Road to Victory
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Left to right: Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed,
former U.S. vice-president Dan Quayle, political strategist Paul Weyrich,
and David Barton of Wallbuilders.
By Skipp Porteous
On September 16th and 17th, 1994, the Christian Coalition held its
fourth annual Road to Victory conference and strategy briefing in
Washington, DC. Over 3,000 delegates from around the nation attended
lectures and workshops on political activism at the Washington Hilton.
A parade of speakers entertained and inspired the audience every morning.
Afternoon breakout sessions dealt with the nuts and bolts of politicking.
Pat Robertson was scheduled to deliver the opening remarks on Friday
morning, but instead Ralph Reed promptly introduced the first keynote
speaker, the Rev. D. James Kennedy. During Kennedy's sermon, a Christian
Coalition spokesperson circulated among the press explaining Robertson's
He said that a mid-flight explosion aboard Robertson's jet knocked
out the hydraulic system and rendered the plane inoperable. The pilot
returned the plane to the airport and the plane's controls failed
immediately after landing. After Kennedy's speech, Reed publicly announced
the steering problems, but didn't mention the alleged explosion.
D. James Kennedy preached about "real Christians" versus Christians
"in name only." If real Christians become active, he said, they can
return the nation to where it was 35 years ago. Thirty-five years
ago, he claimed, we didn't have homosexuality, sex education, pornography,
adultery, or condoms. What we did have, though, Kennedy noted, was
prayer in school.
In an obvious attempt to deflect recent criticisms of anti-Semitism
within the ranks of the Religious Right, the rest of the morning featured
a lineup of conservative Jewish leaders. They included movie critic
Michael Medved, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, and Boston Herald columnist Don
Speaker after speaker echoed the theme of anti-Christian bigotry,
angrily denouncing any and all who oppose the Christian Right's political
agenda. Along the same line, most of the speakers attempted to paint
the members of the Religious Right as mainstream Americans. "When
the average American looks in the mirror," asserted Don Feder, "he
is looking at the Religious Right."
"Giving Christians a voice in their government again" is the motto
of the Christian Coalition. Claiming membership in excess of one million
members, the Christian Coalition hardly represents America's 150 million
Christians. "We don't want to dominate," said Ralph Reed, executive
director of the Christian Coalition. "We simply want to participate."
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