Religion: A Jerry-Built Coalition Regroups

Falwell's exit changes the landscape of the Religious Right

The name was catchy, bold and more than a trifle arrogant. Moral Majority. Rarely has an organization set so many teeth on edge so rapidly. The man who founded this multifaith right-wing organization in 1979 was a Fundamentalist of modest renown who was fast on his feet and firm in his convictions. Within a year, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, riding the Reagan tide, had become the most prominent spokesman for the loose coalition known as the Religious Right.

Last week, with the Reagan presidency in deepened shadows, the house that Jerry built was entering a twilight of its own. Falwell abruptly...

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