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Theoconservatism (or simply theocon) is a portmanteau of "theocracy" and "conservatism" and is generally used as a political label referring to members of the Christian right, particularly those whose ideology is a synthesis of elements of American conservatism, conservative Christianity, and social conservatism, expressed through political means. This term first appeared in 1996 in a The New Republic article entitled "Neocon v. Theocon" by Jacob Heilbrunn, where he wrote that "[T]he neoconservatives believe that America is special because it was founded on an idea—a commitment to the rights of man embodied in the Declaration of Independence—not in ethnic or religious affiliations. The theocons, too, argue that America is rooted in an idea, but they believe that idea is Christianity."

The term has been used in the mainstream media to describe religious conservatives. Andrew Sullivan, blogger at The Atlantic, has commonly used the term[citation needed], as have political cartoonists Cox & Forkum in reference to former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris.[1] Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister of Canada, has been referred to by his critics as a "Theo-con".[2] Robert P. George is another prominent theocon.[3]

Further reading[edit]

  • Damon Linker The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege 2006.

Example of Sullivan's use of "theocon:"


  1. ^ Cox and Forkum cartoon calling U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris a theocon
  2. ^ McDonald, M: "Stephen Harper and the Theo-Cons", The Walrus, October, 2006.
  3. ^ "Religious freedom and America". The Economist. 17 January 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 

See also[edit]