Religious Right rebrands itself as ‘socially conservative evangelicals.’

Christianity Today reports that some “politically conservative evangelicals” no longer want to be referred to as the “religious right.” According to social conservative leaders like American Values President Gary Bauer, the term “religious right” and others like it have “become synonymous with extremism”:

Gary Bauer said this week, “There is an ongoing battle for the vocabulary of our debate. It amazes me how often in public discourse really pejorative phrases are used, like the ‘American Taliban,’ ‘fundamentalists,’ ‘Christian fascists,’ and ‘extreme Religious Right.’”

A Focus on the Family official added that the “religious right” label might generate negative impressions: “Terms like ‘Religious Right’ have been traditionally used in a pejorative way to suggest extremism. The phrase ‘socially conservative evangelicals’ is not very exciting, but that’s certainly the way to do it.

Steve Benen responds, “We’re not talking about a branding problem here. These clowns have become publicly reviled because they embrace a radical worldview, starkly at odd with American traditions, laws, and culture. The innocuous label isn’t the problem. The dangerous and divisive agenda is.


Matt Finkelstein