Ted Cruz

PFAW Calls on Republican Presidential Candidates to Renounce Frank Gaffney

Yesterday, anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney had on his radio show well-known white nationalist Jared Taylor, who has called African-Americans “crime-prone” and “deviant” and said that his goal is to ensure the “ biological and cultural continuity” of white people in America. On the show, Gaffney said that he “appreciated tremendously” Taylor’s work. While that’s all heinous on its own, seven of the Republican presidential candidates have appeared on Gaffney’s program or spoken at his events, including recent campaign events in early primary states.

People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan responded with the following:

“This is a new low, even considering how hard all the leading Republican candidates have been courting the xenophobic Republican base enthralled with Trump.

“All of the Republican candidates should cut ties with Gaffney immediately and refuse to go on his show or speak at future events he sponsors. The Republican Party should not give any space to white nationalism.”

Additional background on Gaffney, Taylor, and the connections that Trump, Carson, Huckabee, Santorum, Paul, Jindal, and Cruz have to Gaffney can be found here, from People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch.



GOP Candidates' Favorite Anti-Muslim Activist Interviews Prominent White Nationalist

The Center for Security Policy, the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim organization run by former Reagan administration official Frank Gaffney has a comfortable place in Republican politics.

Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz, have all spoken at at least one CSP event, as have a number of prominent conservative activists. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has accepted an award from the group. Just this month, Gaffney cosponsored a rally against the Iran nuclear deal that was headlined by Trump, Cruz, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. Carson appeared on his radio program this month; Cruz, Jindal and Rand Paul have joined the program in the past.

This is all despite Gaffney’s long track record of pushing outrageous conspiracy theories , including birther and “secret Muslim” theories about President Obama, panic about Sharia law coming to the United States, and embarrassing campaigns against people he thinks are infiltrating the American government or the GOP or the NRA or CPAC on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood.

And then there’s this: As the Southern Poverty Law Center spotted, Gaffney invited Jared Taylor, one of the most well-known white nationalists in the country, to speak on his “Secure Freedom Radio” program yesterday and took trouble to tell Taylor that he “appreciated tremendously” Taylor’s work at his racist publication American Renaissance, which Gaffney called “wonderful.”

The two discussed their aversion to the Syrian refugees fleeing to Europe. Gaffney asked Taylor, according to SPLC’s transcript:

At some point there will be a very vigorous resistance to the infusion into these countries of large numbers of people who don’t assimilate, many of them Muslim who bring with them a Sharia ideological program that is antithetical to the culture and civilization and polities of European nations. Do you anticipate, as we’re seeing now evidence of increasing violence, notably against women, on the part of these refugees, not all of them by any means but some, rapes now becoming a serious problem in some of the refugee holding areas, and demonstrations and in some cases worse that are breaking out in various parts of Europe when they’re not accommodated to their satisfaction, that you may see in fact Europe devolving once again into the types of cataclysms that it has from time immemorial with, you know, blood letting taking place. Is that overreaching at this point or perhaps just a distant possibility?

Taylor responded:

We have unleashed now what would not be an exaggeration to call almost demonic forces. We have close to a million now of these so-called refugees, most of whom are young men. They are young, single men. Most of whom have never seen a woman in a bikini in their lives. Most of them are part of, as you say, this Sharia culture that despises any woman who walks around with her face uncovered, with her legs bare. These people are going to be all sorts of trouble for Europe for many, many years to come.

Taylor is an unapologetically racist activist. He has written that "Blacks and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears"; he has urged white people to “rekindle” their “instinctive preference for their own people and culture.” Taylor has been active in the effort to build alliances between American white nationalists and the European far-right, participating in a meeting in Budapest last year, where he told his “European brothers” that “the genetic and cultural effect of alien immigration is no different from armed invasion.”

While Taylor is largely shunned by mainstream right-wing circles, he has expressed an affinity for Donald Trump, telling the New Yorker that “I’m sure he would repudiate any association with people like me, but his support comes from people who are more like me than he might like to admit.”

When Media Matters asked Gaffney to explain his interview with Taylor, CSP sent them a statement claiming that Gaffney invited Taylor exclusively to discuss refugee policy and “was unfamiliar with Mr. Taylor's views on other matters and did not discuss or endorse them.” The group did not explain how Gaffney was able to lavish praise on American Renaissance without being familiar with its contents. 

While Gaffney’s already lengthy record of extremism hasn’t yet caused major GOP figures to distance themselves from him, Gaffney’s decision to elevate Taylor and his work should cause him to lose all credibility among candidates and officials who wish to be taken seriously in the future.

UPDATE: In a statement on the Center for Security Policy's website, the group says that Gaffney's compliments to Taylor were "routine" and that if he had done his "due diligence" before the interview, he would not have invited Taylor as a guest:

Yesterday’s program included a conversation with Jared Taylor concerning a recent article by him addressing the dire implications for Europe, its people and civilization of large numbers of migrants from nations in which shariah-adherence is the norm.  The host was unfamiliar with Mr. Taylor’s views on other matters and did not discuss or endorse them.

Subsequently, Mr. Gaffney had a chance to examine those views and the American Renaissance website on which they appear. There is much there with which he strongly disagrees.  Had due diligence been done beforehand, such disagreements would have resulted in Mr. Taylor not being invited on the show, routine compliments to such guests not made and an offer to appear again not extended.

UPDATE II: CSP has removed the interview with Taylor from its website.

Ted Cruz Names 'Cancer Is A Fungus' Lawmaker To Leadership Team

Ted Cruz is hoping to boost his efforts to win the caucus in Nevada, the fourth state to vote in the GOP presidential race, by adding Assemblywoman Michele Fiore to his Nevada Leadership Team.

Fiore’s record is so extreme and at points positively bizarre that she seems to be a perfect fit for Team Cruz.

For example, she has:

  • Described cancer as “a fungus ” that one could cure by “flushing” it out with salt water and baking soda.
  • Said people should “stop using the race card” since racism is no longer an issue in America, mentioning that she has great respect for her “colored” colleague.
  • Served as a prominent supporter of Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who worked with militia groups to incite a standoff with law enforcement officers who were trying to enforce a court order over grazing fees that Bundy refused to recognize. “Don’t come here with guns and expect the American people not to fire back,” she said.
  • Defended the Confederate flag following the Charleston church shooting as “OUR HISTORY!” and installed “a horn on her truck that plays the same tune as the General Lee from ‘Dukes of Hazzard.’”
  • Faced accusations from the Republican speaker of the state assembly that she used “slanderous allegations” to explain her tax troubles while leading the committee on taxation.

Fiore, of course, is just the latest in the parade of radical figures lining up behind Cruz.

Who's Who At The Values Voter Summit 2015

Next weekend, GOP presidential contenders and top lawmakers will mingle with some of the most extreme Religious Right activists in the country at the Values Voter Summit, an annual event in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, American Values, and others.

Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham and Ben Carson have all confirmed that they will be speaking at the event. Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich have been invited but have not yet confirmed their attendance, according to the event’s website. Jeb Bush, who was snubbed by FRC at last year’s event, declined to attend but will send a video address. Donald Trump is the only presidential candidate to have publicly turned down the invitation, provoking the ire of FRC’s president, Tony Perkins.

Candidates who attend the Values Voter Summit choose to align themselves with some of the most radical activists and organizations working to dehumanize LGBT people, erode reproductive rights, demolish the separation between church and state, and eliminate First Amendment rights for religious minorities.

The Family Research Council routinely smears LGBT people with false and degrading pronouncements and campaigns for a United States ruled by the dicta of a small faction of fundamentalists Christians. Another principal sponsor of the summit, the American Family Association, has an equally extreme record.

In addition to the abhorrent record of the sponsors of this event, the presidential candidates will also be joined by a host of radical Religious Right speakers.

Below is an introduction to some of the people who will be sharing the stage with the Republican presidential hopefuls.

Tony Perkins

As the president of the Family Research Council, the summit’s main sponsor, Tony Perkins heads the organization’s efforts to erode gay rights, reproductive rights, and the separation of church and state.

FRC continually expresses hostility to the rights of Americans who don’t share his conservative brand of Christianity. Last year, Perkins suggested that the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections do not apply to Muslims, not surprising for the leader of an organization that once issued a statement that read, “[W]hile it is true that the United States of America was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage…. Our Founders … would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference." He similarly suggested that Christians who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious freedoms as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those whom he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”

Perkins has also overseen one of the most anti-gay platforms of any major political organization. FRC officials have expressed support for the criminalization of homosexuality not only in the United States, but also in Malawi and Uganda. Senior fellow Peter Sprigg once said he would “much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He has:

Jerry Boykin

Family Research Council vice president and retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the fight against terrorism as a holy war between Christianity and Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. He:

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the founder and head of Liberty Counsel, which is the organization currently representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her campaign to deny marriage licenses to gay couples in her county. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government as part of an effort to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and western civilization. Staver has:

Jonathan Cahn

Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn is best known for his novel “The Harbinger,” which asserts that the 9/11 attacks were a result of America losing God’s protection due to its sins.  Cahn also:

Todd Starnes

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes has become notorious for filing false reports based on right-wing conspiracy theories, especially about the supposed persecution of Christians in America, which of course makes him a favorite “journalist” among conservative activists. Starnes has also:

Star Parker

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

David and Jason Benham

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

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

Kim Davis

Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, became a Religious-Right folk hero this summer when she refused to allow her office to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. Davis, saying that she was acting under “God’s authority” and wanted to use her county office to spread “God’s word,” spent five nights in jail after a federal judge found her in contempt of court for violating multiple court orders to begin issuing licenses. The viciously anti-gay group Liberty Counsel and its founder Mat Staver has been active supporters of Davis and have been representing her in court

At the summit, Davis will receive FRC’s “Cost of Discipleship” award, which previously went to Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was actually persecuted for her Christian faith. Tony Perkins, the president of FRC, has previously compared Davis’ experience to that of Ibrahim, who was imprisoned for converting to Christianity and was later granted asylum in the U.S.

Casey Davis

Casey Davis (no relation to Kim Davis) is another Kentucky clerk who has refused to grant marriage licenses to gay couples. Davis called the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality a “war on Christianity,” and vowed to go to jail — and even die — in order to protect his “freedom” to deny gay couples marriage licenses.

Brigitte Gabriel

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

Pat Fagan

Pat Fagan is the director of summit sponsor the Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religious Research Institute. He has compared a UN report criticizing the Vatican over its handling of sexual abuse cases to Kristallnacht, the spate of violence in which Nazis attacked Jews and destroyed their property while German police turned a blind eye, and  has advocated for coming up with new names for gay marriage, such as “garriage,” “larriage” or “harriage,” so that when he says “marriage” it will be clear he means heterosexual marriage. He has said that Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Supreme Court ruling that allowed the distribution of contraception to unmarried people, may be “the single most destructive decision in the history of the Court,” explaining that “functioning” societies “punish” and “shame” people who have sex outside of marriage.

Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson is a Fox contributor and the editor of conservative blog RedState. Constantly pushing for the conservative movement to move further to the right, Erickson has:

Craig James

Former sportscaster Craig James joined the Family Research Council in 2014. In addition to claiming that Obama may secretly be a Muslim, James has:

Aaron & Melissa Klein

Aaron and Melissa Klein are the owners of an Oregon bakery who were sued for violating the state’s nondiscrimination laws when they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. They have since become Religious Right martyrs and were featured by Sen. Ted Cruz in a campaign video. Aaron Klein has said that denying a cake to a gay couple was part of his fight against “Satan.”

Ed Vitagliano

As research director of the American Family Association, Ed Vitagliano is a vocal anti-gay activist. Not only does he believe “pray away the gay” works, but he also claims that gay rights will lead to the destruction of America.

Brent Bozell

Bozell is the Founder and President of the Media Research Center, which works to expose what it claims is rampant “liberal media bias.”

Bozell has:

Ted Cruz's Favorite Judge Has History Of Racial Bias, Absurd Statements

During last night’s GOP debate, as he was rewriting history about his well-documented support for John Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court, Sen. Ted Cruz repeated his line that Republican presidents have consistently failed the party’s conservative base by putting insufficiently right-wing justices on the bench.

After deriding Roberts’ nomination, the Texas Republican criticized the nomination of David Souter, insisting that George H.W. Bush should have picked Edith Jones, a Reagan-nominated judge on the Fifth Circuit Court, instead.

Cruz’s admiration for Jones should raise eyebrows, as she has a lengthy record of extremism. Jones’ views also offer us a glimpse of what kind of judges a President Cruz would attempt to put on the federal bench:

  • Jones faced a misconduct complaint from civil rights groups after she reportedly suggested that minorities are “predisposed to crime” during a speech to law students. (The complaint was later dismissed by a judicial conduct committee.) The Associated Press reported:
The complaint alleges that Jones said certain "racial groups like African-Americans and Hispanics are predisposed to crime," and that they are "prone to commit acts of violence" and be involved in more violent and "heinous" crimes than people of other ethnicities. The judge also allegedly said Mexicans would prefer to be on death row in the U.S. than serve prison terms in their native country, and that it's an insult for the U.S. to look to the laws of other countries such as Mexico.
Although the 1964 Civil Rights Act contributed to the advancement of women’s careers in society, I would have to defer to others for an overview of the impact of these equal rights laws, when balanced against factors such as the increase of out of wedlock births, the prevalence of divorce, the sexualization of society and the youth. Women’s ‘rights,’ in the end, depend heavily on what goes on outside as well as in the workplace.
Seldom are employment discrimination suits in our court supported by direct evidence of race or sex-based animosity. Instead, the courts are asked to revisit petty interoffice disputes and to infer invidious motives from trivial comments or work-performance criticism. Recrimination, second-guessing and suspicion plague the workplace when tenuous discrimination suits are filed creating an atmosphere in which many corporate defendants are forced into costly settlements because they simply cannot afford to vindicate their positions.
  • She lamented that America’s legal system is losing its focus on divine instructions:
The first 100 years of American lawyers were trained on Blackstone, who wrote that: 'The law of nature, dictated by God himself, is binding in all counties and at all times; no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all force and all their authority from this original.' The Framers created a government of limited power with this understanding of the rule of law - that it was dependent on transcendent religious obligation…. Having lost sight of the moral and religious foundations of the rule of law, we are vulnerable to the destruction of our freedom, our equality before the law and our self-respect. It is my fervent hope that this new century will experience a revival of the original understanding of the rule of law and its roots. The answer is a recovery of moral principle, the sine qua non of an orderly society. Post 9/11, many events have been clarified. It is hard to remain a moral relativist when your own people are being killed.

Far Right SCOTUS Isn't Extreme Enough For GOP Presidential Hopefuls

Last night’s Republican presidential debate made clear just how extreme the party has gotten when it comes to the Supreme Court … which means danger to the entire country should one of them have the power to nominate the next one, two, or three Justices.

For instance, Jeb! Bush praised Chief Justice John Roberts,  but suggested that his own Court nominees would have longer records of far-right jurisprudence than Roberts did when he was first nominated by George W. Bush in 2005:

John Roberts has made some really good decisions, for sure, but he did not have a proven, extensive record that would have made the clarity the important thing, and that’s what we need to do.  ... And, I think he is doing a good job.  But, the simple fact is that going forward, what we need to do is to have someone that has a long standing set of rulings that consistently makes it clear that he is a focused, exclusively on upholding the Constitution of the United States so they won’t try to use the bench as a means to which legislate.

Jeb! revealed quite a lot there.  Roberts provided the fifth vote in 5-4 rulings wrecking Americans’ ability to limit money in politics, gutting the Voting Rights Act, giving for-profit corporations religious liberty rights, elevating religious offense as a significant burden on religious exercise, upholding a late term abortion ban, weakening longstanding laws against job discrimination … the list goes on.  And Jeb! thinks Roberts is “doing a good job,” even if his own Justices would be more conservative.

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, angrily focused on the very few times when Roberts did not collaborate with the Republican Party’s efforts to destroy Obamacare.  Cruz blasted John Roberts as insufficiently conservative:

I’ve known John Roberts for 20 years, he’s amazingly talented lawyer, but, yes, it was a mistake when he was appointed to the Supreme Court. He’s a good enough lawyer that he knows in these Obamacare cases he changed the statute, he changed the law in order to force that failed law on millions of Americans for a political outcome.

And, you know, we’re frustrated as conservatives. We keep winning elections, and then we don’t get the outcome we want.

Mike Huckabee made clear what type of Justice he would nominate when the moderator asked if he would apply a litmus test to potential nominees:

You better believe I will … Number one, I’d ask do you think that the unborn child is a human being or is it just a blob of tissue? I’d want to know the answer to that. I’d want to know do you believe in the First Amendment, do you believe that religious liberty is the fundamental liberty around which all the other freedoms of this country are based? And I’d want to know do you really believe in the Second Amendment, do you believe that we have an individual right to bear arms to protect ourselves and our family and to protect our country? And do you believe in the Fifth and the 14th Amendment? Do you believe that a person, before they’re deprived of life and liberty, should in fact have due process and equal protection under the law? Because if you do, you’re going to do more than defund Planned Parenthood

So Huckabee Justices would help right-wing extremists accomplish their longtime dream of eliminating abortion rights altogether.  They would also change U.S. law in keeping with the current conservative project to make it easier for them to disobey laws that offend them religiously, even when it deprives other people of their rights.

The current Supreme Court has done so much damage to our basic rights and liberties, yet it is not conservative enough for Republicans seeking to be the next president.

Cross-posted from People For the American Way's blog.

Far Right SCOTUS Isn't Extreme Enough For GOP Presidential Hopefuls

GOP presidential hopefuls would make the already-right-wing Supreme Court even more extreme.

Rubio And Cruz Hail Planned Parenthood Board Member Rosa Parks In GOP Debate

At last night’s GOP debate, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz both advocated for adding Rosa Parks’ picture to U.S. currency, with Rubio saying she should be on the $10 bill and Cruz saying that she should be on the $20 bill. Donald Trump also liked the idea of putting Rosa Parks on the $10 bill, but said he would probably choose his daughter, Ivanka, for the honor.

Many conservatives have attempted to whitewash Parks’ legacy, like those of other civil rights leaders, claiming that Parks was simply a woman who was too tired to get up from her seat on a segregated bus.

These GOP leaders may not realize that Parks was actually a political activist for the very same movements that have in recent years become targets of Republican ire.

Parks was an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for more than a decade before she helped to instigate the Montgomery bus boycott, and was a leading member of the group’s local chapter by the time she refused to give up her seat on the bus. “Contrary to the folkloric accounts of her civil rights role, Mrs. Parks was not too tired to move from her seat,” the NAACP points out. “Rather, she had been a knowledgeable NAACP stalwart for many years, and gave the organization the incident it needed to move against segregation in the unreconstructed heart of the Confederacy, Montgomery, AL. Mrs. Parks headed the Youth Division of the Montgomery NAACP branch for years.”

Parks also served on the board of a group that Cruz, Rubio and Trump have roundly denounced: Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders, Parks supported Planned Parenthood, the bête noire of today’s GOP.

Parks received training at the trade unionist Highlander Research and Education Center and attended meetings of the Communist Party, and she and her husband both worked with party members involved in the Scottsboro case. She backed King’s Poor People’s Campaign, which called for full employment and guaranteed income.

Danielle McGuire notes that Parks “worked to secure ‘Black Power,’ fought for open housing and against police brutality, railed against the war in Vietnam, and campaigned for George McGovern.” The New York Times adds more details: “Supporting U.A.W. Local 600, calling Malcolm X her hero, visiting a Black Panther school in Oakland, opposing American involvement in Vietnam and attending the Million Man March at the invitation of Louis Farrakhan, she collaborated with left-wingers and Black Power advocates.”

Today, an activist like Rosa Parks would be at the very center of Glenn Beck’s blackboard.

Ted Cruz Boasts Of Endorsement From Radical Gun Group

At last night’s debate, Sen. Ted Cruz attempted to show his Second Amendment bona fides by touting his recent endorsement from Gun Owners of America, a group that thinks the National Rifle Association is not extreme enough on gun rights.

Cruz boasted of his role writing an amicus brief in District of Columbia v. Heller, the case in which the Supreme Court determined that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms, and his work in the Senate to defeat a bill expanding gun background checks shortly after the Sandy Hook school massacre. He then said that he was “honored to be endorsed by Gun Owners of America as the strongest supporter of the Second Amendment on this stage today”:

You mentioned that the U.S. Supreme Court had rightly upheld the individual right to keep and bear arms. I was proud to lead 31 states before the U.S. Supreme Court defending the Second Amendment, and we won that landmark victory. And indeed, just a couple of years ago, when Harry Reid and Barack Obama came after the right to keep and bear arms of millions of Americans, I was proud to lead the fight in the United States Senate to protect our right to keep and bear arms, and for that reason. I was honored to be endorsed by Gun Owners of America as the strongest supporter of the Second Amendment on this stage today, and I will fight every day to defend the Bill of Rights.

Cruz didn’t mention that he got GOA’s endorsement because he was the only candidate in the race to return the group’s candidate survey. He also didn’t mention any of the reasons he’s the only candidate willing to publicly support GOA.

Although Cruz may be GOA’s only outspoken ally in the presidential race, he has been a good one for them. During the effort to defeat the background checks bill, the New York Times reported that Cruz was GOA’s “key ally in the Senate.” Cruz is the also the only candidate to have agreed to give a telephone briefing to GOA’s members; in his briefing, he praised GOA’s members as “fighters” and “patriots” and thanks them for helping him get elected to the Senate.

Cruz evidently has no qualms about associating with a group that promotes paranoia about an impending race war, birther conspiracy theories about President Obama, and not-so-veiled threats that elected officials will face assassination if they step out of line.

To begin with, the gun group’s executive director, Larry Pratt, has a long history on the fringes of the radical right that was too extreme for even Pat Buchanan, who dropped him from his 1996 presidential campaign because of his ties with white supremecist groups. As we wrote back in May:

Pratt has long stood at the intersection of the “mainstream” right, Christian nationalists, and fringe militia movements. In 1996, he was forced to step down from a position on Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign when it came to light that he had spoken at a militia event featuring a number of neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic activists. Several years earlier, Pratt had coauthored what the Southern Poverty Law Center calls the book that “introduced the concept of citizen militias to the radical right.”

A few days after the Oklahoma City bombing, he spoke to a far-right “Christian Patriots” group on the “biblical mandate to arm,” telling them that whoever had taken on the government “beast” in Oklahoma knew that “they can’t rely on the Lord to take vengeance.”

Pratt continues to push wild conspiracy theories about impending government takeovers and race wars and frequently tells elected officials that they should fear being shot by his group’s members:

In an interview last year, Pratt said that being afraid of assassination was “a healthy fear” for members of Congress to have, because that’s what makes them “behave.” When Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, who had felt threatened by one of GOA’s members, complained about his comments, Pratt doubled down, saying that elected officials should fear “ the cartridge box” and accusing the congresswoman of being “ foolish” and having “a hissy fit .” Later, he boasted that Democratic proponents of stricter gun laws are “afraid of getting shot and they ought to be!”

Pratt also pushes all manner of conspiracy theories regarding President Obama. He has claimed that Obama is building up a private security force within the Department of Homeland Security to use for his own purposes “if he can’t actually commandeer the military”; warned that Obama will enlist undocumented immigrants into a private “ Praetorian guard” and advise police officers to go after people with conservative bumper stickers ; said Obamacare will ultimately “take away your guns”; feared Obama is stockpiling “anti-personnel rounds” because he “ seems to view the American people as the enemy”; claimed that Obama “had to steal” the 2012 presidential election and even buys into the fringe birther theory that holds that the president’s “real father” was labor activist Frank Marshall Davis.

Pratt repeatedly suggests that President Obama will seek to bring violence against white Christians, possibly in the form of race riots. In a 2013 conversation with far-right pundit Stan Solomon, Pratt predicted that “there is inevitably going to be some kind of social implosion, some kind of neighbor-against-neighbor” violence brought about by “these folks in power.” When Solomon predicted that that “implosion” would take the form of a race war pitting “black, Muslim and/or atheist…have-nots” on “Christian, heterosexual white haves,” Pratt replied that he wasn’t “stretching” anything.

Just this week, Pratt joined conspiracy theorist extraordinaire Alex Jones to discuss how the military and police departments will be ready to turn on President Obama if he tries to impose any sort of tyrannical government.

Jade Helm 15 Is Over And Obama Didn't Even Invade Texas!

For most of the summer, a military training exercise called Jade Helm 15 captivated the imaginations of the Right, striking fear into the hearts of Republican presidential candidates, members of Congress and even governors. Latching on to a conspiracy theory that originated in the far-right fringes of the internet, they warned that the training exercise was in fact part of a plot by President Obama to invade Texas, impose martial law and abolish civil liberties.

At one point, one-third of Republican voters and half of all Tea Party supporters feared that the federal government was “trying to take over Texas,” with another 28 percent of GOP voters saying that they were not sure whether or not the plot existed.

Outlets such as WorldNetDaily and InfoWars, far-right sites that also regularly host Republican politicians, led the way in spreading the conspiracy theories. But the theories soon spread beyond the far-right, and suddenly people had to debate whether the government would use secret tunnels, closed Walmart stores and cattle cars as part of an increasingly fantastical plot to eviscerate American freedom.

Unsurprisingly, the people who were pushing conspiracy theories about the military training exercise fell silent when it became clear that none of the scenarios they predicted had materialized. Jade Helm 15 proceeded as planned over the summer officially ended today without a federal takeover of Texas.

However, the exercise didn’t go without incident, as it was the target of violent attacks and a deadly plot from far-right militants who thought “that the federal government intended to use the armed forces to impose martial law in the United States.”

This was far from the first time that right-wing activists had cooked up strange theories about President Obama trying to wage war against the American public. But this time, presidential candidates were fielding questions about the military exercise. Ted Cruz and Rick Perry used the conspiracy theories as a way to criticize Obama, blaming him for the increasing fears about the exercise, while Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, repeatedly suggested that the exercise was designed by the Obama administration to vilify people living in conservative states like Texas.

Perhaps no one furthered the cause of Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theorists more than Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who ordered the Texas State Guard to “monitor Operation Jade Helm 15 ” and give him “regular updates on the progress sand safety of the Operations” to ensure that Texans’ “safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties” would “not be infringed.” Texas State Guard officials viewed the order as a “great opportunity” to find new recruits, but conspiracy theorists used it as an excuse to pounce.

Religious Right broadcaster Rick Wiles emerged as a champion of the Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theory, telling viewers that it represented “the preparation for or the actual implementation of a roundup of patriotic men who have the capacity to influence and inspire the citizenry to resist a coup against the republic.” Wiles described Jade Helm 15 as a “two-month-long Night of the Long Knives” in which Obama might launch a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attacks against conservative states. “I believe that they would level the state of Texas, I believe they would use an EMP against Texas,” he said.

When Wiles appeared on “The Jim Bakker Show,” he and Bakker wondered if they would soon end up in jail as a result of the military drill:

Wiles also worried that the exercise would allow President Obama to “ seize power illegally.”

He wasn’t alone in that view.

Matt Barber’s website BarbWire ran a column warning that Jade Helm 15 could be “the final exercise before the Obama-Jarrett team install Martial Law nationwide.” WorldNetDaily even consulted a “Bible prophecy expert” for an article asking if Jade Helm 15 was proof that the government was “preparing for some major future event that will bring chaos to America.”

Paul Vallely, a former Army general turned radical right-wing activist who once volunteered to lead a right-wing coup against Obama, said that the military exercise was giving Obama an opportunity to impose martial law.

“We know full well that Obama would declare martial law at the earliest opportunity if he could,” Vallely said. “I’ve seen the documents, it gives them plenty of latitude to start talking about how do you control the civilian population if they rise up? And that’s part of what Obama is trying to do and the question that came out again, ‘Will the military turn on the American people if Obama decides to do any kind of a martial law activity?’ That’s what the American people are concerned about.”

This fear also found a receptive audience in the Oath Keepers, a militant group that won notoriety when its armed members flocked to the Bundy ranch to stage a a standoff with law enforcement officers. Following the Bundy incident, the organization has been trying to find a new cause, such as Kim Davis, Ferguson, or, of course, Jade Helm 15. The group’s fear of Jade Helm 15 makes perfect sense considering that its entire reason for existing is to tell law enforcement officers that they should defy unconstitutional orders that may be coming down the pike, such as a command to throw Americans into concentration camps.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes said that “Jade Helm is in part conditioning and vetting of the military to see who will and will not go along” with a future plot to repress Americans. “I think they’re figuring out who is loyal and who is not loyal and who is likely to go along, with the town councils and county commissioners as well,” he said.

“I think it is very likely that you’re going to see scenarios shift from supposedly being practicing for overseas, all the sudden it will be, ‘oh, today we are going to take down a compound of skinheads,’ or whatever least favorable people they can name domestically and get the guys to go along with it, see who does and doesn’t go along,” Rhodes said. “I think it’s also conditioning and assessment and vetting of the local politicians. Who raises questions? Who has any serious, meaningful questions about what we’re doing with this exercise? They put their name down. I think they’re figuring out who is loyal and who is not loyal and who is likely to go along, with the town councils and county commissioners as well.”

He claimed that the government was using Jade Helm 15 to send a message to the public, particularly “veterans, gun owners and anyone who is a constitutionalist,” that “resistance is futile” and if you object “Navy Seals and Delta Forces will come get you.”

“Jade Helm is definitely NOT meant to prepare troops for foreign operations,” read one article on the group’s website. “The program is admitted to be a primer for military response to ‘crisis scenarios,’ denoting domestic operation…. And they are training and infiltrating completely American environments, which they would not be doing unless they planned to operate in very similar environments.” Citing the plot of a Chuck Norris movie, the post claimed that the government would present Jade Helm 15 as a way to save the country from ISIS terrorist attacks:

Maybe I am connecting dots that are not dots, but it seems to me that the timing of ISIS warnings, the re-ignition of economic downturn in 2014/2015, the global shift away from the dollar, and Jade Helm are not entirely coincidental. Martial Law is not a scenario that can be generated in a vacuum; it needs a primer, a trigger event, if not multiple trigger events.

If the final trigger event is indeed intended to be a terror campaign on U.S. soil, then questions of the true purpose of Jade Helm will undoubtedly take a back seat to immediate solutions to what amounts to a foreign invasion (at least, that is how it will be painted), and none other than Jade Helm will be presented as that solution.

“ISIS has long been a collaborative creation of the U.S. government and its allies,” the post continued. “So should Americans be forced to relinquish their freedoms in order to combat an enemy that our own government engineered out of thin air?”

Another Oath Keepers post put it this way:

It strikes many people as a portentous government plan, a pre-fabricated and pre-constructed umbrella under which a black op by the Deep State’s compartmentalized agencies could possibly ‘Go Live’ in a fantastic sort of Shock and Awe False Flag psycho-coup to jar the public mind of America through fear into acceptance of some nefarious policy the government desired, such as the establishment of Martial Law and the complete loss of individual liberty and our Constitution. To do that, the public mind must be conditioned first. That is part of what is behind the Special Operation Command’s Jade Helm 15.

Now that Jade Helm 15 is over and literally nothing anyone predicted about a massive military operation intruding on the rights of Americans actually came true, don’t expect this to be a moment for right-wing politicians, activists and media personalities to reconsider their tried-and-true practice of carelessly engaging in baseless conspiracy theories.

If anything, the widespread belief in an imminent invasion of Texas among Republican voters, along with the success in early presidential polls of outspoken conspiracy theorists like Donald Trump and Ben Carson — the former of whom suggested that the 2012 election was a “total sham” and the latter that Obama may cancel the 2016 election — may actually give Republicans more reason to push the most wild conspiracy theories about Obama, no matter how bizarre or dangerous.

Ted Cruz Seeks To Solidify Christian Right Support With Attacks On Planned Parenthood

As we have noted recently, there’s evidence that Ted Cruz is consolidating support from influential Religious Right leaders. That includes pseudo-historian David Barton, billionaire fracking brothers Farris and Dan Wilks, and anti-choice activists behind the group Online for Life.

But Cruz is still well back in the polls, and evangelical voters are currently showing a preference for Donald Trump and Ben Carson, whose support has been rising since the first Republican debate.

Carson is now polling second to Donald Trump and ahead of Jeb Bush, with the New York Times reporting this weekend his growing support from Religious Right activists. Earlier this month, a Quinnipiac survey of likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa had Carson leading Trump 27-20 among born-again evangelicals; Cruz was in third at 12 percent.

Cruz is hoping to boost his support among evangelicals by leading an effort in Congress this month to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. Last month Cruz partnered with GOP political operative and Christian-nation extremist David Lane to encourage pastors to preach sermons against Planned Parenthood.

Lane has argued that conservative evangelicals need to unite behind a single candidate to prevent the nomination of an unacceptably establishment figure along the lines of John McCain and Mitt Romney — and he has organized many events for pastors to meet GOP presidential candidates. Cruz backers like Barton and the Wilks brothers are close allies of Lane —  and the Wilks brothers are big funders of Lane’s organizing projects as well as Online for Life.

Lane, who has had kind words for Donald Trump, has not publicly endorsed a candidate, but he has previously been dismissive of Ben Carson’s candidacy. He told the Washington Post’s Sebastian Payne last year, “Anyone who votes for Ben Carson has no idea what they are doing politically. He’s got zero chance of becoming president or getting the Republican nomination.”

5 Of The Most Absurd Moments At the Tea Party Rally Against the Iran Deal

Earlier this week, headliners such as Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and numerous Republican congressman spoke at a rally on Capitol Hill aimed at rallying congressional opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran. These are some of the stand-out moments from the three-hour event.

1 . When Donald Trump assured the crowd that Iran is terrified of him

After entering to R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” (which R.E.M., it turns out, did not appreciate), Trump wasted no time in simultaneously bashing the Obama administration and extolling the merits of his own negotiating power.

“I’ve been doing deals for a long time,” he said. “I’ve been making lots of wonderful deals, great deals, that’s what I do. Never, ever, ever in my life have I seen any transaction so incompetently negotiated as our deal with Iran. Never.”

Trump is so confident in his deal-making skills that he believes if he is elected president Iran will bend to his will before he even takes office. Trump asserted that the four Americans currently held hostage by the Iranian government “are never going to come back with this group,” referring to the Obama administration and members of Congress who support the nuclear deal with Iran. However, according to Trump, “those four prisoners are back in our country before he ever takes office,” simply because Iranian leaders will be too scared of Trump to defy him.

2 . When Sarah Palin didn’t make any sense

As Sarah Palin took to the podium, she thanked the crowd for showing up in the D.C. heat to help “bring sanity to this discussion.” She didn’t exactly lead by example.

“Only in an Orwellian Obama world full of sprinkly fairy dust blown from atop his unicorn as he’s peeking through a really pretty pink kaleidoscope would he ever see victory or safety for America or Israel in this treaty,” the former GOP vice presidential nominee said.

3 . When Sarah Palin referred to Black Lives Matter protestors as Obama’s “dogs”

In between lauding the crowd and criticizing the Iran Deal, Palin took a minute to thank American police officers. However, her delivery of this message was careless and offensive.

“Since our president won’t say it, since he still won’t call of the dogs, we’ll say it: Police officers and first responders all across this great land, we got you’re back! We salute you!”

Palin, who has a history of racially insensitive remarks, seems oblivious to the implications of referring to Black Lives Matter protestors as Obama’s animals, especially at a rally that was already displaying hostility towards the movement.


4 . When the audience supported Donald Trump’s sexism

When Donald Trump took the stage, an audience member raised this homemade poster of Rosie O’Donnell’s face.

At the first Republican presidential primary debate in August, moderator Megyn Kelly had remarked that Trump did not seem to have a “politician’s filter,” especially when it came to comments about women. Trump responded by saying he only had referred to Rosie O’Donnell as “ fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” His words were met with laughter and applause at the August debate, so it is no surprise that the poster was met with laughter and jeers by nearby crowd members.

5 . When the audience believed that Obama hates America

It is no surprise that the protestors at this rally believe that Obama supports the nuclear deal because he wants to aid Iran and destroy America, since many of the speakers that they came to see preach this on a regular basis. Rep. Louie Gohmert has expressed his beliefs that progressives and radical Muslims are working together to destroy America and that Obama has connections with Islamic states, Mark Levin has claimed that Obama is more Muslim than Christian , and Glenn Beck has repeatedly said on his radio show that Obama is planning a military takeover of the United States.

Here are some of the signs that rally-goers held.


Anti-Gay Psuedo-Historian David Barton Tapped To Run Ted Cruz's Super PAC

David Barton is a long-time Religious Right activist and Christian nation pseudo-historian whose 2012 book about Thomas Jefferson so shoddy that it was pulled from circulation by its Christian publisher. Promoting inaccurate, misleading, and downright false information has been a hallmark of Barton's career and a centerpiece of his effort to institute a virtual theocracy in America in which our nation's laws are literally based upon the Bible.

Naturally, he has now been tapped to take over the super PAC supporting Ted Cruz's presidential campaign:

David Barton, an influential Christian author and activist, is taking charge of the leading super-PAC supporting Ted Cruz.

The super-PAC, Keep the Promise PAC, is the umbrella for a group of related pro-Cruz political committees that raised $38 million in the first half of the year, more than the super-PACs supporting any other candidate with the exception of Jeb Bush.

"From the outset, the Keep the Promise PACs made their mission to provide a voice for the millions of courageous conservatives who are looking to change the direction of the country," Keep the Promise PAC said in a statement today. "Barton's involvement is an important step signaling that the effort will not be run by a D.C. consultant but by a grassroots activist."

A long-time vice-chairman of the Texas Republican Party, where he is based, Barton is notorious for exaggerating his own accomplishments and for regularly making outrageous statements such as his assertions that the Founding Fathers opposed the teaching of evolution, that the Bible opposes Net Neutrality, and that Jesus opposes the minimum wage.

He believes that demons control the government and is also a Second Amendment radical who insists that there should literally be no limits on what sort of weapons individuals can own, including tanks, jet fighters, or nuclear weapons.

But most of all, Barton is vehemently anti-gay, claiming that schools are forcing students to be gay and that the government should regulate gay sex. Recently, he has been telling audiences that the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage will force all student athletes to share the same locker rooms and churches to hire pedophiles to run their nurseries while requiring the military to protect those who engage in bestiality.

Barton also believes that homosexuality is "reprehensible and disgusting" and "very repugnant" and that the government can outlaw it. He has also repeatedly asserted that a cure for AIDS will never be found because the disease is God's punishment for sin:

And now he has been placed in charge of coordinating millions of dollars to help elect Ted Cruz to be the next president.

Meet The Conspiracy Theorist Behind The Trump/Palin/Cruz Iran Rally

Today, conservative reality TV stars Donald Trump, Sarah Palin and Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson will be addressing a rally headlined by Ted Cruz and Glenn Beck in opposition to the Iran nuclear accord.

With such an all-star lineup, it may be easy to miss that one of the rally’s sponsors is none other than the Center for Security Policy, a far-right group led by anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney.

Gaffney’s role in organizing an event headlined by the likes of Cruz, Beck and Palin — who all believe that Sharia law is coming to America — may be fitting, considering that Gaffney is one of the most unintentionally hilarious right-wing conspiracy theorists out there:

1) Birther

Like Trump, Gaffney is a proud birther, citing a made-up quote falsely attributed to President Obama and pushed by Trump as proof that the president was not born in the U.S.

2) Obama Is A Secret Muslim!

Gaffney is positively convinced that Obama is not only bolstering radical Islamists but is also “talking like one and perhaps believing like one,” suggesting that “he isn’t the Christian he claims to be.” He has also alleged that Obama has “a profound affinity for” Islamism and wrote that “Barack Hussein Obama would have to be considered America's first Muslim president.”

3) President Obama Bringing Sharia Law

In the run-up to the 2012 election, Gaffney accused the Obama administration of supporting a United Nations resolution that would have legitimized blasphemy laws. In reality, the Obama administration actually forcefully opposed the resolution in question, with the president personally speaking out against blasphemy laws during a United Nations address.

But that didn’t stop Gaffney from claiming that the exact opposite had happened and warning that the president would begin to ban anti-Islamic speech in the U.S. as he pushes “the Sharia blasphemy agenda of our enemies, that is to say suppressing freedom of expression in this country which is our constitutional right.”

“President Obama, from his first months in office, has been enabling in this country an insidious effort by Islamic supremacists to keep us from engaging in speech, videos, training or other forms of expression that offend Muslims, their god, prophet and faith,” he wrote, warning that Obama has “brought U.S. diplomacy and government practice into closer and closer alignment with the demands of Islamists that such 'slanders' be prohibited and criminalized.” By giving “policymaking and advisory” roles to “persons with extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood,” Gaffney claimed, Obama is going to try to “restrict your freedom of expression.”

Gaffney, who has likened Obama to Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, suggested last year that Obama would cave to “stealth jihadist groups” and allow for the criminalization of anti-Islamic speech on the internet.

4) Chuck Hagel Is A Secret Agent

Back in 2013, as Sen. Ted Cruz was wondering out loud if Chuck Hagel, then the nominee to serve as U.S. secretary of defense, was secretly working for North Korea or Saudi Arabia, Gaffney was just asking if Hagel was in fact be an Iranian secret agent.

“You couldn’t find a guy who has been more active in terms of promoting the interests of Iran at the expense of the United States than Chuck Hagel other than somebody who is actually an Iranian agent,” he said. “I’m not suggesting that he is, I don’t know, but I certainly think that’s the point of comparison here because it’s almost that full-throated.”

5) Huma Abedin Is A Muslim Brotherhood Agent

Gaffney helped engineer the witch hunt taken up by several GOP congressmen including then-Rep. Michele Bachmann against Abedin, an aide to Hillary Clinton, and other Muslim-Americans serving in the Obama administration. Gaffney claimed that Abedin “has extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood” and was part of “ this enemy inside the wire.”

“Ms. Abedin was brilliantly placed to run Islamist influence operations for sixteen years under the recently departed Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,” he said.

6) Restore HUAC

In order to find all of these Muslim Brotherhood agents who have infiltrated the U.S. government, Gaffney said that we need “a new House Anti-American Activities Committee” to find the “treasonous” actors inside the administration.

7) Chris Christie Committed Treason

Gaffney was very offended in 2011 when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie derided the “crazy” rhetoric about Sharia law coming to the U.S. In fact, he was so offended that he thought Christie could be committing “misprision of treason,” or the act of concealing treasonous acts against the U.S.

8) Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrated The GOP

Gaffney believes that “folks with the Muslim Brotherhood associations” have been “active even to this day in conservative circles,” particularly within the Republican Party, the National Rifle Association and the American Conservative Union. His claim that the ACU has been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood even got him banned from CPAC, the group’s annual conference, after the organization released a report debunking his claims that conservative leaders Grover Norquist and Suhail Kahn are Muslim Brotherhood agents. Gaffney also tried to convince Beck to leave the NRA in protest of Norquist’s membership in the group’s board, forcing the NRA to open an investigation into Norquist’s supposed Islamist ties.

But like all of Gaffney’s other conspiracy theories, this one didn’t exactly pan out as Norquist was easily re-elected to the group’s board of directors.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/8/15

  • Rep. Louie Gohmert says that he may not run for re-election if the Iran nuclear deal is not defeated. Apparently, he thinks that is some sort of threat.
  • Robert Reilly, author of "Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything," will be the keynote speaker at Peter LaBarbera's annual fundraising dinner next month.
  • Larry Pratt and the radical Second Amendment activists over at Gun Owners of America have endorsed Ted Cruz for president.
  • If this quote from Sarah Palin doesn't perfectly sum up today's GOP, I don't know what does: "I think I’d rather have a president who is tough and puts America first than can win a game of Trivial Pursuit."
  • Matt Barber wants "a million more bold Christians like Kim Davis."
  • A.J. Castellitto agrees that "we must all become Kim Davis" because the gay "agenda is the undermining of the Godly standard and the normalization of homosexuality. The intentions are fundamental demonic transformation of the culture and eradication of the last remnants of Christian truth from mainstream society."
  • Finally, Donald Trump never served in the military but he "always felt that I was in the military" because he attended a military-themed boarding school where he received "more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military."

Cruz And Perry Join Pastor Who Warns God Will Wreak Judgment On America For Gay Marriage

GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rick Perry tried to burnish their Religious Right credentials this weekend by speaking at a “We Stand With God” rally in front of the South Carolina capitol, where Perry promised that he would root out corruption in Washington just like Jesus kicked the money changers out of the Temple and Cruz warned that the U.S. will soon be throwing pastors in jail like Iran.

The keynote address of the event was given by North Carolina Baptist pastor Ron Baity — previously known for warning that God would send a calamity worse than the Ebola virus in punishment for gay marriage — who told the crowd that marriage equality and legal abortion are inviting God’s judgment on America.

Pastors, he said, must stand up to criticism and preach that homosexuality is an “abomination” and “preach against Planned Parenthood.”

“The judgment of God will eventually fall on a nation that cheapens marriage,” he warned. “God had an urban renewal program for Sodom and Gomorrah!”

Baity warned that the U.S. will soon have to change its national bird from the eagle to the buzzard because “we have come to a time in America where we are ashamed of the old-time religion, we are ashamed of the Word of God, we are ashamed by the pastor that would stand in the pulpit, dare to raise his voice, point his index finger and dare to say, ‘Here’s the way, walk me in.’”

Ted Cruz: God Will Heal America If More Evangelicals Start Voting

Repeating the message he recently gave to the viciously anti-gay American Family Association, Sen. Ted Cruz told a conservative Christian rally in South Carolina this weekend that “we live in a country where life is under assault, where marriage is under assault, where faith is under assault” because evangelicals have failed to vote in great enough numbers. If they finally do, he said, God “will heal our land.”

Cruz urged pastors in the crowd to preach against Planned Parenthood and attacked the Supreme Court’s “fundamentally illegitimate, lawless decision that purports to tear down the marriage laws of every state.”

“Marriage was ordained by God Almighty and Caesar has no jurisdiction over the pulpit,” he declared, promising that “every justice I appoint to the United States Supreme Court will follow the law and follow the Constitution and not impose their radical views on the people of America.”

“If you ask ourselves why do we live in a country where life is under assault, where marriage is under assault, where faith is under assault,” he said, “the last election, 54 million evangelical Christians stayed home. Fifty-four million. Is it any wonder we have the country we have when believers are not honoring the commands of the Scripture? We’re told to be salt and light. You can’t be salt if you don’t come into contact with that which you are to preserve. You cannot be light if you’re hidden under a bushel.”

