David Lane's Bold Efforts To Recruit 1,000 Pastors To Run For Office Shows Lackluster Returns

Last year, David Lane, an influential Religious Right activist and Christian nation extremist, announced a bold plan to recruit 1,000 pastors to run for political office in 2016:

A prominent evangelical Christian leader has launched an effort to recruit 1,000 pastors willing to run for political office, hoping to inject religious issues and candidates into the 2016 election.

David Lane, the founder of the American Renewal Project, said he hopes he can persuade pastors to run for offices as varied as school board and city council to the state legislature and Congress. He’s scheduled an organizing meeting in January in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

"Government is not going to save America. Wall Street is not going to save America. The Republican party is not going to save America. If America is going to be saved it will be done by Christian men and women restoring a Judeo-Christian culture to the country," Mr. Lane said in an interview with The Washington Times.

Mr. Lane said he was inspired by his own pastor Rob McCoy, who ran for the state assembly in California. Mr. McCoy was narrowly defeated by the Democratic candidate who spent $6 million against him.

"After I watched that happen the reason I emailed pastors asking them to pray for 30 days is that if they do half as good as my pastor did, if 1,000 pastors in 2016 felt like the Lord was calling them to run for office, and they each had 300 volunteers, then that’s 300,000 people on the grass-roots level," Mr. Lane said.

To achieve that goal, Lane has held a series of Issachar Training sessions all over the country aimed at mobilizing an army of conservative pastors to run for office, often with the support of Republican presidential hopefuls and members of Congress.

Lane has been at this for a year now, and what does he have to show for it?

According to the headline of this Washington Times article today, Lane has managed to meet about half of his stated goal: "500 pastors heed call to run for office, restore Christian values in U.S."

However, if you actually read the article, you quickly learn that the figure of 500 pastors represents only those who have voiced an interest in possibly running for some office at some point in the next three years. And of those 500 who have expressed interested, merely a third might actually run for office at some point: 

His goal was to recruit 1,000 pastors across America to start walking the godly talk by campaigning for public office. The project was dubbed “Issachar,” after the Old Testament founder of one of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Mr. Lane, the California-based founder of the American Renewal Project (Mr. Gingrich dubbed it “Pastors and Pews”), appears to be halfway to that goal just a few days before his recruitment and training effort holds its first event in the Washington, D.C., area.

“Two thousand pastors and spouses have attended our Issachar Training in 2015,” Mr. Lane said proudly.

As of Thursday, 508 pastors have agreed in writing to consider running for political office over the next three years, according to Issachar Project Director Steve W. Michael.

“After our Issachar events, we do live calls with our folks on [a] ‘hot list,’ folks who seem reasonably certain to run, and our ‘mild list,’ less definite about running but definitely interested, and ‘cold list,’ people who don’t sound eager to run but may persuade others to,” Mr. Michael explained.

He said the “hot” contingent numbers about one-third of the combined 508 “hot and mild” total.

Lane set out to recruit 1,000 pastors to run for office in 2016 and spent an entire year traveling the country mobilizing right-wing Christian activists for that purpose, yet was only able to find approximately 150 who even "seem reasonably certain" that they might run for office at some point in the next three years. 

Marco Rubio Hires Culture Warrior Eric Teetsel as Faith Outreach Director

Largely unnoticed in the media coverage of the Republican presidential primary this week was Marco Rubio’s hiring of a major millennial anti-gay, anti-choice culture warrior. Eric Teetsel, who has been executive director of the Manhattan Declaration, has been hired to be Rubio’s faith outreach director. One who took notice was right-wing activist and pundit Erick Erickson, who gushed over the “huge and impressive hire.”

Where other candidates are hiring folks from the dying “Moral Majority” coalitions of the past, Eric Teetsel is plugged into those power centers, but has transcended them. He’s of a more youthful generation of Christian evangelicals who respects past contributions, but is also focused on the future and not nursing past grievances.

Teetsel is, indeed, well plugged in if not as well known to the public as his more visible counterpart at the Heritage Foundation, Ryan Anderson. Like Anderson, Teetsel is part of the anti-equality crowd that orbits Robert George, a co-author of the Manhattan Declaration and a founder of the National Organization for Marriage. And like George and Anderson, Teetsel has written a book about (one man, one woman) marriage. The acknowledgments section of his book reads like a Who’s Who of the Religious Right, including George, Anderson, Brian Brown, Tony Perkins, Mark Tooley and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

And, as Igor Babic noted at the Huffington Post this week, Teetsel has also been a vocal part of the Religious Right chorus denouncing the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, complaining that the court “has bestowed its imprimatur to homosexuality as both an identity and a way of life.” Teetsel wrote:

"A significant cultural impediment has been removed, and so sin will spread. This is regrettable because sin, of course, leads to suffering. As our LGBT neighbors continue to experience the ravages of their sin, will anyone be there to explain to them its cause?"

The Manhattan Declaration brings right-wing Catholics together with their evangelical counterparts to advance their shared strategic goal of portraying opposition to LGBT equality, abortion and contraception in religious liberty terms. Signers and promoters of the Manhattan Declaration compare themselves to martyrs and pledge civil disobedience:

Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.

Teetsel has appeared at numerous Religious Right political gatherings and shows up in Rick Santorum’s “documentary” about the “erosion” of religious liberty in America. More notably, he spoke at the recent World Congress of Families summit in Salt Lake City, which honored an activist who defends African laws that punish gays with long jail terms. In fact, Teetsel is listed in the WCF program as a member of the “SWAT Team” charged with “Strategic Planning for the Future” along with that activist, Theresa Okafor, and other anti-gay and anti-choice leaders from around the world.

Teetsel’s hiring is almost certainly a better reflection of Rubio’s commitment to anti-gay culture warriors than his much-ballyhooed endorsement by billionaire Paul Singer, who has backed gay causes but seems more interested in what Rubio can do for the profitability of his vulture capitalism.

Rand Paul Suggests Doing Away With The Postal Service

In a radio interview yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul said that if he were to become president, he would pare down the federal government so much that he might even do away with the U.S. Postal Service.

Paul joined Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson, who played a clip of last week’s Republican presidential debate in which the Kentucky Republican said that he wants “a government really, really small, so small you can barely see it.”

Paul told Mickelson that this microscopic government might not have room for a postal service. “I think the federal government ought to defend us from foreign attack and have a judiciary and, let’s see, I would say the post office, but they screw up the post office too, so we really don’t even need them for the post office,” he said. “So I want a government that’s really small.”

“I would have a country that defends us from foreign attack, a country that sort of keeps the peace and a country that has a judiciary, a legislative branch, but a country where the federal government didn’t do much,” he added.

Paul’s previous contribution to postal reform was trying to amend a bill to allow guns in post offices.

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/12/15

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 11/12/15

  • Peter LaBarbera is apparently relocating the headquarters of his Americans For Truth About Homosexuality organization to Washington, D.C.
  • Paul Hair says "I revere the American Founding and love humanity. Thus, I hate what America has become."
  • A Republican state legislator is targeting the University of Missouri for daring to research the question of whether a state law requiring a 72-hour waiting period for abortions is effective. 
  • FRC prays against Planned Parenthood: "May the right actions of Congress and the prayers of your people mitigate the judgment that is now upon America."
  • Finally, Gordon Klingenschmitt says that a court victory for Christian street preachers who were harassed while preaching at an Arab-American festival is also a victory for Muslims "because now they have a right to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ which can save their souls from Hell."

Fischer: 'The Last Place We Are Going To Want To Put A Child Is In A Lesbian Household'

Recently, a judge in Utah ordered that a foster child be removed from a home with two lesbian parents and placed with a heterosexual couple on the grounds that "kids in homosexual homes don’t do as well as they do in heterosexual homes."

Predictably, Bryan Fischer came rushing to that judge's defense on his radio program today, declaring that "no culture would ever want to adopt policies that are harmful, dangerous and risky to children."

"That means we should never countenance policies that place children in same-sex households, whether it's foster care or whether it is adoption," he said.

