Family Research Council

Marriage & 'Natural Family' Day At World Congress of Families

The sun had barely risen in Salt Lake City yesterday when the first panel of “natural family” day at the World Congress of Families got started with a discussion about life after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision.

Pastor Greg Johnson, an evangelical who was raised as a Mormon and now sponsors “convicted civility” dialogues between evangelicals and Mormons, recounted an experience with his daughter at the Creation Museum. Looking at the diorama of Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden, he was struck by the sacred nature of marriage. Johnson declared that the church needs to revive its commitment to the sacred and holy nature of marriage.

Cathy Ruse of the Family Research Council began her remarks with a declaration that, as a Catholic, there is nothing that could change her belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. Like many speakers, Ruse focused on the complementarity of men and women. “No man can be a mother,” she said. “As a mother, I know two fathers is not the same as a mother and a father.”

The fact that “men and women make babies, sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident,” is the only reason government is involved in marriage, Ruse said. Government has to encourage men and women who become mothers and fathers to raise their children. The government has no interest in a person’s feelings, she said. “Who you love is not the government’s business, until now.” Of course, that claim ignores the historical fact that the U.S. government did, until quite recently, punish gay people for who they loved, denying them a livelihood and even taking away their children. And the fact is that many governments around the world, including in some countries represented at the World Congress, continue to do that and worse.

Ruse recounted all the states where voters banned marriage for same-sex couples, neglecting to mention the four more recent victories marriage equality advocates had at the ballot box in 2012. Ignoring those, and dismissing the huge and well-documented shifts in public opinion, Ruse portrayed marriage equality as something “a handful of liberal judges” forced “on the rest of us” and she called for continued resistance:

Above all, we must fight for the right to live and work according to our beliefs. Our enemy in this fight is not our neighbor, not even the 1.6 percent of our neighbors who identify themselves as gay. No. Our enemy are those who would be our masters — the judge who jails a clerk for failing to give her signature, the magistrate who takes the house of a baker for want of a cake. These are our enemies in the fight ahead. No government official can force us to bend the knee at the altar of a foreign god. If we cannot secure this freedom in law, then we must live it in civil disobedience of the law.

Brian Brown from the National Organization for Marriage followed Ruse and matched her tone of defiance against “our unelected masters.” The Supreme Court didn’t change the definition of marriage, he said, it “put a lie into the law” — just like slavery and the Dred Scott decision. Brown said that there’s no time for activists to be depressed. Citing the history of Christian martyrs, abolitionists and civil rights activists, he mocked people who don’t want to take a stand because some of their Facebook friends might say mean things about them. 

“Instead of being depressed, we should savor the fact that we live at a point in history, like those times before, in which we can stand for the truth, make a difference, and God has put us here for some reason. This fight is not over. It has just begun.”

Brown proposed four goals for the anti-marriage-equality movement:

  1. Affirm continually and publicly that marriage is by nature a union of a man and a woman
  2. Reject the Supreme Court’s decision as illegitimate
  3. Overturn the decision, perhaps through decades of struggle or perhaps with new Supreme Court justices appointed by a Republican president elected in 2016
  4. Contain the damage in the meanwhile by passing laws that allow public officials and businesspeople to refuse to have anything to do with gay couples’ marriages

Rafael Cruz, speaking in the second morning session, picked up the baton with the kind of David Barton-inspired speech he gives on the campaign trail for his son Ted Cruz. America was founded on the word of God, he said, but its foundations have been undermined by communists, humanists and Supreme Court decisions on organized prayer, Bible reading in the public schools, abortion and marriage equality.

Cruz railed against the church for having been silent in the face of “abominable” Supreme Court decisions on church-state separation and abortion. The church he said has been “duped” into believing in the separation of church and state, and too many preachers are hiding behind their pulpits, scared to death of losing their tax exemptions. “God is going to judge us for our silence,” he said.

Cruz declared, “What we see in America right now is an outright attack on Christianity.” The court’s marriage equality decision declared homosexuality a civil right, he said, asserting (falsely) that “under that basis, it will be possible for some homosexual to come to your church demanding to be hired, whether as pastor or janitor is immaterial.” Cruz told a BuzzFeed reporter that the next item on the LGBT agenda will be pushing to legalize pedophilia.

Tony Perkins: Criticism Of Pro-Censorship Group Is An Attempt To Silence Christians!

Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council officials Tony Perkins and Peter Sprigg chatted about the World Congress of Families, the international gathering of social conservative activists taking place this week in Salt Lake City, which Sprigg will be attending.

The two were upset that LGBT advocacy groups have criticized the World Congress of Families, with Perkins insisting that criticism of the event amounts to an attempt to “silence” conservative Christians and Sprigg laughably asserting that “the vast majority” of the discussions at the Utah conference “really don’t have anything to do with homosexuality.”

This is a tad ironic, since the World Congress of Families actually backed a Russian law censoring pro-LGBT speech.

The group, an offshoot of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, signed on to a statement [PDF] defending the notorious speech law, which bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” to minors and has been used to criminalize speech in favor of LGBT rights:

We acknowledge that the Russian law protects the innocence of children and the basic rights of their parents recognized in the international legislation and treaties. With its new law Russia is protecting genuine and universally recognized human rights against artificial and fabricated "values" aggressively imposed in many modern societies. We also note that the concepts of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are not outlined in the existing binding international treaties and agreements.

We thus call for respect of the sovereignty of the Russian people and we invite all organizations and people who feel responsible for the protection of the innocence of children and their rights, the natural family and parental rights to stand up for Russia, as well as for Ukraine and Moldova suffering the same pressure due to similar laws.

World Congress of Families spokesman Larry Jacobs hailed the law as a “great idea,” and Alexey Komov, the organization’s representative in Russia, similarly boasted that “a huge number of people and human rights organizations around the world are supporting Russia in an effort to protect their children and their family values from aggressive immoral propaganda.”

So while Sprigg and Perkins are attacking groups for merely criticizing the World Congress of Families, it is the World Congress of Families that has actually supported efforts to censor speech.

Religious Right Leader Reportedly Used Unwitting Missionaries As Spies, Endangering Christian Aid Workers

Before joining the Family Research Council (FRC) as its executive vice president, Gen. Jerry Boykin served in the Bush administration, where he most notably was repeatedly rebuked by the president after giving speeches in uniform painting the war on terror as a holy war against Islam. (The Army later reprimanded him again for leaking classified information).

