Author: Edward Ashbee

This book considers the policy of the George W. Bush administration towards issues such as abortion, sex education, obscenity and same-sex marriage. It suggests that, although accounts have often emphasised the ties between George W. Bush and the Christian right, the administration's strategy was, at least until early 2005, largely directed towards the courting of middle-ground opinion. The study offers a detailed and comprehensive survey of policy making; assesses the political significance of moral concerns; evaluates the role of the Christian Right; and throws new light on George W. Bush's years in office and the character of his thinking.

John Anderson

world, some of which were undergoing political transition. One was the rise, fall and rise of the so-called Christian Right in the USA which sought to change the American political agenda and that has, under President George W. Bush, seen its discourse become more widely accepted and its influence seemingly grow in the domestic and foreign policy thinking of a Republican administration. Whilst critics claimed that this revitalised movement was in danger of subverting American liberties and undermining the traditional separation of Church and

in Christianity and democratisation
Abstract only
The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda
Edward Ashbee

Christian right, the network of culturally conservative groups and organisations (such as Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America) that is largely, but not exclusively, built around white evangelical Protestants, have also attracted widespread attention. The connections are certainly close. Karl Rove is reportedly scrupulous about maintaining contact with TBA_A02.qxd 08/02/2007 11:18 AM Page 3 Introduction 3 some of the movement’s leading figures. Indeed, Andrew Sullivan, former editor of The New Republic, has described Focus on

in The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda
Sex education, abstinence and contraception
Edward Ashbee

:20 AM Page 108 108 The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda the increased political weight of the Christian right, the fears of a largely black urban underclass structured around young single mothers, the costs imposed by a long-term entitlement programme (Aid to Families with Dependent Children [AFDC]), Republican commitment to fundamental reform, and President Clinton’s ability to recognise changing electoral realities, led to passage of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWOA) and the incorporation within it of provision for

in The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda
Edward Ashbee

, the number of abortions performed annually spiraled reaching 1,608,600 in 1990.13 While the Court acknowledged the constitutionality of further constraints by, for example, upholding the 1977 Hyde Amendment which prohibited the use of federal Medicaid funds for abortion, the basic principle underpinning Roe remained intact (see pages 204 –5). Indeed, there were suggestions that because of the judicial tradition that courts should defer to precedent, the ruling became more firmly established with each month that passed. The rise of the Christian right The changes in

in The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda
Open Access (free)
Lessons for the Conservatives?
Edward Ashbee

defeated, gaining only 41.4 per cent of the vote. The religious right For much of the 1980s and 1990s, the religious (or Christian) right was an important and integral component of the US conservative movement. Spurred into the political arena by developments such as the shift in women’s social and economic roles, the secularisation of education, successive Supreme Court rulings (particularly Roe v. Wade) and the emergence of the ‘gay lobby’, evangelical Christians sought the adoption of policies structured around moral traditionalism and family values. In particular

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Edward Ashbee

TBA_C05.qxd 12/02/2007 12:00PM Page 137 5 Obscenity and indecency The nomination of former Missouri governor and Senator, John Ashcroft, as Attorney-General on 22 December 2000 led to celebrations among the groups associated with the Christian right. There were few doubts about Ashcroft’s faith or his politics. Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, backed his confirmation in forthright terms: John Ashcroft is a man of high integrity and respect for the rule of law . . . I join today with the representatives of millions of

in The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda
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The politics of morality,the 2004 presidential election and the Bush legacy
Edward Ashbee

TBA_C08.qxd 08/02/2007 11:21 AM Page 233 8 Conclusion: the politics of morality, the 2004 presidential election and the Bush legacy The Bush approach to moral politics reaped electoral rewards. In 2000, his distance from the strictures of the Christian right contributed to the winning over of undecided voters and independents, a significant proportion of whom had backed President Bill Clinton or Ross Perot, the Reform Party candidate, in 1996. At the same time, Bush’s emphasis on broad moral principles helped in rallying Republican supporters who had abandoned

in The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda
Edward Ashbee

– Episcopalian reserve, moderation on cultural issues, close ties to back East – was a tough sell.9 Although some on the Christian right continued to have reservations about Bush, his turn to faith enabled him to construct a working relationship with the movement’s kingmakers. In his father’s 1988 presidential election campaign, Bush was, together with Doug Wead (a former Assembly of God minister, an associate of televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and a member of the Amway products network), responsible for liaison between the campaign and the Christian right.10 As Wead

in The Bush administration, sex and the moral agenda
John Anderson

The impact of global Pentecostalism on democratisation is almost as hotly debated as the influence of the Christian Right on the American polity, and in some analyses the two movements are seen as connected. Initial studies tended to assume that Pentecostals were politically conservative and quiescent, inclined to other-worldly values that simply accepted the political order in the countries where they lived and worshipped. Several writers pointed to the support that Pentecostal leaders offered to General Pinochet in Chile, or to the

in Christianity and democratisation