Thumpin' It by Jacques Berlinerblau
The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Today's Presidential Politics

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In one of the most witty and insightful books yet to explore the fascinating relationship between the Bible and American politics, Georgetown professor Jacques Berlinerblau looks at:
the recent history of how Scripture has influenced public policy debates about the environment, abortion, stem-cell research, and foreign policy;
how recent U.S. presidents have employed the Bible BR>Plus how each of the major candidates in the 2008 presidential elections is using and often misusing the Bible in his or her race for the White House.

Politicians, especially those seeking the presidency, must develop a good Scripture game, as Berlinerblau calls it. However, "It is a cynical business, politics is. It becomes no less so when public servants and interest groups get it into their heads that God Himself provided proof texts for their policy initiatives two thousand years ago. It is a peculiarity of the Good Book that it elicits in its readers the strong conviction that it unequivocally supports their strongest convictions."

"Berlinerblau's sangfroid about Bible-thumpin' pols [is] a welcome antidote to the army of alarmist authors who've been predicting the establishment of the United States of Pat Robertson any day now." Boston Globe

"This is a very smart, funny, and insightful account of the way in which the Bible and its authority are often invoked in American politics. Evangelicals should read his book for a reality-check from a keen observer whose assumptions about many matters (Scripture included) may differ from their own." Books & Culture

"When [Obama] opens his mouth, not only the words, but the tone invokes religious imagery," says Jacques Berlinblau. But Clinton need not throw in her political towel. "We are a secular democracy and while there are constituencies for which this is appealing, other constituencies, including many Jewish Americans, have some trepidations about the overplaying of the religious card in political life," says the author, a District resident. "McCain, on the other hand, is a mainline Protestant he was an Episcopalian who recently announced a 'denominational shift' to being a Baptist. He is cozying up to the religious right that he excoriated eight years ago, a good call on his part." Washington Jewish Week


About Jacques Berlinerblau

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Jacques Berlinerblau, professor at Georgetown University and director of the Program for Jewish Civilization, is the author of four books. He has appeared on radio, television, and print, including NPR, CNN, Al-Jazeera, The Economist, The Jerusalem Post, U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post. He is the host of the webcast "Faith Complex," which appears on The Huffington Post and elsewhere.
Published December 3, 2007 by Westminster John Knox Press. 216 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, History. Non-fiction

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Georgetown University professor Berlinerblau (The Secular Bible ) makes the unoriginal argument that American politicians on the left and right use Scripture in their speeches, and that policy wonks on both sides of the aisle draw on the Bible to defend positions on the environment, stem-cell res...

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