“Religious broadcasting was advanced by Pat Robertson, the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and its flagship programme, The 700 Club. The Gospel of the Self: How Jesus joined the GOP (2017) by Terry Heaton, Robertson’s long-time producer, is an insider account of the operation. An evangelical Christian himself, Heaton began his CBN career in the 1980s believing the show could bring “a breath of fresh air to a faith that had grown stale”. Instead, he writes, “We altered the balance of power in the GOP by bringing in millions of Christians who were able to look completely past the reality that Republicans represented the wealthy first. This was an amazing accomplishment, but one that has left our culture in a really bad situation, for fundamentalist Christians were a key element of Donald Trump’s election.” For years Heaton focused on the bottom line. “Money was pouring in, and that was a validation of my efforts.” But his inner conflict mounted, and he numbed it with alcohol. Leaving the network was a step in his recovery, and he calls the book “part of my amends”. ”

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