Elections

University of Moblie Launches Election-Targeted Prayer Effort

Earlier this week I was marveling at how different groups just keep announcing redundant pre-election efforts, so that there are now at least four separate groups launching prayer efforts heading into the mid-term elections: Pray and ACT, Cindy Jacobs and Generals International, the National Religious Broadcasters, and the Southern Baptist Convention.

But you know what was missing?  An election-targeted prayer effort that is being orchestrated by a university.  But fortunately, the University of Mobile has stepped in to fill that void:

A Christian university in Alabama is calling people to join together in prayer for a nationwide spiritual and cultural transformation as the mid-term elections approach.

The University of Mobile recently founded the Center for Leadership Development (CLD) to help leaders fulfill their responsibility to God as American citizens. Director Dr. Joe Savage tells OneNewsNow the first action the group is taking is launching The twelve23 Prayer Movement for America. The initiative is based on John 12:23, which says, "The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified."

"Beginning October 1 through November 2, each day at 12:23 we're asking Christians to simply humble themselves and pray -- just for a moment," Savage explains. "Can you imagine if Christians across this land, at restaurants across this country, if people would stop for a moment and bow their heads and pray right there at the 12:23 hour?"

The twelve23 website makes the connection to the elections quite clear:

Beginning October 1, 2010 and concluding Tuesday, November 2, 2010, we are asking Christians around the world to pray for the United States and their own faithfulness every day at 12:23 p.m. and/or 12:23 a.m.

America’s mid-term elections are Tuesday, November 2, 2010. On this day, millions of Americans will exercise their constitutional freedom by voting for the candidate of their choice. This is a wonderful privilege! Knowing this is an extremely important election and knowing that our nation needs God more than ever, we invite you to commit to praying and to get others committed to participating as well!

And the accompanying twelve23 Contract lays out exactly how the godless liberals have been destroying this country:

Godless arrogance, at large among political leadership, has resulted in continued disintegration of effective and healthy state and national policies. Decline of religious instruction in homes and churches has led to clouded understanding of God and the embracing of Christian and pagan thought with equal standing.

A liberal political philosophy, historically weak in the face of evil, continues its influence at a time when we most desperately need protection from evil from within and beyond our borders.

Concepts of responsibility to God, responsibility to others, and self-sacrifice are lost in a national sea of greed and self-entitlement.

We believe these conditions constitute a spiritual and cultural attack upon the health and welfare of our nation.

AFA Has Spent Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars To Oust Iowa Judges Over Marriage Ruling

Earlier this year, Bob Vander Plaats made a run for the GOP nomination for Governor in Iowa. He did not win and so he has now turned his attention toward "convincing Iowans the three Iowa Supreme Court Justices up for a retention vote on the Nov. 2 ballot should be kicked off the bench."

To that end, he recently showed up on Bryan Fischer's radio program where they two discussed the supreme importance of this effort and Fischer revealed that the American Family Association has already dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaign:

Fischer: Well, I'm pleased and honored to bring with us on our Newsmaker line from the great state of Iowa, Bob Vander Plaats. Bob, a former candidate for Governor in the Hawkeye State and founding president of MVP Leadership, Bob welcome to Focal Point with Bryan Fischer.

Vander Plaats: Well, Bryan it's a thrill to be on your program. Thank you for everything that you do with AFA.

Fischer: Well Bob, I got to tell you, there are a lot of important elections that are coming up November 2; we are talking about an effort to change the leadership of this entire country by sending better people back to Washington that are going to care about fiscal restraint, who care about the Constitution. But for my money I think that it's possible that the single most important election this November 2 is going to take place in the state of Iowa. This is huge, it's important, you're leading the charge on this particular campaign, so tell us what's important about November 2 in the state of Iowa.

Vander Plaats: Well, first of all Bryan I couldn't agree with you more. I do believe the most important election will be happening right here in Iowa. What happened Bryan, just to give your listeners a little bit of background; on April 3, 2009 we had a Supreme Court that completely stepped outside of their jurisdiction, they made law from the bench, they governed from the bench, they attempted to amend the Constitution from the bench all in an effort to redefine the institution of marriage from one man-one woman, which we've been for 161 years to say "no, now we will be a same-sex marriage state." And I'm leading the effort to vote three of these Supreme Court justices off the bench - we have a retention process in Iowa - but we want to vote these three Supreme Court justices off the bench to hold them in check.

Fischer: Through our political arm, AFA Action, we are heavily invested in this campaign. I want our listeners to know that we are involved in this campaign, we want to see this thing go forward, we have put a couple of hundred thousand dollars into this campaign to stand for natural marriage and Bob Vander Plaats leading the cause there in Iowa.

Fischer and the AFA have long been among the most vigilant and vicious and anti-gay activists operating today, so it is no surprise to seem them get deeply involved in the Iowa fight, to such an extent that they appear to be essentially running the entire Iowa For Freedom operation:

I wonder if the people of Iowa realize that this campaign is being financed by a group that believes that gays should be banned from serving in public office, claims that gays are no different from murderers, liars, thieves, and slave traders, claims that gay sex is a form of "domestic terrorism" and that homosexuality ought to be criminalized, and that Hitler filled the Nazi ranks with gay soldiers because gays have no limits to their savagery and brutality?

