Southern Baptists and the Council for National Policy
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Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 09:06:32 AM EST
A close look at some of the rosters of people who have been members of the Council for National Policy disclosed more Southern Baptists than I had previously realized.  Below is a brief description of the Council for National Policy and a list of the Southern Baptists who have been members:

In 1981 Tim LaHaye left the pastorate and founded the secretive Council for National Policy (CNP) -- an exclusive conservative Christian lobbying group that meets three times a year. It brings influential conservative Christian leaders together behind closed doors with America's most powerful conservative politicians, journalists, lawyers, and industrialists to strategize about politics and public policy. Start-up funds came from Cullen Davis and Nelson Bunker Hunt. Membership is by invitation only and annual dues are several thousand dollars (at least $5,000 annually). Guests attend meetings only with the unanimous approval of the executive committee. The membership list is a Who's Who of the Religious Right and of the politicians pushing their agenda.  Southern Baptists who are members include:

Judge Paul Pressler, (architect of the takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention) who was president of their Executive Committee 1988-90 and in 1994; Paul Pressler IV (his son), Paige Patterson (key takeover leader, now President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), Ed McAteer (Religious Roundtable), James Robison (TV evangelist), Jay Strack (youth evangelist, twice elected VP of the SBC), Jerry Falwell (TV preacher), and Rick Scarborough (Vision America), Coy Privette (served as a trustee at Southeastern Seminary), Alan Sears (President and CEO of the Alliance Defense Fund, served as a member of Executive Board of the SBC), Ann Frazier (from North Carolina, served as a NAMB Trustee), Robbie Hughes (from Mississippi, served as member of SBC Public Affairs Committee) Andrew Lester (layman at First Baptist Church in OK City), Lawson Ridgeway (deacon at First Baptist in Dallas), Dal Shealy (President/CEO of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, deacon First Baptist in Kansas City, MO, served on the board of trustees Carson-Newman College), Jim R. Smith (deacon at Second Baptist Houston, served as board member and executive committee member at Houston Baptist University), Steve Stockman (former U.S. Congressman, member First Baptist in Houston).

It's certainly extensive, and looks like it could be a good 'who's who' project for the religious right Wiki that some friends and I are building. It isn't quite ready for prime time yet, but it will become a valuable tool once we officially launch it.

by Lorie Johnson on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 11:14:03 AM EST
There is a lot of interest in that at the present time.

by Mainstream Baptist on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 05:49:05 PM EST

Is this a formal name for the Arlington Group?  Are they two separate entities and if so, how are they related?

by tikkun on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 01:00:54 PM EST
Here's a link to the Alliance Defense Fund.  It seems to be something similar to the ACLJ.

by Mainstream Baptist on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 05:45:52 PM EST

The Arlington Group actually seems to be a separate group from the CNP or the Coalition on Revival.  (One of the real potential points of confusion is that membership lists of these three organisations overlap, often substantially; they also overlap with other dominionist thinktanks (like the National Christian Action Committee--the group that actually orchestrated the hijacking of the Republican party--and so on).)

Much of the best writing on the CNP has been done by the now-defunct Institute for First Amendment Studies (which is available via an archive at PublicEye here); Americans United has continued research on the CNP after IFAS ceased operations, and there are further resources here, here,  and (from an apologetics site with a conservative, if decidedly antidominionist, viewpoint) here.  (The latter is actually a surprisingly good resource on biographies of CNP members and tracing links between dominionist groups.  Most of the info is verifiable and pulled from other, often secular, sources.)

The Arlington Group is generally considered to be far smaller in membership, is possibly even more secretive than the CNP in some levels, but substantially does overlap with the CNP's membership (hence the confusion); the Arlington Group's main focus is lobbying in Washington and working with dominionist-friendly politicians.

The Coalition on Revival is more explicitly pente-dominionist, is mostly comprised of people with hard links to the "ministry" (such as it is) of dominionist churches, but again largely overlaps with the CNP's membership.

Oh, and for those wanting more info on SBC and pente dominionist links--Tim LaHaye (mentioned in the article) is the selfsame Tim LaHaye whose wife is the leader of Concerned Women for America and the selfsame Tim LaHaye who is co-author of the "Left Behind" books.  (These books are, in essence, a fictionalisation of what pente dominionist groups into premillenial dispensationalism actually believe will happen soon.)

Whilst people are more familiar with the "Left Behind" fictionalisations, Tim LaHaye has actually been promoting premillenial dispensationalism and dominion theology for literally decades; some of his first recorded books on the subject (geared towards pentecostal church audiences) date from 1974 and 1975.

Even more interestingly, Tim LaHaye is linked with the group Christian Voice--a group that is known to be essentially a front group of the Assemblies of God (according to multiple resources, including a at least one excellent history of the hijacking of the Republican Party and specifically the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International--one of the two oldest dominionist groups in the US (the only other group with a longer history is "The Fellowship", which dates back to pre-WW II).  In fact, Tim LaHaye was a member of Christian Voice when it was actively partnering with some of the same parties who founded the first major dominionist thinktank and political group--the National Christian Action Committee.  (The same parties mentioned in the article on the CNP also were participants in the NCAC, and it is probably not a stretch to state the Coalition for National Policy is a "daughter organisation" of the NCAC.)

One of the other groups that LaHaye helped start was the Moral Majority (Jerry Falwell's group that has now morphed into Liberty Counsel and several other efforts Falwell is orchestrating to promote dominionism).  This article in Sojourners Magazine details LaHaye's long history in promoting dominionism and premillenial dispensationalism.

Another organisation that LaHaye founded is a group called the "Pre-Trib Research Center" whose entire purpose is the promotion of premillenial dispensationalism (up to and including posting of news articles showing how "The End Is Near").  Again, there are links with Falwell; the present director of the Pre-Trib Research Center is an associate professor of religion at Liberty University.

LaHaye is also instrumental in founding the Coalition on Revival as well.  (Yes, LaHaye is in large part responsible for starting the modern dominionist movement in large part!)  One of the more interesting links in this is a NameBase listing of persons with connections to the Coalition on Revival and ESPECIALLY a NameBase mapping on LaHaye's connections to other dominionists which are very extensive.  (It's not an exaggeration to term him one of the ringleaders.)

by dogemperor on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 09:40:24 AM EST

They are rather vocal Southern Baptists, who I'm sure want to be instrumental in determing national policy.

I, too, am curious about the difference between the Arlington Group and the CNP.

Great post.

by Maat on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 05:25:59 PM EST

That does not mean that they have not attended meetings of the CNP as guests.

by Mainstream Baptist on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 05:47:37 PM EST

Per his website, Dr. Mohler gave a speech called, "The Age of Polymorphous Perversity" to the organization.

01-29-2005 The Age of Polymorphous Perversity
Dr. Mohler's speech given at the Council for National Policy MP3

by Maat on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 05:50:47 PM EST

Thanks again.

by Maat on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 05:53:05 PM EST

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