TheCall founder Lou Engle has a long history of rhetorically encouraging domestic terrorism.
On November 16th, 2009, as noted by the Rachel Maddow Show, Lou Engle led Republican senators Sam Brownback and Jim DeMint, and Congressional representatives Michelle Bachmann and Randy Forbes, in a nationally televised November 16 religious event, organized by the Family Research Council, a "Prayercast to stop Health Care Reform."
For national-level politicians such as Brownback, DeMint, Bachmann and Forbes to appear with Engle in such a forum constitutes endorsement, especially because Lou Engle is a religious leader and the event was overtly religious.
For all practical purposes, for the duration of the FRC's "Prayercast against health care reform" Lou Engle functioned as a pastor to Brownback, DeMint, Bachmann and Forbes.
But Engle has an especially close relationship with Senator Brownback. As I've described in a new story, Will Lou Engle take his mega-antigay TheCall to Uganda?, Lou Engle and Sam Brownback were condo-mates for the better part of a year. Did Brownback pay any rent to Engle ? Curious minds want to know.
[Video footage from a September 25, 2006 Lou Engle speech, at a Boston, MA church, in which Engle describes how Kansas Senator Sam Brownback came to live in Engle's Washington DC condominium for seven months.]
"The most `dangerous terrorist' is not Islam but God."
The US is still home base for Christian fanaticism and many of the new leaders of the religious right believe they either have a direct line to God - or hint they might be semi-Divine. Lou Engle unabashedly claims he has Holy water running in his veins: "Wherever I go I spit, but it's holy water."
With nationally known old lions of the Christian right such as Jerry Falwell dying off or retiring, this younger leadership group is coming to the fore. And politicians know it - though they may not know exactly what they're buying into.
[image, left: Lou Engle leads rally]
The most dangerous terrorist, according to Lou Engle, is God. It's a point that might warm Osama Bin Laden's heart. In a document titled "Doctrine of the Shedding of Innocent Blood," [PDF of document], Engle writes,
"Where there is shedding of innocent blood, there is no atonement for the land. There is a blood pollution problem on America's soil. The most "dangerous terrorist" is not Islam but God. One of God's names is the avenger of blood. Have you worshipped [sic] that God yet."
In his book Sons To Glory, Paul Jablonoskwi, who is sympathetic to Engle's cause, described a 2002 Lou Engle/TheCall event in Kansas City:
"What I witnessed in Bartle Hall on December 31st 2002 was the antithesis of radical Islam. Instead of people wanting to blow themselves up to kill others, I saw young adults who were so radically in love with Jesus that they were willing to become martyrs for the sake of saving other people's lives. Someone from the stage asked, 'who here feels like they are called to die as a martyr for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ?' Many hands went up throughout the stadium."
[image, right: Lou Engle anoints Mike Huckabee]
Last summer, Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee traveled to a Virginia Beach megachurch where an evangelist unknown to most of secular, mainstream America anointed and blessed the two GOP presidential hopefuls.
Only days before Huckabee and Gingrich received Lou Engle's endorsement at Rock Church, on Sunday, May 31, 2009, Dr. George Tiller, one of the few medical professionals who would perform late term abortions, was gunned down in the lobby of his Wichita, Kansas church. The next morning CBS's Jeff Glor reported:
"We did speak with the accused shooters' ex-wife yesterday. She said she was not surprised this happened and that she believed Roeder wanted to be a martyr for the cause."
Lou Engle's personal website and his organization websites still feature extreme rhetorical attacks [1, 2] posted prior to George Tiller's assassination.
In one of those posts, Engle wrote:
When at an abortion clinic in Miami, a living-breathing baby is born during an abortion procedure and the baby is thrown away - alive into a plastic bag, the nation is appalled and the doctor is charged with two felonies and faces prison time.
If that very same abortion had not been botched, the doctor would have gone home in peace having put to death a viable human being before it was born. What white-washed insanity!
Today, the country faces another instance of insanity as President Obama has nominated Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to the highest healthcare post in America, the Secretary of Health & Human Services.
As governor of Kansas, MS. Sebelius has consistently vetoed restrictions against late-term and partial birth abortions that are performed on babies from 6th-9th months. She has also protected one of the most prolific abortion doctors in America, Dr. George Tiller from Wichita. His renowned 30-year practice has overseen the death of nearly 60,000 babies.
