Barbara Victor is a journalist and a frequent lecturer on women's issues and the Middle East. She worked for CBS television for fifteen years, where she covered the Middle East. Her books include Terrorism, an account of the Lebanon war from 1975 to 1982, A voice of reason: Hasnan Ashrawi and Peace in the Middle East, a biography of Hanan Ashrawi, which was nominated for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize, Getting away with murder, a study of domestic violence in the United States and also Le Matignon de Jospin, an inside look at the workings of the French government. In her book, she tries to define Evangelical Christians, explaining how different they are from the mainstream Protestant or Catholic population of the United States, how absolute they are in their beliefs and how determined they are to implement those beliefs throughout the United States and the world.
[...] The proofs of its power are for instance its sheer numbers and financial privileges. Not all Americans believe in God but the fact is that many political leaders claim to have been touched by “divine intervention” or offer their faith in the Bible and their belief in the Lord to guide them. The main influent leaders of Christian Right are the Reverend Billy Graham, his son Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and Ed McAtteer, died in 2004 (the two latest were the founders of the Moral Majority). [...]
[...] Barbara Victor explains that this sentence resonated with millions of American Evangelicals, who have long tended to understand politics in terms of Good and Evil. During the 1950s, Evangelicals considered the Cold War as a struggle between Good and Evil, between God-fearing Americans and godless Communists. George W. Bush called Iraq, North Korea and Iran an “axis of Evil”. In fact, the events of 2001 not only changed the mentality of the American people but also resulted in a fracture between those who believe that the struggle between Good and Evil is a last crusade to uphold the moral and religious values of Christianity, and those who maintain that God and religion have no place in domestic and foreign policy. [...]
[...] Barbara Victor explains how, by the turn of the twenty-first century, the Evangelical community throughout America became more and more politically sophisticated, and bent on transforming their ideology into a potentially powerful political movement. She makes a very pertinent analysis of the political scene in the United States today. Under B. Victor, to this day, Christian leaders work tirelessly to get “Reagan-type candidates” elected throughout the country. To her, people are looking for men and women who believe in small government, lower taxes and the fervent support of the Greater Israel. [...]
[...] The problem for me is when politics and religion mixed together and it is particularly the case in the United States. John Ashcroft for instance believes that government should legislate morality. He is a devout Pentecostal Christian and also thinks that those who reject God's teachings must take the consequences. For instance, he has always believed that those who have contracted, suffered and died from AIDS have been punished for their own “misconduct” by the good Lord Himself. This attitude shocks me. [...]
[...] To be Born-again must include an acknowledgement of having fallen short of the truth and moral precepts found in the bible. Having a personal encounter with the Lord is part of that process. Besides, Born-again Christians see missionary activity as central to their duties as a Christian. Evangelical churches are the fastest growing Christians groups in the United States and since the early 1970s; their numbers and organizational power have played an increasing important part in the country's political life. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee