Miranda Blue's blog

Religious Right Group Says 'We've Been Focused Too Much' On Gay Marriage And 'Not Focused Enough On Divorce'

The Ruth Institute's Jennifer Johnson wrote on the organization's blog yesterday that marriage equality advocates who criticize the Religious Right for singling out gay marriage while ignoring straight divorce "have a point."

"Have we been too focused on “same sex marriage” and not focused enough on divorce?" she asks. "I think so."

"Divorce is a big problem that Christians have not confronted adequately," she writes. "Thus, we have lost our witness and moral authority in regards to the institution of marriage. At least, that’s how it looks to me. "

The Ruth Institute — which until last year was affiliated with the National Organization for Marriage — doesn't always conform with the Religious Right's messaging, most recently taking issue with the movement's "whining" persecution rhetoric.​

That's not to say that the rest of the Religious Right doesn't care about divorce — the advent of no-fault divorce is frequently brought up as as a milestone in the slippery slope of the sexual revolution, and "covenant marriage" laws are popular among some activists. (Family Research Council president Tony Perkins sponsored the nation's first covenant marriage law when he was a Louisiana state legislator.)  But the movement as a whole knows that villainizing people who get divorced is going to be a less popular strategy than scapegoating the much smaller LGBT population.

Murrieta Protestor Calls Police 'Domestic Terrorists' For Protecting Bus Of 'Infected Immigrants'

The effort to block busses of Central American refugees travelling through Murrieta, California, over the July 4th weekend drew any number of fringe right-wing extremists, including radio host Pete Santilli, who offered a 24/7 live webcast of his stay.

In one webcast posted on July 4, Santilli approached a number of local police officers demanded that they bring him the county sheriff. He also told them that he had called 911 but that that strategy had also failed to summon the sheriff. (Many militia groups maintain that the sheriff is the only legitimate law enforcement officer).

“I almost died at Bundy ranch because the sheriff didn’t show up,” Santilli told one officer, referring to his time at the Bundy ranch in Nevada, where he spent time harassing a Mexican-American reporter.

Santilli told one Murrieta police officer that he was “here for a peaceful protest” but that by failing to put him in contact with the sheriff “what you guys are creating is a violent one.”

“Are you guys domestic terrorists now?” he yelled after the officer walked away. “You guys are terrorizing the public.”

“They’re going to deliver a bus here with a bunch of anarchists and create a volatile situation on the 4th of July. That’s an incitement,” he yelled.

At one point, Santilli got his hands on a bullhorn and earned a cheer from the crowd when he told the officers, “You want to send a bus to us right in front of the media so Obama can publicly display what happens to people who stop busses with infected immigrants. Obama wants to send a message and you’re helping to facilitate it.”

William Gheen: Immigration Reform Rooted In 'Anti-Christ Culture'

Mashable’s Gina Piccalo writes today about the split among evangelical conservatives on the issue of immigration reform. While some evangelical activists have cited biblical values to support comprehensive immigration reform, others — such as Phyllis SchlaflyDavid Barton and Bryan Fischer — are busily trawling through the Bible for passages to justify their opposition.

Piccalo interviews Americans for Legal Immigration’s William Gheen, who it turns out also takes a Christian nationalist view of his opposition to immigration reform. Gheen conveniently escapes any theological difficulty when it comes to dealing with the thousands of Central American child refugees on the southern border by claiming that the violence they are escaping is a hoax:

"Illegal immigration is the antithesis of Christianity,” says William Gheen, Raleigh, N.C.-based president of Americans For Legal Immigration. “It’s a gross mischaracterization of Christianity to apply it to tolerating the mass lawlessness, death and damages involved in illegal immigration.”

When asked about those children crossing the border in search of refuge from gang-related violence and death, Americans for Legal Immigration president Gheen said immigrant children are coached by money-hungry smugglers who give them “cheat sheets” with fabricated stories of woe, crafted to ensure their amnesty. “There’s no mass slaughter of children in any of the host countries,” Gheen said. “There’s no documentation of any mass slaughter...The children are reciting lines. This is being orchestrated.”

Gheen sounded the same note in an interview Tuesday with VCY America, linking immigration reform proponents with the “anti-Christ culture flooding up through the united states in our movies, in the TV shows, in the minds of people where they hate Duck Dynasty or anything associated with Christians.”

He said that immigrants’ rights groups are anti-Christian because “they don’t like laws, they don’t like borders”: “They like to equate Christians with Nazis and Klansmen and all sorts of stuff like that because Christians try to show any type of restraint on behavior. And they don’t want any restraint on any behaviors, whether it’s criminal or not. They don’t like laws, they don’t like borders. It’s anything goes, people do whatever they want.”

William Gheen Warns China Will 'Pull An Abraham Lincoln,' Recruit Undocumented Immigrants To Attack US From Within In

In an interview with Jim Schneider of VCY America on Tuesday, anti-immigrant activist William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC claimed that in the event of a U.S.- China war over the Taiwan Strait, China will recruit undocumented immigrants to fight the U.S. from within and will then give them American land, a move he compared to Abraham Lincoln giving land to former slaves after recruiting blacks to fight in the Civil War.

“Once again, with China, the Pentagon has reports from war colleges saying, ‘We’ve got large groups of people’  — and they won’t say who they are, but they’re talking about the 20-plus million illegal immigrants — they’re like, ‘We’ve got large groups of people that might not be fond of the Constitution that could be called upon by a foreign power in case of conflict,” Gheen said.

“What they’re talking about is, let’s say that the United States and China end up having to go to war tomorrow over the Taiwan Strait. Well, all the sudden, China pulls an Abraham Lincoln on us and says, ‘Hey, illegals, we’ll give you the whole place, just punch America in the gut for us.’ And America won’t be able to sustain our fleet. America can be taken out by a sneak attack from within.”

Gheen shared this theory at the end of a long rant in response to Schneider asking him if ISIS is trying to exploit the refugee crisis on the southern border to sneak terrorist sleeper cells into the United States.

Gheen replied that terrorist cells were already in the country in the form of Muslim-Americans colluding with Mexican drug cartels to send “precious and strategic metals” to China and get “everybody’s kids and grandkids” “hooked on cocaine and methamphetamine" and then snort their inheritances "all right up their nose and out of the country into Mexico and the on to Saudi Arabia."

“All of that destruction, the deconstruction of the United States, the planned demolition of the United States is all taking place, it’s a plan,” he said. “If you’re a terrorist, you really wouldn’t want to do anything to mess that up. If you’re a sleeper cell, you don’t want to go blow up the town hall and get the locals all upset because right now you’re bringing in more and more of your people and taking over whole communities and neighborhoods and building a mosque on every block.”

Earlier in the interview, Gheen claimed that President Obama is “sponsoring and facilitating” an immigrant “invasion” so “what he sees as evil Whitey can’t ever do anything to come back from it.”

The president, he added “may have our full destruction in mind.”

Robert Oscar Lopez: Gay Rights Movement Is 'Violent' Even Though 'Many Still Stereotype Gays As Delicate'

Anti-gay activist and author of gay erotica Robert Oscar Lopez has compiled a list of 300 incidents that he thinks illustrate the scourge of “homofascism.” He writes today in the American Thinker that “homofacism” is “less nationalistic than past fascisms, though more invasive and consuming because it polices interpersonal relationships and interior thoughts in a way that earlier police states did not.” He adds that the movement “it is violent, even though we tend not to think of the movement as violent because many still stereotype gays as delicate, and the violence is usually carried out through the seemingly legitimate auspices of the state.”

There is a mass movement aimed at stifling the autonomy of natural relationships – friendships, familial love, romantic love, human reverence for the divine – and subverting such relationships to the punitive power of an intrusive state. It is as sweeping and menacing as past isms, including fascism, to which it reveals a number of striking resemblances.

It is difficult to comprehend, partly because it operates so often with emotional subterfuge, and partly because it is unprecedented. It is less nationalistic than past fascisms, though more invasive and consuming because it polices interpersonal relationships and interior thoughts in a way that earlier police states did not. I have come to realize, though, that it is violent, even though we tend not to think of the movement as violent because many still stereotype gays as delicate, and the violence is usually carried out through the seemingly legitimate auspices of the state.

This strange fascism has grown under the guise of advocating for a marginalized and even obscure population – homosexuals and bisexuals – whose interests are in no way served by this movement, and who are themselves some of the people most vulnerable to repression by it. The stakes are huge, the urgency serious. We have to call it something, and its name should evoke the dramatic emergency it is presenting to the globe. So let’s just call it “homofascism” for simplicity’s sake.

The thought crosses my mind quite often: could I have made a difference if I’d come forward and spoken out in 2004? In 2000? In 1994? Homofascism feeds on silence. The less you confront it, the more it hunts you down and strikes at you. It is a strange beast. Perhaps if conservatives had stopped being so afraid of offending people and taken this threat seriously twenty years ago, many of the victims catalogued in our 300 list would not have been prey for the search-and-destroy missions of the gay lobby.

