Andrea Lafferty

Five Years After Passage Of Hate Crimes Law, Religious Right's Dire Predictions Still Haven't Come True

Here we go again. If Religious Right activists are to be believed, any day now the government will throw pastors in jail, have people “fined $500 a day” for reading the Bible and “start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians.” These are among the claims that were made this year by conservative politicians and movement leaders, who warn that America is now witnessing a “war on religion.” 

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.)

The rhetoric surrounding the Houston case has become so apoplectic that even some conservatives are calling out their allies for making false and grossly misleading claims.

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.”

Pseudo-historian David Barton told a California church that the law will throw pastors in jail for reading the Bible.

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.”

Legalizing pedophilia

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.

Religious Right commentators now regularly liken themselves to Jews living under Nazi Germany or shamelessly compare the state of Christians in the U.S. to that of Middle East Christians facing displacement and death at the hands of terrorist groups like ISIS.

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.

Traditional Values Coalition Links Contraception Mandate To 'Islamic Shariah Law,' 'Population Control'

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition emailed members yesterday to inform them that Hobby Lobby’s challenge of the contraception coverage mandate is necessary to stop the Obama administration and Planned Parenthood’s supposed “agenda of population control” and attempts to diminish freedom in America.

She added that the HHS mandate is part of a larger attack on freedom coming through the “IRS scandal” and “Islamic shariah law both at home and abroad.”

We are just one breath away from freedom.

Today the oral arguments for the Hobby Lobby case was heard in Washington, and in the snow and rain hundreds of folks turned out in support of religious liberty.



The world is seeing it for what it is.

Even the media has started to turn on Obama.

Families faced with crippling increases have nowhere to turn.

...but the Obama administration is bent on pushing its agenda of population control.

Planned Parenthood and the Obama administration have been scheming for this for the last six years. This is their time – their only time – to cram it through.



Traditional Values Coalition remains the largest Christian organization in America fighting back against Obamacare and the HHS Mandate, with over 43,000 churches and ministeriums and millions of Christian, Bible-believing Americans supporting our work.

...and should it come down to a U.S. Supreme Court justice nomination fight, it will be TVC on the camera, TVC in the halls of power, TVC working the committee rooms – because few organizations in Washington have the access and confidence to make your voice heard on Capitol Hill.

Hobby Lobby is just the tip of the iceberg. Between the IRS scandal, the attacks on the religious liberties on military chaplains, the silencing and shaming of those standing up to the horrors of Islamic shariah law both at home and abroad, few voices have the courage to stand up and do what is right – even when it’s unpopular.

The Perils of Religious Politicking

Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, a centrist Democrat facing a tough re-election campaign, launched a new political ad this month, and both the ad and the responses to it have highlighted the challenges of mixing religion and politics in ways that respect religious freedom, pluralism, and the spirit of the Constitution.

In Pryor’s new ad, he doesn’t talk about political issues or his opponent; he just talks about the Bible.

“I’m not ashamed to say that I believe in God and I believe in His word. The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers. Only God does. And neither political party is always right. This is my compass, my north star. It gives me comfort and guidance to do what's best for Arkansas. I’m Mark Pryor, and I approve this message because this is who I am and what I believe.”

The centrality of faith in Pryor’s life is well-known. But the ad was slammed by Brad Dayspring at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, who mockingly suggested the ad contradicted comments Pryor had made last year: “The Bible is really not a rule book for political issues. Everybody can see it differently.”  But I don’t see the contradiction. In both, Pryor seems to be acknowledging that even people who look to the Bible for guidance can disagree on particular policy positions. Dayspring’s attack drew a surprising rebuke from Pryor’s Republican opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton, who called the NRSC response “bizarre and offensive.”

The ad has drawn a mixed response from progressive commentators. Ed Kilgore at the Washington Monthly praises Pryor for “basically saying the Bible teaches some humility and reserves wisdom and final judgment to Gold Almighty, not to his self-appointed representatives on earth.” But Paul Waldman at the American Prospect takes issue with Pryor’s “I’m not ashamed” line, suggesting it is a dog-whistle for those who believe the Religious Right’s charge that Christianity is under attack in America.

Waldman notes, however, that the ad could have been a lot worse, reminding us of this notorious Rick Perry ad from 2012 which starts with very similar “I’m not ashamed” language but then gets “much more vulgar.”

A more recent example of the “a lot worse” school of religion and politics came from Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia, who is currently running for the Senate. In a six-minute speech from the floor of the House of Representatives in September, he mixed personal religious testimony with Christian-nation claims that the government should be run according to his interpretation of the Bible.

Broun’s remarks start with a core Christian Reconstructionist principle: that God ordained family, church and government and gave each a specific area of authority. But, he says, because of “this mistaken idea that we’re supposed to have a separation of church and state, the family and the church have abdicated a lot of its duties over to government.” (Reconstructionists believe that God did not authorize government to be involved, for example, in education or the reduction of poverty; that role is meant for family and church.)

Broun calls the Bible “the basis of our nation,” and says the fact that we aren’t running society accordingly will mean the death of our Republic.  The founding fathers, he says, were “Bible-believing Christians” who believed that “every aspect of life should follow the dictates of God’s inerrant word. That’s what I believe in. That’s what we should all believe in.”

This message is not new for Broun. Last year Kilgore wrote about a Broun speech in which he said that evolutionary science is “from the pit of hell” and that the Bible is a “manufacturer’s handbook” that “teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in society,” as well as our lives as individuals. “That’s the reason as your Congressman I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C.”

There are important distinctions between Pryor’s ad and Broun’s speeches.  It is helpful to look at them through the prism of People For the American Way Foundation’s 12 Rules for Mixing Religion and Politics. These “rules of the road” are meant to generate a broader conversation about how we can create and sustain a civic space that reflects the principles of the Constitution and the values of respectful civic discourse, one that welcomes the participation of people of all faiths and people of none. Consider this passage from the 12 Rules:

Public officials are free to talk about their faith, the role it plays in their lives, and how it influences their approach to issues, but must not use the power of their office to proselytize or impose particular religious beliefs or practices on others.

Pryor’s ad seems to be intended to keep to the appropriate side of this rule, where Broun clearly violates the rule by proselytizing from the floor of the House.

In addition, Broun, like David Barton and other Religious Right leaders, claims that the right-wing position on every political issue finds some grounding or justification in the Bible, which should be the final word on every policy matter.  Broun’s insistence that every aspect of law and society should fit his interpretation of the Bible also violates another rule, “It is appropriate to discuss the moral and religious dimensions of policy issues, but religious doctrine alone is not an acceptable basis for public policy.” In contrast, Pryor’s ad explicitly says that he doesn’t claim to have all the answers, even though he uses the Bible as his moral compass.

A Religious Right critic of Pryor’s ad broke another of PFAW Foundation’s rules: “Religion should not be used as a political club.” As blogger Jeremy Hooper noted, Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition was “outraged” by Pryor’s ad. She said his claim to be guided by the Bible “the furthest thing from the truth” because he had voted for the Employment Non Discrimination Act, which protects people from being discriminated at work based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Lafferty is of course free to believe that fairness is not a biblical value; but she shouldn’t denigrate the sincerity of Pryor’s faith because he disagrees.

Still, Pryor’s ad is a cautionary tale about the fact that, as he himself has said, the intersection of faith and politics can be difficult to navigate.  It can come across as saying, “vote for me because I’m a Christian,” a message that fails to respect America’s constitutional ideals and growing religious pluralism. And it could be seen as uncomfortably close to the message of Mike Huckabee’s 2008 primary campaign against Mitt Romney in Iowa, which essentially boiled down to, “vote for me because I’m the right kind of Christian.” Candidates or campaigns that suggest only Christians, or certain kinds of Christians, are worthy of public office violate the spirit if not the letter of the Constitution’s prohibition on a religious test for public office. 

With Christian-nation advocates like David Lane organizing all over the country for the 2014 and 2016 elections, there’s little doubt that the months ahead will bring some downright toxic mixing of religion and politics.

PFAW

The ENDA is Near: The Top Ten Religious Right Claims About the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (UPDATED)

With the Senate expected to vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act before Thanksgiving, here’s a look at Right Wing Watch’s collection of recent – and classic – claims from the Religious Right about ENDA.  Because ENDA is common sense legislation that would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the Right cannot gain much traction by opposing ENDA on its merits.  Instead, resorting to fear-mongering and lies, they contend that ENDA will lead to everything from the end of religious freedom to sexual assault and death. As the vote approaches, senators will have to choose whether they will cast their lot with anti-gay extremists or with common sense.

10. Matt Barber: ENDA And Hate Crimes Laws Will Be Used To Protect Pedophiles (October 2013)

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel appeared on Sandy Rios In The Morning, where he told guest host Wendy Wright that hate crimes laws and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act will be used to protect pedophiles:

“When you have laws like ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, being pushed, hate crimes legislation, that are as you point out so well Wendy, that are very vague in their definition of what is sexual orientation, we will arrive at the point where you know these people who define their sexual orientation by a sexual attraction to children want to be lumped in among those who cannot be discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation.”

9. Steve Crampton: ENDA is Insanity (June 2012)

Speaking about a Senate hearing on ENDA, Liberty Counsel’s “Faith and Freedom” radio host Steve Crampton marveled that a transgender person was actually allowed to testify on behalf of the legislation and complained that ENDA is not about “equal rights” but rather “special rights” for gays and cross-dressers.

Crampton stated that if ENDA passed, he could come into work – “God forbid,” he said – wearing a dress and would be allowed to use the women’s restroom.  “In years past,” Crampton said, “we had another word for this: it’s called insanity.”

8. Rep. Louie Gohmert Misleads on ENDA, Criticizes Faith Groups that Affirm Gays and Lesbians 'Despite the Plumbing that God Created' (June 2012)

While speaking on Today’s Issues, the Texas congressman said the anti-discrimination legislation is “part of this administration’s ongoing war on religion, on particularly Judeo-Christian values,” and asserted that Muslims would also oppose the bill as well. However, Gohmert lamented the growth of Christian and Jewish denominations and organizations that affirm gays and lesbians and defend their rights, saying that they do so “despite the plumbing that God created.”

7. Mat Staver: ENDA ‘Will Harm Women and Children’ (July 2013)

Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver in a Freedom’s Call radio alert said that the ENDA bill is a “farce” that will “harm women and children.” How? Because employers “will be forced to hire cross-dressers,” whom Staver believes will go on to molest and assault kids.

6. Linda Harvey: Gays Deserve To Be Fired Because They ‘Insist On Displaying [Their] Lifestyles To Everyone’ (May 2013)

Mission America’s Linda Harvey stated her belief that schools, and employers in general, should have the right to fire LGBT personnel and urged them to exercise that right. She said that the only person to blame for getting fired is the LGBT employee who refuses to accept their employer’s “high moral standards” and “insist[s] on displaying these lifestyles to everyone and forcing their acceptance.” She said that “no one needs to be involved in homosexuality” and that the “homosexual lifestyle” is incompatible with being “an excellent employee” as it “shows a disrespect” to others.

5. Tony Perkins: ‘Totalitarian Homosexual Lobby’ Out to Destroy Religious Freedom with ENDA (March 2013)

“Like a B-grade 1950’s horror-movie, ENDA is coming back from the dead,” warned Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a recent mailing. Perkins said President Obama is working with the “totalitarian homosexual lobby” to sneak ENDA into law, and if that happens, “Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.”

“In fact,” says Perkins in his letter, “under ENDA biblical morality becomes illegal.”

4. Andrea Lafferty Cites CT School Shooting to Rally Opposition to Non-Discrimination Policies (December 2012)

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition used the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in order to bolster her campaign against ENDA. While speaking to Janet Mefferd about the Orange County, Florida, school system’s new non-discrimination policy that is similar to ENDA, Lafferty said that just as parents are upset about the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and are concerned about keeping their children safe, they should also be worried about ENDA’s “devastating effects” as schools will have “people with some real issues playing out their personal problems in the classroom.”

Lafferty maintained that ENDA is part of the left’s “open season” on Christians on behalf of “fringe minorities and people that are truly sick.”  She warned that Chick-fil-A restaurants may soon be “forced” to hire “weirdos” seeking to undermine Christian businesses, warning that transgender people are committing “the ultimate act of self-hatred” and need “special medical treatment” rather than job protections.

3. Gordon Klingenschmitt: Under ENDA, ‘Christians Will Be Bankrupted’ And ‘Starve To Death’ (September 2013)

Dr. “Chaps” Gordon Klingenschmitt emailed members of his Pray In Jesus Name Project warning that Christians may face unemployment and starvation if the Employment Non-Discrimination Act passes.

“The Government is now ordering you: Forsake God or starve to death,” Klingenschmitt writes. “I pray that I would choose bankruptcy, starvation, even death, before disobedience to God.”

2. Bryan Fischer: Businesses Threatened by ‘Flaming Homosexual’ Job Applicants and the ‘Return of Jim Crow Laws’ (January 2013)

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer warned in a blog post that “ENDA would represent the return of Jim Crow laws.” On his radio program Focal Point, Fischer warned that if ENDA is signed into law businesses will be faced with a barrage of “flaming homosexual” job applicants. “The homosexual lobby,” Fischer said, “will send a guy in there wearing stilettos, a dress and dangly earrings” in order to provoke Christian business-owners “not to hire him.”

1. Mat Staver: ENDA Will Result in the 'Death of Some Individuals' (June 2012)

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver is ratcheting up the rhetoric in opposition to ENDA, even going so far as to say that if passed the legislation may lead to child molestation, sexual assault, and death. Staver told Jim Schneider of VCY America on Crosstalk that ENDA “will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals”:

Staver: “So you can go into these restrooms or changing rooms, if you’re a man, and want to go in and molest, or watch, or sexually assault young girls. So, I mean, the absurdity of this is just beyond understanding how someone could be in favor of it. This will ultimately, in addition to colliding with religious liberty, in addition to forcing a radical agenda on people, this also will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals.”

Cross-posted from People For the American Way.

 

The ENDA is Near: The Top Ten Religious Right Claims About the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (UPDATED)

With the Senate expected to vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act before Thanksgiving, here’s a look at Right Wing Watch’s collection of recent – and classic – claims from the Religious Right about ENDA.  Because ENDA is common sense legislation that would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the Right cannot gain much traction by opposing ENDA on its merits.  Instead, resorting to fear-mongering and lies, they contend that ENDA will lead to everything from the end of religious freedom to sexual assault and death. As the vote approaches, senators will have to choose whether they will cast their lot with anti-gay extremists or with common sense.

10. Matt Barber: ENDA And Hate Crimes Laws Will Be Used To Protect Pedophiles (October 2013)

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel appeared on Sandy Rios In The Morning, where he told guest host Wendy Wright that hate crimes laws and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act will be used to protect pedophiles:

“When you have laws like ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, being pushed, hate crimes legislation, that are as you point out so well Wendy, that are very vague in their definition of what is sexual orientation, we will arrive at the point where you know these people who define their sexual orientation by a sexual attraction to children want to be lumped in among those who cannot be discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation.”

9. Steve Crampton: ENDA is Insanity (June 2012)

Speaking about a Senate hearing on ENDA, Liberty Counsel’s “Faith and Freedom” radio host Steve Crampton marveled that a transgender person was actually allowed to testify on behalf of the legislation and complained that ENDA is not about “equal rights” but rather “special rights” for gays and cross-dressers.

Crampton stated that if ENDA passed, he could come into work – “God forbid,” he said – wearing a dress and would be allowed to use the women’s restroom.  “In years past,” Crampton said, “we had another word for this: it’s called insanity.”

8. Rep. Louie Gohmert Misleads on ENDA, Criticizes Faith Groups that Affirm Gays and Lesbians 'Despite the Plumbing that God Created' (June 2012)

While speaking on Today’s Issues, the Texas congressman said the anti-discrimination legislation is “part of this administration’s ongoing war on religion, on particularly Judeo-Christian values,” and asserted that Muslims would also oppose the bill as well. However, Gohmert lamented the growth of Christian and Jewish denominations and organizations that affirm gays and lesbians and defend their rights, saying that they do so “despite the plumbing that God created.”

7. Mat Staver: ENDA ‘Will Harm Women and Children’ (July 2013)

Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver in a Freedom’s Call radio alert said that the ENDA bill is a “farce” that will “harm women and children.” How? Because employers “will be forced to hire cross-dressers,” whom Staver believes will go on to molest and assault kids.

6. Linda Harvey: Gays Deserve To Be Fired Because They ‘Insist On Displaying [Their] Lifestyles To Everyone’ (May 2013)

Mission America’s Linda Harvey stated her belief that schools, and employers in general, should have the right to fire LGBT personnel and urged them to exercise that right. She said that the only person to blame for getting fired is the LGBT employee who refuses to accept their employer’s “high moral standards” and “insist[s] on displaying these lifestyles to everyone and forcing their acceptance.” She said that “no one needs to be involved in homosexuality” and that the “homosexual lifestyle” is incompatible with being “an excellent employee” as it “shows a disrespect” to others.

5. Tony Perkins: ‘Totalitarian Homosexual Lobby’ Out to Destroy Religious Freedom with ENDA (March 2013)

“Like a B-grade 1950’s horror-movie, ENDA is coming back from the dead,” warned Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a recent mailing. Perkins said President Obama is working with the “totalitarian homosexual lobby” to sneak ENDA into law, and if that happens, “Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.”

“In fact,” says Perkins in his letter, “under ENDA biblical morality becomes illegal.”

4. Andrea Lafferty Cites CT School Shooting to Rally Opposition to Non-Discrimination Policies (December 2012)

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition used the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in order to bolster her campaign against ENDA. While speaking to Janet Mefferd about the Orange County, Florida, school system’s new non-discrimination policy that is similar to ENDA, Lafferty said that just as parents are upset about the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and are concerned about keeping their children safe, they should also be worried about ENDA’s “devastating effects” as schools will have “people with some real issues playing out their personal problems in the classroom.”

Lafferty maintained that ENDA is part of the left’s “open season” on Christians on behalf of “fringe minorities and people that are truly sick.”  She warned that Chick-fil-A restaurants may soon be “forced” to hire “weirdos” seeking to undermine Christian businesses, warning that transgender people are committing “the ultimate act of self-hatred” and need “special medical treatment” rather than job protections.

3. Gordon Klingenschmitt: Under ENDA, ‘Christians Will Be Bankrupted’ And ‘Starve To Death’ (September 2013)

Dr. “Chaps” Gordon Klingenschmitt emailed members of his Pray In Jesus Name Project warning that Christians may face unemployment and starvation if the Employment Non-Discrimination Act passes.

“The Government is now ordering you: Forsake God or starve to death,” Klingenschmitt writes. “I pray that I would choose bankruptcy, starvation, even death, before disobedience to God.”

2. Bryan Fischer: Businesses Threatened by ‘Flaming Homosexual’ Job Applicants and the ‘Return of Jim Crow Laws’ (January 2013)

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer warned in a blog post that “ENDA would represent the return of Jim Crow laws.” On his radio program Focal Point, Fischer warned that if ENDA is signed into law businesses will be faced with a barrage of “flaming homosexual” job applicants. “The homosexual lobby,” Fischer said, “will send a guy in there wearing stilettos, a dress and dangly earrings” in order to provoke Christian business-owners “not to hire him.”

1. Mat Staver: ENDA Will Result in the 'Death of Some Individuals' (June 2012)

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver is ratcheting up the rhetoric in opposition to ENDA, even going so far as to say that if passed the legislation may lead to child molestation, sexual assault, and death. Staver told Jim Schneider of VCY America on Crosstalk that ENDA “will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals”:

Staver: “So you can go into these restrooms or changing rooms, if you’re a man, and want to go in and molest, or watch, or sexually assault young girls. So, I mean, the absurdity of this is just beyond understanding how someone could be in favor of it. This will ultimately, in addition to colliding with religious liberty, in addition to forcing a radical agenda on people, this also will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals.”

###
 

Put this toolkit to good use and call your Senators today, "pass ENDA now!"

The government may be shut down, but Congress is still on the job, and we need to show them that they need to get back to work not only on the budget but on all of the urgent issues that we care about.
PFAW

PFAW Releases New Toolkit on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

First introduced in 1994, ENDA has been introduced in every subsequent session of Congress except one, including its introduction this April by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate. Advocates in Congress and on the ground believe that the growing momentum surrounding LGBT equality should help ENDA move forward this year.
PFAW

Employment Non-Discrimination Act: Judging Employees by Their Work Performance, Not by Who They Are or Who They Love

First introduced in 1994, ENDA has been introduced in every subsequent session of Congress except one, including its introduction this April by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate. Advocates in Congress and on the ground believe that the growing momentum surrounding LGBT equality should help ENDA move forward this year.

The ENDA is Near: The Top Five Religious Right Claims About the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

With the Employment Non-Discrimination Act scheduled for a Senate committee vote this week, here’s a look at Right Wing Watch’s collection of recent – and classic – claims from the Religious Right about ENDA.  Because ENDA is common-sense civil rights legislation that would expand federal employment protections against discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity, the Right cannot gain much traction by opposing ENDA on its merits.  Instead, resorting to fear-mongering and lies, they contend that ENDA will lead to everything from the end of religious freedom to sexual assault and death.

Here are highlights of Right Wing Watch’s reporting on right-wing opposition to ENDA:

5. Tony Perkins: ‘Totalitarian Homosexual Lobby’ Out to Destroy Religious Freedom with ENDA (March 2013)

“Like a B-grade 1950’s horror-movie, ENDA is coming back from the dead,” warned Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a recent mailing. Perkins said President Obama is working with the “totalitarian homosexual lobby” to sneak ENDA into law, and if that happens, “Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.”

“In fact,” says Perkins in his letter, “under ENDA biblical morality becomes illegal.”

Read the full article here.

4. Steve Crampton: ENDA is Insanity (June 2012)

Speaking about a Senate hearing on ENDA, Liberty Counsel’s “Faith and Freedom” radio host Steve Crampton marveled that a transgender person was actually allowed to testify on behalf of the legislation and complained that ENDA is not about “equal rights” but rather “special rights” for gays and cross-dressers.

Crampton stated that if ENDA passed, he could come into work – “God forbid,” he said – wearing a dress and would be allowed to use the women’s restroom.  “In years past,” Crampton said, “we had another word for this: it’s called insanity.”

Read the full article here.

3. Andrea Lafferty Cites CT School Shooting to Rally Opposition to Non-Discrimination Policies (December 2012)

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition used the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in order to bolster her campaign against ENDA. While speaking to Janet Mefferd about the Orange County, Florida, school system’s new non-discrimination policy that is similar to ENDA, Lafferty said that just as parents are upset about the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and are concerned about keeping their children safe, they should also be worried about ENDA’s “devastating effects” as schools will have “people with some real issues playing out their personal problems in the classroom.”

Lafferty maintained that ENDA is part of the left’s “open season” on Christians on behalf of “fringe minorities and people that are truly sick.”  She warned that Chick-fil-A restaurants may soon be “forced” to hire “weirdos” seeking to undermine Christian businesses, warning that transgender people are committing “the ultimate act of self-hatred” and need “special medical treatment” rather than job protections.

Read the full article here.

2. Bryan Fischer: Businesses Threatened by ‘Flaming Homosexual’ Job Applicants and the ‘Return of Jim Crow Laws’ (January 2013)

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer warned in a blog post that “ENDA would represent the return of Jim Crow laws.” On his radio program Focal Point, Fischer warned that if ENDA is signed into law businesses will be faced with a barrage of “flaming homosexual” job applicants. “The homosexual lobby,” Fischer said, “will send a guy in there wearing stilettos, a dress and dangly earrings” in order to provoke Christian business-owners “not to hire him.”

Read the full article here.

1. Mat Staver: ENDA Will Result in the 'Death of Some Individuals' (June 2012)

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver is ratcheting up the rhetoric in opposition to ENDA, even going so far as to say that if passed the legislation may lead to child molestation, sexual assault, and death. Staver told Jim Schneider of VCY America on Crosstalk that ENDA “will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals”:

Staver: So you can go into these restrooms or changing rooms, if you’re a man, and want to go in and molest, or watch, or sexually assault young girls. So, I mean, the absurdity of this is just beyond understanding how someone could be in favor of it. This will ultimately, in addition to colliding with religious liberty, in addition to forcing a radical agenda on people, this also will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals.

Read the full article here.

###
 

Traditional Values Coalition: Homosexuality Is Just Like Drunk Driving

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition is mocking Sen. Rob Portman’s recent announcement that he changed his views on marriage equality after his son came out of the closet. Lafferty asked in a statement if a politician would support drunk driving if his son was a drunk driver. She maintained that civilization is “doomed to collapse” if gay rights laws succeed, and Portman should have told his son that it is “wrong” to be gay.

Traditional Values Coalition president Andrea Lafferty issued the following statement in reaction to Ohio Senator Rob Portman's recent repudiation of his stance against gay marriage in reaction to his son's homosexual preferences:

These past few days have been very painful ones for me.

Earlier this week one of my children came to me and told me something which was shocking.

He is a drunk driver and has been driving drunk regularly since college.

I have taken several days to reflect on this and I have decided to reverse my earlier opposition to drunk driving.

My child is a drunk driver and I love him. It is a part of his identity, who he is.

I have reflected on all of this, consulted Scripture (the story of Jesus changing water into wine when the wedding he was attending in Cana ran dry is particularly relevant) and decided that drunk driving is a generational issue. Younger people take a much different view of drunk driving than older people.

