Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) plans to kick off his presidential candidacy in January with a stadium-sized prayer rally in Baton Rouge.
Right Wing Watch reported that materials being distributed ahead of the rally blame LGBT acceptance and legal abortion for natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the devastating tornado system that leveled the town of Joplin, Missouri.
The prayer rally — titled “The Response-Louisiana: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis” — is scheduled for Jan. 24 and is closely modeled on a similar rally that kicked off Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R)’s own unsuccessful bid for the presidency.
As RWW’s Miranda Blue noted, Jindal’s rally features many of the same far-right evangelical luminaries as Perry’s rally, and even seems to be recycling some of the publicity and advanced promotional materials from Perry’s rally.
Among the re-used documents is a “prayer guide” for Christians who are attending the rally that tells them how to pray in the seven days leading up to the rally.
The Day Two tells believers to meditate on God’s vengeance, beginning with the plagues God sent to Egypt for enslaving the Jews.
“The reason these plagues came was because of the peopleʼs negligence to worship and serve God with their whole heart. Because the people grew cold and eventually departed from God, they experienced incredible hardships. The result of their inner departure was multiple external crises,” the guide reads.
“We have watched sin escalate to a proportion the nation has never seen before. We live in the first generation in which the wholesale murder of infants through abortion is not only accepted but protected by law. Homosexuality has been embraced as an alternative lifestyle. Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and Washington, D.C. Pornography is available ondemand through the Internet,” it continues.
“This year we have seen a dramatic increase in tornadoes that have taken the lives of many and crippled entire cities, such as Tuscaloosa, AL & Joplin, MO,” the document says. “And let us not forget that we are only six years from the tragic events of hurricane Katrina, which rendered the entire Gulf Coast powerless.”
For Christian evangelicals, blaming gays and women for catastrophes is nothing new. Even as the Twin Towers in New York City burned on Sep. 11, 2001, the late evangelist Jerry Falwell said the attacks were the result of the U.S. “throwing God out of the public square.”
“The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad,” Falwell said of the attacks, which claimed thousands of lives.
“[T]he pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America,” Falwell told fellow evangelical pastor Pat Robertson, “I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.’”