A coalition of far-right groups, including Faith 2 Action, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, BarbWire, Vision America Action and the Judicial Action Group, wants Congress to order the Supreme Court and other federal courts to “cease and desist” from ruling on same-sex marriage cases.
In a letter to Congress, which it dubs a “Restraining Order,” the coalition claims that the “judicial usurpation” on marriage “fueled a government assault on Constitutionally protected First Amendment rights of pastors, churches, business and facility owners, employees, public officials, organizations, ministries and citizens.”
Of course, the coalition is asking for as much as $49.95 to send the letters to members of Congress.
Vision America's Rick Scarborough was a guest on Gordon Klingenschmitt's "Pray In Jesus Name" program recently, where he explained that God is blessing the state of Texas because "Christians have infiltrated" and taken over the state GOP.
Scarborough was discussing his efforts to mobilize right-wing pastors to get involved in politics across the nation and noting that he has had a great deal of success in Texas; so much so that if one now attends an annual Republican Party convention in Texas, it feels as if one is attending a revival meeting.
"Christians have infiltrated the Republican Party in Texas and it's like going to revival meetings when you go to our state conventions," Scarborough said. "That's why God's blessing our state and why, I believe, Texas has become a model for other states":
Similar dire warnings about the federal hate crimes law that was passed five years ago today have proven to be utterly false.
The apocalyptic rhetoric is a reaction to the advances in LGBT rights, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in dozens of states and the passage of non-discrimination ordinances in municipalities across the country. Along with categories such as race, gender, religion, age and ability, more localities are recognizing sexual orientation and gender identity as traits warranting protection from discrimination in the public domain.
As anti-gay politicians lose in the courts, Congress, state houses, town halls, and perhaps most importantly, at the ballot box, many have taken to conflating political defeat with a loss of rights and liberty. Only by depriving other people of their rights, so they claim, can conservatives and people of faith in this nation truly be free.
This month, many Republicans latched onto a complicated legal case in Houston to justify their hyperbolic warnings about impending doom for Christians in America. After Houston passed an equal rights ordinance this year, a pastor-led group tried — and failed — to collect enough valid petition signatures to force a referendum on repealing the ordinance. When a group of conservative activists and pastors filed a lawsuit demanding that officials accept the invalid petitions, pro-bono attorneys working for the city subpoenaed several pastors’ communications, including sermons, on petition collecting and related issues like homosexuality as part of the discovery process.
While many groups from the left and right alike called out the subpoenas as overly broad and intrusive, the Religious Right cited the legal move as proof that pastors will be, as the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody put it, “hauled off to jail for a hate crimes because they are speaking for traditional marriage.”
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who in 2012 warned that America was “at the edge of a precipice” and would soon see non-existent “hate speech” laws used “against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages [or] who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage,” agreed with Brody’s assessment.
(In a similar episode this month, the owners of a for-profit wedding chapel business filed a lawsuit against their hometown over a nondiscrimination ordinance, arguing that city officials have threatened them with prosecution and jail time for denying service to same-sex couples — even though officials haven’t pursued any legal action against the couple.)
We’ve seen this movie before. In 2007, members of a group called Repent America were charged after disrupting a gay pride event and refusing to abide by police orders. The way conservatives tell the story, godly missionaries were punished by law enforcement for exercising their First Amendment rights and “sharing the gospel,” but as court records show, the group tried to disturb the peace and protest inside an event without a permit.
In fact, if Religious Right were correct in their warnings, America should have experienced a wave of arrests targeting pastors, church-goers and Republicans following the passage of the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Predictions about the criminalization of the Bible, pastors locked in jail cells and concentration camps for Christians never came true, mainly because these prophecies had no basis in reality.
The Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Law was passed by Congress five years ago today, and so far, the far-right’s twisted and baseless claims about the law have all been proven false. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t stopped making the exact same discredited arguments five years after the bill’s passage:
End of Free Speech
Despite the hate crimes law’s provision making clear that it is applicable only to cases of violent crime and nothing “shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs,” Religious Right activists and their allies in the GOP nonetheless predicted that the 2009 law would bring free speech to an end.
“Gay activists will use it against preachers who present the Biblical view of homosexuality,” Rick Scarborough said at the time. “The federal hate crimes law doesn’t target crime, but free speech.” He also warned that the law’s passage would “criminalize pastors and ordinary citizens who speak out biblically against homosexuality,” telling members of his group, Vision America, that he may face arrest for “speaking out against sexual deviancy.”
Scarborough, a Texas anti-gay pastor and political organizer close to Ted Cruz, hasn’t backed down from his claims even years after the law has gone into effect. At the 2013 Values Voter Summit, Scarborough declared that the “infidels” in the Obama administration are “hell-bent on silencing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Christians wouldn’t rise up against the attacks, he feared, “until a bunch of us are thrown into concentration camps.”
The Traditional Values Coalition went as far as to claim that the hate crimes law would imprison Jesus Christ.
“I believe that ‘hate crimes’ is the most dangerous bill in America, it is precisely what they are using to silence Christians around the world,” Janet Porter, a Religious Right activist with the group Faith 2 Action, said in an interview the year before the bill was passed. “How much of a stretch is it, really, to say that because I would say to you homosexuality is a sin or it’s dangerous behavior, before that speech alone is worthy of jail time? And that’s what we’re facing.” Porter told a Washington, D.C., rally shortly after the law was passed that it “criminalizes Christianity” and “sends pastors to prison for biblical positions and speech.”
In an 2009 email message with the subject line, “The Senate Will Vote To Silence You!,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claimed that “what ‘hate crimes’ legislation does is lay the legal foundation and framework for investigating, prosecuting and persecuting pastors, business owners, and anyone else whose actions reflect their faith.”
He also alleged that the law would “gag people of faith and conviction who disagree with the homosexual agenda” and that it “punishes a person’s beliefs — part of the Left's intolerant agenda to silence the voice of Christians and Conservatives in America and eliminate moral restraint.”
“If federal thought crimes laws are passed, your right to share politically incorrect parts of your Christian faith could become a federal crime,” Perkins warned. At another conservative event, Perkins said hate crimes laws will curtail freedom and breed “chaos in America.”
Rusty Lee Thomas of Operation Save America even encouraged opposition to the law by alleging that “there is a direct connection between the sins and crimes of abortion and the sodomite agenda and the Islamic terrorism that threatens our nation.”
One group of GOP and Religious Right figures claimed the law would be “a savage and perhaps fatal blow to First Amendment freedom of expression.”
E.W. Jackson, a Virginia pastor and GOP politician, told a conservative rally that the law “represents a virulent strain of anti-Christian bigotry and hatred” that is “another step in the process of robbing all Americans of the very freedoms the founding fathers pledged their lives for and the civil rights martyrs gave their lives for.”
Ohio-based televangelist Rod Parsley, best known for his work supporting George W. Bush’s re-election campaign and the passage of his state’s gay marriage ban, said that the hate crimes law would force him out of the pulpit.
“This deceptive ploy of liberal, homosexual agenda begins to lose its allure once you pull the mask back and take a closer look,” Parsley said. “The legislation that’s before our United States senators right now extends to speech and can punish people not for their actions but for their culturally incorrect thoughts. This legislation could become law, and you and I could find ourselves forbidden to speak from God’s word right here in America. I could no longer share my heart with you on critical issues, such as this, through the medium of television, or even in the pulpit of my own church.”
We can report that despite Parsley’s grim predictions, he is still very much “sharing his heart” as a preacher.
Outlawing the Bible
One group of Michigan pastors, joined by local Republican politician and American Family Association state chairman Gary Glenn, filed an unsuccessful legal challenge against the hate crimes law soon after it was enacted. The group’s legal representative, the conservative Thomas More Law Center, contended that “the sole purpose” of the law was “to criminalize the Bible and use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians from expressing their Biblically-based religious belief that homosexual conduct is a sin.”
Pastor Paul Blair of Reclaiming America for Christ also offered an ominous warning: “If preaching the Bible is now against the law, then let us be arrested.” One WorldNetDaily commentator said the law would “crack down” on Christians for “reading the Bible.”
“Christianity Is Now Outlawed,” declared the Christian Seniors Association, a front group of the Traditional Values Coalition, in a fundraising letter following the law’s passage. “Did you know that the new Hate Crimes Act that President Obama signed into law makes the Bible illegal ‘Hate Literature?’” the letter continued.
“Most Christians might as well rip the pages which condemn homosexuality right out of their Bibles because this bill will make it illegal to publicly express the dictates of their religious beliefs,” said Andrea Lafferty of the TVC. “The ultimate objective of this legislation is to claim that ‘hate speech’ — criticism of homosexuality — incites individuals to violence and must be suppressed and punished. This will violate the First Amendment rights of any person or group that opposes the normalization of homosexuality in our culture.”
In the paranoid conservative alternate reality, pedophilia has been legal for five years now thanks to the updated federal hate crimes law.
