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God's Own PartyThe Making of the Christian Right$
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Daniel Williams

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195340846

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340846.001.0001

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Crashing the Party

Crashing the Party

(p.213) Ten Crashing the Party
God's Own Party

Daniel K. Williams (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Christian Right leaders spent the late 1980s and 1990s trying to take control of the Republican Party. In 1988, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson ran for the Republican presidential nomination. His campaign failed, but it signified a new political militancy among evangelicals who were no longer willing to acquiesce to Republican Party leaders. Some evangelicals joined confrontational political organizations, such as Randall Terry’s Operation Rescue. The most successful evangelical political organization of the 1990s was the Christian Coalition, led by Robertson and Ralph Reed. Reed orchestrated an evangelical takeover of southern state Republican Party organizations and became one of the nation’s most powerful political lobbyists. Though his efforts shifted the GOP to the right on cultural issues, Reed ultimately could not deliver the legislation that conservative evangelicals desired. Christian Right activists felt just as frustrated at the end of the 1990s as they had at the beginning of the decade.

Keywords:   Christian coalition, Christian right, operation rescue, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Randall Terry, Republican party

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