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FEATURED REPORT

Future of the Christian Right

- June 23, 2017
Are evangelicals losing their political clout?
Featured Report

Conservative white Christian voters — mostly evangelical Protestants, Mormons and Catholics — carried President Trump to victory last November. Many members of this group, known as the Christian Right, argue that while he may be flawed — Trump is twice divorced and has sparked concerns about his personal morality — his opposition to abortion rights and other liberal policy priorities made him the best option. But some evangelicals question whether the Christian Right betrayed Christian principles in backing Trump and whether it will benefit from his administration. The controversy points to a larger debate over the future of the movement as a national political force. Nearly four decades after evangelical leaders joined with Republicans to elect conservatives to office, many experts see little progress on many Christian Right priorities, such as restoring prayer in public schools and banning gay marriage, which is now legal nationwide. Moreover, the share of the population identifying as conservative Christian is declining, potentially weakening the Christian Right's influence.

Trump Administration

The president’s Cabinet appointments have cheered the Christian Right.

Trump Policies

The new president has signaled his loyalty to conservative Christians.

 
1920s–1940sWhite Protestants split over politics and theology and form mainline and conservative evangelical wings.
1960s–1970sConservative Christians feel increasingly at odds with a liberalizing society.
1980s–1990sConservative white evangelicals, Mormons and conservative Catholics become solid Republican voting bloc.
2000s–PresentChristian Right voters become a large faction of GOP base.
   

Will its support of President Trump hurt the Christian Right?

Pro

Joseph Loconte
Associate Professor of History, King's College, New York City.

Con

Joshua C. Wilson , Amanda Hollis-Brusky
Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Denver; and. Associate Professor of Politics, Pomona College.
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