Thursday, February 25, 2010
Seeing the anniversary of Mel Gibson's Passion brought to mind Kevin Phillips' American Theocracy which tells of the pervasive influence of religion in American politics. I read it a few years back and thought Phillips did a good job of showing the symbiotic relationship that has long existed between religion and politics, but I think he focused a little too heavily on the conservative side and didn't deal with historical progressive movements like that which William Jennings Bryan led. Religion could also be said to have played a major role in abolitionism and in the Civil Rights movement.
Religion cuts both ways in American society, but in recent decades it does seem that the Conservatives have gained the upper hand in this regard. It was interesting to see Obama make a strong play for the Evangelical vote last year, and he made significant inroads into the younger Evangelical vote, which historically has been a major part of the Democratic Party.
Curious if others have found better books that discuss Religion in America within a broader context?