Mat Staver

The GOP's Hate Summit: A Who's Who Of The 2014 Values Voter Summit

This weekend, Republican elected officials including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Gov. Bobby Jindal will take part in what has become an annual ritual for potential GOP presidential contenders: they will seek to curry the favor of the Religious Right by speaking at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit.

In doing so, they put themselves in the company of some of the most radical groups and activists working today to dehumanize LGBT people, roll back reproductive rights, tear down the wall between church and state, and deny free exercise rights to religious minorities.

The Values Voter Summit’s sponsor, the Family Research Council, regularly issues false and demeaning smears about LGBT people and advocates for an America ruled according to the dictates of a small sliver of right-wing Christians. Just this month, the group’s president Tony Perkins suggested that the Constitution’s religious liberty protections do not apply to Muslims.

The other primary sponsors of the event, the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, and Gary Bauer’s American Values have equally if not more egregious records of extremism. In addition, a number of fringe groups are contributing to the conference by sponsoring exhibition tables, including Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), which pushes discredited conversion therapy on LGBT people; the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR); and the World Congress of Families, which works with activists throughout the world to push harsh anti-gay laws.

But the Values Voter Summit’s speakers do not have to visit the event’s exhibition hall to encounter extremism. They will find plenty of that in their fellow speakers. Below is an introduction to some of the speakers who will be sharing a stage with prominent GOP elected officials at this week’s summit.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the chief sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Now a widely recognized spokesman for social conservative causes, Perkins served two terms as a Republican legislator in the Louisiana House of Representatives before launching a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2002. Perkins has:

  • Contended that the anti-bullying “It Gets Better” project is “immoral,” “disgusting,” and promotes “perversion.”
  • Defined efforts by the Obama administration to advance LGBT rights abroad as a push for “radical sexualism” and “global homosexuality.”
  • Praised a Uganda bill that would have condemned gays and lesbians to death as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.”
  • Warned that LGBT rights advocates will launch a holocaust against Christians, placing those that oppose same-sex marriage into “boxcars.”
  • Suggested that Christian clergy who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious liberties as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”
  • Warned that lawmakers who voted to repeal the military ban on openly gay service members would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin earned a public rebuke from President George W. Bush when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the "War on Terror" as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. In 2012, he was named executive vice president of the Family Research Council.

Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative, and once told the group that President Obama used health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him. Boykin has also:

  • Suggested that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell led to the “absolute destruction of our military.”
  • Described CIA head John Brennan as “very sympathetic to the jihadist cause.”
  • Denounced the repeal of laws banning women from military combat service.
  • Blamed the Sandy Hook school massacre on the presence of secularism in society.

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the dean of the Liberty University School of Law and the founder and chairman of its affiliate, Liberty Counsel, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government in order to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and Western civilization. Through his position at Liberty Counsel, Staver has:

Gary Bauer

Gary Bauer is the president of Values Voter Summit sponsor American Values, a former president of the Family Research Council, and one-time Republican presidential hopeful. While serving in the Reagan administration as a Department of Education official, Bauer was named chairman of the president’s Special Working Group on the Family. Bauer has:

  • Reacting to A&E’s suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for racist and homophobic remarks, declared that progressives are waging a “jihad against America’s cultural norms,”
  • Warned that President Obama is “obsessed” with LGBT issues, and claimed that his “secular” agenda will “destroy” America.
  • Claimed that Supreme Court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage were acts of “judicial terrorism” putting America on “the verge of criminalizing the Book of Genesis.”
  • Wondered why African Americans keep “falling through the cracks  of society despite the fact that “every major goal” of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been reached.

Benham Brothers

Twin brothers Jason and David Benham were catapulted to national attention this year when an HGTV show that they were set to star in was cancelled following revelations about their anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Muslim activism. Since the show’s cancellation, the brothers have become a cause célèbre for the Religious Right, which has lifted them up as an example of the supposed persecution of conservative Christians in America. One or both of the brothers have:

  • Asserted that the LGBT equality movement is part of a “spiritual fight" between God and the “kingdom run by Satan.”
  • Urged the city of Charlotte, NC to deny permits to an LGBT Pride event, calling it a “vile” and “destructive” activity that “should not be allowed in our city.”
  • Compared the fight against marriage equality to opposing Nazi Germany.
  • Called an Islamic community center a “den of iniquity” and referred to Muslims as “the enemy attacking" America.
  • Organized a prayer rally to coincide with the 2012 Democratic National Convention, declaring that America must repent for “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.”
  • Led protests outside of abortion clinics, praising anti-choice demonstrators for taking a stand at “the gates of hell” and confronting the “altars of Moloch.”

E.W. Jackson

The 2013 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, E.W. Jackson is a longtime activist who has likened the Democratic Party to the Antichrist, said Planned Parenthood is worse than the Ku Klux Klan, suggested that President Obama is a Muslim and demonic, and fought against efforts to desegregate public housing. Jackson’s most pernicious rhetoric has focused on LGBT people. He has:

  • Referred to gays and lesbians as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”
  • Criticized abortion and in vitro fertilization as “evils” that carry “the mark of Satan.”
  • Argued that gay marriage will release a “torrent of wickedness” that will result in man-animal marriages.
  • Said homosexuality is connected to pedophilia and that homosexuality also “poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things we can think of.”

Star Parker

Star Parker is a longtime Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-choice advocacy. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust and blamed “sexual promiscuity” for nearly all financial and societal problems. At the 2011 Values Voter Summit, she claimed that God was getting ready to punish America for marriage equality and legal abortion. Parker has also:

  • Declared that LGBT people are forcing Christians “into the closet.”
  • Mused that family life for African Americans was “more healthy” under slavery than it is today
  • Argued that the rate of HIV infections in Washington, D.C., would spike once the city legalized marriage equality, “transforming [the city] officially into Sodom.”
  • Tied same-sex marriage to failing public schools.

Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes, a Fox News commentator and the author of several books including this year’s “God Less America," specializes in generating stories of dubious accuracy purporting to illustrate the persecution of conservative Christians in America. Recently, he has:

  • Speculated that public school officials oppose abstinence-only programs to protect their “condom profits.”
  • Asserted that Obama refuses to take action against ISIS to “accommodate the Islamic faith at the expense of all other faiths.”
  • Blamed Obama for “ orchestrating” the protests in Ferguson, Mo., in an effort to exacerbate racial tensions.
  • Baselessly accused the University of Wisconsin of intentionally inflating grades to boost the academic performance of minority students.
  • Worried that LGBT rights advocates will inevitably demand the deportation of Christians.

Sandy Rios

Sandy Rios, a former president of Concerned Women for America, now hosts a daily radio show on American Family Radio, the network run by the American Family Association. At last year’s summit, she promoted ex-gay therapy and said Matthew Shepard’s murder was a “complete fraud.” Like other AFR hosts, she frequently promotes right-wing conspiracy theories, including claims that President Obama was not born in the United States. Rios has also:

  • Insisted that one of Obama’s first priorities as president was to resettle thousands of Palestinian refugees in the U.S. and provide them with food stamps.
  • Advanced the myth that the health care reform law “says that Muslims will be exempt from the government mandate to purchase health insurance.”
  • Compared the relationships of same-sex couples to those of kidnapper Ariel Castro and his captives.
  • Warned that the “homosexual takeover” of the military would jeopardize the effectiveness of the armed forces.
  • Frequently links the gay community to child abuse.

Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte Gabriel is the founder and president of ACT! for America, where she works with local activists throughout the country to promote fears that Sharia law is taking hold in the U.S. and must be banned and to challenge textbooks that she believes are insufficiently critical of Islam. She makes frequent media appearances to warn of what she calls the “ secret Islamification” of the West. Among other attacks on Mulsim-Americans, Gabriel has:

This post was updated to include Brigitte Gabriel following an FRC announcement that she would speak at the summit. A previous edition of this post listed incorrectly listed James Dobson, one of the founders of the FRC, as a speaker.

The GOP's Hate Summit: A Who’s Who Of The 2014 Values Voter Summit

To: Reporters and editors
From: Drew Courtney, Director of Communications, People For the American Way
Date: September 22, 2014
Subject: The GOP's Hate Summit: A Who’s Who of the 2014 Values Voter Summit

This weekend, Republican elected officials including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Gov. Bobby Jindal will take part in what has become an annual ritual for potential GOP presidential contenders: they will seek to curry the favor of the Religious Right by speaking at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit.

In doing so, they put themselves in the company of some of the most radical groups and activists working today to dehumanize LGBT people, roll back reproductive rights, tear down the wall between church and state, and deny free exercise rights to religious minorities.

The Values Voter Summit’s sponsor, the Family Research Council, regularly issues false and demeaning smears about LGBT people and advocates for an America ruled according to the dictates of a small sliver of right-wing Christians. Just this month, the group’s president Tony Perkins suggested that the Constitution’s religious liberty protections do not apply to Muslims.

The other primary sponsors of the event, the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, and Gary Bauer’s American Values have equally if not more egregious records of extremism. In addition, a number of fringe groups are contributing to the conference by sponsoring exhibition tables, including Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), which pushes discredited conversion therapy on LGBT people; the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR); and the World Congress of Families, which works with activists throughout the world to push harsh anti-gay laws.

But the Values Voter Summit’s speakers do not have to visit the event’s exhibition hall to encounter extremism. They will find plenty of that in their fellow speakers. Below is an introduction to some of the speakers who will be sharing a stage with prominent GOP elected officials at this week’s summit.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the chief sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Now a widely recognized spokesman for social conservative causes, Perkins served two terms as a Republican legislator in the Louisiana House of Representatives before launching a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2002. Perkins has:

  • Contended that the anti-bullying “ It Gets Better ” project is “immoral,” “disgusting,” and promotes “perversion.”
  • Defined efforts by the Obama administration to advance LGBT rights abroad as a push for “ radical sexualism ” and “global homosexuality.”
  • Praised a Uganda bill that would have condemned gays and lesbians to death as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.”
  • Warned that LGBT rights advocates will launch a holocaust against Christians, placing those that oppose same-sex marriage into “ boxcars.”
  • Suggested that Christian clergy who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious liberties as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”
  • Warned that lawmakers who voted to repeal the military ban on openly gay service members would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin earned a public rebuke from President George W. Bush when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the "War on Terror" as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. In 2012, he was named executive vice president of the Family Research Council.

Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative, and once told the group that President Obama used health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him. Boykin has also:

  • Suggested that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell led to the “absolute destruction of our military.”
  • Described CIA head John Brennan as “very sympathetic to the jihadist cause.”
  • Denounced the repeal of laws banning women from military combat service.
  • Blamed the Sandy Hook school massacre on the presence of secularism in society.

