Editor's Note: At a closed-door session of the Christian Coalition's "Road to Victory" Conference Sept. 13 in Atlanta, Coalition founder and Chairman Pat Robertson told state leaders the group's agenda for the next four years. To the applause and laughter of his audience, TV preacher and multi-millionaire business executive Robertson quipped that he was pleased to be addressing "fellow radicals" who are "dangerously seeking to overturn the established order and take power away from a bunch of liberals and give it to those who love this country. "

A tape of the Robertson address was obtained by Americans United for Separation of Church and State. The following are excerpts from the speech:

Robertson made it clear that his address was intended exclusively for his top activists. Early in his remarks, he said: "This is sort of speaking in the family. It's speaking out of my heart and not from any kind of a prepared text. If there's any press here, would you please shoot yourself. Leave. Do something." [Audience laughter]

Robertson also outlined the Coalition's strategy for winning elections, comparing the group to the most notorious political machines of the past including the Tammany machine in New York, the Byrd machine in Virginia, the Hague machine in Jersey City and the Chicago Democratic machine.

"We've got a playbook at the Christian Coalition. It is very simple. We're the only ones that are executing it and it's called precinct organization. The precinct is the neighborhood where people live. If you're able to identify people in those precincts who are sympathetic to you or to the causes we share. If we can't find stuff that they like that we like, then find things that they like that we can get on board with so we're coming together and we're working with them and we identify who they are and we bring them out to the polls to vote.

"And when they come out to vote, we beat the other guys because they aren't organized that way. They can't get volunteers that have the passion and the love that our people have. And that's why we are so dangerous to the liberals. Because the liberal enthusiasm is just about one inch thick, and ours goes down to the depths, all the way to the depths of the Rock, [which] is Jesus Christ. It's a different mentality.

"But we need now to move into organization. We developed and have developed this fantastic computer model where we can identify all the voters in a particular area. We can give people maps. They can look precisely at who people are by issues. It's very sophisticated and will get more so. So we can put into your hands weapons that are incredible. The basic, though, is that we stay with the organizational model and continue to work on precinct organization.

"Just take a state like Virginia for example. That's the one where I live; it could be any state. Say you've got six or seven million people in the population. Well, if there's a gubernatorial race, state senate race, the chances are the maximum vote turnout out of all the people will be maybe 1.7 million people. Maybe something like that. So that means basically that 850,000 to 900,000 people win.

"All right. If you have as many as 9,000 people in the state who you're in touch with and they in turn are able to contact a hundred other people and find out who they are and make sure they get to the polls, you automatically win every election. You automatically have a victory. It's just that simple. It's not higher math. I can't do higher math. But I can do adding, subtraction and multiplication and that's what it is. One will put a hundred in place, and two a thousand and so forth .

"That's how it works. It does mean people have got to carry out the basic plan. It does mean in the next year or so -- before the 1998 election -- you mobilize in, let's say, Virginia. You get 9,000 people total and they in turn are trained how to contact a hundred people in their various neighborhoods.

"Now you know the old thing, there are 175,000 precincts in the country and we wanted 10 trained workers in each of them. That's about [enough] to pretty much take the nation. But we're talking about a very simple thing. When you get it down to the school board races and the city council races and the legislative races, it is amazing. A few thousand votes make the difference. Sometimes the total vote in a state legislative race won't be more than 4 or 5,000. I'm sure [Christian Coalition National Field Director] D.J. [Gribbin] is here; he's got all the numbers better than me. But that's the idea.

"So if you have a couple thousand people, you can do wonderful things. But it means executing the basic plan, where you have organizational structure, where people are trained and they've got to be kept motivated because they get tired in service. I'm sure you know.

"We're kind of in a swamp period right now and need to take off for '98. So this is what I urge everybody to do is basics, back to basics. And at the national office we'll do everything we can to get the tools in your hands to enable you to do it. The people need to be pumped up of course. It does mean you've got to be recruiting, because people get a little tired and they want to rest. You've got to put others in. Then they come out big for the election, elections get them all excited, and then they kind of want to go back home again. You know, it's a cyclical thing.

"If we have that basic core and we have identified people, this was the power of every machine that has ever been in politics. You know, the Tammany Halls and Hague and the Chicago machine and the Byrd machine in Virginia and all the rest of them. They have identified core of people of people who have bought into the values whatever they were, and they worked the election and brought people out to vote. The other people were diffuse and fragmented and they lost and the people that had the core won. I mean, this isn't complicated, but this is what we've got to do.

"Now God has put a mandate on us because this nation is in crisis. I know we are wealthy. There is no question about it. But I do not believe that God is going to allow this nation to go unpunished forever if we have slaughtered 35 million innocent babies. He's not going to do it. In a sense we are like the watchmen on the wall that may be the ones that can bring the burden if you will, the wrath of God from this nation, if somehow we can reverse course and cry out to Him for forgiveness but change our ways. [Applausel So that's the game plan."

"There's one other thing that I want to talk about. This is getting more sensitive but I think you ought to hear me. This is in the family. "You know, the principle of warfare that has been used forever by those who wish to beat another enemy is, you know, divide and conquer. If you can split their forces, that was Sun Tzu's nnaxim you know, whenever possible avoid what he calls a juncture of forces. Don't ever let your enemy join together. So always get yourself in the middle to keep them split. And that technique we can use on others, but it's also used very effectively on us.

"Now, we'll be coming in, in the next year or so, into a presidential primary. And so, we're nice people and we think this is just 'we'll just do what we want to do.' So this one likes this candidate, this one likes that candidate and this one likes the other candidate. And so we have absolutely no effectiveness when the primary comes. None whatsoever. Because we have split our votes among 4 or 5 people and so the other guy wins.

"And we have had a couple of so-called moderates. And moderates lose. You know. They lose. And we've had two major losers and I don't want any more losers, I want a winner. [Applause] And we need to come together on somebody who reflects our values and has the stature to be president. Not somebody who can make a good speech, but somebody who can truly lead this nation. He has to be responsible.

"I mean, this is the biggest corporation in the world. I'm not too sure I'd want to take on a trillion and a half dollar business. That's pretty hard. I've run some enterprises that are fairly large with a number of employees, but this is huge. And with 2.6 or 2.7 million employees and the responsibilities involved with overseas, the responsibilities with the Federal Reserve, the judiciary, all of the federal agencies and the press hammering at you. I mean it is not an easy job at all. And unless you're just a pathological liar, it's difficult for you. [Laughter/Applause]

"We've got to find somebody who is responsible. I heard one of the candidates. I mean this was our meeting a couple of years ago. And he stood up there and I was in the back. And he made a statement about what he would do as president and I thought, 'Get off it. You're a liar. You can't possibly do what you just told these people.' Everybody was cheering and everything. It couldn't happen. I knew better; it couldn't happen, you know.

"So, we've got to be knowledgeable. We're not a bunch of ingenues anymore. We're a seasoned group of warriors. And we have to know what we're dealing with. We can't be swayed just by rhetoric. We've got to understand we want somebody who shares our values, would be honest, honorable, responsible and capable of leading this nation. It's a big responsibility. I told [Coalition President} Don Hodel when he joined us, 'My dear friend, I want to hold out to you the possibility of selecting the next president of the United States, because I think that's what we have in this organization.

"And I believe we can indeed -- I don't think there's any question that Ozone Al [Gore] is out of it. I mean, he's gone. [Laughter/Applause] We've got one that smoked but didn't inhale. Now we've got one that only made a few calls, it was only 70 and there was no controlling legal authority, I mean, please. He's going to be the butt of every joke on every talk show and every comedy show in America. Then you've got [House Minority Leader Richard] Gephardt, who's probably worse, in the pocket of the labor unions and we don't need to somebody like that.

"So I don't think at this time and juncture the Democrats are going to be able to take the White House unless we throw it away. But we have to get a responsible person and we have to realize some strategy. So I just say that to know that we've all got to pray about it. And say 'God, we want your man, we want your man, we want your man.' And the Bible says He lifts up one, He lifts up another. Promotion doesn't come from the east or the west or the south, but the Lord lifts up one. Promotion comes from the Lord. And we've got to recognize that He has put His hand on somebody.

"So I would just urge everybody to be much in prayer. But whatever you do, don't let some fast talker sway your heart. We've got to think not only with our hearts but our spirits and our minds as well as to what we're looking for.

"We need to be like a united front. I know that all these laws say that we've got to be careful, but there's nothing that says we can't have a few informal discussions among ourselves. [Chuckles] Maybe it won't be the 'Coalition,' but I'm a free American citizen. I wouldn't mind writing you personal letters at my expense. I'll pay for the stamps and send you some others, let you folks carry on. I honestly think as the time approaches and there are many wonderful people [running for president], and we love 'em all, not all, but some. [Laughter] I just think that's where we are coming out.

"But we said back in 1990 when we had the first Road to Victory, I laid out some goals for the Coalition. We said we'd have conservative control of Congress by '96; we did it in '94. We've had a major presence in one of the major parties; we still haven't gotten the influence I think we ought to have inside the Republican Party; we're still not totally like we should be. And we also said by the year 2000 we'd have the presidency and that's to me the next goal. We can hold the Congress, get in some more good people into the Congress and into the governors' mansions and then focus in on the White House.

"Because what we're seeing now is probably not what we want. We cannot constantly be in the appeasement mode among our people. If you don't stand for something then you'll fall for anything. So, we have to give some backbone to people about the issues we care about right now, those that are in there. We need to make sure that we get good people in in the years to come and not turn the control of the Congress back into the hands of those who are more to the left.

"And we need to just pray very hard to get the presidency. Now, it will happen, not by rhetoric, and not by good intentions It will happen by hard work. 'The diligent shall bear rule, but the slothful shall put to forced labor.' We have been diligent. We have worked, we have organized, we have notified people, we have walked the precincts. We've done all the things that are needed. And when we do it, nobody else, frankly, is doing it

"We're up against an established, what they call the political establishment There's a lot of money on the one hand. The press is not particularly our friends. We have some entrenched interests, certainly the bureaucracy in Washington is entrenched and probably needs to be dynamited out of there some of the time. It's not easy. But nevertheless I believe the time has come.

