Friday, November 24, 2006


Once in the early 90s I heard Ralph Reed explain to the National Press Club that the Christian Right did not have a narrow agenda--the press only covered gay rights and abortion. In his recent dialogue with Jim Wallis he calls the narrow agenda observation a "straw man."

The claim that religious conservatives focus on one or two issues or somehow believe that other issues lack a moral component is a straw man. Conservative people of faith have worked on a broad agenda, including anti-poverty measures and minority home ownership. Nearly 2 million minority families have purchased their first home under President Bush's home ownership initiative.

Yet, again and again, in spite of Ralph Reed's assertion and perhaps his vision, his legacy is political posturing on two issues: abortion and gay rights. The Straw Man of the Year Award may go to The Christian Coaltion, receiving the resignation of their newest leader, even before his term began,

President-elect of Christian Coalition resigns
Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Reverend elected to take over as president of the Christian Coalition of America said he will not assume the role because of differences in philosophy.

The Rev. Joel Hunter, of Longwood's Northland, A Church Distributed, said Wednesday that the national group would not let him expand the organization's agenda beyond opposing abortion and gay marriage.

This is the latest setback for the group founded in 1989 by religious broadcaster the Rev. Pat Robertson. Four states - Georgia, Alabama, Iowa and Ohio - have decided to split from the group over concerns it's changing direction on issues like the minimum wage, the environment and Internet law instead of core issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.

Hunter, who was scheduled to take over the socially conservative political group Jan. 1, said he had hoped to focus on issues such as poverty and the environment.

"These are issues that Jesus would want us to care about," Hunter said.

He resigned Tuesday during an organization board meeting. Hunter said he was not asked to leave.

"They pretty much said, 'These issues are fine, but they're not our issues, that's not our base,'" Hunter said.

A cousin to this straw man--the Bush admininstration's faith based initiatives.


Sheila said...


I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with what you've written, but have you heard of the book Who Really Cares, by Arthur C. Brooks?

If not, you might be interested in it and the website associated with it.

I was happily surprised to hear about this man's research....

Beverly Choate Dowdy said...
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