Before winning the Iowa caucuses, Sen. Ted Cruz won a straw poll of Religious Right leaders who were determined to coalesce behind a single candidate before voting went underway. Since then, hardly a week has gone by without the Cruz campaign announcing the support of a new right-wing leader, on top of thecampaign’sfrequentsuggestions that the Texas Republican has divine support for his presidential bid.
It seems that no figure is too extreme to be embraced by Cruz, including those who would wish to see the government putting their adversaries to death.
Last year, Franklin Graham joined James Dobson at an event in Colorado where the two warned against allowing gay people into churches because, according to Graham, they are representatives of "the Enemy" who wants to "devour our homes" and "devour this nation."
On his radio program today, Dobson played excerpts from his discussion with Graham at the event, in which called for Christians to keep their kids away from gay people and to take over school boards across the nation in order to remove gay-friendly programs.
"We have allowed the Enemy to come into our churches," Graham said. "I was talking to some Christians and they were talking about how they invited these gay children to come into their home and to come into the church and that they were wanting to influence them. And I thought to myself, they're not going to influence those kids; those kids are going to influence those parent's children."
"What happens is we think we can fight by smiling and being real nice and loving," he continued. "We have to understand who the Enemy is and what he wants to do. He wants to devour our homes. He wants to devour this nation and we have to be so careful who we let our kids hang out with. We have to be so careful who we let into the churches. You have immoral people who get into the churches and it begins to effect the others in the church and it is dangerous."
Graham then went on to lament that "homosexuality is taught to be okay" in schools and "that is why I want to get the school boards back" before insisting that he loves gays and therefore feels obligated to tell them that "you cannot stay gay and call yourself a Christian."
That eventually promoted Dobson to rail against the entire LGBT agenda by once again absurdly misunderstanding bisexuality.
"You know what the 'B' stand for?" Dobson asked. "Bisexual. That's orgies! That is lots of sex with lots of people!"
At an Iowa campaign stop with influential Religious Right activist James Dobson yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz warned that people of faith have consented to “allow nonbelievers to elect our leaders,” and now a “secular agenda” bent on doing away with the Ten Commandments and stifling religious liberty is on the rise.
He also repeated his assertion that Republicans lost the last two presidential elections because millions of evangelicals stayed at home. “I believe the key to winning in 2016 is very simple,” he said. “We have to bring back to the polls the millions of conservatives who stayed home, we have to awaken and energize the body of Christ.”
“You know,” he said, “we look at our federal government now, and we have a federal government that is waging a war on life, a war on marriage, a war on religious liberty. We have a federal government that is advancing a secular agenda that puts the ability of Bible-believing Christians to live our faith more and more in jeopardy and that is appeasing radical Islamic terrorism, in fact refuses even to acknowledge its name. And if you look at the federal government, you might say, ‘Why do we have government attacking life, attacking marriage, attacking faith, attacking religious liberty?’ Well, is it any wonder, when a majority of believers are staying home? If we allow nonbelievers to elect our leaders, we shouldn’t be surprised when our government doesn’t reflect our values.”
Cruz also doubled down on his criticism of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling , calling both it and the King v. Burwell ruling preserving the Affordable Care Act “fundamentally illegitimate” and “lawless.” He warned that if Hillary Clinton were to become president, the Supreme Court would “tear down our constitutional liberties fundamentally” by ruling against Ten Commandments monuments on public grounds and reversing the Heller decision, which found an individual right to bear arms. (When Cruz said that this meant “the government can make it a felony for you to own a firearm and protect your family,” an audience member yelled out, “Come and take it!”)
Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council who recently endorsed Cruz, also said he was very impressed by the candidate’s wife, Heidi Cruz, saying that “there has never in American history been a pro-life first lady” and that with her we “have a chance to get one this time.”
The Iowa conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts recorded the event. Cruz and Dobson discuss prayer about 2 minutes into the video; the “missing” evangelical vote about 6 minutes in; the Supreme court around 13 minutes in; and Heidi Cruz about 24 minutes in.
The crowd was so large that when Cruz spoke the Wilkses had to open the pool patio doors to accommodate about 100 guests who stood in 28 degree weather to listen to the senator.
… By the end of the six-hour meeting Monday, dozens of the visitors lined up outside a closed room to tape video endorsements of the Cruz presidential bid. Some attended Super PAC and campaign fundraisers held Tuesday in Cisco that were timed to coincide with the fly-in.
The gathering could have been even larger. Mike Gonzalez, who leads the South Carolina Pastors Alliance, was disappointed that some of his fellow clergymen were not able to make it because bad weather caused flight cancellations.
However, when he arrived at the ranch he was stunned to see a crowd of about 300, "including many of the most prominent spiritual influencers in the country."
Those in attendance at the Monday sessions included prominent televangelists, such as John Hagee, pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, and James Dobson, founder of the Focus on the Family organization. Richard Land, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary and a longtime leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, was there, according to interviews with attendees, most of whom were not authorized to discuss the off-the-record session. They said that there were a number of Hispanic and African American clerics in the audience, including Gonzalez and Voddie Baucham, a well-known pastor in Texas.
"It was a very diverse group of national leaders who have significant standing," said David Barton, a Texas Republican author and activist who is leading one of the Super PACs that sponsored the gathering. "We brought them with no expectations and we were highly pleased with the number who decided Ted is the right man to be of the president of the U.S."
Barton said the purpose of the gathering was "to give people an opportunity to become acquainted with Ted's faith and see if they were comfortable with it."
The Texas Tribune reports that prominent Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson was also in attendance and came away impressed, calling it “the finest presentation I ever heard from a candidate.”
The Tribune reports that Cruz praised the Wilks brothers for their efforts to pull the country “back from the brink” and stop the “relentless assault we’ve seen on constitutional liberties and Judeo-Christian values”:
Speaking with reporters before the rally capping his two days in Cisco, Cruz heaped praise on the brothers, lauding their contributions to the oil industry in Texas as well as Christian activism throughout the country.
“They’re people for whom their faith is very important, and they’ve been willing to devote their resources to fighting for principles of religious liberty, fighting to defend life, fighting to defend marriage, fighting to defend the constitutional liberties on which this country is founded," Cruz told reporters. "Their entire family is focused on pulling this country back from the brink, from the relentless assault we’ve seen on constitutional liberties and Judeo-Christian values."
Before the rally, the Cruz family hosted a fundraiser at the community center that the Wilks were expected to attend. Sitting outside the room was another ode to the prominent hosts: a large placard reading, "A special thanks from Heidi & Ted Cruz to our hosts The Wilks Family."
The fall of marriage equality bans in all 50 states following the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision was a disaster for the conservative movement, whose leaders have spent years demonizing same-sex couples and warning that the legal recognition of their marriages will unleash a wave of terror on the nation.
Even the not-exactly-pious GOP presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, is activelycourting the anti-gay Right, although he has trouble explaining why he should be seen as a strong defender of “traditional marriage.”
In the eyes of many conservative activists, Obergefell was the product of a culture that had been slipping away for years, bringing America into an apocalyptic period where growing acceptance for homosexuality is ushering in disastrous consequences.
Weeks before the Supreme Court handed down its ruling, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah declared that if the court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage and conservative states didn’t seceded from the union in protest, anti-gay activists like himself would flee the country. “Are there any governors or legislatures out there among the 50 states willing to secede to offer a refuge for the God-fearing?” he asked, warning that if states were to stay in the U.S. following a pro-equality decision, the world should expect “a pilgrimage by millions of Americans.”
End Times radio host Rick Wiles told his listeners that the country would “be brought to its knees” if the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of marriage equality and that there would be “pain and suffering at a level we’ve never seen in this country,” caused by “riots or looting or war on American soil or a fireball from space.”
Texas pastors Robert Jeffress and Rick Scarborough also got in the mix. Jeffress said the ruling could pave the way for the Antichrist while Scarborough said conservatives must “fight until we die” and “push back with all our might” against a ruling in favor of gay marriage, which he said would “unleash the spirit of hell on the nation.” Scarborough even boasted that he was ready to go to jail and face death: “We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and if necessary, we will burn.”
As one might expect, the responses to the ruling were not much different from the predictions.
The day after the ruling, Wiles declared that he received a message from God, who asked him to tell the people to “flee” the country before God destroys it through economic ruin, food shortages, terrorism, disease and slavery. “America is over,” he declared. Later, Wiles predicted that America is “going to see gunfire” from people resisting the government over gay marriage. “Somebody’s going to jail, somebody’s going to die, somebody’s going to suffer,” he said.
Michael Bresciani of the Christian Post said Obergefell would lead to “an economic crash much more serious than the stock market crash of 29,” while WND’s Farah envisioned “more civil and racial strife” or “an attack on our country from foreign power or terrorist group.”
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes said that “pastors who refuse to perform gay marriage and preach from the Bible should prepare for hate crime charges,” while Illinois pastor Erwin Lutzer told religious parents to prepare to “be diagnosed as culturally intolerant and personality intolerant,” as a result of which “their children will be taken away from them.” Perkins of the FRC claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision would threaten the freedom of speech and gun rights.
American Family Radio host Sandy Rios, who also serves as the American Family Association’s governmental affairs director, said that homosexuality may have been “a factor” in the deadly Amtrak crash in May. She suggested that the engineer, who is gay, may have been having a breakdown as he experienced “some confusion” related to homosexuality.
Fellow AFR host Bryan Fischer specifically blamed flooding in Texas on God’s judgment for homosexuality, saying that “you can make a geographical connection” between flooding and homosexuality. (We wonder what that means for American Family Radio’s home town of Tupelo, Mississippi, which was hit by a tornado last year).
Huckabee also suggested that America is in “a dangerous place” because “if man believes that he can redefine marriage, it’s apparent that man believes he has become his own god,” and God will not protect such a nation.
The Religious Right has a long history of absurdly claiming that evangelical Christians are facing persecution in America, and the Obergefell ruling only amped up such rhetoric.
Huckabee warned that the gay rights movement “won’t stop until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel,” lamenting that too many Christians don’t realize “how close they are to losing all of their freedoms.” Huckabee’s fellow GOP presidential candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, also got in on the action, warning that a gay “jihad” is “going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”
Glenn Beck predicted that Obergefell would result in serious repercussions for the media, claiming that “anybody on this show [who] says they’re for traditional marriage” will have their airtime in jeopardy as the ruling “could mean the end of radio broadcasts like mine.”
Nothing set off more persecution rhetoric than the Kim Davis saga, in which the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk blocked her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of a court order, citing “God’s authority.” She was temporarily placed in the custody of U.S. Marshals after she said she would continue to flout the courts and was only released after deputy clerks started to issue the licenses.
Even before the Davis case, many Republicans had been insisting that government officials may not have to treat court rulings on marriage as authoritative after all, and can simply flout the process of judicial review. Obergefell gave them the perfect opportunity to put these arguments into action.
Before quitting the presidential race, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal lambasted the decision, explaining that “no earthly court can change the definition of marriage.” Huckabee said that if elected president, he would tell the Supreme Court: “Thank you for your opinion, but we shall ignore it.” “It’s a matter of saving our republic to say that, as president, we’re not going to accept this decision, we will ignore it and we will not enforce it,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also claimed that when civil law conflicts with “God’s rules,” then government officials must choose the latter because “God’s rules always win.” Rubio, along with his fellow GOP presidential candidates Cruz, Huckabee, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum and Carly Fiorina, also pledged to sign legislation confronting the supposed discrimination faced by gay marriage opponents.
The “700 Club” host worried in September that gay marriage would trigger a perilous financial crisis, warning that “the rupture of the entire financial framework of our world” could occur because of the Obergefell ruling. He again alleged in November that “the wrath of God” is headed to America now that “it’s a constitutional right for sodomites to marry each other,” possibly in the form of “a massive financial collapse.”
“They’re going to make you conform to them,” he said of gay rights advocates. “You are going to say you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality, you like anything you can think of, whatever it is.”
“Christianity, the founding principle of this nation, is criminalized,” he said in response to the Davis controversy. “You go to jail if you believe in God and stand fast for your beliefs against the onslaught of secular humanism and the flood that comes about with it.” (Robertson, of course, has not been jailed).
Warning viewers that “the homosexuals don’t just want to be left alone, now they want to come out and stick it to the Christians,” Robertson said that gay rights laws are creating “absolute tyranny” and “it's high time we call it what it is and we stand up for freedom.”
The televangelist also offered his patented advice to people with gay children.
He told one mother to send her daughter, who is dating another woman, to a Christian summer camp and “pray that God will straighten her out.” He said that the girl was probably “pressured” into embracing a lesbian identity because “there’s so much lesbian stuff, I mean, lesbian this, lesbian the other, so much homosexual — the media is pushing this as hard as they can possibly push it.” He told another viewer who has a gay son to treat him like a drug addict, and advised yet another parent that God could change his gay son if only the son were to start “acting like a man.”
“For reasons I don’t fully understand, years and years of actually doing something and getting things done didn’t matter,” Huckabee said of the group’s deliberations. ”And I don’t understand that.”
…Huckabee, according to sources, has often reminded Perkins and his fellow influencers that a major reason he gave up his Fox News show and launched a 2016 campaign was because he expected to have their backing. Their decision to instead support Cruz, then, seemed to sting Huckabee personally as much as politically. “You know, everybody has a right to do what they want to do. But it was disappointing to me. These are guys I’ve worked with for years and years. Many of them I’ve helped with their projects and their various endeavors,” Huckabee says, shaking his head. A moment later, he adds, “But you know, that’s life.”
The Southern Baptist minister said leaders who stood behind pulpits and shared biblical stories of faith were far less likely to put faith in Huckabee’s candidacy.
“Some people really worshipped at the altar of electability rather than to be faithful and loyal to the principles they were supposed to be committed to,” Huckabee said on a telephone conference call sponsored by Charisma magazine.
“When it gets to their own political realm, they think more secularly than even the secular people. That was very troubling,” he said.
Right-wing activist Paul Weyrich said at the time that he regretted not having backed Huckabee when it might have made a difference. It seems likely that Huckabee could have made a strong case for Religious Right backing in 2012; in fact he had strong poll numbers in 2011 and the New York Times suggested that if he had entered the race he would have become the “presumed candidate of evangelicals.” But he seems to have missed his chance when he decided, after sending lots of contradictory signals, to sit that one out.
Last month, Donald Trump appeared on “The Alex Jones Show,” where he told the right-wing pundit that he has an “amazing” reputation, unlike other journalists, whom Trump commonlyrefers to as “scum.” Among Jones’ many wild conspiracy theories is his belief that the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which took place three years ago today, was “staged” by the Obama administration.
Trump has not faced any criticism from his fellow Republicans for going on Jones’ program or for touting his work, despite the fact that Jones has been instrumental in pushing the harmful Sandy Hook conspiracy theory.
A 2013 Fairleigh Dickinson University poll found that “a quarter (25%) of Americans think that facts about the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary last year are being hidden and an additional eleven percent are unsure” and that “Republicans are more likely to think that the truth about Sandy Hook is being suppressed, with 32 percent agreeing.”
Sandy Hook truthers, who largely believe that the attack was faked as part of a government plot to push strict gun laws, are not alone in delivering twisted responses to the mass shooting. Others have used the massacre to attack gay marriage, the separation of church and state and, of course, gun laws.
WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush said that Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza “positively reeked of what intelligence operatives I know would call the tell-tale signs of recruitment and conditioning,” and wondered if Lanza was the target of a government scheme to recruit “vulnerable individuals for psyops” to advance “their diabolical agenda.”
Renew America’s Austin Miles similarly suggested that the massacre was “purposely orchestrated” to “disarm all Americans to retard resistance,” writing that Lanza and others were “brainwashed into carrying out such deeds that would prove a point about private gun ownership and the threat to all families as a result.” Then, he said, there would be no opposition to Obama using an “Executive Order to declare himself president (dictator) for life.” Fellow Renew America pundit, Laurie Roth, claimed Obama “staged” the attack because he’s on a “mission to take assault weapons from the people.”
Radio host Rick Wiles stated that “Sandy Hook was timed to coincide with the political agenda of the socialist Democrats such as Barry Soetoro [Obama], Chuckie Schumer, and Dianne Feinstein to pass stringent federal gun control laws,” alleging that “the shooting event was timed to coincide with the gun control initiative.” Another conservative radio host, Bradlee Dean, likened the Sandy Hook killings to Adolf Hitler “attacking his own Reichstag to start a world war” and said that it was orchestrated to pass an arms control treaty.
The Tea Party-aligned National Liberty Foundation insisted that the “staged” massacre showed just “how far your president went to get your guns”: “He wants to be a dictator, he doesn’t want to get out of the White House and he loves spending your money.”
Many of their assertions relied heavily on discredited claims that “crisis actors” posed as grieving family members at the school and that one of the young victims later met with President Obama (she didn’t, it was her little sister).
One Republican congressman, Louie Gohmert, however, told a fan of his that he would watch a Sandy Hook conspiracy theory video because he’s “always learning new things.”
Religious Right’s Reaction
Several Religious Right activists responded to the Sandy Hook shooting by warning that the massacre was a sign that God is no longer protecting America, removing his hand of protection due to supposed societal ills such as gay marriage, abortion rights and the separation of church and state.
“Millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist, or he’s irrelevant to me and we have killed 54 million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition,” Focus on the Family founder James Dobson lamented. “Believe me, that is going to have consequences too. And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us.”
“We’ve taken God our of our school, we’ve taken him out of our government and now we seem shocked at all of these things,” Franklin Graham stated following the attack. “Why are we shocked? We shouldn’t be shocked. This is what happens when a society turns its back on God.” Author Joel Rosenberg said the shooting was one of the tragedies America is “reaping as a result of a society that increasingly ignores God,” specifically blaming comedian Jon Stewart for waging a “war on Christmas” and mocking conservatives.
One pastor said that a “gracious,” “merciful” and “loving” God decided not to intervene to prevent the shooting because it would “bring us back to our senses” and make people realize that God’s judgment “has really come by our turning away from the Lord.” Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio specifically blamed legal abortion and the lack of state-sponsored prayer for the attack, stating that God is a “gentleman” who “is not going to go where he is not wanted.”
Blocking background checks
Ted Cruz has proudly boasted of his role in successfully blocking a bipartisan Senate measure to expand background checks on gun purchases following the school shooting, bragging that unlike Republican “squishes,” he stood firm in opposing universal background checks. The Sandy Hook-affected families who supported the efforts, he said, were being used as “political props.”
National Rifle Association board member and musician Ted Nugent blamed the shooting on America’s “politically correct culture” and “‘anything goes’ value system” which “vilifies, condemns and mocks traditional societal values and customs at every opportunity,” while NRA executive director Wayne LaPierre delivered an unhinged speech against gun control measures, lashing out at the group’s critics, the entertainment industry, video games, the media and a lack of guns in schools.
But while nearly nine out of 10 Americans, including nine out of 10 gun owners, support more background checks, Republican lawmakers care more about the support they receive from groups like the NRA, and have done next to nothing to tackle the issue of gun violence in the wake of tragedies like Sandy Hook.
Instead, Republicans claimed that the government should focus on mental health and thentried to block access to mental health services.
Few if any of the GOP presidential candidates are offering any meaningful gun reform proposals, outside of their unwavering dogma: More guns.
In an interview yesterday with the Washington Post, James Dobson, the influential founder of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, revealed that he is likely to endorse Ted Cruz’s presidential bid, noting that the Religious Right is “coalescing around Senator Cruz” thanks to his “strong record on religious liberty, life and marriage.”
Televangelist Andrew Wommack invited James Dobson onto his “The Gospel Truth” program last week, where he asked the Focus on the Family founder how he responds to people who say “if you’re going to oppose homosexuality on what the Bible says, it also says that you’re supposed to stone them to death.”
“Do you believe in stoning them to death? Do you want to kill all homosexuals?” Wommack asked Dobson.
“I don’t,” Dobson responded, “and that’s a tough question, because that comes out of the Mosaic law but I don’t believe — You have to take the entire Bible and as far as I know there’s no place else in the Bible that tells us to kill those who don’t believe what we believe.”
This is not true, as Wommack pointed out before giving his own justification for why Christians can condemn gay people without killing them. “You know the Old Testament did say to kill a homosexual, to kill an adulteress, to kill a witch,” Womack said. “You had to kill them. And if your children were rebellious and didn’t respond the first time you corrected them, you had to bring them to the elders and let them kill them. And the way I respond to that is that in the Old Covenant people couldn’t be born again. They couldn’t have their nature changed the way that we can.”
Wommack said that there is no more need to kill people over homosexuality and adultery because “we now have a cure for it, through faith in Jesus.” He continued that sins such as homosexuality are like cancer, for which no cure can be found in the Old Testament. The only real “cure,” he explained, is to “deliver” people “through salvation through Jesus.”
Last week, James Dobson appeared on televangelist Andrew Wommack "The Gospel Truth" television program, where he declared that the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision was proof that "we lost the entire culture war."
Dobson had "a black cloud" over him in the days following the decision, he recounted, as he came to realize that the decision was not simply about the issue of gay marriage but was rather about "the entire culture war."
"It's about control of the public schools and it's what happens in universities," he said. "It's about the economy and it's about business and it's about the military and it's about medicine. It's about everything. We lost the entire culture war with that one decision."
James Dobson dedicated his radio program today to the dangers supposedly presented by "bathroom bills," which is a pejorative term favored by the Religious Right as it seeks to fight policies designed to allow transgender individuals to use restrooms, locker rooms and similar facilities of the gender with which they identify.
In an effort to terrify and mobilize his audience to oppose such policies, Dobson absurdly claimed that he recently read a story about a group of football players who were allowed to enter the girls' bathroom and take photos of girls while they were using the toilet.
"It just takes my breath away," Dobson said. "I just read an example of a case where a girl was in the bathroom and the whole football team came in and took pictures, you know, selfies, if you will, over the top of her in the bathroom. I mean, have we gone absolutely nuts?"
Dobson's guest, Tim LeFever of the Capitol Resource Institute, then piped up to declare that things like this are "going to happen" more and more frequently because such incidents are "certainly one of the implications" of nondiscrimination ordinances as people with nefarious intentions figure out ways of "gaming the system."
Anti-choice Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina became public enemy number one of the anti-abortion movement earlier this year when she helped sink a planned vote on a 20-week abortion ban — the top priority of many anti-choice groups — because she feared the legislation’s harsh treatment of rape survivors could turn off young voters.
Now, it appears that the anti-choice movement’s collective rage at Ellmers has kept her off of a House special committee investigating Planned Parenthood — which she had aggressively lobbied to join — and is fueling a number of primary challengers in her home state.
