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The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party

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Pat Robertson

From Frederick Clarkson's What Is Christian Reconstrucitionism?

Robertson himself seems to lack the long-term vision of Reconstructionist thinkers, but he is clearly driven by a short-term militant "dominion" mandate--the mandate that Christians "Christianize" the country's social and political institutions. He offers a fevered vision of power and "spiritual warfare," perhaps even physical conflict with the forces of Satan in the near future. "The world is going to be ours," he once confided, "but not without a battle, [not] without bloodshed." At a 1994 Christian Coalition national strategy conference, Robertson railed against "Satanic forces," declaring: "We are not coming up against just human beings to beat them in elections. We're going to be coming up against spiritual warfare. And if we're not aware of what we're fighting, we will lose." No longer the exclusive revolutionary vision of Christian Reconstructionist extremists, dominionism has achieved virtual hegemony over many forms of Christian fundamentalism. Historian Garry Wills sees dominionist doctrine not only in those "thorough and consistent dominionists, the followers of Rousas John Rushdoony, who are called Christian Reconstructionists," but also clearly present in Pat Robertson's book The Secret Kingdom.

Robertson works not only dominionism, but Old Testament Biblical law into his books. In The New World Order, Robertson writes that "there is no way that government can operate successfully unless led by godly men and women operating under the laws of the God of Jacob." Impatient with Robertson's public equivocations, Reconstructionist author Gary DeMar describes Robertson as an "operational Reconstructionist." Reconstructionist influences are also evident at Robertson's Regent University. For example, the longtime Dean of the Law School, Herb Titus, though not himself a Reconstructionist, has used Rushdoony's book in his introductory Law course. Texts by North and Rushdoony have been used for years in the School of Public Policy, where Reconstructionist Joseph Kickasola teaches. The library has extensive holdings of Reconstructionist literature and tapes.

Regent University board chair Dee Jepson is a longtime COR Steering Committee member. She was an active advocate for the school's change of name from Christian Broadcast Network University to Regent University, arguing that "Regent" better reflected its mission. Robertson explained that a "regent" is one who governs in the absence of a sovereign and that Regent U. trains students to rule, until Jesus, the absent sovereign, returns. Robertson says Regent U. is "a kingdom institution" for grooming "God's representatives on the face of the earth."

And later in the Clarkson essay referring to Robertson's book The New World Order:

Pat Robertson claims Masonic conspiracies are out to destroy Christianity and thwart Christian rule. Throughout The New World Order Robertson refers to freemasonry as a Satanic conspiracy, along with the New Age movement. The distortion of reality that can follow from such views is well represented by Robertson's assertion that former Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush are unwitting agents of Satan because they supported international groups of nations such as the United Nations.

Last updated: 14-Jul-2004