Manly, Yes

An Aventura minister pumps testosterone into the faith

Townhall, a branch of the Heritage Foundation, also syndicates Giles's column to other conservative publications like the Washington Times. What's more, Giles has been tapped as a pundit by CNN's Anderson Cooper 360¬ and the Dennis Prager Show.

The Aventura minister uses his column to lash out against liberals, who he says "spit on the Word of God." He also bashes gender-bending. In his view, the "antagonistic metrosexual 'thang'" is just another " bigger-than-Dallas-sized sign that America could be headed down the toilet." As for feminists, they "live to walk on our flag" and "hate anything that's decent."

Giles has also argued, "It would be better for some kids to have been aborted," than to be born into this "cruddy culture." And he has dubbed Islam a religion of "unmitigated murderous madness." To remedy the problem, he says, the U.S. government should send a "first-world military shock wave through their quaint, archaic culture."

Giles is also a cartoonist
Giles is also a cartoonist

Illegal immigrants are also on his target list. In fact he recently offered them this warning: "Our legal citizens are getting increasingly fed up with your criminal relocation dreams."

Giles's tough talk is welcomed by the 200 members of his church. The group meets in the Royal Palm conference room of Aventura's posh Residence Inn amid bismuth pink carpeting and mahogany trim. On a recent Sunday morning, slumping teenagers, aging housewives, and muscular twentysomethings with camouflage Bibles gathered there to hear him preach.

The service began with some rocky Christian hymns. Then Giles sauntered up to the front of the room and placed his hands on his hips. "Why are you so quiet?" he asked. "You turn into Quakers?" Then he leaned over the lectern and growled, "If there's any place to make noise, it's Clash Christian Church."

But the silence lingered.

Finally a burly man with Jesus tattoos yelled, "Yeah, come on!"

"Not you," Giles jeered. "If you say, 'Come on,' again, I'm going to stuff potatoes in your mouth."

Part of the goal of his aggressive style and message is to "jerk the slack out of" slacking Christians. He urges followers to toughen up, quit complaining, and take action by stepping into the public square. This is because, like many members of the religious right, Giles believes America was founded as a Christian nation. "My ultimate goal," he wrote by e-mail, "is to help the U.S., via my little influence, retain the traditional Judeo-Christian values that have made this nation great."

And this means injecting biblical principles into government. To underscore this point, he regularly airs a "Moment in American History" segment on his show. It's hosted by David Barton, a controversial evangelical historian who advocates razing the wall between church and state. (Barton is also vice chair of the Texas GOP and a consultant to the Bush administration.)

What's more, Giles pushes people to take command of their personal lives. And this is a large part of his appeal. Sam Hacman, a 30-year-old commercial real estate broker, first attended Clash Christian Church after hearing Giles's WMCU program. "I grew up in the Christian faith," he says. "But I'd never heard anything like his message. He was really challenging people to get off their ass."

At first Hacman was surprised by Giles's appearance. The pastor's sinewy build doesn't seem to square with his baritone voice. And he's better preened than his macho message would suggest. But Hacman was drawn in by the minister's charisma. "It energizes you," he explains. "When you leave, you feel alive."

Others say Giles's get-tough formula helps them weather life's trials. Eric North, a 31-year-old firefighter, began attending Clash Christian Church after his wife left him in 2004. He says the ministry helped him through the ordeal. "A lot of us come from very broken lives," he explains. "Doug shows us how to put them back together — how to strap on the cojones and be a man God's way."

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