Republican presidential candidates are campaigning in Iowa, hoping to win the Ames straw poll this Saturday. Although history shows that the winners of the straw poll do not necessarily win nationally, the political reporters tend to take the poll seriously.
Iowa's Ames poll is largely based on the religious right, an important voter base for Republicans.
Departure from the 'Traditional' Religious Right.
Rick Perry is announcing his candidacy while the straw poll is taking place. Rather than courting the traditional religious right in Iowa, he appears to be seeking the support of the New Apostolic Reformation "apostles" and "prophets" who enthusiastically supported his "The Response" prayer event in Houston on August 6. "The Response" was funded by the American Family Association (AFA), which paid about $1 million to rent the Houston Reliant Stadium where the event was held.
Speakers for the AFA and the prominent figures in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement present extreme and bizarre views, as documented by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. Anti-gay rhetoric is prominent in NAR preaching, where hurricanes, tornadoes, dead birds and the rise of the Nazis are all blamed on gays and lesbians. NAR believers tend to attribute the wrath of God to natural disasters and crises. They use terms such as "goddesses," "demons," Jezebel, and Baal for what they perceive to be unbiblical and wicked; terms like Joel and Elijah for what they perceive to be positive, biblical social movements.
The Seven Mountains of Christian Dominionism.
As pointed out on this website and elsewhere, Maddow noted that traditional evangelicals believe that mankind is in the end times and that Jesus Christ will return soon. The NAR movement, in contrast, believes that Jesus Christ will return once certain Christians "clear the way" for His second coming by completely taking over "Seven Mountains" of culture — education/science, arts and entertainment, business/finance, civil government/military, the family, the church, and the media.
Quoting the Texas Observer, Maddow noted that Rick Perry was visited by leaders of the NAR back in 2009, who declared that Texas was "the Prophet State." In the upcoming "11:11" movement in which NAR apostles, prophets and prayer warriors are focusing their attention on Washington, D.C. (which they have renamed to the District of Christ), Texas continues to be identified as "the Prophet State." The NAR prophets and apostles believe that God has a grand plan for Texas because it will lead the United States to God and godly government.
Forrest Wilder, who authored Rick Perry's Army of God for the Texas Observer, sat down with Maddow to discuss the NAR movement's political objectives. Wilder pointed out that Perry specifically picked out NAR and Zionist types of leaders for his prayer rally instead of the more traditional evangelicals, signalling political alignment with the NAR.
Wilder noted that the NAR's political goals include (1) revival as both a spiritual and political movement which includes and obsession with anti-abortion and anti-gay legislation and (2) takeover of the Seven Mountains.