Books for the News, Politics and Current Events, Religion

Whose God is a Republican?

jacket imageSince their emergence as a political force in the 1980’s, conservative Christians have been stereotyped in the popular media: Bible-thumping militants and anti-intellectual zealots determined to impose their convictions on such matters as evolution, school prayer, pornography, abortion, and homosexuality on the rest of us. However, a recent article by Eyal Press in the November 20 edition of the Nation notes how Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout’s new book The Truth about Conservative Christians: What They Think and What They Believe makes a convincing argument that conservative Christians are not as fanatical or intractable as many people think, nor are they necessarily the monolithic voting block or political base for Republican candidates. Eyal Press writes in the Nation:

How, Greeley and Hout ask, do pundits routinely equate biblical Christianity with right-wing politics when African-Americans, “who are in nearly every respect as religiously conservative as whites,”
nevertheless “vote overwhelmingly for Democrats?” By, it appears, mistakenly assuming all Bible-believing Christians are reactionary white Southerners who write monthly checks to the likes of Jerry Falwell.… Greeley and Hout provide strong evidence that among white conservative Protestants—a category that includes denominations such as Southern Baptists, Pentecostals and Mormons—class indeed matters a lot more than most pundits think. Between 1992 and 2000, 80 percent of the affluent members of these denominations voted for Republicans, but fewer than half of those who are poor did so.

Challenging commonly held assumptions about the American electorate and revealing the complexity, variety, and sensibilities of conservative Christians, The Truth about Conservative Christians dispels the myths that have long shrouded them in prejudice and political bias.
Read an excerpt from the book.