Throughout this fast-paced account, Stewart brings the reader into the halls of power, past and present, that have given us the world of 2020...making a clear case for how deeply Christian nationalism is intertwined with U.S. domestic and foreign policy ... What stands out the most from this gripping volume is how a reverence for authority—if the right person is in charge—is encoded into the various strands of this movement ... What’s so impressive is how seamlessly she weaves it all together. Her synthesis of previous scholarship, combined with her deft on-the-ground reporting, makes for a strong, if sometimes overwhelming, narrative. One of the best things about The Power Worshippers is Stewart’s ability to paint a vivid, even empathetic, picture of her interlocutors ... required reading for anyone who wants to map the continuing erosion of our already fragile wall between church and state.
The book, in essence an expanded and updated version of 2012’s The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children, is a timely and useful introduction to the single most organized force in American politics today ... While she devotes several chapters to a brief history of right-wing evangelicals in America, including Gary North and R.J. Rushdoony, she unfortunately does not address one of the most prominent self-identified 'Christian nationalists' of the twentieth century: Gerald L.K. Smith, who founded the Christian Nationalist Crusade ... While the absence of Smith and other self-identified 'Christian nationalists' is not a fatal omission...he and his followers are worth engaging with ... The Power Worshippers would have benefited from a thorough exploration of this history, particularly in light of Stewart’s excellent reporting on just who the Christian Right’s political fellow-travelers are today ... The most disturbing revelations in Stewart’s book stem from this first-hand reporting ... One of the biggest strengths of The Power Worshippers is its close attention to political economy. In fact, Stewart’s entire body of work demonstrates how the Christian nationalist movement has successfully redirected public resources to fund their own private religious initiatives...
Though its advocates like to speak the rhetoric of abolitionism, Stewart shows us that this movement is suffused with a disturbing affinity for slavery. This is an unsettling echo of an old-time religion ... Stewart has produced both a warning about the influence of religious nationalists and, in a brisk epilogue, the beginnings of a handbook about combating religious nationalists ... This is a book that is both an examination of a new social and cultural phenomenon—and a call for action.
To write this book, Ms. Stewart crisscrossed the nation to attend important 'Christian nationalist' events. She interviewed dozens of leaders and connected a dizzying number of their organizations with one another. But she committed one major journalistic sin that leaves her wide open to fair criticism. There is no evidence that she offered any of the people she named an opportunity to comment on her findings ... Despite Stewart’s one glaring shortcoming, her research is deep and solid, and she left me little room for doubt that, when it comes to politics, the Christian right is neither charitably Christian nor theologically right.
Journalist Stewart...paints a disturbing picture in this thorough accounting of the rise of religious nationalism ... Stewart explains how, under the Trump administration, religious nationalists have regular access to senior government officials through Bible studies attended by legislators and cabinet officials ... A must-read for those interested in the influence of religion on politics and the effects on our political institutions.
...a comprehensive, chilling look at America’s Christian nationalist movement, which she convincingly portrays as a highly organized political coalition that has 'already transformed the political landscape and shaken the foundations upon which lay our democratic norms and institutions' ... Her insightful investigation places the power of Christian nationalism into full context.
Though its stated aim is to advance religious freedom, Stewart argues convincingly that the true goal is to inundate as many states as possible with so many right-wing bills that it will jam the state legislative processes. Many readers will consider the book advocacy journalism because the author didn’t seek out her targets’ comments, but the thoroughly researched facts as she lays them out are hard to argue with ... A one-sided but undeniably powerful examination of the Christian right’s political motives.