Monday, February 25, 2008


Your Missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

There was the notorious TIME Magazine cover of the late 1960s that declared,  “God is dead.” No one ever produced proof of that assertion. In contrast, today I saw authoritative evidence the radical secularism that spawned such a ridiculous claim is absolutely dead-as-a-doornail.

This morning I participated in an informative meeting here in Washington dealing with the issue of international religious liberty. You may know I serve on the board of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy headed by my friend Joe Griebowski. It was in connection with that role that I attended today’s forum.

Several presenters shared insights, opinions and statistical analysis from a variety of viewpoints and data. We heard from experts who were religious and non-religious, political and non-political, government-based and non-government based, American and non-American, even communist—but they all came to the same conclusion: Religious liberty is a very important—if not the most important—of human rights and human concerns. Furthermore, the presence of religious liberty is inseparably linked to virtually every other positive societal factor.

Seems like a keen sense of the obvious right? Not to everyone. In fact, to very few in academia, law, government, international relations, politics and our U.S. State Department. (Note the State Department is the mechanism the U.S. uses to engage other countries.) I’ll concentrate here on what I found to be the most important aspects of what we discussed today:

1)      - Religious liberty factors insignificantly on most government agendas—including our own. Notwithstanding that fact, the right to freely practice ones religion factors very high in polls conducted around the world.

2)     -  Most government entities—again including our own State Department—have operated for decades on a false model—that the world is getting progressively more secular. The numbers demonstrate otherwise—all parts of the world (with the predictable exception of Western Europe) are either becoming more religious or are holding steady.

3)      - The consensus is that most governments and government officials, the media and the United Nations assiduously avoid engaging religious questions because they are the ones that are inordinately secularized!

4)     -  A clear 94% of the world’s population believe in God. An overall 87% consider religion to be an important part of their lives.

How is it that so little attention is given to things religious given these numbers? It’s not only scandalous and demonstratively incompetent to ignore such a vital factor—it’s an almost insane denial of reality.

The facts are clear and convincing: The world is a very religious place—sometimes a terribly religious place. In order to understand it, deal with it and resolve its most pressing conflicts, crises and needs, you must view it through a religious lens.

The Bible says, “The fool has said down in his heart there is no God.” Anyone running for office, running a government or trying to figure out what’s going on without taking religion, spirituality and all they entail into the most serious consideration is foolish indeed!

Your grateful missionary to elected and appointed officials,

Rev. Rob Schenck

109 2nd St., NE

Washington, DC 20002





Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

I'm thumb-typing on my Blackberry handheld during a critical meeting in Washington on religious liberty around the world.(So please forgive typos!)

This is a collection of the top scholars and authorities on this life and death matter both for individuals and whole societies and nations.

It's a real mind-blower. We just heard from the top sociologists in the world on the question of whether religious freedom is connected to overall wellbeing--social, economic, security, etc. The numbers can't be challenged: Religious freedom has everything to do with respect for all other rights. This goes along with the philosophy of another group I serve with, the Institute on Religion and Public Policy (that's why I'm here), which says religious liberty is the foundation for all other human rights.

Think about it: The deepest, most passionate, consequential, and surely most important decisions a human will ever make has to do with God, spirituality and all-things religious. Such decisions have enormous temporal and eternal consequences. That's definitely important!

There are representatives of Congress, the Bush Administration and the UN here. The big question of the day has been, Why doesn't the question of religious liberty factor larger in American foreign policy and UN policy? The consensus seems to be that all the agents involved in this question are still working on a false model: that the world is becoming less religious and more secular. That theory is 100 years old but has been proven absolutely false.

The numbers presented here have been impressive and convincing:
The world is just as religious-or even more religious than it's ever been. A full 94% of the world believes in God. The only decline in belief is Western Europe. (Any surprise?)

Lots going on in the meeting at the moment. I'll break off and be back later. Watch for my video report on this meeting and all its related issues posted at this week's Faith and Action Live missionary field report.

Rev. Rob Schenck
Faith and Action
109 2nd St., NE
Washington, DC 20002

Monday, February 18, 2008


Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

Different religious traditions use the term “saint” differently. For some, “living saint” is an oxymoron.  By this definition, anyone deemed a saint has already passed to Heaven. For others, all faithful Christians are at all times “saints.” In common American parlance  a “living saint” is somebody who stands out from others because he/she has lived a God-honoring life that has benefited humanity. The top qualities of living saints reflect the two Great Commandments: They love God and they love their fellow human beings.

To my amazement, one such “living saint” is still, well, living—and I had the privilege of meeting him yesterday! He is George MacPherson Docherty, a retired Presbyterian minister. Now bedridden at 96, he carries the same dignity he did when he entertained presidents, lectured at universities and kept company with his golfing buddy Billy Graham.  It was one of Dr. Docherty’s sermons that helped turn our nation back to God. In fact, it was his preaching that would lead to hundreds of millions of American citizens pledging their allegiance to the flag of “one nation under God.” It’s an amazing story. 

For years I have known a little bit about how the Pledge of Allegiance was modified to include the phrase “under God.” It happened in 1954 at the height of the “Cold War” between the United States and the former Soviet Union. The conflict boiled down to one basic element: The acknowledgment of God as sovereign over humanity and nations. Americans have always been a God-fearing people, while the Soviet Union was an officially atheistic state. America’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, states unequivocally that our most fundamental human rights come to us as irrevocable gifts from the Creator, not as privileges from the government. Soviet socialism sought to eradicate this notion of God-given rights and replace it with a purely secularist worldview and an all-powerful state.

In response to the advance of such radical secularism, the Knights of Columbus and other groups had launched national petition drives in the early 1950’s to insert the phrase “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance. But it would be a single sermon and a president’s response to it that proved the tipping point.

On Sunday morning February 7, 1954, Dr. Docherty, the Scottish born pastor of Washington’s famed New York Avenue Presbyterian Church and the successor to pulpit luminary Peter Marshall, preached a sermon entitled “A New Birth of Freedom.” It was the church’s annual “Lincoln Day,” an observance in honor of the 16th president who regularly attended services there nearly a century before.

Knowing then President Dwight Eisenhower would be in attendance, Dr. Docherty revised an earlier sermon, this time weaving in his proposal that Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address reference to “one nation under God,” be added to the Pledge of Allegiance.

“We face, today, a theological war,” he thundered from the pulpit in his impressive brogue. “It is not basically a conflict between two political philosophies, Thomas Jefferson’s democracy over against Lenin’s communistic state. Nor is it a conflict fundamentally between two economic systems, between, shall we say Adam Smith’s ‘Wealth of Nations’ and Karl Marx’s ‘Das Capital.’”

Then the preacher launched his proposition, “To omit the words ‘Under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance is to omit the definitive character of the ‘American Way of Life.’”

(Ironically, it wasn't until 1960 that Docherty himself became an American citizen.)

Eisenhower liked the sermon and bought Docherty’s argument, as did two members of Congress present that morning. (The above photo was taken immediately following the service.) The very next day the legislative initiative was underway and in record time the House and Senate passed the new language for the Pledge. In a floor speech just days after Docherty’s prophetic message, Michigan congressman Charles Oakman said, “The tough moral fiber which has characterized this Nation’s growth to a position of world preeminence must not deteriorate. It was fed on the belief that our destiny was bound to the will of God. It cannot survive unless this spiritual fuel is maintained.”

In answer to a rhetorical question about violating the so-called “separation principle,” or the separation of church and state, Oakman said, “A distinction exists between the church as an institution and a belief in the sovereignty of God.”

The modified Pledge was signed into law four months later on Flag Day, June 14, 1954.

Of course, as you probably know, the notorious atheist activist Michael Newdow has recently challenged these words in court. As a result, in 2002, the powerful Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco struck down the clause “Under God” as unconstitutional.  The US Supreme Court then extended a rare privilege to Newdow in 2004. Although the emergency room physician had only just completed a law degree and passed his bar exam, the justices lifted the normal three-year waiting period and permitted Newdow to argue his own case in front of them. It didn’t help; the case was dismissed and sent back to the lower courts to review again. Newdow just reargued it at the Ninth Circuit. No opinion has been rendered yet.

