All Politics Is Religious: Speaking Faith to the Media, Policy Makers and Community by Dennis S. Ross
Faith grows when we uphold its vision for a better world and speak of it in the public square—while keeping church and state separate.
"Dealing with a splintered media, with its new opportunities and challenges requires being able to mix the facts with the feelings in appropriate measures for the audience you are trying to reach. Reading this book will not make you as glib as your favorite newscaster (who is probably reading a teleprompter) or as dashing or beautiful as a Hollywood celebrity, but it will make you less fearful, better trained and more likely to be used as a source again." —from the Foreword by Rev. Barry W. Lynn
A practical and empowering resource. It provides ideas and strategies for expressing a clear, forceful and progressive religious point of view that is all too often overlooked and under-represented in public discourse. It identifies the religious themes in today's great debates—gay rights, the needs of children and families, church-state separation and reproductive rights, including access to sex education, contraception and abortion care—and presents new language and methods for effective communication with the media, policy makers and community. It steers away from the polemics and jargon of politics—left, right, liberal, conservative, socialist—and instead relies on factual historical examples, current events and personal stories to illustrate the best ways to communicate the positive role faith can play in personal and public life by reinforcing the separation of church and state.
Rabbi Dennis S. Ross serves as a reproductive rights advocate and director of Concerned Clergy for Choice at the Education Fund of Family Planning Advocates of New York State. Concerned Clergy for Choice, a multifaith network of religious leaders—ministers from Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ denominations as well as spiritual leaders representing Judaism, Buddhism and Islam—is at the forefront of faith-based advocacy in the national legislative and media confrontations over reproductive rights. The project also played a major role in the legalization of same-gender civil marriage in New York State.
Rabbi Ross consults to Planned Parenthood on clergy organizing, religion in the media and religious lobbying. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of religion and the media at professional conferences, college campuses, houses of worship, health centers and other venues. He is the author of All Politics Is Religious: Speaking Faith to the Media, Policy Makers and Community (SkyLight Paths) and God in Our Relationships: Spirituality between People from the Teachings of Martin Buber (Jewish Lights).
Rabbi Dennis Ross is available to speak on the following topics:
Spirituality and Social Justice
God in Our Relationships
Sex, Religion and Politics
Stem Cell Research: A Faith Perspective
Click here to contact the author.
Rev. Barry W. Lynn is the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. An accomplished writer, speaker and lecturer, Lynn has appeared frequently on television and radio to offer analysis of First Amendment issues.
Foreword xi Preface: Preaching to the Choir xv Acknowledgments xxi Introduction: How I Became an Advocate xxiii
Part I: How Religion and Policy Mix 1. Why We Hear So Much from One Side and So Little from the Other 3 2. Core Faith Values: Protecting the Widow, the Stranger, and the Orphan 11 3. Core Faith Values: Moral Agency 25 4. Core Faith Values: Church-State Separation 39
Part II: How to Speak about Religious Values 5. Messaging to the Base 55 6. Media Relations: First Steps 71 7. Raising the Controversial Issues 89 8. Building and Using a Message Triangle 97 9. Building on the Triangle: The Platform of Faith 109 10. Religion and Lobbying 133
Epilogue: More Than Tolerance 145 Notes 149 Suggestions for Further Reading 155