Democrats have been fond of ridiculing the so-called “religious right” for years while at the same time recognizing the power they perceive to be exerted by that bloc. Perhaps they made the most of this stuff with regard to the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984 but they apparently have been unaware of the fact that Jimmy Carter attributed his success, at least in very large part, in 1976 to a highly respected Southern Baptist pastor, Jimmy Allen, pastor in San Antonio, Texas, that year.
McAfee School of Theology professor Larry McSwain has written a biography of Allen and in an affair connected with the publication of that book on 23 July in Jasper, Georgia, during a speech, Carter himself made reference to what could be fairly called campaign-success through the good auspices of the “religious left.” Allen, no longer Southern Baptist, joined former Southern Baptist Jimmy Carter and Southern Baptist Bill Clinton (perhaps former, also, who knows?) in their New Baptist Covenant convocation in Atlanta in January 2008, which also featured Al Gore, thus establishing irrefutably Allen’s bona fides as a religious leftist.
This is from Associated Baptist Press of 26 July: Jimmy Carter said July 23 he doubts he would have been elected 39th president of the United States without the aid of Jimmy Allen, a Texas Baptist preacher who endorsed him at a time when his 1976 presidential campaign was floundering. The writer of the article used quotes by Carter, such as this: "I began to realize that when I first came to Texas -- I had won in Iowa and New Hampshire and Florida -- that I was a forlorn, woeful, forgotten, hopeless candidate for president" and "Until I met Jimmy Allen -- he was pastor of the First Baptist Church in San Antonio -- and he took me under his arm."
Perhaps not so coincidentally, Hillary Clinton was in that hotly contested primary race against Barack Obama at the time of the NBC clambake. Perhaps also not so coincidentally, the New Baptist Covenant convened just as the annual convocation of the three largest African-American Baptist denominations was ending in the same location. Democrats have always counted on near 100% of black votes, but Clinton was running against a black man, so one might think that the plot had thickened a bit. The Georgia primary vote was held on 05 February, shortly after the NBC ended its convention.
Was it just coincidence? Who knows? The conveners of the NBC certainly knew the date of the Georgia vote. The purpose of the NBC, of course, was outlined as having nothing to do with politics although Al Gore was a featured speaker and appeared in conjunction with the showing of his film An Inconvenient Truth, which since has been exposed as a fraud so pronounced that it could not be shown in British public schools without a disclaimer amounting to the requirement that teachers point out its errors. It was a political statement, not a scientific one. Significantly, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest non-Catholic denomination in the nation with about 16 million members and the favorite whipping-boy of the leftists and the MSM, was invited out of the NBC, sealing it as leftist.
So…the religious left, whether overtly or not, has been in operation since 1976, when Carter virtually made it plain the other day that he was elected on the back of Jimmy Allen, although absent the Nixon-pardon Ford might have won the day…more’s the pity when one remembers the huge unemployment rate and interest rates of 20-21% in 1981 when Carter was finally sent home in an aura of “malaise.”
More recently, the religious left has been very overt in its efforts, the sterling example being anything but subtle and undertaken by an organization initiated in September 2003 (Clergy Leadership Network) and later called the Clergy Network for National leadership Change. It was a "527" organization (PAC), meaning that it was not tax-exempt. Its head was Albert Pennybacker of Lexington, Ky., a retired minister and former National Council of Churches honcho, and its headquarters was in the nation's capital. Sitting on its National Committee was James M. Dunn, former executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, an organization dedicated, ironically, to the "separation of church and state." Dunn was also listed as the president of the BJC Endowment.
Serving with Dunn, about whose motives one can only conjecture in light of his former efforts, was the Rev. Jesse Jackson, protest-gadfly and head of the Rainbow-Push Coalition, whose latest fame then had to do with his using his organization's money to support a mistress and illegitimate child by her. His organizations had also been the target of investigations.
The first paragraph of the CLN Mission Statement: As clergy--pastors, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders, both men and women--we are deeply concerned about the well being of our country, we are committed to sweeping changes--changes in faltering political leadership and its increasing lack of credibility and rejection of public policies increasingly seen as not only failing but actually destructive of the quality of current life and America's future.
The actors in CLN were not identified as "citizens" concerned about the well-being of the country; rather, they were clearly identified as clergy and other religious leaders, so it would seem that their sole purpose was to tear down the wall that separates state and church (synagogue, mosque) by entering the elective process through religious convictions/actions only, else they would not have identified themselves unmistakably and solely as "religious leaders." So, the CLN was a PAC, pure and simple, dedicated to one purpose, the election of a specific candidate, John Kerry.
It seems that there was little or no outcry from the so-called religious-right or the citizenry in 2004 or 2008 and that may well be due to the fact that the mainstream media was and still is reluctant to bring up the subject of a religious left. The religious-lefties, then and now, might just as soon keep a low profile as well, since leftist policies consensually grate against the scriptures.