Liberty Counsel

Religious Right Leaders Rail Against Virginia Marriage Equality Decision

A federal judge’s decision to strike down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriagehas unsurprisingly stoked the ire of conservatives.

Family Research Council head Tony Perkins offered a typical rebuke of “activist judges” and the “arrogant judiciary,” and once again warned that marriage equality will in fact lead to unprecedented inequality.

It appears that we have yet another example of an arrogant judge substituting her personal preferences for the judgment of the General Assembly and 57 percent of Virginia voters. Our nation's judicial system has been infected by activist judges, which threaten the stability of our nation and the rule of law.

This ruling comes on the heels of Attorney General Mark Herring's refusal to fulfill his constitutional duty to defend the state's marriage law. His lawlessness is an insult to the voters of Virginia who rightfully expected elected officials to uphold the laws and constitution of the state, not attack them as Herring has done.

An arrogant judiciary is only one of the major consequences of the drive to redefine marriage. Increasingly, Americans are being forced to finance and celebrate unions that not only step on free speech and religious liberty but also deny children a mom and a dad. Rather than live-and-let-live, this court by redefining marriage will create a level of inequality that has never been seen in our country as people are forced to suppress or violate the basic teachings of their faith," concluded Perkins.

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and Liberty University Law School, which is based in Virginia, said the judge must not have ever read the Constitution.

“This decision is outrageous and legally flawed. Judges would be well-served to read the U.S. Constitution and not invent or rewrite it,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The Constitution cannot be changed by the stroke of a judge’s pen, nor does it bow to a judge’s personal ideology. The overwhelming majority of Virginia voters who make up ‘we the people’ voted to affirm natural marriage. Same-sex marriage, as a policy matter, sends the message that children do not need moms and dads. There is ample evidence that children fair [sic] best when raised with a mother and a father. Same-sex marriage is not the equivalent of natural marriage. Judges should be careful to render decisions grounded in the Constitution and the rule of law. Otherwise, judges and courts will render themselves impotent when the people lose confidence in the judicial system,” Staver continued.

The Family Foundation of Virginia, meanwhile, blamed Valentine’s Day for the ruling, which the group says threatens “our entire social fabric.”

“The timing of this decision certainly calls into question Judge Wright Allen’s objectivity,” a Friday morning statement from the group stated. “This rushed release just prior to Valentine’s Day reeks of political show, making her ruling less a legal argument and more a press release. It’s disappointing that a federal judge would so blatantly expose her personal political agenda at the expense of not just marriage, but our entire social fabric.”



“Regardless of one’s stance on marriage, the people of Virginia were disenfranchised by this ruling as our voice and our vote that amended our Constitution have been rendered meaningless by a single federal judge with the assistance of our own Attorney General,” the Family Foundation statement read. “Protecting a timeless institution for the well-being of children was the will of the overwhelming majority of Virginians and this ruling denies this important state interest as it places the desires of adults over the outcomes of children.”

National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown said the “terrible decision” must be reversed:

This is another example of an Obama-appointed judge twisting the constitution and the rule of law to impose her own views of marriage in defiance of the people of Virginia. There is no right to same-sex 'marriage' in the United States constitution. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that states have the preeminent duty of defining marriage. The people of Virginia did just that in voting overwhelmingly to affirm marriage as the union of one man and woman. That decision should be respected by federal judges and we hope that the U.S. Supreme Court ends up reversing this terrible decision. This case also leaves a particular stench because of the unconscionable decision of Attorney General Mark Herring to not only abandon his sworn duty to defend the laws of the state, but to actually join the case against the very people he is duty-bound to represent.

Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation blasted the “imperious federal judiciary” and the “liberal state apparatus,” warning that they are trying “to advance a social experiment that changes America from the nation that we know into something totally unrecognizable” and “will force you to support homosexual marriage.”

The case, if it can be appealed must be appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The problem is that appellate courts have to rule based on the record from the trial court. The record is the transcript of witnesses’ testimony and other evidence the trial judge heard.

With Virginia’s Attorney General refusing to defend the case, the case might not even be appealed and even if it is, the record may be very limited.

Once again, we see an imperious federal judiciary overruling the voters of a state to advance a social experiment that changes America from the nation that we know into something totally unrecognizable.

And with the striking down of this law, can the liberal state apparatus be far behind? That liberal state apparatus is the one that will force you to support homosexual marriage whether or not it conflicts with your religious beliefs.

Liberty Counsel: Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Is Like Banning Interracial Marriage

As Kyle noted yesterday, Liberty Counsel is out with two new amicus briefs defending same-sex marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma, in which they argue that "while same-sex couples can enter a union of the wills, it is not possible for them to join in body in the way true marriage has always required."

Liberty Counsel filed one of its briefs on behalf of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a group that pushes "ex-gay” therapy for LGBT people.

The other, filed in Liberty Counsel’s own name [pdf], features many of the group’s standard arguments (including plenty of citations of the bunk anti-gay Regnerus study), but one argument in particular caught our eye. Seeking to head off legal comparisons between bans on same-sex marriage and bans on interracial marriage, Liberty Counsel argues that it is in fact the legalization of same-sex marriage that is similar to banning interracial marriage=.

How is that, you ask? Advocates of anti-miscegenation laws and gay rights advocates, Liberty Counsel explains, both want to place an “agenda-driven obstacle” onto the institution of marriage. In fact, the group implies, marriage equality advocates might be even worse because “they are seeking to replace the institution with their own agenda-driven proposal.”

Loving, like the other cases addressing restrictions upon the right to marry, was aimed at preserving the right to enter into the union of one man and one woman by removing agenda-driven obstacles that had been improperly engrafted onto the union. Those seeking to overturn laws such as Utah’s and Colorado’s that memorialize marriage as the union of one man and one woman are now trying to engraft another agenda-driven obstacle onto the institution. Actually, they are seeking more than that. They are seeking to replace the institution with their own agenda-driven proposal.

We really don't know what "agenda-driven obstacle" Liberty Counsel thinks same-sex marriage will put on the institution, but maybe it has something to do with LC chairman Mat Staver's fear of "forced homosexuality."

Barber & Staver: Impeach Obama Because 'High Crimes And Misdemeanors' Means Whatever We Want It To Mean

As Brian noted yesterday, Liberty Counsel has now launched a campaign urging the House of Representatives to file articles of impeachment against President Obama for having supposedly committed multiple high crimes and misdemeanors.

What exactly those "high crimes and misdemeanors" are is kind of hard to say but it doesn't really matter apparently because, as Mat Staver and Matt Barber explained on a recent "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, "high crimes and misdemeanors" means basically whatever Congress says it means at any given time:

Staver: The Constitution refers to high crimes and misdemeanors and when you think of a misdemeanor, you think well there's a specific criminal offense. No, the Constitution throughout its history and through the intent does not refer to these as actual crimes; a high crime and misdemeanor is not an actual misdemeanor in the terms of the criminal sense, or a felony in the terms of a criminal sense, it's whatever Congress says it is at any given time and that has been the case for people accepting bribes or people lying, like President Bill Clinton, he lied to the American people. That was an impeachable offense.

...

Barber: You know, high crimes and misdemeanors is a relatively subjective analysis that Congress is supposed to reasonably make. As you point out, there's not a clear definition, there's not an itemization of things that reach the level of high crimes and misdemeanors. That's left up to the discretion of Congress to look at and if you look at this president's long list of abuses of power, or lying to the American people, of intimidation, or bullying, of selective enforcement of the laws. All of those things together clearly far surpass the threshold that you need for a reasonable, subjective analysis to arrive at the conclusion that his president, over and again, has committed multiple high crimes and misdemeanors.

...

Barack Hussein Obama has brought great shame upon himself, upon the American people and upon the United States of America.

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/11/14

  • Liberty Counsel opposes gay marriage because "while same-sex couples can enter a union of the wills, it is not possible for them to join in body in the way true marriage has always required."
  • Michael Youssef warns that "the subtler persecution of Christians in America, which began mildly, with the media mocking Jimmy Carter’s 'born again' claim, has escalated rapidly in the last five years."
  • Glenn Beck appears not to know the difference between the smallpox virus and the smallpox vaccine.
  • Mychal Massie calls for conservatives to leave the GOP and form a third party.
  • Finally, Gary Bauer is mad: "The promotion of homosexuality has become the cause celebre during the Sochi winter Olympics. From an NBC commentator appearing on air in drag to the latest ad from General Motors entitled 'New Love,' (aired during the opening ceremonies featuring a same-sex marriage), the issue is impossible to avoid. Yet when churches are bombed and Christians have their throats slit while walking down the street, there is a collective yawn from most of the mainstream media, business and political elites."

Liberty Counsel: Impeach Obama For Turning America 'Into A Godless, Socialist Nation'

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver has unveiled a new campaign calling on the House of Representatives to initiate the impeachment process against President Obama.

The Religious Right group, which is the legal and advocacy arm of Liberty University, claims that Obama is more tyrannical and oppressive than King George III and must be stopped.

We, the People of the United States of America, demand that the United States House of Representatives draft Articles of Impeachment against President Barack H. Obama for failure to adhere to the authority and rule of law, and for open oppression of our liberties, as defined by the Constitution of the United States of America and its Bill of Rights.



In my nearly three decades of work in the legal field specializing in constitutional law, I have NEVER witnessed a more blatant and consistent disregard for the Constitution as we have seen from this President and his administration!

As I have often said, today’s patriotic Americans are facing more oppression from civil government than did the colonial generation!



Together, we can stop this tyranny before President Obama and his “progressive” supporters succeed in remaking the United States of America into a godless, socialist nation!

The impeachment petition lists the health care reform law and the Benghazi attack as among Obama’s “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Staver has repeatedly called for a revolution against Obama over gay rights, warning that his administration supports the supposed Antichrist mission to usher in “forced homosexuality” and “LGBT affirmative action.”

Staver: Reparative Therapy Ban Lets Gays 'Entrap' & 'Groom' Children

Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver is concerned that California’s ban on “ex-gay” therapy for minors is “very dangerous” because it will allow gay people to “entrap” and “groom” children into homosexuality.

Stave, who has appealed his challenge to the California law to the Supreme Court, told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow today:

Staver notes that especially in California, children are being indoctrinated in public schools that homosexuality is normal.

"And then when someone is either abused or begins to struggle with these issues, when they're bombarded with it day after day after day, they won't be able to get any help from a licensed professional Christian counselor," says Staver. "So that's why it's very dangerous."

The law allows homosexuals to "entrap" and "groom" children into the homosexual lifestyle, without providing any opportunity for help, says the Liberty Counsel attorney.

On Friday, Staver discussed the ban with Janet Mefferd. “We’re talking about life and death situations here,” he said, blaming LGBT rights activists for “forcing homosexuality on everyone by force of law” and claiming that the reparative therapy ban “will force people into a lifestyle of destruction."

Liberty Counsel: Obama 'Destroying The Judiciary' With Black, 'Practicing Homosexual' Judicial Nominee

This week, President Obama nominated five people to federal judgeships in Florida and New Jersey. Three of these nominees are already judges; two are accomplished attorneys. But what is more relevant to the right-wing Liberty Counsel is that, according to the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow, “among the nominees are four African Americans, one of them homosexual.” (That's not actually true: one of the nominees is African American, one is Latino, and three are white).

Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver told OneNewsNow today that these judicial picks show “ideological bankruptcy” on the part of a president who is “destroying the judiciary.”

"So he gets a black man, who is a practicing homosexual, and now he wants to put this individual in an appointment for life on the federal bench," Staver lamented, referring apparently to Darrin P. Gayes, a state circuit judge in Florida who Obama nominated to a federal district court.

At no point in the article does Staver or OneNewsNow touch on the nominee’s qualifications, other than to note vaguely that “all five nominees are considered liberals.”

Among the nominees are four African Americans, one of them homosexual, and the final one is white.

Mat Staver, who heads Liberty Counsel, tells OneNewsNow the president is reaching out to two communities.

"So he gets a black man, who is a practicing homosexual, and now he wants to put this individual in an appointment for life on the federal bench," Staver advises.

He refers to the situation as "ideological bankruptcy."

Why?

President Obama is "destroying the judiciary because, when he leaves office in 2016, these judges will be around for 20 to 40 years," says the Liberty Counsel attorney. "That is going to be a bad legacy that Obama will leave behind that we'll all have to deal with in the aftermath."

Earlier this year, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio succeeded in torpedoing the nomination of William Thomas, a Florida state judge who was also openly gay and African-American. Rubio also blocked another African-American nominee, Brian Davis, for months before local activists pressured him to let the nomination go forward.

Liberty Counsel Fears Prom, Losing Freedom To Be Abstinent Before Marriage

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the conservative activists at Liberty Counsel are once again promoting the competing “Day of Purity,” an opportunity for those “who strive for sexual purity an opportunity to stand together in opposition to a culture of moral decline.”

Liberty Counsel’s previous attempt to make the Day of Purity cool for kids, a video featuring “Purity Bear,” has unfortunately been removed from YouTube following widespread Internet mockery (but can still be found on Vimeo).

Now, the group is trying to make abstinence-only-before-marriage hip by calling it the “politically incorrect” [PDF] thing to do. In a handout [PDF] about the event, Liberty Counsel even makes the absurd claim that supporters of abstinence before marriage are losing their “right to speak and be heard.”

Defending your rights and the rights of others to express their beliefs and act in accordance with those rights. There are those in today’s culture that are trying to silence those who believe that sex should be saved until marriage between a husband and a wife. They say they want tolerance and diversity, but what they really want is to silence anyone who believes in traditional values and traditional family. You have the right to speak and be heard. Be mature and speak out for what you know is right and true.

We are not exactly sure where it is now a criminal act to be abstinent or to encourage others to be abstinent.

Maybe in the same jurisdictions where Liberty Counsel attorney Matt Barber fears he may soon be forced to choose between participating in gay marriage and death.

Liberty Counsel has more fun tips for the Day of Purity, including a “True Friend” guide [PDF] that warns against maintaining friendships with people who do “not share the same value system.” The group also offers great some great prom theme ideas [PDF], such as “Chlamydia”:

…as well as some outdated MasterCard spoof ads:

Along with:

Barber: 'We Know [Obama's] Sympathies Lie With These Muslim Nations And Against Christianity'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Matt Barber and Mat Staver discussed a recent report from Open Doors USA that found that most anti-Christian persecution happening around the world is occurring in Muslim nations.

Barber, of course, used this as an excuse to trot out the standard Religious Right claim that liberals and Muslims are both persecuting Christians at home and abroad because both groups hate God's truth. But the point of the broadcast today was to discuss why American Christians have remained silent while their Christian brothers and sisters around the world have suffered brutal persecution and Barber didn't really know ... but he did know why President Obama hasn't spoken out: because he hates Christians:

Staver: it's one thing to criticize the administration but it's another thing about the church itself. Where are the voices of Christians here in the United States rising to the level of saying that this Christian persecution needs to be addressed?

Barber: Let's parse this out because I think that there are different motives here. When it comes to President Obama, as we discussed in a recent recording of Faith and Freedom, it's pretty clear; for him to criticize these Muslim nations for killing, for murdering and torturing Christians, it doesn't fit the narrative. We know that his sympathies lie with these Muslim nations and against Christianity and against Christians and so it's not surprising that he would choose to be silent. I'm disgusted by it but I'm not surprised by it.

I'm baffled by the silence of the church, as you mentioned, here in the United States and I don't know what the motive of that silence is other than perhaps fear or apathy and it's time for the church to get behind and support these Christians who are being martyred across the world.

So President Obama hasn't spoken out about this persecution because he hates Christians, but Christians haven't spoken out about it either ... for who knows what reason?

We also like to simply note that neither Barber nor Staver have said much, if anything, about this issue in all the years we have been listening to their programs. If Barber is "baffled" by the silence of the church in talking about this issue, he just so happens have a daily radio broadcast and a weekly column that he could be using to combat that, but over the last few years, he apparently hasn't felt that it was much of a priority.

Barber & Staver: Obama 'Doesn't Like America' And Is Working To Weaken It

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Matt Barber and Mat Staver asserted that President Obama was siding with terrorist Muslim nations against Israel and intentionally weakening the United States because he hates America.

Bizarrely, Barber criticized Obama for cozying up to nations that "attack ... homosexuals," which is a bid odd given that Barber openly advocates for the passage of anti-gay laws here in America while Staver, who is part of a new effort to increase civility, has no qualms about declaring that Obama simply doesn't like America:

Barber: Time and time again, he has show through his actions that Barack Hussein Obama, that his sympathies lie with these Muslim nations, many of them terrorist nations. It boggles the mind when it is clearly not in the best interest of the United States, not in the best interest of Israel or the national security of either of these two western countries, the democratic hubs of the world, frankly, in terms of freedom. Yet this president seems to consistently align himself with these nations that attack, for instance, homosexuals, women, that repress women, that keep little girls from having education, these Islamic nations that seek to destroy America and Israel. I can't figure it out.

Staver: Well, I think he doesn't like America and he doesn't like the Judeo-Christian values that founded America and are the foundation of America. So, with his foreign policy, he is really pulling back America and weakening America.

Right Wing Leftovers - 1/24/14

  • South Carolina Senate candidate Lee Bright is raffling off a semi-automatic military-style rifle in celebration of the fact that "in the wake of the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, gun-grabbers were sure they had the votes to RAM gun control into law," but they failed.
  • Liberty Counsel vows to help defend Florida's anti-gay marriage amendment, which makes sense considering that the organization helped write it.
  • Sandy Rios does not support efforts by the military to accommodate religious practices of non-Christians: "There's been a real effort to go out of the way to accommodate Muslims in government and in military life, and then to hurt Christians in military life. So until we see more specification on this – knowing their habits and their practice in the past few years – I'm not at peace with this yet."
  • Mike Huckabee is predictably attacking the media for mocking the comments he made yesterday.
  • Finally, "Coach" Dave Daubenmire wants to ban Hollywood.

Barber and Staver Are Welcome To 'Get On The Winning Side Of History'

On yesterday's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Matt Barber and Mat Staver rejoiced that recent polls show that the majority of Americans now consider themselves to be "pro-life" and encouraged politicians to "get on the winning side of history" and start passing legislation to outlaw abortion.

What anti-abortion activists always fail to mention whenever they trumpet this claim is that polls consistently show that the vast majority of Americans believe abortion should remain legal and available, with generally no more than 20% of the population wanting it to be outlawed entirely.

But for Barber and Staver, these polls demonstrate that legal abortion will soon become a thing of the past:

Barber: Today, fifty percent of Americans identify themselves as pro-life and this is the first time in the forty years since Roe v Wade that a majority of Americans have joined in the defense of women and children. In the past twenty years, opinions have shifted; in 1995, 56% of Americans identified themselves as pro-choice but now that number is less than 42%. That's a 15% swing, Mat, in thirteen years. That's huge.

Staver: And for politicians who want to run from the issue of life - I don't think they ought to guide their decisions by polls, but if they did, this would be one that would say they need to stand on the side of life.

Barber: Yeah, get rid of that pro-choice albatross that you have around your neck. Get on the winning side of history and that is the pro-life side.

Since Barber and Staver are so impressed with shifts in poll numbers on this issue, we assume that they will both soon drop their opposition to gay marriage since, back in 1996, a whopping 65% of Americans opposed it while only 27% supported it. Today, recent polls show that 55% of Americans now support marriage equality, while opposition has dropped into the low 40s.

That is a twenty-five point swing and, as Barber said, "that's huge."

So simply based on the polling advice of Barber and Staver, if politicians want to "get on the winning side of history," they probably ought to make their public support for marriage equality loud and clear.

Barber & Staver Want To See Russian-Like Anti-Gay Laws 'Right Here In The United States'

As Peter noted in his post earlier today, it is a little difficult to take seriously the new Imago Dei campaign aimed at softening the Religious Right's bigoted, extremist language considering that someone like Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver is one of the leaders of this effort.

Nothing better demonstrates this point than this "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast in which Staver and Matt Barber wholeheartedly praise foreign nations like Russia, Uganda, and Nigeria for passing draconian anti-gay laws and declaring that the same sorts of laws ought to be passed here in America:

Staver: President Obama has been going in a direction to really deconstruct this and to create this idea of same-sex marriage, which is really an oxymoron. But, at the same time, the rest of the world seems to be going exactly opposite of the president and some of the states.

Barber: Yeah, and it's encouraging to see what's happening around the world. I think many nations, you think of Russia, you think of some of the African nations around the world, are looking to a liberalized Europe and are looking to the United States under this Obama Administration and they're rejecting this notion that you can take the institution of marriage and radically redefine it by sanctifying what every major world religion and thousands of years of history and uncompromising human biology have long held: that homosexual behavior and conduct is both immoral, unnatural and self-destructive to the individuals engaged in the behavior and that you don't have a marriage built upon this immoral behavior.

...

Staver: Well, it seems as though, if people are having AIDS and most of that, as the CDC comes down and says, it is transmitted by male homosexuality, by and large, what are you going to do? Are you going to say, are you going to elevate that to a preferred status and say, well yeah, men ought to be able to marry men? That's an oxymoron. What Nigeria has done by reaffirming marriage as between one man and one woman is what a number of countries are doing around the world. They're reaffirming marriage as one man and one woman. Russia is one of those countries recently that did that. Latin American countries have reaffirmed marriage as one man and one woman. Then other countries around the world are reaffirming marriage as one man and one woman and rejecting this radicalized homosexual agenda.

...

Barber: This is a very dangerous lifestyle that countries like Russia are, in addition to reestablishing and saying no, marriage is what it's always been, they're saying additionally we are going to stop this homosexual activist propaganda from corrupting children in our nation and we need to see that right here in the United States.

Staver Urges Government Not To Enforce Gay Marriage Rulings That Don't Go His Way

Recent court decisions in favor of marriage equality in Utah and Oklahoma have riled Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver to the point where he is suggesting that the government simply ignore and refuse to enforce decisions that allow same-sex couples to marry.

Staver, who is also the dean of the Liberty University Law School, said yesterday in an interview on Crosstalk that judges “lose their authority” if they rule in favor of marriage equality.

Later in the broadcast, Staver argued that judges “act as dictators” and must be stopped through a campaign similar to the one calling on A&E to lift its suspension of Phil Robertson, the Duck Dynasty star who was temporarily suspended after making racist and homophobic comments.

We’re not exactly sure how that is supposed to work, but to give you a clue, Liberty Counsel joined a campaign to mail rubber ducks to A&E’s offices.

It really I think, in the minds of the people, hurts the credibility of these courts. And I think when that happens, if the people say we can no longer trust these courts, we can no longer accord them the kind of responsibility and authority that they have, then guess what? They lose their authority. They have no enforcement power, it is only because the people and the government officials in the executive branch — federal and state — give them the authority. Other than that, they have no authority and that will ultimately I think weaken the judiciary.



I think that you may ultimately see a push back to the level of which, maybe even exceeding the level of which, we saw the push back of the people to A&E when they tried to censor Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty. When he began to talk about human sexuality, homosexuality and marriage from a biblical perspective, the Duck Dynasty star was then censored by A&E and people pushed back in a very vigorous way. And I think what we’re going to see is we will likely see that kind of push back even to a greater extent against these activist judges. They have no right to act as dictators to undermine not only the will of the people but something that is part of our constitutional history and even beyond that, part of our natural created order.

Anti-Choice Columnist Calls Out Fellow Religious Right Activists For Israel Hypocrisy

Religious Right activists often claim that they will never be silent about “Nazi” abortion rights …that is, unless those rights exist in Israel. We noted last week that Israel’s decision to expand public funding for abortion coverage was met with crickets from many American anti-choice groups that also embrace Christian Zionism and accuse President Obama of being unfriendly to Israel.

These organizations, of course, would have erupted with rage if the Obama administration had even contemplated implementing a similar policy.

In a column today, a writer at the conservative Catholic website Aleteia calls out U.S abortion rights opponents for responding to Israel’s new policy “with little comment or condemnation,” wondering if they either “missed the story” or think “abortion in Israel just doesn’t matter.”

Aleteia’s Mark Gordon writes that in order to be consistent, the same anti-choice movement that demands a ban on government funds for abortion coverage and groups like Planned Parenthood in the U.S. should also call for the end of U.S. aid to Israel: “American taxpayers should not be put in the position of underwriting the culture of death. But if that’s true of Obamacare – and it is – then shouldn’t it be true for American foreign aid?”

American pro-life and pro-family groups responded to the December announcement with little comment or condemnation. Lifesitenews.com chose to run an anodyne report on the policy change, but not editorialize. The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), whose mission is to “defend life and family at international institutions and to publicize the debate,” had nothing to say. The same was true for National Right to Life, Priests for Life, the American Life League and most others.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, head of Americans United for Life, did note in a statement that “Unborn lives are rich with possibilities and worth saving and government should never be used to harm life and harm women.” The Family Research Council’s Arina Grossu agreed, saying, “No government should invest its money into killing its own citizens.” She also predicted that Israeli government funding would only result in more abortions in that country.” On the other hand, Liberty Counsel, “an international nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family,” told its members on January 9, “there has never been a more critical time for you to show your support to Israel and its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu!” Either someone at Liberty Counsel missed the story or abortion in Israel just doesn’t matter.

Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, declined to comment, but perhaps that’s understandable. In addition to his pro-life work, Smith is a charter member of the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF). Formed in 2006, IAF is a kind of institutional link between the US Congress and the Israeli Knesset. Smith, a Catholic, is also the House sponsor of a wonderful bill titled “The Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013.” The measure is intended introduce much-needed transparency to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. If passed, Smith’s bill would force insurers to notify their insured whether abortion is or isn’t covered, and whether any surcharges or other fees are used to pay for abortions. In presenting his bill, Smith wrote, “Obamacare’s abortion mandate violates federal law and makes taxpayers complicit in the culture of death.”

