Monday, August 22, 2011

Book Review "Broken Words" Understanding the grip Neo-Cons have on evangelicals

As the author of a blog I get occasional emails asking me to review a book or promote a particular cause.  In most cases I decline, and I've never agreed to review a book before...until now.

The book I was asked to review is entitled 'Broken Words' its subtitled 'The Abuse of Science and Faith In American Politics'   and is written by Jonathan Dudley.  I quickly agreed because this is a topic I find extremely compelling, and equally vexing.  I was raised with the Christian faith, and I still consider myself an adherent, so it is with some consternation that I witness the strong level of support the U.S Republican party and Canada's Conservatives garner from people who identify themselves as Christian. 

My Christianity is about tolerance, forgiveness and helping those in need...and these are not the values I see on the right hand side of the political landscape, be it in Canada or the U.S.  

I'll dispense with traditional form and give you my recommendation up front.  I consider this an important work and very much worth reading for those interested in understanding the dichotomy between American style evangelicals and the neo-conservative right wing element of the political spectrum. 

Before reading a book as contentious as this its important to understand an author's frame of reference and his bona fides.  Mr. Dudley takes on what he calls 'The Big Four' issues:  Abortion, Homosexuality, Evolution and Environmentalism from the perspective of a person raised in the fundamentalist, evangelical Christian tradition.  Along with that perspective he brings a BS in biology from Calvin College and a MA in religion from Yale University.   

The author doesn't attack these issues, he dissects them while carefully avoiding the usual venom and hyperbole which typically dominates the debate on these issues.  With respect to abortion he often references Exodus 21 v 21-25 wherein it clearly states that a pregnant woman's life is more valuable and superior to that of an unborn child or fetus.  While many of the religious right engage in arguments that are nothing short of literary contortion in efforts to support their 'abortion is murder' view, Dudley will have none of it.  If you're going to take the Bible literally you can't pick and choose only the parts that support your agenda.

And that is his springborad to the other big issues.  Its fascinating reading to see how these issues (the other three are homosexuality, evolution and environmentalism) have been used to wed the fundamentalist/evangelical Christian community to the GOP in the United States...and as a Canadian I see distinct similarities with our Conservative Party. 

If you're looking to order this book its available on - LINK -

Whether you're a born again Christian looking for answers to these questions or someone like myself interested in better understanding the dynamic between Christians and Neo-Cons, then this rates as a must read in my opinion. 

FYI full disclosure.  I received zero compensation for this review aside from the book itself and I am not associated with amazon.  If you order the book here or elsewhere it doesn't matter to me one way or another. 

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