George W. Bush spoke to the fullness of evangelical relevance at the start of the twenty-first century. Bush's faith-based language of compassionate conservatism garnered appeal beyond the Christian Right proper, as Michael Gerson and John DiIulio demonstrated. Yet the culture wars still raged among Intelligent Design advocates and Bush reelection strategists. Evangelicals were politicized as never before. Egged on by Karl Rove, the Christian Right entered its baroque period. Evangelical popular culture followed a similar trajectory. Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life and Tim LaHaye's Left Behind series transcended the crossover label, while Mel Gibson's deeply Catholic The Passion of the Christ became a born-again blockbuster. A backlash loomed in the form of a second evangelical scare. Journalists warned of theocratic “dominionism,” the new atheists dismissed religion in the aftermath of 9/11, and The Daily Show offered wit as a way around “Evangophobia.” Opportunities beckoned for evangelical critics of Bush
Keywords: George W. Bush, compassionate conservatism, Michael Gerson, John DiIulio, Intelligent Design, Karl Rove, Christian Right, The Purpose Driven Life, Left Behind, The Passion of the Christ, dominionism, new atheism, The Daily Show
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