Smith is right, of course. American taxpayers should not be put in the position of underwriting the culture of death. But if that’s true of Obamacare – and it is – then shouldn’t it be true for American foreign aid? Israel receives about $3 billion each year from American taxpayers. About 74% of that is returned to the United States in the form of contracts with American weapons manufacturers. But given the fungible nature of money, and since Israel would buy weapons with money from its own treasury in the absence of aid, the current arrangement amounts to American funding of Israeli abortions.

Staver: Dealing With 'Homofascists' Is 'Almost Like Negotiating With Terrorists'

On the "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast scheduled to air tomorrow, Matt Barber and Mat Staver weigh in on the recent controversy surrounding "Duck Dynasty" to declare that the key lesson to be learned is that the "homofascists" are nothing but bullies who cannot and should not be negotiated with ... just like terrorists:

Barber: There's a take-away from all this; it's been a few weeks now, all the dust has settled and everything but left in the rubble of all this, the big losers GLAAD, the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the Human Rights Campaign, the so-called secular progressive left in general. People are finally seeing that if you stand up to these bullies, you are dealing with a paper tiger. They have no power that people don't give them. These big corporations and individuals in the entertainment industry and people grant these homofascist bullies - I call them the Gaystapo - they grant them this power that otherwise they would not have. This tyranny of the minority has been taking place for too long now and Americans, when they stand up, when the double down and say 'no, I'm not going to waiver from biblical truth on matters of human sexuality,' it's like okay, what are you going to do now?  Nothing. They go away and lick their wounds.

...

Staver: It's the rank and file people of America, the vast majority of people who do not support this homosexual agenda, do not support this homofascism, they en masse respond and A& E and Cracker Barrel had to read the tea leaves and it was pretty easy to do it ...

So [Phil Robertson is] not going to be bullied by anyone and I think the other thing is to not back down. Some people, they get intimated, they don't want to get involved in this fight and yet Phil Robertson stood there on principle, he stood there with love and he became a national hero to many people because he would not budge. If you back down, if you give someone an inch - it's almost like negotiating with terrorists - if you give them an inch, they'll take a mile.

US Conservative Groups Supported Nigerian Anti-Gay Law That Led to Wave of Arrests

The Associated Press is reporting that “dozens of gay men” have been arrested in northern Nigeria as a result of a new law strengthening the country’s prohibition on homosexuality, in what public health groups fear will be a setback to efforts to fight AIDS.

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Police, working off a list of 168 suspects purportedly obtained through torture, are arresting dozens of gay men in Nigeria's northern Bauchi state, human rights activists said Tuesday.

A new law in Nigeria, dubbed the "Jail the Gays" bill, is encouraging the persecution of gays and will endanger programs fighting HIV-AIDS in the gay community, said Dorothy Aken'Ova, executive director of Nigeria's International Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights.

On Monday, President Goodluck Jonathan's office confirmed that the Nigerian leader signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act that criminalizes gay marriage, gay organizations and anyone working with or promoting them.

CBS notes that “sodomy has been illegal in Nigeria for many years...in some parts of Nigeria’s Muslim-majority north where strict Sharia law is upheld, gays and lesbians risk being stoned to death if they are caught.”

This seems like a good time, then, to look back at the American religious right’s support for Nigeria’s harsh penalties for its LGBT residents and opposition to Obama administration efforts to protect LGBT rights abroad.

In 2011, when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the Obama administration would work to protect LGBT rights abroad – including in places like Nigeria that criminalize homosexuality -- the religious right exploded in anger. Pat Robertson called the policy “appalling” and warned of God’s wrath in response. Radio host Janet Mefferd cited Nigeria’s anti-gay laws in a rant against the Obama administration’s policy, saying “I don’t see that this is something that the United States has to jump in on because it’s such a huge global tragedy. It’s crazy.” The Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute also cited Nigeria’s move to tighten criminal sanctions on homosexuality in its opposition to the Obama administration policy.

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber, the anti-gay group MassResistance, and Family Watch International’s Sharon Slater have also supported Nigeria’s anti-gay laws at various stages.

We wonder if any of these groups will comment about this wave of arrests.

