Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz Hailed Activist Who Wants Abortion Providers Executed Eight Days Before Planned Parenthood Shooting

Troy Newman, the head of Operation Rescue, has long been known as one of the most radical anti-choice activists in the country, saying that a just government would execute abortion providers and organizing efforts to harass abortion providers and their patients.

But Ted Cruz apparently saw his extremism as a boon, releasing a statement on November 19th touting Newman’s endorsement of his presidential campaign and declaring that America needs more “leaders like Troy Newman.”

In his statement, Cruz made clear that he was touting Newman’s endorsement because of the activist’s role in creating the hoax videos smearing Planned Parenthood for selling “baby parts” for profits. Following the shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic on Friday, the shooter reportedly told authorities “no more baby parts” after he was apprehended.

Newman has not only opined on the governments duty of “executing convicted murderers, including abortionists, for their crimes in order to expunge bloodguilt from the land and people,” but once even claimed that the murderer of an abortion doctor and his bodyguard was a “political prisoner” and victim of “judicial tyranny,” since he was deprived of his “right to present a defense that claimed that the killing of the abortionist was necessary to save the lives of the pre-born babies that were scheduled to be killed by abortion that day.”

Newman coauthored his book calling for the execution of abortion providers and the statement defending the anti-abortion terrorist with his Operation Rescue colleague Cheryl Sullenger, who served “time in jail for conspiring to bomb a California abortion clinic in the 1980s” but who has since renounced violence.

Newman denounced the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs, but his extremist rhetoric towards abortion providers speaks for itself. For example, “Newman has claimed that the 9/11 terrorist attacks and AIDS were both warnings from God about legal abortion in America and attributed a drought in California to the state’s liberal abortion laws, insisting that ‘weather patterns’ and economic instability are connected to legal abortion.”

Another activist whose endorsement Cruz’s campaign recently touted, Flip Benham, was convicted of stalking an abortion provider “after passing out hundreds of ‘wanted’ posters with the physician’s name and photo on it.”

As Rachel Maddow explained in a recent program, Cruz must explain why he would hail an activist like Newman, a point that speaks volumes following last week’s Planned Parenthood attack.

Maddow: Cruz Must Answer For Appearance At 'Kill-The-Gays' Conference

Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign has finally responded to questions about his appearance at a radical anti-gay conference in Iowa last month, claiming in a statement to Rachel Maddow on Wednesday that the conference organizer’s support for the execution of gay people was “not explicit.”

Cruz appeared last month at the misnamed National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa, where he courted the support of the conference’s organizer, Colorado-based pastor and radio host Kevin Swanson.

Swanson has long promoted the idea that government should impose biblical law in order to get on the right side of God but, like his fellow Christian Reconstructions, believes that conservatives like himself must change the culture first before the government can begin imposing Old Testament laws such as the death penalty for homosexuality.

The radical pastor explained that view at the end of the Iowa conference, saying that he does not advocate that the government put gay people to death only because gay people have not had enough time to repent for their homosexuality. Before the summit, Swanson repeatedly hailed Ugandan lawmakers for trying to make homosexuality a capital crime.

Swanson, who was joined at the conference by at least two other activists who had previously called for the government to execute gay people, reiterated his view that homosexuality is a death penalty crime before Cruz joined him on stage. Cruz, after Swanson introduced him, declared that “any president who doesn't begin every day on his knees isn't fit to be commander-in-chief of this nation.”

While Cruz has tried to avoid questions about his attempt to woo Swanson, his campaign finally released a statement to Rachel Maddow on Wednesday, defending his appearance at the event by insisting that Swanson’s call to put unrepentant gay people to death was “not explicit.”

As Maddow pointed out, Swanson’s statements about the death penalty were not the only ones at the conference. One conference speaker, Phillip Kayser, distributed a booklet he wrote arguing that gay people should be killed by the government if they do not renounce homosexuality, listing proper biblical punishments as hanging, stoning and “being thrown off a cliff or dashed on rocks.”

“It is not necessarily news any more that there are people like this on the right, who view homosexuality according to their version of biblically-ordained judicial principles,” Maddow said. “But it is news, it is always news, when people from the purported mainstream of American politics, people who are vying to be the next president of the United States, show up at events like this and speak from the same stage where pastors are justifying the death penalty for gay Americans.”

“For Ted Cruz, he can’t really say he didn’t know what was going on at that conference, and there’s a case to be made that he should be ready to answer some real questions about it,” she added.

Ted Cruz's 'Transgendered Leftist' Claim About Planned Parenthood Shooter Emerged From Far-Right Web

When asked yesterday about reports that the shooter who killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs said “no more baby parts” to law enforcement officers, Ted Cruz said that he read reports that the shooter was actually “a transgendered leftist activist,” while graciously adding that he wouldn’t blame the “rhetoric of the left” for the attack.

Unsurprisingly, according to a campaign spokesman, Cruz found his information about the shooter’s political and gender identity on a right-wing blog.

Far-right outlets such as The Gateway Pundit, Young Conservatives and WorldNetDaily have been implying that what appears to be a typo on the attacker’s voter registration form may mean that he in fact identified as a woman. Cruz’s campaign spokesman cited a blog post on The Right Scoop by a blogger named “soopermexican,” titled “WAS THE COLORADO SHOOTER A TRANSGENDER PERSON?!?!”

American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer also suggested that a webpage typo was proof that “low info media narrative collapses”:

None of these posts, however, suggested that the shooter was a “leftist,” which seems to be a unique Cruz creation. Family members and friends described the shooter as a conservative who abhorred President Obama.

Cruz seems to be doing whatever it takes to make sure people don’t see an attack on Planned Parenthood, one of several attacks that occurred this year, as an attack on Planned Parenthood.

Ted Cruz's War on Christmas: Ugly Sweater Puts Cruz's Political Ambitions at Center

One of the most ridiculous assertions at the heart of the Religious Right’s ludicrous claims that there is a “War on Christmas” in America is the notion that retailers and individuals who say “happy holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” are insulting Christians and participating in a nefarious plot to, in the words of the American Family Association, “eradicate anything that reminds Americans of Christianity.”

More likely they’re just being respectful of the fact that all their customers or neighbors may not share the AFA’s religious beliefs. But that doesn’t keep Religious Right activists from turning “Merry Christmas” from a friendly greeting into some kind of statement of political defiance. For example, the latest Ted Cruz campaign email comes with the subject line “We Say Merry Christmas” and a p.s.:

Set an example for the "tolerant left," and while wearing your festive Cruz for President gear, or any gear for that matter, make sure to say Merry Christmas every chance you get!

In between, Cruz offers a chance to win the world’s ugliest-ever ugly Christmas sweater featuring his face in a Santa hat floating over the White House and flanked by Tea Party “Don’t Tread on Me" snakes.

Plenty of political content on that sweater, along with secular snowflakes, which are the kinds of things that usually set off the AFA’s alarm bells.  Hey, AFA, doesn’t Cruz belong on your “naughty” list for not keeping Christ in Christmas?


Maddow Calls Out Ted Cruz For Embracing Radical Anti-Choice Activist

Over the past few weeks, we have been covering the parade of increasingly extreme activists whom Sen. Ted Cruz is embracing as he seeks to shore up the hard-right vote in the Republican presidential primary.

There was the conference Cruz spoke at immediately after the summit’s organizer declared that the biblical punishment for homosexuality is death. There was the list of endorsements from faith leaders that his campaign released that included a pastor who has blamed Ebola on gay rights and another whose long history of right-wing activism includes protesting at gay couple’s weddings and a criminal conviction for stalking an abortion doctor. And then there was the joint press release that Cruz issued with Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman, announcing the endorsement of the activist who has long inhabited the radical fringes of the anti-choice movement.

Last night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow looked into Newman’s history, citing our reporting on Newman and Operation Rescue, including his backing of capital punishment for abortion providers and tying abortion rights to natural disasters such as the current drought in California.

“This is one of those stories that I recognize the beltway media doesn’t sort of have its feelers out for,” Maddow said. “As Ted Cruz ascends in the polls and as his lift in the polls is driven basically entirely by very, very conservative Religious Right voters, this is part of understanding why and this is one of the things that he should explain to people who may have some justifiable concerns about who he’s building his campaign on.”

For more on Newman and his colleague Cheryl Sullenger, who as Maddow noted was convicted of conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic in the 1980s, you can read our recent in-depth report on Operation Rescue.

Ted Cruz Touts Endorsement Of Extreme Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Activist Flip Benham

A list of endorsements from faith leaders published by Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign last week includes not only anti-gay pastor Ron Baity but also Philip “Flip” Benham of Operation Save America, a radical activist who campaigns against abortion rights and LGBT equality.

“We’re fighting the Devil and his lies in the world and the flesh, and moving it to a thing called the homosexual agenda — and it’s the Devil’s agenda,” Benham said last year, likening abortion and Islam to “the Devil’s fist” and the “homosexual agenda” to Satan’s “pink-colored glove.”

Benham founded Operation Save America out of what was left of the original iteration of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, expanding its focus to include opposition to gay rights, Islam, and other issues. (The leader of the new Operation Rescue, Troy Newman, has also endorsed Cruz.)

Benham’s recent activism at Operation Save America has included organizing a campaign to harass the judge overseeing the Kim Davis case, blaming the Sandy Hook massacre on the separation of church and state, blaming the Democratic Party for the Aurora mass shooting, declaring war on Islam and heckling congregants at a Unitarian Universalist congregation, which Operation Save America called “a synagogue of Satan,” during a moment of silence for deceased parishioners.

Benham has also crashed gay couples’ weddings to protest their nuptials.

In 2011, Benham was found guilty of stalking an abortion provider “after passing out hundreds of ‘wanted’ posters with the physician’s name and photo on it.” Earlier this year, he charged that the Baltimore riots following the death of Freddie Gray amounted to God’s punishment for legal abortion .

Cruz has already surrounded himself with hate group officials, fanatical anti-abortion activists and radical pastors. Benham will fit right in.

