Religious groups stage get-out-the-vote effort in 34 Florida churches

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Monday, November 14, 2011 at 9:09 am | More from The Florida Independent
GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich (Pic by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr)

This Saturday, 34 churches in Florida hosted a viewing of “One Nation Under God,” which is being promoted as a “two-hour premiere DVD event featuring top American thinkers and political leaders who will bring the truth about God and America to people gathered in homes and churches across the nation.” The event is a thinly veiled national get-out-the-vote push for the religious right.

According to the event’s website, speakers included some big names in the Christian right: David Barton, James Dobson and Lila Rose of the anti-abortion group Live Action, to name a few. Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is listed, as well.

The website calls for people to gather their friends and family in their homes or in churches on Nov. 12 to watch the video.

“Together, you’ll learn how to view history and current events in light of God’s Word, and how to take action that aligns with His truth,” the site says. “You can make a difference – one person, one household, one neighborhood at a time! Tools, tips, and timelines for a successful party will be provided.”

John Stemberger, president of the anti-abortion and anti-gay Florida Family Policy Council, is also listed as a participant in the event. Stemberger recently attended the Florida Renewal Project’s Pastors’ Policy Briefing. The “briefing” was aimed at getting churches and religious leaders involved in elections. Media outlets were barred from the event and a reporter was even escorted away from the meeting between presidential candidates Rick Perry and Gingrich and pastors.

Right Wing Watch reported that Stemberger recently appeared on a conference call for Champion the Vote, a California-based religious voter mobilization effort. During the call, Stemberger reportedly promoted “One Nation Under God” and warned that America is being “fundamentally transformed into a different type of culture, a different country” and said that “we will lose this beautiful thing we call America”:

According to Stemberger, only Christians are capable of creating a free society. “As only the Christian presuppositions of theology created this country,” Stemberger said, “only Christians can save it and unless the church rises up, we’re done.” He went on to say that without the resurgence of the church, “our country’s going to slip away into something we don’t even recognize.”

The Texas Independent’s Mary Tuma reported that this weekend’s event is the next step in a swell of religious voter mobilization efforts leading up to 2012:

Following “The Response,” American Family Association founder Don Wildmon sent a an e-mail message to those who’d registered for the event, encouraging them to become involved in the group’s effort to register 5 million new conservative Christian voters. To achieve the goal, CTV is asking 100,000 “champions” to register 50 people in their community, as the Texas Independent recently reported.

Bill Dallas, head of United in Purpose (UiP), the group leading the CTV initiative, has created a business and carefully crafted voter mobilization model around the event by fusing repackaged media and a detailed data mining project to reach those committed unregistered Christian voters.

Dallas’ crew plans to film the meetings and edit them down to a two-hour session called “One Nation Under God.” The repackaged event will be aired on Nov. 12 and can then be purchased by “host” churches and individuals.

Dallas expects about 1,000 “house parties” and 2-300 churches to take part in the November event. The hosts are not only instructed to air the reformatted briefing but have undergone an intensive eight week voter mobilization training session with CTV that include Webinars, conference calls, newsletters and a training kit. The hosts make up CTV’s base– the ‘champions’ assigned to reach out to the thousands of potential voters.

According to the event website, there are currently only about 100 sites — 34 of those are in Florida churches.

Watch a video promo for “One Nation Under God”:

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