Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Here come the Christ-o-crats

USA Today has an article about a network of ultra-conservative, politically active Christian pastors who aim to turn the United States into a theocracy *:

CANTON, Ohio — Pastor Russell Johnson paces across the broad stage as he decries the "secular jihadists" who have "hijacked" America, accuses the public schools of neglecting to teach that Hitler was "an avid evolutionist" and links abortion to children who murder their parents.

"It's time for the church to get a spinal column" and push the "seculars and the jihadists ... into the dust bin of history," the guest preacher tells a congregation that fills the sanctuary at First Christian Church of Canton.

That is his mission. Johnson leads the Ohio Restoration Project, an emergent network of nearly 1,000 "Patriot Pastors" from conservative churches across the state. Each has pledged to register 300 "values voters," adding hundreds of thousands of like-minded citizens to the electorate who "would be salt and light for America."

And, perhaps, help elect a fellow Christian conservative, Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, as governor next year. That has alarmed some establishment Republicans who back rival contenders and warn that an assertive Christian right campaign could repel moderate voters the party needs.

Evangelical Christian leaders nationwide have been emboldened by their role in re-electing President Bush and galvanized by their success in campaigning for constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage, passed in 18 states so far.
Now some are organizing to build on last year's successes. They want to solidify their role in setting the political agenda and electing sympathetic public officials.

Their top issues are, according to this article, abortion and gay marriage. You know - Jesus's two pet peeves. He denounced abortion and gay marriage constantly.

Anyway: If you think "Christ-o-crat" is some dismissive term I invented for these people, think again: It's what some of them call themselves:

"I like to say I'm not a Republican or a Democrat, I'm a Christ-o-crat," declares Pastor Rod Parsley, a supporter of the Ohio Restoration Project and head of a similar venture called Ohio Reformation.

"Party of God" was, of course, already taken.

* That's MY characterization, of course, not USA Today's.

(Cross-posted at Distance Blog)


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