Thursday, December 31, 2009

Theocracy in the Making

For those who don't believe there is a theocratic agenda in the nation's capital, there is yet another book that needs to be read, though I doubt seriously those people will be phased by the content.

The Family is even more dangerous than it is un-American. The fact that these people want to create a system of laws that detail a Xian perspective puts them in the exact same category as the Taliban.

When people are convinced God is on their side, there is no evil they won't do.


Doug B said...

Thanks for the link. This is disturbing to me, but even more disturbing is the knowledge that not enough people will find it disturbing. At least the alarm is being sounded.

Gene S said...

Wise words. I will check out The Family as the day goes by.

There is a good article and comments relative to this on the USA Today web site:

MDSF said...

I highly recommend this book; I read it about a year ago, and it was one of my top ten reads of the year.

I'd also recommend reading Jeff Sharlet's various web outlets: The Revealer and Call Me Ishmael. And if you don't have time for The Family, read the Harper's article from 2003 that started it all.

I had a couple of complaints about The Family and about Sharlet's coverage, however: Sharlet never acknowledges that The Family are spreading no Christianity per se but a vaguely Christian American civil religion, and as a result he ends up misusing the words "evangelical" and "fundamentalist" because he doesn't apparently understand that these folks aren't really Christian in the little-oh orthodox sense of the word.

This should be apparent when you read his chapter on Sam Brownback, who is sort of Catholic, sort of former evangelical, but not really devoted to anything apart from his own power.

Also, Sharlet falls into the familiar journalistic trap of going into an unfamiliar subculture, looking for something he expects from his own subculture (which he has mistaken for the dominant culture) and freaking out when he doesn't find it. Look for this in the book when he visits Colorado Springs.

Also, I think he makes too much of superficial connections between groups because he doesn't put their connections in context. He claims that because group X funded group Y when Y was in its infancy that Y is a front for X's nefarious schemes, or whatever.

Still, despite its flaws, I think this is an important book, well worth reading more than once, and I'd disappointed how little coverage it has seen, particularly on weblogs on the perimeter of religious cultural issues.