Free Congress Research and Education Foundation

717 Second St., NE
Washington, DC 20002

President/Founder: Paul Weyrich
Date of founding: 1977
Finances: $11.4 million (1997 revenue)

Publications: Free Congress Commentaries, three e-mail newsletters, "Notable News Now," "Coalition for Constitutional Liberties," and "Coalition for Judicial Restraint, " as well as reports and op-eds.
Media: Paul Weyrich is a cable tv and radio talk show host, as well as an op-ed contributor for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal.
Affiliated with: Free Congress, Coalitions for America

Read the latest news on the Free Congress Foundation on the group's Right Wing Watch index page

FCF's Principal Issues:

  • Free Congress Research and Education Foundation (FCF) describes its mission as fighting the culture war and returning America back to its traditional conservative roots. "[O]ur main focus is on the Culture War. Will America return to the culture that made it great, our traditional, Judeo-Christian, Western culture? Or will we continue the long slide into the cultural and moral decay of political correctness? If we do, America, once the greatest nation on earth, will become no less than a third world country."
  • FCF's targets include multi-culturalism, "judicial activism," Democratic politicians, and "moral decay and political correctness."
  • Weyrich's vision is for cultural conservatives to eventually dominate all aspects of American culture and politics.
  • Since the tragedy of 9/11, FCF has published many anti-Islamic papers and essays, "This hard-hitting new paper dissects and devastates the notion that Islam is a 'peaceful, tolerant' religion. It isn't and it never has been. Learn why and how Islam is making war on Christians everywhere- and what the West needs to do in response."

Paul Weyrich's Background:

  • Paul Weyrich, president of Free Congress, has had an extensive history with the Religious Right and is often referred to as the father of the Religious Right.
  • Weyrich helped draft Rev. Jerry Falwell to head the Moral Majority, and founded the Heritage Foundation.
  • After less than a year at the Heritage Foundation, Weyrich went on to establish the Free Congress Foundation (FCF). During the early 1980s, the foundation had a reputation as being a pacesetter for Religious Right politics, in part because of the coalitions that operated under the group's umbrella project, Coalitions for America. These coalitions cooperated to draft legislation, plan media strategies, and exchange ideas and research.
  • Much of FCF's clout among the religious right centers around Weyrich's ability to organize. Weyrich holds weekly a " Weyrich Strategy Lunch," sponsored by Coalitions for America,. The lunch is held when Congress is in session and has 75 conservative leaders representing their organizations. These weekly lunches include regular briefings by leading Bush administration officials and key conservative congressional leaders.
  • Weyrich is known for his aggressive involvement in grassroots activism. He pioneered America's Voice (formerly known as National Empowerment Television), a cable network designed to rapidly mobilize Religious Right followers for grassroots lobbying.
  • Weyrich is also one of the founders of American Legislative Exchange Council and is the former treasurer (1981-1992) of the highly secretive Council for National Policy. Weyrich is currently on the Executive Committee of the CNP.
  • Weyrich's awards from other right wing groups include: 1998 American Patriot Award from Concerned Women for America, September 1998; "One Who Makes A Difference Award" from Eagle Forum, September 1998; President's Award from the National Association of Religious Broadcasters, January 1998.

FCF's Centers:

  • As an institution, FCF has several areas of focus outlined by their major "centers." These centers include: The Center for Technology Policy, The Center for Law and Democracy, The Center for Cultural Conservatism, and the Center for Governance.
  • Under FCF's Center for Law and Democracy, the Judicial Selection Monitoring Project (JMSP) lobbies for the appointment of judicial conservatives to the federal courts. Launched in August 1992, the project seeks to establish an extensive national network that can be ready to organize support for conservative appointees to the courts and opposition to moderate or liberal appointees. JMSP's former director Thomas Jipping has testified before congress several times on various issue of concern to FCF.
  • The Center for Cultural Conservatism is chiefly concerned with building conservative constitutions and defunding any institutions that don't conform to a narrow belief system.
  • "The New Traditonalist Project" has a "manifesto" which aggressively outlines a battle plan to build up cultural conservatives and their institutions and asserts that the "[Cultural Conservative] Movement Must Serve as a Force of Social Intimidation…We must be feared, so that they will think twice before opening their mouths."
  • The Center for Technology Policy concentrates on constitutional liberties, publishes a weekly update for its "Coalition for Constitutional Liberties" which reads like a "who's who" list of right-wing, conservative groups. The Center for Conservative Governance organizes and offers training for conservatives groups to become more active in the political process— currently it is working to develop interactive, online training in early 2002.

Quotes from Paul Weyrich:

"The politics of hubris will not work. You may think the Democrats in leadership will end up operating in the best interests of the country. They will not. They will slit your throat." —"Open Letter to President George W. Bush," 1/15/02

"The culture has continued to deteriorate. Today, the old rules of conduct are not merely broken, they are scorned. The ideology we know as political correctness — it is really Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms — proclaims the old virtues to be vices and the old vices to be virtues…So what is to be done? Continuing with a strategy that has failed is folly and guarantees defeat. Instead of attempting to use politics to retake existing institutions, my proposal is that we cultural conservatives build new institutions for ourselves: schools, universities, media, entertainment, everything — a complete, separate, parallel structure. In every respect but politics, we should, in effect, build a new nation among the ruins of the old." —"Separate & Free," Washington Post, 3/7/99

Quotes from Free Congress Foundation:

"The [Free Congress] Foundation has proposed a new strategy to deal with America's cultural disintegration: cultural independence. Instead of trying to retake existing cultural institutions from the forces of Political Correctness, we propose that cultural conservatives should build their own separate, parallel institutions. This is already occuring [sic] in primary and secondary education through the home schooling movement. The Foundation seeks to promote similar efforts in respect to every major cultural insitution [sic] , including higher education, the media, entertainment, and high culture including art, architecture and music. While these would begin as institutions for a cultural minority, their success would over time make traditional Western culture once again the majority American culture." —"A Short History of Cultural Conservatism," by William Lind, Director of The Center for Cultural Conservatism.

"The purpose of the ideology known commonly as "multiculturalism" is to destroy America. In the 21st-century world of fourth-generation warfare, it is likely to succeed. To understand why we first must understand both phenomena… While many average Americans recognize American Muslims as a dangerous fifth column, the multiculturalist elite demands a 'tolerance of diversity' that Islam itself does not know. A Republican administration invites mullahs to the White House to celebrate Islamic holidays. That multiculturalism preaches the suicide of the West is no surprise to those who know its historic origins." —"Multiculturalism Reigns Over the West," by William Lind, Insight Magazine, 12/31/01

[Updated September 2002]