In an interview with Newsmax today, Rep. Louie Gohmert said that Texas voters shouldn’t trust state senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis…because she has been divorced.
When host Ed Berliner asked if Davis “has found enough of the will and enough prayers to get her elected,” Gohmert replied that he thought that “she’s showing the same will she had when she let her husband paid for her to get through law school and then divorced him the day law school was finished and paid for, so she’s got a lot of will and that makes her interesting.”
The Texas congressman went on to say he never says “outrageous things to get the press.”
“It’s amazing, so often I get quoted and people say it’s outrageous and then a year or two years later people go, ‘Wow, he was right all along,’” he said.
Rep. Louie Gohmert was an in-studio guest on the "Point Of View" radio program yesterday, where he went off on a bizarre tangent about Ancient Greece in trying to make the case that allowing gays to serve in the military "is not a good idea."
The Texas Republican had been railing against the Obama administration's decision to send several thousand members of the U.S. military to Western Africa to assist in the effort to control the Ebola outbreak, saying that it was just the latest example of the administration demonstrating its fundamental disdain for the military.
Somehow that discussion eventually prompted him to launch into criticism of the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in the most perfectly Gohmert-esque fashion imaginable.
"I've had people say, 'Hey, you know, there's nothing wrong with gays in the military. Look at the Greeks,'" he said. "Well, you know, they did have people come along who they loved that was the same sex and would give them massages before they went into battle. But you know what, it's a different kind of fighting, it's a different kind of war and if you're sitting around getting massages all day ready to go into a big, planned battle, then you're not going to last very long. It's guerrilla fighting. You are going to be ultimately vulnerable to terrorism and if that's what you start doing in the military like the Greeks did ... as people have said, 'Louie, you have got to understand, you don't even know your history.' Oh yes I do. I know exactly. It's not a good idea":
Similar dire warnings about the federal hate crimes law that was passed five years ago today have proven to be utterly false.
The apocalyptic rhetoric is a reaction to the advances in LGBT rights, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in dozens of states and the passage of non-discrimination ordinances in municipalities across the country. Along with categories such as race, gender, religion, age and ability, more localities are recognizing sexual orientation and gender identity as traits warranting protection from discrimination in the public domain.
As anti-gay politicians lose in the courts, Congress, state houses, town halls, and perhaps most importantly, at the ballot box, many have taken to conflating political defeat with a loss of rights and liberty. Only by depriving other people of their rights, so they claim, can conservatives and people of faith in this nation truly be free.
This month, many Republicans latched onto a complicated legal case in Houston to justify their hyperbolic warnings about impending doom for Christians in America. After Houston passed an equal rights ordinance this year, a pastor-led group tried — and failed — to collect enough valid petition signatures to force a referendum on repealing the ordinance. When a group of conservative activists and pastors filed a lawsuit demanding that officials accept the invalid petitions, pro-bono attorneys working for the city subpoenaed several pastors’ communications, including sermons, on petition collecting and related issues like homosexuality as part of the discovery process.
While many groups from the left and right alike called out the subpoenas as overly broad and intrusive, the Religious Right cited the legal move as proof that pastors will be, as the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody put it, “hauled off to jail for a hate crimes because they are speaking for traditional marriage.”
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who in 2012 warned that America was “at the edge of a precipice” and would soon see non-existent “hate speech” laws used “against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages [or] who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage,” agreed with Brody’s assessment.
(In a similar episode this month, the owners of a for-profit wedding chapel business filed a lawsuit against their hometown over a nondiscrimination ordinance, arguing that city officials have threatened them with prosecution and jail time for denying service to same-sex couples — even though officials haven’t pursued any legal action against the couple.)
We’ve seen this movie before. In 2007, members of a group called Repent America were charged after disrupting a gay pride event and refusing to abide by police orders. The way conservatives tell the story, godly missionaries were punished by law enforcement for exercising their First Amendment rights and “sharing the gospel,” but as court records show, the group tried to disturb the peace and protest inside an event without a permit.
In fact, if Religious Right were correct in their warnings, America should have experienced a wave of arrests targeting pastors, church-goers and Republicans following the passage of the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Predictions about the criminalization of the Bible, pastors locked in jail cells and concentration camps for Christians never came true, mainly because these prophecies had no basis in reality.
The Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Law was passed by Congress five years ago today, and so far, the far-right’s twisted and baseless claims about the law have all been proven false. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t stopped making the exact same discredited arguments five years after the bill’s passage:
End of Free Speech
Despite the hate crimes law’s provision making clear that it is applicable only to cases of violent crime and nothing “shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs,” Religious Right activists and their allies in the GOP nonetheless predicted that the 2009 law would bring free speech to an end.
“Gay activists will use it against preachers who present the Biblical view of homosexuality,” Rick Scarborough said at the time. “The federal hate crimes law doesn’t target crime, but free speech.” He also warned that the law’s passage would “criminalize pastors and ordinary citizens who speak out biblically against homosexuality,” telling members of his group, Vision America, that he may face arrest for “speaking out against sexual deviancy.”
Scarborough, a Texas anti-gay pastor and political organizer close to Ted Cruz, hasn’t backed down from his claims even years after the law has gone into effect. At the 2013 Values Voter Summit, Scarborough declared that the “infidels” in the Obama administration are “hell-bent on silencing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Christians wouldn’t rise up against the attacks, he feared, “until a bunch of us are thrown into concentration camps.”
The Traditional Values Coalition went as far as to claim that the hate crimes law would imprison Jesus Christ.
“I believe that ‘hate crimes’ is the most dangerous bill in America, it is precisely what they are using to silence Christians around the world,” Janet Porter, a Religious Right activist with the group Faith 2 Action, said in an interview the year before the bill was passed. “How much of a stretch is it, really, to say that because I would say to you homosexuality is a sin or it’s dangerous behavior, before that speech alone is worthy of jail time? And that’s what we’re facing.” Porter told a Washington, D.C., rally shortly after the law was passed that it “criminalizes Christianity” and “sends pastors to prison for biblical positions and speech.”
In an 2009 email message with the subject line, “The Senate Will Vote To Silence You!,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claimed that “what ‘hate crimes’ legislation does is lay the legal foundation and framework for investigating, prosecuting and persecuting pastors, business owners, and anyone else whose actions reflect their faith.”
He also alleged that the law would “gag people of faith and conviction who disagree with the homosexual agenda” and that it “punishes a person’s beliefs — part of the Left's intolerant agenda to silence the voice of Christians and Conservatives in America and eliminate moral restraint.”
“If federal thought crimes laws are passed, your right to share politically incorrect parts of your Christian faith could become a federal crime,” Perkins warned. At another conservative event, Perkins said hate crimes laws will curtail freedom and breed “chaos in America.”
Rusty Lee Thomas of Operation Save America even encouraged opposition to the law by alleging that “there is a direct connection between the sins and crimes of abortion and the sodomite agenda and the Islamic terrorism that threatens our nation.”
One group of GOP and Religious Right figures claimed the law would be “a savage and perhaps fatal blow to First Amendment freedom of expression.”
E.W. Jackson, a Virginia pastor and GOP politician, told a conservative rally that the law “represents a virulent strain of anti-Christian bigotry and hatred” that is “another step in the process of robbing all Americans of the very freedoms the founding fathers pledged their lives for and the civil rights martyrs gave their lives for.”
Ohio-based televangelist Rod Parsley, best known for his work supporting George W. Bush’s re-election campaign and the passage of his state’s gay marriage ban, said that the hate crimes law would force him out of the pulpit.
“This deceptive ploy of liberal, homosexual agenda begins to lose its allure once you pull the mask back and take a closer look,” Parsley said. “The legislation that’s before our United States senators right now extends to speech and can punish people not for their actions but for their culturally incorrect thoughts. This legislation could become law, and you and I could find ourselves forbidden to speak from God’s word right here in America. I could no longer share my heart with you on critical issues, such as this, through the medium of television, or even in the pulpit of my own church.”
We can report that despite Parsley’s grim predictions, he is still very much “sharing his heart” as a preacher.
Outlawing the Bible
One group of Michigan pastors, joined by local Republican politician and American Family Association state chairman Gary Glenn, filed an unsuccessful legal challenge against the hate crimes law soon after it was enacted. The group’s legal representative, the conservative Thomas More Law Center, contended that “the sole purpose” of the law was “to criminalize the Bible and use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians from expressing their Biblically-based religious belief that homosexual conduct is a sin.”
Pastor Paul Blair of Reclaiming America for Christ also offered an ominous warning: “If preaching the Bible is now against the law, then let us be arrested.” One WorldNetDaily commentator said the law would “crack down” on Christians for “reading the Bible.”
“Christianity Is Now Outlawed,” declared the Christian Seniors Association, a front group of the Traditional Values Coalition, in a fundraising letter following the law’s passage. “Did you know that the new Hate Crimes Act that President Obama signed into law makes the Bible illegal ‘Hate Literature?’” the letter continued.
“Most Christians might as well rip the pages which condemn homosexuality right out of their Bibles because this bill will make it illegal to publicly express the dictates of their religious beliefs,” said Andrea Lafferty of the TVC. “The ultimate objective of this legislation is to claim that ‘hate speech’ — criticism of homosexuality — incites individuals to violence and must be suppressed and punished. This will violate the First Amendment rights of any person or group that opposes the normalization of homosexuality in our culture.”
In the paranoid conservative alternate reality, pedophilia has been legal for five years now thanks to the updated federal hate crimes law.
“The main purpose of this ‘hate crimes’ legislation is to add the categories of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity,’ ‘either actual or perceived,’ as new classes of individuals receiving special protection by federal law. Sexual orientation includes heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality on an ever-expanding continuum. Will Congress also protect these sexual orientations: zoophiles, pedophiles or polygamists?” asked televangelist Pat Robertson.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, similarly charged: “We have a record roll call vote that shows every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee voting to have pedophiles protected.”
King’s colleague Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, went one step further and said that as a result of the hate crimes law, courts would “have to strike any laws against bestiality” along with laws targeting “pedophiles or necrophiliacs.” Gohmert went on to warn that the law would effectively turn the U.S. into Nazi Germany.
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, for his part, predicted that the law would extend legal protections to “bisexuality, exhibitionism, fetishism, incest, necrophilia, pedophilia, prostitution, sexual masochism, urophilia, voyeurism, and bestiality.”
Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center claimed the law “elevates those persons who engage in deviant sexual behaviors, including pedophiles, to a special protected class of persons as a matter of federal law and policy.”
Porter dubbed the law the “Pedophile Protection Act,” “summarizing” the law by completely making things up: “Pushing away an unwelcome advance of a homosexual, transgendered [sic], cross-dresser or exhibitionist could make you a felon under this law. Speaking out against the homosexual agenda could also make you a felon if you are said to influence someone who pushes away that unwelcome advance. And pedophiles and other sexual deviants would enjoy an elevated level of protection, while children, seniors, veterans and churches would not.”
Pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia are still against the law and such laws have not been affected by the Hate Crimes Act, while declining “an unwelcome advance of a homosexual” is still very much legal. However, we are still waiting with bated breath for Porter’s lawsuit detailing how she was forced and legally bound to succumb to the charms of a homosexual enticer.
Can the Religious Right Be Trusted?
The many frantic, unfounded warnings about the perils the 2009 Hate Crimes Act are just one example of anti-gay activists’ penchant for manufacturing myths and brazenly distorting cases of supposed persecution.
