Hostage to an Illusion

Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson, who worked closely with Jerry Falwell in the late 1970s and early ‘80s as leaders of the Moral Majority, are co-authors of the new book, Blinded By Might (see "A Declining Force"), in which they argue that the Religious Right has failed—and for which they have been roundly criticized by their erstwhile colleagues. They were interviewed on September 7 in Washington, D.C., by Sojourners editor-in-chief Jim Wallis.

Jim Wallis: Why did you write the book Blinded By Might? What made you see these questions of religion and politics in new ways?

Cal Thomas: We thought it would be good to look back on the last 20 years of conservative religious activism and assess it according to the goals we set in 1979, when Moral Majority was founded. I went back and examined what the Bible says—which is always a sobering thing to do when you’re talking about these things, and something a lot of other people seem to avoid in their opposition to this book.

Jim Wallis: Are you now saying that Christians shouldn’t be involved in the public square?

Ed Dobson: No, we’re saying Christians should be involved. Many of the issues we all wish could be changed can in fact be changed, and it doesn’t require a "political" movement to change that. It only requires Christians to be authentically Christian in their own community. Whether it be in terms of the poor, or in terms of race, or protection of human life, it seems to me as a pastor that I can deal with all of those issues, and ought to, as a working out of the gospel in my own life and in the community of faith where we live.

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 1999
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