Although the Moral Majority operated for only a decade, it rapidly became a visible political force and was relatively effective in its mobilization goals. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Moral-Majority. All of the following statements about a person's moral philosophy are true EXCEPT. Which statement is FALSE? Moral Majority Foundation – the organization's educational component, through which the Moral Majority educated ministers and lay people on political issues and conducted voter registration drives. [24] Moral Majority portrayed issues such as abortion, divorce, feminism, gay and lesbian rights, and the Equal Rights Amendment as attacks on the traditional concept and values of American families and tapped into a sense of societal moral decay that resonated with many evangelicals. The Moral Majority was founded with strong financial backing already in place. However, near the end of the decade, the organization faced internal difficulties and dwindling support. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Omissions? [33] Before long, the Moral Majority became heavily invested in presidential elections and national politics; although at the state level branches of the Moral Majority continued to pursue specific issues at lower levels of government.

The accident resulted in changes to the law, placing a moratorium on nuclear plants and curtailing their production. [36] According to Jimmy Carter, "that autumn [1980] a group headed by Jerry Falwell purchased $10 million in commercials on southern radio and TV to brand me as a traitor to the South and no longer a Christian. Bush rather than Pat Robertson, another televangelist, in the 1988 presidential campaign. It was founded in 1979 by Baptist minister Jerry Falwell Sr. and associates, and dissolved in the late 1980s. It advanced conservative social values, notably opposing abortion, pornography, the ERA, and gay rights. It played a key role in the mobilization of conservative Christians as a political force and particularly in Republican presidential victories throughout the 1980s. According to Robert Liebman and Robert Wuthnow, common explanations for this success include:[21], Some issues for which the Moral Majority campaigned included:[22], Moral Majority successfully campaigned to create an integrated social platform that appealed to most conservative Christians by packaging a variety of previously disparate issues under the banner of "traditional family values”. Although it disbanded in 1989, the Moral Majority helped to establish the religious right as a force in American politics. [35] The Moral Majority, however, is probably best known for its involvement in presidential elections, specifically those of Ronald Reagan. These tactics included direct-mail campaigns, telephone hotlines, rallies, and religious television broadcasts. The Moral Majority was incorporated into the Liberty Federation in 1985, remaining a distinct entity but falling under the Liberty Federation's larger jurisdiction.

The Moral Majority was formed in response to the social and cultural transformations that occurred in the United States in the 1960s and ’70s. By 1988, there were serious cash flow problems and Falwell dismantled the organization in 1989.[46]. Its impact on American politics was almost immediate as it was credited with helping Republican Ronald Reagan win the presidential election in 1980. The Moral Majority's headquarters were in Lynchburg, Virginia, where Falwell was the presiding minister of the nation's largest independent Baptist church, Thomas Road Baptist Church. In South Carolina, the Moral Majority had no presence because Bob Jones University's religious network had already organized the state's independent Baptists. For the first time, a self-professed evangelical Christian had been elected to the nation's highest office, bringing the national awareness of evangelical Christianity to a new level. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. D. According to Rushworth Kidder, which of the following best describes ends-based thinking? Christian fundamentalists were alarmed by a number of developments that, in their view, threatened to undermine the country’s traditional moral values. Nationally, the Moral Majority encouraged electoral participation among its members and used registration drives to register church-goers to vote, with the logic that Moral Majority members would be likely to vote for Moral Majority-endorsed candidates, thus strengthening the organization's electoral efficacy and strengthening its endorsements.

A study of voters in the 1984 election showed that more anti-Moral Majority voters voted for Walter Mondale than pro-Moral Majority voters voted for Reagan, suggesting the Moral Majority may have actually had a negative effect on Reagan's campaign. The evangelical minister and televangelist Pat Robertson sought the Republican nomination and would have been, at first glance, a natural choice for the Moral Majority's support.

Moral Majority, American political organization that was founded in 1979 by Jerry Falwell, a religious leader and televangelist, to advance conservative social values. In addition, the organization supported increased defense spending, a strong anti-communist foreign policy, and continued American support for Israel.

The Moral Majority was formed in response to the social and cultural transformations that occurred in the United States in the 1960s and ’70s. Falwell's decision highlighted the rivalry between Falwell and Robertson as televangelists but also revealed the deep-seated tension that still persisted between competing evangelical traditions – Falwell's fundamentalist tradition was at odds with Robertson's charismatic tradition. [10][11] The variety of resources available to the Moral Majority at its founding facilitated this rapid expansion, and included Falwell's mailing list from his program, Old Time Gospel Hour. While not explicitly anti-gay in their public platforms during the 1970s, their internal mobilization as “shared anti-gay sentiment aided in solidifying a collective set of grievances and ideologies, in establishing a collective identity of constituents, and in constructing a hostile enemy against which the conservative Christian activists were to fight[26]”. The impetus for the Moral Majority was the struggle for control of an American conservative Christian advocacy group known as Christian Voice during 1978. Fetner, Tina. Against this backdrop, Falwell established the Moral Majority, which he described as pro-family and pro-American.

Disbanding the Moral Majority in 1989 in Las Vegas, Falwell declared, "Our goal has been achieved…The religious right is solidly in place and … religious conservatives in America are now in for the duration. Also, in 1981, the Moral Majority mobilized delegates to the Virginia Republican state nominating convention in order to support Guy Farley, an evangelical candidate for lieutenant governor.[34]. This appointment was particularly significant for the Moral Majority, which had lobbied on education policy issues, especially those regarding private schools. [43] The nation's political climate, however, had changed since Reagan's first campaign. Referring to the Coalition as a "21st century resurrection of the Moral Majority," Falwell, a father of the modern "religious right" political movement, committed to leading the organization for four years. The Rise of the Moral Majority Numerous currents were coming to a head in the late seventies that few people could have foreseen, the catalyst being the 1973 pro-abortion decision. Falwell was at the head of the Moral Majority and maintained an advisory board, constituting the organization's primary leadership. Moral Majority Political Action Committee – the organization's mechanism for supporting the candidacy of people whose political platforms reflected Moral Majority values. [44], 1988 was the last presidential election for which the Moral Majority was an active organization. How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism, p. 58. For example, state chapters participated in campaigns to oust liberal members of Congress during the 1980 election. In addition, the Moral Majority took control of the Old Time Gospel Hour's publication, Journal Champion, which had been distributed to the show's donors. Corrections? "[19], The Moral Majority sought to mobilize conservative Americans to become politically active on issues they thought were important. [7], Falwell and Weyrich founded the Moral Majority in June 1979. They believed this represented the opinions of the majority of Americans (hence the movement's name). The Moral Majority was formed in response to the social and cultural transformations that occurred in the United States in the 1960s and ’70s. Announcing our NEW encyclopedia for Kids! Having already been a part of a well-established network of ministers and ministries, within a few years Falwell was favorably positioned to launch the Moral Majority. Moral Majority Inc. – the organization's lobbying division, which addressed issues on local, state, and national levels. In 1987 Falwell resigned as president, and around this time several prominent evangelists became embroiled in scandal. [8] According to former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who was Texas evangelist James Robison's communications director at the time, Robison's "Freedom Rally" at the Dallas Convention Center was the genesis of the Moral Majority.[9]. Various Moral Majority members also expressed more extreme opinions, such as Moral Majority commentator Charlie Judd, who argued that “There are absolutes in this world. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. The traditional morals of any given society are the set of moral principles by which the majority of its members have lived over a long time, a consensus which that society has reached on what is … As such, we may get some sort of grasp of the population espousing the creationist position by looking at the place of the Moral Majority in the spectrum of American Christians for whom it claims to speak.

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