Magazine article Church & State

Religious Right Sells Health-Care Humbug to Cure Its Ailments

Magazine article Church & State

Religious Right Sells Health-Care Humbug to Cure Its Ailments

Article excerpt

Periodically we hear that the Religious Right is dead or dying.

This movement, which merges fundamentalist Christianity with far-right politics, has certainly had its ups and downs over the years. All social and political movements do. Leaders come and go. The number of supporters varies. Funding vacillates.

But no one should assume that this natural ebb and flow means that the Religious Right is on the verge of extinction. It's true that the movement's leaders and foot soldiers were dismayed by the election of Barack Obama in November. But it's also true that those results energized the Religious Right, and it remains well funded and politically connected.

Americans United periodically surveys the strength and funding of the nation's leading Religious Right organizations. We find that the top 10 groups bring in more than half a billion in funding every year.

We also find that these organizations have friends in high places. When Religious Right groups hold national meetings, they are able to persuade top congressional leaders to address them, as well as presidential hopefuls.

The Religious Right is also adept at adapting to changing circumstances. When the debate over health care became prominent, Religious Right groups joined forces with the secular right and began exploiting that issue to boost their profiles and raise funds. They recycled discredited attacks about "death panels," rationing and mandated abortion coverage to inflame their followers. …

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