Religious right activists will be gathering at Dr. Richard Lee's First Redeemer Church in Atlanta to "Restore America" on October 21-23.
Before the 2010 mid-term elections, Lee hosted a similar "Restoring America Conference" in order "to rally people to go and vote their conscience in the upcoming election." Speakers included Herman Cain, Fred Barnes, Walid Shoebat and Ann Coulter. At this year's event, featured guests include David Barton, Mat Staver, Rick Santorum, and Dinesh D'Souza.
Richard Lee's resume cites a lengthy list of accomplishments, but for laypeople, he may best be known for his editorial work in The American Patriot’s Bible, published by Thomas Nelson Publishing.
"Imperial Christians who equate patriotism with militarism and nationalism now have a book to guide them," wrote Lawrence Vance in a scathing review published on the anti-liberal, Libertarian, Tea-Party leaning Lew Rockwell website.
"'If you love America and the Scriptures, you will treasure this Bible,' says the introduction to The American Patriot's Bible. I think it would be more accurate to say that if you love American exceptionalism, American nationalism, American imperialism, and American militarism, you will treasure this Bible. Many Christians who love America and the Scriptures know better than to equate patriotism with any of these things," Vance concludes.
Vance refers to the work of theologian Gregory Boyd's critiques of The American Patriot's Bible which included among other things an accusation of "selective retelling of American history."
Another of the featured guests at the Restoring America Conference will be David Barton, frequently accused of selective retelling of American history to support his view that the United States is a Christian nation and that the Constitution is based on the bible. Like Lee, Barton's work has also been published by Thomas Nelson Publishing — but unlike Lee, his book, The Jefferson Lies, was eventually dropped by the publisher because "it lost confidence in the book's details" due to numerous accusations by clergy and scholars alike that his representations about history were untrue.
Mat Staver heads the religious right advocacy, Liberty Counsel, which has of late, been promoting the idea that it's okay for clergy to preach politics from the pulpit because there's nothing that the IRS can do about it. Curiously, Staver's group recently changed dozens of its once public videos on YouTube to private viewing only, but readers can get a good idea of Liberty Counsel's anti-gay, anti-abortion biblical worldviews at Right Wing Watch. Speaking with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Staver advocated "7 Mountains Christian Dominionism" when promoting Janet Porter's "May Day Prayer Rally" — a rally that caused Porter to lose her radio networks because of the Christian dominionist theology that pervaded the event.
John F. Kennedy's speech about the separation of church and state made Rick Santorum want to throw up, Americans learned as Santorum vied to become this year's Republican presidential nominee. Santorum is known for his anti-gay and anti-reproductive choice values, as well as his views that colleges are liberal indoctrination centers and that creationism should be taught in the nation's public schools. At the Values Voters Summit this month, Santorum told his Christian conservative audience of political activists that "we'll never have the elite, smart people on our side" because they want to tell everyone what to do, that "American values will always be sustained by two institutions, the church and the family" and without conservative American values "there is no future for our country."
Dinesh D'Souza has received a great deal of national attention recently because of his film, 2016: Obama's America, which basically accuses President Obama of having an Islamist, Communist, Socialist agenda to take down America because of the anti-colonialism views of his father. D'Souza is the president of the evangelical King's College in New York, where New York Magazine says he's on a mission to create a "Christian A-Team." Quoting the magazine, D'Souza told a class in 2011, "Some Christians hope to change this through bottom-up, grassroots techniques. But I’m skeptical about that approach. Consider minority groups like Jews and gays, groups whose influence far outweighs their relatively small numbers. How do they do it? By focusing on strategic institutions—finance, media, law. At the King’s College, our mission is to prepare you to go into that world. It’s, frankly, an elitist mission, which says that culture is formed from the top down. I can only hope we have given you the tools to complete that mission, the tools to be dangerous Christians."
A video promoting last year's "Restoring America Conference" ends with a visual of fireworks exploding around the Statue of Liberty, with the message "Calling America Back to its Godly Foundations!" zooming into view. We suspect this year's mission is pretty much the same. Watch: