Monday, May 17, 2010

The Armageddon Factor - Marci McDonald

The Armageddon Factor
Marci McDonald
Random House Canada
Copyright: May 11, 2010

The product description:
In her new book, Marci McDonald documents the startling extent of the influence that the religious right already wields in Canada and shows how, quietly, often stealthily, it has provoked far-reaching changes in Canadian policies and institutions, including our public service, our schools and our courts.

In four short years, galvanized by their failure to stop same-sex marriage, not only have conservative Christians developed a permanent infrastructure in Ottawa, designed to outlast whatever party is in power, but they have done so by borrowing the rowdy style of the American religious right to which most of their leaders boast close ties. Their rise has been tied to the election of Stephen Harper and it is no secret that evangelicals have already re-shaped Harper's foreign policy in the Middle East, guided by what McDonald terms the Armageddon Factor. But few Canadians are aware that a militant band of conservative Christians with a direct pipeline to Harper's cabinet is also attempting to reshape the country's social, cultural and even scientific policies, driven by a belief that Canada has a biblically ordained role to play in the final days before Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ.
I found out about this book by listening to The Current on CBC on May 11th, when they were talking about the book and thought it would be interesting reading. On the other side of the link is the description of the radio segment, as well as an audio clip of it.

Definitely interesting reading, if only for the number of Canadian organizations I'd heard of that are actually influenced/funded/partners of some of the better known Christian organizations on the other side of the border. Of course, there's far more to the book than that, but those were fairly startling in themselves.

The Armageddon Factor looks at other things as well, such as the methods the Christian (and others, but mostly Christians) leaders in the book have used in order to get things changed the way they want them to be. They're not there yet, but as The Armageddon Factor shows, they're not going to be going away any time soon either.

One thing the book does very well is lay out just what many of the groups that seem to be the closest linked to the religious right (as they're termed in the book) believe and want to see. The terminology is otherwise quite confusing, especially if you haven't read much on the subject before. Still, a clearly written and thought provoking book, although there were a number of times when I wished the author would go into more detail about something.

Which, given the author's credentials is something I'd expect. lists Marci McDonald as having won quite a number of awards, worked for Maclean's magazine and several others, as well as having written one previous book.

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