Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump addressed Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition this afternoon in Washington, D.C. The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, issued the following statement:
Atlanta’s fire chief has been terminated after distributing a self-published book he wrote that contained anti-gay comments.
Kelvin J. Cochran was suspended for one month without pay in November and later fired after he distributed a book he wrote in 2013 called Who Told You That You Are Naked? that referred to homosexuality as a “perversion.”
In the book, Cochran warned against “uncleanness,” which he defined as “whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion.”
As the November elections approach, it seems a second-tier advocacy group run by a disgraced Religious Right icon is gearing up to make a major impact.
Politico reported this week that Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition (FFC) is planning an all-out blitz in states like Colorado, Iowa, Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Louisiana and North Carolina in the hope that Republicans and can take control of the U.S. Senate.
These are challenging times for the Religious Right. The movement seems to be rapidly losing ground on one of its signature issues, same-sex marriage, and polls show large numbers of young people recoiling from the theocratic agenda of ultra-conservative fundamentalists.
So these groups must be ready to pack up their tents and go home, right?
On Saturday, I received a letter from my old acquaintance Ralph Reed.
Reed, you might recall, ran TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition throughout the 1990s. After leaving the group, he started a political consulting firm that became mired in the Jack Abramoff casino lobbying scandal. He also tried unsuccessfully to launch a political career and even wrote some political potboilers.
None of these ventures gave Reed the payoff he wanted, so he came slinking back to the Religious Right. A few years ago, he formed a group called the Faith & Freedom Coalition.
My wife and I are fans of the Sunday New York Times, and yesterday as we were enjoying the paper over a leisurely breakfast, she nudged me to make note of a story on the front page. I looked and was a little taken aback. Glaring up at me was a photo of an old Americans United nemesis – Ralph Reed. The headline read, “An Evangelical Is Back From Exile, Lifting Romney.”
Loose morals abound in an election year.
Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition is holding its annual conference in Washington, D.C., today and tomorrow. That means Religious Right devotees have descended on the city to discuss “training and equipping” themselves to “advance conservative legislation” and prep for the 2012 election.
I’ve got nothing against faith, and I’m all about freedom. But I don’t have any use for Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition.
As my colleague Rob Boston reported yesterday, the FFC is in Washington, D.C., today and tomorrow to hear from presidential hopefuls and top members of Congress. According to the group’s website, the FFC exists to preserve “the simple virtues of faith, hard work, marriage, family, personal responsibility, and helping the least among us.”