Liberty Counsel

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/18/14

Religious Right Cheers On Vladimir Putin As Anti-LGBT Violence In Russia Surges

While most of the news on Russia this week has been focused on the country’s ongoing financial collapse, it is important to highlight a report released by Human Rights Watch on Monday documenting the rise of anti-LGBT violence in Russia along with the ways the government, which recently passed new laws curbing LGBT rights, has ensured virtual impunity for the perpetrators of such attacks. Following the report’s release, Russia added a LGBT legal aid group to a list of NGOs that must register as “foreign agents.”

The uptick in violence against LGBT Russians certainly won't discourage Religious Right activists from supporting Putin, many of whom also seem more than willing to ignore his deadly incursion into Ukraine , support for laws curbing the freedoms of Russian evangelical Christians and other human rights abuses.

Nothing, it seems, can dissuade many of Putin’s American supporters, several of whom recently attended an anti-LGBT conference at the Kremlin, from believing that the U.S. should adopt anti-gay laws modeled on Russia’s, such as a ban on gay “propaganda” and adoption by same-sex parents.

In fact, many Religious Right activists in the U.S. believe that Putin is on a mission from God to save Russia, and the world, from the LGBT community.

Crush on Putin

It is no secret that many conservatives have fallen under Putin’s spell.

Matt Drudge has called Putin the “leader of the free world.” Sarah Palin has fawned over the Russian leader’s wrestling abilities. Franklin Graham has hailed Putin for “protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda” and having “taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.” Larry Jacobs of the World Congress of Families, the group that helped organize the Kremlin meeting, praised Putin last year for “preventing [gay people] from corrupting children.”

Religious Right leader and Iowa GOP kingmaker Bob Vander Plaats has upheld Putin as a world leader in morality. Josh Craddock, who represents Personhood USA at the United Nations, came back from the Kremlin conference cheering on Russia as a “light to the world.” Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver expressed offense last year that Obama would dare criticize Putin.One Fox News host wished that Putin could be president of the United States, even for just 48 hours.

Any violence against Russian gays, one Religious Right group explained, is probably “provoked by homosexual activists.” Massachusetts-based pastor Scott Lively, who has taken credit for inspiring Russia’s “propaganda” law, dismissed anti-LGBT violence in Russia as a “hoax” and told right-wing radio show host Linda Harvey that if violent anti-gay incidents occur, other gay people were likely the perpetrators.

God Will Favor Russia Instead Of America, Thanks Obama

Anti-gay activists think that God has decided to bless Russia, thanks to Putin’s leadership, while punishing the U.S. for passing rebellious gay rights laws. Pat Buchanan clearly articulated this mindset in a column in April titled “Is God Now On Russia’s Side?,” in which he likened the U.S. and Western Europe to Sodom and Gomorrah and cheerfully proclaimed that “Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity.”

In a February column, Don Feder of the World Congress of Families gushed that Putin had become the new Ronald Reagan: “As my friend and Russian pro-family leader Alexey Komov likes to say: 'Under Reagan, America helped to save us from communism. We'd like to return the favor.'”

Lively made the case last year that Putin is “the only world leader capable of standing up to the West” and could “inspire all the morally conservative countries of the world to adopt a similar law that he just adopted.” In the same interview, Lively called Obama the Antichrist.

“The country that’s acting like it’s part of the kingdom of the Antichrist is the United States of America, and Russia is standing against homosexual marriage, they’re standing for traditional family values,” Religious Right radio host Rick Wiles said in September. “The United States is exporting its wickedness, we’re using our power and might to force nations to change their laws to accept abortion, to accept homosexual marriage and homosexual rights, so which country is part of the Antichrist system and which is not?”

Wiles even predicted that the U.S. would soon go to war against Russia “with an atheistic, Jesus-hating, pro-homosexual, pro-lesbian, pro-transgender military and we're going to go up against another military carrying a Christian cross.”

Bring Anti-Gay Laws To The U.S.

Anti-gay activist Matt Barber said earlier this year that it was “encouraging” to see more anti-gay measures coming out of Russia, adding that he would like to see laws that “stop this homosexual activist propaganda from corrupting children in our nation and we need to see that right here in the United States.”

Peter LaBarbera called Russia’s “propaganda” law an “acceptable” and necessary way to stop companies like Disney from “promoting lesbianism to kids,” while American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios said the speech-inhibiting law was just “common sense.”

One of Putin’s most vocal cheerleaders, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, has called him a “lion of Christianity” and repeatedly demanded that the U.S. enact similar bans on gay “propaganda.”

Since the U.S. hasn’t embrace such an anti-gay crackdown, Religious Right activist William Murray writes, Americans are now “fleeing” to Russia in order to avoid LGBT equality at home.

Barber And Staver: The Fight Against Gay Marriage Is 'The Next Civil Rights Movement'

After a federal court struck down North Carolina's ban on gay marriage in October, several magistrates in the state voluntarily left office rather than perform gay marriages and Mat Staver and Matt Barber are not happy about it, using their "Faith and Freedom" radio program today to call upon anti-gay government officials to "stand their ground" by refusing to follow the law ... just like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.

"What would have happened," Barber asked, "if Martin Luther King, Jr. had just stood down and said, 'No, I can't participate in all of this, I'm just going to remain silent, I'm going to resign and go on my way'"?

