Item description for In Defense of the Religious Right: Why Conservative Christians Are the Lifeblood of the Republican Party and Why That Terrifies the Democrats by Patrick Hynes...
Overview Political consultant and commentator Patrick Hynes dispels common stereotypes and misapprehensions about the most powerful political constituency in the country while undertaking the most exhaustive effort yet to define what the Religious Right is, what its members believe, and why they are right.
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Studio: Thomas Nelson
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.4" Width: 5.5" Height: 1.1" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Jul 4, 2006
Publisher Thomas Nelson
ISBN 1595550518 ISBN13 9781595550514
Reviews - What do customers think about In Defense of the Religious Right: Why Conservative Christians Are the Lifeblood of the Republican Party and Why That Terrifies the Democrats?
The worst book I've read in many years Jul 31, 2007
Do not waste your time with this book. I had to read it for a social ethics class and I am throwing it away as soon as possible. Hynes defends the Religious Right from a political standpoint - not from a theological or ethical standpoint. He basically wants to defend them because he is a Republican and wants their votes. He does not talk about the actual issues at all.
Molding Christian Hegemony Into Republican Policy Feb 24, 2007
This is not a scholarly take on the ascendancy of the Conservative Christian movement in American politics. It is, as you could divine from the title, a book targeted to that segment of the Conservative Christian community who would agree that America would be a better place, if only...
Hynes' book is slanted significantly towards that audience. If you're a church-going Christian AND have voted Republican, you'll find a great deal that appeals to you. Everyone else? Well, Hynes uses some fairly strong language ("faker," "fraud," "Liberal Theocrat") to construct archetypes of non-Conservative Christian Republicans in order to dismiss their political goals and ideals as anything from disingenuous to downright dangerous.
Through the use of polling data and post-election demographic breakdowns, Hynes makes the case that the Christian hegemony represents the mainstream opinion on nearly all important social issues, and since (he states) the Conservative Christian voting bloc is the "biggest" voting bloc in our country, it is up to Conservative Christians to work through the Republican Party to defeat the non-mainstream, "marginal," or "fringe" policies being advocated by those who don't.
Since this is not a serious, scholarly dissection of the Conservative Christian movement, it goes to follow that a self-professed "liberal" reading this book would find some of Hynes' tactics - such as constructing straw men and engaging in the demogoguery of Hollywood and Bill Clinton - to be the sort of easy and cheap arguments more at home in a right-wing blog than in a Poli Sci textbook. If, however, you find yourself of the opinion that the political policies of the "Democrat Party" (sic) are a danger to the moral fiber of American life, you might find a great deal in this book with which you agree.
Misleading, revisionist, and dishonest Jan 23, 2007
This book is misleading, revisionist, and dishonest. As Neil Boortz says, conservatism has nothing to do with the religious right. Rather, socially conservative Christians have hijacked the entire conservative movement, obfuscating the main arguments (which are economic, not social), and thereby blurring the line separating the difference between conservatives and traditionalists. This country was never intended, contrary to now-popular conservative belief, to be a "Christian nation." This fact is made evident by reading the works of our actual founding fathers. Now, it REALLY irks me when people speak for what the founding fathers "meant," or "intended," or "believed" by doing everything but what they should be doing--reading the words of the founding fathers!!! Uninformed conservatives argue that the great wall separating church and state is a liberal trick. But where did the phrase actually come from? FROM OUR FOUNDING FATHERS, MANY OF WHOM, AGAIN, WERE COMPLETELY SECULAR MEN!!! Thomas Jefferson said that state endorsement of any religion leads to a corrupt society. In his 1808 speech to the Virginia Baptists Jefferson said "Erecting the `wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society." In 1802, to the Danbury Baptists, he explicitly referred to the first amendment, telling us what HE thought it meant: "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should `make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' THUS BUILDING A WALL OF SEPARATION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE" (emphasis added). Furthermore, when uninformed conservatives claim that our founding fathers "intended" this country to be a "Christian" society, the only thing one may deduce is that they have never read what our founding fathers actually had to say about Christianity!! Here are but a few examples: Thomas Jefferson: "Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man," and, "The Christian God can be easily pictured as virtually the same as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, evil and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed, beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of the people who say they serve him. There are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites." Thomas Paine: "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of...Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all." He also said that Christianity is "a fable, which, for absurdity and extravagance is not exceeded by anything that is to be found in the mythology of the ancients." James Madison: "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." Madison argued that no religion has ever protected liberties, saying: "Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty, may have found an established Clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just Government instituted to secure & perpetuate it needs them not." One could go on and on and on and on. Adams had a few choice things to say as well, arguing that no religion supports free inquiry, which is what is important. He wrote: "But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes." Franklin did not believe that Christ was divine, and further said that people who bother worrying about it are wasting their time! Washington, though one of the most religious of the founding fathers, was likely a deist and not a Christian. It's all true: look it up!!
