Christian right

Christian right

Christian right is a term used predominantly in the United States to describe "right-wing" Christian political groups that are characterized by their strong support of socially conservative policies. Religious conservatives principally seek to apply the teachings of particular religions to politics, sometimes by merely proclaiming the value of those teachings, at other times by having those teachings influence laws.[1]

In the U.S., the Christian right is an informal coalition of numerous groups, chiefly evangelicals and Catholics.[2][3][4] It is strongest in the South, where it comprises the core of the Republican Party.[5] Besides conservative positions on domestic issues such as opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage,[6] the Christian right is a strong supporter of Israel in foreign affairs.[7] There are similar, smaller movements in other countries, including Canada,[8] Australia,[9] and the Philippines.[10]



The terms "Christian right" and "religious right" are often used interchangeably, although the terms are not synonymous. "Religious right" includes Christians, Muslims and Orthodox Jews. For example, they cooperate in national and international projects through the World Congress of Families and United Nations NGO gatherings.[11] "Christian right" on the other hand refers to only the Christian segment of the religious right.

The term "Christian right" comprises 15% of the electorate in the United States and votes heavily for the Republican Party. John C. Green of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life states that Jerry Falwell used the label "religious right" to describe himself, until it developed negative connotations, such as of hard-edged politics and intolerance, which resulted in very few people to whom the term would apply using it to describe themselves any more. Gary Schneeberger, vice president of media and public relations for Focus on the Family, states that "[t]erms like 'religious right' have been traditionally used in a pejorative way to suggest extremism. The phrase 'socially conservative evangelicals' is not very exciting, but that's certainly the way to do it."[12]

Evangelical leaders like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council have called attention to the special problem of equating the terms with evangelicals. Although evangelicals constitute the core constituency of the Christian right, not all evangelicals fit the description. The problem of description is further complicated by the fact that "religious conservative" may refer to groups like the Mennonites and the Amish, who are theologically conservative but not involved in politics.


Jerry Falwell, whose founding of the Moral Majority was a key step in the formation of the New Christian Right

Origins of the Christian right in the United States

The Alienation of Southern Democrats

The alienation of Southern Democrats also contributed to the rise of the Right as a result of the counterculture of the 1960s provoked fear of social disintegration. In addition, as the Democratic Party became identified with being pro-choice with respect to abortion and with nontraditional societal values, social conservatives joined the Republican Party in increasing numbers.

Ability to organize

The contemporary Christian right became increasingly vocal and organized in reaction to a series of United States Supreme Court decisions (notably Bob Jones University v. Simon and Bob Jones University v. United States) and also engaged in battles over pornography, obscenity, abortion, state sanctioned prayer in public schools, textbook contents (concerning evolution vs. creationism), homosexuality, and sexual education.

Grassroots activism

Much of the Christian right's power within the American political system is attributed to their extraordinary turnout rate at the polls. The voters that coexist in the Christian Right are also highly motivated and driven to get out a viewpoint on issues they care about. As well as high voter turnout, they can be counted on to attend political events, knock on doors and distribute literature. Members of the Christian Right are willing to do the electoral work needed to see their candidate elected. Because of their high level of devotion, the Christian right does not need to monetarily compensate these people for their work.[13][14]

Political leaders and institutions

Led by Robert Grant's Christian Voice, Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority, Ed McAteer's Religious Roundtable Council, James Dobson's Focus on the Family, and Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, the new Religious Right combined conservative politics with evangelical and fundamentalist teachings.[15] The birth of the New Christian right, however, is usually traced to a 1979 meeting where televangelist Jerry Falwell was urged to create a "Moral Majority" organization.[16][17]


