Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson said that laws that prohibit businesses from denying service to customers on the basis of sexual orientation amount to “an outrageous invasion of religious liberty and a trampling of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
“I think the courts that forced that, the officials that forced it, were dead wrong and it’s just one more nail in the coffin of the morality of this nation,” Robertson said, likening such laws to Prohibition.
On Saturday, roughly 2,000 activists gathered at Faith Assembly, a megachurch in Orlando, for the Awakening, an annual “Prayer and Patriotism event” organized by the Christian Right legal group Liberty Counsel. The Awakening, which Liberty Counsel organizes under the auspices of an amalgam of Religious Right groups called the Freedom Federation, brings together activists from the evangelical Right with the GOP politicians who want their votes.
At this year's event, GOP politicians including Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal (via video) and RNC faith director Chad Connelly shared a stage with far-right activists including "ex-gays," a phony ex-terrorist and at least two Religious Right leaders who insist that AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality.
Here are five takeaways from a day with the core of the Religious Right.
1. Gay Marriage Will Send Christians To Jail
While some on the Right may be trying to shy away from the issue of marriage equality now that it could be on its way to a Supreme Court victory, the activists at the Awakening were not among them. Throughout the conference, marriage between gay and lesbian couples was portrayed as a demonic and existential threat to liberty, one that if allowed to proceed would end in Christianity being outlawed and Christians thrown in jail.
The Republican National Committee’s faith outreach director, Chad Connelly, who was moderating a panel on abortion rights, echoed the Religious Right’s rhetoric when he warned that LGBT rights activists are “coming for the church.”
Far-right pastor Rick Scarborough, who was sitting beside him, agreed that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality, pastors will be forced to “participate in same-sex marriage ” or be thrown in jail. Liberty Counsel’s Harry Mihet, moderating a separate panel, issued a similar warning.
Scarborough repeated his warning when he told activists that a pro-equality Supreme Court ruling would outlaw anti-gay speech, thus undermining “the whole nature of America.”
Multiple speakers compared a potential Supreme Court decision on marriage equality to Dred Scott, the infamous pre-Civil War decision that barred African Americans from citizenship, declaring that it should be met with similar resistance.
2. Losing The Church on Gay Rights Issues
Although the Awakening took place in what appeared to be a generationally diverse, multiethnic church, the crowd at the conference was overwhelmingly older and white. Throughout the conference, speakers bemoaned the fact that the Religious Right was losing support among younger Christians for its political agenda, especially its opposition to LGBT rights.
Liberty University’s Rena Lindevaldsen told the audience at a breakout panel on “sexual rebellion” that when fellow conservative Christians ask her what the “big deal” is about LGBT rights, she responds “it’s a big deal because it’s a big deal to God.” Marriage equality, she told the enthusiastic audience, matters to God because it is “the heart of where Satan’s attacking”:
Evangelist Franklin Graham also lamented that “a lot of pastors have quit preaching against homosexuality” out of fear of offending people in their churches who might have gay relatives. He told the audience that “God will bless you and he’ll honor you” if you “don’t shut up” about gay rights and abortion:
This was a crowd that had not given up on discredited “ex-gay” therapy. An “ex-lesbian” activist, Janet Boynes, was given a main stage speaking slot and “ex-gay” activist Greg Quinlan earned a roaring round of applause from the audience at the “sexual rebellion” panel when he announced that he had been “out of homosexuality for 27 years.”
3. A Spiritual Battle Against Islam And Progressivism
Just as the crowd at the Awakening was upset that the conservative movement and the church have supposedly become less invested in fighting LGBT rights, they were also wary of any overtures between Christians and Muslims.
Graham declared that “Islam is a wicked system” and blasted Christians who say that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.
Kamal Saleem, the self-proclaimed “ex-terrorist” whose personal story has never quite held up to scrutiny , also warned that churches are being “invaded by ‘Chrislam,’” lamenting that Americans are oblivious to the dangers of radical Islam: “We’re watching American Idol and they are doing jihad.” He also warned of what he called “jihad of the womb,” or Muslim immigrants giving birth in order to outnumber Christians.
What activists at the Awakening saw as a war against Islam was merely part of a larger “spiritual battle” between good and evil, God and Satan. In the panel discussion he led on LGBT rights, Matt Barber declared that there is an “Islamo-progressive axis of evil” with a “common enemy”: Christians.
Maine pastor Ken Graves repeated that theme when he declared that American Christians are fighting “militant Islam” and “militant homofascism” and secularists who want to establish a “secular humanist caliphate”:
4. Time Is Running Out On America, And It’s Up To The Church To Save It
Throughout the day, speakers warned that America is running out of time before it is lost forever, and that it is up to conservative Christians to get involved in politics to save the country.
Graham told the crowd that he is more politically outspoken than his father, Billy Graham, because America is in a more dire state of secularism. “When my father was born, the Ten Commandments were on the wall of every school in America. When my father was born, the teachers still led the class in the Lord’s Prayer. Our country is not that anymore,” he said, declaring that the 2016 election is the last chance for the Religious Right to save the country.
Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate, delivered a similar message, warning that “we are heading down in a direction that, let’s be honest, no civilization has ever been able to recover from.” Conservative Christians, he declared, must reinvest themselves in politics in order, to among other things, put the Bible in public schools:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, another likely GOP presidential hopeful, told the crowd that prayer was needed to bring about “spiritual revival” and change the political direction of the country: “If God’s people truly pray down a spiritual awakening, then the political landscape will change.”
“This country did not start because some people had some brilliant ideas, although they did. This country happened because God’s providence was the foundation of their brilliant ideas,” Huckabee said. “Because of his inspiration, this country has been sustained throughout all of its history because of God’s specific intervention in helping us to win battles we should never have one and in keeping us from losing battles we should have lost.”
5. The Religious Right And The GOP Still Need Each Other
One of the strangest moments of the day came when a George W. Bush impersonator walked onto the stage with Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver as he introduced Huckabee. Staver jokingly reassured the audience that it was not the former president’s brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has clashed with the Religious Right over gay rights issues. It seemed to be a spontaneous addition to the program, it was hard not to see it also as a reminder to the audience of the potential power of the evangelical vote.
Unlike the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, which has become the flagship gathering of the GOP and the Religious Right, the Awakening tends to attract only true believers in the cause. This year, Santorum and Huckabee spoke, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal submitted a video message. Connelly, who heads the GOP’s outreach to evangelical voters, moderated a panel on abortion rights, but largely deflected difficult questions from the far-right crowd.
Connelly did not, however, shy away from right-wing conspiracy theories, responding to a question about the “culture of death” in end-of-life care by claiming that the Affordable Care Act’s mythical “death panels” are “a reality":
It was clear throughout the day that however wary the Religious Right and the GOP establishment may be of each other, they still need each other. Speakers like Graham urged conservative Christians to revive the powerful Religious Right pressure machine to win GOP politicians to their side, whether or not they agreed with their issues. Meanwhile, the presence of the GOP candidates and Connelly indicated that this is a voting bloc that is still important to the party, however extreme its priorities may be.
When Rick Santorum joined other GOP presidential hopefuls for a “national security” summit hosted by right-wing conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney last weekend, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that they would encounter fringe conspiracy theorists in the audience, including one activist who asked Santorum a winding question about immigration, an imminent communist takeover and President Obama’s plot to nuke Charleston, South Carolina.
As we reported on Monday, Santorum responded to the activist’s accusation not by rebutting her conspiracy theory but by taking offense to her claim that Santorum, a former U.S. senator, had some responsibility for the congressional GOP leadership’s response to Obama’s immigration actions. He went on to label the president a “tyrant.”
The story of Obama’s purported plot to detonate a nuclear bomb in Charleston, which the questioner said occurred just “a few months ago,” has been circulating in far-right outlets for several years.
Garrow pointed to a spike in dolphin deaths, which were likely caused by the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, as proof that three U.S. military officials thwarted Obama’s plot by detonating a nuclear bomb in the ocean, keeping Charleston safe from attack.
He told Jones that these three patriots, along with God, stopped Obama by safely detonating one of the devices off of the Carolina coast. Garrow’s bizarre claims must have struck a chord, as he appeared last year alongside then-Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., and aspiring anti-Obama coup leader Paul Vallely at a Michigan “Freedom Summit.”
As we noted yesterday, easily the biggest round of applause at Liberty Counsel’s Awakening conference on Saturday came when Franklin Graham, the fiery son of evangelist Billy Graham, walked onto the main stage of Faith Assembly. Graham, who leads his father’s ministry as well as an international relief organization, benefits from the reverence paid to his father but has also built a reputation of his own as a commentator on the apocalyptic nature of Barack Obama’s presidency.
