Among the speakers at the press conference was Jim Garlow, who took President Obama to task for saying that his Christian faith played a role in his support for marriage equality. Declaring that anyone can call themselves a Christian but still be ill-informed, biblically illiterate, and even an apostate, Garlow offered Obama a lesson in "Basic 101 of Christianity" to set him straight that marriage has always been, and always will be, a union between on man and one woman.
Garlow then closed out his remarks by likening those opposing marriage equality today to Revolutionary War pastors who fought the British because, just like them, these Religious Right activists are are willing declare "if necessary, here we die!":
Eagle Forum’s San Diego chapter is hosting a conference in June to unite conservatives in Democratic-leaning California before the upcoming election:
Tomorrow, Friday June 1, 4-9pm prominent national, state and local leaders will address hundreds of conservatives at the "Rise Up California" Eagle Forum San Diego Convention at Skyline Church in Rancho San Diego. The purpose of the convention is to gather, energize, educate, empower and activate conservative Californians 4 days prior to the primary, and into the November general election.
Other activists appearing at the event include Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Charles LiMandri of the far-right Thomas More Law Center, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for Vice President in 2008 Wayne Allyn Root, Dran Reese of the Salt and Light Council, and anti-environmentalist campaigner Holly Swanson.
Earlier this month, Brian noted that Rep. Louie Gohmert would be hosting a prayer event in Statuary Hall at the US Capitol called "Washington: A Man of Prayer." The event, which took place on May 8, was dedicated to honoring the 223rd anniversary of George Washington's inauguration and it was filmed by Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, which posted the entire thing on YouTube.
The two hour event featured lots of singing as well as remarks delivered by the likes of Gohmert, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, David Barton of WallBuilders, and Bishop Harry Jackson.
One of the main speaker was Dan Cummins of a group called Come Pray With Me, who delivered an address declaring that "Democracy's plow" must by always guided by two hands: those of the politicians and those of the preachers. Cummins warned that when preachers remove their hands from that plow, they are "giving opportunity for the fallows of socialism" to corrupt the nation. Preachers and politicians are to work together, Cummins preached, to maintain "the balance between church and state, not the separation of church and state" as he warned that "sin is separating America from the blessings of God" and that "the American economy, politics, and culture are dying because of sin." The solution, of course, is to get "Christ in the economy, Christ in Congress, [and] Christ in the culture":
Cummins was supposed to have been followed by Alveda King, but she was unable to attend and so her remarks were read by Vivian Berryhill. King's remarks, not surprisingly, focused entirely on "the national sin of abortion," comparing abortion providers and activsts to Judas and accusing them of "leading sheep to the slaughter," and calling upon God to end abortion in America just as He ended slavery:
Finally, Jim Garlow echoed the remarks delivered by Cummins, calling on pastors to stop talking about Right vs Left and start talking about right vs wrong, saying that if hundreds of thousands of preachers were willing to stand up and speak out, there would be no national debt, abortion, or gay marriage:
Last week, Jim Garlow was on Daystar TV's "Celebration" program to promote his recent book "Miracles Are For Real," but before the discussion about his book began, Garlow and hosts Marcus and Joni Lamb spent several minutes talking about President Obama's statement last week in support of marriage equality.
Garlow weighed in, declaring that religious liberty and "the radical homosexual agenda" were on course for a head-on collision in America because "they cannot both exist in the same nation at the same time." As such, Garlow warned that advances in marriage equality will eventually force the Christian church underground because the gay agenda is all about "coercion, and crushing, and taking away our liberties and freedoms." But nonetheless, Garlow said, Christians must be willing to stand up and speak out in opposition even though "we are coming into an era where it could cost us everything, including our lives":
Yesterday, Pastor Dan Cummins spoke to Chelsen Vicari of Concerned Women for America to publicize a May 8th prayer event, hosted by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and endorsed by Speaker John Boehner, in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall that Cummins said was inspired by Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response:
Cummins: As part of the activities for National Day of Prayer, we are inviting members of the Congress, of the House and Senate, and their staff, to participate in this prayer event in probably the most sacred hall of the Capitol, Statuary Hall.
Vicari: That sounds fabulous, in conjunction to this event there is an event that our listeners can actually partake in and that’s Prayer in the People’s House, can you tell us about that?
