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Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Saturday, September 30, 2006

DeVos Contributed to Dominionists...

...Except I think it was a different DeVos. As linked by , the irascibly analytical frontman for the , Rolling Stone has an article that states:

...The godfather of the Dominionists is D. James Kennedy [link added], the most influential evangelical you've never heard of...

...While the dominionists rely on grass-roots activists to fight their battles, they are backed by some of America's richest entrepreneurs. Amway founder Rich DeVos, a Kennedy ally who's the leading Republican contender for governor of Michigan, has tossed more than $5 million into the collection plate...

The thing is, there are two Richard Devos's. The older one goes by "Rich DeVos;" his son goes by "Dick DeVos."

So I think Rolling Stone got it wrong. I guess I cannot be sure, since it is possible that the Rich-Dick distinction has led to confusion more than once. The DeVos who contributed to the Dominionists probably was the older one, whereas it is the younger one who is running for governor of Michigan.

Why is this important? Dominionists openly advocate for a theocratic government in the United States. D. James Kennedy, in particular, is quoted as having said:

  • "Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution of human society."[7]
  • "The Christian community has a golden opportunity to train an army of dedicated teachers who can invade the public school classrooms and use them to influence the nation for Christ."[8]

It would be highly alarming to have a supporter of such a person running for a high government office. Of course, it is only slightly less alarming to have his son running for office. Although I appreciate every opportunity to cast aspersions on Dick DeVos, I think it is better to be clear about who has done what. We already know about Dick's desire to push Intelligent Design/Creationism in the classroom, so it is likely that he shares some of the Dominionist values. But I cannot say that he would go so far as to support Christian Reconstructionism.

Fortunately, we do not need a direct connection to Dominionists in order to disparage Dick DeVos. According to the Macomb Daily News:

...DeVos repeatedly points to his business experience, and says he will use that knowledge to run state government like a business...

But what kind of business does he run? As described in the Wikipedia article about him:

In 2000, DeVos oversaw a corporate restructuring that created Alticor, the new parent company of predecessor Amway, as well as subsidiary companies Access Business Group, and Quixtar. Under DeVos, Alticor expanded operations to more than 50 countries and territories on six continents. Over 1,300 Michigan workers were put out of work during this restructuring. Although more then 400 of these jobs were from buy outs and early retirement.[3] Amway was sanctioned in a 1979 ruling, although Amway has not been charged by the Federal Trade Commission for pyramid scheme violations.[4] However, the FTC now requires that Amway and Quixtar publish an SA4400, which reveals that more than 99% of all distributors lose money each year. [5]

It is one of those businesses where literally all the profit goes to the top 1%. Everyone else gets the shaft. Our government is already moving in that direction. We hardly need to encourage them.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |


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