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Ironies in the Reagan Years

Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 7 years ago






















The Moral Majority was a prominent American political organization associated with the Christian right and Republican Party. It was founded in 1979 by Baptist minister Jerry Falwell and associates, and dissolved in the late 1980s. It played a key role in the mobilization of conservative Christians as a political force and particularly in Republican presidential victories throughout the 1980s


The Moral Majority sought to mobilize conservative Americans to become politically active on issues they thought were important. A variety of tactics were used to garner support. These tactics included direct-mail campaigns, telephone hotlines, rallies, and religious television broadcasts. Although the Moral Majority operated for only a decade, it rapidly became a visible political force and was relatively effective in its mobilization goals. According to Robert Liebman and Robert Wuthnow, common explanations for this success include:


  • The Moral Majority was founded with strong financial backing already in place.
  • Its leaders frequently communicated with its constituents, enabling consistent messages to resonate throughout all levels of hierarchy.
  • Its leaders generally had previous organizational and management experience.
  • The general public was amenable to the issues the Moral Majority emphasized.


Some issues for which the Moral Majority campaigned included:


  • Promotion of a traditional vision of family life
  • Opposition to media outlets that it claimed promote an anti-family agenda
  • Opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment and Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
  • Opposition to state recognition or acceptance of homosexual acts.
  • Prohibition of abortion, even in cases involving incest, rape or in pregnancies where the life of the mother is at stake.
  • Support for Christian prayers in schools
  • Marketing to Jews and other non-Christians for conversion to conservative Christianity


The Moral Majority had adherents in the two major United States political parties, the Republicans, and the Democrats.








PFAW was founded by television producer Norman Lear in opposition to the publicized agenda of the Moral Majority, a formerly prominent and influential American political organization associated with the Christian right. Officially incorporated on September 4, 1980, its co-founders included Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and Time Inc. chairman and CEO Andrew Heiskell.






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