In the early 1980's, KKK and Aryan Nations strategist Louis Beam helped popularize a tactic known as "leaderless resistance" in which high profile propagandists would incite terrorist acts carried out by autonomous individuals and cell groups. During the 1990's leaders of the Army of God, wielding militant anti-abortion rhetoric, helped inspire terrorist bombings of abortion clinics and the assassination of doctors who provided abortions. Now, a decade later, one can hear such incitement coming from the stage at Lou Engle's TheCall events. As California journalist Karen Ocamb writes,
members of the Army of God were out in force at Lou Engle's TheCall antigay Prop 8 rally in San Diego, along with Jim Garlow and James Dobson, three of the guests on Perkin's webcast about abortion and healthcare...
Lou Engle and "Senator Brownback": roommates in martyrdom?
One pertinent question is whether Lou Engle's ideological extremity has been quietly adopted by America's GOP power elite. In fact, such a question should be posed to Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, Lou Engle's roommate for seven months, according to Engle. As Engle told congregants at a Hispanic church in Boston, Mass, on February 19, 2006,
"I was mobilizing young people to go to Boston in 2001. The gathering ..... came 11 days after 9/11. Many people from New England called and they said `we can't come. It's not safe.' It ticked me off. Why could Muslims die better for their faith than we can? We're able to die better than Muslims. We're living for self-preservation rather than bringing the Kingdom. We cannot live for self preservation.
Esther was brought into a moment of time when she had to choose between living for self- preservation or say `if I die, I die'. And right now I've got young people right there in DC, who will say, `We're not going to leave this house of prayer until that heinous decree of abortion has ended and if I die, I die.' Alleluia!
As I was mobilizing for Boston, I said to kids in California `we need to dig the dwells of revival in Harvard and close the door of false ideologies that have come through Boston'. Amazingly a week later, I received a phone call from the US Senator from Kansas, Senator Sam Brownback, he's a godly man. He calls me up, he says `Lou, I'm in England, New England. You need to dig the dwells of revival in Harvard and close the door of false ideologies that have come through Boston'. Almost word for word. A Senator was prophesying to me, glory to God.
In fact, it was prophesized to me that I would be connected with a man named Senator Sam Brownback from Kansas. But I forgot about the prophecy, so when I rented a condo in DC to mobilize for TheCall, a week later I received a phone call from the owner of the condo and he said `There's a man named Senator Sam Brownback. His condo just burnt down. He wants to know if he could stay in your condo'. I became the roommate of Senator Brownback for seven months.
We began to get dreams he would be the president of the United States."
[note: above transcript, provided by The Lion Of Judah Church in Boston, MA, of Lou Engle's Sept. 25, 2006 speech at the church, was slightly inaccurate and has been amended to correspond with audio and video of Engle's speech. See end of story for more details.]
On December 16th, Lou Engle, flanked by bearded young male disciples pledged to sexual purity whom Engle calls nazirites, led Senators Sam Brownback and Jim DeMint and House Representatives Michelle Bachmann and Randy Forbes in a telecast group prayer service against the health care reform bill now before Congress. The same day, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show picked up the event and broadcast footage from Engle's November 1st, 2008 pro-Proposition 8 stadium rally in San Diego, during which Engle declared that legal gay marriage would unleash "sexual insanity" upon America and made calls, from onstage, for acts of Christian martyrdom to stop legal abortion and gay marriage. On December 6th, 2008, Engle's TheCall staged it's first African event, in Kenya. Uganda may be next.
So, who is Lou Engle ?
[image,right: Lou Engle's young followers at an antiabortion protest. The red tape over their mouths, with the word "life" has been perhaps Lou Engle's most successful viral marketing success. The symbolic gimmick is promoted by Engle's Bound 4 Life ministry.]
Lou Engle's organization TheCall was in the forefront of the fall 2008 pro-Proposition 8 campaign against legal gay marriage in California and set up 8 field offices in the state. Leaders in the campaign claim they fielded as many as 70,000 volunteers. Engle's son, Jesse, performs exorcisms to cast out "homosexual spirits" and has established a ministry in San Francisco's Castro District which, says Lou Engle, is "where the homosexuals boast the dominion of darkness."
In a September 25, 2007 Las Vegas rally, Lou Engle told a crowd of his followers,
[excerpt from 2007 Engle Los Vegas speech. see here for extended transcript. right: audio excerpt from Engle sermon]
"My son Jesse, he's nineteen years old. God has given him dreams, to go to San Francisco to launch a house of prayer, one block from the Castro District - where the homosexuals boast the dominion of darkness. He's going there with weeping in his heart. With the dream that prayer is stronger than the dominion of that spirit.
...He said to me, "dad," he said, "as long as I'm there I don't think the Lord will judge San Francisco." [boos, angry murmur from Engle's audience]...
He's 19 years old. He's starting to cast out homosexual spirits out of our new converts. It's scary as hell. The whole thing's scary. But fathers are to send their sons into the darkest places."
Engle has suggested and also predicted that legalized abortion will lead to a second American civil war. Engle appeared, in the documentary "Jesus Camp," alongside Becky Fischer - who specializes in evangelizing children and has stated she would like Christian children to learn to be as dedicated as young Islamic militants ready to lay down their lives for their cause.
[Top, Left: Becky Fischer admires the dedication of Hamas' young suicide bombers ? Top, Right: Lou Engle predicts legalized abortion will lead to a second American civil war, TheCall Kansas City, December 31, 2007. Bottom, Left: Lou Engle calls for martyrs, at TheCall San Diego, November 1, 2008. Bottom, Right: Lou Engle, at Jesus Camp, indoctrinates children as future antiabortion movement warriors.].
Lou Engle's fevered rallies often betray a disturbing militancy. During Engle's November 1, 2008 Qualcomm Stadium TheCall event, which served as the capstone event to a massive anti-gay marriage push spearheaded by Engle's activists in California during summer and fall 2008, one of Engle's young acolytes called out to thousands filling the stadium,
"So God right now I ask, father, we celebrate the martyrs right now, God, and we ask, God, for a great martyr movement to go out of Qualcomm. I believe God is going to mark many of us with a spirit of martyrdom. And that is a glorious thing."
Lou Engle followed up with, "Even under martyrdom, God, give me the grace - fasting twelve hours, with prayer: these are seeds are martyrdom. Days are coming when we're going to have to risk our lives to stand for truth in this society. Say, lift your voices and say, 'God, mark me now! Mark me - as a man or women of the cross and of Jesus Christ.' Say, 'mark me!'
[below: Lou Engle's November 1, 2008 TheCall event, featuring calls for acts of Christian martyrdom to stop gay marriage and legal abortion]
Avengers of blood for Proposition 8
Over the last two decades, the American Christian right has gone truly global and established power centers in the developing world which now lend support to the long march in the United States towards extending Christian dominion over key sectors of society such as government, business and finance, education, media, and religion.
It's a religious tendency, rapidly becoming the new face of the religious right, which welcomes women and minorities but features an ideology just extreme as that of the bigoted, nativist branch of the Christian right that Engle's movement will soon overshadow.
Engle has described his movement as an "underground church" and he has stated, in an interview for a documentary video about his movement,
"Right now they haven't seen the true church. There's an underground church that the world has no idea that exists. Once they get the stage, it's over with."
While the American left has heavily focused on the Tea Party movement, leaders in Engle's arising tendency, which I've described as the The Rainbow Right, wield major electoral influence with minority groups and can infiltrate Washington-based Democrat "centrist," "common ground" efforts with ease. National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference President Samuel Rodriguez, one of Peter Wagner's apostles, has been listed on the TheCall's advisory board (recently wiped from TheCall's website, link is to Internet Archive version of page) which is almost a who's-who of Wagner's movement.
[video, below: Lou Engle, in February 19, 2006, at a Boston Hispanic church, talks about his relationship with his former condo-mate Senator Sam Brownback]
Four of the Christian leaders appearing in the "PrayerCast" event alongside Brownback and DeMint played dominant roles in a two and a half hour key motivational and planning conference call held July 30th, 2008 for leaders of the Christian right who organized the successful campaign to block gay marriage in Arizona, Florida, and California. Those leaders are: Jim Garlow, Bishop Harry Jackson, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and Lou Engle of TheCall.
Engle's operation was so central to the California pro-Prop 8 drive that one of the four campaign timeline maps, distributed to members of that July 30th, 2008 conference call detailing major elements and events for the anti-gay marriage campaigns in AZ, FL, and CA, was dedicated solely to TheCall's effort in California.
[ below: map/timeline for TheCall's pro-Prop 8 effort in CA ]