The religious right in flux

A pivotal year
History books are full of seminal events: 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to a church door and launched the Protestant Reformation; or 1973, when the Supreme Court legalized abortion. Those boldface dates were preceded by less prominent but decisive ones: 1516, when a Dominican named Johann Tetzel led the sale of indulgences that deeply angered Luther; and 1970, when a young Texas woman named Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe) filed suit to obtain an abortion.

The year 2007 may be recorded as the latter kind of pivotal year for U.S. religion and politics—relatively quiet, unremarkable at first glance, but nonetheless significant as a harbinger.

“There are a lot of discrete things, but if you put them all together, you get the sense that change is in the air,” said John Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.


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