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The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party

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Religious Institutions and Beliefs

"Politicization of Pentecostalism is one of the major
stories of modern American politics."
Fred Clarkson, Public Eye,1994

In this section:

New Additions
The Church As A Force For Good
Moral Values
Mainline Churches: A Launching Pad
Religious Beliefs
   Premillennialism and Post Millennialism
Dominion Theology
Christian Reconstruction Theology
A Reconstructed Society
Religion in the Workplace
Global Spread of Evangelical Christianity

Related Topics:
Middle East and Biblical Prophesy
Faith Based Initiative
Biblical Law

To read recent articles about religion and the Religious Right, click here.

The Church As A Force for Good

Many religious groups including conservative Christians oppose the Religious Right. To read a list of progressive church organizations that favor church-state separation, click here.

Moral Values

Dr. Robin Meyers is minister of Mayflower Congregational Church in Oklahoma City, and professor of Rhetoric at Oklahoma City University:

We've heard a lot lately about so-called moral values as having swung the election to President Bush. Well, Im a great believer in moral values, but we need to have a discussion, all over this country, about exactly what constitutes a moral value I mean what are we talking about?

One More Moral Value: Fighting Poverty, New York Times, January 30, 2005

Mainline Churches: A Launching Pad

The Real Assault On The Church, Liberal Oasis, April 21, 2005

Mainline Christian churches have become a launching pad in the battle for dominion. Efforts to control church infrastructure began with the Southern Baptists Convention. On June 15, 2004 meeting on the 25th anniversary of the group's first declared rightward shift, Southern Baptist delegates voted overwhelmingly to approve another historic step by withdrawing from the Baptist World Alliance.

How Southern Baptists Have Changed, Talk To Action, March 3, 2006

Book CoverThe battle for dominion has now moved to the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Episcopal churches. To shed light on tactics used to take control of mainline churches, the Institute for Democracy Studies has produced a report titled: A Moment to Decide.

The New York Times, May 22, 2004

As Presbyterians prepare to gather for their General Assembly in Richmond, Va., next month, a band of determined conservatives is advancing a plan to split the church along liberal and orthodox lines. Another divorce proposal shook the United Methodist convention in Pittsburgh earlier this month, while conservative Episcopalians have already broken away to form a dissident network of their own.

In each denomination, the flashpoint is homosexuality, but there is another common denominator as well. In each case, the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a small organization based in Washington, has helped incubate traditionalist insurrections against the liberal politics of the denomination's leaders.

That Which We Call Renewal Groups, Talk To Action, January 30, 2006:

These are not renewal groups: they are trained activists intent on the demise, the destabilization, and the destruction of Mainline Protestant Christianity. They use cleverly chosen wedge issues to divide otherwise united congregations and denominations. They produce, print, and circulate periodicals, pamphlets, and diatribes filled with innuendo and misinformation intended to enflame the passions of otherwise content congregants.

This is not to argue that renewal groups should not exist. They should. It is simply an argument that what is sold today as a renewal group is anything but. They are well funded and well trained activists spent not on renewing, but destroying, the church.

Early Warning Signs, Talk To Action, March 7, 2006 (more on renewal groups with links to the entire series at the bottom of the page)

New IRD President Is a Schismatic Presbyterian, Talk To Action, march 18, 2006: This informative article describes not only the Institute on Religion and Democracy,, but also the the Presbyterian Church in America:

[The new President] is an ordained as a mininister in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).   PCA is a small, rightwing schism that broke with mainstream Presbyterianism in 1973 over the ordination of women and membership in the National Council of Churches. (Women are not allowed to be ministers or elders in the PCA to this day.)  

The Guardian Unlimited, October 12, 2003, reports on a meeting of two organizations, the American Anglican Council, and the Institute on Religion and Democracy. The goal is to punish the Anglican Church for accepting a gay Bishop. The former is funded by Howard Ahmanson, the ladder by Richard Mellon Scaife, both major financiers of the Religious Right.

Now the two organisations are on the warpath. Last week they assembled their troops for a giant rally in Dallas in anticipation of this week's meeting of Anglican leaders in London. The chief target was the liberal baby boomer generation of the Sixties whose religious leaders were accused of betraying successive generations. At the end the conservatives had drawn a line in the sand.

Howard Ahmanson: "The Episcopal Church split is the best evidence yet that Ahmanson's plan to bring America closer to resembling Calvin's elitist "church of the elect," or what Rushdoony has called a "spiritual aristocracy," is working."

From the New York Times, January 20, 2004:

Conservative Episcopalians opposed to a gay bishop's consecration and other liberal positions opened a two-day meeting in Plano to establish a "church within a church." The closed meeting of the group, the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, involves bishops, clergy members and lay delegates from 12 dioceses with a combined 235,000 members, a tenth of the nation's Episcopalians. Planners said the group was not a breakaway denomination or schism. Conservative parishes do not want to officially leave the church because under secular law they would probably have to surrender their properties to the denomination.   

October 19, 2004, Church is Rebuked Over Gay Unions and A Gay Bishop, New York Times:

An Anglican Church commission rebuked the Episcopal Church USA yesterday for ordaining an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire and for blessing same-sex unions, and called for a moratorium on both practices "until some new consensus in the Anglican Communion emerges."

In a report issued in London, the commission asked the Episcopal Church to apologize for causing pain and division in the global Anglican Communion, the second-largest church body in the world, with 77 million members in 164 countries.

The report also calls for the bishops who consecrated the gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson, to consider withdrawing from Anglican "functions" until they offer "an expression of regret." The current and former presiding bishops of the Episcopal Church were among the more than three dozen bishops who encircled Bishop Robinson last November and consecrated him with a laying on of hands.

Washington Post on Anglican report, October 18, 2004

Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the Anglican Communion's first openly gay bishop, speaking to the New York Times, October 21, 2004, sees a "glint of hope" in the Anglican report.

Two Last Masses for a Century-Old Church That Split Over a Gay Episcopal Bishop, New York Times, March 19, 2005

Anglican Leaders Seek Move to Avoid Schism, New York Times, February 25, 2005

Move to Halt Delegations Is Challenging Episcopalians, New York Times, February 26, 2005

Episcopal Newspaper Exposes Rightwing Agencies, Talk To Action, April 28, 2006

Respected journalist, Leon Howell, has written a book, UnitedMethodism@Risk, documenting efforts of groups from the Religious Right, operating as "renewal groups," to take over mainline churches. To quote from the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago Divinity School, July 10, 2003:

The political right-wing, operating in the guise of a gaggle of so-called "renewal groups," particularly one named the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), has acquired the money and political will to target three mainline American denominations: The United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church USA, and the Episcopal Church. The IRD was created and is sustained by money from right-wing foundations and has spent millions of dollars over 20 years attacking mainline denominations. The IRD's conservative social-policy goals include increasing military spending and foreign interventions, opposing environmental protection efforts, and eliminating social welfare programs.

In a document entitled "Reforming America's Churches Project 2001-2004," the IRD states that its aim is to change the "permanent governing structure" of mainline churches "so they can help renew the wider culture of our nation." In other words, its goal extends beyond the spiritual and includes a political takeover financed by the likes of Richard Mellon Scaife, Adolph Coors, the John M. Olin Foundation, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee.

More on the IRD, Talk To Action, January 5, 2006

Names and Money Trail of Right Wing Termites in Mainline Christian Denominations, DailyKos, March 13, 2005 (About Leon Howell's book)

Bishop William Boyd Grove, a Methodist Bishop who served as the Bishop of The West Virginia Conference and now is retired, wrote: RELIGION AND THE ELECTION, A Caution Against Blasphemy.

The nation's Roman Catholic bishops approved a statement on June 18, 2004, on "Catholics in Political Life" that brands politicians who support abortion rights as "cooperating in evil" and leaves the door open for bishops to deny communion to such lawmakers. (NYTimes, 6/19/04)

The following link about the Institute on Religion and Democracy came to me through email. The sender wrote,

Just in case you have not seen the document (above), it is the Institute on Religion and Democracy's internal document, not intended for the likes of us, of course, but which I got from an impeccable resource which I have promised not to name until the source acknowledges it. It details the plans to take over the Methodist, Episcopal and Presbyterian churches and structures. I think it makes very clear that what they are after is the power, connections and financial resources of those large, mainline denominations.

As reported in the San Francisco Weekly, the IRD and its allies' strategy is to use right-wing nonreligious foundation money to smear liberal church leaders through mailings, articles in IRD-aligned publications, press releases, and stories in secular newspapers and magazines.

And from another email:

"What I found in Indianapolis was a powerful, networked, dedicated learning community taking a patient, long-term strategic approach to taking back the institutions of the mainline churches. There was absolutely no talk of splitting or leaving the church. They are convinced they are right and are willing to work long and hard to reclaim what they think is theirs." A report from "Confessing the Faith" conference in Indianapolis October 24-26, 2002.

Them Again: Faithful and Welcoming,, Talk To Action, April 10, 2006 - About a Renewal group's sublte attack on the UCC. " ... a group known as Faithful and Welcoming isn't, and is built to dismantle a group that is."

Divide and Conquer: Cell Churches and Hijacks, Talk To Action, May 10, 2006

From a Unitarian Universalist Minister in Austin, Texas, written for the Unitarian Universalist World, January/February, 2004:

In Texas, where I live, the state has refused to grant the Ethical Society in Austin a church tax exemption because its members don't believe in God. The state maintains that defining God as a concept won't do, that to qualify as a church the society's members must believe in God as a being. The case has been through two appeals, and the state's attorneys have now taken it to the Texas Supreme Court. If the state wins, the ruling will affect every Unitarian Universalist church in the state-not to mention Buddhists, Taoists, and Hindus. Austin has the largest Hindu temple in North America, and Hindus are quite clear that Brahman is in no sense a being, and that all his personified images-as Krishna, Vishnu, Shiva, or the Divine Mother Durga and her manifestations-are all imaginative creations, not beings.

As posted on May 17, 2004, bY R.A. DYER for the Knight Ridder Newspapers, the Texas State Controller had decided that the Unitarian Church of Texas cannot be tax-exempt because it  "does not have one system of belief."

Never before - not in this state nor any other - has a government agency denied Unitarians tax- exempt status because of the group's religious philosophy, church officials say. Strayhorn's ruling clearly infringes upon religious liberties, said Dan Althoff, board president for the Denison, Texas, congregation that was rejected for tax exemption by the comptroller's office.

"I was surprised - surprised and shocked - because the Unitarian church in the United States has a very long history," said Althoff, who notes that father-and-son presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams were both Unitarians.

Due to a public outcry, the Church's tax-exempt status has been re-instated.

Religious Beliefs

Terms such as Evangelical, fundamentalist, Pentecostal, and charismatic are frequently used, so it's helpful to understand the differences. Within each of these groups there is a wide range of doctrines and practices and this web site does not provide, nor claim to have expertise on the complexity and subtle nuances of the many beliefs and practices.

To read a comprehensive Glossary of terms, click here.

Evangelicals are very diverse and hold a wide range of beliefs. In general, they have undergone a conversion experience, often referred to as "born again." The literature generally puts the number of people who identify as evangelical at about ninety-eight million. But the term "evangelical" does not mean a certain political belief and should not be used as synonymous with the Religious Right. more

A New Kind of Christian, Talk To Action, November 25, 2005


Fundamentalists are a subgroup of evangelicals who believe that the Scriptures -- both the Old and New Testaments --are the verbally inspired Word of God, written by men in God's control. Therefore, the Bible is inerrant and infallible. Christian Fundamentalists argue that the Bible must be accepted as the literal word of God, correct not only in its religious or moral teachings, but also in its scientific and historical claims. They believe that the theory of evolution is false, since it contradicts their reading of the Bible.

On The Innerrancy of The Bible: Come the Theocracy, Whose Bible Will Rule?, Talk To Action, December 30, 2005


Pentecostals believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, but differ from fundamentalists and other Christian denominations by practicing exorcism, speaking in tongues, faith healing, and, in general, seeking supernatural experiences. Some of the better known Pentecostal denominations are Assemblies of God and the United Pentecostal Church. Pentecostalism is the fastest growing religion in the United States and the world today.

Pentecostal Centennial, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life April 4, 2006


Charismatics share the basic doctrines of Pentecostalism but advocate working within affiliated churches rather than forming a separate denomination. The movement includes Roman Catholic churches as well as Protestant denominations. Some charismatic churches refer to themselves as "nondenominational." The Charismatic movement took shape in the 1960's.

Premillennialism and Postmillennialism

There are competing theories about interpretation of Biblical Prophecy and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Premillennialists and Postmillennialists disagree about the timing of the Second Coming.

Premillennialists believe that God has a plan for the end of time which will be preceded by a cataclysmic battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. Christ will return at the end of these events which are iimminent.

Postmillennialists believe that Christ will return after the millennium. Some believe the millennial phase of the kingdom of God is present, and others hold it will happen after most of the world has become Christianized. Postmillennialists are also called Dominion Theologists and Christian Reconstructionists. Postmillennialists advocate taking dominion, or control over political institutions. Cultural anthropoligist Susan Harding describes below how premillennialists opened a window to postmillennialism in the 1980s by advocating political activism in order to carry out God's plan.

Premillennialists believe that since God has a plan, the future is already set in motion. Historically premillennialists had focused on saving souls rather than political involvement. That changed in 1980 when preacher and best-selling author, Tim LaHaye published The Battle for the Mind.

Susan Friend Harding, a cultural anthropoligist wrote Chapter 3, Imagining the Last Days, the Politics of Apocalyptic Language in the fourth Volume of the Fundamentalism Project. The Fundamentalism Project was sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to study the rise of fundamentalism worldwide. The volumes are published by the University of Chicago Press.

Harding writes that the Reverend Tim LaHaye named humanists as the great evil which threatened to destroy America. He coined the term "pre-tribulation tribulation" to characterize what will come about if humanists are allowed to take control of the government. The Great Tribulation, LaHaye wrote,

is predestined and will surely come to pass. But the pre-Tribulation tribulation -- that is the tribulation that will engulf this country if liberal humanists are permitted to take control of our government -- is neither predestined nor necessary. (Harding p. 69)

Harding writes:

LaHaye urged Christians to pray and witness as usual and also to help the victims of humanism ... [but also] to join the national drive to register Christian voters ... [and] to run for public office ... (p. 69)

[Falwell] argued that unless born-again Christians acted politically ... they would lose their ... [ability] to fulfill Biblical prophecy. (p. 70)

In otherwords, political involvement was required to get raptured. Harding credits national preachers and writers including Hal Lindsey (The Late Great Planet Earth), Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell with adding political activism to the End Times Scenario. "If Christians responded to God's call through holy living and political activism, they would be spared." (p.68)

While Billy Graham strongly urged followers to get involved in politics, he did not advocate one political party which separates him from leaders of the religious right such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson of Focus on the Family who targeted the Republican Party. In Approacning Hoofbeats: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, published in 1984, Graham, unlike leaders of the religious right, called on Christians to work for peace. He supported an end to the nuclear arms race and environmental protection.

Dominion Theology

From Sociologist Sara Diamond in an article titled "Dominion Theology:"

More prevalent on the Christian Right is the Dominionist idea, shared by Reconstructionists, that Christians alone are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns -- and there is no consensus on when that might be.

From George Grant, a leading dominionist writer in The Changing of the Guard, Biblical Principles for Political Action:

Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ -- to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.

But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice.

It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.

It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.

It is dominion we are after.

World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less... Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land -- of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. (pp. 50-51)

(The above quote comes from Dominion Theology: Blessing or Curse by Thomas Ice, published in 1988 by H. Wayne House and Thomas Ice. pp. 412)

From Reconstructionism to Dominionism, Part 1, Talk To Action, November 25, 2005 -- Includes links to interviews Bill Moyers gave with Rousas Rushdooney in 1989

Christian Reconstruction Theology

Christian Reconstructionism does not represent one particular denomination.

Its most common form, Theonomic Reconstructionism , represents one of the most extreme forms of Fundamentalist Christianity thought. The followers are attempting to peacefully convert the laws of United States so that they match those in the Hebrew Scriptures. They intend to achieve this by using the freedom of religion in the US to train a generation of children in private Christian religious schools. Later, their graduates will be charged with the responsibility of creating a new Bible-based political, religious and social order. One of the first tasks of this order will be to eliminate religious freedom. Their eventual goal is to achieve the "Kingdom of God" in which much of the world is converted to Christianity.

A Nation Under God, John Sugg, Mother Jones, November, 2005

From: The Covert Kingdom -- Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Texas, Joe Bageant May 18, 2004:

Christian Reconstructionism has for decades exerted one hell of an influence through its scores of books, publications and classes taught in colleges and universities. Over the past 30 years, Reconstructionist doctrine has permeated not only the religious right, but mainstream churches as well, via the charismatic movement. Its impact on politics and religion in this nation have been massive, with many mainstream churches pushed rightward by pervasive Reconstructionism, without even knowing it. 

The implementation of Biblical Law is central to the mission of building the Kindom of God on earth. The way to get to Biblical Law is through politics. Therefore, God's law as manifested in the Bible should govern. References to the Ten Commandments are more than symbolic. It reflects a belief that the Bible, not the Constitution, represents the final legal authority.

Reconstructionist theologian David Chilton described the goals:

Our goal is world dominion under Christ's lordship, a world "take over" if you will. (Paradise Restored, p. 214)

Former Reconstructionist, Thomas Ice, wrote in Dominion Theology, Blessing or Curse, (1988, H. Wayne House and Thomas Ice, 1988) warns:

The Reconstructionists cannot be dismissed as a passing and therefore irrelevelant side-current on the course of evangelical thought...

Christian Reconstructionism must be carefully scrutinized by Christians concerned about the Church's and America's future.

Politicians avoid association with the Christian Reconstruction movement because it is so extreme, yet Reconstructionist ideas provide the philosophical foundation of Religious Right political activism. From Church and State, October, 2001, Operation Potomac:

Although Reconstructionism may seem so far out as to be easily dismissed, the philosophy has in fact provided the intellectual basis for much of the Religious Right's thinking and political activism. Stripped of its more extreme features, watered-down versions of Reconstructionism are the driving force behind groups like the Christian Coalition, whose leaders, during the group's early years, talked openly of the need for far-right Christians to take control of government from local school boards all the way to the White House.

Core Reconstuctionist Beliefs Influencing The Bush Administration

One core belief of this movement is that the federal government should recede into the background. This should be accomplished through massive tax cuts. Another core belief is that churches will take over the responsibility for welfare and education. Whether or not the President has ever heard of the Christian Reconstruction movement, his tax cuts combined with his Faith Based Initiative and pursuit of school vouchers reflect these core beliefs.

The Bush administration shares with the Reconstructionists a strong belief that corporations should not be burdened with regulations including laws to protect the environment and workers. Many White House judicial nomninees would seek to move this country toward Biblical law.

The Christian Reconstruction movement was spearheaded in 1973 when a Presbyterian Minister, Rousas Rushdooney published Institutes of Biblical Law, a 800 page three-volume book on the application of the Ten Commandments to modern society. Rushdooney explains:

God's covenant with Adam required him to exercise dominion over the earth and to subdue it under God according to God's law-word.

Rushdooney invites his followers to

subdue all things and all nations to Christ and His law-word.

His basic thesis is:

The only true order is founded on Biblical Law.

Small foundation Seeks Big Change, Union Democrat, January 21, 2005, is an article about Chalcedon, the foundation founded by Rushdooney and now run by his son Mark.

We witnessed the House of Representatives placing Biblical Law above the U.S. Constitution when they impeached a president who had committed no constitutional crime. President Bill Clinton committed a crime against the Ten Commandments, but not against the United States Constitution.

