San Francisco is anti-Christian

Religion in society

Manfred Brocker

To person

Dr. phil., Dr. rer. pol., born 1959; Professor of Political Science at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Chair of Political Theory and Philosophy. Universitätsallee 1, 85072 Eichstätt.
Email: [email protected]

The "Christian Right" has been influencing American politics for 30 years. After an aggressive start, it has now gone through a process of moderation and professionalization. But their track record remains modest.


Contrary to all expectations regarding the loss of importance of religious lines of conflict in modern Western societies, the protest movement of the so-called "Christian Right" arose in the USA in the 1970s. Their organizations, including the "Moral Majority", "Religious Roundtable" and "Christian Voice", vigorously argued for the rechristianization of America. The political mobilization of evangelical, in particular fundamentalist Protestantism, was a new phenomenon that immediately raised concerns about a Bible-based revision of central liberal constitutional elements. Quite a few observers saw clear parallels with Islamic fundamentalism. They believed that this movement was about radicals who wanted to change the political system and establish a theocracy. "I am beginning to fear," declared US President Jimmy Carter's Minister of Health Patricia Harris in 1980, "that we could have an Ayatollah Khomeini in this country". [1]

Book titles like "Holy Terror", "God's Bullies" or "The Anti-Americanism of the Religious Right" reflected the critical evaluation of politicized "fundamentalism" in America. And while some feared that he would be further radicalized, others predicted only a short life span given his extremely conservative agenda. But both predictions turned out to be wrong. In fact, the Christian Right was able to establish itself permanently as a political force in the USA. After an aggressive start, it went through a transformation process that was characterized by organizational reforms as well as programmatic and strategic moderation. This adaptation was prompted by those characteristics of the American political system that require a structural openness and participation orientation towards social groups and movements, but also channel their activities. [2]

In the following, the Christian right and its development will be outlined: Who are its members, what are its goals and what successes does it have today, 30 years after its foundation?