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|Devil's in the details|
“”The Christian Coalition (CC) has two central goals: to control the agenda of the Republican party by working from the grassroots up; and to train and elect pro-family, Christian candidates to public office.
The Christian Coalition is a special interest group founded by Pat Robertson, From 1988 to the year 2000 it was considered the de facto leader of the Religious Right and the Coalition was a significant force in the election victory of George W. Bush. Jerry Falwell was willing to speak for them in 2000. Their hegemony fell apart due to Pat's eccentricities and political differences.
They did, however, succeed in refining several tactics which have since been copied by the Religious Right on a larger scale. These included publishing "nonpartisan" voter's guides to be distributed in churches in violation of those churches' tax-exempt status; fomenting demagoguery and moral panics as a voter organizing/manipulation tool ("the Democrats are going to BAN THE BIBLE!"); and forming local "grassroots" networks which took control of the Republican Party machinery in some states.
After its founding the Christian coalition was granted tax-exempt status by the IRS as a 501(c) organization. However complaints arose that the group engaged in partisan politics, which is not allowed for tax-exempt organizations. The complaints stemmed from reports that voter guide pamphlets handed out in churches were in fact partisan, as well as a tape released by the Americans United for Separation of Church and State in which Pat Robertson, speaking to Coalition members, expressed a desire to emulate famous political machines. The IRS pulled their status, but after a long legal battle their status was restored.
In addition to tax troubles the Christian Coalition accumulated a large amount of debt, and members began to feel that the group was drifting away from its core goals of defending marriage, strengthening the family, and opposing abortion. As an example of their evolving priorities, the organization sent out an email to members in support of net neutrality. The chapters in Ohio and Alabama broke away from the national group. Of course, the Alabama breakaway stemmed from a dispute over a new state tax plan that the national group favored despite the state group's opposition. The president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama complained that the movement had strayed from its traditional Christian commitment to low taxes... The Christian Coalition still exists despite some loss of power, though what will happen when Pat Robertson finally dies, and a new leader emerges, is anyone's guess.
Christian Broadcasting Network
- Christian Coalition of America Right Wing Watch
- Scary News from the Christian Coalition As of 2011 they were still active and supported the Tea Party