�One Day Crusade� making Sulphur Springs its 6th stop

By PATTI SELLS | News-Telegram Feature Writer

Aug 12, 2007 - A former presidential candidate will be among the speakers at an upcoming "One Day Crusade" in Sulphur Springs designed to get "values voters" to the polls in November 2008.

Sulphur Springs is number 6 on the list of 70 cities in 70 weeks chosen to host Vision America's “One Day Crusade to Save America — A Call to Christian Citizenship.” The "non-partisan, patriotic event representing God, country and citizenship” will be held Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the Hopkins County Civic Center Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m.

�This is a call for Christian community members and leaders to get involved in the political process and stand up for what they believe,� said Kent Pate, director of missions for Rehoboth Baptist Association, which coordinated the local rally along with pastors throughout the area.�

The multi-state Christian crusade advocating political reform hopes to recruit “100,000 Values Voters, 10,000 key leaders, 5,000 patriotic pastors and 5,000 women” to vote in the November 2008 election.

Though turnout for the kick-off event in Lufkin, Thursday, July 5, was slim according to reports, Pate said the rallies are gaining momentum.

�Our auditorium holds about 1,400 people and we hope to fill it up," he said.

The mission of the crusade is to motivate and train Christian men and women to enter into the public arena articulating their Christian faith and values, and teach them how to take a stand on public policy, according to organizers.

�This is a project to save America from the path that it is on, the direction it's going in terms of morals and tolerance,� said Pate. �Its whole purpose is to involve, awaken and encourage people to participate in the citizenship process of our country and not be passive or apathetic regarding the issues our country is facing.�

According to Pate, in the past some things that seemed far-fetched, such as taking prayer out of schools and forbidding display of the 10 Commandments on government properties have come to pass.

�We couldn't believe it, but it happened. And we sat back and let it,� he said. �If we continue to keep going in this direction; sitting back and doing nothing, I'm afraid we're going to see a lot of things change that we don't agree with. We've seen so many changes these past few years. It's just staggering.

�Will we continue to have God struck down in our schools and in our courts? Where do we draw the line? Will we rewrite or reinterpret the constitution, or will we apply the constitution we've already got?��

Topping the list of issues for the 2008 presidential election as well as the “Crusade to Save America” is immigration, followed by abortion, gay marriage and the war in Iraq. 

Leading the rally will be Dr. Rick Scarborough, founder of Vision America and author of “Enough is Enough.” 

Joining him on the platform will be Dr. Alan Keyes, former presidential candidate and founder of Renew America. Dr. Keys is a former university president and former United Nations Ambassador during the Reagan Administration.

Additional guests will include former Navy chaplain, Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt, and musician Kim Noblitt.

�These guys are on the front lines; the cutting edge of what's happening in our world today,� said Pate, who said they are all excellent examples of people taking a stand for what they believe is right.

Not everyone shares the same enthusiasm for Scarborough and the 70-city tour. The Internet site Box Turtle Bulletin recently named Scarborough the first recipient of its LaBarbera Award, which “goes to cultural nitwits who deliver the most outrageous, offensive, malevolent, crazy, excessive statement." The left-leaning organization People for the American Way has Scarborough as a frequent target on its “Right Wing Watch” pages, as do many bloggers.

Dr. Scarborough is the founder of Vision America and the pioneering organizer of politically-oriented “patriot pastors,” which encourages religious leaders and their congregation to become actively involved in political issues.

Dr. Alan Keyes is a very committed Christian.

�He is pro-life, pro-family, very committed to civil rights and the hard working man,� Pate said. �He is a very unique person in that he is aligned with the Republican Party. You don't see very many African Americans national leaders with that party, and to me that makes him very courageous.�

Lt. Klingenschmitt was a Protestant chaplain with the U.S. Navy, who was fired from his position because he would not quit praying in Jesus' name.

�It's all apart of the tolerance policy,� Pate laughed. �We are to be tolerant of others, but they have no tolerance of us."

The "One Day Crusade" started July 5 in Lufkin, with about 300 people attending. According to reports, Keyes, who is said to be considering another run for the White House, told the crowd that there can be no separation of church and state, and stated that “Barack Obama is an evil man.” (Obama defeated Keyes for an Illinois Senate seat in 2004.) 

Pate emphasized that the crusade is not about one political party or the other, but rather a concern for both.

�This is a concern for leadership across the board,� he said. �It's not about changing your party or beliefs. It's about standing up for what you believe in. It's about being involved, being informed, being responsible, and committing ourselves to take a stand on the issues that are important to us.

"This is a call for Christians to stand up and say 'Hey, this matters. These are political issues that we care about.' It's time for us to be responsible citizens and stewards and stand up and fight for what we believe is right."

�The One Day Crusade to Save America� is open to the public free of charge, however a love offering will be taken to help defer the expense of renting the Civic Center Auditorium.�

A Key Leaders Breakfast will be held Thursday, Aug. 16, at 8 a.m. at New Beginnings Fellowship Baptist Church for pastors and their spouses, as well as business and community leaders. Reservations are required. 

  • ?For more information, call 903-885-2868. 

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