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Michelle Goldberg, a senior political reporter for Salon.com, has been covering the intersection of politics and ideology for years. Before the 2004 election, and during the ensuing months when many Americans were trying to understand how an administration marked by cronyism, disregard for the national budget, and poorly disguised self-interest had been reinstated, Goldber Michelle Goldberg, a senior political reporter for Salon.com, has been covering the intersection of politics and ideology for years. Before the 2004 election, and during the ensuing months when many Americans were trying to understand how an administration marked by cronyism, disregard for the national budget, and poorly disguised self-interest had been reinstated, Goldberg traveled through the heartland of a country in the grips of a fevered religious radicalism: the America of our time. From the classroom to the mega-church to the federal court, she saw how the growing influence of dominionism-the doctrine that Christians have the right to rule nonbelievers-is threatening the foundations of democracy. In Kingdom Coming, Goldberg demonstrates how an increasingly bellicose fundamentalism is gaining traction throughout our national life, taking us on a tour of the parallel right-wing evangelical culture that is buoyed by Republican political patronage. Deep within the red zones of a divided America, we meet military retirees pledging to seize the nation in Christ's name, perfidious congressmen courting the confidence of neo-confederates and proponents of theocracy, and leaders of federally funded programs offering Jesus as the solution to the country's social problems. With her trenchant interviews and the telling testimonies of the people behind this movement, Goldberg gains access into the hearts and minds of citizens who are striving to remake the secular Republic bequeathed by our founders into a Christian nation run according to their interpretation of scripture. In her examination of the ever-widening divide between believers and nonbelievers, Goldberg illustrates the subversive effect of this conservative stranglehold nationwide. In an age when faith rather than reason is heralded and the values of the Enlightenment are threatened by a mystical nationalism claiming divine sanction, Kingdom Coming brings us face to face with the irrational forces that are remaking much of America.


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Michelle Goldberg, a senior political reporter for Salon.com, has been covering the intersection of politics and ideology for years. Before the 2004 election, and during the ensuing months when many Americans were trying to understand how an administration marked by cronyism, disregard for the national budget, and poorly disguised self-interest had been reinstated, Goldber Michelle Goldberg, a senior political reporter for Salon.com, has been covering the intersection of politics and ideology for years. Before the 2004 election, and during the ensuing months when many Americans were trying to understand how an administration marked by cronyism, disregard for the national budget, and poorly disguised self-interest had been reinstated, Goldberg traveled through the heartland of a country in the grips of a fevered religious radicalism: the America of our time. From the classroom to the mega-church to the federal court, she saw how the growing influence of dominionism-the doctrine that Christians have the right to rule nonbelievers-is threatening the foundations of democracy. In Kingdom Coming, Goldberg demonstrates how an increasingly bellicose fundamentalism is gaining traction throughout our national life, taking us on a tour of the parallel right-wing evangelical culture that is buoyed by Republican political patronage. Deep within the red zones of a divided America, we meet military retirees pledging to seize the nation in Christ's name, perfidious congressmen courting the confidence of neo-confederates and proponents of theocracy, and leaders of federally funded programs offering Jesus as the solution to the country's social problems. With her trenchant interviews and the telling testimonies of the people behind this movement, Goldberg gains access into the hearts and minds of citizens who are striving to remake the secular Republic bequeathed by our founders into a Christian nation run according to their interpretation of scripture. In her examination of the ever-widening divide between believers and nonbelievers, Goldberg illustrates the subversive effect of this conservative stranglehold nationwide. In an age when faith rather than reason is heralded and the values of the Enlightenment are threatened by a mystical nationalism claiming divine sanction, Kingdom Coming brings us face to face with the irrational forces that are remaking much of America.

