Traditional Values Coalition
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2012)|
Traditional Values Coalition
|Founder||Louis P. Sheldon|
|Andrea Lafferty, Executive director
Louis P. Sheldon, Chairman and CEO
|Mission||Public education and lobbying|
The Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) is an American conservative Christian organization that represents, by its estimate, over 43,000 Christian churches throughout the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., its belief is in Bible-based traditional values as a "moral code and behavior based upon the Old and New Testaments". The group considers traditional values to include a belief "that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that the Lord has given us a rule book to live by: The Bible" and a commitment to "living, as far as it is possible, by the moral precepts taught by Jesus Christ and by the whole counsel of God as revealed in the Bible". The organization was founded by the Reverend Louis P. Sheldon who is the current chairman. His daughter Andrea Sheldon Lafferty is the executive director.
The Traditional Values Coalition has been designated an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center along with other social conservative groups: the SPLC states that they spread “known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling.”
Traditional values defined
- Right to life (against abortion and euthanasia)
- Sexual fidelity in marriage and abstinence before marriage
- Opposition to homosexuality and "other deviant sexual behaviors" (see below)
- Opposition to pornography
- Patriotism (supporting national boundaries, the Armed Forces, political participation, free enterprise, limited government, low taxes, and personal responsibility.)
- Opposition to "liberal" immigration reform (reform without first securing the U.S.-Mexico border)
- Freedom of Christians attempt to convert non-Christians
- Addictive behaviors (with opposition to gambling, the legalization of addictive drugs, alcohol, and smoking)
The group then explains in paragraphs titled "Discrimination and Tolerance" and "Love and Hate" how it aims to deal with accusations that its activities are based on hatred of those not following similar beliefs. Without stating what action should be taken, the organization maintain that "Individuals may be free to pursue such behaviors as sodomy, but we will not and cannot tolerate these behaviors". Reflecting this, its stances against homosexuality and the LGBT rights movement are somewhat more confrontational than those of many groups with similar views. There are a number of smaller groups that take a harder line, most notably Westboro Baptist Church, which the TVC has criticized for many years, likening it to a false flag operation. The gap between the TVC and other groups on the Right was described by Winnie Stachelberg of the pro-gay marriage Human Rights Campaign as follows: "They’re out there every day supporting discrimination against gay people on nearly every issue, and you don’t see that so much from other groups". The Coalition took this as a compliment. By comparison, Jerry Falwell stated in his later years "Civil rights for all Americans...gay, straight, et cetera, is not a liberal or a conservative value. It’s an American value that I would think that we pretty much all agree on."
The TVC will sometimes suggest that homosexuals pose a threat of child molestation; they "have long sought unrestricted access to children for recruitment purposes", as well being more willing than others on the right to use the word sodomy in reference to gay men. Historically, the group has called for "Cities of refuge" to keep AIDS patients from infecting the general population.[self-published source?]
Lafferty's response to a Gallup poll suggesting a tilt in public opinion towards gay rights was "Jesus didn't ask for a 'show of hands' at the Sermon on the Mount. We, His followers, should not ask America to vote on which of his teachings they choose to obey."
Christian Seniors Association
The TVC operates a subsidiary under the name of "Christian Seniors Association", under the leadership of James Lafferty, the husband of Andrea Sheldon Lafferty. This group aims to provide a non-liberal alternative to the AARP. It has attracted some attention for distributing financial appeals designed to be confused with census material.[self-published source?]
Sheldon was an associate of Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist jailed for influence peddling. Sheldon lobbied members of the US Congress to kill the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. Abramoff directed his client, eLottery, to pay $25,000 the Traditional Values Coalition.
TVC has also been linked to the Mariana Islands worker abuse scandal. The organization was used by Abramoff to pay for the trip of then-Congressman Bob Schaffer to visit the island. The Denver Post reported that the TVC paid the $13,000 travel bill for the trip, organized by Abramoff's lobbying firm.
Abramoff's lobbying team would prepare questions and "factual backup" for friendly lawmakers. Trips to the island for congressmen and staff would be a key tool to "build permanent friends," the memo said.
The congressional junkets to the Mariana Islands were designed to build support in Congress among Republican lawmakers to block labor and immigration legislation for the islands, which had been found to harbor squalid working conditions and abusive labor practices.
- "Nonprofit Report for Traditional Values Coalition". GuideStar. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
- People For the American Way - Traditional Values Coalition
- Waddington, Lynda (November 23, 2010). "Groups that Helped Oust Iowa Judges Earn 'Hate Group' Designation; SPLC Adds American Family Association, Family Research Council to List". Iowa Independent. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
- Rossomando, John (December 6, 2010). "Southern Poverty Law Center: Social conservative organizations are hate groups". Daily Caller. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- Traditional Values Defined
- The trial that wasn't
- 'Pastor' Fred Phelps Aids The Homosexual Agenda
- "A Family Business". The Washington Post. May 20, 2004. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- An Overview Of Major TVC Achievements In 2004
- Falwell speaks in favor of gay civil rights - Conservative leader calls housing, employment for gays ‘basic rights’
- The Activist Supreme Court Does It Again!
- Canadian Homosexuals Have 'Open' Marriage
- http://www.traditionalvalues.org/modules.php?sid=271 Homosexual 'Day of Silence' Is Day Of Oppression For Critics of Sodomy
- http://www.traditionalvalues.org/modules.php?sid=181 A TVC statement referring to the "Sodomy Lobby"
- Traditional Values Coalition Produces A "Homosexual Agenda" To Fan The Flames Of Hatred And Discrimination In America
- Printer Friendly: Public Evenly Divided Over Morality Of Homosexual Behaviors
- http://www.aarp.org/bulletin/consumer/a2003-08-19-crusaders.html AARP on the CSA
- http://www.rightwingwatch.org/groups/christian_senio/index.html Confusing Seniors For Profit
- Schmidt, Susan and Grimaldi, James V. (October 16, 2005). "How a Lobbyist Stacked the Deck". Washington Post. p. 3.
- Riley, Michael (13 April 2008). "Schaffer, lobbyist strategies meshed". Denver Post.