December 2009

Lou Engle and Sam Brownback: Roommates?

At the risk of turning this blog into "Lou Engle Watch," I wanted to highlight this recent post by Bruce Wilson - who had been covering Lou Engle well before he co-hosted the recent FRC "prayercast" and long before most people had ever heard Engle's name - about plans for "The Call" to hold a rally in Uganda in May of 2010, in which he points to this sermon from 2006 where Engle explains how he came to be roommates with Senator Sam Brownback for seven months:

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, 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 prophesizing 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 The Call, 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 room mate of Senator Brownback for 7 months. We began to get dreams that he would be the president of the United States and right now, who knows? We are praying.

Lou Engle's DC House of Prayer

While researching the Religious Right's newest start Lou Engle and his ties to the International House of Prayer which, as we noted last week, had recently canceled classes due to an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, I discovered something I had not known: namely, that Engle has a prayer house located right in Washington, DC known as the Justice House of Prayer, which is also the headquarters of Bound for Life:

In the Fall of 2004, the Lord led Lou Engle and a group of young people to fast and pray in our nation’s capitol with a focus on the upcoming elections and for righteousness and justice to be established in America’s government. The prayer mobilized before the elections soon became ongoing prayer for the ending of abortion and the reformation of our society. Since that time people of all ages continue the unending cry for justice and mercy in JHOP DC.

Our hope is for Jesus Christ to become the “desired of the nation.” We have faith for the reformation of society through revival and spiritual awakening. In the meantime, we contend in fasting and prayer in the cultural gate of America against false ideologies that are destructive to our nation and families.

Strategically located only a couple blocks away from the Supreme Court and the Capitol Building, JHOP DC facilitates training and corporate prayer and fasting through young adult internships and a network of local intercessors. While other interns in DC are learning the trade of government, our interns are learning the trade of governing through prayer. Luke 18 gives us a mandate to never give up in night and day prayer for justice. This draws us near the heart of God in His great desire to release justice in the earth and ultimately the return of Jesus–the Just One.

In addition, JHOP DC is the birthplace and headquarters for Bound4LIFE, a wide-spread grass roots prayer movement aimed at the ending of abortion, the increase of adoptions and the reformation of government and society through spiritual awakening.

I also discovered this Nightline segment from 2005 on Engle's DC-based prayer network that profiles the young men and women who have taken up the call to pray non-stop for the Supreme Court and our nation's government to end abortion:

Be sure to also check out this "mini-documentary" on JHOP uploaded to YouTube earler this year:

Keep in the mind that the man responsible for this has, in recent months, become one of the most influential Religious Right leaders in America, regularly rubbing shoulders with (and occasionally placing hands upon) current and former Republican members of Congress.

Pawlenty in 2012: I Support Creationism, But Not Gay Rights

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has been busy quietly working to impress the Religious Right has he contemplates a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, which goes a long way toward explaining his views as revealed in this Newsweek interview, including his belief in creationism and the revelation that while he once may have supported equality, he doesn't any more, going so far as to recant for a past vote in support of anti-discrimination legislation.

Let me ask you about social issues your party has been dealing with. In her book, Palin claims that McCain's handlers wanted her to be silent about her belief in creationism. How would you describe your view?

I can tell you how we handle it in Minnesota. We leave it to the local school districts. We don't mandate a curriculum or an approach. We allow for something called "intelligent design" to be discussed as a comparative theory. It doesn't have to be in science class.

Where are you personally?

Well, you know I'm an evangelical Christian. I believe that God created everything and that he is who he says he was. The Bible says that he created man and woman; it doesn't say that he created an amoeba and then they evolved into man and woman. But there are a lot of theologians who say that the ideas of evolution and creationism aren't necessarily inconsistent; that he could have "created" human beings over time.

I know you are opposed to gay marriage, but what about medical benefits for same-sex couples?

I have not supported that.

Why not?

My general view on all of this is that marriage is to be defined as being a union of a man and a woman. Marriage should be elevated in our society at a special level. I don't think all domestic relationships are the equivalent of traditional marriage. Early on we decided as a country and as a state that there was value in a man and a woman being married in terms of impact on children and the like, and we want to encourage that.

To borrow a phrase, have your views evolved over time?

In 1993 I voted for a bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodation, housing, and employment. That was 16 years ago.

Yes, gay-rights activists regarded you as a pretty cool guy at the time.

We overbaked that statute, for a couple of reasons. If I had to do it over again I would have changed some things.

Overbaked?

That statute is not worded the way it should be. I said I regretted the vote later because it included things like cross-dressing, and a variety of other people involved in behaviors that weren't based on sexual orientation, just a preference for the way they dressed and behaved. So it was overly broad. So if you are a third-grade teacher and you are a man and you show up on Monday as Mr. Johnson and you show up on Tuesday as Mrs. Johnson, that is a little confusing to the kids. So I don't like that.

Has the law been changed?

No. It should be, though.

So you want to protect kids against cross-dressing elementary-school teachers. Do you have any in Minnesota?

Probably. We've had a few instances, not exactly like that, but similar.

He's "Doctor" Barton Now?

A few months ago we wrote a post about Wallbuilders' David Barton seemingly suggesting that he was a "professor" despite the fact that his academic credentials consist entirely of a "B.A. from Oral Roberts University and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Pensacola Christian College."

Now Bob Vander Plaats, the Republican candidate for governor in Iowa, is touting the fact that he received Barton's endorsement with an announcement containing a link to a radio interview with "Dr. Barton":

Nationally known author and political activist David Barton has endorsed Sioux City Republican Bob Vander Plaats in the 2010 Iowa gubernatorial race.

"I’m incredibly excited to have David’s backing because he has such a deep base of supporters across our state. I know several candidates and potential candidates have sought his support because he commands tremendous respect and attention. Having him in our corner will be another crucial tool to motivate and mobilize grassroots Iowans next year," Vander Plaats said.

Barton was recognized by Time magazine in 2005 as "One of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals" in the United States. He is the founder and president of the Aledo, Texas-based group WallBuilders, an organization which presents "America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built."

"Bob Vander Plaats epitomizes the leadership our Founding Fathers envisioned when they stood up for our individual liberties," Barton said in a prepared statement. "He knows that it’s the hard work and unfettered creative spirit of individuals made this country and states like Iowa great. He knows that more bureaucracies, more government employees, higher taxes and increased government spending will crush Iowa. And, he’ll articulate that message in winning fashion."

A former vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party and a consultant to the Republican National Committee on outreach to evangelical voters, Barton has been praised by U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback for providing "the philosophical underpinning for a lot of the Republican effort in the country today."

Barton, who speaks to well over 400 groups each year across the country, is the author of numerous best-selling books. His subjects are drawn largely from his massive library of tens of thousands of original writings from the Founding Era. His exhaustive research has led to recognition as an expert in historical and constitutional issues. As a result, he serves as a consultant to state and federal legislators, has participated in several U.S. Supreme Court cases, was involved in the development of the history and social studies standards for states such as Texas and California, and has helped produce history textbooks now used in schools across the nation.

Click here to listen to Dr. Barton’s interview on WHO Radio.

The Pathetic State of the Anti-Gay Right

Last week we noted that Peter LaBarbera was reporting that anti-gay right-wing groups, led by Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber, were threatening to boycott the next CPAC convention if the conservative gay organization GOProud was allowed to remain as a co-sponsor.

LaBarbera's piece contained his paragraph:

It boils down to this: there is nothing “conservative” about — as Barber inimitably puts it — “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’” Or two women awkwardly mimicking natural procreative relations or raising a child together in an intentionally fatherless home. This does not mean that people practicing those and other immoral (and changeable) behaviors cannot think and act conservatively on other issues like lowering taxes, cutting government spending, ending abortion, etc. But let’s be honest: the “proud” in GOProud is not about pride in opposing the death tax, or defending the right to bear arms; it’s about proudly embracing sinful homosexual behavior – and that is hardly a conservative value.

On Friday, Exodus International took issue with Barber's quote and contacted Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver about it, who responded by denying that Barber had ever said such a thing:

“Neither Matt Barber nor anyone with Liberty Counsel wrote or made any such public statement that is being alleged in this blog. Liberty Counsel promotes the traditional family of one man and one woman because we believe that such relationships are best for society and for children. While we strongly disagree with the sexual politics and agenda of activist organizations and individuals, we also believe that each person is entitled to respect. While there are some that hate us because of our message of sexual integrity, redemption, change, and hope, we have never, and will never, confuse the person with the agenda. We have never sought to dehumanize people to promote our message. Our message is one of redemption through the power of Jesus Christ.”

LaBarbera then showed up in the comments to the Exodus post and insisted that Barber had indeed made the comments in question and that Barber had given him permission to quote him.

Then Barber weighed in to say that they were both right - he had made the statement, but before he started working for Liberty Counsel:

“This is for clarification only. As affirmed in Liberty Counsel’s statement, neither I nor anyone with Liberty Counsel ever publicly ‘wrote or made’ the comment in question – an unapologetically direct and accurate depiction of the sin of sodomy (a sin that God directly and accurately calls both an ‘abomination’ and ‘detestable’). Some years before I began working with Liberty Counsel, I made the comment in private conversation with Peter LaBarbera. At the time, Peter asked if he could ‘quote me on it’ and I said yes."

Barber is among the most vicious of anti-gay activists.  He routinely launches attacks calling gays "homo-fascists" and liberals modern day Baal worshipers, while likening homosexuality to incest and bestiality ... but he wants it known that while he did make the statement in question and stands by it wholeheartedly, he didn't make it while he was working for Liberty Counsel.

As if that makes one iota of difference.

Staver's claim that they "believe that each person is entitled to respect" is utterly laughable given his own history of outrageous anti-gay statements.  Liberty Counsel was fully aware of Barber's rapidly anti-gay views when they hired him away from Concerned Women for America, and to try and claim that Barber's views don't represent the organization because he made them several years ago is pathetic considering that it was because of those views that Liberty Counsel hired him in the first place.

Help Us Fight The Right

As you may have noticed by the pop-up donation page that has begun showing up, we're doing a bit of end-of-the-year fundraising to support the work we do here at Right Wing Watch.

The Right is both consolidating and branching out at a remarkable pace heading into the 2010 elections, so we are going to have our work cut out for us in monitoring and analyzing just where they are heading, what they are doing, and what it all means in the year ahead.

Your donations are vital to that effort, so if you like and appreciate the work we are doing here and want to do your part in helping us fight the Right, please consider making a donation.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Today, Washington DC Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the marriage equality legislation into law.
  • Box Turtle Bulletin: Kalamazoo churches don't want to be seen with tolerant Christians.
  • David Neiwert: Bennett compares climate-change science to Nazi medicine, debate to Hitler's persecutions.
  • Think Progress: Sarah Palin is booted from her scheduled speech at a Canadian hospital fundraiser.
  • TPM: Lawyer From Far-Right Group Picked For Key Legal-Aid Post.
  • Good As You is not impressed with the Liberty Counsel's list of "victories" this year.
  • Finally, Steve Benen on "Bill Kristol, Public Safety Advocate."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Fresh out of prison, James Traficant is eyeing another run for office.
  • Peggy Noonan laments "the Adam Lambert problem," whatever that is.
  • Rand Paul's spokesman has resigned over racist images he posted on his MySpace page.
  • Mike Huckabee says "Who cares what Chris Matthews thinks?"
  • Finally, recall how earlier this week we predicted that the story about a young boy being suspended from school for drawing a picture of Jesus on the cross was going to become a standard horror story for the Right, even though it was true?  Well, case in point.

A Big Week for the CHRIST-mas Tree

Last week we introduced the world to the wonder that is the CHRIST-mas Tree. Since that time the lowly tree has become a national icon of the bogus "War on Christmas."

The CHRIST-mas Tree is intended to make it impossible to take the "Christ" out of "Christmas" and sports a giant wooden cross for a trunk:

The tree had a star turn in Stephen Colbert's "Blitzkrieg on Grinchitude" segment:

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Blitzkrieg on Grinchitude - Treesus & CHRIST-mas Tree
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Economy

It also shared the spotlight with a miraculous calf in this Jeanne Moos segment on CNN:

The Onion's Amelie Gillette was also quite taken by the tree.

And Hendrik Hertzberg offered his analysis over at The New Yorker.

All told, we're rather pleased that we were able to put the CHRIST-mas Tree on the cultural map. Sadly, no one at the PFAW offices remembered to purchase one in time for the holidays. Maybe next year.

The Holy Spirit Invades IHOP

When Lou Engle is not overseeing right-wing "prayercasts" and rubbing elbows with Republican members of Congress, he is affiliated with the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, which is essentially a 24/7/365 version of one of his The Call prayer rallies.

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the fact that IHOP had canceled classes for several days because the Holy Spirit had descended on the campus and thousands of people were experiencing miraculous healings and spiritual re-awakenings.

Now CBN has produced this segment on the Holy Spirit outpouring in question: