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Franklin Graham: Christians Must Take Over Every Mayorship In The Country To Stop 'Evil' LGBT Rights

Franklin Graham is visiting every state in the country this year as part of his “Decision America” tour, in which he is offering technically nonpartisan encouragement to his followers to “live out their faith” in the upcoming elections.

At a stop in Atlanta this week, Graham spoke about the need for conservative Christians to not only vote, but to run for office, saying that if every city in America had a Christian mayor, we wouldn’t have “evil” and “wicked” policies like LGBT nondiscrimination measures. Better Georgia first brought the remarks to our attention.

“Can you imagine the impact if every community and every city across this great land of ours was run by Christian men and women in that office as mayor,” he asked, “the difference that that would make in our cities, if we had Christian mayors?”

Graham brought up Charlotte, North Carolina, where he claimed that “90 percent of Christians” failed to vote, allowing a candidate who is supportive of LGBT rights to be elected. Charlotte’s city council rejected an LGBT nondiscrimination measure last year after opponents fixated on transgender people using the bathroom of their choice, a new flashpoint of anti-LGBT activists.

“And we got a woman and her goal is the gay-lesbian agenda,” Graham said, “trying to get transgenders into the bathrooms so that if a person wakes up in the morning and they feel like they’re a woman that’s a man and he wants to go into a ladies’ restroom then they can do that. And that’s her goal. And I can tell you right now that that’s wicked and that’s evil. Men belong in men’s bathrooms and women belong in women’s bathrooms and we don’t need men and predators going into women’s bathrooms, I’m just telling you.”

“Now, that’s what happens when Christians don’t vote,” he declared. “That’s what we get, this is the kind of garbage we get.”

Of course, not all Christians — and not all Christian mayors — agree with Graham on LGBT rights.

Franklin Graham: 'Only One Election Left' To Save America From Godless Secularists

At the Tallahassee, Florida, stop of his 50-state “Decision America” tour last month, evangelist Franklin Graham declared that such prayer gatherings may soon become illegal if conservative Christians don’t defeat “secularism” in the next election.

Declaring that “America is being stripped of its biblical heritage and God-inspired foundations,” Graham said that although Americans were relieved by the fall of communism, “then secularism came and it infiltrated and it infected our government.”

“Secularism and communism, there’s no difference,” he said. “They’re both exactly the same, they’re both godless. And the Enemy came in and didn’t even have to fire a shot, and he’s already got control.”

The secularists, he claimed, want to prevent people from praying anywhere other than inside a church, so that “having a service like this in a few years could be illegal.”

“America needs the Christian vote,” he said. “You see, it’s not that the enemy is at the gate. They’ve come through the gate because we’ve left the gates wide open and we have allowed our moral walls to deteriorate and fall down.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got maybe one election left,” he declared. “And I’ve been told by people who know that the game will be over. And I’m telling you right now, we’re very close to losing.”

Ted Cruz Announces Endorsement From Jerry Boykin, Anti-Muslim, Anti-Gay Conspiracy Theorist

Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign announced the support of yet another far-right figure today, issuing a press release touting the endorsement of Lt. General Jerry Boykin, the executive vice president of the Family Research Council.

Boykin first gained notoriety when he was publicly rebuked by the Bush administration for giving speeches framing American military conflicts in the Middle East as a religious conflict between “our God” and Satan. After retiring from the Army, Boykin threw himself into Religious Right activism, eventually landing the number-two post at the Family Research Council. (Boykin's boss, anti-gay extremist Tony Perkins, is also a Cruz endorser.)

Boykin’s career in the military came under further scrutiny last year when the Intercept reported that Boykin — who now frequently accuses the Obama administration of persecuting Christians at home and abroad — created a Pentagon program that used unwitting missionaries as spies.

His career as an activist has featured plenty of the same Holy War rhetoric for which he first became known, combined with conspiracy theories about President Obama as a terrorist sympathizer and a vision of Jesus as a “man’s man” who will return carrying an AR-15. He is deeply involved in both anti-Muslim activism and the fringe “dominionist” movement that seeks conservative Christian control over the U.S. government.

Just a few lowlights of Boykin’s career:

  • Thinks Christians should act more like ISIS and be “willing to die” for their God.

