16 Truths About the Rise of the Religious Right in America
16 Truths About the Rise of the Religious Right in America

16 Truths About the Rise of the Religious Right in America

Trista - December 18, 2018

16 Truths About the Rise of the Religious Right in America
President George W. Bush. pictures.gi.zimbio.

2. George W. Bush Used Openly Religious Language

On the campaign trail and later while in office, George W. Bush frequently employed religious language in his speeches. In speeches about the War on Terror, he spoke of the American people as a force for good that will overwhelm the evil that exists in the world. Bush even referred to the War on Terror as a crusade, and not in a blithe manner as in Billy Graham’s use of the term to apply to large religious gatherings. He was speaking of engaging in a war with an enemy – a Muslim enemy – on religious grounds because God had blessed America and given it a holy job to carry out.

The evangelical and fundamentalist voting bloc overwhelmingly supported Bush and his War on Terror, including his detainment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Perhaps their support was not so much about the long-term implications of a perpetual state of war but rather because of his evangelical background and continual use of religious rhetoric. He regularly commented on his prayer life and asserted that he was doing what he believed God wanted him to do. He also opposed abortion and, unlike Reagan, did make legislative steps in the attempt to overturn the Roe v Wade decision.

16 Truths About the Rise of the Religious Right in America
White conservative Christians overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump. pejmanyousefzadeh.

1. Donald Trump Drew on This Heritage

Today, conservative Christian voters support President Donald Trump with an almost religious fervor. Over 80% of white evangelicals voted for Trump, and despite practices that don’t exactly resemble the traditional family values for which they advocate, continue to support him as if he is God’s man to lead the United States of America. This support is not accidental and draws on the whole of the history behind America’s religious right. Like Reagan and Bush, Trump uses religious language and is, therefore, able to win the hearts of religious voters. He claims to oppose abortion, still issue number one on their political agenda.

The most outspoken leaders of the religious right who support Donald Trump are directly connected to the rise of the religious right and the Moral Majority. One such leader is Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham and the founder of the charity Samaritan’s Purse. Another is Jerry Falwell, Junior, the son of Jerry Falwell and now pastor of his church in Lynchburg, Virginia. Today, the worlds of religion and politics have so closely re-merged that in movements like that of Donald Trump, one has a hard time deciphering whether it is inherently religious or political. What can be said is that he probably would not have risen to power without the history of religious right.

 

Where did we get this stuff? Here are our sources:

“With God On Our Side: George W. Bush and the Rise of the Religious Right in America.” Variety.com

“Scopes Monkey Trial (1925),” by Professor Douglas O. Linder. Famous Trials.

“Evangelicals in the Public Square,” by J. Budziszewski. Baker Academic. 2006.

“Engel v Vitale.” Wikipedia.

“Politics for Evangelicals,” by Paul Henry. Judson Press. 1974.

“The Man Who Mobiled The Evangelical Vote.” AJ+.

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