First Advisor

Dr. Kim Williams

Date of Award

Spring 6-16-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Political Science and University Honors


Political Science




American Evangelicalism, Evangelical Politics, Feminist Biblical Interpretation, Moral Outrage, Intersectional Feminism


American evangelicalism has positioned itself as a dominant force in social policy since the 1970s and has continued to grow over time. During Carter’s presidency, the Religious Right, a neoconservative political identity of fundamentalist beliefs, emerged with the intention to homogenize American culture by infusing literal interpretations of biblical Scripture with American exceptionalism. With the help of charismatic leaders like Billy Graham, the political manifestations of American evangelicalism’s fundamentalist beliefs have been solidified through conservative legislation and Christian demographic dominance in Congress and the Supreme Court. Women have been particularly burdened by evangelical institutionalization, as access to socioeconomic and political mobility in many regions is dependent on their proximity to Christianity, whiteness, and heterosexuality.

This thesis will first analyze common points of oppression towards women as inspired from biblical interpretations of the Old Testament and the Christian portrayal of God. Then, I will examine the consequences of white American evangelicalism as a dominant political identity on the status of women and their access to social, political, and economic capital. Additionally, I will present various legislative and judicial decisions by state and federal governments rooted in traditionalist doctrine that substantially disenfranchise women, queer and people of color. Last, I will explore the future of evangelicalism and possible avenues of social and political reform to establish a more—or completely—secular state.