American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios is upset that media commentators like George Will are mocking Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for refusing to say this week whether he believes in evolution. After all, Rios explained on her radio show today, “science has done nothing but disprove the theory of evolution.”
“There is no scientific evidence” to substantiate evolution, she said, at least according to “the real experts.” So why has this stunning revelation that the foundational theory behind modern biology has been refuted not percolated through the scientific community? Well, Rios explained, that’s because evolution has become a sacred, religious tenet.
“Evolution has become the religion of the elite,” Rios said. “It’s a religion to the [level of] fanaticism of what they would say was the people at the Scopes monkey trial, the Christians waving their Bibles who were not really thinking through the facts, they were just outraged because it was against God’s law. The truth of the matter is that the evolutionists like George Will, waving their evolutionary theory, have become as rabid and unreasoned as what they accuse the Scopes monkey religionists of doing to Darwin during that time. It has become a religion. Science has disproven so much of evolution…. These guys are wrong, Scott Walker is right.”
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has issued a coupleof statements over the past two weeks explaining that if Congress were to target his department’s funding in an effort to stop the enforcement of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, a whole host of programs would be hurt, including “non-disaster assistance grants” to local law enforcement. This raised the ire of a Colorado county sheriff, who wrote a Facebook post calling Johnson’s remarks a “veiled threat” to sheriffs, which has since been picked up by many in the right-wing media.
Among those who are outraged by Johnson’s matter-of-fact statement on department funding is the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios, who claimed on her radio program today that the Homeland Security secretary is “threatening sheriffs." She also complained about a new DHS hotline that allows people to ask about the new immigration actions and report mistreatment by immigration enforcement, and about the fact that some undocumented immigrants who are now able to file federal tax returns will get refunds.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is thug life,” she declared.
“It is thuggery. It is thuggery at the federal level.”
People For the American Way released a new video today calling out the Republican National Committee for accepting an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel for several dozen of its members from the American Family Association, an organization with a long record of promoting bigotry against LGBT people and non-Christians.
Today, People For the American Way released a new ad challenging members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) for accepting an all-expense paid trip to Israel from the American Family Association (AFA). The ad calls on the RNC to stand against the AFA’s hateful rhetoric about Jewish Americans, LGBT individuals, and many other people in our country.
“The hate of the American Family Association is rampant, from calling ‘Jewish atheists’ some of the ‘worst enemies of the country’ to claiming that gay people caused the Holocaust,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “We deserve to know why Republicans continue to stand with this hate group after years of offensive statements by their leaders. By failing to speak up against the AFA, Republican leaders are showing their acceptance of hateful rhetoric in their party.”
Watch the ad here:
PFAW’s Right Wing Watch blog has long documented the bigoted statements of AFA leaders. Here are just some of the key examples:
Selected Statements of AFA Leaders
Bryan Fischer, Former Official Spokesperson for the AFA
“The Nazi Party, ladies and gentlemen, was formed in a gay bar. In other words, no homosexual thugs, no Nazi Party.” [6/9/11]
Gay sex is "Domestic Terrorism. I Don't Know What Else You'd Call It."[9/15/10]
Native Americans deserved to lose control of North America because "the superstition, savagery and sexual immorality" made them "morally disqualified from sovereign control of American soil." [2/8/11]
All new immigrants must “convert to Christianity” or “stay home.” [4/8/11]
Gay rights activists “are Nazis. Do not be under any illusions about what homosexual activists will do with your freedoms and your religion if they have the opportunity. They'll do the same thing to you that the Nazis did to their opponents in Nazi Germany.” [5/18/11]
Christians should convert Jews to Christianity, Jews and Christians “do not worship the same God.” [8/26/11]
“The purpose of the First Amendment is to protect the free exercise of the Christian religion.” [9/29/11]
"Political leadership ought to be ... reserved for the hands of males" [10/15/12]
People who believe in evolution are “disqualified from holding political office in the United States of America.” [1/2/14]
“Being an active homosexual should disqualify you from public office…we're going to have to choose between the gay agenda and Christianity. We can't have both.” [1/8/15]
David Lane, Founder of the AFA’s American Renewal Project
The separation of church and state is a “lie” and a “fabricated whopper” used to stop “Christian America – the moral majority – from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning and pagan media.” [6/6/13]
“We were established as a Christian nation, for the advancement of the Christian faith.” [1/30/15]
“Vote to restore the Bible and prayer in public schools or be sent home. Hanging political scalps on the wall is the only love language politicians can hear.” [7/17/13]
While “America was a Christian nation” since its founding, now it must choose between being “a Christian nation or a pagan nation.” [7/17/13]
“Homosexuals praying at the Inauguration” of President Obama in 2013 will provoke God’s wrath in the form of “car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa.” [7/23/13]
Republicans who support marriage equality are like politicians who backed slavery in the run-up to the Civil War. [1/29/15]
Americans “grovel to the false god of Islam,” “America, a Christian nation in heritage and culture, is being dismantled brick by brick.” [1/29/15]
Sandy Rios, the American Family Association’s governmental affairs director, is upset with media coverage blaming the current measles outbreak on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children and thinks that the media should instead be baselessly blaming immigrants.
On her radio program today, Rios claimed that it is a “fact” that unvaccinated immigrants are to blame for the outbreaks of measles and Enterovirus D68.
“We cannot lay this outbreak of measles at the feet of parents who have refused to vaccinate their kids,” she said. “It’s their kids who are getting sick, by the way, and that’s plenty punishment. But I would say, and I submit to you that the vast majority of the problem that we’re having is because we have opened our borders to great danger.”
Rios said yesterday that while she personally believes in vaccination, she thinks that parents who don’t are receiving too much criticism, noting Sen. Rand Paul’s recent statement that vaccines have been linked to “profound mental disorders.”
“The thing that I’m resisting is this groundswell of vitriol against parents who have for now a long time decided not to vaccinate their children because of their concerns,” she said, insisting that such vitriol should instead be directed against immigrants.
“The thing that bothers me even more that I have heard no one say, no one, no one, no one, at least not in this current discussion, talk about the effect of thousands of illegal immigrant children coming across the border last summer who certainly haven’t been vaccinated, who certainly have carried into our country diseases we have not seen in sometimes a century or two,” she said.
In an interview Friday with the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore defended a letter he sent to Gov. Robert Bentley urging him to ignore a federal court ruling striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying that he was just like abolitionists and desegregationists standing up against the “rejection of God’s law by the federal judiciary.”
Moore told Rios that the case is similar to his famous defiance of a federal court order to remove a monument of the 10 Commandments from a court building because the 10 Commandments spat “symbolized the rejection of God’s law by the federal judiciary” and “now we see the institution of marriage that God ordained under sustained attack from federal judges":
Later in the interview, Rios asked Moore what he would say to Christians who are upset that he’s breaking the law by defying the federal courts.
“This is not against the law, this is for the law,” he said.
Moore, who in 2004 helped lead a campaign to preserve segregationist language in Alabama’s constitution, compared his stand against marriage equality to a defiance of federal courts on slavery or segregation. He added that he also puts abortion rights in that category, because “everybody recognizes Roe v. Wade is not in accordance with the Constitution”:
I think we’ve got to look back. Courts are not always perfect, Sandy. The United States Supreme Court is not always perfect. What would you have done in 1857 when they came out and said slaves were property. If you were a judge, would you have followed that opinion? Or in 1896, I think it is, in Plessy v. Ferguson, when they said that separate but equal was the policy that we had to adhere to, would you have followed it?
We’ve got to realize that courts, whether they’re federal, state, Supreme Court are not always perfect. And sometimes their rulings will contradict the Constitution, as did the United States Supreme Court opinion in Dred Scott, as it did in Plessy v. Ferguson, as it did in Roe v. Wade. Everybody recognizes Roe v. Wade is not in accordance with the Constitution, but you know, there it is as law. So I submit to you that we’ve got to look at these things very carefully.
Today People For the American Way President Michael Keegan sent a letter to Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), urging him to cancel a planned trip to Israel for roughly 60 RNC members that is organized by Christian-nation extremist David Lane and funded by the anti-LGBT hate group the American Family Association (AFA).
Although we have no objection to RNC members travelling to Israel, we urge you not to collaborate with those who are funding and coordinating this trip. The American Family Association and Mr. Lane have made it clear that they view the Republican Party as a vehicle for ensuring that the U.S. government is operated by and for conservative Christians, at the expense of those of other faiths and no faith, and those Christians who do not share their particular beliefs.
Mr. Lane insists that the separation of church and state is a “fabricated whopper” meant to stop “Christian America — the moral majority — from imposing moral government on pagan public schools, pagan higher learning and pagan media” and has said that his “long-term strategy” is to place the Bible as “the principle [sic] textbook” in American public schools. Mr. Lane has also warned that an openly gay speaker at President Obama’s inauguration would provoke God to allow car bombings in major American cities.
The American Family Association also holds troubling views about the role of religion in American government and regularly promotes false smears against LGBT people. Although the AFA recently sought to distance itself from its own inflammatory spokesman, Bryan Fischer, it continues to offer him a prominent platform on its radio network, American Family Radio. And AFA still employs as its governmental affairs director Sandy Rios, who along with other radical statements, has warned that “powerful Jewish forces” are using groups like the American Civil Liberties Union to destroy America and just this week mocked the notion that “God is fond of atheist Jews who occupy the land in Israel.”
The American Family Association and David Lane have every right to promote these extreme views. However, it is troubling that a major political party is lending them legitimacy.
Sandy Rios, the American Family Association’s director of governmental affairs, said today that criticism of her organization’s role in financing a Republican National Committee trip to Israel is unfounded because Israel “could not have a better ally” than the AFA … despite the fact that God disapproves of the country’s “secular government” and is not “fond of atheist Jews” who live there.
“In terms of our teachings and our biblical understanding there could not be any more strong support for Israel than you find among people who understand and believe in the Bible and believe that God’s hand is on Israel, in spite of what’s happening there, in spite of its government,” she said. She mocked the notion “that God is in favor of a secular government or that God is fond of atheist Jews who occupy the land in Israel.”
“It is His land and I believe He will reclaim it in time,” Rios said.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing today on Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be U.S. attorney general, which Senate Republicans mostly used as an opportunity to attack current Attorney General Eric Holder and to try to extract promises from Lynch that she would break course from Holder on issues like immigration enforcement.
But it might be tough for Lynch to completely appease Holder’s critics on the Right, who have repeatedly attacked the attorney general for working to fight racially discriminatory voting laws and acknowledging racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
In fact, J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department official who has become one of Holder’s most prominent critics on the Right, attacked Lynch today for her statements implying that structural racism exists in areas like voting rights and law enforcement.
“I think that Lynch buys into this same grievance industry about structural racism in the United States, about how minorities cannot get a fair shake ever, that the system is stacked against them, that it’s a collectivist, anti-individual approach to things,” Adams warned the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios.
“I think that Lynch is going to sound a lot like an Eric Holder mini-me when it comes to election issues and voter ID,” he said.
Earlier in the interview, Adams discussed an article he co-wrote with the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky yesterday urging Republicans, as he told Rios, to use the Lynch hearings to “extract course corrections out of the Justice Department.”
In particular, Adams wants the Justice Department to stop hiring attorneys who have previously provided legal representation to terror suspects. (Similar attacks on DOJ attorneys by Liz Chaney in 2010 were condemned by a group of Bush administration officials as “shameful” and “unjust.”)
“We’ve had an attorney general who has turned toward lawyers who have worked for Al Qaeda terrorists, who were their attorneys, to then work at the Justice Department,” Adams said.
“That’s how crazy it’s gotten in the last six years, where it seems that one of the top qualifications to become a lawyer working for the Justice Department is that you used to work at Al Qaeda, or for Al Qaeda detainees.”
Adams demanded that Republicans “get a commitment out of [Lynch] to stop catering to this far-left-wing legal world that hates U.S. foreign policy, that hates detainee policy, that hates Gitmo, that that hates our war on terror.”
On her radio program today, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios raised the prospect that someone in high places may be blackmailing Sen. Robert Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat who recently agreed to delay a vote on an Iran sanctions bill he is cosponsoring as nuclear negotiations continue.
Rios speculated that Menendez has been “silenced” by someone with information about his alleged use of prostitutes. The prostitution story, which originated with The Daily Caller, was discredited after it was revealed that people were paid off to make the false claims about Menendez, possibly at the behest of the Cuban government.
But Rios seems to have missed the fact that the prostitution story was completely bogus, speculating that Menendez is now being blackmailed into delaying the vote on new Iranian sanctions.
“He has a terrible personal — there are terrible personal reports about his life, with prostitutes and young girls,” Rios said. “Remember he just barely made it through the last scandal so when people are not careful about their personal conduct, then they can be silenced over threats. Now I’m not saying — I don’t know that this is happening, but why in the world, suddenly he saw it very clearly just a few days ago, now not so clearly.”
McFarland criticized Louisiana State University professors and students who attended the protest for criticizing Jindal’s prominent role in gathering: “This undermines America. This is borderline treasonous.”
Rios, upset by a sign advertising the Satanic Temple — which is best known for taking advantage of the Religious Right’s legal claims on religious accommodation to force states to host Satanic monuments and materials — held up the sign as proof that the demonstrators were demonic.