Cummins: While we are having this event in the Capitol, in fact, let me first tell you some of the speakers that will be participating in this event for our members of Congress. Dr. Jim Garlow of Skyline Wesleyan Church and also Renewing American Leadership will be with us, Bishop Harry Jackson from High Impact Leadership, Dr. Doug Stringer of Somebody Cares International, Dr. Alveda King from Priest for Life, and everybody knows historian David Barton.
While the Southern Baptist Convention’s political arm, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is mired in scandal resulting from ERLC head Richard Land’s repeatedplagiarism and inflammatoryremarks on race, it has found time to criticize the Violence Against Women Act. Doug Carlson, manager for administration and policy communications for the ERLC, voiced the group’s opposition to the highly successful law because of new provisions that ensure that LGBT victims of domestic violence do not encounter discrimination while seeking help.
Carlson quoted a letter Richard Land signed along with Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel, Jim Garlow of Renewing American Leadership Action, Tom McClusky of Family Research Council Action, C. Preston Noell of Tradition, Family, Property Inc., Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum and Penny Nance and Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women for America.
Notably, the letter was also signed by conservative activist Timothy Johnson, who was convicted of a felony domestic violence charge and was arrested a second time for putting his wife in a wrist lock and choking his son, as reported by Sarah Posner.
Under the reauthorization, VAWA, as the bill is known, would spend vast sums of taxpayer money—more than $400 million each year—on programs that lack sufficient oversight and fail to address the core issue of protecting vulnerable women from abuse. Many of the programs duplicate efforts already underway. Among other problems, it would expand special protections to include same-sex couples. Men who are victimized by their male sexual partners would receive the benefit of the law above heterosexuals. And with broadened definitions of who qualifies for services, those who are most in need of the bill’s protections would have diminished access to it.
Pro-family groups, too, have been leveling attacks on the bill for months for its anti-family policies. Many of them expressed those concerns to the Judiciary Committee in February in hopes of derailing the bill. “We, the undersigned, representing millions of Americans nationwide, are writing to oppose the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA),” Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Richard Land, along with nearly two dozen other religious and conservative leaders, wrote in a Feb. 1 letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “This nice-sounding bill is deceitful because it destroys the family by obscuring real violence in order to promote the feminist agenda.”
“There is no denying the very real problem of violence against women and children. However, the programs promoted in VAWA are harmful for families. VAWA often encourages the demise of the family as a means to eliminate violence,” they added.
Regrettably, a slim majority of committee members rejected that counsel, ultimately approving the bill in February on a narrow 10-8 vote. Now the battle lies in the full Senate, where those opposed to the new VAWA are facing significant pressure to support it. Allies of the bill are tagging its opponents as waging a “war on women.”
But no matter how noble its title suggests, the Violence Against Women Act is the wrong answer to addressing ongoing domestic abuse. With a shortage of evidence to date of VAWA’s success in reducing levels of violence against women, the war to decrease such violence and to ultimately strengthen the family shouldn’t include reauthorizing a flawed policy that promises an expansion of the same.
Glenn Beck appeared alongside James Robison, Jay Richards and Jim Garlow at Garlow’s Skyline Church in San Diego, California, where he warned that America is like a “child being choked to death” because the “scary left” has been “uncorked” and given “free rein.” While holding up a copy of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, he said the left seeks to burn America “down to the ground.” Later in the talk, Beck said that the left wants to eliminate sexual mores to turn people into slaves and have government “rule over us.”
Jim Garlow, who helped lead the campaign to pass Proposition 8 and head of Renewing American Leadership, appeared on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly today where he called on gay right advocates to “dial down the rhetoric” they use against their conservative opponents. Before his appeal to the gay community for more civil discourse, however, Garlow said that “the radical gay homosexual agenda” will “shut down” religious freedom and that the “redefinition” of marriage is actually a plan of Satan. Repeating a claim he has made before, Garlow alleged that the legalization of same-sex marriage is a demonic plot to “destroy marriage on earth.” Surely, Garlow may want to reconsider lecturing gays and lesbians about the use of divisive rhetoric after telling them they are led by Satan and out to crush religion.
Everybody on both sides of this issue full well knows the implications, that these are two locomotives coming at each other and those two locomotives cannot exist on the same track on the same time, and one is the radical homosexual agenda and the other one is religious liberty. They cannot be in the same country at the same time. People at the upper levels on both sides full well know that, they are fully, clearly aware that religious liberties, the capacity to worship God as we do, will be shut down if the radical gay homosexual agenda actually succeeds.
If I were Satan, this is key, if I were Satan, I would want to destroy the image of God on the planet. How do you do that? You’ve got to destroy the institution of marriage. If I were Satan I would want to destroy marriage on earth with divorce, I would want to destroy it with redefinition.
I would appeal with all my heart for the rhetoric to be dialed down and not to substitute ‘you’re a hatemonger’ when really what you’re saying is ‘I disagree with you.’ We mean it when we say we truly love you, we truly love you and we know our hearts better than you do, we truly love you, if we didn’t we’d be manifesting things in a very, very different way. I would appeal to you, if you happen to be one who feels vociferous about this issue and you’re a leader of the homosexual community, if you can, if you see it within yourself, dial down the rhetoric.
Today on a conference call with the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition that included guest speakers Jim Garlow and J.C. Watts, Newt Gingrich claimed that he will push for not only a federal marriage amendment to outlaw marriage equality but also a federal law to prohibit states from legalizing same-sex marriage. He claimed that states with marriage equality are contributing to legal “chaos” and said that “if we are going to defend marriage in the end it will probably require a federal law.” After a questioner asked whether same-sex marriage would lead to people seeking to marry dogs and cows, Gingrich, who on an earlier conference call described same-sex marriage as “paganism,” didn’t push back against the offensive comparison to bestiality but instead blamed the country’s teachers for why people are more accepting of such beliefs.
Question: I have a question regarding all the laws that people are trying to make for gay rights, I heard what you said about marriage being between a man and a woman and I agree, that’s what God said in the very beginning in the Book of Genesis, but the laws of our land are seeing more and more states allowing gay marriage. How can we stop this? It is so profoundly wrong.
Gingrich: I think ultimately we’re going to have to have a federal amendment because at the rate we’re going, you might be able to pass a federal law, but at the rate we’re going it’s going to be just chaos, you’re going to have some states that say it’s all right and other states that say it’s not all right, how are people going to travel, what are their legal rights, it is a mess. I think if we are going to defend marriage in the end it will probably require a federal law.
Question: What’s the difference, what they’re saying between a woman wants to be with a woman, when is it going to be ‘I want to marry a dog’ or ‘I want to marry a cow,’ that makes as much sense, what they are saying is doing something stupid like that.
Gingrich: I think that you have some people—remember we have now had a whole two generations of teachers who explained to us ‘you shouldn’t render moral judgment, after all it’s all situation ethics, who are we to decide,’ and that’s been a major problem.
Gingrich also maintained that he is “deeply offended” by President Obama’s apology over the burning of Qurans in Afghanistan while “he is attacking the Catholic Church,” and said that Obama’s statement is a clear definition of the “anti-Christian, anti-Jewish” ideology of the “modern secular left”:
Gingrich: I can’t tell you how deeply offended I am by Barack Obama who apologizes to Islam while he is attacking the Catholic Church, you couldn’t ask for a clearer definition of the modern secular left, which I think is anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, but always willing to be sympathetic to any organization which isn’t Christian or Jewish. I really think that is going to be a major theme of the campaign this Fall and it’s a debate I’m looking forward to because I don’t think Obama can defend himself.
He responded to the US Senate’s vote to table the Blunt Amendment and in doing so ensure that women have contraception coverage in their insurance plans by saying that the vote shows “how sick we’ve become” as a country and that the Democratic Party is “anti-religious” and “consolidating in its hostility to religion.” Gingrich accused Obama of trying to “wage war on every right to life organization in America” and intensify “how sick the country’s become.”
Garlow: Where is America, in our journey right now, in terms of radical secularism coming up, where are we as a nation right now? Where does it stand? And what can we do to turn this around?
Gingrich: You saw how sick we’ve become in a vote today in the U.S. Senate where on a party line vote 51 Democrats voted against allowing any exemptions for religious reasons for a government imposed-mandate on contraception and abortion. You couldn’t have a clearer statement. You now got this secular, anti-religious, leftwing party and it’s consolidating in its hostility to religion.
