Christian Nationalist Barnstorms Ohio [UPDATED]
I am reposting this due to the importance of the update. - fc
David Barton, a leading Christian nationalist, is barnstorming Ohio this week seeking to turn-out Christian Rightists of all sorts in the upcoming mid-term elections. For the past several election cycles, he has been paid by the Republican National Committee to help energize and mobilize conservative evangelicals, and this year is no exception.
Update [2006-10-26 15:46:8 by Frederick Clarkson]: The schedule calls for Barton to appear solo, mostly at churches. But at his very first stop, who turned up but GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell. Bloggers from We Unite Ohio were there. The transparent electioneering, Blackwell's stealth campaign not with standing, may very well threaten the tax-exempt status of the church that hosted the event. It also suggests that bending and breaking the IRS rules proscribing electioneering by tax-exempt organizations, including churches, continues to be a key tactic of the Christian Right in the Republican Party.
The tour is sponsored by the Cincinatti-based Christian right group, Citizens for Community Values Action, headed by Phil Burress. All of the events are free and open to the public. Russell Johnson, who heads the Ohio Restoration Project, announced the tour to his statewide e-mail list.
Tuesday November 7th, is a critical day in the history of our state and nation. Christians need to PRAY SERVE ENGAGE with conviction. The stewardship of our citizenship means that we are ready as informed Christian citizens to vote. Jesus said that we are to shine a light to a world in need of faith and hope. Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet, declared "Lift up your voice like a trumpet!"
There has been a concerted effort from the liberal media to spread fear and intimidation among people of faith. If the church will stay behind "stained glass windows the left can continue their secular jihad against expressions of faith. Don't be surprised if you continue to detect an attempt to "demonize" conservative Christians. Many from the secular and religious left are hoping that conservatives will be so disillusioned with the tsunami of scandals, that we will stay home by the multitudes and not vote.
I believe that Conservative Christians are beginning to wake up to the fact that many of these concerted efforts to silence the "bride of Christ" are no coincidence. Will Ohio have leaders who believe in the sanctity of life and the Biblical definition of marriage? The verdict is still out. As I have said in the past, "the hinges of history are moving on our watch." I applaud Phil Burress and his team at the Citizens for Community Values to making this opportunity with David Barton a reality. Take note and take time to bring a friend.
Barton's speeches will be on the subject of "RELIGION & POLITICS: The Myth of Separation of Church and State."
October 25 & 26
Wednesday, October 25 - 12:30 PM
West Chester Church of the Nazarene
7951 Tylersville Road in West Chester
Wednesday, October 25 - 7:00 PM
Living Word Church
926 E. National Road in Vandalia
Thursday, October 26 - 9:00 AM
Potters House Church of God
3220 Lowell Drive (I-70 and Wilson Road)
Thursday, October 26 - 1:00 PM
Tabernacle Baptist Church
Hickory & East Main Streets
Thursday, October 26 - 7:00 PM
Shawnee State University
Flohr Hall, Clark Memorial Library
These events are also listed on the web site of Barton's Aledo, Texas-based organization, Wallbuilders.
As Moiv summarized, in a Talk to Action post in July:
The work of both Russell Johnson and [Ohio televangelists and political activist] Rod Parsley has been greatly bolstered by the background support of Texan David Barton, president of Wallbuilders and until recently the second-in-command of the Texas Republican Party. In a symbiotic relationship that blurs the state lines of God's country, Parsley lent his influence to invigorate [Texas governor] Rick Perry's pet get-out-the-vote project, a state constitutional amendment to "protect marriage" as the "union of one man and one woman." Parsley's video endorsement on the web site of the Texas Marriage Alliance was followed by a personal appearance with Tony Perkins and Rick Perry at a Fort Worth church rally where Perry signed both the Texas Marriage Amendment and a parental consent law that exposes physicians who provide abortion care to the death penalty.
As revealed in [Bill Moyers'] NOW's report, the cooption of religion in the service of the Republican Party by operatives such as David Barton is a pervasive and ever-widening trend.
In the run up to the 2004 election, Barton traveled the country, boldly encouraging pastors to preach politics from the pulpit. In October 2004, Barton told the on-line publication "Beliefnet" that it was okay for pastors to stand in front of church and say, quote, "John Kerry is not fit to be president." Barton went on to say most pastors would be "shocked" to learn how much they could get away with.
And who was Barton working for all that time? The National Republican Party. As a paid consultant for the Republicans, Barton held nearly 300 meetings with pastors and church groups.
In Ohio, Pastor Russell Johnson told [PBS NOW] his work has been encouraged by Barton. But Johnson's connections to the Washington political scene don't end there. Johnson is also a member of the "Arlington group." The Arlington group is a coalition of the nation's most powerful conservative Christians, including James Dobson of Focus on the Family, and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.
So once again, David Barton, is speaking in churches on behalf of the RNC to stimulate voter turnout in cooperation with key operatives of the Christian Right. And a central part of his message will be the notion that America was founded as a "Christian nation," that somehow, must be restored.