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God's Democracy

God's Democracy
Emilio Gentile
Praeger Publishers, Inc. 2008
BL2525.G47 2008

In God's Democracy, Emilio Gentile argues that the presidency of George W. Bush sought to alter the way religion functions in American political life. Prior to the events of 9/11, the national government operated under a civil religious regime that placed a sacred umbrella over the entire country and its leading political figures. American civil religion was not only an inclusive faith, but one that provided ample room for citizens with different politics and world views.

In the wake of 9/11, President Bush used religion to differentiate Americans along partisan lines. Relying heavily on his evangelical Christian base, he attempted to substitute for the inclusivism of the traditional American civil religion an exclusivist political religion in which Democrats were portrayed as hostile to religious values and incapable of dealing with the country's foreign enemies.

This book provides the historical context for this attempted transformation and shows in a detailed way how the Bush administration pursued it. Unlike other works that strive to show how religion has generally come to be treated in American politics, this book looks more squarely at the Bush Administration and its attempt to shut out Democrats from the political proccess by invoking religious language and ideals. Gentile concludes by posing the question of whether this radical shift in the way America understands themselves religiously will prove permanent.

Quoted from dustjacket.