Calvin Skaggs, president of Lumiere Productions Inc. and film director, screens his documentary "Religious Right at the Crossroads" at the Baker Institute, followed by a question-and-answer session.
The 2008 U.S. presidential election was a watershed moment in American politics, shattering the decades-old alliance between the Republican Party and conservative evangelical Christians. Religious conservatives, who had voted consistently for GOP candidates in previous elections, faced a difficult decision. Conservative Republican candidate John McCain downplayed his religion views but chose a vice presidential candidate with evangelical beliefs, while liberal Democrat Barack Obama spoke often of his religion and mounted a large faith outreach campaign to seek their votes.
The documentary "Religious Right at the Crossroads" allows viewers to experience the religious right's dilemma and to get an inside view of the McCain and Obama campaign workers who were dedicated to faith outreach. 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.
Skaggs has produced or directed more than 30 dramas and documentaries for television and theatrical exhibition. He has produced major documentary series for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), as well as numerous films for Discovery Communications, LLC; PBS; Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO); and Channel 4 U.K. 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.