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God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It Paperback – August 29, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Even liberal politicians are motivated to enter public life and work on behalf of other people because of their own religious convictions according to this book. Denying that these are moral values and their roots in religious belief damages our own standing. This denial then feeds into a stereotype that the left is bereft of any morals or opposes religious people.
At the same time. Wallis takes on the 'religious right' who have comadeered Republican Party infrastructure since the late 1970's/early 1980's. He argues their current interpretation of 'good' public policy is also counterproductive to good public policymaking; anybody not sharing their worldview instantly becomes demonized. Because there are so many different religious perspectives in America (even among Christian denominations themselves) religious right actions actually undercut the standing of religion throughout American society, as practiced by these groups religion becomes percieved as something which is harsh, judgemental, and exclusionary.
I appreciated this book's complex view of religion. It clarifies that the problem is not religion itself, but how we employ it in public life which is the real problem.
I found myself agreeing with so much this author had to say. We are not about being a religious-based society but we are about having faith, compassion and spirituality. We have never been about disassociating conscientiousness from religious freedoms.
I so highly recommend this book I wish I could give it ten stars.......
Speaking only for myself I can say that Jim's approach to the Christian faith, and the fact that he has given voice to that approach, is a great relief. It is leadership like Jim's and ideas and actions like those taken by Sojourners and Call to Renewall, that make it possible for me to continue to identify myself as a Christian. That has not always been an easy thing to do in liberal company.
While the writing in this book isn't always the sharpest, nor the construction the cleanest, this book is very approachable, very readable and (more importantly) extremely timely in the moral life of our country. It is time for people of "values", and Christians in particular, to stop aligning themselves with secular parties or along other political demarcations.
Jesus' message, the Good News, the Gospel, and the life it calls one to, is not about Red States vs Blue States. It's not about being a Donkey or an Elephant. It is about being on God's side, the common good. More than anything else, people of conscience need to ask themselves if they are aligned with the sheep, or the goats.
The action that Jim Wallis calls us to in this book is not about political parties. It's about taking the great commission seriously. Jesus didn't tell the apostles to go out and make converts, but disciples. He taught that when the great judgment comes we won't be questioned on our party affililations, our church membership, nor even on whether we believed that Jesus is God.Read more ›
My primary criticism and the reason I give the book 4 stars rather than what would have otherwise surely been a 5, is that the title is somewhat misleading. Reading this book I was under the impression that it would seek to point out issues on both the Democrats and Republicans and indeed there are places where that seems to happen.
Far more, however, this is aimed primarily at the "Right-Wing Conservative" faction of the Republican party who have embraced religious values. What little criticism the Democrats receive is more along the line of "They don't communicate their message, well." The title would lead you to believe there is criticism all the the way around. It just isn't so. -1 Star for misleading this reader in that regard.
Granted, the Republicans are the party of power and as such are worthy of more scrutiny. Even factoring this in, I don't believe an objective reader could look at this and conclude it is a balanced and equally critical look at both parties.
That having been said it is still an important and riveting book.
Wallis is nothing if not passionate and his lifestyle and actions as reported by him, are in line with what he is saying which I respected immensely and chose to accept at face value. Of particular note, and resonating with this reader were these important points:
1. No reading of the Bible can miss the prevelent theme of how Christians respond to the poor as a primary tenet of Christians and their role in society.
2.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book tries to sell itself as an unbiased look at how both conservatives and liberals have failed Christianity, but the lie very quickly unravels as you start reading it. Read morePublished 5 months ago by trheel712
I should have read a sample few pages before downloading this book. The respected author covers a brief period of history in depth. Read morePublished 9 months ago by stephen a. ernst
I was intrigued at first but stopped reading when he turned "blessed are the poor in spirit" into "blessed are the poor". Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mark S.
As we face a new election with the right tripping over each other in debates about who is more "right", this book is still a must. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jean Hansen
Finally-a book that goes beyond the sterile debate between the "religious fundamentalists" of the Right and the "secular fundamentalists" of the Left on a whole... Read morePublished 13 months ago by T. Washington
1. The philanderer Martin Luther King is the nation’s greatest religious leader.
2. You have to be pro-pervert to be pro-family.
3. Read more
We chose this for our Sunday School text. Jim Wallis is one of the rare thoughtful writers in the thick of the religious political wars of this century.Published 20 months ago by Mac Clark