Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and Matt Barber are absolutely livid about the Supreme Court decision striking down state bans on gay marriage, declaring on today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast that they will never recognize, respect, or accept the ruling because the Supreme Court has delegitimized itself by issuing it and brought God's judgment upon themselves and the nation.
"This has literally delegitimized the Supreme Court and we need to move forward and treat it as an illegitimate decision," Staver said. "It's not the rule of law. Neither will individuals nor should our government officials respect it as the rule of law, it is not."
Barber agreed, repeatedly declaring that "God will not be mocked" and warning that Christians who accept the ruling are guilty of mocking God as well.
"The five justices have brought sin and judgment upon themselves and on the court and on the country," Staver added. "The question is whether the country will ultimately suffer from this judgment. God is not going to be mocked by this absolute absurdity, this shaking of a fist into the face of the Creator."
Mat Staver, the founder and chairman of the anti-gay legal group Liberty Counsel, joined Jim Schneider on VCY America on Monday to discuss the potential repercussions of marriage equality.
Staver’s immediate response to the ruling was that “it’s brought judgment on America.” Repeatedly affirming that he does not consider the “five lawyers” who wrote the decision to be “justices of the United States Supreme Court, although that’s their technical title,” Staver described the ruling as “an opinion of five people that have thrown away millennia of human history, and literally brought judgment upon themselves and, frankly, I think, the nation if the nation accepts what they have done.”
Staver urged conservative Christians to engage in "peaceful resistance” to the Supreme Court’s ruling. Likening the fight against marriage equality to the fight for racial equality, Staver said, “This is the Rosa Parks on the bus. If they tell you to go to the back of the bus because your skin color doesn’t match what they want, don’t go to the back of the bus. This is the time for peaceful resistance, and this is the time to stand with people who are engaged in peaceful resistance.”
“This is the time like of the Nazi Germany when they’d knock on your door,” Staver continued. “‘Is there a Jew in your house?’ Well, if you say 'yes,' than the Jew is dead; if you say 'no,' then you’re dead. What are you gonna do? You gonna protect the person? Or are you gonna save your own skin?”
Responding to Schneider’s fears about the future of public education, Staver argued that we will now witness “the marching of the kids through the public schools and the indoctrination. This is the, this is going to be an assault on them of unprecedented proportions as well.” The Department of Education, he predicted, will soon be ordering schools to tell kindergartners, “‘Hey, you need to experiment as a kindergarten with whether you’re male or female. You need to, like, have some experiments and go out and have same-sex relationships.”
After a caller expressed concern that schoolchildren will be brainwashed into homosexuality, Schneider lamented that even children “growing up in great Christian homes” are beginning to question the immorality of homosexuality because of “what they’re being taught in the schools.”
Staver agreed, urging listeners to “abandon the public schools” because “ this is gonna be a flood of homosexual indoctrination, gender abolition indoctrination, sexual practice experimentation, risky behavior. All this is gonna come on them like a flood.” If you don’t shield your kids from the flood of equality, Staver concluded, “you’re gonna lose your children.”
In an interview with an Alabama Christian radio station on the day of the arguments in the Supreme Court marriage cases in April, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver warned that although “we have faced in Judeo-Christian history more dire times than this,” marriage equality opponents should be prepared to face martyrdom at the hands of an unjust government just like Daniel and Esther were in the Old Testament.
In anticipation of a decision striking down gay marriage bans, Staver said, “we must ask for God’s intervention, God’s grace, God’s forgiveness and God’s miraculous turn of events.”
If not, he said, marriage equality opponents should be prepared to emulate Daniel, who was thrown into a lion’s den, and Esther, who risked her life to save the Jews of Persia from execution.
“We may have to stand like that,” he said. “We may have to stand like people of old, like Martin Luther King, Jr., did when he faced unjust laws. And we have to be prepared to face the consequences. But one thing we cannot do, one thing we will not do because we cannot do it, we cannot betray our Lord, we cannot deny reality, we cannot disobey the scripture and the teachings of the church, that’s a line we cannot cross.”
On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and Matt Barber were aghast at Caitlyn Jenner's gender transition and were utterly outraged that President Obama had praised Jenner's courage on Twitter, with Staver declaring that "we've got evil that is actually residing in the White House."
Barber declared that instead of celebrating Jenner's transition, "people need to be in mourning, need to be praying for him, he needs to be pitied," asserting that "our world is upside down right now."
Staver agreed, saying, "You know, we've got evil that is actually residing in the White House, as well because of that."
"It's just evil to applaud evil," he said. "And as the person who has the highest position in the United States to come out and use that position to literally applaud something that's evil ... This is nothing to applaud; this is the sign of a sick society."
Twentieth century, let’s see, we left the secularists in charge…We had Hitler, we had Joseph Stalin and we had Mao. 120 million people [killed]. It gets worse. In the second half of the 20thcentury, we’ve murdered 400 [million] babies through abortion in China and 50 million in the United States. Let’s see, there are 500 million people we have killed in the 20th century. It’s one-tenth of the number of people who are living today, almost one-tenth.
How did we do that? We let the secularists in charge. You can’t let the secularists in charge! You have to get involved.
-Chuck Stetson, CEO of Essentials in Education, speaking at Skyline Church's Future Conference, June 2015
First they came for the adoption ministry, but I did not speak out, because I did not do adoptions.
Then they came for the wedding photographer, but I did not speak out, because I did not do photographic weddings.
Then they came for the baker, and I did not speak out because I was not a baker. Then they came for the florist, but I said nothing, because I was not a florist.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.
-Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, paraphrasing Martin Niemöller at the Future Conference
Last week, a few hundred pastors, parishioners and activists gathered at Jim Garlow’s Skyline Wesleyan Church outside of San Diego for what Garlow called the “Future Conference.” The name of the conference appeared to have two meanings. First, in the words of its marketing materials, that “what you thought was coming…is here now” — in other words, that a great spiritual clash in which Christians are called to be martyrs has arrived. And second, that ultimately, the future will belong to conservative Christians as they wrest control from secular authority and take “dominion” over the country and the world.
The themes of imminent martyrdom and eventual dominion dominated the four-day conference, in which 56 speakers gave what added up to more than 24 hours of TED-style speeches.
The event was heavily tinged with “seven mountains” dominionism, the idea that Christians are called by God to be leaders of or to wield dominant influence over the seven main areas, or “mountains,” of culture — not only religion and family, but also government, business, education, media and entertainment.
Garlow himself has been very active in politics, as one of the organizing forces behind the effort to pass the Proposition 8 gay-marriage ban in California and a proponent of Pulpit Freedom Sunday, the movement that encourages pastors to break the rarely-enforced IRS rule that prohibits tax-exempt churches from endorsing or opposing candidates for office. Garlow has especially close ties with former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, to whom he gave partial credit for inspiring the conference. Gingrich submitted a video address to the conference, as did two current Republican members of Congress, Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia and Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma.
Speaker after speaker lamented the failure of the church to engage in the “culture” — through media, through education, and most importantly through politics. As Garlow wrote in an introductory letter to attendees:
Allow me to be direct: our nation is in trouble. Deep trouble. But you already knew that. That is one of the reasons you are at the FUTURE Conference. But why is our nation in trouble? Because of (how do I say this nicely?) the church. What is lacking? A clear proclamation of biblical answers to the messiness of our culture. Does the Bible actually speak to civic and national issues. Yes, it does!
Secular government and culture, the message was, are creating chaos at home and around the world. And pastors and believers who fail to engage in the wider world are letting it happen.
Just as important was the idea that, as Garlow put it, “you and I were made for this moment.” The going has gotten tough, the message was, not just for Christians facing violent persecution in places like Syria and Iraq, but also for conservative American Christians who claim to feel marginalized by advances in gay rights and who fear a potential Supreme Court decision striking down gay marriage bans. Glenn Beck, promoting the conference with Garlow, said that he knew of 10,000 pastors who were willing to die fighting this supposed anti-Christian persecution in America.
Most speakers were careful to point out that these threats are on very different orders of magnitude, although some hinted that American Christians were on the path to much more difficult times.
This was a spiritual battle that a disengaged church was letting the forces of darkness — radical Islam, the “redefinition of marriage,” abortion rights, pornography — win. Territory would have to be regained.
A ‘Spiritual Battle’ Against Gay Marriage
As is patently obvious, this is a spiritual battle. We need the intercession of every prayer warrior, every angel, and certainly the Holy Spirit. We must bombard the gates of Heaven ceaselessly for God Almighty to reverse our tragic cultural course and restore marriage to the venerable and beautiful institution that He did create.
-Frank Schubert, National Organization for Marriage political director, speaking at the Future Conference
While Garlow gathered speakers to talk about a host of imminent threats to American Christians including terrorism, abortion rights, an economic collapse, pornography, welfare and unbiblical movies, at the top of nearly everybody’s minds was the upcoming Supreme Court decision on marriage equality.
Garlow took hope in a presentation from Troy Newman, head of the anti-choice group Operation Rescue, who boasted of a decline in abortion providers in recent years. “If America can survive long enough,” Garlow said, maybe, like in the anti-abortion struggle, a new generation will rise up and see “the casualties from same-sex marriage are so horrific, this has got to be stopped in our nation.”
He elaborated on the “horrific” consequences of marriage equality in an address to the audience the next day, referring to the thoroughly debunked study by sociologist Mark Regnerus that purported to show all manner of negative outcomes for children raised by same-sex couples.
“I’ve been concerned with how many Christians, how many pastors, cannot make the theological case or the sociological case for marriage,” he said. “The redefinition of marriage, sociologically, will be profoundly destructive, profoundly harming. The Regnerus report out of the University of Texas is going to be only one of many examples of many that will follow that are going to show the catastrophic consequences, the pain, the suffering inflicted on the human race by this redefinition of marriage.”
Schubert, a political strategist who works with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), similarly cited Regnerus’ questionable conclusions as he urged audience members to give money to NOM and to prod their pastors to speak out against marriage equality because “being silent on the most important issue of our day turns it over to the forces of darkness.” If your pastor refuses to speak out against gay marriage, he advised, “I would look for a different church.”
Schubert said that while anti-gay advocates “could very well win” the marriage case before the Supreme Court, Christians must be prepared to use “any and all efforts to encourage resistance” to a ruling they disagree with, “short of violence.” Christians, he said, should “renounce as illegitimate” any Supreme Court decision that attempts to “redefine” marriage.
NOM’s president, Brian Brown, delivered a similar message, telling attendees that the success of the LGBT equality movement means “the days of comfortable Christianity are over.”
“Things have been good for a long time for us,” he said. “We don’t experience the sort of persecution we’re witnessing in the Middle East. We don’t fear for our lives in coming together and worshipping. We’ve felt for a long time that we’re a part of dominant culture. Now in the course of the last decade or so, maybe a little longer, we’ve realized that’s not the case. Things are starting to change. And that, to put it bluntly, the days of comfortable Christianity are over.”
A Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, he said, would “put a lie into law” and “that law will be used to marginalize, repress and punish those of us who stand for the truth of marriage.”
Claiming that Obama administration policies opposing the violent repression of gay people overseas are actually persecuting people who oppose marriage equality, Brown said that what’s happening to Americans is nothing in comparison and so U.S. Christians should be “cheerful” about “being persecuted.” “What we see and we go and work with folks from around the world is a whole other level of hatred,” he said. “Be cheerful, be happy, you’re being persecuted! Quit being so weak! Okay? What I’m trying to say is, if that’s happening we must be doing something right!”
Anti-gay activist Michael Brown had a similar message, saying that previously bullied LGBT people have now become the “bullies” and that the LGBT rights movement “will not be satisfied until the church bows down.”
Garlow told the crowd that they were “moving into a time of testing” where evangelicals would have to stand up to the predominant culture. He recalled a “vision” he had all the way back in 1990 in which he spoke with God about a future in which there would be “churches being closed by government” on the basis of “the civil rights of homosexuals.”
But no speaker took the gay-marriage panic as far as Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who spoke to the conference via video. Marriage equality, Staver warned, will cause “a cataclysmic social upheaval in every conceivable area.”
Touting a pledge to disobey any marriage equality ruling that he has recruited hundreds of prominent anti-gay activists to sign, Staver said that gay-marriage opponents must be prepared to resist such a ruling just like the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement resisted segregation and Jim Crow: “I think we’re back in the days of Martin Luther King, Jr. If they tell you to get off the bus, you don’t get off the bus. If they tell you to go to the back of the bus, you don’t go to the back of the bus.”
“This could be the best, most magnificent time for the church,” he said. “It is moments like this, where there is an unprecedented clash, where there’s impossible odds, that God will intervene for his people.”
Staver closed his speech with a rewritten version of anti-Nazi dissident Martin Niemöller’s famous “First they came for the socialists” lines, appropriating them to warn that the supposed persecution of bakers, florists and wedding photographers who deny service to gay people will open the door to a much wider persecution of Christians in America.
Beware Muslims! (Unless They Agree With You On Gay Rights)
Christians are being enslaved and beheaded and burned alive across the Middle East and he’s silent. Christians are being threatened and intimidated and sued and sequestered in Middle America and mum’s the word.
-Dr. Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, speaking of President Obama at the Future Conference
Although most speakers were careful to say that the supposed persecution of American Christian conservatives at the hands of the LGBT rights movement is on an entirely different order of magnitude than that being faced by Christians at the hands of ISIS and oppressive Islamist governments, there was a sense of joint martyrdom, that both are fighting for spiritual ground against forces allied with Satan.
As Steven Khoury, an Arab Israeli pastor, put it, “persecution is coming to America,” and he was there to help Americans learn how to stand up to it.
Garlow invited a few of the top anti-Islam activists in America to warn that the country, if it lets its guard down, risks facing subjugation at the hands of American Muslims. Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy warned that since 9/11, millions of Muslim immigrants have staged a “colonization” of America. He warned pastors in the crowd against any sort of interfaith dialogue with Muslims or letting Muslim groups use their church facilities, which he said “is really about providing political cover to Muslims who don’t deserve it.” Anti-Muslim activist Stephen Coughlin similarly warned pastors against falling for the “interfaith delusion.”
But nobody had a more dire warning than right-wing activist Avi Lipkin, who told pastors that “all” churches in America have been infiltrated by Muslim spies pretending to be Christian converts. These moles, he warned, are cataloguing Christians and Jews in order to kill them all when Muslim jihadists take over.
All of the talk of "religious liberty" and threats to the First Amendment seemed to be conveniently forgotten when Lipkin endorsed laws such as Switzerland’s ban on minarets, declaring: “Until Islam is banned and suppressed and erased, the Jews will not have any chance to survive in this country.”
However, he had some good news: Muslim immigration to America, he predicted, would drive U.S. Jews to the Middle East, setting up a conflict in which Islam will be “finished.” “I predict Islam will be terminated very soon,” he said to enthusiastic applause.
It was jarring, then, to later in the very same day, hear a speech from Austin Ruse, the head of the conservative Catholic United Nations advocacy group C-FAM, in which he said that some of his greatest allies in the fight to stop “radically secular countries” from inserting LGBT rights and reproductive health language into UN documents were representatives of Muslim countries.
“The pro-life, pro-family coalition in the United Nations is strange bedfellows,” he said. “It includes Muslims. And without a bloc of Muslim countries supporting life and family at the UN, we would have had a right to abortion a long time ago, and redefinition of family.”
Garlow took it upon himself to clarify this, taking the stage after Ruse's remarks to reassure the audience that “co-belligerency” with “people who are hostile to much of our values” is sometimes necessary when “they actually have an interest in some portion of our Kingdom values.” He compared Ruse’s work with Muslim countries at the UN to his alliance with Mormon leaders to pass Proposition 8 in California.
Throughout the conference, Israel was portrayed as a spiritual bulwark of the West against surrounding Satanic Islam — something exemplified by its relatively secular values. No one, however, mentioned, that Israel is one of what Ruse called the “radical secular countries” advocating for LGBT rights at the UN. Also ignored were policies such as Israel's public funding of abortion services or the fact that just days prior to the event, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his "blessings" to LGBT Pride marchers.
Dr. Everett Piper, the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, tied together this idea that “secularists” are working in cahoots with radical Islam, aided by President Obama.
“For 67 years, we’ve disparaged dead, white, European males in our college classrooms,” he said. “Are we surprised that we now have a president whose first action was to remove the bust of Winston Churchill from the White House and send it back to the British ambassador’s home? For 67 years, we’ve sent our kids off to sit under faculty who have panned a Judeo-Christian ethic and praised its antithesis. Are we surprised that we now have a White House that is seemingly more aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and the PLO than it is Benjamin Netanyahu and Franklin Graham?”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — whom Garlow partially credited with inspiring the conference — put it a different way in a video address to the event, saying that Christians are facing simultaneous attacks from “secular totalitarianism” and “Islamic supremacism,” with the two factions allied in a “war on Christianity.” Gingrich, who has spent years warning that the U.S. will soon become a "secular atheist country" that is "dominated by radical Islamists,” has been working to court pastors like Garlow who have ties to the dominionist movement.
Christians are dual citizens. We are citizens of the Kingdom of God by faith in Jesus Christ … We are also citizens of an earthly “kingdom” … In the absence of Christians taking their dual citizenship seriously, obeying the dual commissions faithfully, and attempting to follow the dual commandments devotedly, the devil’s crowd has taken over key places of influence in our culture largely by default, even in a nation where professing Christians are still in the majority.
- Family Research Council manual for establishing a church “culture impact team,” distributed to pastors at the Future Conference
The sense of the inadequacy of secular leadership that pervaded the Future Conference was summarized by Republican Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia, who told the Future Conference via video that secular government leads to rampant divorce, teen pregnancy, crime and gang violence, all of which invite a greater presence from Big Government:
Garlow painted a similarly bleak message, saying that the struggles of the city of Detroit are the result of a lack of “bold, biblical preaching and the application of scriptural truth to all components of contemporary life.”
“The absence of biblical truth being applied to a metropolitan area literally destroyed it,” he said.
Garlow didn’t specify which exact “biblical truths” Detroit is in violation of, but conservative activist Star Parker, who declared her intention to “destroy the welfare state,” might have provided some hints.
Parker told the gathering that the U.S. is “in a similar place right now in our country to where we were in the 1850s” when we were “half free and half slave.”
“And we’re at a crossroads again,” she said, “because we’re at the place where we’re half free and half slave. We’re in the battle of our lifetime, we’re in the battle for the very heart and soul of our great country, to go into a future, if we can, even as the Scriptures told us that God actually planned for us a future and a hope, and yet that future and hope is under attack.”
“We’re either going to come up out of this biblical and free,” she said, “or we gotta come up here secular and statist.”
Chuck Stetson, who runs a program that develops “biblical literacy” courses that clear the First-Amendment bar for being taught in public schools, had a similar message, claiming that the great genocides of the 20th century (in which he included abortion) were the result of leaving the “secularists in charge.”
Lamenting that “three percent of the population” (LGBT people) are defeating "70 percent of the population” (Christians), Stetson urged conservative Christians to develop a “broader concept of missions” and to get involved in politics as well as “literature, art [and] music.”
He used the metaphor of a cruise ship: Christians, he said, were gathering around the lifeboats in an effort to save souls, even while throughout the boat, “they’re breaking out the booze, bringing out the gaming tables. They need the Christians down there.”
In fact, the Future Conference, Garlow reported, started out as a sort of founding conference for the United States Coalition of Apostolic Leaders, a new group led by Joe Mattera, a New York minister who is a leader in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). NAR is a controversial movement within evangelical Christianity which is led by self-declared prophets and apostles. Many of NAR’s leaders promote “seven mountains” dominionism, the idea that conservative Christians must take “dominion” over all seven “mountains” of culture in order to pave the way for Christ’s return.
(NAR and dominionism began to attract press attention back in 2011 when then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry hosted a rally featuring many NAR leaders. Its adherents then began to downplay its core themes, saying they were seeking more “influence” than “dominion.”)
Wallnau gave a Glenn Beck-style whiteboard presentation outlining the "seven mountains" theology for the audience, explaining that if the church doesn’t occupy each of the seven spheres of culture, “the Enemy will.”
“The reason why we’re having a problem in the United States is because, honestly, we have not been pursuing the discipling of the nation, we’ve been pursuing the evangelizing of the people and the building of ministries,” he said. “And so we’ve neglected entire territory that the Enemy was all too quick to go in and take possession of.”
Peacocke — the founder of a group that works with business and community leaders to bring “God’s kingdom to earth” — put the message succinctly when the told the enthusiastic crowd that Christians have been called to be leaders in every area: “We should be leading. Virtually every place there’s a Christian, they should be a manager, they should be management. We should have the relational skillset to manage wherever we go, because that is what Christians are called to be, responsible empowerers of other people.”
In his talk, Mattera clarified that he and his allies were calling on Christians to become “leaders of culture” not through force but through simply being the best in all fields. “We’re not called to take cities, we’re called to love them and serve them,” he said, “and once we produce the greatest problem-solvers the world has ever seen, the leaders of culture will come and beg us to lead, because they’re going to see that we’re the only ones who have the answer.”
He added that a key component of this would be to follow the scriptural commandment to “multiply” and “replenish” the Earth, which he specified means having more than two children per couple.
“In general, God has called His children to have more children than any other people,” he said, “so this way we will have the people to fill every aspect of culture, not just bodies, but trained in the covenant, because the word ‘replenish’ implies that they go and they fill the earth with God’s law, with the result being subdue the earth and have dominion.”
A practical guide to the political portion of this mission was provided by Kenyn Cureton, the head of ministerial outreach at the Family Research Council, who presented pastors and churchgoers with guides for establishing “culture impact teams” — basically political committees — within churches. Politically involved churches, he said, are “fighting a spiritual battle,” not against gay rights advocates or pro-choice groups, but against Satan, who has caught cultural liberals in his “snare.”
“Who’s behind the effort to snuff out human life through embryo-destructive research and abortion?” he asked. “Who’s behind the effort to indoctrinate our children with these alternative lifestyles, redefine marriage, and even ruin our military? Who’s behind the effort to drive God out government, Christ out of culture and faith out of public life? Who’s behind that? I mean, it’s pretty easy for us to understand as believers, it’s the Devil.”
Where Politics and Religion Collide
Although the focus of Garlow’s conference was largely on the twin evils of secularism and Islam, he also invited Black and Latino pastors with whom he had worked on resisting Prop 8 to discuss criminal justice reform, on which conservatives are increasingly engaging in bipartisan coalition work, and immigration, on which some evangelical leaders have been trying to get Republicans to adopt positions, or at least rhetoric, that is less offensive to Latino voters.
One of the most revealing moments of the conference came after a speech by Mark Gonzales, a Texas pastor who through his Hispanic Prayer Network seems to be attempting to connect the NAR movement with Latino evangelicals. Gonzales told the mostly white audience that God is using Latino immigration to bring “revival to America,” but that Satan is trying to stop that revival from happening by dividing the church on the issue of immigration.
And it’s not just religious revival that Latino immigrants will bring, he said. They will also help conservatives win elections.
“When God allows this many people to come into a nation, he’s up to something,” Gonzales said. He then made a well-rehearsed pitch to the conservative audience for immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have long lived in the country if they first overcome a number of hurdles.
Immediately following Gonzales’s speech, Garlow came on stage to “clarify” for the crowd what Gonzales was saying. “What he’s talking about, so we’re all on the same page, is not amnesty,” he said.
Gonzales responded that anti-immigrant pundits do indeed call proposals like his “amnesty,” but using that word is the “biggest disservice we can do as the body of Christ.”
Parts of the audience clapped. Others did not seem sold.
Questions of biblical guidance and political expediency had, for a moment, become the same thing.
Political and religious leaders opposed to marriage equality have been ramping up the intensity of their rhetoric in the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court’s imminent decision on the constitutionality of state laws banning same-sex couples from getting legally married. Some have warned of revolutionand civil war if the Supreme Court recognizes that there is no gay exception to the Constitution’s guarantee of fair and equal treatment under the law.
Political and religious leaders opposed to marriage equality have been ramping up the intensity of their rhetoric in the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court’s imminent decision on the constitutionality of state laws banning same-sex couples from getting legally married. Some have warned of revolution and civil war if the Supreme Court recognizes that there is no gay exception to the Constitution’s guarantee of fair and equal treatment under the law.
One recent salvo in this rhetorical campaign was a full page ad in the June 10 Washington Post in the form of an open letter to the Supreme Court. The headline read, “We ask you not to force us to choose between the state and the Laws of God.”
“We are Christians who love America and respect the rule of law,” the ad said, “However, we will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court which will force us to violate a clear biblical understanding of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.”
Similar statements can be found in the“Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage”put together by the same people behind thePost ad. And it’s not much different from language in the Manhattan Declaration, a 2009 manifesto written by former National Organization for Marriage chairman Robert George (right) and signed by an array of conservative religious leaders. The Declaration declares that its signers will not “bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”
The Post ad suggested that a pro-equality ruling would “unleash religious persecution and discrimination against people of faith,” a statement that ignores the many people of faith who do support full equality for LGBT people. The ad was signed by a bunch of far-right anti-gay activists. Here’s just a sampling:
Back here in the U.S., conservative evangelical leaders and their allies at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops falsely portray LGBT equality and religious liberty as fundamentally incompatible, a zero-sum game. That’s their justification for opposing civil unions as well as marriage equality – even for opposing laws to protect people from being fired just for being gay.
The reality is that religious liberty has continued to flourish, and our religious landscape has grown more diverse, in the decades thatpublic attitudes toward gay people have shifted dramatically toward equality. There has been no effort to require clergy to marry mixed faith couples if their faith prohibits it, and nobody wants to force any church or priest to marry or give their religious blessing to same-sex couples.
Next, let’s consider whether all this line-in-the-sand drawing is really about the supposed need for clergy, organizations, and business owners to enforce their religious beliefs about marriage in the public arena. The Catholic Church does not give its religious blessing to marriages involving people who have previously been married and divorced, unless the previous marriage is religiously “annulled.” But Catholic organizations are not loudly advocating for the right of a Catholic business owner to treat opposite-sex couples differently based on whether or not their marriages have the church’s blessing.
Similarly, many evangelical leaders say marriage is meant to be between one man and one woman “for life.” Yet in spite of the biblical passage in which Jesus says that a man who divorces his wife, for any reason other than sexual immorality, and marries another woman is committing adultery, there is no clamor from Religious Right leaders celebrating discrimination against people in second and third marriages.
It is clear that a different standard is being applied to same-sex couples. But anti-gay prejudice — animus is the legal term – is not an acceptable basis for discrimination, even if it is grounded in religious belief.
Now, there’s a reason Religious Right leaders are trying to make the conversation around marriage be about the grandmotherly florist who was fined when she declined to provide flowers for a gay couple’s wedding, or the conversation about contraception about the Little Sisters of the Poor, who say they don’t want to facilitate abortion. It’s an effort associate the Right’s agenda with a “live and let live” ideal that is appealing to many Americans, regardless of religion or politics.
But here’s the problem: Once you establish the principle – as Supreme Court conservatives did in their Hobby Lobby decision last year – that business owners as well as individuals and organizations should be able to ignore laws that somehow offend their religious beliefs, you have to figure out how far people will be allowed to run with it. It is not yet clear where the justices will draw the line.
That kind of line-drawing is often challenging when dealing with questions about how the government can accommodate religion without government impermissibly favoring it. Religious denominations and houses of worship have the greatest level of protection against government interference; courts and legislatures wrestle with the status of religiously affiliated nonprofits. Until Hobby Lobby, the Court had never ruled that a for-profit corporation could “exercise religion” in a way that is protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but now that door has been opened, it is not clear what kinds of anti-LGBT discrimination it could permit.
Anti-equality religious and political leaders have made it clear that they will continue to oppose marriage equality even in the face of a Supreme Court ruling striking down state marriage bans. Some are calling for massive resistance and urging state leaders to refuse to comply with a pro-equality Supreme Court ruling. Professors Douglas NeJaime and Reva B. Siegel have argued in the Yale Law Journal that in such a situation, in which there is a well-organized movement dedicated to pushing the religious exemption further and further, an accommodation may actually be more likely to extend the culture war conflict than resolve it.
It is worth addressing generally fair-minded people who don’t understand why the gay rights movement won’t just be happy with a marriage win and let a few people with religious objections “opt out.” Some people may think it’s no big deal for gay couples to find another florist or baker. For one thing, that approach discounts the humiliation of being turned away from a business, a violation of human dignity that was a motivating force behind laws banning racial discrimination in public accommodation. And it may not be such a small obstacle in smaller, conservative, religiously homogenous communities, where discrimination may flourish if it is invited by law and encouraged by local religious leaders.
Consider the anti-abortion movement as a cautionary tale.
Shortly after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v Wade, laws were passed to allow doctors who had religious objections to performing abortions to refuse to do so without experiencing negative professional consequences. There has been little opposition to such laws. But over the past few decades, at the urging of anti-abortion activists, the scope of that kind of religious exemption has been expanded wildly to include people ever-further removed from the actual abortion procedure, and expanded to include even marginal participation in the provision of contraception. In emergency situations these accommodation could come at high cost, including the life of a patient.
NeJaime and Siegel describe these as “complicity-based conscience claims” – claims that are about refusing to do anything that might make one complicit in any way with another person’s behavior that one deems sinful. They note that the concept of complicity has been extended to allow health care providers not to even inform patients that some potential care or information has been withheld from them based on the religious beliefs of an individual or the policies of an institution.
The resistance to complying with the requirement under the Affordable Care Act that insurance plans cover contraception takes the notion of complicity to almost surreal lengths. Just days after theHobby Lobby decision, the Court’s conservatives sided provisionally with religious conservatives who are arguing that it is a burden on their religious freedom even to inform the government that they are refusing to provide contraceptive coverage, because that would trigger the process by which the coverage would be provided by others. Cases revolving around the simple act of informing the government of an objection are working their way back toward the Supreme Court.
Similarly, some advocates for broad religious exemptions argue that organizations taking taxpayer dollars to provide social services to victims of human trafficking or women who have been victims of rape as a weapon of war should be able to ignore government rules about providing those women with access to the full range of health care they may need. Some groups are saying it would violate their religious freedom even to notify the government when they refuse to provide information or care – such as emergency contraception for teens that have been sexually abused by their traffickers. But keep the public dollars flowing our way!
Given what we know about the intensity of the anti-gay movement’s opposition to marriage equality, it is not hard to imagine how far that movement could run with the principle that religious beliefs about “traditional” marriage are a legitimate basis for discriminating against same-sex couples. They themselves have claimed as a model the (dismayingly successful) 40-year campaign since Roe v Wade to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care. In the words of the Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson, “Everything the pro-life movement did needs to happen again, but on this new frontier of marriage.”
Where will a similarly aggressive campaign against marriage equality lead? There is a new law in North Carolina allowing magistrates to refuse to marry same-sex couples. A new law in Michigan allows adoption agencies functioning with government money to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.
Will corporations be allowed to refuse to hire someone married to a same-sex spouse based on the beliefs of the people who run the company? Will Catholic hospitals, which play an increasingly significant role in our health care system, be able to refuse to recognize same-sex spouses in medical emergencies?
The progress that LGBT people have made toward full equality has been remarkable. In my lifetime, the federal government had a formal policy to fire “sex perverts” and prevent them from getting federal jobs. In my lifetime, state laws criminalizing same-sex relationships were used to fire people from government jobs and even take parents’ children away from them. Even today, in a majority of the states, gay and lesbian people have no protection against being fired for who they are – or who they marry, even if the Supreme Court makes it illegal to keep those weddings from taking place. In all too many places, a company could fire an employee who marries a same-sex partner, the way Catholic schools across the country have been doing.
The good news is that Americans are increasingly opposed to anti-gay discrimination. Most of the laws that were proposed this year tolegalize anti-gay discrimination on the basis of religious belief failed – often thanks to the pro-equality voices of business and religious leaders as well as the hard work of LGBT people and their friends and families and our advocacy organizations.
Most informed observers think the Supreme Court will rule in favor of marriage equality. If that’s what happens, it will be a historic victory and cause for celebration. But as the signers of the recent WashingtonPost ad have made clear, it will not be the end of the struggle.
On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and Matt Barber declared that the push for gay marriage is literally satanic and will bring God's judgment down upon this nation.
"When you put two men together within the same-sex agenda," Staver said, "it is not about the institution of marriage; it is about having the protection, the legal status, it's about using that as a hammer to crush anyone who believes in objective reality, marriage reality, that it is the union of a man and a woman, anyone who believes in human sexuality between a man and a woman and that there are certain limits to moral boundaries that we shouldn't cross and that certain limits are on human sexuality. They literally want to ultimately destroy the institution [of marriage]. This is literally a satanic attack, in my view, and there's no question about it."
Barber, of course, readily agreed, saying that "the whole idea of marriage equality is nothing more than a push to gain the official government sanction on evil."
"It is unnatural, it is immoral, it is self-destructive and it is destructive to society," he added. "If our Supreme Court, if our government puts it stamp of approval on that which is evil, woe to our government ... Woe to our nation when God's judgment comes down upon a nation that calls evil good and good evil."
This month’s issue of Billy Graham’s Decision magazine contains, along with a fawning profile of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a “special report” on the upcoming Supreme Court gay marriage decision, featuring panicked interviews with GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver.
In an interview with Decision, Huckabee repeated his warning that marriage equality will lead to the “criminalization of Christianity,” saying, “When you elevate a lifestyle to the status of a civil right, I don’t think a lot of believers fully understand or comprehend that once it’s risen to that level and our government accepts it, then anyone who disagrees with it could be at least civilly liable, but more than likely would be criminally liable.”
He warned that if marriage equality is legalized nationwide, it will become a “criminal act” for a pastor to preach against gay marriage. Of course, this has not yet happened in any of the states where gay marriage is currently legal, nor did it ever become illegal to preach against interracial marriage after that was legalized by the Supreme Court nearly 50 years ago.
Similarly, Staver warned that marriage equality is an attack on “the very image of God” and urged churches to prepare for civil disobedience in the mold of pastor and anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “We’re no longer going to just talk like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we’re going to act like Dietrich Bonhoeffer.”
“To attack marriage attacks the very image of God,” said Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel and former dean of the School of Law at Liberty University.
“It puts the State in the position of acting as though it knows better than God and, in fact, is the creator, with the ability to redefine God’s natural created order.”
A decision in favor of same-sex marriage would set off an unprecedented avalanche of threats on religious liberties, potentially affecting virtually every church, pastor, ministry and Christian-owned business.
“The implications are staggering,” Staver said.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee warns that it could even lead to the “criminalization of Christianity.”
“When you elevate a lifestyle to the status of a civil right, I don’t think a lot of believers fully understand or comprehend that once it’s risen to that level and our government accepts it, then anyone who disagrees with it could be at least civilly liable, but more than likely would be criminally liable,” Huckabee, a Republican presidential candidate, told Decision during a recent visit to the Billy Graham Library.
“The impact is this: A pastor getting up in the pulpit and proclaiming God’s Word that marriage is the act of one man and woman joining together for life would violate the civil rights of a same-sex couple. … That would make it a criminal act.”
Proponents of same-sex marriage—backed by the Obama administration—say LGBT couples are being discriminated against and deserve marriage equality protections.
Regardless of how the case turns out, Huckabee made clear that the true definition of marriage will stand.
“Even if the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is OK, it doesn’t make it OK because the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being,” he said. “The ultimate rules for marriage were not made by the Supreme Court, but by God. He is the One who gave us the blueprint.”
Liberty Counsel’s Staver said of the threat to religious liberties: “You’re not going to be able to have your own opinion if it’s a contrary opinion because the force of the police state will require individuals not just to remain silent, but to affirm and promote same-sex unions and immoral sexual behavior.”
[Liberty Institute president Kelly] Shackelford said it will be difficult for churches to follow their doctrine without interference from the government.
“Almost every ministry is going to have implications,” he said. “Every Christian organization and every church is going to find themselves in a situation where they’re going to have to decide, in many cases, whether to follow man’s new law or God’s law.”
Staver said churches, ministries and individual believers must be willing to practice civil disobedience if that’s what it takes to obey God’s Word.
“We’re no longer going to just talk like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we’re going to act like Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” Staver said, referring to the German pastor who was imprisoned for resisting Hitler’s Nazi regime.
“We have to say we will not move and we will not compromise. We must say that this is a line we cannot cross, not because we want a controversy or a conflict, not because we’re being belligerent, but because it is such a stark assault on our religious freedom and our Christian beliefs that we cannot cross it. We have to render to God what belongs to God.”
Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel spoke to Greg Corombos of WorldNetDaily yesterday about a new Gallup poll showing that a majority of Americans, including a plurality of Republicans, believe that homosexuality is “something a person is born with” rather than a result of a person’s “upbringing.” In addition, Gallup found that 60 percent of Americans favor marriage equality.
Despite these findings, which are in line with other polls showing majority approval for same-sex marriage, Staver told Corombos that he doesn’t believe the polls since they “under-report” opposition to gay rights.
But he added that it doesn’t even matter if a majority of people believe homosexuality is innate because there is “no evidence” that gay people are born that way. “It wouldn’t matter if a poll said that people believe that the earth was flat with respect to whether or not they believe that homosexuality was something with which you were born,” he said.
Staver also predicted that a conservative “splinter group that will ultimately no longer support the Republican Party” will form if the GOP backtracks on its opposition to gay marriage, while noting the “good news” that party leaders and presidential candidates remain opposed to legalizing same-sex marriage.
Dave Daubenmire credits his prayer campaign for
the dismissal of the latest case against
creationist Kent Hovind.
The Kansas House voted to expand Kris Kobach's power to prosecute voter fraud cases.
Alex McFarland is alarmed by polls showing that Americans would rather have a gay president than an
evangelical one: "So what the American people are essentially saying is 'we want a president who doesn't believe in
moral boundaries. We would rather have a president that was ethically amoral rather than dependent on the God of our founding
Glenn Beck dedicated his entire radio program today debating the issue of marijuana legalization.
Congratulations to Carol Paul, wife of Ron
Paul, for being named the Eagle Forum's "2015 Full-
Time Homemaker Of The Year."
Finally, Mat Staver says that "President Obama must hate
America because his hostility towards Israel will bring a curse on our country ... President Obama is playing with fire and he is
dragging every American citizen with him into the pit of Hell."
LC’s Mat Staver declared in a press release that the supposed move shows that “President Obama must hate America” and is "dragging every American citizen with him into the pit of Hell":
“President Obama must hate America because his hostility towards Israel will bring a curse on our country,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “No nation that has opposed Israel or taken the land of the Jews has survived. Babylon, Persia, Rome, and Nazi Germany have all ceased, but Israel and the Jewish people remain,” Staver points out.
“President Obama is playing with fire and he is dragging every American citizen with him into the pit of Hell,” continued Staver. “I am ashamed that a sitting President would side with those who hate Israel. This act of rebellion by Obama is childish and dangerous. President Obama’s death wish is not shared by the people of the United States of America.”
Audrey Russo warns that "Obama has been planting Muslims, here in the United States, since he came into office ... And when that planting blooms: It will be a harvest from Hell."
Gary Bauer has some thoughts on the sorts of "gotcha questions" he wants to see Democratic presidential candidates have to face.
Mat Staver says that "the push for transgender rights is all a part of the homosexual agenda to create sexual anarchy in order to destroy marriage, morality, and objective truth. This is not civil rights; this is the abolition of civil rights. It is the deconstruction of objective reality and natural law."
Marjorie Dannenfelser is all in for Carly Fiorina.
Finally, another reasonable column from David Lane: "Here in the United States, the Supreme Court looks to conform every vestige of American life and society to the worship of the golden calf of Secularism ... Another diabolical serpent is stalking the land. This is natural, of course, for freedom eternally faces a fundamental moral challenge. Why? It's part of God's unending order."
Abbott has since tried to distance himself from the conspiracy theory, but Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tex., has demanded — and apparently received — a meeting with military leaders over the matter.
Jade Helm 15 is just the latest in a litany of far-right conspiracy theories about President Obama planning a military takeover of the country. While none of the theories has ever actually panned out, far-right pundits and activists keep inventing new ones, insisting that whoever doesn’t agree with them either doesn’t see the truth or is enabling Obama’s dictatorial agenda.
Remember: Obama’s plot against America goes all the way back to his birth…
1) Barack the Baby Communist
Faith 2 Action founder Janet Porter, who recently worked with Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul and several GOP candidates on a film about how the gay rights movement will “criminalize Christianity,” revealed to WorldNetDaily readers just two weeks into Obama’s first term that she had learned through a chain email that the president had been planted as a baby by Russian communists who would use him to take over America.
“I can’t prove whether it’s true or not, but in light of all that is happening, it just doesn’t seem that far-fetched anymore,” Porter wrote, claiming that the letter was “not some e-mail scam” and that she personally reached out to its source to confirm the details.
According to the email’s author, during the early 1990s he met two Russian scientists, spouses “V.M” and “T.M,” who told him that “you will have a black president very soon and he will be a Communist” … named “Barack.” The Russians continued:
This is not some idle talk. He is already born, and he is educated and being groomed to be president right now. You will be impressed to know that he has gone to the best schools of presidents. He is what you call ‘Ivy League.’ You don’t believe me, but he is real and I even know his name. His name is Barack. His mother is white and American and his father is black from Africa. That’s right, a chocolate baby! And he’s going to be your president.
It’s all been thought out. His father is not an American black, so he won’t have that social slave stigma. He is intelligent and he is half white and has been raised from the cradle to be an atheist and a Communist. He’s gone to the finest schools. He is being guided every step of the way and he will be irresistible to America
The female scientist seemed to know a lot about this young man: “She rattled off a complete litany. He was from Hawaii. He went to school in California. He lived in Chicago. He was soon to be elected to the Legislature. ‘Have no doubt: he is one of us, a Soviet …. [H]e will be a blessing for world Communism. We will regain our strength and become the number one power in the world.’ She continued with something to the effect that America was at the same time the great hope and the great obstacle for Communism. America would have to be converted to Communism, and Barack was going to pave the way.”
As it turned out, every single word in this chain email was true! Maybe. And now, Obama is on the brink of taking over America with his secret squads of Obamacare militias, immigrants, African Americans and/or foreign troops.
2) Obamacare Squads
Before joining the Family Research Council, retired Army Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin released a video with the far-right group the Oak Initiative suggesting that Obama is leading a “Marxist insurgency” in the U.S. He claimed that Obama inserted into the Affordable Care Act a measure that would create a personal army reminiscent of Adolf Hitler’s Brownshirts, warning that the president was “laying the groundwork for a constabulary force that will control the population in America.”
Porter joined in in 2012, claiming that FEMA Corps, which trains young people to work in disaster response, might actually be “a standing army to stifle dissent” and “part of a new civilian security force that President Obama has called for in speeches.” WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah, who once alleged that Obama sent a secret signal to Muslims to “finish” the Holocaust against the Jews, similarly warned that Obama would soon “move to shut down and destroy all independent media” and would make sure that “his biggest critics will be rounded up in the name of national security.”
3) About That Executive Order…
In 2012, when Obama issued an emergency preparedness executive order similar to ones issued by presidents since Dwight Eisenhower, some right-wing commentators went ballistic since this time, the president was Obama!
“He is openly implementing martial law in this country,” InfoWars host Alex Jones said about the executive order. The executive order, Jones claimed, declared that administration officials would have the power to “secretly arrest Americans and disappear us any time they want” and build “the domestic security force that’s just as big and just as strong as the military Obama’s always talked about as the ‘FEMA Corps.’”
One congressman, then-Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, suggested that the president would use the executive order to seize total power. In fact, Stockman speculated that Obama may have deliberately brought Ebola to America in order to create a crisis to justify the implementation of his order granting himself “emergency powers to take over control of the economy and everything.”
4) Ebola! Remember That?
Last year, four people were diagnosed with Ebola while in the U.S., two after travelling from West Africa and two after caring for an Ebola patient at a hospital in Texas. In the eyes of conservatives, this was a widespread pandemic that was all Obama’s fault.
According to Stockman, Obama may have had an “intentional” plan to bring Ebola into the U.S. “in order to create a greater crisis to use it as a blunt force to say, well in order to solve this crisis we’re going to have to take control of the economy and individuals and so forth…. [T]here may be an overreaction where the government starts taking away the rights of those that aren’t that necessarily involved or need that to happen. I hope that’s not that case but, as you know, this current government uses crisis to advance their philosophy and their agenda.”
Another far-right radio host, Laurie Roth, predicted that Obama would deliberately fuel an Ebola outbreak in order to “create a guise to declare martial law due to created outbreaks,” giving him the power to “control speech, food, travel and health care” and even “demand adults and children take some sort of mandated/mystery vaccination that kills off even more people”:
My prediction is that a forced vaccination plan from Obama and his administration is on its way. This will not only allow someone put in control (so Obama can’t be blamed) to release something potentially fatal into our system, but also act as a tracker – the complete end of our privacy and freedom.
Prior to the Ebola scare, Porter took to WorldNetDaily to predict that Obama would use swine flu to “round up American citizens” and force them into FEMA concentration camps. She also told WorldNetDaily readers that the president, emulating Nazi Germany and Soviet Union, would create “a food shortage” to see that people are “starved to death.”
5) Obama’s Race War Ruse
Since predictions about Obama’s dastardly plan to infect all other Americans with the Ebola virus in order to seize power didn’t exactly come true, conservative activists have turned to recent demonstrations over issues such as racial profiling as another Obama-orchestrated plot to take control of the country.
Others in the right-wing media took similar views. Wiles claimed that protests in Ferguson, Missouri, were all part of a plot to enable “Emperor Obama” to “start a civil war,” which would give him a reason to implement stringent gun control so people could no longer “protect themselves from tyrants.” His fellow conservative talk show host Jesse Lee Peterson said that Obama brought “chaos” to Baltimore just so “he can federalize the police departments around the country.” WorldNetDaily columnist Morgan Brittany claimed that the Baltimore riots were “planned” by the government, which she said is bent on “stirring up unrest” in order to give Obama the justification “to institute martial law to preserve order, form a national police force and postpone the 2016 elections.”
Savage, the conservative radio host, even went so far as to allege that Obama started the riots as a way to send arms to gang members under the pretext of preserving order: “It’s a race war. These are their shock troops, they don’t have the brown shirts yet, they don’t have the armbands, but soon Obama could deputize them. Isn’t that a natural army for him? Take the Crips and the Bloods, give them a green uniform and give them a weapon and they’ll keep order in the streets.”
In another interview, Pratt accused Obama of hoping to “bring violence” and “some kind of social implosion to America” as a way to keep power, with Solomon warning of “an explosion of attacks on haves by have-nots” and “more specifically on white haves by black have-nots; more specifically on Christian, heterosexual white haves by black, Muslim and/or atheist — not that there’s much difference — black have-nots.”
6) Bundy Ranch Standoff
The short-lived standoff between federal law enforcement and Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher and Fox News darling who refused to pay grazing fees for his cattle or to recognize the legal authority of the U.S. government, gave another opportunity for right-wing commentators to warn of an imminent federal takeover spurred on by Obama-instigated violence.
WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush pointed to the Bundy standoff as proof that “the federal government intends to control everything,” including “our food supply.” Denouncing President Obama as a someone who “embodies the diabolical Manchurian President, clandestinely working to destroy America,” Rush warned that the Bundy standoff might have been a test case for imminent FEMA camp internment.
“Do we wait until a family is slaughtered because they opened fire on government agents executing an illegal raid on their home?” he asked. “Do we wait until Department of Homeland Security operatives come around to arrest ‘domestic terrorists’ as designated by Harry Reid and ship them off to FEMA camps?”
Televangelist Gordon Klingenschmitt, who has since been elected to the Colorado legislature, said that the federal government dug “mass graves” near the ranch to hold the bodies of the “cowboys” they planned to murder. Wiles had a similar theory:
Civil unrest is brewing, the Obamanistas have tried a number of tactics to insult and infuriate the American people to respond with violence…. I expect dirty Harry Reid and his Washington sidekick Barry Soetoro will send federal agents back to Nevada this summer and my fear is that federal snipers will take out a bunch of cowboys and militia men.
Not only will Obama have loyal armies of doctors, AmeriCorps members, black protesters and gang members, but he will also, according to several conspiracy theorists, create a force of undocumented immigrants — specifically young Central American refugees escaping the drug war — to do his bidding.
Anti-immigrant activist William Gheen offered his own version of this prediction, alleging that the federal government was “going to give the illegal immigrants badges, they’re going to give them guns, and they’re going to put them in positions of authority over Americans in every way imaginable. So when you step out your door and there’s a knock at the door, you’re going to be looking at the new face of the state, which is the prior illegal immigrants that now have a badge and a gun and dominion over you.”
Gheen added that the Obama administration was “supporting the organized and well-funded illegal alien invasion of our homeland” and therefore has “the blood of many thousands of Americans on their hands that have been killed, injured raped and robbed by illegal immigrants,” warning that “center-right, Christian, heterosexual” men were particularly at risk.
Gheen even told Jones, the “InfoWars” host, that the young immigrants were the pawns and child soldiers of U.S. “elites” who want to subjugate patriotic Christians: “They’re willing to literally say and do anything that their new masters call on them to do to protect their position. Once Obama rams these ‘kids’ in, gives them their Obamaphone, enrolls them in Obamacare, puts them in a public school, pays for their housing, pays for their food…these people will do anything that their leaders call on them to do and I do mean anything.”
Alan Keyes wondered if Obama, whom he thinks wants to become America’s “Führer,” was “importing” immigrants “in order to facilitate what I think is an overthrow of our Constitution.”
WorldNetDaily’s resident health “expert” Elizabeth Lee Vliet claimed that the government would use a “flood of illegals” who carry exotic diseases to “overwhelm and collapse the economic and social systems, in order to replace them with a ‘new socialist order’ under federal control.”
8) Obama’s Atheist/Islamic/Canadian/Alien Army
Building off the birther conspiracy theory that Obama is not a U.S.-born citizen and the general right-wing belief that he is not a real American, several conservative activists believe that the president will use foreign forces, outside of just immigrants and health care workers, to oppress Americans.
According to Bill Federer, a Religious Right “historian,” the Arab Spring was designed by nefarious forces who wanted to create a surge in Muslim refugees who would then settle in the U.S. in order to establish Islamic “sleeper cells.” Soon, these sleeper cells would “get a signal to have Ferguson riots in malls across America,” which would give Obama the justification to “restore order” by setting up a “militarized dictatorship.” Obama, Federer warned, could follow in the footsteps of Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot in killing millions of Christians.
Federer cited a man named Avi Lipkin, who apparently heard from his wife, who heard from an unspecified Arabic-language broadcast, about a plot to bring millions of Muslim refugees into the country in order to bring about Sharia law. Lipkin alleged that Obama was “going to bring in 50 to 100 million Muslims” and settle them in national parks and “lands confiscated by Agenda 21” — a sustainable development initiative that is at the center of its very own right-wing conspiracy theory — ultimately forcing America to “surrender its Christianity” in the face of a new “Muslim majority.” Then, Obama would establish a “dictatorship” … with the help of “the Masons, the Illuminati [and] the Trilateral Commission.”
Lipkin and Federer, however, don’t hold a candle to Jim Garrow, a right-wing activist who believes that Obama tried to kill 300 million Americans with an EMP attack for the sake of enriching George Soros and giving him the chance to live in a luxurious bunker underneath the White House. Garrow also believes that Obama will try to improve his poll numbers by claiming that he is able to communicate with aliens, but if they plummet any further and Americans start to revolt, then Obama will “ask [Canadian Prime Minister Stephen] Harper to send troops into America to help quell the rioting and vice versa.”
Jones talked to another “real source” about the need to “brace for a nuclear attack in South Carolina,” who alleged that Charleston was the target because of the presence of U.S. submarines: “This is a false flag operation, a major false flag, that is about to occur because if they take out our naval base in Charleston, they will cripple about one-third of our fleet ballistic missile submarine force.”
“Everything they are doing is like trying to set America up,” Jones replied, wondering if “Obama is like a triple agent of the globalists, we know that, and they are maneuvering America towards a set-up to destroy us and then Homeland Security will then detonate nukes in all of our bases as an inside sneak attack.”
“This ultimately reeks of yet another false flag being orchestrated by the United States government in order to send us into war,” Jones said in another commentary about the matter. “I just wish to God that this wasn’t happening,” he said.
This is the same Alex Jones who launched Jade Helm 15 into the GOP mainstream and led to such a fear that the governor of Texas ordered the National Guard to monitor the U.S. military during the drill.
Of course, when one conspiracy theory fails to materialize, radio hosts like Alex Jones just move on to the next one, and then eventually, Republican politicians just move along with them.
On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver seized on right-wingfears that anti-gay organizations will lose their tax-exempt status if the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage to predictably warn that the U.S. is on the verge of turning into a modern-day Nazi Germany.
"We're talking about the ghettoization of Christianity," Staver said, "and this is what happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany, they put the Jews in ghettos, they put other people in ghettos. They took away their ability to earn a living, then they isolated them to ghettos, they stigmatized them, they ultimately destroyed their humanity in the minds of others and then the next step was easy, in the sense that they had gone to the point where they had lost respect for humanity."
"This is a serious manner because this ghettoizes Christianity," he continued. "This stigmatizes those who have Christian beliefs. This ultimately punishes those and prohibits those individuals from earning a living or working in the marketplace. And this is the beginning of ultimately dehumanizing the person and when you dehumanize the person, terrible things can happen":
On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and Matt Barber said that the push for marriage equality is nothing more than an attempt to destroy what God has created and likened it to someone tossing paint all over Michelangelo's masterwork on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
"Assume that you're looking at Michelangelo," Staver said. "He spends all of his life preparing and perfecting the art of painting that only he can do and such great artistic work that it literally stands the test of history and ripples through time. And so, as part of his creative effort, he paints hours and weeks and days and years on the Sistine Chapel ... Here somebody walks into the Sistine Chapel with a paint bucket and a big brush and says, 'Michael, you got it all wrong, this is frankly ugly' and gets up there and thinks he knows better and starts splashing paint all over this beautiful painting and destroying it."
"And yet, here we've got God, who is the creator," he continued, "who knows the creation that He created and the crown jewel of all the magnificent things He created is you and I in His image that has the unitive, the procreative, and the spiritual component. And then the created being shakes its fist at God and says, 'Ah, no, we've got a better idea God and we're going to change what you created and we're going to elevate it and promote it and put laws around it and try to protect it because we think we know better.' The audacity of the created being, shaking its fist at the natural creation of God almighty."
Barber was in complete agreement, saying that "to try to build on this building block of vile affections and abominations something that is supposed to be equal to, akin to, what God created, God's union of a man and a woman, is offensive. It's shaking its fist at God":
Yesterday on his “Freedom’s Call” radio bulletin, Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver warned that church leaders will soon “face going to jail” if they don’t obey “unjust” and “unconscionable” same-sex marriage laws.
“We’re witnessing an aggressive movement targeting Christianity and our values, especially marriage,” Staver said. “We must realize that the war over marriage goes to the core of our religious freedom.”
Staver, seemingly suggesting — falsely — that churches will have to host same-sex couples’ weddings, urged “all Christians” to request Liberty Counsel’s help against an “onslaught of the radical pro-homosexual community or government agencies pursuing the same goal.”
In an email to Liberty Counsel members today, Staver issued a similar warning, including the discredited claim that “speech against homosexuality” will be criminalized and considered a “hate crime” if the Supreme Court strikes down same-sex marriage bans:
The coercion by the government and radical leftists to force Americans to accept the homosexual lifestyle and its sexual immorality has exploded. If the High Court wrongly affirms same-sex "marriage," the floodgates will be opened for lawsuits and legislation to label speech against homosexuality as a hate crime – and force participation in their events and ceremonies.
John Zmirak, Contributing Senior Editor of The Stream, and an endorser of our Marriage Solidarity Pledge, recently commented on one line of questioning by the Supreme Court Justices, which not only coincides with the warning flags we've been raising, but, in fact, should cause every pastor and church leader in America to take note.
His headline warns… "If the Supreme Court Imposes Same Sex Marriage, You Could Lose Your Church. Obama's Solicitor General admits that the feds will treat orthodox Christians like racists."
"If the court imposes same-sex "marriage," it will be exposing the churches attended by the majority of Americans to sustained legal attack. Does that sound like crazy alarmism? The Solicitor General of the United States agrees with me. Except that he is in favor of it.
"Justice Samuel Alito asked Solicitor General Donald Verrilli whether acceptance of same-sex marriage would subject orthodox Christian churches to the treatment once accorded Bob Jones University, which lost its tax-exempt status because its ban on interracial dating contradicted federal policy. Verrilli seemed a little taken aback, then answered yes, 'it's certainly going to be an issue.'
"In other words, if the Supreme Court votes against natural marriage, it will free up the feds to target organizations you might have heard of, such as the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention... Remember that the Obama administration has already tried to force these same churches to provide abortifacients to their employees. Attacking their tax-exempt status over biblical sexual ethics is peanuts next to that."
John then takes this argument one step further. "If the court hands the Obama administration the bully stick it is requesting, it will be creating a two-tier system of churches in America" — those that 'obey' the Court's interpretation of the Constitution and 'those that don't."
That leads to the logical creation of "registered" and "non-registered" churches, similar to restrictions used in communist countries for churches that toe the party line.
End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles spoke with Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel on his “Trunews” program yesterday about what will happen to the United States if the Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage. Unsurprisingly, neither was optimistic.
“Now the communists rule this nation,” Wiles said in a monologue before his interview with Staver, “and everywhere communism takes control, they go after the churches and they kill the pastors and they demolish the church buildings and they reeducate the church children. That’s what’s coming to America. It’s already started.”
“We are at the end of the road as a nation,” he warned. “If the Supreme Court dares to defy Almighty God one more time, I’m telling you it will be the last time.”
“I believe I am speaking under the unction of the Holy Spirit,” he continued. “I’m telling you there will be swift, sudden and devastating consequences for the United States of America. America will be brought to its knees, there will be pain and suffering at a level we’ve never seen in this country. The word that I hear in my spirit is ‘fire.’ I do not know if it refers to riots or looting or war on American soil or a fireball from space. I simply know that a sweeping, consuming fire will come across the United States of America and this country will be charred and burned.”
He told his listeners to “prepare for the fire that will sweep across America if the United States Supreme Court dares to defy God one more time and rule that homosexual marriage is a constitutional right.”
Wiles also stated that gay marriage is proof that Satan is “alive and well” and using his minions to “shut down Christianity in this nation.”
“Life may change radically in 60 days,” he said. “I’m talking about the fast-moving, radical homosexual movement that has captured control of the American political system, the corporate world, the news media, the entertainment industry and the educational system. This is a takeover and it is anti-God, it is anti-Christ. The same-sex marriage case before the U.S. Supreme Court is not about same-sex marriage, it is about the criminalization and the elimination of biblical Christianity in the United States of America.”
Warning that “the fate of the United States of America will be decided over the next two months,” Wiles told Staver that “a Supreme Court decision recognizing homosexual marriage as a right will be the final nail in America’s coffin. The last society that attempted to slide into this level of immorality and debauchery were the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and they did not have a happy ending.”
“Brace for impact if it goes against God’s divine order of marriage,” Wiles said of the potential ruling, predicting severe “divine repercussions.”
Staver agreed with Wiles’ assertion that “America’s future is hanging in the balance.”
“There’s no question it’s hanging in the balance,” Staver said. “What we have here is a potential catastrophic collision with religious freedom and the undermining of the family.” He added that a marriage ruling will be even more consequential than Roe v. Wade because it will “promote and exalt” same-sex relationships by putting them “on a pedestal and hope people aspire to it.”
On Tuesday’s edition of “Crosstalk,” Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver urged the owners of an Oregon bakery who were fined for violating the state’s non-discrimination law when they denied service to a gay customer to refuse to pay the fine in an act of civil disobedience against an “unjust law.”
“If the government wants to come in and put Rosa Parks on the back of the bus, Rosa Parks shouldn’t move to the back of the bus,” Staver said. “If they are wanting to take Christians and put you on the back of the bus because of your faith, you shouldn’t voluntarily walk to the back of the bus.”
“There is nothing historically or throughout our long history of Judeo-Christianity that says that someone who’s got dark skin can’t marry someone who’s got white skin or lighter color skin. That’s never been rooted in our history, that’s never been rooted in natural law, that’s never been rooted in millennia of human history,” Staver said. “Marriage is objectively, to use a philosophical term, ontologically, the union of a man and a woman. If you can’t get that right, good grief, how can you be a judge on any court?”
When host Jim Schneider asked Staver if he agrees with Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s claim that “same-sex marriage will be the ultimate destruction of our country,” Staver replied that he “100 percent agree[s].”
These GOP presidential hopefuls are not shying away from the gay marriage issue, which comes as no surprise since the GOP’s right-wing base has been whipped into a frenzy by conservative talk radio hosts and activists who have insisted that freedom will be no more if the Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage.
Here are five of the far right’s wildest predictions about what would happen if gay marriage becomes legal nationwide:
Several Religious Right pundits believe that a Supreme Court ruling striking down same-sex marriage bans would spark a full-blown rebellion, if not a civil war.
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson said that the country could witness a second civil war over the Supreme Court’s decision, while Mat Staver of the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel said the court “could cause another civil war” if it legalizes same-sex marriage.
At least one conservative author thinks that the states of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina should consider seceding from the U.S. and establish their own country in order to preserve gay marriage bans. This new country, naturally, will be named “Reagan.”
American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer warned that because America’s “gay gestapo” is acting like the men of Sodom who tried to rape angels, God will “run out of patience with the United States” and “use pagan armies to discipline his people if they turn from him in rebellion and disobedience and descend into debauchery.”
“What if God will use the pagan armies of Allah to discipline the United States for our debauchery?” he wondered.
Pastor Robert Jeffress, a Fox News contributor and author of “Countdown to the Apocalypse,” has called gay marriage “the greatest sign of the End Times that we see in our country right now,” warning that the Supreme Court will embolden pro-gay “extremists” to “make us all bow down and bless what God has called a perversion.”
Janet Porter, an anti-gay activist who held a rally outside of the Supreme Court yesterday, has said that “we are uniquely positioned for the return of Christ like no other time in history” as a result of the Supreme Court marriage cases.
Another conservative pundit, Linda Harvey, claimed in an interview with End Times broadcaster Jan Markell that the legal and political success of gay marriage advocates means that “we’re heading into the End Times, and it sure looks like we may be, or the end of America — or both.”
Michele Bachmann, afrequentguestonMarkell’sprogram, told the End Times evangelist that legal abortion and gay marriage, along with President Obama’s foreign policies, are among the signs that we are entering the Last Days. God will remove his “hedge of protection” from America as punishment for its increasingly “pagan” culture, she warned, and “and we will suffer the consequences as a result.”
Gay rights advocates are not only turning America into Sodom and Gomorrah (as Pat Robertson claims), but they are also risking the destruction of the planet, argue some far-right pundits who believe that Noah’s Flood was divine punishment for homosexuality. Scott Lively, the pastor best known for his work promoting anti-gay laws in countries like Russia and Uganda, claims that “the Great Flood of Noah in Genesis 6-9 was precipitated by homosexual sin.”
“We need to remember that in the time leading up to the Flood what the rabbis teach about the last straw for God before He brought the Flood was when they started writing wedding songs to homosexual marriage,” Lively said, “and Jesus said that you’ll know the End Times because it will be like the days of Noah. There’s never been a time in the history of the world since before the Flood when homosexual marriage has been open and celebrated, and that’s another sign that I believe that we’re close to the end…. I think this is the issue of the End Times: homosexuality.”
The destruction of freedom and America at the hands of gay rights advocates, some Religious Right voices warn, will eventually lead to the coming of the Antichrist.
Jeffress said that the purported gay persecution of Christians “will pave the way for that future world dictator, the Antichrist, to persecute and martyr Christians without any repercussions whatsoever,” while Gordon Klingenschmitt, a televangelist and Colorado Republican state representative, called LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination laws a “sign that the End Times are really upon us. When the Antichrist rises up to persecute Christians and behead us and throw us in jail for our Christian faith, you don’t think it’s going to be over things like this?”
Lively explicitly linked the coming of the Antichrist to the marriage cases before the Supreme Court, writing that “if we are on the verge of ‘birth pangs’ we will likely know it by Passover, but in either case we should brace for serious judgment on the United States in the form of natural and/or man-made disaster if the Supreme Court established sodomy as a basis for marriage under our constitution.” The one who will “not yet be exposed to the world as the Antichrist” will emerge around September of this year, Lively wrote, noting that “the Biblically literate would recognize him.”
“Even as the rest of the world lauds its ‘savior’ and embraces his government, the Christian believers (and Torah-faithful Jews) would be increasingly reviled and hunted,” Lively wrote. “I don’t think there is any question, Biblically, that the cultural celebration of ‘gay marriage’ portends judgment from God. The only real question in my mind is whether it truly signals the imminent ‘beginning of sorrows’ or is just another step in the path leading to God’s wrath at a later time.”