On Saturday, roughly 2,000 activists gathered at Faith Assembly, a megachurch in Orlando, for the Awakening, an annual “Prayer and Patriotism event” organized by the Christian Right legal group Liberty Counsel. The Awakening, which Liberty Counsel organizes under the auspices of an amalgam of Religious Right groups called the Freedom Federation, brings together activists from the evangelical Right with the GOP politicians who want their votes.
At this year's event, GOP politicians including Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal (via video) and RNC faith director Chad Connelly shared a stage with far-right activists including "ex-gays," a phony ex-terrorist and at least two Religious Right leaders who insist that AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality.
Here are five takeaways from a day with the core of the Religious Right.
1. Gay Marriage Will Send Christians To Jail
While some on the Right may be trying to shy away from the issue of marriage equality now that it could be on its way to a Supreme Court victory, the activists at the Awakening were not among them. Throughout the conference, marriage between gay and lesbian couples was portrayed as a demonic and existential threat to liberty, one that if allowed to proceed would end in Christianity being outlawed and Christians thrown in jail.
The Republican National Committee’s faith outreach director, Chad Connelly, who was moderating a panel on abortion rights, echoed the Religious Right’s rhetoric when he warned that LGBT rights activists are “coming for the church.”
Far-right pastor Rick Scarborough, who was sitting beside him, agreed that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality, pastors will be forced to “participate in same-sex marriage ” or be thrown in jail. Liberty Counsel’s Harry Mihet, moderating a separate panel, issued a similar warning.
Scarborough repeated his warning when he told activists that a pro-equality Supreme Court ruling would outlaw anti-gay speech, thus undermining “the whole nature of America.”
Multiple speakers compared a potential Supreme Court decision on marriage equality to Dred Scott, the infamous pre-Civil War decision that barred African Americans from citizenship, declaring that it should be met with similar resistance.
2. Losing The Church on Gay Rights Issues
Although the Awakening took place in what appeared to be a generationally diverse, multiethnic church, the crowd at the conference was overwhelmingly older and white. Throughout the conference, speakers bemoaned the fact that the Religious Right was losing support among younger Christians for its political agenda, especially its opposition to LGBT rights.
Liberty University’s Rena Lindevaldsen told the audience at a breakout panel on “sexual rebellion” that when fellow conservative Christians ask her what the “big deal” is about LGBT rights, she responds “it’s a big deal because it’s a big deal to God.” Marriage equality, she told the enthusiastic audience, matters to God because it is “the heart of where Satan’s attacking”:
Evangelist Franklin Graham also lamented that “a lot of pastors have quit preaching against homosexuality” out of fear of offending people in their churches who might have gay relatives. He told the audience that “God will bless you and he’ll honor you” if you “don’t shut up” about gay rights and abortion:
This was a crowd that had not given up on discredited “ex-gay” therapy. An “ex-lesbian” activist, Janet Boynes, was given a main stage speaking slot and “ex-gay” activist Greg Quinlan earned a roaring round of applause from the audience at the “sexual rebellion” panel when he announced that he had been “out of homosexuality for 27 years.”
3. A Spiritual Battle Against Islam And Progressivism
Just as the crowd at the Awakening was upset that the conservative movement and the church have supposedly become less invested in fighting LGBT rights, they were also wary of any overtures between Christians and Muslims.
Graham declared that “Islam is a wicked system” and blasted Christians who say that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.
Kamal Saleem, the self-proclaimed “ex-terrorist” whose personal story has never quite held up to scrutiny , also warned that churches are being “invaded by ‘Chrislam,’” lamenting that Americans are oblivious to the dangers of radical Islam: “We’re watching American Idol and they are doing jihad.” He also warned of what he called “jihad of the womb,” or Muslim immigrants giving birth in order to outnumber Christians.
What activists at the Awakening saw as a war against Islam was merely part of a larger “spiritual battle” between good and evil, God and Satan. In the panel discussion he led on LGBT rights, Matt Barber declared that there is an “Islamo-progressive axis of evil” with a “common enemy”: Christians.
Maine pastor Ken Graves repeated that theme when he declared that American Christians are fighting “militant Islam” and “militant homofascism” and secularists who want to establish a “secular humanist caliphate”:
4. Time Is Running Out On America, And It’s Up To The Church To Save It
Throughout the day, speakers warned that America is running out of time before it is lost forever, and that it is up to conservative Christians to get involved in politics to save the country.
Graham told the crowd that he is more politically outspoken than his father, Billy Graham, because America is in a more dire state of secularism. “When my father was born, the Ten Commandments were on the wall of every school in America. When my father was born, the teachers still led the class in the Lord’s Prayer. Our country is not that anymore,” he said, declaring that the 2016 election is the last chance for the Religious Right to save the country.
Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate, delivered a similar message, warning that “we are heading down in a direction that, let’s be honest, no civilization has ever been able to recover from.” Conservative Christians, he declared, must reinvest themselves in politics in order, to among other things, put the Bible in public schools:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, another likely GOP presidential hopeful, told the crowd that prayer was needed to bring about “spiritual revival” and change the political direction of the country: “If God’s people truly pray down a spiritual awakening, then the political landscape will change.”
“This country did not start because some people had some brilliant ideas, although they did. This country happened because God’s providence was the foundation of their brilliant ideas,” Huckabee said. “Because of his inspiration, this country has been sustained throughout all of its history because of God’s specific intervention in helping us to win battles we should never have one and in keeping us from losing battles we should have lost.”
5. The Religious Right And The GOP Still Need Each Other
One of the strangest moments of the day came when a George W. Bush impersonator walked onto the stage with Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver as he introduced Huckabee. Staver jokingly reassured the audience that it was not the former president’s brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has clashed with the Religious Right over gay rights issues. It seemed to be a spontaneous addition to the program, it was hard not to see it also as a reminder to the audience of the potential power of the evangelical vote.
Unlike the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, which has become the flagship gathering of the GOP and the Religious Right, the Awakening tends to attract only true believers in the cause. This year, Santorum and Huckabee spoke, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal submitted a video message. Connelly, who heads the GOP’s outreach to evangelical voters, moderated a panel on abortion rights, but largely deflected difficult questions from the far-right crowd.
Connelly did not, however, shy away from right-wing conspiracy theories, responding to a question about the “culture of death” in end-of-life care by claiming that the Affordable Care Act’s mythical “death panels” are “a reality":
It was clear throughout the day that however wary the Religious Right and the GOP establishment may be of each other, they still need each other. Speakers like Graham urged conservative Christians to revive the powerful Religious Right pressure machine to win GOP politicians to their side, whether or not they agreed with their issues. Meanwhile, the presence of the GOP candidates and Connelly indicated that this is a voting bloc that is still important to the party, however extreme its priorities may be.
As Miranda noted earlier, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal are all scheduled to make an appearance this weekend at "The Awakening," an event organized by Liberty Counsel featuring a myriad of radical anti-gay and anti-Islam activists.
Among the participants will be Kamal Saleem, who has carved out a career for himself as an anti-Islamexpert, supposedly based on his years as a leading Islamic terrorist with ties to Al Qaeda, Moammar Gadhafi, and Saddam Hussein before finally converting to Christianity.
The "insights" that Saleem provides in his capacity are generally nonsense and his entire tale of a previous life as a terrorist is highly suspect and filled with unbelievable tales such as how, at eight years old, he outran Israeli military fire while carrying a dead friend on his back after a botched weapons smuggling operation.
The inconsistencies and outright implausibility of many of his claims has not, in any way, damaged Saleem's reputation among Religious Right activists, as evidenced by the fact that he will be among those participating in "The Awakening," along with various GOP presidential hopefuls.
Earlier this week, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver spoke to a local Tea Party group in Orlando, Florida, where he pitched the upcoming event by specifically citing Saleem's participation in it as a reason for people to attend. In selling Saleem's life story as a vicious terrorist who was saved through Christ, Staver made a rather startling claim when he asserted that, in his terrorist past, Saleem had thrown Jews off the tops of building in Lebanon.
"Kamal Saleem was a terrorist," Staver said. "He was actually engaged in terrorist activity from a young boy and he knew all the top terrorist leaders from ... the head of Libya, the head of Syria, he knew all these different people. And he actually killed Jews, threw people off the tops of buildings during the Lebanon crisis and in the Green Zone, he was involved in active terrorism. Brutal stuff":
If we ignore everything we know about Saleem and his past and just accept for a minute that Staver's claim is true, it creates a situation in which three leading Republican presidential hopefuls will be speaking at an event alongside an anti-Semitic murderer who was never tried or punished for any his crimes ... but that is apparently not a big deal because that murderous terrorist has since found Christ and repented.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, after teaming up with Christian nationalist extremists to host his “The Response” prayer rally in Baton Rouge earlier this year, is now continuing his project of endearing himself to the far fringes of the Religious Right by addressing an annual conference hosted by Liberty Counsel this weekend.
