By Dmitriy Shapiro/JNS.org/Washington Jewish Week
Click photo download. Caption: Ralph Reed (left), the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s chairman, and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana at the coalition’s Road to Majority 2014 conference. Credit: Faith and Freedom Coalition Facebook page.
Religious freedom, family values, fiscal policy, and Israel were the primary drivers of discussion as faith activists and Republican politicians recently gathered in Washington, DC for the Road to Majority 2014 conference, put on by the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition. Despite the group’s reputation as being mostly focused on evangelical Christians, Jewish speakers, pundits, and issues were prominent on the agenda, as was quoting the Old Testament, an apparent nod to the broad range of inclusion that the group considers its goal.
Held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel from June 19-21, the conference featured speakers who denounced President Barack Obama’s foreign and domestic politics, as well as expanding on issues such as abortion, fiscal responsibility, and religious freedom. On the foreign affairs front, an active U.S. role in the Middle East and support of Israel as a strong regional ally were popular themes.
Author and commentator Aryeh Spero kicked off the conference by delivering a fiery invocation answered by shouts of “Amen” from the several hundred people in attendance.
“And David said to the Philistines: Thou cometh to me with a sword and a spear but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, Lord of this holy nation you dare to mock and dismiss,” said Spero. “So my friends, we ask, who are these judges, these bureaucrats, these hedonists of Hollywood, that they should come and taunt America and defy the living God upon whose word this Judeo-Christian nation was founded?”
He added, “The brazen and the prideful have stood over us to transform this country by first transforming our language; by redefining our historic and biblical understanding of marriage; of life in the womb and outside the womb; our view of freedom of conscience, and especially our right to freedom of religion as opposed to only freedom of worship.”
Click photo to download. Caption: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority 2014 conference. Credit: Faith and Freedom Coalition Facebook page.
This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, recited by Sammy, Ezra, and Dara Berger–the children of Orthodox Jewish Republican activist, donor, and obstetrician Alan Berger of Englewood, N.J. The boys wore their kippot on stage.
With only rare exceptions, almost all of the bible passages evoked by the speakers came from the Old Testament. Spero told JNS.org that he considers this to be a historic shift.