If there's one thing the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson has learned after 25 years of battling in the trenches of the culture wars, it's that the enemy never rests, never gives up, never falls down on the job.
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If they lose a battle, they regroup and come back more prepared and confident the next time.
Conservative Christians, Peterson says, don't seem nearly as unified or committed. And that's why they don't win many battles.
Most people know Peterson as the founder of Los Angeles-based Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, or BOND. He hosts a radio show, pastors a church and oversees a private school. He's also one of WND's most fearless columnists, calling out Houston's lesbian mayor "tyrant" and Ferguson's "thug" rioters, among others.
Even major water damage from a burst pipe, which required rebuilding part of the Christian school on the BOND campus, couldn't keep him down last week. Peterson traveled to Jackson, Mississippi, to lead a protest against that state's last remaining abortion clinic. At age 65, his energy is boundless, says his assistant, Ermias Alemayehu.
"He's been doing it for 25 years now, and his radio show is kind of like life case studies that show people can overcome whatever their issues are," Alemayehu said. "He believes everything comes back to responsibility and the way parents raise their kids."
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Peterson's overarching mission is to strengthen the family, especially America's black families, by "rebuilding the man," which he says will lead to stronger fathers.
But before he became a conservative dynamo, Peterson was a union organizer. That's right: He worked for the "other side," and he learned a thing or two about the tactics used by the left-leaning community organizers and change agents who are now embedded throughout the federal government.
His work with a local labor union representing hospital service employees taught him the importance of agitating and staying on the offensive, he said. The union taught him to avoid playing defense at all cost.
"One thing they taught us in training was how to always be the aggressors and be on the offense. Because the person on the defense, the only thing they're trying to do is protect themselves," Peterson said.
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Looking for an angry person
How did Peterson start to recruit for the union hall? It was simple, he said.
"They'd tell me to go to a hospital and find an angry person, then organize that hospital after a while by working through the angry people," he said. "Angry people can be controlled unlike non-angry people who can't be controlled."
This is how the radical left pushes its agenda today, he said. They use the Saul Alinsky "Rules for Radicals" playbook to divide the races and divide the genders. At the first sign of division, they immediately rush in to exploit the anger for their own political advantage.
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Peterson, 65, grew up on a farm in rural Alabama and later moved the Gary, Indiana, and by 1970 he was already involved in liberal politics. He said public protests were organized down to the smallest detail, with everyone knowing their job.
"We would have a group of people doing the chanting, and a group of people doing the sit-in," he recalled.
Part of the group at the sit-in would be instructed to lie down for the police and allow themselves to be taken off to jail, with the promise that they would be quickly bailed out by the union. Another group participating in the sit-in would be told to get up and not be taken to jail, thereby splitting the police force in half between those taking people to jail and those having to stay and monitor the sit-in.
"We kept them on the defense, and they would be so stressed out that eventually they would come out and give us what we wanted," he said.
He tells that story only to show that Christian activists aren't as committed.
"Christians living in fear have lost the authority of God and don't have the courage to be on the offense and that's why they are losing on every hand," Peterson said. "I tell Christians our battle is spiritual, and evil cannot handle you if it cannot put you on the defensive."
Houston mayor's overreach 'just a test drive'
A good example of the audacity and relentless pushing of the envelope by liberal activists is the situation in Houston, first reported by WND, in which the city's lesbian mayor subpoenaed the sermons of local pastors who opposed her ordinance banning "discrimination" against LGBT people. The ordinance was sweeping to the point of requiring unisex bathrooms in public places.
Since the story broke on WND and was picked up by other news outlets, the backlash has been tremendous against Mayor Annise Parker.
"The fact that she did it she needs to be impeached but she's kind of backing down for right now because I'm sure she didn't expect the amount of reaction she's got from the pastors," Peterson said.
Letters have come into City Hall from pastors and others across the country, some sending Bibles with their letter and reminding the mayor that this is America, where the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and religion.
"But these people are getting into positions of power, and they hate Christians and the Christian church because they say homosexuality is wrong. They want to shut down anyone who speaks out about it, so once they get in power you will see more of this type of thing," Peterson said. "This was just a test drive. They see now that there will be a strong reaction, but they will just go back and regroup and be better prepared for it next time around."
And therein lies the lesson about persistence.
"One of the things I've learned about children of the lie is they do not give up," he said. "They are determined to push the lie and incorporate the lie into America, and they do not give up, they just go back and regroup and if it takes years they will keep at it. And that's how the Christians are supposed to be. We have God with us, the Holy Spirit is with us and some angels are with us, and yet Christians are afraid to use that authority they have to fight against evil."
No 'playing nice' with evil
If Christians had anywhere near the stamina to fight for good as the other side fights for evil, they would not be witnessing the historic transformation of American society that is taking place today, he says.
"Not only will Christians not fight against the liars, but they'll fight against you for not backing down to the liars," Peterson said. "If Christians were strong, there's just no way evil would be winning. Because evil doesn't give up. You have to destroy evil. You can't play with evil. You can't be nice to evil."
He also points to the dramatic events taking place in the Middle East, where the Islamic State, or ISIS, is taking over Iraq in the face of weakness by President Obama.
"They're about to take over Baghdad because Obama's being nice," Peterson said. "He's like, 'I'm going to be nice to you if you will be nice to us,' and they're cutting off Americans' heads.
"And that's what the liars in this country are doing, they just keep pushing because they know the Christians are meek and humble and not going to fight back."
While the Bible does teach humility, Peterson believes there is a false sense of humility gripping the American church.
"It's not real. When you read the life of Jesus and his disciples, they were not weak people. They knew they were fighting a spiritual evil, and they didn't back down from it," Peterson said. "But Christians today, Christians in America, don't seem to see that. They read it and talk it, but they won't live up to it."
He said the excuse he most often hears is that people can't stop what's pre-ordained by God.
"They'll say the end times are coming anyway. There's nothing you can do about it," Peterson said. "It's only coming because they won't fight back. It comes because the Christians allow it to come and won't shine the light into darkness."
Healing the racial divide
Peterson was one of the first black pastors to come out and say that Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in August, was not an innocent bystander shot in cold blood while raising his hands to surrender.
No, Peterson said, Brown was a thug trying to brutalize a cop.
Even as the facts began to trickle in more than a week after the shooting, indicating that indeed the officer had reason to fire his weapon at Brown, few black leaders reversed their positions and came to the officer's defense.
Peterson said that's because many blacks in America still harbor intense anger against whites, because that's what they've been taught by black leaders for decades. Only a few like himself have listened to alternative black voices like Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele.
Peterson said BOND's mission is to rebuild the family by rebuilding the man and to "unite the races with truth instead of dividing them with lies."
But there's a lot of work to do in that regard.
The division among the races in America six years into the administration of Barack Obama is more pronounced than ever, Peterson said.
"I grew up on a plantation in Alabama and the races were closer then than they are today," Peterson said.
Many blacks and whites believed race relations would improve after Obama was first elected.
"Especially whites. I tried to tell them that it wouldn't. On my speaking tours, I said, you are not going to be able to change black people's minds and their racist mindset by giving them a black president," Peterson said. "Black people have to admit and deal with that anger toward white Americans, or things are never going to get better."
Peterson said he estimates about 80 percent of American blacks harbor deeply rooted racial anger toward whites.
"In some cases, it's unconscious. They don't realize they are racist, until a white person disagrees with them about a political issue or President Obama," Peterson said. "Even black Christians. And many black-white friendships have been broken up – the friendship ends – because that's when you see the racist attitudes come out of the black person. That's when the anger comes out. And they won't admit it's them. They are angry, and they can't see the truth."
Peterson said he has had white people come to him in tears about the loss of a long-term relationship with a black friend.
"Some had gone to church together, hung out together for years, and when Obama was elected it all fell apart and ended," he said. "It's unfortunate. America has not dealt with the black racism and has not dealt with the anger, and the anger did not start with adults. It started as children in the home, when their parents or black leaders and many of the black preachers told them that it was white racism."
Since racism started in the home, that's where it will have to be defeated, Peterson said. That's why he concentrates his ministry on the family.
"It started in the home first with the weakness of the parents, and then it's encouraged by some of the black churches and some of the liberal white people, too, are using it to really keep blacks down and use the civil rights issue for their own personal gain as well," he said. "Liberal white and black politicians are responsible for this."
He said the Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson all work to "keep black people angry by trying to convince them that everything that is wrong is a race issue. They go into a hypnotic trance and just believe it."
The only way they are going to come out of that trance is to get to know themselves and where that anger came from so they can forgive their parents for failing them, Peterson said.
"Then God will forgive them and then they can see the truth, and the hatred for white people and everything else will fall away and they can judge people based on character, not color, because they can now see the spiritual aspect of what's going on," he said.
Was it the same misplaced anger that was seen spilling out into the streets in Ferguson? Peterson thinks so.
"Yes, 100 percent, we saw the anger. We saw it in the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin situation. We saw it in Ferguson where an officer killed a black thug that was attacking him. We saw it in the O.J. Simpson killing," Peter said. "It's not about what's right; it's about the color."
Fear brings out the worst
So what is Peterson's advice to whites who genuinely want to improve relations with blacks, both personally and in the broader American culture?
He said the worst thing whites can do is to cower in fear and just give up on blacks.
"I would tell white people to overcome fear of being called racist and tell them the truth even at the risk of losing their friendship," he said. "Otherwise, it will only get worse, because when you cower down to them it makes you look guilty. If you tell the truth, it will force them to look at themselves. But as long as white folks are afraid of being called racist or being sued, it makes things worse. Fear brings out the worst in people, and that's what they've done over the years. They've catered and catered to black people and it's only brought out the worst, the knock-out games, the black mob violence, all that is because they know that white people are afraid of them and it's just bringing out the worst."
Islam: A rising threat to black Christians?
Another one of Peterson's concerns is the rise of Islam in America and its appeal especially to blacks.
"I am very concerned about it, and I've been concerned for a long time," he said. "We do a lot of work in the jails and prisons around the country, and usually whenever I've gone, I've seen Louis Farrakhan's people there recruiting and telling them that Islam is the black man's religion and Christianity is the white man's religion. Then they're told there are the blood-sucking Jews taking advantage of the black, and they're just building on the anger that's already there and fueling hatred of Jews and Christians and America."
Peterson points to the three Minnesota cases in which young black men left the United States to go fight for ISIS in Syria. One of them was American born and had converted to Islam from Christianity.
The Oklahoma man who beheaded a woman in that state last month, Alton Alexander Nolan, was also black and a recent convert to Islam.
"I interviewed an L.A. police officer on my show who worked in counter terrorism and was a man of color and a Muslim, and he told me that most of the Muslims in this country are black," Peterson said. "I'm very concerned about that because they're going to use those people to carry out whatever terrorist act they are planning."
"In all honesty, because they're black I don't think it's going to get dealt with in an appropriate way. We're already seeing it's been called workplace violence. So they're not pointing out the evil of Islam, and it's just going to encourage others to do worse things."
Peterson said he predicts that if Islamic terrorism is not dealt with, Americans will live to regret it.
"We're going to see suicide bombings in shopping centers and buses like in Israel, because it's not being stopped and the president is not calling it evil or Islamic, so it's not going to get better," Peterson said. "He sees it as just a few thugs in crime. That's not the case. And because of that, I don't see anything that could stop it. So short of a miracle from God, we need to buckle down and get ready because we're going to have a difficult time ahead of us, with suicide bombers in restaurants and buses and crowded places."
Peterson said the men he once revered, men like Jesse Jackson, now find themselves in a difficult situation. They are so far into the lie that even if they realize it is backfiring, it's hard to find their way out.
"Blacks have been set up for this. I don't believe that Jackson and most of the black preachers preaching all this hatred all these years knew it would get to this point, but they have been set up," Peterson said. "The feminists at NOW have used blacks for hatred of men. The NAACP has used blacks for hatred of whites. The Democratic Party has used blacks and set them up because they are angry and can't help but allow themselves to be used. So they've been set up now for Islam to come in and be the next to use them."
Abortion: The final solution?
As if blacks are not preyed upon enough by liberal politicians and Islamic recruiters, there is another weapon the left uses to destroy the black family – abortion.
Peterson has been among the most steadfast supporters of the pro-life movement. He will put other projects aside and travel out of state if he thinks he can help shut down an abortion clinic, which is what he did last week when he joined in the pro-life rally in front of an abortion clinic in Mississippi.
There is one abortion mill left in Mississippi and it's in Jackson. So on Tuesday we did a little protest in front of the mill. There was a group of feminists there, real hard-core leftists, calling us names and getting in our faces, and there was one black woman with them who came up to me and said what are you doing here?" Peterson said.
He calmly told the woman, "It would be good for you if you don't get in my face."
Then he asked her, "What happened to your soul that you, as a black woman, would work with these folks to kill black children?"
He said the woman "went nuts" and tried to accuse him of touching her, when it was she who got in his face and bumped into him. The whole encounter was on video, so the woman got nowhere with her false accusation, Peterson said.
He said the abortion clinic was right in the heart of the black community in Jackson.
"While we were there, we just saw car after car pull in and they're marching in there. Some were brought by their mothers, and we tried to explain what's going on. But they are just so angry, they think Planned Parenthood cares about them. 'It's just a medical center,' they said.
"We went there to educate them and give talks on what they should do. But with their anger at white folks, they just have it all backward."
He said many black politicians and even some black preachers are getting money from Planned Parenthood for various church programs teaching about "women's health" issues.
"So the left, the liars, they have it down pat. Our side, it's difficult," Peterson said. "We cannot get them to organize. We cannot get them to work together with full force against evil. If you make one mistake, they'll turn on you and work with the other side. The Christians have got to know: The answer is, we've got to rebuild families and get men to turn back to God. If we don't rebuild families and work together, America is over, because it's not about race. It's not about the physical.
"It's about the spiritual and the children of God. If they're truly born again of God, they would know that it's spiritual, and they would use the authority given them by God to fight evil."
Andrew Klavan, an award-winning novelist, screenwriter and media commentator, said Peterson is a one-of-a-kind personality in America today.
"Jesse derives his insight and wisdom from a very specific soul journey he was sent on. You listen to him speak or read his books and he is talking right out of his own life," Klavan said. "You can disagree with him on this point or the other, sure, but you can't shrug him off. He's too real."