Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week 15: Kingdom Coming


Kingdom Coming: the Rise of Christian Nationalism, by Michelle Goldberg

I saw this recommended some time ago, and got it on ILL. Michelle Goldberg explains a bit about the Christian movement called dominionism, along with some other elements of conservative Christianity in America. I found the book quite helpful for understanding those issues.

Because the book dates from the Bush era, it's now a bit outdated as far as presidential politics goes. Quite a few of Goldberg's statements had unintentional double meanings that applied to current affairs as well. An example: This is how democracy starts to degenerate--with a breakdown of legal authority, government deadlock, and leaders who use the chaos to seize unwarranted powers. A liberal society (in the classical sense of the word) requires politicians willing to follow their own laws or, if they don't, institutions to hold them accountable. It requires leaders who will abide by the rulings of judges and, conversely, judges free to issue rulings that displease politicians. Otherwise some people are above the law and others, inevitably, are below it. (p. 178)

It gave me the impression that we're watching the country swing back and forth between two corrupt factions; neither is acceptable to a majority of people, so we just keep switching in hopes that a change will help.

Towards the end, Goldberg's own biases became much more obvious. She's a writer for Salon (or was, at the time) and has the politics that you would expect from a Salon writer, so while I think she tries to be objective at first, it kind of breaks down. It's an interesting book though, and I think more of us who aren't conservative Christians should be doing more to understand the people who are.

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