In 1985, world-famous Canadian author Margaret Atwood released The Handmaid’s Tale, about a fictional totalitarian society based on religious ideals. Besides winning many awards, it became widely popular in elite circles, spawning a movie in 1990 and a TV series beginning in 2017..Disturbingly however, the purpose of The Handmaid’s Tale is to provide a false portrayal of what the United States would look like if conservative Christians gained political power. Atwood wrote the book in the early 1980s when the Christian Right was first making an impact on American politics, and she wanted to encourage widespread fear about that new political movement to thwart its progress..Yet, the society Atwood describes is entirely different from what the Christian Right envisions. Her portrayal is so warped that readers of the book receive a severely distorted impression of conservative Christian ideals. Unfortunately, that is the goal of the book. In this sense, The Handmaid’s Tale has been wildly successful as political propaganda..In reality, a society governed along the lines proposed by the Christian Right would look much like North America in the 1950s — less government presence but culturally conservative. Traditional families would be the norm and abortion would be prohibited as it was then..In Atwood’s story, the dystopian Christian regime changes the name of the United States to “Gilead.” Leaders of this new society whose wives are unable to conceive are issued “handmaids” to bear them children. The book is written from the perspective of one of these handmaids, Offred..The handmaids, Atwood writes, are women who were coercively “recruited for reproductive purposes and allocated to those who both required such services and could lay claim to them through their position in the elite.”.The Gilead regime thus instituted the kind of “polygamy practised both in early Old Testament times and in the former State of Utah in the nineteenth century.”.The handmaids are given new names reflecting their ownership by particular men. For example, the protagonist Offred’s name means literally, “of Fred” because she was expected to bear children for one of Gilead’s leaders — Fred — also known as “the Commander.”.Handmaids are not allowed to have friends. They are simply “two-legged wombs.”.The Commander’s barren wife had previously been a spokesperson for the Christian Right: “Her speeches were about the sanctity of the home, about how women should stay home.” This ideal, of course, is anathema to feminists like Atwood..In other words, the evil totalitarians who have seized power support the traditional role of wife and mother..They also oppose abortion. Atwood’s heroine says before taking power they carried signs saying, “Let them bleed,” apparently referring to women who had abortions..Besides that, these nasty people oppose universal daycare and speak favourably about “traditional values.” In Atwood’s view then, people who support the traditional family and oppose abortion are the totalitarians of the future..That is the core political message of the book..Gilead is particularly cruel to women. They are not allowed to own property or have paying jobs. All infertility is blamed on women. Most women are also forbidden from writing. Babies born with deformities are declared “Unbabies” and it is strongly implied they are killed. It is also strongly implied old people are killed — at least the old women..This is very strange. The political movement most outspoken against abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia is portrayed as sinister for implementing infanticide and euthanasia after taking power..The truth has been turned on its head..Christian sexual morality is also turned on its head in Gilead. The handmaids are shown hard-core pornographic movies. And the leaders of this regime have their own whorehouse!.At night certain leaders of Gilead have sex with prostitutes in a bordello reserved for the elite. One of the participants justifies it this way: “Nature demands variety, for men. It stands to reason, it’s part of the procreational strategy. It’s nature’s plan.”.These leaders also encourage lesbianism among the prostitutes because “women on women sort of turns them on.”.So, in Atwood’s deceptive portrayal, a society under the control of the Christian Right would — secretly at least — encourage the grossest sexual immoralities..If that isn't bad enough, access to the Bible is strictly limited by this new regime. It is only available to the elite, and only for certain occasions: “The Bible is kept locked up, the way people once kept tea locked up, so the servants wouldn't steal it.”.And when parts of the Bible are publicly taught, the words are blatantly changed..In one case, the phrase “Blessed are the silent” is claimed to be a passage of Scripture. And in another case, one of Karl Marx’s slogans, slightly reworded as, “From each according to her ability; to each according to his needs,” is claimed by these Christian leaders to be in the Bible..That is, Atwood has her fundamentalists severely limit people’s access to the Bible, and also change the content of the Bible!.It is clear The Handmaid’s Tale was written to be a tool for the far-left in the culture war, by creating an irrational fear of politically active Christians, and thereby strengthening the opposition to conservative Christian involvement in social and political issues..Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, it is a favourite of the academic and media elites..Unfortunately, the cultural impact of The Handmaid’s Tale is unmistakeable as women dressed as “handmaids” protest on behalf of “progressive” causes throughout North America..It is regrettable that Atwood has successfully sown fear and disinformation to millions of people. She has accomplished her goal and now countless citizens needlessly distrust the intentions of conservative Christians..If any other religious community had been Atwood’s target, the same progressives who praise her would demand that she be severely punished.