“The main purpose of this ‘hate crimes’ legislation is to add the categories of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity,’ ‘either actual or perceived,’ as new classes of individuals receiving special protection by federal law. Sexual orientation includes heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality on an ever-expanding continuum. Will Congress also protect these sexual orientations: zoophiles, pedophiles or polygamists?” asked televangelist Pat Robertson.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, similarly charged: “We have a record roll call vote that shows every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee voting to have pedophiles protected.”
King’s colleague Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, went one step further and said that as a result of the hate crimes law, courts would “have to strike any laws against bestiality” along with laws targeting “pedophiles or necrophiliacs.” Gohmert went on to warn that the law would effectively turn the U.S. into Nazi Germany.
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, for his part, predicted that the law would extend legal protections to “bisexuality, exhibitionism, fetishism, incest, necrophilia, pedophilia, prostitution, sexual masochism, urophilia, voyeurism, and bestiality.”
Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center claimed the law “elevates those persons who engage in deviant sexual behaviors, including pedophiles, to a special protected class of persons as a matter of federal law and policy.”
Porter dubbed the law the “Pedophile Protection Act,” “summarizing” the law by completely making things up: “Pushing away an unwelcome advance of a homosexual, transgendered [sic], cross-dresser or exhibitionist could make you a felon under this law. Speaking out against the homosexual agenda could also make you a felon if you are said to influence someone who pushes away that unwelcome advance. And pedophiles and other sexual deviants would enjoy an elevated level of protection, while children, seniors, veterans and churches would not.”
Pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia are still against the law and such laws have not been affected by the Hate Crimes Act, while declining “an unwelcome advance of a homosexual” is still very much legal. However, we are still waiting with bated breath for Porter’s lawsuit detailing how she was forced and legally bound to succumb to the charms of a homosexual enticer.
Can the Religious Right Be Trusted?
The many frantic, unfounded warnings about the perils the 2009 Hate Crimes Act are just one example of anti-gay activists’ penchant for manufacturing myths and brazenly distorting cases of supposed persecution.
Apocalyptic warnings and blatantly dishonest remarks have always been characteristic of the Religious Right's crusade against LGBT rights and we can expect such activists to continue to engage in such shameless fear mongering and misinformation before the 2014 election.
But, like the Religious Right’s warnings about the effects of the 2009 Hate Crimes Act, these dire predictions should be taken with a heavy dose of salt.
The National Organization for Marriage needs donations because "the next six months may determine the future of marriage in America for generations to come!"
Poor people in America are not really poor, Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation explains, because some of them own TVs and cars and have internet access.
Anne Graham Lotz responds to Jews who were upset by her assertion that they need Jesus to be saved by quoting the Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans, which really ought to convince them.
Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana is not happy about judges allowing gay partners to be listed as the "spouse" on death certificates: "[R]ather than fully force same-sex marriage upon a state, they are chipping away at this through a public policy matter, knowing that this weakens marriage laws and [that] future judges can totally overturn the law by pointing back at these decisions."
Brian Camenker of MassResistance says that Scott Brown is nothing more than a liberal carpetbagger.
Finally, Vision America asks you to sign its voter pledge: "To restore religious freedom, I pledge to vote wisely in the upcoming political party primaries and general elections, and by reviewing factual data in Vision America Action's Voter Guide."
Next month, Rick Scarborough's Vision America will host its annual "Heroes of Faith Gala" where the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins will receive the 2014 "National Hero of Faith Award" and Rafael Cruz, a Religious Right activist and father of Sen. Ted Cruz, will be honored with the "Don Wildmon Award," named for the founder of the American Family Association.
Today, Vision America sent out an email urging activists to register for the event, revealing that the senator is also going to be in attendance, picking up the Don Wildmon Award on behalf of his father and delivering remarks:
Vision America's Rick Scarborough recently spoke at a church in Florida as part of a "Give Me Liberty Tour" where he declared that every day that passes without God destroying this country is a miracle, especially since President Obama is appointing gay ambassadors to represent America before other nations.
"This thing could all come crashing down," Scarborough warned, saying that if a "series of dirty bombs" or one massive nuclear blast were to destroy America, it would be "perfectly just ... because we have squandered our grace in this country."
And to demonstrate just how vile this nation has become, Scarborough pointed to the fact that our foreign embassies celebrate LGBT Pride Month and that President Obama has appointed several gay ambassadors, agreeing with Islamic fundamentalists that American is now the "Great Satan."
"You want to know why the Arab world calls us the Great Satan?" he asked, rhetorically. "How far we have fallen! When will pastors and when will Christians stand up and say enough is enough?"
Last week, World Congress of Families spokesman Don Feder joined Rick Scarborough on a Tea Party Unity conference call, where Feder got to talking about how liberals “intimidate” conservative pastors into not speaking out against gay rights.
As luck would have it, Scarborough was ready with a “very fresh and very real” anecdote to illustrate that this "threat" comes not just from gay rights activists, but from parishioners who don't want to hear about anal sex in church:
Well, let me give you a perspective that’s very fresh and very real. When pastors speak on this issue, it’s not just a threat that comes from the left that they fear.
I spoke in a church the last four days – I don’t recall the name of the church, so maybe somebody on the line listening from that church, if they are, they’re going to be very familiar with what I’m about to say – but in the second service out of five, I mentioned the word ‘anal sex’ illustrating what homosexuality actually is. And I know that that’s a repulsive expression, I know that nobody likes to think about it, but Christians need to understand what we’re talking about. This is not a gay activity, it’s a perversion. And it does carry consequences because of the nature of the act.
The one thing that the homosexual community doesn’t want us to talk about is what they actually do. They love to disguise their activities with euphemisms. And the presentation they always give is some handsome, erudite young man that’s a gift to society, when in fact he’s committing indecent acts with consequences.
But the firestorm that one, two-word expression caused among the Christians in the church was just palpable, and consequently a segment of the church didn’t come to another service of revival and just basically boycotted because they found what I said to be reprehensible. In other words, the church families don’t find what they’re doing reprehensible, but they put such pressure on the preachers not to even mention it that a lot of preachers have gone silent.
So, it’s not just the fear of the left, it’s the fear of the right, because Christians are more concerned about what their sensitive ears have to listen to than what’s taking place at the high school that may be perverting their own children.
So, we’ve got a real challenge. Will the pastor be forced to speak to it? I sure hope so. But the reality is, a lot of the problem is in the pew as well as the pulpit.
If you’re already tired of the Duck Dynasty flap, I have some bad news for you: Religious Right leaders aren’t going to drop it. On Christmas Eve, while millions of Americans were finishing Christmas preparations and gathering with loved ones, Janet Porter and Rick Scarborough were holding an emergency conference call to launch Porter’s latest gimmicky scheme: sending rubber ducks to A&E executives to protest the suspension of Phil Robertson.
Porter has been warning about a war on American Christians for years – she even wrote a book called The Criminalization of Christianity. So she clearly sees this as her (current) last chance to save America. Faith2Action has launched a website MailTheDuck.com, at which you can hand over your contact information to Porter so that she can send a postcard on your behalf to Nancy Dubuq, CEO of A&E Networks, declaring “You Can’t Camouflage Anti-Christian Bigotry!” The postcard demands an apology and warns of a boycott until Robertson is reinstated. You can also fork over some cash if you want to send a rubber duck or ten to A&E to be sure they get the message.
The opening image of the website is, unfortunately, a big lie. It’s a picture of Robertson with the word FIRED stamped across it. In fact, Robertson hasn’t been fired for making offensive comments in a magazine interview, just suspended. Americans who have wanted to get their Duck on this week have been able to watch a Duck Dynasty marathon. Even WND, in its story on the project, notes: “According to Entertainment Weekly, sources close to the show report nine of the 10 remaining episodes of season four have already been shot, and the network has no plans to cut out the footage featuring the senior Robertson.”
But on the conference call Porter and Scarborough had with activists, freedom was hanging by a thread. Robertson’s suspension is “an atrocity,” “an attack on religious liberty” and an effort to “shut down Christians.” Faith itself is at risk of “being declared unlawful.” Porter even compared Robertson to the famous Chinese activist who stood in front of a tank (yeah, that’s just the kind of risk Robertson took by spouting off to GQ magazine). Porter says Americans can courageously stand with Robertson by sending millions of ducks (probably made in China, come to think of it) to A&E.
Porter mentioned that she is working on a documentary about anti-Christian persecution. A caller who described herself as a former lesbian urged Porter to include the story of Lisa Miller, the woman who became a far-right folk hero when she kidnapped her child and fled the country rather than obeying court ordered custody arrangements involving Miller’s former partner. Porter said Miller’s story is part of her film project.
Back to the ducks. In addition to Scarborough’s Vision America, Porter’s new project is being cosponsored by the dominionist Oak Initiative (Porter is a board member) and by Liberty Counsel, the Religious Right legal group that used to represent Lisa Miller. Of course, Porter and Scarborough aren’t the only ones trying to cash in on the Duck Dynasty controversy. Among those who have launched petitions are the National Organization for Marriage and Mike Huckabee. Huckabee and Porter are longtime allies; she declared his 2008 presidential candidacy anointed by God.
Rick Scarborough invited Peter LaBarbera to address his Tea Party Unity group today, and the two anti-gay activists discussed ways to somehow file a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality just like when attorneys general of many states filed a lawsuit against tobacco companies.