  • July 2, 1964 — The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prompts the defection of some Southern Democrats from the Democratic Party.
  • 1968 — The 'Southern strategy' of Richard Nixon's presidential campaign, of exploiting racial anxiety among white voters in the South, eventually leading to a realignment of the South with the Republican Party.[18]
  • 1974Robert Grant founds the American Christian Cause as an effort to institutionalize the Christian Right as a politically active social movement.
  • Late 1970s — The New Religious Right becomes much more involved in politics and media.
  • April 29, 1980Washington for Jesus founded by John Giminez, the pastor of Rock Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Dr. William Bright, Benson Idahosa from Africa, and many other high-profile Christians marched on Washington DC, in an effort to support Ronald Reagan's presidential run. This event provides a place for the Christian Right to outline many of their beliefs in speeches and statements.
  • 1980Ronald Reagan elected president, serving two presidential terms (1981–1989). Republicans capture the Senate for the first time since 1952.
  • 1988George H. W. Bush elected president with the support of most conservative Christian voters.
  • 1992 — The Christian Coalition produces voter guides and distributes them to conservative Christian churches.
  • 1994 — Conservative Republicans take control of the House of Representatives, led by Christian conservative Newt Gingrich.
  • January 20, 2001George W. Bush becomes president with the overwhelming support of white conservative evangelical voters.

Christian right institutions in the United States


National organizations

One early effort to institutionalize the Christian right as a politically-active social movement began in 1974 when Dr. Robert Grant, an early movement leader, founded American Christian Cause to advocate Christian moral teachings in Southern California. Concerned that Christians overwhelmingly voted in favor of President Jimmy Carter in 1976, Grant expanded his movement and founded Christian Voice to mobilize Christian voters in favor of candidates who share their socially conservative values.

In the late 1980s Pat Robertson founded the Christian Coalition, building from his 1988 presidential run, with Republican activist Ralph Reed, who became the spokesman for the Coalition. In 1992, the national Christian Coalition, Inc., headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, began producing voter guides, which it distributed to conservative Christian churches. Under the leadership of Reed and Robertson, the Coalition quickly became the most prominent voice in the conservative Christian movement, its influence culminating with an effort to support the election of a conservative Christian to the presidency in 1996. In addition, they have talked about attempting to intersperse the traditional moral issues associated with the Christian Right into a broader message that emphasizes other political issues, such as healthcare, the economy, education and crime.[20]

Focus on the Family's Visitor's Welcome Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Political activists worked within the Republican party locally and nationally to influence party platforms and nominations.[21] More recently Dr. James Dobson's group Focus on the Family, based in Colorado Springs, and the Family Research Council in Washington D.C. have gained enormous clout among Republican lawmakers. While strongly advocating for these "moral issues", Dobson himself is more wary of the political spectrum and much of the resources of his group are devoted to other aims such as media.[22] However, as a private citizen, Dobson has stated his opinion on presidential elections; on February 5, 2008, Dobson issued a statement regarding the 2008 presidential election and his strong disappointment with the Republican party's candidates.[23]

In an essay written in 1996, Ralph Reed argued against the moral absolutist tone of Christian Right leaders, arguing for the Republican Party Platform to stress the moral dimension of abortion rather than placing emphasis on overturning Roe v. Wade. Reed believes that pragmatism is the best way to advocate for the Christian Right.[24]

Partisan activity of churches

Small churches self-identified as within the Christian right have taken overtly partisan actions, which are generally considered inappropriate in most conservative Protestant churches, and which could threaten these organizations' tax-exempt status due to the Johnson Amendment of the Internal Revenue Code.[25] In one notable example, the former pastor of the East Waynesville Baptist Church in Waynesville, North Carolina "told the congregation that anyone who planned to vote for Democratic Sen. John Kerry should either leave the church or repent".[26] The church later expelled nine members who had voted for Kerry and refused to repent, which led to criticism on the national level. The pastor resigned and the ousted church members were allowed to return.[27]

Electoral activity

Christian Right organizations conduct polls to determine which candidate will be supported and ultimately, represent, the Christian Right in the public sphere. For example, from October 19 to October 21, 2007 the Family Research Council convened a summit of several hundred conservative Christian activists in Washington, DC called the Values Voters Summit. The mission of the meeting was to conduct a straw poll on who is the best choice for religious conservatives.[28][29] George W. Bush's electoral success owed much to his overwhelming support from white evangelical voters, who comprise 23% of the vote. In 2000 he received 68% of the white evangelical vote; in 2004 that percentage rose to 78%.[30]


