Informationsmarktverzerrung durch Fundamentalismus am Beispiel der USA

Kapitel 1: Einführung

3. Handelnde Personen II: Journalisten und Lobbyisten

von Margarete Payer


Zitierweise / cite as:

Payer, Margarete <1942 - >: Informationsmarktverzerrung durch Fundamentalismus am Beispiel der USA. -- Kapitel 1: Einführung. -- 3. Handelnde Personen II: Journalisten und Lobbyisten. -- Fassung vom 2005-04-15. -- URL:

Erstmals publiziert: 2005-03-23

Überarbeitungen: 2005-04-15 [Ergänzungen]; 2005-04-08 [Ergänzungen]; 2005-04-04 [Ergänzungen]

Anlass: Lehrveranstaltung an der Hochschule der Medien Stuttgart, Sommersemester 2005

Copyright: Dieser Text steht der Allgemeinheit zur Verfügung. Eine Verwertung in Publikationen, die über übliche Zitate hinausgeht, bedarf der ausdrücklichen Genehmigung des Verfassers.

Creative Commons-Lizenzvertrag
Diese Inhalt ist unter einer Creative Commons-Lizenz lizenziert.

Dieser Text ist Teil der Abteilung  Länder und Kulturen von Tüpfli's Global Village Library

0. Übersicht

Selbstverständlich erhebt die Auswahl der Personen keinen Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit. Die behandelten Personen sind wegen ihrer überragenden Bedeutung oder als typische Beispiele gewählt.

1. Paul Weyrich, Politikanalyst

Paul M. Weyrich (USA)

Abb.: Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich [geboren 1942] is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation. He served as President of the foundation from 1977 to 2002. From 1989 to 1996, Mr. Weyrich served as President of the Kreible Institute of the Free Congress Foundation, responsible for training democracy movements in the states comprising the Former Soviet Empire. He is a founder and past director of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the founding president of the Heritage Foundation, and the current National Chairman of Coalitions for America. A former reporter and radio news director, Mr. Weyrich is a regular guest on daily radio and television talk shows. A sought-after writer, Mr. Weyrich has published policy reports and journals on a variety of conservative issues and has contributed editorials to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He has been described by The Economist as "one of the conservative movement's more vigorous thinkers." Voted three years in a row from 1981 - 1983 by readers of Conservative Digest as one of the top three "most popular conservatives in America not in Congress," Mr. Weyrich has been named by Regardie's Magazine as "one of the 100 most powerful Washingtonians." He has been married since 1963 to the former Joyce Smigun, is the father of five children, and serves as a deacon in his church [Paul Weyrich ist katholisch].

Age: 61. Born in Racine, Wisconsin, married to Joyce Smigun Weyrich, July 6, 1963.


  • Dawn (Mrs. Edward Ceol), 39, Mother of granddaughter Jillian, twin grandsons, Alexander and Benjamin and grandson Christian
    Peter, 38, Lobbyist

  • Diana (Mrs. Craig Pascoe), 37, President, The Capital Network and Development Group, Mother of grandsons Stephen, and John with a third child due in September

  • Stephen, 32, President, Weyrich Productions, Father of grandson Matthew, granddaughter Sarah, grandson Michael, and granddaughter Kate
    Andrew, 27, CEO,, Masters degree, George Mason University


Public Policy

  • President, Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, 1977 - 2002

  • Chairman and CEO, Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, 2002 - Present

  • President, The Krieble Institute of Free Congress Foundation (responsible for training democracy movements in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Empire) 1989 - 1996

  • Member, Board of Directors, The Freedom and Democracy Institute of Russia, 1997 - present

  • Treasurer, Council for National Policy, 1981 - 1992. (currently on the Executive Committee of the CNP)

  • National Chairman, Coalitions for America, 1978 - present

  • Founder, American Legislative Exchange Council, 1973; Director, 1975 - 1978

  • Founding President, The Heritage Foundation, 1973 - 1974

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-03-02]

2. James Dobson, Radiopsychologe

Abb.: Dr. James Dobson

Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2005-03-17

"James Clayton Dobson, Ph.D. (born April 21, 1936) is a conservative Christian psychologist who presents a daily radio program called Focus on the Family on over 6,000 stations worldwide in more than a dozen languages. He is chairman of the board of a nonprofit organization based in Colorado Springs, Colorado of the same name, which he founded in 1977. His programs can be heard by more than 200 million people every day, and Focus on the Family is also on 80 US television stations daily.


Dobson is an Evangelical Christian with significant political clout, because he can mobilize his listeners to contact politicians with civic concerns. Liberal critics label Dobson as a fundamentalist, but some fundamentalists are among his severest critics mainly because Dobson works cooperatively with Protestant and Roman Catholic Christians and Jews, and because the organization is politically active. Many fundamentalists also decry his mixture of psychology and faith.

He first became well-known with the publication of Dare to Discipline, a book which became hugely popular with parents of young children, especially other Christians. He attracted some controversy because in it he approved of the spanking of young children.

Dobson has two children, Danae and Ryan, with his wife Shirley. His son, Ryan, divorced in 2001, a point often brought up by his critics.

Degrees, positions and awards

Dr. Dobson has an earned doctorate in child development from the University of Southern California (1967). He was an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years. He spent 17 years on the staff of the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics.

He is a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a licensed psychologist in California, and is listed in Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare. He also has a long list of honorary doctorates from various institutions.

Dobson has also served at the invitation of presidents and attorneys general on government advisory panels and testified at several government hearings. Among many other awards he has been given the "Layman of the Year" award by the National Association of Evangelicals in 1982, "The Children's Friend" honor by Childhelp USA, (an advocate agency against child abuse) in 1987, and the Humanitarian Award by the California Psychological Association (1988).

Views on corporal punishment and authority

Dobson advocates the spanking of children from 15-18 months to eight years old. According to Dobson, "pain is a marvelous purifier" especially for rebellious children. (Dare to Discipline, p.6) He does not advocate harsh spanking, "it is not necessary to beat the child into submission; a little bit of pain goes a long way for a young child. However, the spanking should be of sufficient magnitude to cause the child to cry genuinely." (Ibid., p.7.)

In The Strong-Willed Child (p.73), Dobson writes: "Some strong-willed children absolutely demand to be spanked, and their wishes should be granted." To help determine the amount of punishment, he suggests that "two or three stinging strokes on the legs or buttocks with a switch are usually sufficient to emphasize the point, 'You must obey me.'" (The Strong-Willed Child, pp. 53-4.)

Dobson suggests that by correctly portraying authority to a child, the child will understand how to interact with other authority figures. "By learning to yield to the loving authority...of his parents, a child learns to submit to other forms of authority which will confront him later in his life -- his teachers, school principal, police, neighbors and employers." (The Strong-Willed Child, p. 235.)

Dobson stresses that parents must uphold their authority and do so consistently, "When you are defiantly challenged, win decisively." (Dare to Discipline, p. 36.)

In The Strong-Willed Child, Dobson draws an analogy between the defiance of a family pet and that of a small child. He tells a story in which the family dog refuses to leave his resting place on the lid of the toilet seat. A "vicious fight" between him and the dog results and he "fought him up one wall and down the other, with both of us scratching and clawing and growling and swinging the belt [sic]." He concludes that "just as surely as a dog will occasionally challenge the authority of his leaders, so will a little child--only more so." (emphasis Dobson)

To deal with especially defiant children, Dobson recommends persistence: "Real crying usually lasts two minutes or less but may continue for five. After that point, the child is merely complaining, and the change can be recognized in the tone and intensity of his voice. I would require him to stop the protest crying, usually by offering him a little more of whatever caused the original tears."

Anti-spanking groups disagree with Dobson's views, suggesting they are too simplistic and even dangerous for children.

Dobson and SpongeBob SquarePants

On January, 20th 2005, The New York Times published an article, "Conservatives Pick Soft Target: A Cartoon Sponge", that focused on comments made by Dobson on the association of SpongeBob SquarePants with a children’s tolerance video created by the We Are Family Foundation. incorrectly interpreted the Times article and reported that Dobson was accusing SpongeBob SquarePants, the cartoon character, of being homosexual or promoting a homosexual lifestyle. At least one media outlet was forced to write a correction. [6]

Dr. Dobson contends that underneath the guise of tolerance and respect, the We Are Family Foundation has a hidden agenda of promoting the normalization of homosexuality to schoolchildren. He states in the February 2005 edition of his monthly newsletter that, "My brief comments at the FRC gathering were intended to express concern not about SpongeBob or Big Bird or any of their other cartoon friends, but about the way in which those childhood symbols are apparently being hijacked to promote an agenda that involves teaching homosexual propaganda to children."[7] He offers as evidence the association of many leading pro-homosexual organizations including GLAAD, GLSEN, HRC, and PFLAG with the We Are Family Foundation and the foundation's distribution of elementary school lesson plans that include discussions of compulsory heterosexuality, gender, heterosexism, and homophobia. [8] On the CitizenLink portion of the Focus on the Family website (the institution Dr. Dobson founded and runs), an article states, "While words like "diversity" and "unity" sound harmless — even noble — enough, the reality is they are often used by gay activists as cover for teaching children that homosexuality is the moral and biological equivalent to heterosexuality. And there is ample evidence that the We Are Family Foundation shares — and promotes — that view." It continues with a quote from Dobson, "Unfortunately ... the We Are Family foundation has very strong homosexual advocacy roots and biases."[9]

The We Are Family Foundation has countered that Dobson has mistaken their organization with "an unrelated Web site belonging to another group called "We Are Family," which supports gay youth." [10] A spokesman for the foundation suggests that anyone who thought the video promoted homosexuality "needs to visit their doctor and get their medication increased." [11] Dobson agrees that the video itself does not promote homosexuality, but he believes the We Are Family Foundation was trying to use the video to promote a pro-homosexual agenda. He also stands by his original claims described above, contending that the controversial material has since been removed by the We Are Family Foundation and stating that he has "clear documentation that these materials were being promoted on the Web site." [12]


Dobson has authored or coauthored 31 books (as of 2004), including:

  • Bringing Up Boys: Practical Advice and Encouragement for Those Shaping the Next Generation of Men ISBN 084235266X
  • The Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide
  • Emotions: Can You Trust Them?
  • The Focus on the Family Complete Book of Baby and Child Care (with Paul C. Reisser)
  • Love Must Be Tough: New Hope for Families in Crisis
  • The New Dare to Discipline
  • Night Light: A Devotional for Couples (with his wife Shirley Dobson)
  • Night Light for Parents (with Shirley Dobson)
  • Parenting Isn't for Cowards
  • Preparing for Adolescence
  • Stories of Heart and Home
  • Straight Talk to Men
  • Straight Talk: What Men Should Know, What Women Need to Understand
  • The Strong-Willed Child : Birth Through Adolescence
  • What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women
  • When God Doesn't Make Sense

Dobson also served on the committee that wrote the Meese Report.

Political Power

Some say he is the most politically powerful Evangelist in America today. On January 1, 2005 newspapers reported that Evangelical leader James C. Dobson was warning six Democratic senators if they blocked conservative appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-03-02]

3. Tim und Beverly LaHaye, Bestsellerautoren

Abb.: Einbandtitel
{Wenn Sie HIER klicken, können Sie dieses Buch bei bestellen}


"LaHaye, Tim (1926-) Born in Detroit, Tim LaHaye enrolled at Bob Jones University after a tour of duty in the U.S. Air Force. LaHaye found at Bob Jones a theologically and socially conservative environment congenial to his own background, having been reared in a conservative Baptist tradition. He also found the woman, Beverly Jean Ratcliffe, who would become his wife; Tim and Beverly LaHaye were married July 5, 1947. Tim LaHaye worked as pastor of a small Baptist church in Pickens, South Carolina, and after graduation moved on to a Baptist church in Minneapolis.

The LaHayes headed west to El Cajon, California, in 1956, where Tim became pastor of Scott Memorial Baptist Church.

In part because of his father's death when Tim was nine years old, LaHaye took up the crusade of so-called family values, lashing out against feminism, gays, and secular humanists. The LaHayes had their own half-hour television program, The LaHayes on Family Life. They also wrote and distributed books and articles on family life, and developed a lecture series, beginning in 1972, called Family Life Seminars, which they took around the nation and to several foreign countries. LaHaye founded various educational institutions in the San Diego area, including the Christian High School of San Diego and Christian Heritage College.

LaHaye published a number of pop psychology books in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as books on premillennialism, but the appearance of The Battle for the Mind' in 1980 signaled his entry into the arena of politics. The book, which was lauded by religious and political conservatives, was a full-throated assault on secular humanism, which LaHaye found lurking behind such organizations as the National Organization for Women, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association for Education, and the United Nations. LaHaye followed up the book with two others, The Battle for the Family (1982) and The Battle for the Public Schools (1983). He also followed up with his own Religious Right organization, the American Coalition for Traditional Values, begun in 1984, the same year that his wife's organization, "Concerned Women for America, relocated to Washington, D.C. Although LaHaye continued to have an influential voice within the Religious Right, his reputation was tarnished somewhat by his association with Sun Myung Moon and other far right figures during the 1980s. In 1995 he published (with Jerry Jenkins as coauthor) Left Behind, the first of a series of commercially successful novels depicting life during the apocalypse."

[Quelle: Balmer, Randall Herbert <1954 - >: Encyclopedia of evangelicalism. -- Rev. and expanded ed.  -- Waco, TX : Baylor University Press, ©2004.  -- viii, 781 S. ; 23 cm.  -- ISBN: 193279204X. -- s.v. -- {Wenn Sie HIER klicken, können Sie dieses Buch bei bestellen}]

"LaHaye, Beverly (Jean) (neé Ratcliffe) (1926-) One of the more prominent and influential leaders of the "Reli-GIOUS RIGHT, Beverly LaHaye was reared in a forthrightly conservative home and attended Bob Jones University, a bastion of fundamentalism. While a student at Bob Jones, she met and married another conservative student, *Tim LaHaye. The couple served Baptist churches in Pickens, South Carolina, and Minneapolis, before settling in El Cajon, California, where Tim LaHaye became pastor of Scott Memorial Baptist Church. Beverly LaHaye became quite active with her husband in various enterprises, including a half-hour television program— The LaHayes on Family Life—books, and a lecture series called Family Life Seminars.

