David Lane

David Lane's Bold Efforts To Recruit 1,000 Pastors To Run For Office Shows Lackluster Returns

Last year, David Lane, an influential Religious Right activist and Christian nation extremist, announced a bold plan to recruit 1,000 pastors to run for political office in 2016:

A prominent evangelical Christian leader has launched an effort to recruit 1,000 pastors willing to run for political office, hoping to inject religious issues and candidates into the 2016 election.

David Lane, the founder of the American Renewal Project, said he hopes he can persuade pastors to run for offices as varied as school board and city council to the state legislature and Congress. He’s scheduled an organizing meeting in January in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

"Government is not going to save America. Wall Street is not going to save America. The Republican party is not going to save America. If America is going to be saved it will be done by Christian men and women restoring a Judeo-Christian culture to the country," Mr. Lane said in an interview with The Washington Times.

Mr. Lane said he was inspired by his own pastor Rob McCoy, who ran for the state assembly in California. Mr. McCoy was narrowly defeated by the Democratic candidate who spent $6 million against him.

"After I watched that happen the reason I emailed pastors asking them to pray for 30 days is that if they do half as good as my pastor did, if 1,000 pastors in 2016 felt like the Lord was calling them to run for office, and they each had 300 volunteers, then that’s 300,000 people on the grass-roots level," Mr. Lane said.

To achieve that goal, Lane has held a series of Issachar Training sessions all over the country aimed at mobilizing an army of conservative pastors to run for office, often with the support of Republican presidential hopefuls and members of Congress.

Lane has been at this for a year now, and what does he have to show for it?

According to the headline of this Washington Times article today, Lane has managed to meet about half of his stated goal: "500 pastors heed call to run for office, restore Christian values in U.S."

However, if you actually read the article, you quickly learn that the figure of 500 pastors represents only those who have voiced an interest in possibly running for some office at some point in the next three years. And of those 500 who have expressed interested, merely a third might actually run for office at some point: 

His goal was to recruit 1,000 pastors across America to start walking the godly talk by campaigning for public office. The project was dubbed “Issachar,” after the Old Testament founder of one of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Mr. Lane, the California-based founder of the American Renewal Project (Mr. Gingrich dubbed it “Pastors and Pews”), appears to be halfway to that goal just a few days before his recruitment and training effort holds its first event in the Washington, D.C., area.

“Two thousand pastors and spouses have attended our Issachar Training in 2015,” Mr. Lane said proudly.

As of Thursday, 508 pastors have agreed in writing to consider running for political office over the next three years, according to Issachar Project Director Steve W. Michael.

“After our Issachar events, we do live calls with our folks on [a] ‘hot list,’ folks who seem reasonably certain to run, and our ‘mild list,’ less definite about running but definitely interested, and ‘cold list,’ people who don’t sound eager to run but may persuade others to,” Mr. Michael explained.

He said the “hot” contingent numbers about one-third of the combined 508 “hot and mild” total.

Lane set out to recruit 1,000 pastors to run for office in 2016 and spent an entire year traveling the country mobilizing right-wing Christian activists for that purpose, yet was only able to find approximately 150 who even "seem reasonably certain" that they might run for office at some point in the next three years. 

Michael Brown Joins List of Religious Right Endorsements for Ted Cruz

In August, we asked whether Ted Cruz was winning the Christian Nation primary, with fracking billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks pumping $15 million into a pro-Cruz super PAC and political operative David Lane promoting Cruz’s anti-Planned Parenthood efforts. In September, Religious Right “historian” David Barton was tapped to take over a Cruz super PAC, and CNN reported that top officials of Online for Life are “playing a growing role in the super PACs backing Ted Cruz.” Yesterday, Glenn Beck declared that Cruz “was truly raised up for this purpose at this time.”

Now Cruz has announced the endorsement of another Religious Right activist, Michael Brown, a North Carolina preacher and author of “Revolution! The Call to Holy War.” Brown participated in the anti-gay “Stand4Truth” conference that was held as a lead-in to the World Congress of Families last week.

Brown is scheduled to appear, along with David and Jason Benham and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, at a Cruz-organized “religious liberty” rally at Bob Jones University on November 14. As we noted a few weeks ago, “the ‘religious liberty’ Bob Jones is most famous for defending was its long insistence that its segregationist policies were mandated in the Bible.”

Brown has already been portraying marriage equality as a dire threat to religious freedom in America. Back in June, when the Supreme Court released its decision affirming marriage equality nationwide, Brown wrote a snarky note to Justice Anthony Kennedy to thank him “for confirming what we have been saying for many years now, namely, that gay activism is the principle threat to our freedoms of speech, religion and conscience.” Brown also thanked Kennedy “for bringing unprecedented religious persecution to the shores of our nation,” adding, “Despite the darkness and pain ahead, this will only cause the Church to wake up and grow stronger.” 

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 10/29/15

  • David Lane declares that "the fact is, the engine that birthed America was spiritual; winning the world for Christ was the driving force in the founding of America."
  • Franklin Graham is fed up with political correctness: "Our society had better stop being so concerned about being politically correct and start being concerned about being spiritually correct! As individuals and as a nation we need to turn our hearts to Almighty God. We need to understand that God’s laws and His standards never change, and He will hold us accountable."
  • One Million Moms is "extremely disappointed that American Girl ... is promoting sin in the November/December 2015 issue of its magazine" by featuring a story that included "a large picture of a girl with her two dads, Daddy and Dada, and three other adopted children." 
  • FRC prays for the passage of the First Amendment Defense Act: "Pray that God’s people will awaken to the present and escalating threat we and our children face. May pastors enlist in the fight and lead their people to reclaim religious liberty. May FADA find new life and may Congress pass and the President sign it!"
  • Finally, David Brody's infatuation with Donald Trump has become utterly laughable: "Something happened Wednesday night on the debate stage in Boulder. Donald Trump didn’t come across as 'Donald Trump From Celebrity Apprentice.' Rather, he came across as, 'Hall of Fame Coach Donald Trump.'"

