President Donald Trump’s loyal religious-right supporters have been working hard to put a positive spin on his Saturday rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where attendance fell far below the record-setting numbers Trump and his campaign staff had promised.
Over the weekend, CBN’s David Brody chided liberal media for failing to report on the enthusiasm of Trump’s supporters and tweeted, “A ‘low turnout’ for @realDonaldTrump at a rally would be a ‘record turnout’ for @Biden.” Trump lawyer and Falkirk fellow Jenna Ellis retweeted Trump’s “WOW!” tweet about his rally giving Fox News “the largest Saturday night audience in its history.”
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins devoted part of Monday’s “Washington Update” to blaming advance media coverage about potential spread of the coronavirus in a packed arena for the low turnout. He quoted Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale’s denunciation of “a week’s worth of the fake news media warning people away from the rally because of COVID and protesters” and coverage of violent protests in other cities. Perkins also criticized “the desperate forces of the left” who he said “are so terrified by Trump’s popularity that they tried to snatch up all the tickets.”
But perhaps the award for pro-Trump and anti-media spin goes to Karen Hardin, a contributing writer for the prayer warriors at Intercessors for America. On Tuesday, IFA published a report from Hardin, who said she attended the Tulsa rally. Noting that Oklahoma is a relatively small state with just eight electoral votes, Hardin said Trump’s decision to relaunch his campaign there “was about standing with the Christian conservative voice to say, ‘I see you, applaud you, and need you.’”
Hardin said Trump-supporting Christians need a strategy that is “both spiritual and natural.”
“The spiritual strongman we need to bind, in my opinion, is pride, jealousy, and arrogance against God,” she explained. “We must pray to bind those principalities from operating and kick them out of their high place.”
In “the natural,” Hardin said, “the media is a strongman.” She continued, “The lies and propaganda they release 24/7 keep people enraged against each other and against the President. It keeps people bound in deception.” She encouraged readers to be active on social media to “dispel the lies” and “dispel the many myths presented by the mainstream media.”
“The narrative of low attendance was a lie,” Hardin wrote, while conceding that the event “wasn’t full.” She said the widely published attendance number of 6,200 was a “set up” and that the real figure was between 10,000 and 11,000. (The arena holds nearly 20,000.)
Hardin claimed that screeners that were taking people’s temperature before clearing them to enter the area were “mysteriously gone” by 5 p.m. “Evidently they were told, ‘Go home,’ by the event center staff.”
“I can’t confirm who gave the order, but the screeners did indeed leave 2 hours before the event started,” she claimed. “What that meant is no one else could enter the rally from that point on, leaving long lines of people still waiting to get in, frustrated as they were told the rally was ’full.’ Which it wasn’t. It was an orchestrated lie to keep attendees out. They wouldn’t even let them into the overflow area which remained empty during the rally.”
Hardin also said that the event center ran out of food partway through the day. “Inept or intentional?” she asked.
“Black Lives Matter and Antifa groups DID show up at the rally despite the reports to say all remained peaceful,” Hardin wrote, adding that they managed to close one entrance gate that never reopened. And she complained that Black leaders from Tulsa’s Greenwood District, site of the 1921 massacre and destruction of a thriving Black community by white mobs, “refused to meet with President Trump” and held a protest instead. Trump had originally planned to hold the rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth, a celebration marking the end of slavery more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, and moved it to a day later amid public outcry.
But Hardin’s main point was not indulging in conspiracy speculation or bashing the media. She urged conservative Christians not to take Trump’s reelection for granted simply because it has been prophesied. Hardin explained:
Most of us have heard the emphatic declaration of President Trump’s re-election in November based on Kim Clement and other prophetic voices who prophesied President Trump will be in office for two terms.
We are foolish if we believe that it will simply come to pass while we sit back and watch.
It’s important to recognize there are two kinds of prophetic words. Those in which the Lord has decreed His will and it will come to pass no matter what. His Return is one of those words. No matter what is said or done, He WILL return in His timing and as prophesied.
But other prophetic words are contingent upon the follow-through action of the recipient. If we don’t receive the word and act upon it, then it remains unfulfilled. It’s not that the prophetic word was off. It’s that the recipient did nothing to partner with the word to bring it to pass.
I believe the prophecies of President Trump’s re-election are contingent upon the Church standing as watchmen on the wall to pray and act to see it fulfilled. It is contingent upon us.
Hardin urged conservative Christians to get involved in the 2020 election. “We cannot sit home and think we can win this election,” she wrote. “Not only do we need to get ourselves to the election booth, but we need to go pick up our friends who may have trouble getting there and take them. To remain silent and inactive is a vote for socialist takeover.”
She encouraged people to pray and fast for the presidential election and elected officials and the state and local level. “We must see a turnaround and removal of corrupt officials who seek their own agenda and not God’s,” she wrote.
Hardin told readers not to be distracted by issues like Black Lives Matter protests or controversies over wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The most important issue, she said, is “the cry for revival and healing in our land.”
Hardin also encouraged people to sign up for Destiny Builders’ Election Prayer Tour in Washington, D.C., in late September. The “tentative itinerary” published online includes Bible study and prayer with Vice President Mike Pence and prayer with the “Remnant” working at the State Department.