Christian nationalist political operative David Lane is seeking $22 million for a campaign to boost conservative Christian turnout in 10 battleground states—Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, and Iowa—this year. In a column published by Charisma, Lane claims that his American Renewal Project increased “Christian turnout” by 5 to 7 percent in half a dozen key states in 2016.
Lane has a much bigger vision than just helping put President Donald Trump back in the White House. Lane views politics as spiritual warfare necessary to defeat secularists and pagans and make America the Christian nation he says it was founded to be. He teaches that the U.S. has a national mandate to promote the Christian faith and calls the separation of church and state a lie.
In recent years, Lane has recruited conservative pastors to run for office and mobilize their congregations as election volunteers. In his new column in Charisma, he imagines hundreds of conservative evangelical pastors running for office in the next few election cycles, “triggering a third great awakening” and “bringing about a full-impact collision between the two rival religions in America of Christianity and secularism.”
“Since each worldview is expansive and evangelistic, there will be no reconciliation of opposites with God; one will ultimately end in the eradication of the other,” Lane adds.
As Right Wing Watch has noted repeatedly over the years, Lane’s divisive Christian nationalist extremism hasn’t prevented Republican officials at all levels from embracing him and supporting his work. They don’t seem to be bothered by his anti-LGBTQ extremism either; he once urged conservative Christians to prepare for martyrdom in their fight to “save the nation from the pagan onslaught” of marriage equality and legal abortion. As a presidential candidate in 2016, Donald Trump attended one of Lane’s organizing events in Florida.
Here’s some more background on Lane from Right Wing Watch reporting in 2018, when Lane teamed up with California-based dominionists to try to “turn California around”:
Lane, who declared in 2013 that “Christians must be retrained to war for the Soul of America,” has been organizing events since the mid-1990s to encourage conservative evangelical pastors to preach more about politics, to get their congregants more politically engaged, and to run for office. Lane’s “pastors and pews” events have functioned as matchmakers between right-wing politicians and tens of thousands of pastors; and his Issachar trainings have encouraged pastors to run for office themselves.
Lane preaches that the U.S. has a divine mission to glorify God and advance the Christian faith, and he has called the separation of church and state a “lie” and a “fabricated whopper” designed to stop “Christian America—the moral majority—from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning and pagan media.” He has complained that there was “not a peep from the Christian Church” in response to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, when the church “should have initiated riots, revolution, and repentance.”
Among the Republican congressional candidates running with Lane’s support are Bethel worship leader Sean Feucht in Northern California and Young Kim, who is running again in California’s Orange County after narrowly losing in 2018.