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Trump: 'This Will Be The Last Election If I Don't Win'

In an interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network today, Donald Trump warned that there will be no more competitive elections if he is defeated in November because under a Clinton presidency, “you’re going to have illegal immigrants coming in and they’re going to be legalized and they’re going to be able to vote and once that all happens you can forget it.”

“You’re not going to have one Republican vote,” he said. “And it’s already a hard number. Already the path is much more difficult for the Republicans. You just have to look at the maps.”

Trump: I think it’s going to be the last election that the Republicans can win. If we don’t win this election, you’ll never see another Republican and you’ll have a whole different church structure. You’re going to have a whole different Supreme Court structure. That has to do a lot with what we’re doing because the Supreme Court, as you know with Justice Scalia gone, I think you could probably have four to five judges picked by the next president. Probably a record number, David, probably a record number of judges. If they pick the super-liberals, probably to a certain extent, people that would make Bernie Sanders happy, you will never have a Supreme Court, we’re going to end up with another Venezuela, large scale version. It would be a disaster for the country.

Brody: Just so I understand, when you say last election are you referring to what Michele Bachmann was talking about with citizenship because Hillary is talking about potentially providing citizenship for many of these illegals. Florida and Texas could be gone.

Trump: I think this will be the last election if I don’t win. I think this will be the last election that the Republicans have a chance of winning because you’re going to have people flowing across the borders, you’re going to have illegal immigrants coming in and they’re going to be legalized and they’re going to be able to vote and once that all happens you can forget it. I guarantee you, you’re not going to have one Republican vote. And it’s already a very hard number. Already the path is much more difficult for the Republicans. You just have to look at the maps and the path is much more difficult.

Trump: Scalia Will Be 'The Ultimate Example' Of My Supreme Court Picks

In a speech today to the Values Voter Summit, Donald Trump reiterated his promise to give the Religious Right the Supreme Court of their dreams while warning that if Hillary Clinton appoints new justices to the bench, “you have a country that is no longer your country, it will be a disaster.”

“Maybe we use Judge Scalia as the ultimate example of what we’re looking for, okay?” Trump continued.

Trump has often pointed to his commitment to put Scalia clones on the court as a way to shore up support from Religious Right activists.

“This will determine whether or not we remain a constitutional republic,” he said. “Frankly, that’s what’s going to happen. I have pledged to appoint judges who will uphold the constitution, to protect your religious liberty and to apply the law as written. We reject judges who rewrite the constitution to impose their own personal views on 300-million-plus Americans, not gonna have that.” (Ironically, Trump once said that as president he would order the military to follow his personal views rather than the law).

Clinton’s “extremist judges,” he said, “would allow her to completely take over the American health care, the American economy, the Americans’ religious liberty, not to mention your Second Amendment, which is on very thin ice right now, as you know, because of the fact that we’re at 4-4. If they even pick one judge who’s wrong, you can kiss the Second Amendment goodbye.”

Donald Trump Imagines An America Where Everyone Lives 'Under One God'

Donald Trump closed out his remarks at the Values Voter Summit today by once again doing his best imitation of a pious and committed Christian in an effort to appeal to the Religious Right activists who had gathered for the conference.

After heaping praise upon the late Phyllis Schlafly, whose last name he mispronounced as "Chafly," Trump really started to pour on the God talk.

"We're all equal and we all come from same Creator," Trump said. "There's a biblical verse that I've often read and I want to repeat it again because I think it is so important to what we're trying to achieve right now for our country. It's from 1 John: 4: No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us."

"So true," Trump said. "So True."

"Imagine what our country could accomplish if we started working together as one people, under one God, saluting one flag," Trump concluded, apparently anticipating a future in which every American, regardless of religion, is required to worship Jesus Christ. 

Sandy Rios Warns Of Unimaginable Threats To Freedom Under Hillary Clinton Presidency

American Family Association radio host and government affairs director Sandy Rios was one of the speakers at a Friday luncheon at the Values Voter Summit. Like other speakers, she took an apocalyptic tone about this year’s elections.

Rios told attendees she doesn’t think Americans understand how much is at stake in this election, recounting harrowing stories of a woman who had told her about the persecution and lack of freedom she had experienced under communist rule in Romania.

To those who suggest that if Trump loses, “next time we’ll get our guy in,” Rios said, “I am just here to tell you, as a Watchman on the Wall, that is not likely to happen” unless God intervenes “miraculously.”

What was more likely, she suggested, was a loss of freedom under a Hillary Clinton presidency. America is at a crossroads, she said, suggesting that freedom would be threatened under a Clinton presidency. “We have a candidate who said deeply held religious beliefs will have to be changed,” she said.

Without naming Clinton, Rios cited other reasons people should fear her as president. “We can’t even comprehend what life might be like even in a year if we don’t take an active part in this election.”

“Those of you that name the name of Christ will have trouble finding jobs,” she said, and kids won’t be able to get into college without having the “right” opinions.

“There’s going to be trouble,” she warned, including a “totally unleashed” Internal Revenue Service.

“I don’t think people have stopped to think about the price we will pay if we don’t do what we can do,” she said. “It’s an imperfect solution, no doubt, but we cannot stand by.”

She also urged participants to support people working on the culture war’s front lines. “I’m begging you,” she said, “do not desert them.”

Jon Voight: God Wants Trump To Be President So He Can 'Lift The Dark Cloud That Hovers Over Us Now'

Actor Jon Voight was given the "honor" of introducing Donald Trump at the Values Voter Summit today, which he did by declaring that "if God allows truth to be said and heard," then Trump will be elected president.

"My heart aches watching Donald Trump, day after day, pouring his heart out telling the American people what he wants to do to save the nation," Voight said. "How can anyone doubt his sincerity? I can only feel if God allows truth to be said and heard that we will see Donald Trump as the next president of this great America and he will lift the dark cloud that hovers over us now."

Louie Gohmert: I Was Right That Hate Crimes Law Would Be 'Used Against Christians' (He Wasn't)

In a speech today to the Values Voter Summit, after diagnosing Hillary Clinton as “mentally impaired,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, insisted that he was right to predict that the 2009 Matthew Shepard hate crimes act would lead to the persecution of Christians.

Gohmert warned before the passage of the hate crimes bill that it would turn the U.S. into Nazi Germany and lead the way to the legalization of pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia.

In his Values Voter speech, Gohmert conveniently failed to mention a single example of the 2009 law being “used against Christians” or of the law making it legal for people to have sex with children, animals or the deceased, but that didn’t stop him from boasting that he was right all along.

Gohmert also bizarrely claimed that the Supreme Court has established secular humanism as the official government religion and that Hillary Clinton is bent on “taking away your freedom of speech and allowing that part of the Muslim Brotherhood plan” of “subjugating the U.S. Constitution to Sharia law.”

“Your religious freedom will be gone, your freedom of speech will be gone” under a Clinton presidency, he said. “Freedom of the press, well, that’s not officially gone, it’s just if you express truth in the press, the rest of the press makes fun of you.”

Jerry Boykin: God Used The Iran Hostage Crisis To Bring Us Ronald Reagan

Family Research Council official Jerry Boykin was previously a lieutenant general in the Army, where in 1980 he participated in the disastrous attempt to rescue 52 Americans held hostage in Iran, which ended in failure and the deaths of eight service members.

In an interview this morning with the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios at his group’s annual Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., Boykin explained that while the failed rescue mission was “tragic” and “the most devastating thing in my life,” it did have a “real positive” in that it “brought down Jimmy Carter” and helped lead to the election of Ronald Reagan.

Rios asked Boykin if the next president will be able to undo the “decimation” of the military under President Obama, like she said George W. Bush was able to do after Bill Clinton’s presidency.

“That’s a good example,” Boykin replied, “but you know what’s a better example, at the end of Jimmy Carter’s presidency, Ronald Reagan came in. Look, I was part of the failed rescue attempt in 1980 where we were trying to go into Iran and rescue 52 Americans that were being held in the embassy there. I was part of that operation. I watched eight good men die in the desert 100 miles from Iran and it was the most devastating thing in my life.”

“But you know what?” he said. “Two things that came out of that. Number one, it brought down Jimmy Carter and that was a real positive. Number two, it brought in Ronald Reagan. So even in that kind of tragic situation, there is something positive, God uses those things for good. And we brought in Ronald Reagan and his focus was to restore our military and think of what he did. I mean, he went on a determined campaign to make sure that did not happen again. And what we have today is an incredible military, particularly special operations, that is now in decline again because of the Obama administration and the next president is going to have to come in and do exactly what Ronald Reagan did.”

Boykin also warned that if Hillary Clinton were to become president, she would implement unconstitutional hate speech prohibitions.

He told Rios that at a strategic planning meeting more than a year ago, the FRC had decided to spend “50 percent of our time on religious liberty” and warned that “times are going to be even more difficult for Christians” if Clinton is elected.

He pointed to the United States’ support for a UN resolution on “religious tolerance” while Clinton was secretary of state as evidence that Clinton supports imposing blasphemy laws and speech restrictions in the U.S. In fact, Clinton worked to remove support for blasphemy laws from the resolution, although some critics say that the resolution’s wording on the subject still left too much wiggle room for governments wishing to impose speech restrictions.

Boykin told Rios that the “biggest thing that Americans need to be concerned” with a Clinton presidency “is the First Amendment.”

“You just said it, hate speech,” she said. “She has, in fact, agreed to UN Resolution 16/18 which says that if you say anything disparaging about Islam or the Prophet Muhammad, you can be taken to jail. And by the way, that’s happening in Europe right now. People are being arrested for what is considered hate speech because they are speaking out against what’s happening there, they’re speaking out against the rapes and the murders and the pillaging of the cities there and the terrorist attacks and some of them have been arrested for hate speech. That’s coming to America if Hillary Clinton is the next president.”

Trump's Campaign Claims He Isn't A Birther, His Own Twitter Feed Proves Otherwise

Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, and Rudy Giuliani, one of his main campaign surrogates, have both claimed that Trump believes President Obama was born in the U.S.

Giuliani, bizarrely, has even claimed that Trump came out and said he believes that Obama was born in the U.S. “two years ago, three years ago.”

That would be remarkable since as recently as earlier this year Trump vowed to write a “very successful” book outlining his birther conspiracy theory.

Indeed, Trump calls himself a “proud” birther and has regularly promoted the birther conspiracy theory on his Twitter feed, even implying that Obama had a government official killed as part of a cover-up of his supposedly fake birth certificate.

Trump has also embraced the advanced birther theory that Obama neither attended Columbia University nor authored “Dreams From My Father”:

David Barton: Trump 'Doesn't Have To Be Deep On The Issues' Because He's a Businessman

Religious Right activist and Republican operative David Barton offered an interesting argument to Christian conservatives who are reluctant to vote for Donald Trump today, explaining in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody today that Trump “doesn’t have to be deep on the issues because he uses a CEO model, not a governmental model.”

Barton pointed to Trump’s many business failures, which he said the GOP candidate was able to bounce back from because “he keeps taking the best people and putting them over those endeavors.”

Trump provides a paradigm that Christians are not used to. We’re so used to having government leaders, we think in terms of governmental leaders. With a business leader, you do things totally different. It’s not how much he knows, it’s the people he puts around him. So Trump has lost his fortune several times, but how come he keeps rebuilding it back to a billionaire level? Because he keeps taking the best people and putting them over those endeavors. So as far as Trump’s concerned, he doesn’t have to be deep on the issues because he uses a CEO model, not a governmental model. It’s about who he chooses.

Of course, Barton's absurd rationale doesn't explain why, if Trump "keeps taking the best people" and putting them in charge of his various endeavors, he has managed to lose his fortune several times in the first place.

Gary Bauer: 'This Is A Flight 93 Election'

Gary Bauer of American Values, which is one of the co-sponsors of the 2016 Values Voter Summit, closed out his speech at the event today by literally comparing the upcoming presidential election to Flight 93, the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11 after passengers fought back against the terrorists who had hijacked it.

"This country is the equivalent of that plane right now," Bauer said, citing a recent column posted on the Claremont Institute website. "We're heading for a disaster unless we can get control of the cockpit again and then maybe, just maybe, we'll have a chance."

The passengers on that plane "took the only shot they had," Bauer stated. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is a Flight 93 election. This may be out last shot. It's time to roll. It's time to run down the aisle and save Western civilization."

Edit Memo: The Disastrous Consequences of a Trump Supreme Court

Trump has vowed to nominate right-wing Supreme Court justices like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. So what would a Trump Supreme Court actually mean for Americans’ rights and liberties?

Andy McCarthy Wants Congress To Preemptively Impeach Clinton

Andy McCarthy, a conservative pundit who served as a national security adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, is urging Congress to preemptively impeach Hillary Clinton in order to prevent her from becoming president.

McCarthy wrote in the National Review on Tuesday that Congress could launch proceedings for “an impeachment [of Clinton] based on her abuses of power as secretary of state, which would have the constitutional effect of disqualifying her for the presidency”:

For months, I have been arguing that Hillary Clinton should be impeached. It is all well and good to prosecute a former government official for any crimes she has committed. Indeed, the Constitution expressly provides for criminal prosecution in addition to impeachment. Nevertheless, for the Framers — and, if we had common sense, for us — the imperative was to deprive a corrupt person of any further opportunity to abuse government power. Whether the official should also be convicted and sent to prison was not unimportant but, in the greater scheme of things, decidedly secondary.

Interestingly, the main pushback I received upon positing this argument was not that Mrs. Clinton is undeserving of impeachment…

No, the main objection to impeachment is the claim that, because the former secretary of state does not currently hold public office, there is nothing from which to remove her. Hence, as a non-incumbent who merely seeks the nation’s highest office — after proving herself manifestly unfit in a subordinate office — she is said to be immune from impeachment. How could she be impeached from the presidency, the question is posed, if she is not president? How could she be removed from an office she does not hold based on offenses not committed while wielding presidential power?

These questions and the non-incumbency theory behind them fundamentally misconstrue the constitutional remedy of impeachment, which is not limited to removal from power but includes disqualification from future office. Moreover, their premise is wrong: The proceeding against Clinton would not be a presidential impeachment; it would be an impeachment based on her abuses of power as secretary of state, which would have the constitutional effect of disqualifying her for the presidency.

The Religious Right Shares Trump's Putin Crush

One of the notable developments in right-wing-watching in recent years has been how enthusiastically many Religious Right leaders have embraced Russia’s anti-democratic president, former KGB official Vladimir Putin. It seems even more remarkable that the Republican Party’s presidential nominee has been lavishing praise on Putin even as Russia maneuvers to diminish America’s influence in the world.

As president, Putin has consolidated his power through attacks on the independent media, the persecution of political opponents, and restrictions on civil society. He has annexed Crimea, supported violent separatists in Ukraine, fostered anti-democratic right-wing forces in Europe, and made the weakening of NATO a major strategic imperative.

None of that has kept Donald Trump from praising Putin and welcoming Putin’s praise for him. In Wednesday night’s forum on national security issues, Trump said, “I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Putin. And I think I would have a very, very good relationship with Russia.” When asked about some of Putin’s troubling actions, Trump didn’t criticize the Russian president, suggesting instead that he could “start naming some of the things that President Obama does at the same time.”

Trump went on to praise Putin’s leadership and pooh-pooh concerns about Putin’s authoritarianism: “I mean, you can say, oh, isn’t that a terrible thing—the man has very strong control over a country.” Then on Thursday, Trump appeared on RT, a network operated by the Russian government, to slam American media and U.S. foreign policy and dismiss as “unlikely” the idea that the Russian government was involved in hacking the DNC’s email as American intelligence agencies believe.

Some conservatives have criticized Putin’s anti-democratic actions and strategic aims, and some Republicans were not happy about Trump’s recent remarks. But his running mate Mike Pence said it is “inarguable” that Putin is a stronger leader than President Obama. Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa, a Trump supporter, told CNN that Putin is a better leader for Russia than President Obama has been for the U.S., praising the increase in “hyper-nationalism” in Russia. Conspiracy-theory-promoting radio host Alex Jones, whose “amazing” reputation Trump has praised while appearing on his show , has expressed his admiration for Putin’s promotion of homeschooling and “masculine men.”

Trump will find himself in friendly company at this weekend’s Values Voter Summit, an annual political gathering for the Religious Right. As Right Wing Watch has documented extensively, many U.S. religious conservatives have been cheerleaders for Putin because of his government’s anti-gay policies and his public support for “traditional values” and “Christian civilization.” Brian Brown, who heads both the National Organization for Marriage and the World Congress of Families, actually traveled to Russia a few years ago to testify on behalf of anti-gay legislation there.