LaBarbera was also upset that Fox News and other outlets aren’t covering the “wonderful stories of happy men and women who have left the homosexual lifestyle,” explaining that he wished there was an ad “of the kid in high school who was counseled by the official school counselor to just be gay, then he comes down with HIV.”
LaBarbera: We need to work on our conservative, alternate media and say, ‘look, don’t do the pro-gay thing, why don’t you rather step out and support these ex-gays?’ We should encourage Fox News to tell their stories. Fox is now telling the stories of black conservatives because the other media is not doing that, we should all get on Fox and say, ‘come on, tell these stories, these wonderful stories of happy men and women who have left the homosexual lifestyle.’
Scarborough: Peter, the whole issue of a class action lawsuit, you and I have talked about this a little bit. I just wonder if you’ve explored that, talked to anyone about it. Obviously, statistically now even the Centers for Disease Control verifies that homosexuality much more likely leads to AIDS than smoking leads to cancer. And yet the entire nation has rejected smoking, billions of dollars are put into a trust fund to help cancer victims and the tobacco industry was held accountable for that. Any thoughts on that kind of an approach?
LaBarbera: Yeah I think that’s great. I would love to see it. We always wanted to see one of the kid in high school who was counseled by the official school counselor to just be gay, then he comes down with HIV. But we never really got the client for that.
This is the first post in a four-part series exploring how American right-wing groups have supported Russia’s recent spate of anti-gay laws and its crackdown on LGBT citizens.
This summer, as part of a larger effort to channel political dissatisfaction by scapegoating minorities, the Russian government escalated its crackdown on the rights of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual citizens. President Vladimir Putin and his allies found support and guidance in their anti-gay efforts from a group eager for an opportunity to notch some victories in the battle against LGBT freedom and equality: the American right.
Russia’s crackdown on LGBT people comes amidst a broad crackdown on the rights of minorities and political dissenters or, in the words of one lawmaker, a campaign “to defend the rights of the majority.” On the same day the Duma passed its ban on gay “propaganda,” it also approved a harsh anti-blasphemy law promising jail time for “offending religious feelings.” The blasphemy measure was meant to strenghthen the laws that led to the political prosecution of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, whose members were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for a performance that was deemed to offend “religious sensibilities.”
Russia’s repression of LGBT people and the Pussy Riot case have provoked an international outcry, intensified by the the country’s role as the host of next year’s winter Olympics.
But throughout all this, one group has cheered on Putin’s actions: the American Religious Right and its international allies.
Even as tensions have grown between Russia and the United States, several Religious Right leaders have spoken loudly in favor of Putin’s crackdowns on gay people and political dissenters:
Conservative commentator and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan praised Putin for “trying to re-establish the Orthodox Church as the moral compass of the nation” by going after gays and political dissent and suggested that the United States follow his lead.
The anti-feminist group Concerned Women for Americahailed the Pussy Riot prosecution, saying that the band displayed an “utter lack of morality.”
American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer declared that Russia’s gay “propaganda” ban was exactly the kind of “public policy that we’ve been advocating” and that, if anything, the ban didn’t go far enough.
Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality praised the propaganda law, writing, “Russians do not want to follow America’s reckless and decadent promotion of gender confusion, sexual perversion, and anti-biblical ideologies to youth.”
Scott Lively, an American activist linked to Uganda’s push for the death penalty for gays, wrote that under Putin’s leadership, Russia has become a “beacon of freedom” while the U.S. has descended into a “gay version of the Soviet Union.” Lively also gave himself credit for “indirectly” assisting the ban on “homosexual propaganda,” calling it “one of the proudest achievements of my career.”
Vision America’s Rick Scarborough suggested that God would rebuke President Obama over his condemnation of Russia’s anti-gay crackdown, saying that Obama’s criticism of the propaganda law “puts our country in a very precarious place.”
Radio host Linda Harvey, head of the group Mission: America, praised the gay “propaganda” ban, declaring that any “responsible adult” would support it.
Rush Limbaughpraised Putin for “putting [his] foot down” against gay peoples’ “full-frontal assault on what has always been considered normalcy.”
Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) called the Russian law a “good thing” and claimed that “most of the people in the United States” would support a similar measure.
Larry Jacobs of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families hailed the propaganda law for “preventing [LGBT people] from corrupting children" and declared that "the Russians might be the Christian saviors to the world."
American conservative groups haven’t just praised Russia’s crackdown on gays. Working through several channels, American anti-gay activists quietly provided intellectual backing and international support that directly and indirectly fueled the resurgent anti-gay movement in Russia and in other former Soviet states like Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine.
