If you are new to this website, welcome. What is this place ?
You have arrived here, most likely, out of your concern about the "religious right", the Christian right, Christian nationalism, encroaching theocracy....
You are concerned, you want to know more. You want to know what you can do.
Well then, first you have to overcome the temptation to simply look away, to push the problem to the back of your mind. Talk To Action can help you with that : Talk To Action can help you continue to pay attention.
If you sign up for a free account on this site, you can opt to receive daily, weekly, or monthly summaries of the stories that appear on this website. Many of the themes and issues covered by Talk To Action contributors have never before been written on and discussed in a sustained way or with the intensity and unflinching attention you will find here.
Talk To Action is an online publication, and a forum for discussion, that is focused with unparalleled intensity on the rise of the Christian right as a social and political force - and on what those who are opposed to that movement can do to counter it.
and I founded the site. Fred has been researching on writing on the Christian right for many years. For decades, in fact. I have not, but nonetheless I occasionally stumble over aspects of the Christian right that are novel to Fred even though his journalism and research are a landmark in the field and his contributions widely cited. The reason is simple :
There is an endless amount to know. "The Christian right" is a vast field of knowledge - it includes a teeming profusion of groups, theological beliefs, social and political organizations, marketing, media, educational, and financial empires that amount to an entire parallel reality that has been constructed apart from mainstream American culture and that now seeks to displace the mainstream and dominate our nation. An entire ecology, a parallel America has sprung up and gained strength over the past several decades while mainstream America was not paying attention.
Now people are beginning to pay attention. That is good.
Talk To Action features an unprecedented collection of writers and activists who have been paying very close attention : some for decades, some for far less time. But all are now in the front lines - as writers, thinkers and activists who are working to counter the aims of Christian nationalism, its push towards theocracy. Frederick Clarkson, author of "Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy" and numerous articles on the Christian right, has reseached and written on the emergence of the Christian nationalist movement for over twenty years, and his was one of the earliest researchers to focus on the emergent Christian right movement. Kevin Phillips new book American Theocracy" draws heavily Clarkson's groundbreaking early writing on Christian Reconstructionism. Talk To Action writers have authored many books and innumerable articles on the Christian Right. Some have founded organizations to work against Christian nationalism. Some have created communities where awareness and solidarity among those concerned about the Christian right can grow, where knowledge can be gathered and shared. All are organizers and activists. Many speak publicly on the subject on television, radio, and to live audiences. One regularly tours the country, speaking to groups, with his astonishing wall sized painting depicting major leaders and thinkers of the Christian right movement.
Our site guidelines and Introduction to Talk To Action will tell you some more about the goals of this website and community, but I'd like to hit a different note:
Talk To Action amounts to a quiet revolution, a slow earthquake of dawning consciousness. Let me explain : never before have the writers, researchers and activists who have paid closest attention to the Christian right movement had a dedicated forum of their own, a publication which showcases their deep knowledge of the subject. What is "Dominionism" or "Christian Reconstructionism" ? Some of the writers you can read on this site have done groundbreaking research that has shaped the very definition of those terms. Never have they had an interactive forum on which to share that knowledge with others. Never before has there been any ongoing public forum - anywhere - with such an unwavering focus.
And where is the action ? Well, this site is - in itself - a powerful type of action. Mainstream awareness of the Christian right's advance has largely been clouded in denial, avoidance and fear. Talk To Action dispels that haze, to shine an unwavering light on a subject which makes many acutely uncomfortable. But for those who tolerate or even celebrate diversity and who believe in religious liberty and Democratic pluralism, the way forward will be built not on avoidance or ignorance but on the knowledge and awareness which must preceed effective action.
Alright, I've said enough. But, I'll say one thing more : It is hard, very hard indeed to come to grips with the Christian right - what it is, what its goals are.
Even the most veteran of Talk To Action contributors have gone through the psychological process of accomodation that you may be going through now. It's not easy. In fact, it can be quite painful. But in the long run, avoidance is far, far more painful..... if people had starting paying attention in large numbers to some of the writers showcased here on Talk To Action we'd be living in a very different - and happier - political landscape and world now.
Well, as they say, denial is not just a river in Egypt. In the long run denial isn't viable, nor are anger, bargaining, or depression although you may go through all of those stages on the road to acceptance of what the goal of leaders of the Christian right really are: an American Christian theocracy based on a legalistic, fundamentalist, bigoted, draconian, and punitive interpretation of Christianity that - at its most extreme - holds great hostility to the entire Enlightenment and seeks to roll back not decades but actually centuries of social change. Do you think my description there is extreme ? If you read Talk To Action regularly you may come to feel my words there were mild. If you can reach that point, well, my guess would be that you will have reached acceptance.
Of course, acceptance does not mean passivity - quite the opposite. One must accept the existence of a problem, and pay close attention to it, to be able to effectively engage with the problem and work effectively towards a solution.
To work effectively on a solution, you'll need knowledge - a roadmap. So, you'll want to read Talk To Action. You'll even want to sign up for a user account here. It's free and it allows you to comment and post on the site. As I mentioned, you can also get Talk To Action stories sent to your email box or via an RSS feed ( if you don't know what that is don't worry about it ).
Welcome. I hope you'll come back soon.
Oh - one more thing : what was that picture ? Well, look below - there's a larger version. It's an astounding painting on leaders of the Christian right by artist Joel Pelletier. Joel's been travelling around the US with the painting giving talks on the Christian right movement. Here's his website. You can buy a poster of his painting there.
Best, Bruce Wilson