The following is from the June 1, 2007, edition of Reuters
By Ed Stoddard
DALLAS (Reuters) - U.S. evangelist Jerry Falwell has been laid to rest but it is premature to write the political obituary of the conservative Christian movement he once led.
They say the "Religious Right," a movement linked to the Republican Party that seeks to redraw U.S. public policy along evangelical Christian lines, remains a political force -- and doesn't need a unifying leader.
Falwell, who died in May at the age of 73, had been increasingly sidelined since 1989, when he disbanded the Moral Majority -- a group that drummed up support for conservative Republicans.
But the movement has moved from success to success over the years, even as Falwell's influence waned -- not least in playing an instrumental role in securing two White House terms for devout Christian George W. Bush.
"National-level leadership is less important than it was in the 1970s and 1980s when Falwell headed the Moral Majority because the movement has matured," said Matthew Wilson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University.
"A lot of the focus is at the local community and state legislative level," he told Reuters.
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