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Christian Right’s Rage Problem: How White Fundamentalists Are Roiling America

December 1, 2014 in Blogs

By Edwin Lyngar, Salon

People in the far-right wing of American religion will vilify those who dare to stand up to them.

Over the past few years, America has been divided by religion.  The culture wars have heated up with secularists on one side and God-fearing Americans on the other, and to understate things: They disagree.  But does that mean we hate one another?  If the animosity is so intense, what kind of outrage goes too far? Bonnie Weinstein has tackled this issue in an important but very troubling book out Dec. 2, titled “To the Far Right Christian Hater … You Can Be a Good Speller or a Hater, But You Can’t Be Both: Official Hate Mail, Threats, and Criticism From the Archives of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.”

Married to Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), the author has collected and annotated a sampling of the hate mail the foundation has received over the past few years.  This hate mail is not trolling or anonymous “Internet comments.”  The letters are specific and threatening and most often include a return address or email.  The Weinsteins’ home has been vandalized — many times — and the family has had to take serious and expensive security measures.  It’s no joke.  As I read the book, curled up on my couch, my wife kept asking if I was OK.  My face was fixed in an expression of horror and disbelief as I read the rage, hate and cruelty cataloged on every page.  Bonnie has uncovered a shocking reality: Self-professed Christians deny the fundamental humanity of other people they don’t even know.

As hard as it was to read in places, it’s important to read and understand.  It offers an unflinching examination of a subset of American fundamentalism, created by a segment of our society that is whiter, more conservative and a lot angrier than the rest of America.  For some people the future of their faith and of the nation are in danger, threatened by secular forces controlled by Satan himself.  This existential threat to Christian supremacy justifies the most offensive, vulgar and cruel letters …read more


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