Earlier this week, I wrote about a series of upcoming “Winning Matters” conferences, a project of the Family Foundation of Virginia and its affiliated Pastors For Family Values, featuring Harry Jackson, Jonathan Falwell, Mat Staver, and Rick Scarborough designed to activate “values voters” in Virginia ahead of the state’s off-year elections.
Today we learned that there is another, apparently somewhat affiliated, series of similar rallies taking place featuring many of these same people, but operating under the name Hope for America, which is a project of Jody Hice’s Let Freedom Ring Ministries. Several rallies are scheduled for the coming weeks, mostly in Virginia, and likewise featuring Staver, Scarborough, Falwell, and even Zell Miller.
Last night one was held in Roanoke and, judging by the press coverage, it was pretty much what you’d expect for a rally organized by right-wing groups and featuring right-wing speakers like Staver and Scarborough:
The war for the soul and the government of America needs more Christian soldiers.
That was the message delivered Thursday night to about 100 attendees of the “Hope for America Rally” at Penn Forest Worship Center in Southwest Roanoke County.
“America is on the verge of destruction,” the Rev. Rick Scarborough told the crowd in a booming Baptist sermon.
“You, beloved, are the hope,” he said.
Scarborough is a well-known Texas minister and conservative political activist with ties to the late Rev. Jerry Falwell and several key Republican lawmakers.
In 1992, the firebrand evangelist waged a high-profile battle over sex education in Texas schools and has written several books arguing against the separation of church and state.
Mathew Staver, dean of the Liberty University School of Law, also spoke.
Sponsored by Atlanta, Ga.-based Let Freedom Ring, Thursday’s rally was the first of several that are planned across Virginia. Others have been held in or are scheduled to be held in North Carolina and Georgia. Scarborough is expected to speak at many of them.
Let Freedom Ring is affiliated with Jody Hice, a pastor and conservative Christian radio personality in Atlanta and an adherent to the “Christian worldview.”
Let Freedom Ring preaches that America was founded by Christian leaders and that the country’s freedoms are based on biblical precepts. In its view secular values, such as the separation of church and state, abortion rights, radical feminism and gay rights, have spurred a moral and political decline that Christians must battle, not just in the pews, but in the political sphere.
Aaron Evans, a former Fox News radio producer from Martinsville, organized the Roanoke rally with help from The Family Foundation and other conservative Christian groups.
Scarborough preached to the crowd about the dangers of loosening sexual mores. He warned that gay rights legislation could be used to silence pastors who preach that homosexuality is a sin.
“In my lifetime, we have gone from ‘Ozzie and Harriet’ and ‘Leave it to Beaver’ … to ‘Sex in the City’ and ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.’
“We’ve gone from spin the bottle to hooking up in the eighth grade,” he said.
But, Scarborugh preached, “this nation can be saved if pastors would just understand how much God wants to save it.”
This reminds me a lot of the “70 Weeks to Save America” crusade Scarborugh tried to launch a few years back that never amounted to much after his key partner, Alan Keyes, decided to run for president and Vision America ran into financial trouble.
Apparently, this time around, Scarborough has realized that if he wants this done right, he should let somebody else organize it.
AU has more on this rally.