This may explain further how the so-called Religious Right is an untrustworthy ally to political conservatives, an interview with Jonathan Compton, the author of The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution:
JC: I was intrigued by the fact that many nineteenth-century evangelicals were openly critical of certain aspects of the constitutional system. The example of the antislavery movement is well known, but one finds the same sorts of criticisms within the temperance and anti-lottery movements, among others. After further investigation, I discovered the underlying source of this discontent: evangelical activists wanted to eradicate various forms of “sinful” property, and this goal put them at odds with a constitutional order that was designed, in large part, to protect vested property rights and to insulate national markets from state and local regulation.
JF: In 2 sentences, what is the argument of The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution?
JC: By the late nineteenth century, the prohibition and anti-lottery movements had grown so powerful that judges and lawmakers were forced to accommodate their demands, even if this meant weakening property rights and federalism constraints across the board. The triumph of the evangelical reform movements convinced many Progressive-era Americans that key constitutional categories like “property” and “commerce” were simply social constructs that could be modified to reflect the views of the present generation.