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Onward Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States Hardcover – March 11, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Hudson has written an insider's jewel on the political and cultural dynamics that have affected presidential politics over the past several decades. It is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in understanding the intersection of politics and religion in the twenty-first century. Professors and pundits alike will repair to this book for years to come."

-- William A. Donohue President, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Deal W. Hudson, M. Div. and Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Morley Institute for Church & Culture in Washington, D.C. Previously with the National Republican Committee and a Bush White House inti-mate, he is the former publisher of the conservative Catholic monthly Crisis and president of the Morley Publishing Group. His articles and commentary have been published in periodicals such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, The Spectator, and by the Associated Press.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Threshold Editions; First Edition edition (March 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416524428
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416524427
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,616,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"If the Religious Right were suddenly to go out of business, the Religious Left would disappear overnight."

This assertion is provocative but Deal W. Hudson's beefs it up eloquently in his recent book about the influence of Catholics and Evangelicals in contemporary American politics. He documents how the followers of the Religious Left are the grandchildren of the 60's (and they have no shame accusing the Christian Right for being reactionary...) and why it will end up failing at successfully linking itself with the Democrats.

1. Secularists and religionists do not make a good match. From the moment questions will be raised in view to alter the Democrats agenda on social and economic issues, this fragile construction will be blown apart;
2. Liberal-leaning critics of the Christian (and Religious) Right condemn a movement that intervenes in the public sphere just like the civil rights movement in the 1960s. It is thus incoherent to blame one for what the other did - even if they're not on the same side of the spectrum;
3. "The Religious Left shifts responsibility from the individual to government on a variety of fronts." In a context were people seek more autonomy, this attitude won't bring Democrats and their allies more support than what they actually have.

From an academic, philosophical and religious perspective, I have always been interested in books related to the Christian Right. One of the disappointments I felt in the literature on the topic was that authors were either only academic - thus lacking real-life experience in the arena - or purely political, thus depriving readers of a beneficial intellectual framework which can explain a lot.

There is another fascinating element about this book.
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Format: Hardcover
So, why hasn't America gone the route of Europe into secular anti-Christianism? It may yet, but there is a group trying to stem the tide.

Social conservatives. They bring a frisson of terror to any liberal. Usually, they are referred to in the press by that much hated word, Evangelicals.

Well, what a shocker: the press got it wrong, as usual. The social conservative movement is much, much broader than just the Evangelicals, and it always has been, as Hudson points out in "Onward Christian Soldiers".

Remember Phyllis Schlafly, the Catholic who organized, fought, and defeated the Equal Rights Amendment? Or the Catholic Paul Weyrich? It was his work which formed "the strategy for bringing these Evangelical preachers and laymen into politics" (p 4) including Grant, Dobson, Robinson, and a score of others. Another early member was the Catholic William F Buckley, whose "National Review" was the intellectual magazine for all conservatives.

Catholics like Buckley and Bishop Sheen were charter members of the conservatives who fought communism. What is not usually recognized by the press is that Catholics form a large part of the social conservative movement today, and always have formed part of the movement.

"The year 1979 was the tipping point, when Democrats lost their allegiance to the party of their parents and began identifying with the God or social and religious conservatives" (p 25) as they voted for Reagan.

Hudson believes abortion alone wasn't the issue that launched the religious right. There was a growing and painful gap between those who wanted a new morality and those who continued to practice their faith. Everywhere, America was changing. About 40% of newborns are illegitimate.
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By Peter on February 22, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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