As I began this section, The Players and Their Organizations, I realized they could not be covered in one post. So what I will do is touch on The Family here and do a more detailed post on them next. Then in the last post I will consolidate Impact and Consequences of their influence and what we can do into one post. I think it is better that way as The Family seems to be the most extensive, although, from my research I have found that these groups are all interchangeable. For instance, Rick Warren while he may seem like a docile, although right leaning pastor, had as his mentor in Seminary and for his thesis, C Peter Wagoner, a member of the 7 Mountains. Or you have the Chalcedon Institute that may claim to be a think tank but is funded by Howard Ahmanson a seriously wealthy Southern Californian who has funded the Religious Right at every turn. He now claims because of Republicans runaway tax schemes he is now a Democrat. Lordy deliver us from Religious Right converts. These people can be lay people, politians or other religious people. I started a spreadsheet to try to make sense of them all, but I don’t think that would work here so I will do the best that I can. What I decided to do is to list the different groups I found at the end of this post and will provide connections for them as well as can be figured out.
There are what I would call majority groups, more than likely to feed the egos of the heads of those groups, then there are many smaller groups that target different areas of our culture but that would fall into the mainstream of one or more of the major groups. There are also what I would call “laymen” who while not necessarily belonging to a particular group, support that group(s) through the back door. I know I was surprised at some of these laymen, but after reading their histories, not all that surprised anymore.
Another note, since one of Jesus’ main teachings was, “‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”, you would think their organizations would be targeting social issues and resolutions to these issues, but Brother, you better think again. Read and make your own decisions. I will cover the most well known groups, or I guess you could call them “umbrella corporations” for clarity. I have listed The Moral Majority for historical reasons. These groups are:
Focus on the Family(FOF)was founded by James Dobson in March 1977 and was incorporated as a non-profit organization with a staff of one in June of that same year. The main focus at that time was a weekly broadcast, Let’s Get Acquainted, that aired as a family advice program. Since that time, their “Focus” has increased to include people all over the world. Today they reach more than 220 million people in 155 nations. They claim they are dedicated to serving, strenghtening and defending families worldwide. Recently James Dobson left, whether of his own accord or not, remains to be seen. The new leader for the organization is CEO and President, Tim Daly. He has said that he hopes to cultivate a “kinder, gentler message” from FOF.
The 7 Mountains was started in 1975 when Bill Bright and Loren Cunningham each had a vision the night before a lunch meeting. They say that God revealed to them that night(separately) that the transformation of society will come through 7 mountains of culture, Business, Government, Family, Education, Church, Media & Entertainment and they were to influence these areas for God. When you look at all the different groups and see names repeated over and over you will understand how they are connected and you will see some people who have served at top levels in our government. These people are what is determined as “third wave” christians. This phrase was coined by C Peter Wagoner to describe what he believed as the historical periods of activity for the Holy Spirit in the 20th century and beyond. The first wave occurred at the beginning of the 20th century during the rise of the Pentacostal movement with the Azusa Street Revival. The second wave occurred during the 60’s with the rise of the Charismatic movement in some Pentacostal denominations as well as the Roman Catholic Church. The third wave occurred in the 80’s and is identified as a resurgence of church planting and a new committment to signs and wonders in evangelism. As far as I can tell, he seems to be the “father” of this wave of christians. Many who identify with the New Apostolic Reformation and the Toronto Blessing are also third wave. As opposed to the previous waves, the third wave will tend to identify “baptism of the spirit” with conversion. The first and second will identify this baptism as receiving the gift of “speaking in tongues” more than likely after conversion, although the second wave will use the term “usually” with that belief. Third wave would prefer to emphasize the ongoing nature of the experience of the spirit but speaking in tongue is not a standard part of their religious service experience. Sarah Palin is connected with these people. A common theme with this group and the Family is secrecy. They will openly tell their people to go in the back door. Get involved politically but do not let on you are from a religious group. That way you can ask questions and make suggestions that will not be looked upon as “Christian or Religious” and effect change from the inside that will ultimately reflect our values and beliefs.
