John Stemberger

Perkins: Boy Scouts Will 'Throw the Door Open' to 'Sexual Predators' if Gay Ban Is Lifted

In an interview yesterday with John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins alleged that the Boy Scouts of America will “throw the door open” to “sexual predators” by lifting their national ban on gay members and will face more child molestation lawsuits as a result. Stemberger warned that Boy Scouts will now have members who “promote this behavior and promote their personal sexuality.”

Perkins: The national board released about 15,000 pages of documentation on sexual predators and what had taken place in the Scouts from 1960-1995. One lawsuit alone cost the Scouts a settlement of about $20 million. Through the litigation the leading attorney who has litigated for the families of what they called the ‘preyed upon children’ estimates that each predator molested up to twenty-five children, roughly 1,900 predators’ names were revealed. This is under the current policy which forbids those who would be inclined to this from coming in, what’s going to happen when they just throw the door open?

Stemberger: The amazing thing really is that right now there are people that have a same-sex attraction involved with scouting but the rule is, kind of similar to the military, you just can’t be open about it. That’s the difference, there are lots of people who just want to live their lives privately—fine—but for those people who want to come out and promote this behavior and promote their personal sexuality, it’s inappropriate. There’s no place for this whatsoever in scouting and it’s just stunning that they are even considering a decision like this because of financial and political pressure.

Perkins: I imagine it’s going to cost them a lot more if they have any lawsuits along the lines of this.

Stemberger maintained that the admission of openly gay members is “insanity” and could “destroy” the Boy Scouts. He even said the “greatest threat” is not gay troop leaders but gay kids. “The greatest threat immediately is going to be not just adults but it’s going to be the kids,” Stemberger told Perkins. “There are so many young people today in high school and public school especially who are acting out homosexuality just because it’s the popular and cool thing, so you’re going to have lots of crazy stuff happening with boys.”

Perkins: Well obviously this news had to be very disappointing not only to you but your sons who have been involved in scouting as well.

Stemberger: It’s extraordinarily disappointing and if they go ahead with this decision next week I think it’s going to have an extraordinary impact, it’s not going to be good. I think you’re going to see a mass exodus, obviously Catholics, Mormons and Southern Baptists are all going to be very concerned about this. I just hope that they do not cave. The greatest threat immediately is going to be not just adults but it’s going to be the kids. There are so many young people today in high school and public school especially who are acting out homosexuality just because it’s the popular and cool thing, so you’re going to have lots of crazy stuff happening with boys. We’ve been through a whole round of problems that the Scouts have had with improper conduct with adults over the years and this just seems insanity to me that they would open the door and allow openly gay leaders and boys to flourish. Even if it is at a local level, so much of what goes on in scouting is not just local, you have district camporees, you have national jamborees, the order of the arrow involves people and summer camps; you know so much of it is working together with a district or a council or the Scouts nationally. So I think it’s a very negative thing which is going to have long-term repercussions which could destroy the entire program itself.

Right Wing Leftovers - 12/17/12

  • AFA's Buster Wilson says "it is NOT the time to politicize" the shooting in Connecticut before going on to argue that school officials ought to be able to carry concealed weapons on school grounds ... apparently utterly unaware that he is politicizing the discussion.
  • Apparently, making the case that marriage equality is a civil rights issue is "utterly cynical and possibly racist."
  • Did God kill British Labour Party MP Malcolm Wicks because he prevented Todd Bentley from entering the country?  Todd Bentley thinks so.
  • John Stemberger says he has no problem with gays, except "what we aggressively oppose, is this notion of trying to transform society. And ‘gay’ as in-your-face, loud and proud, forcing everyone to buy into your assumptions about life and human sexuality. And if you don’t, we’re going to shout you down and call you a bigot."
  • Matt Barber yet again demonstrates that he is a genuinely awful person, tweeting that President Obama is an "absolute slime ball" following his remarks at the Sandy Hook memorial service.
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer explains that God gave us prayer and guns in order to protect kids and there is not much he can do if we decide not to use them as the Bible instructs:

John Stemberger: 'No Religion Can Save [America] Except for Christians'

John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council closed out his groups Prayer Rally for America’s Future last night by warning that non-Christian faiths are incapable of producing ideas like democracy or equality. He lamented that “things that were unthinkable” are now “being promoted as virtuous” and conservatives now being called “hatemonger” “Our country needs God, our country needs us,” Stemberger said, saying that principles like voting, inalienable rights and equality couldn’t have come from faiths like Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism: “No religion on the face of the earth could have created the American experience except for Christianity and no religion can save it except for Christians.”

Watch:

Religious Right Groups Hosting Prayer Rally to kick off Republican National Convention

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, disgraced pseudo-historian David Barton and anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schlafly are participating in a prayer rally hosted by Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink and the Florida Family Policy Council in Tampa right before the opening of the Republican National Convention. CitizenLink head Tom Minnery, FFPC’s John Stemberger, former congressman J.C. Watts, Proposition 8 leader Jim Garlow, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver are also among the speakers at the Prayer Rally for America’s Future at the River Church. The rally will touch on the familiar themes of opposing abortion rights and gay rights…and also to pray for revival in “male leadership.”

Later that day, the River Church is hosting a Tea Party Nation rally with Bachmann, Herman Cain, Neal Boortz, Judson Phillips, Pam Bondi, Niger Innis and Rebecca Kleefisch.

The River Church is pastored by Rodney Howard-Browne, the Word-Faith preacher known for performing faith healings:

And unleashing "Holy Laughter":

Conservatives Denounce 'Anti-God' Human Rights Ordinance in Jacksonville

Remember gay-demon-exorcist, Halloween-candy-foe and NAR Apostle Kimberly Daniels? The preacher was elected to the Jacksonville City Council last year despite her claims that “the Jews own everything,” Haiti’s 2010 earthquake was divine punishment and that President Obama is tied to the illuminati. As Jacksonville weighs passing an anti-discrimination ordinance strongly opposed by the Religious Right due to its protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, the freshman councilwoman said that proponents of the ordinance have “discriminated against” her and are “anti-God”:

Councilwoman Kimberly Daniels, who is also a local pastor, took a point of personal privilege to address how some individuals laughed at her and made comments at the May 22 meeting.

“I am a believer; I am a Christian,” Daniels said. “Religion is a protected class. What I experienced last Tuesday night, it was not pro gay; it was anti God.”

“My family is being harassed; my life is being threatened,” Daniels continued. “I have experienced so much hate from the homosexual community…I don’t care who sleeps with who… I love America…I would like not to be discriminated against, too.”

John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council is organizing the opposition to the bill, warning that “this artificial, social construct called gay” is “new” and “dangerous”:

“We have basically exposed this piece of legislation for what it is,” Stemberger said following a June 5 hearing. “And that is an infringement upon religious liberties, the Constitution, and rights of association.”



Stemberger put the issue into a larger context.

“Same-sex attraction has always been with us since the beginning of time. That’s nothing new. … What is new, and what is dangerous and what we oppose, is this artificial, social construct called gay,” Stemberger said. “It’s in your face; it’s shoving down your throat; and it’s intimidation. It’s not just, ‘let’s be left alone and let’s just have rights.’ It’s now forcing everyone else to agree—by the force of law and lawsuits with money damages. That’s what we oppose.”

Kamal Saleem Says 'Terrorism Will Be Legal' if Immigration Reform Passes; 'We'll be Wearing Ragheads'

Last week’s Awakening 2012 conference included a panel on Islam featuring Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council and Kamal Saleem, the phony “ex-terrorist” who has been making the rounds on Religious Right events and television programs telling his bogus, discredited backstory.

While some panelists at the Awakening criticized the GOP’s anti-immigrant stance, Saleem maintained that immigration reform is actually a plot to have “all the illegal Muslims will be legalized here” and consequently, “terrorism will be legal.” Saleem accused President Obama of “sending millions to Hamas to import Muslim people” to the U.S. as part of a Muslim Brotherhood plot. Later in the panel, Saleem warned, “This world will become past tense and one day we’ll be wearing ragheads.”

Watch:

The immigration bill is not against the Hispanic, per se, many people think it’s against the Hispanic, no, it’s not, on the contrary, our President is sending millions to Hamas to import Muslim people to United States of America. If that law passed—yes mam, check your media, Google that, he just sent $23 million dollars to Hamas recently to Hamas, just this year, we’re about to bankrupt and he sent the money to Muslims—so what happened is he’s trying to import them to United States of America to throw the power of conservatism and the Church out, you know God’s people, so what happens is they will become the upper hand or the equal hand. Because if you read the Muslim Brotherhood theology and their memorandum that they came to destroy United States of America with, is to populate United States of America with a multitude of millions of Muslims. So what happened is, when they are here, the Sharia law will, what happened when he allowed in the name of the Hispanic people, Mexican people, ‘let’s make them American,’ now all the illegal Muslims will be legalized here and terrorism will be legal in United States of America.



It’s time to make our voices known and time to stand up straight and fight for it because ultimately, the whole word just like my brother Frank [Gaffney] said, this world will become past tense and one day we’ll be wearing ragheads and walking on the street and everybody will say, ‘that used to be a Christian country where Islam conquered.’

Religious Right 'War' Room: This Weekend's Awakening Conference

The Freedom Federation – an anti-Obama amalgam of Religious Right groups, "apostolic" ministries, and the corporate-funded astroturf Americans for Prosperity – is holding its third annual Awakening conference in Orlando, Florida this weekend. Here’s how it describes the event:

Uniting our Voices Around Shared Values: Turning Voices into Votes

A war is raging against our shared values. Our faith and freedom are under attack. Silence in the face of this war is not an option. Decisive action is needed. Join with others who share the core values that make America a great nation. Take a stand for righteousness and justice and be part of a new revolution to take back America. The time has come to turn our voices into votes and to change the course of history.

Outreach to the Hispanic community is a major goal of this year’s Awakening and the theme of Friday’s opening night session.  That marks a continuation of the Freedom Federation’s efforts to re-brand the Religious Right as a multiracial and multigenerational movement, and to re-brand the culture war as a “social justice” movement. Last year’s gathering included a major effort to claim a religious grounding for the anti-tax, anti-government agenda of Grover Norquist and the Tea Party.

This year’s conference features Samuel Rodriguez, the head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, who tries to sell the Religious Right’s culture war to Latinos while trying to get Religious Right leaders to make themselves more palatable to Latinos.  Rodriguez recently said that Latinos are here to “bring panic to the kingdom of darkness” and “make the gospel of Jesus Christ, the church, the most influential institution in America.”  He said God has sent illegal immigrants here to “redeem Christianity” in America.

Also scheduled to address this year’s conference is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a favorite of Tea Party and Religious Right leaders who describe him as the party’s Latino Ronald Reagan. Rubio is reportedly concocting a hollowed-out version of the DREAM Act that will try to help Romney and the GOP fix their well-earned image as hostile to the aspirations of millions of immigrants.

A new feature at this year’s Awakening is Patriot Camp on Saturday for kids ages 5-15.  Organizers promise that kids will learn about “the Christian principles on which America was founded,” which is important since, “As most Christians know, our true American heritage is not taught in schools, especially not in an objective manner.”

Notably for this Obama-bashing group, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is sending a video presentation; senior Likud official Moshe Ya'alon, Vice Premier, Minister of Strategic Affairs, is also listed as a speaker.  Also on the list, some of whom might appear by video: Former GOP presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, and Reps. John Mica and Allen West. West has been warming up for the conference by announcing, McCarthy-style, that dozens of progressive members of the House of Representatives are communists.

The list of speakers is a Who’s Who of the Religious Right and conservative legal movements, including characters like spiritual warrior Lou Engle and Cindy “God kills birds when America supports gays” Jacobs, who once haunted the fringes of the far right but have since been welcomed into a movement seeking to build the broadest political base possible.  Among them:

  • John Stemberger: head of the Florida Family Policy Council who chaired the 2008 campaign that outlawed marriage equality in Florida. Awakening organizers say he has “a unique understanding" of law and government. You could say that: He has argued that only Christians are capable of creating a free society. As a lawyer he once sued a rental car company when an Irish customer was involved in a fatal crash; he argued that the company should have known that an Irish customer “would have a high propensity to drink alcohol.” (He later apologized.) 
  • Rick Scarborough:birther, self-proclaimed “Christocrat,” and Rick Perry backer who said last year that he refused to endorse Romney in the primary because he is a Mormon. At the 2010 Awakening, Scarborough called Obama a “Marxist president.” Scarborough stated a few months ago that AIDS is God’s judgment for engaging in an immoral act. 
  • Frank Gaffney: his infamous anti-Muslim bigotry, including charges that fellow conservatives are Islamist sympathizers, is so virulent that he was denounced by the American Conservative Union.  
  • Harry Jacksonpoint man for the Religious Right’s anti-gay racial wedge strategies, defender of the National Organization for Marriage’s cynical racial wedge politics, and all-around right-wing activist, who recently called for believers to form a “fifth column” to undermine America’s secularist culture from within.  
  • Rick Joyner:  a dominionist and self-proclaimed prophet who recently warned people to get out of California because God is going to punish America for not being sufficiently supportive of Israel,  Joyner heads the Oak Initiative.
  • Richard Land:  the primary political spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, Land supports the criminalization of homosexuality and recently told NPR that “The Bible tells us that socialism and neo-socialism never worked. Confiscatory tax rates never work.” Land was recently pushed into apologizing both for racially inflammatory remarks about the Trayvon Martin case and for having plagiarized them from right-wing columnists. 
  • Janet (Folger) Porter: an anti-abortion activist who famously brought fetuses to “testify” for Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill,” declared during the 2008 GOP primary that God had chosen Mike Huckabee to lead the nation. Her radio show was dropped by a Christian radio network unhappy with her political embrace of Christian dominionists. 
  • Mat Staver: heads Liberty Counsel, recently called the “homosexual agenda” a “moral iceberg” that threatens religious freedom.  At the 2010 Awakening, Staver agreed with a questioner that the health care reform law had a provision that gave Obama the power to create an army of brownshirts that could take control of communities. 

Should be more fun than Disney World.  Watch for updates.

While Santorum wins Religious Right Support, No Signs of 'Strong Consensus'

Did social conservative leaders come together and jointly endorse Rick Santorum at the Texas retreat over the weekend? That is the way Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and many in the media interpreted the meeting of leading Religious Right luminaries, where on the second ballot Santorum led Gingrich 70 to 49, and on the third ballot 85 to 29. Perkins claimed there was a “strong consensus” behind Santorum, who has won the backing of Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance, former National Organization for Marriage president Maggie Gallagher, American Values president Gary Bauer and the expected endorsement of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.

But have Religious Right leaders really coalesced around Santorum?

Gingrich has locked in the support of prominent social conservative leaders: Concerned Women for America founder and chairman Beverly LaHaye; Council for National Policy founder and author Tim LaHaye; American Family Association founder and chairman Don Wildmon; Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver; California pastor and Proposition 8 organizer Jim Garlow; evangelical pollster George Barna; Restoration Project organizer David Lane and pastor and former congressman J.C. Watts.

Gingrich supporters have even claimed that the third ballot, which showed Santorum winning handling, occurred after many leaders left the meeting and that some Santorum boosters were involved with “ballot-box stuffing.” Bob Vander Plaats, an early Santorum endorser, told Bryan Fischer on Focal Point that the Texas gathering only showed “divided support” between Santorum and Gingrich, and Red State’s Erick Erickson, who attended the meeting, said that “it was divided with many thinking Gingrich is the only one who can win.”

The real loser of the meeting was Texas Governor Rick Perry, who won just three votes in the first ballot. Major Religious Right leaders gathered in Texas last summer where they urged Perry to run for president. Dobson, Perkins, Garlow, Nance and other Religious Right figures all appeared with Perry at his The Response prayer rally and after Perry announced his candidacy, he courted a group of social conservative activists including Perkins, Dobson, Garlow at the Texas ranch of mega-donor James Leininger. John Stemberger, the head of the Florida Family Policy Council who was a Perry campaign chairman, has now even switched his support from Perry to Santorum.

While it remains to be seen if social conservatives will really “coalesce” behind Santorum, it is clear that the Religious Right leadership that begged Perry to enter the race has now utterly abandoned him.

Stemberger To Endorse Perry Because Bachmann Not A Realistic, Viable Candidate

Last month we noted that Michele Bachmann was headlining a fundraising event for the Florida Family Policy Council where she received the organization's William Wilberforce Award.

But just because the FFPC thinks Bachmann is a hero for her willingness to stand "firm for principles of life, marriage or family in the face of opposition," that apparently doesn't translate into support for her presidential campaign as FFPC president John Stemberger is announcing his pending support for Rick Perry because Bachmann is just not a realistic or viable candidate ... and Mitt Romney "wasn’t Mormon enough":

Florida evangelical leader John Stemberger is a step away from endorsing Rick Perry for president, a big coup for the Texas governor and a loss for fellow Republican Michele Bachmann. Stemberger's likely endorsement follows some top-level Perry staff hires.

"We really like Michele Bachmann She has stellar credentials when it comes to our issues. She is an amazing woman. Our primary drive is principle and the issues," Stemberger said. "But we also have to be realistic, pragmatically, and determine who’s viable."

Stemberger said that meant he and the Florida Family Policy Council, which has an email list of about 65,000 Florida evangelical voters, had two choices.

"This is a two man race between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. And there’s a growing consensus among evangelical leaders and, to some degree, among those in the tea party and pro-life Catholics that Rick Perry is the most trustworthy candidate on our issues," Stemberger said.

"There are too many trust issues with Mitt Romney," he continued. "The issue not that he is a Mormon. The issue is that he wasn’t Mormon enough. If he had been consistent with traditional Mormon values his whole career, that would make me feel a lot more comfortable about where he’s coming from. Perry is a lot more solid on our issues."

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