Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Jesus Machine: How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America Are Winning the Culture War by Dan Gilgoff

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A provocative yet balanced look at James Dobson and Focus on the Family: the untold story of the most powerful religious and political force in America.
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.
The Jesus Machine is the first book to examine Focus on the Family as the cutting edge of the larger evangelical movement, as it works to become the voice of mainstream America.

Very interesting history of the rise (and decline) of James Dobson's influence on politics.  Sad how the once laudable work and fruits of Focus on the Family became tied to Dobson's quest to push his political agenda.