The Home School Legal Defense Association was cofounded in 1983 by Michael Farris, who would later establish Patrick Henry College, and Michael Smith. This organization attempts to challenge laws that serve as obstacles to allowing parents to homeschool their children and to organize the disparate group of homeschooling families into a cohesive bloc. The number of homeschooling families has increased in the last twenty years, and around 80 percent of these families identify themselves as evangelicals.[31]

A number of universities and colleges have been founded due to the growing popularity of the Christian right. The main universities associated with the Christian Right are:


The media has played a major role in the rise of the Christian Right since the 1920s and has continued to be a powerful force for the movement today. The role of the media for the Religious Right has been influential in its ability to connect Christian audiences to the larger American culture while at the same time bringing together religion, politics, and culture that was personal and practical.[33] The political agenda of the Christian Right has been disseminated to the public through a variety of media outlets including radio broadcasting, television, and books. Religious broadcasting began in the 1920s through the radio.[33] Between the 1950s and 1980s, TV became a powerful way for the Christian Right to influence the public through shows such as Pat Robertson's The 700 Club and The Family Channel. The use of the Internet has also helped the Christian Right reach a much larger audience. Organizations websites contain easily accessible and detailed information on the issues the organizations are involved in and the positions they take, along with ways the site viewer can get involved. The Christian Coalition, for example, has used the Internet to inform the public, as well as sell merchandise and gather members.[34] Fox News Channel, which has numerous conservative commentators, has been the preferred news network for the Christian right; as many of the network's key figures are Evangelical Christians.[35]



The Christian Right has worked to modify the public school curriculum in a number of ways. It has made inroads by having its followers win school board elections. Research suggests that these candidates run solely to propagate their religious or moral beliefs as school policy.[36] The smaller the jurisdiction, the greater the tendency for the Christian Right pragmatically to support favorable candidates who can win, regardless of political-party affiliation.

The Christian Right has strong opinions on how American children should be educated, speaking out in support for activities like state-sanctioned prayer in public schools.

Educational choice

The Christian Right strongly advocates for a system of educational choice, using a system of school vouchers. Vouchers would be government funded and could be redeemed for "a specified maximum sum per child per years if spent on approved educational services".[37] This method would allow parents to determine which school their child attends while relieving the economic burden associated with private schools. The concept is popular among constituents of church-related schools, including those affiliated with Roman Catholicism.


The Christian Right has promoted the teaching of creationism and intelligent design as opposed to the teaching of evolution.[38][39] The Christian Right has not supported the teaching of evolution in the past, but it does not have the ability to stop it being taught in public schools as was done during the Scopes Trial in Dayton, TN, in which a science teacher went on trial for teaching about the subject of evolution in a public school.[40]

The Discovery Institute, through their Intelligent design initiative called the Center for Science and Culture, has tried to encourage schools to utilize the teach the controversy approach. Such an approach would ensure that both the strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory were discussed in the curriculum.[41] Many scientists, including evolutionary biologists do not believe there are weaknesses in evolutionary theory, and evolution theory is overwhelmingly supported by biologists and those in related fields in America.[42] This tactic was also severely criticised by Judge John E. Jones III in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District‎, describing it as "at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard."

Sexual Education

On the issue of sexual education in public schools, a spectrum of views exist within the Christian Right. Some advocate removing sexual education from public schools, others support teaching abstinence until marriage, and still others advocate encouraging complete modesty and chastity.

