Synopses & Reviews
David Kuo came to Washington wanting to use his Christian faith to end abortion, strengthen marriage, and help the poor. He reached the heights of political power, ultimately serving in the White House under George W. Bush, after being policy adviser to John Ashcroft and speech writer for Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, and Bob Dole. It was a dream come true: the chance to fuse his politics and his faith, and an opportunity for Christians not just to gain a seat at the proverbial table but to plan the entire meal.
Kuo spent nearly three years as second in command at the president's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Yet his experience was deeply troubling. It took both the Bush White House and a severe health crisis to show him how his Christian values, and those of millions of Americans, were being corrupted by politics.
Instead of following the teachings of Jesus to serve the needy, Kuo found himself helping to manipulate religious faith for political gain. Public funds were used in battleground states, for Republican campaign events. The legislative process was used as a football, not to pass laws but to deepen purely symbolic fault lines. Grants were incestuously recycled to political cronies. Both before and after 9/11, despite lofty rhetoric from the president claiming that his faith-based program was one of his most important initiatives, there was no serious attempt to fund valuable charities.
Worst of all was the prevailing attitude in the White House and throughout Washington toward Christian leaders. Key Bush aides and Republican operatives spoke of them with contempt and treated them as useful idiots. It became clear, during regular conference calls arranged from the White House with a key group of Christian leaders, that many of these religious leaders had themselves been utterly seduced by politics.
It is time, Kuo argues, for Christians to take a temporary step back from politics, to turn away from its seductions. Tempting Faith is equal parts headline-making expose, political and spiritual memoir, and heartfelt plea for a Christian reexamination of political involvement.
"This coming-of-age story is intriguing, written as it is by a man who saw the faith of the White House from a unique perspective. The insights of David Kuo...are brutally frank." Hartford Courant
"While Kuo names names and gives telling details and has been criticized for not portraying the whole picture of the faith-based initiative his book doesn't seem like sour grapes so much as a confession and a heartfelt plea for people to wake up....A wise and refreshingly candid book, Tempting Faith is a parable about the limits of politics and the genuine demands posed by faith." Jane Lampman, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)
An evangelical Christian and former Deputy Director of George W. Bush's Faith-Based Initiative charges the president's administration with manipulating people of faith, documenting his witness to the White House's canvassing of religious leaders to promote judicial appointments and policy approvals regardless of moral content. 75,000 first printing.
A veteran of the Religious Right and former special assistant to President George Bush tells all, and reveals how the Bush administration has manipulated people of faith.
About the Author
David Kuo was senior vice president of communications at ValueAmerica.com. He has worked for the CIA, worked for a U.S. Senator as well as a journalist and speechwriter. He lives in Virginia with his wife, Kim.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: God, Politics, and Fishing
Chapter Two: Odd Fellows
Chapter Three: Buffalo Hunting
Chapter Four: The Last Acceptable Form of Bigotry
Chapter Five: Struggling to Kneel
Chapter Six: Swirling...
Chapter Seven: "Just When I Thought I Was Out..."
Chapter Eight: Looking in All the Wrong Places
Chapter Nine: Breaking Down Gates of Bronze
Chapter Ten: Tripping on Marble
Chapter Eleven: This Is the White House
Chapter Twelve: Sunny Days
Chapter Thirteen: Politics Actually
Chapter Fourteen: That's the Way We Do It, Baby
Chapter Fifteen: Seeing Dimly, Seeing Clearly
Chapter Sixteen: Reel Life
Epilogue: Fast, Let's Fast
Afterword for the Paperback Edition