Here we go again. If Religious Right activists are to be believed, any day now the government will throw pastors in jail, have people “fined $500 a day” for reading the Bible and “start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians.” These are among the claims that were made this year by conservative politicians and movement leaders, who warn that America is now witnessing a “war on religion.”
Similar dire warnings about the federal hate crimes law that was passed five years ago today have proven to be utterly false.
The apocalyptic rhetoric is a reaction to the advances in LGBT rights, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in dozens of states and the passage of non-discrimination ordinances in municipalities across the country. Along with categories such as race, gender, religion, age and ability, more localities are recognizing sexual orientation and gender identity as traits warranting protection from discrimination in the public domain.
As anti-gay politicians lose in the courts, Congress, state houses, town halls, and perhaps most importantly, at the ballot box, many have taken to conflating political defeat with a loss of rights and liberty. Only by depriving other people of their rights, so they claim, can conservatives and people of faith in this nation truly be free.
This month, many Republicans latched onto a complicated legal case in Houston to justify their hyperbolic warnings about impending doom for Christians in America. After Houston passed an equal rights ordinance this year, a pastor-led group tried — and failed — to collect enough valid petition signatures to force a referendum on repealing the ordinance. When a group of conservative activists and pastors filed a lawsuit demanding that officials accept the invalid petitions, pro-bono attorneys working for the city subpoenaed several pastors’ communications, including sermons, on petition collecting and related issues like homosexuality as part of the discovery process.
While many groups from the left and right alike called out the subpoenas as overly broad and intrusive, the Religious Right cited the legal move as proof that pastors will be, as the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody put it, “hauled off to jail for a hate crimes because they are speaking for traditional marriage.”
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who in 2012 warned that America was “at the edge of a precipice” and would soon see non-existent “hate speech” laws used “against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages [or] who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage,” agreed with Brody’s assessment.
(In a similar episode this month, the owners of a for-profit wedding chapel business filed a lawsuit against their hometown over a nondiscrimination ordinance, arguing that city officials have threatened them with prosecution and jail time for denying service to same-sex couples — even though officials haven’t pursued any legal action against the couple.)
The rhetoric surrounding the Houston case has become so apoplectic that even some conservatives are calling out their allies for making false and grossly misleading claims.
We’ve seen this movie before. In 2007, members of a group called Repent America were charged after disrupting a gay pride event and refusing to abide by police orders. The way conservatives tell the story, godly missionaries were punished by law enforcement for exercising their First Amendment rights and “sharing the gospel,” but as court records show, the group tried to disturb the peace and protest inside an event without a permit.
In fact, if Religious Right were correct in their warnings, America should have experienced a wave of arrests targeting pastors, church-goers and Republicans following the passage of the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Predictions about the criminalization of the Bible, pastors locked in jail cells and concentration camps for Christians never came true, mainly because these prophecies had no basis in reality.
The Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Law was passed by Congress five years ago today, and so far, the far-right’s twisted and baseless claims about the law have all been proven false. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t stopped making the exact same discredited arguments five years after the bill’s passage:
End of Free Speech
Despite the hate crimes law’s provision making clear that it is applicable only to cases of violent crime and nothing “shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs,” Religious Right activists and their allies in the GOP nonetheless predicted that the 2009 law would bring free speech to an end.
“Gay activists will use it against preachers who present the Biblical view of homosexuality,” Rick Scarborough said at the time. “The federal hate crimes law doesn’t target crime, but free speech.” He also warned that the law’s passage would “criminalize pastors and ordinary citizens who speak out biblically against homosexuality,” telling members of his group, Vision America, that he may face arrest for “speaking out against sexual deviancy.”
Scarborough, a Texas anti-gay pastor and political organizer close to Ted Cruz, hasn’t backed down from his claims even years after the law has gone into effect. At the 2013 Values Voter Summit, Scarborough declared that the “infidels” in the Obama administration are “hell-bent on silencing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Christians wouldn’t rise up against the attacks, he feared, “until a bunch of us are thrown into concentration camps.”
The Traditional Values Coalition went as far as to claim that the hate crimes law would imprison Jesus Christ.
“I believe that ‘hate crimes’ is the most dangerous bill in America, it is precisely what they are using to silence Christians around the world,” Janet Porter, a Religious Right activist with the group Faith 2 Action, said in an interview the year before the bill was passed. “How much of a stretch is it, really, to say that because I would say to you homosexuality is a sin or it’s dangerous behavior, before that speech alone is worthy of jail time? And that’s what we’re facing.” Porter told a Washington, D.C., rally shortly after the law was passed that it “criminalizes Christianity” and “sends pastors to prison for biblical positions and speech.”
In an 2009 email message with the subject line, “The Senate Will Vote To Silence You!,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claimed that “what ‘hate crimes’ legislation does is lay the legal foundation and framework for investigating, prosecuting and persecuting pastors, business owners, and anyone else whose actions reflect their faith.”
He also alleged that the law would “gag people of faith and conviction who disagree with the homosexual agenda” and that it “punishes a person’s beliefs — part of the Left's intolerant agenda to silence the voice of Christians and Conservatives in America and eliminate moral restraint.”
“If federal thought crimes laws are passed, your right to share politically incorrect parts of your Christian faith could become a federal crime,” Perkins warned. At another conservative event, Perkins said hate crimes laws will curtail freedom and breed “chaos in America.”
Rusty Lee Thomas of Operation Save America even encouraged opposition to the law by alleging that “there is a direct connection between the sins and crimes of abortion and the sodomite agenda and the Islamic terrorism that threatens our nation.”
One group of GOP and Religious Right figures claimed the law would be “a savage and perhaps fatal blow to First Amendment freedom of expression.”
E.W. Jackson, a Virginia pastor and GOP politician, told a conservative rally that the law “represents a virulent strain of anti-Christian bigotry and hatred” that is “another step in the process of robbing all Americans of the very freedoms the founding fathers pledged their lives for and the civil rights martyrs gave their lives for.”
Ohio-based televangelist Rod Parsley, best known for his work supporting George W. Bush’s re-election campaign and the passage of his state’s gay marriage ban, said that the hate crimes law would force him out of the pulpit.
“This deceptive ploy of liberal, homosexual agenda begins to lose its allure once you pull the mask back and take a closer look,” Parsley said. “The legislation that’s before our United States senators right now extends to speech and can punish people not for their actions but for their culturally incorrect thoughts. This legislation could become law, and you and I could find ourselves forbidden to speak from God’s word right here in America. I could no longer share my heart with you on critical issues, such as this, through the medium of television, or even in the pulpit of my own church.”
We can report that despite Parsley’s grim predictions, he is still very much “sharing his heart” as a preacher.
Outlawing the Bible
One group of Michigan pastors, joined by local Republican politician and American Family Association state chairman Gary Glenn, filed an unsuccessful legal challenge against the hate crimes law soon after it was enacted. The group’s legal representative, the conservative Thomas More Law Center, contended that “the sole purpose” of the law was “to criminalize the Bible and use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians from expressing their Biblically-based religious belief that homosexual conduct is a sin.”
Pseudo-historian David Barton told a California church that the law will throw pastors in jail for reading the Bible.
Pastor Paul Blair of Reclaiming America for Christ also offered an ominous warning: “If preaching the Bible is now against the law, then let us be arrested.” One WorldNetDaily commentator said the law would “crack down” on Christians for “reading the Bible.”
“Christianity Is Now Outlawed,” declared the Christian Seniors Association, a front group of the Traditional Values Coalition, in a fundraising letter following the law’s passage. “Did you know that the new Hate Crimes Act that President Obama signed into law makes the Bible illegal ‘Hate Literature?’” the letter continued.
“Most Christians might as well rip the pages which condemn homosexuality right out of their Bibles because this bill will make it illegal to publicly express the dictates of their religious beliefs,” said Andrea Lafferty of the TVC. “The ultimate objective of this legislation is to claim that ‘hate speech’ — criticism of homosexuality — incites individuals to violence and must be suppressed and punished. This will violate the First Amendment rights of any person or group that opposes the normalization of homosexuality in our culture.”
In the paranoid conservative alternate reality, pedophilia has been legal for five years now thanks to the updated federal hate crimes law.
“The main purpose of this ‘hate crimes’ legislation is to add the categories of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity,’ ‘either actual or perceived,’ as new classes of individuals receiving special protection by federal law. Sexual orientation includes heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality on an ever-expanding continuum. Will Congress also protect these sexual orientations: zoophiles, pedophiles or polygamists?” asked televangelist Pat Robertson.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, similarly charged: “We have a record roll call vote that shows every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee voting to have pedophiles protected.”
King’s colleague Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, went one step further and said that as a result of the hate crimes law, courts would “have to strike any laws against bestiality” along with laws targeting “pedophiles or necrophiliacs.” Gohmert went on to warn that the law would effectively turn the U.S. into Nazi Germany.
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, for his part, predicted that the law would extend legal protections to “bisexuality, exhibitionism, fetishism, incest, necrophilia, pedophilia, prostitution, sexual masochism, urophilia, voyeurism, and bestiality.”
Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center claimed the law “elevates those persons who engage in deviant sexual behaviors, including pedophiles, to a special protected class of persons as a matter of federal law and policy.”
Porter dubbed the law the “Pedophile Protection Act,” “summarizing” the law by completely making things up: “Pushing away an unwelcome advance of a homosexual, transgendered [sic], cross-dresser or exhibitionist could make you a felon under this law. Speaking out against the homosexual agenda could also make you a felon if you are said to influence someone who pushes away that unwelcome advance. And pedophiles and other sexual deviants would enjoy an elevated level of protection, while children, seniors, veterans and churches would not.”
Pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia are still against the law and such laws have not been affected by the Hate Crimes Act, while declining “an unwelcome advance of a homosexual” is still very much legal. However, we are still waiting with bated breath for Porter’s lawsuit detailing how she was forced and legally bound to succumb to the charms of a homosexual enticer.
Can the Religious Right Be Trusted?
The many frantic, unfounded warnings about the perils the 2009 Hate Crimes Act are just one example of anti-gay activists’ penchant for manufacturing myths and brazenly distorting cases of supposed persecution.
Religious Right commentators now regularly liken themselves to Jews living under Nazi Germany or shamelessly compare the state of Christians in the U.S. to that of Middle East Christians facing displacement and death at the hands of terrorist groups like ISIS.
Apocalyptic warnings and blatantly dishonest remarks have always been characteristic of the Religious Right's crusade against LGBT rights and we can expect such activists to continue to engage in such shameless fear mongering and misinformation before the 2014 election.
But, like the Religious Right’s warnings about the effects of the 2009 Hate Crimes Act, these dire predictions should be taken with a heavy dose of salt.
Over the summer, Religious Right activist Janet Porter launched her very own competitor to Facebook, which she called “ReaganBook,” but quickly pulled the site after “those intent on the destruction of life, liberty, and the family” joined the outlet, which she bizarrely claimed was a threat to her freedom of speech.
Porter, the founder of Faith 2 Action, described ReaganBook as a “Facebook for patriots,” warning that Facebook has a pro-gay bias. She eventually took ReaganBook offline, telling members that “we’re under attack” from people who joined the right-wing social media website only to mock it.
Now, Porter has rebranded ReaganBook as FreedomBook and is only allowing people with invitations to join.
So far, FreedomBook only lists four members, including Porter.
A few weeks ago, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was speaking to students at the University of Minnesota Law School when she made the rather straightforward observation that if 6th Circuit Court of Appeals follows other recent court decisions and strikes down gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, then the prospects of the Supreme Court taking up the issue of marriage equality would be less likely in the near term.
The reasoning behind this statement is that if appellate courts consistently strike down such bans, then the Supreme Court will not need to get involved right away whereas, if the 6th Circuit were to uphold such bans, that would create a conflict among recent appellate rulings and so, as Ginsburg said, "there will be some urgency" for the Supreme Court to take up with issue in order to address those conflicting rulings.
There is nothing controversial or improper about this obvious observation, but anti-gay Religious Right groups have seized upon it to launch a campaign demanding that Ginsburg recuse herself from any Supreme Court case involving the issue of marriage equality on the grounds that she has violated the Judicial Code of Conduct by "making public comment on the merits of a pending or impending action."
As Liberty Counsel, which first launched this effort, declared:
“In casting a vote publicly before the case is even heard, Justice Ginsburg has violated the Judicial Code of Conduct,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “It is now her duty to recuse herself from cases involving same-sex marriage.”
According to Canon 2 of the Judicial Code of Conduct, “A judicial employee should not lend the prestige of the office to advance or to appear to advance the private interests of others.”
Canon 3(D) declares, “A judicial employee should avoid making public comment on the merits of a pending or impending action.”
“Justice Ginsburg’s comments implied that the merits of the state constitutional amendments defining marriage as one man and one woman were such that the Supreme Court would have to overturn them with haste, if upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals,” said Staver. “This is an inappropriate comment for any judicial employee, much less a Supreme Court Justice!”
The call has since been echoed by the Foundation for Moral Law, Faith 2 Action, and the American Family Association, where Bryan Fischer and former Liberty Counsel attorney Steve Crampton recently discussed the need for right-wing activists to "beat on our pots" in order to create so much political pressure on Ginsburg and Justice Elena Kagan that they have no choice but to recuse themselves from any such cases.
In fact, just yesterday, Fischer wrote a column arguing that Ginsburg and Kagan would be "committing a federal crime" if they did not recuse themselves:
The Supreme Court will, perhaps even in this session, take up the issue of sodomy-based marriage. If it does, justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan will have an obligation to step off the bench for those cases on the grounds that their impartiality has been severely compromised.
Both have performed sodomy-based “wedding” ceremonies. Kagan performed her first one on September 22 of this year, and Ginsburg has done the deed multiple times, including at least one in the Supreme Court building itself. Thus they have clearly tipped their hand by their actions as well as their words. They have publicly demonstrated that their minds are already made up on the issue. It is inconceivable that either of them now would vote against the “marriages” they themselves have solemnized. They would stand self-condemned.
[T]he necessity for Kagan and Ginsburg to recuse is not just a matter of fairness or rightness. It’s also a matter of law. They have a statutory obligation to recuse. If they refuse to step off the bench when and if marriage cases come before them, they would be breaking federal law. They would be, from a strictly legal standpoint, committing a federal crime. Their sacred responsibility is to uphold the law, not break it.
So it was with great interest that we read this article in The Washington Times yesterday reporting on remarks made by Justice Antonin Scalia at Colorado Christian University in which he stated that the separation of church and state is "utterly absurd" and the idea that the government must remain neutral on the issue of religion is "just a lie":
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Wednesday that secularists are wrong when they argue the Constitution requires religious references to be banished from the public square.
Justice Scalia, part of the court’s conservative wing, was preaching to the choir when he told the audience at Colorado Christian University that a battle is underway over whether to allow religion in public life, from referencing God in the Pledge of Allegiance to holding prayers before city hall meetings.
“I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over nonreligion,” Justice Scalia said.
“That’s a possible way to run a political system. The Europeans run it that way,” Justice Scalia said. “And if the American people want to do it, I suppose they can enact that by statute. But to say that’s what the Constitution requires is utterly absurd.”
“We do him [God] honor in our pledge of allegiance, in all our public ceremonies,” Justice Scalia said. “There’s nothing wrong with that. It is in the best of American traditions, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. I think we have to fight that tendency of the secularists to impose it on all of us through the Constitution.”
The biggest danger lies with judges who interpret the Constitution as a malleable document that changes with the times, he said.
“Our [the court‘s] latest take on the subject, which is quite different from previous takes, is that the state must be neutral, not only between religions, but between religion and nonreligion,” Justice Scalia said. “That’s just a lie. Where do you get the notion that this is all unconstitutional? You can only believe that if you believe in a morphing Constitution.”
Given that Scalia was very clearly "making public comment" in a way that directly relates to a whole host of church-state separation questions that could potentially come before the Supreme Court at any time, we trust that these Religious Right groups will now demand that he recuse himself from any such cases as well, right?
Yesterday, Janet Porter hosted her "Appeal To Heaven" rally outside the Ohio statehouse, which is just the latest step in her years-long effort to get the state to pass her radical anti-choice legislation known as the "Heartbeat Bill," which would outlaw abortion within weeks of conception.
Prior to the rally, Porter was joined for a press conference by various state lawmakers who support her bill, at which State Representative Matt Lynch compared the fight to outlaw abortion in Ohio to the fight against ISIS in the Middle East.
In a video posted on YouTube by OhioCapitalBlog, Lynch declared that ISIS beheading journalists and civilians in Syria and Iraq is no different than the practice of legal abortion in Ohio.
The two issues "are not dissimilar," Lynch insisted. "As a nation, as we're aroused literally to move Heaven and earth to combat this evil on the other side of the world somehow we're blind and we're silent to the twenty thousand plus deaths that are occurring, seventy a day, right here in the state of Ohio."
"We have to have the courage," he said, "to understand that the moral right against evil in the mid-east is no different than the moral fight against evil right here in the state of Ohio and that evil is abortion":
A few weeks ago, we noted that Janet Porter was organizing "An Appeal To Heaven" rally to take place outside the Ohio Statehouse this month at which she and various anti-choice and Religious Right activists will ask God to help pass Porter's "Heartbeat Bill."
For four years, Porter has been working, unsuccessfully, to pass this legislation in Ohio which, if enacted, would prevent a woman from having an abortion from the moment a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be "as early as 18 to 24 days after conception."
The rally is scheduled for next Wednesday and somehow Porter has managed to get Glenn Beck to film a video encouraging people to attend and participate.
"I hope, by now, your aware the elected officials in Columbus haven't done the things that you've hired them to do," Beck says in the video. "They say they're pro-life, but they have held a pro-life Heartbeat Bill hostage for four years."
"You've called, you've rallied, but it's time to go over their heads," he said, "and I mean way over their heads and make an appeal, not to the courts - your're invited to join pastors and leaders from all around the state for an appeal to Heaven":
Janet Porter is not pleased that Cleveland Republicans are “working to undermine marriage and family values” and “throwing the moral principles of the party platform under the bus,” referring to the Cuyahoga County GOP’s outreach work at the Cleveland-Akron Gay Games.
“Chairman Rob Frost released a statement about how thrilled he was to welcome the homosexual, lesbian and cross-dressing community into the Republican tent, they even paid for a booth at the Gay Games to celebrate immoral and dangerous behavior from a community that seeks to silence dissent and criminalize Christianity,” the Faith 2 Action and ReaganBook founder said today during her daily radio bulletin.
Phil Burress of the Ohio-based Citizens for Community Values is also worried that participating athletes will use the Gay Games to “force themselves on people”:
A pro-family activist says homosexual activists and their "Gay Games" will fail to turn Ohio into a mecca for homosexuals.
Beginning on Saturday, downtown Cleveland will host "Gay Games 9," which will run through August 16. Normally the event is held in more so-called "gay friendly" cities suchas Boston or Los Angeles.
Phil Burress, chairman of the Citizens for Community Values, notes that homosexuals are one percent of the population.
"And so there are going to be a lot of people in Cleveland who are not going to like what's happening," he says. "But this is typical of their behavior, to force themselves on people."
Burress says there have been negative reactions to the "Gay Games," including from Muslim car drivers who refused to drive with advertising that promotes the games.
Burress believes many people will keep their distance from the so-called "Gay Games."
Since 2011, Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter has been working to get the state of Ohio to pass her "Heartbeat Bill" legislation, which would prevent a women from having an abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, thereby dramatically curtailing reproductive rights by banning abortion "as early as 18 to 24 days after conception."
Now, after three years of failure despite having organized multiple rallies and attention-grabbing stunts, Porter has decided that she is going to take her case directly to God, sending out an email today announcing a prayer rally to be held outside the Ohio Statehouse next month at which participants will launch a direct "Appeal To Heaven" on behalf of her legislation:
We've called. We've rallied. We've lobbied. On September 17th, we're going over their heads!
AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN
Wednesday, September 17th
Ohio Statehouse-High St. Side
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
To pass the Heartbeat Bill
Pastors from around the state will lead us as we go over the heads of the elected officials with an Appeal to Heaven!
Not only is Janet Porter calling on conservatives to ditch Facebook and join her non-operational website ReaganBook, she is now pushing the Religious Right boycott of Target after the company announced its support for marriage equality.
“Target takes aim at natural marriage,” Porter said today in her daily radio commentary. “They are using your hard-earned shopping dollars to stand for counterfeit marriage.”
“I called Target to let them know I won’t be shopping there anymore until they reverse their policy on the corruption of marriage, and you can too…. Stand for marriage by boycotting Target.”
A few weeks ago, Janet Porter announced the creation of ReaganBook, which was designed to be a "Facebook for patriots" who were tired of being censored by the pro-gay liberals who run the actual Facebook.
Shortly after the word spread about this amazing new website, it was flooded by users who didn't seem to share Porter's love of Ronald Reagan and conservative activism, resulting in the entire thing being taken off-line while she worked to "tighten our security."
As of now, ReaganBook remains locked down as "we make the necessary changes to keep the site free from obscenity, pornography, and those intent on the destruction of life, liberty, and the family," but Porter still has big plans for her social networking site ... once she figures out how to keep everyone who disagrees with her from using it, which is a little ironic considering that it was Facebook's supposed censorship of opposing views that prompted Porter to launch ReaganBook in the first place:
ReaganBook is the brainchild of conservative activist Janet Porter, who said she decided to start a new network after seeing several pro-life, pro-Israel and anti-gay marriage posts blocked by Facebook. She is promoting the site as the conservative social media alternative.
"ReaganBook's purpose is to be what Facebook could've been but chose not to be," Porter told FoxNews.com.
ReaganBook will have many of the same features as Facebook including a newsfeed, groups and pages, according to Porter. She said ReaganBook's users will be able to create a profile similar to what they have on Facebook, and share links and photos.
But the network has had a rocky launch, as ReaganBook's free speech policy immediately backfired. Porter was forced to put the site into offline mode a few days after it began the initial testing phase on July 26, because it was overrun by Internet trolls.
Porter said the haters actually prove the website is necessary and will serve its purpose -- once it gets better security in place.
"I think there are some people that are threatened by freedom of speech," she said. "People are used to the silencing of all dissent. That's not what this country is founded on."
Porter cited many examples of conservatives who have been censored on Facebook in an informational packet about ReaganBook provided to FoxNews.com. One example, according to Porter, is former child star Kirk Cameron, who claimed last year Facebook blocked him from promoting his film "Unstoppable" because it was "spammy."
Porter also cited an example from LifeNews.com, which reported in 2012 that Facebook had removed a photo a pro-life activist posted of an abortion, but apologized for censoring a photo a pro-choice activist had posted.
A spokesman for Facebook declined to comment.
Porter said she hopes ReaganBook will "tear down walls of tyranny" she claims are preventing conservative views from being shared and create a community that will follow in President Reagan's footsteps in fighting injustice.
"ReaganBook is putting freedom on the offensive," she said.
ReaganBook is not affiliated with the Reagan family or the Reagan presidential library. Michael Reagan, the son of the 40th president, told FoxNews.com in an email he has "no idea" who is launching ReaganBook.
Last weekend, the Ohio Liberty Coalition hosted a "Reload 4 Liberty" event at which Janet Porter spoke about her never-ending push to get her anti-choice "Heartbeat Bill" legislation passed in Ohio. But apparently that is not all that Porter is up to these days, as she also revealed to the audience that she'll soon be unveiling something called ReaganBook, which aims to become "the Facebook for patriots."
Because Facebook is run by the sorts of people who march in gay pride parades and supposedly censors messages from anti-gay activists like Peter LaBarbera, Porter explained that she decided to launch ReaganBook as a conservative alternative.
"We're tearing down walls, get it?" she said. "We're tearing down walls of tyranny, or censorship":
And indeed, ReaganBook is an actual thing ... and though, as of this posting, it currently only has thirty-one members, including Janet Porter, we are sure that once it is officially announced, it'll sweep the nation!
UPDATE: ReaganBook was temporarily shut down after it was bombarded with membership requests from "those intent on the destruction of life, liberty, and the family," reports the Daily Beast:
The site administrators effectively pulled the plug on ReaganBook less than 24 hours after its launch.
“Thank you to all those who participated in the pre-release of ReaganBook.com,” a message credited to “Management” said on the site late Wednesday afternoon. “Your participation is helping us build a more secure site. Thank you! Please be patient while we make the necessary changes to keep the site free from obscenity, pornography, and those intent on the destruction of life, liberty, and the family. We will be opening the doors again soon with additional protections in place. As Reagan taught us, trust, but verify.”
Janet Porter of Faith 2 Action is so happy about the Republican Party of Texas’s decision to embrace ex-gay therapy as part of its new far-right platform that she wants similar language endorsing the pseudo-science “adopted nationwide”:
She might find allies in Tony Perkins and David Barton, members of the 2012 Republican National Committee platform committee who are both vocal supporters of ex-gay therapy.
Barton, a former vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party, bragged in 2012 of getting 70 of his 71 resolutions approved by the RNC, and Perkins released a statement yesterday praising the Texas GOP’s ex-gay resolution.
In 2012, Perkins claimed that his Family Research Council joined forces with Eagle Forum to shape the national GOP platform. Eagle Forum is the same group that successfully added the ex-gay language to the Texas GOP platform.
Religious Right activist Janet Porter is upset that gay people are vacationing to Disney World for “Gay Day at Disney,” calling on members of her group, Faith 2 Action, to spread the word.
Today she told listeners of her radio bulletin that “the homosexual agenda is planning to once again descend on Disney World in Orlando, Florida to expose your children to far more than Mickey Mouse and Space Mountain.” Porter advised that “cross-dressing men will be among those parading public displays of perversion.”
Porter also praised the work of the Florida Family Association who plan to protest Gay Day by flying a banner across the park. “When homosexual activists deliberately target thousands of children with their agenda parents should be given the chance to protect their youngsters,” the group said in a statement.
Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter was the guest on Gordon Klingenschmitt's "Pray In Jesus Name" program today where the two spent most of the discussion railing against the gay fascist thought police who are out to destroy any Christian that is willing to stand and proclaim their faith.
Somehow during the conversation, Porter and Klingenschmitt ended up talking about gay NBA player Jason Collins, whom Porter asserted proves that nobody is born gay because Collins has an identical twin brother who is straight and so Collins' "choice" to be gay, she asserted, represents a dire threat to the freedom of Christians in America.
"Quite honestly," Porter said, "he makes the case that you're not born that way. This is a choice he's made and it is a choice that is very dangerous physically and it's very dangerous, as we see, to our freedoms in the nation."
Klingenschmitt readily agreed, declaring that Jason is "demon possessed" which opens him up to being "addicted to all kinds of sin":
As we have noted time and again, once a tale of supposed anti-Christian persecution makes its way into the Religious Right echo chamber, it never, ever dies and simply continues to be repeated as true for years even after it has been debunked.
The most recent example comes courtesy of Janet Porter, who has made the tale of two middle school girls who were allegedly forced to ask one another for a kiss as part of an anti-bullying seminar the focus of her most recent daily commentary:
Middle school girls who were part of a mandatory “anti-bullying” presentation in New York were forced to obey the teacher’s instructions to ask other girls for a lesbian kiss.
This indoctrination session was conducted at Linden Avenue Middle School in Red Hook, New York, and the Parents were never informed.
Remember when they yanked the Ten Commandments off the school walls because they might influence children not to steal, lie and kill? Now, the homosexual activists are welcomed in to the schools to push their agenda on unsuspecting children.
If you’re unable to pull your children out of the government schools, you must be more vigilant than ever.
If this tale sounds familiar, that is because it first surfaced nearly a year ago after being promoted by none other than Todd Starnes, only to be quickly debunked by school officials:
[Red Hook Central School District Superintendent Paul] Finch said the student volunteers worked with the school’s principal, Katie Zahedi, and other guidance counselors about the workshop’s format. Zahedi explained on a Facebook forum, according to the Journal, that the role-playing mentioned by Coon was “not to pretend to be gay” but to practice saying “no.”
“In planning the discussion, we made it clear that absolutely no discussion of any sexual acts is appropriate to middle school, and they used the examples of a kiss,” [school principal Katie] Zahed Zahedi wrote. “It was a separate activity for boys and girls and ultimately about respect and safety.”
Whats more, the Red Hook School District website posted important facts to clarify inaccurate reporting about the workshop:
- Contrary to a few media reports, female students were not forced to engage in any “lesbian kissing”.
- Contrary to a few media reports, male students were not told to carry condoms.
- Contrary to a few media reports, sexual activity among young adolescents was not condoned or promoted in any way.
The school district also posted an email it sent to Fox News regarding its report of the workshop. Here’s an excerpt from the letter:
These sessions were designed by the building leadership in an effort to have eighth graders treat each other with respect and to develop in our young adolescents an appreciation for personal dignity. To suggest that we would condone or promote sexual activity among teenagers is absurd. It is equally absurd to suggest that an activity, designed to have young women feel more confident saying no to unwanted advances from boys, is in some way promoting a lesbian lifestyle. It is my understanding that the role playing activity is part of a program supported by conservatives such as Laura Bush.
The definitions given to students, while overly granular in my opinion, were put forth to make sure that students understand that all gender identities and/or sexual orientations are protected in law in New York State as part of an effort to curb harassment, discrimination, and bullying. It is our intent to adjust this document and be less granular in future lessons.
In response to concern about the workshop from parents, the school the following week hosted an open meeting to receive feedback.
“Having attended the parent information session last week, I can speak with absolute certainty that the parents present at the meeting appreciated the District’s intent and left knowing that the middle school principal will adjust for any implementation weaknesses moving into the future,” Finch wrote in his letter to Starnes.
This entire tale was exposed as totally bogus literally almost a year ago but Religious Right activists like Porter will continue to use it as an example of anti-Christian persecution for years to come simply because the truth of such stories is far less relevant to them than is a story's usefulness in promoting their agenda.
Janet Porter believes that God is behind the uproar surrounding Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, who was temporarily suspended after making homophobic and racist comments in an interview with GQ.
Porter told the conservative outlet CNSNews on Friday that the controversy was part of God’s plan to fight gay rights. She called Robertson’s reinstatement a “turning point,” adding that “the tide has turned against the homosexual agenda.”
“God uses the unlikely to confound the wise,” she continued. “I love how God can use somebody – it doesn’t matter what area they are in.”
Thanks to Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, Bible-believing Christians “ended 2013 on a victory,” says Janet Porter, president of Ohio-based Faith2Action (f2a).
“This is the turning point, thanks to the courage of Phil Robertson,” Porter told CNSNews.com. “The tide has turned against the homosexual agenda, and the message is that the only way to keep our freedom is to use it.”
“What I saw happen for the first time in this debate is that Phil Roberston [sic] asserted his freedom and America stood with him. This was the biggest breath of fresh air since Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” she added, calling Robertson’s reinstatement “a real game-changer.”
“God uses the unlikely to confound the wise,” Porter added. “I love how God can use somebody – it doesn’t matter what area they are in. This guy chose duck hunting over professional football. He used his God-given talent to come up with a duck call that leads to the # 1 cable show and he suddenly has more prominence and influence and a bigger platform than any football star. And all America rises up to stand with him.”
“The biggest danger to Christianity is the spiral of silence,” Porter added. The homosexual lobby “seeks to silence us with name-calling and threats. If they are allowed to silence the truth, they will silence the Gospel. If you care about the Gospel, you need to speak up now.”
If you’re already tired of the Duck Dynasty flap, I have some bad news for you: Religious Right leaders aren’t going to drop it. On Christmas Eve, while millions of Americans were finishing Christmas preparations and gathering with loved ones, Janet Porter and Rick Scarborough were holding an emergency conference call to launch Porter’s latest gimmicky scheme: sending rubber ducks to A&E executives to protest the suspension of Phil Robertson.
Porter has been warning about a war on American Christians for years – she even wrote a book called The Criminalization of Christianity. So she clearly sees this as her (current) last chance to save America. Faith2Action has launched a website MailTheDuck.com, at which you can hand over your contact information to Porter so that she can send a postcard on your behalf to Nancy Dubuq, CEO of A&E Networks, declaring “You Can’t Camouflage Anti-Christian Bigotry!” The postcard demands an apology and warns of a boycott until Robertson is reinstated. You can also fork over some cash if you want to send a rubber duck or ten to A&E to be sure they get the message.
The opening image of the website is, unfortunately, a big lie. It’s a picture of Robertson with the word FIRED stamped across it. In fact, Robertson hasn’t been fired for making offensive comments in a magazine interview, just suspended. Americans who have wanted to get their Duck on this week have been able to watch a Duck Dynasty marathon. Even WND, in its story on the project, notes: “According to Entertainment Weekly, sources close to the show report nine of the 10 remaining episodes of season four have already been shot, and the network has no plans to cut out the footage featuring the senior Robertson.”
But on the conference call Porter and Scarborough had with activists, freedom was hanging by a thread. Robertson’s suspension is “an atrocity,” “an attack on religious liberty” and an effort to “shut down Christians.” Faith itself is at risk of “being declared unlawful.” Porter even compared Robertson to the famous Chinese activist who stood in front of a tank (yeah, that’s just the kind of risk Robertson took by spouting off to GQ magazine). Porter says Americans can courageously stand with Robertson by sending millions of ducks (probably made in China, come to think of it) to A&E.
Porter mentioned that she is working on a documentary about anti-Christian persecution. A caller who described herself as a former lesbian urged Porter to include the story of Lisa Miller, the woman who became a far-right folk hero when she kidnapped her child and fled the country rather than obeying court ordered custody arrangements involving Miller’s former partner. Porter said Miller’s story is part of her film project.
Back to the ducks. In addition to Scarborough’s Vision America, Porter’s new project is being cosponsored by the dominionist Oak Initiative (Porter is a board member) and by Liberty Counsel, the Religious Right legal group that used to represent Lisa Miller. Of course, Porter and Scarborough aren’t the only ones trying to cash in on the Duck Dynasty controversy. Among those who have launched petitions are the National Organization for Marriage and Mike Huckabee. Huckabee and Porter are longtime allies; she declared his 2008 presidential candidacy anointed by God.
For several years Janet Porter insisted that recently passed laws protecting LGBT Americans, such as the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Law, would throw anti-gay activists like herself in jail. Of course that never happened, but then again, Porter also predicted that President Obama would personally meet and negotiate with Osama bin Laden and look how that turned out.
The Faith2Action leader is now using a similar line of attack against Obamacare, which she believes will literally kill conservatives.
While speaking at a Tea Party rally she organized outside the offices of House Speaker John Boehner, Porter forecasted that conservatives are “all dead” if Obamacare is fully implemented.
Our very lives are at stake. Not only are we paying for the abortion mandates, we’ve got IRS sitting on the death panels. Sarah Palin was right, they are going to decide who lives or dies. If they use the same tactics, we are all dead. If the IRS treats health care like they treat the Tea Party, we are all dead.
Earlier this month, Janet Porter hosted a 10th Anniversary Faith2Action Banquet featuring Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, as well as Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert, the man responsible for the passage of the state's "Heartbeat Bill" over the Governor's veto.
During his remarks at the banquet, Rapert stated that it is not the will of 80,000 constituents that he represents but rather the will of God because "there's only one vote that matters and that's when I stand before the Lord at the judgment seat."
"It's more important to do what is right by God," Rapert said, "than it is to please those that would rather have me talk about pro-life but not really do much about pro-life."
He then went on to discuss the recent showdown in Texas over its own restrictive abortion legislation, saying of those who where there protesting the legislation that "I've never had a glimpse of Hell or heard a real demon, but I believe that must be what they sound like ... It's spiritual warfare":
First the gays ruined the Food Network, now they have come for the Disney Channel. Janet Porter of Faith2Action warned in a radio commentary today that “there isn’t much on the Disney Channel safe for children to view” after reading a story about how the show Good Luck Charlie will “be introducing a family with two lesbian mothers.” She urged listeners to contact Disney’s Vice President over the network’s “bad plans” and told parents to “steer your kids elsewhere.”
Now, you can’t trust the Disney Channel. One of their more popular programs, “Good Luck Charlie” will in a few months be introducing a family with two lesbian mothers. Caving into pressure to include homosexual characters in their programs, they plan to do this in the last episode of what is scheduled to be the final season of the show. Disney Channel Vice President Gary Marsh needs to hear from us. His email address is gary.marsh @ disney.com. Politely let Mr. Marsh know your objections to the bad plans for the “Good Luck Charlie” program at gary.marsh @ disney.com. In fact, there isn’t much on the Disney Channel safe for children to view. More reason to steer your kids elsewhere!