Following a Christian Broadcasting Network report on a city in the Philippines that requires taxi drivers to post verses from the Bible, Pat Robertson lamented on his television show today that there is no similar requirement of taxi drivers in the U.S.
Robertson said that America should make the Bible the foundation of the nation’s laws, warning that the country will collapse without stronger biblical influences in government and society at large.
“This country was raised as honoring the Bible, how far have we come now where we have allowed a few atheists to destroy the very foundations of our culture and we’re in danger of losing all of our freedom because our freedom rests, ladies and gentlemen, rests on the word of God,” he said. “You take away the Bible and you have the Nazis and you have the Communists and you have the dictators and you have evil rampant. America is still a Christian country but is far, far, far away from where it used to be.”
On his television show today, Pat Robertson said President Obama was “implicated” in the killing of two members of the NYPD this weekend by a mentally ill man who ambushed the officers after shooting his ex-girlfriend and later killed himself.
The televangelist joined other right-wing media pundits in baselessly claiming that Obama and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stoked violence and hostility against the police and share responsibility in the murders.
Robertson even wondered if the police will go on strike to protest Obama and de Blasio.
Right-wing legal activist Larry Klayman knows the real reason President Obama restored diplomatic relations with Cuba, writing this weekend in WorldNetDaily that the president wants to bring communism to America.
“Obama only wishes he could move our nation even further to the left, Cuban-style,” Klayman said. “The Castro brothers and Obama have a not too latent kinship, and this outrageous deal proves it.”
After alleging that Obama stole the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, Klayman writes in his column that the “closet communist and pro-Muslim” president admires Cuba’s “Hitleresque dictatorship” and won’t rest until he “totally destroys democracy.”
Klayman even accused Fidel and Raul Castro of launching “a Latin Holocaust.”
President Barack Hussein Obama, not to be undone by his two fraudulent elections and the myriad of what he calls phony scandals, has upped the ante once again. Just fresh off of his admittedly “emperor-like” executive action unconstitutionally granting amnesty to over 5 million illegal aliens – which Sheriff Joe Arpaio and I are challenging in our lawsuit Monday, Dec. 22 – this avowed socialist president has again exercised his so-called executive authority and opened up relations with communist Cuba, after decades of a justified economic embargo. In so doing, he cut an under-the-table deal with Cuban President Raul Castro and freed three Cuban spies who had been criminally convicted of participating in shooting down four Brothers to the Rescue who years ago were flying over the Florida Straits to save rafters fleeing from this communist hell hole. Brothers to the Rescue, a humanitarian group founded by Jose Basulto, a true American hero and former CIA agent who was at the Bay of Pigs and whom I am proud to call my friend and client (I obtained a $1.8 million judgment against Castro for this dastardly act), was not even consulted on the deal before Obama announced it, opening a deep wound in the Miami Cuban community and trampling on the graves of Basulto’s brothers.
One can debate whether relations with Cuba should be normalized and the trade embargo lifted at some point in time after the deaths of the Castro brothers, but it is indisputable that the “terms” agreed to by President Obama and his socialist if not communist minions in his administration amount to simple capitulation – for the quid pro quo over the last five decades has been simply that the Castros must agree to free elections on the communist island. Cuba has not agreed to this; its Hitleresque dictatorship continues unabated. Indeed, Fidel and now Raul, his brother, are simply repackaged versions of the Fuhrer.
The bottom line: The Castro brothers are barbaric, communist, degenerate scum who should have long been “offed” by our CIA after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion during the early years of the presidency of John F. Kennedy, not coddled by the likes of our current president. No passage of time can reverse their crimes against humanity or brutality – among thousands of evil acts, they even killed scores of innocent children when they sank a boat fleeing Havana for Miami – no more than one can erase the memory and consequences of the Holocaust.
Taking a page from the Third Reich, the Castro brothers have perpetrated a Latin Holocaust over their own people all these years to remain in power. And, lets us not forget the Cuban missile crisis, where they threatened to wipe us off the face of the earth with nuclear missiles just 90 miles off our shores. I was a young boy at the time, and I had nightmares for years as even my mother told my sister and me at the time that we may all be killed.
“The entire policy shift announced today is based on an illusion, on a lie, the lie and the illusion that more commerce and access to money and goods will translate to political freedom for the Cuban people,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida and son of Cuban immigrants. “All this is going to do is give the Castro regime, which controls every aspect of Cuban life, the opportunity to manipulate these changes to perpetuate itself in power” (New York Times, Dec. 17, 2014).
Of course, that is what Obama, a closet communist and pro-Muslim “dictator” in his own right, wants. Nothing better than to have his communist brothers, ones like the Castro brothers who also support terrorist regimes like the Islamic Republic of Iran, now breath easily and feel “freer” to continue their socialist revolution. After all, while somewhat constrained by Republicans and some now in his own Democratic Party, Obama only wishes he could move our nation even further to the left, Cuban-style. The Castro brothers and Obama have a not too latent kinship, and this outrageous deal proves it.
Along with his granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, Obama now unilaterally takes another executive action, which legitimizes a brutal communist dictatorship. Former Gov. Jeb Bush rightly reacted: “… the latest foreign policy misstep by this president … [is] another dramatic overreach of his executive authority. It undermines America’s credibility and undermines the quest for a free and democratic Cuba.”
This is clearly a runaway corrupt socialist president who must be legally stopped before he totally destroys democracy not just in this country, but also the chances for democracy in Cuba, geographically one of our closest neighbors in the Western Hemisphere.
What better way to criticize your political opponents than by accusing them of creating an oppressive government that will lead to the coming of the Antichrist and fulfill biblical prophecy on the Last Days?
Warning about the imminent end of the world may seem extreme, but it is a great way for media personalities, politicians and activists to rile up and instill fear in their base. Whether such arguments are purely cynical or genuine, in 2014 many conservative pundits cited the End Times to back up their denunciations of everything from gay rights to the so-called ‘War on Christmas.’
The Obama Presidency
After leaving Congress, Michele Bachmann hopes to become a major conservative voice on foreign policy issues. Among her qualifications, apparently, is her knowledge of the End Times. Bachmann has warned that the Bible prophesied the president’s foreign policy decisions, arguing that Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are “calling for actual war and economic war against Israel, or at least suggesting it as such.”
“The nations of the world will come against Israel, and the scripture very specifically says all nations. Now for the United States, we don’t have that experience until recently under President Obama with the United States not standing with Israel,” Bachmann said in an interview with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, adding that the Jewish community “sold out Israel” in order to “support the political priority and the political ambitions of the president.”
Pat Robertson became so concerned with Obama’s term in office that he called on “700 Club” viewers to “pray to be delivered from this president,” warning that America will face “serious decline unless something dramatic is done about it.” Televangelist Matthew Hagee feared that Obamacare would condition people to accept “the kind of global dictatorship that is described in the End Times” and take on the Mark of the Beast.
Pastor Franklin Graham suggested that God will bless Russia thanks to Vladimir Putin’s leadership while removing His favor from America as a result of administration policies that are “pushing the gay-lesbian agenda.” “Our president and his attorney general have turned their backs on God and His standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration’s lead,” Graham said.
Pastor Mark Creech, who is affiliated with the American Family Association, wrote a column for the Christian Post implying that Obama is the Antichrist who will surface “in the last days – the day before Christ's return.”
Radio host Rick Wiles dedicated an entire show with Jonathan Wright to discussing how the “Bible Code” proves Obama is the Antichrist and even offered the strongest evidence yet that Obama is either the Antichrist or his forerunner: a fly once landed on him.
Following the lead of Republican politicians who cynically turned the Ebola outbreak in West Africa into a campaign issue, only to have their incendiary rhetoric about Ebola (and Ebola-tainted urine) subside after the Fall election, many conservative pundits and pastors used Ebola to stoke fear about imminent dictatorship, divine punishment and the end of the world as we know it.
Televangelist John Hagee told viewers that the Ebola virus is God’s way of showing his anger with President Obama’s foreign policies, while his son Matthew Hagee suggested that the Bible pointed to Ebola as a sign of the End Times. Another televangelist, Jim Bakker, offered a special discount on survival food items, including desserts, in case Ebola and other calamities bring down the country.
The doomsday prophet Glenn Beck — who raised fears about Nigerian prison guards possibly spreading Ebola to Texas and suggested that Obama doesn’t mind Texans contracting Ebola since it is a conservative state — was pretty sure that the Ebola outbreak is the beginning of God’s judgment on the country and America’s imminent collapse.
Several GOP members of Congress issued claims that Obama will intentionally infect Americans with the virus, while others made completely baseless allegations that Ebola-infected immigrants are descending upon America.
WorldNetDaily, a bastion of right-wing conspiracy theories, at different times alleged that Obama wanted Ebola to spread throughout the country in order to justify his purported plans to establish gulags, lock Americans in FEMA camps and declare martial law.
Far-right radio hosts alleged that Obama wanted to “round up patriots,” ban churches and aid Ebola-infected ISIS fighters, and one Fox News personality said Obama hoped to use Ebola to make America “suffer” while helping his African brethren. One prominent right-wing radio broadcaster, Janet Parshall, said God used Ebola as a “warning” because “he is a gentleman.”
Of course, gay people were also to blame. “Trunews” host Rick Wiles said God will use Ebola to give gays and others an “attitude adjustment,” and pastor Ron Baity, who worked with the Family Research Council to champion his state’s ban on marriage equality, said homosexuality is responsible for the Ebola outbreak since it is “bringing the judgment of God on this nation.”
Gays Rights Victories
Ebola, it turns out, was just one way that gay people, along with supporters of gay rights, tried to usher in the global calamities leading up to the End Times.
Deryl Edwards of Liberty Counsel pointed to growing acceptance of gay Christians as a sign that we are “in the Last Days.” Mission America’s Linda Harvey claimed marriage equality is one reason why “we’re heading into the End Times, and it sure looks like we may be, or the end of America — or both.” Michael Bresciani of the Christian Post said God will use terrorist attacks to punish the country for accepting gay rights. Pastor Flip Benham maintained that homosexuality “destroys those who practice it and nations that approve of it.” Rick Wiles predicted that gay rights will lead to an all-out nuclear war.
Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Dwight McKissic said athlete Michael Sam’s decision to come out of the closet shows that “the spirit of Sodom would be prevalent and prominent in the end time,” since, McKissic claims, “the Anti-Christ would be a homosexual, or certainly unmarried.”
“This is the moral issue of the End Times,” pastor Scott Lively said of homosexuality, lamenting in a radio show interview that “it’s just astonishing how rapidly they are proceeding in homosexualizing the whole world.”
Addressing the National Organization for Marriage’s Washington D.C. rally, Mike Huckabee said that “there is no doubt in my mind” that the U.S. “will feel His hand of judgment” if the courts strike down bans on same-sex marriage. Another speaker at the event, pastor and Pennsylvania politician Sam Rohrer, predicted that the legalization of same-sex marriage will “destroy the very fabric of our nation,” “invite God’s judgment” and “remove His blessing from our nation.”
Televangelist Pat Robertson — who had a banner year of blasting gay people as “terrorists” and demonic — marked Thanksgiving by warning that gay rights are “sowing the seeds” of America’s “destruction.”
Not only did we learn this year that the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade was responsible for America’s withdrawal from Vietnam, but the landmark ruling is also apparently paving the way for the Last Days.
“The Response: Louisiana,” the upcoming Baton Rouge prayer rally hosted by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and sponsored by the American Family Association, republished materials from its 2012 Houston event featuring Texas Gov. Rick Perry that blamed abortion rights and homosexuality for natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and for contributing to America’s “ultimate destruction.” (After the materials caused controversy, organizers removed them from their website). Mike Huckabee similarly warned in a speech reflecting on the Holocaust that abortion rights and marriage equality will lead to the collapse of civilization.
Michael Bresciani assured Christian Post readers that the deleterious effects of climate change actually have nothing to do with the environment at all. Instead, Bresciani writes, incidents of extreme weather are just “‘birth pangs’ for a planet about to meet its creator” as legal abortion, along with homosexuality, brings “the antichrist to his short lived rule over a reprobate and dying world.”
In a column published on BarbWire, Bresciani claimed that “gay marriage and abortion, Obama’s preferred social causes, are antichrist in nature,” warning that the “Bible says that when a nation chooses to ignore its sinfulness, God will not only allow them to go reprobate, but will empower them with rulers who will enable them to succeed in their drive to destruction.”
End Times preacher Jonathan Cahn linked abortion rights and same-sex marriage to the September 11 terrorist attacks and a looming “great shaking” from God, and the Oak Initiative said legal abortion led to “the alien invasion” on America’s southern border as “a sign of divine judgment.”
Joel Rosenberg, a prominent Religious Right author who focuses his work on End Times scenarios, told Pat Robertson that legal abortion has turned the U.S. into a worse country than Nazi Germany, warning viewers: “We know the judgment that came on Nazi Germany, and we feel like it was correct, it was just. What do we think is going to happen?”
The War on Christmas
Conservative activists often celebrate Christmas by claiming that they are being persecuted by store clerks and neighbors who dare to say “Happy Holidays” as part of the annual "War on Christmas."
A distraught Franklin Graham warned “the war on Christmas is a war on Christ and His followers” and described it as a satanic plot that may one day lead to violent anti-Christian persecution.
A Renew America columnist said the “war on Christmas” and “the growing disrespect and outright mocking of one of Christianity’s holiest days” is linked to biblical prophecies about the End Times: “While Christians in other nations like Iraq, China, and Iran are being murdered in the most gruesome of ways for their faith in Jesus Christ, America allows Him to be mocked and ridiculed. What kind of people have we become to allow this travesty? God's Word says that ‘in the Last Days, scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires.’ (2 Pe. 3:3 NLT).”
“Friends, what we are seeing is the reason America is not mentioned as a world power in Bible end times prophecy,” writes J.P. Sloane in the far-right outlet BarbWire. “As America continues to travel down the Paganistic heathen slope of perversions—and atheists attacking Christians and Jews—while Muslims are celebrating their holidays in the very capital of our country—yes in our very own White House—Christmas—a legal American holiday—is under attack on a regular annual basis!”
Christian Anti-Defamation Commission President Gary Cass told radio host Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries that “the spirit of Antichrist” is behind the mythical War on Christmas.
In an interview last week with Washington Times Radio host Andy Parks, Ben Carson said that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because it violates the U.S. Constitution’s provision that the government must “promote the general welfare” of the nation.
The likely GOP presidential candidate explained that the law helps some people while hurting others, so is therefore unconstitutional: “Your solution should be something that represents all the people. The Constitution says one of the purposes, in the preamble, it says is for the ‘promote the general welfare.’ What that means is that we do things that help everybody, we don’t pick this group and say, ‘We’re going to help you at the expense of this group over here.’ That’s not promoting the general welfare so we’re actually violating the Constitution in that sense.”
In that case, a whole host of laws could be considered unconstitutional since nearly everyone can point to a law that they think affects them negatively while helping others. “It wasn’t really about health care, it’s about control,” Carson said of the health care law.
Earlier this month, Carson demanded that Congress bring Obamacare up for a “re-vote” since the law “was passed through deception.”
“Trunews” host Rick Wiles reacted to the massacre of Pakistani children and educators in Peshawar this week by claiming that “Islam has to be eradicated.”
“How many innocent people must die until the world vomits out Islam? Folks, it must be eliminated,” he said. “Islam must be eliminated from the face of the earth, it must be stomped out like cockroaches, it is a religion from Hell, everywhere Muslims go there is bloodshed and violence.”
Wiles said that the world will only “get fed up with Islam and eradicate it like a virus” following a terrorist attack: “At some point the world will have to obliterate, with nuclear weapons, Mecca and Medina. It’s coming to that point, just watch, just wait, at some point the Muslims are going to get their hands on nuclear weapons and destroy Western cities and when tens of millions of people die perhaps the outrage will be so great at that point that the world will nuke Mecca and Medina and get rid of Islam.”
Wiles maintained that as Islam spreads “like a virus, like a cancer throughout the whole world,” the U.S. should take immediate action to kick Muslims “out of our country.”
End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles is upset that Western nations have imposed sanctions on the Russian economy, contributing to the country’s recent financial crisis, since Wiles is a big booster of Vladimir Putin and especially the Russian government’s anti-LGBT policies.
On his radio show “Trunews” this week, Wiles predicted that the U.S. will provoke Russia into using nuclear weapons “and just obliterate us while we sleep at night.”
And when this happens, Wiles warned, God won’t come to America’s aid: “We are on the edge of World War III and this time the United States of America does not have divine protection because we’ve become a nation of homosexuals and atheists and lesbians and God-haters.”
He said that Americans will instead cry out to their “gay god” while Russia pummels the country with nukes. “Is your gay god going to come and save you?” he asked.
Last year, Wiles warned of a looming nuclear war with North Korea, which he attributed to God’s outrage at gay people.
Gordon Klingenschmitt is excited about a recent Fox News poll that claims that 58 percent of Americans want to repeal Obamacare, declaring on his "Pray In Jesus Name" program recently that people ought to be relying on God for their healthcare.
Citing a passage from Exodus 15, Klingenschmitt asserted that God will protect people from disease so long as they obey His commands and said that Americans "ought to look to the Lord for our healthcare."
"I personally prefer to look to almighty God as my healer and not to the government as a substitute god or substitute healer," he said, before praying that this nation would "repent of worshiping President Obama as if he is a god":
In a victory for LGBT equality and genuine religious liberty, Michigan’s state legislature ended its 2014 lame duck session last night without passing a bill that would have allowed individuals and businesses to cite religious beliefs to bypass state anti-discrimination laws.
The Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act would have allowed business owners to refuse service to LGBT customers, and was initially introduced as a counter to a proposed state bill that would protect LGBT people from discrimination. But while the anti-discrimination bill never even moved, the discriminatory bill passed in the House.
After the bill was introduced in the state legislature, PFAW members and local activists mobilized to call lawmakers and raise awareness of the bill’s dangerous consequences for LGBT Michiganders. Efforts like this are not unique to Michigan and come in the wake of this year’s 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case. This legislation is part of a nationwide campaign by the Right to hijack freedom of religion and use it as a weapon to deny Americans their fundamental rights.
Fortunately, the bill -- which has been called the “right to discriminate” bill by some – did not even come to the State Senate floor for a vote.
This was the second of two victories in the Michigan state legislature’s lame duck session. Earlier this month, Michigan Republicans introduced a bill that would change the way the state’s electoral votes are counted in presidential elections. This strategy isn’t unique to Michigan, but is part of a larger right-wing effort to use Republican election victories in blue and swing states to consolidate political power by rigging the Electoral College, tilting the playing field to the GOP’s advantage. Last year, PFAW helped beat back similar plans in Pennsylvania and Virginia that would have changed the way those states apportion their electoral votes. In Michigan, we were just as engaged, with our members and staff attending committee hearings and lobbying legislators.
With the passage of a key deadline last week, the Electoral College rigging bill is also effectively dead for the year. But its proponents can (and likely will) bring it up again in the 2015 session – as they may also do with the “right to discriminate” bill. Michigan’s lame duck session has ended without either of these insidious bills becoming law, but the fight is far from over. We expect to see similar state-level legislative attacks from the Right throughout the next year. PFAW is proud to be a leader in the ongoing fight against right-wing extremism, and we’re ready to keep working in defense of progressive values in 2015 and beyond.
Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission appeared yesterday on “Vocal Point,” where he told host Jerry Newcombe that the so-called “War on Christmas” is a result of the Antichrist spirit moving through America.
Cass warned that “the spirit of Antichrist” has been “fairly emboldened because of the political landscape over the last few years,” suggesting that President Obama’s electoral victories have encouraged anti-Christmas warriors.
“The people that are on the other side of this issue because of what they probably misinterpreted as, ‘gosh secularism is winning,’ and I think President Obama is a poster child for that, so they think, ‘we’re on the ascendency,’ so I think that’s emboldened them,’” he said, adding that Christmas-haters are trying to usurp religious holidays “in order to get attention” since “they don’t have anything that’s worthwhile, I joke that the only holiday that the atheists have is April 1st.”
While guest-hosting yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Religious Right leader Richard Land criticized Right Wing Watch as a “gay thought police” group run by “pinheads” who have wrongly smeared him.
Land, while speaking with Craig James of the Family Research Council, said Right Wing Watch writers “distort me all the time,” citing a (non-existent) Right Wing Watch post entitled “Land Equates Gays With Klansmen” about how he thinks that penalizing a baker for refusing service to a gay couple is like punishing an African-American baker who didn’t want to serve a Ku Klux Klan induction ceremony. (That post actually appeared on Good As You.)
For right-wing activists who seem to think that disagreement amounts to religious persecution, quoting them verbatim is now apparently a high crime.
Our 2014 nominees outdid themselves this year in promoting conspiracy theories, inventing persecution myths and pushing bigotry, and now it’s your turn to decide who wins this year’s coveted award.
Ted Cruz: Last year's EPAA winner Ted Cruz didn’t run for office in 2014, but that didn’t stop him from rallying Religious Right voters. The possible 2016 presidential hopeful spent the year supporting anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy and helping to block the nomination of Debo Adegbile.
Cruz was an outspoken opponent of the proposed amendment to overturn Citizens United, claiming it would “repeal the First Amendment” and “muzzle” pastors. Also threatening the free speech of pastors, Cruz contended, are equal rights for LGBT people, to which he is as vehemently opposed as ever.
The Benham Brothers: After reporting on HGTV’s plans for a new home improvement reality show starring notorious anti-gay, anti-choice extremist David Benham and his brother Jason back in May, the Benham brothers have now taken their tale of "persecution!" throughout the Religious Right speaking circuit.
When HGTV dropped the show just hours after our first reporting on their anti-gay activism, including their claims that homosexuality is “destructive” and “demonic,” Religious Right leaders from Pat Robertson to Bryan Fischer wasted no time in drumming up a “Christian persecution” narrative and declaring the Benhams modern-day martyrs. The Benhams enthusiastically embraced their new role, repeatedly likening themselves to ISIS beheading victims and making an appearance at the 2014 Values Voter Summit.
Gordon Klingenschmitt: What a year for Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt! Klingenschmitt, whose whole career has been based on a myth about his supposed religious persecution in the military, used his “Pray in Jesus Name” program this year to spread the word that it’s basically child abuse for a kid to be raised by gay parents, and that transgender people are just in need of an exorcism and a spanking. (Of course, this is a man who once tried to perform an exorcism on President Obama.)
But in between spouting anti-gay vitriol and denouncing Obamacare, Klingenschmitt somehow managed to run a campaign for a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives and won! Congratulations to Colorado’s new anti-gay, demon hunting state legislator.
Jody Hice: Jody Hice is a Georgia Republican who won a seat in the U.S. House this year despite saying that women should ask their husbands for permission before entering politics, that homosexuality “enslaves” people, and that Muslims shouldn’t have First Amendment rights. He blamed everything from the Sandy Hook School shooting to the Penn State abuse scandal on the separation of church and state. He’s a big believer in the power of “blood moons” and he thinks our public schools are a lot like Nazi Germany.
And, again, he will soon be a member of Congress.
Texas State Board of Education: This year, we nominate the Texas State Board of Education for an Equine Posterior Achievement Award for their approval of social studies textbooks that were more about the ideological beliefs of the board members than, you know, actual history.
While the approved textbooks were an improvement on the original proposed content, which included blatant denial of climate change and negative stereotypes of Islam as a violent religion, the final editions emphasize the biblical influence in America’s founding, even going so far as to reference Moses as an influence on the Constitution and the Old Testament as the root of democracy.
Glenn Beck: This year Glenn Beck assured his viewers that his many prophetic visions and predictions would finally, definitely come true. It’s hard to imagine where Beck found the time for all his clairvoyance and divine inspiration, what with everything else he accomplished this year including devising plans to fix the VA and destroy ISIS. But 2014 hasn’t been a banner year for Beck. In March, he was sued for defamation after falsely accusing one of the victims injured in the Boston Marathon bombing of being behind the attack. (Unfortunately for Beck, a federal judge recently allowed the lawsuit to move forward.)
Pat Robertson: This year, EPAA staple Pat Robertson kept up the HIV fear-mongering with his assertion that you can get AIDS from a towel -- you may remember last year, when he accused gay people of intentionally spreading HIV by cutting people with special rings.
There was hardly a news story this year that Robertson didn’t weigh in on, from Michael Brown’s death to marijuana legalization, and even Robin Williams’ suicide. He spread the word about the demonic threat posed by Ouija boards and the serious risk of fighting climate change. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Pat Robertson his show can cure the neck injuries and asthma of its viewers, after all.
Ben Carson: Right-wing activist and potential presidential candidate Ben Carson kicked off 2014 with a rousing CPAC speech denouncing “extra rights” like marriage equality for gay people. Despite repeatedly speaking out against marriage equality and calling it a Marxist plot, Carson believes that gay rights supporters are trying to inhibit his right to free speech. Carson also shared his many opinions on the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, blaming Michael Brown’s death on his lack of a father figure, and accusing protestors of being part of a “me generation” started by women’s libbers.
Bryan Fischer: Bryan Fischer spent a lot of 2014 being grossed out, horrified, and otherwise offended by openly gay football player Michael Sam. After that, he said that commemorating Harvey Milk is a lot like honoring Jeffrey Dahmer, asked Michelle Obama to start an anti-lesbian campaign, and expressed his preference for sharia law and displeasure with Pope Francis. Perennial EPAA nominee Fischer also chimed in on Ferguson, claiming that Michael Brown was possessed by a homicidal demon.
Kevin Swanson: Religious Right broadcaster Kevin Swanson took to the airwaves in 2014 to warn his audience about the sinister motives of “The Hunger Games” movies, the potential for LGBT nondiscrimination laws to protect murderers and rapists, and the threat of “Antichrist” Presbyterians. But maybe most memorable were Swanson’s ruminations on popular culture, including his speculation that Beyonce may be possessed by a demonic spirit, and his claim that the Disney movie “Frozen” is a Satanic movie that turns kids gay.
Last week, we reported that the anti-gay, Christian nationalist organizers of a supposedly nonpolitical prayer rally that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is hosting next month had reused some materials from a similar rally hosted by Texas Gov. Rick Perry back in 2011, including a prayer guide blaming LGBT rights and legal abortion for natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.
Blaming Hurricane Katrina on gay people and abortion, it turns out, didn’t go over so well in the state that was hardest hit by the 2005 storm, and after reporters in Louisiana started asking the organizers and Jindal’s office about the prayer guide, it was scrubbed from the rally’s website.
But disappearing one document can only do so much to hide the fact that Jindal is partnering with some pretty extreme organizations to put on his "The Response" event. In fact, the offending document was replaced on the event’s website by a letter from organizer Doug Stringer which only slightly more vaguely blames “earthquakes, floods, fires, and an escalation of natural disasters across the country and the world” on “the continued moral failures of our leaders.”
And when the New Orleans Times-Picayune approached Bryan Fischer, a spokesman for the event’s main funder the American Family Association, about the controversial prayer guide, he told them that his group stood by the original content. "We do know that natural disasters can be a form of God's judgment on an unrepentant nation,” Fischer told the Times-Picayune, before explaining that it’s “fitting that a part of the country that is obviously at risk for natural disasters would lead the nation in modeling repentance."
Still, the AFA initially issued a prayer guide that has offended many Louisiana residents. It implied legal abortion, same-sex marriage and pornography use contributed to Hurricane Katrina and other disasters. Though the prayer guide has been taken down, Fischer reiterated that sentiment on Wednesday. He said Louisiana should be especially concerned about the morality of the country, given its vulnerability to natural disasters.
"We do know that natural disasters can be a form of God's judgement on an unrepentant nation," Fischer said, "It's fitting that a part of the country that is obviously at risk for natural disasters would lead the nation in modeling repentance."
While speaking at a “God Calling” event hosted by the Greater Orlando Tea Party back in September, Sen. Ted Cruz’s father and adviser Rafael Cruz warned that “wicked” elected officials in government are bent on “legislating their immorality and cramming it down our throats.”
Cruz said during the question and answer session of the event that advances in marriage equality and abortion rights are the fault of conservative Christians who didn’t get involved in politics. However, Cruz said, Christians who believe in the “social gospel” are wrong to get involved in politics since they don’t espouse right-wing ideas and even back the “delusion” of marriage equality for same-sex couples.
Responding to a question about how pastors should speak about marriage equality, he said that church leaders need to talk about the issue even if their views upset people. In the same way, he said, church leaders should speak out strongly against legal abortion despite “the fear that there is going to be a young lady in the congregation who has had an abortion and she is going to be offended.”
“But you see, the opposite is true, because that young lady who has had an abortion has something eating at her heart continuously and she needs healing for what’s troubling her heart. The best thing you can do is talk about it and offer counseling and restoration and healing and forgiveness,” he said. “We cannot just hide it, we need to address it not only to be able to bring healing to those that are scarred by it but also to prevent others to fall in the same pit.”
Cruz then waded into how churches should take a firm stance against pornography, which he said is at least partly responsible for “the great majority” of sexual assaults.
Televangelist Pat Robertson kicked off “The 700 Club” today with a joke about President Obama’s move to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, saying, “If our president had been an Indian, he would have sold Manhattan for twenty-four bucks.”
Later in the show, however, Robertson said he actually supports “opening up to Cuba” … in principle. But since President Obama did it, now Robertson is against it and thinks it shows Obama’s “weakness.”
“Now listen, I am for opening up to Cuba, we have been sending aid in there, we’ve had missionaries and stuff going on in Cuba,” he said. “You know, it’s cool, we want to say the Cubans are friends, we want that and we want Cuba to be free.” But he argued that America’s 52-year-old sanctions against Cuba were just about to work in toppling the Cuban government until Obama’s announcement offered Cuban leaders a “bailout.”
He then got a little confused about the state of Latin American politics, calling the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez — whom Robertson once wanted assassinated — the current leader of El Salvador: “They were dependent on money from Nicaragua, excuse me, from the regime of Chavez in El Salvador…But Chavez is out of money and that country is gone and busted.”
Robertson also attacked “King Obama” for hiring aides who “don’t love America” and failing to help political prisoners in Cuba, even though Cuba agreed to release fifty-three political prisoners, along with a U.S. citizen and an American intelligence agent.
After bragging about how she manages to outsmart liberals time and time again, Rep. Michele Bachmann told WorldNetDaily in a lengthy interview published today that “any normal human being” would back the Tea Party movement.
“So the Tea Party I think is a very important — and those ideals are a very important movement. People still believe in Second Amendment rights, people still believe in upholding the rights of the unborn, a number of us still continue to contend for traditional marriage between one man and one woman. These are all important value sets and I think that is part of the lamp that I tried to carry is to continue the values that brought us up to be the greatest country in the world in all of human history,” she said. “We have a Judeo-Christian history. We are not a theocracy but we live on principles that are Judeo-Christian principles.”
She said that just like the Pilgrims, the U.S. isn’t building a theocracy, while warning that “we wouldn’t be” America “if we throw out and eschew those values, the morality and the principles of the Judeo-Christian ethic.”
Last month, the Texas State Board of Education approved a set of social studies textbooks after some disputes between Christian Right members of the board and scholars who had reviewed the texts. Although experts recruited by the Texas Freedom Network to review the proposed texts managed to convince textbook companies to remove some objectionable material, some claims demanded by conservative members of the board remained, including assertions that Moses was a direct influence on the founding of the U.S.
In an article for Religion Dispatches today, one of TFN’s reviewers, David R. Brockman, who teaches religious studies at Southern Methodist University, writes about his experience as a textbook reviewer and his frustrations with the board’s process for reviewing curricula on world religions. “The curriculum standards and the adoption process in Texas don’t simply lack balanced and accurate coverage of the world’s religions; they work against it,” he writes. “And while textbook publishers generally struggle against this tide, they are sometimes dragged along with it.”
In one example, Brockman writes that the Christian Right bloc on the school board “insisted that the publishers address” a last-minute set of comments submitted by Truth in Texas Textbooks, a group associated with the anti-Muslim organization ACT! for America, whose reviewers, with one exception, had no “relevant social studies credentials” and demanded that the textbooks include hostile and sometimes false comments about Islam. Although the textbook companies mostly refused TTT’s requests (many with clear exasperation), a few were successful, including a redefinition of the word “jihad”:
The problem is that, in 2014 at least, the conservative majority on the SBOE quite clearly gave comments from ideologically-driven pressure groups (such as Texas Eagle Forum and Texas Values Action) greater weight than comments from credentialed field specialists (such as myself and my fellow reviewers).
A mere two weeks before the SBOE was to take its final vote on the textbooks, and long after other public groups had filed their comments, Truth in Texas Textbooks (TTT), which has allies on the SBOE, presented their reviews—469 pages of material. Two days before the final adoption vote was to take place, Christian Right members of the SBOE made much of the TTT criticisms and insisted that publishers address them.
To judge from its website, the only TTT reviewer with relevant social studies credentials was a professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. However, he reviewed only one world history textbook, and quite appropriately restricted his comments to his areas of expertise.
The other reviewers on TTT’s list appear to have no academic credentials in history, geography, economics, or religious studies (though they do include a Ph.D. in “educational leadership,” and a professor of foreign languages). Despite a lack of pertinent credentials, the TTT reviewers weighed in on a wide range of topics, including prehistory, climate change, economics, political science, and U.S. government.
But they directed special vitriol at the alleged “dangers” posed by Islam. One reviewer wrote of Islam’s “threat to the Western world,” while another lumped Muslims together with communists and socialists commenting, bizarrely, that “The greatest fear for a communist, a socialist or a Muslim is Truth.”
Other TTT comments were just plain false: “Islam is spread by the sword while monotheistic religions are not.”
(Try telling that to an Aztec or Inca—not to mention the fact that Islam is a “monotheistic religion.”)
Yet despite TTT’s lack of credentials and the obviously biased and tendentious nature of their critiques, conservative SBOE members insisted that publishers give them the same level of attention they gave comments from credentialed scholars.
Sadly, in some cases, publishers actually changed their text to suit TTT, as when Pearson Learning ( see page 16) removed from its world history text the factually correct statement that jihad “is most frequently used [by Muslims] to describe an inner struggle in God’s service.” In its place Pearson inserted more ambiguous wording: “For some Muslims, [jihad] means a struggle against one’s evil inclinations. For other Muslims, it refers to a struggle or violent holy war to defend or spread Islam.”
While this change may please TTT and other anti-Islam groups, it deprives students of the important fact that the “holy war” interpretation of jihad is held by only a small minority in the Muslim community today.
Rep. Michele Bachmann told the far-right outlet WorldNetDaily in an interview published today that while she is leaving Congress, she is most proud of her work opposing Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank financial industry reform, the 2009 stimulus, auto industry bailouts and TARP. Although all of those measures passed, Bachmann offered her wisdom to conservatives on how she is able to defeat liberal policies time and time again.
Bachmann said she uses “evidence-based arguments” against liberals who are only able to “argue from emotionalism, they don’t argue from a logical, linear point of view, and I take them on at their false premises.”
“That’s the best way to defeat them, by the way. Defeat them with evidence and defeat them with their false premises and I did that,” she said, adding that she was able do this despite the “constant criticism” she received.
The Associated Press, whose chief fact checker said his job required a “self-imposed Michele Bachmann quota” because she made so many false claims, and Politifact, which found that Bachmann had by far worst record of any 2012 presidential candidate when it comes to making accurate statements, must have missed Bachmann’s many “evidence-based” arguments.