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Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,095 ratings  ·  110 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 May 17th 2006)
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,095 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Jan 05, 2014 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
Lee Harmon
Nov 09, 2011 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
Jul 27, 2008 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 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2008 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 16, 2012 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
Jun 01, 2007 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 nothi ...more
Apr 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
You think Jesus Camp is scary?? Try this on for size. The religious right keeps me up at night.
Chris Walker
Yeah, probably shouldn't have read this right after finishing the first season of The Handmaid's Tale...

I would rate this maybe just a shade under 4 stars. Altogether it's a compellingly written, often alarming, and informative peek into the world of Christian nationalism and Christian Reconstructionism in the United States. To be clear, it isn't an evaluation of US Christianity in general, nor is it even an evaluation of evangelical Christianity in the country. Rather, it focuses on a minority
Danusha Goska
May 20, 2013 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
Vannessa Anderson
After reading Kingdom Coming, if I were forced to make a choice of walking through a thicket of the religious right or law enforcement or gang members, I’d choose walking through a thicket of gang members because I believe they have the ability of being able to be reason with. The religious right and law enforcement, since their existence, have shown they won’t compromise and have murdered more people collectively than any other group.

Kingdom Coming reads like a horror that we haven’t seen sinc
Aug 03, 2012 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 epist ...more
Sep 29, 2010 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.
Aug 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Absolutely terrifying. The literary equivalent of the motion picture Jesus Camp.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oh, how I wish the author would write a sequel to this book! I’d love to know what she thinks about our country now, after two years of Donald Trump as President. This book was first published in 2006, before the Obama years, the Great Recession and the expanded political power of white evangelicals, not to mention disaffected voters from the “flyover” country. Goldberg strikes a somewhat optimistic tone in the epilogue—she repeats her belief that America will never succumb to Christian national ...more
This book is about bellicose, fundamentalist, religious, radical that has threatened the foundations of our democracy. Now a decade after publication has the fundamentalist threat grown or receded?
Joe Henry
Nov 11, 2011 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 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'
Jeff Stevens
Dec 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested
You may have noticed this is you live in the United States, but what is arguably the most mythomaniac country on Earth has been enduring a seismic shift in the way it understands itself for the last decade or so. One of the great new ideas is that the wall of separation between church and state is just too high. "Kingdom Coming" is a fascinating exploration of the folks who want to lower or eliminate that wall, and how their carefully couched, reasonable words mask some fairly alarming beliefs.
Jul 27, 2007 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.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a brief history of the proponents of Christian "dominionism" -- the wing of the evangelical community that would seek to enforce a specific understanding of Scripture on everyday behavior in the United States, via changes in institutions: healthcare, education, and the judiciary. (The most extreme version of this story is to label the movement as a sort of pre-Fascism, and Goldberg almost goes there.) If you don't know who RJ Rushdoony was (and you should) this book is for you. The book ...more
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was sort of an infuriating time warp. Most of it felt very dated, because the author refers frequently to people like Terry Schiavo, the Bush administration, Tom Delay, etc. who were part of the evangelical culture wars in the early 2000s. That said, so much of the analysis applies almost word-for-word to news stories we are hearing today regarding abortion, evolution, and gay though very little has changed since then.

I would LOVE to to read an updated version of this book
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well researched, and scary. History of Christian fundamentalism, threat to civil liberties posed by the theocrats, and just how extreme the fundies are. If you are Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, non-fundie Christian, or whatever, and you think anyone should live as they like (e.g., people attracted to those with the same genitalia), you should pay attention to this book. Well researched, and scary.
Marilyn Latham
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read about how, after having lost political power, the religious right went back to basics and took power starting at the local, grassroots level. Truly scary for any progressive to see how effective these groups have been at gaining power incrementally and insidiously, to promote and assert their own Christian beliefs into our government and public realm.
Sarah Olson
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Essential reading for those concerned about the impact of right-wing fundamentalist Christianity on America in the twenty-first century.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Written in 2006, this analysis is as relevant as ever, if not more so, in 2017.
Mohammad Alrumaih
كتاب رائع و يشرح التنامي للنزعة و التعصب الديني في الولايات المتحدة، و يصادم القول بالعلمانية الكاملة للدولة الأمريكية
Thomas Cunningham
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking and prescient. Would love to have her perspective ~11 years on in the age of Trump when the Christian Nationalists are in control but can't govern.
Stacy Bearse
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Goldberg has written a well-researched and well-written examination of the Christian Nationalism movement, a uniquely American phenomena that peaked in the mid-2000s. CN acolytes believe that Jesus Christ is the true sovereign of America, that the Constitution is based on the Bible, and that Biblical law trumps civil lawn. CN is based on "dominionism", a theological tenet that asserts the Christians are superior and have a God-given right (and destiny) to rule America. Much has changed since the ...more
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
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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