VISION AMERICA PROGRESS REPORT
TO OUR FRIENDS AND PATRIOT PARTNERS
This has been a year of unprecedented challenge and growth for Vision America. We have been honored and blessed to be in the forefront of a national movement to bring the Church to its true role of moral leadership in our great nation.
God has done great things through Vision America. I want to share some of that with you -- our Patriot Partners -- as we look ahead to 2007.
The War on Christians and The Values Voters in 2006 Conference
The War on Christians and the Values Voter In 2006 Conference was our second national conference. (In 2005, Vision America conducted The Judicial War on Faith Conference.) On March 28 and 29th, over 400 activists from across the nation gathered at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. for the first-ever conference to address the growing menace of the war on Christians and Christianity.
|Speakers included then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Senator John Cornyn, Gary Bauer, Ambassador Alan Keyes, Phyllis Schlafly, Janet Parshall, Janet Folger, and Lt. Gordon James Klingenschmitt, the Navy chaplain who stood by his right to pray in Jesus name.
The publicity the conference generated was more than any of us could have anticipated, and included a report on ABC’s World News Tonight and C-SPAN coverage (following the conference, I was also interviewed on C-SPAN.) A March 29th article in The Washington Post was headlined "’War’ on Christians Alleged." Only the liberal media could consider the war on Christians to be unsubstantiated. (To read the Post story, click here)
Shortly after the conference, The Church Report, which goes to over 40,000 Christian leaders nationwide, named Vision America one of the "Top 20 Christian Organizations," along with such prominent groups as Focus on The Family, Coral Ridge Ministries and Family Research Council. (Click here to read the story)
|Less than a week after the conference, Tom DeLay (who himself was under relentless attack) decided to resign from Congress. In a Time Magazine interview, Tom attributed his decision in part to what happened at our conference. "A good friend of mine, Dr. Rick Scarborough, who started -- and I urged him, and we’ve worked together over the years -- an organization called Vision America, which is out recruiting pastors to get involved in the political arena."
Regarding his speech at our conference, Tom told the interviewer: "The reaction was incredible just an outpouring of love and support from the audience. It was probably the one single event that convinced me: I can do this. I could keep fighting for the things I believe in outside of Congress." (Click here to read the Time interview)
Mobilizing the Church in Missouri and South Dakota
This was our most important assignment in 2006. Vision America initiated a number of rallies in Missouri and South Dakota to educate and mobilize concerned Christians for such times as these.
St. Louis Anti-Cloning Rally
Missouri had a clone-to-kill amendment on the ballot, which proposed to write into the state constitution protection for human embryonic stem-cell research. The biotech industry poured millions into the state to pass this ghastly measure -- $29 million from one man alone. In the early fall, polls showed the amendment leading by a 30-point margin, due to a massive and well-funded dis-information campaign aided by former Senator John Danforth and endorsed by Governor Matt Blunt, both supposedly pro-life Republicans. We had the deck stacked against us from the start, as all but one major newspaper in the state gave the pro-death crowd their endorsement and support.
In South Dakota, citizens voted on two ballot measures; one to constitutionally define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the other to ban all abortions in the state.
Dr. James Dobson
|Vision America entered the fray in South Dakota at the 11th hour, at the request of Focus on the Family’s South Dakota affiliate and pro-life leaders in the state, who were impressed by our work in Missouri. We helped organize and provided the speakers for three grass-roots rallies across the state. I wish that there was space here to convey the passion and the electricity of these exciting events.|
In Missouri, we addressed audiences of 500 to more than 2,000 at rallies in Jefferson City (July 31), Cape Girardeau (August 17), St. Louis (August 28), Kansas City (September 11), Springfield (September 21), St. Joseph (October 22) and St. Louis again (October 28). The Kansas City Star referred to our rally in that city as "part revival, part science lecture and part political rally." (Click here to read the story)
More than 2,000 attended our first St. Louis rally, and more than 100 pastors were present at a special briefing prior to the rally. Speakers included Archbishop Raymond Burke (Archbishop of St. Louis), Alan Keyes, Phyllis Schlafly and I.
