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Failing America's Faithful: How Today's Churches Are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 1, 2007
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a. Political battles about personal moral issues (sex, abortion, etc.)
b. A type of "individualist" Christianity where participants emphasize their own spiritual growth and needs, and maybe perhaps those of their immediate community, but de-emphasizing, ignoring or even walling themselves off from the issues that affect society at large.
Along with the right-wing evangelicals and the mainstream Protestant denominations, Ms. Kennedy's own Catholic Church is up for criticism too; not only abortion but contraception is banned there, and women are not allowed to be priests. (A whole chapter is devoted to the position of women in the Catholic Church).
The book covers some of the Kennedy family history, including her own childhood experiences, as well as the Church's (both Protestant and Catholic) place in the labor, civil rights, and anti-war movements through the years. But within the past twenty years or so, public Christianity in the United States has largely been co-opted by the Right; the Left is now mostly secular, and often hostile to religion. There is a Religious Left, but it is relatively small and quiet.
According to Kennedy, a true "Christian Nation" would be actively involved in supporting causes such as civil rights, women's rights, welfare for the poor, environmental issues, etc. rather than being involved in moral judgements, supporting "business conservative" concerns such as lower taxes, or promoting individual spiritual comfort.Read more ›
Thank you and kudos to Ms. Kennedy Townsend for writing such a wonderful, insightful and thoroughly enjoyable book, I look forward to the next one!
It's easy to see why Republicans would be offended by what she's written, and why conservative reviewers of her book here on Amazon pepper their critique with personal insults toward her. She argues effectively that contemporary conservatives have created a form of Christianity that bears little relationship to traditional Gospel teachings: justifying unilateral war, deconstructing decades of environmental protections in the name of "personal freedom," and restructuring the tax code to favor the most well-to-do. The real courage of the book lies in her suggestion that the Catholic Church leadership is being seduced by the conservative movement to steer Catholics toward beliefs like these and away from the imperatives of Vatican II to work for a more just world.
Coupled with her unique perspective as the oldest daughter of Robert Kennedy and her own accomplishments in American politics, Ms Townsend offers a mixture of anecdotes and scholarship that will leave the reader with a much better understanding of the recent history of American Christianity--and with a sense of concern about its future.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am not a Catholic but I found this book to be a powerful piece of soul-searching! I think the book helped to distill the fundamental beliefs of, what I feel to be, any concept of... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Wayne
Kennedy is carrying the Wall of Separation between Church and State to a point that makes the Church nearly irrelevant. Read morePublished on September 5, 2013 by Objective
Townsend has some interesting points and I agreed with some of them, but I felt this was a rather "preachy" book that tried to place too much emphasis on conveying a message that... Read morePublished on August 9, 2013 by Rebecca
Kathleen provides an insight into the Kennedy family thinking about how Catholics should act in todays very diverse United States. Read morePublished on July 3, 2013 by Charles S Symeon
All good, but a bit slow to arrive. Overall, a good experience. Well packaged, and book in good shape. OKPublished on April 10, 2013 by Robert L. Sandknop
How sad someone from this SO-Catholic family, has been banned from speaking in her Catholic diocese and her former Catholic school. Read morePublished on December 9, 2012 by Pittsburgh senior
The main failing of this book is its very misleading title. The book is NOT about "How Today's Churches Are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way. Read morePublished on January 17, 2011 by Frank
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has produced an enlightening and empowerig book for women who are eager for proper recognition of their role in the church. Read morePublished on January 4, 2011 by Evelyn H. Vondran
8/27/10 Since the book is written from a "political point of view",author Kathleen Kennedy Townsend perspectives reflect much of heritary and environmental influences from her... Read morePublished on August 27, 2010 by abj