Kyle Mantyla's blog

Ted Cruz Announces Presidential Campaign At Religious Right School Stacked With Anti-Gay Activists

Earlier today, Sen. Ted Cruz announced his campaign for president at Liberty University (LU), the ultraconservative school established by Jerry Falwell. His decision to choose Liberty is rather telling, considering that LU is a radically right-wing university with a law school staffed by some of the most viciously anti-gay Religious Right activists operating today.

Of course, given that LU itself was founded by Falwell, who blamed gay people for 9/11, this should not come as much of a surprise.

From the founding of Liberty's law school in 2004 until last year, Mat Staver served as dean while also serving as chairman of Liberty Counsel, an anti-gay hate group, which has deep ties to the university. Staver is among the leading anti-gay Religious Right activists today and has a long anti-gay record, having blamed the 2008 financial crisis on banks that "actively promoted the homosexual agenda" and has said that lawmakers who support marriage equality "are not competent for public office." He has repeatedly called for a "revolution" to protest gay equality and warned that gay rights laws will increase violent crimekill people, lead to "forced homosexuality," and eventually destroy America and western civilization.

Staver continues to call for a revolution to fight gay marriage and is currently leading an effort to get anti-gay Christians to ignore any Supreme Court decision striking down gay marriage bans, saying that refusing to obey such a ruling is like refusing to turn a Jew over to the Nazis:

When Staver announced his resignation from Liberty's law school last year, LU President Jerry Falwell, Jr. announced that Rena Lindevaldsen would take over as interim dean. Lindevaldsen previously served as senior litigation counsel at Liberty Counsel, where she was the lead attorney in a custody case involving Lisa Miller, an "ex-gay" woman who kidnapped her daughter and fled the country rather than abide by court-ordered custody arrangements with her former partner. Lindevaldsen even wrote a book about the saga while she and Liberty Counsel continue to insist that they have no knowledge of Miller's whereabouts, despite the fact that she was reportedly living at a home in Nicaragua owned by the father of an administrative assistant working at the Liberty University Law School.

Furthermore, Staver and Lindevaldsen even reportedly taught a class at Liberty based on the Miller case in which students were instructed that the "right" thing for a Christian lawyer to do in a case such as this would be to counsel their client that they have an obligation to ignore the law and court orders and instead engage in "civil disobedience" to uphold God's law. In 2012, the school was hit with a lawsuit over its alleged involvement in Miller's kidnapping.

When Lindevaldsen spoke at a right-wing conference earlier this month, she told the audience at a breakout panel on "sexual rebellion" that when fellow conservative Christians ask her what the "big deal" is about LGBT rights, she responds that "it’s a big deal because it’s a big deal to God." Marriage equality, she told the enthusiastic audience, matters to God because it is "the heart of where Satan’s attacking":

Matt Barber is another Liberty University/Liberty Counsel crossover. He formerly served as vice president of Liberty Counsel Action and still co-hosts Liberty Counsel's daily radio program with Staver, while also holding positions as associate dean and adjunct professor at Liberty.

Baber happens to be one of the most viciously anti-gay bigots operating today, as demonstrated by his view that homosexuality is nothing more than "one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it "love.'"

He has said that marriage equality mocks God and desecrates the Church, declared that the Defense of Marriage Act was necessary to prevent children from becoming gay and getting AIDS, said that gay teens end their own lives because they "know that what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, [and] immoral," proclaimed gay adoption to be "tragic," "unconscionable," and "reprehensible," and warned that gay activists are seeking to poison the minds of children and are "running interference for the pedophile movement."

Barber has called marriage equality the "bidding of the Devil" and warned that by legalizing same-sex marriage, America is " tempting the wrath of God." He claims that HIV/AIDS is divine punishment for homosexuality. He has described homosexuality as a "cancer" that prompted Noah’s flood and will ultimately lead to Communism. Barber has said that Satan is behind gay rights efforts, asserting that demonic "spiritual pressure" was driving the campaign to end the Boy Scouts of America's ban on gay members.

He has supported repressive anti-LGBT regimes around the world, praising Russian President Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay crackdown and saying he'd like to see a ban on "gay propaganda" in the U.S., as well as defending Uganda's harsh criminal penalties for LGBT people.

Last year, Barber launched BarbWire.com, a right-wing website that quickly became an online repository for pieces written by some of the most viciously anti-gay pundits active today.

Several other anti-gay activists also hold teaching positions at Liberty University, including Shawn Akers, who has said that measures to prevent the bullying of LGBT youth are "a form of indoctrination and reeducation that smacks of socialist and Communist countries" and accused gay rights advocates of bullying Christians and persecuting them in the same way as Adolf Hitler persecuted Jews.

Judith Reisman is also a professor at Liberty - that is, when she is not busy fighting to criminalize pornography or claiming that schools are brainwashing children into becoming gay and that gay rights advocates are emulating the Nazis. Reisman has claimed that the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s Gay-Straight Alliances are modeled after the Hitler Youth and promote pedophilia.

Ken Blackwell, who earlier this month blamed gay activists for racist chants and blamed shooting sprees on gay marriage, likewise holds a teaching position at the university. Blackwell has previously compared gay people with arsonists and kleptomaniacs and same-sex couples with farm animals.

Any way you cut it, it is clear that Liberty University is home of a slew of anti-gay bigots. The fact that Ted Cruz chose this as the venue at which to announce his presidential campaign speaks volumes.

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/19/15

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 3/19/15

  • Efforts to fund a movie about Meriam Ibrahim starring Kevin Sorbo and Stacey Dash have been cancelled after Ibrahim denounced it, saying that she had never been consulted or even given her permission.
  • Mat Staver says that Benjamin Netanyahu's re-election is a "modern-day miracle."
  • Glenn Beck let loose with a typically sanctimonious post on his Facebook page about how he and his family will be counted as "the righteous among the nations."
  • Jack Cashill is pretty sure that the left is trying to foment a race war in America.
  • Sen. Tom Coburn appeared on Bryan Fischer's radio program today.
  • Finally, it appears as if John Hagee may have a bit of a scandal on his hands.

Sandy Rios: 'You Must Prepare For Martyrdom' If Gay Marriage Becomes Legal

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":

Barber: 'Ben Carson Is Dead In My Eyes' After Apology For Anti-Gay Comments

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":

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/18/15

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 3/18/15

  • 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.

Beck: Netanyahu's Victory Shows That 'The Lord Does Exist And He Is Sitting On His Throne'

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":

Beck: Dolce & Gabbana Boycott Is Like Locking Galileo In The Tower

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":

Fischer: Obama Wants Clinton To Lose So He Can Continue To Weaken America

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":

Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious