Christian Coalition Presents
The Contract With The American Family
In the 1994 midterm elections, the American people elected the first
Republican Congress in 40 years in what was the largest transfer of
power from a minority party to a majority party in the twentieth
century. The message of the election was clear: the American people
want lower taxes, less government, strong families, protection of
innocent human life, and traditional values.
The 104th Congress devoted its first hundred days to the Contract with
America, including a Balanced Budget Amendment, tax relief for
families, welfare reform, and term limits. Christian Coalition
enthusiastically supported the Contract and launched one of the most
extensive grassroots campaigns in its history to support the
Contract's passage. The Coalition will continue this effort as the
Contract moves through the Senate.
The problems our nation faces are not all fiscal in nature. The
American people are increasingly concerned about the coarsening of the
culture, the breakup of the family, and a decline incivility. A
recent Los Angeles Times poll reported that 53 percent of Americans
believe the moral problems facing our country are more important than
the economic problems.1 Other survey data indicates that 80 percent
of Americans believe there is a problem of declining morality within
The Contract with the American Family is a bold agenda for Congress tended to
strengthen families and restore common-sense values. The
Contract represents a valuable contribution to a congressional agenda
beyond the first hundred days. These provisions are the ten
suggestions, not the Ten Commandments. There is no deadline
specified time period during which they are to be enacted. But
Congress would be well advised to act with al due and deliberate
speed. The provisions in the Contract enjoy support from 60 to 90
percent of the American people.
These items do not represent the pro-family movement's entire agenda. re are many
other prominent pro-family organizations that will work
on many other issues - women in combat, welfare reform, budget policy
- in the months ahead. This contract is designed to be the first word,
not the last word, in developing a bold and incremental start to
strengthening the family and restoring values.
Restoring Religious Equality
A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO PROTECT THE RELIGIOUS LIBERTIES OF AMERICANS IN
With each passing year, people of faith grow increasingly distressed
by the hostility of public institutions toward religious expression.
Public interest law firms dedicated to preserving religious liberties
receive thousands of calls every year on issues pertaining to the
rights of students in public schools.
Examples of hostility toward religious and those who hold them
abound. In Nevada, an elementary school student chosen to sing a solo
in the school's Christmas pageant was forbidden from singing"The
First Noel" because of its religious overtones.3 At a public
elementary school in Rhode Island, the principal announced shortly
before the beginning of a Christmas concert that he had censored all
of the pageant's songs.4 A Scarsdale, New York school board banned
all religious celebrations from schools, although parties with
non-holiday themes were still permitted. According to the Catholic
League for Religious and Civil Rights, the ban included "displays or
exhibits, such as wreaths, garlands, caroling and menorahs that appear
to promote or give approval to religious matters," as well as "candy
canes, bells, holiday music, and Hanukkah or Christmas parties and
concerts."5 Teachers in New Jersey were told to avoid references to
Easter, including jelly beans and the colors purple and yellow.
Children have been told they cannot read the Bible during silent reading
time.6 In one school, a little girl was told there was a
problem with the book she chose to read to her class- it mentioned
"God" four times.7
This anti-religious bigotry is not confined to the classroom. Nativity
scenes are now barred from federal post offices,8 and from the lawns
of public buildings unless accompanied by a non-religious display such
as Santa Claus. Some courthouses are prohibited from displaying the
Ten Commandments (despite the fact that they are chiseled into the
walls of the United States Supreme Court). And landlords have been
sued by the state for discrimination because they refused to rent to
unmarried couples for religious reasons.9
This hostility toward faith is the result of 30 years of confusing and
often quixotic jurisprudence in establishment clause cases. The
Supreme Court's application of the three-pronged "Lemon test," first
developed in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971),10 has become so tortuous that
some court decisions allow states to lend textbooks, but not movie
projectors, maps, or laboratory equipment to parochial schools; to
supply guidance counseling services outside of parochial schools, such
as mobile units, but not within the schools; and to provide bus
services to and from parochial schools, but not for school field
trips.11 Justice Scalia, who like many has argued for ending the use
of this confusing test, has likened it to "some ghoul in a late-night
horror movie that repeatedly sits up in its grave and shuffles abroad,
after being repeatedly killed and buried-"12
Despite such rollbacks in religious rights, he American public
consistently support freedom of religious expression in the public
square. An April 1994 Wirthlin poll indicates that reinstating
voluntary school prayer not only continues to receive overwhelming
support (78 percent of Americans), but it also enjoys support across a
broad spectrum of Americans: 79 percent of African Americans and 80
percent of whites support school prayer; 85 percent of low income and
71 percent of high income Americans support school prayer; and 65
percent of non-Christians and between 80 and 94 percent of Christians
support school prayer.
The Religious Equality Amendment would not restore compulsory, sectarian
prayer or Bible-reading dictated by government officials.
Instead, we seek a balanced approach that allows voluntary, student
and citizen-initiated free speech in non-compulsory settings such as
courthouse lawns, high school graduation ceremonies, and sports
A survey by the Luntz Research Company found that 78 percent of all
Americans support a Religious Equality Amendment. We urge the 104th
Congress to pass an amendment that not only protects the rights of
students, but the religious liberties of all Americas.
Returning Education Control to the Local Level
TRANSFER FUNDING OF THE FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO FAMILIES AND LOCAL
The need for education reform is plainly evident if one considers the
trends of recent decades. SAT scores have dropped by more than 75
points since 1960.13 Ten nations outperform U.S. 13-year-olds in
math and science tests.14 And as education performance drops, the
level of school violence in our schools is on the rise. The dramatic
increase in shootings and violence-related injuries occurring in our
nation's schools is well-known. Because of the prevalence of weapons,
many American students are greeted with metal detectors when they
arrive for school in the morning. In 1992, 10 percent of tenth-graders
admitted they had taken a weapon to school during the past month.15 There are
250,000 crimes committed on school property each year.
