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Bumpy Lane: Religious Right Operative Seeks To Build (Another) Church-Based Political Machine

Here’s what the country doesn’t need right now: another zealot aiming to mobilize right-wing pastors to become a force in electoral politics.

Yet that’s what the country is getting. Read more

Absentee Agency: Is The IRS Ready To Police Pulpit Politicking?

The Internal Revue Service indicated earlier this year that it has the proper mechanism in place to investigate houses of worship that break the law by engaging in partisan politicking. But recent comments by the tax agency’s top official indicate there’s still some confusion about this issue. Read more

Ralph Reed’s Rebound?: Fallen Fundamentalist Icon Hopes To Influence Upcoming Elections

As the November elections approach, it seems a second-tier advocacy group run by a disgraced Religious Right icon is gearing up to make a major impact.

Politico reported this week that Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition (FFC) is planning an all-out blitz in states like Colorado, Iowa, Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Louisiana and North Carolina in the hope that Republicans and can take control of the U.S. Senate. Read more

Fall From Grace: What The Religious Right Should Learn From The McDonnell Scandal

Leaders of Religious Right groups are fond of telling us that if we elect more fundamentalist Christians to office, we’ll have less corruption. Biblical literalists must be more ethical, right? Read more

Scary Summit: Religious Right Leaders Meet To Plot Big-Money Blitz For 2014 Elections

These are challenging times for the Religious Right. The movement seems to be rapidly losing ground on one of its signature issues, same-sex marriage, and polls show large numbers of young people recoiling from the theocratic agenda of ultra-conservative fundamentalists.

So these groups must be ready to pack up their tents and go home, right? Read more

Retreating Or Repositioning?: Southern Baptists And The ‘Culture War’

When the Religious Right started to become a prominent force in American politics in the late 1970s, its advocates had a major impact on the country’s largest Protestant denomination: the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

Younger readers may be surprised to read that the SBC, which claims 16 million members, used to be fairly moderate on social issues. It strongly supported the separation of church and state, citing historical Baptist leaders like John Leland and Isaac Backus. Read more

A Hypocrite’s Lament: Ralph Reed Blasts Government Support For Gay-Friendly Church

On Saturday, I received a letter from my old acquaintance Ralph Reed.

Reed, you might recall, ran TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition throughout the 1990s. After leaving the group, he started a political consulting firm that became mired in the Jack Abramoff casino lobbying scandal. He also tried unsuccessfully to launch a political career and even wrote some political potboilers.

None of these ventures gave Reed the payoff he wanted, so he came slinking back to the Religious Right. A few years ago, he formed a group called the Faith & Freedom Coalition. Read more

Quadrennial Question: Is The Religious Right Positively, Absolutely Dead?

The role of the Religious Right in the Republican Party and national political life is under a lot of scrutiny these days.

Everyone from Ralph Reed and Richard Land to Billy Graham and Tony Perkins did everything in their considerable power to steer the election to Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates, and they failed miserably. These folks even lost a string of referenda on issues such as taxpayer funding of religion, reproductive rights and marriage equality. Read more

Moral Morass: Religious Right Groups Love To Judge Your Ethics – But How Are Their Own?

If you’re a political junkie you might be following a story out of Florida centering on a man named Nathan Sproul. Sproul stands accused of engaging in voter registration fraud.

The other day a reporter from Florida called to ask me some questions about Sproul. I was surprised to hear from her because I didn’t think I knew anything about him, other than what I had read in the papers. Read more

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