Despite arguments to the contrary, America was founded on the beliefs of its Christian forefathers who based its governing rule of law on the dogma of their religious beliefs. However unintentional, the end product couldn’t help but have been a mixture of church and state.
As the nation grew, its flood gates were swung open to anyone from anywhere who needed to escape religious persecution, with one condition. The newcomers had to agree to obey the laws of a country that was predominantly, and still is, packed to the hilt with Christians who would tolerate no less. As long as the immigrants agreed, they could sing praises to snails for all anyone cared.
Christianity may not have quite as solid of a stronghold as in days of yore, but the majority continues to rule with 65% of the nation still clinging to the old rugged cross. And this is plenty enough to sway elections.
The Faith & Freedom Foundation recently held its annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Taken from the foundation’s website, they believe, “Freedom regards religion as the companion in all its battles and all its triumphs as the very cradle of its infancy and the source of all its claims…. because religion alone is the safeguard of morality, and morality is the best and surest pledge for the survival of freedom.”
Ralph Reed founded the conservative political advocacy group after resigning from the Southern Baptist Convention and was instrumental in pushing Donald Trump to the top in 2020. With endorsements from heavy hitters like Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and a cornucopia of conservative politicians, including Donald Trump, the group packs a powerful political punch.
Reed is yet undecided concerning the 2024 presidential election. He’s waiting to see if Trump is going to make another run at it, and if so, who he’ll be battling for the final Republican nomination.
This year’s gathering served as a soft launch of sorts for prospective conservative candidates for the attendees to start giving consideration to, even if Trump does toss his name in the hat. He said he’s chosen to remain “unbiased” at this point.
Reed explained the often misunderstood mission of the group. “We’ve never really tried to be the churchgoing version of the party bosses in a smoke-filled room trying to figure out who the nominee ought to be,” he said. “We figure the best thing to do is to provide a platform for those candidates and assist them, informally, by letting them know the best way they can connect with and make their case to those voters and pastors.”
“After that, we let the market decide,” Reed added.
Getting and staying on Reed’s good side is an important move for hopeful Republican candidates. The annual meeting has been referred to as a cattle call for clenching the evangelical vote which is why Trump grabbed the microphone at the 2011 convention, and why he just did the same thing again for his seventh year in a row.
Even if Donald Trump doesn’t run or receive the nomination, his influence will still determine the right candidate for the job, a fact that Reed is fully aware of. Reed’s a pretty smart cookie by sitting back and letting Trump do his talking for him, which is what he’s purposely doing.
It’ll ultimately be the former president who decides which candidate gets pushed up Jacob’s ladder. Don’t for one moment think Donald Trump is sitting around twiddling his thumbs. Should he decide he doesn’t want the job again, he’ll make no bones about telling everyone who should have it, and he has the perfect audience awaiting his answer.
Don’t for one moment think that religion and politics don’t mix. They always have. They always will.