Ted Cruz Welcomes Endorsement From Pastor Who Linked Ebola To Gay Rights

Ted Cruz has recently boasted of the endorsements he has received from an extremist anti-abortion activist and an anti-gay hate group leader, even courting the support of a radical pastor who backs the death penalty for unrepentant gays.

In a recent press release, Cruz announced the endorsements of a group of faith leaders, including Ron Baity, a pastor and head of the group Reclaim America.

Baity made his name with the campaign to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions in North Carolina, and Cruz recently joined Baity at a rally against marriage equality.

Cruz’s drive to cater to Baity is especially troubling considering that the pastor has likened gay people to “maggots” and “murderers,” endorsed laws prosecuting “sodomites” and urged gay people to “quit being homos.”

Gay people, according to Baity, want to “recruit young people to their perverted, warped agenda” and are bringing about the destruction of America. He has described homosexuality as rancid fruit “filled with wormholes and rotten cores” and a “darkened, twisted, immense depository of depravity.”

Baity has also alleged that God sent Ebola to America as punishment for the gay “lifestyle”: “You think Ebola is bad now, just wait. If it’s not that, it’s going to be something else.”

Again, this is a pastor whom Cruz wants on his “faith leaders” team.

Steve King: Only Ted Cruz Can Save Us From Obama's 'Cultural Suicide' Pills

Rep. Steve King joined conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace last week to discuss his recent endorsement of Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, which he said was motivated by his confidence that Cruz would appoint conservative Supreme Court justices and reverse President Obama’s attempt to commit “cultural suicide” through immigration.

King, an Iowa Republican, said that aside from the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, his main concern was that America is following in Europe’s footsteps in committing “cultural suicide,” with President Obama administering the suicide pills in the form of refugees and other immigrants.

“I see Europe,” he said, “it’s almost past tense, you can almost say they have committed cultural suicide. And Barack Obama has been feeding us the medication that will bring about cultural suicide in the United States. And we need a president who sees that whole picture and knows that it has to be restored and has an understanding of how to restore the American exceptionalism, constitutional underpinnings and the core of our faith.”

King added that he saw such a “transformation of Western Christendom” in recent visits to immigrant communities in Minneapolis and Dearborn, Michigan, which, he said, highlighted the “demographics” that he hoped a President Ted Cruz could reverse in America.

“By the way, I went up to Minnesota, to Little Mogadishu, to see what that’s like up there,” he said, “and I spent a weekend in Dearborn to see what, again, went to a couple of mosques in there to see the transformation of the United States. And I’ve gone into a number of the major cities in Europe and walked into those no-go zones and walked down through the Muslim neighborhoods and I see the transformation of Western Christendom, and it’s very troubling. And when you look at the demographics, we must do something to reverse this, and [Cruz] is the candidate that I believe [can do it].”

A History Lesson For Ted Cruz: Irish & Italian Immigrants Were Once Seen As Violent Threats To America

In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity last night, Ted Cruz defended his proposal to block Syrian Muslim refugees from entering the U.S. by insisting that Muslims are allowed “to lie to carry out jihad,” and therefore, we’ll never really know which Muslims don’t support violent extremism.

Cruz added that when Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., cited his Irish and Italian ancestors as reasons to oppose restrictive immigration policies, “I responded to Pat Leahy and I said, ‘You know what, on my mother’s side, my ancestors were Irish and Italian. The difference was, they weren’t coming here to blow up and murder innocent civilians.’”

Cruz may be interested to know that Nativists in the era of high Irish and Italian immigration considered such migrants to be violent threats.

The infamous Palmer Raids, sparked in part by a series of bombings carried out by Italian anarchists, were based on a fear that southern Italian immigrants presented an internal threat to the U.S. As author George De Stefano writes, many politicians at the time had concluded that “America was under attack by dangerous foreign radicals” and restrictive immigration laws were needed “to protect the nation from southern and eastern European immigrants, who purportedly would infect America with their dangerous radical ideas and engage in violent subversion.” Italian migrants were also seen as “unassimilable,” “dangerously radical” and “prone to violent criminality.” Decades before the Palmer Raids, Italian immigrants “were even accused of a conspiracy to inundate the United States with Italian fleas.”

Author Anthony V. Ricco detailed how the Palmer Raids specifically targeted Italians: “Armed agents stormed homes of Italian immigrants without warning, prisoners were detained without counsel, and innocent Italians were deported to Italy. In West Virginia, Colorado, and Louisiana, Italians were lynched by angry mobs of vigilantes.”

Irish newcomers were also treated as violent menaces, as Peter Behrens noted in the New York Times:

It’s embarrassing to listen to prosperous 21st-century Americans with Irish surnames lavish on Mexican or Central American immigrants the same slurs — “dark,” “dirty,” “violent,” “ignorant” — once slapped on our own, possibly shoeless, forebears. The Irish were seen as unclean, immoral and dangerously in thrall to a bizarre religion. They were said to be peculiarly prone to violence. As caricatured by illustrators like Thomas Nast in magazines like Harper’s Weekly, “Paddy Irishman,” low of brow and massive of jaw, was more ape than human, fists trailing on the ground when they weren’t cocked and ready for brawling.

An entire political movement, the American Party, also known as the Know Nothings, was founded in response to fears that Irish migrants were “a dangerous threat to the ‘nature’ of Protestant America, and thus to America itself” and should be prohibited from having certain rights since they “owed their allegiance, not to the burgeoning American government, but to the Pope, whose autocratic ruling style was antithetical to American democratic values.”

But we won’t hold our breath: Cruz didn’t seem to learn a thing from the last history lesson we gave him.

Cruz Touts Endorsement Of Radical Anti-Choice Activist Troy Newman

In a press release yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz announced that he had received the endorsement of Troy Newman , the radical anti-choice activist who runs Operation Rescue, saying he was “grateful” for the endorsement of Newman, who “has served as a voice for the unborn for over 25 years.”

“We need leaders like Troy Newman in this country who will stand up for those who do not have a voice,” Cruz added.

It is remarkable that Cruz is touting the endorsement of one of the most radical anti-choice activists in the country. In a movement that has increasingly embraced softer rhetoric about “women’s health” in order to pass incremental measures restricting abortion rights, Newman is a holdover from the no-holds-barred activism of the so-called “rescue” movement of the 1980s and 1990s.

Much as Cruz recently tried to court an extremist pastor who believes the government should execute gay people, he is now hailing an activist who authored a book criticizing the U.S. government for failing to treat abortion providers as murderers who should be put to death.

Newman argued in his 2003 book, “Their Blood Cries Out,” that the biblical duty of government “rightly involves executing convicted murderers, including abortionists, for their crimes in order to expunge bloodguilt from the land and people.” (He later explained that while “there’s several prescriptions in the Old Testament that God calls out that the person who commits these crimes should be executed,” he was going for a message of “mercy” in that “we need to repent first for our personal involvement and corporate involvement of abortion and work to restore those that have been involved in it and work to end this terrible tragedy that’s in our nation.”)

Newman also wrote in his book that women who have abortions should be considered “a murderer” just like “any other mother, killing any other family member.” Along with Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger, who was once convicted of conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic, Newman later claimed that a man convicted of murdering an abortion provider should have been allowed to argue that the homicide was justified.

Newman has claimed that the 9/11 terrorist attacks and AIDS were both warnings from God about legal abortion in America and attributed a drought in California to the state’s liberal abortion laws, insisting that “weather patterns” and economic instability are connected to legal abortion.

In the press release, the Cruz campaign touts Newman’s role as a driving force behind the Center for Medical Progress, which released a series of videos this year that were used to falsely claim that Planned Parenthood had broken federal laws around fetal tissue research. That project has catapulted Newman to a new stature in the anti-choice movement that now, apparently, includes joint press releases with top-tier presidential candidates.

Ted Cruz Will Bring Unity To America By Uniting Republicans Against The Media

Speaking to a press gaggle earlier this month at a conference organized by radical pastor Kevin Swanson, Sen. Ted Cruz said that he is qualified to unite a divided nation because he united his fellow Republican presidential candidates against the moderators of a recent CNBC debate.

“You have been a champion of conservative values and issues,” an unidentified reporter asked Cruz in an exchange broadcast by Indiana Christian radio host Joyce Oglesby, who was at the conference. “What are you going to do to bring unity to a divided nation?”

“It’s a great question, and let’s talk about unity for a second,” Cruz responded. “How do you bring unity? You know, we saw a moment of unity last week in the debate when I called out the debate moderators. One of the great results that happened was you saw all the Republicans on stage come together and be united, standing behind that charge of the ridiculous bias, the dripping condescension, the assumption in each of those media questions that anyone who actually believes in the conservative principles that America was built on is somehow a blithering idiot. That unity was encouraging.”

Although Cruz did show great success in uniting his fellow candidates against debate moderators asking them hard questions, his attendance at a conference that ended with a call to execute unrepentant gay people may not have been the best way to show that he can bring Americans together.

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/18/15

GOP Candidates Really Don't Want To Talk About 'Kill The Gays' Conference

A couple of weeks ago, we reported extensively on a conference in Iowa organized by extremist pastor Kevin Swanson, at which three Republican presidential candidates joined Swanson on stage shortly before he went off on a series of rants about how the biblical punishment for homosexuality is death, Harry Potter is bringing God’s judgment on America, and how if your gay child gets married you should show up to the wedding covered in cow manure.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow ran a segment on the conference, but other than that, as a number of commentators have noted, the media has been strangely silent on the Republican candidates’ participation in this event.

Today, Des Moines Register columnist Rekha Basu reports that she reached out to the campaigns of the three candidates, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal (who has since dropped out of the presidential race), and found them rather reluctant to talk about it.

A spokesperson for Huckabee, who at the event deflected a question about Swanson’s extremism, told Basu after viewing video of some of Swanson’s remarks that Huckabee “appreciated the opportunity” to speak at the conference. The Cruz and Jindal campaigns didn’t bother to reply at all. (Before the conference, Cruz had been asked about his participation by CNN’s Jake Tapper, but brushed off the question.)

