Saturday, October 30, 2004


Inside the New Life compound, workers were finishing a new church that will seat 7,500 people and people wore buttons that said, "I voted." The headquarters office features pictures of the head pastor, Ted Haggard, with President Bush and Mel Gibson.

Mr. Haggard - or Pastor Ted, as everyone in the church calls him - is president of the National Association of Evangelicals, which says it represents 30 million people. He has been to the Oval Office twice since Mr. Bush has been president.

"We've been in regular contact with Karl Rove," said Mr. Brendle, referring to the president's chief political adviser. Though the church is officially nonpartisan, opposition to gay marriage and abortion have put it strongly in the Republican camp. To win this election, Mr. Rove has said, Republicans will need to turn out roughly four million evangelicals who did not vote in 2000. Mr. Brendle predicted an enormous Christian right turnout - at least 75 percent among the 11,000 members of the New Life Church.

"Our people don't need to be bused to the polls and given a sandwich," he said.

That last quote is really something, isn't it? Us against them. Black against white. Pastor Ted certainly knows whose side Jesus is on.

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