Kind words from “Liberal Fascism” author

In response to my post yesterday on our two books about the connections between fascism and today’s left, Jonah Goldberg, the author of “Liberal Fascism,” posted this comment:

Dear Professor Veith – Well, I can tell you didn’t write *this* book. There are important differences between Liberal Fascism and Modern Fascism. That said, it would have been very, very, hard for me to write my book without yours.
I found your book to be extremely helpful in helping me to understand many of the themes I deal with in my book. I have touted it to friends many times. And when I post my bibliographical essay next week, you’ll see it mentioned prominently.
Anyway, I’d be delighted to know what you make of my book. All the best,

Jonah Goldberg, Author, Liberal Fascism.

Wasn’t that nice of him? I apologize if I violated the commandment against covetousness in the tone of my post, envying him the certain success of his book. Actually, the vocation of a scholar is to lay the foundation for further writing, so I find deep satisfaction in what he says and I hope it blows the top off the bestseller charts and confounds all the leftists.

I have always been a fan of Jonah Goldberg, being a regular reader of his columns on National Review Online. He is a master of penetrating insight combined with lacerating wit. So this book should be really good.

Again, buy it by clicking this link. I did, and when I get it sometime after its release on January 8, we’ll discuss it.

Didn’t I already write this book?

National Review editor Jonah Goldberg is coming out with a new book entitled Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning: Books: Jonah Goldberg. From the Amazon description:

Liberal Fascism offers a startling new perspective on the theories and practices that define fascist politics. Replacing conveniently manufactured myths with surprising and enlightening research, Jonah Goldberg reminds us that the original fascists were really on the left, and that liberals from Woodrow Wilson to FDR to Hillary Clinton have advocated policies and principles remarkably similar to those of Hitler’s National Socialism and Mussolini’s Fascism.

Contrary to what most people think, the Nazis were ardent socialists (hence the term “National socialism”). They believed in free health care and guaranteed jobs. They confiscated inherited wealth and spent vast sums on public education. They purged the church from public policy, promoted a new form of pagan spirituality, and inserted the authority of the state into every nook and cranny of daily life. The Nazis declared war on smoking, supported abortion, euthanasia, and gun control. They loathed the free market, provided generous pensions for the elderly, and maintained a strict racial quota system in their universities—where campus speech codes were all the rage. The Nazis led the world in organic farming and alternative medicine. Hitler was a strict vegetarian, and Himmler was an animal rights activist.

Do these striking parallels mean that today’s liberals are genocidal maniacs, intent on conquering the world and imposing a new racial order? Not at all. Yet it is hard to deny that modern progressivism and classical fascism shared the same intellectual roots.

Goldberg’s book is already an Amazon bestseller, the #1 book in the “political science” and “conservatism” categories, even thought it won’t be released until January 8.

I’m hoping that he was influenced by my book Modern Fascism and built on some of my research. That book traced those common “intellectual roots” between classical fascism and both modernism and postmodernism, though I suspect I do more with religion, ethics, philosophy, and worldview.

I always thought that book had the potential to be a best-seller, but it was sort of buried in a CPH monograph series and the editors then gave it a horrible title, one that was both blase and misleading about what it was actually about. I think the new CPH would do a better job with it. (Hey, Paul McCain, if you are reading this, how about a new edition with a new title to piggyback on the Goldberg book if it is a big success?)

I’m not complaining, mind you. There is an abundance of work that needs to be done exploring these connections. I’m happy that these facts are finally coming out.

Order Goldberg’s book by clicking this , and I’ll at least get a commission. It would also be a kindness if you would also click here or the CPH box at the right margin of this blog to order mine.

Statistics on believing the Bible

Another interesting tidbit from is a poll on what Americans believe about the Bible. It found that nearly a third, 31%, believe the Bible is the “actual word of God, to be taken literally.” Nearly half, 47%, believe the Bible is “inspired by the word of God.” Nearly a fifth, 19%, believe that the Bible is just “ancient fables, history, legends recorded by man.” (Read the linked report for various demographic breakdowns as to age, education, church attendance, etc.)

It would seem that over three-fourths, 78%, see the Bible as some kind of spiritual authority. But I wonder what nearly half of our fellow citizens mean by the second category and how they know what parts of the Bible to believe and what they don’t have to believe.

My Iowa caucus predictions

I predict that Mike Huckabee will win the Iowa caucuses, thanks to committed homeschoolers who are more likely to brave the cold than anyone else. Whereupon the media and punditry universe will shift its attention to John McCain.

Among the Democrats, I predict that Barack Obama will win, thanks again to his followers being more zealous than any of the other’s and, again, willing to show up at the meetings. This will lead to a win in Iowa and to a momentum that Hilary Clinton will find hard to stop. Rank and file Democrats WANT to vote for Obama and are supporting the others for other reasons that they would be glad to surrender if they think Obama can win.

Sooner woes

Why can’t the Oklahoma Sooners, one of my alma maters, win a post-season bowl game? Last night’s lost to West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl–sorry, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl–was the fourth in four years. And in each of those games the Sooners were, to coin a term, the overdogs.

Why are churches losing their young people?

Findings from a Southern Baptist-sponsored study of young adults leaving the church:

70 percent of 18-year-olds who attended church regularly in high school quit by age 23: they don’t like it. And by age 30, 34 percent still have not rebounded. That means one in four young Protestants has left the church.

On their laundry list of reasons: they wanted a break (27%), church is too judgmental (26%), they moved away to college (25%), busy with work (23%).

On the positive side, the 30 percent who kept attending church cited solid spiritual reasons, including: “it’s vital to my relationship with God” (65%) and church “helps guide my everyday decisions” (58%).

So churches lose three-fourths of their young people. About half of those eventually come back. But one-fourth never do.

Some of this can be explained in terms of the natural separation that happens when young adults break with their families on the road to starting families of their own. Church is something they did with their parents, so, in their separation from their parents, church gets dropped. Once they become parents themselves, church becomes a part of their lives again.

And yet, separating from the church is dangerous, since in this interim young people often fall into serious sin, which, as the Bible teaches, if not dealt with and forgiven, can harden the heart and become a pretext for unbelief.

There are other factors: The more legalistic the church–that is, the more the church seems all about strict external rules and harsh monitoring of behavior, rather than internalizing the law through the Gospel– the more eager the young person is to get out of there. Also thoughtful young people often find their churches so unthoughtful that they readily consider all of Christianity to be childish. Then there are the widely ineffective Youth Groups that, in trying to address the lack of interest, often make it worse.

This is an enormously important issue for churches to address, so let’s use this blog to get at some answers: Did YOU break away from church? Why? What brought you back? What could the church have done to keep you and to minister to you through that crucial period of your life? Or, why did you stay? What was your church doing right?