Religion and right wing politics

Room 2.29, Law & Politics Building
Time Slot: 
Monday 26th March 09:30 - 11:00
Panel Chair: 
Panel Members: 
  • Professor Ken Wald (University of Florida)
  • Professor Elizabeth Oldmixon (University of North Texas)
  • Professor Angelia Wilson (University of Manchester)
  • Dr William Allchorn (University of Leeds)
  • Dr William Allchorn (University of Leeds)

This panel consists of three papers examining various links between religion and right wing politics. Paper #1 considers the rise of the of the Tea Party following the 2008 American presidential election, considering this through the lens of the 'politics of cultural differences'. It argues that the Tea Party drew on grievances concerning violations of the moral order, and finds, using a 2012 survey, that value congruence and identification with the Tea Party were driven principally by cultural tensions associated with gender, race, and sexuality. Paperl #2 explores the legal status of LGBTQ persons around the globe. While in some contexts homosexuality is cause for incarceration and even death, in other contexts LGBTQ persons share fully in a civil society. Sexuality is privatized, and their political and civil rights are fully protected. This paper explores the religious dynamics that shape these varied experiences. Paper #3 examines the role of Richard Viguerie ('the king of direct mail') in shaping the evangelical political agenda and giving it a clear voice in order to educate constituents. The importance of direct contact with constituents, by-passing mainstream media interpretations, continues to be a key tool in voter education and mobilization. This paper demonstrates the importance of this direct communication by considering over 1,000 emails sent over a ten year period from the Family Research Council, a leading Christian Right organization. Mapping this data set to relevant political events gives some indications of exactly how an evangelical political strategy continues to be articulated and re-interpreted through direct contact in order to educate and mobilize constituents.