Pat Robertson Quits Christian Coalition
Pat Robertson resigned yesterday as head of the Christian Coalition, which he founded in 1989 after running for president. "We are seeing an outpouring of revival power in the United States that exceeds anything that I have known in my lifetime," he said. "With the few years left to me of active service, I must focus on those things that will bring forth the greatest spiritual benefit." Ah, those things that will bring forth the greatest spiritual benefit. Like gold mining in Liberia, oil refining in California, and who-knows-what in China.

What's fascinating about this story isn't that Pat Robertson is leaving the Christian Coalition—that's to be expected, like a rat deserting a sinking ship. What is fascinating is how much harsher the conservative press is on Robertson and the Coalition than the mainstream is.

The Associated Press has its straightforward, just-the-facts presentation: Robertson quits, the Coalition doesn't have the profile it used to, etc.

The Washington Post quotes predictable Robertson foes, who offer surprisingly bland remarks. "The Christian Coalition has diminished significantly from its high-water mark, during the 1994 midterm elections," says David Smith of the gay-rights organization Human Rights Campaign. "I don't think Pat Robertson's departure is particularly significant to us." Whoa! Watch that vicious tongue! (The Post also quotes Americans United for the Separation of Church and State's Barry Lynn, but you'll have to read his comments there yourself. The guy gets quoted way too often for Weblog to give him more attention here.)

The New York Times paraphrases unnamed "political experts and critics" who blame Robertson for the Coalition's decline. He failed, ...

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