Instead, he said, magistrates should stay in their positions and tell the government "you're going to have to come after me, you're going to have to fire me, you're going to have to jail me."

"This is about civil rights," Barber said and Staver readily agreed, saying that America is undergoing "a civil rights revolution."

"But it's not the homosexual agenda," Staver said, "because you can't elevate sexually immoral behavior to the level of race or religious freedom as a civil right. It has been historically condemned as immoral, it has been historically, throughout western civilization, been considered a crime against nature. The fact of the matter is you can't take something that has been so historically thought of and elevate it to this preferred level and then force everyone to applaud it without resistance."

More and more Americans, Staver said, are realizing that this "intolerant agenda" must be stopped: "This is not America. This is not freedom. This is totalitarianism."

"Homosexuality is a moral wrong," Barber added, "so this is the next civil rights movement here and it's an anti-Christian attack, systemic, government-organized and facilitated attacks against freedom of religious expression and Christians":

Mat Staver: Homosexuality Part Of Communist Plan To Defeat The West

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel appeared on Tuesday’s edition of “Crosstalk,” Voice of Christian Youth America’s flagship radio program, where he argued that homosexuality will destroy civilization as we know it.

When a caller cited Cleon Skousen’s 1956 book “The Naked Communist” to claim that homosexuality is part of a communist endeavor “to soften America for the final takeover,” Staver completely agreed: “Yes, Skousen has a lot of good writings. In fact, he mentioned that many years ago and here’s where we are today.”

“Same-sex marriage is the beginning of the end of western civilization,” he said. “It really is, it’s that serious.”

Staver said leaders in countries like Peru and Jamaica have told them that Obama is an “interventionist” “with regards to immoral issues,” warning that the president is “using our State Department dollars and the ambassadors that he’s appointed to promote abortion and same-sex marriage.”

He also decried America’s “shameful” opposition to Jamaica’s ban on homosexuality.

Staver recently traveled to the country to defend its laws making it a crime to be gay.

Barber And Staver Think Abortion Causes Breast Cancer Because 'The Wages Of Sin Is Death'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and Matt Barber were discussing what they contend is a link between abortion and breast cancer. While this claim is a favorite of the anti-choice movement, it is disputed by the likes of the American Cancer Society, which says that "scientific evidence does not support the notion that abortion of any kind raises the risk of breast cancer or any other type of cancer."

Nonetheless, Barber and Staver are quite sure that such a link exists because it is only natural for a "sin" like abortion to carry with it deadly consequences.

"Scripture talks about the wages of sin is death," Barber said. "It strikes me that abortion is a sin, abortion is absolutely a sin, so the natural consequence of an unnatural behavior of going in an killing an unborn baby in the mother's womb therefore wreaking havoc, killing the child, that is a sin and the wages of sin there, the natural consequence of that havoc that has been wreaked here is an increased risk of breast cancer."

When Barber sought to clarify that he was not saying that breast cancer is God's way of punishing women who have had abortions, Staver stepped in to say that having an abortion was no different than ingesting poison.

"You take strychnine or you take some kind of poison into your body, you have to expect that there's going to be consequences," Staver said. "It's an obvious natural consequence to an act, a choice that someone makes":

Matt Barber Claims Satan Is 'The Author' Of Gay Marriage

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and Matt Barber were discussing the recent Vatican summit that was attended by a variety of anti-gay American Religious Right activists.

Staver and Barber praised those who attended, especially Rick Warren, for their strong stand against gay marriage, which Barber said was designed by Satan.

"There are flip sides to a coin here," Barber said. "God designed marriage between man and woman in Genesis and Christ himself reiterated this Matthew 19, said it's between a man and a woman. If God is the author of marriage, man-woman marriage, then you have to ask, we're talking about the spiritual context here, who is the author of this perverted marriage, idea of marriage, which is the flip-side of the coin? God is the author of natural marriage. The Enemy is the author of unnatural marriage, and that's what we're talking about here, unnatural marriage, counterfeit marriage. It's the flip side of the coin. It's light and dark":

Barber And Staver Blame Ferguson Unrest On Obama And Secular Government

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Mat Staver and Matt Barber discussed the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, which they predictably blamed on President Obama and the separation of church and state.

Barber asserted that "the greatest solution for reconciliation is in the person of Jesus Christ," declaring that America must experience a revival in which people turn "toward the founder of the universe and he who is responsible, I don't care what anybody says, for the founding of this great nation."

Staver, the head of Liberty Counsel, declared that there would have been unrest in Ferguson regardless of what the grand jury decided because of the lack of state-sponsored religion.

"When we start booting God out of the schools and we boot him out of our communities and we have the silly lawsuits by Freedom From Religion Foundation and others who just want to erase God from the public square," Staver said, "there's consequences when we operate in an environment that is godless."

Barber then replied that the "lawlessness" in Ferguson was entirely predictable and largely the fault of President Obama.

