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Crisis of Conservatism?The Republican Party, the Conservative Movement, and American Politics After Bush$
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Joel D. Aberbach and Gillian Peele

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199764013

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199764013.001.0001

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The Christian Right and Contemporary Politics

The Christian Right and Contemporary Politics

A Movement at the Crossroads

Chapter:
(p.114) 6 The Christian Right and Contemporary Politics
Source:
Crisis of Conservatism?
Author(s):

Mark J. Rozell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199764013.003.0006

The contemporary Christian Right movement first mobilized into U.S. politics in the 1970s and has since moved through distinct phases of its political development. This chapter describes and analyzes the major phases of the movement, from outsider status to the political mainstream. Once considered a fringe movement with little real chance at political success, the Christian Right seemed to explode on to the U.S. political scene in the 1980 election. By the late 1980s many analysts declared the movement a failure. Yet by the mid-1990s the Christian Right reemerged politically stronger than ever, but still disappointed by its lack of significant policy success at the federal level. Then during the George W. Bush era it seemed that the Christian Right had finally entered the political mainstream and was poised for real policy gains. The essay speculates about the possible transition of the Christian Right to a new phase in the Obama era—one in which the movement will have to adapt to a reconfiguring of U.S. politics along lines that make its traditional issue appeals increasingly challenging.

Keywords:   abortion, Christian Coalition, Christian Right, evangelicals, Moral Majority, religion, Republican Party, Roe v. Wade

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