Pastors for Family Values

The Black Robe Regiment: Glenn Beck's Redundant New Group

One thing I find fascinating about the Religious Right is how seemingly every major new organization or effort that it launches is literally the same as every other organization or effort it has ever launched.

Just today I noted how yet another group was calling for 40 days of prayer heading into the mid-term elections, as if all the other calls to 40 days of prayer and fasting were not enough.

Similarly, it seems like every few weeks, some new Religious Right group is formed that does exactly the same thing all of the other Religious Right groups are doing.

And now we have Glenn Beck announcing the formation of his Black Robe Regiment:

Apparently, the idea began with Beck's favorite historian, David Barton. When Beck told Barton he wanted to "get religious leaders together," Barton suggested forming a Black Robe Regiment -- named after what Barton had said was a group of preachers who supported the American Revolution from their pulpits. Beck decided that was "exactly" what he was looking for because it was a movement supposedly like his that was "not about politics."

Beck then described the first meeting he held with "the largest evangelical leaders in the country" some of whom had been involved in the Christian Coalition. ... Beck elaborated on his call to "mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes," calling on his listeners to "tithe 10 percent" and encouraging them to "sacrifice our fortunes so our children don't have to pay for our lifestyle." Beck implored his listeners: "You must tithe because these people [the Black Robe Regiment] are going to be in trouble. They're going to come under attack."

So Beck's brilliant idea is to bring together a bunch of Religious Right leaders in an effort to motivate pastors to play a bigger role in politics and the culture?

Has Beck never heard of the Patriot Pastors?

Fellow pastor Russell Johnson lacks [Rod] Parsley's charisma, but he has mastered the art of organizing. His group, the Ohio Restoration Project (ORP), recruited nearly 1,800 churches with "Patriot Pastors" and deputized them to draft new "values voters."

The ministers signed 410,000 Ohio homes onto Johnson's mailing list, and the ORP can tap 100,000 prayer warriors through e-mail in a moment's notice. This is more than just a group of voters ready to punch some ballots. According to ORP outreach materials, it is a "mighty army" ready to do battle.

While Johnson reaches white evangelicals and fundamentalists, Parsley appeals to both African Americans and Pentecostals. Together, the two men have forged a political machine that aims to remake Ohio politics—and the nation.

Or what about the US Pastor Council?

The mission of the Houston Area Pastor Council and sister councils in USPC is to empower pastors and their congregations across racial and denominational lines to impact the culture and community through concerted prayer, to equip our congregations for effective citizenship and to provide a unified voice on spiritual, cultural, social and moral issues from a Biblical perspective. The AMERICA Plan was developed as a Purpose Statement of how pastors and churches can and must enage in godly citizenship.

HAPC has become a respected voice on front line cultural and political issues from a non-partisan perspective, holding elected officials of both major parties and non-partisan offices to a Biblical standard. The Pastors' Declaration of Godly Citizenship was developed to clarify the core values of this coalition.

HAPC has conducted numerous luncheons, workshops, rallies, elected official summits, Pastors' Day At the Capitol and many other activities bringing pastors together, proving top quality Biblical, historical, legal and public policy information as well as standing in the gap for our nation.

Or what about the Pulpit Initiative:

Historically, churches have emphatically, and with great passion, spoken Scriptural truth from the pulpit about government and culture. Historians have stated that America owes its independence in great degree to the moral force of the pulpit. Pastors have proclaimed Scriptural truth throughout history on great moral issues such as slavery, women’s suffrage, child labor and prostitution. Pastors have also spoken from the pulpit with great frequency for and against various candidates for government office ... It is time for the intimidation and threats to end. Churches and pastors have a constitutional right to speak freely and truthfully from the pulpit – even on candidates and voting – without fearing loss of their tax exemption.

Or the Watchmen on the Wall:

Watchmen on the Wall" is a powerful conference in the nation's capital especially designed for pastors and ministers, based on Isa. 62:6: "I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem. They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent..." FRC launched the Briefing in May 2004 to:

* Remind spiritual leaders of our nation's Judeo-Christian heritage.
* Inform them about the moral issues being debated in the public square.
* Ignite their passion to become watchmen who will sound the alarm.
* Inspire them to encourage their churches to engage the culture.

Our hope is that you will return home encouraged and educated about the issues of the day that affect faith and family and that you will be inspired to share with your congregations what they may do to take a more active role as salt and light in your community and government.

Or what about the Patriotic Pastors, or Pastors for Family Values, or even the Patriot Pastors’ T.E.A. Party?

And those are the groups I can think of just off the top of my head. 

Obviously, none of the previous efforts have accomplished their goals - if they had, there would be no need to keep launching new groups with the exact same mission over and over again. 

