Glenn Beck Promotes “Founding Faith Conference” With Gen. Jerry Boykin

Controversy over inclusion of pastor with links to League of the South – see update below

Glenn Beck has narrated an advert endorsing the “Founding Faith Conference 2013”, and highlighting the involvement of General William “Jerry” Boykin. The conflab – billed as “An ‘Impact Your Nation” event – will take place in Texas in September; according to the blurb:

Make no mistake, there is an agenda that has been marching across our America for many years and it is up to us to expose its forward progress.

It is not enough to simply know our Constitution.  We must not only learn how to more effectively communicate our message of American exceptionalism, but to deliver it with clarity, courage and conviction.  This two-day conference is designed to do just that! 

The impresario is a certain Margaret Andrews, who runs the “MTC Promotions Group“; in July last year she organised “Restore America and Restoring Love”, a warm-up event for Beck’s “Restoring Love” comeback rally. Andrews’ event included David Barton (more on him here) and  Shane Krauser, a lawyer endorsed by Beck as “the David Barton of the U.S. Constitution”. Andrews was formerly National Event Director at Krauser’s American Academy for Constitutional Education.

The speakers at the “Founding Faith Conference 2013” are familiar Tea Party blend of Christian conservatives and self-described Constituional “originalists”; alongside the ubiquitous Boykin (more on him here), other speakers include Timothy F. Johnson (“Founder and National President/CEO of the Frederick Douglass Foundation“; Sarah Posner has a critical profile here), Lieutenant Colonel Bill V. Cowan (“a highly decorated, retired U.S. Marine Corps officer and a commentator on terrorism and national security for Fox News Channel since 2002”; SourceWatch has more here); Clarence Henderson (civil rights activist in 1960 and now “a champion for freedom and conservative values”); David Whitney (“Pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church of Pasadena, Maryland. In addition, for twelve years he has been teaching the Christian heritage and history of our country with Institute on the Constitution where he serves as Senior Instructor”***);  Chad Hovind (son of creationist Kent Hovind and “the creator of the Fast Track bible DVD series and the Godonomics DVD curriculum series, which is endorsed by Focus on the Family’s Truth Project” – and also by Beck, who appears on the DVD covers); Chad Kent (“writer and award-winning speaker“); Ross Kecseg (“runs the [Dallas/Fort Worth] office for Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility”); and two speakers “to be announced”.

Other “Impact Your Nation” events organised by MTC Promotions include a “Constitution Training” event with Krauser and Linda Johnston, an anti-Obamacare M.D.; and a “Freedom Extravaganza on Land & Sea 11-Day Cruise“, including a “VIP Dinner” with Rev C.L. Bryant.

***UPDATE (9 August)

As of 8 August, the Institute on the Constitution (IOTC) was also listed as a sponsor of the event. However, reference to its sponsorship had now disappeared, and Whitney, although still listed as a speaker, no longer has an accompanying advertising blurb. One detail of Whitney’s activism that the blurb failed to note has been brought to wider attention by Warren Throckmorton:

As I have noted previously, the IOTC’s founder, director and teacher Michael Peroutka is a board member of the League [of the South] and has pledged IOTC’s resources to the aims of the League. Senior teacher David Whitney is chaplain of the MD chapter of the League.

In addition to the course offered in many evangelical churches, the IOTC course is featured on the National Religious Broadcasters networkLiberty University’s television networkBradlee Dean’s the Sons of Liberty offers the course, and several mainstream evangelicals are speaking in September at a conference sponsored by IOTC and held at a major mega church in Texas.

Throckmorton draws attention to a complaint by a former League supporter who complains that it has experienced “radicalization” due to the presence of “white nationalists”.

Warren has now followed up:

I learned earlier this afternoon via a source at the Family Research Council (where Boykin is an executive vice-president) that Lt. General Boykin recently became aware of ties between the Institute on the Constitution and the League of the South and, as a result, has backed out of the conference.

However, Boykin is still listed and being used as the main draw for the event – presumably they’ve got him back on board by dumping Whitney (given that his blurb is gone, I suspect his continued listing will be removed in due course too). But that’s a bit awkward for Andrews, who has personally invested in Whitney; they recently appeared together on a TV chat programme hosted by Deborah Sweetin‘s “Battle Cry Ministries International“.

UPDATE 2: It seems Boykin’s definitely off the line-up; Alex Seitz-Wald reports at Salon:

Family Research Council executive vice president Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin has backed out of speaking at a conference promoted by Glenn Beck after learning that the event has ties to the League of the South, a neo-Confederate group.

“Yes, that is true. When it was brought to our attention that there were connections to this group that does not share our values, General Boykin withdrew from the event,” FRC’s vice president for communications, J.P. Duffy, said in an email to Salon, confirming an earlier blog report.

UPDATE 3: The advert has now been removed from YouTube, the event is no longer listed by MTC Promotions, and the conference website is now password protected.

One Response

  1. […] religion blogger Richard Bartholomew adds that the conference organizer is Margaret Andrews, who runs MTC Promotions Group. Last year, MTC […]

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