Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace invited Florida Religious Right activist John Stemberger onto his program yesterday to push back against conservatives who are arguing that the government should just get out of marriage altogether after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, which Stemberger argues would actually expand government by destroying families and expanding the welfare state.
This is all what liberals want, he told Deace: “The left feeds on broken marriages and broken families. When families are strong, when there’s an economic system there, they start to understand the implications of taxes and all the economic implications of actually work and reward.”
This prompted Deace to share his theory that the sexual revolution was an outgrowth of the welfare state because before the expansion of the social safety net, most people were too poor to “act out immorally” by having “multiple wives” and “gay lovers” since “no one was subsidizing [their] depravity.”
“We have that today, which is why the sexual revolution came after the welfare state, because once it was obvious that people were not going to be held directly accountable for their actions, we removed the inhibitions against human nature that we already had,” he explained.
Stemberger agreed with Deace’s assessment, adding, “People who are hard-working and have to be self-sufficient and are not going to be propped up by the government don’t have the luxury of doing stupid, immoral things.”
It’s been over two weeks since former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay announced that he has uncovered a “secret memo” from the Justice Department stating that bestiality and pedophilia will soon be made legal.
Castellitto writes today that this “secret memo” that no one has seen (except for DeLay, of course) shows that Satan has now taken over the U.S. as the country has become “a spiritual cesspool.”
“I’m sorry to say this, but it’s over,” he writes. “Satan has control.”
Our eyes are wide shut…
But Satan likes it that way. He’s a liar from the beginning.
He will insist that all things are permissible (even taking a life). He will tell you there is nothing on the other side. He will tell you that you can be your own god.
Ultimately, he will enable you to be sexually ensnared and enslaved in a web of perverse bondage and spiritual peril. You will be a slave to Satan and his minions. You will be left empty, broken and destitute. This is where we are…
“We’ve … found a secret memo coming out of the Justice Department. They’re now going to go after 12 new perversions. Things like bestiality, polygamy, having sex with little boys and making that legal” ~ Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay
I’m sorry to say this, but it’s over. Satan has control.
Family Research Council officials Tony Perkins and Jerry Boykin are upset, unsurprisingly, about the Pentagon’s move to eventually lift its ban on transgender service members.
The two discussed the announcement on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” where Perkins wondered if military leaders should resign in protest of the policy. Boykin agreed that top military officials should quit over the matter and tell the president that “this is going to destroy our military and it’s the next thing in the chain of events that will ultimately destroy our readiness.”
Perkins added that “just a third of voters think it’s a good thing” to allow “homosexuals openly serving in the military,” despite the fact that polls taken before the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell showed 75 percent of voters supporting allowing gay people to serve openly in the military.
“This is insane,” Boykin said of the move toward allowing transgender people to serve openly.
Perkins explained that “some of these individuals would not be in a state of readiness if their units were called up because they were getting certain hormone therapies or surgeries,” claiming that it is too expensive for the military to “be paying to rearrange the parts on service members.”
“They are in a situation where those hospitals are overworked, overloaded and it’s difficult for them to get the care they need and now we’re talking about spending money to have people be able to change their plumbing, that just doesn’t make sense to me,” Boykin said.
He continued: “What do you think our adversaries are thinking as they look at us and all of the stuff that we’re doing? We’re putting women in infantry units. What do you think they think of us? What is their impression of us? I think they believe we’re a bunch of clowns that have lost our way, we don’t know where we’re going or what we’re going to do when we get there. And I think that they see exactly what’s happening in this country that we’ve lost our focus on fighting and winning wars and protecting the nation and now we are all about appealing to special interest groups, that’s what it is about.”
Perkins concurred: “I think they are very happy with what they see — not the allies, our enemies are — because this degrades our military effectiveness and readiness.”
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay joined “Wallbuilders Live” today to discuss the Supreme Court’s decision striking down bans on gay marriage, repeating his call for states to “defy” the “illegitimate” ruling.
DeLay was especially incensed at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for calling the Supreme Court’s ruling the “law of the land,” urging fellow Republican members of Congress to “revolt” against McConnell and start punishing the entire federal court system for the gay marriage decision by cutting courts’ budgets, limiting their jurisdictions and impeaching judge.
“The members should revolt against that and go after McConnell for saying that, because there’s a lot that Congress can do,” he said. “Not just limited jurisdiction of the courts, they can pass a constitutional amendment, they can impeach judges, they can cut the budgets of the courts — they can’t cut the Supreme Court, but lower courts — they can express themselves that way, express their abhorrence to the ruling by cutting the budgets. There’s just a lot of things that they can do to invoke the separation of powers.”
Update (8/25): The website has since labeled Carson as only an invited speaker.
Later this year, far-right Colorado radio host and homeschooling activist Kevin Swanson will be attempting to expand his national profile by organizing a “National Religious Liberties Conference” in Des Moines, Iowa.
Since Swanson believes that homosexuality should be punished by death and frequently claims that liberals are using things like the movie Frozen and Girl Scout cookies to make children gay, we hoped that even this year’s field of Republican presidential candidates would think twice before showing up at his conference.
But apparently that was too much to ask.
Steve Deace, a conservative Iowa radio host who frequently interviews GOP presidential candidates and is scheduled to speak at Swanson’s conference, spoke with Swanson about the conference last week and announced just that Ben Carson has already agreed to attend the event and that “Bobby Jindal is planning on being there.”
Deace’s statement followed a warning from Swanson that millions of American Christians will soon end up in prison because of advances in gay rights.
Indeed, the conference website lists Carson as a confirmed speaker.
We contacted the Carson campaign for comment but have yet to hear back.
As we’ve mentioned, Swanson’s record of extremism is truly unmatched.
Swanson, who hosts a daily “Generations Radio” broadcast from his basement in Colorado, not only believes gay people and their allies should be put to death, but also thinks that women are causing floods by wearing pants.
Swanson on homosexuality:
And there’s more!
Swanson on women:
Swanson on pop culture:
Swanson on other topics:
Far-right conspiracy theorist Avi Lipkin has become the Religious Right’s go-to expert on Islam and President Obama’s supposed effort to bring 100 million Muslims into the U.S., thus cementing the power of the Free Masons and Illuminati.
Lipkin spoke with Rick Wiles yesterday on “Trunews” about the Iranian nuclear deal, which he said is all part of Obama’s plan to make “Israel go to war against Iran.” Saudi Arabia will then emerge as the regional power since the two countries will “destroy each other.” (After all, Lipkin believes that Obama is a “Saudi plant.”) This Iranian-Israeli war will allow Obama to “free himself up for his real mission, which is to make America a Muslim country.”
“President Obama is a Muslim,” Lipkin continued. “If you’re a Muslim, your god is Satan; if you’re a Muslim, then you are criminally psychotic. This is the plan to destroy the human race. This is something that Allah wants.”
He added that Muslims believe that “the only way for Allah to be greater than the God of the Jews and the Christians is to kill every last human being on the face of the earth, that’s the plan of Islam.”
This spring, when far-right conspiracy theory websites started buzzing about Jade Helm 15, a planned military exercise in western states that they said was a cover for President Obama’s plans to impose martial law on Republicans states, we expected apoplectic reactions from the fringiest of right-wing circles. But who else was going to take it seriously?
Plenty of people, it turns out, including Republican politicians seeking to capitalize on anti-Obama fears in order to lift their profile in the increasingly far-right party — a poll in May found that a full one-third of Republicans believed that the government was “trying to take over Texas.”
Today, as the military exercise begins, we look back at five Republican politicians who, whether credulously or cynically, fed the Jade Helm 15 frenzy.
1. Greg Abbott
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was the first GOP politician this fringe conspiracy theory into the Republican mainstream, assuring concerned citizens that he had ordered the Texas Guard to monitor the potential takeover effort.
After he became the object of national criticism and ridicule, Abbott said that the actually thought the military exercise would “work out just fine” and blamed President Obama for stirring up suspicion:
“Frankly, I gotta tell you, I think the cause of the underlying concerns is that we see instances, like a shooting in Fort Hood by a terrorist, that the president labels workplace violence. We see the president come to the border in Texas and say it’s safer than it’s ever been,” said Abbott. “And so I think it was a misplaced perception by people in Texas who have problems with the Obama administration and connected that trust with the Obama administration to the military.”
2. Rick Perry
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry initially criticized Abbott’s fanning of the Jade Helm 15 flames, saying that while “you can always question” civilian leadership, “I think our military is quite trustworthy.”
But the presidential candidate quickly got the messaging memo, telling Glenn Beck that while President Obama invites unhinged conspiracy theories, when he’s president, everyone will trust the government:
3. Ted Cruz
Not to be outdone by his presidential rival Perry, Sen. Ted Cruz assured his flock that he had “ reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise ,” and although he had “no reason to doubt” the official line about the training exercise, “I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, “because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying.”
4. Louie Gohmert
After Abbott ordered the Texas Guard to monitor Jade Helm 15, Rep. Louie Gohmert threw himself into promoting the conspiracy theory, releasing a statement saying that the conspiracy theorists were “legitimately suspicious” because “true patriots” and Christians were being persecuted in America.
Gohmert continued with some theories of his own:
Once I observed the map depicting ‘hostile,’ ‘permissive,’ and ‘uncertain’ states and locations, I was rather appalled that the hostile areas amazingly have a Republican majority, ‘cling to their guns and religion,’ and believe in the sanctity of the United States Constitution. When the federal government begins, even in practice, games or exercises, to consider any U.S. city or state in 'hostile' control and trying to retake it, the message becomes extremely calloused and suspicious.
Such labeling tends to make people who have grown leery of federal government overreach become suspicious of whether their big brother government anticipates certain states may start another civil war or be overtaken by foreign radical Islamist elements which have been reported to be just across our border. Such labeling by a government that is normally not allowed to use military force against its own citizens is an affront to the residents of that particular state considered as 'hostile,' as if the government is trying to provoke a fight with them. The map of the exercise needs to change, the names on the map need to change, and the tone of the exercise needs to be completely revamped so the federal government is not intentionally practicing war against its own states.
Like Abbott and Perry, Gohmert was insistent that the whole conspiracy theory was President Obama’s fault:
5. Rand Paul
We’ll give Rand Paul credit for seeming a little surprised when a popular Iowa talk radio host asked him about Jade Helm 15, although he said he’d been hearing about it from constituents and would “look into” it. If Paul ever did look into it and find that the conspiracy theory was completely bogus, however, he never bothered to say so.
Yesterday on “The Simon Conway Show,” Rick Santorum fielded a question about the heavily edited video purporting to show a Planned Parenthood official trying to sell fetal tissue. The unedited video makes clear that she was actually “discussing the reimbursement cost for consensual, legal tissue donations.”
Santorum, ignoring the fact that the video’s claims were quickly debunked, called for a full-scale government investigation into Planned Parenthood and criminal prosecution. He also linked his war against Planned Parenthood to the recent debate over the Confederate flag in wake of the Charleston church shooting.
“If you want to scrub all racism from America, let’s start with Planned Parenthood because it was started by a racist named Margaret Sanger,” he said, alleging that Sanger was bent on “culling out the ‘undesirables,’ including blacks, in America, so if you want to go back and take down the Confederate flag, let’s take down Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood has continued to do disgusting things.”
Santorum also criticized Hillary Clinton for receiving the Margaret Sanger Award — whose other honorees include Martin Luther King, Jr., who praised Sanger — claiming that it is “remarkable that she is able to get away with that.” Santorum vowed that if he were to be elected president he would use the bully pulpit to go after Planned Parenthood.
While Santorum is correct that Sanger was a supporter of the eugenics movement, as PolitiFact noted, the movement “had been widely accepted” at the time among political leaders including Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover: “In other words, supporting eugenics did not automatically equal racism.” Biographers have also found that Sanger strongly opposed racial segregation. Instead, her critics have relied on a single quote that they have badly distorted.
A crowd of roughly 300 rallied against Scott Walker Monday evening at his presidential announcement in Waukesha, Wisconsin. People from across the state shared their stories of his extreme agenda as governor, touching on the environment, labor, immigration and a host of other issues.
People For the American Way, Voces de la Frontera Action, Americans United for Change, We Are Wisconsin, and a coalition of more than 20 local and national grassroots activist groups led the gathering. Wisconsinites spoke out about Walker’s far-right policies, as well as his close relationship with the Koch brothers who have vocally expressed their support of his candidacy.
PFAW and Voces de la Frontera Action also emphasized how terrible a Scott Walker presidency would be for the Latino community. Yesterday, the groups launched a Spanish-language radio ad criticizing Walker for supporting mass deportation policies, eliminating in-state tuition for DREAMers, and drastically cutting education funding. PFAW board member and civil rights icon Dolores Huerta also spoke out against Walker, warning that a Walker presidency would be “devastating.” She reminded voters that “as governor, [Walker] gutted education funding, lied to voters about his anti-choice stances, and attacked workers’ rights.”
Walker is currently positioned as a favorite among the growing list of GOP candidates; however, his campaign began on a rocky note after Walker called the minimum wage a “lame” idea. Previously, he’s drawn criticism for calling mandatory ultrasounds “a cool thing,” as well as backing an extremely conservative abortion ban in the Wisconsin legislature. He has also called himself a “lifelong supporter of the pro-life movement,” compared teachers protesting in Wisconsin to ISIS and claimed that equal pay is used to “'pit one group of Americans versus another.”
Walker, who called his presidential bid “God’s will,” is the 14th GOP candidate to join the race.
James David Manning, the anti-gay Harlem pastor who has struck up an alliance with the anti-government group Oath Keepers, took to his “Manning Report” YouTube program yesterday to explain his theory of how people become gay.
Just as various diseases are spread through sexual intercourse and saliva, Manning explained, so too is the “sodomite demon.” If you have had sex with or even kissed or been at the same restaurant as someone who has such “demons in their blood,” he warned, you may have been “introduced to these demons in your life, sodomy, when you had no defense.”
The Tenth Circuit today released its opinion in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, becoming the latest federal appellate court to reject the claim that the Obama Administration’s contraception coverage accommodation for religious nonprofits violates their religious liberty.
This is the latest effort by the far right to redefine “religious liberty” and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to use as a sword to deprive third parties of their legal rights. Under RFRA, no federal law imposing a substantial burden on religious exercise can be sustained unless it is the least restrictive means of achieving a compelling government purpose.
The Tenth Circuit now joins the DC Circuit, the Third Circuit, the Fifth Circuit, and the Seventh Circuit in rejecting this attack on the accommodation for religious nonprofits. Notably, all these decisions came after the Supreme Court rewrote the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in the Hobby Lobby case, giving certain for-profit corporations and their owners greater latitude to exempt themselves from laws they find personally offensive. (The Sixth Circuit also reached the same conclusion, but it is still in the process of reconsidering it to make sure it is consistent with Hobby Lobby.)
The Obama Administration created a process whereby religious nonprofits can exempt themselves from the federal requirement that its employees have certain contraception healthcare coverage: Fill out a form (or now, just send a letter) and let the Department of Health and Human Services know that you won’t be providing it and say who your insurance carrier is, so that officials can inform them of their legal requirements to provide the coverage. The religious right has called even this accommodation a violation of the religious liberty rights of nonprofits, saying it makes them complicit in the provision of contraception that violates their religious beliefs.
The Tenth Circuit concluded that the accommodation does not substantially burden Plaintiffs’ religious exercise and therefore does not violate RFRA. The court stated:
The accommodation relieves Plaintiffs from complying with the Mandate and guarantees they will not have to provide, pay for, or facilitate contraceptive coverage. Plaintiffs do not “trigger” or otherwise cause contraceptive coverage because federal law, not the act of opting out, entitles plan participants and beneficiaries to coverage. Although Plaintiffs allege the administrative tasks required to opt out of the Mandate make them complicit in the overall delivery scheme, opting out instead relieves them from complicity.
The court does not question the sincerity of the plaintiffs’ assertion that filling out the form violates their religious beliefs. But it also pointed out that under RFRA, whether a burden is substantial is a legal question that is up to the court, not the plaintiff, to answer:
If plaintiffs could assert and establish that a burden is “substantial” without any possibility of judicial scrutiny, the word “substantial” would become wholly devoid of independent meaning. Furthermore, accepting any burden alleged by Plaintiffs as “substantial” would improperly conflate the determination that a religious belief is sincerely held with the determination that a law or policy substantially burdens religious exercise. (internal citation removed)
Whether it’s women’s ability to access their legal right to healthcare or same-sex couples’ ability to exercise their constitutional right to marry, imagine the chaos if people could simply exempt themselves from – and severely weaken – laws they disapprove of by citing their personal religious beliefs.
But that is a recipe for a Balkanized society, not a healthy pluralistic democracy. Citing a previous case, the Tenth Circuit states: “Law accommodates religion; it cannot wholly exempt religion from the reach of the law.”
Steve Deace invited fellow Religious Right radio host Kevin Swanson on to his program last week, and both were furious that the U.S. opposed a United Nations resolution which LGBT rights advocates worried “could be used as precedent to oppose rights for same-sex couples, single parents, and other forms of families in future UN negotiations.”
Deace pointed to the resolution as a sign that the U.S. has “now out-crazied the United Nations,” while Swanson managed to pull off an even more ominous warning to listeners: prepare to go to jail.
“Get ready to go to jail,” Swanson. “I’m talking about millions of people in jail within the next five years or so unless we take a stand right now.”
In a 2008 interview with far-right radio host Kevin Swanson, Roy Moore, now the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, attacked proponents of the separation of church and state, claiming that “the First Amendment itself implicitly recognizes God.”
Swanson asked Moore if the “kneejerk reaction to any reference to our Christian God, our Christian past, to the Bible” was “due to a minority of atheists that are making an enormous amount of noise.”
“It’s due to that,” Moore responded, “it’s also due to ignorance of our past, our history and our law. You know, right now there’s an exclusion of anything about God from our public life. Indeed, they say they cannot refer to God because of the First Amendment. But without the reference to God, without the acknowledgement that there is a God that gives us liberty, freedom of thought, there would be no First Amendment.
“In other words, the First Amendment itself implicitly recognizes God because of our history and our past.”
Last week, the House descended into chaos after the GOP tried to strip language from an interior appropriations bill that would make sure that the Confederate flag isn’t displayed in National Parks. Rep. Ken Calvert, the California Republican who chairs the Interior subcommittee, added an amendment to the bill to remove the language at the behest of the House GOP leadership, which, according to Calvert, was acting “at the request of some southern Members of the Republican Caucus.”
However, Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, told conservative radio host Sam Malone last week that Democrats should “shut up” about the issue since 150 years ago many of the Confederate leaders came from the Democratic Party, which apparently hasn’t changed at all since then!
“The Democrats have no standing whatsoever to talk about that flag because that was the flag of their party during the Civil War, that was their battle flag, not our battle flag, our battle flag was the stars and stripes with President Lincoln,” Olson said. “They have no credibility. Just shut up. Apologize now.”
