The Call

New York Times Investigates Relationship Between American Dominionists and Uganda

Earlier this week, The New York Times posted an excerpt from a new Roger Ross Williams documentary on how the Religious Right in the U.S. is shaping anti-gay activism in African countries like Uganda. The documentary includes interviews with International House of Prayer (IHOP) leaders Lou Engle and Mike Bickle, whom we have followed closely here at Right Wing Watch, along with footage of IHOP missionaries at work in Uganda.

Engle organizes the anti-choice and anti-gay The Call rallies, which regularly feature Republican and Religious Right leaders. In 2010, he brought The Call to Uganda to help promote the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would have made homosexuality a capital offense. (He later backpedaled after facing scrutiny.)

IHOP, including many The Call figures, helped to organize Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2011 The Response prayer rally, which Bickle emceed.

In the film, Episcopal priest Kapya Kaoma makes a reference to Seven Mountains Dominionism, the belief that fundamentalist Christians have a mandate to take control of the seven major spheres of society: government, business, education, media, arts and entertainment, the family and the church. As Engle explains, there are “seven mountains of influence” that right-wing Christians must “reclaim” in order to win over society.

Engle and Bickle are also key players in the New Apostolic Reformation, a movement of self-appointed prophets and apostles who believe they are spokesmen for God on Earth. Bickle has claimed that gay people are the targets of “flaming missiles” from Satan and has warned that the “gay marriage agenda” is a sign of the End Times as it is “rooted in the depths of Hell.” At one IHOP service, Bickle also claimed that Oprah Winfrey is the harbinger of the Antichrist:

In 2008, Engle held massive rallies to encourage Californians to pass Proposition 8, which banned marriage equality, arguing that legalizing same-sex marriage “will unleash a spirit more demonic than Islam, a spirit of lawlessness and anarchy, and sexual insanity will be unleashed unto the earth.” His rallies have focused on creating a “movement” of ex-gays to stop a Satanichomosexual tornado” that will “destroy America.” (He specifically targeted Ellen DeGeneres for “conversion.”) In addition, he has warned that the separation of the separation of church and state and gay rights are putting the U.S. on the path to Nazism:

While Engle and Bickle have extended their influence to nations like Uganda in order to export their anti-gay politics, they have continued to increase their clout in America’s Religious Right.

Congressional Prayer Caucus Teams Up for Seven Mountain-Themed Pre-Election Prayer Rally

At the end of September, Religious Right leaders will once again partner with the "prophets" and "apostles" of the New Apostolic Reformation for a pre-election "American For Jesus" rally on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall.

But apparently that won't quite be enough, so just a few days later, many of these same leaders and activists are hosting another prayer rally called "The Summons 2012" in Washington, DC that is being organized by National Day of Prayer Task Force, which is chaired by Shirely Dobson, the wife of James Dobson:

With each generation seeming to drift away from the God of our Fathers, now more than ever, it seems that we are truly at the precipice of a societal migration away from our Judeo-Christian foundation. With this in mind, the National Day of Prayer (NDP) Task Force has called a Solemn Assembly in Washington D.C. for such a time as this. The urgency of the moment, and the prompting of God, has paved the way for The Summons (October 3-7, 2012) to be a moment in time for God’s people to stand in the gap on behalf of all Americans – perhaps as Moses did for Israel (Exodus 32, Psalm 106). Based on Psalm 50:1-6, this special prayer gathering will focus on all institutions of government within Washington D.C. and include outdoor, corporate worship near the steps of the Capitol building, as well as the base of the Washington Monument. Groups will meet with various congressional leaders, travel to the Pentagon, the Supreme Court, and many other key locations to PRAY. This is not an assignment for the faint of heart. You will need walking shoes and clothing suitable for being on location and ‘hitting the streets’, regardless of weather. We invite you to join with us, and several hundred other like-minded believers, for this unique time of prayer and worship in our nation’s capital.

Speakers include the likes of Tony Perkins, Harry Jackson, Rep. Louie Gohmert, and Rep. Randy Forbes along with NAR leaders like Negiel Bigpond and Luis Cataldo, who played a key role in organizing Gov. Rick Perry's NAR-infused "The Response" prayer rally.

Interestingly, the Congressional Prayer Caucus is listed among the "partner ministries" along side Lou Engle's TheCall, Mike Bickle's International House of Prayer, Intercessors for America and various others.

For those who don't recall, Bickle is the one who thinks that Oprah is a forerunner of that Antichrist:

According to the schedule, the event lasts for four days, during which participants will "meet with designated elected officials" and receive a "Private Capitol Tour Led by Congressman Louie Gohmert."

And you will not be surprised to learn that the entire event is rooted in Seven Mountains theology:

As we move toward The Summons in Washington D.C., please pray specifically, focusing on the seven points of prayer for each state. As we pray, day by day, and state by state, let’s pray for the Spirit of God to sweep through our nation like a ‘mighty, rushing wind’!

Seven Point of Prayer for each State

1) Government – Pray for local and state leaders asking God to grant them wisdom, discernment, and hearts that are open to His leading.

2) Church – Pray for the Churches and Church Leaders throughout that state. Ask God to preserve and protect them, as He inspires and empowers His ‘Saints’ for the work of ministry, for the building up of the Church, and for the spreading of the Gospel.

3) Military – Pray for our Military, Guard, and Reserve units and their leadership. Pray for God to grant courage, protection, and strength for our service men and women, and their families, as they serve our country.

4) Family – Pray for families in your community and across the state. Ask Him for protection, and to strengthen marriages, encourage parents toward His priorities, heal relationships, and secure traditional values in each home.

5) Education – Pray for God’s presence in our schools, colleges, and universities. Ask Him to select teachers and administrators who honor His statutes, protect our children, and inspire them to discover their God-given calling.

6) Media – Pray for Christian influence in the media industry, from local television and radio stations, to newspaper and magazine publishers. Ask for the Lord to provide Godly men and women to work in and influence the media throughout the state and in every city.

7) Business – Pray for divine intervention in the state and local economies. Ask that God raise up Godly business leaders and provide industry to provide honest employment and generous provision for individuals and families in each community.

Religious Right Groups Organize Nationwide September 11 Prayer Rallies

The group Awakening America is hoping that people on September 11 will head to their county courthouse to gather for Cry Out America. Organizations partnering with Cry Out America 2012 include the Family Research Council, the Christian Broadcasting Network, The Call, Intercessors for America, Teen Mania and 40 Days to Save America. They hope that the prayer rally will bring about a revival that will lead to a “decrease in divorce rates, co-habitation [and] same-sex relations,” along with “the restoration of Christ’s influence in the arts, media, and communications.”

On September 11, 2001, America was shaken to its foundation by a series of surprise terrorist attacks. All of us were awakened to the new reality of global terrorism. 10 years later our nation needs to be awakened again, not just to the threats of terrorism, but to our critical spiritual condition.

Americans are now in desperate need of a fresh Christ Awakening. Our economy has been deeply shaken. Overall church attendance continues to decline across the nation, America is now the third largest mission field in the world and an entire generation is growing up with little understanding of absolute truth. Yet, in what appears to be a very trying time for the Church in this nation, we believe that America is on the verge of a sweeping move of God’s Spirit that will touch every state, every county and every heart. Americans are now in desperate need of a fresh Christ Awakening.

Engle: 'The Homosexual Agenda Can Be Broken' or the Judgment of God 'Brings us to Rubble'

Preaching at The Call: Virginia last month, Lou Engle insisted that “the homosexual agenda can be broken.” If not, he warned, America may be doomed. Engle, who promoted the prayer rally by calling on attendees to channel Confederate generals to “restrain” the demonic powers behind the “homosexual agenda,” said that they can succeed “not because of our boastfulness or our greatness, but because of our repentance, because of a great revival and maybe even a great shaking and judgment that brings us to rubble so we finally get desperate enough to return to the Lord.”

Watch:

Right Wing Watch Research Exposes Extremism of Capitol Event

Last week, PFAW’s Right Wing Watch reported that a who’s who of Religious Right activists had recently gathered in the Capitol, with the endorsement of Speaker John Boehner, for a George Washington-themed prayer event.

Last night, Rachel Maddow did a segment on the event, drawing heavily from Right Wing Watch research to expose the extremism of its participants:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 Right Wing Watch  uncovered video of Lou Engle claiming that marriage equality would “unleash” a “sexual insanity”; Engle praying against health care reform with Sen. DeMint and then-Sen. Brownback; Jim Garlow saying that Satan is attacking the U.S. with marriage equality; David Barton claiming that AIDS can’t be cured because it’s God’s punishment for being gay; and the head of Alveda King’s group saying that supporting abortion rights is akin to supporting terrorism.

Here at People For the American Way, we spend a lot of time monitoring right-wing figures who seem far out of the mainstream. And then the Speaker of the House invites them to the Capitol.
 

PFAW

Lou Engle Calls for Religious Right to Channel Confederate Generals to 'Restrain' the 'Homosexual Agenda'

During his speech at the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “Week of Prayer” yesterday, Lou Engle asked for support of his upcoming The Call: Virginia prayer rally, saying that Virginia should fight back against Washington D.C., just as Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson did during the Civil War. General Lee “had an anointing or something,” Engle said, “he was able to restrain Washington, he took his stand and held back those force.” Engle also pointed to Stonewall Jackson for “rallying the Virginians” against the Union as a model to fight the “homosexual agenda” and the demonic “principalities and powers” behind homosexuality. Engle said, “Raise up a stonewall to restrain the agenda that is coming out of D.C.”

Engle also tried to link the political ascendency of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to a prophecy that Cindy Jacobs, whom he called a “crazy lady” and the “scariest lady in America,” told him about Hispanics ending abortion rights in California, noting that Rubio appeared to be wearing a LIFE wristband on Election Day:

Engle Tells Robertson that Prayer Defeated the 'Homosexual Agenda' in California

Like his fellow Proposition 8 supporters Che Ahn and Jim Garlow, Lou Engle maintains that their prayers led to the reversal of marriage equality in California in 2008 and a “sovereign appointment” with former San Francisco mayor (and current Lt. Gov.) Gavin Newsom “to call him to accountability to what he was going to do in that city concerning the homosexual agenda.” While speaking today with Pat Robertson on the 700 Club to publicize the upcoming The Call: Virginia, which Robertson has endorsed, Engle said his September, 2010 prayer rally in Sacramento “removed” the state’s governor from office. However, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had already made the decision not to run for re-election in November, 2009, and Democrat Jerry Brown won the gubernatorial race later that year.

Watch:

Robertson: Tell me one example where prayer that you know of—I know many—changed things in a nation?

Engle: I look at my own story and my prayer history in California, on a forty day season of fasting and prayer, God spoke to me that I needed to contend with those heavenly powers through humility and fasting. We believe, two stadium gatherings, a forty day fast across California, the governor of California, right after The Call in Sacramento, was removed from office, also put me in front of Gavin Newsom in a sovereign appointment to call him to accountability to what he was going to do in that city concerning the homosexual agenda. It’s actually changed so much, in my life and with the journey that I’m in, let alone many, many, stories of prayer changing history.

Robertson: One more time, Fredericksburg, Virginia, a linchpin state, there’s people coming all around the nation to join The Call.

Robertson, Engle Hope 'The Call: Virginia' Heals Wounds from the Civil War

It appears that every time Lou Engle leads a The Call prayer rally, the future of America is at stake. Later this month, Engle will be bringing The Call to Fredericksburg, Virginia, this time with the help of televangelist Pat Robertson. Engle said that his rally intends to “intercede on behalf of the blood that has been shed as a result of racism and abortion and ask for God’s mercy on behalf of our nation” by praying at Civil War sites, and Robertson claimed the event is part of a “spiritual battle which can only be won by overwhelming prayer”:

Lou Engle says Virginia has always been instrumental in the great shifts in American history. It has always risen as a lead state in this nation - how Virginia goes affects the whole nation. Virginia is an “in the gap” state (as described by the prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 22 of those who intercede before God on behalf of the needs of His people). The hope is that as the nation gathers in Fredericksburg, Virginia on May 26th, 2012 that God will use Virginia as a revival catalyst, a wall of intercession will be built, and God will show this nation an undeserved mercy. Lou feels that we are being brought into another great crisis in American history. We are in a “hinge of history moment” where we need to cry out to God for the Blood of Jesus to cleanse us for the sins of this nation. The word Lou received from God is, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” God has shown him the “house divided” is the racial tension in this country. Also, he received prophetic revelation that the grace period for abortion is coming to an end and we must atone for the shedding of innocent blood. This bloodshed has its roots in American history. Lou says in Appomattox and Fredericksburg, Virginia is where much blood was spilled in this country during the Civil and Revolutionary Wars. That is a part of the significance of rallying in prayer where much blood was spilled – to intercede on behalf of the blood that has been shed as a result of racism and abortion and ask for God’s mercy on behalf of our nation. Also, Fredericksburg is located 50 miles south of Washington, D.C. and Lou feels that God wants people to intercede “right at the gate” of our nation’s capital. This is our hope: “God save America.” Through fasting and prayer during this critical hour, we dare to believe that God again will show us His mercy.

TheCall has had gatherings and events since its founding twelve years ago that coincide with the racial tension and abortion issues. TheCall Detroit interceded for and has seen reconciliation among the races. TheEstherCall was recently held as 39 women (representing the 39 years since the Roe v Wade decision) who had either had abortions or were survivors of abortions. They prayer walked for 250 miles for 21 days to intercede for life and the consideration of the health care law that would offer insurance coverage for abortions. After the May 26th event in Fredericksburg, TheEstherCall will have a time of prayer and communion at Appomattox, VA and a declarative word over Washington, D.C. Unexpectedly, this will be happening around the time the Supreme Court will be making a decision concerning the health care bill.

Pat Robertson also received a word from God during the New Year 2012:

“Your country will be torn apart by internal stress. A house divided cannot stand…This is a spiritual battle which can only be won by overwhelming prayer. The future of the world is at stake because if America falls, there no longer exists a strong champion of freedom and a champion of the oppressed of the world. There must be an urgent call to prayer.”

Robertson believes the Lord is calling each of us to pray for America and we need a great move of the Holy Spirit to cover our nation…to bring repentance, godliness, and unity to this land that we love. He supports TheCall in Fredericksburg, VA and hopes people will be a part of standing in the gap for America. He believes with all of his heart that praying in unity is exactly what God wants us to do right now. Although as a nation we’re facing a time of maximum stress and peril, Robertson says God Almighty hasn’t given up on this land. Our God is love and His desire is salvation, not judgment. Robertson urges everyone to stand together in this battle as we fast and pray for the future of our country.

Lou Engle's 'The Call' Saves Texas from Tornado Deaths, Heads to Virginia

Lou Engle has said that God is sending tornados, including the storm that struck Joplin, Missouri, as punishment to America for legalizing abortion. But apparently a march of women from Houston to Dallas as part of The Esther Call, which focused on overturning Roe v. Wade, prevented tornados in Texas from causing any fatalities, Engle told attendees:

"We didn't gather here to have a nice little worship service!" he informed the crowd. "We're actually creating a throne," he explained, to contain God and the "angelic hosts by the thousands" who would be attending the rally. Many of them, he said, had come with 39 women, part of an organization called Back To Life, who had just walked from Houston to Dallas to protest legal abortion's roots in Texas.

"Who would have guessed that when they crossed over the county line of Dallas, 12 tornadoes exploded," Engle cried. "And no deaths!" The tornadoes, the hail, the grounded planes at the airport -- all of this, he told the women and girls and more than a few men in the crowd -- were a sign that God would hear the prayers of those assembled, and use them to influence worldly affairs.



"Thank God for the Texas Legislature," added another woman, part of a long parade of speakers who came onstage, said a few words, and disappeared without introduction. "And thank God for Rick Perry. I want you to know that you put them in office," she told the crowd, who cheered wildly. "And they are moving heaven and Earth."

Maybe Virginia will be just as “lucky” as Texas, as Engle now is taking his The Call prayer rally to Fredericksburg, with a special shout out to Confederate soldiers: “Virginia has always been a state that was instrumental in the great shifts of American history,” Engle said, “even during the Civil War, God began to pour out his spirit in the South in the soldiers in the Army camps of the South, the spirit of God was being poured out and we believe once again God will visit us in the days of great crisis”:

Dobson Says Roe v. Wade Decision 'May Be the Most Tragic Day in World History'

On Wednesday’s Family Talk, James Dobson hosted Lou Engle and other anti-choice activists to discuss an upcoming prayer rally, The Esther Call, Engle is organizing to pray for the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Dobson started the program by calling the day Roe v. Wade was decided possibly the “the most tragic day in world history”:

Dobson: There’s certainly debate over what is the darkest day in the United States’ history although I would think September 11th, 2001, perhaps would rank near the top or the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, they are certainly contenders. Both are tragic and horrific moments in US history without a doubt but I would put forward another date for consideration to our listeners and that is January 22nd, 1973. That’s not only a tragic day in American history but may be the most tragic day in world history. I don’t think there’s been anything like it; 54 million babies have been murdered since that day in the United States when abortion became legal after the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down by the United States Supreme Court.

Later in the show, Dobson and Engle reminisced about their work on The Call rally in San Diego, California, to push for the passage of Proposition 8, and Dobson warned that America is “sliding into moral chaos.”

Dobson: Lou, you and I have worked together on occasions, primarily in San Diego when Proposition 8 was being considered.

Engle: It was great to have you there. The reason we hold these solemn assemblies is because it’s such a crisis and in the scriptures in those times of crisis He calls people to gather and to fast and pray and repent as the prescription for a returning. And so The Esther Call as Ann Quest talked about is an all-women’s gathering to fast and pray like Esther did to turn Haman’s decree, and now with abortion we need heaven’s help so Esther is going to appeal to the supreme court of heaven to believe that the supreme courts of Earth can change when we appeal to heaven. Dobson: Do you agree Lou that this year is absolutely critical to the future of this country?

Engle: No question about it.

Dobson: We’re sliding into moral chaos.

Spiritual Warfare for Public Schools

Many of the charismatic preachers, particularly those involved in the New Apostolic Reformation, claim that they are in the midst of taking control of the Seven Mountains of society: arts and entertainment, business, the church, education, the family, government and the media, through a mix of political advocacy and spiritual warfare. As Kyle has noted, we have already seen large prayer rallies with “the purpose of swinging elections, ending abortion, fighting marriage equality, converting Muslims, and even launching a presidential campaign,” and there is even a brand new effort to take dominion over Hollywood.

Now, there is a new spiritual warfare effort targeting public schools to bring about the return of government-organized school prayer.

Many Republican politicians and right-wing activists regularly and quite falsely assert that prayer has been outlawed in schools. As K. Hollyn Hollman, General Counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee writes: “Students, too, are free to pray voluntarily at various times of the school day, absent school involvement or disruption to others. There is simply nothing constructive to be gained from official prayer that advances or harms a particular religion. On the contrary, such prayers threaten individual freedom of conscience and violate the First Amendment’s promise of religious liberty for all.”

With the help of Lou Engle of The Call, one Religious Right activist is set to lead a prayer rally in Sacramento, California, on March 31 to bring government organized prayer back to public schools.

Brian Barcelona said he started a group called “the Christian Club” in a California public school that grew to hundreds of members and that thanks to his club “teachers have been healed of incurable diseases” and “students no longer have to turn to the counselors for advice.” He calls for students of all faiths to come together under Christianity:

This is a movement that is not about a denomination or a church, but a DEMONSTRATION of the Kingdom of God. Signs, wonders, and miracles have broken out amongst students and teachers alike. Teachers have been healed of incurable diseases, and students no longer turn to the counselors for advice, but the Christian Club for prayer and support.

A movement that doesn’t care if a student is a Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Wiccan, Atheist, or anything in between, all are invited to encounter the Love of Jesus and what He has to offer.

He goes on to say that a series of Supreme Court decisions have resulted “in the effective banning of prayer and Bible verse recitation in public schools” and dramatic increases in teen pregnancy, STDs, divorce, cohabitation, out-of-wedlock births, violent crimes, abortion rate and a decline in SAT scores.

Of course, if this were true his “Christian Club” and thousands of other clubs in the U.S. would have been shut down. But it’s not and that’s why students are allowed to pray as they choose to, rather than have the government dictate and lead students in organized prayer.

As. Dr. W. Kenneth Williams of the Baptist Joint Committee points out, government-compelled prayer “violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and offends the consciences of those would not choose to participate in the prayers” due to their faith or lack of faith” and “many believers consider watered-downed, generic prayers to be deeply offensive.”

Most of all, Barcelona’s own example proves that students are not prevented from engaging in voluntary prayer, and surely he or others involved in his version of charismatic prayer may find vapid, government-written prayers offensive just as many students may not want to participate in a government-sponsored charismatic prayer.

Bachmann, Gingrich and Santorum to Participate in Forum hosted by Radical Anti-Choice Activists

Republican presidential candidiates Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have signed on for a “Presidential Pro-Life Forum” hosted by Personhood USA and moderated by Iowa conservative radio personality Steve Deace. The three candidates along with Rick Perry have already announced their support for personhood laws.

