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Sen. James Lankford And Rep. Randy Forbes Want To Protect 'Corporate Conscience' So Christians Are Free To Discriminate

Earlier this year, the restaurant chain Chipotle stopped selling pork at several hundred stores after cutting ties with one of its suppliers for violating the chain's animal welfare standards.

Today, Sen. James Lankford and Rep. Randy Forbes published a truly absurd op-ed in The Christian Post using Chipotle as an example of the importance of protecting the "corporate conscience" of Christian business owners who want to discriminate against gay customers.

Seemingly unaware of the very clear difference between a company refusing to do business with a particular supplier and one openly discriminating against an entire class of people, Lankford and Forbes argue that "protecting corporate conscience" is vital so that the right of Christians to discriminate against gays is protected in the name of religious freedom:

It is crucial that the same freedom enjoyed by the leadership of Chipotle remains equally available to business owners of faith. Indeed, much more so as freedom of religion is explicitly protected by the First Amendment. We cannot simultaneously laud the leaders of a business motivated by a commitment to environmental sustainability and discriminate against the leaders of a business motivated by religious belief.

If a decision based on moral convictions is celebrated, shouldn't a decision based on the free exercise of religion – a right guaranteed in the Constitution – be even more so?

To be sure, religious freedom is not just a choice of convenience – it is a fundamental right given to all Americans by the Constitution. As we recognize Chipotle's decision, let's remember that a clear constitutionally supported civil right of religious freedom should be cherished and respected in every corner of this nation.

We live in a country whose laws respect freedom and diversity, and our Constitution has always had robust protections for all Americans to live and work by their religious convictions. Americans do not check their religious freedom at the door when they leave their home or place of worship and enter the public sphere.

We must not fall prey to the hypocrisy of defending the freedom of operating a business on convictions of sustainability, but reject that same freedom when the convictions are based in faith.

Fischer: Discrimination Against Homosexuality Is Not Discrimination Against People

On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer praised Gordon College in Massachusetts for maintaining its policy prohibiting students, faculty and staff from engaging in "homosexual practice."

Fischer, who has long favored the criminalization of homosexuality, hailed the move, declaring that this is the "good kind" of discrimination that should underlie all of our public policy while laughably asserting that this sort of discrimination does not target people, but simply behavior.

"Discrimination against sexually immoral behavior is good," he said. "I'm not talking about discrimination against people here, not even talking about discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation. It's based on their behavior. We discriminate against sexually immoral behavior, not against the person because unless they act out on it, unless they do something, unless the commit an immoral act they're not properly the subject of these kind of policies. But if they engage in that kind of behavior, then it's appropriate that be a subject or a matter for discrimination of the good kind":

Catholic League Boycotts St. Patrick's Day Parade Because 'You're Not Going To Double Cross Bill Donohue'

Last year, after organizers of New York's St. Patrick’s Day parade announced that a gay organization would be allowed to march for the first time, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue announced that his group would boycott the parade.

Donohue's excuse for not marching was that he had been "betrayed" because he was told that if a gay group was allowed to march then so too would an anti-choice group be allowed to participate, but then organizers did not follow through on that promise.

Yesterday, Donohue appeared on Steve Malzberg's Newsmax program to discuss the issue, asserting that "my own people, Irish Catholics, did me in" but now, at least, people have learned that "you're not going to double cross Bill Donohue."

Allowing gays to march in the parade is an "affront," Donohue said, because "gays have their own parade."

"Why does anybody who happens to be gay or straight have to have their own banner to march in anybody's ... parade. Just blend in like everybody else," he said.

"It's regrettable what's happened," he continued. "I'm very happy about the stand I took and I've been praised by a lot of people for at least somebody's going to draw a line in the sand. You're not going to double cross Bill Donohue":

Glenn Beck's Prophetic Burden: 'I Don't Want To Be This Guy'

With every passing week, Glenn Beck is more and more convinced that we are on the verge of World War III and that he is the only one who realizes it and so he is spending program after program laying out his prophetic vision about how Russia and ISIS are going to drag the world into a wholesale religious conflagration. 

