The New Crusaders: Destroying America for Christ
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Apr 16, 2007, 00:18
In the hands of fanatics with a radical socio-political
agenda, there is no more lethal weapon than religion. History is quite clear
about that, and history is again
repeating itself as the leaders of the Christian Right muster their well
financed organizations to work toward their ultimate socio-political goal:
In his book American
Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, Chris Hedges provided
a working definition:
Dominionism is a
theocratic sect with its roots in a radical
Calvinism. It looks to the theocracy John
Calvin implanted in Geneva, Switzerland, in the 1500s as its political
model. It teaches that American Christians have been mandated by God to make
America a Christian state. . . . Dominionism preaches
that Jesus has called on Christians to build the kingdom of God in the here and
now . . . America becomes, in this militant biblicism, an agent of God, and all
political and intellectual opponents of America�s Christian leaders are view,
quite simply, as agents of Satan. Under Christian dominionism
. . . the 10 Commandments for the basis of our legal system, creationism and �Christian
values� form the basis of our educational system, and the media and the
government proclaim the Good News to one and all. Labor unions, civil-rights
laws and public schools will be abolished. [links added; the three �dominionism�
links are to different reference sources]
offers extensive information about dominionism, its history and its advocates.
The links in this excerpt provide a summary:
The theocratic right seeks to establish
control over society in the name of God. D.
James Kennedy, Pastor of Coral Ridge Ministries, calls on his followers to
exercise �godly dominion . . . over every aspect . . . of human society.�
At a �Reclaiming America for Christ�
conference in February, 2005, Kennedy said: �Our job is to reclaim America for
Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly
dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our
literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news
media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution
of human society.�
Why do so many otherwise sane Americans send money to
theofascist dominionist organizations hell-bent on promoting and codifying hate
and discrimination? History clearly teaches that such pathologies are forever
hungry and in need of new victims. Gay and lesbian Americans are today�s targets,
but new ones will be needed. Shouldn�t the message of
Pastor Martin Niem�ller come immediately to mind?
Perhaps the answer is as simple as �fear� -- the primary
weapon of religion -- and the sheeple
mentality it engenders and exploits in the political arena.
There are two primary players in the campaign to turn
America into a despotic Christian state: James Dobson�s Focus on the Family and
Tony Perkins� Family Research Council. Both have been identified as dominionist
by Theocracy Watch. Slightly less prominent, but no less fervently dedicated to
dominionist goals are Don Wildmon�s American Family Association and Louis P.
Sheldon�s Traditional Values Coalition.
James Dobson lords over the Focus on the Family empire that,
according to People
for the American Way, has included eugenics proponent
Albert Mohler on its Board of Directors. PFAM details the
extent of Dobson�s dominion:
$137,848,520 (2004 Focus on the Family revenue); $24,988,036 (2004 Focus on the
Family Action revenue)
approximately 1,300 employees
2.3 million subscribers to ten monthly magazines. Magazine titles include: Focus on the Family, Citizen Magazine, Parental Guidance, Clubhouse
and Clubhouse Jr. Focus on the Family
also publishes a wide variety of books, tapes, films and videos.
Dr. Dobson is heard daily on more than 3,400 radio facilities in North America,
in 15 languages, on approximately 6,300 facilities in 164 countries. Dobson�s
estimated listening audience is over 220 million people every day, including a
program translation carried on all state-owned radio stations in the Republic
of China. In the United States, Dobson appears on 80 television stations daily.
(For a more thorough analysis of the finances and
expenditures of organizations in the Christian Right, see Funding
the Culture Wars, a report prepared by the National Committee for
Like all dominionists, Dobson has singled out gay and
lesbian Americans for social ostracism and civil inequality. Fighting the
so-called �homosexual agenda� has been a mainstay for FOF. They use it to scare
into sending money. And Dobson milks that fear for all it�s worth. For example,
in his 2004 book Marriage Under Fire: Why
We Must Win This Battle, he claimed that if gay and lesbian Americans were
allowed to enter into the state-sanctioned civil union called �marriage,� the
world would end. In other words, in order to ward off Armageddon, send your
The Netherlands legalized same-sex marriage in 2001, Belgium
in 2003, Spain, South Africa and Canada in 2005. At last check, these countries
still exist, as does Massachusetts, and the world has not ended as the false prophet predicted.
Focus on the Family, like its dominionist allies, also
oppose civil unions and domestic partnerships that grant legal recognition and
economic benefits to same-sex couples. Some version of civil unions or
partnerships for same-sex couples are lawful in Denmark, Croatia, Finland, France,
Germany, Great Britain, Hungry, Iceland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway,
Portugal, Scotland, and Sweden. These countries, as well as Vermont,
California, Connecticut and New Jersey, are all still there, and the world hasn�t
ended as the false prophet predicted.
