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With God on Our Side: George W. Bush and the Rise of the Religious Right in America, Calvin Skaggs (2004)

Excellent, illuminating, but circumscribed documentary. It reveals comprehensively and with great insight the birth and rise of the religious right as a political force in American politics. The only thing that troubles me about it is that it never acknowledges the economic motives of this lobby; the film portrays the motives of the evangelicals as being purely spiritual, that is, we want to get evangelicals elected because we want America to be a Christian nation. This is bullshit, of course. Evangelicals want to get evangelicals elected because evangelicals are pro-business. Jesus is the cover story; capitalism is the story. That said, this is definitely worth watching if you want to get a better understanding of the dynamics of the rise of the religious right.

As an added bonus, you will be forced to contemplate the possibility that Jerry Falwell is smart. Not right, mind you, but smart. Cunning. Like a fox.

Actually, weirdly, I get the feeling from the footage here that the only true believer is George W. Bush himself. Everyone else, I think, understands full well that religion is a tool. He’s the dipshit who truly thinks that if you just put your faith in God, all will be well.

The other, very troubling feeling that I get is that the president’s recent reversals don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Evangelical Christianity will not be easily dislodged from Washington, no matter how dissatisfied Americans become with this or that particular politician.

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