30 review for Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism

  1. 4 out of 5

    BlackOxford

    The Apocalypse Is Nigh... No Really, It Is Sometime in 2009, I heard a radio broadcast from the US which claimed that the culture wars which had been bubbling up since the 1970’s were finally at a end. The commentator, whose name I have mercifully forgotten, opined that the recent financial crash had brought Americans back to their senses. The real political issues, he said, are and always have been economic. Only half listening, I did feel a sense of relief that perhaps indeed American politic The Apocalypse Is Nigh... No Really, It Is Sometime in 2009, I heard a radio broadcast from the US which claimed that the culture wars which had been bubbling up since the 1970’s were finally at a end. The commentator, whose name I have mercifully forgotten, opined that the recent financial crash had brought Americans back to their senses. The real political issues, he said, are and always have been economic. Only half listening, I did feel a sense of relief that perhaps indeed American politics were becoming, if not more rational, at least more comprehensible. How arrogantly ignorant was that commentator; and how utterly naive was I. Perhaps it was because a liberal, intelligent, engaging black man was in the White House. Perhaps it was because the fundamental problems of financial capitalism could finally be observed fully. Perhaps it was because the consummate stupidity of American involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan had yet to be fully revealed. But whatever the reasons, it was simply not possible to be any more wrong about what had happened, and what would continue to happen to American political sentiment. While the big news stories were about the usual raft of scandals in the Catholic Church, lies about military progress, and the search for someone to blame for recent economic misery, the real news lay largely unreported and even unnoticed. A coup had already taken place within American government, not in the palaces of the president or the governors (well, maybe a few of these), but in the school boards, county executives, local sheriffs and judges, and most importantly in the activists and delegates of the Republican Party. Somewhere around 40% of Americans identify as evangelical Christians, that is they believe in things like Creationism, the Second Coming, the eternal damnation of the unbaptised, and the sinfulness of many sexual practices. Many of these folk also regard the ills of society, from criminality to mental illness to bad government to be the result of the failure of Americans generally to respect and live up to what they perceive as the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And they desire to bring the country back to God through a re-Christianised law of the land. But it is a mistake to attribute the political fervour of Christian evangelicals to faith, just as it is a mistake to attribute the equal fervour of Muslim activists to faith. In the first instance, most enthusiastic religious followers have little idea of the content much less meaning of the doctrines on which their political interpretations are grounded. As in all of history, they rely on theological leaders - local pastors, media preachers, and activist acquaintances - to inform them of correct opinion. As the leadership changes, so orthodox opinion also changes, sometimes even the beliefs themselves (Mormon racism is but one example). Credal attestations are but passwords to community. The solidity of religious opinion in America depends overwhelmingly on one thing: community. Even before the country’s foundation, the church - initially the Congregational non-conformism of New England, then the Methodist and Baptist preachers of the expanding frontier - provided the principal social glue. Subsequently, the political structure of the country - states, counties, and municipalities that are independent of each other as well as of the national government relied almost exclusively on the churches to maintain whatever unity they had created across political boundaries. This has always been the case. The only recognised relationship, for example between the government of a state and that of the federal government or that of a county or municipality is through the law. The State of Florida recently lost an important suit against the state of Georgia about farmers in the latter killing off oyster beds in the Gulf. There was no other way to mediate the dispute. The small community of Cedar Key, Florida (population 724 in 2018, where I once had a summer cottage), on the other hand, has ten active church congregations. Each of these is part of a regional or national ecclesiastical organisation. Even the independent Pentecostal congregations (of which there are three), have long-standing direct ties with sImilar groups around the country, organising exchanges, youth camps, and revivals. It is the church which, whether recognised or not, has provided the social matrix of America as it has grown. In the 1960’s and 70’s it appeared as if this matrix was in political as well as religious decline. Liberal America, largely urban, largely educated, had devised a different form of communal organisation: the sit-in, the protest march, the mass rally. Churchmen like Martin Luther King and the Catholic Berrigan brothers were involved in these sorts of events, but as representatives of the church not in its name. When political goals were achieved - wars ended, racial prejudice outted, equality laws passed, and perceived wrongs made right - the organisations behind these events either evaporated (who remembers the SDS?) or just lost widespread support as representative of American society (the NAACP?). Meanwhile the churches embarked on a massive guerrilla war, largely below the radar of the Liberal establishment. They quietly (well not entirely, the television preachers are notably boisterous) encouraged increasing participation by their members in local politics. By the turn of the 21st century, a generation or so after the great Liberal triumphs, the evangelicals had taken over the Republican Party at every level. They had played the long game, and they won it. Unlike their Liberal rivals, they’re not going to disappear with their victories. They want more. And they have the traditionally most powerful tool of social cohesion and change in America to get what they want: the church. History is on the side of the church-going Right-wing in America. The Left has nothing like the grassroots network of the Christian Church. Liberal politicians continue to express hope that the electorate will wake up to the imbecility of Conservative politicians and their fundamentalist beliefs, that somehow Trump’s mendacity and obvious self-serving activities will undermine their faith. This hope is misdirected. The power of evangelical Christianity comes not from belief or faith but from its ability to create community. This has always been its primary role in America. Christianity has recovered from its mid-century setbacks with remarkable speed. As Goldberg points out: “This is Christianity as a total ideology.” Like all ideologies, this one appears vulnerable, incoherent, and often silly from the outside. But such perception misses the point. Christian ideologues, like every other sort, want friendship, emotional support, confirmation of their personal value, and a ‘place’ in society. They are needy, but now they are also powerful. They get their needs met not by abstract beliefs but by the very real people around them... even, most bizarrely, by Donald Trump. Goldberg doesn’t entirely get this despite her otherwise excellent rapportage. This gives her an inordinate hope for the future. I, on the other hand, am just listening attentively for the first trumpet to sound. Merry Christmas.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Losribeiros

    There are some excellent critical reviews of this book already. I want to share my first hand experience of the very culture Goldberg studied. Reading this book has been difficult to the point of flashback emotional panic because of how bone chilling the reminder of the fundamentalist goal is. Over a decade devoted to studying Christianity from the inside, of which five years were spent under Reformed/Reconstructionist Calvinist theology, four years at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University that "tr There are some excellent critical reviews of this book already. I want to share my first hand experience of the very culture Goldberg studied. Reading this book has been difficult to the point of flashback emotional panic because of how bone chilling the reminder of the fundamentalist goal is. Over a decade devoted to studying Christianity from the inside, of which five years were spent under Reformed/Reconstructionist Calvinist theology, four years at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University that "trains Champions for Christ," and a few years as a devout Republican and homeschooling parent, I can confirm with the utmost conviction, this book is dead on. DEAD ON. Interestingly, a good portion of those years I spent were during the same era that the author was researching her book, and reading it now, it's unnerving to realize that I was sucked into it while dominionism was peaking and decimating the pulpit from the top down. The effects of this doctrine are wide reaching--we see the effects beginning to hit Africa and Russia right in step with the infiltration of fundamentalist missionaries (criminalizing homosexuality and the "gay agenda") and the current 200-something attempts to legislate women's reproductive autonomy in America. Partnered with globalism, the true "New World Order" is the right-wing's attempt to keep their position of power elite while instituting Old Testament Biblical law into our nation from the states up. Zionism is to America what Communism was to Russia. Church teachings during my era included Zionism (pro-Israel), dominionist worldview, being "slaves" to Jesus, the evils of personal autonomy, purity culture for women, homeschooling, beating children or using other extreme penal measures to discipline, rearing a generation of "warriors for Christ" like the Duggers and the Michael Pearl family(quiverful), courting rituals (no dating), discrediting science and higher education, and a literal interpretation of the Bible. James Dobson, John McCarthur, Louie Giglio, John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Josh Harris and Ken Ham were at the "frontlines." To this day, I can measure where on the totem pole "new believers" are in their "walk" by who they are quoting. Once they know who Focus on the Family is, it's a lost battle unless something clicks and sets them free. An inside look at Liberty University, the largest conservative University in America with 75k graduates in 2013--the straw man enemies are pluralism, relativism, humanism and socialism, just as Goldberg claims. We were told by an emphatic young professor that youth break grammar rules while texting because of relativism. ("If there is no absolute right and wrong...") The commencement speech did not hide the agenda--the new trinity is guns, Jesus, and capitalism. Both the church and the university taught that Christians should develop a "Biblical" (ie: conservative fundamentalist) "worldview" in order to infiltrate the government and reclaim it for the Lord. I got a 36 on an assignment in which I argued that the government has no place to legislate adult consensual sex, although I used legal case precedent and my writing was perfectly technical. I was called a Jezebel when I provided in text citations on the Founding Fathers' actual words in context from the Library of Congress, when I dropped classes that had supplementary reading by Pat Robertson, when I used the Bible and texts on neuroscience, politics, logic and sociology to point that the Bible does not teach in absolutes, and when I proved how David Barton had been discredited by Christian scholars. I got a C in my "Foundations of Legal Studies" course because I constantly critiqued it's reconstructed American history by using American history with 40 years of political history to discredit the current trends and popular (politically influenced) doctrines of the church. I was asked why I was taking the class, why I was a student at Liberty, and I was discouraged from pursuing the paralegal major. I am actually incredibly thankful for my time at Liberty because it helped me connect the dots of politics and ideology in our nation. If the best teacher is your enemy, I made the most of my education by researching facts and refuting, which gave me a well-rounded education and ability to respond to those who speak in fundy. Thankfully, all the main textbooks were "secular." :) I graduated Liberty in staunch opposition to social conservatism and dominionism. I always suspected that there was a highly organized hierarchy that dictated what filtered down into the church just by observing how disconnected churches across the globe would suddenly be railing against the same purported enemy using the same exact argument. In summary, there is nothing in this book that I did not hear first hand from a pastor's teachings. Michelle Goldberg somehow manages to write with compassion and curiosity a book that is an accurate expose of the vile underbelly of Fundamentalist Christian culture for the sheep skin covered wolf it is. You can call her what you will. I will call her RIGHT ON.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lee Harmon

