When evangelicals were pro-choice and the NRA was pro-gun control: A history of hypocrisy

When evangelicals were pro-choice and the NRA was pro-gun control: A history of hypocrisy

For 40 years, a chorus of voices on the right has been clamoring for the repeal of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal nationwide. Suddenly, Republicans and their allies don’t want to talk about it. What the hell is going on? Profound dishonesty, obviously. But in many more ways than you might at first suppose. Eighty-one percent of white evangelicals voted for an unrepentant, lifelong playboy and sexual predator because he promised them judges who would impose theocratic law, based on a make-believe "’biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal ,” as Slacktivist blogger Fred Clark called it in 2012. In 1968, the NRA supported gun control and evangelicals largely supported abortion . But the country was in flux for multiple reasons. Most dramatically, the civil rights movement helped fracture the foundations of the Democrats’ New Deal coalition, and Republicans took advantage of that, primarily by fomenting a culture war, with a new set of “moral issues” meant to give racially resentful whites a plausible framework for reclaiming the moral high ground and ignoring everything that didn’t fit their newly-minted faith. By the end of the 1970s, both the NRA and evangelicals had not just switched positions, they’d consigned their real pasts to the memory hole. As author and researcher Fred Clarkson told Salon in January , historian Randall Balmer’s book, " Thy Kingdom Come ," "tells the story well. The Christian right was not originally animated by abortion, but by the […]

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