James M. Patterson, Associate Professor of Politics, Ave Maria University
Catholics, Protestants, and Jews are not well known for getting along; throughout the twentieth century, however, Americans of all three faiths formed a religious consensus that rested on a shared set of values. Several clergy sought to lead this consensus, with the three most significant being Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rev. Jerry Falwell. Falwell proved to be the final leader as he transformed the beleaguered consensus into a partisan constituency, thus depriving "Judeo-Christianity" of a prophetic voice above and beyond politics.