Ethics Articles

Articles: Pro-Life Organizations


>> = Important Articles; ** = Major Articles


Family Research Council

Factsheets On Pro-Family/Pro-Life Organizations

Conservatives’ first lady sparked pro-family effort (Washington Times, 051007)

Christian Coalition falls on lean days (Washington Times, 051013)





Family Research Council


Who is FRC?


The Family Research Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization operating under the provision of Section 501C-3 of the Internal Revenue Code. It was originally founded in 1983, merged with Focus on the Family from 1988-1992, then reorganized as a separate 501C-3 and incorporated as such in the District of Columbia in October 1992. The Council is supported by voluntary donations and grants. The bulk of its contributions are received from individuals. Donations to FRC are tax-deductible.


The Family Research Council exists to reaffirm and promote nationally, and particularly in Washington, DC, the traditional family unit and the Judeo-Christian value system upon which it is built.


In Washington, D.C., a city often estranged from heart and home, the Family Research Council is an unparalleled organization which focuses its efforts solely on defending the interests of the American Family. FRC provides an alternative voice in the media -- a voice for the family and family values. A unique and multi-faceted team has united to meet these challenges.




1. Why does FRC exist and what do they stand for?


The Family Research Council’s primary reason for existence is to reaffirm and promote nationally and particularly in Washington, DC, the traditional family unit and the Judeo-Christian principles upon which it is built. To accomplish this task we will:


·           Promote and defend the family in the media.

·           Develop and advocate legislative and public policy initiatives which strengthen and fortify the family and promote traditional values.

·           Establish and maintain an accurate source of statistical and research information which reaffirms the importance of the family in our civilization.

·           Inform and educate citizens on how they can promote biblical principles in our culture.


FRC stands for:


The American Family


1.  To ease growing economic pressures on families, federal and state tax policy should allow parents raising children to keep more of the money they earn.


2. Fathers play an irreplaceable role in the upbringing of their children. They should take these responsibilities seriously.


3. The natural, married-couple family is the best environment to bear and raise children. Public policy should protect the two-parent family.


4. America’s child protection policies should be reformed to be more sensitive to the rights of the parents.


5. The best child care program is one a child receives in his or her own home, from his or her own parents. Congress and employers should therefore adopt policies which make it easier for parents to care for their own children.


6. Adults should make every effort toward reconciliation before considering divorce. Congress and the state should encourage this by limiting or repealing current “no fault” divorce policies.


The Preservation and Sanctity of Human Life


7. Human life is sacred and should be protected -- from conception until natural death.


8. Adoption should be strongly advocated, particularly as an alternative to abortion.


9. Taking organs from aborted children for experimental purposes is morally repugnant. The medial community should find alternatives to this practice.


Making our Schools Great Again


10. Parents should be free to direct their children’s education; government should respect the right of parents to choose safe and effective schools for their children.


11. A child’s performance in school should be judged by academic achievement, not whether the child becomes “politically correct. “


12. Voluntary student-initiated prayer should be allowed in public schools.


13. Schools should teach abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage, keeping in mind that parents bear the primary responsibility for their children’s sex education.


Pro-Family Health Care Reform


14. America’s health care system should be flexible enough to meet each individual family’s needs and should also respect the right of each family to make its own health care choices.


15. The best method for controlling the spread of AIDS is for people to change their behavior, avoiding activities which would put them at risk of acquiring the HIV virus.


The Family and Society


16. Homosexual activity is immoral, unhealthy, and destructive to individuals, families and societies.  Homosexuals should not be granted special rights based on their sexual preference. “Gay rights” should not be equated with civil rights.


17. Homosexuals should be treated with compassion, not bigotry. We should provide support and healing for homosexuals who want to change their way of life.


18. It is destructive for military morale, readiness, and effectiveness to permit homosexuals into the armed forces.




19. Tax dollars should not be used to fund obscene or indecent art.


20. It is essential that concerned citizens take part in the political process, not just be passive observers.




2. What does FRC think about AIDS funding?


FRC believes that funding and AIDS prevention should be redirected in ways commensurate with the threat to the entire population.


Action Needed: AIDS is a serious threat that has already claimed a quarter million lives. However, it enjoys a much higher share of available prevention, research and treatment dollars than other equally devastating diseases, and this must change.


Summary and Rationale: In Fiscal Year 1996, the Department of Health and Human Services will spend $5.35 billion directly on AIDS, the highest per-victim expenditure for any of the nation’s 10 most lethal diseases.


AIDS ranks near the bottom of the list of the top 10 mortal diseases and last year accounted for about 42,000 deaths. Meanwhile, heart disease claimed 730,000 lives, and cancer killed 520,000. Yet this year, HHS will spend more on research for each AIDS death ($33,333) than for each death from heart disease ($1,201) or cancer ($4,615).


The point is not that AIDS should cease receiving serious attention. HIV is a contagious and uniformly fatal disease, and its victims deserve compassion and help. Funding should continue for treatment, prevention and care. However, AIDS funding must be brought into line with expenditures for other life-threatening diseases, and the money must be redirected toward more effective approaches.


For many years, AIDS policy has been driven by the demands of HIV-infected people who dominate AIDS organizations. Their situations are tragic, and their focus on finding a cure is understandable. But because of their considerable influence, the lion’s share of AIDS funding has been spent for treatment of end-stage HIV (AIDS) and not on the full spectrum of HIV disease.


Impact: Far more Americans die each year from cancer or heart disease than AIDS. Government should allocate resources in proportion to the need. To defeat the AIDS epidemic, government must focus a larger share of AIDS funding on prevention.




3. What does FRC think about adoption?


FRC encourages and promotes the adoption of children by two-parent families as a superior alternative to abortion, out-of-wedlock parenting, and foster care.


Action Needed:


(1) Passage of a $5,000 adoption tax credit for couples who choose to adopt a child.


(2) Removal of policy barriers which discourage interracial adoptions.


(3) Amendment of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act so that Indian tribes would no longer be able to retroactively overturn an adoption which was approved by the child’s biological parents.


(4) Encouragement of crisis pregnancy centers, maternity homes, and family planning clinics to provide adoption counseling for their unmarried pregnant clients.


(5) Shortening the time frame for biological parents to make custodial claims so that children do not languish for years in foster care, but are eligible for adoption sooner.


Summary and Rationale: Adoption typically provides children with a permanent, stable, and loving home. It helps to break the cycles of illegitimacy, single parenthood, abortion, and welfare dependency. And for foster care children, adoption also acts as a preventative measure against being involved in crime, being incarcerated, or becoming welfare-dependent.


Public opinion polls show that the American people consistently support the choice of adoption. For example, the Family Research Council’s “1995 Family Issues Survey” found that, when presented with four options to resolve out-of-wedlock pregnancies (adoption, marriage to the birthfather, single parenthood, or abortion), more respondents chose adoption as the best option than any of the others. In reality, however, 46 percent of all nonmarital pregnancies in 1991 ended in induced abortion, 10 percent ended in miscarriage, and 44 percent were carried to term, of which only 2 percent were placed for adoption. So while the number of potentially adoptable children is theoretically large due to the high number of out-of-wedlock births and crisis pregnancies, there remains a relatively small number of adoptable children. Consequently, an estimated one to two million prospective parents are still waiting to adopt a child.


Currently, there are 500,000 children in foster care, only a portion of whom are legally adoptable at any one time. Of these foster children, 50,000 who are “free” to be adopted remain in foster care for months or years. Furthermore, every year, 15,000 children “graduate” from the foster care system by turning 18 with no permanent family. That these children languish in foster care year after year is primarily attributable to two reasons:


(1) The overriding emphasis on race-matching the child with his/her adoptive parents has often led to major delays or denials of adoptions, even when transracial adoptive homes are available; and


(2) The foster care system places an undue, and often misguided, emphasis on returning children to their biological parents, even when there are clear indications that the biological parents have forfeited their custodial claims by abusing or neglecting their children. Thus, these children languish in foster care even when adoptive homes are available. If they are finally released for adoption, many of them are much harder to place because they are older and have generally acquired more behavioral problems.


Impact: Adoption benefits everyone. It benefits the young, unmarried birthmother and her life chances to finish school and escape the welfare-dependency cycle. It meets the child’s needs for stability and has a positive effect on the child’s physical, emotional, and psychological health. It benefits the adoptive parents who desire to have a family. It benefits American society because the children are reared in solid, two-parent homes without cost to the American taxpayer. It also provides a superior alternative to out-of-wedlock parenting and abortion. By promoting and enabling adoptions to occur more easily, more children will have the opportunity to be raised in loving, two-parent homes rather than to suffer the vagaries that come with being wards of the state through foster care or welfare-dependency.




4. What does FRC think about child care?


FRC believes that federal child care policies must respect a range of private choices without undermining intact families or placing an undue tax burden on middle-class parents.


Action Needed: Resistance to calls for the creation of a new federal child care entitlement; protection of the voucher provisions in the existing child care and child development block grant (with the proviso that vouchers may be used at sectarian institutions); passage of tax credits that do not discriminate against either non-commercial care or one-career families.


Summary and Rationale: Federally-funded child care programs are a staple of the liberal agenda to replace the nuclear family with the total state. It is no coincidence that the opening shot in the political battle over the family was the passage in 1971 of Senator Walter Mondale’s Comprehensive Child Development bill. An archetype of liberal social engineering, the Mondale bill sought to place as many children as possible under the care of federally-funded child advocates and day care centers. In his veto message, President Nixon wrote that “good public policy requires that we enhance rather than diminish both parental authority and parental involvement with children -- particularly in those decisive early years when social attitudes and a conscience are formed, and religious and moral principles are first inculcated.”


While acknowledging that not all mothers can choose to stay at home with children, contemporary child care policy must preserve as many choices as possible --including at-home care, church-based care, and other informal arrangements. Any expansion of federal oversight, by definition, will limit options and pose regulatory entanglements. New federal funding will inflate the tax burden on two-parent families and force many parents to spend more time at the job site -- less time with the children.


Welfare reform that imposes stiff work requirements on mothers of preschool children threatens to distort child care policy by creating new sympathy for greater federal intrusion. To reduce the need for day care services -- and to assimilate welfare recipients into the labor force more successfully -- welfare reform must focus first on the mothers with older children in school. Research studies on various “workfare” experiments show a low success rate for sustained employment by unmarried mothers with preschool children, who face much greater role strain and task overload than mothers with school-aged children.


Impact: While decentralization ensures flexibility and greater responsiveness to individual needs, vouchers ensure that parents themselves retain maximum say in determining what is best for their children. Advocates of greater federal involvement operate instead on the assumption that bureaucrats and licensed “experts” know best. Policymakers must acknowledge that no paid worker can be an adequate substitute for a loving parent -- and work to eliminate both the tax burden and the culture of poverty that restrict families’ economic freedom to care for their own children.




5. What does FRC think about China having “most favored nation” trade status?


FRC believes that the United States should take a strong stand against China’s human rights violations and revoke their “most favored nation” trade status.


Action Needed: Revoke “most favored nation” trade status for China.


Summary and Rationale: China’s atrocious record on human rights is indisputable. Its blatant disregard for the sanctity of human life has led to such abuses as the massacre of democracy-seekers at Tiananmen Square, the exploitation of prisoners as slave laborers, women being forcibly aborted or sterilized, female infanticide, and the systematic intimidation, torture, and imprisonment of Christians.


For the last 15 years, the United States has extended “most favored nation” trade status to China. Some have argued that, by opening up our economic doors to China, the United States will wield greater influence in reversing China’s horrific human rights record. However, in the last 15 years, not even one of these human rights abuses has been halted or abated. Indeed, China’s human rights abuses have only worsened over that time, and the Chinese government has grown more stubborn in its control-by-force and intimidation tactics.


In addition to the myriad human rights abuses which alone should disqualify China from receiving MFN status, in the last year alone China has also threatened war with Taiwan, risking a military confrontation with the United States; sold missiles and nuclear technology to rogue nations (some of whom fund terrorists); and balked at talks with the U.S. and South Korea. Furthermore, because the United States is currently running a $33.8 billion trade deficit with China, there is reason to believe that revoking China’s MFN status may help to make an impact on China’s leaders.


The Clinton administration has recently signaled that it will extend MFN to China again this year. Since the president will not stand up to China, it will be up to Congress to pass legislation with a two-thirds majority in both Houses to overturn the president’s decision by the end of August. The oppressive nature of this Chinese government regime is well-known. If the United States has not succeeded in using the “carrot” of economic markets to encourage China to meet a humane standard, then the “stick” should be the revoking of China’s trade privileges.


Impact: Revoking China’s MFN trade status is a modest, but significant step that the United States must take in order to demonstrate tangibly that it will not tolerate the large-scale human rights abuses taking place in China.




6. What does FRC think about crime prevention?


FRC supports and encourages efforts to combat crime at all levels to ensure that law-abiding Americans feel safe in our streets.


Action Needed: (1) Sentencing and prison reform. (2) Reforms in criminal procedure. (3) More aggressive enforcement.


Summary and Rationale:


(1) Sentencing and prison reform:


Serious repeat violent felons must be put away permanently. Recidivism figures show clearly that many criminals, once released, return to a life of crime.


Government must protect the public by keeping violent criminals behind bars for their entire sentences and eliminating bail for suspects.


Adolescents who commit “adult” crimes should be tried as adults and subjected to adult penalties.


Criminals must be punished, not pampered. Recidivism is high among violent offenders partly because the price they pay for crime is too low.


Other means of punishment, such as restitution, might be used for less-serious offenses. This could help relieve an overburdened prison system.


No one advocates cruelty or harsh, meaningless labor such as the old “making little rocks out of big ones.” But prisons should be places of punishment, not weight-lifting and entertainment centers.


(2) Reforms in criminal procedure.


The death penalty, affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1976, must be used where it is justified if it is to deter crime.


Habeas corpus loopholes that permit criminals to exploit the courts must be closed. The impact of the Comprehensive Terrorism Act of 1995 must be carefully monitored to ensure that the loopholes have been closed.


The exclusionary rule should be changed. The exclusionary rule was created by the courts to implement the Fourth Amendment (all persons have the right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures) thus protecting the public from police abuses. But the rule has been used to unfairly favor criminals. It must be modified to deny freedom to the guilty, give incentives for police professionalism and protect civil liberties.


Jury reform is long overdue. Jury members ought to be able to ask questions that trial attorneys and prosecutors may miss. They should also be informed of the defendant’s past criminal history, especially during sentencing considerations where either mitigating circumstances or a track record of incorrigible behavior is significant.


(3) More aggressive enforcement.


Increase the prison population to reduce crime. Statistics show that most crime is committed by a core of chronic criminals. Keeping these criminals in jail for longer periods will make society safer.


More local police -- to guard our schools, neighborhoods and commerce -- are necessary to free our citizens to go about their daily lives without fear.


Government must protect law-abiding citizens from recidivist sex felons. An example of this is the recently-passed “Megan’s Law.”* It requires state governments to disclose information and notify communities about convicted sex offenders who are released from prison.


Impact: Crime costs America half-a-trillion dollars every year. It leaves thousands of killed and injured people in its wake. In order to prevent the next decade’s much-anticipated youth crime explosion, major anti-crime reform is desperately needed.


* “Megan’s Law” amends the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.




7. What does FRC think about defunding public arts and humanities that support cultural decay?


FRC believes that most of America’s troubles stem more from moral decline than from economic problems. Part of FRC’s goal is to spark a cultural renewal that will be evident in music, arts, literature, film, television, and other parts of our culture. FRC believes there should be an end to taxpayer funding of public arts and humanities and broadcast programs that attack the family, religion and traditional values, and/or promote an ideological agenda.


Action Needed: Defunding the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).


Summary and Rationale: The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities began in 1965 with budgets of $2.5 million. The two agencies’ budgets reached more than $175 million each per year in the 1990s. NEA was cut to just under $100 million in fiscal 1996, to be phased out after 1997. NEH was cut to $110 million in fiscal 1996, with a planned phaseout after 1998.


Unlike any other arts sponsor, the federal government has unique authority and responsibility. A federal grant instantly conveys the stamp of approval of the federal government and the American people.


Federal arts funding, an unconstitutional expansion of government power, has skewed the art market toward questionable projects. NEA continues to fund such venues as the Franklin Furnace Archive theater in New York, where artists engage in scatological, sexually-explicit, anti-religious and anti-family “performance” works. NEA Chairwoman Jane Alexander told the pro-gay Advocate magazine that she intended to use the NEA to “introduce people gently to gay themes all across the country. And I mean gently, because if you start with a very overt thing, people get scared.” Alexander also defended a performance at an NEA-funded art center in which an HIV-positive man sliced another man’s back with a knife, mopped up blood and sent it over the audience on clotheslines.


At the NEH, money has been wasted on politically correct projects such as the promotion of “cultural diversity” and the “National Conversation on American Pluralism and Identity.” When one activist used the latter forum to state that, “There is nothing about me that is American. I don’t want to be an American,” NEH Director Sheldon Hackney exulted, “What an American thing to say -- squarely in the great tradition of American dissent.”


In 1967, Congress created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, overseer of the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio. CPB’s budget grew to nearly $285 million by fiscal 1996. In fiscal 1997, CPB is to receive $260 million, with a request for $296.4 million for 1998. No phaseout has been enacted.


America has more than 11,700 radio stations, 3,100 television licensees, 109 cable networks and another 6,963 translators and boosters, plus the Internet. There is no reason to tax hardworking American families to subsidize PBS or NPR shows. Although PBS and NPR have some worthy fare, there is a drumbeat of anti-family and anti-religious programming. Political bias is rampant.


CPB subsidies are not needed. Sesame Street can make it on its own, while bad programs would and should fail in an open market. Some congressmen have talked about creating a $1 billion trust fund for PBS without any congressional oversight. More money and less oversight? It’s time to defund the NEA, NEH and CPB.


Impact: The saving of hundreds of millions of dollars annually and an end to tax-subsidized attacks on family, religion, sexual morality and free enterprise.




8. What is FRC’s stand on divorce reform?


FRC believes there needs to be revisions in public policy that would increase the commitment of society to the institution of marriage, the protection of children and justice for innocent parties.


Action Needed: Reform of the current no-fault divorce laws in every state by establishing fault for grounds and dissolution where there is no mutual consent.


Summary and Rationale: The current situation began in 1969 when California passed the first “no-fault” divorce law. Intended to remove animosity during divorce, reduce perjury and collusion, establish standards for alimony and property awards and give relief to marital conflict, no-fault laws passed in 45 states in the next five years. By 1985, all 50 states had passed laws establishing no-fault divorce.


What have been the results of such a significant shift in the way that we view the marriage contract? We have shifted from a culture of marriage to a culture of divorce. Divorce rates have surged 34 percent from 1970 to 1990. It is estimated that one half of all new marriages will end in divorce. The United States is the divorce leader of the industrialized world. What are we communicating when it is easier to divorce your wife of 25 years that it is to let go that employee you hired two weeks ago?


More specifically, no-fault divorce has had a detrimental affect on the innocent parties involved, especially the children. No-fault divorce reduces the protection and negotiating rights of the spouse who wants to maintain the marriage. Divorced women experience a 30 percent drop in income the first year after a divorce. Three out of four teen suicides are committed by children from broken homes. Children of divorce are also 70 percent more likely to have been expelled or suspended from school, and are twice as likely to drop out of school. Of juveniles and young adults serving time in long-term correctional facilities, 70 percent came from broken homes.


No-fault divorce has not only added to societal problems, but it has not remotely addressed the problems it originally set out to solve. Animosity during divorce has simply shifted to animosity during the settlement. Fights over custody and support are more prevalent today and just as humiliating as those over grounds. In the overwhelming majority of cases before the adoption of no-fault grounds, there was no litigation at all, let alone hostile litigation. Perjury and collusion have also just shifted from the grounds arena to the collateral arenas of custody and visitation.


Dr. Allen Parkman has summed it up this way: “Seldom in U.S. history have laws been enacted with higher hopes and poorer results than the no-fault divorce statutes.” Not surprisingly, in a recent FRC survey, by a margin of 55 percent to 31 percent, Americans said that they favor divorce reform to strengthen the rights of spouses who want to save their marriage.


Impact: Divorce reform will strengthen our families and society by increasing the incentive for spouses to invest in their marriage. It will offer justice for those who are unwilling parties of divorce, especially for any children involved.




9. What national drug abuse policies does FRC support?


FRC believes that:


1. The President must give the drug war a high priority.


2. Congress must hold federal drug spending at current levels until there is strict accountability, and then consider increasing budget authority.


3. The drug czar must be made subordinate to the attorney general to coordinate all drug interdiction.


4. Local communities must be allowed to tailor treatment and prevention programs to local needs.


Summary and Rationale: America has successfully cut drug abuse in half since 1979, but now it is rising again and emboldened drug legalization proponents are calling for a surrender in the drug war. The drug war needs leadership, a unified national interdiction effort, and a local prevention and treatment focus.


The absence of committed Presidential leadership has contributed to the problem. President Clinton has been virtually silent about drug abuse. He has mentioned drugs in less than three percent of the public speeches made during the first three years of his administration.


The lack of Presidential attention to this issue tracks with a growing view that illegal drugs are less dangerous and more acceptable. This shift can be attributed to fewer news stories about the risks of drugs, more pro-drug information, more legalization discussions, and glamorization of drugs by pop culture. In fact, last year, the major television networks ran only 40 drug stories compared to nearly 400 per year during the Reagan administration.


Drug abuse costs the nation perhaps half-a-trillion dollars annually. The federal government will spend $13 billion fighting the drug war this year, but much of this money will be spent without close accountability. This must change.


The federal drug effort is complicated by too many programs. There are 140 federal programs each with its own bureaucracy and tangled set of procedures. This scattershot approach isn’t working. The federal part of the war must focus on interdiction and turn the rest over to local communities.


The drug czar should be subordinate to the attorney general just as the surgeon general falls under the Secretary of Health and Human Services. That would eliminate redundancies and improve the use of taxpayer dollars. The drug czar should coordinate the U.S. drug interdiction effort and speak out against abuse.


Other than the President providing the vision for a drug-free America, drug treatment and prevention are issues the federal government is poorly equipped to handle. Consolidate federal drug bureaucracies, streamline procedures and send authority and resources to the local level. Local communities working with citizen-run groups can do a far better job than the federal government at tailoring programs to meet local needs.


Include faith-based programs in the local solution and take steps to ensure that government does not interfere in their religious mission. They have a proven record of long-term drug abuse recovery and prevention effectiveness.


Impact: Drug abuse ruins lives, acts as a drag on our economy, damages every American’s quality of life via drug-related crime, and robs America of its intellectual edge in a competitive world. This is a national crisis and deserves top priority.




10. How does FRC believe we can improve the public education system in America?


FRC believes that America must restore decision-making authority over school policy and finance to parents, locally elected school boards and taxpayers, relieving them of the layers of bureaucracy that hinder education renewal.


Action Needed: The federal role in education, now amounting to several hundred programs, should be terminated and the billions of dollars spent annually returned to taxpayers.


Summary and Rationale: Education has been traditionally -- and constitutionally -- a responsibility of states and localities. But since the U.S. Education Department was created in 1979, it has followed the iron law of bureaucracies, seeking to expand its range and influence. Today, more than 760 education programs exist in 39 federal agencies, totalling $120 billion in annual expenditures.


A new height of federal intrusion into local education was reached with the passage of Goals 2000 in 1994. Goals 2000 prescribes to states how they will run their educational systems and meddles in their curricular issues by creating national standards and assessments. But Goals 2000 also pushes a liberal social agenda, covering everything from prenatal health care systems to mandatory community service to comprehensive health education.


Goals 2000 must be repealed as the first step toward restoring local schools in America. Republicans in the 104th Congress demonstrated their commitment to eliminating wasteful, inappropriate federal programs and to improving education by seeking to end Goals 2000. The House voted to eliminate funding for the program in FY ‘96, and the House Budget Committee resolved to do so again for FY ‘97.


As control has been seized by the centralized education bureaucracy, local apathy has increased, just as Alexis de Tocqueville predicted over 150 years ago. Liberals seek to dictate parental and community involvement in education through federal law, ignoring the fact that their own cumbersome programs choke off any meaningful participation.


Only when the federal role in education is ended will we see a revitalization of the community involvement that characterized schools before the advent of the education bureaucracy. The proposal to free schools from federal control received a hearty response in the 104th Congress, where some 120 members of the House sponsored the Back-to-Basics bill, the first concerted effort to shut down the U.S. Education Department bureaucracy in the last decade.


As part of their freedom to participate fully in their children’s education, parents should be permitted to choose a safe and effective public, private, religious or home school. When parents freely choose the kind of education they seek for their children, employers will get the qualified employees they want, and policymakers will see the healthy schools they envision coming to life as a result of competition.


Blaise Pascal told us that seeking to obtain by one means what can only be achieved by another is tyranny. We have witnessed in the past three decades an ever-expanding attempt to solve educational problems from Washington, D.C. The resulting nationalization of education has only exacerbated the problems of local schools. Parents, teachers and schools must be freed from the burdens of the federal education bureaucracy. Only then will America experience the educational renewal that will keep this nation a leader in the 21st century world.


Impact: The elimination of the federal role in education will allow state and local education to flourish without regulatory bondage, reestablish the authority of parents and taxpayers over education, and bring about the education renewal parents desire and their children need for future success. Tax relief will allow families to increase their buying power for current educational services and to save for future educational needs.




11. What solutions does FRC see for affordable health care?


FRC believes that families should have access to affordable, portable health care and insurance for families.


Action Needed: Enactment of tax-free medical savings accounts (MSAs) as an important cost-saving and freedom-of-choice component of any health care reform measure.


Summary and Rationale: A radical overhaul of our nation’s health care system, which is one of the finest in the world, is not necessary. Rather, there are certain aspects, such as affordability and portability, that are amenable to reform without inviting wholesale federal interference in health care. Tax-free medical savings accounts (MSAs) for working families and individuals, as passed in the House-Senate Balanced Budget Act and the House health care reform package, constitute one such reform. MSAs are similar to IRAs in that pre-tax dollars up to a certain limit may be set aside for certain medical expenses. MSAs are controlled by individuals and families, not by governments or insurance companies. MSAs usually supplement high-deductible (catastrophic) health insurance coverage, helping to cover lower-level medical expenses before the insurance deductible is reached, co-payments, and other qualified expenses. Because families and individuals are directly responsible for the use of their health care dollars, MSAs guard against the overutilization of health care services, thereby helping to curb skyrocketing health care costs. Moreover, families reap the rewards of managing their health care dollars wisely and of practicing good health habits, for any monies not spent by the end of the year may be kept by the individual as taxable income, or kept in the account for future health care needs. Since most individuals spend less than $2,000 per year on medical expenses, funds in the account would be portable and available in-between jobs, at the next job, or when bigger unexpected medical costs come up in the future.


Companies that offer MSAs have found that they are most popular among lower-income families. Under conventional insurance plans, low-income employees typically have to meet their $250 or $500 deductible with after-tax dollars before they can access their insurance. A single mother earning $14,000 or $15,000 a year may find it difficult to meet the deductible when rent, transportation, taxes, grocery bills and other needs for her children are pressing. An MSA allows these low-income earners first dollar coverage, permitting them to get medical care when they or their children need it. This feature alone could significantly reduce the level of emergency room utilization for non-emergency care. Low-income wage earners would have, in effect, first-dollar coverage for medical care up to the amount in their MSA.


MSAs also promote greater autonomy in health care choices. Because MSA funds may be used toward any medical expenses, including those not expressly covered within the insurance policy, a family has more flexibility to choose health services and providers and has more portability of coverage.


More and more private sector employers are offering MSAs to their employees, with great response, even though our federal tax code discriminates against this practice. Fifteen states have passed laws granting favorable tax treatment to MSAs. In March 1996, the House of Representatives passed an MSA provision that would allow comparable tax treatment to other forms of employment-based insurance, as part of their health care reform package, H.R. 3103. A similar Senate bill, S. 1028, did not contain an MSA provision so this issue must be worked out in a House-Senate conference committee.


Impact: MSAs empower families to make their own health care decisions by choosing their own doctors and spending their own money for such care. MSAs are a bipartisan solution and a practical free-market alternative to address the problems of escalating health care costs and lack of portability between jobs.




12. What is FRC’s response to the homosexual agenda?


FRC believes that homosexuality is unhealthy, immoral and destructive to individuals, families and societies. Compassion -- not bigotry -- impels us to support healing for homosexuals who want to change their orientation.


FRC opposes any attempts to equate homosexuality with civil rights or to compare it to benign characteristics such as skin color or place of origin.


The Family Research Council opposes sex education programs that treat homosexuality and heterosexuality as equally desirable, that teach that any sexual behavior between consenting people is a human right, and that idealize homosexuality and the homosexual lifestyle. FRC also opposes attempts to make the adoption of children by homosexuals an accepted practice.


Much of the data used to support claims by homosexual activists is flawed: the debate has been clouded by faulty research and surveys taken out of context. FRC supports efforts to promote public policy -- based on scholarly research -- that undergirds traditional values and families, rather than attempts to provide special treatment for homosexuals. The Family Research Council applauds the efforts of men and women who provide counseling and support for people who wish to leave the homosexual lifestyle and find fulfillment in a healthy lifestyle.




13. What is FRC’s position on the military’s homosexual ban?


FRC believes that the military should enforce the law [10 U.S.C. § 654] that denies military service to homosexuals.


Action Needed: Rewrite the Pentagon’s inconsistent method of implementing regulations which ignore the law’s intent to deny service to homosexuals. Additionally, reinstate the question asking if a candidate is a homosexual, which the law permits to be asked of all recruits.


Summary and Rationale: In 1993, Congress held hearings to determine whether to keep the military’s 200-year-old homosexual ban. Experts testified that homosexuals threaten unit cohesion and morale -- key combat components. Their defining behavior is illegal in the military, and as a category homosexuals create an unacceptable health risk to themselves and others. Science has found that homosexuals experience higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases, including the AIDS virus, and higher rates of drug abuse than heterosexuals.


On November 30, 1993, President Clinton signed into law the military’s long-standing ban on homosexual military service. The law [10 U.S.C. § 654] Congress passed is very clear: no homosexuals in the military. But this binding expression of the will of the American people has not stopped the Clinton administration from creating regulatory loopholes through which homosexuals not only serve, but serve openly in the military. This end run around Congress has not gone unnoticed.


This spring, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Thomasson v. Perry identified the regulatory loopholes. In this case, a homosexual sailor challenged both the law passed by Congress and the Clinton administration regulations on homosexuals in the military. Six of that court’s judges declared that the administration deliberately mischaracterized the law and deliberately shaded its answers to Congress when concerned members tried to pin down exactly what the White House was up to in regard to “implementing” the law on homosexuals in the military.


Besides revising the regulations to be consistent with the law, the services must also return to asking recruits about their sexual orientation and past homosexual conduct. Asking the questions kept honest homosexuals out and sent a clear message that to serve, others must keep their homosexuality a secret. In 1993, the Clinton administration ordered this practice stopped. The new law, however, permits the Secretary of Defense to reinstate the questions. Asking new recruits and those reenlisting is a prudent step to warn would-be service members that homosexuals are not eligible for service in the military.


Impact: The law and the regulations are inconsistent. This undercuts the constitutional authority of Congress to set the rules and regulations for the military and puts the courts in the position of having to force the executive branch to do its constitutional duty to “faithfully execute the laws” of the land. Rewriting the regulations will result in the restoration of a consistent policy that will survive constitutional challenge, avert the manifold medical and morale-related problems occasioned by the Clinton administration’s social experimentation, and put to rest an issue that has disrupted the clear and workable policy that served the nation well for generations.




14. What does FRC think can be done to restore the sanctity of human life?


FRC believes that society must acknowledge and restore the sanctity of human life for those born and unborn. Society must protect innocent unborn children and mothers facing a crisis pregnancy from government funding and promotion of abortion in the U.S. and abroad, and protect the elderly from physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. We can accomplish these goals through various protective measures through all branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial.


Action Needed: Enactment of specific pro-life legislation, such as the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and other measures that protect unborn children from abortion, reduce the overall number of abortions, and restrict taxpayer funding and sponsorship of abortion. Encouraging the President to appoint, and the Senate to confirm, pro-family judges who believe that unborn children have an inalienable right to life and deserve full legal protection. Adopt a human life amendment to the Constitution. Encourage policies to restrict physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.


Summary and Rationale: Thomas Jefferson said: “The protection of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” However, the unborn child is not considered a “person” according to seven members of the Supreme Court in the Roe v. Wade decision (1973). Since the legalization of abortion through all nine months of pregnancy in 1973, there have been more than 33 million abortions. One-third of these were performed on teenage girls. Out-of-wedlock pregnancies, sexually-transmitted diseases [particularly chlamydia, syphilis, human papillomarvirus (HPV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)], and abortion rates have all dramatically increased since that time. Abortion is never a healthy solution to a problem pregnancy. To that end, government and, principally, communities and churches, must encourage and promote public policies and programs that reduce the demand for, and total numbers of, abortions; promote adoption; promote parental involvement; and offer practical assistance to teens and women in a crisis situation. Our tax dollars should never fund or actively encourage abortions using taxpayer dollars or fund organizations with pro-abortion policy goals or objectives.


Opinion polls consistently show that the majority of Americans oppose most abortions. A 1994 Gallup poll commissioned by CNN and USA Today found that 65 percent of Americans believe that abortion should either be “illegal in all circumstances” or “legal under certain circumstances.” A January 1995 CBS/New York Times poll found that 60 percent believe that abortion should either “not be permitted” or have “stricter limits.”


Specifically, the president should sign the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, a bill that would limit a particularly horrible late-term abortion method that is basically infanticide. Congress should adopt, and send to the states for ratification, a human life amendment that applies the protection of the 14th Amendment to unborn children and assures recognition of their fundamental, individual right to life. In addition, various government agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Department of Education, State Department, and Agency for International Development must not indirectly or directly fund or encourage abortions, fund domestic or international organizations that promote or perform abortion as a method of family planning, fund “comprehensive” school-based health clinics, fund or encourage abortion-related research on drugs like RU-486, or promote or fund physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.


Impact: Promoting the sanctity of human life is vital to maintaining a great nation and strong civil society. We see in alarming crime rates and shocking killings the inevitable result of abortion cheapening human life. Society and political parties must recognize the value and inherent worth of each individual person from the moment of conception to natural death. Unborn children, the infirm, the handicapped and the elderly must all be protected.




15. How does FRC view immigration reform?


FRC believes that the immigration laws should reflect this country’s heritage as a “nation of immigrants” while also placing emphasis on fairness and orderly procedure, recognizing that regulation is necessary to protect our national sovereignty.


Actions Needed:


(1) Support measures which halt illegal immigration, e.g., increasing border patrols, halting welfare payments to illegal aliens, permanently denying readmission to aliens who are caught illegally residing in the U.S., etc.


(2) Support pro-family measures regarding legal immigration, e.g., reuniting nuclear families first before other family and work categories, enforcing policies which hold U.S. citizens and residents financially responsible for the family member(s) they “sponsor” for entry into the U.S., deporting and permanently excluding aliens who have been convicted of an aggravated felony, and providing asylum to victims of religious persecution and/or coercive population control policies.


Summary and Rationale: Immigration reform is badly needed in order to correct the unwise policies of the past (i.e., providing amnesty to all illegal aliens) and to provide a framework to meet present and future challenges, especially those which address the ever-growing problem of illegal aliens crossing into the U.S.


The problem of illegal immigration must be addressed on the principles of ensuring adherence to the law and administering justice. The United States must not reward illegal aliens whose first act in this country is to break the law. Thus, we support efforts to halt illegal immigration by increasing border patrols, enforcing the expedited deportation of illegal aliens, increasing criminal penalties for those who create or distribute fraudulent identification documents, and permanently denying readmission to aliens who are found to illegally reside in the U.S., among others.


In terms of legal immigration, the United States should preserve its policy of welcoming legal immigrants, acknowledging the fact that we are a “nation of immigrants.” However, in recent years, public opinion has been antagonistic towards immigrants -- both legal and illegal -- due to the influx of illegal immigrants and the notion that legal immigrants are not “paying their own way” once they enter the U.S. Thus, we support policies which help legal immigrants “play by the rules,” such as deporting and permanently excluding aliens who are convicted of felonies, and enforcing “sponsorship” policies which hold U.S. family members financially responsible for those immigrants they sponsor to enter the U.S.


Finally, the United States must preserve its commitment to refugees, particularly those who are victims of religious persecution or coercive population control policies. We support current U.S. policy which does not impose a numerical limit on refugees because America needs the flexibility to respond appropriately to future humanitarian crises and because refugees currently comprise only about 8 percent of total immigration to the U.S. every year. Most important of all, the United States must maintain its tradition of moral leadership, reminding other nations that adherence to universally-recognized human rights matters.


Impact: The American people already want immigration reform. Implementing wise immigration reform policies --halting illegal immigration and regulating legal immigration -- will be vital in order to restore Americans’ confidence in the immigration system as well as in changing the current negative public perception about immigrants as a whole.




16. What is FRC’s position on the Legal Services Corporation?


To protect American families and businesses from frivolous, damaging litigation and to end the annual waste of millions in taxpayer dollars, FRC believes that the Legal Services Corporation should be defunded.


Action Needed: The complete defunding of the Legal Services Corporation.


Summary and Rationale: The Legal Services Corporation was founded in 1965 with the purpose of expanding welfare benefits to the poor through test cases and impact litigation. That and much more occurred as the program was commandeered by left-wing lawyers with anti-family agendas.


The family is the foundation of society, yet in case after case LSC has attempted to make the individual, instead of the family, the basic unit of welfare policy. This goal undermines the family by replacing parents (especially fathers) with welfare programs and discouraging self-reliance in favor of federally-funded dependency.


Examples of legal services’ hostility to the family are legion. They include:


In 1994, the National Center for Youth Law, a major LSC grantee, played a key role in overturning California’s parental consent law on abortion.


In 1993, Karla and Leland Swenson were forced to sell their home to fight the Idaho Legal Aid Society’s effort to seek custody of their adopted son for the sister of the boy’s biological father. Neither of the boy’s biological parents was seeking custody.


In 1995, Lehigh Valley Legal Services of Pennsylvania tried to give a teenage rapist custody of a child he fathered by his rape of a 13-year-old even though a psychologist concluded he would endanger the child.


Also in 1995, Legal Services of Greater Miami joined forces with the ACLU and homosexual activists to fight for a homosexual couple’s bid to adopt a child.


Congress has already called for LSC’s phasing out by 1998, starting with a 30 percent funding cut for fiscal 1996 from $400 million to $283.5 million. In addition, several restrictions have been placed on LSC, prohibiting its grantees from filing class-action lawsuits except with the approval of the Corporation.


Legal services lawyers will no longer be allowed to represent prisoners, illegal aliens, and public housing residents being evicted for drug-related crimes.


Unfortunately, restrictions can be circumvented. Several grantees have already set up new groups to receive LSC grants while using non-federal or private grants to carry out continued assaults on the family. The inclusion of the Cohen amendment in the omnibus spending bill was a victory for LSC. It allows grantees to comment on legislation as well as become involved in legislative rulemaking -- a major loophole for legal services lawyers to engage in lobbying activities. As these incidents show, nothing short of the outright abolition of LSC will solve the problem.


The private bar can and must assume responsibility for meeting the needs of poor Americans for legal services not covered by public defender programs across the United States.


Impact: Defunding the Legal Services Corporation will provide protection to the American family, slow the expansion of the welfare state, and cut federal spending by billions of dollars over the long-term. It will help get politically-motivated “public interest” lawyers off Americans’ backs and shift power and money back to local governments -- and the American people.




17. What is FRC’s opinion on the redefinition of marriage?


FRC opposes the radical redefinition of marriage and the erosion of societal protections for marriage.


Action Needed: Passage of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), continued enactment of state laws that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and resistance to the institution of “domestic partnership” benefits and privileges to same-sex or unmarried couples.


Summary and Rationale: Because of its crucial role, marriage has a special status within the culture and the law. Its essence -- the joining of one man and one woman in a uniquely exclusive legal, sexual, economic and spiritual bond with the procreation of children as a desirable and common result -- had not been seriously challenged for thousands of years.


Now, homosexual activists are on the verge of radically redefining marriage and family through judicial fiat. If they succeed, all distinctions based on sex will fall, and the worst aspects of the rejected Equal Rights Amendment will be imposed. Homosexuals will gain the “right” to adopt children; schoolchildren will be taught that homosexual sex is the equivalent of marital love between husband and wife; employers will be forced to subsidize homosexual relationships; churches will be pushed outside the civil law; and government power will be directed against anyone who believes that homosexuality is wrong. Likewise, any government institution of “domestic partnerships” will harm the moral order by raising homosexuality and fornication to protected status, thereby undercutting societal support for marriage.


In August, a Hawaiian court is expected to strike down that state’s law limiting marriage to “one man and one woman.” Despite widespread opposition within Hawaii (recent polls show that 74 percent of Hawaiians reject same-sex “marriage”) homosexual activists hope to impose their agenda through compliant courts. Because the U.S. Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause calls for states to honor each other’s licenses, homosexuals are planning to fly to Hawaii, “marry,” and return to the mainland to claim “married” status. More than 30 states now have efforts underway to protect marriage, and nine -- Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah -- have enacted laws protecting marriage.


At the national level, DOMA would protect the military, Social Security and all federal agencies from radical redefinition of wedlock, as well as protect states from having their marriage laws invalidated by an adverse court ruling or enactment in another state.


The marriage battle is being fought while several key cases involving the homosexual agenda are being decided. The Supreme Court recently struck down a voter-approved Colorado state constitutional amendment to bar any city or county from enacting special rights based on sexual orientation. Several cases challenging the military’s ban on homosexuality are being heard around the nation. In Georgia, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of a lesbian fired from her job at the state attorney general’s office after she announced that she had “married” her lover. In New York, the state’s high court opened adoption proceedings to homosexual couples and unmarried heterosexual couples, thus devaluing marriage and jeopardizing children.


Impact: If marriage is radically redefined, or domestic partnerships instituted, the entire moral code will unravel. Polls show that the American people overwhelmingly expect public officials to defend marriage unequivocally. This effort can advance the cause of judicial reform, halt the judicial assault on traditional morality and stall the homosexual activist agenda, which has gone far beyond mere “tolerance.”




18. What does FRC do to support military families?


FRC created the Military Readiness Project (MRP) to oppose the induction of homosexuals into the military because their known presence destroys morale and personal privacy and introduces sexual tension into the barracks. FRC opposes attempts to subvert the law barring anyone with homosexual “propensities” from military service. The MRP has been actively engaged in providing “friend of the court” briefs in key federal court cases dealing with this issue.


The Family Research Council believes in the unique gifts and capabilities of women, and opposes the pitfalls of a military that is gender blind. Some combat exemptions have already been eliminated, but if the erosion continues, women may be placed in direct combat roles “on the same terms as men,” a position supported by barely a quarter of the American people. The country -- and its women -- are not well-served by placing women in combat positions. FRC has worked hard to maintain a combat exemption in today’s military.


FRC has also tackled the issue of pornographic materials sold in taxpayer-supported military stores. The Family Research Council sees this practice as one that undermines military discipline and is at odds with the fundamentals of leadership and service.




19. How does FRC view the rights and responsibilities of parents?


FRC believes that the rights of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children without unwarranted interference from the government should be protected.


Action Needed: Statutory recognition of the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.


Summary and Rationale: The past century has witnessed a subtle shift in the role of child rearing from a private matter to a matter of increasingly public concern. At the turn of the century, courts began to examine and uphold state compulsory education laws; today, government bureaucrats display an arrogant “we know best” attitude that manifests itself in such ways as compulsory-attendance, value-free sex education classes for elementary school children.


While the Constitution does not explicitly address the parent-child relationship, the Supreme Court has historically regarded the right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children as a fundamental right under the Fourteenth Amendment. In the 1920s, the Supreme Court affirmed its high regard for the integrity of the parent-child relationship in two landmark cases: Meyer v. Nebraska and Pierce v. Society of Sisters. In Meyer, the Court stated that the liberty guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment denotes “the right of the individual to marry, establish a home and bring up children.” The Court declared in Pierce that the child is not a mere creature of the state, and that “those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.”


A new law is needed because although the Supreme Court’s intent to protect parental rights is unquestionable, lower courts have not always followed the Supreme Court’s strong mandate for the parent-child relationship. For example, parents from Falmouth, Massachusetts recently lost a case in which they challenged their school board’s installation of condom machines in high school bathrooms and school-nurse distribution of condoms to junior high schoolers. Many public schools conduct psychological testing of children under the guise of standardized “tests” and “surveys” without parental consent. Court challenges to these policies have been met with mixed results. Parents in Georgia are fighting a legal battle against school administrators who drove their daughters to a health clinic for gynecological tests and birth control prescriptions without notification or consent.


The legal recognition of parental rights is also a children’s rights issue, because a child’s first and most important right is to have a parent who is in charge of raising him or her with love and direction. To say that parents have the primary role in raising children is to say that parents are irreplaceable. Stable, intact families rearing children with both love and direction have never been in shorter supply or more desperately needed. Parents need the legal standing to defend their fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children.


Impact: Statutory recognition of the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children would ensure that, when parents and government fight for the right to make important decisions about child rearing, parents’ preeminent and unambiguous rights will prevail.




20. What is FRC’s opinion of pornography?


FRC strongly opposes pornography, especially child pornography. Pornography has a corrupting influence on individuals, turns natural desires into unnatural cravings, and reduces human beings to anonymous tools for the stimulation and gratification of those cravings.


Contrary to a widespread perception, pornography no longer consists, if it ever did, primarily of soft air-brushed photos of smiling young women in various states of undress, or of movies depicting cheerful, consensual coupling. Exploiting the phenomenon of customer desensitization, today’s pornographers have turned to themes such as bondage, mutilation, torture, bestiality, and others.


Does pornography contribute to rape, battery, and child molestation? Supporters of pornography say it does not, but the evidence suggests otherwise: studies have shown that exposure to pornography leads to a generalized predisposition toward violent and sexual acts.




21. What does FRC think should be done to combat pornography?


Action Needed:


(1) National standards for the determination of obscenity should be developed.


(2) The law should require compensation for the victims of pornography.


(3) Obscenity should be treated as contraband.


(4) Strict liability should be the legal standard for child-porn possession and distribution.


(5) Computer networks should be family-friendly.


(6) Cable porn should not be available on anything other than an opt-in basis.


(7) All child porn should be made illegal: pseudo, morphed, sketched, or written.


(8) Indecency laws should be updated to include cable and satellite transmission.


(9) Ordinary citizens should have legal standing to seek injunctions against pornographers.


(10) Pornography should be banned from U.S. government property, such as on military bases both in America and abroad.


Summary and Rationale: The policy steps listed above can be taken to strengthen the hand of law enforcement against obscenity. In 1970, the U.S. Postal Service identified 25 mail-order companies across the country which sent unsolicited, sexually-explicit material to homes across the country. By March 1988, the number had grown to 100 such companies. Sex movies now make up more than 27 percent of national video rental revenue. Rentals and sales of adult videos soared to $2.5 billion in 1994, and one analyst predicted a 15 percent increase in that figure when 1995 figures become available.


Pornography is also rampant on the worldwide computer system called the Internet. In June 1995, a team at Carnegie-Mellon University released the results of a quantitative analysis of more than 900,000 items on the Internet. The results:


83.5 percent of pictorial images available on Usenet newsgroups devoted to images are pornographic;


More than 48 percent of all “downloads” from “adult” commercial outlets are child porn;


The two most-frequently-accessed picture categories on the “adult” market are child porn and bestiality.


Dr. Dolf Zillman of Indiana University, who has conducted research on attitudinal changes caused by “soft-core” pornography, wrote, “Whatever the specific contents of standard pornography, there can be no doubt that effects are created, and consistently so. There can be no doubt that pornography, as a form of particularly male entertainment, promotes the victimization of women in particular.”


Impact: The enforcement of laws against obscenity and the development of more legislation to protect our communities from pornography in all its forms will result in a more family-friendly world in which to raise children. When parents and their children enter the world of television, movies, radio, cyberspace, video stores, and magazine shelves, the landscape will no longer resemble fields of land mines. Women will be protected, as will the institution of marriage itself. The deterioration of neighborhoods which pornography brings will be reversed. Incidents of date rape and sexual harassment will be significantly reduced.




22. What can be done to promote premarital sexual abstinence and responsible sex education?


Action Needed: National and local acknowledgment of parents as the primary sex educators of their children. National and local publicity for and support of grass-roots initiatives which promote abstinence and secondary virginity, especially those which are faith-based in their approach. Local school boards that cooperate with parents to determine which, if any, sex education curriculum should be implemented. Most importantly, parents that give special attention to personally teaching their own children about sexual abstinence.


Summary and Rationale: In recent years, encouraging premarital abstinence has not been a national priority. Rather, parents have often had to single-handedly defend their values to their children against the onslaught of media, school sex education programs and school-based clinics, federal family planning initiatives, and the rhetoric of national leaders which irresponsibly condone out-of-wedlock sexual activity and attempt to separate premarital sexual behavior from its inevitable and devastating consequences.


While there are many federal initiatives which promote “family planning” and other types of sex education which undermine the pre-marital sexual abstinence message (i.e., Title X of the Public Health Service Act, the National Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy, etc.), only Title XX of the Public Health Service Act has devoted any monies and resources to promoting sexual abstinence. Title XX funding has hovered around $6 million for several years now, but only about one-third of these monies are dedicated to abstinence education programs (as opposed to the nearly $200 million appropriated for Title X alone). More recently, $75 million was appropriated for abstinence education in the welfare bill, but President Clinton vetoed the measure.


While the Family Research Council supports measures that would promote pre-marital sexual abstinence, FRC is firmly committed to the principle that those who are best equipped to guide our nation’s children towards sexual abstinence and other moral and character values are their parents first and their community second. We believe that the proper role of the government and the media is to acknowledge the primary role of parents and to support their efforts.


Promoting premarital sexual abstinence makes good sense in a day and age when out-of-wedlock pregnancies, illegitimacy, abortion, and sexually-transmitted diseases are rampant, especially among the young. Not only does premarital abstinence help young people to successfully avoid these physical and societal scourges, it also increases the likelihood that they will experience an enduring marriage, sexual satisfaction, and emotional and psychological health.


For those young people who do not have the benefit of an intact, two-parent home, community programs which promote abstinence are vitally important. For example, the Washington, D.C.-based Best Friends program has successfully helped more than 400 girls aged 10-18 to preserve their virginity and rise above the teen motherhood and welfare dependency to which so many of their peers have fallen victim. In addition to Best Friends, church-based initiatives such as True Love Waits and school-based programs such as Teen-Aid, Choosing the Best, and Teen Choice have all been effective in helping young people make a commitment towards premarital sexual abstinence.


Impact: Enabling parents, churches, and communities to promote and encourage pre-marital sexual abstinence will strengthen the American family, especially in the long-term as today’s abstinent young people grow up to form healthy marriages and families. Promoting abstinence will also help reduce the incidence and prevalence of sexually-transmitted diseases, out-of-wedlock pregnancies, illegitimacy, and welfare-dependency. Furthermore, the focus on parents and grass-roots community activism away from government directives will cost taxpayers less money and will result in better outcomes for our nation’s youth, families, and local communities.




23. What is FRC’s position on spousal benefits?


In an effort to help alleviate the financial burden on families in which one spouse stays at home, and to recognize the important contribution that non-employed spouses make to the income production of employed spouses (an acknowledgment commonly made in divorce settlements), FRC fully supports spousal benefits.


Action Needed: Legislation allowing expansion of IRA benefits to non-employed spouses.


Summary and Rationale: Complementing the attractive idea of expanding the uses of IRAs to help free up family finances (e.g., penalty-free withdrawals to cover major housing, education, and health expenses) is the proposal to broaden the eligibility of IRAs to include non-employed spouses. While broadening the eligibility of IRAs in general would primarily benefit upper-middle-and upper-income taxpayers, a more targeted broadening of the eligibility to non-employed spouses would provide relief primarily to middle-income families with children -- those most in need of pro-family tax relief. Currently, two-earner couples can claim almost twice the benefits of single-earner couples, penalizing those families who choose to stay at home with their children and ignoring the significant contribution the full-time homemaker makes to the income production of the employed spouse.


The acknowledgment of the non-employed spouse as a contributor to the income production of the employed spouse is one already made in divorce settlements, and is an important principle for Congress to reinforce. For families with children, current IRA benefits financially reinforce families where both parents work outside the home, while penalizing those families who choose to have one spouse stay at home to care for the children.


Legislation broadening IRA eligibility was passed in both the House and Senate, but vetoed by President Clinton in the proposed budget for 1996. Passage of legislation to help level the playing field for single-earner families is a key step to providing relief to American families.


Impact: The passage of legislation increasing pro-family spousal benefits is key to underscoring the importance of the family and to providing tangible aid to middle-class American families. Broadening IRA benefits to non-employed spouses would give hard-working middle-class families help, by providing savings and income options for families where one parent stays home to raise children.




24. Does FRC support Title X of the Public Health Service Act?


FRC believes that defunding Title X is the first step in removing the federal government’s imprimatur on out-of-wedlock sex and to halt its role in distributing contraception to minors without parental consent. Defunding Title X is justifiable and necessary because the program has failed to achieve the goals of reducing out-of-wedlock pregnancy and abortion. Indeed, since the inception of Title X, both the out-of-wedlock pregnancy and abortion rates have increased dramatically.


Action Needed: Zero out funding of Title X of the Public Health Service Act. If complete defunding is unsuccessful, support efforts which cut funding of the program and/or insert “strings” such as requiring parental notification or consent for any contraception given to minors, or requiring outcome evaluations of clinics which receive Title X funds to show their impact on pregnancy, STD, and abortion rates among clinic “clients.”


Summary and Rationale: Title X of the Public Health Service Act was enacted in 1970 as a grant program to fund family planning projects throughout the country. It has been funded by Congress every year through the Labor/HHS Appropriations bills which Congress considers and passes every summer as part of the federal budget. The program helped to spawn the proliferation of family planning clinics within states, granting federal sanction to the distribution of contraception to unmarried women and to minors without parental consent. Title X received more than $193 million last year and should be defunded altogether.


The reasons to defund Title X are numerous. First of all, Title X is a failed program. Since the inception of Title X, out-of-wedlock births, pregnancies, and abortions have all risen dramatically, particularly in the populations Title X is supposed to have targeted. Consider the teenage population alone. Since 1970, the teenage out-of-wedlock pregnancy and birth rates have doubled, the teenage abortion rate has more than doubled, and many sexually-transmitted diseases among teenagers have increased dramatically. While not all of this can be directly tied to Title X funding, it is certain that the federal government’s sanction for such programs has led to an undermining of moral standards by accepting premarital sex among teenagers as a cultural norm.


Secondly, Title X should not continue to receive federal funding because it is an unauthorized program. Its authorization expired in 1985.


Third, Title X is duplicative. Several other programs such as Medicaid and the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant provide family planning to low-income and other targeted populations. There is no clear basis for the federal government to run a categorical family planning program when state governments have the capability to set health care priorities within the parameters of an alternative block grant.


Finally, Title X’s contraceptive approach leaves many vulnerable girls open to abuse. New studies show that most teenage mothers are not “sexually active” ingenues, but rather victims of sexual exploitation by much older men. Title X’s contraceptive approach does not protect these young girls, it only “equips” them for continued abuse.


Impact: Defunding Title X will help to uphold the first principle of the Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm.” It will place limits on the wrongheaded attempts of the government to redefine family life and the social parameters regarding out-of-wedlock sex. It will also help to lessen the large monetary advantage that so-called family planning programs have over abstinence programs, which have demonstrated superior ability to promote healthy attitudes and behaviors in the young.




25. What is FRC’s position on the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child?


FRC believes that the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child poses threats to the institution of the family.


Action Needed: No U.S. ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Summary and Rationale: The United Nations was created in 1945 in the shadow of the Second World War as an attempt by the victorious democracies to establish an international body to safeguard the peace and promote human rights. The U.N. has attempted to give voice to the common aspirations of the world’s people. In the past two decades, however, the U.N. has expanded its agenda in ways that pose direct threats to the traditional family.


Among the most threatening is the U.N. Convention of the Rights of the Child, which was approved by the U.N. General Assembly in 1989. One prominent theme from the Convention is the notion that children ought to be protected from the power of their parents. Several articles in the Convention grant children new rights independent of their parents and families. In the U.S. today, children’s rights are, in effect, held in trust by their parents. Under the Convention, children would hold those rights themselves. For example, Article 12 grants children “the right to express views freely in all matters.” Would Article 12 permit parents to restrict their children from getting tattoos, or talking back to authority figures? Article 15 guarantees children the “freedom of association.” One can envision a law that prevents parents from restricting a child’s choice of friends. Conceivably, Article 14’s freedom of religion could prevent a parent from taking a child to church when he would rather not go. Under Article 13, a child has the right “to seek, receive, and impart information.” There are no exceptions to this right, not even for parents who would like to keep pornography from their children.


The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Madeleine Albright, signed the treaty in 1995, and it will become law in this country if the Senate ratifies it by a two-thirds vote. The required vote in the Senate does not seem likely now, because Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), a strong opponent of the Convention, is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which must review it. In fact, Sen. Helms has introduced a Senate Resolution which expresses the sense of the Senate that “the primary safeguard for the well-being and protection of children is the family, and that, because the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child could undermine the rights of the family, the President should not sign and transmit it to the Senate.” Twenty-three Senators have co-sponsored this resolution.


Impact: As an international treaty, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child would be co-equal with federal statutes, and possibly the United States Constitution. If the United States were to ratify the treaty as it stands, it would become not only an international obligation, but also a domestic obligation potentially regulating the most intimate details of American family life.




26. Does FRC support the adoption of a $500 per child tax credit for every American family with children?


FRC supports the adoption of a $500 per child tax credit for every American family with children.


Summary and Rationale: FRC has been calling on Congress to adopt pro-family tax relief for many years. Today, the average family of four contributes nearly 25 cents on every dollar in income taxes and payroll taxes to the U.S. government -- this is compared to two cents on every dollar in 1950. In light of this, the per child tax credit was designed to help offset the extraordinary erosion in per child income tax benefits over the last half-century. Passage of significant pro-child tax relief should be a top priority in the ensuing debate in Congress and in the presidential debates. The $500 per child tax credit was vetoed by President Clinton as part of the balanced budget package. FRC believes that per child tax relief should be the centerpiece of any tax reform package.


Many critics and lukewarm supporters have expressed concern about offsetting the revenues lost to such tax cuts. In recent years, the Heritage Foundation and others have developed ways to offset generous pro-family tax relief with significant cuts in federal spending programs. These proposals have considerable merit -- as do proposals which would seek to offset the “cost” of pro-family tax relief over the long haul by raising the retirement age for various federal entitlement programs.


Streamlining government and permitting families to keep more of their own income -- for things like dental appointments and clothing purchases and electric bills -- benefits both the national economy and the personal economy of families. Immediate pro-family tax relief should be a part of any government plan to balance the budget and make government more efficient. Of course, pro-family tax relief also sends to families the message that their dedication to their children is invaluable to America, as they are the next generation of American citizens.


Impact: Tax relief for families with children will strengthen the American home and its finances, place real limits on the growth of government and its wrongheaded attempts to redirect family life, and underscore that the best “investment” in children is made by mothers and fathers who, indeed, “know best.”




27. Does FRC support welfare reform? Why?


To control the damage caused by federal welfare programs that promote family breakdown and crowd out more compassionate alternatives at the grass-roots (including private, faith-based programs), FRC supports compassionate welfare reform.


Action Needed: End the entitlement status of all cash benefits that reward irresponsible conduct, particularly benefits that are contingent on the birth of a child outside marriage; end the federal tax code’s marriage penalty on low-and middle-income taxpayers; end the federal role in welfare -- both funding and programmatic responsibility --to maximize states’ flexibility to experiment with anti-poverty efforts that impose behavioral requirements; revise the tax code to encourage charitable giving.


Summary and Rationale: The current welfare system encourages family disintegration and discourages personal responsibility by guaranteeing a right to cash benefits regardless of personal conduct. The bureaucratic arrangements that spring up to administer those benefits, in turn, tend to crowd out the voluntary organizations that provide the real help -- the help that changes lives.


The culture of welfare dependency has reduced a potentially proud and independent people to passive clients. The current system sends the message not that they are equal to the inevitable challenges of life, but that they are helpless -- a different, less capable group of citizens than those who can and do live by the rules. Welfare bureaucrats say, “You can’t do this. Let us do it for you. And pay us to do it with your vote, year after year.” Current policy empowers the bureaucracy at the same time it destroys individuals, and children are inheriting not only material poverty but their parents’ poverty of the spirit.


It is not enough to say that certain kinds of welfare reform will cause suffering. Policymakers must come to terms with the degree of suffering that is occurring now. No one can expect to roll back the tide until more children are growing up with an attentive father in the home. The overriding purpose of welfare reform must be to reverse government policies that suppress the natural human instinct to form families.


Policymakers can disapprove of personal decisions that jeopardize children and yet still provide help. Measures like the tax credit for charitable contributions deserve support because the most compassionate help comes from private individuals and organizations that sponsor moral renewal at the same time they offer material support -- on the premise that needy individuals are not clients but fellow human beings. Welfare policy should in no way jeopardize the autonomy of the faith-based programs that have a proven track record of rescuing lives when all other programs have failed.


Impact: Compassionate welfare reform will ensure that more children have the opportunity to reap the benefits of stable, two-parent families. It will expand the freedom of individuals to make rational, responsible decisions by eliminating the perverse economic incentives of the current welfare system. It will also redirect dollars to those organizations that provide not only material help but also love, concern, and an opportunity for personal renewal.




28. Does FRC support exemptions for women in combat?


FRC fully supports the armed forces exemption of women from combat and near-combat assignments.


Action Needed: Re-impose combat exemptions for women and reverse decisions to dramatically increase the number of women serving.


Summary and Rationale: In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, Congress rescinded female combat exemption laws and then the Clinton administration opened a quarter million previously closed combat and near-combat positions to women. These decisions were not prompted by military necessity, and they hinder military readiness.


According to the 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, there are undeniable differences in speed, strength and endurance between men and women. Women will always be in greater danger on the battlefield. Women do not have “an equal opportunity to survive.” That’s why the most physically demanding combat assignments should go to men. Additionally, a downsizing military does not need women when an ample pool of fully-qualified men is available.


Assigning women to combat also makes women vulnerable to a future draft. The 1948 Selective Service Act requires all 18-year-old male citizens to register for a possible draft. In the 1981 case of Rostker v. Goldberg, the Supreme Court ruled that women were excluded from selective service registration primarily because the law exists to develop a pool of potential combat troops; women at that time were not eligible for combat. That argument is losing credibility as more combat exemptions are being abandoned.


Impact: Removing exemptions for women weakens the military and makes all women vulnerable to a future draft.


The military exists to perform the most physically demanding task known to man: combat. Removing exemptions so that more women can serve in combat and near-combat is not a prudent readiness decision. It weakens America’s combat power.




29. What is FRC’s position on informed consent for women’s reproductive health decisions?


FRC believes that women have the right to be fully informed about both immediate and future risks to their physical and emotional health, especially with regards to induced abortion.


Actions Needed:


(1) Require that all health care professionals, especially counselors and practitioners working in family planning clinics and public health departments, effectively communicate to their patients or “clients” the risks involved in abortion, e.g., the increased risk of breast cancer for women who have abortions.


(2) Require that all abortion clinics (as well as other medical facilities offering abortions) perform an ultrasound exam on abortion-minded women in order to (a) confirm pregnancy and (b) to educate the woman about what the abortion procedure entails.


(3) Require post-abortion counseling centers or other physicians to be integrated within protocol in order to achieve true informed consent.


Summary and Rationale: It is routine public health practice that patients be informed of all their risks before undergoing a medical procedure or receiving medication of any kind. However, while technology has rapidly advanced and more data have been acquired in the field of women’s reproductive health, the abortion industry and family planning clinics have not been regulated to the same degree as hospitals and other health care facilities. As a result, it is dubious that women are truly receiving all the information they need to make fully informed decisions about their reproductive health.


For example, women are currently not advised of the possibility that induced abortion increases their risk of breast cancer, especially if they have borne no other children to full term. And yet, there are more than 20 epidemiologic studies spanning the last two decades which show a link between abortion (induced or spontaneous) and breast cancer. Indeed, the prestigious Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a 1994 study which found that women who have had an abortion before age 18 are 150 percent more likely to develop breast cancer. Women who have had an abortion after age 30 increase their risk of breast cancer by 110 percent, and, regardless of age, abortion increases the risk of breast cancer by 50 percent. With approximately 1.5 million abortions taking place in the United States every year, 40 percent of which are repeat abortions, and with one in every nine American women developing breast cancer in their lifetimes, it is remarkable and highly unethical that women are not informed of such risks.


In addition, there is ample evidence to suggest that many women undergoing abortion suffer from post-abortion grief or trauma. Indeed, support groups such as Project Rachel and organizations such as American Victims of Abortion exist because of the emotional scars post-abortive women bear. Yet women are not being informed of their risk of experiencing post-abortion grief nor are referrals to any of the aforementioned organizations being given as part of the typical abortion clinic’s protocol.


Furthermore, achieving true informed consent becomes even more important as several abortion clinics are currently using new experimental abortifacients, such as the off-label usage of the anti-cancer drug methotrexate in combination with the prostaglandin cytotec. Neither of these drugs is approved for the use of abortion, yet several abortionists are regularly offering these drugs to their patients, even though there is little research available to prove their safety or efficacy.


Beyond providing appropriate counseling regarding abortion’s physical and emotional risks, abortion clinics should also be required to give each abortion-minded woman an ultrasound exam in order to confirm pregnancy and better explain the abortion procedure to the woman.


Impact: Achieving true informed consent will:


(1) require abortion clinic counselors to devote more time to each counseling session,


(2) require abortion clinics to purchase ultrasound equipment and employ staff who are knowledgeable in operating the ultrasound,


(3) require that the most up-to-date research on the safety and efficacy of abortion techniques, the physical and emotional risks involved with abortion, and information about post-abortion grief organizations are available for all clients. Abortion clinics will also need to come under the jurisdiction of a medical regulatory agency in order to make certain that they are adhering to the standards of true informed consent outlined above. While these regulations will require providers of abortion to alter their practices, the standards are absolutely necessary to achieve the overriding goal of protecting women’s health and giving women all the information they need to make an informed choice.




Family Issues






Adolescent Behavior / Sexuality




AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency)


Assisted Suicide


Child Abuse


Child Care


Contraception / Contraceptive




Corporal Punishment




Day Care




Drugs (Illegal)






Family-friendly Work Policy(ies)


Family Policy


Family Redefinition


Family Strengths


Family Structure


Family Tax / Family Economics


Family Time


Family Values






Government Reform


Health Care / Reform


Home School


Homosexual / Homosexuality


Homosexual Marriage


Homosexuals in the Military / Gays in the Military






Legal Services Corporation






National Endowment for the Arts


Out-of-Wedlock Births / Pregnancy


Parental Rights


Polling Families


Popular Culture




Prayer in School / School Prayer


Pro-Life Issues


Public Broadcasting, Corporation for (CPB)


Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS)




Religious Freedom


School Choice


Sex Education


Sex Offenses


Single-parent Family(ies)


Teen Pregnancy


United Nations (General)


Welfare / Welfare Reform


Women in Combat


Work and Family




Factsheets On Pro-Family/Pro-Life Organizations




CAUTION:  The following information is downloaded in 1997 from the website of People for the American Way, a neo-liberal organization.  Some information and subjective comments will be biased.




