Right-wing megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress spoke at Liberty University's convocation this morning, where he told the student audience that America's complete collapse was unavoidable, thanks to Supreme Court rulings banning organized prayer and Bible study in public schools, legalizing abortion, and striking down bans of gay sex.
These rulings, Jeffress declared, have "so weakened the moral and spiritual infrastructure of our nation that our collapse is inevitable," explaining that the 9/11 terrorist attack was God's judgment upon America for the sin of abortion.
"All you have to do is look in history to see what God does with a nation that sanctions the killing of its own children," he said. "Just look at the nation of Israel ... Because they got involved in the worship of Moloch, the pagan god, and they sacrificed their children on the altar, what did God do? He raised up the godless Babylonians and Assyrians to bring judgement on his own people."
"People ask me all the time," Jeffress continued, "'Well, I just don't understand why God wouldn't protect our nation and he would allow these radical Muslims in 2001 to kill 3,000 of our citizens and why God doesn't protect us. Surely, God doesn't use pagans to bring judgment upon his own people, does he?'"
"Just read the Bible," he said. "God will not allow sin to go unpunished and he certainly won't allow the sacrifice of children to go unpunished":
Earlier today, Sen. Ted Cruz announced his campaign for president at Liberty University (LU), the ultraconservative school established by Jerry Falwell. His decision to choose Liberty is rather telling, considering that LU is a radically right-wing university with a law school staffed by some of the most viciously anti-gay Religious Right activists operating today.
Of course, given that LU itself was founded by Falwell, who blamed gay people for 9/11, this should not come as much of a surprise.
Staver continues to call for a revolution to fight gay marriage and is currently leading an effort to get anti-gay Christians to ignore any Supreme Court decision striking down gay marriage bans, saying that refusing to obey such a ruling is like refusing to turn a Jew over to the Nazis:
When Staver announced his resignation from Liberty's law school last year, LU President Jerry Falwell, Jr. announced that Rena Lindevaldsen would take over as interim dean. Lindevaldsen previously served as senior litigation counsel at Liberty Counsel, where she was the lead attorney in a custody case involving Lisa Miller, an "ex-gay" woman who kidnapped her daughter and fled the country rather than abide by court-ordered custody arrangements with her former partner. Lindevaldsen even wrote a book about the saga while she and Liberty Counsel continue to insist that they have no knowledge of Miller's whereabouts, despite the fact that she was reportedly living at a home in Nicaragua owned by the father of an administrative assistant working at the Liberty University Law School.
Furthermore, Staver and Lindevaldsen even reportedly taught a class at Liberty based on the Miller case in which students were instructed that the "right" thing for a Christian lawyer to do in a case such as this would be to counsel their client that they have an obligation to ignore the law and court orders and instead engage in "civil disobedience" to uphold God's law. In 2012, the school was hit with a lawsuit over its alleged involvement in Miller's kidnapping.
When Lindevaldsen spoke at a right-wing conference earlier this month, she told the audience at a breakout panel on "sexual rebellion" that when fellow conservative Christians ask her what the "big deal" is about LGBT rights, she responds that "it’s a big deal because it’s a big deal to God." Marriage equality, she told the enthusiastic audience, matters to God because it is "the heart of where Satan’s attacking":
Matt Barber is another Liberty University/Liberty Counsel crossover. He formerly served as vice president of Liberty Counsel Action and still co-hosts Liberty Counsel's daily radio program with Staver, while also holding positions as associate dean and adjunct professor at Liberty.
Baber happens to be one of the most viciously anti-gay bigots operating today, as demonstrated by his view that homosexuality is nothing more than "one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it "love.'"
He has said that marriage equality mocks God and desecrates the Church, declared that the Defense of Marriage Act was necessary to prevent children from becoming gay and getting AIDS, said that gay teens end their own lives because they "know that what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, [and] immoral," proclaimed gay adoption to be "tragic," "unconscionable," and "reprehensible," and warned that gay activists are seeking to poison the minds of children and are "running interference for the pedophile movement."
He has supported repressive anti-LGBT regimes around the world, praising Russian President Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay crackdown and saying he'd like to see a ban on "gay propaganda" in the U.S., as well as defending Uganda's harsh criminal penalties for LGBT people.
