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Moral Majority

MORAL MAJORITY

MORAL MAJORITY. The Reverend Jerry Falwell, an evangelical Christian, formed the Moral Majority, a civic advocacy and a political action group, in 1979. The name was meant to project strength by highlighting and validating the ethical and numerical supremacy of ordinary Americans, especially in rural areas and religious communities, over affluent, urban, and more educated people. Of particular concern were secular, individualistic, liberal movements—including pacifist, gay, and feminist groups—and their impact on private life, popular culture, and public policy. The members of the Moral Majority frequently perceived the modern lifestyle as decadent, promiscuous, self-indulgent, and vacuous. They wanted to challenge its prevalence and its influence.

The essence of the Moral Majority was its religious fundamentalism, which insisted upon reliance on a strict interpretation of the Christian version of the Bible, a belief in God's moral authority as conveyed to people and imparted by the clergy, and an awareness of His close supervision of human deeds. The agenda was socially conservative, anticommunist, populist, and nationalist. It exuded pride in the traditional American heritage of freedom and piety, but also reacted against the perceived excesses of the 1960s often embodied in the Democratic Party.

The Moral Majority supported collective prayer in public schools, the widespread teaching of Christian scriptures as superior to the findings of modern science, as in its support of creationism, and lobbied for these goals throughout the United States. The group took a strict pro-life stance, advocating the reversal of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade (1973) that permitted abortions. Although that campaign failed, a growing public awareness of the claim that life begins at conception was achieved and a dismay at abortions—especially those performed in the last trimester of the pregnancy—grew measurably.

The Moral Majority also played a role in blocking the adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment, which was supported by women's organizations, as defending vulnerable members of society. The Moral Majority objected to the promotion and the protection of homosexual rights, with varying results in individual states. It denounced nuclear disarmament agreements with the Soviet Union, notably the two phases of the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, SALT I and II. The group's major accomplishment was its voter registration and fund-raising activities in 1980, which propelled conservative candidates, primarily Republicans—including presidential nominee Ronald Reagan—to local and national offices.

On 10 June 1989, Falwell announced that "our mission is accomplished" and dissolved the Moral Majority, effective 31 August 1989. The surviving organization most resembling it was the Liberty Foundation.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Wilcox, Clyde. Onward Christian Soldiers? The Religious Right in American Politics. 2d ed. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 2000.

ItaiSneh

See alsoChristian Coalition ; Fundamentalism ; Pro-Life Movement .

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"Moral Majority." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Moral Majority." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved April 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/moral-majority

Moral Majority

Moral Majority. Organization in the USA which aims to exert political pressure in favour of traditional ‘moral’ values (family life, free enterprise, strong national defence) and against such causes as homosexual rights and freer abortion. Moral Majority, Inc. was founded in 1979 by the Baptist pastor and television evangelist Jerry Falwell (b. 1933), and rose to prominence in the presidential election campaign of 1980. Although it is ‘pluralistic’ and ‘not based on theological considerations’, the organization's support comes mainly from conservative Protestant Christians.

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"Moral Majority." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Moral Majority." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/moral-majority

"Moral Majority." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved April 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/moral-majority

Moral Majority

Moral Majority, U.S. political action group composed of conservative, fundamentalist Christians. Founded (1979) and led (1979–87) by evangelist Rev. Jerry Falwell, the group played a significant role in the 1980 elections through its strong support of conservative candidates. It lobbied for prayer and the teaching of creationism in public schools, while opposing the Equal Rights Amendment (see feminism), homosexual rights, abortion, and the U.S.-Soviet SALT treaties (see disarmament, nuclear). The Moral Majority was dissolved in 1989.

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"Moral Majority." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Moral Majority." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/moral-majority

"Moral Majority." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/moral-majority