IFAS | Freedom Writer | November 1994 | church.html

Church organization is key
to Coalition's success

While the Christian Coalition will never find broad appeal among mainstream voters it doesn't have to. As Paul Weyrich said, "We don't want everyone to vote. Quite frankly, our leverage goes up as the voting population goes down."

If the Christian Coalition is ever successful in reaching its goal of becoming "the most powerful political force in America by the end of the decade," it will only do so by the painstaking organization of voters in fundamentalist, evangelical, and conservative churches. That is exactly what the group is attempting to do, as demonstrated in Citizen Action, a manual used in Christian Coalition Citizen Action Seminars. The following is excerpted from Citizen Action:

"The churches are the nexus points for tens of millions of Americans who share a conservative, pro-family philosophy. No other cultural structure represents such a vast reservoir of potential to help the pro-family movement restore basic values to our society.

"Church liaisons are the link between your Christian Coalition chapter and the churches in that area... The church liaison should be seen as an ambassador to the Christian Coalition from their respective church. By virtue of this position, the church liaison will be a key distribution point for the dissemination of critical and timely information. Voter guides, legislative alerts, talking points, leadership training information, and various other forms of information are distributed through church liaisons. Moreover, the church liaisons are responsible for initiating voter registration efforts and issue petition drives.

"If you would like to become a church liaison, you need to first obtain the permission of your pastor. Arrange a date and schedule a meeting with him as soon as possible. Explain to your pastor the five-fold mission of the Christian Coalition and give him a Christian Coalition pastor's packet, which includes guidelines to political involvement for pastors and churches. Many pastors may be leery of opening their doors to the outside influence of other organizations; however, if someone in the pastor's own congregation approaches, he will be less apprehensive. Make sure your pastor realizes that he is not endorsing Christian Coalition or taking our name. He simply is giving you permission to be a contact and distribution point for information from our organization.

"One of the most successful ways to gain pastoral approval for becoming a church liaison is to offer to help start a civic concerns ministry. This ministry is designed to keep members of the church informed of issues that will affect them and their families. Creating a civic concerns ministry allows churches to be involved in issues without asking pastors to assume an overt political role with which they may be uncomfortable."

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.