Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right” as Want to Read:
The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  135 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
The unholy alliance of the Political Right and the Religious Right threatens to destroy the America we love. It also threatens to generate a popular aversion to God and religion by identifying religious values with a pro-war, pro-business, pro-rich, anti-science, and anti-environmental stance.

Over the past few decades, the Republicans have achieved political dominance by f
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by HarperOne (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Left Hand of God, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Left Hand of God

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 18, 2009 Robert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I was really, really inspired by this book. It was a deeply affirming read. I basically share Rabbi Lerner's vision of a politics of meaning based on love and hope. In the second half of the book Lerner details various policy proposals for a spiritual progressive movement.

This is the sort of book I have to go back and re-read, taking notes this time. My hope has been strengthened by being exposed to Lerner's vision. Even before starting this book, I have made it a personal mission to build a sp
Apr 09, 2009 Denise rated it liked it
The introduction to this book was fantastic; after that it really paled for me. The introduction was about the craving of humans for the divine, and the way in which progressive values grow out of spirituality (notably not simply defined by participation in religious practices), and how the two hands of god- the right and the left- are defined respectively by our fears and by our love and compassion. It was a really validating read for me for a lot of personal reasons. But I didn't get very far ...more
Sep 26, 2007 Libertine rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, I really did. Thought the author has some good ideas, he ruined the book with a repetitious and rambling writing style that made it very hard for me to wade through this wordy morass and actually finish it.

The author, a rabbi, challenges the idea that religious conservatives have the corner on spiritual values that are relevant to politics. Religious conservative ideas, which conform to the financial bottom line, are what Lerner calls the "Right Hand of God". He asser
Mar 29, 2007 kxm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all people on the left.
this would also be a good read for people who think that they are right-wing christians, but they're not likely to pick it up.

I didn't even get to finish it (damn library got all my requested books at the same time *shakes fist*), but I was already fairly well enthralled.

After I get through a few of the ones I need to get back to the library soon, I'll pick it back up. (Or buy it when it comes out in paperback...)
John Stockman
Jan 06, 2008 John Stockman rated it it was amazing
Great book! Deals with the topic of spirituality and the militant right wing agenda, namely the concept of "just war"

not by any means definitive, but compelling nontheless...

the author is involved with the network of spiritual progressives, whos camp i would consider myself a part of. you can check them out at
Nov 20, 2011 Ebadur rated it liked it
took a while to get through (reading on and off until finally completed it tonight alhamdullilah), it's worth reading

First time I heard of Lerner is when he spoke at RIS a few years back I believe on the invitation of Shaykh Hamza who had written for his magazine (Tikkun). Random fact-Tikkun's office is up a small door that you can easily miss on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley!
Jun 10, 2010 Aldafan rated it it was ok
I ALMOST finished it. There was much I liked such as having a government based on hope, not fear and moving away from our culture of Materialism. But toward the end it got a bit utopian for me and I just got bored. Too many other books I want to read.
Rodney Hinds
Jul 19, 2009 Rodney Hinds rated it liked it
This one is still not finished and probably will not be finished. It is a little out of date and would be a good read for politicos.
Jul 30, 2007 Shane rated it it was ok
I enjoy politics, but this was a bit too partisan for me. The concept of "The Left Hand of God" was interesting, but became too tainted in political i-told-you-so-isms.
Marianne V
Jul 05, 2009 Marianne V rated it really liked it
While Lerner is so wordy that he is slow reading, this book still had much to say about why people fall for the religious right posture.
Jan 13, 2014 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Necessary handbook for progressive thinkers (and theologians) frustrated by the constant idiotic assault of the religious right.
Elizabeth  Fuller
Jul 07, 2007 Elizabeth Fuller rated it it was amazing
One of the most important books I've read in a long time. Gives me hope for our political future that I haven't felt in years.
Aug 13, 2007 Sarah rated it really liked it
this book really challenged my cynicism about the possibility of real social change. very interesting.
Josh Brett
Josh Brett rated it really liked it
Feb 03, 2015
David Franklin
David Franklin rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2008
Jessica Czop
Jessica Czop rated it liked it
Jul 20, 2010
Paul rated it liked it
Jul 08, 2008
Richard rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2008
David M
David M rated it liked it
Jul 15, 2010
Michelle Senf
Michelle Senf rated it liked it
Aug 25, 2012
Paula rated it it was ok
Oct 02, 2007
Rich Brothers
Rich Brothers rated it liked it
Oct 10, 2013
Craig rated it really liked it
Jul 06, 2012
Tyler Ward
Tyler Ward rated it really liked it
Nov 25, 2012
Carl rated it it was amazing
Jan 02, 2013
Apr 14, 2007 Basmah marked it as to-read
got it as a birthday present. . .just gettin ready to read it
Richard B. Simon
Richard B. Simon rated it liked it
Jan 20, 2016
Jason Kroening-roche
Jason Kroening-roche rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2011
James rated it liked it
May 27, 2008
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Original Sin: A Cultural History
  • The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power
  • Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics
  • God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It
  • C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy
  • The Grand Inquisitor's Manual
  • Models of God
  • The Politics Of Jesus: Rediscovering The True Revolutionary Nature Of Jesus' Teachings And How They Have Been Corrupted
  • America: What Went Wrong?
  • The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus: What's So Good About the Good News?
  • The Scandal of Scientology
  • Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics
  • Last Chance to Eat: The Fate of Taste in a Fast Food World
  • The Messenger of Magnolia Street: A Novel
  • Healing for a Broken World: Christian Perspectives on Public Policy
  • Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America
  • The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake DemocraticPolitics
  • The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, From the Civil Rights Movement to Today

Share This Book