Christian right election-year rally set for Philly
Christian conservatives who blame "moral depravity" for everything from the recession to terrorism are converging on Philadelphia for a rally they hope will spark a religious revival as Election Day nears.
Called "America for Jesus 2012," the prayer assembly on Independence Mall is attracting support across a spectrum of Protestant clergy and activists. Among the scheduled speakers are religious broadcaster Pat Robertson and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, along with preachers such as Cindy Jacobs of Generals International ministry who say they're prophets with a direct line to God. Many backers had also endorsed "The Response," the prayer rally hosted last year by Texas Gov. Rick Perry just before he entered the GOP presidential primary.
John Blanchard, national coordinator for "America for Jesus 2012," said the two-day event starting Friday night is nonpartisan. It's modeled after the 1980 "Washington for Jesus" rally, considered a pivotal show of organizational strength by the then-fledgling Christian right. Bishop Anne Gimenez, whose late husband John helped lead the 1980 assembly, is a lead organizer of the Philadelphia gathering.
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