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The religious right wing

by Diane Vera

Copyright © 2003 by Diane Vera. All rights reserved.

Here in New York and its suburbs, a lot of people find it hard to believe that the religious right wing could possibly be as powerful as it in fact is. Every time they hear of a religious right victory, they are shocked. If they then hear of a religious right defeat, or if the religious right hasn't made national headlines for a couple of months at a stretch, then a lot of people assume it must be dead. Then, next time it wins yet another victory, they are shocked again.  They wonder:  how could anyone but a total nutcase advocate such nonsense?

To most Americans outside the Bible Belt, the mentality of the religious right wing is utterly foreign. Here in New York, even our local evangelicals and Pentecostals tend not to support the religious right, because most of our local evangelicals and Pentecostals are nonwhite, whereas the religious right is in bed with the Republican Party, which is perceived as representing only white people. Insofar as we do have a religious right wing here, it consists mostly of conservative Catholics and ultra-Orthodox Jews.

However, the Bible Belt is a very different world.

Some people think the religious right is dying because some well-known religious right leaders, such as Jerry Falwell, have given up on political activism. But theirs was only a strategic retreat. These leaders realized that their political victories were limited because there weren't enough hardcore Christian voters (and because not enough other voters were fooled by stealth strategies). Therefore, the key to longterm success for the religious right would be to devote time and energy not to political activism per se, but rather to evangelism -- increasing the number of hardcore Christians. They could then win more political victories later.

Indeed, they are succeeding at increasing the number of hardcore Christians. See Hardcore Christianity is NOT dying. It's GROWING!

Below is a collection of links about the Religious Right and some of its opponents.

  1. The religious right wing itself (and some critiques)

    First, some of the more typical people and groups:

    Now for some more extreme groups and individuals:

    Among the scariest religious right wingers are the Christian Reconstructionists, who advocate the restoration of Old Testament "Biblical civil law," including death by stoning for "practicing homosexuals," heretics, "blasphemers," and even disobedient teenagers. For more about what the restoration of "Biblical civil law" would mean, see this collection of Reconstructionist quotes and this article by a Christian critic of Reconstructionism. Below are some Christian Reconstructionist websites (and some critiques):

    Christian religious right wingers are not confined to the United States. Below are some non-U.S. Christian religious right wingers, besides the above-mentioned Institute of Christian Political Thought in the U.K.,

  2. Informative sites by opponents

See also:

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