Unfortunately for Perry, the various miracles produced by his prayer rally did not include producing even a single delegate in his disastrous presidential campaign, but it did save Texas from the scourge of Native American cannibals, at least according to Cindy Jacobs, a self-proclaimed prophet who endorsed both “Response” prayer rallies.
Another evangelist who joined Perry at “The Response,” Lou Engle, noticed evidence that God blessed Perry’s bid for president. According to Engle, God sent rain to Texas in response to the governor’s campaign announcement.
“I heard that actually the day that Governor Perry announced that he’s running for president, and this is not an endorsement I’m giving here, it simply it rained I believe he said for five hours, it poured,” Engle said on a 2011 conference call. “And people think that that could’ve been a sign, I don’t know. I think that was a historic prayer gathering for a governor to call a true Joel:2 solemn assembly. You don’t always see an immediate answer to these kinds of prayers but God does, God sees and responds and I believe we’ll look back at that gathering as a historic moment in American history and that’s what I’ve got to believe.”
Scarborough: Our Governor here in the state of Texas called for a day of prayer and fasting last May. We were at the height of a drought that meteorologists were telling us was part of a cycle that would last perhaps for a number of years and that it would take us years to get our lake levels back up and so forth. It occurs to me that, not immediately, but after that prayer event that thirty thousand people participated in, we started getting rain and in less than a year, our lakes are full, our fields are brimming. A lot of people seem not to connect the dots on that, but we've got a fresh illustration of how God honors prayer.
Barton: Yeah, that's one of those many things that historians will looks back upon and say 'look at the correlation.' But I look back over the last few years at Sonny Perdue of Georgia who called, in the middle of their drought - that was an unprecedented century drought that they had there - he called for prayer and within three days they had rain falling in Georgia again. They're back in good condition.
I recall what happened with the oil spill in the Gulf, how all the Gulf governors except for Charlie Crist of Florida got together and called for a time of prayer that God would mitigate the damage of that and cause that thing to be sealed. And guess what? All the expected damage along the shorelines to all the wildlife, it didn't happen.
Vision America's Rick Scarborough was a guest on Gordon Klingenschmitt's "Pray In Jesus Name" program recently, where he explained that God is blessing the state of Texas because "Christians have infiltrated" and taken over the state GOP.
Scarborough was discussing his efforts to mobilize right-wing pastors to get involved in politics across the nation and noting that he has had a great deal of success in Texas; so much so that if one now attends an annual Republican Party convention in Texas, it feels as if one is attending a revival meeting.
"Christians have infiltrated the Republican Party in Texas and it's like going to revival meetings when you go to our state conventions," Scarborough said. "That's why God's blessing our state and why, I believe, Texas has become a model for other states":
Similar dire warnings about the federal hate crimes law that was passed five years ago today have proven to be utterly false.
The apocalyptic rhetoric is a reaction to the advances in LGBT rights, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in dozens of states and the passage of non-discrimination ordinances in municipalities across the country. Along with categories such as race, gender, religion, age and ability, more localities are recognizing sexual orientation and gender identity as traits warranting protection from discrimination in the public domain.
As anti-gay politicians lose in the courts, Congress, state houses, town halls, and perhaps most importantly, at the ballot box, many have taken to conflating political defeat with a loss of rights and liberty. Only by depriving other people of their rights, so they claim, can conservatives and people of faith in this nation truly be free.
This month, many Republicans latched onto a complicated legal case in Houston to justify their hyperbolic warnings about impending doom for Christians in America. After Houston passed an equal rights ordinance this year, a pastor-led group tried — and failed — to collect enough valid petition signatures to force a referendum on repealing the ordinance. When a group of conservative activists and pastors filed a lawsuit demanding that officials accept the invalid petitions, pro-bono attorneys working for the city subpoenaed several pastors’ communications, including sermons, on petition collecting and related issues like homosexuality as part of the discovery process.
