The God Strategy: How Religion Became a Political Weapon in America / Edition 1

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This volume offers a timely and dynamic study of the rise of religion in American politics, examining the public messages of political leaders over the past seventy-five years. The authors show that U.S. politics today is defined by a calculated, deliberate, and partisan use of faith that is unprecedented in modern politics. Beginning with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, America has seen a no-holds-barred religious politics that seeks to attract voters, identify and attack enemies, and solidify power. Domke and Coe identify a set of religious signals sent by both Republicans and Democrats in speeches, party platforms, proclamations, visits to audiences of faith, and even celebrations of Christmas. The updated edition of this ground-breaking book includes a new preface, an updated analysis of the last Bush administration, as well as a new final chapter on the Jeremiah Wright controversy, the candidacies of Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, and Barack Obama's victory.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If you can read only one book on American politics and religion, this should be the one."—Southern Communication Journal

"The God Strategy is a sobering look at just how deeply imbedded religion has become in the contemporary American political psyche. Both the person of faith and the non-believer should fear what is revealed in this carefully crafted review of modern campaign strategies to 'get the God vote'. Domke and Coe demonstrate, with stunningly clear examples, just how the union of government and religion tends to degrade the integrity of both." —Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State

"Religion has become central to American politics. The God Strategy is a superb overview of what happened and how it has impacted our democracy. David Domke and Kevin Coe have done the nation a service." —George Lakoff, author of Don't Think of an Elephant!

"Domke and Coe have done a masterful job of giving us insight into the mix of religion and politics. The God Strategy taught me much about a field I thought I knew. Anyone who wants to understand how the deeply religious character of America could be used to effect coming elections needs to read this book." —Joel Hunter, Pastor and Member, Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals

"The God Strategy offers an intriguing look at what has become one of the most powerful shaping forces in American political life. Like it or not, religion has for years been establishing the parameters of public debate. As Domke and Coe make clear, this is unlikely to change anytime soon." —Ron Reagan

"The God Strategy tells the intriguing story of how God-talk has functioned in American political life in recent decades. Domke and Coe invite both Democrats and Republicans to take the planks out of their own eyes before casting the first stone. This book could become a voter's bible, helping citizens (and media pundits) evaluate election-cycle rhetoric with critical scrutiny." —Brian McLaren, Pastor and author of A New Kind of Christian and The Secret Message of Jesus

"...provides a valuable service and highlights an important change in U.S. politics."—Communication Research Trends

"Filled with plenty of political anecdotes to satisfy the most political junkies"—Religion

"The God Strategy is a must read for anyone hoping to understand the role of religion in the upcoming election."—Journal of Church and State

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195326413
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/7/2007
  • Edition description: Updated Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

David Domke is Professor of Communication at the University of Washington and the author of God Willing: Political Fundamentalism in the White House, the War on Terror, and the Echoing Press. Kevin Coe is Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Arizona.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: A New Religious Politics 3

1 One Nation under God, Divisible 11

2 Political Priests 29

3 God and Country 49

4 Acts of Communion 71

5 Morality Politics 99

6 Religious Politics and Democratic Vitality 129

7 Act II 151

Acknowledgments 167

Notes 169

Index 237

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2007

    A reviewer

    If you read David Domke's last book, 'God Willing', (a must read for every one) which exposed the myth of a Free and Independent Press during the current Bush administration following 9/11, and the calculated steps taken by Bush and his staff to craft a framework to grow support for the president's policies and his growing reliance on the ideology of Political Fundamentalism, then you will really enjoy this new book. You will also come to understand how politicians, thru a strategic communication approach grounded in a conservative religious worldview, 'The ¿God Strategy¿ were able to achieve the two tasks listed above. This new book traces the growth of the God Strategy in American politics from the days of President Franklin Roosevelt to the current George Bush and how both the Republicans and the Democrats have embraced the joining of religion and politics. Domke and co-author, Kevin Coe lay out in great detail how politics and religion came together and how both sides, to push agendas and win elections with results that often threaten the very foundations of American Democracy, have used this wedding In reading the' God Strategy' I have come to understand some of the how's, why's, and so what's involved in the rise of religion in American politics. I am surely more aware of the subtleties used by both sides in their efforts to shape a new America. I am even more aware of the misguided and often angry methods used by the followers of the God Strategy in achieving their end results and of the price America as a nation might be called on to pay for those methods Thanks Domke and Coe for this interesting, insightful and well-researched view of religion in America politics.

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