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Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism Paperback – Bargain Price, April 17, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 124 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In an impressive piece of lucid journalism, Salon.com reporter Goldberg dives into the religious right and sorts out the history and networks of what to most liberals is an inscrutable parallel universe. She deconstructs "dominion theology," the prevalent evangelical assertion that Christians have a "responsibility to take over every aspect of society." Goldberg makes no attempt to hide her own partisanship, calling herself a "secular Jew and ardent urbanite" who wrote the book because she "was terrified by America's increasing hostility to... cosmopolitan values." This carefully researched and riveting treatise will hardly allay its audience's fears, however; secular liberals and mainstream believers alike will find Goldberg's descriptions of today's culture wars deeply disturbing. She traces the deep financial and ideological ties between fundamentalist Christians and the Republican Party, and discloses the dangers she believes are inherent to the Bush administration's faith-based social services initiative. Other chapters follow inflammatory political tactics on wedge issues like gay rights, evolution and sex education. Significantly, her conclusions do not come off as hysterical or shrill. Even while pointing to stark parallels between fascism and the language of the religious right, Goldberg's vision of America's future is measured and realistic. Her book is a potent wakeup call to pluralists in the coming showdown with Christian nationalists. (May 15)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“An important work of investigative journalism.” (Anna Godbersen - Esquire )

“Regardless of where you fall on the moderate-to-progressive political scale, this well-written chronicle of civil liberties under siege by holy rollers will undoubtedly scare the bejesus out of you.” (David Fear - Time Out )

“Goldberg's book will be recognized as the definitive guide to how a relatively tiny group of intellectuals, politicians, and conservatives religionists positioned themselves to take over America. This stuff is no joke.” (Tony Normal - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette )

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (April 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393329763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393329766
  • ASIN: B004R96UN6
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ruth Adar on May 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michelle Goldberg has researched and written an important book, one that will provoke discussion. I was impressed by the depth and breadth of her research and of the interviews with the people she writes about. She claims her biases up front.

The most important aspect of the book is a delineation of the opposing world-views she describes, something that may be news to blue-staters: there are two competing views of American and world history, two competing standards for "science," two competing notions of reality in American life today: an Enlightenment/humanist viewpoint and a viewpoint from which the Christian God, as interpreted by the Christian Right, is King of the United States. She suggests that dialogue between the two is impossible because there is so little common ground, and that those on the center and left underestimate the seriousness of the challenge to the U.S. Constitution and values.

My only gripe with this book is that the scenario she paints is so dark that many readers may be tempted to defend themselves against the thought, rather than against the threat. She is describing real institutions, real people, real organizations whose own mission statements can be checked out with a few keystrokes at the keyboard.

This is a must-read book for anyone who values free speech, freedom of religion, or is concerned for the way their tax dollars are spent.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Kingdom Coming" by Michelle Goldberg is a cautionary tale about Christian Nationalism and its threat to the Enlightenment values that are crucial to maintaining a modern democratic state as we know it today. Ms. Goldberg has done a superb job of surveying the movement, its leaders and its political ideals. Through her remarkable first-hand reporting and analysis, the author helps us understand that a liberal response articulating why rationality matters is urgently needed to counteract the forces of irrationality that threaten to undo our country.

Ms. Goldberg explains how homeschooling has allowed superstition to be instilled in a generation of young people who are being encouraged to become politically active. Exurban megachurches provide organizers with millions of voters and activists who can be rapidly mobilized around Christian causes. The author dedicates individual chapters to discussing six areas where extremist positions have gained ground, including: revisionism of U.S. history; anti-gay rights activism; intelligent design theory (Creationism); faith-based public services; abstinence; and the U.S. court system. As Ms. Goldberg clearly shows, the Christian movement's success has been substantial and in many cases has been attributable to sympathy and support at the highest levels of the U.S. government.

Significantly, Ms. Goldberg's comparative analysis shows that extremist Christian views have gained institutional support over time. For example, she compares how the Barry Goldwater campaign of 1964 shied away from the John Birch Society in order to distance itself from the admixture of militarism with religion to the Bush administration's embrace of General William G. Boykin after he had made several outlandish public statements about divine warfare.
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Format: Paperback
As someone who grew up in a home influenced by apocalyptic Christian fundamentalism, I admit right up front that I will not attempt an "objective" review of this book (whatever that might mean). I agreed with the premise Michelle Goldberg outlines (i.e., that there is a powerful strand of politicized Christianity in the US that holds the Constitution in contempt and that seeks absolute political control---Goldberg calls them "Christian nationalists") before she ever set fingers to keyboard. Frankly, I was amazed at the empathy and understanding with which Michelle Goldberg approached this material, and found that one of the strongest features of this book. Another of the strengths is in her willingness to let her subjects speak for themselves. Oftentimes the most damning comments come straight from the mouths of the Christian nationalists themselves, and Goldberg does a fine job of putting these quotes into an overall context that should chill anyone who still appreciates the ideals of the Enlightenment.

For example, Goldberg repeatedly exposes a Manichean worldview in which the American body politic is literally divided into black and white, good and evil, with the Christian nationalists on one side and the rest of us on the other. (I leave it for you to guess which side is "good.") "Thus every political issue--indeed, every disputed aspect of our national life--is a struggle between good and evil" (p. 4). She quotes Pastor Rod Parsley: "Everyone asks, `Why is it so close?' The light is getting lighter and the dark is getting darker. These two opponents are not just opponents. This is a values situation. This is lightness and darkness!" (p. 51).
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Format: Hardcover
Ms. Goldberg's book is a must-read for liberals, secularists, and mainstream Christians. I do not find her conclusions overblown or alarmist, but in fact quite astute. The facts speak for themselves, and she has done a commendable job of connecting the dots between the GOP and the dominionist movement, illuminating their goals and their processes. I do not think it is wild speculation, for it is clear that the evangelical right is making strong progress inflitrating the GOP, and there is every reason to believe that this will continue. It is a sad state of affairs, I believe, that in this modern age, this movement has acquired a veneer of legitimacy in the public discourse. The dominionist/christian reconstructionist movement is a gathering threat, and should be treated as such.
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