It is worth remembering that the entire impetus behind last night's "I Stand Sunday" rally was an effort by anti-gay activists to repeal a nondiscrimination ordinance passed by the city of Houston that extended protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, because it puts in context Tony Perkins' statement that protecting "religious liberty" at home will go a long way toward protecting Christians in the Middle East from religious persecution.
As the Family Research Council president sees it, failure to allow anti-gay Christians in America to discriminate in the name of "religious freedom" is feeding the persecution of Christians worldwide.
"There is a connection between the growing hostility toward biblical Christianity here at home and persecution abroad," he said. "And the reason is very simple: if the policies of our own government toward Christians in America is intolerant, the message that that is sending to despots and to dictators in far-away places is that religious freedom is no longer a priority or even a concern for America."
By standing up for anti-gay Christians who seek to deny equal rights to gays in America under the guise of religious liberty, Perkins said, "you will give hope to far-away places around the world."
"It's time that we stand once again for religious freedom here in America and give the world hope," he said:
During last night's "I Stand Sunday" event, organizers showed a video featuring Eric Metaxas, author of a recent biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in which he warned that if the church does not stand together against government oppression, America will follow the path of Nazi Germany.
Just as Bonhoeffer tried to get churches in Germany to link arms and fight Hitler, Metaxas said, so too must churches in America rally together to push back against the government's increasing tyranny.
"The parallel today is simply that you have a government, a state, which is getting larger and larger and more and more powerful and it is beginning to push against the church," he warned. "There's a window of opportunity where we can fight. If we don't wake up and fight before then, we won't be able to fight. That's just what happened in Germany and that's the urgency we have in America now. And people think that's incendiary or I'm being hyperbolic. I'm sorry, I wish, I wish, I wish I were. I'm not":
Last night's "I Stand Sunday" rally opened with remarks from some of the Houston pastors who had their sermons subpoenaed by the government as part of the lawsuit seeking to overturn the city's nondiscrimination ordinance, with pastors from Cuba and Vietnam warning that America was now falling under tyranny, just like the nations they had fled.
Magda Hermida declared that she and her husband had fled Cuba's police state because their rights to free speech and free exercise of religion were oppressed by the government only to discover that now the same thing is happening in America.
"This mayor wants to use her power to see the sermon of our pastor and use them against us," she said. "The police state this creates is that same that my husband and I experienced in Cuba."
Khanh Huynh echoed that statement, declaring that he and millions of others had fled Vietnam because "the freedom of speech and freedom of religion were among the first to be lost in Vietnam and now I'm facing the same marching boot of tyranny right here where I live."
Finally, Willie Davis railed against the city's nondiscrimination ordinance, asking "how can you call something right when it's all wrong" and declaring that since the city had no problem with anti-gay discrimination, the ordinance has ended up needlessly dividing the city because gay rights is not a civil rights issue.
"I'm deeply offended simply by this ordinance," Davis stated, because "it piggy-backs on the 1964 Civil Rights Act which has nothing to do with this [issue]." With the crowd giving him a standing ovation, Davis declared that they will continue to fight against this ordinance until it is repealed "for we know it's what's right in the sight of God":
Following his father's pledge not to "take a leak" in the women's restroom at last night's "I Stand Sunday" event, conservative pastor Alan Robertson of the reality TV show "Duck Dynasty"doubled down on his comments from last week that the "Evil One" is out to destroy his family.
Conservative Christians need to warn this nation of "the dire consequences of unrestrained living against the will of God," Robertson told the crowd, because "it will destroy us all."
"I don't want to be in Sodom and Gomorrah, waiting until the last possible moment and then look up and realize that I waited too long," he said. "That my family now is on the altar of sacrifice because I didn't make a difference before the catastrophe came."
"There is an Evil One, an enemy who is against us," Robertson continued. "He is there and he is fighting us and we have to take the fight to him":
Last night, anti-gay activists gathered in Houston, Texas, for an event called "I Stand Sunday" to rally against subpoenas issued by the city government to five local pastors as part of a lawsuit filed by activists in an effort to overturn the city's nondiscrimination ordinance.
The subpoenas have been withdrawn, but right-wing activists are still demanding that the petitions they had submitted to put the nondiscrimination ordinance on the ballot be honored by the city, rallying around the cry of "let the people vote!"
The main contention of the activists is that the ordinance would, in the words of one pastor featured in a promotional video played during the event, create a nightmare scenario of "a grown man going into the restroom with a six-year-old girl, standing alongside of her, using the restroom."
The fear of men using women's restrooms was played up by Phil Robertson of the reality television program "Duck Dynasty," who opened his remarks at last night's event by assuring thet women in the audience that when he needs "to take a leak," he will not use their bathroom.
"For all you ladies in Texas, trust me when I tell you this," he said, "when you're seated in your restroom, putting on your Maybelline, when I need to take a leak, I'm not going there":
Right-wing pundit Gina Loudon has been guest-hosting the "Focal Point" radio program all week while Bryan Fischer has been on vacation and today she conducted an amazingly sycophantic interview with Newt Gingrich during which he declared that if he found himself elected president tomorrow, his first order of business would be to deliver a national address calling the nation to prayer.
The comment was precipitated by Loudon asking Gingrich what he would do to address America's various problems if he woke up tomorrow to discover that he had been elected president, to which he replied that his first priority would be to address the "scale of shock" the nation would be under to realize that it now had a President Gingrich.
He added that he would use Franklin Roosevelt's D-Day speech in which he called upon the nation to pray for success and for the safety of those involved as a model for his presidential address.
"I suspect the first thing I would do," he speculated, "is to say to the country, 'You're probably in as much shock as I am and we should all go to God in prayer because we're going to need it to get America out of the problems it's currently in'":
Appearing on Newsmax TV's "Midpoint" program today, Rep. Michele Bachmann told host Ed Berliner that she fully intends to play a significant role in public policy debates and the 2016 presidential election after leaving Congress at the end of her term, especially if Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination.
As the only Republican woman to ever participate in televised presidential debates and "the only woman Republican candidate who ever won a presidential contest," Bachmann asserted that "I occupy a unique space" in public sphere and therefore she intends to be "heavily involved in the 2016 race, in particular if Hillary Clinton is the nominee for president on the Democrat [sic] side."
Bachmann, of course, won the Iowa Straw Poll in 2011 which, as its name suggests, is nothing more than a nonbinding poll, as even the official website readily admits that "the Straw Poll results have no official or legal effect."
Nonetheless, Bachmann has big plans to "be in the national media," speaking around the country, appearing on radio and writing weekly columns and perhaps even a book.
"I intend to have my voice and my thoughts as far and wide as I possibly can," she pledged, "to bring in the perspective of the conservative movement in this upcoming race in 2016. It is the pivotal race in our lifetime and I wanna be involved":
On his radio program today, Glenn Beck answered some questions submitted by his listeners, including one from a parent of a son who wants to join the ROTC, which the parent opposes because America's "leadership is so corrupt," asking Beck if he would allow his own son to join the military.
"I wouldn't want my son joining the military now," Beck declared, saying that no matter who becomes the next president, America is going to implode.
"Starting Tuesday, until the inauguration of the next president," he said, "this is the most dangerous time in our nation's history."
With elections for tight races all across the country just a few days away, People For the American Way Foundation’s Young People For (YP4) program is pulling out all the stops to help young voters get to the polls and cast their vote this November 4.
As overreaching new voter ID laws threaten to stifle the voices of Americans in a number of states, getting out the vote has never been more critical. YP4 Fellows and alumni have been working hard to ensure that students, people of color, women and other underrepresented communities get their equal say in our democratic system. Our 25 YP4 Vote Organizers are spread across the country in 15 states, working to conduct community outreach, voter engagement, and volunteer recruitment to help mobilize their communities to vote.
Throughout this year, YP4 activists have also advocated for resolutions to enfranchise student voters and increased the number of young registered voters by over 2,000 through dozens of trainings and events.
YP4 has dedicated itself this election cycle to helping young leaders make informed and motivated voters out of those who are routinely overlooked by politicians. In a year in which some lawmakers have sought to discourage voter turnout, campaigns like YP4’s ARRIVE WITH 5 initiative, which encourages voters to bring five or more friends to the polls, help shape a government that actually represents the governed.
The midterm election is no time to stay at home. In a campaign season of extremely narrow races, each and every vote has an impact. We can only make our democracy work for everyone when all Americans are encouraged to engage in civic life and realize what a real difference their voices can make.
When voters in Alabama go to the polls next week, one issue they will be asked to decide is whether the state constitution needs to be amended to outlaw Islamic Sharia law through Amendment 1, which would "prohibit the application of foreign law in violation of rights guaranteed natural citizens by the United States and Alabama Constitutions."
A similar amendment in Oklahoma was struck down as unconstitutional.
Normally, these sorts of efforts are nothing more than attempts to gin up right-wing activists by enshrining Christian privileges in states where Christians already dominate all levels of government. In fact, so obvious is this strategy and so needless is this amendment that even Randy Brinson, president of the Alabama Christian Coalition, has come out against it:
"This is a tremendous waste of effort. It's is a waste of time and it costs money," Brinson said Thursday morning, talking with AL.com between seeing patients at his medical practice in Montgomery. "This just creates a whole new headache for people involved in foreign adoptions or who get married in another country. My frustration is that people -- good people -- get behind something like this just because they want to score political points with the Christian community. But it's redundant - you don't need to amend the constitution to address these issues. I just don't think they thought through this particular thing."
"I understand the sentiment behind this, but Sharia law is not going to be implemented in Alabama, it just isn't," Brinson said. "And this would just be another stigma for Alabama, another way of saying to other countries: 'We don't respect your laws.'"
"Alabama law - or laws from outside the state -- either comports with the law of the United States or they don't," Brinson said. "This is just silliness. It's all something that lawmakers can trumpet back to constituents that they're protecting Christian values, but they need to be working on other stuff."
While admitting that "persecution" in America today is nothing like what Christians in the Middle East are facing, Santorum warned that Christians in the U.S. must nevertheless remain vigilant because the sort of deadly persecution faced by Christians around the world does not just happen overnight.
The slide toward wholesale persecution is a process, Santorum said, pointing to Nazi Germany to argue that just as the Jews in that country found it "unfathomable" that anything like the Holocaust could ever happen, so too does it seem unfathomable that anything like that could ever happen in America.
"If we continue down this path, things are not going to get better," Santorum said, "and the chance of something really bad beginning to happen, where your faith is really constrained, or your lives are really in danger becomes a possibility down the road":
Earlier this week, an anti-street-harassment group released a video documenting a woman dressed in jeans and a t-shirt receiving over a hundred unwanted catcalls from men while walking the streets of New York over a ten hour period.
Glenn Beck mentioned the video on his radio program today, admitting that some of this harassment was creepy and inappropriate, but his co-hosts, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere, were not particularly sympathetic, insisting that the vast majority of the remarks made toward this woman should be considered compliments and asserting that she obviously wanted people looking at her backside.
At one point in the video, a man says "Sexy American Eagle" as the woman passes by, apparently in reference to a logo patch on back of her jeans, and Pat Gray didn't really see anything wrong with that, asserting utterly without evidence that she must have had a large logo plastered across her behind, which was her way of enticing people to look at it.
"C'mon, you're wearing logos on your butt!" Gray said. "You're asking for somebody to notice your butt":
Today we discovered that right-wing pundit, activist, crackpot, and conspiracy theorist Wayne Allyn Root has been producing weekly video commentaries for several years now through which he spreads his reasonable beliefs that President Obama is the "greatest scam artist in history" and declares that "we have a sociopath in the White House."
Last month, Root decided to take on the pressing issue of whether America could have defeated the Nazis during World War II if President Obama had been in charge, concluding, not surprisingly, that we would have lost the war and "we would all be speaking German right about now."
This question is extremely relevant today, Root explained, because "World War III may have already started with Russia or ISIS or China or all of the above plotting to destroy America" and we don't even realize it. As such, Republicans must immediately remove Obama from office because otherwise this nation simply will not survive the remainder of his term.
"We have decisions to make if we want America to survive," Root warned. "We have to decide if our president is incompetent or mentally ill. Or if he’s delusional and really believes all the answers to the many crises facing America are found on a golf course, or at a Democratic fundraiser. Or whether this is treason. Republican leaders are going to have to do more than talk or whisper in the halls of Congress. Someone is going to have to take action to remove our president of his command because I know we aren't going to make it with Obama in charge for two more years":
Christian apologist and Religious Right anti-gay activist Frank Turek was a guest on the AFA's "Today's Issues" radio broadcast yesterday, discussing his most recent column where he stated that the fight against gay marriage is a states' rights issue, just like slavery was during the Civil War.
Turek was advocating for a governor to simply refuse to recognize or enforce any federal court ruling striking down their state's gay marriage ban, much like how Andrew Jackson refused to enforce a Supreme Court ruling concerning relations with Native Americans. He predicted that if they were to do so, President Obama would then send out the National Guard to arrest them, at which point Christians would rally around the governor, resulting in all of them ending up in jail.
When hosts Tim Wildmon and Ed Vitagliano wondered just where they might find a governor courageous enough to take such a stand, Turek suggested that South Carolina would be a perfect choice because that state has a history of being willing to fight for states' rights, as demonstrated by the Civil War.
"It started in South Carolina with the Civil War as you know," Turek said, "for the same kind of issue: states' rights. Obviously the issue is different. I mean, slavery was different than obviously this. But, I mean, it was a states' rights issue":
Last week, a Canadian man went on a shooting rampage in Ottawa, killing a soldier before entering Parliament, where he was killed by the parliamentary sergeant-at-arms.
Naturally Matthew Hagee sees this as further proof that the End Times are approaching, saying on this week's "Hagee Hotline" that the attack was "absolutely" tied to Christ's imminent return.
We are seeing "wars and rumors of wars," just as Jesus prophesied, Hagee declared, which is proof that we are living in the final days:
For the record, Hagge has also insisted that the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling, the shooting at the Navy Yard, Obamacare, climate change, and the Ebola outbreak are all proof that the End Times are near.
On the "WallBuilders Live" radio program today, David Barton declared that he was "grateful" to see that the most recent "Left Behind" remake had bombed at the box office because, he said, the books and movies teach an unbiblical eschatology that causes Christians to check out of the culture wars as they simply wait for Jesus to take them away in The Rapture.
"The movie is a complete bust," Barton rejoiced. "It did really pathetic at the box office ... and quite frankly I was somewhat happy the movie was a bust."
Barton said that the books, written by influential Religious Right leader Tim LaHaye, and the movies, initially starring the likes of Barton's pal Kirk Cameron, promote a false eschatology, which is the theological belief about how the End Times will unfold. He said the "Left Behind" series has convinced too many Christians that "it is a waste of time to get involved" in the affairs of the world because nothing they do will change anything and they won't be around to suffer when everything falls apart anyway.
Barton said that this belief conflicts with Jesus' explicit teaching that Christians are to occupy the world until He returns and so he "was really grateful that the movie didn't do well because I didn't want that mentality going out there. It violates way too many things in the Bible."
"I think the movie not doing well is [a sign] that hopefully our eschatology is beginning to change for a more sound biblical direction in America," he said. "Maybe we're getting a little more mature and a little wiser over some things":
Yesterday, Tom Minnery and Stuart Shepard of Focus on the Family's CitizenLink were discussing the need for conservative Christians to vote in the upcoming election, with Minnery saying that it was important so that Republicans can control both the House and the Senate and then pass right-wing legislation that President Obama will then veto, which will help the Republicans in the 2016 presidential election.
"It's always important to highlight the difference between conservatives and liberals," Minnery said. "The issue of marriage, the issue of sanctity of human life, the issue of religious liberty more and more, are issues that highlight the differences."
If Republicans take control of Congress, Minnery hopes that they will then pass various pieces of anti-abortion legislation that Obama will inevitably veto, which will help Republican candidates who will be running for president in the next election.
"Highlighting it during these next two years will be a good thing," Minnery said, as Shepard reminded viewers that "it's always important to keep an eye on the long term, on the big picture ... because it's the long term movement we're looking for":
The midterm elections are less than a week away and Glenn Beck has been noticeably disinterested, very rarely even discussing the key races or the election in general on his radio or television program in recent weeks.
Perhaps realizing that he should at least pretend to feign interest in the election, Beck hosted a "one day only comprehensive midterm coverage" episode on his radio program yesterday during which he interviewed a handful of Republican candidates while barely managing to conceal his utter boredom.
In the last week or so, Beck has repeatedly said that he hates politics and politicians and doesn't want to cover these issues any more because there is no difference between the two parties:
"Stop making it seem like there are two parties. There’s no Republicans or Democrats. There are progressives and non-progressives. There are those progressives, and then those who believe in the Constitution. I happen to believe in the Constitution. The progressive party was started by the Republicans. Period. And you’ll notice, you’ll notice as soon as I started saying that, you’ll notice how quickly the establishment started to run from me."
Beck's disinterest can be traced back to the loss of Tea Party challengers to Republican incumbents during the GOP primaries earlier this year, in which "founder-quality" candidates like Matt Bevin and Chris McDaniel failed in their efforts to unseat Republican senators Mitch McConnell and Thad Cochran, respectively ... and which Beck did not handle well.
Ever since then, Beck has soured on electoral politics, which is rather interesting since it seems to be diametrically opposed to the message that he was delivering just over a year ago when he told his audience not to give up on politics because they were just on the verge of completely taking over the Republican Party.
"I don't think people realize how close you are to winning," Beck said on his radio program last summer. "Don't you see, in six years we haven't been this close to taking over taking over the Republican Party ... The next election, you're there":
Now, "the next election" is here ... and Glenn Beck is nowhere to be seen.
On a "Believer's Voice of Victory" episode scheduled to air on Thursday, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton told televangelist Kenneth Copeland that no government can ever legalize same-sex marriage because "we have an inalienable right to marriage to be a man and a woman and no other combination."
Barton said that the institution of marriage was created by God long before government ever existed, and therefore "government can't get over into God's jurisdiction."
"Whatever God did in Genesis 1-8, government will protect but it cannot redefine, it cannot change," he said: