Professor Hemmer Essay 2
The religious right has been a part of American politics as far back as the 1940’s but its presence in the late 1960’s and 1970’s was very influential in many ways. The religious right movement focuses on social issues like abortion, school prayer, religion, stem cell research, homosexuality, contraception and pornography. The Religious right was able to navigate its relationship with the conservative movement through American history between multiple presidential administrations due to many reasons.
Over the course of the 1970’s Conservatism activists voiced out their opinions on several key topics that had used to fall under the topic of “moral corruption and traditional values that previously had been subsumed under the rubric of anticommunism…these concerns took on new dimensions, in large part in reaction to changes in family life, sexual liberation, a growing youth culture and liberal supreme court decisions that expanded the scope of personal freedoms.” (McGirr) By the end of the 1960’s we were seeing emerging corruption in the form of sex education and abortion. As we climbed into the 1970’s the gay liberation movement had matured and become apparent. “Evangelicals enjoyed a higher degree of wealth and social prestige in the late 1970’s than they had at any other point in the twentieth century.” (GOP) These issues tended to outrage some democratic voters and left them out to dry unless they had seen the potential on jumping on the conservative coalitions side. “Their goal of reclaiming the nation by transforming the Republican Party might have seemed ambitious but they were confident that they would succeed, not only because god was on their side, but also because the voting numbers were. They were now the “Moral Majority”. (Williams) Realizing the numbers was in their favor, they were able to realign their beliefs and party activism in other ways if they believed so. Evangelicals