One of the many myths surrounding Donald Trump is that he is a moderate on social issues. While he has certainly not made issues like abortion or gay marriage a central part of his campaign, the notion that he is simply ignoring them or is covering up his real opinion belies the fact that a Trump presidency could do real damage to gay rights and reproductive freedom where it matters the most: the courts.
If elected president, Trump would likely get the chance to nominate at least one Supreme Court justice and dozens if not hundreds of federal judges.
He has vowed that he would appoint judges who would “unpass” Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion rights decision, and disagree with what he lambasted as a “shocking” marriage equality ruling, Obergefell.
While speaking today with televangelist Pat Robertson at Robertson’s Regent University, Trump specifically praised Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, the two most conservative justices on the Supreme Court. “Justice Thomas doesn’t get enough credit,” Trump said. “He’s a wonderful man, he’s a wonderful guy.”
After criticizing Chief Justice John Roberts as not being conservative enough, and attacking Ted Cruz for promoting his nomination, Trump said he would appoint “pro-life” justices who are “very conservative” and “like Judge Scalia.”
Trump also promised Robertson that he would return to Regent University after he is elected president.
Televangelist Pat Robertson and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump kicked off a town hall event at Robertson’s Regent University today by trading extravagant compliments, with Trump hailing Robertson as one of “the most amazing people in the whole country.”
After a hug, Robertson said that the GOP presidential frontrunner “inspires us all.”
Following a fawning introduction by David Brody, a reporter for Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, Trump went through his typical tirades against immigration and free trade, joking that undocumented immigrants will eventually be given free air conditioners and cars to take across the border to the U.S.: “Every illegal gets an air conditioner, walks across.”
Pat Robertson reacted angrily today to the Education Department’s finding that transgender youth are protected under federal anti-discrimination law, warning that the transgender rights movement is part of a larger push to undermine America.
“We are facing thermonuclear annihilation and what are we debating in America? What are we debating? Where a little kid goes to the potty. I mean, this is nuts, absolutely nuts. It is crazy,” he said.
“This whole thing is insane,” Robertson continued. “And for the United States of America to put the power of the federal government and all of its money and resources behind this transgender movement, it is just nothing short of insanity. And you ask yourself, ‘When do we get free from this nonsense?’ But it gets worse and worse and worse. This is liberalism run amok.”
The conservative televangelist then linked the issue to women serving in military combat roles, saying that women have lost their “honor” as they are no longer treated as “the weaker sex,” and to the collapse of “marital purity,” which he said will lead to the disintegration of society.
Today, after blasting Bernie Sanders’ fans as “ignorant sheep,” Pat Robertson fielded questions from “700 Club” viewers, including one from “a 60-year-old widow” who wondered if she should leave her job as a store clerk because it sells “voodoo doll keychains.”
Robertson did indeed urge her to quit: “God can give you another job.” The televangelist warned that the voodoo doll keychains are a stepping stone further into the occult.
“You don’t want to give your heart over to voodoo or magic arts,” he said. “If they’re doing a voodoo doll, the next thing you know they’ll be having little dollies you put pins in and can bring down curses on them.”
While criticizing the “so-called millenniums” today, Pat Robertson skewered Bernie Sanders supporters as “a bunch of ignorant sheep” who are “cheering a man who wants to take away all our money.”
The “700 Club” host made the remarks while chatting with Joshua Charles, an author and Tea Party activist who previously co-authored a book with Glenn Beck, about his new WorldNetDaily-published book “Liberty’s Secrets.”
When Robertson said that “there are forces that wish to destroy” the founding fathers’ vision for America, Charles warned that young people want to make a difference but don’t know the truth about our nation’s history.
In an interview today with Pat Robertson, Rafael Cruz went on a long rant about gun reform, gay marriage and the Supreme Court, warning that America won’t survive more than 30 years if President Obama is allowed to nominate the next Supreme Court justice.
Cruz, the father of Texas senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz, told Robertson that President Obama may join the ranks of dictators like Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong who had “taken away the weapons of the people and then used them against the people.”
“President Obama is trying to use every time he can to disarm America,” he said.
However, Cruz said that he is hopeful about the future of America because of the Supreme Court’s “decision against traditional marriage,” telling Robertson that “the Devil overplayed his hand” with the ruling and has motivated conservative Christians to get involved in politics. “We must return to the Judeo-Christian, the biblical, the constitutional foundations that this country was built upon,” he said, “otherwise this country will be destroyed.”
The elder Cruz then went on to say that Justice Antonin Scalia’s death could usher in America’s destruction: “This could tilt the balance of the court and could be something that would affect America for the next 30 years. We don’t have 30 years.”
He went on to falsely claim that “no nominee for the Supreme Court has been confirmed in the last year of the election” in over 80 years. (In fact, the last time that happened was in 1988 when Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed.) “The balance of the court cannot be tilted in a lame duck year, it’s just not done.”
Today on “The 700 Club,” televangelist Pat Robertson criticized proposals to have women register with the Selective Service, saying that God made women “to be a wife” and they should not “despise their calling.”
“That’s your role,” he said. “Do that. He didn’t make you to wear combat boots, carry an M-16 and shoot down the enemy.”
He continued: “Why can’t women embrace the role of wife and mother, why not? Raising the next generation is a very important function. If all the women are amazons and they’re out with muscles and F-16s fighting, who is going to take care of the kids?”
When co-host Wendy Griffith praised Israel for requiring women to enlist with the armed services, but Robertson said he knows “some stories about that too that I can’t say on television.”
The right-wing meltdown over Beyoncé’s Super Bowl half time show performance and longstanding fears about President Obama and Bernie Sanders have contributed to yet another bizarre week for Paranoia-Rama.
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson sat down with Stephen Moore, the former chief economist of the Heritage Foundation, to discuss the results of last night’s New Hampshire primaries, and particularly Bernie Sanders’ success in the Democratic contest.
After gloating that Hillary Clinton “is not going to be president” and commending Donald Trump’s “phenomenal,” “patriotic” and “pro-America” victory speech, Moore lit into Sanders and Clinton for proposing “big spending programs” and trying to “raise taxes on the middle class.”
Robertson, before repeating the myth that Sanders is seeking a 90 percent marginal tax rate, said he was confused as to why young voters overwhelmingly backed Sanders in New Hampshire. “Is that like the kids who want to do a panty raid in the fraternity?” he asked.
“It’s an indictment of our education system in America,” Moore said. “When these college graduates think that socialism is an economic model that works, I mean, show me anywhere in the world, Bernie Sanders, where socialism has worked.”
Televangelist Pat Robertson thinks that the Syrian Civil War indicates that End Times prophecies are being fulfilled, and on today’s edition of “The 700 Club” discussed the prophetic significance of the Iranian-Russian alliance in the war on behalf of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.
Robertson said that Russia and Iran are likely to lead the coalition that will invade Israel in the Last Days (a similar prediction to one put forward by Michele Bachmann), while also worrying about the prospect of a war between North Korea and the U.S.
All of this, he said, is the fault of President Obama for reducing American strength and authority in the world, thus empowering Russia, Iran and ISIS.
“He is dangerous, he is really dangerous,” Robertson said of Obama. “But whether or not he can destroy this country in the next few months that he’s got ahead of him — his people will saddle us with so many regulations. We’re looking at a serious, serious economic collapse with no driver, no country strong enough to take on the burdens of the world unless the United States mans up and does it.”
Robertson reminded viewers that “God Almighty is on the throne” and “His purposes will stand, regardless of the Iranians, regardless of the Sunnis and the Shias, regardless of the Soviets, regardless of who wants to hurt who, God is going to have His way and it will come to pass as the Bible says it will.”
Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson fielded a question from a teenage viewer who wanted to know if it is a sin to listen to rock music.
The televangelist said that while people shouldn’t try to completely avoid mainstream music, they should be wary of listening to songs that may contain violent, Satanic lyrics and beats that could summon demonic beings.
“It depends on what rock you’re listening to,” he said. “Some of the stuff is just evil. They used to talk about killing your parents and there were just some other things. There were odes to Satan. You don’t want that stuff coming into your mind. There’s some beat that’s out there that, you know, probably isn’t all that bad, although in one Indian context, they were playing rock music and the person said, ‘Why are you calling on the demons?,’ because that was the kind of music they used to summon demons.”
“It’s a difficult thing,” Robertson said. “Many young people, they think they’re transsexual and they think they’ve got to have a sex-change operation, they’ve got to do this, that, and the other and they don't really know what they’re talking about because they’re too young to know. I have a feeling the same thing — there’s nothing that says somebody can’t be attracted to the opposite sex.”
He added: “Young girls have crushes and they have crushes on their teachers and they have crushes on other girls as well as boys, that’s one of those things that happens but that’ll get differentiated as she gets older, but if she gets wrapped up in that lifestyle, she may never get out of it.”
Today on “The 700 Club,” a viewer named Jonathan told host Pat Robertson that “my mother sexually assaulted me when I was younger,” and wanted to know whether he should “call the police and have my mother charged, now that I can speak up” or whether he should “turn the other cheek.”
The televangelist advised Jonathan not to call the police, and expressed disbelief that a mother would abuse her son.
“Jonathan, I think the thing to do is to let that thing rest,” he said. “Good grief, your mother assaulted you? It’s hard to believe. It’s so rare, but in any event, she’s your mother, I mean, you’ve got to love her. I pray that she might find the Lord and God will forgive her for that and you should forgive her too. But you’re going to charge her and ask for her to be put in jail now that you’re in your late 20s? Of course not.”
Pat Robertson welcomed in the new year by spending some alone time with God and, lo and behold, his prophecies for 2016 are already coming true. As “The 700 Club” host reported today, God told him that war is coming to Saudi Arabia and that the kingdom will fall.
He said that the recent controversy surrounding the Saudi government’s execution of a dissident Shiite cleric, which sparked protests throughout the region, has proved the validity of what God told him.
The televangelist continued by saying that God revealed to him that some entity — possibly Iran, Al Qaeda or ISIS — will launch destructive attacks against Saudi Arabia’s oil fields, leading to a dramatic increase in the price of oil and “the kingdom will be brought down,” ushering in further conflict and disorder. “As sure as we’re alive, the oil fields in Saudi Arabia are going to be set on fire,” Robertson said.
However, even as the world plunges into turmoil, Robertson said, God will continue to bless his Christian Broadcasting Network and his Regent University. “This is going to be a year of miracles,” he said, “this is going to be a year of growth for the church, it’s going to be a year of prosperity for CBN and for Regent University and we’re going to see more and more and more of the blessing of God on his people despite what may be chaos in the world.”
The fall of marriage equality bans in all 50 states following the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision was a disaster for the conservative movement, whose leaders have spent years demonizing same-sex couples and warning that the legal recognition of their marriages will unleash a wave of terror on the nation.
Even the not-exactly-pious GOP presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, is activelycourting the anti-gay Right, although he has trouble explaining why he should be seen as a strong defender of “traditional marriage.”
In the eyes of many conservative activists, Obergefell was the product of a culture that had been slipping away for years, bringing America into an apocalyptic period where growing acceptance for homosexuality is ushering in disastrous consequences.
Weeks before the Supreme Court handed down its ruling, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah declared that if the court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage and conservative states didn’t seceded from the union in protest, anti-gay activists like himself would flee the country. “Are there any governors or legislatures out there among the 50 states willing to secede to offer a refuge for the God-fearing?” he asked, warning that if states were to stay in the U.S. following a pro-equality decision, the world should expect “a pilgrimage by millions of Americans.”
End Times radio host Rick Wiles told his listeners that the country would “be brought to its knees” if the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of marriage equality and that there would be “pain and suffering at a level we’ve never seen in this country,” caused by “riots or looting or war on American soil or a fireball from space.”
Texas pastors Robert Jeffress and Rick Scarborough also got in the mix. Jeffress said the ruling could pave the way for the Antichrist while Scarborough said conservatives must “fight until we die” and “push back with all our might” against a ruling in favor of gay marriage, which he said would “unleash the spirit of hell on the nation.” Scarborough even boasted that he was ready to go to jail and face death: “We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and if necessary, we will burn.”
As one might expect, the responses to the ruling were not much different from the predictions.
The day after the ruling, Wiles declared that he received a message from God, who asked him to tell the people to “flee” the country before God destroys it through economic ruin, food shortages, terrorism, disease and slavery. “America is over,” he declared. Later, Wiles predicted that America is “going to see gunfire” from people resisting the government over gay marriage. “Somebody’s going to jail, somebody’s going to die, somebody’s going to suffer,” he said.
Michael Bresciani of the Christian Post said Obergefell would lead to “an economic crash much more serious than the stock market crash of 29,” while WND’s Farah envisioned “more civil and racial strife” or “an attack on our country from foreign power or terrorist group.”
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes said that “pastors who refuse to perform gay marriage and preach from the Bible should prepare for hate crime charges,” while Illinois pastor Erwin Lutzer told religious parents to prepare to “be diagnosed as culturally intolerant and personality intolerant,” as a result of which “their children will be taken away from them.” Perkins of the FRC claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision would threaten the freedom of speech and gun rights.
American Family Radio host Sandy Rios, who also serves as the American Family Association’s governmental affairs director, said that homosexuality may have been “a factor” in the deadly Amtrak crash in May. She suggested that the engineer, who is gay, may have been having a breakdown as he experienced “some confusion” related to homosexuality.
Fellow AFR host Bryan Fischer specifically blamed flooding in Texas on God’s judgment for homosexuality, saying that “you can make a geographical connection” between flooding and homosexuality. (We wonder what that means for American Family Radio’s home town of Tupelo, Mississippi, which was hit by a tornado last year).
Huckabee also suggested that America is in “a dangerous place” because “if man believes that he can redefine marriage, it’s apparent that man believes he has become his own god,” and God will not protect such a nation.
The Religious Right has a long history of absurdly claiming that evangelical Christians are facing persecution in America, and the Obergefell ruling only amped up such rhetoric.
Huckabee warned that the gay rights movement “won’t stop until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel,” lamenting that too many Christians don’t realize “how close they are to losing all of their freedoms.” Huckabee’s fellow GOP presidential candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, also got in on the action, warning that a gay “jihad” is “going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”
Glenn Beck predicted that Obergefell would result in serious repercussions for the media, claiming that “anybody on this show [who] says they’re for traditional marriage” will have their airtime in jeopardy as the ruling “could mean the end of radio broadcasts like mine.”
Nothing set off more persecution rhetoric than the Kim Davis saga, in which the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk blocked her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of a court order, citing “God’s authority.” She was temporarily placed in the custody of U.S. Marshals after she said she would continue to flout the courts and was only released after deputy clerks started to issue the licenses.
Even before the Davis case, many Republicans had been insisting that government officials may not have to treat court rulings on marriage as authoritative after all, and can simply flout the process of judicial review. Obergefell gave them the perfect opportunity to put these arguments into action.
Before quitting the presidential race, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal lambasted the decision, explaining that “no earthly court can change the definition of marriage.” Huckabee said that if elected president, he would tell the Supreme Court: “Thank you for your opinion, but we shall ignore it.” “It’s a matter of saving our republic to say that, as president, we’re not going to accept this decision, we will ignore it and we will not enforce it,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also claimed that when civil law conflicts with “God’s rules,” then government officials must choose the latter because “God’s rules always win.” Rubio, along with his fellow GOP presidential candidates Cruz, Huckabee, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum and Carly Fiorina, also pledged to sign legislation confronting the supposed discrimination faced by gay marriage opponents.
The “700 Club” host worried in September that gay marriage would trigger a perilous financial crisis, warning that “the rupture of the entire financial framework of our world” could occur because of the Obergefell ruling. He again alleged in November that “the wrath of God” is headed to America now that “it’s a constitutional right for sodomites to marry each other,” possibly in the form of “a massive financial collapse.”
“They’re going to make you conform to them,” he said of gay rights advocates. “You are going to say you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality, you like anything you can think of, whatever it is.”
“Christianity, the founding principle of this nation, is criminalized,” he said in response to the Davis controversy. “You go to jail if you believe in God and stand fast for your beliefs against the onslaught of secular humanism and the flood that comes about with it.” (Robertson, of course, has not been jailed).
Warning viewers that “the homosexuals don’t just want to be left alone, now they want to come out and stick it to the Christians,” Robertson said that gay rights laws are creating “absolute tyranny” and “it's high time we call it what it is and we stand up for freedom.”
The televangelist also offered his patented advice to people with gay children.
He told one mother to send her daughter, who is dating another woman, to a Christian summer camp and “pray that God will straighten her out.” He said that the girl was probably “pressured” into embracing a lesbian identity because “there’s so much lesbian stuff, I mean, lesbian this, lesbian the other, so much homosexual — the media is pushing this as hard as they can possibly push it.” He told another viewer who has a gay son to treat him like a drug addict, and advised yet another parent that God could change his gay son if only the son were to start “acting like a man.”
Here at Right Wing Watch, we listen to hours of video and audio each day in order to find the short clips that we share with our readers. It’s been a doozy of a year, in which presidential politics has collided with the farthest of the far right, and here at Right Wing Watch, we’ve had the dubious pleasure of witnessing it all. It’s hard to pick our favorite/most horrifying memories of the year, so instead we’ve looked back at the 10 most watched videos and most listened-to audio clips of the year.
10. Sandy Rios Investigates The Amtrak Crash
Days after an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in May, killing eight and injuring hundreds, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios pointed out “an interesting part of the story” that was likely “a factor” in the crash: the conductor’s homosexuality.
