Dominionism is a term that has been used to describe a theological and political movement among some conservative Christian groups in the United States. The movement holds that Christians should strive to exert political and cultural influence in order to bring about a society that is based on biblical principles.
At its core, Dominionism asserts that Christians have a divine mandate to exercise “dominion” over society, and that this mandate includes taking an active role in politics, education, the arts, and other areas of culture. Some Dominionists believe — erroneously — that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, and that the country’s laws and institutions should reflect this Christian heritage.
Critics of Dominionism have argued that the movement seeks to undermine the separation of church and state and to impose a narrow, sectarian agenda on society. They have also raised concerns about the movement’s anti-democratic tendencies and its embrace of authoritarian forms of government. Dominionists are Christian nationalists, who seek to usher in a theocracy in America where the Bible is quite literally used as the law of the land — overthrowing the Constitution and establishing a fundamentalist religious state.
7 Mountains Movement
One popular strain of Dominionism known as the 7 Mountains Movement, or 7M, holds that Christians should seek to exert influence in seven key areas of society, which are often referred to as “mountains”:
- arts and entertainment
Advocates of 7M Dominionism argue that these areas of society are currently dominated by secular or ungodly values and beliefs, and that Christians must work to “reclaim” them in order to create a more godly society. Critics argue that the movement’s efforts to gain political and cultural influence can be seen as an attempt to impose a particular set of religious beliefs on society.
Many advocates of Dominionism take pains to keep their involvement with the movement under wraps, or to distance themselves from the more extreme views and political beliefs of the movement — while in private continuing to advocate for a theocratic revolution in America. Here are a few known prominent believers of Dominionism:
- Rousas John Rushdoony, a theologian who is considered by many to be the founder of Christian Reconstructionism, a theological movement that has been linked to Dominionism
- Gary North, a Christian Reconstructionist and economist who has written extensively on the role of Christianity in shaping economic and political systems
- Jerry Falwell Sr., a prominent conservative Christian leader who advocated for Christian involvement in politics and society
- Pat Robertson, a televangelist and founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, who has advocated for conservative Christian values and policies in the political sphere
- Ted Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas who has been associated with Dominionist beliefs and who has advocated for conservative Christian values in politics
- Sarah Palin, a former governor of Alaska and political commentator who has been associated with Dominionist ideas and who has advocated for a more Christian-influenced society.