Elizabeth Neumann: “KINGDOM OF RAGE”

Former Republican (recently turned Independent), Elizabeth Neumann is author of the April 2024 book, "Kingdom of Rage: The Rise of Christian Extremism [in the Republican Party] and the Path Back to Peace." Worthy Books.

Neumann has described herself as "first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ," grew up in Texas, and graduated from Trinity Christian Academy in Texas and the University of Texas at Austin (Bachelor's degree in Government Studies).

After voting for Trump in 2016, she was appointed as a homeland security official in the Trump administration serving from February 2017 to April 2020 as a senior advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to DHS Secretary John Kelly and Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke, and as DHS Assistant Secretary for Threat Prevention and Security Policy to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan, and Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf. Previously, she had served on the Homeland Security Council staff in the George W. Bush administration starting in 2003.

Although Neumann voted for Trump in 2016, in 2020 she made an ad for Republican Voters Against Trump saying she considers "America is less safe" due to Trump's failure in leadership. That same year, Neumann, along with over 130 other former Republican national security officials, signed a statement that asserted that President Trump was unfit to serve another term, and "To that end, we are firmly convinced that it is in the best interest of our nation that Vice President Joe Biden be elected as the next President of the United States, and we will vote for him."

As a counterterrorism expert, Neumann became an outspoken critic of the Trump administration's rhetoric and lack of action regarding domestic terrorism policy and warnings of potential threats, warning of attacks by white nationalists and other radical extremists and the groundwork laid for further attacks in the months and years to come. In early 2021, Neumann served as the co-director of the Republican Accountability Project, a group under Republicans for the Rule of Law's Defending Democracy Together.

As a former counterterrorism official, Neumann explores in "Kingdom of Rage" how modern evangelicalism and right-wing conservatism intermingled to form the combustible ideology that resulted in the January 6 attacks on the Capitol—and which threatens to destroy the American Church from within. She asks how did a Church that purports to follow the teachings of Jesus - the Prince of Peace - become a breeding ground for violent extremism?

When Neumann began her anti-terrorism career as part of President George W. Bush’s Homeland Security Counsel in the wake of the September 11 attacks, she expected to spend her life protecting her country from the threat of global terrorism. But as her career evolved, she began to perceive that the greatest threat to American security came not from religious fundamentalists in Afghanistan or Iraq but from white nationalists and radicalized religious fundamentalists within the very institution that was closest to her heart – the American evangelical church. And she began to sound the alarm, raising her concerns to anyone in government who would listen, including testifying before Congress in February of 2020. At that time, Neumann warned that anti-Semitic and white supremacist terrorism was a transnational threat that was building to the doorstep of another major attack.

Shortly after her testimony, she resigned from her role as Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention in protest of what she believed was then-President Trump’s failure of leadership and his stoking of the hatred, anger, and division from which she had dedicated her life to protecting her country. Her worst fears came true when she witnessed the attack on the capital on January 6, 2021.

In "Kingdom of Rage", Neumann explores the forces within American society that have encouraged the radicalization of white supremacist, anti-government and other far-right terrorists by co-opting Christian symbols and culture and perverting the faith’s teachings. While Neumann offers decades of insights into the role government policies can play to prevent further bloodshed, she believes real change must come from within the Christian church.


She shines a bright light on the responsibility of ordinary Americans – and particularly American Christians – to work within their families and their communities to counteract the narrative of victimization and marginalization within American evangelicalism. Her goal for this book is not only to sound a warning about one of the greatest threats to our security but to rescue the Church from the forces that will, if left unchecked, destroy it – culturally, morally, and ultimately quite literally.

This is a book for anyone who wants to understand the unholy marriage of right-wing politics and Christian exceptionalism in America and who wants to be a part of reversing the current path towards division, hatred, violence and the ultimate undermining of both evangelical Christianity and American democracy.

Source: Text from Wikipedia, "Elizabeth Neumann," and Amazon book review of "Kingdom of Rage," Amazon internet site.