The Freedom Federation – an anti-Obama amalgam of Religious Right groups, "apostolic" ministries, and the corporate-funded astroturf Americans for Prosperity – is holding its third annual Awakening conference in Orlando, Florida this weekend. Here’s how it describes the event:
Uniting our Voices Around Shared Values: Turning Voices into Votes
A war is raging against our shared values. Our faith and freedom are under attack. Silence in the face of this war is not an option. Decisive action is needed. Join with others who share the core values that make America a great nation. Take a stand for righteousness and justice and be part of a new revolution to take back America. The time has come to turn our voices into votes and to change the course of history.
Outreach to the Hispanic community is a major goal of this year’s Awakening and the theme of Friday’s opening night session. That marks a continuation of the Freedom Federation’s efforts to re-brand the Religious Right as a multiracial and multigenerational movement, and to re-brand the culture war as a “social justice” movement. Last year’s gathering included a major effort to claim a religious grounding for the anti-tax, anti-government agenda of Grover Norquist and the Tea Party.
This year’s conference features Samuel Rodriguez, the head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, who tries to sell the Religious Right’s culture war to Latinos while trying to get Religious Right leaders to make themselves more palatable to Latinos. Rodriguez recently said that Latinos are here to “bring panic to the kingdom of darkness” and “make the gospel of Jesus Christ, the church, the most influential institution in America.” He said God has sent illegal immigrants here to “redeem Christianity” in America.
Also scheduled to address this year’s conference is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a favorite of Tea Party and Religious Right leaders who describe him as the party’s Latino Ronald Reagan. Rubio is reportedly concocting a hollowed-out version of the DREAM Act that will try to help Romney and the GOP fix their well-earned image as hostile to the aspirations of millions of immigrants.
A new feature at this year’s Awakening is Patriot Camp on Saturday for kids ages 5-15. Organizers promise that kids will learn about “the Christian principles on which America was founded,” which is important since, “As most Christians know, our true American heritage is not taught in schools, especially not in an objective manner.”
Notably for this Obama-bashing group, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is sending a video presentation; senior Likud official Moshe Ya'alon, Vice Premier, Minister of Strategic Affairs, is also listed as a speaker. Also on the list, some of whom might appear by video: Former GOP presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, and Reps. John Mica and Allen West. West has been warming up for the conference by announcing, McCarthy-style, that dozens of progressive members of the House of Representatives are communists.
The list of speakers is a Who’s Who of the Religious Right and conservative legal movements, including characters like spiritual warrior Lou Engle and Cindy “God kills birds when America supports gays” Jacobs, who once haunted the fringes of the far right but have since been welcomed into a movement seeking to build the broadest political base possible. Among them:
Should be more fun than Disney World. Watch for updates.
While campaigning in Louisiana yesterday Newt Gingrich spoke to the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios, who was upset that the Washington Post wrote “two pages” on Rick Santorum’s ties to Opus Dei and predicted that the media will attack Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith if he is the nominee. Gingrich, who has previously said that America has an “elite which favors radical Islam over Christianity and Judaism” and railed against the “anti-Christian, anti-Jewish” left, bemoaned that the “elite media” refuses to write about “Obama’s Muslim friends” or “the degree to which Obama is consistently apologizing to Islam while attacking the Catholic Church.” Gingrich does not specify which “Muslim friends” he thinks the media should be covering, or explain why it is a problem that the President may have Muslim friends. He concludes by calling on the media to address the reason why “we really worry a lot about the Quran and nothing about the Bible.”
Rios: Do you think there is any way in this world that the press is not going to be all over the details of Mormonism, do you think they are going to hold their powder on Mitt Romney in terms of his Mormonism and some of the passages in the Book of Mormon?
Gingrich: Of course, look you have to understand that the elite media is in the tank for Obama. They are going to do anything that helps re-elect Obama. They are totally committed to Obama. It is just astonishing to me how pro-Obama they are. Do you think you are going to see two pages on Obama’s Muslim friends? Or two pages on the degree to which Obama is consistently apologizing to Islam while attacking the Catholic Church? Do you see anybody in the elite media prepared to say, gee, isn’t this kind of odd, that we really worry a lot about the Qur'an and nothing about the Bible?
