Yesterday, Colorado-based pastor Kevin Swanson addressed the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando by arguing that homosexuality and Islam are both inherently violent because God gives gay people and Muslims up to their dishonorable ways and other sins like murder.
“Why do homosexuals murder homosexuals?” he asked. Because, according to Romans 1, “God gave them up to vile passions.” “Violence” and “murder,” he said, are deeply tied to homosexuality.
“What’s the bottom line as we view what’s happening in Orlando today?” he said. “I think it is, again, the Romans 1 scenario, it is that God gives them up.”
The Orlando massacre, Swanson added, shows what happens when God’s “restraints have been lifted entirely and when God doesn’t restrain, people go nuts in their sins.”
Glenn Beck kicked off his radio program today by calling on Christians to denounce Pastor Roger Jimenez, who gained notoriety this week by preaching that the real tragedy of the Orlando massacre was that more gay people weren't killed.
Beck said that this pastor is preaching "evil" and that Christians cannot remain silent about it and must repudiate such views:
During the course of the discussion, Beck mentioned that there was conference last year, possibly in Ohio, put on by some pastor who also called for gay people to be put to death at which several of the Republican presidential hopefuls spoke.
Beck was oddly vague and unsure of the exact details surrounding this conference, which is convenient considering that the man Beck believed to beGod's chosen candidate, Ted Cruz, was among the featured speakers at that conference:
Beck is undoubtedly aware that Cruz spoke at Kevin Swanson's National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa last fall, considering that Beck's daughter asked Cruz about it directly and Cruz lied to her face.
But when Beck brought up the issue today, he never once mentioned that Cruz was in attendance and falsely claimed that Swanson made his comments about putting gay people to death before any of the GOP candidates arrived, so there was no way for them to know about his views or what he said from the stage before they spoke.
Cruz, of course, was directly confronted by CNN's Jake Tapper on national television about appearing with Swanson the day before he attended his conference. Cruz dismissed any concerns and continued to do so for weeks afterwards. Then, at the conference itself, Swanson repeated his view about the death penalty for gay people both before and after he interviewed Cruz from the event's stage.
It's easy to see why Beck might be so conveniently confused about the details of this event, given that it must be hard to for him to square his image of Cruz as America's divinely anointed savior with the reality that Cruz was more than willing to appear onstage with Swanson, despite his repeated proclamations that gay people should be put to death by the government, for the sake of helping his campaign during the Iowa Republican caucus.
Seemingly attempting to outdo Donald Trump in trying to come up with the most cynical and thoughtless responses to the massacre in Orlando, Ted Cruz released a statement yesterday condemning liberals for what he claims is insufficient condemnation of anti-LGBT violence perpetrated by groups like ISIS and the Iranian government:
For all the Democrats who are loud champions of the gay and lesbian community whenever there is a culture battle waging, now is the opportunity to speak out against an ideology that calls for the murder of gays and lesbians. ISIS and the theocracy in Iran (supported with American taxpayer dollars) regularly murder homosexuals, throwing them from buildings and burying them under rocks. This is wrong, it is evil, and we must all stand against it. Every human being has a right to live according to his or her faith and conscience, and nobody has a right to murder someone who doesn’t share their faith or sexual orientation. If you’re a Democratic politician and you really want to stand for LGBT, show real courage and stand up against the vicious ideology that has targeted our fellow Americans for murder.
Aside from ignoring the ongoing efforts to battleISISterrorists and making false claims about U.S. tax money going to Iran, Cruz said that liberals are too cowardly to condemn those who call “for the murder of gays and lesbians,” absurdly suggesting that U.S. leaders haven’t already condemned terrorist atrocities and ISIS’s ideology.
In response to a Twitter campaign urging Disney to “give Elsa a girlfriend” in the sequel to the popular children’s movie “Frozen,” the social conservative group CitizenGo is circulating its own petition demanding that Disney “follow its normal trend and create a Prince character to fall in love” with the movie’s heroine.
In an email to CitizenGo members yesterday, Gregory Mertz wrote that the prospect of Elsa being a lesbian was “frightening” and urged members to tweet with the hashtag #CharmingPrinceForElsa:
Disney is facing fierce pressure from liberal groups who are demanding their writers turn Queen Elsa into a lesbian during the sequel, “Frozen 2.”
Please join the 37,000 who’ve already signed our petition against thisabsurd “movement.”
With our petition, we’re suggesting Disney with a much better idea… An idea that promotes solid family values to our children and represents the natural family.
Join the 37,000 -- sign our petition, now, to Disney asking that Elsa fall in love with a Prince. #CharmingPrinceForElsa:
Queen Elsa a Lesbian?Thinking about our children, this idea is frightening.
“We call on Disney to follow its normal trend and create a Prince character to fall in love with Queen Elsa,” reads CitizenGo’s petition, which has gathered 65,000 signatures.
“We ask that Disney find a nice and loving Prince for Queen Elsa to fall in love with,” it demands.
Treating the situation even less calmly, predictably, was far-right pastor Kevin Swanson, the extremist pastor who attracted national attention last year when he hosted a conference that was attended by three Republican presidential candidates. (At the conference, one speaker said the song “Let It Go” from “Frozen” was “Satan’s rebellion anthem.”)
“Anybody who has the guts to stand up against the homosexualizing of kids in the present day will be shamed for it,” he said, “and that means that the homosexualizing of kids will be, I think, wholesale happening across this country in the next two, three, four, five, 10 years. Of course Elsa is going to get her girlfriend eventually. That’s the way you destroy sexuality. That’s the way you destroy an entire civilization. The entire social system of the United States of America is collapsing.”
“You have got to be sure that you have homosexualized four-year-olds and six-year-olds and eight-year-olds and ten-year-olds in order to destroy a civilization,” he added, “because the destruction of a civilization happens over two or three or maybe four generations max. In order to bring a civilization down, you’ve got to homosexualize the kids.”
Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality is also displeased with the #GiveElsaAGirlfriend campaign, telling the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow today that it shows “the LGBT activists will use any vehicle they can to indoctrinate children.”
On his radio broadcast yesterday, radical right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson said that the prospect of electing Donald Trump as president is part of God's plan to prepare America for complete destruction.
Swanson, who last year held a conference featuring several Republican presidential hopefuls at which he proclaimed that homosexuality ought to carry the death penalty, cited Daniel 4:17 to explain that God is sovereign over humanity and will place over nations "the basest of men" to bring about their destruction.
"The rabble and the mob" have flocked to Trump, Swanson said, and so God will use the billionaire mogul to bring about His plan to finally destroy this nation.
"He sets up over the empires the basest of men and prepares the empires for the dismantlement," Swanson said, "as He did to Babylon, as He did to Assyria, as He did to Persia, as He did to Greece, as He did to Rome. This is the process. The way in which empires come down is the basest of men are put in control according to the sovereign ordination of Almighty God."
"You're talking about the absolute lowest, least qualified, basest of men are put in position in order that these kingdoms, these empires may come down," Swanson said.
Glenn Beck spent a segment on his radio program yesterday ripping the foreign policy speech that Donald Trump recently delivered in which he declared that "'America First' will be the major and overriding theme of my administration," because the phrase "America First" also happens to be the name of an anti-Semitic, isolationist political party that opposed U.S. involvement in World War II and urged appeasement of Adolf Hitler.
Beck said that this is the sort of information that can be learned through a simple Google search and the fact that nobody on the Trump campaign knew this or bothered to look it up means that Trump is totally unqualified to be president.
"You would think that someone would do a little bit of homework," Beck said. "Can somebody Google search? ... That is the bare minimum everyone should do. Google search."
"If you can't do a simple Google search, you're not qualified to be president," he continued. "You're really not."
Earlier this month, we noted that Ted Cruz has been trying to rewrite the history regarding his appearance last year at a conference organized by radical anti-gay activist Kevin Swanson, who openly advocates imposing the death penalty for homosexuality, by falsely claiming that he was not aware of Swanson's views before he attended and that he immediately denounced them once he learned about them:
When Beck's own daughter confronted Cruz about his appearance with Swanson, Cruz lied to her face and feigned ignorance, claiming that he chewed out his staff for allowing him to appear with someone like Swanson, at least according to Beck's account of the conversation.
As we said before, "if nobody on the Cruz campaign was aware of Swanson's extreme views, it is only because they didn't bother to check since Swanson's long history of unrepentant bigotry has been well documented."
A simple Google search would have easily allowed anyone on the Cruz campaign to discover Swanson's extremism, but apparently nobody bothered to "do a little bit of homework," which makes Cruz, according to Beck's own standard, unqualified to be president.
Following the release of Beyoncé’s new album “Lemonade,” far-right commentators went on the attack. For years, the singer has drawn the ire of conservatives from Mike Huckabee to Alex Jones, who have responded to her music with bizarre conspiracy theories and irrational anger.
In honor of Beyoncé’s new album, we’ve collected 10 of the Right’s craziest attacks on her.
1) Brain-eating CIA Plant
InfoWars host and Donald Trump ally Alex Jones made waves this week when he told his fans that Beyoncé is participating in a CIA plan to spur violence and mayhem in order to give the federal government a justification for taking over local police forces.
Jones told his listeners that Beyoncé is a “devil-worshiping” musician who “acts like a psychopath” and whose music is “designed to absolutely ruin [children’s] lives on purpose.”
He even went so far as to plead with black people to “stop killing your kids and get them in church, whatever, take them away from Beyoncé, who wants to eat their brain with the CIA, literally.”
2) ‘Toxic Mental Poison’
Before deciding to run for president, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee released a book titled “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” in which he criticized President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for letting their children listen to Beyoncé, calling the musician out for her “obnoxious and toxic mental poison in the form of song lyrics.” He also compared Beyoncé to a prostitute.
Despite chastising Beyoncé for her sexual lyrics, Huckabee seemed to have no problem performing a sexually explicit song with Ted Nugent, a musician not exactly known for his wholesomeness, on his Fox News program, “Huckabee.”
American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer said that Beyoncé used “a number of Satanic symbols” in her 2013 Super Bowl performance, claiming that her “facial features changed” and “she had this look on her face — she went from being the girl next door and light and bubbly to something dark and malevolent.”
Fischer concluded that Beyoncé is possessed by the devil and that her alter ego Sasha Fierce is “a demonic spirit.”
“That’s multiple personality or that’s demon possession or that’s psychosis,” he said of Beyoncé. “People used to have to be taken off to insane asylums if they introduced other characters in their lives, these are people who are going to wind up in insane asylums, mental institutes for things like demon possession or psychosis.”
“You’re just like President Obama, Jada Pinkett Smith, Al Sharpton and so many others just can’t let America heal, keep ripping off the historical Band-Aid,” she said. “Why be a cultural leader when you can play the victim, right?”
Lahren was particularly upset that Beyoncé tried to “perpetuate the great battle of the races” when her “husband was a drug dealer.” “Talk about protecting black neighborhoods? Start at home,” she said.
7) Paving The Way For The Antichrist
Sandy Rios of the American Family Association and American Family Radio was appalled by Beyoncé’s “Formation” music video, calling it “disgusting” and “crass, crass, crass.”
“It’s not only stoking the fires of racism, just stoking hatred, black hatred towards whites and towards policemen, it’s also just crass sexually. It’s like you need a bath. What is this beautiful girl doing, doing this?” she asked.
Rios eventually concluded that Beyoncé’s “in-your-face black racism” and “cop hatred” will “undermine the law and order of our country.”
And this descent “into lawlessness,” Rios explained, is “a sign of the Last Days” and the coming of the “Man of Lawlessness,” or the Antichrist.
“The Man of Lawlessness will reign,” she said. “Lawlessness, the breakdown in respect and honor. And so Beyoncé, who could be such an example to women everywhere, and I don’t care black or white, conducting herself with dignity with all that God has given her, her beauty and her natural talents, instead twisting it into something that is very ugly and very profane.”
8) An Attack On Police Officers
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani couldn’t resist disparaging Beyoncé’s “outrageous” and “terrible” Super Bowl show, claiming that she was putting black lives and law enforcement officers at risk when she used the event “as a platform to attack police officers.”
This idol is not a "role model" for our youth, and this misdirected honor needs to end.
Her new album Lemonade is scandalous. One song titled "Hold Up" features her as a rage-filled maniac brandishing a baseball bat while smiling children watch. In her rampage, she smashes car windows, destroys automobiles, explodes a fire hydrant, busts business windows and obliterates a police surveillance camera. Fires erupt as she spits out expletives in vengeful glee.
This is disgraceful conduct, and her placement in the "Parthenon of Superstar Idols" needs to come down. This isn't entertainment, it's an outrage, and it's idolatry if we justify it. Our impressionable children are at stake.
“Pray for Beyoncé as she spirals out of control,” he continued. “Let's learn lessons from the demise of American Idol, Bowie and Prince.”
Back in 2014, Tomczak claimed that Beyoncé’s music would “lead naive young girls on a dangerous path that could lead some even into sex trafficking” and ultimately “abuse, abortions and abasement — sometimes death.”
10) ‘Urban Terrorist’
Leave it to Matt Drudge to accuse Beyoncé of being an “urban terrorist” because of her music video “Hold Up.”
On his radio program yesterday, extremist pastor and radio host Kevin Swanson warned that America is on the verge of destruction and urged parents to remove their children from public schools before they are indoctrinated into homosexuality.
Swanson, who hosted a conference last year at which Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal all spoke, was upset about the fact that the television program "Once Upon a Time" recently featured a lesbian kiss, which he was convinced was part of Disney'songoingwar against God.
The entire culture has been overtaken by the "gay agenda," Swanson warned, especially the schools.
