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Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  912 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
Michelle Goldberg, a senior political reporter for, has been covering the intersection of politics and ideology for years. Before the 2004 election, and during the ensuing months when many Americans were trying to understand how an administration marked by cronyism, disregard for the national budget, and poorly disguised self-interest had been reinstated, Goldber ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 17th 2007 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 2006)
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Lee Harmon
Jan 05, 2014 Lee Harmon rated it it was amazing
Goldberg, a secular Jew, provides a hard-nosed look at the agendas and power of ultra-conservative Christian organizations in the United States. Goldberg calls this trend “Christian Nationalism,” after the openly-stated goal of many fundamentalist leaders to “take back America.” From, of course, the gays, the morally decadent (such as distributors of birth control), the Darwin-lovers, and the unpatriotic atheists who believe in separation of church and state.

Goldberg comes on strong and occasion
Jan 06, 2014 Losribeiros rated it really liked it
There are some excellent critical reviews of this book already. I want to share my first hand experience of the very culture Goldberg studied.
Reading this book has been difficult to the point of flashback emotional panic because of how bone chilling the reminder of the fundamentalist goal is. Over a decade devoted to studying Christianity from the inside, of which five years were spent under Reformed/Reconstructionist Calvinist theology, four years at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University that "tr
Jul 27, 2008 Dan rated it it was ok
Hmmm.... if you like bland writing from that oh so charming leftist alarmist perspective, this book is for you! Basically, it's porn for us coastal elites who watch in fascination of those middle states. And sometimes that's ok. Unfortunately, the writing is excruciatingly dumb, and the author's obvious disdain for her subject makes this a book that should have stayed as the Salon article it undoubtedly started out as.
Lawrence A
Feb 22, 2008 Lawrence A rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 06, 2014 Lori rated it liked it
I learned quite a bit about a group of people who call themselves Christian Reconstructionists, who want to build that bridge to the 10th century. Scary stuff. If you are female, gay, want to control the number of children you have or just want to live in the good ol' state separated from church, formally know as the U.S. -- maybe you should read about what these fanatics have planned for the rest of us.

Ryan Smith
Apr 21, 2012 Ryan Smith rated it it was amazing
This bit of research is more reasoned and evenly-considered than its detractors will ever be capable of giving it credit for. It's astute, genuinely thought out and leaves no room for accusations of laziness or, even worse, mischaracterization. What's truly terrifying is how little those she has researched would probably take issue with in Goldberg's portrayal.

Reading this a few years after its publication, it's telling how prescient this book was. Many of Goldberg's predictions have proved acc
Danusha Goska
May 20, 2013 Danusha Goska rated it did not like it
Michelle Goldberg does not like Christians. Michelle Goldberg thinks that Christians smell bad. Michelle Goldberg gets an icky feeling when she stands next to a Christian, and, later, Michelle Goldberg is sure that Christian cooties crawl up and down her body. Ew. Michelle Goldberg needs to take a long, hot shower.

All is not lost. Michelle Goldberg is a liberal. A progressive. A multiculturalist. Michelle Goldberg celebrates diversity.

So, Michelle Goldberg met with Christians, and they were nice
Jul 26, 2007 Katherine rated it it was amazing
For anyone who considers himself or herself to be well-versed in modern American politics, the bigger themes in this book are no surprise at all. There is a wealth of detail here, though, that I have not found anywhere else. Goldberg points towards some semblance of an explanation for why terrorist-fearing voters might make opposing gay marriage their political priority in 2004. There's lots of humor to be found and her in-detail interviews with the foot soldiers of the Christian right are ...more
Gregory Soderberg
Dec 22, 2013 Gregory Soderberg rated it liked it
Shelves: culture
Michelle Goldberg is no friend of the Christian Right. She documents the inner-workings and the agenda of ultra-conservatives (among whom I would number myself on most of the "hot topic" issues). She has clearly done her homework, and I really appreciated her efforts to see the world through a different set of eyes. And this is the chief value I found in this book--Goldberg doesn't try to whitewash the irreconcilable issues that divide conservatives and liberals. She recognizes there is an ...more
Sep 29, 2010 Miranda rated it it was amazing
If you are already pissed off at psycho evangelicals or self-righteous super conservatives, this book will piss you off even more.
Apr 13, 2009 Scott rated it really liked it
You think Jesus Camp is scary?? Try this on for size. The religious right keeps me up at night.
Mar 16, 2014 Joe rated it liked it
Well, start by reading Lee Harmon's review (as well as others) on He gave it 5 stars and did a great job, as usual, with his review. Why should I try to summarize the gist of the book, when he has done it so well.

