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In the wake of an election seen by many as a triumphant victory for "moral values," political commentator and one-time seminarian Bill Press launches a counteroffensive against the so-called religious right. For decades, Press argues, conservative preachers such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson--joined by most Catholic bishops--have defined religion so narrowly that Democrats and liberals have been pushed outside the fold. According to their narrow gospel, God put George Bush in the White House to deal with gays, guns, and abortion--and those who don't agree are on the sure road to hell. Bill Press says it's time to take religion back: "Who gave this gang the inside track on religion, anyway? The way I read the Gospels, Jesus was as liberal as Paul Wellstone. He sure as hell wouldn't have been a registered Republican. One other thing's for sure: if Jesus ever came back to earth, there's one gang he wouldn't hang out with; and that's this phony bunch of pious, puffed-up preachers who wear religion on their sleeves. " How the Republicans Stole Christmasis also Press's fervent call to Democrats and liberals to reclaim religion and return it to its basic principles of social justice, charity, and tolerance. Press argues that the Right didn't just steal religion, the Left let them have it, offering no resistance as conservatives dictated what's right and what's wrong. But on today's social issues, according to Press, religious conservatives have gotten it all wrong. They have turned Jesus from a loving Messiah who championed the poor and dispossessed into a cold-blooded advocate for the rich and powerful. Press does not confine his criticisms to so-called Christian leaders; he uncovers the same wrong-headed tendencies in other faiths and among nonbelievers, who even today cling to the Old Testament as an appropriate code of behavior. From the Hardcover edition.
How the Republicans Stole Religion: Why the Religious Right Is Wrong About Faith and Politics, and What We Can Do to Make It Rightby Bill Press
For decades, Press argues, conservatives have defined religion so narrowly that Democrats and liberals have been pushed outside the fold. According to their narrow gospel, God put George W. Bush in the White House to deal with gays, guns, and abortion--and those who don't agree are on the sure road to hell. How the Republicans Stole Religionis Press's fervent call for the left to reclaim religion and return it to its basic principles of social justice, charity, and tolerance.
We're all familiar with the warning, "Don't believe everything you see or hear. " Bill Press, the popular co-host of CNN's Crossfire, will have you wondering whether you should believe anything at all. Spin -- intentional manipulation of the truth -- is everywhere. It's in the White House, in the courtrooms, in headlines and advertising slogans. Even couples on dates -- not to mention book jackets -- are guilty of spin. Now, analyst Bill Press freeze-frames the culture of spin to investigate what exactly spin is, who does it and why, and its impact on American society as a whole. Depending upon who is doing it, spinning can mean anything from portraying a difficult situation in the best possible light to completely disregarding the facts with the intent of averting embarrassment or scandal. Using examples drawn from recent history -- the Clinton presidency, the Florida recount, and the Bush White House -- Press first probes spin's favorite haunt: politics. In addition to surveying the incarnations of spin in the fields of journalism, law, and advertising, Press also chews on the spin of sex and "dating," a word that has become the very embodiment of spin. Perhaps surprisingly, however, Press argues that spin isn't all bad, and that without it the harsh truths of our times might be too tough to swallow. With the same keen sense of humor that helped make CNN's Crossfire television's premier debate show and the limited run of The Spin Room so popular, Press turns the tables on the prime purveyors of spin -- called spin doctors -- noting some of their biggest guffaws and blunders. As Press notes, it has become abundantly clear that the twenty-first century, beginning as it has with a president who was "spun into office," will be a fertile stomping ground for spin.
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