The DC 40 Initiative seeks "to change the atmosphere over the city of Washington D.C. through our worship, preparing the way for our legislators to function on a different playing field as we release 40 days of light over the city". Off-hand, this does not sound all that threatening. For the more naive it could be dismissed as a bunch of people gathering to pray for the good of the country. It could be easily dismissed as a bunch of kooks gathering in various states to pray at people. After all, by-and-large, that's what the movement is. What's the threat of a bunch of small-sect Christians gathering to pray in the states' capitals? What could be threatening with Christians seeking to influence their elected representatives through prayer and religious exaltations?
It would not be half so threatening if members of such movements, including this one, did not hold the ears of many prominent politicians. It would not be half so threatening if Christianity did not so often form a silent litmus test for office. It would not be half so threatening if such movements fell on deaf ears, or were only heard by a minority of our elected representatives. Such is not the case. The threat of these movements are the momentum they're building behind themselves to generate the changes they seek. The threat of this movement is in the final ends it seeks, even if its ways of getting there seems hokey or foolish to outsiders. What starts as prayer meetings and prophets in small churches, prophesying from their God that "This is the year of the signet ring; during this season God has raised up warriors. You have great authority!" (1) can and has become, in short order, a rallying cry to change the nation into a theocracy.
The primary progenitor of this movement is Prepare the Way Ministries, the Reformation Prayer Network led by Cindy Jacobs, and the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network led by John Benefiel. Any cursory look at the Prepare the Way Ministries' website will reveal many interesting insights into what the end-goal seems to be of this Initiative and its members. From the triumphalist imagery of a roaring lion above the Capitol, a cross covering the Statue of Freedom (2), the symbols these Christians use is clear: the usurpation of our nation's Freedom for their Cross. One of the three prayers of the Prepare the Way Ministries' website directly states the following: that "Our assignment at Prepare the Way is the Heart of America", that they will "bathe their strategy sessions and policy choices with intercession, praying the wheels off of any anti-Christ agenda and asking God for anointed thoughts and ideas to manifest."(3) and "Let us pray that this group of men and women will govern beyond themselves. May a spirit of righteousness reformation overtake them."(4) The reformation that they seek is explained by Dr. Marlene McMillan, one of their supporters:
The Bible is the first book of law, government, history, economics and education. We need THE GOSPEL; the HEALING of the brokenhearted, the proclamation of LIBERTY to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and the bound set FREE. We need You.
This is NOT about keeping the status quo. It’s NOT about saving the economy, electing a new leader or having a religious experience. It’s NOT Sunday morning churchianity, it’s a lifestyle. It’s about being transformed into the image of the Son.
It’s about returning to YAHWEH. The prodigals are coming home. (5)
They do not seek cohabitation; they seek others' submission. They do not seek respect; they expect conversion. They do not seek compromise; they seek their Will imposed on the world around them. They see anyone outside of their spiritual locus as captives. They see anyone not of their way as blind. They see anyone not of their way as brokenhearted. They may be a minority in this nation, but they are loud, and well-heard by the politicians who seek their vote. As C. Peter Wagner, of Global Harvest Ministries has written,
Religion, Family, Education, Media, Arts and Entertainment, Government, Business. If we are to see sustained social transformation, each one of these cultural molders must be changed simultaneously. We must have Kingdom minded and Kingdom motivated leaders at the top of each mountain.(6)
Although he claims he is not directly involved with the DC 40 Initiative, he has said to NPR that:
I must say that both John Benefiel and Cindy Jacobs are very close to me. They're both aligned apostolically with me, so I am part of what they do and they're part of what I do. I have not been part of the development of these 40 Days Over D.C., but because I'm so close to Cindy and John, I have given my tacit affirmation to what they're doing, and I still do that.(7)
They do not simply seek control of the government, they seek nothing less than total domination over the major facets of American as well as other societies. They seek to bend indigenous peoples, Pagans, Heathens and other minority faiths to their Will, to wipe out their cultures and subvert whoever they can to their religion. Dominionism is not just some catchy buzzword, it is a description of their entire philosophy. This is why I stand with the Turtle Island Initiative. This is why, as a shaman, and a Pagan priest, I cannot be silent about this.
They make war upon us as people, and they make war upon our Gods and spirits that we hold dear. Whether or not we ask for a war, we have one. Whether or not we would like to deal with this threat, they are doing everything in their power each and every day to deal with us. We need to bring our courage to face them, to present others the truth about them: these are people who would take our rights and in their place give us an edict that we must all follow their way. They do not want to live in harmony, but as masters. Our Gods, and our spirits are threats to them. They seek to 'cast them out', to exorcise them from the land. Even the land spirits, the landvaettir, they seek to cast out. They view people of indigenous cultures, minority religions, and atheists as the enemy.
We need do nothing more than exist for them to see us and treat us as enemies. We need raise no voice, no hand, no spell, no cry to our Gods or spirits, no message of solidarity against them. We exist, and we believe differently from them, and that is enough. So I invite each and every person of good will who believes in rights of those who follow religion and those who do not alike, in the rights of indigenous people to follow their cultures, religions and pathways, in the rights of people to follow their faith, in the right to one's gender and expression of that gender, for people to love and marry who they will: Stand up and make your voice heard, or pass this along, or do your part to be sure your rights and your person are kept safe.
1 Prepare the Way Ministries, International . (2011). Prophetic insight. Retrieved from http://www.ptwministries.com/prophetic/5769-2009.htm
2The statue of freedom. Architect of the Capitol, 2011. Prayer. Retrieved from http://www.aoc.gov/cc/art/freedom.cfm
3Prepare the Way Ministries, International. (2011). Prayer. Retrieved from http://www.ptwministries.com/teaching/prayer_9.htm
4Prepare the Way Ministries, International. (2011). Retrieved from <http://www.ptwministries.com/teaching/prayer_9.htm> 10-10-2011.
5 Centruth. Declaration of dependence. (2011). Prayer. Retrieved from
6Prepare the Way Ministries, International . (2011). Prophetic insight. Retrieved from http://www.ptwministries.com/prophetic/5769-2009.htm
7Gross, T. (Interviewer) & Wagner, P. (Interviewee). (2011). A leading figure in the new apostolic reformation. [Interview transcript highlights] . Retrieved from NPR.org Fresh Air Website: http://www.npr.org/2011/10/03/140946482/apostolic-leader-weighs-religions-role-in-politics