Shawn Akers

Bob McDonnell Joins Liberty University's Jesse Helms School Of Government

Beset by legal troubles, former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has joined Liberty University as a visiting professor in government.

In a press release yesterday, Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr. (son of the school’s founder, televangelist Jerry Falwell) praises McDonnell’s conservative bona fides and welcomes him to Liberty University’s Jesse Helms School of Government — yes, that Jesse Helms.

McDonnell, a longtime friend of the university, said he is delighted to contribute to Liberty’s world-class academic programs and to train students to make a significant positive impact at every level of government.



Liberty President Jerry Falwell said the university will tap McDonnell’s extensive career experience in business, law, public policy, and government.

“Gov. McDonnell will add another dimension to the educational experience of Liberty students by teaching leadership,” Falwell said. “He achieved great success as governor in making Virginia one of the nation’s most business-friendly and fiscally sound states while getting people to work together for the common good. These experiences uniquely qualify him to teach our students about every aspect of serving in public office.”

Dr. Shawn Akers, dean of the Helms School of Government, said the governor’s recent visit was a pleasant surprise to the students, who were eager to learn from a seasoned leader.

“The students’ eyes lit up when he walked into the class. They were so excited to hear directly from someone who has been on the frontlines of the important public policy battles in America,” Akers said. “The Helms School is proud to welcome Governor McDonnell, who has a proven record in public policy and conservative activism, and who shares in the biblical principles and servant leadership that are so important to Liberty University.”

Shawn Akers, the dean of the Helms School and McDonnell’s new boss is best known here at Right Wing Watch for his extreme anti-gay rhetoric, such as his comparison of gay rights activists to Nazis and his claim that the military now imposes a “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” on Christian service members.

Akers has also derided anti-bullying programs as “a form of indoctrination and reeducation that smacks of socialist and communist countries” and accused gays of bullying Christians, whom he called “the weakest members of our society.” He even believes that “the homosexual activist community” is a religion.

McDonnell is a graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University (then called CBN University), where he wrote a now-notorious thesis, and it was widely rumored that he might lead Regent after he left office.

Barber & Akers: Christians Are Now The Victims Of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk has become the Religious Right's latest cause célèbre after he was supposedly relieved of duty for opposing gay marriage, which Matt Barber and Shawn Akers see as a sign that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is still in effect in the military, only now it is being applied to Christians.

"In just a few short years," Akers said we've reached "a place where it very well seems safest not to mention your Christianity; we may have very well entered a time of Don't Ask, Don't Tell Christianity within the United States military."

Barber agreed, saying that "like a hordes of locusts," progressives are out to destroy "every noble institution that adheres to traditional values and righteousness and upholds Biblical principles ... It's sad what's happening to America now, folks":

Staver: Obama Violating First Amendment by Affirming 'Immoral and Unhealthy' Homosexuality

Mat Staver and Shawn Akers of Liberty Counsel are incensed that a U.S Department of Agriculture newsletter [PDF] promotes an LGBT pride event, or as Staver called it, “the sexual anarchist event.”

On Friday’s edition of Faith & Freedom, Staver said the newsletter is proof that the USDA “intimidates employees if they don’t participate,” while Akers argued that the agency is using Saul Alinsky tactics to wage a “quiet revolution” and a “culture war.”

Later, the two also discussed a brochure on creating an inclusive work environment from DOJPride, an LGBT rights group of Department of Justice employees, which they claim cripples free speech even though it has no enforcement provisions.

“Essentially what we have in this administration is an LGBT affirmative action program,” Staver claimed. “This is the most outrageous violation of conscience and the First Amendment that I have seen within any federal agency to force people’s conscience to affirm something that historically has been, and according to natural law and biblical revelation, is unnatural, immoral and unhealthy.”

Watch:

Barber: Obama Is Trying to Purge Christians From the Military

Last week, Matt Barber and Shawn Akers were discussing the current Religious Right myth that the military was going to start to court-martial soldiers for sharing their faith.  It is not true, of course, but that isn't about to stop Barber and Akers from repeating it and complaining that the Obama administration is implementing a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"-like program for Christianity in the military.

"We have people controlling the reins of government, right now," Barber said, "particularly out of the Oval Office, who are calling evil 'good' and good 'evil.' They are elevating and celebrating deviant sexual behavior in the ranks of the armed services, which is in direct conflict with clear biblical admonitions against sexual sin in both the Old and New Testaments."

And this is dangerous, Barber warned, because the true intent is to purge Christians from the military entirely and open it up to "secular progressives" which will undermine our national security "because as they persecute Christians and conservatives and other who have traditional values within the ranks of the armed services, it leaves a vacuum; nature abhors a vacuum and the kind of people that are going to fill that vacuum aren't the kind of people that we want defending our country, quite frankly":

Liberty Counsel Continues to Promote the Latest Fabricated Case of Christian Persecution

As we have pointed out many times before, once a mythical incident of supposed Christian victimization gets embraced by the Religious Right, it takes on a life of its own as no amount of evidence pointing out that the incident never happened will stop if from being spread.

