As we mentioned yesterday, C. Peter Wagner was the guest on NPR's "Fresh Air" where one of the topics discussed was the rise of the New Apostolic Reformation and the role of NAR leaders in Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally.
The audio and transcript of the program has now been made available and it contains lots of interesting revelations.
For instance, host Terry Gross asked Wagner about the presence of NAR-affiliated activists at the event and even Wagner admitted that he was surprised by just how many were involved, speculating that it had a lot to do with Perry's ties to Alice Patterson - who believes that both the Democratic and Republican Party are literally controlled by demonic spirits - and agreeing that NAR leaders organizing a prayer event and praying with a governmental leader like Perry was "significant step forward" for the movement:
GROSS: Alice Patterson, who is an apostle in the movement, and she was onstage with Rick Perry when he spoke, and she helped mobilize supporters for the rally ... Is Rick Perry's connection to the apostles an indication that he approves of your work, or is your endorsement of him an indication that you endorse him as well as a presidential candidate?
WAGNER: Now, that's a very, very good question, Terry. I know Alice well. But when Doris and I got - we didn't know about the prayer rally. We didn't know about the - who would be on the stage at The Response and - but we were there. And I was very surprised that so many of the platform participants would fit under the New Apostolic Reformation template. The names you named would be very correct.
GROSS: So I can't presume to speak for Rick Perry or know what he believes or know his relationship to the New Apostolic Reformation, but how do you interpret it, that the rally was organized in part by people affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation and that, you know, several of them were represented on stage with him, including standing next to him when he spoke? How do you interpret that in terms of what Rick Perry's connection is with the New Apostolic Reformation?
WAGNER: Now, I can - I don't know Rick Perry personally, so I can only surmise because that question kept running through my mind as well. My suspicion is that when Rick Perry arrived at The Response, he had never heard of the New Apostolic Reformation. The only thing is that he is a governor that believes in prayer. And so not only will he call large prayer rallies like The Response, but he will also, from time to time, have people pray for him personally.
And one of the people who has prayed for Rick personally has been Alice Patterson, and so they bonded to the extent that when Rick said, well, let's have a prayer rally – Alice, would you mind organizing it, and she said yes - that was with no previous knowledge that there was any such thing as a New Apostolic Reformation on his part.
GROSS: But at the same time, Alice Patterson is one the people who - her mission is to bring the views of the New Apostolic Reformation into government. Correct me if I'm wrong on that.
WAGNER: That's right. No, you're right.
GROSS: So it's interesting that she should be praying with Rick Perry.
WAGNER: It's very interesting. And what it shows is that Rick Perry is a political figure that strongly believes in prayer, perhaps - well, you can't say more strongly than others, but as strong as some.
GROSS: Strongly believes in prayer and is also connecting himself with somebody who wants to bring the views of the New Apostolic Reformation into government. And he is a government leader who wants to run for president.
WAGNER: That's very true. But I wish somebody would ask Rick Perry how much he knew about what you just said before he invited Alice to help organize it.
GROSS: So in this respect, in terms of making inroads into government, would Rick Perry's prayer rally from August be considered by people in the New Apostolic Reformation as something of a victory?
WAGNER: Yes. The governor of a state sees and articulates, verbalizes, that the nation is in such dire straits that we need to do things differently, one of which we need to make more direct contact with heaven through prayer, and he called the prayer rally.
And so we - yes, we would see that as a significant step forward.
We share Wagner's desire that "somebody would ask Rick Perry how much he knew" about Patterson and the NAR before he partnered with them in organizing this prayer event.
Gross also brought up the video of Thomas Muthee anointing and protecting Sarah Palin from witches at her Wasilla church in 2005 and asked Wagner what he thought of it, to which he replied that such things ought to be done in private because when when it happens in public, people can see it and then "we get the kind of flack that you're reflecting ... and the kind of criticism, and there's no need to make that overt. We can just do that - probably could do that in her kitchen."
Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll addressed Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition’s pre-debate gathering in Florida yesterday, where she went on the attack against the media, scientists, blasphemers, secular Americans and all those who don’t fit into her idea of a “righteous government.” We made a compilation of her speech’s most remarkable moments, but the whole speech, courtesy of the Associated Press, is worth watching:
You know the Bible says faith is believing in what is not seen, today unfortunately many in the media would like nothing better to ridicule Christians: they promote 'The Da Vinci Code,' they place doubt in the public’s mind that Christ was not risen and they condemn the 'Passion of Christ,' yet they sensationalize stories that call for the end of prayer in school and removing the name of God from our country’s pledge. Ladies and gentlemen, these are very sad times when we allow the minority to poison the minds of the majority. This is exactly what dictators and socialist rulers did.
Man does not have all the answers, some of our political leaders bow down to scientists and let them have the stage to push their evolution, but there’s nothing, nothing a scientist can make, that is exactly like what God creates.
Trust Him to give you the strength to fight back against those who want to take God out of our country. Trust Him to give you the wisdom to speak out against injustice and blasphemy of His name. Trust God to guide your path to bring about a righteous government. …
Ladies and gentlemen, Christianity is in a fight and it is one of the greatest trials we have seen in modern times. Without a doubt, America and her people are in grave need of prayer, divine guidance, protection, to have good, solid Christians to step up and lead this country on a proper moral path. I firmly believe that if we magnify God, our problems will be minimized.
Yesterday David Barton dedicated his "Wallbuilders Live" rado program yesterday to addressing various criticisms he has been received, among them allegations that he has spoken at events hosted by racist and anti-Semitic groups.
David Barton of Aledo-based WallBuilders has filed a libel and defamation law suit against an Internet writer and two former Texas State Board of Education candidates.
Barton is alleging public policy opponents have falsely painted him as a white supremacist sympathizer and liar.
The suit unspecified damages from the three defendants for allegedly exposing Barton and WallBuilders to “public hatred, contempt, ridicule, financial injury and impeaching [Barton’s] honesty, integrity and virtue.”
The suit alleges Barton has been subjected to a loss of business because of the false statements.
The article reports that Barton has filed suit against two Democratic Texas State Board of Education candidates over YouTube video that asserted that Barton was "known for speaking at white supremacist rallies" and an Examiner.com writer who asserted that Barton is "an admitted liar."
One thing that has dogged David Barton for years are allegations from the Anti-Defamation League that he had spoken at events hosted by racist and anti-Semitic groups:
On at least two occasions, Barton has delivered his revisionist presentation in the meeting halls of the racist and anti-Semitic extreme right. In July 1991, Barton addressed the Colorado summer retreat of Scriptures for America, the Identity Church group headed by firebrand Pete Peters. He was advertised as "a new and special speaker" who would "bring the following messages: America's Godly Heritage -- Was it the plan of our forefathers that America be the melting pot home of various religions and philosophies? ..." Barton's fellow-speakers at the retreat included the virulently anti-Semitic Virginia stockbroker-polemicist Richard Kelly Hoskins; "Bo" Gritz, the 1992 presidential nominee of the far-right Populist Party and a self-described "white separatist"; and Canadian Holocaust-denier Malcolm Ross.
On November 24, 1991, Barton appeared at another Identity gathering, presenting the second annual Thanksgiving message to Identity preacher Mike Watson's Kingdom Covenant College in Grants Pass, Oregon. In a subsequent edition of The Centinel [sic], Watson's publication, Barton was described as a "nationally acclaimed speaker" who "has introduced many Americans to their godly Christian heritage.
On today's episode of "Wallbuilders Live," Barton and Rick Green addressed these allegations, but did so in typically Barton-esque manner in which they didn't actually address the specific claims.
Instead, Barton and Green asserted that there may have been people in the audience who held such views, but that there was no way that Barton could be held responsible for that and saying that Barton has been forced to file defamation suits to prevent people from spreading these claims:
Green: Just because you might have a crazy sitting in the audience at one of the events you've spoke at - and you've done, I don't know, ten thousand where you've spoken over the last twenty years - somehow that makes you associated to a Nazi. I could go find a nutcase in any audience in America anywhere.
Barton: And that's assuming that I knew they were there to start with. You know, I walk up and there's a crowd already sitting there, I talk to the crowd, I walk off, leave and go to the next event. I don't know who has the time to go through and find a nut somewhere that's a racist or anti-Semitic and say "oh, Barton spoke to an anti-Semite "... well, yeah, that's real possible. I don't know who else I spoke to either because I don't have an FBI background check on every person that comes to an event.
Green: And somehow they take that and extrapolate ...
Barton: And by the way, I'm not even sure they're accurate in that anyway. That's what they claim and I don't think it makes a difference whether it's truthful or not; that's designed to scare people off from us.
Green: And the only reason I assume there is someone like that in every audience is there's probably someone like that in every church audience.
Barton: That's human nature.
Green: But to take that and then label you with it, as if you're now the anti-Semite, you're the one that's a Nazi, you're the one that's a white supremacist, it's unbelievable.
Barton: I speak at white supremacist rallies, even.
Green: But I know why they do it. They do it because they know that by throwing out that label, now all of a sudden that supposedly puts you in this box and people won't listen to what you really believe and what you really say.
Barton: And that's one of the things where you do what to try to defend your reputation some ...
Green: And, in fact, you've had to do it. You've had to file defamation suits against people who are saying this stuff because it's so blatantly false.
Barton: And, by the way, I'm considered a public figure. I mean, we do this, I speak everywhere publicly, I'm seen on national TV, etc ... So for me to even think about doing a defamation suit is really way the heck over what most people would be able to do anyway.
Janet Mefferd, one of the leading Christian conservative radio talk show hosts in the country, dedicated part of her show yesterday to discussing the rise of dominionism in conservative politics. Along with her guest, “Christian apologist” Robert Bowman of the Institute for Religious Research, Mefferd expressed her grave concerns about the growing influence of dominionists and their participation in Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally. They defined dominionism as the belief that fundamentalist Christians should have control over positions of political power and administer law according to Biblical precepts.
The whole program is worth listening to, as Bowman and Mefferd discuss the New Apostolic Reformation, the Seven Mountains mandate, and Christian Reconstructionism from a conservative point of view.
Throughout the program, Bowman notes that many in the Religious Right have embraced dominion theology even if they don’t refer to themselves as dominionists and Mefferd was concerned about how “longtime, reputable evangelical leaders” have joined forces with avowed dominionists because of their shared panic that they are losing the fight on social issues like marriage and abortion.
Mefferd specifically pointed to The Response as a prayer rally where dominionists were “mainstreamed,” as traditional Religious Right leaders like James Dobson, Don Wildmon and Tony Perkins shared the stage with New Apostolic Reformation leaders like Mike Bickle and Alice Patterson, and the rally’s official endorses included NAR figures C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Che Ahn and John Benefiel.
The two both warned Religious Right against partnering with figures associated with the “off-kilter” dominionist movement, which Mefferd called “a strange turn of events” for the movement:
Mefferd: It seems to me from what I’ve read about the New Apostolic Reformation and dominion theology this is a little bit off-kilter to me. What’s interesting to a lot of evangelicals is seeing this sort of thought being mainstreamed, now you’re seeing gathering with longtime, reputable evangelical leaders, who are not necessarily Pentecostal or subscribe to dominion theology, but they’re joining hands with some of these people to achieve political ends which seems like a strange turn of events.
Mefferd: So if Christians go for instance to a prayer rally and there are a lot of dominionist people there, people who are interested in this theology and ascribe to this theology, is there any particular problem with those who don’t subscribe to dominionist theology joining hands, and having a big get together, theologically, if they have a prayer rally together, is there any sort of problem with that?
Bowman: Boy you’re gonna get me in trouble here. First of all, I gotta say that mature and well-meaning Christians can have different point of view on this thing. But my own personal opinion is that I do think it’s a problem. If you’re a Christian who does not subscribe to these neo-Pentecostal, fringe ideas about apostles and prophets being restored to the Church in the Last Days to establish a Kingdom of God movement before the Second Coming of Christ, mixed in with all the Word of Faith, health-and-wealth gospel stuff.
If you don’t agree with that, and of course I don’t, then participating in rallies and conferences and conventions where these teachers and leaders of that movement play a prominent role, I’m not just saying they happen to be there along with other people, but if they are playing a prominent role in one of these activities, then I think participating in that lends credence and support to that particular movement. And I find that personally troubling, I wouldn’t want to do that.
Mefferd: I think that’s very well stated and I think it’s very fair. You ought to know what you’re getting into. I think no matter what you’re joining in, if you’re going to a conference, going to a revival meeting, going to a prayer rally, I think it always benefits you to know exactly who the organizer is, what they believe, and then you can discern whether or not it’s something you really want to participate in.
As we mentioned the other day, there have been a lot of articles lately from journalists, columnists, and Religious Right activists completely dismissing any talk of "dominionism" among the Religious Right.
Dominionism, they claim, is just some meaningless conspiracy-theory dreamed up by the Left as scare tactic because nobody within the Religious Right movement would ever embrace those ideas or associate with anyone who espoused any sort of Christian Reconstructionist views.
Really? While searching for something else, I stumbled upon this 2007 article from Americans United about a conference organized by the Christian Reconstructionists at American Vision and co-sponsored by several "mainstream" Religious Right organizations:
The gathering, dubbed “Preparing This Generation to Capture the Future,” was hosted by American Vision, a ministry that has been toiling away since 1978 to “help Christians build a truly Biblical worldview.” In a conference handout, American Vision states that “By God’s grace, we will work together to make America a truly Christian nation for our children’s children.”
Based in Powder Springs, Ga., American Vision also produces reams of material that push Christian Reconstructionism, a form of fundamentalism that argues for a re-writing of American history, dismantling secular democracy and constructing an America governed by “biblical law.” Reconstructionists seek to impose the criminal code of the Old Testament, applying the death penalty for homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators, witches, incorrigible juvenile delinquents and those who spread false religions.
Despite its overtly radical theocratic agenda, American Vision is allied with some of the Religious Right’s most powerful outfits. This year’s conference was cosponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund, a well-funded Religious Right lawyers’ outfit that James Dobson and other religious broadcasters helped create; Michael Farris’s Home School Legal Defense Association; the late TV preacher Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University School of Law; and World Magazine, Marvin Olasky’s influential evangelical Christian periodical.
The event was promoted heavily by the Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition, and it was held in a facility owned by the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest non-Catholic denomination and a religious body closely aligned with the Bush administration.
Sovereignty & Dominion: Biblical Blueprints for Victory!
The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:28 that God created us to multiply, fill the earth, and take dominion of His creation for His Glory. When Jesus came to earth, He gave his disciples the Great Commission and told them to make disciples of all nations, Baptize them, and teach them to obey all that he had commanded (Matthew 28:18-20). These two mandates form the basis for why Christ’s Church exists on this planet. Every square inch of this world belongs to King Jesus. It is our privilege to serve Him by exercising servanthood dominion in every area of life.
So Religious Right groups openly co-sponsor an event organized by Christian Reconstructionists and Michele Bachmann's mentor is a featured speaker at an event organized by these same Christian Reconstructionists which is entitled "Sovereignty & Dominion" ... but to point out the influece of Christian Reconstruction and Dominioism among the Religious Right and some GOP presidential candidates is "just another attempt to discredit opponents rather than answer them"?
On August 6, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will host The Response, a “prayer rally” in Houston, along with the extremist American Family Association and a cohort of Religious Right leaders with far-right political ties. While the rally’s leaders label it a "a non-denominational, apolitical Christian prayer meeting," the history of the groups behind it suggests otherwise. The Response is powered by politically active Religious Right individuals and groups who are dedicated to bringing far-right religious view, including degrading views of gays and lesbians and non-Christians, into American politics.
In fact, a spokesman for The Response has said that while non-Christians will be welcomed at the rally, they will be urged to “seek out the living Christ.” Allan Parker, a right-wing activist who participated in an organizing conference call for the event, declared in an email bearing the official Response logo that including non-Christians in the event "would be idolatry of the worst sort."
The following is an introduction to the groups and individuals who Gov. Perry has allied himself with in planning this event.
The American Family Association
The American Family Association is the driving force behind The Response. Founded by the Rev. Don Wildmon in 1977, the organization is based is best known for its various boycott campaigns, promotion of art censorship, and political advocacy against women’s rights and LGBT equality. The organization also controls the vast American Family Radio and an online news service, in addition to sponsoring various conferences frequented by Republican leaders, including the Values Voter Summit and Rediscovering God in America. The AFA today is led by Tim Wildmon, Don’s son, and its chief spokesperson is Bryan Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for Government and Public Policy and host of its flagship radio show Focal Point.
Fischer routinely expresses support for some of the most bigoted and shocking ideas found in the Religious Right today. He has:
said that the anti-Muslim manifesto of the right-wing Christian terrorist who killed dozens in Norway was “accurate.”
Other AFA leaders and activists are just as radical:
AFA President Tim Wildmon claims that by repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell President Obama shows he “doesn’t give a rip about the Marines or the Army” and “just wants to force homosexuality into every place that he can.”
AFA Vice President Buddy Smith, who is on the leadership council of The Response, said that gays and lesbians are “in the clasp of Satan.”
The Response’s leadership team includes five senior staff members of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), a large, highly political Pentecostal organization built on preparing participants for the return of Jesus Christ. In a recent video, IHOP encouraged supporters to pray for Jews to convert to Christianity in order to bring about the Second Coming. IHOP is closely associated with Lou Engle, a Religious Right leader whose anti-gay, anti-choice extremism hasn’t stopped him from hobnobbing with Republican leaders including Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee. Engle is the founder of The Call, day-long rallies against abortion rights and gay marriage, which Engle says are meant to break Satan’s control over the U.S. government. One recent Call event featured “prophet” Cindy Jacobs calling for repentance for the “girl-on-girl kissing” of Britney Spears and Madonna. Perry's The Response event is clearly built upon Engle's The Call model.
Engle has a long history of pushing extreme right-wing views and advocating for a conservative theocracy in America. Engle:
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is a co-chairman of The Response. At the FRC, Perkins has been a vocal opponent of LGBT equality, often relying on false claims about gay people to push his agenda. He:
denied that there was a correlation between anti-gay bullying and depression and suicide, saying instead that gay and lesbian teens know they are “abnormal” and “have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict";
One of the most prominent members of The Response’s leadership team is pastor Jim Garlow. The pastor for a San Diego megachurch, Garlow has been intimately involved in political battles, especially the campaign to pass Proposition 8. Garlow invited and housed Lou Engle to lead The Call rallies around California for six months to sway voters to support Proposition 8, which would repeal the right of gay and lesbian couples to get married. He claims Satan is behind the “attack on marriage” and credits the prayer rallies for the passage of Prop 8. He said that during a massive The Call rally in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium “something had snapped in the Heavenlies” and “God had moved” to deliver Prop 8 to victory.
Most importantly, Garlow is a close spiritual adviser to presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and leads Gingrich’s Renewing American Leadership (ReAL). Garlow is a principal advocate of Seven Mountains Dominionism, and wants to “bring armies of people” to bring Religious Right leaders into public office and defeat their political opponents.
likened homosexuality to bestiality, saying that if marriage equality is upheld “the next court case could conceivably say that if three people wanted to marry or four people or five people or if someone wanted to marry their dog or their horse”;
While Senator John McCain rejected John Hagee’s endorsement during the 2008 presidential campaign for his “deeply offensive and indefensible” remarks, Perry invited Hagee to join The Response. Hagee leads a megachurch in San Antonio, Texas, and is a purveyor of End Times prophesies. Like members of the International House of Prayer, Hagee utilizes language of spiritual warfare and says he is part of “the army of the living God.” He runs the prominent group Christians United For Israel, which believes that eventually a cataclysmic war in the Middle East will bring about the Rapture.
John McCain was forced to disavow Hagee for a reason as the Texas pastor:
said that God won’t allow the United States to win wars anymore because “we have allowed the worship of Satanism in the U.S. military.”
James Dobson, an official endorser of The Response, is one of the most prominent figures in the Religious Right. Founder of both Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council , Dobson has been instrumental in bringing the priorities of the Religious Right to Republican politics, including campaigning hard for President George W. Bush. But many of the views that Dobson pushes are hardly mainstream. Dobson:
insists that the Religious Right’s fight against Planned Parenthood is “very similar” to that of abolitionists who fought against the slave trade.
