Samuel Rodriguez

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/6/13

Liberty Counsel is Now the NHCLC's Official 'Legislative and Policy Arm'

We have been asking for years now how Samuel Rodriquez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, has been able to maintain his reputation as a moderate evangelical leader - someone who is regularly invited to the White House and presidential events - despite being a full-blown Religious Right activist

So we are hopeful that this latest announcement revealing the deepening partnership between the NHCLC and the radical anti-gay bigots over at Liberty Counsel will finally put an end to this myth, especially since Liberty Counsel has now become "the legislative and policy arm for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:"

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) has named Liberty Counsel as the senior sponsor of its Life Directive. Liberty Counsel and Liberty Counsel Action will also become the legislative and policy arm of the NHCLC. The largest Hispanic evangelical association with 40,118 evangelical Hispanic churches, the NHCLC is committed to support life from conception to natural death.

“Liberty Counsel is honored to be the legislative and policy arm for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Our liberty is based on the unalienable right to life that comes from our Creator. The right to life is the right of all rights. No other right has meaning without life,” Staver said.

The mission of the NHCLC is guided by seven directives, among them promoting a culture of life, encouraging the biblical design for marriage as one man and one woman, working with youth, education, and more.

Few groups operating today can match Liberty Counsel in terms of unmitigated hostility toward gays and Muslims and those with whom they disagree or in terms of overall general craziness ... and it has now officially become the NHCLC's "legislative and policy arm."

Rodriguez: Blacks and Latinos Not Voting with a 'Christian Worldview'; Gay Marriage will Force us to 'Surrender Christianity'

Samuel Rodriguez has appointed himself to be the spokesman for all Hispanic-Americans, telling Republican leaders that Latinos are just itching to vote for Republicans if only they put a greater emphasis on their anti-choice and anti-gay positions while moderating their rhetoric around immigration.

During an interview on BreakPoint, Rodriguez described a meeting with Karl Rove where they predicted that the majority of Latino voters will back Republicans, a political prognostication that has been proven very wrong, and found it completely inconceivable that any Christian would support Democratic candidates over Republicans. He reasoned that the GOP “provoked the Hispanic community to go and vote for a party that does not affirm the values of life and the strengthening of marriage that Hispanics hold as sacred values” by not supporting immigration reform during Bush’s second term. “The Democratic platform does not resonate or reflect the core values of the Hispanic-American community; that’s not anecdotal that is a matter of quantitative fact,” he said.

But as we’ve noted before, a majority of Latinos support a woman’s right to choose and marriage equality.

He went on to say that Latinos (and African Americans) are backing Democrats by wide margins because “we vote our ethnicity” and “vote our cultural heritage rather than our Christian worldview,” contradicting his claim that Latino culture makes them Republicans.

The Democratic platform does not resonate or reflect the core values of the Hispanic-American community, that’s not anecdotal that is a matter of quantitative fact. Every single survey, even the recent Barna survey, reaffirms that finding. The fact of the matter is, the disconnect exists because of the rhetoric. Forty-four percent of Hispanics supported George W. Bush in 2004, forty-four percent. Karl Rove and I sat down and we predicted in 2006 that in 2008 fifty-two percent of Hispanics would go GOP, and for at least a generation that number would continue to go up. Then came immigration reform, and at the end of the day that sort of ‘we don’t know whether this party really wants us’ provoked the Hispanic community to go and vote for a party that does not affirm the values of life and the strengthening of marriage that Hispanics hold as sacred values.



I have to say this to ethnic communities: putting President Obama aside, the African American and the Latino community, we suffer from what I call vertical myopia. That is to say that many of us go to the voting booth and we vote our ethnicity, rather than our Christian worldview. I find that to be a problem, as a believer, as a follower of Christ, as a born again Christian, I find it to be a significant problem biblically and theologically, when we vote our cultural heritage rather than our Christian worldview.

Rodriguez also claimed that Obama’s second term will bring about a “greater erosion of our religious liberties” and even charged that under the Obama administration, “Christians that stand up for biblical marriage will be continued to be labeled with a de facto sort of federal endorsement as bigoted and homophobic” if they do not “surrender Christianity on the altar of political expediency.”

