Indianapolis lawyer Eric Miller to close Advance America lobbying group

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Advance America founder and director Eric Miller announced on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023, that the conservative political action group will cease operation by Dec. 31. (Screenshot from Advance America’s YouTube channel)

Prominent Indiana lobbyist Eric Miller, a self-described “pro-family and pro-church” advocate, announced Tuesday he will close the doors to his conservative political advocacy group by the end of the year.

Miller founded Advance America, formerly Citizens Concerned for the Constitution, in 1980.

The organization has boasted a political network that includes thousands of members drawn from nearly 4,000 Indiana churches—nearly one third of all churches in the state. Advance America notes that its network additionally consists of thousands of Hoosier families, and hundreds of businesses.

Miller, an Indianapolis attorney, said in a statement Monday the organization will “cease operations” after Dec. 31.

“Your prayers and support made it possible for Advance America’s non-partisan educational efforts to help educate and inform hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers about how their government operates and what they can do to make a difference on issues of importance to them and their family,” Miller said to supporters in an email.

“You have helped make Indiana a better place to live, to raise a family and to worship freely,” he continued.

Miller pointed to more than four decades of mailings, online videos, speaking engagements, emails, seminars and voter guides that have been distributed and organized by the advocacy group.

Advance America describes itself as non-partisan and does not endorse any candidates or political party.

Every year, staff at the organization have reviewed each bill filed in the Indiana General Assembly before sending out information about legislation that could impact families and churches.

Miller and others with the group also testified before legislative committees, met with legislators, helped draft amendments and bills, and directed members of the public to contact their elected officials.

He also unsuccessfully challenged Mitch Daniels in the 2004 Republican primary for governor. Daniels won and served two terms.

As part of its “pro-family” and religious freedom campaigns, Advance America supported the controversial Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act and sought to uphold the state’s same sex marriage ban.

In legislative sessions over the last decade, the conservative group has opposed bills permitting transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice, as well as separate measures to extend regulations on daycares to include those run by churches.

In 2021, Advance America additionally launched efforts aimed at school boards. The goal was to get schools to ban critical race theory and gender identity instruction, and to require parental consent for mental health services and sex education in schools.

Miller further said in his announcement that over the past 42 years, Advance America has helped:

protect Indiana churches from “government control and taxation”guarantee that pastors in Indiana can provide Biblical advice to families and children

advocate for Christian and homeschools to operate freely

ensure that unborn babies in Indiana “have more protection than they have had in over 50 years”support legislation that provides a vast majority of Hoosier parents the option to receive private school vouchers to help enroll their children in Christian schools

lobby for bills that provide Hoosier school kids “more protection from inappropriate and immoral instruction”

Although Advance America is closing, Miller said that emphasized that “the battles are not over,” and said he “will still be involved to make a difference in Indiana.”

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8 thoughts on “Indianapolis lawyer Eric Miller to close Advance America lobbying group

  1. lol so this guy’s legacy is ramming his religious beliefs down other people’s throats and protecting churches from accountability

    bye, you won’t be missed

    1. Everybody knows that the true path to progress is open heroin consumption, normalization of shoplifting, and sidewalk defecation. Those dumb religious hicks need to just mind their own beezwax.

    2. My favorite was protecting church daycares from accountability for things like letting toddlers wander off and drown in the baptistery (which, reminder, did actually happen here in pro-life Indiana):

      “Yet, bringing reforms to such settings had for years been opposed by Eric Miller, an attorney and lobbyist who had positioned his nonprofit group Advance America as a defender of fundamentalist Christian churches and conservative values. Over the years, Miller has characterized such attempts to regulate church day cares — even those using public subsidies to serve the poor — as attempts to exert control over churches, to tax churches and even to put pastors in jail for noncompliance.”

      “ Miller convened a group of black pastors in January to confront three black lawmakers on their opposition to the same-sex marriage amendment and their support of the child care reforms. Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, one of the lawmakers confronted, said the pastors reported that Miller had told them their churches could be taxed if the child care bill passes. The measure has no such provision. Taylor said the pastors were soon appeased and he explained that this was Miller’s mode of operation: “I was like, ‘Guys … that’s what he does.”

      https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2014/03/08/-state-lawmakers-see-reforms-for-certain-day-cares-as-vital-to-keeping-children-safe/6219007/

      Folks like Miller are a good reminder that Jesus, that noted woke individual who hung out with women of ill repute, minorities who were despised, and even government officials, saved most of his wrath for the Pharisees and hypocritical religious leaders who led the flock astray.

    3. Yawn. This again? I wasn’t even talking to you this time.

      It’s very easy to complain and you do it quite well, but it’s hard to actually propose concrete alternatives to what those woke losers are doing. I’m still waiting on your proposed alternatives. You remind me of Pat Bauer, who never had solid alternatives to what Mitch Daniels had to offer and just yelled No! a lot in that ridiculous toupee of his. Maybe that’s one reason why the presence of Indiana Democrats isn’t required for the Legislature to do business these days. The lack of alternatives, not the toupee, to be clear.

      Back to my point, illustrated with that story that you so loved, which is that in my opinion folks like Eric Miller and Curt Smith and Micah Clark have done more to chase prospective people away from churches than just about anyone else. I don’t think it’s an accident that church attendance and influence has declined at the same time churches decided to get more and more political, but I do think it was a big mistake that will take generations to be overcome, if it is overcome.

      PS: the church I go to runs into the thousands each weekend. But thanks for the concern.

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