Mat Staver

Mat Staver Takes The 'Abortion = Holocaust' Analogy To A Rather Strange Extreme

We are quite accustomed to hearing anti-abortion activists equate legal abortion in America with the Holocaust of the Jews in Nazi Germany, but Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver took that analogy to a rather bizarre extreme on yesterday's "Faith and Freedom" radio program when he declared that fetuses today are being dehumanized until they are considered to be "the dregs of the earth" just as the Jews were by the Nazis:

This is no different than what we did to humans in the Nazi holocaust. We dehumanized them, we stigmatized them, we called them names and prohibited them from working and so forth and so on until the point where they were looked at as scum, as scabs, as the dregs of the earth so that they were able to be just eliminated. You know, we've done that here in America and other places around the world with regards to the most vulnerable: the children in the womb.

Yes, fetuses are prohibited from working and generally referred to as scum on a regular basis in America today, all as part of the effort to justify the legality of abortion.

This is just another reasonable analogy from Mat Staver.

Samuel Rodriguez: New General In Global Anti-Gay Culture War

Last month the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference announced that it was merging with Conela, a Latin America-based organization, to become “the world’s largest Hispanic Evangelical association” claiming to represent more than 500,000 churches. As Kyle reported, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver had encouraged the NHCLC’s Samuel Rodriguez to expand into Latin America after Staver’s visit to Peru, where he encouraged legislators to resist legal equality for gay people and same-sex couples.

The wildly anti-gay Matt Barber, also with Liberty Counselpraised the merger as a way for the NHCLC to join the Religious Right’s global war against LGBT equality:

"And so NHCLC," Barber said, "is really putting up a firewall to protect Latin America from, unfortunately, this cancerous invasion of immorality and [this] exporting [of] radical homosexual activism and radical pro-abortion activism, ultimately a culture of death.”

In a new interview with the Christian Post, Rodriguez uses similar language about creating a “firewall against moral relativism” and discloses some details about the merger and the combined group’s plans. Rodriguez is the CEO of the new merged NHCLC/Conela, while Conela’s former President Ricardo Luna is the executive director.

Rodriguez says Conela had already adopted NHCLC’s agenda and so the new group can go to work immediately building out an infrastructure in Latin America.

Conela already has been functioning with the Lamb's agenda and our 7 Directives, so it's a matter of creating infrastructure and amplifying the media and messaging platforms in Latin America.

If the question is whether or not we are going to be as active on the social political front in Latin America as we are in America, the answer is yes, again, not in the spirit of political advocacy, but in the spirit of prophetic activism.

Let me give you an example. Two weeks ago, in Baja California, the Mexico chapter director met with the governor of Baja California with hundreds of pastors united to discuss the issues of religious liberty, to discuss the issues of the 7 Directives as it pertains to Mexico.

He says they’re still working out the structural details.

We are in the board restructuring phase right now and a number of events taking place. One in October in Panama and there's one in December with 1,000 pastors in Mexico, there's one taking place in Europe at the beginning of the year.

My objective is to travel around Latin America with Ricardo, get to know the key influential pastors and leaders as we structure this global network and provide the resources that national pastors and regional leaders need to advance the Lamb's agenda.

Rodriguez, in spite of his media treatment as an evangelical moderate, made crystal clear that his organization is part of the Religious Right political movement when it reached a formal agreement to make the far-right Liberty Counsel the NHCLC’s official legislative and policy arm, and when Staver became a board member and chief legal counsel to the group.

Rodriguez’s rhetoric doesn’t seem to be changing.

Theologically speaking, we are on the same track. We are committed to biblical orthodoxy. We are committed to biblical truth. We are committed to making sure that truth is never sacrificed on the altar of expediency. We are committed to Billy Graham's message of salvation through Christ alone and through Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s March for Justice. So, we are committed to both righteousness and justice. We are evangelical. We do embrace the Manhattan Declaration. We would sign on to that.

Merging Billy Graham with Martin Luther King is the standard rhetoric of Rodriguez’s stump speech. Rodriguez has built allies among more progressive Christians by advocating for immigration reform and signing on to the Circle of Protection, a call from religious leaders not to sacrifice programs for the poor in order to reduce the deficit. But Rodriguez has also signed onto right-wing declarations that oppose progressive taxation, and embraced right-wing rhetoric about people being “enslaved” by government and “uber-entitlements.” And, of course, he is utterly opposed to marriage equality and legal access to abortion.

 

Rodriguez is connected to the dominionist New Apostolic Reformation and was a founding board member of the Oak Initiative, though he resigned after being confronted about the group’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and activities. He clearly has big ambitions for the new group.

"We are not drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid that Christianity is in decline, that this is the last hour of the Christian global narrative in a significant matter," Rodriguez told The Christian Post recently in an exclusive interview about the merger that took place on May 1. "We are not drinking the Kool-Aid. As a matter of fact, we have a very strong sense of optimism … we do believe the best is yet to come….

"It may very well be the largest Protestant network in the world, meaning that after the Catholic Church, this may very well be the largest Christian network organization in the world," he said. "I believe it speaks accolades to the growth of the Latino Christian demographic. I think it speaks accolades to Latino born-again Christians around the world because if this is the largest network in the world and now we are leading the charge of global evangelicalism."

Barber: Gay Marriage Is 'The Brainchild' Of Satan

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Mat Staver and Matt Barber cited recent remarks made by Pope Francis about how "the Devil wants to destroy" the family in order to declare that gay marriage is "the brainchild" of Satan himself.

"Marriage is the cornerstone institution of any healthy society," Barber asserted, "and so clearly the Father of Lies, the Enemy of the World hates marriage, wants to destroy marriage and so this concept of counterfeit marriage, of same-sex marriage, that is the brainchild, Mat, of none other than the Father of Lies himself."

Staver was in complete agreement, saying that gay marriage is an effort to "abolish all truth" as part of Satan's "attack on God."

"Ultimately, at the end of the day," Staver said, "it is a spiritual attack ... This is the bidding of the Devil. This is a spiritual assault on all of us who are made in the image of God":

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 6/24/14

  • Self-proclaimed civility champion Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel claims LGBT rights supporters are doing “the bidding of the Devil” and waging a “spiritual assault on all of us who are made in the image of God.”
  • Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly is pretty sure that climate change is a “conspiracy” manufactured by scientists hoping to crash the U.S. economy.
  • Larry Klayman has some helpful advice regarding the Washington Redskins name controversy: “Obama surely knows best about offending a sizable group of people. Maybe he should change his middle name, Hussein, since it dredges up memories of Saddam Hussein, among other thoughts.”

Mat Staver Suggests House Birther Investigation Into 'Communist' Obama

In a “Crosstalk” interview with VCY America’s Vic Eliason this week, Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver suggested that Congress launch an investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate.

“I think Congress certainly has the ability to do some investigation,” Staver said to a “Crosstalk” listener. “The problem that we have with the birth certificates is that the courts have really not given a full healing to some of those things because they have not granted most people’s standing, or the right to sue as individuals. I think Congress would certainly have that capability, at least at nothing else to conduct hearings.”

Staver also said that Congress should be “proceeding with impeachment” of the president over the purported scandals surrounding Benghazi, the IRS and the return of Sgt. Bowie Bergdahl.

He charged Republican lawmakers with falling asleep on the job: “There are things that the House should be doing that they’re not doing; they should be proceeding with impeachment. They should stare down Obama on these budget debates and not constantly give in, and I think that’s partly due to the Speaker of the House, John Boehner.”

If charges of tyranny and birther allegations weren’t enough for listeners, Staver then delved into Obama’s supposed lack of patriotism and support for communism and Islamism. “[Obama’s] actions promote communist, socialist kinds of ideas,” he says. “His actions are very sympathetic to Islam and very hostile to Christianity…He supported the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the mother of all terrorist organizations.”

“Judged by his actions, Obama is the most anti-American president we have ever had,” he concluded.

Spurned Georgia Group Launching Even More Extreme Rival To National Right To Life Committee

A no-compromise anti-choice group that was recently ousted as National Right to Life Committee’s Georgia affiliate is launching a new, even more extreme national group to compete with NRLC.

In April, we wrote about the drama in Georgia, where an upstart group backed by pundit Erick Erickson succeeded in booting Georgia Right to Life from its spot in the NRLC. Their feud was over not ideology, but strategy. NRLC and Erickson backed a 20-week abortion ban in the House that included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest; Georgia Right to Life and other hardline groups said that those exemptions made the bill unacceptable:

While all the major anti-choice groups share the same goal — criminalizing all abortions under nearly all circumstances — they differ in how to go about reaching that goal in a post-Roe v. Wade world. This came to a boil last year, when the House voted on a bill banning all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. At the last minute, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor added rape and incest exemptions to the bill after the legislation’s chief sponsor, Trent Franks, stoked controversy when he said “ the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low .” The addition of rape and incest exceptions then caused the anti-choice movement to split.

National Right to Life supported the revised bill and included the vote on its congressional scorecard . But Georgia Right to Life, then the state affiliate of NRLC, opposed the revised bill because of its rape and incest exceptions and urged House members to “vote against this shameful legislation.” Two Georgia Republicans, including Rep. Paul Broun, who is now running for Senate, crossed party lines to vote against the bill, siding with Georgia Right to Life.

One of the loudest critics of Georgia Right to Life’s insubordination was Georgia-based conservative pundit Erick Erickson, who called the group the “Westboro Baptist Church of the pro-life movement.” A few weeks ago, a new group with Erickson on its board sprung up with the goal of replacing Georgia Right to Life as the official state affiliate of NRLC. And this weekend, they succeeded, as NRLC cut ties with Georgia Right to Life and took on Erickson’s group, Georgia Life Alliance, in its place.

Today, Georgia Right to Life struck back, announcing that it is forming the National Personhood Alliance, a new network of state-level groups that that support the no-compromise strategy. In a press release announcing the move, Georgia Right to Life President Daniel Becker takes a clear swipe at National Right to Life: “Compromise is not possible. This is not like roads or highways or agricultural subsidies; when we compromise - someone dies."

"The focus of NPA will differ from most national pro-life groups," Becker said. "The general consensus of many in the movement is that it's time for a fresh strategy for ending the disregard for innocent human life. We intend to be 'standard-bearers' as opposed to 'king-makers'. This will require the application, politically and legislatively, of a higher standard than is currently embraced by most national pro-life groups today."

Becker said, "There has been an overwhelming call from many within the movement to form a new national pro-life group which will represent us on Capitol Hill."

The new organization will be officially formed at a convention to be held in Atlanta, GA on October 10th and 11th. Representatives of existing pro-life organizations and leaders from across the country are invited. Attendees who affirm the founding charter will begin the process of electing a national board of directors representing each state.

"The pro-life movement is more than 40 years old," Becker said. "From its inception in the late 1960's, the focus has primarily been on ending abortion. Our concern must be expanded to encompass the dignity and value of each human being at any developmental stage through natural death.

"To achieve that goal, we must ensure that our strategies are consistent with our policies and objectives. Compromise is not possible. This is not like roads or highways or agricultural subsidies; when we compromise - someone dies."

Keith Mason, Personhood USA President: "Personhood USA looks forward to working with emerging groups like the National Personhood Alliance who share our commitment to never compromise on the lives of pre-born babies."

The new National Personhood Alliance has the support of Personhood USA and claims to have allied groups in 17 states. It has also racked up endorsements from Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, talk show host Steve Deace, and a number of anti-choice activists.

Mike Huckabee To Join Liberty Counsel For Right-Wing Pastor Rallies

Liberty Counsel is organizing a “powerful, five-screen multimedia extravaganza” for conservative pastors who want to stop America from “spiraling out of control as our foundation of traditional values is threatened and eroded every day” and “to dramatically affect the 2014 elections this coming November.”

The “Who Will Stand?” rallies will feature former Gov. Mike Huckabee, pseudo-historian David Barton and Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver, along with uplifting songs and “thousands of images portraying the beauty and grandeur of all 50 states of our great nation” that apparently will help bring an end to President Obama’s tyranny.

Televangelist James Robison, Star Parker, Ralph Reed and Samuel Rodriguez are also listed as speakers.

While so far the events are only scheduled to take place in Florida churches, Liberty Counsel aims to expand the effort to “Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Virginia.”

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 6/12/14

  • Wisconsin Republican Glenn Grothman wants to stop his state from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples: “Our country is declining on an almost daily basis. The Office of Vital Records has no business participating in legitimizing illegal and immoral marriages.”
  • Televangelist Rick Joyner likens David Brat to the “greatest prophets” who arose “when ancient Israel fell into its deepest debauchery.”
  • Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel pledges to “re-deliver” his group’s “petition to ‘Impeach Barack Obama, our lawless President’ to key members of Congress.”
  • American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer demands that the U.S. stop helping Muslim-majority countries until their citizens convert to Christianity.
  • Os Hillman explains why he thinks the Obama presidency is part of God’s judgment on America.

Staver And Barber Take Their Analogies To The Extreme

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Mat Staver and Matt Barber discussed the situation involving the baker in Colorado who is vowing to go to jail rather than comply with an order to stop discriminating against gay customers by refusing to provide them with wedding cakes, saying that forcing him to bake gay wedding cakes would be like forcing Jesus to build a bed for an adulterer or a gallows for Hitler upon which to hang Jews:

Barber: So, to make that comparison would be like saying the adulteress goes to Jesus and says 'you're a carpenter, I want you to make a frame for my adultery bed, for me and then men I'm committing adultery with to commit our sinful acts.' And it would be like some tribunal coming to Jesus and saying you're a carpenter, you don't have a right to refuse to make this bed for the adulteress because you make beds for people who are actually married ...

Staver: It's like a carpenter who [is told] you can build this house for this person or you can build this gallows for Hitler. And you can use your talents, we're going to force you to use the talents to build the gallows for Hitler and we're going to hang Jews on the gallows.

Rick Perry's Comparison Of Homosexuality To Alcoholism Is Nothing New From The Anti-Gay Right

Surprise! Yesterday, the same Republican politician who tried to save his foundering presidential campaign with a gay-baiting TV ad defended ex-gay therapy and compared homosexuality to alcohol abuse.

Speaking at a summit in California, Texas Gov. Rick Perry responded to questions about the Texas Republican Party’s endorsement of ex-gay therapy in its new far-right platform by arguing that homosexuality is like alcoholism: “Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that. I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”

Perry is far from the only Republican figure to have expressed this view.

Another former GOP presidential candidate who is also considering a second run, Gov. Mike Huckabee, likened homosexuality to alcoholism in a 2009 interview with Esquire:

Huckabee says he doesn't know if homosexuality is inborn, but he believes you can control the behavior. He compares homosexuality to obesity or alcoholism: "Some people have a predisposition to alcoholism. Does that mean they're not responsible for getting drunk? No."

Fellow 2012 presidential contender Rick Santorum cited “people who were gay and lived a gay lifestyle and aren’t anymore” as a reason to oppose gay rights. Michele Bachmann’s husband heads a clinic that practices ex-gay therapy. Ted Cruz’s father and political adviser, Rafael Cruz, has defended ex-gay therapy as legitimate “biblical” counseling, adding, “sexual orientation is a choice, it’s not a civil right.”

Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema recently got in trouble with his own party after he, among other offensive remarks, compared gay people to alcoholics. So did top Religious Right leaders Mat Staver and Tony Perkins. Robert Jeffress, a Texas pastor close to Perry, also “equates being gay with alcoholism or a genetic proclivity toward violence,” according to the Dallas-based D Magazine.

Despite story after story about the GOP’s purported shift on gay rights, the party is still mired in anti-gay bigotry.

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/11/14

Mat Staver Unable To Explain How Anti-Gay Discrimination Is Different From Other Forms Of Discrimination

Testifying before a House committee today about supposed threats to religious freedom in the U.S., Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver struggled to defend his support for allowing businesses to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler grilled Staver about his view that it would be wrong for a wedding photographer to discriminate against a Jewish couple because of a religious objection, but that the photographer is free to discriminate against a same-sex couple.

First, Staver tried to avoid the question by saying a photographer wouldn’t refuse to work for a Jewish wedding, but ultimately agreed that such anti-Jewish discrimination is in fact a violation of the law.

“I don’t see any difference at all” between refusing a Jewish couple and a gay couple, Nadler said.

He continued: “I’m holding out myself in commerce and my religious belief is that I don’t want black people or Jewish people or gay people in my restaurant and the federal government says that is discrimination, is that a violation of the freedom of religion?”

“No,” Staver conceded.

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/20/14

  • Pennsylvania's anti-gay marriage amendment has been struck down, which must be exceptionally painful for Rick Santorum.
  • Mat Staver says "America needs to invite God back into public schools."
  • "We are going to make history": Matt Bevin assures Glenn Beck that he will win his race against Sen. Mitch McConnell tonight.
  • We can now add Steve Deace to the right-wing Christian radio hosts who are mad at Russell Moore for not being impressed by right-wing Christian radio hosts.
  • Finally, Liberty University vice president Johnnie Moore says that "many conservative evangelical leaders who are closer to [Glenn] Beck than me have told me that they believe Beck has had a born again experience recently."

Barber: NHCLC Setting Up A 'Firewall' To Fight Back America's 'Cancerous Invasion Of Immorality'

Back in 2012, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver joined the board of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) and also took on the responsibility of serving as the organization's chief legal counsel. When Staver traveled to Peru last year to be honored for his anti-gay and anti-choice activism, he was so impressed by the commitment of local churches to resist the American government's efforts "to undermine the Judeo-Christian values of life and marriage" that, upon returning to the United States, he called NHCLC president Samuel Rodriquez and encouraged him to expand into Latin America in order to assist with this effort.

Earlier this month, the NHCLC announced that it would be doing just that by merging with a Latin America-based organization called Conela:

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), the largest Hispanic Christian organization in the U.S. representing millions of Evangelicals and over 40,000 churches, announced today that it will merge with Conela, a Latin America-based organization that serves over 487,000 Latin churches across the world.

“This merger is a win-win for both NHCLC and Conela, and we are thrilled to join together to better serve Hispanic Evangelicals worldwide,” said Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the NHCLC. “Under the new NHCLC, we will continue to unify, serve and represent the Hispanic Evangelical community with the divine and human elements of the Christian message all while advancing the Lamb’s agenda.”

This merger, which came at the request of Conela President Ricardo Luna, will result in a worldwide organization that represents over half a million churches and millions of individuals, making it the largest Evangelical association in the world.

Staver recounted these developments on today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, where Matt Barber said the efforts was needed now more than ever because "under this current administration, there is no question that the United States of America is exporting immorality."

"And so NHCLC," Barber said, "is really putting up a firewall to protect Latin America from, unfortunately, this cancerous invasion of immorality and [this] exporting [of] radical homosexual activism and radical pro-abortion activism, ultimately a culture of death":

Staver: 'We're Seeing The Beginning Groundswell Of A Potential New American Revolution'

Mat Staver recently appeared on the "Light of the Southwest" Christian television program on God's Learning Channel where he warned, yet again, that America is headed toward a second American Revolution led by conservative Christians over the issues of gay marriage, abortion, and religious liberty.

"We're seeing the beginning groundswell of a potential new American Revolution," Staver said, asserting that if the government continues to trample on religious liberty, the nation will soon "run into that decision point of persecution and/or revolution."

Likening inevitable Christian resistance to this forthcoming persecution to the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s, Staver said that, just as Martin Luther King preached non-violence, he hopes that the next revolution will follow that same path ... "but you never know what happens":

Barber & Staver: Michelle Obama 'Is An Evil Human Being'

Earlier this month, First Lady Michelle Obama stopped by a local health care center in Miami as part of the administration's effort to encourage people to sign up for Obamacare. Before leaving, she praised those running the clinic, saying "these places are not easy places to run, but you are doing God’s work."

For some reason, that comment has drawn the ire of Mat Staver and Matt Barber, who completely freaked out about it on today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast in which they called her "an evil human being" and both compared her to Hitler:

Staver: This whole Obamacare issue really shows the radicalism of the death culture and it's being led by the President and his wife and his administration.

Michelle Obama, she spoke to so-called Obamacare counselors, people that are receiving taxpayer money, millions and millions of dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars actually going to Planned Parenthood to sign up people for Obamacare, and she says 'you are doing God's work.' Quote 'you are doing God's work.'

Barber: It's jaw-dropping.

Staver: This is reminiscent of going back to Hitler. You're doing God's work? To what? To put people in these plans that actually kill children? That force employers to fund abortion and take innocent human lives? That's God's work? This is perverted. This is a perverted administration and a perverted president.

Barber: This is evil. It's evil. And Michelle Obama, anybody who could say that, is an evil human being. Those are evil words, that's an evil sentiment, and I cannot believe that Michelle Obama would say that 'you're doing God's work' by dismembering alive innocent pre-born children.  It is Hitlerian.

Liberty Counsel Defends Christian School's Right To Demand Tomboy Student Follow 'Biblical Standards' On Gender

Yesterday, we noted that Liberty Counsel had come to the defense of a Virginia Christian school which had informed the family of an 8-year old female student not to re-enroll her next year unless she is "open to following the biblical standards" regarding her appearance and gender.

The girl's great-grandparents and legal guardians assert that she is being asked to leave the school because she is a tomboy with short hair, but yesterday the school released a statement through Liberty Counsel saying that the media reports about the issue have been false and misleading:

We are deeply dismayed over the inaccurate and public nature of this situation and the false and inaccurate reporting.

The Church and the School are limited in what can be related about this situation. With all due respect, the facts are not as S.K.'s great-grandparents have portrayed them. This matter is far beyond a simple ‘hairstyle and tomboy issue’ as inaccurately portrayed. It is not about that at all. At no time did the Church or the School state or imply that S.K. was sexually immoral or the like. Yet, reports like this have appeared in the media. The School has never told S.K. she cannot return to school.

The Church and the School have a responsibility to all students, their parents, and guardians. Parents and guardians send their children to the School because of our Christian beliefs and standards. We have a duty to create an environment that is supportive of these Christian values. We cannot have conflicting messages or standards because such conflict will confuse our students and frustrate the parents and guardians who have entrusted the education of their children to us. When elementary children and their parents or guardians express concerns regarding use of the restroom and other matters arising from the sensitive issues here, the School has a duty to address those concerns and to ensure that all interests are heard and protected in accordance with the Christian mission of the School. While we welcome all students, parents and guardians are made aware of the School’s Christian mission and beliefs. We not only have a right, but we also have a duty to uphold these Christian standards.

We deeply regret that the great-grandparents either made inaccurate statements or were quoted out of context. This public discussion is not in the best interest of all concerned. S.K. has been attending our school for several years and we had looked forward to working with her and her great-grandparents privately.”

Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, who has been asked to represent the school, commented: “The Book of Proverbs says that he who states his case first seems right until another comes forth to challenge him. I think that accurately describes the misinformation that was reported regarding Timberlake Christian School. The school looks forward to working with the family and moving forward to a positive resolution.”

We are actually sympathetic to Liberty Counsel on this point because we have seen this very sort of story play out in the opposite direction time and again, as Religious Right groups gin-up a one-sided controversy about supposed anti-Christian persecution and then spread it far and wide before school officials have even had a chance to correct the record.

But, in this case, media reports seem quite accurate, as they are based upon the letter the school sent home in which school officials informed the family that the young girl would not be welcome back if she did not begin to model proper "biblical standards" of gender:

There also have been several occasions when the other students, particularly those who do not know Sunnie personally, have been confused about whether she is a boy or girl, and at times, these occasions have been troubling to Sunnie. I also understand that Sunnie is being counseled professionally regarding her identify and image in order to steer her in a particular direction to handle these identity issues.

You’re probably aware that Timberlake Christian Schools is a religious, Bible-believing Institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment, and we believe that our biblical role is to work in conjunction with the home to mold students to be Christlike, On those occasions in which the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home is counter to or in opposition to the biblical lifestyle that the school teaches, the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, living in, condoning or supporting sexual immorality; practicing homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity; promoting such practices; or otherwise having the inability to support the moral principles of the school. We base this standard on Bible principles as found in Leviticus 20:13a; Romans 1:21-27; Matthew 19:4-6; and I Corinthians 6:9-20.