"We're as bad as we possibly could be as a society," he stated. "Friends, we're looking at the entire destruction of sexuality, the entire destruction of the entire civilization ... Get your kids out of the gender-neutral schools, get your kids out of the gender-confused mess, pull them away from the wrong discipleship programs and please do not send them to the NAMBLA preschool right down the street or the GLSEN kindergarten or the gender-blendered primary school. Please, do not send them to the NAMBLA pedophilia preschool or the transgendered kindergarten."
Repeating his biblical warning that it would be better for someone to have a millstone hung around their neck and be drown in the sea rather than cause a child to sin, Swanson warned that this nation "is on the cusp of judgment."
"Woe to the man that transgenders the restrooms in the public schools," Swanson declared. "Woe to the man who opens up the floodgates to every form of sexual perversion for 12-year-olds, 14-year-olds, 16-year-olds and 18-year-olds. Woe to the parents that open up the floodgates, the opportunities, the discipleship programs for children to attend the gender-blendered schools, the GLSEN kindergarten program."
"Johnny Cash was right," he said. "God is going to cut you down."
"Yeah, I know homosexuals love each other," he concluded, just like "cannibals love their victims" because "they taste good."
Earlier today, we wrote a post pointing out that Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz is not being honest about his response to his attendance last year at a conference organized by radical anti-gay activist Kevin Swanson, falsely claiming that he was not aware of Swanson's views before he attended and that he immediately denounced them once he learned about them.
Ben Carson, on the other hand, reportedly dropped out of the conference because of Swanson's notorious extremism.
Now, Cruz is attempting to rewrite history and, in doing so, apparently lying to Glenn Beck's face about it.
On his radio show today, Beck revealed that Cruz was at Beck's home yesterday for several hours, just hanging out and shooting footage for campaign commercials, when Beck's daughter asked him about his decision to appear at Swanson's rally.
Beck was obviously only vaguely familiar with the controversy, judging by the fact that he wrongly claimed that it took place in Ohio (it was in Iowa) and falsely said that Swanson made his outrageous remarks defending the death penalty for homosexuality the day before Cruz even spoke at the rally (actually, Swanson made the case twice; once just before Cruz spoke and again the day after.)
According to Beck, when his daughter asked Cruz about his participation, Cruz declared that Swanson and his views are "reprehensible" and that he "chewed [his] staff out" for allegedly not knowing about Swanson's views and for allowing him to appear at Swanson's conference.
Beck reported that Cruz told his daughter that "not only did I not know that, I think that was absolutely reprehensible, bigoted, despicable, I want nothing to do with him or any kind of alliances to people like that."
In our post this morning, we noted that Beck himself declared just last week that he had never seen Cruz lie in either his public or his private life.
On his television show last Thursday, Glenn Beck spoke with a woman in his studio audience who was frustrated that she has been unable to convince her friends to support Ted Cruz for president and was seeking advice from Beck on how best to respond to their claims that all politicians are liars who cannot be trusted.
Beck, who is close personal friends with Cruz, assured her that unlike all other politicians, Cruz never lies.
"I have never seen Ted Cruz lie. Never," Beck told her. "I've not seen the man lie; not personally or professionally have I seen him be anything but 100 percent straight up."
Allow us to call Beck's attention to our post from yesterday in which Cruz repeatedly lied about his appearance at last year's National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa that was hosted and organized by anti-gay extremist Kevin Swanson.
Swanson's extremist views and his belief that gays should be put to death were well-known and publicized before Cruz and other Republican presidential hopefuls attended the conference and Cruz himself was confronted about his participation by CNN's Jake Tapper the day before he was scheduled to appear.
Cruz dismissed Tapper's concerns and appeared on stage with Swanson at his conference and then, when others in the media tried to get Cruz to explain his participation, his campaign dismissed them as well. At one point, Cruz's campaign spokesman told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that Swanson's repeatedcalls to impose the death penalty for homosexuality from the stage were simply "not explicit" enough for the campaign bother commenting on or condemning.
But, as Miranda reported yesterday, that is not the tale that Cruz is telling now, as he's falsely claiming that he was unaware of Swanson's views before attending and that he publicly denounced those views once he learned about them.
"He was an individual I didn’t know, I'd never met him," Cruz said of Swanson. "I went to a conference on religious liberty because it is an issue I care very much about. After the conference, his comments were drawn to my attention and I denounced them at the time, I think they're wrong, I totally disagree with them. I didn’t know this fellow and when I saw what he said, I came out publicly and said I disagree with what he’s saying."
Cruz's claim that he was unaware of Swanson's views before attending his conference and that he immediately and publicly denounced them as soon as he learned of them are both unequivocal and demonstrable lies.
So if Glenn Beck wants to continue to insist that he's never heard his good friend Ted Cruz openly lie in either his personal or political life, we'd love to hear him explain this ... along with several of Cruz's otherfalsehoods and bogusclaims.
