Liberty Counsel

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?

Who Does Glenn Beck Really Stand With: Russian Gays Or America's Religious Right?

Shortly after Russia passed its new spate of anti-gay laws, Glenn Beck said he was so offended by one Russian commentator who called for the mass killing of gays and lesbians that he would “stand with GLAAD” against the growing tide of anti-gay bigotry and “hetero-fascism” in the country.

At the same time, however, Beck was heaping praise on anti-gay activists such as Mat Staver, the Liberty Counsel attorney who endorsed draconian anti-gay laws in Russia and Malawi.

Then, this weekend, Beck took the same stand against growing Russian “hetero-fascism” in his closing speech at the Values Voter Summit, even though many of the summit’s sponsors and his fellow speakers have openly backed harsh anti-gay laws in Russia and throughout the world.

To begin with, Tony Perkins, the president of the summit’s chief sponsor, the Family Research Council, defended Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill when it included provisions making homosexuality a crime punishable by life imprisonment or death.

Beck’s fellow Values Voter Summit speakers included not only Staver and Perkins but also Peter Sprigg, the FRC spokesman who called for the U.S. to export gay people and criminalize homosexuality. The American Family Association also sponsored the summit, and its spokesmen Bryan Fischer and Sandy Rios have also endorsed Russia’s anti-gay policies, with Fischer even backing Uganda’s law.

Maybe Beck was trying to hold Religious Right leaders at the summit to task for their support of brutal anti-gay policies. But if that’s the case, Beck should start confronting them directly when they come on his show, rather than singing their praises and appearing at their conferences while calling policies they support “fascist.”

Liberty Counsel Warns The 'Nanny State' Will Target Anti-Gay Christians

On Saturday afternoon, Liberty Counsel hosted a panel discussion at the Values Voter Summit on “The Assault of Constitutional Rights Under a Nanny State.” The discussion linked concerns about NSA surveillance – a concern shared by many progressive groups – to the Religious Right’s fear of anti-Christian persecution through the Affordable Care Act and LGBT rights.

Liberty Counsel founder and chair Mat Staver quickly used a discussion about the danger of letting national security agencies collect reams of data to stoke fears about government persecution of conservative Christians.

With the amount of metadata that can be collected off a smart phone, Staver said, “they can actually know that someone was at the Values Voter Summit and list those people as suspect conservative activists.”

“Of course, this administration would never want to do that,” he added sarcastically.

Bringing up fears that the IRS is targeting conservative organizations, Staver said, “I believe every other administrative agency is being used in a very similar way to target the opponents of President Obama.”

When a questioner asked about the danger of the government spying on Christians under the guise of national security, Staver agreed: “Your concern is a legitimate one and we’re going to see more and more of that.”

The bulk of the discussion focused on fears that gay rights will lead to the persecution of conservative Christians.

Staver and Liberty Counsel attorney Harry Mihet pointed to the lawsuit against anti-gay activist Scott Lively by the group Sexual Minorities of Uganda for Lively’s role in crafting draconian anti-gay legislation in Uganda. Staver warned that the lawsuit, which is still pending in U.S. courts, represents an attempt by “the intolerant homosexual lobby” to “punish people who travel overseas to speak on pro-family or pro-life issues in other countries” and to “intimidate” others into not going.

Mihet saw a deeper goal. “The end game plan here is to punish not only speech that takes place overseas but also speech that takes place here in the United States,” he said. “They are not bashful or subtle about the game plan here, this is it.”

They also discussed bans in California and New Jersey on providing “ex-gay” therapy to minors, which Mihet said were part of an “intense and coordinated effort to silence people of faith when it comes to the subject of homosexuality.”

“Folks, we’re talking abut the United States of America, not China, not Russia, not communist Romania where I grew up,” he said, adding that he saw a future where “the only thing that matters is the sexual orthodoxy that the government wants you to adopt.”

One of the more surprising parts of the discussion came when Staver directly addressed the tension between the Religious Right’s call to defy court rulings it doesn’t agree with on gay rights and what it sees as the Obama administration’s ignoring of court decisions that it doesn’t like. “We have the Supreme Court being the ultimate arbiter and everybody abides by that,” he said, but  “it wasn’t always that way.” He mentioned that Presidents Jefferson, Jackson and Lincoln all bucked court decisions that they felt were wrong. “We’re seeing that in the opposite way today with Eric Holder,” he continued. Although he disagreed with many of Holder’s decisions, he said, “this is something that Jefferson, Jackson and Lincoln did back in history.”

Staver: 'You And I Are Being Forced To Participate In Human Genocide By The HHS Mandate'

While addressing the Values Voter Summit this morning, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver trotted out his favorite claim that the contraception mandate means that America is literally worse than countries like Nazi Germany or Rwanda because those nations never forced their citizens to directly participate in carrying out genocide.

"Now, in America of all places, you and I are being forced to participate in human genocide by the HHS mandate," Staver said.

"We've never been forced in any time in world history to participate in the killing of innocent people and yet today we are," he continued. "No generation has faced what we currently face now ... and we cannot be silent in the face of this tragedy [of] human genocide being forced upon Americans":

Mat Staver Is Furious About Being Labeled An Anti-Gay Extremist

Mat Staver spent a good portion of his speech at the Values Voter Summit today fuming over a letter sent by People For the American Way, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and five other civil rights and LGBT organizations to Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus, asking members of the GOP not to participate in the conference, citing the anti-gay extremism of its sponsors.

Staver's organization, Liberty Counsel, is among those very sponsors and he is not very happy about being labeled an anti-gay extremist, despite this long and documented record of being one. Staver fumed that he is being attacked merely for believing "in God's natural created order of male and and female and marriage as the union of one man and one woman."

"For me believing in something that is that obvious," he complained, "I am considered by some groups to be a hater. But I hate no one. I hate no one, but I believe in God's truth and I will not be silent in the face of intimidation."

In an effort to prove that he is not an extremist, Staver then went on to liken himself to Jesus when he turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple before declaring that marriage equality teaches that children do not need mothers or fathers.

"That is an absolute lie from the very pit of Hell," he said:

Matt Barber Can't Decide Whether He Loves Or Hates The Freedom From Religion Foundation

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Matt Barber was absolutely livid about letters of complaint sent by the Freedom From Religion Foundation to several school districts in Florida objecting to the practice of appointing chaplains for high school football teams, among other things.

School officials agreed to change these policies and Barber was not at all happy, calling the FFRF a "crazy" anti-Christian segregation organization that engages in "religious cleansing" by using "absurd" and "stupid" arguments, before asserting that groups like FFRF, the ACLU, and we here at People For the American Way are nothing more than "paper tigers" who need to just be fanned away like the "little flies buzzing around your head" and told to "go away."

But then Barber suddenly changed his tune when co-host Mat Staver reminded him that what "Satan intends of evil, God will turn things around for good."

"Amen," Barber responded, "and that has been the case historically from A.D. 1 and before, when it comes to Christianity. Christianity thrives and explodes under persecution and oppression, so I'm starting to wonder now if this Freedom From Religion Foundation might actually be a covert Christian organization that is intending to spread revival and an explosion in the church nationwide in public schools, and in the military, and throughout public forums. Keep it up, guys. Keep it up Freedom From Religion Foundation, you are helping spread the Gospel and the growth of Christianity."

Barber: Marchers Should Denounce 'Homosexual Enslavement Lifestyles' At St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Earlier this month, organizers of New York's annual St. Patrick's Day parade announced that, for the first time, they would allow a gay group to march in the parade. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who is serving as grand marshal of the parade, said that he has "no trouble with the decision at all" and that is not sitting well with Mat Staver and Matt Barber, who used today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast to blast Dolan as "unchristian" and to call upon other parade participants to protest this "evil" decision.

Barber said that there was no reason for parade organizers to make this sort of change because doing so is "completely counterbiblical" and the parade has now put its stamp of approval upon mortal sin. He then blasted Cardinal Dolan for his "unchristian statement" in support of the change as Staver called upon Catholics to voice their outrage to Dolan and parade organizers in protest.

Barber completely agreed, suggesting that other parade participants should carry banners and signs during the parade protesting the participation of gay groups and use the parade as an opportunity to preach that "there is actually freedom from these homosexual enslavement lifestyles."

"This is an opportunity to use that which is intended for evil," Barber said, "and this is evil, we need to be very clear here, use that which is intended for evil for good."

