Will McCain "denounce" or "reject" Rod Parsley?
anastasia p printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Mar 01, 2008 at 01:27:39 AM EST
We are pleased to welcome Anastasia Pantsios as a guest front pager. She is associate editor of the Cleveland Free Times. -- FC

One of the low points of the Democratic presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday was the harping of moderator Tim Russert on the issue of Barack Obama's repudiation of Louis Farrakhan. Although  Obama firmly stated his denunciation of Farrakhan's anti-semitic remarks, Russert wouldn't let it go, worrying the issue until it devolved into a parsing of the difference between the words "denounce" and "reject." It will be fascinating to see whether Russert pursues John McCain this doggedly during the general election debates. The very day that the Obama and Clinton campaigns were preparing for the Cleveland debates, McCain was campaigning at the other end of the state in Concinnati. At his side (captured in an AP photo published in the Columbus Dispatch among other places) was the Rev. Rod Parsley of Columbus's World Harvest Church.

Those of you with moderately keen memories will remember the Rev. Parsley, even though he has been off the political radar recently. In 2004, Parsley actively campaigned throughout Ohio with then Secretary of State Ken Blackwell on behalf of Ohio's "Defense of Marriage" amendment. Parsley was at Blackwell's side when Blackwell made his remark comparing gay people to "barnyard animals." When Blackwell ramped up his gubernatorial campaign the following year, Parsley and fellow Columbus-area pastor the Rev. Russell Johnson were two of his most vocal supporters, promising to activate thousands of "patriot pastors" to turn out hundreds of thousands of new "values voters" for Blackwell. Sometime during that year, for unclear reasons, Parsley slipped off the political radar, not even appearing with Blackwell when he announced the formation of his "Pastors for Blackwell" late that summer.

In spring, 2005, Parsley published a book called "Silent No More." Chapter 5 of that book contains some assertions you'd think any presidential candidate would want to "denounce" and "reject". In that chapter, titled "Islam: The Deception of Allah" (and in a sermon of the same name delivered at World Harvest that May), Parsley claimed that "Muhammad received revelations from demons and not from the true god," "Islam is an anti-Christian religion that intends, through violence, to conquer the world" and "Islam is responsible for more pain, more bloodshed and more devastation than nearly any other force on earth at this moment." He talks about the "persecution" of Christians by Muslims whom he dismisses as deluded illiterates.

At that time, in an interview I did for my paper, the Cleveland Free Times, Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center told me, "The man is inciting hatred, there's no plainer way to say it. When you say an entire group of people are demonic and anti-Christian, that's hate speech, yes." And Ahmad Al-Akhras, who was then president of the Council on American Islam Relations-Ohio said to me, "The message of Jesus is the message of peace and the message of embracing other people. Apparently, he [Parsley] does not seem to understand this. I think those politicians who are being courted by him need to be called upon and they should denounce his hatred."

Certainly any aspiring president who expects to have any chance at forging diplomatic relations in the Middle East would have to condemn -- to both "denounce" and "reject" -- such ideas to be effective. And any candidate who even tacitly endorses such beliefs cannot expect to convince leaders of Muslim countries of the trustworthiness and good faith of the US. Unlike Obama, whose campaign never involved Farrakhan,  McCain in Cincinnati on February 26 praised Parsley, according to the Columbus Dispatch, as a "spritual guide," while Parsley praised McCain as a "strong, true, consistent conservative." Undoubtedly, campaigning with Parsley was McCain's way of trying to signal his acceptability to the evangelical base that has had issues with him. But if Obama owes repeated apologies for the mere fact that he received unsolicited compliments from a man who has said ugly things about Jews, then McCain would seem to need to atone even more for openly embracing on the campaign trail someone who has said equally ugly things about Muslims.




Display:
that when I wrote this story in the spring of 2005 in regards to Parsley's close ties to Blackwell I was the only person outside of a handful of local state blogs to write about this -- and no one else in the offline media ever picked it up. Apparently having a governor supported by a virulently anti-Islamic pastor was not alarming to anyone despite Ohio's 150,000 Muslims. I wonder if the possibility of having a president with such support will alarm anyone.

by anastasia p on Sat Mar 01, 2008 at 01:38:11 AM EST
In April 2006, I was at a book signing in Cincinnati (yes, I am an Ohioan also) and mentioned the Restoration Project at Kevin Phillips' book signing for his book American Theocracy. I was eager to keep Ken Blackwell out of the governor's office as he is a theocrat and because of his serious conflicts of interest in serving as chairman of Bush's reelection campaign in 2004 and also serving as Ohio's secretary of state.

by khughes1963 on Sat Mar 01, 2008 at 09:31:38 PM EST
Parent
starting in 2004 was to keep Blackwell out of the governor's mansion.  Yes, his warm support by Parsley and Russell Johnson included sharing their theocratic beliefs. I believe it was Parsley (but could have been Johnson) who said the constitution of Ohio needed to be replaced with Christian Biblical law. I hope someone asks McCain if he also believes this. I am disgusted he can get away with saying that although he doesn't support all of Hagee's ideas he is "proud" and "honored" to have his endorsement. If Obama had said that in response to the question about Farrakhan , who we all know didn't even endorse him at all, there would have been a nuclear explosion. Yet Farrakhan has also said and written a lot of thoughtful things with which one might agree (His release immediately after 9-11 was one of the wisest things I read about that event and the appropriate response to it.) We've got to work hard on welding all these remarks to McCain.

by anastasia p on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 02:48:57 PM EST
Parent



is coming a little late to the party, so I don't know if anyone will see it.  I thought people at talk2action would be interested in this video of Parsley talking to Religion & Ethics Newsweekly about the involvement of his church in politics.  He seems to singing a different tune from when he was politicking for Ken Blackwell in 2006.  Also, he claims in the video that the IRS regulations were changed in 1954 to prevent churches from endorsing or opposing candidates for office (a variation on this claim is that LBJ inserted the change into a bill in order to prevent churches from criticizing him in a close election).  What is the truth of the matter regarding the history of the IRS regulations?

-------------
"I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair" - JFK, Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
by hardindr on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 04:01:57 PM EST

This is a legend created by the media.  Rod Parsley has/had nothing to do with "Restoration Ohio" and "Patriot Pastors.  These were both created by Russell Johnson.  The two were linked in the media when 31 liberal pastors wrote a complaint to the IRS accusing both of violating their tax exempt status.

Pastor Parsley created "Reformation Ohio".  In 2005, Russell Johnson sent out a flyer to about 200 of his "Patriot Pastors" inviting them to a Reformation Ohio event sponsored by Pastor Parsley.  The flyer said "..Join Russell Johnson and Rod Parsley at a Restoration Ohio Event".  Russell Johnson was given 5 minutes to speak and referred to Pastor Parsley as "my fellow Patroit Pastor".  That is the entire extent of their colaboration.

This legend has been perpetuated by many liberal bloggers and media pundits but it is simply not true.  Go ahead.  Try and find a single verifiable quote of Pastor Parsley claiming for himself "Patriot Pastor" status.  Try and find a single patriot pastor meeting sponsored by Russell Johnson and attended by Pastor Parsley.  You won't.  It never happened.

The truth is the media, and the 31 liberal pastors needed Johnson for the infractions and Pastor Parsley for the name recognition.

by Tell The Ttruth on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:19:47 PM EST



WWW Talk To Action


Book Report: Yes, Politicians, We Know You Love The Bible. What Else Have You Read?
Real estate magnate Donald Trump says lots of outrageous stuff, but none of it seems to slow him down. His latest gaffe, however, ought......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
American Renewal Project
On my journey to the American Renewal Project in Austin, Texas, I listened to hard right talk radio out of Houston.  There was an......
By wilkyjr (5 comments)
`Just Go Somewhere Else!': A Cavalier Dismissal Of A Serious Concern
A few years ago, I took part in a panel discussion on church-state issues at a Seventh-day Adventist church in Takoma Park, Md. During......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
John Dorhauer Puts Christian Right on Notice
Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer was a front pager here at Talk to Action years before he was elected General Minister and President of the......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Father Of Falsehoods: Why Ted Cruz's Dad Is Wrong About Prayer In Schools
Many misconceptions abound about the issue of prayer in schools, and some people persist in believing a lot of myths. One of the most......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
A Texas Size Conspiracy
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has recently been indicted by a grand jury for an illegal investment scheme.  He faces felony charges. Word has......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Are the Anti-Planned Parenthood Smear Videos... Investigative Journalism?
I have been glad to see journalism catching up with the anti-Planned Parenthood scam videos. From The Huffington Post to the New England Journal......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Liberty's Latest Ploy: What's Up With The Sanders Invite?
The announcement that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will speak at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Sept. 14 has left a lot of people......
By Rob Boston (4 comments)
Creeping Christian Rightism in the Democratic Party
The executive director of a DC group with deep roots in the Democratic faith outreach schemes of a decade ago, has a regular column......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Ghosts Over Mississippi
     Clinton, Mississippi is home to historic Mississippi College.  The Southern Baptist school is owned by the state Baptist convention in the Magnolia......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
The Cardinal's Gasbag: Catholic League Leader Rushes To Defend Dolan From AU Criticism
There is a thing called Godwin's Law on the internet. It holds that if an online argument goes on long enough, someone will drag......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
The Theocratic Politics of Raphael Cruz
"There's a relationship there that's unlike any in American history to my knowledge. We've just never seen anything remotely like this...   I believe......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
An Assassin's Motivation?
On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof quietly sat in the prayer meeting at African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina before he shot......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Christian Right Turns to Nullification to Counter Marriage Equality
Last year in The Public Eye magazine, Rachel Tabachnick and Frank L. Cocozzelli warned of the trend on the religious and political Right toward......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Historian Gerald Horne on Charleston, Church, & Slave Resistance
Professor Gerald Horne of the University of Houston notes the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was at the center of Black resistance to slavery......
By Chip Berlet (1 comment)

Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (0 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (4 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (1 comment)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (5 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (4 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (4 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (4 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.