Bill Press Takes Back his Religion
A new book on faith and politics hit the shelves today: How the Republicans Stole Religion written by Bill Press. Press is a nationally syndicated columnist, radio host, political commentator and former seminarian. The book originally came out last year with the title How the Republicans Stole Christmas. In it, Press rails against the Religious Right for monopolizing the language of values and religion and calls for Democrats to reclaim religion from the so-called “moral majority.” Inspired by the 2004 elections, Press offers his take on the proper role of religion in politics. For a taste of his prose, check out this excerpt :
” In tackling this topic, I draw on my life as a Catholic, my degree in theology, my knowledge of Scripture and my decade spent in the seminary – as well as over 30 years of active involvement in politics as campaign manager, strategist, candidate and political commentator on television and radio. I speak to and from both worlds, and I begin with this premise:
1. Conservatives possess no monopoly on religion. There’s still a place in the church for liberals and moderates.
2. On many important social issues today, conservatives have it all wrong. They twist Scripture to fit their politics, rather than base their politics on Scripture.
3. What many religious conservatives define as “moral valuesâ€ today is not the morality of the New Testament. It’s too narrow, too selfish, and too intolerant.
4. Conservatives have turned Jesus Christ upside-down: from a loving Messiah who hung out with the poor and dispossessed, into a cold-hearted monster who cares only for the rich and powerful.
It’s time to define the proper intersection of religion and politics.
It’s time to end the Republican monopoly on God and God-talk.
It’s time to take our religion back.”