For readers of Democracy in Chains and Dark Money, a revelatory investigation of the Religious Right's rise to political power.
For too long the Religious Right has masqueraded as a social movement preoccupied with a number of cultural issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage. In her deeply reported investigation, Katherine Stewart reveals a disturbing truth: this is a political movement that seeks to gain power and to impose its vision on all of society. America's religious nationalists aren't just fighting a culture war, they are waging a political war on the norms and institutions of American democracy.
Stewart pulls back the curtain on the inner workings and leading personalities of a movement that has turned religion into a tool for domination. She exposes a dense network of think tanks, advocacy groups, and pastoral organizations embedded in a rapidly expanding community of international alliances and united not by any central command but by a shared, anti-democratic vision and a common will to power. She follows the money that fuels this movement, tracing much of it to a cadre of super-wealthy, ultraconservative donors and family foundations. She shows that today's Christian nationalism is the fruit of a longstanding antidemocratic, reactionary strain of American thought that draws on some of the most troubling episodes in America's past. It forms common cause with a globe-spanning movement that seeks to destroy liberal democracy and replace it with nationalist, theocratic and autocratic forms of government around the world. Religious nationalism is far more organized and better funded than most people realize. It seeks to control all aspects of government and society. Its successes have been stunning, and its influence now extends to every aspect of American life, from the White House to state capitols, from our schools to our hospitals.
The Power Worshippers is a brilliantly reported book of warning and a wake-up call. Stewart's probing examination demands that Christian nationalism be taken seriously as a significant threat to the American republic and our democratic freedoms.
Katherine Stewart is the author of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism. She writes about politics, policy, and religion for The New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, and The New Republic. Her previous book, The Good News Club, was an examination of the religious right and public education.
“Ambitious . . . required reading for anyone who wants to map the continuing erosion of our already fragile wall between church and state.” —The Washington Post
“Both an examination of a new social and cultural phenomenon-and a call for action.” —The Boston Globe
“Chilling . . . Much of what Stewart recounts would seem incredible were it not presented through extensive quotations from speeches by, documents of, and conversations with movement leaders.” —Foreign Affairs
“With more than a decade of experience covering conservative Christianity, Stewart is adept at conveying the gravity of its aims. She goes deeper than any facile culture-wars discourse, digging into the evangelical right's fervor to gain political power and privilege in the name of religious liberty.” —Texas Observer