June was not a happy month for anti-gay activists, as exemplified by Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, who days before the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision warned that gay marriage was a satanic plot to destroy Christianity and may very well bring God’s judgment on America.
Televangelist Pat Robertson is not always quite on point with the advice he gives to viewers of “The 700 Club” at the end of every program, such as when he told a bereaved mother who had just lost a young child that the child could have turned out to be the next Hitler .
4. The Gay ‘Jihad’
Ted Cruz went there during a campaign event in Iowa in April.
3. Rick Perry’s ‘Accident’
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry had a very ill-timed “oops” moment when he called the mass shooting at a church in Charleston an “accident,” in the process of claiming that the crime was the result of drugs rather than guns.
2. Phil Robertson’s Imagination
Back in March, controversial “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson tried to make a convoluted point about atheists supposedly having no moral code by telling a gruesome hypothetical story about a family of atheists getting raped and murdered.
1. Rick Scarborough’s Martyrdom
Nobody took the hysteria over the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision quite as far as Rick Scarborough, who declared a few days before the court handed down its decision that he was ready to burn to death in his fight against gay marriage.
Back in 2010, “The 700 Club” host Pat Robertson blamed a deadly earthquake in Haiti on the “pact to the Devil” that he said Haitians made to escape French colonial rule, just one of several times the televangelist has said he knew the real reason behind disastrous events.
Keep that in mind when watching Robertson’s most recent remarks following a “700 Club” report on an American woman who went to Haiti to improve the conditions of homeless children.
Robertson blames the current turmoil in Haiti not only on government corruption but also on a declaration over a decade ago recognizing Voodoo as one of the country’s official religions. “Voodoo is a Satanic type of culture, it just destroys them,” he said.
While Religious Right activists like Pat Robertson regularlyrailagainst the terrible oppression Christians in America suffer due to the liberals’ supposed “War on Christmas,” his very own show, “The 700 Club,” reminded us today who led the original “War on Christmas” in America: the Pilgrims.
Reporter Paul Strand reported today on how the Pilgrims were “some of history's most fervent opponents of Christmas.”
In her Patheos blog yesterday, Beth Allison Barr reminded us of how the War on Christmas went down in England:
Here’s the story in brief–as related by Diane Purkiss in The English Civil War: While Charles I was fighting during the 1640s for his crown (which he would lose along with his life in 1649), an increasingly radical Parliament governed England. In the words of Purkiss, “that transhistorical killjoy a Parliamentary subcommittee” was created in 1643 to reform the Church of England. It regarded the liturgical calendar of medieval Christianity as both a symbol of Catholicism and a distraction from the Gospel. Sunday was the only holy day worth honoring. All other festivals, including Christmas, should be cancelled.
Of course, this was easier said than done. Christmas was a beloved holiday revered in Tudor England. Asking people to give up Wassailing and Twelfth Night cake, not to mention their days off work, proved nigh impossible. Many people simply ignored the parliamentary decree of the “Solemn League and Covenant” subcommittee in 1643 and refused to go to work on Christmas day. Parliament cracked down in 1644 with an ordinance enforcing the Sunday fast day instead of the usual Christmas feast; in 1645 Parliament again declared Sunday and occasional celebrations as the only recognized holidays; finally in 1647 Parliament issued an ordinance officially cancelling all Christmas and Lenten celebrations, even arresting clergy preaching Christmas day sermons.
Despite initial resistance, this “War on Christmas” almost succeeded. Purkiss argues that the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658 is what really “saved” Christmas (my apologies to Kirk Cameron’s movie last year). Although the ordinances were never fully realized–mobs forced Christmas celebrations in some areas–and even though the popularity of Edward Fisher’s 1649 defense of Christmas–which sold 6000 copies–suggests continued support for the holiday season, Purkiss argues that most people were beginning to conform “sulkily” by the 1650s. As Purkiss writes, “if the republic had lasted ten years longer, the old festive calendar would have been dead beyond recall.”
Alluding to a bogus poll issued by an anti-Muslim group which alleged that large swathes of Muslim-Americans oppose the U.S. Constitution, televangelist Pat Robertson came to the defense of Donald Trump today over the GOP presidential candidate’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration. Trump also cited the unscientific survey to justify his call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Robertson, who yesterday said that Islam should not be considered a religion but rather a military system that is “intent on dominating and killing you,” warned that Muslim immigrants may bring Sharia law to the U.S., which would lead to the stoning of gay people, spousal abuse and the severing of the hands of criminals.
“Donald Trump said something about keeping people who have those views out of this country and he has been excoriated all over the world,” he lamented.