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October 24, 2004

“Christian Nation” Activist Is Key Bush Campaign Adviser; Bush Appoints Proselytizing “Jews for Jesu

Listed in: Separation of Church and State, NJDC News

"Christian Nation" Activist Is Key Bush Campaign Adviser; Bush Appoints Proselytizing "Jews for Jesus" Leader


It's being reported today that a "key Bush campaign adviser" calls America a "Christian nation." According to him, the separation of church and state is "a myth." And he's spread his message during more than 300 events over the past year -- events paid for by the Republican Party.

We've also learned that George W. Bush this summer re-appointed to a presidential committee a pastor who is a national leader of "Jews for Jesus." This person has played a leadership role in national campaigns to proselytize Jews, including one last August and September -- timed to coincide with the Jewish High Holidays.

What do these two news items have in common? A religiously-exclusive worldview, and a contempt for the civil and religious liberties we hold dear. Reports That A "Key Bush Campaign Adviser" Calls Church-State Separation "A Myth" reports that the Bush campaign and the Republican National Committee are "employing the services of a Texas-based activist who believes the United States is a 'Christian nation' and the separation of church and state is 'a myth.'"

David Barton, who is serving as a "political consultant" for the RNC and "who is also the vice-chairman of the Texas GOP," told Beliefnet that the GOP-sponsored events have been kept "below the radar.... We work our tails off to stay out of the news." Given his controversial past, it's easy to see why.

Barton is the author of a 1989 book called "The Myth of Separation." The Beliefnet article notes the numerous occasions on which Barton has called America a "Christian nation" -- including on Pat Roberston's Christian Broadcasting Network. He has written that America has been in decline since the Supreme Court ruled against prayer in public schools, and he has widely encouraged pastors to endorse political candidates from the pulpit -- risking their tax-exempt status.

Presidential Appointee Serves as Top "Jews for Jesus" Leader

According to the White House web site, George W. Bush this summer reappointed Lon Solomon, a top leader of "Jews for Jesus," to a presidential committee. Mr. Solomon, the senior pastor of the McLean Bible Church in Virginia, has also "been on the Board of Jews for Jesus since 1987, where he now serves as chairman of the Board's executive committee," according to Mr. Solomon's own bio on his church's Web site.

Mr. Solomon takes his work proselytizing American Jews very seriously. In August, the Washington Times reported on an extremely well-organized effort to convert Jews in the Washington, DC area -- and Mr. Solomon's church was "the hub of the evangelistic effort." The Times called it the "largest evangelistic effort in Washington in the 31-year history" of Jews for Jesus. To add insult to injury, the campaign was timed to coincide with the High Holidays.

The Times quotes Solomon saying, "My goal is 1 million pieces of literature handed out in four weeks. I'd like to see 500 Jews and Gentiles alike pray and ask Jesus into their life. ...I love doing this."