I gave it 3 stars partly from gut feel and partly because I had just previously finished Susan Jacoby's book, The Age of American Unreason, and I couldn't rate Goldberg's book higher than I rated Jacoby's. (Jacoby's book probably deserves more than I gave it.)

In fact, G
Nov 05, 2009 Micah rated it did not like it
I thought this book might tell me something I didn't know already, but it was mostly just a slam on US Christian fundamentalism. The author attempted to present herself as a balanced observer, but it was obvious very quickly that she had a bone to pick and did not seem to have enough background in the culture(s) that she was critiquing.

Ultimately, while I sympathize with her distrust of the quasi-fascist, fundamentalist wing of American Christianity, I thought the book was weak in that she didn'
Jul 27, 2007 Margie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, society
An important look at how Christian Nationalists are operating in the US. Goldberg is a journalist, so this piece comes across as being rather well-researched, rather than merely as a screed against right-wing Christians.
Aug 15, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Absolutely terrifying. The literary equivalent of the motion picture Jesus Camp.
It's an interesting book, but much of it reads like an extended Salon article and I tend to think it would have been better as a series of online essays. I was already familiar with her premise from her frequent Rachel Maddow appearances and some online articles so there wasn't much new material here.

I was shocked (shocked! I tell ya) to realize that faith-based-initiative funding was still promoting hiring discrimination. I guess I'd assumed that, like the Salvation Army case described in the b
Jesse English
Sep 18, 2016 Jesse English rated it really liked it
Always instructive to read an outside perspective on the world in which you were raised.
Jun 10, 2007 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any one who cares about the separation of church and state debate
Good read. (hahaha) It's brief, and includes some wonderful discussion of connections between right wing religio-political fanatacism and government politics/policy. Goldberg's concern in not wanting to sound alarmist doesn't quite translate into her analysis. But then again, it's difficult not to sound alarmist when legal precedents you hold near and dear can now so easily be overturned in the Supreme and federal courts. But this book is NO conspiracy theory!

Personally, I love the mention of O
Apr 03, 2007 Chazzle rated it liked it
Kingdom Coming, by Michelle Goldberg - 3 stars; an exposee about the feverish political power grab of Christian evangelicals, especially by the so-called Christian Reconstructionists, who openly advocate an Old Testament theocracy in America; too detailed (too many names and dates), but still quite fascinating nonetheless; obviously, not for the Pat Robertson crowd. Sample excerpt, from page 1: "Michael Farris, the founder and president of the evangelical Patrick Henry College, calls his ...more
Mar 23, 2011 Amy rated it liked it
"Kingdom Coming" serves as a brief and simple read that provides a terrifying and gripping introduction to the Christian nationalism movement that is quickly spreading like forest fire in the United States. The movement is a fascist monster that seeks to undermine the pluralism and liberalism for which our nation has always supported and feels deeply persecuted by the mere existence of religious minorities, non-believers, liberal Christians, and others who not subscribe to conservative ...more
Oct 19, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book was a very interesting and important read. Goldberg exposes in a political sense what Christian Nationalism is and the methods that this group is taking in changing America. Goldberg brings up many good points and arguments. A lot of her topics make sense and are worthy of further research. I would encourage anyone to read this book no matter what religion or non-religion belief system you subscribe to. Goldberg simply points out things to be wary of. And you should be wary. Goldberg ...more
Jul 24, 2014 R.Z. rated it liked it
Michelle Goldberg brings in one place information that has been reported upon from time to time in various major publications. It's a worthy read if you know nothing about how Christian right-wingers have knowingly and strategically infiltrated numerous government departments to promote their agenda. Goldberg is clearly biased in her writing, but that doesn't make her wrong. She names names of people and of organizations that are fundamentalist in their thinking and planning. You really want to ...more
Sep 16, 2008 Ryan rated it liked it
A frightening look inside Christian nationalism - the political ideology that teaches it's the holy duty of Christians to rule over non-believers by overthrowing (or changing) the current government to one based on Biblical Law. Actually, the goal of the movement is even greater, as it seeks to change society itself, not just government, into a new kingdom of God on Earth. The books touches on social wedge issues like abortion, intelligent design, the judicial system, and the separation of ...more
Jul 06, 2009 Nathan rated it liked it
Goldberg is not exactly an unbiased observer; she is a liberal and a secular Jew whose positions are inherently opposed to those that power the movement she studies. A few of the links of her vast right-wing conspiracy seem a little tenuous and her tone is intermittently alarmist. Still, the issues she raises are relevant and the dangers she predicts are nothing to sneeze at; she's biased, but by and large, she's biased against a movement that is incredibly odious. This book was personally very ...more
Apr 17, 2013 Christy rated it it was amazing
My only complaint: it's dated. 2006/2007 book on politics is a little old in 2013. The house and senate have changed hands. We have a different president.

