This chapter introduces the main arguments of this book, which are that (1) the Christian Right is not a late twentieth-century phenomenon but is rather the product of a long-standing evangelical attempt to reclaim America as a Christian nation through politics, a quest that began with the fundamentalist movement of the 1920s; and (2) the Christian Right’s success in transforming the nation’s political agenda was a result of its alliance with the Republican Party, which gave the movement’s political agenda a national platform. Earlier studies located the origins of the Christian Right in the politics of the 1970s, but this book argues that the Christian Right’s political agenda, as well as its connection to the Republican Party, began decades earlier. Because the Christian Right is not a recent creation, a temporary political setback is not likely to destroy the movement or end evangelicals’ commitment to the GOP.
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