August 13th, 2008
11:45 AM ET
11 years ago

Huckabee, religious-based groups making the 'Call' to DC

Candidates are increasingly having to defend their religious views in campaigns.

Candidates are increasingly having to defend their religious views in campaigns.

While John McCain and Barack Obama appear together Saturday at a minister-moderated forum held in a church, thousands of evangelicals are expected to gather in the nation’s capital to pressure both men move further to the right on the social issues.

TheCall - a group representing so-called “values voters” – will hold a rally on the National Mall as both candidates speak at Pastor Rick Warren’s 20,000-member Saddleback mega church in southern California, where the author of the best-selling book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” is slated to interview both McCain and Obama.

TheCall, and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council - a Christian organization that opposes same-sex marriage and abortion rights - will hold a press conference in Washington Friday to push McCain and Obama to delve further into issues facing evangelical voters, The Hill newspaper reported Saturday.

Former GOP presidential candidate and Baptist minister Mike Huckabee will also attend the press conference, according to the paper.

Lou Engle, Founder of the Justice House of Prayer, says “it's time for TheCall to expand to the national stage in an historic gathering in our nation's capital this Saturday,” according to the group’s Web site.

He says it isn't a conference or a festival, but rather a “a solemn assembly - a gathering of all ages, races and denominations. The 12 hours of TheCall are spent primarily before the Lord in prayer and worship.”

While McCain is generally considered a moderate, evangelicals leaders say they do not believe he has adopted consistently conservative positions on some social issues. The Republican is against abortion rights and opposes same-sex marriage, but is a supporter of embryonic stem cell research – a position that many religious groups oppose.

Obama’s position in favor of abortion rights and same-sex civil unions have also created some tension among evangelical voters otherwise drawn to his candidacy this cycle.

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soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Justin


    August 13, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. bernj

    Religion will be the downfall of this country. Everyone thinks everyone else is wrong. Organized religion has caused numerous wars and has resulted in the deaths of more people than all the world's natural disasters combined.

    The odd thing is......I suspect the Creator is puzzled as well by all these "values" folks who think they know it all when they really know nothing at all.

    August 13, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. Jill- IN

    It's seems odd that evangelicals think they speak for the righteous right and yet they have the same divorce rate as the population in general. Is honoring original marriage vows at the bottom of the list?

    August 13, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Watermann

    The today's political ticker scares me. It obviously contains the mayor values the US is looking at:


    How poor

    August 13, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. roy

    Enough is enough. This country is in teh shape it is in today beacuse of people of so called "faith and values". These people cared more about abortion and same sex people having the right to marry then what was happening in the economy and the illegal war that the Bush administartion has put upon the American people. These people deserve no say.

    August 13, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. My Friends, let me tell you,

    Its time to tax the churchs and have them pay for sticking their noses into politics.

    August 13, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Raymond K Hessel

    Culture wars will have no bearing on the election this time around. Real issues such as Iraq, the Economy, Energy, and even Climate Change to an extent will decide. Too many Americans are suffering economically to even consider culture war subjects. To put it simply, no one cares. It's all on the back burner for now.

    August 13, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Toby

    More conservative on social issues? Odd. I thought their God Jesus was more liberal (i.e. generous to others) - give to the poor, don't cast the first stone, help the sojourner (i.e. alien) in your midst, judge not, and all that.

    August 13, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    After all the crap that Focus on the Famiy has pulled of late (i.e., their leader calling for its members to PRAY for rain on the Democratic Convention when Obama gives his accpetance speech, ah, Christianity at its finest...NOT!), I am not inclined to give a flying fig about this group, The Call and the noise they are going to make. Further, Rick Warren is a motivational "pusher"; I think his "ministry" is more about some right-wing agenda than actual Christianity or a philanthropical "call". Not that CNN will print any of this post, but for the record, I am a Christian who practices her faith in the Roman Catholic denomination.
    May God Bless future POTUS OBAMA! YES WE CAN!!!

    August 13, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. Vote Nader

    To all of you who don't understand church and state...

    Religious people/groups have a right to petition their government to legislate and enforce laws based off Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. morals and practices. This does not infringe on the "seperation of church and state" you so heavily misunderstand. Morality, no matter how it is based has a right to be taken in by government. Using your logic, murder should not be illegal since it is essentially a morality issue, which one could argue is based off Christian beliefs.

    If government were to establish a national religion and/or persecute those who did not follow a certain religion, then you would have a church and state issue.

    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    August 13, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. james of CT

    why is religion such an issue when voting for a president to run this country? Not all of us are religious. And even if half the country is religious, not all of them are christians. These people are only for so call christians. These people are christian terrorists / communists just like the polygamy people in Texas.

    August 13, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Ben - Portland, Or

    Once again, I'm going to point out the foolishness of voting on two issues:

    "[McCain] is against abortion rights and opposes same-sex marriage..." but is in favor of stem cell research. OK, so you're voting on two issues- abortion and gay marriage. That's two things. That's all? You're not thinking about the energy policy? Don't you think that's important, and ultimately will circle back to your Christian Values? We're in Iraq for OIL. We'll go into Iran for OIL. We've been lied to, cheated, and swindled by the current administration. Is murder, lying, cheating, swindling all part of the good Christian way? Hardly.

    They've pandered to your two issues, and where are we now? Abortion is still legal and will never be illegal, and gays still love each other. Those two issues are never going to change, whether by law or your social outrage, so get over it and vote for the man who is actually valuable, Barack Obama.

    August 13, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. texas

    Wow, I guess this is a touchy subject for some.

    I see nothing wrong with discussing issues, whether they are social issues or economic issues.

    August 13, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Ian

    The evangelicals have been running this country for how long now? Look at where that got us.

    August 13, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. check and checkmate

    So which is it Huck, you can't serve two masters sounds like you are like all the Bible Thumpers, unfortunately, evolution like god does exist. You can use any excuse you want that's gods gift "free choice", politics is politics. The heads of all the mega churches just use religion as a tax dodge your time is over.........

    August 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. Shannon Shiflett

    The right is so wrong I'm proud to be left.

    August 13, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Chris, American in London

    Why do these people think they have any more 'value voters" than the rest of us? They've enslaved their votes on two issues, abortion and gay rights, to a Republican party who prides itself in turning to violence through warfare, on the environment, and on the poor w/their economic agenda. What a clear contradiction to the message of the New Testament!!
    They say all life is precious and then support a party that gleefully executes criminals with the death penalty when time and again we find out some of these people were actually innocent and that's acceptable collateral damage in a system that exists just for revenge sakes?
    Modern science has proven that homosexuality is a biological disposition from birth, would you prefer parents have abortions on gay fetuses IF YOU COULD YOU PIGS!!! Then you say gays are promiscuous and lead empty lives while denying them a chance to settle down and form families, it's pure hypocrisy and God is witnessing this.

    Christians unite for change:
    Obama 08!!!!

    August 13, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. judy

    On the contrary, this country was founded on religious values. The pioneers came over from England so they could worship as they pleased. The founding of this country was the movement of a church.

    Pro-life, anti-abortion are positions the presidential candidate should endorse. The Bible outlaws abortion, because abortion is the murder of an unborn but living child. Down with the ACLU, which I call the Anti-Christian Liberties Union. They are the ones who want "In God We Trust" taken off our money. They are the ones who made a judge take down The Ten Commandments which he had posted in his court. Our law is supposed to be based on the Ten Commandments of God.

    August 13, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. TH - USA

    Do yourself a favor; see the movie called "OBSESSION" It answered my questions as I'm sure it will yours.

    Or go to

    August 13, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. Typical White Person

    dcmsideshow August 13th, 2008 2:59 pm ET wrote:

    ... Since when did we as a nation become obligated to cater to a specific group just because they are more vocal about their beliefs than other groups?

    Well, let's see. La Raza, NAACP, AARP, PETA, Code Pink...

    There is a long list of groups who demand to be catered to. You, however, choose to single out one group, a very, very large group, to rail against. Is it because you are liberal and think only liberal groups have a right to organize and be heard?

    August 13, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Justin

    I just want to know what these evangelicals are so afraid of?

    August 13, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. Pick Me! Pick Me!!

    Faith/World View is what motivates presidents and demonstrates their core values and moral center!

    McCain 08! The other guy fails this test big time!

    This test? Hmmmm..... I guess "core values and moral center" also means excepting a candidate that can't keep his zipper zipped. (McCain's affair with pop tart Cindy).

    August 13, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. Done with Dems

    McCain/Ralph Reed 08

    August 13, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Pick Me! Pick Me!!

    McCain 08! The other guy fails this test big time!

    Yes, Obama failed the "test" because unlike McCain, Obama kept his pants on while married to Michelle.

    August 13, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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