And that principle was demonstrated today on Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast where hosts Matt Barber and Shawn Akers juxtaposed the news of Jason Collins' coming out against the story of Derrick Hayes, a high school runner who was supposedly disqualified from an event for thanking God after finishing a race.

While someone like Collins is hailed as a hero, Akers said, someone like Hayes is "almost criminalized":

Of course, as we pointed out earlier this week, the entire saga of Hayes' supposed victimization was false, as even Hayes himself admits: 

Based on the UIL’s investigation, the student athlete raised his hand and gestured forward at the conclusion of the 4x100-meter relay. The meet official approached the student-athlete in an effort to warn him of a possible disqualification should that behavior continue. In the opinion of the official, the student reacted disrespectfully. Based on his reaction, the student-athlete was subsequently disqualified. Any decision to disqualify a student-athlete at any track meet must be upheld by the head meet referee. The meet official and the meet referee conferred, and the disqualification was upheld on-site. At no point during the discussions surrounding the disqualification at the meet was the issue of religious expression raised by any parties.

The UIL’s investigation also revealed that all coaches involved were notified prior to the regional meet that any gestures in violation of the National Federation of State High School Associations track and field rule against unsporting behavior would be grounds for disqualification. Coaches were instructed to discuss this with their student-athletes prior to all races.

To assist the UIL in its investigation, the student-athlete’s parents submitted a letter stating that their son’s religious freedoms were not violated. “In looking back at the conclusion of the 4x100 race, we realize that Derrick could have handled the win in a different manner,” KC and Stacey Hayes said in the letter. “It was not our intention to force the issue that our son’s religious freedom was violated. Nor do we feel that way now. After discussing this with our son, we have come to the conclusion that his religious rights were not violated.”

The student-athlete who was disqualified also submitted a letter during the investigation stating: “Although I am very thankful for all God has given me and blessed me with, on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at the Regional Track Meet in Kingsville, TX, my actions upon winning the 4x100 relay were strictly the thrill of victory. With this being said, I do not feel my religious rights or freedoms were violated.”

Even though Hayes admits that he was not disqualified for thanking God, Liberty Counsel continues to spread the myth, thus demonstrating yet again they aren't going to stop promoting a good tale of victimhood just because it happens to be demonstrably false.

Michele Bachmann to Headline Conference with 9/11 & Sandy Hook Truther, Birthers and Anti-Gay Activists

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) will be joining some of the most extreme right-wing activists in the country at the upcoming Awakening 2013 conference.

Akers: Atheists Trying to 'Finish the Job' of Bringing Down the Twin Towers

Last month, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by American Atheists seeking to prevent a pair of beams in the shape of a cross that was pulled from the debris of the collapsed World Trade Center from being included in the official 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Mat Staver and Shawn Akers discussed the lawsuit, with Akers calling it "religious McCarthyism" and saying that it is ironic that "extremists from a particular religion brought down the Twin Towers, but the atheists are coming in to finish the job":

Right Wing Leftovers - 12/3/12

  • J.C. Watts says he is being “encouraged” by supporters to run for chairman of the RNC because it would supposedly help the party reach out to minority voters.  Just like it did when Michael Steele was chairman, right? 
  • Ken Hutcherson goes after Focus on the Family for going soft on the culture wars. 
  • Matt Barber is now calling laws prohibiting the use of "ex-gay" reparative therapy on minors "Jerry Sandusky Laws."
  • Gordon Klingenschmitt is suing Mikey Weinstein.
  • Prosecutors have reportedly offered a plea bargain to Floyd Corkins, the man accused of shooting an employee at the Family Research Council headquarter.
  • Gary Bauer says that it is not social issues that are costing the Republicans elections: "The fact is that Republicans have been pummeled in two straight presidential elections, and both those elections were decided on economic issues. In fact, every time in the last 20 years cutting Social Security and Medicare were major issues, the GOP has lost."
  • Finally, Liberty Counsel's Shawn Akers is worried about increasing blasphemy in America because "that there is going to come a time when God is going to get fed up with all of this, and Christians’ indifference to these incidents."

Liberty Counsel: Dan Savage is Encouraging Violence Against Christians Like the Nazis Did to the Jews

Earlier this month, Dan Savage set off a bit of controversy when he declared that "every dead gay kid is a victory for the Family Research Council," prompting FRC president Tony Perkins to hint that legal action might be taken against him.

Today, Matt Barber and Shawn Akers discussed Savage's comments on the "Faith and Freedom" radio program during which Barber suggested that Savage was intentionally "sending a signal to the next Floyd Corkins to go in and try again" while Akers asserted that he "didn't want to go off into hyperbole" right before he declared that Savage's remarks were just like "Hitler's programmatic desensitization of the German people toward the Jewish population": 

Akers: Since Gay Activism is a Religion, Regnerus Study is Treated Like Heresy

On Friday's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Matt Barber and Shawn Akers discussed the announcment by the University of Texas at Austin "that no formal investigation is warranted into the allegations of scientific misconduct lodged against associate professor Mark Regnerus" over his study claiming to show that children children raised by gay or lesbian parents experience a much higher rate of social and emotional problems.

The study was widely condemned which, for Akers, is evidence that "the homosexual activist community" is really a religion. As Akers sees it, just as the Catholic Church once vehemently opposed scientific discoveries that revealed that the earth revolves around the sun, for gay activists today "the political correctness of their propaganda" will not allow them to accept anything that might contradict their agenda and so such things must be treated as heresy: 

Raymond Raines and the Undying Myth of Christian Persecution

A few weeks ago, we wrote a post about a new report from Liberty Institute and the Family Research Council entitled "The Survey on Religious Hostility in America" which claims to have chronicled "more than 600 cases detailing religious bigotry throughout America."

We noted that one of the cases prominently cited in the report was the story about a ten-year old boy named Raymond Raines who was supposedly yanked out of his chair in the school cafeteria and screamed at by a teacher simply for praying before eating his lunch.

It is one of the Religious Right's favorite tales of victimhood and, as we have noted several times before, it's nearly twenty years old and totally false

The St. Louis case concerned 10-year-old Raymond Raines who, his mother said, was given detention because he sought to pray over his lunch. When lawyers for the Rutherford Institute heard about the case, they filed a lawsuit against the principal and issued a press release denouncing the school system.

"I know it sounds bizarre, but we have substantial evidence to believe it happened," said Timothy Belz, the St. Louis lawyer working with the Rutherford Institute.

On NBC-TV's "Meet the Press," Gingrich described the situation as "a real case about a real child. Should it be possible for the government to punish you if you say grace over your lunch? That's what we used to think of Russian behavior when they were the Soviet Union."

But school officials said the incident never happened. Rather, they said, Raymond was disciplined for fighting in the cafeteria.

"I can tell you he was not reprimanded for praying," said Kenneth Brostron, the school's lawyer. "Do you think it makes sense that the teachers would look around the cafeteria and target the one student who was praying quietly at his seat?"

But that, of course, didn't stop Matt Barber and Shawn Akers from citing it on today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, where Akers bizarrely linked it to the Declaration of Independence:

For good measure, Barber chimed in to declare that "the hostility against religion, Christianity in particular, has reached such heights that government officials are physically assaulting for praying over a meal in the schools.  That's not hyperbole; that's a specific example."

The claim is, of course, nothing but hyperbole.

Akers: Religious Education vs Indoctrination into the Spartan Mindset

On today's installment of Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Shawn Akers was discussing a recent 4th Circuit Court decision upholding a South Carolina law that allows students to receive elective credits for taking off-campus religious education classes.

The case involved a lawsuit filed against a Spartanburg school district, which was interesting to Akers because it supposedly highlighted the difference between the worldview of the Founding Fathers and that held by the warriors of ancient Sparta: 

You see these two worldviews colliding. One is the worldview of the Founders that said that we are a moral and religious people, that our Constitution was created for a moral and religious people and is wholly inadequate for any other. And that not only is religious allowable but it's something that we have a responsibility to train in our children.

Versus another worldview and it's very close to that one we see in Sparta. Do you know what they did in Sparta? They took the children of people at a very early age, they took them away from people at a very early age. The ones that were deemed undesirable, especially young girls, baby girls, were just killed. The ones that were too weak to live were allowed to die. Only the toughest and the strongest were given over as property of the state and they were dictated to from the time they woke up to the time they went to bed to be completely indoctrinated with the Spartan mindset, to be completely indoctrinated with the religion of the state, the state of Sparta.

And we see these two religions, these two worldviews coming head to head. One is that of liberty of the Founders and the other says, no the state owns your children and we're going to train them accordingly.

Freud, Marx & Darwin: The Holy Trinity of Secular Humanism

We already know that the folks over at Liberty Counsel believe that secular humanism is a religion, so perhaps it shouldn't come as much of a surprise when, on today's installment of the "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Shawn Akers explained that the religion of secular humanism even has its own Trinity - Darwin, Marx, and Freud:

I'll tell you something that's really interesting, Ron. There was a poet by the name of William Butler Yeats wrote a poem called "The Second Coming" around the early 1900s and his idea was that every two thousand years, a new God arises. And it was kind of striking that, after two thousand years after Christ, about the time that Yeats wrote this poem, no new God was to be found, or at least we didn't think so.

But it was about that time Darwin came on the scene and told us that you really created yourself by dragging yourself out of the primordial ooze and evolving faster then all the other species. And Marx came along and told us really that religion is the opiate of the masses, that if you're going to be fed, you're going to feed yourself. And then Freud came along and said if you don't feel good about yourself, don't look to a god to heal you, you got to dig down deep in yourself through psychoanalysis and you're your own counselor.

What I find interesting about that, Ron, is that we took the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - the father that told us where we came from, that I created you in the beginning, we took the Son that said I'll tell you that I'm going to feed you and heal you and tell you how to find your substance, and we took the counselor, the Holy Spirit, and we put Freud in his place and said you counsel yourself.

In other words, the new god that arose under Yeats' scheme was secular humanism. It was making man god.

This is a pretty interesting theory, aside from the fact that the works of Marx and Darwin had been published more then a half-century before Yeats' poem and both men had already been dead for nearly forty years.

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