The Christian Right has been successful in promoting abstinence-only curricula. In fact, 30 percent of America's sexual-education programs are abstinence based.[43] These programs promote abstinence until marriage as the only way to prevent pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and the other emotional issues that could arise from sexual activity. Unlike comprehensive sex-education programs, alternatives such as contraception and birth-control are only mentioned in the context of their failure rates.[44]


The Christian right sees homeschooling and private schooling as a viable alternative to secular education. In recent years, the percentage of children being homeschooled has risen from 1.7% of the student population in 1999 to 2.2% in 2003.[45] Much of this increase has been attributed to the desire to incorporate Christian teachings into the curriculum.[46] In 2003, 72% of parents who homeschooled their children cited the ability to provide religious or moral instruction as the reason for removing their children from secular schools.[47]


As a right-wing political movement, the Christian right is strongly opposed to left-wing ideologies such as socialism and the welfare state. To some, communism is seen as a threat to the Western Judeo-Christian tradition.[48]

Role of government

The Christian Right sees the government's proper role in society as cultivating virtue, not to interfere with the natural operations of the marketplace or the workplace.[49] It promotes conservative or literal interpretations of the Bible as the basis for moral values, and enforcing such values by legislation.

Therefore, it opposes federal funding of science. They feel science often contradicts the Bible, especially fields that they feel violate the right to life. It also opposes what it views as judicial activism by federal judges as well as decisions perceived as liberal in cases important to the Christian Right. It opposes full civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans especially rights related to marriage.[50] It has opposed equal recognition and freedom of religious expression for Wicca and other Neopagan faiths.[51]

Separation of Church and State

The Christian Right believes that separation of church and state is not explicit in the American Constitution, believing instead that such separation is a creation of what it claims are activist judges in the judicial system though both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison make very similar writings taking a positive position on church/state separation.[52][53][54] In the United States, the Christian Right often supports their claims by asserting that the country was "founded by Christians as a Christian Nation" though this claim ignores the fact that many statements present in the Constitution are not based on Christianity, but rather on the Enlightenment and Enlightenment philosophers.[55][56]

Christian Right leaders have argued that while the First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion", it does not prohibit the display of religion in the public sphere. Leaders therefore believe that civil servants should be allowed to display the Ten Commandments. This interpretation has been repeatedly rejected by the courts, which have found that such displays violate the Establishment Clause. Public officials though are prohibited from using their authority in which the primary effect is "advancing or prohibiting religion", according to the Lemon Supreme Court test, and there cannot be an "excessive entanglement with religion" and the government.[57] Some, such as Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, argue that the First Amendment, which specifically restricts Congress, applies only to the Congress and not the states. This position rejects the Incorporation of the Bill of Rights.[58]

Because it does not believe in the separation of church and state, the Christian Right supports the presence of religious institutions within government. It also supports the presence and activities of religion in the public sphere. It supports the reduction of restrictions on government funding for religious charities and schools. However, some politically conservative churches refuse government funding because of their restrictions regarding acceptance of homosexuality and other issues. Others endorse President Bush's faith-based initiatives and accept funding.


Within the Christian right, there is strong support for national leaders and conservative candidates. It is often suggested that the leaders be chosen by God [59] and that leaders should shape the country in Christian ways like changing the constitution to better reflect "God's standards"[60]


The Christian Right also support economic conservative policies such as tax cuts and social conservative policies such as child tax credits.[61]

The Middle East

The Religious Right has given very strong support to the state of Israel in recent decades, castigating its Muslim enemies and demanding the U.S. support Israel.[62] Some have linked Israel to Biblical prophesies; for example, Ed McAteer, founder of the Moral Majority, said "I believe that we are seeing prophecy unfold so rapidly and dramatically and wonderfully and, without exaggerating, makes me breathless."[63]

International cooperation

While the Christian Right speaks about the importance of the government's role in international political issues, it often has opposed International cooperation, speaking against the United Nations and the Olympic Games as well as standing in opposition to strong international trade.[citation needed]


The Christian Right builds the foundation for its beliefs on sexuality and reproduction around the nuclear family. Therefore, those in the movement have fought for stronger regulation or prohibition of abortion. They have expressed concerns with third trimester abortions and intact dilation and extraction, which they typically describe as "partial birth abortion".[64]) The Christian Right believes life begins at the moment of conception and that abortion is murder. It is adamantly pro-life and this concept unifies the Christian Right.

The Christian Right is generally opposed to medical practices like euthanasia. It is important to note that many members of the Christian Right do draw a distinction between aiding one's death and allowing one to die.

The Christian Right has worked for the regulation and restriction of certain applications of biotechnology. In particular, they have spoken against therapeutic and reproductive human cloning and stem cell research that involves the destruction of human embryos. Because the Christian Right believes life begins at the moment of conception, it is opposed to research involving human embryos.

Sex and sexuality

Besides abortion, the Christian right generally opposes divorce, pornography, premarital sex, prostitution, and emergency contraceptive methods.

The Christian Right opposes homosexual acts. They have spoken out against same-sex marriage, same-sex civil unions, adoption of children by same-sex couples, hate crime legislation that includes homosexuals as a protected group, and the acknowledgment of homosexuals as teachers, soldiers, pastors, or politicians. Some members of the Christian Right, such as Exodus International, believe that homosexuals can be rehabilitated to heterosexuality.


There is a continuous debate about whether Jesus would be considered left or right within modern politics. Some claim that Jesus' concern with the poor and feeding the hungry, among other things, are attributes of the modern day left wing. While the dialogue of Jesus has some of the same talking points as the modern left, the right considers these subjects important as well and has different opinions about how to care for the poor. The Christian right in particular faces accusations of politicizing the teachings of Jesus for its own purposes. [65][66]

Race and diversity

The conclusions of a review of 112 studies on Christian faith and ethnic prejudice were summarised by a study in 1974 as being that "white Protestants associated with groups possessing fundamentalist belief systems are generally more prejudiced than members of nonfundamentalist groups, with unchurched whites exhibiting least prejudice."[67] The original review found that its conclusions held "regardless of when the studies were conducted, from whom the data came, the region where the data were collected, or the type of prejudice studied."[68] More recently in 2003, eight studies have found a positive correlation between fundamentalism and prejudice, using different measures of fundamentalism.[69]

A number of prominent members of the Christian right, including Jerry Falwell and Rousas John Rushdoony, have in the past supported segregation, with Falwell arguing in a 1958 sermon that integration will lead to the destruction of the white race.[70][71] He later changed his views.[72]

In Thy Kingdom Come, Randall Balmer recounts comments that Paul M. Weyrich, who he describes as "one of the architects of the Religious Right in the late 1970s", made at a conference, sponsored by a Religious Right organization, that they both attended in Washington in 1990:[73]

In the course of one of the sessions, Weyrich tried to make a point to his Religious Right brethren (no women attended the conference, as I recall). Let's remember, he said animatedly, that the Religious Right did not come together in response to the Roe decision. No, Weyrich insisted, what got us going as a political movement was the attempt on the part of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to rescind the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University because of its racially discriminatory policies.

Bob Jones University had policies that refused black students enrollment until 1971, and admitted only married blacks from 1971 to 1975. The university continued to forbid interracial dating until 2000.[74] In an interview with The Politico, University of Virginia theologian Charles Marsh, author of Wayward Christian Soldiers and the son of a Southern Baptist minister, stated:[75]

As someone who grew up in Mississippi and Alabama during the civil rights movement, … my reading is that the conservative Christian movement never was able to distinguish itself from the segregationist movement, and that is one of the reasons I find so much of the rhetoric familiar — and unsettling.

By the end of the civil rights movement, the way was set for this marriage of the Republican Party and conservative Christians. … At the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi in 1980, (Ronald) Reagan's statement "I am for states' rights" was a remarkable moment in the conservative South. The Southern way of life was affirmed and then deftly grafted into national conservative politics.


