Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture
There has been no end of predictions that the demise of the Religious Right is imminent. Over the past three decades, proof of its impending collapse has included the televangelist scandals, Pat Robertson’s failure to secure the Republican presidential nomination, the election and re-election of Bill Clinton, and the emergence of “young” evangelicals who refuse to toe the Religious Right line (this one keeps popping up).
The latest version involves the notion that economically focused libertarians of the Tea Party will inevitably find themselves in heated conflict with evangelical and fundamentalist social conservatives, thus challenging the power of the Religious Right in the Republican Party (nevermind the extensive overlap between the two groups).
While Daniel Williams’s God’s Own Party was published just as the Tea Party phenomenon was emerging, this lively book makes clear that it is foolish to take seriously predictions that the Religious Right will soon fade into obscurity. As the author observes in the introduction, the “Christian Right of the late twentieth century [is] not a passing fad,” primarily because—here is the book’s thesis—whatever defeats conservative Protestants in America may endure, they “cannot turn back from either their Republican partisanship or their political campaigns” (9).
Copyright © 2011, American Society of Church History
Cambridge University Press
Trollinger, William Vance, "Review: 'God's Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right'" (2011). History Faculty Publications. 46.