But apparently Beck believes that Beck thinks that he (with the help of the very Religious Right leaders behind all these other efforts) has finally found the key:  getting pastors more engaged in the political process. 

Gee, why has nobody ever thought of that before?  

More Right Wing Rallies Cropping Up

Earlier this week, I wrote about a series of upcoming "Winning Matters" conferences, a project of the Family Foundation of Virginia and its affiliated Pastors For Family Values, featuring Harry Jackson, Jonathan Falwell, Mat Staver, and Rick Scarborough designed to activate "values voters" in Virginia ahead of the state's off-year elections.

Today we learned that there is another, apparently somewhat affiliated, series of similar rallies taking place featuring many of these same people, but operating under the name Hope for America, which is a project of Jody Hice's Let Freedom Ring Ministries. Several rallies are scheduled for the coming weeks, mostly in Virginia, and likewise featuring Staver, Scarborough, Falwell, and even Zell Miller.

Last night one was held in Roanoke and, judging by the press coverage, it was pretty much what you'd expect for a rally organized by right-wing groups and featuring right-wing speakers like Staver and Scarborough:

The war for the soul and the government of America needs more Christian soldiers.

That was the message delivered Thursday night to about 100 attendees of the "Hope for America Rally" at Penn Forest Worship Center in Southwest Roanoke County.

"America is on the verge of destruction," the Rev. Rick Scarborough told the crowd in a booming Baptist sermon.

"You, beloved, are the hope," he said.

Scarborough is a well-known Texas minister and conservative political activist with ties to the late Rev. Jerry Falwell and several key Republican lawmakers.

In 1992, the firebrand evangelist waged a high-profile battle over sex education in Texas schools and has written several books arguing against the separation of church and state.

Mathew Staver, dean of the Liberty University School of Law, also spoke.

Sponsored by Atlanta, Ga.-based Let Freedom Ring, Thursday's rally was the first of several that are planned across Virginia. Others have been held in or are scheduled to be held in North Carolina and Georgia. Scarborough is expected to speak at many of them.

Let Freedom Ring is affiliated with Jody Hice, a pastor and conservative Christian radio personality in Atlanta and an adherent to the "Christian worldview."

Let Freedom Ring preaches that America was founded by Christian leaders and that the country's freedoms are based on biblical precepts. In its view secular values, such as the separation of church and state, abortion rights, radical feminism and gay rights, have spurred a moral and political decline that Christians must battle, not just in the pews, but in the political sphere.

...

Aaron Evans, a former Fox News radio producer from Martinsville, organized the Roanoke rally with help from The Family Foundation and other conservative Christian groups.

Scarborough preached to the crowd about the dangers of loosening sexual mores. He warned that gay rights legislation could be used to silence pastors who preach that homosexuality is a sin.

"In my lifetime, we have gone from 'Ozzie and Harriet' and 'Leave it to Beaver' ... to 'Sex in the City' and 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.'

"We've gone from spin the bottle to hooking up in the eighth grade," he said.

But, Scarborugh preached, "this nation can be saved if pastors would just understand how much God wants to save it."

This reminds me a lot of the "70 Weeks to Save America" crusade Scarborugh tried to launch a few years back that never amounted to much after his key partner, Alan Keyes, decided to run for president and Vision America ran into financial trouble. 

Apparently, this time around, Scarborough has realized that if he wants this done right, he should let somebody else organize it.

AU has more on this rally.

From The Folks Who Brought Us "Rediscovering God In America"

The Family Foundation of Virginia seems to take great pride in being mentioned on this blog so allow me to indulge them again.

The last time we mentioned them was a few weeks ago when they unveiled their "Rediscovering God in America" conference where Lou Engle lay his hands upon Newt Gingrich and beseeched God to extend his "influence for righteousness in this nation, lay your supernatural hand of God upon him and deliver him from the evil schemes of the enemy."

Now FFV has announced the formation of something it calls “Winning Matters,” a campaign that "will register to vote people who believe in Biblical and traditional values" to get active in Virginia's upcoming off-year elections:

1. Identifying more Virginians who share our values;

2. Turning concerned citizens into values voting Virginians by registering them to vote.

3. Educating newly and previously registered voters on the differences between candidates on matters of life, marriage, parental authority, religious liberty and constitutional government.

4. Motivating and mobilizing these informed voters to make a wise choice and to vote on election day.

This voter identification and mobilization plan is the largest in our history — potentially larger than the 2006 Marriage Amendment campaign. In the weeks to come, we will tell you more about this project and how you can, and must, be a part of the work we are doing with (and for) pro-family Virginians for the future of our Commonwealth.

On a related note, the affiliated Pastors For Family Values is launching its own "Winning Matters" speakers series featuring the likes of Rick Scarborough, Mat Staver, Jonathan Falwell and, somewhat surprisingly, Bishop Harry Jackson:

Pastors For Family Values Winning Matters 2009 Pastors Events

» Roanoke: June 26, Golden Corral, 8-10:00 a.m.

Speakers: Pastor Rick Scarborough, Ph.D., of Vision America; and Mat Staver, Dean, Liberty University School of Law

* * * * *

» Harrisonburg: July 7, Shoney’s, 8-9:30 a.m.

Speakers: Local pastors reporting on the recent Watchman on the Wall Conference; and Mickey Mixon, Area Coordinator Winning Matters 2009 Campaign

* * * * *

» Fredericksburg: August 4, Fredericksburg Expo and Convention Center (tentative), 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Speakers: Jonathan Falwell, Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church; and Bishop Harry Jackson, Pastor, Hope Christian Church, Washington, D.C.

* * * * *

» Richmond: July 23, Wyndham Hotel, 7:30-9:30 a.m.

Speaker: Bishop Harry Jackson

* * * * *

» Norfolk: August 20, Spring Hill Suites by Marriott, 7:30-9:30 a.m.

Speaker: Pastor Rick Scarborough

I guess Jackson really is on his way to becoming a bona fide right-wing star now that he has graduated to headlining right-wing events along with figures like Scarborough and Staver.

Sons of the Father

In an email, the Virigina Family Foundation and Pastors for Family Values say they are "pleased to announce that Pastor Jonathan Falwell, son of Reverend Jerry Falwell and newly installed senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, will be the keynote luncheon speaker at our first Pastors Family Issues Summit, to be held Tuesday, September 11, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. in Richmond." Flyer here. [PDF]

New 'Patriot Pastors' Group in Virginia?

The Family Foundation of Virginia, a group that organized support for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in 2006, is putting together a “Pastors Issues Summit” that appears to be modeled on the recent “Patriot Pastor” organizing in Ohio, Texas, and other states.

According to the group’s brochure, Attorney General Bob McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Republicans, will join a representative of the right-wing legal group Alliance Defense Fund to speak on topics such as “Your role as a pastor in Civic Government” and “The political environment in Virginia.” Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, is apparently invited – but if this event resembles the “Patriot Pastor” events in other states, it will be a partisan crowd.

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Pastors for Family Values Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 08/31/2010, 2:32pm
One thing I find fascinating about the Religious Right is how seemingly every major new organization or effort that it launches is literally the same as every other organization or effort it has ever launched. Just today I noted how yet another group was calling for 40 days of prayer heading into the mid-term elections, as if all the other calls to 40 days of prayer and fasting were not enough. Similarly, it seems like every few weeks, some new Religious Right group is formed that does exactly the same thing all of the other Religious Right groups are doing. And now we have Glenn... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 06/26/2009, 4:25pm
Earlier this week, I wrote about a series of upcoming "Winning Matters" conferences, a project of the Family Foundation of Virginia and its affiliated Pastors For Family Values, featuring Harry Jackson, Jonathan Falwell, Mat Staver, and Rick Scarborough designed to activate "values voters" in Virginia ahead of the state's off-year elections.Today we learned that there is another, apparently somewhat affiliated, series of similar rallies taking place featuring many of these same people, but operating under the name Hope for America, which is a project of Jody... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 06/22/2009, 5:22pm
The Family Foundation of Virginia seems to take great pride in being mentioned on this blog so allow me to indulge them again.The last time we mentioned them was a few weeks ago when they unveiled their "Rediscovering God in America" conference where Lou Engle lay his hands upon Newt Gingrich and beseeched God to extend his "influence for righteousness in this nation, lay your supernatural hand of God upon him and deliver him from the evil schemes of the enemy."Now FFV has announced the formation of something it calls “Winning Matters,” a campaign that "... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 08/22/2007, 4:28pm
In an email, the Virigina Family Foundation and Pastors for Family Values say they are "pleased to announce that Pastor Jonathan Falwell, son of Reverend Jerry Falwell and newly installed senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, will be the keynote luncheon speaker at our first Pastors Family Issues Summit, to be held Tuesday, September 11, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. in Richmond." Flyer here. [PDF] MORE >
, Thursday 08/02/2007, 5:40pm
The Family Foundation of Virginia, a group that organized support for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in 2006, is putting together a “Pastors Issues Summit” that appears to be modeled on the recent “Patriot Pastor” organizing in Ohio, Texas, and other states. According to the group’s brochure, Attorney General Bob McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Republicans, will join a representative of the right-wing legal group Alliance Defense Fund to speak on topics such as “Your role as a pastor in Civic Government” and “... MORE >