Faith in Public Life – LCRC style

The Loudoun County Republican Committee has invited Bishop Harry Jackson of D.C. anti-marriage fame to speak at their “Ronald Reagan Lecture Series”.

Here are the details of the event.

The Role of Faith in Public Life
“If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under”.
– Ronald Reagan

Bishop Harry Jackson, Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
7:30 p.m.
Our Savior’s Way Lutheran Church
43115 Waxpool Road
Broadlands, VA 20148
(at the corner of Claiborne Parkway and Waxpool)

“The Virginia Republican Creed states that “we believe that faith in God, as Recognized by our Founding Fathers is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation”.

If you’d like to be nauseated and insulted by nonsense like “you can’t equate your sin with my skin,” or if you’d like to experience the tight coupling that still exists between the Republican apparatus and the virulently anti-gay Christian nationalist “worldview” movement, you may want to attend the lecture.

There is a good deal of public domain information about Bishop Jackson. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) featured him in its Spring 2007 Intelligence Report. The report says that while Jackson associates with hate groups like Lou Sheldon’s Traditional Values Coalition and borderline hate groups like Rod Parsley’s Ohio-based megachurch he uses “softer language”, like this from the Washington Post article:

“I believe that the Bible teaches that same-sex marriage is an oxymoron,” he says. “If you redefine marriage, you have to redefine family. You’d have to redefine parenting. I’m looking at the extinction of marriage. And black culture is in a free fall.”

The SPLC also claims that he supports civil unions, a claim I find to be about as believable as his claim to be a registered Democrat.

People for the American Way (PFAW) has a detailed write up on Jackson, see Peter Mongomery’s “Harry Jackson: Point Man for the Wedge Strategy”. PFAW shows how Jackson portrays GLBT activists (and liberals in general) as “enemies of faith, family and religious liberty”. Jackson follows the program laid out by Chuck Colson in his book Evangelicals and Catholics Together to unite the Black Church with the white Evangelicals. He campaigned hard against Barack Obama in 2008, and while he failed to get Black Americans to vote for John McCain, he was successful in anti-gay ballot initiatives like California’s Proposition 8 in his “primary strategy for building a multi-racial Religious Right: using attacks on gay rights and abortion as a wedge between African American churchgoers and their political allies in the civil rights and progressive communities.”

As for the “softer language” to which the SPLC speaks, I have a hard time finding it. Sometimes I think the SPLC goes out of its way to give haters the benefit of the doubt. Here are some examples of Jackson’s quotables.

“We’re not going to sit back…you and I can bring the rule and reign of the cross to America and we can change America on our watch together.”

[Family Rentboy Council’s 2005 Justice Sunday event]

“God’s looking for a SWAT team …. He’s looking for a team of Holy Ghost terrorists!”

[2007 Pentecostal conference in Virginia]

Shortly before the 2004 election, Jackson outlined a strategy for defeating the “gay agenda,” writing, “Gays have been at the helm of a fourfold strategy for years, but the wisdom behind their spiritual, cultural, political, and generational tactics is clearly satanic.” In 2007, he blamed the advance of hate crimes legislation on the fact that “the authority of the evil one in the nation has continued to ascend and get stronger and bolder.” And at the Jamestown celebration that year, he said, “And so what we are dealing with is an insidious intrusion of the Devil to try to cut off the voice of the church, and I for one am not going to let that happen.”

“You can’t equate your sin with my skin.”

[Larry King Live]

Jackson is a skilled politician, i.e., a political opportunist and demagogue. For example, the Washington City Paper wrote about Jackson’s O’Reilly Factor blow up. Apparently, Jackson rented a one-bedroom condo in order to register to vote in D.C. After the Washington Blade reported on the registration – which is a matter of public record – Jackson accused the Blade of “hacking into his records”. He then appeared on The O’Reilly Factor where he and O’Reilly reveled in a 5-minute victim-fest. Never did they explain why Jackson, his wife and daughters would choose to live in a one-bedroom condo, nor did they mention that none of Jackson’s condo neighbors has ever seen the Jackson family. Sound familiar?

If you are concerned that the LCRC has suddenly moved to the right with the election of Mark Sell, the new “Delgaudioist” chair, think again; this is a problem with a much longer history. Bishop Jackson is actually to the left of last year’s speaker, Liberty Council’s Mat Staver, author of the “death panel” fib. Staver is (unsurprisingly) linked to the Family Rentboy Council through the Florida anti-adoption case and his offer to defend Dr. George Rekers. He’s also associated with the Help Save Christmas® campaign and the, ahem, Day of Purity™.

Will the LCRC ever stop associating itself with these haters? How is an amoral bomb-thrower like Bishop Jackson a good example of “faith in public life”? The question for both Jackson and the LCRC is: What is it, exactly, that you want to do? How do you want to “exercise your faith in public life” that makes you feel restricted and under “attack” by the mere existence of our community?

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3 Responses to Faith in Public Life – LCRC style

  1. liz says:

    Because the existence of people who believe differently from them implies that there can be something else to believe. And how does one explain that to ones kids when promoting belief in an invisible, unknowable God?

  2. David says:

    It continues to amaze me what a weak position that is.

    If one’s beliefs can’t even withstand the existence of different beliefs, they must be quite fragile indeed. How could TRUTH and NATURE require this degree of artificial life support?

  3. Anon says:

    This is good and useful info to have. Thanks for letting us know about Bishop Jackson.

    Really I no idea the LCRC was dealing in this type of crap politics. This seems over the top even for some of them.