Professional fundies officially circle the wagons around McCain

“We are committed to a transgenerational, multiethnic and multiracial conservative movement.”

— a laughably bold Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, to a gathering of 90+ fundies who are hand-wringing about the decline of their movement and what they need to do to revitalize it — in other words, Obama envy.

The faux Christians are desperate about this election, but they didn’t decide to form a circular firing squad over how pure the candidate is on their issues, the luminaries of the far right met and united behind a man they view with great suspicion and disdain — John McCain.

More than 90 evangelical leaders representing millions of conservative Christians met in Denver on Tuesday to lament the condition of the religious conservative movement and to conclude they should get behind Sen. John McCain even if they didn’t like everything about him as a candidate.

“The alternative is so bad we must support John McCain,” said Phyllis Schlafly, founder and president of Eagle Forum, adding that the leaders should have held a strategy meeting in 2001 when it was clear Vice President Dick Cheney wouldn’t run for president instead of waiting until four months before the 2008 election.

…Mostly white and middle-aged, the group was called together by Mathew Staver, president of Liberty Counsel and dean of the law school at Liberty University.

Who was on this list of womb-controlling, LGBT hating theocrats?

* Rick Scarborough, founder and president of Vision America. He claims that Christianity will be criminalized if pro-LGBT laws are passed.

* Jim Garlow, lead pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego, who is rounding up California pastors to help the pro-marriage amendment effort there.

* Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values in Ohio: “I was once one of those people who said ‘no way’ to Sen. John McCain as President. No longer. The stakes are too high. And if Obama wins I need to be able to get up on November 5th, look at myself in the mirror, and when I pray, say, ‘Lord, I did all that I could.'”

* Gary Glenn, head of the American Family Association for Michigan. He advocated that McCain select Huckabee as VP to appease that crowd; apparently a motion to send a letter to that effect out for signatures — and a majority of attendees said they would sign on.

* Donald Hodel, former president of the Christian Coalition and Focus on the Family. He boldly expects McCain to win, and that fundie access would be necessary in a McSame admin.

And perhaps the saddest attendee of all:

* Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She said of her cousin Bernice  (Dr. King’s anti-gay daughter): “Bernice says herself that she knows deep within that her father did not march and did not take a bullet for same-sex marriage.” She supports a federal marriage amendment.

The most interesting part of this article is the description of the dressing-down the gray-hairs received by younger evangelicals in the room.

Various speakers lamented the lack of a unified strategy that had evangelicals supporting various primary candidates and the fact that their message does not seem to resonate with younger voters, African-Americans or Hispanics in the same way Sen. Barack Obama’s does.

More than an hour was spent listening to younger leaders tell the group that religious conservatives must be perceived “to care” about social issues and the environment to appeal to young people who are voting for the first time.

Sorry young folks, your elders crapped away their chance to garner those votes with egregious anti-immigrant bleating and only token outreach to socially conservative blacks, so you reap what you sow. Maybe you need to take the reins away from the battle weary fogies running the professional “Christian” show (and the GOP).

The message for us is clear — they’ve thrown down the gauntlet of bigotry. Are we ready to get our butts in gear now? Note this:

Others privately said they feared an Obama landslide. One participant said he couldn’t imagine anything worse. “Obama has done the impossible,” he said. “He’s made Hillary Clinton look good to Christian conservatives.”

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