On September 1, People For the American Way Foundation hailed a court victory in Ohio, where U.S. District Judge Kathleen O’Malley issued a preliminary injunction against portions of Ohio’s new voter law and Secretary of State Ken Blackwell’s restrictive interpretations of that law.
It is becoming much harder for many Americans to vote. The barriers range from unintentional to obvious to insidious, and they are proliferating across the nation. Racial minorities, students, the poor, and senior citizens are bearing the brunt of new rules and regulations that discourage and limit voting.
“I came to incite a riot! Man your battle stations! Ready your weapons! Lock and load!” Those incendiary words are the rallying cry of televangelist Rod Parsley, a leader of an increasingly prominent group of Religious Right activists known as the “Patriot Pastors” who are using their pulpits to advance far-right policies and politicians at the ballot box.
A new generation of Religious Right leaders is turning conservative churches into political machines for far-right Republican candidates with rhetoric that might make Pat Robertson blush. The new report by People For the American Way Foundation, NAACP, and the African American Ministers Leadership Council documents how high-level Republican officials in Ohio and elsewhere are embracing the self-proclaimed "Christocrats" and counting on a new wave of aggressive politics-from-the-pulpit to win elections.
The myth that the 2004 elections ran smoothly has become conventional wisdom for pundits and politicians, but nothing could be further from the truth.