Alarming Report Warns Of ‘Greatest Threat To American Democracy You’ve By no means Heard Of’

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A rising Christian supremacist motion that labels its perceived enemies as “demonic” and enjoys shut ties to main Republican figures is “the greatest threat to American democracy you’ve never heard of,” in accordance with a brand new report from the Southern Poverty Legislation Heart.

The SPLC, a civil rights group that screens extremist teams, launched its “Year In Hate And Extremism 2023” report on Tuesday. A good portion of the report, which tracked burgeoning anti-democratic and neo-fascist actions and actors throughout America, is devoted to the New Apostolic Reformation, “a new and powerful Christian supremacy movement that is attempting to transform culture and politics in the U.S. and countries across the world into a grim authoritarianism.”

Rising out of the charismatic evangelical custom, the NAR adheres to a type of Christian dominionism, which means its parishioners consider it’s their divine responsibility to grab management of each political and cultural establishment in America, remodeling them in accordance with a fundamentalist interpretation of scripture.

NAR adherents additionally consider within the existence of modern-day “apostles” and “prophets” — church leaders endowed by God with supernatural talents, together with the facility to heal. In 2022, a handful of those “apostles,” the report notes, issued what they referred to as the Watchman Decree, an anti-democratic doc envisioning the tip of a pluralistic society in America.

The apostles claimed they’d been given “legal power and authority from Heaven” and are “God’s ambassadors and spokespeople over the earth,” who “are equipped and delegated by Him to destroy every attempted advance of the enemy.”

And who’s the enemy? Principally anybody who doesn’t adhere to NAR beliefs. NAR adherents see their critics as being actually managed by the satan.

“There are claims that whole neighborhoods, cities, even nations are under the sway of the demonic,” the report states. “Other religions, such as Islam, are also said to be demonically influenced. One cannot compromise with evil, and so if Democrats, liberals, LGBTQ+ people, and others are seen as demonic, political compromise — the heart of democratic life — becomes difficult if not impossible.”

This rhetoric has turn into more and more widespread amongst Republican lawmakers, together with former President Donald Trump, who final yr referred to Marxists and atheists as “evil demonic forces that want to destroy our country.”

That Trump would use NAR-inspired rhetoric is unsurprising contemplating his relationship with Paula White-Cain, an NAR determine who delivered the invocation at Trump’s inauguration in 2017 and on the kickoff of his 2020 reelection marketing campaign, as famous by Paul Rosenberg in Salon. White-Cain additionally delivered the invocation at Trump’s Jan. 6, 2021, “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C. — the occasion that finally grew to become the revolt on the Capitol.

The assault on the Capitol was largely impressed, the report suggests, by NAR’s theology of dominionism. “NAR prayer groups were mobilized at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as well as supporting prayer teams all over the country, to exorcise the demonic influence over the Capitol that adherents said was keeping Trump from his rightful, prophesized second term,” the report states.

Main Republican figures took half in such occasions on or across the day of the assault. Mike Johnson, who’s now the speaker of the Home, joined the NAR’s “Global Prayer for Election Integrity,” which referred to as for Trump’s reinstatement as president, within the weeks main as much as the assault on the Capitol. Johnson has additionally said that Jim Garlow, an NAR chief, has had a “profound influence” on his life.

Home Speaker Mike Johnson has ties to the extremist New Apostolic Reformation motion.

Finally, the SPLC report is an try to ring the alarm bells in regards to the NAR, ”the best risk to U.S. democracy that you’ve got by no means heard of.

“It is already a powerful, wealthy and influential movement and composes a highly influential block of one of the two main political parties in the country,” the report continues. “So few people have heard of NAR that it is possible that, without resistance in our local communities, dominionism might win without ever having been truly opposed.”

The SPLC’s report, in accordance with a press launch, additionally paperwork 595 hate teams and 835 antigovernment extremist teams in America, “including a growing wave of white nationalism increasingly motivated by theocratic beliefs and conspiracy theories.”

“With a historic election just months away, this year, more than any other, we must act to preserve our democracy,” Margaret Huang, president and CEO of the Southern Poverty Legislation Heart and SPLC Motion Fund, stated in a press release. “That will require us to directly address the danger of hate and extremism from our schools to our statehouses. Our report exposes these far-right extremists and serves as a tool for advocates and communities working to counter disinformation, false conspiracies and threats to voters and election workers.”

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