Open main menu

Traditional Values Coalition

The Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) is an American conservative Christian organization that represents, by its estimate, over 43,000 Christian churches throughout the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., its belief is in Bible-based traditional values as a "moral code and behavior based upon the Old and New Testaments." The group considers traditional values to include a belief "that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that the Lord has given us a rule book to live by: The Bible" and a commitment to "living, as far as it is possible, by the moral precepts taught by Jesus Christ and by the whole counsel of God as revealed in the Bible." It was founded by Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, the current chairman. His daughter, Andrea Sheldon Lafferty, is the executive director.[2]

Traditional Values Coalition
Traditional Values Coalition Logo.png
Traditional Values Coalition
Founded1984 (1984)
FounderLouis P. Sheldon
TypeNonprofit 501(c)(4)
33-0055498 (EIN)
Area served
United States
Key people
Andrea Lafferty, Executive director
Louis P. Sheldon, Chairman and CEO
$8,658,511 (2010)[1]

It has been designated an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center: the SPLC states that they spread "known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling."[3]

Traditional values definedEdit

In some ways, the aims of the group are those of a wider movement. It does not provide formal position statements but outlines the traditional values it is fighting for as follows:[4](dead link)

  1. Right to life (against abortion and euthanasia but in favor of capital punishment)
  2. Sexual fidelity in marriage and abstinence before marriage
  3. Opposition to homosexuality and "other deviant sexual behaviors" (see below)
  4. Opposition to pornography
  5. Patriotism (supporting national boundaries, the armed forces, political participation, free enterprise, limited government, low taxes, and personal responsibility)
  6. Opposition to "liberal" immigration reform without first securing the U.S.-Mexico border
  7. Freedom of Christians' attempt to convert non-Christians
  8. Cleanness from addictive behaviors (with opposition to gambling, the legalization of addictive drugs, alcohol, and smoking)

The group then explains in paragraphs titled "Discrimination and Tolerance" and "Love and Hate" how it aims to deal with accusations that its activities are based on hatred of those not following similar beliefs. Without stating what action should be taken, the organization maintains that "individuals may be free to pursue such behaviors as sodomy, but [that they] will not and cannot tolerate these behaviors." However, the TVC's stances against homosexuality and the LGBT rights movement are, comparatively, more confrontational than those of many groups with similar views. There are a number of smaller groups that take a harder line, most notably Westboro Baptist Church, which the TVC has criticized for many years,[5] likening it to a false flag operation.[6] The gap between the TVC and other conservative groups was described by Winnie Stachelberg of the pro-LGBT Human Rights Campaign as follows: "They're out there every day supporting discrimination against gay people on nearly every issue, and you don’t see that so much from other groups."[7] The Coalition took this as a compliment.[8] By comparison, Jerry Falwell stated in his later years, "Civil rights for all, straight, et cetera, is not a liberal or a conservative value. It's an American value that I would think that we pretty much all agree on."[9]

The TVC will sometimes suggest that homosexuals pose a threat of child molestation; they "have long sought unrestricted access to children for recruitment purposes"[10] and are more willing than others on the right to use the word sodomy in reference to gay men.[11][12][13] Historically, the group has called for "cities of refuge" to keep AIDS patients from infecting the general population.[14][self-published source?]

Lafferty's response to a Gallup poll suggesting a tilt in public opinion towards gay rights was this: "Jesus didn't ask for a 'show of hands' at the Sermon on the Mount. We, His followers, should not ask America to vote on which of his teachings they choose to obey."[15]

Christian Seniors AssociationEdit

The TVC operates a subsidiary under the name of "Christian Seniors Association" under the leadership of James Lafferty, the husband of Andrea Sheldon Lafferty.[16] It aims to be a conservative alternative to the AARP. It attracted some attention for distributing financial appeals that are designed to be confused with census material.[17][self-published source?]

Jack AbramoffEdit

Sheldon was an associate of Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist jailed for influence peddling. Sheldon lobbied members of the US Congress to kill the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. Abramoff directed his client, eLottery, to pay $25,000 to the Traditional Values Coalition.[18]

The group has also been linked to the Mariana Islands worker abuse scandal, as it was used by Abramoff to pay for the trip of Representative Bob Schaffer to visit the island. The Denver Post reported that the TVC paid the $13,000 travel bill for the trip organized by Abramoff's lobbying firm.[19]

Abramoff's lobbying team would prepare questions and "factual backup" for friendly lawmakers. Trips to the island for congressmen and staff would be a key tool to "build permanent friends," the memo said.

The congressional junkets to the Mariana Islands were designed to build support in Congress among Republican lawmakers to block labor and immigration legislation for the islands, which had been found to harbor squalid working conditions and abusive labor practices.[19]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Nonprofit Report for Traditional Values Coalition". GuideStar. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  2. ^ People For the American Way - Traditional Values Coalition Archived 2008-06-17 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Waddington, Lynda (November 23, 2010). "Groups that Helped Oust Iowa Judges Earn 'Hate Group' Designation; SPLC Adds American Family Association, Family Research Council to List". Iowa Independent. Archived from the original on 2010-12-02. Retrieved November 25, 2010.
  4. ^ Traditional Values Defined Archived 2013-04-16 at
  5. ^ "The trial that wasn't". Archived from the original on 2011-05-16. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  6. ^ 'Pastor' Fred Phelps Aids The Homosexual Agenda Archived 2005-09-03 at the Library of Congress Web Archives
  7. ^ "A Family Business". The Washington Post. May 20, 2004. Archived from the original on 2012-11-04. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  8. ^ An Overview Of Major TVC Achievements In 2004 Archived 2005-09-04 at the Library of Congress Web Archives
  9. ^ "Falwell speaks in favor of gay civil rights - Conservative leader calls housing, employment for gays 'basic rights'". Archived from the original on 2016-03-07. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  10. ^ The Activist Supreme Court Does It Again! Archived 2006-02-14 at the Library of Congress Web Archives
  11. ^ Canadian Homosexuals Have 'Open' Marriage Archived 2005-09-03 at the Library of Congress Web Archives
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2008-05-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Homosexual 'Day of Silence' Is Day Of Oppression For Critics of Sodomy
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-09-04. Retrieved 2008-05-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) A TVC statement referring to the "Sodomy Lobby"
  14. ^ "Website Disabled". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  15. ^ Printer Friendly: Public Evenly Divided Over Morality Of Homosexual Behaviors Archived 2009-02-05 at the Library of Congress Web Archives
  16. ^ Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine AARP on the CSA
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2008-05-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Confusing Seniors For Profit
  18. ^ Schmidt, Susan & Grimaldi, James V. (October 16, 2005). "How a Lobbyist Stacked the Deck". Washington Post. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
  19. ^ a b Riley, Michael (13 April 2008). "Schaffer, lobbyist strategies meshed". Denver Post. Archived from the original on 2008-04-14. Retrieved 2008-04-13.

External linksEdit