We haven’t heard from Barbara Forrest for a while. From Wikipedia’s writeup on her, she’s a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana, a critic of intelligent design and the Discovery Institute, a director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), and she was a key expert witness for the plaintiffs (the good guys) in the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial.
Barbara has been a big favorite of ours, but the craziness in Louisiana seemed to calm down and so did her blog. One of the last times we wrote about her was six years ago — see Barbara Forrest Eviscerates Casey. Today she’s back in the news.
We just found this at the website of something called Bayou Brief. Their headline is Gimme that Ol’ Time Dominionism: How Gene Mills Is Using Democracy to Make Louisiana a Theocracy, and it was written by Barbara. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
Theogene Anthony “Gene” Mills III, president and director of the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF), which he co-founded in 1998 with Tony Perkins, is a devoted husband and father, an ordained Pentecostal Assemblies of God minister, a legislative lobbyist, and a Christian dominionist who, working with former governor Bobby Jindal, turned Louisiana into a de facto theocracy from 2008 until 2016. Mills has also cultivated relationships with elected officials and other figures at the national level – all with the goal of helping the Christian Right take control of every aspect of American life.
You may remember that back in 2008, Mills was very influential in passing the infamous Louisiana Science Education Act (the LSEA). Louisiana was the first state to enact — almost unanimously — a version of the Discovery Institute’s anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act (about which see the Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws). Since then, only Tennessee has adopted a similar law. Barbara says:
Mills’ religious beliefs are the backbone of his theocratic strategy, which began a decade before Jindal took office and continues even now that Jindal’s administration is (fortunately) history. Using the mechanisms of democratic government, Mills has made our state an incubator for political strategies designed ultimately to transform the United States into a dominionist theocracy, making Louisiana a cautionary tale not only for its own citizens but for the rest of the country. His targets have been varied, including public school science education and science itself, which are the central examples of the strategy explained here. First, however, readers must understand what dominionism is.
She then devotes several paragraphs to describing dominionism. It’s bad! We know you’re going to read the whole article, so we’ll skip to the end. Barbara tells us:
Louisianans who value true religious freedom and sound public policy must take Mills’ dominionism seriously. It is not a threat that is coming down the road but a strategy that he and his allies have executed in Louisiana for two decades. Moreover, with the current White House administration, dominionists such as Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo are now running the country, while Louisiana dominionists are helping to shape national policy.
Meanwhile, back in Louisiana, Mills believes that “God could reach the world from right here in Louisiana with resources at our disposal, if we can figure out that that’s precisely what He put us here to do.” He is working non-stop to make Louisiana the center of God’s kingdom in the United States.
So there you are. Is the Republican party a bunch of Dominationists? This is the first we heard of that accusation, but Barbara knows what she’s talking about. And we already know that the Democrats are a pack of deranged socialists. Things are looking bleak, and that’s why we’re a Curmudgeon.
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