"I was digging around in the internet one day and was floored when I came across the following series of articles. If you find yourself in a battle with a leftist, chances are they will use some of the tactics listed below. Many of the techniques they offer to their own followers in the following manual can also work effectively against them, so bear that in mind and take some notes. Have fun and let me know how you have been able to use this. firstname.lastname@example.org "
How to Win: A Practical Guide for Defeating the Radical Right in Your Community
Ten Things to do When the Right Comes to Town
Matthew Freeman People For the American Way Washington, D.C.
This article provides a brief introduction to the manual, and general advice in ten areas for anyone whose community is facing an assault from the Radical Right.
This manual is intended as a sort of one-stop, do-it-yourself guide to fighting the Radical Right at the local level. In it you will find hands-on information on a range of practical matters, including how to organize coalitions, how to run an election campaign, how to work with the media, how to use polling, and how to interpret and put to good use the relevant body of law. You will also find directories and lists of organizations fighting similar battles around the country, as well as directories of Radical Right groups and leaders. Finally, you will find issue-based discussions that both map out the issue terrain and apply organizing advice to specific issue-based work. The authors of this report are affiliated with a variety of organizations that all work, across a range of issues, to oppose the Radical Right. Neither they, nor the organizations with which they are affiliated, agree on every issue; indeed, on some issues, they disagree. Indeed, on occasion in this document, the careful reader may find differences of opinions on individual issues, or even on strategic questions. So be it. The purpose in pulling this information together was to help provide the mainstream community with the tools it needs to do the work it must. Who is to say that all battles against the Radical Right must conform to one blueprint?
Many of the articles in this compilation are distilled from larger articles or publications. The fuller versions are available (in some cases for a modest cost, and in some cases for free) from the authors. Please contact them if something you read in this manual strikes a nerve, if you would like more information, or if you simply want to share your experiences.
Before reading the very specific advice in the articles that follow, you might want to glance through the ten very general suggestions below. By no means are they intended as a comprehensive checklist. But you might find useful tidbits that will help with sorting through some of the big- picture issues involved in your own battles.
1. Identify all your allies.
Because every issue has its constituency, sometimes the important task of identifying just how broad that constituency is gets short shrift from organizers. The truth is that when it comes to battling the Radical Right, activists will find no shortage of individuals and organizations who have reason to be involved. Among those whose interests are affected:
Librarians and library associations. They are often the targets of censorship efforts.
Video and software dealers. Again, censorship.
Gay and lesbian organizations. The Radical Right is leading the charge in opposition to gay rights.
Mainstream clergy. The religious community finds much to object to in the Radical Right’s agenda.
Reproductive choice advocates. With clinics being blockaded in communities across the country, and anti-choice legislation being considered in state legislatures and city councils, the choice community has ample reason to be concerned.
Artists and arts groups. Censorship, yet again.
Moderate Republicans. As the Christian Coalition moves forward with its promise to take over the Republican party, moderates are being squeezed out.
Civil rights groups. The Radical Right has never met a civil rights bill it liked.
Parents and educators. The schools are among the chief battlegrounds.
Environmental groups. Particularly in the West, the Radical Right is working to gut environmental enforcement.
Not every group may join in every battle, but make it your business to reach out to a broader constituency. And remember the old organizer’s saying: if you’re comfortable with everybody at the table, your coalition is too small.
2. Get your own ducks in a row before the battle begins.
No wounds are worse than those that are self-inflicted. In the schools, for example, the Radical Right has made considerable hay out of incidents where teachers or administrators mistakenly confiscated Bibles from students at study hall. Or they’ve been able to win public sympathy when counter-protests by mainstream groups turn violent. Be sure you don’t hand your opponents an issue by failing to get your policies in place and understood before the battle begins.
3. Know thy enemy...Research!
Know who it is you’re fighting and what it is they really care about. Get on their mailing lists, send representatives to their public meetings, read their literature. Also, be alert for outside organizations that may be helping local ones. Chances are that if your local opponent turns up with a pot of money, or a sudden, new-found "expertise" in a particular issue, a national Radical Right organization may be operating behind the scenes.
That kind of information is not just interesting, it’s powerful. If you can demonstrate that a national organization is behind a local initiative particularly one that doesn’t have the courage to reveal itself you can raise appropriate questions about what it is that the local group has to hide, and why it is that a national group should be trying to set policy for your community.
Also, remember that if ties to national organizations are established, you can and should give your opponents the opportunity to defend the broader agenda of those national organizations. If you’re dealing with a local Christian Coalition chapter, let them defend Pat Robertson’s views on a range of issues.
If you find no national ties, you may still find some interesting information about funding, broader issues, individual political ambitions or more.
A cautionary note is in order. Research is important, but don’t let it overtake the ultimately more important task of reaching out to the community. (That from a researcher!)
4. Get help from folks who’ve faced it before.
Network with other organizations outside your community. The Radical Right excels at communications. Tactics and rhetoric that work in one community quickly emerge in others. Put communication to work for your own effort by networking with others who’ve faced the same battles in other communities. National organizations will be happy to try to connect you with those groups if you can’t find them on your own.
5. Get the facts out.
The biggest advantage you have is that you’re right on the issues! Put that to work by getting information out to the rest of the community. All too frequently, Radical Right groups and leaders have a way of stretching the facts, or in some cases, making them up altogether. Don’t let those half- and mis-truths go unanswered. Get the facts out and do it quickly.
Of course, you don’t want your campaign to be nothing more than a reactive effort to what your opponents are doing. Get your positive message out throughout the battle.
6. Avoid jargon.
Our opponents are masters at using rhetoric that touches nerves. So don’t speak in jargon. Avoid acronyms and technical language. Speak plainly, but with authority and some passion.
7. Organize, organize, organize.
Don’t kid yourself into thinking that campaigns—electoral or otherwise—are battles of ideas alone. There is no substitute for pounding the pavement, shaking your neighbors’ hands, hearing their concerns and getting their support. You should expect that your opposition will be doing as much.
8. Do not bash your opponents for their religious views.
Religion is something to be respected and honored. And while your opposition’s political views may flow from their religious views, in the end the battle is over politics and policy. So don’t criticize your opponents’ religion, and don’t dismiss their movement as a bunch of "fanatics."
The corollary of that point is this: they have as much right to participate in the democratic process as you do. Don’t suggest otherwise.
Along the same lines, resist the temptation to ridicule or belittle your opponents, either on the grounds of their religion or their political views. They’re citizens taking part. They may be wrong on the issues, they may have ideas, even motives, with which you find fault, but they’re entitled to be treated with respect.
These are not just sound principles, they’re also good politics. If you give your opponents grounds to accuse you of religious bigotry, they’ll surely seize the moment.
9. Take them seriously. They won’t go away.
If experience is a guide, local Radical Right groups may lose a battle, or they may get off on the wrong organizational foot, but they won’t go away. After a Radical Right group has taken root, don’t make the mistake of assuming that because you haven’t heard from them they’ve gone away. It may take them a while to get organized, but the fire that drives them won’t be dying down anytime soon.
For that very reasons, compromises with the Radical Right must be examined with a careful, jaundiced eye. Experience suggests that what they do not win today, they’ll be back for tomorrow. Never compromise on a principle; be very careful about compromising anything else. That’s harsh advice, to be sure, but it’s born of bitter experience.
10. Build your support even before the Radical Right comes to town.
Nothing is more vulnerable to sudden attack by the Radical Right than a program or policy nobody else knows about. So build support for the programs and initiatives along the way. Don’t wait for the attack to come. If your schools are doing well with a new curriculum, get out the word. If your local arts group is winning awards, get out the word. And so on. Put out your positive message and save yourself trouble later on.
Read on and good luck!
Kimberly Moore Webster and Peggy A. Norman Right Watch PAC Portland, Oregon
Initiative campaigns, public votes on policy issues usually handled through elected bodies, have become a tool for radical right-wing efforts to pass regressive laws on such issues as homosexuality, school vouchers, and others. Effective strategies to win initiative battles include: research; controlling the debate; creating momentum; message delivery; aggressive media; effective field work; building a broad coalition; doing the unexpected; and raising funds.
Initiatives are proposals to change laws or state constitutions through a direct vote by the voting public, bypassing elected representatives. The initiative, a tool available to voters in fewer than half of the states, has become a favorite tool for the Far Right. Since the 1980s, initiative efforts have been led by right wing organizations, most with national affiliations, as a basis for building their political agendas. Initiative campaigns have enabled them to garner national publicity while building voter lists and perfecting their language and tactics.
The most visible Far Right initiatives have included anti-gay and school voucher measures. Oregon’s Initiative 9, which sought to repeal rights laws protecting gays and lesbians in the state, grabbed national attention in 1992. Initiative 9 was successfully beaten by Oregon’s "No on 9 Campaign," which turned out to be a rare victory among the major fights over anti-gay votes held in recent years.
Progressives must learn how to win on the initiative battlefield. What are the elements of a winning formula? Research. Control of the debate. Create momentum. Message delivery. Aggressive media. Effective field work. Building a broad coalition. Doing the unexpected. Raising enough money to pull the whole thing off.
Research. Campaign research collects data about supporters and detractors and finds common denominators in words and messages that will move the most voters. Months of hard labor in the campaign should be grounded in the best information you can buy about what the voters think and what they feel about your issues and where your opponents’ strengths and vulnerabilities lie. Polling presents your campaign with an in-depth picture of what the voters think at a given point in time. Focus groups help campaign strategists understand the nuances of how voters feel about the issue as it relates to their lives. Opposition research provides you with the keys to understand your opponents’ base of support, the money trail financing their campaign and how and when to take the offensive with the opposition.
Many campaigns win with good polling alone. But if you want to ensure that you control how the campaign unfolds, and that you have the best chance of achieving a solid victory, incorporate all three research components.
Controlling the Debate. The side to seize and control the debate wins. When you control how the issue is viewed by the public (i.e., discrimination v. special rights), you are on the offensive, which forces your opponents to respond. When your opponents are on the defensive and responding, you prevent them from moving their own message. In the "No on 9 Campaign," we succeeded in making our opponents and what they were trying to do to lesbians and gay men and to Oregon the issue in the campaign. We forced them to continually explain themselves and justify their tactics, instead of allowing them to force us to explain that gay and lesbian people really are not child molesters out for special rights.
Creating Momentum. Imagine your campaign as a symphony and yourself as the conductor. It is your job to orchestrate all the instruments playing together. When they play together, they build momentum, creating a whole larger than any one instrument. To create momentum, show the voters that significant numbers of diverse groups support you. When you get support from the teachers union, go to the librarians. When labor signs on, go to business. When members of the faith community come on board, branch out to bring others in. At every step, let voters know who is supporting you. You create the momentum and orchestrate it to peak on election day because you want a campaign to which nobody can say NO!
Message Delivery. Good research provides you with words and phrases that become your campaign messages. Sticking to the most powerful messages identified by your research will undoubtedly prove difficult for some. Some may believe they know the state better than the pollster. It is possible that leadership will be uncomfortable with the messages that come from your research. For example, polling for the "No on 9 Campaign" showed that comparing our opponents to Nazis could well lose us votes. Yet some community leaders persisted in using that analogy. This is your campaign’s challenge and responsibility: do good research and listen to what the voters tell you. Embellishing your messages to please yourselves or your friends will not help persuade the undecided.
An Aggressive Media Campaign. Most winning campaigns spend close to two- thirds of their money on television and radio with supplementary print ads to bolster the electronic media. Why so much? Because most voters watch a significant amount of television and will see and hear your message on television!
If you really intend to take your case to the people, you must buy significant amounts of television timeyou can reach the same number of voters with two weeks of advertising as you can with months of door to door canvassing. Ideally, your campaign targets and coordinates both media and field to deliver a knockout. In the "No on 9 Campaign," we began advertising two weeks before our opposition was on the air, and we ran hardhitting ads that put them on the defensive. Our opposition never came close to regaining their composure or their momentum.
Effective Field Work. Organizing in the field is a key way to reach voters and to puncture stereotypes about who cares about your issues. Target field work first toward solidifying your base and organizing and educating your natural constituencies. Then begin the crucial work of expanding your base and coalition-building.
Whether your field plans include voter identification, literature drops, door- to-door canvassing, town meetings, huge rallies and marches, or just good solid get-out-the-vote projects, your field campaign should echo and reinforce the same messages and themes as your media campaign.
Initiative campaigns have succeeded all across this country with strong media components alone. But controversial proposals brought forth by the radical right wing require extraordinary public education. Grassroots organizing is an excellent method for delivering that education and it uses many volunteers anxious to help. To ensure a win on these hot-button issues, your campaign must have a strong, aggressive media component and a strong, aggressive field campaign.
Doing the Unexpected. Winning campaigns are usually campaigns that conduct good research, develop effective messages to move the voters, ensure that voters hear and see those messages several times before election day, and turn out their votes. And, winning campaigns usually do morethey stand out from the ordinary. Plan the unexpected element in your campaign. In the "No on 9 Campaign," we broke stereotypes wherever possible. We won endorsements from chambers of commerce and top business leaders. Supporters held a huge multi- denominational religious rally. Both the Democratic and Republican party leaders appeared in a television spot for us. The two bitterly opposed candidates for U.S. Senate appeared in a joint print ad. Librarians marched and rallied in the streets. Campaigns that do more than the same old events and tactics stand outand the press and electronic media love it.
Building the Broadest Coalition Possible. The job of a campaign steering committee is to forge a campaign broad enough so that the majority of voters decide to ally themselves with you. The more your campaign and its supporters reflect the diversity of your state, the more you will signal that you are the majorityand the closer you will be to winning. Your campaign messages, spokespeople, advertising, and actions must dovetail to pull the majority of the voters in to your camp on election day.
Raising the Funds to Pull the Whole Thing Off. If your campaign concerns a controversial issue, it is important to realize that in all likelihood, you will need to significantly out-fundraise your opponent.
The messages your campaign crafts carry over into fundraising. Momentum helps build your fundraising efforts. Field organizing will yield new volunteers and supporters. The media campaign will carry your messages to large numbers of concerned people. The surprises your campaign produces help imbue voters and donors with a sense that they’re on a winning team. All these elements will aid in your fundraising efforts, which must start early and stay consistent right to the end.
Balance defines all good fundraising plans. Ideally, your campaign will not rely on any one element for too many dollars. Elements could include: house parties, direct mail, major gifts from individuals, business, organizations, labor, special events, sales of merchandise (buttons, bumper stickers, lawn signs, T-shirts), rallies, monthly pledges, telephone solicitations.
One final word about fundraising. Don’t think small. Assume that the entire world cares about what’s happening in your state. Assume that the business community cares not only about the economic impacts inherent in the proposal, but that they also care about how the issue tears at the heart of your state. Assume that everybody has something at stake and that everybody wants to give. And ask as many of them as you can, using whatever method is most appropriate for the time, place, and potential giving.
Conclusion. It should be apparent by now that every element of a campaign works together. If you do solid research, create strong, clear messages which speak to the largest segment of the voters, control the debate and keep momentum on your side, your chances of winning are very good. Two things are certain: after going through a campaign on a controversial initiative, your state will never be quite the same again. And winning feels a whole lot better than losing.u
HOW TO CONTACT ELECTED OFFICIALS
Linda J. Yanney, Ph.D., ed. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute Washington, D.C.
One thing elected officials do - and do well - is count. They count votes, they count contributions to their campaign, and they count phone calls, letters and office visits. This article contains practical advice on contacting and influencing your local elected officials on issues of importance to lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
Many elected officals are happy to meet with constituents in their offices. State and federal officials have their primary offices in Washington or in the state capitol, but they usually will meet with constituents when they are in the constituents’ home area.
When you call the official’s office, ask to speak to his or her scheduler or appointment secretary. Be specific about your reason for wanting the appointment. Do you want to discuss a vote with which you agree or disagree? Do you want to speak generally about AIDS and its impact on your insurance, health care, or employment? Do you want the official to cosponsor or support a specific idea or piece of legislation? Are you inviting the official to speak at your annual award dinner?
Whatever the reason, be honest and keep your request for time brief 15 minutes is a long time to discuss your views on a particular vote or issue. Respect for an official’s time will be appreciated and remembered the next time you want access to his or her office.
During the Visit. Present yourself and your views in a respectful, dignified manner. Dress appropriately as if you were going to a business appointment.
Local elected officials often meet with constituents themselves, others have staff. Don’t assume you’re "getting blown off" because you’re dealing with a staff person. Most of the information officials rely on comes from their staff. If you get a credible staffer to see things your way, you have been successful. Be direct and concise in your presentation. Know what you want the official to do (cosponsor, vote for/against, write a letter to an agency, etc.) and be able to present your views clearly. It’s the quality of the discussion that is important, not the length.
If you’re going to see an official who has a bad voting record on lesbian/gay/bisexual issues, you might be tempted to tell him or her off. Don’t do it! If he or she says things that offend you, keep a cool head and respond rationally with facts. In some offices, all you may achieve the first time out is a civil exchange of conflicting opinions, but if you handle yourself well you can begin to establish a working relationship with that office. They’ll recognize your name when you write or phone the next time, building the base for continuing communication .
Whenever possible, demonstrate that you speak for other voters in the community. Back up your claim with petitions and letters. Let the official or staffer know that you intend to communicate with the lesbian/gay community about your visit.
If an official has a good or excellent record of support thank them! Our friends in government need to know that their support is appreciated.
After the Visit. Be sure to summarize your discussion in a follow-up letter. If the official holds a federal office, you also may want to send a copy of your letter or other correspondence you receive from the official to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. NGLTF is in contact with Congressional offices daily and your visit is important information for future lobbying work. If there is a state or local civil rights or gay/lesbian/bisexual rights organization, they also may be interested in the results of your visit.
Tips For Contacting Officials By Letter. Individuals need to stay in written contact with their elected officials. Officials use letters as one way to measure public opinion in their district. Officials count the pieces of mail for and against every issue.
Identify Yourself. Make sure your elected official knows you are his or her constituent. You can also assume the staff person recognizes most addresses in the community or district which means you must include your name and address. Avoid anonymous letters.
Topics. Cover one subject per letter. In a large office, different staff persons cover different issues. Your letter may get lost or hung up with one staff person if you cover several topics in your letters. If you have more than one issue to raise, write more than one letter.
If the issue can be identified by a bill number, include the bill number. If possible, mention who introduced the legislation, how many others have cosponsored the bill and what it will do. This demonstrates to the official that you are serious about the issue and are keeping a close watch on the progress of the bill.
Selling Your Position. Be brief and concise. Type or write legibly so that your letter is easy to read. State your position and exactly what you want the official to do in your first paragraph.
For example, "I urge you to support state efforts designed to end the irrational discharges of lesbian and gay national guard personnel." Or, "I urge you to support and cosponsor the Johnson County Domestic Partnership Policy."
Give reasons for your position. Remember, when you write, you are essentially trying to sell your idea or position on an issue to the official. Avoid deeply emotional appeals, demands, threats or promises. These are not effective letter writing tactics. However, if you are writing about discrimination and have been a victim of discrimination, explain that to the legislator. Officials will want to know how a bill or proposal will affect the lives of their constituents. Your own experiences and observations will help sell our position.
Follow Up. Request a reply. You can ask your official how he or she will vote on a particular bill; you can ask about his or her position on an issue; and/or you can request his or her personal involvement in a particular issue. You are more likely to receive a reply if you ask for one.
When you receive a reply from the official indicating that he or she agrees with your position or that he or she intends to vote for the position you have advocated, write back and thank him or her.
If you receive a reply which indicates that the official intends to vote in opposition to your position, write back and explain your position again. Don’t let him or her off the hook. Keep the heat on!
Addressing Your Letter. Officials are addressed in a variety of ways. Some titles may be obvious, such as "Dear Senator Spring." Some forms of address require phrases such as "The Honorable." If you know the proper title, use it. You can find out the proper title from the official’s office or look in the back of most dictionaries. If you don’t know the proper way of addressing the official, you can’t go wrong with a simple "Dear Mr. Fehrman" or "Dear Ms. Carpenter." Politeness will usually substitute for properness. Remember: the only effective letter is one which is written and mailed!
Host a "Letter-Writing" Party. Parties can be hosted by individuals or organizations, and can be as large or small and as formal or informal as the host wants. The basic goal is to make it easy for individuals to write their letters. Have sample letters and information on legislation available for use by your guests. By making it easy for people to write letters, you are helping them to be heard, and making sure that our community is represented.
Tips For Contacting Officials By Phone. Just as letters are used by officials to measure public opinion, officials also count phone calls which are either for or against an issue. Phone calls to a policy maker’s office are most useful when a vote has been scheduled and there isn’t time to write or visit the office. Congress and state legislatures often have one general number for each chamber which can be used to leave messages about an approaching vote.
What to Expect. When you call your official’s office, expect that the call will be taken by someone on the office staff. If you’re calling to request information about the official’s position on an issue or to register an opinion, your call will most likely be transferred to the staff person in charge of that particular issue. He or she will be able to discuss in more detail the official’s position on the issue and the current status of any pending legislation.
Identify Yourself. Make sure the staff person knows you live in the official’s district. Be sure to provide the staff member with your name and address for follow-up.
Topics. Cover one subject per call. Different staff persons cover different issues. Do not assume that the person you are speaking with handles all lesbian and gay issues for the official. If you have more than one issue to raise, ask to speak to the staff person who is in charge of each issue.
Selling Your Position. If there is a pending vote on the floor of the House or Senate, or before the City Council, your phone call should be simple and to the point: "I support S. 242, the state gay and lesbian civil rights bill, and I urge Senator Tinsman to vote for the legislation." The information will be recorded and forwarded to the appropriate staff person.
If the issue isn’t pending on the floor of a governing body, it is still important to be brief and concise in your conversation. Your opinion is important, but the staff person will respect your use of their time. Be prepared to state your position, what you want the official to do, and be ready to back up your position with one or two supporting arguments.
Follow-Up. The official may not have an immediate answer for you. Ask when you can expect an answer. If a staff person doesn’t have an answer for you, ask that they speak with the official and get back to you, either by letter or phone.
When you receive a reply by phone, be sure to thank the official or staff person for getting back to you, even if the information about the official’s position is bad news. Establishing a good relationship with the staff will help you when you need to speak with them again.
Other Kinds of Contacts. There are many occasions, formal and informal, where officials interact with the public. Elected officials need to spend a lot of time meeting constituents, contributors, and party workers and volunteers. Most of these opportunities are open to the public for free or for a very small contribution. Legislative forums, candidate forums during elections, public office hours and attendance at civic events are all opportunities to talk to officials. They are expecting it, so ask questions during question and answer sessions. Keep your questions short and to the point. Often, officials are available before and after the event to meet people. You can use this time to introduce yourself and make brief comments. Remember that officials are often criticized and rarely thanked, so if you like something an official has done, thanking them can make a big impression.
Party fund-raisers are great informal occasions to get to know officials as well as the political movers and shakers in your area. Some fund-raisers can go for as little as $5-$25 dollars. If the crowd is large, you may have to work to get a hand-shake, but if the crowd is small, you may be able to engage the official in a real conversation.
Follow-Up. It can’t be said enough: you will maximize the impact of your contact with any official by following up. Following up lets the official know that you are serious and committed, and it gives you an opportunity to get to know each other. You may not agree this time, but whatever you learn about an official may come in handy on the next issue.
Congratulate Yourself. Every call you make and get others to make! and every letter you write is a triumph of participatory democracy. For most people, government is a spectator sport. By using the techniques discussed here, you will become one of the most important and powerful people in America an active citizen.
The Numbers Say What?! (manipulating the polls)
A Primer on Polling Peggy Norman and Kimberly Moore Webster Right Watch PAC Portland, Oregon
"The Numbers Say What?!" is a primer on campaign polling. It reviews the two most frequently used types of campaign polls, provides direction on what to look for in a campaign pollster, how to write polling questions, and how to use the data once it’s collected. The authors discuss the necessity for security and provide some cautions to help readers how best to make use of campaign polling.
You’re facing a statewide electoral campaign on an issue spawned by the Radical Right. Don’t panic. Sooner or later it happens to all of us. Your first steps are clear. Your campaign needs to fundraise in order to make a serious investment in voter research. Until data is available on what the voters think about an issue today, there is no effective way to plan a campaign to capture their hearts and minds on election day.
Conducted properly, polling yields essential information that influences every area of your campaignfrom your name to your spokespeople to your campaign messages. Polling data tells you your strongest arguments and who already supports your position. It also tells you what arguments work best for your opponents and where you’re most vulnerable politically. With cross-tabulated information about voters across the state, you can even determine specifics (e.g., what the male Republican voter over 50 years of age who lives in a particular county and makes over $50,000 per year thinks on the issue). Polling numbers assist in setting budget priorities, timing, and strategy.
Good polling is the single most important piece of your campaign infrastructure. Without it, you’re just guessing....
The Benchmark Poll The first poll you conduct is often called a "benchmark" poll. It establishes a baseline from which to measure your campaign’s progress as election day draws near. The benchmark poll should establish voter familiarity with your issue and give you initial numbers for and against. It should tell which age groups of which sex are your best supporters. It should tell which groups are undecided and which are against your issue. It should test particular words and ideas, allowing you to begin crafting messages. It should rate spokespeople and organizations, and it should delineate your opponent’s best slogans and strategies.
Timing of the benchmark poll is important. If you have no idea of how voters feel about the issue in your state, you can’t start too soon. If you already have information from a previous poll, don’t go out more than 11 or 12 months before the election. If you do the benchmark poll that early, plan another "mini-benchmark" along the way to gauge progress.
How many people should you poll in the benchmark poll? Each state is different, with populations varying greatly. Your pollster will advise you on numbers. Don’t poll just the minimum number of people. Be certain that you have a statistically sound sample of opinions and that you test all the messages you are likely to want to usebefore you say them in public. Polling is NOT the place in your campaign to be miserly with your money.
Tracking Polls Near the election, keep a close eye on your numbers. At that point, you’ll need daily information that you will use to adjust advertising and strategy. Tracking polls test smaller numbers of people with one, two, or three questions generally, and target segments of the population. They generally run over a series of days, providing the freshest information possible. Low budget campaigns are forced to rely on "handouts" from the media’s tracking or a friendly politician to know how they’re doing. But if you have the money, it’s much safer and wiser to do your own tracking.
Piggybacking Questions If the pollster you hire has other clients in your state who are also in political races, you may be able to piggyback a question or two when they are doing polling. This can be an especially useful tactic as it allows you to get some polling information without going to the expense of conducting an entire poll. The down side of piggybacking is that you’re dependent upon someone else’s schedule, so you can’t always plan to make use of it.
Choosing Your Pollster Like every other vendor associated with your campaign, your pollster’s reputation and connections will add to or detract from the credibility of your campaign. If your issue is a controversial one, and bringing mainstream respectability is a consideration, be especially aware of your pollster’s connections and expertise. Many pollsters have no experience doing political polling: they survey products or attitudes. Steer away from them. Ideally, the chosen pollster will have experience polling on your issue or on another controversial or related measure in your state.
It is not necessary to choose a pollster from your state. It is critical, however, that your steering committee and staff feel comfortable working with the pollster and that you are sure you’ll have adequate access to your pollster’s time.
Writing Polling Questions Polling is an art and a science and most pollsters will write the poll for you. However, most steering committees and campaign managers have strong opinions and want to help design the polling instrument. A subcommittee of your steering committee can come up with the questions and you can work with your pollster on wordsmithing.
The questions you write for your poll depend on the questions you need answered for your campaign. If you do not already know how familiar the public is with your issue, you need to establish that base. For example, if your campaign is about an issue pertaining to discrimination against lesbian and gay people, what kind of research do you already have to suggest the public’s attitudes about discrimination? Are there previous votes on this issue? If you have no research upon which to draw, you must start at the very beginning. If the issue is discrimination, you may want to test similar words (i.e., bigotry, prejudice, hate). You’ll very likely find that some words are better for your cause than others.
Uses of Polling Data The results are in from your benchmark poll. What do you do with the information? Perhaps the polling data has yielded information with which some members feel uncomfortable: you’re 20 points behind and the public believes gay people are a danger to their children. Now is the time for your steering committee to redouble its commitment to running your campaign based on research and not upon comfort levels or "gut feelings."
The polling data you’ve collected will always give you a picture of your friendly and your persuadable audiences. These data help you plan your campaign strategy and focus your resources. For example, if the data suggest your issue is particularly weak with women under 35 with children, your media consultant should craft advertising that speaks to that audience. You might run those ads during daytime television and then do tracking polls to see if your advertising is making a difference. If the data suggest you are faring poorly with older Republican males, make it a priority to get public endorsements from older Republican men, or decide that they will be a low priority for organizing.
Security and Confidentiality Your polling results are essential to the planning of your campaign. So too could they be essential in the planning of your opposition’s campaign. It is important to keep your information confidential! You probably just spent $20,000 or more to get these data. Why make a $20,000 donation to the opposition’s campaign by leaking the results?
Your steering committee will be privy to the results of the poll. You need a clear agreement on confidentiality ahead of time. Most campaigns agree that under no circumstances may they release information from the poll to their friends and colleagues. It may be helpful to everybody to prepare one or two summarizing statements about the poll and its uses such as "This poll shows us that campaign is definitely winnable if we get our message to the voters" or "Our poll shows this race is too close for comfort and we will be putting forward an all-out effort to win."
Security of the polling data is also a critical issue. Many campaigns agree to have copies available for steering committee members and top staff to review, but no copies are allowed to be taken out of the campaign office. The physical security of your polling data is as critical an issue as the protection of your donor list.
Some Words of Caution Polling data give you an in-depth picture of what a statistically significant sample of the voting public thinks about a key issue on the day they were interviewed. Things change. So do polling numbers. The side that is 30 points down in January can still win in November if that side understands what the polling numbers mean and if they run a savvy campaign. And the side that is 20 points ahead in January can easily lose if they run a campaign as though they can cruise along basking in the public’s support. Run your campaign as if you’re dead even or just a little behind.
Also, be aware that controversial hot-button issues such as the proposals to require discrimination against lesbians and gay men have a significant "lie factor" or hidden "bigot vote." After consulting several pollsters, the "No on 9 Campaign" in Oregon decided to simply assign 10% of its vote to the opposition to account for that hidden vote. In addition, toward the end of the campaign, the bulk of all undecideds were assigned to the opposition. This came very close to the final voting results.
Building a Map for the Future Many of the campaign issues progressives are working on in the 1990s are breaking new ground. Learning is still ongoing on how to poll on progressive issues and how to speak convincingly to the public. As polling data are gathered to track these issues over time and across state boundaries, a map is being built for the future.
Winning Elections: Organizing Tips from San Diego
Poppy DeMarco Dennis Community Coalition Network San Diego, California Effective election strategies in San Diego helped beat local Far Right candidates in November 1992 elections, representing the first major reversal of the alarming national trend of fundamentalist successes in local races.
1. Coalitions seeking to replicate San Diego’s success should consider the following strategies:
2. identify allies and common goals and concerns among various constituencies;
3. learn about the opposition and advertise their extremist philosophy to voters;
4. craft a written set of principles and beliefs to inform the community about the progressive perspective;
5. establish a pre-endorsement process to help identify and support the strongest candidate in multi-candidate races;
6. help qualified candidates speak to voters;
7. become familiar with voters through use of polling data;
8. become better informed about free speech rights and then use those rights;
9. learn how to use campaign tools and create new ones when needed;
10. and push for progressive policies after elections are won.
San Diego is proof that the Far Right can be beaten at the polls. In the now famous election of November 1992, San Diego’s Far Right was out-mobilized, out-organized, and for the most part beaten in local races with the help of the area’s grassroots campaign group, the Community Coalition Network (CCN).
With a focus mainly on non-partisan races and issues, organizing and communications were carried out on a county-wide and regional basis in successful anti-Far Right campaign efforts. Following are strategies used in winning local battles against Far Right candidates.
Know Your Allies and Your Base. Identify groups with common goals, find their leaders, and invite them to meet and discuss problems and share experiences. CCN included key local board members who faced extremists on their boards and presidents of various groups. Wide diversity in geography and interest is important in order to maximize learning and stimulate new alliances. This process lead to identification of common concerns and goals and agreement to do further research.
Know the Opposition. Find out as much as possible about the goals, actions, and beliefs of the Far Right opposition. CCN read news articles; attended Far Right rallies; and obtained materials from "Christian" bookstores, radio stations, and newspapers. CCN found that the Far Right was more open about their agenda when talking to their own people. CCN members traveled with small recorders and taped Far Right representatives in public meetings. This technique was useful in three key ways: communicating with the media about the Far Right’s agenda (i.e., tapes were provided to the media); documenting Far Right activities; and as a technique for energizing the organization against the Far Right agenda. Significant help in monitoring the Far Right was provided through the research of the Mainstream Voters Project (MVP). At times, research was shared with reporters.
Define Your Goals. Articulate your key beliefs and principles. As the common concerns of its diverse coalition became clear, and the tactics and goals/beliefs of the opposition were better understood, key "Principles" were identified summarizing CCN’s strongest beliefs. This enabled CCN to more readily identify those times when the opposition violated them and to clearly state their own positions instead of just expressing opposition to the Far Right’s principles. They also served as the basis for questions for candidates and criteria for use in examining records of candidates to assess consistency with these principles. The principles were also adapated by other communities—including the Lubbock, Texas Moderate Majority and Centerville, Ohio.
Establish a Pre-endorsement Process. Work with reasonable and knowledgeable groups within a community to locate and campaign for potential qualified candidates—particularly when there is no primary. When too many good candidates are competing against each other, a single extremist has a better chance of winning when the mainstream vote is split.
Help Qualified Candidates Communicate With Voters. Publicize your principles, evaluate candidates and publicize results of the evaluation. CCN evaluated candidates and published the results in the local newsmagazine Women’s Times, various newspapers, and group newsletters and freely duplicated the results. Many "election hotlines" used the list. This was carried out well before the election—in time to reach absentee voters before they voted. CCN then followed-up during the regular poll election time.
Know Your Voting Public. Candidates and campaign need to know the mood and priorities of voters in order to make the wisest use of their time in communicating their message to the public through such mechanisms as brochures, interviews, speeches, and radio shows. A professionally designed poll was developed and then administered, in a cost-cutting move, by trained volunteers from the American Association of University Women and local churches. (See article on polling for further information on this election tool.)
Know Your Free Speech Rights. CCN found that even the most active among their ranks were not fully aware of the full range of their First Amendment Rights. Training of school-based teams by mainstream specialists—such as the First Liberty Institute or help from the ACLU or American’s United for Separation of Church and State—provided CCN representatives with more confidence and answers to support their instincts and beliefs. The value of this effort was particularly evident when CCN found that school personnel or other public servants often will not challenge abuses because they are not sure about their standing.
Become Familiar With Campaign Tools. CCN has worked primarily with local people and on non-partisan elections in efforts that have been very low budget or no-budget. Local consultants volunteered to provide one workshop each to help candidates get started and subsequently helped out on an hourly fee basis to cut candidate costs. Candidates in the same region worked as teams or "slates" to share expenses. Experienced elected officials acted as mentors for novice candidates. Also useful are low cost workshops such as those offered by National Women’s Political Caucus and the California Teachers Association/National Education Association.
Create Your Own Tools (When Existing Ones Don’t Exist). Technology makes it possible to do almost anything on a home computer given volunteers who are bright, creative, and dedicated to tackle the task. CCN started the Bea Sweeney Memorial Tech Center, a cooperative effort that has developed lists of all registered voters with voting histories from 1988 and enhanced phone numbers. The center can produce election analysis, precinct profile lists, and other tools as needed, as well as precinct maps on mylar for easy copying. The center’s dedicated and talented programmer helps make this possible.
Other areas have carried out similar efforts. While a large user area is needed to make it cost effective, the information is invaluable, particularly for jobs that are needed immediately.
Avoid Duplication Through Collaboration and Communication With Allies - Communications were centralized through a group called "Clearinghouse." Future efforts may continue through a Pro-Choice Network or other group. Tasks such as school board observing, candidate questionnaires, and voter identification projects can be shared to avoid duplication of effort; calendars or regional emphasis can be coordinated.
Continue to Work—Even After the Election - Push for policies that support your progressive agenda. For example, a code of ethics policy for elected school officials could call for loyalty to the public school district and the whole community as a means for countering Far Right efforts that speak only to the fundamentalist religious community.
Continue to work with your allies as well. Utilize positive relationships built among qualified candidates in various districts to help strengthen policies regionally, sharing strong solutions developed by one district with friendly board members in another district when similar issues arise.
Telling Your Story To The Media
Pat Lewis National Jewish Democratic Council Washington, D.C.
Working with the media is tough, but ignoring it is tougher. It’s also, in the end, a losing strategy. Ease the way by planning ahead: Know what you want to say, why you want to say it, who to say it to and how to phrase itand you’re practically there.
Introduction. Next to asking for money, talking to reporters can be one of the most difficulteven unnervingaspects of an organizer’s work. But it’s every bit as important. Whether you’re trying to shine the light on stealth candidates or keep books on the shelves of your local library, the media can play a critical role in how your story ends.
I. Starting out or First Things First Before you can begin telling your story, you have to know what it is. That means being able to talk easily and succinctly about who you are, why you formed this organization, and what you hope to accomplish. One way to make sure you can do this is to formulate a mission statement. Even if it’s seldom used, the process of writing it helps hammer out these and other answers. Be able to answer these questions:
"Why are you doing this?"
"Who are you?"
"Why should anyone care about this issue?"
Next, think about why you want to tell this story. Do you want to influence policy makers? Increase awareness among voters? Increase membership? These questions may not be asked directly, but it’s always a good idea to keep your focus in mind when talking to the press.
II. Impress ‘Em With Paper Have your materials prepared before you approach the press. Your general information piece should include: a standard one or two sentence paragraph explaining your organization, the names and affiliations of the people involved in your organization, an address and working phone number. That means a number that doesn’t go unanswered and isn’t busy 23 hours a day.
Don’t let a small budget hold you back. Your material doesn’t have to be glossy and expensive just neat, well written and typo free.
III. Finding Those Reporters Now you’re ready to begin identifying the media in your area. Start a list of daily and weekly newspapers, radio and television stations, the Associated Press bureau that serves your area, and college papers that cover off campus news.
Monitor media coverage regularly to find out who is most likely to cover you. At smaller outlets, particularly television and radio stations, reporters are more likely to be general assignment, covering dozens of different stories every week. This means it may take more time to develop a relationship with certain journalists, and also that you have to be ready to go over background more than once.
Make sure you have correct phone and fax numbers, and mailing addresses. (Widespread fax technology has made the written release a relic, but you may want to mail other kinds of information.)
Deadlines are critical information. Remember that not only do different outlets have different deadlinesthe same outlet may have different deadlines depending on the day of the week and the subject matter.
Finally, put together a list of alternative media sources. This includes talk shows on radio and TV, and the op-ed pages of area newspapers. Again, assemble the names and numbers for the people in charge.
IV. Setting the Stage The media can be approached in a number of different ways:
Press release Ideally, a one-page, double-spaced news announcement that talks about an action taken, a position staked out, people appointed to positions, suits filed. Releases can be used alone or in lieu of a press conference.
Press conference While print reporters may be able to work from releases, television needs visuals. That’s not a criticismjust a statement of fact. Press conferences allow you to use props to make a point as well. (Talking about censorship surrounded by stacks of books that someone is trying to ban, for example.) Of course, holding a conference is more complicated and risky than sending out a release, too. You have to find a good location accessible to reporters, at a time that makes it easy for them to meet their deadlines. And you have to have a reason. A release that doesn’t grab anyone’s attention will just get tossed in the trash. A news conference without news can actually generate hostile attention.
Press advisory This is a written announcement of a scheduled eventpress conference, rally, speechsent out in advance. Although not a news release, it should contain enough of a hook to get the media there.
Editorial boards These scheduled meetings are on or offtherecord conversations with a paper’s editorial staff, taken to introduce an issue or organization, scheduled at your or the paper’s suggestion. They may result in editorials and they may not. Reporters may or may not sit in. They are useful, but be careful not to assume that discussions with editorial staff are the same as discussions with reporters.
V. Talking to Reporters Just as there are different ways to approach the media, there are different reasons. Those break down into two main categories: Proactive and reactive.
Proactive This means taking the initiative. It can range from announcing the formation of your organization to coming out in support of proposed legislation. It means you are seeking out reporters, which means you have the task of convincing them that something is newsworthy.
It helps to have a hook to sell your story. Is your event the first of its kind? Is it in recognition of an anniversary? Does it tie into a national event? Think about how reporters will phrase the part of their stories that explains why they’re writing it. (If you’re not sure what that is, take some time reading and listening to news reports. Pinpoint the reason why stories appear when they do.)
Getting your story told on talk shows and in the op-ed pages is part of being proactive. Don’t wait for talk show producers to call you. Let them know you’re available and why. Don’t wait for newspapers to call, either. If you have an idea for an opinion piece, call the paper’s editorial page and find out how to submit an idea.
Reactive This involves responding to actions or comments by opponents. Part of your media work is intended to make sure reporters know you’re there so you will hear from them when your issue is the topic of a news story. But you don’t always have to wait for a call, either. For example, if you know that a local antigay group is holding a news conference on Tuesday at 1 p.m., call the reporters ahead of time to make sure they know you’ll have a response. If you’ve just settled in for the evening news and see something that warrants a response don’t wait until the next day. Call the paper and see who is working on that story. Call the TV station and see if they’re planning to rerun the story. Tell them you have something to add.
VI. Conclusion These suggestions will help you get started. Remember, there are always people out there who have done it before and would be more than happy to help. If you’re not sure how to approach the media, call a national organization’s press office. Talk to someone locally who has spent a lot of time with the media. The most important point to keep in mind: you have something newsworthy to say. Say it.
Pointers from the Pros Media tips from three professionals.
Susan Bennett, producer for CNN’s "Crossfire." Bennett says talk shows should be an integral part of an organization’s media plan. These are her tips on making the most of this medium.
"Call ahead of time and let producers know you have someone they might find interesting. Call in advance not when news breaks."
"Know what different shows are looking for. Not all shows want the same thing. ‘Equal Time’ is different from ‘Nightline’ which is different from ‘Crossfire.’"
"No one wants someone who is dull, who’s slow. We look for someone who engages."
"Consider taking a public speaking class. Become more versatile at quick analysis. Learn to articulate your viewpoint in a few short sentences."
Eric Alterman, author of "Sound and Fury," senior fellow, World Policy Institute, Washington Correspondent, Mother Jones:
Alterman offers advice as a writer and as someone who has written extensively about the media.
"Don’t sound like a nut. The media thinks anyone with a cause is crazy. Be as unemotional as possible."
"It’s got to sound like news. The first question is ‘what’s new?"
"Look for a larger hook. Tie your news into something national."
"Never assume a reporter is telling the truth when he says he won’t tell anyone." Reporters using your off-the-record information may name you in a quote directly above, he explained, virtually giving away your identity. In addition, reporters may not report what you say, but may use it along with your identity in conversations with other sources.
Doug Bloomfield, columnist and political analyst Bloomfield emphasizes the importance of knowing reporters personally, working to develop a relationship over time:
"The information highway is a two way thoroughfare. A good reporter can also be a good source. If you have a good relationship, they can serve as an early warning system for you."
"Be sensitive to the personal interests and idiosyncrasies of journalists most important to you."
"Different reporters put different degrees of credibility on different sources. Know how to take advantage of the special relationships that may exist between some of your staff or board and key journalists."
How to Organize a Community Speak-Out Project
Oregon Speak Out ProjectPortland, Oregon
The Oregon Speak Out Project is a grassroots service organization designed to educate people about the realities of gay, lesbian and bisexual people by countering stereotypes and negative images in a non-confrontational style.
This article describes the basics of establishing a speak-out project.
Goals and Philosophy. The Oregon Speak Out Project works to support efforts to educate the public about the lives of gay, lesbian and bisexual people by training and supporting community based organizations, speakers, writers and researchers. Our philosophy is that everyone counts. We cannot afford to ignore anyone. We are not waging war, but conducting an educational dialogue. We don’t want to win because we have the biggest guns, but because we will win people over to our side with the truth. We also believe that local voices matter most. Members of a community speaking to other members can accomplish what no outsider can. OSOP helps groups start speakers’ bureaus, and offers concrete suggestions and suggested guidelines for organizing community speaking projects. We also serve
as a continuing support service that works to keep local groups energized, empowered, and most importantly, informed. An effective community outreach program will reach business, professional and religious organizations in suburban and outlying communities of urban areas. It coordinates and develops speaking engagements. It includes monitoring local media, issuing press releases, providing support for speakers and pursuing civic support.
Finding Speaking Engagements. Speaking engagements are an essential element in any educational program, allowing your group to get its message out. These engagements, however, don’t just come your way. An effective way to maximize the number of speaking engagements for your group is to: Identify fraternal, civic, religious, and secular organizations in the community and develop a database. Send introductory, informative letters that request the opportunity to speak to the organization’s board or membership. Follow up to arrange to speak or to provide more information. Keep a master calendar of speaking engagements and a record of the degree of receptiveness of the organization. You should compile a database of all the organizations contacted. This database will become an invaluable instrument as you schedule your speaking engagements. As items change, update the database. An inaccurate database will lose you time and likely speaking engagements.
Speaking Out In Schools. Include educational outreach to high schools as part of your speaking program. Look for opportunities to provide speakers and educational materials that emphasize respect for diversity in our communities and support of equal rights for all citizens. It is important to bring the debate to students, many of whom have never given much thought to equal rights for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Most students are not of voting age, but it is important to begin the debate at this level, since continued ignorance will need to be addressed in the future. The most important element of speaking at a school is to be aware that there may be significant intellectual and cultural differences between the speaker and the audience. Never assume that students share the same value system with the speaker, or that they understand themes such as constitutional rights, civil rights, or even the Golden Rule. When speaking to students, it is important to have a certain level of personalization of issues to effectively communicate any point. Two speakers, preferably with different styles and backgrounds, are best. Always have a message when speaking to students. The students may be able to relate to a theme, and it is important to have it developed prior to your engagement.
Media Outreach. No community outreach program would be complete without a significant media component. The following are the ways we have worked with the media to deliver our message. Newspaper monitoring. Monitor national, regional, and local newspapers and periodicals for articles or letters to the editor addressing gay/lesbian issues. Train volunteers to write letters and articles about the real lives and concerns of lesbian and gay people. Coordinate responses. It is equally important to make your community aware, both in advance and afterwards, of any positive public educational event. Press releases announcing the event need to be sent to the media. Speakers should be prepared to speak to local reporters or, if possible, editorial boards. Write letters and opinion pieces. Your local newspaper is a key educational forum. A coordinated letter to the editor program can be extremely effective in getting correct information and supportive themes to the community. Letters need to be sent rebutting any erroneous arguments. Part of your program needs to include submission of letters prior to the opposition’s. By taking this approach, you will see the tenor of the debate turn to your control. Letters-to-the-editor campaigns need to be coordinated with individuals in locations around your state. Sample letters providing accurate information
can be provided on computer disk. These letters can then be revised and personalized. Coordination with other individuals allows for a common theme to appear regarding your issues. An effective letter will include:
Regional radio and cable television. Contact radio stations and cableaccess television to offer local speakers for talk shows, callin shows, or other forums on gay and lesbian concerns. In most areas, local subscribers must be provided cable access, something that was used effectively in the counties adjacent to Portland, Oregon. If there is cable access in your area, consider providing the cable companies with a videotape of a public educational event, speaking engagement, or other positive video for airing.Talk shows: Your outreach program can also look for opportunities to participate in radio debates and talk shows in the area. Local radio stations will often have guests for comment or to participate in live debates. Speakers should be prepared in much the same way as for speaking engagements. In a state such as Oregon, it was relatively easy for OSOP to coordinate monitoring the statewide media from a central location. This centralization allows for a coordinated effort statewide. However, the responses should be from local citizens.
For more information, please contact the OSOP Resource Center: 503-223-4992.
TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE SPEAKING
Oregon Speak Out Project Portland, Oregon
This article includes tips on becoming a more effective speaker, particularly on gay and lesbian issues.
Know Your Audience. Whether you will be speaking to a small, informal audience (e.g., the grocery checker, your Mom, the neighbors, the bus driver who overhears your "chatter"), or to a more formal, larger audience, perhaps as an invited speaker (e.g. a debate, a talk to high schools students, a speech to the Rotary Club), your effectiveness will depend on how well you "connect" with your audience. And that connection will be much more effective if you know your audience in advance.
1. If your audience is an individual or small, informal group, conjure up the best image you can of who you will be addressing. Find out who they are, what their lives are like, what their main concerns are about your issue, what their best characteristics are, what gets in the way of their believing as you do. Create a three dimensional picture of the people you’ll be speaking to. See them as goodhearted, well meaning people with some gaps in information and experience. Gaps you have developed a realistic picture of. Gaps which you, after acknowledging their good character, will try to fill.
If your audience is a group that you are a part of as a member of the public (a City Council taking testimony, a school board debating curriculum), or a group you have been invited to address (school students, the Rotary Club, a debate or panel), your effectiveness will be proportionately enhanced by how well you actually know the group and its context. Contact someone who might know, or the person who arranged for you to speak, and discuss, in as much detail as possible, the following:
* Who is the group?* What does it do? What causes or activity does it embrace?
* How many members does it have? Who are they?* Does the group have a position on this issue? What is it?
* What are the group’s main concerns about this issue?* What questions might the members ask, or want answered?
* What is the most negative response that could be expected?* What is the format of the meeting? How many people will attend?
If you have more time to devote to this, do the following:
3. Contact a member of the group who is opposed to your views (get the name from your contact person or someone else who might know). "I am ________," you will say, "and I will be speaking to your group on ___________. I got your name from ___________ and wonder if you would be willing to help me in my preparation. I am interested in what you, as a member, would want to get out of attending my speech. What questions would you like answered if you were to come hear me speak?
This is an excellent way to learn "from the horse’s mouth" what the hard questions will be. But the surprising benefit of this approach can be that the opposition member takes some ownership in your speech, is curious about the advice will be used, and encourages friends to attend.
Prepare. The best preparation is experience. The next best is hours and hours of nostress time in which to work. The reality is that you often have little (or no!) time, and must get ready under pressure. My strong advice is that you should say "no" to the invitation if you can’t do at least the following:
1. Gather information and evidence to use to substantiate the things you will claim in your presentation. You can do this by requesting material from all available local, state, and national sources. READ the material. Put it in an accessible format, such as a loose-leaf binder or index cards. MEMORIZE the most salient information. The ability to quote authority and give citations to promote your position or debunk your opponents’ is a critical tool in effective, persuasive speaking.
2. Write out a draft of your speech (or the answers to the questions you’ll be asked). Do not plan to read it. You’ll use it as a model to work with. If you are uncomfortable with writing as the vehicle for preparation, tape yourself. As you gather and read your substantive material, write it (or tape it) into your existing model. Revise, enhance, subtract. Your model will continue to be organic. You may think you haven’t time for this, but the truth is you’ll be doing it anyway in an unproductive way by worrying about it. That time could be spent rolling around the speech, the answers, plugging in new things you’ve learned, testing it out on your tongue or your computer.
Practice. This sounds so simple, but feels so strange. Yet it is the most critical part of public speaking for the beginning or intermediate public speaker. Fumbling, stumbling, and feeling defeated or foolish is truly one of the worst things that can happen to us as public speakers, and it can always be avoided by practice, practice, practice! You owe it to yourself, your audience, and your cause, to do the following:
1. Say the speech out loud over and over again. Give the answers to questions out loud over and over again. In the shower, in the car, to your companion, with your family listening, at the mirror, into a tape recorder, mumbling in your sleep. Do it in whole, or in part. Work on the one question that trips you up, or on the opening or closing of the speech.
Once you have the substance down, practice delivery techniques over and over and over. Try doing it angry, sad, reasonable, yelling. Try a variety. Do it without pausing, pause after every main point. Do it very fast, then very slow, then vary it. Vary the pitch of your voice high, then low, then mixed. Wave your arms in front of a mirror, then stand stock still where did it seem that the waving worked? Practice expressions smiling, being earnest, jeering. Emphasize every work in one sentence. Make yourself pause for four seconds after you’ve made a startling statement.
Now try making it sound like it’s totally spontaneous never been practiced. I will venture to guarantee that the success of the speech will increase dramatically based on the number of times you have practiced it.
2. Have your speech and delivery critiqued by someone whose opinion you trust and who you are certain will give you honest feedback. How do I look? How do I sound? Does my argument persuade you? Am I being nice to you if you disagree with me, but firm in my opinion? Where can I improve?
3. Finally, use your critiquer to help you practice other skills of public speaking:
* Bringing the subject back to your issue
* Calming the hostile participant* Saying "I don’t know," or "See me later about that"
* Buying time ("Let me think" or "Let me see if I heard what you said")* Diversion("That’s an interesting question. But the real issues is...")* Personalizing ("You know, when I...") Deliver. Much of the skills of delivery will be honed during practice.
Other ways to improve delivery:
3. Have the group, on the spot, engage in an evaluation of the presentation.
Responding to Questions. One of the most difficult piece of any presentation or conversation is answering people’s questions. Some are asked to intimidate, others to learn, still others to provoke. Regardless, you can control the terms of the debate and avoid using misleading terms that are created by misinformation campaigns. The following four steps can help avoid confrontation and educate listeners.
1. Listen. What is the question about? What do they really want to know? Is
it intentionally inflammatory? Does it express a real conviction and concern? If you believe that they don’t really want to know anything, but are just
attacking you or showing you up, consider what part of their questions might
be considered reasonable by others in the audience.
2. Affirm. Sometimes it may be extremely hard, but find the kernel of truth
in the question and affirm it. This moves the situation into a dialogue. You demonstrate that you have really listened, and care about this question. In
turn, the questioner will really listen to your response.
3. Respond. Offer the affirmation they are seeking in a short concise way.
If you use statistics, be prepared to cite your source.
4. Add information. It is very easy to respond to questions. Memorize the facts, and what could go wrong? Actually, a lot. If all we do is respond to questions and never take the opportunity to talk about what we want to talk about, the issues are controlled by others. To maintain control and educate effectively, use this last part to move away from the direct question and offer new information that can educate and enlighten.
Example: Q: All these homosexuals just want to have sex with our children and abuse them. This is pedophilia. That is disgusting and wrong. Shouldn’t we have laws to prohibit this unnatural behavior?
Listen: (I hear concerns about children and a misunderstanding that sexual orientation is a behavior. The real question I believe is the concern about children.)
Affirm: "I understand your concerns about protecting our children. Reasonable people are concerned about the safety of our youth. We all are concerned about the safety of our children and protecting them from sexual abuse."Respond: "Many people are unaware that most sexual abuse is committed by straight men against children in their families. In one study, more than 98% of sexual crimes against children were done by straight men, many of them members of the same families."
Add information: "Child sexual abuse needs to become a top priority of all people . Laws already exist that protect children. These need to be enforced. No single community can do this alone and rather than fighting one another, we need to combine resources to adequately address this issue."
To create a sense of safety, establish similarities between yourself and the audience: be aware of your appearance and dress, be personal, be positive and assertive, but also open and willing to be vulnerable. Assume that the audience shares your basic values, at least to the extent that everybody want to be a good person and "do right". Assume they are motivated by love and basic respect for democratic principles.
Points of Concern for Both Sides of A Debate. Attention is on the extremists on each side; both sides feel the other is engaged in distortion and exaggeration.
Most people on both sides acknowledge that the real difference of opinion is over homosexuality; most people recognize that all reasonable people, heterosexual or homosexual, condemn childhood sexual abuse by anyone.
Many people realize that they personally know friends, neighbors, colleagues or family members who are lesbian or gay, and they are concerned about how the outcome of political decisions will affect that person.
As parents, we want assurance that our children have the opportunity to learn our values and are not unduly biased by school- and/or state-imposed values.
Both sides are (or should be) concerned about how the community will reconcile after the debated referendum is put to a vote.
The Science of Spin
Pat Lewis National Jewish Democratic Council Washington, D.C.
Spinning is the art of framing an issue in the way that you perceive it. It’s your message, your interpretation. The key to a successful campaign, spin should be an automatic piece of anything you write or say.
I. What is it? First, it is not something negative. Forget the sweeping criticism you’ve heard about ‘spin doctors.’ Spinning isn’t lyingit’s interpreting and defining. It’s an integral part of all political work, something that needs to be done whether you’re writing a news release, testifying before the school board or debating a caller on a radio talk show.
What is spinning? It is the process by which you frame the debate in your own terms. It is how you define yourself and your opposition. It is your message.
II. Does it Work? Yes. A number of political movements have had success in framing themselves and presenting their message in language that determines the parameters of the debate before it even begins. For example, antiabortion activists have been insistent that they be referred to as ‘prolife’ groups. By staking out the high ground, they played on the tendency in the media to assign two sides in every story. If these people were prolife, than that made the other side ‘proabortion.’
It took a while of concentrated message, but the choice community has reversed the direction. The phrase ‘a woman’s right to choose’ has become commonplace, and the value of the word ‘choice’ has become apparent. Now, we see people who favor using tax money for private schools referring to ‘school choice.’
III. Making Your Message Stick Start framing your issue from the beginning. It’s virtually impossible to stop and expect people to reexamine your issues and arguments midway through any debate. That’s why early message development is so important. So is an accurate message. Remember, your message must ring true to work.
Once you’ve developed your message, use it consistently. This is the key to getting it across. Work it into soundbites for the media. Use it in all your communications, and work with other organizations in your network or coalition to do the same.
IV. Content Thematic consistency works the same way. Strive for a constant note in the tone of your message.
Also, fashion a message that people will listen to. That means working on succinct, tothepoint statements. Don’t make sweeping generalizations or sound an unbelievable or unpalatable alarm. Be positive; avoid attacks on your opposition. Debate the message, not the messenger.
V. Playing Defense As important as it is to concentrate on your message, you should also work to prevent anyone else from doing it for you. It’s easier said than done, but far from impossible. For example, seize every opportunity to define the debate. Don’t answer every question or attack just because it’s there. Restate the question or the attack. There will be times you choose to ignore it completely.
VI. Conclusion The issues that make up the Radical Right’s agenda present a problem for public debate. Although they are personal, emotional topics, they are also about much larger, public questions. The debate over protecting gay and lesbian civil rights is also about continuing our country’s move toward providing fairness and protection for its citizens. Arguments about censorship are about the right to have access to information. Keep these concepts in mind as you take your message to the public. Keep educating people about the underlying issues. But do it with perspective and humor. Nothing can drag a debate down faster than a narrowly focused diet of deadly serious argument.
Using Religious Voices to Confront the Religious Right
Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, Rabbi Daniel Swartz and Aaron Bisno Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism Washington, D.C.
Any successful campaign to confront the agenda of the Religious Right will need the involvement of at least some segments of the local religious community. This chapter briefly outlines why such involvement is critical and discusses how to organize most effectively within the religious community.
WHY INVOLVE THE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY?
1) The power of a religious response to religious claims: The religious right often claims to have "God" on their side or at least to represent the "religious" perspective. They accuse their opponents of being hostile to religion. The simplest and most effective way to reveal the falsehood of such claims is to have in your coalition active representatives of religious communities who oppose the agenda of the religious right from a religious viewpoint. Representatives of such viewpoints clearly illustrate that your side also has moral and value-based arguments it can marshall. Inclusion of such individuals or faith groups indicates clearly that religious people believe the separation of church and state to be good for religion, that religious people support gay and lesbian rights, and that religious people in fact, most mainstream religious denominations support a woman’s right to choose for reasons rooted in their faith. With religious support for your cause, you will have come one giant step closer to defeating the religious right.
2) The resources of the religious community: Religious communities are ready-made, "pre-organized" communities, with a variety of resources, including: organized humanpower, fully equipped buildings, public relations connections, and financial resources that potentially can be put to your use. It should be noted, however, that churches, synagogues and mosques or other religious organizations are primarily religious, not political bodies; people do not join their particular religious institution in order to support political activity. Nonetheless, with this caveat, you will find religious institutions that will gladly join you in your endeavor and may very well make their resources available to you.
3) If you don’t, the Religious Right will: The Religious Right uses religious organizations as its primary organizing focus. You can be assured that if you do not reach out to the religious community in your area, the Religious Right will. In particular, the religious right is making a concerted effort to win the support of minority churches. Unless you present yourself and your cause effectively to these churches, they may be persuaded to ally themselves with the Religious Right. Conversely, if these churches ally themselves with you, it will immediately broaden the impact of your efforts.
HOW TO ORGANIZE WITHIN THE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY
1) Work within existing institutional infrastructures: Before approaching individual churches, synagogues, mosques, etc., you should tap into already existing interfaith networks and denominational institutions. Most communities have some sort (or several sorts) of interfaith clergy councils. In small towns, these are volunteer-run groups, while in larger cities they may have professional staff. In addition, areas with significant Jewish populations usually will have a Board of Rabbis with representatives from all the different movements within Judaism. Finally, most denominations have some sort of regional structure, such as a diocese or presbytery. By working through these types of structures, you will be able to reach larger numbers of religious leaders and congregations with less effort. Ask for permission to use a mailing list or to have an article included in a regional newsletter; see if you can speak at a meeting to many members of the clergy at once; ask one sympathetic staff member at the regional level to give you names of clergypersons who also are likely to be sympathetic to your cause.
2) Clergy are the key to their congregations: Once you have utilized regional structures to the fullest extent possible, you can turn to individual congregations. To get a particular church, synagogue, etc., on board your campaign, you will first need approval from the clergyperson in charge. As you try to get such approval, keep two points in mind. First, clergy respond best to other clergy. Once you have one minister, rabbi, priest, etc. who strongly supports you, ask him or her to help you with calls to other members of the clergy. Second, members of the clergy are usually overworked. Make your presentation brief; show how he or she can plug into your campaign with a minimal time commitment; have written material available for the clergyperson to include in a sermon or use in a congregational newsletter; ask for names of lay leaders in the congregation who you can turn to for more extensive commitments.
3) Non-congregational institutions: Don’t forget potential allies in non-congregational institutions. The Jewish community in particular has a variety of "non-religious" Jewish institutions that may be effective allies, ranging from community relations councils to local chapters of national groups such as the American Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee. The Protestant and Catholic communities also take part in private, voluntary organizations and/or ecumenical, lay movements such as: the YWCA, the YMCA and Church Women United. These two should be sought out. Additionally, do not overlook state or local chapters of interreligious, political networks such as: Interfaith Impact for Peace and Justice and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
4) Choose your allies carefully: Not all religious institutions are alike; they differ greatly both between and within denominations in terms of political influence and attitudes. You will need to make decisions such as: do I first approach congregations that are likely to be sympathetic, or do I focus instead on those with the greatest numbers and political resources? Once you have some members of clergy on board, you can ask them for their evaluation of how likely it is that a particular congregation might join with you and what resources they might bring to your campaign.
5) Indicate how the religious institution might benefit: Know how your campaign can benefit your allies even as they help your cause. First of all, many members of the clergy see themselves as being called to work for justice but they may not know exactly how to do such work. By giving them a good cause and an effective organization to work with, you are giving them a desirable opportunity. Second, their congregation may receive positive recognition through your campaign, making its members feel more excited about their participation in the congregation as a whole and perhaps even attracting new members. Finally, your organization may help with leadership development within the congregation.
6) Know how to respond to church/state and tax-exempt concerns: Some members of the clergy or congregational leaders may be hesitant to get involved in your activities because they are concerned about violating the separation between Church and State. You should make it clear to them that speaking out on issues is not a violation of the law interpreting the constitutional separation of church and state, and that such efforts do not jeopardize their tax exempt status. The law states that a congregation can not spend a "substantial" portion of its budget on direct lobbying (visiting congresspeople, letter writing, bulletin articles urging action on specific legislation, etc.). Because the term "substantial" is ambiguous, the rule of thumb is that no more than five percent of a congregation’s budget may be used for such activities. It is highly unlikely that a congregation would come close to using five percent of its budget for such purposes, because most of the lobbying and/or letter writing is done by individual members and not the institution itself. Furthermore, there is no cap on the amount of money, time, or resources a congregation and/or clergyperson may use to speak out on issues, generally through articles, op-eds, sermons, public speeches, educational forums, etc., so long as they do not address specific pieces of legislation. Note well, however, that congregations may not get involved in partisan support for candidates and/or political parties without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status, but they can get involved in such non-partisan activities as sponsoring a voter registration drive or a multi-candidate debate.
7) Know what to ask for and of whom to ask it: Even though members of the clergy are often overly busy, they will frequently respond positively to invitations to speak at public rallies, press conferences, etc. and they can often be powerful speakers. Ask the clergy for opportunities to publicize your cause within their congregation, either through a congregational newsletter or through an opportunity to speak at the congregation. Ask them as well to put you in contact not only with other members of the clergy, but also with the lay leadership of the congregation most likely to be of assistance to you. These lay leaders may be able to help with publicity, space for meetings, letters and phone calls to elected officials, and turnout of large numbers of people for public gatherings.
8) Build long-term relationships: For the involvement of the religious community to be most effective, you have to develop long-term relationships and not merely approach religious leaders for crisis intervention. This can be done structurally by inviting religious leaders onto any formal board structures you develop. Equally important as such formal recognition, however, is involving the religious community in the early planning and strategy stages of your campaign; such involvement gives them ownership of the issue. Furthermore, once involved in the planning, they will be able to help you shape your campaign to use the resources of the religious community most effectively.
(The authors owe a debt of gratitude to Kim Bobo of the Midwest Academy for inspiration for sections of this article. For more in depth information on organizing the religious community, we refer you to Organizing for Social Change: A Manual for Activists in the 1990’s, Working with Religious Organizations, pp. 140ff.; Published by Seven Locks Press, Washington 1991.)
Bad History: What the Right Says About the Constitution Facts to Help You Set the Record Straight
Rob Boston Americans United for Separation of Church and State Silver Spring, Maryland
Far Right groups often make false claims about constitutional history in an effort to "prove" that separation of church and state was not intended by the nation’s founders or that the United States was founded to be a "Christian nation." This article refutes these claims and others made by the Far Right.
Far Right groups frequently argue that separation of church and state is a myth or that the concept was not intended by the nation’s founders. Several different Far Right groups spread this view, including Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, The Rutherford Institute and TV preacher D. James Kennedy.
Much misinformation about the history behind separation of church and state may be traced to David Barton, a Texas-based propagandist who attacks separation of church and state in books and videos. Barton’s materials contain numerous errors, distortions and half truths. His book The Myth of Separation, although heavily footnoted, is riddled with factual errors. Nevertheless, Barton’s revisionist history is appearing with increasing frequency in Far Right circles and is leaching into the secular media by right-wing activists who write letters to the editor and op-ed columns regurgitating Barton’s bad history.
It is important, therefore, that pro-separation activists learn to respond to some of the Far Right’s common distortions about separation of church and state. The following list of myths and facts was prepared by Americans United for Separation of Church and State with help from the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs. It is by no means exhaustive but touches on some of the Far Right’s most common claims. For help in responding to specific Far Right assertions not covered here, please feel free to contact the author.
MYTH: Separation of church and state is not in the U.S. Constitution. It is true that the literal phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in the Constitution, but that does not mean the concept isn’t there. The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." What does that mean? A little history is helpful: In an 1802 letter to the Danbury (Conn.) Baptist Association, the-president Thomas Jefferson declared that the American people through the First Amendment had erected a "wall of separation between church and state," echoing religious freedom advocate Roger Williams who a century earlier alluded to the "hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world."
James Madison, considered to be the Father of the Constitution and author of the First Amendment, said in an 1819 letter, "[T]he number, the industry and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church and state." In an earlier, undated essay (probably early 1800s), Madison wrote, "Strongly guarded...is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States."
As eminent church-state scholar Leo Pfeffer notes in his book, Church, State and Freedom, "It is true, of course, that the phrase ‘separation of church and state’ does not appear in the Constitution. But it was inevitable that some convenient term should come into existence to verbalize a principle so clearly and widely held by the American people....[T]he right to a fair trial is generally accepted to be a constitutional principle; yet the term ‘fair trial’ is not found in the Constitution. To bring the point even closer home, who would deny that ‘religious liberty’ is a constitutional principle? Yet that phrase too is not in the Constitution. The universal acceptance which all these terms, including ‘separation of church and state,’ have received in America would seem to confirm rather than disparage their reality as basic American democratic principles."
MYTH: Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists was a mere courtesy and should not be regarded as important. Far Right activists have tried for decades to make light of Jefferson’s "wall of separation" response to the Danbury Baptists, attempting to dismiss it as a hastily written note designed to win the favor of a political constituency. But a glance at the history surrounding the letter shows they are simply wrong. ***** Jefferson clearly saw the letter as an opportunity to make a major pronouncement on church and state. Before sending the missive, Jefferson had it reviewed by Levi Lincoln, his attorney general. Jefferson told Lincoln he viewed the response as a way of "sowing useful truths and principles among the people, which might germinate and become rooted among their political tenets."
MYTH: The Danbury Baptists wrote to Jefferson because they were worried that a national religion was about to be established. Not true. The Danbury Baptists wrote to Jefferson because they were tired of being treated like second-class citizens in Connecticut and being forced to pay church taxes. The Baptists knew of Jefferson’s views in favor of religious freedom for all and wrote to tell him that they hoped his views would be adopted throughout the country.
MYTH: Thomas Jefferson later said his "wall of separation" was meant to be one-directional and designed to keep "Christian principles" in government. This statement is a complete fabrication and appears nowhere in Jefferson’s writings; he never said it. Jefferson’s writings indicate beyond a doubt that he believed separation would protect both church and state. If anything, most scholars believe Jefferson was more concerned about the church harming the state than the other way around.
MYTH: The United States was founded as a Christian nation. Most of the first Europeans to arrive on our shores were religious dissenters who sought religous freedom, and many believed they were establishing some type of Christian utopia. But many supported religious liberty only for themselves, and some of the early colonies were theocracies where only those who worshipped according to state orthodoxy were welcome. All but four colonies had some form of an established church. ***** Following the American Revolution, political leaders began to construct the new U.S. government. Although a minority clung to European notions of church- state union, a general consensus emerged that the new country should steer clear of officially established religion. States with government-supported religions also began moving toward separation. Massachusetts, the last state to maintain an official religion, disestablished its state church in 1833.
During the Constitutional Convention, a minority faction favored some recognition of Christianity in the Constitution, but their views were overruled. Many framers had seen the dangers of church-state union in Europe and in the colonies; they wanted no part of such a system for the federal government. Thus, the Constitution does not mention God, Jesus Christ or Christianity. In fact, the only reference to religion is in Article VI, where the founders provided that there could be no religious test for public office.
MYTH: The Supreme Court has declared that the United States is a Christian nation. In the Supreme Court’s 1892 Holy Trinity Church v. United States decision Justice David Brewer wrote that "this is a Christian nation." Brewer’s statement occurred in dicta, a legal term meaning writing that reflects a judge’s personal opinion, not an official court pronouncement that sets legally binding precedent. From the context of the quote, it is clear that Brewer only intended to acknowledge that Christianity has always been a dominant force in American life. Brewer clarified his views in a book he published on the "Christian nation" concept in 1905. In the volume, Brewer argues that the United States is "Christian" only in the sense that many of its traditions are rooted in Christianity and rejects the notion that the nation’s laws should be based on Christianity.
MYTH: The First Amendment’s religion clauses were intended only to prevent the establishment of a national church. If all the framers wanted to do was ban a national church, they had plenty of opportunities to state exactly that in the First Amendment. In fact, an early draft of the First Amendment read in part, "The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief, nor shall any national religion be established...." This draft was rejected as too weak. The historical record shows clearly that the framers wanted to ban "multiple establishments," that is, a system by which the government funds or supports many religions on an equal basis.
Far Right groups are aggressively spreading myths like this and deceiving many well-meaning people with their anti-church and state separation propaganda. Activists who support the separation principle must respond promptly to these myths every time they appear.
NOTE: This article is a condensed version of a piece that originally appeared in Church & State, March 1992, Vol. 45, No. 3.
Theological Arguments Against Intolerance
Dr. W. Kenneth Williams, Scholar-in-Residence Baptist Joint Committee Washington, D.C.
The concept of civic tolerance is grounded in theological conviction as much as in constitutional principles. God has created human beings as free moral agents to respond as they see fit. We must not violate the rights of others to respond to God freely and without coercion.
The notion of religious liberty is founded upon the primary theological precept that God created humanity in God’s own image. The image of God, however poetic or prosaic it comes to be expressed in our various religious forms, has everything to do with the human ability to choose. As rational beings, humans are separated from the rest of creation by the gift of discernment. Human beings are free of any divine programming so that they might, of their own choice, accept the invitation to partnership with God. God wants voluntary worshipers, not automatons or slaves.
It is this principle against which every effort towards religious conformity must be measured. Attempts to coerce others to comply with religious values with which they do not freely agree denigrates the principle of freedom. This is particularly true when government is solicited to endorse and promote specific religious views.
Some believe that the Christian faith should be favored both in government and in citizenship. They believe that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and should be maintained with that religious identity. They would show tolerance for the presence and practices of other faiths, but Christianity would be the preferred faith.
Two presumptions come together to make such an elitist claim possible. One is the belief that the special revelation of God in Jesus Christ cancels any possible - even partial - truth in other religious expressions. The other is a reduction of democracy to simple majority rule. The government should reflect the religious sensibilities of the majority and require a Christian conversion for aspirants to political office. The majority would be more free than the minority. Full citizenship would be denied a large segment of the population simply because of their chosen and claimed religious beliefs.
The inconsistency of this thinking with the notion of God-given freedom of choice and the integrity of personal response to God is obvious. It is equally inconsistent with the history of the United States and the Bill of Rights.
Many of the early exponents of religious liberty in the emerging republic were people of faith. They understood the primacy of free choice in religious practice. For the most part they were persons who had been persecuted as religious minorities in Europe and in new world colonies with established churches. They knew personally the penalties to be paid for the expression of conscience.
With the coercive power of the state at the disposal of established churches, the choice for minorities was to go along or flee. The record shows that the individual freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights came out of intense lobbying from those who paid the price for daring to claim conscience as a part of their religious practice.
To claim the right of conscience for themselves, that same right had to be guaranteed for all people. Only in this kind of society could such a guarantee of conscience be recognized.
How could those who had come out of deeply evangelical roots who were absolutely certain of the truth of the claims of their faith and the authority of Christian scriptures have such tolerance for the religions of other cultures, as well as for those who rejected religion entirely? The answer lies, at least partially, in their understanding of revelation. These early proponents of religious liberty came to understand revelation as progressive.* Rather than believe that God had revealed all truth at once, to be observed as the final authority for all generations, they believed that the future might be open to further divine revelation. This made possible a degree of humility that tempered the exclusivism that some faiths might otherwise hold as absolute over others.
In their passion for freedom, and with their notion of divine revelation yet to come, the builders of the foundation of America proposed and fought for a society in which religion would stand on its own merits, free of state sponsorship or control. God’s ultimate reality supersedes any earthly authority. So it is that in government’s eyes, the religious convictions of the smallest sect would be on equal footing with those embraced by the greatest majority. With tolerance for all and preference for none, the religions of all people could be practiced freely.
The Religious Right is wrong to claim a favored place for Christianity in American society and governance. They are wrong both constitutionally and theologically. The Bill of Rights cannot be erased by the will of the majority. History cannot be rewritten to defend the claim that America was established as a "Christian nation." God’s creation of humanity as free and capable of choice is a theological ‘first principle.’ In political society the corollary is freedom of conscience. To abridge the first denies the intention of God. To abridge the second is to replace liberty with tyranny.
*. See Williams E. Estep, Revolution Within the Revolution: The First Amendment in Historical Context (Grand Rapids: Eerdman’s, 1990).
Public Aid to Parochial Schools
J. Brent Walker, General Counsel Baptist Joint Committee Washington, D.C.
Public aid to parochial schools is constitutionally suspect, bad public policy, and disruptive of the autonomy of religious organizations. Schemes to provide such aid are not improved by couching them in the attractive rubric of "parental choice". Inevitably it is the private schools, not the parents, who exercise the choice.
Should tax dollars be spent for religious education? Is aid to parochial schools desirable or even constitutional? Does aid open the door for government regulation of parochial schools? The answer to these questions is ‘no, no and yes.’
Nevertheless, there are those who would like to see parochial schools receive public funding. Some simply want to have their children’s religious education paid for by someone else. Others advocate such programs out of a belief that competition will improve the public school system. Still others, with less noble motives, see this as an opportunity to destroy the public school system and "privatize" public education. Most recently these schemes have been couched in the deceptively attractive rhetoric of "parental choice". Although the freedom to choose is a good thing, when it becomes a vehicle for funding parochial schools it is constitutionally suspect, bad public policy and disruptive of the autonomy of religious organizations.
Constitutionality. The Supreme Court has time and time again ruled that aid to parochial schools at the elementary and secondary levels violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. While some non-financial aid has been upheld, these exceptional cases have involved benefits conferred directly on the students and available to all regardless of whether they attend public or private schools. Decisions prohibiting aid to parochial schools are grounded in the fact that such schools are "pervasively sectarian" institutions. That is, every aspect of parochial education at the elementary and secondary levels includes religious training and indoctrination of some kind or another. It is, thus, impossible to isolate and fund secular activities at parochial schools. These constitutional infirmities cannot be cured by relabeling the program "choice" or by issuing parents vouchers to "spend" at parochial schools. Significant tax dollars, in any case, will eventually be paid directly to the parochial schools.
Fairness. Common fairness requires that government not tax people to support teaching of religious beliefs with which they disagree. All parents have the right to choose to send their children to parochial schools. But they don’t have the right to choose other taxpayers to help them do it. On the other hand, it is not unfair to require all citizens to support the public school system. Public schools benefit all citizens without regard to whether they actually use them. Parents who send their children to parochial schools are no more entitled to tax relief or a voucher than the person who chooses not use the public library or swim in the public swimming pool. Americans simply do not have a cafeteria-style system of public services where people support only the programs they like.
Taxation without Representation/Double Taxation. Those who presently pay tuition for parochial education are not subject to "double taxation" as many claim. Parochial school tuition is not a "tax." It is an expense some parents voluntarily have undertaken to pay for religious education. If anything, it is choice plans themselves that impose double taxation: taxes for the public schools and more taxes to pay for the dollars channeled to parochial schools.
Competition will not improve public education. Putting public schools in competition with private schools will not improve the public school system. Public and private schools live by different rules. The public school must take every student regardless of intelligence, handicap or socio-economic status. Private and parochial schools are able to screen students and pick and choose among the best and brightest. Because of these and other differences, public and private schools simply do not compete on a level playing field. Trying to reform the public schools by funding parochial schools is like trying to improve the public water supply by investing in Perrier, or attempting to upgrade the public library by assisting persons in stocking their own private studies.
Bi-partisan opposition. Neither party, Democratic or Republican, should find aid to parochial schools appealing. No true Republican would endorse another expensive entitlement program that opens the door for governmental regulation of religious institutions and cuts the cord of fiscal accountability for public expenditures. No true Democrat would choose to widen the gap between the haves and have-nots. Even the most generous of voucher plans will not allow the poorest of our children to afford most private school tuition. For them "choice" is a cruel joke. It is simply "welfare for the already well off."
Autonomy in Governmental Regulation. Aid to parochial schools opens the door for government regulation of religious institutions and jeopardizes their autonomy. Government aid always drags behind it the strings of government regulation. Religious organizations must continue to be free from government regulation in order to teach according to its religious beliefs. The cost of this freedom is the churches’ refusal to accept offers of public assistance.
Public Opinion. A majority of people in this country are opposed to private school aid. Over the last three decades, 19 referenda have been defeated in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Only one has passed. Most people do not want, nor see a need for, aid of this sort.
Justice Hugo Black - "No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion." Thomas Jefferson - ". . . to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical."
Don’t Let Them Out of Your Sight for a Second
Kit-Bacon Gressitt The Clearinghouse of San Diego County San Diego, California
This article describes the hows and whys of developing and maintaining an effective regional school board watchdog system
Did you really think, even for a minute, everything would be okay with someone else in charge? Casting your vote is not the last thing on your list of civic chores; it’s the first. Once folks are elected, they bear watching, or they’ll wander out into political traffic.
In San Diego County, California, the need to watchdog elected representatives became critical in 1990 when a slew of right-wing radical candidates washed into office like a rogue wave. In the aftermath, an eclectic coalition of grassroots organizations, The Clearinghouse, coalesced around the goal of developing a strategic response to these political newcomers. The intent : prevent a second migration. The article "There is No Rain Without Thunder" describes the creation of the coalition and its comprehensive voter guide. The second part of this group’s efforts was the development of a county-wide school board watchdog system.
The purpose of the system is two-fold: it complements the research necessary to compile an accurate voter guide; and it facilitates an immediate call to action when school board agenda items so demand. When successfully established, a watchdog system allows activists throughout a county, or in an individual school district, to be alerted to a critical discussion or decision planned by a school board. This, in turn, allows mainstream activists to be directly involved in the process and effect its outcome. Like it or not—and despite the law—guests are not always welcomed at public meetings with open arms .
Love Your Volunteers Volunteers are the key ingredient to a watchdog system. The more organizations in your coalition, the more volunteers you’ll have available..
Create a data base of watchdog volunteers, their school districts, and schedules and locations of their meetings. Always have more than one volunteer to cover each district, particularly those that meet weekly, so volunteers can trade off. You’ll need a form for volunteers to report on meetings, a method for reporting, and a list of issues to watch (see the sample watchdog guidelines at the end of this article).
Your coalition must decide which issues you want to track. Be sure to alert volunteers to the myriad of euphemisms used to bury a polemic in an agenda. It is not uncommon to find the most sizzling of issues disguised in brown paper language.
Watchdog volunteers should also be alert to speakers appearing at school board meetings. They often reveal new volunteers, or potential right-wing candidates. Encourage watchdoggers to take down names in either category and send them on to your coalition’s researchers. The watchdoggers are in a good position to be charged with clipping articles about the school board they watch. These, too, should go to your researchers.
One Ringy-Dingy A well organized phone tree of activists is one of the most powerful tools of a grassroots organization. In a watchdog system, it’s your life line. The phone tree should be activated when an agenda item demands public attendance at a school board meeting, when letters should be written to a board or newspapers, or whenever you need a mass intervention to a pending board action. Often you’ll have to move swiftly to effect a decision. Having a phone tree of volunteers who you know will take immediate action will make your coalition the most effective advocacy force in town.
Watchdoggers should know how and by whom decisions are made to activate the phone tree. Their first-hand knowledge of board members and their agendas will be the primary factors in the decisions, so it’s important that they understand the criteria for using the tree.
Try testing the phone tree once before you need it—to iron out the glitches. Ideally, the coalition list will comprise the first few branches of the tree, and each member organization will then implement its own tree as it sees fit.
A watchdog system needs lots of nurturing. Create occasional opportunities for volunteers to gather and stroke each other. It can be awfully lonely out there in sometimes hostile territory. If you need a nudge, feel free to call The Clearinghouse at (619) 728-4956.
ClearingHouse School Board Watchdog Guidelines
The purpose of watchdogging school boards is to allow a community’s mainstream to be alerted to the influence of right wing radicals in our school systems, so that the majority’s moderate, more inclusive values may be promoted and protected from extremism. Identifying problems as they originate—and potential community leaders who can respond effectively to them—will help guard against erosion of democratic principles at the local level.
Volunteers will be identified in each school district. They will be oriented to the purpose and process of watchdogging, and will collectively perform the following tasks: add name(s) to agenda mailing list review agendas for hot issues (see list below) attend board meetings regularly track progress of agenda items through process alert the phone tree when necessary identify potential candidates, activists, and extremists clip letters to the editor and articles pertaining to the local district and copy to central file
HOT ISSUES TO WATCH
1. any religious observance at any school district function
2. school-based clinics
3. confidential access to off-campus services, social services referral lists
4. gender equity: budget items that distinguish between genders consideration of gender in access to programs such as sports, honors programs, awards, etc.
5. sexual harassment
6. religious curriculum materials, dogma, indoctrination, or propoganda pay particular attention to science and humanities curricula
7. review of curriculum materials, literature, library books, etc., with an eye to censorship
8. sex education, family life curricula, values-based education, morals education
9. parental permission for anything
10 . policies for guest speakers, assemblies, etc.
11. school vouchers
12. non-education related issues on board agenda
13. board micromanagement of school affairs; particularly look at legal services
14. discrimination toward students or staff or public based on anything: gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, citizenship, marital status, religion, etc.
15. appointment to committees
16. self-esteem programs
17. any social services programs, particularly for low-income or otherwise disadvantaged children (breakfast-lunch programs, etc.)
18. use of district facilities for religious activities
19. bi-lingual education
20. home schooling
21. sectarian requirements for district employees
1.Upon receipt of a board meeting agenda, volunteers will review scheduled items for "hot issues." If there are any hot issues on the agenda, for either information or action, contact one of the action coordinators listed below, to determine if we need to prepare a response to the agenda item prior to the meeting.
*****Continue calling the action coordinators until you make personal contact with one of them. This is critical, because, if we need to implement the phone tree to get people out to a meeting, we need adequate advance notice.
2.If there are no hot issues on the agenda, or if an action coordinator determines with you that we need not respond to any of them prior to the meeting, simply attend the meeting and indicate on the report form any pertinent board actions.
3.Complete a report form for each board meeting. Make note of any hot issues on the agenda, any action that is taken by the board on those issues, any hot issues that will appear on future agendas, and the names and affiliations of any noteworthy speakers from the public. If a speaker seems inclined in our direction, try to obtain his or her phone number.
4.If an issue arises at a board meeting that you believe may require some response from the coalition, call the action coordinators immediately so we can kick into gear if necessary.
The San Diego Model: A Community Battles the Religious Right
Matthew Freeman People For the American Way Washington, D.C.
This article discusses 1992 efforts by the San Diego-based Community for Responsible Education to combat a Religious Right attempt to take over local school boards. The group used a three-prong strategy: organizing mainstream activists and organizations, raising voter awareness of Religious Right efforts, and denying the Religious Right its presumed base the religious community by organizing local mainstream clergy to oppose the takeover effort.
The following is excerpted from "The San Diego Model: A Community Battles the Religious Right," published by People For the American Way. The booklet seeks to tell the story of one community’s courageous battle to defeat an attempt by Religious Right activists to seize control of local school boards. It is the product of extensive research, including interviews with most, if not all, of the significant players in the political mainstream’s campaign. The booklet highlights the work of three San Diego area mainstream organizations the Community for Responsible Education, the Mainstream Voters Project and the Community Coalition Network, each of which played a vital role in the 1992 elections. Solely for reasons of space, this excerpt focuses on just one of these groups, the Community for Responsible Education.
Setting the Stage In 1990, San Diego, California became a testing ground for a new Religious Right tactic, the stealth campaign. That year, leaders of the Christian Coalition joined forces with a number of other Religious Right groups and individuals to field and then work to elect a slate of like-minded candidates. Among the offices for which these candidates ran were a handful of state legislative seats, and a host of positions on hospital planning boards, city councils, water districts, and, most significantly, school boards.
Altogether, these forces fielded some 90 candidates in 1990, nearly two-thirds of whom were ultimately elected. Apart from ideology, what distinguished these candidates from all others was their method of campaigning. While most candidates seek opportunities to meet the voters, these candidates rarely ventured beyond the safety of their church communities. They came, in fact, to be referred to as "stealth candidates," and one longtime school board member would say of an elected slate member, "Nobody laid eyes on her till the day she was sworn in."1
The movement’s successes in 1990 put it within striking distance of a still more significant victory in 1992: in a number of school districts throughout the county, Religious Right forces, with at least one board seat already safely in their control, were poised to seize voting control of the board with just modest gains in 1992’s elections.
With control of school boards would come virtual carte blanche for the Religious Right to enact its extreme agenda for the schools, which often includes censoring selected novels and textbooks, teaching Creationism alongside evolution in biology classrooms, gutting sex education programs, and ending school breakfast programs and daycare, on the grounds that such programs undercut the family.
Because of the efforts of a number of San Diego residents concerned about the Religious Right’s efforts, the movement’s drive for control was largely although not completely defeated. This case study that follows seeks to tell the story of one part of that effort, the work of the Community for Responsible Education.
Mobilizing to Defeat the Religious Right Almost immediately after the 1990 elections, awareness of and opposition to the Religious Right’s efforts in San Diego began to emerge. Mindful that the movement would seek to continue in 1992 the takeover effort it launched in 1990, local citizens moved to fight back. In the process, several new organizations were formed, and several existing ones added the issue to their own agendas. Though the groups did not, by and large, work together as a formal coalition, their combined efforts turned the tide in 1992. Without question, these mainstream efforts were the difference between the 1990 and 1992 experiences.
The first organization established to do battle with the Religious Right was the Community for Responsible Education (CRE). Founded in January, 1991 by former La Mesa-Spring Valley board member Carroll Albright in the wake of her defeat by a Religious Right slate-member, CRE organized as a political action group. Albright was later joined as co-chair by Ken Blalack, a local parent, management consultant and self-described "Goldwater conservative." Although Albright and Blalack would come to be personally active in a number of school district races in the eastern part of the county, CRE focused its activities on the La Mesa-Spring Valley school district, where it felt the presence of 1990 slate-members Don Smith (San Diego Christian Coalition co-chair) and Cheryl Jones personified the Religious Right takeover threat in a way that lent itself to county-wide concern.
CRE’s principal contributions to the battle were two-fold. First, the group sought to take on the Religious Right in a direct and hard-hitting way, to some degree sparing individual candidates that largely negative task. CRE, for example, worked to force 1990 slate members Smith and Jones as well as their 1992 counterparts to answer for the broader record of the Religious Right, thereby putting their slate on the political defensive.
Second, by the time 1992 election campaigns were in high gear, members of CRE followed the organization’s lead in developing campaigns for individual candidates that reflected the broader values and no-nonsense tactics of the group. These campaigns were independent of CRE, but both their approach and the remarkable degree of organization were plainly in tune with CRE’s efforts.
Early on, CRE mapped out a three-part approach to the 1992 elections:
1. organize the mainstream opposition
2. raise voter awareness to the Religious Right threat 3. cut off the Religious Right from its political base the religious community.
Organizing the Mainstream In accomplishing its first objective, CRE immediately went about the business of establishing its credentials as a nonpartisan organization independent of special interests. It was important, said CRE’s Blalack, "that we not be perceived as a stalking horse for some partisan political agenda." The group’s mission, therefore, was to work to ensure that a "school board majority would not fall to any narrow interest group."2
Beginning in 1991, the group began monitoring school board meetings to be certain that Smith and Jones would not be able to escape community scrutiny while serving on the school board, as they had while running for office. While the three-member moderate majority on the school board sought opportunities to force Smith and Jones to state their extremist views publicly, CRE representatives dutifully documented the record. By the summer of 1992, the two had provided CRE with more than enough examples to build a case against electing a third slate member to join them.
At roughly the same time, CRE endorsed a series of candidates from among the existing 1992 field in La Mesa-Spring Valley. These candidates would later run their campaigns in a coordinated fashion, appearing together at forums, printing signs and other campaign literature jointly.
CRE’s candidate-selection process coincided with similar endorsement decisions by the two major education unions in the district. Although the three groups made independent judgments, the deliberations of each group appear to have been informed by one another. In the end, all three endorsed the same set of three candidates from among a double-digit field. Blalack and Albright described the various organizations’ ability to arrive at a single slate as important to the mainstream candidates’ overall margin of victory.3
Raising Voter Awareness CRE was able to help all the candidates by laying groundwork for their efforts with a concerted voter awareness initiative that sought to portray the extent of the Religious Right threat.
That involved several distinct initiatives. First was a public relations effort that included a steady stream of press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, opinion pieces, and media appearances. Next was participation by slate candidates in a series of candidate forums sponsored by a diverse group of organizations. By the reckoning of one CRE-slate candidate, "the forums didn’t really change anybody’s mind,"4 but they did generate a considerable amount of media attention, feeding the voter awareness effort still further. Spurred by the Religious Right controversy, hundreds of local citizens turned out for forums, in sharp contrast to sparse attendance in previous years. With the Religious Right’s efforts exposed, the candidates were able to set about the business of framing the alternative. Toward that end, for example, La Mesa resident Ellen Yaffa resigned from CRE to take charge of the La Mesa- Spring Valley moderate slates’ efforts. She and the candidates were able to fashion a remarkably efficient series of voter-awareness efforts that included many of the traditional hallmarks of precinct-level grassroots campaigning: lawn signs, door-knocking by candidates, phone banking, T-shirts, and enormous mailings. This broad outreach effort relied substantially on personal contacts between candidates and voters, and between neighbors. In its attempt to reach out to citizens in La Mesa-Spring Valley, the campaign conducted an effort that displayed extraordinary energy and thoroughness.5
Denying the Religious Right Its Base The third prong of CRE’s effort was a classic stratagem of political campaigning: work to deny the opposition its political base. Commonly, that effort involves conservatives seeking to cut into progressives’ core voter groups, or vice-versa. In this case, it involved an effort by CRE to organize San Diego’s mainstream religious community to condemn the blatant politicking of their fellow religious leaders, or at minimum to disavow it.
This effort was spearheaded by Blalack himself, who carefully tapped into a network of religious leaders in the community through an exhaustive series of one-on-one meetings, speeches to congregations, and efforts to counteract anticipated Religious Right leafletting at churches. In all, some 100 ministers joined the effort in some capacity. By working with individual leaders as well as ministerial associations, CRE was able to blunt the misperception that the Religious Right spoke for religious men and women.
Albright and Blalack have subsequently formed the Organization of Mainstream Activists. For more information on OMA’s work, call Ken Blalack at 619-698- 1334.
Prayer in Public Schools and Graduation Ceremonies
Dr. W. Kenneth Williams, Scholar-in-Residence Baptist Joint Committee Washington, D.C.
State sponsored prayer in the public schools, whether in the classroom or at graduation ceremonies, violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and offends the consciences of those would not choose to participate in the prayers. This does not mean that students are prevented from engaging in voluntary private prayer in accordance with their own religious tradition and convictions, only that they cannot ask the state to help them do it.
Those favoring prayer in the public schools believe that government has the responsibility to interject religion into the educational process. They reason that American’s history tells of religious peoples seeking freedom to exercise their religious commitments. They reason, further, that the framers of American democracy were religious persons who intended government to reflect a generalized faith while defending against the establishment of any particular faith. Therefore, exposing school children to a divine referent through non-sectarian prayers at the beginning of the school day or in graduation exercises is defensible. It continues a well-founded American tradition, contributes to general morality, undergirds the spiritual welfare of impressionable children, and is generalized enough so as to be inoffensive to religious minorities.
Reason gives way to emotion when the premises of school prayer supporters’ logic is challenged. Ever since the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions1 of the early 1960s holding school-sponsored prayer to be unconstitutional, school prayer proponents have made increasingly emotional appeals to restore prayer in schools, essentially making their case on the basis of majority rule. In spite of these efforts, the Supreme Court has consistently held to the notion of governmental neutrality concerning prayer in schools.2
The focus of the debate lately has shifted from the classroom to graduation ceremonies. Most recently, in Lee v. Weisman (1991), the school’s principal selected the cleric and gave him guidelines to follow in fashioning his prayer. This amounted to an establishment of religion, said the Supreme Court, and therefore violated the First Amendment.
Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, declared that the government cannot make religious conformity the price for attending one’s graduation ceremony. In his concurring opinion, Justice Souter made this observation: "One may fairly say ... that the government brought prayer into the [graduation] ceremony precisely because some people want a symbolic affirmation that government approves and endorses their religion, and because many of the people who want this affirmation place little or no value on the costs to religious minorities.’"
Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice, a legal advocacy group established in counterpoint to the American Civil Liberties Union, has sought to capitalize on a 1993 case that the Supreme Court chose not to review. In Jones v. Clear Creek Independent School District, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held it permissible for a student to say a "non-proselytizing, non- sectarian" prayer in graduation ceremonies, if the students voted to have prayer. The ACLJ sees the Supreme Court’s choice not to hear the case as tacit approval of the lower court’s resolution.
This is wrong. The Supreme Court receives more than 6,000 petitions for review annually. It accepts only a little over 100. Does this mean that the court approves of the other 5,900? No. It is simply impossible for the high court to review every case presented to it. The ACLJ is making a claim that cannot be legally supported.
Other points to consider: It is not true that God has been thrown out of the public schools. Students may offer private prayers, read their scriptures during free time, and often may gather in groups for religious purposes before and after classes, so long as the school is not the sponsor and no member of the staff or faculty participates.
The proper place for corporate prayer at the time of school graduation is in a place of worship. Baccalaureate services sponsored by a community’s religious institutions reflect the very bedrock of American tradition free people exercising their chosen religious commitments under the absolute protection of a free state.
The liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights are not subject to majority vote. In fact, they are "counter majoritarian" established for the very purpose of defending minorities against the tyranny of majority action. The framers of our republic saw that majority rule can be as oppressive as that of a powerful dictator. The use of public schools to endorse and promote the religious sensibilities of the majority rides roughshod over the rights of those of minority persuasions, or those who desire no exposure to religious practice at all.
There is no such thing as a "non-sectarian" prayer. It is a contradiction in terms like "grape-nuts." It is really neither one. True prayer has to come out of some sectarian tradition. And if it could somehow be made truly "non- sectarian," it would not be prayer. Moreover, prayer reflects the missional purposes of a particular religion. Therefore, how can there be, by definition, prayer that is "non-proselytizing"? Such prayers have the same banal effect as letters bearing the salutation "To Whom It May Concern."
Children are impressionable. They can be easily confused when the religious traditions of their home life conflict with the traditions to which they are exposed at school. Religious instruction should be left to the home and to the religious institutions, thus freeing children particularly those of minority persuasions from the pressures to conform to the majority.
However well intended, the reasoning of those who support state sponsored prayers in the public schools is flawed. Government cannot endorse religion. It is not the government’s place to endorse the religious practices of the majority culture. Prayer is a private matter, to be taught in the places that are most competent for such instructionthe religious institutions of our communities. We uphold the best of our democratic ideals when the roles of church and state are well separated. u
Talking Points About Prayer In School
Rob Boston Americans United for Separation of Church and State Silver Spring, Maryland
Much confusion exists in the minds of the American people over the issue of prayer in public schools. Religious Right groups have added to this confusion by making untrue claims about school prayer. This article gives responses to some of the Religious Right’s most common claims about the issue.
The Religious Right would have Americans believe a great deal of mythology about prayer in public schools. According to the Religious Right, even voluntary school prayer is illegal. They say students can be expelled for reading the Bible during free time and that religion can’t be discussed in any context in public school classrooms.
None of this is true. Students are free to engage in voluntary prayer in public schools and may read religious texts during their free time. In addition, public schools all over the country use the Bible and other types of religious literature in objective programs of instruction designed to teach about religion.
Here are some common Religious Right arguments in favor of government involvement in school prayer with responses:
Statement: Children can’t pray in public schools. Yes, they can. In 1962 and 1963 the Supreme Court struck down mandatory, state-sponsored programs of prayer and Bible reading in public schools. The high court has never ruled that truly voluntary, individual prayer is unconstitutional. Individual students are free to recite voluntary prayers or read from religious texts during their free time.
"Voluntary" prayer must really be voluntary and not a ruse to reinstate school-sponsored religious worship. Federal courts have struck down efforts by school officials to set up programs whereby teachers ask a student volunteer to lead the class in prayer. They have also struck down so-called "voluntary" prayer during "optional" student assemblies held as part of the school day
Statement: We had prayer in schools for 100 years and it never hurt anyone. This is simply not true. Many Americans don’t know it, but prayer in public schools was quite contentious in the mid and late 19th century. Roman Catholic objections to Protestant religious practices in the public schools led to civil strife in some cities. (Thirteen people were killed during Protestant- Catholic riots in the Philadelphia area in 1843 after Catholics demanded that their children be excused from mandatory religious practices.) In modern times, members of minority religious groups have complained that government- sponsored worship in schools favors majority faiths. Even many Christians considered forced religion to be distasteful.
Statement: Madalyn Murray O’Hair, an atheist who hates religion, is responsible for having prayer taken out of public schools. Well-known atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair has taken credit for having removed prayer from public school, but she played only a supporting role in the cases. The first school prayer case, 1962’s Engel v. Vitale, did not involve O’Hair at all. It was brought by a group of parents on Long Island, N.Y., of various religious and philosophical backgrounds, who challenged a "non-denominational" prayer state education officials had composed for public schoolchildren to recite.
One year later, a Philadelphia-area family named the Schempps challenged mandatory Bible reading in Pennsylvania schools, and their lawsuit eventually reached the Supreme Court. At the same time, O’Hair was challenging a similar practice, as well as the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, in Baltimore’s public schools. The Supreme Court consolidated the cases and in 1963 ruled 8-1 that government-sponsored Bible reading or other religious devotions in public schools are unconstitutional.
Statement: The school prayer rulings are hostile to religion. Just the opposite is true. The rulings preserve religious freedom by giving parents the right to decide what religious views and prayersif anytheir children are exposed to. Also, the justices have stated many times that objective study about the Bible and religion’s role in history is legal and appropriate in public schools. In the Schempp decision, Justice Tom Clark wrote for the court majority, "[I]t might well be said that one’s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment."
Statement: Most Americans support prayer in schools. The majority should get to do what it wants. Public opinion polls on school prayer show different results depending on how the question is worded. While many people say they support "prayer in schools," they have different ideas about what that could mean. In addition, even if a majority did favor requiring prayer in schools, it would not matter. The Bill of Rights protects everyone’s beliefs and ensures that majorities do not run roughshod over the rights of minorities.
Statement: Ever since prayer was removed from schools, public school performance has declined and social ills have increased. It is true that some indices of school performance have decreased since 1962, but the problems experienced in our schools are reflections of the problems in American society that are caused by a whole range of socio-economic factors. We cannot blame every societal problem, from the increase in teenage pregnancies to the escalating divorce rate, on a lack of required prayer in schools. Complex problems require complex solutions, something schools across the nation are working on. We should support efforts to make schools safer and healthier but we don’t have to go against the U.S. Constitution to do that.
Statement: The Supreme Court has said organized school prayer is OK as long as it is "student initiated," "non-sectarian" and "non-proselytizing" in nature. The Supreme Court has never issued such a ruling. One federal appeals court has approved prayer during public school graduation ceremonies under these conditions, but other federal courts have disagreed with that ruling. Many observers believe the question will eventually end up before the Supreme Court.
Some state legislatures are moving to enact laws permitting public school prayer that is "non-sectarian" and "non-proselytizing." Such legislation is almost certainly unconstitutional because it gives government officials the power to determine which prayers qualify as "non-sectarian" and "non- proselytizing." It should also be noted that many believers consider watered-downed, generic prayers to be deeply offensive.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State 8120 Fenton St. Silver Spring, MD 20910 (301) 589-3707 (301) 495-9173 (FAX)
Community Organizing for Sexuality Education
Leslie M. Kantor
New York, New YorkProponents of comprehensive sexuality education need to rely on community organizing strategies that mobilize large numbers of mainstream and progressive citizens to counter the misinformation campaigns of the Far Right.
Since the mid-80s, the Far Right has shifted from its insistence that sexuality education remain in the family’s domain to the position that abstinence should be the only sexuality education topic taught in the public schools. The Right is pushing programs that promote stereotyped views of the way people should live. These fear-based education programs are inappropriate
and damaging, distorting medical information, displaying sexist, homophobic and racist biases and relying on fear and shame to promote abstinence.
This new strategy has created the need for strong community organizing that can counter the push for fear-based programs and can provide support for
comprehensive sexuality education.
Successful Strategies for Supporting Comprehensive Sexuality Education
1. Understand and Articulate the Significance of Sexuality Education
The problems associated with a lack of education and skills for maintaining sexual health are well knownepidemics of sexually transmitted diseases, escalating HIV infection, teen pregnancy, infertility. Yet SIECUS estimates that fewer than 10% of students in the U.S. currently receive comprehensive sexuality education.
However, sexual health is also much more than simply avoiding disastrous outcomes.
Comprehensive sexuality education provides opportunities for students to learn critical health information, develop a positive sense of self-worth and an understanding of their own development. It can create a forum for discussing gender roles, be a course of study that develops critical thinking and decision-making skills, and be a place to learn about family roles and responsibilities.
Many adults think back on the minimal sexuality education they received and assume sexuality education classes to be unhelpful or unimportant. By educating the community about the broad range of topics covered by comprehensive sexuality education and the effectiveness of approaches that combine information with skills-building, people will see that fighting for this type of program is essential.
2. Make Connections Among the Issues to Build Diverse CoalitionsAnother strategy for building widespread support for sexuality education is illustrating the connections between sexuality education and other critical issues, such as self-esteem, HIV/AIDS, women’s equality, gay and lesbian civil rights, reproductive rights, maintaining health through preventative measures, etc. Ideally, sexuality education provides opportunities for students to learn tolerance, build awareness of differences, and come to respect all people’s values, priorities and needs. Sexuality education is much more than what we do with our body partsit addresses who we are as people and how we will relate to one another. All groups fighting for justice and fairness can recognize how lessons that build interpersonal skills will aid their goals. While widespread Far Right attacks on public education are disruptive, they also provide an opportunity for unlikely allies to come together. Groups concerned with poverty may come to the table over sexuality education if sexuality education proponents will continue to sit at the table when Head Start, school breakfast and school lunch programs come under fire. Mainstream Republican groups are very concerned about the Far Right takeover of the
Republican party and may be willing to join local coalitions addressing these issues.
Coalitions may already exist around the issues of AIDS, teen pregnancy and gay and lesbian rights. These coalitions can offer support, members, meeting space, and suggestions of allies to contact. Youth-serving organizations such as the YMCA and YWCA, Girl’s, Incorporated, and local recreation and parks departments are important potential coalition members. Reproductive rights organizations such as NARAL and Planned Parenthood are logical members of any coalition to support comprehensive sexuality education. Contact the Junior League, the League of Women Voters, and other political and civic groups. Don’t forget to approach religious leaders in the community. Many religious people in this country do not agree with the politics or the positions of the Far Right! Mainstream Protestant ministers and reform rabbis are good candidates for coalition membership. Students are also important members of this coalitionstudents are powerful voices for their own needs.
3. Develop Public Awareness About Sexuality Education Controversies
A lack of awareness about issues surrounding sexuality education leads to the
lack of public support at school board meetings. It ensures that few
volunteers will volunteer to sit on advisory committees that will revise and
recommend curricula, and allows those who promote fear-based educational
approaches to implement their agenda largely unchecked. Here are some ways to
create awareness:Meet with the editorial board of the local newspaper and encourage them to run editorials and feature articles on the issue.Write letters to the editor about the current controversy.
Set up tables at malls or other busy areas and distribute information about these issues.
Place flyers in grocery stores, libraries, day care centers, schools and restaurants that encourage people to get involved.
Hold an educational forum to discuss current sexuality education programs, any proposed changes to the programs, what the facts show about effective sexuality education, and the shortcomings of fear-based approaches.At the local level, the perception of teachers, school administrators and school board members is greatly influenced by Far Right community groups who seek to weaken existing programs or replace them with fear-based programs.
Supporters of comprehensive programs have often been less likely to make their feelings known.
Many people are not aware that a controversy over sexuality education is taking place in their community.People may not appreciate the significance of the sexuality education battle. Especially in areas which devote few hours to family life education, people may not feel compelled to defend such a short school program.People may not realize that the same people attacking sexuality education are usually the same people who oppose teaching reading through whole language methods, school breakfast and school lunch programs, self-esteem education and outcome-based education. These Far Right activists also desire reinstituting school prayer, teaching creationism alongside evolution, and implementing school voucher programs.
4. Investigate the Current Structure for Recommending and Approving Sexuality Education Curricula and Get Involved
Most communities have some type of community advisory committee responsible for periodically reviewing sexuality education materials. During a controversy, this type of committee is often charged with looking at the current program, investigating alternative programs, and making recommendations to school administrators or to the school board. The committee is typically made up of teachers, school administrators, parents, local religious leaders, and medical professionals. One tactic of the Far Right is to ensure that they are well represented on this committee. Schools are often in a dilemma when only Far Right parents come forward to serve on these committeesmainstream and progressive parents do not always offer to put in the time and effort needed to serve. Encourage supporters of comprehensive sexuality education to find out who chairs the committee and let them know that they are available if and when new members are needed. 5. Educate the School Board about Sexuality Education
Local school boards often make the final decision about which sexuality education program will be used in the district’s schools. Although school
boards are charged with creating policy, not deciding curricula, the charged atmosphere surrounding sexuality education has led to more and more decisions being made at the school board level. School board members may have little prior knowledge about sexuality education. Knowing the position of board members on this issue and working to bolster the position of those who favor a comprehensive approach and educating those who have yet to form an opinion, are critical tasks. Share the literature on effective sexuality education programs and help board members to understand the difference between peer reviewed, scientific literature and pieces developed by national Far Right political groups. On boards which have majority support for fear-based education, bring political pressure to bear on board members by having
supporters of comprehensive approaches write letters, testify at school board meetings, and promise to vote against them in the next election if they don’t
support a comprehensive approach.6. Support Teachers and Offer Strategies for Promoting their ProgramsTeachers often become the target of attacks by the Far Right. Teachers who have taught for many years and received praise and recognition for their efforts are often unprepared when they become the target of virulent
distortion campaigns. Teachers can be better prepared to deal with potential controversy if they take steps to keep track of parents and students who have
benefited from their programs. Keeping a simple phone list of parents and students who have enjoyed the program and might be willing to write letters of support or testify at meetings is a good idea for teachers. Also, invite teachers to join coalitions. The coalition can be a source of strength and support should the teacher ever encounter problems.7. Develop a Visible Campaign in Support of Comprehensive Sexuality EducationIn Hemet, CA, a parents group began sporting navy ribbons to show support for comprehensive sexuality education. Many strategies exist to make sexuality education a visible issue and create community awareness. Bumper stickers, flyers and buttons proclaiming "Just Say Know" or "Ignorance Kills" can help
educate the community about the issues surrounding sexuality education. These campaigns can take place proactively as well as in response to controversy.
8. Know the Opposition
Local opponents of comprehensive sexuality education often receive funding and
materials from national organizations such as Citizens for Excellence in
Education and the Christian Coalition. Watch for names like "Citizens for
Educational Accountability" or "Parents for Excellence in Education."
Confront local groups with the positions and statements of national leaders
and ask them to defend the national groups. Most local communities do not
appreciate being targeted by national organizations and will react negatively to local groups’ associations with national Far Right groups. Become familiar
with Far Right arguments related to sexuality. Whenever possible, get on the
mailing list of Far Right organizations to keep abreast of new materials and tactics.
SIECUS is available to offer consultation, technical assistance, written
materials and contact people to community members who are involved with
controversies over sexuality education. Technical assistance may be obtained
by calling or writing to SIECUS. In addition, SIECUS publishes a Community
Action Kit which includes a range of materials designed to educate people
about the content of comprehensive sexuality education, public support for a comprehensive approach, how to community organize to support comprehensive
sexuality education, and the shortcomings of fear-based education. Action
Kits are available for $29.95 from the SIECUS Publications Department, 130
West 42nd Street, #2500, New York, NY 10036. u
Sexuality Education Talking Points
Leslie M. KantorSIECUSNew York, New York
Here are some key points about sexuality education from the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S
In national polls, over 85% of adults support teaching sexuality education in schools. Majority support exists for teaching a comprehensive approach including subjects which are sometimes viewed as controversial such as contraception, sexual orientation, abortion, and masturbation.
Forty-seven states either mandate or recommend sexuality education. However, SIECUS estimates that fewer than 10% of youth in the U.S. receive comprehensive sexuality education.Studies published in scientific, peer-reviewed journals have shown that skills-based sexuality education helps students to postpone sexual intercourse
and helps those students who do engage in intercourse to use contraception consistently and correctly. There is no evidence that sexuality education
increases the likelihood that someone will engage in intercourse.Comprehensive sexuality education encompasses 36 topics which are introduced in an age-appropriate manner. These topics include body image, family roles, gender, parenting skills, anatomy, physiology, sexual behavior, prevention of pregnancy, STDs, and AIDS, decision-making, communication skills and refusal
skills. The goal of comprehensive sexuality education is the development of sexually healthy adults.Abstinence is an important component of any comprehensive sexuality education program. Comprehensive programs enforce abstinence through teaching skills such as refusal, communication, and decision-making which will help students to maintain abstinence. So-called "abstinence-only" programs substitute
slogans for effective skills-based strategies.
Adolescents explore their sexuality as a natural part of their development.
Effective education must begin in the earliest grades to ensure a strong
foundation for the subsequent introduction of more complex concepts later on.
The same is true for any academic subject-students begin studying addition and
subtraction in the lower grades before progressing to algebra in junior high
and high school.
The values that underlie comprehensive sexuality education include respect for
individuals and their differences, respect for oneself, and the belief that
students have a right to accurate information that will aid them in making
responsible decisions. In a pluralistic society, it is critical that we
respect all people’s values when it comes to the myriad issues related to
Fear-based education programs have not been evaluated using accurate research
methodology. Fear-based programs are flawed because of their attempt to use
fear and shame to promote abstinence, use of medical misinformation, inclusion
of sexist, racist and classist stereotypes and lack of opportunity for skills
development. Scare tactics have been shown to be ineffective in changing health behaviors.u
1 Interview with Carroll Albright, December 8, 1992.2 Interview with Albright and Blalack, December 8, 1992.
3 Ibid.4 Interview with Ted Crooks, successful candidate for La Mesa-Spring
Valley school board, running with CRE endorsement, December 9, 1992.5 Interviews conducted on December 8 and 9, 1992 with Ted Crooks, moderate
slate member in La Mesa-Spring Valley; Bud Willis; Ada Reep, moderate slate member in Grossmont High School district; Ellen Yaffa, campaign manager in La
Mesa-Spring Valley; Vern Sweigard, La Mesa-Spring Valley field worker coordinator, precinct and voter analyst; Jane Vorrath, La Mesa-Spring Valley,
Classified Employees Union representative; Sharon Jones, moderate slate member in La Mesa-Spring Valley; Bob Arganbright, training consultant to La Mesa-
Spring Valley moderate slate; Cathy Potter and Donna Masters, Lemon Grove Teachers Association.
Missionaries in Public Schools
Edd Doerr Americans for Religious Liberty Silver Spring, Maryland
Religious pluralism and the constitutional principle of separation of church and state require public schools to be religiously neutral. This article shows how that neutrality is being violated on a large scale by fundamentalist missionaries being allowed to operate in public schools.
American public schools are required to be religiously neutral by both the richly pluralistic nature of our society and the constitutional principle of separation of church and state. If the schools prefer one or some religions over others, they violate the rights of conscience of both students and their families.
Neutrality does not prevent schools from teaching about religion in an objective, academic manner (e.g., comparative religion, religious literature, etc.). Nor does it mean that students are prohibited from exercising their religion or speaking about their faith in a way that is not disruptive of the educational process (e.g., reading religious literature during free time, private prayer). It does mean, at least, that the schools cannot proselytize or allow other adults to do so on campus.
Probably the least reported, least analyzed, least well understood threat to public school religious neutrality is the intrusion into the schools of sectarian proselytizers. According to a survey in 1983 by Education Week, some 4,500 trained missionaries were then operating in U.S. public schools. Since then the number has surely increased. In an article in USA Today in 1987, I referred to this as "the invasion of the soul snatchers."
The proselytizers who use our public schools and compulsory school attendance laws would surely agree with evangelist Jerry Johnston of Shawnee Mission, KS, who declared in a promotion piece for his Life Public School Assembly program that, "In the public school junior and senior high school age bracket there are approximately 40,000,000 [sic!] teenagers in the United States. This large group of young people represents one of the greatest virgin mission fields existent today and yet by and large, they are unreached by the Christian community." In the same piece, Johnston urged fundamentalist "youth pastors" to use the Equal Access Act passed by Congress in 1984, and later upheld by the Supreme Court, to gain entry into public schools. (The Equal Access Act allows non-curriculum related student groups, including religious clubs, to meet before and after school in secondary schools. They must be student-initiated and outsiders may not attend on a regular basis. The Supreme Court upheld this law in 1990.)
Johnston boasted that by the mid-1980s he had already spoken to more than two million students in more than two thousand public schools. His technique is to put on assembly programs in secondary schools during school hours on teen substance abuse and suicide, and then invite students to attend an evening meeting to hear the rest of his "message." For example, in Pinellas County, FL several years ago, Johnston used assemblies to attract about 4,000 public school students to the Russell Stadium with promises of free pizza. Later, kids complained in letters to the editor that they had to sit through what they described as a two-hour revival service before they got their free pizza.
There are other proselytizers and other methods.
Young Life is one of the largest groups, with over 400 missionaries. Their method is to contact students in school during the school day and invite them to social gatherings outside school hours and off the school premises. Typically, Young Life missionaries get permission from local school authorities to "hang around" school corridors and lunch rooms to contact students one at a time. Northern Virginia Young Life director Chuck Reinhold told a Roanoke gathering, in justification of their activities, that 85% of all conversions are made by age 18.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes has chapters in hundreds of public high schools. It has 168 paid missionaries and some 3,200 volunteers. Appealing to youthful interest in sports, the FCA sends well-known sports figures across the country to promote conservative evangelical Protestant Christianity in school settings, though some such activities may technically be legal under the Equal Access Act. Sports World Ministries has gained access to public schools in nearly every state and claims to have reached over a million students. Its answer to teen problems is Christian fundamentalism. SWM has at least 14 former professional athletes on its circuit, and has been endorsed by NFL commissioner Pete Rozzell and former HUD secretary Jack Kemp. School officials in Williamsburg, VA, and North Haven, CT, have complained that SWM speakers turned required attendance assemblies into religious services, with prayer, calls for acceptance of Jesus as savior, and the passing out of cards to obtain names and addresses of potential converts.
Sports World Ministries and an ancillary group called "Children’s Bible Ministries" were forced out of public schools in Claiborne County, TN, when a local parent and the ACLU complained. Federal District Judge Thomas G. Hull issued a restraining order prohibiting the groups from "conducting prayer, Bible teaching, Bible reading and/or proselytizing for fundamentalist Christian beliefs in the public school system for Claiborne, Tennessee [the groups’ home base], during school hours."
Athletes in Action is a similar group. Its Cincinnati chapter even got a $23,000 federal grant to pay for a school assembly program featuring players from the Bengals pro football team who would "discuss the detrimental effects of drug abuse and share Christian principles which they have found meaningful in their lives." (Complaints by Jewish groups forced Athletes in Action to present a nonreligious program, which was why the grant was made in the first place.)
The fast-growing Pentecostal denomination, the Assemblies of God, has set up a "Youth Alive" movement to proselytize in public schools. They have been successful in the South, particularly in Texas. According to Pentecostal Evangel, 325 of 350 students who attended an anti-drug seminar at a public school in Lufkin, TX, "accepted Christ as Saviour through the meetings."
Don Brazile of Texarkana, TX, has addressed numerous rallies in public schools. He gives an altar call and provides "salvation packages" of follow- up literature to those converted at the rallies.
The National Educators Fellowship, made up of evangelical teachers, encourages its members to "witness" for their faith in the classroom. They are often supported by the Rutherford Institute
Campus Crusade for Christ puts on religious assembly programs in public schools. Its handbook warns its missionaries to be cautious in communities with ACLU chapters .. Another proselytizing gimmick has been uncovered in St. Mary’s County, MD. Fundamentalist missionaries become substitute teachers in public schools and use the opportunity to promote their religious message among students.
Still another kind of missionary activity involves the holding of religious or Bible study classes in public schools, taught by religiously biased and academically uncredentialed personnel. These programs are especially popular in the South. In Bristol, VA, a devout Methodist couple protested fundamentalist-slanted Bible classes in their community’s public schools. Students were pressured to "come forward and be saved or face eternal damnation." A fourth grade teacher showed Billy Graham films, while a first grade teacher read Bible passages to her students every day. The couple, aided by the ACLU, won a federal court suit in 1983. The classes were stopped, but upset neighbors made life unpleasant for the couple
Virtually all of this proselytizing activity is carried out by conservative Protestant fundamentalists, to the best of our knowledge. Catholics, mainstream Protestants, Jews, Unitarians, and Humanists apparently are never involved.
This writer has personally spoken with parents whose children have been proselytized in public schools and with some whose children were converted to other religions by in-school missionaries. Although there is no way to prevent students from discussing religion among themselves or attempting to convert classmates, public school staff have no business whatever allowing or encouraging proselytizing in public schools either by school personnel or outside adults. Schools and school districts should have enforceable regulations to bar such activity.
Violations of the religious neutrality of public schools should be protested by parents, religious leaders, or civil liberties organizations. If protests alone do not resolve the problems, litigation should be considered.
Keeping our pluralistic public schools religiously neutral and free of sectarian divisiveness is in the interest of the religious liberty of all children and parents of all persuasions.
___________________ Edd Doerr, executive director of Americans for Religious Liberty,P.O. Box 6656, Silver Spring, MD 20916. This article is based on a chapter in a book written by Albert J. Menendez and Edd Doerr (ARL, 1991).
How The Law Deals With Religion In The Public Schools
Marc D. Stern and David Harris The American Jewish Congress Washington, D.C.
The following is a very brief summary of a comprehensive report by AJCongress, titled "Religion in the Public Schools." Copies of that report, which includes citations for decisions on this topic, are available from AJCongress.
School Prayer. The Supreme Court first held in Engel v. Vitale (1962) that the practice of having a prayer recited daily in the classroom, even if non- denominational, is unconstitutional. This holding has been repeatedly reaffirmed, most recently in Lee v. Weisman (1992). The prayer at issue in Engel was composed by the state. Although the opinion makes it appear as if that fact alone decided the case, subsequent cases have held that all school- sponsored prayers and religious exercises are unconstitutional. That includes, for example, opening exercises consisting of the reading of passages from the Bible, even where participation in such exercises is "voluntary."
This rule against officially-sponsored religious exercises is thus not overcome by requiring students to choose between attending the prayer session or going to another classroom. Nor is it permissible to permit student volunteers to select the prayers for public recitation, either in the classroom or at school assemblies. Lower courts have generally extended the ban on school prayers to include all regular school functions, including assemblies and athletic events. In one case, an appellate court held that a school district could not constitutionally delegate the task of offering prayers at high school football games to the local Ministerial Association. Equally unconstitutional was an "equal access" plan under which student volunteers could recite prayers of their own choosing as part of a pre-game ceremony. Similarly, the common practice of high school coaches leading a team in prayer, or calling upon a team member to do so, is unconstitutional.
Individual students, however, may engage in private, quiet, religious activities, so long as the conduct is not disruptive and does not interfere with the right of others to be left alone. Contrary to what is sometimes said by advocates of prayer in the public schools, the Supreme Court has not prohibited students from reading the Bible, praying, reciting the rosary, or informally discussing religious subjects with classmates. On the contrary, any official interference with such activities would itself be unconstitutional, unless demonstrably necessary to maintain order in the school or to protect the rights of other students. Thus, a teacher may not insist on teaching creationism, or resist teaching evolution, on the theory that evolution is a religious viewpoint. And public school teachers may not pray with, or in the presence of, their students. A teacher who abuses his or her position in this way may be terminated.
The extent to which school authorities may set aside a moment for silent prayer or meditation remains unclear, as courts have continued to send mixed signals in this regard. Moment-of-silence statutes not mentioning prayer will likely be found constitutional. But even if a statute is not unconstitutional as written, it can be implemented in an unconstitutional way, e.g., if students are told to bow their heads or stand for the moment-of-silence, or if a teacher urges that the time be used for prayer.
Teaching About Religion. The Constitution permits objective teaching about religion. In fact, one cannot teach the history of civilization without teaching about religion. Neither can art or music be taught without reference to religion. Objective teaching about religion has given rise to numerous difficulties, among the most intractable of which are those arising from the teaching of "Bible as Literature" classes. It has been suggested, by one court, that only regularly certified public school teachers, not uncertified ministers, can teach such courses. And, at the secondary school level, modern critical Bible scholarship should be included in the curriculum. In short, to pass constitutional muster, any course on the Bible must be devoid of denominational bias.
Public school libraries may include significant religious literature, provided that no one sect’s literature is favored, and the library as a whole does not show any preference for religious works. Similarly, the Ten Commandments may not be displayed on classroom walls. Neither may a student painting depicting the crucifixion be left on permanent display in the school auditorium.
Use of Classroom Space For Student-Initiated Religious Activities
Constitutional Claims for Student Religious Clubs. Student religious groups have often requested permission to meet in vacant public school classrooms during school club periods held either before or after school, or, less frequently, during free periods during the school day.
The Supreme Court has held that a public university which allowed secular extracurricular student groups use of empty classrooms could not deny access to student religious groups. Since the university was a limited public forum (a place deliberately set aside for members of the student body to express and exchange views), the university’s rule distinguishing between secular and religious groups constituted an impermissible discrimination against speech based on the content of the speech. The Court concluded that the bare granting of access to religious clubs did not amount to the university aiding or endorsing religion. It therefore invalidated the university’s rule against the use of its premises by religious clubs.
