Traditional Values Coalition

The Traditional Values Coalition was founded in 1980 by Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, a one-time aide to Pat Robertson. Again, we see how intertwined all these groups are. TVC claims to be the largest grassroots organization of its kind with more than 43,000 member churches representing 12 different denominations. Today, the organization is run by Sheldon's daugher, Andrea Lafferty, a former Reagan administration official. Like most RRR organizations, TVC has two "arms": one a purely educational one that maintains a tax-exempt status and the second a lobbying organization that is NOT tax-exempt. TVC is the lobbying organization and "its sister organization, Traditional Values Education & Legal Institute, is a foundation dedicated to educating and supporting churches in their efforts to restore America's cultural heritage."1

So what exactly are the "traditional values" this organization purports to protect and/or promote? [Author's note: I have changed the wording although the essence of what is being advocated remains the same.]

  • Life starts at conception. No abortion. No euthanasia. But the death penalty's just find and dandy.
  • No adultery. No divorce. No premarital sex (which includes sex education). The only true families are those of one man and one woman united in marriage.
  • If you're not straight, you're immoral and there's something wrong with you.
  • No pornography.
  • It's one's duty to be loyal (but not blindly loyal) to one's country and that country's leaders, military and civil. [Author's comment: Maybe that's why they support having the government legislate your personal morality and who you can marry??]
  • Religious freedom means the right to pray Christian prayers, wear Christian jewelry and celebrate Christian holy days in public schools and government offices. Also allow use of taxpayer money to send kids to religious schools.
  • No legalized gambling and keep on keepin' on with the war on drugs. [Author's speculation based on the use of the words "legalization of addictive drugs": Maybe even expand it to include alcohol and tobacco?]
  • Discriminate against those who hold different values than we do and be intolerant of those who behave in ways we find offensive.
  • When doing any of the above, it must not be labeled as hate but as an act of love.

As with many RRR organizations, the TVC has devoted most of its lobbying efforts to preventing gays from gaining equal rights. To this end, they lobby members of Congress regarding judicial appointments, laws they want passed (like DOMA and constitutional amendments defining marriage as one man and one woman) and benefits they don't want to see extended to gays. One of their latest endeavors is a section of their webpage entitled "Homosexual Urban Legends: The Series...".2 They even had a representative of their organization, Rev. Lester James, testify before the Washington, D.C. City Council's Committee on the Judiciary regarding the depravity of homosexual sex.3

Once again, the interconnectedness of these RRR groups and their infighting becomes evident with TVC. Mass News, a conservative online new journal, reports that Louis Sheldon has been banned from the Arlington Group— which contains many RRR organizations and was founded by James Dobson. The story also indicates that the reason for Mr. Sheldon's banning (as well as the reason for Sandy Rios' departure from CWA) was having the audacity to question the wisdom of amending the US Constitution through the Federal Marriage Amendment.

The TVC's latest boycott efforts are aimed at CBS for their "pro-gay propaganda". The controversy surrounds a PSA being aired on "As the World Turns" regarding the coming out of a gay male character. As is normal for the RRR, they claim discrimination when anyone points out that they're endorsing discrimination.

With all the in-fighting, backstabbing and "group ego" problems, why are these groups still so popular? How do we stop these kinds of groups from having the influence that they do? For an answer to that, please check out The Solution section of this site. Note: You can now sign up to have notifications sent to you when changes are made to this page. Just click on the "Monitor Changes" button below and it will open a new window where you can enter your email address. You will then be notified whenever changes are made to this page. Please note that it will monitor this page only, not the entire "Exposed!" website.

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1 About TVC. The question begs to be asked: What exactly is American culture? The answer for the TVC, of course, is the white heterosexual (male) Christian power structure, but I doubt you'll ever get anyone to admit that. Someone needs to tell these people that the only true America culture is that which promotes individual freedoms.
2 If I did not know how many will take this as "fact" simply because it is on the TVC website, I would laugh at the ludicrous nature of these pages. But far too many WILL take it as fact despite the two very basic false premises that I will attempt to very briefly discuss here.

The first false premise is that an adult who has sex with a child of the same gender is a homosexual. An adult who has sex with a child of ANY gender is a pedophile. Pedophiles, by definition, are adults who are sexually attracted to an individual of a certain AGE. Gender is a secondary factor that is not as important as the age. Pedophiles molest when opportunity arises when someone of the right age is around— regardless of the gender. The fact that most of the victims of the pedophile priests were male does NOT mean that most of the priests who molested those children are homosexual: it means that when the opportunity to molest arose, the only one present of the right AGE was a boy, due in large part to the fact that altar girls weren't around when most of those boys were molested. Once they WERE common, altar girls became victims too. This same basic idea carries over into the belief that having sex with someone of the same gender means one is homosexual or bisexual. That simply is not true— ask all those heterosexual males coming out of prison who had sex with other men on the inside if they're gay or not. (For more on this topic, please see an article I wrote called "Redefining Orientation".)

The second major error in their reasoning is that they assume that when asked, a closeted gay individual will reveal his orientation to a census taker (although they are no longer allowed to ask about orientation) or to a pollster. Due to the social stigma still attached to being gay, it is highly unlikely that someone who is in the closet will tell a stranger on the phone or in person that they are gay. To see evidence of this, just look at the polls regarding gay marriage among the general population and then among the under 25 crowd. The numbers of those who support gay marriage in the latter group is almost half again as big as the general population. There is not the same social stigma among the under 25 crowd when it comes to being gay. Then read the accounts from groups like these that claim that homosexuality is on the rise (due to recruitment and public schools pushing the "homosexual agenda" according to them). What's really happening is that the gay youth feel safe coming out to their peers and so it appears as if the percentage of homosexuals in the general population is rising. What's really rising is the percentage of out and proud gays.


3 The site referenced one of many pages on a site called "Sodomy Laws" that presents the factual information on all the laws regarding sodomy around the world. Sodomy is defined as non-reproductive, non-commercial, consensual sex between adults in private and includes oral sex. Although the page cited does not contain any editorials other than the editorializing in the transcript of the testimony, the site itself contains links to many articles (some offsite) that discuss oral and anal sex. Due to the topic of discussion, it is possible that ads on those sites or the sites themselves may contain material that some readers will find offensive. You have been warned! ;-)

Click on any of the links below to read more articles about the Traditional Values Coalition.
Values for Sale Values for Sale
Synopsis: A nice example of the spin the RRR groups put on issues to cloud the facts as well as the infighting and the lack of real moral values.
Coalition: 'Shrek' wrecks family values Coalition: 'Shrek' wrecks family values
Synopsis: A rather funny article that details why TVC believes Shrek II is really about the "transexual agenda". Did you know Pinocchio is a cross-dresser? [Note: This article is now archived and you have to pay to read. The sample of the article you get is still good for a chuckle, or you can read the actual advisory on the TVC's website.]
Simon Hires TVC Founder's Son Simon Hires TVC Founder's Son
Synopsis: In his bid for governor of California, Bill Simon hired Phil Sheldon, son of TVC's Louis Sheldon. The article details some of the really "out there" things that have been said by the TVC.
NBJC Condemns Traditional Values Coalition NBJC Condemns Traditional Values Coalition
Synopsis: A condemnation by the National Black Justice Coalition of a press conference called by TVC and several African-American pastors on May 17, the first day that gay marriage was legal in the US in any state. It was also the anniversary of Brown v Board of Education. This short article compares the struggle for gay equality to the struggle for black equality.
Sticking With Tradition Sticking With Tradition
Synopsis: Another scathing report on the hypocrisy, lies and misdoings of TVC, which are typical of the RRR in general. This report from someone on the inside who was betrayed by Louis Sheldon.

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