The anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking and release of ‘Titanic 3D’ has apparently inspired Truth in Action Ministries, formerly Coral Ridge Ministries, to produce a new short film presenting the “radical homosexual agenda” as an iceberg that could potentially destroy the United States.
The Truth that Transforms film features well-known anti-gay activists such as Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy and Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries, Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, right-wing historian Bill Federer, radio talk show host and author Michael Brown, and pastors Harry Jackson, Robert Jeffress and Erwin Lutzer.
Staver warned that the “homosexual agenda is the moral iceberg that we need to steer clear of” and maintained that it is “the biggest threat I believe in our lifetime to religious freedom and the fundamental values we share here in America.” While Jackson said the “homosexual agenda” is “one of those icebergs that if we don’t navigate around them correctly, will take us under,” Brown claimed “we’ve already hit the iceberg and the ship is already going down” and Land insisted that “we’re taking on water, the only question is whether or not we’re going to be able to survive and the ship won’t sink.” Staver predicted that opposition to gay rights is bound to be “criminalized and targeted for assault” and Federer even asserted that “there are just a couple steps before the military could be used in a persecution of those that are viewed as enemies of the new state belief system.”
Last year evangelical writer and WORLD Magazine associate publisher Warren Cole Smith created quite a stir with his column pledging not to vote for Mitt Romney if he wins the Republican nomination because of the boost his presidency would provide to Mormonism. “You can't say that his religious beliefs don't matter, but his ‘values’ do,” Smith explained, “If the beliefs are false, then the behavior will eventually—but inevitably—be warped.” He pointed to the Mormon doctrine of “continuing revelation” to explain Romney’s history of flip-flops and warned that a Romney presidency “would serve to normalize the false teachings of Mormonism the world over,” drawing more people into the LDS church and away from orthodox Christianity.
But it seems that few other prominent faces of the Religious Right are agreeing with Smith’s stance.
Televangelist James Robison on Daystar told a listener that she should favor a non-Christian over a Christian just as people favored Ronald Reagan, a Hollywood actor, over Jimmy Carter, a Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher, because Reagan better understood biblical principles:
Even Robert Jeffress, the preacher who attacked Mormonism as a “cult” at the Values Voters Summit and said Christians should prefer evangelical Rick Perry over Romney, made a similar case on Janet Parshall’s radio show in January when he said a “non-Christian who embraces biblical principles” is preferable to “a professing Christian who espouses unbiblical principles”:
American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer said he will vote for Romney even though he believes a Mormon president would undermine the “spiritual health” of the U.S., and Rick Scarborough of Vision America, repeated his antipathy towards Mormonism in an interview but made clear that “if the choice comes down for me between a Mormon and Barack Obama, I’d vote for the Mormon every time.”
But the acceptance of Romney as the leader of the GOP by the Religious Right’s leadership may not come as a great surprise, as the same people have largely embraced another high profile Mormon, Glenn Beck.
Beck has become a favorite of Religious Right figures, leading his religiously-infusedRestoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial and introducing his clerical Black Robe Regiment, promulgating ‘Christian nation’ history with David Barton and keynoting last year’s Values Voters Summit.
The turnaround when it comes to working with Mormons, who many evangelicals see as “cobelligerents” in the culture wars along with conservative Roman Catholics and Jews, can be seen in Kirk Cameron’s own about-face.
Beck’s appearance and discussion of his talks with God in Cameron’s Religious Right “documentary” may raise eyebrows since Cameron in 2006 co-hosted an anti-Mormon film with evangelist Ray Comfort. In the show, Cameron said that it was likely Satan who appeared to Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, as the Angel Moroni and led him to golden plates that became the Book of Mormon, and even said that Mormons are “following a false Jesus” and “will end up in Hell forever.” “If you’ve ever spoken to a Mormon, sometimes you know how frustrating it could when they use the same words you do but they mean something different and you’re not sure how to finish the conversation,” Cameron said.
Watch highlights of Cameron’s anti-Mormon film here:
Despite Cameron’s dogmatic warnings against Mormonism, he is now actively working with one of America’s leading Mormons. Similarly, just as many on the Religious Right once denounced the Mormon faith, they are now prepared to vote for Romney over President Obama.
After stopping by Family Talkwith James Dobson, Robert Jeffress appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show where he expounded on his claim that the Supreme Court’s decisions in Engel v. Vitale, Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas is leading to the ultimate “implosion” of America. He said the first Supreme Court ruling which he argued set off “explosives” to the country’s “spiritual and social structure” is Engel, the Supreme Court decision which deemed public school-organized prayers unconstitutional.
Jeffress said the decision is wrong not because it barred the practice of government-sponsored prayers but because it doesn’t allow the government to endorse one religion over another. He acknowledged that many evangelical Christians rightfully do not want to pray non-sectarian, generic, government-composed prayers at school. Jeffress argued that his problem with Engel is that it doesn’t allow the government to endorse Christianity, maintaining that “neutrality is really hostility toward religion.”
Jeffress’ claim contradicts the stated argument of many Religious Right activists who advocate for school-organized prayer and a constitutional amendment overturning Engel and say that their stance has nothing to do with government endorsement of Christianity but simply about the need for children to pray.
Jeffress: I use the analogy of when we imploded about a million square feet of our facility at First Baptist Dallas and I learned a lot about how implosions work, what you do is you attach explosives to some key structural supports, you explode those supporting structures, there’s a delay and then the structure falls in on itself, it collapses. I said in this book “Twilight’s Last Gleaming,” there have been three explosive decisions by the Supreme Court in the last fifty years that have so destroyed the spiritual and social structure of our country that I believe our collapse is inevitable. We are living right now in that delay period between the explosions and the ultimate implosion. As you mentioned, that first decision was 1962, Engel v. Vitale, I know Christians say, ‘well that’s no big deal to remove a non-sectarian prayer,’ but it’s all the decisions that cascaded from that and it’s the basis on which that decision was made. It is impossible for the government to be neutral toward religion, neutrality is really hostility toward religion and especially the Christian religion.
Robert Jeffress took his book tour to James Dobson’s Family Talk and the two Religious Right leaders bemoaned that America is doomed as a result of Supreme Court decisions in Engel v. Vitale, Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas. Jeffress falsely claimed that Engel “removed voluntary prayers from the school,” when it actually said it was unconstitutional for public schools to compose and organize prayers. He also claimed that Engel, along with Roe and Lawrence have “so destroyed the spiritual and moral structure of our nation that we are going to collapse on ourselves, we are going to implode, it’s only a question of when.”
Jeffress: I believe there have been three explosive decisions by the Supreme Court in the last fifty years that have so weakened our spiritual and social structure as a nation that our implosion is inevitable. In 1962, Engel v. Vitale which removed voluntary prayers from the school, all of the decisions that have cascaded down from that decision that have made government not neutral but hostile to Christianity. Then in 1973 of course Roe v. Wade that has resulted in 40 million unborn children at least being murdered in the womb.
Dobson: I think it’s closer to 50 [million].
Jeffress: That’s right. Listen, you can’t kill 20 percent almost of your population and not have economic repercussions for that. So that’s the second decision. The third decision in 2003, which our listeners may not be as familiar with, the Lawrence v. Texas decision, where the Supreme Court really paved the way for same-sex marriages.
Jeffress: Now think about it, when you first of all remove prayer and make government hostile toward Christianity, when you allow for the murder of the unborn and when you absolutely redefine the most basic institution of society, marriage and the home, you have so destroyed the spiritual and moral structure of our nation that we are going to collapse on ourselves, we are going to implode, it’s only a question of when.
The Southern Baptist Convention’s Robert Jeffress, a prominent endorser of Gov. Rick Perry, said in an interview with Janet Mefferd yesterday that the Social Security crisis, the Medicare crisis and the mounting federal deficit are “God’s judgment” for legalized abortion.
Citing a study by the fringe anti-choice group Movement for a Better America, Jeffress claims that legalized abortion is responsible for $35 trillion in lost GDP over the last 35 years.
Jeffress: Since Roe v. Wade, we’ve had 40 million babies aborted, murdered. Do you realize that if those children, one study I cite in the books says, if those children had been allowed to live, if they had grown up and become productive citizens, it would have added $35 trillion to our Gross National Product in the last 35 years, and there would be no Social Security crisis or Medicare crisis because those people would be paying, productive citizens into the system.
You know, we’ve got even conservatives, Janet, in the Republican Party who are saying, “Oh, this is the year where we’re interested in the economy and not in social issues.” Listen, there is a connection between social issues and economic issues. You cannot wipe out 20 percent of your population, like we have done as a nation through abortion, without great economic repercussions, which I think are God’s judgment. I think the mounting deficit, the Social Security crisis, all those things are part of God’s judgment because we have murdered 20 percent of our population.
Today on Pathway to Victory, Robert Jeffress claimed that equal rights for gays and lesbians will lead to the end of America. Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas and a prominent endorser of Rick Perry, earlier claimed that gays and lesbians “engage in a high degree of promiscuity” and are incapable of monogamy, and also maintained that the media is using “brainwashing techniques” so homosexuality can be “crammed down our throats.” On Pathway, Jeffress said that gays and lesbians “engage in the most detestable, unclean, abominable acts you can imagine” as homosexuality is an “unnatural” and “filthy practice” that leads to disease:
Jeffress: Why is there such a high incidence of disease among homosexuals? Because ladies and gentlemen, what they are doing is more than holding hands and kissing, OK? They are engaged in the most detestable, unclean, abominable acts you can imagine. Because what they are doing is unnatural, it goes against nature, because of that filthy practice; there is a natural result to it. There is natural, physical consequences to homosexual behavior. That’s why God says don’t engage in it, you are going to harm your bodies in doing so.
Jeffress dedicated much of Pathway to bemoaning the Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which found state anti-sodomy laws to be unconstitutional, and said that supporters of LGBT equality are “fueled by sexual perversion” and “rebellion toward a holy God”:
Jeffress: The Lawrence decision of 2003 has paved the way to what both conservatives and liberals agree is the inevitable redefinition of marriage. Now folks don’t let anyone mislead you, this fervor to redefine the family is fueled by sexual perversion, and it is fueled by a sexual perversion that is in turn fueled by nothing but rebellion toward a holy God.
He claimed that Lawrence was the third case, along with Roe v. Wade, which barred states from criminalizing abortion, and Engel v. Vitale, which blocks officially organized prayer in public schools, that will lead to America’s destruction:
Jeffress: The third explosion that has weakened the social and spiritual infrastructure of our nation, making our collapse I believe inevitable, is the Supreme Court decision Lawrence v. Texas in 2003.
Sometimes God destroys a society immediately. But other times, as in our case, there is a series of seemingly unrelated explosive choices, followed by a delay, and then followed by the sudden and dramatic collapse, just as in an implosion. Ladies and gentlemen, I am convinced that we are living in that in between time right now. We are living in that in between time between these explosive, wrong choices our country has made and the inevitable implosion of our country.
The Southern Baptist Convention’s Robert Jeffress, a prominent endorser of Rick Perry, is not happy about the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom. In fact, Jeffress warns in a sermon posted online today, the religious protections of the First Amendment will “kindle the anger of God against us”:
Although our Constitution grants every citizen the right to worship or not worship any god he chooses, that right in no way changes God’s attitude toward idolatry. God does not change. Any nation that chooses to publicly renounce the true God in order to embrace and elevate other gods is going to face God’s judgment. That is what the Word of God says. And I closed that editorial in the Washington Post by saying, how ironic that the Air Force, which is trying to protect our nation against terrorist attacks, how ironic that our nation is doing the very thing that is guaranteed to kindle the anger of God against us.
And ladies and gentlemen, when God chooses to judge us, remember how he did it with Israel? He used a pagan nation that worshipped pagan gods to bring his punishment on Israel. And I believe he will do the same with us, and when he chooses to do that, no military power, no matter how strong we are, will be able to protect us against the judgment of Almighty God.
Jeffress refers to the Air Force's facilitaton of worship by members of minority faiths. Like Jeffress, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) has ripped into the Air Force for its equal treatment of religious minorities and televangelist John Hagee has claimed that pagan worship in the military is the reason why the U.S. is unable to win wars.
Jeffress sums up the Almighty’s beef with the First Amendment thus: “What we call diversity, God calls idolatry”:
Earlier in the sermon, Jeffress claimed that a school shooting in Kentucky was divine retribution for a series of Supreme Court decisions on prayer in public schools.
In a sermon posted yesterday, Jeffress argued that three key Supreme Court decisions on the separation of church and state have “so weakened our nation’s spiritual and social structure that collapse is inevitable.” He singles out the Court’s 1980 decision in Stone v. Graham, which struck down Kentucky’s law requiring that the Ten Commandments be posted in all public school classrooms. This decision, Jeffress argues, led directly to a tragic 1997 shooting spree in a Kentucky high school by a 14-year-old student who was later diagnosed with schizophrenia.
“Is that just a coincidence?” Jeffress asks. “I don’t think so. God warned Israel repeatedly of the devastating consequences she would experience if she forsook God and forgot his commandments.”
The prohibition against prayer, the prohibition against voluntary reading of the Bible, were only preambles to the most outlandish Supreme Court decision to date. For years, the public schools in Kentucky had posted copies of the Ten Commandments in the hallway. Understand, there was no obligation for the students to read the Ten Commandments, there was no explanation, no teaching of it in the schools. The Ten Commandments were simply displayed in the hallways, commandments like, “Thou shalt not kill,” “Thou shalt not covet,” “Thou shalt not steal.” That was what was posted. However, in 1980, in the case of Stone v. Graham, the Supreme Court ruled that the posting of the Ten Commandments was unconstitutional.
In a tragic twist of irony, 17 years after the Stone decision in 1980, a group of students had assembled together at Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky, as they did every morning for a time of prayer and Bible reading. As these students stood around a set of lockers and they were engaging in prayer, a 14-year-old student approached them, pulled out a handgun and opened fire, killing three of the students and seriously wounding five. All of that occurred in the hallway of a Kentucky school where the Supreme Court said, “You cannot post the words, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’” Is that just a coincidence? I don’t think so. God warned Israel repeatedly of the devastating consequences she would experience if she forsook God and forgot his commandments.
Jeffress' anti-Mormon views should have been no surprise to the Perry camp, and in this interview last year with the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Jeffress argued that the Mormon religion, along with Islam, is "from the pit of Hell." He went on to say that along with Mormons, Muslims, Jews and gays are also destined for Hell.
Jeffress: I think part of the problem is we're in this consumer mentality as a church where we have the idea that our job is to build as big of a church as we possible can. And if we get into that idea and fall into that trap, then we say then we can't say anything that's going to offend people, why, if we preach that homosexuality is an abomination to God we better not preach that because that's going to offend the gays or people who know gay people, if we tell people what the Bible says that every other religion in the world is wrong: Islam is wrong, it is a heresy from the pit of Hell; Mormonism is wrong, it is a heresy from the pit of Hell; Judaism, you can't be saved being a Jew, you know who said that by the way, the three greatest Jews in the New Testament, Peter, Paul, and Jesus Christ, they all said Judaism won't do it, it's faith in Jesus Christ.
Following his endorsement and introduction of Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit, Robert Jeffress went on Focal Pointwith Bryan Fischer to chastise Romney's Mormon faith, arguing that he is not a "true, born again follower of Christ." He said that only Perry can defeat "the most pro-homosexual, most pro-abortion president in history."
"It is not Christianity, it is not a branch of Christianity," Jeffress said, "It is a cult." Jeffress went on to explain that many evangelical Christians will not vote for Romney because he is a Mormon and therefore not "indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God." He even claimed that Romney's Mormon faith "speaks to the integrity issue" as it explains why he has reversed his position on abortion rights, among other issues.