As Right Wing Watch noted last year:

Evangelist Franklin Graham hailed Putin as a hero for taking “a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda” even as “America’s own morality has fallen so far on this issue”; Bryan Fischer called Putin a “lion of Christianity” and called upon U.S. lawmakers to adopt similar speech prohibitions; Matt Barber marveled that Putin was able to “out-Christian our once-Christian nation”; Sam Rohrer called Putin “the moral leader of the world”; Scott Lively lavished praise on Putin for “ championing traditional marriage and Christian values ”; and Rush Limbaugh applauded Putin for stopping “a full-frontal assault on what has always been considered normalcy.”

In fact, Franklin Graham went to Russia just last fall, where he met with Putin, slammed President Obama for supporting “policies that contradict the teachings of God” and praised the Russian president for “protecting Russian young people against homosexual propaganda.” Graham reportedly said, “I call for prayers for the president of Russia, who is protecting traditional Christianity.” Graham also praised Russian involvement in Syria, which the Russian Orthodox Church has called a “holy battle.”

Putin has developed a mutually beneficial partnership with the Russian Orthodox Church, promoting Orthodoxy as a crucial element of Russian nationalism and a vehicle for extending Russian power and undercutting U.S. influence. Some American Religious Right leaders are taken with Putin’s promotion of a Christian state; the director of last year’s World Congress of Families summit, Janice Shaw Crouse, embraced the blasphemy-law prosecution and jail sentences given to members of the band Pussy Riot for protesting in a cathedral.

While many Religious Right leaders suggest that President Obama is a secret Muslim who wants to replace the Constitution with Sharia law and say marriage equality will open the door to polygamy, we haven’t heard them objecting to Putin and his allies actually allowing polygamy and the imposition of Sharia in Chechnya. Similarly, those who cry that LGBT equality represents a dire threat to religious freedom have not raised a big fuss about a new law signed by Putin this summer that severely restricts the religious freedom of faiths other than the Russian Orthodox Church. Putin has also enacted restrictions on evangelism and backed separatist militias that violently attack Ukrainian Protestants.

Perhaps Putin’s strategic partnership with the Orthodox Church has inspired Trump’s promise to conservative evangelical leaders that he will make Christianity more politically powerful by eliminating legal restrictions on electoral politicking by churches. So far, it has worked for him, helping him line up support from the leaders of the Values Voter Summit.

David Barton Narrows Down The Five Commandments For Conservative Christian Voters

Even before the long security lines, the singing of the National Anthem, and Tony Perkins’ use of a goofy toy gavel to call the 2016 Values Voter Summit to order, early risers filled the Empire Room at Washington, D.C.’s Omni Shoreham hotel for a breakfast sponsored by United in Purpose, a Silicon Valley-based organization that uses “big data” techniques to help Christian organizations better understand and motivate their supporters and to help boost conservative Christian voter turnout.

The opening prayer at the breakfast was given by Jim Garlow, a United in Purpose board member and anti-gay pastor who made his name in right-wing politics by mobilizing church support for California’s anti-marriage-equality Prop 8. Attendees were given copies of Garlow’s new book, “Well Versed: Biblical Answers to Today’s Tough Issues,” published by Regnery Faith.

A quick glance suggests that the themes of Garlow’s book will be familiar to anyone who has attended a Religious Right gathering or absorbed the “scholarship” of the Right’s favorite self-proclaimed historian, David Barton: The Bible is a guidebook for government policy on everything from marriage to education and tax policy, and America has lost its way because pastors haven’t been preaching these truths aggressively enough. Garlow writes that his book was written to overcome pastors’ resistance to political preaching, which he blames on legal restrictions on church politicking that Donald Trump has vowed to overturn.

The breakfast’s two keynoters, conservative Christian pollster George Barna and Barton, the truth-challenged “historian,” are also, like Garlow, board members of United in Purpose. Barna runs the group’s American Culture and Faith Institute, which is carrying out in-depth longitudinal studies on changing attitudes among church-going Christians.

Barna argued that America was strong when family, church and government were all doing their jobs well and staying in their own “lanes.” But, he said, today is different. He ran through a set of statistics that depressed the people sitting at my table, demonstrating Americans’ lack of basic civic knowledge, lack of trust in the government and the church, and lack of hope in the future. One big problem, he said, is that only nine percent of born-again Christian adults have what he calls a “biblical worldview”—which seems to mean embracing the Barton-Garlow vision that Christians have a duty to vote according to their particular interpretation of the Bible. “That’s what makes it so difficult,” he said, “to be America.” Barna said America is “ripe for another revolution.”

Barton was his fast-talking self, quoting founding fathers, showing slides of colonial-era sermons, and generally contrasting the thundering sermons of revolution-supporting pastors and what he said are whispers coming from today’s pulpits. Barton asserted again that the Bible has policy directives on divorce, the minimum wage, the capital gains tax and just about any other issue a politician might confront.

Barton said Christians should not think in terms of having a right to vote, but rather a responsibility to vote. And, in what felt like a clear pitch for evangelicals to view voting for Trump as a biblical mandate, Barton explained that according to the Bible, a nation’s righteousness is not based on the righteousness of its leaders but on the policies they produce. And nothing is more important than the kind of judges a president will nominate and senators confirm, he said.

God gave the Israelites 613 laws, he said, and then focused them on His “top ten” priorities. Barton’s conclusion: You might care about immigration or climate change, but those can’t be among your top five voting issues because God says the top five must be abortion, marriage, public acknowledgment of religion, judicial nominations and support for Israel.

Rep. Louie Gohmert: 'Hillary Clinton Has Made Clear She Is Mentally Impaired'

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas opened his remarks at the Values Voter Summit today by facetiously apologizing for having said that Hillary Clinton's "brain is in a blender" because it is unchristian to mock those with "special needs."

"You don't make fun of people who are impaired, have special needs," Gohmert said, "and whether you like her or not, Hillary Clinton has made clear she is mentally impaired and this is not somebody you should be making fun of."

"We need to be praying for Hillary Clinton," he continued. "There's special needs there, there's mental impairment ... That was not a proper thing to say because, again, I'm making fun of the mentally impaired and that's not right."

Donald Trump And The So-Called 'Values Voters'

Countless articles have been written on Donald Trump's relationship with the Religious Right, often by those who argue that his rise reveals the movement's increasing irrelevance. After all, how could social conservatives ever get behind a thrice-married failed casino mogul who is more comfortable at the Playboy Mansion than at church? He has bragged that he has never asked God for forgiveness, insisted that Jesus Christ had a massive ego (in an interview with Playboy) and, in an episode that carries obvious symbolism, threw cash on the communion plate in an Iowa church.

It's almost as if the Religious Right cares more about gaining political power than defending Christian teachings.

Trump is slated to make an appearance today at the Values Voter Summit, the annual Washington, D.C., convention organized by the Family Research Council that's the marquis event on the Religious Right's calendar. Trump's appearance at the summit isn't discordant; as his campaign has progressed, it has become clear why the movement has rallied behind him and why he has relied on its support.

Trump once told a crowd at a Christian university not to forgive their enemies but to "get even." The leaders of today's Religious Right have been preaching that message for years, treating politics as a no-holds-barred battle against opponents who they regard not just as people with different points of view, but as spiritual enemies.

For instance, Tony Perkins, the president of Family Research Council (FRC), has described supporters of LGBT rights as pawns of Satan.

Just as Trump championed the birther movement, arguing that President Obama is neither an American nor a Christian, Perkins has suggested that Obama is not a true Christian (and is most likely a Muslim) and raised questions about his birthplace. Obama supporters, according to Perkins, must repent for voting for him. One past Values Voter Summit speaker even told the crowd that Obama would shut down all of the country's churches before leaving office.

Trump's demagogic, hateful rhetoric has nothing on the Religious Right, whose leaders have been belittling and denigrating LGBT people, religious minorities and Christians who don't agree with their right-wing political ideology for years.

It wasn't surprising that most Religious Right leaders who talk a big game on religious liberty either stayed silent or were openly supportive when Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the country. A spokesman for the American Family Association, a cosponsor of the Values Voter Summit, had called for a Muslim ban long before Trump ever did.

While many evangelicals, along with Roman Catholics and mainline Protestants, have worked tirelessly to reform the country's immigration system, conservative Religious Right groups like the FRC and the AFA have denounced immigration reform.

