Baker Institute To Screen Film On Religion, U.S. Politics

January 13, 2009

The 2008 U.S. presidential election challenged the traditional alliance between religious conservatives and the Republican Party. Evangelical Christians, who had voted consistently for GOP candidates in previous elections, were forced to choose between John McCain, who downplayed his views on religion but chose a vice presidential candidate with evangelical beliefs, and Barack Obama, who spoke often of his religion and mounted a large faith outreach campaign to seek their votes.
Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy will screen a documentary, “Religious Right at the Crossroads,” Jan. 15 that looks at the religious right’s dilemma and provides an inside view of the John McCain and Barack Obama campaign workers involved in faith outreach during the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
The documentary also shows how younger evangelical Christians are reshaping the movement’s political and cultural commitments while providing a glimpse into the future of the religious right movement and its progressive evangelical adversaries.
Calvin Skaggs, president of Lumiere Productions Inc. and the film’s director, will be on hand for the screening and will take part in a question-and-answer session afterward.
Skaggs has produced or directed more than 30 dramas and documentaries for television and theatrical exhibition. He has produced numerous films for Discovery Communications, Home Box Office, Channel 4 U.K. and the Public Broadcasting Service, for whom he also produced major documentary series.
Before founding Lumiere Productions in 1984, Skaggs earned a Ph.D. from Duke University and served as professor of English and cinema at Drew University.
The film will begin at 6 p.m. in Baker Hall’s Doré Commons on the Rice University campus, 6100 Main St. For directions, go to

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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