"And with all the technology. We've got the internet, we've got the various ways of communicating now with people so simply and easily. I think [former Speaker of the House] Tom Foley got beat because of a guy doing a program on the internet and doing things on the fax network. So he didn't know what hit him. He's the Speaker of the House and the next thing you know he's gone (And [Foley said] 'Wha', wha', what did they do?') What they did was the space age communication technology that is talking to people. We need to get out wherever they are, wherever they're talking, and get our message out there with them.

"So, we're going to do everything we can to move into high tech. But at the same time, we keep before us the basic goal is that little by little by little by little, we're going to win! And so this is 'Road to Victory,' I commend you for the work you're doing. I thank God for you. I thank God for our new leadership in the Coalition, and I want you to know that all I see ahead of us if we keep together and we keep working is ultimate victory in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless all of you.

Robertson reported on his legal division's work on behalf of a New York congregation that lost its tax exemption for publishing newspaper advertisements in 1992 saying it's a sin to vote for Bill Clinton for president. He said progress is being made in the case, and his attorneys are preparing to take a deposition from Marcus Owens, the chief of the IRS tax-exempt branch.

Shortly afterward, Robertson launched into a report about the Christian Coalition's own difficulty in winning a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status from the IRS.

"The IRS has not yet granted the full 501 (c)(4) tax-exempt status to the Christian Coalition. They sent to do the audit a great big Valkyrie-like woman [who] came to do a deposition with me wearing a great big National Organization of Woman [sic] belt buckle, and after this, she said the Christian Coalition is terrible, it shouldn't have any 501(c)(4) status. So she left the IRS. Here's what she did; she went to Pennsylvania and opened up a lesbian bookstore. Now some of these columnists are just salivating to get that information. You talk about selective enforcement and biased administration of the law. I mean, that's a real scandal. But's that's the honest truth. It's time to begin to say, 'Enough of this, enough of this. We're not going to take it.'"

Robertson named as a top priority a "major push" for passage of U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook's "Religious Freedom Amendment," a constitutional amendment that would allow organized prayer in public schools, require tax support for religious schools and other church enterprises and permit government endorsement and support of majority faiths. Robertson noted that he pushed for such an amendment as long ago as 1982 and charged that opposition from liberal Republicans (including Lowell Weicker and Robert Packwood) was a key factor in the proposal's failure. He said Religious Right forces have aligned behind the Istook measure and a major push should be conducted in 1998.

"I have seen a steamroller of liberalism trying to crush faith out of our life. It's all under the rubric of 'separation of church and state,' and you know that's a distortion of what the framers of the Constitution intended. They never intended to take God out of the public life in America. These people have used that to beat us up and take us out of any kind of voice in our society.

"Now is the time to get back in and say we deserve the same privileges as everybody else. Christians are not second-class citizens; we're going to fight for our rights. And if we have to get a constitutional amendment to do it, we'll do it. It's not that hard once you get the Congress to vote. We just tell these guys, 'Look, we put you in power in 1994, and we want you to deliver. We're tired of temporizing. Don't give us all this stuff about you've got a different agenda. This is your agenda. This is what you're going to do this year. And we're going to hold your feet to the fire while you do it.' [Applause]

"Folks, with an election year coming up, you don't have to be modest and timid the way you talk. We're not going to be bomb throwers. We're not going to be crazies and make everybody mad. But we're going to say, 'Gentlemen, it's time. You know, our time has come. This is what we want and we're going to demand it.'

"I think we've been far too reluctant. I've been the good guy, always 'oh, yeah, whatever We want to be team players.' Well, sure, yeah. But it's time for us to start leading the team." [Applause]

Robertson identified the National Education Association as a major political force whose power must broken. He cited voucher subsidies for religious and other private schools as an immediate tool to achieve that goal, endorsing as a starting point a voucher experiment for the District of Columbia now being considered in Congress.

"The American education system is a disaster. It is a disaster. These educators have thought that the schools were social laboratories to train citizens for the brave new order that they think is what they want. They don't care if the kids can read and write as long as they hold power. Perhaps the most powerful institution in our society -- we like to say we are when the press is listening but the truth is we've got to be real. The National Education Association is without question the most powerful political force in America. And we have got to do something to unlodge them from their positions of power. [Applausel

"Interestingly enough, the place where this may come to pass is none other than our nation's capital, which is a basket case under [Mayor] Marion Barry. The schools are so bad the federal government has simply had to move in and take them over. What a wonderful place now to have a demo project of the success of vouchers. You can say, 'This isn't one of the states; this is just this province that is in such trouble like Haiti, and maybe we can go in and make it happen.' [Laughter] But this is an initiative that if we begin to play it smart, we can see the gradual erosion of this [NEA] power."

Robertson also discussed his support for a congressional measure cutting off trade and aid with countries that engage in religious persecution. He said the countries targeted would include not only Sudan and others that are in the news, but also nations such as Germany, where he said evangelical churches are running into problerns with former communist bureaucrats.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

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