News / USA

Republican Candidates Appeal to Religious Conservatives

US Representative Michele Bachmann arrives to speak at the Faith & Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing in Washington, DC, June 3, 2011
US Representative Michele Bachmann arrives to speak at the Faith & Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing in Washington, DC, June 3, 2011

Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates on Friday appealed to the religious right to help them defeat President Barack Obama in the 2012 election. They spoke at a meeting of an organization that was formed to restore the influence that conservative Christian voters once had in choosing presidents.

"Lord, we thank you for this land, we thank you for a nation that was founded for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith," said Georgia Pastor Benny Tate.

After the invocation by Tate, Republican lawmakers filed up to the podium of the Faith & Freedom Conference.

Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota urged religious conservatives to help eject Obama from the White House in the next election.

“Because if we have anything to say about it, Obama will be a one term president,” she said.

Bachmann is a favorite of the Tea Party movement that helped Republicans win big in last year's mid-term congressional election. She also is rumored to be considering a run for the presidency.

Although the Tea Party began as an anti-tax revolt, Bachmann touted her conservative stances on social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Then she said a prayer that was an oblique attack on the Obama administration's policies.

"Lord we know there are things that we have done in our nation that have not been pleasing in your sight. Lord we ask your forgiveness for that," said Bachmann.

The Faith & Freedom Coalition was founded two years ago by Ralph Reed. In in the early 1990s, he was head of the Christian Coalition and a major figure of the religious right. But his reputation suffered after he was linked to a key figure in a Washington lobbying scandal.

Reed told the conference that he decided to become active again after 17 million Evangelical Christians who were eligible to vote failed to show up at the polls in the last presidential election.

“And I vowed that as long as I had breath in me that that was never going to happen again as long as I live,” he said.

The boyish-faced lobbyist was able to pull together a list of speakers that included virtually every declared or presumptive candidate for the 2012 Republican nomination.

Aside from Bachmann, they included former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman and Georgia businessman Herman Cain.

Grover Norquist is a Republican anti-tax activist. He said Reed's organization stands out among groups on the religious right.

“Faith and Freedom is probably the most important one because what it does is it turns out votes,” he said.

Norquist said the Republican party includes many economic conservatives who are decidedly secular.

But Reed himself said that if the president's voter mobilization efforts are as effective as they were in 2008, Republicans will need God's help in 2012.


Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs