Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
A new generation of Christian and conservative leaders will assemble for a key conference called The Awakening 2010 at Liberty University next week with the aim of taking their campaign far beyond the special documentaries created by D. James Kennedy, the campus outreach of Bill Bright and the church organization built by Jerry Falwell.
Mathew Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel and event organizer, told WND that unless those who care about the traditional God-fearing United States start working now, it will go away.
“If we don’t stand for our core values, we’re going to lose them,” he said. “We’ll have an America we don’t recognize.”
Staver said this isn’t just a warning about the impact on the next generation or their children.
“This will be a different America … in our lifetimes,” he said. “Much has changed since the  election, and we still have two and a half more years of this administration which is bent on reshaping America.”
He said Washington’s vision for the nation now is far afield from that of the Founding Fathers.
He cited a quotation from Benjamin Franklin at the signing of the Declaration of Independence: “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
The conference brings together some of the top leaders of a long list of groups that have supported Christian and traditional values.
“These are the voices of a new movement. This is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-generational gathering of leaders and organizations that are concerned about our shared core values,” said Staver.
“They are threatened under this administration, and [these leaders] are banding together to mobilize and restore the values that made America great,” he said.
“We’re going to have opportunities to understand what each community’s values are, and how to message, mobilize and empower these various groups,” he said.
One key strategy will be a new online sharing community, he said.
“We’re going to unveil on April 16 the Freedom Federation social networking site,” he said. “This website allows any organization to put it on their website … and become supercharged.”
It’s the Internet networking used by Obama as a candidate on steroids, Staver said.
Imagine a young conservative leader stepping off a plane in Dallas, Staver said, and getting on his or her Blackberry a listing of updates on key issues – results of a court hearing on a family values-related dispute, notice of a pro-life event going on nearby or e-mails from like-minded workers.
“That’s exactly what we’re going for,” Staver told WND. Organizations, he said, can be “empowered by all of the horsepower of all of the other [like-minded] organizations.”
“A 50-member church now can become supercharged by the social networks and blogging components,” he said, citing participating major organizations such as the American Family Association, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and others.
“I think God has raised up a lot of leaders,” Staver said, referring to the April 15-16 conference speakers.
The speakers include Bishop Harry Jackson, Richard Land, Jerry Falwell Jr., Jessie Lee Peterson, Ron Luce, Kelly Shackelford, Alan Chambers, Andrea Lafferty, Ken Blackwell, Tony Perkins, Bryan Fischer, Rick Joyner, Matt Barber, Wendy Wright and Rick Scarborough.
They represent groups including the American Association of Christian Counselors, American Family Association, American Values, Bott Radio Network, Bound4Life, Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, Catholic Online, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, Exodus International, Extraordinary Women, Family Research Council Action, Generals International, High Impact Leadership Coalition, Liberty Alliance Action, Liberty Counsel, Liberty University, Life Education and Resource Network, Lifenews.com, Morning Star Ministries, National Clergy Council, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Renewing American Leadership, Strang Communications, Teen Mania, Teen Pact, The Call, the Conservative Action Project, The Oak Initiative, Traditional Values Coalition, Vision America and WallBuilders.
The Freedom Federation describes itself as a group of “multi-ethnic and transgenerational organizations and leaders committed to plan, strategize, and work together on common interests … within the Judeo-Christian worldview to communicate … truth, faith and values.”