Parents are distressed over the failure of schools to teach children
basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Too often, sex
education emphasizes contraception and condom use rather than
abstinence and self-control. Homosexuality is promoted as an
acceptable alternative lifestyle. Outcome-based education (OBE)
supplants basic skills. Psychological counseling takes place without
parental involvement or notification.16 Christian Coalition members
believe schools should reinforce rather than undermine the values
taught in homes, churches and synagogues.
Parental involvement and local control is the most pressing need in
education today. A current report by the U.S. Department of Education,
"Strong Families, Strong Schools," corroborates the fact that parental
involvement in children's education results in higher student
performance.17 Many local and state reform initiatives focus on
increasing parental rights and participation in their children's
Despite this trend at the local level, the federal government has done
Contract With The American Family (p10
little to advance these initiatives. In 1993 and 1994, Congress
tightened the federal choke hold on local schools by passing Goals
2000, the Educate America Ac18 and the Improving America's Schools
Act, which re-authorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
Christian Coalition seeks to return greater power and control over our
children's education to parents and local communities. This reform gins by
transferring much f the funding for the U.S. Department of
Education to families and local school boards, and applying the
remainder to deficit reduction.
The U.S. currently spends approximately $275 billion per year on
public education.20 Yet student performance and educational
achiedo not reflect this financial investment. As Time magazine
recently noted, "The U.S. spends a greater percentage of its gross
national product on education (7.5 percent) than any other country except
Israel, and yet is out-performed in math and science among
13-year-olds by more than 10 nations, including Hungary, Taiwan and
the former Soviet Union."21 Less than half of federal education
dollars reach classrooms for instruction.22
Increased spending is not the answer. In fact, the 10 states ranking
highest in education performance do not top per-pupil expenditures.23 Rather,
the answer lies in eliminating bureaucracies, administrative
costs, and federal restrictions that prevent effective reform at the
Since the time of its creation in 1980, the U.S. Department of has grown
in magnitude to the point that it now consists of
241 separate programs, a budget of $30 billion,24 and more than
5,000 employees.25 Moreover, federal control over education has
dramatically increased, ultimately culminating with the 1994 passage
of Goals 2000 and H.R. 6, the Improving America's Schools Act.
Goals 2000 established several new federal bureaucracies, including
the National Education Standards and Improvement Council (NESIC),
which many view as equivalent to a national school board. NESIC has
powerful authority to certify national education standards regarding
educational content and student performance. Although these standards
are not binding on states, they do have national stature, and states
have to "voluntarily" develop comparable standards in order to receive
a portion of the billions of dollars in federal funding authorized
under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
When Congress passed Goals 2000, many people predicted it would lead
to the establishment of "politically-correct" national education
standards, resulting in the introduction of outcome-based education
(OBE) on a national scale. Verification of this prediction came
With 1994's release f national history standards, developed with $2.2
million in federal funding from the National Endowment for the
Humanities and the U.S. Department of Education, it became obvious
that national education standards would not be objective.26 Criticism of the
biased and distorted views prevalent in both sets of
standards - the Nnal Standards for United States History, as well
as the National Standards for World History - was widespread.
Criticism of the U.S. History standards included the fact that the
United States Constitution was never mentioned in any of the 31
standards, and was relegated to the supporting materials;27 the
establishment of the National Organization of Women and Sierra Club
were viewed as notable events, but not the first assembling f the
United States Congress;28 and according to one reviewer, the
material revealed only one quotation from a congressional leader, and
that was Tip O'Neill calling Ronald Reagan "a cheerleader for
selfishness."29 The World History standards drew widespread
criticism also, particularly for their anti-Western bias.30
The bias in these standards was so grave that the United States Senate
overwhelmingly adopted (99 to 1) a resolution condemning the standards
and expressing the sense of the Senate that NESIC not certify them.31
Nevertheless, 10,000 copies of these standards already have been
mailed to school administrators and others throughout the nation.32 These
national standards undermine parental involvement and local
control of education.
The time to return federal education control to parents and local
communities through elimination of the United States Department of
Education is long overdue, and a good first step would include
repealing Goals 2000 legislation.
Promoting School Choice
ENACTMENT OF LEGISLATION THAT WILL ENHANCE PARENTS' CHOICE OF SCHOOLS FOR
School choice initiatives are sweeping the nation like wildfire.
Sixty-two percent of Americans favor choice among public schools, and
50 percent favor vouchers.33 School choice legislation was either
introduced or pending in 34 states in 1993.34 These initiatives take
a number of forms, including voucher programs, tax credits and charter
Voucher programs provide monetary assistance to parents for use at the
school of their choice. Tuition tax credits achieve the same goal of
school choice, and are preferred by some communities. Charter schools
are a creative new initiative through which states charter and fund
alternative schools designed to meet the needs of a diverse student
population. Other local initiatives include the privatization of
public ss, such as in Baltimore, Maryland and Hartford,
Connecticut. As parents and local communities strive to reform our
country's educational system, the federal government must do more to
assist these efforts.
One possible example of federal school choice legislation is S. 618,
the Coats-Lieberman Low-income School Choice Demonstration Act. This
legislation would establish up to 20 demonstration projects that would
provide financial assistance to low-income parents to help them send
their children to the school of their choice, whether public or
private. The legislation requires an evaluation of the effectiveness
of this demonstration initiative in order to provide objective
documentation of the merits of school choice. With almost half of high
school students in inner city schools failing to graduate,35 educational
reform for low-income parents in these cities is becoming
We urge the swift passage of school choice legislation such as S. 618
during the 104th Congress as a means of promoting school choice for parents.