The lower federal courts have divided on the question of whether this ruling should be applied to elementary and secondary schools. However, this unanswered constitutional question is now of practical import only in those cases in which the Equal Access Act does not apply; that is, in the case of non-elementary and non-secondary schools or during instructional time. Those cases are far less likely to involve limited public forums, and therefore, present a far easier case for excluding religious speech.
The Equal Access Act. The Equal Access Act provides a statutory basis for claims for and against extra-curricular religious clubs. As a result, constitutional claims are now of secondary importance. The Act is a complex piece of legislation. In brief, the Act provides that a secondary school that chooses to allow non-curriculum related student-initiated groups to meet before or after, but apparently not during, the school day may not discriminate against any other student-initiated club based on its philosophic, religious or political content. Thus, the Act confers a right upon all student clubs to meet, but only if school officials permit non- curriculum clubs to meet. Curriculum-related clubs (e.g., the Spanish Club) do not trigger the provisions of the Act. Schools are free under the Act to insist that each meeting be attended by a school employee, who may only maintain order, preserve discipline, protect the rights of other students, or prevent illegal acts.
Teachers’ Rights to Hold Religious Meetings. Unless a school permits teachers to use empty classrooms for meetings on whatever topic they choose, teachers have no right to hold religious meetings in an empty public school classroom, before or after school, even when only other teachers will be in attendance. However, teachers may informally discuss religious topics among themselves, provided those discussions do not interfere with their duties and do not take place in the presence of students.
Rental of School Facilities. The question of equal access to student clubs must be distinguished from the question of whether school officials may make school facilities available for after-hours use by religious groups, even if no religious symbols are displayed when the public schools are in session. If broadly available to community groups, school facilities probably must be made available to religious groups on a less-than-permanent basis upon the payment of a fee approximating either the cost of the facilities (heat, light, maintenance) or, perhaps, the fair rental value. At a minimum, religious groups may not be excluded because school officials disapprove of the viewpoint they express.
Holiday Observances. In the leading decision on public school celebrations of religious holidays, an appellate court upheld school board rules which permitted the observance of holidays with both a secular and religious basis, provided that the observances were conducted in a "prudent and objective manner." The court was careful to point out that the rules adopted by the school board were, as written, constitutional; however, particular events conducted under the authority of the rules might nevertheless be unconstitutional.
The rules in question permitted the display of religious symbols as teaching aids, and provided that religious works of drama and music could be performed as well as studied. Students who objected to participating in Christmas observances were to be excused. In a similar vein, it has been noted by the Supreme Court that the singing of carols at Christmas time is a common occurrence in the public schools. In general, however, the constitutional problems with public school holiday observances are not cured by observing the holidays of all faiths, although they are exacerbated when the schools observe only the holidays of one faith.
Baccalaureate Services and Graduation. The Supreme Court recently held that school officials may not invite a clergyman to begin or end a graduation ceremony with a prayer, even though the prayer may be non-denominational and even though attendance at graduation is voluntary. One appellate court has held that the graduating students may choose to have a prayer offered, although other courts - and the weight of authority disagree. Because attendance at baccalaureate services is not compulsory, and frequently takes place away from the public school, some authorities have refused to interfere with the practice.
Official sponsorship of baccalaureate services is impossible to reconcile with the Supreme Court decision mentioned above. Of course, the Constitution does not prohibit a purely private baccalaureate service. Two courts have permitted privately sponsored baccalaureate services to take place in rented public school facilities if appropriate disclaimers of public school involvement are posted. Certainly no student may be compelled to attend such a service, or be penalized for a failure to do so.
Compulsory Attendance and Religious Holidays. School officials are required, by federal statute, to accommodate students’ religious practices unless the officials can demonstrate that they have a compelling interest in not doing so.
Two types of conflicts arise from conflicts between the school calendar and religious holidays. The first of these is excusal from compliance with compulsory attendance laws, and is usually covered by a statutory exemption. Where no statutory exemption exists, the student must be excused, at least for a reasonable number of days. However, a policy of excusal must be available equally to members of all faiths. The second problem is whether schools may or must close on religious holidays so as to avoid a conflict with students’ religious practices. While public schools need not close on religious holidays, they may do so as a matter of administrative convenience, where, for example, large numbers of teachers or students are absent.
When a school chooses not to close on days observed by some students as religious holidays, conflicts between scheduled events and religious holidays will exist. One court has held that school officials may, without unconstitutionally establishing religion, prohibit the scheduling of extra- curricular activities on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday morning to avoid conflicts with students’ religious observances. And another court has held that penalties (such as the refusal to provide make-up examinations or the lowering of grades) cannot be imposed on students absent for religious holidays. A school need not, however, reschedule graduation in order to avoid a conflict with the Sabbath observed by some of the graduates.
Dress Codes. Students may not be compelled to wear gym clothes which, for religious reasons, they consider immodest. Two key decisions on this matter are in conflict as to the appropriate remedy. One Court held that such students must be offered excusal from mixed gym classes in order to avoid exposure to those wearing what they consider to be immodest clothing. The other Court held that, while students themselves must be allowed to dress modestly, they would not be allowed to absent themselves from the class to avoid viewing others dressed immodestly or to avoid ridicule for their chaste dress. Students with religious objections to mixed gym classes, but only such students, may be offered sex-segregated gym classes without violating federal law.
Richard T. Foltin American Jewish Committee Washington, D.C.
This article is a response to the Right’s claim that public schools promote secular humanism and, in doing so, inhibit the practice of Christianity.
One claim made by the radical "religious right" is that the public school curriculum promotes a religion called "secular humanism" and, in so doing, ostensibly inhibits the practice of Christianity. Alternatively, the claim is made that "secular humanism," if not a religion in of itself, constitutes an anti-religious point of view.
These claims have served as the basis for challenges to certain textbooks and portions of curriculum as prohibited establishment of religion. (By virtue of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, schools may neither endorse nor derogate any religion.) But, as is discussed below, the putative "secular humanist" religion, at least as that term is used by the religious right, signifies nothing more (or less) than the failure of the public schools to teach a particular form of Christianity. In one notable instance in which this issue was raised, Judge Brevard Hand, a federal district judge sitting in Alabama, stated in 1983, in a subsequently- reversed decision, that:
"[C]ase law deals generally with removing the teachings of the Christian ethic from the scholastic effort but totally ignores the teaching of the secular humanistic ethic.... [T]he curriculum in the public schools of Mobile County is rife with efforts at teaching or encouraging secular humanism - all without opposition from any other ethic - to such an extent that it becomes a brainwashing effort. If this Court is compelled to purge "God is great, God is good, we thank him for our daily food" from the classroom, then this Court must also purge from the classroom those things that serve to teach that salvation is through one’s self rather than through a deity."
Thus, for Judge Hand the public schools are defined as disseminators of "secular humanism", because they are not allowed to teach patently religious points of view.
Insofar as the radical right is asking that public schools remove from the curriculum all teachings or textbooks that are inconsistent with their religious views, and replace those texts with books that are consistent with such views, they are seeking a result that is, in and of itself, antithetical to the First Amendment’s prohibition of the establishment of religion. As a federal appeals judge has stated:
"It is apparent that [those who]... deem that which is "secular" in orientation to be anti-religious... are not dealing in the same linguistic currency as the Supreme Court’s establishment decisions. If the establishment clause is to have any meaning, distinctions must be drawn to recognize not simply "religious" and "anti-religious," but "non-religious" government activity as well.... Therefore, [one]... cannot succeed in demonstrating a violation of the establishment laws by showing that the school authorities are somehow advancing "secular" goals."
The arguments asserted by the radical right would, then, read all meaning out of the First Amendment. They would treat all texts and all school subjects as either pro-theistic religion or as a promotion of the "religion" (or "anti- religion") of "secular humanism." Implicitly, this analysis is based on the premise that the state cannot be neutral toward religion because all thought is religious religion having been implicitly defined as anything anyone thinks is important.
Part of the problem is that the radical right has taken a term referring to an actual philosophical perspective a perspective that may or may not properly be deemed a "religion" for constitutional purposes and applied it to the actions of school officials in a fashion that is wholly inappropriate. "Secular humanism" is a world view that is premised on the non-existence of a Deity and which embraces reason as the sole appropriate response to the universe. There is simply no evidence that educators are "secular humanists" seeking to proselytize through the public schools. The argument that educators are proponents of that viewpoint relies on the obfuscation of the differences between the particular school of thought known as "secular humanism" and the more general concept of "humanism."
As one school board stated in response to a challenge to its curriculum:
"In the broadest sense a "humanist" is quite literally anyone who is interested in the study of humanities: the artistic, cultural, philosophical, and social achievements of human history. As such, humanism is the deepest stream of philosophical, scientific, literary, artistic, and moral thought in Western Civilization and is basic to the entire tradition of learning. A humanist is one who is dedicated to the achievement of the highest possible human potential. Humanism in this sense is not necessarily inconsistent with religion, theistic or non-theistic; indeed, throughout history there have been many "Christian Humanists."
The school board went on to note that "by blurring the distinction between humanism and Secular Humanism, [those challenging the school curriculum]... can quite literally take any proposition with which they disagree and put a ‘humanist’ label on it.... [T]hey rely on the... the ambiguity and malleability of the term ‘humanism’ to contribute to their dualistic social outlook, under which everything is either traditionally religious or part of the ‘religion’ of ‘humanism.’"
In sum, the assertion that textbooks and educators are advocates of "secular humanism" is premised on the interchangeable - and inappropriate - use of the terms "humanism" and "secular humanism." The acceptance of this assertion would, in the end, lead to the dismantling of the entire system of public education, because it would then be impossible for school boards to decide to promote any values or even to convey any information without being subject to attack from some religious group or another.u
1 Engle v. Vitale, 1962; Abington Township School District v. Schempp, 1963. 2 Wallace v. Jaffree, 1985.
Public Library Censorship
Judith F. Krug and Anne Levinson Penway Office for Intellectual Freedom American Library Association Chicago, Illinois
The following article describes the ongoing assault on public library materials. It describes recent trends, common tactics of pressure group, and ways to fight back.
Censorship attempts are on the rise, and public libraries are being targeted as never before. Demands that materials be removed or restricted in library collections soared in 1993. The pressure groups will not be appeased, and compromise only brings more demands for censorship.
Censors can never be persuaded that materials they do not like should be available, particularly to children; likewise, they are rarely amenable to the argument that their right to voice their objections is the same right as that exercised by the authors and artists who created and disseminated the expression to which they object. Censors would violate others’ right to read, while perceiving no threat to their own - and there are plenty of topics about which the censors believe one simply shouldn’t be informed, and about which minors, particularly, should know nothing.
In 1993, 697 challenges to books and library materials were reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom. This compares with a total of 651 challenges in 1992 and 514 in 1991. There has been a steady increase in complaints about materials having to do with homosexuality or gay lifestyles. In 1991, only 40 of the challenges received were due to homosexual themes. In 1992, that number rose to 64 and in 1993, 111. There is no doubt that in 1993, homosexuality was at the top of the target list.
The most challenged book of 1993 was Daddy’s Roommate, by Michael Willhoite, a picture book designed to help children understand a non-traditional family setting. It is the story of a young boy whose parents are divorced and whose father is gay and lives with his "roommate." The book merely tries to make the point that non-traditional families are loving, too. But the title has engendered a storm of controversy nationwide in school districts and public libraries. Also on the list of the top ten most challenged books for 1993 are Heather Has Two Mommies, a story about lesbian parents, and The New Joy of Gay Sex.
Sex is always high on the list, and the book which bears that title, Madonna’s Sex, was the second most challenged title in 1993. Communities from North Carolina through Texas, Illinois, Colorado and Washington state fought heated battles over whether the title should be in library collections at all. Some libraries rejected it based not upon its content but its binding, contending it would fall apart almost immediately. Other libraries decided that since Sex was one of the most hyped titles in history, and since public interest was at a fever pitch, they were obligated to "give the public what it wants."
The remaining titles on the "most challenged" list include classics, award winners, and titles that no librarian would be without: Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson; Forever, by Judy Blume; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou; and two titles that reflect a continuing focus on witchcraft and Satanism - Alvin Schwartz’s More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Roald Dahl’s The Witches.
Several techniques turn up frequently in pressure group attacks on libraries, some of them (arbitrarily nicknamed) include:
Bait and Switch. Using highly controversial materials like Madonna’s Sex or Playboy magazine to stir up lots of local controversy, and once that is done, shifting the focus to challenges to other materials by, about or depicting gays, or witchcraft, including scary stories and mythology. Divide and Conquer. "Yours is the only library in this county that has this stuff—you are obviously out of line!" This is the technique used by groups who like to pit librarians against librarians, using some as weapons against others, without regard to any legitimate differences in selection criteria due to the needs of the service populations of various libraries. Let’s Count Books. "You have 57 titles on evolution from a secular humanist point of view, and only 5 on Creation Science! Your collection is out of balance!" Numerical equivalence of titles from differing points of view under particular subject headings is not the way to evaluate library collections. The goal is to provide a diverse collection which includes adequate representation of the broadest variety of points of view possible. The Community is Us. This one goes, "you are unresponsive to the community—you are ignoring community standards." This tactic presumes that the only community that counts is the one represented by the complainant, as if the First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech of everyone who thinks just like me." The Taxpayer’s Revolt. "How dare you waste my tax dollars on this garbage! I should get to decide how my tax money is spent!" Contrary to popular belief, paying taxes does not buy the right to violate the rights of other taxpayers. If every taxpayer had a veto over library selections, the shelves would be empty.
The most consistent thing about censors is that they are never content to regulate only their own reading or that of their own children. They believe they should decide for everyone what is appropriate, and if you don’t agree, you’re immoral, un-American, and a lousy parent.
How do public libraries respond to challenges? Most have written selection guidelines that set forth the criteria under which materials will be selected for the collection. An important, and standard, element of such policies is a statement of principle on intellectual freedom, which declares that the library will strive to provide a diverse collection representing a broad selection of points of view on topics of current and historical interest for all users, and will not exclude materials just because they may be controversial or offensive to some people. Another essential element of such policies is the reconsideration procedure for responding to demands that materials be removed or restricted. Under such procedures, the patron completes a complaint form. The library director responds after a careful review of the materials in their entirety, explaining how those materials meet the criteria of the library’s materials selection policy. If the patron is not satisfied with the library director’s response, a reconsideration committee is formed. Each member of the committee reviews the materials under question in their entirety and weighs them against the criteria set forth in the materials selection policy. If the complainant is not satisfied with a committee determination, they appeal to the library board.
At a board meeting, the community has an opportunity to view the First Amendment in action. It is possible to come out of such a meeting with new and committed supporters of intellectual freedom—but there has to be someone there to use First Amendment rights to defend the First Amendment and win converts. The pressure groups have defined the playing field for now: local politics. Library supporters must assert their presence. If they do, defenders of the First Amendment may one day succeed in redefining the field to look more like what the founding fathers intended—a free marketplace of ideas.
Public Funding And The Arts And Humanities
David Mendoza National Campaign for Freedom of Expression Seattle, Washington & Washington, D.C.
Public support for the arts and humanities is not an indulgence, but a necessity. In recent years, attacks from the radical right have threatened to hamper freedom of expression. This article outlines ways you can help protect society’s vital signs inherent in free expression.
In early 1989, the arts became the focus of attacks by the radical religious right, thus adding the arts and humanities to the list of targets in their "Culture War." The initial volleys came from the Reverend Donald Wildmon, head of the American Family Association in Tupelo, Mississippi, to be taken up by Senator Jesse Helms. Since then, the arts and humanities have been one of the most visible and constant battlegrounds of the radical religious right. During the 1992 presidential campaign, Pat Buchanan used the National Endowment for the Arts to attack George Bush after the New Hampshire primary, leading to the dismissal of John Frohnmayer, who was then the NEA chairman. After the election, the right focused on President Clinton’s appointments to lead the NEA and National Endowment for the Humanities. Buchanan and others attempted unsuccessfully to derail the nomination of Sheldon Hackney as NEH chair.
Why the arts and humanities? The arts and humanities produced in our time will reflect our society’s dreams and ideas, hopes and fears, mistakes and advancements, for generations to come. The arts - literature, visual, design, music, theater, dance, film and the humanities - history, languages, society, philosophy, religion, and politics - represent the entire spectrum of culture. Inherent in the American cultural ideal, these disciplines explore new directions, challenge the status quo, and confront the most complex social issues of our time, including some that the radical right considers offensive or contrary to their world view. These include feminism, sexual orientation, multiculturalism and diversity, revisionist history, environmentalism, and reproductive rights.
The mark of a great society is its culture: its arts and humanities. These are the evidence of civilization left to posterity long after the people and societies that conceived and created them have returned to dust. Public funding for the arts and humanities, therefore, is not a matter of indulgence but of necessity. The arts and humanities serve multiple national purposes that merit public support, including:
Education, not just by imparting knowledge, but by enhancing cognitive development, improving analytical thinking, motivation, inspiring teamwork, and improving self-esteem; Fostering a sense of community by promoting understanding of history, cultures, and ideas; Instilling social values by helping people recognize common bonds and connections to spirituality; Stimulating the economy through positive impact on job creation, tax base enhancement, increased tourism, improved community development, and growth of auxiliary service jobs.
All of these purposes can be realized only if freedom of expression is protected.
While not very large in budgetary terms, the programs of the NEA and NEH serve as an important catalyst and source of recognition for artists and arts programs throughout the country. Beyond this, these agencies were founded in part to represent the principle commitment on the part of the nation to the protection and furtherance of cultural diversity and freedom of expression.
Diversity can lead to divisiveness, or it can be a source of energy, vitality, imagination, and creativity. The purpose of the arts and humanities is to develop a shared understanding and respect for diversity in order to ensure that diversity is a source of strength, not a weakness.
Free expression debate, discussion, even outrage are recognized as freedom’s vital signs. The arts and humanities can speak of things that cannot be spoken of in any other way. Censorship kills imagination, squelches creativity, stifles intellectual inquiry, and drains vitality from a society and its culture. Free societies embrace the opportunity to bring the arts and humanities, unrestricted and uncensored, to those who, without public support, might be excluded from access. Those who are not free to question or offend the status quo, as well as those who are not free to encounter, comment upon and criticize such expression, are not equal participants in a democratic society. And those who withstand the pointed criticisms of others are strengthened in their beliefs.
For five years, British writer Salman Rushdie has been under a death warrant (a fatwa) issued by the Iranian government for exercising his freedom of artistic expression. Rushdie says: "Free societies are societies in motion, and with motion comes tension, dissent, friction. Free people strike sparks, and those sparks are the best evidence of freedom’s existence."
What YOU Can DO The following straightforward tasks can be undertaken by individual citizens and/or groups and can have a significant impact on freedom of expression.
INFORM YOURSELF Get the facts on current issues and events surrounding attacks on freedom of expression. Stay informed. Things are happening constantly these days. Keep your ears and eyes open
The main battle over freedom of expression and the arts and humanities involves "public funding" i.e. "taxpayers dollars." In 1960 the move toward providing public (government) support to the arts and humanities began. In that year the New York State Council on the Arts was created by then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller. In 1965 the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities were created under President Lyndon Johnson. Since then, every state in the union, and the territories, has created a state arts agency, and many counties and municipalities have, as well.
How much tax money goes to the arts and humanities? It varies from state to state, and city to city, but the bottom line is that a very tiny part of the public budget is used for culture. The NEA budget represents less than 1/200 of 1% of the federal budget, or about 64 cents per person. To find out what arts programs are funded in your community or state with public funds contact the state arts agency. (Most state arts agencies are located in the state capital.). State arts agencies maintain records of their grants and those made in your state by the NEA. Some city and county arts agencies are part of local government and some are private non-profits. Your state arts agency will be able to tell you if there is a city or county arts council where you reside.
The humanities have a similar history of public funding. Since the creation of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1965 (simultaneous with the NEA), each state has formed a humanities council/commission. Unlike the state arts agencies, not all are part of state government. In some cases the arts and humanities agencies are combined; in other instances the humanities commission is a private non-profit organization. There are very few municipal or county humanities commissions.
The arts and humanities grants that are targeted by the radical right mirror their agenda described throughout this workbook. They focus on subjects including gays and lesbians, multiculturalism, feminism, reproductive rights, revisionist history, and views of religion and patriotism that do not coincide with their own.
EDUCATE OTHERS Share your information with friends, colleagues, co-workers, members of groups you belong to, students, at social gatherings. Form a discussion group or put the issue of freedom of expression on the agenda for a meeting of an existing group. Bring the topic up at dinner parties and over coffee or drinks.
Set up panel discussions with local community members who might be informed on free expression such as attorneys, social/history educators, librarians, artists and arts administrators, journalists, record and book store owners, etc. Use videos (see "Resources") at meetings to educate and promote discussion.
ACTIVATE THE MEDIA If you do not find coverage of free expression issues (NEA and NEH, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, record lyrics legislation, book banning, etc.) in your local newspapers or on your radio and television, call them and get the name of a reporter to work with. Then offer to provide them with information to educate them on the issues. Usually the person who will cover this is not an "art critic" but rather a news reporter. If you become a key source of accurate information you are doing the media a favor. Tell them that the wire services (AP, UPI) do not always carry complete information on these issues.
Start with National Public Radio (NPR). There are many items produced by various local NPR-member stations that are available to other stations. Get several people to call the station and express interest in this coverage. Call local talk radio hosts and suggest the topic of censorship or freedom of expression or tax support for art.
ACTIVATE YOUR NETWORKS and GROUPS Get statements from organizations. If you are a member of a local, statewide or national organization suggest that they issue a statement in support of freedom of expression. Then get it published in the organization’s newsletter, send it to the local media, and elected officials (see "Contact Public Officials" below). This serves two purposes: 1) if there is a statement you can get it and distribute it locally to other community groups and media; 2) if there is no statement, your inquiry can encourage the organization to make a statement.
Set up a phone/fax network. These networks dont have to be huge to be effective. If you can get 5-10 people in a network in your community or neighborhood to respond to a phone-tree alert, this is 5-10 people more than yesterday who will be informed and can act.
CONTACT PUBLIC OFFICIALS Call, write, fax, mailgram your viewpoint to your members of Congress, state legislators, governor, city council, mayor, President Clinton. Letters ARE IMPORTANT. They count them. And you must do this MORE THAN ONCE. The opposition does! Visit your members of Congress when they are at home for district breaks; these are usually around holidays like Easter, Passover, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Christmas. Set up meetings in advance and bring a group of people with you. Prepare your thoughts and agenda in advance. Be forceful, not intimidated.
Testify before hearings on free expression issues or ask someone whom you think has been articulate and informed on these issues if s/he would testify.
Print postcards pre-addressed to your U.S. senators and representatives with a specific message regarding a free expression issue. Distribute them at performances, meetings, events, festivals, book and record stores, etc. Leave a space on the side with the message for the person to write their own name and address and even some personal comments.
Create a petition with a strong statement at the top such as "I AM A TAXPAYER, I VOTE, AND I SUPPORT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSIONand I oppose/support..."
START A FREE EXPRESSION COALITION By working together with other organizations, you can significantly strengthen you efforts.
Responding to Common Questions and Criticisms (Adapted from a document distributed by the Emergency Campaign to Save the Arts, a project of American Arts Alliance, American Association of Museums, National Assembly of Local Arts Agencies and National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.)
1. "The NEA is elitist." Nothing could be further from the truth. The way to ensure that the arts in the United States are elitist is to eliminate the Endowment so that only rich people can afford them. Without Endowment support we would risk not having outreach programs for children, free concerts and theater in the parks, and special ticket prices for students and seniors. Many of the more than 300 multicultural organizations supported by the Endowment would have to decrease their programming significantly if they could no longer receive NEA support, thereby cutting off a diverse group of Americans access to the arts. As well as supporting museums and operas, the NEA supports folk artists and their work though the Folk Art Program, helping to preserve the traditions unique to our shared American history. By pure numbers, the Arts Endowment has fostered a non-elitist arts environment in this country. When the NEA started in 1965, 80 percent of all dance was located in New York City. Today dance is spread across the country; indeed, in the same period of time, dance audiences have increased twenty- fold. This is true of every significant arts discipline thanks to the NEAs leadership and monetary support.
2. "Who decides what receives public funding?" Grants at most levels of public arts funding are determined by the peer panel process. At the NEA, peer panels include citizens from all across the country working together to provide support to artists and arts organizations all across the country. These decisions are then reviewed by the National Council for the Arts, a presidentially-appointed body, and the Chair of the NEA. This three-tiered system is democratic and accountable, and is backed up by highly competent and thorough staff work. This process exemplifies the federal government and its citizens working together to achieve common goals.
3. "Why fund the arts when we have other pressing needs in our society, such as homelessness, drugs, and violence?"
The budget for the National Endowment for the Arts represents 1/200th of one percent of the national budget. We spend less than one-half of a cup of coffee (64 cents) per year per taxpayer on everything the Endowment does. A retreat from funding the NEA would signal that Congress does not care about creativity, and that art, music and design are not important to the American character. A retreat on the national level would precipitate a retreat on the state and local arts council level, and the network we have so carefully put in place over the last 29 years would be imperiled. Currently, there are over 3,000 local arts councils nationwide. When the Endowment started, there were 162.
Arts indeed would be for the elite, because our Expansion Arts Program to the multicultural community, our rural arts programs, our Folk Arts Program and others would all vanish. Arts education would not be promoted by the federal government. We would not be teaching our children, at least not with federal government support, that the arts help make sense out of chaos; that they teach the tolerance learned through viewing things from different perspectives; that they allow children to learn with both hemispheres of their brains.
And finally, it would signal a country so uncomfortable with itself that it is afraid to dare, afraid to take chances, afraid to visit the unfamiliar. Always in our society, we have promoted the vigorous clash of ideas as being the most fundamental way of achieving the truth. For the federal government to retreat from this proposition would signal far more about us than the demise of the National Endowment for the Arts.
4. "NEA funding is a small percentage of many arts organizations’ budgets. Why does it matter?"
The Endowments funding has always served two purposes:
1. The money itself. 2. 2. Recognition by the NEA that the applicant is producing excellent art. That endorsement allows much greater fundraising and signals to the business and private community that this grantee is indeed worthy.
Moreover, emerging, multicultural and smaller budget organizations are far more dependent on NEA support than some large budget institutions. Just knowing that the Federal government cares about a particular project often can inspire those working on it to far greater achievement.
Resources After more than five years of battles over the arts and humanities, there are many good resources available. Here are some that NCFE recommends:
Books Arresting Images by Steven D. Dubin (Routledge) Bookbanning in America by William Noble (Erikkson) Culture War edited by Richard Bolton (New Press) Culture Wars - The Struggle to Define America by James Davison Hunter (Basic Books) Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy (A guide to America’s Censorship Wars) by Marjorie Heins (New Press) The Cultural Battlefield - edited by Louis Crozier; due out summer ‘94; (Avocus)
Videos State of the Arts: Art of the State, produced by Branda Miller (available from NCFE)
Publications ACLU Arts Censorship Project Newsletter NCFE BULLETIN (quarterly) National Coalition Against Censorship Newsletter People for the American Way Artsave Newsletter (quarterly)
(All three groups listed below maintain extensive clipping files for background information on a variety of free expression incidents, litigation, and legislation.)
Organizations ACLU Arts Censorship Project - 212 944 9800 ext. 704 (also local ACLU affiliates) National Campaign for Freedom of Expression - 800 477 6233 People For the American Way/ArtSave - 202 467 4999 (local offices in Florida, North Carolina, New York, Colorado, California)
Organizing Against Censorship
Deanna Duby and Mark Sedway People For the American Way Washington, DC
This article outlines various action steps that citizens, teachers and administrators can take in the face of attempted censorship.
Religious Right groups and their local followers have become more sophisticated in their tactics and rhetoric. Citizen action has emerged as the key ingredient in successful campaigns to keep challenged materials in place in the public schools and protect the freedom to learn. When the shouts of the censors are met by silence, when schools are left alone in defending materials against attack, attempts to ban books and programs often succeed. But when citizens get involved, form alliances with the schools and organize broad community support, such challenges can be defeated.
Citizen Mobilizing Steps Listed below are some simple first steps that will help citizens build a successful campaign against censorship.
1. Find allies. Start by calling friends and colleagues, and build a nucleus of committed parents, citizens and school teachers, librarians and administrators. Then reach out to other people in the community: civic leaders, clergy, business people, women’s groups, and students. Remember, for every individual who tries to censor a book, there will be dozens of potential allies in the communitypeople who, when warned of looming censorship, will come to the defense of the material, the schools and the freedom to learn.
2. Arrange a meeting of your group. Inform your group of the incident and the issues involved. Create a mailing list. Give your group a name. Define your goals. Then carry out the specific activities listed below.
3. Keep a file of information. Collect and save all information on the incident, including newspaper clips, school board meeting minutes, correspondence, fliers, meeting notes, and material distributed by the objectors.
4. Meet with the teacher, librarian or administrator who is in charge of the challenged material. Keep in mind the objector’s complaints and learn how the teacher or librarian uses the material. Read it yourself. Develop a point- by-point rebuttal of the objector’s claims.
5. Write letters to school officials. Mobilize your allies to write to the school board and school district voicing support for the challenged material and opposition to censorship. The more letters, the better.
6. Write letters-to-the-editor to local newspapers. Letters-to-the-editor are widely read, will increase awareness of your cause, and may inspire others to take a stand.
7. Contact and work with the local media. Notify the local media of a censorship attempt by calling reporters and providing them with information. Identify someone who would be a good spokesperson for your group. Write and distribute a press release announcing the formation of your group and its activities. Meet with newspaper editors or editorial boards to discuss the issue. Working with the local media is one of the most criticaland overlookedways to stop school censorship.
8. Mobilize your allies to attend all relevant school board meetings or public hearings. The more people you get there, the better. Obtain the agenda ahead of time. Ask for a chance to speak. If possible, have your allies wear buttons, t-shirts or some other visible form of identification so the board and media will see the strength of your support. Become the vocal majority.
9. Start a petition drive. Get the signatures of as many people as possible on a petition opposing censorship. Present the petition at a school board meeting or other public forum. Send a copy to each school board member.
10. Broaden your coalition further to include community groups and leaders. Broaden support for your cause by calling any groups or leaders who may have an interest in the matter or influence with the school board. Ask them to join your coalition. Prepare a coalition statement, have them co-sign it, and send it to the school board and media.
11. Hold community meetings to discuss the issue. Publicize them well and try to attract a broad range of citizens.
12. Research and expose possible connections between objectors and national Religious Right or censorship groups.
13. Work to frame the debate to your advantage. In your meetings and letters, put the challenge in its appropriate context by discussing broader issues such as censorship and academic freedom, any similar incidents that have taken place around the country, and the broader agenda of any national organizations involved in the challenge. When challenging school materials, many would-be censors claim to represent the views of "parents" and "Christians." Prevent them from staking a claim to these important constituencies by pointing out the inclusion of parents, churchgoers and clergy in your own group. Argue that neither parents nor Christians think as monolithic groups.
Teacher and Administrator Mobilizing Steps Teachers and administrators can also combat censorship by organizing and preparing in advance to respond to challenges to the curriculum. Some guidelines:
1. Develop broad community support. Teachers can also spearhead or join a community coalition to come to the defense of the material, the schools, and the freedom to learn.
2. Have a reconsideration policy and use it. Require objectors to file formal or written complaints that spell out specific objections and substantiate their claims. The policy should require that materials not be removed during the reconsideration process.
3. Inform other teachers and administrators whenever a book or program is challenged by an organized group. Rely on your colleagues for guidance and support. Speak with any teachers who have used the challenged material. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from school or district administrators. 4. Speak with educators who have faced similar attacks. Educators from your district or around the country who have experienced similar challenges are valuable resources.
5. Teachers should refer complaints they receive to administrators at the schoolor the district level for highly organized challenges. This approach will ensure that district reconsideration procedures are followed and that teachers and librarians are spared the disruption of daily visits by objectors. 6. When faced with an organized attack, district officials may want to provide school board members with thorough information on challenged materials. Likewise, teachers and librarians may provide school or district officials information on materials and how they are used. Informed board members and administrators are better able to respond to challenges, more likely to withstand distortion campaigns, and ultimately more willing to defend materials under attack.
11. Do not hesitate to contact the local media if a challenge develops into a big battle, since organized would-be censors will likely do the same. Meet with publishers or editors, provide reporters information, have supporters write letters-to-the-editor, ask a parent activist to write an op-ed. Media exposure will help your cause.
12. Find out about the objectors, their claims and any outside groups they might be working with as soon as possible. Although objectors often claim to be acting alone, many receive information or help from national Religious Right groups. It will help if you expose this larger network. Also, verify whether objectors know about the materials they are challenging or instead are acting at the behest of outside groups.
13. Many district and school officials send a newsletter to parents explaining the truth about the challenged program or book, its educational purpose, and how it is used. Such newsletters often solicit parental input and support.
14. Don’t assume that an organized challenge will simply go away if you don’t fight it. Take it seriously.u
Combatting Censorship In The Arts: Action Steps
Jill Bond and Michelle Richards People For the American Way Washington, DC
The following is excerpted from People For the American Way’s artsave action kit. The kit provides suggested techniques for artists, arts administrators and activists facing censorship challenges to the arts..
Developing a Freedom of Artistic Expression Policy. A strong freedom of artistic expression policy can be a first line of defense against any attack or controversy. Although policies cannot prevent censorship attempts, they can help combat such efforts. Specifying and publicizing the importance of artistic freedom to the mission of your organization helps educate the community about your overall goals and objectives. Then, if a challenge occurs, it is easier to defend against it by showing how you have not strayed from your goals and objectives as outlined in a formal policy.
Any organization or group involved in the funding, promotion, production or presentation of art should make it a priority to have a freedom of artistic expression policy in place. It is especially important for colleges, universities, and state and local arts agencies to have such a policy. Policies are most effective when:
they are created before a censorship challenge; their drafting involves both staff and directors; they are tailored to their environment (e.g., college or university gallery policies address the parallel between academic and artistic freedom); they use existing, working policies as models; they are publicly announced, printed in programs or posted on plaques.
Building a Coalition. The purpose of building a coalition is to demonstrate the breadth of support for your anti-censorship position. A coalition should include organizations or individuals who agree at least on the fundamental issue at handopposition to arts censorshipalthough they need not agree on specific issues. A viable coalition is an important tool when a would-be censor attacks a work of art in your community. When a challenge arises, it is important to strengthen any existing coalition and broaden your support.
First, get the facts. Understand the censor’s challenges and familiarize yourself with policies and procedures for handling a challenge. Then begin to identify your naturaland sometimes not so naturalallies. At your first meeting, begin to define your goals. Set specific organizing benchmarks for your coalition. Ask coalition members to do something specific, being careful not to overwhelm them with too much work. Announce the formation of your coalition by releasing a public statement of purpose, along with a press release.
Working with the Media. When an institution or individual comes under attack, the media can be contacted to express your side of the issue. Favorable media attention can decide the battle.
First, set a goal for your media efforts. It may be as general as building support for free expression or as specific as correcting misinformation about a particular exhibit. Then define the audience you’re trying to reach and select the media outlet that best targets that audience.
You can approach the media through a number of avenues: press releases, public forums or news conferences, letters-to-the-editor, meeting with editorial boards, speaking directly with reporters covering the arts, appearing on television and radio programs, and submitting op-eds. Here are a few specific tips:
Letters-to-the-editor should be to the point and brief. Focus on one or two points. Letters should, if possible, refer to a specific story or article that has already run. Remember that readers are not all experts on the subject, so you may need to repeat key facts. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number. News releases should read like a news storyattention-grabbing headline, most important information in first paragraph, answers for the questions who, what, when, where and why. They should include a quote or two from your spokesperson. Always include a contact name and phone number so reporters can follow up. Be sure to get the press release to the individual reporters covering the story. Well-planned news conferences include a visual backdrop that complements your story. They should be held at a location convenient to the media. Be brief and include no more than three or four speakers. Distribute a news release at the press conference, and fax or messenger copies of the release around to reporters who were unable to attend.. Radio and television interview programs are always looking for ideas. Contact the producer of a given program and suggest your story and a spokesperson. Be ready to send background material.
Letter-writing Campaigns. Letter-writing campaigns to defend freedom of expression can be vital tools in the effort to influence decision-makers. Target decision-makers who can help sway the outcome of a challenge. These include elected officials, boards of directors, and others.
Letter campaigns require lots of preparation. Start by preparing an action alert that lays out all the facts for writers. The alert should be brief (one to two pages), describe the incident or threat to free expression and announce the letter-writing campaign. Include in the alert a clear call for immediate action and provide simple steps that an activist can follow. Provide a sample letter that activists can use as a guide, while encouraging them to express their own personal perspective as an artist or patron of the arts. Distribute the alert to all potential allies and encourage them to share it with others. You can often get mailing lists from other organizations or ask them to mail your alert. Pass out the alert at meetings, events or wherever likely allies would be. Display the alert (or an abbreviated "flyer" version) at galleries, museums, book stores, video stores, libraries, universities or wherever allies have a public venue. Keep your sample letter brief, limited to a few artfully worded points. Describe them clearly and back them up with facts and examples. Adopt a constructive tone. People are more likely to be receptive if they receive a persuasive letter, not an attack.
The First Amendment and the Artist. In dealing with censorship threats, it is important to consider the legal issues raised and to understand your legal rights. Of course, not all arts censorship controversies wind up in court, but some important ones do. Moreover, arguments based on the First Amendment can be very compelling in the court of public opinion as well. Of course, you’ll want to consult an attorney if you think a legal case may be brewing, but here are some important things to keep in mind along the way.
The First Amendment applies to artistic expression, verbal as well as non- verbal, just as it applies to political and other speech. It is a shield that protects against government restriction or punishment of expression, particularly when the government discriminates on the basis of content or viewpoint. The First Amendment applies to action by federal, state, or local government, but not to purely private art galleries, theaters, or other organizations. Not all expression is protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has found that the First Amendment does not protect speech that creates "a clear and present danger" of violence or injury, such as shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. There are limits on the First Amendment in prisons and in the military. Libel and slander are generally not covered. Finally, the Court has ruled that the First Amendment does not protect obscenity or child pornography.
The Sex Panic: Fighting The Myth That Censorship Is Good For Women
Roz Udow National Coalition Against Censorship New York, New York
"I do not believe we should allow government to tell women or men how we should think or write about our lives, including our sex lives. I don’t think those kinds of laws are a good idea for anybody, and I know they are bad for women." Ann Lewis, political analyst.
The culture war in our society, declared by Pat Robertson and spearheaded by the Radical Right, has at its heart a sex panic. Sex panics are not new in our history. They have occurred many times in the past, always with disastrous effects on the quality of women’s lives. Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s founder, was jailed in 1916 for telling women they could choose when and whether to have children. Until 1971, vestiges of "Comstockery" (obscenity laws initiated by Anthony Comstock in 1873) prohibited mailing birth control devices or even contraceptive informationall in the guise of protecting the "virtue" of women. In this same tradition, "moralists" across the nation have attacked sex education and such feminist works as The Feminine Mystique, Our Bodies Ourselves, and Ms. Magazine.
Social purity movements inspired by law enforcement vice squads and conservative and religious "decency" groups are familiar episodes in our nation. Today, these forces have joined with a small but fervent feminist movement that claims "pornography" is the central cause of women’s inequality. Most feminists do not support these views, however. A great number of those who support women’s rights understand that censorship is dangerous to women and that they will always suffer disproportionately as a result of censorship campaigns. They reject claims that freedom and equality principles are in opposition and that women must choose between them; they insist that justice requires both. They are determined to dispel the myths that censorship is good for women, that women want censorship and that those who support censorship speak for women.
Though women may criticize some pornography as sexist, it is unfortunately not the only form of expression that meets that definition. Many women—artists, writers, lawyers, historians, scholars, home makers—believe that women’s serious efforts to achieve equality are derailed by simplistic notions that focus on words and images. Emotional rhetoric about expression that appeals to fear is intimidating; it makes discussion about these important public policy issues more difficult. It doesn’t address real violence and it fuels the notion that women’s sexuality is dangerous and must be controlled.
Historically, women have always been harmed by censorship. In the name of "protecting" women from "smut," birth control information has been withheld, great works of art have been removed from display; books that describe women’s bodies, and sex education and information about AIDS have been banned.
Feminists who oppose censorship are especially dismayed that right wing groups, well known for their opposition to enhancing women’s independence, have discovered women’s rights as a reason to impose censorship.
In fact, anti-pornography campaigns can have dangerous impacts. For example, the Supreme Court of Canada adopted an argument put forth by censorship supporter Catherine MacKinnon, allowing expression to be banned if it denigrated women. The first target of the censors? Lesbian expression. Canada’s experience demonstrates the harmfulness of laws that give government the power to decide what expression is degrading to women.
Certainly there is sexist material out there. Some of it is violent and may be horrifying to some of us or even most of us. But, once we allow censorship of these publications, we will see history repeat itself. Censorship has always been used to keep materials from the least powerful people in any society. It wasn’t too long ago that information on birth control was kept out of the hands of women. People in favor of censorship know that knowledge is power
There is also the question of defining exactly what is meant by the term "pornography." It is frequently and incorrectly used as though its meaning has a widely-accepted common understanding. In fact, the term is not used in U.S. law, and it is considered by most scholars and critics even more vague than the legal concept "obscenity," long famed for lack of clarity. Pornography is a subjective term that is customarily used for words and images whose sole purpose is sexual arousal. It has also been used to attack and suppress literature, art, sex education, AIDS education and information about women’s sexuality. Recently, it has begun to be used by certain feminists as though sexually explicit expression is inherently "subordinating" or "degrading" to women (and as though these terms are themselves not subject to disagreement).
