The distinguished author of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory returns with a searing examination of a new generation of evangelical leaders who have hijacked the Christian faith on behalf of the Republican Party
In her recent book, The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright makes the political case for a nuanced understanding of the relationship between religion and politics. Here, historian Balmer (American religion, Barnard Coll., Columbia Univ.; Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory) makes the case from an evangelical Christian perspective. Balmer's is truly a lament in the biblical sense, since he sees the Religious Right as forsaking many of the religious values he and others hold so dear. Balmer argues, rightly, that the Religious Right has latched onto certain moral principles more for political than religious purposes while ignoring other, more basic biblical principles. Identifying himself as both an evangelical and a political liberal, he compares today's conservative evangelicals unfavorably with the liberal evangelicals of the 19th century and argues that they are dangerous both to the country and to Christianity. Balmer's arguments against private schools and vouchers will not convince everyone, but he does offer much food for thought about the relationship between religion and politics. Recommended for all libraries.-Augustine J. Curley, Newark Abbey, NJ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.