IFAS | Freedom Writer | October 1995 | update.html

Religious Right update

Model school prayer

Silver Spring, Maryland - School prayer advocates might like the following model. Although it's based loosely on the Lord's Prayer, and is generic enough to offend the fewest possible, don't count on this prayer to raise up a new generation of godly citizens.

"Almighty God, dear heavenly Father. In Thy name let us now in pious spirit, begin our instruction. Enlighten us, teach us all truth, strengthen us in all that is good, lead us not into temptation, deliver us from all evil in order that, as good human beings, we may faithfully perform our duties and thereby, in time and eternity, be made truly happy. Amen."

According to the July/August issue of Liberty magazine, these are the words of divine supplication that secondary school students were required to recite in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. So much for government-sponsored school prayer.

Satellite network

Lake Dallas, Texas - On the third Tuesday of each month the Christian Coalition sends its interactive satellite broadcast to hundreds of chapters across America. Now you too can watch Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed and his guests tell chapter members how to take over America.

VideoPlus, of Lake Dallas, Texas, provides Christian Coalition chapters with the necessary two-foot satellite dishes and receivers. For just $199 plus shipping, you can get the inside scoop directly from Ralph Reed.

The one-hour program features right-wing congressmen, Christian Coalition activists, lobbyists, and other guests. Phone numbers of key congressmen and senators are displayed so you can call and voice your opinion about the hot topics of the day.

If you or your group wishes to keep informed, this is the way to do it. You can call toll-free and use your credit card to get your own satellite dish. Just call VideoPlus at 1-800-388-3884. Tell them you want to join the Christian Coalition satellite network. Technicians at VideoPlus provide toll-free help so you can lock in the correct satellite.

Catholic Alliance

Washington, DC - Southern Baptists and Pentecostals account for the majority of the Christian Coalition's professed membership of 1.7 million. (This number may be exaggerated. See the profile on the Christian Coalition in the March 1995 Freedom Writer.)

Coalition leaders think African-American conservatives and conservative Catholics can find a home in the Christian Coalition. However, efforts to attract these groups in great numbers have been largely unsuccessful.

At the recent fifth annual Road to Victory Christian Coalition conference and seminar, about 100 people gathered for the Christian Coalition's new Catholic Alliance. Keith Fournier, executive director of Pat Robertson's legal organization, the American Center for Law & Justice, led a breakout session called "Forming a Catholic-Evangelical Coalition."

The Catholic Alliance will maintain a separate membership list and chapters from the Christian Coalition, but its activities will be coordinated with the existing Christian Coalition state chapters.

Clinic attack thwarted

Chicago, Illinois - FBI agents arrested a former armored-car worker on suspicion of stealing $260,000 from a bank in Waukegan, according to the September 4th National & International Religion Report. Federal prosecutors said Robert Cook, 33, was planning to use the money to "end abortion by bombing abortion clinics and shooting people." Agents said they found an AR-15 assault rifle and ammunition in a locker Cook rented.

Killer prayers

Houston, Missouri - Judge killed blared the headline in a recent newsletter of the Faith Baptist Church. According to church pastor Everet Sileven Ramsey, on June 21, 1995, Judge Karen Ivy "refused to allow Pastor Earl Linville the right to speak in court and present his case in defense against the Oklahoma State Tax Commission. Instead, she through [sic] him in jail for 'contempt of court.'"

At that point, Pastor Linville, his wife, and friends began to pray the imprecatory prayer of David in Psalm 35 - a prayer of destruction for one's enemies. Imprecatory means to "call evil down upon." This unusual practice is finding increasing usage among a number of Radical Religious Right groups.

A month later Linville was released from jail because, according to Ramsey, the state supreme court said his rights had been violated. However, that wasn't good enough for the prayer warriors. On August 12, 1995, Judge Ivy was killed in an automobile accident.

"The effectual fervent prayer of righteous man availeth much," declared Pastor Ramsey. "It appears that God has gloriously spoken to those who would sit in judgment upon His anointed servants."

Christian folklore

Colorado Springs, Colorado - According to The Pastor's Weekly Briefing, a weekly faxed newsletter of Focus on the Family, a U.S. senator was called by a group to explain to them why prayer was outlawed from public schools. The senator stood before the crowd and began by asking them two questions.

"First," he said, "How many of you really want prayer returned to public schools?" Everyone's hand shot up with conviction.

"Second," he continued, "How many of you dear people took time in the last twenty-four hours to pray with your own children in your home?" This time, only a few hands sheepishly were raised.

"Help me understand how it is you can expect the public schools to do something that you yourselves are unwilling to do in your own homes?"

A mole on the hill?

Chicago, Illinois - Nationally syndicated columnist William Rusher recently wrote an article about the Freedom Writer's Skipp Porteous and his practice of obtaining inside information from Radical Religious Right groups. Rusher referred to The New Yorker magazine's popular "Talk of the Town" section of May 21, which reported that Porteous "has a network of two dozen moles who actually join militias and the like, and send secret reports to Porteous."

Rusher said he did the same thing when he attended Harvard Law School in 1947 and founded the Harvard Young Republican Club. When the Harvard Democratic Club was formed shortly thereafter, Rusher recruited two undergraduates and had them join the Democratic Club to serve as spies.

Before he knew it, one of his moles was elected president of the Harvard Democrat Club. Then, two days before the national Election Day, the mole wrote a letter of resignation saying he "could no longer stand Truman's ineptitude" and wanted to join the Republican Club. This quickly led to his impeachment.

Rusher warns Porteous that one of his moles could be - or, maybe already has been - elected head of the Michigan Militia. He even suggested that James Nichols, brother of Terry, the friend of Timothy McVeigh, reports "surreptitiously to Porteous."

Perhaps, Rusher concluded, Senator Arlen Specter is a Democratic mole trying to drive a wedge into the GOP over abortion, "when he must know his candidacy for the nomination is futile."

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.