The chief organizer of so-called "pastor policy briefings" in support of Texas Gov. Rick Perry's re-election bid in 2005 is now calling on Congress to enact legislation "reestablishing the Bible in public schools." In an email to recipients on his American Renewal Project list today, David Lane calls for congressional legislation reversing the U.S. Supreme Court's 1963 ruling against state-sponsored prayer and devotional Bible study in public schools. That "foolish" ruling, he writes, "gave control of education to the secularists, who have imposed their values, their views, their politics, and their laws on America's Christian heritage and Christian culture." Lane served as the executive director of the Texas Restoration Project in 2005. His organization, funded with $1.3 million in donations from major Perry campaign donors, hosted six "pastor policy briefings" in Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio that year. Thousands of pastors and their spouses got free hotel lodging and meals so they could hear Gov. Perry and his political appointees and supporters give speeches in the run-up to Perry's 2006 re-election campaign. The not-so-subtle message to pastors was to return home and essentially turn their congregations into parts of the governor's re-election campaign. They were also encouraged to support a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Texas. Voters approved that amendment in the fall of 2005. Lane has organized similar pastor gatherings in presidential election battleground states around the country, with each of the gatherings featuring speeches by selected Republican politicians like former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Pseudo-historian David Barton, head of the Texas-based organization WallBuilders, and other religious-right leaders have also spoken at those events. The umbrella organization American Renewal Project, which Lane runs, has been facilitating the events. All of those events, including Gov. Perry's 2011 prayer extravaganza at Reliant Stadium in Houston that Lane helped organize, have contributed to a massive list of pastor email addresses from around the country. Lane's periodic messages to the pastors on that list promote a militant vision of a Christian America -- a narrow and deeply politicized vision not shared by many mainstream Christians, other people of faith and, of course, nonbelievers. In his email today, Lane promotes public school Bible study as a way to reverse what he sees as America's decline since the Supreme Court's 1963 ruling (emphasis in original): The false gods of multiculturalism, political correctness and secularism have produced: red ink as far as the eye can see, homosexuals praying at the Inauguration, 60M babies killed in the womb, the U.S. Supreme Court imposing homosexual marriage on America...judgment is on us; and like Israel, "The sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth. Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, so that He sold them into the hands of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the sons of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years....". Judges 3:7-8 You see this, right? The "adversary" of a Christian nation disconnected the Bible and prayer -- the tie-in to God -- from public education and America's children in 1963. Reestablishing the Bible in public schools is a first step toward regaining our Christian heritage and restoring a Christian culture. God will defend himself. Lane then asks for help in finding "10 Congressmen who will sponsor a bill that calls for the return of the Bible, as a component to the curriculum, in public schools." This isn't a call for an academic study of the Bible's influence in history and literature, which the courts have said is constitutionally permissible in public schools. Lane's purpose clearly is evangelical and political in nature: America  -- having exalted and deified the false gods of multiculturalism, political correctness and secularism -- is ripe for the taking. A pagan prostitute with an ounce of faith believed God and it was accounted to her for righteousness. Rahab surrounded by a "hostile and intimidating environment", a perverse worldview imposed by a secular society, could see nothing with her eyes which would indicate the fall...she stood for the unseen against the seen, "Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God." Will a Gideon or Rahab the Harlot please stand. Texas, of course, already has plenty of experience with Bible courses that turn public school classrooms into Sunday school classrooms. Lane wants to see Congress essentially mandate the same experience in schools across the country. Lane's full email is after the jump. Read More

A national organization that focuses on recruiting conservative evangelical pastors and their churches into partisan political warfare is gearing up for the 2014 midterm elections, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be a speaker at one of its first events this year.

A report from the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) provides a broad overview of the American Renewal Project’s plans over the next two years. Those plans includes voter registration drives and a series of “pastor policy briefings” in 12 states. The briefings follow the model of the Texas Restoration Project, which in 2005 hosted six such “briefings” for thousands of pastors and their spouses in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Gov. Perry was the featured speaker at each of those events, all held the year before the governor ran for re-election. The Texas Freedom Network later discovered that the events — including venue rentals as well as food and lodging for pastors — were secretly bankrolled by major Perry campaign donors, including voucher sugar daddy James Leininger of San Antonio.

The CBN article reveals that the American Renewal Project is housed within the right-wing American Family Association (AFA). Gov. Perry asked AFA… Read More

On the heels of its almost-endorsement of Rick Perry last week, David Lane and the American Renewal Project are back at it again. Our female readers might want to sit down for this one. Lane is up in arms over a question asked of Michele Bachmann at a Fox News Republican presidential primary debate earlier this month: "As President would you be submissive to your husband?" It is a bit of a loaded question, but Lane isn't arguing that the question is inappropriate or sexist -- he's upset that neither Bachmann nor any of the other candidates took the opportunity to make a case for full-blown wifely submission! So he decides to make the case for them. Read More

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