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New Leader For Christian Coalition

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posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 06:08 AM
It seems those who are so afraid of the Christian Coalition have really missed their recent decline.


'In decline'

For years led by Ralph Reed, the once-influential Christian Coalition has fallen on hard times. In recent months four state chapters -- Georgia, Alabama, Iowa and Ohio -- have left the national organization, saying it is becoming too liberal and its agendas too scattered. The group's budget, once a hefty $26 million, is now only $1 million

Will the new "leadership" give them a kick start? It depends who you ask.

Combs said she chose Hunter because of his pragmatic outlook, and "his leadership skills and his knowledge of politics and why Christians should be involved in the political process."

"This is a brilliant move on the part of the Christian Coalition, because Joel is a brilliant communicator and a thoughtful spokesperson for Christian values," said the Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals.

The Rev. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, thinks Hunter's approach is folly.

"When people try to pretend there is consensus where there is no consensus, they lose their credibility with their constituency and eventually they lose their credibility with Washington," he said.

Here are some of the thoughts of the new leader, Rev. Joel Hunter.

"For the most part, the religious right has been limited to the Republican Party. . . . A voice of biblical values cannot be in the pocket of one party. . . . Christians can decide for themselves how God would want them to come down on any issue."

Hunter also wrote, "There ought to be more than just gay marriage and pro-life issues, because the Bible is concerned with all of life. We need to do everything we can to relieve poverty, to heal the sick and to protect the Earth."

Like Combs, he believes evangelicals can find common cause with mainline and progressive organizations on issues such as immigration, raising the minimum wage and providing prescription drugs to the needy and elderly.

It doesn't sound like this change in leadership will unify the "coalition" any further, but will it have any affect on their impact? I'm looking forward to watching this evolve. Is this any different than the major parties refocusing their efforts to find middle America? I don't usually trust it with the Dems or Reps when this happens.

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