Christian Coalition – Research Paper

The Christian Coalition of America (CCA)

            The rise of religious interest groups within the American political landscape is generally considered one of the most ostensible expressions of democracy. Within their capacity, these groups lobby and petition the federal government whenever specific issues of interest emerge with the ultimate objective of introducing positive alterations. Religious interest groups are now part and parcel of the political structure within the United States and have gradually morphed into influential associations. They operate with the primary intention of identifying controversial issues in society, becoming cognizant of their member’s opinion, and guiding policy makers on the application of biblical principles The Christian Coalition is a 501(c) (4) organization and a major conservative religious association in the United States which adheres to a set of strict Christian principles. Over the past decade, the group has expressed its unwavering stance on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights and the raging debate on abortion. The organization has made it its life’s work to promote decency in the United States in an attempt to uphold morality within society. An evaluation of its history, stated purpose, philosophy, techniques of operation and biblical foundation for its activities is, thus, fundamental in addition to the group’s activities at the national, state and local levels, current legislative agenda, overall effectiveness and recommendations on how to improve its efficacy. 

History of The Christian Coalition of America

The Christian Coalition was formed in 1989 as a religious interest group headed by Marion “Pat” Robertson. Membership within the organization was open to members from all Christian denominations across continental America. The main aim of applying this policy was to strive for inclusivity among adherents of the Christian faith and banding together under a unified advocacy banner. Robertson had initially been presented to the American people as a presidential hopeful with strong Christian ideals but later lost. The remainder of the vast resources from his presidential campaign was then channeled towards the creation of the Christian Coalition as an advocacy group with special focus on voter education.   Robertson particularly targeted conservative Christians in the United States as a promising support base from which to lobby the federal government in various policy issues. He also functioned as the overall head and created the Americans for Robertson mailing list to introduce the Christian Coalition Americans2. Robertson’s larger vision for the organization was it attaining the social-welfare status which would considerably improve its capacity and ability to serve the American people.  By 1992, the organizations had chapters in nearly all across the United States tasked with disseminating important information regarding its role within society in relation tom political involvement. The organization is currently vocal in its criticism of the LGBT agenda in the United States; viewing it as an affront on the Christian faith, the institution of marriage, and the family.

The Christian Coalition of America Stated Purpose, Philosophy, and Techniques of Operation

The Christian Coalition was initially established with the primary aim of promoting voter-mobilization within the United States. Paterson regarded this role as fundamental since it would improve the organizations access to the citizens. It was from this base that the organization later morphed and developed a new mission which now included seeking the implementation of Christian values and principles within society.  This was viewed as the organization’s Christian role and an indication of its dedication to supporting the church.  The principles espoused by the organization’s founded are based on God’s absolute truth and living in accordance to his laws. By so doing, the organization took a lead role in influencing the behavior of the American people for posterity by re-introducing Christian values to the mainstream. The Christian Coalition’s philosophy is grounded in absolute truth and a guiding principle in society. Adherence to this stipulation is meant to bring people closer to God through obedience and service to others while remaining cognizant of his authority over man. This was also meant to promote the application of Biblical law in modern-day America with the chief intention of improving the quality of life within society. It is through the execution of this policy that the organization aspired to highlight the importance of applying scripture in everyday life and a clear understanding of Christ’s grace. This would then inspire Americans to take a definite stance on key moral issues, with the organization targeting the institution of marriage, the LGBT agenda, abortion, ethics, morality, and media transparency. The organizations operations beginning in the 1990s were centered on the development of non-partisan voter guides to raise political awareness among members of the organization within the United States and Christian Churches. The organization also sought to hold influential powers accountable for endorsing and promoting campaigns which threatened the position of traditional Christian values within the American society. Political correctness currently takes precedence within the organization as a way of ensuring that key issues of concern are addressed promptly.

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Biblical Foundations for  the Christian Coalition’s Purpose and Activities

Within its role as a religious interest group, the Christian coalition refers to Biblical foundations to inform its purpose and guide its activities. It is through this particular approach that Christians become acutely aware of scripture and its relevance in contemporary society. Thus, Paterson envisioned a society where God’s word took precedence and guided the activities of man. The Holy Trinity is then meant to serve as a guide during the decision-making process, upholding the biblical idea of marriage while opposing homosexuality and adultery as the major forms of sexual sin prevalent in the United States today.

Assessment of CCA’s Activities at the National, State and Local Level

The breadth of Christian Coalition activities comprise the national, state and local level with the aim of improving its ability to lobby. Political involvement soon became apparent after 1998 when Representative Randy Tate took the helm of leadership as the new executive director4. Through his leadership, the organization attempted to develop an elaborate activity scheme spanning national, state, and local levels. The organization’s initial activities have involved boycotts which aim to restore Christian values in the United States. Conservatism is generally regarded as the most ideal approach to be adopted in the United States by the organization’s head since it would guide it to a positive future.  The organization’s activities vehemently criticize abortion, homosexuality, and moral corruption while regarding them as an existential threat to the American way of life.  The promotion of the LGBT agenda by Ikea and Target has, in the most recent past, prompted the Christian Coalition to call for a total boycott of their products5. Such activities and the reliance on letter-writing campaign are meant to push for the restoration of a conservative society.

Christian Coalition’s Current Legislative Agenda       

          The Christian Coalition has transformed lobbying in the United States through its involvement in policy making and the formulation of legislations. The organization’s current legislative agenda involves criticism of the Equality Act for the introduction of sexual inclusivity clauses a special provision for persons identifying as LGBT. The Equality Act is at the frontline of the LGBT agenda by opposing all forms of discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender. However, the Christian Coalition disagrees with this assertion and regards its introduction as a direct threat to the ethical and moral fabric of the United States.

Overall Effectiveness

The Christian Coalition is arguably one of the most notable and influential religious rights groups currently operating within the United States.  Its effectiveness is a direct result of using protest, boycotts, and petitions as suitable tools in lobbying government to introduce important changes hinging upon questions of morality. This has enabled the organization to influence the federal government and the private sector alike to remain cognizant of values espoused by the organization.

Recommendations on how CCA can improve Effectiveness

The Christian Coalition is an influential and successful religious interest group which has proven its efficacy over the past two decades. However, it is wise for the organization to remain aware of its vulnerabilities as a practical safeguard to guarantee future improvements. The organization should halt is abrasive rhetoric since it is bound to create friction within the American culture. This would also avert the possibility of being classified as a hate group based on its opinions regarding the LBGT agenda and topical issues such as abortion.

Conclusion           

The Christian Coalition is the epitome of religious interest groups in the United States. Although originally formed to address voter-mobilization in 1989, the organization now seeks to protect the American society from moral decadence apparent in its criticism of the LGBT agenda and abortion campaign. Boycotts, letter-writing campaigns, and petitions have enabled the organization to make cumulative gains in lobbying for the introduction of appropriate legislations within various levels of government. Yet, the organization should avoid provocative stance and work towards influencing policy for posterity.

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