Boykin has since claimed again and again that he was a victim of anti-Christian persecution during his time in the administration. Now, as a full-time Religious Right activist, Boykin frequently claims that President Obama is persecuting Christians at home and abroad.

He has claimed that the president backs terrorists who murder Christians and has even alleged that the president’s support for LGBT equality and reproductive rights at home are putting Christian lives at risk abroad. He has even charged that the Obama administration is pushing for anti-Christian violence here at home, talking about meeting Americans who want to “take up arms” and “fulfill their constitutional duty and take out the president.”

As it turns out, it seems that in his time in the Bush administration, Boykin was the one who was putting Christians at risk. The Intercept reported today that Boykin created a Pentagon program that put Christians in harm’s way by using missionaries, some of them unwitting, as spies.

By turning a Christian NGO into an American spy front, experts warned reporter Matthew Cole, Boykin’s program could endanger all Christian charitable workers who can now be accused by foreign governments of secretly working as American spies, possibly leading to imprisonment or execution.

Cole writes that Boykin’s “brainchild” was an operation to secretly steer around $15 million from the Pentagon to a group known as Humanitarian International Services Group (HISG), which Boykin and others then turned into a spying operation against North Korea.

The revelation that the Pentagon used an NGO and unwitting humanitarian volunteers for intelligence gathering is the result of a monthslong investigation by The Intercept. In the course of the investigation, more than a dozen current and former military and intelligence officials, humanitarian aid workers, missionaries, U.S. officials, and former HISG staffers were interviewed. The U.S. government officials who were familiar with the Pentagon operation and HISG’s role asked for anonymity because discussing classified military and intelligence matters would put them at risk of prosecution. The Pentagon had no comment on HISG or the espionage operations in North Korea.

Before it was finally dismantled in 2013, Hiramine’s organization received millions in funding from the Pentagon through a complex web of organizations designed to mask the origin of the cash, according to one of the former military officials familiar with the program, as well as documentation reviewed for this article.

The use of HISG for espionage was “beyond the pale” of what the U.S. government should be allowed to do, said Sam Worthington, president of InterAction, an association of nearly 200 American NGOs. The practice of using humanitarian workers as spies “violates international principles” and puts legitimate aid and development workers at risk, he argued.

“It is unacceptable that the Pentagon or any other U.S. agency use nonprofits for intelligence gathering,” Worthington said. “It is a violation of the basic trust between the U.S. government and its civic sector.”

HISG had experience shipping “medical equipment, clothing, and disaster relief supplies around the world,” and would later use those services to move military equipment.

The Pentagon tasked [HISG founder Kay] Hiramine with gathering the intelligence it needed inside North Korea, and Hiramine would in turn utilize HISG’s access to the country to complete the assignments, according to two former military officials with knowledge of the effort. Hiramine, in his role as CEO of HISG, tapped Christian missionaries, aid workers, and Chinese smugglers to move equipment into and around North Korea — none of whom had any idea that they were part of a secret Pentagon operation.



Because American intelligence has so few assets inside North Korea, much of Hiramine’s task was to find transportation routes to move military equipment — and potentially clandestine operatives — in and around the country. The Pentagon would eventually move sensors and small radio beacons through Hiramine’s transportation network, according to another former military official. Much of what Hiramine was doing was what the military refers to as “operational preparation of the environment,” or OPE, a category that encompasses clandestine intelligence gathering and prepositioning equipment inside a country for future conflicts.

The North Korean government frequently accuses its foreign prisoners of spying for the West or trying to overthrow the government. One such prisoner was American missionary Kenneth Bae, whose case become a cause célèbre of the FRC, which used his imprisonment in North Korea to criticize Obama for supposedly failing to defend Christians abroad. As Lee Fang, a contributor to the Intercept report, put it, Boykin condemns Muslims and gays for supposedly “persecuting Christians” while his own actions “endangered Christian charities across the world.”

Programs like the one Boykin reportedly helped create threaten to give governments like North Korea a reason to clampdown on NGOs and aid workers, including missionaries, by claiming that they are working as American spies.

Fears that this would happen led to the dissolution of the program, and HISG not-so-coincidentally shut its doors not long afterwards. A group steering Pentagon dollars to HISG also closed down, donating “its remaining funds as a gift to the federal government.”

The longer HISG operated and became more legitimate, the more opportunities would be available to U.S. military and intelligence officials to run operations in other countries as they had in North Korea. In other words, Hiramine’s ability to use HISG to form partnerships and working relationships with other unsuspecting aid workers and missionaries would give the Pentagon more places to spy, according to one of the former military officials. That official would not say whether Hiramine was tasked with operating in countries besides North Korea.



“If these people had been caught and tried and executed in downtown Pyongyang you’d really understand the risk,” said Robert Baer, a retired CIA officer who spent more than 20 years conducting espionage operations.

Using humanitarian and aid workers for gathering intelligence has always been risky. U.S. intelligence policy prohibits using American clergy, journalists, or Peace Corps volunteers as a cover to conduct espionage. Using NGOs is not strictly prohibited, but though it is not unprecedented, it is dangerous.

In recent years, the risk of using legitimate aid workers as cover for spying has had deadly repercussions.



In 2012, now-retired Adm. William McRaven, the commander of the Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida, who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid, shut down the North Korea spying program.

McRaven told us he shut it down because he was nervous about the flap if it ever got out that the Pentagon had used a bunch of evangelicals and missionaries as spies,” said one former military officer, adding that if the program had produced better intelligence McRaven would have considered keeping it up and running. McRaven did not respond to a request for comment.

In January 2013, Hiramine and his fellow HISG executives announced to their employees that they were shuttering the organization. “We got no warning,” said Jennings, the former HISG program director. “We had no jobs, no severance, and no explanation. All they said was ‘we lost our funding.’”

What The World Congress Of Families' 'Natural Family' Means For Women

This is the third in a series of posts about the upcoming World Congress of Families in Salt Lake City, Utah. Read our introduction to the World Congress of Families here and an exploration of WCF’s anti-LGBT politics here.

While the World Congress of Families has become well known in the U.S. for its anti-LGBT activism, that is just one part of its larger vision of promoting what it calls the “natural family” throughout the world. In fact, in keeping with the vision that Allan Carlson and Paul Mero laid out in their "natural family" manifesto, this year’s conference will feature not just anti-LGBT activists, but opponents of abortion rights, contraception, sex education and liberalized divorce laws.

These issues are closely intertwined in this worldview. One scheduled WCF speaker, Evan Lenow of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, explained it clearly in a 2011 lecture on “The Challenge of Homosexuality For Gender Roles.” Lenow laid out the argument that the Bible prescribes separate but equal roles for men and women in marriage, with women required to “submit themselves to the leadership of their husbands, just as the church submits to Christ.” Same-sex marriages, where gender roles are by necessity “egalitarian,” he said, “subvert” this biblically ordained relationship.

For many of these activists, all manner of evils date back to the “sexual revolution” and, in particular, the widespread availability and use of contraception.

Allan Carlson, WCF’s founder and a speaker at the Utah event, has been a strong critic of the role of contraception in changing the roles of women and families in society, including speaking at a 2006 anti-contraception conference and appearing in the anti-contraception film “Birth Control: How Did We Get Here?

A panel on “Understanding the Sexual and Cultural Revolution” will feature the Family Research Council’s Pat Fagan, who has argued that the Supreme Court decision ending bans on contraception for unmarried people was wrong because “functioning societies” ought to “punish” and “shame” people who have sex out of wedlock. Fagan links the “contraceptive mindset” to any number of social ills. “Since the introduction of contraception, everything else has fallen,” he has said.

Joining Fagan on the “sexual and cultural revolution” panel will be the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Katie McCoy, who has argued strongly against efforts to allow women to serve as Southern Baptist pastors.

A forum on “The Beneficial and Harmful Influences of Feminism,” moderated by WCF’s Larry Jacobs, will feature declared anti-feminist activists Babette Francis of the Australian Endeavor Forum and Gayle Ruzicka, the head of the Utah chapter of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, who is also a radical anti-gay activist.

WCF has set aside time to showcase the latest round of attacks against Planned Parenthood, with a panel featuring Live Action’s Lila Rose, Americans United for Life’s Charmaine Yoest (who happens to be the daughter of WCF head Janice Shaw Crouse), and Priests for Life’s Alveda King. King has falsely claimed that hormonal birth control “exposes” women to breast cancer and insisted that this is part of an elaborate money-making scheme by Planned Parenthood. Moderating the panel will be a representative of Heartbeat International, a network of so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” that claims it can replace Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that it does not prescribe birth control.

A discussion on “International Pro-Life Initiatives” will feature Keith Mason who, through his group Personhood USA, advocates fetal “personhood” initiatives that would outlaw all abortion and could even threaten legal contraception. Mason’s group has become active in fighting reproductive rights advances at the United Nations and has begun pouring money into unspecified projects in Europe.

The fight against legal abortion, contraception and egalitarian gender roles is tied in with a founding principle of the World Congress of Families: the fear that demographic change is dooming European and American culture.

A panel on “demography,” moderated by Personhood USA’s Keith Mason and notably consisting entirely of men, will likely address some of these fears, and in particular the idea that contraception is the root cause of a perceived cultural decline. The panel will include Steve Mosher of the Population Research Institute, who has argued that “[i]n its own way, contraception is an even greater tragedy than abortion” because it “involves the deliberate rejection of God’s creative power.”

Also speaking on the panel will be WCF’s Don Feder, who told a WCF event in Belgrade earlier this year that contraception leads to “death” by “preventing life from happening,” and who warned at the Moscow conference last year that humanity is financing “ its own extinction” through birth control.

Joining them will be Igor Beloborodov, a Russian demographer who warned at a 2011 demographic forum featuring a number of American activists that birthrates were falling as a result of people who want to “push up sales of contraceptives, to increase the number of abortions, to make homosexuality more popular.” He presented this slide listing “global threats to family and life,” including “small families,” “homosexuality” and “feminism”:

The World Congress of Families will also include staunch opponents of comprehensive sex education in schools, including Dr. Miriam Grossman and the Eagle Forum’s Gayle Ruzicka, who have both supported instituting abstinence-only sex-ed in Utah. This is an especially interesting dynamic given that WCF extended an invitation to Elizabeth Smart, an abduction survivor turned anti-sex-trafficking advocate from Utah who has spoken about how the lessons she had learned in abstinence-only sex-ed contributed to her reluctance to flee her captor.

Also speaking at the event will be proponents of rolling back no-fault divorce laws, a little-noticed flip side to the conservative campaign against marriage equality for LGBT people. Repealing state no-fault divorce laws, which allow married couples to end their marriages without one party being found to be at fault, is a plank of Carlson and Mero’s “natural family” manifesto. A panel on divorce at the Utah summit will include Beverly Willett, the cofounder of the Coalition for Divorce Reform, which aims to make it more legally difficult for most couples to divorce and Michael McManus, who has also advocated against no-fault divorce laws.

World Congress of Families In Denial Over Promoting Homophobia Globally

This is the second in a series of posts about the upcoming World Congress of Families in Salt Lake City, Utah. Read our introduction to the World Congress of Families here.

The World Congress of Families has been stung by intense criticism over its promotion of anti-gay bias and policies around the world, and has mounted a public relations campaign portraying itself as interested in civil discourse and uninterested in slamming gay people. If only it were true.

WCF Executive Director Janet Shaw Crouse has said the group’s support for traditional notions of family “does not mean disrespect for anyone else.” Crouse says, “We do not and will not engage in ‘gay-bashing’ or ‘hate’ language." In its 2014 “Call for Civic Dialogue” WCF said:

In its history, the WCF has never taken a position for or against anti-sodomy laws, nor has it attempted to roll back the rights gained by these individuals and organizations…. The WCF never has and never will advocate for any policy that brings harm to innocent individuals….

These assertions are grossly disingenuous and deceptive. WCF depends on, and celebrates, its association with what it calls “exemplary” anti-gay groups like the Family Research Council, American Family Association, Alliance Defending Freedom, and many others who aggressively resist the advance of LGBT equality in the U.S. and overseas -- and promote policies that most definitely bring harm to innocent individuals. For example, WCF and its allies played a significant role in organizing the stridently anti-gay “pro-family” movement in Russia. And not taking a position on laws that subject LGBT people to long jail terms and worse is hardly something to brag about.  

WCF’s “civil dialogue” claim is laughable on its face, especially given that the group is providing a speaking platform to Rafael Cruz, who has no policy expertise to share but has gained folk-hero status on the Religious Right with outlandishly inflammatory attacks on LGBT people and other political opponents. Cruz, father to presidential candidate Ted Cruz, called it “appalling” that a gay woman could win elected office, said that Satan controls the U.S. government and that the devil was responsible for the with Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. He has repeatedly lied about religious freedom, claiming that the government will force churches to hire homosexual pastors and perform homosexual marriages. Cruz has suggested that President Obama is intent on seizing Americans’ guns because, like Stalin and Mao, Obama is pursuing a totalitarian government – and that the American left is out to do away with the entire Bill of Rights.

Sadly, Cruz is not an outlier. WCF and the speakers it provides with a platform have a long record of resisting protections for the rights of LGBT people. Last year WCF initiated a letter signed by 120 Religious Right figures from around the world in “vigorous protest” of the U.S. Embassy’s participation in a gay pride celebration in the Czech Republic. It refers to marriage equality as a “pseudo-right” that debases human freedom and dignity. The letter concludes, “We can not imagine a worse form of cultural imperialism than Washington trying to force approval of the ‘gay’ agenda on societies with traditional values.”

More to the point, WCF’s own Africa regional director, Theresa Okafor, who is being honored at the event, supported a harsh anti-gay law in Nigeria that not only provides for long jail sentences for gay sex, but also bans gay people from meeting in groups. Okafor has suggested that pro-equality groups from the west are allied with the violent Islamist Boko Haram in a conspiracy to silence Christians.

WCF Executive Director Crouse has her own track record. She has said children being raised by gay couples are being “used as guinea pigs.” She has praised Russia’s anti-gay right, saying approvingly, “I wouldn’t bet on the Russians capitulating to western LGBTIQ fascists without a fight.” At a 2013 Howard Center press conference, Crouse said American gay-rights activists are “turning into thugs who are destroying freedom of speech, destroying religious liberty.” She praised anti-gay activists in France, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, and Nigeria. And while Crouse portrays American gays as enemies of free speech, she enthusiastically backed the prosecution and jailing of Pussy Riot activists over their anti-Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral.

Among other anti-gay speakers who will be given a platform at WCF:

  • Peter Sprigg represents the stridently anti-gay Family Research Council, whose leader Tony Perkins once defended Uganda’s notorious “kill the gays” bill as an effort to uphold morality. Sprigg, who once said he would like to “export” homosexuals from the U.S., complained this year about Randy Berry, Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons, for traveling to Uganda and Jamaica. Sprigg criticized the Obama administration for trying to “force this American-style homosexual agenda down the throats of other countries” like Uganda, “which is one of the countries that has been most bitterly attacked by homosexual activists around the world.”
  • Robert Knight, a Religious Right pundit and former FRC staffer, has argued that judges who rule in favor of marriage equality should be impeached.
  • Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage has not only pushed for anti-equality legislation in the U.S., he has supported anti-gay efforts globally and encouraged legislators in Russia to pass legislation banning adoption by gay couples.
  • Errol Naidoo received training from the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C before founding the Family Policy Institute in South Africa in response to the legalization of marriage equality, which he had lobbied against. He blames abortion and “the homosexual agenda” for creating a “culture of death” that is “slowly killing off the human family in Western civilization.”
  • Glenn Stanton, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, has called marriage equality a “pernicious lie of Satan” and said that “quite literally there is more evidence for Bigfoot than there is that homosexuality is just who we are.”
  • Jennifer Roback Morse, president of the Ruth Institute, formerly affiliated with the National Organization for Marriage, says the “sexual revolution” is a “totalitarian” movement” and “a pagan ideology” that Christians should refuse to compromise with. She says “the only reason we’re dealing with gay marriage now is because we never faced up to the harms that have already been inflicted by feminism.”
  • Mark Regnerus: His New Family Structures Study, funded by the anti-gay Witherspoon Institute, has been widely discredited, but continues to be cited by right-wing as if it provided scientific evidence for harm caused by gay parenting. It was used extensively as justification for passage of anti-gay laws in Russia.
  • Frank Schubert is a political communications strategist notorious as the mastermind of the strategy to ground the campaign for California’s Prop 8 in fear-mongering about gay people and couples being a threat to children. Schubert was paid handsomely to take that destructive strategy to other states.

 

Bobby Jindal Wants The EPA To Go After Planned Parenthood

Yesterday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal appeared on “Washington Watch” to blast a federal court decision blocking his effort to defund Planned Parenthood in the state.

“They sued us, the Obama administration sued us in federal court, he can’t watch the video but he has time to send his attorneys to Baton Rouge,” he told the program’s host, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. “They can send the entire Department of Justice, we won’t be intimidated from defending innocent human life.” (Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, not the Department of Justice, sued Louisiana in the case.)

He later claimed that if all the Republican governors in the country followed his lead, they could succeed in defunding Planned Parenthood. “They can’t come after every governor,” he said. “We have 31 Republican governors. If just the Republican governors would all do this, they can’t come after us all. Let’s fight for our rights. The left fights, they force socialism down our throats, why won’t we fight for pro-life, for conservative principles?”

Jindal then voiced a litany of falsehoods, suggesting that Planned Parenthood uses taxpayer dollars in its fetal tissue donation programs (it doesn’t) and claiming that its two Louisiana clinics offer abortion services (they don’t).

He said that if he gets elected president, he would direct the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency to target Planned Parenthood.

Perkins: 'Emasculation Of Our Culture' Leading To Women In Military

On yesterday’s “Washington Watch” program, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and Jerry Boykin reacted to Army Secretary John McHugh’s recent statement that if “your objective is true and pure equality” in the military, then women will eventually be required to register for the draft.

Perkins and Boykin were, unsurprisingly, not too happy about this.

“Let me go on record, General,” Perkins said. “I like the difference between the sexes. I like the smell of perfume. Look, I’m fine with wearing cologne but I don’t want to smell some other cologne. I like perfume. I like the fact that there’s a difference between men and women. In western civilization for the longest, we have not only protected that but we’ve elevated in many ways the status of women in our society by treating them differently.”

“This is the natural progression as we’ve seen the emasculation of our culture. And that’s what’s really behind this, is to say there’s no difference between men and women,” he added.

FRC Spox & Rick Wiles Blame Obama, Right Wing Watch For UCC Shooting; Liken RWW To ISIS & Al Qaeda

In an interview with far-right radio host Rick Wiles on Tuesday, Family Research Council Vice President Jerry Boykin blamed President Obama and his supporters for the recent mass shooting in Oregon and then suggested that we at Right Wing Watch encourage “lone wolf” attacks on Christians “using the exact same tactics” as ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Wiles spoke with Boykin about the massacre following a monologue in which the conspiracy-theory-minded radio host suggested that the shooting at Umpqua Community College was “staged” by a government “death squad” seeking to “build public support for disarming the American people of their firearms.”

Boykin served as a deputy undersecretary of Defense under President George W. Bush, who repeatedly rebuked him for painting the fight against terrorism as a holy war against Islam. He later launched a career as a Religious Right activist, in which he has touted numerous conspiracy theories and made many anti-Muslim statements, including calling for Muslims to be stripped of their First Amendment rights.

While reports are mixed as to whether the Oregon shooter targeted Christians, Boykin portrayed him as a man who was inspired by the Obama administration’s purportedly anti-Christian policies.

“Right here in America, the church, the Christian church, has been so demonized and denigrated by the current administration and those that support this administration that I think that you have to expect this because there are enough crazies out there that when you constantly hammer the U.S. Christian church, you have to expect that there is going to be some reaction and that’s what we’re seeing,” Boykin said.

“I can tell you that this is the fight of the future,” he added. “It’s not just about having to bake a cake or take photographs for a gay wedding, this is about literally about life and death for Christians in the future. It’s coming.”

Wiles then suggested that the shooter may have been inspired by reading Right Wing Watch, leading Boykin to claim that we use the “exact same tactics” as the Islamic State and Al Qaeda to encourage “lone wolf” attacks against Christians.

Wiles said that he wouldn’t be surprised if the shooter — who identified himself on a dating website as “conservative, Republican” and wrote about “his racial animus toward black people and general feelings of anger about being isolated and unable to make relationships” — was “a frequent visitor to Right Wing Watch.”

Boykin, for his part, said that Right Wing Watch and the Southern Poverty Law Center are “ultraliberal, anti-Christian and anti-American organizations,” adding that Right Wing Watch was established by the “Soros, anti-American, Marxist entity that is also anti-Christian” People For the American Way.

But they did have some good words for us: Boykin commended us for our accuracy, saying that we “actually in many cases print exactly what we said” and Wiles added, “They’ve never misquoted me, I’m not going to say that they misquote me but they definitely want to paint an image of people like you and I as dangerous wackos.”

“This is the tactics of Al Qaeda and ISIS,” Boykin added, “where they will call for people to take action against Western targets, against Christians and infidels and then these so-called lone wolfs will go out and perpetrate an act of violence which normally results in somebody’s death. So what we’ve got is we’ve got Right Wing Watch and Southern Poverty Law Center and People For the American Way all using the exact same tactics as these Middle East terrorist groups, as these Islamic extremist groups. It’s sad that that kind of thing happens in America. There is no dialogue. There is no debate. They are going to try and shut us down by striking fear into our heart.”

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened.

Tony Perkins Blames Obama For UCC Shooting

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins criticized President Obama’s response to the Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon yesterday, saying that while the president is calling for stricter gun laws, it is in fact tough gun laws that are responsible for America’s high rate of gun-related deaths.

But President Obama wasn’t only wrong about the cause of mass shootings, Perkins said, he is also possibly to blame for them.

“Could the religious hostility that the president and his policies have fostered have something to do with this?” Perkins said, citing the mixed reports that the UCC shooter specifically targeted Christians.

He added: “Could his policies that have pushed us away from family formation and from marriage have something to do with the moral implosion that’s taking place in our country? Could the president’s lawlessness —remember, he’s the president who had an attorney general who was in contempt of Congress; Lois Lerner who plead the Fifth because she didn’t want to tell about how they were using the IRS to target conservatives and release confidential information; didn’t want to talk about running guns in Mexico that took the lives of U.S. Border Patrol agents — I think the president’s priorities are misplaced. But he’s trying to seize this, in my opinion, trying to use this to advance his anti-Second Amendment political agenda.”

Later in the program, Perkins said that the teaching of evolution, the separation of church and state and the legalization of abortion have made Americans lose “the value of human life,” making Americans numb to such shootings.

Paranoia-Rama: Obama's Election Theft, Pope Francis' Diabolical Scheme And Cashing-In On Kim Davis

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

While some Religious Right groups are busy trying to turn Kim Davis into a modern-day martyr, other conservative activists are addressing more pressing concerns, such as Pope Francis’ murderous agenda, ISIS infiltration of American churches and looming cannibalism.

5) Welcome To America, Pope Francis!

Alex Jones welcomed Pope Francis to the U.S. the only way he knows how: by ranting that Francis is bent on turning Americans into slaves and paving the way for the death of at least one billion people.

Jones added that he was “going to vomit” while thinking about the fawning media coverage of the “slimebag” pope.

4) Kim Davis, Still The No. 1 Martyr

Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, is back in the news for losing yet another legal challenge and reportedly altering marriage licenses as part of her crusade to bar her county office from issuing marriage licenses to eligible couples.

Naturally, Davis' defenders are using her flouting of the law to raise money.

Liberty Counsel, the extreme anti-gay group that is representing Davis, put it this way in a fundraising email: “The American Civil Liberty Union’s motion to again hold Kim Davis in contempt reveals that their interest is not their clients’ license but rather a marriage license bearing the name of Kim Davis. They want her scalp to hang on the wall as a trophy!”

Another conservative group, the Family Research Council, said in a fundraising email that Davis’ plight would lead to mass persecution of Christians.

Consider that carefully. If "politically correct" government officials will put a Christian like Kim in jail for the faith we all SHARE -- well, what plans do they have in store for YOU?

Depending on the circumstances, they'll do whatever is necessary to drive Christianity from influence in America by indoctrinating your children or grandchildren . . . ruining your job or career . . . getting you to compromise your faith . . . go silent . . . shut up . . . affirm sexual immorality . . . or deny key parts of the Bible.

3) ISIS Everywhere!

While groups like the Family Research Council and Liberty Counsel are on the lookout for phony cases of anti-Christian persecution, televangelist Jim Bakker thinks that people should really be investigating all of the ISIS terrorists who have stealthily joined every church in the U.S.

Pitching survivalist food buckets, Bakker told his audience to watch out for future troubles because “ISIS has already infiltrated every single church in America.”

2) From SNAP To Cannibalism

Bakker is far from the only one trying to stir up fears in order to sell merchandise. Chuck Holton of the NRA radio show “Frontlines,” for instance, warned this week about a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack.

Along with killing nine out of every 10 Americans, Holton said, an electromagnetic pulse attack will lead to people be “eating each other in the streets, because when you have these sort of systemic issues in our government of nearly half of the people in the United States receiving some sort of subsidy from the government, imagine what happens when all the EBT cards start flashing zeroes.”

