Praying For Clinton To Go

At the Church Along The Way in Van Nuys, California, parishioners have an abiding faith in the power of prayer and the power of the ballot box, reports CBS News Correspondent Bill Whitaker.

"If you are a believer of Jesus Christ and a citizen of this nation and you don't register to vote, you are violating a part of your role as a disciple of Jesus Christ," says Reverend Jack Hayford.

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His words are like preaching to the choir.

Conservative Christians remain a potent political force and a prickly problem for President Clinton. Like their brethren across the country, many at the Church Along The Way say they forgive Mr. Clinton's sins of adultery and lying, but don't believe he's truly repented.

"As a Christian, I do forgive him," says Sara DiVito Hardman. "Once he confessed and said that was wrong, absolutely I forgive him. I'd like to see him walk the walk now."

So would Barry Loggaman.

"There's a difference in saying I'm sorry, because I got caught and saying I'm sorry because I'm wrong before God," he says. "I don't think he's saying that."

At times, it seems this protracted political scandal is a national morality play.

According to recent polls, most evangelical Christians believe Mr. Clinton will find redemption only through impeachment or resignation.

Daina House, who says the scandal has made her more likely to vote in November, believes there must be retribution for Mr. Clinton s transgressions.

"My personal opinion is that he should step down," she says.

Conservative Christian voters never have been what you might call the Clinton faithful. The president's political opponents are praying large numbers of them will express their moral outrage at the polls in November.

At the Church Along the Way this week, the Christian Coalition registered about 100 new voters.

I believe that people will be energized to go to the polls and we're certainly hoping that will happen, because they're understanding their responsibility to elect more moral people to office," says DiVito Hardman, the Coalition's state chairman

Historically, conservative Christians are the voters most likely to actually turn out on Election Day. Perhaps it is Mr. Clinton's supporters who should be praying.

Reported by Bill Whitaker
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