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Blinded by Might: Can the Religious Right Save America? Hardcover – April 1, 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

Two "insiders" from the religious right explore why the Moral Majority has failed to accomplish its goals despite two decades of aggressive political maneuvering. Although the authors reveal secrets and lies, such as the fact that most of the Moral Majority's so-called "state chapters" are "little more than a separate telephone line in a pastor's office," this is not a tawdry kiss and tell book. In fact, Dobson and Thomas strongly support most of the Christian values behind the organization's political machinery. But they have come to believe that politics is too corrupt and distorted an arena for Christians to use to enact social change.

Ed Dobson, who helped draft the Moral Majority platform and served as personal assistant to Jerry Falwell, offers a particularly compelling chapter in which he compares the U.S. to Northern Ireland, where Dobson grew up as a Protestant. "We have politicized the gospel with our agendas," he writes. "To be part of the Christian right is to be part of the Republican party. For some, this means to be a real Christian, you must be a Republican. That is heresy and is only a short distance from the extremism of my Irish counterparts."

Ultimately, devout Christians and the people they are trying to influence are the most hurt by the corruption of church through politics, according to coauthor Cal Thomas, a former spokesperson for the Moral Majority. For example, by making the Pro-Life movement a political issue, he claims the Christian right has lost sight of more supportive antiabortion tactics, such as focusing on offering homes and finding jobs for destitute single mothers. Ultimately, the duo calls for a change in strategy--hoping to create followers of the Christian agenda through positive example, consistent living, and devout faith rather than brute political force. --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly

According to syndicated columnist Thomas and minister Dobson, the Religious Right has done more harm than good. Once on the frontlines of the culture wars as adjutants in Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority, the authors now call for "unilateral disarmament" by the Religious Right. If conservative religious leaders are to be effective, the authors say, they must use radically different strategies than they have until now. Thomas and Dobson contend that if the Religious Right's goal is to reclaim America for Christ, it must ask itself if both God and the government are the sources of hope. They claim that the government does not have the power to force virtue on people who do not want to be virtuous. The Religious Right, they note, has become ineffective because it has been acting like a political party or special interest group competing for a share of political power. Rather, say Thomas and Dobson, the movement should be modeling the message of Jesus as they seek cultural change. Although the authors emphasize their continuing commitment to the Religious Right, they note that "we are calling for a longer-lasting endeavor than the one too many of us have devoted too much time to for too long." The book offers a glimpse into the workings of the Religious Right as well as strong comments on the relationship between religion and politics in America.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan Publishing Company; 5th Printing edition (April 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310226503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310226505
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #922,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
What a GREAT book! I wish every evangelical Christian would read this book. If only Amazon had a 10 star rating!
Though people constantly tried to get him to do otherwise, Jesus never allow himself to be co-opted into the politics of this world. He rather testified to the truth that he was about an entirely different kingdom by letting himself be killed by the politics of this world! Never once did he enter into the politically charged atmosphere of his day by even commenting on the relative merits or vices of the Roman leaders. His mission was about something unrelated to what these leaders did or did not do.
Along similar lines, Paul reminds Christians to be followers of their heavenly Lord and not "to be occupied with civilian affairs" (2 Tim 2:4). And the author of Hebrews reminds Christians they are "aliens" in this world because they are "citizens of heaven." When we follow the example of Jesus and live THIS calling out, we have a power to change lives and affect the world that is not of this world. We win the world back for God, one soul at a time.
Many, if not most, contemporary evangelicals have completely missed this. They sincerely believe that the battle is to be fought and won in the arena of earthly politics. Here is where Thomas and Dobson make their contribution. They "hit it out of the park"! These authorsl point out that evangelicals have come to do what Jesus never did, and what the Bible forbids us to do. We have waged war with "flesh and blood," forgetting that our real battle is "against principalities and powers" (Eph 6).
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Format: Paperback
Blinded By Might gives a poignant insight into the world of Church/State politics and what is presented is not the most uplifting view. Quite unintentionally, the authors provide a Nietzschean framework in which (every) man's desire for power (i.e., the will to power) is all-consuming and forces political actors to behave in ways that can only be viewed as self-serving.
During the 1960's and 1970's `fundamentalist' Christians were feeling continually disenfranchised as our country continued its downward spiral. This malaise was evidenced by waved after wave of Supreme Court rulings that legalized abortion, removed prayer from schools, and began to remove all-things-religious from civic life-the Supreme Court and the federal bureaucracy was becoming the de jure enforcement arm for the concept of the separation of Church and State. Into this moral breech several people began to tread, including Cal Thomas, Jerry Falwell, James Kennedy, etc. In 1980 the Moral Majority began to assert its political authority, helping to usher in the Reagan presidency through its successful grassroots motivation. What Thomas and Dobson seek to portray is an inside glimpse into the political as well as ideological shortcomings inherent in the involvement of Christians in the political realm. Trouble did not arise, when the religious right began to wane in political power...it is when the Moral Majority was at the height of its power that problems become obvious; the primary problem being a lack of results in policy formation.
How did this problem occur? The Moral Majority and Christians became married to the Republican Party. Marriage forces people to overlook flaws in their partner and Jerry Falwell and his group did just that.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a book which needed to be written. I don't agree with everything Ed Dobson and Cal Thomas say, either politically or religiously, but their message is vitally important.
As a minister of the Gospel, as a clergyman, and as an outspoken conservative, I have long been dismayed when my collegues (on both sides of the aisle) attempt to equate the Gospel message with a political agenda. I firmly believe that a clergyman has the responsibility and duty to speak out on issues which affect his beliefs and the beliefs of his church. However, many, many members of the Religious Right (and Left, for that matter) have gone far beyond such issues, insisting that political philosophy is just as important, and just as divinely inspired as the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount. There are issues on which Christians should be completely united. There are other issues, as C. S. Lewis suggested, in which honest men may reasonably disagree.
Dobson and Thomas have eloquently suggested that many of the troubles of the Religious Right have been based in not knowing the difference.
Again, I don't blindly accept many of the things that Dobson and Thomas say -- but I agree with much of the spirit in which they were written.
Every politically active member of the clergy should read this book carefully, and with much prayer.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like the disciples of old, the former members (Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson) of the Moral Majority for a long while were not only "blinded by might," but were also blind to the deep spiritual import of Christ's message and mission- that His kingdom is NOT of this world. The authors have now applied spiritual eyesalve-- for spiritual things are spirtually discerned. They have revealed the not-so-honest ploys of the Moral Majority (MM) and Christian Coalition (CC). They have shown clearly and upon bliblical principles that spiritual methods are simply incompatible with much of the political process. No matter how right religious organizations may be, you don't force feed the message or the conduct. No matter how lofty or ideal the goal, the end does not always justify the means. Moreover, while displaying a form of godliness, we deny God's power in our lives when we use the methodology of politics and seek the hand of government. Christ said clearly, "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me." Obviously, Christians have not lifted up Christ in their personal lives to the point where they would lack the urge to seek political laws, mandates or amendments to "win" over others- to have others do good. Good religion is not politicking or lawmaking. Good religion is feeding the hungry, giving to the poor, and taking care of the orphans and widows. As taken from scripture and quoted by Cal Thomas in the book, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit says the Lord of hosts."
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