Book: Religious Right Is Thriving

Reports of the death of the religious right and its political influence are greatly exaggerated, according to a new book by Tony Perkins, head of the conservative Family Research Council, and Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in suburban Washington and chair of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, a largely African-American group that promotes conservative social causes.

In Personal Faith, Public Policy, they argue that what critics call "splintering" are the expected "growing pains" of expansion and rejuvenation.

"We're at a transitional point," Perkins told U . S . News. "And when things settle down, all of those in the social conservative family are going to have to work out their differences at a point of mediation. And for Christians, it's the Bible."

In their book, Jackson and Perkins write that broadening the issues of concern to social conservatives to include immigration, poverty, social justice, and global warming won't blunt their political influence, as some have predicted, but instead will encourage both Republicans and Democrats to compete for support from evangelicals.

"This, we believe, will ultimately result in policies that are more faith-friendly," they write.

By Liz Halloran