The best-selling author of Stranger at the Gate returns with an insider's exposé of the origins of the Christian fundamentalist movement and how its virulent anti-gay agenda has led to the rise of the Tea Party movement, among other forms of recent right wing extremism.
In Holy Terror, the Rev. Dr. Mel White argues that the true goals of today's fundamentalists are to break down the wall that separates church and state, superimpose their "moral values" on the US Constitution, replace democracy with theocratic rule, and ultimately create a new "Christian America" in their image. They believe this is a Christian nation that must be returned forcibly to its Christian roots.
Since the fall of "godless Communism," homosexuality and abortion have become the primary targets through which fundamentalists have created fear, raised money, and mobilized recruits. Originally published in hardcover as Religion Gone Bad, Holy Terror documents the thirty-year war that fundamentalist Christians have waged against gays and lesbians and offers dramatic, well-documented evidence that fundamentalist leaders are waging nothing less than a "holy war" against sexual minorities.
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About the Author
During the past twenty five years, the Rev. Dr. Mel White and his partner, Gary Nixon, have traveled across the country, speaking on university campuses, teaching the "soul force" principles of Gandhi and King, organizing people of faith to do justice, and confronting religious leaders whose anti-gay rhetoric White believes, "leads to the suffering and death of God's lesbian and gay children."
In 1997, in Atlanta, Georgia, Mel received the ACLU's National Civil Liberties Award for his efforts to apply the "soul force" principles of relentless nonviolent resistance to the struggle for justice for sexual minorities. In 1994 Simon and Schuster published Mel's autobiography Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay And Christian In America.
Much has happened to Mel and Gary since Mel's best selling autobiography was released. On February 15, 1995, Mel was arrested for "trespassing" at Pat Robertson's CBN Broadcast Center. The story of his arrest, the 22 day prison fast, and the "little victory" that followed, made news across the nation.
For 30 years, Dr. White had served the evangelical Christian community as a pastor, seminary professor, best-selling author, prize-winning filmmaker, communication consultant and ghost writer to its most famous and powerful leaders. From the beginning the media pictured Mel as an employee of these leaders on the "religious right." Although Mel did not work with nor write speeches for these leaders. he was hired by national publishers to write books -- primarily "autobiographies" -- for his ghost-writing clients including Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy, and Pat Robertson. Looking back Mel wishes he had never been a ghost writer "but at the same time," he adds, "it proves that God has a marvelous sense of humor. Seeing these leaders up close and personal gave me a priceless opportunity that would later be a real advantage."
Mel's latest book, Religion Gone Bad: Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right is an expose of the fundamentalist Christian war being waged against sexual and gender minorities. Across this country," Mel explains, "our gay brothers and lesbian sisters are the victims of a tidal wave of intolerance, discrimination, and violent crime flowing directly out of the anti-gay rhetoric of the radical right. We people of faith, gay and straight alike, must take our stand to end the suffering."
After Dr. White's 22 day fast in the Virginia Beach City Jail, Pat Robertson visited him in jail, heard White's plea and went on the air to say clearly that he "abhorred the growing violence against gay and lesbian people." "Pat Robertson is not our enemy,' White said later. "He is a victim of misinformation like we all have been. In the spirit of Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. we must go on believing that Pat and the others can change."
Dr. White has dedicated his life to a ministry of change. "Until this nation accepts God's gay and lesbian children as full members of the human family," White explains, "we must go on telling that truth in love, whatever it costs us."
Read an Excerpt
A Note from Mel on the Tea Party Movement and Why We Need to Know about the Origins of Christian Fundamentalism in the US to Understand It
Too many Americans think the Tea-Party appeared from nowhere like Athena from the head of Zeus, fully grown and armed for battle. In fact, the Tea-Party and other contemporary rightwing political movements have their roots in the rise of fundamentalist Christianity in the 1970s (where Holy Terror begins). To understand what's happening now is to understand what happened then.
Even a primary founder of the Tea-Party, Karl Denninger, has condemned the movement for "being hijacked by the very people it was protesting and is now obsessed with guns, gays and God." What better pitchman could we have than a Tea-Party founder who recognizes that the old religious right is back disguised as something new.
Karl Rove and the fundamentalist Christian right did not disappear when Obama's Democrats took power. They've just waited patiently in the wings determined to force their theocracy upon us. I can't believe how quickly they've recovered power. They're back and until we see exactly where they came from we cannot begin to know where they are taking us.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I can't recommend "Holy Terror" too highly if understanding the true agenda of the Tea Party and the religious right regarding equal rights for gay and lesbian people is important to you. Mel White articulates the way the Christian Right exploits the "terror passages" in the Bible to implore the government to deny rights to LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people while ignoring passages in the very same sections of the Bible that do not relate to LGBT people. Such selective quoting of the Bible will be seen often during the current election cycle and this book will help alert you to it when you see it happening. I've bought this book for myself and ordered several copies for friends and I urge you to do the same. It is a watershed book that exposes and analyzes the source of the political and religious oppression of LGBT people to deny them equal protection under the law, especially as it relates to marriage equality, a hotly debated topic today.
This is an exceptional book that I highly recommend to anyone who would like to better understand the ways the Christian fundamentalists of the religious right tell outright lies and bend and distort the truth in a relentless effort to deny gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, both in the United States and worldwide, their human and civil rights. It is MOST un-Christian behavior and Mel White exposes it for exactly what it is. " Holy Terror" is a must-read for those who would work to confront these untruths. Mel adroitly explains how today's Tea Party movement is really what the Moral Majority of yesteryear has transformed itself into. I read Mel White's" Stranger at the Gate -To Be Gay & Christian in America" in one reading and found that I could not put this book down once I started reading it either. It is compelling and important reading and I thank Mel for exposing the lies told to deny GLBT people their rights and urge you to order a copy for yourself to educate yourself about a war of, literally, biblical proportions.
One word. Judt one word: Checkmate.
The other day while at a Barnes and Noble’s bookstore I bought a copy of Dr. Mel (of Soulforce fame) White’s new paperback book “Holy Terror.” Since taking it home I’ve hardly been able to put it down. I found most of his statements and conclusions concerning the Religious Right in America to be not just opinion and/or conjecture but fact backed up by meticulous research borne out of years of monitoring the print, audio, and video material of the leaders themselves. They can’t deny that they said it or did it if it’s all right (no pun intended) there in black and white and sometimes even living color! And they also can’t argue that their words were taken out of context when the context is right there if anyone is willing to follow up on the hundreds of footnotes provided! I also found fascinating Dr. White’s conclusions that in recent years the powerful Religious Right of a few years back has resurfaced as the Tea Party Movement since the election of Barack Obama and the deaths of such fundamentalist leaders as Falwell, Kennedy, and Criswell. His arguments are very persuasive. This paperback is memorable, informative, scary, and fun to read all at the same time---and the page turning is easy. It is truly a book that once you start it you’ll find (like myself) that it’s hard to put down. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in LGBT issues or even just the future of representative Democracy in America today. I heartily give it a 5 star rating. Btw, also be sure and check out the chapter on Idolatry. It’s pure genius! ---Daryl Lach