The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting review of historian Randall Balmer's new book, Thy Kingdom Come: An Evangelical's Lament. An excerpt:
"[R]ight-wing zealots have distorted the gospel of Jesus Christ, defaulted on the noble legacy of 19th-century evangelical activism, and failed to appreciate the genius of the First Amendment," he says. What the Religious Right hankers for is "the kind of homogeneous theocracy that the Puritans tried to establish."It's really interesting how those who have taken the time to study the actual history of the Evangelical movement in America are the ones who are the most puzzled about where we're going, politically and socially.
What happened to the freedom of conscience espoused by early leaders like Roger Williams? What happened to the individual's decision to follow God or the World? They've been lost in the rhetoric of "reclaiming America for God," which is a very dangerous notion, to my way of thinking.