Call It What It Is

As Tony Perkins, Mike Huckabee, and Lou Engle prepare for their press conference today to call on Barack Obama and John McCain to “spend more time talking about issues that matter to evangelical voters”  before this weekend’s “The Call,” Perkins is insisting that the weekend prayer and fasting event should not be seen as political:    

Perkins says “The Call” is not about political candidates or public policy issues. “Although we’ve got to be engaged, we have to realize that ultimately we need God’s direction and hand upon this country; that changing a political party or changing a candidate is not going to make the ultimate difference,” he argues. “The ultimate difference is going to come when this nation puts in proper place its allegiance to God Almighty and to Jesus Christ. So this is a focused call upon Christians to pray, to fast, to seek God on behalf of the nation this weekend.”

Of course, that might be plausible if this event wasn’t taking place in Washington, DC only a few months before the election – just like it did back in 2000.It would be even more plausible if Engle, founder of The Call, wasn’t making statements like this every chance he got:

Hours before Obama and McCain take the stage at Saddleback, however, a very different evangelical gathering will be taking place at the National Mall. There, according to Lou Engle, founder of TheCall, thousands of evangelicals will gather for “cross-denominational solemn assembly” to pray and push evangelicals to keep marriage and abortion front and center in their minds.

Engle said he is concerned about the future of the evangelical movement, since “there aren’t clear voices delineating truth.” He insisted that marriage and abortion have to remain at the center of the movement, or “we are in danger of losing this whole country to the secularism of Europe.”

Marriage and abortion may be moral issues, but they are also political issues and considering that Engle’s own mission is to ensure that “the issue of abortion will not be a secondary issue in these elections and that God will drive it like a wedge [into the campaign],” its absurd to claim that this event is not designed to try and impact the upcoming election.  

In fact, if Engle and his event were not designed to be political, he probably wouldn’t be voicing these sorts of complaints:   

“People see Warren holding hands with Obama at Warren’s church and they think he is a Christian man, but when a candidate votes 100 percent for abortion, according to Planned Parenthood and NARAL, then that man’s Christianity does not line up with the Christian truth upheld by the masses of true believers in America,” said Lou Engle, founder of the Call, a group that holds cross-denominational events to promote spiritual awakening.

Mr. Engle, who is leading a gathering of people of all faiths on the Mall in Washington on Saturday, and high-profile evangelicals such as author Tim LaHaye say Mr. Warren is leading his followers astray and giving Mr. Obama equal footing with Mr. McCain, whose voting record is praised by pro-life groups.