Hagee, Rodriguez Embrace Signals Massive New Alignments On Christian Right
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 08:16:01 PM EST
As JTA News has just reported, John Hagee's Christians United For Israel (CUFI), which represents many millions of American Christian Zionist evangelicals, has formed an official alliance with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, led by the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez. In May 2008, video first posted on this website publicized a controversial late 2005 sermon in which John Hagee declared, "then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun, and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter." As Hagee voiced those words, he pantomimed a Nazi aiming a rifle at Jews. Controversy over the statement led presidential candidate John McCain to renounce Hagee's political endorsement. Recently John Hagee has launched a campaign to rehabilitate his public image.

The NHCLC, which claims to represent over five million Hispanic charismatic Catholics and ten million Hispanic evangelicals, has since 2003 had a partnership with the National Association of Evangelicals, which has claimed to represent almost thirty million evangelical Christians. There is considerable membership overlap among these respective spheres of leadership and so the recent alliances are far from surprising. What is curious, however, is the fact that while some consider Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee to be an extremist and part of an old-guard, dwindling cadre of fundamentalist leaders, Samuel Rodriguez has been identified by some in mainstream media as one of a group of alleged "new evangelical" moderates.

Sammy Rodriguez has in recent years shared a podium with the late Senator Ted Kennedy and also has advised a Democratic "Third Way" effort that claims to chart a moderate course in the "culture wars." But in other venues Rodriguez has inveighed against "radical Muslims. Radical homosexuals. Radical abortionists" and "sissy Christians, Oprah Winfrey Christians."

Are alleged differences between Hagee and Rodriguez substantial, or are they merely stylistic ? And, what does the rapid growth in ties between these clearly hard right but also for the most part ethnically inclusive organizations portend for American politics ? As I have described, this is the rise of a new Rainbow Right.

To further complicate matters, Samuel Rodriguez has recently joined C. Peter Wagner's International Coalition of Apostles. As I wrote on November 8th, 2009,

The International Coalition of Apostles was formed in 2000 and represents probably the biggest religious constituency that most Americans have never heard of.... the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is now the ICA's highest profile apostle; it should be national news. Rodriguez has prayed together with Barack Obama and shared a podium with the late Ted Kennedy. Dubbed the Hispanic Karl Rove, Rodriguez  played a significant role in helping craft the Third Way's "Come Let Us Reason Together" governing agenda and has publicly declared his intent of fusing together the message of Billy Graham with the message of Martin Luther King, Jr.

A gifted public speaker and preacher, Sammy Rodriguez can pass as pseudo-moderate as necessary, and has been interviewed by Bill Moyers and Beliefnet editor Steve Waldman but can also be found, in church, inveighing against "radical Muslims. Radical homosexuals. Radical abortionists" and  "sissy Christians, Oprah Winfrey Christians."

Stylistically, Rodriguez might seem to have little in common with Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee but in fact the two appear so ideologically and theologically in sync that Hagee's former youth minister Warren Beemer, who at Hagee's 50th Anniversary of being in the ministry vowed to send an army of Cornerstone Church youth into San Antonio to claim the city for Christ, now heads the international youth ministry of Rodriguez' Third Day Believers Network ( 3DBN ).

I've previously covered Samuel Rodriguez in 'Hispanic Karl Rove' Helps Shape 'Third Way' Democratic Party Platform and Proposition 8 : A Proving Ground For The New 'Rainbow' Right. Here are some more Talk To Action stories which involve Rodriguez.

[below: video featuring audio track from 2006 sermon by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez]




Display:
National Association of Evangelicals, which now claims to represent over thirty million evangelical Christians.

I think this claim is false.  A quick google search of the NAE website <http://www.nae.net> with the search term "30 million" leads to a few hits, most of which when clicked lead to 404 errors, meaning they are not currently featured on the website.  The only one that is current is an endorsement from evangelical pastor Joel Hunter.

Additionally, in her book The Fall of the Evangelical Nation, religion reporter Christine Wicker attempted to track down the source of the claim that the National Association of Evangelicals had 30 million members, but could not substantiate it with any reputable sources or hard numbers.

