Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism by Michelle Goldberg, (2006)
To start, I begin with the quote from the conclusion titled Exiles in Jesusland:
History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a FREE CIVIL GOVERNMENT. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes. –Thomas Jefferson
This is a really excellent book. Well worth buying and reading and rereading because the depth of her discussion and naming names is so complete. Well written so it is easy to follow the arguments she makes and an appreciation for the connections between people and events.
Page 180 at the end of the book, sets out the reason for anxiety:
It’s one thing to have a government that shows contempt for civil liberties; America has survived such men before. It’s quite another to HAVE A MASS MOVEMENT — the largest and most powerful mass movement in the nation — rise up in OPPOSITION to the RIGHTS of its fellow citizens. The Constitution protects minorities, but that protection is not absolute, with a sufficiently sympathetic or apathetic majority, a tightly organized faction can get around it.
Continue reading Kingdom Coming by Michelle Goldberg
Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible’s Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway by Frank Schaefer(2011)
I listened to most of this on CD so don’t have hard copy to illustrate how truly bizarre the author’s mother was in particular. It was interesting, even amusing in parts, but kind of tiresome after a certain point, so when it came due at the library I did not renew or seek out the hard copy.
Continue reading Sex, Mom, and God by Frank Schaeffer
American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America
“Dr. James Luther Adams, my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, told us that when we were his age–he was then close to 80–we would all be fighting the ‘Christian Fascists.’ The warning, given to me nearly 25 years ago, came at the moment Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists began speaking about a new political religion that would direct its efforts at taking control of all institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government. Its stated goal was to use the United States to create a global Christian empire. It was hard, at the time, to take such fantastic rhetoric seriously, especially given the buffoonish quality of the leaders in the Christian Right who expounded it. But Adams warned us against the blindness caused by intellectual snobbery. The Nazis, he said, were not going to return with swastikas and brown shirts. Their ideological inheritors in America had found a mask for fascism in patriotism and the pages of the Bible.”
American Taliban: How war, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right. The author is the founder of Daily Kos.
“Totalitarianism for Christ” is the phrase by Jeff Sharlet (NPR) he uses in the book that I think does capture the factual basis of why the right is a serious threat to democracy.
“Fact is, progressives hate the Taliban and other Islamic fundamentalists precisely for the same reason we hate rabid conservatives at home: their fear of change, their contempt for nontraditional lifestyles, their mania for militaristic solutions, and their fascistic efforts to impose their narrow worldview on the rest of society.” [intro p x]
Continue reading American Taliban by Markos Moulitsas