The Rise Of The Religious Right In The Republican Party
A public information project from TheocracyWatch.org
"This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy."
Representative Christopher Shays, R-CT, (New York Times, March 23, 2005)
Theocracy is derived from the two Greek words Qeo/j(Theos) meaning "God" and kra/tein (cratein) meaning
"to rule." Theocracy is the civil rule of God, or the belief in government by divine guidance.
It is Dominion We Are After
Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ -- to
have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.
But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice.
It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.
It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.
It is dominion we are after.
World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel.
And we must never settle for anything less... Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land
-- of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. (George Grant, The Changing of the Guard, Biblical Principles for Political Action: Biblical Blueprint Series, 1987,
pp. 50-51. Grant is an Author, educator and former Executive Director of Coral Ridge Ministries.)
Dominionists are advancing their agenda in the White House, the U.S. Congress, the schools, and the military.
Their greatest obstacle has been a Supreme Court that has upheld
the principle of separation of church and state. Now they have found in Judge John G. Roberts a candidate that would dismantle that wall.
This web site demonstrates how the theocratic wing of the Christian
Right drives much of its political activity. Chip Berlet and Margaret Quigley, senior analysts at Political Research Associates, suggest the term "theocratic right:"
The predominantly Christian
leadership envisions a religiously-based authoritarian society; therefore we prefer to describe this movement as the "theocratic
Many leaders of the Christian Right claim that they do not
advocate theocracy. Political operative Ralph Reed doesn't advocate theocracy; just a Democracy where everyone believes
in his God.
"The surest antidote to tyranny is a free people who believe
it owes its allegiance to a Higher Power, not the government. The consent of the governed rests upon faith in a sovereign
God. Faith as a political force is the very essence of Democracy."
Television preacher Pat Robertson sent out a memo to his political organization in 1986 calling
on his followers to "Rule the world for God." That call to arms sums up the goals of the theocratic right and explains their
Congressional leadership which suspends the basic rules of Democracy: all that matters is winning, because it is for God. The ends
justify the means.
Twenty-five years ago dominionists targeted the Republican Party as the vehicle through which they could advance their agenda.
Today they have extraordinary power in the U.S. government with two branches solidly in their pocket and the third, the judiciary,
just a few retirements away. It is also making great strides in schools, in the media, and in State Legislatures.
This movement values guns and the death penalty. It values
the rich at the expense of the poor. It favors corporations at the expense of individuals. It seeks to eliminate virtually
all regulations that protect the environment, worker safety, and public health.
The theocratic right believes that the Puritans created an
ideal society, and, following the Puritan model, strive to limit and control human sexuality.
It opposes international treaties and the United Nations. In
his book The New World Order, Pat Robertson accused Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter, and the first President
George Bush of being agents for Satan because they supported international groups of nations such as the United Nations.
In an effort to fulfill the dominionist belief in the manifest destiny of "Christian" nations, the theocratic
right values an aggressive foreign policy.
The theocratic right is not a conservative movement. It is
striving to radically change the status quo. From a training manual of the theocratic right:
We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only
intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them.
As portrayed in the graph below, the United States has become
two very different nations reflected by the two political parties. These graphs are based on scorecards of the Christian Coalition
for the 108th Senate. The Christian Coalition was founded by television preacher Pat Robertson and promotes the agenda of
the theocratic right.
The graph shows how often members of the U.S. Senate voted
with or against Christian Coalition supported bills. Republicans are red, Democrats are blue. Forty-one out of fifty-one Republican Senators received scores of 100% from
Christian Coalition, meaning they voted with Christian Coalition 100% of the time. Thirty-one out of forty-eight Democrats
and one independent received scores of 0.
One Democrat received a score of 100% -- Zell Miller, (D-GA)
who was in the national spotlight when he spoke at the Republican convention. Occasionally, a Democrat comes from the theocratic
right, but it is the exception. Now that Zell Miller has retired, he will become a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel,
which has been dubbed "Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism."
Only three Senate Republicans are in the 60% column. They are
Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins from Maine.
A comparison of scorecards from environmental groups in contrast
to the scorecards from dominionist groups is striking. Members of the U.S. Congress who receive the highest scores on the
environment also receive the lowest scores from the theocratic right and vice versa. Click here to read the scorecards from the League of Conservation Voters,
a consortium of environmental organizations, compared to the scorecards produced by three organizations that promote the theocratic
right -- the Christian Coalition, the Family Research Council, and the Eagle Forum. (The tables in the above link were provided
by Glenn Scherer, October, 2004.)
Do you know these people?
Christianization of the Republican Party: In Their
Christianization of the Republican Party, an article from The Christian Statesman,
Once dismissed as a small regional movement, Christian
conservatives have become a staple of politics nearly everywhere. Christian conservatives now hold a majority of seats in
36% of all Republican Party state committees (or 18 of 50 states), plus large minorities in 81% of the rest, double their
strength from a decade before.
The twin surges of Christians into GOP ranks in the early 1980s
and early 1990s have begun to bear fruit, as naive, idealistic recruits have transformed into savvy operatives and leaders,
building organizations, winning leadership positions, fighting onto platform committees, and electing many of their own to
The Christian Statesman is a publication of
the National Reform Association. Who is the National Reform Association?
The mission of the National Reform Association is to maintain
and promote in our national life the Christian principles of civil government, which include, but are not limited to, the
Jesus Christ is Lord in all aspects of life, including civil
Jesus Christ is, therefore, the Ruler of Nations, and should
be explicitly confessed as such in any constitutional documents. The civil ruler is to be a servant of God, he derives his
authority from God and he is duty-bound to govern according to the expressed will of God.
The civil government of our nation, its laws, institutions,
and practices must therefore be conformed to the principles of Biblical law as revealed in the Old and New Testaments.
The terms "Christian Conservative" are misnomers. Many Christian
leaders believe the theocratic right is an aberration of Christianity. And the movement is anything but conservative. One
can see from the national debt that the theocratic right does not care for fiscal discipline,
a traditional conservative Republican value. In fact they seek radical change which appears to include bankrupting the federal
government and shifting responsibility for welfare and education to the churches.
The Ohio Restoration Project demonstrates how the theocratic right is organizing through sympathetic
How did this happen?
Voter apathy is the key to the phenomenal ascent of the theocratic
right in the U.S. government.
With the apathy that exists today, a small, well-organized
minority can influence the selection of candidates to an astonishing degree.
Pat Robertson wrote those words in The Millennium,
1990, and it has been a key organizing principle of the theocratic right ever since.
Pat Robertson tells us who makes up that "well-organized minority."
It includes only Christians who share his point of view. As he said on his television program, the 700 Club: "You say you're
supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists, and this and that and the other thing.
Nonsense! I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist." (Rob Boston, Pat Robertson, the Most Dangerous Man in America?, Prometheus Books, 1996, p. 149.)
"The apathy of other Americans can become a blessing and advantage
to Christians," wrote Mark Beliles and Stephen McDowell in 1989, in America's Providential History, a popular textbook for Christian schools and the Christian homeschool
If just 10% of all Christians in America today woke up and
realized how easy it is, got involved consistently for the long haul, it would not take long to reform America completely.
For the authors, the term "Christian" refers uniquely to people
who share their "Christian" nation worldview. The word "reform" is key. It means reforming the United States so that it becomes
a "Christian" nation.
Where do we go from here?
The answer to the power of the Christian Right is electoral
power of our own. No excuses. Many of us have tended to abandon this cornerstone of citizenship in favor of other things.
It is time to get our priorities strait. Less talk, more action. Less entertainment, more citizen involvement. Less
TV and sports. More electoral politics. Do we want the theocrats to win? More electoral politics.
If we believe that democracy is a good thing, we need to learn
to get very good at it. We need to be better at it than those who would destroy it. (How to Beat the Christian Right,
by Frederick Clarkson, March 20, 2005)
While a record number of people voted in the 2004 elections,
100 million eligible voters didn't vote. The theocratic right began to seriously mobilize politically in the United States
twenty-five years ago, and it is being noticed only now! We need to educate the American
public about the political goals of the theocratic right.
