The God Strategy: How Religion Became A Political Weapon In America

Hardcover | March 4, 2008

byDavid Domke, Kevin Coe

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In The God Strategy, David Domke and Kevin Coe offer a timely and dynamic study of the rise of religion in American politics, examining the public messages of political leaders over the past seventy-five years--from the 1932 election of Franklin Roosevelt to the early stages of the 2008presidential race. They conclude that U.S. politics today is defined by a calculated, deliberate, and partisan use of faith that is unprecedented in modern politics. Sectarian influences and expressions of faith have always been part of American politics, the authors observe, but a profound change occurred beginning with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. What has developed since is a no-holds-barred religious politics that seeks to attract voters, identifyand attack enemies, and solidify power. Domke and Coe identify a set of religious signals sent by both Republicans and Democrats in speeches, party platforms, proclamations, visits to audiences of faith, and even celebrations of Christmas. Sometimes these signals are intended for the eyes and earsof all Americans, and other times they are distinctly targeted to specific segments of the population. It's an approach that has been remarkably successful, utilized first and most extensively by the Republican Party to capture unprecedented power and then adopted by the Democratic Party, mostnotably by Bill Clinton in the 1990s and by a wide range of Democrats in the 2006 elections. "For U.S. politicians today, having faith isn't enough; it must be displayed, carefully and publicly. This is a stark transformation in recent decades," write Domke and Coe. With innovative, accessible research and analytical verve, they document how this has occurred, who has done it and why,and what it means for the American experiment in democracy.

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In The God Strategy, David Domke and Kevin Coe offer a timely and dynamic study of the rise of religion in American politics, examining the public messages of political leaders over the past seventy-five years--from the 1932 election of Franklin Roosevelt to the early stages of the 2008presidential race. They conclude that U.S. politic...

David Domke is Professor of Communication and Head of Journalism at the University of Washington. A former journalist, he is the author of God Willing?: Political Fundamentalism in the White House, the "War on Terror," and the Echoing Press. Kevin Coe is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Speech Communication at the Universit...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 5.98 × 9.29 × 0.79 inPublished:March 4, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195326415

ISBN - 13:9780195326413

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"The God Strategy tells an intriguing story - the story of how god-talk has functioned in American political life in recent decades. Domke and Coe invite both Democrats and Republicans to take the planks out of their own eyes before casting the first stone (mixed allusion intended). This bookcould become a voter's bible, helping citizens (and media pundits) evaluate election-cycle rhetoric with the same critical scrutiny they have learned to apply to infomercials and religious broadcasting." --Brian McLaren, author of The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could ChangeEverything