No doubt we'll hear plenty about this pep rally from all quarters. For what it's worth here's my take on it. You don't have to believe me. You can buy your own copy of the DVD via the Family Research Council web site and hear and see exactly what the speakers said and determine for yourself if it was as you'd heard. Oh, the DVD has a 'suggested donation' of $15.00. But like all Focus on the Family materials if you ask, they'll send it to you for free.
When I arrived at about 4:40 p.m. there were just a handful of protestors on McGavock Pike across the street from the main entrance. For photographs see: Bill Hobbs' site.
The pre-event warm up included several worship songs and then a bit of instruction by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council which included encouragement to be enthusiastic and supportive of the speakers. We were very cooperative. Every speaker got a standing ovation and hearty applause. There was a lot of amening, and other verbal agreements with speakers over the evening. Tony said the purpose of the meeting was for us to discover what our role is in this whole process and what we can do. He closed by praying that God would use this broadcast to 'make a difference'.
And so the broadcast begins and I'll include the name of the speaker and my best recollections of their comments.
Tony Perkins: [We] don't claim the right to speak for every American but do claim the right to speak."
Jim Daley (President, Focus on the Family): We, like everyone else, have a right to speak in the public square.
Dr. James Dobson (Focus on the Family) via video. He apologized for not being able to be there in person. He and his wife are in France. He didn't say why. But I found it interesting that he fussed about some Supreme Court justices being 'inspired by leftist influences in Western Europe' and he was in a country that is pretty darn leftist, imo. He called some Supreme Court decisions 'government by the few". Said that (nominee) John Roberts 'looks like a strict costructionist' and that 'time will tell' and reveal if that was true. "For now he looks good." Dobson went on to say that "5 or more justices will define marriage' and that 'we dare not sleep through this point of decision. Future generations depend on it.'
Tony Perkins used a baseball analogy. He said that for some things the Supremes had made the plate (and so the strike zone) larger or smaller depending upon the issue. He actually had what had to be about a 3 1/2' plate vs. a normal size plate that he broke into smaller bits when describing all this. Nice use of a visual.
Tom Delay (House Majority Leader R-Texas): talked about seperation of powers and checks and balances. Saying that it was intended that no one branch could completely trump the other and asserted that 'without balances there can be no checks'. He went on to say that 'all wisdom doesn't reside in nine persons in black robes' and they we 'were here to protect the Constitution so it can protect us.'
Chuck Colson: He said we weren't here looking for power or prestige and 'may the Church never be a special interest group'. He quoted Amos 5 reminding us to "let justice roll on like a river and righteousness like a never-failing stream." He reminded us not to get mad at our opponents.
Tony Perkins: A brief commerical to remind folks that if they call 1-877-RFRC-4545 they can get their own "Save the Court Kit". He went on to say that this was a 2 1/2 to 3 year effort. Reminded folks that they had about 21 days until the Roberts hearings.
Bishop Harry Jackson (Sr. Pastor Hope Christian Church): talked about the new black church, how lady justice was 'sitting down on the job', that Justice wasn't blind she noticed race, and age and gender and that some consider 'conservative' a code word for racist. He recounted an incident where he and his brother were traveling, got a flat tire and were surrounded by several squad cars. It became obvious to the police officers that they had a flat and the officers went on their way, without any apology. Bishop Jackson stated: "I'm not black alone, I'm American and beyond that I'm a Christian." [This may be the statute he referenced in his comments and here's a link to an article of his on this same subject. ]
I have to admit that I considered Bill Donahue, President of the Catholic League my favorite speaker. He had passion, an ear catching accent and a forthrightness that I appreciated. He pointed out that when folks ask him what he's doing associating with evangelicals he reminds them that he has more in common with evangelicals than some of the very politically left leaning Catholics in Congress. He credited Chief Justice John Marshall with suggesting that no act of Congress could be overturned without a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court. I'd never heard that before. He even quoted Bob Dylan: "The times, they are a changing."
Intermittently, they showed video clips from various speakers. This allowed them to prepare for the next live speaker. Robert Bork was featured several times. At this point they viewed a clip from him where he opined that the decisions of the Supreme Court had come 'to reflect the moral views of the elites."
Zell Miller D-GA (retired): "Enough" was his point. "Our enemies came in while we were asleep." And he urged everyone to "cover this confirmation with a blanket of prayer."
Jett Williams sang "I saw the light", bless her heart.
Next up was Phyllis Schlafley of the Eagle Forum: She was the first to mention former President Clinton by name reminding us of some of the things his nominees had done. She also picked up on Tony Perkin's baseball analogy saying that we need umpires but umpires cannot change the rules of the game and decide that it's 2 strikes and your out. The fans wouldn't stand for it. And she asked if we were going to be 'governed by elected representatives or supremicist judges."
Featured in this next video clip were Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jordan Lawrence of the Alliance Defense Fund and Robert Bork again. Mr. Lawrence took issue with the idea of the Constitution being a 'living document'. Mr. Bork and Mr. Lawrence discussed the fact that judges don't have the latitude in any decisions regarding contracts that the Supreme Court has taken in regard to the Constitution.
Cathy Cleaver Ruse of the Family Research Council: spoke and specifically encouraged the ladies. She was the second to use the name of former President Clinton reminding us that he twice vetoed the ban on partial-birth abortion and told us that the pro-choice folks had never won a 'legislative victory of consequence' and so they chose to utilize the courts instead.
Ted Haggard of the National Association of Evangelicals: asked if politics and the local churches go together and answered his own question with an emphatic "YES!". He reminded us of Martin Luther King's comments about what a 'God intoxicated' generation could do. (That quote is from MLK's "Letter from the Birmingham Jail". You may want to read through that again.)
[Oh, heck, here's a taste:
There was a time when the church was very powerful in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators"' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide. and gladiatorial contests.]
Back to JSII. Ted Haggard finished by urging us to 'be the salt and light God has called you to be."
Two River's Baptist Church Pastor Jerry Sutton brought it home with a passionate few minutes and 5 short phrases that we could use. Unfortunately, he threw them out there so fast I couldn't get them all down.
It's a new day.
Liberalism is dead.
Count on us to show up.
Let the Church rise.
Hope some of that was helpful. Regardless of your views send them to your Senators. Let 'em know how you want them to represent you. I know I will.