Among the members of Rubio’s advisory board are two Latinos who have urged conservatives to adopt a more welcoming approach to immigration: Samuel Rodriguez, head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Carlos Campo, president of Ashland University and former president of Pat Robertson’s Regent University.
Rodriguez has been pushing the Republican Party to take a more constructive tone on immigration in order to open the door for more effective outreach to Latino voters, a tough sell on the right, even before the era of Donald Trump. Rodriguez has participated in recent Religious Right gatherings with Cruz, but has been quoted as saying he’s not in Cruz’s camp.
Also on Rubio’s advisory board are people affiliated with legal groups promoting Religious Right efforts to portray LGBT equality and religious liberty as incompatible, including Doug Napier and Kellie Fiedorek of Alliance Defending Freedom and Kyle Duncan, lead counsel for the Green family, the owners of Hobby Lobby, and former general counsel of the Becket Fund, which was once described in Politico as “God’s Rottweilers.”
At last year's conference in November, one of the speakers at Barton’s conference was Cynthia Dunbar, a former member of the Texas State Board of Education who has admitted that her goal on the board was to correct a “biblically illiterate society.” Dunbar, who now works at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, was named a Virginia state co-chair of Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign last month, aligning her further with Barton, who chairs a pro-Cruz super PAC.
In her speech at Barton’s conference, which Barton broadcast on his “Wallbuilders Live” program last week, Dunbar urged legislators to get involved in education in order to stop the “deception of the seed” by “our socialized education system.”
“I believe it’s a crucial issue for several reasons,” she said. “One, it’s what I call the seed policy, if you think about it, every major social issue you’re encountering as legislators actually directs back to what it talks about it in Genesis, ‘if I would put enmity between you and the seed of the woman.’ Because what happens, what is abortion? Abortion is the destruction of the seed. What is homosexuality? It is the prevention of the seed. And what is education? It is potential deception of the seed.”
“And so when we have 88 to 90 percent, which is approximately the number of the students that are being educated within our socialized education system, effectively indoctrinating our children with our own tax dollars, guess what?” she asked. “We lose every other issue. We lose life, we lose marriage, we lose all of it. So I think this is the linchpin issue.”
Dunbar also put in a plug for teaching public school kids Barton’s signature spin on American history, saying that the “brilliant” Barton had discovered that “94 percent of the quotes of the founding fathers” were “either directly or indirectly” related to the Bible.
“One of my favorite historians, brilliant, brilliant man, says that 94 percent of the quotes of the founding fathers contemporaneous to our nation’s founding were either directly or indirectly from holy scripture,” she declared. “We know what that means when we say ‘directly,’ they’re quoting scripture. What does it mean when we say ‘indirectly’? They were quoting men who were quoting scripture.”
At an Iowa campaign stop with influential Religious Right activist James Dobson yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz warned that people of faith have consented to “allow nonbelievers to elect our leaders,” and now a “secular agenda” bent on doing away with the Ten Commandments and stifling religious liberty is on the rise.
He also repeated his assertion that Republicans lost the last two presidential elections because millions of evangelicals stayed at home. “I believe the key to winning in 2016 is very simple,” he said. “We have to bring back to the polls the millions of conservatives who stayed home, we have to awaken and energize the body of Christ.”
“You know,” he said, “we look at our federal government now, and we have a federal government that is waging a war on life, a war on marriage, a war on religious liberty. We have a federal government that is advancing a secular agenda that puts the ability of Bible-believing Christians to live our faith more and more in jeopardy and that is appeasing radical Islamic terrorism, in fact refuses even to acknowledge its name. And if you look at the federal government, you might say, ‘Why do we have government attacking life, attacking marriage, attacking faith, attacking religious liberty?’ Well, is it any wonder, when a majority of believers are staying home? If we allow nonbelievers to elect our leaders, we shouldn’t be surprised when our government doesn’t reflect our values.”
Cruz also doubled down on his criticism of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling , calling both it and the King v. Burwell ruling preserving the Affordable Care Act “fundamentally illegitimate” and “lawless.” He warned that if Hillary Clinton were to become president, the Supreme Court would “tear down our constitutional liberties fundamentally” by ruling against Ten Commandments monuments on public grounds and reversing the Heller decision, which found an individual right to bear arms. (When Cruz said that this meant “the government can make it a felony for you to own a firearm and protect your family,” an audience member yelled out, “Come and take it!”)
Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council who recently endorsed Cruz, also said he was very impressed by the candidate’s wife, Heidi Cruz, saying that “there has never in American history been a pro-life first lady” and that with her we “have a chance to get one this time.”
The Iowa conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts recorded the event. Cruz and Dobson discuss prayer about 2 minutes into the video; the “missing” evangelical vote about 6 minutes in; the Supreme court around 13 minutes in; and Heidi Cruz about 24 minutes in.
Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign has been circulating a bizarre “viral” video depicting the Texas Republican as a RINO-slaughtering Star Wars hero fighting a Darth Vader-esque President Obama.
“In honor of the latest Star Wars movie, the team here at Cruz HQ wanted to share with you a YouTube video created by a fellow supporter that depicts Senator Cruz as a Jedi Warrior, fighting for the Constitution,” the Cruz campaign wrote in an email to supporters last night, linking to a fawning Breitbart article about the video.
The article is written by the video’s creator, Joel Gilbert, who writes of his work, “The Constitution Strikes Back captures the charisma and character of Ted Cruz as a rebel warrior. It will set a new standard for production values and graphics quality for political satires. May the force be with Ted Cruz, and may the Constitution be with us!”
Who is Joel Gilbert, whose work the Cruz campaign so admires?
When armed militia members pointed their weapons at law enforcement agents in 2014, Sen. Ted Cruz said that they were reacting against “the jackboot of authoritarianism” and the Obama administration’s purported attack on liberty and the Constitution.
Cruz was speaking about the standoff at the Bundy ranch in Nevada, where rancher Cliven Bundy refused to abide by several court rulings ordering him to pay the federal government for grazing rights.The Texas senator blamed the president for the matter, calling the armed standoff the “unfortunate and tragic culmination of the path that President Obama has set the federal government upon.”
Think Progress noted that the senator’s fellow Republican presidential candidates Rand Paul and Ben Carson also showed support for Bundy, with Carson hailing the Bundy family as “pretty upstanding people” who were being wrongly treated as “terrorists.” He also warned of the prospect of “martial law” and “a time when people have to actually stand up against the government.”
But now that Bundy’s sons are leading a takeover of a federal building in Oregon, Republicans have either gone silent or rebuked the militia members.
Cruz called on the militia members in Oregon to “stand down peacefully,” adding that “we don't have a constitutional right to use force and violence and to threaten force and violence on others.”
The militia takeover of a federal building should remind Republicans like Cruz, Carson, Paul and others that there are consequences to stoking anti-government extremism and hailing the armed standoff at the Bundy ranch.
The crowd was so large that when Cruz spoke the Wilkses had to open the pool patio doors to accommodate about 100 guests who stood in 28 degree weather to listen to the senator.
… By the end of the six-hour meeting Monday, dozens of the visitors lined up outside a closed room to tape video endorsements of the Cruz presidential bid. Some attended Super PAC and campaign fundraisers held Tuesday in Cisco that were timed to coincide with the fly-in.
The gathering could have been even larger. Mike Gonzalez, who leads the South Carolina Pastors Alliance, was disappointed that some of his fellow clergymen were not able to make it because bad weather caused flight cancellations.
However, when he arrived at the ranch he was stunned to see a crowd of about 300, "including many of the most prominent spiritual influencers in the country."
Those in attendance at the Monday sessions included prominent televangelists, such as John Hagee, pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, and James Dobson, founder of the Focus on the Family organization. Richard Land, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary and a longtime leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, was there, according to interviews with attendees, most of whom were not authorized to discuss the off-the-record session. They said that there were a number of Hispanic and African American clerics in the audience, including Gonzalez and Voddie Baucham, a well-known pastor in Texas.
"It was a very diverse group of national leaders who have significant standing," said David Barton, a Texas Republican author and activist who is leading one of the Super PACs that sponsored the gathering. "We brought them with no expectations and we were highly pleased with the number who decided Ted is the right man to be of the president of the U.S."
Barton said the purpose of the gathering was "to give people an opportunity to become acquainted with Ted's faith and see if they were comfortable with it."
The Texas Tribune reports that prominent Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson was also in attendance and came away impressed, calling it “the finest presentation I ever heard from a candidate.”
The Tribune reports that Cruz praised the Wilks brothers for their efforts to pull the country “back from the brink” and stop the “relentless assault we’ve seen on constitutional liberties and Judeo-Christian values”:
Speaking with reporters before the rally capping his two days in Cisco, Cruz heaped praise on the brothers, lauding their contributions to the oil industry in Texas as well as Christian activism throughout the country.
“They’re people for whom their faith is very important, and they’ve been willing to devote their resources to fighting for principles of religious liberty, fighting to defend life, fighting to defend marriage, fighting to defend the constitutional liberties on which this country is founded," Cruz told reporters. "Their entire family is focused on pulling this country back from the brink, from the relentless assault we’ve seen on constitutional liberties and Judeo-Christian values."
Before the rally, the Cruz family hosted a fundraiser at the community center that the Wilks were expected to attend. Sitting outside the room was another ode to the prominent hosts: a large placard reading, "A special thanks from Heidi & Ted Cruz to our hosts The Wilks Family."
In an interview with conservative Iowa radio host Simon Conway yesterday, Santorum said that Vander Plaats, who heads the group The Family Leader, was “settling” with his pick of Cruz, citing Cruz’s efforts to allow states to ban same-sex marriage rather than controlling marriage on the federal level.
“Look, I understand it,” Santorum said. “Ted’s a fine guy and has really been a scrapper in Washington. I think what Mike and I both feel is that when it comes to the issues that are near and dear to The Family Leader, the family issues, marriage in particular, I think we need a stronger voice, a more principled voice that understands there’s a higher law there that we have to abide by and just because a state wants to do something doesn’t mean a state should be able to.”
This prompted Conway and Santorum to launch into an extended debate about the role of government in marriage, which Conway argued the government should have nothing to do with at all.
Santorum disagreed, saying that the government has a responsibility to ensure the “continuity” of culture, citing low birth rates among native Europeans — the unspoken subtext of which is that low birth rates necessitate greater immigration. “If you look at Europe … they’re decrying the fact that Europe is barren,” he said, "they’re not having children, and the people who are having children are not Europeans, or native Europeans, so you’ve got some really big problems and it’s beginning to occur in this country.”
He added that laws governing marriage also serve to “encourage people to behave the right way” when “fidelity, monogamy are not a natural thing” but “are learned behaviors.”
It looks as if America has come to her kairos, her moment in time—to be faithful to Jesus or to pagan secularism.
As we begin the New Year, pastors must begin to lay the prayer covering for the spiritual awakening and resurrection of America. We are asking the 100,000 American Renewal Project pastors to begin and lead one-hour, weekly prayer services asking God for mercy for what we, Christians, have allowed in our once Christian nation.
Rafael Cruz, father of presidential candidate Ted Cruz, has become a popular figure among Religious Right activists with his unhinged rhetoric. Rafael is now out with a new book designed to help his son get elected president. Right Wing Watch published a review of "A Time for Action" of “A Time for Action” on Monday.
In the book, Rafael Cruz compares the USA to the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which crashed into rocks when the captain steered it to close to shore. “America, too, is headed straight toward a perilous reef,” writes Cruz. “If we don’t make an immediate change of course, the dream of our Founding Fathers and many conservative Americans today will perish." Here are a few highlights:
The Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran will make it “quite literally, the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism.”
“If the left wing continues their stranglehold on public policy, the day will soon come when speaking out against gay marriage will be a punishable offense.”
“Educational elites can now brainwash our students through federally mandated curriculum that extols socialism, globalism, and immorality from a secular humanist worldview.”
“The time has come for pastors to again fearlessly preach toward the political landscape, just like their predecessors centuries ago. If they don’t, Satan will rule without opposition in our halls of legislation.”
“Our government mandates that teachers affirm alternative, nonbiblical lifestyles, teach evolution as incontrovertible “fact,” and mock the notion that God created the heavens and earth.”
“The Obama administration has intensified our progression into an age of lawlessness.”
President Obama’s “version of social justice is nothing more than collectivism and creating a society dependent upon the government, as espoused by Karl Marx.”
The Democratic Party platform “promotes an ungodly socialist agenda that is destroying America. And unfortunately, there are those in the Republican Party who aren’t much different.”
“…the recent Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual marriage is one of the biggest signs of our country’s moral degradation.”
“In the future, questioning the sexual preferences of any prospective pastor may well become off-limits. If you do, you could be slapped with a civil rights discrimination lawsuit.”
“Interestingly enough, although many people think otherwise, the concept of separation of church and state is found nowhere in either the Declaration of Independence of the Constitution or the United States of America.”
America today “is tragically following the same path that Cuba did a half century ago.”
“Our country stands at a precipice, and if another radical Democrat gets elected as chief executive, the future of America as we know it is in jeopardy. We cannot afford four or eight more years of the socialist policies that are destroying America at such a fast pace. If we stop fighting for God’s dream for America, the dream will die.”
Bonus from Ted Cruz’s epilogue: “If our nation’s leaders are elected by unbelievers, is it any wonder that they do not reflect our values? … If the body of Christ arises, if Christians simply show up and vote biblical values, we can restore our nation.”
Cruz's trip to Cisco will culminate Tuesday evening with a private fundraiser then a public rally, both to be held with the senator's family at a community center the Wilkses helped build. The fundraiser, which begins at 5 p.m., costs between $500 and $2,700 to attend. The rally is set to start two hours later, following a concert by the Newsboys, a Christian rock band.
Religious Right activist David Barton is among the organizers:
The meeting is being organized at least in part by Keep the Promise PAC, one of four main super PACs supporting Cruz. Keep the Promise PAC is headed by David Barton, an influential Christian activist and author who formerly served as the vice chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.
Laura Barnett, a spokeswoman for Keep the Promise PAC, said the meeting is "designed as an open dialogue with Sen. Cruz and an opportunity to listen to and learn from one another." A guest list was unavailable Saturday, but Barnett said the number of RSVPs far exceeded organizers' expectations and those attending "represent a diverse cross-section of the faith community."
The Tribune reported that Samuel Rodriguez, head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, was scheduled to attend even though he’s skeptical of Cruz’s harsh positions on immigration.
"Engaging white evangelicals is nice and it's wonderful, but it doesn't get you across the goal line. It doesn't," Rodriguez said. "Ask Mitt Romney and ask John McCain. White evangelical support for the GOP does not equal occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."
Rodriguez suggested Cruz has made that task even harder with his recent clarification that he does not support legalization for the estimated 12 million people in the country illegally. As a result of that "immigration pivot," Rodriguez said, he is personally heading to Cisco with a "significant amount of angst."
If you’ve watched Rafael Cruz or his son at all, there’s not much new or surprising in Rafael’s book. It is essentially a book-length pitch for his son’s candidacy, beginning with a gushing foreword from Glenn Beck — “Rafael Cruz is one of the greatest freedom fighters of his generation” and “Ted Cruz will do anything to protect and preserve freedom” — to an epilogue from Ted Cruz, which reads like a reprint of his presidential campaign’s stump speech. Rafael says in the book that he has known since Ted was a young boy that he had “a special calling on his life.”
Rafael is not shy in his political pronouncements. The Democratic Party “promotes an ungodly socialist agenda that is destroying America,” he declares. “And unfortunately, there are those in the Republican Party who aren’t much different.” That is why, he says, it is even more important to vote in primary elections than in the general election, because the primary “gives you the opportunity to select the candidates that best align with biblical and constitutional principles.” Rafael, and Ted in his campaign-speech epilogue, repeat their assertion that 54 million evangelical voters stayed home on Election Day 2012 and that getting more of them to vote is the key to putting the government back in the hands of a “righteous” president.
I believe without a shadow of a doubt that the reason the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States have lasted over two centuries is that they were divinely inspired and then written by men who had spent time on their knees. These were men of God seeking revelation from God, and that’s what He gave them. Of course, these two documents aren’t equivalent to the Word of God, but God certainly directed the men who crafted them.
Also cited in “A Time for Action” is Christian-nation advocate and political strategist David Lane, who is trying to mobilize an army of conservative pastors to run for office, which he hopes will in turn bring out conservative evangelical volunteers and voters. Lane has also been, with FRC’s Tony Perkins, a major promoter of the effort to get Religious Right leaders to unite around a single candidate — a step taken earlier this month when dozens of them voted in a secret endorsement meeting to back Ted Cruz.
Rafael talks about the dangers of secular humanism and makes a glancing reference to Seven Mountains dominionism, the belief that conservative Christians must gain control over the "seven mountains" of American culture.
In no way, shape, or form was Jefferson implying that the church should be restricted from exerting an influence upon society. On the contrary, the Bible tells us that we are the salt of the earth and light of the world…Doesn’t that suggest that our influence should touch every area of society – our families, the media, sports, arts and entertainment, education, business, and government?”
Like Barton and Lane, Rafael makes his case for the Christian nature of the U.S. government by conflating the Pilgrims and Puritans with the founding fathers who gave us the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution more than 150 years later. Rafael declares that “the concept of separation of church and state is found nowhere in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States of America,” which leads into this:
To understand this clearly, we need to go back four centuries to the time of the first settlers in America. If you lived in England in the early 1600s and were not a member of the Church of England, you would be considered a heretic and subject to persecution. So the early settlers immigrated to the New World in order to freely worship the Lord their God. What a remarkable heritage of religious freedom this exceptional country gives us! The only country on the face of the earth founded on the World of God!
As this new constitutional representative republic stretched its wings following the Revolutionary War, citizens of the thirteen colonies wondered if their new government would impose a state religion upon them like the one their forefathers suffered in England…
That is followed by a discussion of Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, ending with the Bartonesque conclusion that Jefferson’s wall of separation image “was only referring to a one-way wall.”
Rafael’s writing on Cuba is similarly incomplete. He describes the explosion that sank the U.S. Maine in Havana harbor in 1898 as “an unprovoked attack” without any indication that many historians now believe the ship’s boiler exploded and that the “unprovoked attack” story was simply cover for the U.S. to declare war on Spain and bring Cuba under U.S. control. Rafael suggests without offering any evidence that President Obama’s unsuccessful efforts to close the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay suggest that Obama is “complicit” with Raúl Castro’s demands that the U.S. return the military base itself to Cuban control.
“A Time to Act” includes plenty of familiar Religious Right claims: that Supreme Court rulings on state-sponsored prayer and Bible readings in public schools have contributed to America’s downward slide, along with legal abortion and the “redefinition” of traditional marriage.
The book is also full of the hyperbolic rhetoric you’d expect from Rafael Cruz and World Net Daily, the far-right news outlet that serves as his publisher. Jimmy Carter’s policies were “reminiscent of the bearded dictator I had left behind in Cuba” and Obama taking executive action on immigration in the face of congressional inaction “doesn’t sound much different from the old, bearded dictator I left behind in Cuba almost sixty years ago — governing by decree, by fiat, just like Fidel Castro.”
There’s more: America today “is tragically following the same path that Cuba did a half century ago.” The Obama administration has “intensified our progression into an age of lawlessness.” The Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran will make it “quite literally, the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism.” The Supreme Court’s “lawless” and “preposterous” marriage equality decision is “one of the biggest signs of our country’s moral degradation.” The federal government “mandates that teachers affirm alternative, nonbiblical lifestyles, teach evolution as incontrovertible ‘fact,’ and mock the notion that God created the heavens and earth.” Common Core is a means for educational elites to “brainwash our students through federally mandated curriculum that extols socialism, globalism, and immorality from a secular humanist worldview.”
Like countless speeches at Religious Right political gatherings, Rafael Cruz places much of the blame for America’s sad state of affairs on pastors who aren’t being aggressive enough in preaching politics from the pulpit. “The time has come,” he writes, “for pastors to again fearlessly preach toward the political landscape, just like their predecessors centuries ago. If they don’t, Satan will rule without opposition in our halls of legislation.”
It is interesting to read the extent to which Ted Cruz is a product of careful grooming since childhood by his father and by far-right organizations. Rafael was active in the Religious Roundtable’s efforts to elect Ronald Reagan, and Ted, then nine years old, heard plenty of dinner conversations about the importance of getting rid of Jimmy Carter and replacing him with Ronald Reagan. Says Rafael, “My son received a dose of constitutionally conservative politics from a biblical worldview every day for a year when he was just nine!” As a kid, Rafael’s friends introduced Ted to the founder of the Free Enterprise Institute and began inculcating him in the teachings of people like Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. Ted was part of a group of five high school students that the Institute sent around Texas giving speeches on free-market economics and the Constitution.
“A Time for Action” also includes a few appendices. One helpfully explains how U.S. government policies — such as progressive income taxes, net neutrality, Amtrak subsidies and the auto industry “bailout” — align with the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto. Also included, courtesy of David Barton’s Wallbuilders, the letter of the Danbury Baptists to Thomas Jefferson and his response; a sermon preached by colonial pastor Jonas Clark before the battle of Lexington and his account of the battles of Lexington and Concord; and recommended resources, which include Ted Cruz’s “A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America” as well as books by conservative economists and a few Religious Right organizations, including the Alliance Defending Freedom, David Lane’s American Renewal Project, Wallbuilders, and, of course, WND. Earlier in the book, Cruz promotes other Religious Right groups that produce voter guides or voting records, including Vision America, Liberty Counsel, Liberty Institute, Eagle Forum and Concerned Women for America.
Ted Cruz has been racking up support from Religious Right leaders, and even touting endorsementsfromthemovement’smostextremeactivists. One of the first Religious Right groups to endorse Cruz was the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which hailed Cruz as “a proven champion for marriage and religious freedom and someone we can absolutely count on to fight to restore marriage to our nation’s laws.” In return, Cruz called NOM “a critical voice in protecting our rights.”
The Texas senator also joined Rick Santorum, Ben Carson and then-presidential candidate Bobby Jindal in signing the group’s presidential pledge, vowing to work towards banning same-sex marriage, to order government offices to “restore our policies to be consistent with the proper understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman” and “prevent the promotion of a redefined version of marriage in public schools and other government entities.”
NOM and other anti-gay groups may then be taken aback by what Cruz said at a Manhattan fundraiser where, in an audio recording provided to Politico, the GOP candidate assured one donor who said he disagreed with the senator’s stance on marriage equality that he wouldn’t make opposition to gay marriage a priority in his administration.
Of course, Cruz has been singing a very different tune on the campaign trail, where he has treated marriage equality as nothing short of a national emergency.
