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The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party

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"Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: Why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?"

(Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Conner on the Ten Commandments ruling, June 27, 2005)


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The Religious Right After an Obama Victory: The Beat Goes On, by Bill Berkowitz, Religion Dispatches, November 5, 2008 - "While it won't be the same as it ever was, an Obama presidency will give the Religious Right an opportunity to bask in the glow of martyrdom and seize the mantle of underdog, while it raises hundreds of millions of dollars for its political campaigns and the never-ending ‘culture wars.’"

The Religious Right and Election 2008: Down But Not Out, Americans United, November 5, 2008 - Summary of important election results in several states, including ballot questions on abortion, same-sex marriage, and physician-assisted suicide.

Religious Right Power In Washington Is Greatly Diminished, Says Americans United, Americans United, November 5, 2008 - "...the Religious Right is likely to increase its activity at the state and local level, now that advances in Washington will be harder to obtain."

Americans United Deplores Appeals Court Ruling Upholding Sectarian Council Prayers, Americans United, October 28, 2008 - "The Constitution gives government officials no authority whatsoever to prefer one religion over others. This decision is very disappointing."

A Heartbeat Away, or Why Palin's Churches Matter, Talk to Action, September 28, 2008

Palin linked electoral success to prayer of Kenyan witchhunter, TimeOnline, September 19, 2008 (The article is interesting, however, the many readers' comments are truly fascinating.) – “And I’m thinking, 'this guy’s really bold,' he doesn’t even know what I’m going to do..."

The pastor who clashed with Palin,, September 15, 2008 – "Baptist minister Howard Bess, who wrote a book Palin wanted banned and who fought her on abortion and gay rights, says the country should fear her election."

Where she was saved,, September 11, 2008 – "The church where Sarah Palin grew up and was baptized preaches some of the most extreme religious views in the nation."

Ban on Political Endorsements by Pastors Targeted, Washington Post, September 8, 2008 – "The ultimate goal is to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out a 54-year-old ban on political endorsements by tax-exempt houses of worship."

Explosive Video Shows Radical Nature of Palin's Key Church, Daily Kos, September 7, 2008 – "Sarah Palin's churches are actively involved in a resurgent ['Spiritual Warfare'] movement that was declared heretical by the Assemblies of God in 1949."

Are Evangelicals Really Sold on Palin? Time, September 6, 2008 – "...her appeal to more moderate and younger Evangelicals — as well as independent swing voters — may be limited."

Sarah Palin's record on environment is abysmal, Seattlepi, September 5, 2008 – Although not an expose of Palin's religious viewpoint, this piece offers important insight on her environmental record as the Governor of Alaska.

Examining Palin's Pentecostal Background, NPR, September 5, 2008 – "...her years attending Pentecostal churches...have no doubt shaped her faith and, possibly, her view of world events."

'Creation science' Enters the Race, Anchorage Daily News, October 30, 2006 – This older news report offers additional perspective on Palin and creationism: "Palin has occasionally discussed her lifelong Christian faith during the governor's race but said teaching creationism is nothing she has campaigned about or even given much thought to."

Palin Church Promotes [Outside Conference on] Conversion of Gays, MSNBC (AP), September 5, 2008Palin's church promotes upcoming Focus on the Family conference advocating conversion of gays through prayer.

Palin's Church May Have Shaped [Her] Controversial Worldview, Huffingtonpost, September 2, 2008 – "...her remarks raise important questions: mainly, what is Palin's faith and how exactly has it influenced her policies?" As a follow-up, the online archive of Wasilla Assembly of God pastors' sermons may be found here.

Jewish Voters May Be Wary of Palin, Politico, September 2, 2008 – "...the same factors that are rallying the evangelical base to Palin may push away the Jews."

Not All Evangelical Conservatives Are Thrilled With Palin, Daily Kos, August 31, 2008 – "Although the 'pro-family' interest groups applauded McCain's choice, I had a hunch that Palin wouldn't be unanimously embraced by the evangelical rank and file."

Sarah Palin Signed "Christian Heritage Week" Proclamation, CBN News, August 30, 2008 – "A McCain campaign source told me that there is so much excitement from the Evangelical community about this pick that it's making their head spin."

Obama and McCain's Test of Faith, Time, August 15, 2008 – "Saturday's forum provides an opportunity for the two candidates to reassure the faithful..."

Judge Says UC Can Deny Religious Course Credit, San Francisco Chronicle, August 13, 2008 – "...UC may apply the same admissions standards to all students..."

Left Behind Authors Speak Out on McCain Ad "The One," ChristianNewsWire, August 8, 2008 – Left Behind series authors LaHaye and Jenkins don't regard Obama as the antichrist.

An Antichrist Obama in McCain Ad? Time, August 8, 2008 – "...taps into a conversation that has been gaining urgency on Christian radio and political blogs and in widely circulated email messages..."

How America Decides, Time, August 7, 2008 – "...while McCain maintains an insurmountable advantage among white Evangelicals, there are signs that it might not be sufficient to put him over the top."

Faith's Real Riches, Washington Post (op. ed.), August 6, 2008 – "Whatever ethical problems such leaders [as Kenneth Copeland] may or may not have, they face a large theological challenge."

Televangelist's Family Prospers From Ministry, MSNBC (AP), July 26, 2008 – "...Kenneth Copeland has built a religious empire teaching that God wants his followers to prosper."

Conservative Evangelicals Agree to Support McCain, No Cuddling Required, The American Prospect "Tapped" blog, July 3, 2008"...even though John McCain is not their ideal candidate, they will support him..."

Threat of Anglican Schism Fizzles, Time, June 23, 2008 – "They overplayed their hand, and the tide has turned against these guys."

Action Request: The Louisiana Coalition for Science has raised significant concerns about the governor's likely signing of a bill (SB 733) which would allow the teaching of intelligent design in Louisiana public schools. If enacted, the legislation would have implications for high school science courses nationwide. Response encouraged via this link. June 16, 2008

Southern Baptists Elect New Leader, Washington Post, June 11, 2008 – "This signals that the establishment conservatives are definitely in charge."

McCain's Evangelical Problem: A Commentary By Robert Novak, Rasmussen Reports, June 9, 2008 – "Among all constituency groups, McCain's need for the evangelicals is most crucial."


Taken together, the next four articles offer a compelling look at U.S. military personnel prosyletizing and possible direct involvement with torture in Iraq:

Prosyletization in Iraq: Assemblies [of God] Involvement in Abu Ghraib & Gitmo, Daily Kos, June 4, 2008 – "Sad to this light, the 'Bible coin' controversy is probably among the milder of things going on there."

Proselytization in Iraq: A Minor History, Daily Kos, June 2, 2008 – "It has been little publicised, but dominionist 'missionary' groups have been in Iraq since the US government hit the ground in Gulf War II--and their activities may have in fact directly led in part to the bucket of hell that the country is in now...and to US military being targeted."

Source of "Bible Coins" Distributed by Marine(s) in Iraq Discovered, Daily Kos, June 1, 2008 – "The group behind the incident – one of a series of incidents of blatant dominionist prosyletisation of Iraqis – is a disturbing example of both targeting of the military and the increasing military imagery of certain 'Christian Nationalist' groups."

Iraqis Claim Marines Are Pushing Christianity in Fallujah, McClatchy Washington Bureau, May 28, 2008 – "Residents said some Marines at the western entrance to their city have been passing out the coins for two days in what they call a 'humiliating' attempt to convert them to Christianity."


John McCain Repudiates Pastor's Support, Los Angeles Times, May 23, 2008

McCain's Christian Problem, Wastington Post, May 12, 2008

Jesus Made Me Puke, Rolling Stone, May 1, 2008 – A revealing look at one author's experience of a Texas megachurch's "encounter weekend" and how such an experience can successfully challenge independent thought.

Soldier Sues Army, Saying His Atheism Led to Threats, New York Times, April 26, 2008

"Prince of War" - A Review, Daily Kos, April 25, 2008 – A review of Cecil Bothwell's controversial book, Prince of War: Billy Graham’s Crusade for a Wholly Christian Empire.

