It’s a puzzle: the Christian Coalition is fighting off extinction, but the Religious Right seems as powerful as ever. “Christian Coalition losing clout” headlined the (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot on February 19, the day of the pivotal South Carolina Republican presidential primary.
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.
Pat Robertson will retire in 2010 as president of Regent University, the Virginia school he founded, announced officials of the university, with 4,500 students on campus or online. The 79-year-old Robertson founded the school in Virginia Beach in 1978 and has been president since 2000. After July 1 he will remain the university’s chancellor and a member of its board of trustees.
Pat Robertson, 77, says that his son Gordon, 49, has succeeded him as chief executive of the Christian Broadcasting Network. The senior Robertson announced the transition this month on The 700 Club, the network’s flagship program.
Israel ended its brief suspension of relations with Pat Robertson after the controversial religious broadcaster apologized for suggesting that Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke was divine retribution for Israel’s withdrawing from the Gaza Strip.
Time magazine has named “The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America,” leaving out JerryFalwell and PatRobertson but naming author TimLaHaye of the Left Behind series, GOP Senator RickSantorum of Pennsylvania and MichaelGerson, a White House speech writer.