ERIC ROE Republican candidate PA158th District was employed by right wing extremist organization, "Let Freedom Ring"
By Fran Maye, Daily Local News
THE 2ND COMMANDMENT "THOU SHALT PACK HEAT":
"Former Pennsylvania GOP state lawmaker Sam Rohrer, now with Let Freedom Ring and the Pennsylvania Pastors Network, appeared on VCY America’s Crosstalk this week to argue that a literal reading of the Bible reveals that gun rights come directly from God. However, he went on to say that Jesus’ teachings on non-violence should not be taken literally.
RIGHT WING WATCH
"The American Pastors Network is an outgrowth of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network which was launched as a project of Let Freedom Ring, Inc. a 501(c)(4) political advocacy group jump-started in 2004 with a $1,000,000 donation from Dr. John (“Jack”) M. Templeton, Jr., who heads the Templeton Foundation, a major funder of educational institutions in the U.S. Templeton was chairman of Let Freedom Ring, Inc. until early 2008 according to the New York Times
In 2007 at The Gathering, John M. Templeton, Jr. personally introduced author D. Michael Lindsay, before Lindsay’s speech to The Gathering for the inaugural release of his new book Faith In The Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite, a book criticized in a New York Times book review as being a near-stenographic presentation of interviews Lindsay conducted with over 300 leading conservative evangelicals. Dozens of those Lindsay interviewed for his 2007 book have spoken at or attended The Gathering.
Prior to the 2004 election, Let Freedom Ring, Inc. (LFR) distributed to over 10,000 U.S. churches a video touting the evangelical faith of President George W. Bush, then running against Senator John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election. During the 2008 presidential election LFR ran ads slamming Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama as a “flip-flopper”. In 2009 LFR made 50,000 robo-calls in Maine and 100,000 in Pennsylvania in an attempt to pressure moderate Republican senators Olympia Snow and Susan Collins to vote against President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package. Other projects of the organization have including advocacy for a high tech fence along the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border.
One of the consultants hired by Let Freedom Ring., Inc. as an adviser has been Timothy Geoglein, described by the New York Times in 2008 as “a former White House political operative who worked closely with Karl Rove as a liaison to social and religious conservatives”.
According to an official biography (from the website of the hard-right Leadership Institute founded by Morton Blackwell) of Let Freedom Ring president Colin Hanna, Let Freedom Ring’s Pennsylvania Pastors Project is,
“an association of Biblically-faithful pastors in the Keystone State who want to engage their congregations on matters of public policy and culture that are legitimately connected to the Christian faith, but without politicizing their pulpits or endangering their churches’ tax status.”
The Center Against Religious Extremism has previously reported the yearly event known as The Gathering to be what is perhaps the biggest source of money for evangelical organizations and ministries fighting against LGBT rights both in the United States and, increasingly, around the globe.
As documented in a ongoing CARE survey, the biggest foundation represented at The Gathering, the National Christian Foundation, finances dozens of evangelical efforts directly involved in attacking gay rights from America to Uganda to Russia.
Detailed in the CARE special report Hobby Lobby Case Linked To Secretive National Prayer Breakfast Group, “The Family” is the notable origin of annual event known as The Gathering – it conceived during a 1985 meeting at the Arlington, Virginia mansion headquarters of The Fellowship known as “The Cedars”.
In 2010, journalist Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism At The Heart of American Power accused The Family/The Fellowship, which hosts the annual National Prayer Breakfast, of having inspired the now-notorious Uganda Anti Homosexuality Bill signed into law in early 2014 by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, a member of The Family according to Sharlet.
The Fellowship Goes To Ukraine
In 2012, longtime head of The Family (or “The Fellowship”) Doug Coe – who (as covered by NBC News) is known for celebrating the leadership lessons of Hitler, Lenin, and Mao – made an unexplained trip to speak at the second annual event held by what appeared to be an affiliate of The Family in Ukraine, the Ukrainian National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast.
In 2014, notes UK researcher Richard Bartholomew, the 4th annual Ukrainian National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast was attended by several notable individuals: Viktor Hamm, Vice President of Crusades for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Doug Burleigh, son-in-law of longtime Fellowship head Doug Coe. The title of the event, “New Ukraine: Into the Future with God”, was very suggestion of the rising Christian nationalist tone of Ukrainian politics.
Held in almost perfect sync with the 4th Ukrainian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast coalition was the “International Leadership Summit” referred to by the American Pastors Network, a meeting of Ukrainian politicians and religious leaders inspired by by the Christian nationalist teachings of anti-gay American evangelicals tied to funding from the premier yearly evangelical funding event associated with The Family, “The Gathering”.
As the American Pastors Network press release quoted APN President Sam Rohrer,
” ‘The American Pastors Network was invited to Ukraine because leaders in that nation understand that America became a great nation because America was built on a Biblical foundation, and they want that foundation for their own nation,’ said APN President Sam Rohrer. ‘At the summit, APN and its speakers presented the Biblical principles of authority, government, law, jurisdiction, ethics, integrity, and what it means to have a righteous government. These principles refer heavily to the American experience, to the view of our founders, and to the principles that drove the writing of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.’
Rohrer added that the Ukrainian leaders who spoke at the summit confirmed their desire to establish a righteous government free of corruption and bribery and one that would recognize and protect the basic and inalienable rights granted by God.
‘The leaders we spoke with made it clear that they want what made America great, not what is currently motivating and directing our nation, which is anything but a firm adherence to Biblical or constitutional principles in government or in life’ “
On its website the American Pastors Network describes itself as an affiliate of the Capstone Legacy Foundation, which in 2011 received $99,998 in funding from the National Christian Foundation, the biggest foundation represented at The Gathering. The NCF is currently ranked #12 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy “Philanthropy 400” list."
CENTER AGAINST RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM
American Evangelical Anti-LGBT Push in Ukraine Tied To National Prayer Breakfast Affiliate 'The Gathering
"Let Freedom Ring, Inc. (LFR) is a conservative advocacy organization that was set up in 2004 in the United States with a $1 million donation from Dr. John Templeton, Jr., President of the John Templeton Foundation. The organization seeks to promote the neo-conservative agenda led by President George W. Bush, and campaigned actively in favor of keeping troops in Iraq as part of the 'war on terror'. It claimed that the war in Iraq was caused by Al Qaeda. LFR also claimed to be a group standing against political attack ads, while at the same time maintaining that conservatives need to not be fazed by "'mud-slinging' coming from the left." LFR advocated for a fence along the Mexico–United States border and ran attack ads against Obama in 2008. Let Freedom Ring was also involved in organizing the nationwide "Tea Party" protests on April 15, 2009, in part by sending out robocalls to potential participants the day before.