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The Fundamentals of Extremism: The Christian Right in Americaby Kimberly Blaker
Synopses & Reviews
On September 11, 2001, Americans witnessed horrific carnage inspired by religious extremism. We saw that religious fundamentalists will stop at nothing to reign terror on those they regard as their enemies. In our response, we began to focus on the oppressive treatment of women and children in other parts of the world where religious fundamentalism rules.
Yet, even now, most Americans fail to realize the magnitude of problems posed by our own country?s Christian fundamentalism and Religious Right. We regard such dogmatism as odd but non-threatening. We reason, "Why should we be concerned, so long as it doesn?t affect us?"
But the problem does affect all of us. It affects those women and children in fundamentalist Christian homes who suffer severe emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. It affects minorities, particularly African-Americans, and gays and lesbians.
Equally disconcerting, the problem affects adherents of non-fundamentalist faiths and those with no religious beliefs who are prime targets of fundamentalists? prejudicial attitudes. To the Christian Right in America, even mainstream Christians whose tenets differ from those of conservative Christianity are violators of the will of God and must reform. American Christian fundamentalists are working to change laws of our land and thus force all Americans to conform to strict religious ideologies.
Kimberly Blaker?s The Fundamentals of Extremism: The Christian Right in America is not just another book on the Religious Right. John Shelby Spong, best-selling author of Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism calls Blaker?s book "a thorough analysis of a present crisis." In this stark and troubling account of the Religious Right?s vision for America, readers will come face-to-face with fundamentalist goals and tactics that have long been under way.
Blaker?s carefully documented and compelling narrative exposes the full spectrum of issues on the Christian fundamentalist agenda. Rarely have these issues been examined so thoroughly; at least one has never been examined and exposed nationally.
This absorbing exposé urges mainstream Americans to recognize and oppose the encroachment of Christian fundamentalism on our secular society. It is a stirring appeal for religious freedom and the protection of civil liberties for all?including for the extremists who would deny such rights to others.
"None of the arguments presented in Fundamentals are radical, but instead are pro-American — pro-secular and pro-democratic, that is. Too bad none of that old hoo-ha seems too popular anymore." Anjali Gupta, Detroit Metro Times
"Not least, the book persuaded me how muddled the fundamentalists are. They think they are patriots, yet they fight the letter of the Constitution and the spirit of the Founding Fathers every step of the way. The Religious Right is, in the deepest and truest sense of the word, un-American." Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene
"In page after page of carefully researched and well-documented evidence Blaker shows how those who would have the United States recognized as 'a Christian nation' and 'under God' are ready to disregard 'of the people, by the people, and for the people' and impose their religious beliefs on others." Gerald A. Larue, author of Playing God: Deciding Your Life and Death
"The Fundamentals of Extremism is an especially important book for all who care about the rights and well-being of women and children." Nadine Strossen, author of Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women's Rights
The politics, educational policies, and social values perpetuated by Christian fundamentalists are exposed in this critical perspective on the religious right's role in American society. Statistics and studies of the movement are offered that provide insight into the causes and characteristics of fundamentalism and its effects on minority groups including women, children, African Americans, gays, and lesbians. Essays from a variety of authors consider the path to theocracy, the effect of the theology of inerrancy on politics, and the state of fundamentalism in the United States after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
About the Author
Kimberly Blaker has contributed to Complete Woman Magazine, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, San Francisco Examiner, and Los Angeles Daily Journal. She lives in New Boston, Michigan.
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