Lobbying for the Faithful: Religious Advocacy Groups in Washington, D.C.

The Pew Research Center has posted an interesting report. The report can be viewed  HERE

The number of organizations engaged in religious lobbying or religion-related advocacy in Washington, D.C., has increased roughly fivefold in the past four decades, from fewer than 40 in 1970 to more than 200 today. These groups collectively employ at least 1,000 people in the greater Washington area and spend at least $390 million a year on efforts to influence national public policy. As a whole, religious advocacy organizations work on about 300 policy issues. For most of the past century, religious advocacy groups in Washington focused mainly on domestic affairs. Today, however, roughly as many groups work only on international issues as work only on domestic issues, and nearly two-thirds of the groups work on both. These are among the key findings of a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life that examines a total of 212 religion-related advocacy groups operating in the nation’s capital…

This report is based on a systematic examination of the websites, mission statements, tax documents and other public records of religious advocacy groups spanning the years 2008-2010. Researchers also relied on responses to a written questionnaire that was sent to 148 separate, active groups included in the study and completed by 61 of them. Additionally, lead researcher Allen D. Hertzke conducted in-depth interviews with leaders of 36 groups and observed the advocacy efforts of many other groups at congressional hearings, lobby days, press conferences and other Washington-based events.



4 comments on “Lobbying for the Faithful: Religious Advocacy Groups in Washington, D.C.

  1. I see a direct relationship between these numbers and the reason that most Americans have such a low opinion of their national legislative branch. There is something very undemocratic about this system. When it comes to influencing legislators in the US, it is all about access and money. Those with access and money make the laws. The other 90%+ find there votes to be increasingly meaningless. In the state of California we are blessed to have an alternative direct access approach in the form of voter referendum which can actually override the actions of our legislators when enough voters get sufficiently fed up with where the money is taking them. We really need that sort of mechanism at the federal level as it would significantly throttle the corruptive influence of the lobbyist approach to crafting and implementing legislation. Thus the problem goes beyond the church state issues and becomes one of the corrupting influence of money and power across all sectors of our society. The church, unfortunately, has simply accommodated itself to the surrounding political environment which is becoming increasingly corrupted with the ever increasing concentration of wealth and power in our society.

  2. While I agree that Christian advocacy is of some value when letting our collective voice be heard; and, it may be of “more” value and concern in these days at Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court, as we see darkness engulfing the Nation and the Nation’s capital, seeing it grows even darker by each passing day; I hasten to point to Psalm 127, though, and to other places in Scripture and to other men of God, too, advocates all, men like Moses, Daniel, Ezra, others for balance. Wherever earnest intercessions are made to the God of Heaven so He would intervene in the affairs of men for the Elect’s sake seems of more importance to me? I am not so certain that many advocacy groups advocating in Washington D.C. really amounts to much in light of these Words :

    Psa 127:1 A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
    Psa 127:2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
    Psa 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.
    Psa 127:4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
    Psa 127:5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

  3. Democracy is riddled with the revelations of fallen man. It has never been God’s way. Our calling is the gospel which is the only divine agent for eternal change. Until He comes again, let the dead lobby the dead.

  4. “let the dead lobby the dead”

    There is just so much truth in that statement …

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