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FROM THIS EPISODE

A long-time student of American politics says the Republicans have become America's first religious party.  On this archived edition of To the Point, we hear Kevin Phillips debate Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Does religion drive foreign policy in the Bush White House?  What about the separation of church and state?  Plus, a conversation about the booming business of Christmas and a conversation about whether conservatives are more generous than liberals.



  • This edition of To the Point will not be heard live on KCRW as it will be pre-empted by special holiday programming.

Producers:
Karen Radziner

Reporter's Notebook Politics, Prosperity and Charitable Giving

Liberals favor income redistribution and the welfare state, so they must give more willingly to charity.  That's what a professor at Syracuse University thought he would demonstrate when he began researching the subject.  When his early findings proved otherwise, he thought he must be mistaken.

Guests:
Arthur Brooks, Professor of Public Administration at Syracuse University

Main Topic Religion and Politics in America

Kevin Phillips worked in the White House during the Nixon years and discovered what he called "the Emerging Republican Majority." Sure enough, the party gained strength until it took a fall in last month's elections. The man who predicted the "emerging Republican majority" now says the party has been "transformed," and that the rising power of radical Christians endangers the separation of church and state. We talk with Phillips and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, a group Phillips says he's alarmed about.  How many Republicans think America should be a Christian state?  Does religion threaten democracy in a diverse country?

Guests:
Kevin Phillips, former political strategist, Republican Party
Richard Land, Southern Baptist Convention (@erlcsbc)
James "Jim" Guth, Professor of Political Science at Furman University

Making News The Business of Christmas

On Christmas Day, many Americans suffer from hangovers after a month or more of marching through malls, pouring over catalogues and spending a lot of money. If you're feeling guilty today about the commercialism and the hype, that battle probably was lost long ago.  So consider instead what the Christmas season means to America's economy.

Guests:
Jack Kyser, Founding Economist, LAEDC's Kyser Center for Economic Research

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