David Barton

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/29/16

Is David Barton Biblically Illiterate Or Just Deliberately Misleading His Audience?

During his radio broadcast yesterday, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton said that we here at Right Wing Watch mock him for saying that Jesus opposes the minimum wage, but that is only because "it is highly unlikely that they even know what is in the Bible."

Of course, it is because we have read the Bible and know what it says that we mock Barton's absurd misrepresentations. And, amazingly, Barton provided a perfect demonstration of just how he misrepresents the Bible yesterday while trying to prove that we are the ones who don't understand what it says.

Barton did so when he again cited the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard from Matthew 20 to make the case that Jesus opposes the minimum wage:

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

The proper context for understanding this parable is that, in Matthew 19, the disciples asked Jesus who can get into heaven and Jesus responded that everyone who believes in Him will be saved, but cautioned that "many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first."

Jesus then illustrated this point with the parable of the vineyard in order to explain that no matter how late in one's life one comes to Christ, the heavenly reward is the same; those who embrace Christ on their deathbed will receive the same eternal reward as those who are devoted Christians all of their lives because of God's generous love. Jesus was telling his disciples that those who dedicate their lives to Christ early on cannot complain when those who come to Jesus later also receive the same heavenly reward.

But that is not how Barton interprets this parable, as he instead skews it to claim that it was Jesus who hired the workers and then used the situation to teach them about the evils of the minimum wage and government regulation.

"In Matthew 20:15, Jesus says, 'Is not my money to do with as I please?'" Barton said. "'I'm the employer. Don't I get to decide what I'm going to pay everyone in this thing?' No, no, no, the government has a minimum wage. No it didn't. Jesus says, 'My money is mine to do with as I please and, by the way, you made a contract with them.' And then he tells the guy, 'If you didn't like the contract, you can go down the road to another vineyard and see if they'll pay you two silver coins for what you did, but you agreed to work for me for that.'"

"So what you have here," Barton continued, "is Jesus says, 'The government doesn't tell me how much to spend, I get to choose my own wages and, two, if you choose to work for me for that, you have an agreement, we have a contract; and three is if you've got greater skill, you can sell it to somebody else for a higher price, you can go down the road.' That's all free market stuff, there's no government regulation of wages; and by the way, Right Wing Watch, that is the minimum wage. Government doesn't tell you want to pay an employee, you make a contract with that individual for whatever they agree on and what you agree on, and if the don't like that, they can use the free market to go somewhere else and try to get more. All of that is in Matthew 20."

Obviously, all of that is not in Matthew 20. In fact, none of that is in Matthew 20, because it was not Jesus who hired and paid the laborers, it was a landowner in the parable He was telling to illustrate His point about heaven. On top of that, nowhere in the parable does it say that if the workers don't like the payment they received, they can take their services elsewhere—in fact, that wouldn't even make sense considering that it was a lesson about eternal salvation and Jesus teaches that "no one comes to the Father except through me." Jesus certainly wasn't saying that if you don't like God's way of doing things you can go find some other god to worship! 

So, David Barton, we do know what is in the Bible and that is how we know that you're interpretation of it is so often laughably wrong. 

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/25/16

  • Paul Blair lost a runoff election for a GOP state senate nomination in Oklahoma and is not taking it well.
  • Glenn Beck and his producers are refusing to abide by a judge's order to name their sources in the defamation lawsuit against them.
  • Speaking of Beck, he always talks about the importance of personal integrity and decency, but tonight he'll be spending an hour hanging out with Mel Gibson.
  • Paul Hair says that his "default position on refugees has changed. I now believe it is immoral to help them."
  • Erik Rush longs for an alternate reality in which Hillary Clinton could be see for what she truly is: "Objective reality would probably represent her appearance as an amorphous, grayish-green entity with only occasional glimpses of her leering face and trendy designer apparel peeking through the goo. Festering boils, sores and other lesions would populate a shifting, gelatinous corpulence. Groups of diseased genitalia and excretory organs might form in random areas on her glistening skin, migrating across its surface and occasionally engaging each other in horrid fashion."
  • Finally, David Barton says that we mock him for claiming that the Bible opposes the minimum wage because we have never read the Bible and don't know what it says. In fact, the reason we mock Barton is because we have read the Bible and know what it says.

David Barton Says Donald Trump's Campaign 'Definitely Has Reached Out' To Him

At the end of the presentation he recently delivered to a Tea Party gathering in Arkansas, Religious Right activist David Barton stuck around to take a few questions from the audience, during which he revealed that Donald Trump's presidential campaign has reached out to him and that he "helped do some things with them."  

When an audience member asked if either of the current presidential candidates had sought his counsel, Barton, a relentlessly dishonest right-wing pseudo-historian who has repeatedly stated that we will never find a cure for AIDS because the disease is God's punishment for homosexuality, laughingly responded that Hillary Clinton's campaign "definitely hasn't." 

But "the other one definitely has reached out and we've helped do some things with them, putting some events together," Barton said. "We'll see how it goes. But they're looking for input, looking for help."

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/18/16

David Barton: 'I've Got A Ph.D.'

Earlier this month, we watched as David Barton appeared on Glenn Beck's radio program and lied to Beck's face when he falsely claimed that he had earned a Ph.D. in education:

As we noted, Barton does not have a Ph.D., as he himself admitted on several occasions in the last two years, and his own bio states that "David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oral Roberts University and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Pensacola Christian College."

Yet, when Barton spoke at a Tea Party conference in Arkansas over the weekend, he falsely told the audience that he does have his Ph.D.

Barton, a relentlessly dishonest right-wing pseudo-historian who is reportedly a favorite of House Speaker Paul Ryan, was criticizing the book "The Godless Constitution" for not including footnotes and using it as an example of why people should not listen to "experts" who try to undermine God's role in the founding of this nation and the formation of our government.

"We defer to experts today who have no brains," Barton said. "I'm at the point where I often—I've got a Ph.D., but I often ask now how many Ph.D.s does it take to make you stupid? Because we're at the point where we have lost common sense on so many aspects of things."

House Speaker Paul Ryan Reportedly Listens To Hack Historian David Barton 'All The Time'

For the last several years, dozens of members of Congress have joined Religious Right leaders every April for a "Washington: A Man of Prayer" event held inside the U.S. Capitol at which speakers have repeatedly warned that 9/11 was God's judgment on America and that God will punish this nation for legalizing same-sex marriage.

Last year, House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke at the event and today, Dan Cummins, the founder and one of the key organizers of the annual prayer gathering, published a piece in Charisma saying that having godly leaders like Ryan in office is a sign that America is undergoing "a third spiritual awakening."

Ryan, Cummins revealed, is a big fan of right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton and has been busy laying the groundwork for repealing the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches and all tax-exempt organizations from "directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office."

Barton, of course, is a notoriously anti-gay Religious Right activist who has repeatedly stated that we will never find a cure for AIDS because the disease is God's punishment for homosexuality and whose historical work is so shoddy that his book on Thomas Jefferson was withdrawn from publication by its Christian publisher.

Speaker Ryan is an avid fan of historian David Barton. "I listen to him all the time, even in my car while driving," he said. Because of Barton's teachings, Speaker Ryan is very knowledgeable of the 1954 Johnson Amendment (putting political speech restrictions on pastors from their pulpits) and its devastating effects on our culture.

He understands "first causative principle"—that the 1954 Johnson Amendment eventually was responsible for prayer and Bible reading being taken out of schools in 1963, the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 and redefining of marriage in 2016—all because pastors were silenced from speaking out politically. That's why Speaker Ryan wants the Johnson Amendment repealed legislatively. He knows pastors being set free to preach again to the nation regarding these moral and political issues is a must to turn the nation around.

In early January at the Republican Retreat in Baltimore, Ryan and I began discussing how Congress could legislatively repeal it. Later, I spent one hour educating Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (chair of Republican Conference, whose husband is a pastor) and her entire senior staff on the Johnson Amendment toward the goal of repealing it.

Rep. Kevin Brady is chair of the Ways and Means Committee through which any legislation to repeal would have to come to the floor, and he is totally on board. Ryan directed me to Brady. Brady also gave me approval to hold three Sunday services (beginning Sept. 4) in the Ways and Means Committee room in the Capitol. Brady told me with a big smile on his face, "I'm thrilled you're having church in the Ways and Means Committee Room. Glad to let you use it."

So, long before Donald Trump said anything about repealing the Johnson Amendment, Speaker Ryan had been working on it. For the first time in 60 years, the opportunity to repeal the Johnson Amendment exists because of Ryan's leadership, spirituality and love of Jesus! Now we need a Republican president in the Oval Office to sign a repeal into law (which is more effective than just an executive order)!

Speaker Ryan has formed a committee of five members of Congress (to which I was invited to participate) to report to him on inviting pastors to the Capitol to have lunch with him and arrange congressional-clergy townhall meetings in the Cannon Caucus Room. We are planning our second one in November, and we'll form an email alert system so Speaker Ryan can contact pastors on how to inform their churches to pray for America.

This is unprecedented and historic! This is God answering our prayers.

David Barton Explains Why 'You Just Don't Find Atheists' Living Out In The Country

Right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton spoke at an Arkansas Tea Party conference last weekend, where he repeated his claim that you only find atheists living in cities because people who live in the country can see proof of God's existence revealed everywhere in the laws of nature.

Barton claimed that God has given us the laws of nature to show us how to live by simply watching how things like ant hills operate, which demonstrates how the government should guide the economy. Just as ants store up provisions for lean times, Barton said, so too should the government save in preparation for economic downturns instead of relying on deficit spending.

Lessons like this are found everywhere in the laws of nature, he declared, which is why you don't find any atheists among those who live out in the country.

"Do you know how hard it is to find an atheist in the country?" Barton asked. "You find atheists in the city. You find atheists in areas that don't get to see God. If you spend time looking at creation, you just don't find atheists out there."

‘God’s Guy’: 25 Religious Right Justifications For Supporting Donald Trump

As we have noted, most Religious Right leaders supported Ted Cruz in the Republican presidential primary, while Trump’s “amen corner” consisted primarily of prosperity gospel preachers (like Paula White, who says Trump is “hungry in his heart” for God) and dominionist “prophets” and “apostles.”

One of the latter, Mike Thompson of Las Vegas, said in April that this is the first time in American history that the “Apostles and Prophets are the primary driving force behind the presidential election.” Thompson said that the Lord has “bypassed the controlling spirits of both parties”—the left’s “antichrist” nature and the Religious Right’s “spirit of the Pharisees”—“and brought in one (Trump) who can topple their cushy lairs and debilitating influence.” Lou Comunale, a self-identified “analyst of news and biblical prophecy,” says “this election cycle is so unlike anything we’ve ever seen” because “God’s hand is upon Trump and the forces of evil have been trying to stop him.

Since Trump’s primary victory, most Religious Right leaders have rallied to his side, with a few notable holdouts. Some are backing Trump because, as former Obama faith advisor Michael Wear has said, “disliking Hillary Clinton is basically a supplement to the Nicene Creed for many evangelicals.” Some are justifying their support for Trump based on the political calculation that his policies and Supreme Court nominees will be more likely than Hillary Clinton’s to advance the Religious Right’s political agenda, including opposition to abortion. But there have also been a range of religious justifications offered for Trump’s candidacy. As Brian reported, so many religious leaders have suggested that Trump is, in David Barton’s words, “God’s guy,” that the Christian Broadcasting Network’s Jenna Browder recently asked him directly whether he thought God had chosen him.

Here are just some of the religious arguments made on Trump’s behalf:

1. God is using Trump to pave the way for the Second Coming

Frank Amedia, a pastor who has been serving as Trump’s “Christian policy” liaison, said that God told him personally last year that Trump would win the GOP nomination and help pave the way for the Second Coming. Amedia also suggested that only God could explain how Trump has survived all his blunders:

And the Lord spoke very clearly to me, and he said to me, ‘This man is going to win the nomination and I want you to be ready to serve my cause when I call you.’…In this instance, it’s not because Donald Trump has heralded his faith or the name of God, but the Lord has put His favor upon him, and how amazing it is that the favor of God can overcome so many mistakes, so many bumbles, so many things that otherwise we would think would destroy somebody in business, destroy them in politics, destroy them in relationships. But yet it’s very evident it was the will of the Lord to do this and here we sit now.

 

2. God is using Trump to get pastors to fight for religious freedom

Pastor Michael Anthony, president of Godfactor and founder of the National Week of Repentance, attended Trump’s June meeting with evangelicals and said he is convinced God is using Trump to move Christians to act to defend their religious freedom. “I think God was speaking through him at that moment, to the church, to tell us why are you being silent about the most important thing about your lives?”

3. Trump could make America worthy of God’s blessing

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins was a big Ted Cruz backer and has publicly been a somewhat reluctant supporter of Donald Trump. He told radio host Sandy Rios that Trump has made plenty of mistakes, but that if he “walks in that grace that is available” and surrounds himself with good people, he could “cast a vision that moves America back to the country that honors God again and therefore would be a recipient of His blessing.”

4. Trump would make America friendlier to Israel

Many conservative evangelicals have embraced a theological approach to Middle East policy, interpreting Bible verses to suggest that in order to enjoy God’s blessing, America must unconditionally support the Israeli government. Says Pastor John Hagee, head of Christians United For Israel, “we have a mandate from the Bible and that mandate is to be supportive of Israel and the Jewish people.” Even though Trump said earlier this year that he would be “neutral” regarding the Israel-Palestine dispute (a position he later backed away from), right-wing leaders have long denounced Obama as an enemy of Israel. The Times of Israel notes that Hagee, “has all but endorsed Trump by name.” Indeed, Hagee told his viewing audience that God would hold them accountable for their vote, saying, “I’m not going to vote for the party that has betrayed Israel for the past seven years.”  Hagee has complained that “three million evangelicals did not vote in the past election,” saying “God forbid that happen again. We are going to storm the voting booths of America this time around.”

5. Trump will make Christianity more powerful

Trump himself has made this pitch to Religious Right leaders, pledging at a closed door meeting with hundreds of Religious Right leaders in June that he will do away with the legal ban on churches doing overt electoral politicking, which Trump said “has taken a lot of power away from Christianity and other religions.” The Atlantic’s Emma Green said his proposal “would make churches the new Super PACs.” Trump mentioned his pledge to do away with the “Johnson Amendment” in his acceptance of the Republican nomination, and it was also the focus of his remarks at an August gathering in Orlando organized by the American Renewal Project’s David Lane, a Christian nationalist political operative. “I’m going to choose to believe that Donald Trump can be one of the top four presidents in American history,” Lane said in an email to 100,000 pastors. Lane is reportedly planning to spend $18 million “to mobilize evangelical voters in battleground states to support Trump and the rest of the GOP ticket.”

6. God likes ‘strongman’ rulers

Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, one of Trump’s strongest Religious Right allies and a member of the campaign’s evangelical advisory board, declared that it is “biblical” to support a “strongman” to lead the government. Jeffress said he would run “as far as possible” from a candidate who said he would govern according to the principles of the Sermon on the Mount. “Nowhere is government told to forgive those who wrong it, nowhere is government told to turn the other cheek. Government is to be a strongman to protect its citizens against evildoers. When I’m looking for somebody who’s going to deal with ISIS and exterminate ISIS, I don’t care about that candidate’s tone or vocabulary, I want the meanest, toughest, son of a you-know-what I can find, and I believe that’s biblical.”

7. Trump has a ‘mantle of government’ anointing

Seven Mountains advocate Lance Wallnau declared that "God has given this man an anointing for the mantle of government in the United States and he will prosper!" Wallnau has dedicated a section of his website to explaining why “Trump is the guy that God is going to use.” The term “mantle” in the Bible referred to an outer cloak, and is frequently used metaphorically by apostolic Christians to mean a spiritual “covering” or authority, also called an anointing.

8. Trump has an ‘Elijah mantle’

Wallnau: "Donald Trump's got this like Elijah mantle on him.” In the biblical book of 2 Kings, the prophet Elijah passed both his physical cloak and spiritual authority to his disciple Elisha when Elijah was taken to heaven in a flaming chariot. The reference to Elijah’s mantle is another way for Wallnau to express his belief that Trump is carrying out a divine mission. Elisha also seems to have had a Trumpish temperament when it comes to accepting criticism; the Bible reports that when some boys jeered at him and called him Baldy, he called down a curse on them and two bears came out of the nearby woods and mauled 42 of the boys.

9. Trump has a Cyrus anointing

“Donald Trump is more prophetic than people think,” Wallnau has said. “There is a Cyrus anointing on this man. He is like a Reformer in secular garb." In a video posted on his Facebook page following a meeting between Trump and religious leaders, Wallnau recounted telling Trump that he would become the 45th president of the United States because he has a "Cyrus anointing" upon him as proclaimed in Isaiah 45, referring to the Persian king who freed the Jews from captivity. “And I believe God had put His hand on you as a Cyrus to be a governor and that the Bible talks about this critical 45th chapter, as the 45th president, it is the decisive moment in American history for leadership,” Wallnau said. He has also explained his Cyrus theory in an interview with Steven Strang.

Jeremiah Johnson also compared Trump to Cyrus in Charisma last year, delivering this message from the Holy Spirit:

Trump shall become My trumpet to the American people, for he possesses qualities that are even hard to find in My people these days. Trump does not fear man nor will he allow deception and lies to go unnoticed. I am going to use him to expose darkness and perversion in America like never before, but you must understand that he is like a bull in a china closet. Many will want to throw him away because he will disturb their sense of peace and tranquility, but you must listen through the bantering to discover the truth that I will speak through him. I will use the wealth that I have given him to expose and launch investigations searching for the truth. Just as I raised up Cyrus to fulfill My purposes and plans, so have I raised up Trump to fulfill my purposes and plans prior to the 2016 election...

Note: In February Johnson said his prophecy had been misunderstood and that it did not mean Trump would become president, simply that it provided “prophetic insight and direction for the body of Christ,” something Johnson also said about the prophetic dream he had in which the Holy Spirit told him, “Marco Rubio is carrying a Thomas Jefferson anointing for this generation. He will break the back of tyrants and restore the patriotic spirit in America.” It must be said, the Holy Spirit gives Johnson a lot of messages about Republican politicians, telling him in May that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is “my Esther of the hour.”

10. Trump has a ‘breaker anointing’

Trump “Christian policy” adviser Frank Amedia told Steven Strang that there is “a skirmish going on” in the “heavenlies” right now that “is the beginnings of the preparation of the way of the coming of the Lord.” As part of this preparation for the Second Coming, he said, a “breaker anointing” has taken place, giving Trump the power to break up “established norms” that have not served the “Kingdom of God.” Amedia said, “I perceive that Donald Trump has been raised up with that breaker anointing to just begin to crush all of the strangleholds that have been placed upon this country.”

11. Trump is a divine ‘wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness’

Wallnau has said God told him specifically that Trump is “a wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness.” Mike Thompson “says that the Lord began speaking to him around 2005 about certain spirits attempting to control America,” writes Lou Comunale, who adds, “PLEASE NOTE: The spirits that he identifies below [Jezebel and Pariseeism] are manifested in the land through Political Correctness!

12. God has picked Trump to ‘beat down the walls of the New World Order’

Rick Wiles aired his “Trunews” radio show from a Trump rally in Kissimmee, Florida, in August. Wiles was excited about Trump accusing President Obama and Hillary Clinton of having founded the terrorist group ISIS (this was before Trump described the comments as sarcasm). “Donald Trump is telling the truth: Obama and Clinton are behind ISIS. This is what ‘Trunews’ has said for years,” Wiles said, adding later in the show, “It’s like he’s a battering ram, it’s like God has picked him up and used him as a battering ram to beat down the walls of the New World Order.”

13. Trump is fulfilling a 2011 prophecy that he will fight Satan

In April, “Trunews” host Rick Wiles invited self-proclaimed prophet Mark Taylor on to his End Times news program to discuss “his amazing 2011 prophecy that Donald Trump has been marked by God to lead America.” Taylor, a retired firefighter, explained that God told him that Donald Trump will be the next president and that anyone who criticizes him will be struck down, explaining that God has been preparing Trump for his entire life to become an extraordinarily successful president who will fight Satan. “The kingdom of darkness is attacking this man like never before,” Taylor said. “God is using this man—he’s not rattling the gates, because when you rattle the gates you don’t make entry—this man is literally splitting the kingdom of darkness right open.”

14. Trump is fulfilling a 2012 prophecy that he will bulldoze the White House

In January, Lou Comunale published a YouTube video (which now has more than 400,000 views) promoting a videotape he uncovered of late “prophet” John Paul Jackson interpreting a woman’s dream in 2012. A key element in the dream was a big bulldozer going “right through the White House just like it was a deck of cards.” “Only when you look at it now,” says Comunale “does it look like he’s actually talking about Donald J. Trump in the White House.”

15. Trump is a ‘baby Christian’

James Dobson said in June that Trump, having recently come into “relationship with Christ,” was now “a baby Christian” who “appears to be tender to things of the Spirit.” Dobson said, “I know the person who led him to Christ. And that’s fairly recent.”

16. Trump is like Jesus (and Martin Luther King and Jerry Falwell)

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. is one of Trump’s strongest supporters on the Christian Right. When he introduced Trump on campus in January, Falwell compared Trump to his father, who was proud to be “politically incorrect,” and to Jesus and Martin Luther King, who said radical and unpopular things that upset the religious and political establishment.

17. Trump is like King David

During the primaries, Falwell responded to evangelicals who were critical of his endorsement by saying it’s wrong to be worried about electing the “most righteous” candidate. “God called King David a man after God’s own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer,” Falwell said. “You have to choose the leader that would make the best king or president and not necessarily someone who would be a good pastor. We’re not voting for pastor-in-chief. It means sometimes we have to choose a person who has the qualities to lead and who can protect our country and bring us back to economic vitality, and it might not be the person we call when we need somebody to give us spiritual counsel.”

18. Trump is like Saul/Paul

At Liberty Counsel’s “The Awakening” conference in March, televangelist James Robison literally screamed at participants that they must vote even if Trump was not their preferred candidate.  Robison said he hoped that people who are close to Trump, like Falwell and Jeffress, will lead him to a “road to Damascus experience” like that described in the biblical story of Saul, who persecuted Christians but who became Paul the evangelist after an encounter with the risen Jesus. For the world to see God transform someone “who so obviously needs changing,” said Robison, would demonstrate God’s power even more effectively than if the Religious Right had been able to play kingmaker and get their preferred candidate the nomination.

19. Trump is like Samson

Anti-Islam extremist Walid Shoebat has decried Trump critics as “scum” and mocked Fox News’s Megyn Kelly as a “Delilah” sent by Trump’s enemies to try to take him down. “I thought that while this Samson (Trump) sinned, he must have God’s blessings since he is destined for a purpose.” Shoebat said Trump’s rejection of the GOP’s “autopsy report” was a sign that perhaps “God finally intervened.” Samson and Delilah are another scriptural reference, this time from the book of Judges. Samson was a warrior granted super-human strength by God; his unshaven hair was a sign of his commitment to God. But the duplicitous Delilah badgered him into revealing his secret and shaved his head while he was sleeping, allowing him to be captured by the Philistines. God eventually granted him the strength to bring down the pillars supporting the Philistines’ temple, killing himself and thousands of them. 

20. Trump is like Churchill and Lincoln

Wallnau again: “When God wants to move in history, he doesn’t always pick the favorite evangelical.” He explained that God brought Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill to power at crucial moments in history, and that God is now raising up Trump for our time. He knows this, Wallnau said, because God told him so.

21. Trump is like George Washington

Wallnau again, citing the apocryphal story of George Washington supposedly surviving in battle despite his coat and hat being riddled with bullet holes thanks to the protection of God, told Trump that he too is being protected by God. "You've said things and done things that should have put the equivalent of a bullet in your coat," Wallnau said that he told Trump, "but they've passed through you because of the anointing. God is really watching over you.”

22. Trump is like Oscar Schindler

“The thing is, Trump’s supporters know that Trump is an Oscar Schindler, who did not mind bribing the Nazis to get to do what is good,” says Walid Shoebat. “No President can get elected without playing the game. They know that like Obama, who said he ‘loves Israel’ to only gain votes, Trump has to kiss dogs to get to the seat of power. Smattering of moderate-to-liberal policy positions he will gain the votes from democrats. Just as Obama did it, Trump will do the same trick.”

23. 2016 is a battle between good and evil

In June, Jeffress declared of the 2016 election, “This is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats. It’s a battle between good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness, light and darkness, and I think it is time for people who say they are conservative Christians to get off the fence and go to the polls and vote their convictions.” Jeffress said that unlike President Obama, who he said “hates” conservative Christians, Trump will be a “true friend in the White House” and “appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court.” Said Jeffress, “This isn’t about partisan politics. This is about good and evil.”

