Editor’s note: This article was submitted to the Vallejo Times Herald by the authors over two weeks ago. They have apparently chosen not to run it.
By Susan George and Matthew Finkelstein
It’s probably already at your door. A door hanger…with a little blue butterfly on it exhorting you to adopt your street in prayer and transform Vallejo. It seems innocuous enough, soothing in color; but there is more there than you might realize hidden behind a call to prayer. It is a carefully wrapped message with a festering kernel of hate. The proposed effort to adopt every street in prayer might seem amicable or even laudable, but it is in fact the use of the sacred to mask an agenda comprised of hatred, bigotry and homophobia. It is a quest for control of our public institutions by infusing them with a specific brand of religiosity referred to as Dominionism.
“Transformation Vallejo” is the calling card of Ed Silvoso of Harvest Evangelism. Silvoso has been well noted on these pages and nationally as a figure who uses his ministry to “expel gay demons” and has been solidly linked to the “kill the gays” legislation in Uganda. Silvoso is also known to have connections with various leaders in the Vallejo Faith Community and has appeared in prayer on the steps of Vallejo City Hall with Mayor Osby Davis.
Dominionists hold the separation of church and state to be an obstacle to their specific interpretation of God’s mission. As a faith doctrine it embraces the concept of “marketplace ministry” and deifies the monetization of religion to fuel “spiritual warfare” with the goal of implementing religious control of public institutions such as government and education.
In Vallejo the effort to place Dominionist candidates in positions of influence within city hall and our schools is well underway. Pastor Anthony Summers, a well known and trusted affiliate of Ed Silvoso narrowly lost election to Vallejo City Council in our most recent race. Many of the same players connected to Summers, Silvoso and the “Vallejo Faith Organization” are present in the newly formed, Vallejo based Community Democratic Club. And while it would be unfair to claim that this is a purely Dominionist group, numerous direct adherents to Silvoso’s doctrine are already present along with members sympathetic to goals that run counter to separation of church and state and find the gay members of our community not deserving of the same human rights accorded the rest of us. Now that gay marriage is the law of the land, those who stand in opposition to this ruling are sure to seek means to undermine locally what they failed to block nationally.
The 2016 election season in Vallejo is right around the corner. Three City Council spots and the Mayor’s seat are up for grabs. Four seats represent a majority, and the ability to control the direction of our city government; a prize to tempt various competing interests and groups. The perennial tradition of political cronyism and low voter participation in Vallejo elections are fertile soil for fringe agendas and hidden platforms seeking to move into our local politics. Make no mistake. There will be candidates devoted to or sympathetic with Dominionist goals running for elected office in Vallejo in 2016.
In Vallejo’s last School Board election over twelve thousand votes were cast for Richard Porter, a candidate who had publicly withdrawn from the race. The clueless and uninformed are clearly a voting bloc to be reckoned with in Vallejo politics. Now you know more about the blue butterfly and what it stands for. Ignorance is no excuse.