American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
Founded by far-right Christian activist Paul Weyrich in 1973, ALEC has been largely invisible to the American public. Originally founded as an ostensibly neutral networking organization for state-level legislators, it is, in fact, a corporately funded group that produces boilerplate legislation for its members. However, its membership and board are heavily skewed towards the religious and political right. In recent years, ALEC has drafted legislation for a number of measures that have popped up in several states around the same time, such as various ‘religious freedom bills.’ Critics have noted that they essentially engage in legislative ‘range-finding;’ sending out a bill to see where and how it fails, tweaking it, and sending it out in another state until it can pass legal challenges before being implemented at the national level. Among the issues on which ALEC has provided legislative templates are voter suppression, reversal of marriage equality and abortion rights, and ‘religious freedom/freedom to discriminate.’
Barton, David
Self-proclaimed historian of the Religious Right and former vice-chair of the Republican party, Barton plays a prominent role in many far-right policy initiatives, including Newt Gingrich’s Renewing American Leadership and Champion the Vote/United in Purpose (they put out a promotional video, One Nation Under God.) Barton’s long association and collaboration with top NAR apostles suggests that Barton himself can be considered one of the more influential apostles in Wagner’s movement. Barton is best known for his revisionist history, which portrays America as having been founded as an expressly Christian nation, and the founding fathers as Christian nationalists/exceptionalists. His historical distortions, inaccuracies, and founding father misquotes, despite having been widely and authoritatively debunked, can nevertheless be found in many Christian homeschooling curricula, in textbooks used by the armed forces’ Junior ROTC program, and even declaimed on the floor of the US Senate. Right-wing ideologues from George W. Bush to Glenn Beck have sung Barton’s praises, and recently former GOP presidential candidate turned talk-show host Mike Huckabee said that every American should be forced, at gunpoint, to listen to everything Barton says. Barton’s recent book The Jefferson Lies was pulled from print by conservative Christian publisher Thomas Nelson because of “factual inaccuracies.” Barton was recently the head of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s Keep the Promise super-PAC, an umbrella for several similarly named PACs.
Bauer, Gary

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Chief Domestic Policy Advisor in Reagan’s cabinet, Bauer later headed the Family Research Council, was a co-founding member of the Council for National Policy with Amway founder Edgar Prince, and a long list of other right-wing religio-political organizations. He is or has been a board member of at least six other NRA-affiliated groups, was a primary candidate for president in 2000, and in 209 signed on to the ‘Manhattan Declaration,’ a resolution which asked evangelical, Catholic, and Orthodox Christians to ignore laws which would in any way support abortion, LGBTQ equality, or other hot button issues for the religious right.
Benham, Reverend Phillip “Flip”
Director of Operation Save America, and leader of the former Operation Rescue anti-abortion group. Benham also demonstrated for Terry Schaivo (with whom he had no previous connection; Benham was roundly critiqued for exploiting Schaivo’s condition for political gain), and posted “wanted for murder” posters calling for the ‘removal’ of Dr. George Tiller before his assassination in 2009. While Benham’s personal involvement had waned, his work laid much of the foundation for today’s ‘pro-life’ movement.
Bickle, Mike

Evangelical minister best known as the leader of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), of whom Lou Engle of The Call has also been a senior leader. Bickle also founded an associated bible college, the non-accredited ‘International House of Prayer University.’ His theology is heavily dominionist, and he is reputed to be a major figure on the New Apostolic Reformation network. More recently, he’s received attention for his anti-gay stance, as well as repeating Pastor John Hagee’s assertion that as the End Times approach, all Jews will be given a chance to accept Jesus, warning that if they do not accept “the grace” of Christ, God will then “raise up a hunter” who will kill two-thirds of them “and the most famous hunter in recent history is a man named Adolf Hitler.” He has espoused extreme anti-gay views, calling gay rights a Satanic plot, and describing Oprah Winfrey as a harbinger of the anti-christ. He has also attributed severe storms to ‘pro-gay’ or ‘pro-abortion’ legal activities. In early 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz accepted his endorsement for president.
Boykin, Lt. General William
Lieutenant General William G. Boykin was the United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence until his retirement in 2007. He was active in almost every US military endeavor which took place during his career, including Grenada, Somalia, Mogadishu and Iraq. Boykin has been outspoken in his fundamentalist views, and has often been cited (and criticized) for framing the war in Iraq as a religious war. Boykin also spoke about his role in the conflict in Somalia as a ‘holy war,’ saying, “I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.” Since his retirement, Boykin has remained active as a visible figure in the Religious Right, appearing at events such as a 2008 Christian Zionist conference in Israel, where he spoke about Jihadists and Holy War, urging Christians to consider themselves as martyrs and soldiers in Christ’s army
Call, The
The Call is a ministry founded by NAR prophet and apostle Lou Engle, known for its huge, revival-style prayer rallies, and funded by prominent dominionist businesses such as Hobby Lobby and Chik-fil-A. Engle, often joined by luminaries in dominionist circles like James Dobson, Tony Perkins, and Newt Gingrich uses fasting and rock-concert-inspired theatrics to whip crowds to fever pitch in prayer to combat whatever societal ill is on the agenda. At his 2008 San Diego rally, for example, Engle, after 12 hours of frenzied prayer and calls for spiritual warfare, called on the crown of roughly 20,000 to ready themselves for martyrdom. The crowd loved it. Engle was also one of several figures connected to a series of controversial TheCall rallies in Uganda, where he praised that countries ‘anti-gay bill,’ which advocated life imprisonment or death for gays and lesbians. Engle disbanded TheCall in 2019 and went on to found Lou Engle Ministries, with much the same agenda.
A branch of Christian theology characterized by belief in miracles, signs, prophecy, healing, speaking in tongues, and other divine gifts of the spirit. Contemporary Charismatic groups tend to have a strong emphasis on the renewal of a church that has been weakened or diluted by coexistence with secular society. Despite its fundamentalist origins, Charismatic Christianity often overlaps with evangelicalism as well.
Christian Reconstruction
Reconstruction is a conservative, literalist movement that seeks to ‘reconstruct’ the Kingdom of God, based on Old Testament Biblical principles, including the application of Biblical law in a theocratic America. Originally an outgrowth of conservative neo-Calvinism, Reconstruction was popularized by R.J. Rushdoony, and later by his son-in-law, Gary North. In addition to rejecting all aspects of a ‘welfare state,’ reconstruction seeks to criminalize ‘sinful’ things such as abortion, divorce, homosexuality, heresy, witchcraft, and apostasy. Proponents of reconstruction seem willing to institute biblical penalties (execution by public stoning) for infractions.
Christian Zionism
A belief that the return of Jews to the Holy Land is an essential part of the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies of the end times. Some more extreme versions of Zionism have begun (or tried to begin) to implement plans for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, including measures like breeding special cattle to be sacrificed according to Biblical law. (The presence of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount has contributed a crusade-like character to much of Christian Zionism, some of which was apparent in the early years of the Iraq War.) Though rejected as a political program instead of a Christ-centered one by many religious entities, including the National Council of Churches, and several in Jerusalem such as the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Christian Zionism has grown in popularity along with Dispensationalism, a doctrine often associated with it. It also bears traces of white supremacy or overtly anti-Semitic theology. Tim LeHay, Pat Roberson, Jerry Falwell, John Hagee, and Tom DeLay are among the many prominent American proponents of Christian Zionism.
Christians United for Israel (CUFI)
Christian Zionist group founded by evangelical heavyweight John Hagee. Outwardly designed on a Biblical mandate to protect Israel, CUFI’s aims and those of its founder tend toward the apocalyptic, with Israel and Iran as the major players in a post-rapture armageddon, which Hagee’s political involvement is centered around provoking. Hagee has also spoken of Hitler as a ‘hunter’ sent by God to chastise stubborn Jews who would not convert. As recently as 2019, CUFI had a summit in Washington, DC showcasing Hagee, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Vice President Mike Pence as invited speakers.
Colson, Charles
Former Special Council to President Nixon and one of the Watergate Seven, Colson experienced a born-again conversion in prison. After his release, he was active in an array of increasingly extreme evangelical movements. He was one of the four men to have signed the Land Letter, outlining a theological defense of the preemptive, ‘just war’ strategy in Iraq. Colson was also an outspoken supporter of Prop 8 in California, claimed Darwinsim led to ‘forced sterilization by eugenicists,’ and was an Apostle in the New Apostolic Reformation. He was also a member of The Family, a shadowy consortium of political and religious leaders operating in DC.
Concerned Women for America
Founded to counter feminism, Concerned Women for America (CWA) claims to be “the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.” Its mission is to “bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.” CWA was organized by Tim and Beverly LaHaye in 1979 to oppose the Equal Rights Amendment, and when that issue faded, it moved on to other Religious Right agenda items. The group now leverages its 10-million-plus annual revenues towards attacking public schools for allegedly promoting “secular humanism” and to support the teaching of creationism in science classes. CWA also vehemently opposes abortion, sex education, birth control access, the ‘culture of divorce,’ and gay rights.
Council for National Policy
The CNP was founded in 1981 by lesser-known but influential conservatives Edgar Prince (father of Blackwater/XE Erik Prince and Pesty DeVoss) and Gary Bauer, together with right-wing apocalyptic ideologue Tim LaHaye, and ALEC founder Paul Weyrich as an umbrella organization where right-wing leaders could assemble secretly to plot strategy, share ideas and fund causes and candidates to advance the far-right agenda. They intentionally avoid media exposure (members are bound by non-disclosure agreements, and forbidden from releasing dates and times of meetings to the press), preferring to remain secretive as they work behind the scenes towards creating a Christian theocracy. Membership contains almost all the well-known names in the religious right from the late 1970s through today: Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Bob Jones III (of Bob Jones University), and most of the individuals named in this document. The group’s first executive director, Woody Jenkins, said in 1981: “One day before the end of this century, the Council will be so influential that no president, regardless of party or philosophy, will be able to ignore us or our concerns or shut us out of the highest levels of government.”
