Ted Cruz was thethird Republican presidential candidate to appear at the "National Religious Liberties Conference" in Iowa yesterday, an event organized by extremist right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson, who earlier in the program proclaimed that, according to the Bible, "the sin of homosexuality ... is worthy of death."
Swanson introduced Cruz by stating that Jesus Christ "is king of the President of the United States whether he will admit it or not and that president should submit to His rule and to His law" before asking Cruz to share his opinion on how important it is for "the President of the United States to fear God."
Cruz, predictably, asserted that fear of God is absolutely vital, declaring that "any president who doesn't begin every day on his knees isn't fit to be commander-in-chief of this nation."
After interviewing both Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal at his "National Religious Liberties Conference" this morning, radical right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson returned to the stage to discuss the issue of how Christians are to live in an increasingly debased and secular society.
During his remarks, Swanson reiterated his view that both the Old and New Testament require the death penalty for the crime of homosexuality, as well as his position that any Christian who attends a gay wedding can only do so in order to hold up a sign informing the couple that they ought to be put to death.
He drove home his point with a passionate declaration that if he ever found out that his own son was gay and that son invited him to his wedding, he would show up covered in "sackcloth and ashes" and then smear himself in cow manure as he sat on the steps of the church and wailed lamentations.
"There are families, we're talking Christian families, pastors' families, elders' families from good, godly churches," Swanson said, "whose sons are rebelling, hanging out with homosexuals and getting married and the parents are invited. What would you do if that was the case? Here is what I would do: sackcloth and ashes at the entrance to the church and I'd sit in cow manure and I'd spread it all over my body. That is what I would do and I'm not kidding, I'm not laughing."
"I'm grieving, I'm mourning, I'm pointing out the problem," Swanson screamed as he went off about people trying to "carve happy faces on the sores" of a society that is utterly "messed up."
Here is Swanson stating his belief that the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, declares that the punishment for homosexuality is to be death:
Kevin Swanson kicked off his "National Religious Liberties Conference" in Iowa today — which is to feature GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal — with an hour long rant that was every bit as unhinged as one would expect from a radical right-wing preacher who advocates putting gays to death and who thinks that Disney movies are turning young girls into lesbians.
At one point, Swanson fumed about new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's support for marijuana legalization, declaring that it is all a plot to increase the size of the government.
"This is what liberals do best," Swanson bellowed. "This is their agenda. They are, by definition, tyrants!"
Later in his sermon, Swanson fumed over the existence of LGBT groups in public schools while waving his Bible over his head and declaring that "I've got the authority to bind by the tyrants."
"Governments achieve power and then they corrupt it," he stated. "They centralize control and then they turn it towards depravity and perversions ... That's what the liberals do! They centralize the power of the Babel state and they've done it again and again and again for 100 years. But why? Why do they do it? They centralize in order to pervert it. They centralize education and before long they're kicking God out in the 1960s and bringing the [Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network] clubs in ... selling the gay and lesbian to as many six- and seven-year-olds as possible."
On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer declared that President Obama would toss all conservative Christians into prison if he could get away with it.
Responding to a caller who asserted that the Justice Department's plan to release 6,000 non-violent drug offenders from federal prisons was being done in order to make room for the imprisonment of Christians, Fischer said that he had no doubt that that is exactly what Obama would love to do.
"I think that is where we would go if he had his way," Fischer said. "I honestly do. I believe that is where we would wind up, if he could do what he wanted to do without any kind of restriction, he would lock people up who disagree with him, and that's us. Conservative Christians are the ones who have the biggest problem; he's pro-abortion, he is pro-sodomy and those are the great moral issues of our day. We're against them and he doesn't like our dissent, he doesn't like the disagreement and he would be perfectly willing to use incarceration as a tool to shut us up."
Yesterday, Theodore Shoebat posted a new video proclaiming that if murder and cannibalism were not against the law, "the fags would be doing it all the time."
Citing a series of papers released recently by the American Psychological Association that suggest that "rates of military sexual trauma among men who served in the military may be as much as 15 times higher than has been previously reported," Shoebat declared that gay soldiers are committing tens of thousands of sexual assaults every year and would even engage in cannibalism if they could get away with it.
"Homosexuality and violence are interconnected. Homosexuality and rape are interconnected," he said. "Cannibalism and homosexuality and rape are all interconnected. Now, are all sodomites committing cannibalism? No, but they want to. If it wasn't for the law against cannibalism and murder and all that, the fags would be doing it all the time. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind about all this."
On his radio program today, Glenn Beck revealed that a documentary about Ted Cruz was being filmed for the GOP hopeful's presidential campaign at Beck''s television studio in Texas last week and Beck was so moved by what he saw that he simply had to interrupt its production so that he could tell everyone involved that Cruz has been supernaturally raised up at this moment in time to save this nation.
"I interrupted the director," Beck said, "and I looked at the audience and I said, 'Maybe this is me, but is anybody feeling what I'm feeling?' That this man was born at this time — it was with him and his dad — was born at this time and the parallels between Barack Obama and his father, who shaped him and shaped him as a Marxist, and Rafael Cruz, who was a Marxist ... but then he raised this boy up?"
"Is anybody else feeling this?" he continued. "That this guy was truly raised up for this purpose at this time? Everybody in the audience said yes. There is something to Ted Cruz way beyond, and when you get to know his story and his father's story, there is something really unique and special about that story."
Gee, we imagine that the other GOP candidates must just be clamoring to attend an "unbiased" presidential debate hosted by someone like Beck while he is openly proclaiming that one of their rivals was "raised up for this purpose at this time."
Theodore Shoebat is outraged that a Chick-fil-A franchise was listed as a sponsor of a "faith-based LGBT film festival" in Tennessee and has responded in a typically reasonable manner by demanding that everyone who works at Chick-fil-A be put to death.
As he explained in a video he posted yesterday, it was not just an isolated franchise that sponsored this "fag fest" but rather it is now company policy to spit in the faces of Christians because "Chick-fil-A does not worship God, Chick-fil-A worships mammon, they worship the devil."
"What does Saint Paul tell us about homosexuality in Romans 1?," Shoebat asked. "He tells us that it is worthy of death. Not only those who commit the act, but all those who support them or take pleasure in them. This is what the Bible says. And what is Saint Paul trying to tell us? Homosexuals are worthy of death and those who support them are worthy of death. So all the people at Chick-fil-A, all the CEOs, the people who are calling the shots at Chick-fil-A, you're all worthy of death and, in a righteous society, you would be burned at the stake."
And even if the folks at Chick-fil-A do not receive their due punishment in this world, he added, they most certainly will when they face "the great general in Heaven, Jesus Christ" who will destroy them for having sided with the Antichrist.
Today, the American Psychological Association released a series of papers reporting that "rates of military sexual trauma among men who served in the military may be as much as 15 times higher than has been previously reported, largely because of barriers associated with stigma, beliefs in myths about male rape, and feelings of helplessness."
Predictably, this has been seized upon by Bryan Fischer as proof that the small percentage of gay men in the military are responsible for tens of thousands of sexual assaults every year.
Ignoring clear statement from the reports themselves that it is a myth to claim "that male rape is homosexual sex and therefore, that only homosexual men get raped and only homosexual men perpetrate rape," Fischer insisted on his radio program today that gay men are committing these thousands of sexual assaults because they are inherently violent.
"One of the pathologies that is associated with the homosexual lifestyle is violence and sexual assault," he said. "It's a characteristic of sexual activity in that community."
Asserting that 14,000 men and 12,000 women the military were sexually assaulted in 2013, Fischer proclaimed that "despite the fact that homosexuals comprise just a tiny sliver of our population, maybe two per cent of the population," those "two per cent of the males in the military are responsible for more sexual assaults of males than all of the heterosexual men in the military."
Last week, Rep. Louie Gohmert delivered the convocation at Liberty University, where he repeated his call for a study in which straight couples and gay and lesbian couples are placed on separate deserted islands in order to prove that homosexuality is unnatural.
Gohmert was complaining about the Supreme Court's marriage equality decision and was attempting to make the case that even people who don't believe in God ought to be able to see that same-sex relationships are not natural.
"Let's just take a totally secular approach to this," he said. "Congress is good about having studies; how about if we take four heterosexual couples and put them on an island where they have everything they need to live and exist and we take four couples of just men and put them on an island where they have all they need to survive and then let's take four couples of just women and put them on an island and then lets come back in 100 years and see which one nature favors."
A few weeks ago, Glenn Beck floated the idea of launching a temporary church for the express purpose of exploiting a Republican National Committee loophole that allows churches to host "discussion forums" with Republican presidential candidates since the RNC was refusing to allow his network to host any sort of official GOP debate.
As Beck made clear at the time, he didn't want to invite Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Donald Trump or any of the other candidates whom he dismisses as "progressives" to participate in his debate because he despises them and has repeatedly and openly attacked them on air. In fact, Beck despises the Republican Party as a whole and has, for years, been urging his audience to "defund the GOP" and refuse to give the party even one dime of support in an effort to break its back and destroy it.
Now, in the wake of the RNC's decision to cancel an upcoming debate that was to be hosted by NBC after its candidates performed miserably at a CNBC debate last month, Beck is demonstrating his trademark consistency and integrity by sending a letter to the RNC begging to be allowed to host this debate on his own network instead:
We’d like to make our audience your audience, by hosting the ninth scheduled debate on February 26th. We are prepared to produce a new kind of debate, in both substance and distribution. In fact, this will be the first truly cross-platform, digitally engaged debate in the history of American politics, and one that we are confident will reach one of the largest blocks of conservative voters in history.
By selecting TheBlaze TV to produce this debate, you honor and recognize the value of a critical voting bloc. And you need to know that we are committed to a fair and honorable production that will make every candidate, the party and our voters proud. But most important, at the end of our debate, voters will know not just where our candidates stand, but why, and how they intend to accomplish their goals.
We both know that the time for theatrics and hyperbole is over. These are serious days full of both promise and peril. My audience and I urge the Republican National Committee to make the February 26th debate meaningful, thoughtful, and responsive to the issues of not just conservative America, but to all Americans. Placing this debate on TheBlaze TV will fulfill that promise.
Aside from the insanity of allowing an avowed enemy of the GOP and a significant number of the current Republican candidates to host an official Republican debate, we cannot even begin to imagine what a debate hosted by a unhinged conspiracy theorist like Beck would even look like.
Would they be asked to go on record vowing to stop revolutionaries from pulling people from their cars and executing them in the streets and from secretly murdering Beck himself in the middle of the night?
Would they have to weigh in on his theory that the missing Malaysian airplane had been hijacked for use in a terrorist attack against America, his warning that immigrants crossing the southern border would lead to an Israeli/Palestinian-type of conflict in the U.S, or his conviction that a measles outbreak was nothing but a "hoax" designed to increase government control?
On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program recently, Colorado Republican state Rep. Gordon Kilngenschmitt offered up a scientific test that can prove the existence of God once and for all.
Responding to a recent interview in which atheist Richard Dawkins said that he would change his mind about the existence of God as soon as someone shows him some evidence, Klingenschmitt eagerly took up the challenge.
"You want evidence of God?," he asked. "I can give you evidence of God. In fact, I'll show you God; all you've got to do is repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and invite him to come into your heart. Now this is a scientific method. I'm giving you step A: you repent; step B: you believe; step C: you invite Jesus Christ to come into your heart as Lord and Savior. Follow that scientific method and I guarantee you will see Jesus Christ."
Those who refuse to follow this "scientific method," Klingenschmitt explained, will never discover the proof of God's existence because they have have not "followed the method that works."
"You want evidence? I'll give you evidence," he said, "but you've got to do what Christ commands."
Last month, Republican Rep. Randy Forbes preached at his home church in Chesapeake, Virginia, where he warned that there is a massive and terrifying conspiracy at work to completely eliminate religion from public life.
Forbes was preaching as part of an effort known as Pray USA, which is an initiative of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation that seeks to encourage government officials to lead congregations in prayer and then urge churchgoers to add their names to its "Prayer for America Proclamation."
During his sermon, Forbes told the congregation that the government has grown increasingly hostile to religion in America in an effort to systematically expunge it from the "marketplace of ideas" and that this development has not come about by accident or naturally; rather, it has all been orchestrated by a vast, well-funded conspiracy.
"Let me just tell you one of the myths that's out there," he said. "It's easy for us to somehow just think that all of this just evolved because people on the internet, they're reading more and they're getting more intellectual and somehow or the other, it's like they've discovered the world isn't flat anymore and therefore we don't believe in God and we don't believe in faith."
"If I had the time, which I don't have," he continued, "I could put up on this screen or on this screen or on both of them the proof that would show you this isn't some natural evolution, this is artificially driven. I can show you organization after organization after organization to a network that would frighten you because it would be vast that you couldn't get it on that screen, of organizations that are funded and paid with a systematic approach to killing and destroying faith in America today."
"Most people don't even realize it," Forbes said, "and let me tell you, the dollars going into that organization is nine times the dollars going into the organizations trying to defend and protect faith in America."
David Barton, one of the Religious Right's most relentless promoters of dishonest and misleading information, appeared on Glenn Beck's television program last night, where the two discussed the importance of teaching people not "what to think," but rather "how to think." Teaching people "how to think," Barton said, would pay huge dividends for America by giving conservatives confidence to speak up on the issues of the day.
"Self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in nearly every state," Barton said, claiming that conservatives are reluctant to speak up on current events because they are afraid that they do not have enough knowledge or information, whereas liberals simply don't care that they are clueless and are just willing to lie.
"Why is it that conservatives are convinced that they are in the minority?" Barton asked. "In reality, we're not, but we think we are ... According to statistics, when you look at the groups of liberals, and moderates and conservatives, conservatives are by far the most silent of those three groups. They're least likely to speak up, and why is that? It's because conservatives don't want to speak until they feel like they've mastered the facts about whatever the subject is that is under discussion. Now, liberals or moderates, they're happy to give you their opinion and tell you what they think, regardless of whether they know the facts. But conservatives don't like doing that, they want to know the facts before they answer what are often wild and baseless claims made by liberals and moderates."
UPDATE BELOW: McDurmon insists that he no longer believes in the views he espoused in this video.
Yesterday we reported that GOP presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal are all scheduled to speak at an upcoming "National Religious Liberties Conference" in Iowa next week that has been organized by far-right pastor Kevin Swanson, who has openly and repeatedly defended laws that impose the capital punishment on gay people.
Given that the chief organizer of this event holds such views, it should comes as no surprise to discover that several of the other scheduled speakers share similar views, in particular Phil Kayser, pastor of Dominion Covenant Church, and 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.
Kayser, who is scheduled to lead two workshops at the conference, was at the center of controversy back in 2011 when he endorsed Ron Paul for president and Paul's campaign proudly welcomed the endorsement only to try and cover it up once Kayser's extremist views on homosexuality became known, as Talking Points Memo reported at the time:
Paul's Iowa chair, Drew Ivers, recently touted the endorsement of Rev. Phillip G. Kayser, a pastor at the Dominion Covenant Church in Nebraska who also draws members from Iowa, putting out a press release praising "the enlightening statements he makes on how Ron Paul's approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs." But Kayser's views on homosexuality go way beyond the bounds of typical anti-gay evangelical politics and into the violent fringe: he recently authored a paper arguing for criminalizing homosexuality and even advocated imposing the death penalty against offenders based on his reading of Biblical law ... Reached by phone, Kayser confirmed to TPM that he believed in reinstating Biblical punishments for homosexuals -- including the death penalty -- even if he didn't see much hope for it happening anytime soon.
Also speaking at the event is McDurmon, who recently took over as president of American Vision, and who likewise believes 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."
In fact, McDurmon's views are so extreme that, back in 2009, he criticized Uganda for not going far enough with its draconian anti-gay legislation, saying that if the nation was "going to go to Old Testament law ... they should also make the death penalty for adultery" and other Old Testament crimes as well.
But as he explained the time, Uganda was absolutely right to seek to put gays to death because "it is perfectly normal [and] it definitely should be in place [that] homosexuality should receive the death penalty":
So let us reiterate once again that, in 2015, three Republican presidential hopefuls — including a sitting senator, a sitting governor, and one former governor — are all scheduled to speak at an event organized by and featuring several speakers who openly advocate putting gay people to death.
UPDATE: McDurmon has released a statement insisting that his position is that "the Bible does not criminalize 'homosexuality,' but only the homosexual act of sodomy" and therefore he does not believe "that homosexuality in general should receive the death penalty; but rather that the Bible teaches that the 'act' of sodomy should receive such."
We'll leave it up to readers to determine whether or not this clarification makes his position any less extreme.
UPDATE 6/16: McDurmon has contacted us to request that we note that he has written a new book in which he explains why he no longer holds the views he espoused in the above video:
While there are, as I said, tons of Theonomy books already, there have always been some outstanding questions that I felt have never really been addressed directly—at least not to my satisfaction. In conjunction with my studies for the Worldview Study Bible (still forthcoming), I’ve had to tackle the toughest passages head-on. The theological framework that has developed from that study have led me to answer some of the outstanding questions as well as revise a few of my previously held views. I’ll give you the bottom line here, and you can read the exegesis and explanations in the book (and I assure you that you will be blessed by doing so):
Contrary to what usually been merely assumed, I do not believe civil government has authority to punish First Table offenses under the New Testament administration. While I was not completely settled on these questions before, I am now. The book explains why.
Contrary to my own previous views on sodomy and adultery, I do not believe the death penalty continues for these under the New Testament administration. This applies also to certain other forms of incest and sexual perversion punishable under the Old Covenant. I do not believe the civil government has any jurisdiction here and should be out of the marriage business altogether. The book explains why.
But yes, God’s law still continues in many ways, still binds modern governments in many ways, and yes, it does so in a glorious way that creates the only standard for a society of liberty. For example, murderers, rapists, and kidnappers ought to be executed; but the modern prison-industrial complex ought to be abolished.
Why the title? Simple: Jesus, Paul, Peter, and others all teach that love fulfills the law, and that if you wish to love, you will follow the law. Love is the law fulfilled, and the law is love exemplified. Love is not an emotion, it is a way of life. God’s law explains to us in various situations what the loving thing to do is. Thus, the law gives us the boundaries of what is love and what is not. The book explains both sides of this: love and law.
Glenn Beck dedicated a portion of his television program last night to the remainder of his one-on-one interviewwith Sen. Ted Cruz, in which the GOP presidential hopeful declared that those who believe in climate change do not bother to cite facts in support of their position because, for them, it is a religion.
Pointing to a recent congressional hearing in which he grilled the president of the Sierra Club about the supposed lack of data and evidence for the existence of global warming, Cruz told Beck that "climate change is not science, it's religion."
"Look at the language where they call you a 'denier,'" he said. "Denier is not the language of science. Look, I'm the child of two scientists ... The essence of the scientific method is to start with a hypothesis, then look to the evidence to disprove the hypothesis; you're not trying to prove it, you're trying to disprove it. Any good scientist is a skeptic; if he's not, he or she should not be a scientist. But yet the language of the global warming alarmists, 'denier' is the language of religion, it's heretic, you are a blasphemer. The response from the Sierra Club, 'We have decreed this is the answer, you must accept it.' And so he didn't know his facts because he just knew his religion."
LaBarbera, who runs Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, complained that the organizers of the WCF conference shunned any official association with the anti-gay event and the various anti-gay activists who spoke at it, forcing them to organize their own separate event the day before by refusing to allow them to participate in the official WCF conference. (Although at least one participant in the anti-gay conference, the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg, was also scheduled to speak at the main WCF event.)
LaBarbera blamed this on the fact that the Mormon Church has supposedly begun to go soft on fighting the "gay agenda" by compromising on nondiscrimination legislation in Utah, which was problematic since several organizers of the WCF conference are members of the LDS church.
