The Christian Right's influence on US foreign policy
April 19, 2007 10:55 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for books or articles describing the Christian Right's influence on American politics, especially on US foreign policy.
posted by klue to Law & Government (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
While not specifically about foreign policy, a Rolling Stone profile from a while back about Tim LaHaye might provide a little background. (LaHaye wrote the ridiculously popular / creepy Left Behind series of apocalyptic fiction, and is also well-connected with the conservative movements like Moral Majority and the somewhat shadowy Council for National Policy.) It talks a little about the network of these guys, and some of the motivations: Reverend Doomsday

For a view from the inside, an ex-aide to the president named David Kuo wrote a book called "Tempting Faith," which was about the activities of the White House re: Faith Based Initiatives and manipulating the Christian base. (The guy was, if memory serves, a solidly conservative Christian himself, and none-too-pleased about the way they behaved.)
posted by theoddball at 11:23 AM on April 19, 2007

Tempting Faith doesn't really tell this story. Try Chris Hedge's book American Fascists or Sen. John Danforth's book Faith and Politics. Dr. Michael Lerner touches on the subject well in The Left Hand of God. As does Kevin Phillips in American Theocracy. I think you would get a real kick out of Damon Linker's book Theocons. Linker is the former editor of the rightwing Catholic mag First Things.

All of these people were interviewed on my show about their books, link is in my profile.
posted by parmanparman at 11:35 AM on April 19, 2007

Last November's (or was it december? at any rate it was the cover story)Harper's had a lengthy article.
posted by notsnot at 12:03 PM on April 19, 2007

I second American Fascists and American Theocracy. Both are excellent books.
posted by ao4047 at 12:09 PM on April 19, 2007

asked about political books
a few weeks back, and got some good answers that might fit what you're looking for.

Hedges' book (American Fascists) does talk about Israel and the marriage of convenience the Christian Right has with the Israel lobby (for your foreign policy requirement), but I'm not real fond of the book. It's too anecdotal (Look! Here's a Christian! He's a Dominionist! Dominionists want your government!), and doesn't do a great job of providing depth in the historical basis for his assertions.

I'd suggest if you do pick up David Kuo's book, a good next logical step would be to check out this MeFi thread that talks about AG Gonzales' speech a few months back at a convention of Baptist ministers. This was in the wake of a House bill (that didn't pass the Senate) which would have prevented recovery of legal fees for organizations and individuals who beat the government in an Establishment Clause case, so there have obviously been non-DOJ and non-Office of Faith Based Initiatives overreaches into protecting the freedom of the Christian Right to use the public space to promote Christianity.

If you get more interested in pulling threads, and assuming your tinfoil hat is well constructed, open the book on Blackwater, USA, the largest mercenary army in the world, run by a "radical Right-Wing Christian multimillionaire, whose parents run Amway and are trying to undermine public education in order to turn control of our children back to the churches (where they presumably belong).

Man, I love a good conspiracy theory. I wonder if them Blackwater guys have those real quiet black helicopters now...
posted by peacecorn at 12:09 PM on April 19, 2007

Kingdom Coming by Michelle Goldberg covers a variety of topics related to the influence and agenda of the Christian Right.
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:34 PM on April 19, 2007

(I asserted Erik Prince's parents ran Amway. It's actually his sister's husband who does. Wiki on Erik here.)
posted by peacecorn at 2:23 PM on April 19, 2007

It isn't focused specifically on the Christian Right (though it discusses their influence in-depth), but Right Nation is a more balanced look than that offered by the books suggested above.
posted by ewiar at 4:23 PM on April 19, 2007

Michelle Goldberg's book is great and you can read a lot of her articles on Also check out, which frequently runs articles on the subject. Church and State magazine does the same, as does And check out Sojourners magazine and Rabbi Michael Lerner's magazine, Tikkun. All this stuff is available online. You can also check this.

And remember, Bush said that God told him to go to war.
posted by HotPatatta at 5:29 PM on April 19, 2007

Harper's has had several articles on this topic, and their whole archive is online now.
posted by chunking express at 8:39 AM on April 20, 2007

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