Journalist Dan Gilgoff is the author of the new book The Jesus Machine: How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America Are Winning the Culture War.
Gilgoff — a senior writer at U.S. News & World Report — gained rare access for a reporter to the Focus on the Family organization. He writes about how Dobson's group became the most powerful group in the Christian Right.
A retired Episcopal priest, Danforth represented Missouri in the Senate for 18 years. He is also the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Recently, Danforth has been outspoken about the Christian conservative bent of the GOP, writing that "Republicans have transformed our party into the political arm of conservative Christians."
A new documentary from filmmakers Calvin Skaggs and David Van Taylor describes the emergence of evangelical Christianity as a powerful political force. With God on Our Side: George W. Bush and the Rise of the Religious Right is being broadcast on the Sundance Channel. Van Taylor and Skaggs run the documentary company Lumiere Productions.
Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas and pastor Ed Dobson. Both previously worked with the Moral Majority: Thomas was Jerry Falwell's spokesman, and Dobson was Falwell's personal assistant. The two are now critical of the emergence of conservative Christian groups into politics, and they've collaborated on the new book: "Blinded by Might: Can the Religious Right Save America?" (Zondervan Publishing).
Four-star General, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell. He has a new autobiography My American Journey (Random House, written with Joseph E. Persico), and an anxious audience, waiting to see if he will declare his candidacy for President of the United States. Powell first came to the attention of the American public during the Gulf War, officiating at the televised gulf war briefings. Powell retired from the military in 1993, after 35 years in uniform.
Executive Director of the Christian Coalition, Ralph Reed. The Christian Coalition is a national organization dedicated to mobilizing the religious right, for political and legislative objectives. The coalition was founded by evangelist Pat Robertson. It's "Contract with the American Family" includes calls for: school prayer; eliminating federal funding for abortions; limits on late-term abortions; restrictions on pornography on the Internet, and eliminating federal funding for the NEA and public broadcasting.
Mel White is the ghost-writer of biographies for such Religious Right leaders as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robinson and Billy Graham. That was before he came out as a gay man, after a long struggle accepting it. White tried aversion therapy and exorcism to purge himself of his homosexual feelings. Now White is the Dean of the largest gay church in the world, Dallas's Cathedral of Hope and the author of "Stranger at the Gate: To be Gay and Christian in America," (Simon & Schuster).
Jerry Falwell, former head of the Moral Majority and temporary head of the PTL (Praise the Lord) organization after revelations of sexual encounters brought down the Rev. Jim Bakker. Falwell recently stepped down as head of the PTL and of the Moral Majority, his Christian political action committee, to concentrate on his ministry, best known through his national television program "The Old Time Gospel Hour." He's written an autobiography titled Strength for the Journey.
Jerry Falwell is a Baptist minister who is the founder and head of Moral Majority, Incorporated, which recently created an umbrella organization, The Liberty Federation, to support an expanded political and social agenda. The group describes itself as "pro-life, pro-family, pro-moral, and pro-strong national defense." Falwell is also the founder of Thomas Rhode Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, and the founder and chancellor of Lynchburg Christian Academy, Liberty University, Liberty Baptist Seminary, and Liberty Home Bible Institute.