Reverend Joel Hunter, who was set to take over as president of the Christian Coalition in 2007, announced yesterday that he is stepping down because of differences in opinion as to the direction of the group. Hunter, who is the pastor of a nondenominational Florida “megachurch,” wanted to broaden the Coalition’s agenda beyond abortion and same-sex marriage in order to include issues such as poverty, global warming, and HIV/AIDS, the Washington Post reports.
The Coalition’s four-member board, however, believes that the group is not ready for such a change in direction, according to the Washington Post. Board Chair Roberta Combs told the Los Angeles Times that the board approved of the idea of protecting the environment, but wanted to survey the group’s supporters first.
“I think the board just got scared’ My position is, unless we are caring as much for the vulnerable outside the womb as inside the womb, we’re not carrying out the full message of Jesus,” Hunter told the Washington Post. “[The Coalition’s board] began to think this might threaten their base or evaporate some of their support, and they said they just couldn’t go there.”