More than 30 years ago Rev. Jerry Falwell created The Moral Majority to organize religious conservatives into a powerful political constituency. From promoting school prayer to attempting bans on stem-cell research, abortion and same-sex marriage, Falwell’s Religious Right claimed a monopoly on morality and God—and in so doing, influenced public attitudes towards religion and politics for years to come.
The influence of Falwell’s Religious Right remains potent today. The 2012 election was supposed to focus on the economy and jobs, but presidential candidates are making headlines with talk about the immortality of contraception, the sin of homosexuality, and more.
What is the legacy of the Moral Majority? How did Jerry Falwell build his empire and how does it shape politics today? What is the connection of the Tea Party to the Religious Right? What can we expect in the coming months as candidates try to appeal to conservative religious voters, as well as the growing numbers of voters who are not religious?
Please join the Center for American Progress and People for the American Way for a lively and insightful conversation with author Michael Sean Winters and columnist E.J. Dionne on religion and politics in America.
Sally Steenland, Director, Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative, Center for American Progress
Peter Montgomery, Senior Fellow, People for the American Way Foundation
Michael Sean Winters, reporter and blogger, National Catholic Reporter and author of God’s Right Hand: How Jerry Falwell Made God a Republican and Baptized the American Right
E.J. Dionne, opinion writer, Washington Post PostPartisan blog and senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution