IFAS | Freedom Writer | November 1994 | update.html

Religious Right update

Terry assails Christian Coalition

Randall Terry, founder of the militant anti-abortion organization Operation Rescue, said recently that "the Christian Coalition has become the mistress of the Republican Party."

"Certain Christian leaders are pimping for us," Terry said, "declaring our willingness to betray our King and be with the whoremongers of child killing, homosexuality, etc., as long as we get to be near the throne."

Terry feels that the Christian Coalition, as the leader of the Religious Right, is compromising where it shouldn't. In two Senate races Kay Bailey Hutchinson in Texas and Paul Coverdell in Georgia the Christian Coalition backed the two moderate Republicans, both pro-choice on abortion. Terry called "the lesser of two evils 'nonsense,' because the lesser of two evils is still evil."

"We cannot endorse, work for, nor vote for candidates who would promote child killing or sodomy," Terry said. He urged people to vote for a third-party candidate if available, such as one from Howard Phillips' U.S. Taxpayers Party.

Some observers think Randall Terry hit a nerve, and the Christian Coalition's compromising to get votes will eventually spilt the movement. While "casting a wider net," Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed may alienate the group's hardcore supporters.


ACLJ attorney defends killing

Michael Hirsh, an attorney for Pat Robertson's American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), wrote that Michael Griffin, who was convicted and sentenced for killing Dr. David Gunn, was justified in the shooting. In an article Hirsh wrote for The Regent University Law Review, he said, "Though Michael Griffin could have fled for his own safety, the children he protected could not flee and had their backs to the wall the uterine wall."

He wrote that Florida law allows the use of deadly force by someone who reasonably believes it will "prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another." "Unborn babies inside abortion clinics are in such danger," Hirsh wrote.

When Hirsh learned of the July 29th murder of Dr. John Britton and his escort James Barrett, he requested that his article be pulled from the Law Review. Apparently, some 500 copies had been printed, but were subsequently retrieved.

The ACLJ is defending the alleged murderer, Paul Hill, in an earlier misdemeanor case involving his protests at Florida clinics.


The Birch connection

Columnist John Leo recently wrote: "Conservative Christians aren't Birchers or followers of the Klan. They are people of generally conservative outlook who are deeply concerned about what's happening to the culture."

The above quote was excerpted in The Lighthouse Press, which The Freedom Writer picked up at the Christian Coalition's Road to Victory conference. Among the many exhibits at the conference were Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). Free copies of The New American, the official magazine of the John Birch Society, were available at the YAF booth. According to a person working the booth, several YAFers are on the staff of The New American.

This year's conference featured several new exhibitors. Among them were The Washington Times, owned by Rev. Moon's Unification Church, and the National Rifle Association.


Measuring political correctness

World, the conservative Christian magazine, also operated a booth at the Road to Victory conference. An editorial in the September 17, 1994 issue gave advice on "the only infallible rule for faith and practice." Written by World publisher Joel Belz, the article said: "You want to support and be involved in organizations where the Bible determines both what people believe and how they behave. It's not a nostalgic reference piece full of sweet-sounding proverbs, but a vital standard-setter affecting the minds, hearts, hands, and feet of everybody involved. When other standards (even if they're politically correct) come into conflict, the Bible wins."


Farris counters EMILY's List

In 1985, Emily Malcolm founded EMILY's List, a national donor network for pro-choice Democrat women. EMILY is an acronym for "early money is like yeast," meaning that candidates who are funded early in the campaign rise rapidly. EMILY's List has quietly raised millions of dollars for liberal candidates like Dianne Feinstein, Carol Mosely Braun, and Barbara Boxer. The group focuses support on challenger races and freshmen incumbents. In 1992, EMILY's List contributed $6.2 million in unrestricted early donations to pro-choice women.

Now Religious Right activist Michael Farris hopes to duplicate EMILY's List for a different constituency. This summer, Farris started the Madison Project as a way to funnel dollars directly to conservative Republican candidates. Members of the Madison Project pay $25 a year in dues, and pledge to give "$5, $10, $25, or more to five principled conservative candidates for the United States Congress or Senate each election cycle." Checks must be made out directly to the candidate and mailed to the Madison Project, which turns them over to the designated candidates. Farris hopes to raise over $20,000,000 in each congressional election.

Farris, a losing candiate for lieutenant governor of Virginia, is president of the Home School Defense Association. He was formerly general counsel to Concerned Women for America.


Non-profit endorses North

In an apparent violation of IRS regulations, Target (formerly The Biblical Evangelist) endorsed Oliver North in his bid for the U.S. Senate. In the August 1994 issue, executive editor Tim Lee wrote: "Without question, Oliver North is the man of the highest character in this Senate race. He stands squarely against abortion, the murder of innocent children. Oliver North is for the American citizen, rather than the American government."

Lee added: "We need a man who has proudly and honorably worn the uniform of this nation, been a law-abiding citizen, and has remained faithful to his wife and family. When America has a Senate full of homosexuals, postage stamps for cash trading money embezzlers, driving off bridges and killing their passengers while sustaining temporary memory loss Senators, America needs a man with character, self-discipline, and high morals. America needs Oliver North. I may move to Virginia so I can vote for him."

Target, subtitled "For Today's Thinking Fundamentalist," is published by Target Publications and Tim Lee Ministries in Garland, Texas. The group, a non-profit organization, takes advantage of special postage rates granted by the U.S. Postal Service.

In 1986, television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart wrote in his magazine The Evangelist: "We are supporting Pat Robertson for President of the United States." The IRS subsequently found the Swaggart ministry guilty of political activity by a tax-exempt organization. Although Swaggart's tax-exempt status remained intact, the resulting investigation cost the Swaggart ministry $177,122 in back taxes and interest.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.