This sort of timidity, LaBarbera stated, is sadly rampant in the "pro-family" movement, which is why voices like his and Brian Camenker of MassResistance and even Mefferd herself are never invited to speak at the more "mainstream" Religious Right events such as the annual Values Voter Summit.
"People like Brian Camenker do not get invited to these family conferences," he said, "let's just be honest here. There is a political correctness within the pro-family movement and you talk about it, I talk about it, but most people don't. I love the Values Voter Conference and the Family Research Council; I went this year and had a great time, but Brian Camenker, or myself, or even you will never be invited to speak there because everybody is afraid of, 'Oh, it's too anti-gay.' The people who are telling the most truth about homosexual activists and the transgender agenda are usually, in a way, kind of, hands off and shunned a little bit because, 'Hey, we want to make sure we're not attacked as haters.' Well, the funny thing is, no matter what you do, if you take on the gay agenda at all,you will be called a hater."
"Of course," agreed Mefferd. "No matter how nice you are, you're just a nice hater, fooling us with your false claims of love."
Matt Barber appeared on Joe Miller's radio program yesterday to discuss the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling and Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis' refusal to allow her office to issue marriage licenses in its wake. Davis eventually wound up in jail as a result of her actions, which allowed her subordinates to issue licenses in her absence, at which point she was released on the condition that she no longer interfere with the issuing of such licenses in the future.
Davis has been back on the job for well over a month now and her office has continued to issue marriage licenses, yet somehow Barber and Miller claim that Davis emerged the victor in the showdown and forced the government to back down.
After complaining that America is now living under "homofascism," Barber called on Christians all over the nation to rise up in civil disobedience because "a revolution is at hand, not an armed revolution necessarily, as of yet" brought on by Davis, who has demonstrated that just one woman can stand up, declare "the tyranny is over" and get the government to back down.
"The beauty if this is that when people do stand up like Kim Davis did," Miller added, "the feds almost always back down. That's effectively what this judge did and it kind of reminded me of what happened at the Bundy ranch in Nevada. Cliven Bundy, he decided, right or wrong, he stood up to it with a lot of other people and the feds backed down."
Barber likewise proclaimed that Davis had forced the government to back down, claiming that Judge David Bunning "didn't just walk back his contempt of court ruling, he ran it back."
"He let her out of jail because of the Martin Luther King, Jr. comparison," Barber claimed, "because of the Rosa Parks comparison ... As with Rosa Parks, she shook a nation; Kim Davis has shaken a nation and it's amazing what one person again, who will stand firm on their principle and refuse to violate their conscience, what they can accomplish."
Every since the Obama administration announced the creation of a new position within the Department of Justice that is to be focused on countering domestic terrorism, right-wing activists have been whipping up fears that the government is going to start persecuting Christians and conservatives.
On the American Family Radio's "Focal Point" program yesterday, guest host Janet Mefferd dedicated twosegments to discussing this new supposed threat with John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute, who declared, without a hint of irony, that the creation of such a position is rooted in government "paranoia." That is, the paranoia that government officials supposedly have about conservatives.
When Mefferd demanded to know what authority the government has to "go after right-wing extremists as a pre-crime target ... This is a violation of the Constitution," Whitehead responded by chalking it all up to government paranoia and then proceeded to warn that the Department of Homeland Security is stockpiling millions of rounds of ammunition that it plans to use against American citizens.
"We're dealing with some paranoid people," he warned. "When you have the Department of Homeland Security, which we know now, several years ago, purchased 1.6 million hollow point bullets for their agents; they were not looking out toward ISIS."
Whitehead went on to claim that a local police chief he knows of has likewise been stockpiling military-style weapons and equipment in preparation for the possibility of having to put down an uprising of local citizens, prompting Whitehead to warn gun owners not to post anything on social media about owning weapons because SWAT teams are just itching to carry out violent raids against perceived threats, such as the names of eight million gun owners which he claims are being cataloged and stored in databases so the government knows who to "round up in times of emergency."