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The McKelvy House Scholars invite the campus to join a dinner discussion of the “Christian Right” Sunday evening.

The dinner will begin at 6 p.m. at McKelvy House, 200 High Street. Marquis Scholar Richard Lear ’06 (Stroudsburg, Pa.) and double major in French and government and law will lead the discussion at 6:30 p.m.

“Many leaders of today’s religious right movement attribute the 1994 elections that resulted in a Republican takeover of the House and Senate specifically to ‘pro-family’ voters. The 1994 elections marked the first time Republicans controlled these two branches of government in 40 years,” Lear says. “While the real influence of the religious right in this election may be disputed, the increasing influence of the Christian Right within the Republican Party since this moment cannot be argued.”

His discussion will focus on the impact of the Christian Right in our society and asks the following questions:

Is the Christian Right a true social/activist movement? Does this mean all religions are social movements?

How do you feel about the Christian Right’s rise to power (not so much do you agree with their views, but rather do you see their rise to power as legitimate and deserving)?

Has the Christian Right been responsible for the recent divisiveness of the nation based on the notion of “values voters” and choosing sides on topics such as abortion and gay rights? Or is the country more divided over issues such as the war in Iraq, war on terror, economy, etc?

Do you see a continuation of the powerful political influence of the Christian Right, or rather an eventual decline as the attitudes toward such hot-button issues as abortion and homosexuality become more liberal with each generation?Will potential technological advances in fields such as medicine (e.g., stem cell research and cloning) – and the moral opposition to such advances – keep the Christian Right afloat?

In addition, Lear would like international students to offer their perspectives of the movements affect on America and other countries as well.

Links to websites on the discussion topics including a list of Christian Right beliefs, and more information about the McKelvy House Scholars program are available on the group’s blog website.

Since 1962, the McKelvy House Scholars program has brought together Lafayette students with a wide range of majors and interests to reside in a historic off-campus house and share in intellectual and social activities. Sunday dinner discussions that engage the students in debate and exchange of ideas are the hallmark of the program; several Wednesday discussions have been added this school year. Most members also contribute to the annual McKelvy Papers, written on a topic of each person’s choice. McKelvy Scholars participate in activities together such as field trips to plays, concerts, and exhibits, and sponsor events for the campus as well.

Previous discussions:

Oct. 26 – Social Groups
Oct. 23 – The Shape of Things
Oct. 19 – “Women in Creating and Sustaining Peace”
Oct. 16 – “Slow Food” Movement
Oct. 12 – Hugo Chavez
Oct. 9 – Molecular Nanotechnology
Oct. 5 – Folk Music as Vehicle for Social Change
Sept. 25 – Freedom and Other Remembrance Issues
Sept. 20 – The Powerful Thrust of Language on Civic Arousal
Sept. 14 – Apathy
Sept. 11 – Why Do We Care about One Another?

Categorized in: Academic News