What is the “religious right?” All of a sudden western media is paying attention to this powerful, but oft-neglected group – with which, incidentally, I identify myself. Despite the increased coverage, little has been done to carefully define this term. Hence, most non-religious right people have certain stereotypes in their minds when they hear that term. Given the worldview of powerful people in most media outlets and the poor education in philosophy, theology and history Americans receive these days, that stereotype appears to me unflattering.
Dr. John Mark Reynolds has sought to offer a definition on his blog here. Take the time to read through it. I haven’t thought about it enough to see whether it adds too much or leaves out key points. However, on a cursory perusal, it strikes me as an adept definition.
Cursory perusal? That is “hot ice and wondrous strange snow.”
I don’t think Reynolds’ definition captures the more pejorative connotations of the term as typically used. Regardless of its accuracy as a definition, however, it seems problematic to me if one is inclined to join the ranks: http://wrathius.blogspot.com/2005/05/on-reynolds-and-religious-right.html
This underlies why I think it is vitally important that churches, as opposed to individual Christians, cannot become politically active. That very political activity co-opts the brand the church has, which should be about GOD. The brand we have should be like the brands of old — a label that describes a distinction, not a label that distinguishes the otherwise indistinguishable. Those are part of my comments on what I think is a very important discussion. More here