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11.1d Religious Interest Groups

Protestants often try to influence government through an organization called the National Council of Churches, Catholics through the National Catholic Welfare Council, and Jews through the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress. The Christian Coalition took up issues such as supporting school prayer, opposing homosexual rights and banning abortion by a constitutional amendment.

11.1e Civil Rights Interest Groups

Political, economic and social discrimination and segregation led the nationality groups to form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDF). The groups in this category are those that have had to confront legal discrimination and in some ways also have no access to equal opportunities even in the present date. The National Organization for Women (NOW) is one of this kind of interest groups which go beyond the issue of civil rights, and also take up social welfare, immigration policy and affirmative action.

11.1f Ideological Interest Groups

The Ideological Interest groups are either liberal or conservative. Thus they tend to support all issues such as taxes, foreign affairs or federal expenditures, from the standpoint of their political ideological. They support legislation or policy if its fits in with their ideology. Thus elected officials are rated by the same standard by Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) and the American Conservation Union (ACU). An incumbentís high ADA reading may be provided by a Republican challenger as an indication that the incumbent is too liberal to be a representative of the district.

11.1g Single-issue Interest Groups

Such interest groups center around a single issue. Thus the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Coalition to Ban Handguns (NCBH) only takes up a stand for or against gun control. Similarly the National right to Life Committee (NRLC) and the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), take up opposite points of view on the single issue of abortion. However, though it may seem that single-issue interest groups give rise to groups opposite to their stance, it is not always the case. For instance, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) which makes demands for rigorous penalties on offenders, does not have an antagonistic group.


11.0 - Introduction
11.1 Types of Interest Groups
11.2 The Functions of Interest Groups
11.3 The Tactics of Interest Groups
11.4 The Mass Media and Political Coverage

Chapter 12

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