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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 04:28 PM

30. It has to do with history


In the early 1900s, a lot of Protestant missionaries from America were going around the world to spread the Gospel to other countries. Many were so shocked by the other cultures they visited that they became much more zealous in their religious faith. Additionally, there was a lot of anxiety over "modernism", the Progressive Era (which included expanding rights for women and workers) and the transition from rural to urban living that much of the US population was going through at that time. Finally, the rise of the Red Menace in the Soviet Union and other radical movements (at home and abroad), combined with the Red Scare, tying into the fears of immigration from "inferior" cultures...all of this combined to create a lethal cocktail that manifested itself in the reactionary, anti-progressive Protestant movement that became known as fundamentalism.

During the 20th century, there were a number of fundamentalist political "awakenings." In the 1920s, especially during the 1928 election, the Ku Klux Klan and other fundamentalist Protestant movements of the era campaigned aggressively against Al Smith, the first Catholic Presidential nominee. In the 1950s, the rise of middle-class suburbia and far-right politics during the McCarthy Era and the broader Cold War period created fertile ground for right-wing Christian politics which emphasized personal salvation, individual responsibility, anti-Communism, and the "Prosperity Gospel" which taught that God rewarded righteous behavior with material wealth and punished sin with poverty. Big business didn't just ally with organized religion; many churches and religious institutions were or acted like businesses.

Finally, in the 1970s, there was a huge backlash among conservative Christians against what they perceived as the liberal excess, sin, and cultural decay of the 1960s. The Southern Baptist conservative fundamentalist takeover, the furor over Roe v Wade, the Moral Majority's influence, and the rise of the Christian Coalition were all key factors in the political mobilization of the Religious Right, and the integration of them into the revitalized, harshly right-wing Republican Party. However, the global economic meltdown and Great Recession may have been factors in a possible shift. Additionally, much of the young population as well as the growing non-white population is either not religious or not fundamentalist (at least).

The Religious Right is not as powerful as it once was, and they know it. But they certainly won't go down without a desperate fight.

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Drunken Irishman Apr 2012 OP
RKP5637 Apr 2012 #1
Jackpine Radical Apr 2012 #10
RKP5637 Apr 2012 #14
Hippo_Tron Apr 2012 #16
YoungDemCA Apr 2012 #28
LineLineNew Reply It has to do with history
YoungDemCA Apr 2012 #30
RKP5637 Apr 2012 #31
rufus dog Apr 2012 #2
provis99 Apr 2012 #3
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #4
RyanPsych Apr 2012 #12
Hippo_Tron Apr 2012 #17
Tarheel_Dem Apr 2012 #5
annabanana Apr 2012 #6
bluestateguy Apr 2012 #7
Tom Ripley Apr 2012 #22
Bluenorthwest Apr 2012 #8
yortsed snacilbuper Apr 2012 #9
Gore1FL Apr 2012 #24
Jamaal510 Apr 2012 #11
denem Apr 2012 #13
saras Apr 2012 #15
cthulu2016 Apr 2012 #18
Gore1FL Apr 2012 #25
denem Apr 2012 #26
Gore1FL Apr 2012 #27
musicblind Apr 2012 #33
LetTimmySmoke Apr 2012 #19
alp227 Apr 2012 #20
drm604 Apr 2012 #21
jenmito Apr 2012 #23
YoungDemCA Apr 2012 #29
agentS Apr 2012 #32
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