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God's Own PartyThe Making of the Christian Right$
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Daniel Williams

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195340846

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340846.001.0001

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From Isolation to Influence

From Isolation to Influence

Chapter:
(p.11) One From Isolation to Influence
Source:
God's Own Party
Author(s):

Daniel K. Williams (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340846.003.0001

This chapter traces evangelical politics from 1920 through the 1950s, with a focus on the early years of the Cold War. The chapter argues that the formation of the National Association of Evangelicals in 1942 represented a new phase of national evangelical political influence after a twenty-year period in which fundamentalists experienced only limited success in their political campaigns. The Cold War brought evangelicals, who were strongly anticommunist, into alliance with conservative politicians. The Eisenhower presidency, which relied on civil religion to unite the nation in the fight against communism, offered evangelical leaders, particularly Billy Graham, an opportunity for unprecedented political influence. Graham became a frequent visitor to the White House and, along with other evangelicals, a proponent of the centrist conservatism of the Eisenhower administration, including Eisenhower’s moderate position on civil rights.

Keywords:   anticommunist, Billy Graham, civil religion, civil rights, Cold War, Eisenhower, evangelicals, National Association of Evangelicals

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