My Photo
Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Doing my part to irritate Republicans, fundamentalists, bigots and other lower life forms.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Resignation of right-wing group's leader reveals much about Christian Coalition's 'agenda'

A little over a month before he could take office, the president-elect of the notoriously right-wing and anti-gay Christian Coalition of America resigned earlier this week. The Rev. Joel Hunter, who was to take over leadership of the group, cited philosophical differences with the group.

So just what were these differences? Hunter wanted to expand the issues the Christian Coalition was involved in to include social issues like poverty and the environment. At a board meeting Wednesday, the group's board of directors delivered an unequivocal veto of Hunter's plan. They wanted the group to remain focused on the Big Two: homosexuality and abortion. "They pretty much said, 'These issues are fine, but they're not our issues, that's not our base,'" Hunter said in an Associated Press article.

As much as I loathe the Christian Coalition, a right-wing group founded in 1989 by religiously insane broadcaster the Rev. Pat Robertson, I have to admire Hunter's stand.

"These are issues that Jesus would want us to care about," Hunter told the AP. "To tell you the truth, I feel like there are literally millions of evangelical Christians that don't have a home right now."

Those comments by Hunter are proving correct on the national stage as some groups within the Christian Coalition are expressing dissatisfaction with the direction the 17-year-old organization is taking. According to the AP, four states - Georgia, Alabama, Iowa and Ohio - have decided to split from the group over concerns it's changing direction on issues like the minimum wage, the environment and Internet law instead of core issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.

So what does this mean to the rest of us - especially the LGBT community? For starters, we can expect no let up in the anti-gay rhetoric from the fundies. That should come as no surprise. Likewise, it's no surprise that the religiously addicted are so focused on homosexuality and abortion. We've always known that, but it's nice to see in print what we've always suspected: groups like the Christian Coalition are so obsessed with LGBT folks that they ignore many of the various issue Jesus spoke about.

What is new in the resignation of Hunter is that the cracks in these groups that like to portray themselves as monolithic are beginning to show.

It's nice to see these so-called Christian groups beginning to focus on issues that reflect concern for the type of social challenges the founder of their religion stood for rather than spreading hatred and prejudice that he would abhor.