Clear confirmation of how 'right' the Religious Right is Aug 30, 2006
Patrick Hynes sent me his book to read and review. No other compensation was offered or received.
Pat presents us with clear, accurate analysis of political behavior by those called 'the Religious Right'. As a non-practicing but informed Catholic who is politically to the right of Attilla the Hun, I expected more along the lines of 'Here's why southern baptists really aren't crazies..." Because of course, the main stream (leftist) media paints them as crazies. But Pat takes a different approach. He descibes voting patterns, geographic locations and 'kitchen table' political positions and ties that to people of faith and how we should expect them to vote and act. And then he shows us that is exactly what did (and will) happen. He also lays out how the MSM images of a 3rd grade drop-out red neck as 'the religious right' are deeply flawed. Since I'm not religious I had not heard of 'small groups' before - but I now find them a fascinating part of American politics. The ways these small groups contribute to the red state picture is quite remarkable - and given just a little thought, inevitable. Mr. Hynes analysis is so rational, so clear and so well researched you will find yourself saying 'yeah, of course' over and over. Anyone to the right of center knows that people of faith deserve respect. The derision and hatred generated by the left is not rational, open-minded or useful. Hedonists and secularists turn their fear of being in the wrong into intolerance for those who would not join the debauchery. The Constitution does guarantee freedom 'from' religion as too many of the hate mongers from the ACLU would have you believe.
Now I have good news and bad news for the socialists/communists/daily Kos/DNC types out there. The bad news is you cannot fool people of faith into thinking you are now, ever were, or ever will be on their side. Howard Dean's fanaticism and madcap attempts to 'bring them along' are as doomed as his wacko bid for the Presidency was. The left has used (and vigorously tries to maintain) the ignorance of its voting base. Since they consider the religious to be ignorant, they also assume the religious are just one more special interest to pander to. Sorry Hillary. Reading this book will NOT help a democrat reach the religious - because what you think is ignorant, they know is faith.
But the good news? There is a mistake in this book!!! That's right, no doubt a Karl Rove plot of the highest order - right there on page 159 - Pat identifies the Vice President in 1988 as none other than 'George W. Bush'. Clearly a savvy political operative like Hynes would never have this happen as a typo, so moonbats of the sphere - RUN WITH IT! He must be trying to legitimize W. Crazy huh?
A Good Book, Perhaps Written Too Soon Aug 5, 2006
I was given a copy of this book to review as a result of a posting on Mr. Hynes' website. Having read it, I wish I had several copies to give to both Christian and liberal friends!
In many ways, this was a good book to write at this time, but I also felt that some of the material was too close to the present (i.e. the 2004 election and aftermath) to get a proper perspective.
I was a little taken back by the way this book opens, it didn't seem to go anywhere at first. However, over the course of the book, the material was covered very well for the size the book is. (240 pages)
The author spends much time on the 2004 and 1994 elections, but also goes right back to the beginning of the American republic showing the history of the USA is not quite what people nowadays seem to assume. He pulls apart the history of the "separation of church and state" within American history very well, and shows that what the Religious Right nowadays push for is not very remarkable at all.
He spends a lot of time showing that the RR is solid, longstanding and absolutely not out of the mainstream of American society. Rather, the msm have taken great pains to spin events to make this the common perception. Terri Schiavo is a case in point: "70%" of Americans thought that the federal government should not get involved at all, 63% wanted her to die, but when the question was framed in terms of her actual condition, 80% wanted her to live.
Unfortunately, most people outside of America only get this view - the CNN, BBC, NY Times, etc. Most have no idea as to what is really going on in heartland USA. New Zealand has a quite similar history (with several major cities and universities being founded by religious people) but only in America have conservative Christians been strong enough to overcome the intense criticism these movements generate and found a voice as themselves rather than as members of other groups.