Year 3, Book 56

56. Failing America’s Faithful: How Today’s Churches are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

For anyone who doesn’t know KKT is the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and the former lieutenant governor of Maryland. I saw her promoting this book on The Colbert Report. It sounded interesting so I picked it up. It actually wasn’t quite what I was expecting based on the title. She spent a lot of time talking about her experience growing up in the Catholic church and how she felt that once upon a time politicians such as her uncle and her father strove to insert the ideals of social justice at that time emphasized in the Catholic church into the government. Now she feels that churches both Catholic and Protestant have moved away from the social justice aspects of their teaching to focus on salvation of the self as well as issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and birth control (for the Catholic church). These latter issues being what is inserted by the religious into the government. She also talks about the history of both Protestant and Catholic churches and how she thinks they got to where they are today. I agreed with enough of what she said that it almost made me sad that I voted against her back in the day. Although I don’t necessarily think that religion and politics should be so entwined, if religion is going to play a role in influencing politics I definitely think it should be in regards to social justice matters rather than moral ones. I give the book 7 out of 10.

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