24. Hillary Clinton is motivated by the spirit of the Antichrist

American Family Association radio host Bryan Fischer declared in August that Hillary Clinton must not be allowed to become president because she is driven by a “profound anti-Christ impulse.” Said Fischer, “Hillary Clinton is motivated by the spirit of the Antichrist because she is against Christ, she is against Christianity, she is against the free exercise of the Christian faith, she doesn’t want the Christian faith to be a part of the public square, to influence public policy in any way, she is against everything that Christianity stands for…She is an opponent of all that is good and right and noble.”

25. God doesn’t want a woman president

In July, white nationalist radio host James Edwards questioned if women should be allowed to vote and suggested that as a woman, Hillary Clinton should not be president because women can’t even be “the ruler of the house under God’s law.” Bryan Fischer said essentially the same thing this month, arguing that there is “a pretty good biblical case” that women should not be entrusted with political leadership.

Bonus: Oops-Not-Cruz-Anointing

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland joined Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board in June, even though Copeland had declared earlier that Ted Cruz had been “called and anointed” by God to be the next president. (Of course Cruz’s father thought the same thing.)

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/16/16

In Their Own Words: Meet Donald Trump And Marco Rubio's Unhinged Anti-LGBT Allies

Following the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando in June, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said he was so affected by the tragedy that he changed his mind and decided to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate, while Donald Trump claimed that he would best represent the LGBT community by opposing Muslim immigration.

“Ask the gays” who their true friend is, Trump said.

Now, Trump and Rubio are both set to appear in Orlando two months after the Pulse nightclub shooting.

But rather than stand in solidarity with the LGBT community, as they pledged to do, they will be addressing a summit on the dangers of “homosexual totalitarianism” organized by some of the country’s most extreme anti-LGBT activists.

While Rubio has denied that the “Rediscovering God in America” event has anything to do with LGBT issues, its chief organizer, David Lane of the American Renewal Project, said explicitly that the gathering will focus on how LGBT equality endangers religious liberty.

Besides Lane, Trump and Rubio will be joining Religious Right activists Mat Staver, David Barton, Bill Federer and Ken Graves. That Trump and Rubio would stand with these activists shouldn’t be surprising, since both have promised to back anti-LGBT legislation and support judicial nominees hostile to LGBT rights, but it does show how their promises to defend the LGBT community only amounted to cynical and shallow political ploys.

Here is just a sampling of what Trump and Rubio’s far-right allies have said about the LGBT community:

David Lane

David Lane, the main organizer of the Orlando event, said in 2013 that God would punish America over the appearance of a gay poet and a pro-gay-rights priest at President Obama’s inauguration, including with car bombings in cities across the country:

Lane has also written extensively about the LGBT rights movement, describing it as a “pagan onslaught” that “has threatened our utter destruction.”

“Homosexuality is debauchery,” he wrote, adding: “Homosexual desire and marriage is unnatural and—more so—is a symptom of advanced cultural decay and precursor to the collapse of the Republican Party and the nation.”

Mat Staver

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver has been fighting LGBT rights for years, representing clients like Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who both defied the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, and Lisa Miller, who during a custody battle with her former female partner, kidnapped their daughter and fled to Central America.

As we’ve reported, Staver “believes that the gay rights movement is ‘doing the bidding of the Devil ’ and is part of the spirit of the Antichrist and ‘demonic.’”

He has repeatedly compared LGBT activists to terrorists and warned that they are “forcinghomosexuality onto people, while at the same time he has frequently praised countries that criminalize homosexuality and pro-gay speech and has floated the possibility of civil war and revolution to stop marriage equality.

Staver has described gay people as child molesters who seek to transform groups like the Boy Scouts into “a playground for pedophiles” where they can “go and have all these boys as objects of their lust.”

In the wake of the Pulse nightclub attack, Staver criticized churches for participating in memorial events that he saw as “a homosexual love fest.”

David Barton

David Barton, a Republican Party activist and self-styled historian, has a long record of attacks against the LGBT community.

Several times, Barton has said that God is preventing scientists from finding a cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS because such a discovery would remove the divine punishment for homosexuality, arguing that homosexuality is a curse on people and society, while “chasing the sodomites” out of a community would lead to revival.

He once warned parents of public school students that “unless you’re willing to monitor what’s going on in that classroom,” he could “guarantee” that their children “are getting homosexual indoctrination,” lamenting that many children identify as gay because schools have decided to “force them to be homosexual.”

He has also falsely claimed that ex-gay conversion therapy is now part of the scientific mainstream and insisted that gay marriage harms the economy and leads to national collapse.

Barton has evencalled for the federal regulation and outlawing of gay sex because it is ‘very repugnant’ and ‘reprehensible and disgusting.’ He has warned that gay marriage will force male and female students to share the same locker rooms, that it has legalized pedophilia and bestiality and will now force churches to hire child molesters to run their day care centers.”

Ken Graves

Longtime LGBT rights opponent and Maine pastor Ken Graves appeared at an Orlando rally last year where he warned that “militant homofascism seeks to take over our land and make it Sodom” and is working in conjunction with those trying to establish Islamic rule and a “secular humanist caliphate.”

Bill Federer

Bill Federer, like Barton, styles himself as a historian, and one of his historical insights is that LGBT equality leads to Islamic domination:

It is no wonder that groups including the Equality FloridaHuman Rights Campaign, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, People For the American Way and many others have condemned Trump and Rubio’s appearance at the event.

David Barton: Christians Who Refuse To Vote For Donald Trump Will Have To Answer To God

Last night, My Faith Votes, the Religious Right effort overseen by Ben Carson that seeks to mobilize millions of Christians to vote in 2016, hosted another teleforum, this one featuring Religious Right activist and pseudo-historian David Barton, who told participants that they will answer to God if they fail to vote for Donald Trump.

Barton ran a pro-Ted Cruz super PAC during the Republican primary, but quickly shifted his support to Trump once it was clear that he would be the GOP nominee, even going so far as to declare that Trump is obviously "God's guy" in this election. As such, it came as no surprise to hear Barton tell caller after caller last night that Christians must vote for Trump and will have to answer to God if they don't. 

Barton said that Christians who refuse to support Trump are just looking for "excuses" and would probably have refused to vote for biblical leaders like King David because he was a murderer and adulterer or Noah because "he had trouble with drunkenness" or Lot, who slept with his own daughter.

Christians who won't vote for Trump, Barton said, need to realize that "maybe God's got a different standard than what we do. Maybe at a national leadership level, there are people who do good things for the nation who have character flaws ... What God calls great leaders wouldn't fit your litmus test, but maybe you need to catch up with where God is rather than expecting God to catch up with where you are."

"Voting is not a right, it is a responsibility," Barton said. "God wants you to be locked in that room with a ballot box and don't come out until you vote. And if you have that approach, then you're going to have to find the best you can of what is there and vote for it."

"We will stand before God one day and answer for everything we've said and thought and done," he continued. "[God will say,] 'I gave you your country, what did you do that with?' 'Well, I didn't do anything because I didn't like any of the candidates.' Really? You think God is going to buy that? In Matthew 25 and Luke 19, the guy who was given something to do and didn't do anything with it, he's the one who got in trouble with the master. He's going to say, 'I gave you a vote. What did you do with that vote I gave you?' 'Well, I couldn't use it for anybody.' And again, we're back to Matthew 25 and Luke 19 where Jesus turned to him and said, 'Wait a minute, you didn't do anything with what I gave you, at all?' And that is the one who got thrown into outer darkness."

"That mentality that this is my choice is the wrong choice," Barton said. "It should be this is my accountability; I will account to God and I have to vote because He put that ballot in my hand and I'm going to have to account to Him for what I did with it. And I can't use the false standard of I have to have somebody perfect because there is nobody perfect except for Jesus and, by the way, when He was on earth, they didn't think He was perfect; we only think He's perfect now. Back then, they called him a winebibber and a glutton; he had all sorts of campaign ads run against him. So nobody is going to fit the criteria, so let's get God's mind on this thing instead of finding excuses ... [because] you will answer to God for what you do with that ballot and what you do with this country."

Donald Trump To Address Extremist Anti-LGBT Summit In Orlando

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is scheduled to attend a radical anti-LGBT event in being held in Orlando this week exactly two months after the Pulse nightclub shooting, according to news reports from Jenna Browder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg News.

As we reported last week, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and a host of anti-LGBT extremists are slated to address the “Rediscovering God in America” event, which is sponsored by the American Renewal Project.

Self-described “political operative” David Lane founded the American Renewal Project as a way to mobilize conservative Christian voters and inspire right-wing pastors to run for elected office. He told Jacobs that he intends to quiz Trump on how he plans to fight “homosexual totalitarianism” and the gay rights “militants.”

Lane, a vocal opponent of LGBT equality, has said that “homosexuals praying at the Inauguration” in 2012 would cause “car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa” as a sign of God’s judgment and that the “pagan onslaught” of the LGBT rights movement will lead to the destruction of America.

According to an invitation posted by the group Liberty Counsel Action, the speakers will also include:

  • Maine pastor Ken Graves preaches against “militant homofascism” that he says “seeks to take over our land and make it Sodom” and argues that gay people cannot build happy families because they are “depressed.”

Despite his own anti-LGBT record, Trump depicts himself as a champion of the LGBT community and demands that reporters “ask the gays” how much they support him.

Equality Florida plans to protest the event, citing the extremists addressing the rally, and Florida’s two Democratic senatorial candidates have criticized Rubio for his scheduled appearance.

Marco Rubio Defends Radical Anti-LGBT Orlando Event

As first reported on Right Wing Watch, Sen. Marco Rubio is slated to speak at an event in Orlando next week that will feature some of the country’s most extreme anti-LGBT activists.

Rubio has denied that the “Rediscovering God in America” event, which will take place exactly two months after the horrific shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub, has anything to do with anti-LGBT activism. In response to criticism last week, the senator attacked “the media and liberal activists” for labeling “a gathering of faith leaders as an anti-LGBT event” when it is “nothing of the sort.” He also called for more courteous dialogue in the debate over marriage equality that is “respectful of the views and the dignity of those on both sides.”

The Florida senator has clearly misrepresented the nature of the event, which is being led by political activists with a clear anti-LGBT agenda.

The Florida event is part of a series of “Rediscovering God in America” events hosted by David Lane, a self-described “a political operative” intent on infusing the U.S. government with his own brand of Christian nationalism. Lane has said that God will punish America for its growing acceptance homosexuality with “car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa” and potentially the total destruction of America.

At least as of recently, Lane’s American Renewal Project, which organizes these events, functioned as part of the American Family Association, one of the most vehemently anti-LGBT groups on the Religious Right.

The very first Rediscovering God in America event, which took place in Iowa in 2011, was clearly political. At that event, Mike Huckabee called on participants to become “spiritual warriors” to fight marriage equality, and David Barton, who will also be addressing the Florida event, claimed that Jesus Christ opposed the minimum wage.

Barton is also not a pastor but a GOP activist who was a member of the Republican Party platform committee and is a former leader of the Texas Republican Party.

Barton has a lengthy anti-LGBT record, as we’ve reported:

Barton is delighted by the fact that God is preventing researchers from finding a cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS. According to Barton, HIV/AIDS is a punishment for sin and therefore God will block a potential cure: “God says, ‘Hey you’re going to bear in your body the consequences of this homosexual behavior.’” He argues that HIV/AIDS is a divine “penalty” for gay people’s “shameful sexual acts.” On a similar note, Barton has called homosexuality “absolutely reprehensible and disgusting” and said that marriage equality means we “are going down as a nation.”



Barton “guaranteed” listeners that if they have children going to public schools “they are getting homosexual indoctrination.” He even said that public schools will “force them to be homosexual.” Barton’s gay rights conspiracy theories don’t end there: Before the passage of the 2009 Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Barton said the law was “designed to single out preachers in the pulpit” and would put pastors in prison if they condemn homosexuality. Of course, that never happened.

The appearance of Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver alongside Rubio at the Orlando event should also put to rest the claim that this is an apolitical event.

Staver has claimed that gay rights advocates are terrorist-like minions of Satan who are paving the way for the destruction of America and a second revolution. When the Boy Scouts of America rescinded its ban on gay members, Staver said that the group would turn into “a playground for pedophiles,” claiming that gay people “entrap” and “groom” children and “force people into a lifestyle of destruction.” Besides pedophilia, Staver has also linked homosexuality to the 2008 financial crisis and violent crime.

