thompson4.jpgThe Fred Thompson campaign yesterday sent reporters an ABC News story headlined “Thompson Rallies Conservative Christians.” God-o-Meter suspects that that headline may be giving Thompson too much credit, given that the entire article is about his endorsement from the Wesleyan Center for Strategic Studies, a group God-o-Meter has never heard of. A quick Nexis search turns up 4 results for the Center, all related to the Thompson campaign. The group’s web site says it was founded this year, and much of the site is devoted to its support for Thompson. All of which leads God-o-Meter to ask, how many conservative Christians does this group actually speak for? It will look into the matter and report back soon.
In the meantime, here’s what we know from ABC:

Standing inside the Mississippi State Capitol Rotunda, a cluster of conservative Christian leaders voiced their support for Republican candidate Fred Thompson, praising his “fortitude” of character.
“[Former] Senator Thompson’s pursuit of the presidency is not ego-driven … and [he] does not attempt to re-invent himself or change his language depending on his audience,” Reverend Phillip Knight said, adding, “It appears to me, the only candidate that can act, isn’t.”
Knight and Dr. Benny Tate, founders of the Wesleyan Center for Strategic Studies, promise the endorsements of 100 conservative Methodist pastors in the coming days. They also say they have been calling Iowa-area church leaders, rallying support for the former Tennessee Senator, who has been overshadowed by fellow Southerner-in-the-running, Mike Huckabee.
“We don’t need a leader in the White House with a sporadic splash but we need a man with a steel spine,” Tate said.
After meeting with Thompson, the two men said they were impressed with the former Senator based on his stances on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and U.S support for Israel. Tate says Thompson’s record as a “tax-cutter” also elevates his appeal as a presidential contender, one of the reasons why he’s supporting him over Huckabee….
Knight, who says he has prayed with Thompson and his wife, Jeri, believes Thompson has been “mischaracterized” by Christian conservative leader, Dr. James Dobson, who questioned Thompson’s faith and candidacy in an email a couple months ago.


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