John Shelby Spong, retired Bishop, Diocese of Newark, New Jersey and the national best-selling author of The Fourth Gospel, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, and numerous other titles.
“Kimberly Blaker and her associates have put together a blockbuster exposé of the activities of the Religious Right. With incredible precision and cogent images, they tell their story in such a way that readers may turn quickly to their sources with confidence and security. This is no shallow treatment of an emotional subject, but a thorough analysis of a present crisis. If knowledge is power, as I believe it is, then the knowledge presented in this book will go a long way toward helping the United States retain the freedom of being a society, which though secular, can allow and even encourage a mature spirituality to develop. That is no small achievement.”
Richard Dawkins, retired Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, author of bestselling books The God Delusion, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Selfish Gene, among many others.
“I have just read this brilliant book from start to finish, almost without a break, and I am stunned and horrified by what I have learned. The fundamentalist Christian Right is America’s Taliban. With the exception of the burqa (and even that, one feels, is missing only because St Paul forgot to mention it) all the ingredients are there: slavish adherence to a misunderstood old text; hatred of women, modernity, rival religions, science and pleasure; love of punishment, bullying, narrow-minded, bossy interference in every aspect of life. The Religious Right represents organized ignorance, organized bigotry, organized nastiness – and these people are on their way to taking over the Republican Party. Not least, the book persuaded me how muddled the fundamentalists are. They think they are patriots, yet they fight the letter of the Constitution and the spirit of the Founding Fathers every step of the way. The Religious Right is, in the deepest and truest sense of the word, un-American.”
John M. Swomley (1915-2010) was professor emeritus of Christian social ethics at the St. Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, and the author of eight books. He served as president of Americans for Religious Liberty, vice-president of the national board of the American Civil Liberties Union and chair of the A.C.L.U.’s church-state committee. A United Methodist minister, pacifist Christian, and nonviolent activist, he influenced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “pilgrimage to nonviolence.”
“Finally, here is a well-documented book about the dangers of Christian fundamentalism, both Protestant and Catholic. Mind control, including a strong relationship between fundamentalism and prejudice, discrimination, intolerance, and hate crimes are exposed with fact and credible evidence. Women, especially, suffer not only in fundamentalist homes, but also from the political results of fundamentalism.
Kimberly Blaker’s book demonstrates not only the relationship between fundamentalism and far-right organizations—such as Dobson’s Focus on the Family, and those of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson—it also reveals the funding by right-wing foundations and their corporate sponsors. It is not surprising that religious fundamentalists support private school vouchers and home schooling rather than public schools where students are taught to think for themselves.
This book also demonstrates the opposition of fundamentalism to sex education in the schools and the consequent result that teen pregnancy is higher in the United States than six other developed countries.
In fact, this is the most careful and devastating evaluation of the impact of fundamentalism on American society, politics, and customs ever produced in the United States.
Although Kimberly Blaker, a woman, is the chief author and creator of this exploration of the perils of fundamentalism, she has wisely included chapters from several men, including a medical doctor, who reinforce with their own research the basic thesis and ideas she has advanced so well.
I have seldom, if ever, reviewed a book so cogent, factually accurate, and enlightening as this one. It opens a new vista of knowledge and insight that will make a significant contribution to American parents, educators, and thoughtful religious and humanist leaders.”
Nadine Strossen, formerly served as president of American Civil Liberties Union, Professor of Law, New York Law School, and author of How Sex Became a Civil Liberty, Defending Pornography, The Government Vs. Erotica, and other books.
“The Fundamentals of Extremism is an especially important book for all who care about the rights and well-being of women and children. It explores religious extremists’ attacks on the civil liberties of women and children, in general. It also exposes the dire effects of these attacks upon women and children within too many Christian fundamentalist homes, in particular.”
Gerald A. Larue, (1916-2014) Emeritus Professor and Religion Adjunct Professor at University of Southern California, author of Playing God, editor of Biblical Versus Secular Ethics
“As Kimberly Blaker and her colleagues illustrate in this powerful expose of the aims, purposes and programs of the Religious Right, the real threat comes from within. . . . In page after page of carefully researched and well-documented evidence Blaker shows how those who would have the United States recognized as ‘a Christian nation’ and ‘under God’ are ready to disregard ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people’ and impose their religious beliefs on others.”
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