On Saturday, Coral Ridge Ministries—the televangelism empire of the late D. James Kennedy—broadcast a special program to encourage pastors to involve their churches in this year’s elections. While the panelists—Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, Jordan Lorence of Alliance Defense Fund, and Gary DeMar of American Vision—offered the usual admonishments that there’s no such thing as separation of church and state, the theme of the evening was that Christianity is being “suppressed” in this country by liberals and the “militant homosexual agenda.” Watch “Pastors, Pulpits, and Politics“:
This is the persecuted majority syndrome: the idea that it’s a whole lot simpler to convince people to join your political program if you convince them that their faith is “under attack.” This has been one of the Religious Right’s dominant themes over the last few years through campaigns such as FRC’s “Justice Sunday,” a series of televised, church-based rallies to support President Bush’s most radical judicial nominees, who the Right claimed were being opposed because of their religion. Perkins picked up on that theme on Saturday:
The idea that there should be no religious test … that has been turned on its head to say that if you have a particular faith or denomination in which you actually believe it and apply it to your lives, therefore, if that’s the case, you can’t serve in government. You have to somehow choose between actually believing in what you believe and serving in government. That’s how this is being applied today and it’s totally wrong.
And we’re losing the Christian foundation of our nation. And if you want to see a totalitarian government, you want to see rights that are lost and freedoms abused, then you lose the Christian heritage of this nation and you go down the path that the liberals are taking us. And that’s where it’ll be found.