We believe passage of this bill will spur grassroots efforts
to reform education and give parents greater choice in selecting the
best school for their children.
Protecting Parental Rights
ENACTMENT OF A PARENTAL RIGHTS ACT AND DEFEAT OF THE U.N.
CONVENTION ON THE
RIGHTS OF THE CHILD.
The United States Constitution does not explicitly set forth
protections for parental rights, but a long line of court cases have
held that the United States Constitution protects the right of parents
to control the upbringing of their children. The rights of parents,
however, are under increasing assault in modern day society.
For example, state officials removed an eighth-grade girl from her
home because she objected to the ground rules (regarding use of drugs,
curfew hours, etc.) her parents had set.36 One mother's child was
removed from her home because the mother refused to continue to take
her first-grade child to therapy lessons for hyperactivity.37 And in
1992, a San Diego grand jury found that 35 to 70 percent of the
county's foster children "never should have been removed from their
Enactment of a Parental Rights Act will ensure that parental rights
are not violated and ensure that parents have the foremost duty and
responsibility to direct the upbringing of their children.
Representatives Steve Largent (R-OK)and Mike Parker(D-MS) in the
House, and Senators Charles Grassley(R-IA) and Howell Heflin (D-AL)
in the Senate, are drafting a parental rights act to address this
critical problem. While language is still being finalized, the authors
intend that the Parental Rights Act of 1995 will clarify that "the
right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children," includes
overseeing their children's education, health care, discipline, and
religious training. Moreover, it requires that any governmental
interference in the parent-child relationship be justified by "clear
and convincing evidence" that it "is essential to accomplish a
compelling governmental interest" and that it is applied in "the least
restrictive means" possible.
The threat to the rights of America's parents is very real, as the
movement to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child
exemplifies. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is a human
rights treaty adopted in 1989 by the General Assembly of the United
Nations. It has not been ratified in the United States. In the past,
the United States has not supported the treaty due to concerns that it
may concede jurisdiction over United States citizens to an
international body and international court.39
Christian Coalition opposes the treaty because it interfere with the
parent-child relationship, threatens the sovereignty of U.S. law, and
elevates as "rights" such dubious provisions as access to television
and mass media. The following are some of the examples of the absolute
rights given to children through this treaty:
* "No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference
with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence - The child has
the right to the protection of the law against such
interference or attacks."40
* "The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this
right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart
information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers,
either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or
through any other media of the child's choice."41
* With respect to the right of the child to freedom of association
or peaceful assembly, "[n]o restrictions may be placed on the
exercise of these rights other than those imposed in conformity
with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in
the interests of national security or public safety, public order,
he protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights
and freedoms of others."42
Under the treaty, parents could well lose their right to prevent their
child from associating with disreputable individuals such as
delinquents, or receiving literature or gaining access to mass media
communication (including films and television) that is not
Pursuant to the treaty, a Committee on the Rights of the Child ha
been established to review reports from nations regarding their
progress in implementing the treaty. The committee has urged that in
the area of sex education, parents be required to give the opinion of
the child equal weight. The committee warned that "the possibility for
parents in England and Wales to withdraw their children from parts of
the sex education programmes in schools" undermines "the right of the
child to express his/her opinion."43
The committee's concern about soliciting children's views prior to
"exclusion from school" should be of particular concern to parents who
educate their children at home. It is clear that rejection of this
treaty by the United States Senate would be in the best interests of
Family-Friendly Tax Relief
Reduce the tax burden on the American family, eliminate the marriage penalty, and
pass the Mothers and Homemakers' Rights Act to remedy
the unequal treatment that homemakers receive under the Internal
Revenue Service Code with respect to saving for retirement.
It has been said that the intact family is the most successful
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare ever conceived. Yet the
federal government, through he tax code, has punished families for
working, saving, and staying together. The Contract with the American
Family addresses not only the cultural pressures on families, but he
financial pressures as well.
1. Tax relief for families with children.
In 1950 the average family of four in America paid just 2 percent
of its adjusted gross income in federal income taxes. Today that same
family sends one out of every four dollars to Washington. When state and local
taxes are added, the average family of four pays 38 percent of its entire income
in taxes, more than it spends
on such essentials as housing, clothing and food.
Christian Coalition's top legislative priority since 1993 has been
tax relief for America's hard-working families. We strongly favor the $500
tax credit for children that has been passed by the House
and awaits action in the Senate. Our long-term goal is to restore
the standard deduction for children to its inflation-adjusted 1946
value: $8,000 to $10,000 per dependent child.
Christian Coalition also supports in concept a flat or flattened
tax (with a generous personal exemption for children) as an ultimate goal
to simplify the tax code, reward work and savings, and reduce the crushing tax
burden on families.
2. Eliminate the marriage penalty.
Under current law, many married couples pay more in taxes than they would if
they remained single because their combined income puts them into a higher tax
bracket. On April 5, 1995, as part of the American Dream Restoration Act, the
House of Representatives voted to restore tax fairness for married couples. H.R.
1215 makes married couples eligible for a tax rebate of up to $145 if their
ax liability goes up as a result of being married. In a time when family breakups
are so common, the Senate should pass this legislation to encourage
marriage and ease the burden on families
trying to form and stay together.
3. The Mothers and Homemakers Rights Act.
The Contract with the American Family calls for the enactment of legislation such
as the Hutchinson-Mikulski Individual Retirement Account equity bill (S. 287),
which will allow homemakers to contribute up to$2,000 annually toward an IRA,
thereby providing equitable treatment to spouses who work at home.
