Stealing “Evangelical”

On April 25, 2010, I wrote about writer Richard Rodriguez‘s 2003 address to the graduates of Kenyon College.

Watch it below.  It is short and worth your time:

There is so much to say about this speech.  I get something new out of it every time I watch it.  I watched it again the other day and I was struck by the way he defines the vocation of the writer:

I write books about the political language of our time.  I keep trying to steal the language of our time away from politicians and those talking heads on CNN and Fox. I want language back, into the realm of the writer.  So when the politicians go on about “minorities,” I want to steal the word back.  When the politicians talk about “borders,” I want that word.

This time around I thought about Rodriguez’s words in the context of my own book, Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.  I am an evangelical Christian. I want to steal the word “evangelical”–the Gospel, the “good news”–back from the pundits, politicians, and talking heads.  Perhaps Believe Me is an attempt to do this.  I need to give this more thought.

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