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the dean of the Liberty University School of Law and the founder and chairman of its affiliate, Liberty Counsel, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government in order to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and Western civilization. Through his position at Liberty Counsel, Staver has:

Gary Bauer

Gary Bauer is the president of Values Voter Summit sponsor American Values, a former president of the Family Research Council, and one-time Republican presidential hopeful. While serving in the Reagan administration as a Department of Education official, Bauer was named chairman of the president’s Special Working Group on the Family. Bauer has:

  • Reacting to A&E’s suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for racist and homophobic remarks, declared that progressives are waging a “jihad against America’s cultural norms,”
  • Warned that President Obama is “obsessed” with LGBT issues, and claimed that his “secular” agenda will “destroy” America.
  • Claimed that Supreme Court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage were acts of “judicial terrorism” putting America on “the verge of criminalizing the Book of Genesis.”
  • Wondered why African Americans keep “falling through the cracks  of society despite the fact that “every major goal” of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been reached.

Benham Brothers

Twin brothers Jason and David Benham were catapulted to national attention this year when an HGTV show that they were set to star in was cancelled following revelations about their anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Muslim activism. Since the show’s cancellation, the brothers have become a cause célèbre for the Religious Right, which has lifted them up as an example of the supposed persecution of conservative Christians in America. One or both of the brothers have:

  • Asserted that the LGBT equality movement is part of a “spiritual fight" between God and the “kingdom run by Satan.”
  • Urged the city of Charlotte, NC to deny permits to an LGBT Pride event, calling it a “vile” and “destructive” activity that “should not be allowed in our city.”
  • Compared the fight against marriage equality to opposing Nazi Germany.
  • Called an Islamic community center a “den of iniquity” and referred to Muslims as “the enemy attacking" America.
  • Organized a prayer rally to coincide with the 2012 Democratic National Convention, declaring that America must repent for “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.”
  • Led protests outside of abortion clinics, praising anti-choice demonstrators for taking a stand at “the gates of hell” and confronting the “altars of Moloch.”

E.W. Jackson

The 2013 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, E.W. Jackson is a longtime activist who has likened the Democratic Party to the Antichrist, said Planned Parenthood is worse than the Ku Klux Klan, suggested that President Obama is a Muslim and demonic, and fought against efforts to desegregate public housing. Jackson’s most pernicious rhetoric has focused on LGBT people. He has:

  • Referred to gays and lesbians as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”
  • Criticized abortion and in vitro fertilization as “evils” that carry “the mark of Satan.”
  • Argued that gay marriage will release a “torrent of wickedness” that will result in man-animal marriages.
  • Said homosexuality is connected to pedophilia and that homosexuality also “poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things we can think of.”

Star Parker

Star Parker is a longtime Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-choice advocacy. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust and blamed “sexual promiscuity” for nearly all financial and societal problems. At the 2011 Values Voter Summit, she claimed that God was getting ready to punish America for marriage equality and legal abortion. Parker has also:

  • Declared that LGBT people are forcing Christians “ into the closet.”
  • Mused that family life for African Americans was “more healthy” under slavery than it is today
  • Argued that the rate of HIV infections in Washington, D.C., would spike once the city legalized marriage equality, “transforming [the city] officially into Sodom.”
  • Tied same-sex marriage to failing public schools.

Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes, a Fox News commentator and the author of several books including this year’s “God Less America," specializes in generating stories of dubious accuracy purporting to illustrate the persecution of conservative Christians in America. Recently, he has:

  • Speculated that public school officials oppose abstinence-only programs to protect their “condom profits.”
  • Asserted that Obama refuses to take action against ISIS to “accommodate the Islamic faith at the expense of all other faiths.”
  • Blamed Obama for “ orchestrating” the protests in Ferguson, Mo., in an effort to exacerbate racial tensions.
  • Baselessly accused the University of Wisconsin of intentionally inflating grades to boost the academic performance of minority students.
  • Worried that LGBT rights advocates will inevitably demand the deportation of Christians.

Sandy Rios

Sandy Rios, a former president of Concerned Women for America, now hosts a daily radio show on American Family Radio, the network run by the American Family Association. At last year’s summit, she promoted ex-gay therapy and said Matthew Shepard’s murder was a “complete fraud.” Like other AFR hosts, she frequently promotes right-wing conspiracy theories, including claims that President Obama was not born in the United States . Rios has also:

  • Insisted that one of Obama’s first priorities as president was to resettle thousands of Palestinian refugees in the U.S. and provide them with food stamps.
  • Advanced the myth that the health care reform law “says that Muslims will be exempt from the government mandate to purchase health insurance.”
  • Compared the relationships of same-sex couples to those of kidnapper Ariel Castro and his captives.
  • Warned that the “ homosexual takeover” of the military would jeopardize the effectiveness of the armed forces.
  • Frequently links the gay community to child abuse.

A previous version of this memo incorrectly listed James Dobson as a speaker. 

Rhetoric on ISIS Shows the Right Wing Is Out of Touch with Reality

It’s not hard to understand that the Right Wing is out of touch, but sometimes it is hard to recognize just how out of touch its leaders really are.

Take, for instance, ISIS, the group of radical militants committing atrocities across Iraq and Syria, recently beheading two American journalists among many others. It’s a scary organization, but to the Right, it’s not as scary as, say, comprehensive immigration reform.

To Pat Buchanan, the threat of immigration and the “decomposition of this country” is significantly greater than that of ISIS. William Gheen of the anti-immigrant group Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC) also claimed that undocumented immigrants are a greater threat to America than ISIS since, according to Gheen, “ISIS could cut off the heads of journalists once a month for the next five years and that’s not going to destroy America, but Obama’s pumping of illegal immigrants into the country will.”

Nor is immigration the only domestic issue the Right thinks bears a resemblance to a vicious foreign threat.

Vic Eliason and Mat Staver last week linked same-sex marriage in the U.S. to the beheadings by ISIS. According to Eliason and Staver, gay rights advocates are destroying morality and biblical values and creating an anything-goes society where people do whatever they need to—killing or beheading—to get what they want, just like ISIS.

What’s terrifying about these comments isn’t that they’re extreme, but that these right wing figures aren’t speaking in a vacuum. Their audience continues to represent an important part of the GOP base, and in some cases these speakers have a direct line to Republican politicians.

As progressives, we can’t ignore this extremism just because it seems disconnected from reality. For the far right, that’s never been an obstacle at all.

PFAW

Staver: Contraception Mandate Just Like Nazi Gas Chambers

The topic of today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program was the lawsuit filed by the Little Sisters of the Poor against Obamacare's contraception accommodation for non-profit religious organizations, which Matt Barber and Mat Staver once again compared to Nazi Germany.

Under the accommodation, non-profit religious organizations that object to providing contraceptive coverage for employees simply have to file a letter noting their objections and then they "will not have to contract, arrange, pay for or refer contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds" as such contraception coverage will then be provided separately by the insurance provider.

That compromise, to Barber and Staver, is nothing short of pure evil and no different than the Nazis forcing people to gas the Jews.

"If you are being forced to pay for the gas in the chamber that is injected into that chamber to kill a Jew, that's one thing." Staver said. "On the other hand, if you are required to say 'you go right, you go left,' the ones that go to the left, they go to the gas chamber, you don't have to pay for that, but you have to make the decision to do it, it's the same thing. Whether I have to exchange a dollar or ten dollars or a thousand dollars to facilitate the death of a human being or whether I have to say 'I can't do it, I can't pull the trigger so therefore don't make me pull the trigger,' consequently since I've objected now a third party has to pull the trigger. There's no difference."

Barber agreed, saying that those who object "are still being forced to be complicit in that abortion homicide," which is exactly what President Obama wants because he "in large part, lives his life to enable people to kill others."

"This is good versus evil," Barber said, "and there's little question who's on the side of good here and who's on the side of evil":

Paranoia-Rama: Obama's 'Demon Spirit,' 'Feminizing' Football And Hollywood's Gay Trickery

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

While the entertainment industry is slyly tricking women into becoming lesbians, President Obama is forcing Americans to engage in same-sex marriages as part of his Nazi plot against America.

5. ‘Girl-On Girl Movies’ Are Making Kids Gay

Pat Robertson is back with more words of wisdom about homosexuality, sharing his views yesterday on why some people, particularly young women, are gay.

According to Robertson, Hollywood’s penchant for “girl-on-girl movies” — along with sexual abuse — is to blame.

4. Obama’s Alien/Demon Pal

Jim Garrow has managed to bring several of his anti-Obama conspiracy theories together, including his claims that Obama believes he is the Mahdi of a branch of Shia Islam, communicates with aliens and is secretly gay .

Bathhouse Barry referring to himself as the "Voice in the Wilderness, like John the Baptist for Jesus". This was in reference to his belief that he will introduce the mahdi to the world (possibly an alien as in transdimensional being) aka demon spirit. You can't make this stuff up. Obama is doing far too much blow and weed. Someone needs to curtail his meetings with Reggie Love.

Sadly, Garrow has no new information on Obama’s plan to nuke America or attack us with Canadian troops.

3. Feminists ‘Chickifying’ The NFL

Who will speak up for the downtrodden, heterosexual male? Rush Limbaugh will, that’s who. After fretting about Michael Sam’s “assault” on heterosexuality, Limbaugh expressed his displeasure with those who are angry with the way the NFL handled the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal.

“Folks, this, none of this, this is crazy, we’re feminizing this game and it’s a man’s game and if we keep feminizing this game we’re going to ruin it, if we keep chickifying this game, we’re going to ruin it,” Limbaugh said, lashing out at the “feminized,” “politically correct” men who apparently dominate the NFL and sports media.

Limbaugh also linked the scandal to the Democratic Party (who of course are the real sexists), suggesting that NFL players are probably Democrats who abuse their wives: “‘War on women,’ these guys beating up their wives, are they all Republicans or are they voting Democrat [sic] you think? Who is really conducting the war on women here? Who is actually doing it? Who has brought all this about? All this supposed abuse on women takes place in the NFL, who are these guys, think they’re voting Republican? I kind of doubt it. I did just ask that, are these guys who are engaging in domestic violence, which is a war on women, are they voting Republican or are they voting Democrat? I think the odds are they’re voting Democrat, aren’t they?”

Media Matters captured the audio:

2. Obama Is Worse Than Hitler

Did you know that people are being forced against their will to participate in abortions and same-sex marriages?

At least, that’s the story according to Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver and his “Faith & Freedom” radio show co-host Matt Barber.

Staver, who once warned of “forced homosexuality” under Obama, said Christians have never faced such a horrible or more persecuted time in American history than they do under Obama’s presidency, and things have gotten so bad that the U.S. government is more punitive and cruel than Nazi Germany.

1. Dirty Democrats Helping ‘Uneducated’ People Vote

Unable to back up claims about the hazards of voter fraud with any actual proof, Republican officials now just seem to be giving away what their “election integrity” campaigns are all about.

Georgia state Sen. Frank Millar, for example, is upset that a government officials plan to open a polling location at a mall “dominated by African American shoppers” and “near several large African American mega churches,” and has pledged to stop the plan from going forward.

Millar explained that he isn’t upset that black people are voting, just that uneducated people (wink, wink) are voting: “I would prefer more educated voters than a greater increase in the number of voters. If you don't believe this is an efort [sic] to maximize Democratic votes pure and simple, then you are not a realist. This is a partisan stunt and I hope it can be stopped.”

Not to be outdone, Georgia’s top elections official, Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, expressed dismay that “the Democrats are working hard, and all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there.” Kemp cited ACORN, a group which no longer exists, to substantiate his worries about voter fraud.

Vic Eliason And Mat Staver Link ISIS Beheadings To LGBT 'Meltdown Of Morality'

On yesterday’s edition of “Crosstalk,” Voice of Christian Youth America’s Vic Eliason and Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver connected same-sex marriage in the U.S. to beheadings committed by the terrorist group ISIS.

Discussing recent marriage equality legal victories, Staver made his standard prediction that the legalization of same-sex marriage will pave the way for polygamy. Eliason responded by accusing gay rights advocates of destroying morality and biblical values, leading to a decadent, anything-goes society.

“People see something they want, they steal it or they kill somebody or behead them. Some of this stuff now that’s going on, the beheading, which has become literally a religious, I don’t know what you’d call it— it becomes a very sacred thing to the Islamics to behead somebody because that is a special right that is deserved by the infidels,” Eliason said.

Staver naturally agreed and said it was all President Obama’s fault: “Yeah, that’s exactly right. I think what we’re seeing today is a meltdown of morality. That’s what certainly President Obama has been pushing, he is very much pushing a disintegration of Judeo-Christian values not just here in the United States but he’s actively doing that around the country [sic] promoting abortion and same-sex marriage, he’s trying to do that in every way possible across the world.”

Staver: Obama's America Is Worse Than Nazi Germany

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Mat Staver and Matt Barber declared that this current period in time is the worst persecution that Christians have ever faced throughout American history because they are being forced to participate in both abortion and gay marriage.

Bizarrely, Staver claimed that, under Obamacare, Christians are not only being required to fund abortion but are literally being "forced to participate in genocide," which is something that not even the Nazi government forced the German citizens to do.

"Even in Nazi Germany," Staver said, "the government participated in genocide but the individuals, the citizens weren't forced to participate in it ... The people were not forced to push people into the gas chamber or pull the trigger, but now you're being forced to pull the trigger, you're being forced to participate in a genocide, that's different than anything before."

Barber agreed, saying "this is the most oppressive time in terms of religious liberty in the United States," not only because of abortion but also because Christians are also supposedly being persecuted for opposing gay marriage.

"Everyone is going to have to make a decision to either obey the laws of God or to obey the laws of man," Barber said, "and this is unprecedented."

Staver warned that Christians are being compelled to "participate in a Romans 1 platform" by affirming those whom God has given up to a reprobate mind.

"Romans 1 says that when you reject God as the Creator," he said, "God gives you up to a reprobate mind and one of the consequences of that is the people turn towards the same sex for sexual activity and pleasure":

Mat Staver: LGBT Acceptance Is 'Very Dangerous' To Society

Last week, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver appeared on “In The Market with Janet Parshall” to argue that the LGBT rights movement is eroding America’s moral compass.

Staver pointed his finger at Christians who either support LGBT equality or have given up fighting against it, realizing they are on the losing side of a political showdown.

“There is some resolution to say, ‘Oh, we’ve lost this battle, we just need to figure out how to move forward and coexist,’” he said. “And that is a wrong, very dangerous position to be in. You cannot coexist, you cannot give up on something, that is literally an attack on God himself.”

Staver added that marriage equality is part of a larger agenda that seeks to “abolish gender, abolish sexual morals and norms” in an act that defies the “natural created order.”

“To assume that you can go against the created order is hubris, it’s arrogance, it’s dangerous and it is not something in which we can simply say, ‘the battle’s over, we need to figure out how to coexist.’ There is no coexistence,” he said.

Barber And Staver Warn That Gay Marriage Will Make Straight Couples Less Monogamous

For the last two days, Mat Staver and Matt Barber have been discussing the Family Research Council's "Ten Arguments From Social Science Against Same-Sex Marriage" document on their daily "Faith and Freedom" radio show. On today's broadcast, the two cited reason number six - "Same-sex 'marriage' would undercut the norm of sexual fidelity within marriage" - to argue that legalizing gay marriage would somehow result in straight couples becoming less faithful.

Citing quotes from gay writers like Andrew Sullivan and Dan Savage, Barber and Staver argued that gay male couples are more likely to have open relationships, which they then used to bizarrely assert that letting gays get married would ultimately undermine the practice of monogamy within straight marriages.

"You start doing that in a marriage relationship with a man and a woman," Staver said, "and the woman's just not going to do it."

"We know that women serve to domesticate men," Barber added. "That's not an opinion, that's the social science that shows that women ultimately bring men into their role as father, as provider, and protector for the household and they domesticate men and that lends itself toward monogamy."

There are plenty of straight couples, of course, who engage in open relationships, so what any of this has to do with gay marriage is anybody's guess.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/29/14

  • Ben Carson says that he is "an instrument that’s being used to help restore this country."
  • Peter Sprigg is very mad that judges on the 7th Circuit did not seem to buy the right-wing arguments against marriage equality.
  • Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver is also mad and blames it all on Alfred Kinsey.
  • Gary Cass says it is hypocritical for America to be horrified by ISIS: "In Iraq there are foreign invaders brutalizing and beheading children. In America we brutalize and behead our own children! Surgical abortion is nothing less horrific or less brutal than what we see happening to the children in Iraq, only WE ARE DOING IT TO OUR OWN CHILDREN!"
  • Chris McDaniel made yet another appearance on Bryan Fischer's radio show today.
  • Finally, speaking of Fischer, he delivered another insightful science lesson today when he explained that Jesus is the magic force that holds the entire universe together:

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/27/14

  • Pastor Steve Kern, husband of rabidly anti-gay Oklahoma legislator Sally Kern, lost his own bid for state office yesterday.
  • William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC is organizing "71 rallies across the country this weekend to rally support for the nation's beleaguered law enforcement officers and veterans."
  • Mat Staver says the fact that judges keep striking down gay marriage bans is undermining the legitimacy of the judiciary: "When judges begin to cross the line - and I think they certainly do when they have the audacity to say that you cannot affirm the natural, created order of marriage as between a man and a woman - that ultimately undermines confidence of the people in the judiciary."
  • The American Decency Association is targeting Michigan Governor Rick Snyder for agreeing to speak to The Islamic Society of North America because ISNA "is a radical Muslim organization that owns and runs mosques throughout North America, functioning as an 'umbrella organization' and 'clearinghouse' to connect all Muslim activities in the United States."
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer spent an entire segment of his radio broadcast today discussing Michael Sam's showering habits.

Mat Staver & Samuel Rodriguez Film Ads Promoting GOPFaith.com

Last week we noted that David Barton had begun promoting GOPFaith.com, a new effort from the Republican National Committee to mobilize a hundred thousand Religious Right activists on behalf of GOP candidates that is being headed by South Carolina GOP chairman Chad Connelly.

South Carolina GOP chairman Chad Connelly

Now it looks like Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference's Samuel Rodriguez have also climbed on board, as both have now filmed videos promoting the effort as well.

In his video, Staver says that he is "excited about this outreach from the RNC to wake up this sleeping giant because our Judeo-Christian values of liberty and life, they're all at stake" if conservative Christians do not get involved in politics:

For his part, Rodriguez, who inexplicably still manages to maintain a reputation as a moderate, nonpartisan Christian activist, declares that he is "so excited that the Republican National Committee has launched a very powerful and vibrant outreach component. I commend and applaud the leadership of Chad Connelly and really believe that the best days are yet to come":

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/19/14

  • Glenn Beck's entire television program last night consisted of a somber, quasi-documentary featuring David Barton explaining how America is headed toward revolution and/or civil war.
  • The American Family Association continues to target companies that are running ads on Cartoon Network's "Black Jesus."
  • Mat Staver is hopeful that a Tennessee judge's recent ruling upholding the state's gay marriage ban will turn the tide on the issue because "any ruling against natural marriage is a ruling against legitimate state interest."
  • Bryan Fischer explains how "Ferguson proves the Bible is right."
  • Finally, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue knows why people are rioting in Ferguson: "Why is there is no such thing as a winter riot? Because it's cold outside. Quite frankly, it's not fun to riot when it's freezing. Moreover, when the temperature rises, so do the passions. Heat also makes it likely that young men — it's mostly young men — will take to the streets to act out."

Ted Cruz And Mike Huckabee Follow David Lane's Christian-Nation Road Show To Michigan

Christian-nation activist David Lane is engaged in a multi-year, multi-state project to get conservative evangelical pastors more involved in electing right-wing candidates, and he is intent on making sure that the GOP nominates a 2016 presidential candidate to the Religious Right’s liking.

In spite of his extremism, Lane regularly gets Republican presidential candidates to attend his American Renewal Project events. On Monday night, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee spoke at a Michigan Renewal Project “Pastors Policy Briefing.”

Lane generally tries to stay out of the media spotlight, unless it’s for a friendly face like the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody. Even the media-hungry Cruz and Huckabee slipped quietly into Lansing for the event, which the Detroit News picked up on a few days later.

Also speaking at the event was Chad Connelly, the former head of the South Carolina GOP who was hired by the Republican National Committee last year to strengthen the party’s relationship with conservative evangelicals. According to news reports at the time, the Southern Baptist Connelly was brought on to energize evangelicals, some of whom were feeling disillusioned by recent national GOP candidates and by what they saw as the party’s “softening” on marriage equality.

Among the other speakers listed in a promotion for Monday’s event in the August newsletter of the American Decency Association:  right-wing radio host Dennis Prager, “historians” David Barton and Bill Federer, the American Family Association’s Don Wildmon, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, former Congressman Bob McEwen, and Pastor Laurence White of the Texas Restoration Project.

It seems as if Cruz is equally at home in front of the camera and behind closed doors. The Detroit News reports that he “made a quiet visit to Michigan Sunday and Monday, meeting with Republican Party activists in events that were kept hush-hush until photos of the tea party stalwart and potential 2016 presidential candidate surfaced on social media.”

In addition to Lane’s event, the paper reports, “Cruz appeared at four events over the two-day period organized by Ron Weiser, the Ann Arbor developer and national Republican fundraiser with connections throughout the country.” The paper says Weisner is seeking the GOP nomination for a seat on the University of Michigan board of regents.  Among other attendees at Cruz events were Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and Tea Party activist Wendy Day, who recently lost a GOP primary bid for seat in the state House.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/14/14

  • Bryan Fischer has a simple solution to the crisis in Iraq: just kill the leader of ISIS. Gee, why didn't anybody ever think of that before?
  • Once again, FRC prays against gay marriage: "Pray that each member of the 6th Circuit Court will uphold voters in these states, their constitutional amendments, the natural law and the Law of God when they rule. When this matter reaches them, may the U.S. Supreme Court reject the idea that a right to same-sex marriage can be found in the U.S. Constitution and that it overrides the will of the people."
  • Laurie Higgins warns against gender neutral bathrooms: "Their ultimate goal is not to have these special single-stall restrooms. Biological males who wish they were females want to use the female restroom. And they want to compel everyone to participate in a fiction."
  • James Robison says America has one choice: "We can live in freedom under God or in bondage under any other source, which amounts to a modern-day Pharaoh."
  • Mat Staver says that President Obama is now targeting churches but that "with God’s help and the faithful prayers of His people, we can turn back the destruction of our culture by anti-Christian forces. Please help advance the mobilization efforts of pastors and patriots now – in advance of the 2014 elections."

Mat Staver: Refusing To Oppose Gay Marriage Like Keeping Silent About The Holocaust

Mat Staver, the head of Liberty Counsel and dean of the Liberty University School of Law, criticized Republican politicians who have been largely mum as a string of federal court rulings have knocked down bans same-sex marriage, including one affecting Liberty University’s home state of Virginia.

He likened such politicians, and those who support marriage equality, to those who were silent in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. Staver told Radio America host Greg Corombos yesterday that officials who don’t speak out against marriage equality will be harshly judged:

I think from the political right, the Republicans and so forth, those that are Republican elected officials state and federal, those who remain silent will ultimately be held accountable just as much as Democrats who advocate to the contrary. This is not an issue in which you can remain silent any more than you can remain silent during Nazi Germany. That was a moral issue, it was not defined by geography, there was a moral imperative there of the dignity of the human being, you can’t remain silent there and expect no consequences. Nor can you remain silent or advocate to the contrary with regards to the undermining of marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

Predicting that the Supreme Court would eventually take up the case, he said a ruling in favor of marriage equality would be just as invalid as a court striking down the laws of gravity.

“In world history, even when you look at the Greeks and how promiscuous they were, you only have fourteen years outside of the United States and ten years in the United States with this dangerous experiment, so I think no matter what the courts do, you can’t change what is reality, objectively so, male and female,” he added.

Anti-LGBT Activists Are Furious That Discriminatory Businesses Received Bad Reviews

When two Pennsylvania businesses declared that they would refuse service to gay and lesbian customers, it was only a matter of time before anti-LGBT activists rose up to defend the businesses’ discriminatory actions. One Pennsylvania bridal shop refused service to lesbian customers because the shop’s owner said it would “break God’s law,” and the owner of the Inne of the Abingtons similarly refused service to a lesbian couple.

As a result, the bridal shop’s Yelp page and the Inne’s Yelp page have received an uptick in reviews, many critical of their discriminatory behavior against LGBT customers, making Religious Right activists Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council angry because people are giving the businesses negative reviews.

It seems they believe these vendors should be immune from criticism for their actions.

Staver said on his radio commentary “Freedom’s Call” that the Inne of the Abingtons has been “attacked with false reviews” because of the owner’s religion.

Perkins, meanwhile, blasted the lesbian customer who was refused service at the bridal shop as “intolerant” and said the shop’s owner was simply “speaking the truth in love.”: “Instead of showing the tolerance their movement claims to practice, the women turned to social media to bully the shop — trashing its online reviews and sparking a city-wide firestorm.”

At W.W. Bridal Boutique, it isn’t unusual to see two women shopping for wedding dresses. What is unusual is two women shopping for wedding dresses for the same ceremony. That’s the predicament Victoria Miller found herself in as the owner of the Pennsylvania shop. When a lesbian couple contacted the store for an appointment, Victoria explained that she couldn’t help the women find gowns for a ceremony that violates her Christian faith. Right now, an employee explained, the Bloomsburg store doesn’t service same-sex weddings.

Instead of showing the tolerance their movement claims to practice, the women turned to social media to bully the shop — trashing its online reviews and sparking a city-wide firestorm. Miller, whose orthodox beliefs are in the bulls-eye, isn’t backing down. “We feel we have to answer to God for what we do,” she told reporters, “and providing those two girls dresses for a sanctified marriage would break God’s law.”



