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Training the AmTaliban of tomorrow

Do we want the country run by these evangelical pod people?

This is a f*cking frightening article, “Grooming Politicians for Christ“, by Stephanie Simon of the LA Times, on “evangelical leadership programs” that are training leaders of tomorrow to think biblically when serving in elective office.

It’s a portrait of wingnuttery and bible-beating politics that is going to be the end of this country as we know it if we don’t stop these people. Listen to this unhinged AmTalibannery – it’s the creation of pod people.

In the blue and gold elegance of the House speaker’s private dining room, Jeremy Bouma bowed his head before eight young men and women who hope to one day lead the nation. He prayed that they might find wisdom in the Bible — and govern by its word.

“Holy Father, we thank you for providing us with guidance,” said Bouma, who works for an influential televangelist. “Thank you, Lord, for these students. Build them up as your warriors and your ambassadors on Capitol Hill.”

“Amen,” the students murmured. Then they picked up their pens expectantly.

Nearly every Monday for six months, as many as a dozen congressional aides — many of them aspiring politicians — have gathered over takeout dinners to mine the Bible for ancient wisdom on modern policy debates about tax rates, foreign aid, education, cloning and the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

…They learn to view every vote as a religious duty, and to consider compromise a sin. That puts them at the vanguard of a bold effort by evangelical conservatives to mold a new generation of leaders who will answer not to voters, but to God.

Rev. D. James Kennedy’s Center for Christian Statesmanship trains wingnut politicians. “If we leave it to man to decide what’s good and evil, there will be chaos.”

The main “training resource” is Rev. D. James Kennedy‘s Center for Christian Statesmanship. He’s a pastor Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and has a viewership of at 3.5 million. He’s also been molding minds in Washington with his Center since 1995. There are other wingnut training camps working on “developing leaders who read the Bible as a blueprint.”

“I’m sure there are people who won’t appreciate the fact that this class goes on here in the Capitol. It’s one thing to have a [biblically inspired] position on one or two issues. This class has you look deeper. It gives you an intellectual consistency.”
— Myal Greene, deputy press secretary for Tom Feeney (R-FL), on Kennedy’s institute, wearing a wristband printed with the slogan “Jesus Is My Homie

The institute is “doing the Lord’s work.” The nation needs more politicians who take their cues from God, not Gallup, or “our morality will crumble,” he warned. “We won’t recognize America.”
— Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC)

More info on similar training programs in the LA Times piece:

— Five-year old Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., an hour’s drive from DC. It’s mission is to turn out “Christian men and women who will lead our nation with timeless biblical values.” The article notes that nearly every graduate works in government or with a conservative advocacy group. [This is also the university that fired employee Jeremy Hunley, a member of the Church of Christ denomination, for promoting the idea that baptism is necessary for salvation.]

The Witherspoon Fellowship has placed its graduates in the White House, Congress, the State Department and state legislatures. The fellowship brings 42 college students to Washington each year to study theology and politics — and to work at the conservative Family Research Council, which lobbies on such social issues as abortion and same-sex marriage.

Where do you even begin to combat this nonsense? It’s a flood of pod people being churned out.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding