Francis A. Schaeffer : the force behind the evangelical takeover of the Republican Party in America
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Over the last 40 years or so, Americans have been involved in a religious/political struggle that has divided the nation. The struggle has impacted American government, culture, the economy, and international relations. It has divided the American people, almost evenly between so-called secularist, who favor government based on the Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and evangelical/fundamentalist Protestant, Catholic Christians, many of whom seem to prefer a government based on the principles and dictates of the Bible. These particular Christians number in the tens of millions, with reputable polling organizations suggesting that there one hundred million of them. These conservative Christians attend tens of thousands of churches across America regularly and for the last forty years or so, have been listening to sermons offered by their ministers that regularly demonize the Supreme Court, Congressional liberals, Presidents, particularly if they are Democrats, and the United States government in general. As a result of these circumstances, it has been suggested by knowledgeable observers that conditions in America today resemble in some ways, the conditions that existed in this nation prior to the Civil War in the 1860s. While numerous individuals, organizations and philosophies deserve credit and/or blame for this current situation, a relatively unknown American missionary who spent most of his working life in Europe, is primarily responsible for "striking the match that lit the fire that started" the Religious Right of America on its current course to "take back America for God." That individual was Francis A. Schaeffer, who along with his son Frank, came back to America in the 1970s and 1980s to offer encouragement, guidance and a philosophical foundation upon which evangelical/fundamentalist/Catholic Christians would organize and develop one of the most powerful political organizations in the history of this country. A significant part of the success of these particular Christians has been the near "take-over" of the Republican Party. This thesis examines the life and work of Francis Schaeffer, his religious beliefs, and his leadership in the development of the Religious Right in America. It also presents new insights on perhaps the single greatest issue used by evangelical/fundamentalist/Catholics to incite their followers--ABORTION. Much of the personal information about Francis Schaeffer and his son Frank, comes not only from their numerous books, and news articles and books about them, but from several face to face interviews with Frank during his 2010 and 2011 trips to Kansas City to speak about his and his father's political/religious activities in the 70s and 80s. Frank, who regrets what he and his father got started, now travels the country attempting, unsuccessfully, to enlighten Americans to the dangers America now faces as as a result of a result of their earlier work. He also offers many personal and somewhat private observations about himself, his family and many of the current and previous leaders of the Religious Right. A most disturbing aspect of the entire situation is the fact that a vast majority of Americans and the American media either are unaware of the facts presented here, or they are fearful to discuss them.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Who was Francis A. Schaeffer IV? -- Changing times call for changing attitudes -- Where evangelical/fundamentalist Christianity is today -- Conclusion