For months, North Carolina’s radically Christian nationalist Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson has traveled around the state, promoting his extremist views in churches in an effort to convince right-wing Christians to become more politically engaged.
Many of these speeches have been organized by the American Renewal Project, an organization run by Christian nationalist political operative David Lane, who was among the first to begin mobilizing the Christian right in support of Donald Trump in 2016. As Lane recently explained, “the aim and purpose” of such gatherings is “to recruit pastors and spiritual leaders to run for local office—city council, school board, county commissioner, parks and recreation, etc.—in 2022, 2024, 2026 and thereafter, in an attempt to neutralize and overcome the assault by cultural Marxism.”
Late last month, Lane participated in a World Prayer Network livestream where he explained how he has been working closely with Robinson to mobilize pastors in an effort to take down “the false god of secularism ” and ensure that their Christian nationalist values “reign supreme” throughout the state.
“It’s my opinion that unless pastors and pews move out into the public square, I think that’s the only way to save America at this point,” Lane said. “I went to see [Robinson], and I said to the lieutenant governor, ‘Let me tell you what I want to do if the Lord gives me the money.’ He said, ‘Tell me.’ I said, ‘I want to do 10 events across the state of North Carolina and average 100 pastors per event.'”
“I’m political. People think I’m a pastor,” Lane confessed. “I said, ‘We want to do 10 events, have a political guy look at the races—city council, county commissioners, school board—and the goal is to have 20 or 30 pastors or spiritual leaders to run for local office in 2022.’ The lieutenant governor said, ‘That’s what I want do.’ So we’ve done 11 events beginning in March. We had 220 pastors in Raleigh, 207 in Kannapolis, 182 in Greenville, 180 in Jamestown, 158 in Hendersonville, 220 in Gaston, 260 in Greensboro, 181 in White Lake, 161 in Asheville, 232 in Statesville, and 185 in Willow Springs. And out of that, 132 North Carolina pastors or spiritual leaders have signed a card that they’re praying about running for local office in 2022.”
“If we’re going to save America, every church in America has to have a pastor, an elder, a deacon, or a congregant running for local office in 2022, 2024, 2026, and thereafter,” Lane declared. “That’s the only shot, I believe, of saving America at this point. We’ve given ourselves to the devil, and they control the cultural levers of power. Look what’s happened in the school boards and the schools. We’ve done this to ourselves. We’re guilty. We deserve judgment. I pray for mercy. This is a war between the false god of secularism and God Jehovah, and somebody’s values are going to reign supreme.”