Prop 8’s Call to Extremism

As we’ve noted, the organizers of a massive stadium rally pushing the anti-gay initiative in California have snagged for the stage the biggest name in the Religious Right universe. No, not Sarah Palin, but James Dobson of Focus on the Family. One benefit might be to draw media attention from the event’s organizer, Lou Engle. He’s far less well-known than Dobson, and organizers might prefer to keep it that way.

Engle is an unabashed “dominionist” – someone who thinks the church, under the leadership of modern-day apostles like him, should rule over government and other institutions of society. He thinks of himself as a John the Baptist who badgers Christian teens to adopt a radical lifestyle of fasting and prayer that will bring God’s intercession against gays, liberal judges, and the like. And his style – screaming at the top of his lungs and rapidly rocking back and forth – is a sharp contrast with Dobson’s polished media-star demeanor.

A new report by People For the American Way Foundation documents some of his other charms, which include:

  • praying for God to “terrorize” judges until they fall like stars from the sky>
  • believing that the appearance of the goddess Minerva on California’s state seal is a sign of demonic domination over the state by the “Jezebel spirit”
  • suggesting that marriage equality is Satanic and legal abortion spells America’s doom>

Though, given Prop. 8 leaders’ tendency to describe their campaign in apocalyptic terms, and the increasingly shrill and panicky proclamations of doom from the Right over the prospect of an Obama presidency, Dobson and Engle are likely to feel right at home in each other’s company.