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Divine Destruction: Dominion Theology and American Environmental Policy (Melville Manifestos) Paperback – September 1, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stephenie Hendricks is an executive news producer for Pacifica Radio. She is also a producer for Free Speech TV and World Link Television. She has been a broadcast journalist for 35 years.

Product Details

  • Series: Melville Manifestos
  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976658348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976658344
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,168,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Pyloric on December 5, 2005
Please read this horror story, made all the more horrible because it is actually happening. We owe it to our children to become informed about the machinations of some of our politicians and their corporate allies. It is painful to realize, but we must take action before the destruction is irremediable. We must unite in our protest.
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"Divine Destruction" by Stephanie Hendricks discusses Christian extremism and the environment. Importantly, the author shows how misguided Christian ideologists play themselves into the hands of the anti-environmental agenda of big business. While the book is small and could benefit from additional research and historical context, its cogent message is timely, urgent and relevant.

Ms. Hendricks explains that Reconstructionists care little for preventing environmental destruction; rather, they seek to gain dominion over government in the belief that Biblical prophecy must be fulfilled in order to herald the end of time and the return of Jesus. The author profiles many of the prominent Republicans who belong to and/or support such extremist Christian organizations including some of the most powerful members of congress, the Supreme Court and of course, President George W. Bush. In that light, we learn that many of the anti-environmental policy decisions made by the current administration might be explained in part by the irrational religious ideologies adhered to by its leaders.

However, Ms. Hendricks' investigative reporting reveals that Christianity is also used to mask an agenda of greed. Recalling that the cry of Manifest Destiny cloaked the imperial ambitions of 1840s America with the sanctity of a religious calling, the author explains that timber, mining, off-road vehicle manufacturing, theme park tourism and other corporate interests are benefiting immensely from the roll back of environmental protections called for by self-identified Christian politicians. Nevertheless, she is hopeful that progressive Christians such as Fred Kreuger and Peter Ilyn might succeed in helping the faithful understand that stewardship of the planet is a core Christian value and that the skewing of the Bible to support short-sighted and unsustainable policies is inherently immoral.

I recommend this book to everyone but assign it only 4 stars due to its brevity.
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This is a very timely book on a very important issue that is unfortunately somewhat marred by a lack of depth on some of the issues. The timeliness stems partly from the popular success of Al Gore's extremely fine documentary AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH and partly from recent polls that indicate some fragmentation in the Religious Right, as some evangelicals have broken rank over environmental issues. Over the past several decades poll after poll has shown the vast majority of Americans to be avid supporters of a wide range of environmental issues. From the famous memo written by future Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell the sixties when he was a corporate lawyer (Google it if you are unfamiliar with the memo--for the record Powell later regretted writing it), the Right has understood that the American people sided with the Left on nearly every issue. Their response was an attempt to cultivate a media that was more friendly to right wing viewpoints (the creation of the myth of the liberal media was one of their first initiatives) and the attempt to literally redefine the terms in the debate. In this light, "Wise Use" is the latest in a tradition of verbal distortion by the Right. As Hendricks explains, "Wise Use" really just means using land for whatever economic purposes people desire. The term is deceptive because "Wise" implies "Responsible," whereas the opposite is the case.

Hendricks does not delve much into the history of American or European attitudes towards nature. This lack of detail and depth severely limits the usefulness of the booklet. But the background is crucial. Until the late 18th century Europeans evaluated land and nature entirely in terms of its usefulness. The Alps, for instance, through most of history were literally considered a waste.
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