The Internal Revenue Code currently allows a double-income married couple to
contribute up to $4,000 per year toward retirement by allowing them to contribute
up to $2,000 each toward an IRA. However, in the case of a single-income
married couple, the couple can only contribute up to $2,250 per year toward
retirement through an IRA, with the homemaker's contribution limited to
$250. This inequity in the taxcode reflects a disrespect for the valuable
role of the homemaker in our society. Christian Coalition urges Congress to
remedy this injustice by amending the tax code to allow homemakers to contribute
equally up to $2,000 annually
toward an IRA. This could provide an increase of up to $150,000 in savings for a
couple after 30 years.44 Furthermore, because the value of families never
decreases, the contribution amount should be indexed to inflation.
Restoring Respect for Human Life
PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF STATES THAT DO NOT FUND ABORTION, PROTECTING
INNOCENT HUMAN LIFE BY PLACING REAL LIMITS ON LATE-TERM ABORTIONS, AND ENDING
FUNDS TO ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROMOTE AND PERFORM ABORTIONS.
In speaking to the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994, Mother Teresa
delivered an eloquent and stirring defense of the rights of innocent
human life. "The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion,"
Mother Teresa of Calcutta said at the National Prayer Breakfast in
February 1994. "It is a war against the child, a direct killing of the
The foundation of all our rights as Americans - to speech, assembly,
and religious expression - are all built upon the right to life. The
genius of the American idea is that every person is endowed by his
Creator with certain inalienable rights, the first of which is the
right to life.
Christian Coalition seeks by all lawful and non-violent means to
protect innocent human life for the disabled, the elderly, the infirm,
and the unborn. We support constitutional and statutory protection for
the unborn child. Our ultimate goal is to establish the humanity of
the unborn child and to see a day when every child is safe in their
We urge Congress to take the following action as a beginning toward
1. Real limits on late-term abortions by providing legal protection
to children in the latter months of pregnancy and ending the practice of
Most Americans would be shocked to learn about the methods that
are used in late-term abortions in America today. These methods
have reached the point to where a fully formed child can be
completely delivered alive, with the exception of the child's head, and
then the abortionist is free to end the child's life.
This "partial-birth abortion" procedure is also known as "dilation
and extraction," or D&X, in which forceps are used to remove
second and third-trimester babies, with only the head remaining
inside the uterus. The child's life is then ended, and the dead
child is delivered.46
Most tragic of all is the fact that the majority of these babies
are alive until the end of the proceeding.47 Indeed, virtually
all of the victims are beyond the 24th week of pregnancy, and many can
survive outside the womb.
It is difficult to estimate the number of partial-birth abortions
performed, because abortion statistics in general are unreliable. The Alan
Guttmacher Institute, a research group affiliated with Planned Parenthood,
estimates that about 10 percent of abortions occur in the second or third
trimester. One abortionist who specializes in D&X procedures testified in
1992 that he had performed 700 of them.48
Establishing real limits on late-term abortions is one of the most important
steps Congress can take to protect innocent human life. A child has a better
than 50-percent chance of survival outside its mother's womb at 26 weeks.49 But
the D&X technique has been used on children up to 40 weeks gestation, which is a
full-term pregnancy.50 One physician experienced in this procedure
admitted to having mixed feelings on its morality:
"I do have moral compunctions. And if I see a case that's later, like after 20
weeks where it frankly is a child to me, I really agonize over it because the
potential is so imminently there. I think, 'Gee, it's too bad that this child
We call on the 104th Congress to enact restrictions on late-term abortions and
end the practice of D&X abortion. Children at any stage of pregnancy should not
be subject to this cruel and inhumane form of death, but such treatment of those
who can clearly survive outside the mother's womb is particularly cruel.
2. Protect the rights of states that do not wish to use taxpayer funds to take
innocent human life.
In 1993 Congress re-authorized the Hyde Amendment, in effect since 1977, with
rape and incest exceptions. Christian Coalition believes taxpayer funds
should only be used to pay for an abortion when the mother's life is in danger.
The Clinton administration issued a new interpretation of the Hyde Amendment, and
rather than permitting states to use Medicaid dollars to fund abortion in rape
and incest cases, it requires
hem to do so. This created havoc in the states because 30 states
prohibited public funding of abortion, with the life of the mother being the sole
exception. Another six states had reporting requirements for abortions due to
rape and incest which were invalidated under this new directive. As a result,
many states are now involved in litigation over this issue and seven states are
facing administrative enforcement proceedings which could ultimately result in
the termination of federal Medicaid funding to the state. Moreover, as a result
of litigation, two state constitutional provisions have been invalidated and now
the states are required to pay for abortion for any reason, with state funds.
Enacting legislation to clarify the congressional intent behind the Hyde
amendment and t protect states' rights in this area is a matter of urgency for
the 104th Congress.
The Coalition urges Congress to adopt the Istook/Exxon Amendment that would
protect the rights of the citizens of states that do not use taxpayer funds t
take human life.
