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Rough CountryHow Texas Became America's Most Powerful Bible-Belt State$
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Robert Wuthnow

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159898

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159898.001.0001

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God Can Save Us

God Can Save Us

The Campaign for a Moral America

(p.325) Chapter 10 God Can Save Us
Rough Country

Robert Wuthnow

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the emergence of the New Christian Right or simply the Religious Right as a powerful new force in American politics. The rise of the Religious Right has been examined from all angles, and several key factors have been identified. It clearly depended on leadership. The most visible leaders were preacher Jerry Falwell, whose Moral Majority rallies at state capitals had been gaining attention in the late 1970s, and fellow televangelist Pat Robertson, whose popular 700 Club television program included discussions of social and moral topics. Both were canny entrepreneurs who knew how to attract media attention, and there were conservative political operatives eager to enlist their support. There were unifying issues as well, such as opposition to abortion, homosexuality, and promiscuity, and the more general sense that religion was under siege by secularity and humanism. And there were lingering divisions within Protestant denominations and among Catholics over such issues as social activism, the legacies of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, communism, gender equality, the ordination of women, and theology.

Keywords:   Religious Right, New Christian Right, American politics, political movements, Protestants, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson

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