Family Research Council

Larry Taunton At FRC: US Must Choose Between Christianity And Tyranny

Larry Taunton, an author whose Fixed Point Foundation is devoted to advocating for the truth of Christianity in the public arena, spoke at the Family Research Council Wednesday on the topic of “Combating Secularism in the Public Square.” Having recently injured his foot in a stumble, he joked that he wished he had a better story, that he’d been “kicking around a few liberals.” 

Taunton’s FRC speech  recycled much of the language in an article he wrote last year mocking the “Reason Rally” in Washington, D.C. as the “Rally for Nothing in Particular.” It reiterated the main thrust of his book, The Grace Effect: societies do better when there are enough Christians around to bring grace to the culture, and societies are in danger when they no longer have Christianity at their center.

Citing “new atheists” such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins (whose books he called “sheer nonsense”), Taunton argued that there is “growing hostility toward Christianity” and an effort to “drive Christianity from western life and culture.” Like many speakers at Religious Right events, he argued that a big source of America’s problems is that Christians and the church are not outspoken enough.

Taunton argues that how people answer questions about God determines our view of mankind and our view of government, particularly whether government is meant to serve man or man to serve the state. He warned that “we live in a time when the state is deemed to be the answer to all things.” The notion that “all men are created equal,” he said, makes sense only in a Christian context. And he warned that “we cannot dismiss God from public life and retain human dignity, worth and meaning, because those things can only be given by God.” More explicitly, he said, “society cannot and will not stand in the absence of belief in God.”  Taunton says some secular societies, like those in Western Europe, are “still running off of their accumulated Christian capital. But beware. When the fumes in that tank are spent, tyranny cannot be far away.”

In a response to a question from FRC’s notoriously anti-gay Peter Sprigg, Taunton expressed a sort of grudging admiration for the “gay and lesbian lobby,” which he said has changed America’s cultural conversation even though it represents a “tiny percentage” of the population.  He said many young people who identify as homosexual see God as a “cosmic spoilsport” and the church as hostile.  Citing research he did for an Atlantic article on young atheists, he said one young lesbian viewed Christians not as a group but as a “gang.”  Taunton said that in reaching out to people, he does not believe in compromising the gospel, but he encourages Christians to consider whether they are “projecting grace” in the way they communicate.  Odd, then, that he praised the Family Research Council, whose approach to LGBT people could hardly be any less grace-projecting.

FRC: Universal Preschool Leads To Socialist, Atheist Indoctrination

The Family Research Council is very upset about Democratic efforts to invest in early education, and is particularly peeved that Nancy Pelosi suggested that preschool “frees parents to earn without carrying the burden of childcare.”

On yesterday’s edition of Washington Watch, the FRC’s Tony Perkins and Anna Higgins FRC discussed the supposed dangers of universal pre-K. The two falsely claimed that such plans would compel parents to put their kids into preschool, which they argued would undermine family structures, particularly the role of women in the family.

“We know that this is the opposite of supporting families,” Higgins said of preschool. “Nothing good can come of regulating familial responsibility to the government. It seems to be the running theme of liberals and pro-abortion feminists that it’s children that are holding women back from actually succeeding in society and in the workforce.”

Perkins claimed that universal pre-k is “part of socialism” and “government indoctrination from the cradle to the grave.” “The USSR had lots of universal care for children and the reasoning behind that was so that they could instill atheism in the children,” Higgins added.

FRC Cites Bogus George Washington Story To Promote Christian Nationalism

The Family Research Council is outraged that the Air Force Academy has made it optional to say “So help me God” in its honor oath, claiming that the new policy is discriminatory against religious cadets…even though anyone can still say the phrase. On his radio program today, Tony Perkins of FRC said that the new policy is disrespectful of George Washington:

Who's running the United States Air Force: General Mark Welsh or Mikey Weinstein? Hello, this is Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. Anti-Christian crusader Mikey Weinstein recently probed the Air Force Academy. The Air Force Academy Superintendent responded in 68 minutes, when he marked down his objections to the phrase, "So help me God," contained in the Academy honor code. Weinstein has been trying to drive Evangelicals out of the Academy for over a decade. During the tenure of one Superintendent, he boasted that he had a bath code that immediately connected him with the Academy boss. His complaint this time was a poster that included the honor oath with the phrase, "So help me God." Lieutenant General Michelle Johnson said the oath is being reviewed because the Academy values an inclusive environment that promotes dignity and respect for all. Really? Does that include those like General George Washington who initiated the phrase, "So help me God," or does that inclusion only make room for those who want to dismantle America's Christian heritage?

On the same note, FRC senior fellow Ken Blackwell cited Washington as a reason to keep the phrase a requirement:

Let's see: Why is that phrase so offensive? George Washington was a pretty successful general. And he took the oath as our first President in New York City on April 30, 1789.

When Chancellor Livingston swore Washington in as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, Washington added four words to the Constitutionally prescribed oath:

So Help Me God

Question for Mikey and Murfs: If George Washington could add those four words, and if every President since could add those four words, why should they offend an Air Force Academy cadet?

But as George Mason University history professor Peter Henriques writes, the story about Washington is most certainly a myth. In fact, James Madison excluded the words “So help me God” while working on a committee drafting an oath bill.

There is absolutely no extant contemporary evidence that President Washington altered the language of the oath as laid down in Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” A long letter by the French foreign minister Comte de Moustier, who attended the ceremony, repeated the oath verbatim and did not include the additional words. Apparently, it was not until 65 years after the event that the story that Washington added this phrase first appeared in a published volume. In his book, The Republican Court, Rufus Griswold cited a childhood memory of Washington Irving as his source. It took another 27 years before the first clearly documented case of a President adding the words, “So help me God,” was recorded — when Chester A. Arthur took the oath in 1881.



Proponents of the myth contend that Washington had expressed no personal objection to saying “So help me God” and had routinely taken such oaths during the colonial era. Perhaps, they contend, he simply added it as an afterthought or because he was caught up in the solemnity and reverence of the moment. While at first glance this is plausible, it seems certain that any such modification of the oath would have created comment at the time that would have survived in the historical record.

The reason for this assertion is at exactly the same time as these inaugural events were unfolding, the first Congress was debating what oath the new members of the new federal government should take so as to comply with the Constitution. Article Six called for an oath but specifically added, “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Early arrivals to the House of Representatives had taken an oath that included the words, “So help me God.” But, following the lead of a committee led by James Madison, legislators passed a new oath act on April 27, 1789 — just three days before Washington’s inauguration — that excluded the words “So help me God.” The Senate, after adding unrelated amendments, passed the bill on May 5, 1789. Would the Senate have passed an oath bill without the words, “So help me God,” only five days after the great hero of the American people “solemnly” and “with fervor” added them to his own oath? And do so without any contemporary comment surviving?

Taken together, the complete lack of contemporary evidence, George Washington’s political philosophy of strictly following the Constitution and the concurrent debate over the proper wording of oaths under the new Constitution make it virtually certain that George Washington did not add the words “So help me God” to his inaugural oath.

The New York Times adds:

It’s no surprise, then, that Washington should become the subject of the recent genre of biographical writing that focuses on the machinery of fame and the ways in which it manipulates, ignores, embellishes or distorts the known facts about a famous individual’s life and work. In “Inventing George Washington,” Edward G. Lengel — editor in chief of the Papers of George Washington and a professor at the University of Virginia — says he intends to examine “Washington myths and mythmakers” and trace “the means by which they have defined and redefined the founder from the beginning of the 19th century up to the present day.”

...

In addition, Mr. Lengel says, many efforts have been made to “prove” that Washington added the phrase “so help me God” to the presidential oath of office in 1789, even though “the evidence is against” this argument: “There are no contemporary accounts indicating that Washington said ‘so help me God.’ Indeed, the Comte de Moustier, the French foreign minister, who stood near Washington as he took the oath and recorded it word for word, did not include the phrase in his meticulous account of the event.”

“In sum,” Mr. Lengel argues, “any attempt to prove that Washington added the words ‘so help me God’ requires mental gymnastics of the sort that would do credit to the finest artist of the flying trapeze. How much easier, then, just to assert over and over that it happened without making any attempt to justify it in the historical record and then appeal to it as a ‘tradition’ that must never be broken. Such, at least, has been the approach taken by defenders of this story since its first appearance in 1854, and the results have met their desires. Since Chester Arthur in 1881, presidents have included the words in almost every known oath of office, with greater and lesser degrees of drama. Though atheists, secular humanists and outraged academics occasionally pop up to protest, the tradition has become set in stone.”

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/24/13

  • Gary Bauer says that "if Barack Obama were serious about bi-partisan cooperation, which he isn't, he would start by publicly condemning Alan Grayson."
  • Mike Huckabee has endorsed Senator Mike Enzi for reelection over challenger Liz Cheney because Cheney is not anti-gay enough.
  • Mark Krikorian warns that if immigration reform succeeds, "there will be no public space, no opportunity as a national movement for traditionalist small-government conservatism. It's simply finished."
  • It looks like the Tea Party is giving up on repealing Obamacare.
  • Finally, FRC continues to pray against marriage equality: "May God help the pastors and churches in New Jersey, Hawaii, Illinois and New Mexico, to stand and do what only they can to withstand and stop the evil of 'legalized' same-sex marriage. May God give them eyes to see that there can be no religious freedom in a society where homosexual license is honored above God and religious liberty. May they be given wisdom and strength to prevail over everything that God calls abomination, promising to destroy those who embrace it (Lev 18:22; 20:13; Eze 3:17-21; Mt 19:4-6; Gal 5:1; Eph 5:31-31)."

Perkins: Pastor Who Condemned Homophobia 'Encourages Those Who Do Evil'

Family Research Council head Tony Perkins is upset by an Episcopalian priest who condemned homophobia in a sermon, labeling him a “false prophet” who “encourages[s] those who do evil.” Perkins compared the Very Rev. Gary Hall of the National Cathedral to the false prophets mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah, telling listeners to “be aware of today’s false prophets who will profit you nothing.”

Last week, Charisma magazine accused Hall of disseminating “anti-Christ messages.”

The Bible speaks of false prophets, today we have non-profits, but do we still have false prophets? Hello, this is Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. The short answer is yes. Jeremiah gives a few tell-tale signs of false prophets; they encourage those who do evil, and as a result, no one turns from doing evil. Just recently, the dean of the National Cathedral here in Washington gave a message in which he called homophobia a sin. Gary Hall, who is called the Very Reverend, defined in part homophobia as those who prevent BLGT youth from seeing their “sexual orientation as a gift.” When asked by The Christian Post if homosexuality was a sin, Hall said, it is “not for me to say,” adding that such a view “is a misreading of the scripture.” Interesting. The Book of Jeremiah also says false prophets speak a vision from their own heart, not words from the mouth of the Lord. Be aware of today’s false prophets who will profit you nothing.

Boykin: Obama Creating A 'Marxist Nation'

During an interview this week with the American Family Association’s Fred Jackson, Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin reiterated his claim that President Obama is using the military to introduce communism.

Boykin said there is “no question” that the White House is to blame for the supposed “persecution of Christians” in the military, which he said is all part of an effort to create “a society moving to Marxism.”

“This is the Marxist model, if you go back to what Karl Marx said, he said my objective is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism, he also said religion is the opiate of the masses,” Boykin continued, “because we are moving through the socialist agenda to really becoming a Marxist nation, you have to destroy the idea or concept of unalienable rights, which is what we were founded upon, our rights come from God, not from man, not from government.”

Perkins: Christians Who See A Role For Government In Reducing Poverty Are Wrongheaded Theocrats

Last month, the Family Research Council’s Kenneth Blackwell hailed House Republicans for passing a massive cut in food aid for low-income families, arguing that there is “nothing more Christian” than kicking millions off the food stamp program.

FRC head Tony Perkins had a similar take during an interview yesterday with Janet Mefferd, who askin him about Jonathan Merritt’s recent article: Government Shutdown May Drive More Young Christians from GOP. Perkins told Mefferd that while Christians should be active in political affairs because government reflects the values of society, they should leave issues like helping the less fortunate out of it.

Even though “as Christians we will be held responsible for the policies adopted by this government because it’s us,” Perkins said Christians shouldn’t see the government as a way to help the poor: “The government has a responsibility to care for the poor? That’s not what Scripture says.” 

After making the unsound claim that redistributive policies are unbiblical, he then said that such left-leaning Christians are “treating the government as if it had divine instructions from God to be a form of theocracy.”

Unlike Religious Right activists, whom Perkins claims would never impose their views on anyone, except of course when those views align with those of the conservative movement and then they should.

Cuccinelli Surrogate Jim Bob Duggar Stands By His Comparison Of US To Nazi Germany

While campaigning for Virginia Republicans Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson this week, reality TV star Jim Bob Duggar reaffirmed his comparison of the United States to Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.

Over the weekend, Duggar told the Values Voter Summit — an event hosted by the Family Research Council Action, where is son Josh serves as executive director — that Nazi concentration camps are “where we are at in our nation.”

Campaigning for the GOP ticket in Virginia, Duggar attempted to “clarify” his remarks by affirming his comparison of the current state of the US to the Holocaust:

"It is shocking that Cuccinelli would accept the support of a man who last week publicly compared the United States to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust," said McAuliffe's campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin.

"Ken Cuccinelli needs to immediately ask his surrogate to leave Virginia," Schwerin continued. "Mr. Duggar's divisive, hurtful, and extreme rhetoric has no place in this campaign for Governor."

Asked about his earlier decision to employ the holocaust metaphor Duggar did not back down.

"Let me clarify," he said.

"We have since 1973 (when Roe v. Wade was decided) had 55 million abortions, so what we have going on is a baby holocaust," Duggar said.

Cuccinelli joined the Duggar clan for one of the family’s campaign stop, which was sponsored by the FRC.

When Jackson met up with the Duggar’s, the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor likened himself and Cuccinelli to Patrick Henry during the American Revolution:

It also featured a fiery speech from Jackson, who said voters face a choice that's as stark as what Americans patriots faced in 1775.

He said Lord Dunmore, the last royal governor of Virginia, at the time "put out an arrest warrant out on our House of Burgesses."

This, Jackson said, prompted Patrick Henry to mount an armed resistance to the British crown.

"I don't think Mark (Obenshain), Ken (Cuccinelli) or I are in any danger of being arrested or being hanged," he said, "but I do think the choice is as stark."

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/15/13

  • Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is calling for President Obama to be impeached.
  • Mike Huckabee says that he is considering making another run for president in 2016.
  • CBN's "journalist" thinks that Dr. Ben Carson would "be a force if he decides to make a run" for president.
  • FRC prays that "conservatives in the House and Senate will not succumb to a godless compromise" on Obamacare, the debt ceiling, or the shutdown.
  • As if anyone cares, Lila Rose says she'll leave the GOP if the party drops its opposition to abortion.
  • Finally, at some point, Bryan Fischer is going to get himself sued for repeatedly and falsely stating that Janet Jenkins "sexually abused" her daughter. 

AFA Lunch at VVS: Call for 'Aggressive' and 'Offensive' Church in Culture War

The American Family Association hosted a luncheon on Friday at the Values Voter Summit. The featured speaker, Rep. Randy Forbes, was a no-show, though the audience was assured his non-appearance had nothing to do with ads being run in his district urging him to stay away.  Whatever was keeping Forbes so busy that he couldn’t break away didn’t prevent Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) from making it to the VVS hotel to give some opening remarks. Aderholt praised the activists, saying that the only way for America to be saved is for the country not to forget its founding values.  In Forbes’ absence we also heard from Jerry Boykin, the retired general who is now a VP at the Family Research Council, and Lea Carawan, the director of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation.

Boykin was his blunt self, asserting, “we are in a culture war today like America has never been” and complaining that the problem was with the church in general and with “Christians in name only” in particular.  “The majority of the Christians in America today are dead, asleep,” he groused. “They are not involved in what’s going on in our culture. They’re not engaged in this culture war. They are not putting their faith into action.”  He said it was the church that brought about the Revolutionary War and the abolition of slavery through the Civil War.  When he looks at America today, he said, “There is no other solution to our ills than for the church to wake up, get off your dead behinds and get in this culture war that we’re involved in.”

Carawan picked up on Boykin’s message, saying that members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus and affiliated members in state legislatures are disappointed that they aren’t getting more backup from churches.  For example, she said, members of the Maine legislature have had to do the organizing to get pastors involved in a push for a “religious liberty” bill.  Carawan said the caucus was committed to an “offensive strategy” – one example she gave was Pennsylvania legislation requiring the display of “In God We Trust” in all the state’s public schools. 

Carawan said the prayer caucus favors a neutral public square and religious liberty for all Americans, but in the next breath said “we are equally committed to advocate, aggressively engage the public for advocating that Judeo-Christian values be reflected in our laws and policy, because somebody’s values are going to be reflected in laws and policies.” The founding fathers, she said, fought “so that we could have Judeo-Christian values reflected in our government, laws, and policy.” The founders understood, she said, “that it is only Christianity, Judeo-Christian principles, that provides the only valid moral basis that will secure freedom for all Americans.”

Carawan warned that “the strategy of the secular progressive agenda is simple and dangerous:  use the limitless financial resources at their disposal and the power of government to overwhelm and bury religious freedom in the ash heap of history. And that’s their plan. Not on our watch. Not on our watch. We’ve relied on defending our freedom in the courts. But this isn’t sufficient. We have to go on the offensive. We have to be aggressive. We have to stand up. We have to be intentional and strategic.”

Breitbart: FRC Not Anti-Gay, Only Opposes Same-Sex Marriage

John Nolte at Breitbart is upset that CNN called the Family Research Council an “anti-gay” group, explaining: “The anti-Christian CNN chose to cover Friday's Values Voters Summit with a chyron that blasted the three-day gathering of social and religious conservatives activists as ‘anti-gay.’ Unless there is something else going on I'm unaware of, CNN is smearing this organization as anti-gay based only on their opposition to same-sex marriage -- a position President Obama held until last year.”

Oh really?

The FRC’s president Tony Perkins lauded Uganda’s law which made homosexuality a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment, warned that the government will promote gay relationships to further “population control and called gay rights advocates “pawns” of Satan.

The group’s senior fellow Peter Sprigg said that homosexuality should be outlawed and gay people exported and its prayer coordinator urged members to pray in favor of Malawi’s ban on homosexuality.

So yes, “there is something else going on” at the FRC.

Conspiracy Theories for Breakfast at Values Voter Summit

Early this morning, before the official opening of the Values Voter Summit, the Religious Right legal and advocacy group Liberty Counsel hosted “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition,” a breakfast panel on threats to the Second Amendment.  On the menu: conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama and the United Nations plotting to disarm Americans, and rhetoric of resistance.

In addition to Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, the speakers were the Family Research Council’s Ken Blackwell (also a board member of the National Rifle Association) and gun-rights advocate Jan Morgan, who also appeared at Liberty Counsel’s Awakening conference earlier this year.

