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Maryland Passes Bill Bolstering Voting Rights for Formerly Incarcerated People

Today the Maryland legislature passed a bill that would allow people to regain the right to vote as soon as they are released from prison. The legislation rights a wrong in current Maryland law, which denies people voting rights until their entire sentence has been completed, including probation and parole. Without this bill, thousands of formerly incarcerated Marylanders — many of whom are people of color — will continue to be needlessly forced to stay home on Election Day.

PFAW activists in Maryland and members of PFAW’s African American Ministers In Action have been working with allies to help change this, calling their state representatives and urging them to support the immediate restoration of voting rights.

Disenfranchising those who have served their time in prison hampers the process of reintegration and shamefully blocks thousands of Americans from participating in elections. It worsens the discrimination already faced by formerly incarcerated people — who pay taxes, work, and contribute to their communities — and it weakens our democracy.

Passage of this bill is a big step forward in the movement for voting rights for all. Now it’s up to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to sign it and help make the state’s democratic process as fair and accessible as possible.
 

PFAW

Jindal: Hollywood And Corporations Teaming Up To 'Assault' Christians

The main theme at an Iowa homeschooling event yesterday attended by four potential GOP presidential candidates was what Sen. Ted Cruz called the gay “jihad” against religious liberty in the form of nondiscrimination laws.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal attempted to add a populist bent to his remarks on the topic — an increasingly popular strategy among LGBT rights opponents — by declaring that “an alliance of Hollywood elites and corporate America” are “assaulting the rights of Christians” by opposing measures like those in Indiana and Arkansas that would have given broad leeway to business owners to discriminate against LGBT customers.

“We need to remind these elites, America did not create religious liberty, religious liberty created the United States of America,” he told the enthusiastic crowd.

Did The Pentagon Gay-Bomb America?

Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” the Family Research Council’s Craig James fielded a call from a listener who wondered if the Pentagon had secretly used a “gay bomb” on America, leading to a rise in the number of openly gay people in the country today.

The caller noted that his theory — loosely based on an actual 1994 proposal floated by Air Force scientists for a “hormone bomb” that could “turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting” — sounded “off in left field.” But he just had to ask if “some of those same techniques got used on the American people.”

James said he never heard of the “gay bomb” and agreed that it’s “out there for sure,” hastening to add that he believes the real reason America is even debating topics like homosexuality is because “we’ve moved away from God’s word in the Bible.”  

Alan Keyes: Obama Wants Nuclear War To Obtain A Third Term

In a WorldNetDaily column titled “Is Iran Deal Part Of Obama-3rd-Term Scheme?,” conservative activist Alan Keyes writes today that President Obama has made a secret deal with Iran that allows the country to “unleash nuclear destruction” since it would give him the justification to launch a Nazi-style “coup d’état” here at home.

Keyes, who was Obama’s GOP challenger in the 2004 U.S. Senate race in Illinois, alleges that Obama is aiding both ISIS and Iran in order to create an excuse to illegaly remain in power after his second term in office.

“What if the threat of nuclear devastation he helps to arm with this agreement (an America-hating Iran with nuclear bombs) is to be brandished, along with a related threat from ongoing terrorist uprisings on U.S. soil, to create the exigent circumstances needed to justify imposing martial law throughout the United States and a plausible excuse for demanding that Obama remain in office until the emergency passes?,” Keyes asks.

“Why is it at all inconceivable that people willing to collude with and arm our boldest enemies may be doing so for the sake of their own power? Why should we be unwilling to ponder the possibility that the Obama faction has agreed to help Iran achieve hegemony in the Middle East in order to help themselves to dictatorial control over the United States?”

A steady diet of meticulously depicted violence, served up in films and interactive video games, has probably brought some Americans to the point where they react to recorded images of beheadings and other mass atrocities from a place of emotional stupefaction. But if Americans want to think clearly about the Obama faction’s role in arming ISIS terror, or their treacherous deal with the moguls of Shiite terrorism in Iran, we must overcome this stupefaction.

The fact that Obama has come to terms with such masterminds of evil ought to produce the sort of revulsion that demands an emetic remedy, lest we die. So does the likelihood that Obama, Hilary [sic] Clinton and their friends in the Muslim Brotherhood had a hand in arming the malevolent Islamic State forces Obama’s de facto alliance with Iran now purports to fight.

The “experts” and pundits reacting with alarm to Obama’s apparently self-contradictory rapprochement with deadly evil speak of his ambition to secure a triumph for his foreign-policy legacy, or his failure to appreciate the real nature of the dangers involved in thinking that Iran can be safely installed as the stabilizing power in the Middle East. Most don’t even hint at what may be his most sinister aim, i.e., “to take America down.”

The Obama administration now appears to include people at the highest level disloyal enough to form a de facto alliance with America’s most outspoken and implacable enemies. They have agreed to look the other way while Iran finishes the work needed to construct weapons that put them in a position to force us to choose between complying with their agenda and unleashing nuclear destruction.

Who among us thinks that, like the generation fresh from the triumphs of the last World War, our current self-serving politicos have the experience, moral probity and courage to face that choice of evils? Who is honestly sure that they aren’t already preparing an exit strategy that leaves their own factional power intact, even if America is no longer free?

What if Obama isn’t looking to his “legacy”? What if the threat of nuclear devastation he helps to arm with this agreement (an America-hating Iran with nuclear bombs) is to be brandished, along with a related threat from ongoing terrorist uprisings on U.S. soil, to create the exigent circumstances needed to justify imposing martial law throughout the United States and a plausible excuse for demanding that Obama remain in office until the emergency passes?

There it is. The unthinkable scenario predicated upon the thought that Barack Obama and those who lifted him to power are precisely what they appear to be – the enemies of America’s power, its prosperity, its constitutional liberty, its moral strength, indeed of everything about America except their own boundless ambition. Why is it at all inconceivable that people willing to collude with and arm our boldest enemies may be doing so for the sake of their own power? Why should we be unwilling to ponder the possibility that the Obama faction has agreed to help Iran achieve hegemony in the Middle East in order to help themselves to dictatorial control over the United States? What certainty do we have that, in some secret, back-channel codicil, this agreement is not already in place?



You may believe a coup d’état “could never happen here.” But the danger we face is not some beer hall putsch. It’s is more like the consolidation of tyrannical power Hitler’s faction completed after he was appointed chancellor of Germany. But if such a denouement is already in view for the United States, isn’t it urgently necessary to begin doing what must be done to prevent its completion? As food for urgent thought, I will propose such a strategy in the next article to be published on my blog. Are you willing to think about it yet?

Ted Cruz: Gay Community Waging 'Jihad' Against Religious Freedom

During a presidential candidate forum hosted by an Iowa homeschool group yesterday, Ted Cruz lashed out at the gay community for waging a “jihad” against so-called religious freedom laws in states such as Arkansas and Indiana.

Cruz, speaking at a panel moderated by conservative talk show host Steve Deace, who regularly castigates the “Rainbow Jihad,” told the crowd of homeschooling activists that they should fear “the jihad that is being waged right now in Indiana and Arkansas, going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”

By condemning this gay “jihad,” Cruz said, he could “bring people together” to defend religious freedom.

Other likely candidates present at the forum included Gov. Bobby Jindal and past Iowa caucus victors former Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Sen. Rick Santorum.

Boycott Group Spokesman: Boycotts Are Economic Terrorism

The American Family Association has launched dozens upon dozens of boycotts and other forms of pressure campaigns, typically targeting a company or organization over its alleged support for the LGBT community or failure to use the word “Christmas” in its advertising.

The AFA has targeted Home DepotPetSmartTargetHoney MaidPlanet Fitness and Girl Scout cookiesamong many others. Most recently, the AFA launched a boycott of Angie’s List after the online consumer review company cancelled a planned expansion in Indianapolis in protest of Indiana’s new “religious freedom” law.

Of course, if a company criticizes Indiana’s “religious freedom” law, arguing that it will negatively impact its ability to hire and retain employees and undermines its values, in that case the company is committing “economic terrorism.”

At least according to Sandy Rios, the group’s director of governmental affairs, who on her radio program this morning heartily endorsed an email she received from a fan who said that businesses that came out against the Indiana law were using “economic terrorism.”

This is from Jim, this is good, he said: ‘I listen to you every morning and you get me motivated.’ And here he talks about, I think he is referring to what happened in Indiana, and he talks about the phrase ‘capitalistic-cronyism,’ but he said he thinks that what just happened in Indiana and probably Arkansas was economic terrorism. ‘These companies are using their financial clout to scare politicians into voting the way they want and to me that’s what terrorists do, and if I remember correctly the fundamental thought our representatives should act on is one should not negotiate with terrorists.’ That was excellent, Jim, excellent, excellent.

Five Things To Know About Iowa GOP Kingmaker Bob Vander Plaats

Four Republican presidential candidates are set to appear at a forum in Iowa tonight hosted by one of the state’s best known political organizers: Bob Vander Plaats. Vander Plaats’ group, The Family Leader, along with the National Organization for Marriage, is hosting Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal for a “family leadership regional summit.” 

It’s no surprise that the candidates are courting Vander Plaats: He is widely seen as the organizing powerhouse behind Huckabee and Santorum’s successful 2008 and 2012 Iowa caucus campaigns. It’s even less surprising that Republican candidates are seeking to ingratiate themselves to one of the country’s most radical Religious Right activists.

Vander Plaats, although he has been unsuccessful in his own three attempts to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination, has put together a political coalition in Iowa that, along with carrying Huckabee and Santorum to caucus victories, helped to oust three state supreme court judges who had ruled in favor of marriage equality in the 2010 election. While a similar attempt two years later was unsuccessful, Vander Plaats has nonetheless become a major force in the state’s conservative movement.

5) Slavery Rhetoric

Warning Republicans not to “abandon their base” by softening their opposition to gay rights, Vander Plaats insists that fighting same-sex marriage is not a losing issue for the GOP. He believes that Republicans should stand up and be proud of their refusal to support marriage equality, just as the party fought to curb slavery during its founding era.

“We actually stand for what God has designed because, just like with slavery, the truth is on our side,” Vander Plaats said last year in an interview with right-wing talk show host Steve Deace. “We can win this battle.”

He told another outlet that Republicans shouldn’t even take the position that the states should decide their own marriage laws since same-sex marriage, like slavery, is unequivocally immoral: “You don’t leave slavery up to the states, nor should you. It’s either right or it’s wrong.” In a speech in 2012, Vander Plaats said that a court ruling in favor of marriage equality should be viewed as judicial overreach on the level of Dred Scott.

During the last presidential primary season, Vander Plaats tried to get Republican candidates to sign a pledge that, among other questionable provisions, suggested that African-American families were more stable under slavery than they are today.

4) Conspiracy Theories

In Vander Plaats’ world, the right to speak freely about “faithful heterosexual monogamy” is under attack, “Sharia Islam” is a menace in American politics and President Obama’s birth certificate is missing. (Vander Plaats has praised Donald Trump’s quixotic birther crusade as “bold.”)

Perhaps no issue has Vander Plaats more concerned than gay marriage, which he has called a grave threat to liberty and a Satanic plot. One video his group produced showed images of terrorist attacks and shootings alongside stories about same-sex couples’ weddings and gay members of the Boy Scouts to make a point about the “darkness” sweeping America

3) Gay Marriage Predictions

In his campaigns against marriage equality, Vander Plaats has done whatever it takes to scare voters about the dire consequences of gay rights. He warned that the legalization of same-sex marriage would lead to “tyranny” and sanction “a parent marrying their child.”

He defended his group’s comparison of homosexuality to second-hand smoke by explaining that both represent “a public health risk,” adding: “If we’re teaching the kids, ‘don’t smoke, because that’s a risky health style,’ the same can be true of the homosexual lifestyle.”

Vander Plaats also took the time to criticize an Iowa anti-bullying conference that focused on the targeting of LGBT youth, saying that the state should instead be promoting abstinence-only summits.

2) Crush on Putin

Vander Plaats may still be weighing which Republican candidate to endorse this year, but he has already thrown his support behind one foreign leader: Russian President Vladimir Putin. When Putin signed a law that effectively bans speech in support of gay rights, Vander Plaats praised the Russian president for saying “you know what, don’t bring this homosexual propaganda into my country.”

He said that Putin now encapsulates the traditionally American values of “military might, decisive action, core values, morality, beliefs.”

“He’s taken what used to be our strengths, which has now defaulted into our weaknesses because of Barack Obama, no leadership, and he’s making them his strengths and he’s emerging now on the world stage as a newly discovered leader,” Vander Plaats said back in 2013.

1) No Separation of Church and State

While Vander Plaats’ prediction about gay marriage ushering in adult-child marriage has come true in exactly zero of the dozens of states with marriage equality, he was prophetic in one respect: Vander Plaats advocated for governors to ignore court rulings on the marriage question well before it became a widespread sentiment among conservatives.

Vander Plaats insists that a governor can simply set aside any ruling that violates his or her reading of the Bible, insisting that if a judge legalizes marriage equality in a state, the state’s governor should simply issue an executive order “that places a stay on the judge’s decision” since it “goes against the law of nature and the law of nature’s God, which means, it’s against the Constitution.”

Vander Plaats believes that the U.S. government must fall under God’s jurisdiction and follow “God’s principles and precepts,” not just on social issues like marriage but also in economic and foreign policies.

“If you believe what you say you believe, that marriage is foundational and it’s between a man and a woman, which is what He says he believes, then you got to stand up for that, because that’s the law of nature, that’s the law of nature’s God, that’s the Declaration of Independence, which this whole country was founded on,” he said last year.

Vander Plaats specifically pointed to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, calling it a travesty that created a “constitutional crisis” by “defying the law of nature and the law of nature’s God” and “going against the document that predates the Constitution.”

Santorum Says He'll Be A Strong Leader Because He Backed Gay Sex Bans

At a meeting with Iowa state legislators yesterday recorded by the Iowa conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts, Rick Santorum boasted that he proved himself as a strong leader when he opposed the 2003 Supreme Court decision striking down anti-gay “sodomy” bans. Without such leadership against LGBT rights, he warned, “life as we know it, particularly the family, is going to be on a very, very bad track over the long term.”

Addressing the controversy over so-called “religious freedom” measures in Arkansas and Indiana that were softened by legislators to make it more difficult to use them as a cover for discrimination, Santorum lamented that “what happened there was the media created a firestorm and leaders didn’t lead.”

“I’ve been through that firestorm,” he explained. “I go back 13 years to when I was in the Senate and stood up and said, ‘If the Supreme Court decides a case this way, then all these bad things are going to start happening.’ And I said we would have same-sex marriage in this country in ten years. I was wrong: it was five years. And I was put through a national wringer like no one had been put through and I have been put through over and over and over again because I am not going to back down from what I believe is the right course for our country.”

Although Santorum likes to claim that all of his dire predictions about the aftermath of Lawrence v. Texas came true, that isn’t exactly accurate. He told CNN at the time: "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything."

“I always say, whether it’s religious liberty now or the marriage issue or a whole bunch of other things, we’re losing these arguments simply because we’re not making them,” Santorum said in Iowa. “We’re not making them because we’re intimidated from them. If that continues, then life as we know it, particularly the family, is going to be on a very, very bad track over the long term.”

He added that he was a strong leader during the Indiana and Arkansas controversies because he was “fighting for the truth and not the perversion that we saw the media try to ram down the public’s throat about what Indiana and Arkansas were doing.”

ACT For America Representative Warns Of 'Stealth Jihad' In Calendars, Foreign Language Classes

Dorrie O’Brien, a leader of the Texas chapter of the anti-Muslim group ACT! for America, warned at a rally in Austin last month that Islamist extremists are implementing “stealth jihad” in America by putting Muslim holidays on calendars and teaching foreign languages in schools.

“Stealth jihad is working in about every circle of influence you can think of in the United States, like law, politics, entertainment, like in movies and books and videos, in advertising and in publishing,” O’Brien said, in remarks captured in a YouTube video of the event, which was organized by the far-right groups Overpasses for America and 2 Million Bikers to DC as part of a national anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant day of protests and which featured representatives of a number of anti-immigrant groups.

“Have you guys noticed, I mean really noticed, calendars lately, that the Islamic holy days are in all the calendars?” she asked.

O’Brien went on to tell of an incident at a high school in New York state where students protested after the Pledge of Allegiance was read in Arabic as part of a foreign language week.

She said that it was “fantastic” that the school eventually apologized, but that it “happened for the wrong reason.”

“The school was celebrating ‘world languages’ or some such thing, ‘multiculturalism’ — socialism, in other words,” she lamented. “There is a whole lot wrong with pledging to the flag in Arabic, the language of the people trying to kill us, but the schools should be celebrating English! I don’t think we should have to have a ‘celebrate world languages.’”

This led O’Brien to criticize New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio for adding two Muslim holidays to the city schools calendar, which she asserted was proof that DeBlasio is a “dhimmi” who is “paying his jizya,” a tax levied on non-Muslims.​

Barton: America Will Collapse Within 80 Years Without 'Premarital Purity And Postmarital Fidelity'

In an interview at a Cleveland Right to Life Event last year, self-proclaimed historian David Barton declared that “no nation” has ever survived more than 80 years past a collapse of “premarital purity and postmarital fidelity.”

“In regards to the moral standing of other democracies, including ancient Rome, how is the United States measuring up today?” an interviewer asked Barton in an edited clip posted on YouTube by the anti-choice group.

“Well, we got real trouble,” Barton responded.

“…Pre-marital purity and post-marital fidelity…no nation, any nation in 5,000 years has ever survived two generations past that, so it’s gone within 80 years,” he said. “So Rome’s the same way.”

The comments start about 20 seconds into the clip:

Bachmann: Obama 'Has Been The Best Friend Of Terrorists'

Former congressman Michele Bachmann is still insisting that President Obama is promoting Islamic terrorism, bizarrely asserting that the president is supporting both the Shiite regime in Iran and Sunni extremists. In an interview yesterday with News Talk Florida that was first flagged by Raw Story, Bachmann went so far as to say that Obama is the “best friend” of terrorists.

After suggesting — falsely — that Obama intends to remove Iran from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, Bachmann said that the president is putting “Iran in the position where they would have the firepower to be able take out not only Israel, but they would have the firepower to use intercontinental ballistic missiles against the United States with nuclear-tipped warheads.”

“This virtually guarantees, in my opinion, a World War III,” she continued, “and that alone would qualify Barack Obama for being the worst president that the United States has ever had to endure.”

“He has now guaranteed that Iran will have a nuclear weapon,” she added.

“The Obama doctrine has been to offer aid and comfort to our enemies while he has cut off our allies,” Bachmann said. “Everything that he has done has been to lift up the agenda of Islamic jihad. He has furthered Islamic jihad across the world, and we’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Bachmann claimed that Obama “has been the best friend of terrorists” and “has aided and abetted the rise of — the goals of terrorists across the world.”

Sandy Rios: 'Evil' Obama Wants Christians To Show Love To Gays

On her radio program today, American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios joined in the right-wing outrage that President Obama dared say at an Easter breakfast that sometimes Christians use “less than loving expressions” that don’t reflect the love of Jesus Christ.

She also mocked Obama for commending Pope Francis and hailing Jesus’ teachings of “embracing those who were different; serving the marginalized; humbling Himself to the last.” Rios said that when Obama urged listeners “to love our neighbors — all of our neighbors — as ourselves,” he must have been specifically speaking about the bakers and florists who have faced legal action for refusing service to gay customers.

“He’s talking about these religious freedom laws, among other things; he is talking about the gay community, which is his obsession, I must say,” Rios said. “‘Serving the marginalized,’ in other words, cakes, flowers. We know what he is talking about.”

“It’s a perversion of Jesus’ teaching to think that we ignore God’s law to do what we know in good conscience we can’t do and that we should be forced to do that in the name of God’s love and in what Jesus said, it’s just really a perversion, it’s very evil and it’s evil to do it at an Easter prayer breakfast,” she added.

Tom Tancredo: Obama 'Not A Christian,' Finds Western Civilization 'Disdainful'

Former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo joined Steve Malzberg on Newsmax today to discuss his latest WorldNetDaily column, in which he argues that by negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran, President Obama is “flirting with treason.”

In the interview, Tancredo reiterated the accusation before alluding to accusations that the president is secretly Muslim and asserting that the president finds Christianity and Western Civilization “disdainful.”

“Listen, this president, no matter how he tries to portray himself in terms of his religious proclivities — because he’s never been baptized, to anybody’s knowledge, in a Christian church — we do know, of course, of his past participation in Islamic religion in terms of schooling and that sort of — so, the reality is he is not a Christian,” he said. “I don’t think he cares one twit about what Christians say. And I think, this is my belief, that he is antagonistic to Christianity because it is part of Western Civilization, and that is what he also finds disdainful.”

Right-Wing Pundit: Obama An Agent Of Grand Communist Conspiracy

Conservative author Trevor Loudon has finally answered the great question of our age: Is President Obama a lazy, weak, wildly incompetent leader, or a shrewd ideologue who is skillfully imposing his extremist agenda on America (or both)?

Loudon, who was speaking yesterday with “Trunews” host Rick Wiles about his belief that the collapse of the Soviet Union was just a ruse to make way for the communist takeover of America, said that Obama “actually understands what he’s doing” and is “working for the benefit of communism.”

“The only argument is: Is he unwitting or does he know what he’s doing?” Loudon continued. “I would say he knows what he’s doing.”

“Everything Obama does in foreign policy and domestic policy fits the communist playbook,” Loudon said.

He added that the only reason Republicans haven’t exposed Obama is because the GOP is also “complicit” in the progressive movement’s push for communism.

Rick Scarborough: Conservatives Must 'Fight Until We Die' Against Gay Marriage

Rick Scarborough, a Texas pastor who is close with GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz, said on a recent conference call with Religious Right activists that he is prepared to go to prison and even die to fight gay marriage.

Echoing James Dobson, who said on the same call that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality could usher in a second civil war, Scarborough insisted that anti-gay activists must “fight until we die” to stop gay marriage, just as Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer died in his struggle against the Nazis.

“We don’t capitulate, we fight until we die, we push back with all our might,” Scarborough said. “This is a Dietrich Bonhoeffer moment for every preacher in America. This is a moment where we find whether the Christians who claim to know Jesus really confess Christ, that is what we’re attempting to find out.”

“There’s going to have to be a massive response to this if we get the adverse ruling that from all predictions will come apart from God’s intervention,” he continued.

Scarborough, who once floated the idea of filing a class action lawsuit against homosexuality, said that he is willing to go to prison in order to block gay marriage.

“Are we going to sit back and let the country be destroyed? Or as believers, are we going to stand up and be counted?” he asked. “As for me and my house, we’re going to serve the Lord for this, we’re going to go to jail if necessary, we are not going to take this just sitting back and watching it.”

Acknowledging that the Religious Right is now acting out of “desperation” to “oppose the destruction of marriage and the endowment of a wicked behavior,” Scarborough called on state judges to follow the example of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and refuse to recognize federal court rulings in favor of marriage equality.

He added the National Organization for Marriage is “trying to get one million people on the streets of D.C.” for its March for Marriage later this month — a tall order, given the size of last year’s crowd .

James Dobson: Gay Marriage Will Lead To Civil War

James Dobson, the founder of the Religious Right behemoth Focus on the Family, warned in a recent conference call with fellow anti-gay activists that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality could lead to a full-blown civil war.

After Janet Porter, the creator of a new “documentary” about how the gay rights movement will outlaw Christianity, discussed her “restraining order” campaign to convince Congress to strip the Supreme Court of its authority to rule on marriage cases, Dobson said that his fellow activists “need to be realistic about what we’re up against here.”

He said that the gay rights issue has reached an unprecedented “level of intensity” and put the country on the brink of conflict: “Talk about a Civil War, we could have another one over this.”

Dobson also claimed that marriage equality will lead to the collapse of the nation: “The country can be no stronger than its families. I really believe if what the Supreme Court is about to do is carried through with, and it looks like it will be, then we’re going to see a general collapse in the next decade or two. I just am convinced of that. So we need to do everything we can to try to hold it back and to preserve the institution of marriage.”

He added that a “discouraged” congressman — whom he later identified as Kansas Republican Tim Huelskamp — told him that his colleagues in Congress are “scared to death” about coming out against marriage equality. “We don’t have support really anywhere in government,” Dobson lamented.

“I agree with [Home School Legal Defense Association founder] Michael Farris that the only thing we can do is to have a state constitutional convention to re-examine the Constitution,” Dobson said. “I wish I could say I believe pouring a lot of opposition, which may not even be there now, onto the Supreme Court is going to make a big difference.”

Other activists appearing on the conference call included Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, Rick Scarborough of Vision America and Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality.

Tony Perkins: Netanyahu Defeat Could Have Ushered In The End Times

On yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins took a call from a listener who theorized that “God put Obama in office” so that he would sign a nuclear deal with Iran and usher in the End Times. Perkins didn’t exactly agree with the caller, but did say that if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had lost his post in the country’s recent elections, “I could have seen those pieces coming together much more quickly.”

“We know that he hates America,” the caller said of Obama. “If you read the Book of Revelations, you find what is coming to happen and everything has already, as it is written, has happened except for the coming Armageddon. What he is doing now is the beginning of the end, if you ask me.”

“Clearly, depending on your eschatology, you can see the pieces coming into play,” Perkins responded. “In fact, I said prior to the Israeli election, I think had Benjamin Netanyahu lost that election, I could have seen those pieces coming together much more quickly, especially if you had a one who was more of a pacifist trying to reach some kind of deal with those that want to kill and annihilate Israel and Israelis.”

Perkins then went on to muse about what is and is not a part of God’s plan. He said that while “there is no question that God is in control,” he doesn’t think God is “punishing America by putting Barack Obama in the White House.”

“No one’s questioning whether God is in control, the question is if we are in alignment with Him, are we doing what we should be doing? And I think the clear answer to that question is no,” he said.

He gave two examples of American not being “in alignment” with God: First, the decision of lawmakers in Indiana and Arkansas to amend measures that would have permitted discrimination in the name of “religious freedom,” and second, Obama’s presidency.

Of the governors of Arkansas and Indiana, Perkins said, “in the end they were swayed more by the threat of money leaving the state…of jobs, of impact upon the economy, more than they were about what a was right and what was wrong in protecting a fundamental freedom, the freedom of religion.”

