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For God's Sake

For God's Sake

Doctor Lee Marsden


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Religious fundamentalism is a powerful force not only in American domestic politics but also in the way America acts abroad. In For God’s Sake Lee Marsden investigates the way that the Christian Right have influenced US foreign policy, arguing that this influence will continue to fuel hostility against the country for many years to come. Marsden looks at how the Religious Right have exerted pressure on America’s powerful elite through campaign contributions, lobbying and policy-making, and are training a new generation of leaders to extend this influence into the future. Through the mass media, the Christian Right also help to spread American soft power abroad. For God’s Sake considers the negative impact which this influence is having on the environment, democracy and human rights, and considers how it has manifested itself in US policy towards Israel, Iraq and Iran. Finally, the book examines what the future might hold for the Christian Right’s political fortunes in the changing climate of contemporary America.
'Marsden strips away conventional wisdoms about the Christian Right to provide a subtle and powerful account of their impact on US Foreign Policy. He is able to bring together his detailed knowledge of various Christian Right organizations, of how the US works, and importantly also of Christian theology into a book that is a real page turner, but also a seminal contribution to understanding the power of religion in the United States.' Stuart Croft, Warwick University 'Lee Marsden has produced a stimulating and informative account of the foreign policy influence of the Christian Right in the USA. Underpinned by extensive interviews with key players, the book reveals a network of right-wing Christian foreign policy activists who focus on human rights, the environment, Israel and "the war on terror". Marsden's book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the current role of religion in US foreign policy.' Jeff Haynes, London Metropolitan University
Lee Marsden is a Lecturer in Politics at the University of East Anglia. His research interests include US foreign policy, democratization and the increasing influence of religion in international relations. Before entering academia Marsden was an ordained minister in the Word of Faith movement. He has published several articles on human rights in the Middle East and relations between the Muslim world and the West. He is the author of Lessons from Russia: Clinton and US Democracy Promotion (2005).

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Acknowledgements vii
Abbreviations viii
Preface x
Introduction 1
Who Are the Christian Right? 3
Researching the Christian Right 10
A Christian Nation? 11
George W. Bush’s Base 15
Part I\r 23
1 Open Doors in the Corridors of Power 25
Influencing the White House and Capitol Hill 26
Christian Right Organizations 27
Christian Right Activism 34
The Christian Right in Office 43
Christian Right Organizations Engaging in Foreign Affairs 46
The Next Generation 52
Conclusion 57
2 Spreading the Word 59
Evangelistic Outreach 60
Missionary Activity 63
Impact of the American Gospel 74
Conclusion 80
Part II 83
3 Promoting Democracy or the Gospel? 85
Democracy Promotion under George W. Bush 90
The Language of Freedom, Liberty and Democracy 96
Democracy Promotion and the Christian Right 106
Conclusion 111
4 Hijacking the Human Rights and Humanitarian Assistance Agenda 113
The Persecuted Church 115
Faith-based Initiatives 124
Table 4.1 USAID contracts with selected faith-based organizations 130
HIV/AIDS and the Christian Right 131
The Christian Right and the United Nations 136
Conclusion 146
5 Dominion and the Environment 149
Science, Climate Change and the Bush Administration 151
Evangelicals Divided over Creation 154
The Evangelical Climate Initiative 155
The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation 161
Apocalyptic Thinking 167
Christian Right Influence on Bush Policy on the Environment 168
Conclusion 171
Part III\r 173
6 Blessing Israel 175
Christian Right Eschatology 179
Christian Zionism and the Israel Lobby 184
Modus Operandi 193
The Impact of the Christian Right on Israel Policy 196
Table 7.1 US grant assistance to Israel, FY 2001–06 209
Conclusion 213
7 The War on Terror 217
The Clash of Civilizations 219
Religious Freedom and Proselytizing in the Combat Zone 230
Islamophobia and the Christian Right 237
Conclusion 241
Conclusion: From Here to Eternity 245
The Christian Right in the Future 251
Notes 254
Introduction 254
Chapter 1 254
Chapter 2 255
Chapter 3 256
Chapter 4 257
Chapter 5 258
Chapter 6 258
Chapter 7 259
Conclusion 260
References 261
Index 274