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 10/26/15

  • Guess who said it: “It has not been easy for me, and, you know, I started off in Brooklyn my father gave me a small loan of $1 million.” 
  • A new warning from Jesse Lee Peterson: “Chaos is on the rise in our cities. And I blame Barack Obama for stoking it. He has opened the gates of hell on America.” 
  • The first couple denied a marriage license by Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis have married
  • Speaking of Davis, Justice Kennedy appeared to address her case at a recent Harvard Law event where he said that “the rule of law is that, as a public official in performing your legal duties, you are bound to enforce the law.”

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 10/13/15

  • According to WND's Joseph Farah, Jonathan Cahn is "the definition of a prophet" despite being terrible at making predictions.
  • Jennifer LeClaire helpfully lays out "5 Clear Signs Witchcraft Is Attacking You Right Now."
  • Rafael Cruz absurdly claims that David Barton taking over one of Ted Cruz's Super PACs is a tremendous advantage because it'll help Cruz appeal to "a bloc of the population that has been basically absent from the political process in very high numbers." 
  • David Lane says that "it's important that we find a spiritual man for the Speaker of the House."
  • Yet another column from the Benham brothers saying that the gay rights movement is Satanic.
  • Phyllis Schlafly argues against allowing women to serve in combat: "There’s a reason why no woman has ever won our nation’s highest award for valor."
  • Finally, Californians for Population Stabilization will air a television commercial calling for an end to birthright citizenship during tonight's Democratic primary debate.

David Lane: Frito-Lay Has 'Become An Apostle For Anarchy' By Selling Rainbow Doritos

A few weeks ago, we noted that Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee had launched a boycott against Frito-Lay over the release of Rainbow Doritos, which benefited the anti-bullying It Gets Better Project, despite his previous stance that such boycotts were "economic terrorism."

Supporting Huckabee in this effort was extremist Christian nationalist David Lane of the American Renewal Project, who recently penned a column explaining the need for the boycott on the grounds that Frito-Lay had partnered with an organization that was founded by "anti-Christian bully Dan Savage." 

By doing so, Lane said, Frito-Lay has proclaimed "solidarity with sexual anarchy" and is fueling America's "rebellion against God" by spreading "Carcinogenic Secularism":

This Madison Avenue maneuvering by Frito-Lay to capitalize on and exalt homosexual acceptance in America fuels a rebellion against God's created order for life. Sexual sin, including the sin of homosexuality, seeks gratification in the denial of God's order. Sinful acts have rebellion against God for their root, but the fruit from that tree will never satisfy the soul. God equates rebellion with witchcraft, "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry" (1 Samuel 15:23).

Because virtue is a key component of freedom, Frito-Lay positions itself at the forefront of undermining liberty in America. The snack maker has become an apostle for anarchy. As one Bible scholar wrote, "Widespread, systemic violations of law brings on anarchy, both as its natural consequence and as its fitting punishment, and with anarchy comes an oppressive multiplicity of rulers and factions."

Dan Savage has a spiritual problem. And, like me, he needs Jesus Christ.

Take three minutes to watch Mr. Savage spew his rage at high schoolers in 2012. Then, take three minutes to pray for him.

Mr. Savage is the distinct outcome of a decadent, godless society ruined (and now ruled) by secularists. Like a rotten apple, Savage sours his realm with vice. Carcinogenic Secularism has reached every vestige and segment of society: government, the bureaucracy, the courts, public education, universities, media, and Hollywood. The Supreme Court's June edit legalizing homosexual marriage, Obergefell v. Hodges, was not "harmless triviality but rather that perversion of truth which makes good evil and evil good (Isaiah 5:20)."

America's only hope is a spiritual resurrection. 

Mike Huckabee: Boycott Rainbow Doritos! But Chick-Fil-A Boycott Was 'Economic Terrorism'

Back in 2012, Mike Huckabee came to Chick-fil-A’s defense after the restaurant chain faced criticism for its founder’s anti-gay statements and for donations the company’s foundation had made to anti-gay groups. Huckabee organized a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” in an attempt to block what he described as “economic terrorism” targeting the company. On his Fox News show, he said he would never call for a boycott of Starbucks, Apple or Amazon even though he disagrees with their leaders’ politics.

Huckabee, however, seems to have changed his tune on culture-war boycotts. Time reports that Huckabee has “called on Christians to boycott all snacks made by” Frito Lay after it released limited edition Rainbow Doritos to benefit the anti-bullying It Gets Better Project. Huckabee had demanded that the group apologize and cut its ties with Dan Savage, who founded the anti-bullying group.

The GOP presidential candidate’s anti-Frito Lay campaign reportedly came at the behest of David Lane, a Republican organizer who has linked gays to everything from car bombs to America’s looming destruction and who bizarrely suggests that the creation of Rainbow Doritos could destroy America and curtail religious freedom.

When it became clear that Frito-Lay would not back down, Huckabee and Lane called on Christians to boycott all snacks made by the company in order to protest the perceived connection to Savage, whom they call an “anti-Christian bully.” In a letter to over 100,000 pastors, Lane wrote that “tolerance for Frito-Lay’s brazen corporate support of hate speech by Dan Savage— that were it directed toward Muslim’s, would warrant a Justice Department investigation and prosecution— is chipping away at the very character and soul of the American experience.”

Savage is no longer actively affiliated with the It Gets Better Project, but he did start the idea of It Gets Better, a series of videos by prominent people assuring LGBT youth that if they’re being bullied, it won’t last forever. The idea is to comfort LGBT teens who may be contemplating suicide because of bullying or isolation. “Its hilarious to read that ‘we’re gonna boycott Doritos,’” Savage says. “Michelle Obama’s probably going to call to thank me for getting so many right wing nuts to give up snacks. Maybe they’ll be a little thinner.”

Savage says the backlash to the LGBT Doritos is a perfect analogy for a general attitude towards gay rights. “I don’t see how a gay bag of chips limits anyone else’s religious freedom,” he says. “You don’t have a right to live in a world without bags of gay chips, and it doesn’t infringe on anyone’s private beliefs of practices if there’s a bag of gay chips out there.

Lane disagrees. “He’s promoting an agenda that we believe will collapse America,” Lane says. “Homosexuals used to have a libertarian position: ‘let me do what we do in the privacy of my own home.’ They’ve moved into a totalitarian position: ‘you’re going to participate in our weddings, or we’re going to bankrupt you.’ The next step is fascism: ‘you’re going to cheer at our weddings, or we’re going to put you in jail.”

David Benham's Gay-Bashing Tirade At 'Nonpolitical' Prayer Rally

Last weekend’s Response rally in Charlotte, North Carolina was another in a series of supposedly nonpolitical gatherings organized by political strategist David Lane. Like other Response gatherings, the event served as a platform for culture warriors associated with Christian-nation dominionism to promote anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-church state ideology all while proclaiming that they are simply bringing Christians together to pray for the state and nation.

Among the culture warriors to take the microphone in Charlotte was David Benham, half of the Benham Brothers duo who have parlayed a cancelled television show into Religious Right folk-hero status.

David and his brother have a long record of anti-gay rhetoric and activism. They once urged Charlotte officials to deny permits for the city’s pride celebration. David has repeatedly linked gays with Satan, so it is not terribly surprising that he portrayed the LGBT equality movement as a force of darkness in a spiritual battle for the soul of America:

As we shift into individual repentance I want to provide a little context for where we’re meeting right now. Eight years ago, I came to the Charlotte convention center, and sat in a meeting with 1500 individuals in the room directly above this room. It was a meeting with the Human Rights Campaign. The president stood on the stage and said that we are going to take the key to Charlotte, we are going to take North Carolina, and we will force our agenda on this nation. And all of you bigots that think that you can stand against us, you can do nothing about it because you sit in your living rooms laughing at our humor on television.

And I listened to that from the Human Rights Campaign and I found it very interesting that just a few months ago I sat at a city council meeting with the transgender bill that sat and was about to be voted upon. And the city attorney was asked, who was in the meeting helping you craft this ordinance, and he said, the Human Rights Campaign.

At the time the nondiscrimination ordinance in Charlotte was being debated, Benham called it “depraved” and “craziness.”

Benham argued, as is customary among Religious Right leaders, that America’s biggest problem is that “the church” hasn’t been aggressive enough in the culture wars.

The problem today is not the presence of darkness. The problem is the absence of light. This is nothing new in America. The spirit of the age is the spirit of Babylon, the same spirit that Daniel spoke about in his book, and this Babylonian spirit that seeks to remove Christian influence, that seeks to demonize and come against those who hold the commandments of God and keep the testimony of Jesus Christ.

This is the spiritual battle that is now waging before us in this nation, the home of the brave and the land of the free. And it’s time for the church of Jesus Christ to get off the sidelines and to step into the game. We don’t have a second Chronicles 7:14 moment – if my people who are called by my name, and the healing of the land – we don’t have that moment if it does not first begin with 1 Peter 4:17.

It is time for judgment to begin in the House of God.

Benham went on to talk about the sins “manifest in Israel” before the captivity in Babylon:  

“…the worship of the goddess of Ashera, sexual perversion of all kind, and the worship of the god of Moloch, child sacrifice. That is what we are finding in America, and we see it in North Carolina, that the shedding of innocent blood – 60 million unborn babies – have been slaughtered while we grow church. C’mon!

And we are now watching, as God is allowing our sexual perversion, not just the homosexual agenda, but adultery and divorce and pornography that are rooted in the church and it is time for us to fall on our faces before God and to repent of our sins.

Benham said God had a purpose in placing The Response directly below the room where that HRC meeting had been held:

It is no coincidence that we are in a basement underneath the room where the Human Rights Campaign issued their secular declaration that they would take this nation. Now it’s time for us to issue our declaration, that God we are sorry, forgive us of our sins, heal our land, O God.

In Daniel chapter 9 in Babylon he says this, I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed my sins and said alas, Lord, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant in loving kindness for those who love him and keep his commandments. We have sinned. We have committed iniquity. We have acted wickedly and rebelled. We have turned aside from your ordinances and commandments.

It’s time for us, as God has positioned us in this room, to get on our faces and to humble ourselves. We can point at our elected leaders. We can point at the secular media. We can point at Hollywood, and DC and New York City, but the finger points right to the church of Jesus Christ.

And we know that the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but are divinely powerful for the destruction of strongholds, those strongholds that come to rob, to kill, and to destroy. So let’s enter in now, this is not something that you can just sit there and watch. We must get on our faces before God for the sake of this nation, for the sake of our children and for the sake of the kingdom of heaven…

God we have sinned. God we have concerned ourselves with our rights but have forsaken our responsibility to be salt and light. God we have turned our backs Lord and gotten comfortable with American Christianity. Bring us back to biblical Christianity, oh God. Forgive us Lord Jesus for the perversion that is in our own ranks, God. Forgive us Lord Jesus for turning a blind eye to the shedding of innocent blood. God we ask you Lord forgive us. We intercede on behalf of our land knowing that we are the ones responsible. So Lord Jesus forgive us now as we enter individual repentance knowing that the only ones that ascend the hill of the Lord is he who has clean hands and a pure heart.


Seven Mountains Dominionism At North Carolina's 'Response' Rally

Last Saturday’s five-and-a-half-hour “Response” rally in North Carolina was, like previous “Response" rallies, a culture war rallying cry disguised as a nonpolitical prayer gathering. The event, organized by Christian-nation activist David Lane and emceed by “apostle” Doug Stringer, promoted Seven Mountains dominionism, the idea that the right kind of Christians are meant to control every sphere – or “mountain” – of cultural influence: business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, family, and religion.

While laying hands on North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, who Lane said was put in place by God, Lane prayed that God could give McCrory “courage to fight.” 

Lord, we pray that you would give him courage to fight. And Lord that the pastors of North Carolina would rise. And Lord that this would be the beginning. You say we war against not flesh and blood but principalities and powers. And like over the body of Moses in the book of Jude, the archangel Michael said, ’the Lord rebuke you. We’re asking the living God to intervene on what he have allowed in a nation founded for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith. Jesus help us, and begin with Pat McCrory, we’re asking in Jesus name.