Right Wing Leftovers - 1/13/14

  • Glenn Beck will be speaking at Liberty University's convocation in late April.
  • Speaking of Beck, his supporters can now donate to his charity through the purchases they make on Amazon.
  • Liberty Counsel tries to tie its fight against New Jersey's law banning gay reparation therapy to the Bridgegate scandal: "A3371 is far more scandalous than the George Washington Bridge lane closure."
  • Operation Rescue hails the RNC for participating in the annual March For Life.
  • Finally, Robert Knight is not a fan of equality: "The underlying premise behind the Satanic Temple’s request is a false claim of equality. In the name of this vastly abused concept that once fueled the righteous aims of the civil rights movement, America is awash in moral confusion. The Justice Department embraces openly racist policies — in the name of equality. The Internal Revenue Service operates what amounts to an organized theft system in which it seizes earnings from some people and give it to others — in the name of equality. “Marriages” lacking one entire sex are said to be identical to the real thing — in the name of equality. The Pentagon is pushing female soldiers and Marines toward direct combat — in the name of equality."

Barber: Contraception Mandate Like Forcing Someone To Pay For A Hitman

On yesterday's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Matt Barber and Mat Staver discussed the stay issued by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, temporarily blocking the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate from applying to an order of Catholic nuns known as the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Under the contraception mandate, religious organizations simply have to fill out a form declaring that the organization objects to having to provide contraception to its employees, which then obligates the insurance provider to provide such coverage separately.

But as Barber put it, this is unacceptable because it is no different than forcing a religious group to pay to hire a hit man to murder someone:

Barber: This is illusory, this compromise, this accommodation that the Obama administration and the HHS is calling it. It's a Chicago-style shell game. This is no different, the analogy that came to mind when I first heard about this so-called accommodation to religious organizations, it's like telling someone to go out and shoot somebody, to kill somebody. Because that's what we're talking about here, abortion is homicide, it's the taking of innocent human life. So we're saying you have fun going out and shooting somebody and you say 'no,no, I can't do that, I'm not going to do that.' And they say 'well, what we'll do is we'll set up a straw man; you have to sign on the dotted line so a hit man, on your behalf, can go out and kill somebody.' That's what we're talking about here.

In law, Mat, as you know, just because you hire out the murder doesn't mean that you're not responsible for the crime. It's still first degree murder. This is no different than what the Obama Administration is trying to do.

Staver: Even though you're not the one paying for the murder, but you're the one who sets it up and authorizes it, then you're still part of it.

Liberty Counsel Honors Israeli Government Days After It Adopts 'World's Most Liberal' Abortion Policy

Just two days after Israel’s cabinet approved a new policy extending government abortion subsidies to all women ages 20-33, the staunchly anti-choice Liberty Counsel released an alert entitled, “Stand With Israel Now,” complete with a photograph of Benjamin Netanyahu with Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver.

“There has never been a more critical time for you to show your support to Israel and its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu! Become a Liberty Ambassador to Israel and have your faith strengthened and your resolve fortified to stand for Israel,” the group writes. “In light of the failed foreign policies of our current American administration, it has never been a more important time to express our unwavering resolve to stand united with Israel.”

Matt Barber, Staver’s deputy at Liberty Counsel, has praised Netanyahu as the “Leader of the Free World” who turned Israel into “the shining city on the hill,” unlike President Obama whom the group regularly berates as “one of the world’s immoral leaders.”

The group accuses Obama of implementing “forced abortion funding” and “rubbing the aborted babies in the face of every single American.” They also argue that God will punish America for Obama’s “self-destructive” pro-choice stance, and have linked abortion rights to SatanslaveryNazism and the Holocaust.

Just a few months ago, Staver and Barber insisted that if they were to remain silent in their opposition to abortion rights, they would be just as bad as “those who silently stood by and allowed the Nazis to murder millions of Jews.” “Silence is affirmation,” Staver said. “If you are silent on this issue, you are affirming that this is something that is acceptable.”

“Posterity will view those who stood in silence or who tacitly accepted this abortion holocaust just as history views those who silently stood by and allowed the Nazis to murder millions of Jews,” Barber said, adding: “Are we comparing the pro-choice movement to the Nazi movement? Yes! Absolutely.”

Now, imagine if it was the Obama administration rather than Netanyahu’s cabinet which adopted a far-reaching policy that the Times of Israel calls one of the “most liberal abortion coverage [policies] in the world”?

But so far from Liberty Counsel, there are no calls for Netanyahu’s ouster, no comparisons to Nazism and no warnings of divine wrath.

Instead just a statement entitled, “Stand With Israel Now.”

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