Christianity’s Red Sea

Throughout the 1970s, America was going through a change in identity. As many corporations moved their operations to overseas industries, the American working class began to lose their jobs. Along with this, their political beliefs began to shift. Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, Conservatism began to rise within the American public, and no man better depicted this changing mood than Carl McIntire.

Carl McIntire was a prominent radio broadcaster and pastor who played a significant role in the formation of the Christian Right in the United States. He was known for his conservative and fundamentalist views and his opposition to what he perceived as the liberal and secular forces that were taking over American society. He used his radio program, “The Twentieth Century Reformation Hour,” to promote his conservative values and mobilize his listeners. He was particularly vocal about his opposition to Communism and how Communism had rooted itself in American Society by taking the jobs of thousands and creating a weak economy along with it creeping its way into American politics and culture. In the 1950s and 1960s McIntire was a leading figure in what he called “godless communism.” He was also a large supporter of the anti communist crusade led by senator Joseph McCarthy, as well as playing a key role in establishing the National Council of Christian Churches (NCCC), which was established as a conservative alternative to the more liberal National Council of Churches. McIntire’s influence on the Christian Right was particularly strong in the 1970s and 1980s. He was a frequent speaker at conservative conferences and rallies, as well as being a vocal opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion rights, and the teaching of evolution in public schools. These values were popular amongst the American public who had grown tired of being subject to increasingly left policies and tenets that drew closer to those of Communsim. Overall Carl McIntire played an important role in establishing the Christian Right of the United States through his conservative beliefs and his support of more right ideas that attracted many traditional Christians in America.

McIntire and his beliefs would be tied to another growing conservative movement known as “New Evangelism” that became popular in the United States. Neo-evangelicalism played an important role in the rise of the “conservative consensus” in U.S. politics because it brought together conservative religious values with political activism. This movement emerged in the mid-20th century as a response to the perceived liberalism of mainstream Protestantism, which had become increasingly focused on social justice issues. They believed in the authority of the Bible and the importance of personal convergence. They sought to bring their christian values to social and political issues. In the 1970s and 1980s they became a key constituency of the Republican Party and actively supported the party and their candidates. The influence of neo-evangelicals on the conservative movement helped to create a “conservative consensus” around issues such as limited government, free markets, and traditional morality. This consensus continues to shape U.S. politics today and has had a profound impact on American society and culture.

One thought on “Christianity’s Red Sea

  1. I like how you mentioned Carl McIntire’s connection to the Cold War order and his role as an anti-communist. I think that it’s important to remember how much people saw communism as a cause for many of the social changes happening in America at the time. This also relates to how many of the more liberal policies that the conservatives were against were seen as an attack on religion, and therefore a possible communist influence. It’s a good reminder that for all of the change happening, there were still a large number of people who fought for tradition and scorned the new way of thinking, and found a way to bring this religious ideology to politics, forming the conservative consensus.


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