 

I think we’re going to see greater erosion of our religious liberties. I think we’re going to see those Christians that stand up for biblical marriage will be continued to be labeled with a de facto sort of federal endorsement as bigoted and homophobic. I think the war on the biblical doctrine of marriage will continue to increase. At the end of the day, it’s going to prompt the Christian community to say: is this the generation that will surrender Christianity on the altar of political expediency or will we activate or engage in a prophetic posture?

Five Religious Right Myths Exposed in Election Defeat

The Religious Right took a drubbing at the polls yesterday as voters rejected not only Mitt Romney but also some of the most extreme Republican candidates, even those in races that should have been easy Republican victories. Like other conservatives, many Religious Right activists predicted a big victory for Romney and Republicans in the U.S. Senate based on five myths they hold about the electorate:

Myth #1: Americans want a ‘True Conservative’

The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody called the results a “nightmare for the GOP” and a “colossal disaster.” Of course, right-wing activists will be quick to declare that Mitt Romney, like John McCain, wasn’t conservative enough for voters, and that the self-described “severely conservative” Romney couldn’t effectively articulate or sell conservative principles. Their solution is that the next nominee must be a pure right-wing ideologue who emphasizes social issues, like Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum. Of course, if voters were seeking to support ultraconservative politicians, then Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock wouldn’t have lost their Senate races in the red states of Missouri and Indiana, Tea Party hero Allen West wouldn’t have lost re-election and Michele Bachmann wouldn’t have merely eked out a tiny win in her heavily Republican district.

Myth #2: Blacks will Defect from Obama over Gay Rights

Black conservative activists such as Harry Jackson, E.W. Jackson, William Owens, Patrick Wooden and Star Parker continue to tell the largely white Religious Right leadership that African Americans are defecting en masse from the purportedly demonic, Baal worshiping, anti-Christian and anti-God Democratic Party and will turn against Obama over the issue of marriage equality. Pat Robertson even said that Democratic support for marriage equality is a “death wish” and Mike Huckabee said the move “may end up sinking the ship.” According to exit polls, however, Obama won African Americans 93-6 percent. African Americans also turned out in strong numbers and didn’t stay home, with the same high turnout rate (13 percent of all voters) as 2008. In addition, marriage equality had victories in the four states it was on the ballot.

Myth #3: Hispanics are ‘Natural Allies’ of the Religious Right

Conservatives claimed that Hispanic voters, especially those who identify as evangelical and Pentecostal, are ripe for supporting Republicans. Samuel Rodriguez of the conservative National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and others continue to argue that Hispanics are strongly opposed to abortion rights (not true) and gay rights (also not true), and therefore “natural allies” of the Religious Right. Romney actually fared worse (27%) than McCain (31%) among Hispanics.

Myth #4: Catholics Abandoning Obama for ‘Declaring War’ on the Church

Heavy politicking from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and growing outreach to Catholics by traditionally evangelical Religious Right groups didn’t stop Obama from once again carrying the Catholic vote. Republicans consistently claimed that Obama declared “war on religion” and specifically “attacking the Catholic Church,” and hoped Paul Ryan’s use of Catholicism to justify his draconian budget plan would bring Catholics into the GOP fold. Obama led 50-48 percent in exit polls, down slightly from his 54 percent total in 2008.

Myth #5: Evangelical Wave Waiting in the Wings

New groups such as the Faith and Freedom Coalition and United in Purpose/Champion the Vote boasted of grand plans to turn out a wave of evangelical Christians upset about health care reform and marriage equality. But according to exits, Protestant (not all of whom identify as evangelical) turnout remained about the same this year (53 percent) as the last president election (54 percent). Christianity Today notes that in swing states, self-described evangelical turnout was approximately identical or merely slightly larger as it was in 2008, and Romney’s support among evangelicals compared to McCain’s decreased in states like Ohio and Nevada.

‘Nonpartisan’ Religious Right Leaders Demand that Christians Vote for Romney

Religious Right leaders love to proclaim that they are nonpartisan. Rick Scarborough insists he is not a Republican or a Democrat, but a Christocrat.  Samuel Rodriguez repeatedly claims that he is not pushing the agenda of the Elephant or the Donkey, but the Lamb. And yet they are actively involved in attempts to convince Christians that loyalty to biblical values requires a vote against Barack Obama and for Mitt Romney, even though many evangelicals do not consider Mormons to be Christians.  The latest example comes via Rick Joyner’s dominionist Oak Initiative. Joyner sent Oak supporters a long essay by Dr. James Richards of Impact Ministries, which denounces partisanship and says, “This is not about Democrats and Republicans; it is about being a believer, committed to the Lordship of Jesus.”  Richards’ essay concludes with a charge to elect Romney, the “least damaging” option on the ballot, in order to “buy time” to hold off socialism and get the right kind of people in office.

To my knowledge, there has never been a President that could satisfy all the interests of the church. So our only choice is to choose what we will overlook and what we will over emphasize. It is time for us to see the bigger picture. WE ARE ALWAYS VOTING FOR THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS. We must realize that in many instances, not voting means putting someone into office by default who may be a much greater risk to our beliefs and freedoms.

Many will not vote for Obama because he is in favor of gay marriage and abortion. However, those same people oppose Romney on the basis of his Mormon background. Many Christians will feel they have no choice and not vote. But we must remember, in 2008 the 30 million Christian evangelicals that didn’t vote decided the election by default.

We are not attempting to get a perfect man in office. We are attempting the get the least damaging man in office. As such we have peace, something the early church could only pray for, but we can vote for. If we can get a man in office who is not a socialist committed to the reduction of America and extreme leftist agendas, we will buy the time to make changes in Congress, and eventually at the State level. But most importantly, we can get people in office who will uphold God’s values and the Constitution. Based on the words and the track record of the extreme left, in four more years we may be too far gone to make a difference. YOU ARE NOT VOTING FOR THE MAN, YOU ARE VOTING FOR THE TIME TO MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE!

 

Samuel Rodriguez: 'America for Jesus' to Make Voters 'Go Biblical' in Election

RWW has reported on plans for this weekend’s dominionist-heavy ‘America for Jesus’ rally in Philadelphia, which will kick off some of the prayer-and-fasting-to-beat-Obama campaigns being waged by Religious Right leaders. Today, Charisma published an interview about the rally with Hispanic evangelical leader Samuel Rodriguez.

Charisma, whose publisher Steven Strang is helping Harry Jackson raise funds for his anti-Obama, anti-marriage-equality swing-state racial wedge campaign, is not exactly a neutral source; it introduced the interview, in part, with “Despite all the atheistic, socialistic, humanistic agendas that are attacking our foundations, there is yet a remnant. And part of that remnant is gathering in an historical city to pray for the salvation of our nation.”

Rodriguez, who excels at portraying himself as above partisanship even while participating fully in the Religious Right’s political campaigns, cites a litany of right-wing talking points as “historical proof” of the rally’s importance:

I can give you historical proof of this. We have never spiritually been down the road we find ourselves in as a nation. From abortion on demand to the diluting of the basic definition of marriage to the government requiring religious organizations to offer contraception and abortion services via the HHS Mandate to even a political party extracting any mention of God from the platform, we have never been down this road before. Never ever, ever have we been down this road before.

He says a “lukewarm church” is America’s most serious problem and that the objective of the rally is “to revitalize, to ignite a fire in the American Bible-believing church so the church will stand up for righteousness and justice in the name of Jesus.” He says the national character of the rally, and its location in Philadelphia, make it stand out among other such gatherings. “There’s an issue here of independence and freedom about the values that make our nation great.”

Rodriguez also makes it clear that he believe the rally will have consequences for the November election:

I believe that God has a purpose for this rally. I believe it will serve as an ignition point for the church to really light up. There's an election coming up in November. There are decisions that a Christian has to make. I hope this rally will engage the Spirit of God in each and every Christian to go beyond political ideology and to start holding Biblical worldview and go biblical about it. And I hope the church understands that the only thing that can save America in the end is not the donkey or the elephant but the agenda of the lamb. But we need to act according to that agenda in the name of Jesus.

Samuel Rodriguez to Join 'Xenophobic' Sheriff Joe Arpaio at the Republican National Convention

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference’s Samuel Rodriguez has been trying to push Latino voters to join the Republican Party while also begging the GOP to soften its hardline stance on immigration reform. But acting as a self-styled champion of immigrant rights while also boosting a party that is vociferously opposed to them ultimately creations tensions. It appears that for Rodriguez, helping the GOP is more important than opposing anti-immigrant policies and activists. Rodriguez is scheduled to share the spotlight at the Republican National Convention with none other than Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Rodriguez has previously described Arpaio as a “xenophobic person” and in February tweeted that “any candidate that seeks the endorsement of Sheriff Arpaio also seeks the rejection of the Hispanic community.”

Rodriguez also blasted SB 1070, Arizona’s harsh anti-immigrant law backed by Arpaio, as “xenophobic and nativist,” calling for a fast to protest the law and the creation of “a multi-ethnic firewall against the extremists in our nation.” “The Arizona Law stands as evidence that in 21st Century America, we may no longer be in the Desert of Segregation or the Egypt of Slavery but we just discovered there are Giants to be slain in the land of Promise,” his group proclaimed in a statement. “The Arizona Law is without a doubt, anti-Latino, anti-family, anti-immigrant, anti-Christian and unconstitutional.”

He later said that the Supreme Court didn’t go far enough in striking down the law’s “draconian measures” that “polarize and segregate our communities.”

Arpaio, who is being sued by the Justice Department for violating the civil rights of Hispanics (just one of his many scandals), will address an invitation-only audience at the Republican National Convention days after Rodriguez delivers a benediction.

Of course, Arpaio’s involvement in the convention should come as no surprise, as Arpaio was the co-chair of Mitt Romney’s 2008 Arizona campaign and served as a Romney surrogate. At the time, Romney said Arpaio was one of his “strong surrogates for our optimistic message of a stronger and safer Amreica” and was “gratified” to have his support.

Religious Right Divided on Obama's Immigration Announcement

A number of top Religious Right figures over the last few years have been trying to rally support among conservatives for comprehensive immigration reform, arguing that Hispanics are potential allies in their anti-choice and anti-gay advocacy work while warning that if the Right continues to alienate and demonize Latino voters then they will be writing their own political death sentence. As a result, it wasn’t a surprise to see Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention and Sam Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference enthusiastically applaud the Obama administration decision to stop deporting undocumented immigrations who are under the age of 30 and arrived in the U.S. before they were 16 years old, and Republican activist Adryana Boyne endorsed the move at the stage of the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s national summit on Saturday.

However, not all social conservatives are on board.

Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, who earlier this month signed onto the pro-reform Evangelical Immigration Table, called the announcement partisan and divisive. Minnery even suggested that the decision to stop deporting some young migrants is bad for families because they won’t be deported with their parents:

Tom Minnery, Focus on the Family’s senior vice president for government and public policy, said he was disappointed with the president’s actions.

“A quick fix in a contentious issue seems designed only for partisan advantage and will divide the country even further,” he said.

Minnery noted that the action will serve to break up families by targeting parents for deportation, while leaving young people behind to fend for themselves.

“Teenagers just out of high school, without intact families, are more likely to wind up dependent on the government,” he said. “This is no solution at all.”

American Family Association’s Buster Wilson attacked the decision by revisiting a debunked conspiracy theory that the Department of Homeland Security thinks that people “who believe in pro-life issues and the second coming of Jesus should be watched as potential terrorists vote,” and then went on to wonder whether Obama is going to allow the young people impacted by the decision to vote, even though they won’t be granted citizenship:

It’s so interesting to me that these people who are, whether they were brought here as children by fault of their known or not, they are still in the process of violating US immigration law. Janet Napolitano will work with her president to do whatever she can to honor those folks while first thing she did in this position, right out of the shoot back in 2009, was issue a white paper to all law enforcement saying that people like you and me who believe in pro-life issues and the second coming of Jesus should be watched as potential terrorists. Incredible; I continue to ask every day now what country am I living in? It is not the America I grew up in.



Another thing that was suggested by some, and I have tried to be fair about this and to try to ascertain how this could happen. I don’t know what the process would be to make this happen, but some have suggested that 800,000 young but old enough to get work permit illegals that the president is throwing out the welcome mat to, giving them basically a soft, backdoor amnesty, could this be his way in an election year, in just months before the election, of adding 800,000 plus votes to his side of the ledger in November? Good question to ask.

Samuel Rodriguez: Marriage Equality an Assault on Religious Freedom

Samuel Rodriguez, the Hispanic Evangelical leader who is treated as a bridge-builder by some centrist Christians and the Obama White House in spite of his close alliances with the fringes of the Religious Right, has launched a fasting campaign against marriage equality.  Rodriguez, who serves on the White House Task Force on Fatherhood, has expressed “deep disappointment” regarding Obama’s recent embrace of marriage equality.

Rodriguez joined the Southern Baptists’ Richard Land on Land’s May 19 radio show to denounce marriage equality as a threat to religious liberty and to call on churches to be more aggressive in opposing it.  Rodriguez, who tells evangelicals that they should welcome Hispanic immigrants because God has sent them to redeem Christianity in America, insists that a multi-ethnic religious awakening is necessary to defend “Biblical marriage” in America.

Land and Rodriguez both portrayed the advance of gay rights as a threat to religious liberty, with Land claiming, “There is an attempt in our society to basically make it illegal to condemn homosexuality in our churches – it’s called hate speech.”  Rodriguez said the promotion of marriage equality is “an attempt to silence the church of Jesus Christ.”

Excerpts from the interview:

This egregious attempt to redefine an institution that God formed is not only a violation of everything that we understand to be appropriate but it is an incredible incursion into religious liberty and religious expression. So I believe that we need a multi-ethnic kingdom-culture firewall to push back. White evangelicals alone will not be able to defend marriage in America.

...

This is not an issue of equality.  There is an attempt to silence the voice of Christianity, there is an attempt to silence the voice of truth, of righteousness and Biblical justice. So really the church needs to wake up and say, 'Not on our watch.’  We must stand up for Biblical truth. We must vote vertical.  We must look at our legislators and those that represent us on Capitol Hill and say, ‘religious liberty, the family, biblical marriage and life, must stand protected.’

...

I do believe that the power of the pulpit in addressing truth and righteousness is critical.  We can’t sacrifice Biblical truth because at times it becomes confrontational. Listen, Jesus Christ had very strong confrontational moments. This idea that this is a patsy sort of Christianity. That’s not the Christianity that we follow and adhere to. Sometimes, truth hurts.

Religious Right Leaders Call on Christians to Stop Engaging in Name-Calling

Focus on the Family's Jim Daly has teamed up with Russell Moore, dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, to pen an op-ed for CNN's Belief Blog calling on everyone - but especially Christians engaged in the battles over contentious social issues like religion, homosexuality, and immigration - to stop engaging in name-calling against those with whom they disagree, calling it "rhetorical pornography" and a violation of the teachings of Jesus:

What we say about others reveals more about ourselves than the people we're talking about. This is especially true for Christians, who encounter any number of verses in the Bible that point to how "sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness," as the English Standard Version translation of Proverbs 16:21 puts it.

...

[I[t should be convicting to all Christians when we find ourselves contributing to this maelstrom. Derogatory terms for other human beings – regardless of how widely their views differ from ours or, more importantly, from the truths of Scripture – should never pass our lips. To call it rhetorical pornography, for the debasement it engenders, is not an overstatement.

To get into the terms specifically here would be to attach to them a dignity they don't deserve. But we know them when we hear them: Epithets and cutting adjectives directed at gays and lesbians that go far beyond reasoned articulation of our biblical views about God's design for human sexuality.

Cruel, dismissive descriptions of those who do not share our faith – whether they be of a different religion or none at all – serving to drive people further from the heart of Christ, the exact opposite of our calling as his modern-day disciples.

And, perhaps most distressingly, ethnic slurs against noncitizens in our country, people who, in many cases, are families just like our own, seeking the best quality of life they can achieve. How do those hurtful words address the deeper and quite nuanced issues of legality and border integrity?

What each of these instances has in common is that the words are being used to deny the innate humanity and dignity owed every individual. The Jesus we follow did not just die for those who believe in him; his father created each one of us in his own image.

That means that as Christ breathed his last on the cross, there was as much love in his heart for the homosexual activist, the Mexican national who is not a citizen and the atheist as there was for us.

It is out of the "overflow of the heart," Jesus says in Matthew 12, that "the mouth speaks." That means it is far more than a failure of "tone" when we marginalize or malign those with whom we disagree. The solution is not just "nicer" words, but a transformed perspective, one that sees all human beings, including “opponents,” through the eyes of our proponent, Jesus.

Religious Right 'War' Room: This Weekend's Awakening Conference

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:

  • John Stemberger: head of the Florida Family Policy Council who chaired the 2008 campaign that outlawed marriage equality in Florida. Awakening organizers say he has “a unique understanding" of law and government. You could say that: He has argued that only Christians are capable of creating a free society. As a lawyer he once sued a rental car company when an Irish customer was involved in a fatal crash; he argued that the company should have known that an Irish customer “would have a high propensity to drink alcohol.” (He later apologized.) 
  • Rick Scarborough:birther, self-proclaimed “Christocrat,” and Rick Perry backer who said last year that he refused to endorse Romney in the primary because he is a Mormon. At the 2010 Awakening, Scarborough called Obama a “Marxist president.” Scarborough stated a few months ago that AIDS is God’s judgment for engaging in an immoral act. 
  • Frank Gaffney: his infamous anti-Muslim bigotry, including charges that fellow conservatives are Islamist sympathizers, is so virulent that he was denounced by the American Conservative Union.  
  • Harry Jacksonpoint man for the Religious Right’s anti-gay racial wedge strategies, defender of the National Organization for Marriage’s cynical racial wedge politics, and all-around right-wing activist, who recently called for believers to form a “fifth column” to undermine America’s secularist culture from within.  
  • Rick Joyner:  a dominionist and self-proclaimed prophet who recently warned people to get out of California because God is going to punish America for not being sufficiently supportive of Israel,  Joyner heads the Oak Initiative.
  • Richard Land:  the primary political spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, Land supports the criminalization of homosexuality and recently told NPR that “The Bible tells us that socialism and neo-socialism never worked. Confiscatory tax rates never work.” Land was recently pushed into apologizing both for racially inflammatory remarks about the Trayvon Martin case and for having plagiarized them from right-wing columnists. 
  • Janet (Folger) Porter: an anti-abortion activist who famously brought fetuses to “testify” for Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill,” declared during the 2008 GOP primary that God had chosen Mike Huckabee to lead the nation. Her radio show was dropped by a Christian radio network unhappy with her political embrace of Christian dominionists. 
  • Mat Staver: heads Liberty Counsel, recently called the “homosexual agenda” a “moral iceberg” that threatens religious freedom.  At the 2010 Awakening, Staver agreed with a questioner that the health care reform law had a provision that gave Obama the power to create an army of brownshirts that could take control of communities. 

Should be more fun than Disney World.  Watch for updates.

How to Sell Immigration Reform to the Religious Right

The Religious Right, in general, has traditionally taken a pretty hardline stance when it came to the issue of immigration, which was why it was notable last year when a handful of leaders announced their support for a "just assimilation immigration policy" and called upon their allies in the movement "to stop politicizing this debate needlessly."

One of those leaders was Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, who has been the guest on James Robison's "Life Today" television program for the last two days where he has been appealing to the Religious Right to support immigration reform on the grounds that "the Hispanic community loves Jesus" and God has placed them in America in order to bring about revival and redemption:

Washington for Jesus Returns as the 'America for Jesus' Prayer Rally in Philadelphia

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.
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