DALLAS (Reuters) - His influence may be diminished but his zeal is undaunted. Evangelist Jerry Falwell is on a mission to keep a like-minded Republican in the White House and get at least one more conservative judge on the Supreme Court.People like Falwell are, to my mind, far more of a danger to liberty and freedom here in the US than any number of Al Qaida terrorists. After all, the chances of a member of Al Qaeda ever sitting in the Oval Office are pretty slim whereas Falwell and the like have serious political clout on the far right of the Republican Party. Serious GOP presidential contenders like John McCain and Mitt Romney are already courting Falwell and other dominionists for their support.
Despite his years in the trenches of America's culture wars, Falwell -- who founded the Moral Majority political movement in 1979 and helped propel the rise of the religious right -- said a major victory in his broader crusade to restore the country's moral righteousness has so far eluded him.
With abortion still legal, prayer banned in public schools and pornography rife, he sees a long struggle ahead. For now, he is focusing on voter registration drives and rallying the faithful with his eyes on the twin prizes of the 2008 presidential election and control of the Supreme Court.
Some of his statements -- he famously blamed gays and lesbians for provoking the September 11 attacks -- have eroded some of his conservative support base. But he remains a rallying figure on the far U.S. right.
"I think we got the social and moral issues on the front burner. But while we have made progress ... we have not won any of the battles yet," Falwell told Reuters in an interview.
"It is a long road back. We are at least one U.S. Supreme Court Justice short of a socially conservative court," Falwell said on the sidelines of an evangelist conference in Dallas.
What does their granting that support to the dominionist religious right entail? Well, some progress towards their agenda, of course. And they describe that agenda in their own words far better than I ever could. Theocracy Watch has collected many of their utterances.
D. James Kennedy, Pastor of Coral Ridge Ministries, “Reclaiming America for Christ” conference in February, 2005. Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors — in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.
Christian Coalition field director, Bill Thomson, You’re going to run over them. Get around them, run over the top of them, destroy them - whatever you need to do so that God’s word is the word that is being practiced in Congress, town halls and state legislatures. That’s your job.
Representative John Hostetler, R-IN, Christian Coalition Speech: “When the courts make unconstitutional decisions, we should not enforce them,” he told attendees. “Federal courts have no army or navy.. The court can opine, decide, talk about, sing, whatever it wants to do. We’re not saying they can’t do that. At the end of the day, we’re saying the court can’t enforce its opinions.”
Joseph Morecraft, pastor of the Reconstructionist Chalcedon Presbyterian Church in Marietta, Georgia: “Nobody has the right to worship on this planet any other God than Jehovah. And therefore the state does not have the responsibility to defend anybody’s pseudo-right to worship an idol!”
Gary North, Institute for Christian Economics, “So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.”
George Grant, a leading dominionist writer in “The Changing of the Guard, Biblical Principles for Political Action”: Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less… Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ.
Reconstructionist theologian David Chilton Our goal is world dominion under Christ’s lordship, a world “take over” if you will.
Jerry Falwell, 1999: “[T]hese perverted homosexuals.absolutely hate everything that you and I and most decent, God-fearing citizens stand for. Make no mistake. These deviants seek no less than total control and influence in society, politics, our schools and in our exercise of free speech and religious freedom..If we do not act now, homosexuals will own America!”
Pat Robertson, Christian Coalition, It’s going to be a spiritual battle. There will be Satanic forces…. We are not going to be coming up just against human beings, to beat them in elections. We’re going to be coming up against spiritual warfare.”
David Limbaugh, “we have a right, indeed an obligation to govern.”
Pledge recited at “Reclaiming America For Christ” conference: “I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe.”
Let us be clear. These people do not believe you have a right to life or liberty unless you are one of them. And they own the GOP.