Religion Gone Bad: The Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right. Mel White

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The bestselling author of Stranger at the Gate provides an inside exposé of the Christian Right's agenda-and a playbook in how to resist it.

This Fall's midterm elections will see much discussion about the enhanced power of the Christian fundamentalist Right, leaving many people to wonder: just who are these people and what exactly do they want? What are their ultimate goals? The Reverend Mel White, a deeply religious man who sees fundamentalism as "evangelical Christian orthodoxy gone cultic," believes that it is not a stretch to say that the true goal of today's fundamentalists is to break down the wall that separates church and state, superimpose their "moral values" on the U.S. Constitution, replace democracy with theocratic rule, and ultimately create a new "Christian America" in their image. White's new book, Religion Gone Bad, is a wake-up call to all of us to take heed.

White is singularly qualified to write this exposé of the Christian Right because he himself was a true believer who served the evangelical movement as pastor, professor, filmmaker, television producer, author, and ghostwriter for such fundamentalist leaders as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Billy Graham, all of whom he got to know well. As he writes, "These are not just Neocons dressed in religious drag. These men see themselves as gurus called by God to rescue America from unrighteousness. They believe this is a Christian nation that must be returned forcibly to its Christian roots."

He is also a gay man, who made news when he came out more than twelve years ago. White has gained a unique understanding of the fundamentalist agenda because, since the fall of "godless Communism," homosexuality and abortion have become the primary targets through which fundamentalists have created fear, raised money, and mobilized recruits. Religion Gone Bad documents the thirty-year war that fundamentalist Christians have waged against homosexuality and gays and lesbians and offers dramatic, heartbreaking evidence that fundamentalist leaders-Protestant and Catholic alike-are waging nothing less than a "holy war" (jihad) against sexual minorities. By focusing on the current plight of gay people in this country, White addresses the wider issue that fundamentalist Christianity-like fundamentalist Islam-has become a threat not just to gays, but to all Americans who disagree with fundamentalist Christian "values."