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defending the First Amendment against the Christian right ...

Jews On First!

... because if Jews don't speak out, they'll think we don't mind

Previous CURRENT NEWS items

For the most recent Current News items, please click here; for the oldest, click here. Below on this page, you'll find: Religious right powerhouses mobilize for 2006 election | Televangelist Pat Robertson charges Planned Parenthood with planning genocide against African American community | "War on Christians" conference contains much about Jews

Traditional Values Coalition warns it could fold without quick contributions

Gay-bashing group closes out summer with hot and heavy fund appeal

by JewsOnFirst, September 5, 2006

Links to the reports and documents cited here are listed immediately below.

We found Lou Sheldon's emailed fundraising screed so curious that we felt compelled to share it.

Sheldon's email, sent out on September 5th, begins with a rant about the Democrats. Sheldon, who heads the Traditional Values Coalition, writes like he just pulled his foot out of a hornets' nest. And he only winds up from there.

After dire warnings about the Democrats, Sheldon (pictured here with his daughter and TVC executive director Andrea Lafferty) shifts gears and tells his readers that the TVC's bills are piling up and he needs emergency contributions to keep on with his venemous anti-gay lobbying.

He exhorts potential donors in capital letters:

CONSERVATIVES ARE DEPENDING ON TVC TO SEE THAT GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER VETOES THE HOMOSEXUAL EDUCATION BILL, SB 1437. THE HOMOSEXUALS WANT TO RECRUIT OUR CHILDREN STARTING IN THE PRIMARY GRADES AND PREPARE THEM TO BE THEIR NEXT VICTIMS.

Sheldon does not mention that he took in over $6 million in 2004 (the most recent year for which records are available) -- or that donations to the TVC are not tax deductible. The TVC is a 501(c)(4) organization, a designation that allows lobbying. (Donations to 501(c)(3) organizations are tax deductible.)

The TVC's executive director, Andrea Lafferty, directs its lobbying in Washington, according to the TVC's website. According to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Lafferty is Sheldon's daughter.

Sheldon's most recent federal financial statement (IRS Form 990), for 2004, states that the TVC received $6,389,448 in contributions from the public.

We are wondering how he could raise so much money with appeals like the one in this week's email:

TRADITIONAL VALUES COALITION IS ON THE FRONT LINES OF EVERY PERTINENT BATTLE WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS AND TRADITIONAL VALUES.

I KNOW YOU SEE WHY TVC’S EFFORTS IN THESE AREAS ARE SO CRUCIAL – AND WHY I NEED TO KNOW IF YOU’LL HELP IN THIS EMERGENCY.

IN THIS CRISIS, I HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE -- I MUST ASK YOU TO SEARCH YOUR HEART AND DECIDE IF THE TRADITIONAL VALUES YOU HOLD DEAR ARE WORTH AN EMERGENCY CONTRIBUTION TO TVC TODAY.

YOU’VE HELPED BEFORE. CAN YOU SEND A DONATION TODAY?

SORRY TO BE SO BLUNT. BUT I PRAY YOU’LL UNDERSTAND.



Traditional Values Coalition's Fundraising Screed

Email sent September 5, 2006

Please click here to see a copy of the TVC's email.

Traditional Values Coalition's IRS Form 990

Please click here to view this PDF document.

The Top 10 Power Brokers of the Religious Right

By Rob Boston, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Posted on Alternet, July 7, 2006.

Boston lists the ten most powerful religious right groups in descending order of revenue and provides brief profiles. The Traditional Values Coalition is last. Click here.




Religious right powerhouses mobilize for 2006 election

Focus on the Family and "patriot pastors" work to turn out Republican base

by Jane Hunter, JewsOnFirst, August 21, 2006

Links to the reports and websites cited here are listed immediately below.

In October 2004, the week before the election, I was walking precincts, campaigning for John Kerry, in Columbus, Ohio. As I trudged up and down porch steps in the city's white working-class neighborhoods, I ran into many other Kerry campaigners. We introduced ourselves and laughed at the "overkill" of our efforts.

We remarked that we'd seen no Republican walkers and no Republican literature. None. And how strange that was. Then we trudged on, careful not to dislodge each other's literature from screen doors.

Later we learned that "patriot pastors" Rod Parsley, Russell Johnson and others, had been intensively using their pulpits to register and turn out voters for an anti-gay ballot measure. Many of those "moral values" voters, of course, also voted for Bush. (The Republicans still wouldn't have won Ohio had not Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a major figure of the religious right, unfairly limited the number of voting machines in Democratic precincts.) We could excuse ourselves for not anticipating the invisible Republican get-out-the-vote.

This time the religious right is doing its pro-Republican campaign work above the radar. Focus on the Family has launched a major effort to register and turn out voters. People For the American Way Foundation, the NAACP, and the African American Ministers Leadership Council have just released a joint report detailing the action plans of the "patriot pastors." So we can't say we didn't see it coming.

Turning churches into political machines
The report, released earlier this month documents "how a new generation of Religious Right leaders is turning conservative churches into political machines for far-right Republican candidates," according to the authors.

The report, The "Patriot Pastors’" Electoral War Against the 'Hordes of Hell,' warns that:

Networks of "Patriot Pastors" organized at the state level by powerful evangelical pastors through so-called "Restoration Projects" are aiming to transform America by applying the significant resources of their churches to political campaigns.

Candidates for public office are judged either godly or tools of Satan depending on their adherence to the pastors’ unforgiving agendas – not only on traditional Religious Right "social" issues such as criminalizing abortion and stripping gay Americans of legal rights, but also on a wide range of economic policies that would limit the government’s ability to pursue the common good. "Patriot Pastor" leaders embrace tax cuts, elimination of the minimum wage, and even doing away with environmental and worker safety regulations on industry. This model of a pulpit-based political machine pushing hard-right politics and candidates has the potential to transform politics across the nation.

The report recounts the success of pastors Parsley and Johnson in organizing their Ohio colleagues to, in turn, organize their congregants in support of Republican candidates and ballot measures.

A network in Texas
It describes how Texas Pastor Rick Scarborough, a rising star on the religious right, is organizing a similar network of "patriot pastors" in support of Governor Rick Perry's re-election. The Texas Freedom Network released a report earlier this year which said that the Texas Restoration Project hosted six well attended pastors' briefings last year. Their goal was "to encourage attending pastors to spread the political gospel of the Christian right and, by all appearances, to help elect anointed candidates."

In Pennsylvania, where religious right favorite Senator Rick Santorum is fighting to retain his seat, a patriot pastor network is getting off the ground, according to The Patriot Pastors’ Electoral War.

Critics -- from both the political and religious worlds -- contend that these church-based political campaigns violate churches' tax-exempt status. An Ohio clergy group has twice complained to the Internal Revenue Service about the patriot pastors in their state. (Please see our reports.)

The Texas Freedom Network, which complained to the state ethics watchdog last year about the "patriot pastors'" activities (and has begun a clergy campaign to restore political neutrality to places of worship), noted in its report:

Having pastors engage in political work within their own congregations is a significant evolution away from earlier efforts to organize Christian conservatives. Indeed, the work of groups such as the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition was limited somewhat by a longstanding reluctance among evangelical pastors to tie their spiritual calling too closely to secular matters such as politics. That reluctance is fast becoming a quaint relic from another time. Today a growing number of these pastors are pushing their conservative political message directly to people in the pews.

Focus on the Family launches voter campaign
Conservative Christians are going even further this year to shore up support for vulnerable GOP candidates in the mid-term elections. On August 11th, Focus on the Family (FOF), generally regarded as the most powerful religious right organization in the US (its leader, James Dobson, is pictured at the left), sent out an email to its supporters calling for campaign volunteers in eight states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, Minnesota, Montana and Tennessee. There are close races in all of them.

At least two major newspapers -- the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times -- reported on the effort. The latter called the drive "massive."

According to the Post, FOF is picking up the mantle of the moribund Christian Coalition, which for years served as the Republican Party's foot soldiers (and in many states took over the party). Both papers noted that the GOP itself mobilized the right-wing churches in 2004, most controversially by asking its supporters to get their churches' membership lists.

In its mailing, FOF said the purpose of its campaign activities is to combat "voter apathy" -- a euphemism for Republicans' sagging poll numbers.

Volunteer opportunities
FOF is offering volunteers the opportunity to become county and church coordinators.

County coordinator positions involve about five hours of work per week. Duties include recruiting key evangelical churches, friends and family, and supporting church coordinators with periodic phone calls.

Church coordinator positions require one to two hours per week. Duties include encouraging pastors to speak about Christian citizenship, conducting a voter-registration drive, distributing voter guides and get-out-the-vote efforts.

FOF asks those interested to contact one of its state affiliates.

Last week, FOF announced three "Stand for the Family" arena rallies "designed to educate and motivate pro-family conservative Christians in three states where there are important races on November's ballot." The states are Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Tennessee.

Focus on the Family is also participating with other major religious right organizations in a late September "Values Voters" event in Washington DC aimed at charging up activists in advance of the election.

Mobilizing the base
It is too soon to predict how successful the "patriot pastor" and FOF efforts will be at mobilizing enough right-wing Christian evangelicals to compensate for the voters who are profoundly disgusted with the Republicans' mismanagement of the Iraq war, the economy, and the environment, not to mention their corruption.

But anyone trying to estimate the religious right's turnout should not ignore the powerful influence of crowd psychology exerted by "patriot pastors" and groups such as FOF upon their members. The Christocrats are counting on congregrants to take their strong personal identification with a narrow set of "Christian values" to the ballot box this fall.

And, as a FOF spokesman said about the group's upcoming rallies: "There's a special energy that comes about when arenas like these get rocking — and get excited."

In her book Kingdom Coming, Michelle Goldberg described that kind of excitement at Ohio Pastor Rod Parsley's church several Sundays before the 2004 election. She reported how Parsley got the huge congregation dancing, worked them up for over an hour, "talking in tongues," and then when they were "happily worn out," he preached to them:

On November 2, I see people marching like a holy army to the voting booth. I see the holy spirit anointing you as you vote for life, as you vote for marriage, as you vote for the pulpit.

Those techniques put election volunteers who appeal to their fellow citizens' reason and discernment at a disadvantage. This year, opponents of the religious right's political agenda are going to have to find ways to combat these get-out-the vote tactics, if they hope to elect a new congressional majority.


Group to Rally Evangelical Voters
Focus on the Family Plans Drives in 8 Battleground States

By Alan Cooperman, The Washington Post, August 16, 2006

Conservative Christian radio host James C. Dobson's national organization, Focus on the Family, said yesterday that it will work with affiliated groups in eight battleground states to mobilize evangelical voters in the November elections.

In targeting individual churches the way political organizers traditionally pinpointed certain wards, Focus on the Family is filling a void left by the near-collapse of the Christian Coalition and stepping into an area where recent Republican Party efforts have created resentment among evangelicals. Continue.

Conservatives Put Faith in Church Voter Drives
Evangelicals seek to sign up a new flock of GOP supporters in states with crucial November races.

By Peter Wallsten, The Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2006

WASHINGTON As discontent with the Republican Party threatens to dampen the turnout of conservative voters in November, evangelical leaders are launching a massive registration drive that could help counter the malaise and mobilize new religious voters in battleground states.

The program, coordinated by the Colorado-based group Focus on the Family and its influential founder, James C. Dobson, would use a variety of methods - including information inserted in church publications and booths placed outside worship services - to recruit millions of new voters in 2006 and beyond.

The effort builds on the aggressive courtship of evangelical voters in 2004 by President Bush's reelection campaign, even as the Internal Revenue Service has announced renewed scrutiny of nonprofit organizations, including churches, that engage in political activities. Continue.

Evangelicals Launch Voter Drive To Boost Conservatives

Jennifer Siegel, The Forward, August 30, 2006

With Democrats threatening to take back Congress in November, Christian conservative leader James Dobson has launched a multifaceted campaign to mobilize religious voters in eight battleground states.

The effort, coordinated by Dobson’s Colorado-based group, Focus on the Family, will include church-based voter registration and education drives aimed at combating “voter apathy” and encouraging “Christians to go to the polls,” according to an e-mail sent to supporters earlier this month. In addition, several national Christian conservative groups will host a summit this month to train an estimated 1,000 election volunteers in Washington. Continue

The Patriot Pastors’ Electoral War Against the ‘Hordes of Hell’
Burgeoning ‘Restoration’ Projects Hope to Elect Ohio Governor in 2006, Spread Model Nationwide

by People for the American Way, August 2006

The new report by People For the American Way Foundation, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the African American Ministers Leadership Council documents how a new generation of Religious Right leaders is turning conservative churches into political machines for far-right Republican candidates with rhetoric that might make Pat Robertson blush. Christians may hold the most powerful political offices in the country, but to these pastors, Christians are on the verge of being thrown into jail for professing their faith. Political opponents aren’t just wrong, they are the “hordes of hell” and the “forces of darkness.” Notably, high-level Republican officials aren’t trying to distance themselves from such rhetoric. Far from it. They’re embracing the self-proclaimed “Christocrats” and counting on a new wave of aggressive politics-from-the-pulpit to win elections. In Texas, a group is giving the governor organized support from pastors motivated to help his re-election campaign. In Pennsylvania, a nascent group seeks to do the same for their embattled senator. And in Ohio, the candidate anointed by the “Patriot Pastors” – Secretary of State Ken Blackwell – is the Republican gubernatorial nominee. Click here for links to the report by chapters or as a download.

Faithful, GOP on a Mission to Save Santorum

By Janet Hook, Los Angeles Times, The Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy, October 16, 2006

Keith Hollenberg, a member of the evangelical Assemblies of God church, is worried that one of his political heroes is about to lose his bid for reelection.

So when he saw Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) at a car show here, Hollenberg volunteered to help in what has become an urgent project for social conservatives in Pennsylvania and around the country: keeping Santorum in the Senate. Continue.

Voter-Registration Coordinators Needed
Eight states seek volunteers.

by Erin Blad, Focus on the Family, August 11, 2006

Focus on the Family is partnering with several state-based family policy councils to register voters before the November election, in an effort to combat voter apathy and encourage Christians to go to the polls.

The Nov. 7 election will present Americans with a tremendous opportunity to make decisions that will affect the direction of our country for years to come. But many Christians feel their vote does not count. In 2004, about 25 million evangelicals failed to vote. Now is the time to reverse the trend.

In order to make that goal a reality, organizations in eight states – Pennsylvania, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, Minnesota, Montana and Tennessee — are seeking to fill the positions of county coordinator and church coordinator.

County coordinator positions involve about five hours of work per week. Duties include recruiting key evangelical churches, friends and family, and supporting church coordinators with periodic phone calls.

Church coordinator positions require one to two hours per week. Duties include encouraging pastors to speak about Christian citizenship, conducting a voter-registration drive, distributing voter guides and get-out-the-vote efforts. Continue

'Stand for The Family' Events Scheduled for Fall
Arena events set for September and October in Pittsburgh, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Nashville.

by Pete Winn, Focus on the Family via TexasMoralAction.org, August 15, 2006

Focus on the Family Action Chairman Dr. James C. Dobson is slated to appear this fall with other Christian leaders at a series of "Stand for the Family" arena events — rallies designed to educate and motivate pro-family conservative Christians in three states where there are important races on November's ballot.

Tom Minnery, senior vice president of government and public policy at Focus on the Family Action, said the rallies will be held Sept. 20 in Pittsburgh, at the Mellon Arena; Oct. 3 in Minneapolis/St. Paul, at the Xcel Energy Center; and Oct. 16 in Nashville, at the Municipal Auditorium. Continue

The State of the Religious Right: 2006
The Anatomy of Power: Texas and the Religious Right in 2006

The Texas Freedom Network, 2006

For more than a decade the Texas Freedom Network has promoted religious freedom and individual liberties by countering the agenda of the religious right in Texas. Educating the public about the tactics and goals of religious extremists is vital to countering the far right's divisive agenda. The publication of The Anatomy of Power by the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund is an important part of that public education process. It is the first in a planned series of annual reports about far-right religious extremists in the state. Click here for the report.

I.R.S. Eyes Religious Groups as More Enter Election Fray

By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times, September 18, 2006

With midterm elections less than two months away, Christian conservatives are enlisting churches in eight battleground states to register voters, gather crowds for rallies and distribute voters’ guides comparing the candidates’ stands on issues that conservatives consider "family values."

This election year, however, the religious conservatives are facing resistance from newly invigorated religious liberals and moderates who are creating their own voters’ guides and are organizing events designed to challenge the conservatives’ definition of "values."

Both religious flanks are looking nervously over their shoulders at the Internal Revenue Service, which this year announced a renewed effort to enforce laws that limit churches and charities from involvement in partisan political campaigns. Continue.




Televangelist Pat Robertson charges Planned Parenthood with planning genocide against African American community

by JewsOnFirst, May 18, 2006

Links to the reports and websites cited here are listed immediately below

Televangelist Pat Robertson has again made shockingly offensive statements on his widely viewed 700 Club television show. On May 11th he stated that Planned Parenthood tried to use Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to carry out a genocidal birth control campaign against the black community. Robertson also said that the American Civil Liberties Union and the "Communist Internationale" had taken over Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and that the head of the latter was so "extreme" on the issue of church-state separation that he would not send a fire truck to a burning church. .

The genocide remarks followed a "news report" about a black pastor who opposes abortion. The announcer called abortion the leading cause of death in the black community. Robertson said:

Planned Parenthood has gotten $100 million, $50 million each, from the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Why do these wealthy, so-called Republican organizations pay for it? Because they were alarmed by the growth of the black community and they didn't want to support a bunch of indigent black babies. I mean, that's the dirty little secret in there. And the government itself has been funding Planned Parenthood to the tune -- much in excess of $100 million a year.

Robertson said that Planned Parenthood was looking for a black minister to "sell" the plan in the black community.

Media Matters, which transcribed and annotated the Robertson remarks, has helpfully provided a link to Planned Parenthood's page debunking this and other calumnies that have been repeated over the years..

Robertson's diatribe against the ACLU and Americans United came after a segment about a government-funded "faith-based" Christian prison program. Americans United is suing to stop its operation in an Iowa prison (more). Robertson said that Americans United used to be a "Baptist organization" called "Protestants and Others United for the Separation of Church and State." But, he said, the ACLU, three of whose board members were members of "the Communist International," "pulled a secret takeover" of the group and installed ACLU litigator Barry Lynn to run it.

Robertson's remark about Lynn being too extreme to send a fire truck to a burning church was tossed off at the end of the piece. Americans United refuted it in a news release:

“Americans United does not want to remove religion from the public square,” said Lynn, who is a United Church of Christ minister. “All we want is for the government to stay out of religion and let Americans make their own decisions about matters of faith. We defend the religious liberty rights of all people, including Robertson.
“Robertson has to conjure up imaginary villains in order to keep his followers and donors worked into a frenzy of fear and anger,” Lynn continued. “That may be good for Robertson’s bank account, but it’s bad for American democracy. For a Christian leader to behave this way is pathetic.
“And don’t worry, Pat, if your studio catches on fire, I’ll expect the Virginia Beach fire department to come and put it out,” Lynn concluded. “If they don’t, give me a call and we’ll sue them.”

Robertson's bizarre pronouncements have become frequent enough for the media to justify ignoring them. But we would have thought that at least one leader on the religious right would take public exception to the black genocide remarks. We have not found any such statements, leaving us to wonder if, among themselves, away from the cameras, they also say and believe such things.

We are also waiting to hear Robertson's response to a letter sent him by a group of gay men from New York who happened on the televangelist in a restaurant and got him to pose with them for a photo. The letter, taking Robertson to task for his selective use of religion, is published on Advocate.com.

700 Club

May 11, 2006

The broadcast can be heard for a limited time by clicking here.)

Robertson claims church-state group co-opted by communists, ACLU

By Robert Marus, Associated Baptist Press, May 11, 2006

WASHINGTON (ABP) -- Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson is once again making waves with comments on his "700 Club" television broadcast -- this time criticizing a church-state watchdog group he frequently battles.

Robertson, who has made worldwide headlines several times in recent months for other controversial comments he's made on the show, attacked Americans United for Separation of Church and State and its chief executive during the show's May 11 broadcast. Continue

Robertson alleged that Planned Parenthood wanted to use MLK to promote "black genocide"

Media Matters, May 12, 2006

Summary: Following a 700 Club segment about black ministers who oppose abortion, Pat Robertson claimed that Planned Parenthood supports "black genocide" and wanted to use Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as a black minister "who could do that for them." Continue

TV Preacher Pat Robertson Launches Bizarre Attack On Americans United
AU's Lynn Says Religious Broadcaster Is Increasingly Shrill And Paranoid

News Release, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, May 11, 2006 via Common Dreams

WASHINGTON - May 11 - TV preacher Pat Robertson’s bizarre attack on Americans United for Separation of Church and State is part of a troubling pattern of extremism, the Washington-based church-state watchdog group says.

On his Christian Broadcasting Network today, Robertson launched into a tirade against Americans United and its executive director, the Rev. Barry W. Lynn. After a “700 Club” segment on AU’s opposition to federal funding for prison ministries, the TV preacher said the American Civil Liberties Union and the Communist Internationale “pulled a secret takeover” of Americans United. Continue

Dear Pat Robertson

By Andrew Brewer, an Advocate.com exclusive posted, May 15, 2006

After five gay men met the notoriously antigay preacher at brunch in Virginia—and posed with him for a photo featured in the current issue of The Advocate—one of them wrote this letter to send along with a copy of the photo. Click here

The ACLU Is Not Evil
And neither are many people with whom we disagree

by Stephen L. Carter, Christianity Today Magazine, May 11, 2006

I would like to say a word in defense of the American Civil Liberties Union. Christians—including me, both in the pages of CT and elsewhere—often criticize the ACLU for advocating separation of church and state in ways that seem less grounded in the Constitution and in history than in an ideological desire for a religion-free public arena. On the other hand, I shudder when fellow Christians blithely dismiss the organization as fundamentally biased against them. Some call it the Anti-Christian Liberals Union or the Anti-Christian Litigation Unit. There are other, less friendly acronyms as well. I think the ACLU is wrong to oppose religious expression in the public square, but being wrong is not the same as being evil.

More to the point, the ACLU is often right about the First Amendment's free exercise clause, taking on fights that others refuse. It might surprise some critics that the ACLU defends the free speech and free exercise rights of, well, Christians. Continue



"War on Christians" conference contains much about Jews

by JewsOnFirst, March 30, 2006

Links to the articles cited follow the report.

A "War on Christians" conference in Washington DC this week featured a dozen or so top leaders of the religious right, including former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, and an litany of perceived (or contrived) grievances. And, for a conference portraying the resurgent Christian right as victimized, there was a disturbing focus on Jews -- albeit by Jews.

The individual training the spotlight on Jews was Don Feder, head of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation. The intended audience for his expressions of Jewish solidarity with the "persecuted" Christian right is not readily apparent. Was it potential Jewish supporters? Or was it Christians who might be encouraged to conclude that Jews are perpetrating the perceived "attacks" on Christians?

Feder evoked a favorite negative stereotypical view of Jews when, according to the Washington Post, he "urged the crowd not to blame 'the liberal, self-hating Jews in Hollywood. Remember, the people in this audience are more Jewish than people like Barbra Streisand, because you embrace Jewish values, she doesn't,' he said."

In his March 31st column, New York Jewish Week Washington correspondent James Besser reports Feder singling out Hollywood, "which he said makes movies that depict Christians in unflattering terms."

According to the Forward, Feder is a former editorial writer for the Boston Herald; his anti-defamation organization has no members or paid staff.

A Jewish panel
Feder is also communications director of Vision America, the organization that put on the War on Christians conference. In addition to the general news release for the conference, there was a special news release focused on Jews, entitled Conference to Include 'Jews Confront The War On Christians' Panel

The release listed the Jewish panelists: Rabbi Aryeh Spero (an Orthodox rabbi from New York City), Hudson Institute scholar Michael Howowitz, Joseph Ben Ami (executive director, of the Institute for Canadian Values) and moderator Jeff Ballabon of the New York-based Center for Jewish Values.

The release quoted Vision America President Rick Scarborough saying: "I am heartened that these Jewish leaders, activists and intellectuals are making common cause with conservative Christians. They understand that attacks on Christians ultimately are attacks on Judeo-Christian morality."

An announcement on the Renew America website of former Ambassador Alan Keyes, a conference speaker, also noted the Jewish panel.

Besser of the Jewish Week quotes Feder saying that Jewish groups' concern over church-state separation “is basically just a way to end not Christian activism, but any public connection between faith and government.”

Feder told Besser that Anti-Defamation League's national director Abraham Foxman "has a problem with Christianity; he views it as being inherently anti-Semitic.” Foxman's retort cited Feder's "ignorance and bias," and a political agenda of undoing church-state separation.

According to Besser, "Feder conceded that the Jewish community 'remains strongly liberal and continues to vote overwhelmingly Democratic,' but said that will change as the Orthodox community grows and as the non-Orthodox community continues to experience a falling birthrate. 'That’s what it will take, in the long run' he said."

Patriot pastors, lethal liberalism
Vision America President Scarborough runs a program to mobilize Christocratic clergy called Patriot Pastors. Its website offers pastors

the tools you need to stand up and speak out on the great moral issues of our day. We can provide you with educational, legal, and moral support through a network of professionals who are committed to Biblical truth and dedicated to restoring America's Christian heritage.

Scarborough's new book, Liberalism Kills Kids, was promoted at the conference.

Aside from its Jewish content, the War On Christians conference featured such religious right luminaries as Gary Bauer, Sen. John Cornyn, Phyllis Schlafly, and Sen. Sam Brownback. Most reports estimated the attendance as several hundred.

According to the Washington Post, speakers portrayed criticisms of the theocratic agenda as efforts to destroy "Christianity" -- meaning the Christocratic variety of it. Some speakers cited years-old media criticism.

Post columnist Dana Milbank reported that host Rick Scarborough introduced DeLay as "a man that I believe God has appointed" and attributed the former leader's fall to his Christian faith. (Scarborough told the audience he couldn't "endorse" DeLay's candidacy for reelection because of his organization's tax-exempt status.)

The right-wing Cyber News Service quoted the Rev. Lou Sheldon, head of the Traditional Values Coalition, saying that "the 'gay agenda" would come to a quick end if Americans rose up 'in numbers against it.... While most speakers said they prefer using the word 'homosexual' instead of 'gay,' Sheldon said he usually sticks with the term's original meaning: 'sodomite.'"

Writing about the conferene for an Alternet blog, Melissa McEwan said the "attacks" include "our devious machinations to throw Christians in jail, forcibly abort their fetuses, and compel them to engage in sexual acts with members of the same sex in accordance with our radical gay agenda."

Conference to Include 'Jews Confront The War On Christians' Panel

News Advisory from Vision America via FindArticles.com, March 15, 2006

"The conference is not only the first to address growing attacks on Christians, but will include discussions of every aspect of the War on Christians, including -- Hollywood, the news media, the courts and groups like the ACLU and Anti-Defamation League. Click here for the report.

'War' on Christians Is Alleged
Conference Depicts a Culture Hostile to Evangelical Beliefs

By Alan Cooperman, The Washington Post, March 29, 2006

"This week, radio commentator Rick Scarborough convened a two-day conference in Washington on the 'War on Christians and the Values Voters in 2006.' The opening session was devoted to "reports from the frontlines" on 'persecution' of Christians in the United States and Canada, including an artist whose paintings were barred from a municipal art show in Deltona, Fla., because they contained religious themes." Click here

Redemption Among the Faithful

By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post, March 29, 2006

"There are those who would say Tom DeLay lost his job as House majority leader because he was indicted by a Texas grand jury on charges of money laundering and conspiracy, or because of his extensive ties to lawbreaking lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But they would be wrong.

"In fact, the Texas Republican fell from power because he is a Christian.

"That, at least, is the view of Rick Scarborough, convener of a conference this week called 'The War on Christians.'" Continue

Sinners in the hands of an angry GOP

By Michelle Goldberg, Salon, March 29, 2006

"At a messianic 'War on Christians' conference, Tom DeLay warned that 'the future of man hangs in the balance' as other righteous souls demanded that gay sex be explicitly described to restore 'shame.' "

"...[T]he sense of crisis among the speakers was especially acute, and the calls to go on the offensive seemed urgent. Many proclaimed that America's very survival is at stake. Some suggested that if the country doesn't purify itself soon, it might not deserve to survive at all." Click here for the report

New, Improved Immigration
Jewish groups welcome gentler Senate measure on illegal residents and temporary workers, but obstacles lie ahead.

James D. Besser - Washington Correspondent

"More and more religious right activists believe they are victims of a war on Christianity, and a handful of Jews have enlisted in the effort to fight it." Click here and look half-way down the column.

Activists Prepare for New Church-State Battles

By E.J. Kessler, the Forward via AStandForJustice.org, March 17, 2006

"As a liberal advocacy group tries to link prominent conservative Christian leaders to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Jewish activists at both ends of the political spectrum are organizing for the next round of battles in the fight over church-state separation." Continue

The Liberal “War” On Christians and Values Voters
Hysterical Females, Perverted Sodomites, and the Collapse of “Christian America”

People for the American Way, Comprehensive report on the "War on Christians" conference, April 2006

People for the American Way has provided a lengthy, detailed report on the "war" conference held in Washington DC on March 27th.Click here

'War on Christians' conference to feature Keyes, Schlafly, Cornyn, Brownback, Bauer, Weyrich, and others
Mar. 27-28 in Washington, D.C.

RenewAmerica staff, March 23, 2006

On Mar. 27 and 28, a large number of national conservative leaders will converge on the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., to address the "War on Christians."

The two-day conference will examine such topics as 'Christian persecution,' 'The gay agenda,' 'The ACLU and radical secularism,' 'Hollywood: Christians through a distorted lens,' 'The news media megaphone for anti-faith values,' 'The judiciary: overruling God,' and 'Taking our faith to the ballot box.'

'Also included will be a panel of prominent Jewish leaders, who will discuss 'Jews confront the war on Christians'." Go to the announcement

At D.C. confab, antigay activists rip LGBT rights movement

Advocate.com, March 29, 2006

"Religious conservatives attacked what they called the 'gay agenda' in Washington, D.C., this week at a conference dedicated to injecting Christian values into the 2006 election campaign. The two-day conference, titled 'The War on Christians and the Values Voters of 2006,' hoped to restore Judeo-Christian values to government and the country." Click here for the report.

Notes from the War Room
A historian of Christian martyrdom attends a Christian Right strategy session in the "War on Christians.”

