There are voters, to be sure. Then, there are values voters. The later falling largely into the early 1980s movement among Evangelical Christians to assure that America did not forfeit its Judeo-Christian heritage. It was the values movement that created the values voter.
The George Washington of the values voter movement is Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family. It was Dobson, first made famous by his book Dare to Discipline, who became one of the respected early voices dedicated to addressing the cultural erosion of values and its impact on marriage, families, education, and the culture at large.
Long before the Internet and social media, there was James Dobson and Focus on the Family. I recall vividly hearing his unmistakable voice over the radio. We bought his books, videos and attended his events, where he, and his wife Shirley, would address the spiritual challenges facing families, and indeed the nation.
It was the post-Roe v. Wade era (1973-1983) that gave birth to Focus on the Family and the Reverend Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority. During this time millions of American’s began to recognize that our individual and collective virtue was being compromised. James Dobson was being pulled into addressing traditional values that impacted political policy. This quickly morphed into the need to address the specific beliefs and worldview of candidates.
Tony Perkins and the Values Voter Summit
Roe v. Wade activated the conscience of a complacent Christian culture, giving rise to the notion and acceptability of believers actively participating in politics and creation of political outcomes congruent with Biblical truth.
In 1992, Focus on the Family, while recognizing the need to speak about and influence political policy, was concerned about jeopardizing its tax-exempt status and made the fateful decision to deliberately jettisoned the Family Research Council (“FRC”), which became the powerful political voice for Christian values in the political arena.
Tony Perkins joined FRC as its president in 2003 and helped create the Values Voter Summit (VVS) in 2006. Perkins and his leadership team continue to make the organization one of the leading voices in conservative evangelical thought and values and their application to political strategies and outcomes.
At FRC’s annual VVS thousands of Christian political activist and values politicians gather to assess the spiritual health of the nation. The VVS website tells us all we need to know about the vision and values of the organization as follows:
Values Voter Summit was created in 2006 to provide a forum to help inform and mobilize citizens across America to preserve the bedrock values of traditional marriage, religious liberty, the sanctity of life and limited government that make our nation strong. It has drawn over 3,000 plus attendees from around the nation and foreign countries. Garnering national and international media attention, CNN has called it “one of the top 10 political events of the year” and “one of the conservative movement’s marquee annual events.” Sean Hannity called it “the premier conservative event now in the country.” In 2016, then-candidate Mike Pence referred to it as “the greatest gathering of conservative pro-family Americans in the nation.”
Traditional marriage, religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and limited government are the nucleus of FRC and its Values Voter Summit. Here’s Kirk Cameron, a former atheist, and star of the hit television show, Growing Pains, just one sample of the quality of speakers from this year.
iVoteAmerica Stands with FRC and the Values Voter Summit
Our organization, iVoteAmerica is a values organization, sharing FRC’s commitment to maintaining the core traditional values that have made America the greatest free nation in the world. A reading of our iVoteAmerica Creed leaves no doubt that we are values voters, people who will vote their conscience.
After scouting the organizational landscape and examining organizations, we are proudly throwing our support behind the Family Research Council by making this our first year at the Values Voter Summit.
We are attending the entire event this year and look forward to networking with some of the strongest conservative Christian voices in America. Check out the speakers for 2018, and while you’re at it, scan these amazing breakout sessions.
America cannot work in a moral vacuum. The foundations of the nation and our liberties flow from the existence of the Creator, without whom, we have no hope. The unalienable rights recited in our Constitution can never be granted by, nor ultimately ensured by the government.
Meet Kailey Nieman, iVoteAmerica Partner & Vice President
“Greetings from the iVoteAmerica and the Values Voter Summit, 2018!
I’m thrilled to be in Washington, DC attending this year’s event and I invite you to stop by and chat with me about my company, iVoteAmeria and the amazing message we share with the Family Research Council.
You will find me in booth #3. I hope to see you soon!”