Immediately after the conference, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow ran a segment about Cruz’s participation. When a Des Moines Register reporter asked the Cruz campaign for a comment, she got no answer.
Then, three weeks later, Maddow ran another segment about Cruz’s participation in the conference and finally got a statement out of his campaign about it. A Cruz spokesman, in response to a video of Swanson screaming about the death penalty for gay people, told Maddow that Swanson’s calls for the execution of gay people were “not explicit" enough for the campaign to even bother commenting on or condemning him.
Then, finally, one full month after Swanson’s conference, a Cruz spokesman quietly told USA Today that “it was a mistake for Senator Cruz to appear at the event” given Swanson’s “offensive comments.”
But that is not the story that Cruz told the “John and Ken Show,” a California talk radio program, when he was asked about his attendance at the conference yesterday. Instead, Cruz claimed that he was unaware of Swanson’s views before attending and falsely asserted that he “denounced them at the time,” once he learned about them.
“He was an individual I didn’t know, I’d never met him,” Cruz said of Swanson. “I went to a conference on religious liberty because it is an issue I care very much about. After the conference, his comments were drawn to my attention and I denounced them at the time, I think they're wrong, I totally disagree with them. I didn’t know this fellow and when I saw what he said, I came out publicly and said I disagree with what he’s saying.”
“We need to be bringing people together and we need to be standing up for the rights of every American, that’s what I’ve done in the Senate and that’s what I’ll do as president,” he added.
For the record, here is a clip of Cruz’s conversation with Swanson in which he insisted that "any president who doesn't begin every day on his knees isn't fit to be commander-in-chief of this nation":
“I stand unequivocally with Kim Davis,” Cruz told Swanson, referring to the Kentucky county clerk who had attempted to prevent her office from issuing marriage licenses following the Supreme Court's marriage equality decision. He added that the Supreme Court's ruling was “fundamentally illegitimate” and lavished praise on Swanson for publicizing “the threat” it posed to Christians’ liberties.
Keep in mind that this conversation took place after Cruz had been repeatedly warned about Swanson’s views and after Swanson himself had on the same stage announced that homosexuality is “worthy of death."
Donald Trump’s recent comment about needing “some sort of punishment” for women who have abortions threw many in the anti-choice movement into damage control mode. But some anti-choice activists have been cheering Trump on, including, not exactly surprisingly, radical Colorado pastor Kevin Swanson, who said on his radio program today that abortion should be considered “a criminal action” by a woman.
Swanson, who a few months ago hosted Trump’s main Republican presidential rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, at a campaign forum in Iowa, explained that the principle of lex talionis, or “an eye for an eye,” means that women who have abortions should indeed be prosecuted.
“The answer to this,” he said, “is the lex talionis does bring out that if a hazardous condition is created such that a child would be likely to die, whether in the womb or outside of the womb, there ought to be some level of prosecution going on. In that case, it may be just a fine or a prison sentence of some sort. But the principle of the matter is that it’s a criminal action to kill a child, to murder a child, it ought to be a criminal action. And, now, there ought to be, I believe, some leeway as to what sort of prosecution, what sort of sentence might be used in that case.”
He added, however, that “the culpability of the woman might be mitigated somewhat” by the “many forces around her that are pressing her towards this decision.”
“Yes, in many cases, it’s the abortionist, it’s the boyfriend, it’s the mother, it’s the father, it’s — somebody is pressing that woman to kill her child,” he said. “That ought to be brought into the conversation.”
He added that “organizations like Planned Parenthood” are “extremely culpable” when it comes to abortion.
“In other words,” he said, “we need to take care of those that are most culpable first and foremost, and that would be the abortionists and the pro-abortion organizations that engage in as much of the propaganda that we’ve seen in the public schools and elsewhere. So if we deal with it at that level first, we won’t have to deal with it at the level of the average and ordinary woman who has to deal with the decision.”
Kevin Swanson's book store doesn't sell things like sell Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, or The Twilight Saga "because we don't want our kids turning into sorcerers, feminists, or vampires."
Phyllis Schlafly says that "murder, rape and mayhem by motor vehicle are not the only consequences of immigration from south of the border. We're also fighting diseases brought in by immigrants, including the frightening new Zika virus as well as old diseases such as tuberculosis, which we thought we had eradicated."
Eugene Delguadio says that opposition to discriminatory laws in states like North Carolina and Georgia is "economic terrorism."
Janet Porter says that the veto of such legislation by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal amounts to the criminalization of Christianity.
Finally, Don Boys delares that Deal is now a "pathetic puppet of the perverts."
Swanson praised efforts by religious leaders in the Dominican Republic to recall the openly gay U.S. ambassador and a ruling by a Puerto Rican judge reaffirming the commonwealth’s same-sex marriage ban, while noting that Tennessee lawmakers only managed to pass a “toothless resolution” decrying the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.
“I think what you’re seeing here in America is not only a perversion of this country but a strong intent to pervert other nations as well,” Swanson said. “We’ve seen that with Barack Obama’s tour through Africa and we see that with the appointments of some of these homosexuals as ambassadors.”
He continued: “‘Harry Potter’ and 'How To Train Your Dragon’ and some of these major motion pictures have done their best to bring about a shift in the American attitude towards sexual sin.”
This instruction, Swanson said, should be applied literally. After criticizing the Girl Scouts because it “promotes lesbianism” and movies like “Harry Potter” and “How To Train Your Dragon” that feature “homosexual mentors provided to little boys” — a criticism he detailed at the rally with Cruz — Swanson said that people must put into effect Jesus’ teaching against debasing children with such “movies that promote homosexuality or organizations that promote homosexuality.”
“You’ve got to take what He says and you have to apply it,” Swanson said.
Swanson also praised Franklin Graham for urging fans to boycott Girl Scout cookies because the group accepts trans members, lamenting that Graham is “being persecuted by the gay Borg” for his “courageous stand.”
Last November, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and his father, Rafael, both appeared at a right-wing Christian conference in Iowa hosted by extremist radio host Kevin Swanson, who was already notorious for openly supporting imposing the death penalty for homosexuality.
Prior to the event, Cruz was asked why he was appearing at a conference organized by someone with such extremist views, but Cruz merely dodged the question. At the conference itself, Swanson repeatedlydefended his view that homosexuality should carry the death penalty, but when Rachael Maddow asked the Cruz campaign following the conference if it would denounce Swanson, all that spokesman Rick Tyler would say is that Swanson's calls to put gays to death were "not explicit" enough to warrant any sort of comment from the Republican presidential hopeful or his campaign.
But, as Maddow pointed out on Friday night, while the Cruz campaign would not bother to dignify her inquiries with a response, it did quietly distance itself from Swanson and his event in mid-December, telling USA Today that "it was a mistake" for Cruz to have attended the conference:
A tipping point, [Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s Barry] Lynn said, came at last month’s National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa, where Cruz said, “any president who doesn’t begin every day on his knees isn’t fit to be a commander-in-chief of this country.” Cruz was also introduced onstage by Pastor Kevin Swanson, who, earlier in the conference, quoted a passage of the Bible that he claimed justified the execution of homosexuals.
“This is over-the-top rhetoric, even for a conservative presidential candidate,” Lynn said. “There is a lot of religious fervor going on in [Cruz's] campaign.”
Tyler, the Cruz spokesman, called Swanson’s comments “reprehensible” and said Cruz has spoken out repeatedly against anyone who calls for hatred or violence against homosexuals.
“Senator Cruz is passionate about religious liberties” Tyler said in an email. “Many respected organizations were sponsoring [the conference], but, given these offensive comments, it was a mistake for Senator Cruz to appear at the event.”
On his “Generations Radio” program today, right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson blamed the recent turmoil in the financial markets on the U.S. national debt, which he in turn blamed on John Maynard Keynes.
Swanson said that Keynes’ supposedly “nihilistic” economic beliefs were shaped by his sexuality. (Keynes is widely believed to have been bisexual, but Swanson claimed he was homosexual).
“It will be interesting to know that a homosexual ruined the world,” Swanson said. “Somebody will indeed write the story about this in the year 2060 or 2070, no doubt. This will be the great exposé of how the world economies came down all because of a homosexual who was promiscuous, who was perhaps one of the most wicked, flagrantly licentious men who has lived in the modern world and he becomes the grandfather of the modern economies, bringing them all down. It makes a lot of sense: Sexual nihilism, of course, will produce sexual burnout, and that must be tied to economic burnout and epistemological burnout as well when societies lose the will to live.”
Swanson isn’t the first critic of Keynesian economics to skew a quote from Keynes to claim that he didn’t care about the long-term impact of his economic beliefs. Back in 2013, American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer pointed to Keynes’ sexuality as evidence that “homosexuality in the end is going to be responsible for the collapse of the Western economy.”
On his “Generations Radio” program yesterday, Swanson said that although he was “severely mocked” for his remarks at the conference, it is true that America must repent or God will punish the nation through the election of Hillary Clinton, who will in turn lead “tremendous majorities of American kids” down “the track towards homosexuality” and other sexual sins.
Swanson got on the subject while discussing a recent case in Massachusetts in which a judge found that a Catholic school violated a state nondiscrimination law when it pulled a job offer from its food services director after he listed his husband as an emergency contact.