But that was not an issue until the very end of the book.

I enjoyed this book. It spoke about things that I had taken notice of. It explained things very well. Good writing. Biased. But biased because of observations not because of prejudices. Not a fun read. The average person will not want to be on the beach with this book, but a good read.
Jan 28, 2012 Paul rated it liked it
A very quick and easy read about the rise fundamentalist Christianity. We're not talking about the "let's go to church on Sunday and forget everything during the week" crowd. This is about the forces of the evangelical movement and political figures who have looked for and found ways to subvert our secular values-attacking science in the classroom, enforcing clearly religious edicts in government, and acting as morality enforcers.

It was a subject which I hadn't really thought about before or had
Nov 07, 2007 Eric rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all
Michele Goldberg is a reporter who is an excellent writer. I first heard her discussing the so-called "war on Christmas" that conservative talking head Bill O'Rielly (among others) was pushing so hard a few years back.

In this book, Goldberg discusses the concept of Christian Nationalism as she sees it manifested in the present day United States of America. Her critique of the rapture-oriented support base for the current administration is fascinating. She discusses issues surrounding
Dec 16, 2010 Glenn rated it really liked it
"Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism" is the ongoing saga of the politicization of religion, as told from the perspective of a secular Jewish woman.

Goldberg explores how GOP has exploited the theological influences of reconstructionism and dominionism within Christianity as a political strategy. She covers how otherwise friendly people have been manipulated by their leaders to objectify and scapegoat others for the purposes of sociopolitical gain.

The book was completed in 2006; I
Mar 15, 2014 Anjella rated it it was amazing
Amazing, terrifying, though-provoking book. As the atheist daughter of a Fundamentalist Christian minister I've lived a lot of this first-hand and am terrified by what I see happening. Anyone who cares about their rights and the things occurring in the US should read this book and take it seriously. No matter what the religion, fundamentalism strives to turn things back to the middle ages and does it with twisted logic and intense hatred of anyone who isn't one of them. Well-written book and so ...more
Peter Lindsay
Jul 21, 2010 Peter Lindsay rated it it was ok
Politically speaking I have a lot in common with the author, but this book is essentially a collection of quotes and name drops. I think it is a good first effort for Michelle Goldberg, but it lacked a coherent thread to tie the content together. The subject matter is not enough, there needs to be a strong thesis to carry this kind of investigative effort to a succesful end. At times it comes off disjointed and when she did succeed in getting me to want more, she takes off on a different topic.
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"Michelle Goldberg is a journalist and the author of the book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. She is a former contributing writer at and blogs at The Huffington Post. Her work has been published in the magazines Rolling Stone and In These Times, and in The New York Observer, The Guardian, Newsday, and other newspapers.

Goldberg earmed a Master's degree in journalism fr
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