Lou Engle’s four-day rally on the Washington Mall culminated yesterday, October 9, 2017, with a women-only event that centered on praying for racial unity, ending abortion, and critiquing feminism.
In what was seen as a reaction to the 2.6 million-person women’s march last January, yesterday’s event claimed that true unity between the sexes would require a different message than the one normally sent by the feminist movement.
“For years, the feminists lied to us,” Christian author Lisa Bevere said during the event. “They said for us to be powerful as women, we needed to act like men.”
The event, which called women to be the Esthers and Deborahs of their generation, pointed toward a different way of finding feminine equality than the January march.
“We don’t need to be empowered by marches and speeches,” speaker Gloria Engle said. “What we need is to be empowered in who we are as daughters of the living God.”
32-year-old attendee Jubilee Underwood resonated with this message, telling the Washington Post that “We’re not fighting for women’s rights. We’re just fighting for our country to be unified.”
The event also featured a repurposing of the controversial NFL anthem kneeling, as thousands of women kneeled in the muddy, rain-drenched ground to pray for racial reconciliation. The Christian Post reported that an unnamed African-American rally leader told the group “Let’s show the world what taking a knee really means. Let’s show the world what it means to deal with a holy and righteous God, who is bringing healing for the pain that so many African-American women have faced when they got the phone call that their child had been shot in the street, that so many African-American women feel when they leave that abortion chamber and they had to leave their babies in the containers after being targeted by the abortion industry.”
Cindy Jacobs, founder of the Generals International prayer ministry told the audience “I talk to so many African-American mothers and grandmothers who say, ‘I am afraid to send my baby out.’ I am so sorry that you are afraid that if your sons drive a car, they are going to be shot. I am so sorry. We can’t gloss over it! We can’t gloss over it! It’s sin and causing lots of pain! We are so sorry. This is wrong. Lord, we don’t know how to fix it. We don’t know how to fix it. Father, forgive us for hatred. Forgive us for murder. Forgive us God! Help us to love the way you love Jesus. Give us more love.”
While the event was clearly attempting to respond to cultural crises through a “third-way” approach—non-partisan, non-political, and Christ-centric—there is still a clear political message some attendees picked up. One event attendee told the Washington Post she saw the work of the devil during the Obama administration but that “We believe God put Donald Trump in [office].”
Likewise, in an event leading up to the four-day rally, Lou Engle recalled how after a prophetic word from Bob Jones about a “burning bush” who would arise from Texas, leaders who were gathered in D.C. prayed and through these prayers were able to sway the Supreme Court to rule in favor of George W. Bush in the controversial 2000 elections.
However, some attendees did find that the event pointed to an answer beyond politics.
“I am actually glad this is happening. This is what is needed. This is what is supposed to be going on in the Christian body. We are supposed to be affecting the change and not relying on the government,” event-attendee and African-American woman Nicole Johnson said. “I bless President Trump and his administration. But at the end of the day, we, the people of God, are supposed to take charge on this. I am thankful and blessed this is happening and I am glad to be here.”
“We are supposed to be the ones picking up the cross and taking care of all these issues and I really believe, I really believe that if we begin to understand and walk in our authority as God has called us, we could get a lot more stuff done as a Church and the body of Christ.”