Social scientists have used the word "dominionism" to refer to adherence to Dominion Theology[76][77][78] as well as to the influence in the broader Christian Right of ideas inspired by Dominion Theology.[76] Although such influence (particularly of Reconstructionism) has been described by many authors,[16][79] full adherents to Reconstructionism are few and marginalized among conservative Christians.[16][80][81]

In the early 1990s, sociologist Sara Diamond[17][82] and journalist Frederick Clarkson[83][84] defined dominionism as a movement that, while including Dominion Theology and Reconstructionism as subsets, is much broader in scope, extending to much of the Christian Right.[85] Other authors who stress the influence of Dominionist ideas on the Christian Right include Michelle Goldberg[86] and Kevin Phillips[87][88]

Essayist Katherine Yurica began using the term dominionism in her articles in 2004, beginning with "The Despoiling of America".[89][90][91] Yurica has been followed in this usage by authors including journalist Chris Hedges,[92][93][94] Marion Maddox,[95] James Rudin,[96] Sam Harris,[97] and the group TheocracyWatch.[98] This group of authors has applied the term to a broader spectrum of people than have sociologists such as Diamond.

The terms "dominionist" and "dominionism" are rarely used for self-description, and their usage has been attacked from several quarters. Journalist Anthony Williams charged that its purpose is "to smear the Republican Party as the party of domestic Theocracy, facts be damned."[99] Stanley Kurtz labeled it "conspiratorial nonsense," "political paranoia," and "guilt by association",[100] and decried Hedges' "vague characterizations" that allow him to "paint a highly questionable picture of a virtually faceless and nameless 'Dominionist' Christian mass."[101] Kurtz also complained about a perceived link between average Christian evangelicals and extremism such as Christian Reconstructionism:

The notion that conservative Christians want to reinstitute slavery and rule by genocide is not just crazy, it's downright dangerous. The most disturbing part of the Harper's cover story (the one by Chris Hedges) was the attempt to link Christian conservatives with Hitler and fascism. Once we acknowledge the similarity between conservative Christians and fascists, Hedges appears to suggest, we can confront Christian evil by setting aside 'the old polite rules of democracy.' So wild conspiracy theories and visions of genocide are really excuses for the Left to disregard the rules of democracy and defeat conservative Christians — by any means necessary.[100]

Other criticism has focused on the proper use of the term. Berlet wrote that "some critics of the Christian Right have stretched the term dominionism past its breaking point,"[102] and argued that, rather than labeling conservatives as extremists, it would be better to "talk to these people" and "engage them."[103] Sara Diamond wrote that "[l]iberals' writing about the Christian Right's take-over plans has generally taken the form of conspiracy theory," and argued that instead one should "analyze the subtle ways" that ideas like Dominionism "take hold within movements and why."[104]

Dan Olinger, a professor at the fundamentalist Bob Jones University in Greenville said, “We want to be good citizens and participants, but we’re not really interested in using the iron fist of the law to compel people to everything Christians should do.”[105] Bob Marcaurelle, interim pastor at Mountain Springs Baptist Church in Piedmont, said the Middle Ages were proof enough that Christian ruling groups are almost always corrupted by power. “When Christianity becomes the government, the question is whose Christianity?” Marcaurelle asked.[106]

Movements outside the United States

While the Christian Right is a stronger movement in the United States, other western nations have their own Christian right movements. A brief summary and evaluation of those movements follow.


Religion has been a key factor in Canadian politics since well before Canadian Confederation in 1867, when the Conservatives were the party of traditionalist Catholics and Anglicans and the Liberals were the party of Protestant dissenters and anti-clerical Catholics. This pattern largely remained until the mid-twentieth century when a new division emerged between the Christian left (represented by the Social Gospel philosophy and ecumenicism) and the Christian right (represented by fundamentalism and biblical literalism). The Christian left (along with the secular and anti-religious left) became supporters of the New Democratic Party while the right moved the Social Credit Party, especially in Western Canada, and to a lesser extent the Progressive Conservatives.

The Social Credit Party, founded in 1935 represented a major change in Canadian religious politics. Until that time, fundamentalists had shunned politics as "worldly", and a distraction from the proper practice of religion. However, the new party was founded by fundamentalist radio preacher and Bible school teacher William Aberhart or "Bible Bill". Aberhart mixed his own interpretation of scripture and prophecy with the monetary reform theories of social credit to create a movement that swept across Alberta, winning the provincial election of 1935 in a landslide. Aberhart and his disciple Ernest Manning then governed the province for the next forty years, several times trying to expand into the rest of Canada. In 1987 Manning's son, Preston, founded the new Reform Party of Canada, which soon became the main party of the religious right. It won majorities of the seats Western Canada in repeated elections but was unable to break through in Eastern Canada, though it became the official opposition from 1997 to 2003 (Reform was renamed the Canadian Alliance in 2000). In 2003 the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives merged to create the Conservative Party of Canada, led by Stephen Harper, a member of the Alliance Church, who went on to become prime minister in 2006.

Canada has had a Charter of Rights and Freedoms since the Canadian Constitution was patriated in 1982. As a result, there have been major changes in the law's application to issues that bear on individual and minority group rights. Abortions were completely decriminalized after two R. v. Morgentaler cases (in 1988 and in 1993). A series of provincial superior court decisions allowing same-sex marriage led the federal government to introduce legislation that introduced same sex marriage in all of Canada. The current prime minister, Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party of Canada, stated before taking office that he would hold a free vote on the issue,[107] but declared the issue closed after a vote in the Canadian House of Commons in 2006.[108]

United Kingdom

The Festival of Light movement of the early 1970s, based in London, also had some fundamentalist members.[109] Some commentators have also described English evangelical leaders like Colin Urquhart as advocating Christian Right ideals.[110]

Mary Whitehouse and her National Viewers and Listeners Association (now Mediawatch-uk) were the only political beneficiaries of tighter censorship legislation and policy during the eighties.

In the United Kingdom, similar positions are held against church and state separation by the Christian Right. It holds the view that Britain’s status as a historically Christian nation should be protected and restored. This has led to the enforcement of such laws as the Blasphemy Law, which demands increased school prayer and regards those in public life as accountable to the Christian deity.[111]

The predominant political atmosphere, however, tends towards a recognition that the United Kingdom is a secular state and that its government should legislate and behave as such.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands evangelical and fundamentalist Christians have their own broadcasting association, the Evangelische Omroep (EO), and their own political parties, the Reformed Political Party and ChristianUnion (CU). The EO promotes creationism, and holds unconditional support for Israel. It opposes gay rights, euthanasia and abortion. The CU won six seats (4%) in the Dutch parliament in the 2006 election, and formed part of the ruling coalition.[112][113]

