Supposedly Non-partisan Christian Coalition Rallies Religious Right Supporters For Bush, Republican Party

'if Sleazy Politicking Were An Olympic Event, Robertson Would Win A Gold Medal Every Time,' Says AU's Lynn

The Christian Coalition's "Road to Victory" Conference, which began today in Washington, D.C., is little more than a political rally for the Republican Party and George W. Bush, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, said that the Coalition, led by TV preacher Pat Robertson, continues to claim the Religious Right group is non-partisan so it can rope churches into a political machine despite federal tax law prohibitions on church electioneering.

"If sleazy politicking were an Olympic event, Robertson would win the gold medal every time," Lynn said. "Robertson is on a crusade this year, but it's aimed at filling the White House, not God's house."

Lynn noted the schedule at the Coalition event featured several GOP leaders, including the three top Republicans in the U.S. Congress.

"If you closed your eyes, you would think you're in Philadelphia at the Republican National Convention," Lynn observed. "It's hard to believe Robertson still claims with a straight face that this group is non-partisan."

The Christian Coalition, as part of its election year efforts, is planning to distribute 75 million "voter guides" in churches throughout the United States. Yesterday, Americans United announced a nationwide project to contact nearly every church in America -- some 285,000 houses of worship -- warning religious leaders that tax law prohibits church distribution of partisan political materials.

"The Coalition's so-called 'voter guides' are nothing but deceptive partisan propaganda," said Lynn. "These materials don't belong in houses of worship, they belong in the trash."

Robertson has been aggressive in drumming up momentum for his favorite candidates and touting the importance of the election to the Religious Right's agenda.

In a letter to supporters this month, Robertson described this year's presidential race as "the most crucial election in recent history" and noted that voters can "affect the appointment of three Supreme Court justices."

Robertson also reminded Coalition members that the election results could turn the judicial tide on important Religious Right issues such as abortion, school prayer, display of the Ten Commandments and gay rights.

Concluded AU's Lynn, "Robertson and the Religious Right know that the 2000 election can be a make-or-break contest for their political movement. They're pulling out all the stops to try to achieve victory."

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.