| This report of a national conference call to fight Prop. 8 and marriage equality sounds more like a battle plan than a political strategy session. All the leading figures of the religious right were there, and the language is undeniably militaristic. I believe that the best way to counteract the theocratic right is to display them in all their radicalism, so the whole country understands the goals of their movement. So here ya go:
The primary focus of the call was Proposition 8 in California, described by (Chuck) Colson as "the Armageddon of the culture war." Many speakers invoked the language of warfare, raising up an army of believers, putting soldiers in the streets, being on the front lines of a battle. Lou Engle actually described a massive rally planned in Qualcomm stadium on November 1 as a "blitzkrieg moment."
While speaker after speaker spoke of the dire threats same-sex married couples pose to "traditional" marriage, religious freedom, and civilization itself, the overall tone of the call was confidence that victory would be won with God's help, 40 days of prayer and fasting before the election, teams of intercessors and prayer warriors around the country, and a massive highly organized deployment of volunteers in a systematic voter identification and turnout campaign.
This is not exactly the stuff of democracy, nor is it in any way reflective of a country with a separation of church and state. What is at work here is a putsch, a desire to seize the instruments of power and subjugate everyone to one belief system. They mobilize through fear, claiming that the next steps in the fiendish plan are to ban the Bible, legalize polygamy, and "destroy marriage". They're also using supposedly apolitical churches as an illegal communications apparatus:
Ron Luce from Teen Mania ministries and other organizers talked about plans to organize 300,000 youth and their families for an October 1 simulcast, and using them to reach 2.4 million. A representative of the Church Communication Network, a satellite network that has downlink equipment in 500 churches in California, 95 in Arizona, and 321 in Florida, said it would simulcast the youth event free of charge, and would make a satellite dish available "at cost" to churches who don't yet have one. Said one speaker of the youth organizing, "if we don't use them, Satan will."
That is manifestly against the spirit of tax-exempt laws regarding churches - laws which I imagine you'll see broken many times between now and November. The free simulcasting and satellite services amount to in-kind donations.
People for the American Way is on this and keeping tabs on the theocratic right. As I said, forewarned is forearmed - there's a growing segment of the state and the country who are repulsed by this fundamentalism, this anti-Democratic dominionism. We have an opportunity this fall to lay bare the innate bigotry of their movement for all to see.
UPDATE: Another aspect to this is the exhuming once again of far-right theocratic icon Alan Keyes, who's running for President again - but only in California, as part of the American Independent Party (formed in 1968 by segergationist George Wallace, which is somewhat ironic). His running mate is Rev. Wiley Drake, the minister who prayed for the death of members of Americans United for Separation of Church and State last year. The fundies are lining up, packed in two at a time, and all headed to California in lockstep. It's going to be crazy out here for the next 95 days.