Beliefnet
For conservative Christians, there has always been a tension between thechurch and the polis. Should Christians try to influence the state, tomake America into a Christian society? Or should they focus on church andcommunity, living in a world apart? Over the past 20 years, thependulum has swung toward greater Christian participation in politics. Butnow it seems to be swinging back again. This collection of essays on thepivotal 1998 mid-term Congressional election examines why.

When the Republicans swept the House in 1994, the power of the Gingrichiancoalition appeared to be ascendant; a short four years later, theDemocrats won a majority of seats. These detailed state-level studiesprovide a close analysis of the events of 1998. Their basic conclusion is that the Christian Right was too closely focussed on Clinton's impeachment, which most Americans opposed. Now, many Christian leaders think they should go back to the stance they took following the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1924, whenfundamentalists began their long retreat from mainstream America. Ifoccasionally dry, this collection of articles provides the politicalcontext for the changing theological and philosophical positions of theChristian Right.

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