Monday, March 31, 2008

The Problem with Political Sermons

Last week I did a half-dozen or so radio talk shows, a couple of them back to back. Under those circumstances, the specifics of any one conversation tend to get lost; it all becomes one big blur. But a comment by one caller---three of the shows were call-ins---stuck in my mind. The show was "Across the Nation with Bob Dunning" on Sirius Satellite's The Catholic Channel, and we had been talking about about partisanship in the church.

The caller brought up an excellent point. A homily (or a sermon), he said, involves one-way communication. There's no chance for dialogue, no time for discussion, no opportunity for disagreement. The pastor says what the pastor says, and that's it. The caller suggested that if churches encouraged conversation on political matters in a give-and-take, hear-all-sides format separate from worship services, politics in the church wouldn't be nearly so offensive.

I'd love to hear your opinion on this. Agree? Disagree? Could you see this working in your own church, synagogue, or other house of worship?

(Cross-posted on We the Purple.)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Most Creative Author Web Site Ever

Wish I'd done this.

Kudos to Miranda July. (If I had her name, I'd be more creative too.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Live on the Michael Medved Show

I'll have the opportunity to talk about independent voters, and the independent voter movement, on the Michael Medved radio show tomorrow, Thursday, March 27, at 4 p.m. Eastern. The show, which airs on the Salem Radio Network, is heard on 200 or so stations nationwide and reaches a potential audience of 3.5 million listeners. To find out if it airs in your area, and on which station you can listen to it, go to the web site's station finder and click on your state.

For those of you unfamiliar with Michael, he was a well-known movie critic (co-hosting "Sneak Previews" with Jeffrey Lyons) and author before he became a well-known conservative talk-show host and commentator. (He pretty much stunned everyone when he converted from being a liberal to---some would say---an ultra conservative in the late '70s or early '80s, as I recall.) For those of you with long memories, he's also the guy who gave us the book What Really Happened to the Class of '65? and the subsequent TV show.

Regardless of what you think of his politics, Michael is a terrific and insightful interviewer. He's fair, and he always has interesting guests. (Pray that I'll keep that streak going for him!) This interview will provide me with a great opportunity to get the word out about independent activists and how we can impact the political system. I'm psyched!

(Cross-posted on We the Purple.)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Barack Obama and His Pastor

Aside from the obvious, something about this whole Barack Obama-Jeremiah Wright situation has been troubling me. Before I could get my act and my thoughts together to blog about it, I came across a related post by Diana Butler Bass on the God's Politics blog on Beliefnet. As always, Diana said it much better than I ever could. "Putting Rev. Wright's Preaching in Perspective" is worth reading in its entirety.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

We the Purple Web Site Goes Live

Tyndale House has created an ├╝ber-cool web site for We the Purple: Faith, Politics and the Independent Voter, and it's now up and running. The site features bonus content, an excerpt from the book, a poll on the presidential election, and an opportunity to sign up for my monthly newsletter on issues of concern to independent voters.

The site's URL is I hope you'll bookmark it and visit from time to time. I'll be adding new content in the coming weeks.

Cross-posted on We the Purple.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"We the Purple" Has Released!

Having a book published has often been compared with giving birth to a baby. I've done both, and I can assure you that the analogy holds up. The last few months for me have been like the final trimester of my second pregnancy: I felt like I've been waddling through my days, wondering why on earth I got myself in this condition once again. Sure, the conception was fun and all that, and the first two trimesters were characterized by a flurry of activity, much like the nesting instinct that kicks in right about that time.

And then reality sets in. You start to feel like the elephant that you look like, and there are days when you totally believe that this is, in fact, a permanent situation. And during the worst part of labor, the pain is so intense that you're in denial that you really will get a baby out of the deal.

Today I officially gave birth to We the Purple: Faith, Politics and the Independent Voter, even though it officially released last week, because today is the day that I actually held a copy in my hands. And I have to tell you that after writing 20-plus books, this one felt incredibly good. It's clothbound, and the designers at Tyndale House pulled out all the stops to make this a classy book. Yes, I'm one proud, writing mama. 

Here's a link to the Amazon page for We the Purple:

Ignore Amazon's note about the book being out of stock. They should have it by now. If you buy We the Purple and like it, please post a review on Amazon and tell your friends about the book. I'm on a mission to clear up many of the misconceptions out there about independents, and I'd appreciate your help. And let me know what you think of it, okay?

Cross-posted on We the Purple.