Some arguments are also made that it must be banned to protect children. But even if everything some people deemed pornographic was banned, young people would continue to be exposed to sexual images in all kinds of media. The best way to help protect our children from images we believe inappropriate is through education. Education about sexuality and expression is the best defense.
And as with other arguments, too many would-be censors would lump a lot of literature into the pornography pot, including the illustration of a naked little boy in the classic children’s book, In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak.
There is no evidence to support the repeated claims that exposure to sexually explicit expression causes violence against women, despite many attempts to find links. For example, the 1970 Commission on Obscenity and Pornography extensively researched a possible link between sexually explicit expression and anti- social behavior. Its conclusion: "Empirical research designed to clarify the question has found no reliable evidence to date that exposure to sexual materials plays a significant role in the causation of delinquent or criminal sexual behavior among youths or adults. If a case is to be made against pornography in 1970, it will have to be made on grounds other than demonstrated effects of a damaging personal or social nature."
The 1986 Meese Commission on Pornography commissioned a review of the social science data, desperately hoping to find a causal link between sexually explicit materials and sex crimes. It could not do so. In fact, its insistence on recommendations for censorship included in its final report drew a powerful dissent from two women members of the Commission. Said Dr. Judith Becker, a professor of psychiatry and psychology whose entire research career has been devoted to studying sexual abuse and sexually violent behavior, "Pornography is an insignificant factor, if any factor at all, in the development of deviant behavior."
The women who oppose censorship are everywhere. We have varied experiences, interests and views regarding sexuality, its representation and what we each may refer to as erotica or pornography. We know censorship is not a remedy for sexism, racism, homophobia, violence, poverty or inequality in our society and that groups with real grievances that must be addressed are always the first to be harmed by censorship. As journalist Ellen Willis says: "How long will it take oppressed groups to learn that if we give the state enough rope, it will wind up around our necks?"
The National Coalition Against Censorship’s Working Group on Women, Censorship and "Pornography" is a diverse group of 70 feminists, including artists, writers, critics, scholars, activists and intellectuals. They have joined together to let others know that women don’t want, can’t benefit from, and won’t tolerate censorship.
Selected Quotes About the Harms of Censorship Author Judy Blume: "If I were starting out now, I might not even write children’s books. In this climate of fear, I might find it impossible to write honestly about kids."
Historian Lisa Duggan: "[Obscenity laws] have always been used to restrict information about birth control and abortion, to limit public sex education, and to seize literature and art."
Betty Friedan: "To introduce censorship in the United States in the guise of suppressing pornography is extremely dangerous to women. ...if anti- pornography legislation were passed, the first targets of it would be feminist books...[those] giving women control of their own bodies."
Molly Ivins: "... women’s major problems are still racism and sexism. Where I am, poverty and violence are the most serious problems, and it always amazes me to find people spending their time worrying about how women are depicted... We get so scared of something terrible-so scared of communists, of illegal aliens, of pornography, or of crime-that we decide the only way to protect ourselves is to cut back on our freedom. Ain’t that the funniest idea, that if we were less free, we would be safer."
Author Wendy Kaminer: "[MacKinnon’s] is a very traditional theory of gender difference [which argues that] pornography is not speech, because men are beasts. When confronted with misogynist literature, they are seized with an irresistible impulse to act it out. ..It feels like fighting back, not asking for protection."
Anthropologist Carole Vance: "The query, ‘What do women want?’ remains a provocative question in regard to art, imagery and sexual culture. And it is not a question that can be easily answered in a sexist society. Still,...the answer lies in expansion, not closure, and in increasing women’s power and autonomy in art as well as sex." Mobilizing A Strong Response: When Your State Is Targeted For An Anti-Gay Initiative
George Neighbors, Jr. Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG) Washington, D.C. Rev. Meg Riley Unitarian Universalist Association Washington, D.C.
This article talks about building a coalition and training leadership when your state is targeted for an anti-gay initiative.
Begin by identifying the broadest coalition you can to oppose the initiative. Strive for representation from the greatest possible strata of racial, ethnic, geographic, economic, political, religious, ideological groups. Your coalition should resemble the community that is being targeted by the ballot initiative (i.e., your state or town.)
BUILDING A COALITION 1. Start by gathering those leaders and groups who are your strongest allies. Consider, for instance:
WOMENS’ GROUPS. Statewide branches of the National Organization for Women, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Older Womens’ League, International Womens League for Peace and Freedom.
RELIGIOUS GROUPS. American Jewish Committee, National Jewish Democratic Council, other liberal Jewish groups, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalists, Quakers, Metropolitan Community Church, gay caucuses of all religions [eg., Dignity, Integrity], the state branches of the National Council of Churches, interfaith alliances. Be sure to identify supportive religious leaders in communities of color.
LES/BI/GAY GROUPS. Social, spiritual, political, professional, university, corporate, sports teams, support groups. Pick up a copy a local gay newspaper for contacts.
CIVIL RIGHTS/ CIVIL LIBERTIES GROUPS. Statewide chapters of NAACP, ACLU, Prisoners’ Rights groups, Welfare Rights, Gray Panthers, AIDS groups, PFLAG [Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays].
POLITICAL PARTY LEADERSHIP. Elected representatives, Democratic or Republican party leaders, political candidates.
LABOR UNIONS AND BUSINESS GROUPS. Progressive Unions such as SEIU, AFLC-CIO, progressive corporations vis a vis gay/lesbian/bisexual employees, Bureau of Tourism, Chamber of Commerce, Convention centers, small business owners. Realize that gay business owners might be especially receptive and supportive.
SEX EDUCATION/ HEALTH ADVOCACY GROUPS. Planned Parenthood, AIDS groups, neighborhood clinics.
ANTI-CENSORSHIP GROUPS. National Coalition Against Censorship, American Arts Alliance, artists, theatre companies, libraries, etc.
2. Gather the group with the specific intention of broadening it. Brainstorm a list of groups and prominent individuals who are connected to your issue, and strategize about how to reach out to them. Consider as potential allies any groups that have tangled with Religious Right groups around other issues. "The enemies of my enemies are my friends." For instance:
ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS such as the Sierra Club, Audubon, etc.
PARENT/ TEACHER GROUPS who have struggled with school voucher initiatives, censorship, curriculum issues.
IMMIGRANTS’ RIGHTS GROUPS who have struggled with English Only initiatives.
PSYCHOLOGISTS/ SCHOOL COUNSELORS.
DEATH WITH DIGNITY GROUPS.
3. Provide training for this group about coalition building. Agree to disagree about that which is not central to the ballot initiative. Create clear expectations about communications and behavior within the group.
LEADERSHIP TRAINING Once you have come this far, it’s time to educate your leadership and work to expand even more. One way to to begin is by asking your strongest allies to sponsor a day, evening, or weekend seminar on leadership training and development for interested groups and/or individuals. Planning for this training should include: Brainstorming about your group’s needs as related to strategies, messages, public relations, and fundraising opportunities. Obtaining ideas for specific workshop topics and presenters from national organizations and other state groups who have faced similar challenges.
The following are essential topics and issues for any initial leadership workshop:
1. Media Training Understanding the press and contacting them Interview skills and appearance (role-play) Overcoming public speaking fears (role-play)
2. Electoral/Political Process Understanding the initiative/ ballot/ legislative process Understanding who can influence the outcome and how to contact/influence them (lobby skills) Understand the political calendar (how long it takes to get funding, advertising, task forces up and running)
3. Building Stronger Coalitions Understanding leadership involves compromising, listening and doing Reaching out to new coalition partners (What do you have to offer them in return for their help?) Understanding the need to check "baggage" from past campaigns/ experience and egos at the door. Developing intra-coalition communication vehicles (phone, Internet, fax) Phone tree system and on-line computer communications
4. Message Development and Messengers Conducting polling and focus groups Developing sustainable messages and consistent delivery Identifying the right messenger for the right audience (same messages different messengers)
5. Fundraising Forming a budget Finding resources grants, donations, house parties Setting budget limitations
Remember that no one person can or should try to do everything. Have participants evaluate their professional skills and personal interests and concentrate their expertise in those areas or projects. Initiatives do not provide a lot of time to train people from scratch. Keep your eyes on the prize!
TALKING POINTS AGAINST ANTI-GAY RHETORIC
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute Washington, D.C.
Radical Right opponents to civil rights for gay/lesbian people use similar arguments and rhetoric around the country, whether they’re in Corvallis, Oregon; Albany, New York; or Lebanon, Tennessee. This article is a tool for action. It includes responses, ideas, and themes you may use to respond. Each topic begins with the rhetoric used by the Radical Right, followed by some ideas on how to respond.
"Gay men and lesbians are already covered under the Constitution just like the rest of us. What they want is special rights. We oppose special rights for gay people." The Radical Right’s use of the phrase "special rights" skews the issue. The right to get and keep a job based on merit is not a special right. The right to have housing is not a special right. The right to be served food in a restaurant or stay in a hotel are not special rights. The right to have and raise children without the state seizing them is not a special right. The right to walk down the street and not get attacked because of who you are and whom you love is not a special right. Gay and lesbian people want the same rights guaranteed to all American citizens. However, without civil rights laws that specifically ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, gay and lesbian people can lose their jobs, their homes, and their families and be refused service at public accommodations simply because they are gay with no legal recourse. Right wing zealots who speak of special rights, in fact, want their own very special right to discriminate against those whom they hate.
"Local ordinances for gay men and lesbians force the rest of us to live against our religious beliefs. We’re entitled to our rights too." Most civil rights ordinances provide exemptions for religious institutions. And extending civil rights to one sector of society does not withdraw rights from another. In addition, many gay and lesbian members of religious denominations are organizing within their religious communities so that religious institutions may become more accepting of the diversity of their members.
"They want to be treated like a minority, like an ethnic minority. The Supreme Court says they’re not. And we know they’re not because they never rode in the back of the bus and they are not economically deprived." Like other minorities, gay men and lesbians face job loss, eviction, non- service at public accommodations, and the loss of their children simply because of who they are. And like other minorities, gay and lesbian people face harassment, physical assault, and murder because of hatred against them as a group. A Department of Justice study reported that "homosexuals are probably the most frequent victims" of hate crime. Our Constitution says all citizens are created equal which includes gay and lesbian Americans.
"Homosexuals lead an abominable lifestyle. People who care about traditional family values must not encourage the open expression of sexual depravity." Discrimination is the abomination, not gay and lesbian people. We uphold the family values of support, love, understanding and respect between family members. Discrimination and bigotry are not and never have been traditional family values.
"Gay people want to force their lifestyle on us and take away our rights." Civil rights laws that include gay and lesbian people do not limit the rights of others. Instead, they extend to gay and lesbian people the same rights already enjoyed by most Americans the right to obtain and keep employment based on ability to do the job; the right to acquire housing; the right to raise children; and the right to live free of violence. Gay and lesbian people are not interested in forcing anything on anyone. Just the opposite. Most gay and lesbian people would prefer to live in privacy, without intrusion by Radical Right bigots.
"You can’t let gays be near children since they can’t reproduce, they recruit. And they are all pedophiles." Statistics show that the vast majority of sexual abuse is committed by men against women, usually within the same family. One 1992 study from the Children’s Hospital in Denver showed that children are 100 times more likely to be molested by a family member than by a gay or lesbian person. Sexual abuse therapists have denounced statements by the Oregon Citizens Alliance that link homosexuality with pedophilia in order to achieve OCA’s extreme political agenda. Lies perpetuate stereotypes that are then wrongly used to deny gay and lesbian people their rights.
"What this is really leading to is marriage licenses for gay men and lesbians, joint benefits, formalized domestic relationships, child adoptions, and the destruction of the American family. This is wrong." Civil rights laws that include gay and lesbian people do not grant gay and lesbian people the right to marry. Society has failed to recognize the committed unions of gay and lesbian people while it continues to perpetuate the stereotype that all gay and lesbian people are sexually promiscuous. But gay and lesbian people are continuing the struggle for the legal recognition of their loving relationships including the right to obtain employment benefits for spouses equivalent to those available to heterosexual co-workers.
"It’s within our First Amendment rights to say what we think of homosexuals." Radical Right organizations hide their homophobia behind the First Amendment. While the Radical Right demands the right to speak out against homosexuality, they simultaneously run well-financed campaigns to censor and squelch positive images of gay and lesbian people on television, in schools, and in the arts. The hatred and lies that Radical Right organizations spew create a hostile environment for gay and lesbian people. Their rhetoric bolsters the hatred expressed by bigots who physically attack gay men and lesbians. A national study conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute documented 1,822 anti-gay incidents in just five U.S. cities in 1991, a 31 percent increase over the number of incidents in 1990. u
Close Encounters With The Gay And Lesbian Community Three Steps to Organizing around Gay and Lesbian Issues
Tom Swift Human Rights Campaign Fund Washington, D.C.
Attacking the gay and lesbian community has become a popular scare tactic with the Radical Right. The concept of sexual orientation is still difficult and uncomfortable for many Americans, and with this issue the Right claims a ‘clear’ moral authority that at the same time serves as an excellent tool for mobilizing voters, enrolling members and raising money.
Any organized right wing political movement in your community will eventually use the gay rights issue, or will focus entirely on gay and lesbian rights as part of an electoral strategy. You need to be prepared and you need to take steps now to include lesbians and gay men in your organizing.
The lesbian and gay community is well-organized, motivated and educated. You need their help, their expertise and their resources. The battle for equality for gay and lesbian Americans will eventually be won, and it will be won by this strong, cohesive community. You cannot successfully battle right wing forces without gay and lesbian participation.
However, prejudice and ignorance often prevent first-time organizers from building bridges to gays, lesbians and bisexuals.
Here’s how to reach out to that community.
FIRST SIGHTING Many people have little or no experience working with the lesbian and gay community. As in any new endeavor, a little knowledge can go a long way. The first step in building bridges to the lesbian and gay community is to take the time to learn.
Most major communities have a thriving lesbian and gay publication. Call your library and see if they carry copies. If they don’t, perhaps the librarian will know where to find it. Most importantly, get a copy and read it. Find out about the gay men and lesbians in your community. Where do they gather? What are their concerns? Most publications also list local resources, political groups, social groups and religious groups. Read about these groups and add them to your Rolodex.
If there is no local publication, find out if there is a lesbian and gay community center. Stop by and look around. Find out what groups meet at the center and when they meet. Look on the walls of the center and read the flyers, brochures and other postings. Ask questions.
Most cities have a bookstore that serves the lesbian and gay market. Browse around, pick up state and national publications, and look at the postings there, too. At this store, ask for a copy of The Gayellow Pages. This publication lists every lesbian and gay group in the country. It is an invaluable resource, and every organizer who is serious about working on lesbian and gay issues should have a copy. Buy this book! Once you’ve done your homework, try this exercise. On the bus home from work, or in the doctor’s office, or at the school board meeting, or anywhere in public, take out the local gay publication or The Gayellow Pages and read it (cover page up and visible!). If this makes you uncomfortable, that’s okay. But understand that this discomfort—and your natural inclination to hide—is what gay men and lesbians face every day. Once you understand this feeling, you are on your way to understanding these issues.
FIRST CONTACT Once you have done your homework, it’s time to make contact. The best place to start is an organization called PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).
PFLAG is a national organization with chapters in every state and most cities in the country. Local chapters will be listed in The Gayellow Pages, or you can contact a chapter in your area by calling the national office at 202-638- 4200. Although PFLAG is made up largely of parents, it is a diverse group that is well-organized and always willing to lend a hand. Call the co-chair, go to a meeting and begin to learn more about the community within your community. PFLAG was founded, in part, to help people cope with sexual orientation issues. If you have questions, now is the time to ask!
PFLAG can lead you to every other local gay organization. Use your contacts in PFLAG to learn about community leaders, political organizations, AIDS services and street activists. Once you have learned about these individuals and organizations, make contact.
As with all coalition-building, sensitivity and mutual interest are key. What are you bringing to the gay and lesbian community that they need? How can you help them? And, what are your common goals? In most cases, you will find a well-organized, politically astute core of individuals who tend to speak for and organize your local gay and lesbian community. Creating a dialogue with these leaders is crucial, and the first step towards substantive organizing. You will probably find that these individuals have already begun to respond to local Radical Right organizing.
Call the local gay and lesbian Democratic club, and the Log Cabin Club. The Log Cabin Club is an organization of gay and lesbian Republicans. Their national office is in Washington, D.C., and they have many local chapters. Make contact with the Log Cabin Federation. Gay and lesbian Republicans can be an effective voice against the Radical Right and can possibly help you make contact with sympathetic Republican leaders.
Go to the meeting of local gay and lesbian political club, the Community Center and the gay and lesbian business guild to introduce yourself and make alliances for future political organizing. Be sensitive, listen and ask questions. Explain that this is your first meeting, and be open about why you are attending. All people respond to honesty, and you may be surprised that your simple gesture of outreach will have a lasting impact. Most Americans try to avoid gay and lesbian people. Making an effort to include them in your organizing will not be forgotten.
If none of these avenues appeal to you, go to church. The gay church.
There is a rich and diverse gay and lesbian spiritual community that is very welcoming. Attend a service or become a member of a congregation. The following groups are most prominent: Metropolitan Community Church (Non- Denominational, largest and best organized); Dignity (Catholic); Integrity (Episcopal); More Light Churches (Presbyterian); Bet Mishpachah (Jewish); Lutherans Concerned. Again, all of these congregations have national governing bodies, listed in The Gayellow Pages. The church is a strong force in the lesbian and gay community. Use it, and build bridges to your own congregations, if possible. Consider creating a coalition of gay and non-gay church leaders to oppose Radical Right religious arguments.
TAKE OFF Substantive organizing in the lesbian and gay community rests largely on your ability to find the lesbian and gay community. Once you’ve found it, getting the constituency mobilized is simple.
Most gay men and lesbians are used to volunteering. They fight AIDS, breast cancer, hate crimes, bigotry and discrimination every day. You should understand that the gay and lesbian community is, for the most part, politically aware, politically motivated and politically involved.
Use your coalition partners to your best advantage, but also know that on any weekend in the year you can set up a table at any number of local gay bars and sign-up volunteers, raise money, register voters or mobilize the constituency. Be patient, because you may have to get in line behind the AIDS services organization, the lesbian breast cancer coalition and the men’s volleyball league. But, a polite approach, endorsed by your new gay and lesbian coalition partners, will yield access. If the issue you are fighting is electoral, access will improve as election day approaches.
You can use this approach in any lesbian and gay gathering, and in fact it is the most effective way to organize in this community. You must go where the people are, because otherwise gay men and lesbians look just like everyone else (which is not a bad message), and this is a community that congregates.
The best way to reach thousands of gay men and lesbians is at community events. Again, check the local gay paper and rely on your coalition partners to help you get access. Over 150 communities in America celebrate Gay Pride Day (usually held in June). You should always march in the Pride Parade (for visibility and solidarity), but you should also consider renting a booth. Use this opportunity to raise money, recruit volunteers and get the message out about the Radical Right. Other community events occur throughout the year. Look for AIDSwalks, Rodeos, Dances, Halloween parties, National Coming Out Day Events (October 11, every year) protest rallies, candlelight vigils, AIDS quilt displays, picnics, sporting events and women’s music festivals.
Always be sensitive, ask about event restrictions and follow the rules. However, you must understand that in order to organize with the gay and lesbian community, you must organize in the gay and lesbian community. Your efforts will be well-rewarded.
CONCLUSION If you don’t grasp the importance of equal rights for lesbian and gay Americans, you are not alone. Most Americans believe that it is illegal to fire someone from a job because of their sexual orientation. Most Americans are wrong. Only eight states have civil rights protection that covers gay men and lesbians. For the most part, it is legal to discriminate against gay men and lesbians.
If you still don’t understand this issue, that’s okay. The purpose of this article is to teach you how to learn about these issues and how to meet the gay men and lesbians who live in your hometown. When you meet them and when you work with them, you will learn everything you need to know about equal rights. The Radical Right is looking to limit everybody’s rights. This is a threat that should help us to forge alliances and embrace our differences. We are fighting for liberty and justice for all.
TALKING POINTS AND TIPS Never refer to sexual orientation as sexual preference. Most gay men and lesbians believe (and most scientific evidence concurs) that homosexuality is not a choice, but an orientation. This is an important distinction.
Always use the term gay, lesbian and bisexual. Using the blanket term Gay Community can be considered exclusive. If you are unsure what is considered most inclusive in your community, listen.
Avoid the term homosexual in just about every situation.
Always use the term equal rights instead of civil rights or special rights whenever referring to lesbian/gay rights.
Lesbian and gay Americans are seeking equality under the law.
Gay men and lesbians believe that employees should be judged on job performance, instead of non-job related factors.
Use the term unity when referring to other groups coming together to support lesbian and gay rights.
Discrimination is un-American. Americans oppose discrimination and that’s what this issue is all about. This is about principles we all cherish—equality, unity, spirituality and privacy. Equal rights is reasonable. The radical right is forcing this issue to further their broader agenda.
ProChoice IdEA: A Technique that Works
ProChoice Resource Center
Mamaromeck, New York
ProChoice IdEA is the vehicle by which a group can Identify, Educate and
Activate the pro-choice supporters in a given geo-political area. The acronym IdEA sums up its method: it provides pro-choice groups and coalitions with techniques and strategies on how to Identify sympathetic pro-choice supporters in the grass roots. Educate them about the issues; and Activate them to volunteer, lobby, speak out, teach others, protest, demonstrate, write their elected officials—and vote.ProChoice IdEA provides framework through which grassroots groups can approach
the issue of choice and related reproductive health care matters. Recognizing that each community is unique in its political culture and has its own
particular set of requirements necessary to effect change within that culture, the ProChoice Resource Center helps groups assess how to turn reproductive rights into a "bottom line" issue and create real change in their communities.Using this system, grassroots groups take lists of registered voters, develop
a pro-choice questionnaire to canvass (typically by phone) each name on the list in order to identify supporters, and ultimately compile an extensive pro-choice database. It bypasses the filter of the news media and the rhetoric of
campaign propaganda by going directly to people in their homes. The identified pro-choice supporters are continually educated about the issues by mailing alerts, newsletters, public forums, etc. and are made aware of challenges to reproductive freedom. Then these supporters are activated by phone, fax,
mailings, voting guides, etc. to stand watch and act on choice year-round—and to vote the issue at election time.
The value of a pro-choice database lies in its many usesIt can make the grassroots major players in state and local politics. Any group armed with a significant computerized list of constituent supporters has
the ability to influence public opinion. Politicians and other public officials know very well the power and clout of groups that have such a list.
It indicates a high level of public support for reproductive freedom, and puts heat on legislators to actively support reproductive rights.
It supplies grassroots groups (and candidates) with a constituency for
rallies, events and year-round public education on local, state and federal
legislation.It provides a list of pro-choice supporters, especially women, for who choice is a bottom-line, defining issue.It provides a mailing list for voting guides, educational materials, action and legislative alerts, funding appeals, persuasion pieces, and a list for
get-out-the-vote calls near election day.It gives grassroots groups (and candidates) access to potential donors and
This is exactly what grassroots groups need to secure reproductive freedom.
Academics agree. According to Debra Dodson of the Center for the American
Woman and Politics
"[One cannot] assume voters are able to connect their abstract concern about
abortion policy to the specific choices between candidates on election day. Even voters who hold strong consistent views about abortion policy must be educated every single election season and for each race where it matters, otherwise they may be unaware that candidates differ over abortion policy or that these differences matter.")
A study of the 1992 Presidential election by Alan Abramowitz of Emory University confirms the efficacy of the approach behind this program. Abramowitz found that abortion was the second best predictor of voting preference, after party affiliation, among voters who could identify candidates’ positions. However, among those voters who were unaware of the
positions of the presidential candidates, he discovered that there was no significant correlation between voters’ positions and their voting preferences. In sum, those who don’t know the candidates’ positions on abortion don’t necessarily vote for the candidate who agrees with them. How can they?Both these studies point to the crucial role played by this project. Polls
show that the majority of Americans who are pro-choice don’t by themselves change public policy. But identified, educated and activated pro-choice supporters do.With the right tools—i.e., an up-to-date database, a corps of volunteers, phones, mailing lists and voting guides—policy makers need never be forced to guess what "pro-choice" really means, nor how the pro-choice community feels
about including abortion services in a national health care package. Neither can elected officials forget how they got where they are.
The inability of a seemingly pro-choice Congress to repeal the Hyde Amendment
indicates that the pro-choice community needs to be more diligent about who is
allowed to use the politically powerful pro-choice label. Clearly, it is time
for the pro-choice grass roots to say: There is no free lunch. If you want our
support, you must support us and this kind of project provides the wherewithal for that to happen.But this is not just for use at election time. To truly protect reproductive freedom, this project must function throughout the year. The list of
supporters who have been identified provides the means to move a pro-choice agenda forward once pro-choice officials are in office. A grassroots group can
use its clout to ensure accessibility, accountability and, most importantly,
action from elected officials on a full reproductive rights agenda.
Starting an IdEA Project
1. An organizational structure must be established, that is, an organization, an organizational name and a governing body. While this structure does not have to be elaborate or "official," it is important for phoners to be able to identify the organization conducting the canvass. This lends credibility to the canvass and also helps get the organization’s name out into the community.2. You need a computer (at least a 386, and preferably a 486 or one that is
even more powerful). You also need a database program, a person (or persons) to do data entry, and whenever possible, a computer consultant who you can
call on for assistance.3. The project needs a coordinator or co-coordinators. Although a project of this type is not difficult, and in many ways embodies the essence of grassroots organizing, there must be someone who knows what is happening at all times, who can recognize glitches—and solve them, and who can keep track of who is doing what, when, and who needs to be doing what when
4. The project needs a core of dedicated volunteers and/or paid staff who
will make the project happen. People are needed to write the canvass
questionnaires, code and tabulate the results, make phone calls, answer
questions, write voting guides—and mail them, organize and attend events,
help with fundraising, oversee a letter-writing campaign—and find other
volunteers to do the same.
5. You need a place from which to conduct a phone bank.6. You need a fundraising plan—so that there is money to educate and activate the pro-choice supporters that have been identified, so that there is money to keep your lists up-to-date, and so that you can continue to identify registered voters. New people move into the area you Id’d, other people move out and hopefully, you will increase the geo-political sphere you decide to canvass.Identifying Pro-Choice SupportersIdentifying pro-choice supporters is neither difficult nor magical. It is the result of conducting a systematic phone canvass of registered voters in a
given geo-political area. The ProChoice Resource Center offers sample canvass questionnaires and coding sheets and can give your organization technical assistance in tailoring those materials to fit your needs.To conduct a canvass you will need phoners: volunteers, paid staff and/or a
telemarketing firm, a phone bank and phone captains. Lists of registered voters are available on computer disk or tape and most often can be brought from the local Board of Elections. Your organization must then determine when it wants to conduct the canvass questionnaire. As a general rule, the best time to canvass is in the evenings, from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Most people are home
at that time and despite what you have heard, do not mind being interrupted to answer a short questionnaire, particularly when callers identify themselves
politely, say that there are no personal questions, and that the call will not
take more than a few minutes. And, when you find that someone will not answer
the questionnaire because they are busy, ask if there is a more convenient
time that you can call back.
It is important to train the phoners at least half hour prior to each phone
bank so that they become comfortable with the script (i.e., they can read it
easily and naturally) and are prepared to fill out the coding sheet for each
call they make.
The people you identify in these calls are the people who will receive your
educational and fundraising materials. These are the people who will become
activists for your organization. These are the people who you will count on:
volunteer, lobby, attend forums, fund-raise—and vote.
Because an accurate, up-to-date list is central to all of your other
activities, it is critical that the list be maintained. A hidden benefit of spending money on mailings is that it inevitably generates a mass of returned mail. Since we live in a mobile society, it is common to have about 10% of your mailing returned from the post office, labeled "return to sender," "addressee unknown," or "note new address". However, don’t be discouraged, you will use these rejected parcels to clean your lists (and prevent you from making the same mistake twice). Some organizations hire a company to maintain
their lists while other maintains their list "in-house." This is often determined by the organization’s size, database, software capacity and available financial and organizational resources.Educating Your Identified SupportersIn every training or workshop given by the Center, the E component of IdEA is stressed as being a crucial stage of the project. Year-round communication
with supporters, the media, and the general public is essential if IdEA is to be effective.
The list of supporters, therefore, has another function, aside from being a
list to call. It is used for one of the most home-spun—and effective—tools of grassroots organizing: a mailing list. Once entered into the computer, the list can be converted into mailing labels, which groups use to keep in touch
with, and therefore educate, supporters. Remember: an informed group of supporters will effect the most change.
Mailing labels can be used on a variety of educational materials, all designed to advance the pro-choice agenda. The Center can provide a variety of materials to pass along to supporters, including a quarterly newsletter that
can be copied and distributed, articles about upcoming issues, information about the pro-choice movement; and action alerts. Aside from the materials the
Center provides, groups should use the wealth of their own material.Educational strategies include:
Mailing voting guides at election time.
Mailing fliers or invitations for rallies, lobbying days and important votes in legislative bodies.Background brochures or "white papers" on new issues such as health care,
minor access, parental consent, mandatory delays, and the opposition.
Background information and brochures on clinic-defense training and clinic defense.
Sending a compilation of articles from local papers.
Mailing invitations to house parties where speakers inform groups about issues and enlist volunteers.
Organizing town meetings or public forums with a local/regional/national panel of experts.
In addition to the supporters a group already knows about, groups must also work with the media to generate coverage of issues which can hopefully reach a wider audience.
Groups can also:
Hold reporters’ briefings to educate the media about issues.
Arrange editorial board meetings to challenge/encourage newspapers to take a
pro-choice editorial stand.
Buy paid advertising space to assure that the message remains intact.
The last (and most elusive) group to reach directly is the general public.
While media outreach efforts help, groups also need to prepare fliers and
brochures to pass out to the general public at rallies and meetings.
As you can see, education is a key part of this strategy. It is the bridge to
what is perhaps the heart of IdEA—activation.Activating Your Supporters and Keeping Them InvolvedKeeping supporters involved and motivated is the most difficult—and most rewarding—element of this strategy. While having an informed group of
identified pro-choice supporters is essential, what those supporters do with the knowledge is what will protect reproductive freedom.At election time, the identified supporters are the easiest to activate. Supporters understand the importance of making sure the pro-choice candidate wins or that an anti-choice ballot initiative loses. And, elections are time-bound, so supporters realize the "campaign" mentality they must adopt. At the very least, during elections, activation is voting—and making sure others
vote. For the more committed supporters at election time, activation is attending and asking questions at candidate forums, volunteering at a phone bank to get-out-the-vote, and poll watching.
Between election cycles, however, activating a constituency and creating a
lobbying bloc is usually more difficult. Yet on-going activism is crucial to keeping pressure on elected officials; it is the only way to keep leaders
honest when it comes time to vote on tough issues.
Because the anti-abortion opposition has become so masterful at grassroots lobbying with direct mail, cable television, and fundamentalist church
networks, the pro-choice community needs to re-double its efforts to protect reproductive freedom. Regular newsletters, telephone trees, phone banks and
action alerts are important activation tools. And as technology becomes more widely available, computer networks and bulletin boards will enhance these
To keep policy makers informed and aware of the fierce pro-choice constituency in their districts, grassroots groups need to activate supporters to:
Write letters and make phone calls to elected officials
Attend meetings with local leaders and with state and federal legislators
Write letters to the editors and op-ed pieces
Attend rallies, forums and workshops
Monitor school board meetings—and speak out and distribute literature
Volunteer for IdEA projects
Organize forums and invite speakers
Donate money to local pro-choice organizationsHold fundraisers or house partiesDefend clinics
Monitor the opposition’s activities by attending their meetings and getting on their mailing lists.Conclusion
In November 1992, reaping the rewards of years of organizing, 500 candidates supported by fundamentalist organizations ran in elections from school board to President of the United States—and they won with a success rate of 40 percent. Without the effective counter force of programs like Pro-Choice IdEA, however, their success would have been greater.Groups that used ProChoice IdEA in the November 1992 elections have said they
were able to defeat anti-choice candidates by a margin of 14 percent by identifying pro-choice supporters, talking to them in a compelling and personal way, educating them and activating them to support pro-choice values with their votes and voices.Pro-choice grassroots groups won 54% of elections in which they were involved, and identified nearly 900,000 pro-choice supporters across the country who
were interested in changing the political landscape and protecting reproductive freedom.
While results from November 1992 prove that programs like Pro-Choice IdEA are
crucial for protecting reproductive freedom, grassroots leaders have learned that many anti-choice candidates evade the issue of reproductive freedom,
especially radical right candidates. This makes it crucial to talk to supporters early and often. Research proves that in an election, whichever
side frames the debate on tough issues has an advantage.
The overwhelming success of Pro-Choice projects proves they are a necessary tool for grassroots groups to use in framing the debate honestly and
accurately in terms of women and women’s health. In doing so, Americans will be able to understand what is at stake in a particular election. And they will
be able to block the opposition from achieving its goal of denying women the constitutional human and civil right to reproductive freedom.
Talking Points on Choice
Ann Lewis Politics, Inc. Washington, D.C.
Unsuccessful efforts to impose an outright ban on abortion have driven the anti-choice forces to shift gears, concentrating on erecting expensive, humiliating and even dangerous barriers. What follows are suggested responses in two categories: Abortion and universal health care, and general restrictions on abortion.
Abortion and Health Care Why should abortion services be included in national health care?
Because the American people want comprehensive, reliable health care for women and men, a system that combines access to quality care with the ability of individuals with their own physicians to make their own health care decisions. Access to safe abortions that are medically necessary or appropriate is important to women’s health.
Why should ‘pregnancy-related’ include abortions?
Because health care services must include whatever procedures are considered medically necessary or appropriate according to women and their doctors. These are difficult, complicated decisions. They should be made privately, by doctors and patients.
Why not leave this question up to the states?
Because I want to see a national health care policy that combines full coverage with individual choices. Not a fold out road map where we tell people you’re covered for this procedure in this state, but not in that one; you and your doctor get to make your own decisions in state A, but not if you cross the state line.
Why not have abortion services as an extra cost?
Because I believe that we should use the same standards for health care coverage for everyone. If a procedure is medically necessary or appropriate, it should be covered. That’s the rule for every other kind of health care, and I think it should be the same rule for women’s reproductive health care. Abortion is not some kind of luxury; it is a difficult, complicated decision.
Are you saying that taxpayers should support this? Is that fair?
This is very much about fairness. It’s because we care about fairness that we’re talking about national health care reform. Even people who disagree about certain aspects of the administration’s proposals agree that it’s time to adopt a national policy that includes access and coverage.
We believe that government should set basic standards for care, and that people should not be barred from exercising certain basic rights because they don’t have a high income. That’s fairness.
Why is it fair to use the tax dollars of people who disagree?
It is fair to see that individuals are able to make their own decisions, in consultations with their doctors, about procedures that are medically necessary or appropriate. Now, that may mean some people make choices other people don’t agree with. For example, some people disapprove of blood transfusions. That doesn’t mean we should tell doctors they can’t prescribe blood transfusions.
I think it is very important that we respect individuals’ moral decisions. That’s why the administration plan includes a conscience clause, which ensures that doctors or health care providers who are morally opposed to abortion don’t have to participate.
Won’t this make abortion too easy?
One of the goals of a comprehensive health care plan is to put more emphasis on prevention, education and family planning. We can do that with full health care coverage, including sex education, contraceptive services, prevention and family planning.
I understand the theory behind this, but let’s talk about reality. Does this pass the common sense test? What happens to women who work, who have to travel hours to get to a clinic? This bill will double the time she must be away from her family and her work, double the loss of salary, double the cost of travel and child care.
That can be a painful difference for women living on the financial edge. Sometimes that difference delays the abortion, increases the cost and the chance of complications. Sometimes anti-choice extremists identify women on their first trip and then harass them at home. I don’t think we should expose women to that kind of bullying.
I agree that women considering abortions or any medical procedure should have access to complete and accurate information. The question is, who will decide what that information should be? I don’t think politicians or government bureaucracy should be in charge of writing health care information. I think medical issues should be handled by health care professionals, and that includes producing information.
Abortion as a Means of Birth Control:
This is another example of why the questions of abortion is so difficult to legislate. Suppose there were laws on this subject. How could it be proven that a woman deliberately chose not to use contraception, because she preferred to have an abortion? Are we going to tape people’s bedrooms? Use detectives? I think this gets us into an absurd area. It’s an area where government doesn’t belong.
Outlawing Abortion for Sex Selection:
I think this is a repulsive concept. I also think that laws proposed to ban it are a kind of smokescreen by people who want to see all abortions banned. They use this example because they know that people like you and me will be repulsed, so we might be willing to outlaw it. Because, as I think about it, how would government ban this? What kind of evidence would be obtained to prove it happened? Who would testify? Who would be punished? Fortunately, the simple fact is that there is no evidence that this occurs in the United States.
We all want to make the family stronger. The question is, how do we achieve that goal? The good news is that 85 percent of young women do discuss the decision to have an abortion with their families. Now, how do we reach the remaining 15 percent? I have a problem with a legislative mandate. It does nothing to help families that work, and it penalizes those young women unlucky enough to be born into families that don’t work. In the worst cases, it can expose them to real danger.
How to Organize Support for Clinics, Physicians and Staff
Ann Baker, President National Center for the Pro-Choice Majority Hightstown, New Jersey
It is important to understand that the anti-abortion militants believe they can isolate and embarrass abortion providers by their campaign of harassment and intimidation. They see this as a more effective way to stop abortion than any legislative strategy promoted by the more "mainstream" wing of the anti- abortion crusade. The militants will succeed if the communities in which doctors live and abortion clinics pay taxes take a pass on standing behind these courageous medical personnel. The local pro-choice organizations may initiate systems of support for abortion providers, but it will be vitally important for the larger community to denounce the militants’ tactics and show its appreciation for the providers’ courage.
For years before Operation Rescue was launched in 1988, there were small groups of abortion protesters who focused their efforts on the women who used abortion clinics and the clinic staffs who provided abortion services and other reproductive health care. Although few in numbers in most communities and scattered around the country in no more than three dozen cities and towns, the protesters devoted their energies to making life miserable for clinics and their clients. They probably numbered no more than 200.
The mentor of this movement has been Joe Scheidler who founded the Pro-Life Action League, based in Chicago, in 1980. Scheidler had been dismissed as executive director from two anti-abortion organizations because they were displeased with his emphasis on direct-action at the clinics.
In 1985 Scheidler found a publisher for his manual of dirty tricks called Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortions. And in the same year he began to hold an annual conference for people from around the country who were engaged in direct-action at their local clinics. The participants in these conferences generated a month-by-month schedule of activities they would all do together. This schedule was called "The Year of Pain and Fear." It was this group of people, coming together for an annual conference and focused on making things unpleasant at abortion clinics, that developed the strategy of large clinic blockades known as Operation Rescue.
At the same time that Scheidler published Closed, a still-obscure militant, Kevin Sherlock, wrote and distributed The Abortion Busters Manual. Sherlock’s focus was not on the visible harassment of providers at the clinics but on researching the professional histories of the physicians in the hopes of uncovering malpractice cases. To date this has not been a successful strategy, despite the fact that three anti-abortion organizations have dedicated much time and effort to it. However, it continues because those in the anti- abortion crusade passionately believe that only the dregs of the medical profession do abortions. It is this kind of thinking which pervades the direct-action movement that has led inevitably to the murder and attempted murder of doctors.
By 1985 most of the tactics used against abortion providers existed in some form, although many of them needed refinement to become effective. But the groundwork had been laid and all that remained was for the various groups of militants to field-test these tactics until they had effective "products."
The militants’ actions are based on their view that they may do anything if it prevents even one abortion. Their justification for blocking access to clinics is the same justification they use when clinics have been damaged by arson/firebombing or vandalism, and when doctors are murdered, i.e., that they must do whatever is necessary to save lives. As a legal theory the necessity defence has failed repeatedly in the courts, but it allows the militants to rationalize their actions.
Clinic blockades engaging large numbers of people and frequent activity dominated the efforts of the anti-abortion crusade during much of 1988-1989. the corollary of the blockades was clinic defence organized by the pro-choice community. Large numbers of people were trained to keep clinics open by arriving at a targeted clinic before the anti-abortion militants did—if possible. Sometimes this became a game of cat and mouse, but it often succeeded and enabled clinic staff and their clients to gain access to the facility while the police made arrests. However, when the frequency of blockades diminished in 1990 there were few local actions to prepare for. Since that time, the national blockade organizations have found it necessary to announce large national actions, allowing targeted cities to prepare for the intrusion of hundreds of out-of-towners intent on disrupting the clinics and the courts.
Frequent blockades ended because the fines became too great for all but the most dedicated militants. Out of a total of about 14,000 people arrested since 1988, only 1,000-2,000 remain active in the direct-action movement. And most of their activity has shifted from clinic blockades to less-predictable and more intimidating forms of harassment. This ominous shift in tactics requires a similar shift by the pro-choice community, not to directly confront the militants as was possible with clinic defence but to out-maneuver them with strategies that generate community support for abortion providers.
The general public has expressed its disapproval of clinic blockades and the disruption and cost associated with them. Richard Wirthlin observed in the summer of 1991 that the blockade movement had discredited the entire anti- abortion crusade. His concluding comment was that "Operation Rescue might just as well have been funded by NARAL." In many of those communities where the militants have waged their campaign of harassment and intimidation, the public has been clear in rejecting their tactics. It is important that the community also step forward to support the providers.
In Omaha, NE where a few militants took their campaign to a local Lutheran congregation because a physician and his family were members, denunciations came in the editorial pages and from civic leaders. The tactics included graffiti at the church, interrupting religious services, and obtaining a mailing list of the members of that congregation and mailing a disgusting attack of the physician to each household. The people of Omaha found these tactics repulsive.
