Reports of DeLay’s political death are greatly exaggerated, if a number of recent news stories are any indication.
DeLay, who has long worn his conservative religious beliefs on his sleeve, (his understanding of ethics resides elsewhere), is now claiming that he resigned from Congress not because of indictments, a federal probe, or the possibility of losing an election, but because "God wanted him to… and that He has bigger plans for DeLay," plans that apparently involve reshaping the federal government to meet his fundamentalist Christian worldview. An op-ed in the Washington Times agrees DeLay is heading in this direction, noting that he “might be just the fellow to organize a genuine grass-roots conservative evangelical political movement with the clout to advance its issues within the GOP,” whether the Republicans like it or not.
DeLay is now planning to hit the pulpits (and bank accounts) of conservative evangelical congregations around the country, and his sketchy past, problems with his own family, and record of ethical misconduct (if not actual crime) in Congress seem to be no impediment. As the Rev. Rick Scarborough, DeLay’s pastor, said while introducing him to a Christian conference just last week – we kid you not – “This is a man, I believe, God has appointed … to represent righteousness in government."
For a somewhat lighter take on the DeLay-as-religious-leader story, check out the op-ed in Pennsylvania’s York Daily Record, the title of which expresses this blogger’s thoughts exactly: “Tom DeLay as Jesus? Oh-My-God”