Religious Right: The Greatest Threat to Democracy by A.F. Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First, a bit about the writing itself and the Kindle version. This book is long, very long, and at some points I think a bit more editing could have pared it down somewhat and removed redundancy. On the otherhand, the writing style is very approachable to a wide audience. Whle rife with from primary sources, the book is not weighed down to the point of being disjointed. The layout translated well to the Kindle but there are some typos and curious grammatical quarks that I believe are more attributed to the conversion than overall editing. I have seen similar issues with other electronic books.
A.F. Alexander makes no bones about his concerns with the religious right and what I think is very important is that he does so not at the expense of Christianity. He is very respectful of Christianity and does not at all attach the religion. This is not an “athiest attach on the tenants of Christianity” but a thoroughly researched warning of a very strict, very dangerous, fundamental segment of the religion that is on a crusade to turn the United States into a Theocracy. Aside from the primary resources cited, A.F. Alexander was himself brought up in the movement.
The text focuses on the Dominionist movement accounting the 7 Mountains Mandate that targets 7 levels of society: Business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family and religion. The Seven Mountains were coined by Bill Bright the founder of the Campus Crusade, Loren Cunningham founder of Youth with a Mission, and Francis Schaeffer. An account of the rise of Evangelical Fundamentalism is provided and how their mission to influcence politics from grass roots level up to coroporate sponsered superfunds has been attained.
At the heart of this book is the first ammendment to the Constitution of the United States:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
What is important to understand is that the founders of the United States did not form a Christian Nation; that is revisionist history. Many of the founders were Deists. The first ammendment clearly builds a wall between religion and the government. A wall that provides no preferential treatment to any one religion nor interferes with one’s religous choice. What Dominionist are doing is erroding that wall and entagling their religion with politics attacking the very tenants of this country and infriging on the rights of those who do not adhere to their world views. They are taking Christianity into a dark place where many historic accounts abound when a theocracy holds a nations and the atrocities committed there in. We have only to look at other nations like Iran and Egypt where a religious minority have usurped government and created a fundamentalist state with aborrant results. We as a nations must protect the first ammendment and disentangle religion from politics or risk spiraling into a similar society of oppression and violence.
Pick up any newspaper today or visit most any website on current events and you can see this battle being played out from Womans rights to immigration issues, environmental issues, birth control and marriage equality. We as a society need to stand up for the tenants of the constitution and disentangle religion from politics and being to make better progress. Otherwise we ruin both our nation and sully Christianity.
A very thought provoking book.
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