Trump and Religious Right groups have also joined together in portraying American Christians as a marginalized group under constant persecution thanks to the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits houses of worship and other nonprofits from explicitly endorsing candidates if they want to maintain their tax-exempt status, and injustices like the "War on Christmas," with Trump even claiming that he was personally a victim of anti-Christian persecution because he was subject to a routine IRS audit.

And above all, the movement's leaders are thrilled that Trump has promised to give them the Supreme Court of their dreams, even letting conservative activists hand-pick his nominees.

The Religious Right, with its constant talk of the country's imminent undoing by evil anti-American actors, promotion of conspiracy theories and patently hateful rhetoric, paved the way for Trump's success in the GOP primaries. Now, Trump needs the movement to help put him over the top in November, and will be more than happy to further its agenda if he makes it into the White House.

At the Values Voter Summit, Trump will surely pander to the Religious Right. But he should also thank them.

(This post also appears on the Huffington Post)

Jerry Boykin Hopes Values Voter Summit Will Help Win Conservative Christians To Trump

Jerry Boykin, the executive vice president of the Family Research Council, which is hosting this weekend’s Values Voter Summit, said today that he hopes the event will end with conservative Christians becoming comfortable with voting for Donald Trump.

Boykin, who recently endorsed Trump, told Breitbart News this morning that “we’re going to see a lot more people become comfortable with the Trump-Pence ticket” over the weekend and that greater support for Trump is “what I’m hoping we’ll come away with.” He specifically praised Trump’s hire of Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon, who has made the outlet a platform for the racist alt-right movement, saying that Bannon “has been a great influence on Trump.”

What I think we’re going to see this weekend, we’re going to see a lot more people become comfortable with the Trump-Pence ticket. If you notice what Donald Trump has been doing recently, he has stayed on message, he has really, I think, followed a lot of good advice from the people around him, you know, one of which is your president, Steve Bannon, and I think Steve has been a great influence on Trump.

So I think we’re going to have a lot of people here that are coming in still questioning whether they’re going to support Trump and I think it’s going to be an opportunity for them to be convinced that the guy will make a much better president than Hillary and there just are no perfect candidates. So that’s what I’m hoping we’ll come away with.

Boykin also previewed a panel discussion he will be hosting on “jihad in America,” which he said will inform the audience that the U.S. government should be working with Muslims who don’t “want to be involved in jihad” but that the only people we reach out to as a nation are the very entities of the Muslim Brotherhood that want to destroy America, and we basically ignore the rest of the Muslim population.

Sen. Tim Scott Says His Small Business Experience Makes Him Uniquely Qualified To Legislate On Abortion

Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina kicked off the annual Values Voter Summit today by explaining how his experience as a small business owner makes him uniquely qualified to legislate on the issue of reproductive choice.

Too many people in Washington, he said, have never had a "real" job and so, unlike him, they have never had to deal with an employee coming to them and revealing that she is pregnant. But that once happened to Scott and so he took his employee to a crisis pregnancy center (which are often Christian organizations designed to mislead women away from seeking abortions), which helped his employee to "make the choice of life."

And so, Scott proclaimed, "as an elected official, when I have the responsibility and the opportunity, the privilege to protect life, I do so having been in the private sector, realizing the importance that we should place on life and the choice of life."

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/8/16

  • Brad Reed @ Raw Story: Top Trump adviser: Bill Clinton’s embrace of gays in the military paved the way for 9/11. 
  • Bill Morlin @ SPLC: Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly Leaves A Legacy Tied to Conspiracy Theories.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/8/16

  • Donald Trump Jr. cites Alex Jones’ outlet to claim Hillary Clinton cheated during last night’s presidential forum. 
  • Robert Jeffress says it’s unfair to describe Donald Trump as “a xenophobe” and “a racist.”
  • Sandy Rios laments that Hillary Clinton has “a tremendous advantage” in the upcoming election “because of this influx of immigrants from Third World countries who were accustomed to socialism—who came to our shores and got lots of benefits, and the Democratic Party made sure they knew where those benefits came from.”
  • Linda Harvey wants parents to withdraw their children from “these gross” sex-ed classes or “or remove kids from public schools altogether.”
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