The Moral Majority was founded in the 70’s by Jerry Falwell as a christian political lobbying group. It was disbanded in the late 80’s. The Moral Majority’s financial base seriously eroded when it became part of the Liberty Federation and financial difficulties ultimately were a major factor to disband the organization. Falwell gave a different reason, “Our goal has been achieved…The religious right is solidly in place and…religious conservatives in America are now in for the duration.” After the Moral Majority was disbanded, elements of the organization were transferred to the Christian Coalition network. However Liberty Federation and Liberty University lives on.
The Christian Coalition was founded in 1988 by Pat Robertson as a result of his unsuccessful run for the Presidency as a voter mobilization effort, much like the Moral Majority. In the 90’s he brought in Ralph Reed Jr. as Executive Director. In talking about his faith, Reed says he was at Bullfeathers, an upscale pub in Capitol Hill, when the Holy Spirit demanded he come to Jesus. He says he left the pub and went to a phone booth and found a church which he went to the next day and was “born again”. After stepping down from the leadership of the CC, Reed and his wife founded the Faith and Freedom Coalitionin June 2009. According to People for the American Way(A right wing watchgroup), “Reeds real focus seems to be on merging Christian conservatives and Tea Party activists as he reports that he is personal friends with national Tea Party national leaders and has several Tea Party organizers who are also active in his coalition. They say he has personally participated in several high profile Tea Party events. Whoa, he founded this group just in time to cash in on the Tea Party movement, what a great big coinkydink(as Rachel Maddow would say). It is impossible to say what long-term effect this group will have so I am not covering them alone. Below is a link to Right Wing Watch’s website.
The Familywas originally founded as the Fellowship Foundation, AKA International Prayer Breakfast in 1935 by Dr. Abraham Vereide in Seattle Washington and was incorporated in Chicago Illinois. But we all are now aware that the group is much more than that. Participants and members include ranking government officials, corporate executives, heads of religious and humanitarian aid organizations and ambassadors from around the world. It has been described as one of the most well-connected ministries in the U.S. and I would say around the world. The groups typically practice confidentiality about the names of the group participants and urges its members to be considerate of one another and avoid gossip. Former Senator William Armstrong has been credited with saying the group has made a “fetish of being invisible”.
Focus on the Family
Adventures in Odyssey – They say it presents entertainment that brings moral and biblical principles to life.
Be A Voice– Pro-life advocavy in the community, campuses and friends and family
Boundless – For singles. Offers answers on faith and friendship, dating and entertainment, career and more.
Church Family – Serves local churches by training leaders who will help strengthen marriages and family.
Citizen Link – Provides a biblical link on National and Local news. Targets judicial tyranny, the homosexual agenda, pornography and gambling among other national and local issues. Advises how to make Christian voices heard in the public square.
Clubhouse Magazine – Website for kids that reinforces traditional values and family closeness.
Enfoque a la Familia – The Spanish version of FOF – directed at Spanish speaking churches and families.
Focus Leadership Institute – Exists to provide and train Christian educational community of leaders.
HeartLink – For Pregnancy Resource Directors for training on the Option Ultrasound Program, provide statistics and info on abortion and contraception.
JellyTelly – Gives churches and parents a way to entertain today’s tech-savvy kids.
I Care About Orphans – Provides families info on adopting/ways to support orphans.
The Parsonage – Directed at ministers and their families.
Plugged In – Movie and video game reviews
Pure Intimacy – For adults struggling with intimacy, sexuality, addictions and homosexuality
Christian Book – Books adapted to Radio for broadcast to members
Thriving Family – Helps families to further their Christian walk in life
True Tolerance– This is a good one. Helps respond to pro-gay advocacyby providing fact-based counterpoints to one-sided messages gay groups promote and to balance our the biased information school officials are getting.
My Truth Project – How to live out a Christian Worldview every day.
Family Research Council: Founded by James Dobson in 1981. Their mission is to provide educational materials in defense of marriage and supposed family values, with an emphasis on Divorce and Abortion and a dose of anit-Homosexuality thrown in. The current leader is Tony Perkins who has appeared and arranged many protests against GLBT and Abortion. Max Blumenthal reported in 2005 that Perkins, as Woody Jenkins campaign manager, bought a mailing list from David Duke in 1996 after Jenkins defeated Duke in the Louisiana Senate primary, which Perkins vehemently denied saying he did not know of the Duke connection until 1999. Unfortunately Perkins check to Duke was exposed by the Federal Elections Commission when Jenkins contested the state election against Mary Landrieu. The FEC fined Jenkins for trying to cover it up. Gary Bauer(policy advisor to Ronald Reagan), Edgar Prince(Father of Eric Prince of Z or Blackwater) and William Bennett, Education Secretary under Reagan who espoused opening the teaching profession to knowledgeable individuals who have not graduated from “schools of education” and supports parents choice for schools, have all been involved in FRC at one time or another. Tony Perkins is a graduate of Liberty University and was a signer of the Manhattan Declaration.
