Religion/Values in Politics

Since the Reagan years a new dynamic has been growing in the United States. The ruling neoliberal corporate elite, together with the neoconservatives with their socially regressive policies, have co-opted the radical Christian right. The constitutionally mandated separation of church and state is being eroded as the government downloads more of its social responsibilities on religious organizations. Right-wing politicians and their fundamentalist televangelist allies cynically manipulate the faithful for the benefit of wealthy corporate backers. Under the guise of protecting “family values” and fighting the culture war fundamentalists have been mobilized in a business-friendly jihad that often undermines their own economic interests and brings poverty and war to the rest of the world. Implications for Alberta politics?

Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism    by Michelle Goldberg (2006)     Frightening look at the political influence of right-wing Christian fundamentalists in alliance with neoliberal Republicans in American politics and their pursuit of a theocratic state.

Talking Right    by Geoffrey Nunberg (2006)     How the wealthy American elite and the media obscure real economic differences between classes and use contrived cultural divides to perpetuate their political control.

American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America    by Chris Hedges (2006)     Details the hypocrisy and dangers posed by the political agenda of the right-wing American Fundamentalists

What’s the Matter With Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America    by Thomas Frank (2004)     Terrific analysis of how the anger of the Christian right/”family values”/culture war backlash was mobilized by the wealthy to advance their corporate interests at the expense of ordinary Americans by separating class from economics.

Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate    by George Lakoff (2004)     How the American right-wing uses deceptive issue framing to push its neoliberal agenda and how it can be overcome.