I am not a Christian, and I agree with everyone who has posted so far about the need to keep religion out of government and politics.  But I think the problem with a two-party dominated political system, is that it causes us to generalize an entire ideology, simply because we disagree with one aspect of their perspective. 

While conservative-leaning ideologies may certainly be on the rise, it is inaccurate to suggest that religious fervor is prevalent throughout, or that the demographics of its constituents are remaining the same.  Part of the reason that conservatives are seen as 'weaker' on the national stage is because of ideological divisions in the party.  While religious conservatives may feel very strongly about social issues such as gay marriage, other conservatives, including libertarians, may simply feel that such issues are not within the power of the federal government, or in some cases, may even be in full support of gay marriage.  A sizable segment of conservatives prefer to focus on economic issues that affect everyone in the long-term, and simply choose to not involve themselves with social issues.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2013, 02:37:41 PM »
I think it's unfortunate that the religious segment of the right has managed to create such a poor image for conservative principles and small government ideologies.  I am not a Christian, and I agree with everyone who has posted so far about the need to keep religion out of government and politics.  But I think the problem with a two-party dominated political system, is that it causes us to generalize an entire ideology, simply because we disagree with one aspect of their perspective. 

While conservative-leaning ideologies may certainly be on the rise, it is inaccurate to suggest that religious fervor is prevalent throughout, or that the demographics of its constituents are remaining the same.  Part of the reason that conservatives are seen as 'weaker' on the national stage is because of ideological divisions in the party.  While religious conservatives may feel very strongly about social issues such as gay marriage, other conservatives, including libertarians, may simply feel that such issues are not within the power of the federal government, or in some cases, may even be in full support of gay marriage.  A sizable segment of conservatives prefer to focus on economic issues that affect everyone in the long-term, and simply choose to not involve themselves with social issues.

As one of those 'sizable' segment members.. I can tell you .. I get ignored a lot.

Offline CaughtByMoonlightTopic starter

Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2013, 02:45:28 PM »
I think it's unfortunate that the religious segment of the right has managed to create such a poor image for conservative principles and small government ideologies.  I am not a Christian, and I agree with everyone who has posted so far about the need to keep religion out of government and politics.  But I think the problem with a two-party dominated political system, is that it causes us to generalize an entire ideology, simply because we disagree with one aspect of their perspective. 

While conservative-leaning ideologies may certainly be on the rise, it is inaccurate to suggest that religious fervor is prevalent throughout, or that the demographics of its constituents are remaining the same.  Part of the reason that conservatives are seen as 'weaker' on the national stage is because of ideological divisions in the party.  While religious conservatives may feel very strongly about social issues such as gay marriage, other conservatives, including libertarians, may simply feel that such issues are not within the power of the federal government, or in some cases, may even be in full support of gay marriage.  A sizable segment of conservatives prefer to focus on economic issues that affect everyone in the long-term, and simply choose to not involve themselves with social issues.

It's true that the Dominionists may be an incredibly vocal segment. But even bringing in the old saw about squeaky wheels and grease doesn't make me feel any better about them. What I see, in my readings and so on, is that moderate conservatives are increasingly being shut out of the conversation in favor of the extremes. This results in party division but not as far as voting, where I see vast blocks of R voters all lined up. The thing about not getting involved with the social issues is that they are all of a piece with economic issues. To simplify things incredibly, let me quote a pro-gay marriage protester's placard: "Want to solve the economic crisis? Gay Wedding Planning!"

There's a point there, which is think is: the more include people, the more they are likely to spread around a little capital.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2013, 02:59:29 PM »
To be honest I am fine with congressional members stating that they wish to ignore the rulings of the court and that they feel this country should abide by Godís Law.  I do believe those lawmakers should be asked for their badges at the door, be replaced by their secondary until an election can be held since the congressmen has broken their oath of office.  Have a feeling that lobbyists will take their hand out of the rectums of their Congressmen or at least stop making them say such things.  To me the real issue is that corporate interest and lobbyists use social issues to drive fear into the American public and divide them on issues.  Even when an issue such as economics, military or healthcare is brought up there is an immediate attempt to tagline a religious or social agenda. 

While I am not trying to paint a conspiracy theory here, there is truth to larger issues being overshadowed suddenly with social ones.  All too often the issues of education and economics become inundated with social attacks that develop into scares over welfare and socialism.  Job creation becomes a fight over immigration and unions, while the tax code is buried beneath accusations of infringing on gun rights and gay marriage.  Womenís health and infant mortality almost immediately become issues of abortion.  I think our government officials, lobbyists and corporate firms have become very good at sleight of hand over the years.  Not to say that any of those issues are not important, but they need to have their own separate discussions.

