Gingrich Faith Leader Wants to ‘Infect’ One Million Young Americans
Dutch Sheets is a major leader in the movement coalescing within born-again charismatic Christianity known as the New Apostolic Reformation. The NAR is the dominant tendency in Gingrich’s Faith Leaders Coalition. The New Apostolic Reformation was covered in two full WHYY NPR Fresh Air segments, hosted by Terry Gross, aired in August and October 2011.
The NAR’s sprawling national and state-level prayer networks serve as hubs for political organizing, and while NAR doctrine is heavily infused with the need to combat demons, the movement also advances a radical form of theocratic libertarianism. NAR leaders are currently distributing, in California, prayer guides that attack unions.
NAR politics skews toward the Tea Party spectrum, and is infused with paranoid anti-communist conspiracy theory. One of the NAR political ventures, the Oak Initiative, has promoted the claim that the Obama Administration’s health care reform legislation contained a provision for the creation of a left-wing constabulary force like the Nazi brownshirts. The Oak Initiative (see link, above) heavily demonizes Islam.
While the other NAR-associated leaders in the Gingrich Faith Coalition - notably George Barna and Jim Garlow - (Barna especially) have crafted lower-key public personas, Dutch Sheets is a firebrand within the NAR movement who serves as a “spiritual father” to one of the most virulently antigay pastors associated with the NAR, Damon Thompson, and has touted a form of faith healing in which pastors physically assault, onstage, advanced-stage cancer patients. Sheets also maintains that Barack Obama is a Muslim.
Notable aspects of the NAR teaching include the doctrine that believers should destroy or neutralize, by burning, smashing, or flushing down toilets, objects deemed to be unholy, including profane books and “idolatrous” religious texts (such as Books of Mormon), religious relics (such as statues of Catholic saints, the Buddha, or Hindu gods), and native art (such as African masks, Hopi Indian Kachina dolls, and totem poles.)