On yesterday's "Hagee Hotline," John Hagee urged viewers to call their congressional representatives and urge them to vote against the nuclear deal with Iran, warning that otherwise "God will allow terrorists to attack the United States of America."
"The United States of America had better pay attention to this," the founder of Christians United for Israel said, "because Israel is the nation that God has sworn to defend. God could care less about what we say about Russia, about China, about Iran, but when we as a nation take a stand against Israel, God will take a stand against us."
"I refer you to the Babylonians, to the Romans, to the Greeks, to the Ottoman Empire, to the great empire of England that is now nothing more than an island because of their anti-Semitic actions against the Jewish people," Hagee continued. "If we allow terrorists to attack Israel, God will allow terrorists to attack the United States of America."
On yesterday's "Hagee Hotline," John Hagee seized upon the false and deceptively-edited smear video purporting to show a Planned Parenthood executive engaging in the illegal sale of "aborted baby parts," which he naturally likened to Nazi Germany.
"Planned Parenthood was caught on video chatting about the harvesting and sale of infant body parts over a glass of wine," Hagee said. "It brings to mind the evil of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich and Dr. Mengele, the Doctor of Death, and his gruesome brutal butchery of children for his demonic research for the Third Reich."
The discussion in the video, Hagee said, was no different than when "Hitler's monsters tallied up cattle cars transporting Jewish people to Auschwitz," which is why viewers must call Congress and "demand that Planned Parenthood be defunded" in order to "stop this tax-funded murder in the United States of America."
On yesterday's "Hagee Hotline," Pastor John Hagee declared that the Supreme Court decision striking down gay marriage bans "has made America the new Sodom and Gomorrah" which must now face the judgment of God.
"The Supreme Court in Washington has handed down its decision in a 5-4 ruling supporting same-sex marriage," Hagee declared. "But the Supreme Court in Heaven has handed down its unanimous decision in a 3-0 ruling from God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit [that] marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman. Same-sex marriage will never be accepted in Heaven as legitimate, so says God Almighty."
"This Supreme Court has made America the new Sodom and Gomorrah," he continued. "God will have to judge America or He's going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah."
Likely GOP presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee have joined more than 200 anti-gay activists in signing a pledge vowing to resist any Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality.
The pledge, which was co-written by Mat Staver of the right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel and Deacon Keith Fournier, a Catholic activist who recently argued that marriage equality is quite literally an attack of the Devil, recycles the language of a similar document circulated by right-wing groups when the Supreme Court took up a previous set of marriage cases in 2013. Staver and a number of other activists introduced the current pledge at a press conference this morning.
Along with Huckabee and Santorum, signers include former House GOP leader Tom Delay; big players in the Religious Right including John Hagee, Samuel Rodriguez and Focus on the Family’s James Dobson; and fringe anti-gay activists including Peter LaBarbera, Matt Barber, Cindy Jacobs, Linda Harvey and Bradlee Dean.
Comparing any sweeping decision in favor of marriage equality to the Dred Scott case, the activists vow that they will not recognize such a decision and indicate that they would try to convince national and state executive branches not to enforce it.
We stand together in defense of marriage and the family and society founded upon them. While we come from a variety of communities and hold differing faith perspectives, we are united in our common affirmation of marriage.
On the matter of marriage, we stand in solidarity. We affirm that marriage and family have been inscribed by the Divine Architect into the order of Creation. Marriage is ontologically between one man and one woman, ordered toward the union of the spouses, open to children and formative of family. Family is the first vital cell of society, the first government, and the first mediating institution of our social order. The future of a free and healthy society passes through marriage and the family.
Marriage as existing solely between one man and one woman precedes civil government. Though affirmed, fulfilled, and elevated by faith, the truth that marriage can exist only between one man and one woman is not based on religion or revelation alone, but on the Natural Law, written on the human heart and discernible through the exercise of reason. It is part of the natural created order. The Natural Law is what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., referred to as a higher law or a just law in his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail.
Marriage is the preeminent and the most fundamental of all human social institutions. Civil institutions do not create marriage nor can they manufacture a right to marry for those who are incapable of marriage. Society begins with marriage and the family.
We pledge to stand together to defend marriage for what it is, a bond between one man and one woman, intended for life, and open to the gift of children.
The institutions of civil government should defend marriage and not seek to undermine it. Government has long regulated marriage for the true common good. Examples, such as the age of consent, demonstrate such a proper regulation to ensure the free and voluntary basis of the marriage bond. Redefining the very institution of marriage is improper and outside the authority of the State. No civil institution, including the United States Supreme Court or any court, has authority to redefine marriage.
As citizens united together, we will not stand by while the destruction of the institution of marriage unfolds in this nation we love. The effort to redefine marriage threatens the essential foundation of the family.
Experience and history have shown us that if the government redefines marriage to grant a legal equivalency to same-sex couples, that same government will then enforce such an action with the police power of the State. This will bring about an inevitable collision with religious freedom and conscience rights. The precedent established will leave no room for any limitation on what can constitute such a redefined notion of marriage or human sexuality. We cannot and will not allow this to occur on our watch. Religious freedom is the first freedom in the American experiment for good reason.
Conferring a moral and legal equivalency to any relationship other than marriage between a man and a woman, by legislative or judicial fiat, sends the message that children do not need a mother and a father. As a policy matter, such unions convey the message that moms and dads are completely irrelevant to the well-being of children. Such a policy statement is unconscionable and destructive. Authorizing the legal equivalency of marriage to same-sex couples undermines the fundamental rights of children and threatens their security, stability, and future.
Neither the United States Supreme Court nor any court has authority to redefine marriage and thereby weaken both the family and society. Unlike the Legislative Branch that has the power of the purse and the Executive Branch which has the figurative power of the sword, the Judicial Branch has neither. It must depend upon the Executive Branch for the enforcement of its decisions.
As the Supreme Court acknowledged in the 1992 decision of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, its power rests solely upon the legitimacy of its decisions in the eyes of the people. If the decisions of the Court are not based on the Constitution and reason, and especially if they are contrary to the natural created order, then the people will lose confidence in the Court as an objective arbiter of the law. If the people lose respect for the Court, the Court’s authority will be diminished.
The Supreme Court was wrong when it denied Dred Scott his rights and said, “blacks are inferior human beings.” And the Court was wrong when Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in Buck v. Bell, “three generations of imbeciles are enough,” thus upholding Virginia’s eugenics law that permitted forced sterilization. Shamefully, that decision was cited during the Nuremburg trials to support the Nazi eugenic holocaust.
In these earlier cases, the definition of “human” was at issue. Now the definition of “marriage” is at issue. The Constitution does not grant a right to redefine marriage — which is nonsensical since marriage intrinsically involves a man and a woman. Nor does the Constitution prohibit states from affirming the natural created order of male and female joined together in marriage.
We will view any decision by the Supreme Court or any court the same way history views the Dred Scott and Buck v. Bell decisions. Our highest respect for the rule of law requires that we not respect an unjust law that directly conflicts with higher law. A decision purporting to redefine marriage flies in the face of the Constitution and is contrary to the natural created order. As people of faith we pledge obedience to our Creator when the State directly conflicts with higher law. We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross this line.
We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve. While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross.
h/t RWW reader Erik
On this week's "Hagee Hotline," John Hagee warned viewers to prepare themselves for a global economic collapse that will happen this fall, during which half of the world's wealth will be wiped out.
"Do I think the four blood moons is a messenger of a coming storm?" he asked. "Absolutely. History repeats itself. And also, in this September, the shemitah year is ending ... 2015 is a shemitah year. September 28 is the fourth blood moon in this shemitah year. I believe, in the fall of this year, America and the world will face another economic crisis, perhaps as a result of war in the Middle East or an economic crash. But there are very sophisticated people on Wall Street saying we are facing a 50 percent correction in the stock market in the near future. Get ready. Americans should get prepared":
On Saturday evening, right-wing televangelist John Hagee hosted a special program designed to promote his "Four Blood Moons" theory which contends that the occurrence of four lunar eclipses on Jewish feast days over the last two years is a sign from God that "something dramatic [will] happen in the Middle East involving Israel that will change the course of history in the Middle East and impact the whole world."
Moderated by conservative radio host Joe Pagliarulo, the program featured Hagee, pseudo-historian David Barton, Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg, and astronomer Hugh Ross, a creationist who runs a ministry called Reasons to Believe which seeks to "spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research" support Creationist beliefs.
Ross' participation in the event was something of a mystery since, from his opening remarks, he made it very clear that he did not subscribe to Hagee's premise in the slightest, saying that there is no statistical significance to these blood moons because they are very common and that Hagee is merely retroactively attaching spiritual significance to these routine events.
