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The God StrategyHow Religion Became a Political Weapon in America$
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David Domke and Kevin Coe

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326413

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326413.001.0001

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 Morality Politics

 Morality Politics

(p.99) Chapter Five Morality Politics
The God Strategy

David Domke (Contributor Webpage)

Kevin Coe (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the fourth and final religious signal: engaging in morality politics. Morality politics is an approach that elevates political issues into symbolic, moral battles. The evidence in this chapter comes from Republican and Democratic party platforms since 1932. It considers five issues central to religious conservatives' political engagement: abortion, the Equal Rights Amendment, same-sex relationships, school prayer, and stem-cell research. Analyzing platforms language shows that since 1980 Republicans have increasingly aligned their issue positions with those of religious conservatives, while Democrats have done the opposite. Further, Republicans have elevated the importance of these issues by attacking the courts and calling for constitutional amendments, while also grounding their claims in the language of faith and family. The chapter concludes with an analysis of three Justice Sunday events, which showcase morality politics in its most overt form.

Keywords:   abortion, constitution, Equal Rights Amendment, family, Justice Sunday events, party platforms, same-sex relationships, school prayer, stem cells

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