n. A conservative who believes that religion should play a major role in forming and implementing public policy.
Also Seen As
Libertarians distrust Bush's tough law enforcement measures; neocons have split with the White House over foreign policy; cultural pessimists underestimated America's spirit; theocons still embrace public religion, a concept instantly outdated by Sept. 11.
—Jeremy Derfner, “Cracks in the GOP,” Slate Magazine, December 03, 2001
1996 (earliest)
The neoconservatives believe that America is special because it was founded on an idea—a commitment to the rights of man embodied in the Declaration of Independence—not in ethnic or religious affiliations. The theocons, too, argue that America is rooted in an idea, but they believe that idea is Christianity.
—Jacob Heilbrun, “Neocon v. Theocon,” The New Republic, December 12, 1996
This word combines theological and conservative to form a nice play on neocon, a word that entered the language surprisingly recently (1979, although neoconservative dates to 1964). Newsweek used theocon as a list heading back in 1989, but the first "real" citation is from 1996.