Cruz, Sen. Ted
Cruz, as of 2016 a senator from Texas and GOP presidential primary contender, has followed in his father Rafael Cruz’s footsteps and exhibited marked dominionist rhetoric, including seven-mountains theology, and elements of Christian Reconstruction. His campaign’s super-PAC is headed by David Barton, right-wing revisionist historian and dominionist superstar David Barton, and his supporters include Mike Bickle, Kevin Swanson, Troy Newman, Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Glenn Beck, and others. His supporters share a large collection of extreme claims, including describing gays as ‘maggots,’ public health risks, actors in a demonic communist conspiracy, and terrorists. Cruz has also publicly claimed divine support and declared that the 2016 election is a ‘religious freedom election,’ referring to the many “Religious Freedom Restoration” pieces of legislation that have appeared in Indiana, North Carolina, Georgia, and other states. In the Trump era, Cruz has remained true to his evangelical baking if nothing else, and remained an influential figure on the right.
Discovery Institute
DI is an ostensibly secular, but factually conservative Christian public policy think tank best known for its advocacy of Intelligent Design (ID) in public science curricula as an intentional ‘wedge’ to create a later opportunity for the teaching of explicit Biblical creationism. Founded in the 1990s, the DI continues to push against science education standards on two fronts, first by ‘rebranding’ young-earth creationism as ID and trying to present it as an ‘alternate scientific theory’ of life’s origins, despite rejection by the vast majority of the scientific community. More recently, they have tried to introduce ‘academic freedom’ legislation, claiming that banning the teaching of ‘competing theories’ interferes with academic freedom. These arguments have so far failed for the most part, owing in part to a complete lack of support from any actual academics or scientists, and in part to the landmark court case Katzmiller v. Dover (2004), which formally designated Intelligent Design as religious in nature.
Dobson, James
Founder of Focus on the Family, an evangelical nonprofit, Dobson is well-known for his ultra-conservative views on male-dominant ‘traditional’ marriage, physical discipline of children, and ‘diversity’ as an alleged cover for a liberal homosexual agenda aimed at destroying Christian values. Dobson’s teaching on strict corporal punishment for children has been criticized in several high-profile cases of children being injured or dying under abusive measures employed by parents relying on his books. His ‘gay treatment programs’ have been almost universally condemned by the medical community as not only ineffective but unnecessary and potentially damaging.
Dominionism is a style or trend of Christian practice and ideology. It centers on the idea that God has commanded Christians to take control or ‘dominion’ over all of governance and culture. Typically this is informed by the belief that the entire world must be made into a Christian society in order for Christ to return and initiate the End Times. Terms that also connote dominionist theology include ‘Kingdom theology,’ ‘advancing the Kingdom of God,’ and similar phrases, often used by public figures to signal to the dominionist community without using the term ‘dominion’ or ‘dominionism.’
Engle, Lou
Self-proclaimed prophet and founder of The Call Ministries, which organizes massive anti-gay anti-abortion rallies like that held in Qualcomm Stadium to urge the passage of Prop 8 in California. His more recent umbrella group is the International House of Prayer (IHOP), which has been active in anti-gay activism both in the US and abroad. Engle has close ties to several US Congressmen, including Senator Sam Brownback. At his 2009 anti-healthcare reform rally, he shared the stage with Rep. Michele Bachmann, Sen. Brownback, Sen. Jim DeMint, and Rep. Randy Forbes, all sitting members of Congress at the time. Engle is also heavily involved with The Call Uganda, and planned another huge anti-gay, anti-witchcraft mass prayer rally in May 2010 in Uganda’s capital. Engle was widely criticized for this event, given the event promoted Uganda’s anti-gay legislation, which included death penalties for homosexuality. Engle is also known for his extreme views calling for the ‘exorcism of gay demons,’ and martyrdom in the battle against abortion. His rhetoric also closely allies with Joel’s Army theology (see below), and is active in the NAR. Engle was also a principle figure in Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2011 Response prayer rally.
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
ERLC is the lobbying arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, dedicated to lobbying for biblically-centered policy on social and moral issues. The ERLC had an operating budget (not including lobbying capital) of 3.9 million for 2013-14 fiscal year (the last year for which data is publicly available). They have helped combat legislation such as the Violence Against Women Act, marriage equality, and health care reform to name but a few.
Family Research Council
FRC is another group formed by James Dobson, along with Focus on the Family. With an annual budget of almost 15 million, FRC is a lobbying organization that claims to be “the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power.” However, its true agenda has been to lobby in Washington for such issues as the teaching of Intelligent Design, the ‘conscientious objector’ status of medical personnel (allowing such personnel to refuse to provide needed or prescribed treatments or medications based on personal religious conviction e.g. a pharmacist can refuse to dispense birth control), restrictions on pornography, and pre-emptive action by the American military to oppose Islamic terrorists. Its primary target, however, remains homosexual rights. FRC’s position statements have been so extreme that in 2010 the Southern Poverty Law Center added the FRC to its list of hate groups.
Fischer, Becky
Pentecostal, dominionist children’s minister. Best-known for her central role in the controversial documentary Jesus Camp, where she called for Christian kids to have militant zeal equal to that of child suicide bombers in Islamic nations. While the Kids on Fire camps are no longer held, Fisher is still deeply involved with several Pentecostal children’s ministries in the US and abroad. Her organization, Kids in Ministry International, is part of an umbrella group, Harvest International Ministries (and NAR affiliate), and partners with prominent figures such as Lou Engle, Cindy Jacobs, Rick Joyner and others. She is also an active proponent of Christian Zionism.
Fisher, Bryan
Spokesperson and Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association (AFA). Fischer hosts the talk radio program Focal Point on American Family Radio and posts on the AFA-run blog Instant Analysis. The AFA, with an annual budget of almost 18 million, was declared a hate group in 2010 by the SLPC for its consistent “Propagation of known falsehoods and demonizing propaganda.” Fisher uses the AFA’s programs and website as platforms to promote outrageous and extremist views such as blaming gay men for the Holocaust, calling for the execution of homosexuals, the removal of children from same-sex families by force, and banning immigration to the US from Muslim countries. Despite the extreme nature of his views, many prominent conservatives continue to appear on his show, and he enjoys relatively broad support.
Focus on the Family
Fundamentalist Christian James Dobson founded Focus on the Family as a non-profit to offer “biblical” solutions to family problems. Dobson soon branched out into the dissemination of hardcore right-wing politics with an international reach. Dobson has been a major player in the halls of power in Washington, D.C., and Focus-aligned “family policy councils” pressure lawmakers and influence legislation in 36 states. In fact, the Colorado-based organization frequently plays a key role in fighting gay rights and restricting abortion at the state level. Jim Daly is now president of Focus; Dobson left the organization in 2010 but remains active on the political scene.
Freedom Federation
A coalition of Religious Right organizations including the Family Research Council, the Traditional Values Coalition, the Eagle Forum, Concerned Women of America, and Wallbuilders, as well as many organizations from the independent charismatic wing of the Religious Right (many of which have been organized and streamlined under Peter C. Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation and its apostles and prophets.) These include Lou Engle’s ‘The Call,’ Rick Joyner’s Morningstar Ministries, the Oak Initiative, Cindy Jacob’s Generals International, and Che Ahn’s Harvest International (the parent of Becky Fisher’s own ministry)
Hagee, John
Founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), Hagee is also the CEO of both Global Evangelism Television and John Hagee Ministries. He is a Christian Premillenial Dispensationalist pentecostal minister who believes in witchcraft, global Jewish conspiracies, and the absolute authority of Scripture. Hagee has stated that Hitler was a Jew, sent by God to push Jews to found the nation of Israel, and has been accused of holding deeply anti-Semitic views. He has also worked openly with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to obstruct the Middle East peace process.
Hess, Tom
Tom Hess, author of Let My People Go: The Struggle of the Jewish People to Come Home to Israel, a treatise on the reasons why Jews in America have failed to fulfill God’s purpose for them by becoming too attached to the wealth of the US. Hess has also used strongly anti-Semitic language, as well as encouraging the New World Order/Jewish Banking conspiracies. Nevertheless, Hess, in his role as an Apostle of the NAR, works with the Israeli Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus, and runs the Jerusalem House of Prayer (an IHOP affiliate), which hosts the Caucus’ events.
International Coalition of Apostles
The ICA is a network of several hundred apostles in the US and approximately 40 other nations, formed by convening apostle Peter C. Wagner. Each of these apostles has ministries under him/her, in some cases hundreds or thousands of them. The ICA describes itself as “a professional society of apostles” who possess “the authority to establish the foundational government of the church.” As of this writing, ICA’s website has gone behind a log-in wall, and this information can no longer be accessed by non-members. Another entity called Global Spheres, which lists a directory of apostles has since been created and is under the ‘apostolic authority of Chuck Pierce, one of Wagner’s apostles and president of Glory of Zion International Ministries.
International Transformation Network (Transformation)
A network of evangelical, largely charismatic ‘Apostles’ who travel the globe holding prayer rallies, casting out demons, burning idols, fighting witchcraft, and battling with the forces of darkness such as homosexuality, abortion, and pluralism. Using what they call “strategic-level spiritual warfare” the apostles and prophets focus on a town or community. Transformation Apostles have claimed to have killed or banished people with prayer, cured AIDs, cleansed local streams, wiped out crime, and removed generational curses in the areas they have targeted for “Transformation” by teams of Prayer Warriors. In 1997, Ana Mendez, one of Wagner’s apostles, claimed to have battled the Queen of Heaven and defeated her in her stronghold atop Mt Everest. The event was claimed to have been the cause of the deaths of Lady Diana and Mother Theresa. Apostles include prominent figures such as Lou Engle, Ed Silvoso, Cindy Jacobs, Jay Swallow, Mary Glazier, Mike Huckabee, and Kenyan Thomas Muthee (and through them, Sarah Palin), yet this group, and the associated network, the New Apostolic Reformation, have gone largely unnoticed by the media.
Jacobs, Cindy
Prophet in the New Apostolic Reformation’s Council of Prophetic Elders, Jacobs also claims powers as a faith healer and exorcist of ‘gay demons,’ and advocates for the burning of ‘idols’ including “pictures, statues, native artifacts, Catholic saints, and Books of Mormon,” just to name a few. Jacobs, along with Peter Wagner, helped create the theology of ‘spiritual mapping,’ and geographical spiritual warfare. She recently attributed a sudden die-off among birds in Arkansas to the repeal of “Don’t ask don’t tell.”
