Religion & Social Protest

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  • Created by: Loulour
  • Created on: 02-06-15 19:18

Bruce: American Civil Rights Movement

  • Attempted to end racial segregation as blacks were denied legal & political rights in many Southern states.
  • Began in 1955, Reverend MLK. Direct action - protest marches, boycotts, demonstrations until 1964.
  • Black clergy was backbone led by MLK. Shamed whites into changing the law by appealing to their shared Christian views of equality.
  • Religion in this context as an ideological resource - beliefs that protesters could draw on for motivation && legitimation.
  • Religious organisations were well equiped to support protests & contribute to social change by:

1. Taking the moral high ground - pointing out the hypocrisy of white clergy who supported racial segregation.

2. Channelling dissent - eg, MLK's funeral was a rallying point for the civil rights cause.

3. Acting as honest broker - respected by both sides in a conflict and seen as standing above 'mere politics'.

4. Mobilising public opinion - campaigning for support

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Bruce: The New Christian Right

  • A politically & morally conservative, Protestant fundamentalist movement.
  • Aims are to make abortion, divorce & homosexuality illegal and take the USA back to God. A time before the liberalisation of American society.
  • Belives in the traditional family & gender roles, campaigns for the teaching of 'creationism', wants to ban sex ed. in schools.
  • Uses televangelism, where church owned TV stations raise funds & broadcast programmes aimed at making converts.
  • The Moral Majority, a right wing Christian pressure group & part of the NCR, became the focu for political campaigning & for influencing the Republican Party.

Argues NCR has been largely unsuccessful because it has never had the support of more than 15% of the population.

Democratic values of American society = most Americans being comfortable with legalising activities such as homosexuality and abortion.

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