    Goldberg, a secular Jew, provides a hard-nosed look at the agendas and power of ultra-conservative Christian organizations in the United States. Goldberg calls this trend “Christian Nationalism,” after the openly-stated goal of many fundamentalist leaders to “take back America.” From, of course, the gays, the morally decadent (such as distributors of birth control), the Darwin-lovers, and the unpatriotic atheists who believe in separation of church and state. Goldberg comes on strong and occasion Goldberg, a secular Jew, provides a hard-nosed look at the agendas and power of ultra-conservative Christian organizations in the United States. Goldberg calls this trend “Christian Nationalism,” after the openly-stated goal of many fundamentalist leaders to “take back America.” From, of course, the gays, the morally decadent (such as distributors of birth control), the Darwin-lovers, and the unpatriotic atheists who believe in separation of church and state. Goldberg comes on strong and occasionally a bit sarcastic—for example, she bemoans the way Intelligent Design proponents have flaunted academic degrees to present their theories as “something more respectable than creationism in drag”—but her anti-fundamentalist rhetoric may not be overstated at all. Her research exposes the very real underground motives of the religious right, who feel bound by their beliefs to combat a spiritually bankrupt nation. There’s no greater motivation than the conviction that one is following God’s explicit orders. “Dominion theologians” nationwide take Genesis 1:26-28 (where God tells Adam to assume dominion of the world) as scriptural direction for Christians to assume control by divine right. The Christian duty is to seize it. Evangelists with crazed followings preach that the separation between religion and politics is “what Satan likes most,” and call for a regime that will clean up the “dung-eating dogs” (gays). Jews better repent, too, since the holocaust God planned didn’t seem to get through to them. But more dangerous than these extremists are the everyday right-wingers who are raised to carefully infiltrate government and the Judicial bench for the good of Christ, so that that our nation can be set right … so that we can quit handing out condoms, quit treating gays like they’re equals, quit pretending evolution is more scientific than creationism. Under President Bush’s lead, government grant money by the millions poured into these agendas. The back cover promises a “witty, funny” read, but I couldn’t laugh. Religion-gone-bad is jaw-droppingly frightening, and this is a hard book to put down. Goldberg calls for action. She explains that “the anxieties that underlay Christian nationalism’s appeal—fears about social breakdown, marital instability, and cultural decline—are real. They should be acknowledged and, whenever possible, addressed. But as long as the movement aims at the destruction of secular society and the political enforcement of its theology, it has to be battled, not comforted and appeased.”

  4. 5 out of 5

    Steve Wiggins

    There is a stack of books around me regarding the dangers of right-wing religion. None is scarier than Michelle Goldberg’s Kingdom Coming. I fear that many may dismiss it because it was written during the panic rational Americans experienced during the second Bush’s years. Things have grown worse, I’m afraid, in the present. You see, Christian Nationalism is a real thing. As I note on my blog (Sects and Violence in the Ancient World) it is well funded and highly organized. It has made amazing in There is a stack of books around me regarding the dangers of right-wing religion. None is scarier than Michelle Goldberg’s Kingdom Coming. I fear that many may dismiss it because it was written during the panic rational Americans experienced during the second Bush’s years. Things have grown worse, I’m afraid, in the present. You see, Christian Nationalism is a real thing. As I note on my blog (Sects and Violence in the Ancient World) it is well funded and highly organized. It has made amazing inroads in politics. So much so that no Republican candidate can thrive without their backing. Even more than when Goldberg wrote her book, they have influenced the way laws are made and upheld. And they are closely related too fascists. I don’t often castigate groups, even when I disagree with them. What Goldberg shows clearly (and I know from personal experience) is that the greatest weapon in their arsenal is falsehood. Ironic for a group that calls itself Christian, it is willing to lie long, hard, and often to get its way. They run stealth candidates. They claim to be what they’re not. And they run congress. They use taxpayers’ money to fund their causes. This is all documented, but it is largely ignored because nobody wants to take such extremists seriously. Having grown up around them, I know the stakes are very high. Goldberg does a good job providing the background to Christian Nationalism, and showing how orchestrated the movement is. She also has chapters dealing with the hot button issues the movement attempts to suppress or eliminate: homosexuality, evolution, abortion, women’s rights, the separation of church and state, sex education, and the judiciary. The book has an epilogue after the 2006 midterm elections which tends to turn down the alarm. I do have to wonder if that was premature.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Hmmm.... if you like bland writing from that oh so charming leftist alarmist perspective, this book is for you! Basically, it's porn for us coastal elites who watch in fascination of those middle states. And sometimes that's ok. Unfortunately, the writing is excruciatingly dumb, and the author's obvious disdain for her subject makes this a book that should have stayed as the Salon article it undoubtedly started out as. Hmmm.... if you like bland writing from that oh so charming leftist alarmist perspective, this book is for you! Basically, it's porn for us coastal elites who watch in fascination of those middle states. And sometimes that's ok. Unfortunately, the writing is excruciatingly dumb, and the author's obvious disdain for her subject makes this a book that should have stayed as the Salon article it undoubtedly started out as.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I learned quite a bit about a group of people who call themselves Christian Reconstructionists, who want to build that bridge to the 10th century. Scary stuff. If you are female, gay, want to control the number of children you have or just want to live in the good ol' state separated from church, formally know as the U.S. -- maybe you should read about what these fanatics have planned for the rest of us. I learned quite a bit about a group of people who call themselves Christian Reconstructionists, who want to build that bridge to the 10th century. Scary stuff. If you are female, gay, want to control the number of children you have or just want to live in the good ol' state separated from church, formally know as the U.S. -- maybe you should read about what these fanatics have planned for the rest of us.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Danusha Goska