The individual responsible for organizing the intimidation quietly slipped out of town because of the opprobrium and showed up next in Providence, RI where he launched a harassment campaign against the local leaders of the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights and the Planned Parenthood clinic. Again, he was denounced by the community, and the clinic was actively supported.
Similar tactics are in use in cities all over the country and the militants who are organizing the campaign are not moving away. Sometimes this is because the city is too large and their actions don’t outrage a large-enough segment of the community. Sometimes the militants are gratified by the attention they receive from the media for their persistence. Often it is because there have not been any concerted efforts at organizing community outrage. The militants believe that abortion providers are outcasts and no respectable person will stand up for them when they are victimized.
The pro-choice community faces a bigger challenge from these more covert threats to abortion providers than it did during the heyday of clinic blockades. It must become the agent that reaches out to the larger community in those cities where the militants are getting away with their campaign of intimidation, and generate a variety of supporters and affirmations that will defuse the smear campaign waged by the anti-abortion militants. Rather than trying to counter the tactics used by the militants, it is necessary to educate the public about the motivation of those who provide abortions and the nature of the abortion decision.
In the overall struggle to guarantee the constitutional right to preproductive choice, pro-choice support will be less fragile as we successfully make these points. And when it comes to protecting access to abortion clinics, unless the pro-choice community undertakes this kind of public education campaign we will find that the direct-action against the clinics will succeed in many cities.
Many people who are aligned with the pro-choice movement have taken their position because they perceive the anti-abortion crusade to be a wedge in the separation of church and state. Or, they advocate population control. But they are uncomfortable with the fact of women actually choosing abortion. These are the people who don’t want to see abortion become illegal again, but they wish that only a few women needed abortion and could obtain them from their own gynecologist. The fact that 1.5 million women obtain abortions annually, and that there are specialized clinics that provide abortions, is something these people would prefer to ignore.
If there is ever going to be strong support for providers, the pro-choice community must find ways to educate others who are fundamentally pro-choice but ill-at-ease with abortion. It will be impossible to generate support for providers from the civic associations, service clubs, public officials, and the local media until the pro-choice community undertakes the kind of effective public education about abortion that has been associated with the anti-abortion crusade for twenty years.
The opponents of abortion recognized that they were a minority movement and needed to change minds. So they concentrated on people who can be made uncomfortable with the fact of abortion even as they support the right to make reproductive choices. The success of this strategy is revealed in public opinion polls in which large percentages of those who affirm the right to abortion indicate their support for government restrictions on some abortions.
Because of the polling research of NARAL, the pro-choice movement effectively asked the question, Who Decides? You or Them? Now the pro-choice movement must go beyond that challenging question to personify the women who make that decision. By telling the stories of the women who need abortions, and thereby easing the discomfort many people have with abortion, we will be able to highlight the courageous people who provide abortions in the combat zone that exists around their clinics and their homes. There are few other areas of work in which people live with such an intense level of personal threat. They are willing to do this because they believe women need caring places in which to receive abortions. There is no amount of money that can adequately compensate for the threatening environment in which they provide reproductive healthcare.
Thousands of people belonging to hundreds of organizations will have access to this manual. Many of them may be challenged by the anti-abortion harassment of doctors in their communities, and wondering what can be done to alleviate the threatening environment around abortion clinics. Developing concrete responses to any situation must always emerge in the local community, although national organizations may be able to suggest guidelines. The National Center for the Pro Choice Majority is accessible to any group that is working to provide support to abortion clinics through a public education campaign.
This Door Stays Open: A Community Action Guide
National Abortion Federation Washington, D.C.
Abortion is a part of good reproductive health care. By providing this service, health practitioners who perform abortions have contributed to the improvement of the health of women and children in this country. What can you do to support abortion providers in your community and protect access to reproductive health care? Plenty and here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Wear a "This Door Stays Open" Button all the time! Put it on when you go shopping, when you’re on public transportation, when you go out to eat. You’ll get lots of questions "What door? Why should it stay open?" These are opportunities to get more people involved! (Carry a few extra buttons with you.)
2. Ask your local abortion provider what you can do to help. Some possibilities:
Volunteer as a patient escort when clinics have blockades or picketers. Sponsor a "clinic watch" program if you live near a clinic or drive by one regularly, make a point of scanning for anything or anyone unusual on the premises, especially late at night. You can even set up a schedule if enough people are interested and the clinic agrees. Offer your professional services pro bono legal work, accounting, graphic design, or other skills. Provide transportation for patients or staff, especially in bad weather. Host a fundraiser many clinics have funds to help women who cannot afford to pay for abortion or birth control, and these funds are usually stretched to the limit. Organize a neighborhood or city "clinic support" group and plan activities. For example, if a nearby provider is being personally harassed, sponsor a block party for their family. When the picketers arrive, the neighbors will all be out on their lawns, socializing, having a potluck meal, and displaying signs that say "Friends of Dr. ," or "We support Dr. ."
3. Correspond with the clinic regularly. Send the staff holiday cards, and write notes of encouragement and concern if you hear of an incident of blockading or vandalism. A positive letter from a supportive neighbor will brighten the day for the entire staff.
Involving Other Physicians and the Medical Community
4. Ask your own family physician or OB/GYN if he or she performs abortions. If the answer is yes, refer friends to this physician and back him or her all the way! If the answer is no, ask why not. Ask if they support the abortion providers in the area and would consider working with them. If your physician is anti-choice, change doctors!
5. If there is a medical school in or near your community, find out if their program includes abortion training. If not, submit a proposal that they add this training. Ask if the medical school’s residency program includes a rotation with a local abortion provider. Again, if it does not, demand that it be added. Abortion is one of the most common types of gynecological surgery, and it must be taught universally in medical schools and residency programs.
6. Do you know a retired doctor who remembers the days when abortions were illegal? Ask him or her to speak out about those experiences and share the understanding of why we must protect access to safe, legal abortion.
7. Find out if your local hospital provides abortions. If they do, send supportive letters to the hospital board. If not, organize a petition drive asking the hospital to add abortion services.
Work in Civic, Religious and Professional Groups 8. Join local civic organizations where you can make a difference on this issue. Get involved with the PTA, the school board, the hospital committee, and other educational, medical, and public service groups.
9. Involve your professional, philanthropic, educational, religious, or other community group. Do you belong to an organization such as the Jaycees, Kiwanis, the library association, the downtown merchants’ association, or a church council? Ask if you can plan a program for one of your group’s meetings, and invite a provider to speak as part of the program.
10. Ask your minister, pastor, rabbi or other clergy to speak out during worship and condemn violence and intimidation directed against providers.
11. Go to city council or neighborhood committee meetings, and get on the agenda! Prepare a brief statement calling on the city or your neighborhood to get involved in supporting abortion providers.
12. Ask local and national organizations to which you belong to adopt an official pro-choice position, if they don’t have one already.
13. If you are a lawyer, and you don’t belong to the American Bar Association, join! Be sure to tell them that one of the reasons you are joining is because the ABA has readopted its official pro-choice position.
Letters and Lobbying 14. Write a letter to the editor or op-ed page for your local newspaper. Talk specifically about the services of abortion providers, their importance, and how urgent it is that your community stand together against harassment and terrorism. (Be sure to share copies of these and other letters with your providers.)
15. Write to all your community leaders, asking that they advocate strict penalties against those who blockade, vandalize, and terrorize abortion facilities and their staffs. Write to and follow up with your mayor, city council, city, district and state’s attorneys, local judges, and chief of police.
16. Encourage city officials to adopt a resolution or policy statement stating the city’s pro-choice position, and declaring that the city welcomes abortion and reproductive health care facilities as part of the community.
17. Find out if your state has an anti-stalking law, and if so, if the state’s attorney general has an opinion on whether the law applies to those who stalk abortion providers. Lobby your governor and state legislators for such laws.
18. Write to companies with which you do business, and ask their position on choice. If they have a corporate giving program (most large companies do), ask if they give to Planned Parenthood or other reproductive health service organizations. Explain why every corporate giving program should support abortion services and reproductive health care. Do not do business with companies whose policies are anti-choice.
19. Call in to community talk radio shows or national call-in programs such as C-SPAN, and speak out against clinic blockades and antiabortion violence.
20. Ask your local radio or television stations to air programs on the need for accessible abortion services, and the threat posed by antiabortion militants. One good film to suggest is Dorothy Fadiman’s "When Abortion Was Illegal: Untold Stories." You can find out more about this Academy Award- nominated documentary by calling (415) 321-5590, or writing Concentric Media, 1070 Colby Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025.
What Doctors Can Do
21. If you’re a physician and have not been trained in abortion practice, find out if a local facility offers a training rotation.
22. Support colleagues who perform abortions. If a colleague in your medical building or hospital is being harassed or picketed, work with other physicians to lend your personal and professional support.
23. If you are a medical student or resident and your program does not offer abortion instruction and training, organize a student movement to demand that it be added to the curriculum. Hold petition drives and speak-outs.
If You’ve Had an Abortion
24. Claim the experience. Share it with friends and help to combat the idea that having an abortion is a shameful or secret experience. You made a choice that was right for you, and you should not have to hide.
25. Keep in touch with your provider. Over forty percent of American women will have an abortion at some time in their lives. You are a powerful force. If you want other women to have the same good care you had, write or call your provider on occasion and ask how you can stay involved.
Pass It On and Keep It Going
26. Share this list with friends and brainstorm new ideas! Please write to NAF and tell us of your efforts. If one of the suggestions on this list pays off, let us know. If you’re inspired to create a new project, tell us about it!
Abortion is safe and legal in America. We must work to make sure it remains accessible and that women who seek abortions and the professionals who provide them are not harassed, intimidated or terrorized. You can make a difference, and you must. Get started! u
Patriotic Games: Anti-Environment, Anti-Choice Groups Make Their Moves
Zero Population Growth Washington, D.C.
This article discusses the Right’s involvement in working to weaken environmental protection.
Population advocates are well served by an understanding of their formidable opponents, namely the anti-choice and anti-environmental "user" groups (deceptively termed the "Wise Use" movement by its participants).
Both these groups perpetuate effective misinformation campaigns: Users pit jobs vs. the environment; anti-choice extremists preach a "family values" agenda that promotes sexual ignorance over education. The tactics and moralistic language used by the anti-choice and anti-environmental groups are remarkably similar, and have become all too familiar to many population advocates. Such groups play a significant rule in shaping political debate, and have proven themselves effective opponents to both reproductive choice and a health environment.
Preaching Spontaneous Abundance The anti-choice and anti-environmental movements are similar in that they both espouse a pro-growth doctrine and a faith in the limitless abundance of natural resources. Anti-choice leaders take the biblical mandate to "be fruitful and multiply" literally—promoting an anti-abortion, anti- contraception and anti-sex education agenda. In a similar vein, the anti- environmentalists believe that humankind’s mission is to dominate and "subdue the earth." Their political agenda includes opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for all exploration, clear-cutting old growth forests, gutting the Endangered Species Act and opening 10 million acres of designated wilderness to development. As Ron Arnold, one of the most outspoken leaders of the User movement, explained, "We want you to be able to exploit the environment for private gain, absolutely. And we want people to understand that is a noble goal."
"It’s a holy war between fundamentally different religions," proclaims Charles Cushman of the National Inholders Association, an anti-environmental organization, "The preservationists [environmentalists] are . . . worshipping trees and animals and sacrificing people . . ." A similar viewpoint is expressed by Judie Brown, anti-choice leader and president of the American Life League: "[Environmentalists] are more concerned with saving animal life such as whales, seals, snail darters, owls and hawks. They are equally concerned about controlling the numbers of human beings who live on the earth because they view human beings, another animal form, as a threat to the animals they claim are ‘endangered species.’"
Anti-environment and anti-abortion extremists also portray environmental and pro-choice advocates as the new political threat. It’s as if they are looking for a substitute for the Cold War. As former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall aptly puts it, "the color green has become red" in the eyes of the far Right.
Allusions to a "socialist plot" to control people and destroy the economy are found throughout anti-environment and anti-choice rhetoric. "The phony environmental crisis is a socialist plot to create so much bureaucratic control of business in the name of saving the environment that it will cost billions of dollars and thousands of lost jobs during the next ten years," writes Fundamentalist Reverend Tim LaHaye, former board member of the Moral Majority. The anti-choice organization, Human Life International warns that ". . . the birthrate is below reproduction, and the industrial power of the nation will certainly decline . . a direct result of Planned Parenthood’s work."
Know Thy Enemy Combining skilled rhetoric and a subtle distortion of the facts, the anti-choice and User movements have successfully employed similar tactics to stymie pro-choice and environmental initiatives. With the help of two sympathetic presidential administrations, anti-choice and anti-environmental ideologues have infiltrated the courts and federal agencies—wielding tremendous influence over policies relating to reproductive health and the environment. In particular, both camps have effectively used the judicial system to advance their agendas and undermine precedents that protect reproductive rights and the quality of the environment.
In two symbolic decisions handed down this June, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey and Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, the U. S. Supreme Court confirmed every population advocate’s deepest fear—that we can’t rely on the highest Court to protect our fundamental rights to individual reproductive choice and a healthy environment.
Both cases have sent a confusing and insidious message. While on the surface the decisions appeared to uphold the right to choose and the right to protect the environment, by the same stroke the Court undermined the principles that enable us to exercise these very rights, thereby diminishing their constitutional protection. In Casey, the Court severely weakened Roe v. Wade, the precedent establishing a constitutional right to choose abortion, by allowing states to restrict access to abortion services. In the Lucas case, the Court set a disturbing new precedent which calls into question the ability of state and federal government to enforce environmental regulations when they impact upon private property owners.
As a result, the Court catapulted reproductive rights and environmental issues squarely into the political debate and shifted the battleground from the judicial to the legislative arena. The anti-choice lobby has effectively impeded the progress of pro-choice legislation by "littering" pro-choice bills with anti-choice amendments such as mandatory parental involvement for minors seeking abortion and mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion. Likewise, anti-environmentalist are gearing up to load the federal Endangered Species Act with debilitating amendments as the reauthorization process begins.
To rally support for their legislative agendas, both camps have taken a unique approach to grassroots activism. Many of the User organizations are, in reality, merely frustrated corporate interests. Compulsory activism in which mining and timber industries fund and coordinate "grassroots demonstrations" of workers to protest un-employed by Users. Anti-choice leaders use mandatory "school trips", sponsored by private religious institutions to fill their ranks at political rallies. Through this technique, these movements attempt to falsely project the appearance of broad voluntary support for their political agendas.
The "Vision Thing" Difficult economic times have helped to fuel increasing fears about the future. Anti-environment and anti-choice leaders have effectively used this fear to energize their crusades.
The vision of the future promulgated by the Users is one in which a healthy environment can only mean lost jobs and lost profits. Anti-choice groups contend that women must not "deny their feminine nature" and should leave the workforce to return to the job of procreation as their fundamental mission.
Such a vision ignores the economic necessity of women having to work outside the home to support their families as well as the economic and social impact of forcing women to have unwanted children. In addition, the long-term costs of a polluted and degraded environment are dismissed at a time when an increasing member of economists and political leaders recognize the connection between environmental health and economic well-being.
The challenge facing the pro-choice and environmental communities is to regain control of the debate and promote a new vision of the future.
A variety of polls show that Americans are committed to preserving freedom of choice and protecting the environment. A poll conducted by the League of Conservation Voters found that 69 percent of Americans choose environmental protection over the economy. A recent Associated Press poll found that 60 percent of Americans support a woman’s right to choose abortion.
As the nation struggles for solutions to escalating social, economic and environmental problems, many voters have expressed a desire for change. Unfortunately, while wide-spread support for choice and the environment clearly exists, the public has found itself mired in the elaborate rhetoric surrounding these issues. u
Healing Creation: A New Theology for a Small Planet
Zero Population Growth Washington, D.C.
Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. Genesis, 1:28
Since God spoke those words to Adam and Eve, the human race has multiplied from an allegorical two to an actual 5.4 billion, and has so dominated nature that an estimated one to three species are rendered extinct every day.
Is this what God intended? Many theologians think not. In fact, the magnitude of global environmental damage is prompting religious leaders throughout the world to question how they can inspire restoration.
Some, like Timothy Weiskel of the Harvard Divinity School, believe religious leaders have a crucial responsibility to help humankind assume a more humble role within the whole of creation. Says Weiskel: "The time has come for contemporary theologians to re-state some simple truths; we did not create the world; we cannot control it. Instead, we must learn in full humility to live with all other creatures within the world’s limits."
Population from the Pulpit It may be surprising to learn that so many of the current efforts by the religious community include curbing population growth as a primary concern.
For example, approximately 80 individual churches and temples from 27 states are currently active in the newly-formed Ministry for Population Concerns. The Ministry states as it goal building "a strong faith-based movement for change in our country’s population policies." It encourages member congregations to support appropriate Congressional action and circulates population-related sermons.
National church bodies are also addressing the population issue. The American Baptist Church’s Policy Statement on Ecology stops short of directly advocating population stabilization or individual fertility control. But both the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s and the United Methodist’s environmental policy statements call for measures to stabilize world and U. S. population.
In addition, many religious leaders are collaborating with others, outside of the faith community. For example, close to 300 religious leaders have endorsed an appeal which calls for a joint science-religion commitment on the environment. Drafted by Cornell astronomer Carl Sagan during the 1990 meeting of the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders, the appeal calls upon spiritual leaders to advocate, among other things, the need for "a voluntary halt to world population growthwithout which many of the other approaches to preserve the environment will be nullified.’
Also in 1990, in preparation for the World Council of Churches annual meeting held this past February, theologians and church leaders joined scientists and economists in issuing a statement that blamed human actions of "mastery and dominion" for overwhelming the planet’s life-support systems. The Statement calls upon churches to recast as necessary all hymns, doctrines, confessions and liturgies "to ensure that they reflect new theological and ethical insight into human responsibilities for the care and preservation of creation", including "the stewardship of human fertility."
Other religious coalitions are currently preparing for the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). One goal of UNCED is the issuance of an Earth Charter; a basic statement of principles on humankind’s relationship with nature, including guidelines for sustainable and equitable development. Some religious coalitions have already drafted Earth Charters for consideration by the governmental and non-governmental leaders attending UNCED.
The International Coordinating Committee for Religion and the Earth (ICCRE), composed of 50 representatives from all of North America’s major faiths, is one of those coalitions. Following their first recommendation of redistributing ownership and control of the Earth’s resources, ICCRE identified the need to "stabilize the world’s population."
Similarly, the Working Group on Ethics, Development and the Environment of the U. S. Citizen’s Network on UNCED included in its proposed Earth Charter that "International organizations and member states should make concerted efforts to slow the dramatic growth in world population by encouraging fair standards of living for all and making family planning services available to all on a strictly voluntary basis." The Working Group is made up of members from the North American Coalition on Religious and Ecology, the Consortium on Religion and Ecology International and other religious leaders.
"Pro-Life" Predicament Not all religious leaders, however, are so willing to address overpopulation. Many Christian fundamentalists continue to espouse the "Be fruitful and multiply" ethic. And others, like Pope John Paul II, conspicuously deflect the population issue.
For instance, according to a spokesperson at the United States Catholic Conference, the Vatican emphasized that humankind has a moral responsibility to alleviate global problems like hunger and poverty through resource distribution. In addition, the Vatican now cautions couples that responsible parenthood entails being able to provide for the children’s well-being.
Nonetheless, the Vatican has in no way altered the Church’s long-standing view of contraception: Fertility is to be controlled outside of marriage through abstinence, and within marriage through natural family planning.
The Pope’s position, which ignores the simple biological fact that natural family planning is not fool-proof, is the cause of much consternation. As Dr. Robert Goodland from the World Bank said in his challenge to the Vatican: "Is there a hierarchy between starvation, unwanted children, abandoned babies and infanticide (mortal sins) at one end, versus prevention such as by contraception (venial sins) at the other?
And what about the women who consider terminating an unintended pregnancy? The Roman Catholic Church holds that ensoulment occurs at the moment of conception and thus is vehemently opposed to abortion.
Other religious sects are not so adamant, Judaism, for example, maintains that full personhood occurs at birth. Consequently, the United Synagogue of America states that "under special circumstances, Judaism chooses and requires abortion as an act which affirms and protects the life, well-being and health of the mother." And the Presbyterian Church (USA), like several other Protestant faith communities, has "long affirmed women’s ability to make responsible decisions, whether the choice be to abort or to carry the pregnancy to term."
Nonetheless, "pro-lifers" use the Bible to argue that personhood begins at the moment of conception and consequently that abortion is murder and must be outlawed. But as the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (RCAR) points out, that position is theological belief, not biological fact, and the moment of personhood as been disputed by theologians for centuries. RCAR, comprised of 35 national Protestant, Jewish and other denominations and faith groups, asserts that reproductive freedom, including the right to abortion, is intrinsically tied to religious liberty: "We oppose any attempts to place into secular law one theory of when life begins."
Further, Dr. Paul D. Simmons, a professor of Christian ethics and the author of Personhood, the Bible & the Abortion Debate, argues that, taken in complete context, the biblical portrait of a person is one of a "complex, many-sided creature with god-like abilities and the moral responsibility to make choices"a definition which he says does not fit the fetus until, at best, the second half of gestation. Instead, Simmons stresses, it is the woman who fits the biblical definition of personhood. He maintains that abortion is a "god-like" decision, which should be made by a woman "reflecting on her own well-being, the genetic health of the fetus and the survival of the human race."
Many people of faith now recognize that survival of the human race rests, ironically, on its very ability to limit both its numbers and its polluting, consuming ways. As Reverend Peter Moore-Kochlacs said in a recent sermon at the Culver-Palms (California) United Methodist Church: "A number of Americans question aborting a fetus, yet many miss the equally grave problem that through our continued population explosion we are killing entire species of other plant and animal life. There is nothing pro-life about this predicament"
Selected Influential Organizations and Periodicals Promoting an Orthodox View of Culture and Society (Including Conservative, Ultra-Conservative, Religious Right, Secular Right, Traditionalist, Anti-Obscenity, and Far Right Institutions). Chip Berlet Political Research Associates Cambridge, Massachusetts
Compiled by Political Research Associates and the Institute for First Amendment Studies
A Brief Preface: You must remember this, A list is just a list, A file is just a file... Apologies to the lyricist and to Sam. A list does not imply a conspiracy, a file is not a critique, a database is not an analysis. This annotated list is designed as a reference guide for persons who may easily get confused by the enormous number of unfamiliar or similar sounding names that surface when one begins to study what has come to be known as the Culture Wars.
There is much confusion and honest disagreement over terminology when discussing the Culture Wars. For instance Political Research Associates does not call the Christian Coalition "far right" and avoids the terms "radical right" or "extremism" because in academia they refer to a specific school of social science analysis. The Institute for First Amendment Studies prefers the term "hard right." Others use all these terms interchangeably.
At Political Research Associates we see the American political right as divided into three key segments: * the traditional conservative right;
* the more aggressive and reactionary activist right; * and the far right or ultra-right composed of groups such as the KKK or neo-Nazis that are based on theories of biological determinism or promote right-wing revolution.
While there is some ideological and membership overlap at the edges of these three segments, they are viewed here as discrete social movements. In addition, we further subdivide the "Activist Right" into the Old Right, New Right, Religious Right, ultra-conservatives, Neoconservatives, and Paleoconservatives. It is erroneous to conclude that all the groups listed below work together. For instance the activist right Heritage Foundation is a long-standing critic of the far right LaRouche Network, some traditional conservatives are offended by the sweeping changes proposed by the more reactionary and ultra- conservative activist right, and the far right views both the activist right and conservative right as weak-willed wimps or active agents of the global conspiracy to enslave patriotic white Americans. It is unfair to conclude that every group or individual listed below is primarily identified as right-wing. Some groups are listed because their proposals regarding obscenity or depiction of violence have come into conflict with the artistic community. Some moderate conservative groups are listed because a small portion of their agenda includes issues such as opposition to abortion, or stereotyping of gays and lesbians. It is false to conclude that every idea promoted by every group listed below will be found objectionable by a reader concerned about the potential infringements on civil rights and civil liberties by hard right religious and secular groups. Some proposals by the groups below will appeal to individuals across the political spectrumeven a broken clock is right twice a day. Ultra-right groups such as the LaRouche Network, Liberty Lobby, and the Christian Identity movement are listed because they attempt to join more moderate activist right and conservative coalitions, or because some persons have confused or conflated them with the conservative or activist right. Good research requires primary sources. Addresses and phone numbers are provided for selected influential groups and publications when readily available, but otherwise their provision has no enduring significance. Some defunct groups are included for historical reference, and some groups listed will be defunct by the time you read this. Addresses and phone numbers change regularly. It pays to double check. Finally, the First Amendment means what it says, and demonizing, censoring, or abridging the rights of any groups or individuals based on their beliefs undermines the informed consent upon which real democracy is built.
Alphabetical Listing Accuracy in Academia 4455 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 330 Washington, DC 20008 (202) 364-4401 Reactionary watchdog group fighting perceived liberal bias in academia. Run by Reed Irvine. Publishes Campus Report. See Accuracy in Media. Accuracy in Media 1275 K St., NW, Suite 1150 Washington, DC 20005 (202) 371-6710 Reactionary watchdog group fighting perceived liberal bias in the media. Run by Reed Irvine. Publishes AIM Report. See Accuracy in Academia. Advocates for Self Government Fresno, CA Conservative policy analysis. Cooperated with the Madison Group in early 1990’s. Alliance for America National network that challenges strict environmental regulations. Alliance of Catholic Women Conservative anti-feminist group. Alive and Free Defunct. A Christian right activist group led by Dennis Peacocke in 1986. Resource consultants included Bob Simonds, John Lofton, Otto Scott, Don McAlvany, Colonel Doner, Lou Sheldon, R.J. Rushdoony, and Jay Grimstead. American Center for Law and Justice P.O. Box 64429 Virginia Beach, VA 23467 (804) 523-7570 Legal action in support of Christian principles. Founded by Pat Robertson in 1990. American Conservative Union 38 Ivy St., SE Washington, DC 20003 (202) 546-6555 Central clearinghouse for networking conservatives loyal to the Old Right "Taft Wing" of the Republican Party. American Council on Science and Health Challenges strict environmental regulations. Member, Earth Day Alternatives coalition in 1990. American Economic Foundation 2588 South Green Road University Heights, OH 44122-1534 Conservative think tank. American Family Association P.O. Drawer 2440 107 Parkgate Tupelo, MS 38803 (601) 844-5036 Specializes in leading corporate boycotts. The AFA’s main interests are fighting pornography, depictions of sexuality, and positive portrayals of gays in art in the media. Founded and led by Rev. Donald Wildmon, originally under the name National Federation for Decency. Wildmon also founded Christian Leaders for Responsible Television (CLeaR-TV), led by Rev. Billy Melvin of the National Association of Evangelicals. American Federation of Small Business Chicago, IL National conservative network, think tank, and legal foundation. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. American Freedom Coalition 800 K St., NW, Ste. 830 Washington, DC 20001 Started by Robert Grant’s Christian Voice and Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Movement, the coalition seeks to promote "spiritual affirmation, religious freedom, and protection of the family," goals that they see as including opposing abortion rights and rights for gays and lesbians. Challenges strict environmental regulations. American Legislative Exchange Council Foundation American Legislative Exchange Council 214 Massachusetts, Ave., NE, Suite 240 Washington, DC 20002 (202) 547-4646 An extremely influential think tank and network that mobilizes and trains conservative state legislators, and provides drafts of proposed state legislation. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. American Immigration Control Foundation Box 525 Monterey, VA 24465 (703) 468-2022 Opposes "pro-alien special interest groups" by working "to counter the well- heeled propaganda campaigns of anti-American special interests. Nativism and racism mixed with populism. American Life League, Inc. P.O. Box 1350 Stafford, VA 22554 (703) 659-4171 Opposes abortion rights. Publishes communique, a newsletter prepared by Mrs. Judie Brown. American Security Council Administrative Office & Conference Center Boston, VA 22713 (703) 547-1776 Legislative Office 916 Pennsylvania Ave., SE Washington, DC 20003 (202) 484-1676 Major architects of the Cold War. If the Military-Industrial Complex has a mail-drop, this is it. Coordinates Coalition for Peace Through Strength, and National Security Caucus. Related to American Security Council Foundation. The American Sentinel Capitol Hill Publishing, Inc. 15113 Steele Creek Rd. Charlotte, NC 28273 (704) 587-0353 A weekly newsletter in which Teddy Kennedy and Thomas Foley are portrayed as dangerous radical leftists. Refers to the current administration as the Clintonistas. Lee Bellinger, editor & publisher. Editorial Advisory Board: Lt. General Daniel O. Graham (USA Ret.), Dr. Walter Judd, Ruth I. Matthews, Dr. Fred Schwartz, Maj. General John K. Singlaub (USA Ret.), W. Raymond Wannall, and Kenneth F. Fairleigh. Was titled American Sentinel during Reagan Administration, then briefly returned to its original name, The Pink Sheet on the Left: America’s authoritative report on leftwing activities, now back to American Sentinel. American Societies for the Preservation of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP) P.O. Box 1868 York, PA 17405 (717) 225-7147 Global authoritarian network promotes a return to Catholic patriarchal oligarchy. Unnerving attachment to the historical period of the Spanish Inquisition. Even some Catholic conservatives have written about TFP’s embrace of elements of fascism. Led by Plinio Correa de Oliveira. The American Spectator 2020 N. 14th St., Suite 750 Washington, DC 22216 703 243-3733 A narcissistic monthly magazine where neo-conservatives and their allies mistake bile for brilliance while lancing liberals. Edited by R. Emmett Tyrrell. Editorial board includes: Fred Barnes, Midge Dector, George Gilder, Victor Gold, Paul Johnson, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Michael Ledeen, Kenneth S. Lynn, Kenneth Minogue, Robert D. Novak, P.J. O’Rourke, Benjamin J. Stein, James Q. Wilson, Tom Wolfe, and Peregrine Worsthorne. American Studies Institute Harding University Searcy, AR Conservative think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Americans United For Life 343 South Dearborn Chicago, IL 60604 (312) 786-9494 Opposes abortion rights. American Vision P.O. Box 724088 Atlanta, GA 31139-1088 800 628-9460 Christian ministry promoting application of Biblical values "to every area of life, including family, church, education, economics, the arts, law, medicine, journalism, business, and civil government." Run by Gary DeMar, who edits Biblical Worldview. Promotes Christian Reconstructionism. Anita Bryant Ministries Florida Defunct. Anita Bryant, her husband, Bob Green, and Ed Rowe ran the first anti- homosexual campaign in 1976. Rowe later briefly took over the Church League of America, and then started his own ministry opposing gay rights. California state senator John Briggs worked with Bryant in Florida and then set up California Defend Our Children, with Rev. Louis Sheldon, now head of the coalition Traditional Values. Andrew Jackson Institute 2704 12th Ave., South Nashville, TN 37204 (615) 383-8284 Conservative state think tank. Atlantic Legal Foundation New York, NY Conservative legal foundation. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Atlas Economic Research Foundation Fairfax, VA Conservative policy analysis. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Barry Goldwater Institute for Public Policy Research Flagstaff, AZ Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Berean League 2875 Snelling Ave. N. St. Paul, MN 55113 Organized the first defeat of a gay/lesbian rights ordinance and trained conservative activists nationally in their tactics. Holder of the copyright to the book Are Gay Rights Right, by Roger Magnuson. Bible-Science Association P.O. Box 32457 Minneapolis, MN 55432 (612) 755-8606 Promotes creationism over evolution. Birthright 686 N. Broad St. Woodbury, N.J. 08096 (609) 848-1818 Opposes abortion rights in favor of adoption. Blue Ribbon Coalition Idaho Off-road vehicle enthusiasts and corporate extractive industry supporters who challenge the environmental movement. Blumenfeld Education Letter P.O. Box 45161 Boise, ID 83711 (208) 343-3790 Edited by Samuel Blumenfeld of Massachusetts, a prolific writer and author of NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, a major source of the theory that the National Education Association is part of an immense secular humanist conspiracy to destroy the minds and moral values of America’s children. Bob Larson’s Ministries Seeks constraints or codes that would affect free expression and the arts. Bradley Foundation Leading funder of conservative and ultra-conservative causes. Caleb Issues and Answers A creationist youth ministry run by Bill Jack, coordinator of the Caleb Campaign. California Public Policy Foundation Sherman Oaks, CA A Tim LaHaye newsletter. See Family Life Ministries. Campus Crusade for Christ 44-50 Arrowhead Springs San Bernardino, CA 92414 (714) 886-5224 Dr. Bill Bright runs the Crusade, an influential Christian Right ministry on numerous college campuses. Capital Report A Tim LaHaye newsletter. See Family Life Ministries Capitol Resource Institute Sacramento, CA Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation P.O. Box 11321 St. Louis, MO 63105 (314) 727-6279 Established to fight communism, the predominantly Catholic group in recent years has detected the seeds of communism in various feminist and peace movements. Caring Foundation A project of the Coalition for a Caring Society’s National Media Project, the foundation is launching a media campaign using market research to develop new messages to move people toward an anti-abortion stance. Carthage Foundation Leading funder of conservative and ultra-conservative causes. Catholic Campaign for America A leading coalition for conservative and ultra-conservative Catholics. Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights 1011 First Ave. New York, N.Y. 10022 (212) 371-3191 Dr. William A. Donohue oversees a group that appears to believe that Catholic religious and civil rights are incompatible with full rights and equality for women and homosexuals. Seeks constraints or codes that would affect free expression and the arts. Catholics United for Life 3050 Gap Knob Road New Hope, KY 40052 (502) 325-3061 The group opposes abortion rights, birth control and sexual activity outside of marriage. Catholics United for the Faith, Inc. New Rochelle, NY Promotes orthodox Catholicism against liberal inroads. Center for Independent Thought 938 Howard St., Suite 202 San Francsico, CA 94103 (800) 326-0996 Conservative policy analysis. Cooperated with the Madison Group in early 1990’s. Runs Laissez Faire book distributorship. Center for Individual Rights 2300 N St., NW, Suite 600 Washington, DC 20037 (202) 663-9042 Objects to campus codes attempting to regulate actions perceived as harassment by students who suspect bias based on racist, sexist, or homophobic motivations. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Member, Earth Day Alternatives coalition in 1990. Center for Libertarian Studies P.O. Box 4091 Burlingame, CA 94011 (800) 325-7257 Key Paleoconservative think tank. Publishes Rothbard-Rockwell Report (RRR). Editors Murray N. Rothbard and Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. Contributing editors: Sarah Barton, Joe Melton, Justin Raimondo, and Joseph Sobran. Typical Rothbard rhetoric in article in RRR: "Liberals, leftists, and Commies are all brothers under the skin...all the branches of Marxoid liberalism can easily bury their differences as soon as any sniff of right-wing nationalism or ‘fascism,’ appears on the horizon. Center for Market Alternatives Caldwell, ID Conservative think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise 12500 NE 10th Place Bellevue, WA 98005 (206) 455-5038 Militant rhetoric opposing the plans of environmental activists. Founded by fundraiser Alan Gottlieb, directed by author Ron Arnold. The pair co-authored the book Trashing the Economy: How Runaway Environmentalism is Wrecking America. Arnold was a registered agent for the American Freedom Coalition, sponsored by the Unification Movement and Christian Voice. Gottlieb spent seven months in prison after being convicted of tax evasion. Center for the Study of Popular Culture Rigidly homophobic. Seeks constraints or codes that would affect free expression and the arts. Publishes the monthly Heterodoxy: articles and animadversions on political correctness and other follies., edited by former liberals Peter Collier and David Horowitz. Homophobic. Its anti-feminist perspective borders on misogyny. Smugly mean-spirited. Frat-house doggerel posturing as Homeric verse. Center for Creation Concepts Distributes literature and vidoes to pastors and teachers who want to show that "the real data of modern science agrees with the Bible and...the discoveries of evolutionists point to God and creation." Center of the American Experiment Minneapolis, MN Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Chalcedon P.O. Box 158 Vallecito, CA 95251 (209) 736-4365 Voice Leading think tank of the Christian Right, run by R.J. Rushdoony, the father of Christian Reconstructionism and an early advocate of the Christian School movement. Choosing the Best Abstinence-only curriculum. See Project Reality Christendom College Front Royal, VA A four-year college centered around an extremely orthodox and ultra-conservite Catholic worldview. Christian Action Network P.O. Box 606 Forest, VA 24551 (804) 385-5156 Led by former Jerry Falwell employee Martin Mawyer. Combats "the assault of radical feminists and militant homosexual groups." Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism P.O. Box 64429 Virginia Beach, VA 23467 (804) 523-7239 Run by attorney Jay Sekulow, it litigates to promote a Religious Right agenda. Sekulow is general counsel for Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice. Christian Anti-Communism Crusade For over 30 years the ministry of Fred Schwarz, M.D., has fought the Red Menace and internal subversion. Publishes Christian AntiCommunism Crusade newsletter. Promotes conspiracy theories about the origin and spread of AIDS.
Christian Coalition Box 1990 Forest, VA 24551 (804) 424-2630 The Coalition holds that if America is to return to greatness, she must return to the God of her fathers before it is too late!" Most significant Christian right group seeking to mobilize grassroots constituencies. Founded in 1989 by Pat Robertson. Other Robertson groups include: the 700 Club, Regent University (formerly CBN University), Christian Broadcast Network, and the American Center for Law and Justice. Christian Identity Not a single group, but a religio-political movement with a vindictive anti- Jewish and racist theology. Believes that Africans and African-Americans are subhuman, and that Jews are the spawn of Satan. Not to be confused with Christian Reconstructionism. Christian Leaders for Responsible Television (See Rev. Wildmon under American Family Association) Christian Reconstructionism The theocratic ideology that proposes replacing civil and criminal law with Biblical law. R.J. Rushdoony and Gary North are leading advocates. Christian Voice P.O. Box 1200 Pacific Grove, CA 93950 Led by Robert Grant, Christian Voice works in coalition with the Unification Movement to sponsor the American Freedom Coalition. Chronicles See Rockford Institute. The Church League of America Illinois Defunct. The Church League, once the leading religious right group monitoring the left, was disbanded due to an internal schism. The League’s 7 million index cards and 200 file cabinets full of dossiers on subversives were sent to the library at Liberty University where they remain uncataloged. Citizens for a Sound Economy Washington, DC Conservative policy analysis. Cooperated with the Madison Group in early 1990’s. Citizens for Excellence in Education (See National Association of Christian Educators) Claremont Institute Montclair, CA Conservative think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Member, Earth Day Alternatives coalition in 1990. Coalition on Revival 89 Pioneer Way Mountain View, CA 94041 (415) 968-3330 A modern reformationist movement founded and led by Jay H. Grimstead. COR represents the intersection of neo-Calvinist theocratic Christian Reconstructionism with the more conventional Christian right. Coalition for Peace Through Strength (See American Security Council) Coalitions for America 717 Second St., NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 546-3003 Paul Weyrich is national chairman, and the coalition appears to be a way for Weyrich to expand his influence and networking outside of an official relationship with the Free Congress Foundation, which is actually in the same building. The coalition, which in essence is the public policy outreach arm of the Free Congress Foundation, includes the Library Court discussion group on social issues, the Stanton group on defense and foreign policy, the Kingston group on budget and economic priorities, the 721 Group on judicial and legal policy, the Siena Group which is an ultra-conservative Catholic coalition, the Omega Alliance which is a young activist coalition, and the Resistance Support Alliance which discusses anti-Marxist "Freedom Fighter" policy. Coalitions for America is notable for the fact that one of its top advisers on democracy building in eastern Europe, Laszlo Pasztor, is a convicted Nazi-collaborator who was part of the pro-Nazi Arrow Cross in Hungary during WWII. See also Free Congress Foundation. College Press Publishing Company 205 North Main P.O. Box 1132 Joplin, MO 64802 A major source for evengelical, fundamentalist, and Christian Right books to "facilitate the disciplining of the nations as commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ." College Republican National Committee Washington, DC Sometimes takes positions that are far to the right of the Republican Party leadership. Collegians Activated to Liberate Life Madison, WI Opposes abortion rights. Publishes the monthly Trumpet. Commentary 165 East 56th St. New York, NY 10022 Leading outlet for views of the neo-conservative movement. Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives Harrisburg, PA Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Colorado for Family Values P.O. Box 190 Colorado Springs, CO 80901 (719) 577-4916 Organized the campaign to enact Amendment Two, which was enjoined because it infringed on the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians. Founded and led by Kevin Tebedo and Tony Marco. Marco subsequently left. Colorado for Family Values has been producing extensive organizing kits on how to fight against gay and lesbian rights.
