Structure and Leadership of RAAP
RAAP is a tax exempt 501(c)3 organization. We are an interfaith organization with representatives from Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Jewish, and Muslim faith groups. The Religious Alliance Against Pornography is one of the broadest faith groups ever established in the United States. RAAP has five Directors on its Board and 34 members on the RAAP Committee as of November 2014.
The Religious Alliance Against Pornography has always been led by co-chairs. Dr. Jerry Kirk, the founder of the group has served as one co-chair since RAAP was established in 1986. The other co-chair has always been a representative of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago served until his death in 1996 and was replaced by Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore. Cardinal Keeler was replaced as co-chair by Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco in 2006.
RAAP was staffed for many years by Dr. Jerry Kirk, its founder, and more recently has engaged Rick Schatz as its part-time executive director, beginning January 2015. The organization has been supported by significant volunteer efforts over the years and currently has an annual budget of $35,000. With added staff and expanded efforts in the years ahead our budget will need to grow. Support has come from its members, foundations and individuals.
A great strength of RAAP is its partnerships with both for-profit corporations as well as other not-for-profit groups. These partnerships enable the Religious Alliance Against Pornography to have an impact much greater than its limited budget and staffing would allow. Key partnerships have included the CTIA - The Wireless Association, Covenant Eyes and pureHOPE.
While members of RAAP have changed over the years, the organization continues to have a broadly based interchurch and interfaith membership. While these organizations of faith may view some things differently, they agree on the harmful impact of pornography and of our sexualized culture. See below for a current listing of RAAP members.
The Benefits of Membership
The battle against pornography is a daunting task. Pornography and sex businesses generate tens of billions of dollars each year in the United States alone. Standing together each faith community receives encouragement that they are not alone in this challenging fight.
Another critical benefit is the availability of the resources and capabilities of each member. Some members along with RAAP's partners have produced booklets, DVDs, sermons and training materials which can be used with great impact. No one has to develop all the necessary tools for this work.
Because of its interchurch and interfaith nature RAAP speaks with a strong and commanding voice to both government and industry. No one faith group has the strength needed to speak to these issues as effectively and persuasively as we can together. History speaks volumes about the power of our united voices.
Members have access to great expertise and knowledge on these issues. Key individuals within the Religious Alliance Against Pornography are world experts on the harm of pornography, rapidly changing technology used to deliver the sexualized message of the culture, the causes of addiction and solutions to it and many other related topics. Such expertise is not only available within RAAP members themselves but also through partnership with other organizations, speakers and authors.
Responsibilities of Members
Each faith group is expected to have a representative who will participate in the monthly calls of RAAP whenever possible. All members are to make the issue of pornography and the sexualization of the culture a high priority, recognizing that their members are all being impacted. Financial support of RAAP is needed and most appreciated but there is currently no obligation to do so.
Contact and Follow UP
For further information or to discuss joining RAAP please contact Joanie Rielage, Executive Asst. at [email protected]