Several other anti-gay activists also hold teaching positions at Liberty University, including Shawn Akers, who has said that measures to prevent the bullying of LGBT youth are "a form of indoctrination and reeducation that smacks of socialist and Communist countries" and accused gay rights advocates of bullying Christians and persecuting them in the same way as Adolf Hitler persecuted Jews.
Any way you cut it, it is clear that Liberty University is home of a slew of anti-gay bigots. The fact that Ted Cruz chose this as the venue at which to announce his presidential campaign speaks volumes.
On Saturday, roughly 2,000 activists gathered at Faith Assembly, a megachurch in Orlando, for the Awakening, an annual “Prayer and Patriotism event” organized by the Christian Right legal group Liberty Counsel. The Awakening, which Liberty Counsel organizes under the auspices of an amalgam of Religious Right groups called the Freedom Federation, brings together activists from the evangelical Right with the GOP politicians who want their votes.
At this year's event, GOP politicians including Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal (via video) and RNC faith director Chad Connelly shared a stage with far-right activists including "ex-gays," a phony ex-terrorist and at least two Religious Right leaders who insist that AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality.
Here are five takeaways from a day with the core of the Religious Right.
1. Gay Marriage Will Send Christians To Jail
While some on the Right may be trying to shy away from the issue of marriage equality now that it could be on its way to a Supreme Court victory, the activists at the Awakening were not among them. Throughout the conference, marriage between gay and lesbian couples was portrayed as a demonic and existential threat to liberty, one that if allowed to proceed would end in Christianity being outlawed and Christians thrown in jail.
The Republican National Committee’s faith outreach director, Chad Connelly, who was moderating a panel on abortion rights, echoed the Religious Right’s rhetoric when he warned that LGBT rights activists are “coming for the church.”
Far-right pastor Rick Scarborough, who was sitting beside him, agreed that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality, pastors will be forced to “participate in same-sex marriage ” or be thrown in jail. Liberty Counsel’s Harry Mihet, moderating a separate panel, issued a similar warning.
Scarborough repeated his warning when he told activists that a pro-equality Supreme Court ruling would outlaw anti-gay speech, thus undermining “the whole nature of America.”
Multiple speakers compared a potential Supreme Court decision on marriage equality to Dred Scott, the infamous pre-Civil War decision that barred African Americans from citizenship, declaring that it should be met with similar resistance.
2. Losing The Church on Gay Rights Issues
Although the Awakening took place in what appeared to be a generationally diverse, multiethnic church, the crowd at the conference was overwhelmingly older and white. Throughout the conference, speakers bemoaned the fact that the Religious Right was losing support among younger Christians for its political agenda, especially its opposition to LGBT rights.
Liberty University’s Rena Lindevaldsen told the audience at a breakout panel on “sexual rebellion” that when fellow conservative Christians ask her what the “big deal” is about LGBT rights, she responds “it’s a big deal because it’s a big deal to God.” Marriage equality, she told the enthusiastic audience, matters to God because it is “the heart of where Satan’s attacking”:
Evangelist Franklin Graham also lamented that “a lot of pastors have quit preaching against homosexuality” out of fear of offending people in their churches who might have gay relatives. He told the audience that “God will bless you and he’ll honor you” if you “don’t shut up” about gay rights and abortion:
This was a crowd that had not given up on discredited “ex-gay” therapy. An “ex-lesbian” activist, Janet Boynes, was given a main stage speaking slot and “ex-gay” activist Greg Quinlan earned a roaring round of applause from the audience at the “sexual rebellion” panel when he announced that he had been “out of homosexuality for 27 years.”
3. A Spiritual Battle Against Islam And Progressivism
Just as the crowd at the Awakening was upset that the conservative movement and the church have supposedly become less invested in fighting LGBT rights, they were also wary of any overtures between Christians and Muslims.
Graham declared that “Islam is a wicked system” and blasted Christians who say that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.
Kamal Saleem, the self-proclaimed “ex-terrorist” whose personal story has never quite held up to scrutiny , also warned that churches are being “invaded by ‘Chrislam,’” lamenting that Americans are oblivious to the dangers of radical Islam: “We’re watching American Idol and they are doing jihad.” He also warned of what he called “jihad of the womb,” or Muslim immigrants giving birth in order to outnumber Christians.
What activists at the Awakening saw as a war against Islam was merely part of a larger “spiritual battle” between good and evil, God and Satan. In the panel discussion he led on LGBT rights, Matt Barber declared that there is an “Islamo-progressive axis of evil” with a “common enemy”: Christians.
Maine pastor Ken Graves repeated that theme when he declared that American Christians are fighting “militant Islam” and “militant homofascism” and secularists who want to establish a “secular humanist caliphate”:
4. Time Is Running Out On America, And It’s Up To The Church To Save It
Throughout the day, speakers warned that America is running out of time before it is lost forever, and that it is up to conservative Christians to get involved in politics to save the country.
Graham told the crowd that he is more politically outspoken than his father, Billy Graham, because America is in a more dire state of secularism. “When my father was born, the Ten Commandments were on the wall of every school in America. When my father was born, the teachers still led the class in the Lord’s Prayer. Our country is not that anymore,” he said, declaring that the 2016 election is the last chance for the Religious Right to save the country.
Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate, delivered a similar message, warning that “we are heading down in a direction that, let’s be honest, no civilization has ever been able to recover from.” Conservative Christians, he declared, must reinvest themselves in politics in order, to among other things, put the Bible in public schools:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, another likely GOP presidential hopeful, told the crowd that prayer was needed to bring about “spiritual revival” and change the political direction of the country: “If God’s people truly pray down a spiritual awakening, then the political landscape will change.”
“This country did not start because some people had some brilliant ideas, although they did. This country happened because God’s providence was the foundation of their brilliant ideas,” Huckabee said. “Because of his inspiration, this country has been sustained throughout all of its history because of God’s specific intervention in helping us to win battles we should never have one and in keeping us from losing battles we should have lost.”
5. The Religious Right And The GOP Still Need Each Other
One of the strangest moments of the day came when a George W. Bush impersonator walked onto the stage with Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver as he introduced Huckabee. Staver jokingly reassured the audience that it was not the former president’s brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has clashed with the Religious Right over gay rights issues. It seemed to be a spontaneous addition to the program, it was hard not to see it also as a reminder to the audience of the potential power of the evangelical vote.
Unlike the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, which has become the flagship gathering of the GOP and the Religious Right, the Awakening tends to attract only true believers in the cause. This year, Santorum and Huckabee spoke, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal submitted a video message. Connelly, who heads the GOP’s outreach to evangelical voters, moderated a panel on abortion rights, but largely deflected difficult questions from the far-right crowd.
Connelly did not, however, shy away from right-wing conspiracy theories, responding to a question about the “culture of death” in end-of-life care by claiming that the Affordable Care Act’s mythical “death panels” are “a reality":
It was clear throughout the day that however wary the Religious Right and the GOP establishment may be of each other, they still need each other. Speakers like Graham urged conservative Christians to revive the powerful Religious Right pressure machine to win GOP politicians to their side, whether or not they agreed with their issues. Meanwhile, the presence of the GOP candidates and Connelly indicated that this is a voting bloc that is still important to the party, however extreme its priorities may be.
As we mentioned earlier, the mood at Saturday’s Awakening conference in Florida around the issue of gay marriage was utter panic, and nowhere was that expressed more clearly than in a panel titled “Same-Sex Marriage and Sexual Rebellion: Freedom Under Fire,” moderated by off-the-rails anti-gay pundit Matt Barber and featuring a pastor, two “ex-gay” activists, and Rena Lindevaldsen, the Liberty University dean who has murky ties with the case of an “ex-lesbian” who fled the country with her daughter to defy a court order giving the child's other mother custody.
Lindevaldsen set the tone for the discussion when she lamented that too many conservative Christians aren’t committed to fighting gay rights and instead ask her “why is this such a big deal and why does it matter?”
"It's a big deal because it's a big deal to God," she declared.
Quoting the late Chuck Colson , she told the audience, “In every action we take, we are either helping to create a hell on Earth, or bringing down a foretaste of heaven…We are either advancing the rule of Satan or establishing the reign of God.”
“There’s no middle ground, there’s no neutrality, there is no compromise,” she added, telling Christians who are on the fence about gay rights that “it’s not loving” to let gay people “go on not knowing that God has a better plan for their lives, this is not the way that God designed them to be.”
“This is the heart of where Satan’s attacking,” she said. “He is seeking to destroy human sexuality and marriage. Why? Because we are the reflection, marriage is the reflection of the relationship between Christ and his church. And so if you’re going to destroy the only human reflection we have of that, we’re going to destroy marriage.”
Later in the panel, “ex-gay” activist Greg Quinlan similarly warned Christians not to be taken in by LGBT rights, saying that the Human Rights Campaign’s famous equals sign bumper stickers are “not about equality” but “about dominance” and hide an effort to destroy the Constitution.
(Audio again via American Bridge):
When you see that blue bumper sticker with that bright yellow sign, it’s not about equality, it’s about dominance. It’s about silencing any voice that’s against what they want to do. And the real issue is this — I want you to understand this. The Constitution of the United States is a Calvinist document — I’m not a Calvinist — it’s a Christian document, it was written by reformers, based on the word of God. The problem that the secular left has, secular progressives, whatever label you want to put on them, the anti-God folks, our Constitution. And their goal is to undo it, if that means by reinterpreting it rewriting it, but it is to undo it.
So know this, especially the homosexual agenda, if I go down the list, I got a thing called “the big pink plan for a lavender culture,” another talk I do, which goes to what the agenda is. I was there when they were talking about what they want to do. It’s not about equality, it’s about dominance.
Matt Barber joined Steve Deace on his radio program yesterday to discuss the actions of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who’s urging judges in his state to defy a federal judge and refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
Barber told Deace that whether or not the United States Supreme Court has “the authority to redefine the institution of marriage, which cannot be done, it’s contrary to reality to say that it’s anything other than the male and female,” Moore is on “solid legal ground” in claiming that the Alabama Supreme Court takes precedence over the federal district court that issued the marriage ruling.
Deace asked Barber why the conservative movement was less willing to defy the federal courts during Judge Moore’s 2003 standoff over placing a Ten Commandments monument in his courthouse or after Roe v. Wade, “when the court said, ‘We’re going to start just massacring, dismembering little innocent babies.’”
Barber agreed that states should have simply ignored the court’s ruling in Roe: “Why, back when the courts issued their ridiculous, non-scientific ruling in Roe v. Wade, why didn’t states like Texas and other states say, ‘Okay, well thank you for your opinion, but nope, here in the state of Texas, you kill an unborn child, you’ve committed murder, we’re going to throw you in jail for it’?”
Later in the interview, Deace repeated his prediction that a sweeping marriage ruling would ignite an even greater culture war battle than Roe did.
Barber agreed, saying the “goal all along” of the “sin-based, sodomy-based marriage” movement has been to persecute Christians.
“Religious liberty and so-called gay marriage cannot coexist in harmony,” he said. “If the Supreme Court goes Roe v. Wade on this decision and divines a new-fangled right to sin-based, sodomy-based marriage, Christians will be being persecuted across the country. They will be told, ‘You either put your stamp of approval on sin or you will be pushed to the fringes and marginalized and you will not be able to carry a job or function in society.’ That’s been their goal all along anyway.”
Glenn Beck is readying a new program called "The Root" which will expose what is really going on behind today's biggest stories. The first episode will explain the "real reasons behind Putin and Russia’s geopolitical maneuvers."
The Harry Potter series is pro-gay, so conservative Christians beware!
Nearly 30 percent of the new teachers hired by Lynchburg city schools are graduates of Liberty University.
Matt Barber says gay marriage is "evil" and he is willing to lead the fight against "homofascism."
Laurie Cardoza-Moore's documentary on Israel has been nominated for an "Emmy." Of course, OneNewsNow never bothers to explain that is it just a local Emmy.
Gina Miller declares that Christians must fight gay marriage with everything that they have because this is "just the beginning of the war on our freedoms being waged by the soldiers of Sodom West. It is more important than ever that Christians and other right-minded people resist this evil movement."
Finally, BarbWire continues to provide a venue for all sorts of virulently anti-gay columnists to post their bigoted rants: "[I]f you have a problem with me using terms like 'queer,' 'homosexual,' and 'sodomite,' you might want to check yourself. This is what these people are. They are not 'gay.' They are degenerates and they have your children as a target."
On a recent episode of Liberty Counsel’s “Faith and Freedom” radio program, Mat Staver argued that marriage equality can’t be a fundamental right because it’s not “deeply rooted in our history that you have to protect it,” and in fact “homosexuality has always been considered a crime against nature” and “something that’s been criminalized in our culture.”
A fundamental right in constitutional law has to either be specifically articulated in an enumeration of the Constitution — so a fundamental right would be freedom of speech, freedom of religion, so it’s part of the First Amendment, it’s actually absolutely articulated — and if it’s not articulated, the court has said it has to be deeply rooted in our history such that if you were to not protect it, it would literally unravel the concept of ordered liberty that is so essential to who we are and it is so deeply rooted in our history that you have to protect it. Parental rights can be something that falls within a category such as that.
Now, here, obviously, the issue is, did same-sex marriage become a fundamental right? And the answer clearly is no. If they really were honest, it’s no. And to the contrary, same-sex marriage or homosexuality has always been considered a crime against nature. Instead of protection deeply rooted, it’s been something that’s been criminalized in our culture, not just in America but around the world.
Later in the program Staver discussed the recent appeals court decision striking down Virginia’s marriage equality ban with Liberty University Law School’s Rena Lindevaldsen. Lindevaldsen argued that because the court acknowledged that people in same-sex relationships sometimes raise children from opposite-sex relationships that it undermined the argument that being gay is a fundamental characteristic. “Now they’re saying, by the way, we can have relationships with whoever we want to and we still get this right to marriage,” she lamented.
We’ve been reporting on the candidacy of Michael Peroutka, the 2004 presidential nominee for the U.S. Constitution Party and now the apparent GOP nominee for a county council seat in Anne Arundel, Maryland. It is frankly hard to imagine a more extremist candidate for public office.
Like Peroutka, Lofton has expressed contempt for the Republican Party, calling himself a “Recovering Republican,” and explaining on his website, “Being a Republican is not a disease; it is a choice – a very bad choice, but a choice nonetheless.”
Lofton was a movement conservative until he became enamored of Christian Reconstructionist R.J. Rushdoony and disillusioned that the conservative movement was not sufficiently focused on God. A few years ago he denounced the conservative movement, saying that “Dunghill Rejects” was the “perfect name” for “for the Godless, anti-Christian, modern ‘conservative movement.’”
Lofton has been invited to speak about God and Government at Liberty University’s Helms School of Government. He said the purpose of the Institute on the Constitution’s God and Government project – which encourages individuals to use public comment periods at local government meetings to deliver packaged two-minute statements – is “to tell our elected officials that government is from God and therefore their first duty is to obey God and to administer and apply his law.”
And in reference to an article about evangelicals disagreeing on budget priorities, he wrote that “there should be no disagreement among those who believe the Bible is true. Because it is crystal clear that in God's Word He gives NO AUTHORITY to civil government (Caesar) to give health, education or welfare to ANYBODY. If people need help, it is the role of the Church --- God's people --- to provide this help and NOT government.” He insists, “Man-made ‘laws’ that contradict God's Law are not law.”
Lofton’s Facebook page indicates that he shares Peroutka’s contempt for many contemporary political figures. He writes that President Obama “heads up the most powerful terrorist organization in the world, the American government.”
This week Lofton dismissed as “IDOLATROUS LINCOLN-WORSHIPPING CRAP” an article in which the Religious Right’s intellectual godfather, Robert George, wrote that Lincoln had, by saving the union, “completed, in a sense, America’s founding.”
On the 4th of July Lofton bragged that his local paper had printed his letter to the editor, which denounced the Laurel, Maryland, City Council for allowing a Hindu to open a meeting “by invoking false Gods,” which he called “an act of appalling idolatrous idiocy which invites God – the God of the Bible, the only true God there is – to curse us.”
Back in 2002, Lofton was interviewed by Stephen Colbert for The Daily Show. He denounced Lynn Cheney’s children’s book as “child abuse” for including Martin Luther King and a reference to the Day of the Dead holiday, which he said is “from the pit of hell.”
Last month, Glenn Beck was invited to deliver a Convocation message at Liberty University where, in addition to delivering a prophetic message that God was coming to settle scores, he also preached Mormon theology, which did not sit well with certain Religious Right activists, such as Janet Mefferd.
On his radio broadcast today, Beck lashed out at "people who claim to be followers of Christ" in "the so-called Christian Right" who are attacking Liberty U for allowing him to speak, saying that they are progressives and "there is no difference between you and the people who are trying to run other people out of the square."
"You think you're standing for something," Beck said, "when indeed you're standing for hate and bigotry":
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would like to be president, so he spent the weekend at Liberty University doing what a Republican presidential wannabe does: courting Religious Right leaders by assuring them that he is one of them and shares their vision for America. Jindal spoke at Liberty’s commencement address on Saturday, where he spouted Religious Right talking points about the “war” on religious liberty by a “left” that wants to “silence people of faith.” And on Friday night, he spent two hours talking about his faith in a session with politically influential pastors organized by Christian-nation zealot David Lane.
The Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger reports that Jindal talked the pastors through his conversion from Hinduism to Protestantism in high school, while not spending much time on his conversion to Catholicism a few years later in college. Jindal positions himself solidly in the conservative religious coalition by calling himself an “evangelical Catholic.” According to the Post,
The visiting pastors flew to Lynchburg over the weekend at the invitation of the American Renewal Project, a well-funded nonprofit group that encourages evangelical Christians to engage in the civic arena with voter guides, get-out-the-vote drives and programs to train pastors in grass-roots activism. The group’s founder, David Lane, has built a pastor network in politically important states such as Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and South Carolina and has led trips to Israel with Paul and others seeking to make inroads with evangelical activists.
The group that Lane invited to Lynchburg included Donald Wildmon, a retired minister and founder of the American Family Association, a prominent evangelical activist group that has influence through its network of more than 140 Christian radio stations.
"History is repeating itself": Glenn Beck says that Alex Jones' attacks on him are just like Malcolm X's attacks on Martin Luther King.
Speaking of Jones, Cliff Kincaid can probably expect to become his next target after he called Jones and his followers a bunch of lunatics who are "poisoning the minds of many conservatives and Tea Party members."
Is anyone surprised that three graduates of Liberty University Law School are serving as law clerks for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and played a key role in crafting the court's recent abortion decision?
David Barton and Sarah Palin will both be speaking at a fundraiser for a Christian school in October. That ought to be enlightening.
Similarly, Mat Staver and Kamal Saleem will be speaking at the American Decency Association’s summer conference.
Finally, the candidate who ran an ad mocking John Boehner’s "electile dysfunction" has lost his job teaching at a Christian college as a result.
Beset by legal troubles, former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has joined Liberty University as a visiting professor in government.
In a press release yesterday, Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr. (son of the school’s founder, televangelist Jerry Falwell) praises McDonnell’s conservative bona fides and welcomes him to Liberty University’s Jesse Helms School of Government — yes, that Jesse Helms.
McDonnell, a longtime friend of the university, said he is delighted to contribute to Liberty’s world-class academic programs and to train students to make a significant positive impact at every level of government.
Liberty President Jerry Falwell said the university will tap McDonnell’s extensive career experience in business, law, public policy, and government.
“Gov. McDonnell will add another dimension to the educational experience of Liberty students by teaching leadership,” Falwell said. “He achieved great success as governor in making Virginia one of the nation’s most business-friendly and fiscally sound states while getting people to work together for the common good. These experiences uniquely qualify him to teach our students about every aspect of serving in public office.”
Dr. Shawn Akers, dean of the Helms School of Government, said the governor’s recent visit was a pleasant surprise to the students, who were eager to learn from a seasoned leader.
“The students’ eyes lit up when he walked into the class. They were so excited to hear directly from someone who has been on the frontlines of the important public policy battles in America,” Akers said. “The Helms School is proud to welcome Governor McDonnell, who has a proven record in public policy and conservative activism, and who shares in the biblical principles and servant leadership that are so important to Liberty University.”
Akers has also derided anti-bullying programs as “a form of indoctrination and reeducation that smacks of socialist and communist countries” and accused gays of bullying Christians, whom he called “the weakest members of our society.” He even believes that “the homosexual activist community” is a religion.
On Friday, Glenn Beck spoke at Liberty University's convocation where, in between crying jags, he announced that his charity, Mercury One, would be donating $50,000 to the school because its students give Beck hope for the future.
For most of his speech, Beck, a Mormon, lectured the large audience on what it means to be a Christian, beseeching them to live their lives in such a way that they can "demand miracles, expect miracles, call down miracles" in the name of "the awesome power of Jesus Christ and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
Later, Beck recounted the "Restoring Courage" event he put together in Jerusalem back in 2011, saying that he had no idea why he held it other than that God told him to.
Saying that he was overwhelmed by the fact that he was to be among "the first Christians to ever speak at the Temple Mount," Beck had no idea what he was even supposed to say ... until God finally told him that the message that he was supposed to deliver was that "I am coming and I will settle scores":
In 2012, Liberty's decision to invite Mitt Romney to speak at its graduation ceremony sparked protests from students and alumni, so it was genuinely amazing to watch the audience at Liberty now shower Beck with applause as he preached Mormon theology from the stage during convocation, at one point declaring that "nobody in the Grand Council" chose to come to earth from Heaven in order to be an accountant or make t-shirts for a living, which is a distinctly Mormon theology.
After the September 11 attacks, Caner built a career around his purported conversion from Islamic extremism to Christianity, but his testimony was later exposed as fictitious. Not only did he completely fabricate details about his background — including facts about his birthplace, upbringing, and his family — but he also spokegibberish during his speeches, which he claimed was Arabic.
Caner led Liberty University’s theological seminary at the time but the university cut ties with him following the revelations and he now heads Brewton-Parker College, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
Ergun Caner, president of Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Ga., filed a lawsuit last summer claiming ownership of two videos that Smathers posted of Caner speaking as an expert on Islamic culture in training for U.S. Marines preparing to deploy in 2005.
U.S. District Judge Terry Means, however, said Caner failed to make a case and that Smathers used the material fairly, as copyright law permits, for “purposes such as criticism, comment, [or] news reporting.”
“His sole purpose was to expose the inconsistencies in Dr. Caner’s biography and criticize a public figure,” the judge determined. If the unauthorized reproduction of his lectures caused Caner any financial loss, he continued, it was the result of “legitimate criticism” of his words.
The misuse of video “takedown notices” — the same method employed by another Religious Right activist who tried to shut down Right Wing Watch’s YouTube page — was one of the focuses of the trial. As the judge notes in his ruling [PDF], the blogger’s actions are protected as fair use.
In 2013, Dr. Caner filed a “takedown notice” with Viddler.com, claiming that the videos were posted without authorization and in violation of his copyright. Smathers challenged the removal of the videos, which ultimately resulted in the present lawsuit by Dr. Caner, alleging copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. §§ 106,506.
Smathers claims that he posted he videos featuring Dr. Caner as a religiously based criticism of a public figure and, thus, his posting constituted fair use.
The Court notes that Dr. Caner has apparently conceded this issue since he has offered no argument in his response with respect to Smathers’s assertion of fair use.
Dr. Caner’s concession notwithstanding, the facts of this case support the application of fair use.
The affirmative defense of fair use is codified at 17 U.S.C. § 107 and provides that “the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies . . . , for purposes such as criticism, comment, [or] news reporting . . . , is not an infringement of copyright.”
All of Dr. Caner’s claims of copyright infringement against Smathers are hereby DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
Liberty University has responded to news reports by saying that Goldberg is an “independent contractor supplied to the university through a third-party association who has never been employed or applied for employment” at the school.
LaBarbera name-dropped fellow anti-gay activists at Liberty including Mat Staver, Matt Barber and Rena Lindevaldsen, and urged the school to “do the right thing” and part ways with Goldberg. He even demanded Liberty and other universities refuse to allow “open homosexual advocates as students” and called on Grove City College to fire professor Warren Throckmorton over his criticism of ex-gay therapy and anti-gay laws in countries like Uganda.
Not to be outdone, Eliason worried about “percentage of homosexuals that have invaded the arts such as drama” in order to “capture the minds of individuals.”
Eliason: Christian News carried this story with the headline, ‘Liberty University Hires Open Homosexual Advocate To Choreograph Its Upcoming Broadway-Style Mary Poppins Production,’ what more do you know about this thing?
LaBarbera: I don’t know a lot about this one. Apparently he was a contractor and I think that the woman who spoke out on his behalf probably did not have the clearance of the university before she did that. I know the people I’ve worked with at Liberty and I hope they fix this problem because this is such a great organization, it’s done so much good work. Jerry Falwell did such tremendous work, Ronald Reagan would never have been president without Jerry Falwell, the founder of Liberty University.
The bigger story Vic is the one that didn’t get much play which is: Liberty University and other Christian universities who call themselves Christian, will they allow open homosexual advocates as students? In the old days if a student was out there celebrating sin, there would be consequences. But apparently that doesn’t happen much. We have other examples of course of universities gone bad. Good golly, Grove City College has some wonderful professors but they also have Warren Throckmorton who is pretty much a de facto gay activist now; a professor at Grove City College, which calls itself Christian and advertises in World Magazine and other Christian places, they have Warren Throckmorton who is pretty much a gay activist the way he advocates for homosexuality.
Eliason: It’s alarming when you see the percentage of homosexuals that have invaded the arts such as drama. But drama ends up being a tool to persuade the minds of people. It becomes a tool to do some mind-bending or to capture the minds of individuals. They’re starting now and you can see using Open Core [sic] and right on through the core idea of training children from right on up government-controlled education, and now we see what’s happening at the options of a university that could have put the brakes on this and said no, we’re going to look for someone who is really a representative of the lifestyle that we’re doing here. Does not Christianity have people of talent enough to do the choreography of a dramatic presentation without having to go to someone who openly endorses same-sex marriage?
LaBarbera: I think they do and I hope that Liberty does the right thing. Mat Staver, Matt Barber, Rena Lindevaldsen are just wonderful people and I think Liberty really has to watch it because of course the homosexual activists want to undermine Liberty, of course they want to undermine Christian institutions.
The AFTAH president went on to condemn gay rights advocates as the “Gay-KK” and “Gay-Stapo,” warning that the movement is a “homo-Marxist” effort based on “idiocy” and “tyranny.”
Eliason: I’ve heard of people talk about homo-fascists but you’ve got another term that’s been brought forward which is a little bit different.
LaBarbera: Well I’m using homo-Marxist and homo-fascist. Homo-fascism suggests this bully mentality, this idea that the homosexual activists know what is best for everybody and they’re going to take people down, anybody who gets in their way, undemocratic, that’s where that came from and now it’s really starting to gain popularity. Other pejorative sort of joking terms like the Gay-KK and the Gay-Stapo, but I’m also using homo-Marxist and here’s why I think it is actually more accurate.
The Communists, the Marxists, they’re the ones who had this radical egalitarianism, they thought they were going to make everybody equal and what did it do, it led to tyranny. Look at the homosexual lobby, they’re trying to pretend that homosexual behavior is somehow equal to the real deal, they call it marriage equality, that somehow two men getting ‘married’ is equal and deserves the same benefits and rights and standing in society as real marriage, and of course that’s idiocy, that’s nonsensical.
The interview concluded with a truly bizarre rant by Eliason calling transgender people and women construction workers “disgusting” and attacking “the Islamics, who can grow a beard now, which who knows it can get caught in a barbed wire fence, that wear a turban to designate who they are, I wonder if they’re trying to look for sympathy so that no one would shoot a guy with a turban on. I don’t understand.”
Eliason’s group is based in Milwaukee County, where in 2012 a white supremacist murdered six Sikhs, whose adherents wear turbans, at their Oak Creek temple.
LaBarbera: If they allow transsexuals into the military, you’re going to see guys and women joining the military just to get their body-altering, these terrible sex-reassignment surgeries paid for by the taxpayer.
Eliason: Mutilation, if you please.
LaBarbera: Mutilation, right.
Eliason: I can only imagine the confusion that would be there if here is some guy dressed in a big skirt trying to look feminine climbing into the left seat in a bomber or into a jetfighter and getting his dress all snarled up trying to climb in. We’re talking about guys running jackhammers and making bunkers and things like that, if there’s anything disgusting it’s to see, and I mean this kindly but women are made of God to be very special, and one day I was driving down the street and I saw this, well this lady was pretty hefty, but she was operating a jackhammer and what it did to her was absolutely astounding, it was wicked, it was a violation of the very purpose of the wonderful gift of femininity.
If we’ve got people here now suddenly all on the altar of being able to — it’s not just the transgenders [sic], now if you feel like you’re feminine one day and feel like you’re masculine the next day, you can change back and forth, switch-hitter. And of course we have to be fair, so we have also turned the option to the Islamics, who can grow a beard now, which who knows it can get caught in a barbed wire fence, that wear a turban to designate who they are, I wonder if they’re trying to look for sympathy so that no one would shoot a guy with a turban on. I don’t understand.
Scott Lively has now taken up the case of Justina
Pelletier and is challenging his fellow gubernatorial candidates to do the same.
Phyllis Schlafly has "endorsed Bob Marshall for
Congress in the upcoming April 26 primary to fill the vacancy left by Congressman Frank Wolf’s retirement in
Virginia's 10th Congressional District."
Finally, Matt Barber is calling for revolution: "Look around. We are no
longer the United States of America. We have become The Communist States of America. Which means, for those who love liberty,
revolution is once again at hand."