Non-Fiction Friday is on Saturday this week due to our observance of the Day of Silence. The Day of Silence is over now. Please don’t stay silent. If you see injustice, whether it be bullying or oppression or corruption, if you see the rights of others being trampled, please speak up. Those of us who care are a majority. The world just doesn’t know it yet.
I saw this one at the book store and turned it over. The author, Nicholas Guyatt, is British, educated at Cambridge and Princeton, and he is now a Canadian…and he just researched and wrote a book about American, right-wing religious fanaticism. I’m not kidding. I had to buy it. It had to be good, if for no other reason than to get the reaction of a British/Canadian to our nation’s own unique brand of wackjobs. And it was good, pretty good. He met with a few crazy representatives of the American theofascist movement and took a peek inside, behind the curtain if you will, but only a peek. This book doesn’t represent an in-depth analysis and it leaves the primary thesis, why millions of Americans are looking forward to the end of the world, largely unanswered. If you’re looking for an entertaining and enlightening read, though, give it a chance.
The facts of this book are disturbing to rational people. There really are over 50 million people in the United States who believe that sometime before they die, Jesus will come down from the sky, sweep them up into heaven, and leave the rest of us to face unimaginable oppression and torture. Exactly what the first Christians thought nearly 2,000 years ago. And much like those first believers, most modern believers want it sooner, rather than later. As a result of the convoluted interpretations that this modern incarnation of Christians has imposed on the bible, many of the more prominent members believe they can hasten the apocalypse, an idea that would be hilarious if they weren’t trying to do so by starting a global war.
Guyatt gives us a glimpse into the minds and rhetoric of these new prophets as he stands back, asks them questions and lets them speak for themselves. It isn’t like embellishment makes it any more disturbing, after all. It’s a phenomenon with some serious implications. The book was written over five years ago and some of the innocence that shines through because of that fact is, at first, amusing. The author is writing before our nation elected an overwhelming majority of these lunatics to some of highest offices of the land, essentially giving them the access they need to make their doomsday a reality, at least up to the moment just before Jesus is supposed to arrive.
If you have paid attention to the theofascists and their attempts to overthrow democracy then this book will likely offer you nothing new or surprising. If nothing I’m saying is making sense to you, you don’t believe it, you vehemently disagree or you find the sad failure of human reason and its repercussions compelling and worthy of attention, then this book may be right up your alley.