This weekend, Religious Right leaders and GOP politicians will gather in Washington for the Values Voter Summit, an annual event that highlights the cozy relationship between Republican elected officials and extreme right-wing groups.
The event is hosted by the Family Research Council, a group with a long record of pushing false anti-gay propaganda. And one of the event’s major sponsors is the American Family Association, whose extreme right-wing views are expressed on a daily basis by its spokesman Bryan Fischer.
On Friday, People For the American Way joined with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Faithful America, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza to send a letter to every public official scheduled to speak at this year’s Values Voter Summit, urging them to withdraw from the event.
Among the scheduled speakers are Sens. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Tim Scott and Reps. Paul Ryan, Randy Forbes, Michele Bachmann, Jim Bridenstine, Louie Gohmert, Jim Jordan, Steve King, Steve Scalise and Scott Turner.
The letter [pdf] reads in part:
We understand that you’ve been invited to speak at the upcoming Values Voter Summit being held in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 11-13. Given the demonizing lies about the LGBT community spread by the host, the Family Research Council (FRC), and another major sponsor of the event, the American Family Association (AFA), we urge you to not lend the prestige of your office to the summit.
The FRC has amassed an extensive record of vilifying gays and lesbians with falsehoods – portraying them as sick, evil, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation. Perhaps its most insidious claim is that gay men molest children at a far higher rate than heterosexual men – a claim refuted by all credible scientific authorities, including the American Psychological Association. Yet the FRC has continued to smear gays and lesbians by claiming that pedophilia, in the words of FRC President Tony Perkins, “is a homosexual problem.”
Perkins also says the “It Gets Better” campaign, an initiative designed to give LGBT students hope for a better tomorrow, is “disgusting” and part of a “concerted effort” to “recruit” children into the gay “lifestyle.” One senior FRC official has even argued that homosexuality should be illegal.
The AFA’s Bryan Fischer, who serves as the group’s spokesman and director of issue analysis, frequently blames homosexuality for the Holocaust and Nazi Party: “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” He also promotes the views of the American architect of the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda.
Demonizing the LGBT community has consequences. As FBI data demonstrate, it is one of the groups most likely to be victimized by violent hate crimes. Defaming them publicly day after day – as the FRC and the AFA do – only throws fuel on the fire.
The bigotry of the FRC and the AFA is not limited to gays and lesbians. Fischer, for example, has said that African Americans “rut like rabbits” and argued that women should be kicked out of politics and the military. He’s also stated that Hispanics are “socialists by nature” and come here to “plunder” our country. The FRC’s executive vice president, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, has said Jews must be converted to Christianity and has argued that “Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections” – a statement that is antithetical to American ideals.
In 2011, we urged Mitt Romney not to share a stage with the extremists, and particularly Fischer, at that year’s Values Voter Summit. Although Romney still attended, he also made a point of calling out Fischer’s “poisonous language." This year, Fischer was noticeably not listed as a speaker at the summit, although his employer remains a sponsor.
For several days now, Glenn Beck has been leading a campaign to convince Rep. Louie Gohmert to launch a primary challenge against Republican Senator John Cornyn in Texas. Today, Gohmert called into Beck's radio program where Beck told Gohmert that he had been praying on the question and the answer that he heard from God is that Gohmert should run.
Ghomert demurred, saying that he'd need to raise millions of dollars to launch such a challenge, which prompted Beck to tell him that he should not worry about that since God will provide all the funding he would need because "we live in a time of miracles."
"You are the guy," Beck assured him. "As long as we're on God's side, who could stand against us?"
Last week, Glenn Beck became very excited over the idea that Congressman Louie Gohmert would launch a primary challenge against Republican Senator John Cornyn in Texas and today he announced on his radio program that he will be camping outside of Gohmert's house if necessary in order to make his fantasy come true.
"Last night, I made up my mind," Beck declared. "I am going to camp outside of Louie Gohmert's house if I have to, and I mean it. I am going to be Louie Gohmert's worst nightmare until he says 'yes, I'm going to run for Senate."
Beck went on to call upon his listening audience to take over the various government institutions in their respective hometowns in order to "make sure there is not a single progressive that is running our towns, there's not a single progressive on our city councils, there's not a single progressive in our school boards ... Zero tolerance!"
Yesterday, after suggesting that the Obama administration is opening the door for domestic terrorism and aiding Al Qaeda, Rep. Louie Gohmert and talk show host Lars Larson talked about the alleged dangers of Obamacare. The Texas Republican claimed that once “Obamacare kicks in fully, you can’t get your pacemaker, you can’t have this, you can’t have that.”
He then went after PolitiFact and accused them of being “Democratic operatives” for refuting one of his claims about the reform law. While PolitiFact, a non-partisan group, has rebutted plenty of Gohmert’s untrue statements, he was actually referring to a report by FactCheck.org, which is run by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center.
“It’s just so bad for most Americans, it’s just terrible,” Gohmert claimed.
Gohmert also attacked the Senate immigration bill for including a Republican provision that prevents formerly undocumented immigrants from receiving health insurance subsidies.
Gohmert: The Senate says there solution is the immigration bill they passed because under their immigration bill companies would have a hard time not doing what the Senate bill encourages and that is firing every fulltime American employee and hiring the immigrants who have just been given legal status because if you fire the Americans and hire the people that came in illegally, they get legal status under the Senate bill, then you don’t have to provide them Obamacare insurance or pay the fines. SO maybe if the Senate got everything they wanted, both Obamacare and their amnesty bill, you’d have most Americans that work for big companies losing their jobs all over America.
Larson: So we’re just going to hand all the jobs to people who aren’t legally in the country and say they’re cheaper to employ because we don’t have to buy health insurance for them.
Gohmert: Right, exactly. That’s what the Senate immigration bill does.
During an interview with a conservative talk show host yesterday, Rep. Louie Gohmert suggested that terrorists may not fear attacking a mall in a city in Texas as a result of the Obama administration’s supposed support for Al Qaeda.
After right-wing commentator Lars Larson brought up the massacre in a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, he told the congressman that he would “bet those Islamic terrorists wouldn’t have tried that in a Texas shopping mall.”
“Well, I don’t know, it’s hard to say.” Gohmert replied. “Right now when they know that the federal government is supporting Muslim Brothers and Al Qaeda in places like Syria, where this administration just sent hundreds of tons of weapons, it’s like some of our allies were asking a few weeks ago when I was in the Middle East, ‘We’re wondering which one of us is going to be thrown under the bus next. You’re supporting the guys that believe what the bombers did on 9/11.’”
“We keep helping those that want to destroy us and casting aside allies that want to fight against the bad guys,” Gohmert said.
Discussing the Syria crisis yesterday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) insisted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, even though the government’s Iraq Survey Group found that the country did not possess such weapons or the capability of producing them. “Yes, we knew that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” Gohmert said on Washington Watch, citing Saddam Hussein’s 1988 gas attack against Kurds in Halabja.
“There were rumors about them moving over into Syria and other countries but they never were able to verify where they went but we knew he had them,” the congressman charged, referring to false claims that Iraq moved its weapons to Syria. “There was talk about nuclear arms, but we knew he had those and now we know Syria has them.”
The ISG report confirmed that Iraq also had no nuclear program.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) filled in for Tony Perkins on the Family Research Council's Washington Watch radio program yesterday where he interviewed ultraconservative activist Alan Keyes. He reminisced about voting for Keyes for president and different gatherings they both addressed, a conversation which naturally progressed into a discussion of how elitist forces threaten to cull the world’s population and turn everyone into slaves.
Keyes, who thinks gay marriage will lead to the “murder of the masses” and believes Obama’s gun policies are part of his plan to have people “slaughtered by the thousands and the hundreds of thousands” in order to “cull the herd” of the world’s population, told the Texas congressman that political “elites” seek the “depopulation of the globe.”
The former presidential candidate said efforts to prevent “global warming, which has been proven to be wrong,” are part of a plan to “cut back the population of the world.” Keyes also made a reference to Bill Gates, who has been attacked by conspiracy theorists for explaining that vaccinations and increased healthcare access slow down population growth.
Keyes told Gohmert that elites are bent on “culling the population” and “actually believe that we’re a blight on the face of the planet, we human beings, and we should therefore be put on a path toward our own semi-extinction. I often try to get people to see that if you think about it, if we actually get back to the levels they’re talking about, it would just be these elitists and the people needed to service them. That’s all that will be left in the world.”
“That’s right, that’s a scary thought,” Gohmert replied.
Gohmert cited a Wall Street Journal article, “America’s Baby Bust,” to claim that abortion is harming America’s future: “It’s not the fertility rate -- women, I think, I haven’t seen any evidence that they are less fertile -- it’s that we are producing less live children.” He maintained that the abortion rate among African Americans “borders on abomination, it’s just horrendous.”
Keyes blamed America’s economic problems on the breakdown of the family, which he of course tied to gay marriage.
“We’re saying that the institution of marriage is no longer to be understood of the context of [parental] responsibilities, that’s what this whole homosexual marriage debate is about,” Keyes said. “We’re going down a road where everything is all about hedonism, pleasure, self-satisfaction and self-contentment; meanwhile we’re suffering devastating economic effects.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) yesterday maintained that President Obama is stirring up “racial tension and violence” to a point not experienced in decades. While speaking to conservative talk show host Steve Malzberg about the Department of Justice’s drug sentencing reforms, Gohmert agreed with Malzberg’s charge that the new policy was “insane” but added that he was pleased the DOJ acknowledged the decline in violent crime.
“I tell you what though, in that release there was a great statement that I’m glad somebody in this administration finally admitted because they’re constantly screaming about all the hate violence and all of this kind of stuff,” Gohmert said. “Of course we know that this president and this administration has done more to stir up racial tension and violence than any administration since, you know, the sixties. I thought that we were going to have a post-racial president and he’s become the president of division, of envy, of jealousy.”
“They say on the one hand that violence is up and we got to do all these things, violence isn’t up, it’s down,” he continued.
Janet Porter released a new video today in response to the recent Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality in which she spoke with Congressmen Tim Huelskamp and Louie Gohmert about what the rulings mean.
Gohmert told Porter that if the Supreme Court majority really believes that the purpose of DOMA was to impose inequality then "they are the most ignorant people walking around in Washington, and that's saying something."
Either that, Gohmert added, or they lied, in which case America is doomed because "countries don't last very long after you reach the point where their highest level of government is being dishonest [and] we're there":
Earlier this month, Louie Gohmert spoke at an "America in Distress" Tea Party rally in Dallas, Texas where, after thrilling his audience by reading them a Peggy Noonan column, he got down to business by addressing the important questions ... like wanting to know how the mating of two males "evolves the species upwards?"
Alleging that the Obama administration was attacking Christianity by threatening to prosecute those who believe that homosexuality is wrong with hate crimes laws, Gohmert wanted to know how "someone who believes in evolution ... that throughout the history of the universe, and particularly Earth, that people have come together and born an offspring from different species that has evolved and given us stronger and better species, how does the mating of two males evolve the species upwards?"
As for the idea of Christians being charged with hate crimes for opposing equality, it was ludicrous Gohmert said because "we're not haters as Christians; we're lovers":
Along with Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert recently sat down with WND to make the Tea Party case against any sort of immigration reform legislation. And while Bachmann warned that passage of any legislation would spell the end for the Republican Party in Congress, Gohmert predicted that not passing reform legislation would help the GOP in the long run by demonstrating to Hispanic voters that the party really cares about them.
Claiming that just as Black voters are embracing the Republican Party, Gohmert said that Hispanic voters will do likewise once they understand that the GOP wants them to learn to speak English and assimilate so that they don't have to work as ditch diggers.
"In the long term," Gohmert said, "I think you will see people start waking up and go 'wow, I'm Hispanic and these Republicans really like me ... wow, this Republican really does want me to do well. That's the party I ought to be in!":
Guest-hosting the Family Research Council’s Washington Watch last week, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said that he doubted President Obama’s Christian faith and American heritage. After making a bizarre argument about the incompatibility of marriage equality and evolution, Gohmert claimed that Obama is merely a “proclaimed Christian” and contended that the president has “gone to war with Christianity.”
“The gloves have come off, there really is a war by this administration against not just the Catholic Church but the Christian Church,” he said. Gohmert charged that under Obama “you can’t practice what you believe about birth control, about abortion, this administration will tell you what religious practices you can participate in and what you can’t.”
He also suggested the government may begin collecting personal information such as medical and phone records and emails of Christians to use against them:
Speaking with anti-immigrant activist Mark Krikorian later in the program, Gohmert said that Obama should follow in the footsteps of Woodrow Wilson to “completely secure the border.” Of course, Wilson was president during the 1910s and exercised military intervention into Mexico.
Gohmert said Obama would have known about Wilson’s success if he wasn’t such a foreigner: “I understand that when you grow up in Indonesia a lot of times you don’t get the American history that the rest of us got growing up here but it was secure.”
The program ended with the congressman receiving a call from a listener who asked him to investigate the treatment of Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, a birther who was discharged from the Army for refusing to obey orders from the president, and sign his petition canceling the last election based on the findings of Sheriff Arpaio’s “posse” that Obama’s birth certificate is fraudulent.
Gohmert said that he would “look into” Lakin’s prosecution but insisted that he was not a birther, claiming that legislation he cosponsored requiring candidates for president to submit their original birth certificates was inspired by a 2008 New York Times story about John McCain. The Times story examined whether McCain was eligible for the presidency since he was born in the Panama Canal Zone. It had nothing to do with whether McCain had a valid birth certificate.
Gohmert swore that he is not a birther… just someone who wants “a president who is a lawful president.”
“They continue to call me a birther, which I’m not, but I do want a president who is a lawful president,” Gohmert lamented. “But I think at this point it’s time to take on these crushing issues.”