Regardless what the Ninth Circuit or any other court decides, the story of “Under God” in our Pledge reminds us all this struggle for the soul of our American civilization is not over. It will require constant vigilance. It also reminds us of the power of the pulpit. When God’s Word is faithfully proclaimed from the “sacred desk” it reshapes the moral landscape. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,” reads Proverbs 21:1. “Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever he wishes.”

In the days ahead you’ll hear a lot more from me about George Docherty, his sermon and the Pledge to the Flag of “one nation under God.” While Dr. Docherty is still with us, I am working feverishly with members of Congress to petition the President to confer the Medal of Freedom on him. Dr. Docherty deserves such a great honor for his incomparable contribution to our country, but his receiving it will give the nation another opportunity to consider the profound meaning and consequence of these words. I’ll soon ask you for your help in getting this accomplished in short order. Dr. Docherty is a gift from God to this country, and I’d like to see us say thanks before he departs for Heaven!

Stand by for more . . .

Your grateful missionary to elected and appointed officials,

Rev. Rob Schenck

Faith and Action

109 2nd St., NE

Washington, DC 20002


Thursday, February 14, 2008


Your Missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

Once in a while there’s a nice break in the intensity of Washington. The other day I enjoyed such a break—it was the best kind. I was on my way to the airport, which I usually drive in my car from my home in Northern Virginia. This time, though, I had to leave directly from our ministry center, and, because I take the train into the city each day, I didn’t have my car. Peggy Birchfield, our chief-of-staff, arranged for what is called the Super Shuttle. It’s a blue van that picks up multiple passengers at different locations and transports you to the airport.

Generally, the Super Shuttle is full of people by the time it reaches me, but this time it was empty. In fact, it remained empty the whole trip, which is quite unusual. The driver, an obviously African man, was listening to our local Christian radio station, WAVA. That, too, was unusual. The show that was on at the time was Janet Parshall’s America. It’s a talk format on issues affecting morality and spirituality in our culture. I know Janet and have done interviews with her a number of times. When I climbed into the back seat I remarked about that, telling the driver, Mr. Ekwa, that he was listening to a friend of mine. He was pleasantly surprised, but instead of asking me a typical question like, oh, what is she like? He said, “I am listening because I feel I need to become a Christian.”

It was positively Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch!

After briefly introducing ourselves to one another (I learned he was from Gambia), I asked what led him this way. He told me he was raised in Africa, oddly, in a Buddhist home, but that he was not spiritually satisfied. One day he just thought he needed to become a Christian. Then he made an evangelist’s job very easy--he asked me, “Can you tell me how to become a Christian?”

Of course, I assured him I could. I laid out the Gospel from the scriptures, shared my own personal testimony of faith, and invited him to pray a prayer with me based on Romans 10: 9, “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

I asked Mr. Ekwa if he wished to pray this prayer with me and commit his life to Jesus Christ. Surprisingly, he hesitated, explaining that he was worried his wife would not follow with him. He expressed great concern for her and for his two young daughters. I explained to him the promise of God is for him and for his family, pointing to Acts 2:39, “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

With this assurance, he said he wished to continue and I led him in reciting a very simple, childlike prayer acknowledging his sin, asking God’s forgiveness in the sacrifice of Christ in the Cross, and pledging himself to Jesus as Lord, the boss of his life. He then asked the Holy Spirit to come into him and help him live in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.

After our prayer, Mr. Ekwa boldly asked me for a Bible. I promised to send him one and we exchanged addresses. (He’s already received it.) We then talked about how he might find a good church so he can get grounded in his faith and lead his family to Christ.

Please pray for our new brother in Christ. Of all the things I do here in Washington and around the world, nothing is more important than being used by God to help one person find the Savior!

More later . . . 

Rev. Rob Schenck

109 2nd St, NE

Washington, DC 20002





Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Where Are We in the Elections?

Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

OK, the field has narrowed and only a few viable candidates have momentum. Newcomer Barack Obama now credibly threatens Hillary Clinton, the heiress apparent to the Democrat nomination. On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee is arithmetically separated from overtaking John McCain. Left in the media shadows are Allan Keyes and Ron Paul, still very much in the race. Oh, and I keep forgetting about the lone pro-life Democrat. I’m embarrassed I can never remember his name, and I’m not sure he’s still in, but no announcement otherwise.

