August 16th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Evangelicals gather in the nation's capital

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Evangelicals from across the country gathered by the
thousands on the National Mall in Washington Saturday in support of returning to core Evangelical issues - but also addressing some political ones.

The event was organized by a religious group known as "The Call." It was described as a time for prayer and fasting. But some participants talked politics as well.

"Those issues have historically not been political, they have been made political. When court imposed abortion, it became a political issue. When courts impose same sex marriage, it becomes a political issue, but those were issues within the realm of the church for years. They become political issues only in terms of how they are being discussed today," Tony Perkins, head of the
Family Research Council, told CNN.

The organization is opposed to abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

Many attendees were young, and sang along with bands playing contemporary Christian music as the lyrics were displayed on giant television screens.

Mike Huckabee, former GOP presidential candidate, former Arkansas governor and an ordained Baptist minister, made an appearance, telling the crowd he was appearing as a pastor, not a politician.

"It is easy to point fingers at the people who work and serve in this place, and to blame them for the problems that we face in this country, but the problems that this country has are with us, who claim we know the Lord but have not lived it, and we've not been as faithful," Huckabee told the crowd. "So, repentance and revival cannot start in the building behind me until it starts in the temple inside me," he said referring to the U.S. Capitol.

Jim Hester, a pastor from Alabama, watched from a lawn chair. Hester, who said he'll vote in November but is "not a registered anything" said abortion was one of his top issues.

"I believe it speaks to character," he said. "I believe that someone who's willing to stand up for life period - there's a character definition in that."

Filed under: Mike Huckabee