Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"The Religious Right has lost none of its Political Punch"

(Excerpts)  July 26, 2010 - One of the strangest phenomena in American politics is the persistence of claims, based on scanty or dubious evidence, proclaiming the death of the Religious Right or that the end of the culture wars is at hand. Having written about the ever-evolving Religious Right for more than 25 years I have found myself often perplexed and sometimes gobsmacked by such claims.

Both liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, often display a lack of appreciation of the seriousness of purpose as well as the considerable resources, ideological rigidity, and ongoing political clout of the Religious Right. Sometimes spectacularly so.

If a religious war is being fought on cultural fronts it stands to reason that the Religious Right, a movement dominated by conservative evangelicals and conservative Catholics, is one of the belligerents. And of course, the precipitous decline or demise of the Religious Right would be decisive in the outcome. But there has, to date, been no credible analysis published anywhere (to my knowledge) to show that such a decline or demise is even remotely in process. Thus it should come as no surprise that every historic element of the culture wars remains hot and that the Religious Right is playing a prominent and active role.

Rob Boston, who has written about the Religious Right for two decades concluded ...“that the Religious Right has lost none of its political punch.”   Frederick Clarkson