Texas Governor Greg Abbott gave pastors nationwide their marching orders this week, exhorting them to get out that evangelical vote in the upcoming primaries and general election.
“Religious liberty from the Bible and the issues that Christians believe in have become hostile in the mainstream politics, and there is one key reason for it,” Abbott told the Network’s chief political correspondent David Brody. “And that’s because the people who attend these congregations or pastor these congregations do not turn out and vote and we are dealing with the consequences by the failure of Christians to go vote.”
Abbott spoke on Monday to a group of pastors gathered in Austin for a two-day political training seminar hosted by the American Renewal Project. Brody was also a speaker at the event, and other media outlets were excluded. GOP presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee also addressed the group, whose aim to get pastors to run for political office.
On its web site, the Texas Renewal Project reports that more than 13,000 pastors have attended the group’s training events since 2005. Founder David Lane told the New York Times in March that his goal was to get 1,000 pastors to run for public office.
“We have apparently begun, Providentially, a movement to oppose the false god of Secularism established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1963,” the Renewal Project’s site says. “Secularism glorifies sensuality, self-indulgence and promiscuity, saturating and drenching the culture with explicit sex, graphic violence and obscene language.”
In the interview with Brody, Abbott said that America has deteriorated over the last decade because Christians aren’t voting in large enough numbers. Brody asked Abbott what he had to say about pastors who are “bowing down to” and “being corrupted by” political correctness. Abbott said that Christians simply need to stand for their values.
Here's the interview if you'd rather watch. There's a partial transcript here.
The Renewal Project first came to my attention in 2007, when they promoted Mike Huckabee as their candidate of choice. This year's preferred pick is Ted Cruz, who is using his crusade against Planned Parenthood to mobilize evangelical Christians.
On Tuesday, a nationwide conference call was held for pastors as a way to exhort them to support Cruz' efforts and bolster his presidential bid. Nothing like a cool mix of church and state, eh?