The Call: Pray and ACT’s Election Effort Off To A Slow Start

I spent several hours on Saturday watching Lou Engle’s “The Call” rally in Sacramento, California and was struck by two things: 1) how boring it was (at one point, the band played a song consisting of nothing by the lyrics “holy, holy, Lord God Almighty” for more than twenty straight minutes) and 2) how small the crowd appeared to be.

When Engle started The Call ten years ago, he claims to have brought 400,000 activists to the National Mall in Washington, DC, but this time the crowd was reportedly much smaller:

The Sacramento event began with a four-hour religious concert Friday night at Raley Field. On Saturday, organizers planned for a crowd of 50,000, lining up portable toilets alongside Capitol Mall and installing video screens several blocks from the stage.

But while the area immediately adjacent to the stage was packed, the mall remained largely empty.

Among the speakers at this event were Brad Bright, the son of Campus Crusade for Christ founder Bill Bright, and Samuel Rodriguez, president of the evangelical National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, as well as Harry Jackson who “prayed for President Obama to have a ‘Damascus’ experience, referring to the conversion Apostle Paul experienced on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians.”

And, of course, Tony Perkins:

Among the speakers was Tony Perkins, a leader of the religious right and head of the Washington lobbying group the Family Research Council.

Perkins railed against U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker for overturning Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. He said Walker’s ruling diminished the legal rights of religious people opposed to gay marriage.

“If (the ruling) stands, in one generation we will have gone from banning the Bible in public schools to banning religious beliefs in society,” Perkins said.

Keep in mind that this The Call event is only one part of dominionist “Pray and ACT” effort aimed at the upcoming elections, with at least three more gatherings and webcasts scheduled in the coming weeks which have now officially received the support of Mike Huckabee.