Hagee, of course, did not particularly appreciate the fact that Ross was completely undermining the entire premise of the show, as well as his book and movie based upon this premise, and so he challenged him to explain how it was possible for blood moons to occur on significant Jewish holiday in two consecutive years.
Ross responded that lunar eclipses are so common that it is "mathematically inevitable" that one would be able to link them up to significant events in the Bible or in the history of Israel if that is what one set out to do. The Bible, Ross said, does say that there will be signs from God, but they will be rare things like an asteroid hitting a body of water and turning the water to poison, not common things like a lunar eclipse.
"My problem with the blood moons is that it's not rare," Ross said. "It's hindsight. You're looking at different events in Israel's history and looking at different events in America's history and you're finding fits."
"These blood moons are visible here but not in Israel," Ross stated at one point, much to Hagee's surprise. Explaining that "a total lunar eclipse basically is visible to about one-third to one-half the earth," Ross asked why, if these blood moons are so significant to Israel, they are visible in America but not in Israel.
Hagee clearly was not aware of this fact, as all he could come up with as a response was that "I don't have an answer for why Israel can't see it":
Yesterday's "Hagee Hotline" featured an excerpt from John Hagee's sermon this past Sunday, during which he declared that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress last week was really a message from God that He will destroy America if this nation does not stand with Israel.
"If we do not stand up for Israel," Hagee warned, "if we do not embrace Israel in her hour of tragedy, God will bring judgment to us. ... God's message to America this past Tuesday in Congress was loud and clear: Stand with Israel because the day you reject Israel is the day that I will reject you."
"Hello, Washington. Hello, John Kerry," he continued. "We are not negotiating Israel's future in Iran. We are negotiating ours":
When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu comes to Washington, D.C., in March to lobby for tougher sanctions against Iran, President Obama will not be meeting with him and several Democratic members of Congress may skip his address.
Naturally, none of that is sitting well with John Hagee, who warned on yesterday's "Hagee Hotline" that God will destroy America for failing to adequately support Israel.
"I am a student of world history," Hagee said, "and you can wrap up world history in 25 words or less and here it is: the nations that blessed Israel prospered and the nations that cursed Israel were destroyed by the hand of God."
The Egyptian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire have all been wiped out, Hagee said, and even the British Empire has been "reduced to one tiny island because, since Edward the First, they have been and remain an anti-Semitic nation."
America will face the same fate, Hagee warned, because God "is watching what America does as it responds to Israel. If America turns its back on Israel, God will turn his back on America. And that's a fact. It's proven by history":
A few months ago, televangelist John Hagee came under fire for calling President Obama "one of the most anti-Semitic presidents in the history of the United States of America" and eventually had to walk back that statement, claiming that he misspoke and merely meant to call Obama "one of the most anti-Israel presidents in U.S. history."
On yesterday's "Hagee Hotline," however, Hagee once again called Obama "anti-Semitic" as he slammed him for not attending the unity march in Paris, saying that in skipping the rally, Obama was telling Jews all over the world that he doesn't care about their safety and security and was sticking his finger "in the eye of God."
"Not going to Paris sends a very clear message to the American Jewish community," Hagee said. "And that message is: we simply don't care. The clear message to Israel: you are alone; if you really get in a jam, don't look toward America for help. The president simply does not care."
"When you attack the Jewish people, you are picking a fight with God Almighty," he continued. "When you pick a fight with the Jewish people, you are sticking your finger in the eye of God. Wake up, America! Let's get involved in this global fight against anti-Semitism. God Almighty is watching and it means a great deal to our national security because if we walk away from Israel, God will walk away from us."
Hagee went on to urge activists to contact Republicans in Congress and press them to pass a resolution declaring that any attack against Israel will be considered an attack against America in order to make Obama veto it, thereby exposing him "as the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel person that he is":
What better way to criticize your political opponents than by accusing them of creating an oppressive government that will lead to the coming of the Antichrist and fulfill biblical prophecy on the Last Days?
Warning about the imminent end of the world may seem extreme, but it is a great way for media personalities, politicians and activists to rile up and instill fear in their base. Whether such arguments are purely cynical or genuine, in 2014 many conservative pundits cited the End Times to back up their denunciations of everything from gay rights to the so-called ‘War on Christmas.’