Back in Pennsylvania, Victoria Miller continues to be a target. “As a fellow Christian, I’m ashamed of people like you,” one commenter wrote. “We are taught to love our neighbor regardless.” Unfortunately, culturally intoxicated believers like this one have a misguided (and convenient) view of Christ’s calling. Real love doesn’t mean you facilitate people’s desires that are both harmful to them and society. It means speaking the truth in love.

Conservative Pundit: Kerry Declined Ohio Recount To Hide Rampant 'Voter Fraud In Favor Of Democrats'

Mat Staver hosted Valencia College professor Mark Logas on his “Faith and Freedom” radio program this week to hype the issue of voter fraud, the exceedingly rare crime that is being used by conservatives to push wave upon wave of voter suppression measures.

Logas was full of horror stories supposedly illustrating an epidemic of voter fraud, somehow all favoring Democrats. He even went back in history to argue that John Kerry declined to contest his narrow loss in Ohio in 2004 because a recount would have “exposed the voter fraud in favor of Democrats that goes on in Ohio alone.”

Specifically, he claimed that in 2004, in Franklin County, Ohio, which includes the city of Columbus, “there were more people who voted than lived there.”

Stunningly, this is not true! Although conservative activists raised a fuss when the number of voter registrations in the country exceeded the number of eligible voters — the result of outdated voter rolls — in the end, 533,000 people cast ballots in Franklin County in 2004 , which was decidedly less than the county’s estimated 815,000 voting-age population at the time.

And in the end, there actually was a recount of Ohio’s votes in 2004, requested by the Green and Libertarian parties, that did not uncover rampant Democratic voter fraud but in fact showed that Kerry had won a few hundred more votes than originally reported.

Staver: And you look at the presidential election in Florida in 2000 with George W. Bush and Al Gore. I mean, obviously that was a presidential election that was decided in one state, and that was very, very close. Huge possibility of having complete voter fraud the other way.

Logas: I don’t know if you remember in 2004, John Kerry barely lost Ohio and there were a lot of Democrats, liberal Democrats, that said, ‘You’ve got to challenge it, you’ve got to do a recount in Ohio!’ and he says, ‘No, no, no, I’m not going to do that.’ Why? Because in Franklin County, Ohio, in 2004, there were more people who voted than lived there. Not registered voters, than lived in the entire Franklin County.

Staver: So 100-plus percent voting.

Logas: Exactly. So for them to have challenged that exposed the voter fraud in favor of Democrats that goes on in Ohio alone.

Staver: Unbelievable.

Staver: Same-Sex Marriage Not A Right Because Homosexuality Used To Be A Crime

On a recent episode of Liberty Counsel’s “Faith and Freedom” radio program, Mat Staver argued that marriage equality can’t be a fundamental right because it’s not “deeply rooted in our history that you have to protect it,” and in fact “homosexuality has always been considered a crime against nature” and “something that’s been criminalized in our culture.”

A fundamental right in constitutional law has to either be specifically articulated in an enumeration of the Constitution — so a fundamental right would be freedom of speech, freedom of religion, so it’s part of the First Amendment, it’s actually absolutely articulated — and if it’s not articulated, the court has said it has to be deeply rooted in our history such that if you were to not protect it, it would literally unravel the concept of ordered liberty that is so essential to who we are and it is so deeply rooted in our history that you have to protect it. Parental rights can be something that falls within a category such as that.

Now, here, obviously, the issue is, did same-sex marriage become a fundamental right? And the answer clearly is no. If they really were honest, it’s no. And to the contrary, same-sex marriage or homosexuality has always been considered a crime against nature. Instead of protection deeply rooted, it’s been something that’s been criminalized in our culture, not just in America but around the world.

Later in the program Staver discussed the recent appeals court decision striking down Virginia’s marriage equality ban with Liberty University Law School’s Rena Lindevaldsen. Lindevaldsen argued that because the court acknowledged that people in same-sex relationships sometimes raise children from opposite-sex relationships that it undermined the argument that being gay is a fundamental characteristic. “Now they’re saying, by the way, we can have relationships with whoever we want to and we still get this right to marriage,” she lamented.

Mat Staver: LGBT Equality Means America No Longer 'Shining City On The Hill'

Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver lamented this week that the United States’ support for LGBT equality means that America is no longer “the shining city on the hill, the example for other nations to follow” and has instead become “the example of what not to follow.”

Staver and Matt Barber discussed their work pushing anti-gay policies throughout the world on arecent episode of Faith & Freedom Radio, including defending Scott Lively in a lawsuit involving his anti-gay work in Uganda, and efforts to stop sex education and marriage equality in Croatia, which Barber said he hoped “will set a trend in nations around the world.”

“[O]ther nations around the world are affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman, while America is rejecting it,” Staver lamented. “It’s as ridiculous as rejecting the laws of gravity.”

Barber: We were deeply involved and had a hand in helping to reverse Croatia’s harmful sex education policies and supported Croatia’s constitutional amendment affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and Lord willing, this will set a trend in nations around the world.

Staver: Yeah, it will. And it looks like some of the world, a lot of the world, is going the opposite way that America is. America used to be the shining city on the hill, the example for other nations to follow. Now it’s the example of what not to follow. And other nations around the world are affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman, while America is rejecting it. It’s as ridiculous as rejecting the laws of gravity. But some judges think they have the audacity and the arrogance to do just that.

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