Paul Weyrich

Ralph Reed

Cal Thomas

Jerry Falwell

Don Eberly

James Dobson

Charles Colson

with book review by
Bruce Shelley

A storm is brewing in the land of the Religious Right. We heard a thunderclap in February when Paul Weyrich, the man who coined the phrase Moral Majority, wrote a letter to his constituents. He claimed that "we probably have lost the culture war" and that "we need some sort of quarantine." His sentiments reverberated in Blinded by Might, a book written by two former Moral Majority staffers, Ed Dobson and Cal Thomas (reviewed on p. 54 by historian Bruce Shelley). To be sure, not everyone in the land responded happily to these rain clouds.

Though it was an intramural dispute among Christians of a politically conservative bent, it was soon picked up by media outlets such as 60 Minutes and the New York Times. At the surface, the squabble centered on the question: Should Christians give up on the Religious Right? But its roots sprang from an issue that Christians since the time of the apostles have had to face: What is the proper relationship between politics, culture, the church, and one's faith and social responsibility?

In this issue of CT, key leaders in conservative Christian politics respond to the question of giving up on the Religious Right. In the pages that follow, Paul Weyrich, James Dobson, Cal Thomas, Ralph Reed, and Jerry Falwell let us in on their discussion. Former Reagan aide Don Eberly offers his perspective as someone who has vocally opposed the strategy of the Religious Right, and political veteran Charles Colson offers some closing commentary. While less politically conservative evangelicals may not identify with the Religious Right, the thinkers and movers included here do everyone a favor by openly grappling with what it means to be in the world but not of it.

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