Fox News pundit Todd Starnes appeared on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program yesterday to chat with Tony Perkins about what they perceive as growing anti-Christian persecution in America, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent announcement that city schools will now close for the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha and al-Fitr.
The two right-wing commentators were outraged, claiming that New York City’s move somehow discriminates against Christians.
“But yet when it comes to Christmas and Easter, two very prominent Christian holidays, they’re not on the school calendar, they’re called ‘winter break’ and ‘spring break,’” Perkins said. Starnes concurred: “Oh yes. For the sake of tolerance and diversity, that normally means the Christians are going to be discriminated against or their holidays are going to be minimalized.”
Easter always falls on a Sunday, which would explain why it is not on a school vacation calendar, while Christmas does in fact appear on New York City’s list of school holidays [PDF]. The city’s schools are also closed for Good Friday, along with the Jewish holy days of Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Passover.
An anguished Perkins lamented that “when 85 percent of the population identifies as Christian but we can’t have a Christmas holiday because it’s religious but yet we can have Muslim holidays, something is not right there in New York City, ‘The Big Apple,’ something is rotten.”
Starnes responded by claiming that Islam is being elevated over Christianity, and it’s all Obama’s fault.
“You’re absolutely right Tony,” the Fox News pundit said. “How many times have we seen this, where the Islamic faith is being given accommodation and the Christian faith and other religious faiths are being marginalized, not just in the public workspace but also through the Obama administration.”
Perkins also managed to attack President Obama for de Blasio’s decision: “I think the Obama administration has created the environment for policies such as this.”
Scott Lively continues to praise Russia's anti-gay crackdown: "The Russian anti-propaganda law, passed June 11, 2013, was the first truly effective international counter-measure since the 'gay' agenda went global around the turn of the millennium."
Todd Akin says that he may be running for office again in 2016.
FRC prays against "sexual sin":"May God raise up pastors, intercessors and whole churches whose 'hands have learned to war and their fingers to fight' with prayer. May they wisely stand to correct morally out-of-control government! May our churches not compromise, but correct our nation and avoid the wrath of God!"
Tony Perkins is outraged over Chelsea Manning's transition.
In December, God told Jennifer LeClaire that "our labor in the Spirit over the next 18 months will determine the course of this nation."
Finally, Cindy Jacobs claims to have prophesied Warren Sapp's arrest: "On the Sunday before the Super Bowl, when I was preaching at a church near the stadium, I prophesied a major sting operation was going to take place and we would be surprised who was arrested. Not only did this happen, but the surprise arrest was none other than Warren Sapp, a prominent sports announcer."
Family Research Council executive vice president Jerry Boykin joined Frank Gaffney on “Secure Freedom Radio” on Friday, where the two agreed that the president has been openly supporting violent jihadists.
Gaffney asked Boykin if he thought President Obama has been “compromising” and “subverting” American intelligence by “hobnobbing with… people who have known associations with an organization called the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Boykin agreed that the president is not only “cavort[ing] with the enemy” but also “saying things that are really supportive of what they’re doing,” thereby helping radical Islamist groups recruit.
“First of all, they are very good at social media, so when they show someone who they know to be one of them cavorting with our president repeatedly, when they see our president saying things that are really supportive of what they’re doing, while denying why they’re doing it or what motivates them, all it does is increases their recruiting,” he said. “It shows their followers that they are on the winning side, that even the U.S. president is supporting them and all that does is it brings more jihadists from across the world into the fight in places like Iran, I mean Iraq, or North Africa, Libya, Egypt and so forth. So when you cavort with the enemy, there is a price to be paid, and I think America’s in the middle of that right now.”
As Media Matters points out, such sovereign citizen attacks come as incidents of far-right violence, such as shootings at a Kansas City Jewish community center and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, are on the rise. But Poe was having none of it, and joined Perkins in suggesting that the Obama administration is simply fabricating the evidence of far-right violence, and accusing Obama of referring to conservatives and Christians as terrorists.