He added that Obama’s presidency also represents a turning away from God because “people voted for him based on the promises he made, not on what was best for the country but what was best for them.”

Robert Oscar Lopez: Conservative Marriage Equality Supporters Are Being Blackmailed Or Bribed

Anti-marriage-equality activist Robert Oscar Lopez is out with another rambling column in the American Thinker, this time alleging that conservative supporters of marriage equality are being blackmailed or bribed and that the attorneys arguing on behalf of same-sex marriage bans at the Supreme Court this year will try to throw the case at the behest of powerful Republicans.

Lopez breaks down conservatives who support marriage equality into three groups: the “clueless,” the “scared,” and the “compromised… who are being blackmailed or threatened by pro-gay people close to them, but behind the scenes.” This group, he alleges, includes “well-known television personalities, lawyers in charge of defending traditional marriage in court, or leaders of pro-family organizations.”

While the vast majority of conservative Americans oppose gay marriage, the vast majority of conservative leaders have a vested interest in making sure gay marriage is legalized nationally. It is not the case that the latter group all support gay marriage in any intellectual sense, but they break down into diverse subgroups, all of whom share the same goal of making sure gay marriage becomes legal.

First, you have clueless conservatives who actually think gay marriage is about consenting adults loving each other, progress, and equality. These are rightists who read only the conservative news outlets that ban any editorials from dissident COGs, so they have never really seen the hard evidence that in fact gay marriage will harm children. They mostly don’t even think children are part of the issue at all.

Then you have scared conservatives who know that gay marriage is going to harm children but who do not want to face the blowback that is sure to follow a public stance against it. These folks will avoid discussing the topic. They must avoid being seen with people who have strong arguments against gay marriage – especially anyone who brings up the effects on children.

You also have compromised conservatives, who are being blackmailed or threatened by pro-gay people close to them, but behind the scenes. This is a much larger group than you know. These are people who mostly oppose gay marriage in principle and may even have a public identity as an opponent of gay marriage. I know of some cases where they are well-known television personalities, lawyers in charge of defending traditional marriage in court, or leaders of pro-family organizations. Even though they may technically be on “our” side, they have been bought off and are taking orders from bribers who tell them which arguments (the ones with a chance of winning) are off limits. They will go and defend male-female marriage in the public square, but mysteriously be tongue-tied after a career of sterling oratory. Such false Jeremiahs are consciously siphoning the energy and funding of anti-gay-marriage viewers toward dead ends that their controllers know will end in gays getting marriage and children anyway. This group of conservatives is actually the most dangerous, largely because you often discover their compromised status when it’s too late.

Later in the column, Lopez warns that if the Supreme Court issues a ruling in favor of marriage equality, it will usher in a “dystopian world where you lose everything.” He urges readers to contact the attorneys general of the states that are defending their marriage bans at the court, warning that the attorneys will attempt to throw the cases at the behest of “their governors and their political bundlers.”

If you have gotten this far, you probably oppose gay marriage. You may do so strictly for religious reasons. You may disagree with me about the effect of gay marriage on children. Cool – no problem. Here’s the deal: if gay marriage passes, you will lose. You will lose your freedoms. You will lose your voice. You will lose the conservative movement that you hold dear for any number of reasons not related to gay marriage. All the truces and compromises that are offered to sweeten gay marriage as a deal will be swiftly and mercilessly broken once it is the law of the land. Your churches will be watched and subverted. You will risk your job by speaking your mind on e-mail, on Facebook, or even over dinner talking to your own children.

If you are hoping to carve out some religious liberty provision in a post-gay marriage America, you are going to be too late.

You gain nothing by negotiating some special exception for yourself after gay marriage passes.

You must do everything you can to stop gay marriage itself. If you cannot name the reasons for opposing gay marriage in clear, fearless terms that apply to people of faith and non-believers equally, you will lose your faith. The Bible tells us to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. Don't forget the serpents in the mix.

Right now, all that stands between the world we know and the dystopian world where you lose everything is the Supreme Court case. The attorneys who have sole authority to represent traditional marriage for Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee may be good men, or not. I do not know; I have no inside information. Common sense tells me that their governors and their political bundlers are going to place enormous pressure on them to lose to the pro-gay marriage side, but as gracefully as possible. They cannot openly state that they do not want to argue the case. They may feel it is in their best interest to put on a show of defending male-female marriage, throwing out purposefully toothless arguments so that the gay marriage side wins, the world moves on, and they do not have to worry about suffering long-term blowback as the people who actually fought for marriage.