Therefore, today I am reversing my opposition to drunk driving. My child has caused me to revisit a decision which, up until now, had been based simply on morality.

My child is a drunk driver. That has personalized the issue for me and taken me above the whole discussion of the morality of it. It is now personal with me.

In addition, I would like to say that drunk driving will make all of us stronger drivers. Think of how much more interesting driving will be in the future if more people have the freedom to drive drunk. It will sharpen the defensive driving skills of the rest of us.


"This unreleased press statement follows the same twisted, self-serving logic that several public officials have used in explaining their switch from opposing homosexual marriage to favoring it.

"If you remember nothing else from this exchange, remember this: our children are learners and unable to determine morality and then hand it down to their parents and other impressionable adults. This is one factor in why our culture is so morally upside down!

"This whole line of argument suggesting that opposition to homosexual “marriage” is a personal and “generational” matter is equally silly.

"There are absolutes. There is right and there is wrong. There are objective truths. A civilization which has no governing principles or laws is doomed to collapse. That is the soul of conservatism.

"The tough part of being a parent is telling one of those young souls whom we have been charged with raising that he or she is wrong. But because it is tough that doesn’t mean that we are excused from doing it or we can delegate our responsibility to a teacher or “the village” or some other entity.



"Being a good parent is infinitely more difficult than being a Senator or President. And telling someone you love that he or she is wrong is the most difficult part of that difficult job.

"A nation which recognizes this is on the road to a vast spiritual recovery."

Right Wing Leftovers - 1/10/13

  • The Family Research Council says Pastor Louie Guglio's decision to withdraw from President Obama's inauguration is "another example of intolerance from the Obama administration toward those who hold to biblical views on sexuality" while Al Mohler calls it "moral McCarthyism."
  • TVC's Andrea Lafferty says Chuck Hagel was right to oppose James Hormel's nomination back in 1998 because she "went to the Hormel library in San Francisco and spent three days there bringing forth all of this filth and disgusting stuff that was in this man's library."
  • The level of Glenn Beck's delusion is pretty remarkable as he is now vowing to completely overhaul the world of advertising ... because apparently all the companies that have spent billions of dollars on it over the last fifty years simply have no idea what they are doing.
  • FRC prays that God will "intervene now to prevent the destruction of marriage in our nation and with it, our nation's future" by swaying the Supreme Court justices.
  • Why is Rep. Michele Bachmann refusing to pay those who worked on her presidential campaign?

Andrea Lafferty Cites CT School Shooting to Rally Opposition to Non-Discrimination Policies

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition used the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in order to bolster her campaign against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act over the bill’s protections for LGBT employees. While speaking to Janet Mefferd yesterday about the Orange County, Florida, school system’s new non-discrimination policy that is similar to ENDA, Laffery said that just as parents are upset about the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and are concerned about keeping their children safe, they should also be worried about ENDA’s “devastating effects” as schools will have “people with some real issues playing out their personal problems in the classroom.”

ENDA, the bill itself as I have been talking about it won’t become law, but they’re going to piece meal it. They’re going to start by making federal contractors—if you want to be a plumber for the government or want to do this, that or the other with the government, you have to comply with this order. They make try and find other ways of doing it, implementing the whole ENDA but I’m not sure exactly how at this point. But what I think people should focus on is: what does this mean locally?

People are really upset because of this tragedy up in Connecticut and protecting our children and we’re going to see some devastating effects. What they did in Florida is they passed a measure which affects adults, teachers, staff and kids. Our concern is that transgender children in schools are a different issue than teachers and staff. What we’re going to see is people with some real issues playing out their personal problems in the classroom.

Like other Religious Right activists who have warned that ENDA will lead to sexual assault and death, Lafferty maintained that ENDA is part of the left’s “open season” on Christians on behalf of “fringe minorities and people that are truly sick.”

Lafferty warned that Chick-fil-A restaurants may soon be “forced” to hire “weirdos” seeking to undermine Christian businesses, warning that transgender people are committing “the ultimate act of self-hatred” and need “special medical treatment” rather than job protections.

Lafferty: I fully expect that depending on how the administration pushes this, we’re going to see people applying for jobs at Chick-fil-A and Christian businesses because families go there because A) the food is good and B) they want to support what Chick-fil-A stands for, and no better way of hurting a Chick-fil-A restaurant than to have a bunch of weirdos working there.

Mefferd: That is so weird you say that because I had an experience like that at Chick-fil-A just a couple of weeks ago, exact same experience. I thought: that’s very strange that this person is working at Chick-fil-A.

Lafferty: They may have chosen to hire this person but they’re going to be forced to.



Lafferty: I think minorities, those protected classes, are going to be shocked when they find out that a transgendered man or woman is going to be treated the same as an African American man or woman. That’s not right and the laws will be overridden if ENDA should pass. That’s why they are going jurisdiction by jurisdiction to try and force communities to accept this. This is the ultimate act of self-hatred and we are lifting this up? We should be giving them special medical treatment maybe.

Mefferd: Get them some help.

Lafferty: Not protected class [status].

Has the Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrated the Romney Campaign?

Anti-Muslim activists on the Right have consistently warned that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the Obama administration. But if their unhinged McCarthyism is to be believed, then Mitt Romney’s campaign has been penetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood as well, as Romney’s campaign has named George Salem, Samah Norquist and David Ramadan “National Co-Chairs of Arab Americans for Romney.”

Pamela Geller labeled George Salem’s Arab American Institute a “nototrious anti-Israel Israel [sic] organization” composed of “Islamic supremacists” and led by a “Jew hater.” She even suggested that the AAI seeks “Jewish annihilation” by backing Mideast peace efforts.

Geller, Frank Gaffney, Robert Spencer, William Murray, Andrea and James Lafferty and others sent a letter to Edwin Meese demanding he withdraw his endorsement of Virginia Del. David Ramadan because of his purported ties to Muammar Gadaffi and “radical views,” including his support for the right to build the Park 51 Islamic Community Center. James Lafferty said Ramadan is an “extremist” who should not even “be allowed to continue to live in the United States,” and Geller said he is a “stealth jihadist” and a “Muslim Brotherhood plant.”

Perhaps no chair of Romney’s committee is despised more than Samah Norquist, wife of conservative leader Grover Norquist. Glenn Beck and Jerry Boykin have said that Norquist is a lackey for the Muslim Brotherhood and according to anti-Muslim activists like Gaffney and David Horowitz, Norquist secretly converted to Islam and joined the Muslim Brotherhood at the behest of his wife. Conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell wrote in a report for the American Conservative Union that she is “certain that Mr. Gaffney’s hatred [for Norquist] is further fueled by the fact that Grover is married to a Muslim-American woman (who also has worked for the United States government in very responsible positions, I might add!).”

Of course, these spurious claims against Ramadan, Norquist and Salem are just as baseless and wrong as their attacks against the Obama administration and the Muslim-Americans serving in it.

But while extremists like Geller, Gaffney, Horowitz and others are quick to attack Obama with such bogus charges, for some reason it seems unlikely Romney will receive similar treatment.

Anti-Gay Extremists Unite to Denounce US Embassy for Backing Czech LGBT Pride Festival

The US Embassy in the Czech Republic, as part of the State Department’s new LGBT rights initiative, is supporting a pride festival in Prague “to address discriminatory behavior based on sexual orientation and to promote a tolerant civil society and equal opportunities in the Czech Republic.” Already irate over Secretary Hillary Clinton’s speech on LGBT rights, American Religious Right activists joined their European, African and Latin American allies to denounce the Obama administration for “aggressively promoting the ‘gay’ agenda internationally” and leading a campaign of “cultural imperialism” [PDF]:

At the directive of the president of the United States, Washington is aggressively promoting the “gay’’ agenda internationally, including same-sex “marriage” and the stigmatization and marginalization of any who object to the same.

The Obama’s administration’s embrace of “same-sex marriage” has been overwhelmingly rejected by the American people. There have been 32 state referenda on marriage. In every one of them, voters endorsed the natural definition of marriage (a man and a woman). The North Carolina vote, on May 8, was 61% in favor of natural marriage.



It stands to reason, then, that anything which undermines the family – including changing the definition of marriage – is a breach of the State’s responsibility to protect this indispensable institution which precedes government and makes a stable and free society possible.

The Madrid Declaration of World Congress of Families VI (May 25-27, 2012) --which was unanimously adopted by more than 3,200 delegates from 72 countries --provides, in part: “We affirm the natural family to be the union of a man and a woman through marriage for the purposes of sharing love and joy, propagating children, providing their moral education, building a vital home economy, offering security in times of trouble, and binding the generations.”

Regarding “gay rights,” those caught up in this lifestyle have the same rights as other citizens. This does not include the “right” to force others to validate a lifestyle they find objectionable, for religious or other reasons. It also does not include the right of men to marry men and women to marry women.

The foregoing pseudo-rights do not advance human freedom and dignity but debase them.

We can not imagine a worse form of cultural imperialism than Washington trying to force approval of the “gay” agenda on societies with traditional values.

The list of signatories is mighty long, including former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay; Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and Matt Barber; American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon; Catholic League’s Bill Donohue; Vision America’s Rick Scarborough; Rabbi Daniel Lapin; American Civil Rights Union’s Robert Knight; Concerned Women for America’s Janice Shaw Crouse; Pastor Jim Garlow; WND’s David Kupelian; TFP’s C. Preston Noell III; conservative activist Richard Viguerie; World Congress of Families’ Don Feder; Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell; Traditional Values Coalition’s Louis Sheldon and Andrea Lafferty; and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Paige Peterson.

Other activists like Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, Scott Lively of Defend the Family International and Sharon Slater of Family Watch International are also among the signatories, as is Mission America’s Linda Harvey, who believes people should refuse care for themselves and their children from openly gay doctors and nurses:

Another signatory was Yehuda Levin has claimed that gay marriage caused last year’s D.C. earthquake and linked gay rights to the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the Tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake:

The list even included former chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, who performs gay exorcisms:

Religious Right Slams Obama for Backing Marriage Equality

While gay conservative groups have come out attacking President Obama for endorsing marriage equality today, Religious Right groups have also started to berate Obama on the issue.

Tony Perkins of Family Research Council said Obama’s position has handed Mitt Romney “the key to social conservative support”:

The President's announcement today that he supports legalizing same-sex marriage finally brings his words in sync with his actions. From opposing state marriage amendments to refusing to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) to giving taxpayer funded marriage benefits to same-sex couples, the President has undermined the spirit if not the letter of the law.

As demonstrated by yesterday's overwhelming vote in North Carolina, redefining marriage remains outside the mainstream of American politics, especially in the critical battleground states and among minority voters. In North Carolina, the amendment received more than 60 percent of the vote in majority-black counties.

Considering that ten of the sixteen battleground states have marriage amendments that could be overturned by the President's new policy position on marriage, today's announcement almost ensures that marriage will again be a major issue in the presidential election.

The President has provided a clear contrast between him and his challenger Mitt Romney. Romney, who has signed a pledge to support a marriage protection amendment to the U.S. Constitution, may have been handed the key to social conservative support by President Obama.

American Values head and former FRC president Gary Bauer claimed to be perplexed that Obama “is spending even one second of his time thinking about how and to radically transform the institution of marriage”:

The charade is finally up. We've always known that Barack Obama supports same-sex marriage. With every action he's taken, from court appointments to his rhetoric, he's been preparing the way to undermine traditional marriage. Obama's finally made that support explicit.

Every American who can't find work, whose home is under water or who can't afford to fill up his gas tank should be wondering why the president is spending even one second of his time thinking about how and to radically transform the institution of marriage. It's a political move meant to energize his left-wing base and distract Americans from his disastrous economic policies."

Bauer later commented in an email to supporters that Obama “may have just lost the presidency”:

President Obama just told ABC News that he now supports same-sex marriage. Surprised? Didn’t think so. Obama is no doubt hoping to energize his leftwing base. And he is betting this will help him to re-energize the youth vote this November. But in fact he may have just lost the presidency.

Attention Republican Party: Obama’s announcement is a chance for boldness. There are many Republicans who would rather not talk about this issue. But if the GOP confronts Obama over marriage, it could make him a one-term president. If Republicans allow Obama to exploit this issue, then it could prove decisive for him. Republicans need to remember that if their candidates can manage to win as much of the vote as the state marriage amendments have received in 31 states, they will win in a landslide in November.
...
Now look at North Carolina. It is considered a swing state. Obama won it by only 14,000 votes in 2008 – and it is a high priority for the Dems this year, which is why they are holding their national convention in Charlotte and why he has visited the state repeatedly. This morning Obama might be second guessing that Charlotte venue.

Voters in North Carolina passed a marriage amendment yesterday, making clear that marriage is one man and one woman. Obama, Biden and the entire media establishment opposed the amendment. Bill Clinton did robo calls opposing the measure. The voters felt otherwise by a 61% to 39% vote – a huge landslide and a record turnout. Current polls have Romney beating Obama in North Carolina by only two points! Governor Romney should look at the results of the marriage issue. He can win North Carolina by a landslide if he takes on Obama on this issue.

Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage pledged to defeat Obama and warned, "God is the author of marriage, and we will not let an activist politician like Barack Obama who is beholden to gay marriage activists for campaign financing to turn marriage into something political that can be redefined according to presidential whim”:

President Obama has now made the definition of marriage a defining issue in the presidential contest, especially in swing states like Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Nevada. Voters in all these states, and over two dozen more, have adopted state constitutional amendments defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. President Obama says that although he personally supports gay marriage, he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own. However, that is completely disingenuous. His administration is already trying to dismantle the nation's marriage laws by refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. All the state marriage amendments and laws are at risk under a president who actively wants to change the definition of marriage. NOM will work ceaselessly in these swing states and across the nation to preserve traditional marriage because it is profoundly in the public good to do so. God is the author of marriage, and we will not let an activist politician like Barack Obama who is beholden to gay marriage activists for campaign financing to turn marriage into something political that can be redefined according to presidential whim. The definition of marriage was already headed for the ballot in four states this fall; now it will be one of the defining issues of the presidential election. No state in this country has ever voted for gay marriage. Just yesterday North Carolina voters sent a clear message that America wants to preserve marriage. We intend to win the marriage debate this November.

The Traditional Values Coalition president Andrea Lafferty maintained Obama’s view on marriage equality displays his “radical ideology”:

This isn’t exactly a bold move by the president. Forced by Joe Biden’s big mouth, Obama had no choice left but to publicly embrace an agenda he has privately promoted for years.

I’ve been saying this for the last four years. Obama has always been in favor of homosexual marriage, but was forced to keep his enthusiasm at a distance for fear of offending the American public.

Obama needs new friends. His leadership has completely alienated Wall Street, financial investors, small businesses, soccer moms, and virtually every other constituency by pushing his radical ideology at a time when America needed principled leadership. Who better to appease than the LGBT community with tons of disposable income to fund his re-election campaign?

North Carolina just became the 31st state to affirm the sanctity of marriage. As if mainstream Americans needed any further reasons to reject Obama’s radical social agenda, we were most certainly reminded today.

Matt Smith of the Catholic Advocate said Obama’s support for marriage equality is part of “an anti-Catholic agenda”:

Once again, the President is spending time advancing an anti-Catholic agenda. Marriage was created long before any government came into existence. It is a settled issue in the eyes of the Catholic Church and should not be redefined.

First, the Obama administration takes away grant money helping victims of sex-trafficking over the Church refusing to refer the victims for abortions. Then the Obama administration violates our religious liberties by forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization as the President's health care law is being implemented. And now, should his advocacy for same-sex marriage succeed, Catholic institutions could be forced once again to violate our beliefs.

Many faithful Catholics were fooled by clever political rhetoric in 2008. This year, the anti-Catholic record of the Obama administration should inform their vote."

Rob Schenck of the Faith and Action commented: “Frankly, I question whether he really does in his heart-of-hearts. Maybe I'm naive, but, if I'm right, it's even worse, because it means he has surrendered a moral conviction for political expediency. Very wrong and very sad.”

Update: Faith and Freedom Coalition chairman Ralph Reed said the announcement shows the President is “tone-deaf and out-of-touch with the time-honored values of millions of Americans”:

Four years ago 2008 Barack Obama promised if elected not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000, pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term — and made clear his support for traditional marriage. All those promises are now broken.

At a time of high unemployment and severe economic distress, President Obama chose the week he launched his re-election campaign to flip-flop on same-sex marriage.

Combined with his administration’s opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act, it reveals a president who is tone-deaf and out-of-touch with the time-honored values of millions of Americans. This is an unanticipated gift to the Romney campaign. It is certain to fuel a record turnout of voters of faith to the polls this November.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League claimed Obama “has fully broken with his Christian moorings” and suggested he also favors polygamy:

In 1996, when Barack Obama was up for a state senate post in Illinois, he said he supported gay marriage. Eight years later, when he set his sights on the U.S. Senate, he discovered his Christian roots and said he was against it. In 2008, he said he was opposed to homosexuals marrying, but he also opposed a ballot initiative in California, Proposition 8, that affirmed marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman. In other words, his Christian roots were losing their grip. Since then he’s been “evolving.” Now the evolution is over and he has fully broken with his Christian moorings.

The president of the United States likes the idea of Tom and Dick marrying. He did not say whether he supports Tom, Dick and Harry marrying, or whether he is “evolving” in that direction. Perhaps he has to consult with his mentor on this issue, Mr. Joseph Biden of Delaware.

Yesterday, North Carolina voters affirmed marriage as being between a man and a woman. In the 32 times voters have been asked to decide this issue, they have voted 32 times to support traditional marriage. Gay rights advocates have never won.

President Obama will be hurt by this decision in the swing states. More than that, he has now made this cultural matter a major issue in the presidential campaign.

The time has finally come to pass a constitutional amendment affirming marriage as an institution reserved to the only two people who can naturally produce a family, namely a man and a woman.

NOM co-founder Maggie Gallagher, now with the Culture War Victory Fund, writes:

On the one hand, morally this is good because lying to the American people is always wrong. President Obama has come clean that he is for gay marriage. Politically, we welcome this. We think it's a huge mistake. President Obama is choosing the money over the voters the day after 61 percent of North Carolinians in a key swing state demonstrated they oppose gay marriage. We now have clear choice between Romney and Obama, and we look forward to demonstrating in November that it's a bad idea for a national candidate to support gay marriage. Marriage is a winning issue for the GOP.

American Family Association president Tim Wildmon tells OneNewsNow:

[He] has finally come out of the closet, if you will, on the homosexual marriage issue. He's in favor of it. He always has been. The only reason he didn't say anything about it before the election last time is because he didn't want to hurt himself [politically].

President Obama, [in] his first year in office, had the homosexual activists to the White House for a dinner and he promised them he would be their 'champion' -- and so he is coming through for them on many different fronts, including the military, changing the military to allow open homosexuality there.

Jim Campbell of the Alliance Defense Fund said his endorsement “promotes the creation of even more fatherless and motherless homes”:

This shows that the Obama administration doesn’t understand the public purpose of marriage. Marriage–the lifelong, faithful union of one man and one woman–is the building block of a thriving society. It’s not something that politicians should attempt to redefine for political purposes. The president has spoken eloquently about how fatherless homes often hurt children and society. Today’s statement is a tragic contradiction that promotes the creation of even more fatherless and motherless homes.

Liberty Counsel Action released a statement [pdf] from chairman Mathew Staver, who said the country under Obama’s leadership is “headed to disaster”:

“The President has made the issues in this election very clear,” said Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel Action. “Today, Governor Mitt Romney said he unequivocally supports natural marriage and opposes ‘marriage between people of the same gender,’ drawing a stark contrast in the upcoming election. For most voters, this election will now be an easy choice,” said Staver.

The decision by the President is not a surprise. He needs to appeal to his far-left base that helped propel him to the White House in 2008 but whose support has weakened in 2012.

“We are six months away from arguably the most critical national election in our lifetime,” said Mat Staver. “America is headed in the wrong direction: we are on the edge of a moral, financial, spiritual, and national security abyss. President Obama’s 2012 campaign slogan is ‘Forward.’ The Titanic was moving forward but headed to disaster. We need to change course.”

Conservatives Livid at Bush-Appointed Judge who struck down DOMA

Last week federal judge Jeffrey White ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clause, representing a stinging rebuke to the House Republicans’ efforts to defend the law through the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG). The Religious Right once hailed BLAG as a savior of the anti-gay law, arguing that the only reason judges were chipping away at DOMA was because of the poor arguments of the Justice Department. But White found that DOMA doesn’t pass constitutional muster under either a heightened scrutiny measure or the less stringent rational basis test.

Notably, former President George W. Bush nominated Judge White and the Senate confirmed him in a voice vote.

But even though he was nominated by a Republican and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate without Republican opposition, Religious Right activists are now accusing him of being an activist judge.

Gordon Klingenschmitt urged people to pray that God will “defeat and overturn the bad ruling by activist U.S. Federal Judge Jeffrey S. White” and that Congress will impeach him:

Let us pray. Almighty God, we pray You defeat and overturn the bad ruling by activist U.S. Federal Judge Jeffrey S. White in San Francisco, who ruled America’s founding fathers embraced sodomy and protected homosexual ‘marriage’ somehow in the U.S. Constitution, and therefore he struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 federal law signed by President Clinton, that defined marriage as only valid between one man and one woman. We pray Congress impeaches Judge White, from Proverbs 19:25, “Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver blamed the Obama administration for the ruling as part of their plan to “sabotage” marriage, and called the judge’s ruling “absolutely ridiculous”:

"This is another outrageous example of the Obama administration abandoning the defense of the Defense of Marriage Act, simply trying to sabotage marriage as the union of one man and one woman and pushing a radical homosexual agenda," Staver contends.



"I think that it's absolutely ridiculous to say that there's no rational or even debatable or logical reason for the Defense of Marriage Act, to say that you cannot have same-sex unions," Staver offers. "And in this particular case, the court did the wrong thing by ultimately finding that the Defense of Marriage Act as applied in this case was unconstitutional."

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition said Obama is leading a “direct war on marriage”:

Given the Obama administration's direct war on marriage, whether through attacking military chaplains' rights of conscience or refusing to defend DOMA, it's pretty clear which side he is on. Obama can't afford to come out of the proverbial closet though... for fear of losing an election.

America's moral virtue runs pretty deep. Despite the best efforts of this liberal government to affect that, the heavy hand of the Obama administration is no match for the Judeo-Christian values that inform the consciences of millions.

...which is why Obama is attempting to impose upon our rights.

The Deepening Ties Between Spiritual Warriors and Anti-Islam Activists

Back in 2007, Cindy Jacobs set about creating the United States Reformation Prayer Network after God told her "about a new prayer movement that would arise to 'Possess the Gates in 2008.'" Since then, USRPN has "been at work building a network in all fifty states" in order to reach "the goal that God has given us ... to join 500,000 intercessors praying for reformation and to see a prayer saturated nation!"

Since we never tire of chronicling how spiritual warfare activists like Jacobs are making inroads and connections to the more "mainstream" Religious Right movement, we felt obligated to highlight this latest USRPN update from Jacobs in which she reveals that she has now started working with Andrea Lafferty and her anti-gay, anti-Islam hate group, the Traditional Values Coalition:

Several months ago, I had the privilege of befriending Andrea Lafferty, President of the Traditional Values Coalition. Just a few weeks ago, we were honored to have had Andrea and her husband Jim serve as guest speakers during the USRPN/HAPN National Leadership Gathering in Oklahoma City.

Jim and Andrea delivered an incredibly eye-opening presentation and call to intercession and action concerning the encroachments of Islam in America.

During their presentation, briefed us concerning her attempts obtain entry into an upcoming closed-door meeting of the US State Department with the Oranization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Washington, DC, and requested that we cover her in prayer.

These meetings focused on “negotiating how American understandings of free speech and religious liberties can be tailored to accommodate the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in an effort to prevent what Imam Feisal Rauf has already claimed as “libel”“. Andrea also disclosed that in previous OIC meetings, Secretary Clinton has discussed using “old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming” to coerce and Talibanize Americans into refraining from statements critical of Islam”.

...

Let’s join together to intercede for protection over Jim and Andrea Lafferty and for continued open doors to these very critical meetings, events and other sources of information. We need their eyes and ears to help steer our intercession for the nation.

Please lift up Andrea and Jim Lafferty and the Traditional Values Coalition in your prayer continually, as they are on the front lines of battle to preserve our nation’s Biblical values.

So continues the trend of merging anti-Islam activism with prophetic spiritual warfare that we noted several month ago when Rick Joyner began working with Frank Gaffney.

Previewing the Right Wing Playbook on the Kagan Confirmation Hearings

When Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement plans, the Right swung into action with a plan to make the confirmation process just one more part of their 2010 and 2012 political strategies.

Themes from the Right -- Nomination Day

Right-wing political and legal groups and pundits responded to President Barack Obama’s nomination of federal appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court by cranking up their well-funded attack machine, following their pre-fab attack script (they have been attacking her for months as a potential nominee), launching ads against her confirmation, and threatening to use the nomination as a political bludgeon against Democrats from more conservative states.

Right Wing Follows Deceptive Script On Supreme Court

A day after news of Justice Souter's planned resignation broke in the news, "dozens" of right-wing leaders representing more than 60 groups got together for a strategy call organized in part by the Judicial Confirmation Network to get everyone fired up and on message. All you need to know about the credibility of this campaign's leaders, and the credibility of their evaluations of potential nominees, is contained in this one sentence from the Judicial Confirmation Network's Wendy Long: "The current Supreme Court is a liberal, judicial activist court."
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