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The Jesus Machine

How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America Are Winning the Culture War

Dan Gilgoff

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Description

*The crucial Ohio get-out-the-vote effort that lifted Bush over Kerry.

*The Terri Schiavo controversy.

*The push for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

*Attacks on Roe v. Wade.

*"Intelligent design" in our science curriculum.

The evangelical right has pushed all of these initiatives, led by the immense behind-the-scenes influence of Dr. James Dobson, the founder and chairman of Focus on the Family: an organization that has grown from its roots as a local parenting advice center to a powerful ministry that broadcasts Dr. Dobson each day on more than 3,000 radio and 80 television stations in the U.S. alone. Dobson has supplanted Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Ralph Reed as the spokesman for tens of millions of American evangelical Christians--even though Dobson is not a minister, but a family therapist with a doctorate in child development.

Dobson maintains that the American political and social spectrums are firmly rooted in a centuries-old Christian tradition--one that has come under siege beginning in the 1960s, spear-headed by court rulings that have undermined the necessity of religion in public life. With the support of evangelical followers, Dobson has garnered more and support than many ever thought possible and has harnessed this power to wage a crusade in support of strengthening abortion restrictions and establishing anti-gay rights litigation.

The Jesus Machine is the first book to examine Focus on the Family as the cutting edge of the larger evangelical movement, backing what many view to be goals in common with the current political agenda of the Bush administration, as it works to become the voice of mainstream America.

Through exhaustive research, Dan Gilgoff, a Senior Reporter for US News & World Report, exposes the intricacies of the Focus on the Family's rallying cry and the drastic implications they hold for the future of America's political system.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jan 29, 2007 – In the deluge of books rushing to explain the rise of conservative evangelicals' influence on American politics, Gilgoff's offering makes a unique contribution: he argues that press-shy James Dobson should be regarded as the most powerful evangelical spokesman of the last decade (surpassing Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson). Gilgoff, a senior writer at U.S. News & World Report, boasts extensive interview time with Dobson at the sprawling Focus on the Family campus in Colorado Springs, Colo., inside access that is complemented by excellent writing and a mother lode of information. Gilgoff argues that Dobson is a political powerhouse precisely because his constituency was built on dispensing no-nonsense family advice to millions of Americans desperate for help, not on any explicit political platform. When he ventures to make political statements, he commands a public trust few policy makers enjoy. Gilgoff traces the rise of evangelical influence in politics from the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition in the 1970s and 1980s to Focus on the Family in the 1990s and 2000s, walking readers through the backroom power brokering of everything from Roe v. Wade to Harriet Miers's nomination to the Supreme Court. This is a smart piece of investigative journalism.
The Jesus Machine
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Christianity
  • Published: Mar 06, 2007
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 250 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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