“They’re not credible,” Poe said. “The idea that Americans who are conservatives, that disagree with the president, are just as threatening as ISIS, whose whole existence is to kill us in the name of their religion, even though the president won’t say ‘Islamic terrorists,’ he’ll call people on the Right terrorists, is nonsense, it is just utter nonsense. There is no evidence of anything like that and once again more fear tactics out of the administration.”
“It’s concerning to us because of the, in my opinion, how the president so meekly addresses Islamic radical terrorists who want to kill us in the name of their religion, in how he deals with them and yet he’s really quick to call out the Right with absolutely no evidence that they are just as serious threats to our country. It’s very disturbing that the president would take that political position,” Poe said.
When Perkins asked the congressman if he would hold a hearing to ask DHS officials “why they continue to put Americans in their crosshairs,” Poe called it “an excellent idea” and claimed that the administration is “more aggressive toward Americans, Republicans, conservatives, Christians, and concerned about them being threats to the country, which they’re not, than they are about the real threats to our country.”
“It’s mind-boggling why they would be this way, but to answer your question, yes, there will be questions and we will just ask them an obvious one: show us some proof of this situation that they claim that all of these different folks that you mentioned are threats to our country.”
Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas, claimed in an interview on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” radio program this weekend, that President Obama isn’t taking the threat of the Islamic State “seriously” and is doing “nothing” to stop the extremist group because he believes that “America’s not exceptional.”
When Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, the host of the program, asked Smith why the president of Egypt and the king of Jordan are “responding in a more direct and authoritative way to these attacks of ISIS than our own president,” Smith responded, “That is true. Other countries seem to be doing more or taking it more seriously.”
“He was going to ‘degrade and destroy,’” Smith added. “Well, I don’t see any evidence of degrading and I don’t see certainly any evidence of destroying ISIS. Other countries are moving better than we are. And we certainly ought to get other countries engaged without any doubt, but we cannot just sit around and do nothing, all it does is embolden our enemies.”
Smith warned that “it would not surprise me if you didn’t see more American citizens subject to some of these killings when they see America doing nothing to try to stop them.”
Later in the interview, Smith said “one might hope” that the president “would be a little bit more responsive and a little bit more assertive and, frankly, trying to assert American power and provide weapons to those who are our allies, for example, or take actions to stop the atrocities that are occurring, or support other nations that are doing more than we are. But the president is doing none of these things.”
“He’s decided in effect that America’s not exceptional, that we don’t have a role to play in the world, and that he’s not going to be concerned about it,” he theorized. “And I think that this is actually a greater danger to our country than almost anything else because it just encourages our opponents and frankly it demoralizes our allies.”
The Family Research Council announced in an email to members today it is organizing an Israel tour with Santorum and Jindal, two likely Republican presidential candidates, along with End Times author Joel Rosenberg.
Jindal and Santorum’s decision to travel to Israel with FRC may raise eyebrows, given the group’s history of making dismissive comments about American Jews and expressing hope that Jews in Israel will convert to Christianity, a central theme of certain End Times narratives.
FRC Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin said last year that Jews who convert to Christianity are “fulfilled Jews,” claiming that missionary efforts should focus on Israeli Jews, who can learn from their Arab Christian neighbors:
Boykin also slammed Jewish Americans for largely backing Democrats, claiming that they don’t realize that Adolf Hitler was actually a leftist: “If you look at Hitler, one of the most disgusting things I hear is for people to call Hitler the extreme Right. The absolute opposite was true. It was the National Socialist Party. He was an extraordinarily off the scale leftist. But many Jews in America, for example, can't identify with the Republican Party because they're called the party of the Right, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.”
Like Boykin, FRC President Tony Perkins, for his part, once attacked the “Jewish lobby” for its ties to Democratic elected officials, lamenting that Democrats “enjoy the money coming from the Jewish community.”
Such remarks aren’t that surprising, as the FRC is unabashed in its support for the criminalization of homosexuality and once had a spokesman say he wanted to “export” gay people from the U.S. since “we believe that homosexuality is destructive to society.”
In what is becoming an annual tradition, the American Conservative Union has accepted the sponsorship of an organization led by a white nationalist.
Metro Weekly reported yesterday that the Log Cabin Republicans attempted to sponsor the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference, but were rejected. Although the ACU disputes the story, in the past it hasrepeatedlyexcluded the now defunct gay conservative group GOProud. [UPDATE: Log Cabin Republicans report that they have been offered a speaking slot at CPAC, while they will "continue working toward full sponsorship of future CPACs."]
At the same time, the ACU has repeatedly allowed white nationalists to present at and sponsor CPAC. In 2010, CPAC welcomed the sponsorship of the John Birch Society. In 2012, it hosted a panel on the “failure of multiculturalism” featuring John Derbyshire, Peter Brimelow and Robert Vandervoort, three of the most unabashedly racist voices on the Right, who were joined by Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa. Vandervoort shared the stage on another panel with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, one of the GOP’s most influential anti-immigrant strategists. Then, in 2013 and 2014, Vandervoort’s group ProEnglish was a sponsor of the conference.
This year, it appears that ProEnglish is once again sponsoring CPAC. Although the group is not listed on the event’s website, it is included on a longer list of sponsors on the event’s mobile phone app.
UPDATE: Here is a screenshot showing that ProEnglish will be sponsoring a booth at CPAC's exhibit hall, at a cost of $4,000:
Along with leading ProEnglish — a nativist group founded by John Tanton that seeks to establish English as the official language of the U.S. — Vandervoort has a background as a white nationalist leader. The Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights reported in 2012 that Vandervoort was “the organizer of the white nationalist group, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, while he lived in Illinois”:
During that period Vandervoort was at the center of much of the white nationalist activity in the region. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. He also made appearances at white nationalist events outside Illinois, for instance participating in the 2009 Preserving Western Civilization Conference.
Vandervoort's position at ProEnglish is not surprising, given his familiarity with the Nativist Establishment. He and several Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance members attended a March 22, 2005 Federation for American Immigration Reform meeting at the Lincoln Restaurant in Chicago. At a November 13, 2004 FAIR "Midwest Immigration Reform Summit" in Rosemont, Illinois, Vandervoort attended and passed out leaflets to the crowd announcing a local American Renaissance event.
Although ProEnglish stays away from the outright white nationalism of Vandervoort’s past, it thrives on nativist fear-mongering. In 2013, ProEnglish ran a nasty anti-immigrant ad against South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham, which featured the voice of a woman “translating” a message from an “illegal immigrant”:
On Tuesday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Religious Right leader Richard Land suggested that President Obama is pushing America into a Civil War.
Land, the former head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm, said Obama is “increasingly reminding me of James Buchanan” who “was just sort of responsible for fiddling in the White House while secessionism gathered steam and gathered force and the southern states went about their process of fomenting revolt and secession.”
“You know, the inaction and the willful disbelief and the inertia of Buchanan were major contributors to the national conflagration that almost rent us asunder as a nation in the Civil War,” Land continued. “And I have to ask myself, is history repeating itself? I hope not.”
Later in the program, Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council said that it is an incontrovertible fact that Obama supports violent extremists who claim to represent Islam.
Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., is joining otherRepublicans in expressing doubts that President Obama actually wants to defeat the ISIS terrorist group, telling the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins yesterday that he is wary of voting for the Authorization for the Use of Military Force because he fears Obama has no intention to fight the so-called Islamic State, also called ISIL.