Gingrich: Now to have got a president who is pro-infanticide wage war on every right to life organization in America whether they are Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox Jew, Greek Orthodox, you name it, just tells you how sick the country’s become. I think this is the most important election of our lifetime. I think if we get four more years of Obama, four more years of him picking Supreme Court justices, four more years of these kind of radical rules, we won’t be the country we were in 2008 in terms of our core values.
The late Virginia pastor John Gimenez founded the Washington for Jesus rally on April 29, 1980 with fellow Religious Right activists including Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker, Bill Bright and Jerry Falwell to mobilize “against abortion, in favor of allowing prayer in schools, opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment and against homosexual conduct.” Bright told Ronald Reagan that his election was a result of the Washington for Jesus prayer rally, telling him: “Mr. President, you were elected April 29, 1980, not in November.”
Gimenez’s wife Anne is now planning a similar prayer rally in Philadelphia called ‘America for Jesus’ to combat “widespread moral depravity and economic meltdown,” and has the help of figures such as Jim Garlow, Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle, Samuel Rodriguez, Doug Stringer and Harry Jackson.
The prominent role of New Apostolic Reformation leaders in the event reveals just how much the Religious Right has changed and grown even more extreme, as leaders now not only claim that they have a divine mandate to change politics but also that they are actual apostles and prophets with the same divine appointment as the apostles and prophets of the Bible and receive direct prophesies from God.
But much like Washington for Jesus, this prayer rally will be non-political in name only, as the host of far-right and partisan figures organizing the event demonstrates.
"America's soul is sick, but I believe America still has a chance; I believe in resurrection, and I believe prayer changes things--and that is what we intend to do," said Bishop Anne Gimenez, pastor of Rock Church International in Virginia Beach, Va., and chairman of America for Jesus 2012. "It's not about who will be in the White House nor our current financial crisis, it's about America needing the presence of God."
To-date, the five national and numerous regional rallies attended by several hundred thousand people have made significant impact affecting millions across the country and the national movement continues to call for a return to biblical values rather than endorsing any particular party or candidate.
"Much like the movement for independence in the 18th century, America for Jesus 2012 is a patriotic movement, not a political one," said John Blanchard, national coordinator for America for Jesus 2012. "Although the presidential election will be less than six weeks away, there will be no partisan divisions when we convene in Philadelphia. We don't need to follow the elephant or the donkey, but rather the Lamb of God."
"Forty days before the election, we will be bringing the salt of the nation to the headwaters of America to pray for an awakening and for the spiritual needs of the country," said Billy Wilson, co-chair for America for Jesus 2012 and Executive Director of the International Center for Spiritual Renewal.
As we have noted before, Religious Right leaders - in particular, supporters of Newt Gingrich - are absolutely certain that the re-election of President Obama spells certain doom not only for America, but for all of Western Civilization.
Gingrich's most vocal supporter, Jim Garlow, was a guest on "Wallbuilders Live" today where he discussed the rise of the so-called "Evangelical Left." Garlow insisted that he didn't even know what that term means because there is only one correct Biblical position on issues like abortion and marriage and those who do not hold such positions are simply violating Biblical truth.
As such, there are those who are right and there are those, on the Left, who are wrong and it is time for pastors to take a stand in their pulpits and preach this message to their congregations. Because if they don't, Garlow warned, the next election, and all hope for America, will be lost:
We have about ten months left to save this nation. It's not that the nation will cease to exist after November, it's just that the die will have been cast in such a way that we will never, ever be able to reclaim that which we once had. Whether it be in the arena of reclaiming safety for the womb, the definition of marriage, or of the economic fact that we're $15 trillion in the whole now and a $110 trillion in unfunded liabilities - this is a nation that will be decimated, it will be unsalvageable after November if we cannot get it turned. Even with the strongest leadership that we might be able to elect it is still going to be a very hard task because of how far down we have fallen both morally and economically as it relates to biblical understanding.
We have written several posts in the past about how Newt Gingrich's leading Religious Right supporter, Jim Garlow, manages to straddle the increasingly thin line between the more traditional Religious Right movement and the growing New Apostolic Reformation spiritual warfare movement.
On Friday, February 3, 2012, 7pm – 8:30pm, there will be a Pray for America prayer meeting at International Church of Las Vegas (ICLV) hosted by Pastor Paul Goulet. Many local leaders and media are expected to be attending. Also, Newt Gingrich has confirmed his attendance at the prayer meeting.
