David Lane, the New Ralph Reed

David Lane, the New Ralph Reed July 21, 2013

For a long time, Ralph Reed has been the primary power broker of the Christian right, but as Right Wing Watch notes, his kingmaker throne may have been taken today by David Lane. It was Lane who orchestrated Mike Huckabee’s shocking win in Iowa in 2008 and prospective 2016 Republican candidates are now flocking to him.

Senators and presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Ted Cruz will head to Iowa this week as featured speakers at a closed-door event for conservative pastors that has been organized by David Lane, an anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Mormon, Christian-nation absolutist who has declared war, not only on secularism and separation of church and state, but also on establishment Republicans who don’t embrace his vision of an America in which the Bible serves as “the principle textbook” for public education and a “Christian culture” has been “re-established.” He decries Supreme Court rulings on prayer and Bible reading in public schools, and says, “It’s easily defended that America was founded by Christians, as a Christian nation.”

Cruz and Paul may be motivated by the fact that a similar David Lane-organized pastors briefing is credited with Mike Huckabee’s win in the 2008 Iowa caucus. Evangelical political strategist Doug Wead has described Lane as “the mysterious, behind the scenes, evangelical kingmaker who stormed into Iowa in 2008 and tilted the whole thing from Romney to Huckabee,” even though subsequent renewal projects failed to deliver South Carolina and Florida to Huckabee.

Still, Lane, a self-described “political operative,” has plans that go well beyond Iowa. The “Rediscovering God in America” event scheduled for July 17 and 18 is just one of an ongoing series of pastors briefings that are central to the American Renewal Project’s 12-state strategy to turn out conservative evangelical voters in the 2013-2014 election cycle. (Those states: Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, Alaska, Arkansas, North Carolina, Nevada, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia.)

They link to a Worldnutdaily column from late last year that exposes both Lane’s dishonesty and his agenda.

In 1963 the disrespectful-of-religion Supreme Court removed the Bible from public schools – by an 8-1 majority vote. “It led not to true neutrality with respect to religion, but to the establishment of a religion of secularism.” – Justice Potter Stewart, the lone dissenter.

You see this, right? The “adversary” of a Christian nation disconnected the tie-in to God from public education – and America’s children – in 1963.

That’s a lie. In 1963, the Supreme Court said that the government could not make Bible reading mandatory for students, a great many of which were not Christian. That’s not remotely the same thing. And remember, this is the same guy who screams about “religious freedom” and “parental rights” but is now demanding that the government force children to read the Bible and recite Christian prayers even if their parents object. Because he doesn’t really give a damn about religious freedom, he only gives a damn about his ability to impose his religion on others.

America was a Christian nation. The Mayflower Compact declared, “In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, having undertaken – for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith …”

Let’s decide if America is a Christian nation or a pagan nation – and get on with it; the sooner the better.

This is a standard trick the wingnuts play on this issue. They claim that the founding document of a single British colony written a century and a half before the Constitution makes the United States a Christian nation. They seem to conveniently forget that the Revolutionary War overthrew British colonial rule and that the Constitution created a secular government in stark contrast to the theocracy of the Plymouth Bay Colony.

Can you picture what America would look like following a decade-long war – a knock-down drag-out – to return God, prayer and the Bible to the public schools? To regain our Christian heritage and re-establish a Christian culture?…

If God allows, we intend to launch, in the 2013-2014 political cycle, the American Renewal Project, to engage the church in a culture war for religious liberty, to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage and to re-establish a Christian culture.

The message to our federal representatives and senators? Vote to restore the Bible and prayer in public schools or be sent home. Hanging political scalps on the wall is the only love language politicians can hear.

One of these days some nobody – yet conversant and skilled in the Word – will call for religious liberty by reintroducing the Bible, Jesus, the Ten Commandments and honoring God at commencements in the public schools of America; then we will watch Providence call for “punishment executed by angels” to those who oppose His Word.

Calling for religious liberty by forcing non-Christian students to recite government-composed Christian prayers. You keep using that phrase — I do not think it means what you think it means.

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