However, he said, “there is a spirit of revival and awakening sweeping this country today” and evangelicals “will stay home no longer.” When conservative evangelicals vote in great enough numbers, he said, God will “heal our land.”

Ted Cruz: Anti-Christian Persecution Will Soon Take Your Pastor, Your Mom, Me

Over the weekend, GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rick Perry = joined the GOP’s evangelical outreach coordinator Chad Connelly and North Carolina pastor Ron Baity — famous for warning that God would send a disease worse than Ebola in punishment for gay marriage — at a “We Stand With God ” rally in front of the South Carolina state capitol meant to remind elected leaders that there are still people who “stand for God’s definition of family.”

Cruz, unsurprisingly, focused much of his sermon-like speech on claiming that advances in LGBT rights are in fact “persecuting” conservative Christian business owners who refuse to serve LGBT customers. Discussing a few of the people he brought to his persecution-palooza in Iowa earlier this month, he warned the South Carolina crowd that they might be next and that eventually the U.S. will become like Iran, which has imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini.

“This is the world we’re living in,” he said. “If you think your faith is safe, next may be you. Next may be me. Next may be your pastor who preaches the Word from the pulpit. Next may be your sister or brother or mom who volunteers at the pregnancy crisis center. And you want to know how bad it can get, at that rally, we had Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, a Christian pastor, sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran for the crime of preaching the Gospel.”

Cruz was introduced by South Carolina Religious Right activist and radio hsot Tony Beam, who claimed that Christianity would soon be criminalized as part of the effort to “get rid of Christians” and establish a dictatorship.

“You know, if you look back and you look through history, there’s a three-step process that’s always resulted in tyranny and dictators,” Beam said, “and that process is this: First comes the demonization of any people you want to get rid of. We saw that start in the 1970s as the church began to be demonized and God’s people were made fun of and it’s continued to today. The next step is marginalization. They take the people they want to get rid of and they push them to the side of the debate and they ignore them. You know, a lot of the national media may ignore us today, but we can’t be ignored because we stand for the sovereign God of the universe.

“And so, after marginalization comes criminalization. And you know we live in a country now that’s tried to criminalize God-fearing believers for trying to run a business to honor God.”

Cruz thanked Beam for the “tremendous” introduction:

Ted Cruz Urges Pastors To Preach Against Planned Parenthood This Sunday

In recent weeks, Ted Cruz has really stepped up his efforts to become the Religious Right's candidate of choice in the GOP primary, even partnering with radical Christian nationalist David Lane for a conference call earlier this week seeking to mobilize right-wing pastors to pressure Congress to shut down the government, if necessary, in the effort to defund Planned Parenthood.

Cruz is continuing this effort by sending out an email today via David Barton's WallBuilders network urging pastors to use their sermons this weekend to preach against Planned Parenthood and even providing a link to a sample sermon for them to use.

Provided by Lane's American Renewal Project, the sermon warns that God will harshly judge America for the sin of legal abortion and explicitly calls upon those in the congregation to contact their representatives in Congress to demand an end to any funding for Planned Parenthood:

Proverbs provides clear insight into God’s character. He has a personal hatred for seven things. God judges them to be so odious that they are an abomination to Him. His character will never allow His hatred of an abomination to evolve into a toleration of it.  His children should be resolved to reflect His character, not to redefine it.

The Wise give shape to their personal and national character by loving what God loves and hating what God hates. Fools worship gods created by their vain imagination. They drift from the compass of God’s character. Their ears become deaf to His voice and their hearts become calloused to the touch of His hand. Any accumulative error of moral judgment is disastrous on a personal and a national level.

The abomination of any individual or any nation begins with the first act of disobedience to God. He finds rebellion disgusting, abhorrent and repugnant because it leads to a separation from Him and a loss of intimacy with Him.

When an individual or a nation stiff arms the character of God and embraces an abomination as the law of the land, it ends in disaster. When rebellious people disregard the compass of the most powerful, it is a very short step to dismembering the bodies of the most vulnerable. Like other nations, America has taken that step. It is time for a turnaround.


Recent videos exposing the gruesome practice of Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of the organs of babies from their mother’s womb. Exposing evil to the light of day has brought waves of sorrow to millions of tenderhearted people. Sorrow is redemptive only when it leads to repentance. Repentance requires a stopping point and a turning point. Without both there is no Spiritual Awakening on a personal or a national level.

There must be a point in which the accumulative error of an evil decision thrust upon the nation by secularist jurists stops. It must be followed by a turnaround that is spiritual, not political. That day has come. Let the breath in your lungs be used to pray for it to begin in your own heart.


A repentant person turns towards Jesus, and receives God’s forgiveness. A praying church mobilizes an army of repentant people calling on God to use His children as instruments to guide lost people and a wayward nation back to The Father. God can do more in five minutes, through the life of one obedient person than millions of rebels can accomplish in 50 years of their own effort. Be the one. The Victory is His. Pray for it. It is only a breath away.

After you pray for your life to be back on course, pray for your Congressmen and Senators to hear from God regarding the ending of the slaughter of the innocent. Let them know that you are praying for them, and you are expecting them to do the right thing. You will no longer tolerate any excuse when they have the chance to vote to end government sponsored support of the murder and dismemberment of babies in this session of Congress. God hates it. You can stop it. For God’s sake, make it happen.

Rafael Cruz: 'The Devil Overplayed His Hand' With SCOTUS Gay Marriage Decision

As we have noted before, Rafael Cruz, father of senator and Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, is essentially a poor man's David Barton since a significant amount of his stump speech consists of information that he has lifted directly from Barton's own presentations.

While speaking last week to a gathering in Georgia, Cruz incorporated Barton's latest false claim that the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling will now force churches to hire gays into his own speech as well.

During his speech, which was clearly a campaign event for his son as the father is a frequent campaign surrogate and he finished his remarks by explaining why Ted is the best candidate in the GOP primary before handing out endorsement forms to those in attendance, the elder Cruz declared that "the Devil overplayed his hand" with the gay marriage decision.

"The Devil always overplays his hand," he said, "and the Devil overplayed his hand with that decision on June 26. You've got to realize that that decision was not about homosexual marriage, that decision was a decision against religious liberty. What was the basis for their decision? It was the 14th Amendment. That means they're calling homosexuality a civil right. Understand me well, if they're calling homosexuality a civil right, that means that the next obvious step is a homosexual may come to your church and demand to be hired, whether as pastor or a janitor is immaterial, and if you say, 'I'm sorry I cannot hire you because it violates my religious faith,' you're going to be slapped with a civil rights discrimination lawsuit. Or they may come to your Christian ministry or to your Christian school or to your private business. Civil rights discrimination lawsuits are going to be a dime a dozen."

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