Friday, February 03, 2006

Abramoff's Evangelical Soldiers

Gambling might not rank as high as homosexuality or abortion on the list of social evils monitored by Focus on the Family found er James Dobson, but its growth has provided many occasions for his jeremiads. The indictment of Indian casino lobbyist and influential GOP activist Jack Abramoff was one such occasion. In a January 6 press release issued three days after Abramoff's indictment, Dobson declared, "If the nation's politicians don't fix this national disaster, then the oceans of gambling money with which Jack Abramoff tried to buy influence on Capitol Hill will only be the beginning of the corruption we'll see." He concluded with a denunciation of vice: "Gambling--all types of gambling--is driven by greed and subsists on greed."

What Dobson neglected to mention--and has yet to discuss publicly--is his own pivotal role in one of Abramoff's schemes. In 2002 Dobson joined a coterie of Christian-right activists, including Tony Perkins, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, to spearhead Abramoff's campaigns against the establishment of several Louisiana casinos that infringed on the turf of Abramoff's tribal clients. Dobson and his allies recorded messages for phone banking, lobbied high-level Bush Administration officials and took to the airwaves. Whether they knew it or not, these Christian soldiers' crusade to protect families in the "Sportsmen's Paradise" from the side effects of chronic slot-pulling and dice-rolling was funded by the gambling industry and planned by the lobbyist known even to his friends as "Casino Jack."

The only Christian-right activist confirmed to be completely aware of Abramoff's rip-off was Ralph Reed. He and Abramoff have a long and storied history together. When Abramoff chaired the College Republican National Committee in the early 1980s, Reed served as the organization's executive director. They reunited in 1989, when Abramoff helped Reed organize the remains of Pat Robertson's failed 1988 presidential bid into the Christian Coalition. In 1997, with the Christian Coalition under IRS investigation and Reed facing accusations of cronyism from the group's chief financial officer, he left to start his own consulting firm, Century Strategies. Reed contacted Abramoff right away. "I need to start humping in corporate accounts," Reed told him in 1998. "I'm counting on you to help me with some contacts."

Read On

Power corrupts. It is that simple.

When so-called Christians get into an "ends-justify-the-means" mind set, this is what happens.

Their schemes turn out to be worse than the "societal ill" they are supposedly fighting against.

When people, who have set themselves up as the moral compasses of a nation, the epitome of Christianity, the ever-present judges of us all, get caught up in dirty dealings with a men like Abramoff and Delayr, it is not in the least surprising to me.

They come from a long line of snake oil salesmen.

They are living a lie. They are a lie.

What's more, these people, who claim to be so persecuted in America, haven't seen anything yet!

While most of us have been content to live and let live all these years, while the moral majority, which, it turns out, was neither, ranted and raved about the immorality of the rest of us, we said nothing. People believe what they need to believe, in the final analysis.

I have heard people say that they are loathe to question another persons faith. I have always felt that way as well.

Not anymore.

As far as we are concerned, this is war!

We will put these pretenders under a microscope for the rest of their miserable lives.


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