September 4, 2010
(Here’s the first report from Day 2 of TheCall Sacramento from Arisha, along with pictures and video from Anthony, Phyllis and Andy. You can watch it live, streaming on God TV, if you don’t mind boosting their view count. To catch up on all of the posts thus far, click on the new “TheCall” category just created. — Eden)
By Arisha Hatch
Day 2 of TheCall Sacramento is in full gear, without thousands of worshipers in attendance.
Unlike the NOM summer rallies, in which we could actually hand-count NOM’s paltry attendance in the low two figures, we have to estimate TheCall’s much larger crowd. Compared to last night’s Raley Field event on Day 1, which we estimated at 10,000, my estimate of today’s attendance is about 6,000.
Lou Engle, dressed in a black button down shirt and jeans, stands on a large stage in front of the California State Capitol. With him on stage are a line of plain-clothed speakers — various pastors, and a California State Assemblymember.
The jumbotron finally begins showing the name of each speaker 45 minutes into the rally. None introduce themselves before they begin to pray. There haven’t been a lot of speeches, per se — just a steady stream of prayer. Here’s video of one of the first moments in which a speaker invoked a prayer after citing polling on abortion (“public opinion has shifted [on abortion from] 38% pro-life to 52% pro-life… “I believe that’s because of TheCall”). Anyone want to fact-check his numbers? He then raises his voice…
“Lord, we’re asking again that everything that can be shaken will be shaken”:
Depending on the speaker, the message varies. We seem to have just entered the sexual perversion segment: pornography, sex-trafficking, abortion, homosexuality, bisexuality – with a dash of “gender confusion” rhetoric.
Cindy Jacobs asked the women in the audience to get on their knees and repent “girl on girl kissing [because] lesbianism is a plague.”
“Madonna kissed Britney [Spears] … and look what happened to [Britney].”
(Katy Perry might have been a more current example, but I digress).
“God, we ask you to forgive us as women for bisexuality, lesbianism and pornography,” another woman prayed. “We repent for opening up church doors to homosexuality.”
More to come, including several pictures…
UPDATE BY PHYLLIS: They requested people to fast for 12 hours but volunteers are eating Little Ceasars pizza:
UPDATE BY ARISHA: More and more, I’m coming to the conclusion that this movement that we’re witnessing today is wholly distinct from the Tea Party (and even NOM, although some of the players are the same).
For example, you’d never hear this at a Tea Party rally:
“The immigrant community will no longer be exploited; the immigrant community will be the source of the revival” said one speaker.
Even the older Latino man carrying around a 20-ft wooden cross attached to a wheel told Phyllis that she should be free to live her life as a lesbian. When he asked if he could pray for her it didn’t even come off as condescending.
(We’ve all heard “God bless you’s” that feel more like “f— you’s” today, but this didn’t feel the same).
A couple of local press cameras have gathered just outside the “backstage” gates, hoping (in theory) to get some on-camera time with a few of the bigger name speakers.
Another band is performing now.
UPDATE BY ARISHA: TheCall attendees have now formed small prayer circles throughout the mall and are praying for San Francisco “for those who live in the Castro” specifically “and for the mothers and fathers of children” who are struggling with sexual identity.
Four marriage equality activists are standing with signs just outside the event. Every few minutes they are approached by a reporter or a rally attendee. The conversations are civil — sometimes long. Equality supporters have been passing out articles detailing some of Lou Engle’s more controversial actions to attendees; most are shocked to find out about Engle’s “TheCall Uganda” event earlier this year.
UPDATE BY EDEN: This will be the last update to this post. Arisha is working on a new post, as is Andy Kelley, our New Media Organizer. Meanwhile, I just posted the following audio of what Cindy Jacobs said and an analysis of its connection to the Prop 8 trial here.