Three state affiliates have severed ties with the Christian Coalition of America, one of the nation's most powerful conservative groups during the 1990s but now buffeted by complaints over finances, leadership and its plans to veer into nontraditional policy areas.
"It's a very sad day for our people, but a liberating day," said John Giles, president of the coalition's Alabama chapter, which said Wednesday that it was renaming itself and splitting from the national organization. The Iowa and Ohio chapters took similar steps this year.
Giles said he and his Alabama colleagues have "a dozen hard reasons" for the action but would elaborate on only one: a perception that the coalition's leadership was diverting itself from traditional concerns such as abortion and same-sex marriage to address other issues ranging from the environment to Internet access.
Giles predicted further defections.
There goes our chance to rule the world!