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On September 11, 2001, Americans witnessed horrific carnage inspired by religious extremism. We saw religious fundamentalists will stop at nothing to reign terror on those they regard as their enemies. In our response, we began to focus on the oppressive treatment of women and children in other parts of the world where religious fundamentalism rules. But we failed to ackno On September 11, 2001, Americans witnessed horrific carnage inspired by religious extremism. We saw religious fundamentalists will stop at nothing to reign terror on those they regard as their enemies. In our response, we began to focus on the oppressive treatment of women and children in other parts of the world where religious fundamentalism rules. But we failed to acknowledge the impact and similarities of Christian fundamentalism. Even now, most Americans fail to realize the magnitude of problems posed by our own country's Christian fundamentalism and Religious Right. We regard such dogmatism as odd but non-threatening. We reason, "Why should we be concerned, so long as it doesn't affect us?" But the problem does affect all of us. As The Fundamentals of Extremism reveals, it affects those women and children in Christian fundamentalist homes who suffer severe emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. It affects minorities, particularly African-Americans, and gays and lesbians. Equally disconcerting, the problem affects adherents of non-fundamentalist faiths. It also affects those with no religious beliefs who are prime targets of religious fundamentalists' prejudicial attitudes. Even mainstream Christians whose tenets differ from those of conservative Christianity are violators of the will of God who must reform. American Christian fundamentalists are working to change the laws of our land. Their goal is to force all Americans to conform to their strict religious ideologies. Kimberly Blaker's The Fundamentals of Extremism: The Christian Right in America is not just another book on the Religious Right. John Shelby Spong, bestselling author of Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism calls Blaker's book "a thorough analysis of a present crisis." In this stark and troubling account of the Religious Right's vision for America, readers will come face-to-face with Christian fundamentalist goals and tactics that have long been underway. Blaker's carefully documented and compelling narrative exposes the full spectrum of issues on the Christian fundamentalist agenda. Rarely have these issues been examined so thoroughly. At least one has never been examined and exposed nationally. The Fundamentals of Extremism is an absorbing exposE. It urges mainstream Americans to recognize and oppose the encroachment of Christian fundamentalism on our secular society. It's a stirring appeal for religious freedom and the protection of civil liberties for all--including for the extremists who would deny such rights to others.


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On September 11, 2001, Americans witnessed horrific carnage inspired by religious extremism. We saw religious fundamentalists will stop at nothing to reign terror on those they regard as their enemies. In our response, we began to focus on the oppressive treatment of women and children in other parts of the world where religious fundamentalism rules. But we failed to ackno On September 11, 2001, Americans witnessed horrific carnage inspired by religious extremism. We saw religious fundamentalists will stop at nothing to reign terror on those they regard as their enemies. In our response, we began to focus on the oppressive treatment of women and children in other parts of the world where religious fundamentalism rules. But we failed to acknowledge the impact and similarities of Christian fundamentalism. Even now, most Americans fail to realize the magnitude of problems posed by our own country's Christian fundamentalism and Religious Right. We regard such dogmatism as odd but non-threatening. We reason, "Why should we be concerned, so long as it doesn't affect us?" But the problem does affect all of us. As The Fundamentals of Extremism reveals, it affects those women and children in Christian fundamentalist homes who suffer severe emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. It affects minorities, particularly African-Americans, and gays and lesbians. Equally disconcerting, the problem affects adherents of non-fundamentalist faiths. It also affects those with no religious beliefs who are prime targets of religious fundamentalists' prejudicial attitudes. Even mainstream Christians whose tenets differ from those of conservative Christianity are violators of the will of God who must reform. American Christian fundamentalists are working to change the laws of our land. Their goal is to force all Americans to conform to their strict religious ideologies. Kimberly Blaker's The Fundamentals of Extremism: The Christian Right in America is not just another book on the Religious Right. John Shelby Spong, bestselling author of Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism calls Blaker's book "a thorough analysis of a present crisis." In this stark and troubling account of the Religious Right's vision for America, readers will come face-to-face with Christian fundamentalist goals and tactics that have long been underway. Blaker's carefully documented and compelling narrative exposes the full spectrum of issues on the Christian fundamentalist agenda. Rarely have these issues been examined so thoroughly. At least one has never been examined and exposed nationally. The Fundamentals of Extremism is an absorbing exposE. It urges mainstream Americans to recognize and oppose the encroachment of Christian fundamentalism on our secular society. It's a stirring appeal for religious freedom and the protection of civil liberties for all--including for the extremists who would deny such rights to others.

30 review for The Fundamentals of Extremism: The Christian Right in America

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ed Buckner

    Fundamentals of Extremism is a great book--though I'm once again biased as hell, since I wrote the concluding chapter. But I'm writing here mostly about the sterling, effective, clear, concise, intellectually stimulating writing of my fellow authors: Kimberly Blaker (editor and writer), Edwin Kagin, Herb Silverman, Bobbie Kirkhart, et al. If you want to really understand Christian fundamentalism and the risks it entails for us a free nation, this book is a must read. Fundamentals of Extremism is a great book--though I'm once again biased as hell, since I wrote the concluding chapter. But I'm writing here mostly about the sterling, effective, clear, concise, intellectually stimulating writing of my fellow authors: Kimberly Blaker (editor and writer), Edwin Kagin, Herb Silverman, Bobbie Kirkhart, et al. If you want to really understand Christian fundamentalism and the risks it entails for us a free nation, this book is a must read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I'm no fan of the religious right by any means, and I find much of what they do threatening, but I have a few issues about the author's credibility. For one thing, she takes a really drastic viewpoint and frames things in an extremely inflammatory way – for example, she says that the March for life on Washington was a way of "terrorizing" Congress – really? Peaceful demonstrations in Washington are forms of terrorism now? I also caught her using a quote that doesn't exist, which she uses and the I'm no fan of the religious right by any means, and I find much of what they do threatening, but I have a few issues about the author's credibility. For one thing, she takes a really drastic viewpoint and frames things in an extremely inflammatory way – for example, she says that the March for life on Washington was a way of "terrorizing" Congress – really? Peaceful demonstrations in Washington are forms of terrorism now? I also caught her using a quote that doesn't exist, which she uses and then concedes it is "like something he would say" which is flat-out deceptive. It's just so enormously one-sided that I have to take it with a grain of salt – I don't know if she's really telling the whole story, because she's distorts the facts about the pro-life movement so much that I wonder if she's distorting everything. I think the religious right is a serious threat to our country, and definitely something to be alarmed about, but I'm not convinced that this author is treating the subject fairly. I just don't find her very credible.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    The purpose of this book is to expose the dangers that "Christian" extremist pose within the USA. I agree with the many of the authors on many aspects and think that there are few discussions we need to be having within the USA about what to do when dealing with these groups. It gives a description of a few churches or families that have views that are detrimental to their followers or children. The author lived in the Southern USA long enough to recognize this is a growing problem. He does not The purpose of this book is to expose the dangers that "Christian" extremist pose within the USA. I agree with the many of the authors on many aspects and think that there are few discussions we need to be having within the USA about what to do when dealing with these groups. It gives a description of a few churches or families that have views that are detrimental to their followers or children. The author lived in the Southern USA long enough to recognize this is a growing problem. He does not agree with the conclusions of all the authors or all of their worldviews. They are concerned about these groups because of their damage to the nation and their restrictions on people's freedom. I am concerned for those reasons in addition that such groups distract others from and misrepresent the Christian faith. Now I am not sure if all the groups they mention as being "Christian extremist" groups actually are (i.e., I find it hard to believe James Dobson is with how many people I know respect him but I am not familiar enough with his talk shows or books to know nor is finding out more about him one of my priorities). Anyway I think the underlying theme and premise is one that people should think about more. The question is how do we engage the people who are caught up in some of these groups or believe a doctrine that is detrimental to their own health, to the health of those immediately around them, or to the society as a whole? Additionally, I like that some of the authors took the time to point out logical inconsistencies in the theology in some of these churches. One example was pointing out that many of the people who banner under the label "pro-life" are not fully "pro-life." In many cases they are just "pro-birth" and often neglect thinking about the life the child will have from there or aiding from that point onward. Additionally, it was pointed out that a few of these people who are the most vocal in the USA are also pro-death penalty, pro-military, and pro-gun so that calling them "pro-life" is a misnomer. However, having different authors for different chapters meant that their was variability in the style and reliability of each chapter. Some chapters were more well researched and rational. They quoted accurate facts and figures and drew logical conclusions. Others went for the more emotional approach and stirred up fear or indignation at some points misquoting figures or taking quotes out of context. And some were a combination of both. If not for this variability from chapter to chapter I would have given this book a higher rating.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephie Williams

    This book presents the dangers of the the Christian right to are precious liberal democracy. Not only that, but its danger to those individuals that the group opposes. These include women, childen, LGBT individuals, and family planning and abortion providers. From the outlook of the book the religious fundamentlists are just plain corrosive on society, which I firmly agree with. In my opinion it is not only the fundamentalist brand of religion that has this effect but most of religion in itself. This book presents the dangers of the the Christian right to are precious liberal democracy. Not only that, but its danger to those individuals that the group opposes. These include women, childen, LGBT individuals, and family planning and abortion providers. From the outlook of the book the religious fundamentlists are just plain corrosive on society, which I firmly agree with. In my opinion it is not only the fundamentalist brand of religion that has this effect but most of religion in itself. I found the quality of the contributers in this collection to be be very good. It is clear and informative, helping to increase one's understanding of the issues. Kimberly Blaker did a very good job assembling this collection. It covers a great many of the issues that the involve the Christian Right. It is quite scary to see what the fundamentalists are up to in politics, education, and discrimination. In politics some fundamentalist are working hard to turn America into a theocracy. Some would ditch the Constitution, others would be happy to see the First Amendment go away. These fundamentalists would enact draconian criminal laws, similar to the Muslim Sharia. In education fundamentalist work to do away with public education, partially through vouchers. They also would see that creationism be taught instead of evolution,and include school prayer and other religious activities in education. Finally, they discriminate against women and children. Women are and continue to be limited in their activities: no schooling after high school (a religious school, of course), practically doomed to slavery in the house, abusive relationships (first fathers and other relatives, then by husbands), and little access to health care, including reproductive health. Childen face the rod as the major form of disciplinary action, which borders on and/or leads to abuse, limited eduction and hence job or career opportunities, and psychological issues. The book is very good. I favor the book for everyone. For those with no exposure to the problems and issues in the book, those who would like to deepen their understanding, and fundamentalists themselves, especially those who think their way of life is benign.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    I was surprised, but my library actually had this one. If it's not pro-God, pro-Republican, they usually don't have it. And I get they gotta know their public, but it's annoying to the few non-Republicans in the county. I usually have to buy anything in that vein that I want to read and usually that's not something I care to own, so yeah. Anyway, this was a decent little book. It was short, but dense and filled with facts and figures. As someone who grew up in a church that was a member of the S I was surprised, but my library actually had this one. If it's not pro-God, pro-Republican, they usually don't have it. And I get they gotta know their public, but it's annoying to the few non-Republicans in the county. I usually have to buy anything in that vein that I want to read and usually that's not something I care to own, so yeah. Anyway, this was a decent little book. It was short, but dense and filled with facts and figures. As someone who grew up in a church that was a member of the Southern Baptist Convention, a lot of it hit close to home.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Darwin Lau

    Downright scary how racism, homophobia, misogynism, domestic violence, etc breed under the disguise of "family value" propagated by Christian fundamentalists. This book offers a detailed account of how these religious zealots manipulate the public, politicians, all branches of the government, the education system, and the media to advance their beliefs, in an attempt to replace the secular democracy in the US with a fundamentalist theocracy. Downright scary how racism, homophobia, misogynism, domestic violence, etc breed under the disguise of "family value" propagated by Christian fundamentalists. This book offers a detailed account of how these religious zealots manipulate the public, politicians, all branches of the government, the education system, and the media to advance their beliefs, in an attempt to replace the secular democracy in the US with a fundamentalist theocracy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Demay

    Terrifying look at how religious extremism has taken over the Republican party, and the implications for the future of civil rights in our country.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pennalynn

  9. 5 out of 5

    uriah Landfried

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anne-marie Vúeis

  11. 5 out of 5

    ashwini

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jay Mckeen

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joy D

  15. 4 out of 5

    Libertine

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ruthann

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  18. 5 out of 5

    Muhammad Usman

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cory Plikuhn

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dustin

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ian Apperley

  23. 5 out of 5

    Peter Aborn

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Olson Michel

  25. 4 out of 5

    Victor

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ulrike Dunlap

  27. 5 out of 5

    Angela

  28. 5 out of 5

    Derek Bamonte

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tina Coley

  30. 4 out of 5

    G. Branden

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