FALL FROM GRACE: The Failed Crusade of the Christian Right by Michael D'Antonio

FALL FROM GRACE: The Failed Crusade of the Christian Right

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A former Newsday correspondent, D'Antonio here presents knowledgeable--but perhaps too dismissive--commentary on the decline of the religious right in America during the past few years. Although his reportage never digs any deeper or becomes any more detailed than a newsweekly expos‚, D'Antonio does provide a complete and entertaining review of the events that have rocked the religious right in recent years. From Jim and Tammy Bakker's beleaguered PTL to Oral Roberts' blatant charlatanism as he claims God will kill him if he doesn't get the money; from Jimmy Swaggart's bizarre sexual encounters to the maneuvering and in-fighting that went on behind the scenes, the author touches all the bases. He complements this with profiles of the average or ""typical"" Christian whose dollars and hopes have supported this cast of characters. He also does a nice job of describing all the hooplah that takes place at a conservative Christian service, particularly when he visits the Second Baptist Church of Texas on ""We the People"" day. Informative--but flawed by its pat conclusion that the Fundamentalists' crusade has failed. What D'Antonio views as ultimate collapse--the scandals both sexual and monetary, the demise of Pat Robertson's presidential campaign, the disbanding of Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority--may be little more than glitches in a complicated process leading to a slicker, far more sophisticated and high-tech version of fundamentalist televangelism.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux