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Retreating Or Repositioning?: Southern Baptists And The ‘Culture War’

When the Religious Right started to become a prominent force in American politics in the late 1970s, its advocates had a major impact on the country’s largest Protestant denomination: the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

Younger readers may be surprised to read that the SBC, which claims 16 million members, used to be fairly moderate on social issues. It strongly supported the separation of church and state, citing historical Baptist leaders like John Leland and Isaac Backus. Read more

Quadrennial Question: Is The Religious Right Positively, Absolutely Dead?

The role of the Religious Right in the Republican Party and national political life is under a lot of scrutiny these days.

Everyone from Ralph Reed and Richard Land to Billy Graham and Tony Perkins did everything in their considerable power to steer the election to Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates, and they failed miserably. These folks even lost a string of referenda on issues such as taxpayer funding of religion, reproductive rights and marriage equality. Read more

Land’s End (Sort Of): Beleaguered Southern Baptist Lobbyist Heads For Retirement

Notorious Southern Baptist lobbyist Richard Land has announced his retirement. I’d break out the champagne, but I fear that this is a mere change of personnel, not policy.

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) was once a staunch supporter of church-state separation. But in 1979, fundamentalists orchestrated a takeover that moved the nation’s largest Protestant denomination in exactly the opposite direction. Read more

Separation Obfuscation: Why Cardinal Dolan And Richard Land Are No John F. Kennedys

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York City was on “Face the Nation” yesterday and managed to pull off quite a feat. He said he agrees with President John F. Kennedy, who in 1960 gave a famous speech calling for “absolute” separation of church and state, and with former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who says that same JFK speech made him want to “throw up.” Read more

Appalling Amendment: Religious Right Seeks To Mandate Civil Marriage Law In North Carolina

On May 8, North Carolina voters will decide on a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. As you might expect, the drive for the measure is fueled almost entirely by ultra-conservative religious forces bent on imposing their doctrines by force of law. Read more

Prostituting The Pulpit: Religious Right Wants Churches To Get Partisan, But Most Americans Don’t

Poor Erik Stanley.

The Alliance Defense Fund attorney keeps pleading with evangelical clergy to step forward and become political bosses, but the clergy – and the American people – keep saying no.

Stanley and his Religious Right cronies salivate at the prospect of an evangelical Christian voting bloc marching in lockstep under the dictates of rigid right-wing pulpiteers and electing candidates who will tear down the wall of separation between church and state. Read more

Perilous Plot: Religious Right Leaders Scheme To Intervene In 2012 Presidential Election

Reporters with the mainstream media sure love to write about the presidential horse race, don’t they? And I find it interesting how certain candidates suddenly become all the rage. How many stories about Michele Bachmann have you seen recently?

But the media, so intent on polls and personalities, is missing a huge story: The Religious Right’s attempt to pick our next president. Read more

A Tale Of Two Sessions: Religious Right Conferees Decry Discrimination – But Only When It Affects Them

I spent the day on Friday at Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing here in Washington, D.C.

The list of speakers included many presidential hopefuls, congressional leaders and Religious Right strategists who came to stir their base into action. Read more

Land Of (No) Liberty: Southern Baptist Official Drops Out Of Religious Freedom Group

Religious liberty is a fairly easy concept to grasp: All faiths have the right to exist, meet for worship, spread their ideas and build facilities. All must abide by certain laws, and the government must treat them equally. Read more

Unleashing Leviticus: Religious Right Rants Over Change In Military’s DADT Policy

On Saturday, the U.S. Senate voted to repeal the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that banned openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the armed forces. The Religious Right is not pleased.

To hear Religious Right leaders tell it, the end is nigh. How soon before the North Koreans come rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue? Read more

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