Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Jesus Machine

Someone just plunked a book on my desk called "The Jesus Machine: How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America are Winning the Culture War," by Dan Gilgoff of U.S. News and World Report.

The press release says that "the Christian right has achieved more in the last few years than at any time in its history." That, on the surface, may be true, if one believes the Christian Right really got going in the 20th century. Dobson, Gilgoff appears to believe, enjoys the kind of influence that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson can only pine for.

But Dobson's movement has suffered its share of setbacks, as well. Gilgoff points to the battle over the life of Terry Schiavo -- a woman locked in what doctors described as a persistent vegetative state -- as an illustration of evangelical influence. But lest we forget, evangelicals could not prevent doctors from eventually pulling the plug on Schiavo. In November, Arizona became the first U.S. state to fail to pass a so-called "marriage protection amendment." And despite strong support from Dobson and others, conservatives suffered a series of setbacks in the most recent national election.

I'll read the book and let you know what it says.


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