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Political Advocacy Tracker is a roundup of what Christian activist organizations have been talking about over the last week.

"A Pledge to America"

In a move reminiscent of the 1994 "Contract with America," Republican leaders revealed their legislative agenda for the next congress. "A Pledge to America" is heavy on economic and fiscal policies, but it gives scant attention to issues that are a priority for social conservatives, including sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious freedom.

The only policy proposal that addresses a social issue is a pledge to ban funding of abortion. This proposal would codify President Obama's executive order issued as part of a health care reform compromise with pro-life Democrats. The Republicans are not proposing stronger restrictions, but they would make the policy more permanent by making it a law.

The only other nod to social conservatives is the following statement in the preamble:

"We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values."

Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins said the statement was strong but could be stronger.

"While it could have played a bigger role in the Pledge, the Republicans' commitment to life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty is a major step in the right direction," Perkins said. "While I'm disappointed that popular policies like the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) were not more clearly defined in the document, the Pledge is still a significant improvement over the 1994 Contract with America. At least now, Republicans are acknowledging that values issues should be a key part of the conservative agenda."

Richard Land, president of the Southern ...

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September 2010

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