Lou Dubose and Jan Reid's new book, THE HAMMER, a biography on House of Representatives Majority Whip Tom DeLay, is allegedly a story of God, Money, and the Rise of the Republican Congress--and just how Tom DeLay took advantage of Newt Gingrich and fellow Texan Dick Armey's Republican ascendancy and became himself the most powerful man in the House of Representatives. We'll get into the "God part" a lot more than the money and political parts for now--but just to warn you, the King of Tyre (money) and the King of Babylon (political power) have a whole lot to do about this most interesting story.
This is all the more fascinating now that the powerful Congressman has collected a whole lot of chips from fellow Reps. for past support and, consequently, has gotten the House GOP caucus (Nov. 18, 2004) to vote to end its rule requiring leaders to step down if indicted (which it now appears that DeLay will be for past indiscretions brought against him in Texas). The political intrigue is mounting, big time!
Now, the plot of this political-religious thriller intensifies as the "moral of the story" is discovered--enter Tim LaHaye (kind of a neat little rhyme going on here with Tom and Tim, DeLay and LaHaye). You see, DeLay eventually walked right into an evangelical church that had gotten a whole lot more "politicized" by folks like LaHaye--so, when we get into the "God part" of DeLay, you'll understand why we brought LaHaye along.
Now, LaHaye will act as Chairman of the Board for Jerry Falwell's newly energized FAITH AND VALUES COALITION. The Faith and Values Coalition, according to the most beloved Baptist brother on the planet, the Rev. Barry Lynn (mouth for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State), is nothing more than "just another fund-raising vehicle." Furthermore, Lynn so abhors these religious/political efforts that he likens them to "an old horror movie--every time they bring Frankenstein's monster back, it just gets worse!"
One might be hearing "sour grapes" a bit--check out Barry's remarks, and comments on his remarks:
"Some things should be left dead and buried," Lynn said. He noted that recent analysis of election results debunked early claims that "values voters" re-elected President Bush. In fact, Lynn pointed out, voter's main concerns were terrorism, national security and the war in Iraq.
"The people do not share Jerry Falwell's repressive vision of an America where church and state are merged and the views of intolerant TV preachers form the basis of our laws," Lynn said. "I welcome Falwell's new organization to the debate. I feel confident it will meet the same fate as the Moral Majority." (see above for source)
Sure, I bet Lynn welcomes Falwell and LaHaye to the debate--I bet he just can't wait! Apparently, Falwell believes in the resurrection--I wonder if Barry does? But then, again, nothing like another "Son of Frankenstein" movie!
THE BOBSIE TWINS - FIRST, LaHAYE
DeLay and LaHaye do have some interesting things in common. For one, they know how to wield political clout and marshal conservative religious forces in America, while amassing vast sums of money for their causes (most of which are mutual). LaHaye co-founded Falwell's original Moral Majority back in the late '70s. He and his wife, Beverly, started campaigning for pro-life causes through their Baptist marriage counseling company, Family Life Seminars. In 1979 Bev founded Concerned Women for America--a sort of counter weight to the National Organization for Women (NOW). Furthermore, LaHaye's famous "Left Behind" series--whose sales are off the charts, approaching (if not surpassing) over 100 million copies (and, spiritual awakening movies the LaHaye's literary fortunes close to that same figure)--makes him one of the wealthiest evangelicals in America, if not the world.
Although Falwell held center stage in galvanizing conservative Christians to the polls and, ipso facto, to the Republican cause, LaHaye (as Falwell puts it) "ran under the radar." In 1981 LaHaye founded the Council for National Policy--claiming, at one time, some 600,000 members. In the 1980s, the CNP was quite the political/religious machine; spawning countless campaigns and organizations. Included among its members were Ed Meese, John Ashcroft, Pat Robertson and, of course Falwell--as well as key think tanks, and activists like Grover Norquist and Oliver North. A lot of the "right-wing jihad" against President Clinton in the 1990s was funded by CNP supporters like Texas oilman and silver manipulator, Nelson Bunker Hunt, Richard DeVos of Amway and beer magnate Joseph Coors (the same crowd that funded the contras in Central America).
Impeaching Clinton was allegedly conceived by the CNP in Montreal in June of 1997. Falwell touts the CNP for helping raise hundreds of millions for ventures like Liberty University (the second largest Evangelical Christian University in America--surpassed only by Baylor (Baptist) University in Waco, TX). President Bush attended a CNP meeting at the start of his 1999 presidential campaign, and Rumsfeld took part in the group's gathering last April in Washington, D.C. Republican political strategist, Paul Weyrich, once said: "Without [LaHaye], what we call the religious right would not have developed the way it did, and as quickly as it did."
Brother LaHaye took a severe fall when he was linked, along with wife Bev, in taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the wacky would-be messiah Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his Unification Church cult (which most Christians really do view as laughably heretical). When Moon got entangled with tax evasion charges, LaHaye came to his rescue. Then the "pay off monies" came out into the public--so, LaHaye tried to back off--but it was too late. By the time LaHaye tried to regroup, his reputation--along with another one of his organizations founded in the 1970s, The American Coalition for Traditional Values, flopped! But LaHaye did regroup--thanks to the multi-million dollar sales of Left Behind (see, he wasn't about to be Left Behind).
LaHaye's agenda mirrors that of Falwell's; and is the heart and passion of the so-called Religious Right in America. Restoring the Nation back to Absolute Values--family, pro-life (a.k.a., "the culture of life"), anti-abortion (just so you know what pro-life is), anti-gay agenda (the whole thing), pro-marriage (between Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve), pro-prayer in the public schools, pro-displaying of religious symbols and artifacts like the Ten Commandments wherever and whenever, strong "national defense" (as defined as "whatever it takes to get destroy the barbaric infidels"), etc., etc., etc.