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The Truth about Conservative Christians

What They Think and What They Believe

Ever since the reelection of President Bush, conservative Christians have been stereotyped in the popular media: Bible-thumping militants and anti-intellectual zealots determined to impose their convictions on such matters as evolution, school prayer, pornography, abortion, and homosexuality on the rest of us. But conservative Christians are not as fanatical or intractable as many people think, nor are they necessarily the monolithic voting block or political base that kept Bush in power. 

Andrew M. Greeley and Michael Hout’s eye-opening book expertly conveys the complexity, variety, and sensibilities of conservative Christians, dispelling the myths that have long shrouded them in prejudice and political bias. For starters, Greeley and Hout reveal that class and income have trumped moral issues for these Americans more often than we realize: a dramatic majority of working-class and lower-class conservative Christians backed liberals such as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton during their runs for president. And when it comes to abortion, most conservative Christians are not consistently pro-life in the absolute fashion usually assumed: they are still more likely to oppose the practice than other Americans, but 86 percent of them are willing to tolerate it to protect the health of the mother or when the woman has been raped, and 22 percent of them are even pro-choice.

What do conservative Christians really think about evolution, homosexuality, or even the meaning of the word of God? Answering these questions and more, The Truth about Conservative Christians will interest—and surprise—a broad range of readers, especially in this heated election year. 

Read an excerpt.

216 pages | 23 line drawings, 27 tables | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2006

Religion: American Religions, Christianity, Religion and Society

Sociology: Collective Behavior, Mass Communication


"Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout, two sociologists, explode some cherished myths."


Table of Contents


ONE Introduction

TWO The Religion of Conservative Christians: A Return to the Reformation?

THREE Conservative Christians in American Politics

FOUR The Politics of Conservative Christianity in Black and White

FIVE Freedom, Inequality, and Conservative Christianity

SIX A Social Portrait of Conservative Christians

SEVEN Conservative Christian Growth: Membership Begins at Home

EIGHT Conservative Christians in the “Sexual Revolution”

NINE The Conservative Christian Family and the “Feminist Revolution”

TEN Happiness and Lifestyle among Conservative Christians

ELEVEN The Pentecostals—Ultimate Conservative Christians

TWELVE Conservative Christians and Catholics: Too Estranged for Alliance

THIRTEEN Conclusions

Appendix: Regreggion Results for Models of Vote and Party


Reference List



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