Morgan portrayed a United Nations treaty meant to restrict the illegal international trade in weapons as a UN plot to take Americans’ guns (false), and the Obama administration’s decision to sign the treaty as an ominous step.  Blackwell portrayed the “assault” on the Second Amendment as an assault on the Constitution and on God himself, warning that nations that fall to tyranny or big-government socialism first must destroy the family, silence the church, and disarm their citizens.  The Obama administration, he said, thinks it has replaced God in people’s lives. Asked how Americans should respond to the signing of the treaty, he said, “resist, resist, resist.”

Morgan celebrated the Colorado recall of two state senators who had supported the state’s new gun law, and she praised southern governors who she said are looking to put the “Firearm Freedom Act” into law in their states, which would threaten the arrest and prosecution of federal agents who try to enforce federal gun regulations in their state. She ended with a dramatic call for conservatives to “pull ourselves out of this pity party” and channel the fighting spirit of the founding fathers.

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/10/13

  • A spokesperson has confirmed that Tony Perkins is considering running for Congress.
  • On an ironic semi-related note, FRC's Robert Schwarzwalder can't believe "the irrational, vicious language being used about conservatives and the GOP by those who oppose them."
  • Bryan Fischer insists that Christmas is mentioned in the Constitution.
  • Mike Ditka thinks that he could have prevented Barack Obama from becoming president.
  • Today, The Blaze debunked two popular right-wing talking points which, of course, probably won't stop Glenn Beck from continuing to repeat them.

Who's Who At The Values Voter Summit 2013

by Brian Tashman and Miranda Blue

Republicans and Religious Right activists are set to come together this weekend at the Values Voter Summit, the Family Research Council conference where politicians will push the right-wing line regarding the government shutdown, Obamacare, gay rights and the supposed end of freedom.

As Peter noted, “Religious Right’s leaders are working to merge their activists’ anti-abortion and anti-gay zeal with the anti-government extremism of the Tea Party” and even “give the Tea Party’s agenda a biblical foundation.”

Ted Cruz and Rand Paul will be the event’s biggest speakers, along with Republican congressmen Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Jim Bridenstine, Scott Turner, Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan.

These GOP officials will speak alongside some of the most radical figures in the conservative movement:

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the main organizer of this weekend’s summit. Perkins leads the group’s efforts against gay rights, abortion rights and church/state separation. The FRC has one of the most anti-gay platforms of any major political organization, including expressions of support for the criminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and abroad in countries law Malawi and Uganda. Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He:

  • Compared homosexuality to alcoholism and called gay rights advocates “pawns” of Satan.
  • Lamented the ties between Democrats and the “Jewish lobby.”
  • Attacked Islam as an “evil” religion.

Jerry Boykin

Family Research Council vice president and retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the War on Terror as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. He:

E.W. Jackson

The Virginia Republican nominee for Lt. Governor, E.W. Jackson is a longtime activist who has likened the Democratic Party to the Antichrist, said Planned Parenthood is worse than the Ku Klux Klan , suggested Obama is a Muslim and demonic, and fought desegregation efforts. Jackson’s most pernicious rhetoric has focused on LGBT people. He has:

  • Referred to gays and lesbians as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”
  • Said homosexuality is connected to pedophilia and that homosexuality also “poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of.”

Brian Brown

Brian Brown is the president of the National Organization for Marriage, the funding machine behind anti-marriage-equality measures throughout the country. Fighting an increasingly losing battle at home, Brown has set his sights abroad, supporting French anti-gay activists and testifying before the Russian Duma in favor of a law banning adoption by gay couples and single people in countries that allow marriage equality. He is also a vocal supporter of the World Congress of Families, an Illinois-based group that supports anti-gay measures throughout the world. Back at home, Brown has:

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the head of the Liberty University School of Law and its legal affiliate, Liberty Counsel, a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Liberty Counsel has been implicated in the Lisa Miller kidnapping case, where a client kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America after a court granted custody to her former partner. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government in order to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and western civilization. Through his role at Liberty Counsel, Staver has:

Joseph Farah

Joseph Farah is the editor-in-chief of the conspiracy theory clearinghouse WorldNetDaily and a friend of Sen. Rand Paul. He most recently worked with Michele Bachmann on a 9/11 prayer event which he claimed was “our last chance” to save America from God’s judgment, which includes homosexuality, terrorism and President Obama. Farah:

Todd Starnes

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes has become notorious for filing false reports based on right-wing conspiracy theories, which of course makes him a favorite “journalist” among conservative activists. Starnes has also:

  • Said that defeats for anti-gay activists are a sign of “the end of days.”

Sandy Rios

The former Concerned Women for America president is now a radio talk show host on American Family Radio, the network led by the American Family Association. Like other AFA hosts, she promotes right-wing conspiracy theories, including claims that Obama was not born in America and is actually from Kenya, resettled thousands of Palestinian refugees in the US and exempted Muslim-Americans from Obamacare. Rios will be a good fit for the anti-gay conference as she:

  • Compared same-sex couples to the relationships kidnapper Ariel Castro had with his captives.
  • Warned the “homosexual takeover” of the military will jeopardize the effectiveness of the military.

Rick Scarborough

A leading Religious Right organizer based in Texas, Rick Scarborough of Vision America claims he is fighting the country’s supposed decline. Scarborough has said that it is “sad” to see “more non-white families” in America, claimed that the growing Latino population will destroy America and blamed societal ills on shows such as The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory. He even said that the Benghazi attack occurred as a result of the country being “mired in sin.” But that’s not all.  Scarborough:

  • Demanded that people only refer to gays and lesbians as “sodomites.”

Janet Porter

Ohio-based activist Janet Porter opposes abortion rights, gay equality and now Obamacare, which she says will be used tomurderconservatives. She asked God to stop Obama from being sworn in as president and prayed for right-wing Christians to take control over the media and the government, because she:

Frank Gaffney

Anti-Muslim activist and birther Frank Gaffney believes that Islamic extremists have infiltrated the conservative movement, the FBI, the CIA, the State Department, and the White House. He most recently has:

  • Pushed the conspiracy theory that the US knew beforehand about the chemical weapons attack in Syria as a pretext to intervene .

Glenn Beck

Where do we even begin?

Religious Right Will Cheer Tea Party Extremism at Values Voter Summit

Boehner threatens the global economy w/ default, the Tea Party shutdown continues & a new Supreme Court term could do harm to campaign finance, reproductive choice & church-state separation...perfect week for the Values Voter Summit!

Civil Rights Groups Urge GOP Leaders to Skip Values Voter Summit

This weekend, Religious Right leaders and GOP politicians will gather in Washington for the Values Voter Summit, an annual event that highlights the cozy relationship between Republican elected officials and extreme right-wing groups.

The event is hosted by the Family Research Council, a group with a long record of pushing false anti-gay propaganda. And one of the event’s major sponsors is the American Family Association, whose extreme right-wing views are expressed on a daily basis by its spokesman Bryan Fischer.

On Friday, People For the American Way joined with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Faithful America, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza to send a letter to every public official scheduled to speak at this year’s Values Voter Summit, urging them to withdraw from the event.

Among the scheduled speakers are Sens. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Tim Scott and Reps. Paul Ryan, Randy Forbes, Michele Bachmann, Jim Bridenstine, Louie Gohmert, Jim Jordan, Steve King, Steve Scalise and Scott Turner.

The letter [pdf] reads in part:

We understand that you’ve been invited to speak at the upcoming Values Voter Summit being held in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 11-13. Given the demonizing lies about the LGBT community spread by the host, the Family Research Council (FRC), and another major sponsor of the event, the American Family Association (AFA), we urge you to not lend the prestige of your office to the summit.

The FRC has amassed an extensive record of vilifying gays and lesbians with falsehoods – portraying them as sick, evil, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation.  Perhaps its most insidious claim is that gay men molest children at a far higher rate than heterosexual men – a claim refuted by all credible scientific authorities, including the American Psychological Association. Yet the FRC has continued to smear gays and lesbians by claiming  that pedophilia, in the words of FRC President Tony Perkins, “is a homosexual problem.”

Perkins also says the “It Gets Better” campaign, an initiative designed to give LGBT students hope for a better tomorrow, is “disgusting” and part of a “concerted effort” to “recruit” children into the gay “lifestyle.” One senior FRC official has even argued that homosexuality should be illegal.

The AFA’s Bryan Fischer, who serves as the group’s spokesman and director of issue analysis, frequently blames homosexuality for the Holocaust and Nazi Party: “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” He also promotes the views of the American architect of the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda.

Demonizing the LGBT community has consequences. As FBI data demonstrate, it is one of the groups most likely to be victimized by violent hate crimes. Defaming them publicly day after day – as the FRC and the AFA do – only throws fuel on the fire.

The bigotry of the FRC and the AFA is not limited to gays and lesbians. Fischer, for example, has said that African Americans “rut like rabbits” and argued that women should be kicked out of politics and the military. He’s also stated that Hispanics are “socialists by nature”  and come here to “plunder” our country. The FRC’s executive vice president, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, has said Jews must be converted to Christianity and has argued that “Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections” – a statement that is antithetical to American ideals.

In 2011, we urged Mitt Romney not to share a stage with the extremists, and particularly Fischer, at that year’s Values Voter Summit. Although Romney still attended, he also made a point of calling out Fischer’s “poisonous language." This year, Fischer was noticeably not listed as a speaker at the summit, although his employer remains a sponsor.
 

Congressman Tony Perkins?

Will Family Research Council president Tony Perkins run for US Congress next year? LaPolitics reports that Perkins, a former Louisiana state representative, is considering a run to succeed Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who is running for US Senate against Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

Just how extreme is Perkins? While leading the FRC, he has:

  • Praised a Ugandan bill that made homosexuality a crime punishable by death or a long prison sentence as a “laudable” effort “to uphold moral conduct
  • Compared homosexuality to alcoholism and called gay rights advocates “pawns” of Satan
  • Lamented the ties between Democrats and the “Jewish lobby
  • Attacked Islam as an “evil” religion

But seeing that Perkins is already a leading Religious Right figure who most recently was involved in crafting the GOP’s government shutdown strategy, it’s safe to guess that Perkins will remain an influential figure whether he is elected to Congress or not.

Put this toolkit to good use and call your Senators today, "pass ENDA now!"

The government may be shut down, but Congress is still on the job, and we need to show them that they need to get back to work not only on the budget but on all of the urgent issues that we care about.
PFAW

Perkins: Pray For Gay People Just As You Would For Drug Addicts

Tony Perkins frequently tries to rebut the notion that he is anti-gay by showing how much he loves gay people by equating them with drug addicts and alcoholics, and Friday’s edition of Washington Watch was no different. The Family Research Council president asked listeners to pray for gay people just as they would for someone who abuses drugs or is cheating on a spouse.

“Here’s the telling thing about speaking to this issue of homosexuality and I think we got to be very, very careful here,” Perkins said. “First off we need to be praying for those who are bound up in these lifestyles whether it is homosexuality, whether it is drugs, whatever it might be, anything that is outside the design of God for mankind, it could be adulterous relationships, it doesn’t matter.”

“Our goal in speaking about human sexuality is not to win an argument but it is to point people to life, the abundant life.”

PFAW Releases New Toolkit on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

First introduced in 1994, ENDA has been introduced in every subsequent session of Congress except one, including its introduction this April by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate. Advocates in Congress and on the ground believe that the growing momentum surrounding LGBT equality should help ENDA move forward this year.
PFAW
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