An evangelical group aimed at "restoring America to its Judeo-Christian heritage" through political action has sent out a mass email to over 10,000 pastors in the United States, encouraging them to take a proactive approach in having Christian-minded politicians elected to political office.
The group, American Renewal Project, is prepping for the 2014 election cycle by organizing voter registration drives and pastor policy briefings, focusing its attention on 12 key states, many of which have Senate races in 2014. The group is also going city-to-city to hold "Pastors and Pews" events, where they hope to attract hundreds of pastors to be briefed on their state's political policies and hear from influential politicians, including possible presidential contenders.
American Renewal Project, led by evangelical political activist David Lane, recently sent out an email blast to over 10,000 pastors in America listing "8 Things Pastors Need to Know if We are to Save America." The first item on the list argues that the political atmosphere in the U.S. is similar to a game of chess, and Christian leaders need to do their part in getting involved in the political arena in order to see a change in the future of America.
"Unless politicians see scalps on the wall, they will never respect our policies, marches, sermons or prayer rallies. Registering people to vote prepares the constituency to move to the voting booth, and remove politicians who have a tin ear to Christian values and no appreciation for God-given rights," the email reads, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network's "The Brody File."
"The church has blamed their failure to change the culture, on the culture's unwillingness to be changed. The blame game has to end, and the change game must begin. Registering the Christian constituency to vote, and getting them to vote is the game. Game on," the email adds.
The email concludes by stating that the mission of Christians in the U.S. is spiritual, not political, and therefore politicians and political parties should only serve as vessels that carry the Christian message and restore America to its Judeo-Christian heritage.
"Politicians are stage actors performing a script, written by the audience. They will not change the way they act, or leave the stage, without receiving written instructions from the audience. Script changes are best given to politician, in the form of ballots, completed and delivered, in a voting booth," the email concluded.
Following the 2012 presidential election that saw Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lose to Democrat Barack Obama, several Republican and Christian political leaders in the country have vowed to revamp their platform in future election cycles to avoid such devastating losses.
In March 2013, the Republican National Committee issued a reform plan that evaluated its 2012 election losses, called the Growth and Opportunity Project. The plan called on the Republican Party to appeal more to younger generations of voters in order to gain votes.
"For the GOP to appeal to younger voters, we do not have to agree on every issue, but we do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view," reads part of the report.
"Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays – and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be," the plan adds.
Although some criticized the plan as attempting to move the Republican party away from social issues, Raffi Williams, deputy press secretary for the Republican National Committee, told The Christian Post that the party was not going to change its core values.
"[…] we are for changing minds – not changing values. In our Growth and Opportunity Project we have laid out a path that will allow us to reach all Americans without abandoning our platform," Williams told CP in July.
"As a result of the project we have people across the country discussing what it means to be a Republican, including Chad Connelly who is our Director of Faith Engagement," he added.
The next stop for the American Renewal Project will be in Louisiana, where Republican Governor Bobby Jindal will speak to pastors attending the closed event.