Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Bruce Wilson Headshot

Christian Martyr Movement Leader Blesses Gingrich & Huckabee

Posted: Updated:

On Friday, June 5, 2009, at an event featuring aspiring politicians Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich that was broadcast over the global media networks of GodTV, a rising leader in the rapidly reconfiguring Christian right who has publicly called for acts of Christian martyrdom prayed over and blessed Huckabee and Gingrich: TheCall founder Lou Engle.

The June 5, 2009, Rock Church event has received some media notice but coverage -which has noted Newt Gingrich declared Americans are "surrounded by paganism", and that he and Mike Huckabee made stump speeches calling for Christian conservatives to become more involved in electoral politics- has almost wholly missed the significance.

Leaders on the Christian right have been giving such speeches for decades, but the two-day Rock Church conference was not business as usual. Rather, it showcased the rapid reconfiguration of the Christian right around the rising, highly militant but poorly understood charismatic wing of the new Christian right, a movement which includes both Ted Haggard and Sarah Palin.)

One point of the spear for the new Christian right is an intense, raspy-voiced man who presided over the June 5, 2009 Rock Church event, layed hands on Mike Huckabee, and pledged the commitment of his prayer warriors to Huckabee and Gingrich was Lou Engle, founder of TheCall - which played a significant role in the push to pass the anti-gay marriage Proposition Eight in the lead up to the November 4, 2008 presidential election.

Only days before Huckabee and Gingrich received Lou Engle's endorsement at Rock Church, on Sunday May 31, 2009, late-term abortion doctor George Tiller was gunned down in the lobby of his Wichita, Kansas church. 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."

The November 1, 2008 TheCall San Diego event was the capstone event for the pro-Proposition Eight, anti-gay marriage push in California prior to the November 4, 2008 presidential election. Towards the end of the event, which attracted an estimated 30,000 attendees to San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium despite sweltering heat, TheCall founder Lou Engle, and his disciple Eddie Brown, as captured in footage taken at TheCall San Diego by documentary film-maker Michael W. Wilson made calls, from onstage before thousands of impassioned followers, for acts of Christian martyrdom. Engle has in the recent past declared that decades of legalized abortion since Roe v. Wade have incurred a blood debt which demands to be paid in blood.

[ more on Gingrich, Huckabee and Engle ]