IFAS | Freedom Writer | April 1994 | tactics.html

Tactics of the Religious Right

Writing frequent, emotionally charged op-ed pieces and letters to the editor in local papers, with the result that a handful of people appear more significant than their numbers warrant.

Claiming that they represent most parents, when no sizable group, such as the PTO, has chosen them as representatives.

Criticizing educators, school committee members, and other citizens by name in the press or in flyers to intimidate them.

Misrepresenting what people say and then criticizing the misrepresentation, rather than the actual statement.

Taking curriculum material out of context and publicizing it as "frightening" or "shocking"; quoting background material for teachers in teaching guides and representing it as something given to students.

Hiding links to Religious Right organizations outside the local community such as Family First, the Pilgrim Family Institute, or others, and vehemently denying such links even when confronted with factual information which establishes them.

Labeling people who expose their affiliations as "McCarthyite" or "religious bigots."

Using statistics based on faulty research methodology to disprove what their opponents advocate and to prove what they advocate.

Alleging that school systems' plans for sex education were made behind parents' backs, even when many community people have been involved in the process for a long period of time.

Demanding documents from school systems, citing the Freedom of Information Act.

Threatening or initiating litigation or legal action against school committees, as a harassment tactic, using the Open Meeting Law, the Freedom of Information Act, the Hatch Act, or alleged liability for condom failure.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.