Future of the Christian Right

June 23, 2017 • Volume 27, Issue 23
Are evangelicals losing their political clout?
By Marcia Clemmitt


Anti-abortion activists rally (AFP/Getty Images/Tasos Katopodis)
Anti-abortion activists rally at the Washington Monument on Jan. 27, 2017, for the March for Life, featuring a speech by Vice President Mike Pence. The former Indiana governor is among several conservative Christians in key leadership positions in the Trump administration. (AFP/Getty Images/Tasos Katopodis)

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.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Oct. 28, 2022  Church and State
May 29, 2020  Christians in the Mideast
Sep. 28, 2018  Christianity in America
Jun. 23, 2017  Future of the Christian Right
Jun. 07, 2013  Future of the Catholic Church
Jan. 2011  Crisis in the Catholic Church
Sep. 21, 2007  Rise of Megachurches
Sep. 14, 2001  Evangelical Christians
Feb. 26, 1999  Future of the Papacy
Dec. 11, 1998  Searching for Jesus
Jul. 22, 1988  The Revival of Religion in America
Dec. 02, 1983  Christmas Customs and Origins
Jun. 10, 1983  Martin Luther After 500 Years
Aug. 08, 1975  Year of Religion
Jul. 26, 1972  Fundamentalist Revival
Jan. 04, 1967  Religion in Upheaval
Aug. 03, 1966  Religious Rivalries in South Viet Nam
Nov. 11, 1964  Church Tax Exemption
Aug. 05, 1964  Catholic Schools
Oct. 14, 1963  Churches and Social Action
Jun. 19, 1963  Vatican Policy in a Revolutionary World
Jan. 05, 1962  Rome and Christian Unity
Mar. 26, 1958  Church-Related Education
Dec. 18, 1957  Church Consolidation
Jun. 05, 1957  Evangelism in America
Jun. 23, 1955  Religious Boom
Aug. 13, 1952  Church Unity in America
Feb. 12, 1947  Relations with the Vatican
Dec. 21, 1923  The New Schism in the Church and the Immaculate Conception
Campaigns and Elections
Conservatism and Liberalism
Economic Development
Education Policy
Lobbying and Special Interests
Party Politics
Party Politics
Regional Political Affairs: Russia and the Former Soviet Union
Religion and Politics
Religious Movements