Main | Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The "Elijah-Jezebel" Showdown

Under the title The Elijah-Jezebel Showdown, wingnut anti-gay preacher Lou Engle has posted a lengthy diatribe/sermon about Friday night's incident in the Castro. Engle is the architect of the massive anti-gay rally at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium. (The clips were sent to me by a straight Mormon woman who says she's left her church in outrage over their assault on LGBT rights.) Here's a 10-minute excerpt from Engle's sermon in which he brings up a young Christianist woman who tearfully recounts her experience in the Castro.

At the 35-minute mark in the much longer clip linked above, the young woman calls for a "mass exodus from the demonic influence of the Castro."

Lou Engle is a pastor with Joel's Army, a group that demands that the United States be ruled by strict Biblical principles. From the Southern Poverty Law Center:
Joel's Army believers are hard-core Christian dominionists, meaning they believe that America, along with the rest of the world, should be governed by conservative Christians and a conservative Christian interpretation of biblical law. There is no room in their doctrine for democracy or pluralism.

Dominionism's original branch is Christian Reconstructionism, a grim, Calvinist call to theocracy that, as Reconstructionist writer Gary North describes, wants to "get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God."

Notorious for endorsing the public execution by stoning of homosexuals and adulterers, the Christian Reconstructionist movement is far better known in secular America than Joel's Army. That's largely because Reconstructionists have made several serious forays into mainstream politics and received a fair amount of negative publicity as a result. Joel's Army followers eschew the political system, believing the path to world domination lies in taking over churches, not election to public office.

Another key difference between the two branches of dominionism, which maintain a testy, arms-length relationship with one another, is Christian Reconstructionism's buttoned-down image and heavy emphasis on Bible study, which contrasts sharply with Joel's Army anti-intellectual distrust of biblical scholars and its unruly style.
Some Castro residents have described the group that was chased out of the neighborhood as "peaceful and harmless", but their affiliation with Lou Engle and Joel's Army is chilling indeed. Joel's Army is a militantly dangerous group that will settle for nothing less than the complete end of secular Democracy in America.

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