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View Full Version : Interesting book: 'Republican Gomorrah'



Norman Bernstein
06-08-2015, 12:39 PM
Since I was taking a solo trip down to NJ, and hadn't downloaded a book to listen to, I stopped off at a local closeout store and found this. It's not brand new (published in 2009), but it is an outstanding review of the influence of evangelical Christianity on the Republican Party. It contains some pretty deep research on a number of Republican luminaries, as well as the evangelical leaders exerting their influence over the party in some rather profound ways. I'm about 90"% through it, but it's been a terrific 'listen'.

The author, Max Blumenthal, also wrote 'Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel', one of the best books I've read about contemporary life for Palestinians and Palestinian Israelis.


http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41odMk+XH-L._SL300_.jpg

George Jung
06-08-2015, 12:42 PM
Interesting; thanks.

In a tangential aside, did you see the story on the USSC decision on Congress' efforts at requiring US passports state Jerusalem is part of Israel? How bizarre is that? IMO, any senator wasting time/taxpayers dollars pushing such BS should be out of a job.

Norman Bernstein
06-08-2015, 12:49 PM
Interesting; thanks.

In a tangential aside, did you see the story on the USSC decision on Congress' efforts at requiring US passports state Jerusalem is part of Israel? How bizarre is that? IMO, any senator wasting time/taxpayers dollars pushing such BS should be out of a job.

I didn't see that... but I'm not surprised. Ironic that the most recent part of 'Republican Gomorrah' that I listened to at lunch, talked about John Hagee, and the Pentacostalist apocalyptic religious prediction of Armageddon.... including his endorsements of the idea that Israel should launch a nuclear war against Iran.... which, according to Hagee, will precipitate the Rapture. His love of Israel, of course, is predicated on the idea that after the rapture, all Jews will either become Christians.... or burn in hell for eternity.

He's a sweet guy, that Hagee :)

George Jung
06-08-2015, 12:52 PM
Yeah. Sweet.

Ever wonder how folks get so screwed up? I mean, the process. Fascinating, but only from a distance.

Norman Bernstein
06-08-2015, 01:10 PM
Yeah. Sweet.

Ever wonder how folks get so screwed up? I mean, the process. Fascinating, but only from a distance.

Well, Blumenthal cites a number of psychologists who claim to see some common threads: it seems that many of the religious leaders who are portraited in the book came from homes where they were tightly controlled, corporeally punished, precluded from much of what the secular world has to offer, and so on.

I'm not particularly sold on that sort of idea, myself.... much of what I hear from popularly-profiled psychologists sounds too much like 'pop-psychology'... but there may be something to it.

The book does spend a great deal of time on the back-stories of numerous political luminaries who have publicly espoused their Christian principles and were eventually found to be hypocrites..... forgiven, of course, by virtue of their claims of a 'born again' rebirth. Mark Foley, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Bob Livingston, and many others are profiled. Religious leaders like James Dobson, who has been especially influential with Christian Republican politicians, is extensively covered.

WI-Tom
06-08-2015, 05:34 PM
Religious leaders like James Dobson, who has been especially influential with Christian Republican politicians, is extensively covered.

Is Dobson as creepy as I've always thought he was? I have friends who seem to jump to obey his every mandate...

Tom

Norman Bernstein
06-08-2015, 05:48 PM
Is Dobson as creepy as I've always thought he was? I have friends who seem to jump to obey his every mandate...


No, not really 'creepy'... just steadfastly committed to his particular form of Christian Dominionism. Earlier in his career, he was (and I believe, still is) a huge advocate of the corporeal punishment of children... his books 'Dare to Discipline' is the 'bible' of supposedly enlightened Christian child-rearing. The incredibly sad story of his severely troubled son doesn't exactly provide a ringing endorsement of his expertise at parenting. Some psychologists quoted by Blumenthal argue that many of these born-again religious leaders were victims of severe physical punishment, as children.