Why We Must Reclaim “Religious Freedom” from Christian Conservatives


Religious Dispatch | January 21, 2016

When Frederick Clarkson was a young activist and journalist living and working in Washington, D.C. Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority was getting started and Ronald Reagan became president. Those were heady days for religious conservatives, who had long felt marginalized.

As the political and social landscape has shifted over the years, the Christian Right, along with conservative politicians seeking their votes, has successfully rebooted the culture wars by redefining “religious freedom” and adding it to its anti-abortion and anti-gay arsenal.

In honor of National Religious Freedom Day (celebrated on January 16th) I spoke to Clarkson about his thoroughgoing recent report—When Exemption is the Rule: The Religious Freedom Strategy of the Christian Right (via Political Research Associates)in which he names the religious freedom strategy one of the “central issues of our time.”

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