Sunday, May 25, 2008

"Useful Idiots"

The Fall of the Evangelical Nation is a new book by former Dallas Morning News reporter Christine Wicker. From her site and in her new book, she rips the religious right a new asshole. I listened to an interview with her on Sam Seder's show (which is on it's way out...). Ms. Wicker posts this tidbit from The Tennessean:
“When Christian beliefs become political weapons, the manifesto says, “faith loses its independence, Christians become the ‘useful idiots’ for one political party or another, and the Christian faith becomes an ideology.”

The manifesto seeks to redefine evangelical as a religious term, rather than as shorthand for social or political conservatives.

But Robert Parham, director of the Nashville Baptist Center for Ethics, said the manifesto was too little, too late. Many of the signers were supporters of the Religious Right, he said, and have now changed their tune as conservative Republican political power has waned.

“It’s kind of hard to see how they are now going to advance a kindler, gentler evangelicalism based on their past behavior,” he said. “Had they begun by saying that they were wrong on the war in Iraq, wrong on global warming, wrong on torture, then they might have a little more credibility.”
It would appear from what Wicker says, the the mega-church-going, rabid haters the conservative right touts, are mostly fictitious. The right is smaller than it appears.

Finally, a little good news. I'll post a link to the audio as soon as its up.Audio is up.


Christine Wicker said...

Thank you for your comments on "The Fall of the Evangelical Nation." I'm the author as you know. Your characterization of the book's effect was vividly put.

If I were to sum up the conclusion of the book's stats, I'd say, "We've been duped."

There's nothing but a little group of men behind that curtain. As a journalist, I should have discovered that long ago.

The Religious Right is smaller than anyone knew. About a fourth as large as we thought. Not one out of every four Americans, but one out of every 14. Not 25 percent but 7 percent.

They pulled off the biggest publicity scam in American history.

Take a look at this month's Mother Jones for a good idea (from an evangelical) of the book's findings.

Thanks again.

Cujo359 said...

Unfortunately, the news in this country has a habit of listening to the loudmouths, as long as these lhey're saying things to which most viewer (readers?) won't object. If this article is to be believed, these loudmouths are as loud and shameless as ever.

I'm fascinated to know why you think this group is smaller than we've been led to believe, and what baseline you're comparing your stats to, but I don't find your premise unbelievable, that's for sure.

mike rucker said...

an article by ms. wicker ran in the atlanta journal-constitution today (6/6/08) entitled, “Fundamentally, fewer adherents: Evangelical Exodus.” i don't think it's a book excerpt, but it covers the same ground.

i think it’s dead on, and i’m quite tickled about it, frankly. :)

rather than stick all my comments here, you can read them on my website (URL below) if you care to. the post is entitled, "when you're falling awake."

mike rucker
fairburn, ga, usa