There are a lot of topics that stir up a lot of controversy, but none so much in this moment than homosexuality. And paying a pivotal role in the discussion of this touchy subject is, or should be, Mel White’s 2006 book Holy Terror: Lies the Christian Right Tells Us to Deny Gay Equality.
In this well-documented treatise, White goes into painstaking detail about the work being done by some prominent conservative Christian leaders to curtail the constitutional rights of the GLBT community. And as the ghostwriter at one time for the likes of Jerry Falwell and Billy Graham, he is privy to insider information that most of us would have no knowledge of. We can be greatly indebted to him for bringing some of these things to light, even if we come away in disagreement with his stance and lifestyle.
White goes to great lengths to make it clear that he has nothing but the utmost respect for most of the men fighting against the causes of the GLBT community. He has worked with them and has, in some cases, come to call some of them friends. He doesn’t once demonize the men themselves. He is careful to make clear that it is their obsession with homosexuality that upsets him most.
He begins with an almost 200 page overview of the anti-gay rights agenda. He lays out for us the major leaders in the movement, men like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and D. James Kennedy. He talks about how these men took their movement to the political sphere and got close with politicians to advance their ideology.
After this not-so-brief overview, he calls out fundamentalist Christianity for what he deems are two major heresies: idolatry and fascism. He accuses the Christian far-right of worshiping their religion rather than the One their religion is supposed to be founded on. And he calls them fascist in that they are seeking to control all of America under some sort of theocracy that has little resemblance to the Constitution that America was established upon.
He closes the book out with a “so what can we do to stop these madmen” call.
Overall, this is a well-documented and thought provoking read. In a lot of ways I found myself in total agreement with Mel White. There does indeed seem to be an obsession with homosexuality among some Christian leaders. And there is a whole lot of misinformation being spread about homosexuals in the name of defending the traditional family and traditional values. The book should be read, though, for what it is, that being a book defending the homosexual agenda and exposing some of the underlying principles of the “pro-traditional-family” movement. Some of it will make you angry at the author, other things will leave you feeling very uncomfortable with some of the men who you may feel are doing a lot of good in the fight for traditional values. But it is an important book and, given how heated the rhetoric is on both sides of the GLBT discussion, is well worth your time and effort.
***Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.***