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How Christians Spend Money

From "The Interest Group Connection: Electioneering, Lobbying, and Policymaking in Washington" by Paul S. Herrnson, Ronald G. Shaiko, and Clyde Wilcox:

"Under its founding executive director, Ralph Reed, the Christian Coalition specialized in grassroots electoral activities, but also in lobbying, with an overall budget rumored to have been $26 million...in 1995 it reported lobbying expenses of $9 million."

"The Family Resource Council reported 1997 revenues of almost $15 million."

"The Liberty Alliance, which Jerry Falwell founded in 1992, reported in 1998 a total budget of more than $2 million, and in 2000 it reported $350,000 in lobbying expenses and one lobbyist."

"In 1998 the Christian Action Network claimed a budget of $2.8 million."

"In 1998, the Concerned Women for America, an evangelical women's group that was founded in 1979 by Beverly LaHaye, reported a budget of some $10 million."

"In 2000, the Traditional Value Coalition's total budget was reported to be more than $13 million."

Is this worth it to these folks? If you read the whole article, you'll realize that all of these groups, despite massive amounts spent on lobbying, have had very little impact in the legislative arena. While these groups can mobilize a base to vote a certain way: "It [the Christian Right] has been somewhat less effective in its insider activities, which have been plagued by instability. Partly because of such instability, the Christian Right has been least effective in its insider activities. And where there have been gains in this area, the associated pragmatism and moderation have threatened to undermine the basis of the movement itself: the passionate demands of conservative Christians to restore traditional values to public policy."


By the way, here's what else $69 million could buy:

So the question of the day is: what has a bigger impact for God in the world: giving money so that I can legislate discrimination or seeing to it that hungry people get food?


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