Christian Right [Religious Right]

SOURCE:  Wikipedia, captured 2020-09-15
This page last modified: 2022-02-24 13:41:45 -0800 (PST)

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  • The Christian right (the religious right) are Christian political factions that are characterized by their strong support of socially conservative policies. Christian conservatives seek to influence politics and public policy with their interpretation of the teachings of Christianity.

    In the United States, the Christian right is an informal coalition formed around a core of conservative evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics. The Christian right draws additional support from politically conservative mainline Protestants and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The movement has its roots in American politics going back as far as the 1940s and has been especially influential since the 1970s. Its influence draws from grassroots activism as well as from focus on social issues and the ability to motivate the electorate around those issues.

    The Christian right is notable for advancing socially conservative positions on issues including school prayer, intelligent design, embryonic stem cell research, homosexuality, euthanasia, contraception, sex education, abortion, and pornography. Although the term Christian right is most commonly associated with politics in the United States, similar Christian conservative groups can be found in the political cultures of other Christian-majority nations.

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    Criticism

    Criticisms of the Christian right often come from Christians who believe Jesus' message was centered on social responsibility and social justice. Theologian Michael Lerner has summarized: "The unholy alliance of the Political Right and the Religious Right threatens to destroy the America we love. It also threatens to generate a revulsion against God and religion by identifying them with militarism, ecological irresponsibility, fundamentalist antagonism to science and rational thought, and insensitivity to the needs of the poor and the powerless."

    Commentators from all sides of the aisle such as [hypocrite] Rob Schenck, Randall Balmer, and Charles M. Blow criticized the Christian right for its tolerance and embrace of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election, despite Trump's failure to adhere to any of the principles advocated by the Christian right groups for decades.

    Interpretation of Christianity

  • See also: Christian left, a range of center-left and left-wing Christian political and social movements that largely embrace social justice viewpoints and uphold a social gospel.

  • One argument which questions the legitimacy of the Christian right posits that Jesus Christ may be considered a leftist on the modern political spectrum. Jesus' concern with the poor and feeding the hungry, among other things, are argued, by proponents of Christian leftism, to be core attributes of modern-day socialism and social justice. However, others contend that while Jesus' concern for the poor and hungry is virtuous and that individuals have a moral obligation to help others, the relationship between charity and the state should not be construed in the same manner.

    According to Frank Newport of Gallup, "there are fewer Americans today who are both highly religious and liberal than there are Americans who are both highly religious and conservative." Newport also noted that 52% of white conservatives identify as "highly religious" while only 16% of white liberals identify as the same. However, African-Americans, "the most religious of any major racial or ethnic group in the country," are "strongly oriented to voting Democratic." While observing that African-American Democrats are more religious than their white Democrat counterparts, Newport further noted, however, that African-American Democrats are "much more likely to be ideologically moderate or conservative."

    Some criticize what they see as a politicization of Christianity because they say Jesus transcends political concepts.

    Mikhail Gorbachev referred to Jesus as "the first Socialist."

    Race and diversity

    The Christian right has tried to recruit social conservatives in the black church. Prior to the 2016 United States presidential election, African-American Republican [transphobe] Ben Carson emerged as a leader in the Christian right. Other Christian African-Americans who identify with conservatism are Supreme Court of the United States Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, rapper Kanye West, Alveda King, and pastor Tony Evans.

    LGBTQ+ rights

    Whilst the Christian right in the United States is making a tough stand against the progression of LGBT rights, other Christian movements have taken a more lenient approach towards the matter, arguing that the biblical texts only oppose specific types of divergent sexual behaviour, such as paederasty (i.e. the sodomising of young boys by older men).

    During the Trump administration, there is a growing push for religious liberty bills that would allow individuals and businesses claiming anti-LGBT beliefs that are religious in origin to exempt themselves from obeying anti-discrimination laws intended to protect LGBT people.


    There are a large number of evangelical / fundamentalist Christian influenced, very wealthy, very influential, highly pernicious "dark money"   501(c) nonprofit organizations pushing anti-LGBTQ+ agendae.

    To more fully understand the genesis, funding, and propagation of anti-LGBTQ+ forces prevalent throughout society, it is imperative to identify and understand the "dark money" [501(c) nonprofits] forces that fund and fuel these hateful agendae. Note, particularly, the following Machiavellian influencers.

    Those, and other groups deploy well-funded, highly sophisticated agendae and personnel, providing incredibly powerful resources for those who seek to subvert human rights and freedoms. Most notably, many of the groups listed above were tapped by Donald Trump to lead, staff and direct repressive anti-LGBTQ+ policies affecting millions of vulnerable Americans. [Those same groups likewise sourced personnel and policies that drive various neoliberal, neoconservative, neofascist, misogynistic, xenophobic policies within the Trump administration.]

    Regarding transphobia, note particularly the following Trump administration transphobes:

    Note also (again, invariably religion-driven) transphobic hate (versions of which baselessly accuse gay men of pedophilia):


    Use of dominionism labeling

    Some social scientists have used the word "dominionism" to refer to adherence to Dominion Theology as well as to the influence in the broader Christian Right of ideas inspired by Dominion Theology. Although such influence (particularly of Reconstructionism) has been described by many authors, full adherents to Reconstructionism are few and marginalized among conservative Christians. In the early 1990s, sociologist Sara Diamond defined dominionism in her PhD dissertation as a movement that, while including Dominion Theology and Reconstructionism as subsets, is much broader in scope, extending to much of the Christian Right. She was followed by journalists including Frederick Clarkson and Chris Hedges and others who have stressed the influence of Dominionist ideas on the Christian right.

    The terms "dominionist" and "dominionism" are rarely used for self-description, and their usage has been attacked from several quarters. Journalist Anthony Williams charged that its purpose is "to smear the Republican Party as the party of domestic Theocracy, facts be damned." Stanley Kurtz labeled it "conspiratorial nonsense," "political paranoia," and "guilt by association," and decried Hedges' "vague characterizations" that allow him to "paint a highly questionable picture of a virtually faceless and nameless 'Dominionist' Christian mass." Kurtz also complained about a perceived link between average Christian evangelicals and extremism such as Christian Reconstructionism:

    Lisa Miller of Newsweek said that many warnings about "dominionism" are "paranoid" and that "the word creates a siege mentality in which 'we' need to guard against 'them.'" Ross Douthat of The New York Times noted that "many of the people that writers like Diamond and others describe as 'dominionists' would disavow the label, many definitions of dominionism conflate several very different Christian political theologies, and there's a lively debate about whether the term is even useful at all." According to Joe Carter of First Things, "the term was coined in the 1980s by Diamond and is never used outside liberal blogs and websites. No reputable scholars use the term for it is a meaningless neologism that Diamond concocted for her dissertation," while Jeremy Pierce of First Things coined the word "dominionismist" to describe those who promote the idea that there is a dominionist conspiracy.

    Other criticism has focused on the proper use of the term. Berlet wrote that "some critics of the Christian Right have stretched the term dominionism past its breaking point," and argued that, rather than labeling conservatives as extremists, it would be better to "talk to these people" and "engage them." Sara Diamond wrote that "liberals' writing about the Christian Right's take-over plans has generally taken the form of conspiracy theory," and argued that instead one should "analyze the subtle ways" that ideas like Dominionism "take hold within movements and why."

    Dan Olinger, a professor at the fundamentalist Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, said, "We want to be good citizens and participants, but we're not really interested in using the iron fist of the law to compel people to everything Christians should do." Bob Marcaurelle, interim pastor at Mountain Springs Baptist Church in Piedmont, said the Middle Ages were proof enough that Christian ruling groups are almost always corrupted by power. "When Christianity becomes the government, the question is whose Christianity?" Marcaurelle asked.

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    Mark Keith Robinson

  • See main article: Mark Keith Robinson

  • [RightWingWatch.org, 2021-10-29] N.C. Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson Declares That "Christian Patriots" Will "Own This Nation and Rule This Nation".


  • Additional Reading

  • [📌 pinned article] Salem Media Group: Christian right mass media, including Salem Radio Network.  |  see also: Larry Elder

  • [📌 pinned article] Christian Coalition of America

  • [📌 pinned article] Moral Majority

  • [📌 pinned article] Michael Richard Pence

  • [📌 pinned article] [RewireNewsGroup.com, 2021-09-30] Panty Grab: How Evangelicals Are Rewriting Sexual Privacy Rights.  All of the rights we consider normal are based on the 14th Amendment. Conservative Christian evangelicals have their sights on dismantling all of that.


  • [Liz Theoharis  |  Wikipedia: Liz Theoharis:  TomDispatch.com, 2022-01-11] Which Way America?  Confronting Christian Nationalism in the Spirit of Desmond Tutu

  • [MotherJones.com, 2021-11-26] The Pope Welcomed Biden. So Why are US Catholic Bishops Waging a Holy War? And their not-so-secret weapon is the Holy Eucharist.  |  There was an unprecedented politicization of conservative Catholic clergy, some saying that any Catholic who voted Democratic would go to hell while others threatened to deny communion to Democrats in their parishes.  |  Archbishop Gomez delivered a polarizing public address at a conference in Spain arguing that "wokeness," "social justice," and "intersectionality" were "dangerous" and "atheistic" pseudo-religions that "have come to fill the space that Christian belief and practice once occupied."

  • [theNation.com, 2021-11-26] Who Is the University of Austin For?  The project's uphill battle points to a deeper contradiction within what might be called neo-neoconservatism.

  • [CTVNews.ca, 2021-10-30] Number of Canadians reporting religious affiliations at all-time low: StatCan.

  • [ExposedByCMD.org, 2021-10-04] ALEC Leaders Boast About Anti-Abortion, Anti-Trans Bills.

  • [RightWingWatch.org, 2021-09-23] Anti-LGBTQ, Anti-Choice Groups Mobilize to Elect Glenn Youngkin Virginia Governor.

  • [Economist.com, 2021-09-22] Religious belief really does seem to draw the sting of poverty.  Whether the cause is spiritual or social remains to be determined. "... The upshot is that religion seems to protect people from at least some of the unpleasant effects of poverty. Exactly how is less clear. ..."

  • [CommonDreams.org, 2021-09-18] Architect of Texas Abortion Ban Takes Aim at LGBTQ+ Rights While Urging Reversal of Roe.  "Make no mistake, the goal is to force extreme, outdated, religious-driven values on all of us through the courts."  |  "... women can 'control their reproductive lives' without access to abortion; they can do so by refraining from sexual intercourse" -- Jonathan Mitchell  |  "All anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice views stem from the same desire to control bodies." -- Zack Ford,   Alliance for Justice

  • [MIT: TechnologyReview.com, 2021-09-16] Troll farms reached 140 million Americans a month on Facebook before 2020 election, internal report shows.  "This is not normal. This is not healthy." In the run-up to the 2020 election, the most highly contested in US history, Facebook's most popular pages for Christian and Black American content were being run by Eastern European troll farms. These pages were part of a larger network that collectively reached nearly half of all Americans, according to an internal company report, and achieved that reach not through user choice but primarily as a result of Facebook's own platform design and engagement-hungry algorithm. ...  |  Hacker News: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28565121

  • [RewireNewsGroup.com, 2021-09-08] How Evangelical and Catholic Women Organized to Gut 'Roe' and Undermine Equality.  I grew up in the religious right and have seen firsthand how rallying against abortion became a winning strategy for conservatives.

  • [RightWingWatch.org, 2021-09-07] The 'Mastermind' Behind the Draconian 'Heartbeat Bill' Banning Abortion as Early as 6 Weeks.

  • [LAReviewOfBooks.org, 2021-08-15] How the Pandemic Radicalized Evangelicals.

  • [CommonDreams.org, 2020-10-05]  The Man Who Would Be President: Mike Pence, Corporate Theocrat.  The case of Mike Pence should be an ongoing urgent reminder that -- as toxic and truly evil as Donald Trump is -- the current President is a product and poisonous symptom of an inherently unjust and anti-democratic status quo.  Mike Pence embodies the political alliance of very conservative evangelical forces with anti-regulatory forces of corporatism.  Pence ranks high as a Christian soldier marching in lockstep with Trump on all major policy issues, a process that routinely puts business interests ahead of human lives.

  • [RightWingWatch.org, 2020-10-05]  POTUS Shield's Mark Gonzales Calls Amy Coney Barrett Nomination God "Setting the Stage to Take Over" the Courts.

  • [RightWingWatch.org, 2020-10-05]  Michele Bachmann Prays God Will Empower Religious-Right "David" to Slay Vote-By-Mail "Goliath".  Former Representative Michele Marie Bachmann.

  • [CommonDreams.org, 2020-10-05]  Trump's Amy Coney Barrett Nomination Another Step Toward Christian Fascism.  All fascist and totalitarian movements paper over their squalid belief systems with the veneer of morality.

  • [VICE News, 2020-09-01]  Video:  Anti-abortion Evangelical Pastor Rob Schenck Says GOP Is a Religious Cult.  Pastor Rob Schenck later admitted that he was part of a group that paid Norma McCorvey (also known as Jane Roe from the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision) to lie that she had changed her mind and become against abortion.


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