Apocalyptic warnings and blatantly dishonest remarks have always been characteristic of the Religious Right's crusade against LGBT rights and we can expect such activists to continue to engage in such shameless fear mongering and misinformation before the 2014 election.
But, like the Religious Right’s warnings about the effects of the 2009 Hate Crimes Act, these dire predictions should be taken with a heavy dose of salt.
Rep. Louie Gohmert appeared on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program yesterday to complain that the Obama administration is doing too little to contain the Ebola outbreak, which then led him to attack the Obama administration for sending military service members to West Africa to help contain the Ebola outbreak.
“Your heart goes out for those members of the 101st Airborne and others that are going to be sent into Ebola-infected epidemic countries,” he said. “Man oh man, there are terrorists in Africa that would love to wipe out a bunch of our military.”
The Texas Republican added that the deployments will leave service members “defenseless” despite military leaders claiming there will be “very low to no risk” to troops.
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
Now that a Liberian man who flew to Dallas this week has become the first person to develop Ebola symptoms in the U.S., the right-wing media is doing what it does best: freak out and blame everything on President Obama. Or maybe Ebola is just a distraction from Obama’s plot to seize everyone’s guns while gay people and ISIS attempt to “recruit” American children.
It seems conservative pundits are trying to one-up each other to come up with the most insane ways to connect Obama to the case of a person in Dallas being diagnosed with Ebola after traveling from Liberia.
Laura Ingraham suggested that Obama is threatening the health of Americans due to his “core ties to the African continent,” saying Obama’s “familial connection to Africa” is the reason why flights from West Africa are still entering the U.S., while Michael Savage said Obama “wants to infect the nation with Ebola” by sending U.S. troops to West Africa who will then contract Ebola and spread it when they are back in the U.S.
It was only a matter of time before a Republican congressman embraced the latest conspiracy theory emerging from right-wing talk radio, and of course, this honor once again belongs to Rep. Louie Gohmert, who told Fox Business that Obama wants to “send 3,000 military into where they can get Ebola that they can bring back,” even though, as the Texas Republican astutely noted, “the military’s not trained to go catch Ebola and die.”
4. The Gays Are Coming
There’s only one thing worse than Ebola, and that’s “a gay” who is trying to “recruit” your son, or so explained “doctors” Paul Cameron and Gordon Klingenschmitt this week on Klingenschmitt’s acclaimed show “Pray In Jesus Name.”
3. Obama Taking Your Guns, Again
Naturally, Fox News commentators believe that a bill to expand background checks on firearm purchasers and a proposed treaty to codify practices in the transnational arms trade are actually attempts to ban guns for everybody. In fact, Fox News’ Steve Doocy and Andrew Napolitano believe that, thanks to Obama’s fictional gun-grab, Americans everywhere are in constant risk of getting decapitated.
“The problem is the President of the United States who is doing everything he can, administratively as the chief executive officer of the federal government, and attempting to now get us to enact a treaty to make it very, very difficult to carry guns,” Napolitano fumed following the beheading of a woman in Oklahoma City by a former coworker, adding that Obama wants “to intimidate people out of getting guns because the president believes that he and the government — and all logic defies this — can keep us safer that we can keep our self.”
Doocy then hit Napolitano with a hardball question: “So if Barack Obama could, he would ban guns in the hands of everybody except the police?”
“He has made that patently clear, his problem is the Second Amendment,” Napolitano responded.
Carson, a self-proclaimed historian, said this week that he is “shocked” by the advanced placement course’s emphasis on the “evils” of slavery and massacres of Native Americans, suggesting that the curriculum is a recruiting tool for terrorists: “I mean, I think most people when they finish that course, they’d be ready to go sign up for ISIS. This is what we’re doing to the young people in our nation and we have got to stop this silliness, we have got to stop crucifying ourselves.”
Pundit and prophet Glenn Beck has been predictingAmerica’sdemise for a while now, and the case of a man in Dallas diagnosed with Ebola after traveling from Liberia is proof enough that the U.S. is about to experience a “massive humbling.”
Subtlety and nuance aren’t this crowd’s strong suits. In fact, it wasn’t that hard for us to come up with a list of at least 15 scheduled summit speakers and panelists who believe that America has gotten so bad under Obama’s leadership that the country has become just like Nazi Germany.
Soon afterwards, Perkins said a caller on his “Washington Watch” radio show “hit the nail on the head” when she claimed Christians in America are about to be “loaded in cattle cars like it was when the Nazis took over.”
2. Mike Huckabee
Former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee agreed last year that it was “the truth” that bills introduced to prevent gun violence are just like what happened in Nazi Germany. “[T]hey’ll start saying, ‘Oh there you go comparing to the Nazis.’ And I understand the reaction, but it’s the truth,” Huckabee said. “In every society and culture where dictators take over, one of the things they have to do is get control of the military and the police and ultimately all of the citizens and make sure the citizens are disarmed and can’t fight in the streets.”
Huckabee has also claimed that the legalization of same-sex marriage will compel Christians to defy the government in order to uphold their religious beliefs, just like people who aided Jews broke the law during the Holocaust : “It was ‘illegal’ to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. But I am sure that if I had lived in Germany during that time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers even though it was illegal.”
Family Research Council executive vice president Jerry Boykin accused President Obama of reviving Hitler’s Brownshirts through the health care reform law.
“Remember Hitler had the Brownshirts and in the Night of the Long Knives, even Hitler got scared of the Brownshirts and killed thousands of them. So you say ‘are there any signs that that’s happened?’ And the truth is, yes,” Boykin said in 2010. “If you read the health care legislation which, by the way nobody in Washington has read, but if you read the health care legislation it’s actually in the health care legislation…. It's laying the groundwork for a constabulary force that will control the population in America.”
6. Michele Bachmann
At a campaign stop in New Hampshire during her presidential bid, Bachmann said that government inaction on the national debt reminded her of the world’s silence in the midst of the Holocaust. “We are seeing eclipsed in front of our eyes a similar death and a similar taking away. It is this disenfranchisement that I think we have to answer to,” she said.
In 2012, Bachmann alleged that the administration was “aiding and abetting” an Islamist plot to take over America and the rest of the world, calling on people to read about the Islamic “belief system” and find out “what they truly believe” just like how “the most important thing a person could do in World War II during that conflict was to read the book that the leader of Germany wrote.”
7. Jim Bob Duggar
In a speech to the 2013 Values Voter Summit, Jim Bob Duggar said his visit to Nazi concentration camps reminded him of the U.S., saying that the Holocaust is “where we are at in our nation.” When asked by reporters about his statement, Duggar said that America is experiencing “a baby holocaust.”
8. Todd Starnes
Fox News commentator Todd Starnes said last year that the so-called “War on Christmas” and purported acts of anti-Christian persecution under the Obama administration made him wonder if he was living in the U.S. or Nazi Germany: “This is not 1930s Germany, gentlemen, this is the United States of America, and unless people of faith stand up and put a stop to this, we very well could be facing a 1930s Germany here.”
9. Mat Staver
Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel believes that the U.S. under President Obama’s leadership is now actually worsethan Nazi Germany. He said this month that the Obama administration surpassed Nazi Germany’s crimes by “forcing” people to “participate in a genocide” through the contraceptive coverage mandate. He has alsorepeatedlyargued that legal abortion is the same as the Holocaust.
Earlier this year, Staver drew a Nazi analogy while demanding that conservatives more strongly oppose gay marriage: “This is not an issue in which you can remain silent any more than you can remain silent during Nazi Germany.”
So it is amazing that in the name of liberality, in the name of being tolerant, this fascist intolerance has arisen. People that stand up and say, you know, I agree with the majority of Americans, I agree with Moses and Jesus that marriage was a man and a woman, now all of a sudden, people like me are considered haters, hate mongers, evil, which really is exactly what we've seen throughout our history as going back to the days of the Nazi takeover in Europe. What did they do? First, they would call people "haters" and "evil" and build up disdain for those people who held those opinions or religious views or religious heritage. And then the next came, well, those people are so evil and hateful, let's bring every book that they've written or has to do with them and let's start burning the books, because we can't tolerate their intolerance.
11. Mark Levin
Conservative talk radio show host Mark Levin claimed last year that President Obama was organizing a Brownshirt paramilitary to defend and promote the Affordable Care Act. “All they need is special uniforms,” Levin said of Obamacare supporters. “Learn how to march and salute and carry flags. I think brown would be good, you know, Brownshirts.”
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Levin said then-presidential candidate Obama was “really into these big German-like events” reminiscent of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
12. Ed Vitagliano
After the 2008 election, the American Family Association’s Ed Vitagliano urged the organization’s members to pray for President Obama just as one would pray for Adolf Hitler to veer away from his wicked ways. He especially urged his readers to pray to block Obama’s “plans to push both abortion and the gay agenda.”
“Obama is like Hitler because, while Hitler primarily slaughtered the Jews in the Holocaust, Obama’s support for abortion is similarly evil,” Vitagliano said. “Now I think the moral equivalency of the Holocaust and abortion is a good, defensible argument. Both objectified a category of human beings and then took horrifying steps to pursue their murder. The depths of evil connected to the Holocaust and abortion are equally difficult to comprehend.”
They want to impose their will on the culture and if you cannot reproduce you may try to recruit, and what I mean by that is what is going on is an attempt to reshape, refashion the mind, hearts and desires of the next generation. Many Christians are sitting back and we aren’t speaking out, but the reality is just like during the times of Hitler we have people coming after one group after another group after another group, and folks are saying, well this doesn’t affect me I’ll let this slide, we have a problem that really we have a whole generation of people who want to affect not only their lives and choices but the choices of another generation.
14. Rick Santorum
After losing his 2012 presidential bid, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum became a Christian film producer, and he recently unveiled a new movie called “One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty.” Santorum’s latest film depicts the U.S. in a dire state eerily similar to Nazi Germany, warning that America’s transformation into a tyrannical, Nazi state will be complete thanks to the silence of conservative Christians. You can get some of the flavor of the film from its trailer, which includes footage of Germany in the 1930s.
While campaigning against for president, Santorum also told a church gathering that people should get involved in his bid to defeat Obama just as the Greatest Generation fought the spread of Nazism.
15. Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz launched his faux-filibuster against Obamacare by arguing that refusing to fight the implementation of the health care reform law was just like appeasing Adolf Hitler, and people who didn't support his plans to stop the law were like Neville Chamberlain.
As Jon Stewart explains, “Ted Cruz says we’re at Defcon Nazi.”
It is no secret that Sen. Ted Cruz is a favorite of Religious Right activists. After all, at last year’s Values Voter Summit, the Texas Republican received a euphoric welcome and when one member of the audience declared that God supported Cruz’s effort to shut down the government, he was met with an enthusiastic round of applause. It’s no wonder that Cruz has won the hearts of the GOP’s far-right base, given his penchant for paranoid and incendiary rhetoric along with his boasts about his superior religious convictions.
So, we’ve decided to help Cruz out and pick him out a “dream cabinet” consisting exclusively of Values Voter Summit speakers.
Tony Perkins, Secretary of Homosexuality
To say that the Family Research Council leader and Values Voter Summit host is obsessed with homosexuality would be putting it mildly. Perkins fears that gays and lesbians are such a threat that he predicts they will bring about a holocaust of Christians. He calls gay people “vile” and “hateful” pawns of “The Enemy” — Satan — who are “engaged in activity, behavior and an agenda that will destroy them and our nation.”
What’s more, Perkins comes with a built-in circle of anti-gay advisors: For instance, one of his FRC colleagues once suggested that the U.S. “export homosexuals” because “homosexuality is destructive to society.”
Reality TV star Jim Bob Duggar, a frequent right-wing campaign surrogate whose son Josh serves as executive director of the Family Research Council, made a splash at last year’s summit when he said that a visit to a Nazi concentration camp reminded him of the U.S. today. Speaking of the Holocaust, he said, “that’s where we are at in our nation.” In Duggar’s telling, the Nazis are pro-choice advocates who have taken over America, while Duggar and his conservative movement allies are like concentration camp liberators.
While defending his remarks to the press, Duggar said Roe v. Wade has led to “a baby holocaust” no different than what took place in Nazi Germany.
While not an “ex-gay” himself, Liberty Counsel attorney Mat Staver is a leading proponent of sexual orientation conversion therapy and is attempting to bring his defense of the discredited, pseudo-scientific practice to the Supreme Court.
Staver has also been tied to an “ex-gay” client’s alleged kidnapping of her daughter to Central America to avoid sharing custody with the daughter’s other mother. He claims that gay people want to “entrap” and “groom” children and force them “into a lifestyle of destruction” by barring the use of ex-gay therapy on minors.
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.
Federal prosecutors are seeking sixteen months in prison for Dinesh D'Souza, largely based on the fact that his supposed contrition before the court does not square with the public statements he made about the case elsewhere.
Ray Comfort's upcoming anti-gay movie is going to be absolutely amazing, according to Ray Comfort.
Peter LaBarbera is furious that the U.S. will not support other nation's efforts to criminalize homosexuality: "Just because America has fallen so far that we now treat sin, in this case homosexuality, as a civil right doesn't mean we have the right to force that on other countries that have more wholesome and biblical values."
New Jersey's ban on ex-gay therapy has been upheld by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
ACT for America, the anti-Muslim group run by Brigitte Gabriel, held a legislative briefing on Capitol Hill today where it was joined by Republican members of Congress including Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan, Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam, and Arkansas Sen. John Boozman.
“People here need to understand, it’s not just foreign people that have dreams,” Gohmert said. “They say, ‘Oh, they’re the DREAMers.’ We’ve got children of our own that have dreams that will never be realized.”
Gohmert went on to compare the thousands of Central American children who have come to the southern border of the U.S. after fleeing drug-related violence in their home countries to North Korean defectors, who he said make a “good neighbor” by comparison.
“And I mentioned that I’ve met with North Koreans before, children and people that they want their families to be free,” he said. “But they’re not asking us to bring millions of people over from Korea. They’re saying, help us make our own country safer. That would be a good neighbor.”
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
If President Obama is starting a race war, he will probably use his army of child migrants, gay public school students and “Muslim brothers” to join the fight. None of that will matter, of course, if Ebola sweeps across America first.
5. Child Migrants Bringing In Ebola, Probably
With Republican members of Congress including Michele Bachmann, Phil Gingrey and Todd Rokita warning that the unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border could unleash the Ebola virus on America, we shouldn’t be surprised that at least one GOP candidate for Congress is also stirring up baseless fears about immigrant children carrying Ebola.
Tobin says he's hearing about worries from constituents that the recent wave of undocumented youth from Central America could cause an Ebola outbreak in the United States.
"Anything's now possible," Tobin said last week. "So if you were to say the Ebola virus has now entered (the country), I don't think anyone would be surprised."
Tobin acknowledged that Ebola has been limited to outbreaks in Africa, "to the extent that they're really aware of that. I think there is a reason we should be concerned about it and say, 'Hey, can you assure us the people crossing the border are not from the Middle East?' ... So I use that as an example, that the public would not be surprised to hear about the next calamity at the border."
4. Child Migrants Might Be Anti-American Warriors
If the Central American child migrants aren’t already dead from Ebola, then that means they are probably Venezuelan-trained child “warriors” who will “rise up against us as Americans” any day now. At least that is what we learned from an extremely informative and not-at-all speculative conversation between RNC Committeewoman Tamara Scott, who is also Concerned Women for America’s Iowa state director, and Texas Tea Party activist Mary Huls:
Are President Obama and administration officials like Eric Holder using the Ferguson riots to launch a race war? Of course! At least that is what is occurring in the far-right fantasy land inhabited by Larry Klayman, who is warning that “the racist Obama and his henchmen like Eric Holder have succeeded in creating what in effect is a huge racial divide and race war in the nation.”
“[O]ur so-called president and his attorney general jump to judgment, on a consistent and regular basis, against ‘whitey’ and in favor of their black brothers,” Klayman said. “At this rate, it is remarkable that Obama has not renamed the White House ‘the Black House.’”
Ted Nugent agrees, arguing this week that “President Obama continues to beat the race drum” because he hopes “fanning the embers of racism will keep black Americans squarely in the corner of their big daddy Democratic Party.” Wayne Allyn Root added, “Obama needs ‘division.’ Race warfare. Class warfare. Anger. Resentment. Civil war.”
2. Obama’s ‘Muslim Brothers’ Crafting U.S. Foreign Policy
When a reporter for the Times-Picayune asked the Tea Party group’s spokesman Bob Reid why his organization decided to cite an article from an outlet whose “About” page reads, “If you believe any of the shit you read here you are a freaking moron,” he responded that he was simply trying to “bring attention of the Common Core issue to those who maybe aren't paying attention.”
According to Pat Buchanan, Obama’s possible executive action on immigration is part of the president’s effort to evolve the United States “from a Western and predominantly Christian country into that multicultural, multilingual, multiethnic, borderless land Teddy Roosevelt inveighed against as nothing but a 'polyglot boarding house for the world. Obama did not like the America we grew up in… How much more diversity can we handle before there is no unity left?”
Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, agrees, saying Wednesday that Obama is using the crisis to enforce a “Third World view” demanding that “not only we allow these people to remain, but [also] suggesting we should start teaching our children Spanish.” This “open-border” attitude, according to Stockman, demonstrates how “Obama devalues the principles upon which this country was established.”
Larry Pratt, head of Gun Owners of America, added to the sentiment saying that the country is going to go “communist” if Democrats are allowed to pass immigration reform. So get ready to “kiss our republic goodbye.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, claimed that young migrants escaping gang violence in Central America are lying and we are “being invaded and we’re in danger.” Not only is the immigrant “invasion” dangerous because these undocumented immigrants are responsible for thousands of crimes in Texas, he said, but also because Obama’s immigration policy is the real “war on women” since these immigrants cross the border to rape women.
Gohmert added Friday that he feels victimized by immigration reform proponents because “all these forces against you” are “belittling you, questioning your manhood.” Because comprehensive immigration reform is really about him.
At the end of an interview with the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios today, Gohmert lamented that immigration reform proponents, such as the Chamber of Commerce, have tried to “get people belittling” him.
“Sometimes it feels like that Sandy, that you’ve got all these forces against you, you’ve got the chamber, tens of millions of dollars coming and trying to influence people against you and get people belittling you, questioning your manhood,” he said.
“Really? That’s never worked and it doesn’t, but it gets a little frustrating at times.”
Both Harry Jackson and E.W. Jackson are leading African American Religious Right activists who have campaigned for anti-gay, anti-choice causes. Gohmert expressed his sympathy for their plight at the beginning of the call, telling E.W. Jackson (who he thought was Harry Jackson) that there is “nobody in all of the United States more persecuted than a black man who is a conservative, and especially if he is a Christian.”
“You, Bishop, are an amazing man, I hope your health is doing okay, to the people on the call, I hope you will be praying for Bishop Harry Jackson, he is an incredible—”
“It’s E.W., congressman. Harry’s a good friend though,” the other Jackson replied.
“Oh I’m sorry, but anyway, just appreciate you so very much.”