Conservative radio host Sandy Rios joined in on the conservative outrage over Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime show performance and “Formation” music video earlier today, calling the singer an anti-white racist whose “lawlessness” could bring about the End Times reign of the Antichrist.
Rios, the American Family Association’s director of government affairs who broadcasts on the group’s American Family Radio network, said Beyoncé “has become just more and more hard, hard, hard and crass, crass, crass.”
“This video that they have produced and released just before the Super Bowl, I guess the song she performed, it’s called ‘Formation,’ I watched it, it’s just disgusting to me,” Rios said. “It’s not only stoking the fires of racism, just stoking hatred, black hatred towards whites and towards policemen, it’s also just crass sexually. It’s like you need a bath. What is this beautiful girl doing, doing this?”
Rios also criticized the NFL for letting the performance take place in the first place, claiming that it honored murder and anti-American terrorism.
“It’s just in-your-face black racism,” she said. “And also cop hatred.”
After playing a clip of Rudy Giuliani’s criticism of Beyoncé on Fox & Friends, Rios alleged that Beyoncé’s actions contribute to lawlessness in society, which paves the way for the Man of Lawlessness, or the Antichrist.
“Of course, if we undermine the law and order of our country, we will, and probably are, descending into lawlessness, and those of us that understand scripture know that that is a sign of the Last Days,” she said. “The Man of Lawlessness will reign. Lawlessness, the breakdown in respect and honor. And so Beyoncé, who could be such an example to women everywhere, and I don’t care black or white, conducting herself with dignity with all that God has given her, her beauty and her natural talents, instead twisting it into something that is very ugly and very profane.”
This led Rios to also attack female public figures like Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright for trying to demonize men and push “a perversion of God’s order.”
Rios’ criticism of Beyoncé puts her in good company at the AFA, as her colleague Bryan Fischer once claimed that the musician was possessed by demons.
Last week, American Family Association official Sandy Rios spoke on her radio program with a caller who was angry that Rios and other conservatives aren’t talking about the Flint water crisis, where policies imposed by the state’s Republican administration directly led to the poisoning of the city’s water supply.
Rios responded by blaming the city’s (powerless) Democratic city officials for the lead poisoning catastrophe and alleged that the disaster in Flint is less important than the threat from ISIS and “our out-of-control borders.”
She then managed to link outrage over the Flint crisis to coverage of the Zika virus outbreak in South and Central America: “The whole issue in Michigan — the left loves to, they’re now creating this, I’m sorry, I’m going to really go out on a limb here, this Zika virus which I haven’t talked about. They love to come up with tragedies and they love to blame and they love to scare people. I think this issue in Michigan is a serious one but I don’t think it’s the big issue that these other issues are.”
When the listener told Rios that she was “devaluing black life” by dismissing the importance of the turmoil in Flint, she insisted that that was impossible because she had no idea whether Flint residents are predominantly black or white.
While Rios, the American Family Association’s director of governmental affairs, isn’t very concerned with the poisoning of thousands in Flint and seems to think that the Zika virus is a liberal scare tactic, she hasn’t been above stirring up actually baseless fears, alleging that Central American migrants would spread measles, Enterovirus D68 and other diseases around the U.S.
Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who became a Religious Right hero last year when she tried to stop issuing marriage licenses in the wake of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, told an American Family Radio host that she was chosen by God to fight gay marriage.
On Friday, American Family Radio host and American Family Association official Sandy Rios broadcast an interview that she had conducted with Davis, in which she lavished praise on Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. "It's interesting to me how God chose you," Rios said. "Not a Sunday school teacher, not a Republican, not the standard — this is like God, this is so like God, so he chose you."
Davis said that she considered it "a joy to be chosen, to make a stand and to defend my God's word, the infallible word of God."
"You were chosen, Kim," Rios agreed. "I know that. God picked you, plucked you out."
On Tuesday, Sandy Rios of the American Family Association denounced the nomination of Wilhelmina Wright for a seat on the federal district court in Minnesota, urging Senate Republicans to not only oppose Wright but also to block every single one of President Obama’s remaining judicial nominees.
The Senate confirmed Wright’s nomination yesterday, angering Rios, who invited right-wing activist Phillip Jauregui of the Judicial Action Group on to her radio show this morning to talk about the importance of judicial nominations.
Rios told Jauregui that the Senate must stop even holding a vote for President Obama’s judicial nominees because “when you put judges on the court who do not respect the Constitution or are not really loyal to American values as expressed in the Constitution, there is no justice.”
The two moved on to discuss the Supreme Court’s decision to take up a case on the legality of Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which Rios found “tremendously concerning because that court is out of control itself and is not delivering justice, they’re delivering their own personal opinions.”
She cited the Obergefell decision, which struck down state bans on same-sex marriage, as one such ruling, saying she was “just devastated” upon hearing about the “absolutely irrational” decision. “It made no sense whatsoever and I don’t trust them anymore,” she said.
Jauregui, criticizing Justice Kennedy’s “horrendous” opinion in Obergefell, said that the justice is “horrible and he’s honestly a judge that ought to be impeached”
Later, Jauregui claimed that members of Congress would never block the president’s executive actions, giving him a reason to issue further ones of questionable legality. “This is not far from an imperial dictator we’re talking about,” he said.
Rios urged congressional Republicans to “find their spine” and stop spending time hating on Ted Cruz.
Earlier today, Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation spoke with Sandy Rios, a radio host and governmental affairs director with the American Family Association, about the nomination of Wilhelmina Wright to a federal district court seat in Minnesota.
Von Spakovsky alleged that Senate Republicans have refused to put up a fight against Wright, who is scheduled for a confirmation vote later today, even though, according to von Spakovsky, she is an extremist who hates the U.S. Constitution and thinks America is a racist country.
Rios claimed that Republicans aren’t blocking Wright’s nomination because they are “afraid” to oppose a black nominee. In fact, Rios said that “white people everywhere” are simply terrified of passing judgment on any person of color, which of course explains why no one on the Right has ever criticized President Obama.
“I am saying that a lot of this is coming from this fear now of white politicians, white spokesmen, white senators, white people everywhere, afraid to make any kind of a decision or judgment on someone who has a pigment in their skin, no matter what, because they will be accused of racism no matter what,” Rios said.
She went on to argue that Senate Republicans should “put a halt to confirmations” of judicial nominees altogether “because that has nothing to do with color.” Von Spakovsky agreed, saying that Republicans should oppose any nominee for the federal bench because they will all share President Obama’s “radical left-wing views.”
A listener called into Rios’ American Family Radio program this morning to predict that “Obama is not going to step down” from office, much like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, because “he’s going to enact martial law” and possibly stoke a “civil war.”
Rios, naturally, agreed with the listener’s assessment, suggesting that Obama may follow Chávez in seizing complete control over the government through “democratic means.”
“Your warning is very justified,” she said. “I had a South American leader who was teaching me these things who said, ‘This is what we see Obama doing from a distance, the very same thing, the method that’s being taught by — ,’ I don’t know exactly who wrote it down but Fidel Castro was in the center of all of it, this new way of taking over governments. So the warning that you give is very justified.”
She ended by agreeing that we should all pray for Obama not to grab total power.
President Obama can never seem to win with Republicans, who seem to attack him for not talking about the Bible enough and then attack him even harder when he does.
Take, for example, American Family Radio host Sandy Rios’ interview yesterday with Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., in which Brat expressed his anger that Obama cited Christian teachings when he criticized Republicans for their attempts to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S.
The president, Brat said, “is using the Christian tradition and trying to bring about compassion by bonking Republicans over the head with the Bible. It’s almost a comedy routine on what compassion and love is. He’s mocking his enemies in order to compel a larger federal state using the tradition of love.”
He said that the conservative movement “needs to reeducate its people that we own the entire tradition” of Christian love, because liberal professors “have rejected natural law” and religious ideas.
The fall of marriage equality bans in all 50 states following the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision was a disaster for the conservative movement, whose leaders have spent years demonizing same-sex couples and warning that the legal recognition of their marriages will unleash a wave of terror on the nation.
While Obergefell was a major setback for the Religious Right, the 2016 presidential campaign proves that the movement’s anti-gay crusade is far from over. Several GOP presidential candidates have vowed to enshrine anti-gay discrimination into law and to turn the government into an arm of the anti-gay movement. At the same time, more and more conservative leaders are insisting that government officials should simply ignore decisions they don’t like, such as Obergefell.
Even the not-exactly-pious GOP presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, is actively courting the anti-gay Right, although he has trouble explaining why he should be seen as a strong defender of “traditional marriage.”
In the eyes of many conservative activists, Obergefell was the product of a culture that had been slipping away for years, bringing America into an apocalyptic period where growing acceptance for homosexuality is ushering in disastrous consequences.
Weeks before the Supreme Court handed down its ruling, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah declared that if the court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage and conservative states didn’t seceded from the union in protest, anti-gay activists like himself would flee the country. “Are there any governors or legislatures out there among the 50 states willing to secede to offer a refuge for the God-fearing?” he asked, warning that if states were to stay in the U.S. following a pro-equality decision, the world should expect “a pilgrimage by millions of Americans.”
Farah was no outlier. In the days and weeks leading up to the decision, Religious Right pundits roundly declared that nationwide marriage equality would lead to the widespread persecution of Christians and America’s destruction at the hands of God.
End Times radio host Rick Wiles told his listeners that the country would “be brought to its knees” if the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of marriage equality and that there would be “pain and suffering at a level we’ve never seen in this country,” caused by “riots or looting or war on American soil or a fireball from space.”
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay warned the Supreme Court that “all hell is going to break loose” if it “rules against marriage,” predicting widespread civil disobedience as a result of the decision. Republican presidential candidate and former governor Mike Huckabee said the ruling would effectively “criminalize Christianity” and lead to the criminal prosecution of pastors who don’t perform weddings for same-sex couples.
Other Religious Right leaders like Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, and Liberty Counsel Chairman Mathew Staver confidentially predicted that a gay marriage ruling would spark a second Civil War or a second American Revolution.
Alan Keyes called such a ruling a “just cause for war,” insisting that it would “produce the separation and dissolution of the United States” and usher in “the murder of the masses.” “We’ve got to fight to our deaths to save this great country,” Accuracy In Media’s Cliff Kincaid said of gay marriage, which he called “the planned destruction of our country.”
Texas pastors Robert Jeffress and Rick Scarborough also got in the mix. Jeffress said the ruling could pave the way for the Antichrist while Scarborough said conservatives must “fight until we die” and “push back with all our might” against a ruling in favor of gay marriage, which he said would “unleash the spirit of hell on the nation.” Scarborough even boasted that he was ready to go to jail and face death: “We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and if necessary, we will burn.”
As one might expect, the responses to the ruling were not much different from the predictions.
The day after the ruling, Wiles declared that he received a message from God, who asked him to tell the people to “flee” the country before God destroys it through economic ruin, food shortages, terrorism, disease and slavery. “America is over,” he declared. Later, Wiles predicted that America is “going to see gunfire” from people resisting the government over gay marriage. “Somebody’s going to jail, somebody’s going to die, somebody’s going to suffer,” he said.
One Kentucky clerk (not Kim Davis!) even said he would die before issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple. Roy Moore, the chief justice of the Alabama state supreme court, wondered if gay marriage would lead to oppression rivaling the Holocaust.
Staver, the Religious Right attorney who went on to represent rogue Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, said that the ruling transformed America into Nazi Germany and that the Department of Education will now make schools tell kindergarteners to “go out and have same-sex relationships.” (He had previously warned of the prospect of “forced homosexuality.”) One pastor made the case that gays would now try to force straight people to have gay sex with them. DeLay, the former House GOP leader, insisted that he had uncovered a secret Department of Justice memo legalizing “12 new perversions, things like bestiality, polygamy, having sex with little boys and making that legal.”
Michael Bresciani of the Christian Post said Obergefell would lead to “an economic crash much more serious than the stock market crash of 29,” while WND’s Farah envisioned “more civil and racial strife” or “an attack on our country from foreign power or terrorist group.”
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes said that “pastors who refuse to perform gay marriage and preach from the Bible should prepare for hate crime charges,” while Illinois pastor Erwin Lutzer told religious parents to prepare to “be diagnosed as culturally intolerant and personality intolerant,” as a result of which “their children will be taken away from them.” Perkins of the FRC claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision would threaten the freedom of speech and gun rights.
At least one pastor, Kevin Swanson, said that conservatives should attend a gay loved one’s wedding, but only if they show up with cow manure smeared all over their bodies:
Blame for disasters
American Family Radio host Sandy Rios, who also serves as the American Family Association’s governmental affairs director, said that homosexuality may have been “a factor” in the deadly Amtrak crash in May. She suggested that the engineer, who is gay, may have been having a breakdown as he experienced “some confusion” related to homosexuality.
Rios also claimed that “the terror threat against this nation has gone up exponentially” due to celebrations of LGBT rights, as they caused God to turn away from the U.S. and now “we’ve lost protections of God for this country.” Perkins, who also has a show on AFR, said the Obergefell ruling makes America more “vulnerable” to attacks as God will no longer protect the U.S. He also warned that an increase in the number kids raised by same-sex parents will lead to a surge in the prison population.
Fellow AFR host Bryan Fischer specifically blamed flooding in Texas on God’s judgment for homosexuality, saying that “you can make a geographical connection” between flooding and homosexuality. (We wonder what that means for American Family Radio’s home town of Tupelo, Mississippi, which was hit by a tornado last year).
