You guys are about to be afflicted further. You’ve got a pack of idiots coming to town.
Lou Engle and Rick Joyner will be working together in September to promote The Call: Detroit, Engle’s prayer rally on November 11. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since both are closely involved in the New Apostolic Reformation, or the movement which believes that God is ordaining a new generation of prophets and apostles. Both have prophesied that America is turning into Nazi Germany and have claimed to know the reasons behind natural disasters, with Joyner calling Hurricane Katrina God’s judgment for homosexuality and Engle asserting that the Joplin, Missouri tornado was God’s punishment for legal abortion. Engle and Joyner, who leads MorningStar Ministries and The Oak Initiative, are also strong proponents of Seven Mountains Dominionism, which posits that fundamentalist Christians should take control over the seven most influential sectors of society: government, family, media, business, education, arts and entertainment, and the church.
If we’re turning into Nazi Germany (a Catholic and Lutheran regime), I know what kind of people are leading the crusade — the ones who propose taking over the government and turning it into a Dominionist tyranny, the ones who use natural disasters to demonize and dehumanize and discriminate against subsets of citizens.
Engle has said that The Call: Detroit will also focus on converting Muslims to Christianity along with the usual anti-choice and anti-gay efforts. Engle also released a new video publicizing the prayer rally:
Engle is certainly a vile creature. Anyone care to take any bets on whether the descent of these ghouls on Detroit will actually revitalize the city?
And the Virginia quake was god’s punishment for virginity.
Every morning I start by catching up on news and events. I start with local sites, then I move on to Europe, then Australia and NZ. Then I go onto American sites to see what’s happening. And every time I get dumped straight into Bizarro world. I feel like I’m catching a glimpse into a lunatic asylum. It’s just insane. I can go on to hundreds of websites without seeing the slightest reference to religion or superstition, however when I hit American sites religion dominates everywhere. Crazy, crazy, crazy!
That is the scary thing, PZ. Religion IS powerful! And fundamentalist religion is really powerful. It is extreme and extremely attractive to people in tough times. It gives a sense of power and purpose and conveniently presents a scapegoat (or several) blame for peoples’ current embarrassed circumstances.
I am always worried when rational people look at these lunatics and say (rightly) “They are despicable, wrong-headed and vicious” and then continue (wrongly) with “so of course they are a fringe group of wackos and won’t make any impact in Detroit (or wherever)”.
Sorry if that is not what you meant!
Certainly, when these ghouls descend upon Detroit, there will be no observable effect (such as a rejuvenation of that once great city even as they are folding their circus tent) – but what seems to be missed every time is that the sickness is spread all the same. The infection is inserted into the population (question: does it look like this horror-fest will be well-attended?) and goes underground, eating out the brains of the people most afflicted by the very policies this ideology has rammed through our legislatures…and by next November, there will be a “puzzling” shift in the voting patterns in Michigan.
Or maybe not. Please someone post with a briskly cheering reminder of how sense and rationalism still reigns in the land! Please!
Mad =^..^= says
OMGOMGOMG PZ SAID THE “P” WORD!!1! Kissing my ass goodbye in 3…2…1…
Johan Fruh says
And I thought god’s ways were impenetrable…
yet they always seem to find a reason to god’s ways when it serves their purpose… sigh.
on a side note, I couldn’t help but notice that one of the ads just above the Comments section of the Pharyngula site lead to the site of “The Restored Church of God”… scary.
I guess talking too much about christians in the comments gets google ads off track :p.
Sadly I clicked on the ad… it seemed like a parody site at first.
Bruce Heerssen says
I predict the Earth will open up and Detroit will vanish in a giant sinkhole created by a sudden confluence of evil and stupidity. Either that, or nothing much at all will happen to Detroit, but America will take another tiny step toward authoritarianism.
chigau (%$&*) says
Maybe we should pray that the Westboro Baptists stage a protest.
“which posits that fundamentalist Christians should take control over the seven most influential sectors of society: government, family, media, business, education, arts and entertainment, and the church.”
Wow, and here I thought just a theocracy was bad. But no! We must also have strictly patriarchal family structures where children must be beaten and wives must be submissive! We must have all news media be slightly differing versions of Fox News! We must have all schools indoctrinate children and tell them sweet little lies and omit inconvenient facts in science and history! We must assure that our corporate overlords agree properly with our theocratic overlords! And, all the while, we should only get pathetic “Christian” knock-off versions of movies, television shows, and music, to make life unpleasant for even Christians who haven’t been sufficiently brainwashed into thinking that agreement with their beliefs is a good substitute for quality.
