The Christian Coalition is an American political organization that was founded in 1989 by religious broadcaster and former Republican presidential candidate [[Pat Robertson]]. The group's primary goal is to advocate for [[conservative]] Christian values and to mobilize religious voters to participate in the political process. The Christian Coalition was created in response to what its founders perceived as a decline in traditional moral values in the United States. They aimed to be a powerful voice for Christian conservatives in American politics, striving to influence public policy, legislation, and elections on both the local and national levels. The organization's primary objectives include promoting pro-life policies, defending traditional marriage, attacking public schools and school boards, and supporting limited government intervention in social and economic matters. The Christian Coalition has been active in various political campaigns and has provided grassroots support for many conservative candidates. In the early 1990s, under the leadership of executive director [[Ralph Reed]], the Christian Coalition gained significant influence within the [Republican Party]( The group played a crucial role in the [[Newt Gingrich]] Republican Revolution of 1994, which led to the party's control of both the [[House of Representatives]] and the [[Senate]] for the first time in 40 years. ## Tax-exemption and other legal challenges The Christian Coalition has experienced internal challenges and changes in leadership over the years. In 1997, Ralph Reed stepped down, and several others took the helm, including [[Pat Robertson]]'s son, Gordon Robertson. The organization also faced legal issues related to its tax-exempt status and political activities, such as: 1. 501(c)(4) status controversy: One of the primary tax challenges faced by the Christian Coalition was related to its application for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) initially denied the organization's application for this status in 1996, arguing that the Christian Coalition was too involved in partisan politics, which is inconsistent with the requirements for a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. The IRS claimed that the Coalition had engaged in activities that primarily benefited the Republican Party, rather than serving the general welfare. 2. Lobbying limitations: As a 501(c)(4) organization, the Christian Coalition is allowed to engage in lobbying activities, but these activities cannot constitute the organization's primary purpose. The IRS has scrutinized the organization's activities to ensure that it does not cross the line into excessive lobbying, which could jeopardize its tax-exempt status. 3. Electioneering restrictions: 501(c)(4) organizations are also subject to restrictions on their involvement in political campaigns. They are prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. This includes contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position on behalf of a candidate. The Christian Coalition has had to navigate these restrictions to maintain its tax-exempt status. 4. Transparency and reporting requirements: Tax-exempt organizations are required to file annual information returns with the IRS, which includes financial and operational information. Failure to meet these reporting requirements can result in penalties and potential revocation of tax-exempt status. The Christian Coalition has had to ensure compliance with these requirements in order to maintain its tax-exempt status. Despite these challenges, the Christian Coalition has remained a prominent force in American politics. Its influence has waned somewhat in recent years, with the rise of other conservative and evangelical organizations. However, it continues to be an important voice for Christian conservatives and an influential player in shaping the Republican Party's social and religious policy positions.