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The Christian Freedom Foundation 

"In April 1976, Sojourners, a progressive evangelical magazine, published a report on a series of secret meetings convened by key Christian Right leaders in 1974 and 1975. Sojourners traced the rise of the New Christian Right to the 1974 formation of Third Century Publishers, established for the purpose of promoting books and study guides designed to link a comprehensive conservative political agenda with born-again Christianity." A meeting in 1974 convened to solidify the financial base for Third Century Publishers, was convened by Arizona Congressman John Conlan and Bill Bright, president of Campus Crusade for Christ, with attendees including 20-25.  The initial publications "were directed at manipulating Christians to accept political action as part of Christian thought." In 1975 a meeting was convened by Bright and Conlan to "train regional director in Third Century's strategy to gradually take positions of leadership with the government." Conlan told regional directors that Bill Bright would be working behind the scenes with his Christian business contacts to secure financing. They realized they needed a tax-exempt foundation that could receive donations for the work of the "for-profit" Third Century. "They approached and eventually took over the Christian Freedom Foundation, started in the 1950s to promote conservative economics," which was in financial trouble in the 1970's. "Eventually Christian Freedom Foundation hired [CNP's] Ed McAteer as director..." [Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Religious Right, p.49-50, Sara Diamond, South End Press, Boston, MA]

The Christian Freedom Foundation backers, "... included [CNP's ]Richard DeVos (AMWAY Corp), Art DeMoss (National Liberty Corp), Arizona Congressman John Conlan, and [CNP's] Ed McAteer, CFF's field director at the time, later field director for the Conservative Caucus, and now head of the Religious Roundtable.... Richard DeVos and John Conlan took control of the Christian Freedom Foundation in 1975. Under this leadership, the foundation became the nonprofit, tax-exempt administrative hub of their political efforts to election Christians to politics..." [ Group: Campus Crusade for Christ (Alfa y Omega) File Name: ccfc.txt]

" A major transition in the religious right occurred in 1975. Richard M. DeVos, the president of Amway Corporation and, from early 1981until mid -1982, finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, and a group of conservative businessmen including [CNP's] John Talcott of Ocean Spray Cranberries and Art De Moss, board chairman of the National Liberty Insurance Corporation, took control of the tax-exempt Christian Freedom Foundation. (J. Howard Pew started the foundation in 1950 with a grant of $50,000. During the 1960's, the various Pew trusts contributed more than $2 million to CFF. In 1974, the Pew Freedom Trust contributed $300,000. DeVos, who, according to Thomas B. Mechling, has functioned for years as "the quiet Godfather and financial angel of the Religious Right Movement," contributed $25,000 to CFF in 1974.) Their purpose, apparently, was to use the foundation's tax-exempt status to further religious right organizing efforts and to channel funds into Third Century Publishers. Third Century puts out One Nation Under God, which provides a political rationale for the religious right...Art De Moss admitted publicly that the purpose of CFF was to elect Christian conservatives to Congress in 1976: "The vision is to rebuild the foundations of the Republic as it was when first founded--a 'Christian Republic.' We must return to the faith of our fathers." [Saloma, p. 53-54]

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Richard DeVos -Co- Founder of the Amway Corporation in 1959, he has been on the CNP Executive Committee (1984-85); CNP Senior Executive Committee & Past President  (1986-88 &1990-93),  and Board of Governors for 1996 and 1998. DeVos served as Chairman's Council of the Conservative Caucus. Raised in the the Christian Reformed Church, he is a graduate of Grand Rapids Christian High School and attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids. He served in the United States Air Force from 1944 to 1946. He serves as Chairman of Gospel Films, is a board member and founding Chairman for the National Organization on Disability, President of the Grand Valley State University Foundation, and a board member of Butterworth Health Corporation.

A Biography from the 2000 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, where Mr. DeVos is listed as a judge, >states "Mr Rich DeVos is the Co-Founder of Amway Corporation, one of the world's largest direct selling companies, and the owner of the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team. He also is a best-selling author and highly regarded motivational speaker. His books are Believe! and Compassionate Capitalism, and his recorded talk, Selling America, received the Alexander Hamilton Award for Economic Education from the Freedoms Foundation. He has earned numerous awards and honors, including the Horatio Alger Award, the Edison Award from the American Marketing Association, the Salvation Army's William Booth Award, the Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of the Year award, and is a 1998 inductee in the Forbes/Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame. ...."

He is on the Board of Directors of  Robert Schuller Ministries, past Co-chairman of Gerald R. Ford Foundation, served as Co-chairman of the Mutual Broadcasting Corporation. He is also helped fund Council of Trustees, Freedom Foundation and is a:

  • Fellow, World Fellowship for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
  • Member, Newcomen Society.
  • Past Board Director, Spectrum Health.
  • Past Finance Chairman, Republican National Committee.

United Nations Environment Programme Achievement Award, recipient on behalf of Amway - 1989. Amway also sponsored an "Earth Teacher" award that included a free trip to the U.N. to participate in the United Nations Enviromental Programme (UNEP) Global Youth Forum. Amway also was a sponsor of the U.N. Earth Summit--which brought the Earth Charter.

In an undated Amway brochure titled 3 Decades of Caring: AMWAY, Amway announced that it had launched "a new, five year corporate sponsorship: the Aspen Global Change Institute-which is John Denver's initiative. Amway's partners in the project included the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the United Nations Environment Programme, and the Windstar (John Denver) Foundation." 

"In the last election, Amway gave more to the GOP than any other company, including an unprecedented $2.5 million in soft money. DeVos and his wife Helen are also major contributors to Newt Gingrich and GOPAC...In 1989, the company spent a jaw-dropping $38.1 million to settle a suit by Canada's trade office that accused the company of undervaluing merchandise to escape customs duties. This topped a $25 million fine from the province of Ontario in 1983, after Amway pleaded guilty to criminal fraud..." [Mojo >

In the book, Amway Motivational Organizations: Behind the Smoke and Mirrors, by Ruth Carter we read of Amway's alliances and lawsuits. " the pro-Amway camp are well-known Republican politicians, including Ronald Reagan, George Bush, George W. Bush, Oliver North, Newt Gingrich, Woody Jenkins  and Sue Myrick. Conservative Christian leaders James Dobson, and formerly Jim and Tammi Bakker have been staunchly pro-Amway, and claim friendships with Amway founders and high-level distributors. Jerry Falwell, who receives massive donations from Amway leaders, has recently issued statements on the internet, and through Amway's voice messaging system, supporting Amway against its critics. Author Charles Paul Conn, president of Lee College, a small Christian college in Cleveland, Tennessee, has written six books about the Amway business, and was a favored speaker at Amway conventions for a number of years; and a number of  entertainers and motivational speakers support the Amway business.."

"At least 18 significant lawsuits have been filed against Amway and the highest-ranking Amway distributors. Amway has pleaded guilty to charges of customs violations against the government of Canada, and paid $25 million in fines and a $45 million settlement. (Wall Street Journal) As of this writing, Amway is defending suits brought by Procter & Gamble of Cincinnati, Ohio which involve charges of  unfair competition, fraud, and racketeering. One suit claims that the Amway business is "in reality an elaborate, illegal pyramid scheme." Additional charges include "false and misleading advertising." The suit also charges that Amway distributors are, in fact, "employees and agents of Amway," and are also "commissioned sales agents," not independent contractors, and further charges Amway with "negligent supervision" of its sales force. There have been a number of lawsuits brought by distributors and former distributors against Amway Corporation and specific Amway distributors. One recent suit involves 29 very high-level distributors, who are suing Amway and one of Amway's most successful distributors for $200 million. Another recent suit was brought by a high-level distributor against Amway and a number of other high-level distributors, seeking $50 million in compensation for lost income. There have been class action suits, and numerous individual suits. There are former distributors who claim to have lost their shirts, their marriages and their families because of the Amway business." [Back Street Publishing > with logo.htm]

Ed McAteer ~ [See; CNP articles] A former executive for Colgate-Palmolive, Ed took the role of director of the Christian Freedom Foundation upon his retirement. In 1979, he founded and was president of the Religious Roundtable Council of 56 , "a coalition of conservative business, military, political, and religious leaders working together to bring Biblical principles into public policy. The Roundtable, in its efforts to influence government, works to politicize the millions of people in the U.S. who believe in "traditional, family-based Christian values." He is also a member of the Boards of Kim Wickes Ministries (past member of the Roundtable), Wycliffe Bible Associates, and All India Prayer Fellowship. He has been a National Field Director of the Conservative Caucus and also a member of the Editorial board of the Christian Inquirer. In 1975 McAteer was an official delegate to the Global Congress on World Evangelism in Lausanne, Switzerland. McAteer is listed in the 1982 Council of National Policy (CNP) as being on the Board of Governors. By 1983 he was on the boards of the Gideons, Teen Challenge, Bill Glass Evangelistic Association, the All-Indian Prayer Fellowship, and the Asian Evangelistic Fellowship. McAteer, a press contact for the Moral Majority, along with
Howard Phillips , Richard Viguerie, and Paul Weyrich, helped Jerry Falwell start the Moral Majority.  [ Group: Religious Roundtable; Interhemispheric Resource Center]

The Religious Roundtable: "...In its statement of purpose the Religious Roundtable lists its activities as: National Affairs Briefings, national leadership seminars, rallies, media appearances, personal appearances, and the distribution of cassette tapes....The Religious Roundtable holds an annual prayer breakfast to "pray for America." Among the speakers at the February 1989 breakfast were Lt. Col. Oliver North, Ret., Dr. Ben Armstrong of the National Religious Broadcasters, Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations....In 1987 the Roundtable initiated "Mid-South Viewpoint," its first radio program. Guests on the inaugural program were presidential candidate Pat Robertson, High Frontier president General Daniel O. Graham (ret.), and Eagle forum president Phyllis Schlafly....The Roundtable sponsored a "Patriot Rally" in support of Lt. Col. Oliver North in July of 1987. Presidential assistant for policy development Gary Bauer was the featured speaker." See: CNP Joint Projects

Sojourners Magazine is found at > Sojo Net is their web site presence.

Their History from their site, states: Sojourners ministries grew out of the Sojourners Community, located in Southern Columbia Heights, an inner-city neighborhood in Washington, D.C. The community began at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, in  the early 1970s when a handful of students began meeting to discuss the relationship between their faith and political issues, particularly the Vietnam War. In 1971, the group decided to create a publication that would express their convictions and test whether other people of faith had similar beliefs. What emerged was an evangelical publication committed to social justice and peace: The Post-American....Sojourners office building houses Sojourners magazine and Call to Renewal, a network of people, churches, and organizations working to overcome poverty. We have provided leadership and support over the years to various other activities including Witness for Peace, the Pledge of Resistance, the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, the Free South Africa movement."

Another source records this about the Sojourners group: "Since 1974 a communal group of 25-35 activists have combined left- liberal, pacifist political activity with a strong dose of evangelical Christianity. In addition to publishing "Sojourners," they were also behind the "Witness for Peace" program in Nicaragua.  Sojourners" began as the People's Christian Coalition in Chicago (1971-1973), which published "Post-American" before moving to Washington. They described themselves as a "chief-less" tribe of "university strike leaders, seminarians, whites, blacks, college students, professors and artists." It was a cross between the Jesus Movement and the New Left, with the Bible preferred over Marx." 

Call to Renewal >> is another ecumenical venture that incorporates politics and the reconstruction of society in it's mission. In their History of the movement, "...The ideological polarization of the churches will not contribute to the spiritual discernment of politics the country most needs. Inflamed rhetoric and name calling is no substitute for real and prayerful dialogue between different constituencies with legitimate concerns and a gospel of love which can bring people together. We are Evangelical voices who seek a biblical approach to politics, not an ideological agenda. We are Catholic voices who assert our own church's social teachings as a vital alternative to both the Left and the Right. We are Orthodox voices who have long stressed the role of spirituality in nurturing culture. We are African American, Latino, white, Asian, and Native American church voices whose commitment to personal faith and social justice leads us to visions of transformation beyond both political parties. We are voices from all the Protestant churches who feel represented neither by old religious liberalism nor new right fundamentalism.

...Politics cannot solve all our problems. Spiritual renewal will be required-of our personal values and communal virtues, of our religious congregations and neighborhood organizations, of our educational institutions and economic enterprises. But genuine spiritual renewal must not be self-righteous or mean-spirited. And spiritual sensitivity must replace ideological predictability as the touchstone of religion in politics. Our definitions of politics must be widened to include new solutions and leadership. In particular, new community-based and value-centered solutions must be found to our seemingly intractable problems. The wall between "public" and "private" solutions must come down in favor of new partnerships and configurations that involve everyone. And our religious communities must become meeting places and experimentation grounds where those new solutions are shaped and carried out in partnership with other cultural, economic, and political institutions..."

Just some of the Initiating Endorsers and Members of "Cry For Renewal" include the following:

  • NATHAN O. BAXTER, Dean, Washington National Cathedral
  • DAVID BECKMAN, president, Bread for the World
  • SCOTT W. BOLINDER, Zondervan Publishing House
  • MANFRED BRAUCH, president, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • VERY REV. GERALD L. BROWN SS, president, Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men's Institutes
  • RT. REV. EDMOND L. BROWNING, presiding bishop, Episcopal Church
  • CALVIN O. BUTTS III, Abyssinian Baptist Church
  • MARGARET CAFFERTY PBVM, executive or, Leadership Conference of Women Religious
  • JOAN BROWN CAMPBELL, general secretary, National Council of Churches
  • TONY CAMPOLO, evangelical author and preacher
  • JAMES H. COSTEN, Interdenominational Theological Center
  • WILLIAM DYRNESS, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN, founder and president, Children's Defense Fund
  • REV. DR. MILTON B. EFTHIMIOU, ecumenical officer, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of N. and S. America
  • TED ENGSTROM, president emeritus, World Vision See: World Vision
  • DR. JAMES FORBES, Riverside Church > See; Rockefeller
  • RICHARD FOSTER, president, Renovaré >Renovaré and the Christian Mystic
  • MILLARD FULLER, president, Habitat for Humanity
  • BISHOP THOMAS J. GUMBLETON, Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit

  • PETE HAMMOND, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship >See: Gary North; R. J. Rushdoony
  • REV. RAY HAMMOND, Ten-Point Coalition
  • STEVE HAYNER, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
  • J. BRYAN HEHIR, Harvard Center for International Affairs
  • WILL L. HERZFELD, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • LUTHER HOLLAND JR., Chicago Metropolitan Association, United Church of Christ
  • GRETCHEN HULL, Christians for Biblical Equality
  • LOIS McKINNEY, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • KAREN MAINS and DAVID MAINS, Chapel of the Air Ministries
  • REV. MICHAEL A. MATA, Urban Leadership Institute, Claremont School of Theology
  • CALVIN MORRIS, vice-president, Interdenominational Theological Center
  • BISHOP P. FRANCIS MURPHY, Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore
  • J.I. PACKER, theologian See; Evangelicals & Catholics Together
  • JOHN PERKINS, Christian Community Development Association
  • REV. GREGORY REISERT OFM Cap., executive director, Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men's Institutes
  • REV. EUGENE RIVERS, Azuza Christian Community
  • RICHARD ROHR, OFM, author
  • BRUCE RYSKAMP, Zondervan Publishing House
  • REV. DR. PAUL SHERRY, president, United Church of Christ
  • RON SIDER, president, Evangelicals for Social Action
  • TOM SINE, author and lecturer
  • SR. CARLOTTA ULLMER, Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross
  • ELDIN VILLAFANE, professor, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
  • JIM WALLIS, Sojourners


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