The 1980 presidential election ushered in more than just a new national leader in Ronald Reagan it brought about a new political force, the Religious Right. In 1983 Ronald Reagan declared, “ There’s a great spiritual awakening in America”, and that “freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged”, marrying politics and religion. Since Reagan’s presidency the Religious Right has taken over the Republican Party and maybe for the worse.
|Tea Party sign courtesy of politicsdaily.com|
While advocating a return the traditional values the religious sector of the conservative party has pushed the Republicans further and further to the right, handicapping them when it comes to social change. Jane Devin of the Huffington Post says, “the Republican party became a bloated fool, stuffed with hypocrisy, greed, and anti-intellectualism” taken over by neo-Christian groups. The new right wing was anti-gay, anti-abortion, and anti any new taxes, while advocating prayers in school, nuclear families, and in some cases a marriage of church and state. President Reagan once said “Let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness-pray they will discover the job of knowing God” because “…they are the focus of evil in the modern world…” This type of rhetoric has become divisive today in the hands of many of the rights pundits like Anne Coulter and Rush Limbaugh who use it to drive a wedge between left and right placing division where previously there were none.