Good, then, for my old colleague Jim Galloway, who in yesterday’s Atlanta Journal Constitution outlines the disarray that has overtaken the once mighty religious right in Georgia. Five years ago, the queen of the kingdom was Sadie Fields, who as head of the state Christian Coalition worked hand in glove with Ralph Reed (then chair of the Georgia Republican Party) to engineer the GOP takeover of state government. (Here’s how it worked, and here’s how Fields described it.)
Sadie’s still around today, and still counts, but she no longer presides over a unified movement. Her own pragmatism is questioned by true believers disgusted with Republican legislators’ lack of (as they see it) true belief. The election of Barack Obama, and the consequent postponement (if not denial) of the dream of a Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade, has been a bitter disappointment. The millennial moment of George W. has passed.
Recovery is always possible. But if what’s happened in Georgia is being replicated across the country, it could well be the case that the religious right as we have come to know it really is on the way out.