Main | Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fasting In The Name Of Hate

San Diego-based Pastor Jim Garlow will make a 40-day fast leading up to election day in order to rally evangelical attention to the anti-gay marriage ballot measure.
On Wednesday, Garlow took a first step toward organizing clergy in the state, convening a conference call in which more than 1,000 ministers, most from evangelical congregations, discussed tactics for passing a fall ballot initiative that would amend California's Constitution to ban gay marriage.

The strategy session, which included input from lawyers and political consultants, was the opening of what conservative religious leaders hope will become a massive Christian outpouring of support for the proposed amendment.

The effort will include a 40-day fasting period leading up to election day, along with 100 days of prayer. On the weekend before the election, Garlow told the ministers, the goal would be to fill Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego and other amphitheaters with people praying for a ban on gay marriage.

Opponents of the amendment were quick to downplay the significance of Wednesday's call to arms. "There are certainly thousands of people of faith who are supportive of the freedom to marry," said Kerry Chaplin, the organizing director for California Faith for Equality, a coalition of more than 2,000 faith leaders and congregations supporting same-sex marriage.

Although some religious leaders, particularly Catholics and Mormons, were involved in passing Proposition 22, the 2000 initiative that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman and that was overturned by the state Supreme Court in May, strategists predicted a much greater involvement by evangelical churches in this election.

"We are working with all the churches who are willing to work with us," said Frank Schubert, the campaign manager for the initiative. "It's woven together to form what we hope will be the largest grass-roots campaign in California history."

Organizers said the ministers on the call lead congregations totaling about 1 million people.
Garlow is the author of debunking books Cracking Da Vinci's Code and The Secret: Revealed.

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