Religious Right

The Bullying Advocates: Report Exposes the Religious Right's Effort to Stop Anti-Bullying Programs in Schools

As states and school districts work to stem a tide of anti-gay bullying in American school, the pro-bullying Religious Right is leading concerted efforts to stop programs that seek to protect LGBT youth from bullying.

Big Bullies: How the Religious Right is Trying to Make Schools Safe for Bullies and Dangerous for Gay Kids

As states and school districts work to stem a tide of anti-gay bullying in American school, the pro-bullying Religious Right is leading concerted efforts to stop programs that seek to protect LGBT youth from bullying.

As Smithsonian Continues to Duck Controversy, PFAW Report Draws Lessons On How Not to Respond to Political Bullies

A new report from People For the American Way draws lessons on ways institutions can respond to right-wing-generated controversies, by evaluating the chain of events that led to the Smithsonian’s removal of a work of art from the National Portrait Gallery.

How Not to Respond to Political Bullies: Lessons from the Smithsonian’s Response to the Manufactured Right-Wing Controversy Over Hide/Seek

A new report from People For the American Way draws lessons on ways institutions can respond to right-wing-generated controversies, by evaluating the chain of events that led to the Smithsonian’s removal of a work of art from the National Portrait Gallery.

The Tea Party and Religious Right Movements: Frenemies with Benefits

The Tea Party is coming together with leading Religious Right groups to meet a common goal -- the crippling of the Obama administration and the movement of the Republican Party even further to the right.

“Rogues’ Gallery” Report Profiles Far-Right Senate Candidates

People For the American Way today released “The Rogues’ Gallery,” profiling 15 far-right Republican nominees for Congress. The report makes clear that the Republican slate of nominees is everything the Tea Party or the Religious Right could want.

The Rogues' Gallery

In our latest report, PFAW takes an in-depth look at 15 of the far right's most extreme candidates for Senate, and it isn't pretty.

Texas Board of Education Rewrites History

In a vote last week, the Texas Board of Education approved a Social Studies curriculum rewritten to emphasize conservative ideology and whitewash topics that don’t align with board members’ beliefs.  The curriculum, which is due to receive final approval in May, was changed to emphasize the Board’s religious and political objectives by, for instance, adding flattering details about disgraced conservative Senator Joseph McCarthy, increasing focus on violent fringe members of the peaceful civil rights coalition, and even downplaying the importance of Thomas Jefferson du

Manhattan Declaration: Old Poison, New Packaging

Religious Right leaders are making a new concerted push to gain signatures for the “Manhattan Declaration,” a manifesto that was released just before Thanksgiving by about 150 conservative Christian leaders.

Pat Robertson Blames Haiti Earthquake on "Pact With the Devil"

Pat Robertson Blames Haiti Earthquake on "Pact With the Devil"

Bishop Harry Jackson Worried That Right Wing Racism Hurts His Anti-Gay Crusade

Bishop Harry Jackson, who is leading a campaign to prevent same-sex couples in the District of Columbia from being able to legally marry, is employing increasingly divisive rhetoric designed to push a wedge between the District’s African Americans and supporters of gay rights in the city.

Religious Right Targets Maine & Marriage Equality with Money, Anti-Gay Swat Teams and Reprise of Prop-8’s False Fearmongering Strategies

National Religious Right organizations that bankrolled the effort to put Proposition 1 on the ballot in Maine descended on the state this past weekend with a SWAT team of anti-gay leaders and veterans of last year’s Prop 8 battle in California.

Harry Jackson: Point Man for the Wedge Strategy

A report by People for the American Way Foundation examining the political activities of Bishop Harry Jackson, who has emerged as the leading African American voice of the Religious Right political movement.

Point Man for the Wedge Strategy: New Report Examines Political Activities of Bishop Harry Jackson, Face of the Religious Right's Outreach to African Americans

Bishop Harry Jackson, who has emerged as the leading African American voice of the Religious Right political movement, is waging a campaign in the District of Columbia against marriage equality. This report follows Jackson's years on the national political scene since he announced that God told him to campaign for George W. Bush's reelection in 2004.

Dobson Steps Down as Chair of Focus on the Family

In response to news reports that James Dobson is stepping down as the chairman of Focus on the Family, People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement:

"James Dobson may be stepping down, but he's not stepping off the field. Dobson will continue hosting his national radio show and pushing his far right agenda under the cover of folksy advice.

The Rise of Lou Engle

Sarah Posner has a good piece up at Religion Dispatches on Lou Engle, founder of The Call, and his recent branching out from this militant anti-abortion proselytizing and into the marriage debate and the upcoming election. 

Engle, as Posner explains, is best known for his efforts to turns hordes of young men and women into warriors for Christ and “raise up of an army of spiritual warriors for revival” and is becoming something of a regular figure in the political Religious Right movement, appearing with notable figures such as Tony Perkins and Mike Huckabee before and during his recent “The Call” rally in Washington, DC:

The Call’s advisory board is stacked with prominent Pentecostal and charismatic preachers, leading figures in the controversial apostolic movement, which is elevating a new generation of self-appointed prophets and apostles, African-American and Latino religious leaders, charismatic publishing giant Stephen Strang, and religious right leaders like Perkins, Harry Jackson, and Gary Bauer.

The religious right political leadership’s keen interest in Engle was evident at The Call held on the National Mall in August. The day before the event, the public relations firm Shirley Bannister introduced Engle, flanked by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and former Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, at a press conference just a few blocks from the White House. Perkins, one of the most visible political leaders on the religious right, noted Engle’s influence on young evangelicals, who he claimed were even more conservative on abortion than their parents, though he cited no surveys or polls to support the claim.

Engle, per his custom, likened his crusade against abortion to Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement. He rocked back and forth, as though davening, preached against Roe v. Wade, and shouted, as the crowd prayed and spoke in tongues, “this is a Passover Day for America. Today, we plead the blood of Jesus on the doorpost!” Purity covenants, requiring abstention from even thinking about sex outside of marriage, were distributed. Participants were urged to consecrate themselves, to be ready for the moment when Jesus “is going to rule over Washington, DC and the world.”

“Repentance and revival cannot start in the building behind me,” said Huckabee, his back to the Capitol, “until it starts in the temple inside me.”

But when he’s not leading day-long rallies such as this or the anti-gay marriage one scheduled at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium this weekend, Engle and his army can be found at International House of Prayer he co-founded in Kansas City where they direct their prayers toward things like remaking the US Supreme Court … and rather successfully at that, according to Engle: 

Engle unabashedly credits prayer for George W. Bush’s presidency and his subsequent appointment of Supreme Court Justices who upheld the ban on so-called “partial birth abortion.” “The praying church deals with the demonic realm, so that God raises up one and brings down the other,” Engle said in a recent video on The Call’s web site, explaining how prayer proved victorious over satanic forces in the spiritual warfare of an election, adding, “I directly attribute [Bush’s election] to the prayers of the saints.”

Young people at his House of Prayer, said Engle, had been praying about judges for three years when Sandra Day O’Connor retired and William Rehnquist died. As if to prove to his acolytes that their prayer and fasting is not in vain, Engle maintains that their prayers and prophecies shaped the Supreme Court. “One of the young ladies had a dream,” Engle asserted, “that a man named John Roberts would be the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.” He beams with pride. “Don’t you think those kids were baptized with confidence? Their prayers, I believe, were literally moving a king to appoint a justice who has now led a court that has banned partial birth abortion. Don’t tell me prayer doesn’t shape a nation.”

What Has the Right Been Up to for the Past 25 Years?

A shorthand look at the rise of the Religious Right from political obscurity to the corridors of power.

Prop 8's Call to Extremism

A report examining Lou Engle, a leader in the right-wing fight to pass Proposition 8 in California, and his extremist brand of "Dominionist" Christianity.

Sarah Palin: McCain's Birthday Gift to the Right

When Republican Presidential nominee John McCain announced that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin would be his running mate, many pundits scrambled to examine her thin record, but the religious right exulted. Phyllis Schlafly called Palin "the best possible choice," and Matt Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, declared the choice, "absolutely brilliant." Right wing leaders have good cause for optimism. During Palin's short tenure in public office, she's demonstrated her commitment to their ultra-conservative policies.

Dobson Uses Bible as Political Weapon

James Dobson accused Senator Barack Obama of distorting the Bible and of pushing a "fruitcake interpretation" of the Constitution.

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