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Running Against Sodom and Osama

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Midterm Election Partisanship

The Values Voter Summit was clearly part of a larger plan by the Christian Right to help elect Republican candidates to office in the midterm election. The highly-visible event was staged to position the Christian Right as a viable electoral player with a powerful self-image. The Christian Right sees itself as still on ascendancy in U.S., but it feels the need to work hard to hold onto the power it has and to make future gains. Part of this involves staging local events around the country

Just prior to the midterm elections, Focus on the Family Action also ran three “Stand for the Family” political action “rallies designed to educate and motivate pro-family conservative Christians in three states where there are important races on November’s ballot”: Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Tennessee.~51 On September 20, 2006, Max Blumenthal, reports:

A day before appearing at the summit in Washington, Dobson held a stadium-sized get-out-the-vote jamboree in Pittsburgh, disguised as a supposedly nonpartisan “Stand for the Family” rally, on behalf of one of his staunchest backers, Senator Rick Santorum, who trails his Democratic opponent, State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. There, Dobson took to the podium to warn wavering “value voters”: “Whether or not the Republicans deserve the power they were given, the alternatives are downright frightening.”~52

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council President, was emcee for the evening, held because “the values vote is crucial this November because of the internal and external threats facing our nation.” According to Perkins, “It’s important for Christians to vote because that’s how we register our opinions by who we vote into office. People who either reflect our values, or people who abhor our values.”~53

Dobson invited Christians to the event stating that the main issues for 2006 are preserving the family, protecting children and pursuing peace through strength. “We’re here to do something about the dangers and threats that are out there.”~54 The other two rallies were held in St. Paul, Minnesota October 3rd and Nashville, Tennessee October 16th.55 Although smaller than originally hoped by organizers, they still drew thousands of committed activists in each state.

Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service has launched an investigation of partisanship—aimed at progressive Christians. The target is the All Saints Church in Pasadena, California, which is well-known as a voice of progressive Christian values that extends throughout the Los Angeles area. The investigation, which threatens to pull the church’s tax-exempt status, is based in part on a sermon by the Rev. Dr. George F. Regas in 2004, titled “If Jesus Debated Senator Kerry and President Bush.”~56

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