While many groups from the left and right alike called out the subpoenas as overly broad and intrusive, the Religious Right cited the legal move as proof that pastors will be, as the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody put it, “hauled off to jail for a hate crimes because they are speaking for traditional marriage.”
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who in 2012 warned that America was “at the edge of a precipice” and would soon see non-existent “hate speech” laws used “against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages [or] who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage,” agreed with Brody’s assessment.
(In a similar episode this month, the owners of a for-profit wedding chapel business filed a lawsuit against their hometown over a nondiscrimination ordinance, arguing that city officials have threatened them with prosecution and jail time for denying service to same-sex couples — even though officials haven’t pursued any legal action against the couple.)
We’ve seen this movie before. In 2007, members of a group called Repent America were charged after disrupting a gay pride event and refusing to abide by police orders. The way conservatives tell the story, godly missionaries were punished by law enforcement for exercising their First Amendment rights and “sharing the gospel,” but as court records show, the group tried to disturb the peace and protest inside an event without a permit.
In fact, if Religious Right were correct in their warnings, America should have experienced a wave of arrests targeting pastors, church-goers and Republicans following the passage of the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Predictions about the criminalization of the Bible, pastors locked in jail cells and concentration camps for Christians never came true, mainly because these prophecies had no basis in reality.
The Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Law was passed by Congress five years ago today, and so far, the far-right’s twisted and baseless claims about the law have all been proven false. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t stopped making the exact same discredited arguments five years after the bill’s passage:
End of Free Speech
Despite the hate crimes law’s provision making clear that it is applicable only to cases of violent crime and nothing “shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs,” Religious Right activists and their allies in the GOP nonetheless predicted that the 2009 law would bring free speech to an end.
“Gay activists will use it against preachers who present the Biblical view of homosexuality,” Rick Scarborough said at the time. “The federal hate crimes law doesn’t target crime, but free speech.” He also warned that the law’s passage would “criminalize pastors and ordinary citizens who speak out biblically against homosexuality,” telling members of his group, Vision America, that he may face arrest for “speaking out against sexual deviancy.”
Scarborough, a Texas anti-gay pastor and political organizer close to Ted Cruz, hasn’t backed down from his claims even years after the law has gone into effect. At the 2013 Values Voter Summit, Scarborough declared that the “infidels” in the Obama administration are “hell-bent on silencing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Christians wouldn’t rise up against the attacks, he feared, “until a bunch of us are thrown into concentration camps.”
The Traditional Values Coalition went as far as to claim that the hate crimes law would imprison Jesus Christ.
“I believe that ‘hate crimes’ is the most dangerous bill in America, it is precisely what they are using to silence Christians around the world,” Janet Porter, a Religious Right activist with the group Faith 2 Action, said in an interview the year before the bill was passed. “How much of a stretch is it, really, to say that because I would say to you homosexuality is a sin or it’s dangerous behavior, before that speech alone is worthy of jail time? And that’s what we’re facing.” Porter told a Washington, D.C., rally shortly after the law was passed that it “criminalizes Christianity” and “sends pastors to prison for biblical positions and speech.”
In an 2009 email message with the subject line, “The Senate Will Vote To Silence You!,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claimed that “what ‘hate crimes’ legislation does is lay the legal foundation and framework for investigating, prosecuting and persecuting pastors, business owners, and anyone else whose actions reflect their faith.”
He also alleged that the law would “gag people of faith and conviction who disagree with the homosexual agenda” and that it “punishes a person’s beliefs — part of the Left's intolerant agenda to silence the voice of Christians and Conservatives in America and eliminate moral restraint.”
“If federal thought crimes laws are passed, your right to share politically incorrect parts of your Christian faith could become a federal crime,” Perkins warned. At another conservative event, Perkins said hate crimes laws will curtail freedom and breed “chaos in America.”
Rusty Lee Thomas of Operation Save America even encouraged opposition to the law by alleging that “there is a direct connection between the sins and crimes of abortion and the sodomite agenda and the Islamic terrorism that threatens our nation.”
One group of GOP and Religious Right figures claimed the law would be “a savage and perhaps fatal blow to First Amendment freedom of expression.”
E.W. Jackson, a Virginia pastor and GOP politician, told a conservative rally that the law “represents a virulent strain of anti-Christian bigotry and hatred” that is “another step in the process of robbing all Americans of the very freedoms the founding fathers pledged their lives for and the civil rights martyrs gave their lives for.”
Ohio-based televangelist Rod Parsley, best known for his work supporting George W. Bush’s re-election campaign and the passage of his state’s gay marriage ban, said that the hate crimes law would force him out of the pulpit.
“This deceptive ploy of liberal, homosexual agenda begins to lose its allure once you pull the mask back and take a closer look,” Parsley said. “The legislation that’s before our United States senators right now extends to speech and can punish people not for their actions but for their culturally incorrect thoughts. This legislation could become law, and you and I could find ourselves forbidden to speak from God’s word right here in America. I could no longer share my heart with you on critical issues, such as this, through the medium of television, or even in the pulpit of my own church.”
We can report that despite Parsley’s grim predictions, he is still very much “sharing his heart” as a preacher.
Outlawing the Bible
One group of Michigan pastors, joined by local Republican politician and American Family Association state chairman Gary Glenn, filed an unsuccessful legal challenge against the hate crimes law soon after it was enacted. The group’s legal representative, the conservative Thomas More Law Center, contended that “the sole purpose” of the law was “to criminalize the Bible and use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians from expressing their Biblically-based religious belief that homosexual conduct is a sin.”
Pastor Paul Blair of Reclaiming America for Christ also offered an ominous warning: “If preaching the Bible is now against the law, then let us be arrested.” One WorldNetDaily commentator said the law would “crack down” on Christians for “reading the Bible.”
“Christianity Is Now Outlawed,” declared the Christian Seniors Association, a front group of the Traditional Values Coalition, in a fundraising letter following the law’s passage. “Did you know that the new Hate Crimes Act that President Obama signed into law makes the Bible illegal ‘Hate Literature?’” the letter continued.
“Most Christians might as well rip the pages which condemn homosexuality right out of their Bibles because this bill will make it illegal to publicly express the dictates of their religious beliefs,” said Andrea Lafferty of the TVC. “The ultimate objective of this legislation is to claim that ‘hate speech’ — criticism of homosexuality — incites individuals to violence and must be suppressed and punished. This will violate the First Amendment rights of any person or group that opposes the normalization of homosexuality in our culture.”
In the paranoid conservative alternate reality, pedophilia has been legal for five years now thanks to the updated federal hate crimes law.
“The main purpose of this ‘hate crimes’ legislation is to add the categories of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity,’ ‘either actual or perceived,’ as new classes of individuals receiving special protection by federal law. Sexual orientation includes heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality on an ever-expanding continuum. Will Congress also protect these sexual orientations: zoophiles, pedophiles or polygamists?” asked televangelist Pat Robertson.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, similarly charged: “We have a record roll call vote that shows every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee voting to have pedophiles protected.”
King’s colleague Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, went one step further and said that as a result of the hate crimes law, courts would “have to strike any laws against bestiality” along with laws targeting “pedophiles or necrophiliacs.” Gohmert went on to warn that the law would effectively turn the U.S. into Nazi Germany.
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, for his part, predicted that the law would extend legal protections to “bisexuality, exhibitionism, fetishism, incest, necrophilia, pedophilia, prostitution, sexual masochism, urophilia, voyeurism, and bestiality.”
Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center claimed the law “elevates those persons who engage in deviant sexual behaviors, including pedophiles, to a special protected class of persons as a matter of federal law and policy.”
Porter dubbed the law the “Pedophile Protection Act,” “summarizing” the law by completely making things up: “Pushing away an unwelcome advance of a homosexual, transgendered [sic], cross-dresser or exhibitionist could make you a felon under this law. Speaking out against the homosexual agenda could also make you a felon if you are said to influence someone who pushes away that unwelcome advance. And pedophiles and other sexual deviants would enjoy an elevated level of protection, while children, seniors, veterans and churches would not.”
Pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia are still against the law and such laws have not been affected by the Hate Crimes Act, while declining “an unwelcome advance of a homosexual” is still very much legal. However, we are still waiting with bated breath for Porter’s lawsuit detailing how she was forced and legally bound to succumb to the charms of a homosexual enticer.
Can the Religious Right Be Trusted?
The many frantic, unfounded warnings about the perils the 2009 Hate Crimes Act are just one example of anti-gay activists’ penchant for manufacturing myths and brazenly distorting cases of supposed persecution.
Apocalyptic warnings and blatantly dishonest remarks have always been characteristic of the Religious Right's crusade against LGBT rights and we can expect such activists to continue to engage in such shameless fear mongering and misinformation before the 2014 election.
But, like the Religious Right’s warnings about the effects of the 2009 Hate Crimes Act, these dire predictions should be taken with a heavy dose of salt.
Yesterday, Vision America's Rick Scarborough hosted a conference call with Mike Huckabee and Tony Perkins that, as far as we can determine, was designed to promote the "Give Me Liberty" events that Scarborough has been organizing throughout the nation in an effort to encourage pastors to mobilize their congregations ahead of the midterm elections.
During the call, Huckabee said that all of America's problems are "ultimately spiritual" and can only be solved by a revival among the citizens who will "vote the Bible."
He blamed abortion rights laws on the failure of conservative Christians to get involved in politics, leaving him to wonder, "how do we face God with that?" On top of that, Huckabee criticized conservatives for accepting judicial rulings which strike down gay marriage bans, saying there should be a "massive outcry" against the decisions.
"We have people who say 'well, the courts have ruled on abortion, we just have to live with it,' or 'the courts have ruled on same-sex marriage, we just have to live with it,'" Huckabee said. "And I would suggest, no we don't! We shouldn't just accept things that are ungodly and that will cause us to have to stand before God with bloody hands."
The solution, he said, is for pastors to encourage their congregations to "vote the Bible" because doing so will solve every problem, including economic ones "because everything about the economy that's wrong would be fixed if people had a biblical understanding of the economy":
Family Research Council says President Obama shows “warmth toward” America’s “Islamic enemies,” warning that “his seeming disinterest in ISIS’ genocide of Christians and his vacillation amid other world threats” means “radical terrorists can only be expected to increase their attacks within and without the U.S.”
In the latest installment of the right-wing victimhood saga, the Illinois-based World Congress of Families has released an open letter accusing “sexual radicals” of launching a “smear campaign” against them in advance of a planned conference in Melbourne later this week.
“Sexual radicals have launched a smear campaign to discredit the Melbourne conference, which misrepresents the international pro-family movement and the positions of the World Congress of Families,” the letter says. “Specifically, it is alleged that advocacy of the natural (or normative) family is somehow unfair to other families and that we ‘shame’ single-parent families, homosexual ‘couples’ and the divorced.” (Scare quotes in the original.)
"The goal of sexual radicals is to deconstruct marriage and marginalize the family, and thus to transform society into something unrecognizable to generations past," the letter continues. "Like all social experiments that attempt to create a 'new man,' these are doomed to failure."
Also joining the defense of the World Congress of Families are the Family Research Council’s Patrick Fagan, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, former House majority leader Tom Delay, the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Benjamin Bull, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, along with a number of international allies of WCF.
Next month, Rick Scarborough's Vision America will host its annual "Heroes of Faith Gala" where the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins will receive the 2014 "National Hero of Faith Award" and Rafael Cruz, a Religious Right activist and father of Sen. Ted Cruz, will be honored with the "Don Wildmon Award," named for the founder of the American Family Association.
Today, Vision America sent out an email urging activists to register for the event, revealing that the senator is also going to be in attendance, picking up the Don Wildmon Award on behalf of his father and delivering remarks:
Vision America's Rick Scarborough recently spoke at a church in Florida as part of a "Give Me Liberty Tour" where he declared that every day that passes without God destroying this country is a miracle, especially since President Obama is appointing gay ambassadors to represent America before other nations.
