Religion and Politics in Print

Mark Silk

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the American News Media

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195395068
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Religion and Politics in Print


Coverage of religion in American politics is shaped by the Constitution's mandate in Article VI, Section 3. If it was secularism, French style, that pushed religion into the forefront of electoral politics at the end of the eighteenth century, it was Roman Catholicism that brought it back in the 1840s and kept it there for more than a century. Anti-Catholicism was deeply engrained in American society, but the flood of Irish and (to a lesser extent) German Catholic immigrants into the cities of the North transformed theological hatred into social prejudice. This article discusses print media's coverage of religion and politics in the United States. It examines the emergence of the religious Right and how its core constituency—conservative white evangelicals—became the base of the Republican Party. It also looks at the presidency of George W. Bush and the so-called God gap, the role of religion in the 2008 presidential campaign, and the radical shift in the nature of the news media.

Keywords: religion; politics; United States; print media; Catholicism; religious Right; George W. Bush; God gap; Republican Party; news

Article.  6143 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies

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