There is something about reading a book that clearly states what should already be obvious. It should be a simple walk in the woods, not a terrifying reality check.
Unfortunately for anyone involved in LBGT, or for that matter progressive political organizing, Dr. Mel White’s recently published book, ‘Religion Gone Bad, The Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right,’ lays bare a political agenda not just chilling to LBGT Americans, but threatening the very core of America itself.
It is a warning and a call to action that should be heeded without delay.
White uses a simple yet convincing writing style to explore the Christian right’s goals, aims and targets in American culture. And he is the perfect person to write this book. White is a former ghost writer, film maker/producer and evangelical minister with long time associations with several of the “A” list antigay crusaders including Falwell, Robertson and Kennedy.
Broken into four major areas, the book covers the major leaders in the fundamentalist movement, including White’s former co-workers, employers and friends. In this section, he tells the stories of these men, humanizing them at a time when some might be more inclined to demonize. His insights are personal ones, based on his relationships with them. And this personal knowledge makes what follows all the more horrifying.
In part two, White lays out the Glen Eyrie protocols. Based on transcripts of recordings of an exclusive meeting of 54 antigay Christian activists in a castle in Colorado in 1994, the revelations are stunning, terrifying and frankly enough to piss off even the most politically ignorant. It was here that the Christian right’s war against the LBGT community was was laid out, attacking our humanity with its intention to see us gone.
Think that’s extremism? Think again. White reminds us of Dr. Paul Cameron, one of the participants in the Glen Eyrie meetings, and his 1985 statement to the Conservative Political Action Conference (yes, the conference that Ann Coulter used to infer John Edwards was a homosexual), “Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.”
In the third part of the book, White draws a convincing comparison between Hitler’s fascism and the religious right here in America. The comparison is strong, exploring psychology and sociology, as well as the actual comparisons of Hitler’s public relations machine and the public relations machines of the religious right, pumping out diatribes about how homosexuals will “ruin our great country”.
White also takes an unexpected and delightful turn in this part of the book. He explores the idolatry of the religious right, throwing back in their faces their self-righteous claims of ownership of biblical literalism. It is a triumphant indictment of the Christian right and their attempts to undermine the democracy of America by replacing it with a theocracy of Christian men.
White concludes with a heartfelt exploration of the consciousness of non-violent resistance as provided by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ghandi. He joins these two movements with the LBGT movement and draws a clear, effective call to action going forward.
This book was released in September of 2006, but has not sold well. It’s a shame. The warning in this book cannot, should not, be ignored. In fact, imagine if someone printed such a book on the Nazis and the Nazi plans before they gained absolute control over Germany through Hitler. Might history have been different? We don’t know for certain, because there was no Mel White from within the Nazi Party standing up and blowing the whistle.
But there is a Mel White here in America, and he is not just blowing his whistle. He is standing on a mountain top screaming at the top of his lungs. Are we going to listen?