Swanson warned that this was all part of the “preparation for the Greek form of education, which, as you know, involves whatever’s going on in gymnasia, very, very ugly stuff” and that the nation is “going in the direction of Harry Potter’s mentor and Hiccup’s mentor in ‘How to Train Your Dragon,’” whom he says are gay.
The only way to save America, he said, is to keep enough kids out of public schools, which are teaching them to be “polytheists and socialists” and to get enough Americans to repent, otherwise God will fail to “have mercy on this nation” and allow Clinton to be elected president.
If America fails to repent, he asked, “Why wouldn’t Hillary Clinton get full rein upon this nation to continue the destructive pattern, destroy the social fabric of the nation — the family, of course — so that of course there will be 75 percent of kids born outside of wedlock to single mothers by the year 2030, so to be sure that tremendous majorities of American kids are taken down the track towards homosexuality, towards the destruction of sexuality with pornography habits, illegitimate divorce, the shack-up rates being 30 times what they were in 1970 and so forth?”
The fall of marriage equality bans in all 50 states following the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision was a disaster for the conservative movement, whose leaders have spent years demonizing same-sex couples and warning that the legal recognition of their marriages will unleash a wave of terror on the nation.
Even the not-exactly-pious GOP presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, is activelycourting the anti-gay Right, although he has trouble explaining why he should be seen as a strong defender of “traditional marriage.”
In the eyes of many conservative activists, Obergefell was the product of a culture that had been slipping away for years, bringing America into an apocalyptic period where growing acceptance for homosexuality is ushering in disastrous consequences.
Weeks before the Supreme Court handed down its ruling, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah declared that if the court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage and conservative states didn’t seceded from the union in protest, anti-gay activists like himself would flee the country. “Are there any governors or legislatures out there among the 50 states willing to secede to offer a refuge for the God-fearing?” he asked, warning that if states were to stay in the U.S. following a pro-equality decision, the world should expect “a pilgrimage by millions of Americans.”
End Times radio host Rick Wiles told his listeners that the country would “be brought to its knees” if the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of marriage equality and that there would be “pain and suffering at a level we’ve never seen in this country,” caused by “riots or looting or war on American soil or a fireball from space.”
Texas pastors Robert Jeffress and Rick Scarborough also got in the mix. Jeffress said the ruling could pave the way for the Antichrist while Scarborough said conservatives must “fight until we die” and “push back with all our might” against a ruling in favor of gay marriage, which he said would “unleash the spirit of hell on the nation.” Scarborough even boasted that he was ready to go to jail and face death: “We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and if necessary, we will burn.”
As one might expect, the responses to the ruling were not much different from the predictions.
The day after the ruling, Wiles declared that he received a message from God, who asked him to tell the people to “flee” the country before God destroys it through economic ruin, food shortages, terrorism, disease and slavery. “America is over,” he declared. Later, Wiles predicted that America is “going to see gunfire” from people resisting the government over gay marriage. “Somebody’s going to jail, somebody’s going to die, somebody’s going to suffer,” he said.
Michael Bresciani of the Christian Post said Obergefell would lead to “an economic crash much more serious than the stock market crash of 29,” while WND’s Farah envisioned “more civil and racial strife” or “an attack on our country from foreign power or terrorist group.”
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes said that “pastors who refuse to perform gay marriage and preach from the Bible should prepare for hate crime charges,” while Illinois pastor Erwin Lutzer told religious parents to prepare to “be diagnosed as culturally intolerant and personality intolerant,” as a result of which “their children will be taken away from them.” Perkins of the FRC claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision would threaten the freedom of speech and gun rights.
American Family Radio host Sandy Rios, who also serves as the American Family Association’s governmental affairs director, said that homosexuality may have been “a factor” in the deadly Amtrak crash in May. She suggested that the engineer, who is gay, may have been having a breakdown as he experienced “some confusion” related to homosexuality.
Fellow AFR host Bryan Fischer specifically blamed flooding in Texas on God’s judgment for homosexuality, saying that “you can make a geographical connection” between flooding and homosexuality. (We wonder what that means for American Family Radio’s home town of Tupelo, Mississippi, which was hit by a tornado last year).
Huckabee also suggested that America is in “a dangerous place” because “if man believes that he can redefine marriage, it’s apparent that man believes he has become his own god,” and God will not protect such a nation.
The Religious Right has a long history of absurdly claiming that evangelical Christians are facing persecution in America, and the Obergefell ruling only amped up such rhetoric.
Huckabee warned that the gay rights movement “won’t stop until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel,” lamenting that too many Christians don’t realize “how close they are to losing all of their freedoms.” Huckabee’s fellow GOP presidential candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, also got in on the action, warning that a gay “jihad” is “going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”
Glenn Beck predicted that Obergefell would result in serious repercussions for the media, claiming that “anybody on this show [who] says they’re for traditional marriage” will have their airtime in jeopardy as the ruling “could mean the end of radio broadcasts like mine.”
Nothing set off more persecution rhetoric than the Kim Davis saga, in which the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk blocked her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of a court order, citing “God’s authority.” She was temporarily placed in the custody of U.S. Marshals after she said she would continue to flout the courts and was only released after deputy clerks started to issue the licenses.
Even before the Davis case, many Republicans had been insisting that government officials may not have to treat court rulings on marriage as authoritative after all, and can simply flout the process of judicial review. Obergefell gave them the perfect opportunity to put these arguments into action.
Before quitting the presidential race, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal lambasted the decision, explaining that “no earthly court can change the definition of marriage.” Huckabee said that if elected president, he would tell the Supreme Court: “Thank you for your opinion, but we shall ignore it.” “It’s a matter of saving our republic to say that, as president, we’re not going to accept this decision, we will ignore it and we will not enforce it,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also claimed that when civil law conflicts with “God’s rules,” then government officials must choose the latter because “God’s rules always win.” Rubio, along with his fellow GOP presidential candidates Cruz, Huckabee, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum and Carly Fiorina, also pledged to sign legislation confronting the supposed discrimination faced by gay marriage opponents.
The “700 Club” host worried in September that gay marriage would trigger a perilous financial crisis, warning that “the rupture of the entire financial framework of our world” could occur because of the Obergefell ruling. He again alleged in November that “the wrath of God” is headed to America now that “it’s a constitutional right for sodomites to marry each other,” possibly in the form of “a massive financial collapse.”
“They’re going to make you conform to them,” he said of gay rights advocates. “You are going to say you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality, you like anything you can think of, whatever it is.”
“Christianity, the founding principle of this nation, is criminalized,” he said in response to the Davis controversy. “You go to jail if you believe in God and stand fast for your beliefs against the onslaught of secular humanism and the flood that comes about with it.” (Robertson, of course, has not been jailed).
Warning viewers that “the homosexuals don’t just want to be left alone, now they want to come out and stick it to the Christians,” Robertson said that gay rights laws are creating “absolute tyranny” and “it's high time we call it what it is and we stand up for freedom.”
The televangelist also offered his patented advice to people with gay children.
He told one mother to send her daughter, who is dating another woman, to a Christian summer camp and “pray that God will straighten her out.” He said that the girl was probably “pressured” into embracing a lesbian identity because “there’s so much lesbian stuff, I mean, lesbian this, lesbian the other, so much homosexual — the media is pushing this as hard as they can possibly push it.” He told another viewer who has a gay son to treat him like a drug addict, and advised yet another parent that God could change his gay son if only the son were to start “acting like a man.”
Here at Right Wing Watch, we listen to hours of video and audio each day in order to find the short clips that we share with our readers. It’s been a doozy of a year, in which presidential politics has collided with the farthest of the far right, and here at Right Wing Watch, we’ve had the dubious pleasure of witnessing it all. It’s hard to pick our favorite/most horrifying memories of the year, so instead we’ve looked back at the 10 most watched videos and most listened-to audio clips of the year.
10. Sandy Rios Investigates The Amtrak Crash
Days after an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in May, killing eight and injuring hundreds, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios pointed out “an interesting part of the story” that was likely “a factor” in the crash: the conductor’s homosexuality.
June was not a happy month for anti-gay activists, as exemplified by Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, who days before the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision warned that gay marriage was a satanic plot to destroy Christianity and may very well bring God’s judgment on America.
Televangelist Pat Robertson is not always quite on point with the advice he gives to viewers of “The 700 Club” at the end of every program, such as when he told a bereaved mother who had just lost a young child that the child could have turned out to be the next Hitler .
4. The Gay ‘Jihad’
Ted Cruz went there during a campaign event in Iowa in April.
3. Rick Perry’s ‘Accident’
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry had a very ill-timed “oops” moment when he called the mass shooting at a church in Charleston an “accident,” in the process of claiming that the crime was the result of drugs rather than guns.
2. Phil Robertson’s Imagination
Back in March, controversial “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson tried to make a convoluted point about atheists supposedly having no moral code by telling a gruesome hypothetical story about a family of atheists getting raped and murdered.
1. Rick Scarborough’s Martyrdom
Nobody took the hysteria over the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision quite as far as Rick Scarborough, who declared a few days before the court handed down its decision that he was ready to burn to death in his fight against gay marriage.