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Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy Paperback – March 1, 1997
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Frederick Clarkson's Eternal Hostility provides a chilling road map to a growing movement whose roots go back to the founding days of the country. Clarkson asks the reader to consider what it would be like if having an abortion was punishable by death, if gays and lesbians were thrown into jail, or if our constitutional rights were replaced by biblical law. In a stunning analysis, Clarkson debunks the "objective" bestseller Culture Wars to reveal a tract written by a rightwing church elder. =20 Chastising liberals and the left for failing to recognize the depth of the threat to liberty, Clarkson argues that we must develop a coherent response to a well-organized effort aimed at overthrowing democracy. When he exposes the aims and strategies of such diverse Christian zealots as the "Promise Keepers" and the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon, remember that it was Clarkson who first to exposed the Christian Coalition's plans to take over the Republican Party, plans which have largely succeeded in several states and was actually seen as it was acted out on television in the 1996 Texas Republic Convention. Clarkson was also the first to expose how elements of the Christian Right were encouraging the formation of citizen "militias" almost five years before the Oklahoma City bombing propelled the militia movement into general public awareness. Eternal Hostility is a warning bell in the night and is essential reading for any secular humanist or freethinker needing to be aroused from a complacency that "it can't happen here" -- because it has, it is, and it may well succeed if enough good men do nothing to stop it. -- Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Frederick Clarkson is a widely published journalist, author and lecturer who specializes in the Radical Right.
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However, the U.S. faces powerful forces that declare America a Christian nation.
Face the facts: only 60 percent of eligible Americans have registered to vote and only half of them bother. Thus, a small fraction of the voters, perhaps 16%, say who rules over us and what the rules are. A small minority of registered voters can turn the tide! (pp. 20-21.) The ubiquitous church voter guides tell it all.
Clarkson scourges many right-wing leaders and organizations, but his treatise on Moon is particularly frightening. (pp. 45-75.)
Reconstructionism, says Clarkson, seeks to replace democracy with a theocracy based upon old testament biblical law and is used by charismatic Christians, home schoolers, libertarians, and the religious right in general. (pp.77-78.) Some adherents even call for death and the stripping of civil rights for those who do not accept their biblical viewpoints! The proposed system would not be much different from the Islamic model except there would be a different knucklehead in charge.
The reconstructionist see the U.S. Constitution and public education as a barrier to theocracy. Indeed, there are now almost enough Republication governors to call for a new Constitutional Convention, something Clarkson did envision.
Elements of the Christian right often refer to their detractors as demonic. (p. 125.) Even Trump referred to Hilary as the devil, goofiness that probably gained him a few more votes.
The pre-election Graham association periodical the Decisions Magazine made it clear that the choice was between God and Satan.
(Everyone who contributed to the Shoebox business was sent a copy, prior to the Presidential election. That was a lot of politicking.)
Spiritual warfare, which includes physical death for satanic/demonic forces, was often discussed.
In the final chapter, Clarkson summed up the strategy of the Christian right succinctly. This is followed by five strategies to save democracy. I hope the next decade Has better luck with that than the last one.
This is a good basic history and should be a must read. However, I am only giving it four stars because it is already old and does not, therefore, recognize the inroads the Christian right has made since the book’s publication.
Fredrick Clarkson tries to makes the case that virtually anyone who is conservative and also a Christian (religious right) is involved in a sinister plot of planning to overthrow the government of the United States and impose a theocracy. (Cue the sinister music). This is all being done covertly and behind the backs of the ignorant republican party leaders but Mr. Clarkson has seen through this charade.
To back up his conspiracy-theory-style charge he uses the first 75 pages of the book to insinuate that everybody on right who is a Christian basically believes the same thing, even though if you read carefully he does mention that the likes of Dobson, the LaHayes, Robertson, Reed, Falwell, etc, have expressly and repeatedly fought against theocracy. Hmmm, Clarkson desperately wants to link these people to theocrats but can’t without boldface lying so he only suggests and to the less than astute reader (look at the glowing reviews) he has succeeded. With the damage is done Clarkson has disingenuously slung mud to every person on the Christian right so that the uniformed and ignorant feel that they are all one giant organization working in concert to destroy America.
It isn't until page 76 that Clarkson decides to put some truthfulness out there. He finally stated that it is a very, very, small minority called the Reconstructionist that actually want to impose a theocracy. At first we might think that it is these evil Reconstructionist’s doing the bidding of the theocrats but we would be wrong. We learn during the next 40 pages that reconstructionist believe in an eschatological theory of post-millennialism and NOT all of the reconstructionist believe it is their job to impose a theocracy. But wait truth is stranger than fiction folks, because fiction has to make sense. To prove his point Clarkson rolls out the theocrats all 4, well actually there are 3 because the fourth doesn't believe that man should enact the laws unless there is a call for them. So this whole book is about 3 minor authors who are crackpots and FREDERICK CLARKSON's goal to smear these crackpots' thoughts onto a vast non-homogenous movement of the “Christian right”. This is insane but it gets better
With a little further study the reader will find out that all of the major players mentioned before page 76, that have had mud-slung on to them by this guilt by association ploy, actually believe in PRE-millennialism which is assumes that the world will get worse as men turn away from god, these people are expecting the world and its laws to turn their back on Christianity so that Jesus Christ can some as their savior (rapture). This is the exact polar opposite of it getting better by imposing gods will on the people of reconstructionism. But let’s give the author a break, he never said his thoughts would be coherent or logical.
To be blunt the reconstructionist movement has about as much chance of imposing a theocracy as the Flat-Earth Society has of re-writing our science textbooks.
Unless you have some hatred of Christians you will feel cheated after reading this book, your money will have been wasted, but worst of all you time is gone. The one thing that any thinking person will get after reading this book is that the religious right does not pose a threat on anyone. It is true that there are a FEW crazy's in any group but they simply do not speak the majority.
Give this book a pass!
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