Let's remember, he said animatedly, that the Religious Right did not come together in response to the Roe decision.
The Christian right has been a notable force in both the Republican party and American politics since the late 1970s, when Baptist pastor Jerry Falwell and other Christian leaders began to urge conservative Christians to involve themselves in the political process.
In response to the rise of the Christian right, the 1980 Republican Party platform assumed a number of its positions, including dropping support for the Equal Rights Amendment and adding support for a restoration of school prayer.
In addition, as the Democratic Party became identified with a pro-choice position on abortion and with nontraditional societal values, social conservatives joined the Republican Party in increasing numbers. However, Carter's spiritual transformation did not compensate for his liberal policies in the minds of Christian conservatives, as reflected in Jerry Falwell's criticism that "Americans have literally stood by and watched as godless, spineless leaders have brought our nation floundering to the brink of death." The contemporary Christian right organized in reaction to a series of United States Supreme Court decisions, most notably Bob Jones University v. United States, which challenged the tax-exempt status of schools that discriminated against blacks.
Mennonites and the Amish, for example, are theologically conservative, however there are no overtly political organizations associated with these denominations.
The phrase 'socially conservative evangelicals' is not very exciting, but that's certainly the way to do it." Evangelical leaders like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council have called attention to the problem of equating the term "Christian right" with evangelicals.
Although evangelicals constitute the core constituency of the Christian right, not all evangelicals fit the description.
During the following break in the conference proceedings, I cornered Weyrich to make sure I had heard him correctly.