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Anti-Gay Marriage Pro-Prop 8 Leader Called For Antiabortion Martyrs

07/03/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

On Sunday May 31, 2009 Kansas City late-term abortion doctor George Tiller was allegedly gunned down in the lobby of his church by a man, Scott Roeder, who had ties to the racist wing of the militia movement. The next morning CBS's Jeff Glor reported, "We did speak with the accused shooters' ex-wife yesterday. She said she was not surprised this happened and that she believed Roeder wanted to be a martyr for the cause."

At Lou Engle's November 1, 2008 pro-Proposition 8 anti-gay marriage TheCall San Diego event Engle and his disciples called for acts of Christian martyrdom against legalized abortion. In the early 1980's, KKK and Aryan Nations strategist Louis Beam helped popularize a tactic known as "leaderless resistance" in which high profile propagandists would incite terrorist acts carried out by autonomous individuals and cell groups. Lou Engle's inflammatory TheCall antiabortion rhetoric conforms with Beam's tactic; Engle merely incites.

As Talk To Action co-founder Frederick Clarkson observes in Inflammatory Rhetoric as the Context of Assassination,

inflammatory antiabortion rhetoric that contributes to the threat and climate of violence is not limited to professional sound bite provocateurs like Randall Terry. Such rhetoric and the underlying ideology it expresses is so ingrained in the culture of the antiabortion movement, that someone like Rick Warren busily packaging himself as a moderate thinks nothing of calling abortion a Holocaust and prochoice pols as holocaust deniers. And hardly a media ripple results.

Rick Warren and Randall Terry are not the only high-profile leaders on the religious right who employ inflammatory antiabortion rhetoric. Footage from TheCall San Diego, taken November 1, 2008 by video documentarist Michael W. Wilson [author of Silhouette City] shows Engle and his disciples exhorting a Qualcomm stadium crowd to acts of Christian martyrdom against legalized abortion: rhetoric that serve as thinly veiled exhortation towards violent acts of terrorism against abortion clinics and abortion providers.

[video, below: calls for acts of martyrdom to stop legal abortion, from stage at November 1, 2008 TheCall San Diego event. See last one and 1/2 minutes of video.]

During the lead up to the November 4, 2008 presidential election, Lou Engle's TheCall played an important motivational and organizational role in the passage of California's anti-gay marriage resolution Proposition Eight.

But the anti-gay marriage rhetoric of TheCall events is inevitably accompanied by inflammatory antiabortion rhetoric. Engle and his disciples have a history, going back by some reports at least to 2002, of issuing calls from onstage, before crowds of thousands at TheCall events, for acts of Christian martyrdom, antiabortion violence, to end legalized abortion in America.

Lou Engle serves on C. Peter Wagner's elite Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders, aprt of Wagner's New Apostolic Reformation. The Call focuses on opposition to gay right and abortion rights, and Engle has repeatedly forecast that conflict over abortion rights may lead to a second American civil war.

Through TheCall, Lou Engle has quietly mainstreamed language that was, during the 1990's and up through 2001, to be found mainly coming from the militant wing of the antiabortion movement associated with the antiabortion terrorist movement known as the Army Of God. Engle's rhetoric closely tracks that of Army of God members who, like Engle, have declared that a second American civil war will be necessary to atone for blood-debt curse they claim God has placed on America because of legalized abortion.

[below: a YouTube video, accusing pro-Prop 8 churches of antiabortion violence, shows footage from 2001 HBO documentary about the Army of God]

Less than a year and a half ago Lou Engle, at a December 31, 2007 TheCall event held in Kansas City, announced his new doctrine, "The Doctrine of The Shedding of Innocent Blood",

"Surely blood requires blood in God's judgment. God so highly values humanity that He protects it with His severe judgment. A day of reckoning is set if man does not obey Him...

Where there is shedding of innocent blood, there is no atonement for the land. There is a blood pollution problem on America's soil. The most "dangerous terrorist" is not Islam, but God. One of God's names is "the Avenger of Blood." Have you worshipped [sic] that God yet?"

[below: footage from TheCall Kansas City, December 31, 2007, in which TheCall founder Lou Engle explains "The Doctrine of the Shedding of Innocent Blood" and predicts a second civil war because of legalized abortion.]

In his book Sons To Glory, Paul Jablonoskwi, who is sympathetic to Engle's cause, described a 2002 Kansas City TheCall event,

"what I witnessed in Bartle Hall on December 31st 2002 was the antithesis of radical Islam. Instead of people wanting to blow themselves up to kill others, I saw young adults who were so radically in love with Jesus that they were willing to become martyrs for the sake of saving other people's lives. Someone from the stage asked, 'who here feels like they are called to die as a martyr for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ?' Many hands went up throughout the stadium."

Analysis of the roots of such acts of antiabortion terrorism have focused on high profile antiabortion movement organizations such as Operation Rescue, and the ideological impetus behind the movement has been ascribed to ideas emanating from the Christian Reconstructionism movement. But Lou Engle's religious tendency, the New Apostolic Reformation, which claims Sarah Palin as a member and traces back to the Latter Rain revival of the late 1940's, has also fed the rise of the antiabortion movement and the white supremacist wing of the militia movement, and it has also heavily influenced contemporary incarnations of Christian Zionism.