Evangelism runs amok in latest novel from OFD author

With his tirades against political correctness and liberal bias, author and political commentator Douglas MacKinnon might be more likely to incense his fellow OFD'ers than evoke a sense of camaraderie, but no one can say he's forgotten where he came from.

In his second novel due to be released later this month it is again a Dot-native working on the side of good against Christian fundamentalists bent on world domination.

Only this time, religious zealots are out to nuke all the Muslims in the world.

Character Ian Cambell (note the Scottish name) is a former Navy Seal and Deputy Chief of Staff to a president who bears a resemblance to Mike Huckabee, save that the fictional candidate was media savvy enough to keep the Jesus-Christ-is-backing-my-campaign hints close to the chest.

After he gains he White House, the new president completes a circle of power with a group called the Christian Ambassadors (bearing more than a resemblance to the real-life Christian Embassy group that holds prayer meetings in the Pentagon every Wednesday morning) and thus begins a plot to redirect U.S. weapons into a religious war.

"It's a defense of religion but an attack on extremism," said MacKinnon of The Apocalypse Directive, due out July 29. "Everything in the book is basically 100 percent real, just taken to another level from where it is now."

The idea came to him in the same way his first novel, America's Last Days did, said MacKinnon, from former colleagues at the Pentagon. This time they directed his attention to a Christian Embassy-produced religious recruitment video filmed in the building with generals and others in uniform. The Washington Post printed a series of editorials calling for disciplinary action after the video became known in late 2006.

Huckabee's influence on the plotline formed as this year's fight for the Republican nomination sorted out.

"Strict evangelicals believe that the lord can speak to them and dreams and visions," MacKinnon said. "In this president's vision the lord told him it's your job to bring about the apocalypse, to cleanse the earth with fire… Unlike Huckabee and George W. Bush who wear their Evangelical beliefs on their sleeve, this president would do the exact opposite. It's sort of like the Manchurian Candidate with an Evangelical angle."

Other than hoping Mitt Romney will be chosen as John McCain's running mate, MacKinnon said he also pines to have Dot star Mark Wahlberg cross the political aisle and play Cambell in a screen version of Apocalypse. According to MacKinnon, Wahlberg showed some interest when the two met at a location shoot for The Shooter.

"He was all pumped up about it," said MacKinnon. "I did send it to Endeavor, his company. It was just crickets after that… It would be kind of cool if Mark said, 'What the hell.'"