As a slight side note, I read an interesting point within a book.  This book compared for a moment the system of government of the United States of America and France in relation to religion.  Pointed out was that the United States governmentís view on religion was that religion was meant to be protected from government which does fit with the history of religious persecution the founders were fleeing.  By contrast the French government has an approach of the government being protected from religion.  I do think perhaps people forget that in the United States the government lacks that particular protection and perhaps we would be wise to institute such measures if possible.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2013, 03:04:56 PM »
As a slight side note, I read an interesting point within a book.  This book compared for a moment the system of government of the United States of America and France in relation to religion.  Pointed out was that the United States governmentís view on religion was that religion was meant to be protected from government which does fit with the history of religious persecution the founders were fleeing.  By contrast the French government has an approach of the government being protected from religion.  I do think perhaps people forget that in the United States the government lacks that particular protection and perhaps we would be wise to institute such measures if possible.


Except that every 'God-fearing' representative would counter any attempt to do so with 'Why would we need to protect anyone, much less the United States government from religion?'

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2013, 03:07:08 PM »
As I said, if possible.  I doubt the current climate would even tolerate mention taking such measures.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 03:08:29 PM by Pumpkin Seeds »

Offline CaughtByMoonlightTopic starter

Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2013, 03:20:00 PM »
Except that every 'God-fearing' representative would counter any attempt to do so with 'Why would we need to protect anyone, much less the United States government from religion?'

As demonstrated recently by the Texas (I think) Court ruling about religious holidays. Gov. Perry, as terrifying a case of recto-cranial inversion as one can imagine, stated that "Freedom OF religion does not mean freedom FROM religion".

Except that, yeah, it does. Also, pardon me for the part about the inversion... I've lost my patience and respectful tone with Gov. Perry; that's no reason to be snarky here.



@Pumpkin Seeds - I love your whole post. Thank you! It's all true, and part of a certain sleight-of-hand being played by legislators at the expense of everyone else.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 03:30:34 PM by CaughtByMoonlight »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2013, 04:02:14 PM »
I thought the recto cranial inversion line was quite funny! But I know I can be a little more boisterous about these things than is perhaps ideal for E.

I think the thing to keep in mind about conservative-leaning ideologies, if we're talking about the specific brand of movement conservatism midwifed by Goldwater and Nixon, is that they are not in fact on the rise (pace ValthazarElite above). They are in fact on life support: their demographic support base is shrinking; their core "ideological" commitments (social politics such as Dominionism and memes such as "small government" are both examples) tarnished by the appearance of being devoid of any real content that doesn't involve the mission of concentrating as much wealth as possible in the hands of the super-rich; the party establishment that pushed them has deteriorated into something of a punchline to non-partisans and may well not even have a very good shot at capturing the White House in '16. "Libertarians" within (what used to be the) conservative "big tent" may have the impression of having gained some traction as the movement's de facto intellectuals, but it's a growing piece of a shrinking pie, and ultimately there isn't much that makes libertarianism distinguishable from liberalism which isn't also part of the memes that are gradually sinking the movement as a whole.

IMO, this is a movement whose period of greatest energy and genuine conviction is behind it. It can still do plenty of damage, mind you... but when it comes down to it, it's not going to generate much in the way of revolutionaries. This is all by way of saying the rest of America should not be afraid of the Dominionists. It should simply concern itself with organizing in order to keep them and others like them out of positions of power as much as possible.

Offline CaughtByMoonlightTopic starter

Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2013, 04:13:21 PM »
I thought the recto cranial inversion line was quite funny! But I know I can be a little more boisterous about these things than is perhaps ideal for E.
...

Thank you, Mr. Johnson. I've got a million of 'em as they used to say. :D

I truly don't want to be disrespectful, however some views are to be held in contempt. The people who hold them, not so much. Another thing that's troublesome is that simple civility has gone out the window, down the drain, and into the sunset. It's quite sad.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2013, 04:13:44 PM »
I actually wouldn't mind 'small government' that much - except that the loud-mouths that are ignoring a large part of their constituencies seem to want to get government involved in things it shouldn't be involved in - like telling people that they can't have a certain medical procedure, or have to submit to an unwanted, unnecessary procedure and pay for it out of pocket, even if their doctor deems it unnecessary.

(In other news, Ohio governor John Kasich has apparently made every woman in the state pregnant, because pregnancy can start before implantation.)

Offline CaughtByMoonlightTopic starter

Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2013, 04:18:12 PM »
I actually wouldn't mind 'small government' that much - except that the loud-mouths that are ignoring a large part of their constituencies seem to want to get government involved in things it shouldn't be involved in - like telling people that they can't have a certain medical procedure, or have to submit to an unwanted, unnecessary procedure and pay for it out of pocket, even if their doctor deems it unnecessary.

