“The Moral Equivalent of Rosa Parks?” The New Christian Right’s Framing Strategy in the Latest Chapter of the Culture Wars
In evaluating recent developments in the New Christian Right (NCR), this paper uses the social movement theory approach of framing. Social movement organizations try to gain advantages with authorities and the public by framing their demands in ways intended to persuade people that their cause is valid. The most effective way of doing this is to align their specific issues rhetorically with larger cultural themes and values, which makes the frame accessible to larger audiences. After debating as to whether a conservative religious crusade can be considered a social movement, this paper examines the NCR as a collective movement whose influence on society and capacity to mobilize are heightened by resorting to the ‘discriminated minority’ framing strategy. I argue that viewing the NCR as a social movement allows us to deepen our understanding of both religious conservatism and of the culture wars.