The New York Times reports on its front page today about a recent meeting of the innocuously and vaguely titled Council for National Policy. There is nothing innocuous or vague about the group’s agenda, however. Formed in 1981 by Timothy LaHaye (co-author of the Left Behind novels), the group met this month at a Ritz-Carlton resort in Florida to seek a Christian conservative front-runner for the 2008 presidential race. Members include James Dobson, Grover Norquist and Jerry Falwell.
They're worried; Paul Weyrich told the Times there is “great anxiety” because “there is no outstanding conservative.” They’re not fooled by McCain. They have “declared their hostility” to Giuliani “because of his liberal views on abortion and gay rights and his three marriages.” I guess they don’t know about the cross-dressing yet.
They don’t like Romney; “members have used the council as a conduit to distribute a dossier prepared by a Massachusetts conservative group about liberal elements of his record on abortion, stem cell research and gay rights.” (Unmentioned by the Times or any of the interviewees, but surely a factor in this demographic, would be opposition to the idea of a Catholic or Mormon president.)
So who’s left? Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas? No, he “faced resistance from the limited-government, antitax wing of their movement.” Defender of Marriage, Denier of Global Warming and Evolution Foe Sam Brownback of Kansas? No, “foes of illegal immigration objected to his support for a temporary guest worker program, and some faulted him for touching only briefly on the threat of Islamic terrorists.”
The agenda that these men (and, they are all men) would legislate for this nation in the name of the Bible bears no resemblance to Biblical priorities. Homosexuality? Jesus didn’t mention it. Immigration? Exodus says, “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” (For emphasis, the verse reappears with a slight variation in the next chapter.) The most famous of all Jesus’ parables is the Good Samaritan. Taxes? See here and here. Yet Grover Norquist has given the candidates “a pledge not to raise income taxes.” (See what the Bible says about oaths.)
We should be seriously concerned about the focus on “Islamic fascism,” especially since there is no such thing. Yes, the terrorist threat from radical Muslims – and others; let us not forget Oklahoma City or the Unabomber or, this stuff – is real and serious. But if you understand the “theology” that drives this particular group, you will understand that they have no interest in solving the problems or even genuinely combating the threat. They want to provoke it. They want to edge us ever closer to World War III with Jerusalem as “ground zero” in order to trigger “the Rapture.”
These are the priorities of the religious conservative “kingmakers” – an apt political term these days if ever there was one. Each day, 30,000 people around the world, mostly children, die from starvation and curable disease. The United Nations has established a series of Millennium Development Goals to combat this and other related issues, which can be achieved if the governments of wealthy nations contribute just 0.7% of their GNP to the project. (The US has neither met this modest goal nor pledged to do so.) But while all of these candidates believe the government should be used to regulate what women do with their bodies or what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom, none of the candidates received any praise (nor would they) for advocating the government use its power and resources to eradicate poverty. Given that Tim LaHaye believes that the Antichrist will manifest himself as Secretary General of the U.N., it’s not likely this group has any interest in cooperating.
Andrew Sullivan defines a “Christianist” as someone who holds “the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda. It is the belief that religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike.” If only the agenda advanced by the Council for National Policy reflected Biblical priorities, it might be an apt description. These guys are just frauds.