For an introduction to TheCall Detroit, click here. To read about Alveda King's speech at the rally, click here. To read about an unidentified black man's speech, click here. To read about Judaism and Islam at TheCall Detroit, click here. For final thought on TheCall Detroit, click here. To access a full video archive of TheCall Detroit, click here.
So far, we've looked at remarks from the TheCall Detroit's opening night and a speech by Aleva King. Thanks to the footage captured by Wayne Besen, we also have a video excerpt of Lou Engle giving an anti-abortion talk at TheCall Detroit.
Engle's anti-abortion activism is well known, as are New Apostolic Reformation preachers' outrageous claims about demons (a.k.a. "powers and principalities"). At the beginning of Besen's video, Engle associated abortion with demons and human sacrifice, something he has also done at the Prayer and Prophetic Conference, Russia IHOP, and in the film The Abortion Matrix.
"[Abortion] actually fuels the demonization of the culture. We've got to get this, brothers and sisters. They offer their children to demons. Just because they had open altars then, we have stainless steel tables in Planned Parenthood. But it's still fueling the demonization of the culture. Isaiah 26:21 says, 'For behold, the Lord comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth will also disclose her blood and will no more cover her slain.' Let me ask you a question today. Is a baby's blood in the womb any different than a baby's blood outside the womb? It didn't say that blood pollutes land of those who have been born. It's blood pollutes the land."Abortion, Engle claimed, has inflicted "blood guilt" upon the land. At the 2:29 mark, he says, "Blood guilt is on the land, and the only place it can be taken care of is at the cross, where Jesus shed his blood."
Engle lambasted politicians who are insufficiently anti-abortion. At the 3:43 mark, he compared such politicians to Pontius Pilate washing his hands to absolve himself of guilt for Jesus' fate.
"Pilate is the picture of candidates running for office who say they're pro-life but they give in to tumult of public opinion. And when they say that they're pro-life personally, but they actually rule pro-choice, they are actually trying to wash their hands. Shedding of innocent blood is upon our governors, our government, our own lives, our own families, but I believe there is coming a voice of a tumult of righteousness."Themes of racial justice saturated TheCall Detroit, not only through TheCall's choice of speakers but in Lou Engle's speech. At the 4:50 mark, Engle launched into a talk about racism and violence. He claimed that God showed him that unless he was mindful of the struggles of people of color, he could not address abortion properly. He lamented that believers had not yet confronted the oppression of Chinese immigrants in American history, as suggested by a friend's dream.
"The Lord showed me I couldn't deal with abortion seven years ago unless I walked in shoes of the Native Americans, unless I walked in the shoes of the black Americans. My friend just had a dream the other day, and he saw a ledger, and it said 'blood lines and blood guilt,' and it was an accounting ledger. That God was making an account of the shedding of innocent blood, and it had African-American blood, innocent bloodshed, Native American bloodshed, and then, it said 'Chinese bloodshed,' and suddenly, it began to pop. We haven't really dealt with that, that the Chinese suffered tremendous slavery in American history and tremendous shedding of innocent blood. We looked it up and we found that in Detroit, a Chinese man was killed by workers in the auto industry because they were angry at the Japanese car industry, and so they took it out on a Chinese laborer, and they murdered him, and it started this whole movement of Chinese voices to bring justice."Interestingly, Engle used the term "shedding of innocent blood", which he has frequently used as a dysphemism for abortion, to describe racist violence as well. This, methinks, was not accidental. Nor was this the first time he had spoken of racism and abortion in the same breath, with his talk after the Joplin disaster as an example. Also, Lou Engle has framed abortion as an attack on Hispanic and African-American communities before (see here and here), as have other anti-abortion activists. Given the anti-abortion messages at TheCall Detroit, I wondered if such outreach to different races was an attempt to draw more people of color into anti-abortion activism. I definitely sensed this during Alveda King's speech and the video that played beforehand.
I do wonder how Engle can "walk in the shoes" of diverse communities while trying to take reproductive rights away from women of color (and women period). In my opinion, if Engle truly wanted to "walk in the shoes" of people of color, he would focus his ministry on pressing issues facing these communities, rather than brazenly trying to recruit them into his anti-abortion fight. While his attention to racism may raise awareness of the racial justice work that needs to be done, his anti-abortion message overshadowed his talk at TheCall Detroit.