Stringer continued the prayer over McCrory, saying that the Bible makes clear “that all authority, kingdom’s authorities, principalities and rulerships are subject to you, but your intention to give it to the church and through the church.”

Lord would you guide and protect and watch over the governor of this great state, all of our leaders across this nation, that they would come to renewed revelation of their need for you and that Lord as they submit themselves to you,  true reformation will take place and revival across this nation again.

In the session on “reformation,” Stringer talked about the development of “seven mountains” theology by people like the late Bill Bright of Campus Crusade. Another speaker fleshed out the concept:

Jesus gave a parable of a man, a certain nobleman who went into a far country, and he said, he gave 10 pounds to ten servants, and he said, “Occupy until I come.” Reformation is about occupying the places of influence in our nation, the places of influence in our culture. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. And God has commissioned the church to occupy until he comes…

There are 7 major issues or arenas in which we believe that God has appointed and assigned the church to occupy. We believe that the church, or the faith and religious community, must experience a time of reformation. The word tells us in Matthew the fifth chapter that the church, the body of Christ, is the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Let us pray that there would be an awakening in the faith community. Pray that the church would experience a revelation of holiness, righteousness, love and justice. Pray that the church would occupy every arena in our society. Pray that the church would be salt and light.

A number of speakers prayed for various mountains. Regarding the family, “that the unborn would be protected” and “that the family would have true biblical marriages” – which speakers made clear is not just about one-man, one-woman marriage, but about wifely submission.

Prayers for the government sphere included:

Pray for the government, that it would be, that we would have god-appointed leaders, men and women who would serve him and humanity. Pray for government that we would have voters who are informed, knowledgeable and insightful in how to vote righteously and biblically.

On education, one speaker prayed, “Restore prayer to our schools, O Holy God, restore one educational system to the biblical principles of Jesus Christ, in Jesus’s holy and mighty name, amen.” Another said this:

I repent for the folly of expelling you from our halls of learning. We have considered ourselves wise in our own eyes, when in reality wisdom in this world is foolishness before you. As a person working in the academic realm, I invite you back into the education system, to take your rightful place, as the foundation and the compass for learning. You are the only true source of knowledge and wisdom. I cry out to you to reform and transform the education system in this state and in this nation. Apart from you we can do nothing. In Christ we can do all things AMEN!

On the media:

“We are going to ask God to reform this mountain of media, we are at the point in this country where it is either reformation or revolution – the first is of the spirit, and the latter is of the force of the flesh, so God, we call upon you to reform the mountain of media for your kingdom purposes. Lord, you know that there’s a saying in the newsroom, that if it bleeds, it leads. My God, you bled for us. I know of no other way for mountain reformation to come than by the precious blood of the lamb. So Lord, we recognize you as our risen Lord and savior, and we ask for you to invade the news media. We ask you to loose skilled laborers to come into that mountain, to repossess the land where the enemy has taken up residence. God, we call for truth.…We ask for the truth of the gospel to go forth in the media…for the people of God to meet today in the city of intercession that you would begin a massive reformation in the mountain of media….

One of the final speakers made clear what the day was about – spiritual warfare against “the enemy.”

I thank you father for the reminder from your word and from the remarks that have been made throughout this day that this is war, and that we’re not looking for refreshing in order to be relieved of our responsibilities, but father we’re coming here today as a people of God, an army of God, seeking to be refreshed in order to renew the fight against the enemy. And today father, the people that are in this place, pick up the world-class weapon of prayer and we take it father against the enemy in the name of Jesus Christ. And we come against every obstacle, we come against every foe. 

Culture War Politics At David Lane's 'Nonpolitical' Prayer Rally

Last Saturday, while the Values Voter Summit drew Religious Right activists and pandering politicians together in Washington, D.C., a group of Christian dominionists was holding an all-day political prayer rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, featuring Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. McCrory had objected to the way Response organizers used his name to recruit participants, but it didn’t keep him away.

This was the fourth “Response” rally headlined by a state governor. The first, in 2011, served as the unofficial launch to Rick Perry’s disastrous 2012 presidential bid. Since then, Response rallies have been hosted by Bobby Jindal in Louisiana and Nikki Haley in South Carolina. Florida Gov. Rick Scott is scheduled to host the next “Response” on October 24. The North Carolina Response was the smallest to date; one speaker referred to “hundreds” of participants, while the Charlotte Observer reported that it attracted “more than 1,000” people.

The rallies are in effect a series of bait-and-switch events. They are disingenuously promoted as non-political gatherings to create Christian unity by bringing people together across denominational and racial lines to pray for the state and the country. And while that promise of ecumenical prayer and worship is undoubtedly what brought many people to the event in Charlotte, the “non-political” veneer was discarded almost immediately.

The organizers are a group of Christian-nation zealots who believe every sphere of influence in society – including business, government, education, media, and entertainment – is meant to be controlled by the right kind of Christians. And they’re intent on electing politicians – and a president – who share that vision. The events are sponsored by Christian-nation extremist David Lane, a favorite of GOP presidential hopefuls whose American Renewal Project organizes and funds The Response rallies as well as other efforts to get conservative evangelicals more involved in politics. The American Renewal Project operates under the umbrella of the American Family Association, home to the notorious font of bigotry, radio host Bryan Fischer.

Here’s how Lane opened his prayer at the unifying, non-political Response rally:

The problem is us, a Christian nation founded for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith that has left God. So Lord, we start here. We’re so sorry what we’ve allowed to happen to a once-Christian nation, Lord. We deserve judgment. We pray for mercy, the mercy of God. A nation founded on the Bible; fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And Lord, they removed prayer and Bible from the public schools in 1963 after 350 years as a principal component, as the fixed point in order to judge society. We did this, we allowed this to happen. We pray for mercy. Fifty-five million babies dead, homosexuals praying at the inauguration, red ink as far as the eye can see -- judgment is on us. We need mercy Lord. We deserve judgment.

Like other Response events, it was emceed by “apostle” Doug Stringer, who announced that the day would follow the five-theme Response formula: repentance, reconciliation, revival, reformation, and refreshing. As the Response moved through its five segments, Religious Right speakers took turns at the microphone, interspersed with praise music and prayers from locals. Some prayed for the church to be filled with God’s love, and some shouted out culture war rhetoric about abortion, homosexuality, and separation of church and state:

Lord, you’ve called us to be salt and light, and Lord, salt is flavoring, salt is an irritant, and salt is a preservative. Lord, it is sin for us to not study your word, and know it, and obey it. Oh, God, it is sin for us to not know our Constitution, our liberties, and it is sin for us to not know how to be good citizens, preserving our liberties and our freedoms. Change us, oh God, and help us be like Kim Davis, obeying the Constitution and defying federal criminals. In Jesus’ name.  

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/16/15

  • David Lane predicts that Donald Trump will flame out because "he doesn't know Jesus."
  • Jake MacAulay explains that the true purpose of public education is to enslave Christians: "If you can isolate children, and train them to believe that there is a wall of separation between God and government, then you can enslave them—or rather—they will have enslaved themselves."
  • Susan Stamper Brown has some very valid concerns about what might happen if Kim Davis is required to issue marriage licenses to gay couples: "Might the same un-law someday authorize her to issue marriage licenses between stuffed animals and humans? Or robots?"
  • A Muslim started a petition calling on Germany to cancel Oktoberfest and it has received a few hundred signatures, so naturally Glenn Beck sees it as validation of his warnings about "the Caliphate."
  • Finally, "Coach" Dave Daubenmire can't understand why everyone can't see the obvious: "If you just take a few minutes to stop and look around, you will be able to see these Demonic forces hard at work in 'high places.' Can you say the Supreme Court? Can you say Congress? Can you say the White House? Can you not see all of the 'high places' where Satan is in control? "

Ted Cruz Seeks To Solidify Christian Right Support With Attacks On Planned Parenthood

As we have noted recently, there’s evidence that Ted Cruz is consolidating support from influential Religious Right leaders. That includes pseudo-historian David Barton, billionaire fracking brothers Farris and Dan Wilks, and anti-choice activists behind the group Online for Life.

But Cruz is still well back in the polls, and evangelical voters are currently showing a preference for Donald Trump and Ben Carson, whose support has been rising since the first Republican debate.

Carson is now polling second to Donald Trump and ahead of Jeb Bush, with the New York Times reporting this weekend his growing support from Religious Right activists. Earlier this month, a Quinnipiac survey of likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa had Carson leading Trump 27-20 among born-again evangelicals; Cruz was in third at 12 percent.

Cruz is hoping to boost his support among evangelicals by leading an effort in Congress this month to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. Last month Cruz partnered with GOP political operative and Christian-nation extremist David Lane to encourage pastors to preach sermons against Planned Parenthood.

Lane has argued that conservative evangelicals need to unite behind a single candidate to prevent the nomination of an unacceptably establishment figure along the lines of John McCain and Mitt Romney — and he has organized many events for pastors to meet GOP presidential candidates. Cruz backers like Barton and the Wilks brothers are close allies of Lane —  and the Wilks brothers are big funders of Lane’s organizing projects as well as Online for Life.

Lane, who has had kind words for Donald Trump, has not publicly endorsed a candidate, but he has previously been dismissive of Ben Carson’s candidacy. He told the Washington Post’s Sebastian Payne last year, “Anyone who votes for Ben Carson has no idea what they are doing politically. He’s got zero chance of becoming president or getting the Republican nomination.”

Pat McCrory Tries To Have It Both Ways On Political Prayer Rally

North Carolina’s Pat McCrory is the fourth Republican governor to agree to host a “Response” prayer rally organized by Christian-nation extremist David Lane and other dominionist activists. Rick Perry used a “Response” rally to launch his doomed 2012 presidential bid; since then Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and South Carolina’s Nikki Haley have hosted rallies in their states.

As we have repeatedly explained, there are serious problems with governors lending their name and the power of their office to events that are built on the premise that the only answer to the nation’s problems is for the country to “return” to Jesus. They are exclusionary events that suggest only Christians — more specifically, Christians who share the Religious Right’s views — can be part of solving the nation’s problems. And, while pretending to be nonpolitical, they use politicians to give credibility to their anti-gay, anti-choice, America-as-Christian-nation agenda. They turn politics into spiritual warfare and political opponents into enemies of God.

The North Carolina “Response” event is scheduled for September 26 at the convention center in Charlotte. On Monday, organizers placed a full-page ad in the Charlotte Observer, featuring a photo of McCrory and the invitation, “Come Join Me in a time of worship, prayer, fasting and repentance.”

McCrory is getting some negative feedback, and the Observer reported yesterday that McCrory has distanced himself from the ad, with a spokesman saying the governor had agreed to speak but had not given permission to use his name in inviting people to the event. McCrory reportedly said he’s “proud to attend the event and be a part of what hopefully will be a constructive dialog.”

But either McCrory hasn’t done his homework or he’s being disingenuous. Response events are not meant to be a dialogue. They are part of a strategic public relations and political strategy being advanced by men like David Lane, who is trying to mobilize an “army” of conservative Christians to turn the 2016 elections and to remake the United States along the lines of what Lane sees as the country’s covenant with God. America, Lane says, is a nation founded by Christians “for the Glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”

This event, like other Response rallies, will be hosted by “apostle” Doug Stringer and paid for by David Lane’s American Renewal Project, which operates under the umbrella of the viciously anti-gay American Family Association. In advance of the rallies kicking off Perry’s and Jindal’s presidential bids in Texas and Louisiana, organizers distributed materials that blamed supposed national sins like the acceptance of homosexuality for Hurricane Katrina.

Ted Cruz Urges Pastors To Preach Against Planned Parenthood This Sunday

In recent weeks, Ted Cruz has really stepped up his efforts to become the Religious Right's candidate of choice in the GOP primary, even partnering with radical Christian nationalist David Lane for a conference call earlier this week seeking to mobilize right-wing pastors to pressure Congress to shut down the government, if necessary, in the effort to defund Planned Parenthood.

Cruz is continuing this effort by sending out an email today via David Barton's WallBuilders network urging pastors to use their sermons this weekend to preach against Planned Parenthood and even providing a link to a sample sermon for them to use.

Provided by Lane's American Renewal Project, the sermon warns that God will harshly judge America for the sin of legal abortion and explicitly calls upon those in the congregation to contact their representatives in Congress to demand an end to any funding for Planned Parenthood:

Proverbs provides clear insight into God’s character. He has a personal hatred for seven things. God judges them to be so odious that they are an abomination to Him. His character will never allow His hatred of an abomination to evolve into a toleration of it.  His children should be resolved to reflect His character, not to redefine it.

The Wise give shape to their personal and national character by loving what God loves and hating what God hates. Fools worship gods created by their vain imagination. They drift from the compass of God’s character. Their ears become deaf to His voice and their hearts become calloused to the touch of His hand. Any accumulative error of moral judgment is disastrous on a personal and a national level.

The abomination of any individual or any nation begins with the first act of disobedience to God. He finds rebellion disgusting, abhorrent and repugnant because it leads to a separation from Him and a loss of intimacy with Him.

When an individual or a nation stiff arms the character of God and embraces an abomination as the law of the land, it ends in disaster. When rebellious people disregard the compass of the most powerful, it is a very short step to dismembering the bodies of the most vulnerable. Like other nations, America has taken that step. It is time for a turnaround.


Recent videos exposing the gruesome practice of Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of the organs of babies from their mother’s womb. Exposing evil to the light of day has brought waves of sorrow to millions of tenderhearted people. Sorrow is redemptive only when it leads to repentance. Repentance requires a stopping point and a turning point. Without both there is no Spiritual Awakening on a personal or a national level.

There must be a point in which the accumulative error of an evil decision thrust upon the nation by secularist jurists stops. It must be followed by a turnaround that is spiritual, not political. That day has come. Let the breath in your lungs be used to pray for it to begin in your own heart.


A repentant person turns towards Jesus, and receives God’s forgiveness. A praying church mobilizes an army of repentant people calling on God to use His children as instruments to guide lost people and a wayward nation back to The Father. God can do more in five minutes, through the life of one obedient person than millions of rebels can accomplish in 50 years of their own effort. Be the one. The Victory is His. Pray for it. It is only a breath away.

After you pray for your life to be back on course, pray for your Congressmen and Senators to hear from God regarding the ending of the slaughter of the innocent. Let them know that you are praying for them, and you are expecting them to do the right thing. You will no longer tolerate any excuse when they have the chance to vote to end government sponsored support of the murder and dismemberment of babies in this session of Congress. God hates it. You can stop it. For God’s sake, make it happen.

Is Ted Cruz Winning The Christian Nation Primary?

Christian-nation activist David Lane has been fuming for years that conservative evangelicals divided their Republican primary votes in 2008 and 2012, allowing John McCain and Mitt Romney to capture the GOP presidential nominations even though neither was a favorite of the party’s Religious Right activists. Lane, who believes America was founded by and for Christians, has vowed to prevent that from happening again, and has been hosting events in early primary states giving conservative pastors a chance to hear from and evaluate GOP presidential candidates.

Lane has also been working to recruit and train an “army“ of pastors to run as candidates and bring thousands of conservative evangelical volunteers into the 2016 race. Those events have been attended by several GOP hopefuls, including Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal. But while Lane has not publicly thrown his support to a candidate, evidence suggests that Ted Cruz is being anointed to carry the hopes of Lane and his supporters.

One big sign came late last month, when news that broke that Farris and Dan Wilks had given $15 million to Keep the Promise, a pro-Cruz super PAC. Not coincidentally, David Lane told NBC News last year that, “With Citizens United…you can have somebody who gives $15 or $20 million into a super PAC and that changes the game.” The billionaire Wilks brothers from Texas have become sugar daddies to right-wing groups generally, and to David Lane’s Pastors and Pews events specifically.

A couple weeks later, Cruz stopped by the headquarters of the American Family Association. Lane’s American Renewal Project operates under the AFA’s umbrella, and Cruz sounded like he was reading Lane’s talking points. Cruz told AFA President Tim Wildmon that mobilizing evangelical Christian voters is the key to saving America, saying, “Nothing is more important in the next 18 months than that the body of Christ rise up and that Christians stand up, that pastors stand up and lead.”

Cruz has been positioning himself as the champion of religious liberty and defender of the conservative Christians he says are the targets of a “jihad” by gay-rights activists and an “atheist Taliban.” On Friday night he held a “Rally for Religious Liberty” in Iowa highlighting victims of “religious persecution” — in other words, business owners who have refused to provide wedding-related services to same-sex couples and gotten into trouble for violating anti-discrimination laws.

Iowa-based Religious Right radio host Steve Deace was rapturous, declaring the Cruz rally “the best candidate event I’ve ever attended” and saying Ted Cruz is the first candidate he has seen actually put on an event designed to ignite a “revival.” The rally, said Deace, was a reminder “that God’s not dead” and confirmed Deace’s decision “to support Cruz and do so early.”

And yesterday, the Washington Post’s Katie Zezima and Tom Hamburger reported that Cruz “will take a lead role in the launch this week of an ambitious 50-state campaign to end taxpayer support for Planned Parenthood” – a campaign announced via an email from Cruz that was distributed by Lane’s American Renewal Project.

David Carney, a Republican strategist who worked on that recall effort with David Lane, who leads the American Renewal Project, a group sponsoring this week’s pastor outreach effort. The two are joined by Wayne Hamilton, a Texas-based organizer who has worked in the past with Perry and was campaign manager in 2014 for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R). The effort appears to be funded through American Renewal, which officials said spent about $10 million supporting candidates in 2014 and is considered likely to spend $15 million or more this year organizing opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

In addition, religious broadcast organizations have pledged to air public service spots urging Christian viewers to contact their members of Congress. Carney said the effort has received commitments of support from the Bott Radio Network, which has 100 Christian radio stations in the Midwest, and from American Family Radio, which owns 190 Christian radio stations in 20 states as well as national religious-television broadcasters.

The Post reports that the anti-Planned Parenthood campaign will include conference calls for pastors this Tuesday. The calls will begin with a message from Cruz followed by Doug Stringer, a dominionist who has emceed Lane-organized prayer rallies for Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, and Nikki Haley, with more planned in the coming months, including one in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 26.