In a series of posts today and tomorrow, we’ll look at how American activists influenced Russia’s anti-gay laws by funding anti-gay activism in Russia, testifying before the Duma, providing false research to fan the flames of anti-gay laws abroad, and building an international movement to back the harshest anti-gay laws around the world.
Last week's Tea Party Unity call ended with host Rick Scarborough announcing his hope that God will confuse the minds of the Supreme Court justices so that they will "punt" on the Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act cases they will soon be deciding in order to give America one last chance to get "our politics right" before God's judgment rains down on us.
Saying that homosexuality and abortion are "the twin towers of evil," Scarborough declared that homosexuality is actually far more dangerous before warning that it will only be a matter of time before pastors are rounded up and imprisoned:
The twin towers of evil in America, I believe are abortion on demand and the homosexual movement ... I believe that of the two great sins of our country, the one that's the most grievous is this whole more toward the legalization of homosexuality.
In 2002, as you recall, in Lawrence v Texas the Supreme Court struck down the prohibitions in the state of Texas and applied it across the land that no longer could the citizenry declare that sodomy was a sin. You can take a position however you like on that but that law was based on a moral fabric in the country, a belief in biblical rights and wrongs. The reason I said at the time that that was a more dangerous precedent than even Roe v Wade is because of the following: I believe, as a Christian and as a pastor, that as horrible as abortion is - and there's just no way to describe the horror of abortion - the only ray of sunshine is that at least the baby that was aborted, which is a living human being, suddenly finds itself in heaven.
But with sodomy, it's a different sin altogether because what you do is you allow children now to be adopted into these families. Those children are raised in the normalization of homosexuality; if they live like that and die like that and you have a biblical understanding you find yourself with children that are basically rejecting biblical truth and that has eternal implications.
Now I am fully aware that the Left monitors our calls and I have no doubt that I likely will be the subject of derision for saying something like this, but I'm praying at best God will confuse the minds of our Supreme Court that they'll simply, as Bob alluded, punt on the issue of standing and give you and I a little more time to start getting our politics right.
The very first thing Obama did when he got elected president was pass hate crimes legislation inclusive of sexual orientation. The laws are now on the books to prosecute preachers who have the audacity to say in public what I just said from their pulpits.
You will find them armed with this Supreme Court ruling, if its adverse, then rounding up anyone who says otherwise and prosecuting, perhaps with fines at first but finally with jail and imprisonment. And the laws are now, at least the foundation of laws through hate crimes legislation is in place to bring fill-scale persecution on those of us who stand for truth.
For all you thespians out there, Tea Party Patriots wants you to star in their latest movie as someone either standing “in line at the Food Distribution Center to receive your ration of food” or witnessing “SWAT team arrests some member of the resistance who are protesting the big government control.”
Rick Scarborough of Vision America is angry that “we’ve got an administration that has progressed at lightning speed to an all-out militant assault on marriage.”
Family Research Council is thrilled that Rick Perry and Texas Republican lawmakers have called on the Boy Scouts of America not to lift its ban on gays.
Jeffrey Kuhner of the Washington Times argues that Obama is a weak president who is “asleep at the wheel” while at the same time a powerful “socialist autocrat.”
Alan Keyes warns American elites will not be satisfied “until all are burning in the lake of fire, nourished with bitter ashes.”
Vision America's Rick Scarborough delivered a guest sermon at the Fairton Christian Center in New Jersey earlier this month where he declared that gays coming out of the closet was a sign that a nation has forgotten God.
But Scarborough quickly corrected himself and apologized for using the word "gay" when he really meant "sodomites" because using the word "gay" is "an abuse of the language." Scarborough went on the predict that, very soon, pedophiles will be referred to as "happy people" and they will have parades and be defended by legislators ... and those who don't think this can happen just need to remember that "twenty years ago, who called a sodomite 'gay'? We had laws in Texas 'til 2002 that we sent them to prison! That was based on the Bible, by the way":
This might be a good time to remind everyone that Scarborough introduced Ted Cruz at last year's Values Voter Summit, where Cruz hailed him as "a true champion of freedom" and a "tremendous patriot and voice for Christian values."
The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios today continued to press the Boy Scouts of America against opening the organization to gay members on her radio show. She said that opponents of the ban like AT&T CEO Randall Stevenson, Ernst & Young CEO James Turley and Mitt Romney (!) who are affiliated with the BSA should be forced to pay for any future settlements of all the child abuse cases that Rios claims will be a consequence of having openly gay Boy Scouts.
I think I have a solution, I just thought of it this morning. I think these guys, let’s put Mitt Romney in there, and let’s put the guy with Ernst & Young whose name is James Turley, and let’s put Randall Stevenson the CEO of AT&T, and any of the other organizations or corporate sponsors who are pushing the Boy Scouts for this policy change. I think actually we might let this go through with the stipulation that whatever lawsuits are brought from now until the end of time against Boy Scout leaders who have sexually molested their Scouts, that they personally are responsible to pay them. Let’s go after Mitt Romney, let’s go after the guy at Ernst & Young, let’s go after Randall Stevenson at AT&T, let them write a check and just say, ‘I believe in this so much that I am willing personally to cover any costs on the outside, ridiculous chance that some Boy Scout should be molested by a gay Scout leader or seduced. If there is any harm then I’ll pay, I will pay.’ If they are willing to sign that statement, go for it. While we’re at it, we should have AT&T and all the other organizations like Ernst & Young that are pushing for this put their corporate—just think of all the money, the potential of lawsuits.
The AFA has even called for Stephenson to resign from the BSA board for “using his corporate influence to bully the BSA into gay assimilation,” and joined a whole host of Religious Right groups demanding that both Stephenson and Turley step down.
Along with the AFA, the coalition includes ex-gay groups like the Restored Hope Network and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) in addition to Mat Staver’s Liberty Counsel; Rick Scarborough’s Vision America; Scott Lively’s Abiding Truth Ministries; Linda Harvey’s Mission America; Peter LaBarbera’s Americans For Truth About Homosexuality; Brian Camenker’s MassResistance... and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which apparently still exists.
In the latest email alert from the "40 Days to Save America" campaign, Rick Scarborough says it is time for Americans to wake up and realize that the attack in Benghazi, Libya was just the latest proof that God has lifted his hand of protection over this nation because America is mired in sin:
In Isiah 5:5, God warns Israel of the punishment which will befall the disobedient nation: “Now I am going to tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard, I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed. I will break down its wall and it will be trampled.”
And again in Deuteronomy 28:25: “The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: Thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.”
Like Biblical Israel, America is mired in sin – 1.2 million abortions a year, the assault on God’s institution of marriage, an explosion of pornography, children robbed of their innocence, skyrocketing rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births, the Church persecuted – need I continue?
And yet we blithely go on as if there was no connection between this and the way we violate God’s commandments? Too many Americans act as it the Bible’s prophecies are charmingly poetic, but bear no relation to today’s events?
How many more 9/11 attacks, how many more wars, how much more turmoil – how many more Benghazis – will it take before we finally begin to make the connection between our behavior as a nation and the horror unfolding before our eyes?
The hedge is being taken away, leaving us naked and exposed to our enemies. And that is precisely why our 40 Days call to prayer is vital to our survival as a nation.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) joined the ferventlyanti-gay, anti-Latino pastor Rick Scarborough of Vision America for his “40 Days to Save America” conference call today, and delivered a somber message to participants about how America is on the verge of collapse if their prayer efforts to shift the election don’t work. “The truth is if you look at great nations, great civilizations, great powers throughout recorded history, when they’ve passed some of the milestones we have as a nation, that was the sign that they were toward the end of their existence,” Gohmert said. He stated that “the only reason I continue to run for Congress is because I still have hope" as he urged Americans to “follow the rule book as to what blesses a nation” and join Scarborough’s prayer initiative.
The congressman argued that our Founders “followed biblical teachings” and therefore gave us “more liberties, more individual freedoms and values, ease of living, quality and standard of living than even more than Solomon’s Israel.” Gohmert went on to claim that the U.S. is in a state of such spiritual disrepair that the country is even worse off than during slavery, arguing that while “Andrew Jackson’s time was not a great time, at different times slavery was a blot on our existence,” America has “never as an entire nation overall been so far away from God’s teaching and so openly rebelling, even from the top, against God’s teaching in the Bible.”
There is so much that is so critical to whether or not this country continues, the greatest gift of a country to any people in history: more liberties, more individual freedoms and values, ease of living, quality and standard of living than even more than Solomon’s Israel. No explanation as to why we’ve been so blessed other than the people who went before us were blessed, they followed God’s rule book, in our founding they followed biblical teachings. We strayed away at different times, Andrew Jackson’s time was not a great time, at different times slavery was a blot on our existence, but the trouble is we have never as an entire nation overall been so far away from God’s teaching and so openly rebelling, even from the top, against God’s teachings in the Bible.
