Fighting For God and the Right Wing: RALPH REED

Supple in tactics but rigid in goals, Ralph Reed tries to give the religious right a softer, modern face

Redemption earns even more glory among evangelicals than consistent faith and virtue. And for Ralph Reed, sudden self-reform has always come easily. A heavy smoker as an undergraduate at the University of Georgia in the early 1980s, he pitched his pack of Marlboro Lights out a car window one day and never bought another. Booze was also a problem, so he went instantly dry during the summer after graduation. Weeks later, sipping soda in a Washington saloon as some pals drank harder stuff, he was seized by a thirst for "deeper spiritual meaning" in his life. Reed chose a church at...

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