Emily Dahl's Reviews > Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back

Crazy for God by Frank Schaeffer
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Dec 14, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: nonfiction, auto-and-biography
Read from November 15 to December 14, 2010

I read this book at the behest of a coworker. I don't really want to give this book a second star, but there were a few things Schaeffer said that resonated with me. Even so, it was difficult to get past the author. Many, many times I imagined the scene from the Office where Michael Scott is hiding behind his office door talking about the new guy: "I don't understand how someone can have so little self-awareness." and it's funny because normally that person IS Michael. That's how I felt about this author. It was especially unsettling when he would include excerpts of letters from friends and family members who would blatantly contradict him. Such as the instance when he introduced "one of his oldest friends" who began his letter with "I never liked Franky. Everyone called him the Little Shit from Switzerland.." Sure, they eventually became friends, but it definitely made me question the author's grasp of reality a bit more.

Also, I find it beyond infuriating that we are embedded in the pro-life/pro-choice culture war because this man couldn't see beyond his racial/gendered/socioeconomic privilege. So, because you grew up on a commune where single moms could live in a totally supportive community without stigma, all places must be like that right? He also doesn't appear to have the best view or treatment of women. He comes off very condescending, very separate sphere, conservative-type. Which shouldn't surprise me. But it did.

I did enjoy his current view of religion and the evangelical world. I enjoyed that I could identify with a few pieces of his childhood. And I enjoyed all the behind-the-scenes gossip he dished about Billy Graham, Chuck Colson, and others. It made me think, which I appreciate.
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