Richard Land

The Ten Plagues Of Gay Marriage: Conservatives Warn Of Terrorist Attacks, War And Prison Due To SCOTUS Ruling

The right-wing response to the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision has been, quite literally, apocalyptic.

It’s only been five days since the court issued its ruling, but conservative pundits have already predicted that gay marriage will ultimately be responsible for natural disasters, terrorist attacks and the destruction of freedom.

1) Terrorist attacks

While there haven’t been any terrorist attacks against the U.S. since the court’s ruling, whenever there are, anti-LGBT activists will know who to blame: gay people who want to get married.

Sandy Rios, the American Family Association’s director of governmental affairs, linked the marriage equality decision to the reported July 4 terror threat. Declaring that there will be “some consequence” to this “unbelievable affront to God,” Rios suggested that “the terror threat against this nation has gone up exponentially” as a result of the marriage decision.

“They have thumbed their nose at God’s design for man, a man and a woman designed from the beginning of time and creation, and it will not, it will not stand,” she added. “While we’re under such terrible terror threats, you know, our protections have been lifted and that’s what they don’t understand.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, also warned that “God’s hand of protection will be withdrawn as future actions from external and internal forces will soon make clear. I will do all I can to prevent such harm, but I am gravely fearful that the stage has now been set.”

“America’s elite leadership have taken the side of the enemies of God, and He will take notice,” WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah warned, claiming that such divine judgment “could come in the form of an attack on our country from foreign power or terrorist group.”

Rick Wiles, host of the End Times radio program “Trunews,” similarly predicted that God will now “lift His hand of protection from this nation” and “permit America’s enemies to attack this nation.”

Cliff Kincaid of the conservative group Accuracy in Media was a little more tame in his reasoning but came to the same conclusion: “A country that descends to the bottom of the barrel morally and culturally will not be able to defend itself against its foreign adversaries and enemies. Indeed, we have the evidence all around us that, as the culture has degenerated, our ability to defend ourselves has simultaneously been weakened.”

2) Forced gay sex

The right-wing warnings of “forced homosexuality” are now coming true, at least according to one pastor. Tim Brooks of the Christian Ministries Church told one conservative radio program that gay people, just like the men of Sodom who tried to rape angelic visitors, “are trying to force their lifestyle on him, come out and have sex with us, have to participate.”

3) Thunderstorms

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes had a curious reaction to Saturday’s storm in Washington D.C., telling his Facebook fans that it was not a coincidence that it came one day after the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality:

Record-breaking floods have inundated Washington, D.C. just days after the Supreme Court decided they knew better than God. I seem to remember another time in history when there was a record-breaking flood.

God painted the sky with rainbow colors after that flood. This go-around - Obama painted the White House with rainbow colors.

Anybody got an ark?

4) Food shortages

Heavy rain may not be the only result of same-sex marriage (besides equal marriage rights for gay people), as some Religious Right pundits also believe that divine wrath will come in the form of food shortages and drought.

Wiles warned that “God will cut off America’s food supply and this nation will be hit with disease, pestilence, drought, natural calamities and a great shaking.”

“Nothing grabs the attention of the distracted faster than the complete removal of all creature comforts and extravagant wealth,” Christian Post columnist Michael Bresciani said. “Crops will fail, stores will close and commerce will come almost to a complete stop. It will not be pretty. Add to that, attacks from our enemies and natural disasters rising to meet the pride of the sinners’ right where it hurts the most.”

These predictions aren’t new, since gay marriage apparently already brought drought to California.

5) Jailing pastors

Five years ago, Religious Right leaders confidently predicted that prison cells and court rooms would fill up with pastors after the passage of the 2009 Hate Crimes Act. Of course, such events never occurred, but now the same anti-LGBT activists are making the same false claims about the supposed consequences of same-sex marriage.

“Pastors who refuse to perform gay marriage and preach from the Bible should prepare for hate crime charges,” Starnes said. “All dissent will be silenced.”

Richard Land, a former leader of the Southern Baptist Convention’s political arm, was a little more cautious, explaining that pastors will indeed face prison if they refuse to officiate same-sex couple’s weddings, but only after the government takes a few “intermediate steps.”

6) Media censorship

Just days prior to the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling, Glenn Beck said that if the court were to decide in favor of same-sex couples, then the Bible would be outlawed as a “hate book.” Just hours after the decision came down, Beck offered another dire warning: He will lose his show.

“This could mean the end of radio broadcasts like mine,” Beck said, insisting that he will be taken off the air simply because he is “for traditional marriage.”

7) Taking kids from their parents

Chicago-based pastor Erwin Lutzer believes that parents who oppose same-sex marriage may lose custody of their children following the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling, predicting that “parents that homeschool children, religious parents, will be diagnosed as culturally intolerant and personality intolerant. And therefore, as a result, their children will be taken away from them.”

Rios, the AFA official, even warned that children may be forced to spy on their parents like in the Soviet Union.

8) This means war

Conservative legal activist Larry Klayman denounced the marriage equality ruling as a “harbinger to revolution,” urging Americans to take to rebellion like the Founding Fathers did.

“If evil despots have compromised even our Supreme Court, the ultimate protector and ‘decider’ of our rights, then what choice is left to us?” Klayman asked. “John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin certainly know, from their own experience with King George, and from their graves they see what now again lies ahead and what must be done to restore freedom to our shores.”

Former congressman Allen West also explained “why the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage could lead to civil war,” calling the ruling “the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”

One conservative pundit, Bill Muehlenberg, told readers that “a major proper response for Christians and others” to the Supreme Court’s ruling “is massive civil disobedience and defiance of this homo-fascist decision.”

9) Pedophilia now legal

Former House GOP Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who promised that “all hell is going to break loose” if the Supreme Court decided to strike down state bans on same-sex marriage, declared that he has uncovered a “secret memo” from the Department of Justice that reveals plans to legalize “having sex with little boys,” along with bestiality and polygamy.

The website run by West, the former congressman, even claimed that pedophilia supporters celebrated the Friday ruling. As the myth-busting website Snopes notes, the blog post on West’s site was “lifted almost entirely from an article published in 2011 and in no way reflected a claim prompted by a June 2015 Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage.” They add that the 2011 story “originated with a writer who has been asserting for years (less than accurately) that the push for gay rights is manifestly setting the stage for legalized ‘pedophilia rights.’”

Perhaps the blog post’s author received this news from David Barton, the right-wing pseudo-historian who just days before the court issued its ruling alleged, falsely, that pedophilia became “legally protected” following the passage of the 2009 Hate Crimes Act.

10) Criminalization of Christianity

The most prominent claim coming from the Religious Right in response to the Supreme Court’s decision has been what Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has called the government attempt to “eliminate” religious beliefs that oppose gay rights.

“In one appalling decision, the Supreme Court has effectively opened the door to the criminalization of Christianity when it comes to the marriage issue ... and not just Christianity, but every major religion that supports God’s model for marriage and family,” warned Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America.

Right-wing pundit Matt Barber made a similar claim: “The goal of ‘LGBT’ activists and secular progressives has long been to pit the government directly against the free exercise of religion – Christianity in particular – and to silence all dissent.”

One FRC official, Craig James, said that conservatives who oppose the same-sex marriage decision should respond to the coming persecution and ridicule “in love” … just like the families of the Charleston massacre.

Richard Land: Marriage Equality Ruling Could Send Pastors To Jail

Warning that the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision puts religious freedom “absolutely, unquestionably and unequivocally” at risk, former Southern Baptist Convention political official Richard Land said today that the decision could even land pastors in jail for refusing to perform same-sex marriages.

“Unless we have a spiritual awakening in America, the battle for traditional marriage is over and the battle for religious freedom has begun,” Land told Newsmax’s J.D. Hayworth.

“I know it’s difficult for liberals to understand this, but we have convictions,” he said. “And convictions can’t be coerced and they can’t be intimidated and they can’t be threatened. We’re going to speak the truth in love. Just because five lawyers say same-sex marriage is legal, that doesn’t make it moral and that doesn’t make it right.”

When Hayworth asked him if the Supreme Court’s decision means pastors could end up in jail for refusing to perform marriages for gay and lesbian couples, Land responded that “it could” after a few “intermediate steps.”

Of course, in the dozens of states that allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry before last week’s decision, not one pastor has been thrown into jail for refusing to perform such a marriage, just as nearly 50 years after the Supreme Court struck down interracial marriage bans, clergy are still free to refuse to perform such marriages. Even some of Land’s fellow Southern Baptist leaders have denied the possibility that pastors will be sent to jail for refusing to perform gay couple’s weddings.

Richard Land: Gays Seizing America's 'Cultural Icons'

Richard Land, the former head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s political arm, appeared on “Sandy Rios In The Morning” this week to discuss growing support for gay rights and acceptance of homosexuality in the U.S.

Land blamed such trends on “a broad cultural assault on biblical values through the media, through entertainment [and] through MTV,” specifically calling out the “gay and lesbian, bisexual community” for its “sustained campaign” to “propagandize” Americans.

“These people have gone after the icons in our culture,” Land said. “They’ve gone after the military, they’ve gone after the Boy Scouts, they’ve gone after Disney, and you’re seeing a gradual waning of the influence of the worldview that made America what it is, the Judeo-Christian worldview.”

Richard Land: 'Lucifer' TV Show Proves Fox Is 'Being Influenced By Satanic Forces'

Religious Right activists and organizations are up in arms over a new Fox television program called "Lucifer" which, as its name would suggest, is about the Devil, who in this case happens to be running a night club in Los Angeles.

Southern Evangelical Seminary president Richard Land, a former leader of the Southern Baptist Convention's political arm, appeared on the "Newsmax Prime" program yesterday to voice his concerns about the program, the mere existence of which, he said, proves the extent to which Fox is "being influenced by satanic forces."

Calling the program "obscene" and "blasphemous," Land warned that "we live in a world that is racked with spiritual warfare, incessant spiritual warfare between good and evil and the Devil is the one that is fomenting evil. He's the source of evil in the world and he not only likes to take part in evil, but he delights in those who take part in evil with him and he enjoys and cackles with glee at all the pain and suffering he causes."

"He hates us and he hates God," Land continued, "and to portray him as some kind of romantic figure is not only tragic, it's wicked, and it just proves the truth of the Bible. The Bible says the he's the god of this age and the prince of the power of the air, which means that the Devil has some input into all worldly philosophy and all worldly activity. And Fox Entertainment is just showing the extent to which it's being influenced by satanic forces."

Land: 'We're In The State We're In Today Because Of The Judgment Of God'

Southern Evangelical Seminary president Richard Land was a guest on TheDove TV a few weeks ago, where he declared that America's current political leadership is a sign that God's judgment is now upon this nation.

Land, who once called President Obama "a judgment of God on the United States," said that just as God heaped His judgment upon the nation of Israel, so too is He willing to punish America and is, in fact, doing so right now.

"I believe He is judging the United States of America," Land said. "I don't believe that you can kill 56 million babies in child sacrifice through abortion and not expect that God won't judge the nation. I believe we're in the state we're in today because of the judgment of God. I get asked all the time, 'Where is the next Abraham Lincoln? Where is the next Ronald Reagan? Where is the next Billy Graham?' Well, my answer is great political and spiritual leadership in our country is a sign of God's blessing; its absence is a sign of God's judgment."

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 5/8/15

  • BarbWire's Gina Miller is pessimistic: "Are we truly watching a perfect storm of tyrannical darkness conquer the United States?  Have we finally been defeated by the ever-patient, ever-evil, embedded communists, who’ve had their wicked designs on our nation for at least a hundred years?  Is our culture so rotten to the core that it can never return to virtue and right?  Are America’s younger generations lost to Godless, communist indoctrination and ideology, which includes radical environmental lunacy and the eager embrace of militant homosexualism and the destruction of marriage and family?"
  • Richard Land is torn about whether Christians should attend gay couples' weddings, but he knows that he can never vote for any candidate who supports marriage equality.
  • Unsurprisingly, Land is very excited that Mike Huckabee is running for president because "preachers do not surrender their constitutional right to run for office, and participate in public policy, when they become ordained." Um, is someone actually arguing that they do?
  • David Kupelian says that gay rights are "like Voldemort, the arch-villain so feared by everyone in the ‘Harry Potter’ stories that they ‘dare not speak his name,’ almost no one – not Democrats, not Republicans, not Libertarians, not the media, not even most churches – dares speak openly about it."
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer says that the sneering, arrogant "cultural elites" look down on the Religious Right today just like they did at Jesus.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 4/24/15

  • Laurie Roth warns that Christianity will be criminalized if the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage.
  • Steve McConkey of 4 Winds Christian Athletics worries that "Bruce Jenner's interview with Diane Sawyer on 20/20 will be glorified by the LGBTQ movement."
  • BarbWire's Gina Miller declares that "Our nation has become a lunatic."
  • Richard Land says that American Christians are the real victims of discrimination: "It's ugly; it's thuggish; it's brutish. It's the totalitarian left in all of its ugly face."
  • Finally, Phil Burress and the Citizens for Community Values Action PAC have turned against Ben Carson because Carson endorsed Rob Portman, whom CCV is working to defeat in the GOP primary: "[I]f you come out and endorse a candidate who believes in same-sex marriage, then that pretty much puts you into the same camp."

Michele Bachmann: Obama Administration 'Persecuting' Conservatives

While allegations that the IRS subjected conservative groups to special scrutiny have completely unraveled, the right-wing Truth in Action Ministries is still standing by them, releasing a video this week featuring ex-Rep. Michele Bachmann, radio host Bryan Fischer and former Southern Baptist Convention official Richard Land about the Obama administration’s supposed misuse of the tax agency for political purposes.