Here’s a little thought experiment for the Christians on the fence out there: Imagine if atheists, Muslims, Mormons, Scientologists, Jews, or really any other group that isn’t the right kind of religious had the same goals as these Dominionists. Would you or would you not be fucking terrified and disgusted at them for their desire for complete domination of all the facets of public life? And now imagine that reaction in a situation where they actually had a chance in hell of getting their wishes. That’s what it is like to be a religious minority in this country.
Man, first those anti-augmentation riots hit Detroit and now this! Poor city can’t catch a break.
(I apologize in advance to anyone who got that reference. Yes, I am a hopeless nerd)
Zinc Avenger says
ZOMG! America is turnin’ inta Nazi Germany! Quick, establish a patriarchal theocracy!
Mad =^..^= says
@chigau (%$&*): WBC protesting? I’d almost be willing to buy tickets to see that!
I’d like to see them try to convince us down here in Southwest Missouri that Joplin was something other than a natural disaster in a place where tornadoes and severe storms are not uncommon. Though a lot of the people in the area are very religious, the majority wouldn’t stand for that sort of crockery and might turn against those who proclaim it. They would not stand for the deaths of their loved ones being exploited for something like this.
Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort says
I didn’t know I had that much power. Does the gay community really have the ability to affect the weather and natural tectonic events? o.O
That’d be awesome!
By the powers of my fabulousness and my transgenderism, I will call a tornado down in rural Kansas!!! It will happen sometime in the near future! All will fear my lady-like gender identity!! MWAHAHAH!!!
NOOOOO!!!! Don’t I have enough stupidity to deal with around where I live without some self-rightous idiots importing more? What to do? What to do? Emigrate? Can’t. Too much equity tied up in the house, and there is no way that it would sell. Protest? Hide? Continue as if it wasn’t happening?
Can I hope sanity will prevail and they will get a small, small turnout? Ford Field is in the middle of the Arabic area, after all, and the Dearborn government is relatively sane about handling religious nutters of all persuasions.
Eamon Knight says
I’m seeing a “Submit a Prayer Request” ad below the post. Should I be annoyed at the intrusion of idiocy, or amused that the idiots are paying good money to support Free Thought Blogs?
“My God, what hast thou done … lately? – Woody Allen, Without Feathers
There is so much desperation and injustice in the world, it’s interesting that there never seems to have been a movement among believers to take up a beef with the Almighty. It’s been a couple of thousand years now, what promise has been fulfilled? I can’t think of one. Why do they keep answering The Call? If my broker had a track record like that, I’d stop taking his calls – in fact, I’d be looking for a new broker and quick. That seems to be the experience of a lot of non-believers, of course. Why is it so incompatible with “belief” to expect a little something in return. Last I checked, the Texas drought was still raging. And airline passengers are all still throwing away our water bottles and going barefoot through the airport scanners. Where’s the payoff, Lord? Where’s this protection you keep promising? Isn’t it time to withhold the prayers and sacrifice until we see some performance? What a bunch of victims and pussies are these fools for JC.
Bill Wilson says
These people are lunatics, yes, but they’re terrified lunatics. As someone who keeps a close eye on the pulse of religious life in the USA, I have seen a fundamental shift in the position s and perceptions of younger Christians, even those of the Evangelical variety.
Homosexuality is no longer the unpardonable sin, evolution and a non-literal reading of Genesis are becoming acceptable alternatives, and even the traditional doctrine of Hell is undergoing mass revision.
This of course terrifies the members of the old guard, who see their children hanging out with gay people and voting for Democrats, so they are responding with increasing militancy. But they have an insurmountable problem. They’re gray and getting grayer, even as they wave tea bags in the air and protest government spending while relying on Medicare to buy them oxygen tanks and Rascals.
Of course the last dinosaurs to go extinct were the biggest and baddest, and the loudest as well. But they still went extinct.
@Eamon – both. You don’t have to choose!
myeck waters says
Yeah, Amused Annoyance is like a slice of key lime pie – a bit sweet, a bit sour, and all delicious.
Thanks, Bill! Just the reminder I needed this morning!
@Penguin_Factory You gotta hate it when they call you a hanzer-lover and then also try to convert you to Xtianity.
