Dobson Takes Up “The Call”

Just yesterday I was writing about Lou Engel and his prayer warriors, noting that in this election cycle he had become far more openly political and had started linking up with DC’s Religious Right insiders like Tony Perkins and Mike Huckabee.

And now today comes word that James Dobson himself is set to participate in Engel’s rally of prayer and fasting this weekend in opposition to gays getting married in California:

On Saturday, tens of thousands of people will gather at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium for corporate prayer and fasting for the protection of traditional marriage and the soul of our nation.

Family advocates from across the nation are expected to travel to California to be a part of the day of prayer and worship. Joining them will be Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family.

“It is not a festival, it is a fast,” Dr. Dobson said on Wednesday’s radio broadcast. “It’s a day of concerted prayer from 10 o’clock in the morning till 10 o’clock at night.”

Dr. Dobson said he hoped thousands would join him at the free gathering.

Jenny Tyree, marriage analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said Dr. Dobson’s presence in California is significant.

“Dr. Dobson is a recognized champion of marriage,” she said. “His listeners know his heart for nurturing marriages, as well as his passion for strengthening the definition of marriage in our laws.

“His steadfast stance in support of traditional marriage gives strength to voters in California and across the country who share his esteem for our most pro-child institution.”

The San Jose Mercury News has more:

“This vote on whether we stop the gay-marriage juggernaut in California is Armageddon,” Charles Colson, the former Nixon administration official turned evangelical leader, said in a video that is being quoted by pastors around the state. On Saturday some of the nation’s best-known evangelical leaders are hoping to fill Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego for a rally on behalf of the proposed ban.

Lou Engle — the charismatic founder of TheCall, an evangelical 12-hour gathering of prayer and fasting with a strong following among young people — will be one of the evangelical leaders at the rally, along with James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

That combination of leaders is “extraordinary. It just tells about the significance of the moment and the real need to pray,” Engle, whose ministry is based in Kansas City, said in an interview Wednesday. “I spoke recently with a man from a Muslim country, who said to me, ‘Lou, we’re praying for you all over the world, for what you’re doing, because if same-sex marriage stands in California, it will sweep all over the world.’ “

Despite the votes in Arizona and Florida, “California is the focus, because everybody knows that California is the influential one,” Engle said.

The global reach of Silicon Valley is another means California has to spread its influence on gay marriage, a senior leader of one prominent Christian group said.

By publicly opposing Proposition 8, companies like Google and Apple have “irritated” people across the country who buy their products, said Carrie Gordon Earll, senior director of public policy for Focus on the Family, a Colorado-based group that has donated more than $350,000 to back Proposition 8. Apple last week said it would contribute $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign, and Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have made large individual donations.

The issue “has become national in part because those corporations have made it so,” Earll said. “People may think twice about buying that iPod.”