Shirley Dobson Says National Day of Prayer Only For Fundagelicals, Street Prophets, April 24, 2008

Questions for the Rev. John Hagee – Megaminister, New York Times, March 23, 2008

Hagee, in 'NYT' This Sunday, Says McCain Sought His Endorsement, Editor & Publisher, March 20, 2008

Hillary's Nasty Pastorate, The Nation, March 19, 2008

Hillary's Prayer: Hillary Clinton's Religion and Politics, Mother Jones, September 1, 2007 (in-depth background to the above article)

California Capitol Chaplain Says Religious Tolerance Offends God, San Francisco Chronicle, February 27, 2008

California: Remarks Stir Flap Over Faith at Capitol, Sacramento Bee, February 27, 2008

IRS Investigates Church for Letting Obama Speak, Washington Post/Newsweek, February 26, 2008

Obama's General Synod speech prompts IRS to investigate UCC's tax-exempt status,, February 26, 2008

Missouri: Ruling Against Bible Distribution, New York Times, January 10, 2008

Christian Zionists Gain Israel's Inner Sanctum, Talk To Action, January 9, 2008

Does Huckabee Want The Death Penalty For Gays? Talk To Action, January 6, 2007

How Fake American History Feeds Christian Nationalism, Talk To Action, January 5, 2008

Can `Huckabee the Viable' blend social conservatism with populism-lite, Talk To Action, January 4, 2008

STOP HOUSE RESOLUTION 888, Dailykos, January 4, 2008 – House resolution promotes fake "Christian Nation" version of American history.

Religion and the Military: "Active Duty Missionaries" Dailykos, December 29, 2007

Fundamentalist Ministries At US Basic Training Facilities Promote "Theology Of War" Talk To Action, December 29, 2007

Short Takes by Fred Clarkson, Talk To Action, December 29, 2007

When ex-gay ministries turned to dominionist politics; Anti-abortion militant Randall Terry plans to drive the demon Giuliani out of the GOP -- and then turn his attention to the Democrats; The Pope is raising exorcism squads, and has declared gay marriage, abortion and birth control threats to world peace; The Institute for Creation Research is seeking accreditation to award graduate degrees in Texas; Two men have been arrested for the torching of a abortion care clinic in Albuquerque; and an urban legend lives on.

Evangelist, Ky. school settle lawsuit, First Amendment Center, December 27, 2007

A Colony With a Conscience, New York Times, December 27, 2007

In 1657, a small group stood up for religious freedom - for others, Inside the First Amendment, December 23, 2007

Theocrat of the Week, Talk To Action, December 24, 2007 – About Richard Mellon Scaife, major financier of the Religious Right

Huckabee's Faith-Based Views Find Critics, Fans in Both Parties, Washington Post, December 21, 2007

'Christian Leader' Washington Post, December 21, 2007

Southern Baptists vs. the Mormons, Slate, December 19, 2007 – Mike Huckabee's and Mitt Romney's faiths have tangled before.

Green Light for Institute on Creation in Texas, New York Times, December 18, 2007

A Texas higher education panel has recommended allowing a Bible-based group called the Institute for Creation Research to offer online master's degrees in science education.

The action comes weeks after the Texas Education Agency's director of science, Christine Castillo Comer, lost her job after superiors accused her of displaying bias against creationism and failing to be "neutral" over the teaching of evolution.

Home-School Ties Aided Huckabee's Iowa Rise, Washington Post, December 17, 2007

Book Review and Author Interview and Liveblogging: So Help Me God, Dailykos, December 16, 2007

Episcopal Diocese Votes to Secede, New York Times, December 8, 2007

Gore on Theocracy: "It's a Recipe for Trouble" Dailykos, December 7, 2007

The Crisis of Faith, New York Times, December 7, 2007

Even by the low standards of this campaign, it was a distressing moment and just what the nation's founders wanted to head off with the immortal words of the First Amendment: A presidential candidate cowed into defending his way of worshiping God by a powerful minority determined to impose its religious tenets as a test for holding public office.

Mr. Romney filled his speech with the first myth - that the nation's founders, rather than seeking to protect all faiths, sought to imbue the United States with Christian orthodoxy.

A Church Is Divided, and Headed for Court, New York Times, December 5, 2007 – Another Episcopal church leaves the US diocese to join the highly conservative, homophobic Ugandan church.

Court Bars State Effort Using Faith in Prisons, New York Times, December 4, 2007

Evolution and Texas, New York Times, December 4, 2007

TrustHuckabee Calling, Washington Post, December 4, 2007 – There's a new group campaigning in Iowa, but it's not saying much about where its money comes from.

Religious leaders push back against right's "War on Christmas" Talk To Action, December 4, 2007

Americans United Asks IRS To Investigate Falwell's Liberty University For Endorsement Of Mike Huckabee, Americans United, December 4, 2007


Last updated: 09.22.08