The Triumphant Return of the Christian Coalition

Times have been tough for the Christian Coalition in recent years.  Since its meteoric rise to prominence under the helm of Ralph Reed in the1990s, the Coalition has become but a shell of its former self since Reed’s departure in 1997. 

While Reed struck out on his own only to see his once promising political career strangled by his ties to corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff , the organization he built has likewise struggled to stay in business, losing nearly all of its relevance in the political arena:

After Reed’s 1997 exit, the Christian Coalition continued to deteriorate and, by 1999, found itself $2.5 million in debt, as well as facing the repayment of back taxes after having had its tax-exempt status revoked and fines for having improperly supported Newt Gingrich’s election and sharing its mailing list with right-wing Senate candidate Oliver North.

The Coalition moved its headquarters to Washington, DC in 2000 and just a few months later was sued by 10 black employees who alleged that they had been forced to eat in a segregated section and enter the office through the back door. The Coalition settled the suit for a reported $300,000 and its decline continued.  Revenue shrank from a high of $26 million in 1996 to just $1.3 million in 2004 and the organization soon found itself facing lawsuits from landlords, lawyers, and clients for failure to pay its bills.  In 2002, nearly broke and in shambles, the organization was forced to relocate to South Carolina, and was even sued by its moving company as it tried to collect $1,890 on an unpaid bill

Since then, the Christian Coalition only seems to be able to generate press when it gets embroiled in embarrassing fights, like when state chapters sever their ties with the national organization and then start suing each other or when they try to hire a new president to turn the organization around, only to have him resign before ever taking office because they are unwilling to consider broadening their agenda.  

Still, the Coalition continues to limp along, occasionally getting some press for its efforts on behalf of “net neutrality” but, beyond that, doing nobody knows what since they haven’t even issued a press release in six months.

But just because the Coalition has been dormant for years doesn’t mean they are not longer capable of quickly reacting to breaking developments that threaten this nation:

Miley Cyrus should be held accountable for taking the semi-topless Vanity Fair photos, Michele Combs, a spokesperson for Christian Coalition of America, tells

“Disney should reprimand her,” Combs says.

Combs is calling for a televised press conference, where “Miley should say it was a mistake and that kids have to be very careful at such a young age.” (Cyrus issued a statement, apologizing; the Disney Channel claims the magazine “manipulated” her, which Vanity Fair denies.)

“Kids look up to her,” Combs adds. “Something needs to be done.”

Miley, 15, also admitted in the interview that Sex and the City is her favorite TV show.

“If she’s gonna go out there and represent wholesome values, she needs to be more accountable for her actions,” Combs says.

Combs adds that famed photographer Annie Leibovitz has “a reputation for doing racy things … Miley should have thought this out before she agreed to go in front of Annie.”

She said the photos — as well as other ones of a lingerie-clad Cyrus that recently hit the Internet — are “very disappointing … sad.

The photos are “gonna hurt a lot of people,” Combs says. “It’s gonna hurt her image.