God is a Conservative
Religion, Politics, and Morality in Contemporary America
Publication Year: 1998
From Billy Graham and Ronald Regan to Newt Gingrich and William Bennett, God is a Conservative provides an important look at the role of religion in conservative politics in modern America. Kenneth J. Heineman reveals the profoundly religious nature of contemporary conservatism, offering an intriguing look at the social history of moral politics over the last three decades, and the still tremulous aftershocks of the New Deal. With a new Preface that examines the Bush presidency, including a provocative analysis of his re-election, and the rising influence of the Conservative Right, God is a Conservative is essential reading for understanding today's American political landscape.
Published by: NYU Press
Preface to the Paperback Edition
A day before President George W. Bush delivered his acceptance speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York, he appeared at a rally of 21,000 in Columbus, Ohio, capital of one of the key battleground states in the presidential election. One would not likely find a similar political event in the United Kingdom, Russia, or France. ...
This is a work of broad social commentary, not an academic monograph intended for a handful of specialists. My intention is to reach a larger audience of readers who are interested in American politics, moral debates, and recent history. I make a number of observations on contemporary moral politics while, I hope, writing a story that will sustain reader...
Introduction: Heaven Can't Wait
Twenty-two years after Leonard Bernstein hosted a cocktail soiree and fund-raiser for the Black Panther Party, liberal chic was back in style. A smiling Yoko Ono, as always wearing large sunglasses whether outdoors or in, stood next to a laughing Jann Wenner. In the sixties Wenner proved that one could be a hip capitalist...
1. Reaping the Whirlwind: 1968
Rev. Nelson Bell of Montreat, North Carolina, had not been in good humor ever since the Supreme Court, in Brown v. the Board of Education (Topeka, Kansas), ruled that racially segregated schools were unconstitutional. He had been beside himself when his son-in-law, Rev. Billy Graham, formed a friendship with a black Baptist minister named Martin...
2. Deluge '72
For a ten-year-old political junkie growing up in Miami, 1972 was an exciting year: both major parties held their national conventions in that city. The Republican National Convention gave television viewers the impression of a coronation; the Democrats yet again provided excitement. ...
3. J. C. Saves in '76
Never before had a president gone before the people to reassure them that he was "not a crook." Unfortunately for Richard Nixon, few Americans believed him. White House personnel, whether in court or before a congressional investigating committee, ratted each other out. In the course of the Watergate hearings, Americans learned that Nixon...
4. The Great Awakening: 1980
Jimmy Carter knew that a successful president had to maintain the peace, promote economic growth, and avoid entanglement in moral issues. Voters might forgive a recession—provided that it was over at least a year before the next presidential election. Most of the electorate could even tolerate a few missteps overseas. ...
5. "It's Morning in America": 1984
Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman of Georgetown and Paris was bored. Although riding after the hounds on her Virginia estate had its moments, "Pammy" wanted a new hobby. In short order she found one—Democratic politics. Drawn by her charming personality and deep purse...
6. "A Thousand Points of Light": 1988
Lt. Colonel Oliver North knew that God wanted him to arm the anti-Communist freedom fighters in Nicaragua and secure the release of American hostages in Lebanon. God, however, works in mysterious ways; He required Iran's help to free the prisoners. If the Iranians demanded sophisticated weapons in exchange for their assistance, so be it. ...
7. "Godspeak": 1992
"The liberation of Kuwait has begun." With those words the Bush administration launched a one-hundred-hour ground war against the Iraqi army that occupied Kuwait. Since the summer of 1990, when Saddam Hussein invaded oil-rich Kuwait, the Left had snapped at Bush's heels. ...
8. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell": 1996
Having run as a conservative, Bill Clinton governed as a liberal. The results were disastrous. Honoring his pledge to David Mixner, Clinton tried to end the military's prohibition against homosexual conduct. Roger Wilkins lauded the presidential initiative. According to the civil rights activist...
Epilogue: There Is No Money in Social Conservatism
In 1995, William Bennett criticized the executives of Time-Warner for producing morally offensive rap music. For his part, conservative commentator John Leo called Time-Warner "our leading cultural polluter." An irate Gerald Levin, the chair of the mass-media conglomerate, countered that rap music had socially redeeming qualities. ...
About the Author
Kenneth J. Heineman, professor of history at Ohio University, is the author of Campus Wars: The Peace Movement at American State Universities in the Vietnam Era (New York University Press, 1993) and A Catholic New Deal: Religion and Reform in Depression Pittsburgh. ...
Page Count: 456
Publication Year: 1998
OCLC Number: 45843994
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