  • Blamed Obama and his supporters for the shooting at an Oregon community college, adding that we here at Right Wing Watch use “the exact same tactics” as ISIS and Al Qaeda to encourage attacks on Christians.

  • Suggested that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell led to the “absolute destruction” of our military.
  • Said that “God’s army” must fight the “evil” of gay rights.

Louie Gohmert: We Got Sanders Because We Let 'Hippies From The '60s' Become Teachers

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas addressed the political success of Sen. Bernie Sanders in a radio interview yesterday, saying that the self-described “democratic socialist” is doing well in the Democratic presidential primary because “we let some of the hippies from the ‘60s” influence the education system.

Gohmert spoke with Florida talk radio host Joyce Kaufman who said that all the “crony capitalism” in Washington has driven voters to Sanders, whom she claimed was “reading from the Communist Manifesto” in a recent debate.

“That’s also because we let some of the hippies from the ‘60s who created such chaos then start teaching the teachers,” Gohmert said, “and teaching them how great socialism is and just rewriting history and keeping them from realizing socialism has never worked, it will never work in this world, in this life, because if you’re going to pay everybody the same thing then they’re going to quit working.”

He added that the survival of the country is “really hanging in the balance.”

Anti-Choice Group Starts 'All-Out Effort To End Abortion In Colorado Springs' As Targeted Clinic Reopens

A Colorado-based anti-choice group announced in an email to supporters yesterday that it is launching an “all-out effort” to ban abortion in Colorado Springs, where a Planned Parenthood that was the target of a deadly shooting in November is just reopening.

Personhood USA, which is based in Denver, has failed dismally in its efforts to pass state-level fetal “personhood” laws that would criminalize all abortions and could threaten common forms of birth control. Today, in an email to supporters, the group’s communications director Jennifer Mason hints that it is now changing its strategy to focus on passing city-level personhood measures … starting in Colorado Springs:

It's happening. We knew it would. After the tragic shooting at Planned Parenthood in late November, they had closed their doors through the holiday season. Now Planned Parenthood is re-opening their doors, all set to kill innocent babies once more.

The shooting in November killed three people, among those pro-life hero Officer Garrett Swasey. Thinking of the shooting brings tears to my eyes. Thinking of the fact that Planned Parenthood will re-open its doors and kill innocent babies compounds that grief and adds a large dose of nausea. I can't bear the thought that a place that has killed countless of innocent children will re-open to kill countless more.

We unequivocally oppose all violence, including abortion-related violence, against born and unborn people alike. That is why we must legally close Planned Parenthood's doors...by making abortion illegal city by city across the U.S.

It's no surprise that while we are launching our city-by-city campaign to make abortion illegal, starting in Colorado Springs, Planned Parenthood is re-opening a clinic there. Please pray about supporting this effort - with your help, we can get the legal paperwork filed and begin this all-out effort to end abortion in Colorado Springs today.

Interestingly, it was a former Personhood USA staffer who defected to the newly formed Personhood Alliance who declared back in 2014 that “the statewide personhood ballot measure is dead for now” and recommended that the movement should focus instead on passing municipal ballot measures.

UPDATE: RH Reality Check has more details:

The initiative has been in the works for more than a year, and was not crafted in response to Planned Parenthood’s announcement this week that it will soon reopen its Colorado Springs clinic , where three people were killed on November 27, Personhood USA spokeswoman Jennifer Mason told RH Reality Check in a phone interview.

“We had actually planned to do it before the tragic shooting there,” said Mason, explaining that her organization has a base of volunteers and supportive churches in Colorado Springs. “When Planned Parenthood announced that they were reopening, that confirmed for us that this was the right place to start …. The people who reached out to us in Colorado Springs don’t want any violence, including abortion, there.”

Mason said she’s working with attorneys to finalize the language of the measure, which will be similar to one of the statewide amendments soundly rejected by voters in 2014. She said her group is just beginning the legal process of putting a measure on the ballot, and she hopes to file the paperwork within the next two months.

Anti-Choice Group Vows To Put Spies In Every Abortion Clinic In The Country

As we noted last year, the Texas anti-abortion group Life Dynamics, whose founder Mark Crutcher was an important mentor to undercover Planned Parenthood activist David Daleiden, plans to start training “a whole army” of Daleidens in the arts of spying on abortion providers.