3. End taxpayer subsidies to organizations that promote and perform abortions.
We call for an end to federal funding for organizations that promote and perform
abortions. This includes an end to funding for
international family planning organizations that promote and perform
Christian Coalition, along with numerous American taxpayers, believes that
abortion is the taking of innocent human life and that tax dollars should not be
used to promote it. Yet, organizations that receive funding under
Title X are required to counsel and refer young adolescents on abortion. This
implicitly sends the message to these youngsters that abortion is an
acceptable method of family planning.
merits of continued funding of the Title X program have long been questioned. It
is estimated that one-third of the clients served through Title X funding are
teen-agers.52 And yet, during the course of the 25 years of Title X's existence,
out-of-wedlock birth rate among girls aged 15-19 has increased 100 percent, the
abortion rate for teens has more than doubled, and
sexually transmitted diseases among teens also have increased.53 Today, one out
of every four sexually experienced teen-agers becomes infected with a sexually
transmitted disease annually.54
Family planning expenditures for all ages under Medicaid now approximate $252
million annually,55 and the annual
appropriation to the Title X family planning program is now $193 million,56 one-
third of which is expended on adolescents. The
time is long overdue for the United States Congress to eliminate funding for such
Similarly, the American taxpayer should not be forced to fund international
family planning organizations that promote abortion overseas. The United States
contributed $50 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) alone for
this year,57 despite its involvement in China's coercive population-control
program that includes forced abortions.58 Amnesty International USA recently
outlined some of the reports coming out of China
regarding the method used to enforce its "one-child" policy:
[D]etainees were beaten and tortured to accelerate the payment of fines. Some
were reportedly hung upside down, others received electric shocks on their tongue
with electric batons or live wires-
One man who could not bear to see his wife tortured in a cell for days attempted
to sell their children in Beijing- other women pregnant eight or nine months
were given - against their will -injections to induce miscarriages.59
In fiscal year 1993, the United States contributed at least $580
million toward world family planning programs.60 Any of this money
that is contributed to organizations that encourage or perform
abortions should be eliminated. Moreover, the entire budget should be
reviewed to determine the success of the program to insure that, like
Title X, we are not subsidizing failed programs.
Encouraging Support of Private Charities
ENACTMENT OF LEGISLATION TO ENHANCE CONTRIBUTIONS TO PRIVATE CHARITIES AS A
FIRST STEP TOWARD TRANSFORMING THE BUREAUCRATIC WELFARE STATE INTO A SYSTEM
OF PRIVATE AND FAITH-BASED COMPASSION.
A 1994 report by the National Center for Policy Analysis details the
growing evidence that private sector charities do a better job than
government "of getting prompt aid to those who need it most,
encouraging self-sufficiency and self-reliance, preserving the family
unit and using resources [more] efficiently."61 According to the
same report, "94 percent of all shelters for the homeless in the U.S.
are operated by private sector organizations."62 Studies have shown
that "as many as 80 percent of low-income people turn to the private
sector first when facing a crisis."63
In light of this evidence, as well as the growing evidence of the
failure of government programs to discourage welfare dependency, the
federal government should take steps to encourage donations to private
charities which serve the needy.
In their Contract with America, House Republicans have enacted the
most dramatic and sweeping welfare reform in decades. By turning
welfare spending over to the states in the form of block grants, this
reform will encourage innovation at the local level, promoting work
and personal responsibility.
The Contract with the American Family takes the next step. We
propose unleashing the charitable capacity of the American people by
providing private, non-governmental solutions to the problems of the
underclass. Through the Salvation Army and other private charities,
millions of Americans will be able to provide compassionate assistance
to those in need without sending more tax dollars to a failed,
discredited bureaucratic welfare state.
Many citizens are not as generous in their contributions to private
charitable organizations thee days because they already are
overtaxed. However, if given the choice between having their tax
dollars subsidize government welfare programs or subsidize private
table programs, many would prefer to designate the money to a
private charity of their choice. Christian Coalition urges the United
States Congress to enact legislation to give taxpayers this
One possible means to do so would be to allow individuals to designate
on their income tax returns a limited amount of their taxes to
qualified private charities. Another would be to create pilot programs
through federal welfare block grants that earmark funding to encourage
charitable giving and assistance to needy individuals through
charities and religious organizations. For every dollar the taxpayer
designates toward a private charity, the federal welfare funding to
that taxpayer's state would be equally reduced.64 As a result,
"private charities would compete on an equal footing with government
welfare programs for the portion of he federal budget that is
allocated to poverty programs," thereby increasing competition. This
will not only change government, it will change our citizenry's
pattern of thinking - people will once again feel more of a civic duty
toward their fellow man.
In the words of Acton Institute head Father Robert A. Sirico,
"[G]overnment has no monopoly on compassion. Indeed, government is
compassion's least able practitioner." Through a private charity
check-off or other means, the 104th Congress can replace the welfare
state with a culture of caring.
PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM EXPOSURE TO PORNOGRAPHY ON THE INTERNET AND CABLE
TELEVISION, AND FROM THE SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILD
1. Enactment of legislation to protect children from being exposed to
pornography on the Internet.
Pornography, both soft core and hard core, is freely available on
the Internet to virtual anyone with a home computer. Several
magazines post pornographic images that can be viewed by anyone,
including children, for free. There are also numerous sites on the
Internet where hard core pornography depicting a variety of explicit
sexual acts, even rape scenes and bestiality, are available free and can be
accessed with a few clicks of a computer button.
Christian Coalition urges Congress to enact legislation to protect
children from being exposed to pornography on the Internet.
criminal law should be amended to prohibit distribution of, or
making available, any pornography, soft core or hard, to children, and to
prohibit distribution of obscene hard core pornography to adults.
2. Enactment of legislation to require cable television companies to
completely block the video and audio on pornography channels to non-
Many children throughout the country are exposed to pornography, often had core,
on cable television because of incomplete scrambling of the signal on
pornography channels. Cable companies have asserted that it is the parents'
responsibility to guard their children. Christian Coalition believes that
the responsibility should be on the cable companies to help parents keep
pornography out of their homes. Cable companies should not be allowed to transmit
pornography to non-subscribers. We urge Congress to require cable television
companies to completely block the video and audio on pornography channels to non-
3. Amending the federal child pornography law to make illegal the possession of
any child pornography.
Sexual exploitation of children through child pornography
continues to be a major problem in society. Possession of child pornography
should be a crime. President Reagan proposed such a law in 1988, hoping that
those with collections of child pornography would destroy them for fear of
federal prosecution. In
an 11th hour compromise on the bill, however, a conference committee of House and
Senate members changed the Reagan bill to criminalize only the possession of
"three or more" items of child pornography, videos, magazines, etc. Thus, federal
law sanctions the possession of some child pornography - less than three pieces.
A person with two hour-long videotapes depicting the rape of a child cannot be
charged with a federal crime, ye a person with three photos depicting a child in
a lascivious pose can. Christian Coalition urges that the federal child
pornography law should be amended to make illegal the possession of any child
Privatizing the Arts
THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS, NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES,
CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING, AND LEGAL SERVICES
BECOME VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATIONS FUNDED THROUGH PRIVATE
Christian Coalition urges the privatization of the National Endowment
for the Arts (NEA) because we do not view such funding as a proper
role for the United States Government. The issue is not whether the
arts should receive funding, but rather which entity should do so -
the government or the private sector.
Through its grant selection process, the NEA acts as an arbiter of art
and places is endorsement or "seal of approval" on certain works.
This federal imprimatur is as important to artists as is the funding
which accompanies the grant. And yet, as William Bennett pointed out
during his testimony calling for elimination of the NEA, this role of
arbiter itself should be questioned, as well as the "seal of approval"
which gives the "official blessing -the blessing of the people of the
United States - to things both worthy and horrible."65 This federal
endorsement is particularly objectionable when it applies to
obscenity, pornography, or attacks on religion.
Despite repeated attempts by the United States Congress to place
common-sense restrictions on federal funding of the arts, NEA dollars
continue to go toward controversial works that denigrate the religious
beliefs and moral values of mainstream Americans.66 William Donohue,
president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, has
joined the call for de-funding the NEA, stating: "We, as Catholics,
have rights too, and among them is e right not to be defamed, and this is
especially true when defamation is funded with government
At a time of fiscal restraint and budget austerity, cultural agencies
cannot expect to be exempt from the broader ealitie of declining
federal spending. Americans spend more than $7 billion annually on the
arts; only $173 million is derived from federal funding. The
privatization of the NEA into a voluntary, charitable organization could
unleash the creative capacity of the American people and
de-politicize one of the mos controversial agencies in recent years.
It is an idea whose time has come.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) also would be improved
by privatization. Lynne Cheney, the NEH Chairman from 1986 to 1992,
testified in January in support of ending federal funding for the
agency. During her testimony she explained, "The humanities - like the
arts - have become highly politicized. Many academics and artists now
see their purpose not as revealing truth or beauty, but as achieving
social and political transformation. Government should not be funding
those whose main interest is promoting an agenda."67 The
controversial national history standards, which NEH funding assisted
in bringing into existence, are one such example.68
William Bennett cites another example of the NEH's use of taxpayer
dollars: "[T]he NEH provides funding for the Modern Language
Association (MLA) - Their annual convention attracts over 10,000
professors and students and reveals the type of agenda that NEH grants
make possible. Past panels include such topics as 'Lesbian Tongues
Untied;' 'Henry James and Queer Perfrmativity;' [and] 'Status of
Gender and Feminism in Queer Theory;'-"69 It is clear that at a time
when 24 percent of the average American family's budget goes to the
federal government in taxes, we can find a better use for these tax
dollars than through continued funding of the NEH.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is another entity that
should rely on private funding. Federal subsidies to the Public
Broadcasting Service cost taxpayers $350 million a year, an example of
transfer payments from the middle-class to the well-to-do.
Children Television Workshop, producer of "Sesame Street," reaps more
than $100 million in licensing fees annually. Its chief executive
officer earns $647,000 annually in salary and benefits. A rate card
sent out by Washington, D.C. PBS affiliate WETA in 1992 noted that the
average net worth of its contributors was $627,000; one in eight was a
millionaire; one in seven owned a wine cellar; one in three had been
to Europe in the previous three years.
Would privatization cause the death-knell of public broadcasting?
Hardly. Private and corporate contributions already make up the vast
majority of public broadcasting's revenue. Only 14 percent of the
Public Broadcasting Service's (PBS) budget comes from the federal
government, and only 3 percent of the National Public Radio's (NPR)
budget is composed of federal funds.
Lastly, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is a federally chartered
corporation established to provide legal assistance to the poor. It
received an appropriation of $415 million for FY 1995. What many
Americans don't realize is that divorce proceedings are a high
priority for many legal services grantees.70 The LSC alone paid for
210,000 divorces in 1990, at an estimated cost to taxpayers of $50
million. Yet, as study after study has revealed, divorce is not
helping our nation's poor break out of poverty. Rather, as historian
Barbara Dafoe Whitehead has pointed out: "Children in single-parent
families are six times as likely to be poor. Twenty-two percent of
children in one-parent families will experience poverty during
childhood for seven years or more, a compared with only two percent
of children in two-parent families."71 Therefore, an agency that was
established to help ameliorate poverty is instead fostering it through
its financing of divorce actions.
Christian Coalition urges Congress to privatize all four entities, the
NEA, NEH, CPB, and LSC, and turn them into organizations funded
through private contributions.
Crime Victim Restitution
FUNDS GIVEN TO STATES TO BUILD PRISONS SHOULD ENCOURAGE WORK, STUDY, AND DRUG
TESTING REQUIREMENTS FOR PRISONERS IN STATE CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES, AS WELL
AS REQUIRING RESTITUTION TO VICTIMS SUBSEQUENT TO RELEASE.
Today's prisons are not designed either to punish convicts or provide
justice to victims. In Pennsylvania, felons can receive in-cell cable
TV.72 At a facility in Fallsburg, New York, outdoor weight training
areas feature televisions prisoners can view as they work out.73 Hard labor
has been replaced in many prisons with recreational
Christian Coalition urges Congress to enact legislation THAT WILL
encourage states to instill work and study requirements for prisoners.
More than one million inmates are imprisoned in our country's
correctional facilities - 919,143 instate prisons and 93,708 in
federal prisons.74 Although a majority of institutions have academic
programs, many prisoners do not participate in them.75 In fact, a
1990 census found that "[a]pproximately 570,000 inmates, accounting
for two-thirds or more of both sexes in State and Federal facilities,
were not participating in any academic activities." Moreover, about a
third of the prison population had no work assignment, and 25 percent
of the population was idle -meaning prisoners neither worked nor
participated in an academic program.76
An estimated 70 percent of inmates in U.S. prisons are functionally
illiterate. Without the ability to read and write, these individuals
are unable to find work outside prison, a contributing facto giving
the United States one of the highest prison recidivism rates in the
Western world. Literacy programs - many of which can be provided by
private charities and prison ministries at low cost - will give
prisoners hope and give society a better chance to absorb former
inmates upon their release.
over, with one out of four American households victimized by crime
each year, as well as more than 700,000 days of hospitalization
resulting from crime-related injuries, victim restitution is very
necessary.77 Requiring an offender to make restitution to the victim
will not only force the offender to confront the consequences of his
actions, but also compensate the victim monetarily.
Christian Coalition urges Congress t remedy this by conditioning the
receipt of federal prison construction funding by states on
enactment of work and study requirements. Moreover, we urge that
restitution to victims subsequent to release also be required.
The Contract with the American Family is the first word, not the
last word, on a cultural agenda for the 104th Congress during the
post-100-day period. The ideas included in this document are
suggestions, not demands, and are designed to be a help, nota
hindrance, to Members of Congress as they seek to fulfill their
mandate for dramatic change.
Christian Coalition welcomes the support of Republicans and Democrats
alike as it seeks passage of the items in this bold legislative
agenda. There is no specified deadline on acting on the Contract. The
Coalition and its grassroots members will work on behalf of these
mainstream proposals in this Congress and in as many subsequent
sessions of Congress as necessary to secure passage.
The Contract with the American Family emerged from a survey of
Christian Coalition members and supporters conducted in March and
April, 1995.It has been improved during the drafting process by
extensive polling and focus groups and consultations with members of
Congress and their staffs. Each item in the Contract enjoys support
from between 60 and 90 percent of the American people. More than half
of the items in the Contract already have legislative sponsors, and
several have already been passed by committee.
The American people now have a Congress that is receptive to their
desire for religious liberty, stronger families, lower taxes, local
control of education, and tougher laws against crime. With the
Contract with the American Family, the nation now has an agenda
with broad support that addresses time-honored values and cultural
issues for the 104th Congress and beyond.
1. Ronald Brownstein, "Dissatisfied Public May Spell Democrat Losses,"
Los Angeles Times, July 28, 1994.
2. Nationwide survey by Luntz Research and Strategic Services,
conducted February 11-12, 1995. Sample Size: 1000. Theoretical margin
of sampling error: + or - 3.1%.
3. Keith A. Fournier, Religious Cleansing in the American Republic,
1993, p. 17.The decision w later reversed after counsel intervened.
4. Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 1994 Catholic
League's 1994 Report on Anti-Catholicism, p. 14.
6. Keith A. Fournier, Religious Cleansing in the American Republic,
1993, p. 16. In both instances, the children were allowed to read
their Bibles after legal counsel intervened.
7. Only after the student's parent contacted the school board was the
8. Mark Kellner, "Postal Grinch Who Stole Christmas," The Washington
Times, November 20, 1994; Catholic League for Religious and Civil
Rights, 1994 Catholic League's 1994 Report on Anti-Catholicism, p. 17.
9. Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, 1994 Catholic
League's 1994 Report on Anti-Catholicism, p.16.
10. 403 U.S. 602 (1971).
11. Jesse H. Choper, The Establishment Clause and Aid to Parochial
Schools - An Update, 75 Cal.L.Rev. 5, 6-7. (1987).
12. Lamb's Chapel v. Center Moriches School Dist., 113 S.Ct. 2141,
2149 (1993) (Scalia, J., concurring).
13. William J. Bennett, The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators
(March 1993), p. 17.
14. "[T]he U.S. spends a greater percentage of its gross national
product on education(7.5%) than any other country except Israel, and
yet is out performed in math and science among 13-year-olds by more
than 10 nations, including Hungary, Taiwan and the former Soviet
Union." Claudia Wallis, "A Class of Their Own," Time, Oct. 31, 1994,
15. 140 Congressional Record S9917 (daily ed. July 27, 1994).
16. Maria Koklanaris, "Virginia parents may get option to exclude
pupils from counseling," The Washington Times, Oct. 28, 1994.
17. U.S. Department of Education, Strong Families, Strong Schools
18. Pub. L. 103-227.
19. Pub. L. 103-382.
20. Claudia Wallis, "A Class of Their Own," Time, October 31, 1994, p.
21. Claudia Wallis, "A Class of Their Own," Time, October 31, 1994,
pp. 53, 56, citing a 1992 report by the Educational Testing Service.
2. Claudia Wallis, "A Class of Their Own," Time, October 31, 1994,
pp. 53, 56.
23. Carol Innerst, "Education Still Lacking Bang for Buck, The
Washington Times, September 21, 1994.
24. Family Research Council, "Freeing America's Schools[:] The Case
Against the U.S. Education Department," Family Policy, p. 5.
25. Letter from Terrel Bell, to The Washington Post, February 1, 1995.
26. Carol Inherst, "Some Historians See New Standards as Revisionist
Coup," The Washington Times, October 27, 1994.
27. Lynne V. Cheney, "The End of History," The Wall Street Journal,
October 20, 1994.
28. Lynne V. Cheney, "The End of History," The Wall Street Journal,
October 20, 1994
30. See Congressional Record, S1025-1040, January 18, 1995.
31. Congressional Record, January 18, 1995, S1025-2040.
32. Statement of Senator Slade Gorton, Congressional Record, January
18, 1995, p. S1034.
33. U.S. Department of Education, Center for Choice in Education,
Issue Brief, "Public Opinion on Choice in Education" (March 1992),
34. The Heritage Foundation, "School Choice Continues to Gain Ground,"
Business/Education Insider (June/July 1994).
35. Statement of Senator Coats, Congressional Record, March 24, 1995,
36. In re Sumey, 94 Wash.2d 757, 621 P.2d 108 (1980).
37. Matter of Ray, 408 N.Y.S.2d 737 (1978).
38. K.L. Billingsley, "Sex, Lies and County Government: Abuse Case
Shows It All," The San DiegoUnion-Tribune, July 19,1992.
39. Human Events, February 24, 1995.
40. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 16.
41. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 13.
42. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 15.
43. Committee on the Rights of the Child, Eighth Session,
Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44
of the Convention, p. 3.
44. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Congressional Record,
January 26, 1995.
45. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, remarks at the National Prayer
Breakfast, February 3, 1994.
46. Illustration Adapted from Drawings Appearing in the February 1993
Issue of "Life Advocate," National Right to Life New, July 14, 1993
47. Diane M. Gianelli, "Shock-tactic ads target late-term abortion
procedure," American Medical News, July 5, 1993 (emphasis added to
48. Douglas Johnson, "AMA Newspaper Investigative Report Supports NRLC
Statements on Brutal 'D&X' Abortion Method," National Right to Life
News, July 14, 1993, pp. 12,13.
49. Ibid., p. 13.
50. Douglas Johnson, "AMA Newspaper Investigative Report Supports NRLC
Statements on Brutal 'D&X' Abortion Method," National Right o Life
News, July 14, 1993, p. 12.
51. Diane M. Gianelli, "Shock-tactic ads target late-term abortion
procedure," American Medical News, July 5, 1993.
52. Family Research Council,"Suffer the Children: Title X's Family
Planning Failure," Insight, by Gracie S. Hsu; Family Research Council,
"An Estimate of Federal Spending on Contraceptive-'Safe Sex' Services
for Adolescents 1970-1993," Insight, by Charles A. Donovan, Sr., p. 2.
55. Family Research Council,"An Estimate of Federal Spending on
Contraceptive-'Safe Sex" Services for Adolescents 1970-1993," Insight,
by Charles A. Donovan, Sr., p. 2.
56. H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 103-733, 103d Cong.,2d Sess. 64 (1994).
57. National Right to Life Committee, Inc. Memorandum, From Douglas
Johnson, Legislative Director, to "Interested Parties," April 20,
1995 p. 2.
9. Amnesty International USA, "People's Republic of China[:] Catholic
Villagers in Hebei Province," March 14, 1995.
60. National Right to Life Committee, Inc., "The Clinton
Administration's Promotion of Abortion as a Tool of Population Control
in Less-Developed Nations," June 1, 1994, page 2.
61. National Center for Policy Analysis, "Why Not Abolish the welfare
State?" (October 1994), Executive Summary.
64. For a general discussion of this concept, see National Center for
Policy Analysis, Why Not Abolish the Welfare State? (October 1994), p.
65. Written Testimony of William J. Bennett, Before the House
Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, January 24, 1995, p.3.
66. Rod Dreher, "S&M 'Art' Video Exceeds Shocking Stage Version," The
Washington Times, January 26, 1995.
67. Written Testimony of Lynne V. Cheney, Before the Interior
Appropriations Subcommittee on January 24, 1995, p.1.
68. Congressional Record, January 18, 1995, S1025-40.
69. Written Testimony of William J. Bennett, Before the House
Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, January 24,1995.
70. Kathleen B. DeBettencourt, Office of Policy Development, Legal
Services Corporation, "Legal Services Corporation vs. The Family,"
March 1988, p. 15.
71. Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, "Dan Quayle Was Right,"The Atlantic
Monthly, April 1993, p. 47.
72. Robert James Bidinotto, "Must Our Prisons Be Resorts?" Reader's
Digest, November, 1994, pp. 65, 76.
73. Robert James Bidinotto, "Must Our Prisons Be Resorts?" Reader's
Digest, November, 1994, p. 65.
74. U.S. Department of Justice, "State and Federal Prison Population
Tops One Million," October 27, 1994.
75. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Census
of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 1990,"p. 11.
76. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Census
of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 1990,"p. 12. A survey
of state prison inmates in 1991 also substantiated that approximately
one-third of the inmates had no work assignments. See Bureau of
Justice Statistics, "Survey of State Prison Inmates, 1991," p. 27.
77. H.R. Rep. No. 104-16, 104th Congress, 1st Sess. at 4 (1995).
Copyright 1995 by The Christian Coalition of this page and all
contents. All Rights Reserved.