Liberty Counsel’s “The Awakening” event will bring Jindal, along with fellow likely GOP presidential hopefuls Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, together with some of the most unapologetically extreme Religious Right leaders, including Sen. Ted Cruz’s dad Rafael.
With speakers from John Eidsmoe, a founding father of the Religious Right’s current Christian nationalist thought, to Kamal Saleem, the phony ex-terrorist and prolific anti-Obama conspiracy theorist, the candidates are sure to be treated to an exciting array of far-right ideas.
The Awakening is organized by Liberty Counsel, a legal arm of Liberty University founded and chaired by Mat Staver. Staver is particularly invested in anti-LGBT activism both in the U.S. and abroad, where he has spoken out in favor of laws criminalizinghomosexuality. Here at home, he has warned that marriage equality will help bring about God’s destruction of America and will be “the beginning of the end of Western Civilization.”
Staver’s extremism is not limited to LGBT rights. For instance, at the 2010 Awakening conference, Staver agreed with an audience member who asked if the Affordable Care Act created a private army of Brownshirts for President Obama.
Kamal Saleem claims to be an ex-terrorist who worked for a number of Islamist groups before coming to America to build sleeper cells and ultimately converting to Christianity. The fact that Saleem’sstory doesn’t add up — and that he’s suspiciously reluctant to talk about the details — hasn’t stopped him from being a popular speaker on the Religious Right conference circuit, where he impresses audiences with his insider knowledge that President Obama is a secret Muslim out to destroy America.
In 2012, he told The Awakening that when President Obama appeared to be pledging allegiance to the flag, he was actually taking part in an Islamic prayer. The same year, he warned the Values Voter Summit that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be shutting down churches in America within the year:
Eidsmoe has specifically warned that gay rights will bring about divine judgment on the U.S. and wrote a whole book, “Gays & Guns,” arguing against allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, warning that they might molest children.
Eidsmoe, who has gotten in trouble in the past for speaking to white supremacist groups, is currently the “senior counsel and resident scholar” at the Foundation for Moral Law, the Christian nationalist group founded by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, a longtime ally.
Rick Scarborough, a Baptist pastor and the head of the Religious Right group Vision America, is one of the most extreme voices in the anti-LGBT movement. Although he insists that he is neither a Democrat or Republican, but a “Christ-ocrat,” he frequently allies with likeminded Republican politicians including Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee to get his followers to the polls.
Scarborough has also dabbled in anti-immigrant nativism, warning that “more non-white families” in the U.S. would lead to fewer Christians and that “if this country becomes 30 percent Hispanic we will no longer be America.”
Graham’s opinion of the Obama administration was only reinforced when he was disinvited from speaking at an event at the Pentagon because of hishistory of anti-Muslim rhetoric. He has since claimed that the White House has been “infiltrated by Muslims” and is being run by Muslims who “hate Israel and hate Christians.” Just this week, he speculated that Obama’s mother “must have been a Muslim,” which he said explains why the president supposedly won’t fight ISIS.
Barber is fond of comparing his opponents to Nazis, calling supporters of reproductive rights “modern day Nazis” and LGBT rights advocates “Rainbowshirts” who have “broken out the long knives” to go after Christians. At the same time, he has supported repressive anti-LGBT regimes around the world, praising Russian President Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay crackdown and saying he’d like to see a ban on “gay propaganda” in the U.S., and defending Uganda’s harsh criminal penalties for LGBT people.
The Family Research Council's Jerry Boykin and phony former terrorist Kamal Saleem were interviewed on Glenn Beck's television program last night by fill-in host Stu Burguiere about the new novel they wrote together entitled "The Coalition."
During the course of the interview, the topic of the recently released report documenting the CIA's use of torture came up and all three men dismissed the findings entirely, with Burguiere mocking the notion that sleep deprivation or forced nudity could be considered torture, while Saleem laughably asserted that he had been trained as a terrorist from the age of seven on how to decapitate people, so the techniques employed by the CIA were modest in comparison.
Not to be outdone, Boykin declared that "this report came from a bunch of sanctimonious hypocrites" and said that the real "torture" was the supposed persecution by the IRS of conservative groups.
"I'll tell you what's torture," Boykin said, "torture is what we've done to the veterans at the VA hospitals. Torture is what we've done by having the IRS go after conservative groups":
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
While there may not be much time left for us here in America before a combination of death panels and Sharia law overtake the nation, we still will rise up to defend the constitutional rights of the Twitter spambots that Obama seeks to crush!
5) Breitbart Uncovers The Truth The Liberal Media Is Hiding
The right-wing outlet Breitbart News went on a mission this week to uncover the dirt on attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch that the biased left-wing mainstream media has been hiding. Breitbart’s Warner Todd Huston discovered that Lynch had served as “a member of Bill Clinton’s defense team during the 1992 Whitewater corruption probe.”
Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak commented that Huston’s story “ought to provide additional fodder for Republicans during Lynch's confirmation hearings,” saying that the nomination was a reward “for her political loyalty.”
Breitbart eventually removed Huston’s story, but such brazen misinformation from the conservative site is nothing new.
4) Obama Administration Suppressing The Free Speech Rights Of Spambots
Five years ago, many conservative politicians falsely claimed that the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act repealed the right to freedom of speech. This year, many in the GOP stoked similarly bogus fears to attack a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.
Now, one Republican congressman is accusing the administration of advocating for the “suppression of online political speech” by awarding a National Science Foundation grant to the website Truthy, a project of researchers affiliated with Indiana University which studies “how popular sentiment, user influence, attention, social network structure, and other factors affect the manner in which information is disseminated.”
Let Wonkette break it down: “Truthy developed algorithms to detect spambots, they worked, and Twitter nuked the accounts for violation of their terms of service. It’s nice to know that Rep. Smith is so concerned about the precious free speech rights of spambots.”
3) Marriage Conspiracy In The Courts
The Coalition for the Protection of Marriage suggested this week that there is a conspiracy afoot to place is to place the same two Democratic-nominated judges on Ninth Circuit Court panels hearing cases involving marriage equality, thus rigging the panels in favor of gay rights advocates. The California group unveiled a new website insisting that there is a “disturbing” and “strong appearance that the Ninth Circuit did not follow its neutral, impartial assignment process in assigning” marriage cases.
The anti-gay group, however, seemed to ignore, as one political science professor told the New York Times, that “the accused judges voted against the lesbian and gay litigants in a full third of the cases deemed suspicious by the other side.”
In addition, the Times reports, judges are assigned at random to panels “long before particular cases are assigned to panels,” and many marriage cases were put on a “fast track” which were “assigned to the available panel with the most senior presiding judge,” who in this case happened to be a Carter appointee.
But the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage isn’t alone in pressing its flimsy conspiracy theory. Mark Joseph Stern points out that “Ed Whelan—a former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia—penned a strange post at the National Review in October in which he ‘wonder[ed] whether nefarious hijinks in the Ninth Circuit clerk’s office in San Francisco’ accounted for the judge selection in the gay marriage case.”
2) RIP Dorothy Zborknak
Meet the first victim of the Obamacare Death Panels: Dorothy Zborknak.
While the news of the fictional character’s Obamacare-manded death has apparently sparkedanger on fringe outlets, more popular conservative sites like Breitbart are still intent on publishing ridiculous articles like, “The Death Panels Are Coming.”
While speaking with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council this week, Saleem also brought us the stunning news that Sweden is now under the thumb of Islamists, and that the same Islamist rise to power “is happening here in the United States.”
Saleem told Perkins that Islamic control of America will be complete by 2020.
Saleem did however speak about Seven Mountains theology, or the belief that conservative Christians need to control the seven main spheres of societal influence, citing the work of Os Hillman, whom he refered to as “O.S. Hill.” Saleem said that he fears radical Islamists have “infiltrated” America’s “seven spheres of influence,” pointing to an interfaith service at the National Cathedral as proof that the “Chrislamic church” is “destroying our civilization from within.”
He added that America is experiencing what he calls the “Swedish syndrome.” In that country, he said, “when the Islamists came to takeover they started prying on the political leadership” until eventually the Swedish “leadership started protecting them and one day he came to protect them and led their movement over there so now it’s led by the politician of Sweden and the Muslims are taking over the civilization. Same thing is happening here in the United States.”
If the Islamist plot to take over America isn’t turned back, Saleem explained, “America will be fallen” by 2020.
Every year since 2006, Republican leaders have joined some of the country’s most notorious anti-gay, anti-choice activists and fringe conspiracy theorists at the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voter Summit.
Don’t be surprised if summit speakers venture off into the deep-end of the right-wing fringe this week. Far from anomalies, intolerant rhetoric, self-serving claims of persecution and doomsday predictions are a Values Voter Summit tradition.
Here, we’ve collected seven of the worst moments from previous Values Voter Summits.
“The gay rights movement, I believe, was birthed and inspired by the Antichrist,” McKissic added, while conservative pastor and co-panelist Wellington Boone lamented that it is no longer socially acceptable to call people “faggots.”
Romney, incidentally, was set to speak that year immediately prior to American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who is notorious for his incendiary comments about gays and lesbians, immigrants, African Americans, Native Americans, Muslims and, yes, Mormons. During his speech, Romney criticized Fischer’s “poisonous language,” prompting Fischer to lash back at Romney. Romney ally Bill Bennett also jumped in, criticizing Jeffress for promoting “bigotry” while Perry went back and forth between ignoring the controversy and eventually distancing himself from Jeffress.
While Romney may have spoken out against Fischer during the summit, Fischer had the last laugh as he succeeded in his campaign to oust a gay official from Romney’s presidential campaign.
That wasn’t the last time we would see infighting at the Values Voter Summit. Last year, Rep. Louie Gohmert accused Sen. John McCain of supporting Al Qaeda, to which McCain responded: “Sometimes comments like that are made out of malice, but if someone has no intelligence I don't feel it as being a malicious statement.”
4.Demand Abortions Be Performed In Public
Lila Rose, the anti-choice activist known for her campaigns against Planned Parenthood, had a modest proposal at the 2009 summit: “If I could insist, as long as they are legal in our nation, abortions will be done in the public square.”
At the 2010 summit, in the midst of the fight over the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins warned that if the ban on openly gay service members was lifted, then the U.S. military would become nothing but a parade-marching force.
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
Conservative activists know the truth about President Obama’s agenda to destroy America by murdering white people, opening the border, ending the freedom of religion and aiding terrorist groups. And all of these things will happen any day now….
5. Obama Wants To Kill White People
Conservative talk show host Michael Savage is worried that readers may not get their hands on his book, “Stop the Coming Civil War,” because they may already be dead … thanks to President Obama!
Savage warned listeners that Obama is hoping to “stimulate insurrection in this country in order to declare martial law” and “mow down” white people who are protesting immigration reform.
“The most racist administration in American history,” Savage explained, has made sure that the “entire government is geared up to fight a war against white people” and gun down “all you evil white crackers.”
4. Border Vigilantes Confront Conservationists
A frequent message among anti-immigrant activists is that the federal government is refusing to do its job in guarding the border, and therefore civilians should consider joining border patrol militias to stop the purported massive flood of immigrants, sometimes with tragic results.
Calls to join such vigilante groups only increased with the rise of unaccompanied minors fleeing drug violence in Central America, even though the minors were actually seeking out border patrol officers.
This week, one of these armed groups ambushed a group of geologists who were “counting bats in a local cave” for a wildlife survey. One of the researchers told the Huffington Post, “We didn’t know what they were doing. We started hiding behind rocks. We’re not doing what they’re saying, and they’re acting kind of jumpy. … We had them yelling at us with spotlights, acting like they have some kind of authority.”
Of course, that led actual Border Patrol officers to come to the scene of the (non)crime…taking time away from their, well, actual job that they are supposedly not doing.
3. ‘Big Sodomy’ On The March
Not only are immigrants and President Obama trying to destroy America, but so is “Big Sodomy.”
According to far-right activist and BarbWire columnist Lee Duigon, “wicked officials in thrall to Big Sodomy” will “force churches to perform same-sex ‘marriage’ exercises” and make sure “pastors and priests will be punished if they speak against it.”
He goes on to warn that religious freedom and free speech will be banned due to “insatiable and unappeasable” gay rights advocates, who will force Christians in America to “form house churches, as the Christians do in China.”
“Never, never speak of a same-sex coupling as ‘marriage.’ It is no marriage, and will never be,” Duigon writes. “The hard part will be to decide what to do when they come for your children.”
2. Obama’s Clandestine Mosque Visit
Kamal Saleem, a Religious Right activist who insists he used to be a terrorist for dozens of different groups before coming to America to wage “culture jihad,” believes that the media is “suffocating the truth” about President Obama’s secret Muslim faith and support for radical Islamic terrorists.
For example, Saleem said Obama is covering up the “fact” that Obama attended a Washington, D.C. mosque on Christmas: “We see him on Christmas, he goes to the mosque, on Christmas Day he’s in a mosque in Washington D.C. taking his shoes off to celebrate that day on Christmas Day in a Washington D.C. mosque.”
Of course, Obama has actually been in his home state of Hawaii on Christmas in every single year of his presidency.
1. Obama Said ‘ISIL’ … Impeach!
As you may know, there are different translations for the group known as ISIS or ISIL. Some translate the last word of the group’s name, “al-Sham,” as Syria; others translate it as the region encompassing Greater Syria, or the Levant.
The wise Fox News anchors on “Outnumbered,” have their own idea as to why Obama uses “ISIL”…because he is “tipping his hat to them” and wants to distract Americans that he is a big failure of a president.
As Thomas Bishop of Media Matters points out, other Fox News commentators have used the acronym “ISIL” as well, but never mind that!
In fact, Saleem said ISIS will soon bomb America ... allowing Obama to declare martial law and remain in office.
“When the Muslim comes to America and they start doing bombing,” Saleem explained, “it will establish martial law and it will establish that probably the president doesn’t have to step down for years until the martial law is done with.”
Saleem warned that Obama is using abortion rights and LGBT equality to “devastate the Christian fundamental power and establish the authority of Islam” in America, adding that Obama is “waging jihad” and “engraving Islamization into the history of the United States of America and in the future of the United States.”
“It will have to be a miracle from God that America can walk out of this,” he said.
According to Saleem, the Muslim Brotherhood is taking over the “Seven Mountains,” a phrase commonly used by Dominionists to spell out the seven spheres of influence in society.
“The Muslim Brotherhood sits on the top of those ‘Seven Mountains,’” he said, claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood now controls the government, the media (“including Fox News”!) and the schools, where they are “teaching the kids to pledge allegiance in the name of Allah to the American flag.”
While speaking to Rick Wiles on “Trunews” last week, phony ex-terrorist and Religious Right idol Kamal Saleem alleged that President Obama attended a mosque in Washington, D.C. on Christmas Day…while he was vacationing in Hawaii.
“We see him on Christmas, he goes to the mosque, on Christmas Day he’s in a mosque in Washington D.C. taking his shoes off to celebrate that day on Christmas Day in a Washington D.C. mosque,” he said.
In every year of his presidency — 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 — Obama and his family were in his home state of Hawaii during Christmas. But perhaps Obama actually spent Christmas surreptitiously flying from Hawaii to Washington to secretly attend a mosque and managed to do so without anyone in the media reporting on it ... after all, it’s only a brisk, ten hour flight.
In the same interview, Saleem said Obama “declared the Islamization over America” at the United Nations and is working to “create an envoy to Europe” to “establish radical Islamization in Spain, in France and in Germany.”
Of course, no one knows about any of this because of the media!
“This is happening and the American people are not aware of it because the media and this current Islamization power is just suffocating the truth for the American people to know what is going on,” he said.
Back in 2012, Saleem was scheduled to address a forum at a Michigan public school about the supposed dangers of Muslims in the U.S., prompting People For the American Way and the Council on American Islamic Relations to send a joint letter to the school asking them not to provide a platform for someone promoting misinformation and intolerance.
The school cancelled the event due to safety concerns after independently discovering that Saleem’s supporters bragged that he is a target of terrorist threats.
The hosts of the event — Republican National Committeeman and former state lawmaker David Agema, a local county commissioner, and a chapter leader of the anti-Muslim group ACT! for America — sued the school, the city and other city officials for a variety of claims, as well as PFAW and CAIR for the tort of interfering with a contract.
Right Wing Watch, a project of PFAW, was also mentioned in the lawsuit [PDF], which says the blog “criticizes and disparages conservative politics and Christian–Judeo values.”
The organizers were represented by Thomas More Law Center, a far-right legal group which counts Michele Bachmann and Allen West as board members, and its attorney Erin Mersino.
Today, a federal judge dismissed their lawsuit, noting that the plaintiffs “fail to state a constitutional deprivation” and base their lawsuit on “mere conclusory statements.”
Judge Janet Neff, a Bush appointee, correctly found that PFAW and CAIR were within their First Amendment rights to send a letter to the school: “The Court agrees that the petition from Defendants CAIR-MI, [Dawud] Walid, PFAW and [PFAW president Michael] Keegan to the school superintendent constitutes an attempt to influence governmental action, a petition that is protected by the First Amendment.”
As we’ve noted before, the Thomas More Law Center doesn’t exactly have the best track record:
Kamal Saleem, thephonyex-terrorist, appeared on The John Ankerberg Show alongside Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council where he explained how Islamic extremists intend to destroy the US and turn America into a country where Islam reigns supreme. Saleem, a regular guest at Religious Right conferences and radio shows, has claimed to have worked for the PLO, the Muslim Brotherhood, Muammar Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein, the Saudi royal family and Osama bin Laden and to be the nephew of the “Grand Wazir of Islam,” a position which doesn’t exist.
During his interview with Ankerberg, Saleem said that he came to the US in order to “subjugate this nation to Islam” by “repopulating the nation and start becoming popular and start choosing our leadership.”
He added that Muslims use schools to “turn the American student against America” and “came to infiltrate the jail system because we knew if we take those broken ones, those that are injured, we can turn them into beasts against this nation and therefore we can populate this nation with segregation and causing the culture to break open” for Islam.
Janet Parshall hosted a panel on Islam with Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin and phony ex-terrorist Kamal Saleem during February’s National Religious Broadcasters convention, where Saleem described how he instantly healed his sister of a stomach hernia and headaches:
Boykin cited a report from Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy that claims that judges in fifty court cases have used Islamic law in making their decisions and that Sharia “has been insinuated into our legal system.”
However, as the ACLU points out, “the CSP report consists mostly of 50 judicial opinions, which the authors copied and pasted word-for-word simply because they mention Islam or involve claims brought by Muslims, contending that these cases serve as evidence of the so-called ‘Sharia threat.’” The report doesn’t even attempt to prove that Sharia law is being used in courts, but merely finds that there are some court cases which “happen to involve Islam or Muslims.”
Later, Boykin called for people to support Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert and Trent Franks over their role in leading the witch hunt against Muslim-Americans serving in government, which he said proves that they are “standing on the word of God” and “their belief in Christ.”
We need to understand that one of the fundamentals of Islam is Sharia, Islamic law. It has been insinuated into our legal system and we did a study that showed fifty court cases, twenty-three states judges used Sharia. Right now there are efforts in over twenty states to prevent that from happening with legislation at the state level called ‘American Laws for American Courts.’ Initially Oklahoma passed it and it was immediately challenged by Eric Holder and the Justice Department but there are other states that have passed it and still more that are working on it. So protect us from Sharia. Those are prudent laws that would protect us from judges being able to practice Sharia and violate Article VI of our Constitution by doing so. Second thing is; everything needs to get informed on this. If you are tied to the mainstream media you will never know anything about the true nature of Islam.
There’s a lack of leadership in America today. Leaders are intimidated, they’re afraid and they will not confront the Muslim Brotherhood; they will not face up to what is really happening in America. Those who will are people that are standing on the word of God. Start with Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Trent Franks; they are a very small number who are standing on God’s word and because they have the spirit of God they see this for what it is. They need our help. We need to lite up Washington in support of these people that are the only ones that are unafraid because of their dependence upon God’s word, they are unafraid to confront this; yet they get pilloried from everybody across the country because they have stood up to the realities of the Muslim Brotherhood. We need to stand with them, we need to pray for them and we need to stand with them as they stand for us because of their belief in Christ.
For decades, the Right has attempted to discredit Hillary Clinton with attacks ranging from the disturbing (killing people) to the bizarre (killing cats). But after serving four years as Secretary of State, Clinton is leaving office with sky-high approval ratings. Before she steps down on Friday, we decided to look back on some of the most extreme and befuddling accusations she has faced from the far-right during her term as the nation’s top diplomat.
When she did testify, she faced redundant and ill-informed questions from Republicans like Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson, who skipped a classified briefing on the incident, and Kentucky senator Rand Paul, who admitted he had no proof to back up his claim that the Benghazi mission was used to send arms to Syrian rebels.
Anti-Clinton conspiracy theorists claim that her supposed Muslim Brotherhood sympathies have turned her into a covert advocate of Sharia law. Bachmann said that Clinton was working “to take away the free speech rights of the American people” and “our right of free speech and expression, religious practice, freedom of assembly, freedom of the printing press” in order to “empower the Islamists.”
Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy claimed that Clinton had accepted “submission to the stealthy Islamist effort to enforce in this country the supremacist doctrine known as shariah” and the Family Research Council’s Jerry Boykin said the administration had shown “support for the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into our government.” Rick Joyner, the televangelist who has worked closely with Gaffney and Boykin, was left wondering why Clinton was “advocating” Sharia:
4. LGBT Rights Advocacy Will Destroy America
While the Right’s Benghazi, Muslim Brotherhood and Sharia law claims didn’t hold water, they at least got one thing right: Clinton acted as a champion for LGBT equality while leading the State Department. The Religious Right fumed at her work on behalf of gay rights and exploded inanger following a speech in Geneva in which she defended the rights of LGBT people and called for the decriminalization of LGBT status.
Liberty University’s Mat Staver warned that Clinton was backing a “radical sexual anarchist agenda” while Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention said that Clinton’s support of “sexual paganization” would bring about God’s judgment on America. Pat Robertson reacted to Clinton’s speech by warning that God may destroy the U.S.
5. Clinton Opposes Religious Freedom
All of the conspiracy theories and accusations seem to come together in an attempt to smear Clinton as an enemy of religious freedom. Conservatives argued that she was using both gay rights and Sharia law to undercut Christianity and religious freedoms.
At the Values Voters Summit, phony “ex-terrorist” Kamal Saleem even warned that Clinton was planning to “shut down” churches and synagogues this month. Since Clinton serves just one more day at the job, she better speed up with her diabolical plans!
Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality is furious that President Obama sent a video message to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change conference.
Televangelist James Robison laments that marriage equality, abortion rights and the Obama presidency are removing “the hedge of God’s protection” from America and continued “rebellion will ultimately break us.”
The American Decency Association plans to host Kamal Saleem, who claims to be a former terrorist, at Calvin College as part of a tour of Michigan. Saleem’s story of working as a terrorist all over the globe has been thoroughly debunked, but he continues to be an idol of Religious Right groups. He even spoke at last year’s Values Voter Summit following Paul Ryan where he warned that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to “shut down” churches and synagogues.
He spoke at Calvin College in 2007, where he met Professor Doug Howard, who went on to write an article for Christianity Today on the “bizarre” and fantastical claims that Saleem makes in his book, The Blood of Lambs.
Because Howard, likeothers, raised serious doubts about Saleem’s story, Saleem has accused him of working for the Muslim Brotherhood.
Michelle Goldberg of The Daily Beastreports that “Saleem told me that Howard is an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood” and in an interview with Tim Murphy of Mother Jones, Saleem asserted that Howard supports radical Islam:
But Saleem didn't flinch. "He's related to a special group called the Muslim Brotherhood, and he works with them, he went to DC, he was with CAIR," he said.
I mentioned that Howard is a Christian, which makes him an odd fit for the Brotherhood.
"So? He's a professor of history. Islamic history professor, and he's writing on what? On Islamic history glory. So the group he's with, there are different groups. He rallied with them in DC, and he invited an Iranian radical to Calvin University. They spoke right there." That Iranian radical, it turns out, was Reza Aslan, who in addition to being an American citizen raised in the Bay Area, is famous mostly for suggesting that democracy is a useful weapon against terrorism.
("I don't know what to say! Maybe I should add that to my faculty web page," joked Howard in an email, adding that as part of his semester in DC, he took students to meet with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, AIPAC, the Mennonites Central Committee, and, yes, one trip to a mosque.)
He claimed that major Muslim-American political and affinity groups “are fronts of the Muslim Brotherhood and operate government places linked together to create a shadow government inside the United States of America.”
“Today we the enemy of Islam, the liberal movement, the socialist movement, the communist movement, the women movement, Cod Pink, all of them are coming against me, the Occupy, all of these are coming against me,” he later told Joyner. “They have unholy alliances together with Islam, whether it’s homosexual or baby-killer, all these have unholy alliances.”
Saleem alleged that Obama’s top speech writer and Sasha and Malia's babysitter are both Islamic fundamentalists that are wielding secret power. “The right-hand of our President today, his name is Hasan Rashad, and he is sworn to destroy the United States of America,” Saleem said (possibly referring to OIC representative Rashad Hussain), “our President’s babysitter wears abaya and keffiyeh just like those ninjas, you don’t see her face everything is covered, that’s the babysitter of his children.”
“America, wake up and smell the hummus,” Saleem warned. He then falsely asserted that the Democratic National Convention invited “20,000 Muslims” and said the convention was filled with “socialism, Islamism, communism, fascism, homosexuality and lesbianism, and Code Pink, which is abortionists and what so have you, and now we kick God out of our nation.”
He also described to listeners his prophesy where two eagles were screaming at each other, which he said it means that: “the Lord said America is in trouble and the Church has cried, and I’ve heard their cry and tell them, help is on the way.” But God also told him “9/11 was a disgrace to me, after I saved the nation they turned their back on me and went back to their vomit,” and it is now up to Saleem to spread this message to America.