|Evangelicals Gather to Plot Takeover of U.S. Government|
Evangelicals gather, push political action
By Knight Ridder Newspapers
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — With a mixed sense of triumph and urgency, some 900 evangelical Christians from more than 40 states gathered at a Florida church yesterday to hear prominent Christian conservatives opine on how to advance their political agenda.
"We used to be a minority, and now we've got to learn how to lead," said Dr. Gary Cass, executive director of the Center for Reclaiming America, in urging the crowd to become involved in government by lobbying Congress and starting local political-action centers. "It's very ambitious, and we can't do it alone, and that's why you're here."
During one of several grass-roots training sessions yesterday at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church's annual Reclaiming America for Christ conference, Cass outlined four new initiatives in his group's fight to ban gay marriage, outlaw abortion and promote religion in schools and public life.
• Opening a lobbying office in Washington, D.C.;
• Launching a "strategy institute" to study the tactics of their political opponents;
• Expanding the center's media outreach;
• Recruiting 1 million grass-roots activists.
Also high on the agenda: influencing the appointment of Supreme Court judges, opening faith-based action centers in all 435 congressional districts, and, naturally, raising enough cash to accomplish the above.
"We're raising money to have a war chest so that we can do what we need to do," said Cass, who heads the political arm of the $37 million evangelical empire run by the Rev. D. James Kennedy.
A symbol of conservative Christians' fight for a faith-based government — all 5,280 pounds of it — sat locked to a wooden platform on a six-wheeled truck outside the church.
"Roy's Rock," the granite statue of the Ten Commandments that former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore once displayed in his Montgomery courthouse, made a stop at Coral Ridge this week during its nationwide tour.