Marci McDonald is an award-winning journalist whose controversial book, The Armageddon Factor: the Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada, was published last year by Random House Canada and became an instant best-seller, named by Quill & Quire as the best non-fiction title of 2010. Now the paperback edition, complete with a new afterword by the author, has been released by Vintage Canada.
Based on her 2006 cover story in Walrus magazine, "Stephen Harper and the Theo-Cons," The Armageddon Factor is the first examination of the emerging religious right in Canada and its ties to the Harper government. Shedding light on an increasingly influential movement that the mainstream media has largely ignored, McDonald profiles many of the players who have set down organizational roots in Ottawa since Harper came to power, establishing think tanks, advocacy groups and youth lobbies to ensure they have a lasting voice in the national debate long after he has left office.
In meticulous detail and vivid anecdotes, she connect the dots to portray a diverse and elusive community that ranges from Prairie creationists to theocrats who toil on Parliament Hill. Along the way, she explains how Christian Zionists have thrown their weight behind Harper's most radical policy shift, his unflinching support for Israel, and why a band of militant Pentecostals believes not only that the end-times of the Book of Revelation are at hand, but that Canada has a special, biblically-ordained role to play in those final days.
Already, that religious right has played its part in remaking the political landscape, helping to shape the Conservative government's approach to the environment, foreign policy and foreign aid. Now as Harper begins four more years in power, this time with a majority mandate, the book provides an essential guide for any reader who wants to understand the forces behind some of his policies and preoccupations, from scaling back social welfare measures to recasting the character of the courts. After more than a decade watching faith-driven politics in the United States, McDonald also makes clear her belief that, no matter which way the partisan winds blow in this country, Canada's burgeoning religion right is here to stay.