Fischer also came out against single-parent adoptions as well, before citing Mark Regnerus' repeatedly debunked study to claim that children raised by lesbians are 10 times more likely to be sexually abused.

"The risk of sexual abuse, unwanted sexual touching, is 10 times higher in a lesbian household than in a heterosexual household," he said. "So if we care about the sexual purity, the sexual integrity of our children, which I do, then the last place we are going to want to put a child is in a lesbian household."

"So good for this judge," he concluded. "I am 100 percent standing behind him."

Duck Dynasty Swoops In To Help David Vitter

Sen. David Vitter has been feeling the heat in his Louisiana gubernatorial campaign over his ties to the a Washington D.C. prostitution service, but he is trying to put a positive spin on the scandal by asserting that just as he had to come back from his “hard times,” so too does Louisiana need to bounce back from all of its fiscal problems.

In his latest campaign ad, Vitter turns to the Religious Right’s favorite reality TV stars, the Duck Dynasty clan, for their moral seal of approval.

Willie Robertson says of Vitter, awkwardly decked in camouflage next to him, “I know he’s made some mistakes, but who hasn’t? The whole story of the Bible is about redemption, and I’m concerned about our state.”

“What defines us in life is how we get up and earned redemption,” Vitter said, likening his personal process to the need for Louisiana “to get up based upon strong conservative principles.”

Ted Cruz To Rally With Activists Who Link Gays To Satan

Fresh off attending a conference whose host, Kevin Swanson, voiced support for the execution of gay people, Ted Cruz will stage a “Rally for Religious Liberty” in Greenville, South Carolina, on Saturday featuring a number of Religious Right activists who have referred to gay rights advocates as demonic enemies.

The rally is taking place at none other than Bob Jones University, the fundamentalist school that in the 1970s and 1980s famously cited “religious liberty” in an attempt to uphold its racist policies, which its leaders claimed were rooted in the Bible. The school’s chancellor apologized only recently for past comments he made about the need to stone gay people in order to “solve the problem post-haste.”

Just as Swanson believes that “the homosexual Borg is the power in the principality of the demonic world,” a number of the Religious Right activists who will be speaking alongside Cruz in Greenville have claimed that their battle against gay rights is really a spiritual war against Satan.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has referred to gay activists has “hateful” and “intolerant” “pawns” of the Devil and, like Swanson, has defended the notorious Ugandan bill that would have made homosexuality a death penalty crime in some cases.

Another speaker, Virginia-based activist E.W. Jackson, has described gay people as “spiritually darkened,” adding, “Their minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.” He also thinks that with President Obama “we’re really dealing with an evil presence.”

Texas-based pastor Dave Welch similarly portrayed Houston’s lesbian mayor as spiritually evil: “She literally is one of those who is caught in the snare, in the web of her darkness and her condition. I pray, we do pray for her, that God delivers her and sets her free from that.”

David and Jason Benham have made no bones about their belief that gay people are under the Devil’s thumb. They even wrote an entire column explaining why they think the gay rights movement is motivated by Satan.

Of course, Cruz’s father and campaign surrogate, Rafael Cruz, who will also be attending the Bob Jones event, has frequently depicted the gay rights movement as a sinister force, even going so far as to blame the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling on the Devil.

Huckabee Claimed Ignorance About 'Kill The Gays' Pastor's Extremist Views

In a press gaggle at last weekend’s National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee dismissed concerns about the extremism of its organizer, Kevin Swanson, telling a reporter that he didn’t “have any knowledge” that Swanson backs the death penalty for homosexuality.

Indiana broadcaster Joyce Oglesby ran audio of the interaction on her radio program on Friday.

An unnamed reporter asked Huckabee, apparently directly after his speech to the conference, about “reports that there are a few pastors speaking her today that say that if you’re homosexual, you should be prosecuted, you should actually be killed.”

“Obviously, I don’t agree with that,” Huckabee responded. “I don’t think anyone’s ever accused me of saying that. And I don’t know, did anyone say that from this stage today?”

The reporter responded that while nobody had said such things from the stage yet that day, the organizer and other speakers had previously made such remarks.

“I can’t go with ‘there are some reports that,’” Huckabee responded. “Give me a specific, give me something to react to, that won’t work for me, because I don’t have any knowledge of that. All I know is what I said, I can’t be responsible for what anybody else said on that stage, and apparently nobody said that on that stage.”

If Huckabee had stuck around just a few minutes after his speech, he would have heard Swanson saying exactly that, bellowing to the audience that the biblically ordained punishment for homosexuality is death. If he had stuck around until the next day of the conference, he would have heard Swanson return to the theme, saying that he doesn’t want the government to impose the death penalty for homosexuality quite yet because he wants to give the culture time to change and gays time to repent before imposing his version of biblical law.

And if Huckabee or anybody on his staff had bothered to do any basic research before agreeing to attend the conference, these statements would not have come as a surprise. One of Huckabee’s fellow GOP candidates — likely Ben Carson — reportedly dropped out of the conference after we reported on Swanson’s extremist views. Likewise, People For the American Way called on Huckabee and his fellow candidates Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal to drop out of the summit a full week before it started, citing Swanson’s long history of extremism, including his defense of the death penalty for gay people. As the Cato Institute’s David Boaz writes today, showing up at Swanson’s conference showed “appalling judgment” on the part of Huckabee, Cruz and Jindal.

It seems that after this weekend’s conference, there are plenty of specific reports available for Huckabee to react to. He should be asked to explain himself.

Linda Harvey: Gays Want To Molest Kids In Order To Turn Them Gay

Mission America president Linda Harvey published a doozy of a column in WorldNetDaily on Tuesday, in which she insisted that gay rights groups are pushing for child abuse because they know that the “correlation between child molestation and the development of same-sex attraction for some youth is irrefutable.” (Of course, that’s not at all the case).

Harvey insists that LGBT activists, whom she says themselves were likely molested as children, are out to abuse kids in hopes of turning them not only into gay people but also into gay rights activists, comparing this nonexistent recruiting process to Stockholm Syndrome.

She concludes her incendiary column by asserting that the Obama administration and public schools now want America to “reward child molesters” and give them access to kids.

Innocence is repulsive to many liberals.

Their contempt forms the subtext of leftist policies involving children, like the gender-rebellion con job Obama’s federal Department of Education is attempting through mandates about school bathrooms and locker rooms, twisting U.S. Title IX law in the process.

Modesty? Privacy? Chastity? So dull, so unenlightened. Semi-nude cavorting in pride parades is what children really need, along with sex educators and homosexual adults to rescue them from the prison of their parents’ repression. Get out there, kids, and explore being “queer,” and the ACLU will defend your rights if needed.

These activists have an obsessive desire to “support” and “protect” children. Most parents and grandparents would call it corruption.

But the reality goes further and gets darker. The correlation between child molestation and the development of same-sex attraction for some youth is irrefutable. (Colleague Jason Salamone makes the case with numerous citations in this article.)

Wholesome young faces who should be left to develop normally are too tempting for some elite sexual anarchists, believing they are exempt from bourgeois mores. Children, if asked, would really prefer not to be lured somewhere by a shady adult, shown pornography, given alcohol or drugs, told they “want this” and were “born this way” and end up in intimate contact they never chose, contact that messes with their body and soul and may take a lifetime to overcome.

Many recover, but some go on to embrace these premature, perverted desires. Some even become advocates for overturning marriage and civil rights law to enshrine homosexuality and gender rebellion as norms.

The movement for “LGBT equality” is largely built on this quicksand. All of America is endangered if we bless the rotten fruits of criminal conduct against children. Are we insane?

It’s time America called the homosexual activists on their Stockholm syndrome. They were not born this way, but created through sexual indoctrination.

The dictionary defines “Stockholm syndrome” as “the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor.”

Our laws, cultural standards and even our Constitution are being shredded by the demands of deviants who weren’t always so. They were corrupted, often through child molestation.

Should any responsible American reward child molesters?
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