Brian Tashman's blog

Pat Robertson: Polygamy Is Biblical, But…

Marriage equality opponents like Pat Robertson often argue that same-sex couples shouldn’t have a right to get married because the U.S. government should follow the “biblical” rule that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman.

However, in response to a question today on “The 700 Club” about whether Jews in the Old Testament who were in polygamous marriages were committing adultery by having more than one spouse, Robertson said that such marriages weren’t “considered adultery” according to the Ten Commandments.

Robertson, nonetheless, said that now polygamy will become legal “because the only reason they have laws against polygamy is because it is said it is unbiblical and unchristian and therefore you shouldn’t do it."

"If you can have all the other things the Supreme Court has ruled on, believe me they are going to rule it’s unconstitutional to forbid polygamy," he said."

He clarified that while the New Testament forbids polygamy, men in the Old Testament who had multiple wives still had “covenant relationships with all of them — that’s in the book.”

Watch:

Voters In Swing States Don't Want Donald Trump To Appoint The Next Supreme Court Justices

Rather than hold hearings on Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, Senate Republicans have instead said that the seat should be held open for a potential President Trump to fill.

Trump, who has pledged to outsource the role of appointing justices to right-wing groups like the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, said that he will only nominate those who will “unpass” the abortion rights ruling Roe v. Wade and oppose Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark marriage equality decision.

According to a new Public Policy Polling survey of swing states that also have close U.S. Senate races, the GOP’s maneuver appears to be a bust, as voters don’t trust Trump, who doesn’t seem to understand how the judicial system works, to fill the vacancy.

The poll, conducted in Arizona, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where Republican incumbents are facing tight re-election races, found wide support for the Senate to move on Garland’s nomination:

Because voters trust President Obama to make a Supreme Court choice and don’t trust Trump to, there’s overwhelming support for the Senate to move forward with confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. More than 60% of voters in each of these states supports hearings for Garland, by margins ranging from 38 to 46 points. That includes overwhelming support from critical independent voters, and even plurality support from Republicans in 4 of the 6 states

In Iowa, home of Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a clear majority — 64 percent — of voters want the Senate to hold hearings on Garland’s nomination, as do a plurality of Republicans.

Voters across the board “say that they’re less likely to vote for [Republican incumbents] because of their opposition to hearings for Merrick Garland.”

Rather than act to fill the vacancy on the court, it appears that Republicans would rather take their unprecedented obstructionism to the next level.

Pat Robertson: God Will Punish America For Abortion Rights Decision

Pat Robertson reacted today to the “terrible” Supreme Court ruling striking down parts of a Texas anti-abortion law by declaring that America will face divine judgment for allowing abortion to be legal.

We have slaughtered over 55 million unborn babies in this country and we’re going to pay a terrible price as a nation for allowing that. And when it’s sanctioned and approved of by the highest court in the land, then we all stand responsible for it and we will pay, all of us, as a nation, because the Supreme Court and the president and the leaders of our country said that’s what they want.

And those unborn babies are crying out, their blood will cry out against us as a nation and one of these days what’s going to be happen is going to be horrible. So, this is the law, you can talk about the law, it’s legal to have an abortion, Roe v. Wade, and so forth. But what is happening is the slaughter of the unborn is exceeding in America the slaughter in any nation I am aware of in the history of mankind.

Five Right-Wing Predictions About Marriage Equality That Still Haven't Come True

Sunday marked the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark marriage equality decision, which, if Religious Right activists were to be believed, was to usher in a horrible tyranny that would lead to mass deaths and war.

Of course, the Right’s doomsday predictions about what would happen if same-sex marriage became legal nationwide were totally unfounded, and only a tiny contingent of conservativescame to a protest the ruling in Washington, D.C., this weekend.

While the conservative movement certainly hasn’t given up on the fight against LGBT rights and is thrilled by Donald Trump’spromise to appoint anti-LGBT judges who would oppose the marriage ruling, many activists have once again shown that they are more interested in stirring up fears about the LGBT community than in the facts.

Here are just five of the craziest predictions that conservative politicians and pundits made about Obergefell v. Hodges, all of which are yet to come true.

1) War’s A-Brewin’

Many “mainstream” Religious Right leaders said that if the Supreme Court were to strike down state bans on same-sex marriage, Americans should prepare for a revolution.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, for example, said there would be an anti-gay “revolution” that would “just break this nation apart” if marriage bans were overturned, warning that such a ruling would “literally split this nation in two and create such political and cultural turmoil that I’m not sure we could recover from it.”

