“Today, the free exercise of religion has ceased to be a guaranteed right in America. Instead, it has become a battlefield” (“Dark Agenda” by David Horowitz).
“Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America” by David Horowitz is a startling contemplation on the un-Christian state of America today and how our nation and government has come to be this way. The radical left and New Atheists have taken steps in the direction of an anti-freedom, anti-religion, and specifically anti-Christian society. In “Dark Agenda,” Horowitz examines the means by which the left has managed to severely alter and take away the Christian values our country was founded on.
From the start, this book made me exasperated. Maybe “fired up” is a better term. Horowitz begins the book with a chapter called “Religion Must Die,” which addresses the New Atheism movement and its extremist members, who hold that all people who believe in any sort of higher power are simply stupid. I had no prior knowledge of New Atheism, and this first chapter shocked me a bit. As a Christian and someone who believes strongly in the power of God’s grace and peace, I find it hard to believe there are people in this world who hate others simply because of their choice to pray during a traumatic situation like the Sutherland Springs shooting. These anti-religious people say things like, “If prayers did anything, they’d still be alive” (Wil Wheaton). And, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction” (Richard Dawkins). What do they have against having hope and something greater to look to?
America was founded on Christian values—the belief that all of us are created equal with God-given rights (you can read more about this in my last book review). Horowitz addresses God’s gift of free will to every human, explaining that it is what allows us to choose good or bad. Inherently, we are sinful beings, which means we need God to bridge the gap between our nature and His goodness. Horowitz argues in “Dark Agenda” that the danger in religion and in all things lies in this inherently bad “human nature and the fact that human beings can poison religion and pervert its purposes” (Horowitz). I agree with this one hundred percent. Nobody is perfect, and the gift of free will emphasizes this.
Horowitz goes on to share his thoughts on the injustices in our world caused by choosing “bad” over good. His encounter with the appalling murder of a friend at the hands of the Black Panther Party forced him to realize something about society that I found profound and that I read several times over: “Society” is not the source of injustice, and neither is the oppressor group the source. Injustice comes solely from “human selfishness, deceitfulness, malice, envy, greed, and lust. Injustice is the inevitable consequence of our free will as human beings” (Horowitz). But the radical left blames injustice on society itself, and because they do not understand free will as the administrator of injustice, they cannot make better the problems at hand.
Another main point Horowitz makes in “Dark Agenda” is the fact of the radical left’s goal being to “redefine” America—America, a country that is unparalleled considering the Constitution that defined the nation at its inception over 200 years ago. The Constitution defines America as a nation of freedom, in religious expression and so much more. Horowitz writes about the law-changing acts radicals devised, including the removal of prayer in public schools, abortion laws, and a religion-free military, to name a few. I found his discussion of the establishment of un-Christian laws to be very informational, without being overwhelming.
Horowitz claims several times that everything the radical left and progressives are doing to eradicate Christianity from society is closely associated with a rise of Marxist, socialist, and Big Brother principles. When schools have to rewrite children’s history textbooks to conform to new laws that prohibit the mention of religion in schools, they are essentially rewriting history in an Orwellian manner. I was fascinated and disgusted by the chapter titled “Prayer in the Schools,” which includes Horowitz’s discussion of the double standard we are faced with when Judeo-Christian history is removed from public schools, and other religions like Islam are put on a pedestal in those same schools.
I can’t help but equate the statewide mask mandate and COVID-19 tracking (COVID-19 Exposure Logging installed on most smart phones) with Horowitz’s analysis of the Orwellian-leaning, totalitarian far left. I understand the reasoning behind the mandate, but it seems also to be a grasp at further, undeniable power—which is very Big Brother-like and aligns with the ideas behind “Dark Agenda.”
To sum it up, I found this book to be a rude awakening to America’s current condition of alienating itself from Christian values. However, there is always hope for the religious right that acts on what it believes in—individual freedom and equal rights that the government has no authority to revoke.
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