The Brody File has learned that the evangelical-based American Renewal Project will be organizing pastor policy briefings and voter registration drives across this country in 12 key states during the 2014 election cycle. It’s their latest attempt to restore America to its Judeo-Christian heritage.
Their goal is to engage pastors around issues so they will get their congregations to participate in the political process and flock to voting booths. Right now, tens of millions of evangelical Christians simply don’t vote. The states that will be targeted in 2014 are Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, Alaska, Arkansas, North Carolina, Nevada, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia.
In addition, The Brody File has learned that their first “Pastors and Pews” event is scheduled for the last week of May in Des Moines, Iowa. More than 400 pastors and their spouses will be on hand. Invited to speak right now: Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rand Paul and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
All of them are possible Republican presidential candidates. Additional speakers include Congressman Steve King, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Congressman J.C. Watts, Congressman Tom Latham and David Barton of WallBuilders.
The American Renewal Project is housed within the American Family Association and in the past, the group has been extremely active and successful. They played an instrumental role in rallying Christians to support California’s Proposition 8, which affirmed traditional marriage. They played a significant role in removing Iowa’s three Supreme Court judges who ruled to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. They have also been very vigorous in presidential politics; with top Republican candidates speaking at their pastor policy briefings in key swing states like Iowa and South Carolina.
The organizer of the American Renewal Project is David Lane, an influential evangelical Christian who operates below the radar with no desire to be recognized for his efforts. However, he did speak exclusively to The Brody File about this latest effort.
“If the key to maintaining sustainable freedom is righteousness -- the same virtue that produced freedom -- what is the greatest threat to freedom? Unrighteousness. America has left God.” Lane believes it’s time to remove politicians from office who have led America down this immoral and unsustainable broken path
But Lane is quick to point out that these pastor policy briefings are not so much about ousting certain politicians from office. Rather, they are meant as a way for pastors to unite over crucial issues facing society and the church at large.
Newt Gingrich, who is good friends with Lane and asked for his counsel during the 2012 presidential campaign, sees Lane’s work as crucial to America’s future.
“We’re in a fight over the very nature of America,” Gingrich tells The Brody File. “David has had a remarkable impact. I think his role is to mobilize pastors and get them to understand their legal rights and get them to understand that as citizens they have a significant role to play with their congregation.”
Gingrich says Lane is driven by the idea that evangelicals have a civic responsibility that they can’t shirk or hide from.
Lane, who has been involved in mobilizing pastors for decades, is also close with Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Their relationship goes back nearly a decade to when Lane headed up the Texas Restoration Project. He also provided spiritual and biblical counseling and encouragement to Perry during his run for the presidency. In an emailed statement to The Brody File, Gov. Perry says the following:
“While some seem intent upon driving people of faith out of debates on public policy, I believe a person’s faith gives them a more tangible view of right and wrong, and roots them in sound moral values that are essential to a healthy community. Today, more than ever, we need people of faith to make their voices heard, and provide the principled leadership to guide our nation through the tough decisions we face every day.”
Dick Bott, founder of the powerful Christian-based Bott Radio Network, has known Lane for years. He believes the issues that Americans are dealing with today are, in essence a fight between good and evil and he sees Lane as the man to spearhead the herculean effort ahead.
“I discovered that God has given him a unique gift and a zeal to organize pastors and other Christian leaders better than anyone I knew before. Others tended to 'talk' about it, but David 'got it done.' David Lane, with the help of his wife, Cindy, are single-minded in pursuing what God has given them to do with more stamina than anyone I know…He honestly believes God has called him -- and so do I.”
There’s no doubt that the American Renewal Project has proved successful in the past. They have fought back against forces that are trying to move this country away from its original Judeo-Christian framework.
As they continue that battle into 2014, there will now be an additional battle to fight. This one won’t be against liberals; rather it will be against Republicans who, in their view seem more concerned about preserving a political party instead of sustaining a moral and righteous nation.
That’s the next confrontation to watch.