Wed. 12/6: Politics in God’s Country

90 percent of Americans say they’ve never doubted the existence of God. 80 per cent say they are certain they will be called to answer for their sins on Judgment Day. But says EYAL PRESS, the same religious zeal that pushes some whites to the right leads blacks and Latinos in the opposite direction. The secular left, he concludes, should think twice before seeing religious people as their foes.
Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban PoorEyal’s story, “In God’s Country,” is in Nov. 20 issue of The Nation.

ALSO: The Underground economy of the urban poor: SUDHIR VENKATESH explains the desperate, dangerous, and remarkable ways people survive in a poor black neighborhood, where he found a wide world of work off the books: backyard mechanics, street vendors, hustlers and of course drug dealers. Sudhir teaches sociology and African-American Studies at Columbia and is the author of Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor.

PLUS: Back from Afghanistan: ALISSA RUBIN of the L.A. Times just returned from Khowst where she profiled a woman who serves in the Afghan parliment: Zahera Sharif.
The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward - A New Approach (Vintage)Her father opposed her getting an education, but under Soviet rule she was able to get an M.A. When the Taliban conquered, she was forced to flee to Pakistan. Now she is back, fighting warlord rule.

Finally, JOHN NICHOLS, Washington Correspondent for The Nation, will have comment on the Iraq Study Group Report.

Web Extra: YOUR MINNESOTA MOMENT: Keith Ellison, the newly elected congressman from Minneapolis who is first Muslim elected to Congress, has announced that he will not take his oath of office on the Bible, but rather on the Koran. LA Radio host Dennis Prager says “He should not be allowed to do so — because the act undermines American civilization.”