Wednesday, October 11, 2006

You mean politicians court Religious Voters and then ignore them? Next thing you tell me, "there is no Santa"

I have always Suspected this, hearing and seeing just enough to believe Christians are being duped by Republican leaders (yes, the Dems would have done this if they had the brains), but not having a smoking gun. Well, the smoking gun has arrived to be ignored by the Christian Right and disparaged (just wait). I cannot wait to pick this book up.

The former #2 at the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives in the Bush White House, David Kuo (who has impeccable Republican and Evangelical credentials) tells the story of the way Rove and the Bushies used Conservative Christians for their votes and support, while making fun of them and giving them nothing in return (beyond lip-service, invitations to photo ops and stationary) in Tempting Faith, out next week.

Keith Olbermann got his hands on the book and calls it devastating to the Republicans. Sadly, I think Christians will ignore this sordid tale because their leaders will still get what they want (access to power and stroked egos), while millions of well-meaning Evangelicals are used by cynical politicians that call them Kooks and court them for election purposes, giving them the niceties of a Jesus mention here and a Day of Prayer there, along with speeches to Southern Baptists, Conference Calls with Dobson and government pocket change.

Interestingly, the disgruntled former White House staffer is writing this book because he wants Christians to know they are being used and duped by politicians. I hope we listen this time. Too bad we won't find the book in Christian bookstores, next to The Faith of George W. Bush and Sean Hannity's Deliver Us From Evil.

Pay attention to what this book says. It should be interesting to each side of the divide.

article by Kuo on why faith based initiatives do not work (here)

the story on the book (here)


james said...

O' contraire! I know of one online christian retailer who will be carrying it.

check your email for further details.

Will said...


Thanks for telling us about this. I have always wondered what Kuo was doing in that administration. Great to hear he has the courage to speak out.

LiberalDem said...

I hope this is the start of an awakening. I was wondering when the religious right was going to notice that the GOP was the un-Christian political party. Callousness toward the least among us, support for the wealthy and corporations, mockery of peacemakers, public religiosity, support for torturing other human beings (made in the image of God!) Wake up! Smell the coffee! Get off the abortion issue. It's sucked "religious" people in for too long. Abortion is a choice made inconsultation with one's god(s) and/or conscience - not one's government. WWJD?

DLW said...

I'd say that this sort of manipulation and taking for granted is a natural consequence of many voters having shallow habits of political deliberation.

I hope that that will change in the coming years.

My thoughts on this matter have gone in the direction of small groups agreeing to sacrifice their individuality in voting in nat'l or state elections and delegating one member to keep tabs on certain issues and then making an informed decision on the behalf of the rest of the group who will agree to follow through.

I think the point of the matter would be to free up time for more local ministry, study of scripture and what-not for the rest of the group who would intentionally abstain from the streams of "information" flowing towards us via the media...

I think it's a way to reconcile a commitment to political responsibility and a local community focus. It wd matter to pick someone known for their lack of extremism and general political savvy to be the afficionado for the group. There could then be relatively small (internet) dialogue groups of afficionados who have similar issues/priorities.

we see...