By Bob Allen
A month after a Texas appellate court overturned his conviction of corruption charges that ended his political career, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay says he is on a mission from God.
DeLay, who accepted Christ during his first term in Congress in 1985 and became a member of Second Baptist Church in Houston, said Oct. 20 in a half-hour interview with Texas mega-church pastor John Hagee that America is ready for a constitutional revival.
“The way I see it is that Jesus died for our freedom, and Jesus destroyed Satan so that we could be free, and that is manifested in what is called the Constitution of the United States,” DeLay said.
“God created this nation and God created the Constitution,” he continued. “It is written on biblical principles, and the only way that we will ever see the light, in my opinion, is if we return to that one thing that unites almost every American, and that’s the Constitution.”
DeLay, 66, was convicted in 2010 of money laundering by trying to funnel illegal corporate contributions to Republican candidates. On Sept. 19 a three-judge panel of the 3rd District Texas Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to reverse the conviction, ruling that evidence against DeLay was legally insufficient. The Travis County district attorney’s office said it would appeal.
Hagee, pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, introduced DeLay as “a brother in Christ who has been tried by fire” and is “victorious over the world, the flesh and the devil.”
DeLay said his finest hour was not when he learned of his exoneration, but occurred this year on Aug. 4, when God revealed plans for the next chapter of his life during a plane ride returning from a mountaintop retreat in Oregon.
“I spent four hours on that plane in a conference call with the Lord, and he told me two things,” DeLay said. “He told me: ‘You’re coming out of the wilderness. You’re going to write a book. It’s going to be called Shut It Down,’ about constitutional revival.”
The second thing DeLay said God told him was “I have heard my people,” referring to Second Chronicles 7:14. “My awakening is beginning, and you’re going to be part of it.”
“I can’t tell you how that overwhelmed me,” DeLay said. “He’s chosen somebody that’s totally incapable, not worthy of call, but I just can’t wait.”
DeLay, who after 22 years in Congress and numerous ethics complaints decided not to seek re-election in 2006, said his biggest struggle occurred not in the halls of Congress but in trying to convince people of faith to become involved in politics.
“I came to realize that pastors have given up their responsibility for civil government,” he said.
“God created three institutions — the family, the church and civil government,” DeLay said. “It’s all throughout the Bible. Unless you have all three of those institutions working well together, your culture and the people suffer.”
“For many, many years — 60 or more years — pastors don’t even realize it is their responsibility to have a ministry of civil government in their church and be involved in the community around them,” he said. “You can spew that salt out there and that light out there so that people understand who Christ is, that Christ has destroyed Satan, because of the cross and his resurrection.”