Moral Majority

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The Moral Majority was a conservative Christian coalition organized in 1979 by Rev. Jerry Falwell. Its mailing lists reached 100,000 clergy representing over 7 million conservative religious Americans. The Moral Majority, part of the Religious Right and partially responsible for moving the Republican Party to the right, organized a series of voting drives and political demonstrations to advance their conservative point of view and enhance the moral and religious attitudes of the nation. The Moral Majority is best known for their work in supporting Ronald Reagan's election in 1980, and registering millions of voters to act on his behalf.

Preachers emphasized that the devil was at work in America and good Christians had to organize to stop him. Abortion, a new issue in politics, was a major theme.

The Moral Majority played little role during the Reagan years; Falwell stepped down as its leader in 1987 and it was disbanded in 1989.


In the 1984 election, 9.4% of the voters identified with the Moral Majority. They were disproportionately female, Evangelical, and highly religious, and felt negatively toward abortion, homosexuality, and the women's "liberation" movement.[1]

Further reading

  • Shupe, Anson and William A Stacey. Born again politics and the moral majority: what social surveys really show (1982)
  • Wilcox, Clyde; Sharon Linzey; and Ted G. Jelen. "Reluctant Warriors: Premillennialism and Politics in the Moral Majority," Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Sep., 1991), pp. 245–258 in JSTOR
  • Wilcox, Clyde. "Evangelicals and the Moral Majority," Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Dec., 1989), pp. 400–414 in JSTOR


  1. Clyde Wilcox et al. "The Second Coming of the New Christian Right: Patterns of Popular Support in 1984 and 1996," Social Science Quarterly 1999 80(1): 181-192