"When we have a president himself who engages in lawlessness, he sets a precedent, he sets an example for others to follow," Barber declared. "He himself has been ruling as an imperial ruler and so it really is frankly not that surprising to me that we would see these rabble-rousers en masse go and burn down these buildings and stuff in a lawless manner":

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 12/3/14

  • Liberty Counsel is taking its fight against New Jersye's ban on "ex-gay" therapy all the way to the Supreme Court.
  • David Jeremiah says that "yes, we are in the End Times."
  • Gina Miller has a warning about gay marriage: "This is one major way in which the Godless Marxists behind this movement are working to accomplish the outlawing of Christianity and freedom of speech, expression and association of the American people."
  • Franklin Graham says that the "War on Christmas" is the work of the Devil: "The world, the flesh and the devil all hate the mere mention of His glorious name. They are mortal enemies of the Savior."
  • Obviously, the unrest in Ferguson shows why immigration reform is a terrible idea.
  • Armstrong Williams, who is Ben Carson's business manager, wants everyone to know that the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, which has been raking in millions of dollars, is exploiting the ignorance of donors and has nothing to do with Carson.

Mat Staver To Headline Jamaica Conference Hosted By Group Defending Anti-Sodomy Laws

American Religious Right leaders Mat Staver and Judith Reisman are scheduled to be featured speakers at a conference in Jamaica this weekend hosted by a group that has been working to preserve the country’s criminal ban on consensual gay sex.

The annual conference, hosted by the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, will focus on how “[c]ontemporary society has become increasingly hostile to the traditional definitions of marriage and family” and Staver, the head of Liberty Counsel, will discuss “global legal trends impacting the institution of the family.”

JCHS’s conference has drawn prominent American anti-gay activists before. In 2012, two top lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom spoke at the conference, one of whom defended Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law, calling homosexuality “harmful not only spiritually and psychologically, but also physically.” Last year, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality’s Peter LaBarbera made an appearance at the conference, urging Jamaicans: “Do not be like us, do not be like Britain, do not sit idly by as so-called ‘LGBT activists’ manipulate words and laws to achieve dominance in your country.”

LaBarbera distanced himself from the U.S. State Department’s support for LGBT rights around the world, telling attendees (as transcribed by a Buzzfeed reporter who attended):

I do not stand with my government. I’m a patriotic American, but I do not stand with the current United States government in its promotion of homosexuality and gender confusion. But I do stand with the Jamaican people … I pray that you will learn from our mistakes and from lessons of history and avoid the inevitable moral corruption and health hazards and the danger to young people that come from capitulating to this sin movement that calls itself gay. It is almost now can be predicted with 100 percent accuracy, if the law is a teacher: If you take down this law, it will only lead to more demands. Appeasement does not work.

MassResistance’s Brian Camenker has also headlined a rally for the group.

The groups organizing the conference have opposed efforts to overturn the country’s anti-sodomy laws, which impose up to 10 years imprisonment for gay sex. Jamaica CAUSE, a cosponsor, organized rallies earlier this year to oppose an effort to overturn the law. The main sponsor, Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, also supports keeping the laws. On its website, JCHS provides a document called “Frequently Asked Questions About The Buggery Law” that attributes homosexuality to “economic reasons, direct Satanic influence, media and entertainment enticement, and experiences during incarceration” and cautions, “If determining human rights is separated from morality and based on individual freedom without any restraints, all perversions will in due time become ‘rights’.”

In a section on countries with greater freedom for LGBT people, the group adopts the American Right’s persecution messaging:

Why is it so important to certain countries, such as the UK, that Jamaica removes the buggery law?

Homosexuals in those countries have gained political power and so are able to use the machinery of the state to achieve their ends. It is interesting to note that the aim in these countries is not just that the buggery law is repealed, but that all types of sexual behaviour, including pedophilia and bestiality, should be eventually legalized as alternative sexual orientations. Further, the removal of the buggery law often results in attacks on freedom of speech and religion so that those who speak out against homosexuality are discriminated against and victimized. They want all types of sexual behavior to be legal.

JCHS defends Jamaica’s anti-sodomy, or “buggery,” law this way:

Since the buggery law is difficult to police shouldn’t it be removed from the books? Laws have multiple roles. (i) instruction on right behaviour that benefit individuals and society (ii) deterrence against wrong behaviour (iii) punishment for wrong behaviour. The law of the land bears witness to that which the state approves. This is important because this determines, for example, what can and can’t be taught to children in schools. Laws against murder, littering and traffic violations have not prevented these activities but that is no reason for these laws to be removed. Because a law cannot be policed does not mean it should be removed.

The group also provides images like this as “media resources”:

Staver: Like Nazi Germany, America Will Fall If It Does Not Support Israel

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Mat Staver made the incoherent case that the United States must stand firm in its support of Israel because states that do not do so eventually go out of existence while the nation of Israel continues to exist.

Staver asserted that, throughout history, every nation that has opposed Israel has fallen, starting with Egypt and continuing up through Nazi Germany, warning that America will face the same fate if this nation does not stand by Israel.

"Egypt, the most powerful nation on the planet, that regime of the Pharaohs is gone," Staver asserted. "Now the land of Egypt is still there but the government that was in existence is gone. Israel still exists as an identifiable nation, the language is still there. Babylon, that most powerful nation on the planet, stood against Israel. Babylon is gone, [it's now] modern day Iraq or Baghdad. The Persian government that went against Israel to some extent but also then helped Israel to go back and rebuild the temple, it's gone. It's modern day Iran. You go through year after year, decade after decade, century after century, the Nazi Germany machine, becoming the most powerful government on the planet. The Nazi German machine is gone."