Calls and emails seeking a reaction to Swanson's remarks by spokespeople for Cruz and Jindal (who suspended his campaign Tuesday) went unanswered. Huckabee’s spokeswoman Alice Stewart asked for documentation and was sent a video link. She responded the next day saying, "Gov. Huckabee appreciated the opportunity to speak with an audience in Iowa about the importance of standing up for our religious liberties."

Basu also reached out to The Family Leader, an influential Iowa conservative group that sponsored Swanson’s conference and will be hosting candidates for a “presidential family forum” later this week. A Family Leader spokesman at least went as far to say that the group doesn’t condone executing gay people, but didn’t comment on the wisdom of sponsoring Swanson’s conference:

Asked if Vander Plaats or the Family Leader condemn Swanson’s remarks, Drew Zahn, its director of communications wrote in an email: “The Family Leader absolutely condemns any call for violence against homosexuals. Our involvement with the conference was intended to advocate and preserve our First Amendment religious liberties and the rights of conscience for all Americans. The Family Leader consistently advocated the Bible's principle of treating others as you would be treated, a principle come to life in the friendship between TFL President Bob Vander Plaats and One Iowa's Donna Red Wing.”

But Zahn wouldn’t say whether the organization would express those views to Swanson, or would have withdrawn sponsorship from the program if they had known what he would say.

We really wonder how long Cruz and Huckabee will be able to continue to plead ignorance about Swanson’s extremism after being asked about it repeatedly.

Anti-Refugee Activists Call For End To All Muslim Immigration After Paris Attacks

Since the news broke that one of the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks on Paris that killed more than 120 people on Friday may have snuck into France by infiltrating the waves of refugees from Syria’s civil war, at least nine Republican governors and one Democrat have said that their states will refuse to accept Syrian refugees (something that they can’t actually do) and GOP presidential contenders including Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee have called on the president and Congress to halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the country as a whole. Cruz has suggested accepting only Christian refugees from the country, while Jeb Bush has hinted at the same thing.

This is a dream come true for the anti-refugee movement in the U.S. which had already been trying to claim that Syrian refugees — who go through a long and arduous security screening process before being admitted to the U.S. — represent a threat to national security.

The leading activist focusing specifically on preventing the resettlement of refugees in the U.S., Refugee Resettlement Watch’s Ann Corcoran, wrote on her blog today that other commitments kept her from writing much today, “But, LOL!, there are so many people writing about refugees now that I can soon retire!”

Prominent anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney responded to the news of the Paris attacks by calling for “a moratorium on Muslim migration” to the U.S., circulating a post from Corcoran calling for the same.

Pamela Geller predictably went even farther, writing on her blog yesterday that President Obama “should be brought up on charges” if he allows any more Muslims into the U.S.

NO MUSLIM MIGRANTS. Obama should be brought up on charges if he moves forward and brings these murderers here. They mean to kill us.

As refugee resettlement experts explained to Politifact last month, trying to game the refugee resettlement process would not be a likely method for an ISIS terrorist trying to reach the U.S.:

The U.N. has said 10 percent, or about 400,000, of the Syrian refugees in camps need to be resettled. President Barack Obama announced that in fiscal year 2016 (through Sept. 30), the United States would accept at least 10,000 refugees from Syria.

Those 10,000 aren’t necessarily the type of people who would be ISIS operatives as Trump fears, according to Mock.

"The priorities go to torture survivors, people with serious medical conditions, children and teens on their own, and women and children at risk," Mock said. The people selected undergo screening by state agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security. The process can take years.

That doesn’t make for an efficient method of terrorizing the United States, Foundation for Defense of Democracies senior fellow Daveed Gartenstein-Ross said. While it’s a legitimate concern that there are ways of beating the screening process, he said, there would be more efficient ways for ISIS cells to reach America than what Trump is fearing.

"Instead of sitting around hoping you win the refugee lottery and then wait years, then pass the screening to get to America, it would be much easier for a terrorist group to send a person through Europe or put them onto an airplane to the United States," Gartenstein-Ross said. "If they could otherwise pass the refugee screening process, they could certainly get on an airplane."

As the libertarian Niskanen Center notes, “not one” of the millions of refugees admitted under the U.S. refugee resettlement program since 1980 “has committed an act of terrorism in the U.S.”

Extremist Congressman: God Raising Up Ted Cruz To Save America's Soul

Ted Cruz has picked up the endorsement of Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, who is not only an influential political force in the first-in-the-nation caucus state but also a prominent face of the anti-gay and anti-immigration movements.

“For almost a year now, my regular prayer has been that God would raise up a leader whom he will use to restore the soul of America,” King said in a video message, asking Iowans to “do your duty for God and country, come to caucus, and support Ted Cruz for president of the United States.”

The congressman made waves nationally when he suggested that young immigrants are mostly drug smugglers who’ve “got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” but he’s been making similar comments for years, once likening immigrants to livestock while calling for an electrified border fence and depicting immigration as a “slow-motion Holocaust” and “a slow-rolling, slow-motion terrorist attack on the United States.” He has a long record of portraying immigrants as a violent threat that will destroy the country and civilization itself.

King has also been a leader among opponents of LGBT equality, warning that same-sex marriage will usher in socialism, leave children raised in warehouses instead of families and “throw this country into an endless trauma.” The congressman has also baselessly asserted that gay rights laws have legalized man-lawnmower marriage and pedophilia.

While Cruz may be happy that King thinks that God is backing his candidacy, he shouldn’t be complacent: King previously said that a Mitt Romney win in 2012 would be a victory for God.

Ted Cruz To Rally With Activists Who Link Gays To Satan

Fresh off attending a conference whose host, Kevin Swanson, voiced support for the execution of gay people, Ted Cruz will stage a “Rally for Religious Liberty” in Greenville, South Carolina, on Saturday featuring a number of Religious Right activists who have referred to gay rights advocates as demonic enemies.

The rally is taking place at none other than Bob Jones University, the fundamentalist school that in the 1970s and 1980s famously cited “religious liberty” in an attempt to uphold its racist policies, which its leaders claimed were rooted in the Bible. The school’s chancellor apologized only recently for past comments he made about the need to stone gay people in order to “solve the problem post-haste.”

Just as Swanson believes that “the homosexual Borg is the power in the principality of the demonic world,” a number of the Religious Right activists who will be speaking alongside Cruz in Greenville have claimed that their battle against gay rights is really a spiritual war against Satan.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has referred to gay activists has “hateful” and “intolerant” “pawns” of the Devil and, like Swanson, has defended the notorious Ugandan bill that would have made homosexuality a death penalty crime in some cases.

Another speaker, Virginia-based activist E.W. Jackson, has described gay people as “spiritually darkened,” adding, “Their minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.” He also thinks that with President Obama “we’re really dealing with an evil presence.”

Texas-based pastor Dave Welch similarly portrayed Houston’s lesbian mayor as spiritually evil: “She literally is one of those who is caught in the snare, in the web of her darkness and her condition. I pray, we do pray for her, that God delivers her and sets her free from that.”

David and Jason Benham have made no bones about their belief that gay people are under the Devil’s thumb. They even wrote an entire column explaining why they think the gay rights movement is motivated by Satan.

Of course, Cruz’s father and campaign surrogate, Rafael Cruz, who will also be attending the Bob Jones event, has frequently depicted the gay rights movement as a sinister force, even going so far as to blame the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling on the Devil.

GOP Confab Ends With Call To Execute Gays Who Don't Repent, Send Queen Elsa Back To Hell

It was a Saturday night spent learning about the evils of Dumbledore (gay), Gobber (also gay) and Elsa (lesbian-recruiting bride of Satan).

These rants about “Harry Potter,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Frozen” weren’t out of place at a conference led by Kevin Swanson, a Colorado-based pastor who has warned on his radio program that these fictional characters — along with the Girl Scouts, women’s soccer and day care — are turning kids gays.

What was most remarkable about these polemics against fictional children’s book characters is that they came at an event that was also attended by three men vying for the Republican nomination for president, including a sitting governor and a sitting U.S. senator.

When Swanson announced that he was convening a conservative summit in Des Moines, Iowa, called “Freedom 2015: National Religious Liberties Conference,” it was clear that it was designed to get the attention of Republican presidential candidates. Four agreed to participate, but one unnamed candidate later withdrew, reportedly after a wise campaign aide Googled Swanson's name and found his catalogue of crazy statements.

But Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal had no such qualms. All three joined Swanson on stage at the conference for individual Q&A sessions, where he inquired about their views on Kim Davis and the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision.

The trio declared their unequivocal support for Davis, the rogue Kentucky clerk who attempted to block marriage licenses for gay couples in her county, and derided the Obergefell ruling as an unlawful violation of both constitutional and biblical codes, so egregious that it should be rebuked if not outright ignored. Another speaker, Cruz’s father and campaign surrogate Rafael Cruz, called on government officials to defy a Supreme Court intent on “trying to cram homosexual marriage down our throats.”

As soon as Huckabee left the stage, Swanson declared that if his own son were to marry another man, he would only attend the wedding after smearing cow manure all over his body.

Swanson closed out the “liberty” conference with a fiery speech in which he proclaimed that although he does believe in the death penalty for gays, he wouldn't advocate for the government to execute gay people — or, at least, not yet.

The conditions aren't right, Swanson explained. The culture hasn't fully embraced his movement's version of Christianity, and therefore gay people don't know that homosexuality is a death penalty crime that they must renounce before it provokes divine destruction. He said he would recommend that the government wait to impose the death penalty until the culture shifts, giving gays time to repent.

Draconian measures to stop homosexuality are warranted, in Swanson’s view, not only because he believes the Bible mandates them, but also because he thinks that the gay threat is coming from all directions: country musicsoccer, schools, day care and Girl Scout cookies.

The views that Swanson expressed at the conference reflect his ties to a movement known as Christian Reconstructionism.

Reconstructionists not only call for "lesser magistrates" like Davis to defy rulings like Obergefell by invoking "God's authority," as Davis did, but also to demand that all government officials enforce Old Testament laws (or, at least, the Old Testament laws that they want enforced). After all, they say, whatever contradicts God's law is no law at all.

Philip Kayser of Biblical Blueprints told one breakout session at the conference that while it may be unrealistic to expect the national imposition of biblical law at this point, it can still be achieved at state and local levels. He urged government officials like Davis to flout the federal government in order to impose their religious beliefs over whatever jurisdiction where they have sway. Such “interposition” is justified, Kayser said, as long as public officials do it in a "biblical and Christ-centric" way. "In my book, she is a hero," Kayser said of Davis. "Magistrates must follow Christ in their interposition."

Kayser, like Swanson, has repeatedly backed instituting the death penalty for gay people in order to comply with biblical dictates, a position he outlined in a pamphlet he distributed at the summit. (Kayser’s pamphlet also calls for capital punishment for blasphemers, Sabbath-breakers, apostates and witches.)

Another Reconstructionist preacher who spoke at the conference, Joel McDurmon, has said that the U.S. must embrace and enforce Old Testament laws, but that is achievable only once the country is successfully evangelized.

Some Reconstructionists also back “biblical patriarchy,” the idea that Christians must follow strict gender roles within the family, which for women means bearing and raising as many children as possible in order to repopulate the earth with believers.

In order to change the culture in their direction, the thinking goes, believers must first have lots of children (birth control is considered just as bad as abortion, as it fills women's wombs with “dead babies,” at least according to Swanson). Then, these families must adhere to the rule of male headship over the family. These strong, male-led families then create strong, male-led churches, which will then create strong, male-led societies, ones where government welfare programs and intervention in the economy aren't needed, and cultural ills like feminism fall away as cosmopolitan liberals, with their low birth rate, are outvoted.

But for Reconstructionists, the war isn't just about demographics. It is also a cosmic battle.

That is where Elsa comes in.

While these women may be having a "Quiverfull" of children (a la the Duggars), Satan is coming for them, and he takes insidious forms, such as Disney movies.

As Swanson explained on his radio show last year:

How many children are taken into these things and how many Christians are taking their kids off to see the movie "Frozen," produced by an organization that is probably one of the most pro-homosexual organizations in the country? You wonder sometimes, I’m not a tinfoil hat conspiratorialist, but you wonder sometimes if maybe there’s something very evil happening here. If I was the Devil, what would I do to really foul up an entire social system and do something really, really, really evil to five- and six- and seven-year-olds in Christian families around America?
Friends, this is evil, just evil. I wonder if people are thinking: “You know, I think this cute little movie is going to indoctrinate my five-year-old to be a lesbian or treat homosexuality or bestiality in a light sort of way.” I wonder if the average parent going to see "Frozen" is thinking that way.

One conference presenter, Geoff Botkin, told attendees that "Let It Go," the iconic song from “Frozen,” is "Satan's rebellion anthem," as it convinces children to rebel against God. He lamented that Christian families are unwittingly turning their kids over to Satan when they see "Frozen" or let them "sing 'Let It Go' while taking a shower."

As Botkin explained in his session, which focused on the "ten planks of communism," of the three major threats to America, Christians who don't abide by biblical law are the greatest, even worse than Islam and progressivism.

Even worse than Christians who aren't abiding by Old Testament dictates, he said, are the Christians who preach social justice, advocate liberal policies and are fully inclusive of women and the LGBT community. These scorned people of faith were also meeting that weekend in Des Moines to warn about cries of "religious liberty" becoming a cover for a larger right-wing agenda.

But three Republican presidential candidates, who have all turned the imaginary persecution of Christians in America into a central campaign message, didn't seem to mind that they were appearing at a conference whose organizer who is looking forward to the day when America is repentant enough that the government can impose the death penalty on gay people, rails against children's books and movies, and attacks large swathes of Christians as apostates.

Maddow Calls Out GOPers For 'Kill-The-Gays Rally' Appearance

As the three Democratic presidential candidates were attending a South Carolina candidate forum hosted by Rachel Maddow on Friday, three Republicans running for president were at a conference organized by a radical right-wing pastor who has defended the death penalty for homosexuality.

On her program last night, Maddow filled her viewers in on Friday’s Republican campaign event, showing videos of Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee engaging in question-and-answer sessions with extremist pastor Kevin Swanson, who then went on to say that he would smear cow dung over his body to protest a gay couple’s wedding and urged the government to execute gays in the future if they don’t repent.

As Maddow also pointed out, Swanson’s views on homosexuality were well-known even before he hosted the weekend’s National Religious Liberties Conference, and he wasn’t the only speaker at the conference who had called for homosexuality to be treated as a capital crime.

