WASHINGTON (RNS) More than 1,800 religious conservatives cheered Republican politicians, criticized President Obama’s health care plan, and rallied enthusiasm for the 2010 mid-term elections at the annual Values Voters Summit on Friday (Sept. 18).
“When the president said — (with) seemingly airtight rhetoric the other night — that under our plan no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion, those words were demonstrably false and extraordinarily misleading,” said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., prompting cheers from many summit attendees. Obama and other Democrats insist that their health care reform plans will not expand federal funding of abortion beyond current limits.
Gil Mertz, of the Family Research Council, asked attendees to sign yellow cards declaring their opposition to any government subsidies for insurance plans that cover abortion or euthanasia, and to send them to Capitol Hill.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., said it is already time for conservatives to start organizing for the 2010 election.
“Our calling is to dedicate ourselves to the writing of a new future for America, starting with the battles in the halls of Congress and those that will rage in the 435 congressional districts just over a year from right now,” he said, drawing applause. “We shall not be deterred. For if we win, we win for the cause of faith, family and freedom.”
As conservatives decried what they view as an increasing role of government in Americans’ lives under Obama, speakers urged participants to depend on divine rather than political leadership.
“Our trust remains in God,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and FRC Action, its legislative action arm that sponsored the summit. “It is not in government.”
By Adelle M. Banks
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