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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs