Freedom Writer - May 1995 [ref001] Florida Minutemen By Paula Xanthopoulou Last month, the
Freedom Writer - May 1995
By Paula Xanthopoulou
Last month, the Christian Coalition of Florida launched a unique marketing
plan for recruiting neighborhood coordinators. Shamelessly swathed
in images of the American Revolution -- and first implemented in Iowa
-- the plan is called "Florida Minutemen."
In an article entitled "Florida Minutemen are coming," the program's
coordinator, Cathy M. Boyer, outlined the need for a plan to "fortify
and build upon our recent victories." "An immediate battle has been
won, but the war still rages," Boyer wrote. "The anti-family, anti-Christian
groups are already plotting their takeover strategy for 1996."
The Boyer article included a prominent graphic of a suit of armor
with two crossed spears and emblazoned "a call to arms." It characterized
the minutemen -- ordinary citizens who fought in the American Revolution
-- as always ready and in place, persistent, innovative, organized,
enthusiastic, and successful in getting others to join the fight.
Florida Minutemen are Christian Coalition liaisons to other pro-family
voters in a specific area, uniting that neighborhood "for a common
cause." Boyer drew a comparison with those who fought for independence
in American and explained that "the left's persistence and our apathy
has led to the decay of Judeo-Christian values in our country."
The tools of the Florida Minutemen are telephones, letters, neighborhood
maps, and votes. "Just as in days gone by, our neighbors will join
us as fellow minutemen for the cause of restoring Judeo-Christian
values to America."
The Christian Coalition has a standard neighborhood coordinator program
that it implements in every state. Calls to several state offices
confirmed that while they did not have a minuteman-style program per
se, they certainly had neighborhood coordinators.
The Christian Coalition's neighborhood coordinator brochure clarifies
that neighborhood basically means precinct and the people recruited
by a coordinator should "in turn, identify 10-20 other pro-family
voters on their block." There are approximately 17,500 precincts in
the US, and in March 1995 the Christian Coalition claimed to have
16,775 coordinators in place.
According to the Christian Coalition, the responsibilities of a Florida
Minuteman are to:
Identify five pro-family neighbors who are registered to vote and
for those not registered, to provide them with a voter registration
Communicate with those neighbors by telephone when called upon.
Personally hold elected officials accountable to the family through
telephone calls and letters.
Readers were urged to register and send in a check for $5.00 (unless
already a paying member of the Christian Coalition) to cover costs
and "to cement your commitment to the cause." The form asked for the
applicant's voter registration card details. It also asked several
questions about past political activities and for a list of the top
five issues now facing America.
Those who sign up for the program receive a Florida Minuteman information
packet which includes a thank-you letter calling members to "defend
the family against forces that want to destroy it," a list of responsibilities
(including "How to Identify Pro-Family Voters"), a supply of voter
registration forms, and a Florida Minutemen membership card.
The "How to Identify Pro-Family Voters" list directs coordinators
to "know your neighborhood. Drive through all of it several times
at different times of the day looking for tell-tale signs identifying
neighbors as conservatives and/or Christians, such as bumperstickers,
tags, fish, and dove emblems on their cars."
As of early April, the Florida Christian Coalition had no hard numbers
as to how many people had signed up to become minutemen, since most
registration was being conducted under the auspices of the county
coordinators. Nevertheless, watch out for Florida Minutemen look-alikes
in your neighborhood -- whether you live in Florida or Maine or Idaho
or Iowa. Ah yes, Iowa....
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