Religion, politics, and money are often intertwined in curious ways. Religious and political alliances between Jewish Zionists and Christian Evangelicals are baffling to many people. My students frequently express confusion about intersections between Jewish and Protestant messianic and apocalyptic beliefs. Campaign donations in the Republican primary race are revealing some of these connections.
The New York Times reports today on Sheldon Adelson, “the man behind Gingrich’s money.”
The article provides in-depth coverage on Adelson’s donations, revealing how individual political donors can powerfully sway elections in the United States in order to advance their own particular vision of religious politics. Both Democratic and Republican donors can now legally donate millions of dollars to super PACs (political action committees) to publicize their personal agendas.
Political and religious activism have often overlapped in previous historical periods. NIU students in HIST 414 European Wars of Religion and HIST 640 Religious Violence in Comparative Perspective, 1500 to Today should consider what, if anything, this modern case of religious politics suggests for our study of past intersections between religion, politics, and money.