If you're in the Philadelphia area, be forewarned--a major invasion of fundie lunacy is due to take place there this weekend. America for Jesus 2012 is taking over Independence Mall on Friday and Saturday. t looks innocuous on the surface--it's billed as "a solemn assembly to summon together the whole body of Christ to pray for the church and our nation" and intercede against "the symptoms of widespread moral depravity and economic meltdown."
But then one gets a glimpse at the national leadership team. It includes a who's-who of fundie leaders--including Jim Garlow, Ron Luce, Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle and Harry Jackson. The presence of Luce, Jacobs and Engle is a pretty clear indication that this "solemn gathering" has the backing of the New Apostolic Reformation, the fascist movement that thinks it can actually bring about the Second Coming by taking over the world. The national chairwoman, Anne Gimenez, is the wife of John Gimenez, the guy who put together the infamous Washington for Jesus rally in 1980. In fact, the rally is sponsored by the Gimenezes' organization, "One Nation Under God, Inc."
The lunacy actually kicks off tomorrow night with the AwakeNow Conference at Living Word Christian Center in Pennsauken, New Jersey. Jacobs and Jackson are going to be there. Then things really get started at 5 pm on Friday with a youth rally--led by Luce, presumably.
Unlike Washington for Jesus, the organizers of America for Jesus are trying--and not too convincingly--to hide the gathering's Christofascist links. Instead, they're trying to wrap it in the legacy of William Penn.
Penn’s concepts became the seedbed for free democracies all over the world and even influenced principles of the United Nations today. His prototype city Philadelphia has been branded as a city of brotherly love and holds the governmental and spiritual foundation of our nation. The vision that God gave William Penn for Philadelphia is not just history, it is Philadelphia’s destiny and ultimately the purpose for our national identity. Through humility and prayer, we are asking God to redeem His purpose and restore the foundation of Philadelphia and the foundation of the United States of America by renewing covenants of peace and healing the land.If Penn knew what these guys were doing, he'd probably be turning in his grave. After all, this rally is being organized by people who want to destroy democracy and religious freedom.
Good news, though--you can watch the whole thing online. GodTV is streaming the proceedings live here. Friday's session will start streaming at 7 pm Eastern, while Saturday's session will start streaming at 9 am Eastern.