First, 2013 saw several major events impacting the American Religious Right:
- The 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) relieved anti-violence advocates while angering many Religious Right commentators.
- The Boy Scouts of America ended its policy of excluding openly gay youth, to the disappointment of anti-LGBTQ groups.
- Exodus International, a Christian ex-gay organization, shut down after Alan Chambers issued a public apology for the trauma his organization perpetrated.
- Doug Phillips, a prominent leader in the Christian homeschooling and Christian Patriarchy movements, resigned from Vision Forum Ministries following his admission of an inappropriate romantic relationship. Shortly thereafter, Vision Forum Ministries announced that it was shutting down.
- Russia passed a controversial law banning gay "propaganda" to minors. American Religious Right voices praised the law as LGBTQ rights advocates raged against it.
- Ugandan parliament passed a draconian anti-gay bill in December that awaits President Museveni's signature. Progressive commentators have slammed the American Religious Right for promoting homophobia in Uganda before and after the introduction of the bill.
Throughout 2013, I observed several Religious Right events for Republic of Gilead:
- Bound4Life and Justice House of D.C. hosted the 2013 Hilltop Conference in Arlington, VA in April, where I heard talks from Faytene Grasseschi, Benjamín Núñez, and George Otis Jr. Unfortunately, neither my schedule nor my patience allowed me to hear Lou Engle's nighttime talk.
- Vision Forum hosted its 2013 History of America Mega-Conference in Camp Hill, PA this summer, and I devoted an eight-part series to its dubious historical claims. Homeschoolers Anonymous was kind enough to cross-post the series on their website.
- Thanks to a tip from a reader, I eavesdropped on the Botkin's "Ready for Real Life" webinar series. The series was an eye-opening look at the worldview of the fundamentalist Christian homeschooling and Christian Patriarchy movements. Homeschoolers Anonymous kindly shared the series on their website as well.
- In November, I observed the Truth Matters Apologetics Conference (featuring Sean McDowell) at Manheim Brethren in Christ Church in Manheim, PA. I plan to post commentary on the experience in early January 2014.
Fortunately, I also had the opportunity to attend some refreshing conferences devoted to social justice:
- This spring, I attended the 2013 NFPRHA Conference in Alexandria, VA, where speakers and exhibitors championed reproductive rights.
- In June, I attended the 2013 Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, which was packed with great workshops and events for the transgender community.