NOM's Capital Chutzpah

The National Organization for Marriage, which has been pouring money into District of Columbia elections to punish officials who supported DC’s  new marriage equality law, has sent voters in the city’s Ward 5 a lurid campaign piece supporting an anti-marriage-equality candidate (see below) and warning that “Outside Special Interests are Targeting Delano Hunter.” 

Thousands of dollars from homosexual activists outside Ward 5 are attacking Delano Hunter because he supports our right to vote on whether the District legalizes ‘gay marriage.’
 
Radical, gay marriage activists are flooding Ward 5 with money to defeat Delano Hunter, not because they don’t like his plan to improve our community, but only because he supports the Biblical definition of marriage.
 
The outside gay activists don’t care about our right to home rule and right to vote on gay marriage. They only care about their agenda to redefine marriage. Don’t let them target Delano Hunter.
 
Of course, flooding states with “outside special interest” money is NOM’s own modus operandi.
 
In July, we noted that NOM’s Brian Brown was bragging about the formation of the DC Values PAC:
 
Bishop Jackson's heroic leadership has lead to something no one has ever seen before: a coalition of black Democrats leaders and white suburban Christian Republicans to help elect pro-marriage and pro-life black Democrats in the District of Columbia. 
 
Outside money, anyone? The August 10 filing for the DC Values PAC at the DC Office of Campaign Finance showed that the PAC had raised $3,275 – of which $2,500 was from outside the District of Columbia, including $1000 from Maryland-based “Harry Jackson Jr. Enterprises Inc.”
 
NOM itself reported making $82,446.40 in independent expenditures in July, with all but $4000 of that going to King & Associates for production and distribution of flyers attacking the mayor and councilmembers who had voted for marriage equality legislation. (A campaign finance report from June had shown another $60,900 going to King & Associates, which is run by Ward 5 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Bob King.) 
 
In addition, NOM donated more than 85 percent of the income reported by Stand4Marriage DC’s initiative effort in its July 31 filing - $40,000 out of $46,122. In an intriguing twist, almost every single contributor in that report is listed as living in DC, even though the zip codes and city names make it clear that many are from around the country. Among the reported contributors are those residing in Nashville, DC; San Diego, DC; and Tucson, DC.
 
Hunter is challenging incumbent Councilmember Harry Thomas, whose support for marriage equality legislation generated some heated opposition and made him a top NOM target. In an August 23 straw poll held by the Ward 5 Democrats, Thomas handily defeated Hunter, 613 to 239, with two other candidates far behind. The Democratic primary will be held September 14.

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?  

FRC Defends Use of the "Southern Strategy" by Completely Redefining It

Robert Morrison is a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, so you'd think that he'd be familiar with what the term "the Southern Strategy" actually means and what it entailed. 

But you'd be wrong, because Morrison is claiming that the "Southern Strategy" is nothing more than run-of-the-mill political efforts to win votes in the South:

A former Republican National Chairman is getting kudos from the liberal media for an odd thing. Veteran political reporter Dan Balz of the Washington Post applauds Ken Mehlman’s decency, reserving generous commendations for Mehlman’s efforts at “outreach” to black voters. He notes that Mehlman made a special effort to apologize to black voters for Richard Nixon’s “infamous” Southern strategy of 1968 and 1972.

For a savvy reporter like Balz, this is nonsense on stilts. Can anyone imagine Democratic National Chairman Tim Kaine apologizing for Thomas Jefferson’s Southern strategy? Or Andrew Jackson’s? Woodrow Wilson’s? Franklin D. Roosevelt’s?

FDR won four elections as president, something now barred by the Twenty-second Amendment. Every one of those elections started out with Roosevelt’s campaign managers banking on the electoral votes of the Solid South.

First of all, that is obviously not what people mean when they use the term "Southern Strategy," as Mehlman's actual apology illustrates:

"By the '70s and into the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out," Mehlman says in his prepared text. "Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."

The "Southern Strategy" was a targeted effort by Republicans to win over traditional Southern Democrats through the use of racially polarization. As Richard Nixon's strategist Kevin Phillips explained:

From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

Or, as Lee Atwater bluntly put it:

“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’ ” said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”

Morrison asserts that "there’s nothing infamous at all about seeking support in the South" and, as such, Republicans have nothing for which they need to apologize ... which I guess is true provided that you redefine the term "Southern Strategy" to mean the exact opposite of what it actually was.

Election 2010: Now With More Praying, More Fasting, More Humbling and Turning From Our Wicked Way

Pray and ACT is calling for 40 days for prayer and fasting heading into the 2010 mid-term elections and so is Cindy Jacobs ... and now the National Religious Broadcasters is getting in on the act as well, announcing its own pre-election 40-day prayer effort:

In response to the unprecedented spiritual and moral decline in our nation, the NRB Executive Committee is issuing a call to God’s people to devote ourselves to 40 days of earnest, soul-searching prayer, beginning September 1, 2010 and ending October 10, 2010. The theme verse is 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people.” We must seek God for the revival of our souls and the life of our nation.

NRB is requesting that you join us in calling upon God's people to commit to these 40 days of prayer. God will hear our prayers and heal our land only after we humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways.

Specifically, we are asking:

  • Stations to air 30- and/60-second PSA’s, encouraging Christians to take part in the “If My People” prayer initiative. To assist you, previously recorded PSA’s are available here.
  • Ministries to include the NRB call to prayer in their September programming. This would remind and encourage audiences to participate beginning September 1 for 40 days.

As Peter said, judgment begins with the house of God. Now is the time when we must be transparent before the Lord to let Him change us, so that through the power of the Holy Spirit we might change the world.

And if 2 Chronicles 7:14 sounds familiar, that is because it has become the passage around which just about every Religious Right events has been organized including Janet Porter's May Day 2010 Prayer Rally, the Global Day of Prayer, the National Day of Prayer, and the FRC's Call 2 Fall event.  In fact, even the fast at the center of Pray and ACT mission is explicitly linked to this passage:

The fast will begin at 7:14am (based on 2 Chronicles 7:14), on Sept 20 and end at 7:14am, Oct 30, 2010. Although many will follow only a liquid diet, persons can fast as God directs them during this 40 day span.

Ever since President Obama was elected, 2 Chronicles 7:14 has become the verse around which the Religious Right has mobilized ... and that should give you a pretty good understanding of their mindset at the moment:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

How Many Crossroads Must a Man Walk Down?

One of the most frequently used rhetorical images at Glenn Beck’s "Restoring Honor" event was the crossroads. Attendees were told urgently and repeatedly by Beck and others that America is at a crossroads, that everyone has to make a big, historic, important decision to save America – right now! Do it!

But since this was Beck’s “non-political” event, he couldn’t say the big choice or big crossroads had anything to do with the 2010 or 2012 elections, on which Tea Party activists are intensely focused.
He said his rally was not about politics but God, about “turning back to the values and principles that made us great.” He told people how to pray and how much money to give to their churches. And he demanded they make that big choice, whatever it is.
 
Here are just a few of the very many crossroads to which Beck led his followers. None of them seem likely to be clear or focused enough to spark the national transformation Beck promised from this rally:
 
“America is at a crossroads and we must decide.  Are those words that Abraham Lincoln spoke and they have no relevance or meaning on us today?”
 
“America is at a crossroads and today we must decide who we are, what is it we believe. We must advance or perish. I choose advance.”
 
“America is at a crossroads and there is a clear and simple choice. Do we choose to just look at the scars, do we choose to look back, or do we do what every great generation has done in America in times of trouble: look ahead, dream about what we’re going to become, not worried about what we are, look forward, look west, look to the heavens, look to God, and make your choice.”
 
“My challenge to you today is to make a choice. Does America go forward and the American experience expands, or does the experiment fail with us?”
 
Beck repeatedly urged everyone in the crowd to “grab your stick,” a reference to his earlier description of Moses as “a guy with a stick.”   With all due respect, Glenn, Moses gave his people clearer instructions.

Americans for Prosperity funnels big money, activist anger into attacks on House Democrats

Americans for Prosperity, the “grassroots” Tea Party organization funded by anti-government billionaires, is one of several right-wing groups that glommed on to Glenn Beck’s decision to bring the Tea Party crowd to Washington, D.C. With help from the Koch family, AFP has grown rapidly. In the words of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, AFP has grown in a few years from “an idea in a New York apartment” into a network with 32 chapter and more than a million activists. AFP’s Tim Phillips told the 2500 activists (their number) at the “Defending the American Dream Summit” on Friday that “we’re going to take back Washington for two days and we’re going to take back our country over the next few years.” 

During the plenary session and in workshops, AFP speakers insisted that the organization was nonpartisan and will not endorse candidates, disclaimers that seemed like a micro-thin veneer of legalese over plans to pour millions of dollars into attacks on Democratic House candidates between now and November. In fact, the group’s November is Coming! campaign is targeting 40-50 House races where they can “make a difference.” Here’s part of the message it asks voters to sign:
 
Dear Policymakers, Elected Officials, and Candidates: You know that November is coming and voters care about the issues. Left-wing policies continue to drive Obama’s agenda for even bigger government. We want you to oppose big government programs or any other freedom-killing policies or we will remember in November.
 
November is Coming includes a publicity-seeking bus tour, and AFP is recruiting activists to engage in door to door “voter education” efforts and make phone calls from home into targeted districts using a sophisticated computer phonebanking system. The calls and visits aren’t about telling people to vote for, AFP says, it’s just doing people the service of letting them know how their representatives voted on issues like health care, cap and trade legislation, and stimulus spending. You can see some of the ads on AFP's You Tube channel.
 
AFP group used Colorado as a test case for the November is Coming model, and has held organizing meetings in 20 cities since June. Among its targets in Colorado: Reps. Betsy Markey, Ed Perlmutter, and John Salazar. Campaign organizers showed ads attacking candidates for being in league with Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, and said they are currently running a $330,000 ad buy attacking Markey.
 
Political consultant Dick Morris predicted that the GOP would take control over both Houses after the November elections and promised big attacks on public employee unions and a showdown over government spending. He told the crowd that there would be another government shutdown, like in 1995 and 1996, but this time he’d be on their side, and this time they’d win.
 
 

Camenker's Inclusion In Tea Party Rally Again Causes Strife

A few weeks back we noted that Brian Camenker of MassResistance was still smarting over the fact that his participation in a scheduled Tea Party rally had lead all the other speakers to withdraw, causing the event to collapse.

Shortly thereafter Camenker was crowing that he'd been invited to speak at another Tea Party rally featuring Don Feder and praising organizers for their willingness to include him even if its angered RINOs and the Left.

Well, according to the latest email from MassResistance, it turns out that Feder dropped out after being informed that Camenker was going to be participating and Camenker is absolutely livid: 

Like so many other destructive trends, Massachusetts is a harbinger of things to come (or already happening) across the country. RINOs ("Republicans In Name Only") who demand that "social" and moral issues be purged from ALL Tea Party events managed to shut down the Lexington Tea Party on July 25. And now they've been at it again.

When it was announced that Don Feder would be the keynote speaker at the Fort Independence Tea Party, it got immediate attention across the state. Don is a well-known writer, lecturer and pro-family leader going back over 20 years.

But a few days later Don said that he had been contacted by Christen Varley regarding his appearance at the event. Varley was primarily responsible for the shutting down of the Lexington Tea Party, and her outrageous actions prompted the organizers to do this one. Don told us that unless we could guarantee that no speaker at the event would say anything bad about Varley, he'd have to cancel his appearance. We told him we didn't think anyone had any intention of mentioning her, but we weren't going to explicitly ban speakers from saying anything. So Don said he'd have to pull out.

...

In many ways this represents a far worse threat than the radical Left. If Republican candidates are told by people they trust that the homosexual agenda in the schools and other "social issues" are "toxic" and will cause them to lose elections, what do you think will happen when they get elected? They'll continue to stay away from these issues -- and cave in to the other side faster than ever. And of course, even more taxpayer money than ever will flow into those programs.

This is extremely serious. Elections are the best time to raise these issues and hold politicians' feet to the fire. But instead, anyone who talks about it is being demonized -- by supposed "conservatives". And as a result, this gives the left and the media an open door to pile on even more and make the pro-family position appear "fringe" -- exactly what the radical left wants!

Engle: Using The Call To Break Satan's Control Over Our Government

Just yesterday I noted that Mike Huckabee had joined Tony Perkins, Mat Staver, Pat Roberston and others in recording a message urging activists to attend the upcoming "The Call" prayer rally with Lou Engle in Sacramento, CA. 

And one of the points I have been trying to emphasize in my posts about the rise of these self-proclaimed "apostles" and "prophets" like Engle within the Religious Right movement is that when they claim to be battling Satanic and demonic forces, they mean that quite literally.

And, just to demonstrate that point, here is Engle explaining that events like The Call are so important because they unleash spiritual movements in America that can break Satan's control over our government, though which He is enacting His evil agenda: 

Engle believes the anniversary meeting, which thousands are expected to attend, has the potential to turn the nation toward biblical values, as participants pray for "righteous" leaders to emerge from the midterm elections and for God to "shift the whole political system in America and the seven spheres of society."

"There is a hill above Capitol Hill," Engle said. "It's God's praying church who actually begins to influence the governments of the earth through their prayers."

Engle makes no apologies for his political advocacy. He believes if Christians don't influence politics, Satan will.

Prayer and preaching the gospel are the church's primary calling, he said. "But to say don't get involved in those high places [of government] is actually allowing our archenemy Satan to put his own people in those high places, where spiritual powers can actually control societies and release laws that actually legalize systemic evil," Engle added.

Right Wing Round-Up

Gingrich, McDonnell, Rove Sign on For Ralph Reed's Political "Minicamp"

Why is it that when Ralph Reed is involved, nothing can ever just be what it is? 

For instance, his new Faith and Freedom Coalition is not just a new Religious Right group, but rather the "Christian Coalition on Steroids."

And Reed is not just another Religious Right operative, but the Religious Right's Steve Jobs.

And Reed's works is not just standard voter mobilization, but rather guerilla warfare and saturation bombing.

And so, of course, his upcoming Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit is not just a political conference, but "the political equivalent of NFL minicamp":

The Faith & Freedom Coalition will hold its first national Conference and Strategy Briefing with top grassroots leaders, pastors, and activists in Washington, DC, on September 9-11. The Faith & Freedom Coalition, founded by Ralph Reed, will inform and train its state and chapter leaders, activists, and supporters in preparation for the 2010 elections.

To date confirmed speakers include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former White House senior advisor and Fox News contributor Karl Rove, Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia, former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie, Congressmen Randy Forbes, Tom Price, and Lynn Westmoreland, among many others.

Hundreds of grassroots activists will gather for training, workshops and breakout sessions on voter registration, Get-Out-the-Vote tactics, and how to utilize Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites to build a volunteer network. Among scheduled panels: "Mama Grizzly" candidates who are making 2010 the "Year of the Conservative Woman," and leading Tea Party organizers, including Jenny Beth Martin with Tea Party Patriots.

"This is not just a conference or a retreat," said Ralph Reed. "This is the political equivalent of NFL minicamp. We will train and equip our activists on how to block and tackle in the churches and precincts as we prepare for the most important election of our lifetimes."

Rep. Lamar Smith: No Impeachment of Judge Vaughan Walker

Though the Religious Right was universally outraged by Judge Vaughan Walker's ruling striking down Proposition, only the American Family Association went so far as to demand his immediate impeachment:

Judge Walker's ruling is not "good Behaviour." He has exceeded his constitutional authority and engaged in judicial tyranny.

Judges are not, in fact, unaccountable. They are accountable to Congress, which can remove them from office.

Impeachment proceedings, according to the Constitution, begin in the House of Representatives. It's time for you to put your congressman on record regarding the possible impeachment of Judge Walker.

Yesterday, Rep. Lamar Smith, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, was the guest on Bryan Fischer's radio program and Fischer wanted to know if they had any plans to try and impeach Walker and Smith told him flat-out that it wasn't going to happen:

Fischer: Judges are in fact accountable to Congress, they have the power of impeachment, they serve only during good behavior. It's my opinion that this is bad behavior. Is there any sense in which the House of Representatives would consider this an impeachable offense for a judge?

Smith: We have done a lot of research on that subject, since I'm the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee, and quite frankly this doesn't rise to the normal level of impeachment, as much as we might disagree with the opinion. Ultimately, of course, the solution is to elect presidents who will appoint federal judges who do not legislate from the bench and who do not engage in judicial activism. But I do not think that we would be successful in an impeachment move, but it doesn't mean that we can't do something about it by way of a resolution, by way of making elections about these kinds of appointments.

I guess I should point out that Walker was nominated to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan.

Prop 8: Engle Calls It The End of Democracy While Garlow Warns Of Bestiality

Jim Garlow, pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church, was a key leader in the effort to pass Proposition 8 and earlier this year explained how he brought Lou Engle in to lead their prayer and fasting effort; an effort which paid off where somewhere between 4:20-4:50 pm on November 1 during TheCall rally in San Diego they felt that "something had snapped in the Heavenlies" and "we knew God had moved":

Garlow's Prop 8 success led Newt Gingrich to tap to him to head his new Renewing American Leadership organization ... and so it is not particularly surprising to see Garlow (and Engle) reacting with alarm to the court decision striking down their handiwork:

"The next court case could conceivably say that if three people wanted to marry or four people or five people or if someone wanted to marry their dog or their horse, they have a right to that because no longer do we have a right to ‘discriminate' based on equal protection," Garlow said.

Proposition 8 advocates argue that same-sex marriage is not ideal for child rearing, but they say it also has serious implications on religious freedom.

"It's a chilling moment," said TheCall founder Lou Engle, who organized a prayer rally in support of Proposition 8 in September 2008. "Democracy is crumbling, and I believe, again, we're going to see the persecution of the church. ... Across the board, religious freedom now is being trumped by gender freedom."

Garlow said in several areas where gay marriage has been legalized, Christians have lost personal and religious liberties. He points to Swedish pastor Ake Green, who was jailed after preaching that homosexuality is a sin, and to a Christian camp in Ocean Grove, N.J., that lost a discrimination lawsuit filed after it refused to allow a lesbian couple to hold a commitment ceremony at its facility.

"If we lose on this one, we lose the capacity to be able to proclaim the gospel as we know it," Garlow said.

And, as we've noted before, Garlow and Engle are planning to dust off their Prop 8 playbook heading into the 2010 midterm elections: 

The case could take years to reach the Supreme Court, but conservative observers believe Wednesday's ruling could impact the upcoming midterm election. Garlow said voters with conservative moral values "are going to rise up and say enough is enough."

He and Engle are encouraging that kind of activism through Pray & Act, an initiative calling for 40 days of prayer and fasting in the run up to Nov. 2. The effort begins Sept. 20 and ends with a webcast event at the Lincoln Memorial Oct. 30.

Garlow said he believes there is a 27-month window to "turn" the nation toward biblical values. "I'm not trying to deadline God, but my sensing is we have a short window left after which it will be too late to see America ever return to any sense of God-honoring truths," he said. "That being the case, prayer and fasting is critical."

Engle, too, is urging prayer and political activism. He believes the timing of TheCall Sacramento, being held Sept. 3-4, is strategic.

"God, in times of crisis, calls for solemn assemblies when there is no hope and there's no remedy," Engle said. "I think this is an incredible opportunity for people to gather from all over America to say: ‘God, we have no recourse ... We are coming to You for help in the time of trouble, to ask forgiveness for treating so lightly marriage in the church.'

"We [will] come together and ask God for some kind of sovereign intervention," he added. "We need to pray for a great awakening."

Conservatives Issue Declaration of Tea Party Solidarity

Given that Tea Party activists are, by and large, conservative Republicans, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that conservative Republicans support the Tea Party.

Which is now giving rise to pointlessly absurd things like this declaration of Tea Party solidarity:

Save America...STOP Obama Tyranny National Coalition Chairman Dr. Rick Scarborough announced the successful conclusion of a petition drive: "In Support of The Tea Parties And Against Defamation."