Value Voters Summit: Is sponsored each year in DC by the Family Research Council. We have all seen what comes out of that summit. They even offer “scholarships” to youth who are pro-family(not sure how they prove that). This is also the summit that had available for sale, Obama Waffles. Here is an allstar cast that spoke at the 2008 summit.
The People: This is not in any way an all-inclusive list. James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Edgar Prince, Tim Daly and they have nationwide and worldwide penetration. Many evangelical churches base their beliefs and standards on Focus and the Family and will participate and distribute FOF materials.
The 7 Mountains
New Apostolic Reformation: The New Apostolic Reformation started from Pentecostal and Charismatic originas and thus belief in the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit in a believer, the performance of miracles, prophecy and the revelationof Christ within a believer. Although the movement regards the Church as the true body of believers, it maintains the need for Church offices and submission to Church leaders. These leaders are ordained by God, given power and authority by God to lead. As such, they believe in the 5-fold offices of the Church first popularized in Charismatic groups; of which the prophet and apostle has been absent from the Church for the last 2000 years, and are now being restored. Pretty good job, if you can get it and a job C Peter Wagner and other leaders in this movement have given to themselves.
Transformations Nation Alliance: This is a worldwide effort. They have made claims that they can go into an area and that area can be transformed from blight/poverty/eco-disaster to a haven for it’s residents. You can go out to U-Tube and watch videos where these people make these claims and supposedly show you before and after.
Marketplace Leaders: This is run by O S Hillman and is a group that teaches business people to take the Christian faith into the workplace and proselytize. They also teach people how to dominate in the workplace for Christ and take that business for Christ.
Alliance Defense Fund: A legal defense group that helps attorneys learn how to make changes in the legal field and the laws to effect Christian values in every aspect of our legal system.
Campus Crusade for Christ: Founded by Bill Bright in 1956 is on campuses nationwide with a staff of 25,000. They also have Christian Embassy whose Washington DC office is geared toward embassy personnel, president’s staff, congressional staffers and Pentagon workers. They also have Military Ministeries which has garnered media critical of the level of involvement they have in proselytizing within the military.
Youth with a Mission: Youth With A Mission was conceived by Loren Cunningham who tells how in 1956, while a 20-year-old student in the Assemblies of God College, he was traveling in the Bahamas when he had a vision of waves breaking over the Earth. He says when he looked closer the waves appeared to become young people taking the news of Jesus into all the nations of the world. He envisioned a movement that would send young people out after high school to gain a sense of purpose when going to college, and would welcome Christians of all denominations. He sure has alot of visions, he also had one to form the 7 Mountains with Bill Bright and the exact same year Bright founded Campus Crusade.
Kids on Fire Ministry: The subject of the film: Jesus Camp, founded and run by Becky Fischer and the subject of a film that showed the military like atmosphere of the camp and the cardboard of George Bush with the children outstretched hands toward him. Ms. Fischer has said she wants “to see young people as committed to Christ as the young people are to the cause of Islam”. In his book, Republican Gommorah, Max Blumenthal reports she has told ministers to “indoctrinate an army of spiritual suicide bombers to seize control of the country”.
Promise Keepers: Founded by Bill McCartney in 1990, the promise keepers hold rallies where they pledge themselves to the 7 promises of a promise keeper. It is basically about purity in all forms of relationships.. Ted Haggard was a member of Promise Keepers. Wonder if he still is after his tour around the “male prostitute” world a few years ago.
Disciples Nations Alliance: This is part of the Samaritan Strategies Africa in Uganda. Their vision? A Uganda discipled and transformed to embrace biblical principles.
