The Christian Coalition, the onetime powerhouse of the religious right founded by Pat Robertson, is struggling to stay afloat.
The group’s annual revenue has shrunk to one- twentieth of what it was a decade ago – from a peak of $26 million in 1996 to $1.3 million in 2004 – and it has left a trail of unpaid bills from Texas to Virginia. Among the creditors who have sued the coalition for nonpayment are landlords, direct-mail companies, lawyers and at least one former employee seeking back pay.
The article notes that this is largely a result of the CC’s success. They no longer are a voice in the wilderness, and the people they got elected are drawing on the people who once gave only to CC.
I think there may be a secondary problem. The optimist in me thinks this is a response to the conundrum Thomas Frank pointed out in What’s the Matter With Kansas? As powerful as the CC became, few of it’s policy demands happened. Electing Christian conservatives outright didn’t lead to the changes donors wanted, and that the CC promised.
Abortion is still legal, students aren’t obliged to pray, and science classes are still teaching science. Even the local agenda has stalled as the public rejected the paths CC’s stealth candidates when their goals became clear.
In that sense, the current distress of the Christian Coalition may be a side effect of their own Pyrrhic success. They elected candidates, but their agenda hasn’t gotten any traction. We can only hope people are smart enough to draw the logical conclusion.