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow Washington, DC Challenges strict environmental regulations. Member, Earth Day Alternatives coalition in 1990. Committee on Media Integrity Seeks constraints or codes that would affect free expression and the arts. Committee on the Status of Women Glenview, IL 708 729-3298 Conservative group run by Kathleen M. Sullivan. See Project Reality. Competitive Enterprise Institute 233 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Suite 200 Washington, DC 20003 Challenges strict environmental regulations. Coordinates Earth Day Alternatives coalition. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Concerned Women for America 370 L’Enfant Promenade, SW, Suite 800 Washington, DC 20024 (202) 488-7000 CWA is the nation’s largest conservative Christian women’s organization with chapters in 50 states. Led by Beverly LaHaye, it considers high levels of defense spending and aggressive anticommunism to be integral to defending traditional family values. Opposes comprehensive sexuality education. Anti- feminist. Rigidly homophobic. Publishes CWA Briefing newsletter and the monthly Family Voice, magazine. Beverly is married to the Rev. Tim LaHaye (see Family Life Ministries). Conservative Caucus 450 Maple Ave. East Vienna, VA 22180 (703) 938-9626 Howard Phillips runs this small but vocal group which "opposes the Clintonista plan to governmentalize U.S. medicine." Also wants to stop DC statehood, abolish the IRS and terminate the income tax, block taxpayer subsidies to homosexuals, and prevent U.S. support and participation in a U.N. Army. Long opposed toppling the apartheid government in South Africa on grounds that it would mean communist takeover. Conservative Chronicle Box 11297 Des Moines, IA 50340-1297 (800) 888-3039 A weekly tabloid newspaper filled with columns, cartoons, and comments by 58 conservative, ultra-conservative, and reactionary luminaries ranging from Pat Buchanan to William F. Buckley, Jr. Conservative Review 1307 Dolley Madison Blvd., Suite 4A McLean, VA 22101 (703) 893-7302 Six times a year the Review provides an extended forum for reactionary nativists concerned about creeping liberalism and runaway immigration. Contributors include refugees from John Birch Society publications. Constitutional Coalition St. Louis, MO Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Consumer Alert Modesto, CA Conservative policy analysis. Cooperated with the Madison Group in early 1990’s. Coors Foundation Denver, CO Leading funder of conservative and ultra-conservative causes. Note that the Coors Corporation and brewery no longer directly funds the right, but some individual family members (who control the corporation, receive their share of corporate profits, and sit on the foundation board) continue to fund right- wing causes. Coral Ridge Ministries Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church 5554 North Federal Highway Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308 (305) 772-0404 A major Christian right ministry led by D. James Kennedy, who was on the founding board of directors of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority. Seeks the "application of biblical principles to all spheres of our culture and to all of life." Hosts important national meetings. Council for National Policy 3030 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 430 Arlington, VA 22201 (703) 525-8822 Voice A policy and fundraising organization that brings together conservative and right-wing activists from many different groups. Usually refuses public comment about its meetings and other activities. Tim LaHaye was the founder and first president. The 1993 Executive Committee included Lt. Col. Oliver North, Howard Phillips, Holland H. Coors, Dr. Edwin Feulner, Reed Larson, Edwin Meese, III, Michael Valerio, Paul Pressler, Ed Prince, Sam Moore, Preston Hawkins, Foster Friess, and Rich DeVos. Paul Weyrich, Connie Marshner and many other current and former Free Congress Foundation directors have been CNP members. Council for Inter-American Security 122 C St., NW P.O. Box 96645 Washington, DC 20090 Combines militarism, anti-subversive hysteria, anti-immigrant nativism, and homophobia. DeMoss Foundation (Arthur S.) A major funder of ultra-conservative, religious right, and antichoice organizing campaigns. Desert Stream 12488 Venice Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90066-3804 (213) 572-0140 Ministry that promotes the conversion of gay men and lesbians to heterosexuals through counseling. Diversity and Division See Madison Center for Educational Affairs. Domino’s Foundation Box 997 Ann Arbor, MI 48106 (804) 971-7644 Controlled by Thomas S. Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza. Major funder of the Catholic right. DoveTail Ministries 5110 Golden Hills Court Colorado Springs, CO 80919 (719) 548-0341 Ministry that promotes the conversion of gay men and lesbians to heterosexuals through counseling. Works with family and friends as well as "former" homosexuals. Eagle Forum 68 Fairmount Alton, IL 62002 (618) 462-5415 Founded and led by Phyllis Schlafly, its best known campaign was against the ERA. Anti-feminist. Opposes comprehensive sexuality education. Publishes the newsletter, Eagle Forum. The Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund publishes Education Reporter. See also The Phyllis Schlafly Report. See also Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation. Earth Day Alternatives Coalition A coalition coordinated by the Competitive Enterprise Institute that promotes corporate and free market solutions to ecological problems, and challenges the environmental movement. Education and Research Institute (E&RI) Washington, DC Sponsors the National Journalism Center which trains conservative and ultra- conservative student journalists. Publishes the monthly E&RI Report. Education Research Analysts Education Research Library Longview, TX 32182 (903) 753-5993 Reviews Texas school textbooks for any signs of liberal permissiveness, anti- Patriotic sentiments, or other ideas that threaten the American Way of Life. Run by Mel and Norma Gabler. Education Report Opposes comprehensive sexuality education. Dr. Tim LaHaye’s newletter where he argues that "multiculturalism will destroy public education in America." See also Concerned Woman for America and Family Life Ministries. Educational Guidance Institute 927 S. Walter Reed Dr., Suite 4 Arlington, VA 22204 Opposes comprehensive sexuality education. On the steering committee is Onalee McGraw, Ph.D., who once edited Education Update for the Heritage Foundation. McGraw argued in one Heritage pamphlet, "Secular Humanism and the Schools: The issue whose time has come," that the religion of secular humanism was destroying public education and lowering SAT scores. Empowerment!: The newsletter for successful conservative leadership Monthly newsletter from the Free Congress Foundation Publisher: Paul Weyrich. Editor: John Carlisle. Contributing editor: Michael Schwartz. English First 5881 Leesbury Pike, Suite 204 Falls Church, VA 22041 Suspicious of bilingualism. Enough is Enough! Dee Jepsen runs this project of the National Coalition Against Pornography aimed at "eliminating child pornography and removing hard-core and illegal pornography from the marketplace." Environmental Conservation Organization Challenged strict environmental regulations. Tied to developers. Cannot locate current phone listing. Ethan Allen Institute Windsor, VT Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Exodus International P.O. Box 2121 San Rafael, CA 94912 (415) 454-1017 The largest "gay reclamation" ministry, Exodus International promotes the conversion of gay men and lesbians to heterosexuals through therapy. It describes itself as "a world-wide network of Christian organizations which minister to those overcoming homosexuality and other life-dominating sexual problems." Facing Reality. Abstinence-only curriculum. See Project Reality. Family Life Ministries Family Life Seminars P.O. Box 2700 Washington, DC 20013 (202) 488-0700 Led by Tim LaHaye, a former leader of Moral Majority and the Council for National Policy. Seeks to save American from secular humanism. Family Life Seminars publishes Tim LaHaye’s Capital Report newsletter. Family Research Council 700 13th St., NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005 (202) 393-2100 Led by Gary L. Bauer, FRC was a division of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family from 1988 until October 1992, when IRS concerns about the group’s lobbying led to an amicable administrative separation. Family Research Institute P.O. Box 2091 Washington, DC 20013 (703) 693-8536 Founded and led by Paul Cameron, whose flawed methodology for research on homosexuality and repeated misrepresentation of scientific and medical research on gays and lesbians has drawn harsh criticism from professional associations of psychologists and sociologists. Cameron also runs the Institute for the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality. Family Voice. See Concerned Women for America The Federalist Society 1700 K St., NW, Suite 901 Washington, DC 20006 (202) 822-8138 Conservative institute concerned with the law. Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) 1666 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20009 (202) 328-7004 Nativism packaged to appeal to a broader political constituency. Typical rhetoric from fundraising appeal: "There is no end to the ingenuity of illegal aliens when it comes to elluding our immigration authorities." Not to be confused with the other FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Fidelity 206 Marquette Ave. South Bend, IN 46617 Ultraconservative Catholic monthly. Cover story from September, 1992 by editor E. Michael Jones: "Kulturkampf In Our Time: Why Hollywood Wants Catholics to Sing Like Negroes." Featured cover photo of Whoopi Goldberg in nun’s habit from film "Sister Act." Focus on the Family P.O. Box 35500 Colorado Springs, CO 80935-3550 (719) 531-3400 Founded and led by family counselor James Dobson. Ph.D.. Seeks to defend family, faith, and traditional values. Originally based in Pomona, California. Dobson has a large audience for his syndicated radio programs. Foundation for Economic Education Irving-on-Hudson, NY Conservative policy analysis. Cooperated with the Madison Group in early 1990’s. Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment Bozeman, MT Conservative think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Franciscan University of Steubenville Steubenville, Ohio Offers an academic minor in Human Life Studies as part of its orthodox Catholic and anti-choice worldview. Freedom Alliance P.O. Box 96700 Washington, DC 20090 (202) 833-2234 Oliver North’s group that demonizes liberals and promotes authoritarian solutions to social problems. Free Congress Foundation 717 2nd St., NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 546-3000 Run by New Right master strategist Paul Weyrich, FCF evolved from the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress and Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, and was founded by Colorado beer magnate Joe Coors. Other groups affiliated with FCF include Free Congress Political Action Committee, and National Empowerment Television. Publishes Empowerment! See also Coalitions for America. Free Market Foundation Dallas, TX Conservative policy analysis. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Free Teens An abstinence-only sex education curriculum developed and promoted by persons with a history of affiliations with various groups started or promoted by Rev. Sun Myung Moon. The Gay Agenda See The Report. The Goldwater Institute Flagstaff, AR Challenges strict environmental regulations. Member, Earth Day Alternatives coalition in 1990. Good News Communications Opposes obscenity and violence on television. Heartland Institute 800 E. Northwest Highway, Suite 1080 Palatine, IL 60067 708 202-3060 Conservative think tank. Was host of the Madison Group. Heritage Foundation 214 Mass. Ave., NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 546-4400 One of the most influential think tanks linking the old and new right. Focuses on economic, government waste, foreign policy, and military issues. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Member, Earth Day Alternatives coalition in 1990. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Heritage Institute Ministries 1120 Long Pond Road Plymouth, MA 02360 (508) 888-1879 Paul Jehle promotes the idea that America has a special Christian heritage in a project that questions church/state separation. Heterodoxy See Center for the Study of Popular Culture. Hillsdale College Hillsdale, MI Ultra-conservative college. See also Shavano Institute Homosexuals Anonymous P.O. Box 7881 Reading, PA 19603 (215) 376-4292 (recorded message) (800) 253-3000 (215) 376-1146 Describes itself as "a Christian fellowship of men and women who have chosen to help each other live free from homosexuality." Human Events The National Conservative Weekly 422 First St., SE Washington, DC 20003 (202) 546-5006 Tabloid journalism for conservatives who consider liberalism a social disease. Founded in 1944. Human Life Foundation, Inc. 150 E. 35th St. Room 840 New York, NY 10016 (212) 679-7330 Publishes Human Life Review, which opposes abortion rights. Related to National Committee of Catholic Laymen, Inc. Human Life International 7845 Airpark Road, Suite E Gaithersburg, MD 20879 (301) 670-7884 Promotes a wide range of right-wing political and economic goals as part of its anti-abortion agenda based on an orthodox Catholic perspective. The Independence Institute Golden, CO Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Member, Earth Day Alternatives coalition in 1990. Independent Institute Oakland, CA Conservative policy analysis. Cooperated with the Madison Group in early 1990’s. Indiana Policy Review Foundation Fort Wayne, IN Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Insight Magazine P.O. Box 91022 Washington, DC 20090-1022 A ultra-conservative publication related to Rev. Sun Myung Moon, it carries homophobic and authoritarian materials. Instauration Howard Allen Enterprises Box 76 Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 Nasty nativism fills this monthly magazine which displays an alarming distaste for African-Americans and Jews. Editor: Wilmot Robertson. Institute for American Values Dudley, MA Conservative policy analysis. Cooperated with the Madison Group in early 1990’s. Cannot locate current phone listing. Institute for Business Ethics Conservative policy analysis think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Institute for Creation Research P.O. Box 2667 El Cajon, CA 92021 (619) 448-0900 Promotes creationsim over evolution. Institute for Contemporary Studies San Francisco, CA Conservative think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Institute for Humane Studies Fairfax, VA Conservative policy analysis. Cooperated with the Madison Group in early 1990’s. Institute for Policy Innovation Lewisville, TX Conservative policy analysis. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Institute for Research and Evaluation Director Stan Weed, Ph.D. frequently is cited in materials promoting abstinence-only curricula. Institute for the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality See Family Research Institute. Institute of Political Economy Utah State University Logan, Utah 84322-0725 (801) 750-2064 Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Member, Earth Day Alternatives coalition in 1990. Institute on Religion and Democracy 1331 H St., NW, Suite 900 Washington, DC 20005 (202) 393-3200 Regards the National Council of Churches as manipulated by Marxist ideologues. Condemns liberation theology. Trivializes attempts to deal with sexism, racism, homophobia, and classism within organized religion. Intercessors for America P.O. Box 2639 Reston, VA 22090 (703) 471-0913 Chaired by John Beckett, the group organizes prayer groups to confront sinfulness. Works closely with the Christian Reconstruction movement. Intercollegiate Studies Institute 14 S. Bryn Mawr Ave. Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 (800) 526-7022 A mainstay of the old right, the institute publishes the monthly CAMPUS: America’s Student Newspaper, Intercollegiate Review, ISI Update, Political Science Review, and the quarterly journal Modern Age. Opposes multi- culturalism and all forms of liberalism. J.M. Foundation Leading funder of conservative and ultra-conservative causes. James Madison Institute (for Public Policy Studies) Tallahassee, FL Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Member, Earth Day Alternatives coalition in 1990.
Jerry Falwell Ministries Lynchburg, VA 24514 804 239-9281 Jerry Falwell is one of the most influential Christian right televangelists who started the Moral Majority, then replaced it after a brief hiatus with the Liberty Alliance. He also founded Liberty University. John Locke Foundation Raleigh, NC Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. John Birch Society 770 Westhill Blvd. Appleton, WI 54915 (414) 749-3780 Ultra-conservative and reactionary membership organization that believes the New World Order is the fruition of a centuries-old conspiracy of financial elites networked through the Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, and other similar groups. Publishes The New American. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Rigidly homophobic. Opposes OBE. Founded and led by Robert Welch until his death. JBS promotes a paranoid and conspiratorial view of history. Although some members harbor alarming views, the JBS has a policy of expelling members who make overt public racist and anti-Jewish statements. However, it opposed integration and claimed the civil rights movement was a communist plot.
Josh McDowell Ministries P.O. Box 1000 Dallas, TX 75221 (214) 907-1000 Opposes comprehensive sexuality education. Josh McDowell also speaks for Campus Crusade for Christ.
Knights of Columbus Conservative Catholic lay society. A major financial contributor to the U.S. Catholic Bishop’s anti-choice campaign. Knights of Malta Reactionary Catholic lay society with aristocratic roots and diplomatic status for its ambassadors. (Full name: Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta). Lambda Report See The Report. Lambs of Christ Direct action anti-choice group. (Also known as Victim Souls for the Unborn Christ Child). Landmark Legal Foundation Kansas City, MO Conservative legal foundation. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. LaRouche Network P.O. Box 889 Leesburg, VA 22075 (703) 777-9451 Far Right. Run by the neo-fascist Lyndon LaRouche. Other LaRouche groups and publications include The New Federalist, Executive Intelligence Review, the Club of Life, and the Schiller Institute. Former civil rights activist Rev. James Bevel now works closely with the LaRouche Network. Rigidly homophobic. Its featuring of prominent Jews as part of an ages-old global Aristotelian/Babylonian conspiracy has earned it a reputation for anti-Jewish bigotry. Law and Economic Center University of Miami Coral Gables, FL Conservative policy analysis. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Leadership Institute Springfield, VA Hosts subsidized training seminars for young conservative activists. Legacy Communications P.O. Box 680365 Franklin, TN 37068 (615) 794-2898 Dr. George Grant leads a project to "develop a Christian and biblical view toward our culture, specifically, and the world, in general." Grant, formerly with Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, has written lengthy treatises attacking Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Legatus Ann Arbor, MI Founded by Domino’s Pizza’s Thomas Monaghan to assist major business executives develop projects that promote orthodox Catholic values in secular society. See also Domino’s Foundation. Liberty Lobby (See The Spotlight) Liberty University Box 20000 Lynchburg, VA 24506 (804) 582-2000 Jerry Falwell, former head of the now-defunct Moral Majority, is founder and chancellor of Liberty University. See Jerry Falwell Ministries Liberty Alliance (See Jerry Falwell Ministries) Lincoln Caucus P.O. Box 9854 Phoenix, AZ 85068 (602) 258-5758 Conservative political action group. Lincoln Institute for Research and Education An ultra-conservative think tank for African-Americans run by J. A. Parker who groomed Clarence Thomas as a conservative political activist. Publishes Lincoln Review. Typical fundraising pitch: "The radical self-appointed ‘Civil Rights’ establishment, led by Jesse Jackson and the NAACP is trying to turn America into a land of quotas and special privilegesfor blacks and other minorities." Lincoln Legal Foundation Chicago, IL Conservative legal foundation. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Living Parables Abstinence-only curriculum designed to replace comprehensive sex education courses. Love in Action P.O. Box 2655 San Rafael, CA 94912 (415) 454-0960 Ministry that promotes the conversion of gay men and lesbians to heterosexuals through counseling. Works with "former" homosexuals. Administrator is John Paulk, a former female impersonator whose identity "had to be rebuilt from the ground up" by Love in Action. Paulk appeared in the film The Gay Agenda, and has written for the Lambda Report. Ludwig von Mises Institute Auburn Univerity, Alabama Promotes an unrestrained and unregulated entrepreneurial form of free market capitalism. A leading Paleoconservative think tank. The Mackinac Center Midland, MI Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Madison Center for Educational Affairs 1155 15th St., NW, Suite 712 Washington, DC 20005 (202) 833-1801 Raises funds and provides training for the Collegiate Network of ultra- conservative campus newspapers. Publishes two quarterlies: Precis and Diversity and Division: a critical journal of race and culture. The latter trivializes concerns over racism, and suggests attempts to promote diversity and multiculturalism result in divisions that hurt American society. Madison Group No longer active. A loosely-knit network of conservative state think tanks, networks, and legal foundations. Originally launched by the American Legislative Exchange Council in Washington, DC Housed for a time at the Heartland Institute. Has now evolved into a group called the State Policy Network. The Manhattan Institute 1745 N Street, NW Washington, DC 20036 (202) 466-7300 Conservative policy analysis. March for Life P.O. Box 90300 Washington, DC 20090 (202) 543-3377 Opposes and organizes against abortion rights. Me, My World, My Future Abstinence-only curriculum. See also Teen-Aid, Inc. Media Research Center 113 S. West St. Second Floor Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 683-9733 Finds offensive any traces of liberalism on TV or in films. L. Brent Bozell III publishes the newsletter TV, Etc., with an advisory board that includes Elliot Abrams, Mona Charen, Pete duPont, and Rush Limbaugh. Mid-America Legal Foundation Chicago, IL Conservative legal foundation. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Mississippi Center for Public Policy Studies University, MS Conservative policy analysis. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Moral Majority Now defunct, replaced by Liberty Alliance. See Jerry Falwell Ministries. Morality in Media 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 239 New York, NY 10115 (212) 870-3222 Founded in 1962, now headed by Kevin M. Beattie, the group opposes all forms of what it considers pornography and obscenity. Mountain States Legal Foundation Denver, CO (303) 861-0244 Conservative legal foundation. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Founded in 1977 with help from Joseph Coors. Its first president, James Watt, became Interior Secretary under Reagan. Nation of Islam Chicago, IL Publishes the Final Call. Combines ultra-conservatism, a unique interpretation of Islam, racial separatism, and Black nationalism. NOI leader Minister Louis Farrakhan and some of his associates promote conspiracy theories about Jews that reflect historic far right bigotry. National Association for Abstinence Education 6201 Leesburg Pike, Suite 404 Falls Church, VA (703) 532-9459 An association for groups promoting abstinence-only sex education curricula. Director Jo Ann Gasper is also a project director of Teen Choice. National Association of Evangelicals 1023 15th St., NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005 (202) 789-1011 A large and influential group that represents conservative evangelicals in Washington, DC National Association of Christian Educators (NACE) Citizens for Excellence in Education (CEE) Box 3200 Costa Mesa, CA 92628 (714) 546-5931 Both groups are headed by Robert L. Simonds, who is on the Coalition on Revival (COR) steering committee. NACE works closely with COR. NACE’s purpose is to "to reclaim our Christian heritage in our public schools." CEE is a division of NACE. Typical rhetoric: "CEE enables parents to replace faith- destroying curricula with programs that support moral values." Argues that students in public schools are "being taught a socialistic global worldview, and being indoctrinated with new age, atheistic and value-free ideologies." Together, both groups publish the Education Newsline newsletter. National Association of Scholars Princeton, NJ Ultra-conservative group of academics that publishes the quarterly Academic Questions. National Center for Policy Analysis Dallas, TX Conservative policy analysis. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Member, Earth Day Alternatives coalition in 1990. National Citizens Action Network P.O Box 10459 Costa Mesa, CA 92627 (714) 850-0349 Voice Led by David W. Balsiger, the NCAN specializes in videotapes. Its publication, Family Protection Scoreboard, carries articles by Robert W. Lee, a contributing editor to Conservative Digest and the John Birch Society’s New American. National Coalition Against Pornography P.O. Box 7777 Cincinnati, OH 45231 (513) 521-6227 Fights pornography. Seeks constraints or codes that would affect free expression and the arts. See also Enough is Enough!. National Coalition on Television Violence Seeks constraints or codes that would affect free expression and the arts. National Committee of Catholic Laymen, Inc. 150 E. 35th St. Room 840 New York, NY 10016 (212) 679-7330 Publishes Catholic Eye, a conservative Catholic newsletter. Related to Human Life Foundation, Inc.
National Committee for a Human Life Amendment A Catholic anti-choice group. National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB), Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities 3211 Fourth Street, NE Washington, DC 20017 A Catholic anti-choice group headed by Gail Quinn. The NCCB sponsors the U.S. Catholic Conference with its Committee for ProLife Activities. National Empowerment Television See Free Congress Foundation National Inholders Association Battle Ground, WA Conservative policy analysis. Cooperated with the Madison Group in early 1990’s. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Originally composed primarily of persons holding title to land and buildings within federally- regulated lands such as national forests. Now organizes persons seeking to exploit the resources of federal lands. National Legal Foundation 6477 College Park Square, Suite 306 Virginia Beach, VA 23464 (804) 424-4242 1-800-397-4242 Religious Right public interest law firm run by Robert Skolrood. Founded by Pat Robertson in 1985 (and now independent of him), the National Legal Foundation provided consultation on the wording of the overturned Colorado homophobic initiative, Amendment Two. Publishes a small newsletter, The Minuteman, edited by John W. Paff. National Parents’ Commission Johnstown, PA 814 536-4813 Opposes Outcomes Based Education (OBE). National Review 150 East 35th St. New York, NY 10016 212 679-7330 William F. Buckley Jr. has established the magazine as the erudite yacht of conservative publishing sometimes overlooked in a sea of scows. National Rifle Association of America Washington, DC Conservative policy analysis primarily relating to gun ownership but embracing a larger right-wing agenda. Cooperated with the Madison Group in early 1990’s. National Right to Life Committee 419 7th St., NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20004 (202) 626-8800 (800) 543-3937 [1-800-LIFE-YES] (hotline) (202) 393-5433 Federal Legislative Hotline Fights abortion rights and threats to "innocent human life." Publishes National Right to Life News. National Right To Work Committee National Right To Work Legal Foundation 8001 Braddock Road Springfield, VA 22160 (703) 321-9820 Reed Larson is president of both groups which aggressively organize against labor unions. Typical fundraising letter: "we’re successfully battling against the union bosses’ forced unionism abuses and the union bossess are furious." National Security Caucus See American Security Council National Strategy Information Center 1730 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20036 (202) 429-0129 Ultra-conservative think tank covering foreign policy, military, and national security issues. Publishers of Political Warfare: Intelligence, Active Measures, and Terrorism Report. Coordinates the Consortium for the Study of Intelligence and its Working Group on Intelligence Reform. National Taxpayers Union Mail Address: 325 Pennsylvania Ave., NE Washington, DC 20003 Walk-in Office: 713 Maryland Ave., NE Washington, DC 20002 Conservative policy analysis. Cooperated with the Madison Group in the early 1990’s. Promotes a balanced budget through shrill direct mail campaigns that sometimes are deceptively designed to mimic offical government letters. Typical direct mail appeal: "Congress has not the foggiest idea of reality...[t]hey waste money and see nothing wrong with giving away our hard- earned taxpayer money to the special interests." Not to be confused with U.S. Taxpayers Party. The New American See John Birch Society The New Federalist See LaRouche Network. New Coalition for Economic and Social Change Chicago, IL Conservative network & policy analysis group. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. New England Center for Political Studies and Research Springfield, MA Conservative policy analysis. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Cannot locate current phone listing. New England Legal Foundation Boston, MA (617) 695-3660 Conservative legal foundation. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. New Life Treatment Center Ministry that promotes the conversion of gay men and lesbians to heterosexuals through counseling. New York Guardian 316 Great Neck Road Great Neck, NY 10021 (718) 229-8134 An alarmingly-nasty newspaper aligned with the Catholic Right. Olin Foundation Leading funder of conservative and ultra-conservative causes. Operation Rescue P.O. Box 127 Summerville, SC 29484 (803) 821-8441 Actually based in Melbourne, Florida, OR was founded in Binghampton, N.Y. Aggressively fights abortion rights with militant clinic actions that cross the line from civil disobedience to assault. Opus Dei Reactionary fundamentlaist Catholic lay society which makes totalitarian-style demands of its followers. Oregon Citizens Alliance 9150 SW Pioneer Ct., Suite W Wilsonville, OR 97070 (503) 682-0653 Started by Lon Mabon, the OCA sponsored the Oregon Abnormal Behavior Initiative. Mabon was briefly head of the Oregon chapter of the Christian Coalition, but later parted company. OCA has been active in nearby states trying to organize similar groups. Mabon presented a workshop in organizing against civil rights legislation for homosexuals at Pat Robertson’s Second Annual Road to Victory conference in 1992. Pacific Legal Foundation Sacramento, CA Conservative legal foundation. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Pacific Research Institute (for Public Policy) Conservative think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Member, Earth Day Alternatives coalition in 1990. Parents Music Resource Center Seeks constraints or codes that would affect free expression and the arts. Supports parental warning system for music found offensive. Some fear it would lead to censorship. Pattern Research Denver, CO 303 778-0880 Conservative policy analysis. Cooperated with the Madison Group in early 1990’s. Pennsylvania Family Institute Harrisburg, PA Conservative policy analysis. Cooperated with the Madison Group in early 1990’s. The Phyllis Schlafly Report. P.O. Box 618 Alton, IL 62002 Unvarnished Schlafly. Typical rhetoric: "Warning: Much of the college curriculum has been politicized by the liberals and the feminists...and shifted to what is called ‘Oppression Studies,’ that is, readings of third- rate feminist and minority writers who attack Western civilization as sexist, racist, and oppressive." Published by Eagle Trust Fund. See also Eagle Forum. The Pink Sheet on the Left See American Sentinel. Pioneer Institute 85 Devonshire St., 8th Floor Boston, MA 02109 (617) 723-2277 Conservative state think tank promoting free market solutions to social problems. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Founded in 1988 by Lovett C. Peters, "a Boston businessman, philanthropist, and trustee of the Foundation for Economic Education and Hillsdale College. Plymouth Rock Foundation 26 McKinley Circle Marlborough, NH 03455 (603) 876-4505 Rus Walton leads a campaign to rewrite the history of disestablishment and promote the idea that America was meant to be a Christian nation in an effort to "reclaim America for Jesus Christ." Political Economy Research Center Bozeman, MT Conservative think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Member, Earth Day Alternatives coalition in 1990. Populist Party Repeated schisms makes it difficult to track, but essentialy an electoral formation that promotes a hard right wing version of populism regarding government bureacracy, mixed with nativism that in some instances embraces theories of racism and fascism. Right-wing conspiracy theorist Bo Gritz was one presidential candidate supported by the Populist Party. Pro-Life Action League 6160 North Cicero Ave., Suite 600 Chicago, IL 60646 (312) 777-2900 Director Joseph M. Scheidler is author of Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion. Promotes militant direct action. Project Reality P.O. Box 97 Golf, IL 60029-0097 (708) 729-3298 Produces the abstinence-only curricula Choosing the Best and Facing Reality. Director is Kathleen M. Sullivan. Original name of Project Reality was Project Respect, which was a subsidiary division of the Committee on the Status of Women run by Kathleen M. Sullivan. Project Respect originally promoted the Sex Respect abstinence-only curriculum now handled by Respect, Inc. Not to be confused with Respect, Inc. despite earlier ties. Project Respect Renamed. See Project Reality Public Affairs Research Institute for New Jersey Princeton, NJ Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s.
Research Council on Ethnopsychology William Coulson, Ph.D. runs the Council and is its chief expert, administrator, and staff. Opposes comprehensive sexuality education, especially as relates to gays and lesbians. Reason Foundation Santa Monica, CA Conservative think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Member, Earth Day Alternatives coalition in 1990. The Report 42640 10th St. West Lancaster, CA 93534 (800) 462-4700 An anti-gay project of the Springs of Life Church where Ty Beeson is pastor. Ty co-produced, with his wife, Jeannette Beeson, the widely-distributed Gay Agenda series videotapes, The Gay Agenda, March on Washington, and Gay Agenda In Public Education. Together the Beesons are copublishers of the monthly Lambda Report: Monitoring the homosexual agenda in American politics & culture. Peter LaBarbera is founder and editor of the Lambda Report. Not to be confused with The Lambda Update of the Lamda Legal Defense & Education Fund, an organization that defends lesbian and gay civil rights. Respect, Inc. 231 East Broadway Bradley, IL 60915 (815) 932-8389 Produces the Sex Respect abstinence-only curriculum designed to replace comprehensive sex education courses. Early workbook written by Coleen Kelly Mast. Richardson Foundation Leading funder of conservative and ultra-conservative causes. Rockford Institute 934 Main St. Rockford, IL 61103 (815) 964-5819 Paleoconservative think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Publications of the Rockford Institute, which is led by Allan Carlson, include The Family in America and Chronicles (formerly Chronicles of Culture). A main concern is the erosion of traditional values resulting from an increasingly pluralistic society. Unhappy with moral tone of modern industrial capitalism. Rose Institute for State and Local Government Claremont McKenna College Claremont, CA. Conservative think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Rutherford Institute P.O. Box 7482 Charlottesville, VA 22906-7482 (804) 978-3888 Founded by John Whitehead, the Rutherford Institute distributes tapes from Reconstructionist leader R.J. Rushdoony and ultraconservatives such as Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum, among others. Promotes the secular humanism conspiracy theory. Sahara Club Militantly anti-environmentalist group of off-road vehicle enthusiasts. Scaife Foundation Leading funder of conservative and ultra-conservative causes. Sequoia Institute Washington, DC Conservative policy analysis. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Shavano Institute Hillsdale, MI Hosted by Hillsdale College. Conservative think tank and policy analysis group. Cooperated with the Madison Group in early 1990’s. South Carolina Policy Council Columbia, SC Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. South Foundation Knoxville, TN Conservative policy analysis. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Southwest Policy Institute Edmond, OK Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta See Knights of Malta. Spatula Ministries P.O. Box 444 La Habra, CA 90631 (213) 691-7369 Ministry that promotes the conversion of gay men and lesbians to heterosexuals through counseling. Works with family and friends. Specular Chicago, IL Conservative policy analysis. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. No current phone listing in Chicago. The Spotlight 300 Independence Ave., SE Washington, DC 20003 (202) 544-1794 Far Right. Liberty Lobby publishes The Spotlight, a newspaper with a circulation of over 100,000. While calling itself a populist group defending family values and American patriotism, Liberty Lobby is a major source of bigotry against Jews. The Spotlight has praised neo-Nazi skinheads and the Waffen SS, while promoting historical revisionists who claim the accepted history of Hitler’s genocide is an exaggeration. A project of Willis Carto who also founded (and was recently ousted from) the Institute for Historical Review and Noontide Press. Has attracted support from and promoted anti-CIA authors Mark Lane, L. Fletcher Prouty, and Victor Marchetti. Marchetti has also published a book authored by LaRouche operatives. Aggressively trying to recruit from across the political spectrum.
State Policy Network Indiana 219 489-8121 A loosely-knit network of conservative state think tanks, networks, and legal foundations. Replaced the Madison Group. Stop Planned Parenthood, Inc. (STOPP) P.O. Box 8 La Grangeville, NY 12540 National director is James Sedlak. Purpose is relatively self-explanatory. Students for America Chapel Hill, NC Champions ultra-conservative causes especially around military issues. Publishes The Front Line Report. Summit Ministries Box 207 Manitou Springs, CO 80829 (719) 685-9103 Led by David Noebel, formerly of Billy James Hargis’s Christian Crusade. Summit publishes the Summit Journal and is a heavy promoter of the work of Paul Cameron. Noebel is author of a major (and lengthy) textbook used by the Christian Right: Understanding the Times: The Story of the Biblical Christian, Marxist/Leninist and Secular Humanist Worldviews. Strategic Christian Services 1221 Farmer’s Lane, Suite B Santa Rosa, CA 95405-9963 (707) 578-7700 Dennis Peacocke is the president of this group devoted to rebuilding America on Biblical principles. Sword of the Spirit Michigan A network of ultra-conservative charismatic Catholic lay communities whose drift toward a totalitarian-style structure led to an investigation by church authorities. The U.S. headquarters was the Word of God community in Michigan. Thomas S. Monaghan’s Domino’s Foundation funded projects related to Sword of the Spirit. Teen-Aid, Inc. West 22 Mission Spokane, WA 99201-2320 (509) 466-8679 Opposes comprehensive sexuality education. LeAnna Benn, cofounder and international director, is a co-editor of Me, My World, My Future, an abstinence-only curriculum. Texas Public Policy Foundation San Antonio, TX Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Town Hall (800) 648-6964 [modem - hit return on connect] (800) 441-4142 (202) 546-4400 [voice] An electronic bulletin board (BBS) and interactive dial-up computer service for the conservative movement. Sponsored by National Review and the Heritage Foundation. Includes electronic (ASCII) text version of materials from groups such as the The Free Congress Foundation’s National Empowerment Television project, Focus on the Family, The Leadership Institute, International Freedom Foundation, Citizens for a Sound Economy, and the State Policy Network of state-based think tanks. Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) See American Societies for the Preservation of Tradition, Family, and Property Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) 100 S. Anaheim Blvd., Suite 350 Anaheim, CA 92805 (714) 520-0300 (202) 547-8570 (Washington, DC) Founded and led by Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, TVC has been active in anti-gay and -lesbian initiatives and fought school-based counseling program for gay and lesbian teens, Project 10. Roger Magnuson, author of Are Gay Rights Right? (the copyright to which is held by the Berean League), is a frequent contributor to the TVC newsletter. Understanding the Times Liberty Bell Press P.O. Box 32 Flourissant, MO 63032 A ministry run by indefatigable ultra-conservative author John A. Stormer, whose books None Dare Call It Treason, None Dare Call It Treason: 25 Years Later, Anatomy of a Smear, The Death of a Nation, and Growing Up God’s Way, have sold over ten million copies. In 1992, Stormer was still lecturing about the Red Menace. Unification Movement The extended family of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s political, cultural, and religious organizations which number in the hundreds. The core is the theocratic Unification Church which seeks to unify all religions and governments under divine guidance as reflected by Moon. Significant echoes of clerical fascism. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Influential in spawning Wise Use movement. Urban Policy Research Institute Dayton, Ohio Conservative policy anaysis. State think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. US English 818 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 200 Washinton, DC 20006 (202) 833-0100 Suspicious of bilingualism. United States Taxpayers Party An electoral vehicle for Howard Phillips of the Conservative Caucus. Opposes "Condoms in the schools; the New World Order and foreign aid; abortion; high taxes, excessive spending, and burdensome regulation; [and] quotas and ‘gay rights’." Not to be confused with National Taxpayers Union. Victim Souls for the Unborn Christ Child See Lambs of Christ. WallBuilders David Barton’s ministry to "affect legislation" by working "directly with various state and federal legislators," to influence "passage of legislation built on biblical values." The Wanderer 201 Ohio St. St. Paul, MN 55107-9984 (612) 224-5733 A weekly anti-modernist orthodox Catholic newspaper published for 126 years with little change in its editorial viewpoint, and proud of it. Editor A.J. Matt, Jr. Recent signed editorial by Frank Morriss: "Liberals Can Take Blame For Our Descent Into Barbarism." Carries columns by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Joseph Sobran, Patrick J. Buchanan. Washington Institute for Policy Studies Bellevue, WA Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Washington Legal Foundation 1705 N St., NW Washington, DC 20036 (202) 857-0240 Conservative legal foundation. Describes itself as litigating to preserve and expand free enterprise. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Western States Legal Defense Foundation Challenges strict environmental regulations. Where Grace Abounds P.O. Box 18871 Denver, CO 80218 (303) 322-2027 Ministry that promotes the conversion of gay men and lesbians to heterosexuals through counseling. Works with family and friends as well as "former" homosexuals. Wisconsin Policy Research Institute Milwaukee, WI Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Wise Use Movement Not a formal organization but a loosely-knit movement. Challenges strict environmental regulations. Women Affirming Life, Inc. 159 Washington St. Brighton, MA 02135 Catholic lay women’s group opposed to abortion rights. Women Exploited by Abortion Anti-Abortion group focusing on post-abortion experience. Women for Faith and Family Catholic lay women’s group that opposes the feminist movement. Word of God See Sword of the Spirit. Wyoming Heritage Society Casper, WY Conservative think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Yankee Institute for Public Policy Studies Norwalk, CT Conservative state think tank. Was member of Madison Group in early 1990’s. Yellow Ribbon Coalition POB 240 Springfield, Oregon 97477 503 747-5874 Primarily supports the timber industry interests against the environmental movement. Young Americans for Freedom National organization of ultra-conservative college students. National office has moved several times in recent years, with last known location in Indiana. Young America’s Foundation 110 Elden St. Herndon, VA 22070 (703) 318-9608 A*****foundation established by friends and former leaders of Young Americans for Freedom. Typical fundraiser: "Long a target of the peaceniks and radical left, the campus radicals, now assisted by the powerful ACLU, are using the longtime military policy of keeping known homosexuals [out of] the armed forces as an excuse to throw ROTC off campus." Issues-based Reference Lists Most Influential Christian Right Groups Identified by the Institute for First Amendment Studies. (Detailed overviews of these groups can be found in the IFAS publication The Activists’ Handbook.) American Family Association Chalcedon Christian Action Network Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism Christian Coalition Coalition on Revival Concerned Women for America Eagle Forum Focus on the Family Free Congress Foundation National Association of Christian Educators /Citizens for Excellence in Education Operation Rescue Oregon Citizen’s Alliance Rutherford Institute The Report Strategic Christian Services Traditional Values Coalition Key Groups Opposing Comprehensive Sexuality Education Identified by Planned Parenthood and SIECUS American Center for Law and Justice American Family Association American Life League Campus Crusade for Life Christian Activists Serving Evangelism Christian Coalition Citizens for Excellence in Education Concerned Women for America Eagle Forum Educational Guidance Institute Family Research Council Focus on the Family Free Teens National Association for Abstinence Education National Monitor of Education Research Council on Ethnopsychology Rutherford Institute Traditional Values Coalition Unification Movement Key Groups Promoting Scapegoating of Gays & Lesbians Identified by Political Research Associates American Center for Law and Justice American Family Association American Freedom Coalition Berean League Christian Action Network Christian Coalition Christian Voice Citizens for Excellence in Education /National Association of Christian Educators Coalition on Revival Colorado for Family Values Concerned Women for America Coral Ridge Ministries Council for National Policy Eagle Forum Exodus International Family Life Ministries Family Research Council Focus on the Family Free Congress Foundation Homosexuals Anonymous Insight Magazine Institute for the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality /Family Research Institute Intercessors for America John Birch Society Liberty University National Citizens Action Network National Legal Foundation The New Federalist Oregon Citizens Alliance Research Council on Ethnopsychology Rockford Institute Rutherford Institute Summit Ministries Traditional Values Coalition Key Groups Promoting Right-wing Campus Activism Identified by the University Conversion Project Accuracy in Academia Bradley Foundation Carthage Foundation Center for Individual Rights Center for Individual Rights Center for the Study of Popular Culture College Republican National Committee Collegians Activated to Liberate Life Coors Foundation Education and Research Institute Intercollegiate Studies Institute Leadership Institute Madison Center for Educational Affairs National Association of Scholars Olin Foundation Richardson Foundation Scaife Foundation Students for America Key Groups Seeking Constraints or Codes Affecting Free Expression and the Arts Identified by the Boston Coalition for Freedom of Expression American Freedom Coalition Bob Larson’s Ministries Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Center for the Study of Popular Culture Committee on Media Integrity Concerned Women for America Family Research Council Focus on the Family Freedom Alliance Heritage Foundation Liberty Federation Morality in Media National Coalition on Television Violence New York Guardian Parents Music Resource Center Key Groups Challenging Strict Environmental Regulations Identified by Political Research Associates Alliance for America American Council on Science and Health American Freedom Coalition Blue Ribbon Coalition Center for Individual Rights Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise Claremont Institute Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow Competitive Enterprise Institute Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment The Goldwater Institute Heritage Foundation The Independence Institute Institute of Political Economy James Madison Institute John Birch Society Mountain States Legal Foundation National Center for Policy Analysis National Inholders Association Pacific Legal Foundation Pacific Research Institute Political Economy Research Center Reason Foundation Sahara Club Unification Movement Western States Legal Defense Foundation Wise Use Movement Yellow Ribbon Coalition For More Details Computer users with modems can download the updated version of this guide by calling The Public Eye BBS, (617) 272-5815, settings (8,N,1). For more details, consult the bibliography, and the following list of secondary sources used in compiling this guide: A New Rite: Conservative Catholic Organizations and Their Allies. Askin, Steve. (Washington, DC: Catholics for Free Choice, 1994) (202) 986-6093. The Activists Almanac: The Concerned Citizen’s Guide to the Leading Advocacy Organizations in America. Walls, David (New York: Fireside/Simon & Schuster 1993). Challenging the Christian Right: The Activists Handbook. Clarkson, Frederick, and Skipp Porteous. (Great Barrington, MA: Institute for First Amendment Studies, 1993) (413) 274-3786. "Burgeoning Conservative Think Tanks," a special issue of Responsive Philanthropy newsletter, Spring 1991, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. (202) 387-9177. The Coors Connection: How Coors Family Philanthropy Undermines Democratic Pluralism. Bellant, Russ (Boston, MA: South End Press (Political Research Associates Series), 1991). (800) 533-8478. Old Nazis, the New Right and the Reagan Administration: The Role of Domestic Fascist Networks in the Republican Party and Their Effect on U.S. Cold War Policies. Bellant, Russ, (Boston, MA: South End Press (Political Research Associates Series): 1991). (800) 533-8478. "Opponents of Comprehensive Sexuality Education." (Pamphlet) Reality-based Education and Learning for Life. (New York: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 1993. Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right. Diamond, Sara (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1989). UCP’s Guide to Uncovering the Right on Campus. Cowan, Rich and Dalya Massachi. (Boston: University Conversion Project, 1994) (617) 354-9363. Credits: Most of this compendium was researched and annotated relying on primary documents in the collections of Political Research Associates and the Institute for First Amendment Studies. Additional assistance in the form of documentation came from the Data Center, the Boston Campaign for Freedom of Expression, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, the University Conversion Project, the Resource Center, Planned Parenthood, and the Center for Democratic Renewal. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of authors Russ Bellant, Skipp Porteous, Steve Askin, Fred Clarkson, Sara Diamond, Ph. D., William K. Burke, Dan Junas, and Leonard Zeskind. The PRA files reflect the collective work of Jean Hardisty, Ph.D., Margaret Quigley, Esq., Francine Davis, Judith Glaubman, Francine Almash, Peggy Shinner, Chip Berlet, and dozens of interns and volunteers. The files at IFAS also reflect the collective work of Skipp Porteous, Barbara Simon, Esq., and dozens of interns and volunteers. Thanks also to Sheila O’Donnell, Matthew N. Lyons, the File Ferrets of Blue Mountain Working Group, and the many people who faxed documents at the last minute. The annotations are drawn from primary documents and secondary information provided by these many groups and individuals, but as is customary, the final wording of the list and annotations is the sole responsibility of the author.
A Selected Reading List for Studying the History & Politics of the American Political Right
Chip Berlet Political Research Associates Cambridge, Massachusetts
KEY READINGS ON THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT
"The Political Activity of the Religious Right in the 1990’s: A Critical Analysis," by Rabbi Lori Forman. (New York: American Jewish Committee, 1994). A thoughtful and cautious introductory pamphlet by Rabbi Forman who suggests consulting the following works by critics, advocates, and observers of the religious right:
The Coors Connection: How Coors Family Philanthropy Undermines Democratic Pluralism. Bellant, Russ (Boston, MA: South End Press/Political Research Associates Series, 1991).
The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion. Carter, Stephen L. (New York: Basic Books, 1993).
Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America. Hunter, James Davison (New York: Basic Books, 1991).
Fundamentalisms and Society: Vol. 1. Marty, Martin E., and R. Scott Appleby, eds. (Chicago: University of Chicago press, 1993).
Fundamentalisms Observed: Vol. 2. Marty, Martin E., and R. Scott Appleby, eds. (Chicago: University of Chicago press, 1993).
Natural Adversaries or Possible Allies? American Jews and the New Christian Right. Cohen, Naomi. (New York: American Jewish Committee, 1993).
The New Millennium. Robertson, Pat. (Irving, Texas: Word Publishing, 1990).
Old Nazis, the New Right and the Reagan Administration: The Role of Domestic Fascist Networks in the Republican Party and Their Effect on U.S. Cold War Policies. Bellant, Russ. (Boston, MA: South End Press/Political Research Associates Series, 1991).
Redeeming America: Piety and Politics in the New Christian Right. Liensch, Michael. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1993).
Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right. Diamond, Sara (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1989).
Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism. Marsden, George M. (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1991.)
Other Useful Critiques of the Religious Right Books: Fundamentalisms and the State: Vol. 3. Marty, Martin E. and R. Scott Appleby. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993).
Heaven on Earth? The Social and Political Agendas of Dominion Theology. Barron, Bruce (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervon, 1992).
Jesus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore: From Fundamentalist to Freedom Writer. Porteous, Skipp (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1991).
The New Religious Right: Piety, Patriotism and Politics. Capps, Walter H. (Columbia: U. of South Carolina Press, 1990).
The Old Christian Right. Ribuffo, Leo P. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1983).
To the Right: The Transformation of American Conservatism. Himmelstein, Jerome L. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1990.) KEY GENERAL NEWSLETTERS CRITIQUING THE RIGHT: Culture Watch. The Data Center.
Freedom Writer. Institute for First Amendment Studies.
Group Research Report. Group Research.
The Public Eye. Political Research Associates.
Right Wing Watch. People for the American Way.
BROAD BACKGROUND ON DEMOCRACY & PLURALISM Books & Reports: A Scapegoat in the New Wilderness: The Origins and Rise of AntiSemitism in America. Jaher, Frederick Cople. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994). America’s Original Sin: A Study Guide on White Racism. (Booklet) Sojourners. (Washington, D.C.: Sojourners Resource Center, 1993).
Architects of Fear: Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia in American Politics. Johnson, George (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1983).
Debating PC: The Controversy over Political Correctness on College Campuses, Berman, Paul, ed. (New York: Laurel/Dell, 1992).
The Emergence of David Duke and the Politics of Race. Rose, Douglas D., ed. (Chapel Hill: U. of North Carolina Press, 1992.) Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a Worldview. Smedley, Audrey. (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1993).
To Reclaim a Legacy of Diversity: Analyzing the "Political Correctness" Debates in Higher Education. (New York: National Council for Research on Women, 1993). (212) 274-0730.
Watch on the Right: Conservative Intellectuals in the Reagan Era, Hoeveler, J. David (Madison: U. of Wisconsin Press, 1991).
Articles: "The American Neo-Nazi Movement Today" a special report by Elinor Langer in The Nation, July 16/23 1990. "Backlash?" by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., in The New Yorker, May 17, 1993, pp. 42-44.
"Black Conservatives" (Parts One and Two), by Deborah Toler, in The Public Eye, September 1993 and December 1993.
"Black Demagogues and Pseudo-Scholars," by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in The New York Times, (Op-Ed) July 20, 1992.
"Burgeoning Conservative Think Tanks," a special issue of Responsive Philanthropy newsletter, Spring 1991, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. (202) 387-9177. "The Politics of Frustration," by Kevin Phillips, in The New York Times Magazine, April 12, 1992, pp. 38-42.
"Rightwing Attacks on Corporate Giving," a special issue of Responsive Philanthropy newsletter, Winter 1990, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. (202) 387-9177. "Watch on the Right: Change in Strategy" (column), by Sara Diamond, in The Humanist, January/February 1994, pp. 34-36.
"What is Anti-Semitism Now?: An Open Letter to William F. Buckley," by Norman Podhoretz, in Commentary, January 1992.
A New Rite: Conservative Catholic Organizations and Their Allies. Askin, Steve. (Washington, D.C.: Catholics for Free Choice, 1994) (202) 986-6093.
The Activists Almanac: The Concerned Citizen’s Guide to the Leading Advocacy Organizations in America. Walls, David (New York: Fireside/Simon & Schuster 1993).
Challenging the Christian Right: The Activists Handbook. Clarkson, Frederick, and Skipp Porteous. (Great Barrington, MA: Institute for First Amendment Studies, 1993) (413) 274-3786.
Extremism on the Right: A Handbook. Anti Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (New York: Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, 1988).
Fight the Right. Gregory, Sarah Crary, and Scot Nakagawa, eds. (Washington, DC: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 1993).
Guide to Public Policy Experts: 1993-1994. Atwood, Thomas C., ed. (Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation, 1993).
UCP’s Guide to Uncovering the Right on Campus. Cowan, Rich and Dalya Massachi. (Boston: University Conversion Project, 1994) (617) 354-9363.
The Right Guide. Wilcox, Derk, Joshua Schackman & Penelope Naas. (Ann Arbor: Economics America, 1993).
When Hate Groups Come to Town: A Handbook of Effective Community Responses. Center for Democratic Renewal. (Atlanta, GA: Center for Democratic Renewal, 1992). (404) 221-0025.
Topical Section The Religious Right Critiquing the Religious Right: Newsletters: Church and State. Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Freedom Writer. Institute for First Amendment Studies.
The Fundamentalism Project Newsletter. The Fundamentalism Project.
The Public Eye. Political Research Associates.
Right Wing Watch. People for the American Way.
Voice of Reason. Americans for Religious Liberty.
Books & Reports: The Covert Crusade: The Christian Right and Politics in the West. (Report). (Portland, OR: Western States Center/Coalition for Human Dignity, 1993) Available from the Western States Center. (503) 228-8866 Religious Liberty and the Secular State, by John M. Swomley. Available from Americans for Religious Liberty.
Rolling Back Civil Rights: The Oregon Citizens’ Alliance at Religious War. Gardiner, S.L. (Portland, OR: Coalition for Human Dignity, 1992.) Available from the Coalition for Human Dignity. (503) 227-5033. Visions of Reality: What Fundamentalist Schools Teach, by Albert J. Menendez. Available from Americans for Religious Liberty.
Articles: "Bible Belt Blowhard," by Bill Dedman, in Mother Jones, Nov. Dec. 1992.
"Cardinal Mindszenty: Heroic anti-Communist or anti-Semite or Both?" by Chip Berlet in The St. Louis Journalism Review, April 1988.
"The Christian Coalition: On the Road to Victory?" by Fred Clarkson, in Church & State, Jan. 1992.
"Christian Coalition Steps Boldly into Politics," by Michael Isikoff, in Washington Post, Sept. 10, 1992. Christian Reconstructionism: Religious Right Extremism Gains Influence. (Parts One and Two), by Fred Clarkson, in The Public Eye, March 1994 and June 1994.
"Christian Right’s New Political Push," by Don Lattin, in San Francisco Chronicle, May 12, 1992.
"Confessions of a Religious Defender," a book review by Jean Hardisty of Stephen L. Carter’s The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion, in The Public Eye, December 1993.
"Covering the Culture War," a special section with articles by James Davison Hunter, Laurence I. Barrett, and Joe Conason, in Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 1993.
"Credulity, Superstition, and Fanaticism," special issue with articles by Chip Berlet, Allen Lesser, Albert J. Menendez, Fred Pelka, & Jeffrey Victor, in The Humanist, September/October 1992.
"Crusade for Public Office in 2nd Stage," by Barry Horstman, in Los Angeles Times, March 22, 1992.
"Faith and Election: The Christian Right in Congressional Campaigns 1978- 1988," by John C. Green, James L. Guth, and Kevin Hill, in The Journal of Politics (University of Texas Press), Vol. 55, No. 1, February 1993, pp. 80- 91.
"Four Articles on the Religious Right," by Suzanne Pharr, from Transformation (1992-1993). Women’s Project. (501) 372-5113.
"HardCOR," by Fred Clarkson, in Church and State, Jan. 1991.
"Inside the Covert Coalition," by Fred Clarkson, in Church & State, Nov. 1992.
"The Making of a Christian Police State," by Fred Clarkson, in The Freedom Writer, Sept./Oct. 1991.
"Opposition Research." A collection of recent columns on the religious and secular right by Sara Diamond, author of Spiritual Warfare. Available as a set from Political Research Associates. (617) 661-9313.
"Reel Hate: A new video tries to drive a wedge between blacks and gays," by Liz Galst, in The Boston Phoenix, Supplement, October 1993.
"Religious Right Rediscovered " by Russ Bellant in Christian Social Action, Dec. 1992. "The Religious Right’s Quiet Revival," by Joe Conason, in The Nation, April 27, 1992.
"SWAT Teams for Jesus," by Skipp Porteus, in Penthouse, Sept. 1991.
"Traditional Values, Racism and Christian Theocracy: The Right- wing Revolt Against the Modern Age," by Margaret Quigley and Chip Berlet in The Public Eye, December 1992.
"When Right Goes Wrong: Word of God network wants to ‘save the world’" by Russ Bellant in National Catholic Reporter, Nov. 18, 1988.
"The World According to Pat Robertson," by Skipp Porteous, in Reform Judaism, Spring 1993.
Promoting the Religious Right A Christian Manifesto. Schaeffer, Francis A. (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1981).
The ACLU and America’s Freedoms: The ACLU is Defending or Destroying Our Freedoms? Rowe, Dr. Ed (Washington D.C.: Church League of America, 1984).
Against the Tide: How to Raise Sexually Pure Kids in an "Anything-Goes" World. LaHaye, Tim and Beverly LaHaye. (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Books, 1993).
A Time for Candor: Mainline Churches and Radical Social Witness. Institute on Religion and Democracy (Washington, D.C.: Institute of Religion and Democracy, 1983).
Book Burning. Thomas, Cal (Westchester, IL: Good News Publishers/Crossway Books, 1983).
Children at Risk: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Our Kids. Dobson, Dr. James, and Gary L. Bauer. (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1990).
Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles: Noebel, David A. (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Christian Crusade Publications, 1965).
Cultural Conservatism: Theory and Practice. Lind, William S. and Marshner, William H., eds. (Washington: Free Congress Foundation, 1991). Cultural Conservatism: Toward a New National Agenda. The Institute for Cultural Conservatism. (Washington: Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, 1987). Dare to Discipline. Dobson, Dr. James. (Wheaton, IL: Living Books/Tynedale House Publishers, 1987).
Forewarned. A Christian Primer to the Political Arena. The War on God, Family, and Country. Who’s Waging it? Why? What Can, You Do About It? Lacy, Dr. Sterling (Texarkana, Texas: Dayspring Productions, 1988).
The New World Order: It Will Change the Way You Live. Robertson, Pat (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1991).
The Stealing of America. Whitehead, John W. (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1983).
The Turning Tide: The Fall of Liberalism and the Rise of Common Sense. Robertson, Pat (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1993).
Understanding the Times: The Story of the Biblical Christian, Marxist/Leninist and Secular Humanist Worldviews. Noebel, David A. (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Ministries Press, 1992).
Valley of Decision: A Christian Primer to the Political Arena. The War on God, Family, and Country. Who’s Waging it? Why? What Can You Do About It? Lacy, Dr. Sterling (Texarkana, Texas: Dayspring Productions, 1988).
Modern Education Defending Modern Education Attacks on the Freedom to Learn. Available from People for the American Way.
Hate in the Ivory Tower: A Survey of Intolerance on College Campuses and Academia’s Response. Available from People for the American Way.
Religion, Education and the First Amendment: The Appeal to History, by R. Freeman Butts. Available from People for the American Way.
Values, Pluralism, and Public Education: A National Conference. Available from People for the American Way.
The Witch Hunt Against ‘Secular Humanism,’ by David Bollier. Available from People for the American Way.
Attacking Modern Education Back to Basics: The Traditionalist Movement that is Sweeping Grassroots America. Pines, Burton Yale (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1982).
Blackboard Power: NEA Threat to America. Drake, Dr. Gordon V. (Box 977, Tulsa, OK 74102: Christian Crusade Publications, 1968).
Change Agents in the Schools: Destroy Your Children, Betray Your Country. Morris, Barbara M. (Upland, California: The Barbara M. Morris Report, 1979).
Child Abuse in the Classroom. Schlafly, Phyllis, Editor (Alton, IL: Pere Marquette Press, 1984).
The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls, of Today’s Students. Bloom, Allan (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987).
Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus. D’Souza, Dinesh. (NY: Free Press, 1991).
NEA: Propaganda Front of the Radical Left. Reed, Sally D. (Washington, D.C.: National Council for Better Education, 1984).
N.E.A. Trojan Horse in American Education. Blumenfeld, Samuel L. (Boise, Idaho: The Paradigm Company, 1984).
Poisoned Ivy. Hart, Benjamin (New York: Stein and Day, 1984).
School Based Clinics: And Other Critical Issues in Public Education. Mosbacker, Barrett L., Editor (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1987).
Secular Humanism and the Schools: The Issue Whose Time has Come. McGraw, Onalee (Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation, 1976).
Why Are You Losing Your Children?. Morris, Barbara M. (Upland, California: The Barbara Morris Report, 1976; Revised).
Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong: Moral Illiteracy and the Case for Character Education. Kilpatrick, William. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992).
Withstanding Humanism’s Challenge to Families: Anatomy of a White House Conference. Thomson, Rosemary (Morton, IL: Traditional Publications, 1981).
Nativist & Populist Right Critiques of the Nativist & Populist Right American Nativism 1830-1860. Leonard, Ira M. and Parmet, Robert D. (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1971).
Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. Hofstadter, Richard (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1963).
Cross-currents. Forster, Arnold and Epstein, Benjamin R. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1956).
Danger on the Right. Forster, Arnold and Epstein, Benjamin R. (New York: Random House, 1964).
Hold Your Tongue: Bilingualism and the Politics of "English Only." Crawford, James. (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1992) The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays. Hofstadter, Richard (New York, Toronto: Random House, 1952, 1967).
The Party of Fear: From Nativist Movements to the New Right in American History. Bennett, David H. (New York, NY: Vintage Books [Random House], 1990). The Politics of Unreason: Right-Wing Extremism in America, 1790- 1977. Lipset, Seymour Martin and Raab, Earl (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1978).
The Radical Right: Report on the John Birch Society and Its Allies. Epstein, Benjamin R. and Forester, Arnold (New York: Vintage Books/Random House, 1967).
The Radical Right: The New American Right Expanded and Updated. Bell, Daniel (New York: Books for Libraries/Arno Press, 1979). Originally published in 1963 as The Radical Right.
Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism 1860-1925. Higham, John (New York, New Jersey: Atheneum, 1963, 1975).
Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin & the Great Depression. Brinkley, Alan (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982).
You Can’t Do That: A survey of the forces attempting, in the name of patriotism, to make a desert of the Bill of Rights. Seldes, George (New York: Modern Age Books, 1938 [available as a De Capo reprint, ISBN 0-306-70201-0]).
By the Ultra-conservative & Nativist Right A Choice Not an Echo: The Inside Story of How American Presidents Are Chosen. Schlafly, Phyllis (Alton, IL: Pere Marquette Press, 1964).
The Coercive Utopians: Their Hidden Agenda: (and) GovernmentFunded Activism: Hiding Behind the Public, Interest. Metzger, H. Peter, Ph.D. (Colorado Springs, CO: Public Service Company of Colorado, 1979 and 198). Pamphlet.
The Death of a Nation. Stormer, John A. (Florissant, MO: Liberty Bell Press, 1968).
The Gravediggers. Schlafly, Phyllis and Ward, Chester (Alton, IL: Pere Marquette Press, 1964).
Growing Up God’s Way: A guide for getting children ready for school and life. Stormer, John A. (Florissant, Missouri: Liberty Bell Press, 1984).
The Insiders. McManus, John F. (Belmont, MA: The John Birch Society, 1983).
The Invisible Government. Smoot, Dan (Boston and Los Angeles: Western Islands, 1962).
None Dare Call It Treason. Stormer, John A. (Florissant, Missouri: Liberty Bell Press, 1964).
The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline. Perloff, James (Boston and Los Angeles: Western Islands, 1988).
Totalist Networks Amway: The Cult of Free Enterprise. Butterfield, Steve. (Boston: South End Press, 1985).
Clouds Blur the Rainbow: The Other Side of the New Alliance Party. Berlet, Chip. (Cambridge, MA: Political Research Associates, 1987).
Combatting Cult Mind Control. Hassan, Steven. (Rochester, VT: Park Street Press, 1988) Gifts of Deceit: Sun Myung Moon, Tongsun Park and the Korean Scandal. Boettcher, Robert. (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980).
Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism. King, Dennis. (New York, New York: Doubleday, 1989).
Not For Sale: The Rev. Sun Myung Moon And One American’s Freedom. Racer, David G. (St. Paul, MN: Tiny Press, 1989).
The Origins of Totalitarianism. Arendt, Hannah. (New York: Harvest Books, 1951).
Gender, Sexuality & Sexual Preference Newsletters: Activist Alert. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
The Body Politic. [(607) 648-2760].
GLAAD Bulletin. Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination. NARAL News. National Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League.
The Pro Choice Report. National Center for the Pro-Choice Majority.
Right Wing Watch. People for the American Way.
Siecus Report. SIECUS.
The Public Eye. Political Research Associates.
SEXUALITY EDUCATION For Comprehensive Sexuality Education Community Action Kit: An information pack to support comprehensive sexuality education. Available from SIECUS.
SIECUS Fact Sheets: "Siecus Fact Sheet #1: Condom Availability Programs." 1992. 4pp. "Siecus Fact Sheet #2: The National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education." 1992. 2pp. "Siecus Fact Sheet #3: Sexuality Education and the Schools: Issues and Answers." 1992. 2pp. "Siecus Fact Sheet #4: The Far-Right and Fear-Based Abstinence-Only Programs." 1992. 3pp. Available from SIECUS.
Against Comprehensive Sexuality Education Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood. Grant, George. (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1988).
Sex Versus Civilization. Pendell, Dr. Elmer (Los Angeles, CA: Noontide Press, 1967).
ABORTION RIGHTS General & Pro-Choice Books: Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood. Luker, Kristin (Berkeley, CA and London: University of California Press, 1984).
The Enemies of Choice: The Right to Life Movement and Its Threat to Abortion. Murton, Andrew H. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1981).
The Right to Lifers: Who They Are, How They Operate and How They Get Their Money. Paige, Connie (New York: Summit Books, 1983).
Other Resources: R.E.A.L. Life (flyer series). Reality-based Education & Learning for Life. Available from Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Who Decides? A Reproductive Rights Issues Manual. Who Decides? A State By State Review of Abortion Rights. Available from NARAL.
Conservative & Anti-Abortion Aborting America. Nathanson, Dr. Bernard N. and Ostling, Richard N. (New York: Pinnacle Books, 1979).
The Abortion Holocaust: Today’s Final Solution. Brennan, William (St. Louis: Landmark Press, 1983).
Closed: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion. Scheidler, Joseph M. (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1985).
WOMEN’S RIGHTS General & Pro-Feminist A Lesser Life: The Myth of Women’s Liberation in America. Hewlett, Sylvia Ann (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1986).
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. Faludi, Susan (New York: Crown, 1991).
Feminism and the New Right: Conflict Over the American Family. Conover, Pamela Johnston and Gray, Virginia (New York: Praeger Special Studies, 1983).
Nostalgia on the Right: Historical Roots of the Idealized Family. Revised edition. Theriot, Nancy. (Cambridge, MA: Political Research Associates, 1990 [originally Chicago, IL: Midwest Research, 1983]).
Talking Back: Thinking Feminist; Thinking Black. Hooks, Bell (Boston: South End Press, 1989).
The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap. Coontz, Stephanie (New York: Basic Books, 1992) Women and Children First: Poverty in the American Dream. Stallard, Karin; Ehrenreich, Barbara; and Sklar, Holly (Boston: South End Press, 1983).
Women of the New Right. Klatch, Rebecca E. (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1987).
Conservative & Anti-Feminist The Failure of Feminism. Davidson, Nicholas (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1988).
The Family, Feminism and the Theraputic State. McGraw, Onalee (Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation, 1980).
The Inevitability of Patriarchy. Goldberg, Steven (New York: William Morrow & Company, Inc., 1974).
The New Traditional Woman. Marshner, Connaught (Washington, D.C.: Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, 1982).
The Power of the Positive Woman. Schlafly, Phyllis (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1977).
Sweetheart of the Silent Majority: The Biography of Phyllis Schlafly. Felsenthal, Carol (Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, 1981).
GAY RIGHTS & AIDS (The issues are inextricably linked in much right-wing literature, and are listed together here for that reason alone.) General & Supportive of Gay Rights Books: AIDS in the Mind of America: The Social, Political and Psychological Impact of a New Epidemic. Altman, Dennis (New York: Anchor Press, Doubleday, 1986).
And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic. Shilts, Randy (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987).
Hostile Climate: A State by State Report on Anti-Gay Activity. People for the American Way (Booklet). (Washington, D.C.: People for the American Way, November 1993).
Quarantines and Death: The Far Right’s Homophobic Agenda. Segrest, Mab & Zeskind, Leonard (Atlanta, GA: Center for Democratic Renewal, 1989).
Rights of Lesbians and Gay Men. Hunter, Nan D., Sherryl E. Michaelson, & Thomas B. Stoddard. (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 1992).
Sex and Germs: The Politics of AIDS. Patton, Cindy (Boston,MA: South End Press, 1985).
Articles: "Constructing Homophobia: Colorado’s Right-Wing Attack on Homosexuals," by Jean Hardisty in The Public Eye, March 1993.
"Marketing the Religious Right’s Anti-Gay Agenda," by Chip Berlet, in CovertAction Quarterly, Spring 1993.
"Reel Hate: A new video tries to drive a wedge between blacks and gays," by Liz Galst, in The Boston Phoenix, Supplement, October 1993.
Against Gay Rights Gay is Not Good. DuMas, Frank (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1979).
Gays, AIDS and You. Rueda, Enrique T. and Schwartz, Michael (Old Greenwich, CT: Devin Adair Company, 1987).
The Homosexual Network: Private Lives and Public Policy. Rueda, Enrique (Old Greenwich, CT: Devin Adair Company, 1982).
Homosexual Politics: Road to Ruin for America. Rowe, Dr. Edward (Washington, D.C.: Church League of America, 1984).
The Unhappy Gays. LaHaye, Timothy (Wheaton, Il: Tyndale House Publishers, 1978).
What Everyone Should Know About Homosexuality. LaHaye, Timothy (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1978).
Censorship & Intellectual Freedom Newsletters: ACP Newsletter. American Civil Liberties Union: Arts Censorship Project.
Censorship News. National Coalition Against Censorship.
Culture Watch. The Data Center.
Index on Censorship. [London: (071) 329-6434] Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom. American Library Association: Intellectual Freedom Committee Books: Culture Wars: Documents from the Recent Controversies in the Arts. Bolton, Richard, ed. (New York: New Press, 1992).
The Sex Panic: Women, Censorship and "Pornography." (A conference report). (New York: National Coalition Against Censorship, 1993). Sex, Sin and Blasphemy: A Guide to America’s Censorship Wars. Heins, Marjorie. (New York, NY: The New Press, 1993).
The Environment About The Anti-Environmentalist Right Books: God, Land, and Politics: The Wise Use and Christian Right Connection in 1992 Oregon Politics. (Report). Available from the Western States Center. (503) 228-8866 The Scent of Opportunity: A Survey of the Wise Use/Property Rights Movement in New England. (Report). Burke, William K. (Cambridge, MA: Political Research Associates, 1992).
Articles: Anti-Environmental Propaganda: Special Theme Issue. With articles by Johan Carlisle, William Kevin Burke, Stephen Leiper, Dean Kuipers, Joe Lyford, Jr., Bill Walker, Mark Dowie, and Michael Miley. Includes resource list. Propaganda Review, Spring 1994. (415) 386-4902.
"Corporate Fronts: Inside the Anti-Environmental Movement," by Chip Berlet and William K. Burke in Greenpeace, Jan./Feb./Mar. 1992.
"Greenscam," by Ted Williams, in Harrowsmith Country Life, May/June 1992.
"Hunting the ‘Green Menace,’" by Chip Berlet in The Humanist, July/August 1991, pp. 24-31. "Land-Use Advocates Make Gains," by Daniel B. Wood in Christian Science Monitor, October 3, 1991.
"Meet the Anti-Greens," by Margaret L. Knox in the Progressive, October 1991.
"Under Green Guise, Multi-use Groups Work Against Environment," by Fred Baumgarten in Audubon Activist, November 1991.
"Wise Guise," by Dan Baum in Sierra, May/June 1991.
"The ‘Wise Use’ Movement: Lying About the Land," in Western States Center Newsletter, Summer 1992, (No. 7), p. 7.
By The Anti-Environmentalist Right Ecology Wars: Environmentalism As If People Mattered. Arnold, Ron. (Bellevue, WA: The Free Enterprise Press, 1987).
Trashing the Economy: How Runaway Environmentalism is Wrecking America. Arnold, Ron and Alan Gottlieb. (Bellevue, WA: Free Enterprise Press-Dist. Merril Press, 1993) The Wise Use Agenda: The Citizen’s Policy Guide to Environmental Resource Issues. A Task Force Report to Bush Administration by the Wise Use Movement. Gottlieb, Alan M., ed. (Bellevue, WA: Merril Press, 1989).
Race and Ethnicity Newsletters: ADC Times. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
ADL On The Frontline. Anti-Defamation League of B’Nai B’Rith. CAAAV Voice. Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence.
Crisis. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The Forum. Center for the Applied Study of Ethnoviolence. Monitor. Center for Democratic Renewal.
Outlook. Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund.
The Public Eye. Political Research Associates.
Race File. Applied Research Center.
Right Wing Watch. People for the American Way.
Liberal & Progressive Discussions of Racial and Ethnic Bias
America in the Era of Limits: Migrants, Nativists, and the Future of U.S.- Mexican Relations. Cornelius, Wayne A. (La Jolla, Calif.: Center for U.S.- Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego, 1982).
Anti-Filipino Movements in California: A History, Bibliography, and Study Guide. DeWitt, Howard A. (San Francisco, Calif.: R & E Research Associates, 1976).
Bakke and the Politics of Equality: Friends and Foes in the Classroom of Litigation. O’Neill, Timothy J. (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1985).
Black Lives, White Lives: Three Decades of Race Relations in America. Blauner, Bob. (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1989).
Bridges and Boundaries: African Americans and American Jews. Salzman, Jack, with Adina Back and Gretchen Sullivan Sorin (Eds.). (New York: Geroge Braziller/The Jewish Museum, 1992).
The Chinese Exclusion: Racism Toward Asians in California and the West, 1850- 1949. Wong, Brian, ed. (Los Angeles, Calif.: Glendale Press, 1991.
Class, Race, and the Civil Rights Movement. Bloom, Jack M. (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1987).
Communicating Racism: Ethnic Prejudice in Thought and Talk. van Dijk, T. Adrianus. (Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1987).
Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the, Boston Public Schools. Kozol, Jonathan. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1967).
Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality. Bullard, Robert D. (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1990).
Eliminating Racism: Profiles in Controversy. Katz, Phyllis A., and Dalmas A. Taylor, eds. (NY: Plenum Press, 1988).
Entry Denied: Exclusion and the Chinese Community in America, 1882-1943. Asian American History and Culture Series. (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1991).
Fathers and Children: Andrew Jackson and the Subjugation of the American Indian. Rogin, Michael Paul. (NY: Random House, 1976).
The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America. Wade, Wyn Craig. (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1987).
Indians Are Us? Culture and Genocide in Native North America. Churchill, Ward. (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994).
Iron Cages: Race and Culture in 19th Century America. Takaki, Ronald. (NY: Oxford University Press, 1990).
Keeper of the Concentration Camps: Dillon S. Myer and [anti- Japanese] American Racism. Drinnon, Richard. (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1987).
The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours. Edelman, Marian Wright. (Boston, Mass.: Beacon Press, 1992).
The Political Economy of Race and Class. Dymski, Gray. (NY: Union for Radical Political Economics, 1986.
Power and Prejudice: The Politics and Diplomacy of Racial Discrimination. Lauren, Paul G. (Boulder, Colorado: Westview, 1988).
Prophetic Tought in Postmodern Times. (Volume One: Beyond Eurocentrism and Multiculturalism). West, Cornel. (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1993).
Prophetic Reflections: Notes on Race and Power in America. (Volume Two: Beyond Eurocentrism and Multiculturalism). West, Cornel. (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1993).
Race. Terkel, Studs. (NY: Pantheon, 1992).
Race and the Decline of Class in American Politics. Huckfeldt, Robert, and Carol W. Kohfeld. (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1989).
Race and Media: The Enduring Life of the Moynihan Report. Ginsburg, Carl. (New York, NY: Institute for Media Analysis, 1989).
Racial and Cultural Minorities: An Analysis of Prejudice and Discrimination. Simpson, George E., and J. M. Yinger. (NY: Plenum Press, 1985).
Racism and Sexism: An Integrated Study. Rothenburg, Paul S. (NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1988).
Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat. Sakai, J. (Chicago: Morningstar Press, 1983).
Striking Back at Bigotry: Remedies Under Federal and State Law for Violence Motivated by Racial, Religious and Ethnic Prejudice. (Baltimore, MD: Center for the Applied Study of Ethnoviolence [formerly the National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence], 1986/Supplement 1988). (410) 706-5170.
Tree of Hate: Propaganda and Prejudices Affecting United States Relations With the Hispanic World. Powell, Philip W. (NY: Basic Books, 1971).
Yours in Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives on Anti-Semitism and Racism. Bulkin, Elly, Minnie Pratt, and Barbara Smith. (NY: Long Haul Press, 1984).
Conservative Discussions of Racial and Ethnic Bias The Balancing Act: Quota Hiring in Higher Education. Roche, George Charles. (LaSalle, IL: Open Court Publishing Co., 1974).
Black Education: Myths and Tragedies. Sowell, Thomas. (New York: David McKay Co., 1972).
The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America. Steele, Shelby. (New York: St. Martins, 1990).
Counting By Race: Equality from the Founding Fathers to Bakke and Weber. Eastland, Terry and Bennett, William. (New York: Basic Books, 1979).
Ethnic America: A History. Sowell, Thomas. (New York: Basic Books, 1981).
Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980. Murray, Charles. (New York: Basic Books, 1984).
Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby. Carter, Stephen Lisle (NY: Basic Books, 1991).
Scapegoating of Jews & Holocaust Denial The Holocaust The Abandonment of the Jews. Wyman, David S. (New York: Pantheon, 1984).
The Destruction of the European Jews. Hilberg, Raoul. (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1985).
Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Arendt, Hannah. (New York: Penguin Books, 1963).
From Weimar to Auschwitz. Mommsen, Hans. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton U. Press, 1991).
The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry 1933-1945. Levin, Nora. (New York: Schocken Books, 1973).
Quiet Heroes: True Stories of the Rescue of Jews by Christians in Nazi- occupied, Holland. Stein, Andre. (Toronto: Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1988).
When Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy. Morse, Arthur D. (Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1983).
Fighting Scapegoating of Jews & Holocaust Denial Antisemitism in the Contemporary World. Curtis, Michael. (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1986).
Assassins of Memory: Essays on the Denial of the Holocaust. Vidal-Naquet, Peirre. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992).
A Trust Betrayed: The Keegstra Affair. Bercuson, David and Wertheimer, Douglas. (Toronto & New York: Doubleday & Co., 1985).
Antisemitic Propaganda: An Annotated Bibliography and Research Guide. Singerman, Robert. (New York & London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1982).
Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. Lipstadt, Deborah. (New York: Free Press, 1993).
Essential Papers on Jewish-Christian Relations in the United States: Imagery and Reality, by Naomi W. Cohen, editor. (NY: New York University Press, 1990).
Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and Human Behavior. Stern Strom, Margot and Parsons, William S. (Watertown, MA: Intentional Educations, Inc., 1982).
Farrakhan and Jews in the 1990’s. (Booklet). Kenneth S. Stern. (New York: American Jewish Committee. 1994).
Farrakhan’s Reign of Historical Error: The Truth Behind the Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews. Brackman, Harold. (Los Angeles: Simon Wiesenthal Center, 1992).
Hitler’s Apologists: The Anti-Semitic Propaganda of Holocaust "Revisionism." Anti-Defamation League. (New York: Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, 1993).
Holocaust and Human Behavior: Annotated Bibliography. Drew, Margaret (ed.). (New York: Walker & Company, 1988).
Holocaust: Reinventing the Big Lie. Anti-Defamation League. (New York: Anti- Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, 1989).
Human Relations Materials for the Schools. Anti-Defamation League. (New York: Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, 1989).
Simon Wiesenthal Center Catalog. (Los Angeles: Simon Wiesenthal Center, 1994). (213) 553-9036.
The Tenacity of Prejudice: Anti-Semitism in Contemporary America. Selznick, Gertrude & Steinberg, Stephen. (New York/London: Harper & Rowe, 1969).
Holocaust Denial & "Historical Revisionism" The Hoax of the Twentieth Century. Butz, Arthur. (Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1977).
No Time for Silence: Pleas for a Just Peace Over Four Decades. App, Austin J. (Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1987).
The Six Million Reconsidered: Is the ‘Nazi Holocaust’ Story a Zionist Propaganda Plot? Grimstad, William N., ed. (United Kingdom: Historical Review Press/Noontide Press, 1977).
Scapegoating of Jews For Fear of the Jews. Rittenhouse, Stan. (Vienna, VA: The Exhorters, 1982).
Hear O Israel. Brooks, Pat. (Fletcher, NC: New Puritan Library, 1981).
Protocols of the Elders of Zion. No Author Listed [historic forgery]. (Los Angeles, CA: Christian Nationalist Crusade: n.d.). The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews: Volume One. Nation of Islam, Historical Research Department. (Chicago, IL: Nation of Islam, 1991).
The Score: An Autobiography Exposing the Forces that Remain Studiously, Concealed and Masked. Stanko, Rudy (Butch). (Gering, NE: League of Rights, 1986).
The Ugly Truth About ADL. Editors of Executive Intelligence Review. (Washington, D.C.: Executive Intelligence Review, 1992).
Authoritarianism, Xenophobia, Fascism & Nazism Newsletters: ADL On The Frontline. Anti-Defamation League of B’Nai B’Rith. Monitor. Center for Democratic Renewal.
The Public Eye. Political Research Associates.
Searchlight. [London: (071) 284-4040].
Authoritarianism, Fascism & Nazism Through WWII The Splendid Blond Beast: Money, Law, and Genocide in the 20th Century. Simpson, Christopher. (New York: Grove Press, 1993) The Politics of the Body in Weimar Germany: Women’s Reproductive Rights and Duties. Usborne, Cornelie. (Ann Arbor: U. of Michigan Press, 1992) Readings on Fascism and National Socialism. Department of Philosophy, University of Colorado, ed. (Chicago, IL: Swallow Press, Inc., 1952).
Rehearsals for Fascism: Populism and Political Mobilization in Weimar Germany. Fritzsche, Peter. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Sawdust Caesar: The Untold History of Mussolini and Fascism. Seldes, George. (New York and London: Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1935).
Sexual Politics in the Third Reich: The Persecution of the Homosexuals During the Holocaust: A Bibliography and Introductory Essay. Porter, Jack Nusan. (Montreal, Quebec: Concordia University, 1991).
Shattering the German Night: The Story of the White Rose. Dumbach, Annette E. and Newborn, Judd. (Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Company, 1986) Three Faces of Fascism: Action Francaise, Italian Fascism, National Socialism. Nolte, Ernst. (Originally published Munich: R. Piper & Co., 1963: New York: Signet, New American Library, 1969: Canada: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969).
Weimar and the Rise of Hitler. Nichols, A. J. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1979), Authoritarianism, Fascism, & Nazism After WWII The Belarus Secret: The Nazi Connection in America. Loftus, John. (New York: Paragon Press, 1982).
Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effect on the Cold War. Simpson, Christopher. (New York: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1988).
Fascism in the Contemporary World: Ideology, Evolution, Resurgence. Joes, James (Boulder: Westview, 1978). Inside the League: The Shocking Expose of How Terrorists, Nazis and Latin American, Death Squads Have Infiltrated the World Anti- Communist League. Anderson, Scott and Anderson, Jon Lee. (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1986).
The Paperclip Conspiracy: The Hunt for the Nazi Scientists. Bower, Tom. (Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown and Company, 1987).
Secret Agenda: The United States Government, Nazi Scientists, and Project Paperclip, 1945 to 1990. Hunt, Linda. (NY: St. Martins, 1991).
Wanted: The Search for Nazis in America. Bloom, Howard. (New York: Fawcett Crest Books, 1977).
Critiques of Modern Racialist Nationalism Bitter Harvest: Gordon Kahl and the Posse Comitatus, Murder in the Heartland. Corcoran, James. (New York: Penguin Books, 1990).
Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the Rise of a New White Culture. Ridgeway, James. (New York, NY: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1990).
God, Guts and Guns. Finch, Phillip (New York: Seaview/Putnam, 1983).
Hooded Americanism: The History of the Ku Klux Klan. Chalmers, David M. (New York and London: New Viewpoints, 1976).
The Liberty Lobby and the American Right: Race, Conspiracy and Culture. Mintz, Frank P. (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1985).
Right Woos Left: Populist Party, LaRouchian, and Other Neofascist Overtures to Progressives and Why They Must Be Rejected. Berlet, Chip. (Revised). (Cambridge, MA: Political Research Associates, 1994).
Terror in the Night: The Klan’s Campaign Against the Jews. Nelson, Jack. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993) United They Hate: White Supremacist Groups in America. Kronenwetter, Michael. (New York: Walker and Company, 1992). (Youth oriented).
Classics of Racialism, Xenophobia, & Fascism The Dispossessed Majority. Robertson, Wilmot. (Cape Canaveral, FL: Howard Allen Publisher, 1972).
Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics. Yockey, Francis Parker (Ulick Varange). (Costa Mesa, CA: Noontide Press, 1962).
Mein Kampf. Hitler, Adolf. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1971; first published Verlag Frz. Eher Nachf, G.M.B.H., 1927).
Race and Reason: A Yankee View. Putnam, Carleton. (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1961).
The Rising Tide of Color (Against White World-Supremacy). Stoddard, Lothrop. (Orig. pub. 1920) (Brighton, England: Historical Rev. Press 1981).
Extracted from a series of more extensive bibliographies available from Political Research
Associates. Call for a free list of resources. (617) 661-9313. Computer users with modems can download this and other PRA bibliographies by calling The Public Eye BBS, (617) 272-5815, settings (8,N,1).
A number of the groups listed elsewhere in this guide have a variety of pamphlets, reports, flyers, and videotapes available for educational purposes. As these resources change frequently, many are not listed here. If you are interested in a particular topic, be sure to contact these groups and ask for a current list of resources available by mail.