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God and Party Politics: A Conversation

Recorded on May 17, 2005

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Politicians and party strategists are increasingly eager to reach out to their church-going constituencies - and secure their vote at the ballot box. The Republican Party stands accused of being captivated by its religious conservative base, described as an "American Taliban" for trying to apply religious ideals to social issues such as abortion, marriage, and the fight against global AIDS. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is struggling to shed its image as the "anti-God" party, tone deaf to the religious beliefs of millions of Americans. Democratic Party leaders now regularly consult with religious liberals for new ways to talk about faith and public policy.

Is there too much religion in national politics today - or too little? Will churches and other religious organizations rise above partisan politics - or be manipulated by them? Join authors Jim Wallis and Joseph Loconte for a frank discussion about faith and the public square.

JIM WALLIS is the editor of Sojourners magazine and the Convener of Call to Renewal, a national coalition of mainline and progressive churches. He is the best-selling author of God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It.

JOSEPH LOCONTE is the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at the Heritage Foundation and a commentator on religion for National Public Radio. He is the editor of
The End of Illusions: Religious Leaders Confront Hitler's Gathering Storm.