Christian Coalition


P.O. Box 1990 Chesapeake, VA 23320 (804) 424-2630 Internet:


Founder and President: Pat Robertson


Executive Director: Ralph Reed


Date of founding: 1989


Activities: The Christian Coalition’s central goals are two: to take working control of the Republican party by working from the grassroots up; and electing “Christian candidates” to public office. The group has had considerable success in both areas, claiming control at several state Republican central committees and winning election to public office for Christian Coalition members and endorsees.


The Christian Coalition distributed 33 million voter guides for 1994 general election. The Christian Coalition claims to have approximately one million “pro-family voters” in its voter files.


The group has also focused on other issues such as defunding the National Endowment for the Arts, campaigning against gay rights and opposing equal rights for women, including reproductive freedom (i.e. abortion). Through its legal arm, the American Center for Law and Justice, it has filed numerous church-state lawsuits. In the fall of 1995 the Christian Coalition launched the Catholic Alliance in an attempt to boost its membership among “pro-family” Catholics.


Membership: About 1.7 million members.


State chapters: 2,000 across the United States.


Publications: Christian American (bimonthly newspaper with 700,000 subscribers) and Religious Rights Watch.


TV: Pat Robertson’s “700 Club” has about 7 million viewers every week.. Additionally, the group now has an hour-long satellite television show, “Christian Coalition Live.” The first half-hour of the show is broadcast over National Empowerment Television (NET is run by the Free Congress Foundation). The second half of the program, available only by subscription, is a closed forum meeting focusing on legislative strategy.


Finances: The Christian Coalition is a 501(c)(4) organization, and is therefore, partially tax-exempt; it can lobby, but cannot endorse candidates. The Christian Coalition’s budget is about $27 million.


Staff: 50


Quotes from Pat Robertson:


“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.” (Pat Robertson direct mail, Summer 1992)


“We soon as possible to see a majority of the Republican Party in the hands of pro-family Christians by 1996.” (Denver Post, 10/26/92)


“I believe that during the next couple of years there will be a fierce struggle between the militant leftists, secular humanists, and atheists who have dominated the power centers of American culture for the past 50 years and the Evangelical Christians, pro-family Roman Catholics, and their conservative allies. The radical left will lose its hold, and by the end of this decade control of the major institutions of society will be firmly in the hands of those who share a pro-family, religious, traditional value perspective.” (Pat Robertson’s Perspective, July - August/1991)


On South Africa: “Again I think ‘one man one vote,’ just unrestricted democracy would not be wise. There needs to be some kind of protection for the minority which the white people represent now, a minority, and they need and have a right to demand a protection of their rights . . . .” (700 Club, 3/18/92)


Quotes from Ralph Reed:


On the Coalition’s election plan in San Diego, CA: “It’s like guerilla warfare. If you reveal your location, all it does is allow your opponent to improve his artillery bearings. It’s better to move quietly, with stealth, under cover of night. You’ve got two choices: You can wear cammies and shimmy along on your belly, or you can put on a red coat and stand up for everyone to see. It comes down to whether you want to be the British army in the Revolutionary War or the Viet Cong. History tells us which tactic was more effective.” (Los Angeles Times, 3/22/92)


On election strategy: I want to be invisible. I do guerilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don’t know it’s over until you’re in a body bag.” (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 11/9/91)


“We tried to charge Washington when we should have been focusing on the states. The real battles of concern to Christians are in neighborhoods, school boards, city councils and state legislatures.” (Washington Post, 3/14/90)




American Family Association


P.O. Box 2440 Tupelo, MS 38803 (601) 844-5036 Internet:


Formerly: National Federation for Decency


President: Rev. Donald Wildmon


Date of founding: 1977


Place of founding: Tupelo, MS


Activities: The American Family Association’s (AFA) activities include boycotting sponsors of TV shows with “excessive” sex and violence. AFA also objects to TV programs which it thinks display an anti-Christian bias. Among its hundreds of targets over the years are “Cheers,” “The Johnny Carson Show,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Roseanne,” “Nightline” and “NYPD Blue.” In 1994, the AFA spent some $3 million on a newspaper, radio and direct mail campaign discouraging advertisers from airing commercials during “NYPD Blue.” In addition to targeting network television, AFA actively campaigns against public television. The group recently launched an attack on the critically acclaimed Public Broadcasting Service’s (PBS), “Tales of the City,” and called for the shutdown of PBS. As a result of the AFA’s campaign, many state legislatures reduced funding for public broadcasting.


The group also spearheaded the attack on the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), using direct mail and extensive print advertising to distort the NEA’s record of sponsorship of the arts. The AFA also involves itself in public school censorship. One example is the controversy over the elementary school reading series, “Impressions.” AFA filed lawsuits attempting to ban the series from public school classrooms on the grounds that it “promotes the religion of witchcraft,” with no success thus far. AFA also operates the AFA Law Center (see attached listing of litigation groups).


Membership: AFA claims 1.7 to 1.8 million members. However, a Newsweek article reported 400,000 members for 1995.


State chapters: 450 local affiliates across the country. The Sacramento Union reported that the California AFA chapter has nearly 300,000 active supporters.


Publication: AFA Journal (published monthly), with a circulation of nearly 500,000.


Radio: Produces the radio show, “AFA Report,” a 30-minute feature available on about 1,200 local radio stations. AFA also has a broadcast ministry, American Family Radio, with over 100 radio station in 24 states across the country.


Finances: AFA is a 501(c)(3). The association’s annual budget is over $10 million.


Staff: About 40 employees and four full-time lawyers.


Quotes from Don Wildmon:


“It’s not only a cultural civil war, it’s a fight over the very existence of society as we’ve known it.” (Memphis, TN Commercial-Appeal, 8/5/90)


“What we are up against is not dirty words and dirty pictures. It is a philosophy of life which seeks to remove the influence of Christians and Christianity from our society.” (New York Times, 9/2/90)


On President Bill Clinton and gays: “He [Bill Clinton] made a covenant with the homosexuals -- with the radical homosexuals. He has catered to them. He has solicited their support. He has said to them, ‘if you give me your support, if you give me the vote, if you give me the money, I will give you what you want. I will put -- from the highest office in this country -- I will put the stamp of approval on your actions.’” (National Affairs Briefing, 8/92)


“Christianity and politics not only do mix, but for democracy as we have known it to survive, they must mix.” (Miami Herald, 11/16/93)




Citizens for Excellence in Education / National Association of Christian Educators


P.O. Box 3200 Costa Mesa, CA 92628 (714) 251-9333


President: Dr. Robert L. Simonds


Date of founding: 1983


Place of founding: Costa Mesa, CA


Activities: Citizens for Excellence in Education (CEE) is one of the most active groups challenging books, educational materials and curricula in the public schools. CEE has initiated various censorship incidents involving the “Impressions” reading series, drug-abuse prevention programs and self-esteem curricula. CEE is intent upon restoring religion in the public schools. One way the group hopes to accomplish this is to rid schools of textbooks that supposedly teach “secular humanism” and that mention the theory of evolution. In addition, CEE also helps to elect its members to school boards across the country. As of January 1994, CEE claimed to have helped elect 12,625 parents to school boards in only five years. Simonds states that he “want[s] to revert to Christian control of public schools.”


Membership: 325,000


State chapters: CEE claims about 1,700 chapters and 878 Public School Awareness (PSA) church committees. These committees are established in churches in order to influence and bring about change in local public schools.


Publication: Education Newsline (bimonthly). How to Elect Christians to Public Office (1985) is a 65-page booklet instructing Christians on how to win school board seats.


Radio: Issues in Education is heard on 53 stations in 26 states nationwide.


Finances: $610,000 annual budget is mainly from individual donors.


Quotes from Robert Simonds:


“As the church watches from the sidelines, the ungodly elect atheists and homosexuals to school boards and legislatures to enact policies and laws that destroy our Christian children and discriminate against Christian families.” (CEE President’s Report, 3/91)


On multiculturalism, values clarification and self-esteem: “The Los Angeles riots, showing sickening disregard for the life and property of neighbors, were spawned right in our public school classrooms. We have been teaching multiculturalism instead of Americanism, for ten years now, and indoctrinating our children with values clarification and ‘self-esteem.’” (CEE President’s Report, 6/92)


“There are 15,700 school districts in America. When we get an active Christian parent’s committee in operation in all districts, we can take complete control of all local school boards. This would allow us to determine all local policy: select good textbooks, good curriculum programs, superintendents, and principals. Our time has come!” (CEE direct mail)


“We need strong school board members who know right from wrong. The Bible, being the only true source of right and wrong, should be the guide of board members. Only godly Christians can truly qualify for this critically important position....” (How to Elect Christians to Public Office, 1985).




Concerned Women for America


370 L’Enfant Promenade SW, Suite 800 Washington, DC 20024 (202) 488-7000


President: Beverly LaHaye


Date of founding: 1979


Place of founding: San Diego, CA


Membership: 600,000 (1996)


Activities: Concerned Women for America (CWA) is anti-gay, anti-choice and anti-sex education. In addition, CWA opposes funding the National Endowment for the Arts. It has lobbied against the Freedom of Choice Act and gay rights legislation in many states. In the area of education, CWA fights against sex education curricula that is not abstinence based and they oppose anti-drug and alcohol abuse programs that emphasize self-esteem. Many challengers to books and curricula in public schools use CWA’s materials.


Grassroots activity for most states is headed by a CWA Area Representative and a steering committee. This group monitors state legislation, organizes Prayer/Action chapters and coordinates the “535” program, CWA’s grassroots congressional lobbying program.


State chapters: 1,200 chapters across the country.


Publication: Family Voice (published monthly, has 200,000 subscribers) and Issues at a Glance (monthly). Family Watch, a church communication, reaches 500,000 people in churches across the country.


Radio: CWA’s daily 30-minute radio show, Beverly LaHaye Live, reaches an estimated audience of 750,000.


Finances: Income was over $14 million for 1994.


Staff: 25


Quotes by Beverly LaHaye:


“Yes, religion and politics do mix. America is a nation based on biblical principles. Christian values dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office.” (Ms., 2/87)


On censorship: “I am aware that America is and must always be a land of freedom including freedom of speech. But there is a right time and place for everything.” (CWA News, 3/91)


Mrs. LaHaye warned her members that homosexuals “want their depraved ‘values’ to become our children’s values. Homosexuals expect society to embrace their immoral way of life. Worse yet, they are looking for new recruits!” (CWA direct mail, 5/92)




Eagle Forum


Box 618 Alton, IL 62002 (618) 462-5415 Internet:


President: Phyllis Schlafly


Date of founding: 1972


Place of founding: Alton, IL Membership: 80,000 (1996)


Activities: The Eagle Forum opposes the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion rights, AIDS education, sex education that is not strictly abstinence-only, self-esteem programs in public schools, funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and federal support for daycare and family leave. Phyllis Schlafly is an outspoken critic of public education and her materials are frequently cited by local schoolbook censors. Schlafly founded the Republican National Coalition for Life in 1990, and was a driving force behind the Republican party’s strict anti-choice platform plank. Eagle Forum also has a political action committee with offices in Washington, DC.


Publications: The Phyllis Schlafly Report (monthly with 80,000 subscribers), Education Reporter (monthly). Mrs. Schlafly also writes a syndicated column which appears in newspapers across the country.


Radio: Mrs. Schlafly’s radio commentaries are heard on 270 radio stations.


Quotes from Phyllis Schlafly:


On sexual harassment: “If there’s no proof, it’s all in your mind. We don’t want a policeman at every water cooler, you know.” (USA Today, 9/9/91)


“Nothing about contraception should be taught in schools. There is no question that it will encourage sexual activity.” (New York Times, 10/17/92)


On the election of President Bill Clinton: “Some people think that pro-family and conservatives do better in adversity than they do in success, and I think there will be a great rallying of the pro-family movement.” (Family News in Focus, 11/5/92)


“You can’t get into negotiations with the feminists because you will lose. They will slit your throat. They have no sense of fair play or compromise.” (National Affairs Briefing, 8/92)




Family Research Council


700 13th St., NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005 (202) 393-2100 Internet:


President: Gary Bauer


Date of founding: 1981


Activities: The Family Research Council (FRC) was a division of Focus on the Family from 1988 to 1992. Since the 1994 election, FRC has emerged as a leading conservative think-tank lobbying against reproductive freedom, civil rights for gays, and funding of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Moreover, FRC supports a school prayer amendment and would like to “disestablish” the Department of Education.


Membership: 250,000 supporters.


Publications: Washington Watch (monthly with a circulation of 220,000) and Family Policy (bimonthly).


Radio: Participates daily on the five-minute and fifteen-minute “Family News in Focus” radio shows.


Finances: $10 million budget.


Staff: 70


Quotes from Gary Bauer:


On the decision by Cracker Barrel Restaurants to refuse to hire homosexuals: “I believe in the equality of all races and I do not believe in the equality of all sexual acts.” (Family News in Focus, 3/4/91)


“Clinton has pulled incredible con game here.... A year after Inauguration Day either Reagan Democrats will feel betrayed or all those left wing radical groups will feel betrayed, and in either case, he’s in trouble.” (World magazine, 11/7/92)


“I think of Justices Souter, Kennedy, and Justice O’Connor who voted against us on that [Lee v. Weisman] decision and on the abortion decision. The thought struck me that these must be the only three people in America who don’t understand why they were put on the Supreme Court.” (National Affairs Briefing, 8/92)


On funding the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA): The NEA “has allowed itself to be used by a small cadre of cultural revolutionaries, militant homosexuals and anti-religious bigots who are intent on attacking the average American’s most deeply held beliefs while sending them the bill.” (FRC direct mail, 10/90)




Free Congress Foundation


717 Second St., NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 546-3000 World Wide Web site for NET:


President: Paul Weyrich


Date of founding: 1977


Activities: The Free Congress Foundation is a research and education organization aggressively involved in grassroots activism. The group has recently pioneered “National Empowerment Television,” a cable network designed to rapidly mobilize Religious Right followers for grassroots lobbying.


The foundation recently began the Judicial Selection Monitoring Project, which lobbies for the appointment of judicial conservatives to the federal courts. In addition, the project seeks to establish an extensive national network that can be ready to organize support for conservative appointees to the courts, and opposition to moderate or liberal appointees.


Finances: Income is between $6 and $7 million.


TV: NET reaches an estimated 11 million viewers and its annual budget is $6 million. A February 1995 NET fundraiser costing $50,000 per person (or couple) featured Rep. Newt Gingrich.


Some of NET’s programs include “The Progress Report with Newt Gingrich,” “Direct Line with Paul Weyrich,” and “On Target with the NRA.”


Quote from Paul Weyrich:


“We need to get active at the local level. We will never control the situation in Washington until we control the situation back home.” (National committee for Responsive Philanthropy, Winter 1990)




Focus on the Family


P.O. Box 35500 Colorado Springs, CO 80935 (719) 531-3400


President: Dr. James C. Dobson


Date of founding: 1977


Activities: Focus on the Family (FOF) conducts seminars across the country to help evangelical Christians become involved in the political process. Focus on the Family has used its radio show and magazine, Citizen, to urge “pro-family” voters to become active in state and local primaries and caucuses. FOF has more than 30 state affiliates including the Pennsylvania Family Institute, the North Carolina Policy Council, and the Rocky Mountain Family Council. The group is anti-choice, anti-gay and against sex education curricula that are not strictly abstinence-only. Local schoolbook censors frequently use Focus on the Family’s material when challenging a book or curriculum in the public schools. Focus on the Family split from Gary Bauer’s Family Research Council in October 1992.


Membership: Claims 3.5 million people on mailing list.


Publications: Ten monthly magazines which include Focus on the Family, Citizen, Parental Guidance, Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. reach an estimated three million homes. Focus on the Family also publishes books.


Radio: Radio broadcasts reach an estimated three to five million people in the U.S, and 3,000 stations in other countries. FOF Broadcasts the “Family News in Focus”, a daily radio show heard on more than 1,500 facilities, and the daily one-half hour “Focus on the Family” program, which reaches about 5 million listeners each week.


Finances: $110 million annual budget.


Staff: About 1,300


Quotes from James Dobson:


“Co-educational sex education sheds children, girls especially, of natural modesty.” (Barren County, KY Progress, 8/31/89)




National Right To Life Committee


419 7th St. NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20004 (202) 626-8800 Internet:


President: Wanda Franz


Executive Director: David O’Steen


Date of founding: 1973


Activities: The nation’s largest anti-abortion rights organization, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has a political action committee and educational trust fund. One of the main goals of the organization is the passage of a constitutional amendment banning abortion. The Committee campaigned heavily against the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) the summer of 1992. One of its priorities in 1992 was to target the nation’s media, accusing it of having an “anti-life bias.” NRLC is also active in such issues as euthanasia, infanticide, fetal experimentation and in vitro fertilization. The Committee opposes RU-486 and some forms of contraceptives, including “the pill.”


Membership: 7 million.


State chapters: More than 3,000 local chapters in all 50 states.


Publication: National Right to Life News -- biweekly newsletter (circulation 135,000).


Finances: The NRLC budget for 1993 was over $9 million. The week before the 1994 November elections, the NRLC received $175,000 from the National Republican Senatorial Committee.




Operation Rescue National


P.O. Box 740066 Dallas, TX 75374 (214) 739-4520


Executive Director: Flip Benham


Founder: Randall Terry


Activities: Operation Rescue National (ORN), an anti-abortion group whose influence has declined since its inception, is still involved with direct action against abortion clinics. The group conducts weeks-long “rescues” at family-planning clinics in targeted cities, at which protesters blockade clinics and verbally and physically harass patients. ORN has developed programs targeting grassroots activists. One example is the “Impact Team Program” which trained activists in local communities to manage their own protests.


Membership: Was up to 35,000 in 1989 (WP, 11/24/91).


Publication: Operation Rescue National (newsletter)


Radio: Randall Terry has his own call-in talk radio show, “Randall Terry Live” which airs five days a week for one hour.


Finances: 1992’s budget was about $400,000. The group has been repeatedly fined by the courts, and according to one estimate it owes about $2 million in fines and legal fees.


Quotes from Randall Terry and Operation Rescue:


“Christians beware... To vote for Bill Clinton is to sin against God.” (OR pamphlet, 10/92)


“[The judiciary is] the lap dog of the death industry.” (Fresno, CA Bee, 8/20/89)


“Blackmun and Stevens are enemies of Christ. When history’s final editorial light is cast upon them 50 or 100 years from now, they’re going to be remembered with Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.” (Christianity Today, 9/10/90)


“People have got to ask themselves . . . what kind of America do we want? What principles do we want guiding this country’s education, judiciary? We want biblical principles. Because if we don’t have biblical principles, we have heathenism. we have anything goes! We have humanism! We could have barbarism!” (A Call to Action, 5/9/91)




Traditional Values Coalition


100 S. Anaheim Blvd., Suite 320 Anaheim, CA 92805 (714) 520-0300


Chairman: Rev. Louis Sheldon


Date of founding: 1981


Activities: The Coalition opposes gay rights, reproductive freedom, the teaching of evolution in the public schools and sex education that does not stress abstinence to the exclusion of information on birth control and disease prevention. It was recently active in battles over constitutional amendments outlawing civil rights protections for gays and lesbians in Colorado and Oregon. TVC has also helped organized anti-gay initiatives in California, Arizona, Missouri, and Washington. The group was also instrumental in convincing the California State Board of Education to reject a health education curriculum that touched on such subjects as homosexuality and AIDS.


Membership: 7,800 California churches and 31,000 churches nationwide representing about 12 denominations.


State chapters: 20 state chapters and an office in Washington, D.C.


Finances: $2 million annual budget.


Quotes from Louis Sheldon:


“Give us a few more years under the belt and we will learn how to replace many of the school board members. Give us more time to understand how the system works, and we’ll work the system even better than one could ever imagine.” (CNN News, 9/2/90)


“On the issue of homosexuality, we are the same place we were in the 1930s with alcoholism. Back then, we said, ‘once a drunk, always a drunk.’ But now we know many alcoholics can recover.” (Wash. Times, 2/5/90)


“There is a war waging in America. The battle is over values, beliefs and the cultural basis of western civilization.... he elitist avant-garde arts community uses the NEA to advertise and disseminate their political beliefs. The NEA then uses our scarce tax dollars to fund works which are intended to shock Americans into an acceptance of dysfunctional behavioral lifestyles and to destroy the family.” (Hearing on the NEA, 4/91)


Last year, in a private meeting with Reverend Lou Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), House Speaker Newt Gingrich promised that Congress would hold hearings on the promotion of homosexuality in the public schools. That promise was fulfilled last month when, according to Sheldon, he received a call from the Speaker’s office setting the date. Gingrich claimed that the hearings were a “legitimate request” because Sheldon reportedly had “serious evidence of...things being taught that are clearly propaganda and clearly recruitment.”




Although TVC is involved in a variety of issues, including opposition to reproductive freedom, the teaching of evolution in the public schools, and comprehensive sex education, the group is best known for its strident, anti-gay policies and rhetoric.


Sheldon once warned TVC members that homosexuality “is the most pernicious evil today. We must stop it before it spreads throughout the nation like a cancer.” He nevertheless denies that he is anti-gay, claiming that TVC does not advocate violence or discrimination against homosexuals. “I’m not a gay basher. I’m not homophobic. I feel sorry for a guy who can’t lay with a woman,” said Sheldon.


TVC aggressively organizes against even the mere mention of anti-discrimination policies which include gays and lesbians, in whatever context they appear, from school boards to employment protections. Sheldon’s and TVC’s work has included efforts in communities across the nation to deny gays and lesbians their most basic civil and economic rights, and to permit economic discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. For example:


After the city of Santa Ana, California refused to withdraw permits for its Gay Pride Festival at a public park, TVC published city officials’ home addresses and helped organize a recall campaign against City Council members who opposed them.


Sheldon helped repeal gay and lesbian rights ordinances protecting against discrimination against gays and lesbians in Irvine and Concord, California, and assisted in the defeat of the first version of San Francisco’s domestic partnership law, a watered down version of which was eventually passed.


In 1991, TVC led the charge against a California state civil rights bill to amend the state’s civil rights laws to add sexual orientation as a protected category. TVC helped organize grassroots statewide support against the bill; it was defeated.


In 1993, TVC organized its members on behalf of the passage of Amendment 2, Colorado’s anti-gay legislation prohibiting civil rights protection for gays and lesbians.


In 1994, Sheldon made a personal appearance in Nebraska opposing an anti-discrimination bill, claiming it would force churches to hire homosexuals and “would be the embryonic stage of affirmative action.” “There is no, no justification to give special, protected rights because you have the inclination to commit anal and oral copulation,” claimed Sheldon.


On the federal level, TVC opposed President Clinton’s attempt to lift the ban on gays and lesbians in the military, a decision Sheldon called “potentially devastating to the security of the nation.” Sheldon warned that Clinton “wants to be the homosexual president with his homosexual initiatives” and “wants to promote a certain behavior in America.” Sheldon used the gay ban to raise funds after Clinton was elected, appealing for “financial sacrifices to keep America’s military straight and upright.”


TVC helped distribute the video Gay Rights/Special Rights, a propaganda piece in which gays are portrayed as an immoral, yet politically and financially powerful group. Gay Rights, Special Rights is similar in tone and rhetoric to the exploitative anti-gay video The Gay Agenda (produced by the a close TVC ally, the California-based Springs of Life Ministries), which was distributed to every Member of Congress during the gays-in-the-military debate. Gay Rights, Special Rights employs unsubstantiated statistics, “ex-gay” testimonies, and discussions with African-Americans who claim that gays want to take away the civil rights of “true” minorities. Sheldon estimates that he’s sold and/or distributed 20,000 copies of the video since July 1993.


Also in 1990, TVC convened a conference in Washington D.C. “to plan a national strategy for countering the position that homosexuality is normal and should be protected with special civil rights protection.” Among the homosexuality “experts” in attendance were ex-U.S. Representative William Dannemeyer, anti-gay researcher Dr. Elizabeth Moberly, and “reparative therapy” psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Nicolosi. Sponsors included the Oregon Citizens Alliance, authors of Oregon’s failed statewide anti-gay ballot initiative.




On the issue of AIDS, TVC opposes comprehensive AIDS and sexuality education and condom-distribution in public schools, supports various forms of mandatory AIDS testing, and calls for mandatory HIV testing and disclosure for physicians. In 1986 and 1988, Sheldon endorsed California anti-gay initiatives sponsored by far-right extremist Lyndon LaRouche, which would have required people with AIDS to be quarantined. Sheldon himself has advocated the establishment of “cities of refuge” for people living with HIV.


Gay Youth


The tone of TVC’s rhetoric targeting gays as pedophiles was established in a 1985 fund-raising letter, in which Sheldon wrote, “Gays and lesbians live perverted, twisted lives that feed upon the unsuspecting and the innocent, like our children.”


In a 1990 direct mail piece called “They Want Your Children,” Sheldon claims that TVC “is on the very threshold of revealing the face of the enemy” - homosexuals.


Of the proposed hearings, Sheldon warns, “It is essential that every parent hear the atrocities of what has happened and what will happen to their children if we don’t stop it in every school classroom.”


A special TVC campaign called SHAPE (Stop Homosexual Advocacy in Public Education) was initiated in 1989 “to awaken ... all concerned individuals that a homosexual advocacy, promotion, and recruiting program is now in effect” in the public schools. SHAPE’s proposals called for the elimination of any school program that “encourages or supports any activity or provides instructional materials...which suggests that homosexuality is a positive life alternative.” It also asked that “No student may be referred to an organization that affirms the homosexual lifestyle.”




The Christian Coalition’s Voters Guides (excerpt from a biased account by People for the American Way)


Purpose of this excerpt: to learn from their methods


As Tuesday’s election draws near, voters across America are preparing to make decisions that will shape the nature of American government for the next two years at least. From Maine to California and everywhere in between, voters are deciding which candidates best represent their views and are best qualified to serve.


For all of the advances in communications technology in recent decades, the process of information-gathering through which every voter must go in making those decisions has gotten all the more complicated. For as simple as it is to transmit useful and correct information about candidates’ positions, it is equally simple to transmit misleading, even distorted, information that complicates the process exponentially.


Voters have traditionally relied on a number of sources for their information. They include their own observations about the candidates in unfiltered settings (debates, speeches, etc.); news accounts from the mainstream broadcast and print media; such mediating (if not nonpartisan) institutions as political parties, unions, and political organizations to which they belong; as well as a number of nonpartisan sources that produce voters guides -- such as national and local Leagues of Women Voters.


In the last several election cycles, a new form of voters guide has become increasingly prominent: partisan guides from plainly political organizations, designed to appear to be nonpartisan, but which, in reality, are intended to advance particular candidates’ causes. Such guides are produced by conservative and liberal organizations both, but they have become particularly popular among Religious Right political groups, including Focus on the Family (and its network of state affiliates), Concerned Women for American, the American Family Association and a range of state and local organizations. But by far the biggest producer of such guides is Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition.


This year the group claims it is distributing in excess of 40 million voters guides in the last two weekends before the election. In all, the group’s leaders claim they will have distributed more than 80 million voters guides in 1996, including primary, general and special elections.


The 1996 Voters Guides


In this year’s guides, for example, the Christian Coalition routinely “reported” candidates positions on “special rights for homosexuals,” “banning partial birth abortion,” apparently basing its assessment of candidates’ positions on a recent vote in Congress.


The group’s questionnaire to federal candidates included some 91 questions this year.


What makes the Christian Coalition’s guides such powerful partisan tools is that the bulk of them are distributed less than 48 hours before election day. The head of the Alabama Christian Coalition, for example, mailed a letter this October to participating churches directing them to suppress the guides until the Sunday before the election.


In addition, the Christian Coalition has for many months advertised on its world wide web page that it would post voters guides. Not long ago, that promise was replaced with a statement that guides would not be available on the web and that voters should dial the group’s toll free number instead.




Conservatives’ first lady sparked pro-family effort (Washington Times, 051007)


ST. LOUIS -- Few living Americans have done as much to shape the nation’s direction as Phyllis Schlafly, who is arguably the most important woman in American political history.


She is the suburban housewife turned best-selling author who heralded conservative Sen. Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Republican presidential campaign as “A Choice, Not an Echo,” followed up by becoming an authority on nuclear-missile defense and then, in a stunning upset, led the forces that defeated the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).


When asked about her greatest accomplishments, however, Mrs. Schlafly takes care to mention perhaps the most important lesson of her long career -- “teaching conservatives that we can win.”


Along the way, she helped arouse the slumbering giant of American politics -- millions of socially conservative but previously apolitical churchgoers. She saw their potential and figured out how to turn them into a separate force on the political right.


What Mrs. Schlafly calls the “pro-family movement” helped elect Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush to the White House and establish Republicans’ decadelong dominance in Congress.


She got an early start -- in 1942, at the world’s largest munitions plant in St. Louis.


“I went to work on my 18th birthday, on the night shift, firing machine guns and rifles to test .30- and .50-caliber ammunition for accuracy, penetration, hang fire, velocity -- and went to college in the day,” she says.


She finished her degree a year early and sees “no reason for anybody to go [to college] any longer than three years.”


At 81 -- she looks 51 -- she is sitting poised, tailored and elegant in her office at the suburban St. Louis headquarters of her Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund. She speaks precisely, without a single thought-collecting “um” or “uh.”


Time-wasting is not a Schlafly trait. Hard work is.


Last summer, she sat through every long, grueling session, every day and evening for a week, of the platform-writing committee at Republican National Convention in New York. She secretly negotiated with presidential adviser Karl Rove and the platform writers to make sure it remained her kind of conservative document on everything from abortion to immigration.


Since 1983, she has delivered, five days a week, a three-minute report on more than 450 radio stations across the country, voicing her amalgam of libertarian concerns about constitutional liberties and religious conservative emphasis on social issues. She airs her views on everything from “battling the gay and feminist agenda” to “protecting freedom against government snooping.”


She broadcasts her hourlong radio call-in show, “Phyllis Schlafly Live,” every Saturday. For 38 years, she has published a monthly newsletter. Her syndicated column appears in 100 newspapers.


She has written 21 books that have sold millions of copies, but never once put her children into day care while she pursued her political career.


After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis and then getting a master’s in government from Harvard, she married J. Fred Schlafly and became a full-time mother. She taught her six children to read before they entered school. When they were on their own, she earned a law degree and admittance to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States.


From the time she entered political activism in the 1950s, she says, the conservative movement was all about economics and national defense. And then came the battle over the ERA.


In 1971, the proposed constitutional amendment sailed through the House, and the ERA seemed unstoppable -- but its feminist backers hadn’t reckoned on Mrs. Schlafly’s opposition.


“The feminists were not about women’s achievement,” she recalls. “They were and are about telling women they are victims; men are the enemy; if you go in the workforce, you will never be paid what you ought to be paid; and if you get married, your husband will probably beat you up.”


At the time the ERA became an issue, the war in Vietnam was winding down, but the U.S.-Soviet struggle was still a Cold War stalemate and Mrs. Schlafly was chiefly concerned with national security issues.


Then, in the February 1972 issue of her influential national newsletter, Mrs. Schlafly wrote about the ERA, declaring it a fraud that would have no effect on equal pay but would force women to register for the military draft, serve in combat and lose financial protections as wives and mothers. She also warned the amendment would, among other things, legalize same-sex “marriage.”


The response from readers was overwhelming.


“Suddenly women started to call me, saying, ‘Well, Phyllis I took your report to our legislators, and we beat ERA.’ And that’s when I knew we could do something with it.”


So in September 1972, she got 100 friends, mostly from Republican women’s clubs in 30 states, to meet her in St. Louis, where she persuaded them to lead the fight to stop their state legislatures from approving the ERA.


Establishment conservatives, however, weren’t exactly enthusiastic about the anti-ERA crusade.


“The conservative movement was little help -- conservatives in those days were defeatist,” Mrs. Schlafly recalls. “We had nothing to help us. There wasn’t any Internet -- any Rush Limbaugh talking about ‘femi-Nazis.’ There was no Washington Times or Fox News. Conservative publications were ignoring us. National Review never wrote anything about it until after the battle was over.”


By 1976, the ERA had been endorsed by Republican Presidents Nixon and Ford and almost all state governors, regardless of party. Indiana was on the verge of becoming the 35th state to ratify the ERA.


Then, Mrs. Schlafly says, she realized she needed to seek support from a new source -- the churches. She says she got “1,000 mainline Protestants, evangelicals, Catholics, Mormons and orthodox Jews” to attend an anti-ERA rally in Springfield, Ill., on April 27, 1976.


“That is when the pro-family movement was invented,” she says. “It was a coming together of believers of all denominations who would do two things -- come into politics for the first time and then work together for a cause they shared.”


The newborn movement quickly grew. In November 1977, when feminists held their International Women’s Year rally in Houston --attracting 3,000 tax-funded delegates -- Mrs. Schlafly organized a counterrally.


“We had 20,000 pro-family women from all over the country,” she says. “They rode on buses maybe for 20 hours to our rally, then got back on the buses and rode home.”


By 1983, the ERA was defeated. In the process, Mrs. Schlafly says, a powerful new alliance had been formed between churchgoing Americans and those conservatives chiefly concerned about economic and foreign-policy issues.


Over the years, the religious right has “been educated” on such issues by conservative leaders, she says. “At the same time, the pro-family conservative movement has educated economic conservatives about the social issues.”


Mrs. Schlafly’s credentials as a member of the conservative movement’s Old Guard are unimpeachable. Her first book, “A Choice, Not an Echo,” sold an astonishing 3 million copies nationally and helped turn the 1964 Republican presidential nomination away from New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller -- leader of the liberal “Eastern establishment” wing of the party -- and give it to Mr. Goldwater, hero of the GOP’s conservative rank and file.


The Arizona senator stood for free markets, limited government and a military strong enough to defeat Soviet communism. Although he lost in a landslide to President Lyndon Johnson, Mr. Goldwater’s 1964 candidacy has since been viewed as the turning point in the rise of Republican conservatism.


The social and religious conservatives among whom Mrs. Schlafly remains a powerful leader are not, she says, part of the same movement as economic conservatives.


“It’s really a different movement. It was a coalition of those two movements -- the economic-national defense conservatives who were still around after Goldwater and then the social conservatives who woke up in the ‘70s -- that elected Ronald Reagan.”

And, she says, the family values movement’s message to the economic conservatives has gotten through loud and clear: “You better stick with us or you’re not going to win any elections.”


For all her social conservatism, Mrs. Schlafly remains very much the Goldwater-Reagan conservative when it comes to limited government and the role of the United States in the world.


Her operational definition of conservatism is “lower taxes, limited government, fiscal integrity -- and American military superiority, because everybody is safer that way.”


But she says it doesn’t follow that the mightiest nation in the world has an obligation to spread democracy by force of arms.


“No, I do not believe it is the mission of our country to tell other countries how to run their affairs,” she says. “Our public officials have an obligation to obey the Constitution. They don’t have an obligation to reform the world.”


Is that an integral part of the definition of conservatism?


“I think so,” Mrs. Schlafly says. “It would certainly be an integral part of what Bob Taft believed. And what Goldwater believed. And I think what Reagan believed.”




Christian Coalition falls on lean days (Washington Times, 051013)


The Christian Coalition, once one of the most powerful forces of the religious right, is running a much leaner operation these days.


The group -- once based in Washington -- now has its headquarters in Charleston, S.C., where it is coping with a vastly reduced budget of $1.3 million, down from the $26 million it enjoyed a decade ago.


It employs a part-time political consultant based in Columbia, S.C., and a Washington lobbyist who works from a home office in Frederick, Md.


“The Christian Coalition is -- how shall I put it? -- it’s moribund,” said Richard Cizik, director of public policy for the National Association of Evangelicals.


“Access doesn’t always translate to influence, but there was a day when the name ‘Christian Coalition’ connoted access,” he said. “It may still have some of that access, but it does not have the influence.”


Founded in 1989 by the Rev. Pat Robertson, the Christian Coalition is widely credited with engineering the “Republican revolution” in 1994. The group’s “Road to Victory” conferences -- biennial religio-political gatherings in Washington -- were considered a must for up-and-coming Christian conservatives. Four thousand people attended the conference in 1996.


While attendance at last year’s conference decreased to 1,000, it still drew such big names as House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, Colorado Republican, and Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican. Another “Road to Victory” is planned for 2006.


Former President Bill Clinton’s eight years in office caused the group to mushroom, said Drew McKissick, the group’s political director.


“But once you got past 2000, you had a much more conservative president in the White House who was not antagonistic toward Christians,” he said. “We had to refocus our agenda as we no longer had a liberal bogeyman in the White House. Instead of being in opposition to, you’re trying to work on the positive side of the agenda.”


The group has been fighting off creditors and coping with the lack of a charismatic spokesman, such as former Executive Director Ralph Reed or Mr. Robertson. Mr. Reed departed in 1997 to start a political consulting firm and Mr. Robertson stepped down in 2001. He was replaced by Roberta Combs, director of the group’s South Carolina affiliate.


“In its heyday, the Christian Coalition was important, but not as powerful as some in the press made it out to be,” said author and Republican consultant Craig Shirley. “The demise of the Christian Coalition may be more about generating fewer press releases now than it did when Ralph was there.”


But the group -- with a mailing list that includes 2 million names -- can still rouse the troops, and the 30 million voter guides it distributes before national elections inform the electorate on where politicians stand on key issues.


Washington lobbyist Jim Backlin said the organization is playing key roles in legislation such as the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act and the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.


“Our people would like to see Roe vs. Wade overturned but meanwhile we will work on what they call the small bills, chipping away at abortion in this country,” Mr. Backlin said.


But the group’s financial problems may hinder it from fighting such battles.


An Oct. 8 article by the Virginian-Pilot described the Christian Coalition’s “trail of unpaid bills from Texas to Virginia,” as well as a small army of creditors that have filed at least a dozen claims against the group.


Among them is a lawsuit filed in June by mailing company Pitney Bowes for more than $13,600 in unpaid postage. The case has since been settled out of court.


In 2002, Focus Direct, a San Antonio direct mail firm, sued the group over a fundraising problem. Mrs. Combs said the claim was settled for $200,000.


Christian Coalition’s former law firm, Huff, Poole & Mahoney of Virginia Beach, asked a judge last year to garnish the group’s assets for $75,530 in unpaid bills. Since then, the law firm has secured a partial payment of more than $21,000, the Virginian-Pilot reported.


Mrs. Combs described the law firm’s complaint as “a disputed bill.”


Mr. Robertson released a statement Monday saying he has “no involvement in or knowledge of the coalition’s current operations, so it would be unfair of me to comment on press reports about their finances. Nevertheless, during the period of my involvement, the impact of the coalition was profound and will be felt for many years to come.”


Mrs. Combs’ daughter, Michele , the group’s communications director, said all lawsuits against the organization have been settled and the coalition remains a “very viable organization doing a lot of good things out there.”


However, its 2001 tax return said that although the organization took in $4.42 million in revenues that year, its expenditures were $4.45 million. Added to a pre-existing deficit, the group ended the year $983,695 in the hole. Mrs. Combs’ salary was listed as $120,000.


In 2001, the group also was fighting a racial discrimination lawsuit brought by 10 black employees in the Washington office. That claim was settled with an out-of-court payment of about $300,000 to the employees.


When Mrs. Combs took over as the group’s president in 2002, she also hired her daughter’s husband, Tracy Ammons, as a lobbyist. But when the marriage between Michele Combs and Mr. Ammons dissolved in 2003, he sued the group for $123,500 in unpaid compensation.


He and his lawyer, Jonathon Moseley, filed more than 80 pleadings and motions in Arlington Circuit Court, for which Circuit Judge Joanne Alper slapped Mr. Ammons with $83,000 in sanctions for frivolous pleadings. Mr. Moseley said the matter is now under arbitration.


“Roberta Combs is one of those people who routinely doesn’t pay people,” Mr. Moseley said. “She has a habit of forcing everyone to sue her.”


Michele Combs said the Christian Coalition has “thousands of supporters around the country who support us and we’re doing really, really well. We are moving on. We will survive.”


Ralph Z. Hallow contributed to this report.