Publicity for From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin continues and it has made me aware of the variety of radio shows in the United States once you get beyond Rush, Sean, and Glenn. I am also much more attentive than I was to the need for talk show hosts to keep a copy of the author’s book handy. Today I was on a show — name withheld to protect the guilty — where the host several times announced that the title of my book was Why Evangelicals Aren’t Conservative. But that was not as bad as the one time when he actually segued into a commercial break by referring to the book as Why Evangelicals Aren’t Christian. As provocative as I try to be, that one never dawned on me, not even now that I no longer have to worry about embarrassing my mother.
For this reason, I returned to steady spirits (as opposed to distilled ones) when I found a review of FBG2SP in yesterday’s Washington Times by William Murchison. It was even positive as the following excerpt attests:
[Hart]e does so much more, which is really the point here. He probes deep below the surface of evangelicalism to identify, with intelligence and grace, elements that conservatives might have examined with more detail back when Mr. Falwell and others came to shopping around for allies to fight the “secular humanism” they viewed with alarm. Conservatives, for one thing, might have thought more about how voters in general would view the evangelical quest, sublimated at first as Republican politics, for increasing Christianity’s political profile.
That would have started arguments about whether America was or wasn’t a Christian nation, as the evangelicals of the day sometimes alleged. Besides, their votes were wanted. Yet when Barry Goldwater, the grandest political conservative of them all back in his day, offered to kick Jerry Falwell in the place where he sat down, conservatives should have figured out that there might be some problems coming down the road. They didn’t, and now the piper demands his pay.