The theocratic right has historically targeted
midterm elections because voter turnout is much lower than in Presidential elections. Those who favor Democracy and
a pluralistic society need to be passionate about saving our Constitution, and they need to be involved in politics. Legislators
representing the theocratic right can be replaced in the 2006 elections, but it will take hard, sustained work, and lots of
And traditional Republicans need to wake up. George Bush was
re-elected because he hid behind moderates. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, spoke at the Republican Convention
about how the Republican Party is tolerant and inclusive. His speech demonstrates that this country values tolerance and diversity.
But the theocratic right is not a movement of tolerance. In
the words of the Christian Coalition field director, Bill Thomson, the "leftist" foes should be destroyed:
You're going to run over them. Get around them, run over the
top of them, destroy them - whatever you need to do so that God's word is the word that is being practiced in Congress, town
halls and state legislatures. That's your job.
Christine Todd Whitman, former Governor of New Jersey who favors environmental protections,
stepped down as director of the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency that has become, under the Bush administration, an
advocate for polluters. Strangely, after she left the EPA in frustration, she then went on to lead the Bush re-election campaign
in New Jersey. As long as the theocratic right can hide behind moderates, it will be easier for them to remain in power.
Senator Arlen Specter, (R-PA) is considered a moderate even though he received an 80%
scorecard from Christian Coalition. This high scorecard from the theocratic right was not enough to protect him from the RINO
hunters, a group dedicated to purging the Republican Party of moderates. They tried to defeat him in a difficult primary campaign.
Specter, a pro-choice Republican, has supported Bush's anti-choice
judicial nominees 100% of the time. In order to become Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Specter has promised that
he will continue to support all of the President's nominations. It is time to educate moderate Republicans about the forces
driving their Party.
And we need to stop using terms such as "Christian," "conservative"
and most of all "moral," and start calling it what it is: theocracy.
Read the following issues:
"There will be Satanic forces...
We are not... up just against human beings,
to beat them in elections. We're going to be coming up against spiritual warfare." Pat Robertson, Road to Victory, 1991
In this section:
War on Secular Society
Who is the Theocratic Right
Estimate of political strength
Why We Should Care
Taking Over the Republican Party
"The Grand Old Party is more religious
cult than political organization."
President of the Alamo City Republican Women's club, 1993
In this section:
1991-1993:Taking Working Control of Republican Party
With God As Their Co-Pilot: 1993:
Fifteen Percent Solution: 1993
Special Report from Inside the Coalition: 1992
The GOP's Religious War
Inside the Covert Coalition: 1992
The Great Right Hope: 1993
San Jose Mercury News:1992
What Happened between 1964 and 1994?
1980: A Watershed Year
Decade of Pat Robertson
1994: A Watershed Year
Bush-Cheney '04 Campaign
"We are not coming up against just human beings to beat them
in elections. We're going to be coming up against spiritual warfare." (Pat Robertson at a 1994 Christian Coalition national strategy conference)
"You and I can bring the rule and
Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of the 2,000-member Hope
Christian Church in Bowie, Maryland
of the cross to America."
Justice Sunday II , August 14, 2005. more
In this section:
The Ten Commandments
Enforcing Biblical Law
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
The Death Penalty
Miscellaneous Links and Filibusters
Speech by Ralph Neas
Leadership of Orrin Hatch
Reflections on the Power of the Supreme Court
The Federalist Society
The American Constitution Society
Organizations fighting legal battles for the U.S. Constitution
"When we win this revolution in
November, you will be doing the Lord's work, and He will richly bless you for it."
Senator James Inhofe, Christian
Coalition rally, October, 2002
In this section:
Breaking the Rules of Fair Play
Operating in Secrecy
"Who Controls the States Controls the Nation"
Tom DeLay: House Majority Leader
The Legislative Agenda
Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act
Related Topics: Faith Base Initiative, Women, the Environment, Separation of Church and State, Middle East and Biblical Prophesy, Texas Republican Party Platform
"It is the responsibility of...every
...to get serious about re-electing President Bush."