"Congresswoman Renee Ellmers has betrayed the pro-life community," said the North Carolina Values Coalition. The American Principles Project's founder shared, "I hope that Ellmers will be subjected to a strong primary challenge in the next election by someone who is genuinely pro-life and that our movement to protect the lives of unborn children at all stages and in all conditions will now move forward." National Right to Life said, "If you can't vote for such a humanitarian no-brainer of a law to protect the unborn, you can't be trusted to vote for any pro-life legislation."
"We need to send a message loud and clear to all 'pro-life' representatives who ask for our vote, but who betray the lives of vulnerable unborn babies when they get in office: If you vote or work behind the scenes to allow the slaughter of abortion to continue, you will hear from pro-life voters loudly and clearly at the polls," National Right to Life president Carol Tobias said.
Dr. James Dobson, author and founder of Focus on the Family, commented, "Conservatives will know Rep. Renee Ellmers best for her opposition to the Marriage Protection Amendment, her sponsorship of the radical Equal Rights Amendment, and for withdrawing her sponsorship of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act."
Ambassador and former presidential candidate Alan Keyes released a statement about Ellmers, saying that she is "a faithless Representative, favored by political bosses, who must be removed from office if decent politics is to prevail."
Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, which has been training Republican candidates to avoid talking about rape when talking about their opposition to abortion rights, was furious at Ellmers for “creating a firestorm on an issue that this was never about, that this was about rape” and said back in January that if Ellmers got a primary challenger, “she deserves it.”
James Dobson is out with his latest monthly newsletter and he is predictably still freaking out about the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling and its implications: "It is the beginning – an open door to the entire gay and lesbian agenda coveted and lusted after since the 1960s or before."
Bill Donohue reveals that he will be among of group who will be meeting with Pope Francis when he visits the United States later this month.
Sylvia Thompson issues a dire warning: "What Kim Davis faces is pure fascism cloaked in victimhood, and the evil must be fought and fought vigorously, lest this nation become the latter-day Sodom on which path it is currently headed."
Jan Markell says that Sen. Al Franken has "engaged, I think, in the worse form of treason and committed the most gravest of crimes."
Finally, CBN's David Brody proclaims that the jailing of Kim Davis is a victory of the Religious Right:
Look, can we get real for a moment? Liberals, if she ends up back in jail, do you really think that’s a victory for you? Hardly. If she goes back to the slammer, the evangelical voices and mobilization will just increase exponentially. No, if Kim Davis goes back to jail the sleeping giant (evangelicals in America) will arise even more. Trust me, that’s the last thing liberals want. Evangelicals, especially pastors in the pulpit have been relatively silent as the culture has deteriorated for decades. Don’t you want them to stay sleeping? You’re playing with fire.
In his latest monthly newsletter, James Dobson warns his supporters that the recent Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide was not about achieving marriage equality at all, but rather is an attempt to oppress and persecute Christians and destroy Christianity.
The real goal, Dobson reveals, is for gay rights activists to shut down churches, destroy Christian businesses and organizations, and ultimately take control of your children ... just like Hitler did:
This Court decision is not about same-sex marriage, except only tangentially. Many gay and lesbian groups have admitted that marriage has never been their primary objective. Instead, it is about everything else. What’s at stake is the entire culture war. To begin, it is an expression of hostility toward people who take their Christianity seriously. As you probably know, certain groups and organizations hate us. It is about weakening the Church of Jesus Christ and limiting what pastors and ministers can say and do publicly. It is about undermining the religious liberties of Christians that are guaranteed by the Constitution. It is about attacking Christian schools, Christian non-profit organizations such as Family Talk, and Christian businesses, hospitals, charities, and seminaries. It is about Christian colleges and universities, and about whom their leaders choose as professors and what their students will be taught. It’s about government funding and accreditation. It is all at risk. You’ll see.
Obergefell will also result in God-fearing laymen being dragged into court for trumped-up charges, such as those thrown at Aaron and Melissa Klein, who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony. Melissa has, by the way, not only been fined $135,000 for this “offense,” but has now been slapped with a gag order so she can’t even tell her side of the story. What ever happened to freedom of speech?
To continue, the Human Rights Campaign has recently sponsored HR 3185, which is beyond belief. It would allow gay and lesbian activists to persecute Americans in virtually every area of society, including employment, housing and public accommodations, credit, and dozens of other areas of civil life.
There is almost no limit to what will be imposed on the American public as a result of Obergefell. There is every indication that a barrage of court cases has been pre-planned and will be implemented against those who dare to disagree with the government’s view of marriage. Some will lose their jobs for failing to knuckle under.
Some will lose their professional licenses. Some will be persecuted, ridiculed and fined. Some will go to prison. After all, the Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is an inviolable Constitutional right that will trump other liberties considered untouchable for more than 200 years.
I grieve over what will happen to kids in public schools. They will be taught that right is wrong and wrong is right, and that the teachings of Scripture are unreliable and inaccurate. How unthinkable it is that in some states kindergartners, barely out of babyhood, are being taught adult perverse behavior that should never be discussed in the classroom. Soon, publishers of public school textbooks throughout the country will have to re-write and re-illustrate materials to make them conform to the demands of Obergefell. It matters not that these revisions will contradict the beliefs and convictions of Christian parents. It has already become the law of the land in some states.
Anything activists can dream up could be imposed on our children by liberal judges. LGBT propaganda will be blatantly taught to wide-eyed kids who are too young to understand how they are being manipulated. There is no consideration that the messages given will contradict the beliefs and convictions of millions of parents. The wishes of moms and dads will have been overridden and superseded by five Justices who have a better plan for their kids.
This is not the first time in recent history that children have been used as pawns in the hands of tyrants.
I’m reminded of the words of German dictator, Adolf Hitler, spoken as war in Europe approached. He said, “Your child belongs to us already . . . what are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing but this new community.”
James Dobson recently posted a video response to the Supreme Court decision striking down gay marriage bans in which he warned that children will suffer, Christians will be tossed into prison, and God will unleash his judgment upon America.
"I've found myself grieving over the implications for our country and for Western Civilization," the Family Talk founder said. "I grieve most for what it will do to our children, our grandchildren, future generations. They will be taught that right is wrong and that wrong is right and that the teaching of Scripture are unreliable and inaccurate. How outrageous it is to me that boys and girls barely out of babyhood are already being introduced in some schools, in some states, to perverse adult behavior."
Dobson went on a lament that children will now be adopted by gay couples, making them "among the saddest victims of this ruling," before warning that Christians will prosecuted, persecuted, sued and ultimately sent to prison while churches, hospitals, charities and religious schools are stripped of their tax-exempt status and shut down.
"Above all else, I fear that God's judgment will befall this once great nation," Dobson warned:
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson is reeling from the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down state bans on same-sex marriage, telling right-wing radio host Joe Miller last week that the ruling represents an “assault” on American values of freedom and liberty.
Dobson also claimed that pastors must prepare for prison, conceding that the “avalanche” of gay rights may be unstoppable:
He similarly warned in a Friday column that “judgment will befall this once great nation” as a result of the court’s ruling.
Warning that “this radical decree will have a devastating affect [sic] on every dimension of culture,” Dobson said that children “barely out of babyhood are already being introduced in some schools to perverse adult behavior.”
Even worse, Dobson writes, “many more vulnerable kids will grow up in homes with same-sex parents.” “They are the real victims of the Court’s ruling,” he said.
Even though Friday’s re-definition of marriage by the U. S. Supreme Court was anticipated, I have found myself grieving over its implications for my country and for Western civilization itself. This radical decree will have a devastating affect [sic] on every dimension of culture.
I grieve most for what it will do to our children, our grandchildren and future generations. They will be taught that right is wrong and wrong is right, and that the teachings of Scripture are unreliable and inaccurate. How outrageous it is that boys and girls barely out of babyhood are already being introduced in some schools to perverse adult behavior.
Soon, public school textbooks throughout the country will be re-written and re-illustrated to conform to today’s ruling. It matters not that these revisions will contradict the beliefs and convictions of their parents. It will soon become the law of the land.
Many more vulnerable kids will grow up in homes with same-sex parents, obviously lacking either masculine or feminine role models. They are the real victims of the Court’s ruling.
Adults will suffer, too. I believe a barrage of court cases has already been planned against those who hold to politically incorrect views of marriage. Many of us will be dragged into court to be prosecuted or subjected to civil judgments. Some will lose their jobs, while others forfeit their businesses. Some will be persecuted and ridiculed and fined. Some may go to prison as the years unfold. Since same-sex marriage has now been determined to be a universal human right by the highest court in the land, it will trump religious liberty, churches, seminaries, Christian schools, businesses and a host of individual liberties. I also fear that judgment will befall this once great nation.
Speaking now for our organization, Family Talk, I believe it is time for this nation to hold State Constitutional Conventions, which would allow certain provisions within the Constitution to be reaffirmed. Among these possibilities would be a provision to set term limits on judges and justices. Another clause would limit the scope of their power. Unelected, unaccountable judges would no longer override the other two co-equal branches of government. Finally, language would be inserted to restore what Abraham Lincoln referred to in his Gettysburg Address as government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Wouldn’t that be a novel idea in the 21st century?
Political and religious leaders opposed to marriage equality have been ramping up the intensity of their rhetoric in the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court’s imminent decision on the constitutionality of state laws banning same-sex couples from getting legally married. Some have warned of revolutionand civil war if the Supreme Court recognizes that there is no gay exception to the Constitution’s guarantee of fair and equal treatment under the law.
Political and religious leaders opposed to marriage equality have been ramping up the intensity of their rhetoric in the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court’s imminent decision on the constitutionality of state laws banning same-sex couples from getting legally married. Some have warned of revolution and civil war if the Supreme Court recognizes that there is no gay exception to the Constitution’s guarantee of fair and equal treatment under the law.
One recent salvo in this rhetorical campaign was a full page ad in the June 10 Washington Post in the form of an open letter to the Supreme Court. The headline read, “We ask you not to force us to choose between the state and the Laws of God.”
“We are Christians who love America and respect the rule of law,” the ad said, “However, we will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court which will force us to violate a clear biblical understanding of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.”
Similar statements can be found in the“Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage”put together by the same people behind thePost ad. And it’s not much different from language in the Manhattan Declaration, a 2009 manifesto written by former National Organization for Marriage chairman Robert George (right) and signed by an array of conservative religious leaders. The Declaration declares that its signers will not “bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”
The Post ad suggested that a pro-equality ruling would “unleash religious persecution and discrimination against people of faith,” a statement that ignores the many people of faith who do support full equality for LGBT people. The ad was signed by a bunch of far-right anti-gay activists. Here’s just a sampling:
Back here in the U.S., conservative evangelical leaders and their allies at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops falsely portray LGBT equality and religious liberty as fundamentally incompatible, a zero-sum game. That’s their justification for opposing civil unions as well as marriage equality – even for opposing laws to protect people from being fired just for being gay.
The reality is that religious liberty has continued to flourish, and our religious landscape has grown more diverse, in the decades thatpublic attitudes toward gay people have shifted dramatically toward equality. There has been no effort to require clergy to marry mixed faith couples if their faith prohibits it, and nobody wants to force any church or priest to marry or give their religious blessing to same-sex couples.
Next, let’s consider whether all this line-in-the-sand drawing is really about the supposed need for clergy, organizations, and business owners to enforce their religious beliefs about marriage in the public arena. The Catholic Church does not give its religious blessing to marriages involving people who have previously been married and divorced, unless the previous marriage is religiously “annulled.” But Catholic organizations are not loudly advocating for the right of a Catholic business owner to treat opposite-sex couples differently based on whether or not their marriages have the church’s blessing.
Similarly, many evangelical leaders say marriage is meant to be between one man and one woman “for life.” Yet in spite of the biblical passage in which Jesus says that a man who divorces his wife, for any reason other than sexual immorality, and marries another woman is committing adultery, there is no clamor from Religious Right leaders celebrating discrimination against people in second and third marriages.
It is clear that a different standard is being applied to same-sex couples. But anti-gay prejudice — animus is the legal term – is not an acceptable basis for discrimination, even if it is grounded in religious belief.
Now, there’s a reason Religious Right leaders are trying to make the conversation around marriage be about the grandmotherly florist who was fined when she declined to provide flowers for a gay couple’s wedding, or the conversation about contraception about the Little Sisters of the Poor, who say they don’t want to facilitate abortion. It’s an effort associate the Right’s agenda with a “live and let live” ideal that is appealing to many Americans, regardless of religion or politics.
But here’s the problem: Once you establish the principle – as Supreme Court conservatives did in their Hobby Lobby decision last year – that business owners as well as individuals and organizations should be able to ignore laws that somehow offend their religious beliefs, you have to figure out how far people will be allowed to run with it. It is not yet clear where the justices will draw the line.
That kind of line-drawing is often challenging when dealing with questions about how the government can accommodate religion without government impermissibly favoring it. Religious denominations and houses of worship have the greatest level of protection against government interference; courts and legislatures wrestle with the status of religiously affiliated nonprofits. Until Hobby Lobby, the Court had never ruled that a for-profit corporation could “exercise religion” in a way that is protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but now that door has been opened, it is not clear what kinds of anti-LGBT discrimination it could permit.
Anti-equality religious and political leaders have made it clear that they will continue to oppose marriage equality even in the face of a Supreme Court ruling striking down state marriage bans. Some are calling for massive resistance and urging state leaders to refuse to comply with a pro-equality Supreme Court ruling. Professors Douglas NeJaime and Reva B. Siegel have argued in the Yale Law Journal that in such a situation, in which there is a well-organized movement dedicated to pushing the religious exemption further and further, an accommodation may actually be more likely to extend the culture war conflict than resolve it.
It is worth addressing generally fair-minded people who don’t understand why the gay rights movement won’t just be happy with a marriage win and let a few people with religious objections “opt out.” Some people may think it’s no big deal for gay couples to find another florist or baker. For one thing, that approach discounts the humiliation of being turned away from a business, a violation of human dignity that was a motivating force behind laws banning racial discrimination in public accommodation. And it may not be such a small obstacle in smaller, conservative, religiously homogenous communities, where discrimination may flourish if it is invited by law and encouraged by local religious leaders.
Consider the anti-abortion movement as a cautionary tale.
Shortly after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v Wade, laws were passed to allow doctors who had religious objections to performing abortions to refuse to do so without experiencing negative professional consequences. There has been little opposition to such laws. But over the past few decades, at the urging of anti-abortion activists, the scope of that kind of religious exemption has been expanded wildly to include people ever-further removed from the actual abortion procedure, and expanded to include even marginal participation in the provision of contraception. In emergency situations these accommodation could come at high cost, including the life of a patient.
NeJaime and Siegel describe these as “complicity-based conscience claims” – claims that are about refusing to do anything that might make one complicit in any way with another person’s behavior that one deems sinful. They note that the concept of complicity has been extended to allow health care providers not to even inform patients that some potential care or information has been withheld from them based on the religious beliefs of an individual or the policies of an institution.
The resistance to complying with the requirement under the Affordable Care Act that insurance plans cover contraception takes the notion of complicity to almost surreal lengths. Just days after theHobby Lobby decision, the Court’s conservatives sided provisionally with religious conservatives who are arguing that it is a burden on their religious freedom even to inform the government that they are refusing to provide contraceptive coverage, because that would trigger the process by which the coverage would be provided by others. Cases revolving around the simple act of informing the government of an objection are working their way back toward the Supreme Court.
Similarly, some advocates for broad religious exemptions argue that organizations taking taxpayer dollars to provide social services to victims of human trafficking or women who have been victims of rape as a weapon of war should be able to ignore government rules about providing those women with access to the full range of health care they may need. Some groups are saying it would violate their religious freedom even to notify the government when they refuse to provide information or care – such as emergency contraception for teens that have been sexually abused by their traffickers. But keep the public dollars flowing our way!
Given what we know about the intensity of the anti-gay movement’s opposition to marriage equality, it is not hard to imagine how far that movement could run with the principle that religious beliefs about “traditional” marriage are a legitimate basis for discriminating against same-sex couples. They themselves have claimed as a model the (dismayingly successful) 40-year campaign since Roe v Wade to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care. In the words of the Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson, “Everything the pro-life movement did needs to happen again, but on this new frontier of marriage.”
Where will a similarly aggressive campaign against marriage equality lead? There is a new law in North Carolina allowing magistrates to refuse to marry same-sex couples. A new law in Michigan allows adoption agencies functioning with government money to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.
Will corporations be allowed to refuse to hire someone married to a same-sex spouse based on the beliefs of the people who run the company? Will Catholic hospitals, which play an increasingly significant role in our health care system, be able to refuse to recognize same-sex spouses in medical emergencies?
The progress that LGBT people have made toward full equality has been remarkable. In my lifetime, the federal government had a formal policy to fire “sex perverts” and prevent them from getting federal jobs. In my lifetime, state laws criminalizing same-sex relationships were used to fire people from government jobs and even take parents’ children away from them. Even today, in a majority of the states, gay and lesbian people have no protection against being fired for who they are – or who they marry, even if the Supreme Court makes it illegal to keep those weddings from taking place. In all too many places, a company could fire an employee who marries a same-sex partner, the way Catholic schools across the country have been doing.
The good news is that Americans are increasingly opposed to anti-gay discrimination. Most of the laws that were proposed this year tolegalize anti-gay discrimination on the basis of religious belief failed – often thanks to the pro-equality voices of business and religious leaders as well as the hard work of LGBT people and their friends and families and our advocacy organizations.
Most informed observers think the Supreme Court will rule in favor of marriage equality. If that’s what happens, it will be a historic victory and cause for celebration. But as the signers of the recent WashingtonPost ad have made clear, it will not be the end of the struggle.
Speaking on Family Research Council President Tony Perkins’ radio program this weekend, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson warned that “immoral behavior” is leading America to be worse than Nazi Germany.
Dobson’s fellow guest, pastor Jack Graham, warned that America is about to witness an “implosion,” either in the form of “revival and restoration or judgment.” Lamenting “the disintegration of the moral fabric of this country,” he suggested that the U.S. was a moral country until only recently, explaining that while the Soviet Union wasn’t able to destroy the U.S., Americans are destroying our own country through immorality.
Dobson went one step further: “America has killed over 55 million babies, 55 million. You know, the Holocaust involved 6 million Jews, we’re talking 55 million babies. There’s a Planned Parenthood about two blocks from my house and I drive past it every day and I see these cars out there and I fear for the women who are making, I think, the biggest mistake of their lives and certainly the implications for their babies. We need, as a nation, to repent of the immorality, what we see on television and in the movies and how young people are being led into immoral behavior, there’s just so much.”
Today is the annual National Day of Prayer, which is overseen by Shirley Dobson, wife of Religious Right icon James Dobson. So naturally, James was given 10 minutes this morning to warn attendees at the official event in Washington, D.C. of the dire implications for this nation should the Supreme Court legalize gay marriage.
Echoing his belief that such a ruling could lead to civil war, Dobson warned that legalizing gay marriage would undermine and weaken the family and tear this nation apart because "it will divide us further and the implications of it are breathtaking."
Among the implications about which Dobson is particularly worried is the fact that parents will supposedly no longer be able to teach their children that homosexuality is a sin because public schools will be teaching the opposite.
"It has implications for the school. Textbooks are going to have to be re-written and re-illustrated to comply with the law," he warned. "It reaches every corner, every dimension of society. We are talking about the death knell of religious liberty in America":
After warning that a Supreme Court decision striking down bans on same-sex marriage could lead to a civil war, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson took to WorldNetDaily yesterday to warn that “barring a miracle, the family that has existed since antiquity will likely crumble, presaging the fall of Western civilization itself.”
Dobson wrote that the “homosexual activist movement” is bent on “overturning laws prohibiting pedophilia” and turning the U.S. into Sodom and Gomorrah.
“Pastors may have to officiate at same-sex marriages, and they could be prohibited from preaching certain passages of Scripture,” Dobson wrote. “Those who refuse to comply will not only be threatened legally, but many will be protested and picketed by activists. Perhaps this is a worst-case scenario, but maybe not. Prison is also a possibility.”
I do not recall a time when the institutions of marriage and the family have faced such peril, or when the forces arrayed against them were more formidable or determined. Barring a miracle, the family that has existed since antiquity will likely crumble, presaging the fall of Western civilization itself. This is a time for concerted prayer, divine wisdom and greater courage than we have ever been called upon to exercise.
For more than 50 years, the homosexual activist movement has sought to implement a master plan that has had as its centerpiece the destruction or redesign of the family. Many of these objectives have largely been realized, including widespread support of the gay lifestyle, discrediting of Scriptures that condemn homosexuality or sexual immorality, muzzling of the clergy and Christian media, inclusion of gays and lesbians in all branches of the military, granting of special privileges and rights in the law, overturning laws prohibiting pedophilia, indoctrinating children and future generations through public education, and securing all the legal benefits of marriage for any two or more people who claim to have homosexual tendencies. By promoting what is known as LGBT, we must remember that the “B” stands for bisexuality. That would include acceptance of sexual relations between both genders in groups and among every category of sexual expression outside the bonds of marriage. Now the proponents of LGBT seek to legalize gay and lesbian marriage, which could mean anything or nothing in a few years.
Admittedly, there have been various societies in history where homosexuality has flourished, including the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, in ancient Greece and in the Roman Empire. None of these civilizations survived. Furthermore, even where sexual perversion was tolerated or flourished, the institution of marriage continued to be honored in law and custom. Only in the last few years has what is called “gay marriage” been given equal status with biblical male-female unions. In fact, to date only 18 countries in the world recognize the legitimacy of same-sex marriage. America appears on the verge of becoming No. 19. God help us if we throw the divine plan for humankind on the ash heap of history.
Let’s get to the bottom line. If the U.S. Supreme Court redefines marriage to include same-sex unions, I guarantee you that it will not be the end of the matter. An avalanche of court cases will be filed on related issues that can’t even be imagined today. Here are a few that we can foresee:
1. Religious liberty will be assaulted from every side. You can be certain that conservative churches will be dragged into court by the hundreds. Their leaders will be required to hire people who don’t share the beliefs of their denominations and constituents. Pastors may have to officiate at same-sex marriages, and they could be prohibited from preaching certain passages of Scripture. Those who refuse to comply will not only be threatened legally, but many will be protested and picketed by activists. Perhaps this is a worst-case scenario, but maybe not. Prison is also a possibility.
2. Christian businesses and ministries will be made to dance to the government’s tune. We’ve all seen examples of photographers, bakeries and florists being required to serve at gay weddings, on penalty of closure or bankruptcy. This kind of legal oppression is coming all across the nation.
3. Christian colleges may be unable to teach scriptural views of marriage. Any nonprofit Christian organization that opposes same-sex unions, including our own, will likely lose its tax-exempt status. Many will be forced to close their doors.