Bachmann alleges in the video that “the Internal Revenue Service took it upon themselves to persecute American citizens based upon their beliefs, whether they’re conservative, whether they were Christian.” Land, claiming that the phony scandal was much worse than Watergate, demands that IRS officials “go to jail” for their purported attempts to “diminish the freedoms of American citizens.”

Fischer, for his part, claims in the video that the IRS became the government’s “religious police.” “Leftists and bureaucrats in the federal government are now trying to use the IRS to repress and to punish religious speech they don’t like and political speech they don’t like,” he says. “And now they are looking at cracking down on churches, they’ve made some kind of secret deal with an atheist organization that they are going to monitor churches for any kind of political communication from the pulpit, and this is beginning to sound a lot more like communist China or communist Vietnam than it is the United States of America.”

The video concludes with Land calling the IRS the Obama administration’s “weapon … against those who would dare to criticize the government.”

“It’s like pointing a gun at your political opponents,” he says. “That is a violation of so many of the Bill of Rights it would take more time than we have to discuss them.”

Watch highlights here:

Richard Land: Obama 'Chose To Be Mugabe Over Mandela'

Religious Right activist Richard Land guest-hosted yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch” where he expressed outrage about President Obama’s remarks on the need for more people to vote, in which he pointed to Australia as an example of a country with compulsory voting.

Land, a former Southern Baptist Convention official who left following a scandal involving plagiarism and racial remarks, brought on Kenneth Blackwell of the Family Research Council to discuss this latest “scandal,” agreeing that it was a sign that Obama seeks to vastly grow the size of government and divide Americans.

“I’m going to use an extreme analogy: he could’ve been Mandela and instead he chose to be Mugabe,” Land said, referring to late South African leader Nelson Mandela and Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, who is notorious for his use of violence against political opponents and white farmers. “He chose Mugabe over Mandela and we’re all paying the price.”

Blackwell, who helped stifle voting during the 2004 election when he served as Ohio Secretary of State, suggested that the government under Obama may soon “order you to have mandatory political party membership.”

After criticizing Obama for “doing away with Election Day” by supporting early-voting, Blackwell claimed Obama is pushing a “devilish plan” to encourage people who are “dependent” on government to vote.

“We now have a president that’s padding the books with illegal immigrants and aliens, giving them drivers’ licenses, saying that they must vote and he’s growing government at the same time,” Blackwell said. “So what do you do? You create bigger and bigger government, more and more dependency and then you tell people they have to vote. Well, if people are dependent on government handouts, who are they going to vote for? They’re going to vote for the party of big government. They’re not going to vote for the party of free markets and liberty. They will sacrifice their liberty to feed their babies. This is part of a devilish plan.”

Richard Land: Obama Pushing America Into Civil War

On Tuesday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Religious Right leader Richard Land suggested that President Obama is pushing America into a Civil War.

Land, the former head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm, said Obama is “increasingly reminding me of James Buchanan” who “was just sort of responsible for fiddling in the White House while secessionism gathered steam and gathered force and the southern states went about their process of fomenting revolt and secession.”

“You know, the inaction and the willful disbelief and the inertia of Buchanan were major contributors to the national conflagration that almost rent us asunder as a nation in the Civil War,” Land continued. “And I have to ask myself, is history repeating itself? I hope not.”

Later in the program, Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council said that it is an incontrovertible fact that Obama supports violent extremists who claim to represent Islam.

Boykin, a bizarre conspiracy theorist who opposes religious freedom for Muslim-Americans, told Land that there is “no question” that the president “has been very sympathetic to Islam.”

“His pattern has been one of being very supportive of the Islamic jihadists because he has been unwilling to identify what motivates them,” Boykin said.

Richard Land: Right Wing Watch Is The 'Gay Thought Police'

While guest-hosting yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Religious Right leader Richard Land criticized Right Wing Watch as a “gay thought police” group run by “pinheads” who have wrongly smeared him.

Land, while speaking with Craig James of the Family Research Council, said Right Wing Watch writers “distort me all the time,” citing a (non-existent) Right Wing Watch post entitled “Land Equates Gays With Klansmen” about how he thinks that penalizing a baker for refusing service to a gay couple is like punishing an African-American baker who didn’t want to serve a Ku Klux Klan induction ceremony. (That post actually appeared on Good As You.)

For right-wing activists who seem to think that disagreement amounts to religious persecution, quoting them verbatim is now apparently a high crime.