The fall of marriage equality bans in all 50 states following the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision was a disaster for the conservative movement, whose leaders have spent years demonizing same-sex couples and warning that the legal recognition of their marriages will unleash a wave of terror on the nation.
Even the not-exactly-pious GOP presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, is activelycourting the anti-gay Right, although he has trouble explaining why he should be seen as a strong defender of “traditional marriage.”
In the eyes of many conservative activists, Obergefell was the product of a culture that had been slipping away for years, bringing America into an apocalyptic period where growing acceptance for homosexuality is ushering in disastrous consequences.
Weeks before the Supreme Court handed down its ruling, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah declared that if the court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage and conservative states didn’t seceded from the union in protest, anti-gay activists like himself would flee the country. “Are there any governors or legislatures out there among the 50 states willing to secede to offer a refuge for the God-fearing?” he asked, warning that if states were to stay in the U.S. following a pro-equality decision, the world should expect “a pilgrimage by millions of Americans.”
End Times radio host Rick Wiles told his listeners that the country would “be brought to its knees” if the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of marriage equality and that there would be “pain and suffering at a level we’ve never seen in this country,” caused by “riots or looting or war on American soil or a fireball from space.”
Texas pastors Robert Jeffress and Rick Scarborough also got in the mix. Jeffress said the ruling could pave the way for the Antichrist while Scarborough said conservatives must “fight until we die” and “push back with all our might” against a ruling in favor of gay marriage, which he said would “unleash the spirit of hell on the nation.” Scarborough even boasted that he was ready to go to jail and face death: “We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and if necessary, we will burn.”
As one might expect, the responses to the ruling were not much different from the predictions.
The day after the ruling, Wiles declared that he received a message from God, who asked him to tell the people to “flee” the country before God destroys it through economic ruin, food shortages, terrorism, disease and slavery. “America is over,” he declared. Later, Wiles predicted that America is “going to see gunfire” from people resisting the government over gay marriage. “Somebody’s going to jail, somebody’s going to die, somebody’s going to suffer,” he said.
Michael Bresciani of the Christian Post said Obergefell would lead to “an economic crash much more serious than the stock market crash of 29,” while WND’s Farah envisioned “more civil and racial strife” or “an attack on our country from foreign power or terrorist group.”
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes said that “pastors who refuse to perform gay marriage and preach from the Bible should prepare for hate crime charges,” while Illinois pastor Erwin Lutzer told religious parents to prepare to “be diagnosed as culturally intolerant and personality intolerant,” as a result of which “their children will be taken away from them.” Perkins of the FRC claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision would threaten the freedom of speech and gun rights.
American Family Radio host Sandy Rios, who also serves as the American Family Association’s governmental affairs director, said that homosexuality may have been “a factor” in the deadly Amtrak crash in May. She suggested that the engineer, who is gay, may have been having a breakdown as he experienced “some confusion” related to homosexuality.
Fellow AFR host Bryan Fischer specifically blamed flooding in Texas on God’s judgment for homosexuality, saying that “you can make a geographical connection” between flooding and homosexuality. (We wonder what that means for American Family Radio’s home town of Tupelo, Mississippi, which was hit by a tornado last year).
Huckabee also suggested that America is in “a dangerous place” because “if man believes that he can redefine marriage, it’s apparent that man believes he has become his own god,” and God will not protect such a nation.
The Religious Right has a long history of absurdly claiming that evangelical Christians are facing persecution in America, and the Obergefell ruling only amped up such rhetoric.
Huckabee warned that the gay rights movement “won’t stop until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel,” lamenting that too many Christians don’t realize “how close they are to losing all of their freedoms.” Huckabee’s fellow GOP presidential candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, also got in on the action, warning that a gay “jihad” is “going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”
Glenn Beck predicted that Obergefell would result in serious repercussions for the media, claiming that “anybody on this show [who] says they’re for traditional marriage” will have their airtime in jeopardy as the ruling “could mean the end of radio broadcasts like mine.”
Nothing set off more persecution rhetoric than the Kim Davis saga, in which the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk blocked her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of a court order, citing “God’s authority.” She was temporarily placed in the custody of U.S. Marshals after she said she would continue to flout the courts and was only released after deputy clerks started to issue the licenses.
Even before the Davis case, many Republicans had been insisting that government officials may not have to treat court rulings on marriage as authoritative after all, and can simply flout the process of judicial review. Obergefell gave them the perfect opportunity to put these arguments into action.
Before quitting the presidential race, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal lambasted the decision, explaining that “no earthly court can change the definition of marriage.” Huckabee said that if elected president, he would tell the Supreme Court: “Thank you for your opinion, but we shall ignore it.” “It’s a matter of saving our republic to say that, as president, we’re not going to accept this decision, we will ignore it and we will not enforce it,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also claimed that when civil law conflicts with “God’s rules,” then government officials must choose the latter because “God’s rules always win.” Rubio, along with his fellow GOP presidential candidates Cruz, Huckabee, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum and Carly Fiorina, also pledged to sign legislation confronting the supposed discrimination faced by gay marriage opponents.
The “700 Club” host worried in September that gay marriage would trigger a perilous financial crisis, warning that “the rupture of the entire financial framework of our world” could occur because of the Obergefell ruling. He again alleged in November that “the wrath of God” is headed to America now that “it’s a constitutional right for sodomites to marry each other,” possibly in the form of “a massive financial collapse.”
“They’re going to make you conform to them,” he said of gay rights advocates. “You are going to say you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality, you like anything you can think of, whatever it is.”
“Christianity, the founding principle of this nation, is criminalized,” he said in response to the Davis controversy. “You go to jail if you believe in God and stand fast for your beliefs against the onslaught of secular humanism and the flood that comes about with it.” (Robertson, of course, has not been jailed).
Warning viewers that “the homosexuals don’t just want to be left alone, now they want to come out and stick it to the Christians,” Robertson said that gay rights laws are creating “absolute tyranny” and “it's high time we call it what it is and we stand up for freedom.”
The televangelist also offered his patented advice to people with gay children.
He told one mother to send her daughter, who is dating another woman, to a Christian summer camp and “pray that God will straighten her out.” He said that the girl was probably “pressured” into embracing a lesbian identity because “there’s so much lesbian stuff, I mean, lesbian this, lesbian the other, so much homosexual — the media is pushing this as hard as they can possibly push it.” He told another viewer who has a gay son to treat him like a drug addict, and advised yet another parent that God could change his gay son if only the son were to start “acting like a man.”
At bat today was North Carolina-based pastor and anti-gay activist Michael Brown, who, before leading the callers in prayer, said that he believed that if God is behind Cruz’s campaign, He will send a “miracle” to propel the Texas senator to the White House and insisted that Cruz would be a “godly president” who could help believers bring about a “radical change” in America.
“When I first met with Sen. Cruz’s dad, Rafael, some months back and he shared with me how Sen. Cruz was elected to be the senator of Texas,” he said, “I knew right then that this was the kind of thing that if this if God was in, we would see a miracle happen, that that was the only way that Sen. Cruz could make it to be president of the United States.”
“We must have a Gospel-based moral and cultural revolution,” he added. “It can only flow from the church, it can only flow from the people of God, but if the people of God across the country were united with a godly president, we could see radical change come.”
Leading up to the December 15 Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, PFAW board member Dolores Huerta traveled to Las Vegas to speak with Nevada voters about the dangerous platforms of Republican presidential candidates. The trip was part of PFAW’s Latinos Vote! program, and this was the third GOP debate where Huerta joined PFAW on the ground to emphasize the extremism of the current Republican presidential candidates.
Her first stop was a Latino voters and leaders roundtable where she addressed the Republican candidates’ far-right platforms on a number of issues, including the environment, immigration, the minimum wage, and women’s health.
Huerta also headlined a press conference with unions and progressive organizations, and a #NoHateDebate rally outside of the debate. As the leading Nevada newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, reported, “Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and civil rights champion Dolores Huerta said ‘there's a war going on’ against women, labor unions and the environment, and it's being waged by the candidates who will take the stage in Las Vegas Tuesday night and their respective party.”
Watch her speech at the #NoHateDebate rally:
Mobilizing voters in Nevada will be a key to Democrats winning the White House in 2016. In 2008 and 2012, Obama won Nevada, but in the 2014 elections, Republicans won up and down the ticket. The state is one of the targets for PFAW’s Latinos Vote! program that works to expose and counter anti-immigrant and anti-Latino rhetoric and policies, as Nevada Latinos could be the margin of victory for Democrats in Nevada in 2016. While in 1994 Latino voters were just 5% of the electorate, they’re now 15% of the voting population. By speaking directly with Latino voters and to local media, Huerta was able to address how important the Latino vote will be in Nevada and the dangerous threat that the Republican presidential candidates pose to Latino and immigrant communities.
Now, the Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger reports that the group will gather again a few days after Christmas “at a remote ranch in central Texas, where Cruz, his wife and several key financial backers will visit with some of the country’s most prominent evangelical leaders for private conversations and a public rally.”