One of the most amazing things about Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign is that the longer it goes on, the less chance he has of actually winning and the more divorced (no pun intended) he becomes from reality.
Yesterday, ahead of the primaries in Mississippi and Alabama, Gingrich called into Janet Mefferd's radio program for a short interview where they discussed Gingrich's plan to get the price of gasoline down to $2.50 a gallon which he claimed was terrifying liberals because the Left fears energy independence and rejects new technology:
Liberals have this desire to ration, to regulate, to control and the possibility that we could actually produce enough energy that we did not need the Middle East is something that most liberals just look at with fear because it suddenly means that you and I could be free, we could buy the kind of car that we want, we'd have a job here at home, the government would be less important. It's a fascinating experience.
The Left has believed for at least forty years now in a concept called Peak Oil that says 'gee, we're about to run out." Well, it turns out that our reserves in the US, because of new technology, which is something that the Left rejects - they don't believe the Wright Brothers invented flying, they don't believe Edison invented electric light, and they don't believe we're about to invent the next generation of interesting things.
Earlier this week a Great Falls Tribune reporter found something startling in his inbox: a shockingly racist and misogynistic email forwarded from the most powerful federal judge in Montana, which "joked" that the president of the United States was the product of his mother having sex with a dog. The story soon became national news, with groups like ours calling on Judge Richard Cebull to resign. Cebull quickly apologized to the president and submitted himself to a formal ethics review, somewhat quelling the story. But the story is about more than one judge doing something wildly inappropriate and deeply disturbing. It's about a conservative movement in which the bile and animosity directed at the president -- and even his family -- are so poisonous that even someone who should know better easily confuses political criticism and sick personal attack. Come on: going after the president's late mother? Attempting to explain his email forward, Judge Cebull told the reporter, John S. Adams,
The only reason I can explain it to you is I am not a fan of our president, but this goes beyond not being a fan. I didn't send it as racist, although that's what it is. Is sent it out because it's anti-Obama.
Judge Cebull is hardly alone in using the old "I'm not racist, but..." line. In fact, his email was the result of an entire movement built on "I'm not racist, but..." logic that equates disagreement with and dislike of the president with broad-based, racially charged smears. These smears, tacitly embraced by the GOP establishment, are more than personal shots at the president -- they're attacks on the millions of Americans who make up our growing and changing country. Mainstream conservatives have genuine objections to President Obama's priorities and policies. But since he started running for president, a parallel movement has sprung up trying to paint Obama as an outsider and an imposter -- in unmistakably racially charged terms. Too often, the two movements have intersected. The effort to paint Obama as a threatening foreigner sprung up around the right-wing fringe in the run-up to the 2008 election with the typically muddled conspiracy theory that painted him as both a secret Muslim and a member of an America-hating church. They soon coalesced in the birther movement, which even today is championed by a strong coalition of state legislators and a certain bombastic Arizona sheriff. But the birther movement, the "secret Muslim" meme and the idea that the president of the United States somehow hates his own country are no longer confined to the less visible right-wing fringe. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, until recently a frontrunner in the GOP presidential race, continually hammers on the president's otherness, most notably criticizing his "Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior." Rick Santorum flatly claims that Obama does not have the Christian faith that he professes, and eagerly courted the endorsement of birther leader Sheriff Joe Arpaio. And before they dropped out, Rick Perry and Herman Cain couldn't resist flirting with birtherism. But perhaps more than either of these fringe-candidates-turned-frontrunners, Mitt Romney has been catering to the strain of conservatism that deliberately confuses policy disagreements with racially-charged personal animosity. Romney went in front of TV cameras to smilingly accept the endorsement of Donald Trump, whose own failed presidential campaign was based on demanding the president's readily available birth certificate. And Gov. Romney continually attacks Obama -- falsely -- for going around the world "apologizing for America." Judge Cebull needs to take responsibility for his own actions. And if the GOP has any aspirations of providing real leadership to this country, it needs to jettison the deeply personal vitriol being direct against Barack Obama and start talking about real issues. When a federal judge has seen so much racially-charged propaganda against the president of the United States that he can claim not to know the difference between genuine disagreement and offensive personal smears, something in our discourse has gone terribly awry.
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.
Early on in the interview, Gingrich accused the Obama administration of waging "war on religion" and Robinson later asked Gingrich if he really meant to use the word "war" and gave him an opportunity to take it back and clarify.
But Gingrich was having none of it, standing by his use of the phrase while accusing the Obama Administration of believing that President Obama is superior to the Pope and being part of a half-century long campaign by "secularists [to] get between man and God":
Robinson: You mentioned a moment ago that the Obama Administration had declared "war"on religion in America, particularly on the Catholic Church. I'm just going to give you a moment to take back the word "war."
Gingrich: Well, listen ...
Robinson: Do you want to?
Gingrich: No. I think that it's very clear that this is an administration which believes that secular government - they believe that the President is superior to the Pope in the ability to define what the church is allowed to do.
Obama's position, which is truly dishonest - this new compromise is, I mentioned Orwell's "1984." this is Orwellian ... We have been through a fifty year period, starting in the 1960s, in which the courts, and the bureaucracies, and now the politicians have waged war on religious freedom in America. And I think we need to understand this is just one more phase in an ongoing assault on Christianity and on Judaism and on organized religion by secularists who believe that they have the right to get between man and God.
The main themes from this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference were not terribly surprising to anyone paying attention to the GOP presidential primary. According to CPAC speakers, President Obama is a “socialist, Marxist president” bent on destroying the country and the Constitution, and the nation will not survive if he is re-elected. “Compromise” is a four-letter word. Health care reform is tyranny. Contraception is tyranny. TSA searches are tyranny. You get the idea.
But there were also moments of insight into aspects of the conservative movement, often coming from smaller rooms and panels, like actor Stephen Baldwin’s declaration that “separation of church and state can kiss my ass” and the anti-multicultural, anti-diversity discussion which featured the founder of a white-nationalist website. Here are a few additions to the excellent RWW coverage of CPAC by Kyle and Brian.
Screw the Vote
As we have reported, Republicans are waging aggressive voter suppression campaigns across the country, including voter ID laws and voter registration restrictions supposedly needed to prevent “voting fraud.” At CPAC, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton hosted a press conference to talk about the group’s “Election Integrity Project,” which is suing states that Judicial Watch says have not done enough to clean up their voter registration lists. Panelists claimed that “rampant election fraud” took place in the last two election cycles – there’s no real evidence to back up that claim – and complained that the Obama administration’s Justice Department is selectively enforcing the Voting Rights Act. Fitton said that having the DOJ meet with representatives from Project Vote and ACORN is “like having the mafia running the FBI.” Another speaker represented True the Vote, an outgrowth of Houston Tea Party group King Street Patriots, which hosted a fundraising event last year with a speaker who believes:
Registering [poor people] to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote.
True the Vote is backing states whose voter ID laws have been challenged by the Justice Department and recruiting volunteers to challenge signatures gathered by those seeking to recall Wisconsin’s anti-labor governor Scott Walker.
The Federal Government’s War on Clean Underwear
It is an article of faith among many right-wing activists and candidates that health, safety, and environmental regulations are oten unconstitutional and are destroying the American economy. Americans for Tax Reform and its affiliate Cost of Government Center sponsored a panel dubbed “The Red Tape War: How the Regulatory Burden and Growing Nanny State Threaten Prosperity.” The group’s Mattie Duppler described regulation as an ongoing “war on consumers and taxpayers.” Sam Kazman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute said that energy efficiency regulations had caused a steep decline in the quality of top-loading washing machines, and talked about a campaign his group had run to have people send virtual underwear to the undersecretary of the Department of Energy. (Turns out that campaign was in 2007 during the George W. Bush administration)
Beyond Obstructionism to Nullification
One Newt Gingrich campaign theme has been pledging that as president he would ignore Supreme Court decisions he disagrees with and abolish the jobs of federal judges who don’t share his view of the Constitution. A couple of groups at CPAC – the Tenth Amendment Center and the Foundation for a Free Society – held a series of events to promote nullification, the idea that the states should similarly ignore federal laws that they believe are unconstitutional. In fact, they want to go far beyond ignoring such laws. Speakers introducing a documentary on nullification praised an Arizona bill that would not only declare the federal health care law null and void in the state, but would also make any agent of the government who tries to enforce the law guilty of a felony. The documentary featured state legislators as well as speakers from the Oath Keepers and the John Birch Society.