Lead Pastor, Summerlin Campus Pastors Paul and Denise Goulet are the senior leaders of International Church of Las Vegas. With decades of shared experience in ministry, this dynamic couple has a desire to change Las Vegas and the world. With a strong apostolic anointing, Pastor Paul has made it his mission in life to impart the power of the Holy Spirit into leaders worldwide. He travels extensively and has established an international network of churches, Bible schools and pastors, with the ultimate goal of building 2000 churches by the year 2020. As Senior Pastor of ICLV, the host of a weekly television program, and the author of many books, Pastor Paul's messages of vision and destiny are heard by tens of thousands around the world.
Yesterday, Newt Gingrich held another conference call for Religious Right supporters, seeking to mobilize them ahead of the Republican primary in Florida.
The call was hosted by Jim Garlow and featured several other of the Gingrich campaign's Faith Coalition leaders explaining why they had decided to support Gingrich ... and the consensus was that if President Obama wins re-election, it means the end of Western Civilization:
Mat Staver: I believe that if Speaker Gingrich wins Florida next Tuesday, he wins the nomination. If he wins the nomination, he beats President Barack Obama and we have not a cloud hanging over us in November and December of 2012 but we begin to see the clouds dissipating and some ray of sunshine of hope return to this land.
Jim Garlow: At the risk of sounding melodramatic, the United States as we know her will cease to exist as will, then, Western Civilization. Those who are discerning, those who are intuitive to what is happening morally and economically in our nation understand the truth.
George Barna: As you mentioned Jim, for the last twenty years I have steadfastly refused to endorse any individuals or organizations or products. But as I've analyzed the severity of America's situation today, I've come to believe that such self-restrictions are a luxury that we can no longer afford. So after carefully studying all the candidates in regards to the needs I just described and assessing their ability to win in November, I concluded that Newt Gingrich is the best man for the job.
Jim Garlow: We are in a situation that is so crisic in America, I'm actually stunned that President Obama could do this much destruction to the nation in a three year span. I never anticipated that this much harm in the moral and economic arenas of our nation could be brought on by one particular president.
Don Wildmon: This is not a typical election. This is an election unlike any ever held in our country. We're not just voting for a president; we're voting for the continuation of Western Civilization. If those who are listening think that what we enjoy, the freedoms we enjoy, the right to practice our Christan faith, is merely an accident and is there, it's not, people paid for it. And we can lose it, and we will lose it, if we lose this next election. What's at stake is everything that the human race, Western Civilization, has fought for for the last two thousand years.
When Gingrich joined the call, the thrice-married candidate served up some red meat to the audience by declaring that efforts to grant equal marriage rights to gays and lesbians are "pagan behaviors":
It's pretty simple: marriage is between a man and a woman. This is a historic doctrine driven deep into the Bible, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, and it's a perfect example of what I mean by the rise of paganism. The effort to create alternatives to marriage between a man and a woman are perfectly natural pagan behaviors, but they are a fundamental violation of our civilization.
Finally, Gingrich explained that he didn't really have any interest in being president but decided that he had to do so because all the other Republicans are so terrible so that he had a moral obligation to step up and save this nation and that he would just magnanimously have to suffer the insults that come his way:
I want people to understand, I'm a volunteer. Callista and I had very long talks for over a year and then we talked with our two daughters and our two son-in-laws because we knew if we tried to offer help the country that we would be subjected to news media assaults, we'd be subjected to vicious gossip, we'd be subjected to people on the web saying horrible things and we'd be subjected to negative ads from our opponents. And we concluded that we are in so much trouble and we are in such grave danger of losing the America that we grew up in and the lack of Republican ability to articulate and communicate and defend is so great that both of us - this was a dual decision - we both concluded that we had a moral obligation to endure whatever comes and to at least offer, as citizens, to try and be of service.
Life inside the beltway is intimidating. I am becoming less convinced that electing an “outsider” is all that wise. I think I prefer an “insider” who truly understands how things work, and who is right on the issues. Mr. Gingrich is both of those. Mr. Gingrich will not allow the radical secularist to “out - parliamentarian” him. That is desperately needed. It is possible to have a solid, constitutional, pro-life, pro-marriage Christian president in the White House, but unable to move legislation. We need someone who cannot be “bullied” by the system.
