EXCERPT from Simon Brown | Alternet:
The movement known as the Religious Right is the number-one threat to church-state separation in America. This collection of organizations is well funded and well organized; it uses its massive annual revenue and grassroots troops to undermine the wall of separation in communities nationwide.
Americans United staff members have carefully researched this movement, and here are the 10 Religious Right groups that pose the greatest challenges to church-state separation.
1. Jerry Falwell Ministries/ Liberty University/Liberty Counsel
Although Jerry Falwell, a Religious Right icon and founder of the Moral Majority, died in 2007, his empire is going strong thanks mostly to Liberty University, a Lynchburg, Va., school now run by his son, Jerry Falwell Jr.
2. Pat Robertson Empire
Known for his years of involvement in far-right politics, TV preacher Pat Robertson has forged a vast Religious Right empire anchored by the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Robertson also runs Regent University and a right-wing legal group, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).
3. Focus on the Family (includes its 501(c)(4) political affiliate CitizenLink)
Fundamentalist Christian James Dobson founded Focus on the Family to offer “biblical” solutions to family problems.
4. Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund)
The ADF may have changed its name, but it still promotes a familiar Religious Right agenda. The Arizona-based organization, which was founded by far-right TV and radio preachers, attacks church-state separation, blasts gay rights, assails reproductive freedom and seeks to saturate the public schools with its narrow version of fundamentalism.
5. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Lobbying Expenditures: $26,662,111
The USCCB for years has lobbied in Washington, D.C., to make the hierarchy’s ultra-conservative stands on reproductive rights, marriage, school vouchers and other public policies the law for all to follow. This year, the USCCB escalated its efforts in the “culture war” arena, forming the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty.
6. American Family Association
Founded by the Rev. Donald Wildmon, the Tupelo, Miss.-based AFA once focused on battling “indecent” television shows. When that failed, the group branched out to advocate for standard Religious Right issues such as opposing gay rights, promoting religion in public schools and banning abortion.
7. Family Research Council
Revenue: $14,840,036 (includes 501(c)(4) affiliate FRC Action)
This group, an offshoot of Focus on the Family, is headed by GOP operative and ex-Louisiana legislator Tony Perkins. It is now the leading Religious Right organization in Washington. Every year, FRC Action sponsors a “Values Voter Summit” to promote far-right politicians and rally Religious Right forces nationwide.
8. Concerned Women for America
Revenue: $10,352,628 (includes 501(c)(4) affiliate CWA Legislative Action Committee)
Founded to counter feminism, Concerned Women for America (CWA) claims to be “the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.” Its mission is to “bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.”
9. Faith & Freedom Coalition
This 501(c)(4) advocacy group was founded by former Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed. He formed the organization after his run for lieutenant governor in Georgia was derailed because of his ties to disgraced casino lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
10. Council for National Policy
The Council for National Policy exists to do just one thing: organize meetings of right-wing operatives, Religious Right leaders and wealthy business interests at posh hotels around the country to share ideas, plot strategy and vet GOP presidential candidates. Membership is by invitation only, and the group seeks no media attention.