Ken Blackwell Likens Obama To Convicted Killer Rap Brown

Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” the Family Research Council’s Ken Blackwell compared President Obama to Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2002 for killing a sheriff’s deputy, a crime which Al-Amin has maintained he did not commit. Blackwell was speaking with the radio program’s guest host Richard Land, a right-wing pastor who left his Southern Baptist Convention post after making racially insensitive, plagiarized comments on his since-cancelled radio show.

Land told Blackwell that he thought that during 2008 presidential campaign President Obama came across like Martin Luther King, Jr., even though Land was a harsh critic of Obama during that race, labeling him a “first-class arsonist.” “We so wanted Martin Luther King,” Land said, “and I’m afraid we’ve gotten Stokely Carmichael instead.”

“Not even that, we’ve gotten Rap Brown, which is even worse,” Blackwell responded.

Land suggested that King would join their criticisms of Obama: “Can you imagine how Dr. King would react to what’s been going on?”

Blackwell, a former Republican politician from Ohio, said Obama’s “very existence” proves that America isn’t a racist country, “but he blew it” on racial reconciliation. Land posited that Obama could have been America’s version of Nelson Mandela and ushered in the end of racism.

Josh Duggar Says He Helped Overturn Non-Discrimination Law To Show Love To LGBT Community

Former top Southern Baptist official Richard Land was the guest host of the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” yesterday, where the rabidly anti-gay pastor spoke to a self-proclaimed ex-gay caller about his time leading a church in New Orleans which had people “who had been delivered out of both homosexual and lesbian lifestyles.”

“It’s such a sad, lonely lifestyle,” Land said of homosexuality. “It just seemed to me that one of the cruelest jokes the devil has ever played is to have that lifestyle described as ‘gay.’”

Earlier in the program, Land spoke with Josh Duggar of the Family Research Council and TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” about their work to successfully overturn an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in Fayetteville, Arkansas, which they agreed was a sign of their love for the LGBT community.

Richard Land Calls For 'A Two Year Moratorium On Any Confirmation Of Federal Judges'

While appearing on NewsmaxTV today, Richard Land echoed Phyllis Schlafly's call for Republicans, now that they have gained control of the Senate, to refuse to confirm even one more judge nominated by President Obama for the remainder of his term in office.

Land said that Senate Republicans need to simply inform Obama that there is now "a two year moratorium on any confirmation of federal judges."

"The American people have lost confidence in your leadership as president," Land recommend that the GOP tell Obama, "and we're going to not confirm any judicial nominations in the Senate until after the American people have had an opportunity to elect a new president":

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 11/4/14

  • Glenn Beck's constantly shifting positions are now starting to confuse even his loyal audience, with one listener saying today, "I feel like I’m taking crazy pill" just trying to figure out Beck's contradictory stances.
  • David Lane issues a word of warning: "Secularism’s worldliness will only tolerate Christianity so long as its carnal tranquility is not disturbed or its authority challenged. But let the Christian bring his biblical values to the political arena, and he is immediately denounced as narrow-minded, out of step, behind the times, and a religious bigot."
  • Richard Land says that pastors in Houston "have felt the cold, suppressive hand of government and the attempt by the gay rights thought police to weaponize government against them."
  • James O'Keefe thinks that he is a "threat to the media."

Richard Land: Houston Subpoenas Foretell True LGBT 'Agenda'

In an interview with Newsmax yesterday, former Southern Baptist Convention public policy chief Richard Land reacted to the controversy over subpoenas issued to Houston pastors , warning that the incident is a harbinger of a future shaped by the gay “agenda” in which pastors will be prosecuted under unconstitutional hate speech laws.

“Are you afraid at some point that your sermons are going to have to be dictated?” the Newsmax host asked Land.

“Well, I think that there’s certainly the danger that they’re going to try to make any biblical reference to homosexuality hate speech,” Land responded.

He added: “I think that this is a warning. This is an overreach by a group that, let’s make no mistake about it, their agenda from the beginning has been not only to have their lifestyle tolerated but to have it affirmed and have it paraded before our children as normal and healthy and to marginalize anyone who disagrees with that to the level of being Klansmen. They want to turn us into Klansmen.”

Richard Land Angry That Gays Will 'Ram' Nondiscrimination Laws 'Down Your Throat'

This week a Kentucky-based administrative law judge upheld a 2012 human rights commission decision against a t-shirt company that cited its owner’s religious beliefs to deny service to a local gay service organization.

The ruling did not please Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes or former Southern Baptist Convention official Richard Land, who discussed the case on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” which Land was guest-hosting.