Mat Staver and Matt Barber of the Religious Right legal group Liberty Counsel made similar statements, with Barber declaring that “revolution is at hand” and Staver claiming that there would be a “new American Revolution” resisting marriage equality. Former House GOP Leader Tom DeLay insisted that “all hell” was “going to break loose” if the court sided with LGBT activists on marriage.

“We’ve got to fight to our deaths to save this great country,” said Cliff Kincaid of the conservative group Accuracy In Media, while Vision America’s Rick Scarborough vowed that he was willing to “burn” in defiance of gay marriage, which he said would “unleash the spirit of hell on the nation.”

One year later, no anti-gay revolution has occurred and Rick Scarborough has not self-immolated.

2) Secession

Just before the ruling, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah called on governors “to secede” from the union in order “to offer a refuge” for the “millions of Americans” who he believed would flee the country as a result of marriage equality. “The rewards could be great. I would certainly consider relocating. How about you?” he asked. “If not a state, are there any nations in the world interested in a pilgrimage by millions of Americans?”

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson warned that the U.S. could witness a second civil war over a same-sex marriage decision and televangelist Rick Joyner predicted that the court would “start an unraveling where our country fractures like it hasn’t since the Civil War.”

Self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs, for her part, said that she and other “prophets” had heard from God about a great “conservative revolt” and a “War between the States” that would take place as states threatened to secede to preserve “biblical marriage”.

Conservative activist Alan Keyes said the ruling amounted to “a just cause for war” and was “likely to produce the separation and dissolution of the United States,” while one author, former Reagan aide Douglas MacKinnon, called on a group of Southern states to form a new country called Reagan that would not tolerate gay rights.

We are still waiting for such a brave governor to threaten secession.

3) God’s Punishment

Gay marriage would lead to a divine reckoning, many conservative pundits predicted, possibly in the form of a global financial crash, a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack or “a fireball from space.”

“It is just a question of how soon the wrath of God is going to come on this land,” televangelist Pat Robertson warned. Florida-based pastor Carl Gallups, now a staunch Donald Trump ally, maintained that “this ruling may prove to be the final death knell of divine judgment upon our once great nation.”

Radio host Rick Wiles predicted that “God will cut off America’s food supply and this nation will be hit with disease, pestilence, drought, natural calamities and a great shaking” and urged people to flee the country.

End Times author Jonathan Cahn even wondered if God would use Hurricane Joaquin to damage Washington, D.C., as a sign of his displeasure with the same-sex marriage decision.

The hurricane, in the end, did not hit D.C.

4) Pedophilia

Following the passage of the 2009 law that expanded hate crime protections to LGBT people, many right-wing politicians and analysts falsely claimed that the act legalized pedophilia. Of course, it did nothing of the sort and child abuse is still a crime.

Many of these same people claimed years later that the Obergefell ruling would also legalize pedophilia, which, obviously, it did not do.

Robertson said the ruling would turn pedophilia into a “constitutional right” and permit “relationships with children ” (along with “love affairs between men and animals”).

DeLay warned that the ruling would pave the way for a secret government plan to legalize “12 new perversions, things like bestiality, polygamy [and] having sex with little boys.” Ben Carson, then a GOP candidate for president, suggested that NAMBLA would benefit from the ruling.

5) Outlawing Religious Belief

Predictions about the government throwing pastors in jail, outlawing the Bible, and even murdering Christians came flooding in after the Obergefell decision.

Mike Huckabee said that America was witnessing “the criminalization of Christianity” and that any pastor who didn’t want to officiate a wedding for a same-sex couple would be liable to face criminal charges :

If the courts rule that people have a civil right not only to be a homosexual but a civil right to have a homosexual marriage, then a homosexual couple coming to a pastor who believes in biblical marriage who says ‘I can’t perform that wedding’ will now be breaking the law. It’s not just saying, ‘I’m sorry you have a preference.’ No, you will be breaking the law subject to civil for sure and possible criminal penalties for violating the law…. If you do practice biblical convictions and you carry them out and you do what you’ve been led by the spirit of God to do, your behavior will be criminal.

No pastor has been arrested for refusing to officiate a same-sex couple’s wedding, reading from the Bible or preaching against homosexuality, all things that conservatives predicted would happen.

Some right-wing pundits even thought that the ruling would lead to forced gay relationships and parents losing custody of their children.

Many pundits, however, have wrongly used the case of Kim Davis to claim that their fears were realized.

Davis, a Kentucky county clerk, was temporarily incarcerated by a federal judge when she refused to abide by court orders which found that she was unlawfully denying same-sex couples marriage licenses. Davis, who boasted that she was defying the Supreme Court decision and subsequent rulings because she was working under “ God’s authority ,” was released after deputy clerks in the county office agreed to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Davis was not incarcerated because of her religious objections but because, in her role as a government employee, she clearly defied the rule of law. She was not attempting to exercise her religious freedom as a private citizen but was trying to impose her personal religious beliefs on the functions of government, and make all the people in her jurisdiction abide by her faith.

As Janet Porter warned in her anti-gay film, “Light Wins,” “our freedoms are on fire.”

Pat Robertson: Revolt Against Obama's Muslim Brotherhood Government

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson accused President Obama of coddling the Muslim Brotherhood and bringing the group into “the inner circles of the government of the United States.”

Robertson hinted that the president may be a secret Muslim, falsely claiming that Obama attended an Islamic madrassa while living in Indonesia. He also falsely claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood inspired the Palestine Liberation Organization and Hezbollah, secular and Shiite rivals of the group, respectively.

After declaring that “the government doesn’t want us” to fight terrorist groups, Robertson said that extremists are the ones who truly follow Islam: “The people who are distorting Islam are not these radical groups, they are following right down the line what the Quran says. The ones who are distorting it are the so-called moderates who refuse to go along with it.”

“It’s shocking, it should be horrifying and it’s time the American people stand up against it,” Robertson said. “We’re being taken over, it’s a very subtle thing. Europe is being overrun and taken over and country after country after country are facing Islamic extremists and it is very hurtful.”

“We have got to do something in this country,” he added. “We’re looking at a revolution in England and maybe looking for a revolution in this country. We’ve had enough.”

Rick Wiles Wonders If ISIS Killed Christina Grimmie

Yesterday, Rick Wiles appeared on “The Jim Bakker Show” to discuss the threat of ISIS in America after the attack at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando.

Wiles, who hosts the conspiracy theory radio program “Trunews,” said that he also thought that Christina Grimmie, a singer who was murdered in Orlando by an obsessed fan, was targeted by ISIS. “The very first thought I had when I heard about it was, ‘Was it an Islamic attack?’ Now, there’s been no reports about it. That story disappeared because it was overshadowed by the Orlando massacre. But a guy just walked up at the end of a concert and shot her for no reason. The reason I instantly considered the possibility it was a hit because just days before that killing ISIS had published a kill list.”

Later, Bakker and Wiles agreed that martial law is coming to America, which Bakker cited as a reason for viewers to purchase his ministry’s survival food buckets.

“We are one crisis from martial law,” Wiles said, warning that U.S. officials will use martial law to stay in office indefinitely and that the upcoming election “possibly could be postponed.”

Wiles went on to mention a discredited story about the supposed arrest of “a Middle Eastern woman who had in her possession the drawings and plans of natural gas pipelines.”

“We’re headed this summer, I am convinced, this summer and fall, unless God intervenes, this is going to be the bloodiest, goriest time in America since the Civil War, this summer and fall,” he said. “If God does not intervene, Jim, this summer and fall will be the bloodiest since the Civil War.”

Rick Wiles Praises Donald Trump's Extraordinary Humility

Among the Religious Right leaders meeting with Donald Trump on Tuesday was Rick Wiles, the far-right radio host who uses his daily “Trunews” program to push bizarre conspiracy theories and extremist screeds.

Wiles said he was blown away by Trump’s appearance, hailing him as “a very humble man” and “very presidential.”

“He talked and acted like a president,” he said. “Very respectful, very thoughtful. I, quite frankly, was very impressed by him as a person, as a man.

Wiles added that Trump came across as a “calm, respectful, very professional CEO.”

“I believe that I saw the next president of the United States,” he said. “I think Donald Trump is going to be very, very friendly to the evangelical Christian community of the United States of America. I’m coming back with a different perspective about Donald Trump. I didn’t have a negative perspective to start with but I’m seeing him today in a much better light.”

Tony Perkins: Donald Trump Can Return God's Blessing To America

On Tuesday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins chatted with Sandy Rios, who was guest-hosting his radio program, about the recent meeting between Donald Trump and Religious Right leaders.

Perkins said that he is voting for Trump even though he isn’t very excited about it, arguing that “evangelicals have been under constant attack and marginalization by the policies of Barack Obama” and Trump will at least put an end to this anti-Christian persecution.

Rios, the American Family Association official who, like Perkins, was a vocal supporter of Ted Cruz, added that many conservatives feel like they are making a decision similar to “Sophie’s Choice” where “she had to choose between her two children, both were going to be killed or she chose that one will live, and I mean that’s pretty dramatic, but really for some Christians, voting for Donald Trump is something like that.”

“This is not something that I relish, that I am excited about,” Perkins said. “But from a pragmatic standpoint, I think there’s an opportunity.”

If Trump “walks in that grace that is available,” Perkins said, then he could surround himself with people who could “help him cast a vision that moves America back to the country that honors God and therefore would be a recipient of His blessing.”

Donald Trump Courts Activist Who Wants Abortion Providers Put To Death

During his summit with Religious Right leaders yesterday, Donald Trump took time to meet with Troy Newman, the anti-abortion extremist in charge of Operation Rescue.

Newman, who was the co-chair of Ted Cruz’s Pro-Life Coalition, said that Trump is the only candidate left in the race who will challenge abortion rights. Newman’s deputy Cheryl Sullenger said in a statement that Trump pledged to:

1. Appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices, which have been pre-vetted by the conservative Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation.

2. Appoint strong pro-life judges to the Federal Courts.

3. Repeal and replace Obamacare and the abortion mandate that forces the insured to pay for abortions and abortifacient drugs.

4. Actively support and sign into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

5. Defund America’s largest supplier of abortion, Planned Parenthood.

None of these promises is new, as despite media stories about Trump’s supposedly “moderate” social views, the presumptive GOP nominee has been campaigning on his vow to put anti-choice judges on the court, cut access to reproductive services and defund Planned Parenthood as long as it offers abortion care. Trump has renounced his previous support for abortion rights and quickly backtracked after he recently told CBS that he didn’t want to change abortion laws.

Meeting with Newman would go a long way toward shoring up his anti-choice credentials.

Newman spearheaded the recent smear campaign against Planned Parenthood that falsely accused the organization of selling fetal tissue and has built an entire career around harassing abortion providers . Sullenger, his Operation Rescue colleague, even served “time in jail for conspiring to bomb a California abortion clinic in the 1980s.”

Newman’s views are so extreme that he said a man convicted of murdering an abortion provider was “little more than a political prisoner” who should have been allowed to argue that he was performing a “justifiable defensive action” and “present a defense that claimed that the killing of the abortionist was necessary to save the lives of the pre-born babies that were scheduled to be killed by abortion that day.”

He and Sullenger once wrote at length about why it is a government responsibility to execute abortion providers:

In addition to our personal guilt in abortion, the United States government has abrogated its responsibility to properly deal with the blood-guilty. This responsibility rightly involves executing convicted murderers, including abortionists, for their crimes in order to expunge bloodguilt from the land and people.



Rejecting that innocent blood is to reject the only standard that is effective against innocent bloodshed, excluding the lawful execution of the murderers, which is commanded by God in Scripture.

In the same book, “Their Blood Cries Out,” the two also suggest that women who have had an abortion are “murderesses” who shouldn’t be treated any differently than abortion providers or “any other mother” who killed “any other family member,” and that God is now punishing America for abortion rights with terrorist attacks like 9/11, cancer and HIV/AIDS. The California drought,inclement weather and financial turmoil, according to Newman, are all results of the legalization of abortion.

But, as we’ve said before, there appears to be no one who is too extreme to be embraced by Trump.

Mat Staver: Gay Marriage Is A 'Lie From The Pit Of Hell'

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver appeared on “Crosstalk” on Monday to reflect on the upcoming anniversary of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, declaring that same-sex marriage will usher in pernicious consequences for America.

Staver, who gained notoriety for representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis during her attempt to defy the ruling, compared gay rights advocates to communist dictators who sought to suppress religious groups, predicting that Davis “is not going to be the last one jailed.”

Same-sex marriage, Staver said, “puts every household at risk because same-sex marriage, by its nature, says that, ‘boys and girls, you don’t need moms and dads,’ that they are completely irrelevant, that two men or two women are just as good as a mother and a father and that’s a complete lie from the pit of hell. It’s just simply not true. To deprive forever a boy of ever having the opportunity of a father or a mother or a girl of a father or a mother is damaging and we will see the damage that is ultimately reaped against these children as they grow up and become our future leaders.”

Later, Staver criticized LGBT rights supporters for using the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando “to promote the homosexual, LGBT agenda — as shameful as that is.”

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