Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn issued the following statement today concerning the resignation of Donald Hodel as president of the Christian Coalition:
"When Pat Robertson announced the appointment of Don Hodel and Randy Tate to run the Christian Coalition in June of 1997, he said their assignment was to double the group's membership, train twice as many political candidates and double the organization's legislative initiatives in Congress and in state legislatures.
"A year and a half later, none of this has happened. The group's membership is stagnant, and it suffered serious setbacks during last November's elections. In addition, the group's tax-exempt status has repeatedly been called into question, and evidence indicates that the IRS may finally be ready to deny the organization the right to operate as a non-profit.
"Hodel had an impossible task in trying to make the extreme views of Robertson palatable to the American people. His failure indicates that the Christian Coalition has finally hit a wall as more and more Americans reject religious-political extremism.
"The American people do not want Robertson, through his hand-picked henchmen, meddling in their religious and personal lives. They reject his politics as extreme. Don Hodel did the smart thing: He got out before his reputation was irreparably tarnished by the mean-spirited, exclusionary politics of Pat Robertson."
Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.