Praise for Holy Terror (published in hardcover under the title Religion Gone Bad)
"Mel White is one of the great prophetic voices of our time. His voice is a unique and important one in American Christianity. I have been enriched and blessed by it."
Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America
"Mel White, the gay ghostwriter for both Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, lays bare in this book, as only an insider can do, the fierce anti-homosexual agenda of organized religion from the Vatican to the American television preachers. White paints a frightening picture of what they mean when they call for making America a Christian nation.’ He issues a challenging wake up call both to those who are traditional Christians as well as to those who hold deeply human values. A consciousness-raising, must-read book."
John Shelby Spong, author of The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate in Search of the God of Love
"In this meticulously researched book, Mel White documents how Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, James Kennedy and other fundamentalist leaders are working to install a theocratic government in the United States. Essential reading for anyone concerned about the health of the church and the future of our nation."
Jack Rogers, Moderator of the 213th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Professor of Theology Emeritus at San Francisco Theological Seminary
"Mel White reveals the frightening plan of fundamentalist Christians to reconstruct’ American democracy into a theocracy, a plan that is currently supported by the White House and many in Congress. No one writes about this subject with more credibility and urgency, because Mel White has known and worked with the stars’ of the Christian Right, knows them to be unrelenting in their goal of making this a Christian Nation’ and recognizes the cultural and political signs of their growing success."
Jimmy Creech, United Methodist pastor tried and defrocked for marrying a gay couple; Executive Director, Faith In America, Inc.
"A devastating and documented account of what happens when fanatical religion and fascistic politics hook up in a semi-secret affair that gives birth to spiritual, and sometimes physical, terrorism. Written by an insider who knows his truth from direct personal experience as well as methodical research, it should be read by all Christians who care about the credibility of their faith and by all Americans who care about the freedom of their country from the domination of religion gone rancid."
The Rev. Paul W. Egertson, Ph.D., Bishop Emeritus, Southwest California Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Senior Lecturer in Religion, California Lutheran University
"Mel White possesses unparalleled insight into the workings of the Anti-Gay Industry and its plan to create an American theocracy. Religion Gone Bad demonstrates why all Americans, secular and religious, gay and straight, must stand together to resist the attacks of the religious right on the humanity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people."
Matt Foreman, Executive Director National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
"Mel just nails it. He doesn't mince word or waste time. He uses his complex relationships with the movers and shakers of Christian fundamentalism to reveal what ails American Christianity. There is a spiritual maturity and authority in this book, as Mel builds his case relentlessly. This is the book we have been waiting for, and I predict will have many imitators."
The Rev Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches
"I am profoundly grateful to Mel White for this insider’s book about the fundamentalists’ war on homosexuals. It is amazing to me how a so-called Christian group can change the Christian message of love into a message of hate. Mel also explains how this war against gays also is also a war against our American government, an attempt to change our democracy into a theocracy, and thus threatens not just gays but all of us. I hope this book will alert the public before it is too late."
John J. McNeill, author of The Church and the Homosexual
"Mel White's Religion Gone Bad reads like a page-turning whodunit. His careful recounting of the rise of fundamentalism in America is both chilling and enormously instructive. While religious progressives have been sitting around hoping that everyone would play fair with other faithful people, the fundamentalists have been planning and implementing a strategy for taking over the Christian church and the government. Religion Gone Bad is a wake up call to religious progressives to take back the Bible and stop being fearful of telling the story of our own salvation at the hands of an all-loving, all-merciful and inclusive God."
The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire
About the Author
During the past twenty five years, the Rev. Dr. Mel White and his partner, Gary Nixon, have traveled across the country, speaking on university campuses, teaching the "soul force" principles of Gandhi and King, organizing people of faith to do justice, and confronting religious leaders whose anti-gay rhetoric White believes, "leads to the suffering and death of God's lesbian and gay children."
In 1997, in Atlanta, Georgia, Mel received the ACLU's National Civil Liberties Award for his efforts to apply the "soul force" principles of relentless nonviolent resistance to the struggle for justice for sexual minorities. In 1994 Simon and Schuster published Mel's autobiography Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay And Christian In America.
Much has happened to Mel and Gary since Mel's best selling autobiography was released. On February 15, 1995, Mel was arrested for "trespassing" at Pat Robertson's CBN Broadcast Center. The story of his arrest, the 22 day prison fast, and the "little victory" that followed, made news across the nation.
For 30 years, Dr. White had served the evangelical Christian community as a pastor, seminary professor, best-selling author, prize-winning filmmaker, communication consultant and ghost writer to its most famous and powerful leaders. From the beginning the media pictured Mel as an employee of these leaders on the "religious right." Although Mel did not work with nor write speeches for these leaders. he was hired by national publishers to write books -- primarily "autobiographies" -- for his ghost-writing clients including Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy, and Pat Robertson. Looking back Mel wishes he had never been a ghost writer "but at the same time," he adds, "it proves that God has a marvelous sense of humor. Seeing these leaders up close and personal gave me a priceless opportunity that would later be a real advantage."
Mel's latest book, Religion Gone Bad: Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right is an expose of the fundamentalist Christian war being waged against sexual and gender minorities. Across this country," Mel explains, "our gay brothers and lesbian sisters are the victims of a tidal wave of intolerance, discrimination, and violent crime flowing directly out of the anti-gay rhetoric of the radical right. We people of faith, gay and straight alike, must take our stand to end the suffering."
After Dr. White's 22 day fast in the Virginia Beach City Jail, Pat Robertson visited him in jail, heard White's plea and went on the air to say clearly that he "abhorred the growing violence against gay and lesbian people." "Pat Robertson is not our enemy,' White said later. "He is a victim of misinformation like we all have been. In the spirit of Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. we must go on believing that Pat and the others can change."
Dr. White has dedicated his life to a ministry of change. "Until this nation accepts God's gay and lesbian children as full members of the human family," White explains, "we must go on telling that truth in love, whatever it costs us."