And Glenn Beck Shall Lead Them
American Family Association's Bryan Fischer said that while Beck's faith is a problem, evangelicals have been able to use Beck for their purposes.
"While Glenn Beck provided the platform, evangelicals provided the message. Beck depended heavily on historian and committed evangelical David Barton for assistance in picking speakers and selecting those who would lead in prayer and worship," said Fischer. "A Mormon teed up the ball for evangelical Protestants. And evangelicals hit it out of the park."
Odds and Ends
• The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) released a statement supporting World Vision, which recently won a case involving three employees who were fired because they no longer agreed with World Vision's beliefs. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court ruled that World Vision is a "religious organization." This means that World Vision was within its rights to fire the employees. NAE legal counsel Carl Esbeck said the case "confirms the fundamental right of religious organizations, protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to hire staff who shares their biblical understanding. No one questions the right of secular groups to hire staff who support the organization's purpose. Religious organizations deserve the same protection."
• Sojourners president Jim Wallis commented on the formal end American combat in Iraq. "So was the war in Iraq worth the enormous human cost? My answer is no, the results are definitely not worth the cost. That is both a political and a theological statement; but it is primarily a moral judgment—which is exactly what those of us in the faith community are supposed to make about wars," said Wallis. "But today, it matters less about who was right or wrong about the war in Iraq. Today I feel little celebration in America for the 'end' of our combat mission in Iraq. I feel mostly relief … and sadness."
• ERLC's Doug Carlson was one of many who praised a recent ruling that blocked any federal funds from being spent on research on human embryos. President Obama had allowed the funding as part of an executive order in 2009. Carlson said the ruling "might seem to put to rest the ethical concerns of tax dollars being put to work on embryos destroyed for experimentation. But the cheering could be short-lived if Congress has any say in the matter." Carlson warned that Congress could consider a new law allowing the funding.
• Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins responded to news that former Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman and President Bush campaign advisor Ken Mehlman had come out of the closet as a gay man. "I'm saddened because I know Ken and care about him as a person. Homosexuality not only has negative implications for society, it also has profound, well-documented negative physical and mental health consequencesfor those who engage in homosexual conduct as well," said Perkins. He also said Mehlman's sexuality was "one of the major reasons" why marriage activists "received little support and even outright resistance from Party officials at the national level, which contributed to the GOP's electoral failures in 2006 and 2008."
• Some groups were critical of President Obama and the U.S. State Department's first-ever report to the U.N. Human Rights Council. The report included discussion of racial and ethnic inequality that remains in American life. Liberty Counsel founder Mathew Staver said "the presidency of Barack Obama will be remembered as one that sought to humiliate America by prostrating it before some of the worst human rights violators in the world." FRC president Tony Perkins criticized the report's discussion of Arizona's immigration law. "This is a model of how a nation debases itself before those who hate it," said Perkins.