Bush campaign courts Evangelicals through Passion star - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
October 19, 2004

Bush campaign courts Evangelicals through Passion star

-19/10/04

US President Bush's re-election campaign is getting a boost from James Caviezel, the actor who portrayed Jesus in Mel Gibson's blockbuster 'The Passion of the Christ' in an attempt to secure the support of the country's millions of evangelicals.

Mel Gibson's film was a huge hit with Evangelicals, many of whom saw it as an opportunity to evangelise. It also provided a boost for the Christian sub-culture in the US with a surge in demand for Christian-themed products.

The support for James Caviezel comes through 'Redeem the Vote', the religious community's answer to MTV's secular Rock the Vote.

The group is touring battleground states with Christian rock groups and voter-registration drives.

"This is really scaring Democrats," Redeem the Vote founder Randy Brinson told the Washington Times. "This is major, major news that the major media have ignored because we're not liberal."

Brinson persuaded Caviezel, to appear in a Webcast imploring Christians to vote. Although Mr. Caviezel never explicitly endorses the president, his message is designed to remind Christians that Mr. Bush shares their opposition to abortion, judicial activism and homosexual "marriage".

"In this election year, Americans are faced with some of the most important issues in the history of our country," he said.

"In order to preserve the God-given freedoms we each hold dear, it's important that we let our voices be heard."

The message is also being hammered home in millions of e-mails that Redeem the Vote is sending to evangelical Christians, whose names were obtained from the marketing firms that made "The Passion of the Christ" a blockbuster.

Earlier in the campaign George Bush attempted to corner the conservative Christian vote using the last of three TV debates with Democrat rival John Kerry to co-opt God to his campaign.

But it also comes after Evangelicals criticised Bush's 'theology of war', whilst others launched a campaign to make it clear that God was "neither a Republican nor a Democrat".

Bush campaign courts Evangelicals through Passion star

-19/10/04

US President Bush's re-election campaign is getting a boost from James Caviezel, the actor who portrayed Jesus in Mel Gibson's blockbuster 'The Passion of the Christ' in an attempt to secure the support of the country's millions of evangelicals.

Mel Gibson's film was a huge hit with Evangelicals, many of whom saw it as an opportunity to evangelise. It also provided a boost for the Christian sub-culture in the US with a surge in demand for Christian-themed products.

The support for James Caviezel comes through 'Redeem the Vote', the religious community's answer to MTV's secular Rock the Vote.

The group is touring battleground states with Christian rock groups and voter-registration drives.

"This is really scaring Democrats," Redeem the Vote founder Randy Brinson told the Washington Times. "This is major, major news that the major media have ignored because we're not liberal."

Brinson persuaded Caviezel, to appear in a Webcast imploring Christians to vote. Although Mr. Caviezel never explicitly endorses the president, his message is designed to remind Christians that Mr. Bush shares their opposition to abortion, judicial activism and homosexual "marriage".

"In this election year, Americans are faced with some of the most important issues in the history of our country," he said.

"In order to preserve the God-given freedoms we each hold dear, it's important that we let our voices be heard."

The message is also being hammered home in millions of e-mails that Redeem the Vote is sending to evangelical Christians, whose names were obtained from the marketing firms that made "The Passion of the Christ" a blockbuster.

Earlier in the campaign George Bush attempted to corner the conservative Christian vote using the last of three TV debates with Democrat rival John Kerry to co-opt God to his campaign.

But it also comes after Evangelicals criticised Bush's 'theology of war', whilst others launched a campaign to make it clear that God was "neither a Republican nor a Democrat".

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