You Gotta Read This From Barbara Forrest

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.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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24 responses to “You Gotta Read This From Barbara Forrest

  1. If there were a god, why would he need the help of these ignorant people?

  2. “And we already know that the Democrats are a pack of deranged socialists.”
    Sorry, dear SC, I don’t feel like biting in this bait today.

  3. Holding the Line In Florida

    Gee, you just know figuring out what the Republicans are all about? I always gave you more credit than that!

  4. docbill1351

    The Dominionists have nothing to do with religion, other than using it as a cloak to mask their true intentions: authoritarianism. You can’t find a coherent thread of “theology” through any of that dominionist nonsense. What you end up with in government is what we have right now – a bunch of self-serving, incompetent knuckleheads that will get nothing done except for themselves. It’s a government based on We Say So. Boss Hogg on a large scale.

    For example, all the Trump administration has been able to do is tear things apart and knock things over. They haven’t “built” a single thing if you exclude giving a trillion dollars to their friends. What did Jindal do for Louisiana besides ruin the economy? Nothing. What did Brownback do besides wreck Kansas’ economy? Nothing. What are Abbott, Patrick and Paxton doing here in Texas? Nothing, except push legislation that will legalize discrimination, deprive women and the poor of healthcare, and cut checks for their friends. Why? Because in addition to being actually incompetent, possibly stupid, and simply unable to write legislation to tackle real issues like water management, transportation, economic growth and education, they are mean-spirited, too, and take almost sexual pleasure in bashing the weak. They’ll never go after an oil executive, but they’ll try to deport his housekeeper.

    No, don’t be distracted by the so-called religion. The only way these crooks, criminals and grifters get a pass is because as a society we have been raised to be deferential to religious beliefs. Once we stop doing that it’s Game Over for the dominionists.

    In Texas, a discrimination bill is going through the legislature based on “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Why? Because you’d be hard pressed to identify the actual doctrine of a church (Methodists, Episcopalians, Baptists, Catholics, Lutherians) that actually says “go forth and discriminate against those not of your own kind.” Therefore, all you have to do is Cry like Swaggart and you can keep your store straight and white. No problem-o!

  5. Michael Fugate

    Good to see their understanding of economics is on the level of their understanding of science, philosophy and religion.

  6. “If there were a god, why would he need the help of these ignorant people?”

    Because *all* gawds are so weak that they require that their followers do all of the actual dirty work and those gawds always needs lots of money for this to happen. Miracles have gotten extremely thin on the ground as knowledge progresses, but true believers never seem to be able to acknowledge this.

  7. docbill — that is a great comment. “god” help us if they ever get competent.

  8. Michael Fugate

    One does wonder if they do take over the government, will taxes suddenly become a good thing rather than a bad thing?

  9. @Michael Fugate
    It’s like guvment spending. Or like Intelligent Design versus Original Sin.

  10. docbill1351

    “One does wonder if they do take over the government, will taxes suddenly become a good thing rather than a bad thing?”

    All you have to do is look at the top of the evangelical food chain to see what it will be like: Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar and the other grifters.

    They all live in mansions, fly private jets and enjoy the high life (basically) tax free. Osteen would take the allowance from a child if he could get his sticky fingers on it. If their congregation of sheeple said “Baaaaaaaah humbug!” and left the pasture, these guys would be done, through, cooked, out … of … business.

    Now imagine Governor Osteen who could levy taxes whether you were a sheep or not, and there is the theocracy model. Nothing to do with theo, everything to do with cracy.

  11. “One does wonder if they do take over the government, will taxes suddenly become a good thing rather than a bad thing?”

    They just call it something else, like a “tariff” which is a 25% tax levied on American manufacturers for the steel and aluminum they have to buy.

  12. @MichaelF: “Good to see their understanding of economics is on the level of their understanding of science, philosophy and religion.”
    Unfortunately our dear SC’s of socialism is on the very same level (yup, after a pretty good sleep I do feel like). Do you know who according to his definition also were deranged socialists? President Eisenhower and his gang.

    https://www.gocomics.com/tomthedancingbug/2019/03/15

  13. SC, sorry, I don’t believe this is the first time you’ve heard about Repubs wanting Jesus to run the country. Not sure what you think you’re accomplishing by feigning surprise.

  14. I’m not surprised, Matt. I’ve been posting about the problem for years. But I’ve always upset many readers by assuming the socialists are worse. See, e.g.: Creationism or Socialism: Which is Dumber?

  15. SC, if you’re not surprised then why’d you write “this is the first we’ve heard that accusation”? So confused.

  16. Matt, I hadn’t seen the accusation that Republicans are Dominationists. Creationists, fundies, family values addicts, etc., sure. All the time. But not Dominationists.

  17. Michael Fugate

    Great comic Frank B.

  18. Retired Prof

    docbill1351 calls attention to the vice of top evangelical preachers, who “all live in mansions, fly private jets and enjoy the high life (basically) tax free.”

    Since these guys divert money that is supposed to belong to God and appropriate it for themselves, I will not contribute to them. To make sure my tithes go directly to God, I practice a ritual that has long been observed by religious people all over the world: burnt offering.

    I write a check for ten percent of my income, place it on an altar, set it afire, and watch the flame and smoke ascend toward heaven. To make sure God notices, I smear it with beef or mutton fat. The aroma of roasting flesh is reputed to lure almost any god.

  19. Michael Fugate

    This is great – we hate socialism unless the government is giving us money then its not socialism…
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/08/wall-street-socialism-jpmorgan-jamie-dimon-bailout

  20. docbill1351

    @RP “To make sure my tithes go directly to God, I practice a ritual that has long been observed by religious people all over the world: anointing with oil.”

    I repeat this ritual three times. Prepare a nice Gin and Tonic. (The Botanist and Fever Tree Refereshingly Light) Smash a fresh juniper berry. Drop it in my drink. Wipe my finger on my forehead. Drink the G&T while contemplating the Universe.

    Following the third G&T, open up the Sensuous Curmudgeon and post something inane. Now y’all know my secret.

  21. Publisher of the Bayou Brief here. Thanks for sharing Dr. Forrest’s column. FWIW, my former publication was CenLamar, and you shared a bunch of my reporting on the Louisiana Science Education Act.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

    – Lamar

    PS: Zack Kopplin is on the masthead of the Bayou Brief; he is one of our contributing editors.

  22. Thanks for dropping in, Lamar White, Jr. Give my regards to Zack and Barbara.

  23. SC, I’m trying to make a serious point but you keep writing “Dominationists”. Are you joking or are you just bad at spelling “Dominionists”?

  24. Techreseller

    Zetopan. Winner of the blog posts for his chart. I sent the chart to my sons and my brother. Love it.