But regrets do little. We need to move forward. My allies’ purpose in archiving the history of homofascism is to provide a resource, to make sure that people on our side know how high the stakes are, and how false the veneers of the other side are. We are facing a vicious, lethal enemy, and we have to fight back accordingly. Ever forward.

Fresh From Celebrating Hobby Lobby, Bob Vander Plaats Calls Judicial Review 'Nonsense'

It is truly amazing how conservative activists continue to harp on “judicial activism,” while supporting sweeping judicial decisions that happen to go their way.

For instance, just a couple of weeks ago, Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leader was celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case but today he talked with James Dobson about how when it comes to gay rights cases “the Supreme Court is starting to believe that they are the Supreme Being” and calling the principle of judicial review “nonsense.”

Vander Plaats and Dobson both lamented the Supreme Court’s 1803 decision in Marbury v. Madison, which established the principle of judicial review, which Vander Plaats said meant “we’ve had 50 years of law school teaching the lawyers that no, the courts do make law, which is complete nonsense. And God help us if that ever becomes the rule in our day.”

Vander Plaats and Dobson echoed Mike Huckabee, who insisted last month that "this notion that when the Supreme Court says something it’s the last word is fundamentally unconstitutional and wrong."

Later the “Family Talk” interview, Vander Plaats told Dobson that Americans’ pursuit of “all sort of lustful living” has made us God’s “prodigal son.”

"I just hope we're not feeding with the pigs when we decide to turn back to Him," he added.


 

Bryan Fischer: 'Our Southern Border Is There By God's Design'

In response to the influx of Central American children fleeing to the southern border of the U.S., the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer is repeating his belief that all national borders were determined by God and therefore anybody who crosses them without permission is directly offending the Creator.

In a column for BarbWire today, Fischer writes, "What we learn from the Bible is that borders are God’s idea, and that such borders are to be respected. They are not to be crossed without permission.”

As a result, he writes, “[o]ur southern border is there by God’s design” and those who “regard it as something not worth respecting and defending” are insulting God.

He gives himself an out by adding an exception to biblical national borders in the case of “a just war.”

What we learn from the Bible is that borders are God’s idea, and that such borders are to be respected. They are not to be crossed without permission.

Crossing a border without permission is like breaking in the back door of a house to help yourself to goodies instead of being invited in by the host through the front door. You might get to eat either way, in the same house and from the same cupboard, but in one case you would be doing something respectful and civil and in the other doing something that rightly should land you in jail.

The Scriptures make it clear that national sovereignty, including clearly defined borders, is God’s idea. In Acts 17:26, we read, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place…” (Emphasis mine throughout.)

Two things, we are told, are under God’s sovereign control: how long a nation lasts, and where its borders are. The verb translated “having determined” is the Greek verb “horizo,” from which we get the word “horizon.” It means “to mark out, to define.” So God has marked out and defined the borders of each country.

Our southern border is there by God’s design. To disregard it, to treat it as if were not there, to regard it as something not worth respecting and defending, is an insult to the God who put it there for our benefit.

The lesson? Each nation’s sovereignty is marked by its boundary, and each nation has the moral right to decide who will be given permission to enter its sovereign territory. Moses recognized this, and so should we. The only exception is under circumstances of a just war.

Bottom line: borders are biblical, and are there by God’s sovereign design. And they are to be respected by everyone.

William Gheen Denies Calling For 'Illegal And Violent' Action Against Obama

For some mysterious reason, the Los Angeles Times has decided that William Gheen of the fringe anti-immigrant group Americans for Immigration Reform is a credible source for immigration policy stories, and last week invited him to participate in a live debate on the issue with two immigration reform advocates.

To her credit, Times report Ann Simmons confronted Gheen with the transcript of a 2011 radio interview — first reported by Right Wing Watch — in which he implied that “illegal and violent” tactics might be needed to stop President Obama’s war on “White America.” (Simmons mistakenly said that Gheen made the comments on the previous day.)

After hearing his comments read back to him, Gheen denied ever calling for violence because he is dedicated to “peaceful, civil-rights-type efforts," and said that because of his dedication to peaceful “civil rights” work, he wouldn’t discuss “those other things that are out there being discussed because of the dictates of Obama.”

He did, however, note that the president has “nullified the Constitution, nullified existing federal law, and nullified the outcomes of our elections.”

Tony Perkins' Christian-Persecution Report Highlights Persecution of Tony Perkins

The Family Research Council came out yesterday with a report on "hostility to religion in America," a collection of anecdotes from the past 14 years supposedly illustrating the persecution of conservative Christians in the U.S.

Some anecdotes highlighted in the report are troubling incidents that FRC admits were later rectified. Others are incidents that we might not all count as examples of religious hostility — for instance Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean being “mocked and ridiculed” for her answer to a question on same-sex marriage in 2009. Still others are stories of dubious accuracy — for instance, the story of a girl in Florida supposedly punished for praying at school, who just so happened to be the daughter of the man in charge of promoting Todd Starnes’ book on Christian persecution.

And then there was this:

Minister’s Invitation to National Prayer Luncheon Revoked because of His Comments on Homosexuality in the Military – February 2010*

An ordained minister and Marine Corps veteran was punished for speaking out on a topic unrelated to his planned comments at the National Prayer Luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington, D.C. The minister criticized President Obama’s call to end the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, resulting in his invitation to speak at the National Prayer Luncheon being rescinded. The minister criticized the action as “black-listing” to suppress unwanted viewpoints.

Who is this unnamed minister who was disinvited from the National Prayer Luncheon? He wasn’t just a minister who had criticized “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal. He was none other than the Family Research Council’s own president Tony Perkins.

This attempt to gloss over Perkins’ identity to make him seem like an innocent bystander to a vast anti-Christian agenda highlights a key strategy in the Religious Right’s persecution narrative. Like David and Jason Benham, who lost a TV contract with HGTV after Right Wing Watch reported on their vocal and public anti-gay, anti-choice activism (and who are also featured in FRC’s report), Tony Perkins is not just a private citizen who holds anti-gay views. He’s the leader of a major organization that opposed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” with misleading claims and demeaning rhetoric. You can agree or disagree with Perkins being disinvited from the prayer luncheon. But FRC would like us to believe that disagreement with Tony Perkins is the very same thing as hostility to religion.

Madison Project: 'Illegal Invasion,' 'Anti-Family Agenda' Make Conservatives 'Strangers In Our Own Country'

The Madison Project, the Tea Party group backed by Sen. Ted Cruz that’s pushing far-right challengers in Republican congressional races, marked the Fourth of July this year by lamenting that the “illegal invasion,” the “anti-family agenda,” Social Security, and the rest of the social safety net make them “feel like strangers in our own country.”

Sadly, many of us are spending this 4th of July wondering if our Founders would recognize that republic – that beacon of freedom built upon a strong civil society and ordered liberty. So many ordinary Americans feel our republic is long lost to a foreign socialist utopia centrally managed by an elitist oligarchy in the form of two corrupt political parties.

This small minority of radicals has completely vitiated our most fundamental characteristic as a republic – our sovereign borders. We are now languishing from the flood of over 100,000 illegal immigrants teaming over our southern border, adding to the millions of illegals already here. At stake is nothing less than the preservation of our civil society, sovereignty, and solvency as a nation and as a stable economy. They drain our resources, health care, education, and criminal justice system.

We feel like strangers in our own country.

Even without the illegal invasion, our republic is hanging on by a thread.

Almost every American is involuntarily subservient to the federal government for his or her retirement security and healthcare. Over 46 million people, and one-in-four children, rely upon government for food stamps. Under the new Obamacare mandates, an estimated 79 million Americans will be enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. This culture of dependency, an anathema to our spirit of independence, has saddled us with over $1 million in debt and unfunded obligations for every American taxpayer.

Meanwhile, ordered liberty in a constitutional republic needs a strong civil society and strong families in order to thrive, much like fish in water. Yet, the cultural degeneration, promulgated and encouraged by this small societal elite, has permeated every aspect of American life – to the extent that those of us who adhere to traditional family values are now ostracized and castigated. We have reached the point where we need a group of unelected judges to grant us small morsels of religious liberty from their high benches in Washington. The small minority who push this invidious anti-family agenda now seek to eradicate the very existence of gender to the degree that private individuals and businesses are now being forces to accommodate bizarre and licentious practices.

The “Republican” Party was supposed to serve as the bulwark against attempts to supplant our republican form of government, yet they have become part and parcel of the problem. Decades’ worth of treachery directed towards the party faithful from its leadership has finally culminated with the Mississippi election last week. A long-serving Republican, with the blessing of the entire party establishment, engaged in fraud and race-baiting to repudiate his own party base and steal the election.

We are now living through the worst consequences of elective despotism that James Madison warned about in Federalist 48. Indeed we are strangers in our own country and in our own party.

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