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Hypocrisy, Inc.: How the Religious Right Fabricates Christian Values and Undermines Democracy Paperback – April 19, 2012
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About the Author
Rosemary Agonito is an award winning author whose first novel, Buffalo Calf Road Woman: The Story of a Warrior of the Little Bighorn, based on a true story, won the prestigious Western Heritage Award for the Best Western Novel in 2006. Her most recent books are Miss Lizzie’s War (a Civil War novel) and Hypocrisy, Inc.: How the Religious Right Fabricates Christian Values and Undermines Democracy (a timely political expose). Agonito has published eight books and many articles and has lectured widely. She has been quoted in major publications like People, Parents, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, Marie Claire, Glamour, Mademoiselle, New Woman, Men’s Health, Human Resources Executive, Across the Board and others. She has appeared on television and radio shows around the U.S., including CNN, NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, PBS and others. A former college professor and owner of a gender issues consulting business, Agonito holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and an M.A. in literature and has taught at Colgate University and Rochester Institute of Technology. She is the daughter of Italian immigrants and has traveled the world widely.
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This is a fearless dissection of what the religious right proclaims as their mission. Agonito shows in this 150 pg volume how,through slogans like 'family values', these crusaders have injected intolerance, insensitivity to human needs, and a mindless fear of government into the American political scene.
The book starts with the usual and accepted meaning behind CHrist's words and then explores how they have been maneuvered into fitting the right's narrow views often with strong overtones of Old Testament values (which when I was Catholic was NOT part of Christianity!)sort of creating their own relgiions based on what they want to believe and then pushing it on their followers.
It is also a disturbing book in the way it shows how the two groups have allied with each looking to benefit from the other and yet each constraining the other to continuing their agendas and how what is happening behind the scenes in politics is much more important than what we see.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in politics and what we need to understand behind what legislation is being proposed.
What a timely book this is coming to my desk almost immediately after the 2nd Inauguration of President Obama on January 21. During that ceremony in Washington, the President made it clear what he believes in and what he will try to accomplish in his second term. Here in part is what he said."We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity.... that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity..... that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war....that our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. ...[that] our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law " In her excellent assessment of the Religious Right in America today, Hypocrisy, Inc. How the Religious Right Fabricates Christian Values and Undermines Democracy, Rosemary Agonito explains in convincing detail the political stance taken by and the opposition that President Obama will face from the Religious Right of the Republican Party throughout the next four years.
Rosemary Agonito has written eight books and numerous articles. She has appeared on network TV and has lectured widely, and she holds a Ph.D in Philosophy from Syracuse University.
The expected reaction to the President's message was not long in coming. The Hill, the Congressional Newspaper in Washington, opined, "Republicans have complained that Obama's speech, which called for the legalization of same-sex marriage and new environmental policies, in addition to other liberal goals, was divisive." Speaker John Boehner struck an expected combative pose: "Given what we heard yesterday about the President's vision for his second term, it's pretty clear to me that he knows he can't do any of that as long as the House is controlled by Republicans," So we're expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party." As well, one might have seen the accusatory tirade, by Rand Paul, the Junior Senator from Arizona and prominent member of the Tea Party, at Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's Congressional Hearing on the Benghazi Consulate attack. He and other fellowRepublican members of the Committee presented their overtly anti-Democratic views by castigating the Secretary throughout the Hearing.
To support her thesis of political hypocrisy, that is appearing to be supporting one philosophy but in fact supporting the opposite, Ms. Agonito presents the following for the readers' consideration:
* "The religious right's inability or unwillingness to embrace community and the common good..... While opposing community based activities, the religious right strongly supports capitalism and the profit motive.....The latest tragic result of unfettered capitalism, the financial calamity beginning in 2008 ...... Rampant greed and extreme individualism enriched the wealthy and the powerful and dramatically widened the gap between rich and poor."
*"....its enthusiastic support of war..." [even though as Jill Lepore wrote in the recent article in The New Yorker, " The United States spends more on defense than all the other nations of the world combined." (Jan. 28, 2013)]
*."....fundamentalist and conservative opposition to women's rights ...."
*"....homosexuality is seen as a perversion of God's law..."
*"Christian evangelicals and fundamentalists have long stood against efforts to save the planet from destruction...."
* "In the run up to the 2012 presidential and congressional elections, all manner of voter suppression laws have sprung forth from Republican legislators across the country. All are designed to influence the outcome of the elections by preventing certain groups of people ( poor people, minorities, immigrants) from exercising their right to vote."
Hypocrisy, Inc.is a must read for all compassionate and fair-minded people of whatever political or religious persuasion, and I would add that teachers of History and Civics in our Schools and Colleges would do well to add this slim but powerful volume to their reading lists.