Moral Minority

June 21, 2014

I recently read the book Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism by David Swartz. I highly recommend the book, which is both informative and interesting. Swartz details important evangelical voices during the middle of the 20th Century and helps break the stereotype that evangelicals are inherently ultra-conservative Republican partisans. In fact, Swartz shows that as evangelicals started engaging more in politics, it seemed possible they would swing more towards the left than the right. Although the subtitle refers to the "evangelical left," he really deals with moderates as well as liberals (basically anyone who does not fit the conservative evangelical mold). Swartz includes detailed profiles of representative figures and I particularly appreciated the chapters featuring former U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield (a moderate Republican from Oregon), Samuel Escobar, and Ron Sider. Although I was familiar with many of the characters Swartz writes about and have written a little about some of them, I learned a lot from his book. He undertook an important job of telling the stories of important religious-political voices too often overlooked. Despite writing a well-researched book that meets scholarly standards, he also wrote the book in an engaging and easy-to-read style. Anyone seeking a better understanding of religion and politics in the U.S. should read his book.

 

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