“It is tipping its hand to the fact that this really is a spiritual battle and we can see more clearly who the enemy is,” Rios said. “This is really, pulled back the layers, we’re talking about a spiritual battle against darkness and light.”
Later, McFarland described the demonstrations as an “intense spiritually oppressive environment,” saying that he tried to explain to the protesters that “if Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Witherspoon, Benjamin Rush, Patrick Henry were here today, they would be in that prayer rally.”
“But the students weren’t hearing it because their one core value is sexual license and heaven help anything or anybody that tries to stand in the way of that,” he said.
Rios claimed that liberals have steered away from “rational thinking” and are now driven by a “blindness, a passion for their passions, a passion for passion, and they are not going to be logical, they are not thinking about logic, they don’t care, they just want to do what they want to do.”
“This is all about the Father of Lies, Satan, this is really a spiritual battle,” Rios said.
After spending a week denouncing non-existent “no-go zones,” it was no surprise that conservatives steered their anti-Islam anger into attacks on President Obama, especially after his State of the Union address.
Brian Camenker of the anti-LGBT group MassResistance spoke to the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios this week about how same-sex marriage has wreaked havoc on Massachusetts since it became legal in 2004, declaring that ten years of marriage equality has been “terrible” for the Bay State.
“It is very, very scary. It has permeated the public school system, it has permeated the public health system, the legal system,” he said. “It has basically overwhelmed everything. It’s been a nightmare. It’s been very bad.”
Camenker’s remarks didn’t come as much of a surprise given that he once told The Daily Show that marriage equality would somehow contribute to homelessness, higher crime rates, and poorer air quality.
What did come as a surprise was Camenker conceding the point that bans on same-sex marriage are similar to laws banning interracial marriage ... and he did so by defending the constitutionality of anti-miscegenation laws!
On the face of it, the Fourteenth Amendment says that everybody will be treated equally, that the law will treat everyone equally. Well, the law treats everyone equally; everyone can only marry someone of the opposite sex. That’s it. There is no Fourteenth Amendment problem unless you stretch it to such ridiculous lengths and twist it around to claim there is. But yes, every person can only marry someone of the opposite sex. Now someone may say that it was the same issue with the miscegenation laws. And that’s true. The miscegenation laws were not a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment because they applied to everybody. As an aside, I was living in the South at the time when the miscegenation laws were struck down and the interesting thing about that was, nobody paid any attention to it, nobody cared, it was like page 25 in the newspaper, there weren’t these signature drives or meetings and gatherings. Nobody really cared at all. Here it is a much different thing because it really is a moral issue.
The Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia struck down anti-miscegenation laws on the basis that they violated the Fourteenth Amendment. It was indeed a “moral issue” at the time, as many religious conservatives frequentlyalleged that interracial marriages were contrary to biblical teachings and natural law.
At least Camenker, unlike other Religious Right activists, is being consistent in his opposition to the reasoning behind the Loving ruling and court decisions in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples.
On her radio program yesterday, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios alleged that President Obama, whom she believes is a secret Muslim, is trying to bring more Muslim immigrants into the U.S. as part of his plan of “radically transforming the United States of America.”
According to Rios, “the president prefers, defers to the Islamic world, he defers to the Islamic extremists in the Muslim world.”
Rios then launched into a tirade against Rep. André Carson, repeating her contention that the House should ban the Indiana Democrat from serving on the House Intelligence Committee for the serious crime of being Muslim. After false claiming that two groups that donated to Carson, the Islamic Society of North America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, are tied to terrorists, Rios said that Carson should be booted out of Congress for “his terrorist connections, his Islamic terrorist connections.”
“This man, André Carson, does not belong on the House Intelligence Committee, he doesn’t even belong in Congress, this is disgraceful,” she said. “André Carson is a dangerous person.”
An incensed Rios then returned to attacking Obama for “radically transforming the United States of America” through immigration.
Earlier this week, Democratic Rep. André Carson of Indiana was named to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which has thrown the Right into a tizzy because Carson is Muslim.
On Bryan Fischer's radio program yesterday, he and Sandy Rios, both of the American Family Association, shared their disbelief over the appointment, with Rios voicing concern because Carson has received money from Muslim organizations while Fischer declared that it blows his mind that America would ever allow a Muslim to serve in such a position.
"We just had this Muslim terrorist attack in Paris," he said. "Everybody is saying we've got to ramp up our effort to stop the threat of Islam in our country, and now it's like putting a fox inside the hen house":
Sandy Rios of the American Family Association kicked off her radio show earlier this week by telling her listeners that President Obama is a Muslim and alleging that the president’s secret Islamic faith is the reason why he didn’t attend the anti-terrorism unity rally in Paris last weekend.
As indisputable proof of the president’s deception, Rios cited then-candidate Obama’s 2008 statement that he had visited 57 states in his campaign. The tired candidate may have meant to say 47 or to refer to the fact there were 57 Democratic primary/caucus contests, but Rios is pretty sure “the reason he said 57 states is because there are 57 Islamic states, just saying.” Actually, as Snopes points out, while there are the 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, not all of them have a Muslim majority.
Rios also played a clip of an interview in which Obama referred to “my Muslim faith,” which in context, as Snopes explains was part of “a straightforward statement…acknowledging that Republican nominee John McCain had not specifically promulgated the false rumor that he (Obama) was a Muslim.”
“He really does not love this country enough to be its president,” she said.
Later, Rios played a compilation of Obama quotes that have already been criticized by FactCheck.org as severely edited and truncated — for example, one quote Rios used cuts out the line “I’m a Christian” from Obama’s statement, “I’m a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims” — while others are just Obama calling Iran the “Islamic Republic of Iran,” the country’s official name, and referring to the Quran as the “Holy Quran,” which President Bush also called the text.
She also played a clip from the president’s 2012 remarks at the United Nations, dropping his line about protecting images of Jesus Christ from desecration.
Rios also spoke with a caller who told her: “Obama is a lazy Muslim who hates America. He supports terrorism, he fancies himself as a dictator and I believe that he wants to turn us into a Third World Muslim nation under the iron fist of the United Nations.”
“There is no question that his sympathies are with Islam,” Rios responded. “That’s not a debatable issues…He’s putting the nation at risk and he is giving his allegiance more to the Islamic world and to the radicals than he is to his own people.”
Dr. Michael Ledeen, a “freedom scholar” at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who has written about the Paris terrorist attacks in Forbes and PJMedia, appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Sandy Rios In The Morning” to discuss President Obama’s reaction to the violence. According to Ledeen, Obama is an anti-American zealot “who did not want to be in Paris” for the demonstration against the attacks because he didn’t want to condemn radical Islam.
“He doesn’t like America and he doesn’t like us,” Ledeen told Rios. “He is a member of the generation that came out of an American school system that teaches our kids that America is the big problem in the world and that we are responsible for most of the world’s ills. And therefore he believes that the criticism of America by radicals, whether they are secular left-wing radicals or whether they are Islamist fundamentalist radicals, he thinks that their criticism is basically legitimate.”
He argued that Obama is in fact siding with the terrorists: “We have a war to fight and this president isn’t going to fight that war. This president is, if anything, on the other side. He doesn’t like us and doesn’t like the America that we grew up living.”
Ledeen also claimed Obama is “seeking an alliance” with Iran, which is ironic seeing that Ledeen was involved in the arms transfers to Iran while serving in the Reagan administration, as detailed in the Iran-Contra report.
Rios chimed in to allege that Obama supports “radicals” and committed treason. “We have an enemy within the walls of the White House,” she said.
After discussing the terrorist attacks in France on her radio show today, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios fielded calls from listeners, including one who suggested that the U.S. and Western European countries could prevent terrorist plots by imprisoning Muslim citizens in internment camps.
A caller who identified herself as “Shirley” said that Muslims “are trying to kill everybody and so what needs to happen is for America and for France and everybody else, kick them all out, do what was done in the early 1900s [sic] when we were facing threats by the Japanese, lock them up, kick them out and then make our country safe first.”
“When people declare war on you, you have to fight,” she added.
Rios, rather than address the caller’s remarks, used them as an opening to talk about what she sees as a possible bright side to the recent wave of violence: a religious revival in France. “God never wastes these things,” she said. “I have missionary friends to France, they just can’t crack the nut, and I’m telling you, this is when God does his best work, so stay tuned and watch that.”
He said that Christians have to tell Muslims that they are “sinning” just as one would tell a son living with his girlfriend that he is not “okay with God”:
“We have to stand against evil. It’s like when your neighbor is sinning and do you love him, do you love him enough to tell him he’s sinning? Do you love him enough, one of your children, to tell them that what they’re doing is wrong, living with his girlfriend is a sin? Do you love him that much or are you going to take the easy way out and not tell him and let him go on thinking that he’s okay with God because he really loves this girl he’s living with?”
“We’ve got to love the Muslims enough to stand up against the evil that we see them perpetrating in the name of Allah, but at the same time we’ve got to offer them the Gospel of Jesus Christ in one way or another,” he added.
While most of the news on Russia this week has been focused on the country’s ongoing financial collapse, it is important to highlight a report released by Human Rights Watch on Monday documenting the rise of anti-LGBT violence in Russia along with the ways the government, which recently passed new laws curbing LGBT rights, has ensured virtual impunity for the perpetrators of such attacks. Following the report’s release, Russia added a LGBT legal aid group to a list of NGOs that must register as “foreign agents.”
Nothing, it seems, can dissuade many of Putin’s American supporters, several of whom recently attended an anti-LGBT conference at the Kremlin, from believing that the U.S. should adopt anti-gay laws modeled on Russia’s, such as a ban on gay “propaganda” and adoption by same-sex parents.
In fact, many Religious Right activists in the U.S. believe that Putin is on a mission from God to save Russia, and the world, from the LGBT community.
Crush on Putin
It is no secret that many conservatives have fallen under Putin’s spell.
Matt Drudge has called Putin the “leader of the free world.” Sarah Palin has fawned over the Russian leader’s wrestling abilities. Franklin Graham has hailed Putin for “protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda” and having “taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.” Larry Jacobs of the World Congress of Families, the group that helped organize the Kremlin meeting, praised Putin last year for “preventing [gay people] from corrupting children.”
Religious Right leader and Iowa GOP kingmaker Bob Vander Plaats has upheld Putin as a world leader in morality. Josh Craddock, who represents Personhood USA at the United Nations, came back from the Kremlin conference cheering on Russia as a “light to the world.” Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver expressed offense last year that Obama would dare criticize Putin.One Fox News host wished that Putin could be president of the United States, even for just 48 hours.
Any violence against Russian gays, one Religious Right group explained, is probably “provoked by homosexual activists.” Massachusetts-based pastor Scott Lively, who has taken credit for inspiring Russia’s “propaganda” law, dismissed anti-LGBT violence in Russia as a “hoax” and told right-wing radio show host Linda Harvey that if violent anti-gay incidents occur, other gay people were likely the perpetrators.
God Will Favor Russia Instead Of America, Thanks Obama
Anti-gay activists think that God has decided to bless Russia, thanks to Putin’s leadership, while punishing the U.S. for passing rebellious gay rights laws. Pat Buchanan clearly articulated this mindset in a column in April titled “Is God Now On Russia’s Side?,” in which he likened the U.S. and Western Europe to Sodom and Gomorrah and cheerfully proclaimed that “Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity.”
In a February column, Don Feder of the World Congress of Families gushed that Putin had become the new Ronald Reagan: “As my friend and Russian pro-family leader Alexey Komov likes to say: 'Under Reagan, America helped to save us from communism. We'd like to return the favor.'”
Lively made the case last year that Putin is “the only world leader capable of standing up to the West” and could “inspire all the morally conservative countries of the world to adopt a similar law that he just adopted.” In the same interview, Lively called Obama the Antichrist.
“The country that’s acting like it’s part of the kingdom of the Antichrist is the United States of America, and Russia is standing against homosexual marriage, they’re standing for traditional family values,” Religious Right radio host Rick Wiles said in September. “The United States is exporting its wickedness, we’re using our power and might to force nations to change their laws to accept abortion, to accept homosexual marriage and homosexual rights, so which country is part of the Antichrist system and which is not?”
Wiles even predicted that the U.S. would soon go to war against Russia “with an atheistic, Jesus-hating, pro-homosexual, pro-lesbian, pro-transgender military and we're going to go up against another military carrying a Christian cross.”
Bring Anti-Gay Laws To The U.S.
Anti-gay activist Matt Barber said earlier this year that it was “encouraging” to see more anti-gay measures coming out of Russia, adding that he would like to see laws that “stop this homosexual activist propaganda from corrupting children in our nation and we need to see that right here in the United States.”
Peter LaBarbera called Russia’s “propaganda” law an “acceptable” and necessary way to stop companies like Disney from “promoting lesbianism to kids,” while American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios said the speech-inhibiting law was just “common sense.”
One of Putin’s most vocal cheerleaders, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, has called him a “lion of Christianity” and repeatedlydemanded that the U.S. enact similar bans on gay “propaganda.”
Since the U.S. hasn’t embrace such an anti-gay crackdown, Religious Right activist William Murray writes, Americans are now “fleeing” to Russia in order to avoid LGBT equality at home.