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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

 
Newtie and the cross

by digby

This is creepy:

It was through the Pastors’ Policy Briefings that Gingrich—whose campaign declined to comment for this story—reportedly hit on the idea of launching a group called Renewing American Leadership, which he did in 2008. David Barton was among the founding board members. California pastor Jim Garlow, who helped organize the campaign to repeal California’s gay-marriage law and has likened the gay rights movement to an “antichrist spirit,” was later named president. At the time, the Tea Party had just exploded on the scene, and the group’s stated goal was to bring religious and fiscal conservatives together, in part by making a biblical case for conservative economic policies. This has indeed been part of the program. According to a report from the liberal advocacy group People for the American Way, just after the 2010 elections, Barton, Gingrich and Garlow hosted a conference call for pastors to celebrate Republican gains in the House and make the case that progressive taxation, deficit spending and the minimum wage ran counter to biblical teachings.

But Renewing American Leadership has also built bridges to the ascendant Dominionist movement, known as the New Apostolic Reformation or NAR. An offshoot of Pentecostalism—the second largest branch of Christianity and one of the fastest growing—the movement has been spreading rapidly within existing churches and congregations. While there are no credible estimates on the number of adherents, the prayer rallies convened by some NAR leaders fill stadiums. At the movement’s core is a group of self-proclaimed apostles and prophets who see themselves as the forefront of a second Reformation that will transform not only the church, but every facet of society. In fact, one of the apostles’ main teachings is that believers have to infiltrate and take control of what they call the “seven mountains of culture”—religion, family, business, arts and entertainment, education, media and government—before Jesus can return. And when they speak of taking dominion in these spheres, they often resort to the language of war. “The way some of the leaders talk, you’d think they were an army planning to take over the world,” says Margaret Poloma, a professor at the University of Akron and a practicing Pentecostal who has studied the New Apostolic movement. “It sounds to me like radical Islam.”


Obviously these Dominionists are either dumb or they are hypocrites, maybe both. Gingrich? I wonder how much money he got out of them.

I'm being facetious, but the truth is that this movement merits keeping an eye on. True, they backed the wrong horse this time --- should have gone with Santorum. But there are more of them than we think and they are very influential at the state level. Rick Perry is one of their major pets. And look at what Texas has accomplished.

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