- Introduction: Religious Pluralism as the Essential Foundation of America’s Quest for Unity and Order
- The Founding Era (1774–1797) and the Constitutional Provision for Religion
- Eighteenth-Century Religious Liberty: The Founding Generation’s Protestant-Derived Understanding
- Church and State in Nineteenth-Century America
- Religious Advocacy by American Religious Institutions: A History
- Constitutional Language and Judicial Interpretations of the Free Exercise Clause
- The U.S. Supreme Court and Non-First Amendment Religion Cases
- The Meaning of the Separation of Church and State: Competing Views
- Managed Pluralism: The Emerging Church–State Model in the United States?
- Religious Liberty and Religious Minorities in the United States
- Religious Symbols and Religious Expression in the Public Square
- Religious Liberty as a Democratic Institution
- Pursuit of the Moral Good and the Church–State Conundrum in the United States: The Politics of Sexual Orientation
- Monitoring and Surveillance of Religious Groups in the United States
- The U.S. Congress: Protecting and Accommodating Religion
- The Christian Right and Church–State Issues
- American Religious Liberty in International Perspective
- Supply-side Changes in American Religion: Exploring The Implications of Church–State Relations
- Peeking through Jefferson’s Relocated Wall: A Sociological Assessment of U.S. Church–State Relations
- The Role of Civil Religion in American Society
- The Interplay of Law, Religion, and Politics in the United States
- Historical Perspectives
- Constitutional Perspectives
- The States and Religious Freedom
- Theological and Philosophical Perspectives
- Religious Pluralism
- Ethics and Values
- Political Perspectives
- Sociological Perspectives
- Table of Cases
Abstract and Keywords
This article discusses the Christian Right and their role in some of the church–state issues. In the late 1970s, the Moral Majority and the Christian Right were established. The focus of the Christian Right movement during this period was on the election of Republican candidates and on lobbying GOP policymakers to accomplish its goals. In the 1990s, the Christian Right changed its focus from the church–state separation to the greater free exercise and free speech rights for conservative Christians. Over the last 30 years, the Christian Right has been active in every political and legal dispute of the national church–state domain. It has mobilized conservative Christians, influenced elections, and changed the constitutional interpretation of the church–state issues. The Christian Right sought to reestablish a balance on church–state issues and to represent conservative Christians in the policy process. It also aimed to win a place at the table of policy negotiations and to “take back” America for Christ.
Clyde Wilcox is professor of Government at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. He is the author of a number of books, chapters, and articles on religion and politics, gender politics, interest group politics, campaign finance, public opinion and electoral behavior, and the politics of social issues such as abortion, gay rights, and gun control. Dr. Wilcox has authored, coauthored, edited, or coedited more than 30 books. His books include Public Attitudes on Church and State; Onward Christian Soldiers: The Christian Right in American Politics; and Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective. His latest books include The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage, coedited with Craig Rimmerman, and The Values Campaign: The Christian Right in the 2004 Elections, coedited with John Green and Mark Rozell.
Sam Potolicchio is a doctoral candidate in the department of Government at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. He is a graduate of the Program in Religion and Secondary Education (PRSE) at Harvard University and the Christianity and Culture program where he earned a masters degree in Theological Studies. He frequently lectures on church–state issues for the American Councils for International Education at the Library of Congress. He teaches a course entitled “Religion and Politics” at Georgetown.
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