"America needs to stand with Israel," Staver concluded, "because there's been one constant through history, through millennia of human history, and that is Israel has existed no matter the opposition it's faced":

Staver: Marijuana Should Be Illegal Because Pot Smoking Crane Operators Are Putting Everyone At Risk

Not all of last's week election results were welcome by the Religious Right since, in addition to Republican gains, marijuana was also legalized by voters in two states and the District of Columbia.

Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver is very alarmed by these developments, saying on his "Faith and Freedom" radio program today that while he is normally an advocate of limited government, such is not the case when it comes to marijuana because pot smoking drivers and crane operators are putting everyone else at risk!

When Staver is driving down the road, he explained, he has a right "to be safe in my person" which is being undermined if other people are smoking pot because "it puts everyone out on that road at risk."

"The crane operator that's lifting this huge crane object over the top of a building in downtown Orlando or wherever it might be puts somebody at risk if they're there smoking marijuana," Staver warned.

Of course, driving or operating heavy machinery under the influence are already crimes in every state and legalizing recreational use of marijuana will not change those laws in any way. But if Staver is so concerned about remaining "safe in his person" in all public situations, we have to wonder how long it will be before he is launches a crusade to also outlaw the recreational use of alcohol and reinstate Prohibition?

Mat Staver's Bizarre Justification For Maintaining The 'Nuclear Option'

After the Republican gains in last week's election, right-wing activists immediately sent a letter to Senate Republicans urging them not to re-institute the 60-vote threshold for overriding filibusters against judicial nominees when they take control of the Senate in the next term, after Democrats eliminated it through the so-called "nuclear option" last year.

Among those who signed on to the letter was Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver, who discussed the importance of banning the use of the filibuster on today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast by asserting that doing so would somehow teach the Democrats a lesson by forcing President Obama to now nominate more moderate judicial candidates.

Staver and co-host Shawn Akers both seemed convinced that not re-instituting the 60-vote filibuster threshold would somehow constrain Obama for the remainder of his term and gloated as if this was sort of ironic comeuppance for the Democrats for having changed the rule.

"The Democrats wanted to hurt America by taking it away," Staver said, "and putting in these radical nominees. Now they're going to have the live with the medicine. They're going to live with what they did. We shouldn't re-institute it on these judges and this will help us block these radical judges. Obama is either gonna not be able to appoint anybody to the bench or he's going to have to moderate and bring some people in that are not these radicals that he's been putting on the benches across the country":

Of course, the entire point of doing away with the filibuster was because Republicans, who were in the minority, had been using it to routinely block the Democratic majority in the Senate from confirming President Obama's judicial nominees. They went so far as to use the filibuster to prevent President Obama from filling any vacancies on the critically important D.C. Circuit Court, and vowed to continue to do so regardless of who he nominated.

Next term, the Republicans will be in control of the Senate and will be able to block the confirmation of Obama's judicial nominees simply by virtue of being the majority party. The likelihood of Democrats seeking to block any of President Obama's judicial nominees is virtually nonexistent, so maintaining the ban on the use of the judicial filibuster will literally have no impact whatsoever.

Tony Perkins: Legalizing Gay Marriage Is Just Like Ignoring Gravity

On his radio program yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins criticized marriage equality supporters for trying to “marginalize and silence those who support traditional marriage,” warning that the success of the gay rights movement will have grave consequences.

Despite the recent string of court victories in favor of marriage equality, Perkins said “marriage will be an issue” on the campaign trail that “will not go away because it’s rooted in nature.”

“You can act like it’s not there, you can act like gravity doesn’t work, but I’m going to tell you it will catch up with you sooner or later and you are going to hit the ground and culturally we are going to hit the ground by ignoring the realities of marriage,” he said.

Later in the show, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel said that by declining appeals from states trying to uphold their bans on same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court effectively spread a “fire” around the country and is now trying to avoid the blame.

Instead of the Supreme Court stepping in and putting a stop to it to allow these marriage amendments to be upheld, something that they hinted at they might do last year, they just stood by the side, crossed their arms and said, ‘It’s not us, it’s the other courts that are doing it, we’re just not going to get involved.’ It’s like pushing a car off the cliff and watching it fall and then saying, ‘We’re not the ones who really caused the damage, it was the impact down below.’

But the Supreme Court started this, they literally took a match and threw it onto a gas can in 2013 [in the Windsor case]. And as that fire began to race across the country they had the ability to put it out and instead they just stood to the side and they’re not going to take the blame for it, but it literally is the blame of the United States Supreme Court with this 5-4 decision in 2013. It is irresponsible, absolutely irresponsible for this court to do that.

Barber: SCOTUS Is 'Tempting The Wrath Of God' With Gay Marriage Decision

Matt Barber and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel continue to fume about the Supreme Court's recent decision to allow several lower-court marriage equality rulings to stand and have dedicated several recent episodes of their "Faith and Freedom" radio program to ranting about it, with Barber at one point warning that America will soon face divine wrath.

On an episode set to run on Tuesday, Barber warns that "homosexual conduct is demonstrably and explicitly, throughout the Old and New Testament, called sin. And when you have a sin-centered redefinition of marriage and the government puts its official stamp on sin, you have the government blessing sin, well, sin cannot be blessed, it cannot be sanctified."

By trying to do so, Barber said, America is "tempting the wrath of God":

Mat Staver: Third Party Needed To Stop Gay Marriage, Just Like With Slavery

Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver, who is still reeling from the Supreme Court’s decision this week to allow several lower-court marriage equality rulings to stand, is now lambasting his fellow Republicans for failing to defend the party’s anti-gay positions.

Staver told Greg Corombos of Radio America yesterday that a third party will be needed to take a strong stance against the legalization of same-sex marriage, just as the Republican Party emerged in the 1850s to oppose slavery as the Whigs were foundering due to divisions on the issue.

When Corombos asked why Republicans have delivered a muted response to the marriage decision, Staver didn’t hold back: “They’re cowards, and if Republicans don’t stand up for this, the party will become a non-issue and there will be a third party that will ultimately take its place. That’s what happened with the issue of slavery and there’s no party that’s immune from this situation.”

He said George W. Bush could have pushed through the Federal Marriage Amendment following the 2004 election but was too fixated on advocating for the privatization of Social Security.

Staver urged Republicans to ignore polls showing growing support for marriage equality: “Just because polls change, that doesn’t make the marriage issue change. You can’t change gravity because a number of people want to fly and get rid of gravity.”

He predicted that the tide will soon turn against gay rights advocates as “more people feel the impact of same-sex marriage, both directly within the family but also specifically with regards to religious liberty.”

Staver added that it is “absolute stupidity” to think that the fight over marriage equality is over: “That would be like saying with regards to Dred Scot, when the Supreme Court said, ‘Sorry Dred Scott, you’re black and blacks are inferior human beings, you don’t have rights of a citizen, therefore the debates over.’ That would be ridiculous then, it’s ridiculous now.”

Mat Staver: 'Shameful' Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling Will Spread Disease

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver delivered a blistering response to the Supreme Court’s decision this week not to take-up marriage equality appeals, telling host Jim Schneider of “Crosstalk” yesterday that the court is endangering public health by effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in several states.

Staver said same-sex marriage should remain illegal because “we know male-male sexual relationships are notoriously harmful, physically as well as mentally, and also female-female, same kinds of things.”

“It’s harmful to the individuals and those harms ultimately effect those around because they’re communicable and other kinds of serious and deadly disease,” he added.

Staver lamented that America is witnessing “a debasing of morals” as county clerks in new marriage equality states begin to issue marriage licenses, with even “people on the sidelines who don’t necessarily participate directly in the debasing acts cheering on those that do.”

“This is not something to cheer about, this is a shameful day in American history, it’s a shameful day that the Supreme Court has ultimately engulfed itself with,” Staver said.

“It’s shameful for the Supreme Court for what they have done to marriage as it has been shameful in the history of the court with regards to the Dred Scott decision or the Buck v. Bell decision, where they said that the state of Virginia can forcibly sterilize her because of this eugenics idea that they want to eliminate the undesirables of the world. That was the shameful day that we ultimately look back with shame upon and I think this is going to be one of those same kind of situations.”

Matt Barber: States Don't Have The Right To Enact Marriage Equality

As federal courts legalized same-sex marriage in several new states this week, Matt Barber unsurprisingly railed against the trend in an appearance on “The Janet Mefferd Show” yesterday. Barber insisted that judges shouldn’t be making decisions regarding state marriage laws, before adding that even state legislatures don’t “have the right” to pass marriage equality laws.

“This doesn’t even belong in the courts,” he told Mefferd. “Marriage is what marriage is, you can no more redefine marriage than you can suspend the laws of gravity. They can say they’re going to do it but it doesn’t alter reality, so the fact is this matter doesn’t belong in the courts. States don’t even have the right to redefine marriage, it’s like saying I want to redefine purple.”

“Gay marriage and religious freedom cannot coexist in harmony,” Barber predicted. “We are going to see more and more anti-Christian persecution and discrimination at levels we could not have imagined. People are starting to see that this is really about attacking Christians and Christianity more so than it’s about this euphemistic ‘marriage equality’ nonsense that they’re throwing out there.”

While Barber doesn’t believe that state legislatures can pass marriage equality laws, he does think governors should simply refuse to follow court rulings they disagree with and resist “San Francisco-style social experimentation.”

I’d love to see a Gov. Rick Perry or a Gov. Mary Fallin say to these federal courts of appeals: ‘Excuse me, get the heck out of Oklahoma, get out of Texas. We the people have voted, this is our state constitution, Baker v. Nelson is clear, the Supreme Court has already spoken on this issue, there is no constitutional right. Thank you for your opinion, but that’s all it is, it is an opinion, and we are going to go ahead and reject that opinion and we are going to go ahead and maintain our constitution and the natural, age-old, millennia-old definition of marriage as between man and woman, we are not going to get into this San Francisco-style social experimentation in Oklahoma and Texas, thank you very much.’ I would love to see somebody with the courage to do that.

The Religious Right Reacts To SCOTUS Gay Marriage Decision: 'Unconscionable, Unconstitutional, And Un-American'

Earlier today, the Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from several states challenging court decisions striking down gay marriage bans, resulting in such marriages now being legal in several more states.

