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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 speechwriter 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 exposé, political and spiritual memoir, and heartfelt plea for a Christian reexamination of political involvement.
Published: Free Press on
ISBN: 9781416542384
List price: $14.99
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Curious about what happened to compassionate conservatism? David Kuo's memoir explains. The best part of the book is his proposal that people of faith refrain from politics, except for voting, for two years, spending the energy they would use for politics on prayer, service and reflection on issues like poverty and climate change.more
Wow!I just finished tonight and I cannot recommend a book more highly than this one! This is a story of David Kuo's faith journey and the vast insights he has gained through working in politics. It is a book that points to Jesus and within the first chapter shares the Gospel.I was amazed at how much life he has lived and the vast amount of experiences he's had. At times I was in awe of how many people notable people Mr. Kuo has worked with and for in the political realm.I left the book and had a such disappointment with our President and his administration. All the Faith-based initiative talk from the administration was really only that-talk. Mr. Kuo points several times that we mustn’t trust President Bush simply because he is a fellow Christian-the fact of the matter is that he is also a politician who is political. President Bush is after all a human, like the rest of us, who sins and is in need of a Savior. As Christians we still can question him.There is so much this book talks about and I simply can't give it to you in a nutshell and to try to write a summary would do this book a disservice. David Kuo is a vastly talented author, I've never read a non-fiction book of this caliber. I can see why so many have wanted him on their writing staff.There was never a point where the book became lengthy or dull. Through reading Tempting Faith, I learned so much about politics and gained encouragement in my own personal faith journey. He brings the book to a solid conclusion and challenges Christians to do something different.Before reading the book I knew that we couldn't put faith along party lines, Jesus certainly wouldn't be a Republican or a Democrat, but now, without a doubt I know it.Several times David Kuo quotes from C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, a fiction book where an older demon is teaching a younger demon in the ways to lead a man away from God. I want to share this quote with you because it gives you a glimpse of the subject matter of Tempting Faith. "Let him begin by treating patriotism . . . as a part of his religion. Then let him, under the influence of partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which the religion becomes merely a part of the 'cause,' in which Christianity is valued chiefly became of the excellent arguments it can produce . . . [O]nce he's made the world an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursing."I will certainly do a re-read of this book, probably several times down the road. This book is a must read, bump it to the top of your lists!more
Well-written and passionate, although the political angle (the book's real selling point) doesn't fully kick in until nearly the end.more
Kuo is a second insider to document the political use of religious conviction by people who are themselves not righteous ones. Kuo's observations now corroborate those of John J. DiIulio Jr, the first director of the "Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives", a uniquely Rowe-based bureaucracy formed when Bush first took office. DiIulio was the first official to resign 7 months after his appointment in the Bush-Rowe-Cheney administration, stating that the White House was run by "Mayberry Machiavellians" who put political ends over everything else. With this published corroboration by Kuo, who made the same accusation when he resigned from the same program in 2003, it appears that the leadership of our country has been "hijacked" (to use Kuo's term) by a cabal of religious hypocrites. The Christians are being fed to the lions, at their own expense inside the arena, while the lions outside the arena are gathering with impunity. In making this analogy, no disrespect to lions is intended.more
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Reviews

Curious about what happened to compassionate conservatism? David Kuo's memoir explains. The best part of the book is his proposal that people of faith refrain from politics, except for voting, for two years, spending the energy they would use for politics on prayer, service and reflection on issues like poverty and climate change.more
Wow!I just finished tonight and I cannot recommend a book more highly than this one! This is a story of David Kuo's faith journey and the vast insights he has gained through working in politics. It is a book that points to Jesus and within the first chapter shares the Gospel.I was amazed at how much life he has lived and the vast amount of experiences he's had. At times I was in awe of how many people notable people Mr. Kuo has worked with and for in the political realm.I left the book and had a such disappointment with our President and his administration. All the Faith-based initiative talk from the administration was really only that-talk. Mr. Kuo points several times that we mustn’t trust President Bush simply because he is a fellow Christian-the fact of the matter is that he is also a politician who is political. President Bush is after all a human, like the rest of us, who sins and is in need of a Savior. As Christians we still can question him.There is so much this book talks about and I simply can't give it to you in a nutshell and to try to write a summary would do this book a disservice. David Kuo is a vastly talented author, I've never read a non-fiction book of this caliber. I can see why so many have wanted him on their writing staff.There was never a point where the book became lengthy or dull. Through reading Tempting Faith, I learned so much about politics and gained encouragement in my own personal faith journey. He brings the book to a solid conclusion and challenges Christians to do something different.Before reading the book I knew that we couldn't put faith along party lines, Jesus certainly wouldn't be a Republican or a Democrat, but now, without a doubt I know it.Several times David Kuo quotes from C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, a fiction book where an older demon is teaching a younger demon in the ways to lead a man away from God. I want to share this quote with you because it gives you a glimpse of the subject matter of Tempting Faith. "Let him begin by treating patriotism . . . as a part of his religion. Then let him, under the influence of partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which the religion becomes merely a part of the 'cause,' in which Christianity is valued chiefly became of the excellent arguments it can produce . . . [O]nce he's made the world an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursing."I will certainly do a re-read of this book, probably several times down the road. This book is a must read, bump it to the top of your lists!more
Well-written and passionate, although the political angle (the book's real selling point) doesn't fully kick in until nearly the end.more
Kuo is a second insider to document the political use of religious conviction by people who are themselves not righteous ones. Kuo's observations now corroborate those of John J. DiIulio Jr, the first director of the "Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives", a uniquely Rowe-based bureaucracy formed when Bush first took office. DiIulio was the first official to resign 7 months after his appointment in the Bush-Rowe-Cheney administration, stating that the White House was run by "Mayberry Machiavellians" who put political ends over everything else. With this published corroboration by Kuo, who made the same accusation when he resigned from the same program in 2003, it appears that the leadership of our country has been "hijacked" (to use Kuo's term) by a cabal of religious hypocrites. The Christians are being fed to the lions, at their own expense inside the arena, while the lions outside the arena are gathering with impunity. In making this analogy, no disrespect to lions is intended.more
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