Jerry Fallwell Ministries/Liberty Council
With annual revenues in excess of 500 million, the empire founded by the late Jerry Falwell, a Religious Right icon and founder of the Moral Majority, is going strong thanks mostly to Liberty University, a Lynchburg, Va., school now run by his son, Jerry Falwell Jr. Following in his father’s footsteps, Falwell Jr. regularly meddles in partisan politics – from local contests to presidential races. In 2012, he invited Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney to give Liberty’s commencement address, introducing him as “the next president of the United States.” A second Falwell son, Jonathan, is pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, a mega-church in Lynchburg. Liberty Counsel is a Religious Right legal firm founded by Matt Staver that is now based at Liberty University, where it launches lawsuits undermining church-state separation and encourages pastors to get involved in partisan political activity. In early 217, President Trump asked Falwell Jr. to head his Higher Education Task Force, where he has promised to end ‘excessive regulation in the accreditation process.’
Joel’s Army
Pentecostal movement popularized by Todd Bentley and others. Known more recently as ‘Generation of Destiny.’ the Joel’s Army movement has connections to many other movements and leaders in the Religious Right, including some Assemblies of God churches (and through them to Christian Identity and its parallel ‘Phineas Priest’ ideology), and another set of groups using the “Master’s Commission” branding. While these connections and affiliations are rarely explicit, they all use coded language, such as “discipling and shepherding” to indicate their programs. In addition, an investigation of connections between persons and groups reveals a complex web of connections and affiliations between Joel’s army, the NAR, and related groups.
John Birch Society
Ultra-conservative political advocacy group, currently enjoying a resurgence alongside the Tea Party. The Society was originally founded by, among others, Fred Koch (father of the Koch brothers of Koch Industries), in order to combat communism in the late 1950s. The Society spoke out against the Civil Rights movement (in part, though not exclusively due to their assertions that is was orchestrated by communists). They lost popularity in the mainstream due to their acceptance of a stunning array of conspiracy theories, but they, together with such theories, have found newly receptive audiences in the eschatologically-minded elements of the Religious Right, encouraged by figures like Tim LaHaye and his Left Behind series, and now in the ‘alt-right’ and related groups in the Trump coalition. They favor an ‘originalist’ reading of the Constitution; that is, reading it as a document based on fundamentalist Christian ideology, and as such, an extension of Scriptural law. Currently, the Society advocates the US’ withdrawal from foreign policy and the UN, and a return to gold as the only valid currency, in part due to One World or New World Order conspiracy theories. Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul (GOP, KY), have been close associates of the Society for decades, have written extensively for their publications, and have taken many of their more radical political ideas from it.
LaHaye, Tim/Left Behind
LaHaye, co-author of the Left Behind series of “non-fiction novels” believes there is a massive battle looming between Christians and the One World Order government under its ruler, the Antichrist. With that in mind, his books and the movies and video games based on them are geared toward training up a generation of Christian militants, ready to take to the streets if the signs point to the government being in the control of the Antichrist. LaHaye has a long history of extreme apocalyptic and conspiracy-ridden views, from his time with Falwell’s Moral Majority in the 1980s decrying the evils of secular humanism to his work with the Council for National Policy, a “networking vehicle for right-wing leadership.” LaHaye’s works have reinvigorated several of the more radical right conspiracy theories as well as groups that form around them.
Loving (aka Loving v Virginia)
The Supreme Court Ruling that removed the bar to interracial marriage.
Luce, Ron
Founder of Battle Cry, Aquire the Fire, and several other front-facing subgroups of Teen Mania Industries, a para-church ministry aimed at changing the face of American culture by starting with its youth. Unambiguously dedicated to a theocratic America, Battle Cry organized rallies at churches and stadiums which often enjoyed attendance in the thousands or hundreds of thousands. When Ten Mania went bankrupt in 2015, Luce started over with Generation Next, but his rhetoric has not changed. Cloaked in language of religious survival (depicting Christianity as “under siege” despite its majority position), the group also clearly states a legislative agenda. The tone of Luce’s ministries, as with related ministries such as Joel’s Army and Master’s Commission, is strongly militaristic, promoting values of violence, aggression, and martyrdom. Founder Ron Luce is quoted as saying “This is war. And Jesus invites us to get into the action, telling us that the violent — the ‘forceful’ ones — will lay hold of the kingdom.”
Manhattan Declaration
Subtitled “A Call of Christian Conscience,” this is a manifesto assembled by conservative religious luminaries called on Christians to openly break or defy laws that would in any way support issues that were opposed by the religious right, including abortion, marriage equality, and the overall ‘uncoupling of marriage from childbearing.’ Rather audaciously comparing itself to MLK’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, the Declaration claims that civil disobedience in service to god’s will is the American birthright. Notable signatories include Gary Bauer, Tony Perkins (at one point, president of the Family Research Council), James Dobson (founder of Focus on the Family), Al Mohler (then-president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, also infamous for his comment that the ‘lord doesn’t hear the prayer of a Jew’), and a rogue’s gallery of Christian University leaders, Catholic clergy, and religious right figures.
Muthee, Thomas
Muthee first came to the public eye during the 2008 Presidential campaign via a video of him anointing then gubernatorial hopeful Sarah Palin at the Wasilla Assemblies of God Church in 2005. While Muthee’s initial significance was viewed in relation to what it revealed about Palin, Muthee’s own story has become a subject of scrutiny as well. Muthee is associated with the Transformations movement and appears in Transformation promotional videos claiming to have driven out witches and banished demons in Africa. Though since debunked, his claims fall in line with Transformation ideology and helped to spark a massive surge in popularity of the Transformations franchises. Muthee is also a major player in the New Apostolic Reformation and espouses the 7M mandate.
New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)
Also known as the Third Wave (of the Spirit), the NAR is both a theological movement and a loose confederation of churches, para-church ministries, and other organizations. The NAR represents the largest segment of Dominionist Christianity, a theology centered on the mandate to establish Christian Dominion over the world in order to bring about the beginning of the end time and the return of Christ. In the 1980s, the movement, based on an outgrowth of Pentecostalism known as Latter Rain, was renamed The New Apostolic Reformation by Peter C. Wagner, who calls himself its ‘convening apostle.’ Its theological structure is variously known as Third Wave, Third Wave of the Holy Spirit, and Kingdom Now, all theologies that flourished within a number of charismatic, non-denominational churches, particularly the Assemblies of God churches. Aspects of NAR theology include Joel’s Army/Manifest Sons of God, Prosperity Gospel, Birthing, Generational Curses, and Spiritual Mapping/Warfare; some of which are condemned by more mainstream denominations as heretical. Nevertheless, the NAR has grown explosively, not only within AoG churches but into mainstream evangelical circles as well. Today the NAR is comprised of a network of Apostles, grouped under a handful of leaders, and each of which has ‘apostolic authority’ over hundreds of churches and organizations. Apostles in NAR appear in government, corporations, and churches across the US and abroad. (For a basic primer on the NAR, see “Palin’s Churches and the Third Wave” by Rachel Tabachnick.)
North, Gary
Theologian and economist, and prolific writer on the intersection of Christian theology and economic issues in libertarian economic publications and author of several books. Son-in-law and follower of Christian Reconstruction pioneer, R.J. Rushdoony, and research assistant for Rep. Ron Paul. Founder of the Institute for Christian Economics which published much of the Christian Reconstruction literature, North himself is a longtime proponent of Christian Reconstruction, and is perhaps best known for his statement: “So let us be blunt: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberties of the enemies of God.” He briefly administered his father-in-law’s Chalcedon Foundation before forming his own Institute for Christian Economics. Another of his ventures offers the Ron Paul Christian Homeschooling Curriculum.
Parallel Economy
Refers to a large network of major business which are organized for the purpose of generating funds for Dominionist groups and causes. Companies that have been definitely linked to, or are active funders of, the dominionist movement include Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby, Amway/Quixtar, and Curves Salon. Companies that are heavy funders for dominionist organizations include Mellon and Scaife Foundation, Tom Monaghan (owner of Domino’s Pizza), Walton Companies (WalMart, Lowe’s. Sam’s Club, etc), and Coors Brewery via its Coors Foundation and Castle Rock Foundation. In Kentucky, the AFA describes itself in a “charity affiliate” relationship with Kroger, Office Depot, Staples, Thorton’s, and Everycall USA. Often local dominionist groups will keep lists of ‘dominionist-friendly’ merchants and businesses that fund such causes. One such list is the “Shepherd’s Guide, (, a sort of dominionist version of Angie’s List, where businesses are required to sign a statement of faith in order to be listed.
Similar to Charismatics, Pentecostals accept not only the gifts of the spirit, but place primary emphasis on speaking in tongues as evidence of baptism into Christ. They also assert physical manifestations of Christ’s presence, e.g. ‘slain in the spirit’ and other such phenomena, absolute biblical inerrancy, the physical resurrection of the dead, and salvation through grace and works.
Prayer Warrior
In general evangelical terms, anyone committed to using prayer to triumph in a cause. In Dominionist usage, it refers to a specific doctrine of using groups of Prayer Warriors to engage in spiritual battle with demons or forces of Satan, often to dispel demonic influence or ‘generational curses’ over a specific geographical area or issue.
Pretribulation Millennial/Dispensationalism
This form of Christian eschatology is based on a belief in a literal thousand year Kingdom of Christ before the beginning of the eternal Kingdom. This literal kingdom, in which Israel figures prominently, is thought to be theocratic in nature. Dispensationalists tend to believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, wherein the faithful are ‘raptured’ up to heaven before the onset of the period of war and destruction; in other words, proper Christians receive a ‘dispensation’ freeing them from the unpleasantness of enduring the seven years of tribulation.
Prince, Erik
Founder and sole owner of the private military company Academi, formerly Blackwater and then Xe. He began his career by working with Gary Bauer at the Family Research Council, and was a close friend of Chuck Coulson. Prince has extensive ties to Christian reconstruction and other evangelical groups through his family and personal ties, and has declared himself on a ‘Christian Crusade’ to rid the world of ‘Muslim infidels.’ During his time in charge of Blackwater’s operations in Iraq, he was charged in connection with the deaths of numerous Iraqi civilians, and was found to have used symbols and call signs to organize his units to resemble the Knights Templar. His father, Edgar Prince, co-founded the Family Research Council, and heavily funded other religious right groups such as Promise Keepers, Focus on the Family and others, and with Gary Bauer, was a co-founding member of the secretive Council for National Policy. Most recently, Erik Prince reportedly met with Russian representatives in the Seychelles to establish a back-channel of communication between Russia’s Putin and Pres. Trump.
Reconstruction, or Christian Reconstruction, is a theology originally espoused by R.J. Rushdoony, a Calvinist theologian, which teaches that the imperative of the Christian is to bring the whole of life into submission to God and Biblical law. It is also one of the origins of dominionist theology, above. Rushdoony held that all law was essentially a ‘religion,’ so any form of law, or ‘law order’ that was not biblical was anti-Christian. He advocated for reinstatement of old-testament religious law as the law of the land, including death penalties for adultery, apostasy, and a list of other biblically defined sins, and the use of slavery instead of prisons. A slightly (not very) tempered version of this Reconstruction theology is carried on by Rushdoony’s Chalcedon Foundation, and by his many followers. See the full entry on Reconstruction here.
Robertson, Pat/CBN, etc.
Known for his years of involvement in far-right politics, TV preacher Pat Robertson has forged a vast Religious Right empire (one of the second best-funded Religious Right organizations in the country at roughly 450 million annually), anchored by the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Robertson also runs Regent University and a right-wing legal group, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). (Attorney Jay Sekulow heads ACLJ, as well as his own quasi-independent legal outfit, Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism.) CBN, which brings in the bulk of Robertson’s revenue, broadcasts far-right religious and political invective laced with attacks on church-state separation, a concept Robertson has called a “myth” and a “lie of the left.” His 700 Club TV program is a powerful forum for the promotion of right-wing ideology and favored politicians. Robertson has been welcomed into the halls of government, and many GOP government officials (such as former governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell), are Regent U. graduates. Over the years, though he has remained the host of the far-reaching 700 Club, Robertson’s statements have become increasingly bizarre, from warning of demons in second-hand clothing to advocating wife-beating to blaming the earthquakes in Haiti on the abolition of slavery in that country.
Rushdooney, Rousas John “R.J.”
Considered the father of Christian Reconstruction, Rushdooney developed a theology based on strict implementation of Biblical Law in every particular, including the reinstitution of slavery as practiced in the Old Testament, and death by public stoning for such crimes as homosexuality, adultery, incest, lying about one’s virginity, witchcraft, idolatry, apostasy, blasphemy, false prophesying, and so on. He claimed that “the heresy of democracy has worked havoc in church and state…Christianity and democracy are invariably enemies,” and has said that slavery was the biggest aid to the ‘primitive black man.’ He also founded the Chalcedon Foundation, a think-tank dedicated to strategizing the eventual takeover and conversion of America into a theocratic Christian state, beginning with the abolition of public schools.
Scarborough, Rick
A leading Religious Right organizer based in Texas, Rick Scarborough of Vision America claims he is fighting the country’s supposed decline. Scarborough has said that it is ‘sad’ to see ‘more non-white families’ in America, claimed that the growing Latino population will destroy America and blamed societal ills on shows such as The Simpsons and Big Bang Theory. He even said that the Benghazi attack occurred as a result of the country being “mired in sin.” He has also charged that AIDS is divine punishment of the gay community, and demanded that people only refer to gays and lesbians as ‘sodomites.’ He has also insisted that President Obama will arrest him and other conservative activists following the passage of the hate crimes law (and made the same absurd prediction prior to the Supreme Court’s recent gay rights rulings).
Seven Mountains Mandate
Dominionist/NAR mandate, developed by Lance Wallnau in conjunction with other early NAR apostles, and later incorporated by the late Peter Wagner and the current NAR leaders. Also known as ‘7-M,’ or ‘Reclaiming the Seven Mountains of Culture’” initiative, this is a mandate for bringing the Kingdom of God to earth by taking Christian “dominion over seven key spheres of society: government, arts & entertainment, media, education, family, religion, and business.” The ‘mountain of business’ is considered key to the dominion over all, and much of the promotion of 7-M is done by ‘Market Apostles.’ Os Hillman in Atlanta oversees this segment of the movement. Wallnau, Wagner, Rick Joyner, and Cindy Jacobs are among its most prominent speakers. However, Market Apostles are now active worldwide. Julius Oyet, one of the major figures in the Uganda ‘Kill the Gays’ legislation, is a regular speaker at 7-M and “Church in the Workplace Conference.” Wallnau stresses stealth evangelism as seen in the June 7, 2009 speech at Wasilla Assembly of God (Sarah Plain’s former church), in which he explains that infiltration is necessary before evangelization. Thomas Muthee, star of the Transformations “documentary” talked about the 7-M campaign at Wasilla AoG just prior to his anointing of Sarah Palin in 2006. Wagner’s 2008 book Dominion! How Kingdom Action Can Change the World emphasizes the use of workplace apostles as the crucial component to taking control over the other six mountains of culture. The 2016 GOP primary candidates have all evoked 7-M teachings in their rhetoric, most notably Cruz, Huckabee, Carson, and Rubio. Several Trump cabinet appointees have also used ‘kingdom theology’ language, including Betsy DeVos, Jeff Sessions, Ben Carson, and others, as well as VP Mike Pence.
A term for the concerted and acknowledged effort by right-wing political and far-right evangelical/fundamentalist groups (spearheaded by groups like the Institute for Religion and Democracy, a conservative Christian group dedicated to promoting Christian conservatism in public life) to ‘ take over liberal, progressive, or left-leaning churches.’ Typically someone trained by the Institute will join a church, introduce a ‘wedge’ or controversial issue, and ask the church to take a stand. The goal is less about winning the debate than it is about introducing a topic that will divide the congregation, creating opportunities for dramatic rightward shifts in doctrine and leadership. Occasionally, churches will split altogether from their denominations, or drive out members who resist the conservative shift. The Institute is known especially for targeting Methodist congregations, sometimes encouraging members to bring charges against their pastors accusing them of heresy, apostasy or being in breach of faith. There are many documented instances where Methodist churches have been sufficiently split as to remove themselves from the organizing Methodist body and become non-denominational, conservative churches in the radical right style.
Swanson, Kevin
Swanson is a Colorado pastor and broadcaster as well as the director of Generations with Vision, a subsidiary of the Christian Home Educators of Colorado, which produces Generations Radio, a daily radio program hosted by Swanson. He is particularly known for his extreme and sometimes violent position on gay rights and marriage equality. In 2015, his National Religious Liberties Conference featured speakers and materials dedicated to the practical aspects of instituting capital punishment for homosexuality, to which he referred as ‘open, pus-filled sores.’ At that conference (with Sen. Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal attending) he said the only reason he does not call for the death penalty now is to give gays time to repent. He has also spoken in support of Uganda’s ‘Anti-Homosexuality Act,’ which made homosexuality punishable by imprisonment or execution.
A theocracy is a form of government in which religion is the centrally controlling element. Much like Democracy comes from the Greek ‘demos’ (common) and ‘kratos’ (rule), theocracy comes from the Greek ‘theos’ (god) and ‘kratos’ (rule). In real-world terms, it means that the church and state are one and the same and that the laws and doctrines of a single religion (or a single form of religion) form the law of the land. A contemporary example is Iran, whose legal and political structure reflects the religious beliefs and ethics of Islam, specifically Shi’a Islam. In the west, there has been a movement among the rightward spectrum of Christianity to create a theocratic state. This is particularly the case in the United States, where a broad coalition of evangelical, fundamentalist and other Christian groups are loosely united in their purpose of imposing Biblical ethics and morality on what they perceive as a fallen, godless nation.
See also ‘theonomy’
Theonomy (from the greek ‘theos,’ god, and ‘nomos,’ law) is more or less interchangeable with theocracy. Theonomy specifically refers to law, whereas theocracy refers to government, so proponents will be quick to cry foul if they are interchanged. In reality, it’s a sort of evasion used by (among others) R.J. Rushdoony to dodge criticism claiming he’s a theocrat.
Wagner, Peter C.
Wagner is the major organizer and thinker behind the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation). He was the ‘convening apostle’ presiding over the International Coalition of Apostles, and more recently was the mastermind behind Rick Perry’s Response prayer rally during the last election. Wagner has impacted similar apostolic networks around the globe with his unique concept of “Spiritual Warfare,” a three-level process by which demons and powers of darkness can be defeated. Wagner served as a missionary in Bolivia under several evangelical missionary entities and taught for 30 years as “Professor of Church Growth” at the Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of World Missions until 2001. He was the president of Global Harvest Ministries from 1993 to 2011 and until his death in late 2016 was the chancellor emeritus of Wagner Leadership Institute, which serves to train leaders in the NAR. He was also the vice president of Global Spheres, Inc., yet another umbrella corporation that encompasses Global Harvest Ministries among others. Among Wagner’s claims about demonic activity is his allegation that the Japanese stock market decline was retribution from God because the Emperor of Japan had sex with a demon sun-goddess. Some of his followers, including Ana Mendez ( allegedly a reformed voodoo priestess), reportedly battled the Queen of Heaven, a major demonic power, in her ‘palace’ atop Mt. Everest, a battle which resulted in, among other effects, the deaths of Mother Teresa and Lady Diana.
Weyrich, Paul
Weyrich was the founder of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council which provides boiler-plate bills, drafted by an exclusive group of far-right conservative leaders and corporate interests to state-level legislators who then put them into play as-is. Weyrich is widely regarded as the “founding father of the conservative movement.” In addition to ALEC, he co-founded the Heritage Foundation, Moral Majority, Council for National Policy, and Free Congress Foundation, among others. Speaking more than 30 years ago at a right-wing conference in Dallas, Weyrich set out the case for voter suppression: “I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.” Though Weyrich died in 2008, the right-wing and GOP are still acting on this mandate to gain Christian control of government to this day.