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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Christian Action Alabama same folks in new package

One of the oldest marketing techniques on the books is to take a shop-worn product and repackage it in a more attractive container.

Thus, the Christian Coalition of Alabama is now officially the Christian Action Alabama as part of its breakup with the Christian Coalition of America.

Call this group what you like, but it has political baggage it needs to jettison. It gives Christianity a bad name.

Alabama Coalition President John Giles said the national organization became too liberal and his group pulled out. National President Roberta Combs explained the label: "We were trying to broaden our base and look at issues affecting the family," she said.

Last year, a majority of the members of the Legislature said the group operates too much in shadows of politics and needs to reform. Revelation of more than $1 million coming from out-of-state Indian casinos to help defeat the 1999 lottery referendum angered legislators.

They tried to pass legislation that would require any group attempting to influence lawmakers to disclose the source of their money. The Coalitions' supporters killed the legislation, however.

Most of that money went to the Christian Coalition, which at first denied receiving the money. But the Coalition is best known for the voter guides it distributes before elections and which it bases on misleading questions and partial answers.

For example, Gloria Dolbare lost her bid to replace her late husband, Rep. Jeff Dolbare, D-Bigbee, in a special election. The Christian Coalition distributed a flier implying she supported gay marriage because she didn't answer their question on the subject.

Christian Action Alabama promises to be the same folks continuing to operate away from public scrutiny, and misusing religion to give itself credibility.

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