The author of this book is talented -- she writes engagingly about the young evangelicals. She looks at many different parts of the whole: "alternative" ministries reaching out to pierced and tattooed types (I like to think of them as Bedazzled) with slang-filled but still very conservative messages; the home-schooled ultra-conservative politicos at Patrick Henry College who are looking to take over Washington; the evangelicals in the military that believe God brought about the Iraq and Afghan wars so that they can bring Christianity to the Middle East; the goth church in Texas run by Jim and Tammy Faye Baker's son; the folks trying to get "intelligent design" into the public school curriculum; Stephen Baldwin and the Extreme Tour; and many more. Why do you think other people must believe as you do? I think the author did a good job of showing how religion was of personal comfort to many of her subjects, while still decrying their political views. She calls for the secular liberals to have their own versions of the Christian rock festivals, skate ministries, political colleges, and self-help books she describes here, only with life-affirming messages from the left wing.
It turns out he has been an evangelical youth right-wing politics celeb for years!
I read this like 5 years ago and I can't get over how alien a culture America's evangelical christianity is for me. There are regions of our country that are like completely different worlds speaking completely different languages that I was never exposed to growing up. let alone in entirely different regions of a given city or state or damn-big-country.
frankly I think it is ridiculous, but Sandler leaves behind objective journalism and has some sort of axe to grind that she just can't let go of. Sandler, however, seems to think there is nothing redeeming about faith no matter how raw or how accepting.
To me, the author's most interesting point was that evangelical Christianity is the only thing out there right now for kids/young people who are looking for meaning and community.
As someone who went to a Christian college, I know she's telling the truth about evangelical youths. But as a secular someone who is intimately familiar with the evangelical movement and has several evangelical friends, I struggle with Sandler's main premises. She says they're preparing for a philosophical war with the secular elements of society (atheists, agnostics, Mormons, Catholics, i.e. anyone who is not main-stream Protestant). As for the end of the world, I wouldn't say that evangelicals are consciously trying to bring it about.
This book was eye-opening in a number of ways, good and bad.
This is a scary and engrossing look at the current evangelical youth movement.
A particularly shocking chapter on Patrick Henry College tops the rest of the book; I didn't quite understand why Sandler spent time deriding the "prosperity gospel" of Creflo Dollar, as young people don't seem central to the movement.
My new book is called One and Only: The Freedom of Having and Only Child, and the Joy of Being one. In the book I attempt to redraw the discourse on family size, wrestle with how best to reconcile motherhood and modernity, and think through what a liberated adulthood might require. I cook like mad and listen to records and read novels.