October 13, 2006

Ethics Daily has an article today about a new book coming out that claims the Bush White House (mis)used evangelical Christians. The book is Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction by David Kuo. Here are a couple highlights from the article:

According to MSNBC, the White House placated politically ambitious religious leaders with trinkets like cufflinks and weekly conference calls, while adviser Karl Rove derisively called them “nuts” behind their backs.

Kuo says the administration broke promises for faith-based funding and tax credits year after year, while turning the bipartisan faith-based initiative into a political operation.

... The president, meanwhile, Kuo claims, lied to evangelicals about pouring new money into faith-based programs, viewing their potential to “evangelize” voters.

Kuo left the White House in 2003, according to MSNBC, after concluding “it was mocking the millions of faithful Christians who had put their trust and hope in the president and his administration.”

Kuo’s former boss, John J. DiIulio Jr., also quit after seven months on the job in 2001 over disagreement with faith-based politics. He later slammed White House advisers as “Mayberry Machiavellis” in an interview with Esquire.
This is an interesting and important claim. It should make Christians much more careful about making close political alliances. The main goal of politicians is to get elected. The main goal of Christians should be serving God. Those two goals do not always work together. Hopefully, Christians will actually listen to Kuo’s account and think twice before pledging themselves to a particular party or politician.