The People: OS Hillman, C Peter Wagner, Sarah Palin, Pastor Mutha(of Kenya), Loren Cunningham, Bill Bright, Rick Joyner, Becky Fischer, Mary Glacier, Tim “Dutch” Sheets, Charles Colson, Johnny Enlow, Lance Walineu, Rick Warren(again he will deny it), Bill Johnson. You can google any of these names and find (horror) stories about their involvement and activities.
American Family Association: Tim Wildmon runs this group. The promote Christian Family values and have boycotted companies who carry Playboy and Penthouse, however they lobby against the Employee Free Choice Act. So no Playboy magazines and no rights for employees. Jesus must be so pleased. They promote a biblical America and their primary focus is on TV and Media. Oh and yes, they do lobby but call themselves a 501(c)(3) entity.
American Values– Gary Bauer is the head of this organizzation. this is what they will do for Americans. They will ‘”unite Americans around the vision of our founding fathers who proclaimed to the world our “self-evident truths”. They want the truth in America, that is all. The truth of conservative principles of course and they will bring these truths to our elected officials so they will vote for what is right and good(in their narrow world anyway). They want to help “people” to stand against liberal education and cultural forces. “The Grand Evil”, liberalism. So, not for all Americans, just conservative Americans.
Liberty Council– Gary Staver founded this legal entity. Liberty Council describes it practices as a First Amendment practice, focused on religious liberties, church/state issues in public schools and in the public square and freedom of speech. However the LC also devotes its time to anti-abortion matters and fighting against same sex marriage, civil unions and against adoption by homosexuals. Liberty Council also provides information, research and expertise to affect legislation and public policy at the local, state and national level. Liberty Council operates the Liberty Center for Law and Police, which monitors and drafts proposed legislation. What a scary thought, their goals revolve around influencing policy and providing courts with the legal rationale to develop precedent favorable to their mission. Their goal is to educate their members and public officials in the role of religion in public life.
The Heritage Foundation: A conservative think tank first led by Paul Weyrich, a conservative Religious Right leader. Their mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policy based on prinicples of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedoms, traditional American values and a strong national defense.
Family Life Network: Believed to be behind the Ugandan legislation on homosexuality. David Bahati, a Ugandan politician, has been linked to The Family.
Century Strategies: Founded by Tim Phillips and Ralph Reed Jr.(Christian Coalition) and at one time consultants to Enron. Reed has now founded Faith and Freedom Coalition(Tea Party involvement) and Tim Phillips is with Americans for Prosperity, also aligned or should I say the “grassroots” of the Tea Party.
Morningstar Ministries: Rick Joyner, Fort Mill SC. He purchased the land and buildings from Jim and Tammy Bakker formally known as Heritage USA and PTL. He renamed it to Heritage International Ministries. He was also involved in the Lakeland Outpouring which featured Todd Bentley, a Canadian minister. Todd Bentley spices up his preaching by hitting people in the audience, however he claims he always asks for permission. He says the spirit tells him when to do this. He has been involved in criminal activity, drug abuse and adultry. His new ministry is Fresh Fire Ministry with the object of his adultry(he has since married her and is recovering from his addictions under the guiding hand of Bill Johnson and Rick Joyner). Beni and Bill Johnson of Bethel Ministeries(CA) are also involved in this group. They have a School of Supernatural Evangelism.
There are so many of these organizations it can make you dizzy. It does not really matter so much whose umbrella you put them under as they are all after the same thing, a Biblical America, ruled by biblical law. They have had more than their fair share of scandals, yet they always find an excuse for whoever is involved. They circle the wagons and pass out the talking points and that is supposed to take care of it all. It is more like walking through a “shop of horrors” to see what these people “do as I say, not as I do” in their fanatacism to change America into a Godly nation. Somehow I think God is looking down and just shaking his head, maybe he will let us know in another blog here at the Planet. But, it would be a grave mistake for the rest of us to ignore these people. Think about the Texas School Board decision on curiculum this past week. How do you think those people gained their power, this is not special to Texas, similar activities have taken place across this country. But if you just take that area of Texas and spread it around the country, surely you can see how these people are operating in the shadows.
Some suggested reading Material”
Max Blumenthal – Republican Gomorrah(I found this to be an easier read than The Family and covers most of these people)
Randall Balmer – Thy Kingdom Come
Chris Hedges – American Fascists The Christian Right and the War on America