It didn't generate much in the way of media attention this week, but a bunch of religious right groups co-sponsored the first-ever "Values Voter" debate a few days ago for the GOP presidential field. The top four (Giuliani, Romney, McCain, and Thompson) stayed away, but seven other Republican presidential hopefuls cozied up to luminaries such as Phyllis Schlafly, Paul Weyrich, and Don Wildmon.
There were plenty of bizarre questions and answers, but one of the elements of the debate that stood out for me was, oddly enough, the song that got things started. Event organizers invited the Church of God Choir, from Springfield, Ohio, to sing "God Bless America" -- except the lyrics were rewritten. Instead of a song about "the land that I love," and "home sweet home," this version condemns the country, saying we've all turned against God, and that He won't bless us. It was a big hit among the conservative Republicans in the room.
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