Dinesh D'Souza at the 2013 Freedom Fest - Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore via Flickr (http://bit.ly/1kW6YAx)

Dinesh D’Souza at the 2013 Freedom Fest – Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore via Flickr (http://bit.ly/1kW6YAx)

The end of the year is a great time to think back over all the American human race has accomplished. There will be no shortage of retrospectives across the Internet: Celebrity deaths, strangest letters to Dear Prudence, best Longform reads, top Christian songs. Tomorrow, I’ll share a retrospective of my own in the form of some of 2013’s top moments in religion.

But I would be remiss to let the end of the year go by unnoticed without first pointing you to my favorite religious moment of the year: Dinesh D’Souza’s Christmas Tree Infomercial. D’Souza, former president of The King’s College who resigned after admitting he “did not have any idea that it is seen as wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced even though separated.”

If we’re talking “best of,” I’m not sure I can choose my favorite moment of this video in which D’Souza, who doesn’t “endorse products…however, in this case, I wanted to talk about something…pretty incredible.” Is it the instrumental version of “Ode to Joy” playing throughout? Is it D’Souza’s suggestion that you buy his books with the money you save when you use coupon code FRIENDSOFDINESH at checkout? Is it the step-by-step explanation of how easy this tree is in comparison to messy, cumbersome “real” Christmas trees (“No more heavy tree parts or complicated electrical cords”)? Is it his total lack of self-awareness? I don’t know, and it’s too late now to even order the tree. The $50 savings plan was good only through December 20th, so I can’t even use my savings to order The Roots of Obama’s Rage or The End of Racism

But don’t despair. An offer this good is sure to come around again. In the meantime, think of how far we’ve come this year. Or don’t. 2014 is sure to be better.

Categories: Beliefs


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Laura Turner

Laura Turner

Laura Turner is a writer and editor living in San Francisco. In addition to being a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s “Her.meneutics” blog, she has also written for publications such as Books & Culture and The Bold Italic. She is interested in the intersection of church and culture.


  1. Laura why are you doing this? So we have learned Dinesh likes fake Christmas trees and oh, by the way, he is also an adulterer.

    Who would ever want to embrace the faith of people who do this to one another?

    When you compile your list of Christian fails for next year, don’t forget to slip this article in the file as well.

    Galatians 6:1

    • Wait, what? D’Souza goes to a conference where he’s shacked up in a hotel room with a woman who is not his wife, and Laura did that to him?

      I’m a bit confused, Carl. Are you suggesting it’s somehow not proper for Christians to call out hypocrisy, even when it is found among our own?

  2. Just curious Daniel. How much more ‘up-to-date’ information do we need to know about Mr. D’Souza that would make this piece appropriate from a Christian perspective? How much disapproval or disagreement do we have to compile on another Christian that would justify putting them on a public spit and dining on their failures and brokenness?

    • I’m not certain that Laura is “writing as a Christian.” RNS is not a Christian apologist site and does not exist to encourage people to “embrace the faith.” Perhaps she is simply writing as an observer of the intersection of culture and the Christian community.

      • Sara- you are correct and I was wrong to assume Ms. Turner is a Christian. According to her own bio, she is simply a “church culture enthusiast.” That explains much.

  3. I am fully acquainted with Mr. D’Souza’s life and work, and I still agree with Carl & Matthew. This article is disappointing and disheartening. I’ve never read Ms. Turner’s blog before, but it is obvious she is not a Christian, whatever she may profess.

  4. George McDowell

    Dinesh D’Souza was indicted on federal charges today for illegal campaign contributions. He has been exposed as a corrupt scumbag and rightwingnutcase. That’s all you need to know about his truth-challenged books and movies.

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