Books opposing Religious Right by those who have been there

The Rev. Mel White, Andrew Sullivan, and David Kuo are conservative Christians who have renounced the extreme right and recently written books about it.

Rev. White wrote speeches for Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. He now sees the Religious Right as hate-filled and dangerous and his new book is “Religion Gone Bad. The Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right

From his Soulforce website.

The Reverend Mel White, a deeply religious man who sees fundamentalism as “evangelical Christian orthodoxy gone cultic,” believes that it is not a stretch to say that the true goal of today’s fundamentalists is to break down the wall that separates church and state, superimpose their “moral values” on the U.S., replace democracy with theocratic rule, and ultimately create a new “Christian America” in their image.

While this comes as no revelation to the Left, conservatives like White have increasingly realized the neocon / religious right agenda is anti-democratic, extremist, and bigoted. I’m sure it was a long and painful road for them to realize this.

Another conservative Christian who has travelled the same path is well-known blogger Andrew Sullivan His new book is The Conservative Soul. How we lost it, How we get it back. From the Barnes and Noble review.

In The Conservative Soul, Andrew Sullivan, one of the nation’s leading political commentators, makes an impassioned call to rescue conservatism from the corruption of the Republican far right, which has become the first fundamentally religious political party in America. Through an incisive look at the rise of Western fundamentalism, Sullivan argues that conservatives cannot in good conscience keep supporting a party that believes in its own God-given mission to change people’s souls, instead of protecting their liberties.

The far right, and their denizens in the White House, are rapidly losing their base. Their pandering to the far right in matters of religion has been exposed as a cynical ploy to get support as they hold the religious right in contempt. Those with non-extremist (and genuine) religious beliefs now see how they’ve been lied to and manipulated.

David Kuo is yet another who sees their betrayals. In Tempting Falth. An inside story of political seduction he explains how Christians were sold down the river. (Again, from Barnes and Noble)

Kuo spent nearly three years as second in command at the president’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

Instead of following the teachings of Jesus to serve the needy, Kuo found himself helping to manipulate religious faith for political gain. Public funds were used in battleground states, for Republican campaign events. The legislative process was used as a football, not to pass laws but to deepen purely symbolic fault lines. Grants were incestuously recycled to political cronies.

Worst of all was the prevailing attitude in the White House and throughout Washington toward Christian leaders. Key Bush aides and Republican operatives spoke of them with contempt and treated them as useful idiots.

While those of us on the left will always have differences with conservatives, these books show we do indeed sometimes have common cause and goals.

(BTW, like Andrew Sullivan, Rev. White is gay and his Soulforce mission statement is “freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.”)

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