Monday, January 13, 2014

Beth’s Books: Christian Nation: A Novel

Beth's BooksThis is the review I wrote on Shelfari. I wanted to include it here, because it became an instant favorite of mine. I’ll add a little more commentary after the review.


If you're a fan of the separation of church and state and feel like having the bejeebers scared out of you, this is the book for you!

The premise is simple, but almost too horrifying to contemplate: instead of losing the 2008 election, the McCain-Palin ticket narrowly prevails. When President McCain unexpectedly and suddenly dies, the vice-president is immediately sworn in, and President Palin begins to take the country in a more religious direction. Thus, a Christian Nation. America becomes a theocracy.

"President Palin." Just let that sink in for a moment. You're welcome for the nightmares.

The country continues to spiral downwards through the two terms of Palin's presidency, and the presidency of her successor. No one is spared. Homosexuality becomes a crime and the gays flee to countries who offer asylum; books are burned; blasphemy becomes a capital offense; Ivy League schools are taken over by the federal government and liberal faculty are forced to resign; the teaching of evolution is outlawed and a Christian perspective is required to be taught.

This is a liberal's worst nightmare, and I found it an absolutely chilling book. The tone is a little preachy at times, but I was okay with that. I see it as an important cautionary tale, and it illustrates exactly why many of us fight for separation of church and state. Conservatives would absolutely hate this book, especially because the last bastion of freedom is none other than that east coast pocket of "liberal elites," Manhattan.

I was fascinated by this book and found it hard to put down. It was like driving by a horrible car accident and being unable to look away. The slow erosion of personal freedoms and the slide into theocracy was a terrible thing to watch...and it seemed all too plausible. Highly recommended.


Christian NationSince I try to keep things low-key on Shelfari, here are the things I didn’t want to say on there:

HOLY SHIT! Literally.

This book was truly horrifying for me. When I was reading it, there were times that I woke up in the middle of the night and would be unable to stop thinking about it. There really are people who want this to happen, who feel that Christianity should be the linchpin of our republic, and that our government should have a decidedly Christian bent. These are the people who call evolution a “socialist idea” and see nothing wrong with Ten Commandments monuments and Nativity scenes in our government buildings. These are also the same people who howl when others force the issue and erect Satanist displays or Festivus poles alongside the Christian displays.

Flying Spaghetti Monster displays and Festivus poles are kind of silly...but I totally agree with people’s right to put them up, as long as Christian displays are allowed. Personally, I’d rather see NO such displays erected in our government buildings, but as long as they continue to allow Christian displays, I say keep erecting those Festivus poles!

Here’s the thing: certain people are fine with religious displays, or prayers at the beginning of government meetings, as long as they are Christian displays and Christian prayers. Start pushing the envelope and ask for a prayer to Allah at the start of the local high school football game and see what kind of reaction you get. You should probably expect death threats in your future. If only Christian displays are allowed, that is favoring one religion over another, which is blatantly unconstitutional. I don’t understand why this is so hard for people to comprehend.

This is part of the reason I enjoyed this book so much, even though I found it quite scary. It shows how such extremist thinking (and yes, I think wanting only Christian displays and prayers is extremist thinking) can get out of control, especially when we have leaders who make it clear that they desire a Christian nation. I pay close attention to how people feel about science education and about the place of religion in our government, and I vote accordingly.

A person’s religion is their own business. I want to guard against them making it my business or anyone else’s business.


  1. ... I don't think much of organized religion and to think that some of the Christian zealots who are bidding to get into higher office and closer to "the button" is chilling... Greg Stillson may have become President if his true color was never revealed... and we are just as fortunate not to have suffered through a reality of a Palin Presidency...

  2. I may need to put this on my reading list...


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