(In other news, Ohio governor John Kasich has apparently made every woman in the state pregnant, because pregnancy can start before implantation.)

The Arizona Legislature tried to pass some similar rule recently, declaring that an egg being shed by an ovary is a potential fetus. Next step: outlawing women who can't or won't conceive because it infringes on the potential human. Fortunately, that was shelved by the more reality-based members of the Lege.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2013, 04:19:26 PM »
Always nice to be regulated by your bodily functions.  Wonder though if I refuse to have sex with someone, am I a murderer?  Because I didn't give that egg the proper chance to fertilize?  So for a window of time each month women will just hang "open for business" signs on their bodies?
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 04:21:39 PM by Pumpkin Seeds »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2013, 04:31:04 PM »
I'm actually of the opinion that the "small government" meme is probably more damaging in the long run than anything coming out of Dominionism. As far as corporations are concerned, "small government" is essentially just code-speak for "do whatever else you please, but don't regulate us at all," and we've seen how that works out. Worse, "small government" also doubled as a culture-war political meme come the late Sixties -- paired with slogans like "states' rights" -- as dog-whistle politics for the Southern segregationists (among others) who were upset about the "Great Society" programs and the idea that their hard-earned dollars might be turned over to a bunch of shiftless poor people (and particularly to shiftless Negroes); it was plenty ugly enough in this role, but at least Republican legislators used to have to the sense not to actually try to put it into practice as a more general philosophy. Now it's metastasized into an actual ideological commitment for Congressional Tea Partiers who have done real damage to the American economy as a result with absurd debt-ceiling battles and other such antics.

I would love to see the "small government" distraction go in the trash, and more people come to the realization that "size" is not the central question of government; it's how it's being used that matters.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 04:32:48 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Dominionism, Christianity and the United States
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2013, 04:37:20 PM »
I thought the recto cranial inversion line was quite funny! But I know I can be a little more boisterous about these things than is perhaps ideal for E.

I think the thing to keep in mind about conservative-leaning ideologies, if we're talking about the specific brand of movement conservatism midwifed by Goldwater and Nixon, is that they are not in fact on the rise (pace ValthazarElite above). They are in fact on life support: their demographic support base is shrinking; their core "ideological" commitments (social politics such as Dominionism and memes such as "small government" are both examples) tarnished by the appearance of being devoid of any real content that doesn't involve the mission of concentrating as much wealth as possible in the hands of the super-rich; the party establishment that pushed them has deteriorated into something of a punchline to non-partisans and may well not even have a very good shot at capturing the White House in '16. "Libertarians" within (what used to be the) conservative "big tent" may have the impression of having gained some traction as the movement's de facto intellectuals, but it's a growing piece of a shrinking pie, and ultimately there isn't much that makes libertarianism distinguishable from liberalism which isn't also part of the memes that are gradually sinking the movement as a whole.

IMO, this is a movement whose period of greatest energy and genuine conviction is behind it. It can still do plenty of damage, mind you... but when it comes down to it, it's not going to generate much in the way of revolutionaries. This is all by way of saying the rest of America should not be afraid of the Dominionists. It should simply concern itself with organizing in order to keep them and others like them out of positions of power as much as possible.

Contrary to what you say, religion is not a foundational tenant to conservative-leaning ideologies.  While it is true that these Dominionists, and other religiously-motivated individuals, may have gained traction/popularity among Christians by spewing conservative ideology, it has very little to do with the ideology itself.  You seem to be associating conservative ideologies with the Republican party - and while that is true to a degree, not all conservatives are Republican, or even desire for Republicans to be in office.

If you get past the barriers put up by the media to get us fighting against each other, you will realize that Americans who have both liberal-ideologies and conservative-ideologies both want essentially the same things - a growing and thriving middle class.  To suggest that people with conservative ideologies such as myself are trying to scam the average American is fundamentally untrue.  We simple subscribe to two different schools of economic thought - Keynesian (government-involvement) or Laissez-Faire (free-market).  There are numerous research articles that support both views, and if Americans could just rationally enter a dialogue with each other and compromise on some of these economic issues, we would all be in better shape.

Bringing in social issues into the same conversation as economics is when problems happen, because it creates cultural clashes - and the focus gets removed.  I agree with your statement that more and more people are departing from the Republican party - but they are not departing from conservative ideology.  They are simply subscribing to a new brand of politics where the focus is on issues we can all agree on.  The reason why the Republican party (which is unfortunately often termed as the "conservative" party) is seemingly on life-support, is because many of its rational-minded constituents are leaving their incessant obsession with opposing gay marriage, and other irrelevant issues in this day and age.