(photo credit: Christian Coalition of America web site)
In an unprecedented move, a major conservative
Christian advocacy group in the United States will
include the voting records of American legislators on Israel in its biennial Christian voting guide.
The Christian Voter Guide, which is put out by
right-wing 'Christian Coalition of America' every two years ahead of American Congressional and Presidential elections has previously only included American domestic social issues, with the guide now branching out to deal with American's foreign relations for the first time.
"It is very important for people of faith to know
where our legislators stand on support for Israel," said Roberta Combs, President of the 'Christian Coalition of America' in a telephone interview Tuesday with The Jerusalem Post from her home in South Carolina. "Our heart is with Israel," she added.
Founded in 1989 by the Reverend Pat Robertson, the
Christian Coalition of America is one of the largest and most active Christian organizations in the United States, boasting some 2 million supporters.
Prior to last year's presidential elections, the
Christian Coalition of America distributed 70 million such voter guides throughout the United States.
Over the last decade the guide has dealt with how
legislators have voted on such issues as abortion,
human cloning, homosexuality, and euthanasia, all of which the group vehemently opposes, as well as school prayer, which they strongly espouse, positions which have put them at odds with the predominantly liberal mainstream American Jewish community.
Most recently, the group, which includes Christian
fundamentalists, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Roman
Catholics and members of mainstream Protestant
churches, was involved in ensuring that the words
Christmas appear in American stores as opposed to the more nondenominational 'holiday.'
The decision to include legislator's voting records on Israel in the Christian Voter's Guide was arranged at the urging of the Knesset's increasingly-influential 'Christian Allies Caucus,' and comes at a time of increasing cooperation between Israel and Christian supporters of Israel worldwide, a goal the cross-party parliamentary lobby works to further.
Calling the move "a huge accomplishment" for the
supporters of Israel, Caucus Co-chairman MK Yuri
Shtern (Yisrael Beitenu) said Tuesday that the
unprecedented decision to include the American
legislators' voting records on Israel in the Christian voter's guide was a "statement of faith" in the State of Israel.
"We cannot only rely on those who feel that the US has to support Israel for conjectural reasons, but we want [support for] the State of Israel [to be] based on shared values," he said.
"This puts Israel at center-stage in the voting
pattern of the Christian community in America," said caucus director Josh Reinstein.