Just a few years ago the Religious Right was talking about making itself more appealing and effective in mainstream politics. The head of the Christian Coalition at the time, Ralph Reed, declared that the Religious Right needed to tone down its rhetoric, overcome its tradition of racial bigotry, and reach out to Jews, Catholics and ethnic minorities.
That was then. In recent weeks we’ve seen the Religious Right flexing its political muscles on behalf of George W. Bush, and it has not been an appealing sight. Its activities in the Republican primary in South Carolina included these less-than-shining moments (we rely here on reports by Rod Dreher of the New York Post and others):