Earlier this year, Ralph Reed announced the formation of his Christian Coalition, Version 2.0, known as the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
Reed vowed that this iteration wouldn’t be “your daddy’s Christian Coalition,” and that it would be “more brown, more black, more female, and younger” than the first version … also, hipper and even more strident.
Since it’s launch, it hasn’t made much, if any, national news, but that is in keeping with Reed’s style of political guerilla warfare and so it is no surprise that he’s been hard at work building up a nationwide infrastructure.
FFC Chairman Ralph Reed was the guest speaker at the 9th Annual Friends of the Family Banquet hosted by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition/Iowa Christian Alliance. ICCF is one of Faith and Freedoms newest state affiliates formed in August when the existing Iowa Christian Alliance Board voted to affiliate with the national Faith and Freedom Coalition. Other speakers who addressed the over 750 attendees included, Steve Scheffler, IFFC President, Representative Steve King, Senator Chuck Grassley, and David Barton of Wallbuilders.
Reed and the FFC are also setting up shop in Florida, where they plan on opening chapters in every country in order to play a key role in the Republican Gubernatorial primary:
Florida is the largest of a half-dozen states where the Faith and Freedom Coalition now has chapters, which some have dubbed a 2.0 version of the Christian Coalition, intended to draw younger, Internet-savvy social conservatives.
“Our goal within Florida is to open a chapter in every county and mobilize social conservatives,” said Jack St. Martin, chief operating officer of Reed’s coalition. “We plan to make a difference in many elections in Florida.”
The organization plans to be involved in state legislative races along with statewide campaigns in Florida next year, including the competitive U.S. Senate Republican primary between Gov. Charlie Crist and former House Speaker Marco Rubio, St. Martin said.
Along with grassroots organizing, the Faith and Freedom Coalition is forming a federal political action committee to pour cash into campaigns across the nation, including Florida.
Bill Stephens, executive director of the state’s Christian Coalition, is joining the Florida affiliate as its leader.
“We think there are a lot of social conservatives who have stayed at home in Florida the past two election cycles because they didn’t like what they heard or saw from the candidates,” Stephens said. “We hope to change that next year.”
The new organization was created last weekend at the Florida Christian Coalition’s 20th anniversary “God and Country” celebration in Orlando. Speaking at the event was Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, who condemned President Obama’s health care initiative as “something like what the Nazis’ did.”