See also


  1. ^ Sociology: understanding a diverse society Margaret L. Andersen, Howard Francis Taylor , Cengage Learning, 2005 ISBN 978-0-534-61716-5, 9780534617165
  2. ^ Joel D. Aberbach; Gillian Peele. Crisis of Conservatism?: The Republican Party, the Conservative Movement, and American Politics After Bush. Oxford University Press. "The Christian Right has grown increasingly politically savvy and effecctive over time. Whereas the divide between Catholics and evangelicals once appeared to preclude the emergence of an effective politcal coalition, today conservative Catholics and evangelicals work much more comforably together to support pro-life Republican cadidates for public offices." 
  3. ^ Melissa Marie Deckman. School Board Battles: the Christian right in Local Politics. Georgetown University Press. "Indeed, such significant Christian Right leaders such as Pat Buchanan and Paul Weyrich are conservative Catholics." 
  4. ^ Kristin E. Heyer; Mark J. Rozell; Michael A. Genovese. Catholics and Politics: the Dynamic Tension between Faith and Power. Georgetown University Press. "To summarize, in the Republican Party, many Catholic activists held conservative positions on key issues emphasized by Christian Right leaders, and they said that they supported the political activities of some Christian Right candidates." 
  5. ^ Albert J. Menendez, Evangelicals at the Ballot Box (1996) ch 3, 6-7
  6. ^ Duane Murray Oldfield. The Right and the Righteous: the Christian Right confronts the Republican Party. Rowman & Littlefield. Retrieved 19 August 2011. "The Christian Right's intense commitment to its cause (especially the pro-life cause) helped make threats of disruption real." 
  7. ^ Andrew Preston, "The Politics of Realism and Religion: Christian Responses to Bush's New World Order," Diplomatic History, Jan 2010, Vol. 34 Issue 1, pp 95-118
  8. ^ Marci McDonald, The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada(2010)
  9. ^ Marion Maddox, God under Howard : the rise of the religious right in Australian politics (Crows Nest, N.S.W : Allen & Unwin, 2005) link
  10. ^ Dennis R. Hoover, A Religious Right Arrives in Canada, RELIGION IN THE NEWS, Summer 2000, Vol. 3, No. 2,
  11. ^ Butler, Jennifer S. 2006. Born Again: The Christian right Globalized. University of Michigan Press; London: Pluto Press.
  12. ^ Sarah Pulliam: Phrase 'Religious Right' Misused, Conservatives Say Christianity Today (Web-only), February 12, 2009.
  13. ^ John C. Green and Mark Silk, "Why Moral Values Did Count," Religion in the News, Spring 2005,
  14. ^ Geoffrey C. Layman, and John C. Green. 2006. “Wars and Rumors of Wars: The Contexts of Cultural Conflict in American Political Behavior.” British Journal of Political Science, Volume 36, Issue 1, January 2006, pp 61–89.
  15. ^ Jerome Himmelstein, p. 97; Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Religious Right, p.49–50, Sara Diamond, South End Press, Boston, MA
  16. ^ a b c Martin, William (1996). With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America. New York: Broadway Books. ISBN 0553067451. 
  17. ^ a b Sara, Diamond (1995). Roads to Dominion. New York: Guilford Press. ISBN 0898628644. 
  18. ^ G.O.P. Tries Hard to Win Black Votes, but Recent History Works Against It
  19. ^
  20. ^ Micklethwait and Wooldridge, The Right Nation, 2005, 111
  21. ^ Green, Rozell, and Wilcox, The Christian Right in American Politics, 2003
  22. ^ Micklethwait and Wooldridge, The Right Nation, 2005, 187
  23. ^ CitizenLink: Dr. Dobson: ' I Cannot, and Will Not, Vote for McCain'
  24. ^ The Evolving Politics of the Christian Right, Matthew C. Moen, PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Sep., 1996), pp. 461–464
  25. ^ "Charities, Churches and Politics". Internal Revenue Service.,,id=161131,00.html. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  26. ^ Democrats voted out of church because of their politics, members say, USA Today
  27. ^ Political Split Leaves a Church Sadder and Grayer, New York Times, May 15, 2005
  28. ^ FRC Action: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
  29. ^ Michelle Vu, "Presidential Hopefuls Highlight 'Values' to Christian Conservatives," "The Christian Post," October 20, 2007'Values'_to_Christian_Conservatives.htm
  30. ^ Religion and the Presidential Vote, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, December 6, 2004
  31. ^ Rosin, God's Harvard, 2007, 61–62
  32. ^
  33. ^ a b Diamond, S. (2000) Not by Politics Alone: The Enduring Influence of the Christian Right. New York: Guildford Press.
  34. ^ "The Christian Coalition of America: America's Leading Grassroots Organization Defending Our Godly Heritage." The Christian Coalition of America. 2006. <>.
  35. ^ John Schmalzbauer, People of faith : religious conviction in American journalism and higher education (Cornell University Press, 2003) p. 67
  36. ^ Melissa Deckman, "Religion Makes the Difference, "Why Christian Right Candidates run for School Board," Review of Religious Research 42, no. 4 (June 2001).
  37. ^ Spring, Joel. Political Agendas for Education: From the Religious Right to the Green Party. Second Edition. (Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002)
  38. ^ Pat Robertson Warns Pa. Town of Disaster,
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