Here at Right Wing Watch, we listen to hours of video and audio each day in order to find the short clips that we share with our readers. It’s been a doozy of a year, in which presidential politics has collided with the farthest of the far right, and here at Right Wing Watch, we’ve had the dubious pleasure of witnessing it all. It’s hard to pick our favorite/most horrifying memories of the year, so instead we’ve looked back at the 10 most watched videos and most listened-to audio clips of the year.
10. Sandy Rios Investigates The Amtrak Crash
Days after an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in May, killing eight and injuring hundreds, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios pointed out “an interesting part of the story” that was likely “a factor” in the crash: the conductor’s homosexuality.
June was not a happy month for anti-gay activists, as exemplified by Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, who days before the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision warned that gay marriage was a satanic plot to destroy Christianity and may very well bring God’s judgment on America.
Televangelist Pat Robertson is not always quite on point with the advice he gives to viewers of “The 700 Club” at the end of every program, such as when he told a bereaved mother who had just lost a young child that the child could have turned out to be the next Hitler .
4. The Gay ‘Jihad’
Ted Cruz went there during a campaign event in Iowa in April.
3. Rick Perry’s ‘Accident’
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry had a very ill-timed “oops” moment when he called the mass shooting at a church in Charleston an “accident,” in the process of claiming that the crime was the result of drugs rather than guns.
2. Phil Robertson’s Imagination
Back in March, controversial “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson tried to make a convoluted point about atheists supposedly having no moral code by telling a gruesome hypothetical story about a family of atheists getting raped and murdered.
1. Rick Scarborough’s Martyrdom
Nobody took the hysteria over the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision quite as far as Rick Scarborough, who declared a few days before the court handed down its decision that he was ready to burn to death in his fight against gay marriage.
Cruz also welcomed the endorsement of radical right-wing activist Flip Benham, who has crashed the weddings of same-sex couples in protest and declared that gays want to kill Christians because "the homosexual community" is "the most violent community there is":
When it gets to the holiday season here at Right Wing Watch, our inboxes are flooded with warnings about the “War on Christmas,” often accompanied by year-end fundraising pitches or, better yet, Christmas gift ideas.
As a public service, we’ve compiled some of the best of these into our annual Right Wing Watch War on Christmas gift guide, where you can find something for everyone on your list.
Don’t be deterred by the elitist critics who describe the “odd, lingering aftertastes” of Bakker’s food buckets or pan them as “one of the worst things I’ve ever eaten in my life.”
For The Public Official Who Just Really Doesn’t Want To Do Her Job
The War on Christmas began early this year, when Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis became a Religious Right hero after her ill-fated attempts to exempt her county from the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling landed her briefly in jail.
(Apparently the campaign has opted not to sell Sabo’s other most famous work, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis as “ Abortion Barbie.”)
For The Ted Cruz Fan With A Festive Spirit
For the Cruz supporter with a more wholesome sensibility, consider this sweater, which Cruz’s campaign instructs supporters to wear while setting “an example for the ‘tolerant left’” by saying “Merry Christmas every chance you get!”
For The Downcast Jeb Bush Supporter
Why should Ted Cruz supporters get all the cool merch? For just $20, you can get a deserving friend or relative this stylish Jeb Bush Christmas ornament, guaranteed to cheer up anyone who’s been looking at his poll numbers.
For The Relative With ‘A Case Of The Bah-Humbugs’
Kirk Cameron’s movie “Saving Christmas” came out last year, but the DVD was released last month, just in time to stuff the stockings of loved ones who need a reminder of the true spirit of the season.
In the movie, Cameron plays a pro-Christmas warrior who must cure his brother-in-law of “a bad case of the bah-humbugs.” Film critic Peter Sobczynski writes that the movie is “little more than a screed delivered by Kirk Cameron scorning everyone who doesn't celebrate the season as ostentatiously as he does, justifying his attitude with bits and pieces gleaned from the Bible, delivered in the most self-righteous manner imaginable. The result is perhaps the only Christmas movie I can think of, especially of the religious-themed variety, that seems to flat-out endorse materialism, greed and outright gluttony.”
The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde, however, was pleasantly surprised: “I had assumed it would be a 90-minute jeremiad aimed at atheists, Jews, Muslims, and other people who don’t celebrate Christmas exactly the way Kirk Cameron does. Instead, it’s an 80-minute jeremiad aimed at other Christians who don’t celebrate Christmas exactly the way Kirk Cameron does.”
Why settle for a Bible when you could have a Bible supplemented by misleading American history?
For The Birther Who Will Never Give Up
President Obama may be entering his last year in office, but the conservative news source WorldNetDaily will never give up on its quest to prove that Obama was ineligible for the presidency all along. What better gift for a similarly persistent loved one than these bumper stickers from the WND store, which a recent email from WND points out would make great stocking stuffers.