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God's Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters Hardcover – January 22, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

* GOD'S PROFITS is is a fascinating and important investigation into the sordid nexus between religious zealotry and run-amok capitalism. Sarah Posner has given us a vivid account of a new generation of spiritual hucksters whose venality is nearly matched by their political influence. The story she tells is appalling, but the way she tells it is enormously compelling. --- Michelle Goldberg ---

* Sarah Posner has produced the definitive expose of America's leading "prosperity gospel" preachers. With direct access to the Bush White House and Republican lawmakers, these televangelists have injected their Armageddon-based agenda into U.S. foreign policy. Posner's book should serve as a stark warning to anyone tempted to dismiss the John Hagees and Rod Parsleys of the world as benign loons. --- Max Blumenthal ---

* Sarah Posner's reporting on the religious right is dogged, informed, and ceaselessly illuminating. She never condescends to rank-and-file believers; at the same time, she never excuses their leaders' hypocrisies or fundamental misunderstanding of, and threat to, our constitutional republic. --- Michael Tomasky ---

* Sarah Posner introduces us to the stars of a new evangelical movement who have declared welfare Satanic, poverty a religious curse, and redistribution of wealth "contrary to the word of God." GOD'S PROFITS serves as an urgent warning about their toxic and corrupting effect on American politics. --- Esther Kaplan ---

* GOD'S PROFITS is an astounding tale of religious hucksterism--and its role in politics--as big and crass as the ostentatious empires of the Word of Faith movement itself. It features a cast of charlatans, demagogues, con men, and the pols and presidents who pander to them. It is also a window on the rise of the Bush family dynasty and details how John Hagee, Rod Parsley, and their ilk treat faith as a cheap political commodity on its behalf. --- Frederick Clarkson ---

About the Author

Joe Conason is the national correspondent for the "New York Observer," where he writes a political column that is distrubuted by the United Features Syndicate. He is also a contributing editor for "Talk" magazine and a contributer to His writing has appeared in" The Nation, Harper's, The New Yorker, "and many other publications.
Gene Lyons won the National Magazine Award in 1980. He has written extensively for "Newsweek, Harper's The Nation, The New Review of Books, Texas Monthly, Entertainment Weekly," and many other magazines. His books include "The Higher Illiteracy" (University of Arkansas, 1988), "Widow's Web" (Simon & Schuster, 1993), and "Fools for Scanda"l (Franklin Square, 1996). He writes a political column for the "Arkansas Democrat-Gazette."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 207 pages
  • Publisher: Polipoint Press (January 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979482216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979482212
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #721,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Critical Thinker on January 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I first became acquainted with Sarah Posner's writing in the American Prospect, October, 2005 article, With God on His Side. Living in Ohio, among Parsley and his "Christocrats," witnessing the very real influence that Parsley, Russell Johnson and their "Patriot Pastors had on the '04 election, I found her writing perceptive, accessible and entirely on target. The biggest challenge posed by this cultic movement is getting people to believe in the long-term threat it continues to pose. Since that first article, I have devoured every word she has written, only to finally be rewarded with God's Profits.

In this well-researched book, she clearly and compellingly explains the what's, who's, and why's of how religious huckster-ism has successfully manipulated a frightened, lonely, and despairing populace.

Ms. Posner has done it again, only this time, the prize is bigger: it's a book. There is no writer out there who knows more about the subject, none who has gone more often into the belly of the beast, as she clearly has. As the bar regarding church-state separation continues to be lowered, it is time to take note of this serious journalist's insight and the skill with which she presents it.

Would that I could, I'd give this book ten stars.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on April 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"God's Profits" by Sarah Posner presents a timely expose of the Word of Faith (WoF) movement and a discussion of its significance within American culture and the Republican Party. Ms. Posner writes with the immediacy of a seasoned journalist who has backed up her story with solid documentation and onsite investigative reporting. The result is an important book that helps us understand how the "pray, pay and vote" movement has played a crucial role in steering our democracy in an increasingly fanatical and dangerous direction.

Ms. Posner demonstrates that the WoF movement is particularly obsessive about its fund raising efforts even as its most visible proponents enjoy lavish lifestyles. Although the WoF's "prosperity gospel" may be disputed by reputable scholars, it has proven to be enormously effective in coercing the faithful to tithe their earnings in exchange for the promise of God's material blessings. Marketed aggressively through megachurches, mass rallies, religious schools and a vast media empire that includes book publishing, DVDs and movies as well as television networks, the WoF message reaches tens of millions of people who are eager to support their leaders' causes. For example, Ms. Posner contends that WoF supporters were encouraged in 2004 to support a ban on same-sex marriage and cast votes that may well have made the critical difference in George W. Bush's re-election in the crucial swing state of Ohio.

Ms. Posner makes clear that the WoF movement's relationship with the Republican Party is one of mutual interest. Ideologically, the WoF's self-help message dovetails with the rugged individualism of economic neoliberalism, where success or failure in the marketplace is determined by one's own efforts and not by government policies. Although George H.W.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By James M. Rawley on March 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This does not strike me as a muckraking work. The religious leaders Posner describes are multi-millionaires who are invited to the White House. Even their scandals, trials for corruption and the like, are matters of public record -- not to mention jokes on late night television. Posner is a great expert, but she is just assembling available information, as a good reporter ought to do. I don't think she makes one risky or undocumented statement, and as a result her book is a little fact-packed and tedious. On the other hand, she does know more about these people than anyone else; she writes frequent columns about them for PROSPECT and other magazines. And these millionaires are openly doing their best to turn our country into a theocracy, so it certainly doesn't hurt to have their activities all brought together in a thoroughly reliable book like this.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Sharlet on February 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Posner has followed both the money and the beliefs of a crew of the nation's sleaziest snake oil salesmen to produce a horrifying but important story. "God's Profits" is a book anyone who wants to understand how good and honest people are seduced into movements led by theological sham artists needs to read. Of particular value is Posner's reporting on Rod Parsley, a rising star of "populist" fundamentalism. This is fast-paced, fearless muck-raking of the first order.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J.L. Populist on June 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Posner provides an expose' of the "Word of Faith" movement and the obsession with money.
Lavish lifestyles, exotic cars, and multi-million dollar mansions are trademarks for the preachers and leaders in the movement.
The author demonstrates that the Republican political connection to the religious "prosperity movement" is motivated for mutual need of, and love for- money.

On page 50 she writes- "The seed-faith gimmick is little more than a give-to-get gospel of greed."

She also covers some of the dangers of dominionist theocracy. Of course these leaders are feeding at the trough for money like so many other large Christian entities. Whether some of these churches are dominionist or not, they often employ an authoritarian structure. You must not question your leader or you will go to hell or be labeled "satanic".

This book quotes some media investigations of TBN and well-known ministers.
Some of the more disturbing elements being centered around money and material wealth. Personal jets, multiple expensive homes, ties to disbarred attorneys, lies about education, and electioneering from the pulpit.

All in all a thoroughly documented book and one that should be read by anyone curious about the political connection between the Republican Party and the mega-churches.
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