He has also claimed that gay people are “forcing homosexuality on everyone by force of law” and that the Obama administration of mandating “forced homosexuality.”

Staver, whose clients include anti-gay heroes such as Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moorehaspraised moves in RussiaIndiaMalawi and Nigeria to outlaw homosexual relationships or speech in favor of gay rights.”

Other speakers at Rubio’s event will include Maine pastor Ken Graves, who rails against “militant homofascism,” and activist Bill Federer, who thinks gay rights will usher in Islamic rule in the U.S.

While Rubio may try to deny that the event is in any way anti-LGBT, even a cursory glance at the rally speakers and principal organizer reveals that the senator’s statement flies in the face of reality.

If Rubio really believed that people should be “respectful of the views and the dignity of those on both sides,” aligning with radical activists who want homosexuality outlawed and smear gay people as pedophiles and Satanists is not a good start.

'That's What They Claim': David Barton Falsely Tells Glenn Beck He Has A Doctorate In Education

Glenn Beck is hosting an event at his network headquarters in Texas this weekend to promote the release of his latest book, "Liars: How Progressives Exploit Our Fears for Power and Control," and his good friend David Barton will be on hand, offering private tours of various historical artifacts that Beck and others have collected that have been put on display for the event.

Beck brought Barton onto his radio program today to promote the event by spreading his latest bogus claim that the United States put its own soldiers in danger by specifically warning Japanese civilians which cities we were going to bomb before dropping atomic weapons during World War II.

During the conversation, Beck once again falsely claimed that Barton earned his doctorate in education.

"You have your doctorate, don't you?" Beck asked Barton.

"That's what they claim," Barton replied. "I've got papers for it."

Perhaps realizing that "that's what they claim" is a rather odd answer to a simple yes or no question, Beck sought to clarify.

"You have your doctorate in education," he reiterated.

"Yeah, that's right," Barton responded.

"So he's a doctor of education," Beck stated. "David has an actual doctorate."

Barton, of course, does not have a doctorate in education, as we noted earlier this year when he somewhat confusingly admitted that he doesn't have a Ph.D. In fact, his own bio reports that he merely "holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oral Roberts University and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Pensacola Christian College."

David Barton Decrees 'Biblical' Standards For President But Supports Trump, Who Fails To Meet Them

Over the weekend, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton appeared on the Bible Broadcasting Network's "Weekend Connection" program, where he offered conservative Christians some guidance on how to vote in the presidential election based on the Ten Commandments.

Barton, who has made clear that he believes that Donald Trump is "God's guy" in this election, admitted that no candidate is perfect as he made the case again that Christians must first and foremost focus on electing candidates who promise to appoint conservative judges because the Bible says that "the righteousness of the land is dependent on the judges in that land."

In addition, he said, Christians must look to the Ten Commandments in casting their vote; specifically by supporting a president who "publicly acknowledges God [and] who openly supports the acknowledgement of God," who is committed to "keeping the marriage bed pure" by opposing gay marriage, who opposes abortion and who opposes the use eminent domain to allow the government to take private property:

Trump, of course, pretty much fails to meet every one of these standards, as his public acknowledgements of God have been laughable, he clearly is not personally committed to "keeping the marriage bed pure," his positions on gay marriage and abortion have been all over the map, and his love of eminent domain is well documented.

"There's four issues right there that God put in his top ten" that Christians should use when deciding how to cast their vote, said Barton, who has already made clear that he'll be voting for a candidate who has violated most of the very standards that he just laid out.

David Barton Falsely Claims U.S. Warned Japan 'Exactly Which Cities We Were Going To Bomb And When' Before Using Atomic Weapons

Last night, David Barton delivered a presentation at a Patriot Academy gathering in Austin, Texas, which, as usual, was filled with all sorts of misrepresentations and falsehoods. This time, Barton falsely claimed that prior to the use of atomic weapons against Japan during World War II, the United States had specifically warned Japanese civilians of "exactly which cities we were going to bomb and when."

Barton was complaining that the Advanced Placement history standards for WWII only present the U.S. in a negative light and don't teach that the U.S. put its own forces in danger in an effort to protect Japanese civilians by letting Japan know in advance exactly which cities were going to be targeted.

"We dropped 70 million pamphlets in Japan telling the Japanese exactly which cities we were going to bomb and when and what bombs we would use on them," Barton said. "We said, 'We do not want to hurt civilians but we are going to destroy the military side of this, we urge all civilians to leave Nagasaki, to leave Hiroshima.' We gave 29 cities that we were going to bomb because they were loaded up with military stuff. And, by the way, they said, 'We have a bomb that has never been seen by the world before, it is the equivalent of 5,000 B-29s dropping their bombs at the same time. It's one bomb; you need leave those cities, get out of those cities, we don't want to hurt you' ... Because we told them what cities we were going to be bombing, we'd also told the Japanese where they could set up their guns to shoot our planes down as we come over. So we put ourselves in jeopardy in that."

If it seems unlikely that the U.S. military would warn its enemy of "exactly which cities we were going to bomb and when," thereby providing them with an opportunity to shoot down our airplanes, that is because it never happened.

What actually happened was that the U.S dropped millions of leaflets on dozens of cities, warning that "some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs" and urging residents to evacuate:

Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique which they are using to prolong this useless war. But, unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America's humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives. America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace which America will bring will free the people from the oppression of the military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan. You can restore peace by demanding new and good leaders who will end the war. We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately.

After the first atomic bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima, the U.S. then dropped another leaflet urging Japan to surrender or face another atomic bombing:

TO THE JAPANESE PEOPLE:

America asks that you take immediate heed of what we say on this leaflet.

We are in possession of the most destructive explosive ever devised by man. A single one of our newly developed atomic bombs is actually the equivalent in explosive power to what 2000 of our giant B-29s can carry on a single mission. This awful fact is one for you to ponder and we solemnly assure you it is grimly accurate.

We have just begun to use this weapon against your homeland. If you still have any doubt, make inquiry as to what happened to Hiroshima when just one atomic bomb fell on that city.

Before using this bomb to destroy every resource of the military by which they are prolonging this useless war, we ask that you now petition the Emperor to end the war. Our president has outlined for you the thirteen consequences of an honorable surrender. We urge that you accept these consequences and begin the work of building a new, better and peace-loving Japan.

You should take steps now to cease military resistance. Otherwise, we shall resolutely employ this bomb and all our other superior weapons to promptly and forcefully end the war.

EVACUATE YOUR CITIES.

ATTENTION JAPANESE PEOPLE. EVACUATE YOUR CITIES.

Because your military leaders have rejected the thirteen part surrender declaration, two momentous events have occurred in the last few days.

The Soviet Union, because of this rejection on the part of the military has notified your Ambassador Sato that it has declared war on your nation. Thus, all powerful countries of the world are now at war with you.

Also, because of your leaders' refusal to accept the surrender declaration that would enable Japan to honorably end this useless war, we have employed our atomic bomb.

A single one of our newly developed atomic bombs is actually the equivalent in explosive power to what 2000 of our giant B-29s could have carried on a single mission. Radio Tokyo has told you that with the first use of this weapon of total destruction, Hiroshima was virtually destroyed.

Before we use this bomb again and again to destroy every resource of the military by which they are prolonging this useless war, petition the emperor now to end the war. Our president has outlined for you the thirteen consequences of an honorable surrender. We urge that you accept these consequences and begin the work of building a new, better, and peace-loving Japan.

Act at once or we shall resolutely employ this bomb and all our other superior weapons to promptly and forcefully end the war.

EVACUATE YOUR CITIES.

The U.S. did not warn Japan "exactly which cities we were going to bomb and when," as Barton claimed, as that would obviously have been lunacy, as Gregg Herken explained:

But there was never any specific warning to the cities that had been chosen as targets for the atomic bomb prior to the weapon’s first use. The omission was deliberate: The United States feared that the Japanese, being forewarned, would shoot down the planes carrying the bombs. 

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/28/16

Marco Rubio To Headline Radical Anti-LGBT Event

When Marco Rubio cited the deadly attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando as a reason he was changing his mind and running for re-election to the U.S. Senate, many LGBT allies immediately noted that the Florida senator and failed presidential candidate has never been an ally of the LGBT community.

“To be using the tragedy in Orlando as a time to reflect on his Senate career, when his career and his promises on the campaign trail have been anti-LGBTQ consistently, it’s just staggering to think he would be using this moment for his own personal ambitions,” said Jay Brown of the Human Rights Campaign at the time.

It comes as no surprise, then, to see that Rubio is slated to address an event in Orlando next month that will feature some of the country’s most vehement anti-LGBT activists.

The Orlando-based Liberty Counsel Action, an extreme anti-LGBT group whose affiliate is famous for representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her stand against the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, announced in an email today that the Florida Renewal Project will be hosting an event called “Rediscovering God in America” in August. The event will be headlined by Rubio, who will speak alongside anti-LGBT activists David Barton, Bill Federer, Ken Graves and Mat Staver.

The Florida Renewal Project is an affiliate of conservative activist David Lane’s American Renewal Project, which hosts “Rediscovering God” conferences around the country.

The event will put Rubio in the company of some of the most extreme anti-gay activists in the country:

  • David Lane, whose organization is hosting the event, believes that gay rights will lead to the “utter destruction” of the U.S. and “car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa.” (Learn more about David Lane here).
  • Mat Staver, whose Liberty Counsel Action sent out the invitation to the event and who is scheduled to speak, has gained a national reputation by representing Davis and Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore through the affiliated Liberty Counsel. Last month, Staver denounced memorial gatherings for the victims of the Orlando nightclub attack as “homosexual love fests.” Staver has claimed that gay people are “demonic,” seek to abuse children and are similar to terrorists, and has warned that gay rights victories could lead to “forced homosexuality” and “another civil war.” At the same time, he has praised countries that outlaw same-sex relationships. (Learn more about Mat Staver here).
  • David Barton, a Republican Party activist who styles himself as a historian, thinks that God is justly preventing a cure for HIV/AIDS because it is a divine “penalty” for homosexuality, and has lamented that public schools try to “force” students “to be homosexual” when homosexuality really should be regulated by the government. (Learn more about David Barton here).
  • Maine pastor Ken Graves preaches against “militant homofascism” that he says “seeks to take over our land and make it Sodom” and argues that gay people cannot build happy families because they are “depressed.”

View the invitation here:

David Barton Falsely Claims Wesleyan University Doesn't Offer Separate Housing For Male Or Female Students

During his recent appearance at Cottonwood Creek Church in Allen, Texas, David Barton added a new anti-transgender wrinkle to his standard presentation that, unsurprisingly, contains a blatant falsehood.

After repeating his false claim that the Supreme Court banned mandatory Bible reading in public schools over concerns that it was causing "brain damage," Barton claimed that it is actually society that has been suffering brain damage since removing the Bible from schools, pointing to a policy at Wesleyan University that he said bans separate student housing for male and female students.

Recounting that he had recently participated in a cattle drive where "none of us had any difficulty telling the difference between male and female" cattle, Barton said that "there was no gender identity crisis that we had; only in America as we become more secular do we have difficulty seeing what's obvious throughout all of nature."

Barton then pointed to a Newsmax article about an "Open House" option at Wesleyan University that "works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and the vivacity of gender, sex, and sexuality, and we work to be an anchor of the amorphous, chaotic, and beautiful queer community" and used it to falsely claim that all student housing at the university was "based on 15 different sexual orientations and you know what's missing? They do not offer housing for male or female, but they've got everything else, just not male or female."

This is, like so much of what Barton says, entirely false, as the Wesleyan website makes perfectly clear:

As students move through their years at Wesleyan, they have an opportunity to choose an increasingly more independent living option from residence hall doubles to singles to program houses, apartments, and eventually wood frame houses. All of these options are within a 5-10 minute walk to campus. All of our units house both men and women; however, some residence halls are coed on each floor, while other halls offer single-sex floors. Smoking is prohibited in all University Housing. Residential facilities vary by size, room type, and ratio of first-year to upper-class students.

...

Student housing at Wesleyan is designed so that first year students live together in residence halls near the center of campus.  Residential facilities vary by size, room type and ratio of first year to upperclass students.  In all locations, first year students comprise at least 50% of the residents.  All of the buildings are coed, however some halls offer single-sex floors.

Gender Neutral Housing:

Wesleyan University assigns roommates for incoming students based on legal sex.  Students choose among the following three options on the housing preference form:  to be assigned according to this policy, to request an exception to this policy, or to be available as a potential roommate for someone who has requested an exception.  Gender neutral housing is available in all student residences.

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