Up to 6,000 evangelical Christians rallied and prayed against gays, same sex marriage and abortion at the state Capitol in Sacramento on Saturday. The event was the 17th "Call to Conscience" rally organized by anti-gay evangelist Lou Engle, reports the San Jose Mercury News.
Thousands of Christian conservatives spent 12 hours Saturday praying and fasting in front of the state Capitol at a gathering organizers described as spiritual repentance "when there is no hope for a nation." The daylong religious event was led by Lou Engle as well as other pastors and speakers to protest gay marriage, pornography and abortion. Many of those attending slapped red "Life" stickers over their shirts and set up blankets and folding chairs facing a large stage with banners that read: "Only One Hope God."
People close to the front of the stage held up their hands when called to prayer. They jumped and danced to musical performances between sermons. The gathering filled the west lawn of the state Capitol and hundreds of people spilled into the next block, but the rest of Capitol Mall's five-block-long lawn went unused despite large screens and barricades set up for the occasion.
Engle, Mike Huckabee and other social conservatives blasted Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional in a landmark ruling last month, reports the Sacramento Bee.
Among the speakers was Tony Perkins, a leader of the religious right and head of the Washington lobbying group the Family Research Council. Perkins railed against U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker for overturning Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage. He said Walker's ruling diminished the legal rights of religious people opposed to gay marriage. "If (the ruling) stands, in one generation we will have gone from banning the Bible in public schools to banning religious beliefs in society," Perkins said. The event's organizer, conservative Kansas City evangelist Lou Engle, urged the crowd to "break the altar of homosexual marriage."
The event was free of charge but people were "regularly asked to put donations in the 'offering stations.'"
Not on their prayer agenda: Hunger, poverty, homelessness, human rights, domestic abuse or HIV/AIDS. However, the Sacramento Bee adds the crowd was also asked to pray for "clergy addicted to pornography, bisexual women—even middle-aged men who play video games."