Mat Staver

Republican Presidential Hopefuls' Favorite 'Christian Nation' Extremist

Senators and presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Ted Cruz will head to Iowa this week as featured speakers at a closed-door event for conservative pastors that has been organized by David Lane, an anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Mormon, Christian-nation absolutist who has declared war, not only on secularism and separation of church and state, but also on establishment Republicans who don’t embrace his vision of an America in which the Bible serves as “the principle textbook” for public education and a “Christian culture” has been “re-established.” He decries Supreme Court rulings on prayer and Bible reading in public schools, and says, “It’s easily defended that America was founded by Christians, as a Christian nation.”

Cruz and Paul may be motivated by the fact that a similar David Lane-organized pastors briefing is credited with Mike Huckabee’s win in the 2008 Iowa caucus.  Evangelical political strategist Doug Wead has described Lane as “the mysterious, behind the scenes, evangelical kingmaker who stormed into Iowa in 2008 and tilted the whole thing from Romney to Huckabee,” even though subsequent renewal projects failed to deliver South Carolina and Florida to Huckabee.

Still, Lane, a self-described “political operative,” has plans that go well beyond Iowa.  The “Rediscovering God in America” event scheduled for July 17 and 18 is just one of an ongoing series of pastors briefings that are central to the American Renewal Project’s 12-state strategy to turn out conservative evangelical voters in the 2013-2014 election cycle.  (Those states: Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, South Carolina, Alaska, Arkansas, North Carolina, Nevada, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia.) 

In December, Lane described his project’s goal this way: “to engage the church in a culture war for religious liberty, to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage and to re-establish a Christian culture.” And he has a clear message to representatives and senators: “Vote to restore the Bible and prayer in public schools or be sent home. Hanging political scalps on the wall is the only love language politicians can hear.”

Lane is abundantly clear about his belief that the choice facing America is a return to its founding as a Christian nation or a continued descent into what he describes as paganism. He wrote  in December:

America was a Christian nation. The Mayflower Compact declared, “In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, having undertaken – for the glory of God, and the advancement of the Christian faith…”

Let’s decide if America is a Christian nation or a pagan nation – and get on with it; the sooner the better.

Lane told the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody that “America has left God” and that “unrighteousness” is “the greatest threat to freedom.” Brody says Lane “believes it’s time to remove politicians from office who have led America down this immoral and unsustainable broken path.” 

A Christian-Nation Warrior Within the GOP

To be fair to Paul and Cruz, they are only the latest Republican presidential hopefuls who have allied themselves with the zealous David Lane in order to tap his network of politically engaged pastors. Lane has been holding “pastors briefings” in 15 states since the mid-1990s. He wrote last year that state Restoration and Renewal projects had hosted more than 10,000 pastors and spouses in ten states since 2005 alone, in events that have been used to engage pastors in anti-gay initiative battles and introduce them to politicians favored by Lane. Pastors’ expenses are covered with money from the American Family Association and other religious right mega-donors. The American Renewal Project operates as a project of the AFA; Lane also operates the California-based Pastors and Pews. 

Texas Governor Rick Perry is also reportedly scheduled to participate in this week’s Iowa gathering, which may confirm his apparent interest in another run for the presidency.  Perry has a long-term relationship with Lane.  In 2005 and 2006, Lane and his network played a huge role in mobilizing support for Perry’s re-election as governor. Six pastors briefings were held around the state, and all six were addressed by Perry.  As Governor, Perry hasn’t disappointed Lane and his friends.

Heading into the 2012 election cycle, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Haley Barbour, and Newt Gingrich spoke to 600 pastors, ministry leaders and spouses at a March 2011 Iowa Renewal Project Pastor’s Policy Briefing. But as the primaries approached, Lane was not satisfied with the field. He played a key role in organizing conservative religious leaders to push Perry into the presidential race.  And he masterminded and served as national finance chair for “The Response”, an August 2011 prayer rally that served as Perry’s unofficial campaign launch.

Lane enthusiastically applauded anti-Mormon attacks on Mitt Romney made by Perry backer Robert Jeffress at the Values Voter Summit in October 2011.  The Daily Beast revealed emails between Lane and religious broadcaster Dick Bott in which Lane praised Jeffress, saying the message “juxtaposing traditional Christianity to the false god of Mormonism, is very important in the larger scheme of things.”

After Perry’s candidacy imploded, Religious Right leaders split between Gingrich and Santorum, dooming last-ditch efforts to prevent Romney from becoming the GOP nominee.  Lane backed Gingrich.  He organized a conference call in Florida in late January 2012 to which he said he invited some 125,000 Florida evangelicals, including 2,400 pastors; the call reportedly had 1,000 participants and a recording was emailed to the other 124,000. But obviously he failed to prevent Romney from becoming the nominee.

During the flap over Perry backers’ attacks on Romney’s Mormonism, Lane had actually told broadcaster Bott that he would sit out the 2012 elections rather than vote for Romney. But whether or not Lane actually cast his personal vote for Romney, he continued mobilizing conservative Christians in an effort to defeat Barack Obama.  In Ohio, for example, Lane was part of a major effort by Republican evangelicals to put Romney over the top in that state.  Lane organized “several glitzy mass rallies for the state’s churchgoers featuring high-profile religious and political leaders,” the Washington Times reported last November. Lane and Ralph Reed each produced voter guides for “Ohio’s faithful.”

Although Perry’s tanking disrupted Lane’s plans to get conservative evangelicals to coalesce around a single candidate in 2012, it seems clear that he has similar intentions for 2016. He told the Houston Chronicle in June, “We’re going to try to eliminate the stuff that they [GOP leaders] do to us every four years, which is picking somebody who has no chance of being viable and they kill us off and we have the McCains and Romneys left.”

At War With the GOP

Lane’s comment about “the McCains and Romneys” is just the tip of the iceberg of contempt that he has for what he sees as a cowardly, compromising Republican establishment. He denounces moderate Republicans who are “bound and determined to deposit homosexuality – and homosexual marriage – into the Grand Old Party.” And he insists, “Those doing this to our country must be removed from office and from leadership.” (These aren’t necessarily idle threats: Lane was at the center of the successful 2010 campaign to remove from office three Iowa Supreme Court justices who had been part of a unanimous ruling in favor of marriage equality. “Lane called the judges “Judicial Gods” who believe they have the “right to rule a free people” and “impose their will” however they see fit.”)

Lane was outraged last year when many Republican Party leaders abandoned Senate candidate Todd Akin in the wake of his infamous comments about “legitimate rape”— Lane was especially indignant because at the same time the GOP was backing openly gay Senate candidate Richard Tisei in Massachusetts.  Lane mobilized support for Akin among conservative pastors and complained loudly about the GOP. “Following the pounding of Todd Akin by the GOP kings and lieutenants in the last 36 hours, I’ve come to the conclusion that the real issue is the soul of America,” he wrote in an email to activists. In October, almost 400 pastors who had gathered for a Pastors’ Policy Briefing in Missouri prayed over Akin, whose cause Lane said was “the opening battle for the soul of the Republican Party.” After all, he argues, “someone’s values must reign supreme.”

After the 2012 elections, Lane drew his battle lines:

The moderate GOP chieftains and lieutenants’ philosophy of government and set of values – in the long run – are incompatible with Christian morality and principles. As these secular “pastors” – the GOP chieftains and lieutenants – seek to bully and dictate their worldly, amoral ethics – according to their importance, omnipotence and power of the purse – there can be no amicability and meeting of minds….

Christian conservatives are coming to their moment of truth within the Republican Party. Be friendly and disarm, or annoy and aggravate the GOP kings and lieutenants by laying down the law on Christian principles and Christian values.

….

Another way to put it is: I don’t think that “restoring America” is a Christian imperative. Being a witnesses [sic] to the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the imperative. If that restores America, wonderful; if it means that America collapses – like Rome – the byproduct of the Permanent Republican Majority or a decadent, sinful, immoral culture and people, the church is God’s permanent “nation.” 

Lane writes that after launching a public fight for putting the Bible, Jesus, the Ten Commandments back into public schools, “then we will watch Providence call for ‘punishment executed by angels‘ to those who oppose His word.”

Lane says he believes there is “good news in the current Republican collapse and failure – brought about as a byproduct of the amoral, empty philosophy of the Permanent Republican majority” – and that is a political opening for evangelicals. In February, Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody said that Lane’s battle against Republicans who are more worried about the party than “sustaining a moral and righteous nation” is “the next confrontation to watch.”

Pastors as Cause of and Solution to America’s Descent into Hell

It is a recurring theme at Religious Right gatherings that the real reason for America’s slide from greatness into moral decay is that its preachers aren’t preaching aggressively enough. Lane is also in this camp. The relatively media-shy Lane told the New York Times in 2011, “From my perspective, our country is going to hell because pastors won’t lead from the pulpits.”

He complains that the “the Church didn’t even shudder when the Bible, prayer, Jesus, and the Ten Commandments were removed from the public schools in 1963.” And he says there was “not a peep from the Christian Church” in response to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, when the church “should have initiated riots, revolution, and repentance.”

Lane is fond of quoting Peter Leithart’s Between Babel and Beast. Last fall he included this segment in one of his frequently repetitive online commentaries: 

American churches have too long discipled Christians in Americanism, and that makes Christian involvement in the American polity far smoother than it ought to be. Churches must repent of our Americanism and begin to cultivate martyrs—believers who are martyrs in the original sense of ‘witness’ and in the later sense of men and women ready to follow the Lamb all the way to an imperial cross.

In a different commentary, this one for WND, Lane also quotes from Between Babel and Beast:

Until American churches actually function as outposts of Jesus’ heavenly empire rather than as cheerleaders for America – until the churches produce martyrs rather than patriots – the political witness of Christians will continue to be diluted and co-opted.

Lane also quotes Leithart in a June 2013 commentary that seemed to be too much even for the virulent WND, which has removed the post. Here’s part of the Leithart he approvingly quotes:

Americanists cannot break Babelic or bestial power because they cannot distinguish heretical Americanism from Christian orthodoxy. Until we do, America will lurch along the path that leads from Babel to Beast. If America is to be put in its place – put right – Christians must risk martyrdom and force Babel to the crux where it has to decide either to acknowledge Jesus [as] imperator and the church as God’s imperium or to begin drinking holy blood.