To say that anti-gay Religious Right groups are furious with the Supreme Court would be a massive understatement and nobody was more livid about it than the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, who spent two segments of his radio program today blasting the Supreme Court for having now issued the "de facto Roe vs. Wade of sodomy-based marriage" by "imposing on every state in the union marriage that is based on the infamous crime against nature."

"It unconscionable, unconstitutional, and un-American," Fischer fumed:

Groups like Liberty Counsel were equally outraged, issuing a press release blasting the Court for its "decision to watch marriage burn to ashes:

"This is a total dereliction of duty," said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. "The Supreme Court abandoned its duty to take up or at least hold these marriage cases. The responsibility for the undermining of marriage rests solely at the U.S. Supreme Court. Last year's decision in the Defense of Marriage Act case that started this fire, and today's decision to watch marriage burn to ashes is the responsibility of the Supreme Court. The actions of the Supreme Court in particular, and of the judiciary in general, undermine the rule of law and erode the confidence of the people in the judicial branch of government. When the people lose confidence in the rule of law, the judiciary will lose is legitimacy. Everyone will be affected by same-sex marriage because it is an intolerant agenda that will directly collide with religious freedom," said Staver.

The Family Research Council was likewise outraged, warning that "more and more people [will] lose their livelihoods because they refuse to not just tolerate but celebrate same-sex marriage":

"The Supreme Court decision to not take up these lower court rulings, which  undermine natural marriage and the rule of law, for now, puts the issue of marriage back before the US Congress.  This decision, in part, is an indication that those on the Court who desire to redefine natural marriage recognize the country will not accept a Roe v. Wade type decision on marriage.

"Unfortunately, by failing to take up these marriage cases, the High Court will allow rogue lower court judges who have ignored history and true legal precedent to silence the elected representatives of the people and the voice of the people themselves by overturning state provisions on marriage.   Even more alarming, lower court judges are undermining our form of government and the rights and freedoms of citizens to govern themselves.  This judicially led effort to force same sex 'marriage' on people will have negative consequences for our Republic, not only as it relates to natural marriage but also undermining the rule of and respect for law.

"The Court decision ensures that the debate over natural marriage will continue and the good news is that time is not on the side of those who want to redefine marriage.  As more states are forced to redefine marriage, contrary to nature and directly in conflict with the will of millions, more Americans will see and experience attacks on their religious freedom.   Parents will find a wedge being driven between them and their children as school curriculum is changed to contradict the morals parents are teaching their children.  As more and more people lose their livelihoods because they refuse to not just tolerate but celebrate same-sex marriage, Americans will see the true goal, which is for activists to use the Court to impose a redefinition of natural marriage on the entire nation.

"Congress should respond to today's announcement by moving forward with the State Marriage Defense Act, which is consistent with last year's Windsor ruling and ensures that the federal government in its definition of marriage respects the duly enacted marriage laws of the states," concluded Perkins.

As was the National Organization for Marriage, which called for the passage of a national marriage amendment:

"We are surprised and extremely disappointed that the US Supreme Court has refused to grant review of the same-sex marriage cases pending before them. This is wrong on so many levels. First, the entire idea that marriage can be redefined from the bench is illegitimate. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman; it has been this throughout the history of civilization and will remain this no matter what unelected judges say. Second, it's mind-boggling that lower court judges would be allowed to impose the redefinition of marriage in these states, and our highest court would have nothing to say about it. Third, the effect of the lower court rulings is to say that a constitutional right to same-sex ‘marriage' has existed in every state in the union since 1868 when the 14th Amendment was ratified, but somehow nobody noticed until quite recently. That's the absurd belief we are being told to accept.

"It's possible that the Supreme Court wants to wait to take a case when a Circuit split develops so that it can rule in favor of the people's right to define marriage as it has always been defined. We're hopeful that the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule in our favor and that the Supreme Court will then take that case and decide that marriage is not unconstitutional.

"At the same time, given what the Supreme Court has allowed to happen, the only alternative to letting unelected judges impose their view of marriage on Americans across the country is to pursue a process that will allow the American people to decide for themselves what is marriage. It is critical not only to marriage but to the republican form of government in this country to amend the Constitution to reaffirm the meaning of marriage. We therefore call on the US Congress to move forward immediately to send a federal marriage amendment to the states for ratification.

"We call upon Americans vigorously to contest this development by turning to the political process, starting with the upcoming mid-term elections. We urge voters to hold politicians accountable and demand to know if they will accept the illegitimate act of attempting to redefine marriage or whether they will stand with the American people to resist. In particular, we urge Republicans to hold their party leaders to account, and to demand that they remain true to their belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman which was a pillar of the party's founding in 1856, and remains essential to society's well-being today.

Focus on the Family warned that it will result in a "further expansion of threats to religious freedom"

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to accept five state marriage cases sets the stage for the further spread of same-sex marriage, and with it, a further expansion of threats to religious freedom.

Marriage has always been – and will always be – between a man and a woman.  Ultimately, no court can change that truth.  So regardless of legal outcomes, we’ll continue to address the importance of one-man, one-woman marriage to families, society and especially for children who have a right to both a mother and a father.

