For years, the religious right has talked about building a “culture of life” in this country–one in which abortion is a thing of the past. We already know how far they’re willing to go. By standing behind Donald Trump even in the face of his outrageously degrading comments about women, the religious right announced in capital letters that it wants to build this culture of life on the backs of domestic violence victims and sexual assault victims.
Well, last weekend provided another chilling insight into just how far much of this movement wants to go. One of its most prominent leaders openly prayed for pro-choice judges to be removed from the bench–either by conversion or death.
Many of Trump’s earliest fundie supporters came from the New Apostolic Reformation, an overtly fascist offshoot of the religious right that believes it can bring about the Second Coming by taking over the world under the leadership of self-declared apostles and prophets. A week before Inauguration Day, several of them came together to announce the formation of “POTUS Shield,” which intends to “storm heaven” on Trump’s behalf and “raise up a shield of prayer and prophetic understanding” for him. Watch them pray over Trump, Mike Pence, and their families here.
The members of this outfit’s council are a virtual who’s who of religious right and NAR leaders. Alveda King, the rabidly pro-life niece of Martin Luther King, is a member. So is Cindy Jacobs, who thinks birds fell over dead after the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and thinks Christians should get rich to make Jews jealous. So is Rick Joyner, who thinks Satan himself is behind the opposition to Trump. So is Lance Wallnau, who claims that the tables are about to turn on the anti-Trump forces and their media-driven witchcraft. That should give you an idea of just how loony this outfit is.
Last weekend, POTUS Shield held a “convocation” at Touch Heaven Ministries in Canfield, Ohio. That church’s pastor, Frank Amedia–a guy who refused to help Haitian earthquake victims if they practiced voodoo–is a member of the POTUS Shield council.
One of the keynote speakers was Lou Engle. You may know him as the guy who led the kids at “Jesus Camp” in a chilling prayer for “righteous judges” to end abortion. To refresh your memory, watch a clip here.
Engle is also the guy behind “TheCall” prayer rallies to stir up opposition to abortion and marriage equality. This gathering was somewhat smaller than the 70,000-plus that typically attend TheCall, but Engle was in his usual form when he took the stage. Watch here.
Before coming to Ohio, Engle went on a five-day fast, during which he dreamed about women gathering to read the Book of Esther. Someone in the dream mentioned the “Nazgul,” the Witch King in the Lord of the Rings. Engle remarked that the Nazgul boasted that no man could kill him–only to have the king’s daughter declare, “I am no man,” before killing him.
To Engle, this was a sign that a right-wing “women’s Esthers movement” is rising up to end abortion. Just like Esther blew the lid on Haman’s plan to slaughter the Jews, Haman believes these Esthers will end abortion, which he believes is no different from Haman’s decree.
“There’s coming the voice! We decree it! The voice of Esther is coming to take out the Nazgul, the principalities of witchcraft and death that demand bloodshed for the fueling of the agenda of darkness. We decree that Esther and Mordecai arise at such a time as this.”
Engle then reminded the crowd that he has organized an “Esther Fast” to derail witchcraft supposedly directed at Trump, as well as abortion. What were they asking?
“Women across the world are on an Esther Fast, praying for the reversal of Roe v. Wade, and asking God, ‘Pull down the Hamans! Remove ’em!’ I tell you, the church can’t be humanistic right now. I feel this in my spirit. We’re so concerned about these Hamans that we’re not concerned about the millions of babies! I say that we believe that Donald Trump, President Trump, is a Jehu as well as a Cyrus. And I’ve been praying, ‘remove the house of Ahab.'”
This is chilling on many levels. For those who don’t know, Haman was hanged on the gallows intended for Mordecai when Esther blew the whistle on his scheme. Before then, Jehu, a king of Israel, wiped out the entire family of his predecessor, the house of Ahab, in retaliation for its sinful rule. The message is obvious–God is using Trump to wipe out those standing in his way, including judges who support abortion rights.
Engle also had a sobering warning for Ohio Governor John Kasich, who lost a lot of friends on the right with his veto of the “heartbeat bill.” Engle declared that Kasich’s “mind is going to be shifted” on abortion as part of the eventual removal of “Haman’s decree” legalizing abortion. He then grabbed a gavel and started pounding it on the podium like a judge calming down an unruly courtroom, declaring the end of “the powers of Nazgul, witchcraft, and death.”
The picture I got from this was the same picture I got from watching “Jesus Camp” more than a decade ago. This is fascism, plain and simple. What is really chilling is that Engle and others seemed willing to turn a blind eye to Trump’s degrading of women because he made the right clucking noises on abortion. Moreover, he seems to still be willing to stand by Trump despite his refusal to show any proof he was wiretapped.
Here’s a news flash, Lou. If you and the rest of the religious right are still willing to overlook all of that in the name of ending abortion, then you will deserve everything you get when Trump is either impeached, forced to resign, removed via the 25th Amendment, or defeated for reelection.
(featured image courtesy Engle’s Facebook)