Georgia Christian Coalition branch splits from national group - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia Christian Coalition branch splits from national group

September 26, 2006

Lee County -- Georgia's branch of the Christian Coalition is splitting from the national group. Saying the group has shifted from its core issues, Georgia is the 4th state to leave the national political action group.

Most Southwest Georgia Christians say they decide for themselves how they will vote,  not from a national lobbyist group. Steve Collins says he was a member of the Christian Coalition ten or 15 years ago, but no longer supports the political group. But Collins still uses his Christian values to make his election decisions. Collins said "I vote for the man who usually stands upon the principals of God's Word, and you can't go wrong there."

 Georgia's Christian Coalition board voted to split from the national group two weeks ago. Sadie Fields said "In order to preserve the integrity of the organization and the mission, keep the mission intact, this was the best thing we could do."

 Field's says the national group recently took stances on minimum wage, environment, and Internet law. Georgia's leaders say that is not what they are dedicated to. Fields said "We are strong on life, very pro-life. very pro-family. Want to ease the tax burden on the family. " \

Fields say the Georgia Christian Coalition has 65-thousand active members. Nationally the coalition claims two million members. The Christian Coalition is one million dollars in debt, and received bad press when former Director Ralph Reed, who ran for Georgia's lieutenant Governor, was tied to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and campaign funds from casinos. Fields says she has received no complaints about the split. "The reaction has been very favorable. I have not had one negative email or phone call."

 Steve Collins says he will vote in November, and he hopes more Christians will do the same. Collins said "I believe Christians ought to get more involved, and therefore pick a candidate who stands upon the principals."

And he says the Christian Coalition's well known voter guideline booklet will not be a major factor in his election decisions.

 Alabama, Iowa, and Ohio's state organizations have also separated from the Christian Coalition of America

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