Family Research Council president Tony Perkins has been broadcasting his “Washington Watch” radio program from Israel this week, where he is helping to lead an FRC tour group. Also on the tour is former Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who joined Perkins on the program on Wednesday to share her view that biblical prophecy is being fulfilled all around her and that it is more urgent than ever to convert as many people as possible — including Jews — to Christianity to prepare for the imminent return of Christ.
“Almost every article in the paper” has to do with conflicts in Israel, Bachmann said, “and it ties with so much biblical prophecy. This week really was about biblical prophecy in many ways. And we’re seeing as events are speeding up, events are speeding up so quickly right now, and we see how relevant the Bible is, and we’re reading our newspaper, at the same time we’re learning about these biblical events, and it’s literally day by day by day, we’re seeing the fulfillment of scripture right in front of our eyes, even while we’re on the ground.”
“We recognize the shortness of the hour,” she said, “and that’s why we as a remnant want to be faithful in these days and do what it is that the Holy Spirit is speaking to each one of us, to be faithful in the Kingdom and to help bring in as many as we can — even among the Jews — share Jesus Christ with everyone that we possibly can because, again, He’s coming soon.”
Swanson introduced Jindal by declaring that whoever becomes president, Jesus Christ will rule over them “whether they recognize it or not.”
“Let’s acknowledge right now that Jesus Christ is king over the president of the United States, whether he recognizes it or not,” he said. “Jesus Christ is king over the Supreme Court of the United States, whether they recognize it or not.”
Jindal then gave a version of his “Christian persecution” stump speech, warning that the government is “coming after those of us who want to live our lives according to our Christian faith” and declaring, “No earthly court can change the definition of marriage; no federal government, no ACLU should be able to take away our religious liberty rights. We were given those by God almighty.”
Huckabee knew just how to appeal to this group, using his short time on stage to repeat his promises to simply ignore the Supreme Court’s rulings on abortion rights and marriage equality if he were to become president.
“Here’s what the president should do, and if I were president this is what I would do,” he said. “On the same-sex marriage decision, I would simply say, ‘It is not law.’ It is not law because the people’s elected representatives have not made it law and there is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Supreme Court power to make a law. They are the Supreme Court, they are not the supreme branch or the Supreme Being.”
“And so,” he added, “when people say, ‘What can we do? Let’s introduce a constitutional amendment, let’s propose a — .’ No. Let’s just exhibit and exercise the power that is already within the constitutional authority and structure and the president simply say, ‘Thank you for your opinion, but we shall ignore it because there’s nothing in the Constitution that affirms that and we are not going to impose upon all 50 states something that the federal government has no control over, which is the definition of marriage.’”
“I don’t know how we honestly can pray ‘God bless America’ when we have acted like a savage, uncivilized country in relationship to unborn children,” Huckabee said.
“But once again,” he said, “instead of us wringing our hands and maybe pretending that we’re going to change the Constitution or overturn Roe v. Wade — which, by the way, overturning Roe v. Wade does absolutely nothing to stop abortion, it simply turns it back to the states, they can have all the abortions they want. But what we have not done is what we should be doing and what I would do, which is to say we would invoke the Fifth and 14th Amendment as it relates to this issue. Because here’s the fact: We don’t have to pass a constitutional amendment. We already have two of them.”
So we were relieved yesterday when one of these candidates finally had to answer for his participation in Swanson’s conference. At the end of an interview with Cruz yesterday, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked the Texas senator how he reconciles his constant cries of liberal “intolerance” against Christians with appearing alongside such an intolerant figure as Swanson.
Cruz, predictably, dodged the question by claiming ignorance of Swanson’s record and launching into his standard stump speech about the supposed persecution of Christians in America.
You can watch the exchange starting about 15 minutes into this video:
Tapper ran out of time to press Cruz on the issue, but we hope that Cruz, Huckabee and Jindal will continue to face questions about their participation in this event.
One of the astounding things about Rick Wiles’ End Times radio program “TruNews” is that when he invites fellow right-wing activists for interviews they often end up sounding absolutely reasonable by comparison as they try to talk Wiles down from his latest conspiracy theory.
That was the case yesterday when Wiles invited Patrick Poole of the conservative PJ Media onto his program to discuss the situation in the Middle East and Poole had to spend his time trying to convince Wiles that President Obama did not actually secretly spend half a billion dollars creating ISIS.
“There is no war against ISIS, Patrick, he’s not killing — he funded ISIS, he armed ISIS,” Wiles insisted. “I mean, this is part of the lie, this is part of the narrative.”
Citing the failure of a $500 million program to train rebel fighters in Syria, Wiles insisted that that money had been instead been included in a “black op budget” to create ISIS. “They spent $500 million building ISIS!” he said.
“What do you think was happening at Benghazi?” he asked. “They were running guns through Benghazi to ISIS.”
When Poole asked him what proof he had for this, Wiles said, “I would say the destruction of Syria and the slaughtering of the Christians and the burning of the churches, that’s the proof.”
“That’s the proof,” he added later. “Syria’s on fire. Somebody set Syria on fire, and the United States government is behind it and Russia has stepped in to stop this madness and it’s going to lead to World War III.”
As we’ve reported, Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal are scheduled to speak at a “religious liberties” conference in Iowa this weekend organized by pastor and homeschooling activist Kevin Swanson. It’s bad enough that presidential candidates would want to associate with Swanson, whose record of wildly anti-gay, anti-women statements we have exhaustively chronicled. But the candidates will also be rubbing shoulders with an array of activists representing the extreme Christian Reconstructionist and Christian Patriarchy fringes of the Religious Right.
Behind this “religious liberty” veneer, however, is a gathering of some of the most extreme segments of the Religious Right, including those whose idea of “religious freedom” is the freedom to impose their specific scriptural interpretations on others. Swanson’s colorful rhetoric on the role of women and the biblical punishments for gay people comes out of an affinity with two controversial movements that will be on full display at his event: Christian Patriarchy and Christian Reconstructionism.
A number of speakers at this weekend’s conference have been associated with Vision Forum, the now defunct ministry run by influential Christian Patriarchy leader Doug Phillips, who resigned in 2013 after admitting to having an affair. That movement is closely bound with Christian Reconstructionism, the idea that America must return to its supposed foundations in a certain interpretation of biblical law. John Eidsmoe, one of the leading lights of Christian Reconstructionism will be speaking at the conference, as will Joel McDurmon, who now runs the Reconstructionist group Vision America.
One theme at the conference will be “interposition,” the idea that government officials have the duty to defy laws and court rulings that they believe are unconstitutional or unbiblical (for many those are the same thing), an idea that has returned to prominence in the midst of the Kim Davis saga.
Here is a brief introduction to some of the activists who will be sharing the stage with Huckabee, Cruz and Jindal this weekend:
Swanson, a Colorado-based homeschooling activist, pastor and radio host, rejects the term “Christian Patriarchy” but says he ascribes to the passage in Ephesians that guides the movement’s view of male headship and female submission in marriage. Swanson also takes hardline Christian Reconstructionist positions, such as his view that the death penalty for gay people is just. Just a sampling of Swanson’s views includes:
As Kyle wrote last week, “Joel McDurmon, president of the Christian Reconstructionist organization American Vision, which espouses the Christian Reconstructionist view that ‘men must choose in their civil affairs to be governed by God’s law’ as explicitly set out in the Old Testament.”
McDurmon says that "God revealed that the homosexual act is a civil crime, and it just so happens that He revealed that the homosexual act as a civil crime deserves the death penalty." He also said that a proposal in Uganda to impose the death penalty for homosexuality didn’t go far enough because it should also impose “Old Testament law” by making adultery a capital crime as well.
After we reported on his views last week, McDurmon released a statement clarifying that he does not support the death penalty for “homosexuality in general” but merely “the ‘act’ of sodomy.”
North Carolina pastor Scott Brown is the director of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches, a spinoff of Vision Forum. Articles on Brown’s website present an array of Christian Patriarchy views, including:
We “should counsel our Christian wives and daughters to rid their wardrobes of tight clothing and modern bathing suits” because there “ should be a sense of shame for distracting someone from purity” and having a “distracting appearance.”
Lamenting that “in the evangelical community, art and fashion have become exempt from biblical evaluation,” leading to reverence for Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, who operated under the “influence of homosexuality” and “some of our most revered artifacts of Greek sculpture” which “ were produced by homosexual, pagan artist.”
“Husbands should be teaching their wives. The father is a key component of the delivery system for the news of the kingdom of God, and when you bypass him, you reject the biblical order for the church and the home.”
This is just skimming the surface. Also speaking at Swanson’s conference will be former Vision Forum activist Geoff Botkin; James Lansberry, who has been working to help conservative evangelicals bypass the Affordable Care Act; and Bill Jack, an occasional cohost on Swanson’s radio program who took the Cake Wars to a new low when he tried to get a baker to write “God hates gays” on a cake.
Along with Cruz, Huckabee and Jindal, a number of activists with a cozy relationship with the GOP have also been confirmed to attend, including Bob Vander Plaats and Chuck Hurley of the influential Iowa conservative group The Family Leader, Kelly Shackelford of the Liberty Institute and Colorado Republican state senator Kevin Lundberg.
Earlier this year, President Obama announced his support for state measures aimed at banning ex-gay therapy for minors. The Family Research Council predictably reacted quite reasonably, sending a fundraising letter that arrived yesterday urging supporters to help them stop “sexual brainwashing of our children by our government” and thwart Obama’s plan “to get as many American children into the funnel of the sexual revolution as possible and make sure there’s no possible escape.”
Along with the letter, FRC enclosed a “Comprehensive List of LGBTQ+ Definitions” that it pulled off the internet, labeling it “a glossary of the President’s sexual agenda for your children and grandchildren.” The list was folded up and marked with an “offensive content” trigger warning:
In the fundraising letter, FRC president Tony Perkins tells readers that they can feel free to destroy the list without reading it:
This is not a single narrow line of fire we’re being subjected to. This is a massive, multi-front onslaught. The LGBTQ+ agenda specifically endorsed by the White House means our President wants to “normalize” an astonishingly broad range of what you and I would call “perversions” by supporting laws that make it illegal to obtain counseling to avoid unwanted same-sex and other attractions.
I debated whether to enclose a complete list — because it is repulsive — butI am folding the offensive material to the inside, so you can simply destroy the list without reviewing it if you prefer.Ultimately I decided to send it to you to demonstrate clearly that we are not overstating the severity of this issue.
Elsewhere in the letter:
I wasn’t sure whether to send you this letter.
I didn’t want to offend you, or shock you.
But in the end, I decided to err on the side of keeping you informed — because this is too important — to our children, to our grandchildren and to the future of our nation.
The problem: President Barack Obama is now promoting a sexual revolution more extreme, more perverse, more bizarre than anything you or I have ever imagined possible.
Specifically, he is backing legislation that would ban parents — including Christian parents — from arranging counseling to help their own children from engaging in a variety of forms of sexually immoral behavior.
We will fight this — with your help. We need your strong financial and prayer support today to push back on this outrageous “home invasion” with everything we’ve got … because the welfare of our children is at stake.
In fact, this President intends to get as many American children into the funnel of the sexual revolution as possible and make sure there’s no possible escape — none whatsoever. He intends to close off every avenue from parents committed to biblical morality.
We cannot stand by and allow the President to force his radical sexual agenda on our children.
You need to understand the reality of this situation: You are in the way.
You are an obstacle.
Christianity is actually seen as a speed bump in the Left’s pursuit of sexual liberty and “fulfillment.” They are intent upon a redefinition of God’s order of Creation.
Ultimately, this movement is about rebelling against the Creator.
Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 19, Verse 4, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female.” This is what we want our children to learn and understand. Not the LGBTQ+ alphabet soup of perversion. Not the deluded distortions of the Left.
We must not allow the federal government to capture our children at puberty and remake them in their own image, with the outcome predetermined according to the Left’s deviant agenda. Please help us fight back with your gift today.
Speaking at a candidates’ briefing in Iowa last week, Mike Huckabee responded to a question about the status of state anti-sodomy laws, which were struck down by the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, by launching into a speech about how, as president, he would ignore the Supreme Court’s recent marriage equality decision because “the court cannot make law.”
“We have a situation here in Iowa where the federal government has usurped their authority,” a questioner at the Caffeinated Thoughts briefing asked Huckabee. “Sodomy is against the law, on the books, this very day, and the Supreme Court has issued a decree and we have states’ rights here, they have no jurisdiction over Iowa, just as they have no jurisdiction over prostitution in Las Vegas, Nevada. What we are asking for is we’re asking for some brave soul to stand up and say that this is wrong, you’ve violated states’ rights, we’re going to impeach the five justices that voted like they didn’t have a brain in their head.”
“Well, I think, let’s be very clear,” Huckabee responded, “the court cannot make law.”
While he didn’t directly address Lawrence, Huckabee said that the next president should simply ignore the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling.
“It means that the next president ought to have the courage to say, ‘We appreciate the court decision, but we ignore it because it’s not constitutional, there’s nothing in the Constitution that gives the federal government the authority to dictate or mandate what the definition of marriage is, and until the elected representatives have decided on this, there’s nothing for us to follow other than, ‘Thank you for your thoughts and opinions,’” he said. The former governor has repeatedly argued that court rulings have no legal authority unless Congress or state legislatures pass new laws.
Huckabee added that his Supreme Court nominees would have to publicly declare that they “do not believe in judicial supremacy.”
Elsewhere in his talk, Huckabee repeated his pledge to ban abortion (and possibly some forms of birth control) through a “personhood” edict granting full constitutional rights to zygotes and fetuses, thereby bypassing any effort to pass a constitutional amendment overturning Roe v. Wade, an idea that he said was “fairy dust.”
In response to an audience member who asked about how to deal with the “mainstream media,” Huckabee responded that Iowans can ask him directly about his views on issues like abortion rights.
“If I tell you that I’m pro-life, demand to test me on that,” he said. “If I tell you that I really don’t believe in judicial supremacy, put me to the test. Ask me just exactly what I would do. If I tell you that we will end abortion, not just by promising to have a constitutional amendment, which is fairy dust to say we’re going to do those [things], but to tell me how I’m going to do it by invoking the Fifth and 14th Amendment, put me to the test and see if I know what I’m talking about.”
At a campaign event in Iowa last week, Ted Cruz’s father and top campaign surrogate Rafael Cruz declared that the U.S. military is now under the leadership of “puppet generals” because President Obama fired “all the generals that were strong on the military.”
“You know, Ted Cruz was on the Judiciary Committee talking to one of these puppet generals that Obama has put in power because he has forced to retire or fired all the generals that were strong on the military, and he’s got all these puppet generals. And he was asking one of these puppet generals, ‘What do we have to do to destroy ISIS in 90 days?’ This general said, ‘Well, it is impossible to destroy ISIS in 90 days, all we can do is manage them.’”
Rafael Cruz said that, in contrast, under a future President Ted Cruz, “America will again have the strongest military in the world and the rules of engagement will change.”
This prompted him to go on a tangent about gun laws, falsely claiming that gun-free zones invite mass shootings. “You’ve got military personnel in the base that cannot even carry a weapon, that’s why we’ve had the massacres we’ve had,” he said. “Even in the schools, you know, let me tell you something, all of the people that are committing these massacres are a bunch of cowards. They will only go to gun-free zones.”