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Theoconservatism is a political philosophy commonly associated within the United States with the Christian Right, specifically the religious conservatives centered at First Things journal and the Ethics and Public Policy Center and such individuals as Michael Novak, George Weigel, the late Father Richard John Neuhaus, Robert George, Robert Bork, Alan Keyes, James Dobson, and Rev. Pat Robertson. In general it refers to those people who believe not only that God's Law ought to play a larger role in public life, but that the more socially conservative aspects of that Law ought to be enforced. Although there are no clear and hard distinctions, they can be distinguished from the Christian Socialist tradition which focuses more on the welfare aspects of the Christian gospel. Although Christians may be found at any end of the political spectrum, Theoconservatives tend to be both fiscally and socially conservative. The term is frequently used by political commentator Andrew Sullivan in reference to Republicans when commenting on social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion.

Theocon is a term sometimes used in United States political rhetoric to describe a person whose conservative ideology includes a belief that religion should play a major role in forming public policy.

The term typically refers members of the Christian right, particularly those whose ideology is a synthesis of elements of American conservatism, Conservative Christianity and social conservatism, expressed through political means. This term first appeared in 1996 in a The New Republic article entitled Neocon v. Theocon by Jacob Heilbrunn. He wrote, "The neoconservatives believe that America is special because it was founded on an idea—- a commitment to the rights of man embodied in the Declaration of Independence—- not in ethnic or religious affiliations. The theocons, too, argue that America is rooted in an idea, but they believe that idea is Christianity." Damon Linker penned the book The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege (Doubleday, 2006).

The current Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, is also tied to the theoconservative movement.[1]

References

  1. ^ McDonald, M: "Stephen Harper and the the Theo-Cons", The Walrus, October, 2006.

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Theoconservatism is a derogatory political label referring to members of the Christian right, particularly those whose ideology is a synthesis of elements of American conservatism, Conservative Christianity and social conservatism, expressed through political means. This term first appeared in 1996 in a The New Republic article entitled "Neocon v. Theocon" by Jacob Heilbrunn, where he wrote that "[T]he neoconservatives believe that America is special because it was founded on an idea—a commitment to the rights of man embodied in the Declaration of Independence—not in ethnic or religious affiliations. The theocons, too, argue that America is rooted in an idea, but they believe that idea is Christianity."[1]

The term has been used in the mainstream media to describe religious conservatives. Andrew Sullivan, blogger at The Atlantic, has commonly used the term[citation needed], as have political cartoonists Cox & Forkum in reference to former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris.[2] The current Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has been referred to by his critics as a "Theo-con".[3] Damon Linker penned the book The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege in 2006.

References

  1. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20010914000605/http://www.tnr.com/archive/1996/12/123096/heilbrunn123096.html
  2. ^ Cox and Forkum cartoon calling U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris a theocon
  3. ^ McDonald, M: "Stephen Harper and the Theo-Cons", The Walrus, October, 2006.


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