Watch via Media Matters:

1) Indisputable Proof Obama Stole The 2012 Election

According to at least one poll, half of all Republicans believe that ACORN, which hasn’t existed since 2010, stole the 2012 election for President Obama.

Those still trying to find proof of this massive fraud finally have some convincing evidence, courtesy of “Trunews” host Rick Wiles.

As Wiles explained on his radio show this week, secretive forces must have rigged the election for Obama, because he personally didn’t know anyone who voted for him, and therefore something nefarious must be at work!

When Donald Trump 'Waged War' On Christmas

Donald Trump offered up his typical word salad to the Values Voter Summit today, but this time while hoisting his Bible in the air and claiming that it is “the reason” that he is leading among evangelical voters in Iowa and declaring that it is “the key” to saving America.

One of the threats to America, Trump said, is the so-called War on Christmas.

“The word ‘Christmas.’ I love Christmas," he said. "I love Christmas. You go to stores, you don’t see the word ‘Christmas.’ It says ‘Happy Holidays’ all over. I say, 'Where’s Christmas?’ I tell my wife, ‘Don’t go to those stores. I want to see Christmas. I want to see Christmas.’ Other people can have their holidays but Christmas is Christmas. I want to see ‘Merry Christmas.’ Remember the expression ‘Merry Christmas’? You don’t see it anymore. You’re going to see it if I get elected, I can tell you right now.”

Of course, Trump himself has waged war on Christmas:

As has the Trump Hotel Collection:

But we are just glad that Trump is ready to take on the important issues of the day… like the War on Christmas.

Gohmert: Confirming Gay Army Secretary Will Make Muslims Think We Approve Child Sex Abuse

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, urged the Senate to block President Obama's nominee for Secretary of the Army, Eric Fanning, because having an openly gay Army secretary may send the message that the U.S. condones the sexual abuse of children.

In an interview with Gohmert yesterday on his “Washington Watch” radio program, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that the Senate should refuse to confirm a new Army secretary following a New York Times report alleging that U.S. officials in Afghanistan told service members to look the other way on cases of sex abuse among allied Afghan fighters. Perkins said that the Senate should tell the president that "we are not going to confirm your nominee, especially this guy."

"What do you think they will think,” Gohmert wondered, “when they hear that not only did we tolerate what was being done to their boys by people under our authority but we turn around and approve a Secretary of the Army that they as moderate Muslims believe is just an atrocious thing? They're going to think that that is quite consistent with us approving of what was going on between the older men in authority and these boys."

He added: "This is not a good move, but the president's priority has not been the lives of our military."

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/23/15

  • Kevin Drum: Donald Trump Once Again Shows That He's Probably Never Cracked Open a Bible in His Life.
  • Joe Jervis: Searching For The “Gay Friends” Of Kim Davis.
  • Carlos Maza @ Equality Matters: How The Media Is Helping A Hate Group Leader Gain Political Power.
  • TFN Insider: Travis County GOP Promotes Anti-Muslim Screed That Also Calls George W. Bush a ‘Coward and Traitor’.
  • Andrew Husband @ Mediaite: Phoenix Anti-Islam Rally Organizer Vows to Arrest Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Tony Perkins Agrees With Caller Worrying That Ahmed Mohamed Could Blow Up The White House

On Monday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council president and self-styled religious liberty champion Tony Perkins tried to make the case that Islam is not protected under the U.S. Constitution.

After insisting that Islam should not be considered a religion deserving of the same protections as Christianity, Perkins addressed the arrest of Texas teenager Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a homemade clock to school.

Perkins said that President Obama’s supportive tweet about the case showed that the president is trying to “vilify authorities” while “trying to placate an ethnic group in this country that has been associated with terrorist activities.” (Among the many things wrong with this statement is the fact that Islam is not an ethnicity.)

“Often times, and I’m not saying that this is the case with Ahmed in Irving, Texas, I am just saying that this is how they operate, is that you will sometimes see terrorists come in and do a dry run to see where the security lapses are and what the responses are and they will just test the systems, again I’m not saying what happened here, but it could have been and you wouldn’t know unless you began asking questions and you began to investigate,” he later said.

A caller, Michael, then chimed in with various scenarios about the student, including one suggestion that Ahmed could actually have been plotting to get the White House invitation so he could then blow it up: “This child’s dad ran for the president of Sudan twice, and we know how Sudan is. Here in America, now we know that the radical Muslims, they’ll tie explosives to the kids, so what makes us think that they didn’t come do this? We’ve got a president that invites this child, and I’ve got nothing against this kid, the president invites him to our White House, now what if, let’s just say for example, what if this child is carrying a bomb? Is it still smart?”

“I agree one hundred percent with your analysis,” Perkins said.

Donald Trump Heading To Extremist Religious Right Summit

It appears that Donald Trump is stepping up his outreach to the Religious Right, as the Family Research Council today confirmed that the Republican frontrunner will be attending its annual conference, which has become something of a cattle-call for the most radical speakers in the country.

The chief organizer of the Values Voter Summit, FRC’s Tony Perkins, criticized Trump when the candidate initially declined an invitation to the summit, claiming that Trump was neglecting conservative evangelicals and wasn’t trying to “talk about issues they care about” in “a way that is convincing.”

But given that the Values Voter Summit has traditionally been an event at which speakers are wildly cheered for delivering bigoted remarks and self-righteous tirades, Trump will probably fit right in.

Indeed, Trump has embraced the Right’s “persecution complex,” decrying the “War on Christmas” and warning that “before you know it, you won’t be able to go to church.”

He also expounded on his feelings about God during an interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network today:

Well I say God is the ultimate. You know you look at this? Here we are on the Pacific Ocean. How did I ever own this? I bought it fifteen years ago. I made one of the great deals they say ever. I have no more mortgage on it as I will certify and represent to you. And I was able to buy this and make a great deal. That’s what I want to do for the country. Make great deals. We have to, we have to bring it back, but God is the ultimate. I mean God created this (points to his golf course and nature surrounding it), and here’s the Pacific Ocean right behind us. So nobody, no thing, no there’s nothing like God.

Tony Perkins Links Military's 'Preoccupation With Homosexuality' To Afghan Child Abuse Scandal

On Sunday, the New York Times published an alarming account of how U.S. service members were told by higher-ups to ignore the sexual abuse of children by Afghan soldiers fighting the Taliban or else face punishment.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins naturally found a way to link the reported toleration of child abuse to the military’s “preoccupation with homosexuality and transgenderism.”

