The Politics of the Christion Right
Publisher: Black Rose Books, Montreal, Canada
Year Published: 1990
Pages: 292pp Price: $18.95 ISBN: ISBN 0-921689-64-0
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX4306
Sara Diamond ponders the threat the Christian Right poses to our society, the damage already done, and the extent of this evangelical religion's enduring political clout.
Abstract: Although Jim and Tammy Baker have now gone the way of the one-dollar bill, it seems that the Christian Right is still very much alive and well, and in circulation. There is yet a powerful movement out there, and to assume it's been crippled may allow it to sneak up from behind. Sara Diamond ponders the threat the Christian Right poses to our society, the damage already done, and the extent of this evangelical religion's enduring political clout.
What's at stake? Diamond argues that the question is not whether the Christian Right will or will not "take over," but rather just how much damage they might do -- "to academic freedom, sexual and racial equality, and to the prospects for genuine progressive reforms in foreign and military policies," to name only a few of the book's concerns.
Some of the most effective arguments in the book target the inconsistencies and ironies to be found in the Christian Right. In a chapter discussing the war on abortion, Diamond points out that during a week of protests by "a few thousand" Operation Rescue activists, a massive crowd of 25,000 "outraged Christians" stormed Universal Studios in Hollywood to protest the screening of the Last Temptation of Christ: "Somehow, in the Christian Right's `moral' priorities list, cinematic blasphemy outranked `killing babies' in the numbers drawn to protest."
Spiritual Warfare looks at the sources of the Christian Right's domestic power (among which are its broadcast industry and its rise in Republican Party politics), and its broadening power outside of the U.S. (including counterinsurgent "missionary" work in the Third World, and specific incidences in which missionaries have violated the sovereignty of "target" populations).
Diamond also investigates the social psychology of the "charismatic" movement, with emphasis on the practices and beliefs that inspire fanatical militancy. One of the communities she describes, the highly secretive Sword of the Spirit, trains its members for covert warfare. A "Statement of Commitment" reads: "We are ready to serve the Lord until the Lord indicates that the war has been won.... We will keep our plans and movements hidden from the enemy and his agents."