“I Want to be God

This was the typical stuff oozing out of yesterday’s 5th Congressional candidates forum at Focus on the Family headquarters in Colorado Springs, as detailed in today’s Colorado Springs Gazette .

Here’s former Chamber of Commerce lobbyist Jeff Crank, talking about abortion:

“We need to stop this phony baloney about not bringing faith into the public square. We absolutely need to bring faith into the public square.”

And this:

Retired Air Force General Bentley Rayburn, on establishing a democracy in Iraq.

“That will open up hope within these countries for the gospel of Jesus Christ to change hearts.”

And this:

Former County Commissioner Duncan Bremer, on why he is running for Congress:

“I want to be God’s man in Washington.”

According to the Gazette “Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera noted his lifelong Catholicism as the basis for his anti-abortion stances; Doug Lamborn said he became a Christian when he was 19.”

OK, so the candidates clearly were preaching to the choir, of an estimated 220, mostly Focus, employees. Five of the six Republicans running showed up, with only former sheriff John Anderson absent.

Even Democratic candidate Jay Fawcett was onhand, to try to explain his pro-choice position to a group of people whose leader a decade ago vowed never to support a political candidate who was “squishy” on the abortion issue – meaning completely, unyieldingly opposed to choice.

It may appear peculiar – even outlandish – that the international ministry, would host such a forum for local political candidates at its Colorado Springs headquarters. But Focus on the Family has actually been hosting such debates for many years.

Generally held in the ministry’s “chapelteria” (the designated area where employees pray every morning, and chow down at lunch), the $138 million a year ministry was particularly effective in helping to decide the outcome of the Colorado Springs City Council election two years ago.

Then, thanks to Focus activists, a mundane, $3,000-a-year city program providing employees same-gender domestic partnerships became the hot-button issue of the mayoral and city council races, and ended up defining the outcome of the election.

Within a month, the five new city council members, and newly-elected Mayor Lionel Rivera, killed the program, and set the stage for what continues to be the most conservative city council Colorado Springs has seen since the early 1990s.

This year, of course, Rivera is one of the six running for Congress. But, the  darling of the right just two years ago, he apparently no longer meets all of the social and fiscal conservative qualifications required of at least two Focus executives.

Though the ministry cannot formally endorse political candidates, the ministry’s president and CEO, Jim Daly, is supporting Doug Lamborn. And Tom Minnery, the vice president of public policy, is supporting Jeff Crank.

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Cara Degette

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