So I've been thinking about this some lately, and I wanted to see what your thoughts were:
I read a novel last fall that was making the rounds of Atheist blogs and what not called "Christian Nation", which is part alternative history and part cautionary tale. It supposes that John McCain and Sarah Palin had been elected in 2008; not long afterwards, McCain dies in Russia during a state visit of a massive cerebral hemmorage and Palin takes over.
She proves to the nation what folks in Alaska figured out; she's got no business anywhere near public office. But a terrorist attack gives her and Christian reconstructionists the opening they need, and she imposes martial law. Eventually, Palin and her cohorts eventually turn the nation into a "Christian Nation", establishing the plans of Rushdoony and others - Christian Reconstructionism, Seven Mountains Dominion, et.al.
Personally, I found the book to be a modern-day version of Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here". What I'd like to know is - have you read the book yourself, and if you did, what did you think of it.
Without a doubt, it was truly frightening what these extremist Christians would do to our nation if we don't keep standing up to them.
It scared me as well Patricia. And I have no doubt that there are those in Canada - Harper and his minions - who would like to do the same to your country as well.
I've read about the Social Credit movement up there; if I'm not mistaken, Preston Manning and his Reform Party espoused that kind of thinking. It was kind of moralistic, right? I do remember reading that, in Alberta, you couldn't even drink a beer in Alberta airspace for some time, thanks to Social Credit fundamentalist types.
Stockwell Day, that was the guy. Doesn't he have some sort of position in the Harper cabinet by any chance?
I know Harper's a bit more low-key about his religion, yes.
I struggled with similar material, only mine was to be a vehicle for Bill Maher. I saw the whole thing as a kind of surreal comedy. If you did not go to church on Sunday you would be put in stocks, perhaps with a cable channel devoted to public humiliation. Rushdoony, as I am sure you know, should have been named Rush LOONY. His beliefs are the basis of all evangelical hoopla about a "Rapture" that can only occur if Christians bring about the establishment of Christ's "dominion" over all that exists. That fool Huckabee in a press conference for his retreat from a presidential run said that he would continue to work until the Constitution and laws are interpreted according to Biblical principles, as blatant a statement of support for theocracy as could be imagined. These people, Brent, are dangerous loonies. They should be shunned as dinosaurs, people stuck in the Dark Ages of 19th and 20th century America and trying to keep the rest of the nation mired in it, too. Worse, Rapture-thought is a self-fulfilling prophecy. These geeks are giving tons of money to the most conservative Israelis in efforts to put pressure on the Muslim Palestinians in hopes there's an Armageddon. You know who Rev. John Hagee is, right? They're giving Sunday plate $$$ to build Israeli settlements in Palestinian land.
Yes I am James, *very* well aware of Hagee. The guy's as arrogant as anyone. Remember when he told Atheists and others who disagreed with him to leave the country? Myself and a couple of friends of mine simply said to him:
Don't want to give away any of the plot, but let's say that deep into the book, things get *very* interesting. And frightening. Saying they're loonies is putting it very mildly.
Another dystopic novel like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Handmaid's_Tale ?
Doesn't that end happily? I read it but don't remember it very well. I'm not much into Margaret Atwood.
There are novels where fundamentalist Islam has taken over - that's a topical subject.
@ Plinius: I don't think so personally. The ending does have some hope, though, I'll say that. I don't want to give things away for folks who haven't read it and may want to.
@Brent: yes, I think so too about the ending. Just hadn't answered before because I'm insanely busy.
There was a not-too-bad film version starring Natasha Richardson and Robert Duvall a few years ago.
Thanks very much for the tip on this one, Brent. I had not heard of this book, and alternate history is one of my favorite genres. I look forward to finding this one so I can read it.
My pleasure Jeff. =) It's been out for about a year now, IIRC - it was making the rounds of the atheist blogosphere when it came out - so, if nothing else, it should still be available at your local bookstore or on-line somewhere. Haven't heard of a paperback version of it yet though.
Seems to me I saw an excerpt of Christian Nation somewhere (maybe elsewhere on A|N). Certainly, it was scary, but then, the very fact that Sarah Palin is involved in politics could scare anyone out of three years' growth!
And I suspect that may be at least a portion of what lost John McCain the 2008 election. The very fact that he was then and is now a man in not the best of health and she would have been a heart attack or stroke away from being the leader of the free world. Consciously or unconsciously, that had to be on a few people's minds - even Republicans! I have to believe it was a factor, and just as well.
That said, the New Apostolic Reformation is still out there and still determined to turn the US into exactly what is outlined in that book. One thing that stands between them and that goal is US.