One of the many paradoxes surrounding the life and career of Jimmy Carter is that American evangelicals, who helped propel him to the presidency in 1976, turned so dramatically, even rabidly, against him four years later. Although leaders of the Religious Right insisted that their opposition to legalized abortion motivated their political activism, that claim collapses beneath historical scrutiny. How—and why—did the Religious Right emerge as a political movement in the 1970s?