Pastor Jim Garlow, the Proposition 8 campaign organizer and now co-chair of Newt Gingrich’s Faith Leaders Coalition, appeared on The Steve Deace Show Friday, where he argued that Gingrich is the only candidate in a position to stop President Obama and “the radical homosexual agenda” from causing the imminent “destruction of the definition of marriage.”Garlow appeared on the show to defend the twice-divorced Gingrich, whose second wife last week claimed that he wanted an open marriage with his then-mistress and now-third wife Callista, and described Gingrich as the savior of marriage and Western civilization. He said that Obama is “going to destroy America as we know it and eventually bring a halt to Western civilization as we know it” and soon it will be “virtually illegal to say the name Jesus”:
Garlow: We have got to get Romney stopped because of his policies and we must get Obama stopped if we’re going to save this nation. Obama may be a nice guy, I have no problem with that, but his ideology is going to destroy America as we know it and eventually bring a halt to Western civilization as we know it. It’s not melodramatic language, it’s not flamboyant, it’s where we are right now. We cannot economically and morally survive any more of Obama’s leadership and his ideology, therefore, we need the powerhouse of Gingrich coming in with that intellectually bandwidth to take him on and bring a halt to it.
We have come to a posture where I am absolutely astounded at the spiritual damage that Barack Obama’s ideology has done to this nation; I would never have believed three years ago he could’ve done this much in terms of moral and economic damage. Our religious liberties are evaporating at a pace—it’s going to be virtually illegal to say the name Jesus before long at the rate they’re going, or stand for any kind of authentic, biblical, historic Christianity.
Where we’re seeing it the most is we have two locomotives on the same track going at each other with full speed and one of them is going to be left standing when this day is over, it’s either going to be the radical homosexual agenda or it’s going to be religious liberty. They cannot both coexist in the same nation at the same time. Then you add in the dimension the destruction of the definition of marriage itself. I was in the auditorium at the Saddleback Civil Forum when candidate Obama said marriage is one man, one woman, people clapped and cheered, we didn’t believe him then, our concerns proved to be exactly right, and now President Obama is destroying, decimating 5,000 years’ worth of history.
Did social conservative leaders come together and jointly endorse Rick Santorum at the Texas retreat over the weekend? That is the way Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and many in the media interpreted the meeting of leading Religious Right luminaries, where on the second ballot Santorum led Gingrich 70 to 49, and on the third ballot 85 to 29. Perkins claimed there was a “strong consensus” behind Santorum, who has won the backing of Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance, former National Organization for Marriage president Maggie Gallagher, American Values president Gary Bauer and the expected endorsement of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.
But have Religious Right leaders really coalesced around Santorum?
Gingrich has locked in the support of prominent social conservative leaders: Concerned Women for America founder and chairman Beverly LaHaye; Council for National Policy founder and author Tim LaHaye; American Family Association founder and chairman Don Wildmon; Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver; California pastor and Proposition 8 organizer Jim Garlow; evangelical pollster George Barna; Restoration Project organizer David Lane and pastor and former congressman J.C. Watts.
Gingrich supporters have even claimed that the third ballot, which showed Santorum winning handling, occurred after many leaders left the meeting and that some Santorum boosters were involved with “ballot-box stuffing.” Bob Vander Plaats, an early Santorum endorser, told Bryan Fischer on Focal Point that the Texas gathering only showed “divided support” between Santorum and Gingrich, and Red State’s Erick Erickson, who attended the meeting, said that “it was divided with many thinking Gingrich is the only one who can win.”
While it remains to be seen if social conservatives will really “coalesce” behind Santorum, it is clear that the Religious Right leadership that begged Perry to enter the race has now utterly abandoned him.
Is the Religious Right beginning to coalesce behind Newt Gingrich? Yesterday, the former Speaker hosted a conference call with the members of his Faith Leaders Coalition: American Family Association founder Don Wildmon, Religious Right pollster George Barna and pastor Jim Garlow. Now, Gingrich is racking up additional endorsements from Religious Right figures just days before conservative activists are set to meet in Texas to see if they can get behind one of the presidential candidates.
Tim LaHaye, the author of the Left Behind series on the End Times and founder of the Council for National Policy, and his wife Beverly, the founder and chairman of Concerned Women for America, endorsed Gingrich, warning that America may “end up being like the godless socialist countries of Europe,” as did Mat Staver, the chairman of Liberty Counsel, one of the country’s most stridently anti-gay groups, and the dean of the Liberty University School of Law. “America will be unrecognizable if Obama is elected for four more years,” Staver said. “We need a strong leader with domestic, international and political experience who can inspire a new conservative resurgence in the line of Ronald Reagan. Speaker Gingrich is the clear choice.”
UPDATE: The Gingrich campaign released this statement from Tim LaHaye:
“During the last three years our nation has been led by liberal secularists who have tried their best to remove God from our public square and the elimination of the Biblical principles our founding fathers built this nation on” said LaHaye.
“Please prayerfully consider going to the polls on January 21 and help elect Newt Gingrich, a proven conservative who has the best chance of replacing the present occupant of the White House with a man with a proven record of appointing conservatives to office that can return this country to the constitutional principles that God has chosen to bless for over two hundred years” he said.
Pastor LaHaye also pointed to Speaker Gingrich’s qualifications as the best candidate to defeat President Obama as one of the reasons for his endorsement.
“It seems apparent the Republican candidates have come down to two possible winners,” LaHaye said. “As my friend, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell told me personally, ‘Speaker Newt Gingrich is the most qualified man in America to run as president of the United States”… We agree!’”
"I am honored to have Tim's endorsement. His work as both a minister and author is truly unmatched," said Gingrich. "Tim will be a terrific partner for the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition as we work to combat the influence of radical secularism and activist judges."
Newt Gingrich today joined a conference call with members of his campaign’s Faith Leaders Coalition including Pastor Jim Garlow, American Family Association founder Don Wildmon, and Religious Right pollster George Barna where he urged social conservative voters to coalesce behind his candidacy. During the call, Gingrich repeated his claim that religious charities are losing their rights because they refuse to follow codes that prevent taxpayer-funded services from discriminating against people such as married same-sex couples. He even warned that America might go the way of Europe where Gingrich claimed that reading parts of the Bible regarding homosexuality would be a “hate crime”:
Gingrich: The state governments, for example in Massachusetts, which has literally driven Catholic adoption services out of the state, the District of Columbia, which has literally driven Catholic services out of taking care of the poor, the degree to which if you aren’t pro-gay, pro-abortion and pro-secular, you don’t have any rights. If you watch Europe right now, there is an increasing risk of speech becoming illegal, there are sections of the Bible you can’t read anymore in some European countries because it involves homosexuality and the act of reading it from the pulpit would be considered a hate crime.
As he told John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church that America may soon become “a secular country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists,” Gingrich argued that atheists and Islamists are both waging war against Western civilization by trying to “drive God out of our lives” and “make America safe for Islam and militant religion.” He went on to call for the restoration of the “Church Militant” so civilization can “survive”:
Gingrich: We’re in a two front war for our civilization. At one front are the secular atheists who would seek to drive God out of our lives, and on the other front are radical Islamists who would seek to make America safe for Islam and militant religion. I think that we have to recognize how truly serious a crisis this is for our civilization, I find when I talk that there is a need for the Church Militant once again if we are going to survive. I really do believe that we are in a two front war over the very potential of our society being preserved.
Later, Garlow and Wildmon ended the call by warning that Mitt Romney would inevitably lose to President Obama if nominated because he would have lukewarm support among evangelical voters, which would doom America and “be the beginning of the end for Western civilization as we know it”:
Garlow: I really, truly believe that this nation is on a very short fuse and the reason I threw my lot in beside, behind Newt Gingrich is that I believe what he brings in the table is what is needed in this particular moment to break through and to be able to keep us from having a candidate like Romney. If we have a candidate like Romney, the evangelical participation will drop, probably from a 2010 level to a 2008 level, that would be from 28 percent to 23 percent, and that would result in the reelection of President Obama and our country cannot possibly, morally and economically, survive that. It would spell, in my opinion, the end of the United States of America as we have known her and consequently the end of Western civilization. Don Wildmon, you’ve heard me say these words, am I overstating the case Don Wildmon or do you believe that is within the range of accuracy?