"This thing could all come crashing down," Scarborough warned, saying that if a "series of dirty bombs" or one massive nuclear blast were to destroy America, it would be "perfectly just ... because we have squandered our grace in this country."
And to demonstrate just how vile this nation has become, Scarborough pointed to the fact that our foreign embassies celebrate LGBT Pride Month and that President Obama has appointed several gay ambassadors, agreeing with Islamic fundamentalists that American is now the "Great Satan."
"You want to know why the Arab world calls us the Great Satan?" he asked, rhetorically. "How far we have fallen! When will pastors and when will Christians stand up and say enough is enough?"
The Human Rights Campaign released a report today to mark the first anniversary of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s signing of his infamous ban on “gay propaganda” and related anti-LGBT legislation. HRC reports “an uptick in violent attacks on LGBT people” since the bills’ passage that has accompanied a spike in “anti-LGBT sentiment” in the public square.
The issue has been divisive on the Right. For instance, Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid — hardly a fan of gay people — got into a memorable shouting match earlier this year with World Congress of Families representatives, who he accused of cozying up to Putin.
“[S]ome of the pastors are spectacularly naïve while others are knowingly trying to destroy the two-party system and bring America under Godless socialism,” they write.
They also report that they wholeheartedly agree with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s remark to Roll Call that “if [the pastors] really wanted to help people who are here illegally or in bad situations they, they want to pay for their health insurance and everything, then I would be saying how wonderful that is. But if they are advocating that the government do that, then it will break our bank and destroy our country.”
A lot of well-meaning but frankly wrong evangelical brothers and sisters are pressuring Congress to enact what would amount to immigration amnesty. This would empower the Left to finally end the world’s longest experiment in liberty and self-government. It is that serious, friends. This is misplaced compassion at its worst, and it could usher in an oppressive era that could make the current lawlessness seem like a golden age.
The group is acting under the auspices of the Evangelical Immigration Table, whose leadership includes Marxist Jim Wallis of Sojourners, who World magazine editor Marvin OIasky caught in bald-faced lies denying billionaire financier George Soros’ heavy funding of the group. As such, some of the pastors are spectacularly naïve while others are knowingly trying to destroy the two-party system and bring America under Godless socialism.
On last week’s Tea Party Unity conference call, TPU founder Rick Scarborough praised lawless rancher Cliven Bundy for giving Americans “hope and courage,” likening the rancher and allied armed militias to the colonists who fought in the American Revolution.
While conceding that “clearly the man has some issues, he should’ve been paying his grazing rights,” Scarborough condemned the government’s “Gestapo tactics” against Bundy: “If people want to see what tyranny is, take a close look at that…. This is an illustration of where we’re headed if the American people don’t wake up to the tyranny that’s encroaching on our lives.”
“There’s a big pushback coming and it’s going on now,” Washington Times columnist Robert Knight added. “If you see the video of maybe one hundred riders on horses, most of them armed, riding up the road to help their neighbor against the federal assault, I don’t know about you but that reminds me of Lexington, these people meant business.”
Speaking on a Tea Party Unity conference call last week, Rafael Cruz said that pastors in San Antonio can be fined for preaching from the Bible, a patently false claim but part of a larger Religious Rightsmearcampaign against the city’s non-discrimination ordinance [PDF].
“All we have to do is turn on the news and every day we see more and more encroachment upon pastors from this administration,” Cruz said. “All they have to do is be aware of what’s happening around us and to be aware, for example, that in the city of San Antonio, if a pastor speaks on Romans 1, he could be even fined $500 a day until he retracts what he said.”
Scarborough went on to warn that the “lesbian mayor of Houston” will impose a similar “sanctions [on pastors] if they preach the Bible.”
Cruz also suggested in the conference call that “wicked” people are currently in charge of the government: “We’ve stayed at home and we allowed the wicked to elect wicked politicians to rule us. We get what we deserve, Rick. We need to get up the charge that God is giving us and move to the forefront and call this nation to repentance and call this nation to righteousness.”
It should come as no surprise then that Harris will join some of the nation’s most fervent opponents of gay rights at the April 24 North Carolina Regional Briefing, hosted by the anti-gay Family Research Council. Speakers joining the GOP hopeful at the event include:
I know of a case where in a hospital a homosexual male had a cellphone lodged in his anus and as they were operating on him the phone went off, the phone started ringing. There’ve been instances where men have put bats, baseball bats, in their rectums.... Even the homosexual lobby knows, those who are pro-homosexual, they know that they cannot win the argument describing what it is that these people actually do to each other, the objects, the animals in certain cases, the little gerbils; thank God I’m a human being!
“Since they cannot produce they must recruit young people to their perverted, warped agenda. One cannot think of anything more nauseating, debased, lewd and immoral than recruiting precious young people into such shameful conduct,” he wrote in a Return America newsletter.
Following last week’s Tea Party Unity summit in Texas, TPU head Rick Scarborough convened a conference call today with Howard Kaloogian of the Tea Party Express.
Kaloogian, a former Republican state lawmaker from California, told the Tea Party activists that God is on their side and opposes the work of progressives to reduce income inequality:
I think it’s very important that churches get involved and that Christians follow the dictates of biblical principles in casting their vote. I think it’s clear that God has a position on many of the things we deem political today, from life to theft to the doctrine of covetousness, which by the way seems to be the promotion of the left. You know, they talk about ‘income inequality,’ well what is that but covetousness? So how could somebody support that cause if they’re biblical believing Christians?
Scarborough later claimed that God will “intervene” on behalf of the Tea Party in order to save America from “collapse,” arguing that the 1929 economic crash and the Civil War were both God’s judgment on the nation.
If we do our part then I’m confident that the God of Heaven will intervene. This country has been on the brink of complete disaster and collapse in several occasions in our national history. During the Roaring Twenties, socially this country was on the brink and deserved judgment; go back during the pre-Civil War era when we were buying and selling human beings, we deserved God’s judgment. But there was always a thread of Christians active in politics who didn’t lose sight of the prize and did what they could and God intervened, and that’s what I pray for and work for in this latter period of our national history. No matter what we do, if God doesn’t intervene the country is lost. But I know this, all the prayers in the world won’t change this country and God’s not going to act if those of us who I call the remnant don’t get involved, pay the price, like you’re doing, so I encourage you to continue doing that.
Today, Religious Right leaders including Rick Scarborough, David Barton, Jim Garlow and Glenn Beck are meeting with Religious Right and Tea Party activists in Dallas at a summit “bringing together leaders of conservative organizations from around the country to brainstorm and strategize on how to get out the vote for the 2014 midterm elections.”
United In Purpose, which received national news coverage for its data-driven efforts in 2011 and 2012, has what you might call a long-term goal: it is closely tied to advocates of “Seven Mountains Dominionism,” who aim to have conservative Christians take control of every aspect of government, business and the culture in order to pave the way for the return of Christ.
After the Response rally, the American Family Association sent an email to everyone who had registered for The Response urging them to join United In Purpose’s new project: a voter mobilization effort called “Champion The Vote.”
“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,” wrote AFA president Tim Wildmon. The goal of the new project, he announced, was to “mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012.”
The project’s website says its mission is “to get unregistered Christians registered to vote, educated in the Biblical worldview, and voting accordingly on Election Day.” As part of this “worldview” education, the group distributes a guide called “Developing a Biblical Worldview,” which explains that “there are basically two worldviews: Biblical and atheistic.” The guide includes a helpful “worldview comparison chart” contrasting the two mindsets. For instance, the guide reports, the biblical worldview on marriage is “one man united with one woman” while the atheistic worldview is “lives by no real moral code – do whatever feels good, no accountability, self serving, me focused.”
