Christian conservatives who blame â€œmoral depravityâ€ for everything from the recession to terrorism are converging on Philadelphia for a rally they hope will spark a religious revival as Election Day nears.
Called â€œAmerica for Jesus 2012,â€ the prayer assembly onÂ Independence MallÂ is attracting support across a spectrum of Protestant clergy and activists. Among the scheduled speakers are religious broadcaster PatÂ Robertson and Family Research CouncilÂ PresidentÂ Tony Perkins, along with preachers such asÂ Cindy JacobsÂ ofÂ Generals InternationalÂ ministry who say theyâ€™re prophets with a direct line to God. Many backers had also endorsed â€œThe Response,â€ the prayer rally hosted last year by TexasÂ Gov. Rick PerryÂ just before he entered theÂ GOPÂ presidential primary.
John Blanchard, national coordinator for â€œAmerica for Jesus 2012,â€ said the two-day event starting Friday night is nonpartisan. Itâ€™s modeled after the 1980 â€œWashington for Jesusâ€ rally, considered a pivotal show of organizational strength by the then-fledgling Christian right. BishopÂ Anne Gimenez, whose husband,Â John, helped lead the 1980 assembly, is a lead organizer of the Philadelphia gathering.
â€œWe are praying that God would touch America,â€ saidÂ Mr. Blanchard, executive pastor of Rock Church International in Virginia, which the Gimenez family founded. â€œWeâ€™re not Democrats and Republicans. Weâ€™re Christians.â€
Still, many of those offering prayers at the event have been outspoken critics of President Obama.
Steve Strang, the influential Pentecostal publisher of Charisma magazine, wrote in a blog post inviting readers to join him in Philadelphia that America is under threat from a â€œradical homosexual agendaâ€ and Mr. Obama â€œseems to be moving toward some form of European socialism.â€
Ms. JacobsÂ blamed a mysterious Arkansas bird-kill last year on Mr. Obamaâ€™s repeal of the policy known as â€œdonâ€™t ask, donâ€™t tell,â€ enabling gays to serve openly in the military.
David Barton, a self-taught historian who emphasizes the Christian roots of the U.S., is another rally supporter.Â Mr. BartonÂ wrote in a Feb. 29 article that Mr. Obama has shown â€œhostility toward Biblical people of faithâ€ while giving â€œpreferential treatmentâ€ to Muslims. (Mr. Obama has said he was raised in a nonreligious home and later became Christian.) The publisher Thomas Nelson last month withdrewÂ Mr. Bartonâ€™s book, â€œThe Jefferson Lies,â€ citing historical errors. The book challenged the belief that Thomas Jefferson was largely secular and promoted the separation of church and state.
To read more, visit:Â Christians will pray for U.S. at Philadelphia rally – Washington TimesÂ http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/27/christians-will-pray-for-us-at-philadelphia-rally/#ixzz27lXEyUOd
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