Liberty Counsel

Liberty Counsel Opposes, but Doesn't Understand, 'Mix It Up Day'

October 30 is "Mix It Up at Lunch Day" which encourages students to "move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch." The point of the effort is to break up cliques and get students to spend time with different groups of people, but because it is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Religious Right vehemently opposes it, falsely claiming that "it’s just another thinly veiled attempt to promote the homosexual agenda."

Today, Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber and Steve Crampton weighed in to warn about the dangers of "Mix It Up" day ... despite obviously having absolutely no idea what it is actually about, as Crampton bizarrely asserted that it was a day "where boys can wear girls clothes [or] pretend to be homosexual" or even dress up like an uptight, judgmental Christian who tells everyone they are going to Hell in order to "make fun of Christianity by mocking it": 

Religious Right Attacks 'Demonic' and 'Mean' Obama in Final Debate

"Mean," "Demonic," "Retard" -- just some of the words Radical Right leaders used to describe President Obama in his winning debate performance on Oct. 22. Find out who said what.

Crampton: Gay Activists 'Abhor Freedom' and Will Stop at Nothing to Intimidate Christians

On yesterday's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Matt Barber and Steve Crampton discussed the recent decision by Gallaudet University to suspend its chief diversity officer for signing a petition to put Maryland’s marriage equality law on the ballot. Even though gay rights advocates, including the leaders of Marylanders for Marriage Equality and Gov. Martin O’Malley, have said that they strongly disagreed with Gallaudet’s decision, Crampton and Barber declared that it was proof that the Left will try to intimidate anyone who disagrees with the "ridiculous and oxymoronic notion of so-called same-sex marriage."  

Crampton went on to assert that liberals and gay rights activists actually "abhor freedom" and "will basically stop at almost nothing in order to accomplish their goals," which is why Christians must wake up and realize that "they want to change society in their own image [and] we've got to stop them":

Barber: 'Our United States Government has Turned its Face From God'

While discussing the importance of prayer leading up to the election and promoting the American Prayer Initiative launched by a group of female Religious Right leaders, Matt Barber warned that America is at a crossroads because "the United States government has turned its face from God" as the Obama administration has worked to implement a "Euro-secular-humanist" ideology through things like abortion and gay marriage.

And everyone knows "how that kind of humanist approach has turned out" because all they have to do is look at Stalinist Russia, Mao's China, and Hitler's Nazi Germany: 

Liberty Counsel: Dan Savage is Encouraging Violence Against Christians Like the Nazis Did to the Jews

Earlier this month, Dan Savage set off a bit of controversy when he declared that "every dead gay kid is a victory for the Family Research Council," prompting FRC president Tony Perkins to hint that legal action might be taken against him.

Today, Matt Barber and Shawn Akers discussed Savage's comments on the "Faith and Freedom" radio program during which Barber suggested that Savage was intentionally "sending a signal to the next Floyd Corkins to go in and try again" while Akers asserted that he "didn't want to go off into hyperbole" right before he declared that Savage's remarks were just like "Hitler's programmatic desensitization of the German people toward the Jewish population": 

Barber: Personhood Amendments are Just Like Efforts to Free the Slaves

Earlier this year, the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously struck down efforts to place a personhood amendment on the ballot that would declare embryos to be "persons" from the moment of conception, ruling that it was "clearly unconstitutional." That decision prompted Liberty Counsel to file a petition with the United States Supreme Court asking the Court to hear the case because it "presents an historic opportunity for the Court to address the issue of a state’s right to amend its own constitution to acknowledge what science has long recognized."

Today, in discussing the legal efforts that Liberty Counsel is undertaking on behalf of this effort, Matt Barber explained that efforts to pass "personhood" amendments is just like effort to end slavery because "this merely does what we did in freeing the slaves; this frees these little people from the overhanging threat of abortion homicide": 

Staver: ‘I’m Not an Alarmist’ but this Election Will ‘Literally’ Determine ‘the Survival of Western Civilization’

On today's episode of Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Mat Staver and Matt Barber discussed "the awakening of pastors in this election and the critical importance of this fall." Such an awakening is particularly important now, Staver explained, because "we are at a critical time of the future of America and literally the survival of Western Civilization, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that":

Staver & Barber: Banning 'Ex-Gay' Therapy Is Like Encouraging Alcoholism, Pedophilia, & Kleptomania

California recently passed a law banning sexual orientation conversion therapy for minors and the anti-gay Religious Right is predictably outraged, prompting Liberty Counsel to file suit because, as Mat Staver and Matt Barber explained on the "Faith and Freedom" radio program today, banning therapists from seeking to turn gay kids straight is like requiring therapists to help people accept and embrace their alcoholism, pedophilia, or kleptomania: 

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Right Wing Leftovers - 10/4/12

  • As promised, Liberty Counsel has filed suit against the new California law banning the use of "ex-gay" reparative therapy on minors.
  • On a related note, Randy Thomasson is calling on parents and counselors to defy this "tyrannical" law.
  • The Christian Coalition is releasing voter guides for the 2012 election.  Apparently, the Christian Coalition still exists.
  • James Dobson needs donations because "the ministry barely made it through the summer months, and emerged from it with nothing to spare."
  • FRC prays that members of the military will react to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell by voting and swinging the election: "May strong moral Military leaders restore moral standards in the ranks. May God stir our military men at home and abroad to move quickly to make their right and their family member's right to vote count, by voting in this years Election."
  • Finally, Janet Porter explains why you cannot vote for President Obama:

Barber & Staver Hail Effort to Shut Down Medieval/Nazi/Torture/Gas Chambers

Last month, the Virginia Board of Health, under pressure from Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, passed a series of onerous and medically unnecessary regulations aimed at shutting down many of the abortion clinics operating within the state. And it comes as no surprise that the anti-choice zealots over at Liberty Counsel are positively thrilled with the move, as Matt Barber admits that ultimately he wants to see every clinic in the nation shut down because they "more resemble a medieval torture chamber than they do a medical clinic" while Mat Staver declared that such clinics "are no different than Nazi Germany with regards to the gas chamber and the experiments that were done and the torture that happened to people":

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/1/12

  • Rick Santorum is already dropping hints about possibly making another run for president in 2016.
  • Activists are launching a New Independent Christian Party that "intends to influence the outcome of American elections and uphold the Godly principles by which America was built and by which Christians believe, live and exist."
  • California has banned the use of "ex-gay" therapy for minors and Liberty Counsel is already threateing to sue.
  • William Gheen says President Obama is a tyrant and a dictator.
  • Matt Barber says Todd Akin "is a man of character, a true leader and true a statesman," mainly because Akin stood up for him when he was fired by AllState.
  • Finally, speaking of Akin, Gary Bauer announced that his Campaign for Working Families "would begin a six-figure independent expenditure to elect Todd Akin to the United States Senate."

Barber: The Progressive Movement Seeks to Create an 'Androgynous America'

Matt Barber is mad, yet again, at the ACLU, this time because the organization sent a letter to a Rhode Island school behalf of a mother who complained that her daughter was not able to attend the school's father-daughter dance, prompting the school to cancel the dance and consider hosting "family dances" instead that would accommodate all kinds of parenting situations.

Even though, in this case, the woman was a single-mother, Barber used the incident as an excuse to once again attack the idea of marriage equality on today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program.

Claiming that those on the Left "hate God's design for the family, [and] so they are trying to undermine it at every possible chance," Barber called on people to "wake up to the progressive movement's attempts to create this androgynous America" before ripping into gay parents for being "so selfish" as to intentionally deny children a mother or father, as well as society as a whole for putting shows on television like "The New Normal":

Akers: Since Gay Activism is a Religion, Regnerus Study is Treated Like Heresy

On Friday's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Matt Barber and Shawn Akers discussed the announcment by the University of Texas at Austin "that no formal investigation is warranted into the allegations of scientific misconduct lodged against associate professor Mark Regnerus" over his study claiming to show that children children raised by gay or lesbian parents experience a much higher rate of social and emotional problems.

The study was widely condemned which, for Akers, is evidence that "the homosexual activist community" is really a religion. As Akers sees it, just as the Catholic Church once vehemently opposed scientific discoveries that revealed that the earth revolves around the sun, for gay activists today "the political correctness of their propaganda" will not allow them to accept anything that might contradict their agenda and so such things must be treated as heresy: 

Staver: Efforts to Redefine Marriage are 'Unpatriotic'

Today, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver addressed the Values Voter Summit where he blasted those who "want to destroy the natural definition of marriage," declaring that any effort to "redesign the definition of marriage is, ultimately, unpatriotic" and an insult to the dreams of our Founding Fathers:

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Is Tony Perkins the Most Disingenuous Person on the Planet?

Well, in a world that includes Paul Ryan, maybe not.  But Perkins ensured his standing near the top of the list with his performance at the National Press Club on Wednesday.  Perkins heads an organization that excels in the kind of incendiary rhetoric he denounced from the podium.   I kept thinking about Bill Clinton’s recent characterization of Ryan: “It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.”
 
