THE BIBLE VOTE: Religion and the New Right by Peggy L. Shriver

THE BIBLE VOTE: Religion and the New Right

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A sober, conscientious, dullish survey of (more or less) liberal Christian and Jewish reactions to the Moral Majority et al. Shriver bends over backwards to understand, if not justify, the anger, alienation, fear, frustration, etc. that have shaken conservative Evangelicals out of their traditional political passivity and led them into dubious battle with secularism, humanism, and, at times, civil liberty. She can sympathize with the unnamed, non-rich WASP who told Martin Marry, ""In all their [i.e., women's, blacks', Chicanos', gays'] exoduses and liberation plots, I'm Pharaoh."" But for all this Shriver clearly rates the New Right, and especially its more demagogic spokesmen, a real menace, capable of becoming, in the words of moderate Evangelical David Hubbard, ""a spiritual version of the National Rifle Association."" Shriver points out the multi-layered hypocrisy of Bible-quoting reactionaries who champion the rights of the unborn, but are willing to nuke millions of already born Communists--and to bless leaders like Sen. John Tower who are pro-abortion but otherwise hardboiled rightists. The basic strength--and weakness--of Shriver's treatment is that she doesn't so much analyze the motives, goals, and strategies of the New Right as quote scores of other analysts, from Bill Moyers to Rabbi Steve Steindel to the Tulsa Council of Churches. This provides readers with a broad spectrum of religious criticism of a major para- (or quasi- or pseudo-) religious political movement. But it also makes for a disjointed and repetitious book. Ultimately, a modest, fair-minded documentary study, broad in scope but limited in long-term interest.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1981
Publisher: Pilgrim Press paperback original--dist. by Seabury