IFAS | Freedom Writer | June/July/August 1989 | majority.html

Moral Majority folds

On June 11, 1989, the Rev. Jerry Falwell announced "our mission is accomplished." Faiwell said that the Moral Majority would permanently close its doors on August 31.

In its ten-year existence, the Moral Majority failed to achieve any of its stated objectives. However, Falwell proclaimed that Moral Majority did register millions of new voters up to 4 million in 1980 alone. For the most part, these new voters are conservative, born-again Christians.

In reference to his mission being accomplished, Falwell stated that "the religious right is solidly in place," and that it is "in for the duration."

The major factor which contributed to Moral Majority's demise was the downfall of disgraced televangelists Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker. The effects of the scandals dealt a hurtful blow to every national ministry, including Falwell's. Mark Smith, editor of Falwell's journal Liberty Report, told Freedom Writer, "The TV evangelists' scandals have hurt us a lot."

In spite of this, Moral Majority raised $3.5 million during the past year alone. In one sense, it would have been better if the Moral Majority had survived. That way they could have continued to use their funds ineffectively. There are more than dozen effective organizations clamoring for the funds that would have been earmarked for the Moral Majority. The donors are determined to give their money to some, almost any, religious right-wing group.

These groups, such as those run by James Dobson Donald Wildmon, D. James Kennedy, R.J. Rushdoony, Jack Chick, and Jerry Kirk are active in their attempts to abolish our First Amendment freedoms in their quest for a "Christian America." Now these groups can divvy up the millions that would have been contributed to the Moral Majority.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.