Right-Wing Group Using Perry's 'Response' List for Christian Voter Mobilization

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This afternoon, right-wing religious organization The American Family Association, one of the co-sponsors of Rick Perry's Totally Not Political Prayer Event, sent a message to The Response's email list in an early effort to begin registering and mobilizing 5 million conservative Christians to vote in the upcoming election.

AFA was one of the most visible and extreme participants in Perry's Response rally at Reliant earlier this month. They oppose religious tolerance at all turns, and have a record of attacking a wide variety of non-Christians for their faiths. Southern Poverty Law Center named AFA a Hate Group in 2010, and Right Wing Watch also keeps tabs on them too.

American Family Association's publicly stated issue positions run the gamut of far-right and conservative points of view — AFA opposes same sex marriage, abortion, and organized labor, and support deregulation of the oil industry. AFA opposes funding for the National Endowment of the Arts, and supports a quarantine for AIDS victims. They blamed Virginia Tech on insufficient prayer in schools and premarital sex. And AFA wraps it all up by pin-pointing the degradation of our society on obscene TV content, which they specifically blame on — wait for it — “the media being controlled by the Jews.”

Very Jesus like! Except not really.

The email makes clear that the goal of AFA is to use The Response list to mobilize right-wing Christian voters — probable Perry supporters — in the upcoming election cycle. From the email, emphasis mine:

Today, I want to introduce you to Champion the Vote (CTV), a friend of AFA whose mission is to mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012. Only half of the Christians in the United States are registered to vote. Imagine the impact we could make on the future of America if these Christians made their voices heard in the voting booth!

Imagine the impact, indeed — women's choice, eradicated! Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, gone! The EPA, “prayed” away at long last. Religious freedom and separation of church and state, suddenly a relic. America would be plunged into a kind of dystopian nightmare that Glenn Beck even hesitates to dream of.

But wait! Rick Perry said The Response wasn't political! The website even says it:

The Response is a non-denominational, apolitical Christian prayer meeting and has adopted the American Family Association statement of faith.

In his remarks at The Response, Rick Perry said of God, “His agenda isn't a political agenda. It's a salvation agenda.” Evidently Perry's own political salvation comes in the form of 5 million right-wing Christians voting to instate their extremely narrow view of a theocratic Christian America.

The email was clearly sent to The Response list. In the footer, the copy of the email received by Burnt Orange Report stated as follows:

This e-mail message was sent to [redacted]. [Redacted] signed up to receive e-mail from The Response.

Make no mistake about it. Right-wing groups affiliated with Rick Perry are already organizing archly conservative religious voters for the 2012 election, and using the infrastructure provided by The Response to do it. That email went to everyone who RSVP'ed for the event, hosted a satellite house party, or an event in their own local community of faith. The Response was a tremendous grassroots organizing tool to begin infiltrating affinity groups of faith in preparation for Rick Perry's run for President, which today's message from the American Family Association to The Response email list makes abundantly clear.

The full email, in all of its antidisestablishmentarism-hating glory, is below the jump.  The full email, forwarded to BOR:

Thank you for registering for The Response on August 6 in Houston. I hope you were able to attend or participate online as it was certainly a day to remember. I was especially encouraged to see so many youth and young adults in attendance. In addition to the tens of thousands who were in attendance at Reliant Stadium, over 2,000 churches and groups gathered together and joined the event via a live web stream, and hundreds of thousands participated via a live web stream from their homes. If you were not able to participate live, we encourage you to watch the video archives of The Response that will be available at the website (http://www.theresponseusa.com) until the end of August.

The Response was just the beginning of a nationwide initiative to return America to the principles on which she was founded, with God at the center of our nation. All of us in attendance in Houston were moved by the overwhelming call to repentance, prayer and action.

Today, I want to introduce you to Champion the Vote (CTV), a friend of AFA whose mission is to mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012. Only half of the Christians in the United States are registered to vote. Imagine the impact we could make on the future of America if these Christians made their voices heard in the voting booth!

CTV's research has shown that it takes only 5 million voters to influence the outcome of an election. This is a do-able goal, and Champion the Vote is seeking Champions – an army of volunteers — to help with the effort. A Champion is simply a Christian talking to other Christians about registering and voting.

If you would like to be involved in this important initiative, go to the CTV website (http://www.ChampionTheVote.com) for complete details. We can make a difference, one by one, multiplied across the nation.

Sincerely,

Don Wildmon, Founder

American Family Association

P.S. Our leaders need your prayers. Here are two easy ways to pray daily for our leaders – http://www.PrayForLeaders.com.

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About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.

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