PRINT September 1989


the Moral Majority

“THE MORAL MAJORITY IS NEITHER” was a popular T-shirt slogan in the mid-’80s; and now the Moral Majority is also nonexistent. Reverend Jerry Falwell made the announcement on June 11, 1989: the right-wing religious organization which he had led since 1979 had accomplished its mission, he explained. Presumably, its 6 million claimed members were now free to toss out their Christian key chains, address books, and other Moral Majority memorabilia, put their dues money back in their pockets, and go about their business.

On the face of it, intransigent fundamentalism seemed to be following the pattern laid down earlier in this century: a brief, flamboyant emergence, followed by ridicule and ignominious retreat. In the 1920s, fundamentalism bestirred itself to challenge the teaching of evolution in the public schools. William Jennings Bryan won the case against science teacher John Scopes, but

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