RELIGION AND THE NEW MAJORITY: Billy Graham, Middle America, and the Politics of the '70's by Lowell D. & Gerald S. Strober Streiker

RELIGION AND THE NEW MAJORITY: Billy Graham, Middle America, and the Politics of the '70's

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The thesis of this work is that a new religious majority is evolving in America; one which is also, and inescapably, a political majority; and that its prophet is Billy Graham. ""Graham,"" the authors state positively, ""is today the leader of the politically decisive majority."" This conclusion is founded on a double phenomenon: that most Americans incline to the sort of moderate fundamentalism, both political and religious, that Graham preaches; and that Graham's prominence as an unofficial presidential adviser and preacher has made him the natural leader of this civil religion. The essence of this new religion -- although the authors do not always call it that -- is conservatism: God, America, punishment of sinners (political as well as moral), rewarding of the virtuous (at both levels), A religion, in other words, curiously like that of the ancient Hebrews, with American Christians as the Chosen People; and a political system reminiscent of that of medieval Europe, with two almost indistinguishable heads, one spiritual and the other temporal. The authors neither bless nor curse; they merely record what they have observed. Their record is often frightening (except, of course, to the New Majority), but interesting if problematic job of religious and political synthesis.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1972
Publisher: Association Press