One conference speaker distributed literature at the event laying out how and why gay people should be put to death, discussing stoning and throwing people off cliffs as possible punishments. In fact, Swanson’s views are so extreme and so easy to find that one presidential candidate reportedly pulled out of the event once their campaign was tipped off to his radicalism.

“A pretty major theme of the event both in terms of the literature that was available at the event and the way the host of the conference spoke from the stage, a significant theme was the practical challenges and the timing of how exactly and when exactly the United States of America should start rounding up gay people in this country in order to execute them,” she said.

“It really was a ‘kill-the-gays’ call to arms,” Maddow continued. “This was a conference about the necessity of the death penalty as a punishment for homosexuality.”

Seeing that the Republicans who appeared at this event will be at the Fox Business debates tonight, Maddow said it might be worth asking them why they would attend “a kill-the-gays rally.”

“I don’t know if that is considered to be a scandal anymore in Republican politics,” she said.

Her remarks on the right-wing conference start at the 5:55 mark:

Cruz: 'Any President Who Doesn't Begin Every Day On His Knees Isn't Fit To Be Commander-In-Chief Of This Nation'

Ted Cruz was the third Republican presidential candidate to appear at the "National Religious Liberties Conference" in Iowa yesterday, an event organized by extremist right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson, who earlier in the program proclaimed that, according to the Bible, "the sin of homosexuality ... is worthy of death."

Swanson introduced Cruz by stating that Jesus Christ "is king of the President of the United States whether he will admit it or not and that president should submit to His rule and to His law" before asking Cruz to share his opinion on how important it is for "the President of the United States to fear God."

Cruz, predictably, asserted that fear of God is absolutely vital, declaring that "any president who doesn't begin every day on his knees isn't fit to be commander-in-chief of this nation."

'Death Penalty For Gays' Literature At Right-Wing Conference

Phillip Kayser is among the several speakers joining Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal at the National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa this weekend, and as we've reported, he, along with the conference's chief organizer, Kevin Swanson, has called on the government to execute gay people. Kayser's views are so extreme that back in the 2012 election, Ron Paul's campaign tried to cover up his endorsement.

However, it seems that in today's GOP, calling for the execution of gay people isn't beyond the pale.

At the conference, where he is giving two speeches on how local officials and others can defy the Supreme Court's marriage equality decision, Kayser distributed the very pamphlet calling for the death penalty for gay people that caused a stir back when he endorsed Paul.

In the pamphlet, “Is The Death Penalty Just?,” Kayser unsurprisingly concludes that the death penalty is in fact just, and lists homosexuality among the offenses deserving of capital punishment. Ironically for a "religious liberties" summit, he also claims that the government should treat "breaking the Sabbath," "blasphemy and cursing God publicly," "publicly sacrificing to other gods" and "apostasy" as death penalty crimes as well.

He writes that government officials are "subject to Biblical statutes and judgments," claiming that "Christians should advocate the full implementation of all God's civil penalties in every age.... Every Old Testament statue continues on the books, and without those statutes, we could not have a consistent ethnical standard." Even "pagan" nations are obliged to follow biblical law, he writes, as "God held gentile kings accountable to these civil laws."

Kayser believes that the government should execute murderers, among whom he includes abortion providers: "What could be more pro-life than having the state pass laws establishing a certain date after which all doctors who continue to perform abortions will be executed? Certainly, a handful of doctors might be killed [pro-death for killers], but think of the millions of little lives that would be saved!"

He writes that the death penalty should also apply to those who commit acts of blasphemy; apostasy; breaking the Sabbath; sorcery and witchcraft; kidnapping; rape; adultery; prostitution; bestiality; and of course, homosexuality.

But don't worry, Kayser has good news for the gays who rather not be stoned to death or get "thrown off a cliff," methods he mentions as biblically approved ways to execute someone.

While "these crimes are so heinous that they deserve death in God's eyes," he writes, with cases "of sexual sins, people who kept these things to themselves could not be prosecuted because it would require two or three witnesses (depending on judicial discretion), the pressing of charges by a victim-citizen, the exclusion of government from spying, sting operations, etc., and other checks and balances."

Essentially, Kayser says that the government should put gay people to death, but only if they get caught.

"Even after a society implemented Biblical law and made homosexuality a crime, execution would be rare," he explains, because "the civil government could not round them up." What a relief!

"Only those who were prosecuted by citizen-victims could be punished, and the punishment could take a number of forms, analogous to the flexibility in dealing with adultery — which ranged all the way from forgiveness, to divorce, to death," he continues. "Some people characterize this as a victimless crime since homosexuals cannot get married. But there are plenty of circumstances (homosexual rape, homosexual incest, homosexual death threats against politicians, etc.) where victims might be motivated to bring charges."

Kayser writes that "natural knowledge" endorses the view that homosexuality is "worthy of death."

"It is not just the sinfulness of homosexuality that is known, but also the justice of the death penalty for homosexuality," he said. "The reason men have an innate sense of justice is because God's law reflects not only His holiness but also His justice and goodness (Rom. 7:12). Romans 13 says that magistrates are subject to all three."

And remember, this is the kind of literature being promoted at a "religious liberty" conference.

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