Christian Nation

Well, faux Christian nation. Cursed are the meek, and the peacemakers shall be cast out by God, and all that bullshit, right?

Letter to a Christian Nation
“Letter to a Christian Nation” (Sam Harris)

This sounds like an interesting book.
Book Publisher Tries to Stir Up Emotions to Lift Sales - Just eight days after hitting bookstores, Sam Harris's polemic “Letter to a Christian Nation” is selling so rapidly it has gone into its sixth printing, partly hyped by a marketing campaign aimed at stirring up controversy among the religious right.

The marketing reflects the provocative theme of the book, a philosophical attack on the basic tenets held by all major religions. A self-described atheist, Mr. Harris questions whether the Bible is the work of God. “The idea that the Bible is a perfect guide to morality is simply astounding, given the contents of the book,” he writes. Since being published Sept. 19, the book has reached as high as No. 2 on the best-seller list. More than 110,000 copies are now in print.

The success of the book reflects a two-pronged marketing campaign crafted by its publisher, Bertelsmann AG's Alfred A. Knopf, aimed at both preaching to the converted and trying to rile the opposition.

Armed with an ad budget of $200,000 -- sizable for the publishing industry -- Knopf is running full-page ads in publications with liberal audiences, such as the New Republic, Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times and Harper's. But the publisher also has sought to buy space in Christian publications and conservative Web sites, and it sent copies of the book to conservative outlets and commentators, such as Pat Buchanan.

“We're trying to get this book into the hands of as many conservative Christians as possible,” says Paul Bogaards, a Knopf spokesman. “They have a vested interest in hearing Mr. Harris's arguments because he's attacking the very foundation of their belief system.”

Whether the promotion in the religious community has helped spur sales isn't known. Indeed, some religious outlets refused to run ads for the book. Christianity Today, a monthly magazine, decided the book's content represents the antithesis of the publication's mission, said Brian Ondracek, the magazine's vice president of sales. Also turning down an ad was religious blog, which deemed the book inappropriate for its readers, according to Gil Student, an Orthodox rabbi who oversees the blog.

I wonder though, on a parenthetical note, do Christians support torture? Granted, I am not a Christian, and wouldn't dare speak for their beliefs, but based upon my reading of the Christian scriptures and related texts, torture should be taboo. State sanctioned murder, and tax cuts for the wealthy as well, but that's a topic for discussion some other time.

Why are all the so-called Christians in our government (I'm too disgusted to source my assertion, but I'd estimate 90% of the US Congress are Christians, and the rest are Jewish. I've never heard of any atheists or even wiccas) so gung-ho to put prisoners on crosses and puncture them with nails, or rape (or threaten to rape) prisoners, and whatever else?

Anyway, a pox on them all, faux-Christians all. No magical number of singing verses of American the Beautiful in perfect harmony will bring back any sense of respect for the assholes purportedly representing us. Torture shouldn't ever be acceptable, in any circumstance. All the wiener dog Democrats who didn't want to muss their perfectly coifed hair with the fuss of a filibuster should all be sent to live in a trench outside Baghdad. The Senators who voted for the torture bill should be run out town on a rail, covered with hot tar and the feathers of slaughtered avian flu infested chickens.

Sorry, that's sort of a long parenthetical though. Screw it.

Thousands of people have written to tell me that I am wrong not to believe in God. The most hostile of these communications have come from Christians. This is ironic, as Christians generally imagine that no faith imparts the virtues of love and forgiveness more effectively than their own. The truth is that many who claim to be transformed by Christ’s love are deeply, even murderously, intolerant of criticism. While we may want to ascribe this to human nature, it is clear that such hatred draws considerable support from the Bible. How do I know this? The most disturbed of my correspondents always cite chapter and verse.“

So begins Letter to a Christian Nation…

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on September 28, 2006 10:17 PM.

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