PHOTO: An exterior view of the Franklin Marriott hotel, where the American Renewal Project hosted a “Pastors and Pews” dinner on Monday, July 16, 2018.
By BROOKE WANSER
On Monday night, the Tennessee Renewal Project held a dinner aimed at pastors and their wives, entitled “Rediscovering God in America,” at the Franklin Marriott.
The organization is a branch of the American Renewal Project, a group with the goal of getting evangelical pastors into politics to return the nation to Judeo-Christian roots.
Gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee were featured guests at the event.
David Lane, the founder of the American Renewal Project, is also the founder of the American Family Association. He has had close relationships with politicians like Huckabee and Rick Perry.
Boyd, an East Tennessee entrepreneur running for governor, has not been endorsed by the ARP. However, Huckabee, who ran for president in 2016, has endorsed Boyd in an ad spot.
David Barton, a pastor whom the program described as an “author and expert on American history,” was the keynote speaker.
Barton’s main assertion is that Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers did not intend for separation of church and state to interfere with the practice of religion in public arenas, but that government should not interfere with public practices of religion.
In 2012, Barton’s book, “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson,” was withdrawn from publication by publisher Thomas Nelson. They stated that they had lost confidence in several of the book’s historical details.
The event was free, but press were not allowed to attend.