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The God StrategyHow Religion Became a Political Weapon in America$
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David Domke and Kevin Coe

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326413

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326413.001.0001

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 Religious Politics and Democratic Vitality

 Religious Politics and Democratic Vitality

(p.129) Chapter Six Religious Politics and Democratic Vitality
The God Strategy

David Domke (Contributor Webpage)

Kevin Coe (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter reflects on the workings of the God strategy, and on what its omnipresence means for American democracy. The God strategy's “golden rule” — exhibit faith, but don't be too strident or nakedly partisan in doing so — is discussed in relation to the 1992 presidential election and the 2006 midterm elections. In both cases, Republicans pushed too hard with the God strategy while Democrats responded with a religious politics of their own. And in both cases, the result was Democratic electoral gains. The chapter then discusses how America's current brand of religious politics puts at risk the Founding Fathers' vision for a democracy that would protect the church from the state and the state from the church. The chapter concludes by considering the role that mass media, the public education system, and religious institutions can play in preserving Constitutional protections.

Keywords:   American democracy, Republican Party, Democratic Party, Constitution, education system, mass media, religious institutions

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