Graham told his audience that he has a more political and divisive reputation than his father because America has gone downhill since his father’s time and might not recover if the Religious Right doesn’t turn out to vote in the 2016 and stop taking candidates like Obama at face value when they say they’re Christians:
Now, some people say, ‘Franklin, you’re a lot more harsh than your father. Your father wouldn’t have done this’…When my father was born, the Ten Commandments were on the wall of every school in America. When my father was born, the teachers still led the class in the Lord’s Prayer. Our country is not that anymore. And I can tell you right now it ain’t coming back. But we’re going to lose everything if we don’t in this next election — and we only have this next election, I think, for our voice to be heard.
This attitude, if we stay home, or if someone says ‘I’m a Christian,’ ‘Oh, I’ll just vote for him without doing a little investigation,’ we’re going to lose everything. But let me tell you if the church speaks with the voice of Almighty God, let these candidates know you don’t take us Christians for granted. Don’t just think we’re going to show up and vote for you. You’ve got to convince us that what you say is correct and what you say is true.
In an email to Pray In Jesus Name Project supporters on Saturday, televangelist and Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt blasted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 2012 decision to cover discrimination against transgender people under laws that prevent discrimination on the basis of sex.
He berated the EEOC’s move as a sign that President Obama is becoming a dictator who committed an impeachable act.
The Dictator-in-Chief, President Obama, is once again using his phone and his pen to change laws without Congressional approval. This time he called Jacqueline A. Berrien, Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), to simply "reinterpret" the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect homosexual status as if it were discrimination against "sex."
When dictators can change laws without Congress, simply by "reinterpreting" laws against federal courts rulings that held the opposite interpretation, we have truly become a lawless nation ruled by dictators. This is an impeachable offense.
In another email today, Klingenschmitt brought up the myth that the Obama administration spent federal funds “to try to defeat Netanyahu,” claiming that the “anti-Semitic” Obama "clearly wants Iran to get nuclear power, which they will use to destroy Israel.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won re-election, and his main opponent has conceded, despite alleged misuse of American tax-dollars to try to defeat Netanyahu.
If the investigation confirms Obama and Kerry used our tax-dollars to fund an election to defeat Netanyahu, this is an impeachable offense. It's not only illegal, and theft, but anti-Semitic, intended to harm our closest ally in the middle east. Obama clearly wants Iran to get nuclear power, which they will use to destroy Israel. Thank God the people of Israel saw past Obama's corruption, and re-elected Bibi.
I agree with PM Netanyahu, and I disagree with John Kerry. Giving nuclear energy to Iran is not a roadblock to weapons, rather it paves the road to nuclear weapons in the hands of militant Islamists who vow to wipe Israel off the map of history.
Obama is so disliked in Israel now, that his campaign against Netanyahu will actually help Netanyahu gain votes. Israeli's are fed up with Obama's support of Iran, and tired of being bombed with rockets by Muslim terrorists. I predict the Israeli elections in March will move them further to the right. Netanyahu's real challenge comes from hawks to his right, not from Obama on his left.
In an appearance on the American Family Association’s radio network today, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes continued that trend, boasting to host Ed Vitagliaono that he “put out a tweet yesterday: ‘Netanyahu wins, Obama loses, praise be to God.’”
Starnes said the Obama administration has made the U.S. “BFFs with the Islamic Republic of Iran” and hostile to Israel and took issue with First Lady Michelle Obama’s appearance at an event marking the Persian New Year, or Nowruz.
Today, one day after St. Patrick’s Day, Sandy Rios of the American Family Association fumed on her radio show that show that the main street of her neighborhood was closed for two hours last weekend because Mexican-Americans were holding a parade while carrying a statue of a saint. Such parades, she said, represent a Mexican “invasion” of America, unlike Irish parades to mark St. Patrick’s Day, which she said are acceptable just because.
“We are importing criminals, we are importing people who have no means of support. You know, when our immigration program was strong and working the way it should, people could not come to the country unless they had a sponsor, someone to help them find a job, someone to help take care of them,” she claimed. “They didn’t come in and sign up for American taxpayer dollar benefits, they were not a drain, they were in fact a great boon, a great blessing and gift to this country because they came and they worked hard and they became Americans. They didn’t demand that their culture be transported into this country and resented if it isn’t.”