Asked if God had withdrawn his hand from America after 9/11, Dobson responded: “Christians have made arguments on both sides of this question. I certainly believe that God is displeased with America for its pride and arrogance, for killing 40 million unborn babies, for the universality of profanity and for other forms of immorality. However, rather than trying to forge a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the terrorist attacks and America's abandonment of biblical principles, which I think is wrong, we need to accept the truth that this nation will suffer in many ways for departing from the principles of righteousness. "The wages of sin is death," as it says in Romans 6, both for individuals and for entire cultures.”
David Barton, an official endorser of The Response, is a self-proclaimed historian known for his twisting of American History and the Bible to justify right-wing political positions. Barton’s strategy is twofold: he first works to find Biblical bases for right-wing policy initiatives, and then argues that the Founding Fathers wanted the United States to be a Christian nation, so obviously wanted whatever policy he has just found a flimsy Biblical basis for. Barton, “documenting” the divine origins of his interpretations of the Constitution gives him and his political allies a potent weapon. Opponents who disagree about tax policy or the powers of Congress are not only wrong, they are un-American and anti-religious, enemies of America and of God.
Barton uses his shoddy historical and biblical scholarship to push a right-wing political agenda, including:
Biblical Capitalism: Barton’s “scholarship” helps to form the basis for far-right economic policies. He claims that “Jesus was against the minimum wage,” that the Bible “absolutely condemned” the estate tax,” and opposed the progressive income tax.
Revising Racial History: Barton has traveled the country peddling a documentary he made blaming the Democratic Party for slavery, lynching and Jim Crow…while ignoring more recent history.
Opposing Gay Rights: Barton believes the government should regulate gay sex and maintains that countries which “rejected sexual regulation” inevitably collapse.
Among the other far-right figures who have signed on to work with Gov. Perry on The Response are:
Rob Schenk, an anti-choice extremist who was once arrested for throwing a fetus in the face of President Clinton, and who allegedly had ties with the murderer of abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian.
Loren Cunningham, who is working to mobilize support for the rally is a co-founder of the radical “Seven Mountains Dominionist” ideology. Cunningham says that he received the “seven mountains” idea, which holds that evangelical Christians must take hold of all aspects of society in order to pave the way for the Second Coming, in a message directly from God.
Doug Stringer, The Response's National Church and Ministry Mobilization Coordinator, who blamed American secularism and the increased acceptance of homosexuality for the 9/11 attacks, saying “It was our choice to ask God not to be in our every day lives and not to be present in our land.”
Cindy Jacobs, self-proclaimed “prophet” and endorser of The Response, who famously insisted that birds were dying in Arkansas earlier this year because of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
C. Peter Wagner, an official endorser of The Response, is one of the most prominent leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation, a controversial movement whose followers believe they are prophets and apostles on par with Christ himself (other adherents include Engle, Jacobs and Anh). Wagner has advocated burning Catholic, Mormon and non-Christian religious objects. He blamed the Japanese stock market crash and later the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the country on a traditional ritual in which the emperor supposedly has “sexual intercourse” with the pagan Sun Goddess.
Che Ahn, a mentor of John Hagee and official endorser of The Response, who endorses “Seven Mountains” dominionism and compares the fight against gay rights to the fight against slavery.
John Benefiel, a self-proclaimed "apostle" and official endorser of The Response, who claims the Statue of Liberty is a "demonic idol" and that homosexuality is a plot cooked up by the Illuminati to control the world's population, and that he renamed the District of Columbia the “District of Christ” because he has “more authority than the U.S. Congress does.”
James “Jay” Swallow, official endorser of the rally, who calls himself a “spiritual warrior” and hosts “Strategic Warriors At Training (SWAT): A Christian Military Training Camp for the purpose of dealing with the occult and territorial enemy strong holds in America.”
Pastor Stephen Broden – Broden, an endorser of The Response, has repeatedly insisted that a violent overthrow of the U.S. government must remain “on the table.”
Timothy F. Johnson – Johnson, a former vice-chairman of the North Carolina GOP, was elected to that post despite two domestic violence convictions and still unresolved questions about his military service and educational record.
Alice Patterson – Patterson, a member of The Response's leadership team, insists that the Democratic Party is controlled by a "demonic structure."
In an undated GOD TV video about the End Times, Bickle claims that Oprah Winfrey will be one of the principal “pastors” of the “Harlot Babylon,” which he says is the precursor to the coming of the Antichrist. Bickle predicts that progressive Christians and humanitarian activists will work with Winfrey to create a unified one-world religion based on tolerance that will ultimately be used by the Antichrist to take global power and introduce demon-worship. Bickle goes on to argue that the End Times will see marriage outlawed due to the legalization of same-sex marriage: “Marriage as an institution will be forbidden in parts of the earth, as one of the signs of the times, the gay marriage agenda, which is rooted in the depths of hell, this is not about love, this is deception.”
Bickle: The Harlot Babylon is preparing the nations to receive the Antichrist. The Harlot Babylon will be a religion of affirmation, toleration, no absolutes, a counterfeit justice movement. They will feed the poor, have humanitarian projects, inspire acts of compassion for all the wrong reasons. They won’t know it, beloved they will be sincere, many of them, but their sincerity will not in any way lessen the impact of their deception. The fact that they are sincere does not make their deception less damaging. I believe that one of the main pastors, as a forerunner to the Harlot movement, it’s not the Harlot movement yet, is Oprah. She is winsome, she is kind, she is reasonable, she is utterly deceived, utterly deceived. A classy woman, a cool woman, a charming woman, but has a spirit of deception and she is one of the clear pastors, forerunners to the Harlot movement.
In a speech recently posted on GOD TV about how “strategic prayer, strategic intercession was absolutely crucial in shifting Prop 8” in California, megachurch pastor Che Ahn told a story about how prayer led the amendment to victory. Ahn joined Lou Engle, Dutch Sheets, and Jim Garlow in The Call rallies across California to promote Proposition 8, which repealed marriage equality through a constitutional amendment, including a final rally in Qualcomm Stadium with major Religious Right leaders like James Dobson and Tony Perkins. Ahn, who is an endorser of Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally (which is modeled after The Call), described how their prayers reversed the lead Proposition 8’s opponents had in the polls: following intense prayer, Garlow, Sheets and Ahn at the same time “felt it was a done deal” that Proposition 8 would succeed:
It was amazing because the polls showed that those who were opposed to Prop 8, the ten point lead they had, the first ten days that dissipated, and after ten days the polls were even up to the election. And Jim [Garlow] was convinced that the beginning of prayer and fasting wiped out the ten point lead and so we know that strategic prayer, strategic intercession, was absolutely crucial in shifting Prop 8. Then on the day of The Call, we had maybe around 20,000 that gathered in Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, and I’ll never forget around 4:15, 4:30 in the afternoon after we had prayed all afternoon for Prop 8 to be passed I felt something shift in my spirit and I knew it was a done deal. I turned to Lou and I said Lou, it’s a done deal I know Prop 8 is gonna pass. And then Dutch was right there and Dutch Sheets said, ‘I felt the same thing.’ Later on I’ve heard from Pastor Jim Garlow he felt the same thing around the same time all of us felt it was a done deal. Now we didn’t know that about the election, the national election, because we didn’t have a word about who was gonna win, but we did know that Prop 8 was gonna pass in this incredibly liberal state of California. And sure enough we saw the evidence of that and it won by a strong 52-48 margin. I need to thank God again for that let’s thank the Lord for that.
In 2009, Janet Porter of Faith 2 Action organized a right-wing conference in St. Louis called "How To Take Back America" that was co-sponsored by the likes of WorldNetDaily, The American Family Association, Vision America, Liberty Counsel, and WallBuilders. The keynote speakers at the conference were Mike Huckabee and Rep. Michele Bachmann.
The line-up at this conference was so radical that we put together a report on the participants which gave special attention to the truly fringe views espouse by Porter:
It is probably impossible to overstate the extremism and lunacy of Janet Porter, whose radio program and Faith2Action.org website gives her a platform for promoting the most unhinged of conspiracy theories.
Among other fears she has recently been stoking: the Obama administration is creating internment camps for conservatives and building mass evacuation buses to take them there, while warning that the H1N1 flu vaccine is really a nefarious plot by the government to kill millions of Americans. She helped to create and inflate the Right's false claims that a Department of Homeland Security report was equating conservatives and veterans with terrorists; as noted above, she's now pushing comparisons between the Obama administration and the rise of Nazism.
Porter has written a book called "The Criminalization of Christianity" and claims that hate crimes legislation will lead to Christians being thrown in jail. More recently she's joined the chorus of extremists falsely claiming that the bill would "give heightened protection to pedophiles." As part of her campaign against hate crimes legislation, Porter has repeatedly invited on to her radio show Ted Pike, a rabid anti-Semite who claims hate crimes laws are part of a Jewish plot for world domination.
Of course, the radical views held by Porter and the others in no way dissuaded Bachmann from attending. In fact, Bachmann appeared on Porter's radio program ahead of the event and used it as an opportunity to praiser her and endorse the May Day at the Lincoln Memorial prayer event Porter was planning for the following spring:
But none of that seemed to bother Bachmann, who joined Porter, Joseph Farah, and others in promoting Porter's "Pink Slip" campaign to warn members of Congress that they would lose their jobs if they voted for legislation opposed by the Right:
In 2008, Porter was a key supporter of Mike Huckabee. But with Huckabee declining to run for President this time around, Porter's endorsement is still up in the air.
But given the already existing ties between Bachmann and Porter (and judging by the poll Porter is currently running on her website) it seems increasingly like that Bachmann could wind up being her candidate of choice.
Pastor Joseph Mattera is one of the most outspoken opponents of marriage equality legislation in New York, and has condemned gays and lesbians for, among other things, their supposed ties to Nazism and lack of concern for the poor. Reacting to dueling rallies in Albany between the bill’s supporters and detractors, Mattera blasted religious leaders who support marriage equality and cast doubt on their religiosity. He even criticized one “supposed rabbi” for wearing “a rainbow Yakama [sic].”
In anticipation of the state Senate's vote, various groups held rallies Monday -- one side requesting the "separation of church and state," while the other chanted, "God says no!" Joseph Mattera, overseeing bishop of Resurrection Church in New York, tells OneNewsNow many of those who support same-sex marriage were irreverent and antagonistic toward the Christian faith.
"The other side was very belligerent. There were ministers, there were people dressed in Catholic garb, and there were supposed rabbis -- at least one with a rainbow Yakama," Bishop Mattera accounts. "So they tried to bring out so-called 'clergy' who were in favor of what they call 'marriage equality.'"
Another The Response endorser is “spiritual warfare” leader James ‘Jay’ Swallow, a Native American “apostle” who founded the Two Rivers Native American Training Center. Like Jacobs, Swallow has spoken at The Call rallies including one in which he accepted on behalf of all Native Americans Brownback’s apology for the federal government’s mistreatment of indigenous people. According to his biography, “God has given Dr. Swallow extraordinary insight into ‘healing the land’ through prayer and spiritual warfare.” The Center is built around the “Strategic Warriors At Training (SWAT): A Christian Military Training Camp for the purpose of dealing with the occult and territorial enemy strong holds in America.” Seminars include “Demonic Spirits,” “Spiritual Warfare,” “Identifying the Strongman,” and “Freemasonry.” The training is apparently so intense that Swallow asks participants sign a “release of liability” form to waive their right to sue.
In the last decade great leaders have been given the revelation of ingredients that have instituted the desire of God to recover from the enemy the promises of our nation, America, and to compact the many divisions into an expression of Biblical Christianity.
The enemy has fortified his temporary property by placing strongholds of resistance to the coming invasion. He knows he is to be removed from authority over areas that we, the divided church, have given him permission to rule.
The next two weeks will make warriors out of you. I don’t mean armchair warriors, but a SPECIALIZED COMMANDO group that will engage and set the order of discipline and order to tear down the first line of defense against the enemy.
Our job will be to establish a beachhead and occupy until the main forces can mobilize to secure the territory in Jesus’ Name.
Again, these are just a few of the people who Rick Perry is working with to put on his prayer rally.
Last month we noted that Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition and other radical anti-choice activists held a protest outside Speaker John Boehner's office to demand the defunding of Planned Parenthood in which used white sheets to link the organization to Planned Parenthood.
In response to the Religious Right campaign against Planned Parenthood, the organization released videos of featuring celebrities announcing that they stood by the group and its mission.
Ms. Johansson recently did a national television video supporting Planned Parenthood.
Sadly, Scarlett Johansson did not mention that Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger, a racist who supported the Ku Klux Klan, spoke at their rallies and encouraged the elimination of African-Americans.
"Defund Klanned Parenthood" is a national campaign encouraging members of Congress to stop giving billions of tax dollars to an extremist organization founded on racist principles.
Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, host of the Prophecy Today Radio Network, travels the world to educate the Body of Christ about the future events foretold in the Bible. While he agrees with Beck politically, he does not agree that the talk-show icon should be viewed as a spiritual leader.
"You might remember the Washington rally last year, and Glenn Beck said repeatedly, 'this is not a political rally; this is a spiritual rally.' He is not my spiritual leader," DeYoung contends. "He should be nobody's spiritual leader. I don't believe he knows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He is a Mormon, and the Mormon religion says that Jesus Christ is a brother to Satan."
And the Jerusalem-based journalist has a problem with Beck's desire to stand with people of all faiths.
"The mass majority of those who may well join with him are replacement theologians," DeYoung suggests. "They believe that God's Word has replaced the Jewish people and all the promises in the Word go now to the church. That is called replacement theology; it's heretical."
Ever since Mike Huckabee announced that he would not be running for president in 2012, countless pieces have been written speculating which remaining candidate benefits the most from his decision. Is it Michele Bachmann? It is Tim Pawleny? Is it Herman Cain or Rick Santorum?
But I have a different question: which remaining candidate will be the one to welcome the support of the fringe Religious Right leaders who made up Huckabee's Faith and Family Values Coalition the last time around?
These kinds of activists were Huckabee's bread-and-butter, along with End Times obsessives like Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, Homeschool champions like Mike Farris, and the boycott-happy head of the American Family Association Don Wildmon.
Where are these activists going to go now that Huckabee is not running?
They certainly are not just going to sit on the sidelines, so some lucky GOP candidate is eventually going to pick up their endorsement ... and all the crazy right-wing baggage that comes right along with it.
Arizona Congressman Trent Franks is preparing a campaign for US Senate following the retirement of Jon Kyl. According to Politico, Franks intends to “campaign to the right” of already-announced Republican Congressman Jeff Flake in the primary. Running to the right of Flake or almost any other Republican shouldn’t be difficult for Franks, who was tied for first as the most conservative member of the House.
The possibility of a Franks candidacy has already forced Flake to abandon his previously pro-reform position on immigration to compete with Franks, who is an anti-immigrant hardliner. Politicoreports that Franks is poised to announce following a fundraiser with Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Michele Bachmann:
Currently in his fifth term, Franks has solidified himself as the most conservative member of Arizona's delegation and indicated in early March he felt like he had a "responsibility to give the people a chance to choose between my perspective and Mr. Flake's."
Franks' Senate announcement will come after a $250 morning fundraiser hosted by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Arizona insiders warn that Flake's flip on immigration gives Franks's candidacy immediate room to grow in a state still consumed by border violence and crime by undocumented workers. The key question is whether Flake will be able to replicate Sen. John McCain's conversion on the white hot issue.
"If it's a two-person fight, I believe Trent wins. Flake's flip on immigration kills him. He cannot effectively do a McCain and rebrand himself. McCain spent millions against a weaker opponent to rebrand himself. Flake will not have that luxury," according to one GOP operative currently unaffiliated with either campaign.
A little-reported Iowa event may bring together Religious Right leaders and potential Republican presidential candidates for a summit with pastors. Iowa Renewal Project is hosting a “Pastors’ Policy Briefing,” according to The Iowa Independent, that plans to include Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Haley Barbour. The Iowa Renewal Project is one of many state-level “restoration projects” that attempt to organize pastors to support conservative causes and Republican candidates. Most recently, Gingrich and David Barton participated in an event by the Nevada Renewal Project and the American Family Association to mobilize pastors to help Sharron Angle’s unsuccessful Senate bid.
But several rumored Republican candidates will gather in Des Moines later this month for conversations with clergy and congregants, and unlike most events featuring presidential hopefuls, very little is known about exactly who is behind the two-day, all-expenses-paid “Pastors’ Policy Briefing.”
An invitation, stamped with the return address of a West Des Moines UPS Store mailbox, went out this week to Iowa’s faithful. Those who received the call will have an opportunity to hear from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann during a two-day conference at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel on March 24 and 25.
“Meals and lodging are complimentary,” states the invitation, “and will be provided by the Iowa Renewal Project.”
America and our Judeo Christian heritage is under attack by a force that is more destructive than any threat America has faced in decades. Over the past year, we have been declared to be “not a Christian nation”; a response is necessary from those who believe that while government itself should not establish a faith, our principles are rooted in the notion that we are the result of providence and a dynamic Creator. Defeating the radicals who wish to ignore or revise our history will require renewed resolve and spiritual rearmament by the evangelical pastors in America.
Rediscovering God in America’s goal is to ignite people of faith to again engage the culture and bring America back to our standing around the world as a Beacon of Hope and a Shining City on a Hill.
Because God has entrusted you to care for His flock, you are a critical component to reclaiming the centrality of God in American life and confronting the evil that faces us now. At a time when Congress is busy trying to legislate defeat, we are inviting you to a Pastors’ Policy Briefing that will help you engage the battle, to walk point. Today, with our troops facing danger abroad and our nation looking for guidance here at home, America’s need is to rearm spiritually through the leadership of her Pastors. The silence of the church and her pastors have helped to create this mess: Russell Kirk offers insight into the political climate of America if bible believing pastors pick up the mantle, “politicians are actors performing a script that is written by the audience”. Rediscovering God in America-Des Moines is to remind and encourage us that the proper position for America when facing evil and confronting enemies is not to find excuses for defeat but to find the resources, the courage and the strength from God necessary to win.
Both our nation and our Judeo Christian heritage are under attack by a force that is more dangerous than any threat our world has faced in recent memory. I am convinced that our ability to defeat the radical jihadists who threaten our nation will be significantly impacted by the prayers and leadership of America’s evangelical pastors.
"Rediscovering God in America” was created to inspire people of faith to engage the culture and bring America back to our worldwide standing as a beacon of hope, a city shining on a hill.
Because God entrusted you to care for and lead His flock, you can play a key role in restoring God to the center of American life, thus strengthening our nation to confront this looming threat.
While Congress occupies its time trying to legislate defeat in Iraq, we hope you will attend a Pastors’ Policy Briefing that will equip you to walk point in the war of values and ideas.
Rediscovering God in America-Austin is intended to remind us that excuses are not the proper strategy when facing evil and confronting enemies. Instead, we must rally godly people and seek God’s provision for the resources, the courage, and the strength necessary to win and, ultimately, glorify Him.
When Janet Porter is involved in something, you know it is just a matter of time before it goes completely off the rails.
It happened with her 2007 Values Voter Debate where a choir sang "Why Should God Bless America? " while Religious Right leaders asked questions to empty podiums representing the Republican candidates who skipped the event.
And it happened again with her May Day prayer rally at the Lincoln Memorial which left her facing $70,000 in expenses and cost her her daily radio show.
A fetus has been scheduled as a legislative witness in Ohio on a unique bill that proposes outlawing abortions after the first heartbeat can be medically detected.
Faith2Action, the anti-abortion group that has targeted Ohio to pilot the measure, called the in-utero witness the youngest to ever come before the House Health Committee at 9 weeks old.
Faith2Action president Janet Folger Porter said the intent is to show lawmakers who will be affected by the bill, which abortion rights groups oppose. Ohio Right to Life has not endorsed the measure.
An aide to committee Chairman Lynn Wachtmann said a pregnant woman will be brought before the committee and an ultrasound image of her uterus will be projected onto a screen. The heartbeat of the fetus will be visible in color.