Kyle Mantyla's blog

Liberty Counsel Continues to Promote the Latest Fabricated Case of Christian Persecution

As we have pointed out many times before, once a mythical incident of supposed Christian victimization gets embraced by the Religious Right, it takes on a life of its own as no amount of evidence pointing out that the incident never happened will stop if from being spread.

And that principle was demonstrated today on Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast where hosts Matt Barber and Shawn Akers juxtaposed the news of Jason Collins' coming out against the story of Derrick Hayes, a high school runner who was supposedly disqualified from an event for thanking God after finishing a race.

While someone like Collins is hailed as a hero, Akers said, someone like Hayes is "almost criminalized":

Of course, as we pointed out earlier this week, the entire saga of Hayes' supposed victimization was false, as even Hayes himself admits: 

Based on the UIL’s investigation, the student athlete raised his hand and gestured forward at the conclusion of the 4x100-meter relay. The meet official approached the student-athlete in an effort to warn him of a possible disqualification should that behavior continue. In the opinion of the official, the student reacted disrespectfully. Based on his reaction, the student-athlete was subsequently disqualified. Any decision to disqualify a student-athlete at any track meet must be upheld by the head meet referee. The meet official and the meet referee conferred, and the disqualification was upheld on-site. At no point during the discussions surrounding the disqualification at the meet was the issue of religious expression raised by any parties.

The UIL’s investigation also revealed that all coaches involved were notified prior to the regional meet that any gestures in violation of the National Federation of State High School Associations track and field rule against unsporting behavior would be grounds for disqualification. Coaches were instructed to discuss this with their student-athletes prior to all races.

To assist the UIL in its investigation, the student-athlete’s parents submitted a letter stating that their son’s religious freedoms were not violated. “In looking back at the conclusion of the 4x100 race, we realize that Derrick could have handled the win in a different manner,” KC and Stacey Hayes said in the letter. “It was not our intention to force the issue that our son’s religious freedom was violated. Nor do we feel that way now. After discussing this with our son, we have come to the conclusion that his religious rights were not violated.”

The student-athlete who was disqualified also submitted a letter during the investigation stating: “Although I am very thankful for all God has given me and blessed me with, on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at the Regional Track Meet in Kingsville, TX, my actions upon winning the 4x100 relay were strictly the thrill of victory. With this being said, I do not feel my religious rights or freedoms were violated.”

Even though Hayes admits that he was not disqualified for thanking God, Liberty Counsel continues to spread the myth, thus demonstrating yet again they aren't going to stop promoting a good tale of victimhood just because it happens to be demonstrably false.

Bryan Fischer Won't Answer a Simple 'Yes' or 'No' Question

We seem to recall that after the last time Bryan Fischer appeared on Alan Colmes' radio program, he vowed never to appear on his show again.  But he must have changed his mind, because last night he returned to Colmes' program to discuss a variety of subjects, like his belief that President Obama will seek to forcibly disarm Christians and that homosexuality will be reponsible for the collapse of the western economy.

But things took a turn for the awkward near the end of the interview when Colmes asked Fischer about his theory that being selective in one's choice of sexual partners demonstrates that being gay is a choice.  When Colmes asked Fischer to explain this, Fischer said it simply proves that "people are not obligated to act on every sexual impulse that they experience," which prompted Colmes to ask Fischer if he had ever experienced any gay impulses ... but Fischer wasn't about to engage in that conversation:

Colmes: Have you ever had a gay impulse?

Fischer: (Laughing) Alan, I am not going to talk about that ...

Colmes: I'm just wondering ...

Fischer: Alan, I'm not going to go there. Give it a rest Alan ...

Colmes: It's a simple yes or no question.

Fischer: We're not going to talk about that.

Colmes: Because maybe if you've been able to overcome your gay impulses and you've been successful in doing it, you could be a model for other people you'd like to see act the same way.

Fischer: The focus here, Alan, is that everybody experiences sexual impulses that if they acted on those impulses, it would destroy them.

Colmes: Well, can you give me an example from your own life? What would be some of yours?

Fischer: You've experienced them ...

Colmes: I have?

Fischer: I've experienced them. Every man, every woman has experienced certain sexual impulses that, if they acted on them, if they conducted themselves by yielding to those impulses, it would destroy them. Ask Tiger Woods about that.

Colmes: I don't think I've ever had sexual impulses that would destroy the society or the culture or make me a deviant in some way. I honestly don't think that's ever happened, even in your eyes, so I'm surprised. I wonder what impulses you're talking about. If you've had them, I'd love to know what they are.

Fischer: Well the focus Alan is on sexual conduct, sexual behavior, not on sexual impulse ...

Colmes: So you won't tell me whether you yourself have been able to overcome a gay impulse?

Fischer: Alan, give it a rest.

We are guessing that after this exchange, Fischer will probably renew his vow never to appear on Colmes' radio program again.

Glenn Beck's Ever-Expanding Boston Bombing Conspiracy Theory

Glenn Beck spent a good deal of his radio program yesterday discussing the three women rescued from a home in Cleveland in which they had been held for years. Beck was particularly incensed by reports from neighbors claiming that they had called police several times to report seeing strange things happening at the house but that the police never investigated.

Authorities say there are no records of any such reports, but that doesn't really matter to Beck because it is all further proof that people should be unwilling to give any more power to the government because the police cannot keep us safe.

