Decline of the Mainline Churches.
The decline of membership and influence of Mainline Protestant denominations continued in the 1970s. Conservatives charged that these denominations had lost their fire, and consequently their membership, to more committed groups. Perhaps more people left the Mainline organizations for new modes of worship or because organized religion had lost its relevance to them.
The Mainline churches struggled over accommodating the cultural changes that had begun in midcentury. Their leaders and many of their members had become outspoken opponents of the American involvement in the Vietnam War. Their influence was more significant in forcing the Nixon administration to the diplomatic bargaining table than were the strident and often violent actions of the organized antiwar movement. In spite of their traditional Republican Party roots, people in these denominations became the most effective opponents of President Richard Nixon in the ongoing Watergate scandal. This political action offended conservatives and seemed to distract them from more spiritual matters.
The Challenge of feminism.
These denominations also wrestled with the implications of the growing feminist movement. Some denominations, such as the Disciples of Christ, the United...
(The entire section is 986 words.)
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