@ Kat: Nooooo!!! Wait, I’m not in Kansas. Nevermind, this will make a good scientific test of your powers.
@ PZ: “Prayer?!?” Are you turning on us? FOR SHAME!
Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort says
Yes it will. Hopefully my tornado will blow through Kansas with as little damage as possible and no loss of life. If it doesn’t, I’m sorry – I can only control the weather so much.
chigau (%$&*) says
Katherine Lorraine @15
I don’t think Boobquake actually worked.
I wish you better fortune for your effort.
Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort says
Well obviously bisexual-transgender fabulousness is a better controller of weather patterns than boobs.
Is it weird that I REALLY want these people to stay the hell away, we got enough problems here in Michigan, but at the same time I’m curious about them? Like one of those exhibits at the zoo, that’s so mind-boggling that your brain has a hard time looking away from the train wreck in front of you? If this thing was free, I’m tempted to go and see how insane it is….I’d be sure to bring back a report to you good citizens. <_<
Actually, Ford Field isn’t in the “middle of the Arabic area.” It’s in downtown Detroit, right across the street from Comerica Park (which is where the Detroit Tigers play baseball). In fact, Ford Field is well over five miles from the nearest (eastern) border of Dearborn. While it is true that Dearborn and some of its immediate environs house more Arabs than anywhere outside of the Middle East, it’s still quite a way from downtown Detroit. In the area of Ford Field proper, there is a mix of downtown businesses and office buildings, with a few apartments, merging into the surrounding neighborhoods, which are overwhelmingly African-American. About a mile to the north are the Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University.
As a point of interest, there’s also Brush Park, which is one of the most depressing areas ever, at least to a native Detroiter like myself:
Right within easy walking distance of Comerica Park and Ford Field, there are open fields where mansions used to stand; at least, until they fell into disrepair and ruin. Still remaining are occasional mansions that someone has fixed up and restored to its former beauty, only to stand in the middle of vacant fields peppered with residential ruins. Very depressing. All of this is within easy walking distance from the sports arenas and within a reasonable walk from the river.
You have. We live in it though.
Even 20 years ago, religion wasn’t everywhere in the USA. When I was growing up it was sort of in the background and no one paid any attention. I thought creationism had gone the way of the Flat Earth.
The fundie death cultists created the New Atheists. Why I left the religion. Betweeen 1-2 million people leave the religion every year. The fundies are actually despised by the 80% who aren’t fundies.
It’s a race between the fundies destroying US xianity and destroying the USA.
Lynna, OM says
The organizers are the same doofuses that ran Rick Perry’s recent fasting-and-prayer meeting in Texas. They also have a strong presence in Uganda, where, not coincidentally, the kill-or-jail-the-gays bill is still being considered.
Here’s a podcast from NPR’s Fresh Air program that goes into detail about the Apostolic Reformation/Dominionist movement. The movement’s goals, tactics, and political connections are discussed: http://www.npr.org/2011/08/24/139781021/the-evangelicals-engaged-in-spiritual-warfare
nigelTheBold, Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins says
Great. If that doesn’t feed their persecution complex, nothing will.
Four of the most despised groups in the USA according to NYT/CNN/CBS polls are Moslems, atheists, fundie xians, and the Tea Party.
Fundie Theocrats and wild eyed religious creeps like Engle and Joyner have turned a huge number of people against xianity and out of the religion. I’m one of them.
It’s not just that they are repulsive in a vaguely humanoid toad sort of way. They are actively evil and malevolent and nothing good will come from them, ever.
nigelTheBold, Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins says
Yeah. I’m glad there’s been a backlash against this sort of shit. I just wish it were socially acceptable to talk about it. As it is, most Christians I know don’t even hear about these folks, at least in any detail. It’s all, “Oh, I hear they’re doing God’s work.”
My only response so far has been, and I quote, *vomit*.
Wait a minute. I recall watching Engle state that he admired Hitler’s mass rallies and the nazi’s methods of enthralling the youth.
So I guess he must be thinking that nazifying America is a good thing. As long as there’s a cross on the new flag.
I started The People of Detroit Photodocumentary [ http://thepeopleofdetroit.com ] as a counterpoint to media coverage of the city that seemed preoccupied only with despair and disrepair in the city.
The project has since received international attention, including from a creative director in Shanghai who, after seeing the project on Flickr.com, hired me to shoot an ad campaign in China for McDonald’s.
The earnest efforts of one person are better than the best-intentioned prayers of 1 million. That said, I’m interested to see how well attended this event will be.
Photographer | Writer | Founder
The People of Detroit Photodocumentary
Johan Fruh says
Claiming that the Joplin tornado was god’s punishment?…
I wonder what they have to say about this story ?
The Call is happening after The Response?
That seems odd.
Well, gnatpucky. That’s what I get for not following football. What’s the name of that huge facility that also does football on Rotunda Dr, right near Greenfield Village, that is in the middle of Dearborn? That’s the one I’ve seen rented out more often than the downtown stadium. googling… The Lion’s HQ and Practice Facility? Seriously? Name fail.
Lancelot Gobbo says
Time to confuse the enemy by issuing an Antichrist Alert: Morningstar is one of the many names of Lucifer. I’d be circumspect about investing my soul (if I had one) in any ministry of that name…
'Tis Himself, pour encourager les autres says
Christ, anti-Christ, what’s the difference?
Tis asked: “Christ, anti-Christ, what’s the difference?”
Well, the Antichrist is apparently going to be a charismatic person who attempts to unite the world and strive for peace. I’m guessing Christ is supposed to be the opposite of that. Which makes a certain kind of sense.
As I recall, a good portion of what Engle and company espouse were also laws under Nazi Germany. No abortion. No homosexuality. No other religions other than (Catholic, in this case) Christianity and the state.
OT: I see that graceprayer.org prominently inviting us to click on their cute little add with the angel at the tail of the post: “Thousands will pray for you.”
At the top a banner proclaims the merits of Mid-America Christian University: a Christian-based Education and Environment…Courses may be taken one night per week in the classroom or 100% online!” A side banner adds, “One of the most affordable online educations in the country!”
Anybody else encountering these?
Goddammitt isn’t there any place anymore that’s free of insipid shite like this? I have to have it shoved in my face on my favorite ATHEIST blog too?
that video was like a preview to a horror movie. I stoped before it got to the second half becasue it looked like it was going to be a sequal to The Omen.
Time to come to Australia.
We can set you up at a nice small town University up at Toowoomba QLD.
You can have all the Zebra fish you want. the Great Barrier Reef is not far and its chock full of cephalopods.
Our PM is not married and lives in the official residence with her boyfriend.
Our finance minister is having an IVF child with her girlfriend
Our third largest political party “the greens” who have the balance of power is lead by a gay man.
Our two biggest issues are getting people to understand climate change and some dufus in the govt who used his govt credit card to pay for prostitutes.
When ever a religious nut pops up he is immediately ridiculed and parodied.
AND, AND WE HAVE 3.4 BILLION YEAR OLD BACTERIA – HOW COOL IS THAT?
These are the same shitheads that helped Prick Perry “pray for rain” in Texas? And how well has that worked? Fuck, with friends like that, who needs enemies….
Ugh… I live in Warren (on the north side of 8 Mile from Detroit), but I spend a lot of time in The D (as we affectionately call it, hehe). I have too much shit to do without these people coming here. There’s also the Republican presidential debate at my school in November.
I love Detroit. It makes me sad to drive through the city taking my dad to his VA appointments and hear him talking about how wonderful it used to be. Downtown by Ford Field is an okay area, but it could be so much better than just that place. We have some amazing buildings, but they are surrounded by trash.
If these people really want to make Detroit a better place, they need to stop focusing on changing others to fit their ideology, grab a broom and start cleaning. Now I’m angry…
Duth Olec says
Theocratic government: Where have I seen that elsewhere? Oh yeah, the middle east.
Theocratic family: And then we can have children being killed from extreme dominating discipline.
Christian media: Because the nation just isn’t misinformed enough.
Christian business: Oh. Um. Er. Well. Maybe if it was connected more to what Jesus said. You know… that stuff… about helping the poor and not being greedy jerks? I guess? He said that, right? Or is that just the evil liberal media trying to impose their views (which is clearly not awful when christianity does that).
Christian education: Creation Science 101!!
Theocratic arts and entertainment: stay out of
my medicarethe only thing keeping me (in?)sane in this world!! Does Christianity–actually, does religion in general even have a sense of humor?
Christian church: Just look at where this has gotten us!!
@Gwynnyd: That’s the Lions practice facility, and it’s actually in Allen Park, not Dearborn. It’s right across the street from Greenfield Village, though, which is in Dearborn.
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