The details of Beck's theory are too confusing to even bother trying to explain but, in short, he is convinced that ISIS is set on taking over all of Europe, which will allow Vladimir Putin to stir up dormant Christian nationalism that he has planted in Russia and neighboring nations which will allow him to foment resistance and ultimately push ISIS out, thereby guaranteeing Russia's fascist control over the entire region.

After Beck spent an entire segment scrawling an incoherent map on his chalkboard to demonstrate how this will all play out, co-host Stu Burguiere helpfully summed up Beck's convoluted theory as "Russia versus the Caliphate trying to divide up Europe," which prompted Beck to predict that in this coming conflict, the West will side with Russia and fascism.

"You watch. That's what's coming," Beck said. "That's what's coming."

Beck then sat back down at his desk and started once again complaining that he doesn't "want to be this guy" who spends all of this time laying out dire scenarios on his chalkboard, but that is what God has called him to do and so he will continue doing it "because there's nobody else that sees the world the way I see it."

"I don't want to be this guy," he said. "I'm tired of this. I can't tell you how much I want to get away from the damn chalkboard and I don't want to be the guy telling you the bad news. But it's part of my job and it's part of my calling and so I will do it."

If you don't want to buy into Beck's warnings, he said, you are free to ignore him but "there's no reason to call me a kook or anything else."

"I don't want to be this guy," he said, before urging listeners to tune in to this television show tonight where he will lay all of this out in greater detail ... on his chalkboard:

James Robison: When Conservative Christians Take Control Of Government, 'Oh, The Demons Shudder!'

On his "Life Today" program this morning, James Robison interviewed Todd Starnes about his recent book "God Less America" and the two agreed that if conservative Christians in America could simply come together, they could save this nation by voting every member of Congress out of office and make "the demons shudder!"

"This is the thing you’ve got to understand as a Christian," Robison said. "In a democracy where the majority rules and where we're the ones who choose, then those we choose reflect the heart conscious and convictions of those who vote or who don't vote. Too many Christians have checked out. You've been told it's politically incorrect for church people to be involved. That's one of the biggest lies that ever came through the lips of Satan. Do not believe it! Of all people on this earth that ought to stand up and protect the precious and be light to illuminate the way out of this present and pressing darkness, we're the ones to do it."

"Hey, government, we can take control," he continued. "There are only 500 of you. We can get rid of the whole bunch in one smooth swoop and we can really reroute the whole ship! ... All hell is trembling — the gates of hell tremble. The very fact that people who love God and know God and love their neighbor, whatever stand up, speak up, and become a shining city set on a hill, oh, the demons shudder!"

Right Wing 'Army' Will Save Texas From 'Public Approval And Acceptance To Homosexual Activity'

Next Monday, March 23rd, Conservative Republicans of Texas, with the support of over 100 state officials, will host a Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally outside the state capitol at which Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore will be the keynote speaker.

Last week, the organization's president, radical right-wing activist Steven Hotze, released a video calling for activists to "join our army to protect biblical marriage" and prevent Texas from having "to grant public approval and acceptance to homosexual activity."

"It's time for Christians and conservatives to draw a line in the sand and to rise up and take a stand for God's truth about marriage," Hotze said. "A fierce battle for the soul of Texas has begun. The liberals and their pro-homosexual allies want to force Texans to redefine marriage and to accept homosexual mirage [sic] as morally right. The idea that homosexuals could be married is a mirage. It is contrary to God's moral order. It's a counterfeit. It's a fake. It's a lie."

"The homosexuals and their supporters are using the liberal federal judges to redefine marriage against the will of the people of Texas," he continued, "which will force Texans to grant public approval and acceptance of homosexual activity. This will lead to homosexual behavior being taught to school children":

Fischer: People Speaking Languages Other Than English Is A Sign Of God's Judgment On America

Alarmed by reports that more than half of those living in Los Angeles who are between the ages 18 to 34 are bilingual, Bryan Fischer declared on his radio program today that the fact that more and more people are speaking a language other than English in America is a sign of God's judgment upon this nation.

Seemingly unaware that the bilingual individuals profiled in the very article that he cited speak English in addition to another language, Fischer linked the rise of multilingualism in America to the story of the Tower of Babel in the book of Genesis in which God "confused the people with different languages" as punishment for their arrogance, saying that the same thing is now happening here.

"When God's judgment falls on a nation for turning its back on him," Fischer said, "one form that that judgment takes is that people lose their ability to talk to each other. It's a form and expression of God's judgment ... I believe God's judgment is beginning to settle in on this land in the form of linguistic isolation":

After Beck Threatens To Cancel His Membership, NRA Launches Ethics Investigation Into Grover Norquist

Earlier this week, Glenn Beck announced on his radio program that if anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist was re-elected to the board of the National Rifle Association, Beck would cancel his lifetime membership with the organization.

Beck's threat was rooted in a right-wing conspiracy theory that Norquist is some sort of nefarious front man for the Muslim Brotherhood and consequently is, in Beck's words, "a very bad man."

On his radio program today, Beck announced that he had an hour-long conversation yesterday with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre, who told him that the organization had been receiving hundreds of calls from Beck followers threatening to cancel their memberships if Beck does so, prompting LaPierre to promise Beck that the organization will launch an ethics investigation into Norquist that would "get to the bottom of this once and for all."

"Many of the reasons why we are off on the wrong track now in the Middle East," Beck said, "is because of the influence of Grover Norquist ... This guy is on the wrong side. Whether he knows it or not, I don't believe he's out trying to destroy America, but his efforts and his work will lead to the destruction of America."

Beck said that LaPierre vowed to him that the NRA would conduct a totally "transparent" investigation into Norquist and his work, the results of which will be published on the NRA website for all to see.

The fact that Norquist hasn't voluntarily resigned from the NRA or dropped his bid for re-election amid the allegations, Beck said, "speaks volumes."

"I think that says a lot about his personal character, myself," Beck said:

Why Are GOP Hopefuls Speaking At An Event With An 'Ex-Terrorist' Who Allegedly Threw Jews Off Buildings?

As Miranda noted earlier, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal are all scheduled to make an appearance this weekend at "The Awakening," an event organized by Liberty Counsel featuring a myriad of radical anti-gay and anti-Islam activists.

Among the participants will be Kamal Saleem, who has carved out a career for himself as an anti-Islam expert, supposedly based on his years as a leading Islamic terrorist with ties to Al Qaeda, Moammar Gadhafi, and Saddam Hussein before finally converting to Christianity.

The "insights" that Saleem provides in his capacity are generally nonsense and his entire tale of a previous life as a terrorist is highly suspect and filled with unbelievable tales such as how, at eight years old, he outran Israeli military fire while carrying a dead friend on his back after a botched weapons smuggling operation.

The inconsistencies and outright implausibility of many of his claims has not, in any way, damaged Saleem's reputation among Religious Right activists, as evidenced by the fact that he will be among those participating in "The Awakening," along with various GOP presidential hopefuls.

Earlier this week, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver spoke to a local Tea Party group in Orlando, Florida, where he pitched the upcoming event by specifically citing Saleem's participation in it as a reason for people to attend. In selling Saleem's life story as a vicious terrorist who was saved through Christ, Staver made a rather startling claim when he asserted that, in his terrorist past, Saleem had thrown Jews off the tops of building in Lebanon.

"Kamal Saleem was a terrorist," Staver said. "He was actually engaged in terrorist activity from a young boy and he knew all the top terrorist leaders from ... the head of Libya, the head of Syria, he knew all these different people. And he actually killed Jews, threw people off the tops of buildings during the Lebanon crisis and in the Green Zone, he was involved in active terrorism. Brutal stuff":

If we ignore everything we know about Saleem and his past and just accept for a minute that Staver's claim is true, it creates a situation in which three leading Republican presidential hopefuls will be speaking at an event alongside an anti-Semitic murderer who was never tried or punished for any his crimes ... but that is apparently not a big deal because that murderous terrorist has since found Christ and repented.

Mat Staver Will Disobey A SCOTUS Marriage Equality Ruling Just As He'd Refuse To Turn A Jew Over To The Nazis

Earlier this week, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver spoke to a local Tea Party group in Orlando, Florida, where he declared that if the Supreme Court strikes down state bans on gay marriage, he will refuse to "accept that as the rule of law" just as he would refuse to obey an order to turn a Jew over to the Nazis.

"I know from the natural created order that God made male and female, a mom and dad, husbands and wives as the first foundation of family," he said. "And I don't care if it is a 9-0 decision, they can't change that and they won't change that. And if they come out with a decision that is contrary to God's natural created order, I personally will advocate disobedience to it ... and collectively, we cannot accept that as the rule of law."

"You also have to be ready to pay the consequences," Staver continued, "because the civil government wrath is going to be poured out on you. But as a believer, you cannot obey something that is contrary to God's law. And we would easily say, well, what would happen if the government forced you turn over a Jew in Nazi Germany? All of us would say we wouldn't do that, we wouldn't listen to that. Well, we're about ready to walk into the moment":

Fischer: 'Conservatives Believe In Live And Let Live'

Bryan Fischer believes, among other things, that Native Americans and all immigrants should be required to convert to Christianity, that homosexuality should be illegal, that discrimination against gays should be official public policy, that gays should be banned from serving in public office, and that Muslims should be prohibited from immigrating to America, serving in the military, or building mosques.

So it came as a bit of a surprise to us to hear Fischer declare on his radio show today that conservatives such as himself "believe in live and let live."

"That's the difference between liberals and conservatives," he said. "Conservatives believe in live and let live. I may disapprove of your lifestyle, but I'm not going to use force to try and stop you from making those choices. You're going to have to answer to God, you'll have to deal with the consequences of your behavior. Liberals are not like that. They want to control every decision that people make. They lust for power and politics is where they find it":

As we have said time and time again, Bryan Fischer is a lot of things, but self-aware is not one of them.

AFA Concludes That Non-Religious Soldier Must Be Angry, Lonely, Confused And In Need Of Prayer

Earlier this week, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation received a complaint from a soldier at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia about the fact that military personnel manning the entrance gate were regularly wishing those who entered a "blessed day." After a call from MRFF to the commander in charge of security at the base, the gate personnel were instructed to change the welcome greeting to "have a nice day," which is not sitting well with the American Family Association.

On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer discussed this situation with Randy Sharp, the AFA's director of special projects, and after they spent a segment complaining about it, the two concluded that the person who filed the complaint must obviously be lonely, confused, and very angry and therefore in need of prayer.

"Pray for this young man," Sharp asked Fischer's radio audience, "that God would open the door for the Gospel to be presented to him and that he would come to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Nothing could be better."

Fischer then led the listening audience in prayer, asking that God would see "the loneliness, the confusion, the anger" in this soldier's heart as well as the "deceptions that that he has believed about you and about life and about Christ," and praying for an opportunity to arise for someone on the base to be able to minister to this soldier and "speak the truth, the life saving Gospel of Jesus Christ into his life":

Franklin Graham Says That Obama's Mother 'Must Have Been A Muslim'

Franklin Graham was a guest on the Family Research Council's "Washington Watch" radio program yesterday where he asserted that President Obama is refusing to fight ISIS because he wants to protect Islam since even his mother was a Muslim.

Ignoring the fact that Obama's father was an atheist and his mother agnostic, Graham told FRC head Tony Perkins that "one of the problems we have [is that Obama's] father was a Muslim, and his step-father was a Muslim. [He] lived in Indonesia and went to Muslim schools. His mother must have been a Muslim — we don't know that, but she married two Muslim men, so there must have been something there. And the framework that the president has growing up, his influences in his life was that of Islam."

"My influences growing up, as many in this country, were under the Christian influence and the biblical influence," he continued. "But our president did not have that, it was Islam and many feel that he's protecting Islam. I don't know that, but it certainly seems that way":

Jay Richards: Banning Gay Marriage Is Not Discriminatory Because 'I Don't Have The Right To Marry A Man Either'

On Tuesday's episode of the "Hagee Hotline," Matthew Hagee interviewed Jay Richards, a professor at the Catholic University of America and senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, about the Supreme Court's upcoming marriage equality case.

Hagee asked Richards how Christians should discuss the issue of gay marriage so as not to be dismissed as close-minded and judgmental bigots who seek to deny civil rights to gay people, to which Richards replied that the issue is not about discrimination at all because there simply is no such thing as gay marriage.

"The accusation is that people on the other side just defend so-called marriage equality whereas we believe in discrimination," Richards said. "That's not it at all. The question is what is marriage? If marriage is an institution that uniquely and exclusively involves a man and a woman then we're not depriving anyone of their rights. Anyone is free to marry so long as they can find someone that is willing to marry them, but marriage, by definition, is going to involve someone of the opposite sex. So it's not like if someone identifies as gay, they have a different set of rights than I do. I don't have the right to quote 'marry' a man either, simply because that's not what marriage is":

Alabama Supreme Court Orders Probate Judge to Violate Federal Court Decision

Roy Moore's colleagues seem to share his disdain for the rule of law, as well as the rights of gay and lesbian Alabamans.
PFAW Foundation

Glenn Beck Threatens To Cancel His NRA Membership If Grover Norquist Is Re-Elected To Group's Board

For years, Glenn Beck has been a vocal critic of right-wing anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist because he buys into the conspiracy theory that Norquist is a front-man for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney has been the leading proponent of the theory that Norquist is a secret Islamist sympathizer and Beck brought him on his radio program today to make his case against allowing Norquist to be re-elected to the board of directors of the National Rifle Association.

Beck is so alarmed by the danger posed by Norquist that he declared that if this "very bad man" is re-elected to the NRA board, he is going to cancel his membership. 

"I will tell you that I am so concerned about this," Beck said, "and I hope that the leadership of the NRA hears this and every member of the NRA hears this, that if this man is elected, or re-elected, and confirmed on the board of the NRA, I may drop my membership in the NRA. I am that concerned that he is a very bad influence and a very bad man that if this is who the NRA decides to put on their board of directors, I don't think I can be associated with them":

Catholic Group Calls For Leaders Of Pro-Marriage Equality Businesses To Be Blacklisted

Earlier today, we noted that anti-gay activists are very upset that hundreds of corporations and business groups, including a few professional sports teams, have submitted a brief to the Supreme Court in support of marriage equality, with some activists calling for a boycott of those who have signed on to the brief.

Now the right-wing Cardinal Newman Society has added its voice to the chorus of outrage by demanding that no person in leadership at any of the businesses that signed on the marriage equality brief be allowed to speak at, receive any sort of accolade from, or be allowed to serve on any board or committee at any Catholic institution in the nation: 

The Cardinal Newman Society therefore urges Catholic schools, colleges and universities to refrain from all honors—including public recognition, honorary speaking platforms, and honored positions on boards and committees—for board members and senior leaders of these 379 corporations and business groups.

The Cardinal Newman Society promotes and defends faithful Catholic education. For more than two decades, the Newman Society has raised concerns about lecturers, commencement speakers and other honorees at Catholic colleges and universities whose public statements and actions oppose Catholic moral teaching and practice. We will publicly warn Catholic families and their bishops and pastors about any school, college or university that chooses to honor any board member or senior leader of the 379 corporations and business groups that joined in the March 5th brief. Any such honor does harm to the Catholic Church and undermines our bishops, who have clearly explained why Catholics must defend marriage without compromise.

...

The 379 corporations and business groups that filed the amicus brief argue that national recognition of same-sex marriage is necessary to avoid the "economic burden" of a "fractured legal landscape" across states. That is a shortsighted and materialistic position that rejects the primacy of the family in American economy and society as well as the principles of American federalism. Whether or not same-sex unions are legally permitted, they are intrinsically immoral and contrary to human nature. Hoping to relieve their own perceived "economic burden," the amici ignore the plight of businesses and religious organizations that operate according to Catholic beliefs; these should be exempted from recognizing same-sex unions in employment and health care decisions. To ignore religious freedom is to disregard a fundamental principle upon which this nation was founded, thereby endangering Catholic education and other religious services and activities.

The 379 corporations and business groups also contend that "more than seventy percent of Americans live in a state that celebrates and recognizes same-sex marriages," apparently hoping to convince the Supreme Court of America's overwhelming support for legalizing same-sex unions. But citizens in only three states—Maine, Maryland and Washington—have voted for laws permitting same-sex marriage. Another 10 states have laws approved by state legislatures. But in 24 states—two-thirds of the states with same-sex marriage—the practice has been imposed by activist courts claiming a right that appears nowhere in the law or in the U.S. Constitution. The fact of court-imposed laws is no basis upon which the Supreme Court or these corporations should deny the nature of marriage and the rights of American citizens to determine state laws.

Matthew Hagee: Gay Marriage 'Is Taking Away The Ability Of ... Society To Survive'

On yesterday's "Hagee Hotline," Matthew Hagee told a viewer who could not "understand how homosexuals can truly feel like they're walking with the Lord" that gay people are deceived by the Devil. Hagee asserted that Satan is "the Father of Lies" and has "created a world of deception," warning that gay marriage will lead to the collapse of society.

"Marriage between a man and a woman is how families are created," Hagee said. "Families are required to support an economy. If you do not have a culture that is producing more children than people who are in need of the resources of that society, then you have a culture that is virtually dying. Whenever you create a platform that degrades marriage and enables same-sex unions, you are taking away the ability of that society to survive. These are simple facts":

Hagee: Netanyahu's Speech To Congress Was God's Warning To America To Stand With Israel Or Face Judgment

Yesterday's "Hagee Hotline" featured an excerpt from John Hagee's sermon this past Sunday, during which he declared that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress last week was really a message from God that He will destroy America if this nation does not stand with Israel.

"If we do not stand up for Israel," Hagee warned, "if we do not embrace Israel in her hour of tragedy, God will bring judgment to us. ... God's message to America this past Tuesday in Congress was loud and clear: Stand with Israel because the day you reject Israel is the day that I will reject you."

"Hello, Washington. Hello, John Kerry," he continued. "We are not negotiating Israel's future in Iran. We are negotiating ours":

Staver: Boycott Sports Teams That Support Marriage Equality

To say that anti-gay groups are not happy about the fact that the New England Patriots, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the San Francisco Giants were parties to a brief filed with the Supreme Court in favor of marriage equality would be something of an understatement.

Last week, the Family Research Council's Craig James said that such support for gay marriage is satanic, and now Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver is calling upon anti-gay Christians to boycott teams that support marriage equality on the grounds that they are alienating their fan base and have fallen under the control of "radical ideologues who want to literally undermine our Judeo-Christian values":

"I think we ought to vote with our dollars and not support those sports entities, those sports organizations, or those businesses that literally are hostile to our faith and to the very foundational values of God's natural created order of man and woman as the union of a husband and wife in marriage," Staver declares. "That's so fundamental. If they can't get that right, how can they get anything else right and how are they deserving of any of our respect or our support?"

Staver says that most companies find it is the wrong decision to get involved in the activist side of homosexuality because it alienates a large customer base.

"What we see, however, is a few radical people who sometimes work their way to the tops of these organizations who push their radical agenda," Staver explains. "They simply can't help themselves. They want to push their agenda and they want to push it in your face."

...

He contends that never before has the United States seen such an outright war on the traditional values that have formed the backbone of society since the nation’s founding.

"But they are radical ideologues who want to literally undermine our Judeo-Christian values," Staver argues. "It's the most serious assault on our family, faith and freedom that we've faced in American history."

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