    Michelle Goldberg does not like Christians. Michelle Goldberg thinks that Christians smell bad. Michelle Goldberg gets an icky feeling when she stands next to a Christian, and, later, Michelle Goldberg is sure that Christian cooties crawl up and down her body. Ew. Michelle Goldberg needs to take a long, hot shower. All is not lost. Michelle Goldberg is a liberal. A progressive. A multiculturalist. Michelle Goldberg celebrates diversity. So, Michelle Goldberg met with Christians, and they were nice Michelle Goldberg does not like Christians. Michelle Goldberg thinks that Christians smell bad. Michelle Goldberg gets an icky feeling when she stands next to a Christian, and, later, Michelle Goldberg is sure that Christian cooties crawl up and down her body. Ew. Michelle Goldberg needs to take a long, hot shower. All is not lost. Michelle Goldberg is a liberal. A progressive. A multiculturalist. Michelle Goldberg celebrates diversity. So, Michelle Goldberg met with Christians, and they were nice to her. She realized then that her prejudice was incorrect. Christians confided their deepest concerns. Like her, she discovered, Christians want a healthy, happy, safe America, where children thrive, the truth is proclaimed, and freedom and justice prevail. They may disagree on how to achieve these ends, but Michelle Goldberg realized that we all have to live with people with whom we disagree, and that the challenge is to find that way of coexisting with diverse neighbors that makes America great, and our democracy, not only strong, but possible. The final paragraph, above, is, of course, wishful thinking. "Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism," is the most hateful book I've ever read, and I study hate and have read classics in the genre. What makes this book so painful is that when other hate mongers were plying their trade, they had some wound that the reader could understand as exacerbating their hatred. What happened in Goldberg's short, privileged life to make her hate so much? The book jacket, in its colors, fonts, and design, is meant to evoke a propaganda poster of Nazis giving the "sieg heil" salute. This one, hate-mongering lie alone is cheap and malicious enough to render Goldberg radioactive to any ethical person. In this case, you *can* tell a book by its cover. Goldberg equates or associates Christianity with Nazism throughout her short, mean, ugly text (eg: pp 10, 22, 33, 54, 73, 153, 179, 188). When Goldberg is not equating Christians with Nazis, she is equating Christians with Muslims - not dimple-cheeked, multiculti Muslim poster children, but, specifically, Islamic terrorists (eg: p 22, 31, 39, 207-210). For good measure, Goldberg compares American malls to Stalinist architecture. As someone who lived in the Soviet empire, I just have to say, in her architectural criticism, no less than in her hate-mongering, Goldberg comes across as a hyperbolic chucklehead. I can just imagine the kind of restaurant reviews this chick would pump out. They'd be a weight lose bonanza. Haters must invent their Other of Choice. Otherwise, they'd see that human beings are all brothers and sisters. Goldberg invents her other of choice in a group that she admits, right up front, that she herself made up: "Christian Nationalists." She provides the manifesto for this group, a document that she, as she readily admits, made up (6-8). In this, Goldberg is very like the authors of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a book to which this book, for all the right reasons, is frequently compared. (Do the Google search, and get back to me.) I know I've got only a thousand words here and should not be repeating myself, but did you get that, Gentle Reader? Goldberg, in a book published by a mainstream publishing house, *invented* a *fictitious* group of Christians, and their fictitious manifesto, which she penned *herself.* By her own admission. Is this bugging you as much as it bugged me? Jeez, I hope so. Let's cut to the chase here. How would you feel about a book that invented a name and a manifesto for a random collection of otherwise unconnected Jews who supported the war in Iraq? And claimed that they were involved in an unproved and unprovable conspiracy to take over the US? A conspiracy so scary that the sane, decent person's only recourse is, as Goldberg insists is the only recourse to "Christian Nationalism," to "keep your passport handy and your bags packed"? (Where is Goldberg planning to go? She doesn't say.) How would you feel if someone grouped together all Homosexuals or all Jehovah's Witnesses or all musical comedy ticket buyers in the US, persons otherwise unconnected, slapped some spooky moniker on them, made a bunch of cheap comparisons between them and the Nazis or the Stalinists or Boris Badenoff and Natasha, used some cut-and- paste "conspiracy theory central" word processing program to create their manifesto and claimed that they were about to take over the country? Yes, there are Christians who do some of the things Goldberg accuses Christians of doing: they lobby government officials; they attend Town Hall meetings; they publish Op Ed pieces; they join the PTA; they learn debate skills. Goldberg wants us to believe that these very behaviors aren't the backbone of a multicultural democracy, but are some noxious virus that threatens your life. Goldberg has no evidence of Christians doing any of the following: stockpiling weapons, planning to blow up buildings, planning, in fact, to harm anyone. Yes, many Christians, as Goldberg claims, are uncomfortable with promiscuity among schoolchildren, homosexuality, and abortion. To read this book, you'd think that Christians are the only ones who object to these things. Goldberg is wrong. Atheist Bill Maher couldn't get through a stand-up routine without homophobic "jokes." Demonizing Christians does nothing to help gay people. And plenty of non-Christians have a problem with abortion. Demonizing Christians won't advance women's right to choose, or reconcile that right with the vexing questions abortion entails. On the East Coast, the West, and in the heartland, I've worked on feminist, gay rights, and peace issues. I've marched, canvassed, and broadcast, often shoulder-to-shoulder with Evangelical Christians. In Red State Indiana, my greatest inspirations and support in gay rights struggles were born again Christians. Just thinking of them, right now, within the context of this vile book, I am, frankly, on the verge of tears.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence A

