Monday, March 16, 2015

Evangelicals Aim to Mobilize an Army for Republicans in 2016

By Jason Horowitz

DES MOINES — One afternoon last week, David Lane watched from the sidelines as a roomful of Iowa evangelical pastors applauded a defense of religious liberty by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. That night, he gazed out from the stage as the pastors surrounded Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana in a prayer circle.

For Mr. Lane, a onetime Bible salesman and self-described former “wild man,” connecting the pastors with two likely presidential candidates was more than a good day’s work. It was part of what he sees as his mission, which is to make evangelical Christians a decisive power in the Republican Party.

“An army,” he said. “That’s the goal.”

And Mr. Lane is positioning himself as a field marshal. A fast-talking and born-again veteran of conservative politics with experience in Washington, Texas and California, Mr. Lane, 60, travels the country trying to persuade evangelical clergy members to become politically active.

His hope is that the politicized pastors will help mobilize congregations that have been disheartened by the repeated failure of socially conservative candidates, and by a party that has softened its opposition to same-sex marriage.

It is an organizing approach far different from those in the days when larger-than-life leaders like the Moral Majority founder, Jerry Falwell, who died in 2007, or Pat Robertson, now 84, could activate evangelical voters simply by anointing a candidate.

But close observers of evangelicals and their political involvement say Mr. Lane is emblematic of a new generation of evangelical leaders who draw local support or exert influence through niche issues or their own networks.

Unlike political operatives such as Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition who helped elect George W. Bush before becoming ensnared in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, Mr. Lane does not have an extensive organization.

What Mr. Lane, a former public relations man, does have going for him is a decentralized landscape in which a determined believer with an extensive network of ground-level evangelical leaders and a limitless capacity for talking on the phone can exert influence on Republican presidential candidates eager to reach evangelical voters.

Read the rest here.


  1. Maybe he was deprived of oxygen during his rebirth.
    There is nothing Christian about this clown and his ilk. Just another state-worshipping idolatrous pagan wrapped in Christian symbology.

  2. If you are Christian you better be anti war. Granted historically this has rarely been true.

    No anti war candidates in either of the two major parties. Its a shame.

  3. Why doesn't someone explain to these "Christians" that under a libertarian system, they could set up a neighborhood where they would never have to encounter any gays or dopers or others deemed culturally undesirable or non-pious? Further, I doubt that meticulous and rigorous anti-intellectualism is next to Godliness.

  4. These people are "dispensationalists" which didn't even exist until the 1830s.

    Dispensationalism has become very popular with American evangelicalism[citation needed], especially among nondenominational Bible churches, Baptists, Pentecostal, and Charismatic groups.

    Protestant denomiminations that as a whole embrace covenant theology reject dispensationalism. For example, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA termed it "evil and subversive" and regards it as a heresy.

    They are not going to listen to logic or facts.

  5. The lead story on the January 5, 2006, edition of The 700 Club was Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's hospitalization for a severe stroke. After the story, Robertson said that Sharon's illness was possibly retribution from God for his recent drive to give more land to the Palestinians. He also claimed former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's 1995 assassination may have occurred for the same reason.

    Yes, these people will certainly be easy to deal with.

    1. I always like your commentary Bob. I think you and RW should get together and you should do some contributory work here.