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Redeeming California, One Step at a Time
By Joseph D'Hippolito, The Stream
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Editor’s Note: This is a story published in The Stream.
Since colonial times, when a Franciscan friar named Father Junipero Serra founded 21 Catholic missions in the 18th century, California provided a springboard for Christian faith. The Pentecostal revival at Azusa Street in Los Angeles, Billy Graham’s budding ministry and the Jesus Movement of young people all started in California during the 20th century.
Now, with California awash in neo-Marxist “woke” ideology and gender politics, one woman is fighting back.
Kathy Looper, a marriage and family therapist from the San Joaquin Valley, created a ministry called Redeem California, designed to promote social, political and spiritual renewal. Looper expressed her vision in her book, Redeem California: With God All Things Are Possible, available on Amazon.com.
“I wanted to write books before, but nothing has ever been as urgent as this one,” Looper said. “I felt like the Lord just really lit a fire of urgency under me to do this. It was kind of like a righteous indignation.
“What is happening in California is like 10 notches above anything I would have expected. It’s just getting worse and worse and worse.”
Looper’s sense of urgency stems from her experience working with homeless youth, juvenile offenders, rape victims and the loved ones of those who committed suicide, as well as clients in her private practice. As a result, she sees firsthand how California’s political policies affect its population, including Christians.
“We’ve got church kids committing suicide,” Looper said. “We have church kids who are raised in families that go to church regularly coming out as transgendered. They’re not transgendered. They’re just confused.
“We cannot afford to be silent.”
A Two-Fold Vision
Looper’s vision involves two complementary aspects: personal spiritual development and political activism.
“The ultimate goal is that Christians first would return to their faith,” she said. “Secondly, they would start getting informed. Thirdly, they would use their voice, to make a stand and speak for truth in a loving way, really stand up and be counted.”
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Looper seeks to mobilize the potential of California’s conservative Christians. In a study conducted between 2007 and 2014, the Pew Research Center estimated that 8 million evangelical Protestants live in California. That total exceeds the population of 38 states.
“In those 28 counties,” Looper said, “there was a possible 7,117,585 votes but only 2,826,403 people voted, leaving 4,291,182 votes left on the table. That is just in those 28 counties with a high conservative base. With half of those votes we could have won the governorship. That still leaves 30 additional counties with votes available. It is more than possible to win California — but we must engage people to believe that their vote matters.
“Our goal is to get Christians to run for political office and win. It’s the only way we’re going to change the fabric of California.”
Visit Redeem California for more information
The ‘California Way’ to Chaos
Defining the state’s current fabric is a series of policies that Gov. Gavin Newsom called “the California Way,” which Looper mentions in her book. Those policies include promoting indoctrination in critical race theory and LGBTQ identity, which involves showing pornography to public school students. Other policies force doctors to conform to “progressive” ideology on COVID-19 (as The Stream twice reported last year) and make California a sanctuary for women seeking abortions.
“What California has become, and what Gov. Newsom has brought into our state,” Looper wrote, “stands in direct opposition to God, His Word, and His people.”
Changing that fabric begins with Christians becoming involved in their neighborhoods, Looper wrote. The therapist advocates building relationships and networks, such as food co-ops and neighborhood watch groups, to reduce reliance on Big Business and Big Government and to compensate for any breakdowns in services or supply chains.
With neighborhood involvement as a base, Looper advises Christians to form relationships with their city’s police and fire departments, attend meetings of the city council, school board and chamber of commerce, become precinct workers and encourage their congregations to help their cities, as well as run for office and vote.
“Really, this is not a political message,” Looper said. “Ultimately, this is about the saving of souls, and reaching people with hope. But we have to do it in a political arena, because that’s where the battle is being waged right now.”
In the process, Looper encourages Christians to fight their own spiritual enemies. She described them in her book as the tribes the Israelites had to defeat to occupy Canaan. Those enemies are fear (Hittites), compromise (Girgashites), pride (Amorites), materialism (Canaanites), humanism (Hivites), immorality (Perizzites) and discouragement and condemnation (Jebusites), which Looper blends into one category.
“Fear is at the root of most of the mental health issues that I see, specifically anxiety and depression,” Looper said. “Depression can also stem from condemnation. Condemnation is a tool that the enemy uses to beat us up. It prevents us from being able to believe because we feel so guilty, and we feel condemned in our own thinking.”
Yet Looper believes discouragement might be the biggest obstacle to overcome.
“I feel like that’s where Christians are,” she said. “You know, discouragement causes us to step back from our faith a little bit. Looking at it from a political standpoint, the enemy is screaming the loudest and the noise appears to be super successful. I think a lot of people have become discouraged.”
Looper also views the conquest of Canaan as a reference point for success, especially given California’s heritage.
“The Promised Land was already a guarantee,” she said. “But God said, ‘It is occupied. You have to go take the territory.’ That’s what we’re facing in California. This territory already belongs to us. It was founded on God. It’s in the preamble of the California constitution. California has seen major, major revivals. We just gave up territory because the occupants of California have felt bigger than us.”
Reclaiming that territory means rejecting a complacency born of despair.
“The biggest thing I want them to take away from the book is that they are not powerless, that God is the X Factor,” Looper said. “I want them to know that their voice matters because the Bible says you will know the truth and the truth will make you free. And truth breaks chains. When a believer will stand up for the truth, it really makes a difference.
“One person’s voice and one person’s vote really counts.”
Joseph D’Hippolito has written commentaries for such outlets as the Jerusalem Post, The Wall Street Journal, Human Events, American Thinker and Front Page Magazine. He works as a freelance writer.