On Saturday, various religious right groups held an event in D.C. they called "May Day 2010: A Cry To God For A Nation In Distress."
According to organizers, the event was:
to humble ourselves, pray, seek the face of God, and turn from our wicked ways--individually and as a nation.
Translation: another one of those "America needs to repent and turn to God before he opens a big can of whip ass on us" events religious right groups generally hold when they are either trying to raise more funds or galvanize more folks through scare tactics.
Event organizers also said the event was not held to impress the media or folks in Washington so I know they are happy to know that they succeeded on both counts.
According to People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch:
Organizers had been preparing for as many as 8,0000 to attend but no more than a few hundred actually showed up, leading speakers to plead with those in attendance to make sizable donations to help defray the $70,000 cost of putting on the event.
This doesn't mean the event wasn't interesting in a train wreckish kind of way. Amongst the speakers was Peter LaBarbera, head of Americans for Truth which is an organization whose web site recently christened by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "hate site."
Those of us in the lgbt blogging community know LaBarbera as "Porno Pete," a monicker best explained by Truth Wins Out head Wayne Besen:
There never seemed to be a leather event this supposedly heterosexual man missed. He'd attend these parties "undercover" to do "research." Meanwhile, he would blatantly ignore similar events - including swingers clubs - that were heterosexually focused.
Even without that explanation, LaBarbera's prayer left little to the imagination on where he stands in regards to the lgbt community:
According to Right Wing Watch:
Peter LaBarbera . . . used his five minutes to attack gays, asking God to forgive us for our "excessive tolerance," lamenting "the long secular road America has traveled from 'abomination' to 'gay'," and for allowing "homosexual activists ... to fulfil their wicked plan of turning America's schools, public and sometimes private, into homosexuality promotion zones"
One could get offended by LaBarbera's words except the surreal tone he took at 2:22 to 2:40 when he interrupts his prayer (to God) to explain to the audience one of the sources he cites.
Who knew prayers came with footnotes?
LaBarbera's "prayer" in regards to "homosexuality promotion zones" only scratches the surface when it came zaniness during Saturday's event :
As the video shows, other highlights included:
. Ted Baehr repenting for the movie "The Runaways" with its sex, and drugs, and rock and roll, while others repent for Los Angeles and its role as the home of the pornography industry. Eventually, Janet Porter repents for all the time and money Christians have given to an industry that hates God and prays that Christians will gain control over the industry and take dominion until Christ returns. That is then followed by a woman from Minnesota who repents for her state having elected the first Muslim to Congress ... and then eventually God shows up at the rally.
A few thoughts about the highlights:
According to Ted Baehr in his prayer, the religious right wants to take over the arts and entertainment industry and create "a new Michelangelo" and a "new (Leonardo) Da Vinci." Wouldn't that defeat the point of Peter LaBarbera's prayer, seeing that both Michelangelo and Da Vinci were gay?
The hateful prayer in regards to the Muslim Congressman (Keith Ellison) was just wrong. Period.
How pitiful is it for an event to have such low attendance that someone points to the sun's rays and say something like, "see, God is here."
Lastly, this event needed to be a flop for the sake of Christianity's integrity. I have a hard time believing that Jesus died on the cross so that a small number of ill-informed, religiously obnoxious individuals can make huge asses of themselves. And I don't think that I am alone in that opinion.
One good thing has come out of this. Janet Porter, head organizer of the event, has been dropped from VCY America, which carried her daily radio program, due to her "increasing involvement with dominion theology."
How ironic is it that she demanded that God allow Christians who believes as she does to take over the media and then she gets dropped by her radio station.
The Lord does move in mysterious ways.