- The Washington Times - Friday, September 22, 2006

A prominent evangelical leader told more than 1,000 conservative “values” voters yesterday that they shouldn’t shy away from the fact that the country is in a war with Muslims who want to kill Americans.

“We’re in a war and it’s time that we recognized it,” James C. Dobson told a crowd gathered at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in the District. The event is sponsored by Family Research Council Action and aimed at invigorating the Republican base for November’s elections.

Mr. Dobson, chairman and founder of Focus on the Family, made it clear that he doesn’t think all Muslims want to kill Americans. But he said there is a percentage — even if it’s only 4 percent, or close to 50 million people — who do.

Several Republican presidential hopefuls made stops at the weekend event to rally their own support from the conservative base, touching on topics from traditional marriage to religious freedom.

Among them was Sen. George Allen of Virginia, who told crowd members to “count on me” in the fight for conservative values, such as stopping judges from “legislating from the bench.”

Later yesterday, reporters focused on Mr. Allen’s heritage. The Republican senator told the public for the first time this week that he has Jewish ancestry. Mr. Allen, who is in a competitive re-election race, has fought off criticism that he was embarrassed by his heritage.

Mr. Allen told reporters that his mother concealed her Jewish heritage for years and recently swore him to secrecy about it because she was “seared” by the pain of the Holocaust and thought “that anti-Semitism, that persecution” would harm her children.

He told the reporters that he is a Christian, but, “I’m learning more and more about Jewish law.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Dobson and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins sought to rally the troops for the midterm elections by reminding them that Republicans helped get two new conservative justices on the Supreme Court and that Democrats are still blocking legislation and President Bush’s judicial nominations.

Mr. Dobson evoked applause and cheers when he reminded the crowd that “we do have two new very, very exciting Supreme Court justices,” referring to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

The crowd was urged not to be convinced of reports that Republicans will lose control of Congress.

“Don’t believe everything you’re hearing out there,” Mr. Dobson said.

“I feel much better about the outcome this fall than I did three months ago,” Mr. Perkins said, citing falling gas prices and votes in Congress on key pieces of legislation sought by the conservative base.

Mr. Perkins noted that senators approved a parental-notification bill for out-of-state abortions, but said Democrats are blocking the legislation from getting to Mr. Bush’s desk.

White House spokesman Tony Snow, who spoke yesterday afternoon, drew loud applause when he described September 11 and then told the crowd, “We should not for one moment feel that we have to apologize for doing the right things.”

The “2006 Values Voters Summit” ends tomorrow with a church service and has drawn more than 1,600 evangelical Christians and conservative activists from across the country to strategize about the upcoming elections and hear speeches from a who’s who of conservative voices, including Liberty University founder the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Alliance Defense Fund Chief Executive Officer Alan Sears, evangelical leader Gary Bauer and conservative talk-show hosts such as Sean Hannity.

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