Traditional Catholics and evangelical Christians have much in common, the latest example of which happened last week.
Following an event on July 11th where U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), ABC News, NBC News, and CNN smeared ADF, portraying it as a hate group. I quickly came to the defense of ADF (click here), and just as quickly came words of gratitude from ADF founder Alan Sears and ADF president Michael Farris.
The Catholic-Evangelical alliance began in the 1980s when Paul Weyrich and Rev. Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority. It was formalized in the 1990s when Catholic theologian Father Richard John Neuhaus and evangelical leader Chuck Colson came together to bridge the differences between the two faith communities, focusing on their common interest in defending traditional moral values and religious liberty.
The alliance was further strengthened when Christian Coalition president Ralph Reed and Family Research Council president Gary Bauer reached across the pew in the 1990s to embrace Catholics.
The big moment came in 2004 when Catholics such as Deal Hudson and myself found common ground with evangelicals such as Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family. It was values voters who carried the reelection of President George W. Bush in 2004. Today we have evangelicals such as Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr. and Rev. Franklin Graham working with Catholics.
There is much work to be done. Most important, we must push for religious liberty, with a concentration on religious exemptions. We must also fight for the rights of the unborn, as well as the dispossessed, and stand up to those who seek to bully us. We will not be intimidated by anyone.
Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of seven books and many articles.