The most shocking part of the impeachment proceedings was that all but five Republicans in the House of Representatives voted for the impeachment. What happened to the other moderate Republicans in the House? President Clinton's impeachment demonstrated the ability of the Religious Right to not only superimpose the Ten Commandments on constitutional law, but to also win the support of moderate Republicans in the process.

Rushdooney's son-in-law, Gary North, is a prolific Christian Reconstruction writer, and founder of the Institute for Christian Economics. He said in Christianity and Civilization, Spring, 1982,

So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.

Rushdoony Blog Tour, Talk To Action, December 2, 2005

United States Senator Rick Santorum, the number 3 ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate, was thinking in terms of Biblical Law when he spoke to the Associated Press calling homosexuality and adultery illegal.

A Reconstructed Society

From What is Christian Reconstructionism? by Frederick Clarkson, The Public Eye:

A general outline of what the reconstructed 'Kingdom,' or confederation of Biblical theocracies, would look like emerges from the large body of Reconstructionist literature. This society would feature a minimal national government, whose main function would be defense by the armed forces. No social services would be provided outside the church, which would be responsible for 'health, education, and welfare.' A radically unfettered capitalism (except in so far as it clashed with Biblical Law) would prevail. Society would return to the gold or silver standard or abolish paper money altogether. The public schools would be abolished. Government functions, including taxes, would be primarily at the county level.

Women would be relegated primarily to the home and home schools, and would be banned from government. Those qualified to vote or hold office would be limited to males from Biblically correct churches.

One of the tenets of Reconstuctionism is that prisons will be empty because the death penalty will be applied to all capital crimes. Some of the more extreme leaders of the Reconstructionist movement include as capital crimes unrepentant homosexuality, abortion, adultery, blasphemy and even incorrigible children.

The New York Times reported, July 17, 2004, that former U.S. Representative Tom Coburn Coburn, a practicing physician, "caused a political uproar this week by declaring in an interview that he favors the death penalty for "abortionists and other people who take life." Coburn is running in the Oklahoma primary for the U.S. Senate. The Times needn't be surprised. Dr. Coburn is speaking as a Christian Reconstructionist.

Are We Becoming a Reconstructed Society?

While the beliefs of Christian Reconstructionists are very extreme, there are striking parallels between the core ideas of the movement and Bush administration policies:

1) The federal government should recede into the background through massive tax cuts. (Bush's signature issue)

2) Churches take over responsiblity for welfare and education. (Faith-based initiatives and school vouchers are paving the way)

3) Capitalism should be "unfettered" by regulations (This is where the Religious Right has married big corporations by opposing environmental regulations, working safety requirements, civil rights laws, and by attempting to immunize corporations from lawsuits)

4) The U.S. Constitution should conform to Biblical Law.

America the Theocracy, by John F. Sugg, published in the Weekly Planet out of Tampa Florida, March, 2004, documents ways the Christian Reconstruction Movement has influenced the thinking of Religious Right:

How far has the doctrine spread? "The Reconstructionists have taken over the Southern Baptist Convention's national leadership," says Eternal Hostility author Clarkson. "And they've made great inroads into denominations such as the Assemblies of God, which in the past have been radically apolitical."

Southern Baptist spokesman John Revell acknowledged that Reconstructionists and Baptists agree on many issues -- from biblical infallibility to abortion to the primacy of men in the family and in church governance. But he denied the denomination is hell-bent on a dictatorship of the preachers.

Revell said, "Christian Reconstruction would be, in practical terms, a theocracy. People who agree with that would be a small minority" in his denomination. "The church should not resort to assuming civil power."

Clarkson commented that Revell is "technically correct, but at the same time very wrong. Groups like the Southern Baptists won't use the word 'theocracy.' What they do support is religious majoritarianism. They push a religious political agenda they believe is best for everyone. And when the litmus test for political office is a list of religious issues, that's a problem for a society organized around religious pluralism. In the end, you end up with a society that is indistinguishable from the theocracy advocated by Reconstruction."

Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, and Dominionists: An Informal Guide , Talk To Action, December 7, 2005


Religion in The Workplace

National Public Radio's Barbara Bradley Haggerdy has produced a series for Morning Edition on religion in the workplace. Firms Turn to Religion to Keep Worker's Happy, June 23, 2004

Some companies are embracing the belief that a faith-friendly workplace will create higher profits -- or at least happier workers. At Atlanta-based HomeBanc Mortgage Corp., employees can take part in prayer groups or speak with corporate chaplains.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Many companies pride themselves on encouraging a religion-friendly environment. But some employees of a Michigan company say they are uncomfortable with their employer's policy on religious meetings.

More Bishops Deny Communion To Pro-Choice Politicians, from Church and State, August 6, 2004

The "Smiling Preacher" Builds on Large Following , The Washington Post, January 30, 2005:

The charismatic, nondenominational church he inherited from his late father six years ago has quadrupled in size, and today is the largest and fastest-growing in the country, welcoming upward of 30,000 visitors a week, according to Church Growth Today, a research center that follows church trends. Osteen's television broadcast is shown in every U.S. market, reaching 95 percent of the nation's households, and in 150 countries.

Global Spread of Evangelical Christianity

Peter Hammond and Christian Reconstuctionism in Africa, Talk To Action, December 2, 2006

The Call, The New York Times Magazine, January 29, 2006

An article by Philip Jenkins in The Atlantic, October, 2002, describes the enormous spread of evangelical Christianity to southern, poorer counties.

The fact is, we are at a moment as epochal as the Reformation itself-a Reformation moment not only for Catholics but for the entire Christian world. Christianity as a whole is both growing and mutating in ways that observers in the West tend not to see."

For obvious reasons, news reports today are filled with material about the influence of a resurgent and sometimes angry Islam. But in its variety and vitality, in its global reach, in its association with the world's fastest-growing societies, in its shifting centers of gravity, in the way its values and practices vary from place to place-in these and other ways it is Christianity that will leave the deepest mark on the twenty-first century.

This article is very important, but Jenkins refers to Christianity in the northern countries as "liberal" compared to "conservative" Christianity in the southern countries. Is Jenkins aware of the Religious Right in the United States? However, his article in The Atlantic is still important to understand the global reach of conservative, evangelical Christianity.

The Fundamentalism Project was commissioned by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and published by the University of Chicago Press. It is edited by Martin Marty and Scott Appleby.

Around the world, fundamentalist movements are profoundly affecting the way we live. Misinformation and misperception about fundamentalism exacerbate conflicts at home and abroad. Yet policymakers, journalists, students, and others have lacked any comprehensive resource on the explosive phenomenon of fundamentalism. Now the Fundamentalism Project has assembled an international team of scholars for a multivolume assessment of the history, scope, sources, character, and impact of fundamentalist movements within the world's major religious traditions.

[It] is an encyclopedic introduction to movements of religious reaction in the twentieth century. The ... chapters are thematically linked by a common set of concerns: the social, political, cultural, and religious contexts in which these movements were born; the particular world-views, systems of thought, and beliefs that govern each movement; the ways in which leaders and group members make sense of and respond to the challenges of the modern, postcolonial era in world history.

The contributors include sociologists, cultural anthropologists, and historians, some of whom have been participant-observers in the groups under consideration. As an analysis of the global resurgence of religion, Fundamentalisms Observed sheds new light on current religious movements and cultures from North America to the Far East.

New York Times Magazine, October 7. 2003:

"This [the war on terror] surely is a religious war -- but not of Islam versus Christianity and Judaism. Rather, it is a war of fundamentalism against faiths of all kinds that are at peace with freedom and modernity. This war even has far gentler echoes in America's own religious conflicts -- between newer, more virulent strands of Christian fundamentalism and mainstream Protestantism and Catholicism. These conflicts have ancient roots, but they seem to be gaining new force as modernity spreads and deepens. They are our new wars of religion..."

This opinion piece by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times is called "God, Satan and the Media." Kristof doesn't distinguish between Evangelicals, fundamentalists, and Pentecostals, or Evangelicals and the Religious Right, but the article makes an important point.

Last updated: December-2006