At our last rally, also in St. Louis, 500-plus people braved the cold and came to the Rock Church, an historic inner-city church, where I was joined by Alan Keyes, Star Parker, Phyllis Schlafly, and Archbishop Burke. Additionally, I spoke to a group of 126 Catholic priests in Kansas City (August 31) and hundreds of Baptist pastors at the Show-Me Convention Center (October 29).
In South Dakota, we did three rallies in three days; Rapid City (October 15), Aberdeen (October 16) and Sioux Falls (October 17). At these events, we reached out to over 2,000 concerned Christians and met with more 380 pastors and senior church officials.
Our South Dakota effort ended with an electrifying rally at the base of Mt. Rushmore. This dramatic close to the campaign included speeches by Dr. James Dobson, Alan Keyes, Janet Folger, Bill Federer and myself.
The sad news is that in Missouri, while closing a 30-point gap, we still lost by less than two percentage points. Nevertheless, we were encouraged in the knowledge that though being outspent by more than $27 million dollars, and with the influence of the liberal media against us, we almost won.
Clearly, pastors can make a huge difference. Now, we must refine our techniques and start earlier if we are to win against such enormous odds. Our inter-denominational coalition (including Catholics and evangelicals) will stay together and continue to advance life issues and has already met to discuss a strategy of overturning this horrendous public-policy debacle.
Rally at Mt. Rushmore
In South Dakota, while the marriage amendment carried, the abortion ban failed. Though pro-life forces fought heroically, we couldn’t quite overcome the other side’s advantage. (Planned Parenthood alone spent $8 million in the state, or $10 for every registered voter, and again the liberal media contributed millions of free advertising.)
|Here and in Missouri, while we lost, we won by again proving the value and importance of mobilizing the clergy.
The only way to overcome the resources of the left and their conspiracy of evil with the liberal media, is by networking the pastors of America, and, through them, going directly to their congregations. Elections are won in the margins. Christians, if engaged, can set the moral tone of the nation. To that end we are dedicated.
Alan Keyes in MO
Other Speeches and Public Forums
Sometimes I felt like I was in constant motion, but happy (if exhausted) to do the Lord’s work.
Besides the rallies in Missouri and South Dakota, my other public addresses included the "Restoring NW America Conference" in Portland, Oregon (March 3); Coral Ridge Ministries annual "Reclaiming America Conference" where I gave the closing address, "In Defense of Mixing Church And State" (March 18); participating in the "Theologians Under Hitler Symposium," in Nashville, Tenn., other participants included Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Bob Edgar, head of the National Council of Churches (April 21); Family Research Council/Focus on The Family’s "Value Voters Conference," attended by over 1,800 delegates (September 22); a statewide conference for conservative pastors in Burlington, Vermont (September 24); "Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ Conference" (October 6-7); and the Council for National Policy meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I addressed over 300 prominent leaders of the conservative movement on “Why Values Voters Must Seize the Initiative” (October 12-14).
Additionally, on August 31, 500 pastors, Christian activists and elected officials (including the Lt. Governor of Texas and the Mayor of Houston) gathered in the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston for "Vision America’s 2006 Gala." Tom DeLay emceed the event.
Interviews And Talk Shows
I can only cover the highlights: an interview in The Los Angeles Times (March 7), the nationally syndicated Alan Combs Show, debating Bob Edgar head of the National Council of Churches (April 3), C-SPAN on Tom DeLay’s resignation (April 4), and Point of View with Kirby Anderson, also nationally syndicated (April 25). The Inspiration Network and I-Life TV with Kathy Shupping (May 17), Larry King Live, where I debated RINO Congressman Chris Shays, prompting Shays to blurt out, "He scares the hell out of me!", which I took as a compliment (May 18), The Los Angeles Times on the role of a Patriot Pastor (September 2) and CNN with Michael Mockler (November 22). Bott Radio Network, consisting of 40 stations nationwide including more than 25 in Missouri, carried my message delivered to the first rally in St. Louis across their network five times and provided me with numerous opportunities to speak to their vast audience. I am indebted to Dick Bott for his generosity and consecration to pro-life causes.
There were numerous other appearances and opportunities provided to communicate our message -- that pastors must engage the culture -- in 2006. We are now called on regularly to appear on National Public Radio, the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and many newspapers, due to our visibility in the movement and my willingness to speak forthrightly about what I believe.
My Second Book -- "Liberalism Kills Kids" -- Is Published
||This year also saw the publication of my second book "Liberalism Kills Kids" (now in its second printing). This groundbreaking work documents and analyzes the effects on our precious children of 40 years of a toxic culture. |
From the deaths of close to 50 million unborn children, to skyrocketing rates of out-of-wedlock births, to the divorce epidemic, to the destructive demands of the movement to normalize and mainstream homosexuality, the book exposes a cultural coup d’etat that has left families gasping for air. To order a copy, click here.
Values Voters’ Contract With Congress
Vision America spearheaded a coalition for a Values Voters’ Contract With Congress, an historic document that not only articulates the real crises we confront, but proposes realistic solutions to the same.
The document was formally unveiled the week of our conference, at press conference on the Capitol grounds. To date, 57 pro-family and conservative leaders have signed the Contract, and that list is growing.
|Together, we are urging Congress to take immediate and aggressive action to bring renewal to America by making the judiciary accountable to the citizenry, and by restoring government of the people, by the people and for the people.|
I dare say that if more Republican candidates had embraced and campaigned on the Contract, the outcome of the past election would have been far different. Now, our sights are set on the incoming Congress and the 2008 election.
To read the Values Voters’ Contract With Congress in its entirety and to add your name to this historic document click here.
The Rick Scarborough Report
We soon will begin the third year of publishing The Rick Scarborough Report, our weekly analysis of issues in the news you care about, as well as news of Vision America.
Our "Merry Christmas" Project
Vision America continues its campaign to get retail establishments and others to switch from the politically correct “happy holidays” to the traditional greeting of "Merry Christmas."
Last year, we offered "It’s OK To Say ‘Merry Christmas’" bumper stickers whch are still available by clicking here.
This year, for a donation of $10 (and on request) Vision America is sending contributors 50 business cards that read:
We believe these cards are a clever and non-confrontational way to register concern. To order, click here.
Plans for The Future
We are prayerfully considering the possibility of holding 3 or 4 regional conferences in 2007, patterned after our national conferences of 2005 and 2006.
If we decide to move forward with this project, we will choose key churches in different regions. At these events, we will bring together a stellar lineup of nationally prominent pro-life and pro-family leaders to conduct one-day training sessions to prepare Christian activists to take to the field in 2008. Three pastors have already expressed an interest in hosting such a conference.
God did great things through Vision America in 2006. In a way, it was a continuation of our work stretching back to our founding in 1998. (For a concise history of Vision America, click here.) Each of our activities over the past 8 years has been a building block that brought us one step closer to our goals of moral regeneration and renewal in America.
To all of you who helped to make this possible: staff, volunteers, contributors, those who came to our conference, attended our rallies in Missouri and South Dakota, or heard me speak at one of many forums (or on radio or television), as well as those who remembered us in your prayers -- our Patriot Partners -- my heartfelt thanks.
As always, we rely on your generous support to make the foregoing possible. Vision America does not have a large staff; far from it! Very little of the contributions we receive go to overhead or salaries.
As the New Year approaches, there are doubtless many worthy causes vying for your support. I would ask only that you consider what we achieved in 2006 -- thanks to the help of concerned Christians like you -- and prayerfully consider a contribution before the end of the calendar year.
Contributions to Vision America are tax-deductible. To support the work detailed in this report, click here.
Please stay tuned. With God’s help, 2007 promises to be an even more exciting year.