The Christian Right Finally Wins a Skirmish in a 45-Year War

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The rise of the Christian right wasn’t originally driven by opposition to abortion. It was about state funding of private, Christian, white-only schools. Nearly a half century later, they finally won a measure of victory:

The Supreme Court struck down a Montana constitutional provision banning state aid to parochial schools, ruling that states cannot exclude religious institutions from programs benefiting nonsectarian private schools.

“Montana’s no-aid provision bars religious schools from public benefits solely because of the religious character of the schools,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court. That runs afoul of the First Amendment’s protection for free exercise of religion, he wrote, joined by fellow conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

This is just another example of how long it takes to produce real change. This ruling was 45 years in the making, and even at that it’s only a partial victory. Likewise, bans on abortion are still hit-or-miss state level affairs after 40 years, and public opinion is not much different than it was in 1980.

This is your occasional reminder that cultural change takes a very long time, and the deeper the change the longer the time it takes. We should expect nothing different from the BLM protests that started a month ago. If you aren’t prepared for a decades-long battle, just go home and work on something else. Because that’s the kind of stamina it will take to make a real difference.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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