Christian Coalition


Also found in: Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Christian Coalition

The Christian Coalition is a nonprofit organization that serves as a powerful lobby for politically conservative causes. Under federal tax law, the organization is permitted to lobby for political issues but cannot endorse political candidates. The Christian Coalition has primarily sought the support of born-again evangelical Christians, but since 1996 it has attempted to build alliances with Roman Catholics, members of the Greek Orthodox Church, and Jews.

The Christian Coalition was founded in 1989 by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson. Robertson, who unsuccessfully sought the 1988 Republican Party presidential nomination, decided to create an organization of evangelical Christians that would exert influence over the party. The coalition's central goals have been to gain working control of the Republican Party through grassroots organizing and to elect Christian candidates to office. The coalition soon became a potent political force. By 1997, it claimed control of several Republican state central committees and had elected to public office numerous Christian Coalition members and other candidates it endorsed. Prior to the congressional elections of 2002, the Christian Coalition distributed 70 million voter guides throughout the 50 states, an effort that has been credited with helping the Republican Party gain control of Congress.

The Christian Coalition has focused on family and moral issues. It strongly opposes legalized Abortion, and in 1998 it began an effort to require all endorsed Republican candidates to oppose partial-birth abortions. The coalition has also campaigned against gay rights, and through its legal arm, the American Center for Law and Justice, it has filed many church-state lawsuits.

Robertson, who served as president until 1997, appears on the 700 Club, a television program that, as of July of 2003, is watched by 1 million viewers each week. Robertson has characterized politics as a struggle pitting militant leftists, secular humanists, and atheists against conservative, evangelical Christians. The success of the coalition's grassroots organizing, however, can be attributed to Ralph Reed, who served as executive director until 1997. Reed encouraged coalition members to run for school boards, city councils, and legislatures without revealing their affiliation. This strategy also proved effective within the Republican Party.

The Christian Coalition has over 1,500 chapters in the United States with over one million members. The coalition's staff is headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia; it also maintains a legislative office in Washington, D.C. With a budget of more than $27 million, the coalition has the resources to mount nationwide campaigns on public policy issues. The organization also actively lobbies Congress on numerous issues, sponsors grassroots training schools across the United States, and organizes activists around the country who are involved in federal and local politics.

The election of george w. bush as president in 2000 and the gain of Republican seats in both the House and Senate in 2002 gave increased clout to the Christian Coalition's already vigorous advocacy. In early 2003, the Christian Coalition lobbied for the confirmation of Miguel Estrada, an Hispanic lawyer, to be a judge on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. According to the coalition, his confirmation was "being blocked by those who would subject judicial nominees to a liberal litmus test." The organization also supported a ban on partial-birth abortions and the cloning of humans. In addition, the Christian Coalition voiced strong support for President Bush as the United States was poised on the brink of war with Iraq.

Further readings

American Center for Law and Justice. Available online at <www.aclj.org> (accessed June 17, 2003).

Christian Coalition. Available online at <www.cc.org> (accessed June 17, 2003).

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Boston-based black evangelical minister Eugene Rivers, for instance, openly accused the Christian Coalition of being a "racist organization" in USA Today "because of its nearly all-white membership and what he called its 'failure' to reach out to black churches."
In the 108th Congress, Republican leadership hails almost exclusively from the religious right, scoring a perfect 100 percent with the Christian Coalition, but getting barely a four percent average approval rating from LCV.
While the Christian Coalition would probably survive a change in its tax status, a more serious threat is on the horizon.
Hubbard says, "The Christian Coalition, and apparently its subsidiary the Catholic Alliance, make no apologies for their close alliance with the Republican Party and House leadership.
The September meeting was supposed to showcase the Christian Coalition's new, broader appeal.
Flagship groups like the Moral Majority in the 1980s and the Christian Coalition in the 1990s attacked sex education and family planning initiatives, polished tactics to mobilize their base, and discovered that sex sells.
This is Bauer's chance to surpass the Christian Coalition, which is in a lot of trouble."
Unlike last year's Christian Coalition rally in San Diego, the Promise Keepers event didn't feature anyone calling down the wrath of God on feminists, gays, and all the rest of my friends.
As a result, it is becoming difficult to tell the difference between the constituency of the Christian Coalition and the membership rolls of the Republican Party.
Reed assures the caller that fighting abortion is still in the forefront of the Christian Coalition's political agenda: "We have always stated that we are unapologetically, unequivocally and totally committed to the sanctity of human life for the unborn child."
Pat Robertson's political organization, the Christian Coalition, is finding out that the road to victory can be rocky.
A sense of turmoil continues to plague the Christian Coalition (CC).

Full browser ?