(Washington, DC- 06/10/99) Today the Internal Revenue Service announced their decision to deny the Christian Coalition a non-profit tax-exempt status because of the organization's partisan electoral activities. The Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, executive director of The Interfaith Alliance, a national faith-based grassroots organization that has been a long-time critic of the Christian Coalition's partisan manipulation of religion, released the following statement:
"The Interfaith Alliance applauds the long-awaited IRS's ruling which confirms our critique of the Christian Coalition's unethical political strategy of manipulating religion to promote an extreme and partisan agenda. The IRS's ruling is a victory for religious leaders and people of faith across our nation who have in frustration witnessed the Christian Coalition breaking the rules and violating the laws that govern all houses of worship and non-profit faith-based organizations.
"The Christian Coalition's partisan and deceitful tactics have been bad for religion and bad for politics. For ten years the Christian Coalition's most effective political weapon was the dissemination of biased and partisan voter guides in houses of worship before Election Day. Since our inception, The Interfaith Alliance has been alerting religious leaders to the unethical and partisan nature of the Christian Coalition's voter guides. Now that the IRS has ruled against the Coalition, we hope that congregations will close their doors to partisan voter guides.
"While this ruling is a victory, we know that Pat Robertson is not going to abandon his narrow and extremist vision for our nation. Robertson's desire to establish one religious point of view in our country is still a real threat to all people of faith and goodwill. We expect the Christian Coalition will re-organize, re-focus and re-double its efforts to maintain its political power and influence in school boards, state legislatures and Congress by actively and openly engaging in partisan politics.
"The bottom line is that people of faith and goodwill are going to have to stay ever vigilant in their promotion of our shared values for human dignity, respect, religious liberty and freedom because Pat Robertson is not going away. The Interfaith Alliance will continue our efforts to bring all people of faith and goodwill into civic life and to remind our nation's decision-makers and politicians that Pat Robertson and the religious right do not alone represent the interests, positions or issues of our vibrant and diverse religious people."
Founded in 1994, The Interfaith Alliance is a national grassroots organization of people of faith and goodwill drawn from over 50 faith traditions dedicated to promoting mutual respect, cooperation and civility in the life of our nation. . From these shared principles, TIA challenges those who manipulate religion to promote divisive and exclusionary political agendas. With a membership of 80,000 and local clergy-led Alliances in 38 states, The Interfaith Alliance is encouraging the active involvement of people of faith and goodwill in civic life. List of Press Releases