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The words theoconservatism and theocon, portmanteaus of "theology" and "conservatism"/"conservative", generally occur as political labels referring to members of the Christian right, particularly those whose ideology represents a synthesis of elements of American conservatism, conservative Christianity, and social conservatism, expressed through political means. The term theocon first appeared in 1996 in an article in The New Republic entitled "Neocon v. Theocon" by Jacob Heilbrunn, where he wrote:
[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.
Mainstream media have used the terms to identify religious conservatives. Andrew Sullivan, blogger at The Atlantic, has commonly used the concept, as have political cartoonists Cox & Forkum in reference to former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris.
Notable people associated with theoconservatism
- Hadley Arkes
- Stephen Barr
- Mary Eberstadt
- Robert P. George
- Mary Ann Glendon
- Michael Novak
- Kate O'Beirne
- Ramesh Ponnuru
- Robert Royal
- George Weigel
- Christian right
- Traditionalist conservatism
- Christian Reconstructionism
- Dominion Theology
- Damon Linker The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege 2006.
Example of Sullivan's use of "theocon:" http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/02/18/benedicts-precedent/