RSA warns Senate committee about Christian dominionist movements

Si Gladman / 16 April 2024

The Rationalist Society of Australia has told a Senate inquiry into right-wing extremism that Christian dominionist movements that support the Seven Mountains Mandate are a threat to Australian democracy, and separation of church and state.

In a submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee’s inquiry into ‘Right-wing extremist movements in Australia’, the RSA says Australians have been alarmed by media reports in recent years of dominionist movements seeking to infiltrate major parties and advance the Seven Mountains Mandate.

Under that strategy, extreme dominionists seek to control – or “take dominion” – of the key spheres of society, including government, the media, and business.  

Read the full submission here.

“We are concerned about the more extreme forms of dominionism and their potential threat to the separation of church and state, and to Australia’s pluralistic democracy,” the submission says.

“Based on media reporting in recent years, there is sufficient evidence to suggest such right-wing Christian movements are active and are having success in some instances at different levels of Australian politics and governance.”

The RSA also alerted the committee to the research work of Chrys Stevenson, who has revealed an “unholy alliance” between Christian dominionists and a league of wealthy international network of right-wing think tanks under the umbrella of the Atlas Network.

At the Secularism Australia Conference in December last year, Stevenson warned that Australians who care about separation of church and state, and democracy, should start taking this alliance of dominionist Christians, Christian nationalism and libertarian think-tanks “deadly seriously”.

The RSA’s submission says there are legitimate grounds for concern that dominionists in the US and Australia will be emboldened if Donald Trump returns to the presidency later this year. 

“American community groups that support separation of church and state, and that protect pluralistic democracy, have for some time been sounding the alarm bells about the rise of the Christian Right in the Republican Party and the threat that Christian nationalism – the notion that America is a nation by and for Christians alone – poses to American democracy and religious freedom,” the submission says.

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Si Gladman is the Campaigns & Communications Coordinator for the Rationalist Society of Australia. He also hosts ‘The Secular Agenda’ podcast.

Image: Tyler Merbler (Flickr CC)

All the more reason.