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
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.