Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and architect of anti-immigrant and voter suppression measures copied across the country, called same-day voter registration a “travesty” on a recent radio program, portraying his restrictive voting laws as necessary to prevent various mythical voter fraud schemes.
On his weekly radio program on Kansas City’s KCMO on October 25, Kobach took a call from a listener who presented a somewhat convoluted scheme involving performing facial recognition scanning on everyone who votes and going to the houses of people who cast ballots by mail in order to scan their faces, all in the name of preventing voter fraud.
“Well, I think that in Woods County, Ohio, 108 percent of the registered voters cast ballots for Obama,” the caller insisted, “and I think that in Wisconsin, busloads of people from Chicago were bused to polls where under state law you could register to vote on Election Day [inaudible] and not even have an ID.”
This, Kobach seemed to think, was a reasonable complaint, and told the caller that his restrictive voting policies have eliminated such problems in Kansas. “Right,” Kobach said, “which is why — proof of citizenship stops that, because you can’t have same-day registration, which is a travesty, I think same-day registration is a huge problem, and proof of citizenship prevents you from registering fictitious identities or registering under someone else’s name. So I think we, you can’t do those things in Kansas anymore.”
A prominent evangelical Christian leader has launched an effort to recruit 1,000 pastors willing to run for political office, hoping to inject religious issues and candidates into the 2016 election.
David Lane, the founder of the American Renewal Project, said he hopes he can persuade pastors to run for offices as varied as school board and city council to the state legislature and Congress. He’s scheduled an organizing meeting in January in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
"Government is not going to save America. Wall Street is not going to save America. The Republican party is not going to save America. If America is going to be saved it will be done by Christian men and women restoring a Judeo-Christian culture to the country," Mr. Lane said in an interview with The Washington Times.
Mr. Lane said he was inspired by his own pastor Rob McCoy, who ran for the state assembly in California. Mr. McCoy was narrowly defeated by the Democratic candidate who spent $6 million against him.
"After I watched that happen the reason I emailed pastors asking them to pray for 30 days is that if they do half as good as my pastor did, if 1,000 pastors in 2016 felt like the Lord was calling them to run for office, and they each had 300 volunteers, then that’s 300,000 people on the grass-roots level," Mr. Lane said.
However, if you actually read the article, you quickly learn that the figure of 500 pastors represents only those who have voiced an interest in possibly running for some office at some point in the next three years. And of those 500 who have expressed interested, merely a third might actually run for office at some point:
His goal was to recruit 1,000 pastors across America to start walking the godly talk by campaigning for public office. The project was dubbed “Issachar,” after the Old Testament founder of one of the 12 tribes of Israel.
Mr. Lane, the California-based founder of the American Renewal Project (Mr. Gingrich dubbed it “Pastors and Pews”), appears to be halfway to that goal just a few days before his recruitment and training effort holds its first event in the Washington, D.C., area.
“Two thousand pastors and spouses have attended our Issachar Training in 2015,” Mr. Lane said proudly.
As of Thursday, 508 pastors have agreed in writing to consider running for political office over the next three years, according to Issachar Project Director Steve W. Michael.
“After our Issachar events, we do live calls with our folks on [a] ‘hot list,’ folks who seem reasonably certain to run, and our ‘mild list,’ less definite about running but definitely interested, and ‘cold list,’ people who don’t sound eager to run but may persuade others to,” Mr. Michael explained.
He said the “hot” contingent numbers about one-third of the combined 508 “hot and mild” total.
Lane set out to recruit 1,000 pastors to run for office in 2016 and spent an entire year traveling the country mobilizing right-wing Christian activists for that purpose, yet was only able to find approximately 150 who even "seem reasonably certain" that they might run for office at some point in the next three years.
Paul told Mickelson that this microscopic government might not have room for a postal service. “I think the federal government ought to defend us from foreign attack and have a judiciary and, let’s see, I would say the post office, but they screw up the post office too, so we really don’t even need them for the post office,” he said. “So I want a government that’s really small.”
“I would have a country that defends us from foreign attack, a country that sort of keeps the peace and a country that has a judiciary, a legislative branch, but a country where the federal government didn’t do much,” he added.
Sen. David Vitter has been feeling the heat in his Louisiana gubernatorial campaign over his ties to the a Washington D.C. prostitution service, but he is trying to put a positive spin on the scandal by asserting that just as he had to come back from his “hard times,” so too does Louisiana need to bounce back from all of its fiscal problems.
In his latest campaign ad, Vitter turns to the Religious Right’s favorite reality TV stars, the Duck Dynasty clan, for their moral seal of approval.
Willie Robertson says of Vitter, awkwardly decked in camouflage next to him, “I know he’s made some mistakes, but who hasn’t? The whole story of the Bible is about redemption, and I’m concerned about our state.”
“What defines us in life is how we get up and earned redemption,” Vitter said, likening his personal process to the need for Louisiana “to get up based upon strong conservative principles.”
Video Claims More People Believe in Witchcraft than Support the Citizens United Decision
WASHINGTON – A 21-year-old psychology student from Brooklyn was this week’s winner in the Democracy For All Video Challenge, which encourages people to speak out on big money in politics. The Democracy For All Video Challenge, spearheaded by Say No To Big Money and People For the American Way, selects a different best video every week from submissions made by people across the country.
The video, created by Kyu Nakama, uses paper models to explain the need for a constitutional amendment that would allow lawmakers to set reasonable limits on money in elections.
“Video gives people a voice and can be used as a catalyst for change and making the world we live in a better place, one story at a time,” said Nakama. “This contest is a great way to tell the story of the growing distance between democracy and the people; hopefully it will help encourage people to voice their own opinions and understand that change is always possible.”
“College students have always been among the most vocal groups, speaking out for the causes in which they believe and Kyu’s video is a great example of that passion,” said Jeff Haggin, president of Say No To Big Money which created the video challenge. “This video very simply communicates the problem, why it is important and what needs to be done to make our democracy stronger.”
The Democracy For All Video Challenge was created by Say No To Big Money and People For the American Way to tap into the creative potential of people in the United States who support a constitutional amendment that would allow for reasonable limits to be set on money in elections. A panel of judges selects the most impactful videos with $1,000 being awarded to the best video each week. At the conclusion of the video challenge, five best in category videos will be awarded $5,000 each, with $25,000 being awarded to the best overall video. Rather than hire an advertising agency to produce the spots, the sponsor organizations developed the Video Challenge to enable the true voice of Americans to be heard and give people across the country a chance to earn money for their efforts.
The Democracy For All Amendment, currently being considered by Congress with 138 cosponsors in the House and 41 supporters in the Senate, would overturn decisions such as Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court case that paved the way for unlimited political spending by corporations and the super wealthy.
People For the American Way (PFAW) is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American. That means equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. More information is available at www.PFAW.org.
Say No To Big Money is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation for the public benefit with the mission of supporting the ratification of the Democracy For All Amendment that will regulate campaign contributions. Say No To Big Money is nonpartisan and does not promote or take sides on any political issues nor endorse candidates or elections. More information is available at www.SayNoToBigMoney.com.
Fresh off attending a conference whose host, Kevin Swanson, voiced support for the execution of gay people, Ted Cruz will stage a “Rally for Religious Liberty” in Greenville, South Carolina, on Saturday featuring a number of Religious Right activists who have referred to gay rights advocates as demonic enemies.
Texas-based pastor Dave Welch similarly portrayed Houston’s lesbian mayor as spiritually evil: “She literally is one of those who is caught in the snare, in the web of her darkness and her condition. I pray, we do pray for her, that God delivers her and sets her free from that.”
In a press gaggle at last weekend’s National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee dismissed concerns about the extremism of its organizer, Kevin Swanson, telling a reporter that he didn’t “have any knowledge” that Swanson backs the death penalty for homosexuality.
An unnamed reporter asked Huckabee, apparently directly after his speech to the conference, about “reports that there are a few pastors speaking her today that say that if you’re homosexual, you should be prosecuted, you should actually be killed.”
“Obviously, I don’t agree with that,” Huckabee responded. “I don’t think anyone’s ever accused me of saying that. And I don’t know, did anyone say that from this stage today?”
“I can’t go with ‘there are some reports that,’” Huckabee responded. “Give me a specific, give me something to react to, that won’t work for me, because I don’t have any knowledge of that. All I know is what I said, I can’t be responsible for what anybody else said on that stage, and apparently nobody said that on that stage.”
If Huckabee had stuck around just a few minutes after his speech, he would have heard Swanson saying exactly that, bellowing to the audience that the biblically ordained punishment for homosexuality is death. If he had stuck around until the next day of the conference, he would have heard Swanson return to the theme, saying that he doesn’t want the government to impose the death penalty for homosexuality quite yet because he wants to give the culture time to change and gays time to repent before imposing his version of biblical law.
Mission America president Linda Harvey published a doozy of a column in WorldNetDaily on Tuesday, in which she insisted that gay rights groups are pushing for child abuse because they know that the “correlation between child molestation and the development of same-sex attraction for some youth is irrefutable.” (Of course, that’s not at all the case).
Harvey insists that LGBT activists, whom she says themselves were likely molested as children, are out to abuse kids in hopes of turning them not only into gay people but also into gay rights activists, comparing this nonexistent recruiting process to Stockholm Syndrome.
She concludes her incendiary column by asserting that the Obama administration and public schools now want America to “reward child molesters” and give them access to kids.
Innocence is repulsive to many liberals.
Their contempt forms the subtext of leftist policies involving children, like the gender-rebellion con job Obama’s federal Department of Education is attempting through mandates about school bathrooms and locker rooms, twisting U.S. Title IX law in the process.
Modesty? Privacy? Chastity? So dull, so unenlightened. Semi-nude cavorting in pride parades is what children really need, along with sex educators and homosexual adults to rescue them from the prison of their parents’ repression. Get out there, kids, and explore being “queer,” and the ACLU will defend your rights if needed.
These activists have an obsessive desire to “support” and “protect” children. Most parents and grandparents would call it corruption.
But the reality goes further and gets darker. The correlation between child molestation and the development of same-sex attraction for some youth is irrefutable. (Colleague Jason Salamone makes the case with numerous citations in this article.)
Wholesome young faces who should be left to develop normally are too tempting for some elite sexual anarchists, believing they are exempt from bourgeois mores. Children, if asked, would really prefer not to be lured somewhere by a shady adult, shown pornography, given alcohol or drugs, told they “want this” and were “born this way” and end up in intimate contact they never chose, contact that messes with their body and soul and may take a lifetime to overcome.
Many recover, but some go on to embrace these premature, perverted desires. Some even become advocates for overturning marriage and civil rights law to enshrine homosexuality and gender rebellion as norms.
The movement for “LGBT equality” is largely built on this quicksand. All of America is endangered if we bless the rotten fruits of criminal conduct against children. Are we insane?
It’s time America called the homosexual activists on their Stockholm syndrome. They were not born this way, but created through sexual indoctrination.
The dictionary defines “Stockholm syndrome” as “the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor.”
Our laws, cultural standards and even our Constitution are being shredded by the demands of deviants who weren’t always so. They were corrupted, often through child molestation.
Should any responsible American reward child molesters?
The Starbucks cup outrage got a prominent new backer yesterday when Richard Land, the former political leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, said that Christians should boycott the coffee chain over the perceived snub.
Land was a guest on the Newsmax TV program hosted by former Arizona congressman J.D. Hayworth, who introduced the segment by playing a clip of the new Seth Rogen movie “The Night Before,” which Hayworth said was also part of the War on Christmas.
The Rogen movie, Hayworth said, is “raising a lot of concerns about Hollywood and the prevailing culture of the left, essentially trying to leave Christ out of Christmas or attack the whole notion of Christ at Christmas.”
On top of that, he said, “Christians get the feeling that Starbucks is waging a war on Christmas.”
“Starbucks has embraced the Left,” Hayworth told Land. “So much for diversity. Is it a big deal that they’ve gone to a red cup?”
“Well, for Christians it should be,” Land responded, “and it certainly will impact my patronage of Starbucks. You know, I’d probably have a chance to let them know, ‘By the way, I would have bought some coffee today if you had had a cup with Christmas ornaments on it or if you had a cup that was clearly Christmas, but I’m not, so that’s money you’ve lost.”
Land, riffing off a viral YouTube video in which a self-proclaimed evangelist said he got around a supposed Starbucks ban on saying “Merry Christmas” by giving his name as “Merry Christmas” to a barista, said that he would give his name as “Joseph, father of Jesus” in order to make Starbucks employees say the words.
Or so writes Michael Brown, the Religious Right radio host who, in a BarbWire column today, says that Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal should not have appeared at a conference last week that was organized by radical activist Kevin Swanson, who advocates that the government execute gay people.
Swanson closed his National Religious Liberties Conference, which was attended by the three Republican presidential candidates, by explaining that the government should only execute gay people once they have enough time to repent. The summit also included two other speakers who want the government to treat homosexuality as a capital crime, one of whom distributed a pamphlet at the conference justifying such executions.
Responding to Rachel Maddow’s coverage of the event, Brown writes that the candidates must have been in the dark about Swanson’s extremist views, and that had they known, the Republican presidential candidates would have denounced him and rejected the invitation: “[T]he presidential candidates who attended this rally (Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, and Ted Cruz) were there to identify with the cause of religious liberty, and they too would categorically reject some of the words spoken at the conference (as well as reject some of the positions advocated by at least one of the speakers outside of the conference).”
It’s not as if Swanson’s views weren’t very easy to find.
Jake Tapper of CNN asked Cruz about appearing alongside Swanson before he (and his father) took part in the summit, reading the candidate Swanson’s remarks about the need to hold up signs at gay people’s weddings telling them that they should be put to death. Other outlets have also extensively reported on Swanson’s record before the event took place.
In fact, one presidential candidate who had been confirmed to speak at the conference pulled out of the event after he got wind of Swanson’s radical views.
Anyone who does a simple Google search for Kevin Swanson should know that he thinks that execution is the biblical punishment for gay people, and has been saying as much on his radio program for several years.
Does Brown really expect us to believe that no one on these three presidential campaigns knows how to use the Internet?
It seems more likely that these candidates just don’t mind catering to some of the most extreme anti-gay activists in the country; instead, they see it as a boon to their campaigns.
WorldNetDaily pundit Erik Rush is no stranger to making genocidalstatements about Muslims, so it was no surprise to see him refer to Muslim refugees as “human garbage” and “a demonstrable threat to public health and public safety” in a column yesterday.
After kicking off his weekly WorldNetDaily column, titled “Islam: A Treatable Malignancy,” by saying that ISIS is “Barack Hussein’s Obama’s mercenary army,” Rush accused the president of “inundating America with Muslims” as just “one component in his grand plan of sabotage” against America.
He wrote that people should try to “neutralize this threat with every means at their disposal,” claiming that all Muslims, including children, are a danger to society and should be stripped of their First Amendment rights.
“Muslims — all Muslims — have repeatedly proved that they represent a societal malignancy,” Rush wrote, “they will always perform as a body of enemy operatives, insidiously and incrementally worming their way into non-Muslim nations with the express intention of undermining and conquering them. Every individual has a part to play in this tragic comedy, from the helpless baby to the trained combatant.”
Although average American news viewers remain blissfully ignorant of this, Europeans have been turning out by the thousands in protest of their governments’ intention to throw the doors open wide to innumerable Muslim refugees from regions in which Barack Hussein Obama’s mercenary army (otherwise known as ISIS or Islamic State) and other militant Islamists have made life as they know it untenable.
The ire of these distressed Europeans is certainly not for a lack of tolerance. They have already been subjected to exponentially more tribulation than have Americans as a result of the human garbage with which their politically correct socialist overlords have saddled them over the last 30 years. These new refugees have already proved to be a demonstrable threat to public health and public safety, and have touched off several particularly violent riots.
Regular readers will take it as given that Barack Hussein Obama’s design of inundating America with Muslims is but one component in his grand plan of sabotage, and that he is also doing the bidding of malignant globalist interests that have long wished to see America brought low.
Regardless of what history’s disposition concerning Obama, his co-conspirators and the Washington corruptocrats we know so well will ultimately be, the most expeditious manner in which America can counter the Islamist threat is through grass-roots efforts that serve to enlighten Americans as to the incompatibility of Islam with our society and the immediate danger it represents. Having accomplished that, it will be far easier for us to collectively acknowledge that Islam is not a religion, but a pernicious political system with a religious component. Thus, its adherents will find themselves bereft of the First Amendment protections they and their brainwashed advocates are opportunistically exploiting to compromise American society.
Given the spirit of inclusion America has always exhibited (human imperfections aside), of course it will be difficult for many of our citizens to consign an entire class of people to the status of persona non grata. For the past 1,400 years however, Muslims – all Muslims – have repeatedly proved that they represent a societal malignancy; they will always perform as a body of enemy operatives, insidiously and incrementally worming their way into non-Muslim nations with the express intention of undermining and conquering them. Every individual has a part to play in this tragic comedy, from the helpless baby to the trained combatant.
When the Muslim population finds its numbers sufficient, for the non-Muslim it’s either conversion, death, or an indentured status. Prior to such a time, it is the duty of non-Muslims to take up the mantle of “infidel” with pride and neutralize this threat with every means at their disposal.
It’s no surprise that virulent anti-immigrant activists likeAnnCoulter are flocking to Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, and Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly is no exception.
Schlafly told radio host Marc Cox last month that the GOP should nominate Trump because “he acts like he loves America.”
“The Republicans would be doing themselves a favor by nominating Donald Trump,” she said. “He’s the only one, I think, who really talks the language of the grassroots and why we want to make America great again. That’s a great line.”
“Yes, and he’s speaking up for America,” she later added. “And your average person believes in America and wants to believe that America’s the greatest and doing the right thing and everything. And he acts like he loves America and is going to stand up for us and not let some of these other two-bit politicians in this country or other countries push us around.”
These diatribes against homosexuality at the summit, which was attended by three Republican presidential candidates, went hand-in-hand with calls to roll back women’s rights to use contraceptives, with both birth control access and gay rights seen as threats to the family and liberty.
Swanson said as much in his closing speech at the Iowa conference, claiming that while the Quiverfull movement has experienced more “persecution” than anyone in the history of America, its ideas are now taking hold in the wider Religious Right.
“It’s interesting, some of the greatest preachers in America are effectively saying contraception was a problem from the beginning,” he said, specifically citing Southern Baptist theologian Al Mohler and well-known pastor John MacArthur. “And they’re joining ranks with a fair number of those who used to be in the full quiver movement, who, by the way, have received so much persecution. I have never seen anybody receive such persecution, at least in this country, as the full quiver folks. And they didn’t always have their theology right, but now major theologians in America are saying, ‘I think we had a problem in these areas.’’
Conservatives are beginning to realize, Swanson said, that the wide availability and use of contraception is what led to marriage equality throughout the country.
“Why homosexual marriage?” he asked. “Well, 50 years of Playboy and Penthouse, pornography, illegitimate divorces and contraception.”
He seemed to make the same argument when he blasted the “tens of millions of sometimes Christian women” who use “abortifacients” that create a “hazardous condition” in “that birth canal up into that womb” — an apparent reference to hormonal birth control rather than to abortion-causing drugs.
“If they have created a hazardous condition, exactly what the lex talionis brings out,” he said, “then God most certainly knows that somehow a snake pit’s been put in that womb.”
Extreme as he is, even Swanson isn’t on board with the full Quiverfull agenda, writing in a blog post last year that although he agrees with the principle of men being the head of the family, he wouldn’t go as far as stopping women from taking college classes, going on mission trips or holding elected office.
But the Quiverfull ideology’s rejection of birth control as a social ill and its conflation of birth control and abortion isn’t just taking hold among extreme activists like Swanson — it’s increasingly becoming the norm in the wider Religious Right.
People For the American Way board member and civil rights legend Dolores Huerta speaks out against the 5th Circuit Court decision holding up President Obama's executive actions that protect families from deportation:
“Because of Republican-appointed judges on the court, families who have lived in and contributed to our country for years could be torn apart. Yesterday’s 2-1 decision from the 5th Circuit Court was fundamentally incorrect. It is a reminder of how much courts matter, as well as how important presidential elections are, since it’s the president who nominates justices.
“While every single one of the Republican presidential candidates has spoken out against President Obama’s executive actions, Democratic candidates have discussed ways to expand his actions to protect people from deportation. Latino communities across the country are listening, and in the next election we’ll hold Republican candidates responsible for their efforts to break up families.”
Today, People For the American Way (PFAW) board member and civil rights legend Dolores Huerta joined Voces de la Frontera Action leaders and members for a press conference to address how the Republican candidates onstage tonight are driving an extreme agenda that’s out of line with Wisconsin families and Latino communities across the country.
People For the American Way board member and civil rights legend Dolores Huerta stated:
“When we think of people like Rubio and Cruz, they may have a Spanish last name, but they're attacking immigrants, working people, and our communities.
“The Republican candidates are going down the wrong path with all of these attacks they’re making on our community. They’re against raising the minimum wage, against fighting climate change, even though families are struggling and global warming is going to affect every one of us.”
Voces de la Frontera Action Executive Director Christine Neumann-Ortiz stated:
“Who sits in the presidency will either expand President Obama’s executive actions that protect families or promote policies of hatred. We’re committed to exposing Republicans’ mass deportation policies. We condemn not just Trump, but candidates such as Marco Rubio who affirmed once again that he would repeal DACA and deport DREAMers. The Republican candidates are appealing to voters based on bigotry.
“We’re also celebrating a local victory today: [Immigrants and all people in Milwaukee] can apply for a Milwaukee County ID, helping them feel more welcome in our communities. This victory is thanks to Latinos and other voters who elected progressives. And it reflects a shift in public support for immigrant rights, that’s not reflected in this Republican presidential primary. The Republicans are on the wrong side of history.
“We’re committed to getting out the Latino vote, as it’ll be decisive in Wisconsin elections. Latinos vote for those who are denied the right to vote, for keeping families united, for economic justice.”
Dolores Huerta is available for follow-up interviews throughout the day. To schedule one, please contact Laura Epstein (email@example.com).
Alex Jones invited Phyllis Schlafly on to “The Alex Jones Show” yesterday to discuss the perils of PC culture. Jones brought up the Left’s supposed misrepresentation of slavery in American history, saying, “They have completely stolen our history: ‘It wasn’t the West that ended slavery. No, now we invented it, fellas!’ I mean, it’s crazy!” According to Jones, the way slavery is now taught in American does not put enough of an emphasis on the wonderful feat America achieved in ending the institution.
Schlafly agreed, stating that the Left “just lie[s] about everything.” She went on to point out that “it was the people in Africa that sent their own people into slavery” and “of course, [America] eventually abolished slavery” which is “one of the great achievements of our country.”
Rios told Mischenko how impressed she was by Putin’s embrace of “God’s way” and the “natural family,” even as President Obama is leading America “on a trajectory that many of us find extremely horrifying.”
“It’s interesting to me that your president, Vladimir Putin, of course was a high-ranking member of the KGB, thoroughly absorbed in the communist system,” Rios said. “And he, now, has emerged as one of the most strong proponents of this whole family movement, whether it’s that marriage is between one man and one woman, the sanctity of human life.”
“Well, whatever his motivation,” she later added, “I think on this stuff he’s got it right and he has been a good leader. These are strange times, that the American president would be leading America, I’ll just say to you, on a trajectory that many of us find extremely horrifying and that Vladimir Putin after Russia was officially, governmentally our enemy for so many years, and certainly on these issues, should now be leading his people to more of God’s way, the natural family. It really is one of the great ironies that I’ve lived to see in my lifetime.”
These rants about “Harry Potter,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Frozen” weren’t out of place at a conference led by Kevin Swanson, a Colorado-based pastor who has warned on his radio program that these fictional characters — along with the Girl Scouts, women’s soccer and day care — are turning kids gays.
What was most remarkable about these polemics against fictional children’s book characters is that they came at an event that was also attended by three men vying for the Republican nomination for president, including a sitting governor and a sitting U.S. senator.
When Swanson announced that he was convening a conservative summit in Des Moines, Iowa, called “Freedom 2015: National Religious Liberties Conference,” it was clear that it was designed to get the attention of Republican presidential candidates. Four agreed to participate, but one unnamed candidate later withdrew, reportedly after a wise campaign aide Googled Swanson's name and found his catalogue of crazy statements.
But Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal had no such qualms. All three joined Swanson on stage at the conference for individual Q&A sessions, where he inquired about their views on Kim Davis and the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision.
The trio declared their unequivocal support for Davis, the rogue Kentucky clerk who attempted to block marriage licenses for gay couples in her county, and derided the Obergefell ruling as an unlawful violation of both constitutional and biblical codes, so egregious that it should be rebuked if not outright ignored. Another speaker, Cruz’s father and campaign surrogate Rafael Cruz, called on government officials to defy a Supreme Court intent on “trying to cram homosexual marriage down our throats.”
Swanson closed out the “liberty” conference with a fiery speech in which he proclaimed that although he does believe in the death penalty for gays, he wouldn't advocate for the government to execute gay people — or, at least, not yet.
The conditions aren't right, Swanson explained. The culture hasn't fully embraced his movement's version of Christianity, and therefore gay people don't know that homosexuality is a death penalty crime that they must renounce before it provokes divine destruction. He said he would recommend that the government wait to impose the death penalty until the culture shifts, giving gays time to repent.
Draconian measures to stop homosexuality are warranted, in Swanson’s view, not only because he believes the Bible mandates them, but also because he thinks that the gay threat is coming from all directions: country music, soccer, schools, day care and Girl Scout cookies.
The views that Swanson expressed at the conference reflect his ties to a movement known as Christian Reconstructionism.
Reconstructionists not only call for "lesser magistrates" like Davis to defy rulings like Obergefell by invoking "God's authority," as Davis did, but also to demand that all government officials enforce Old Testament laws (or, at least, the Old Testament laws that they want enforced). After all, they say, whatever contradicts God's law is no law at all.
Philip Kayser of Biblical Blueprints told one breakout session at the conference that while it may be unrealistic to expect the national imposition of biblical law at this point, it can still be achieved at state and local levels. He urged government officials like Davis to flout the federal government in order to impose their religious beliefs over whatever jurisdiction where they have sway. Such “interposition” is justified, Kayser said, as long as public officials do it in a "biblical and Christ-centric" way. "In my book, she is a hero," Kayser said of Davis. "Magistrates must follow Christ in their interposition."
Another Reconstructionist preacher who spoke at the conference, Joel McDurmon, has said that the U.S. must embrace and enforce Old Testament laws, but that is achievable only once the country is successfully evangelized.
Some Reconstructionists also back “biblical patriarchy,” the idea that Christians must follow strict gender roles within the family, which for women means bearing and raising as many children as possible in order to repopulate the earth with believers.
In order to change the culture in their direction, the thinking goes, believers must first have lots of children (birth control is considered just as bad as abortion, as it fills women's wombs with “dead babies,” at least according to Swanson). Then, these families must adhere to the rule of male headship over the family. These strong, male-led families then create strong, male-led churches, which will then create strong, male-led societies, ones where government welfare programs and intervention in the economy aren't needed, and cultural ills like feminism fall away as cosmopolitan liberals, with their low birth rate, are outvoted.
But for Reconstructionists, the war isn't just about demographics. It is also a cosmic battle.
That is where Elsa comes in.
While these women may be having a "Quiverfull" of children (a la the Duggars), Satan is coming for them, and he takes insidious forms, such as Disney movies.
How many children are taken into these things and how many Christians are taking their kids off to see the movie "Frozen," produced by an organization that is probably one of the most pro-homosexual organizations in the country? You wonder sometimes, I’m not a tinfoil hat conspiratorialist, but you wonder sometimes if maybe there’s something very evil happening here. If I was the Devil, what would I do to really foul up an entire social system and do something really, really, really evil to five- and six- and seven-year-olds in Christian families around America?
Friends, this is evil, just evil. I wonder if people are thinking: “You know, I think this cute little movie is going to indoctrinate my five-year-old to be a lesbian or treat homosexuality or bestiality in a light sort of way.” I wonder if the average parent going to see "Frozen" is thinking that way.
One conference presenter, Geoff Botkin, told attendees that "Let It Go," the iconic song from “Frozen,” is "Satan's rebellion anthem," as it convinces children to rebel against God. He lamented that Christian families are unwittingly turning their kids over to Satan when they see "Frozen" or let them "sing 'Let It Go' while taking a shower."
As Botkin explained in his session, which focused on the "ten planks of communism," of the three major threats to America, Christians who don't abide by biblical law are the greatest, even worse than Islam and progressivism.
Even worse than Christians who aren't abiding by Old Testament dictates, he said, are the Christians who preach social justice, advocate liberal policies and are fully inclusive of women and the LGBT community. These scorned people of faith were also meeting that weekend in Des Moines to warn about cries of "religious liberty" becoming a cover for a larger right-wing agenda.
But three Republican presidential candidates, who have all turned the imaginary persecution of Christians in America into a central campaign message, didn't seem to mind that they were appearing at a conference whose organizer who is looking forward to the day when America is repentant enough that the government can impose the death penalty on gay people, rails against children's books and movies, and attacks large swathes of Christians as apostates.