Insert Comma logo
Insert Comma • A Portfolio of Leigh E. Rich
Rodeo or revival?

Cheney event cast in bright light … of the Almighty

By Leigh E. Rich

At times reminiscent of a rodeo and at one point resembling a revival, Dick Cheney’s campaign stop Wednesday took enough of a religious turn to make even the worst constitutional scholar squirm.

The backdrop of the vice president’s visit, held in the corrugated-metal Events Center Building at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, came complete with piped-in country and ’80s music, cowboy boots and other western wear, sheriff’s deputies surveying from horseback, and a Colorado crowd corralled into bleachers and pens in the dirt-floor facility.

Unlike Kerry and Edwards’ rally at Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium two weeks ago, this was clearly a rancher—not a rock—venue.

And it suited the mainly older, mostly white gathering.

More disturbing than Cheney and his wife, Lynne, emerging onstage to the beat of a Van Halen song, however, was Rep. Bob Beauprez’s introduction of a pastor who led a prayer before the guests of honor arrived.

Beauprez, who’s up for reelection this year in Congressional District 7, asked the crowd, “Would you all please assume a posture for prayer?”

Though not lasting long, the invocation made clear reference to the Bible—and no one seemed to mind.

Cheney himself spoke about God during his sermon in support of the “under God” portion of the Pledge of Allegiance.

“We are one nation under God,” Cheney declared, as a few homemade signs waved in the crowd—one reading “Vote and Pray!” on one side and “God is with you, Bush, and so are we!” on the other.

But it was Beauprez who minced no words about which side an almighty power is on.

Speaking of Bush and Cheney’s triumph in the 2000 election, Beauprez explained the victory as the result of “the grace of God” as well as “500 enlightened Floridians.”

He said he was glad Bush was heading the nation during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 as well as these past several years of economic recession.

“The waters are not completely calm just yet,” Beauprez advised, speaking to the factions in the world that continue to despise America. But in terms of leadership during such times of crises, he added, “God did provide. … Our prayers were answered.”

Another sign sticking out like a sore crucified thumb in the midst of the swarms of standard-issue Bush-Cheney ’04 signs was one touting “The Cause USA.” Originally known as The Call DC, a grassroots, religious-based group that fasted and prayed for the nation in 2000, the current Cause has summoned “high school, college-age, and older Nazirites” to Colorado Springs for a 50-day worship and intercession through Aug. 28, according to a pamphlet handed out at the Cheney rally.

The day-and-night vigil hopes to sway the 2004 election toward “justice and righteousness” (read: George W. Bush) rather than “relativism and compromise” (i.e., John Kerry) by, according to the group’s Web site: influencing the election of “righteous senators, congressmen and a godly president”; shifting the “courts of this land … back to the biblical foundations our laws are based on”; reversing Roe v. Wade; creating a “sweeping outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the gay and lesbian communities”; and giving birth to another “Student Volunteer Missions Movement” on America’s college campuses.

According to the pamphlet—though “God is neither a Republican nor a Democrat”—John Kerry was ranked last year by the National Journal as “the most liberal senator of all. … This is the third time in his career that Kerry has received this dubious distinction.”

Moreover, Kerry “has made it clear that he separates his religious beliefs from his political ideology and plans to continue with his extreme liberal agenda.”

While there isn’t a connection between The Cause USA and the Bush-Cheney campaign, the presence of the group—along with the godly references issued from the mouths of the principals—cast a hallowed light on the entire event.

Going even farther than Beauprez with regard to the outcome of the 2000 presidential election, The Cause’s brochure claims “it was the prayers of the church which ultimately decided the outcome of that struggle.”

Following the last 10 days of the group’s “Governmental House of Prayer” in Colorado Springs, the pamphlet states that “a citywide prayer vigil” will be held “in Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy.” 

Rich, L. E. (2004, August 6). Rodeo or revival? Cheney event in Jeffco cast in bright light … of the almighty? The Colorado Statesman, p. 2.

Comments are closed.