“This president, I believe, does not want to do anything to make Iran mad, and so I think if he did what it takes to topple Assad and destroy ISIL, it could upset his applecart,” Salmon said. “I don’t believe that the president really wants to prosecute a war that would truly destroy ISIL, I don’t think he has any intention of doing that it. I think he wants to micromanage his generals to the point that it’s a political front, it is not a real prosecution of an effort to destroy ISIL.”
Yesterday, the Family Research Council’s Craig James used his time as the guest host of “Washington Watch” to suggest that President Obama is seeking an unconstitutional third term in office, possibly in order to advance the cause of Islam.
Last week, James also filled in for FRC President Tony Perkins as the host of the radio program, and spoke with several callers who said Obama is a secret Muslim, a point he did not deny.
When one caller told James that Obama “doesn’t like the United States, he’s not a Christian, he’s a Muslim and he’s defending the Muslim country,” James replied: “I agree. He definitely does not have the faith system that I have….I don’t get the sense that he has a personal relationship with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that I do. And he’s the leader of our country and for him to be there, it’s just mindboggling. I can’t say he’s a Muslim, I don’t know what he is, but I can say what he’s not, he’s not a good leader.”
Another caller said that Obama is “an Islamic sympathizer” and “a terrorist in hiding” who is “trying to destroy this country and he was put here to destroy this country.”
“Yeah,” James replied. “You’re entitled to your thoughts and your opinion and you’re not crazy. Without question he has backed off of the role of leadership in realizing that America is exceptional, that we are the leaders of the free world. He didn’t go to Paris in leading the other worldwide leaders…. There are just so many examples of where he has failed.”
He added: “We’ve got almost two years to go and that’s a lot of time, a lot of destruction can take place during that point in time.”
When the Family Research Council’s Craig James guest-hosted today’s edition of “Washington Watch,” several callers asked him if President Obama is plotting to illegally stay in office after his second term expires. After one caller made the allegation, a second one told James that conservatives will have to “drag” Obama out of Washington D.C. to make sure he leaves office.
“I know there are a whole host of people lined up ready to help make sure that occurs,” James said.
James told one caller, who alleged that the president will “have this country turned over to Islam” in his third term, that Obama does not believe in Jesus Christ.
When speaking to yet another caller who said Obama “will declare a state of emergency, he will do a third term if that’s what it takes to complete the conversion of this country,” James said the third-term conspiracy is “a concern of mine” and pledged to “pass a note along to Tony Perkins,” the president of the FRC, “on how we could escape that.”
“That would be horrible,” James said of third Obama term. “It’s not like we’d have Ronald Reagan staying in office for another year or so while we’re in a state of emergency. It’s not like we’d have someone who really cares about you and me. We’re talking about someone who is there in that office as the leader of the free world, the United States of America, who doesn’t get it. That’s the concern. It fires me up, the thought that the guy can stick around in that office beyond a year and three-quarters. He’s got to be gone. We will follow up on that.”
In an interview with the Family Research Council’s Craig James yesterday, Rep. Randy Weber, R-Tex., urged Americans to organize to stop marriage equality rulings from taking effect in their states.
Weber, who was on “Washington Watch” promoting a bill he wrote that would make it harder for the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages, told James that Americans who oppose marriage equality should urge their state legislatures, county commissions and city councils to “pass resolutions that say, ‘Look, we support the traditional view of marriage, one man and one woman for life.’”
If this happens, he said, “maybe that will be a groundswell where people can get behind this and say, ‘Look, we’re tired of activist judges just systematically destroying the foundation of the family by throwing out a lot of these laws that people have voted for.’”
“You’ve got to be watching the absolute insanity out of some of these judges across the country, especially what’s happening in Alabama where just the turmoil created by the Windsor case, the Supreme Court striking down that part of the Windsor case, has been unbelievable,” Weber said. “They have just thrown the entire country, in my opinion, into turmoil with a lot of these judges saying, ‘Well, it’s a right, the people of those states cannot choose what they want their state to look like.’”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins spent a good portion of his “Washington Watch” radio program on Monday praising Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and the state probate judges who are refusing to follow a federal court order legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.
Perkins said that he, too, is “not going to listen to these courts that are wrong” when they make a ruling that is “inconsistent with nature itself, certainly inconsistent with scripture.”
The federal courts, he added, “are setting themselves up to lose credibility and put, I believe, our country into a tailspin.”
What is the rule of law? In a free society, a democratic society, the rule of law is generated, over all, [by the] Constitution and general consensus. We agree. And when you go too far out, which this administration has and these courts are, it doesn’t work. An unjust law is no law at all.
And they are setting themselves up to lose credibility and put, I believe, our country into a tailspin. Because I’m not going to listen to these courts that are wrong, when they have taken away the rights of the people and just imposed upon this nation a viewpoint that is not shared by a majority of the people. Even if it was, it’s inconsistent with nature itself, certainly inconsistent with scripture.
Creationist leader Ken Ham is incensed that the state of Kentucky is supposedly abridging his organization’s “fundamental rights” by declining to provide around $18 million in tax incentives to his Noah’s Ark theme park. The park is a planned addition to Ham’s Creation Museum and is intended to be, according to Ham, “one of the greatest evangelist outreaches of our day.”
Since Ham’s group plans to discriminate on the basis of religion in its hiring practices, it is no surprise that it won’t get public funds. But Ham claims that he has a “right” to receive taxpayer money and has filed a lawsuit against Kentucky, insisting that his organization, Answers in Genesis, is the real victim of discrimination.
He took his case to “Washington Watch” yesterday, where he told host Tony Perkins that Kentucky’s decision somehow violates his organization's right to the freedom of speech: “Anyone who wants to have freedom of speech in this nation, freedom of religion, free exercise of religion, needs to stand with us as we do this because that is what we are standing for.”
Ham charged that Kentucky’s decision amounts to anti-Christian persecution and means “that we can’t have the free exercise of religion.”
“The more that you don’t do anything and Christians don’t do things, we lose freedoms and we see the free exercise of religion under threat across this nation so we believe it’s time to stand for God’s people,” Ham said.
Perkins, who leads the Family Research Council, completely agreed and warned that everyone’s freedom is at stake.
On “Washington Watch” yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins called on conservative Christians to engage in “civil disobedience” to fight gay rights laws, which he said will force them into “involuntary servitude.”
Discussing the case of an Oregon baking company that a court recently found violated a state nondiscrimination law by refusing service to a lesbian couple, Perkins said that conservatives should challenge such nondiscrimination laws by using “the courts to push back and just overload the state.”
“I think we’re getting close to the point if they move to continue to force Christians to engage in behavior that violates their moral conscience and convictions — it’s almost like involuntary servitude,” Perkins said. “Maybe we’re coming to the point of civil disobedience, of saying, ‘no, we won’t go.’ They’re going to push and there will come a point [where] there will be pushback.”
RWW’s Paranoia-Ramatakes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
According to the right-wing media, Sharia law is gaining a foothold in Michigan, President Obama is blocking the sale of miracle drugs and Satan is commanding the gay rights movement. But Sarah Palin has uncovered the most menacing threat to America of them all: criticism of Sarah Palin.
According to Media Matters, one email to Erickson’s list claimed that the federal government is suppressing a miracle cancer cure that healed Ronald Reagan. Another warned that President Obama and the FDA could kill “over 45 million Americans…including you” because they are refusing to release a “secret” cure to cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
But 45 million deaths is low compared to the potential toll of another “Obama scandal” that a RedState sponsored email warned could “wipe out 281 million Americans.”
4) Fox News Helping … Hillary?
At least according to Sarah Palin. Upset that Fox News host Bill O’Reilly mocked the prospect of Palin and fellow reality television star Donald Trump running for president as a “reality show,” Palin charged that O’Reilly is trying to undermine the conservative movement just as it prepares to take on Hillary Clinton.
Palin fumed that “quasi-right” media outlets like Fox News should wake up to the fact that “this is a war” against Clinton and should help the GOP unify and “surface the competitor who can take on Hillary or whomever it may be and win for this country.”
Perkins recently spoke with Frank Gaffney, a fellow anti-Muslimconspiracytheorist, about the supposed rise of Sharia law in the U.S., and unsurprisingly, Gaffney joined in on the frenzy and referred to the city as “Dearbornistan.” He said the “Muslim-only” city of Dearborn has become a “ghetto” that is “too dangerous” to enter.
This might be news to the city’s residents, including one Army veteran who was able to find no shortage of stores selling haram goods like ham and liquor, along with a gentleman’s club, despite the claims of right-wing activists that the city is now imposing Sharia law.
2) Marriage Equality Turns Kids Into Government Property
A group of Catholic and Protestant leaders signed a statement this week warning that the legalization of same-sex marriage will lead “to the coercion and persecution of those who refuse to acknowledge the state’s redefinition of marriage, which is beyond the state’s competence.”
Signatories, including National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher and prominent Proposition 8 supporter Rick Warren, warned that marriage equality for same-sex couples represents an even “graver threat” to society than divorce “because what is now given the name of marriage in law is a parody of marriage.”
By legalizing same-sex marriage, the statement reads, “a kind of alchemy is performed, not merely on the institution, but on human nature itself,” since same-sex marriage apparently “disregards the created order, threatens the common good and distorts the Gospel.” The statement even claims that marriage equality will turn children “in important legal respects, the property of the state.”
1) Gay Demonic Energy
American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer thinks that Satan makes people gay, so of course Fischer believes that Satan is also in command of the gay rights movement.
“I don’t think you will ever find a more directly demonic energy than when you deal with the homosexual agenda,” Fischer said this week. “They’re vicious. They are mean. You literally are staring into virtually the unvarnished energy of Satan himself when you come up against the forces that are pushing the homosexual agenda forward.”
Upset with the coverage of his comments, Fischer said that he feels bad for gay people, since they are “captives, prisoners of war” of Satan.
Sprigg — who travelled to Idaho earlier this week to testify against the measure — celebrated the decision, saying that banning employment and housing discrimination against LGBT people “would increase the power of government to interfere with the operation of private businesses and private organizations” and would place the government in the position of “taking sides” on a “controversial issue.” (We weren’t aware that the FRC opposed the government taking sides on controversial issues!)
Sprigg said that what the Idaho legislature should really do is remain “morally neutral” in order for “the marketplace of ideas” to sort out whether or not it’s okay to discriminate against LGBT people, rather than making “a legal statement that it is morally wrong to disapprove of homosexual conduct and morally wrong to disapprove of people presenting themselves as the opposite of their biological sex.”
Later in the program, Perkins took a call from a listener who complained that he had seen a picture on Facebook of “two naked guys sitting on each other” and that when he complained about it to Facebook “in a nice, respectful, Christian way,” he was treated like “the biggest bigot out there.”
“I think we need to pray for them, maybe they’ll turn their lives around,” the caller said.
Perkins agreed that “Jesus said that we are to pray for our enemies, for those who persecute us, that would be those who mock and ridicule us, absolutely we should pray for them.”
Citing a mentally disturbed man who tried to stage an attack on FRC headquarters, Perkins contended that LGBT rights proponents are the real intolerant “haters” because they’re “projecting.”
“We’ve had them come into our building with guns, shooting, to try to kill us,” he said. “We harbor no bitterness in our hearts toward them, which is something they can’t understand. They want to project and that’s why they like to call us haters and so on and so forth, but they’re projecting.”
He added that he is very tolerant of gay people and doesn’t mind if they “live together, do whatever they want to do” as long as they don’t “redefine all of society for the rest of us.”
“I think more and more Americans are waking up because they’re seeing it,” he said. “This is being shoved into people’s faces, and if, like you, they say, 'I don’t want this on my Facebook page, I don’t want this, I don’t want to see this, look, do whatever you want to do but don’t involve me in that' — that’s not good enough, there’s this effort of forced acceptance and affirmation. And we just can’t do that.”
Last month, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claimed that the city of Dearborn, Michigan, and some areas of Minneapolis have effectively become “no-go zones” where “authorities have allowed Sharia law to be imposed.”
In response, Rep. Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat who is one of two Muslims in Congress, invited Perkins to visit him in Minneapolis and “see firsthand that Minneapolis is an inclusive and thriving city completely under the jurisdiction of local, state, and federal authorities.”
On his “Washington Watch” radio program last night, Perkins defended his “no-go zone” remark, admitting that the term is “not literally accurate” but that it correctly describes “the underlying problem is the lack of assimilation and integration into the broader society” that is seen in Muslim communities in “some of these areas in this country.”
Perkins then said that he would accept Ellison’s invitation to tour Minneapolis as soon as the weather warms up. Or, as he put it, “Let a little more of the president’s forecast of global warming hit and I will be there.”
Earlier this week, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore sent a letter to Alabama’s governor urging him to ignore a federal court ruling striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage because, he wrote, “the laws of our state have always recognized the Biblical admonition” against homosexuality.
Moore’s arguments may be legally questionable, but his stand against the federal courts seems to be catapulting him back into right-wing hero status that he hasn’t seen since he defied a court order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from his court’s rotunda.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins praised Moore for standing up against marriage equality, which he warned is a threat “not just to our nation’s stability, but to its very survival":
Federal judges may have the last word on marriage -- but they won’t have the final one. That’s becoming abundantly clear in Alabama, the latest state to feel the sting of a runaway court invalidating the will of the people on marriage. In a letter to Governor Robert Bentley (R-Ala.), Chief Justice Roy Moore made that quite clear -- explaining that this isn’t an issue that the federal courts will resolve. Rather, he said, it “raises serious, legitimate concerns about the propriety of federal court jurisdiction over the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment.”
Unelected judges and a handful of lawyers have been pushing state marriage amendments over like sleeping cows. Meanwhile, stunned Americans have struggled to make sense of a legal system that puts its own political agenda ahead of the expressed will of the people. Like most conservatives, FRC has watched in horror as the courts have robbed tens of millions of Americans of their voice on an issue of critical importance -- not just to our nation’s stability, but to its very survival.
State justices can, as Justice Moore has done, defy unconstitutional federal rulings which have overturned marriage amendments. Governors, such as Gov. Bentley, can defy unconstitutional federal rulings by forbidding county clerks to issue marriage licenses which would be in violation of the state constitution. (First Amendment law firms such as the Alliance Defending Freedom have pledged to defend pro bono any clerks who refuse to issue same-sex licenses on grounds of conscience.)
Such actions would most emphatically not represent civil disobedience, but rather the best in civil obedience. An elected official can hardly be charged with rebellion when he is simply fulfilling the oath he took before God to uphold both the federal constitution and the constitution of his own state.
Meanwhile, CitizenGo, a petition hub run in part by National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, asked supporters to sign a petition commending Moore for "standing up against the federal tyranny that seeks to impose gay ‘marriage’ on the state of Alabama":
Chief Justice Roy Moore,
Thank you for standing up against the federal tyranny that seeks to impose gay "marriage" upon the state of Alabama. Your bold stand against the redefinition of marriage and the erosion of our nation's moral foundations is an inspiration.
I want you to know that I stand with you as you resist the federal government's unconstitutional demands regarding homosexual "marriage."
I encourage you to fulfill your duty as a lesser magistrate to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the great state of Alabama by resisting these unjust demands.
Meanwhile, the Foundation for Moral Law, the group that Moore led before returning to the Alabama Supreme Court and which is now run by his wife, hasn't reacted to Moore's letter. But the group did respond to the judge’s ruling by acknowledging that “Jesus loves” gay people but “homosexual conduct is still sin, and we must stand firm for what is right.”
“Alabamians approved the 2006 Sanctity of Marriage Amendment by 81% of the vote,” she said, “and the will of the people should not be lightly discarded in favor of an alleged right that is found nowhere in the Constitution.” She added that the Foundation bears no animus toward the plaintiffs in this case or in any other: “Jesus loves them, and He died for their sins as well as for mine. But homosexual conduct is still sin, and we must stand firm for what is right.”
As readers of RWW are well aware, Religious Right leaders have adopted a strategy of portraying just about any policy they disagree with as a dire threat to their religious freedom. And they love to portray President Barack Obama as a sinister enemy of religious liberty. Today’s frantic email from the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins is a model of both the Obama-is-evil paradigm and frothing-at-the-mouth alarmism about threats to religious freedom in America.
This money beg has it all: President Obama scheming to turn America into a godless, totalitarian wasteland; ridiculous claims that the administration wants to silence the religious expression of its critics; conspiracy theories about Common Core; and flat-out lies that the administration did nothing to secure the release of Meriam Ibrahim from the Sudanese prison where she had been unjustly held.
To avoid any accusations that we’ve taken Perkins out of context, here’s today’s fundraising letter in full:
January 27, 2015
As I wrote to you earlier this month, 2015 could very well be the most dangerous year for Christians in American history!
President Obama seems willing to do anything to further his radical agenda—even if it means violating the Constitution to take away your religious freedom.
This President has clearly placed the religious freedom of millions of Christians like you in his sights. Why? You are among the people who are standing in the gap against his radical plans to transform America into a godless, secular country where government reigns supreme.
In these evil days it is more important than ever that you stand your ground for religious freedom!
2015 could very well be a make-or-break year for the future of religious liberty in America. Between now and 2016, President Obama, who knows his time to "leave his mark on history" is growing short, will go all-out. He will use theunlimited resources at his disposalin a drive to attempt to . . .
PUNISH Christians for opposing same-sex "marriage";
FORCE pro-life people to fund abortions through ObamaCare;
INDOCTRINATE your children with the help of Common Core;
BAN religious expression and free speech when it conflicts with federal speech regulations; and
STOP Christian-owned businesses from doing business with the government because they will not embrace the homosexual agenda.
President Obama and his supporters wrongly believe that our rights as Christian citizens are granted by, and can therefore be repealed, by government. They do not believe, as you and I do, or even as our Founding Fathers did, that . . .
Our rights are inalienable because they come from God.
We will never compromise on that truth. And that's why we can win so many of the showdowns. Truth has power when people of faith stand up for it. With God's help and your faithful support, FRC has been able to . . .
FREE persecuted overseas Christians, even when our own government would not—Christians such as Mariam Ibraheem who was imprisoned for her faith;
DEFEND the religious liberty of the brave servicemen and women in the U.S. military who are persecuted and punished because they publicly affirm their Christian values;
PROTECT employers and employees forced to leave their faith at the door when they enter public service;
UPHOLD natural marriage while countering the pro-homosexual agenda which wants to silence Christians and their objections to same-sex "marriage";
PRESSURE Congress to officially protect religious freedom and oppose the President's unconstitutional power grab; and
EXPOSE the relentless assault on religious liberty that has largely been ignored by the mainstream media.
Thanks to champions of freedom like you . . . No organization has done more to preserve religious freedom in Washington, D.C., than FRC!
But there is still much, much more that must be done to stop the assault on religious freedom that threatens the very future of our nation. I won't mince words: All of us must redouble our efforts to meet the incredible challenges ahead of us.
One of my heroes was 18th century conservative, Edmund Burke. In the British Parliament, he fought slavery and actually supported the American Revolution. A man of faith, he is credited with saying, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."