She went on to blast the “huge Mexican parade” in her town that she suspects was filled with undocumented immigrants: “They closed one of the main arteries for at least two hours, the music was unbelievably loud, everyone was dressed in Mexican costumes, they were marching some sort of a saint, I don’t know who it was, and the streets were just filled with Mexican nationals who, maybe they’re citizens but I sort of don’t think so.” “Like, we have Irish-American parades and I don’t mind people celebrating their ethnicity, what I do mind is an invasion without permission, I do not want American culture to be transformed into another culture,” she said. “I do resent any kind of push to supplant that with something that has produced poverty and dependence, it is not a system of government or way of life that we want to mainstream.” AUDIO
If anyone had said four months ago that we’d still be waiting for the Senate to hold a confirmation vote for Loretta Lynch, no one would have believed it. Yet here we are. Although she was approved by the Judiciary Committee three weeks ago, Mitch McConnell just can’t bring himself to schedule a floor vote for her.
Lynch is supremely qualified to be AG. Progressives and conservatives alike have written to the Senate praising Lynch and urging her confirmation. In fact, not a single one of the Republicans’ own witnesses at her confirmation hearing actually opposed her confirmation.
Yet Republicans in the Senate continue to make a partisan brawl out of a consensus nomination.
Until now, regardless of which party was in the White House or in control of the Senate, the attorney general nominee has gotten a confirmation vote very quickly upon committee approval. But Lynch’s nomination has been languishing on the Senate floor for nearly three weeks, longer than the wait-time for the past five attorney general nominees combined.
McConnell has jettisoned his promise to allow a vote this week. At the beginning of next week, Lynch will have been waiting for a floor vote as long as the previous seven attorneys general combined:
Click chart for larger image.
McConnell’s latest excuse for delay is that the Senate needs to vote on a human trafficking bill first … a bipartisan bill that Republicans politicized by inserting an anti-choice provision.
The Lynch nomination was a great opportunity for Republicans to show the American people that they can govern. Instead, they’ve shown the American people that they won’t pass up any opportunity to play politics, as they pile unheard-of delay after delay on the person who should already have been confirmed as our nation’s first African American woman attorney general.
As we mentioned earlier, the mood at Saturday’s Awakening conference in Florida around the issue of gay marriage was utter panic, and nowhere was that expressed more clearly than in a panel titled “Same-Sex Marriage and Sexual Rebellion: Freedom Under Fire,” moderated by off-the-rails anti-gay pundit Matt Barber and featuring a pastor, two “ex-gay” activists, and Rena Lindevaldsen, the Liberty University dean who has murky ties with the case of an “ex-lesbian” who fled the country with her daughter to defy a court order giving the child's other mother custody.
Lindevaldsen set the tone for the discussion when she lamented that too many conservative Christians aren’t committed to fighting gay rights and instead ask her “why is this such a big deal and why does it matter?”
"It's a big deal because it's a big deal to God," she declared.
Quoting the late Chuck Colson , she told the audience, “In every action we take, we are either helping to create a hell on Earth, or bringing down a foretaste of heaven…We are either advancing the rule of Satan or establishing the reign of God.”
“There’s no middle ground, there’s no neutrality, there is no compromise,” she added, telling Christians who are on the fence about gay rights that “it’s not loving” to let gay people “go on not knowing that God has a better plan for their lives, this is not the way that God designed them to be.”
“This is the heart of where Satan’s attacking,” she said. “He is seeking to destroy human sexuality and marriage. Why? Because we are the reflection, marriage is the reflection of the relationship between Christ and his church. And so if you’re going to destroy the only human reflection we have of that, we’re going to destroy marriage.”
Later in the panel, “ex-gay” activist Greg Quinlan similarly warned Christians not to be taken in by LGBT rights, saying that the Human Rights Campaign’s famous equals sign bumper stickers are “not about equality” but “about dominance” and hide an effort to destroy the Constitution.
(Audio again via American Bridge):
When you see that blue bumper sticker with that bright yellow sign, it’s not about equality, it’s about dominance. It’s about silencing any voice that’s against what they want to do. And the real issue is this — I want you to understand this. The Constitution of the United States is a Calvinist document — I’m not a Calvinist — it’s a Christian document, it was written by reformers, based on the word of God. The problem that the secular left has, secular progressives, whatever label you want to put on them, the anti-God folks, our Constitution. And their goal is to undo it, if that means by reinterpreting it rewriting it, but it is to undo it.
So know this, especially the homosexual agenda, if I go down the list, I got a thing called “the big pink plan for a lavender culture,” another talk I do, which goes to what the agenda is. I was there when they were talking about what they want to do. It’s not about equality, it’s about dominance.
Likely GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson appeared on the American Family Association’s radio network today to promote his book, “You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to Think Big.”
“We live in a culture of heavy indoctrination, it starts in preschool and people try to influence the way people think about things,” Carson told host Ed Vitagliano. “I think it was Stalin who said, ‘Give me the children for a few years and I will have them for life.’ And the point being that it is relatively easy at that inflexion point to indoctrinate people and to change their way of thinking for the rest of their lives.”
In his 2012 book “America the Beautiful,” Carson was caught plagiarizing from the website socialismsucks.net in a passage criticizing the supposed socialist indoctrination taking place in schools:
Anytime you give to government the responsibility and authority to provide government-made jobs, old-age financial security, “free” health care, and “free” education and indoctrination of children, it will control the lives of the people who live under its jurisdiction, and individual liberty and freedom of choice are sacrificed.
Sure, there are several different brands of socialism — at least as many types as there are would-be people-planners who wish to impose their plans to control the moral and economic lives of other people. But are you willing to surrender your precious liberties to a socialist state which promises “security” for everyone and government-enforced equality? Isn’t this what Hitler and other socialists promised the German people in his Nazi (national socialist) platform — a country in which government guarantees security and “equality” in exchange for giving up individual freedom? Will Americans fall for the same scam?
At a panel discussion on abortion rights at this weekend’s Awakening conference, the topic at one point turned to how abortion rights advocates are supposedly nasty and mean while anti-choice activists are kind and compassionate to their adversaries.
This caused Vision America’s Rick Scarborough to recall the time God disrupted a protest of “radical homosexuals” from the gay rights group ACT UP when the late Jerry Falwell was speaking at his church in Texas.
Falwell, Scarborough recalled, asked him to send pitchers of ice water out to the protesters outside those church, “and those radical gays were just astounded by the kindness.”
Then, Scarborough recalled, “God got involved” and in an apparent act of solidarity with Falwell’s magnanimity drove away the “radical homosexuals” with a torrential downpour.
Falwell was speaking in our church back in the days of ACT UP. Radical homosexuals showed up, I mean the police literally stood between them and our congregation. Rev. Falwell said, ‘Rick, while I’m preaching, send your men out there with pitchers of ice water because it was a roaring July day in Texas. And so our men when out there and those radical gays were just astounded by the kindness.
And then God got involved. This is really humorous to think about and remember. But right about halfway through Dr. Falwell’s sermon, with these radical gays outside, we heard a clap of thunder and lightning…and a torrential rain fell. By the time he finished, the sun was shining, but the gays were wet and gone.
So, sometimes when we radically live the faith, God gets involved.
On his “Secure Freedom Radio” program on Monday, Gaffney discussed this theory with Christian Broadcasting Network reporter Erick Stakelbeck, who explained that Norquist, Abedin and Carson are part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “fox in the henhouse strategy” to perpetrate “stealth jihad” hidden behind “suits and ties,” “fluent English,” and “eloquent tones, at least in public.”
“You have Huma Abedin, a woman closely associated with the Brotherhood back in the news because she’s purging Hillary Clintons emails; you have André Carson, a man closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, representative from Indiana, put by Nancy Pelosi on the House Intelligence Committee; you have the president lauding the Islamic Society of Boston as a model for countering violent jihadism; and you have Grover Norquist, now under an ethics investigation by the NRA, who’s been closely tied to the Brotherhood as well,” Gaffney told Stakelbeck.
“How seriously is this civilization jihad component of all of this effort that jihadists are making here at home?” he asked.
“Frank, crucial, crucial, crucial component of the jihadist movement and the global strategy of Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood,” Stakelbeck responded. “Look, ISIS represents one leg of the global jihad, Frank, the violent jihad. We know they want to behead you, we know what ISIS wants. But the Muslim Brotherhood, to me, in many ways is more effective because they lead this stealth jihad of this global jihad, where it’s suits and ties, it’s fluent English, it’s speaking in moderate, eloquent tones at least in public, it’s having entrée to the White House, to the halls of power. That is the fox in the henhouse strategy.”
“And the four cases you outlined, Frank, I don’t know which is more disturbing,” he said.
Stakelbeck added that he was happy the NRA is investigating Norquist: “Thank God that that’s going on, but the stealth jihad continues unabated.”
At Saturday’s Awakening conference, an annual Religious Right confab organized by Liberty Counsel, the mood surrounding LGBT rights had reached full-blown panic.
Nearly two years after the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision let loose a cascade of federal court decisions legalizing marriage between same-sex couples in dozens of states, the Religious Right activists gathered in a megachurch in Orlando were bracing for a Supreme Court decision that could establish marriage equality nationwide.
At a panel titled “Activism in the Age of Lawlessness,” four Religious Right leaders — John Eidsmoe, Rick Scarborough, William Murray and Harry Mihet — gathered to suss out what the movement’s response should be to pro-LGBT court rulings that they find to be “lawless.”
John Eidsmoe, the influential Christian nationalist thinker who served as a mentor to Michele Bachmann, outlined the issue, explaining to the audience that “‘rule of law’ ultimately means ‘rule of the highest law,’” or God’s law.
Eidsmoe, who now works for the Religious Right group founded by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is urging judges in his state to defy a federal court ruling on marriage equality, argued that you are only disobeying the law if you disobey “the law of God.”
“You disobey a law only when those who have that law are breaking a higher law, the law of God,” he said. “And in fact, if you follow the decree of a tyrant when he is defying the law, you are complicit in his defiance. Disobedience then becomes not only a right, it becomes a duty.”
Eidsmoe explained that the idea of civil disobedience had been perverted since biblical times, since the idea of not violating your conscience should only apply if “your conscience is in accord with the word of God.”
Rick Scarborough, the head of Vision America, warned that a Supreme Court decision for marriage equality would be worse for the Religious Right than Roe v. Wade because “with abortion, you can opt out, you don’t have to participate in that.”
He claimed that, in contrast, a marriage equality decision would outlaw anti-gay speech, the exact same erroneous prediction he made following the passage of the 2009 Hate Crimes Law.
“We’ll get up the day after that ruling, and in fact a few hours after that ruling when it’s widely disseminated, and you’ll find yourself, those of us who believe that homosexuality is a sexual sin — perversion if you will — those of us who believe that homosexual marriage is unnatural and forbidden by God and who have taught that our entire lives…when that law is passed you are then going to breaking the law when you preach or teach what you’ve always taught or what you’ve always preached,” he claimed.
“Fundamentally, it undermines the whole nature of America,” Scarborough concluded.
Liberty Counsel attorney Harry Mihet, who was moderating the panel, echoed Scarborough’s dire warnings when he declared that there would be “no way to escape this issue” and that it might “in the near future” land anti-LGBT pastors in jail… just like Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We have to draw the line in the sand and stand firm on the truth of the Word, and not to shy away from a fight, not to quit, not to be silent, but to actually speak truth and love to a society that has a desperate need to hear it,” he said. “And there may come a time when you will have to lose your job because that’s what you’ve done. There may come a time in the near future when you have to lose your liberty and go to jail like Martin Luther King did.”
Since losing to Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican presidential primary season, Rick Santorum has tried to position himself as the “anti-Romney.” The former Pennsylvania senator isn’t just a conservative warrior on issues like immigration, legal abortion and gay rights;
When an audience member in a session about abortion rights asked what to do about a pastor who refuses to participate in politics, Connelly responded that “voting is not political, it’s spiritual” and urged pastors to violate rarely-enforced regulations that prevent churches from being involved in partisan politics in order to keep their tax-exempt status.
Referring to cases where businesses have run afoul of nondiscrimination laws by refusing service to gay and lesbian couples, Connelly said, “Who would have thought that a florist or a baker or a photographer or, for goodness sakes, a wedding chapel would be sued when there were competitors that they could have gone to? They’re coming for the church.”
Listen, voter registration is not political, it’s spiritual. Voting is not political, it’s spiritual. So witness and testimony to the community what you believe in. No wonder we get legislation we don’t agree with, no wonder we get candidates and elected officials we don’t agree with, because our people aren’t engaged.
So if your pastor’s saying, ‘It’s a legal issue, I can’t do this,’ ask them how many churches have lost their tax-exempt status. It’s a finite number: zero. By definition, you’re tax exempt. If there’s no freedom of speech in the pulpit, there’s no freedom of speech, brothers and sisters. And if we can’t say the truth from the pulpit, guess what, we can’t say the truth anywhere.
Who would have thought that a florist or a baker or a photographer or, for goodness sakes, a wedding chapel would be sued when there were competitors that they could have gone to. They’re coming for the church.
He ended by asking the audience to “please help us pressure your pastors” to get involved in elections, but adding that “it’s not a party or political issue.”
Later in the same discussion, far-right pastor Rick Scarborough warned that “every pastor is going to be directly assaulted” by the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on marriage equality, claiming that a pro-equality ruling would force churches to “participate in same-sex marriage” or face fines or imprisonment.
Sandy Rios, the right-wing radio host and American Family Association governmental affairs director, is outraged at the GOP’s handling of legislation to combat sex trafficking, a bipartisan bill whose passage may be threatened because of an anti-abortion provision quietly added in by Republican leadership.
Rios said her problem isn’t with the anti-choice add-on, which she supports, but with the fact that Republicans are pushing for the legislation at all at a time when they should instead be fighting to stop gay rights.
She claimed that conservatives should see the fight against sex trafficking as “secondary” to combatting homosexuality since the latter is “threatening the culture” while trafficking “has been overblown.”
This is where misguided people are really affecting the system in a bad way. And this is going to be very controversial what I’m about to say, but I’m going to say it. This whole business of sexual trafficking in the United States, I’m not saying it’s not something of note, I’m not saying it’s something I approve of, but I suspect, methinks, it has been overblown, methinks this is much like the homeless issue that was absolutely blown completely out of proportion by the press and by others many years ago. I think there may be some problem because we have such massive immigration from countries that actually practice this. I doubt it is the huge, huge, huge, huge, huge issue that people want you to think it is.
This is the thing that bothers me: I see ministries and churches jumping on the bandwagon, they are all about saving the women who have been sexually trafficked, this is their great sacrifice, this is their great stand on social issues, at the same time will not say a word, not a peep, about homosexual marriage, hardly anything about homosexuality and what God says about it because that, you see, would cost something. But sexual trafficking, you see, ‘we’re outraged about that,’ not so much about gay marriage because that might be a little icky, we might offend people in the congregation. But sexual trafficking, that’s huge.
So John Cornyn from Texas, Mitch McConnell, they’re hearing from evangelicals who are into sexual trafficking, such a controversial issue, it raises a lot of money and nobody disagrees, it’s a safe issue. By the way, I’m not saying don’t help women who are sexually trafficked or little boys, whoever, but I’m saying it is the coward’s embrace, that’s my opinion. It is the secondary issue of our day, it’s not the one that is threatening the culture.
They think they are pleasing — this is their bone to evangelicals, this is their bone to Christians, we’re passing this victims of trafficking act and we’re saving lives while doing it, this provision that prevents money from going to women who are trafficked for having abortions, I’m not opposed to that, I’m in favor of that. But it is not the issue of the day, it is the coward’s issue of the day to sort of act like you’re doing something when you’re really doing nothing. So Mitch McConnell is not going to call Loretta Lynch’s vote if those Democrats don’t allow this bill to go through with a provision to prevent abortions, so that is how they are pretending as though they have chests when indeed they have none.
Kevin Swanson is deeply disturbed by the “homosexual theme” and “homosexual connection” found in the Taylor Swift song “Welcome to New York.”
“That’s the way it goes as another nice little Presbyterian, Southern Baptist girl bites the dust, following the trajectory of Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, taking their 13-year-old fan club all the way,” the Religious Right broadcaster lamented on his radio program yesterday.
He added that parents should make sure that their children aren’t listening to musicians like Taylor Swift.
“They’re all riding the train and they start out with a benign Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus and before you know it they’re singing their demon songs and they’re making their attributions to their homosexual friends and that’s the way a national apostasy occurs,” Swanson warned.
Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins spoke to a caller who insisted that President Obama is a secret Muslim, claiming that the president drinks alcohol because he has a “special dispensation” that allows him to hide his Islamic faith.
Perkins said that such a theory “makes sense” because the president is “overly deferential to Islam and almost hostile to Christianity.” He quickly added that he doesn’t know what Obama really believes, but insists that it is “very clear to see” that Obama favors Islam over Christianity and comes from a Muslim background.