In the chapter entitled, "One Out of Four Americans?" she writes (page 26):

When I called NAE president Leith Anderson in August 2007 for a final comment, he said the 30 million figure should not be on the Web site, and most references to it do appear to be gone now.  He usually says the NEA represents millions of evangelicals or forty-five thousand churches.  The organization's last official count, judging by its Web site, was in 1990.  It showed 4.5 million members.  Where did the 30 million figure come from?  No one seems to know.

Wicker, C. (2008) The Fall of the Evangelical Nation. New York: HarperOne

However, the "About Us" portion of the NAE website feature does feature NAE president Leith Anderson stating, "The association is anchored in over 40 denominations with about 45,000 churches. However, the broader NAE constituency includes organizations, local churches and individuals numbering in the tens of millions."  What exactly Anderson means by the "broader NAE constituency" (i.e. which affiliated organizations is he talking about, and what does he mean by local churches and individuals who are not in the NAE proper, but in the "broader NAE constituency?") is not explained with any precision, unfortunately.

-------------
"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 Fri Nov 13, 2009 at 05:46:43 AM EST

"has claimed to represent almost thirty million..." :

If you search on "NAE" and "27 million" you'll find that the NAE seems to have been putting out a figure, as early as 2001 (LA Times article), of 27 million.

Is it true ? That's very hard to say.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Nov 13, 2009 at 06:55:32 AM EST
Parent




WWW Talk To Action


Two Overlooked Indiana Outcomes that Could Haunt the Christian Right
I think there are two underreported features of the fallout from Indiana that we should make sure do not get lost in the hoo......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
President Obama Can Help Stop Religious Discrimination
Barry Lynn, the longtime executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, recently posted an important essay at Huffington Post. In......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Marriage Matters: Thoughts On The Recent Unpleasantness In Indiana
Last week I taped an interview with Sister Maureen Fielder, host of "Interfaith Voices," a popular radio program exploring religious issues that is carried......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
The Campaign Against Pro-LGBTQ Denominations
The recent endorsement of marriage equality by the Presbyterian Church (USA) seemed like a good moment to discuss the campaign to divide and conquer......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Upcoming Conference: From Abortion Rights to Social Justice
The 29th annual conference From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom will be held from April 10-12 at Hampshire......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Thus It Was Prophesied in 2012: Ted Cruz Will Be VP, Or a Supreme Court Justice
This is a transcript, of pastor Larry Huch and Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, from an appearance Rafael Cruz made at......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Crusin with Cruz
Ted Cruz threw his hat into the ring, announcing his bid for President in the worship center at Jerry Falwell's University last night.  Mother......
By wilkyjr (4 comments)
Ted Cruz: Born From The Heart of the Dominionist Christian Right
[welcome, Thom Hartmann Show fans, here is a short introduction to my past coverage on Ted Cruz and the dominionist Christian right] Did you......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Coming Soon to Utah: An International Festival of Bigotry
An international network of some of the world's most vitriolic Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed orthodox religious leaders is holding its ninth global conference......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Bumpy Lane: Religious Right Operative Seeks To Build (Another) Church-Based Political Machine
Here's what the country doesn't need right now: another zealot aiming to mobilize right-wing pastors to become a force in electoral politics.Yet that's what......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Team Jeb Bush's Liaison to Religious Right Is Hardcore Culture Warrior
In 2008, Senator John McCain's campaign recognized that he needed to shore up his credentials with the Religious Right, which was skeptical about his......
By Bill Berkowitz (3 comments)
American ISIS: Christian Reconstructionists And `Biblical Law' In America
Every now and then, while scanning the day's news, I come across a headline that's hard to believe.Like this one: "California lawyer proposes ballot......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Will our Prisons Overflow with Christians this Summer?
Many leaders of the Christian Right, from megachurch pastors like Rick Warren to the top prelates in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 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 (0 comments)
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 (3 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 (1 comment)
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 (0 comments)
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 (1 comment)
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 (3 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 (5 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 (2 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 (5 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (2 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (1 comment)

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.