Personhood USA wants abortion and even common forms of birth control banned without exception, and personhood laws may even outlaw in-vitro fertilization and the treatment of problem pregnancies. The group launched unsuccessful referendums in Colorado and Mississippi, and has characterized President Obama as the “Angel of Death” and likened opponents to Nazis.

The other organizations listed as hosts of the forum are just as radical, if not more so.

The Call is led by Lou Engle, who has claimed that legal abortion may lead to civil war and is responsible for the Joplin tornado. Engle has also used his The Call prayer rally to bolster Ugandan legislation that would criminalize and in some cases give the death penalty for homosexuals. Moreover, Engle has compared gay rights to Nazism, advocated for Seven Mountains dominionism, and said that both gays and Muslims are demonic.

Another organization hosting the forum is the Oak Initiative, a project of South Carolina pastor Rick Joyner, who has argued that God will imminently destroy California, Hurricane Katrina was God’s judgment for homosexuality, “extremist Islam” is God’s judgment for “perversions” and “abortions,” and that very soon “God’s judgment is going to come upon Hollywood.” Joyner also believes that President Obama may be a Muslim and that Muslims are trying to take control of Michigan, school textbooks and Christianity. Like Engle, Joyner is a proponent of Seven Mountains dominionism.

Both Engle and Joyner are closely affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation, which believes that God is raising up modern day apostles and prophets, and another cosponsor, the Freedom Federation, includes the NAR groups Generals International, led by the self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs, and Harvest International Ministries of self-proclaimed apostle Che Ahn.

Three Republican candidates for the nation’s high office including Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Senator Rick Santorum, and Speaker Newt Gingrich have confirmed their participation in the Presidential Pro-Life Forum on Tuesday, December 27, from 8:00 to 9:30 pm CST. The national tele-town hall and radio simulcast will be hosted by Personhood USA and their partner organizations: National Hispanic Christian Leadership Coalition, Liberty Counsel, Bott Radio Network, Freedom Federation, Frederick Douglass Foundation, Champion the Vote, Oak Initiative, The Call, Georgia Right to Life, Rock for Life, and Iowa Right to Life. An invitation has been extended to the remaining GOP presidential candidates.

The 90-minute pro-life tele-town hall will feature the candidates discussing their views on the rights of the preborn and other issues of great importance to pro-life voters. Pro-life groups around the nation are inviting their members to attend. Callers will have an opportunity to ask questions via email and give instant feedback to thoughts and ideas shared.

Nationally-syndicated radio host Steve Deace, whose influence in the Iowa Caucuses has been highlighted by numerous national media outlets, will broadcast the event live on his Salem Network program. Last week, four candidates, Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich, and Gov. Rick Perry, signed Personhood USA’s Personhood Republican Candidate Pledge, declaring their intentions to stand with President Ronald Reagan in supporting “the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death.”

“We’re pleased to see the candidates standing for the rights of every person to live, love, and be loved. The time has come to end the 40-year reign of the abortion industry, once and for all,” said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA. “This is an opportunity for everyone who understands that ‘all men are created equal’ to hear from the candidates their plans to recognize the most fundamental rights of every human being, no matter their age. Come, take advantage of this interactive and important event, and be a voice for the voiceless.”

African American Ministers in Action Reject Divisiveness of 'The Call: Detroit'

On Friday, Nov. 11, right-wing activist Lou Engle and the group Transformation Michigan will host The Call: Detroit, a prayer rally whose stated purpose is to convert Muslims to Christianity to prevent what Transformation Michigan calls “the advance of the enemy.”

When speaking with mainstream news outlets, The Call: Detroit’s organizers have attempted to downplay their anti-Muslim rhetoric, painting the rally as an inclusive gathering for people of faith to pray for Detroit’s depressed economy. However,Engle and Transformation Michigan’s statements to supporters show that The Call will present something much more harmful and divisive: an attempt to stir up misunderstanding and fear of Detroit and Dearborn’s Muslim populations while promoting a view of government exclusively by and for conservative Christians.

Rev. Charles Williams II, Pastor of Detroit’s Historic King Solomon Baptist Church and a member of People For the American Way's African American Ministers in Action , urged people of faith to reject the divisive and politically charged extremism of The Call, and to join together in prayer for a future that lifts up all the people of Michigan, regardless of faith and ethnicity.

“All of us in Detroit have been praying hard for the future of our city and everyone in it,” said Rev. Williams. “We need to keep on praying and we need to keep on working hard for economic and social justice that lifts up every person, rich and poor. What we don’t need is more divisiveness and fear.

