‘Reclusive’ evangelical organizer David Lane bemoans the rise of secular judges, media
David Lane, the influential California-based activist the New York Times has called “a stealth weapon for the right,” typically avoids the mainstream media spotlight — as he has since the mid-1990s, when he began mobilizing evangelical pastors and their congregations to vote during “Pastor Policy Briefings” and the Texas Restoration Project, which he used to lead.
But in an interview with the Texas Independent, Lane said his cause to “restore America to its Christian heritage” has been made more difficult by the nation’s descent into secularism over the last 60 years.
Lane said he is highly “reclusive,” especially with the media, which he considers ineffective.
“I don’t like to talk to media. They don’t do anything. They are meaningless,” said Lane, clumping his disdain for the press in with Hollywood, for which he also professed contempt.
But his reticence belies his authority in evangelical circles.
With the financial backing of the Christian conservative American Family Association, a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group, Lane has brought together a cast of rotating evangelical figures, conservative Republican candidates and some 10,000 pastors, at meetings in at least 14 states across the country — including pivotal fields in presidential politics.
His Iowa briefing is said to have helped former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee secure victory during the state’s Republican caucuses in 2008.
Given his strong ties to presidential hopeful Rick Perry, it may be little surprise that Lane extended an invitation for the evangelical favorite to speak at his upcoming AFA-funded pastor briefing in Florida — a state where the evangelical vote comprises nearly one quarter of the electorate.
Lane told the Independent there is no favoritism at play in his invitation, though, and that other Republican presidential candidates like Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann were invited as well.
While Lane strove to distance himself from the notion his evangelical network has thrown its support behind Perry, Lane’s record suggests otherwise, most recently when he coordinated Perry’s all-day August prayer rally, The Response, as its “National Finance Chairman.”
In 2005 Lane took the helm of the Texas Restoration Project, organizing pastor meetings during Perry’s 2007 reelection campaign that featured no other prospective candidate. The Internal Revenue Service investigated a group that funneled $1.26 million in donations from major Perry donors to finance the project, including Lane’s salary.
Lane also was involved with a set of secretive meetings held by right-wing Christian leaders in Texas this June which sought to develop a wider strategy to unseat President Barack Obama in 2012. During those meetings, Perry was declared “anointed to lead.”
Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger told the Independent Perry’s involvement in Lane’s latest effort is no sure thing. The late October event in Orlando is, “on the governor’s radar” but not on his schedule quite yet. “We are considering a number of invites at this time,” said Cesinger.
Lane’s political activism hasn’t stopped at organizing pastor briefings. The Christian-right advocate helped push a proposition against same-sex marriage in California in 2000 and a similar one in Texas in 2005, which passed successfully. California’s Proposition 22 was eventually overturned eight years after its passage, a fact Lane attributes to “unaccountable” judges.
“There were seven million Californians who voted in favor of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, but it was one unelected and unaccountable judge that pushed his will over the millions who opposed homosexual marriage,” said Lane. “This is unacceptable.”
With support from the AFA and the Family Research Council, the born-again Christian was also instrumental in unseating three Iowa Supreme Court Justices based on their support for same-sex marriage. Lane called the judges “Judicial Gods” who believe they have the “right to rule a free people” and “impose their will” however they see fit.
Rather than focusing on politicians, whom he described as mere actors, “performing a script written off stage,” Lane targeted “secularist” judges during the phone conversation. “We have documented proof this nation was founded by Christians, but they have taken prayer, the Bible, Jesus and the Ten Commandments off the wall,” he said.
Has David Lane ever read the Constitution of the United States of America:
Article Six: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
The Second Amendment states: ““Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”.
Good point Larry Linn. But it is the First Amendment that prohibits Congress from establishing a national religion. The Second deals with our rights to bear arms under a well regulated militia. Be careful about accusing anyone of not reading the Constitution if you are going to immediately misquote it.
Larry, your idea is right, your Amendment number is wrong. The First Amendment gives us religious freedom; the second gives us the right to bear arms…or is that bears have the right to have arms? Your documentation and my document trumps the bigot’s “documented proof.” It is kind of scary when “Christians” have to resort to the backing of hate groups to back them up.
First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The fact that some of you don’t know the first from the second amendment speaks volumes. So read it carefully and don’t ignore the PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF clause. Fixate on it. That’s the part that guarantees David Lane the right to do what he is doing.
Ya just gotta love those knuckle draggers who still believe that this is or ever was a “Christian Country.” They had lived under the tyranny of Christian rulers who forced their brand of Christianity on people who thought differently than the hot shots. That is why the first amendment says what it does: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Both Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech are guaranteed; had this been a “Christian Nation” it would have SAID so, thankfully, it does not.
Of course, one of the really neat things about that Amendment is that it gives us freedom FROM religion. Bigots like Lane ought to choke on their fanaticism.
Many of the founders were NOT Christians; many were against the concept of a Trinity. Look at the Jefferson bible. The place for religion is in the home and in the various houses of worship, NOT IN THE PUBLIC MARKET.
Lane and others of his ilk do not bother reading their bibles, if they did, they would not pray in public.
People are known by the company they keep and Lane keeps some pretty hateful company. That ought to make him a non-Christian because of his hate for anyone or anything that is not him.
I’ve had people try to shove their religious beliefs down my throat. I not only resent it, but feel that anyone who does what those bigots do are guilty of stupidity and hate.
David Lane is another of the right wing religious nuts trying to shove HIS form of “christian” onto ALL people in this country. These nuts feel it is just fine to tell the rest of us how we should live, who we should love, that we should be against abortion, blah blah blah. When they start their sh-t with me, I look them right in the face and say “prove there is a god”, then I might listen to you. Of course they never can prove it. They tell me “you have to have faith”. I tell them I have faith that there is no man/woman in the clouds running everything, so please just stop with the faith crap. They leave feeling bad because they didn’t convert me, and I feel great, knowing I put just a little bit of doubt in their so called faith.