Here Sharia Comes!
Pamela Geller hosted a panel on Sharia, at which speakers complained about the room they were given and about their supposed mistreatment at the hands of CPAC – though other panels met in the same room and the “Islamic Law” panel was listed in the conference program. Geller and fellow panelist Robert Spencer attacked panelists from a previous, more thoughtful, panel on religious liberty which defended the religious rights of American Muslims. Also speaking was North Carolina congressional candidate Ilario Pantano, who said he was once charged with murder for killing terrorists in Iraq [charges were dropped] and who denounced “political correctness run amok.” Pantano praised discredited “historian” David Barton for telling the “truth” about America’s founding and called the misnamed “Ground Zero Mosque” a “desecration of an American holy site and an American national battlefield.”
Civics Education = David Barton, the Bible, and American Exceptionalism
In a panel on civics education, Matthew Spalding, VP for American Studies at Heritage Foundation praised the battle over textbook standards in Texas, in which David Barton and other Religious Right activists pushed to infuse far-right ideology into social science books.
Those are the battles that matter, especially big states because they control the textbooks. Texas had a great battle, and the media hated it, the left went crazy, but it’s an extremely reasonable curriculum improvement, and they focus on very good things. It’s a solid, good model….Civic education is not just in the classroom. You must understand the effect that public discussion about these questions, about history and about the meaning of our country affect politics, politics affects elections, elections affects state boards and things that make the curriculum.
Another panelist, Larry Schweikart, author of Patriot’s History of the United States, argued that civics education must be grounded in “American exceptionalism.”
All of the founders understood that the bible and biblical virtues were necessary to a good education, and a civic order. So once again it comes down to those four pillars of American exceptionism: common law, a predominantly Christian religion, property rights, and free markets.
Limit Government, Not Campaign Speeches
One of the final sessions before Sarah Palin’s closing remarks was intended to give a number of congressional candidates challenging Republican incumbents the chance to make 5-minute speeches. A couple candidates were shortchanged by the fact that Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, running to unseat Sen. Richard Lugar, took about twice as much as his allotted time and Ted Cruz, running against Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the GOP Senate primary, ran even longer.
Mourdock devoted his speech to the need for conservatives to “conquer” - conquer the media, educators, advocates of reproductive choice, big-spenders, anyone who thinks America is just an “average” nation, and all who “wish to crush our traditional American values,” presumably including 35-year Senate incumbent Lugar. Repeated Mourdock again and again, “Conquer we must!”
Cruz, who was also given time at last year’s Awakening Conference at Liberty University, argued that liberty is under assault like never before, that President Barack Obama is the “most radical president this country has ever seen,” and that the U.S. Senate is the key battleground. Cruz, who hopes to follow in the electoral footsteps of Florida’s Marco Rubio, is like Rubio the child of Cubans who came to the U.S. in the 1950s. Cruz brags that he is the only candidate this year supported by all four of his favorite senators: Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Pat Toomey, and called his primary “ground zero” in the battle between the Tea Party and the GOP’s “moderate establishment.”
Newt Gingrich was the last of the remaining Republican presidential candidates to address the audience at CPAC this year and during his speech, he brought them to their feet by declaring that 99 weeks of unemployment benefits to those who have lost their jobs violates the Declaration of Independence:
Yesterday on Family Talk, James Dobson and Daniel Lapin came to the conclusion that ‘the pill’ paved the way for the destruction of civilization by increasing sexual promiscuity and reducing masculinity. Today, Dobson blamed Bill Clinton for the growing acceptance of “illicit sexuality” among politicians. Dobson, a prominent endorser of Rick Santorum, even lamented that the public isn’t having serious problems with supporting “an admitted womanizer,” Newt Gingrich. The Focus on the Family founder earlier claimed that he wouldn’t support Gingrich because he didn’t want the First Lady to be a former mistress.
Dobson: In the mid- to late-1990s, Bill Clinton, as president, had an affair with Monica Lewinsky. And the popular culture and the elites in media and in government rose to his defense and said that character really doesn’t matter, what matters is that a president is able to do his job properly, and the moral aspect was discounted. And something changed in our culture, not just about Bill Clinton, but about our attitudes toward our leaders being involved in illicit sexuality. And we’re seeing it right now on a number of fronts. I’m going to have to really come close to the limits here, but one of our candidates has been an admitted womanizer, and he has indicated, even to me, that he’s been forgive for that and that only God knows, and I accept that. But the attitude of the public toward that has changed. It is reflective of what happened in the 1990s.
Later in the program, Lapin argued that America is facing economic decline because of the removal of “religious restraints to rampant sexuality,” as men lose “self-discipline” and society is “effeminized.” Lapin then claimed that as “a more feminine society,” America has become more open to the “brutal and violent culture” of “fundamentalist Islam,” which he says is the only way “to explain the love affair that America’s leftwing and secularized elites have with Islam.”
So there you have it: feminism is responsible for the moral failings of men, economic decline and Islamic radicals.
Lapin: Once you remove the religious restraints to rampant sexuality, and all you got to do is relax those religious restraints and male nature will take care of the rest and bring about the decline of a civilization, one of the mechanisms is of course as we’ve discussed economic because in a sense it requires the same kind of control and self-discipline to get up every single morning and go to work whether you like it or not as it takes to restrain various appetites. So when you weaken one muscle you weaken everything else as well and not only do we have a tendency on the part of a society that has relaxed all form of sexual restraint to also go into free fall economically but what also happens is such a society tends towards becoming a more feminine society in a sense. Islam, fundamentalist Islam, which is essentially a brutal and violent culture is seducing a somewhat effeminized American culture because there is no other way to explain the love affair that America’s leftwing and secularized elites have with Islam.
People For the American Way today called on GOP presidential candidates to speak out against the inclusion of a white nationalist leader this week at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.
The conference—which will be addressed by Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and other GOP leaders— will be hosting Peter Brimelow, the founder of VDARE, a white nationalist website which frequently publishes the works of anti-Semitic and racist writers. Brimelow, an immigrant from Great Britain, has expressed fear of the loss of America’s white majority, blames non-white immigrants for social and economic problems and urges the Republican Party to give up on minority voters and focus on winning the white vote. He said that a New York City subway is the same as an Immigration and Naturalization Service waiting room, “an underworld that is not just teeming but also almost entirely colored.”
“It’s shocking that the CPAC would provide a platform for someone like Brimelow,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “Responsible GOP leaders should speak out against the bigotry and hatred that Brimelow and VDARE push on a regular basis. That’s doubly true of anyone who aspires to the presidency of the United States. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum need to make it perfectly clear that they won’t be silent when they’re confronted with racism and anti-Semitism.”
VDARE has published the work of people like Robert Weissberg, who says that black and Hispanic students are responsible for problems in the American education system, Marcus Epstein, the Youth for Western Civilization leader who karate-chopped a black woman after calling her a n****r (and later pled guilty to assault), and J. Philippe Rushton of the eugenicist Pioneer Fund.
“The inclusion of Brimelow is all the more galling given the fact that another group, GOProud, was excluded from the conference simply for advocating equality for gay people,” said Keegan. “CPAC should make very clear that hatred has no place in our civic discourse.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center lists VDARE as a White Nationalist hate group and notes that “VDARE.com’s archives contain articles like ‘Freedom vs. Diversity,’ ‘Abolishing America,’ ‘Anarcho-Tyranny — Where Multiculturalism Leads’ and ‘Why Immigrants Kill.”
Speaking at the "Pray for America" rally in Nevada on Friday night, Newt Gingrich called for passage of legislation requiring all schools and universities to teach the Declaration of Independence so that every student would learn that there is a Creator who has endowed us with certain unalienable rights and realize that government exists to serve the people, unlike President Obama who thinks the people exist to serve him:
We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. This is really central to all of America. God gives every one of you personally sovereignty. Your rights come from God. You loan some of that to the state in a document called the Constitution, which begins "we the people." Doesn't say "we the lawyers, we the politicians, we the bureaucrats, we the judges" ... it says "we the people."
Now, that means in America, you are a citizen and you loan power to the government, which is your servant. In Europe, you are a subject and government tells you what to do. And this is, candidly, the central issue with Barack Obama: he thinks he's a European politician who should be teaching us what to do so he's happy.