Crutcher joined Cleveland Right to Life’s Molly Smith on her “From the Median” radio program earlier this month to discuss his plans to “create intelligence gathering agents” to infiltrate abortion providers, with the goal of having 100 such agents by the end of the year and eventually one for every abortion clinic in the country.

“Right now the abortion industry only has to worry about basically two organizations infiltrating them,” Crutcher said, “and that’s Life Dynamics — us — and Lila Rose with Live Action.” (Crutcher, who pioneered the technique of sham undercover “investigations” of abortion providers, also trained Rose.)

“We know for a fact that we can put 100 trained people around the country by the end of this year,” he said, “and our eventual goal is to make sure there’s not an abortion clinic in this country that doesn’t have intelligence operatives surveilling it on a daily basis.”

Crutcher asserted that this 24/7 spying on every single abortion provider would easily turn up useful information because “I guarantee you, Molly, there’s not an abortion clinic in this country that’s not engaged in at least a few illegal activities, not one.”

“They go to bed every night knowing things that if we knew would destroy them,” he said.

In a protest outside the construction site for a new Planned Parenthood clinic last month, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life praised Crutcher’s work, telling the women’s health provider: “Be on your toes because we are in your midst, we are behind your doors, we are in your secret meetings, we are working for you and with you though you know it not, but in His good time the God who reveals all secrets will reveal that too.”

A major funder of Life Dynamics is Farris Wilks, who along with his brother have been generously backing Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign. In 2011, Wilks’ foundation funded a Life Dynamics effort “to mass-mail DVDs to lawyers encouraging them to sue abortion clinics into oblivion.”

Heidi Cruz: Ted Running To 'Show This Country The Face Of The God That We Serve'

Sen. Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi, who has been campaigning for her husband full-time over the past several months, explained the role of faith in the Texas Republican’s presidential campaign yesterday, telling a South Carolina radio host that Cruz is running to “show this country the face of the God that we serve.”

Cruz’s father Rafael made a similar statement last month when he said that Ted, whom he has implied was chosen by God for the White House, was running for president to “share the love of Jesus Christ” with “every person in America.”

Heidi Cruz told South Carolina radio host Vince Coakley yesterday that even if she were not married to Ted, she’d be trying to work on his campaign because “this country is in crisis and this individual has an incredible talent to bring us out of this crisis.”

This is in a large part, she said, because “this Christian God that we serve is the foundation of our country” and people need to be reminded that “Christians are loving people, are nonjudgmental people, but there is right and wrong, we have a country of law and order, there are consequences to actions and we must all live peaceably in our own faiths under the Constitution.”

When I thought about doing it for our country, it became very clear to me that our family must be in this race. And it also became clear to me that we are at a cultural crossroads in our country and if we can be in this race to show this country the face of the God that we serve — this Christian God that we serve is the foundation of our country, our country was built on Judeo-Christian values, we are a nation of freedom of religion, but the God of Christianity is the God of freedom, of individual liberty, of choice and of consequence.

And I think that’s something that this country really needs to be reminded of, is that Christians are loving people, are nonjudgmental people, but there is right and wrong, we have a country of law and order, there are consequences to actions and we must all live peaceably in our own faiths under the Constitution. And Ted is uniquely able to deliver on that combination of the law and religion.

Frank Gaffney: Obama Speaking Out Against Islamophobia Will 'Get More Of Us Killed'

Anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney joined Indianapolis radio host Tom Rose on Friday to discuss President Obama’s recent visit to an American mosque and comments pushing back against anti-Muslim prejudice, which Gaffney said would ultimately just “get more of us killed.”

“Am I totally out of bounds in saying that if this guy worked half as hard evangelizing for America as he does evangelizing for Islam we’d all be a lot better off?” Rose asked.

“We’d not only be a lot better off, we’d be safer,” Gaffney responded. “The trouble is the way that this is read, this behavior, this endless effort at the very least to excuse and appease the Islamic supremacists, the way they read that is not that it is, you know, some magnanimous gesture motivated by a heightened sense of multiculturalism or diversity sensitivity or political correctness.”

“But, Tom,” he continued, “this is read by them as an act of submission … And when you engage in submission when you’re an infidel, the way the Sharia doctrine commands the Islamists who subscribe to it to respond is to make them feel subdued, to use the term out of the Koran, which means to use violence actually, to effect the final status of dhimmitude, the permanent submission to which we are ultimately to be consigned. So far from this doing anything to ameliorate the situation or, as you put it, to help us be better off, this is actually going to get more of us killed.”

We’ll just repeat that six days after 9/11 George W. Bush appeared at a mosque to denounce violence and prejudice against American Muslims.

Rafael Cruz: 'The New Religion Of America Is Secular Humanism'

Anti-gay activist Michael Brown endorsed Ted Cruz for president last year and on Wednesday welcomed the Texas senator’s father, Rafael Cruz, to his “Line of Fire” radio program to discuss the campaign.

After Cruz gave his standard spiel about Ted’s candidacy awakening millions of “missing” evangelical voters all while uniting diverse constituencies in order to replicate Ronald Reagan’s 1980 victory, Brown asked him how he would respond to people who say that some of what he says “sounds like you’re advocating a theocracy.”

“Well, we’re not talking about theocracy,” the elder Cruz responded, “we’re talking about people who have been the background of America, the moral fiber of America, have been divorced from the political process. We have had over 50 percent of evangelicals not even voting, so you have a large percentage of the population that have been absent from the political process. All we are saying is we need everyone who has a desire to see America restored to become involved.”

In fact, he implied, America is currently a theocracy of “secular humanism,” which has become the “new religion of America.”

“We’re talking about restoring America back to the foundations,” he said. “The Bible says, ‘If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ Our foundations have been eroded by secular humanism, by … just destroying the family, by basically the moral values that have made America great have been practically destroyed and we have secularized America and the new religion of America is secular humanism.”

He added that in public schools, children are “being brainwashed not only with secular humanism but with socialism.”

Correction: The interview took place on Wednesday, February 3, not Friday, February 5. 

Cruz Forced To Defend Contraception Comments In Catholic Media

At a campaign event in Iowa in December, Sen. Ted Cruz laughed off the idea that Republicans were threatening access to birth control, saying, “I have never met anybody, any conservative, who wants to ban contraceptives. As I noted, Heidi and I, we have two little girls. I’m very glad we don’t have 17.”

As we noted at the time, Cruz’s comments were disingenuous. But it turns out that they were also not well received by some in one group that Cruz has been trying to court: conservative Catholics.

When Cruz gave an interview last week to the Catholic news network EWTN, host Raymond Arroyo played back the birth control comments, telling Cruz that “a lot of our viewers sent me emails” about the comments and that “some larger families took offense at that statement, they say it’s less than pro-life.”

Cruz scrambled to defend himself, saying that it was “a little snippet that’s taken out of context” and that he was pushing back against a Democratic “political attack that was deliberately deceptive.”

“I am unequivically pro-life, I believe that every life is a precious gift from God that needs to be protected from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death,” he said. “But the Democrats didn’t raise that battle on the issue of life; instead they did it on contraceptives, and it was deliberately deceptive, they were trying to scare young women into thinking some politician is going to come take their birth control away from them.”

“And the point I was making through humor – and humor is often a very effective way to communicate – is that nobody was talking about banning birth control for anyone,” he said.

He then pivoted to the Little Sisters of the Poor case, in which a number of religious nonprofits are claiming that having to fill out a form exempting themselves from a contraceptive insurance coverage mandate violates their religious beliefs because they’re making it possible for employees to get contraceptive coverage elsewhere.

The issue of contraception has sometimes been a sticking point in the anti-abortion alliance between Catholics and evangelicals. In the early days of the anti-abortion movement, some Catholic leaders of the movement presented the issues of abortion and contraception as two sides of the same coin. Conservative evangelicals, who came late to the anti-abortion movement, generally have more permissive doctrines involving birth control. Yet the two groups have united in recent years in fighting contraception access on “religious liberty” grounds, exemplified by the alliance of Catholic and evangelical leaders who drafted the 2009 Manhattan Declaration, which called for broad exemptions from and civil disobedience against civil laws on LGBT rights and reproductive freedom.

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