Evangelist Jonathan Cahn said that the terrorist attacks in Paris were a sign that God stopped protecting France as punishment for legalizing same-sex marriage and warned that Hurricane Joaquin might hit Washington, D.C., to punish elected officials who celebrated gay rights. (It didn’t.)
Huckabee also suggested that America is in “a dangerous place” because “if man believes that he can redefine marriage, it’s apparent that man believes he has become his own god,” and God will not protect such a nation.
Wiles, the host of the End Time program “Trunews,” suggested that homosexuality played a role in California’s drought, alleging that news of the state’s “spiritual rebellion” had “reached heaven and God has no other choice but to cut off the rain.” However, Starnes of Fox News repeatedly claimed that a rainstorm in Washington, D.C., following the ruling was actually a sign of God’s displeasure.
Swanson, who advocated for the death penalty for unrepentant gays at a summit attended by several GOP presidential candidates, said at the same conference that gay couples kissing could trigger flooding and wildfires and that a gay character in “Harry Potter” will lead to divine punishment.
Christian Persecution Complex
The Religious Right has a long history of absurdly claiming that evangelical Christians are facing persecution in America, and the Obergefell ruling only amped up such rhetoric.
Huckabee warned that the gay rights movement “won’t stop until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel,” lamenting that too many Christians don’t realize “how close they are to losing all of their freedoms.” Huckabee’s fellow GOP presidential candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, also got in on the action, warning that a gay “jihad” is “going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”
Wiles, the End Times radio host, alleged that gay marriage would lead to the imposition of martial law, while Personhood USA cofounder Cal Zastrow predicted that one day “the sodomite police” will take women’s husbands away from them.
Glenn Beck predicted that Obergefell would result in serious repercussions for the media, claiming that “anybody on this show [who] says they’re for traditional marriage” will have their airtime in jeopardy as the ruling “could mean the end of radio broadcasts like mine.”
Nothing set off more persecution rhetoric than the Kim Davis saga, in which the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk blocked her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of a court order, citing “God’s authority.” She was temporarily placed in the custody of U.S. Marshals after she said she would continue to flout the courts and was only released after deputy clerks started to issue the licenses.
The case allowed right-wing activists to claim that their fears of the mass imprisonment of Christians following the Obergefell ruling were coming true. Davis’ lawyers at the virulently anti-gay and far-right legal group Liberty Counsel went so far as to compare her to a Jew living in Nazi Germany facing the gas chambers.
Ignore the courts
Even before the Davis case, many Republicans had been insisting that government officials may not have to treat court rulings on marriage as authoritative after all, and can simply flout the process of judicial review. Obergefell gave them the perfect opportunity to put these arguments into action.
Cruz declared that the government could ignore Obergefell, which he called a “fundamentally illegitimate” decision akin to “Nazi decrees,” and promised that in a Cruz administration “we will not use the federal government to enforce this lawless decision.”
Before quitting the presidential race, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal lambasted the decision, explaining that “no earthly court can change the definition of marriage.” Huckabee said that if elected president, he would tell the Supreme Court: “Thank you for your opinion, but we shall ignore it.” “It’s a matter of saving our republic to say that, as president, we’re not going to accept this decision, we will ignore it and we will not enforce it,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also claimed that when civil law conflicts with “God’s rules,” then government officials must choose the latter because “God’s rules always win.” Rubio, along with his fellow GOP presidential candidates Cruz, Huckabee, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum and Carly Fiorina, also pledged to sign legislation confronting the supposed discrimination faced by gay marriage opponents.
Such talking points show the success of the Religious Right in claiming that laws inconsistent with the Bible, or more specifically, Religious Right activists’ view of the Bible, should be treated as illegitimate.
Pat Robertson Bonus
While it was hard for Pat Robertson to top his previous claims about gay people causing terrorism, tornados, earthquakes and meteor strikes and using special rings to deliberately transmit HIV/AIDS to people who shake hands with them, he tried his best in 2015.
The “700 Club” host worried in September that gay marriage would trigger a perilous financial crisis, warning that “the rupture of the entire financial framework of our world” could occur because of the Obergefell ruling. He again alleged in November that “the wrath of God” is headed to America now that “it’s a constitutional right for sodomites to marry each other,” possibly in the form of “a massive financial collapse.”
“They’re going to make you conform to them,” he said of gay rights advocates. “You are going to say you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality, you like anything you can think of, whatever it is.”
Robertson praised countries in Africa like Kenya that criminalize homosexuality, urging Obama to “listen to some of his fellow Africans” on the matter, while at the same time warning that gays are bent on outlawing religious liberty and having all Christians “put in jail” as part of their “vendetta to destroy everyone who disagrees with them.”
“Christianity, the founding principle of this nation, is criminalized,” he said in response to the Davis controversy. “You go to jail if you believe in God and stand fast for your beliefs against the onslaught of secular humanism and the flood that comes about with it.” (Robertson, of course, has not been jailed).
He also predicted that gay marriage will legalize pedophilia, polygamy and “love affairs between men and animals.”
Warning viewers that “the homosexuals don’t just want to be left alone, now they want to come out and stick it to the Christians,” Robertson said that gay rights laws are creating “absolute tyranny” and “it's high time we call it what it is and we stand up for freedom.”
The televangelist also offered his patented advice to people with gay children.
He told one mother to send her daughter, who is dating another woman, to a Christian summer camp and “pray that God will straighten her out.” He said that the girl was probably “pressured” into embracing a lesbian identity because “there’s so much lesbian stuff, I mean, lesbian this, lesbian the other, so much homosexual — the media is pushing this as hard as they can possibly push it.” He told another viewer who has a gay son to treat him like a drug addict, and advised yet another parent that God could change his gay son if only the son were to start “acting like a man.”
Here at Right Wing Watch, we listen to hours of video and audio each day in order to find the short clips that we share with our readers. It’s been a doozy of a year, in which presidential politics has collided with the farthest of the far right, and here at Right Wing Watch, we’ve had the dubious pleasure of witnessing it all. It’s hard to pick our favorite/most horrifying memories of the year, so instead we’ve looked back at the 10 most watched videos and most listened-to audio clips of the year.
10. Sandy Rios Investigates The Amtrak Crash
Days after an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in May, killing eight and injuring hundreds, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios pointed out “an interesting part of the story” that was likely “a factor” in the crash: the conductor’s homosexuality.
9. ‘America, Repent Of Harry Potter!’
This was just one of the many bizarre and disturbing things to happen at last month’s National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa, which was attended by three Republican presidential candidates .
8. The Gay Marriage ‘End Game’
June was not a happy month for anti-gay activists, as exemplified by Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, who days before the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision warned that gay marriage was a satanic plot to destroy Christianity and may very well bring God’s judgment on America.
7. ‘Light Wins’
You can imagine our delight when conservative activist Janet Porter announced that she had filmed a new anti-gay “documentary” featuring Republican presidential candidates and members of Congress alongside some of the most extreme anti-gay activists in the business.
The trailer was stunning:
6. Gay Wedding Etiquette
At the same conference at which he railed against Harry Potter, radical pastor Kevin Swanson offered his advice on what to do if your child is gay and getting married.
Reminder: Swanson organized the conference, which three Republican presidential candidates attended.
5. Pat Robertson Comforts the Bereaved
Televangelist Pat Robertson is not always quite on point with the advice he gives to viewers of “The 700 Club” at the end of every program, such as when he told a bereaved mother who had just lost a young child that the child could have turned out to be the next Hitler .
4. The Gay ‘Jihad’
Ted Cruz went there during a campaign event in Iowa in April.
3. Rick Perry’s ‘Accident’
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry had a very ill-timed “oops” moment when he called the mass shooting at a church in Charleston an “accident,” in the process of claiming that the crime was the result of drugs rather than guns.
2. Phil Robertson’s Imagination
Back in March, controversial “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson tried to make a convoluted point about atheists supposedly having no moral code by telling a gruesome hypothetical story about a family of atheists getting raped and murdered.
1. Rick Scarborough’s Martyrdom
Nobody took the hysteria over the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision quite as far as Rick Scarborough, who declared a few days before the court handed down its decision that he was ready to burn to death in his fight against gay marriage.
She took issue with Fox News pundit Charles Krauthammer’s criticism of Trump’s plan, lamenting that he was trying to make Trump supporters look like delusional bigots.
“If that’s deeply bigoted, I guess I sign up because I think that’s a great idea myself,” Rios said of the GOP presidential frontrunner’s proposal. “I’m not sure how we’ll do it but I think it’s common sense. That’s my position on it and I’m not ashamed to say that.”
American Family Association official Sandy Rios doesn’t see how supporting Donald Trump’s call to discriminate against Muslims conflicts with the Religious Right’s supposed commitment to “religious liberty.”
You see, according to Rios, Islam is not a religion.
Rios, an American Family Radio host who also serves as the AFA’s director of governmental affairs, criticized Dick Cheney today for his condemnation of Trump’s plan, insisting on her radio program that Muslims are different from other groups of people because many, if not all, of them are “enemies of your country and of the Christian faith who are bound and determined to murder and destroy and to subjugate you.”
“Islam is a political system, it is tiny bit the worship of Allah and a whole lot a political system, much like communism,” she said.
Rios also told listeners this morning that it is only “common sense” to bar Muslim immigration to the U.S. until, in Trump’s words, “our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Urging congressional Republicans to specifically block the resettlement of Syrian refugees, Rios said, “Donald Trump, as far I’m concerned, is right. Until Congress can figure it out, we should have a moratorium on bringing more Muslims into the country.”
In comments last week, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios joined the many Religious Right figures who have heaped praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin as he has attempted to paint himself as a hero of the Russian Orthodox Church, including backing a series of harsh anti-LGBT laws.
Rios told Mischenko how impressed she was by Putin’s embrace of “God’s way” and the “natural family,” even as President Obama is leading America “on a trajectory that many of us find extremely horrifying.”
“It’s interesting to me that your president, Vladimir Putin, of course was a high-ranking member of the KGB, thoroughly absorbed in the communist system,” Rios said. “And he, now, has emerged as one of the most strong proponents of this whole family movement, whether it’s that marriage is between one man and one woman, the sanctity of human life.”
“Well, whatever his motivation,” she later added, “I think on this stuff he’s got it right and he has been a good leader. These are strange times, that the American president would be leading America, I’ll just say to you, on a trajectory that many of us find extremely horrifying and that Vladimir Putin after Russia was officially, governmentally our enemy for so many years, and certainly on these issues, should now be leading his people to more of God’s way, the natural family. It really is one of the great ironies that I’ve lived to see in my lifetime.”
American Family Association official Sandy Rios took on the issue of criminal justice reform on her radio program on Thursday, saying that the Latino advocacy group National Council of La Raza is supporting reform as part of its goal of “destroying the country.”
Rios played a clip of Hillary Clinton’s recent verbal stumble while endorsing “ban the box” measures , when she said that such measures mean “former presidents won’t have to declare their criminal history at the very start of the hiring process.”
This led Rios to speculate on which former presidents have criminal records, which she said might include Bill Clinton, a future President Hillary Clinton, and President Obama.
“I’ve heard many people say that if President Obama had had to go through an FBI background check, he would have never been president,” she declared.
Rios then returned to serious issues, saying that efforts to reform the criminal justice system are being supported by groups that want to destroy America.
“Well, guess who’s all about this criminal justice reform?” she asked. “It’s shocking, I know. But La Raza — you know what that is, right? It’s a leftist slash communist organization in America. ‘La Raza’ means ‘the race.’ And its goals for this country are pretty frightening. You know, they hate America, they think America, the land itself, should be turned back to … I think Mexico or people of Mexican descent. So, they are about the business of destroying the country, so they are all in favor of this.”
Allan Carlson, the founder of the World Congress of Families, spoke yesterday with the American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios, who was broadcasting live from the event, which is being held in Salt Lake City this year.
Carlson, who retired earlier this year from WCF’s parent organization, the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, was feeling reflective about his decades-long effort to fight the “sexual left” throughout the world.
“Family questions, family issues today, including same-sex marriage, abortion, the retreat from marriage more broadly, those have become international issues,” he told Rios. “It’s a situation, a set of problems found around the globe. And even in third-world countries, they’re facing an aggressive effort by the European Union and now the United States government to abandon their attachment to traditional marriage, to large families, and to embrace [what] we’ll call the Western sexual revolution.”
Rios recalled attending the United Nations Conference On Women in Beijing in 1996 and being shocked to find a “tent on lesbian love-making” and people who were saying that there are “five genders,” and being even more shocked that these things are now in “mainstream thought.”
“Well, you could see it coming,” Carlson said. “It plays on human weaknesses. It tells people that’ve made bad choices that they made good choices. It tells people that they may have hurt their children with bad choices but, no, it’s okay, you’re free, you’re open. So I always knew that there was some very diabolical message that preyed on the human heart here. So I’m not surprised it’s grown. What is an encouraging thing is that opposition has now risen up to it, to this false message of human liberation. And that’s what this event is about, and it’s just one example of hundreds, of thousands of events that are happening and I think are going to grow.”
Carlson also reflected with surprise that Russia — which under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin has been staging a crackdown on its LGBT citizens and has been a leader in opposing protection for LGBT people and reproductive rights at the UN — “has become a very strong pro-family voice at the United Nations.”
“That’s an astonishing development,” he said. “And one of the reasons the Obama administration is so hostile to Russia today, I’m quite sure, it’s not just the Crimea, it’s also the fact that Russia has become a proponent — at least at the official level — of pro-family sentiments.”
“It is amazing,” Rios agreed. “And one of the strongest supporters of Israel. The whole world, really, in our lifetime has turned upside down, don’t you think, Allan?”
On Monday, the day before the World Congress of Families conference opened in Salt Lake City, some of America’s most strident anti-gay voices convened for an all-day session they dubbed #Stand4Truth.
Turnout was small — about 50 during the day, a bit more in the evening — and the lunchtime press conference was delivered to a room devoid of press, but organizers filmed the speakers in hopes of turning the footage into a documentary or other resource for anti-gay activists.
The 11-hour-plus event (counting short breaks for lunch and dinner) was hosted by Sandy Rios of the American Family Association, one of the groups sponsoring the gathering. Also sponsoring the event was the Family Research Council, whose senior fellow Peter Sprigg delivered the morning keynote; Rev. Bill Owens of the National Organization for Marriage-affiliated Coalition of African American Pastors delivered the afternoon keynote.
Sprigg, who is also scheduled to speak at WCF on Wednesday, set the tone for the day by challenging the “gay identity paradigm” and urging social conservatives to avoid as much as possible using the words “gay” and “lesbian” because he said they refer to someone’s innate identity. Sprigg urged activists to separate sexual attraction, sexual behavior, and a person’s self-identification and instead to focus on gay relationships, which he called “objectively harmful to the people who engage in it and to society at large.”
He was also one of many speakers who insisted that advocacy for anti-gay policies is not motivated by hate but by love. For example, Sprigg said that while he mourns the gay men who died of AIDS, “the reason they died is because they chose to have sex with men, not because conservatives told them not to. We do no one a kindness by denying the truth.”
Sprigg, who argued against legal nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people, was one of several speakers who spoke, directly or indirectly, in opposition to this year’s “Utah compromise,” in which the Mormon Church agreed to support passage of limited LGBT nondiscrimination protections in return for religious liberty exemptions. Sprigg warned that compromise with the LGBT rights movement is “unwise” and “unsustainable.”
Also arguing for an uncompromising stance and “zero affirmation of the gay rights paradigm” was Americans For Truth About Homosexuality’s Peter LaBarbera, who urged anti-gay activists to stop playing defense and go on the offense, reclaiming the moral high ground by always opposing homosexual behavior. One way to go on offense, he said, would be by proposing state bans on hormone therapy and surgery for transgender youth.
Other notable anti-gay activists who addressed the gathering included Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver (via video) and Brian Camenker of MassResistance. Camenker said he respectfully disagreed with those who called for always speaking the truth in love. “I think there is a place for being insulting and degrading, and I think I can back that up by scripture,” he said. “I think we have to look at this as a war, not as, you know, a church service.” Rios agreed, saying, “I do think that evangelicals have gotten a little bit soft and not understood warfare.”
Camenker said that in the Old Testament, “God has two sets of laws regarding how you treat your fellow man.” One is how you treat your neighbor, who you might work with and forgive. “There’s a whole different set of rules for people who want to tear down society, who want to push immorality, who want to tear down the moral structure of society.” That set of rules is “very brutal,” he said. “God says those people who want to do that must be destroyed.”
He said the LGBT movement is a “house of cards” that is “held together by force, intimidation, and propaganda” and can be destroyed by standing up to it, the way communism was. “We are in a war,” he repeated, saying of gay-rights advocates, “They would send us to concentration camps if they could.”
Among the other participants were North Carolina’s Michael Brown, Houston Pastor Dave Welch, ex-gay therapists Robert Vazzo and David Pickup, and former California lieutenant governor and anti-porn activist John Harmer.
One premise of the #Stand4Truth gathering is that the LGBT movement and their allies in the media suppress evidence about the causes of homosexuality, the medical and mental health harms associated with it, and the possibility of change through “authentic” ex-gay therapy. The evening session began with a panel seemingly designed to portray LGBT people as lost and miserable: a few “ex-gays,” a person who experienced “transgender regret” and Canadian activist Dawn Stefanowicz, an author whose book “Out From Under” recounts growing up with a gay father and his many sex partners and is portrayed as a cautionary tale against gay parenting.
More to come.
In case you needed any further evidence that the Benghazi Special Committee hearing with Hillary Clinton yesterday did not go well for the GOP, American Family Radio host Sandy Rios panned the performance of the House Republicans as a “disaster.”
After calling Clinton a “consummate professional at lying and covering-up,” Rios conceded today that the former secretary of state was “wonderful” and “looked great,” while Republicans on the committee appeared to be grandstanding and incompetent.
“They are not capable, they are lined up with a professional,” she said. The right-wing radio host was also upset that Democrats on the panel were even allowed to ask Clinton questions.
The hearing went poorly for the GOP that Fox News had to cut away early from its coverage.
On Friday, Ted Cruz's presidential campaign proudly announced that it had received the endorsement of Sandy Rios, a radio host and director of governmental affairs for the anti-gay hate group the American Family Association.
Along with endorsements from Lori Roma, the former executive director of the American Legislative Exchange Council, and Susan Carleson, the Chairman and CEO of the American Civil Rights Union, Cruz welcomed Rios' endorsement:
“I am thrilled to have the support of three of the conservative movement’s strongest voices for families, religious liberty and the unborn,” said Sen. Cruz. “We are running an aggressive grassroots campaign and their help engaging and motivating conservative voters gives our effort a great advantage.”
Sandy Rios is the Director of Governmental Affairs for the American Family Association, one of America’s largest, pro-family grassroots organizations, and host of “Sandy Rios in the Morning on AFR Talk” which can be heard on nearly 200 stations through the American Family Radio Network.
In her capacity as a radio host for the AFA, Rios has repeatedly attacked gays, Muslims and Jews while promoting conspiracy theories and issuing repeated warnings that God's judgment will soon fall upon this nation:
American Family Radio, the radio network operated by the American Family Association, held a fundraising drive today during which AFA President Tim Wildmon called up Mike Huckabee to ask for his words of support.
The GOP presidential candidate hailed Wildmon’s media outlet for promoting the “voice of Christian America,” gushing that the network offers information that people “are not going to get on NPR.”
Of course, American Family Radio is the home of some of the most virulent radio commentators out there, including Bryan Fischer, who was so extreme and bigoted that he was denounced by the GOP’s last presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, for his “poisonous language.”
In the past, Huckabee has been a guest on Fischer’s show, “Focal Point,” where he suggested that President Obama’s youth was infused with anti-American and Islamic teachings. In a previous appearance on Wildmon’s program, the former Arkansas governor threatened to quit the Republican Party if it didn’t condemn gay marriage more passionately.
It would be odd if Huckabee wasn’t aware of all of the insane conspiracy theories and bigoted statements made by hosts such as Fischer, Wildmon and Sandy Rios, who anchors the network’s morning program.
Fischer alone has a long record of making racist statements against African Americans and American Indians, insisting that the government strip non-Christians of their First Amendment rights and make them convert them to Christianity and decrying gay people as demonic terrorists who are responsible for the Holocaust and should be banned from committing “homosexual behavior.”
He even trashed a Medal of Honor recipient, tied gay rights to ISIS and blamed the separation of church and state for school shootings. (Huckabee made a similar claim.)
Here’s just a sample of Fischer’s extremist rhetoric:
Rios, who hosts “Sandy Rios In The Morning” and also serves as the director of governmental affairs for the AFA, has vilified gay people as child molesters, linked gay rights to terrorist attacks, lashed out at Jewish Americans and pushed a variety of conspiracy theories.
Like Fischer and Rios, Wildmon has his own radical record, having decried environmentalist efforts as “anti-American” and “anti-Christian,” claiming that Obama’s re-election would lead to America’s destruction, attacking LGBT people as “vile,” “wicked” and “evil,” deriding the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling as a “spiritual 9/11” and calling for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies.
This is apparently the rhetoric that Huckabee believes is “the voice of Christian America” and one that Christians should eagerly support through their donations.
On Friday’s edition of “Sandy Rios In The Morning,” ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle advertised the upcoming “Safe Exit Summit” [PDF], a Washington, D.C., event honoring “Ex-Gay Awareness Month.” Prominent Religious Right groups including the Family Research Council, the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel are sponsoring the event, which includes a congressional lobby day, speeches and worship sessions.
Doyle congratulated Rios on winning the summit’s “Friend of Ex-Gays Freedom Award” last year, which she said she has prominently placed in her office, and said that this year’s event will focus on how churches “can love those experiencing SSA [same-sex attraction] the right way.”
Rios had her own idea, saying that just as churches developed crisis pregnancy centers — faux medical offices designed to deter women from having an abortion, often by peddling misleading information questioning the safety of abortions — churches should also launch “para-church organizations” geared towards dissuading gays and lesbians from homosexuality.
She noted that one leading ex-gay organization, Exodus International, “turned out to be a train wreck” when its leaders renounced ex-gay therapy.
Later in the program, Doyle shared with Rios a story about how he is currently working to “heal” a “young man” who had “over 10,000 sexual partners in his lifetime.”