Sandy Rios

Ted Cruz's Dream Cabinet: Values Voter Summit Speakers Ready To Serve In The Cruz White House

It is no secret that Sen. Ted Cruz is a favorite of Religious Right activists. After all, at last year’s Values Voter Summit, the Texas Republican received a euphoric welcome and when one member of the audience declared that God supported Cruz’s effort to shut down the government, he was met with an enthusiastic round of applause. It’s no wonder that Cruz has won the hearts of the GOP’s far-right base, given his penchant for paranoid and incendiary rhetoric along with his boasts about his superior religious convictions.

And the affection seems to be mutual. If Cruz were to win the presidency in 2016, we imagine that his cabinet would look a lot like this week’s Values Voter Summit lineup.

So, we’ve decided to help Cruz out and pick him out a “dream cabinet” consisting exclusively of Values Voter Summit speakers.

Tony Perkins, Secretary of Homosexuality

To say that the Family Research Council leader and Values Voter Summit host is obsessed with homosexuality would be putting it mildly. Perkins fears that gays and lesbians are such a threat that he predicts they will bring about a holocaust of Christians. He calls gay people “vile” and “hateful” pawns of “The Enemy” — Satan — who are “engaged in activity, behavior and an agenda that will destroy them and our nation.”

Perkins spoke out in favor of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which, at the time, included a provision making homosexuality an offense punishable by death in some cases. He has also labeled pedophilia a “homosexual problem.”

What’s more, Perkins comes with a built-in circle of anti-gay advisors: For instance, one of his FRC colleagues once suggested that the U.S. “export homosexuals” because “homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Mike Huckabee, Secretary of Women’s Issues

After vigorously campaigning on behalf of failed Senate candidate Todd Akin and defending the Missouri Republican’s “legitimate rape” comments, Huckabee somehow managed to become the RNC’s “model” for speaking about social issues. Huckabee further displayed this model behavior at an RNC meeting this year, where he claimed that Democrats see women as “helpless and hopeless creatures” who need help from “Uncle Sugar” because they “cannot control their libido.”

Huckabee is a strong supporter of “personhood” laws that would criminalize abortion in all cases, along with common forms of birth control. Although he said rules ensuring that Hobby Lobby employees have birth control coverage would destroy the freedom of religion, as governor of Arkansas, he signed regulations on contraception coverage that had a wider impact on religiously-affiliated groups than the federal rules he now denounces as abortion subsidies and threats to liberty.

Sandy Rios, Secretary of Chain Emails

Thankfully, American Family Radio talk show host Sandy Rios breaks through the biased liberal media filter by citing the news sources America trusts: chain emails. Rios has repeatedly pointed to spurious Internet hoaxes and urban legends to warn about how same-sex marriage is encouraging incest or to expose President Obama’s Muslim writings.

Rios has also cited erroneous right-wing chain emails to shine light on Obama’s purported plan to Islamize America and his real birth place (Kenya). While such stories may not technically be true, they definitely feel true!

Michele Bachmann, Secretary of Truth

Many politicians pretend to believe in outlandish things as a way to throw red meat to their party’s base, but the Secretary of Truth pretends nothing. Whatever you may think about Michele Bachmann, she really does seem to believe that vaccinations cause mental retardation, Obamacare death panels will “literally kill” people, gays want to “freely prey on little children sexually” and AmeriCorps programs are really “re-education camps.” Bachmann also claims to be an expert in Islam, Judaism and the End Times (or, as she believes, the present day).

In fact, Bachmann speaks so much truth that the Associated Press had to impose a fact-checking “quota” on her remarks.

Sarah Palin, Secretary of Syntax

Sarah Palin is known for her captivating way with words and is always providing new material for observers of an evolving English language. Since Cruz sees Palin as a “fearless” leader of the conservative movement, certainly she can serve in a role greater than poet laureate. After all, it’s not everyone who is able to rewrite (with help from the Internet) the works of Dr. Seuss:

Todd Starnes, Secretary of Scam Artistry

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, ever the muckraker, claims to have blown the whistle on dozens of scandals involving anti-Christian persecution in America.

However, many of his reports have been completely debunked, including his stories about forced lesbian kisses in schools and discrimination against Christian athletes, kindergartenersfirst gradersmilitary service members and people celebrating Christmas. He has also falsely accused the military of court martialing Christians and blocking access to a church website, and made bogus statements about “gangs of roving thugs” and anti-Christian zealots running New York.

But don’t worry, none of these false reports have in any way negatively impacted Starnes’ career or his reputation, as he swears he only reports on “the most accurate information possible.”

Glenn Beck will also be addressing the summit, meaning that Starnes will have a real fight on his hands for this prestigious Cabinet office.

Jerry Boykin, Secretary of Islam

Protecting religious liberty is one of the major issues of the Values Voter Summit this year, and religious liberty has no better friend than FRC Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin, who cherishes the First Amendment so deeply that he wants to ban mosques and strip Muslim-Americans of their First Amendment rights (a view that FRC’s president, Tony Perkins, shares). Boykin insists that the Constitution should not protect Muslims because their religion will “destroy” America “from within.”

Boykin also believes that the Obama administration’s actions are part of a spiritual war against Christianity which will provoke people to “take up arms” against the government and even prompt military leaders to hope to “fulfill their constitutional duty and take out the president.”

Jim Bob Duggar, Secretary of Historical Analysis

Reality TV star Jim Bob Duggar, a frequent right-wing campaign surrogate whose son Josh serves as executive director of the Family Research Council, made a splash at last year’s summit when he said that a visit to a Nazi concentration camp reminded him of the U.S. today. Speaking of the Holocaust, he said, “that’s where we are at in our nation.” In Duggar’s telling, the Nazis are pro-choice advocates who have taken over America, while Duggar and his conservative movement allies are like concentration camp liberators.

While defending his remarks to the press, Duggar said Roe v. Wade has led to “a baby holocaust” no different than what took place in Nazi Germany.

Louie Gohmert, Secretary of Intelligence

Louie Gohmert, an actual congressman, has many smart things to say. For example, he believes that Obamacare will “absolutely kill senior citizens” and set up a “secret security force”; thinks America is worse off now than it was during the days of slavery; worries that “extreme leftists” and “radical jihadists” are working together to bring terror babies into the U.S.; and claims that Obama is “supporting” Al Qaeda and Democrats are hoping for terrorist attacks “to create a new jobs bill.”

He is also a zoologist, having warned that a wildlife protection bill would send animals to China and we would “end up with moo goo dog pan or moo goo cat pan.” He once also memorably defended oil pipelines by linking them to caribou sex.

Gohmert is an expert in the field of human sexuality, although he asserts that sex-ed classes are reminiscent of the Soviet Union. The Republican especially knows a thing or two about homosexuality, warning that gay marriage signals the collapse of civilization and will lead America “down the road to the dustbin of history”; claiming that those of “the persuasion of being homosexual” violate “the plumbing that God created”; insisting that gay people undermine humanity’s evolution (which he insists he doesn’t believe in himself); fearing that America will cease to exist because of gays serving openly in the military; and positing that gay marriage will lead to bestiality and extreme restrictions on gun rights.

Mat Staver, Secretary of Ex-Gays

While not an “ex-gay” himself, Liberty Counsel attorney Mat Staver is a leading proponent of sexual orientation conversion therapy and is attempting to bring his defense of the discredited, pseudo-scientific practice to the Supreme Court.

Staver has also been tied to an “ex-gay” client’s alleged kidnapping of her daughter to Central America to avoid sharing custody with the daughter’s other mother. He claims that gay people want to “entrap” and “groom” children and force them “into a lifestyle of destruction” by barring the use of ex-gay therapy on minors.

Staver will likely have many immediate policy changes to suggest, as he fears that the Obama administration supports “forced homosexuality” and likens fading opposition to gay rights to silence in Nazi Germany about the Holocaust.

Scott Lively Doesn't Hate Gays, Just Wants Them To 'Enjoy The Blessings Of Being Able To Live A Heterosexual Life'

In an interview with the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios this morning, globe-trotting anti-gay activist Scott Lively insisted that he doesn’t hate LGBT people or “want them to be harmed in any way” or “put in jail.”

Instead, he said, “I want them to receive salvation in Jesus Christ, repent of their sins, and be able to enjoy the blessings of being able to live a heterosexual life and have a wife or a husband — depending on what their gender is — and the great blessings that come from doing things the God designed us to live. “

Earlier in the interview, Lively repeated his contention that a Human Rights Campaign report detailing his work pushing anti-gay laws throughout the world was “ trying to incite murder against me.”

“It’s a hit list, and a hit list file, it’s like the 10 Most Wanted list,” he told Rios.

“This is nothing less than directions to the next Floyd Lee Corkins on who to assassinate and where to find them and inflammatory rhetoric to get them all wound up in order to feel motivated to be able to do it,” he said, referring to the mentally disturbed man who attempted a shooting at the Family Research Council. “It’s a hit list for assassination.”

“Every leftist organization in America knows they have people that follow their rhetoric who are willing to commit murder,” he added.

When Rios responded that she herself had had “vile” things said about her, Lively responded, “It’s demonic, it’s literally demonic. What you’re seeing is demonic expression through human agents that have given themselves over to the Devil.”

The GOP's Hate Summit: A Who's Who Of The 2014 Values Voter Summit

This weekend, Republican elected officials including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Gov. Bobby Jindal will take part in what has become an annual ritual for potential GOP presidential contenders: they will seek to curry the favor of the Religious Right by speaking at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit.

In doing so, they put themselves in the company of some of the most radical groups and activists working today to dehumanize LGBT people, roll back reproductive rights, tear down the wall between church and state, and deny free exercise rights to religious minorities.

The Values Voter Summit’s sponsor, the Family Research Council, regularly issues false and demeaning smears about LGBT people and advocates for an America ruled according to the dictates of a small sliver of right-wing Christians. Just this month, the group’s president Tony Perkins suggested that the Constitution’s religious liberty protections do not apply to Muslims.

The other primary sponsors of the event, the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, and Gary Bauer’s American Values have equally if not more egregious records of extremism. In addition, a number of fringe groups are contributing to the conference by sponsoring exhibition tables, including Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), which pushes discredited conversion therapy on LGBT people; the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR); and the World Congress of Families, which works with activists throughout the world to push harsh anti-gay laws.

But the Values Voter Summit’s speakers do not have to visit the event’s exhibition hall to encounter extremism. They will find plenty of that in their fellow speakers. Below is an introduction to some of the speakers who will be sharing a stage with prominent GOP elected officials at this week’s summit.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the chief sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Now a widely recognized spokesman for social conservative causes, Perkins served two terms as a Republican legislator in the Louisiana House of Representatives before launching a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2002. Perkins has:

  • Contended that the anti-bullying “It Gets Better” project is “immoral,” “disgusting,” and promotes “perversion.”
  • Defined efforts by the Obama administration to advance LGBT rights abroad as a push for “radical sexualism” and “global homosexuality.”
  • Praised a Uganda bill that would have condemned gays and lesbians to death as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.”
  • Warned that LGBT rights advocates will launch a holocaust against Christians, placing those that oppose same-sex marriage into “boxcars.”
  • Suggested that Christian clergy who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious liberties as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”
  • Warned that lawmakers who voted to repeal the military ban on openly gay service members would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin earned a public rebuke from President George W. Bush when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the "War on Terror" as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. In 2012, he was named executive vice president of the Family Research Council.

Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative, and once told the group that President Obama used health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him. Boykin has also:

  • Suggested that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell led to the “absolute destruction of our military.”
  • Described CIA head John Brennan as “very sympathetic to the jihadist cause.”
  • Denounced the repeal of laws banning women from military combat service.
  • Blamed the Sandy Hook school massacre on the presence of secularism in society.

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the dean of the Liberty University School of Law and the founder and chairman of its affiliate, Liberty Counsel, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government in order to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and Western civilization. Through his position at Liberty Counsel, Staver has:

Gary Bauer

Gary Bauer is the president of Values Voter Summit sponsor American Values, a former president of the Family Research Council, and one-time Republican presidential hopeful. While serving in the Reagan administration as a Department of Education official, Bauer was named chairman of the president’s Special Working Group on the Family. Bauer has:

  • Reacting to A&E’s suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for racist and homophobic remarks, declared that progressives are waging a “jihad against America’s cultural norms,”
  • Warned that President Obama is “obsessed” with LGBT issues, and claimed that his “secular” agenda will “destroy” America.
  • Claimed that Supreme Court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage were acts of “judicial terrorism” putting America on “the verge of criminalizing the Book of Genesis.”
  • Wondered why African Americans keep “falling through the cracks  of society despite the fact that “every major goal” of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been reached.

Benham Brothers

Twin brothers Jason and David Benham were catapulted to national attention this year when an HGTV show that they were set to star in was cancelled following revelations about their anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Muslim activism. Since the show’s cancellation, the brothers have become a cause célèbre for the Religious Right, which has lifted them up as an example of the supposed persecution of conservative Christians in America. One or both of the brothers have:

  • Asserted that the LGBT equality movement is part of a “spiritual fight" between God and the “kingdom run by Satan.”
  • Urged the city of Charlotte, NC to deny permits to an LGBT Pride event, calling it a “vile” and “destructive” activity that “should not be allowed in our city.”
  • Compared the fight against marriage equality to opposing Nazi Germany.
  • Called an Islamic community center a “den of iniquity” and referred to Muslims as “the enemy attacking" America.
  • Organized a prayer rally to coincide with the 2012 Democratic National Convention, declaring that America must repent for “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.”
  • Led protests outside of abortion clinics, praising anti-choice demonstrators for taking a stand at “the gates of hell” and confronting the “altars of Moloch.”

E.W. Jackson

The 2013 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, E.W. Jackson is a longtime activist who has likened the Democratic Party to the Antichrist, said Planned Parenthood is worse than the Ku Klux Klan, suggested that President Obama is a Muslim and demonic, and fought against efforts to desegregate public housing. Jackson’s most pernicious rhetoric has focused on LGBT people. He has:

  • Referred to gays and lesbians as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”
  • Criticized abortion and in vitro fertilization as “evils” that carry “the mark of Satan.”
  • Argued that gay marriage will release a “torrent of wickedness” that will result in man-animal marriages.
  • Said homosexuality is connected to pedophilia and that homosexuality also “poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things we can think of.”

Star Parker

Star Parker is a longtime Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-choice advocacy. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust and blamed “sexual promiscuity” for nearly all financial and societal problems. At the 2011 Values Voter Summit, she claimed that God was getting ready to punish America for marriage equality and legal abortion. Parker has also:

  • Declared that LGBT people are forcing Christians “into the closet.”
  • Mused that family life for African Americans was “more healthy” under slavery than it is today
  • Argued that the rate of HIV infections in Washington, D.C., would spike once the city legalized marriage equality, “transforming [the city] officially into Sodom.”
  • Tied same-sex marriage to failing public schools.

Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes, a Fox News commentator and the author of several books including this year’s “God Less America," specializes in generating stories of dubious accuracy purporting to illustrate the persecution of conservative Christians in America. Recently, he has:

  • Speculated that public school officials oppose abstinence-only programs to protect their “condom profits.”
  • Asserted that Obama refuses to take action against ISIS to “accommodate the Islamic faith at the expense of all other faiths.”
  • Blamed Obama for “ orchestrating” the protests in Ferguson, Mo., in an effort to exacerbate racial tensions.
  • Baselessly accused the University of Wisconsin of intentionally inflating grades to boost the academic performance of minority students.
  • Worried that LGBT rights advocates will inevitably demand the deportation of Christians.

Sandy Rios

Sandy Rios, a former president of Concerned Women for America, now hosts a daily radio show on American Family Radio, the network run by the American Family Association. At last year’s summit, she promoted ex-gay therapy and said Matthew Shepard’s murder was a “complete fraud.” Like other AFR hosts, she frequently promotes right-wing conspiracy theories, including claims that President Obama was not born in the United States. Rios has also:

  • Insisted that one of Obama’s first priorities as president was to resettle thousands of Palestinian refugees in the U.S. and provide them with food stamps.
  • Advanced the myth that the health care reform law “says that Muslims will be exempt from the government mandate to purchase health insurance.”
  • Compared the relationships of same-sex couples to those of kidnapper Ariel Castro and his captives.
  • Warned that the “homosexual takeover” of the military would jeopardize the effectiveness of the armed forces.
  • Frequently links the gay community to child abuse.

Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte Gabriel is the founder and president of ACT! for America, where she works with local activists throughout the country to promote fears that Sharia law is taking hold in the U.S. and must be banned and to challenge textbooks that she believes are insufficiently critical of Islam. She makes frequent media appearances to warn of what she calls the “ secret Islamification” of the West. Among other attacks on Mulsim-Americans, Gabriel has:

This post was updated to include Brigitte Gabriel following an FRC announcement that she would speak at the summit. A previous edition of this post listed incorrectly listed James Dobson, one of the founders of the FRC, as a speaker.

The GOP's Hate Summit: A Who’s Who Of The 2014 Values Voter Summit

To: Reporters and editors
From: Drew Courtney, Director of Communications, People For the American Way
Date: September 22, 2014
Subject: The GOP's Hate Summit: A Who’s Who of the 2014 Values Voter Summit

This weekend, Republican elected officials including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Gov. Bobby Jindal will take part in what has become an annual ritual for potential GOP presidential contenders: they will seek to curry the favor of the Religious Right by speaking at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit.

In doing so, they put themselves in the company of some of the most radical groups and activists working today to dehumanize LGBT people, roll back reproductive rights, tear down the wall between church and state, and deny free exercise rights to religious minorities.

The Values Voter Summit’s sponsor, the Family Research Council, regularly issues false and demeaning smears about LGBT people and advocates for an America ruled according to the dictates of a small sliver of right-wing Christians. Just this month, the group’s president Tony Perkins suggested that the Constitution’s religious liberty protections do not apply to Muslims.

The other primary sponsors of the event, the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, and Gary Bauer’s American Values have equally if not more egregious records of extremism. In addition, a number of fringe groups are contributing to the conference by sponsoring exhibition tables, including Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), which pushes discredited conversion therapy on LGBT people; the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR); and the World Congress of Families, which works with activists throughout the world to push harsh anti-gay laws.

But the Values Voter Summit’s speakers do not have to visit the event’s exhibition hall to encounter extremism. They will find plenty of that in their fellow speakers. Below is an introduction to some of the speakers who will be sharing a stage with prominent GOP elected officials at this week’s summit.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the chief sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Now a widely recognized spokesman for social conservative causes, Perkins served two terms as a Republican legislator in the Louisiana House of Representatives before launching a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2002. Perkins has:

  • Contended that the anti-bullying “ It Gets Better ” project is “immoral,” “disgusting,” and promotes “perversion.”
  • Defined efforts by the Obama administration to advance LGBT rights abroad as a push for “ radical sexualism ” and “global homosexuality.”
  • Praised a Uganda bill that would have condemned gays and lesbians to death as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.”
  • Warned that LGBT rights advocates will launch a holocaust against Christians, placing those that oppose same-sex marriage into “ boxcars.”
  • Suggested that Christian clergy who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious liberties as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”
  • Warned that lawmakers who voted to repeal the military ban on openly gay service members would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin earned a public rebuke from President George W. Bush when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the "War on Terror" as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. In 2012, he was named executive vice president of the Family Research Council.

Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative, and once told the group that President Obama used health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him. Boykin has also:

  • Suggested that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell led to the “absolute destruction of our military.”
  • Described CIA head John Brennan as “very sympathetic to the jihadist cause.”
  • Denounced the repeal of laws banning women from military combat service.
  • Blamed the Sandy Hook school massacre on the presence of secularism in society.

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the dean of the Liberty University School of Law and the founder and chairman of its affiliate, Liberty Counsel, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government in order to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and Western civilization. Through his position at Liberty Counsel, Staver has:

Gary Bauer

Gary Bauer is the president of Values Voter Summit sponsor American Values, a former president of the Family Research Council, and one-time Republican presidential hopeful. While serving in the Reagan administration as a Department of Education official, Bauer was named chairman of the president’s Special Working Group on the Family. Bauer has:

  • Reacting to A&E’s suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for racist and homophobic remarks, declared that progressives are waging a “jihad against America’s cultural norms,”
  • Warned that President Obama is “obsessed” with LGBT issues, and claimed that his “secular” agenda will “destroy” America.
  • Claimed that Supreme Court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage were acts of “judicial terrorism” putting America on “the verge of criminalizing the Book of Genesis.”
  • Wondered why African Americans keep “falling through the cracks  of society despite the fact that “every major goal” of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been reached.

Benham Brothers

Twin brothers Jason and David Benham were catapulted to national attention this year when an HGTV show that they were set to star in was cancelled following revelations about their anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Muslim activism. Since the show’s cancellation, the brothers have become a cause célèbre for the Religious Right, which has lifted them up as an example of the supposed persecution of conservative Christians in America. One or both of the brothers have:

  • Asserted that the LGBT equality movement is part of a “spiritual fight" between God and the “kingdom run by Satan.”
  • Urged the city of Charlotte, NC to deny permits to an LGBT Pride event, calling it a “vile” and “destructive” activity that “should not be allowed in our city.”
  • Compared the fight against marriage equality to opposing Nazi Germany.
  • Called an Islamic community center a “den of iniquity” and referred to Muslims as “the enemy attacking" America.
  • Organized a prayer rally to coincide with the 2012 Democratic National Convention, declaring that America must repent for “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.”
  • Led protests outside of abortion clinics, praising anti-choice demonstrators for taking a stand at “the gates of hell” and confronting the “altars of Moloch.”

E.W. Jackson

The 2013 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, E.W. Jackson is a longtime activist who has likened the Democratic Party to the Antichrist, said Planned Parenthood is worse than the Ku Klux Klan, suggested that President Obama is a Muslim and demonic, and fought against efforts to desegregate public housing. Jackson’s most pernicious rhetoric has focused on LGBT people. He has:

  • Referred to gays and lesbians as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”
  • Criticized abortion and in vitro fertilization as “evils” that carry “the mark of Satan.”
  • Argued that gay marriage will release a “torrent of wickedness” that will result in man-animal marriages.
  • Said homosexuality is connected to pedophilia and that homosexuality also “poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things we can think of.”

Star Parker

Star Parker is a longtime Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-choice advocacy. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust and blamed “sexual promiscuity” for nearly all financial and societal problems. At the 2011 Values Voter Summit, she claimed that God was getting ready to punish America for marriage equality and legal abortion. Parker has also:

  • Declared that LGBT people are forcing Christians “ into the closet.”
  • Mused that family life for African Americans was “more healthy” under slavery than it is today
  • Argued that the rate of HIV infections in Washington, D.C., would spike once the city legalized marriage equality, “transforming [the city] officially into Sodom.”
  • Tied same-sex marriage to failing public schools.

Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes, a Fox News commentator and the author of several books including this year’s “God Less America," specializes in generating stories of dubious accuracy purporting to illustrate the persecution of conservative Christians in America. Recently, he has:

  • Speculated that public school officials oppose abstinence-only programs to protect their “condom profits.”
  • Asserted that Obama refuses to take action against ISIS to “accommodate the Islamic faith at the expense of all other faiths.”
  • Blamed Obama for “ orchestrating” the protests in Ferguson, Mo., in an effort to exacerbate racial tensions.
  • Baselessly accused the University of Wisconsin of intentionally inflating grades to boost the academic performance of minority students.
  • Worried that LGBT rights advocates will inevitably demand the deportation of Christians.

Sandy Rios

Sandy Rios, a former president of Concerned Women for America, now hosts a daily radio show on American Family Radio, the network run by the American Family Association. At last year’s summit, she promoted ex-gay therapy and said Matthew Shepard’s murder was a “complete fraud.” Like other AFR hosts, she frequently promotes right-wing conspiracy theories, including claims that President Obama was not born in the United States . Rios has also:

  • Insisted that one of Obama’s first priorities as president was to resettle thousands of Palestinian refugees in the U.S. and provide them with food stamps.
  • Advanced the myth that the health care reform law “says that Muslims will be exempt from the government mandate to purchase health insurance.”
  • Compared the relationships of same-sex couples to those of kidnapper Ariel Castro and his captives.
  • Warned that the “ homosexual takeover” of the military would jeopardize the effectiveness of the armed forces.
  • Frequently links the gay community to child abuse.

A previous version of this memo incorrectly listed James Dobson as a speaker. 

Sandy Rios Cites Hoax Story To Warn Of Scourge Of Mother-Daughter Couples

On her radio program today, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios promoted the upcoming Ex-Gay Awareness Month — at which she will be receiving the prestigious “Friend of Ex-Gays Freedom Award” — by repeating a hoax story about a mother-daughter lesbian couple.

Rios read her guest, ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle, an article from the website Stuppid.com that supposedly tells the story of a mother-daughter couple named Vertasha and Mary Carter.

But as the myth-busting website Snopes.com reports, the story is a complete hoax.

“The fight against this movement, it’s like a powerful force of immorality that threatens to overtake us,” Rios said of the fictitious story, before comparing ex-gay activists like Doyle to “Muslims who don’t declare their devotion to jihad.”

Doyle added: “There’s people out there that are trying to normalize this craziness. Where does it end?”

Sandy Rios Attacks Slain Aid Worker David Haines' Brother, Accuses Him Of Helping Islamists

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios is outraged that the brother of David Haines, a British aid worker who was beheaded by ISIS, said that Muslims were not to blame for the violent actions of the extremist group.

“His lack of understanding is just amazing and his spiritual confusion is just overwhelming,” Rios said on her American Family Radio program today. “He represents, I think, millions of American and British post-Christians who believe it’s ‘live and let live,’ it’s ‘coexist,’ it’s ‘whatever it takes to have peace among all men,’ not understanding that the Muslim faith is absolutely to blame for ISIL.”

“That’s the kind of thinking that is just perfect targets for the Islamists,” she continued. “They’re not moved by this, they’re not moved by the fact that he says his family’s not Muslim, that means their heads will be more on the chopping block, they’re not won by this kind of spiritual blandness and confusion.”

“They don’t understand what just happened to their son and brother, they don’t understand it,” she added. Rios said Haines’ remarks about nonviolence will actually help ISIS spread its evil and only “make it worse.”

Sandy Rios: Muslim-Marxist Obama Is Friends With ISIS

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios spoke to a caller today who said that ISIS militants will soon “come to the White House” and “Obama is going to swing the door open and he’s going to have a feast prepared for them because he is a Muslim, he is one of them.”

“He hates America and he thinks he’s going to turn us into a Third World Muslim nation under the iron fist of the United Nations and I firmly believe that the reason he’s not doing anything about ISIS is because those are his friends,” the caller added.

Rios naturally thought the caller’s assessment made perfect sense: “I’m not going to argue with you. I think I’ve made indications enough that I think he is complicit. Whether he is an actual Muslim or a Marxist, I’m confused about that, he certainly has Muslim sympathies, that I have never denied. He does and that is where his friends are.”

Sandy Rios: Women 'Brainwashed' By Women's Studies Programs To Ignore That It's Really Men Who Are 'Being Degraded'

On her American Family Association radio program this morning, Sandy Rios interviewed Malcolm Kline of Accuracy in Academia, a sister organization of the conservative group Accuracy in Media, about the supposed terrible liberal bias in academia.

When the two inevitably got to talking about women’s studies programs, Rios told Kline about an encounter she had had with a young woman who had been “brainwashed” by a women’s studies program to think that “even in this day in this time, that women are somehow mistreated."

Rios said she told the young woman that because women now make up the majority of college graduates and men are supposedly not allowed to “speak up against anything about a woman” that in fact “men are the ones being degraded.”

Ex-Gay Awareness Month Returns With October Summit

Following last year’s smashing success of an ex-gay pride event, ex-gay activists are organizing another “Ex-Gay Awareness Month” summit featuring Alan Keyes, Sandy Rios, Matt Barber and Peter Sprigg, along with real-life ex-gays Greg Quinlan and Christopher Doyle.

You can now receive a special early bird rate for the Washington D.C. event, which will disclose its location upon registration [PDF] .

 

Agenda – Friday, October 3, 2014

9:00am – 10:00am – Pre-Event Get Together and Lobbying Education Training, Greg Quinlan, President of Equality And Justice For All (Location to be disclosed prior to the event)

10:00am – 5:00pm – Meetings with your Representatives and Senators (e-mail contact@equalityandjusticeforall.org for assistance in making appointments)

5:00pm – 6:00pm – Dinner (on your own)

6:00pm – 9:00pm – Evening Reception (hors d’ oeuvres and dessert to be served) and Screening of “Sing Over Me” with Dennis Jernigan (Location to be disclosed prior to the event)

Agenda – Saturday, October 4, 2014

8:00am – 9:00am – Breakfast with Ambassador Alan Keyes (sponsorship tickets required)

9:00am – Invocation, Rev. Jayson Graves, LMFT

Welcome -Estella Salvatierra, President of PFOX/Regina Griggs, Executive Director of PFOX

Introduction – Christopher Doyle, President of Voice of the Voiceless

9:15am – 10:00am – Ambassador Alan Keyes, Former Republican Presidential Candidate

10:00am – 11:00am -Breakout Sessions

11:00am – 12:00pm -Breakout Sessions

12:00pm – 1:00pm -Breakout Sessions

1:00pm – 2:00pm - Luncheon

2:00pm – 3:00pm - Panel Discussion with Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays Panel, Moderated by Regina Griggs (Panel TBD)

3:00pm – 3:15pm – Break

3:15pm – 3:45pm – Courage Award for Former Homosexuals, Dennis Jernigan (Introduction by PFOX Past President Greg Quinlan

3:45pm – 4:00pm – Break

4:00pm – 5:00pm – Friend of Ex-Gays Freedom Award, Sandy Rios (Introduction by Voice of the Voiceless President Christopher Doyle)

5:00pm – Benediction

David Vitter Calls For Government 'Crack Down' On Remittances

David Vitter appears to have embraced Michele Bachmann’s plan to prevent immigrants from sending money to their home countries, telling Sandy Rios in an interview yesterday that the U.S. government needs to “crack down” on remittances.

When Rios asked the Louisiana senator about remittances, which she feared could be going to “terrorists,” Vitter said he has “a proposal to put an end to that, to either end or put a heavy, heavy fine on those sorts of transfers and dedicate that money, use that money specifically for border or workplace enforcement.”

Vitter told Rios that “if we can effectively crack down on that, that would be very helpful in terms of enforcement.”

Indeed, Vitter has introduced the WIRE Act, which “requires a fee on remittances for customers who wire money to another country but cannot prove that they are in the United States legally. The fee would be used to enhance border security.”

Sandy Rios: Detained Ferguson Journalist A 'Punk' Who Was 'Causing Trouble'

On Friday, Sandy Rios of the American Family Association attacked journalists Wesley Lowery and Ryan Reilly, who were detained by police officers while working in a McDonalds in Ferguson, Missouri.

Speaking on her American Family Radio program, Rios called Lowery a “punk of a reporter” who was “causing trouble, trying to make the officer mad,” adding: “These are the men, these are the young men of our country, these are the guys who are going to defend the next generation, these are the future fathers of America’s children. That’s pretty scary, isn’t it?”

Todd Starnes: Obama Administration 'Orchestrated' Ferguson Incident, Made It 'A National Issue'

Only in the world of Fox News commentator Todd Starnes is President Obama responsible for making the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri into a national story.

In an interview with Sandy Rios on American Family Radio today, Starnes said Obama administration officials “are actually orchestrating a lot of this stuff and they turned this local tragedy into a national issue.”

“It appears that the administration is trying to play politics with this,” Starnes said.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/12/14

  • Tony Perkins is furious that the National Republican Congressional Committee is supporting three gay Republican candidates.
  • Speaking of Perkins, he, Anne Graham Lotz, Richard Land, and others will be heading to Israel next week as part of a "Christians in Solidarity with Israel" trip being sponsored by the National Religious Broadcasters.
  • Allen West headlined last night's Family-PAC fundraiser (the AFA's Sandy Rios is the PAC's VP.)
  • It is nice to see other right wing "historians" mindlessly repeating David Barton's nonsense: "In fact, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, both signers of the Constitution, pointed to Jeremiah 17:9 as an underlying principle for the separation of powers provided for in that document."
  • Do you suppose that Comcast's refusal to carry Glenn Beck's The Blaze network might have anything to do with this campaign he has started to oppose the company's merger with Time Warner?
  • Finally, James Robison has had enough! "Call me any name you wish. Put any misrepresentation or so-called 'politically correct' label on me—but I am declaring America is being encouraged to believe and embrace lies…to support them, to cast aside our founders’ principles—including God’s Word and eternal truths—and submit to the bondage of an out-of-control state. The federal government and deceived representatives are forcing legislation, policies, and practices on American citizens, demanding that our tax dollars—our money, which God has trusted to our watchcare—be used to support worthless, godless, freedom-damaging policies, programs, and laws. This nonsense—this insanity—has to stop…and stop now! Americans must come to their senses and reject this idolatry. We must refuse to bow to any false god or to trust it as our source. Not Pharaoh, not Saul, not Nebuchadnezzar, not Babylon, not Rome, not emperors, not kings, not monarchies, not Washington or Uncle Sam. Only God!"

Sandy Rios: Parents Failing To Protect Children From 'Authoritarian Regime' Of Public Schools

Another day, another example of the Religious Right’s persecution complex. On today’s edition of “Sandy Rios in the Morning,” listeners heard the sad tale of Laurie Higgins,  a cultural analyst at the American Family Association-affiliated Illinois Family Institute, who spoke of the “liberal intolerance” and “persecution” she encountered in her previous work as a high school administrator.

Higgins described how she was demoted and shunned by her colleagues because she spoke out against “pro-homosexual resources,” like “Angels in America,” being available to students in the school library. She was also frustrated by the school’s “complete unwillingness” to include resources on LGBT issues that offered “opposing views.”

Rios and Higgins were shocked that no parents, teachers, or pastors came out in support of her or “dared to stand up for their own faith” in fear of the “authoritarian regime” of the school system.

“The halcyon days of being Christian in America are over,” warned Higgins.

In anticipation of the oppression ahead, Higgins advised: “Churches need to do a better job of preparing Christians to endure persecution, because it’s coming.” In her view, if parents and pastors aren’t actively driving LGBT books out of every school library, they “aren’t willing to suffer for Christ.” 

David Horowitz: 'Tyrant' Obama Is Prevented From 'Throwing People In Jail' … For Now

Conservative author David Horowitz keeps trying to top himself with increasingly over-the-top rhetoric, and yesterday on “Sandy Rios in the Morning” he said the “criminal” President Obama is a “compulsive, brazen, pathological liar” who is “acting like a complete tyrant.”

Thankfully, Horowitz added, “we have somewhat of a constitutional system so he can’t put on a military uniform and start throwing people in jail.”

Horowitz also criticized liberals for demonizing the Tea Party movement, which he said is “really a centrist party.”

He also outlined what he sees as the difference between conservatives and liberals: while “Christian conservatives are missionaries [who] do good” and save people from the Ebola virus, “leftists are destroyers.”

Chris McDaniel Says Mitch McConnell Sold His Soul For Power, Future Of America At Stake

On yesterday’s edition of “Sandy Rios In The Morning,” Mississippi state senator Chris McDaniel accused Sens. Mitch McConnell and Thad Cochran of selling their soul for power. McDaniel, who recently demanded the state party declare him the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate even though he lost a runoff election to Cochran, agreed with Rios that people may soon stop voting and said the future of the country is at stake in his challenge to the Mississippi election results.

“They need to know that their elections can be trusted, otherwise people will stop voting,” Rios said. “We will completely break down if we can’t sort this out.”

McDaniel agreed: “That’s exactly right. There has to be repercussions.”

McDaniel then responded to an article about how Tea Party groups are less than thrilled with McConnell’s campaign, with one activist citing his role in supporting Cochran’s re-election.

“What we’re seeing are people like McConnell and people like Cochran and others that will sell their very souls for a little extra power or a little extra money,” McDaniel said. “That’s something we cannot allow to happen. If conservatives let this go, we’re going to lose this country.”

The Right Wing's Immigration Hysteria: Round-Up

Here’s a round-up of last week’s Right Wing immigration hysteria:

PFAW

Sandy Rios Explains How Undocumented Children Are Like Adulterers

On her radio program this morning, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios compared undocumented children to married people who commit adultery.

“I have compassion and love, I know that many of them are desperate, some of them just want to better their lives,” she said.

“People make the argument that immigrant children go on to make such great citizens, and they do, and I’m all in favor of that when it’s legal,” she said. “But to kind of say it’s not so bad because they’re all very nice, and very nice people…is to kind of say, like when people commit adultery because another person is more compatible with them and they go on to have a happy marriage, it’s kind of like, it’s apples and oranges.”

Dinesh D'Souza: Obama Should Be Grateful He Wasn't Born In A Hut In Kenya

In an interview with the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios this morning, Dinesh D’Souza accused President Obama of having an antipathy towards the United States when he could be living in a “hut” in Kenya.

“Here’s the strange thing, you know Obama’s born in America, he’s the walking embodiment of American exceptionalism. If Obama had been born in Kenya like his brother George, he probably would be living in the hut next door in the Huruma slum of Nairobi. And yet even though America has given our president all of this privilege, all of this opportunity, he’s always deriding American exceptionalism,” D’Souza said.

He went on to explain that his movie will expose how “the vast progressive movement that is powerful not just in politics but in education, in media, in Hollywood” has been imposing upon the country a “distorted story of America, a story of American shame that I challenge and refute in this film.”

Later in the interview, Rios said she was “amazed” and “mystified” by the “plotting and scheming” of liberals, something that conservatives would never, ever take part in because they are good, honest Christians: “Christians primarily don’t plot like that. We trust God, so we open every day in prayer, we plan our lives — I’m not saying we’re disorganized, but we don’t scheme, we don’t manipulate in the same way. And I find myself wondering if we can ever overcome that kind of skill. They think this life is all there is, so if they don’t control and scheme and manipulate, that is what they think they have to do in this life, in the now.”

“Well, we do have truth on our side,” D’Souza insisted. “I do think that we have to fight better, smarter.”

Sandy Rios Wants To Impeach Obama For Something That Bush Did

Sandy Rios of the American Family Association spent today criticizing the Obama administration for pushing the narrative that House Republicans may try to impeach President Obama, while at the same time insisting that Republicans should seriously consider impeaching the president.

Upset that Fox News host Andrea Tantaros came out against impeachment, Rios cited the release of a Guantanamo Bay detainee, Abu Sufian bin Qumu, who was later implicated in the 2012 Benghazi attack, as proof that Obama is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Qumu, however was released in 2007, two years before Obama took office.

Bush released over 500 Guantanamo Bay detainees, with a thirty percent recidivism rate.

Rios lashed out at Republicans who want to dismiss the impeachment question, comparing it to the birther issue and arguing that they are treating impeachment advocates like they have cooties: “The so-called mainstream Republicans are bending over backwards to vilify conservatives, it’s almost like the birther incident, it’s like people who are now discussing impeachment and whether the president has committed those crimes, now they are going to have cooties, we will have to think of a word for people who say that, ‘impeachables,’ I’m not sure what you call people like me who actually think it should be seriously discussed.”

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