Liberty Counsel

Bryan Fischer Says Anti-Gay Activists Now 'Second Class Citizens,' Mat Staver Likens DOMA Case to 'Altering the Laws of Gravity'

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer claimed on his radio show today that anti-gay activists will become “second class citizens” and be relegated to “steerage status” as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Defense of Marriage Act: “They’ve done to us exactly what they were falsely accusing us of doing to homosexuals.”

His guest, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, who is also the dean of Liberty University Law School, agreed, saying that the decision “demeans the institution of the United States Supreme Court.”

Staver agreed with Fischer that states should “simply ignore” the Supreme Court’s ruling …just as the government should ignore a court decision that upholds slavery, like Dred Scott, or a ruling which “alters the laws of gravity.”

“You can’t redefine marriage into something that it’s incapable of being, it’s incapable of being two people of the same sex,” Staver continued, adding that gay marriage is the “height of hubris” and “undermines the very foundation of our government.”

Earlier today, Staver argued that the Supreme Court “lost legitimacy” with its DOMA ruling:

Marriage predates government and civil authorities. No civil authority, including the Supreme Court, has the authority to redefine marriage. Marriage was not created by religion or government and is ontologically a union of one man and one woman. For any Court or civil authority to think it has the authority to redefine marriage is the height of hubris. Deconstructing marriage will hurt children and society. While today’s decision on DOMA did not redefine marriage, it has provided the foundation on which to do so. Today’s decision is the equivalent of the 1972 contraception decision involving unmarried couples and the so-called right to privacy on which the 1973 abortion decision in Roe v. Wade was constructed. Today, the Supreme Court has damaged its image, lost legitimacy, and set in motion considerable harm to society and to the State of the Union.

Staver: SCOTUS Ruling for Marriage Equality Will Have 'A Catastrophic Consequence' for 'Human Existence'

In December, Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver told conservative radio host Janet Parshall that a Supreme Court ruling favorable to marriage equality “could cause another civil war” or even a second revolution. While speaking to Parshall last week, Staver argued that the court’s decision would have “a catastrophic consequence” for freedom, liberty and even “human existence” itself.

The Liberty University law school dean, who said that Obama will introduce “forced homosexuality,” went on to say that the Supreme Court’s decision could lead to civil and criminal penalties for opponents of same-sex marriage, such as losing one’s job. As a result, anti-gay activists “cannot acknowledge that decision as being a legitimate one” and should treat the Supreme Court as “an illegitimate institution.”

If the court goes the wrong way within the next week on these issues, it will become an illegitimate institution and we should treat it as such. It is that dire. It is exactly as simple and as plain as you said it: God said marriage is between one man and one woman, and some civil institution says no it’s not. That has a catastrophic consequence for our religious freedom, for the very function of the family, for marriage, for our human existence, for civil society and for any area of our liberty, it is a catastrophic game changer and it will be more destructive than Roe v. Wade. Why? Because Roe v. Wade, as destructive as it is and it is destructive, does not force you to have an abortion. Now Obamacare is forcing us now to fund abortion. But this will not just simply say, ‘ok same-sex marriage, I don’t agree with it but I can go on and live my life,’ no. You want to work in the DOJ? You’ve got to support it. You want to work in any other area? You’ve got to endorse it. This will not be coexistence, this will not be the government’s got a bad policy, this will be the government’s got a bad policy but you must advance it, you must support it; if you don’t, you will be punished, you won’t have your job, you will be punished in some other civil or even criminal way. That’s why it’s going to be more coercive than Roe v. Wade, it is a line—I’m telling you, I’m hoping people understand this—that we cannot cross. If we cross that line, we have to push back; we cannot acknowledge that decision as being a legitimate one.

Staver: 'The Hispanic Community Believes in the Same Values as does Liberty Counsel'

Liberty Counsel today unveiled a 60-second Spanish-language radio program, Llamado de Libertad, “with the goal to encourage, educate and reach out to the Hispanic community.” Staver, who is also a board member of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, in a statement described Latinos as a monolith who concurs with his organization’s right-wing ideology:

“We are very excited to announce the launch of our Spanish version of Freedom’s Call, Llamado de Libertad,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The Hispanic Community believes in the same values as does Liberty Counsel—sanctity of life, family, and religious freedom.”

