IFAS | Freedom Writer | November 1995 | coming.html

Where does the religious right
stand on Colin Powell?

Powell's rhetoric appeals to the Religious Right. "I have the moral fortitude" he said, "and the blessings of a Christian education and Christian upbringing and the blessings of a strong moral family." And, although Powell wrote in his book, My American Journey, that he is "troubled by the passion of those on the extreme right who seem to claim divine wisdom on political as well as spiritual matters," he has responded positively to the Christian Coalition. "I am totally supportive of their mission," he said. "I think they should be applauded for their efforts to make America shape up again."

Ralph Reed responded that Powell has "shown a real evolution" in his thinking. "He agreed with many of the things we were promoting traditional family values, school choice and things of that nature."

However, in an effort to check growing support for Powell among conservative Christians, Gary Bauer, who heads Family Research Council, sent a fax to 5,000 conservative leaders warning that "the current flirtation with Colin Powell as the 1996 GOP Presidential nominee has gone far enough."

Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation said, "If [Powell] should get the Republican nomination it would be as if Ronald Reagan never lived and Nelson Rockefeller never died."

In its October 1995 newsletter, The Capitol Hill Prayer Alert wrote: "Nothing underscores the need for strong conservative, Christian leaders more than the political phenomena [sic] of retired Army General Colin Powell. While Powell is brazenly pro-abortion, anti-school prayer, pro-gun control, anti-death penalty, pro-affirmative action, is unwilling to commit to 'no-new-taxes', and unashamedly criticizes conservative Christians, preeminent conservative leaders swoon over him."

"His positions," the group concludes, "are anathema to Bible-believing Christians...A Bill Clinton reelection or a Colin Powell presidency (Republican or Independent) will spell disaster for America."

Conservative Christians who vote only for anti-abortion candidates would reject Powell. However, in recent national elections, abortion took a back seat to the economy and other issues.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.