Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition hosts its first big conference today in Washington, a kind of formal return by the former state GOP chairman to national politicking after a four-year exile.
“This is not your daddy’s Christian Coalition,” Reed promised last year when he began his new group. But in an interview posted by the Christian Broadcasting Network, Reed’s goals appear very similar to the group he helped establish in the 1980s.
The “A” word, by the way, is not mentioned:
“Now, we do have some challenges. We have churches who believe that they’re not supposed to be political and we would certainly agree with that in the sense of being partisan.
“We don’t think that a pastor or a church or a denomination should necessarily advocate the election or defeat of a particular candidate though we think that’s there right under the First Amendment. We’re not advocating that.
“What we’re advocating is that the churches of America make sure three things happen. Number one — that every single member of that church, every member of their congregation is registered to vote. That’s simply not true today. You’ve got between one out of every four and one out of every two evangelicals either isn’t registered to vote or isn’t voting frequently.
“Secondly, we want them to be educated and informed and equipped on where candidates stand on the issues. And thirdly, we want them to vote and we want them to encourage their friends to vote. That’s really not controversial.
“They should be doing that as effective citizens anyway at all the churches in America, whether their liberal or conservative, should be teaching their members the importance of effective citizenship.”