Our concern continues to be for children who deserve to grow up with both a mom and a dad, as well as for the religious freedom rights of people who strongly believe in God’s design for marriage and want to live consistently with those beliefs.

Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition called the decision a "miscarriage of justice" and warned that the Supreme Court will "reap a political whirlwind":

Today’s Supreme Court decision not to hear appeals of lower-court rulings that legalized same-sex marriage in five states is a miscarriage of justice that lays the predicate for a Roe v. Wade decision on marriage that will impose same-sex marriage on the entire country by judicial fiat.  The Court’s action has the effect of overturning the will of the voters in Indiana, Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, including instances in which state constitutions were amended to codify marriage as the union between a man and a woman.  Today’s decision further insures that the marriage issue will motivate and mobilize voters of faith who are concerned about marriage and deeply resent having the institution redefined contrary to the clearly expressed will of the people by federal judges who legislate from the bench.  For candidates running in 2014 and those who run for president in 2016, there will be no avoiding this issue.  If the Supreme Court is planning a Roe v. Wade on marriage, it will sow the wind and reap a political whirlwind.

The Florida Family Policy Council's John Stemberger warned that "Supreme Court risks losing enormous institutional legitimacy" if it rules in favor of gay marriage:

Over the last 15 years, more than 40 million Americans in more than 30 states have voted at the ballot box to define marriage as one man and one woman – the same definition of marriage used worldwide. In the last nano-second of human civilization, some U.S. judges have attempted to ignore and erase those votes. The Supreme Court risks losing enormous institutional legitimacy if they ignore biology, logic, anthropology, social science and the collective wisdom of human history, and overturn an act of direct democracy by such an overwhelming number of American voters who protected marriage in their state constitutions.

Marriage is about more than who you love; it’s about bringing together the two great halves of humanity, male and female-- not gay and straight. Also it’s important to recognize that legalizing same-sex marriage ignores and eliminates the importance of gender in society: it costs kids either a mom or a dad (who are not interchangeable), and it costs people of faith their First Amendment rights as government imposes the new definition across all aspects of society. States and counties that have so-called “non-discrimination” laws which cover sexual orientation are being used as weapons to punish people of faith, and mainly Christians, for failure to facilitate or host same sex marriage ceremonies. We as a state and a society need to carefully count those costs before we run headlong into this latest social experiment with marriage, which will have negative impact on so many areas of life and law."

Influential Religious Right Donor Indicted For His Role In The Lisa Miller Kidnapping Case

For over five years, we have been covering the case of Lisa Miller, a self-proclaimed ex-gay who was represented by Liberty Counsel in her effort to prevent her former partner from having shared custody of the daughter they had together. After repeatedly refusing to comply with court orders granting her former partner, Janet Jenkins, visitation rights, Miller was eventually stripped of custody and ordered to transfer custody to Jenkins, at which point Miller kidnapped her daughter and fled the country to a Mennonite community in Central America.

Liberty Counsel immediately tried to wash its hands of any involvement in this kidnapping, which proved problematic once it was revealed that Miller and her daughter were reportedly staying at a home in Nicaragua owned by a man named Philip Zodhiates whose daughter just so happened to work at the Liberty University Law School, where Miller's attorneys, Mat Staver and Rena Lindevaldsen, both worked.

Liberty Law School was hit with a RICO lawsuit for the role it allegedly played in aiding Miller in the kidnapping and disappearance and now Philip Zodhiates, an influential Religious Right donor, has been indicted [PDF] in New York for conspiring with two other men (both also named Miller but neither having any relation to Lisa) to help Lisa Miller kidnap her daughter:

COUNT 1

(Conspiracy)

The Grand Jury Charges That:

From in or about September 2009 to in or about November 2009, in the Western District of New York, and elsewhere, the defendants, LISA MILLER, PHILIP ZODHIATES, and TIMOTHY MILLER, did knowingly, willfully and unlawfully combine, conspire and agree together and with Kenneth Miller and others, known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to commit an offense against the United States, that is, to remove a child, J1, a person known to the Grand Jury, from the United States and to retain that child, who had been in the United States, outside the United States, with intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights, in violation of Title 18, United States Code,
Section 1204.

Overt Acts

In order to effect the object of the conspiracy, the following acts were committed by the defendants and others in the Western District of New York and elsewhere:

1. On or about September 21, 2009, defendant LISA MILLER, J1, and defendant PHILIP ZODHIATES travelled from Virginia to the Buffalo, New York, area.

2. On or about September 21, 2009, defendant PHILIP ZODHIATES had telephone contact from the Buffalo, New York area with Kenneth Miller.

3. On or about September 21, 2009, defendant PHILIP ZODIATES had telephone contact from the Buffalo, New York area with an individual in Canada who had agreed to help transport defendant LISA MILLER in Canada.

4. On or about September 22, 2009, defendant LISA MILLER and J1 travelled across the Rainbow Bridge from Niagara Falls, New York, to Canada.

5. On or about September 22, 2009, defendant PHILIP ZODIATES had telephone contact from the Buffalo, New York area with an individual in Canada who helped transport defendant LISA MILLER in Canada.

6. On or about September 22, 2009, defendant PHILIP ZODHIATES had telephone contact from the Buffalo, New York area with Kenneth Miller. All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.

COUNT 2

(International Parental Kidnapping)

The Grand Jury Further Charges That:

On or about September 22, 2009, in the Western District of New York, and elsewhere, the defendants, LISA MILLER, PHILIP ZODHIATES, and TIMOTHY MILLER, with intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights, did knowingly remove, and aid and abet the removal of, a child, J1, a person known to the Grand Jury, from the United States.

All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1204 and 2.

Holding The Religious Right To Its Own Standard

A few weeks ago, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was speaking to students at the University of Minnesota Law School when she made the rather straightforward observation that if 6th Circuit Court of Appeals follows other recent court decisions and strikes down gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, then the prospects of the Supreme Court taking up the issue of marriage equality would be less likely in the near term.

The reasoning behind this statement is that if appellate courts consistently strike down such bans, then the Supreme Court will not need to get involved right away whereas, if the 6th Circuit were to uphold such bans, that would create a conflict among recent appellate rulings and so, as Ginsburg said, "there will be some urgency" for the Supreme Court to take up with issue in order to address those conflicting rulings.

There is nothing controversial or improper about this obvious observation, but anti-gay Religious Right groups have seized upon it to launch a campaign demanding that Ginsburg recuse herself from any Supreme Court case involving the issue of marriage equality on the grounds that she has violated the Judicial Code of Conduct by "making public comment on the merits of a pending or impending action."

As Liberty Counsel, which first launched this effort, declared:

“In casting a vote publicly before the case is even heard, Justice Ginsburg has violated the Judicial Code of Conduct,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “It is now her duty to recuse herself from cases involving same-sex marriage.”

According to Canon 2 of the Judicial Code of Conduct, “A judicial employee should not lend the prestige of the office to advance or to appear to advance the private interests of others.”

Canon 3(D) declares, “A judicial employee should avoid making public comment on the merits of a pending or impending action.”

“Justice Ginsburg’s comments implied that the merits of the state constitutional amendments defining marriage as one man and one woman were such that the Supreme Court would have to overturn them with haste, if upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals,” said Staver. “This is an inappropriate comment for any judicial employee, much less a Supreme Court Justice!”

The call has since been echoed by the Foundation for Moral Law, Faith 2 Action, and the American Family Association, where Bryan Fischer and former Liberty Counsel attorney Steve Crampton recently discussed the need for right-wing activists to "beat on our pots" in order to create so much political pressure on Ginsburg and Justice Elena Kagan that they have no choice but to recuse themselves from any such cases.

In fact, just yesterday, Fischer wrote a column arguing that Ginsburg and Kagan would be "committing a federal crime" if they did not recuse themselves:

The Supreme Court will, perhaps even in this session, take up the issue of sodomy-based marriage. If it does, justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan will have an obligation to step off the bench for those cases on the grounds that their impartiality has been severely compromised.

Both have performed sodomy-based “wedding” ceremonies. Kagan performed her first one on September 22 of this year, and Ginsburg has done the deed multiple times, including at least one in the Supreme Court building itself. Thus they have clearly tipped their hand by their actions as well as their words. They have publicly demonstrated that their minds are already made up on the issue. It is inconceivable that either of them now would vote against the “marriages” they themselves have solemnized. They would stand self-condemned.

...

[T]he necessity for Kagan and Ginsburg to recuse is not just a matter of fairness or rightness. It’s also a matter of law. They have a statutory obligation to recuse. If they refuse to step off the bench when and if marriage cases come before them, they would be breaking federal law. They would be, from a strictly legal standpoint, committing a federal crime. Their sacred responsibility is to uphold the law, not break it.

So it was with great interest that we read this article in The Washington Times yesterday reporting on remarks made by Justice Antonin Scalia at Colorado Christian University in which he stated that the separation of church and state is "utterly absurd" and the idea that the government must remain neutral on the issue of religion is "just a lie":

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Wednesday that secularists are wrong when they argue the Constitution requires religious references to be banished from the public square.

Justice Scalia, part of the court’s conservative wing, was preaching to the choir when he told the audience at Colorado Christian University that a battle is underway over whether to allow religion in public life, from referencing God in the Pledge of Allegiance to holding prayers before city hall meetings.

“I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over nonreligion,” Justice Scalia said.

“That’s a possible way to run a political system. The Europeans run it that way,” Justice Scalia said. “And if the American people want to do it, I suppose they can enact that by statute. But to say that’s what the Constitution requires is utterly absurd.”

...

“We do him [God] honor in our pledge of allegiance, in all our public ceremonies,” Justice Scalia said. “There’s nothing wrong with that. It is in the best of American traditions, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. I think we have to fight that tendency of the secularists to impose it on all of us through the Constitution.”

The biggest danger lies with judges who interpret the Constitution as a malleable document that changes with the times, he said.

“Our [the court‘s] latest take on the subject, which is quite different from previous takes, is that the state must be neutral, not only between religions, but between religion and nonreligion,” Justice Scalia said. “That’s just a lie. Where do you get the notion that this is all unconstitutional? You can only believe that if you believe in a morphing Constitution.”

Given that Scalia was very clearly "making public comment" in a way that directly relates to a whole host of church-state separation questions that could potentially come before the Supreme Court at any time, we trust that these Religious Right groups will now demand that he recuse himself from any such cases as well, right?

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