However, we believe that unless Sunnie as well as her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that ICS is not the best place for her future education. It seems that the school’s goals and biblical foundations are going to be in contradiction with the direction that Sunnie is heading at this point.

For this reason, we must ask that you not re-enroll Sunnie here at TCS unless you are open to following the biblical standards set forth above.

Glenn Beck, Liberty University, And The Right To Be Different

Last week, we noted that it was a little odd to watch Glenn Beck heap praise upon Religious Right activist Mat Staver not too long after denouncing anyone who supported the anti-gay crackdown taking place in Russia, given Staver's long history of anti-gay activism and support for these very sorts of laws.

On today's radio broadcast, Beck was discussing the most recent developments in the Justina Pelletier case and once again praised Staver and Liberty University, where he serves as dean of the law school. So impressed with Staver is Beck that he announced that, when he dies, he is going to leave a lot of money to LU:

This is odd for a number of reasons, most notably the fact that Liberty U has not been particularly welcoming of Mormons or Mormonism.

Beyond that, just last week Beck made a crusade out of defending a gradeschool boy who was told not to bring his "My Little Pony" backpack to school, using his entire network to support the boy and even bringing him on his television program.

"I thought it was important to send a very clear message to Grayson and everybody else that it’s okay to be different," Beck declared last week.  "It is critical that you remain different. It is critical that you say, ‘This is who I am, and if you don’t like it, go pound sand. I don’t really care.'"

This week, a similar sort of story emerged out of Virginia where a Christian school has asked a young girl to leave because she is too much of a tomboy and is not modeling a properly feminine "biblical lifestyle."

"We believe that unless Sunnie and her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education," shool officials wrote in a letter sent home with the student.

Wouldn't you know it, but this school just so happens to have a close relationship with none of than Liberty University and, according to news reports, school officials are referring any inquiries about the incident to Mat Staver's Liberty Counsel:

School officials declined a request to speak with MSNBC, referring the matter instead to Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization. Timberlake administrator Jeff Abbett did send a statement to WDBJ7, however, saying the school was “heart-broken” over the latest developments.

Will Glenn Beck come rushing to defend Sunnie’s right to be different? Or will he continue to stand with Staver and heap praise upon Liberty Counsel even as his organization defends this school's decision to refuse to allow her to attend because she chooses to "remain different"?

As we have pointed out before, Beck has a tendency to decry the very things that the people with whom he chooses to associate all vocally support, all while pretending that he doesn't even know anybody who supports those sorts of things. And this is another perfect example of Beck's myopic hypocrisy as one week he is decrying efforts by a school to force a student to conform and then, the very next week, endlessly praising someone who is defending a school that is forcing a student to conform.

Latest Judge's Ruling In The Justina Pelletier Case Met With Outrage

After several delays, the Massachusetts judge handling the Justina Pelletier case issued a ruling yesterday that was devastating to Justina's parents and the Religious Right activists who have made her case their crusade.

In his ruling, Judge Joseph Johnston found that there is "credible psychiatric and medical evidence" to suggest that Justina suffers from a "persistent and severe Somatic Symptom Disorder" rather than the mitochondrial disease with which she was initially diagnosed and heavily criticized her parents, saying she needs to remain in state custody "due to the conduct and inability of her parents, Linda Pelletier and Lou Pelletier, to provide for Justina’s necessary and proper physical, mental, and emotional development."

Johnston asserted that the Pelletiers had repeatedly abused medical staff as well as those working for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and twice undermined efforts to transfer Justina to different facilities by threatening to sue one and generating protests by Religious Right activists outside of another, which resulted in both facilities ultimately declining to take her. 

In addition, Johnston denied Mat Staver's efforts to sign on as the parents' legal counsel.

Based on the recommendations of both the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, as well as the Guardian ad litem assigned to act in Justina's best interest, Johnston ruled that Justina would remain in state custody:

The judge’s four-page decision, which was provided to the Globe, was remarkable for its detail and forcefulness. Johnston faulted Connecticut’s child protection agency for its failure to get involved in a case involving a child from its state, and faulted Pelletier’s parents for their verbally abusive manner and haphazard decision-making that he says has sabotaged plans to move their daughter closer to home.

Johnston wrote that the parents called Boston Children’s Hospital personnel Nazis “and claimed the hospital was punishing and killing Justina. Efforts by hospital clinicians to work with the parents were futile and never went anywhere.”

More recently, he wrote, “there has not been any progress by the parents. Rather, the parents . . . continue to engage in very concerning conduct that does not give this court any confidence they will comply with conditions of custody.” He noted that because of allegations that Justina’s father, Lou Pelletier, threatened a state social worker assigned to the case, the worker had to be reassigned.

In his ruling, Johnston, for the first time publicly, stated his belief that Pelletier suffers from “a persistent and severe Somatic Symptom Disorder,” a psychiatric diagnosis that doctors at Children’s reached in early 2013 when the girl was brought there because she had difficulty walking and eating. The parents objected to that diagnosis, leading to accusations of medical child abuse and setting off a monthslong battle over her care.

...

Johnston also denied a request by lawyer Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel in Florida to help represent the parents. Staver said he plans to take part in a plan to appeal Tuesday’s ruling on legal grounds, a process that he hopes might reverse the custody decision earlier than the summer.

In tone, Johnston’s ruling made it appear he had lost patience after trying for months to carefully orchestrate a resolution to a case that has drawn nationwide media attention.

Lou Pelletier has taken part in numerous national media interviews to condemn the Department of Children and Families and the judge and call for the return of his daughter. Since the start of the year, several conservative Christian organizations have gotten involved in defending the parents, seeing the case as an example of government interference in the sanctity of parental rights, and have instigated massive phone and letter-writing campaigns to the judge and other state officials.

Johnston wrote that the parents had repeatedly “impeded progress” in resolving the case. “Instead of engaging in quality visits with Justina, the parents use profanity directed at MA DCF personnel in Justina’s presence,” he said. “There is absolutely no meaningful dialogue by the parents to work towards reunification.”

Staver, for his part, has vowed to "pursue every legal means," including filing a habeas corpus petition if necessary:

Today, Judge Joseph Johnston ruled that the custody of Justina will remain with Massachusetts DCF until a future hearing, which could not be set any earlier than June 20.  “Once again, the court is kicking the can down the road. This is unacceptable,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

“DCF has no right to hold Justina like a prisoner. We will pursue every legal means to end this tragedy,” said Staver.

...

“In all my years in practice, I have never seen a more barbaric overreach by a state agency,” Staver said. “The family has asked us to pursue every legal means necessary to get their daughter home. Liberty Counsel will file an appeal or a habeas corpus petition,” said Staver.

And Religious Right activists are planning on ramping up their efforts:

Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA, said the Free Justina Coalition plans to appeal to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to step into this matter. He also said that they’re considering a permanent office in Boston to organize outreach efforts.

“We’re looking for thousands of people to gather, not just hundreds,” Mason said.

Beck Praises Mat Staver As A 'True Force For Good' Who Is Raising Up An 'Army Of The Lord'

A few months ago, Glenn Beck took a very public stand against the anti-gay crackdown in Russia, declaring that no reasonable person would support what is happening there and boldly asserting that he didn't even know anybody who was anti-gay.

As we pointed out at the time, Beck actually knew several people who were anti-gay since he was personal friends with them and had them on his show quite regularly.

In the months since, Beck has turned his attention to the case involving Justina Pelletier, which has become something of a major Religious Right campaign; so much so that Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver has taken over as the Pelletier's attorney.

As such, Staver and others from Liberty Counsel have made multiple appearances on Beck's radio and television programs, despite the fact that Staver and his organization are among the most vehemently anti-gay activists operating today.

It is no small irony that Staver and his colleague Matt Barber have openly advocated for enacting Russia-style laws here in America, which was the very topic that made Beck declare just a few months ago that he would stand with GLAAD while proclaiming that anyone who supported such laws could not consider themselves to be a fan of his.

So naturally, when Staver appeared on Beck's radio program yesterday, Beck had nothing but praise for him, saying it was "truly an honor" to work with them and calling both Liberty Counsel and Liberty University, where Staver serves as vice-president, "a true force for good" that are serving "front and center when it comes to the Army of the Lord and being a shield for many, many people, including most of our children":

Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious