By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by Johan VogelYou may know Pastor Wiley Drake from his landmark battles with the city of Buena Park over the operation of a homeless shelter at his First Southern Baptist Church, as well as fiery clashes with gays, the pro-choice movement, the Walt Disney Co., the Reverend Jesse Jackson and moderate voices within the Southern Baptist Convention.
Drake is now exploring the possibility of being known as something else: Mr. President. The 57-year-old man of God recently announced he has formed an exploratory committee for a possible presidential run. One of his goals is to restore the 1620 Mayflower Compact, the agreement settlers at New Plymouth came up with to create "a civil Body Politick" to govern themselves "for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith."
No matter what you think of Drake's tireless advocacy for the homeless or his divisive views toward alternative lifestyles, there's no getting around the fact that—unlike everyone else who runs for president—he answers questions straight on. And he's probably the only one who would think to tell a Weekly staffer, "We pray for you daily."
OC Weekly: Most would characterize many of your views as conservative. The man currently in the White House identifies himself as conservative. Why would you want to run against someone who supposedly shares many of your views and values?Wiley Drake: Right, many views I agree with. He is just a little wimpy. He said he would like to end partial-birth abortion. I would ask for an end to killing babies, PERIOD! So you are disappointed in President Bush? What are your views on the impending war?Once again, weak. I'da blown up Insane Hussein when he set fire to the oil field we bought and paid for. What is it about the Mayflower Compact that you feel this country is not living up to today?When I am president, we would have freedom of religion, not freedom from. Don't like religious freedom? Go somewhere else! Some of my Christian friends feel we are "post-Christian." Not so. Jesus is still King of America. Look in your pocket: "in God we trust" [is printed on] money. We still pray in America. On Sept. 11, we prayed—no one said a thing. On Feb. 1, 2003, we prayed—no one said a thing. We will serve Jesus in this nation of our own free will, or He will put us on our knees. In a tower, in a shuttle, in Iraq or in our own hospital room, the God haters become wanna-be God lovers. We need to honor the God who made this nation great. If this country were to return to its biblical roots and again became a Christian nation, what would you propose doing with the millions of people who are not Christians or do not read the Bible?They are free to believe whatever they want, practice whatever they want. Just don't try to force me to practice their pagan religion. Furthermore, if they don't like a Christmas scene, etc., then go where they don't have Christmas, etc. We are, after all, a free nation. They can stay stupid and not read the Bible if they so desire. What's your opinion of the so-called "separation of Church and State"?We have never had nor will we ever have the separation of Church and State. Congress starts every session with church prayer. The bible is all over our Capitol. Only when we as Christians are asleep at the wheel do we let fools convince judges to take "under God" out of our pledge, and then we have Congress put it back. We'll have faith-based welfare—which, by the way, is the only one that works—until we go asleep again and let some fool separate it again. We have been and will continue to be "one nation under God." It is a battle of God-haters vs. God-lovers, and guess what? We are bigger and win most of the time. And, according to Him, we win in the end. Separation of Church and State is a figment of [the imagination of] some so-called reverend who is not and never will be a pastor. I believe his name is Barry Lynn. I happen to be the director and founder of Americans for the Unity of Church and State. We have had and will continue to have unity between Church and State. If people don't like it, I recommend they go where there is no unity of Church and State—anywhere but the good ol' USA. What do you think your biggest obstacle will be in getting the message out?The message is out. We just need some people who are not afraid of the God-haters because we know God is on our side. How do you suppose gay-rights groups are going to respond to your candidacy?First of all, there is nothing "gay" about a bunch of sodomites who are dying young and trying to take as many with them as they can. Secondly, these light-in-the-loafer folks always don't like anything I do because I am a God-lover, not a God-hater like most of them. They are afraid someone like me will remind them of God's attitude toward sodomites. Look at His redevelopment plan for Sodom and Gomorrah. What happens to your wonderful homeless relief ministry while you run for president, which seems to be more than a full-time job itself?The ministry here of the wonderful homeless relief will go on. God has been doing it anyway; I just get to be the messenger boy. And I have a 25-year-old son [Wiley Drake Jr.] who is also a God-lover and much more capable than I am. God does it all; we just get to take credit or blame.