New SC Poll: Romney 23, Gingrich 21, Santorum 14, as Religious Right Leaders Meet in Texas to Unite
Rachel Tabachnick printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 04:45:46 PM EST
In order to avoid a repeat of 2008, Religious Right leaders made an unprecedented show of unity behind Rick Perry's "non-partisan" prayer rally in Houston on August 6. One week later, while other candidates were involved in the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa, Perry announced his candidacy from Charleston, South Carolina. The latest poll, taken January 11, shows Perry with only 5 percent support for the January 21 South Carolina primary.

Can right-wing evangelical leaders unite in a last-ditch effort to nominate anybody but Romney? Which candidate would it be?

Following the Iowa Caucus, it looked like Rick Santorum might be the logical choice as a consensus candidate. But the latest poll in South Carolina shows Newt Gingrich, not Santorum, gaining ground against Romney. Gingrich has also demonstrated the ability to attract large sums of Super PAC funding, which is proving to be critical as millions are being spent on advertising in early primary states. The Gingrich-supporting Winning our Future Super PAC has  drawn national attention with its video about Romney's role with Bain Capital Private Equity.

On Friday, January 13, approximately 125 evangelical leaders will be meeting at the Texas ranch of Paul Pressler, one of the architects of the "Fundamentalist Takeover" of the Southern Baptist Convention.  As reported in  TIME, Donald Wildmon, retired founder of the American Family Association, has asked invitees to,

"be willing to compromise and change your choice to one that the body as a whole supports in order to not divide our strength."

Orangeburg billboard two The ability of this group of leaders, and those they represent, to still alter the course of the election should not be dismissed. We have yet to see what they could do in a presidential primary if there was consensus among the leadership, and if that message was passed on to the millions of Americans networked through their churches, various para-church organizations and their state affiliates, and other Religious Right mobilization efforts including the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) prayer warrior networks.

[Above is August, 2010 photo of an American Family Association billboard in Orangeburg, South Carolina.]

The problem is agreeing on a candidate.  Richard Land, headlined in the TIME article, is strongly opposed to Gingrich because he has too much baggage, or "too much freight," as Land stated. Wildmon has endorsed Gingrich. Gary Bauer has endorsed Santorum. This is just an example of the fracturing that has taken place since Perry's catastrophic failure on the national stage.

Romney won only 11 percent of the evangelical vote in South Carolina in 2008, and a win for Romney on January 21 would likely guarantee that none of the other candidates have a chance.

It wasn't supposed to end like this.

The Best Laid Plans...  

Donald Wildmon's American Family Association (AFA) financed Perry's prayer event, which included a seldom seen unity of Religious Right leaders in concert with a potential presidential candidate. Wildmon, who turned the AFA over to his son Tim in 2010, received recognition and provided his blessing over the event, along with other major leaders, including James Dobson, Vonette Bright, Tony Perkins, and Penny Nance.  These are leaders and founders, current and retired, of organizations with extensive media capabilities, national clout, and state affiliates.

Following the event, the mailing list for The Response was used to encourage support for United in Purpose/Champion the Vote. United in Purpose is funded in part by Ken Eldred, whose Living Stones Foundation has also funded the American Family Association as well as numerous NAR ministries and media efforts.  Eldred's foundation is one of the sponsors of Sentinel Group, which produces the Transformations series of movies.  The first in the series featured Kenyan Thomas Muthee, perhaps now better known for his anointing of Sarah Palin at Wasilla Assembly of God prior to her run for governor.

Both the AFA and United in Purpose are behind the coordination of Pastors Policy Briefings held across the country, hosting thousands of pastors and their wives in South Carolina, Florida, and other states.  The seminars have featured several of the GOP candidates including Perry, Santorum, and Bachmann, but most frequently Gingrich.  

The latest DVD production sponsored by United in Purpose features only Newt Gingrich among the GOP candidates, along with major Religious Right figures David Barton, James Dobson, and others.  Also featured in the DVD is Samuel Rodriguez, president of the  National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC).

The efforts for 2012 have included extensive outreach to Hispanic and African Americans, with NAR Apostle Rodriguez and Prophet Harry Jackson leading the way. Jackson is a member of the NAR's Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders, now under the apostolic authority of Cindy Jacobs.  Both Rodriguez and Jackson were part of Rick Perry's prayer event and Rodriguez' NHCLC is an official partner with Champion the Vote's effort to register Hispanic evangelical voters. Curiously, both Rodriguez and Jackson have received extensive publicity in secular and Christian press as "moderate" and "nonpartisan" evangelicals and have been courted by the Democratic Party, thus raising their public profiles.