“Llamado de Libertad fulfills a need in Hispanic broadcasting,” said Yuri Mantilla. “The Spanish community needs to know more about what is going on in our nation—the laws and issues that Liberty Counsel is advocating.”

Liberty Counsel is partnering with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference on a new Hispanic Initiative. “As the legislative and policy arm of the NHCLC, it is important that Liberty Counsel is communicating with the Hispanic community,” said Staver. “Building our presence on Spanish-language radio stations is a step in that direction.”

 

But like other groups, Latinos don’t speak with one voice, especially on the social issues that Liberty Counsel concentrates on.

One clue that Latinos aren’t aligned with the rabidly anti-Obama Liberty Counsel is that a whopping 71% of Latinos voted for Obama in the last election.

Liberty Counsel also might have little luck attracting Latino supporters over the group’s two central goals: criminalizing abortion and fighting gay rights.

ABC found that among Latino voters, 66% supported keeping abortion legal, compared to 59% of Americans at large. A 2012 Lake Research poll found that 68% of Latinos believe that abortion “should remain legal,” and NBC/WSJ poll reports that Latinos “increasingly oppose [Roe v. Wade] being overturned.”

Latino voters also outpace non-Hispanic whites and African Americans in their support for marriage equality, with 59% backing same-sex marriage. Quinnipiac similarly observed that with 63% favoring marriage equality, Latinos “support same-sex marriage than any other demographic.”

But just as Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber erroneously predicted that Jewish voters would turn en masse against Obama, the ultraconservative group’s latest stunt to appeal to Latinos may come up dry.

Staver: Obama Violating First Amendment by Affirming 'Immoral and Unhealthy' Homosexuality

Mat Staver and Shawn Akers of Liberty Counsel are incensed that a U.S Department of Agriculture newsletter [PDF] promotes an LGBT pride event, or as Staver called it, “the sexual anarchist event.”

On Friday’s edition of Faith & Freedom, Staver said the newsletter is proof that the USDA “intimidates employees if they don’t participate,” while Akers argued that the agency is using Saul Alinsky tactics to wage a “quiet revolution” and a “culture war.”

Later, the two also discussed a brochure on creating an inclusive work environment from DOJPride, an LGBT rights group of Department of Justice employees, which they claim cripples free speech even though it has no enforcement provisions.

“Essentially what we have in this administration is an LGBT affirmative action program,” Staver claimed. “This is the most outrageous violation of conscience and the First Amendment that I have seen within any federal agency to force people’s conscience to affirm something that historically has been, and according to natural law and biblical revelation, is unnatural, immoral and unhealthy.”

Watch:

Barber: The Boy Scouts Have 'Committed Gay Activist Suicide'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Matt Barber was joined by Liberty University Law School professor Cynthia Dunbar to discuss the recent vote by the Boy Scouts of America to allow participation by gay youth under the age of 18.

Barber was, of course, outraged that the Boy Scouts have embraced "sexual immorality" and declared that the organization was hypocritical for maintaining its oath that scouts will honor God and remain morally straight.

After Barber declaring that the organization has "committed gay activist suicide," Dunbar later added that the entire gay activist agenda is aimed at swaying the worldview of Americans, just as was "done in pre-Holocaust Germany, as far as propaganda and presentation and swaying the whole mindset of a nation":

Barber: Unlike Nixon, Obama & Clinton Don't Have the 'Character' to Resign for the 'Vicious, Horrible Cover-Up' of Benghazi

For some reason, Matt Barber and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel have decided to take some time away from their normal anti-gay activism to weigh in on Benghazi by delivering petitions demanding a Congressional investigation into the attacks.

Why such an investigation would even be necessary is beyond us, since Barber has already made up his mind and decided that the entire thing is "Watergate on steroids." But unlike Richard Nixon, Barber said, neither President Obama nor Hillary Clinton have the dignity or "character" to "recognize that it is over" and resign for office for the role they supposedly played in this "vicious, horrible cover-up":

Barber: Satan Behind Obama Administration's Gay Rights Efforts, Bringing America Back to Days of Noah

Yesterday, Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber appeared on VCY America’s Crosstalk with Vic Eliason to continue to push his claim that the gay rights movement is Satanic and meant to destroy society just like in the days before Noah’s flood.

He told Eliason that “this celebration of aberrant and deviant sexual behavior, homosexuality and cross-dressing particularly” goes back “before even Sodom and Gomorrah to the days of Noah,” lamenting that “America has finally flipped.” Later, he continued his diatribe and alleged that Satan is behind the Obama administration's support for LGBT rights in order to spread “deception.”

Eliason: I cannot believe Matt, I’ve lived a long time, I’m seventy-seven, and I cannot believe that I’m living in a country where this stuff is going on, it’s nauseating.

Barber: It’s pretty scriptural though, isn’t it? Scripture says woe to those who call evil good and good evil. Scripture also says there is nothing new under the sun. This celebration of aberrant and deviant sexual behavior, homosexuality and cross-dressing particularly, it goes back before even Sodom and Gomorrah to the days of Noah. So there’s nothing new under the sun but now America has finally flipped.



Barber: This is spiritual warfare, it is that simple, it is that black and white, it is good versus evil. Scripture says that the Prince of the World is the enemy and the Prince of the World is very shrewd and he operates on deception, he needs deception to get by. Well that’s the whole progressive movement, they operate on deception. That’s why we see so much deception coming out of this Obama administration with a progressive, complicit media that are pushing political correctness, changing the story, will not report the facts, will not report truth and so that’s what it boils down to, it is absolutely spiritual warfare.

After arguing that President Obama is “pushing the hyper-sexualization of children in public schools by obsessing about aberrant sexual behaviors and teaching children that they’re normal and good and proper,” Barber said that gay couples are merely “two people who want to play house” and are in “rebellion against God.”

This president is the most radical secularist president in American history, without even a close second. He is a progressive radical, a secular humanist, secular socialist and he is pushing this moral relativist worldview that is central to the progressive agenda and pushing the hyper-sexualization of children in public schools by obsessing about aberrant sexual behaviors and teaching children that they’re normal and good and proper. More importantly here, by redefining words or words that don’t fit within their agenda, words that identify the reality that you have a mother or a father. Every single human being who is born on this planet has a mother and a father. It takes two, a male and a female, in order to have a child. Just because two people want to play house and pretend that they’re a married couple, a man and a man or a woman and a woman, guess what, they still have to bring in a third party, whether it’s two lesbians with artificial insemination or two homosexual males through having to adopt from somebody who naturally had children. It’s an assault on truth, it’s an attack on truth and it’s rebellion against God.

Barber: Satan Is Trying to Get the Government to Approve Sin Through Gay Marriage

On today's "Faith and Freedom" broadcast, Matt Barber explained that the push for gay marriage is really an effort by Satan to get the United States to officially embrace sin.

Since man-woman marriage is a metaphor for Christ and the Church, Barber explained, "Satan hates the institution of natural marriage and wants to see it watered down."

"What is central to so-called gay marriage?" Barber asked. "Homosexual sin. So therefore gay marriage is, in and of itself, sin.  And so if they can get the government to put its official stamp of approval on counterfeit same-sex marriage, then that is the government shaking its fist at God and saying 'we know better than you do'":

Matt Barber Tweets Homophobic Cartoon of Gay Man Tricking Boy Scout into Sex

As one of the most nasty and mean-spirited figures of the Religious Right, it was no surprise to see Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel tweet this cartoon implying that a gay Boy Scout troop leader would sexually assault his scouts:

Barber: Liberals Are to Blame for New Strain of Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Matt Barber reacted to recent concerns voiced by the CDC about the emergence of a new drug-resistant strain of gonorrhea and he knew exactly what was to blame: liberals.

"Sexually transmitted disease running rampant with kids younger and younger and younger," Barber lamented. "Teenage pregnancy through the roof. Thanks a lot, Left. Comprehensive sex education. You're to blame. Progressives and leftists are to blame for these children suffering the consequences of their lifestyle. They are reaping what they sow and in large part the Left is to blame":

Bachmann Urges 'Spiritual Warfare' to Enforce Right-Wing Policies

Last week, RWW posted video of Michele Bachmann calling the 9-11 and Benghazi attacks God’s judgment on America.  A few weeks earlier, at Liberty Counsel’s Awakening conference, Bachmann insisted that public policy should reflect what she thinks God says – and she urged American Christians to focus on “spiritual warfare” in order to promote right-wing policies.

Watch:

You see if we retreat from our values and fail to make the case on issues like marriage – because it is one man, one woman – because God said it is. Not because it’s poll tested – because God said it is. And life – not because it’s poll tested, because God stands for life. He made us in his image and likeness. And if we tread too softly on issues, like taking on Islamic jihad, and if we fight too timidly, and if we strive too meekly, then I think we all understand we very easily could come face to face with defeat, and then our nation would in fact pay a great and a lasting price, one that none of us wants to face.

...

Because we need to recognize the desperate situation of our condition, not only in the natural but also in the supernatural. Because as the scripture was read from the pulpit at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, we fight not against this world, we fight against the powers and principalities and 'Prince of the Air,' that’s where we need to focus as well, is on spiritual warfare…

Barber: Obama Is Trying to Purge Christians From the Military

Last week, Matt Barber and Shawn Akers were discussing the current Religious Right myth that the military was going to start to court-martial soldiers for sharing their faith.  It is not true, of course, but that isn't about to stop Barber and Akers from repeating it and complaining that the Obama administration is implementing a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"-like program for Christianity in the military.

"We have people controlling the reins of government, right now," Barber said, "particularly out of the Oval Office, who are calling evil 'good' and good 'evil.' They are elevating and celebrating deviant sexual behavior in the ranks of the armed services, which is in direct conflict with clear biblical admonitions against sexual sin in both the Old and New Testaments."

And this is dangerous, Barber warned, because the true intent is to purge Christians from the military entirely and open it up to "secular progressives" which will undermine our national security "because as they persecute Christians and conservatives and other who have traditional values within the ranks of the armed services, it leaves a vacuum; nature abhors a vacuum and the kind of people that are going to fill that vacuum aren't the kind of people that we want defending our country, quite frankly":

Boykin: America on 'Precipice of Total Destruction' Due to 'Silent' Church

Retired Gen. Jerry Boykin – anti-Muslim crusader, Religious Right folk hero, and Family Research Council Vice President – was one of the speakers at Liberty Counsel’s recent Awakening conference. Boykin, who has accused Barack Obama of turning the U.S. into a “Marxist nation,” told Awakening attendees that the country is “on the precipice of total destruction” and he blames the church for not standing up and being “the dominant influence on our society.”

The Bible tells us, woe unto you who call good evil and evil good. And that’s exactly what we’re doing in America today. We’re calling good evil and evil good, and we’re paying the penalty for it because we’re losing our nation. Our values are changing so rapidly. We’re on the precipice of total destruction if we don’t turn this around and I mean that. I’ll say it again, we’re on the precipice of total destruction if we don’t turn our value system around….The question that we have to ask ourselves, and I ask you to ponder this, where is that church that Alexis de Tocqueville talked about in America today? Where is that church that should be the dominant influence on our society, that should influence everything that we do, the way we think, the way we act. Where is that church today? … Across the nation the church has been silent. The church is not the dominant influence in America today. It doesn’t shape our values because the church has been silent, where we’re now calling good evil and evil good even inside the churches across America today, and it’s killing us as a nation.

Barber: It's Easy to Be a Conservative Christian Because 'We Just Simply Tell the Truth'

The other day, Bryan Fischer appeared on Alan Colmes' radio program where he refused to entertain Colmes' questions about whether he had ever experienced any gay impulses. It seemed like a relatively simple question, but Fischer insisted that he was not going to talk about his personal life ... but then decided to he needed to make it crystal clear on his own radio program today that he is a "lifelong, happily married heterosexual."

Fischer then welcomed one of the few other Religious Right activist who can match him when it comes to demonstrating relentless anti-gay hostility, Matt Barber, onto the program so the two could congratulate one another for being so courageous in standing for the truth of Christianity in the face of the Left, which is driven by nothing but irrational rage and hatred of the truth.

"That's why it's so easy to be a Christian," Barber explained, "that's why it's so easy to be a conservative because all we have to do is say what we believe and say what happens to be true ... We just simply tell the truth; they can't tell the truth because their entire worldview is rooted in a lie":

Liberty Counsel Continues to Promote the Latest Fabricated Case of Christian Persecution

As we have pointed out many times before, once a mythical incident of supposed Christian victimization gets embraced by the Religious Right, it takes on a life of its own as no amount of evidence pointing out that the incident never happened will stop if from being spread.

And that principle was demonstrated today on Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast where hosts Matt Barber and Shawn Akers juxtaposed the news of Jason Collins' coming out against the story of Derrick Hayes, a high school runner who was supposedly disqualified from an event for thanking God after finishing a race.

While someone like Collins is hailed as a hero, Akers said, someone like Hayes is "almost criminalized":

Of course, as we pointed out earlier this week, the entire saga of Hayes' supposed victimization was false, as even Hayes himself admits: 

Based on the UIL’s investigation, the student athlete raised his hand and gestured forward at the conclusion of the 4x100-meter relay. The meet official approached the student-athlete in an effort to warn him of a possible disqualification should that behavior continue. In the opinion of the official, the student reacted disrespectfully. Based on his reaction, the student-athlete was subsequently disqualified. Any decision to disqualify a student-athlete at any track meet must be upheld by the head meet referee. The meet official and the meet referee conferred, and the disqualification was upheld on-site. At no point during the discussions surrounding the disqualification at the meet was the issue of religious expression raised by any parties.

The UIL’s investigation also revealed that all coaches involved were notified prior to the regional meet that any gestures in violation of the National Federation of State High School Associations track and field rule against unsporting behavior would be grounds for disqualification. Coaches were instructed to discuss this with their student-athletes prior to all races.

To assist the UIL in its investigation, the student-athlete’s parents submitted a letter stating that their son’s religious freedoms were not violated. “In looking back at the conclusion of the 4x100 race, we realize that Derrick could have handled the win in a different manner,” KC and Stacey Hayes said in the letter. “It was not our intention to force the issue that our son’s religious freedom was violated. Nor do we feel that way now. After discussing this with our son, we have come to the conclusion that his religious rights were not violated.”

The student-athlete who was disqualified also submitted a letter during the investigation stating: “Although I am very thankful for all God has given me and blessed me with, on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at the Regional Track Meet in Kingsville, TX, my actions upon winning the 4x100 relay were strictly the thrill of victory. With this being said, I do not feel my religious rights or freedoms were violated.”

Even though Hayes admits that he was not disqualified for thanking God, Liberty Counsel continues to spread the myth, thus demonstrating yet again they aren't going to stop promoting a good tale of victimhood just because it happens to be demonstrably false.

Bradlee Dean: Public Schools Evil, Obama Emulating Mao

Right-wing rock musician and radio host Bradlee Dean, a Michele Bachmann ally, was part of a panel on the Millennial generation at Liberty Counsel’s recent Awakening conference. Dean’s You Can Run But You Can’t Hide ministry, designated an anti-gay hate group last year by the Southern Poverty Law Center, works to bring Dean’s right-wing-values presentations into public schools.

Dean – who has suggested that the federal government was behind the shootings in Sandy Hook, Aurora Springs, and Columbine, along with the Oklahoma City bombing and 9-11 – not surprisingly pushed conspiracy theories about public education, including the notion that the rigorous International Baccalaureate program is part of a global scheme to disarm Americans and indoctrinate students in a homosexual agenda.

During the Awakening panel, Dean ranted that public school students know nothing about the Constitution and said that Christian parents have no excuse for having their children in public schools. He cited the Common Core, a curriculum standard developed by state education officials, as evidence that President Obama is acting like Mao Tse-Tung. He said Supreme Court rulings on church-state issues had opened the door to Satanism.   Some excerpts:

“In 1962, said we don’t want prayer, and we don’t want the Ten Commandments in 1980, guess what you did, you just opened the door to Satanism, and call it for what it is....

You can’t justify having your kid in a public school. You can’t. You can’t do it. [Other panelist: “Unless you hate ‘em”]. Unless you hate ‘em, that’s exactly right. No, guys, just hang on, there’s nothing funny about this. Here, let me tell you this, this is how funny it is, guys.  In public schools right now they’re teaching your kids, for those that didn’t know, International Baccalaureate. For those that didn’t know, it started in 1968 under a global educational scheme called International Baccalaureate. They’re teaching your kids to disarm, they’re teaching your kids to accept homosexuality, homosexual marriage, which has never been in the history of mankind. By the way, gay marriage and homosexuality? It’s only there to take away your sovereignty.  So for those that want to sit there and play games with the homosexual community, let me tell you something: they ain’t playing….

They’re teaching No Child Left Behind. Now they’re teaching something called Common Core. Folks, this president is emulating dictators. Do you not understand that he is not playing games? If you look at Mao Tse-tung, this boy is emulating Mao Tse-tung to a T. You know what Mao Tse-tung did, he went to the younger generation, he overthrew the Republic of China to implement what? Democracy. Who is the last president that actually acknowledged that we were a republic? Reagan. Every president since has continuously inundated the next generation with the fact that we are a democracy. That is dangerous, guys.”

Dean, who last year was ordered to pay attorney fees in an unsuccessful-to-date $50 million lawsuit against MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and the Minnesota Independent’s Andy Birkey, earlier this year threatened a defamation suit against Wonkette.

Religious Right Panelists: Gay Rights Activists are Christ-Hating Fascists

At Liberty Counsel’s recent Awakening conference, gays were portrayed as enemies of religious freedom who are bent on turning public schools into indoctrination centers using the issue of bullying as a “Trojan horse.”  Greg Quinlan, president of Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays, who describes himself as ex-gay, complained that New Jersey’s new anti-bullying law is being used to bully Christian students, and hollered that the law is actually fascism.

You don’t need a law, inculcated and put into code, to talk about bullying. What this bully bill is is behavior modification. That’s the job of the parents and the teachers and we don’t need that put into law. This is fascism! This is fascism! We need to put a swastika on it!

Quinlan complained that public officials, including Gov. Chris Christie, would not listen to Religious Right objections to the bill because gay rights advocates had exploited the suicide of a bullied boy:

Because one boy -- and the homosexual agenda is extremely good at this, when there’s a disaster -- one boy jumps off the George Washington Bridge, kills himself in the Hudson River. And they seized that moment and they took it and used it to their advantage. And what did we do? We said “Oh, that’s terrible that that happened,” but we don’t have any statements to make when these issues do happen. This is where we have to have better messaging.

Matt Barber, one of the most ferociously anti-gay voices in public life, used a question about the treatment of an anti-gay protestor to charge that gays are motivated by hatred for Jesus Christ and that the “homosexual lifestyle” is a sin-condemned “culture of death.”

The question was, an elderly woman was at a homosexual rally and she was carrying this big styrofoam cross and she was knocked around, it was caught on film, no charges were filed, they took her cross, and stomped it, and crushed into tiny bits. That is a microcosm of what we’re up here – and I thought, something that immediately occurred to me was, wasn’t that a metaphor for what we’re up against. It’s about the cross. It’s about the cross and a hatred of Christ, who is what? The way, the truth, and the life.  They hate the way, which is Christ, they hate the truth, which they are in conflict with, and they hate life. This is a culture of death we are talking about here, and the wages of sin is what? Is death. The homosexual lifestyle astronomically, from a statistical standpoint, leads to death. The wages of sin is death.

Other speakers on the panel were Rena Lindevaldsen, a Liberty University law professor and associate dean, and Cynthia Dunbar, a Religious Right activist who served on the Texas state board of education and who is now also a law professor at Liberty. Dunbar bragged in her conference bio that her work has earned her a “position” on Right Wing Watch.

Rick Perry, Fox News and Religious Right Activists Jump on Fabricated Case of Christian Persecution

Todd Starnes of Fox News has dedicated himself to finding cases of Christians facing persecution. Starnes recently reported that the military is deliberately blocking access to a Baptist website and may court-martial Christian soldiers, and alleged that a school in New York is forcing girls to kiss one another. However, these three incidents were all completely false.

On Sunday, Starnes filed another report on how a high school track team in Texas “was disqualified from competing in the state championships because one of the runners made a gesture thanking God after he crossed the finish line.”

“Derrick Hayes, the anchor of the Columbus High School 4×100 relay team had just crossed the finish line when he raised his finger to the sky,” Starnes writes, “thanking the Lord for winning the race that would send them to the state finals.

His article was based on the claims of the athlete’s father, and other outlets picked up the story as well.

Gov. Rick Perry wrote a letter to the University Interscholastic League demanding an investigation:

According to press reports, the student's father, K.C. Hayes, has been widely quoted as saying the student was pointing to the heavens to thank God.

In his letter, Perry said he would “not tolerate the suppression of religious freedom anywhere.”

“It is unconscionable that a student athlete could be punished for an expression of religious faith or that an act of faith could disqualify an athlete in a UIL competition,” Perry said.

He urged the UIL to “investigate this incident thoroughly and take whatever action is necessary to ensure protection of religious freedom and expression at UIL competitions.”

As the Texas Freedom Network has pointed out, Religious Right groups such as the Liberty Institute and Liberty Counsel both jumped on the story, as did Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Attorney General Greg Abbott.

But much like the student who was supposedly given detention for praying in school when he was actually disciplined for fighting, the Texas athlete wasn’t waving his finger to thank God and he wasn’t even disqualified for the gesture he made at the finish line.

The student was actually disqualified for inappropriate behavior towards the referee, and he and his dad now admit that the incident had nothing to do with religious expression.

According to the UIL press release:

Over the course of the investigation, the UIL interviewed several eyewitnesses and reviewed video of the race. Additionally, the UIL spoke to the involved parties. The UIL has concluded the investigation and has found no evidence to suggest that the disqualification took place as a result of the student-athlete expressing religious beliefs. The basis for the disqualification was due to the student-athlete behaving disrespectfully, in the opinion of the local meet referee.

Based on the UIL’s investigation, the student athlete raised his hand and gestured forward at the conclusion of the 4x100-meter relay. The meet official approached the student-athlete in an effort to warn him of a possible disqualification should that behavior continue. In the opinion of the official, the student reacted disrespectfully. Based on his reaction, the student-athlete was subsequently disqualified. Any decision to disqualify a student-athlete at any track meet must be upheld by the head meet referee. The meet official and the meet referee conferred, and the disqualification was upheld on-site. At no point during the discussions surrounding the disqualification at the meet was the issue of religious expression raised by any parties.

The UIL’s investigation also revealed that all coaches involved were notified prior to the regional meet that any gestures in violation of the National Federation of State High School Associations track and field rule against unsporting behavior would be grounds for disqualification. Coaches were instructed to discuss this with their student-athletes prior to all races.

To assist the UIL in its investigation, the student-athlete’s parents submitted a letter stating that their son’s religious freedoms were not violated. “In looking back at the conclusion of the 4x100 race, we realize that Derrick could have handled the win in a different manner,” KC and Stacey Hayes said in the letter. “It was not our intention to force the issue that our son’s religious freedom was violated. Nor do we feel that way now. After discussing this with our son, we have come to the conclusion that his religious rights were not violated.”

The student-athlete who was disqualified also submitted a letter during the investigation stating: “Although I am very thankful for all God has given me and blessed me with, on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at the Regional Track Meet in Kingsville, TX, my actions upon winning the 4x100 relay were strictly the thrill of victory. With this being said, I do not feel my religious rights or freedoms were violated.”

Religious Right Activists Continue to Level Attacks on Jason Collins

Opponents of gay rights are not letting up on their attacks against Jason Collins following the NBA player’s decision to come out of the closet. Called2Action’s Steve Noble ranted in a radio commentary about the media coverage of the Collins story: “It’s gay this, it’s gay that, I’m so tired of gay; I’m so tired of gay, I’m just tired of gay.”

So Jason Collins, the has been, lying NBA player comes out of the closet as a homosexual and he becomes instantaneously a hero and gets a call from the President like he just landed on the moon. ESPN commentator Chris Broussard, however, comes out of the closet as a Christian and becomes America’s most wanted and is hated and slammed across the liberal media. Things, that make you go: hmmm? What about poor Tim Tebow in all of this? Tim Tebow just got cut from the Jets the other day. I guess if Tim Tebow wants to turn his career around, you know what he needs to do, he needs to start liking men and stop following Jesus and then badda bing, the NFL will just bow down at his feet and he’ll be a national hero, get a call from the President and a multimillion dollar contract the next day. Is anybody else’s head spinning out there? It’s gay this, it’s gay that, I’m so tired of gay; I’m so tired of gay, I’m just tired of gay.

Linda Harvey of Mission America cited Noble’s analysis and said that “Jason Collins should feel shame and a desire to change, not pride.” She also called Collins an “ex-heterosexual,” seemingly unaware that closeted gay men who date women are still gay.

As it turns out, [Jason] Collins is actually an ex-heterosexual. Since he had a relationship with a woman, his ex-fiancée, who told reporters she had no idea about this other side of him. Some might say that this is bisexuality but it really reveals an anything-goes sexual behavior that once again is an evidence of choice, not something inborn. Many in our politically correct media will of course refuse to see this and connect the dots. Let me refer to a couple of Christian commentators who had insights on the Jason Collins situation. Steve Nobel of Called2Action Ministries sent out an e-newsletter with his headline, “Why is this news and why did the President of the United States call him?” Noble went on to say, “I’m so tired of ‘gay this’ and ‘gay that,’ aren’t you?” Yes Steve, you’re not alone in thinking we’ve heard enough deceit about a sinful, high-risk behavior. It’s not like race, no one is born this way, and Jason Collins should feel shame and a desire to change, not pride.

Liberty Counsel’s always-distasteful Matt Barber used his column in WorldNetDaily to compare Collins to a polo player who is has “a thing for his horse”:

It’s all so confusing.

How do you get a call from the White House? Sandra Fluke? Jason Collins? I see a theme developing here. Declare sexual liberation from all that archaic “morality” stuff and – ring, ring – “Barack on line one.”



And all is well in the “progressive” time-space continuum.

But, lest you worry about Jason Collins’ incredible act of courage going otherwise unlauded by this president and his mainstream media, I shall hasten to comfort you. For Mr. Obama also heaped spoonfuls of sparkly-sweet sugar upon Jason’s hate-tattered brow at a frenzied news conference. CBS News describes it thusly: “President Obama told reporters he ‘couldn’t be prouder’ of NBA player Jason Collins, who one day earlier announced he was gay. Mr. Obama said Collins is ‘a role model’ to be able to say, ‘I’m still 7-foot-tall and can bang with Shaq, and deliver a hard foul.’”

Um, right, exactly. If we can’t be proud of sodomy, what can we be proud of?

Seriously, I’d encourage the next pro athlete engaged in some other hitherto-considered-deviant-sexual-lifestyle to ride the wave.

Who knows, in today’s ever-”progressive” culture, I could see President Obama awarding the Medal of Honor to the first polo player courageous enough to admit having a thing for his horse.

Dominionist 'Apostle' Promotes David Barton's Distorted History

Among the many publications distributed at Liberty Counsel’s Awakening conference in April were two booklets examining Democratic and Republican party platforms. They were produced by Justice at the Gate, a group that describes its vision as “Building strategic partnerships to mobilize Christians to pray effectively and to vote righteously.”

The two publications are both titled “Democrats & Republicans In Their Own Words.”  One of them is subtitled, “National Party Platforms on Specific Biblical Issues.”  I’m not sure where in the Bible they find school prayer and “school choice and faith-based education,” but those are listed as biblical issues, along with abortion and homosexuality.  This booklet includes side-by-side excerpts from party platforms between 1976 and 2000. Other notable issues covered in the Bible, such as poverty, are nowhere to be found.

The other “In Their Own Words” booklet features an African American couple with a young child on the front cover. It is subtitled, “A 124-Year History of Major Civil Rights Efforts Based on a Side-by-Side Comparison of the Early Platforms of the Two Major Political Parties.” Apparently, racial justice and civil rights do not count as “biblical issues,” since they aren’t mentioned in the other publication. The side-by-side comparison in this booklet goes back to old anti-abolitionist planks in Democratic platforms from the 1840s, before the Republican Party was even formed.  The booklet takes 13 pages before it even gets to the 20th Century -- and that part of the booklet, which focuses on Southern Democrats’ support for segregation, stops in 1964.

In other words, this supposed history of racial justice and the political parties finds no room for a discussion of the Republican Party’s post-civil-rights-era southern strategy, which built power by fomenting racial resentment among southern whites, or for any of the political parties’  positions on racial justice and civil rights over the past 50 years.

Why does that sound so familiar? The answer lies inside the front cover: “Historical footnotes and annotations by David Barton, President of WallBuilders.” Barton has been peddling the notion that Republicans are civil rights heroes for more than a decade. He made the same kind of distorted and truncated history the centerpiece of his 2006 DVD, “Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White,” and in the outreach he has done to African Americans on behalf of the GOP.  (For those just joining us, Barton is a right-wing “historian” whose book on Jefferson was disavowed by its publisher last year after complaints about its inaccuracies.)

Who or what is Justice at the Gate?  It’s a vehicle for Alice Patterson, who is among the Religious Right leaders hoping that the right kind of outreach will get African American Christians to start voting more conservatively. Patterson is an “apostle” affiliated with the dominionist New Apostolic Reformation who believes the Democratic Party is controlled by demons. Her mission has been described as bringing NAR’s views into government, which is why she organized The Response, the dominionist-heavy prayer rally that was supposed to launch Rick Perry into the White House.  

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