Terry Heaton, above, once a key figure in televangelist Pat Robertson’s The 700 Club, recently announced that he was about to publish a book that would show how right-wing Christian zealots succeeded in hijacking the Republican Party.
He wrote here:
As political events began to take shape last year in the US and specifically with the candidacy of Donald Trump, I began gathering all of the documents from my days as Pat Robertson’s producer in the 1980s. I could sense what was happening and felt a sense of responsibility for at least some of it, for as producer of The 700 Club, I had played a key role in our efforts to influence Republican Party politics.
Lamenting the period in which he helped sow the seeds that led eventually to the flourishing idolatry of the venomous Trump creature, he warned:
The people addicted to Donald Trump are ushering in something they really don’t understand.
Trump supporters represent a serious and significant threat to freedom, and the sad thing is that most of these people formed the core of our audience target back in the early 80s. The fears they express were planted by us, and while I’m not saying it was insincere, cynical, or corrupt, I am stating that it was a deliberate attempt at social engineering. People need to know this, for we preached what I’m calling ‘the gospel of self’.
Well, today I was informed that Heaton’s book, The Gospel of Self: How Jesus Joined the GOP, has just been published. Publicity for the book says:
The bitter political and religious divides we see today in America have roots that go back many decades. The televangelist Pat Robertson was one of the first to determine how battle-lines were drawn. Robertson, now a leading and unflinching Trump supporter, rose to national prominence in the 1960s with his Christian Broadcasting Network and his hit show The 700 Club.
Terry Heaton, who worked alongside Robertson at The 700 Club and became its Executive producer, Provides the inside story of how evangelical Christianity forced itself on a needy Republican Party in order to gain political influence on a global level. Using deliberate and strategic social engineering, The 700 Club moved Christians steadily into the Republican Party – and moved the party itself to the right.
With a gospel message that appealed to self-interest, The 700 Club violated numerous laws in an attempt to create a Shadow Government of Evangelicals, all in the name of doing God’s work on earth. The results of this long-term campaign were fully on display in the 2016 electoral season.
Evangelical Christians were among Donald Trump’s staunchest allies during the 2016 campaign, and they remain a group the President can count on as he implements even the most extreme of the positions he proclaimed would make America great again.
Chief among these for Evangelicals are: religious freedom allowing for rejection of liberal mandates such as being forced to serve those with whom they disagree theologically (and socially); the ability to have their children pray in school and be exposed to Biblical absolutes; returning to a culture within which access to safe abortions is illegal, and this despite the fact that the abortion rate is now where it was BEFORE Roe v Wade; eliminating the threat of evangelism from what they view as the false religion of Islam and in the process making sure their neighborhoods will be Muslim-free; and a return to a time when – in their opinion – the voice of Christianity was sought, heard, and embraced as relevant by the culture as a whole.