The American Family Association and other major Religious Right organizations have been working side-by-side with NAR apostles and prophets for several years. The NAR prayer networks currently have a project to recruit 10,000 prayer warriors per state. The effort to impact the 2012 elections has been announced at numerous locations over the last few months, including by Cindy Jacobs at the Wasilla Assembly of God in Alaska.

The official countdown to the election, called "Fast Forward," began on January 3 with an event in D.C. featuring Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, along with NAR leaders Dutch Sheets, Cindy Jacobs, and Harry Jackson. See Right Wing Watch's coverage here and here. [Correction: It was advertised as featuring Tony Perkins, but FRC's Pierre Bynum participated in his place.]

An impressive array of Religious Right leaders participated in Perry's August prayer rally, with even more endorsing the event. One after another NAR apostles showed up on stage, with others, including C. Peter Wagner, out of sight of the cameras. The event was advertised and live-streamed across the nation and internationally televised on God TV.

Photobucket Political messages were subtle and missed by the press, including the significance of C.L. Jackson and Apostle Alice Patterson standing next to Perry while he spoke.  Patterson, who leads a ministry with the former chair of the Republican State Party, is a model for outreach efforts to African American churches with a narrative that literally demonizes the Democratic Party.

Perry was a candidate who would be embraced by both the right-wing flank and the business wing of the party.  He had the right experience and understood the need for outreach to minority voters in 2012.

Perry was supposed to the be the knight in shining armor, riding in to unify the GOP.  As it turned out, once in the national spotlight, he fell off the horse.  His public humiliation has resulted in chaos.

Chaos

AFA founder Wildmon has since endorsed Gingrich, while controversial AFA radio broadcaster Bryan Fischer has described Gingrich as "fatally flawed and bleeding from too many self-induced wounds."  Fischer continues to support Perry against all odds.  This is just one of many examples of the inability of otherwise like-minded leaders to agree on a candidate.

Perry refuses to bow out. "The Response" prayer rally concept is being repeated in the primary states, with one held in Iowa on December 6, and another scheduled for Greenville, South Carolina on January 17. The International House of Prayer's Luis Cataldo, who led part of the Houston Response event, is the figure credited in media promotion for the continued effort. Cataldo has also emceed some of the Pastors' Policy Briefings. Right Wing Watch noted a tweet advertising Perry's participation in the upcoming South Carolina event.

Ironically, and perhaps adding to the confusion, none of the remaining viable candidates are Protestant evangelicals.  Both Gingrich and Santorum are Roman Catholic, although Gingrich was previously Southern Baptist. This is apparently less of an issue than Romney's Mormonism and certainly less of a concern than the candidates' position on the issues and their electability.  The embrace of Catholic candidates by evangelicals is the topic of a current article in Huffington Post, which points out that Santorum support in New Hampshire was 23 percent evangelical and only 8 percent Catholic.

Photobucket A New York Times article titled The Tea Party's Not-So-Civil War, emphasizes similar fractures among Tea Party organizations in South Carolina. Leadership is divided between almost all of the candidates, including Ron Paul. The state's Tea Party organizations will be holding their first statewide conference at Myrtle Beach on January 15 and 16. Featured speakers include Senator Jim DeMint, who has not endorsed a candidate, and Governor Nikki Haley, who has received criticism for her support of Romney.  The GOP primary candidates have been invited to speak and current publicity indicates that Gingrich and Santorum will attend.

[Photo above was taken on I-26 in South Carolina in January 2010. Written on one window is “Tea Party No Wimps.” The back window of the car reads, “In 1892 the Supreme Court declared America a Christian Nation!!!”]

In my opinion, the NY Times article overstates the clout of the Tea Parties and underestimates the much larger and better organized Religious Right. It also ignores the fact that there is significant overlap between Tea Partiers and the Religious Right, particularly in Southern states.

Regardless, the inability of the right wing of the GOP to coalesce behind an alternate to Romney is the challenge.  If they could unite, they might  change the course of the GOP primaries.  But, as one mainstream press outlet stated, it would take an "act of God."




Display:
Frank Seignious has led the SC Apostolic Prayer Network since 2004. One of the stated goals is "to identify, connect, and empower 10,000 leaders on the 7 Mountains in SC."  

http://www.takingtheland.org/index.php?option=com_content&vie w=article&id=55&Itemid=63  

by Rachel Tabachnick on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 05:15:49 PM EST



WWW Talk To Action


Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (4 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (6 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (0 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (4 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (6 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (7 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (21 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (5 comments)
Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (8 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (3 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (5 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (3 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (2 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (13 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
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 (7 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 (2 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 (3 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.