Signers include such notable conservative leaders as Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Gary Bauer (American Values), Brent Bozell (Media Research Center), Wendy Wright (Concerned Women for America), Richard A. Viguerie (ConservativeHQ.com), Morton Blackwell (Leadership Institute), Alfred S. Regnery (The American Spectator), Gov. Mike Huckabee, Judge Roy Moore, Don Irvine (Accuracy In Media), Tom McClusky (Family Research Council), Herbert I. London (Hudson Institute), Rev. Louis Sheldon (Traditional Values Coalition) and Phyllis Schlafly (Eagle Forum). Organizations listed for identification purposes only.

Scarborough observed: "Conservative leaders lining up behind the Tea Parties -- representing every segment of the movement -- include five rabbis, the Executive Director of Faithful Catholic Citizens and a number of well-respected pastors -- as well as the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America and the Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. Economic conservatives are represented by Seton Motley (Less Government), Grover Norquist (Americans for Tax Reform), Dick Patten (American Family Business Institute) and Jim Martin (60 Plus Association). Leaders working on defense and foreign policy include Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs), Elaine Donnelly (Center for Military Readiness) and Herb Zweibon (Americans for A Safe Israel). Jordan Marks (Young Americans for Freedom) is the executive director of the nation's oldest conservative youth group."

The petition calls the Tea Parties "one of the best hopes for restoring constitutional government," but notes they have been "subjected to an unprecedented campaign of lies, distortion and vitriol, most recently by the NAACP which called on them to 'expel the bigots and racists in your ranks.'"

Scarborough noted these attacks, "magnified by a compliant media," are part of an overall strategy: "The left is running scared. Its president is wildly unpopular. It is now looking at huge loses in the mid-term elections. It hopes that by stigmatizing and marginalizing the Tea Parties -- the most visible symbol of opposition to big government -- it will thereby discredit all opposition to this administration."

The Petition charges that the anti-Tea Party campaign also "represents a cynical attempt to manipulate minority voters and exploit their fear in the upcoming election."

Wow, right-wing activists support right-wing activism? Who would ever have guessed? 

But apparently this was such an important statement that Scarborough managed to get a who's who of right-wing activists to sign on [PDF]. 

Oak Initiative Warns Democrats "We're Coming After YOU!"

A few weeks back, I wrote a post about Rick Joyner and The Oak Initiative, one of the "prophetic intercessor" groups that, like Lou Engle and The Call and Cindy Jacobs and General International, are becoming increasingly active within the more "mainstream" Religious Right.

Like The Call and Generals International, The Oak Initative is a member of the Religious Right "supergroup" known as The Freedom Federation and Joyner, along with Engle and Jacobs, participated in the group's "Awakening" conference earlier this year, sitting on a panel on "Pastors and Political Activity" with Rick Scarborough and Richard Land.

Later this month, The Oak Initiative will be hosting its first ever Oak Convention in South Carolina which is scheduled to include Joyner, Samuel Rodriguez, Lance Wallnau, Jerry Boykin, Cindy Jacob, and others where they will discuss methods for gaining influence over their version of the 7 Mountains: 

At this time it is important to establish a leadership forum that focuses on the current major areas of dominant influence and crisis, including:

1. Spiritual and moral
2. Government and politics
3. Media
4. Economic
5. Social Issues
6. Environmental
7. Education

To do this we want to establish a leader and a council to address each of these spheres. Organizing this will be one of the major goals of the August Oak Convention. We will be establishing each of these with a Chairman, Asst. Chairman, and a staff devoted to both Research and Communications. The purpose of these councils will be to provide an accurate assessment of the great issues of the times, and to propose answers and solutions to them.

And among the ways they hope to do this is by creating their own "Christian Intelligence Service" and building their own media empires [PDF]: 

The formation of a Christian Intelligence Service

This is for training an army of “watchmen” who are skilled in discerning important issues or events as they unfold, and can gather basic information about it that is accurate and trustworthy.

One of the number one issues that seems uniform across nations and cultures at this time is a deteriorating trust in the media for accurate reporting and information. Most of the people on earth have never had government information sources that they trusted to be accurate, but in recent times even the most trusted governments have had a significant collapse of integrity and trust. If this void is not filled with truth and accurate information, the level of deception of the people will continue to grow. We believe this is a basic call of Christians who are supposed to be a light in their times, which is more than just preaching the gospel, but it is also exposing what is hidden in darkness with the truth that will set people free. We believe fundamentally that all men were created to be free, and that the basis of all freedom is truth.

The formation of media outlets with the highest standards of integrity and accuracy

We intend to build a world-class media outlet that is built more on trust and integrity than just style and technology, though we intend to be good at these too. The body of Christ has the people resources to quickly become a great light that shines in this darkness with truth. We have the ability to almost immediately reach virtually every major nation, and most of the world’s population with news and information for less than the cost that is now paid to a single executive at present media outlets.

And of course the aim of all of this is decidely political, as demonstrated by this new ad The Oak Initiative has posted on its YouTube page which declares that America regrets electing President Obama and the Democrats because they are a threat to this nation and so "we're coming after you" and "now you will pay" in 2010: 

Update: Apparently this video has been around for a while and is not an original Oak Initiative ad.

ACLJ, Spiritual Warfare, and Zimbabwe's Constitution

For a while now, we've been covering the fact that Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice has set up offices in Kenya and Zimbabwe for the purpose of shaping the draft constitutions that are being prepared in both nations.

Today, Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches has an important new report on the intersection between the ACLJ, "Word of Faith" spiritual warfare, and the future of Zimbabwe's government as demonstrated by a recent "Women, Weapons of Warfare conference" that took place in Kentucky:

At the heart of this women’s conference is the concept of “spiritual warfare,” the idea that God has anointed his “generals” to defeat Satan and bring the world to Christ. During this pre-conference prayer session, the group prays for a “mega-breakthrough” and for God to “take down the enemy.” It’s not a war of flesh and blood, conference speakers are quick to point out, but against the evil evident everywhere around us: in the “total moral decay” of America; in the nearby “liberal” Indiana University; in the unexpected frog in the throat of a speaker from Georgia; in the angry outburst of a woman whose husband had left her; and in the fear of failure recounted by speaker after speaker—until they found Jesus, that is. It becomes evident, as the speakers give testimony about their relationship with Jesus, that for many he is not only their savior, but someone they converse with to obtain instructions for most details of their lives. Many call him “Daddy.”

Bourland introduces special guest from Zimbabwe, Pastor Vicky Mpofu, her “spiritual mother” whom she likens to Moses, a figure “God has anointed” to “deal with an affliction on her people.” Mpofu is, says Bourland, “an oracle of God to bring a warning to our country.” She predicts that people, “will wake up and listen”; then she prays for there to be “more than enough to take care of all the children of Zimbabwe.”

...

Mpofu, who co-founded the WWW conference with Bourland, is the executive director of the African Centre for Law and Justice, a branch of the American Center for Law and Justice, founded by Pat Robertson in 1990 as a “Christian” answer to the American Civil Liberties Union ... The African Centre for Law and Justice is injecting itself into the political process of drafting a new constitution that will supposedly pave the way for new elections. The African Centre for Law and Justice is aiming to do in Zimbabwe precisely what the religious right seeks to accomplish in the United States: declare the country a “Christian nation” guided by biblical principles, outlaw abortion, and ostracize and criminalize LGBT people ... Together with the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, the African Centre for Law and Justice is working to garner the support of religious leaders and activists for constitutional provisions that would “affirm that Zimbabwe is a predominantly Christian nation founded on Biblical principles,” and require application of “the Laws of God in order to prosper and avoid chaos and destruction,” according to a pamphlet prepared by the EFZ and supported by the ALCJ.

Backed by the ACLJ, Mpofu has been traveling Zimbabwe to rally religious support for the EFZ’s constitutional proposals. “We’ve had a lot of support from ACLJ in America because for me to be able to go around the country to visit the ten provinces we’ve received some help financially and also we’ve received some help from the teams from America visiting and working with us,” Mpofu said. “The support has been tremendous.”

...

The EFZ/ACLJ pamphlet also calls for constitutional prohibitions on both abortion, by defining life as “beginning at conception,” and on attempts to reform the country’s laws criminalizing homosexuality. It calls for defining marriage “as being between a man and a woman” and for “any and all definitions of a family or marriages or relationships or legal unions that seek to include or permit same sex unions to be prohibited,” as well as for “sexual relations between partners of the same sex, bestiality, and other perversions to remain a criminal activity.”

Posner also posted video highlights of the conference, which has a Lou Engle/Cindy Jacobs sort of familiarity to it:

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Cindy Jacobs: God's Mercy Depends On How We Vote In 2010

Last week, Cindy Jacobs issued "a serious warning and a call for urgent prayer," warning that God had told her that unless the nation turned to massive prayer, fasting, and revival - along with support for Israel and proper voting, of course - our economy was going to be destroyed.

Since then, Jacobs has had a bit more time to convene with God and so now she is back with a new video message reporting that God has told her that whether the US receives His blessing or His judgment depends entirely on how we vote in November:

The next elections, 2010, are so critical. We know that they'll take place November 2, so this is what I feel from the Lord: we must declare a forty day fast leading up to the elections. We must have a situation where we have a movement called "Fast America," meaning every single day thousands, hopefully tens of thousands, of Americans will fast and pray for God to give wisdom for these next elections, for His candidate that are His choice - pro-life, pro-Biblical definition of marriage - that will be put in office . It is not only critical but it is imperative that we do so.

This is not something that will be easily turned. It will not be turned without a battle, a battle both through our prayers, a battle on our knees, but a battle with our feet. We must vote with our feet for righteousness, for these pro-life, pro-Biblical values candidates. We must engage as we have never engaged before.

But I know that if we will do this, that God is going to have mercy upon the nation.

There is actually a lot more in the original video, as Jacobs explains how their intercession capped the BP oil well and turned away the hurricane that was threatening the Gulf and also assures us that the Word she received from God has been endorsed by the "other major prophets in the Aposotilc Council of Prophetic Elders," so you know that you can trust that it is totally legit:

Garlow and Robison Discuss How to Save America Through Fasting, Declaring, Voting, and Protecting Marriage

Yesterday, Jim Garlow, Chairman of Newt Gingrich's Renewing American Leadership and founder of Pray and ACT, was on "Life Today" with James Robsion where he discussed his efforts to mobilize Religious Right activists heading into the election.

In this frist clip, Garlow explains that the core of his "Pray and ACT" effort is to get Christians to fast for forty days heading into the election and to sign onto the Manhattan Declaration, which Robison declares is "as close to being inspired as anything outside the Bible and similar to the Constitution in its authenticity and its authority." But, Garlow explained, praying, fasting, and declaring ones values alone are not enough, as that commitment then has to be transformed into political action:

In this second clip, Garlow explains how the battle for marriage is the single most important battle taking place today because if Christians lose, the Gospel will be silenced and "the enemy" will have succeeded in destroying "the image of God on Earth" because marriage is a terrestrial representation of mankind's ultimate marriage between Jesus and the Church:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The following sentence appeared in an FRC fundraising email opposing the DISCLOSE Act and I have no idea what it is supposed to mean: "Too often, such tactics are used to intimidate donors. We saw this in the sixties during the civil rights struggles." 
  • Mike Huckabee is now a daily talk show host.
  • Tom Tancredo and his massive ego have decided to run for Governor in Colorado.
  • Newt Gingrich will decide by early next year whether he is going to run for president. I can hardly wait.
  • Joseph Farah says Tea Party activists cannot listen to those who advocate focusing the movement solely on economic issues.
  • Peter LaBarbera appears to be launching a one-man boycott of McDonalds.
  • Chuck Norris has written part one of series on Obama's U.S. assassination program. I guarantee you that part two will claim Obama is going to start killing conservatives.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Al Mohler, via Twitter: "In recent days I have seen evidence of tremendous activity among Jehovah's Witnesses & Mormons in our area. Are we as committed as they are?"
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Elections Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/20/2011, 11:55am
The battle over marriage equality in Iowa is heating up as Republicans in the State House are moving forward with plans to ban gay marriage and civil unions, an attempt to reverse a unanimous 2009 State Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality. To amend the constitution, “an amendment would require approval by state lawmakers during two legislative sessions, and then approval by voters at the ballot box.” Encouraged by major Republican gains in the midterm elections and the removal of three pro-equality Justices through retention votes, Iowa Republicans have... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/20/2011, 11:55am
The battle over marriage equality in Iowa is heating up as Republicans in the State House are moving forward with plans to ban gay marriage and civil unions, an attempt to reverse a unanimous 2009 State Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality. To amend the constitution, “an amendment would require approval by state lawmakers during two legislative sessions, and then approval by voters at the ballot box.” Encouraged by major Republican gains in the midterm elections and the removal of three pro-equality Justices through retention votes, Iowa Republicans have... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 01/19/2011, 2:28pm
Yesterday, the Supreme Court rejected the challenge to Washington, DC's marriage equality law, much to the dismay of the Religious Right. But if you thought that was going to be the end of the challenge, think again, as the National Organization for Marriage today announced that it will continue to fight it and expects the new GOP majority in the House to help them: Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States denied an appeal by marriage defenders to the DC City Council’s implementation of same-sex marriage. Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 01/19/2011, 2:28pm
Yesterday, the Supreme Court rejected the challenge to Washington, DC's marriage equality law, much to the dismay of the Religious Right. But if you thought that was going to be the end of the challenge, think again, as the National Organization for Marriage today announced that it will continue to fight it and expects the new GOP majority in the House to help them: Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States denied an appeal by marriage defenders to the DC City Council’s implementation of same-sex marriage. Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 01/05/2011, 11:30am
Incensed over the participation of the conservative gay-rights group GOProud in the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, far-right activists are now trying to connect the major conservative event to the Muslim Brotherhood. The American Conservative Union (ACU), which hosts CPAC, has been the target of Religious Right groups and leaders over their handling of GOProud’s involvement, with Joseph Farah even calling for conservatives to “purge” the ACU from the movement. Already, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women For America, American Values, the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/04/2011, 6:00pm
While New Hampshire’s Democratic Governor John Lynch survived his reelection race despite a barrage of attack ads from anti-equality groups like the National Organization for Marriage, Republicans won veto-proof majorities in both the State House and Senate. As a result, Religious Right groups such as the Family Research Council have committed to do “whatever it takes” to repeal New Hampshire’s law legalizing gay marriage, which passed in 2009 and went into effect last year. In 2009, Religious Right groups succeeded in overturning a Maine law legalizing gay marriage... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/04/2011, 10:22am
Mitch Daniels Social issues: Candidates for RNC Chair pan Daniels's "truce" proposal (GOP12, 1/3). 2012: Claims that a potential presidential bid scares his family "to death" (The Hill, 1/3). Newt Gingrich Religious Right: Bryan Fischer of AFA thinks his history of extramarital affairs will doom him among social conservatives (RWW, 1/3). Fundraising: Confirmed to address, along with Mike Pence, Illinois GOP fundraiser celebrating Ronald Reagan's birthday (Chicago Tribune, 1/3). Mike Huckabee Arkansas: Enthusiasm builds for a second presidential run in his home... MORE