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Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics
April 10, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
This recording is the property of the SMU Center for Presidential History and may only be used for research and teaching purposes. It cannot be copied or reproduced for profit. © 2019
The CPH welcomes R. Marie Griffith, Director of the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, as she discusses her latest book, Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics.
Gay marriage, transgender rights, birth control–sex is at the heart of many of the most divisive political issues of our age. The origins of these conflicts, historian R. Marie Griffith argues, lie in sharp disagreements that emerged among American Christians a century ago. From the 1920s onward, a once-solid Christian consensus regarding gender roles and sexual morality began to crumble, as liberal Protestants sparred with fundamentalists and Catholics over questions of obscenity, sex education, and abortion. Both those who advocated for greater openness in sexual matters and those who resisted new sexual norms turned to politics to pursue their moral visions for the nation. Moral Combat is a history of how the Christian consensus on sex unraveled, and how this unraveling has made our political battles over sex so ferocious and so intractable.
This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University.