During the 2012 presidential primary, Scarborough urged GOP voters to reject Mitt Romney because of his Mormonism, saying, “Because of the state of the spiritual life of our country right now, I just think that’s a place I don’t want to go.” (Although in the same interview, he went out of his way to praise Beck, also a Mormon, as “most prominent spokesperson for our values in the radio field.”) Garlow also fought against Romney’s nomination, saying he was not “visceral on the issues that are cardinal to me.”
We can imagine that the leaders gathered in Dallas today are disappointed in how their efforts turned out in 2012 and are looking for a change in strategy for launching candidates with their own “biblical worldview” into office.
Last week, World Congress of Families spokesman Don Feder joined Rick Scarborough on a Tea Party Unity conference call, where Feder got to talking about how liberals “intimidate” conservative pastors into not speaking out against gay rights.
As luck would have it, Scarborough was ready with a “very fresh and very real” anecdote to illustrate that this "threat" comes not just from gay rights activists, but from parishioners who don't want to hear about anal sex in church:
Well, let me give you a perspective that’s very fresh and very real. When pastors speak on this issue, it’s not just a threat that comes from the left that they fear.
I spoke in a church the last four days – I don’t recall the name of the church, so maybe somebody on the line listening from that church, if they are, they’re going to be very familiar with what I’m about to say – but in the second service out of five, I mentioned the word ‘anal sex’ illustrating what homosexuality actually is. And I know that that’s a repulsive expression, I know that nobody likes to think about it, but Christians need to understand what we’re talking about. This is not a gay activity, it’s a perversion. And it does carry consequences because of the nature of the act.
The one thing that the homosexual community doesn’t want us to talk about is what they actually do. They love to disguise their activities with euphemisms. And the presentation they always give is some handsome, erudite young man that’s a gift to society, when in fact he’s committing indecent acts with consequences.
But the firestorm that one, two-word expression caused among the Christians in the church was just palpable, and consequently a segment of the church didn’t come to another service of revival and just basically boycotted because they found what I said to be reprehensible. In other words, the church families don’t find what they’re doing reprehensible, but they put such pressure on the preachers not to even mention it that a lot of preachers have gone silent.
So, it’s not just the fear of the left, it’s the fear of the right, because Christians are more concerned about what their sensitive ears have to listen to than what’s taking place at the high school that may be perverting their own children.
So, we’ve got a real challenge. Will the pastor be forced to speak to it? I sure hope so. But the reality is, a lot of the problem is in the pew as well as the pulpit.
Tea Party Unity Founder Rick Scarborough and Washington Times columnist Robert Knight are warming that comprehensive immigration reform will cause “millions of Mexicans and Central Americans” to “storm…the border,” add millions to “welfare rolls and Democratic voter lists” and spell “the end of two-party politics, and the end of national elections in which any conservative could win the presidency.”
In the latest Tea Party Unity newsletter, the two write:
With ObamaCare killing the economic “recovery,” and millions of Americans added weekly to the toll of those devastated by pink slips, higher insurance premiums and the loss of their doctors, the GOP should be able to ride the issue right into the voting booths in November.
However, never underestimate the GOP’s capacity for self-destruction. The party leadership is working on the one issue that could divide the party and depress turnout of the party’s base: immigration amnesty. Never mind that polls say Americans are not remotely interested in that issue right now.
House Speaker John Boehner is telling his troops that the GOP will come up with some kind of compromise that will allow the more than 11 million illegals to stay in the United States. Nobody is talking about what kind of signal that would send south of the border.
After the 1986 immigration amnesty, millions of Mexicans and Central Americans stormed the border, confident that they, too, would achieve legal status at some point. So forget the 11 million figure and ratchet it up to, oh, 20 to 30 million over the next few years.
Republicans insist they will produce a “good” bill that stresses border enforcement. There are two things wrong with this. One, this promise is always broken. Two, any bill that the House sends to Harry Reid’s Senate will come back stuffed with liberal schemes designed to put Republicans in deer-caught-in-the-headlights mode.
It will also include a thinly-veiled “path to citizenship,” so that millions can be added to welfare rolls and Democrat voter lists. In Texas, that would mean the end of two-party politics, and the end of national elections in which any conservative could win the presidency.
The newsletter also shares a Washington Timescolumn by Thomas Sowell, in which he compares undocumented immigrants to embezzlers and burglars hiding from the law, and dismisses the idea that children of undocumented immigrants who grew up the United States should be allowed to stay:
What about embezzlers or burglars who are “living in the shadows” for fear that someone will discover their crimes? Why not “reform” the laws against embezzlement or burglary, so that such people can also come out of the shadows?
Almost everyone seems to think that we need to solve the problem of the children of illegal immigrants because these children are here “through no fault of their own.”
Do people who say that have any idea how many millions of children are living in dire poverty in India, Africa or other places “through no fault of their own,” and would be better off living in the United States?
If you’re already tired of the Duck Dynasty flap, I have some bad news for you: Religious Right leaders aren’t going to drop it. On Christmas Eve, while millions of Americans were finishing Christmas preparations and gathering with loved ones, Janet Porter and Rick Scarborough were holding an emergency conference call to launch Porter’s latest gimmicky scheme: sending rubber ducks to A&E executives to protest the suspension of Phil Robertson.
Porter has been warning about a war on American Christians for years – she even wrote a book called The Criminalization of Christianity. So she clearly sees this as her (current) last chance to save America. Faith2Action has launched a website MailTheDuck.com, at which you can hand over your contact information to Porter so that she can send a postcard on your behalf to Nancy Dubuq, CEO of A&E Networks, declaring “You Can’t Camouflage Anti-Christian Bigotry!” The postcard demands an apology and warns of a boycott until Robertson is reinstated. You can also fork over some cash if you want to send a rubber duck or ten to A&E to be sure they get the message.
The opening image of the website is, unfortunately, a big lie. It’s a picture of Robertson with the word FIRED stamped across it. In fact, Robertson hasn’t been fired for making offensive comments in a magazine interview, just suspended. Americans who have wanted to get their Duck on this week have been able to watch a Duck Dynasty marathon. Even WND, in its story on the project, notes: “According to Entertainment Weekly, sources close to the show report nine of the 10 remaining episodes of season four have already been shot, and the network has no plans to cut out the footage featuring the senior Robertson.”
But on the conference call Porter and Scarborough had with activists, freedom was hanging by a thread. Robertson’s suspension is “an atrocity,” “an attack on religious liberty” and an effort to “shut down Christians.” Faith itself is at risk of “being declared unlawful.” Porter even compared Robertson to the famous Chinese activist who stood in front of a tank (yeah, that’s just the kind of risk Robertson took by spouting off to GQ magazine). Porter says Americans can courageously stand with Robertson by sending millions of ducks (probably made in China, come to think of it) to A&E.
Porter mentioned that she is working on a documentary about anti-Christian persecution. A caller who described herself as a former lesbian urged Porter to include the story of Lisa Miller, the woman who became a far-right folk hero when she kidnapped her child and fled the country rather than obeying court ordered custody arrangements involving Miller’s former partner. Porter said Miller’s story is part of her film project.
Back to the ducks. In addition to Scarborough’s Vision America, Porter’s new project is being cosponsored by the dominionist Oak Initiative (Porter is a board member) and by Liberty Counsel, the Religious Right legal group that used to represent Lisa Miller. Of course, Porter and Scarborough aren’t the only ones trying to cash in on the Duck Dynasty controversy. Among those who have launched petitions are the National Organization for Marriage and Mike Huckabee. Huckabee and Porter are longtime allies; she declared his 2008 presidential candidacy anointed by God.
FRC prays that God will "raise up leaders in each state, 'blue' and 'red' to champion
righteous public policy and defeat policies that coerce businesses, schools, military, non-profit groups, families and individuals to do
what the Scriptures call evil."
Speaking of FRC, the RNC has hired a former FRC staffer to serve as
liaison to Tea Party and Religious Right groups.