Perkins told listeners on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch” that President Obama has destroyed the military’s morality with its policies on LGBT service members and supposed persecution of Christians, linking these policies to the alleged allowance of child abuse in Afghanistan.

FRC Sends Out-Of-Control Kim Davis Fundraising Email

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who will be hosting a number of GOP presidential candidates at this week’s Values Voter Summit, sent out a rather alarmist fundraising email today demanding donations to help his group fight the “Hollywood and radical forces” intent on “indoctrinating your children or grandchildren . . . ruining your job or career . . . getting you to compromise your faith . . . go silent . . . shut up . . . affirm sexual immorality . . . or deny key parts of the Bible.”

Referring to Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was found in contempt of court when she tried to stop her entire county office from issuing licenses to gay couples, Perkins warns: “If ‘politically correct’ government officials will put a Christian like Kim in jail for the faith we all SHARE -- well, what plans do they have in store for YOU?”

The WRONG people have plans for you
September 23, 2015

Their attacks are only beginning

$500,000 Matching Grant doubles your gift to help us
stand for you against the plans of anti-family forces

Dear Miranda,

They have big plans for you. Who? The White House. Judges. Radical Left organizations.

What plans?

Ask Kim Davis. She's a Christian like you, and she went to JAIL for her faith -- a faith you and she share.

Consider that carefully. If "politically correct" government officials will put a Christian like Kim in jail for the faith we all SHARE -- well, what plans do they have in store for YOU?

Depending on the circumstances, they'll do whatever is necessary to drive Christianity from influence in America by indoctrinating your children or grandchildren . . . ruining your job or career . . . getting you to compromise your faith . . . go silent . . . shut up . . . affirm sexual immorality . . . or deny key parts of the Bible.

As you know, Kim is the head clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky. When the U.S. Supreme Court ignored the Constitution by inventing a "right" to same-sex marriage, Kim requested a simple religious accommodation so that a marriage license that violated her conscience would go out in some other way than under her authority. It was a reasonable request.

But a judge threw Kim in jail for six days as Hollywood and radical forces cheered. These forces aren't interested in "fairness" or "equality." They want to drive people of faith from public life. THAT IS THEIR PLAN.

And that is why I pray you will give now in response to the Matching Grant . . . help FRC achieve and even exceed our September 30 goal . . . and continue to expose and oppose their plans in the most influential sectors of society.

The White House, ACLU, LGBT organizations, liberal Hollywood stars, and "politically correct" corporations plan to:

  • Threaten your job or career if you try to live your faith openly at work.
  • Destroy your family business if you don't affirm sexual immorality.
  • Attack your favorite Christian ministries if they don't hire homosexuals, cross-dressers, or help provide for abortions.

FRC is working every day to stop them. Our team of dedicated staff members includes top policy experts, researchers, and communication specialists stationed strategically near the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. But our most important team members are supporters like you.

Tony Perkins: No Religious Liberty For Muslims; Islam 'Incompatible With Constitution'

Tony Perkins styles his group, the Family Research Council, as America’s premier defender of religious liberty … even though Perkins himself opposes religious freedom for Muslim-Americans (and perhaps even liberal Christians) and FRC’s vice president has proposed banning mosques and stripping Muslim-Americans of their First Amendment rights.

On his “Washington Watch” radio program yesterday, Perkins repeated his claim that Islam is not protected under the U.S. Constitution.

While discussing GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson’s recent statement that he would never support a Muslim candidate for president, along with the claims of Kim Davis’ critics that a clerk would never receive such praise from the Religious Right had she been a Muslim, Perkins railed against media commentators for “interjecting” Islam “into all of these discussions.” He said that the media is using Islam as a “wedge” to divide conservatives, suggesting that Kim Davis’ decision to impose her Christian beliefs onto her county office was different because Islam is not protected in the Constitution, while Christianity is.

“Religious freedom and our liberty is ordered liberty under the Constitution,” Perkins said. “And as Dr. Carson pointed out, and I know this is driving the left crazy, that Islam is not just a religion, Islam is an economic system, it is a judicial system, it is a compressive system which is incompatible with the Constitution. That’s what Dr. Carson said and he happens to be correct.”

Perkins said that the country is under no obligation to provide legal protections for people “who want to blow — I mean, when was the last time you saw a Baptist trying to blow something up?”

This may surprise Thomas Jefferson, the author of the First Amendment, who made clear while discussing a bill in Virginia that religious freedom protects Muslims and other non-Christians:

Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word "Jesus Christ," so that it should read, "a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.

Perkins’ remarks also go up against the Treaty of Tripoli, which was negotiated under George Washington, signed by John Adams and approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate in 1797.

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

The only thing Perkins’ remarks truly reveal is that the Family Research Council is more interested in promoting bigoted attacks on minority rights than actually protecting religious freedom.

Who's Who At The Values Voter Summit 2015

Next weekend, GOP presidential contenders and top lawmakers will mingle with some of the most extreme Religious Right activists in the country at the Values Voter Summit, an annual event in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, American Values, and others.

Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham and Ben Carson have all confirmed that they will be speaking at the event. Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich have been invited but have not yet confirmed their attendance, according to the event’s website. Jeb Bush, who was snubbed by FRC at last year’s event, declined to attend but will send a video address. Donald Trump is the only presidential candidate to have publicly turned down the invitation, provoking the ire of FRC’s president, Tony Perkins.

Candidates who attend the Values Voter Summit choose to align themselves with some of the most radical activists and organizations working to dehumanize LGBT people, erode reproductive rights, demolish the separation between church and state, and eliminate First Amendment rights for religious minorities.

The Family Research Council routinely smears LGBT people with false and degrading pronouncements and campaigns for a United States ruled by the dicta of a small faction of fundamentalists Christians. Another principal sponsor of the summit, the American Family Association, has an equally extreme record.

In addition to the abhorrent record of the sponsors of this event, the presidential candidates will also be joined by a host of radical Religious Right speakers.

Below is an introduction to some of the people who will be sharing the stage with the Republican presidential hopefuls.

Tony Perkins

As the president of the Family Research Council, the summit’s main sponsor, Tony Perkins heads the organization’s efforts to erode gay rights, reproductive rights, and the separation of church and state.

FRC continually expresses hostility to the rights of Americans who don’t share his conservative brand of Christianity. Last year, Perkins suggested that the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections do not apply to Muslims, not surprising for the leader of an organization that once issued a statement that read, “[W]hile it is true that the United States of America was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage…. Our Founders … would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference." He similarly suggested that Christians who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious freedoms as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those whom he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”

Perkins has also overseen one of the most anti-gay platforms of any major political organization. FRC officials have expressed support for the criminalization of homosexuality not only in the United States, but also in Malawi and Uganda. Senior fellow Peter Sprigg once said he would “much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He has:

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 fight against terrorism as a holy war between Christianity and Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. He:

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the founder and head of Liberty Counsel, which is the organization currently representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her campaign to deny marriage licenses to gay couples in her county. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government as part of an effort to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and western civilization. Staver has:

Jonathan Cahn

Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn is best known for his novel “The Harbinger,” which asserts that the 9/11 attacks were a result of America losing God’s protection due to its sins.  Cahn also:

Todd Starnes

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

Star Parker

Star Parker is a longtime Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-choice advocacy. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust and blamed “sexual promiscuity” for nearly all financial and societal problems. At the 2011 Values Voter Summit, she claimed that God was getting ready to punish America for marriage equality and legal abortion. Parker has also:

David and Jason Benham

Twin brothers Jason and David Benham were catapulted to national attention when an HGTV show that they were set to star in was cancelled following revelations about their anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Muslim activism. Since the show’s cancellation, the brothers have become martyrs in the eyes of the Religious Right, which has lifted them up as an example of the supposed persecution of conservative Christians in America. One or both of the brothers have:

  • Asserted that the LGBT equality movement is part of a “spiritual fight" between God and the “kingdom run by Satan
  • Compared themselves to ISIS victims
  • Urged the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, to deny permits to an LGBT Pride event, calling it a “vile” and “destructive” activity that “should not be allowed in our city”
  • Compared the fight against marriage equality to opposing Nazi Germany
  • Called an Islamic community center a “den of iniquity” and referred to Muslims as “the enemy attacking" America
  • Organized a prayer rally to coincide with the 2012 Democratic National Convention, declaring that America must repent for “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation”
  • Led protests outside of abortion clinics, praising anti-choice demonstrators for taking a stand at “the gates of hell” and confronting the “altars of Moloch”

Kim Davis

Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, became a Religious-Right folk hero this summer when she refused to allow her office to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. Davis, saying that she was acting under “God’s authority” and wanted to use her county office to spread “God’s word,” spent five nights in jail after a federal judge found her in contempt of court for violating multiple court orders to begin issuing licenses. The viciously anti-gay group Liberty Counsel and its founder Mat Staver has been active supporters of Davis and have been representing her in court

At the summit, Davis will receive FRC’s “Cost of Discipleship” award, which previously went to Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was actually persecuted for her Christian faith. Tony Perkins, the president of FRC, has previously compared Davis’ experience to that of Ibrahim, who was imprisoned for converting to Christianity and was later granted asylum in the U.S.

Casey Davis

Casey Davis (no relation to Kim Davis) is another Kentucky clerk who has refused to grant marriage licenses to gay couples. Davis called the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality a “war on Christianity,” and vowed to go to jail — and even die — in order to protect his “freedom” to deny gay couples marriage licenses.

Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte Gabriel is the founder and president of ACT! for America, where she works with local activists throughout the country to promote fears that Sharia law is taking hold in the U.S. and must be banned and to challenge textbooks that she believes are insufficiently critical of Islam. She makes frequent media appearances to warn of what she calls the “secret Islamification” of the West. Among other attacks on Mulsim-Americans, Gabriel has:

Pat Fagan

Pat Fagan is the director of summit sponsor the Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religious Research Institute. He has compared a UN report criticizing the Vatican over its handling of sexual abuse cases to Kristallnacht, the spate of violence in which Nazis attacked Jews and destroyed their property while German police turned a blind eye, and  has advocated for coming up with new names for gay marriage, such as “garriage,” “larriage” or “harriage,” so that when he says “marriage” it will be clear he means heterosexual marriage. He has said that Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Supreme Court ruling that allowed the distribution of contraception to unmarried people, may be “the single most destructive decision in the history of the Court,” explaining that “functioning” societies “punish” and “shame” people who have sex outside of marriage.

Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson is a Fox contributor and the editor of conservative blog RedState. Constantly pushing for the conservative movement to move further to the right, Erickson has:

Craig James

Former sportscaster Craig James joined the Family Research Council in 2014. In addition to claiming that Obama may secretly be a Muslim, James has:

Aaron & Melissa Klein

Aaron and Melissa Klein are the owners of an Oregon bakery who were sued for violating the state’s nondiscrimination laws when they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. They have since become Religious Right martyrs and were featured by Sen. Ted Cruz in a campaign video. Aaron Klein has said that denying a cake to a gay couple was part of his fight against “Satan.”

Ed Vitagliano

As research director of the American Family Association, Ed Vitagliano is a vocal anti-gay activist. Not only does he believe “pray away the gay” works, but he also claims that gay rights will lead to the destruction of America.

Brent Bozell

Bozell is the Founder and President of the Media Research Center, which works to expose what it claims is rampant “liberal media bias.”

Bozell has:

Tony Perkins: 'Lawlessness' Under Obama Paving The Way For The Antichrist

Yesterday on his “Washington Watch” radio show, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins asked listeners to call in and tell him what they think Congress should do to stand up to President Obama. Almost all of them demanded that Republicans impeach the president, an endeavor Perkins has heartily endorsed in the past.

Near the end of a program, a caller chimed in to “clarify why Obama is doing the things he is doing.” He explained: “The reason why Obama is doing what he is doing, keeping the Christian immigrants from Syria to come over here, because Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy and Obama is possessed by the Devil, Satan himself; that’s why he wants everybody dead, including the United States and Israel, and all the Christians dead because he’s full of the Devil.”

Perkins responded that we are witnessing the fulfillment of biblical prophecy that “in the End Times there will be a spirit of lawlessness and when that comes it will increase.”

“You’d be hard-pressed to say that lawlessness is not increasing in this nation,” he said. “I think that’s part of the age, it’s not a person presently, it will be, it paves the way for what scripture calls the Antichrist, but what we are seeing now is just an environment being fostered of lawlessness, which allows that to spread. Either you are influenced by God and you work for good or you work for evil. I think we need to be praying for our leaders that even if they don’t know God or have not submitted to him, that he will lead them and turn their hearts.”

He added: “I pray for President Obama, it’s hard sometimes and it’s increasingly difficult, but I do pray for him.”

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