By Elizabeth A. Castelli, The Revealer, April 5, 2006

A ballroom at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., was the setting last week for a conference called “The War on Christians and the Values Voter in 2006,” sponsored by Vision America, an organization committed to the project of “restoring the original American vision.” As Vision America’s president, Rick Scarborough, put it in his welcome letter to participants, “The goal of this conference is to contribute to a genuine revival of the Christian faith in America and to advance a proper understanding of the role of the church in American life.” There to help 400 Christian conservative activists achieve this understanding was Tom DeLay along with fellow Texan Senator John Cornyn and a stageful of conservative Christian powerbrokers, among them Rod Parsley, Phyllis Schafly, and Gary Bauer. Senator Sam Brownback was scheduled to speak but couldn’t make it, forcing former presidential candidate Alan Keyes to fill his time.

Several interlocking narratives and rhetorics are at work in the Vision America program. One critical piece of the puzzle is a traditionalist, triumphalist historical narrative in which the United States was given to Christians by God to establish a providential nation based on biblical precepts. (No apologies -- nor even passing reference -- to the land’s prior occupants.) Founded as a city upon a hill (the oft-repeated image deriving from John Winthrop’s 1630 shipboard speech to the English colonists he was bringing to the new world) and as a refuge for puritans escaping religious persecution, “America was not an accident,” as one speaker at the conference put it. Continue.

Passive Agressive
Activists met recently to plan a defense against 'The War on Christians. Instead, they attacked and vilified gay people.

by Heidi Beirich, Intelligence Report, Southern Poverty Law Center, Summer 2006 (Added in August 2006)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In late March, the plush Omni Shoreham hotel in the nation's capital was the site of a day-and-a-half-long, anti-gay extravaganza hosted by the Christian Right outfit American Vision. In the same fancy "Blue Room" where Bill Clinton blew on his sax during his 1993 inaugural ball, a Who's Who of hard-line Christian Right organizations and a handful of their conservative Jewish allies met to discuss what they called "The War On Christians." But the conferees didn't sound much like victims once they started talking. Instead, they spent most of their time excoriating two groups of people -- homosexuals and their allies, the "activist judges" who are said to empower gays by legalizing their sexual conduct, awarding them civil-rights protections and allowing them to marry. Continue

Vision America: Will the GOP Lose the Values Vote? War on Christians Conference May Provide the Answer

News release, FindArticles.com, March 22, 2006, contact: Don Feder of the Vision America, 508-405-1337

WASHINGTON, March 22 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Mobilizing the Values Vote could spell the difference between victory and defeat for Republicans in the upcoming election. But the party is in jeopardy of losing support from its key constituency. Continue

War on Christians Conference Opens Today; Conference to Include a Values Voter Presidential Preference Poll

News advisory, FindArticles.com, March 27, 2006, Contact: Don Feder, 508-395-0142 (cell) or 508-405-1337

"The much anticipated War On Christians And The Values Voter In 2006 conference convenes today (March 27) at noon in the Blue Room of the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Conference hours are noon to 5:30 p.m. today (with a banquet from 7 to 9:30 p.m.) and 8:30 to 6 p.m. tomorrow (with a luncheon from 12:30 to 2 p.m.). All sessions are open to the media.

"The conference will cover every aspect of the far-reaching assault on Christians and Judeo-Christian values from activist organizations, government, Hollywood and America's cultural elite." Continue

"Liberalism Kill Kids"
Zany hyperbole from a modern martyr

Melissa McEwan, Alternet, March 27, 2006.

"Liberalism: The creeping menace... In order to design their best defenses against our devious machinations to throw Christians in jail, forcibly abort their fetuses, and compel them to engage in sexual acts with members of the same sex in accordance with our radical gay agenda, these delusional nutzoids will congregate at such panels as "The Gay Agenda: America Won’t Be Happy," "The Judiciary: Overruling God," "The Media: Megaphone For Anti-Faith Values," and other colon-separated subject matter. Continue

Christians Gather in DC to Talk About Growing Persecution
Christians on the frontlines share their stories in the nation’s capitol.

by Kim Trobee, Focus on the Family, March 29, 2006

"It’s not hard to find examples of attempts to limit the freedoms of Christians, that’s why some are saying believers are in an all-out war for their faith." Continue

Religious Conservatives Slam 'Gay Agenda,' ACLU

By Randy Hall, CNSNews.com, March 28, 2006

(CNSNews.com) - Religious conservatives meeting in Washington, D.C., lashed out at homosexual advocacy groups and organizations catering to the political Left on Monday. Click here


For the most recent Current News items, please click here; for the oldest, click here. Above on this page, you'll find: Religious right powerhouses mobilize for 2006 election | Televangelist Pat Robertson charges Planned Parenthood with planning genocide against African American community | "War on Christians" conference contains much about Jews