Janet Porter is president of Faith2Action*: turning people of faith into people of action to WIN the cultural war TOGETHER for life, liberty and the family. Author of "The Criminalization of Christianity," she hosts a daily radio program from 2-3 p.m. Eastern and a daily radio commentary heard in 224 markets and at www.f2a.org.
* Title and affiliation for identification purposes only.More ↓Less ↑
You know that I’m one for taking action, so I’ll cut straight to the chase. There’s a big event coming up and you need to be a part of how it’s going to re-shape America.
What: The GOP Values Voters Presidential Debate
When: Sept. 17, 2007
Where: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
We’ve heard the questions from talking snowmen. We’ve gotten the crumbs that fell from Chris Matthews. Now it’s our turn. It’s time the candidates answer questions from the largest voting block in America: the values voters. Yes, the values voters. Even with two-thirds (19 million) of the evangelical Christian eligible voters sitting on the bench in the last presidential election, we “values voters” still made up the largest voting block in the country. There’s no debating that. Doesn’t matter how fringe or extreme the media tries to portray us – according to the National Election Pool exit poll, in 2004 the evangelical vote constituted 36 percent (over a third) of Bush’s voters – up 10 percent from 2000.
A letter of invitation was sent June 4 from national pro-family leaders, including Paul Weyrich of Free Congress, Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum, Don Wildmon of the American Family Association, and Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily to both the Republican and Democrats running for president. While it seems everyone is clamoring for the same date, Sept. 17, the good news is that seven out of 10 of the Republican candidates have already confirmed their attendance to speak on that date to the most essential constituency: the values voters.
However, none of the Democratic candidates have yet confirmed for the Democratic Values Voters Presidential Debate scheduled for Sept. 24 in Fort Lauderdale. Apparently, they would rather cater to 2 percent of the population and attend the homosexual debate. While they pledge allegiance to the fringe, we will see who cares about the mainstream who pledges allegiance to our flag and our one nation under God.
While CNN’s YouTube debate for the Democratic candidates took place a week ago Monday, I found it interesting they didn’t plan a comparable debate for the Republicans last week. Or this week. They didn’t schedule the Republican YouTube debate for next month. They scheduled it for … Sept. 17 – the same day of the Values Voters Presidential Debate. Coincidence? One thing that’s not a coincidence: why they can’t seem to get anyone to come – the majority who care about family values have already agreed to attend the values voters debate.
So far, seven Republicans have rightly chosen to attend the event where they will hear from the base of their party. I have talked to the Values Voters Presidential Debate committee and am told that we should know in the next few days just who it is that cares about us, and who would rather be somewhere else on that date. One thing is certain: We will be watching closely, and an empty podium with a name on it speaks volumes.
After all, on Nov. 2, 2004, it was “moral values” that elected the president. “Moral values” was cited by voters in exit polls as the No. 1 issue that “mattered most in deciding how [they] voted for president.” And of the 22 percent who listed it, 80 percent voted for Bush. It’s no surprise, then, that at least 30 national groups will be involved in this history-changing event.
Already people are planning house parties for the broadcast and live streaming of the historic debate, which is designed to:
Ask the questions that matter most to the “values voters” – the most influential constituency.
Unify the pro-family movement. Pro-family leaders from across the country are already uniting behind the debate.
Mobilize the movement. As values voters become engaged now in the primary election process, they not only become educated about where the candidates stand, but will register and bring the two-thirds of evangelical Christians who sat on the bench during the last presidential election to the polls.
Create a Video Voter Guide/DVD (segmented by candidate) to use as a tool to equip the church to make an informed choice.
Feel discouraged? This is the last time in history when we should feel discouraged. Yeah, we made a mistake in 2006. We listened to the propaganda about “teaching them a lesson” by staying home on Election Day. What a stupid move that was. In 2006, 9 million more evangelicals (28 million) stayed home and handed the keys of power to the people who hate us in Congress. They are planning to outlaw our beliefs with so-called “hate crime” legislation, and silence Christian and conservative radio with the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.”
We have now learned the lesson from “staying home to teach them a lesson.” And we are NOT going to repeat that mistake again.
We must know just how close we are to winning everything we’ve been working for in the last three decades: one more seat on the Supreme Court can restore the right to protect children again to the people of each state. We have a chance to protect the institution of marriage from the courts that are attacking it. We have the right to protect our freedom of speech, freedom of religion and right to own property.
If you are sick of reacting and tired of retreat, this is your time. This is our time. Our moment in history to change the future. Please pray for the event and become involved in it: submit your questions for the candidates to email@example.com. We need to hear the questions that are burning in your heart. Quit shaking your fist at the television and write the questions that you want answered!
This isn’t about partisanship. It’s about values. We are less concerned about the letter behind your name than we are about the values in your heart and the policies of your administration. What matters to you? Well, where you are on Sept. 17 will say it all. Will the candidates address the largest voting block in America? Or will they be more concerned about raising money or catering to the flaky agenda of a left-leaning Frosty the Snowman? We will see.