"Why would you put on parade someone who is promoting harmful, destructive behavior such as this?" Staver asked, wondering if parade organizers would also allow adulterers or drunkards or swingers to march. "Why would you put on parade something that is immoral, such as same-sex activity?"

The GOP's Hate Summit: A Who's Who Of The 2014 Values Voter Summit

This weekend, Republican elected officials including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Gov. Bobby Jindal will take part in what has become an annual ritual for potential GOP presidential contenders: they will seek to curry the favor of the Religious Right by speaking at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit.

In doing so, they put themselves in the company of some of the most radical groups and activists working today to dehumanize LGBT people, roll back reproductive rights, tear down the wall between church and state, and deny free exercise rights to religious minorities.

The Values Voter Summit’s sponsor, the Family Research Council, regularly issues false and demeaning smears about LGBT people and advocates for an America ruled according to the dictates of a small sliver of right-wing Christians. Just this month, the group’s president Tony Perkins suggested that the Constitution’s religious liberty protections do not apply to Muslims.

The other primary sponsors of the event, the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, and Gary Bauer’s American Values have equally if not more egregious records of extremism. In addition, a number of fringe groups are contributing to the conference by sponsoring exhibition tables, including Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), which pushes discredited conversion therapy on LGBT people; the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR); and the World Congress of Families, which works with activists throughout the world to push harsh anti-gay laws.

But the Values Voter Summit’s speakers do not have to visit the event’s exhibition hall to encounter extremism. They will find plenty of that in their fellow speakers. Below is an introduction to some of the speakers who will be sharing a stage with prominent GOP elected officials at this week’s summit.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the chief sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Now a widely recognized spokesman for social conservative causes, Perkins served two terms as a Republican legislator in the Louisiana House of Representatives before launching a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2002. Perkins has:

  • Contended that the anti-bullying “It Gets Better” project is “immoral,” “disgusting,” and promotes “perversion.”
  • Defined efforts by the Obama administration to advance LGBT rights abroad as a push for “radical sexualism” and “global homosexuality.”
  • Praised a Uganda bill that would have condemned gays and lesbians to death as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.”
  • Warned that LGBT rights advocates will launch a holocaust against Christians, placing those that oppose same-sex marriage into “boxcars.”
  • Suggested that Christian clergy who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious liberties as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”
  • Warned that lawmakers who voted to repeal the military ban on openly gay service members would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin earned a public rebuke from President George W. Bush when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the "War on Terror" as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. In 2012, he was named executive vice president of the Family Research Council.

Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative, and once told the group that President Obama used health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him. Boykin has also:

  • Suggested that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell led to the “absolute destruction of our military.”
  • Described CIA head John Brennan as “very sympathetic to the jihadist cause.”
  • Denounced the repeal of laws banning women from military combat service.
  • Blamed the Sandy Hook school massacre on the presence of secularism in society.

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the dean of the Liberty University School of Law and the founder and chairman of its affiliate, Liberty Counsel, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government in order to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and Western civilization. Through his position at Liberty Counsel, Staver has:

Gary Bauer

Gary Bauer is the president of Values Voter Summit sponsor American Values, a former president of the Family Research Council, and one-time Republican presidential hopeful. While serving in the Reagan administration as a Department of Education official, Bauer was named chairman of the president’s Special Working Group on the Family. Bauer has:

  • Reacting to A&E’s suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for racist and homophobic remarks, declared that progressives are waging a “jihad against America’s cultural norms,”
  • Warned that President Obama is “obsessed” with LGBT issues, and claimed that his “secular” agenda will “destroy” America.
  • Claimed that Supreme Court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage were acts of “judicial terrorism” putting America on “the verge of criminalizing the Book of Genesis.”
  • Wondered why African Americans keep “falling through the cracks  of society despite the fact that “every major goal” of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been reached.

Benham Brothers

Twin brothers Jason and David Benham were catapulted to national attention this year 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 a cause célèbre for 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.”
  • Urged the city of Charlotte, NC 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.”

E.W. Jackson

The 2013 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, E.W. Jackson is a longtime activist who has likened the Democratic Party to the Antichrist, said Planned Parenthood is worse than the Ku Klux Klan, suggested that President Obama is a Muslim and demonic, and fought against efforts to desegregate public housing. Jackson’s most pernicious rhetoric has focused on LGBT people. He has:

  • Referred to gays and lesbians as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”
  • Criticized abortion and in vitro fertilization as “evils” that carry “the mark of Satan.”
  • Argued that gay marriage will release a “torrent of wickedness” that will result in man-animal marriages.
  • Said homosexuality is connected to pedophilia and that homosexuality also “poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things we can think of.”

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:

  • Declared that LGBT people are forcing Christians “into the closet.”
  • Mused that family life for African Americans was “more healthy” under slavery than it is today
  • Argued that the rate of HIV infections in Washington, D.C., would spike once the city legalized marriage equality, “transforming [the city] officially into Sodom.”
  • Tied same-sex marriage to failing public schools.

Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes, a Fox News commentator and the author of several books including this year’s “God Less America," specializes in generating stories of dubious accuracy purporting to illustrate the persecution of conservative Christians in America. Recently, he has:

  • Speculated that public school officials oppose abstinence-only programs to protect their “condom profits.”
  • Asserted that Obama refuses to take action against ISIS to “accommodate the Islamic faith at the expense of all other faiths.”
  • Blamed Obama for “ orchestrating” the protests in Ferguson, Mo., in an effort to exacerbate racial tensions.
  • Baselessly accused the University of Wisconsin of intentionally inflating grades to boost the academic performance of minority students.
  • Worried that LGBT rights advocates will inevitably demand the deportation of Christians.

Sandy Rios

Sandy Rios, a former president of Concerned Women for America, now hosts a daily radio show on American Family Radio, the network run by the American Family Association. At last year’s summit, she promoted ex-gay therapy and said Matthew Shepard’s murder was a “complete fraud.” Like other AFR hosts, she frequently promotes right-wing conspiracy theories, including claims that President Obama was not born in the United States. Rios has also:

  • Insisted that one of Obama’s first priorities as president was to resettle thousands of Palestinian refugees in the U.S. and provide them with food stamps.
  • Advanced the myth that the health care reform law “says that Muslims will be exempt from the government mandate to purchase health insurance.”
  • Compared the relationships of same-sex couples to those of kidnapper Ariel Castro and his captives.
  • Warned that the “homosexual takeover” of the military would jeopardize the effectiveness of the armed forces.
  • Frequently links the gay community to child abuse.

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:

This post was updated to include Brigitte Gabriel following an FRC announcement that she would speak at the summit. A previous edition of this post listed incorrectly listed James Dobson, one of the founders of the FRC, as a speaker.

The GOP's Hate Summit: A Who’s Who Of The 2014 Values Voter Summit

To: Reporters and editors
From: Drew Courtney, Director of Communications, People For the American Way
Date: September 22, 2014
Subject: The GOP's Hate Summit: A Who’s Who of the 2014 Values Voter Summit

This weekend, Republican elected officials including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Gov. Bobby Jindal will take part in what has become an annual ritual for potential GOP presidential contenders: they will seek to curry the favor of the Religious Right by speaking at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit.

In doing so, they put themselves in the company of some of the most radical groups and activists working today to dehumanize LGBT people, roll back reproductive rights, tear down the wall between church and state, and deny free exercise rights to religious minorities.

The Values Voter Summit’s sponsor, the Family Research Council, regularly issues false and demeaning smears about LGBT people and advocates for an America ruled according to the dictates of a small sliver of right-wing Christians. Just this month, the group’s president Tony Perkins suggested that the Constitution’s religious liberty protections do not apply to Muslims.

The other primary sponsors of the event, the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, and Gary Bauer’s American Values have equally if not more egregious records of extremism. In addition, a number of fringe groups are contributing to the conference by sponsoring exhibition tables, including Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), which pushes discredited conversion therapy on LGBT people; the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR); and the World Congress of Families, which works with activists throughout the world to push harsh anti-gay laws.

But the Values Voter Summit’s speakers do not have to visit the event’s exhibition hall to encounter extremism. They will find plenty of that in their fellow speakers. Below is an introduction to some of the speakers who will be sharing a stage with prominent GOP elected officials at this week’s summit.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the chief sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Now a widely recognized spokesman for social conservative causes, Perkins served two terms as a Republican legislator in the Louisiana House of Representatives before launching a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2002. Perkins has:

  • Contended that the anti-bullying “ It Gets Better ” project is “immoral,” “disgusting,” and promotes “perversion.”
  • Defined efforts by the Obama administration to advance LGBT rights abroad as a push for “ radical sexualism ” and “global homosexuality.”
  • Praised a Uganda bill that would have condemned gays and lesbians to death as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.”
  • Warned that LGBT rights advocates will launch a holocaust against Christians, placing those that oppose same-sex marriage into “ boxcars.”
  • Suggested that Christian clergy who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious liberties as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”
  • Warned that lawmakers who voted to repeal the military ban on openly gay service members would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin earned a public rebuke from President George W. Bush when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the "War on Terror" as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. In 2012, he was named executive vice president of the Family Research Council.

Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative, and once told the group that President Obama used health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him. Boykin has also:

  • Suggested that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell led to the “absolute destruction of our military.”
  • Described CIA head John Brennan as “very sympathetic to the jihadist cause.”
  • Denounced the repeal of laws banning women from military combat service.
  • Blamed the Sandy Hook school massacre on the presence of secularism in society.

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the dean of the Liberty University School of Law and the founder and chairman of its affiliate, Liberty Counsel, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government in order to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and Western civilization. Through his position at Liberty Counsel, Staver has:

Gary Bauer

Gary Bauer is the president of Values Voter Summit sponsor American Values, a former president of the Family Research Council, and one-time Republican presidential hopeful. While serving in the Reagan administration as a Department of Education official, Bauer was named chairman of the president’s Special Working Group on the Family. Bauer has:

  • Reacting to A&E’s suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for racist and homophobic remarks, declared that progressives are waging a “jihad against America’s cultural norms,”
  • Warned that President Obama is “obsessed” with LGBT issues, and claimed that his “secular” agenda will “destroy” America.
  • Claimed that Supreme Court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage were acts of “judicial terrorism” putting America on “the verge of criminalizing the Book of Genesis.”
  • Wondered why African Americans keep “falling through the cracks  of society despite the fact that “every major goal” of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been reached.

Benham Brothers

Twin brothers Jason and David Benham were catapulted to national attention this year 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 a cause célèbre for 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.”
  • Urged the city of Charlotte, NC 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.”

E.W. Jackson

The 2013 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, E.W. Jackson is a longtime activist who has likened the Democratic Party to the Antichrist, said Planned Parenthood is worse than the Ku Klux Klan, suggested that President Obama is a Muslim and demonic, and fought against efforts to desegregate public housing. Jackson’s most pernicious rhetoric has focused on LGBT people. He has:

  • Referred to gays and lesbians as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”
  • Criticized abortion and in vitro fertilization as “evils” that carry “the mark of Satan.”
  • Argued that gay marriage will release a “torrent of wickedness” that will result in man-animal marriages.
  • Said homosexuality is connected to pedophilia and that homosexuality also “poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things we can think of.”

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:

  • Declared that LGBT people are forcing Christians “ into the closet.”
  • Mused that family life for African Americans was “more healthy” under slavery than it is today
  • Argued that the rate of HIV infections in Washington, D.C., would spike once the city legalized marriage equality, “transforming [the city] officially into Sodom.”
  • Tied same-sex marriage to failing public schools.

Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes, a Fox News commentator and the author of several books including this year’s “God Less America," specializes in generating stories of dubious accuracy purporting to illustrate the persecution of conservative Christians in America. Recently, he has:

  • Speculated that public school officials oppose abstinence-only programs to protect their “condom profits.”
  • Asserted that Obama refuses to take action against ISIS to “accommodate the Islamic faith at the expense of all other faiths.”
  • Blamed Obama for “ orchestrating” the protests in Ferguson, Mo., in an effort to exacerbate racial tensions.
  • Baselessly accused the University of Wisconsin of intentionally inflating grades to boost the academic performance of minority students.
  • Worried that LGBT rights advocates will inevitably demand the deportation of Christians.

Sandy Rios

Sandy Rios, a former president of Concerned Women for America, now hosts a daily radio show on American Family Radio, the network run by the American Family Association. At last year’s summit, she promoted ex-gay therapy and said Matthew Shepard’s murder was a “complete fraud.” Like other AFR hosts, she frequently promotes right-wing conspiracy theories, including claims that President Obama was not born in the United States . Rios has also:

  • Insisted that one of Obama’s first priorities as president was to resettle thousands of Palestinian refugees in the U.S. and provide them with food stamps.
  • Advanced the myth that the health care reform law “says that Muslims will be exempt from the government mandate to purchase health insurance.”
  • Compared the relationships of same-sex couples to those of kidnapper Ariel Castro and his captives.
  • Warned that the “ homosexual takeover” of the military would jeopardize the effectiveness of the armed forces.
  • Frequently links the gay community to child abuse.

A previous version of this memo incorrectly listed James Dobson as a speaker. 

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/18/14

Liberty Counsel: Ban Religious Practices If They 'Offend Other Faiths'

We already know that the “religious liberty” activists at Liberty Counsel don’t believe Muslim-Americans should have the same First Amendment rights as other Americans, but now it appears that the Religious Right group believes any religious practice that could upset other people should be prohibited.

While discussing a Satanic “Black Mass” scheduled to take place in Oklahoma City on Sunday, Harry Mihet of Liberty Counsel said yesterday that the event should not take place because it might “offend” people:

Harry Mihet, vice president of legal affairs and chief litigation counsel for Liberty Counsel, said Oklahoma City should not allow its public facilities to be “used by a satanic group for the sole purpose of mocking, insulting and offending other faiths through a lewd and lascivious ceremony.”

“The perverted sexual deviance characteristic of a ‘Black Mass’ ought to remain in the dark tombs and catacombs where it originated, and should not see the light of day in a civilized society, much less on public property,” he said.

This statement is coming from the same group that regularly issues paranoid warnings about how gay rights advocates, progressives and Islamists are on the verge of criminalizing Christian expression in America because it is seen as mocking, insulting and offensive to their beliefs.

But according to Mihet, it is completely appropriate to stop a religious event from taking place if it “offends other faiths.”

Ironically, Liberty Counsel itself once cited Justice William Brennan’s claim that “[i]f there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”

Staver: Contraception Mandate Just Like Nazi Gas Chambers

The topic of today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program was the lawsuit filed by the Little Sisters of the Poor against Obamacare's contraception accommodation for non-profit religious organizations, which Matt Barber and Mat Staver once again compared to Nazi Germany.

Under the accommodation, non-profit religious organizations that object to providing contraceptive coverage for employees simply have to file a letter noting their objections and then they "will not have to contract, arrange, pay for or refer contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds" as such contraception coverage will then be provided separately by the insurance provider.

That compromise, to Barber and Staver, is nothing short of pure evil and no different than the Nazis forcing people to gas the Jews.

"If you are being forced to pay for the gas in the chamber that is injected into that chamber to kill a Jew, that's one thing." Staver said. "On the other hand, if you are required to say 'you go right, you go left,' the ones that go to the left, they go to the gas chamber, you don't have to pay for that, but you have to make the decision to do it, it's the same thing. Whether I have to exchange a dollar or ten dollars or a thousand dollars to facilitate the death of a human being or whether I have to say 'I can't do it, I can't pull the trigger so therefore don't make me pull the trigger,' consequently since I've objected now a third party has to pull the trigger. There's no difference."

Barber agreed, saying that those who object "are still being forced to be complicit in that abortion homicide," which is exactly what President Obama wants because he "in large part, lives his life to enable people to kill others."

"This is good versus evil," Barber said, "and there's little question who's on the side of good here and who's on the side of evil":

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/12/14

  • Kevin Sorbo says people just were not "enlightened" enough to understand the point he was making when he said that the Jews killed Jesus.
  • FRC prays against Common Core: "May the American people be fully awakened! May parents have courage to stand fast in their God-given liberty, responsibility and authority to direct their children's education. May citizen activists persuade their state leaders to reverse course!"
  • Liberty Counsel vows to take its fight against "ex-gay" therapy bans all the way to the Supreme Court "and we will not stop fighting until these laws are relegated to the dustbins of history."
  • Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson shared his theological insights with Glenn Beck today: "The political correct cesspool we’re swimming around in [goes] against God on every point."
  • Finally, this piece by Robert Stacy McCain might just be the most bizarre screed we have ever seen posted on BarbWire. We can say for sure that it is the only thing we've ever seen posted there that uses the word "assholes" more than once.
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