In Washington but Not of It: The Prophetic Politics of Religious Lobbyists

Synopsis

Ninety percent of Americans tell pollsters they believe in God; 68 percent say they are members of a religious organization. Most of these organizations are represented by lobbyists in Washington, D. C. Daniel J. B. Hofrenning examines the role of these religious lobbyists in American politics and argues that, no matter what their ideological stance, all share an anti-elitist strategy in their campaigns against Washington's policies. Hofrenning considers the scope of religious organizations, their tactics, their international politics, and their relationships among leaders and members. Through extensive interviews with religious lobbyists, he examines both conservative and liberal lobbyists and their distinct methods of wielding power. In comparison to their secular counterparts, who seek small, targeted changes, religious lobbyists attempt fundamental change on a wide range of public policies, based on a philosophy that something is profoundly wring with society and government priorities. This book not only provides insight into the activities and goals of religious lobbyists but also adds to our understanding of politics at the margins-a politics that is increasingly affecting the mainstream political agenda. Author note: Daniel J. B. Hofrenning is Assistant Professor of Political Science at St. Olaf College.