Perkins: LGBT-Affirming Christians Committing 'Heresy'

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was not impressed with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni’s opinion piece this weekend on the growing body of theological work arguing for the acceptance of homosexuality within the church. In a column for the Christian Post yesterday (later approvingly reprinted in the anti-gay screed outlet BarbWire), Perkins argues that Bruni takes on “a tone of fascism” and that Christians who make biblical arguments for the acceptance of homosexuality are, in fact, committing “heresy.”

Perkins adds a dig at Protestant denominations that affirm same-sex relationships, saying that they are "becoming more like social clubs and liberal foundations than proclaimers of a faith delivered with clarity and finality, once for all.”

Woven throughout Bruni's comments is a tone of fascism, a barely-disguised warning that if Evangelical Protestants and orthodox Catholics don't bend in their theology and in their daily lives, they will be "made" to.

Theological history is repeating itself today with respect to homosexuality. Myriad scholars have demonstrated how fallacious are the arguments of those who wish to render clear biblical teaching obsolete.

In other words, heresy is not new. The first three chapters of the Book of Revelation are a series of indictments by Jesus Himself of churches that were already - at the end of the first century - falling away from the truth of the Gospel.

Bruni grants no possibility that there is a rich, articulate, persuasive, and sound literature by Christian theologians demonstrating how clear and unchanging is the Bible's teaching on same-sex intimacy, marriage, and human sexuality in general. He is disinterested in such, and instead appeals to outliers like David Gushee and Matthew Vines. And in a particularly desperate move, he notes that the "United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)" have all affirmed same-sex relationships. True, but these historic denominations are no longer mainstream. They are dying, becoming more like social clubs and liberal foundations than proclaimers of a faith delivered with clarity and finality, once for all (those are biblical phrases, Mr. Bruni; Mssrs. Gushee and Vines would know them).

Furthermore, it is clear from two millennia of Christian history that the church has always been infiltrated by false teachers. The Savior warned of them, and the milieu of theological conflict intrinsic to the New Testament, a canon of books composed both to instruct as to the truth and warn as to its distortions, makes clear that error is omnipresent in a fallen world - even as the truth, attacked as it continually is, remains sure, fixed, and unchanging.

Mr. Bruni, my Evangelical and orthodox Catholic peers have a message for you: We will not be "re-educated," nor will we be silent. We are not going away. We love you too much to affirm sin in any fashion. We condemn any vitriol you receive from those who, outraged by your dismissive and hostile column, call you names or worse. And we love you too much to reduce Christian faith to simply being "nice" or affirming what the God of Creation and of the Bible says is un-affirmable.

Sin is sin. Our sin. Your sin. God sets the standard, not us. His standard is not unclear or subjective or ambivalent.

It's your decision as to how to respond to it. We've made ours.

With Court-Stripping Scheme, Ted Cruz Embraces Roy Moore School Of Constitutional Law

Ted Cruz raised more than a few eyebrows last week when, barely a week into his presidential run, he proposed a radical plan to strip federal courts of the ability to decide cases involving marriage equality.

As Esquire’s Charles Pierce notes, Cruz is echoing a time-honored rallying cry of people who are losing a battle in the federal courts: “Previous attempts include trying to remove the Supreme Court's jurisdiction over cases in a number of instances, including those involving school prayer, school busing, abortion, and pornography.”

The strategy has also been used in recent memory by another prominent player in t​oday’s marriage equality debate: Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.

Back in 2004, shortly after Moore was removed from his first stint in the court after he defied a federal court order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the state judicial building, he worked with attorney Herb Titus to draft a bill that would have stripped jurisdiction over all such cases from the federal courts.

The bill, which would have barred federal courts from ruling on cases challenging officials who recognized "God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government," never made it out of committee, but it managed to garner 37 cosponsors in the House and five in the Senate; when it was reintroduced the next year, it was up to 50 House cosponsors and nine Senate cosponsors.

Despite the bill’s failure to make it off the ground in Congress, it was a publicity boon for Moore. One of Moore’s top financial supporters, the Christian nationalist and southern secessionist Michael Peroutka, spent $12,000 on a campaign to drum up support for the measure and accompanied Moore to at least one event touting it along with Peroutka’s 2004 campaign for president as the nominee of the Constitution Party.

As far as we know, Moore hasn’t spoken publicly about Cruz’s idea to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over marriage issues. But it seems that on this issue, they are two peas in a pod.

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