Cruz said at his rally on Friday that the reason Americans have a federal government that “comes after” free speech, religious liberty, life, and marriage is that 54 million evangelicals did not vote in the 2012 presidential election. “I’m here to tell you,” Cruz said, “we will stay home no longer.”

Cruz’s Iowa campaign chair, Secretary of State Matt Schultz, told the crowd at Friday’s rally that “Ted Cruz is the man who God has prepared for this moment.” He’s hardly the first. Cruz’s father Rafael, whose far-right rhetoric on the campaign trail has made him a Religious Right folk hero in his own right, says God has “destined” his son for “greatness.” And the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, who calls Lane a “good friend” and often functions as a promoter of Lane’s activities, has called Cruz’s political career “a thing of God.” 


Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/10/15

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Mike Huckabee, and others will be speaking at one of David Lane's upcoming "Renewal Project" events in Texas later this month.
  • CBN's David Brody says that "Fox News should be utterly ashamed. Donald Trump should sue the network for harassment."
  • Phyllis Schlafly says that "Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in favor of gay marriage is an affront to God, the Constitution, and the American people."
  • Phil Burress warns that gay rights activists are "persecuting anyone who disagrees with them, [they] want to put people in jail who do not bow at the knees of the homosexual agenda" and that Ohio Gov. John Kasich "is in that camp."
  • Bryan Fischer had a rather interesting choice of guest on his radio program today.
  • Don Feder says that "thanks to Obama and his party opening the floodgates to Muslim 'refugees,' Sharia law is coming to America."
  • Finally, Gordon Klingenschmitt says that Planned Parenthood is possessed by the "demonic spirit of murder," but we see "the spirit of God in these prophets" who are making the anti-Planned Parenthood videos.

Evangelical Leaders Far From Consensus On Presidential Candidate

Religious Right leaders have been intensely frustrated that their inability to coalesce around a single candidate in the 2008 and 2012 GOP primaries helped John McCain and Mitt Romney, neither of which were evangelical favorites, secure the Republican presidential nomination. Strategists like Tony Perkins and David Lane dearly hoped that things would be different in 2016. As we have previously noted,

Although Perry’s tanking disrupted Lane’s plans to get conservative evangelicals to coalesce around a single candidate in 2012, it seems clear that he has similar intentions for 2016. He told the Houston Chronicle in June [2013], “We’re going to try to eliminate the stuff that they [GOP leaders] do to us every four years, which is picking somebody who has no chance of being viable and they kill us off and we have the McCains and Romneys left.”

But a survey of 94 evangelical “leaders and insiders” — as identified by World Magazine —suggests that they are not even close to a meeting of minds on a favored presidential candidate. Four candidates had the support of more than 10 leaders – Rubio (18), Bush (14) and Cruz and Walker (13 each) – all below 20 percent of the leaders who responded to World’s survey.  

Religious Right Billionaire Wilks Brothers Give Millions To Ted Cruz Super PAC

Dan and Farris Wilks, Texas billionaires who made a fortune from the fracking boom and have showered millions of dollars on right-wing organizations, have given $15 million to Keep the Promise, a super PAC supporting Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, according to a CNN story by Theodore Schleifer which was highlighted by John Wright at Towleroad today.

"Our country was founded on the idea that our rights come from the Creator, not the government. I'm afraid we're losing that," Farris Wilks, a 63-year-old pastor in the small town of Cisco, said in a statement to CNN. "Unless we elect a principled conservative leader ready to stand up for our values, we'll look back on what once was the land of opportunity and pass on a less prosperous nation to our children and grandchildren. That's why we need Ted Cruz."

Farris’s brother Dan added that America needs a “leader that will stand up for biblical morals…a leader who encourages hard work, not one who tells people who don’t work that they should make the same living as people who do. We need a leader who will make sure America doesn’t end up a socialist nation.”

Last year, RWW documented the Wilks brothers’ massive funding of anti-gay and anti-abortion groups, as well as organizations in the Koch brothers’ political networks. And that’s only counting gifts we know about because they are made through foundations created and funded by the brothers and their wives -- the Thirteen Foundation for Farris and Joann and Heavenly Father’s Foundation for Dan and Staci.

Earlier this year, we reported that the Wilks brothers have been backing the work of Christian-nation extremist David Lane. Lane has always refused to tell reporters who funds his events, which are carried out by his American Renewal Project under the umbrella of the American Family Association. But as we reported in June,

According to the 2013 990 forms filed by the foundations with the IRS, The Thirteen Foundation gave 922,000 that year to the American Family Association. It is not clear how much of that was for Lane’s projects, but the filing from Heavenly Father’s Foundation is more explicit, reporting $750,000 to the AFA for three Pastors and Pews conferences.

In 2013, the Christian Broadcasting Network identified the Wilks brothers as members of Lane’s “Pastors and Pews” network, which brings right-wing candidates, including GOP presidential contenders, to meet-and-greets with conservative evangelical pastors. Lane sponsored an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel taken by more than 60 members of the Republican National Committee in January, as well as a series of prayer rallies for Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley.

Not coincidentally, Lane has praised the world of big-money politics created by the Supreme Court with its Citizens United decision and related rulings, explicitly praising multi-million-dollar super PAC donations in an interview with NBC News’s Perry Bacon in 2014: "The problem used to be, you had to raise $2,500 per person, so you had to come up with the bundlers. With Citizens United, I don’t think it’s as big of a hurdle. Now you can have somebody who gives $15 or $20 million into a super PAC and that changes the game.”

The Wilks brothers’ worldview, hinted at in their statements above, is grounded at least in part in the theology taught in the church founded by their father, at which Farris is now a pastor. In his sermons, Farris Wilks has quoted Christian-nation “historian” David Barton, denounced government social spending as socialism, warned that tolerance of “sexual perversion” and abortion “could bring about the end of our nation,” and declared in response to Barack Obama’s re-election as president, “I do believe that our country died that Tuesday night, to all that’s honorable, that’s good, that’s ambitious, and that has justice.”

No wonder they love Ted Cruz.


