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The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

Christian Right

Religion, Conservatives

The terms Christian right and Religious right are often used interchangeably, although the terms are not synonymous.  Religious right can refer to any religiously motivated conservative movement, whether specific to one religion or shared across religious lines.  For example, conservative Christians, Muslim social conservatives, and Orthodox Jews cooperate in national and international projects through the World Congress of Families and United Nations NGO gatherings.[1] Christian right on the other hand refers to only the Christian segment of the Religious right.

 

The term Christian right is used by people from a wide range of conservative political and religious viewpoints, for self identification and outside commentary.  Some 15% of the electorate in the United States tell pollsters they align themselves with the Christian right, which serves as an important voting bloc within the U.S. Republican Party.  In recent years, Christian right groups have appeared in other countries than the United States such as Canada and the Philippines.  However, the Christian right remains a phenomenon most commonly associated with the United States.[2]

 

John C. Green of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life states that Jerry Falwell used the label 'Religious Right' to describe himself, until it developed negative connotations, such as of hard-edged politics and intolerance, which resulted in very few people to whom the term would apply using it to describe themselves any more.  Gary Schneeberger, vice president of media and public relations for Focus on the Family, states that "[t]erms like 'Religious Right' have been traditionally used in a pejorative way to suggest extremism.  The phrase 'socially conservative evangelicals' is not very exciting, but that's certainly the way to do it."[3]

 

Evangelical leaders like Tony Perkins of Family Research Council have called attention to the special problem of equating the terms with evangelical.  Although evangelicals constitute the core constituency of the Christian right, not all evangelicals fit the description.  The problem of description is further complicated by the fact that "religious conservative" may refer to groups like Mennonites and Amish, who are theologically conservative, but are not involved in politics.

 

Grassroots activism

Much of the Christian right's power within the American political system is attributed to their extraordinary turnout rate at the polls.  The voters that coexist in the Christian Right are also highly motivated and driven to get out a viewpoint on issues they care about.  As well as high voter turnout, they can be counted on to attend political events, knock on doors and distribute literature.  Members of the Christian Right are willing to do the electoral work needed to see their candidate elected.  Because of their high level of devotion, the Christian right does not need to monetarily compensate these people for their work

 

Partisan activity of churches

Small churches self-identified as within the Christian right have taken overtly partisan actions, which are generally considered inappropriate in most conservative Protestant churches, and which could threaten these organizations' tax-exempt status.[citation needed] In one notable example, the former pastor of the East Waynesville Baptist Church in Waynesville, North Carolina "told the congregation that anyone who planned to vote for Democratic Sen. John Kerry should either leave the church or repent".[15] The church later expelled nine members who had voted for Kerry and refused to repent, which led to criticism on the national level. The pastor resigned and the ousted church members were allowed to return

 

Politics

See also: Separation of church and state, Separation of church and state in the United States, Establishment Clause, Dominionism, Christian Reconstructionism, and Theonomy

 

As a right-wing political movement, the Christian right is strongly opposed to left-wing ideologies such as socialism and the welfare state.  To some, communism is seen as a threat to the Western Judeo-Christian tradition

 

Role of government

See also: religious discrimination against Neopagans

 

The Christian Right sees the government's proper role in society as cultivating virtue, not to interfere with the natural operations of the marketplace or the workplace.  [39] It promotes conservative or literal interpretations of the Bible as the basis for moral values, and enforcing such values by legislation.

 

Therefore, it opposes federal funding of science.  They feel science often contradicts the Bible, especially fields that they feel violate the right to life.  It also opposes what it views as judicial activism by federal judges as well as decisions perceived as liberal in cases important to the Christian Right.  It opposes full civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans especially rights related to marriage.[40] It has opposed equal recognition and freedom of religious expression for Wicca and other Neopagan faiths

 

Separation of Church and State

The Christian Right believes that separation of church and state is not explicit in the American Constitution, believing instead that such separation is a creation of what it claims are activist judges in the judicial system though both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison make very similar writings taking a positive position on church/state separation.[42][43][44] In the United States, the Christian Right often supports their claims by asserting that the country was "founded by Christians as a Christian Nation" though this claim ignores the fact that many statements present in the Constitution are not based on Christianity, but rather on the Enlightenment and Enlightenment philosophers.[45][46]

 

Christian Right leaders have argued that while the First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion", it does not prohibit the display of religion in the public sphere.  Leaders therefore believe that civil servants should be allowed to display the Ten Commandments.  This interpretation has been repeatedly rejected by the courts, which have found that such displays violate the Establishment Clause.  Public officials though are prohibited from using their authority in which the primary effect is "advancing or prohibiting religion", according to the Lemon Supreme Court test, and there cannot be an "excessive entanglement with religion" and the government.[47] Some, such as Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, argue that the First Amendment, which specifically restricts Congress, applies only to the Congress and not the states.  This position rejects the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.[48]

 

Because it does not believe in the separation of church and state, the Christian Right supports the presence of religious institutions within government.  It also supports the presence and activities of religion in the public sphere.  It supports the reduction of restrictions on government funding for religious charities and schools.  However, some politically conservative churches refuse government funding because of their restrictions regarding acceptance of homosexuality and other issues.  Others endorse President Bush's faith-based initiatives and accept funding.


Criticisms

There is a continuous debate about whether Jesus would be considered left or right within modern politics.  Some claim that Jesus' concern with the poor and feeding the hungry, among other things, are attributes of the modern day left wing.  While the dialogue of Jesus has some of the same talking points as the modern left, the right considers these subjects important as well and has different opinions about how to care for the poor.  The Christian right in particular faces accusations of politicizing the teachings of Jesus for its own purposes

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_right

 

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