The Obama Presidency
After leaving Congress, Michele Bachmann hopes to become a major conservative voice on foreign policy issues. Among her qualifications, apparently, is her knowledge of the End Times. Bachmann has warned that the Bible prophesied the president’s foreign policy decisions, arguing that Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are “calling for actual war and economic war against Israel, or at least suggesting it as such.”
“The nations of the world will come against Israel, and the scripture very specifically says all nations. Now for the United States, we don’t have that experience until recently under President Obama with the United States not standing with Israel,” Bachmann said in an interview with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, adding that the Jewish community “sold out Israel” in order to “support the political priority and the political ambitions of the president.”
Pat Robertson became so concerned with Obama’s term in office that he called on “700 Club” viewers to “pray to be delivered from this president,” warning that America will face “serious decline unless something dramatic is done about it.” Televangelist Matthew Hagee feared that Obamacare would condition people to accept “the kind of global dictatorship that is described in the End Times” and take on the Mark of the Beast.
Pastor Franklin Graham suggested that God will bless Russia thanks to Vladimir Putin’s leadership while removing His favor from America as a result of administration policies that are “pushing the gay-lesbian agenda.” “Our president and his attorney general have turned their backs on God and His standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration’s lead,” Graham said.
Pastor Mark Creech, who is affiliated with the American Family Association, wrote a column for the Christian Post implying that Obama is the Antichrist who will surface “in the last days – the day before Christ's return.”
Radio host Rick Wiles dedicated an entire show with Jonathan Wright to discussing how the “Bible Code” proves Obama is the Antichrist and even offered the strongest evidence yet that Obama is either the Antichrist or his forerunner: a fly once landed on him.
Following the lead of Republican politicians who cynically turned the Ebola outbreak in West Africa into a campaign issue, only to have their incendiary rhetoric about Ebola (and Ebola-tainted urine) subside after the Fall election, many conservative pundits and pastors used Ebola to stoke fear about imminent dictatorship, divine punishment and the end of the world as we know it.
Televangelist John Hagee told viewers that the Ebola virus is God’s way of showing his anger with President Obama’s foreign policies, while his son Matthew Hagee suggested that the Bible pointed to Ebola as a sign of the End Times. Another televangelist, Jim Bakker, offered a special discount on survival food items, including desserts, in case Ebola and other calamities bring down the country.
The doomsday prophet Glenn Beck — who raised fears about Nigerian prison guards possibly spreading Ebola to Texas and suggested that Obama doesn’t mind Texans contracting Ebola since it is a conservative state — was pretty sure that the Ebola outbreak is the beginning of God’s judgment on the country and America’s imminent collapse.
Several GOP members of Congress issued claims that Obama will intentionally infect Americans with the virus, while others made completely baseless allegations that Ebola-infected immigrants are descending upon America.
WorldNetDaily, a bastion of right-wing conspiracy theories, at different times alleged that Obama wanted Ebola to spread throughout the country in order to justify his purported plans to establish gulags, lock Americans in FEMA camps and declare martial law.
Far-right radio hosts alleged that Obama wanted to “round up patriots,” ban churches and aid Ebola-infected ISIS fighters, and one Fox News personality said Obama hoped to use Ebola to make America “suffer” while helping his African brethren. One prominent right-wing radio broadcaster, Janet Parshall, said God used Ebola as a “warning” because “he is a gentleman.”
Of course, gay people were also to blame. “Trunews” host Rick Wiles said God will use Ebola to give gays and others an “attitude adjustment,” and pastor Ron Baity, who worked with the Family Research Council to champion his state’s ban on marriage equality, said homosexuality is responsible for the Ebola outbreak since it is “bringing the judgment of God on this nation.”
Gays Rights Victories
Ebola, it turns out, was just one way that gay people, along with supporters of gay rights, tried to usher in the global calamities leading up to the End Times.
Deryl Edwards of Liberty Counsel pointed to growing acceptance of gay Christians as a sign that we are “in the Last Days.” Mission America’s Linda Harvey claimed marriage equality is one reason why “we’re heading into the End Times, and it sure looks like we may be, or the end of America — or both.” Michael Bresciani of the Christian Post said God will use terrorist attacks to punish the country for accepting gay rights. Pastor Flip Benham maintained that homosexuality “destroys those who practice it and nations that approve of it.” Rick Wiles predicted that gay rights will lead to an all-out nuclear war.
Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Dwight McKissic said athlete Michael Sam’s decision to come out of the closet shows that “the spirit of Sodom would be prevalent and prominent in the end time,” since, McKissic claims, “the Anti-Christ would be a homosexual, or certainly unmarried.”
“This is the moral issue of the End Times,” pastor Scott Lively said of homosexuality, lamenting in a radio show interview that “it’s just astonishing how rapidly they are proceeding in homosexualizing the whole world.”
Addressing the National Organization for Marriage’s Washington D.C. rally, Mike Huckabee said that “there is no doubt in my mind” that the U.S. “will feel His hand of judgment” if the courts strike down bans on same-sex marriage. Another speaker at the event, pastor and Pennsylvania politician Sam Rohrer, predicted that the legalization of same-sex marriage will “destroy the very fabric of our nation,” “invite God’s judgment” and “remove His blessing from our nation.”
Televangelist Pat Robertson — who had a banner year of blasting gay people as “terrorists” and demonic — marked Thanksgiving by warning that gay rights are “sowing the seeds” of America’s “destruction.”
Not only did we learn this year that the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade was responsible for America’s withdrawal from Vietnam, but the landmark ruling is also apparently paving the way for the Last Days.
“The Response: Louisiana,” the upcoming Baton Rouge prayer rally hosted by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and sponsored by the American Family Association, republished materials from its 2012 Houston event featuring Texas Gov. Rick Perry that blamed abortion rights and homosexuality for natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and for contributing to America’s “ultimate destruction.” (After the materials caused controversy, organizers removed them from their website). Mike Huckabee similarly warned in a speech reflecting on the Holocaust that abortion rights and marriage equality will lead to the collapse of civilization.
Michael Bresciani assured Christian Post readers that the deleterious effects of climate change actually have nothing to do with the environment at all. Instead, Bresciani writes, incidents of extreme weather are just “‘birth pangs’ for a planet about to meet its creator” as legal abortion, along with homosexuality, brings “the antichrist to his short lived rule over a reprobate and dying world.”
In a column published on BarbWire, Bresciani claimed that “gay marriage and abortion, Obama’s preferred social causes, are antichrist in nature,” warning that the “Bible says that when a nation chooses to ignore its sinfulness, God will not only allow them to go reprobate, but will empower them with rulers who will enable them to succeed in their drive to destruction.”
End Times preacher Jonathan Cahn linked abortion rights and same-sex marriage to the September 11 terrorist attacks and a looming “great shaking” from God, and the Oak Initiative said legal abortion led to “the alien invasion” on America’s southern border as “a sign of divine judgment.”
Joel Rosenberg, a prominent Religious Right author who focuses his work on End Times scenarios, told Pat Robertson that legal abortion has turned the U.S. into a worse country than Nazi Germany, warning viewers: “We know the judgment that came on Nazi Germany, and we feel like it was correct, it was just. What do we think is going to happen?”
The War on Christmas
Conservative activists often celebrate Christmas by claiming that they are being persecuted by store clerks and neighbors who dare to say “Happy Holidays” as part of the annual "War on Christmas."
A distraught Franklin Graham warned “the war on Christmas is a war on Christ and His followers” and described it as a satanic plot that may one day lead to violent anti-Christian persecution.
A Renew America columnist said the “war on Christmas” and “the growing disrespect and outright mocking of one of Christianity’s holiest days” is linked to biblical prophecies about the End Times: “While Christians in other nations like Iraq, China, and Iran are being murdered in the most gruesome of ways for their faith in Jesus Christ, America allows Him to be mocked and ridiculed. What kind of people have we become to allow this travesty? God's Word says that ‘in the Last Days, scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires.’ (2 Pe. 3:3 NLT).”
“Friends, what we are seeing is the reason America is not mentioned as a world power in Bible end times prophecy,” writes J.P. Sloane in the far-right outlet BarbWire. “As America continues to travel down the Paganistic heathen slope of perversions—and atheists attacking Christians and Jews—while Muslims are celebrating their holidays in the very capital of our country—yes in our very own White House—Christmas—a legal American holiday—is under attack on a regular annual basis!”
Christian Anti-Defamation Commission President Gary Cass told radio host Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries that “the spirit of Antichrist” is behind the mythical War on Christmas.
On yesterday's "Hagee Hotline," Matthew Hagee announced the creation of something called "The Sanctuary of Hope," which John Hagee Ministries intends to build as a home/school for orphans, those in foster care, and children of parents who want to ensure they get a godly education and through which Hagee and his father intends to transform America.
"Right now, the battle lines in this country are for the young people," he explained. "The one thing that's missing in American education right now? The Word of God. The one thing that's missing in our decisions in government, in many cases? The Word of God. And whenever you do not have the foundation of your society, which is the Word of God, in the decisions that you are making, you're going the wrong direction."
The Sanctuary of Hope is being created to correct this problem, Hagee then explained in a video promoting the project.
"How do we take America back? One leader at a time. That school is going to train leaders that are going to make godly decisions. How are we going to take this country back? One generation at a time and the Sanctuary of Hope is going to be the training ground for the soldiers in the army of the living God that are going to do great things for his kingdom":
The Sunday before the midterm elections, Pastor Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz, spoke at John Hagee's church in San Antonio, Texas, where he spent an entire hour delivering a speech that was literally little more than an amalgamation of material that he has directly pilfered from other Religious Right speakers, most notably pseudo-historian David Barton.
As we have noted before, the elder Cruz is quite fond of lifting Barton's misinformation about American history and the Constitution and passing it along during his own presentations, but the speech he delivered at Hagee's church was quite remarkable for just how much of it was simply a rehashing of Barton's standard presentation.
Cruz's presentation was such a wholesale rip-off that he even managed to work in Barton's false claim that the Supreme Court banned school-sponsored Bible reading in public schools because it could cause brain damage:
The Supreme Court, when it took the Bible out of public schools, said that this is without precedent; there is no precedent in our history for taking the Bible out of schools but this is the time to do it.
Now, if there is no historical precedent, why would they say the Bible has to go out of schools? I mean, everything we have in history says just the opposite, so why? They quoted Dr. Solomon Grayzel on the reason that we need to get the Bible out of schools ... In the Supreme Court decision, this is what the Court said why the Bible has to come out of schools; the Court says this:
If portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be, and had been, psychologically harmful to the child.
Time out. Let me see if I get this: if we keep reading the Bible in schools, our kids are going to suffer from brain damage? Yeah, that was the reason given by the Court for the removal of the Bible out of the classroom back in 62-63.
Of course, if you actually read the ruling in the case, you will find that this citation of Dr. Grayzel appeared at the beginning of the decision when the Supreme Court was merely describing the road the case had taken through the court system, noting that Grayzel's testimony had been heard during the initial trial.
On top of that, Barton also utterly misrepresented the point of Grayzel's testimony, which was to note that forced Bible reading from a Christian perspective in public schools was potentially damaging to Jewish students:
Expert testimony was introduced by both appellants and appellees at the first trial, which testimony was summarized by the trial court as follows:
Dr. Solomon Grayzel testified that there were marked differences between the Jewish Holy Scriptures and the Christian Holy Bible, the most obvious of which was the absence of the New Testament in the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Dr. Grayzel testified that portions of the New Testament were offensive to Jewish tradition, and that, from the standpoint of Jewish faith, the concept of Jesus Christ as the Son of God was "practically blasphemous." He cited instances in the New Testament which, assertedly, were not only sectarian in nature but tended to bring the Jews into ridicule or scorn. Dr. Grayzel gave as his expert opinion that such material from the New Testament could be explained to Jewish children in such a way as to do no harm to them. But if portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be, and, in his specific experience with children, Dr. Grayzel observed, had been, psychologically harmful to the child, and had caused a divisive force within the social media of the school.
As of today, there is only one person undergoing treatment for Ebola in the United States, and only two people have contracted the disease in the U.S., both of whom are healthcare workers who survived.
But the U.S.’s success in fighting the disease at home has not stopped Republican politicians and their allies in the conservative media from turning it into a political issue, warning of an impending massive Ebola outbreak in the U.S. and declaring that when that happens it will be all President Obama’s fault.
Here are five of the most common conspiracy theories that conservative commentators and their Republican allies are pushing about Ebola:
1. Obama Will Bring Ebola To The U.S. Through The Southern Border
Never mind the fact that the countries hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak are all in Africa. Or that there hasn’t been a single case of Ebola in Latin America, let alone among migrants crossing the southern border. Republican politicians aren’t going to waste a good opportunity to gin up vague, unfounded xenophobic fears by claiming that people infected with Ebola are about to cross the southern border. (That is, if they haven’t already!)
Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., said in July that he had heard “reports” of undocumented immigrants infected with the Ebola virus coming into the U.S. through the southern border. When asked about these “reports” by journalists, Gingrey admitted that they did not actually exist. Indiana GOP Rep. Todd Rokita similarly warned that undocumented minors from Central America could represent a threat “from a public-health standpoint, with Ebola circulating and everything else.”
This month, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., warned conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck about the prospect of the Ebola virus jumping the southern border, and in another interview speculated that Obama’s policies may cause thousands of U.S. troops to contract Ebola.
Thom Tillis, the North Carolina House speaker challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, said his plan to deal with Ebola is “to seal the border and secure it,” while Sen. Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican locked in a tight re-election race, cited Ebola as a major reason why “we have to secure the border and we cannot have amnesty.”
Mike Huckabee warned his Fox News audience that people with Ebola will begin to fly from West Africa to Mexico in order to sneak into the U.S.: “If someone with Ebola really wants to come to the U.S., just get to Mexico and walk right in."
Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who is now running for Senate in New Hampshire, said that America’s “porous” southern border will let people with Ebola just “walk across it.” He later claimed that “if Mitt [Romney] was the president right now,” then he could “guarantee you we would not be worrying about Ebola right now.”
2. Obama Will Bring Ebola To The U.S . In Order To Impose Martial Law
Naturally, the White House “orchestrated” the Ebola epidemic in West Africa to justify its Big Government agenda, according to several conservative commentators and at least one actual member of Congress.
Rep. Steve Stockman, Republican of Texas, said this month that Obama has laid the groundwork to use “emergency powers to take over control of the economy and everything” and speculated that the president might intentionally slow the government response to Ebola in order to create a crisis situation that he could then exploit:
Their terminology is there’s always a crisis which they want to use to their benefit, I would not be surprised that the reason that you see a lack of response is so that it becomes a real crisis and things can be used to correct the crisis, you know. It’s just bizarre there’s not enough action up front and I’m wondering if that’s — I’m not saying this — but I’m wondering if that’s intentional in order to create a greater crisis to use it as a blunt force to say, well in order to solve this crisis we’re going to have to take control of the economy and individuals and so forth. I don’t know. It’s just a strange non-response, a strange way of handling it and I think that if it does go forward and we do not control it, there may be an overreaction where the government starts taking away the rights of those that aren’t that necessarily involved or need that to happen. I hope that’s not that case but as you know this current government uses crisis to advance their philosophy and their agenda.
Laurie Roth, a conservative talk show host, predicted that Obama would “create a guise to declare martial law due to created outbreaks” and introduce a fake Ebola vaccine that would “act as a tracker.”
The conspiracy theorists of WorldNetDaily are sounding similar themes.
Erik Rush, a columnist for the conservative media outlet, wondered if Obama administration officials actually “want Ebola to spread in the United States,” creating a crisis “orchestrated by the White House in order to ultimately ‘legitimize’ a declaration of martial law in America.”
Mychal Massie also took to WorldNetDaily to suggest that Obama will manufacture an Ebola crisis in order to achieve his goal of cancelling the 2016 elections and staying in office indefinitely.
WorldNetDaily’s Morgan Brittany claimed that the government is showing “no urgency to stop the disease from entering the U.S.,” which she said betrays the administration’s intention to make use of its non-existent FEMA coffins, declare martial law and seize guns.
“Questions were then brought up about the stockpiling of ammunition and weapons by Homeland Security over the past couple of years and the $1 billion worth of disposable FEMA coffins supposedly stored in Georgia. Why was there preparation being made for FEMA camps to house people in isolation?” Brittany wondered. “My fear is that this has all been orchestrated from the very beginning. Who knows? Maybe the current administration needs this to happen so martial law can be declared, guns can be seized and the populace can be controlled. Once that happens … game over.”
3. Obama Will Bring Ebola Outbreak To The U.S. To Help His ‘African Brothers’
Conservatives frequently insist that none of their criticism of Obama has anything to do with race, and more than a handful have claimed that the president’s handling of the Ebola outbreak proves that he is the real racist.
Conservative columnist and Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman cited Obama’s response to the Ebola outbreak as proof that he favors “his African brothers, putting the interests of fellow blacks, with whom he feels a kinship, ahead of others.”
“Obama has favored his African brothers over the rest of us by allowing them free entry into this country,” Klayman wrote in another column. “As a result, Ebola has now been introduced into the United States, may be on the verge of spreading rapidly, with the end result being potential massive death to our citizenry.”
“Regrettably our Muslim commander in chief has favored his own creed over the rest of us,” he added.
Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly also claimed that Obama is “letting these diseased people into this country to infect our own people” in order to make the U.S. more like Africa.
“Obama doesn’t want America to believe that we’re exceptional,” she wrote. “He wants us to be just like everybody else, and if Africa is suffering from Ebola, we ought to join the group and be suffering from it, too. That’s his attitude.”
Rush Limbaugh argued that “leftist” elected officials believe that Ebola “is ultimately traced back to us; because of our slavery, we kind of deserve a little bit of this.”
Not to be outdone, Laura Ingraham maintained that Obama’s “familial connection to Africa” and “core ties to the African continent” are shaping the president’s response to Ebola to the detriment to the U.S.
4. Obama Will Bring Ebola Outbreak To The U.S. Because He Hates America
Public health experts have consistently said that knee-jerk reactions like stopping travel from West Africa and quarantining healthcare workers will do nothing to lessen the Ebola risk in America (and may in fact make it worse), and that the best way for the United States to protect itself from the disease is to help fight it at its source in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
But we all know not to trust scientists!
Republican politicians and conservative commentators have expressed outrage that President Obama has put resources into fighting Ebola in West Africa and is ignoring their calls for counterproductive flight bans and quarantines. They remind us that the president is, after all, an anti-American radical so everything he does should be held in suspicion.
Fox News commentator Keith Ablow speculated this month that “the president may literally believe we should suffer along with less fortunate nations,” arguing that Obama wants Americans to experience an Ebola epidemic out of a sense of “fairness” since he thinks the American people have “been a scourge on the face of the Earth.”
“We don’t have a president who has the American people as his primary interest,” Ablow said. “We’re not even voting for somebody who likes us. This guy, who has names very similar to two of our archenemies, Osama, well, Obama. And Hussein. Hussein.”
The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer said recently that he was just asking the question whether Obama wants to “punish” America with Ebola: “It looks like he actually wants Ebola to come to the United States. Why would he want that? Well, remember President Obama thinks that this country is racist to its core, it’s been racist since the beginning, it’s an evil, colonial force that’s been the root of all kinds of evil all around the world, it needs to be punished, it needs to be brought down to size, it needs to be disciplined.”
Conservative talk show host Michael Savage suggested that Obama “wants to infect the nation with Ebola,” insisting that Obama’s handling of Ebola “rises to levels of treason, it actually exceeds any level of treason I’ve ever season.”
“Obama wants equality and he wants fairness and it’s only fair that America have a nice epidemic or two or three or four in order to really feel what it’s like to be in the Third World. You have to look at it from the point of view of a leftist,” he added.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, also posited that Obama and other Democratic officials say “don’t quarantine, let’s don’t close our borders” because they “feel like we want everyone to feel included” and “don’t want anybody to feel like they’re being left out.”
Glenn Beck speculated that Obama may be allowing the disease to take hold in conservative parts of the country, telling Fox News host Bill O’Reilly earlier this month that the president was ignoring the cases of two nurses who contracted Ebola in Dallas, perhaps because the city “doesn’t particularly care for the president.”
If this were happening in Washington, D.C., right now, do you think the President and his administration would be acting like this? Do you think the Congress would be acting like this? This is happening in Dallas, Texas, this is a top-ten city in the United States of America. Happens to be one that doesn’t particularly care for the president all that much and his policies, one that the president has not been too favorable on. We are already being squeezed on our southern border, now we’re being squeezed by Ebola. Is there an agenda here? Is that possibly the reason, because I can’t figure out any other reason.
5. Ebola Is God’s Judgment On America (Especially Obama)
Of course, several Religious Right figures are responding to the Ebola epidemic by suggesting that it is divine punishment on America.
The televangelist John Hagee said this month that Ebola is a sign of God’s disapproval of Obama’s foreign policy in the Mideast.
“Our president is dead-set on dividing Jerusalem. God is watching and he will bring America into judgment,” he said, and as a result “we are now experiencing the crisis of Ebola.”
Ron Baity, a North Carolina pastor who worked with the Family Research Council and other anti-gay groups to pass a marriage equality ban, blamed Ebola on the gay community.
“We are bringing the judgment of God on this nation,” Baity said. “As sure as Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed, don’t be surprised at the plagues, don’t be surprised at the judgment of God. You think Ebola is bad now? Just wait.”
“Trunews” host Rick Wiles also linked Ebola to homosexuality, but had a slightly different view. As Wiles explained, “Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion.”