Religious Right activists and pastors gathered today for a conference titled "U-Turn: A Conversation with Pastors on Society, Culture and Leadership" that was organized by the Pennsylvania Pastors Network.
Among the participants was Sandy Rios, the American Family Association's director of governmental affairs and daily radio host, who repeated her warning to those in attendance that they had better "prepare for martyrdom" if marriage equality becomes legal throughout the country.
"There is persecution afoot," she declared, citing various examples of Christian business owners who are supposedly being persecuted by laws banning discrimination in public services. Eventually, she warned that the push for marriage equality would gravely impact "your wives, your sisters, your children who now are going to be forced to go into public restrooms and share them with men dressed like women."
"In Massachusetts, where homosexual marriage has been legal for ten years," she said, "the stories would make the hair stand up on the back of your neck."
Rios went on to state that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of gay marriage, it will force every Christian in American to make a choice and so they had better be prepared to take a stand.
"You must prepare for martyrdom," she said. "I don't know what it 's going to look like, but it's coming":
On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio show, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and Matt Barber declared that Ben Carson has effectively destroyed his presidential chances by apologizing for his statement that prison sex proves that homosexuality is a choice and vowing not to talk about the issue of gay rights anymore.
Barber blasted Carson for backtracking after he had "rightly" stated that being gay is a choice, saying "it took, I think, a day for him to come out with hat-in-hand and give this blathering mea culpa, just apologizing and saying how he'll never do this again and then promising never to talk about this issue again. So they have intimidated him into silence. From a political standpoint, now Ben Carson is dead in my eyes."
Staver agreed, saying that there is no way that Carson can refuse to talk about this issue "because it is a real threat against our faith and freedom and we can't ignore it."
"We need politicians and we need leaders who can speak boldly on this issue and who will not shrink," Staver said. "Saying that you're never going to speak on it and apologizing is not the kind of leadership you need":
Grover Norquist says that he welcomes the NRA investigation into him that has been fomented by Glenn Beck's attacks, saying that he hopes it will "put an end once and for all" to the campaign against him.
Donald Trump will not be renewing his TV show because he is launching a presidential exploratory committee. This is going to be so awesome!
Dick Cheney says that President Obama is "the worst president of my lifetime, without question." Try not to choke on the irony.
Bryan Fischer asserts that "43% of homosexuals admit that they've had more than 500 sexual partners in one lifetime."
Finally, while Glenn Beck is busy saying that boycotting companies is basically fascism, his website is reporting that anti-gay activists are calling for the president of American Baptist College to be fired for allowing a lesbian pastor to speak on campus. Will Beck spend a single minute decrying this? We won't hold our breath.
On his radio program today, Glenn Beck declared that the victory of Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party in yesterday's Israeli election proves that "the Lord does exist."
Repeating the bogus right-wing claim that the Obama administration had used tax dollars to fund an anti-Netanyahu election campaign, Beck declared that "our administration is completely out of control and criminal," but that God carried Likud to victory despite the president's dirty tricks.
"The Lord does exist and he is sitting on his throne," Beck declared, saying that there was no way that Netanyahu should have won the election and the fact that he did is proof that "God exists."
"God exists for us as well," he continued. "No matter what they have, no matter how dirty they play it, if we do what we're supposed to do, the scales will be even. God will have his thumb on the scale":
Glenn Beck is outraged over the fact that Elton John has called for a boycott of Dolce & Gabbana after the fashion designers voiced their opposition to same-sex families and in vitro fertilization, saying that such a boycott is like locking Galileo in a tower for opposing the conventional science of the day.
Beck spent the opening monologue of his television program last night warning that "we are on the path of putting Galileo back in the tower" because progressives are out to destroy anyone who holds different opinions and cited the Dolce & Gabbana boycott as evidence.
"Is this the kind of freedom that we're at?" Beck asked. "Anyone who feels the same as Dolce and Gabbana, let me ask you, are they empowered to express their view or are they now afraid that Hollywood and progressives will come after them? The party of progress is making progress indeed, back to the Dark Ages, back to the days when differing scientific views were labeled heresy and black magic. As the march toward conformity continues, America gets farther and farther away from the place where those who will change the world with art and science and music, those who will bring on the next Renaissance just might find themselves locked up in a tower and sadly never paint the next Mona Lisa":
As we have noted before, as long as Bryan Fischer has some source that he can cite, he is willing to treat even the most unverified and baseless statements as fact, so long as they support his agenda or conspiracy theories.
Fischer demonstrated this trait once again on his radio program yesterday, citing the bogus claim put forth by discredited right-wing journalist Ed Klein that White House adviser Valerie Jarrett was responsible for leaking the Hillary Clinton email story to the media as evidence of his theory that President Obama doesn't want Clinton to become the next president so that he can continue his efforts to destroy America.
As Fischer sees it, since Obama's mission is to weaken and undermine America, he will be better positioned to continue doing that once he is out of office if there is a Republican in the White House.
"He can criticize at will," Fischer said. "He can tee off, he can complain, he can whine, he can condemn, he can criticize, he can fly all over the world as a former president, running down this country to anybody who will pay him a handsome fee to come and speak."
"If his agenda is to weaken this country," he continued, "if his agenda is to transform this country into something that you and I don't recognize, I believe he feels he can do that better if Hillary Clinton loses than if Hillary Clinton wins. I think this is all about President Obama wanting to preserve his ability to continue to be a community agitator":
Earlier this year, the restaurant chain Chipotle stopped selling pork at several hundred stores after cutting ties with one of its suppliers for violating the chain's animal welfare standards.
Today, Sen. James Lankford and Rep. Randy Forbes published a truly absurd op-ed in The Christian Post using Chipotle as an example of the importance of protecting the "corporate conscience" of Christian business owners who want to discriminate against gay customers.
Seemingly unaware of the very clear difference between a company refusing to do business with a particular supplier and one openly discriminating against an entire class of people, Lankford and Forbes argue that "protecting corporate conscience" is vital so that the right of Christians to discriminate against gays is protected in the name of religious freedom:
It is crucial that the same freedom enjoyed by the leadership of Chipotle remains equally available to business owners of faith. Indeed, much more so as freedom of religion is explicitly protected by the First Amendment. We cannot simultaneously laud the leaders of a business motivated by a commitment to environmental sustainability and discriminate against the leaders of a business motivated by religious belief.
If a decision based on moral convictions is celebrated, shouldn't a decision based on the free exercise of religion – a right guaranteed in the Constitution – be even more so?
To be sure, religious freedom is not just a choice of convenience – it is a fundamental right given to all Americans by the Constitution. As we recognize Chipotle's decision, let's remember that a clear constitutionally supported civil right of religious freedom should be cherished and respected in every corner of this nation.
We live in a country whose laws respect freedom and diversity, and our Constitution has always had robust protections for all Americans to live and work by their religious convictions. Americans do not check their religious freedom at the door when they leave their home or place of worship and enter the public sphere.
We must not fall prey to the hypocrisy of defending the freedom of operating a business on convictions of sustainability, but reject that same freedom when the convictions are based in faith.