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Moral Majority

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Behind the idea of the Moral Majority was this notion that there could be a coalition of these different religious groups that all agree on abortion and homosexuality and other issues even if they never agreed on how to read the Bible or the nature of God
—John Green, director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron and an expert on religious conservatives.[1]


The Moral Majority was a special interest group founded by Jerry Falwell [2], designed to inject Christian fundamentalism into politics. It was founded in 1979 and disbanded in the late 1980s but its campaigning methods outlived it and were taken up by other right-wing organizations.

Contents

[edit] Policies

The Moral Majority was "Pro-life" and supported Bible-based morality, Classroom prayer, "Family values", "Free enterprise" and Israel; they opposed Communism, the Gay agenda, Pornography and Sex education.

[edit] History

The Moral Majority aimed to include Roman Catholics, Mormons, Jews and others with Conservative opinions,[citation needed] though they became predominantly Evangelical Christian. This inclusiveness was their downfall as different right wing groups set up campaigning on different interests and the Moral Majority gradually lost support. Its founding is usually considered the beginning of the Religious Right in the United States.

In 1981, the Moral Majority set up a fund of $3 million to lead a valiant fight against homosexuality in San Francisco by putting up advertisements to stir up anti-gay sentiment and to try and persuade gay people to give up their lifestyle sexual orientation (the Chicago Tribune said that $3 million to stop homosexuality in San Francisco was "optimistic").[3] A quote from Dean Wycoff, a spokesman for the Moral Majority in Santa Clara, gives a rather representative flavor of the love and kindness that ran through this campaign:

I agree with capital punishment, and I believe homosexuality is one of those that could be coupled with murder and other sins.[4]

[edit] Inappropriate name

The moral majority consisted of the same people that Richard Nixon called "the silent majority". It has been pointed out that the moral majority was neither moral nor a majority. They may well have been silent during his administration, though.

The name might be seen as a not so subtle argumentum ad populum: a similar kind of spirit runs in names like One Million Morons Moms.

[edit] Notable people within the movement

One of them said that God didn't listen to the prayers of a Jew. Another refused to share a platform with Phyllis Schlafly, the moral majority's very own sweetheart, because she was a Catholic... They have said that one can't be a liberal and a good Christian at one and the same time so that if you don't vote right, you are going straight to hell whatever your religious beliefs are.
Isaac Asimov[5]

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/obituaries/16falwell.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
  2. though Paul Weyrich originally developed the term [1]
  3. Majority Rule, leader column in Chicago Tribune, February 16, 1981
  4. AROUND THE NATION; Coalition in San Francisco To Fight Homosexuality, Associated Press in New York Times
  5. http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/asimov.htm
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