Is the Religious Right dead? It should be, suggests Sarah Pulliam in evangelicaldom’s most influential magazine, Christianity Today. Not the movement; the label. “Several politically conservative evangelicals said in interviews,” writes Pulliam, “that they do not want to be identified with the ‘Religious Right,’ ‘Christian Right,’ ‘Moral Majority,’ or other phrases still thrown around in journalism and academia.” There are a few faultlines in Pulliam’s sympathetic report. The first is the phrase “Moral Majority” — it’s long been out of fashion. Complaining about its usage would be akin to the ADL complaining about being labeled Hebrews in journalism and academe. It just doesn’t happen anymore. Suggesting it does smacks of manipulation. The more important fault line that’s cracking the credibility of such complaints is historical. In 1942, a group of fundamentalist and Pentecostal Christians, concerned that that label was restricting their political influence by associating them with uncouth militants, organized as the National Association of Evangelicals. “Evangelical” was to be the new catch-all for theologically and politically conservative Christians. Of course, it’s come to mean more than that, but the principle — when ashamed, re-frame — remains the same.