The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy lists the
Family Research Council as one of the leading organizations sponsoring the
activities of the Christian Right. FRC is headed by Tony Perkins whose
handsome, smiling face belies the organization�s menacing, snarling agenda.
Family Research Council was the prime mover behind the three
�Justice Sunday� events (JS,
JS II, JS III).
The speakers at these pep rallies for dominionism lashed out at those who
believe in civil rights and civil equality for all Americans. They were dubbed �equality
Speakers at the Justice Sunday events also heaped praise on �persecuted�
Christian politicians who fought for and supposedly embodied �Christian
values�: politicians like dominionist Tom DeLay, who once proclaimed he was on
a messianic mission from God to embed the �biblical worldview� into American
|Texas arrest warramy for Tom DeLay|
As Rick Cohen, executive director of the National Committee
for Responsive Philanthropy, noted in his article �Nearsighted Ethics,� Tony
Perkins was a DeLay supporter and had signed up as a �host committee members to
the Tom DeLay salute without a blush of concern about the relationship of DeLay�s
and his friends� questionable ethics and their self-righteous pique against
government oversight of their charities and foundations. Other signatories to
the charity oversight protest were reported to be counted among the DeLay
admirers, including Rev. Louis Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition.�
on the FRC is also illuminating:
$10 million (2000 revenue)
Washington Watch (monthly) and Family Policy (bimonthly). Ed Facts (available via fax, e-mail or
internet on a weekly basis). CultureFacts
(available by fax or e-mail). I.E.
(Ideas & Energy) monthly newsletter provides articles on political, social,
and cultural trends for high-school students. Also produces numerous issue
groups: American Renewal, Family Policy Councils
Not surprisingly, demeaning gay and lesbian Americans --
their children and families -- is primary
among FRC�s efforts. And also not surprising are the common
sources of �expertise�
used by dominionists in their campaigns against civil equality.
The name of one common �expert� is discredited psychologist
Cameron. In his article
�The Fabulist: Anti-gay researcher Paul Cameron�s falsehoods are well known . .
. The incredible thing is the people who still cite them,� David Holthouse
noted that �religious right action groups including Focus on the Family, the
American Family Association, the Family Research Council and the Traditional
Values Coalition promote Cameron�s statistics on their Web sites.� Cameron�s
�research� was recently in the news in relation to yet
another unprofessional hoax and fraud.
Cameron has long advocated a �final solution�:
the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference, [Paul] Cameron announced to
the attendees, �Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of
the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.� According to
an interview with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Cameron was
recommending the extermination option as early as 1983. --Mark
E. Pietrzyk, News-Telegraph, March 10, 1995.
Under Don Wildmon�s
shrill guidance, the American Family Association launches boycotts against any
company that treats its gay and lesbian employees equally or advertises in
gay-oriented media. Disney, Kraft Foods, K-Mart, Sears, and Yahoo are only a
few of their recent targets. Currently, AFA is hammering away at Ford Motor
The AFA website continues
to brag about how its boycott
of Ford is hurting the company: �The AFA boycott of Ford Motor Company
continues to impact its sales.� How many families -- including Christian and �traditional�
ones -- could be adversely affecting by AFA boycotts and the destructive social
bigotry they inspire? Does Wildmon and the AFA care?
As card-carrying dominionists, they just don�t give a damn.
That was made clear by Rev. Wildmon in his mid-June 2006
The American Family Association says
that its boycott of Ford Motor Company over the automaker�s support for LGBT issues
is having an impact. �The boycott of Ford Motor Company is working! Sales of
automobiles made by Ford dropped 2% in May,� AFA chair Donald E. Wildmon said
in an email to supporters.
What kind of man, what kind of �Christian� would take
pleasure -- note Wildmon�s excited exclamation point -- in hurting people and
their families? Wildmon and the AFA define schadenfreude.
the extent of AFA�s tentacles:
AFA claims over 500,000 members
About 100 employees and five full-time lawyers
chapters: State Directors in 12 states
From 1998 to 2003, the AFA received $90,000 from 6 grants contributed by the
Bill and Berniece Grewcock Foundation
AFA Journal, published monthly, with
a circulation of 180,000
AFA has its own 200-station network of radio stations across the United States
AFA has produced videos entitled, �Excess Access,� �It�s Not Gay,� and �Suffer
groups: AFA Foundation, Center for Law & Policy, American Family Radio,
American Family News Network�s OneNewsNow.com (formerly Agape Press), and AFA
Action -- the legislative action arm of the American Family Association
Websites: ValuesVoters.com -- a voter registration and education site;
Center for Law & Policy Case Note (blog); OneMillionDads.com;
OneMillionMoms.com; AFA Internet Filtering; NoGayMarriage.com; and
BoycottFord.com among others.
Not surprisingly, AFA�s �ex-gay� video It�s Not Gay
has been the object of legal action . . . for fraud.
Dobson uses his soft-spoken, down-home grandfatherly persona
to advocate theofascism. Perkins relies on his handsome face and inviting
smile. Wildmon uses on self-righteous boycotts. The Traditional
Values Coalition and its uber-homophobic chairman Louis P. Sheldon vent
raw, immoral, fanatical hate in their campaigns.
This image from tidmus.com
-- occasioned by the publication of Sheldon�s latest book -- tells the tale:
the Traditional Values Coalition�s 2004 revenue at $6,389,448. The TVC claims
to represent 43,000 churches nationwide, but in reality the organization �appears
to consist mostly of the Rev. Lou Sheldon and his daughter Andrea Sheldon
Lafferty. Both are mainstays on the conservative circuit, though their
reputation has been damaged by revelations that Lou Sheldon took money from
disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff to help kill an anti-gambling bill that would
have hurt one of Abramoff�s clients [eLottery].
Louie� Sheldon and the TVC were stridently campaigning against Internet gambling at the time.
For the politically motivated leaders of the radical
Christian Right, dominionism is a convenient credo to legitimate their quest
for a hegemonic theofascist America where their pathological need to hate and
hurt others would have free reign.
Religious fanatics are, by definition, dangerous. Armed
religious fanatics are even more so. And armed is exactly what America�s
Christian fundamentalists are being urged to be. In his book, Shooting Back: The Right
and Duty of Self Defense, Charl van Wyk �makes a biblical, Christian
case for individuals arming themselves with guns.� From self-defense to
aggression is a small step in this context.
It was wise -- and prophetic -- that school officials in Burlington, N.J., staged a �hostage situation�
drill in which the terrorists were radical fundamentalist Christians of the
An April 8
WorldNetDaily article criticized the Burlington schools district�s
drill as �paranoia over biblical beliefs.� WND�s founder, editor, and
CEO recently advocated
religion-based violence of biblical (and probably nuclear) proportions:
Israel should retake control of the Temple Mount and the rest
of Jerusalem and never let go again under any circumstances. Further, it should
retake control of the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria and annex the Golan
Heights. All of this territory should be proclaimed the eternal state of
Israel. [link added]
The April 8 WND
article also reported on a new website set up in
response to the Burlington
school district�s drill: �THE NEW
CRUSADERS: WE�RE TAKING OVER THE WORLD FOR JESUS.�
|The New Crusaders logo|
The �New Crusaders�
OUR AGENDA: Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye!
The New Crusaders call on all Christians and churches to begin implementation
of the ten planks of the following Agenda. Our goal is nothing short of taking
over the United States of America and then the entire world.
PREAMBLE: We call for immediate
unification of church and state. The church and government must function as a
homogenous unit if victory is to be achieved. This would result in the gradual
transition of the United States from a constitutional republic to a Christian
monarchy. Democracy and juries have proven to be far too dangerous. We advocate
the immediate replacement of the current American flag with the Christian flag.
Their ten �planks� -- or commandments -- begin with �We call
on all churches to immediately replace Sunday schools and catechism classes
with firearms training� and, of course, include �Immediate construction must
begin on nationwide quarantine centers for homosexuals. The internment process
would need to begin as soon as possible. If a quarantine center is not
available, church gymnasiums can be converted.�
The website concludes with a disclaimer: �Attention FBI,
Homeland Security, ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, Americans United, CAIR,
Amnesty International, NOW, and the Stonewall Union -- this website is satire .
Recall the words of D. James Kennedy at the 2005 Reclaiming
America for Christ conference: �Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents
of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods,
our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our
entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over
every aspect and institution of human society� [italics added].
The New Crusaders� �About Us� fits perfectly with
dominionists� rhetoric and goals. Indeed, it seems the next �logical� step:
After reading [about the Burlington
drill], we asked ourselves the question why
not formulate a more militant strategy for Christians to take over the
country and in fact the world? The Great Commission of Jesus to teach and
baptize the nations was a nice idea, but desperate times call for desperate
measures. This nice-guy strategy has quite frankly failed, and now is the time
for action. Christians have tolerated second-class treatment for too long!
Therefore we call on all Christians in American to unite under our
organization, The New Crusaders.
The Crusaders� website also included this:
SUPPORT THE NEW CRUSADERS: We need your finances to start implentation! [sic] We will soon have a donation page
setup to receive contributions via major credit card and Paypal. The New
Crusaders is a 501c3 [sic] tax-exempt organization, all donations all
have to wonder how many are eagerly awaiting that �donation page� . . .
Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor