(Photo: REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)
Donald Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association (AFA), has announced his endorsement of presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
In a radio address yesterday, Wildmon stated: “Newt Gingrich recognizes the threat to our country posed by judges and lawyers imposing values upon the country inconsistent with our religious heritage.”
Wildmon founded the American Family Association in 1977, with the mission “to inform, equip, and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture, and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission.”
The AFA currently has “over 2 million online supporters” according to its website, and has sponsored over 200 radio stations. It has been very active in the social and political arenas, leading a boycott of The Home Depot, promoting the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party rallies, and producing a documentary supporting California’s Proposition Eight.
Critics of the AFA, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, have labeled the AFA a hate group based on statements against homosexuality. In 1999, Wildmon issued a statement on the AFA website that is still posted. It reads: “The homosexual movement is a progressive outgrowth of the sexual revolution of the past 40 years and will lead to a normalization of even more deviant behavior.”
In his endorsement, Wildmon also said, “We need someone in the White House who can balance the budget and get the economy moving again. Newt has done it before, and I believe he can do it again. I am proud to endorse Newt Gingrich for president.”
Gingrich responded, saying, “Don Wildmon has been one of the most important leaders in the country in the battle to uphold our founding principles. I am humbled and honored to have his endorsement.”
Gingrich has been actively trying to get endorsements from conservative Christian organizations. The Union Leader, a conservative newspaper in New Hampshire endorsed Gingrich in November saying, “America is at a crucial crossroads.”
It continued, “We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing.”