Thursday, April 14, 2022

#2530: John Beckett & The Intercessors for America

The Intercessors for America (IFA) is an absolutely maniacally insane rightwing Taliban fundie “ministry organization” devoted to “prayer and fasting for the nation” in order to “intercede for our nation and leaders for the purpose of getting “God to intervene in U.S. governmental and cultural issues”. Fortunately, their activities are focused around performing various symbolic rituals that will ostensibly force God to do what they want Him to do, and they are as such pretty toothless, even though the level of insanity displayed is beyond the pale. They are led by the deranged Dave Kubal (to be covered later), but we list them under John Beckett, one of the original founders, who is also the author of “Loving Monday: Succeeding in Business Without Selling Your Soul”, which is as good a guide to the general theological outlook of the group as any.


So, for instance, in connection with Donald Trump’s inauguration, the group arranged a seven-day Jericho march around the White House and Capitol, culminating with a mighty ‘shout’ by believers around the nation” (those who know the story of Jericho may have questions about the motive her), followed by teams of intercessors “prayer walking (marching)” in the area while “declaring the coming presence of our Lord and destruction of the walls of protection around those [who] oppose Him” (it is unclear whether “Him” here refers to Trump or God, or whether the group recognizes the difference). Here is a discussion of the similarities between groups like this and New Age thinking.


The group publishes a number of prayer guides, which sort of illustrate some of their views (if they weren’t blatantly obvious already); they include:


-       15 Steps to Freedom from Witchcraft

-       Religious Exemption to the Vaccine Mandate” (but of course; what did you expect?)

-       Reasons to Prayerfully Reconsider the Push for Vaccine Passports” – yeah, they have to stretch things far into hilarity to make it sound like it belongs to the prayer guide category.

-       Praying about the Infrastructure Bill Spending”; note that it’s not praying for the bill itself.

-       The Amicus Brief Prayer Guide

-       6 Battle-Ready Positions for Victory in Spiritual Warfare

-       Warring against Witchcraft”; yes, witches are a significant social problem in the US, apparently.

-       Praying against National Demonic Influence

-       Prophetic Declarations to Make Over America

-       Top Three Threats to OUR American Freedom with the Biden Actions” (they didn’t bother with the “prayer guide” label with this one)

-       GUN OWNERSHIP: Building a Biblical Worldview”; there are also “Building a Biblical Worldview” guides for education, the environment, marriage & sexuality, and health care.


Yes, of course this is a political organization, and little else, but it is easier to justify your dogmatism and self-righteousness if you can freely engage in SPAGging. Besides, there is also the issue of maintaining tax-exempt status.


They also issue reports, including “The Climate Debate: an IFA Special Report” (we haven’t read it, but nevertheless feel confident about declaring it looney), “Pushing Back on Power-Hungry School Boards” and “Can We Trust Our Election Process: an IFA Special Report”, to mention the most recent three (by November 2021). Their newsletter is called The Connecter, which notably seems to consistently (by 2021) refer to Trump as “President of the US”; regular contributors include Camille Solberg (IFA Legislative Director), Gloria Robles (mostly fundamentalist fluff and prophetic dreams about William Barr), Suni Piper, Judy McDonough (IFA Communications Director and virulent opponent of marriage equality) and Nancy Huff (who is deeply paranoid about socialism and critical race theory).


Diagnosis: A hate organization if there ever was one, and one whose vision of society lies far closer to IS than the Enlightenment views that informed e.g. the American Constitution. It is instructive to note the overlap between wingnut fundie organization and fluffy New Age movements, and not only because they are roughly dimilarly detached from reality. IFA also enjoys significant influence over American politics, so be warned.

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