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Radical / Religious Right

Overview of Major Figures, Groups, and Issues

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The term "radical/religious right" refers to groups which, despite other ideological differences, share in common that they pose a threat to liberty, democracy and pluralism. They are "radical" in that they advocate extreme and dramatic changes in society. They are "religious" in that they tend to base their ideologies upon religious doctrines and religious texts.

Members range from self-righteous moral warriors like Pat Robertson and Don Wildmon to less overtly religious organization like the Heritage Foundation to even white supremacist groups and militias like the Ku Klux Klan. What links them are their ideas on who should hold power and how that power should be exercised.

 

The most radical of the religious right can be found in movements like Christian Identity, one of the most dangerous theological doctrines in America today. It is made all the more dangerous by the fact that so few people even realize that it exists, much less what exactly it represents. Christian Identity is a dominant theology of many active right-wing Christians, including many if not most Ku Klux Klan groups.

 

Many have come to expect the worst from conservative, evangelical Christian organizations in America — and rarely do they disappoint. One in particular is the Southern Baptist Convention, the administrative body for many Southern Baptist churches in America. It has become clear that the leadership is determined to send out society back decades when it comes to matters like civil rights and women's independence.

 

Is Pat Robertson really as dangerous as some people claim? He was once of the most influential and powerful religious figures in America today, though that isn’t as true as it was in the past. His business dealings have involved many countries and his media broadcasts extend across the world. When one also takes into account his religious extremism and his mania for conspiracy theories, the possibility that he is dangerous looms large.

 

Head of the powerful Focus on the Family, too few people have ever heard much about either James Dobson or his organizations. Dobson is very little like the carefully crafted public image which he jealously guards, but what he guards even more jealously is his anonymity in our legislative process.

 

Who is Jack Chick? Details are sketchy, but he does appear to be a real person, alive and well in California, creating tracts now for nearly forty years. His biography states that he wanted to be a comic artist when he was younger, but unfortunately he ended up turning his meager talents to evangelization. He himself appears to have undergone a very intense conversion experience which would go a long way in explaining why he not only devotes so much energy into converting non-Christians but why he also seems to expect similar experiences in others.

 

There are a wide variety of practical social and political goals which link groups in the Religious Right. People need to be particularly careful of how the rhetoric of the radical/religious right is packaged. Divisions between the groups can be unclear, and it is not at all uncommon for extremist group to downplay some of their worst ideologies while emphasizing those doctrines which are more likely to attract people, like pushing for lower taxes.

 

News and Commentary about President George W. Bush
Much has been written about the influence that evangelical Christians have on the White House generally and President George W. Bush specifically. What does that influence really mean and how have evangelicals exercised their power? President Bush has positioned himself unambiguously as an evangelical Christian who promotes evangelical Christian values - he has done this as a political candidate and he does this in the social policies he advocates. Learn more about the ways in which this has occurred and what it might mean for America.

 

The Values Action Team: a group of American Senators and Representatives beholden to the money and the principles of the Religious Right. Where did they come from and why was this group formed?

 

AFA & Homosexuality: Don Wildmon's American Family Association has done a lot to spread misinformation and fear about homosexuality. Just what basic points does he claim about gays, and what implications do they really have?

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