Donald Trump The 'Moral, Principled' Leader for Christian Nation Extremist David Lane?

In the conservative Washington Examiner, Paul Bedard wrote on Tuesday, “Amen corner: Trump makes inroads with social conservatives, evangelicals.”

Donald Trump's surge into the lead of the Republican presidential primary can be credited partly to two groups he has rarely engaged: social conservatives and evangelical Christians.

"Trump is tapping into deep-seated anger in America, a nation founded by Christians 'for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith,'" said David Lane, a prominent national evangelical political organizer. "He's tapping into something at the grassroots, precinct level of America. America is starving for moral, principled leadership. I hope that Donald Trump brings that."

Seriously? David Lane, as regular RWW readers know, is an anti-gay “Christian-nation” political operative who organizes meet-and-greet events and international trips that bring conservative evangelical pastors together with Republican politicians. The oft-married, self-worshipping Trump seems an odd fit for the man who wants to make the Bible the primary textbook in public schools and thinks the purpose of the U.S. government is to advance the Christian faith.

Evangelicals have flirted with Trump before. Recall Trump’s 2012 appearance at Liberty University, where he delivered a speech that Kyle described on RWW as “a typically self-aggrandizing and buffoonish message that was superficially about the importance of God and his Christian but was really about self-promotion and the importance of always getting even with your enemies.”

An unnamed “leader in the social conservative movement” reportedly told Bedard that Trump’s bluster about restoring “order” on the Mexican border has “wowed” voters who are disgusted with Washington.

But other evangelicals were not too happy about Trump’s weekend appearance in Iowa. Trump’s comments denigrating John McCain’s war service got the most mainstream media attention, but Ed Kilgore noted in Washington Monthly that Trump’s response to questions about his faith from pollster Frank Luntz were hardly the kind that would inspire evangelicals: “Luntz asked The Donald if he had ever asked God for forgiveness, and it was really as though the idea had never occurred to him.”

“If I do something wrong, I try to do something right,” he said. “I don’t bring God into that picture.”

Spoken like an ethical agnostic, right? But perhaps sensing his answer wasn’t adequate, he tried to recover:

“When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed,” he said.

Byron York also wrote that Trump’s McCain remarks were not the biggest problem coming out of Iowa, saying that a “senior Iowa Republican” was “dumbfounded” by Trump’s comments on religion.

“While there were audible groans in the crowd when Trump questioned whether McCain was a war hero,” the senior Republican said via email, “it was Trump’s inability to articulate any coherent relationship with God or demonstrate the role faith plays in his life that really sucked the oxygen out of the room.”

Steve Benen notes that Jeb Bush jumped to take advantage of Trump’s remarks, telling a conservative radio host that he, Bush, “regularly” asks God for forgiveness. Rick Perry is also trying to use Trump’s dismissal of the need for God’s forgiveness as a way to get some attention, saying that a man too self-absorbed to seek God’s forgiveness does not belong in the White House. It’s worth noting that Perry informally launched his failed 2012 bid with a political prayer rally organized by David Lane and his dominionist allies, making it hard to take Perry seriously when he warns against “false prophets” and messengers “who appeal to anger, division and resentment.”

Lane’s comments are also out of synch with some of his political allies. Sarah Posner pointed out this week that Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference said last week that they didn’t know a single evangelical who supports Trump, saying Christians are turned off by Trump’s immigrant-bashing. But it seems that Moore and Rodriguez need to get out among their constituents a bit more — Posner notes that a Washington Post poll showed Trump as the preferred candidate of 20 percent of white evangelicals, with 45 percent of white evangelicals saying Trump is “just about right” on the issues. A recent Public Policy Polling survey [PDF] found that Trump had higher favorability ratings among evangelical Republicans than non-evangelicals in the party.

David Lane’s positive comments about Trump, who is currently sitting at the top of the polls, are probably just another example of Religious Right leaders’ habit of publicly demanding religious and political purity, but then throwing their support to whatever politicians the GOP nominates. (James Dobson perfected this move.)

Lane has said his effort to recruit 1,000 like-minded evangelical pastors to run for office — and in the process get hundreds of thousands of conservative Christian volunteer workers to influence the 2016 elections — was inspired by his own pastor’s failed run for the state assembly. Last month that pastor, Rob McCoy, made it to public office, winning a seat on the city council of Thousand Oaks, California.

Washington Times Recruits For David Lane's Christian-Nation 'Army'

Last week the Washington Times published a glowing profile of David Lane, a GOP political operative and Christian-nation extremist. The article reported on Lane’s efforts to mobilize “an army” to lead the charge for his battle with “secularists.” Just days later, the Washington Times officially became part of David Lane’s recruitment effort, launching a petition campaign co-sponsored and co-branded with Lane’s American Renewal Project.

According to the campaign’s website, “The Washington Times has agreed to deliver the petition to the Supreme Court.” It’s ridiculous to imagine that the decision in the marriage case has not already been made, even if it has not yet been made public, or to think that petitions to the Supreme Court would have any impact at this late date, which is, as the website recognizes, “just days away from deciding whether homosexual couples are entitled to marry.” So the only real purpose for the petition seems to be for the Washington Times and Lane’s American Renewal Project to build their email lists and recruit participants for a campaign of massive resistance to a pro-equality ruling.

They didn’t even bother to put much effort into the writing. Here’s the utterly non-compelling petition:

Tell the Supreme Court to Leave Traditional Marriage Alone

To: The Supreme Court

I want the Supreme Court to know I believe that marriage should remain the sanctified union of a man and women.

I want the Supreme Court to know that I believe, as Thomas Jefferson did, that judges should stick to the Constitution and not create new law when it comes to the issue of marriage in America.

I want the Supreme Court to know that I believe opening marriage to same-sex couples invalidates the institution of marriage that hundreds of millions of American men and women agreed to over the last two centuries when they said their vows.

I'm signing this petition because I want the nine Supreme Court justices to leave traditional marriage alone.

As we reported just last week, the Washington Times “has long been a right-wing propaganda vehicle in the guise of a newspaper,” and has partnered with Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, the National Organization for Marriage, and the Conservative Political Action Conference.

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