By Kyle Mantyla / 01.18.2018
Earlier this week, Religious right pseudo-historian David Barton and former Rep. Randy Forbes celebrated Religious Freedom Day by hosting an eight-hour Facebook live event called “Keep Faith In America,” which consisted of live footage of various state events recognizing Religious Freedom Day interspersed with pre-recorded videos from, and live interviews with, various Religious Right activists and leaders.
At one point, Barton interviewed Mark Gonzales of the U.S. Hispanic Action Network, who said that politicians must be made to fear the power of the church and that churches must prepare conservative Christians to run for office in order to spread the correct “biblical values” over the states and eventually the entire nation.
“There are two things that are missing in society,” Gonzales said. “The fear of the Lord and the fear of the church. The fear of the Lord, that is prayer. The fear of the church, that is political. Let’s just be real about it.”
Barton and Gonzales agreed that politicians wanting to speak at churches is a good sign because it means that the churches have a lot of influence and makes elected officials think, “Ooh, I don’t want to cross that church … I don’t want to get on the wrong side of [them].”
“That’s not being political,” Barton insisted. “That is standing for an influence of righteousness.”
Gonzales added that once a church has influence, it can be used to attain power by employing a strategy of targeting things like city council or school board races in order to create a farm team of conservative Christian candidates who can then move on to higher office.
“That is the transition that needs to take place,” he said. “Influence means we know you have numbers, power means those numbers are actually turning out. When we can move to that place, then the church can once again begin to set precedents of biblical values in their communities and when you start community by community by community, next thing you know, we take over the state and take over the rest.”
Originally published by Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way, a program of Open Society Foundations, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license.