Conservative Christian Activists Meet for '06 Election Strategy

Conservative Christian activists met on Tuesday in Colorado Springs to discuss strategies for the 2006 midterm elections, focusing on increasing Christian voter registration, and reaching out to minorities, according to a report.

Focus on the Family hosted the summit, where up to 30 attendants gathered. One participant from the Family Research Council said that representatives came from the Southern Baptist Convention, National Right to Life, the Abstinence Clearinghouse, and Fidelis, a conservative Catholic group, according to the Denver Post.

Representatives from “like-minded” groups met to discuss Christian work in politics, according to Peter Brandt, senior director of government and public policy for Focus on the Family. He would not state what strategies would be used, according to the report.

Greg DiNapoli, director of state and local affairs for the FRC, mentioned that the same-sex marriage issue caused voters to turn out in larger numbers last year. He added that a federal marriage amendment was still needed.

An amendment to change the U.S. constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman would require 38 of 50 states to approve. In the recent Nov. 8 elections, over 75 percent of voters in Texas chose to amend their state constitution with such a measure, thereby making the state the 19th to do so. In 2006 more states may be added to that list.

To keep their tax-exemption as religious non-profit organizations, the groups cannot be involved in endorsing particular candidates or parties. However, the organizations may engage in voter registration.

“A lot of it was trying to get pastors more involved and making them understand (that) to get members just registered doesn't jeopardize their (nonprofit) status," DiNapoli said.

Brandt told the Denver Post that getting voters interested in the 2006 will be a challenge because interest tends to be lower in mid-term elections.

"Our view is that good stewardship has a civic component to it," Brandt said. "It's to our interest that Christians continue to feel called to that."