New York City councilman Fernando Cabrera has become the favorite Democrat of far-right groups like the American Family Association and Family Research Council, and even the virulentlyanti-gay, anti-Muslim, birther Rick Scarborough of Vision America. Cabrera is apparently comfortable working with Scarborough even though he is known for his notorious views on immigration and ethnic minorities, including Latinos. Scarborough is ferventlyopposed to immigrant rights, called Justice Sonia Sotomayor a “disaster,” and told a Tea Party Nation event that if the US was “become 30 per cent Hispanic we will no longer be America…that would be a bad thing.” He recently said that the increasing minority birth rate is bad for America and will lead to a decline in Christianity.
Now we are witnessing more babies being born out of wedlock than in wedlock, leading to escalating social problems. That brings us back to this latest revelation on the growing influence of minorities in America. The sad reality is that more non-white families will also mean an America with more fatherless families.
The increasing polarization of the races is an additional cause for concern. Politicians and self-styled community leaders urge blacks and Hispanics to see themselves as members of a race first and foremost, and not as Americans or Christians.
On a conference call today with Scarborough’s 40 Days to Save America campaign to energize anti-Obama voters, Cabrera thanked Scarborough for his “prophetic call” to pray before the election and called for God to take “dominion over our lives” and fight back against “the grip of darkness that is trying to take over our land.”
Scarborough used the call for pray to God to stop abortion and gay rights, just as God ended slavery, and to “deliver us as a nation from the throes of secularism.”
This is our time; this is our opportunity to make a difference in America. We look around it seems bleak, I find pastors who are discouraged who don’t believe that even God can change America. But the good news is He did it once and gave us America, the first great awakening; He did it a second time and expunged the nation of slavery; He can do it a third time and deliver us from abortion and division and the advancement of gay rights, the Lord Jesus can do that.
Father deliver us as a nation from the throes of secularism and the encroaching secularist mindset that is seeking to stifle Christianity as a whole, give us a rebirth Lord of love for You, Lord cleanse us personally, cleanse us societally, Lord give us an outpouring of revival such as we have not seen in our lifetime, Father we do repent of the sins of complicity of allowing the culture to grow so coarse and so far from what You intended.
Vision America's Rick Scarborough has been organizing and hosting regular conference calls for his 40 Days to Save America campaign aimed at getting conservative Christians to pray and fast leading up to the election.
During a call last week featuring Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, Scarborough said that over the next forty days, they would be praying for every member of Congress by name, as well as members of the Supreme Court and the Obama administration and asking God to remove those who are ungodly from office:
In the course of the next forty days, we're going to pray for every member of Congress by name, every member of the Senate by name, the President, the Vice-President and the Attorney General every single day and also every member of the Supreme Court every single day. But we do want to call out, cry out, for these major leaders for our country and forty days from now we want to be able to report to them that thousands of people called their name to Heaven and asked God to give them wisdom, and if their heart is hardened, to remove them from leadership so that godly people can take their place.
During his conference call with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough hailed Perry’s The Response prayer rally, which occurred in August of last year, for supposedly ending the state’s extreme drought that began in October, 2010. However, according to StateImpact Texas, "in 2011, Texas endured the worst single-year drought in its history" and while “the situation has improved recently, the drought is far from over — and the conditions that caused it aren’t going away anytime soon.” Scarborough, who made the claim before while speaking to pseudo-historian David Barton, credited The Response with leading to “record rainfalls” months later and a speedy recovery.
Let me just say this, a lot of folk were aware that Texas had the worst drought in our history two years ago into last year, Governor Rick Perry called a statewide season of prayer and fasting and more than 30,000 people showed up personally at Reliant Stadium in downtown Houston where our football team plays. He led that complete day in prayer and fasting for God to break the drought, a lot of people criticized him in the press. But what a few people failed to take note of is a drought everyone said would take Texans years to get over, we began getting rain, it actually rained a bit that very day, but a few months later it began to rain, we had seasons where we had record rainfalls for a period of time and even now we are having rain. I attribute the breaking of that drought and the renewal of our resources as a state to the godly leadership of a governor who was not ashamed to humble himself before the world and become a part of leading our state in prayer.
A lot of folk criticized the calling of that prayer event and they missed the understanding that God didn’t answer the breaking of the drought that day but within six months our lakes were back up to normal, our farmers were harvesting hey, cattle crops were saved, the fires across the state subsided. I am privileged to live in a state that is covered by a governor like Governor Rick Perry.
I had mentioned while you were waiting for you to get on the call about the impact of our Response at Reliant Stadium and how the press was willing to mock the calling of the prayer and fasting but had failed to document that what everyone thought would take years to replenish our lakes and streams almost happened in three months. It began raining, this year our farmers had a record year of harvesting their hey and I take all of that back to a courageous call of a governor of a state to the people to pray and fast, and the fact that you led in that day which I was certainly in the audience and participating in.