So there it is, a move to defend the Confederate flag spearheaded by Republican members “from Mississippi, Georgia, Texas, Alabama and Virginia” and then championed by the GOP leadership is really, Olson implies, the fault of the Democrats.
In a 2006 interview with far-right radio host Kevin Swanson, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore — who was then between his two stints on the state Supreme Court — lamented that public schools were teaching students about Islam and the theory of evolution, saying Christian parents couldn’t “justify sending their children to schools where they teach that they weren’t created in the image of God, that they evolved from monkeys.”
Moore also repeated his insistence that that Rep. Keith Ellison, who had just been elected as the first Muslim member of Congress, should not be allowed to take his seat in the House if he swore his oath of office on a Koran, saying that such events were leading to the “destruction of our society and our nation from within.”
Asked by Swanson about Ellison’s election, Moore responded that it was “a very bad indication of where we are going” and claimed that the congressman-elect was “known to associate with groups that actually oppose the Constitution.”
“This Ellison wants to swear on the Koran and basically swear that his law supersedes the Constitution of the United States, and he shouldn’t be seated,” he said.
Swanson agreed, saying, “If we begin to bring humanist socialists denying the existence of God or Muslims denying the word of God, the Bible, that is the foundation of this country, I think we’ve got tyranny to look forward to. I’m not sure if it’s the Muslim kind or the socialist kind, but either kind is bad.”
“Either kind is bad,” Moore replied, “and you’re right, when we start doing that, we’re basically looking at the destruction of our society and our nation from within. We’ve never been defeated by a foreign power and we’re asking to be defeated by our own actions here.”
Later in the interview, Moore lamented that Ellison’s election shows the American people’s “ignorance” of the divine origins of the U.S., as also exemplified by the fact that on Thanksgiving “they teach in school it’s thanksgiving to the Indians and not to God.”
Citing a lawsuit over one California elementary school’s Islamic studies program, Moore claimed,“California schools are teaching Islam in their schools. They’re teaching the kids how to pray, when to pray and how to go to Mecca, and that is going to spread across our country if we don’t wake up.”
“I think that we’ve got to recognize that the state’s role is not to teach our children,” he told Swanson. “That doesn’t mean you can’t send them there if you want, but if you do, you’ve got to justify that some way. And I don’t think Christians can actually justify sending their children to schools where they teach that they weren’t created in the image of God, that they evolved from monkeys.” (This, incidentally, is not actually what the theory of evolution teaches.)
When Swanson asked Moore what God thought of all of this, Moore responded, “I think that when He sees us welcoming in gods that are not the God upon which we were founded, we’ve got trouble.”
Citing a passage from Chronicles in which God tells Solomon that He will uproot his people and destroy their temple if they start worshiping other gods, Moore warned, “That’s what we’re doing and that’s what’s liable to happen if we continue to do it.”
Not only did Manning spend time criticizing President Obama, but he also castigated the Supreme Court, arguing that “the Devil himself has written this opinion” on marriage equality.
He also told host Rick Wiles that “perhaps [Justice] Kennedy and many of those who are on the Supreme Court have had sodomite relations themselves” and were being blackmailed by their secret gay lovers: “They have got to support this sodomy, they’ve got to say it or otherwise they get exposed.”
Manning said people don’t realize that the court’s ruling on same-sex marriage will lead to the fall of America: “Fifty years from now people will look back at this period and say, ‘My God from Zion, how could a nation have fallen, how could the mighty have fallen so quickly and so far and so low?’”
“If there’s anybody still alive in the United States of America 50 years from now,” Wiles added.
The “Trunews” host explained that “this country is ripe to be overthrown” since “we no longer have the Lord’s protection” and “the Lord is no longer obligated to defend the United States of America,” warning that “there’s a great attitude adjustment coming to the United States very, very soon.”