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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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Culture Wars in the Carter Years

Culture Wars in the Carter Years

(p.133) Seven Culture Wars in the Carter Years
God's Own Party

Daniel K. Williams (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Although Jimmy Carter was a Southern Baptist, evangelicals came into conflict with his administration because of their opposition to his stances on the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion, and gay rights. Inspired by Francis Schaeffer, an American evangelical writer living in Switzerland, they began speaking out against “secular humanism,” which they claimed was destroying the nation. They turned to politics to save the country. Christian singer Anita Bryant organized a successful campaign against a gay rights ordinance in Miami, Florida, and launched a national campaign against gay rights that brought several evangelical pastors, including Jerry Falwell, into national politics. Cultural conservatives in the Southern Baptist Convention used the issue of abortion to take control of their denomination and enlist it in the culture wars. By 1980, evangelicals had developed a coherent political program to reclaim the nation.

Keywords:   abortion, Anita Bryant, Falwell, gay rights, Jimmy Carter, Francis Schaeffer, secular humanism, Southern Baptist

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