Perkins heads the Family Research Council, one of the Religious Right organizations that has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for a long record of smearing LGBT people with false and denigrating rhetoric.  Perkins used his press club appearance to repeat his charge that it was irresponsible for SPLC and other groups to describe his organization that way.  He suggested that FRC’s critics had created a climate that contributed to the recent violence at FRC headquarters in downtown D.C.
 
Let me say that it was genuinely sobering and moving to hear Perkins describe the incident, in which a security guard who may have saved the lives of many FRC employees was shot while disarming a gunman.  No one should be put in the position of being hunkered down in their office in fear for their life.  No one should be subjected to violence for participating in the public arena.  At the time of the shooting, progressive and gay rights leaders immediately and unequivocally denounced the attack on FRC.
 
It is true that irresponsible and hateful speech can poison our public discourse. But in today’s political climate, that speech is most likely to come from right-wing groups and their allies.  I remember feeling nervous as well as outraged when Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, two days after the 9-11 attacks, blamed People For the American Way by name, as well as feminists, liberals, and others.  And the right’s rhetorical extremism has become supercharged since the election of President Obama.
 
The First Amendment does protect hateful and irresponsible speech.  But being free to participate in the public arena does not meaning being exempt from criticism.  And calling hateful speech hateful is not the same as actually promoting hatred toward a particular group of Americans.  We have noted before how quickly Perkins moved to exploit the shooting in an effort to discredit his opponents and deflect attention from his own group’s extreme record and rhetoric:
 
You don't have to look far.  Last year Perkins called gay-rights activists vile, hateful, pawns of Satan.  In 2010, Perkins responded to President Obama's call for civility on the issue of homosexuality by slamming the president for criticizing Uganda's kill-the-gays bill. Perkins described the infamous law as "enhanced penalties for crimes related to homosexuality" and an effort to "uphold moral conduct."  FRC spokespeople have supported laws criminalizing homosexuality overseas and here in the U.S.  
 
What does it even mean for Perkins to make a public commitment to advocate with civility and compassion when his guests at the head table include rhetorical bomb-throwers like Bishop Harry Jackson, who has said that gay rights advocates are trying to recruit young people “just like during the times of Hitler” and that gay marriage is part of a “satanic plot” to destroy the family, and Rep. Louie Gohmert, who participated in the McCarthyite smear of Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and who says that President Obama “wants a dictatorship?” Or when he recently hired as his executive vice president retired Gen. Jerry Boykin, who has called for limits on American Muslims’ religious liberty and accuses Obama of using the health care reform law as cover to create a private army of Brownshirts?
 
Perkins also used his speech to promote this weekend’s Values Voter Summit, which is co-sponsored by organizations whose leaders regularly spout rhetoric that is often even more extreme than FRC’s -- about LGBT Americans, Muslims and other non-Christians, supporters of church-state separation and more.  Among the worst are the American Family Association, whose spokesman Bryan Fischer is such a torrent of bigotry that it cannot be easily condensed, and Liberty Counsel, whose Matt Barber purveys loathsome attacks on his political opponents, charging that satanic gay rights activists are “running interference for pedophiles” and charging that groups supporting church-state separation, like People For the American Way, are enemies of religious freedom.
 
Calling for civil discourse on the eve of the Values Voter Summit sounds like nothing more than a bad joke.  If Tony Perkins is at all sincere about his call for civility, this weekend would be a good time to start.
 

Who's Who at the Values Voter Summit 2012

This weekend Republican and conservative leaders, including GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, are set to address the Religious Right's Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.

Raymond Raines and the Undying Myth of Christian Persecution

A few weeks ago, we wrote a post about a new report from Liberty Institute and the Family Research Council entitled "The Survey on Religious Hostility in America" which claims to have chronicled "more than 600 cases detailing religious bigotry throughout America."

We noted that one of the cases prominently cited in the report was the story about a ten-year old boy named Raymond Raines who was supposedly yanked out of his chair in the school cafeteria and screamed at by a teacher simply for praying before eating his lunch.

It is one of the Religious Right's favorite tales of victimhood and, as we have noted several times before, it's nearly twenty years old and totally false

The St. Louis case concerned 10-year-old Raymond Raines who, his mother said, was given detention because he sought to pray over his lunch. When lawyers for the Rutherford Institute heard about the case, they filed a lawsuit against the principal and issued a press release denouncing the school system.

"I know it sounds bizarre, but we have substantial evidence to believe it happened," said Timothy Belz, the St. Louis lawyer working with the Rutherford Institute.

On NBC-TV's "Meet the Press," Gingrich described the situation as "a real case about a real child. Should it be possible for the government to punish you if you say grace over your lunch? That's what we used to think of Russian behavior when they were the Soviet Union."

But school officials said the incident never happened. Rather, they said, Raymond was disciplined for fighting in the cafeteria.

"I can tell you he was not reprimanded for praying," said Kenneth Brostron, the school's lawyer. "Do you think it makes sense that the teachers would look around the cafeteria and target the one student who was praying quietly at his seat?"

But that, of course, didn't stop Matt Barber and Shawn Akers from citing it on today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, where Akers bizarrely linked it to the Declaration of Independence:

For good measure, Barber chimed in to declare that "the hostility against religion, Christianity in particular, has reached such heights that government officials are physically assaulting for praying over a meal in the schools.  That's not hyperbole; that's a specific example."

The claim is, of course, nothing but hyperbole.

Ann Romney Booked for Gay-Bashing Conference?

[Update 9-12-12: Ann Romney Joins Cardinal Dolan In Declining Values Voter Summit Invitation]

Ann Romney, the person tasked with humanizing her husband Mitt, is apparently scheduled to address a conference that dehumanizes others. I’m talking about the Values Voter Summit, which is hosted and sponsored by two Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate groups – the Family Research Council and American Family Association.

The National Journal Daybook and Values Voter Summit website both list Ann Romney on the schedule:
 
 
 
Notably absent from the list is Cardinal Timothy Dolan, whose spokesperson pointedly declined FRC’s invitation. Yet there Ann Romney is.
 
It’s an odd move by the Romney campaign. They’ve previously deployed her to show the softer side of Mitt. Now they’re sending her to stand on stage with a man who paid $83,000 to use David Duke’s mailing list and addressed a white supremacist group while in public office. The same person – Tony Perkins – also praised a law in Uganda to execute gays and warned senators they would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands” if they repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
 
The Romney campaign must have its reasons, but it sure seems like an odd way to deploy Ann Romney. They already have Paul Ryan scheduled to address the conference. Do they really need two headliners reaching out to the Bachmann-Akin wing of the party? Besides, just last week Ann Romney refused to answer questions about same-sex marriage and contraception, dismissing them as distractions "from what the real voting issue is going to be."
 
For weeks, the Values Voter Summit website listed Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as invited speakers. When Ryan was added to the ticket in August, the Family Research Council blasted out an email confirming Ryan’s appearance. No one really expected Mitt Romney to show for the event – too radical, too close to the election. That’s why, when the conference schedule was recently posted, it was a shock to see not only “Romney” on the lineup, but Ann Romney.
 
Ryan and Ann Romney, if she appears, will be speaking on stage with Perkins in a lineup that includes Kirk Cameron and Michele Bachmann. They’ll be kicking off a conference that features a who’s who of Todd Akin backers (e.g. Mike Huckabee and Rep. Steve King) and anti-Muslim McCarthyites (e.g. Frank Gaffney and Jerry Boykin). And, of course, there will be gay-bashers – featured speakers like Perkins and Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who recently defended Malawi’s law criminalizing homosexuality. They would push for the same thing here in America if they thought they could pull it off. In fact, FRC’s Peter Sprigg and the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer have already done so.
 
These aren’t conservative people pushing conservative values and policies – this is the radical right. America, and the Romney campaign in all likelihood, would be better served if Romney and Ryan followed Dolan’s example and skipped the conference. Or they can go cast their lot with the extremists with the national media looking on. We’ll see what their priorities are this Friday morning.

 

Barber: Media Who Cite SPLC Will Have Blood on Their Hands

Ever since last month's tragic shooting at the Family Research Council's headquarters, the Religious Right has been on a mission to lay the blame on the Southern Poverty Law Center for designating FRC and others as anti-gay hate groups.

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel, in particular, has been on a crusade to blame the shooting on the SPLC and on Friday's episode of the "Faith and Freedom" radio program, warned everyone in the media not to ever dare to cite the SPLC's anti-gay hate group designations ever again, saying that if they do and "something like this again happens, [they] will also have blood on their hands":

Liberty Counsel's Celebrity Headliner: Victoria Jackson

Liberty Counsel, the Florida Family Policy Council and Women Impacting the Nation next month will host a women’s conference at Orlando’s First Baptist Church featuring special guest Victoria Jackson, the former SNL cast member, which wouldn’t be newsworthy if it wasn’t for the fact that Jackson’s career has devolved into making bizarre and unintentionally hilarious rants about the dangers of homosexuality. Come to think of it, she will fit right in with the folks at Liberty Counsel!

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