Wildmon: Jim, I’ve been thinking in the last few weeks, about forty years ago I’ve became travelling a good bit in Europe and I saw what was happening in Europe and the shape that they’re in now and that’s where we’re headed. Let me say this, this is not just another election, and I’m not one to try to blow things out just to get attention. If we lose this election, then it will be the beginning of the end for Western civilization as we know it.
Yesterday, leading Religious Right activist and Gingrich-surrogate Jim Garlow appeared on The Steve Deace Show, where he joined former congressman J.C. Watts in praising Gingrich. Deace, who recently endorsed Gingrich, asked Garlow why evangelical voters should back Gingrich when many feel there are candidates who are more ideologically pure and do not have Gingrich’s personal baggage. Garlow commented that Religious Right voters continue to be “defeated and frankly humiliated” by “hyper-spiritualizing” elections, when they should be backing candidates who have a chance at winning. He said Bachmann, Perry and Santorum do not stand a chance against “the Romney machine,” and that Christians need to start using a “healthy, biblical, biblically-founded pragmatism” and that “the Holy Spirit can show us” in order to win political fights:
Garlow: The second component is that we do not as Christians assess the problem quickly enough with a healthy, biblical, biblically-founded pragmatism. For example, I see people hyper-spiritualizing this election, they say, ‘well God parted the Red Sea,’ well he did it once! But he told Noah to build a boat, in other words, get in there and float on this thing. So we’re being out-fought, unfortunately, because we hyper-spiritualize way too much. Let me make it real, ground-tested and practical, and this will probably disturb some people. Michele Bachmann is wonderful but she has no cash and no traction; Rick Perry is wonderful, I think he’s absolutely fabulous, I hope he has strong influence in the nation in the future along with Michele Bachmann, he has lots of cash but his articulation skills have harmed him seriously and he cannot overcome them, not now; Rick Santorum is wonderful but he has no cash and no machinery, if he wins Iowa he needs to be spending $3 million a week minimum to carry him through to try keep up with the Romney machine, so Romney’s best interest is to land Rick Santorum right up there at the top. People are not thinking through a strategy and by lack of a biblically-founded pragmatism that the Holy Spirit can show us, the lack of a strategy, we are being defeated and frankly humiliated and our biblical rights are being robbed from us.
Last week, Garlow interviewed Gingrich on a conference call with Iowa pastors that also featured American Family Association founder Don Wildmon and “Restoration Project” organizer David Lane, both of whom previously supported Rick Perry but have since endorsed Gingrich. On the call, Wildmon warned conservatives against splitting their vote (2:45). Gingrich criticized abortion rights (8:15), marriage equality, which he called “a violation of the core framework of our civilization” (9:20), and the judiciary (10:50), warning that “the Obama, European secular socialism is fundamentally different and in a key way threatens our rights as citizens” by turning Americans into subjects of the state:
I am inviting you (and select Christian Iowa Leaders) to join me on a Conference Call with Former Speaker Newt Gingrich this Friday, December 30, 12 Noon (CST).
Dr. Jim Garlow will emcee the call, pastor Skyline Church San-Diego, founder of the California Pastors Rapid Response Team, a group of several thousand pastors who led the successful charge for Prop. 8 in 2008, a Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage in California.
These are important and critical days in which to live and serve the Lord. I'm praying that the Lord is doing something dramatic in our time, and Iowa is leading the way on January 3rd.
Newt is leading the thrust to remove elitist judges who ignore the American people, like the 3 Iowa Supreme Court Justices who voted in 2009 to impose homosexual marriage on all Iowans.
On the call we will hear directly from Newt about this historic undertaking and hopefully have a chance to ask him about his plans for his "21st Century Contract With America."
I have been impressed with Newt and have come to the conclusion that Newt is the one person who can lead us out of the awful environment created by the present occupant in the White House. As Newt has expressed it, "America’s exceptional nature is based on the self-evident truths contained in the Declaration of Independence. Our rights are endowed by our Creator and they are unalienable." This is the type of understanding and strong leadership America needs.
Our Nation requires courageous, principled conservative leadership now more than ever.....from someone who understands that our rights as Americans are a gift from God, not government.
Please join me on this conference call with Newt Gingrich. Your participation is important to our future.
Thank you for your active participation in these critically important times.