America Needs New ‘Great Awakening,’ Huckabee and Evangelicals Say

By Kevin Mooney | August 15, 2008 | 7:45pm EDT
Washington ( – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and a group of evangelical leaders called for a new “Great Awakening” spiritual revival of the American people Friday, at a press conference in Washington, D.C., to announce a Saturday rally on the National Mall.
Huckabee, a former Republican contender for the presidential nomination, said the “Great Awakening” is needed to help revitalize the nation’s founding principles and cultural standing so that innocent life can be spared.
He told reporters that, in many respects, the notion of  “inalienable rights,” as expressed by Thomas Jefferson, is just as radical now as it was in the founding period and must be vigorously defended – especially the right to life.
“Every single life has intrinsic worth and value,” Huckabee said. “No human life is worth more than another and no human life is worth less than another. If we truly believe that, then we have to stand up unapologetically for life against this wholesale destruction.”
The success or failure of the pro-life cause is directly tied to the spiritual health and well-being of American civilization, Huckabee said.
“We should never forget that the manner in which we treat others is the manner in which we invite others to treat us,” he continued. “If we are a society that makes it OK to slaughter innocent life and vulnerable life we are in essence inviting others to feel that way toward us. That’s why this issue has never been a political one for me.”
The separation that exists now between contemporary Americans and the Founding Fathers can be traced in large part to judicial activism and historical revision, Huckabee said in response to a question from
Out of the 56 signers to the Declaration of Independence, 26 had biblical or seminary degrees, Huckabee pointed out. This simple fact is routinely overlooked in educational institutions, he lamented.
“Go down to the Mall and look at any of the monuments and you will see that they [the Founders] often spoke of providence,” he said. “There has been a rewriting of history to pretend this isn’t true.”
The cross-denominational assembly scheduled to take place Saturday on the National Mall should not be viewed as a political event, Huckabee observed.
Instead, he said, it is intended to “transcend political ideology” and to raise awareness about issues of life and death that will impact the long-term health of American culture.
The message that the future of American civilization is tied to American spiritual revival and the pro-life movement is one that young people resonate with, according to Lou Engle, founder of The Call, an organization that was launched in the early 90s to bring Christians together “from across generational, ethnic and denominational lines.” The Call sponsored Saturday’s rally.
Engle told reporters a growing number of young people from across denominations are strongly motivated to take part in a new spiritual movement against abortion. He drew a comparison between President Abraham Lincoln’s struggle with slavery and the pro-life movement’s aim of ending abortion.
Just as slavery contradicted and offended the concept of equality in the Declaration in Lincoln's time, young people see that the practice of abortion today offends the right to life as it was expressed by the Founding Fathers, Engle said.
Bishop Harry Jackson, meanwhile, said the country is “on the verge of tremendous problems” if certain cultural trends are not reversed.
Jackson called on public officials to de-fund Planned Parenthood so the government gets out of the business of “paying for the extermination of its own citizens.”
There are 1,200 black babies aborted every day, Jackson added.
Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in College Park, Md., touched on politics by predicting that the expected Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), will win the presidency if Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the expected Republican presidential nominee, “picks a pro-abortion running mate.”
Jackson also told that the partnership between evangelicals and Roman Catholics on pro-life issues and other cultural questions is critically important and will figure prominently in the years ahead.
“We would not have as much strength, force and vitality without Roman Catholics,” he said.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, meanwhile, expressed confidence in McCain’s pro-life convictions but said he needed a running mate who could connect with evangelicals.
Since McCain does not openly discuss his own faith, the right running mate is needed to help stir the “intensity and excitement” needed to make a difference on Election Day, Perkins said.

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