Date of Award

8-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

History

Advisor

Shockley, Megan

Committee Member

Andrew , Rod

Committee Member

Grubb , Alan

Abstract

The 1960s conservative movement of Barry Goldwater gave rise to a politically active and influential block of voters that came to be known as the religious Right. Disillusioned with the direction of America and a government that seemed hostile to their views and values, religious-minded Americans began to organize to fight for the issues that were important to them. Virginia was an important battleground in the fight over these important social issues due to its unique demographic make-up with a more liberal and urban northern part with the rest of Virginia more conservative and rural. The organization of politically minded religious groups and figures in Virginia centered around three issues: the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion, and the fight over the tax-exemption status of Christian schools. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson became important local and national figures. There have been many books and articles written on the religious Right and their influence in America but there has been little written on how is began and eventually coalesced into an organized and coherent movement. This paper hopes to provide information on the important figures, issues and tactics used by the religious Right in their infant stage.

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