“What they just did violates the Constitution of the United States,” Land insisted. “It also shows, once again, the ugly face of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender movement. They are not a live-and-let-live bunch, they are, ‘We’re going to ram this down your throat, we’re going to force you to accept this or we’re going to run you out of business.’”

Starnes said the decision was proof of anti-Christian “hostility” against business owners: “Christians are coming under attack for their beliefs.”

Gene Mills: Shelters Should Turn Away Transgender Domestic Abuse Survivors

Louisiana Family Forum president Gene Mills used his appearance on “Washington Watch” yesterday not only to badly misrepresent a proposed non-discrimination ordinance in Baton Rouge, but also to claim that abuse shelters should be able to discriminate against transgender women who face domestic abuse.

“What if this person who claimed to be a transgendered [sic] actually obtained one of these quote legal marriage licenses in elsewhere USA came here and then claimed battery by their spouse, should that man who has now communicated as a transgendered [sic] who has the anatomical parts of both a male and a female become a resident of the battered women’s shelter and ought they be able to say that’s not acceptable?” Mills asked.

Host Richard Land also feared that businesses won’t be able to discipline salesmen who “show up in high heels and a purse and stockings and a dress and a wig and makeup,” alleging that such ordinances are actually discriminatory by “impinging on the business owner’s right to make a living.”

Richard Land: Cities With Non-Discrimination Laws Criminalized Free Speech

Filling in for Tony Perkins on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” former Southern Baptist Convention official Richard Land discussed the defeat of an LGBT non-discrimination measure in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with Gene Mills of the right-wing Louisiana Family Forum.

Land and Mills both claimed that the ordinance barring employment and housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity would actually, in Land’s words, “suppress the freedom of speech.”

“Homosexuality and the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community, that is the ultimate rebellion against God,” Land declared. “We don’t want them to take away from us the right to say that, to say that’s a rebellion against God.”

Mills replied: “And that’s exactly what they were doing, they were going to use a cause of action against us to silence — and that is what is happening in ‘everywhere USA’ — religious liberty is under assault…. Any expression, any thought, anything you just shared, could have been construed as a hate crime or an act of discrimination, and the reality is the shame and the guilt the homosexual feels is mistakenly reinterpreted as discrimination and what they attempt to do is to call it discrimination and prohibit it.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign, approximately 200 cities have non-discrimination ordinances in place. If anything Mills or Land said in the interview was true, then pastors around the country would be facing prosecution… but they’re not because the two Religious Right activists are completely dishonest.

Right Wing Gets It: Elections Matter Because Courts Matter

For right-wing advocates, big conservative wins in the Supreme Court’s recently completed term have only confirmed the importance of electing a president in 2016 who will give them more justices in the mold of Samuel Alito and John Roberts.  The Roberts and Alito nominations, and the conservative majority created by their confirmations, represent the triumph of a decades-long push by right-wing funders, big business, conservative political strategists, and legal groups to take ideological dominion of all levels of the federal judiciary.

Right-wing groups have long made attacks on the federal judiciary a staple of their rhetoric. Many claim America’s decline began with Supreme Court rulings against required prayer and Bible readings in public schools in the 1960s. Roe v. Wade, and more recently, judicial rulings in favor of marriage equality, have been characterized as “judicial tyranny” and “judicial activism.” Of course right-wing legal groups have been pushing hard for their own form of judicial activism, and have pushed Republican presidents to nominate judges they can count on. 

As Jeffrey Toobin notes in a recent profile of presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz in the New Yorker,

Conservatives like Cruz never stopped denouncing liberals for their efforts to use the courts to promote their ideological agenda, even as they began to do much the same thing themselves. The heart of Cruz’s legal career was a sustained and often successful undertaking to use the courts for conservative ends, like promoting the death penalty, lowering the barriers between church and state, and undermining international institutions and agreements.

Right-wing activists are proud of what they have accomplished, as Richard Land, long-time leader of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told National Journal’s Tiffany Stanley.  As Brian Tashman reports in RWW, Land “waxed nostalgic for the days when President Bush was in office…and especially for Bush’s commitment to nominating ultra-conservative federal judges.”

 “Alito and Roberts are the gifts that keep on giving, and we would have gotten neither one of those without our involvement,” Land said, predicting that Roe v. Wade will soon be “thrown onto the ash heap of history.”

…The Supreme Court’s ruling this year in the Hobby Lobby case shows the Religious Right’s strong focus on the judiciary is paying off.  And Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told Stanley that conservatives will continue to use the courts as part of their strategy to keep “the barbarians at bay.”

But in spite of their wins, and their success in creating the most pro-corporate Court since the New Deal, right-wing activists are nervous that some of their big wins, like Hobby Lobby and Citizens United, were 5-4 decisions. They want to pad their majority and continue their march to remake America via the courts.

The Senate

Since federal judges have to be confirmed by the Senate, right-wing groups are also using the Supreme Court in 2014 Senate campaigns. An anti-choice PAC, Women Speak Out, followed the Hobby Lobby ruling almost immediately with attacks on Mark Pryor and other Democrats for not having supported the confirmation of Samuel Alito.

On the day of the Court’s decisions in Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, tweeted “Today’s SCOTUS rulings were a win for our 1st Amendment freedoms, a loss for Hagan, Obama, & DC bureaucrats.”

Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who represents right-wing groups, told the Washington Post, “These Supreme Court decisions, it’s a reminder to people on our side of the aisle of the importance of the court, and then the importance of recapturing the Senate.”

Religious Liberty ‘Hanging by a Thread’

Right-wing pundits and organizations are already ramping up their rhetoric on judges as a 2016 presidential campaign issue, with many touting the 5-4 decision in Hobby Lobby as evidence that religious liberty is “hanging by a thread.”

Rush Limbaugh went on a tirade against Hillary Clinton after she criticized the Hobby Lobby ruling:

Can I tell you the truth about the Hobby Lobby ruling?  We're in such dangerous territory in terms of losing our freedom that we cheer when five out of nine people uphold the Constitution.  We're not advancing anything, folks.  We are barely hanging on here.  …  And here comes Hillary Clinton thinking this decision is a step toward the kind of anti-women policy seen in extremist undemocratic nations is outrageous. 

The woman is either a blithering idiot or a total in-the-tank statist, maybe a combination of the two.  But this is not a step toward anything.  This is a temporary halt in the onslaught toward totalitarianism.

We're just barely hanging on.  We cheer! We conservatives stand up and cheer when we manage to get five people to see it the right way.  "Oh, my God! Oh, Lord! Thank you so much, Lord. You saved another day."  Five people out of nine, five said the Constitution means what it says.  The troubling thing to me is the four people that didn't!  Liberty and freedom are hanging by a thread here! 

That theme was echoed by the Archdiocese of Washington’s Msgr. Charles Pope:

“OK, We won. But the Hobby Lobby vote should have been 9-0. Wake up, America. Your liberty is on the line!”

It is simply outrageous that four Supreme Court Justices, and many Americans, cannot see the clear and offensive proposition of the Government in this regard…..We won today, but barely. It should have been 9–0. Wake up, America; your religious and other liberties are hanging by the thread of one vote.

Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer of American Values weighed in in similar fashion:

“While we celebrate this victory, the fact remains that four justices on the Supreme Court, including the two appointed by Obama, evidently share his narrow view of America's first freedom and were willing to trample the religious liberty of millions of Americans in order to advance their radical pro-abortion agenda.

This narrow decision, with four liberal justices eager to go the wrong way, is a stark reminder to every man and woman of faith that their religious liberty is hanging by a thread.

The Court as Right-Wing Campaign Issue for 2016

Right-wing pundits and presidential candidates frequently use the federal judiciary as an issue to excite base voters. Back in 2012, one of the most effective things Mitt Romney did to shore up his weak support among conservative activists was to name a judicial advisory team headed by Robert Bork. That year, Terence Jeffrey, who worked on Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaigns and has written for right-wing publications, wrote:

Three of the nine justices on a U.S. Supreme Court that has decided many significant issues by 5-4 votes over the past decade will turn 80 years of age before the 2016 presidential election.

The three justices are Antonin Scalia, an anchor of the court’s conservative wing, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an anchor of the court’s liberal wing, and Anthony Kennedy, who is often the decisive swing vote in 5-4 opinions….

Bobby Jindal is among the crop of potential 2016 presidential candidates who is making an issue of the courts.  In an interview with a conservative Christian blogger during last month’s Iowa state Republican convention, Jindal suggested if Republicans take control of the Senate this year they would block additional nominees. Asked about federal judges overturning state marriage bans for same-sex couples, Jindal said, ““This shows you the importance of the November elections.  We don’t need this President putting more liberal judges on the bench.”

It is important, whether you are a lawyer or not, to understand what it means for the courts to actually apply the Constitution as opposed for them just to create new laws or to read things and just decide they are going to contradict what the other two branches of government did.  We’ve gotten away from these three separate but equal branches of government and instead we’ve got these activist judges who are overreaching. We have to recognize the problem for what it is,” Jindal added.

He emphasized the importance of elections and their impact on judicial confirmations because sometimes Constitutional amendments will correct the problem, and other times federal judges will just overrule them.

Mike Huckabee has seemingly made attacks on the judiciary a centerpiece of his campaign. In May, he called for the impeachment of an Arkansas judge who ruled in favor of marriage equality. Last year, urging Senate Republicans to block an Obama appeals court nominee, he said, “Judges can linger on for decades after a President leaves office, and a bad one can wreak havoc that echoes down the ages.”

Meanwhile, presidential contender Rick Santorum and the right-wing Judicial Crisis Network are attacking Chris Christie for not sufficiently making right-wing ideology a litmus test for his state judicial appointments.  Santorum told Yahoo News earlier this month, “To see a record as abysmal as Gov. Christie’s record in the state of New Jersey, I guarantee you that will be a red flag for most voters in the state of Iowa, but also most voters in the Republican primary.” (Earlier this month, while in Iowa campaigning for Gov. Terry Branstad, Christie said he supports the Court’s Hobby Lobby decision; he had initially declined to say whether he supported the decision.)  

The Judicial Crisis Network has also slammed Christie, saying his failure to “deliver on judicial activism” may have doomed his 2016 presidential hopes. It has created an entire website devoted to trashing Christie’s judicial record to conservative voters:  www.christiebadonjudges.com. In June, Fox News ran an op ed by JCN’s Carrie Severino using Christie’s alleged failure to appoint right-wing ideologues to the state supreme court as a way to discredit him with conservative activists.

Christie didn’t deliver on judicial activism. Has he doomed his 2016 bid?

If a candidate’s tenure as governor is his road-test for the presidency, Governor Chris Christie just flunked.

As a candidate for governor, Christie talked the talk on judges, vowing to "remake" the New Jersey Supreme Court and to transform the most activist court in the nation into one that operates under the rule of law. 

Despite having the opportunity to appoint four of seven justices on the court since taking office, Christie has repeatedly nominated individuals with no discernible judicial philosophy….

And while elected representatives must stand for re-election every few years, federal judges sit for life. 

Today’s nominee could still be playing the same tricks in 2050 or beyond.  That is why the issue of judges matters so much during presidential primaries and caucuses….

Right-wing advocates have been talking for a while about how important it is to their judicial plans not just to elect a Republican, but to elect a Republican committed to making the kind of Supreme Court nominations they want. In February, right-wing activist Mychal Massie complained that many justices nominated by Republican presidents over the past few decades did not turn out to be ideological warriors (though that is hardly the case with more recent nominees).

But forward-thinking conservatives are keenly aware that we must be concerned about the future as well, and not just because of Obama. Based on age alone, one of the primary areas of concern is that the person elected president in 2016 will potentially have at least four Supreme Court Justices to replace. Two of the potential four are liberals, so a Democrat president would simply be replacing liberals with liberals, ergo, it would be a wash. But of the other two the one is a solid Constructionist, and the other is a swing vote who has, in recent years, ruled based on Constructionism enough times that we should be concerned if a Democrat president replaces him….

As you can see, the potential for the political complexion of the High Court to be changed for decades to come should be of critical concern if a Democrat wins the presidency in 2016. But, it is myopic betise on an epic level to even for an instant believe we need not be concerned if a Republican wins. Especially if it is an establishment Republican….

With Karl Rove and Reince Priebus pulling the strings of the GOP and RNC, the Republican Party resembles a RINO theme park more than it does the Party true conservatives have supported.

With them controlling things from behind the curtain it is not just critical that the next president be “conservative” but he/she must be a legitimate conservative whose conservative bonafides are unimpeachable. It does conservatism no good to elect a Mitt Romney, John McCain, or Jeb Bush type. The 2016 election will place in office a person with the potential to change the face of SCOTUS for many decades to come. And as John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, et al. have showed us — it’s not just Democrats who are betraying us.

Religious Right leaders will certainly be keeping the issue of judicial nominations at the forefront of the 2016 campaigns. This week, George O. Wood, who heads the Assemblies of God denomination, wrote:

Moreover, we should encourage voting because elections have consequences. One of those consequences is that the president nominates judges who serve on district and appellate courts and on the Supreme Court. The U.S. Senate must then approve those nominees. It is a sad fact that no evangelical sits on the Supreme Court—even though evangelicals constitute a very large faith community in America. I suspect that at present no evangelicals could even be nominated or confirmed to a federal bench because they hold views that are pro-life and pro-traditional marriage. People in our Fellowship need to remember that when they cast a ballot, they effectively decide who will sit as a federal judge. Indirectly, they are casting a vote for or against a robust understanding of the free exercise of religion.

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