“I’ll Lose Half My Congregation”

I don’t really have anything insightful to say about this, but I just wanted to mention how odd it is that I keep hearing this same line from Religious Right leaders claiming to have been in some meeting or other gathering at which leaders where trying to create a plan of political action when one (always unnamed) pastor said they just cannot participate because they “would lose half their congregation.”

I have heard this several times in recent weeks and months, but only noticed how odd it was today when I heard both Glenn Beck and Chuck Colson say it.

Beck claims that someone said it during a meeting he attended with James Dobson and James Robison and others where they all decided to come together and take a stand with Beck to defend religious liberty with the exception of “one person [who] said ‘I can’t, I’ll lose half my congregation” (scroll ahead to around the 55 second mark):

Chuck Colson uses the exact same line in this recent video urging people to sign the Manhattan Declaration, claiming “a megachurch pastor in a major American city was asked by a colleague to sign the Manhattan Declaration, his answer was ‘I can’t, I’ll lose half my congregation” (scroll ahead to the one minute mark):

Now what are the chances that two different religious leaders in two completely different situations gave exactly the same explanation as to why they couldn’t support these separate political efforts?

And does Beck really expect us to believe that there was one religious leader attending a meeting with the likes of himself, Robison, and Dobson who declared himself unable to take a political stand out of fear of alienating half his congregation? What exactly is a person like that doing at a meeting with professional Religious Right activists in the first place?