Book Review

I recently interviewed an author on my program on Sirius who has written a book I advise everyone to read.
The book is Kingdom Coming, The Rise of Christian Nationalism by Michelle Goldberg., published by Norton.
Ms. Goldberg is a professional journalist who has worked for years for Salon.com and traveled the country extensively covering various cultural and political phenomena (She has also covered the Middle East).

Her book is about the vast, interlocking network of aggressive Christian/Evangelical organizations, publications, “scientific” foundations, MegaChurches, and lobbying groups whose central goal is to make The USA a Christian Country (all others need not apply or can take a walk?if they have time to pack when it all comes down).

These evangelicals, who are truly the base upon which Bush builds his elections and who influence his personal worldview are not a merely a FRINGE group of loons who believe in Creationism (“Intelligent Design”), who hate the idea of women’s rights, free speech, freedom of religion, gays, etc. In fact, they form the basis (thirty to forty million strong at least) of a well-organized, political savvy movement to literally take over the government of the individual states and the federal government itself.

With Bush in charge, they have already received billions of dollars of federal money through his office of “Faith-based” Initiatives. And they hold commissionerships on all sorts of federal agencies that control our lives and our tax money in every way imaginable. Many of these “Christians” are Senators and Representatives who are deadly serious about their deranged and bigoted beliefs.
I put Christians in quotes here, because any person who believes in war, bigotry and tax-breaks for the rich is no real Christian.

The book is extremely well researched and very well written?with hundreds of personal profiles of the leaders of this movement and descriptions of organizations in this vast network. And Ms. Goldberg provides many examples of exactly how these people operate.

One example that should scare the living daylights out of all of us:
A woman who worked at The Salvation Army in New York City?very high up in the organization’s Social Services division (with 800 staff working under her)?was forced out of her job because she was Jewish.
This is no fiction?its fact?and it is clearly and immediately reminiscent of the ways in which Nazi Germany began the “cleansing” of its country.
The Salvation Army, which has always received federal aid, took advantage of an executive order by Bush which protects organizations who conduct such witch hunts, and brought in an outside advisor. This advisor immediately went around the New York headquarters asking who was gay, who might be Jewish, etc., and requiring the staff to fill out a form on which they had to list which church they attended?among other things.
When the woman in question, Ann Lowndes, refused to sign the form and told her staff not to cooperate, she was pressured so relentlessly that she eventually had to leave her job. She and more than a dozen staff members are now suing The Salvation Army?and, by metaphorical extension at least?the federal government.

This is one of hundreds of examples of the behavior that has been going on in agencies throughout the country during Bush’s tenure;
pharmacists who identify themselves as Christians have refused to fill out prescriptions for birth control pills; agencies receiving government money have combined addiction services with daily Christian prayer meetings, etc.

The book is a scary, in-depth tour through this world; which, if these people have their way, will become our world, whether we like it or not.
Its pure fascism, not matter how they attempt to cloak it.

There is a chapter at the end of the book, advising in detail how these crazy, bigots can be opposed.
If they aren’t, those of us who are not Evangelical Christians or any sort of Christian, won’t have a country to call our own?and the Kingdom is not coming later?its on its way right now.

The book, again, is: Kingdom Coming, The Rise of Christian Nationalism, by Michelle Goldberg; published by Norton.

– Mike Feder (New York City – June 24, 2006)

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