As we noted last week, Newt Gingrich was scheduled to appear at a New Apostolic Reformation-affiliated church in Nevada with Jim Garlow on Friday evening for a "Pray for America" event ahead of the Republican caucus on Saturday.
Gingrich, who was the only candidate on the bill, kicked off his address by inviting all the children under the age of twelve in the audience to join him and Callista on stage, explaining that they are the reason he is running for president because they are the future of America and Gingrich intends to make sure that they do not grow up in a secular nation dominated by elites who hate Christianity:
This is the future of America and the reason we're here is we want to learn what kind of future are they going to have. Are they going to have a future of opportunity, of safety, of freedom? Or are they going to have an opportunity of dependence on government, control from Washington, danger from foreigners? And this election may be the most important election of their lifetime and they can't vote yet ... and so, in a sense, we have to stand in as trustees of their country, all of us, every one of us has to stand in.
If I am president, these children are not going to grow up in a secular country dominated by elites who despise our history, dislike our culture, and dislike our religion. These children are going to grow up in a country which is genuinely free and which worships God, which is the source of our rights!
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.
It was at a Cindy Jacobs' conference in 2010 that we first learned that Gingrich had tapped Garlow to run his Renewing American Leadership organization. It was Garlow who brought Lou Engle in to lead the prayer and fasting as they pressed for passage of Prop 8, which might explain how Gingrich ended up in Virginia in 2009 being prayed over by none other than Engle himself:
Garlow is deeply tied to various leaders within the New Apostolic Reformation, promotes their agenda, and has worked tirelessly to bring them into the wider Religious Right movement.
Tonight, Garlow will be introducing Gingrich at a "Pray for America" event at a church in Nevada; an event that is also being promoted by Cindy Jacobs' US Reformation Prayer Network:
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.
So it will, of course, come as no surprise to learn that Paul Goulet is himself a member of the International Coalition of Apostles and affiliated as a North America sphere leader with the C. Peter Wagner-founded, Chuck Pierce-run Global Spheres organization:
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.
David French is a Senior Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, home of both Jay and Jordan Sekulow, two of Mitt Romney's most high-profile Religious Right supporters. French too is also a Romney supporter, having launched Evangelicals for Mitt with his wife Nancy.
Today, French penned an op-ed for CNN calling on his fellow evangelicals to drop their support for Newt Gingrich and, in making his case, he certainly didn't pull any punches, calling Gingrich an arrogant, bullying serial adulterer:
If character counts, then so do values like fidelity, honesty, humility and charity. Sadly, Gingrich fails on all these counts ... Churchgoing evangelicals have one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. Gingrich is a thrice-married, serial admitted adulterer.
While the former House speaker tries to change the subject, biblically literate Christians understand that his conduct is a real and present issue. Simply put, a man doesn’t cleanse the moral stain of adultery by marrying his mistress.
Matthew 19:9 is crystal clear: “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Gingrich has divorced his wife and married his mistress twice.
[I]s there a more arrogant public figure in American political life than Gingrich? His self-regard is legendary. He’s compared himself to world historical figures from Ronald Reagan to Margaret Thatcher to Abraham Lincoln to Pericles.
He has said that people like him stand between America and Auschwitz. His self-congratulatory statements fill press releases, and former colleagues tell tales of his erratic and bullying behavior. Is that the right witness for evangelicals?
During a tele-townhall hosted by Personhood USA along with radio talk show host Steve Deace and Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver, Newt Gingrich maintained that as president he will work to “undo the damage done in the ’60s and ’70s” to American society “by a movement that somehow thought it could reinvent being human.” The former Speaker of the House went on to claim that “elites have driven us towards a kind of paganism” similar to the pagan world of the Roman Empire the Apostle Paul found himself in. Cries of burgeoning “paganism” have become customary for Gingrich, who on a previous conference call dubbed same-sex marriage a “pagan behavior” that is part of “the rise of paganism” in the U.S.
Gingrich: One of the great challenges we have is that we now have to undo the damage done in the ’60s and ’70s by a movement that somehow thought it could reinvent being human and the fact is it couldn’t. There are very wise rules that have grown up over a very long time and I think when we try to break those rules—I always tell people you could understand the world we’re in right this minute if you can come to grips with Paul’s letters because in many ways he’s writing about being Christian in a pagan world, and a great deal of what’s happened is that our elites have driven us towards a kind of paganism that they don’t think of as paganism, they think it’s modern and clever, but in fact it’s not anything new or different. So I think one of the great challenges for us is to stand up for religion and to stand up for the lessons, both in personal life and in religious freedom, that are at the heart of any kind of healthy society.
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.
Newt Gingrich’s campaign announced today that Dutch Sheets, a self-appointed apostle and a major figure in the New Apostolic Reformation, will join his Faith Leaders Coalition as a National Co-Chair. As first reported and confirmed by Rachel Tabachnick of Talk to Action, Sheets endorsed Gingrich and warned that America “cannot survive another 4 years of the current leadership”:
Dutch Sheets has endorsed Newt Gingrich for president, and will be joining the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition.
“Newt Gingrich is only one that I can confidently say has the heart, experience, backbone, Constitutional brilliance, and intellectual strength to defeat Obama and lead America back to greatness” said Sheets.
“The America we know and love—indeed, the America God and our founding fathers dreamed of and birthed—cannot survive another 4 years of the current leadership in Washington.”
Sheets will join the coalition led by Christian market researcher, George Barna. It also includes, Pastor Tim LaHaye, Beverly LaHaye, Dr. Jim Garlow, the California pastor behind the Proposition 8 Battle, Congressman J.C. Watts, Don Wildmon of the American Family Association, Dr.Michael Youssef, Pastor Richard Lee, and Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.
Sheets is an avowed dominionist and at a recent event, The Gathering Eagles, he said that while he doesn’t think “that we’re going to take over everything and rule the earth completely for the Lord…we’re supposed to try.” While holding up a gavel in one hand and the word ‘family’ in the other, he said that Christians have become weak by emphasizing the ‘family’ and are now “lazy sheep,” calling on Christians to become “kingdom warriors” for dominion:
Sheets and another major NAR figure, Chuck Pierce, also believe that their prayers during a tour of the country led to the capture of Saddam Hussein.
He also has called President Obama a “Muslim president” and said his election is bringing the judgment of God, saying, “God has now turned us over to our enemies for a season”:
According to Sheets, America is about to face divine punishment over the promotion of “homosexuality, abortion and socialism” and the “toleration of immorality and perversion”:
If God brought corrective but serious judgment to Israel, we are horribly deceived if we think it will not happen to us. If something doesn't happen to lessen this judgment—and it can be lessened—we are headed for very difficult times. The economy is going to be devastated. The stock market will go well below where it went a few months back—a crash is coming, and soon. More terrorism and violence will occur in our land, perhaps even war. In my spirit I've seen buildings crumbling and cities burning. Devastating natural disasters will take place. In general, hard times will be prevalent. Why is this so? Because we have turned from God and His ways. Consider the true condition of America. This assessment is bleak but accurate.
1) Our government is in decay. The current leaders of Congress promote homosexuality, abortion and socialism, while arrogantly ignoring God and the wishes of the people. They are proud, power-hungry, self-serving, career politicians, not the statesmen/women we so desperately need. Our President fits the same description. Along with the above, while honoring—in the White House—the Muslim day of prayer, homosexual activists and a coalition of atheists, he refused to honor the time-honored traditions surrounding the National Day of Prayer. And along with Congress and the President, we have many Judges with no regard for God's Word, the Constitution or our true history. The predictable verdict is in: America is in a moral and spiritual crisis of such magnitude that it is almost unbelievable.
2) What does this look like practically? From my grandparents' day until now, we have gone from 65% of Americans having a biblical worldview to now 4% of today's young people sharing these beliefs. This is staggering! Apart from an absolute miracle, which I believe is still possible, we have lost a generation of Americans to satan and secular humanism. Generally speaking, we are a narcissistic, self-loving nation that has accepted a culture of death, perversion, drugs and violence. We have murdered 51 million babies in the womb, and to satisfy the cry for a toleration of immorality and perversion, we are ready to throw away 6,000 years of honoring God's definition of marriage and family.