The dominionist prayer warriors of POTUS Shield, a project launched by Trump-supporting “apostles” and “prophets” immediately after his election victory, met in Ohio last week to further their plans to take full advantage of their new high-level access. Among their goals: “sweeping” the federal courts of any judges whose rulings are not to their liking, ending abortion, getting rid of marriage equality for same-sex couples, bringing “official” prayer and Bible reading into the nation’s schools, and making America the Christian nation they believe it was meant to be.
POTUS Shield’s leaders view politics as spiritual warfare, and believe that Trump’s election has given the church in America an opportunity to spark a spiritual Great Awakening that will engulf not only America, but the world. They believe that a triumphant church establishing the kingdom of God on earth will set the stage for Christ’s return. Former Trump campaign adviser Frank Amedia, a leader of POTUS Shield, said that the POTUS in the group’s name does not refer only to President of the United States, but also to the Prophetic Order of the United States.
POTUS Shield gathered at Amedia’s church in Canfield, Ohio, last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. They say that God has revealed that northeastern Ohio will spark the spiritual revival to come, which is why part of the gathering was devoted to promoting one of Lou Engle’s “The Call” rallies, which will be held at Cleveland’s The Q sports arena this summer.
Another local focus of the gathering was praying for God to change the heart and mind of Governor John Kasich, who vetoed Janet Porter’s abortion-banning “heartbeat bill” even while he signed other restrictions on women’s access to abortion. Ohio Religious Right leaders are hoping to force Kasich’s hand by returning the bill to his desk with what they hope will be large enough margins to overturn a veto.
Over the course of the three days, interspersed with Pentecostal worship, liturgical dancing, speaking in tongues, blowing shofars, and waving Israeli flags, Amedia, Engle and other POTUS Shield leaders put forth their vision of an America under God’s reign and of POTUS Shield’s plan to bring it about through prayer, political engagement, and 50-state organizing.
At Thursday’s opening session, POTUS Shield council member Mark Gonzales, head of the Hispanic Action Network and David Barton’s National Black Robe Regiment project, made the Christian-nation goal explicit:
You’re gathering us here, in this place, as your leaders, God, to declare your words and to release your power, even more so, God, upon this nation. We’re declaring that America belongs to you. We’re turning it back to you. We’re ushering you back in to have your way. We’re declaring that your destiny will be fulfilled. … God, we’re refusing to allow Satan have his way with this nation. … God, we’re here to shift the nation. God we’re here to put it back on track by your spirit and by your power. … America belongs to you. America belongs to you. America belongs to you. … God, you founded us on a Judeo-Christian ethos, and we’re declaring that yes, America is and will be a Christian nation, like never before.
Gonzales, who said that he received a lot of criticism for promoting Trump’s candidacy, told participants it didn’t matter how they had voted; the fact is that the Trump administration is now giving them access to the White House:
Our point here is God, you’ve given us a new wind, a new administration. I don’t know what his walk is, and it don’t matter. All I know, that he’s letting biblical principles go forth, and I’m gonna latch onto this thing, and we’re gonna pray, and we’re gonna seek your face, and we’re gonna turn the country. You’ve given us access into the White House again. You’ve given us access into Congress again. You’ve given us access to these high places of authority in the natural and politically and now we’re going to take ‘em over by the spirit of the almighty God. That’s what this thing’s about…
Gonzales added policy specifics, praying,
Lord, what you’re trying to get done, even with the heartbeat bill, we’ve been crying out to you, Lord for decades, for decades for you to move, and we’re believing the hour has come. Lord yes, we’re going to overturn Roe v. Wade. The hour has come, that abortion, God, will be overturned in America. The day is come, God, yes, that abortion will be illegal. The day is coming, we’re going to overturn, God, marriage at the Supreme Court. The day is coming that prayer is coming back to school. The Bible is coming back to school. Lord, we’re declaring, those days are ahead, and our eyes are going to see your move take place…
During Saturday’s closing session, when participants were being exhorted to devote themselves wholly to this world-changing project, Amedia declared, “This is a radical house. This is a radical ministry. POTUS Shield is not for your common, complacent church-pew person.”
Herman Martir, who heads the Asian Action Network and Emerging Leaders International, hammered home the same theme:
Are you willing to die for the cause? Is there not a cause? … POTUS Shield is that banner that is waving, saying, come on, we’re building an army. Who wants to follow? We’re believing for ten million people that will sign a covenant before God and say, ‘God, we want a renewed covenant for a new America: One nation under God, standing with the nation of Israel.