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In the United States, we have persons of many religious, ethnic, and political backgrounds, and we and our ancestors arrived here from all over the globe. With respect to politics, we have libertarian conservatives, statist conservatives, social conservatives, main street conservatives, moderates, centrists, neo-liberals, liberals, left-liberals, civil libertarian liberals, democratic socialists, and a few anarchists. With respect to religion, most Americans define themselves as "Christian." To In the United States, we have persons of many religious, ethnic, and political backgrounds, and we and our ancestors arrived here from all over the globe. With respect to politics, we have libertarian conservatives, statist conservatives, social conservatives, main street conservatives, moderates, centrists, neo-liberals, liberals, left-liberals, civil libertarian liberals, democratic socialists, and a few anarchists. With respect to religion, most Americans define themselves as "Christian." To most of those who employ that term, it encompasses dozens of Protestant denominations [Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists, Baptists, Lutherans, Dutch Reformed, Church of Christ, Evangelicals, etc.], Protestant-inspired denominations [Jehovah's Witnesses, for example], the Roman Catholic Church, Greek, Armenian, Syrian, Eastern, and Russian Orthodox Churces, and even a few Coptic Christians from the Horn of Africa. We have homegrown denominations [Church of Christ, Scientist; Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as Mormons]. We have, particularly in our cities, significant minority populations of Jews, Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists. We have a smattering of atheists, deists, and freethinkers. In short, as a land of over 300 million people, we are quite diverse. This book presents a timely and alarming portrait of a relatively new phenomenon in American social and political life---a movement of anti-rational, anti-democratic, anti-republican, anti-secular "Christian Nationalists," which has enjoyed unprecedented power over our national life during the past several years. The movement's ideology is not necessarily new, but the ruthlessness with which its adherents pursue the destruction of science, the rewriting of history, the exclusion "non-Christians" from the polity, and the attempt to impose a theocracy where once a democratic republic stood, is something quite new in the US. The key to understanding the various strands of the "Christian right" is the concept of "dominion," which holds that the US is not merely a nation with a Christian majority, but that it is [and has always been] a "Christian nation," subject to Biblical injunction, which must be ruled only by "Christians," narrowly-defined. It denies the power of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which does not permit the establishment of a national religion, and the 14th Amendment, which applies the First Amendment to the 50 states. It denies the very words of the Constitution, which expressly prohibits a religious test for public office. The movement's modus operandi is accusation, fear, and propaganda. The movement's currency is lies, repeated over and over, since, for many of the movement's adherents, it is perfectly permissible to lie in the quest to build a "Christian" America. Rather than searching and analyzing scripture in a personal quest to determine truth, goodness, piety, or even God's will, these so-called "Christians" start with a right-wing political and social agenda [anti-evolution, anti-feminist, anti-income-tax] then try to find an out-of-context quote from the Bible to support their political ideology. Sounds a lot like the Taliban. Goldberg [no relation] sees the movement as a precursor to an American fascism, in light of its dissemination of violent rhetoric against liberals, members of the judiciary, scientists, and doctors, the actual violence it has inspired or condoned, its grasp for total power, its "us-against-them" mentality, and the headway it has made among the uprooted exurbanites of 21st-century America. She traces the roots of the movement, and the background of many of the movement's leaders, to more traditional racist, anti-Semitic, and fascist organizations in the US prevalent in the 1950s through the 1980s, and lays out a strategy for all persons of good faith [left, center, right; religious, irreligious] to counter the danger and hysteria surrounding this movement. All should read this book, lest they wish to discover what life, as lived in the fictional "Gilead" of Margaret Atwood's "A Handmaid's Tale," is really like.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    For anyone who considers himself or herself to be well-versed in modern American politics, the bigger themes in this book are no surprise at all. There is a wealth of detail here, though, that I have not found anywhere else. Goldberg points towards some semblance of an explanation for why terrorist-fearing voters might make opposing gay marriage their political priority in 2004. There's lots of humor to be found and her in-detail interviews with the foot soldiers of the Christian right are nothi For anyone who considers himself or herself to be well-versed in modern American politics, the bigger themes in this book are no surprise at all. There is a wealth of detail here, though, that I have not found anywhere else. Goldberg points towards some semblance of an explanation for why terrorist-fearing voters might make opposing gay marriage their political priority in 2004. There's lots of humor to be found and her in-detail interviews with the foot soldiers of the Christian right are nothing short of impressive. She provides lots of quotes from inside this other world in America that give much insight on issues like abstinence-only education. I really enjoyed this book, felt I learned a lot more real facts about the Christian right -- what the movement is really truly all about politically -- and I was scared out of my mind with the ever-present theme of denying objective truth. Goldberg definitely has a point of view, but I think that she is careful to rely on her research rather than her own opinions to make her points. I truly enjoyed reading this book, although I wished it were fiction.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Smith

    This bit of research is more reasoned and evenly-considered than its detractors will ever be capable of giving it credit for. It's astute, genuinely thought out and leaves no room for accusations of laziness or, even worse, mischaracterization. What's truly terrifying is how little those she has researched would probably take issue with in Goldberg's portrayal. Reading this a few years after its publication, it's telling how prescient this book was. Many of Goldberg's predictions have proved acc This bit of research is more reasoned and evenly-considered than its detractors will ever be capable of giving it credit for. It's astute, genuinely thought out and leaves no room for accusations of laziness or, even worse, mischaracterization. What's truly terrifying is how little those she has researched would probably take issue with in Goldberg's portrayal. Reading this a few years after its publication, it's telling how prescient this book was. Many of Goldberg's predictions have proved accurate, especially her remarks about the future element of social issues in politics. One should be ready to feel shivers down the spine at the justified attention paid in this work to Rick Santorum--Goldberg shows that anyone who felt blindsided by the momentum we all saw behind his extremist platform (RE: women, contraception, just to name two) simply hasn't been paying attention. None of this is new, and none of it is going anywhere. One also feels glad a corollary progressive grassroots movement and a responsive rise of secular activism have indeed become an undeniably necessarily tempering force in this country.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

    If you are already pissed off at psycho evangelicals or self-righteous super conservatives, this book will piss you off even more.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Vannessa Anderson

    After reading Kingdom Coming, if I were forced to make a choice of walking through a thicket of the religious right or law enforcement or gang members, I’d choose walking through a thicket of gang members because I believe they have the ability of being able to be reason with. The religious right and law enforcement, since their existence, have shown they won’t compromise and have murdered more people collectively than any other group. Kingdom Coming reads like a horror that we haven’t seen sinc After reading Kingdom Coming, if I were forced to make a choice of walking through a thicket of the religious right or law enforcement or gang members, I’d choose walking through a thicket of gang members because I believe they have the ability of being able to be reason with. The religious right and law enforcement, since their existence, have shown they won’t compromise and have murdered more people collectively than any other group. Kingdom Coming reads like a horror that we haven’t seen since the hanging of citizens that the religious chose to murder in the past because they saw them as being not like themselves (the hanging of witches, homosexuals, non-whites, women, etc.) and these same individuals are working to infiltrate our political system. After reading Kingdom Coming, I’m convinced it’s more important to know a candidate’s religious beliefs than about whether or not they paid income taxes! Individuals with unchangeable and uncompromising mindsets will not accept the facts presented in Kingdom Coming. Learning what I have learned from reading Kingdom Coming frightened me. To learn of the hate and disdain and animosity that the religious right has towards the masses is just beyond my comprehension because I just can’t relate to hating another human being because they don’t think and believe as I do. And to learn that these monsters are voted in office to run our country and to supposedly represent all of the people all of the time just leaves me shaking in my boots. Kingdom Comingis an important read Kingdom Coming is a great read. From the Book Michael Farris, the founder and president of the evangelical Patrick Henry College, is the founder of the homeschooling movement. Farris’ mission was to turn Christian homeschooled students into political cadres Generation Joshua. One of the first things George W. Bush did when he became president was to create a White House office of Faith-Based and community Initiatives. …in Justice, labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Agriculture, Commerce, Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Agency of International Development and the Small Business Administration. …much of the faith-based funding is structured to help build the movement. …in America, all religions certainly aren’t treated with equal deference. Thanks to Bush’s faith-based programs, … …But evangelical Christianity certainty seems to help people fit in Bush’s administration. As David Frum, Bush’s former speechwriter, wrote in his book ‘The Right Man’. The first words he heard in the Bush White House were missed you at Bible Study. Frum, who is Jewish, continued a few paragraphs later, The news that this is a White House where attendance at Bible Study was, if not compulsory not quite un-compulsory either, was disconcerting to a non-Christian like me. Our government is becoming more and more like a born-again ministry. The very fact that Bush tends to speak in evangelical code, using phrases that initiates recognize as references to biblical verses, as a sign that in his America, religious insiders are privileged. George Grand, D. James Kennedy’s Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ—to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less….. Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land—of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. While many of American’s founders were Christians, others were deists. Thomas Jefferson, for example, admired Jesus’ teachings, but rejected his divinity, resurrection, and virgin birth. The Constitution contains not a single mention of either God or Christianity. Homosexuality has become “the” mobilizing passion for much of the religious right. A populist movement needs an enemy, but one reason the Christian nationalists are so strong is that they’ve made peace with many old foes, especially Catholics and African-Americans. Gay people have taken the place of obsolete demons. We must remove all humanists from public office and replace them with pro-moral political leaders—Tim LaHaye

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brian Griffith

    As a Jewish American woman, Goldberg is rightfully concerned when Christian Nationalists demand an officially Christian state. She is moved to gather detail on what such radicals actually want for the future. And some want a full restoration of Old Testament law, perhaps as practiced in the Puritans' Massachusetts Bay Colony, including the death penalty for witchcraft, blasphemy, adultery and homosexuality. Other radicals appeal for a new struggle to establish Christianity throughout the world. As a Jewish American woman, Goldberg is rightfully concerned when Christian Nationalists demand an officially Christian state. She is moved to gather detail on what such radicals actually want for the future. And some want a full restoration of Old Testament law, perhaps as practiced in the Puritans' Massachusetts Bay Colony, including the death penalty for witchcraft, blasphemy, adultery and homosexuality. Other radicals appeal for a new struggle to establish Christianity throughout the world. As she cites George Grant from in the late 1980s, "Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ -- to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion we are after; Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less ..." (p. 158) Goldberg doesn't contest whether such Christian Nationalists represent religion as Jesus taught it. She just appeals to the U.S. Constitution in defense of all religious minorities. But since the Constitution enshrines some of the values which can be found in the Bible (such respect for other people) perhaps she has a certain appeal to religious values after all. In defending her society's freedom from church control, she is also fighting for the freedom of religion from state control.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    You think Jesus Camp is scary?? Try this on for size. The religious right keeps me up at night.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    While I agreed with every single thing that this book said, I didn't like the way it was written. While I agreed with every single thing that this book said, I didn't like the way it was written.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris Walker

    Yeah, probably shouldn't have read this right after finishing the first season of The Handmaid's Tale... I would rate this maybe just a shade under 4 stars. Altogether it's a compellingly written, often alarming, and informative peek into the world of Christian nationalism and Christian Reconstructionism in the United States. To be clear, it isn't an evaluation of US Christianity in general, nor is it even an evaluation of evangelical Christianity in the country. Rather, it focuses on a minority Yeah, probably shouldn't have read this right after finishing the first season of The Handmaid's Tale... I would rate this maybe just a shade under 4 stars. Altogether it's a compellingly written, often alarming, and informative peek into the world of Christian nationalism and Christian Reconstructionism in the United States. To be clear, it isn't an evaluation of US Christianity in general, nor is it even an evaluation of evangelical Christianity in the country. Rather, it focuses on a minority of conservative Christians who advocate for varying levels of theocratic influence over, and sometimes direct control of, local and federal government. It's also not a neutral treatment of the topic. Goldberg clearly states that she is deeply disturbed by this movement, and advocates for active measures to be taken to curb its influence. The book, which was published in 2006, gives a brief history of the movement, but largely covers its political ascendance in the 70s-80s with special focus on its actions around the time of George W. Bush's reelection. Major topics covered include the move to prevent gay marriage laws, the attempt to undermine evolutionary theory in public schools, Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, the fight against abortion rights and to push abstinence-only sex education, and the parallel strategies of either cultivating and appointing Christian nationalist jurists or of passing legislation in an attempt to strip the judiciary of the power to oversee cases involving religious subject matter. The most interesting and unsettling aspect of the book for me is that, although people with extreme Christian nationalist or Reconstructionist beliefs make up a tiny percentage of Christians in the United States, their power to influence political and cultural opinion in the country is extremely strong. A relatively small number of people, like David Barton, James Dobson, Michael Farris, James D. Kennedy, Roy Moore, Marvin Olaskey, Rod Parsley, Tony Perkins, Pat Robertson wield a vast amount of influence. During the George W. Bush administration their power was greatly magnified, with many of them directing the distribution of taxpayer dollars to their or similar organizations. Additionally, many of their associates were appointed to government positions where they were able to directly undermine the separation of church and state protections present in the Constitution. Reading this ten years later, it's a wonder that we made it through that time with any secular liberties at all. It would be interesting to hear from Goldberg about how she thinks things stand now. After eight years of Barack Obama and six months of Donald Trump progress seems to have been uneven on both sides of the fight. Finally, though I feel that Goldberg was largely even-handed with her account, there are a number of times where her self-confessed cosmopolitanism shows itself in some less than constructive ways. For example, her description of exurban spaces is a tad on the dramatic side: "Yet the brutal, impersonal utilitarianism of the strip mall and office park architecture---its perversely ascetic refusal to make a single concession to aesthetics---recalls the Stalinist monstrosities imposed on Communist countries. The banality is aggressive and disorienting." I also questioned some of her suggestions for allaying the situation politically. For instance, she suggests abolishing the Electoral College (which, please, yes) but she goes on to suggest breaking up some of the larger states into several parts (for instance, making New York City its own state) as a means of creating more liberal Senate seats. That strategy doesn't sit well with me for a number of reasons, not least of which is that I feel it would polarize our government even more strongly. In summary, though it could have dug into some of its subject matter more deeply, I enjoyed this book. Though it's somewhat dated now, it still provides a lot of useful insights into extremist Christian society.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gregory

    Michelle Goldberg is no friend of the Christian Right. She documents the inner-workings and the agenda of ultra-conservatives (among whom I would number myself on most of the "hot topic" issues). She has clearly done her homework, and I really appreciated her efforts to see the world through a different set of eyes. And this is the chief value I found in this book--Goldberg doesn't try to whitewash the irreconcilable issues that divide conservatives and liberals. She recognizes there is an epist Michelle Goldberg is no friend of the Christian Right. She documents the inner-workings and the agenda of ultra-conservatives (among whom I would number myself on most of the "hot topic" issues). She has clearly done her homework, and I really appreciated her efforts to see the world through a different set of eyes. And this is the chief value I found in this book--Goldberg doesn't try to whitewash the irreconcilable issues that divide conservatives and liberals. She recognizes there is an epistemological divide--we simply interpret the world differently. I sympathized with her critique of how conservative Christians have jockeyed for political power. I do no believe politics is our savior. She chronicles many unfortunate examples of how Christians seem to have been compromised by their political idolatry. I appreciated this book, and I feel like I could have an honest conversation with Goldberg, even though we would have to disagree. If the Church put more energy into living lives of justice and mercy (and not trying to play the political games of Washington) we might gain more of a hearing with earnest liberals like her.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jenni

    This book was sort of an infuriating time warp. Most of it felt very dated, because the author refers frequently to people like Terry Schiavo, the Bush administration, Tom Delay, etc. who were part of the evangelical culture wars in the early 2000s. That said, so much of the analysis applies almost word-for-word to news stories we are hearing today regarding abortion, evolution, and gay rights...as though very little has changed since then. I would LOVE to to read an updated version of this book This book was sort of an infuriating time warp. Most of it felt very dated, because the author refers frequently to people like Terry Schiavo, the Bush administration, Tom Delay, etc. who were part of the evangelical culture wars in the early 2000s. That said, so much of the analysis applies almost word-for-word to news stories we are hearing today regarding abortion, evolution, and gay rights...as though very little has changed since then. I would LOVE to to read an updated version of this book that analyzes today's socio-cultural-religious climate.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Perhaps a little on the "doom and gloom" side, but Goldberg makes excellent observations about the rise of religious power within the Right. I had to remember that this was written shortly after Bush's 2nd election, so the world was dark and depressing for anyone progressive or liberal. Great read! Perhaps a little on the "doom and gloom" side, but Goldberg makes excellent observations about the rise of religious power within the Right. I had to remember that this was written shortly after Bush's 2nd election, so the world was dark and depressing for anyone progressive or liberal. Great read!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Absolutely terrifying. The literary equivalent of the motion picture Jesus Camp.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joe Henry

    Well, start by reading Lee Harmon's review (as well as others) on goodreads.com. He gave it 5 stars and did a great job, as usual, with his review. Why should I try to summarize the gist of the book, when he has done it so well. I gave it 3 stars partly from gut feel and partly because I had just previously finished Susan Jacoby's book, The Age of American Unreason, and I couldn't rate Goldberg's book higher than I rated Jacoby's. (Jacoby's book probably deserves more than I gave it.) In fact, G Well, start by reading Lee Harmon's review (as well as others) on goodreads.com. He gave it 5 stars and did a great job, as usual, with his review. Why should I try to summarize the gist of the book, when he has done it so well. I gave it 3 stars partly from gut feel and partly because I had just previously finished Susan Jacoby's book, The Age of American Unreason, and I couldn't rate Goldberg's book higher than I rated Jacoby's. (Jacoby's book probably deserves more than I gave it.) In fact, Goldberg's book, copyrighted in 2006 & 2007 before Jacoby's work in 2008, actually includes a promo blurb from Jacoby, as follows: "Michelle Goldberg takes us on a superbly reported inside tour of the far-out Christian Right, distinguished by its contempt for democracy in this world....This book should scare every American who cherishes our secular Constitution and its separation of church and state." Both books are well done and convincing. I just think Jacoby, although describing a broader range of phenomena over a longer period, just comes across as more nearly incontrovertible. I was interested to see that Goldberg's mention as powerful and prophetic voice[s] against the [religious] right such as "Jim Wallis, the progressive evangelical who founded Sojourners, a ministry devoted to peace and social justice...Along with religious leaders like Bob Edgar, secretary general of the National Council of Churches, and C. Welton Gaddy, the Baptist minister who heads the Interfaith Alliance." I was probably most intrigued by Goldman's idea that there will be a pendulum swing (my words). In the same way that those moving toward Christian nationalism felt that they had lost sway and began fighting back very effectively on the local level (winning seats on school boards and such), religious "progressives" may discover and resort to this strategy if they lose too much ground in the culture wars (gay rights, abortion vs choice, etc.) In an epilogue dated December, 2006 (after the 2006 elections), Goldberg writes, "This book was written in the ugly year following the 2004 election, when much of what was decent in America seemed swamped by the forces that returned Bush to office and elevated a cadre of reactionary congressmen to buttress him. Now, though, some equilibrium has been restored to this country, and Christian nationalism is, for the moment, in retreat." She references a set of scandals and losses that were problematic for the far right in 2006. She did say "in retreat," and there may be some self-destructive tendencies among many of the politically ambitious of any/all stripes; but I reckon just about anyone who has been paying attention would agree that this struggle over the merger of church and state is far from over. It astonishes me that some folks don't seem to understand the similarities of what they are pushing for as a Christian nation and what Islamic nationalists in other parts of the world are pushing as an Islamic republic. Are they really different? Do I really have to say more?

  22. 5 out of 5

    miteypen

    Oh, how I wish the author would write a sequel to this book! I’d love to know what she thinks about our country now, after two years of Donald Trump as President. This book was first published in 2006, before the Obama years, the Great Recession and the expanded political power of white evangelicals, not to mention disaffected voters from the “flyover” country. Goldberg strikes a somewhat optimistic tone in the epilogue—she repeats her belief that America will never succumb to Christian national Oh, how I wish the author would write a sequel to this book! I’d love to know what she thinks about our country now, after two years of Donald Trump as President. This book was first published in 2006, before the Obama years, the Great Recession and the expanded political power of white evangelicals, not to mention disaffected voters from the “flyover” country. Goldberg strikes a somewhat optimistic tone in the epilogue—she repeats her belief that America will never succumb to Christian nationalism and become a theocracy—but I wonder if she’d be so sure about that today. Don’t get me wrong: she presents the movement as a clear threat to our democracy. In fact, much of what she wrote about the Bush years are cause enough for alarm. And yet, just by writing about Christian nationalism, she may make it seem more influential and powerful than it really is. I read the book with a sinking feeling about how the movement has grown and what fueled its rise. None of those conditions have gone away; if anything they’ve become more marked during the last twelve years. Now that Trump has been able to appoint two conservative Supreme Court judges (and may have the opportunity to appoint another if Ruth Bader Ginsberg isn’t able to hold on till we get another Democrat in the White House), the futures of Roe v. Wade, legal immigration, the separation of church and state, and democracy itself are more at risk than ever. I wish someone would at least interview Goldberg about her assessment of these threats and prominently put it on the opinion pages of the New York Times. She warns about not doing anything that adds fuel to Christian nationalists’ fire, like overt attacks on the principles that they hold dear. But she also writes that “as long as the movement aims at the destruction of secular society and the political enforcement of its theology, it has to be battled, not comforted and appeased.” “Otherwise,” she writes, “God help us all.”

  23. 4 out of 5

    Micah

    I thought this book might tell me something I didn't know already, but it was mostly just a slam on US Christian fundamentalism. The author attempted to present herself as a balanced observer, but it was obvious very quickly that she had a bone to pick and did not seem to have enough background in the culture(s) that she was critiquing. Ultimately, while I sympathize with her distrust of the quasi-fascist, fundamentalist wing of American Christianity, I thought the book was weak in that she didn' I thought this book might tell me something I didn't know already, but it was mostly just a slam on US Christian fundamentalism. The author attempted to present herself as a balanced observer, but it was obvious very quickly that she had a bone to pick and did not seem to have enough background in the culture(s) that she was critiquing. Ultimately, while I sympathize with her distrust of the quasi-fascist, fundamentalist wing of American Christianity, I thought the book was weak in that she didn't really seem to say anything new and did not do enough to make it clear that there is more at work here than bad thinking on the side of one group - that this is truly a "culture war." We won't make much progress until we address the cultural and class issues that play into this conflict.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Stevens

    You may have noticed this is you live in the United States, but what is arguably the most mythomaniac country on Earth has been enduring a seismic shift in the way it understands itself for the last decade or so. One of the great new ideas is that the wall of separation between church and state is just too high. "Kingdom Coming" is a fascinating exploration of the folks who want to lower or eliminate that wall, and how their carefully couched, reasonable words mask some fairly alarming beliefs. You may have noticed this is you live in the United States, but what is arguably the most mythomaniac country on Earth has been enduring a seismic shift in the way it understands itself for the last decade or so. One of the great new ideas is that the wall of separation between church and state is just too high. "Kingdom Coming" is a fascinating exploration of the folks who want to lower or eliminate that wall, and how their carefully couched, reasonable words mask some fairly alarming beliefs.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anjella

    Amazing, terrifying, though-provoking book. As the atheist daughter of a Fundamentalist Christian minister I've lived a lot of this first-hand and am terrified by what I see happening. Anyone who cares about their rights and the things occurring in the US should read this book and take it seriously. No matter what the religion, fundamentalism strives to turn things back to the middle ages and does it with twisted logic and intense hatred of anyone who isn't one of them. Well-written book and so Amazing, terrifying, though-provoking book. As the atheist daughter of a Fundamentalist Christian minister I've lived a lot of this first-hand and am terrified by what I see happening. Anyone who cares about their rights and the things occurring in the US should read this book and take it seriously. No matter what the religion, fundamentalism strives to turn things back to the middle ages and does it with twisted logic and intense hatred of anyone who isn't one of them. Well-written book and so worth reading.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Latham

    Fascinating read about how, after having lost political power, the religious right went back to basics and took power starting at the local, grassroots level. Truly scary for any progressive to see how effective these groups have been at gaining power incrementally and insidiously, to promote and assert their own Christian beliefs into our government and public realm.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Margie

    An important look at how Christian Nationalists are operating in the US. Goldberg is a journalist, so this piece comes across as being rather well-researched, rather than merely as a screed against right-wing Christians.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Very interesting book. Seemed well researched. Scary, scary, scary to think of what the right winged religious nuts are creating.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laura Susan Johnson

    Frightening and very timely examination of a very real threat to pluralism and freedom in America.

  30. 5 out of 5

    James

    This book is about bellicose, fundamentalist, religious, radical that has threatened the foundations of our democracy. Now a decade after publication has the fundamentalist threat grown or receded?

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