All this to say it’s boiling down to:

1)    For the Democrats, obviously it’s either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Policy-wise, most observers say that means little bottom-line difference in policy or legislative outcomes, but I say a huge difference in the way each would govern. And there will be an enormous difference in the culture-tone of their two White Houses. Hillary at least has a memory of church-going family life. Barack has no such formation. Still, his work within the black churches may offset some of that making his administration more congenial to religious groups. African-American churches also tend to be more morally conservative than white churches.


2)    For the Republicans, it’s John McCain with the lingering question of what influence Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul can have on his platform. McCain has had a good record on pro-life (I did not say great, or even very good), a so-so record on marriage and the family (and that’s both public and private) and little to zilch on the public acknowledgment of God. So there’s definitely room to tutor him. I’m looking for that opportunity and hope and pray Huckabee and Paul might have it, too.

My observations:

The Democrats have ignited a “movement” with Barack Obama. Movements are very difficult things to contain. Notwithstanding Obama’s unexpected momentum, the Democratic Party establishment—the elites, the celebs, the mega-donors—are still largely with Hillary. She also holds the greatest number of political IOUs than any Democrat, ever. Hillary and Bill have been raising and giving away boatloads of cash for more than seven years. They have bought into all the strategic congressional districts by backing candidates they knew they’d need in this fight. That means she still has some good wins ahead of her. She also has a majority of the so-called Super Delegates, 700 plus, who carry exponential weight in the final voting. (I find the presence of these “more equal voters” to be an absolutely bizarre violation of “democracy” within the “Democratic Party.”) 

Having said all this, the winds are shifting. In politics, everyone likes a winner better than a loser. They also like attention—and Obama’s getting a lot more attention than Clinton. It may not be long before a critical mass of voters, luminaries, donors and Super Delegates peel away from Hillary and glom onto “Beautiful Barack.”He may prove me wrong. I’ve been saying that she holds such a commanding ownership of Democratic Party machinery that it’s hers to lose. Well, maybe I’m still right, because she’s definitely the one losing it. She thought her party was still operated solely by the older white liberals. She was wrong. The Democratic Party is now energized by a new, young generation of “post-racial” kids. They’ve grown up with friends of every ethnic heritage and their heroes represent the full spectrum of human shapes and forms. Hillary and her people are out of touch with their own base. That looks more and more like it spells a loss for her and Bill, but we’ll see.

An Obama win will draw extremely sharp contrasts with a McCain ticket. Obama is fiercely anti-war and anti-military. He’s a child of multi-cultural intellectuals and religious skeptics. “Church” appears to be for him mostly an organizing tool to corral and deploy the best of humanitarian impulses. He uses the utopian language of “building the kingdom of God on earth.” On foreign policy, Obama is pro-Palestinian and leans anti-Israel. He has championed socialist-like government programs and attends Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, one of the most liberal congregations of the most liberal denomination in the U.S.

In contrast, McCain is fiercely supportive of war in pursuit of the enemy and until full victory. He is not just pro-military, though, he is actually a scion of the military caste. (His father and grandfather were admirals and I believe four generations of McCains have been trained at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis.) As far as I know, he is pro-Israel and leans away from the Palestinians. The age difference goes without saying: McCain is a septuagenarian—he makes Hillary look young and the ageless Barack positively youthful. In today’s image-conscious culture, McCain’s age is a liability. On spirituality, McCain’s been flatter than Obama; a taciturn, “we don’t talk about religion at the table” kind of guy. McCain has also straddled a lot of fences. Down-the-middle rarely works in politics. As Jesus said, “because you are lukewarm I will spew you out of my mouth.” In this case, the majority of the electorate just may follow the Lord’s lead! Then, of course, there is the temperament difference. Obama is at least perceived to be a calm and cool conciliator, while McCain is known to be hotheaded and obstinate. On and on it goes.

The McCain ticket looks to me like a redux of Bob Dole. Dole couldn’t make it and, I’m afraid, neither can McCain. A great friend of mine who is a seasoned veteran (literally and figuratively) called to say he believes McCain is anointed of God for such a time as this. I want to believe that and I’m praying and working on it. God knows and so often confounds our finite reasoning. Still, this one is loaded with problems. Another seasoned leader and one of the most brilliant Christian minds in our country said to me today, “We have no leadership.” Amen.

Please watch my video blog on all this. Pat Mahoney joins me in the conversation. He’s a deeply spiritual guy and a real politiphile! (I made it up and have no idea how to spell it!)

Lets keep praying!

Your grateful missionary to elected and appointed officials,


Rob Schenck

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

I know, you're probably getting as sick of the subject as I am, but the fact remains: This presidential election will be the most consequential of the last 50 or more years. The reason is it will set the tone of our nation and its culture for a century or more.

The next president will select one or two US Supreme Court justices and scores of lower court judges. These judges make the big decisions on all the major moral issues: The Sanctity of Life, the Sanctity of Marriage and the Family and the Public Acknowledgment of God.

Your pick of the candidates will also send a message to whoever wins. For example, in the Republican primaries today in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, your vote for an Alan Keyes, Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul will send a strong message to John McCain that he must take the Constitution and religious conservatives seriously. I'm not sure what to say about the Democratic primary since I'm still convinced Hillary has the establishment on her side. I continue to project the "Super Donors" will go for her in the end, poking the electorate in the eye, but we'll see.

For today, I urge you to do both your civic duty and carry out your God-given stewardship obligation by voting in your primary. (If you live in Virginia, Maryland or the District of Columbia, that's today!) Vote your conscience after prayer. Don't worry who will win or who will do what.  You are responsible to make your prayerfully informed choice. Whoever wins will then make their account before God for what they are responsible to do.

I'll be back with analysis of the outcomes. I'm praying for you and for our country today!

Your grateful missionary to elected and appointed officials,

Rev. Rob Schenck

Monday, February 11, 2008


Tomorrow, February 12, is the “Potomac” primary—Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia—so I’ll be voting. I won’t tell you whom I will vote for because it will surely be misconstrued as an endorsement. However, I will tell you how I will vote.

My candidate must first pass what I call the Deuteronomy 17 test. Take a look there; it speaks for itself.

Second, my candidate must have unequivocal and personally credible positions (and realistically executable plans)  supporting absolutely the first of our guaranteed God-given human rights: The Right to Life.

Third, my candidate will take an unapologetic but congenial stand for the absolute sanctity of marriage as between one man and one woman in monogamous life-long union. He / she will also make no room for so-called “same-sex unions,” which are simply a way to degrade marriage until it is no longer legally viable.

Fourth, my candidate will personally and publicly acknowledge the sovereignty of God over private and public affairs, including over our nation and indeed all nations.

Lastly, my candidate will be the one who most respects and assiduously applies the final rule of the U.S. Constitution in all matters pertaining to government.

And, if all the above are met, I might--and I emphasize might--take into consideration the candidate's electability; can he or she win?

If these pointers are helpful to you, I encourage to you to take and compare them to what you read on the candidates’ websites. Look too at our website and other sites you know and trust. If you’re voting tomorrow, take all that information with you and then pray. The Lord will help you to discern the right man or woman even as you vote.

Remember, your responsibility is to vote according to your conscience. Allow it to be informed by the Word of God, Christian moral instruction and prayer.

Check out my video blog to be posted later today at!

Your grateful missionary to elected ad appointed officials,

Rev. Rob Schenck

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

Ministering to government officials in Washington generally keeps me and our ministry team busy for long days Monday through Friday. Most weekends the staff has off, but on an average of two weekends a month, I get on a plane, train or into a car to make my way to a pulpit somewhere in the country. This is the other part of my life--what we call Faith and Action's "pulpit ministry."

This past weekend I was in Westlake, Ohio, just outside Cleveland, at the dynamic Church on the Rise pastored by the Reverend Dr. Paul Endrei and his wife, Patti. Pastor Paul and Patti have built a vivacious mega-church that places a premium on families, young people and children. Like Pastor like people, "COR," as it's known, is a very warm, hospitable, passionate congregation with an unusual mix of ages and ethnic backgrounds. Pastors Paul and Patti are also very busy conducting "ULTI-MATE" marriage conferences in churches across the country. Their newly released book on the secrets to a successful marriage, "Glue," is a sell-out everywhere they speak.

The Endrei's and COR has supported Faith and Action since its inception in 1994, the year we arrived on Capitol Hill!

While the travel part of pulpit ministry gets a little more difficult as time goes on, I still love going out and reporting what God is doing here in Washington, challenging God's people with a message from His Word, and meeting new friends who care about the soul of our American culture. If you'd like me to pay a visit to your church, talk to your pastor and congregational leaders. They can contact us by E-mail, phone or fax at, 202-546-8329, extension 103, or 202-546-6864, respectively. (Please note: we can only respond to formal invitations from churches themselves or the official organizers of church or other events.)

Our approach to pulpit ministry is in keeping with our philosophy of "the sender and the sent." We could not do what we've been sent to Capitol Hill to do without your partnership as the sender. We depend on your prayers, your encouragement and your generous financial support. No one can be a "sender" alone; you can only be sent if someone sends you. That's where you come in for us. God has provided you as our "sender" so we can go!

Back with more . . .

Rev. Rob Schenck
Faith and Action
109 2nd St., NE
Washington, DC, 20002

Friday, February 08, 2008


Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

I spent all day yesterday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) here in Washington. This is the annual gathering of every kind of conservative political leader and grassroots activist. The content of the event spans the spectrum from the social-religious-moral to economic-Second Amendment-security issues. Sometimes it's a delicate mix, as it most certainly was yesterday.

While I was there I talked with a number of leading thinkers and strategists. I also talked with Mitt Romney and his wife Ann just before he so graciously bowed out by suspending his presidential campaign. By then, some 4 million Americans had cast their vote for the Governor, but it wasn't enough to stop the John McCain tsunami.

The political equation has now changed considerably. I'm greatly relieved that Mike Huckabee is no longer in a position of being used by the McCain camp to gain an advantage. Jim Dobson validated this by endorsing him today. The only way Huckabee could fall back into that trap is to accept a McCain invitation for running mate--something I pray Governor Huckabee would not do. It may be a moot point, though, after yesterday's clear rejection of McCain by the central core of conservatives. I was there. I heard the booing; I saw the bristling. He didn't go over well and he knows it. And everything I've heard about John McCain, including from those who have worked closest to him over many years, is that McCain has a very long memory. He's likely to punish conservatives by not naming one as a top figure in his prospective administration.

All this adds up to: Religious, social and moral conservatives should hold on tight to the candidate of their consciences. Huckabee, Keyes and Paul remain strong options on the Republican side; there are other party and independent candidates; and there's even a pro-life Democrat running, but I honestly can't remember his name!

It goes without saying that Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will never connect with religious and moral conservatives. Relatively speaking, she's more conservative than he is, but that's not saying much at all. Both Clinton and Obama and their party remain utterly sold out to a pro-abortion, anti-traditional marriage platform.

This election season will not be an easy one. As you approach your primary elections, please pray, stay fully informed (a big demand in and of itself) and fully engaged. May the Lord grant us wisdom in these difficult times!

Back with more . . . and more . . . and more!

Your grateful missionary to elected and appointed officials,

Rob Schenck
Faith and Action
109 2nd Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

By now I hope you've seen my video blog on the results of Super Tuesday. I'm still processing the information and prayerfully working through it. It's not easy. I'm usually an optimist, but not on this one!

Related: I just got off a call with a reporter who asked me if I am "against Mike Huckabee." I made it quite plain that I am not. I have met Mike Huckabee and I believe he is a fine Christian brother and able politician. He is most certainly a worthy opponent for anyone in the race. What I did explain is that his current trajectory is only helping John McCain to surge ahead--and that is seriously problematic for Christians and other moral and social conservatives.

The main reason I am "against" McCain is because he has no credibility on judges and justices. As I've pointed out before, he's the author of McCain-Feingold, a brazen violation of First Amendment rights. A sitting president couldn't possibly risk appointing judges that would deem the law that bears his name to be unconstitutional. Sadly, the only judges that will uphold McCain-Feingold will also be pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage and against the public acknowledgment of God.

Anyone who doubts my assessment of McCain's judicial picks need only look to the presence of former New Hampshire senator Warren Rudman among the top McCain advisers. Rudman is the guy who is singularly responsible for the extremely liberal David Souter being on the Supreme Court. (Rudman convinced President George H.W. Bush to nominate his fellow New Hampshirite.)

Of course, there's a whole lot more that does not commend McCain to Christian conservatives, but I don't need to go any further.

As you've no doubt heard, Dr. James Dobson has announced he will sit out the election rather than vote for John McCain. Many others feel the same. I heard from a venerable preacher and great Christian leader today who basically said the same thing. And it's not just Christian conservatives--look at the overall numbers: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are drawing out voters 2-1 over their Republican competitors. Low turn-out suggests a demoralized party and a lack of enthusiasm about the prospective nominee.

No, I'm not "against Mike Huckabee." I'm against John McCain and anything that helps him win the nomination. The numbers continue to add up to a McCain surge as long as the moral conservative vote is split, as it is now.

The only thing that might place me "against Mike Huckabee," would be if he gets on board a McCain-Huckabee ticket. That would be very bad indeed, and I'd have to work against it.

Maybe four years of a Hillary or Barack presidency would be judgment enough for the choice of wicked leadership. God has done it before; let's pray He doesn't have to do it again!

More on the election to come.

Your grateful missionary to elected and appointed officials,

Rob Schenck


Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

Last night was described as the political Super Bowl. If it was, it was the strangest of games: Four—arguably five—winning teams!

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton came in first with Barack Obama a hare’s breath away. They remain neck and neck, but I still contend she’s the establishment’s pick and it’s just a matter of time. Of course, as always, I could be very wrong.

On the Republican side, John McCain was challenged by second-place winner Mitt Romney. Mike Huckabee came in third taking states and delegates.

The real story here is not the candidates who won, but the voter turn out. Democrats out-voted Republicans 2 to 1. If that trend continues, it portends a Hillary or Barack victory in November and the most pro-abortion, anti-traditional marriage, anti-acknowledgment of God administration imaginable come January, 2009.

The counts so far:

The winning Democrat needs 2,025

Clinton 825

Obama 732

The Republican needs 1,191

McCain 615

Romney 268

Huckabee 169

I’ll be back with my analysis.


Monday, February 04, 2008


Rob Schenck, reporting:

Today I write as a private citizen and not as the head of a Christian ministry organization:

Tuesday, February 5, will be a critical point in the process of picking the two major nominees for president of the United States. It may very well be the decisive day, but I certainly pray not. It will be a good thing for the country if the contest continues, and it's my opinion it would serve the American people particularly well if it continues right up to the respective Republican and Democratic conventions.

I've been asked by innumerable people now, Who should I vote for on Super Tuesday?

First, I offer a disclaimer: I see things from the vantage point of an evangelical Christian activist. I have lived the last 33 years of my life as an evangelical believer. I am an ordained evangelical minister. I graduated from an evangelical Bible college and an evangelical seminary. I serve on the board of America's oldest evangelical association of church leaders, and I head one of the most active national evangelical organizations based in Washington, DC.

I'll also say that I have carefully--and prayerfully--looked at each of the candidates, Democrat and Republican--and I have met some of them. I have talked to many of their top level advisors and campaign staff people, and I have even been with some of the campaigns out on the campaign trail. I have three close friends, each working for a different candidate, one of them working for Hillary Clinton. Though I have no personal contacts with Barack Obama, my soul mate, Dr. Johnny Hunter, head of the African-American organization L.E.A.R.N., has talked with the senator face-to-face; I also sent a research assistant out to Chicago to find out what she could about Obama. And then there was my one-hour sit-down face-to-face with the chairman of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean, in his office at Democratic Party headquarters.

(Two of the most interesting experiences I've had this campaign season was an intimate vetting question-and-answer session with Governor Mitt Romney and a prayer service with Congressman Ron Paul, but no space to further comment on those items!)

All this to say I've gotten a pretty good look at the field of candidates and their campaigns. With this in mind, let me offer my humble advice on casting your vote on Tuesday, February 5:

- Begin winnowing down your list by eliminating those candidates that are disqualified on their face:

1. If they don't get it right on the preeminent God-given human right, the absolute Right to Life, they can't possibly get anything else right. It's the reason the Founders listed the Right to Life first in the sequence of rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their CREATOR, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Though I was born and raised in a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat family, I'm sad to say the Democrats have ruled themselves out by forcing their national candidates to tow the pro-abortion line. So, I have ruled out Democrats on their face until the Party changes it's position and respects the Declaration of Independence and every human being's God-given Right to Life.

2. Because so much is at stake in the election of this next president, we must balance our ideals with a realistic assessment of the candidates' chances for winning.

(A little sidebar: In my estimation, Hillary Clinton already has the nomination from her party. I say that for several reasons: 1) Hillary and Bill Clinton have raised more money for Democrats than anyone in modern history. They are owed more political IOU's than any politicians in this country. The Clintons own the machinery of the Democratic Party and they are the favorites of the Party's establishment. 2) Barack Obama is useful to Hillary because he whips up enthusiasm, brings hundreds of thousands of newly registered and energized Democrats to the table, and 3) Creates the appearance of a real Democratic debate inside the Democratic Party. But--and I may be crazy--I believe at the proper moment, the Party machine will pull the plug on him and ask, "Where are ya' gonna' go? To the Republicans?")

3. Whoever you pick has got to be able to win over Hillary, or on the odd chance, Barack, both of whom will be the absolute darlings of the overwhelming majority of print and broadcast media. Your candidate better be articulate, brilliant, energetic and telegenic, or he won't win in America's celebrity culture.

4. Once you narrow it down to a short list of those who get it right on the paramount moral issues, beginning with the Right to Life, but including the sanctity of marriage and the family and the public acknowledgment of God, then you must consider national appeal; who appeals to the broadest number of voters. Only coalitions win primaries.

Another sidebar: I like Mike Huckabee. He's the real deal. A true, born again, Bible-believing Christian. I don't agree with all his policy proposals or everything he did while he was governor of Arkansas, but he's a good guy with the right convictions on the big issues. The problem now is he's not been able to broaden his appeal beyond evangelicals, for the most part, and so his role has been reduced to spoiler for Mitt Romney. Therefore, I've concluded Mike Huckabee's only contribution at this stage is to draw votes away from Romney giving John McCain a clear path to victory on the Republican side. There is also credible information that Huckabee is being positioned to be McCain's pick for vice president. That, in my estimation, will be bad for evangelicals and for the country. I'll elaborate:

5. John McCain will be a huge disappointment for evangelicals and other religious, moral and social conservatives: McCain is not only a secularist, he has worked against the interests of evangelicals and other moral / social conservatives. His signature act in the Congress is a law known as McCain Feingold. This law severely limits the First Amendment rights of Christians and many others by restricting the liberties of groups to comment on the elections. It's a terrible violation of the Constitution. A vote for Mike Huckabee has been reduced to a vote for John McCain and that is bad for all of us, and a possible McCain-Huckabee ticket would be an equation for disaster.

6. John McCain will do anything to preserve the law that bears his name. That means he will pick liberal judges that are sure to uphold this unconstitutional law. These same liberal judges will also uphold Roe v.Wade, "gay marriage," and continue to limit religious expression in the public square. That's bad for us and for the country. By helping John McCain, Mike Huckabee does not help us.

7. Mike Huckabee's time may come in the future, but for now, he ends up being a dupe for someone who does not have our values or the Constitution as his first concern. I urge you to consider one of the other candidates who can go on to win this contest.

Look at the numbers, do the analysis, get out to vote in your primary this Tuesday, February 5, or whenever it is, and, pray; God will help you to be wise. The stakes are just too high to sit this one out. This next presidential election is as much about the Supreme Court as it is about anything else. Your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will live with the consequences of your action--or inaction--in this primary!

I will update this blog throughout the day with more material--be sure to check back periodically.