Hoping to build on Republican gains in 2004, the Rev. Jerry Falwell has announced the launch of a new voter mobilization effort that he claims will register 10 million new evangelical voters for the 2006 and 2008 elections.
In a mid-December message to supporters, Falwell announced the formation of yet another national organization, this one called the Moral Majority Coalition (MMC). He said the group will work through “the new Helms School of Government” at the Falwell-founded Liberty University. The new school is named for Jesse Helms, former North Carolina senator and a conservative firebrand.
Falwell says the new voter mobilization drive, “Operation: Christian Vote,” will rely on Liberty students who will spend their summers working with friendly pastors to register voters.
The drive, he boasted, “can result in an overwhelming victory for socially, politically and fiscally conservative candidates in coming elections and it may be the catalyst that saves our nation. I am seeking nothing less than overwhelming victory at the ballot box!”
Two weeks later, Falwell sent out another appeal to supporters. This time, he begged for contributions to fend off groups like Americans United and vowed to lead the MMC for four years.
“We must remain engaged in the battle…or continue to watch our rights evaporate,” Falwell wrote.
Critics said the messages are probably just fund-raising stunts. Americans United noted that after the elections, Falwell claimed to be forming a new group called the Faith and Values Coalition. Nothing has been heard from it since.
Over the years, Falwell has claimed to form numerous other groups. Most quickly disappeared. These include the I Love America Committee, Mission America, the National Committee for the Restoration of the Judeo-Christian Ethic and People of Faith.
When Falwell announced the formation of the Faith and Values Coalition in November, Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn was quick to respond.
“Falwell keeps threatening to reanimate the Moral Majority,” quipped Lynn. “Has he never seen an old horror movie? Every time they bring Frankenstein’s monster back, it just gets worse. Some things should be left dead and buried.”