Religious Right Loses Big, But Will They Go Home?

Emily Douglas

Americans overwhelmingly gave their support to pro-choice, pro-prevention candidates and rejected anti-choice initiatives. Will the religious right get the message?

Americans overwhelmingly gave their support to a pro-choice, pro-prevention presidential candidate.  Voters rejected an abortion ban in South Dakota, an amendment defining fertilized eggs as legal persons in Colorado, and a parental notification measure in California. Pro-choice legislators made major gains in both the House and the Senate. Will the religious right get the message and go home?

We’ll look closely at this question in coming days, but initial reports suggest, not without a fight. For Religion Dispatches, Bill Berkowitz predicts how the religious right may react during the early days of the Obama transition.

Right off the bat, longtime leaders of the Religious Right,
monitoring every move Team Obama’s transition team makes, will
distribute angry press releases critical of Obama Administration
appointees. Organizations will post heated blog entries and dash off
Daily E-Mail Alerts to supporters cataloguing a host of Obama missteps
including complaints about the reversal of a number of Bush
Administration Executive Orders.

Conservative evangelical
leaders will engage in a spirited and steadfast attempt to rebuild and
reinvigorate a wounded movement, leading to the US Postal Service and
direct mail companies experiencing a surge in business as urgent
fundraising appeals pepper the mailboxes and inboxes of Religious Right

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At its worst—as was done during the Clinton
Administration—forums will be convened to discuss whether the Obama
presidency is legitimate. 

Will they regroup?  Will strategies shift?  Early indications from the personhood movement suggest no.  This morning, the team behind Colorado’s Amendment 48 sent out a press release announcing the formation of a new national organization, Personhood USA, that will assist states in bringing personhood constitutional amendments to the ballot — even though Amendment 48 lost by a massive, nearly 30 point margin.

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