It’s rare to see a book utterly miss its target. When it purports to expose a mortal threat to our Republic, it’s a rather astonishing achievement. But Sean Faircloth has done it in his Attack of the Theocrats! How the Religious Right Harms Us All—and What We Can Do About It .

The cover is a comic-book Armageddon, and someone convinced Richard Dawkins to write a foreword. It looks hard-hitting and serious.

It’s not. It hits nothing. Among his “Fundamentalist Fifty” theocrats are John Boehner (!) and Ron and Rand Paul, both of whom, last I checked, call themselves libertarians.

Faircloth doesn’t know where to aim. There’s no reference to RJ Rushdoony or the reconstructionists. No reference to First Things (regarded by some as “theocon central”) or Richard Neuhaus, none to Stanley Hauerwas and his circle, who have recently taken to styling themselves as theocrats (a reasonable deduction from the premise that Jesus is King of everything).

If you’re going to be alarmist, Mr. Faircloth, find something alarming. Next time, dig up some real theocrats.

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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