On Friday, evangelical pastors from across the country will gather at a conference at the Statehouse Convention Center. You'll want to give them a wide berth. These aren't run-of-the-mill evangelicals. The Arkansas Renewal Project conference is the latest gathering of pastors as part of anti-gay, Christian-Nation absolutist David Lane's American Renewal Project.
Lane is a political operative from California who's credited with helping tilt the 2008 Iowa caucus for Mike Huckabee and ousting three Iowa Supreme Court justices after the court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. He's been linked to Rick Perry and Rand Paul. His mission is simple. He wants a culture war. "My intent is to put God, prayer and the Bible back into public schools as a principal component of education," he's written. There may be some casualties along the way, he warns. "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."
Mike Huckabee will serve as the conference's keynote speaker. Pastors from Iowa and South Carolina plan to meet with Huckabee to talk about him running for president in 2016, according to USA Today. Considering some of the things some of the other scheduled speakers have said (see below), there's a better chance than usual Huckabee won't give the conference's craziest speech. But judge for yourself.
American Renewal Project organizer; Ralph Reed 2.0.
"As to the future of America — and the collapse of this once-Christian nation — Christians must not only be allowed to have opinions, but politically, Christians must be retrained to war for the Soul of America and quit believing the fabricated whopper of the "Separation of Church and State," the lie repeated ad nauseum by the left and liberals to keep Christian America — the moral majority — from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning and pagan media."
"Where are the champions of Christ to save the nation from the pagan onslaught imposing homosexual marriage, homosexual scouts, 60 million babies done to death by abortion and red ink as far as the eye can see on America? Who will wage war for the Soul of America and trust the living God to deliver the pagan gods into our hands and restore America to her Judeo-Christian heritage and re-establish a Christian culture?"
A three times failed Congressional candidate from Missouri; billed as a "historian."
On the threat of the radical homosexual agenda: "There are just a couple steps before the military could be used in a persecution of those that are viewed as enemies of the new state belief system."
Theorizing on a possible pre-election gambit by President Obama: "If he's feeling desperate come November, President Barack Obama just might create a pretext to launch a war with Iran, then seize control of radio, television and Internet signals to ensure his reelection."
"So the question is, was Benghazi just inept actions by our government, was it something to put down negative speech that could affect the President's reelection campaign or was it an Alinsky tactic to push an agenda to forbid free speech insulting Islam? We're talking about a global goal of establishing Sharia law and we came very, very close to it happening right after the Benghazi attempt with this effort to forbid free speech insulting Islam."
Republicans' favorite pseudo-historian, infamous for inventing supporting evidence to support myths to match current Republican doctrine. His latest book, "The Jefferson Lies," portrayed Thomas Jefferson as an orthodox Christian who didn't believe in separating church and state. After critics pointed out the book's factual flaws, Christian publisher Thomas Nelson pulled it.
"... it is God and not man who establishes the borders of nations. National boundaries are set by God. If God didn't want boundaries, he would have put everyone in the same world and there would have been no nations; we would have all been living together as one group and one people. That didn't happen. From the Tower of Babel, he sent them out with different languages, different cultures. God's the one who drew up the lines for the nations, so to say open borders is to say 'God, you goofed it all up and when you had borders, you shouldn't have done it' ... And so, from a Christian standpoint, you cannot do that. God's the one who establishes the boundaries of nations."
"We have a Department of Health and Human Services; we have health care bills; we have health insurance and we're trying to stop all unhealthy things so we're going after transfats and we're going after transparency in labeling to make sure we get all the healthy stuff in there. ... If I got to the Centers for Disease Control and I'm concerned about health, I find some interesting stats there and this should tell me something about health. Homosexual/bi-sexual individuals are seven times more likely to contemplate or commit suicide. Oooh, that doesn't sound very healthy. Homosexuals die decades earlier than heterosexuals. That doesn't sound healthy. Nearly one-half of practicing homosexuals admit to five hundred or more sex partners and nearly one-third admit to a thousand or more sex partners in a lifetime.... I mean, you go through all this stuff, sounds to me like that's not very healthy. Why don't we regulate homosexuality?"
"You can't drink Starbucks and be biblically right."
"Jesus did not like the minimum wage." (Other things the Bible doesn't approve of, according to Barton: progressive taxation, the capital gains tax, the estate tax, net neutrality.)
Florida TV personality
"I almost wish there would be a simultaneous telecast and Americans would be forced...at gunpoint to listen to David Barton."