Falwell resurrects Moral Majority
Fundamentalist Jerry Falwell has announced the formation of a 'Faith and Values Coalition', a national organisation designed to capitalise on the "values voters" who appeared to be a decisive factor in the recent US election.
The move however appears to ignore warnings from Evangelicals both in the UK and USA that Republicanism should not be equated with fundamentalism and that a Christian political vision must incorporate more than private morality.
"Following the sweeping re-election of President Bush and a new generation of conservative lawmakers nationwide, a new organization, Faith and Values Coalition (TFVC), has been launched," said Falwell from his headquarters in Lynchburg, Virginia.
"On election night, I actually shed tears of joy as I saw the fruit of a quarter century of hard work. Nearly 116 million Americans voted. More than 30 million were evangelical Christians who, according to the pollsters, voted their moral convictions. I proudly say... they voted Christian!"
Falwell said that, at age 71, he was now "committing to a four-year stint as national chairman of The Faith and Values Coalition."
"The group's central premise is to utilize the momentum of the November 2 elections to maintain an evangelical revolution of voters who will continue to go to the polls to 'vote Christian.' Essentially, TFVC is a 21st century resurrection of the Moral Majority."
He announced that he was being joined by others including Mathew Staver, founder, president and general counsel of the Orlando, Florida-based Liberty Counsel, who will serve as vice-chairman. Falwell's son, Jonathan, will serve as executive director.
Additionally, author of the controversial Left Behind series, criticised for its poor theology, Tim LaHaye will serve as the Coalition's board chairman.
"One of our primary commitments is to help make President Bush's second term the most successful in American history," Falwell said.
"He will certainly need the consistent prayer and support of the evangelical community as he continues to spearhead the international war on terror and the effort to safeguard America."
Despite warnings from Evangelicals such as Jim Wallis of the Sojourners Community in the USA and Joel Edwards, the director of the Evangelical Alliance in the UK about focusing only on private "moral" issues, the three-fold platform of the new organization has no basis in issues of justice, peacemaking or concern for the poor.
Instead the organisation will focus on the two issues of abortion and gay marriage said Falwell. It's third goal will be the election of another "politically-conservative president in 2008 along with other state and national candidates."
Statements from Falwell also suggest that the new organisation will have a strong Zionist perspective, and be based on what theologian Walter Wink has termed "the myth of redemptive violence".
Speaking about the founding of the 'Moral Majority' Falwell said: "At that time, God burdened my heart to mobilize religious conservatives around a pro-life, pro-family, strong national defence and pro-Israel platform, designed to return America to her Judeo-Christian heritage. And I distinctively feel that burden again."