- - Friday, February 9, 2024

If you don’t know what the after party is, you should, because it could determine who wins the House of Representatives, the Senate and the presidency this year.

Indeed, this movement is so insidious and potentially so powerful that it could determine the direction of the United States for decades to come. If you care about issues such as border security, confiscatory taxes, sex trafficking, how we educate our children, religious liberty, the right to bear arms, private property, energy independence, women’s right to have their own athletic competitions, drag queens grooming first graders in our public schools, and whether or not you can buy a gas stove, you should care about the after party.

Stated simply, the after party is a crusade funded by Democrats targeting American churches. It is a political movement specifically designed by the political left to convince our country’s 60 million evangelicals that they are too political. Its explicit goal is to get conservative believers to disengage from their “Republican right-wing politics” and stay home on Election Day.

Megan Basham of the Daily Wire says “the after party is a forthcoming program led by Duke Divinity consulting professor Curtis Chang and developed with New York Times columnist David French and Christianity Today editor-in-chief Russell Moore. The program offers pastors and small groups a curriculum ‘reframing Christian political identity from today’s divisive partisan options.’”

“Fine,” you might say. “Our country is too divided. What’s wrong with a good dose of Christian unity rather than partisan division?”

Well, let’s return to Ms. Basham’s article: “During its germination phase, the [after party] project hit a roadblock. Evangelical donors had little interest in funding an explicitly political Bible study. Thus, to get the after party off the ground, the trio [of Mr. French, Mr. Moore and Mr. Chang] (all frequent critics of evangelicals who voted for Donald Trump) turned to predominantly progressive unbelievers for their funding.”

Ms. Basham continues: “In May 2022, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors announced that the after party would be one of the thirty-two beneficiaries of their New Pluralists project, which is investing $10 million to ‘address divisive forces’” in battleground states such as Ohio.

Ms. Basham goes on: “The Rockefeller interest in bankrolling Bible studies [in red states] is a red flag. In the same grant round as the after party, another organization that received money [from the Rockefeller‘s] was a group seeking to promote the ‘leadership of rural LGBTQ+ people’ and another committed to ‘keeping the remaining fossil fuel resources in the ground’ in the name of ‘climate justice.’ [Finally], in 2019, Rockefellers gave $100 million to the Collaborative for Gender and Reproductive Equity, an initiative that funds efforts to safeguard abortion and ensure ‘youth’ have access to ‘gender-affirming care.’”

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The Rockefeller group “isn’t the only progressive purse with strings attached to the after party,” Ms. Basham reports. In fact, the after party’s own website “lists the One America Movement, an ecumenical group, as one of its partners. [This] group’s board includes the leader of an LGBTQ-affirming synagogue, as well as a co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, who excuses rioting as self-defense and has called Jesus a ‘black radical revolutionary.’ One America has [also] received over $2 million from some of the most powerful foundations on the left — such as the Tides Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the Walton family’s Catena Foundation, and the John Pritzker Family Fund — all of which fund enterprises promoting abortion, LGBTQ issues and other left-wing priorities.

“The Hewlett Foundation, which also directly funds the after party, is the second largest private donor to Planned Parenthood. … [And] between 2013 and 2014, the Ford, Rockefeller, and Tides foundations contributed a combined $1.3 million to the Evangelical Immigration Table’s ‘Bibles, Badges, and Business’ initiative, launched to mobilize evangelical support for amnesty legislation such as the failed Gang of Eight bill. Hewlett and a host of other major left-wing donors [also] bankrolled the Evangelical Environmental Network’s Evangelical Climate Initiative with the aim of generating churchgoer support for cap and trade legislation.”

Ms. Basham concludes: “Does anyone really believe these secular progressive grant-makers are interested in developing a church curriculum about politics without an eye toward affecting policy? Creating a Bible study curriculum to teach churches how to engage in politics is, by nature, a political act. That’s even truer if you’ve turned for financial support to unbelievers committed to advancing left-wing policies. If these critics of conservative evangelicals are correct that their Trump-voting brothers and sisters are sick with political obsession, then they have the same disease. One would be hard-pressed to identify evangelical voices who’ve done more to bring a divisive focus on politics into the pews—all under the pretense of de-escalation and bipartisanship.”

Amen, Ms. Basham. Amen. As my mother often said: “Birds of a feather flock together. We’re known by the company we keep.”

• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host.

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