Somehow that reminded Beck of his on-going Boston Marathon bombing conspiracy theory, which prompted him to declare that Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, the Saudi national whom Beck has accused of being an al Qadea "control agent" who recruited the Tsarnaev brothers to carry out the bombing, was "the money man" who financed the entire operation.

When asked by his co-host, Stu Burguiere, whether he was just speculating about this or actually reporting it, Beck simply repeated that "he's the money man" before adding that "there were twelve people involved and all of the cops know it" but every one is being kept quiet because of political pressure:

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/8/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/8/13

  • It is nice to know that someone like Mark Sanford can abandon his government post and his family to fly out of the country to visit his mistress and then get re-elected to Congress by conservative family values Republican voters in South Carolina.
  • Rev. Steve Kern, the husband of Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern, has announced that he is seeking a state Senate seat.
  • Samuel Rodriguez says that right-wing Christian activists will abandon immigration reform efforts if gay couples are included in the legislation.
  • Is anyone shocked?: "A co-author of a new Heritage Foundation study highly critical of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration proposal also wrote a doctoral dissertation in which he argued that immigrants generally had an I.Q. that was 'substantially lower than that of the white native population.'”
  • No, Tamerlan Tsarnaev will not be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
  • Finally, Gary Bauer says that political correctness "has promoted institutional intolerance of traditional ideas and views. As a result, many people of faith are being pushed into the same proverbial closet that everyone else has been invited to leave."

Matthew Hagee: Jason Collins Is 'Sadly Deceived and Desperately Confused'

On yesterday's "Hagee Hotline," Matthew Hagee was asked to share his opinion on the news that NBA player Jason Collins had come out as gay.

Hagee was predictably dismayed that the media was celebrating someone who "comes out and confesses to a depraved behavior, an unnatural thing." Comparing Collins to Tim Tebow, Hagee lamented that instead of holding Tebow up as a role model, society is treating "a man who lives his life in a behavior that is an abomination to God as if he were a hero ... He's not a hero; he's sadly deceived and desperately confused":

Glenn Beck Has a 'Bizarre Gift'

Glenn Beck began his program last night with a segment about the rescue of the three women who had been held captive for years in a Cleveland home. Beck was particularly captivated by Charles Ramsey, the man who helped to free them, because Ramsey says he has just "felt" that something was wrong with that house ever since he moved in.

This idea that certain people can just "feel" that something is wrong plays directly into Beck's fundamental belief that the entire world is falling apart all around him even if other people cannot or refuse to see it.  And to demonstrate that Beck is one of the people with this sort of gift, he told a story about briefly meeting a couple and knowing immediately that something was wrong, only to discover later that the man had been physically abusing the woman.

"I have this bizarre gift," Beck said, "that occasionally I can look people in the eye and I can feel them and I don't know anything about them, I don't know what they're going through but I can feel pain sometimes."

And Beck demonstrated just how this gift works by explaining that when he was at the NRA convention this weekend, a man came through the book-signing line when Beck suddenly felt compelled to tell him that everything is going to be okay.  But before he could, the man took the book and walked away, forcing Beck to call the book-signing to a halt so he could chase the man down through the convention hall. 

When he finally caught up to him and delivered the message, "the guy immediately broke down and hugged me and started to cry":

Klingenschmitt: 'ENDA Is the End of the World for Christian Employers'

A few weeks ago, a bipartisan group of legislators once again introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in both the House and the Senate, which will prohibit "employers, employment agencies, and labor unions from using an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotion, or compensation"; such protections are already provided based on things like race, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability.

But "Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt is not buying it because he knows that ENDA is really all about driving Christian businesses right out of existence.

"ENDA is the end of the world for Christian employers," Klingenschmitt claimed, saying that ENDA is not about equality but rather "bankrupting Christian business owners." Even more frightening, ENDA is also apparently about forcing major corporations "to give homosexual bonus pay to your gay or lesbian lover" ... whatever that means.

Saying that ENDA "will be the end of Christian business as we know it," Klingenschmitt asserted that there is a demonic spirit at work behind the push for this legislation before asking why gays and lesbians should be entitled to employment protections when they are not going to Heaven.

"If the Bible will not give eternal benefits to homosexuals, if they cannot inherit the kingdom of God, why," Klingenschmitt asked, "on this world, should they get bonus pay or employment benefits?"

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/7/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/7/13

  • The Government Is Not God PAC has "very publicly refused to endorse" Mark Sanford or, as they describe him, "the confessed adulterer who as Commander-in-Chief of South Carolina deserted his post for several days for a 'hook-up' he had arranged online."
  • Is Mike Huckabee already thinking of ending his daily radio show?
  • Rick Scarborough, the anti-gay activist who believes that AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality, will be on Glenn Beck's television program on Thursday.
  • Another Religious Right tale of Christian victimization bites the dust.
  • Finally, CWA's Penny Nance doubled down on her claim that the Enlightenment led to the Holocaust: "Atrocities including Hitler’s anti-Semitism, Stalin’s Marxism, or Mao’s communism — all of which inflicted pain upon millions — resulted from the destruction of a clear moral order, a reliance on capricious human wisdom, and an addiction to power. Had their morality been attached to a faith rooted in a higher, universal standard, they could not have believed what that did." Sadly, her case was so convincing that CWA seems to have removed the post.
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