God in the Corridors of Power: Christian Conservatives, the Media, and Politics in America

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Overview

God in the Corridors of Power: Christian Conservatives, the Media, and Politics in America is a comprehensive study of Christian conservative power in America's political culture—how it was achieved, how it is maintained, and where it is going. It came about in part because of an enduring influence in the school room, the seminary and in the pulpit, and in part because conservatives are so skilled at using commercial and non-commercial media, including religious media, to disseminate their views to broader audiences. Though their power has waxed and waned, they continue to be a potent force in public policy today.

The authors argue that the astonishing electoral successes of Christian conservatives at all levels of national, state and local government was made possible by linking political, social, media and religious interests with an emerging consensus about what constitutes a conservative mindset in American politics. Christian conservatives unquestionably have been the most significant component in a coalition of religious conservatives, traditionalist conservatives and neoconservatives that has driven the Republican Party now for almost two generations.

This multifaceted understanding of Christian conservative activists in religion and politics traces the impact Christian conservatives have had on American Christianity as a whole while also examining the limitations imposed on the Christian conservative agenda by American civil religion, the Constitution and case law. The authors explore women's reproductive rights in the debate over contraception and abortion, and gay civil rights in the debate over gay marriage and family rights. The debate over intelligent design and evolution is examined in the context of the campaign to transform public school education. The run-up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is scrutinized against the background of the declared "war on terrorism."

While the conservative religious and secular coalition within the Republican Party began to fragment even before the end of George W. Bush's first term in office, it remained a powerful force in the 2004 and 2008 elections. The book concludes with some thoughts about the impact of Christian conservatives in politics, media and religion in the future.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Writing so as to be accessible and of interest to a general audience, Ryan (communication, U. of Houston) and Switzer (emeritus, communication and history, U. of Houston) analyze the role of Christian conservatism in American politics from the emergence of Protestant conservatism at the beginning of the 20th century through to the present. They explore how

Protestant conservatism merged with a larger conservative coalition that achieved astonishing electoral success at all levels of American government partly because of their ability to achieve a coalition of political interests, partly because of an emerging consensus about what constitutes the conservative mindset, and partly because of conservative success

in using their ownership and influence over commercial and noncommercial media to disseminate their ideas and attitudes. They also argue that the conservative coalition has been fracturing in recent years and consider the impact that this might have on the Christian conservative voice in American politics."

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Reference & Research Book News

". . . comprehensive, fascinating account of the ebb and flow of evangelical Christianity's influence on American political life. . . . Their treatment of this important, potentially controversial subject is appealingly balanced; the authors hand out both praise and criticism of Christian conservatives' political behavior and motives. This thorough, eminently readable survey of one of the most significant and interesting developments in American politics and culture since WW II is a welcome addition to the literature. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers."

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Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313356100
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/30/2009
  • Pages: 504
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Ch. 1 Christian Conservatives: Past and Present 33

Ch. 2 Media, Religion, and Politics: Conservative Voices 87

Ch. 3 American Conservatism: "A Jungle of Twisted Thoughts" 147

Ch. 4 The Constitution and Civil Religion: Obstacles to Christian Conservatives 187

Ch. 5 Sex, Gender, and Religion: The Contraception and Abortion Conundrum 229

Ch. 6 Sex, Gender, and Religion: The Gay Marriage and Family Conundrum 281

Ch. 7 Science, Theology, and Charles Darwin's Legacy 321

Ch. 8 Terrorism, Media, and Religion: From 9/11 to Afghanistan 365

Ch. 9 Militarism, Media, and Religion: From Afghanistan to Iraq 403

Ch. 10 Conclusion: A Christian Life in American Politics 441

Index 467

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2011

    political power and christianity? Not possible

    In order to win some very narrow, and definitely non-christian power, the religious right has thrown itself in with huge corporations which lie to the American public in order to achieve money and power, which will eventually be used against the very people who voted for what they thought they were getting.
    One should feel sorry for the right wing, being duped by these power hungry moguls.
    Christ said to care for the sick.
    Christ said that a rich man can't get into heaven.
    Christ said to take care of the children.
    Christ said that if people weren't interested in what the apostles had to offer, that they should move on. No force. Turn the other cheek. Resist ye not evil.

    he did not say that we should kill people who don't agree with us. He did not say that we should force ourselves on those who don't agree. The religious right has become a twisted entrail of a corporate conspiracy to destroy democracy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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