Beverly LaHaye became politically active after watching an interview with Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique and founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW). LaHaye took umbrage at the assumption that Friedan spoke for all women in America; she began organizing women in the San Diego area to oppose NOW, the proposed Equal Rights amendment, and feminist initiatives in general. LaHayes organization, "Con-cerned Women for America, was chartered in 1979, the same year that Jerry Falwell organized Moral Majority. Like Moral Majority and other Religious Right organizations, Concerned Women for America opposed abortion, gay rights, and secular humanism; it advocated prayer in schools, so-called family values, and government support for religious schools. LaHaye has conceded that she is "consumed" by the issue of homosexuality. "Of all the problems in America today," she said, "the homosexual movement poses the most serious threat to families and children." By the end of the 1980s, the organization had active chapters in all fifty states, and in 1984, at the height of the Reagan influence, "Concerned Women for America moved its offices to Washington, D.C."

[Quelle: Balmer, Randall Herbert <1954 - >: Encyclopedia of evangelicalism. -- Rev. and expanded ed.  -- Waco, TX : Baylor University Press, ©2004.  -- viii, 781 S. ; 23 cm.  -- ISBN: 193279204X. -- s.v. -- {Wenn Sie HIER klicken, können Sie dieses Buch bei bestellen}]

"Einer der Hauptexponenten der Harmagedon-Theologie - abgesehen von Hai Lindsey - ist der Reverend Tim La Haye. Als ich La Haye im Dezember 1987 für den BBC World Service interviewte, hatte er gerade seine Baptistenkirche in San Diego für ein Büro in der Bundeshauptstadt aufgegeben, vermutlich um dem Zentrum der Macht näher zu sein. Er war ein nüchterner, würdevoller Mann in einem braunen Anzug. Sein Büro im achten Stock eines modernen Gebäudes auf der C Street von Washington D.C., mit weichen Flauschteppichen und gepflegten Sekretärinnen, war der letzte Ort, an dem man religiösen Extremismus erwartet hätte. La Haye selbst machte keineswegs den Eindruck eines Verrückten. Er wirkte wie jeder andere tüchtige, vernünftige Manager, der den Tag damit verbringt, an seinem Schreibtisch zu telefonieren und Briefe oder Protokolle zu diktieren. Er ist Autor zahlreicher Bücher und Vorsitzender der »Amerikanischen Koalition für Traditionelle Werte«, einer der größten Dachorganisationen der religiösen Rechten. Seine Gattin Beverly hilft ihm bei der Arbeit, indem sie den »Besorgten Frauen Amerikas« vorsteht, einer landesweiten antifeministischen Anti-Abtreibungs-Bewegung. Nach Jerry Falwell sind die La Hayes vermutlich die einflussreichsten Gestalten in dem neuen, politisierten Fundamentalismus.

»Die Bibel sagt: Von dem Tage aber und der Stunde weiß niemand«, sagt La Haye. »Aber die Epoche können wir bestimmen. Wissen Sie, ich versuche, die Epoche des Untergangs sozusagen zu extrapolieren, und alle Anzeichen weisen darauf hin, dass wir vielleicht schon mitten darin leben. Eines der wichtigsten Anzeichen ist, dass Israel und Russland beide eine beherrschende Rolle in der Weltpolitik spielen, genau wie es die Propheten vor 2500 Jahren vorhergesagt haben. Bis zu unserer Generation war Russland ja eine völlig unwichtige Macht, und Israel hatte noch nicht einmal einen eigenen Staat.« Er zitierte dazu eine Passage aus Hesekiel über die Eroberung Israels aus dem Norden.

»In diesem Bibeltext«, erklärte er, »steht geschrieben, dass Gott auf übernatürliche Weise eingreifen wird, um Russland inmitten eines Angriffs auf Israel zu zerstören. Dann wird Israel, also das Judenreich, alles Kriegsgerät verbrennen. Aber wie in aller Welt wollen sie das ganze Metall, die Textilien und das Plastikzeug und all das verbrennen? Ich kann es Ihnen sagen: sie werden es mit Lasern verbrennen.«

Bestand nicht die Gefahr, fragte ich ihn, dass ein US-Präsident auf die Idee kommen könnte, selbst Gottes Werk zu tun, indem er Russland mit Hilfe von Kernwaffen zu vernichten suchte? Das Harmagedon-Szenario könnte eine solche Entwicklung ja durchaus ermutigen - vor allem bei einem fundamentalistischen Präsidenten wie Pat Robertson, der damals gerade seine Kampagne als republikanischer Präsidentschaftskandidat betrieb. La Haye beeilte sich, mich zu beruhigen: »Ganz im Gegenteil«, sagte er. »Es finden sich mindestens acht Stellen in der Schrift, wo Gott es ganz deutlich macht, dass er Russland auf übernatürliche Weise zerstören wird, damit alle Welt erfahrt, dass Er der Herr ist. Teilweise geht es einfach darum, seine übernatürliche Macht zu demonstrieren. Seit über 1950 Jahren hat es Gott gefallen, relativ stumm zu bleiben. Er hat immer erwartet, dass die Menschen an ihn und seinen Sohn allein aufgrund der biblischen Lehre glauben. Heute aber sehnen sich die Menschen danach, dass er ihnen ein Zeichen gibt. Ein Zeichen seiner Übernatürlichkeit, weil es so viele Skeptiker gibt. Natürlich glaube ich, dass Gott heute Wunder wirken kann. Aber es sind keine Eins-A-Reagenzglas-Wunder, die ich meinen weltlich-humanistischen Freunden zeigen kann, um ihnen zu sagen: >Seht her, da habt ihr den unwiderlegbaren Beweis, dass Gott existierte Aber wenn Er Russland auf übernatürliche Weise zerstört, dann erfahrt dadurch die ganze Welt - über Satellit und Fernsehen -, dass es einen übernatürlichen Gott gibt, der schließlich doch noch seine Existenz demonstriert hat. In der Folge wird es eine gewaltige Hinwendung von Millionen Menschen zu Gott geben.«

Dieses Interview wurde am selben Tag geführt, an dem Michail Gorbatschow in Washington den Vertrag zur Verringerung der atomaren Mittelstreckenwaffen unterzeichnete."

[Quelle: Ruthven, Malise <1942 - >: Der göttliche Supermarkt : auf der Suche nach der Seele Amerikas. -- Frankfurt am Main : S. Fischer, 1991. -- 327 S. : Kt. ; 23 cm. -- Originaltitel: The devine supermarket (1989). -- ISBN: 3-10-068507-5. -- S. 199f.]

Left Behind is a series of novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, dealing with Christian dispensationalist End Times: pretribulation, premillennial, Christian eschatology.

LaHaye and Jenkins cite the influence of Russell S. Doughten, an Iowan film-maker who directed a series of four low-budget feature-length films in the 1970s and 1980s about the Rapture and Second Coming. The films' popularity among Christian fundamentalists have led to increased study and speculation as to the events described in the Book of Revelation.

  1. Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth's Last Days (ISBN 0842329129)
  2. Tribulation Force: The Continuing Drama of Those Left Behind (ISBN 0842329218)
  3. Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist (ISBN 0842329242)
  4. Soul Harvest: The World Takes Sides (ISBN 0842329250)
  5. Apollyon: The Destroyer Is Unleashed (ISBN 0842329269)
  6. Assassins: Assignment: Jerusalem, Target: Antichrist (ISBN 0842329277)
  7. The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession (ISBN 0842329293)
  8. The Mark: The Beast Rules the World (ISBN 0842332286)
  9. Desecration: Antichrist Takes the Throne (ISBN 0842332294)
  10. The Remnant: On the Brink of Armageddon (ISBN 0842332308)
  11. Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages (ISBN 0842332367)
  12. Glorious Appearing: The End of Days (ISBN 0842332375)
  13. The Rising: Before They Were Left Behind (ISBN 0842360565) (unreleased)

There are also graphic novels, CDs, and a Left Behind series for children. Audio books based on the these 12 titles have also been produced for broadcast on Christian radio.

Two spin-off series have been written; one by Neesa Hart and another by Mel Odom.


The books deal with the rise of the Antichrist: a Romanian named Nicolae Carpathia, whose political rise leads him from membership in the Romanian Parliament to the Presidency of Romania, and on to the position of Secretary-General of the United Nations. Under his rule, all the countries of the world merge into a single political entity under United Nations administration. Armies are disbanded, and an era of world peace established. All media are consolidated under the "Global Community Network" and religions are merged into one faith. Finally, Carpathia is proclaimed "Potentate of the Global Community," and becomes revered as a god.

Throughout the series, Carpathia and the world at large become increasingly antagonistic toward any group that does not follow the newly established religion of "Carpathianism". The world also experiences many cataclysmic judgements sent by God.

Carpathia's efforts are resisted by a group of people who call themselves the "Tribulation Force", centered around a church in Chicago.


The books have sold very well in the United States, many topping The New York Times list of bestsellers. In other areas, such as continental Europe—where dispensationalism is largely non-existent—the books have been far less successful.

In an article enquiring into the series' popularity, Salon magazine writer Michelle Goldberg described what she believed was one of the series' attractions [1]:

On one level, the attraction of the Left Behind books isn't that much different from that of, say, Tom Clancy or Stephen King. The plotting is brisk and the characterizations Manichean.

However, she considered the books to be an attack on Judaism and liberal secularism, and pointed out that the near-future "end times" the books are set in seem to reflect the actual worldview of millions of Americans, including many prominent conservative leaders.

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-03-05]

Zur Left Behind series siehe:

Payer, Margarete <1942 - >: Informationsmarktverzerrung durch Fundamentalismus am Beispiel der USA. -- Kapitel 6: Apokalyptische Außenpolitik. -- 5. Left behind — Romanserie über das Schicksal der Nicht-Entrückten. --URL:

4. Phyllis Schlafly, politische Kommentatorin

Abb.: Phyllis Schlafly und Richter Roy Moore [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-03-02]


"Phyllis McAlpine Stewart Schlafly (born August 15, 1924) is an American conservative political activist known for her opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Today, she is a widely-published author and commentator. In 1972, she founded the Eagle Forum, a conservative organization, and continues to be president of that organization.

[Phyllis Schlafly ist katholisch, aber bei der ganzen Christian Right hochangesehen.]

Born in Missouri, Schlafly was raised as a devout Catholic in a poor family. She began school at a young age, graduating from Washington University in St. Louis at only 19, and later earned a J.D. from WUSTL. She later attended Harvard University, and received her B.A. and M.A.

In 1952, she unsuccessfully ran for Congress as a member of the United States Republican Party.

She first came to national attention as the writer of the best-selling book, A Choice, Not an Echo, written in support of Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign, which denounced the corruption and liberalism of other Republicans, especially those in New England.

In 1967, she founded her own political newsletter, the Phyllis Schlafly Report, which is still published.

She became the most visible and effective opponent of the ERA as the organizer of the "Stop ERA" movement, widely credited with stopping it from achieving passage by its legislative deadline. Schlafly organized vigorously against the amendment, arguing that it would require unisex bathrooms, taxpayer-funded abortions, same-sex marriage, the drafting of women into the military, an end to automatic maternal child custody in the case of divorce, and the weakening of punishments for sex crimes committed towards women. ERA proponents equally vigorously contested most of these claims. For her actions, she was widely vilified by feminists, who denounced her as a weak and subservient housewife who personified everything the feminist movement was seeking to overcome. At the time Schlafly began campaigning, the amendment had already been ratified by 30 of the 38 necessary states. Schlafly was successful in organizing a grassroots campaign to oppose further states' ratifications, however, and in 1982, the amendment was narrowly defeated, having only been passed in 35 states. Over 20 years later, Schlafly continued to argue against any revival of the ERA.

Schlafly is the author of twenty books (see below), mostly on topics of interest to political conservatives, but also including child care and phonics education. She continues be influential within the Republican Party, and was responsible for some socially conservative language in the Republican National Convention's platforms as recently as 2004.

She was married to the late John Fred Schlafly. She has six children. As a controversial figure, she attracts attention. For example, in 1992, gay activist Michelangelo Signorile outed her son John as homosexual. Signorile found this difficult to square with Schlafly's views, but John for his part seems not to. He confirmed Signorile's accusations, but works as a lawyer for his mother's Eagle Forum.

Books written
  • The Supremacists: The Tyranny Of Judges And How To Stop It (Spence Publishing Company, 2004) ISBN 1890626554
  • Feminist Fantasies by Phyllis Schlafly, foreword by Ann Coulter (Spence Publishing Company, 2003) ISBN 1890626465
  • Turbo Reader (Pere Marquette Press, 2001) ISBN 0934640165
  • First Reader (Pere Marquette Press, 1994) ISBN 0934640246
  • Pornography's Victims (Crossway Books, 1987) ISBN 0891074236
  • Child Abuse in the Classroom (Crossway Books, 1984) ISBN 0891073655
  • Equal Pay for Unequal Work (Eagle Forum, 1984) ISBN 9995031434
  • The End of an Era (Regnery Publishing, 1982) ISBN 0895266598
  • The Power of the Christian Woman (Standard Pub, 1981) ISBN B0006E4X12
  • The Power of the Positive Woman (Crown Pub, 1977) ISBN 0870003739
  • Ambush at Vladivostok by Phyllis Schlafly, Chester Ward (Pere Marquette Press, 1976) ISBN 0934640009
  • Kissinger on the Couch (Arlington House Publishers, 1974) ISBN 0870002163
  • Mindszenty the Man by Josef Vecsey, Phyllis Schlafly (Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation, 1972) ISBN B00005WGD6
  • The Betrayers (Pere Marquette Press, 1968) ISBN B0006CY0CQ
  • Safe Not Sorry (Pere Marquette Press, 1967) ISBN 0934640068
  • Grave Diggers by Phyllis Schlafly, Chester Ward (Pere Marquette Press, 1964) ISBN 0934640033
  • A Choice Not an Echo (Pere Marquette Press, 1964) ISBN 0686114868

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-03-02]

5. Ralph Reed, Politikmanager

Abb.: Ralph Reed
[Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-04-04]

Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2005-04-04

"Ralph E. Reed, Jr., (born 1962) is a conservative American political strategist.

He attended the University of Georgia and was a member of the Demosthenian Literary Society.

Positions Held
  • College Republican National Committee (CRNC) Executive Director, 1983-1985.
  • "Reed transformed the remnants of Pat Robertson's failed 1988 presidential campaign into a potent political force, more than a million strong at its peak." - Atlantic Monthly, 2004
  • Executive Director, Christian Coalition, 1989-1997.
  • President, Century Strategies, 1997-Present.
  • Chairman, Georgia Republican Party, 2001-2003.
  • Chairman of the Southeast Region for Bush-Cheney, 2004.
  • Candidate for Lt. Governor Georgia, 2005-Present.

"I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla 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"

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-04-049]

"Ralph Reed is “one of the most talented people of his generation in public life," according to Bill Bennett. Roll Call’s columnist Charlie Cook says he is “one of the smartest, shrewdest, and most effective political players on the national political scene.” Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal labeled him “one of the main people responsible for the Republicans taking Congress.”

As a political strategist and organizer, Reed’s actions and words have had an enormous influence on the public debate. Newsweek listed him one of the top newsmakers in the country in 1996. Time magazine named him one of the fifty future leaders in the nation. Life magazine called him one of the twenty influential figures of his generation. Even Reed’s critics credit his superior political skills. As Executive Director of the Christian Coalition from 1989 to 1997, he built an organization of two million members and supporters in 2,000 local chapters who distributed 45 million nonpartisan voting guides in 125,000 churches during the last election. During his tenure, the annual budget of the Coalition soared from $200,000 in 1989 to $27 million in 1996. He has consulted on more than two dozen campaigns. From 1982 to 1984, he served as executive director of the College Republican National Committee.

Reed broke new ground for social conservatives by stressing a message of strong families, better schools, and safer neighborhoods. He built bridges to Roman Catholics, Jews, and minorities. He has also broadened the legislative agenda to address issues of tax relief, welfare reform, poverty, drugs, and racial reconciliation.

A sought after speaker and commentator, Reed is a regular fixture on national television, including programs Meet the Press, This Week with David Brinkley, Face the Nation, Larry King Live, and Nightline. He is the recipient of the Public Policy Award form the International Platform Association. His columns have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and National Review. He is the author of two books, most recently Active Faith.

As president of Century Strategies, a strategic marketing and campaign consulting company with offices in Atlanta and Washington, Reed provides his savvy and insights to candidates nationwide. Jack Germond and Jules Witcover have written that he has, “more than anyone else,” made social conservatives “an imposing force in American politics.” His words and deeds are certain to affect the direction of the country for years to come."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-04-04]

Abb.: Zeitschriftentitel

"Ralph E. Reed Jr., President of Century Strategies, was College Republican National Committee (CRNC) Executive Director, 1983-1985.

"Ralph Reed, now born again as a political strategist, has moved on from doing God's work to doing George W. Bush's"
—Joshua Green, Atlantic Monthly, April 2004

According to the web CRNC web site, "Ralph's national reputation for strategic insights and grassroots organizational skills provides Century Strategies' political and corporate clients with added assurance that their public policy goals will be achieved.

"He has been involved in dozens of campaigns throughout the nation, including six presidential campaigns. He has served as an adviser and consultant to members of Congress, the U.S. Senate, members of the Republican leadership in Congress and Governor [President] George Walker Bush.

"As Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee in [sic] from 1983-1985, Ralph assisted in managing one of the largest grassroots efforts in the history of the committee. Ronald Reagan's reelection effort in 1984 saw more college students voting and working for a Republican in modern memory. Ralph founded Students for America after leaving the College Republican National Committee and immediately found success. The organization grew to one of the largest grassroots groups in the nation seemingly overnight.

"As Executive Director of the Christian Coalition, he built one of the most effective grassroots organizations in modern American politics. During his tenure, the organization's budget grew from $200,000 in 1989 to $27 million in 1996. Its support base grew from two thousand members to two million members and supporters.

"Acknowledged as one of the leading political strategists in the nation, Reed has been named one of the top new political newsmakers in America by Newsweek and one of the fifty future leaders in the country by Time. He received his B.A. from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in history from Emory University. He is the best-selling author and editor of three books, a sought-after speaker, and his columns have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and National Review. A frequent television commentator, he has appeared on Meet the Press, Nightline, This Week, Hardball and Larry King Live."

Reed's Century Strategies biography:

"As chairman of the Georgia Republican Party (2001-present), he helped elect U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, Sonny Perdue as the first GOP Governor in 130 years, and gained control of state Senate for first time since Reconstruction. During his tenure, the state party budget increased from $5 million to $10.7 million, the donor base grew from 12,000 to 34,000, and the party built a grassroots network of over 3,000 volunteers.

"Reed has worked on 6 presidential campaigns and served as a consultant and senior advisor to the George W. Bush for President campaign in 2000. He has consulted on 88 campaigns for U.S. Senate, Governor and Congress in 24 states.

"Reed has been named one of the top ten political newsmakers in the nation by Newsweek, one of the twenty most influential leaders of his generation by Life magazine, and one of the 50 future leaders of America by Time magazine. As executive director of the Christian Coalition (1989-1997), he built one of nation's most effective grassroots organizations. During his tenure, the organization's budget grew from $200,000 to $27 million and he increased its membership from 2,000 to over 2 million members and supporters.

"He has appeared on numerous television programs and his columns have appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He is the author and editor of three best-selling books. He served as executive director, College Republican National Committee (1982-1984), and as youth co-chairman of the re-election campaign of President Ronald Reagan.

"Reed serves on the board of directors of STI Knowledge and is active in SafeHouse, a faith-based organization helping the poor in inner city Atlanta. Reed grew up in Toccoa, Georgia, and has a B.A. from the University of Georgia and Ph.D. in American History from Emory University."

Reed has been thought of as a behind the scenes operator for the Republican Party. After he left the Christian Coalition, he began a career is an Atlanta-based lobbyist. Karl Rove is said to have given him aid by connecting him with one of his first clients, Enron Corporation, and he was paid $300,000 to generate support for energy deregulation. It has been alleged recently that evidence has been discovered that Reed has been involved in a scheme to use his lobbying talents to prevent competition for a certain Indian tribe's casino, and also that he was paid through laundered funds to keep his involvement secret.

It is said that the Coushatta tribe of Louisiana was trying to prevent the Jena Band of the Choctaw tribe from building a casino that would threaten the monopoly that the Coushattas had in Louisiana. It is further alleged because the Jena Band hired Haley Barbour to plead their cause in front of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Coushattas hired Reed to counteract Barbour's influence. Reed is said to have successfully mobilized local ministers and Christian radio against the Jena's proposed casino, all to help the Coushatta casino retain its monopoly.

According to the allegation, Reed wanted to deny any connection to this matter, and so his payment was laundered. His company, Century Strategies, is said to have received $250,000 from Capitol Campaign Strategies, one of Michael Scanlon's companies. Another Reed company, Capitol Media, is said to have sent an invoice to Jack Abramoff for $100,000 for "Louisiana Project Mgmt Fee."

Reed is also said to have been involved in the 2000 smear campaign against John McCain in the South Carolina primaries.

Reed is also a member of the Council For National Policy. "

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-04-04]

"Ralph Reed's Real Agenda / by Richard John Neuhaus

Copyright (c) 1996 First Things 66 (October 1996): 42-45.

Abb.: Einbandtitel

Active Faith: How Christians Are Changing the Soul of American Politics. Free Press. 312 pp. $25.

Ralph Reed is frequently depicted as the innocent, and therefore deceptive, face of the religious right. Political opponents who are convinced that the Christian Coalition and its allies represent an invasion of the aliens taking over our public square will be further maddened by his new book, Active Faith: How Christians Are Changing the Soul of American Politics. Aimed at the cultured despisers of religiously inspired conservatism, Active Faith is in tone so very reasonable, so very irenic, so very determined not to intimidate.

At the same time, Reed is preaching to his choir and cautioning them not to get carried away with their new-found political influence. While "changing the soul of American politics," they must not lose their own souls to the lust for political power. In this connection, the book contains surprisingly candid revelations about tensions within the religious right, including sharp critiques of its earlier manifestations, such as the Reverend Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority. If religious conservatives do not learn from the past, warns Reed, they will yet snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Among the lessons to be learned is that action divorced from theory has a way of getting you where you never wanted to go. In this connection, Reed ponders the fact that the political influence of the religious right is all out of proportion to its paucity of theological understanding. Echoing Mark Noll's The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Reed laments that evangelical Protestants have no real theology of politics. Moralistic passion is not enough.

Although he admits he is no theologian, Reed's own reflections seem to track the lines proposed by thinkers such as Reinhold Niebuhr and John Courtney Murray. Noll observes that the more thoughtful evangelicals today are taking their political philosophy and moral theology from Catholic social thought. Reed does not develop his theological ideas in the present book, but what he does say tends to confirm Noll's observation. This may suggest fascinating possibilities for the future of the Christian Coalition as it develops the Catholic connection through its new affiliate, the Catholic Alliance. Some of those most closely connected with the Coalition, including Pat Robertson himself, are also strong supporters of the initiative "Evangelicals and Catholics Together" (which appeared in First Things, May 1994).

Theology and political philosophy are not Mr. Reed's strong suit. There are occasional howlers, such as his assertion that "the best standard for government is still John Stuart Mill's principle of allowing the greatest liberty possible until someone else's life or liberty is jeopardized." Whatever else the religious right is about, it is surely not premised upon reestablishing Mill's liberty principle as the norm of just governance. There are conceptual resources in the Protestant, especially Calvinist, tradition that Reed does not mention-for instance, Abraham Kuyper, the Dutch politician and theological thinker who gave birth to a school of political philosophy that accents "spheres of sovereignty" in a manner similar to the Catholic teaching on "subsidiarity."

Reed rightly wants a theology and philosophy that will equip Christians for "governing." Among the candidates for that role are Niebuhr, Murray, Kuyper, and Catholic social teaching, particularly as the last is articulated by John Paul II. The 1991 encyclical, Centesimus Annus (The Hundredth Year), to cite but one example, is a rich lode of Christian wisdom for what Reed wants to say about the connections between tolerance and truth, freedom and moral judgment. While Reed seems not to be versed in these more promising traditions, there are some ways of thinking he knows and rejects. He mentions very specifically the Reconstructionist movement promoted by R. J. Rushdoony and his associates.

Reconstructionism-sometimes called Theonomy or Dominion Theology-is a bastard form of Calvinism contending that the American constitutional order must be replaced by a new order based on "Bible Law." Reed's rejection of this school is notable because, rightly or wrongly, his boss Pat Robertson (to whom Reed evidences unwavering loyalty) has sometimes been accused of advocating a modified brand of Reconstructionism. Reed's words are unequivocal and, given the diverse constituencies on which the Christian Coalition draws, bold: "Reconstructionism is an authoritarian ideology that threatens the most basic civil liberties of a free and democratic society. The pro-family movement [Reed's standard term for the cause he champions] . . . must unequivocally dissociate itself from Reconstructionism and other efforts to use the government to impose biblical law through direct political action. It must firmly and openly exclude the triumphalist and authoritarian elements from the new theology of Christian political involvement."

Among other lessons to be learned from the past is the need to present the agenda not as one of radical reaction but as an effort to reconstitute the "mainstream" of American political and social history. Active Faith is in largest part an effort to relocate the mainstream of American social and political history. For readers who have been miseducated to believe that ours is a "secular" society and that the current entanglement of politics and religion is something new and threatening, the most instructive chapter may be Reed's marvelously compact historical updating of Alexis de Tocqueville's argument that religion is "the first political institution" of American democracy.

Reed, who earned his Ph.D. in American history at Emory University, provides a concise account of religion and politics from the First Great Awakening that made possible the American Revolution, through the abolition of slavery and prohibition of alcohol, up to the civil rights movement under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr. The new and threatening thing, according to Reed, is not religiously informed political action but what someone has called "the naked public square" in which politics is divorced from the moral convictions of the American people-convictions that are typically grounded in religion.

At one level, Reed understands himself to be contending for a recovery of democratic self-governance. Here his argument is redolent of that advanced by the late Christopher Lasch in his final testament, The Revolt of the Elites. Lasch, once a champion of the 1960s "new left," decried contemporary liberalism's redefinition of democracy in terms of upward mobility rather than self-governance. The promise of democracy, in that view, is the opportunity to join the ruling elites who assume that "the people" are not competent to govern themselves. I have elsewhere described these elites as the "overclass" that, having despaired of democratic persuasion, employ the universities, philanthropies, media, and, above all, the courts to govern without the consent of the governed.

Directed as it is against that overclass, some might describe Active Faith as a kind of populist manifesto, and populist overtones are by no means absent. Reed, however, eschews populist stridency, claiming that he contends for the renewal of the American democratic experiment, and I expect Kit Lasch would agree. (William Jennings Bryan comes in for major, and critical, discussion. It is suggested that Pat Buchanan is repeating some of Bryan's mistakes.) In any event, Reed's morally substantive account of American democracy is necessary reading for those who have been exposed only to the procedural and radically secularized accounts that have in the last thirty years dominated teaching from the elementary grades through graduate school.

For most of the book, however, Ralph Reed the historian and political theorist gives way to Ralph Reed the political strategist and activizer of activists. Political junkies will find here a treasure trove of inside calculation about who is trying to use whom, what issues turn on what constituencies, how the Christian Coalition is projecting its fortunes far beyond the 1996 elections, and the ways in which its evangelical Protestant base is reaching out to Catholics and Jews. On the last score, his good intentions are beyond doubt. But, while he has learned the lyrics of respect and even deference, he has not yet picked up on the music of communicating with Catholics and Jews. That does not come easily to one so immersed in the worlds of evangelical Protestantism. Active Faith does not evidence an understanding of why so many Jews are so powerfully attached to the notion that, the more secular the society, the safer it is for Jews. As for Catholics, the author has not overcome entirely the habit of equating "Christians" with born-again evangelical Protestants.

Active Faith is a book of many fascinating parts. Especially intriguing, albeit not entirely convincing, is Reed's argument that his movement does not aim to be a political party and is not simply an interest group within the Republican Party but is determinedly "nonpartisan." One gets the impression that the Christian Coalition is nonpartisan in the sense that it would be glad to exercise the same influence in the Democratic Party and any other faction (including Ross Perot's movement) as it does in the Republican. It is hard to know what he means when he says the Coalition is engaged in "post-partisan" politics. Perhaps that must be said for IRS purposes, but it is otherwise unhelpful. (The civil suit filed recently against the Coalition by the Federal Election Commission for pro-GOP partisan activity indicates that Reed has a lot of persuading to do.)

Describing his relationship with Ross Perot and the movement that he heads, Reed writes: "There was no discussion of a Perot-Christian alliance or of support for given candidates. But we both agreed that our respective supporters were engaged in rewriting the script of American politics, creating a kind of 'post-partisan' electoral environment in which almost anything could happen-and often did." A little later, there is this: "We saw that our constituents shared many of the same goals: balanced budgets, lower taxes, choice in education, term limits, and political reform. If they could join forces, there would be no legislation that they advocated that could not pass in Congress or the state legislatures and no candidate they could not elect at any level of government." One may wonder if "triumphalist elements" are only found among the Reconstructionists. Reed goes on to say that a union with the Perot movement is unlikely, "but our agendas are not as far apart as is commonly believed, and the future lies much more in our collective efforts than in the traditional two-party system."

That seems a remarkably ahistorical observation for a student of American history to make. The two-party system has been around for a long time and has withstood-or, more accurately, has absorbed-many movements for social and political change. What kind of creature is the Christian Coalition? Reed's efforts to respond to that question are among the least satisfactory parts of Active Faith. He says the Coalition "has 1.7 million members and supporters." That's impressive, of course, but one notes the significance of his adding "and supporters." Reed is very modest. In terms of people who favor its basic program, one might claim that the Coalition has thirty million, or even more, "supporters."

Perhaps the Coalition should be understood as a coalition of coalitions. After all, there are many other parts of the religious right: the Family Research Council, Concerned Women of America, Focus on the Family, the large array of pro-life organizations (most of which are religiously inspired), and on and on. It is by no means evident that the leaders of all these groups recognize Ralph Reed as the leader of leaders. On the contrary, and as his book does not disguise, there is considerable competition, distrust, and turf protection within the religious right. So the Coalition is not a coalition of coalitions. And we are assured that it is not a political party, for it does not nominate or elect candidates. Or does it?

I think it accurate to say that the Christian Coalition is not a political party in any ordinary sense of the term. One can imagine how it may become a party at some point in the future, but it is not now. There are at least four factors, however, that distinguish it from other organizations of what is broadly called the religious right. First, it is not a special interest group with a tight focus on one or two issues. Active Faith details the ways in which the Coalition, like a political party, works hard to bridge interest groups and combine social and economic discontents that have a political potential. Second, the Coalition is closely coordinated with Pat Robertson's communications empire, and has parlayed the political network built by Robertson's 1988 presidential run. Third, the Coalition has devoted itself to grassroots political organizing within and, when possible, outside the Republican Party. That electoral activity, plus its claim to be the heir of earlier organizations such as the Moral Majority, has captured the media's attention, making "Christian Coalition" and "religious right" almost interchangeable in the minds of many Americans. The fourth differentiating factor, in no way to be underestimated, is the political energy, determination, and intelligence of Ralph Reed.

Part of that intelligence-an intelligence that some will claim is too clever by half-is reflected in the claim that the Christian Coalition is nonpartisan. Like many on the left these days, Reed tends to suggest that his movement is "beyond" the tired old categories such as left and right, liberal and conservative. Thus, in one sense, he belongs to the camp of what David Frum calls the Beyondists. The difference is that he has millions of supporters, and an organization to give their support political effect. The Beyondists of the left, lacking both mass support and organization, are more accurately seen as the Behindists, vainly attempting to turn the clock back to the yesterday when they were tomorrow.

Certainly the religious right is not nonpartisan in the sense of not having a very specific political and social agenda. Some readers might go immediately to the chapter titled "No More Stealth: The Real Agenda." In earlier days Reed compared his agenda to a stealth bomber that gets in under the radar screens of the political establishment. He now confesses that was a mistake and is at pains to lay out the Coalition's short- and long-term goals in an utterly straightforward manner. In this he succeeds, discussing everything from abortion to welfare policy, and from euthanasia to tax credits for educational choice in education, all under the rubric of "pro-family policy."

On abortion, undoubtedly the most fevered question in our public life, there was a notable brouhaha when word got out that Reed's book proposed a weakening of the Republican platform's commitment to the pro-life position. The book did nothing of the sort. The New York Times splashed the story of Reed's "change" on the front page, and the next day had to run a front-page retraction (without calling it a retraction, of course). While the book suggests alternative language on abortion, Reed clearly supports the formulation of the goal as it is embraced by all the major anti-abortion groups: Every unborn child protected in law and welcomed in life. He also knows that goal will never be achieved perfectly, and will only be achieved partially through democratic persuasion-including the persuasion necessary to pass a constitutional amendment protecting the unborn and others (the "useless" aged, the radically handicapped) who may be denied legal due process.

I n candidly setting forth "the real agenda," Reed insists there is no reason for other Americans to feel threatened by the religious right. Perhaps he is right about most Americans, but the irenic purpose of Active Faith tends to downplay the intensity of today's conflict over the public definition of our culture. The term "culture war" is not hyperbole.

For instance, unionized teachers who insist that public schools should have a monopoly on state funding, those who believe that the unlimited right to abortion is essential to the flourishing of women, those who would establish homosexuality on a moral and social par with heterosexuality-all these will read Active Faith and know that they have met the enemy. It is the Christian Coalition and its director, Ralph Reed. They are not likely to be taken in by this bright, boyish, buoyant advocate of what George Bush might have called a kinder and gentler America.

In his politically astute desire not to frighten the horses, Reed does less than justice, indeed he almost ignores, what may become the most flammable issue in our public life, namely, the usurpation of power by the judiciary. From abortion to doctor-assisted suicide to same-sex marriage, the courts have increasingly arrogated to themselves the big decisions about the ordering of our life together, leaving to the people and their elected representatives the relatively trivial questions of raising or lowering the gasoline tax and balancing the budget. As Ralph Reed surely knows, the great task in the months and years ahead is, if one may be permitted the awful words, to de-legalize and re-politicize the great questions that are properly political. This will not happen without a very sharp challenge to business as usual-a challenge that some will no doubt condemn as an insurrectionary revolt against "the law of the land" (meaning the latest dumb decision of the courts).

The purpose of Faith Alive is less to raise alarms than to calm the alarmed. It is a perfectly honorable and understandable purpose. In setting forth "the real agenda," Ralph Reed wants to assure Americans that this won't hurt, or at least it won't hurt very much. But for those with a vested interest in the way things are, and especially for the overclass that has long governed without the consent of the governed, it is going to hurt a great deal. Nonetheless-or precisely for that reason- they should read the book, as should everybody else who wants to understand what may be the most important sociopolitical movement of our time, as interpreted by one of the most thoughtful political players on the scene today.

Richard John Neuhaus is Editor-in-Chief of First Things."

[Quelle: -- Zuriff am 2005-04-04]

Ralph Reed schreibt in Active Faith u.a.:

"What does it mean to be a person of faith in the political arena? It is no different from being a Christian in any other vocation. If a Christian is an attorney, he seeks to win his case as aggressively and fairly as possible. If he is the starting middle linebacker for a professional football team, he tries to stop the other team. Politics is a contact sport. I have a job to do, and it involves trying to advance my agenda. In that combat, I play hard and I try to win. But I never hit below the belt, I play according to the rules of fair-ness and courtesy, and after the game is over, I always help my opponent up off the turf. My faith is not a function of my politics. When the last tackle is over and the game ends, I kneel on the field with other players of both teams and ask for God's blessings. That is the proper perspective of faith in politics—not that I am right and you are wrong, or that I have all the answers and you are an enemy of God, but that we are both flawed human beings in an imperfect world in search of the truth who are asking for His guidance in the struggle.

During the past few years we have heard a lot about the dangers of Christian political activism. The argument goes that we are claiming the imprimatur of God and implicitly damning all of our foes. Some have said that since we call ourselves the "Christian Coalition," we believe it is im-plicity "un-Christian" to oppose anything in our legislative agenda—from a balanced budget to restricting abortion. That is nonsense, of course. We can win these issues on their merits; we need not impugn the religious beliefs of our opponents. Others have said that we care more about political power than the traditional Christian concerns of charity, love, and caring for the poor. Our critics scrawl a harsh caricature of conservative people of faith as uneducated boobs who live in trailer parks, wear overalls, drive pickup trucks, eat moonpies, and hate women and minorities—the final and ugly backwash of George Wallace's and David Duke's politics of rage. Some have suggested that our movement is explicitly racist, anti-Semitic or morally intolerant. Frequently this opinion pops up on editorial pages, occasionally on television, and often in the hysterical warnings of groups on the radical left dedicated to stemming the rising tide of religious conservatism. Former Democratic representative Robert Drinan, a Catholic priest, called us "arrogant and ignorant," charging that the Christian Coalition believed that all those opposing its political agenda were "not acting like Christians."

Those claims are not only untrue, but their tone shows a lack of understanding about the central—I believe essential—role that religion has played in our political affairs from the earliest days of our republic. Nor is the demonic image of the pro-family movement matched by the demographics of its supporters. It is a predominantly middle-class, highly educated, suburban phenomenon of baby-boomers with children who are motivated by their concerns about family and a sense of values. The religious conservative community has greatly matured in recent years by broadening its message and narrowing its aspirations to those that are appropriate for any other group in a pluralistic society. Unlike fundamentalist political movements in the Middle East, religious conservatives in the United States are properly understood as an interest group within a democratic order. If they gained power, they would not repeal the Constitution or attempt to impose their religion on others through the state. Yet that process of maturation and growth has gone largely unreported.

Religious conservatives do not claim to have all the answers, but we do think we have identified many of the problems: illegitimacy, family breakup, cultural decay, illiteracy, crime, violence, and a poverty of spirit afflicting our land. For the vast majority of our supporters there has never been an understanding that God is a Republican or even a member of the Christian Coalition. We are people of faith struggling to do what is right, nothing more. We are sometimes wrong. As Lincoln observed during the Civil War, while I know that God is always on the side of right and that He hates injustice, I am less concerned about whether God is on our side than I am that we be found on His. This is the proper perspective of faith in politics: a fiery conviction of right and wrong tempered by a humility before God and a respect for one's foes.

One reason for the remarkable political strength of religious conservatives is simply that liberals and Democrats have abandoned religion as the basis of their own political activity. A quick look back at the history of religious reform in America reminds us that this is a nation with a vibrant religious background. The projection of evangelical and orthodox faith as a political force stretches back to the founding of the country. In fact, almost every great social movement in American history was founded by people of profound religious faith, and has been deeply at odds with prevailing secular values. This unacknowledged truth underscores the hypocrisy of the intolerant liberal attacks on religious conservatives. In their rush to embrace the secular values of modern American culture and to distance themselves from the "unsophisticated masses" of simple Christian believers, today's liberals have forgotten the religious roots of their own social movement. But as I hope to show in the following chapters, far from being a sharp break with America's political past, the Christian Coalition represents a recovery of its most honored and noble traditions."

[Quelle: Reed, Ralph <1961 - >: Active faith : how Christians are changing the soul of American politics. -- New York : Free Press, ©1996. . -- viii, 311 S. ; 25 cm. --  ISBN 0684827581. -- S. 24 - 26]

"In the end, any successful reform movement must work within both political parties. Where would Martin Luther King have been without Nelson Rockefeller and other Republicans sympathetic to civil rights? The central figure in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was Everett Dirksen, the Republican leader in the U.S. Senate. Liberal feminists advanced the Equal Rights Amendment commensurate with their ability to attract support from prominent Republicans like Betty Ford and Mary Dent Crisp. Once the Equal Rights Amendment was dropped from the Republican party platform in 1980, it was only a matter of time before it went down to defeat. Likewise, the religious conservative movement must resist the temptation to identify its fortunes solely with those of the Republican party. Political parties lose power as quickly as they gain it, while social movements have a larger responsibility to advance an agenda that transcends electoral politics. That leads us to consider the new challenges facing the pro-family community as it struggles to make active faith a real factor in American politics."

[Quelle: Reed, Ralph <1961 - >: Active faith : how Christians are changing the soul of American politics. -- New York : Free Press, ©1996. . -- viii, 311 S. ; 25 cm. --  ISBN 0684827581. -- S. 235]

Zu Kapitel 1.4.: Handelnde Personen III: Televangelisten und Evangelisten