Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
We are not divided, all one body we.
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.
-- From the nineteenth-century hymn "Onward, Christian Soldiers"
What keeps America a country of religious practice and traditional values? How has the U.S. avoided suc-cumbing to total secularism? The answer to these provocative questions is found in the religious commun-ities of America today: In the past thirty years, the religiously active voter has migrated to the Republican Party, and the story behind this shift, evidenced in the emergence of Evangelical dominance over mainstream Protestantism and the defeat of liberal Catholicism, is at the heart of this fascinating cultural history.
In Onward, Christian Soldiers, the Washington insider who was at the vanguard of the sea change in religious and political history that propelled George W. Bush into the White House offers an intimate perspective on those remarkable years -- and their influence over the ones to come. Deal W. Hudson analyzes how, steadily over-coming age-old misjudgments and misunderstandings that separated them, conservative Catholics and Evangelical Christians drew together because of what they viewed as profound assaults on shared core beliefs. They became allies to battle the forces of secularization, relativism, and atheism. And together they forged a grassroots movement across America that astonished political activists and surprised commentators as well as members of traditional religious organizations. How, exactly, was this coalition achieved and who were its movers and shakers? What enabled them to deepen, enrich, and activate the resurgence of traditional values in society to make America radically different from the secularized Europe that was so widely believed to be on the verge of becoming the model for the United States?
Deal W. Hudson details this phenomenon by examining the leading figures and institutions on both sides of the debate, exposing the dramatic encounters between those espousing fundamental Judeo-Christian beliefs and those heralding the "death of God" and the new age of secular humanism. Dealing with today's hot-button issues, Onward, Christian Soldiers provides an unprecedented look at the confrontation of the religious right with secularists in America, a confrontation that is not only timely but also timeless in its impact.
"Hudson has written an insider's jewel on the political and cultural dynamics that have affected presidential politics over the past several decades. It is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in understanding the intersection of politics and religion in the twenty-first century. Professors and pundits alike will repair to this book for years to come." -- William A. Donohue President, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights