Christian author Tim LaHaye plans to move from San Diego to Washington, D.C., next month to establish a permanent office for his American Coalition for Traditional Values (ACTV) and to set up a political lobby. At a meeting last month in Washington, LaHaye met with ACTV board members to plot a strategy for boosting legislative goals, including a Human Life Amendment, religious freedom guarantees, antipornography laws, and a voluntary school prayer amendment.

LaHaye’s coalition includes 31 evangelical and fundamentalist leaders representing large constituencies of their own. They hope to increase their ranks to a total of 50 conservative Christian leaders. Prominent television preachers on the board include Jerry Falwell, Jim Bakker, and Jimmy Swaggart. Southern Baptist Convention president Charles Stanley and Assemblies of God general superintendent Thomas Zimmerman also serve on the board.

ACTV took shape before the presidential election to conduct a voter registration drive using a network of 300 volunteers from churches across the country. “When we had our first meeting, we said we were going to pursue a plan of starting in on one or two issues and hammering away until we saw the country move in a moral direction legislatively,” LaHaye said.

In addition, ACTV will try to interest Christians in government to the point where they consider civil service careers or party politics. For funding, LaHaye said the organization will not use direct-mail solicitations, which would compete with the ministry appeals of board members. ACTV will look to foundation grants, among other sources, for financial support.

ACTV’s tax status requires it to remain strictly nonpartisan, so a lobbying arm will be established to advocate specific bills ...

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