To that bracing section Lane adds his own words:

Where are the champions of Christ to save the nation from the pagan onslaught imposing homosexual marriage, homosexual scouts, 60 million babies done to death by abortion and red ink as far as the eye can see on America? Who will wage war for the Soul of America and trust the living God to deliver the pagan gods into our hands and restore America to her Judeo-Christian heritage and re-establish a Christian culture?...

As to the future of America – and the collapse of this once-Christian nation – Christians must not only be allowed to have opinions, but politically, Christians must be retrained to war for the Soul of America and quit believing the fabricated whopper of the ‘Separation of Church and State,” the lie repeated ad nauseum by the left and liberals to keep Christian America – the moral majority – from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning, and pagan media….

Christian America is in ruins…

You ask, “What is our goal?” To wage war to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage with all of our might and strength that God will give us. You ask, “what is our aim?” One word only: victory, in spite of all intimidation and terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory, America will ultimately collapse.

He sees the solution as the political organizing he does among pastors.  “Bible-believing pastor,” he wrote last fall, “without overstating it, the survival of America is on your shoulders.” According to the New York Times, at a 2011 briefing in Iowa Mike Huckabee “lavished praise on Mr. Lane for ‘bringing pastors together so they go back to their pulpits and light them on fire with enthusiasm, to make America once again the greatest country on earth under God.’”

Lane’s increasingly war-like rhetoric has given people pause. Lane frequently closes his commentaries – including the one recently pulled from WND -- with the question, “Will a Gideon or Rahab the Harlot please stand.” In the Old Testament, Gideon is called by God to defeat the armies of enemies of the Israelites and end the worship of false gods. Rahab the Harlot is another Old Testament character: she enabled the Israelites’ conquest of the city of Jericho by helping two spies sent into the city by Joshua. She and her family were the only ones spared when the city was destroyed and every other man, woman and child was killed. Politicians who stand with Lane might consider asking him just what he means by his frequently repeated calls for a Gideon or Rahab to stand up among American evangelicals.

This IS the Religious Right – and the GOP’s Dominant Right Wing

Sadly, Lane’s extremist views and rhetoric do not make him much of an outlier among today’s hard-right political figures. He is closely allied with major Religious Right leaders and has no problem attracting current and former members of Congress and Republican presidential aspirants to his closed-door gatherings.  Among those scheduled to take part in this week’s Iowa event are Christian-nation “historian” David Barton, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, and the American Family Association’s Don Wildmon.  In 2010, Lane joined Barton and anti-gay activist Jim Garlow, and Lane offered a 12-day, $4000, Next Great Awakening Tour of historical sites in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington.

Also part of this week’s program in Iowa is Lane’s friend Laurence White, who says “if we do not stop abortion then God will destroy and God should destroy America.” Another participant is Ken Canfield, who ran for Governor of Kansas in 2006 on a platform calling for a “no exceptions” ban on abortion; he came in second in a crowded GOP primary .

Lane, like other Religious Right leaders, sees the acceptance of homosexuality as a sign that America has turned its back on God. In one column he approvingly cites an author who describes gays and lesbians as “parasites, depending for their cultural survival on couples that birth the next generation.” Last summer he asked pastors to “exhort the flock, entrusted to you by the Living God, to refrain from shopping at Target Stores until its leadership ends pushing homosexual marriage in America.”

He’s even got the Tea Party’s anti-big-government rhetoric down. He wrote in February as sequestration approached,  “we should immediately begin the mobilization of pastors and pews to contact—read tongue-lash and rail against – local Congressman and U.S. Senators to decry the immoral debt being piled on our kids and grandkids because Congress lacks the guts to make hard, painful decisions and cut spending.”

In fact, Lane covers all the issues important to the modern day right, connecting them to court decisions upholding the separation of church and state, which he says created a religion of secularism:

This ‘religion of secularism’ has produced red ink as far as the eye can see, homosexuals praying at the Inauguration, tax-funded abortion, homosexual marriage in several States, Evangelicals held in contempt, and God expelled from the classrooms of America – and the public square.

Lane is connected to Champion the Vote, a project of United in Purpose, which had aimed to unseat President Obama with an effort “to mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012.” United in Purpose produced DVDs of Lane’s 2011 event in Orlando to distribute for house parties. In the wake of Rick Perry’s supposedly non-political “Response” rally, the American Family Association sent out emails to those who registered for the event  to engage them in Champion the Vote.  It said the Response “was just the beginning of a nationwide initiative to return America to the principles on which she was founded, with God at the center of our nation.”

Politicians like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul should be held to account for partnering politically with David Lane. But given the increasingly small differences between the GOP’s right wing and its really right wing, we probably shouldn’t expect politicians cozying up to Lane to show any discomfort with his extremism. As Ted Cruz said in another context, “If standing for liberty , if standing for free market principle and the Constitution makes you a wacko bird, then, then I am a very proud wacko bird.”

Mat Staver: Ex-Gay Superstar

UPDATE: Since Ex-Gay Pride Month was a complete bust, Staver will now receive the award during Ex-Gay Awareness Month.

While Ex-Gay Pride Month organizers continue to search for a theme song , Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel is set to receive the Ex-Gay Pride Freedom Award. Staver is slated to speak at the Ex-Gay Pride Month’s reception later this month at the Family Research Council, and will receive the award from Christopher Doyle and Greg Quinlan.

As head of Liberty Counsel and Liberty University Law School, Staver represented ex-gay cause célèbre Lisa Miller, who kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America in order to prevent her former partner from receiving custody. Some reports say he may have been involved in the kidnapping.

Staver has fought laws that try to limit the practice of ex-gay therapy on minors and likened homosexuality to alcoholism, pedophilia and kleptomania. He also defends laws criminalizing homosexuality and fears President Obama will impose “forced homosexuality.”

Voice of the Voiceless (VoV) and Equality and Justice for All (E&JA) are excited to announce that Mat Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel, will accept the 2013 Ex-Gay Pride Freedom Award when he addresses the First Annual Ex-Gay Pride Celebration on July 31, 2013 at the Family Research Council Action in Washington, D.C.

“We are thrilled to honor Dean Staver at the First Annual Ex-Gay Pride Celebration on July 31,” commented former homosexual Christopher Doyle, President & Co-Founder of VoV. “He has been a champion in defending the freedoms of clients who pursue counseling to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA) and has tirelessly advocated for their God-given right of self-determination and Constitutional rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I can’t think of a better person to receive this award!”

Dean Mathew D. Staver is the Founder and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel and currently serves as the Chairman of the Board. Liberty Counsel is a litigation, education, and policy organization with hundreds of affiliate attorneys in all 50 states. Liberty Counsel was one of the first religious liberty litigation organizations in the country. In the early 1990s, Dean Staver was one of the first to pioneer a new legal strategy and theory in litigating religious liberty cases.

Dean Staver has been on the front lines in defending the rights of clients who pursue counseling to overcome unwanted SSA. Staver was the lead Counsel in Pickup v. Brown, which challengedthe California ban on change therapy (SB 1172) that would prohibit any counseling to minors seeking to diminish or eliminate unwanted SSA, behavior, or identity. Oral arguments were heard in April 2013 in front of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, with a decision still pending.

“In honor of his heroic work on behalf of former homosexuals and clients who seek change, we are excited to congratulate Dean Staver with this award and express our deepest gratitude as he continues to advocate for our rights,” commented former homosexual Greg Quinlan, Board member of Equality and Justice for All, who is co-hosting the First Annual Ex-Gay Pride Celebration on July 31 at the Family Research Counsel Action in Washington, D.C.

Staver: Push For Transgender Rights 'Is The Abolition Of Civil Rights'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" broadcast, Matt Barber and Mat Staver reacted just as you would expect to news that a young transgender girl in Colorado who had won the right to use the girl's bathroom in her school, calling it absurd and delusional and outright child abuse. 

Staver asserted that the push for transgender rights is all a part of the "gay agenda's" efforts to create sexual anarchy in order to destroy marriage, morality, and objective truth.

"It this is civil rights, this is the abolition of civil rights," Staver said, "this is the deconstruction of objective reality; it's the deconstruction of law":

Staver: With DOMA Ruling, 'We're Crossing Into The Realm Of Revolution'

Last year, Mat Staver warned that if the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, it could lead to a civil war. And now that the Court has done that by striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, Staver is once again issuing that same warning. 

Saying that the DOMA decision is actually worse than Roe v. Wade because that decision never forced anyone to get an abortion whereas now Christians are being forced to capitulate and accept gay marriage as legitimate under fear of persecution, Staver claimed that the nation is "crossing into the realm of rebellion, we're crossing into the realm of revolution" just like the nation faced heading into the American Revolution:

The ENDA is Near: The Top Five Religious Right Claims About the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

With the Employment Non-Discrimination Act scheduled for a Senate committee vote this week, here’s a look at Right Wing Watch’s collection of recent – and classic – claims from the Religious Right about ENDA.  Because ENDA is common-sense civil rights legislation that would expand federal employment protections against discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity, the Right cannot gain much traction by opposing ENDA on its merits.  Instead, resorting to fear-mongering and lies, they contend that ENDA will lead to everything from the end of religious freedom to sexual assault and death.

Here are highlights of Right Wing Watch’s reporting on right-wing opposition to ENDA:

5. Tony Perkins: ‘Totalitarian Homosexual Lobby’ Out to Destroy Religious Freedom with ENDA (March 2013)

“Like a B-grade 1950’s horror-movie, ENDA is coming back from the dead,” warned Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a recent mailing. Perkins said President Obama is working with the “totalitarian homosexual lobby” to sneak ENDA into law, and if that happens, “Our freedom of religion will be destroyed.”

“In fact,” says Perkins in his letter, “under ENDA biblical morality becomes illegal.”

Read the full article here.

4. Steve Crampton: ENDA is Insanity (June 2012)

Speaking about a Senate hearing on ENDA, Liberty Counsel’s “Faith and Freedom” radio host Steve Crampton marveled that a transgender person was actually allowed to testify on behalf of the legislation and complained that ENDA is not about “equal rights” but rather “special rights” for gays and cross-dressers.

Crampton stated that if ENDA passed, he could come into work – “God forbid,” he said – wearing a dress and would be allowed to use the women’s restroom.  “In years past,” Crampton said, “we had another word for this: it’s called insanity.”

Read the full article here.

3. Andrea Lafferty Cites CT School Shooting to Rally Opposition to Non-Discrimination Policies (December 2012)

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition used the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in order to bolster her campaign against ENDA. While speaking to Janet Mefferd about the Orange County, Florida, school system’s new non-discrimination policy that is similar to ENDA, Lafferty said that just as parents are upset about the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and are concerned about keeping their children safe, they should also be worried about ENDA’s “devastating effects” as schools will have “people with some real issues playing out their personal problems in the classroom.”

Lafferty maintained that ENDA is part of the left’s “open season” on Christians on behalf of “fringe minorities and people that are truly sick.”  She warned that Chick-fil-A restaurants may soon be “forced” to hire “weirdos” seeking to undermine Christian businesses, warning that transgender people are committing “the ultimate act of self-hatred” and need “special medical treatment” rather than job protections.

Read the full article here.

2. Bryan Fischer: Businesses Threatened by ‘Flaming Homosexual’ Job Applicants and the ‘Return of Jim Crow Laws’ (January 2013)

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer warned in a blog post that “ENDA would represent the return of Jim Crow laws.” On his radio program Focal Point, Fischer warned that if ENDA is signed into law businesses will be faced with a barrage of “flaming homosexual” job applicants. “The homosexual lobby,” Fischer said, “will send a guy in there wearing stilettos, a dress and dangly earrings” in order to provoke Christian business-owners “not to hire him.”

Read the full article here.

1. Mat Staver: ENDA Will Result in the 'Death of Some Individuals' (June 2012)

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver is ratcheting up the rhetoric in opposition to ENDA, even going so far as to say that if passed the legislation may lead to child molestation, sexual assault, and death. Staver told Jim Schneider of VCY America on Crosstalk that ENDA “will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals”:

Staver: So you can go into these restrooms or changing rooms, if you’re a man, and want to go in and molest, or watch, or sexually assault young girls. So, I mean, the absurdity of this is just beyond understanding how someone could be in favor of it. This will ultimately, in addition to colliding with religious liberty, in addition to forcing a radical agenda on people, this also will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals.

Read the full article here.

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Will Michele Bachmann and Jim DeMint Headline Ex-Gay Pride Month?

Channeling Tobias Fünke, ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle wants everyone to know there are tens of thousands of “former homosexuals.” In an interview with the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow today, Doyle declares July to be “Ex-Gay Pride Month” and laments that the “gay activist lobby” is “discriminating [against] us” by “taking away our rights” to not be gay…or something.

OneNewsNow reports that Rep. Michele Bachmann and Rep. Tim Huelskamp, along with Heritage Foundation head and former senator Jim DeMint and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, plan to address a July 31 ex-gay function organized by Doyle and hosted by the Family Research Council.

According to an invitation to the event [PDF], the four are listed as invited but not confirmed speakers. Other invited speakers include anti-gay activists Star Parker and Harry Jackson.

The only confirmed speakers are Doyle; fellow ex-gay activists DL Foster, who has said Dan Savage should be arrested; and Greg Quinlan, who claims gay people practise “sexual cannibalism.”

Former homosexuals will be in Washington later this month to celebrate the first annual "Ex-Gay Pride Month."

Christopher Doyle, co-founder of Voice of the Voiceless (VoV), explains how his group will cap off the month of July.

"What we're going to be doing is former homosexuals, persons with unwanted same-sex attractions and their families and allies are going to be convening on Washington, D.C. on July 31st to send a clear message to the members of Congress that ex-gays are alive; we do exist," Doyle tells OneNewsNow. "There are tens of thousands of us, and we want to be counted."

Homosexual activists try to erase former homosexuals from the scene, contending that people cannot change if they are attracted to the same gender.

"We are tired of the gay activist lobby discriminating [against] us, marginalizing us and taking away our rights, and we're now fighting back, and we're demanding that if gays are going to get full diversity and equality in America, we also demand that ex-gay voices be heard as well," the VoV co-founder details.

He adds that his organization will lobby Congress throughout the day, then hold a dinner and reception with Equality and Justice for All at Family Research Counsel [sic] Action in the evening for attendees. Featured speakers include Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN), former Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver, Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), and several prominent leaders in the ex-gay and faith communities who celebrate the fact that change is possible.

Staver: DOMA Decision Akin To Rulings In Favor Of Slavery, Internment and Sterilization

Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver is continuing to pummel the Supreme Court for its decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, telling talk show host Steve Malzberg on Wednesday that the ruling will be remembered in the same light as the Court’s notorious decisions expanding slavery and denying citizenship to African Americans; approving of the internment of Japanese Americans; and sanctioning forced sterilization.

“I think that this decision represents a line that the court has crossed into illegitimacy,” Staver argued, claiming that the ruling “falls in the same category” as “dark” and “illegitimate decisions” such as Dred Scott v. Sandford, Korematsu v. United States and Buck v. Bell.

“This decision is by five justices that have cut the tether between themselves and the Constitution, they are in their own fantasy world that there is somehow an equal protection right to same-sex marriage,” Staver said. 

Listen:

Bryan Fischer Says Anti-Gay Activists Now 'Second Class Citizens,' Mat Staver Likens DOMA Case to 'Altering the Laws of Gravity'

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer claimed on his radio show today that anti-gay activists will become “second class citizens” and be relegated to “steerage status” as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Defense of Marriage Act: “They’ve done to us exactly what they were falsely accusing us of doing to homosexuals.”

His guest, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, who is also the dean of Liberty University Law School, agreed, saying that the decision “demeans the institution of the United States Supreme Court.”

Staver agreed with Fischer that states should “simply ignore” the Supreme Court’s ruling …just as the government should ignore a court decision that upholds slavery, like Dred Scott, or a ruling which “alters the laws of gravity.”

“You can’t redefine marriage into something that it’s incapable of being, it’s incapable of being two people of the same sex,” Staver continued, adding that gay marriage is the “height of hubris” and “undermines the very foundation of our government.”

Earlier today, Staver argued that the Supreme Court “lost legitimacy” with its DOMA ruling:

Marriage predates government and civil authorities. No civil authority, including the Supreme Court, has the authority to redefine marriage. Marriage was not created by religion or government and is ontologically a union of one man and one woman. For any Court or civil authority to think it has the authority to redefine marriage is the height of hubris. Deconstructing marriage will hurt children and society. While today’s decision on DOMA did not redefine marriage, it has provided the foundation on which to do so. Today’s decision is the equivalent of the 1972 contraception decision involving unmarried couples and the so-called right to privacy on which the 1973 abortion decision in Roe v. Wade was constructed. Today, the Supreme Court has damaged its image, lost legitimacy, and set in motion considerable harm to society and to the State of the Union.

Staver: SCOTUS Ruling for Marriage Equality Will Have 'A Catastrophic Consequence' for 'Human Existence'

In December, Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver told conservative radio host Janet Parshall that a Supreme Court ruling favorable to marriage equality “could cause another civil war” or even a second revolution. While speaking to Parshall last week, Staver argued that the court’s decision would have “a catastrophic consequence” for freedom, liberty and even “human existence” itself.

The Liberty University law school dean, who said that Obama will introduce “forced homosexuality,” went on to say that the Supreme Court’s decision could lead to civil and criminal penalties for opponents of same-sex marriage, such as losing one’s job. As a result, anti-gay activists “cannot acknowledge that decision as being a legitimate one” and should treat the Supreme Court as “an illegitimate institution.”

If the court goes the wrong way within the next week on these issues, it will become an illegitimate institution and we should treat it as such. It is that dire. It is exactly as simple and as plain as you said it: God said marriage is between one man and one woman, and some civil institution says no it’s not. That has a catastrophic consequence for our religious freedom, for the very function of the family, for marriage, for our human existence, for civil society and for any area of our liberty, it is a catastrophic game changer and it will be more destructive than Roe v. Wade. Why? Because Roe v. Wade, as destructive as it is and it is destructive, does not force you to have an abortion. Now Obamacare is forcing us now to fund abortion. But this will not just simply say, ‘ok same-sex marriage, I don’t agree with it but I can go on and live my life,’ no. You want to work in the DOJ? You’ve got to support it. You want to work in any other area? You’ve got to endorse it. This will not be coexistence, this will not be the government’s got a bad policy, this will be the government’s got a bad policy but you must advance it, you must support it; if you don’t, you will be punished, you won’t have your job, you will be punished in some other civil or even criminal way. That’s why it’s going to be more coercive than Roe v. Wade, it is a line—I’m telling you, I’m hoping people understand this—that we cannot cross. If we cross that line, we have to push back; we cannot acknowledge that decision as being a legitimate one.

Dozens of Anti-Gay Activists Vow to Resist Any SCOTUS Ruling In Favor of Marriage Equality

As the nation awaits the Supreme Court's rulings on two high-profile marriage equality cases, several dozen Religious Right activists have signed on to a "Marriage Solidarity Statement" that was drafted by Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and Deacon Keith Fournier, vowing to resist any ruling in favor of equality.

This who's who of anti-gay activists has collectively declared that they "will not stand by while the destruction of the institution of marriage unfolds in this nation we love" because "this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross":

As Christian citizens united together, we will not stand by while the destruction of the institution of marriage unfolds in this nation we love. The Sacred Scriptures and unbroken teaching of the Church confirm that marriage is between one man and one woman. We stand together in solidarity to defend marriage and the family and society founded upon them. The effort to redefine marriage threatens the proper mediating role of the Church in society.

Experience and history have shown us that if the government redefines marriage to grant a legal equivalency to same-sex couples, that same government will then enforce such an action with the police power of the State. This will bring about an inevitable collision with religious freedom and conscience rights. We cannot and will not allow this to occur on our watch. Religious freedom is the first freedom in the American experiment for good reason.

...

If the Supreme Court were to issue a decision that redefined marriage or provided a precedent on which to build an argument to redefine marriage, the Supreme Court will thereby undermine its legitimacy. The Court will significantly decrease its credibility and impair the role it has assumed for itself as a moral authority. It will be acting beyond its proper constitutional role and contrary to the Natural Moral Law which transcends religions, culture, and time.

As Christians united together in defense of marriage, we pray that this will not happen. But, make no mistake about our resolve. While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the true common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross.

Considering that Staver and others who signed this declaration have predicted that any ruling in favor of gay marriage will lead to civil war, one has to wonder just how these anti-gay activists intend to resist any such ruling.

Right Wing Leftovers - 6/13/13

  • Now E.W. Jackson says that he does not believe that yoga leads to Satanism.
  • Speaking of Jackson, he seems to have a long history of failing to pay his bills.
  • Every once in a while, Glenn Beck gets all hushed and emotional and weepy for an entire segment ... today was one of those days.
  • Apparently, the second annual Fortnight for Freedom event starts next week.
  • Rick Joyner declares that now is "a time for courage."
  • Finally, Mat Staver is outraged: "Essentially what we have in this administration is an LGBT affirmative action program. This is the most outrageous violation of conscience and the First Amendment that I have seen within any Administration—trying to force people’s conscience to affirm something that historically has been, and according to natural law and Biblical revelation, is unnatural, immoral and unhealthy."

Staver: 'The Hispanic Community Believes in the Same Values as does Liberty Counsel'

Liberty Counsel today unveiled a 60-second Spanish-language radio program, Llamado de Libertad, “with the goal to encourage, educate and reach out to the Hispanic community.” Staver, who is also a board member of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, in a statement described Latinos as a monolith who concurs with his organization’s right-wing ideology:

“We are very excited to announce the launch of our Spanish version of Freedom’s Call, Llamado de Libertad,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The Hispanic Community believes in the same values as does Liberty Counsel—sanctity of life, family, and religious freedom.”

“Llamado de Libertad fulfills a need in Hispanic broadcasting,” said Yuri Mantilla. “The Spanish community needs to know more about what is going on in our nation—the laws and issues that Liberty Counsel is advocating.”

Liberty Counsel is partnering with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference on a new Hispanic Initiative. “As the legislative and policy arm of the NHCLC, it is important that Liberty Counsel is communicating with the Hispanic community,” said Staver. “Building our presence on Spanish-language radio stations is a step in that direction.”

 

But like other groups, Latinos don’t speak with one voice, especially on the social issues that Liberty Counsel concentrates on.

One clue that Latinos aren’t aligned with the rabidly anti-Obama Liberty Counsel is that a whopping 71% of Latinos voted for Obama in the last election.

Liberty Counsel also might have little luck attracting Latino supporters over the group’s two central goals: criminalizing abortion and fighting gay rights.

ABC found that among Latino voters, 66% supported keeping abortion legal, compared to 59% of Americans at large. A 2012 Lake Research poll found that 68% of Latinos believe that abortion “should remain legal,” and NBC/WSJ poll reports that Latinos “increasingly oppose [Roe v. Wade] being overturned.”

Latino voters also outpace non-Hispanic whites and African Americans in their support for marriage equality, with 59% backing same-sex marriage. Quinnipiac similarly observed that with 63% favoring marriage equality, Latinos “support same-sex marriage than any other demographic.”

But just as Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber erroneously predicted that Jewish voters would turn en masse against Obama, the ultraconservative group’s latest stunt to appeal to Latinos may come up dry.

Staver: Obama Violating First Amendment by Affirming 'Immoral and Unhealthy' Homosexuality

Mat Staver and Shawn Akers of Liberty Counsel are incensed that a U.S Department of Agriculture newsletter [PDF] promotes an LGBT pride event, or as Staver called it, “the sexual anarchist event.”

On Friday’s edition of Faith & Freedom, Staver said the newsletter is proof that the USDA “intimidates employees if they don’t participate,” while Akers argued that the agency is using Saul Alinsky tactics to wage a “quiet revolution” and a “culture war.”

Later, the two also discussed a brochure on creating an inclusive work environment from DOJPride, an LGBT rights group of Department of Justice employees, which they claim cripples free speech even though it has no enforcement provisions.

“Essentially what we have in this administration is an LGBT affirmative action program,” Staver claimed. “This is the most outrageous violation of conscience and the First Amendment that I have seen within any federal agency to force people’s conscience to affirm something that historically has been, and according to natural law and biblical revelation, is unnatural, immoral and unhealthy.”

Watch:

Truth In Action Ministries Film Warns Gays 'Puts Boys At Serious Risk'

Truth In Action Ministries, which last year produced a film warning that the “radical homosexual agenda” will destroy America like an iceberg hitting the Titanic, is out with a new short film opposing gay members in the Boy Scouts. Featuring Religious Right leaders like Bob Knight of the American Civil Rights Union, Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the anti-gay activists warn that gays pose a physical and spiritual danger to children and do away with morality.

Watch highlights here:

Staver Warns of Back-Alley Ex-Gay Therapy; Huckabee Wonders About Gay People Deciding To Be Straight

Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver has been spearheading efforts to strike down a California law barring ex-gay therapy for minors. Today, he chatted with Mike Huckabee about Liberty Counsel’s case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Staver warned that if the law stands, minors will be forced to turn to harmful, back-alley ex-gay therapy rather than to “licensed professionals.” Huckabee compared this to having an untrained person trying to set a broken leg.

Of course, Staver and Huckabee both support personhood laws that would criminalize abortion in all cases and dramatically increase cases of unsafe, back-alley abortions.

Staver: They make the premise that this counseling is harmful, it’s harmful if it’s engaged in, they say, by licensed professionals that have training and education. Well guess what? If this law passes and it goes into effect and the court doesn’t stop it, then if it’s harmful to have this by licensed professionals, what’s the next step? It’s even more harmful to have it done by people who are not licensed or trained, but that’s where it’s going.

Huckabee: It’s almost like saying that if you set a broken leg as a medical doctor and you don’t do it a certain way, you’re in trouble. Obviously, if you’re not even a medical doctor, I think you’d clearly be clearly under a greater level of trouble, that’s the point you’re making.

Later, Staver made the case that survivors of child abuse would not be able to receive counseling under the law and described the law as “dangerous.” Huckabee, meanwhile, wondered about the plight of a young gay man who “decided” to be heterosexual.

Staver: If this client comes in and the parents say he was molested by the likes of a Jerry Sandusky and abused, now after that several months later he started to have these acting out behaviors and he doesn’t like it, nor do we, can you help him? The counselor would have to say, ‘I can’t, you’re going to have to just accept that, that’s who you are, that’s natural and normal, I can’t give you counsel to ultimately help you eliminate those kinds of attempts that you want to act out, the kind of behavior that you were abused by.’ This is just an absurd situation; it is politically motivated.

Huckabee: I mean this really is the courts stepping in and telling the clinical practitioner the limits of his or her practice to a level that would seem unprecedented. Mat, let me pose a question, let’s say a young person comes in and says, ‘you know I’ve always believed I’m homosexual, believed that since I was seven-years-old, but now that I’m seventeen, I’ve decided that I’m not, I’m heterosexual’ and goes to a pro-homosexual counselor. Would that person be at risk? It looks like some of those folks would be nervous that they couldn’t say, ‘oh no, no you are homosexual all right because you thought that when you were seven and therefore you have to stay that way.’

Staver: The interesting thing the way the law is essentially written is if you are trying to give them counsel, even for somebody who say for example they say they’re bisexual, they’re attracted to both sexes, if you are trying to counsel them to primarily be heterosexual as opposed to homosexual that would be a clear violation. If you are trying to move them away, however, from heterosexuality to bisexuality, transexuality, asexuality, whatever sexuality you come up with, questioning, confused, then that is personally fine as long as you affirm them in that situation. But if you move them back towards heterosexuality, nope, that’s simply not permissible. You can see really where this law is coming from, this law is a political statement; it’s dangerous.

Staver: Labeling Us As 'Hate Groups' Is Just Like What Happened in Nazi Germany

On a recent "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Matt Barber and Mat Staver were discussing the current Religious Right outrage over an Army Reserve briefing in which "Evangelical Christianity" was listed among various kinds of "religious extremism."

A spokesperson said the slide was not produced by the Army and was removed and the person responsible for it has apologized, but Staver and Barber know who is really to blame: the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In fact, Staver said, what the SPLC is doing by labeling Religious Right organization as hate groups "it's just like in Nazi Germany" where Jews were dehumanized and demonized so that when they were ultimately killed, "people turned a blind eye":

Michele Bachmann to Headline Conference with 9/11 & Sandy Hook Truther, Birthers and Anti-Gay Activists

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) will be joining some of the most extreme right-wing activists in the country at the upcoming Awakening 2013 conference.

Right Wing Leftovers - 4/4/13

  • It is pretty entertaining to see the Religious Right ripping Bill O'Reilly for his arrogance and ignorance, especially since they only seem to have discovered it once he upset them.
  • Case in point, Bill Keller has issued a $10,000 challenge to O'Reilly to debate him.
  • To hear Mat Staver and Matt Barber describe it, The Awakening Conference is just about the most important thing ever.
  • Speaking of Staver, he received the Faith Community Leader of the Year Award at the Weyrich Awards Dinner, which is a good reminder that radical Religious Right anti-gay voices are regularly honored within the movement.
  • Finally, and on a related note, Steve Deace takes on "laughabe gay marriage cliches" like "homosexuality is in nature so it’s natural" by declaring "there’s also the licking of one’s own genitals, the flinging of one’s own feces, and the eating of live prey and then vomiting it back up to feed your offspring in nature, too."

Staver: Legalizing Gay Marriage Will Be 'the Beginning of the End of America'

Yet again, Liberty Counsel dedicated its "Faith and Freedom" radio program today to warning about the dire consequences that would result if the Supreme Court recognizes the constitutionality of marriage equality, with Mat Staver proclaiming that not only would it undermine religious freedom, but "a major disruption to our society [and] the beginning of the end of America":

Barber: Tolerance of Homosexuality Is 'a Cancer That Brings Down Societies'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Matt Barber and Mat Staver once again made their case against marriage equality, with Barber declaring that tolerance "of all forms of sexual deviant behavior" is "a cancer that brings down societies" and linking it to the strange theory that gay marriage was the catalyst for Noah's flood.

That prompted Staver to chime in and remind everyone about Sodom and Gomorrah, which God had to destroy because it "had gotten to the place where men were raping men for their own self-gratification" ... with Barber adding that "it was homosexuality and cross-dressing that were central to that":

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