I don't know what kind of radical right magnet is located in Charlotte, NC, but some of the worst homobigots (see the completely, pathologically obsessed with homosexuality and sex acts county commissioner Bill James) and religious extremists embed themselves there. Matt Comer at InterstateQ, has an epic special report on a major player in the area — Dr. Michael L. Brown of the group Coalition of Conscience and his association with Lou Engle is of the International House of Prayer movement and head of TheCall, a national prayer movement noted by the Southern Poverty Law Center that its followers see themselves as “God’s avenging army.”

He's also connected to the outlandish Flip Benham of Operation Save America, who usually attends NCPride with his band of bible-beating, horn blowing crazies. Regarding Brown:

According to the organization’s website, the Coalition is a “network of church and ministry leaders, business and education leaders, and Christians from every walk of life, based in the greater Charlotte area, working together for moral and cultural change through the gospel.”

Among the largest of the Coalition’s church partners is First Baptist Church in Uptown Charlotte. The church’s pastor, Mark Harris, has attended several Coalition events and spoken with Brown at Coalition press conferences. Harris’ church, sitting in a corner of Uptown Charlotte’s Marshall Park across from the city/county government center, will serve as the meeting and starting point for the God Has a Better Way rally and march.

While his friend and colleague Benham screams condemnation through loudspeakers and waves signs, Brown works through his Coalition, with the help of well-liked area pastors, to sneak his dangerous rhetoric into the active subconscious of the greater Charlotte area’s Christian community. But, just like Benham — who works to “push the radical homosexual agenda all the way into the grave and leave no marker for it” — the result of Brown’s verbal, spiritual and theological violence will be to silence and strip all LGBT people of their legal, civil and social equality, freedom and liberty, effectively creating a theocracy governed by the principles they believe are set forward in both Old Testament and New Testament law.

Brown will put his brand of anti-gay activism on display in Charlotte on July 25:

Brown plans to amass a group of 1,000 or more “worshipers, intercessors, musicians, soul-winners, walkers, talkers, and believers of every age, color, and size” who will “stand together as a prophetic witness to our society” in a worship and prayer rally and march he is calling “God Has a Better Way.” He has enlisted the help and welcomed the “inspiration” of radical preacher and spiritual leader Lou Engle, of TheCall.

In a video invitation to the event, Brown tells listeners the “hour is urgent,” that Christians must stand together to “turn back the tide of homosexual activism” and that rally participants will “surround” the Pride festival with worship, prayer and intercession.

“Nothing like this has ever been done in conjunction with a gay pride event in any city before, and those who join together on this day will be part of history in the making,” the event’s website says.

…Although the group doesn’t plan on any “public preaching,” they will have outreach and intercession teams. If past Coalition events, such as the “outreach” at the 2005 Charlotte Pride festival, are to be of any indication of events to come, it won’t be a surprise to see rally participants attempt to speak with, harass or intimidate Pride Charlotte festival-goers.

You have to read the whole report. These are the groups that we have to watch out for; they see places like North Carolina, which is turning less Red with each election cycle, as one of those “last stand” battlefields.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding