In an election cycle focused primarily on the economy and the creation of jobs, the controversy surrounding Obama’s contraception mandate and the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s funding of Planned Parenthood remind us that social issues can still hold tremendous political force. That this is the case can be largely credited to Jerry Falwell, the fundamentalist preacher who rallied evangelical Christians to end their self-imposed exile from political life, bringing with them the social issues that retains so much power today.
Falwell’s career and legacy are the subjects of Michael Sean Winters new book “God’s Right Hand: How Jerry Falwell Made God a Republican and Baptized the American Right.” In addressing Falwell, the author of “Left at the Altar: How the Democrats Lost the Catholics and How the Catholics can Save the Democrats” turns from Catholics and Democrats to Protestants and Republicans.
While the mantra “Don’t judge a book by its cover” rings in the mind of every book reviewer, but in this case the back cover blurbs offer an indication of what’s inside. With praise from George Stephanopoulos and Reverend Jennifer Butler, founding executive director of the left leaning Faith in Public Life, it’s safe to assume Winters’ appraisal of Falwell isn’t exactly glowing.