Freedom Writer - January 1994
New Coalition video aims to deceive;Robertson softens on abortion
In its recently released video, "America at the Crossroads," the Christian
Coalition attempts to broaden its appeal for new members. In a departure
from its original "America at a Crossroads" (1990), in which only
white males appeared, the new video portrays women and African-Americans.
Also featured are interviews with Christian Coalition "members" who
testify about their high regard for the organization. What the viewer
doesn't know, however, is that most of "members" interviewed are Christian
Coalition salaried staff members.
"America at the Crossroads" boasts of the Christian Coalition's involvement
in the 1993 New York City school board elections. Claiming that "pro-family
candidates won 63% of the seats in the largest and most liberal school
district in America," the video says that the Coalition worked closely
with Catholic churches and distributed 500,000 non-partisan voter
With all their purported success in New York, _The_Freedom_Writer_
was surprised to learn that the Coalition can't pay its state director's
salary. In November, sources told _The_Freedom_Writer_ that Jeff Baran,
who runs the state office near Buffalo, hasn't received a paycheck
in four months.
And finally, is Pat Robertson now pro-choice? Those watching him early
in November on Ted Koeppel's "Nightline" might think so. "I would
urge people, as a matter of private choice, not to choose abortion,
because I think it's wrong," Robertson said. "It's something else,
though, in the political arena to go out on a quixotic crusade when
you know that you will be beaten, continuously. So I say, let's do
what is possible. What is possible is parental consent."
Asking only for parental consent before minors can get abortions is
a long way from Robertson's earlier views on abortion. In 1984, Robertson
said, "Abortion is the taking of a human life...abortion is tantamount
Christian Right leaders continue to surprise observers of the movement.
With the stealth advantage removed, and much adverse publicity for
their extreme views, the leaders of the Religious Right are attempting
to find ways to appeal to a broader audience. A change in rhetoric,
though, doesn't change its theocratic goals.
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