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Weeks ago, I watched a Bill Moyers video titled "The Resurrection of Ralph Reed." It was a fascinating essay which included ideas that both scared me and stuck with me. In the time since, I've noticed some disturbing trends and, yesterday, became motivated to explore my thoughts further and write my second diary.

Several days ago, two of my friends suddenly 'liked' Mitt Romney and/or Paul Ryan on Facebook. The timing seemed odd considering Romney's very recent statements about the sheer numbers (47%!) of freeloading, lazy Obama-voters in this country. Neither of these women are unintelligent. Both, I would presume, understand that Romney's statements were more problematic than simply being inelegant, as Romney claimed. Both of my friends, however, also have what I'd consider to be dramatic views of Christianity. One has taken to posting strange, defensive statements about how God rewards her family with wealth. The other brags about reading only Christ-centered books. Neither is a close friend and their loss wouldn't crush me, but still, the timing of their sudden admiration of Romney seemed odd, at best.

They are now added to my list of folk who confound me: The elderly acquaintance who seems like a dear but loves Rush Limbaugh; cousins who can't seem to hear logic about why Fox News is not accurate news and speak to me of voting Romney because of moral issues. I scratch my head, wondering what moral they must vote by, but can not or will not identify to me.

The only thing they all share that I do not is a conservative view of religion, and that's where Moyer's video comes in, and that's what I'm here to discuss. Please note that I am new and I know it, but I am willing to learn. I appreciate all comments about how I can become a better diarist as well as a discussion of the ideas. Meet me beyond the spaghetti squiggle:

In his video, embedded below, Moyers describes Ralph Reed as a former head of the Christian Coalition who fell from power because of his ties to Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist who was convicted after pleading guilty to defrauding clients of millions of dollars. Although Reed's connections to Abramoff and the money had shamed him in his political and religious circles, he was only implicated, and still free. A free man so outraged by the election of Barack Obama that he clawed his way back into the political game. His old buddy Sean Hannity encouraged him and an an anonymous donor gave him a half a million dollars to launch his Faith and Freedom coalition.

A few quotes from Reed:

Beginning right now, today, we are going to take our country back and we are going to end the Obama agenda forever.
Agenda? And here's one that scares me:
We've identified 17 million faith-based voters in 15 states, living in 11 million households. Every one of those households is going to be contacted by this organization seven to twelve times. We're gong to mail them, we're going to text them, we're going to phone them, and if they haven't voted by November 6 we're going to drive to their house and we're going to get them to the polls.
And a quote from Bill Moyers, speaking about Mr. Reed:
"The Right Hand of God still mixes politics, religion and money for party and profit. Still covers his tracks in a fog bank of secrecy, complexity, and sleight-of-hand. Still says to his flock, "Trust me."
Really makes me wonder how many preachers are preaching about the vote after being contacted by Reed and his followers. Scary corrupt, if you ask me. What are your thoughts?

About the video:

The entire video is fascinating and I recommend giving up the hour to watch it. The end also includes an interview with Mike Lofgren, a retired Congressman who left the Republican party and became an independent. His interview is just as fascinating but probably a topic for another diary. If you don't have an hour, perhaps watch the first ten minutes of this video, or even just between 9:50 and 10:20.

Moyers & Company Full Show #134: The Resurrection of Ralph Reed from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

7:42 PM PT: Thank you for the comments, recommends and for the spotlight. Didn't expect to see this diary on the front page!

Originally posted to KHKS on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 07:38 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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If you are a member of a religious group, have you heard a discussion of politics from the leader(s) of your congregation?

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