Jerry Falwell, The New York
Times, July 16, 2004
In this section:
A Christian Inauguration
Religion in the White House
Punishing Critics, Silencing Opponents
Disregard for Democracy
Influence of Religious Right on Bush Administration Policies
Reproductive Rights and the War Against Women
Foreign and Military Policy
Influence of Religious Right on Bush Administration Appointments
Related Pages: Faith Base Initiative, the Environment, Women,
Middle East and Biblical Prophecy
To read about the Bush-Cheney '04 Campaign,
BUSH'S MOST RADICAL PLAN YET, Rolling Stone, April 21, 2005
The Bush Economy, New York Times, June 7, 2005
Faith Based Initiative
"We want to fund programs that save Americans
soul at a time."
President George W. Bush, January, 2004, in a speech in New Orleans
In this section:
Transformation from Secular to Religious Government
Faith-Based Lock Up
The Civil Rights Act, 1964
Religious Charities in 10 States Get $1B, Yahoo News, April 1, 2005
New York Times, January 16, 2005:
A judge has blocked the Bush administration from providing
future grants to an Arizona mentoring group that injected religion into its publicly financed programs. The ruling is the
first time a judge has struck down a grant through the president's initiative...
'Faith-Based' Flim-Flam: Initiative Didn't Have
A Prayer, Says Former White House Aide, Americans United, February 15, 2005
Hispanic Group Thrives on Faith and Federal Aid,
New York Times, May 3, 2005
Religious Institutions and Beliefs
"Politicization of Pentecostalism is one of the
stories of modern American politics."
Fred Clarkson, Public Eye,1994
In this section:
The Church As A Force For Good
Mainline Churches: A Launching Pad
Premillennialism and Post Millennialism
Christian Reconstruction Theology
A Reconstructed Society
Religion in the Workplace
Global Spread of Evangelical Christianity
Middle East and Biblical Prophesy
Faith Based Initiative
"Woman is subordinate to man. "
James Leon Holmes, Appointed to Arkansas federal court, July 6, 2004
The War Against Women
Global Gag Rule
Partial Birth Abortion
Unborn Victims of Violence Act
Abortion As a Moral Issue
Church Groups Turn to Sonogram to Turn Women from Abortions
Religious Right Economics
The God-given Rights of Property Owners
Starve the Federal Government through Tax Cuts
Shift Education and Welfare to Churches
End Government Regulation
Increase Material Wealth, Plunder Natural Resources
The Calvinist Origins of "Dominion" Economics
"Children in the Christian schools of America
are the Army that is going to take the future."
Joseph Morecraft, Christian educator, 1987
Abolish The U.S. Department of Education?
Good News Clubs
Religion in the Classroom
Patrick Henry School
Vouchers and Government Funded Religious Education
Abstinence-Only Sex Education
In this section:
A Constitutional Amendment
Chronology of Legislation and Events
"Who and what is next?"
Alliance Defense Fund
Polls on Public Attitudes about Gay Marriage
Marriage Protection Act
An Explicit Political Agenda
Statements from the theocratic right
The late Dr. James Luther Adams, ethics professor at the Harvard
Divinity school, made a powerful impression on his young student, Christopher Hedges, who went on to become a New York Times journalist and
Adams told us to watch closely the Christian Right's persecution
of homosexuals and lesbians. Hitler, he reminded us, promised to restore moral values not long after he took power in 1933,
then imposed a ban on all homosexual and lesbian organizations and publications. Then came raids on the places where homosexuals
gathered, culminating on May 6, 1933, with the ransacking of the Institute for Sexual Science in Berlin. (Soldier's of Christ
II, Harper's, May, 2005)
Talking about Congressional intervention in the Terri Schiavo
case, Republican representative Christopher Shays of Conneticut said:
"My party is demonstrating that they are for
states' rights unless they don't like what states are doing. ... This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy."
(New York Times, March 23, 2005)
Separation of Church and State
"Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between
church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one
that has served others so poorly?" Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Conner on the Ten Commandments ruling, June 27, 2005
Appeal of the Religious Right
2004 Texas GOP Platform
"The Republican Party of Texas affirms
the United States of America is a Christian Nation
State of Texas GOP Platform, 2004