"Religious leaders who support this event should really take a look at what its undertones are all about. As a Christian pastor I support prayer, but not to bash another religion, nor to hide behind the subterfuge of political gamesmanship.

“Our Muslim neighbors in Detroit and Dearborn want the same things that all of us want – jobs to support our families and the freedom to live our lives as we choose. Those like Rev. Engle who come into the state stir up fear about a mythical ‘Muslim takeover’ and set us against each other, distract from the real problems that we face. We can’t face our problems and lift ourselves up if we are busy tearing each other down. Let’s work, and pray, together for the future of our city.”

More information about The Call: Detroit is available at People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/fact-sheet-call-detroit

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The Rise of Lou Engle

Sarah Posner has a good piece up at Religion Dispatches on Lou Engle, founder of The Call, and his recent branching out from this militant anti-abortion proselytizing and into the marriage debate and the upcoming election. 

Engle, as Posner explains, is best known for his efforts to turns hordes of young men and women into warriors for Christ and “raise up of an army of spiritual warriors for revival” and is becoming something of a regular figure in the political Religious Right movement, appearing with notable figures such as Tony Perkins and Mike Huckabee before and during his recent “The Call” rally in Washington, DC:

The Call’s advisory board is stacked with prominent Pentecostal and charismatic preachers, leading figures in the controversial apostolic movement, which is elevating a new generation of self-appointed prophets and apostles, African-American and Latino religious leaders, charismatic publishing giant Stephen Strang, and religious right leaders like Perkins, Harry Jackson, and Gary Bauer.

The religious right political leadership’s keen interest in Engle was evident at The Call held on the National Mall in August. The day before the event, the public relations firm Shirley Bannister introduced Engle, flanked by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and former Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, at a press conference just a few blocks from the White House. Perkins, one of the most visible political leaders on the religious right, noted Engle’s influence on young evangelicals, who he claimed were even more conservative on abortion than their parents, though he cited no surveys or polls to support the claim.

Engle, per his custom, likened his crusade against abortion to Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement. He rocked back and forth, as though davening, preached against Roe v. Wade, and shouted, as the crowd prayed and spoke in tongues, “this is a Passover Day for America. Today, we plead the blood of Jesus on the doorpost!” Purity covenants, requiring abstention from even thinking about sex outside of marriage, were distributed. Participants were urged to consecrate themselves, to be ready for the moment when Jesus “is going to rule over Washington, DC and the world.”

“Repentance and revival cannot start in the building behind me,” said Huckabee, his back to the Capitol, “until it starts in the temple inside me.”

But when he’s not leading day-long rallies such as this or the anti-gay marriage one scheduled at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium this weekend, Engle and his army can be found at International House of Prayer he co-founded in Kansas City where they direct their prayers toward things like remaking the US Supreme Court … and rather successfully at that, according to Engle: 

Engle unabashedly credits prayer for George W. Bush’s presidency and his subsequent appointment of Supreme Court Justices who upheld the ban on so-called “partial birth abortion.” “The praying church deals with the demonic realm, so that God raises up one and brings down the other,” Engle said in a recent video on The Call’s web site, explaining how prayer proved victorious over satanic forces in the spiritual warfare of an election, adding, “I directly attribute [Bush’s election] to the prayers of the saints.”

Young people at his House of Prayer, said Engle, had been praying about judges for three years when Sandra Day O’Connor retired and William Rehnquist died. As if to prove to his acolytes that their prayer and fasting is not in vain, Engle maintains that their prayers and prophecies shaped the Supreme Court. “One of the young ladies had a dream,” Engle asserted, “that a man named John Roberts would be the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.” He beams with pride. “Don’t you think those kids were baptized with confidence? Their prayers, I believe, were literally moving a king to appoint a justice who has now led a court that has banned partial birth abortion. Don’t tell me prayer doesn’t shape a nation.”

Prop 8's Call to Extremism

A report examining Lou Engle, a leader in the right-wing fight to pass Proposition 8 in California, and his extremist brand of "Dominionist" Christianity.

Anti-Gay Leaders: Fasting and Massive Mobilization Will Bring Prop 8 Victory

On Wednesday, September 24, 2008, the latest multi-church conference call by backers of Proposition 8 in California focused on encouraging pastors to raise more money for the initiative, get their church members involved in phone-calling and door-to-door .
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