Todd Starnes

Ben Carson: Flying To Florida To Get New Clothes Proves I'll Make A Great President

Ben Carson spoke yesterday with Fox News pundit Todd Starnes about the debacle in Iowa on Monday when Carson’s campaign announced, just before Republican caucus-goers started casting their votes, that the candidate would be traveling from Iowa to his Florida home rather than directly to another early primary state like New Hampshire or South Carolina.

The campaign immediately insisted that Carson was only making the Florida stop in order to get “a fresh set of clothes” and that he wasn’t dropping out of the race. However, Ted Cruz’s campaign seized on the news to urge its supporters to tell Carson backers at caucus sites, falsely, that the neurosurgeon was leaving the race and that they should vote for Cruz instead.

While this latest controversy seemed like the latest misstep in a presidential campaign already ridden by infighting and accusations of scamming donors, not to mention the candidate’s own bizarre rantings, Carson is now trying to use it to attack Cruz, suggesting that the Texas senator is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Carson told Starnes that Cruz’s indifference to his campaign’s alleged dirty tricks was reminiscent of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s response to the 2012 Benghazi attack. “It’s sort of like if Hillary Clinton said after Benghazi, ‘What difference does it make?’” he said. (Clinton was not talking about the terrorist attack, as Carson implied, but was responding to GOP criticisms of the administration’s talking points following the attack).

Carson went on to note that he wasn’t comparing Cruz’s actions to Benghazi, but was merely saying that he demonstrated “the same kind of attitude, the attitude being, ‘It’s water under the bridge, it’s gone by, let’s not deal with it.’”

Carson also addressed his post-Iowa trip to his Florida home.

He told Starnes that he did indeed get a fresh change of clothes rather than buy new ones and “just throw away the clothes that needed to be dry cleaned or washed,” proving that he would make a fiscally conservative president who wouldn’t “go out and spend the taxpayers’ money willy-nilly.”

We hate to have to point out to Carson that a trip to a dry cleaner in New Hampshire would likely have cost far less money than a plane ticket to Florida and would have prevented this whole commotion in the first place.

Todd Starnes, Who Questioned Obama's Faith, Criticizes Those Questioning Trump's Faith

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes is absolutely flabbergasted that some conservative Christian commentators such as Southern Baptist Convention official Russell Moore are questioning Donald Trump’s Christian faith, largely over Trump’s claim that he has never repented for anything or asked God for forgiveness.

Trump, who has questioned the faith of Ben Carson and Ted Cruz, has also raised eyebrows over his pronunciation of “2 Corinthians” and claim that Christians need to “get even” with their enemies.

Starnes jumped to the GOP presidential frontrunner’s defense, using his daily bulletin to criticize Christian leaders “who are attacking Donald Trump” and deriding them as “modern day Pharisees” who are “casting judgment” and conducting “a theological witch hunt.”

He similarly told “AFA Today” that evangelical leaders want to subject Trump to “some sort of a theological trial in front of the Liberty University student body as if he had to confess all of his sins and transgressions.” “I really think that was sort of sad that it’s come to this in evangelical Christian circles,” he added.

We wonder where Starnes’ newfound sensitivity of conservative activists questioning someone’s Christian faith has come from, as conservative leaders have regularly claimed that President Obama is a fake Christian who wants to persecute the real ones, including none other than Todd Starnes himself:

A Dejected Mike Huckabee Is Now Just Burning Bridges With The Religious Right

Mike Huckabee has made no secret of his disappointment in fact that Religious Right leaders have failed to rally around his presidential campaign, with many of them instead backing Ted Cruz.

Huckabee recently spoke with Fox News pundit Todd Starnes about his feelings toward the leaders of the Religious Right establishment who, he feels, abandoned him and he did not hold back as he accused them of not actually wanting to see an end to abortion or gay marriage because they raise too much money campaigning on those issues.

"As I've often said, 'I don't go to them, I come from them,' but because of that I do understand them. And a lot of them, quite frankly, I think they're scared to death that if a guy like me got elected, I would actually do what I said I would do, and that is I would focus on the personhood of every individual, we would abolish abortion based on the Fifth and 14th Amendment, we would ignore the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decision. And you know what the result would be?

A lot of these organizations wouldn't have the ability to do urgent fundraising because if we slay the dragon, what dragon do they continue to fight? And so, for many of them, it could be a real detriment to their organization's abilities to gin up their supporters and raise the contributions, and I know that sounds cynical but, Todd, it is what it is."

Huckabee then went on to flat-out accuse the individuals and organizations that shunned his campaign of operating by "secular standards" and not really believing in the power of prayer or in God's ability to do great things, saying that they "will talk about prayer but [they] really don't necessarily believe that it will change things."

Todd Starnes Wonders If George Soros & Saul Alinsky Were Behind Louisville Teen Mall Fight

Over the weekend, local media in Louisville reported that “up to 2,000 people” were involved in a riot at a shopping mall, causing the mall to shut for the night. Once the dust settled, it became clear that the people involved were fighting teenagers and that there were likely far fewer than 2,000 of them. But no journalistic scruples, of course, stopped Fox News commentator and serial misinformer Todd Starnes from spreading the alarm, writing in a column yesterday that “mobs of unsupervised teenagers” were terrorizing shoppers “across the fruited plain” and complaining that the “little thugs and thugettes” involved were not arrested.

In an interview with a St. Louis radio station this morning, Starnes took his alarm even further, wondering if the teens fighting in Louisville were part of a liberal plot stemming from the ideology of Saul Alinsky or George Soros.

“Is this being coordinated by someone?” Tim Jones, who was guest-hosting “Allman in the Morning,” asked Starnes. “Is this all just spontaneous? It seems hard to believe that this is all happening just by itself.”

“Doesn’t it?” Starnes replied. “It smells of something that Saul Alinksy or George Soros might concoct, but, again, we have no proof of that.”

The two also linked the fight in Louisville to peaceful Black Lives Matter protests at the Mall of America.

The Year In Homophobia: The Right-Wing's Anti-Gay Meltdown In 2015

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.

While Obergefell was a major setback for the Religious Right, the 2016 presidential campaign proves that the movement’s anti-gay crusade is far from over. Several GOP presidential candidates have vowed to enshrine anti-gay discrimination into law and to turn the government into an arm of the anti-gay movement. At the same time, more and more conservative leaders are insisting that government officials should simply ignore decisions they don’t like, such as Obergefell.

Even the not-exactly-pious GOP presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, is actively courting 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.

Obergefell predictions

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.”

Farah was no outlier. In the days and weeks leading up to the decision, Religious Right pundits roundly declared that nationwide marriage equality would lead to the widespread persecution of Christians and America’s destruction at the hands of God.

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.”

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay warned the Supreme Court that “all hell is going to break loose” if it “rules against marriage,” predicting widespread civil disobedience as a result of the decision. Republican presidential candidate and former governor Mike Huckabee said the ruling would effectively “criminalize Christianity” and lead to the criminal prosecution of pastors who don’t perform weddings for same-sex couples.

Other Religious Right leaders like Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, and Liberty Counsel Chairman Mathew Staver confidentially predicted that a gay marriage ruling would spark a second Civil War or a second American Revolution.

Alan Keyes called such a ruling a “just cause for war,” insisting that it would “produce the separation and dissolution of the United States” and usher in “the murder of the masses.” “We’ve got to fight to our deaths to save this great country,” Accuracy In Media’s Cliff Kincaid said of gay marriage, which he called “the planned destruction of our country.”

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.”

Obergefell reactions

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.

One Kentucky clerk (not Kim Davis!) even said he would die before issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple. Roy Moore, the chief justice of the Alabama state supreme court, wondered if gay marriage would lead to oppression rivaling the Holocaust.

Staver, the Religious Right attorney who went on to represent rogue Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, said that the ruling transformed America into Nazi Germany and that the Department of Education will now make schools tell kindergarteners to “go out and have same-sex relationships.” (He had previously warned of the prospect of “forced homosexuality.”) One pastor made the case that gays would now try to force straight people to have gay sex with them. DeLay, the former House GOP leader, insisted that he had uncovered a secret Department of Justice memo legalizing “12 new perversions, things like bestiality, polygamy, having sex with little boys and making that legal.”

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.

At least one pastor, Kevin Swanson, said that conservatives should attend a gay loved one’s wedding, but only if they show up with cow manure smeared all over their bodies:

Blame for disasters

Gay people are used to being blamed for everything from deadly hurricanes to the September 11 attacks, so right-wing activists now have to find new tragedies to pin on gays.

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.

Rios also claimed that “the terror threat against this nation has gone up exponentially” due to celebrations of LGBT rights, as they caused God to turn away from the U.S. and now “we’ve lost protections of God for this country.” Perkins, who also has a show on AFR, said the Obergefell ruling makes America more “vulnerable” to attacks as God will no longer protect the U.S. He also warned that an increase in the number kids raised by same-sex parents will lead to a surge in the prison population.

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).

Evangelist Jonathan Cahn said that the terrorist attacks in Paris were a sign that God stopped protecting France as punishment for legalizing same-sex marriage and warned that Hurricane Joaquin might hit Washington, D.C., to punish elected officials who celebrated gay rights. (It didn’t.)

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.

Wiles, the host of the End Time program “Trunews,” suggested that homosexuality played a role in California’s drought, alleging that news of the state’s “spiritual rebellion” had “reached heaven and God has no other choice but to cut off the rain.” However, Starnes of Fox News repeatedly claimed that a rainstorm in Washington, D.C., following the ruling was actually a sign of God’s displeasure.

Swanson, who advocated for the death penalty for unrepentant gays at a summit attended by several GOP presidential candidates, said at the same conference that gay couples kissing could trigger flooding and wildfires and that a gay character in “Harry Potter” will lead to divine punishment.

Christian Persecution Complex

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.”

Wiles, the End Times radio host, alleged that gay marriage would lead to the imposition of martial law, while Personhood USA cofounder Cal Zastrow predicted that one day “the sodomite police” will take women’s husbands away from them.

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.”

As the positively insane anti-gay filmLight Wins” claimed, the gay rights movement is lighting America on fire with cases of persecution:

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.

The case allowed right-wing activists to claim that their fears of the mass imprisonment of Christians following the Obergefell ruling were coming true. Davis’ lawyers at the virulently anti-gay and far-right legal group Liberty Counsel went so far as to compare her to a Jew living in Nazi Germany facing the gas chambers.

Ignore the courts

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.

Cruz declared that the government could ignore Obergefell, which he called a “fundamentally illegitimate” decision akin to “Nazi decrees,” and promised that in a Cruz administration “we will not use the federal government to enforce this lawless decision.”

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.

Such talking points show the success of the Religious Right in claiming that laws inconsistent with the Bible, or more specifically, Religious Right activists’ view of the Bible, should be treated as illegitimate.

Pat Robertson Bonus

While it was hard for Pat Robertson to top his previous claims about gay people causing terrorism, tornados, earthquakes and meteor strikes and using special rings to deliberately transmit HIV/AIDS to people who shake hands with them, he tried his best in 2015.

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.”

Robertson praised countries in Africa like Kenya that criminalize homosexuality, urging Obama to “listen to some of his fellow Africans” on the matter, while at the same time warning that gays are bent on outlawing religious liberty and having all Christians “put in jail” as part of their “vendetta to destroy everyone who disagrees with them.”

“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).

He also predicted that gay marriage will legalize pedophilia, polygamy and “love affairs between men and animals.”

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.”

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 12/10/15

  • The Palmetto Family Council in South Carolina is now operating a literal "Defend Christmas Freedom Hotline," which is exactly what it sounds like.
  • Erik Rush is convinced that the Left is afraid of him and people like Donald Trump because they are willing to say the things that "could lead to the undoing of a hundred years of their evil work."
  • Todd Starnes bravely stands with Jerry Falwell, Jr. because "sometimes I wonder who hates Christians more — the mainstream media or the Islamic jihadists." 
  • Direct mail pioneer Richard Viguerie has added him name to Ted Cruz's long list of right-wing endorsements.
  • Finally, some typically restrained advice from Ted Nugent: "You want to make America a safer place to live, work and play? If so, ban liberal zombies and their horse dung toxic-logic."

Right-Wing Activists Praise Trump's Plan To Ban Muslim Immigration

Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, the group who put out the bogus poll of Muslim-American views that was cited by Donald Trump in his press release calling for a ban Muslim immigration, appeared on Breitbart’s Sirius XM radio show today to defend Trump’s proposal.

Gaffney, like Trump, promotes birther conspiracy theories along with bizarre claims that Muslim Brotherhood and Sharia law advocates are taking over the U.S. government and both political parties, touted his poll as “an insight into how the Muslims that we polled felt and it’s worrisome.”

“Fortunately, Donald Trump, like you, I’m not endorsing him, I’m not speaking of his fitness, I’m just saying that in response to events that have taken place in this country and elsewhere in recent months has recognized what I think most Americans recognize, that we don’t actually want more jihadists in this country,” he said, insisting that Americans “don’t think augmenting them willy-nilly in the name of some kind of sense that they are entitled to come here is a sound policy.”

He continued: “We have called for a moratorium on the introduction of still more Muslims, particularly from countries with a tradition of Islamic supremacism.”

Gaffney wasn’t alone. Fox News pundit Todd Starnes also defend the GOP presidential front-runner plan:

Ann Coulter joined in on the fun:

As did David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, who lauded Trump’s courage:

American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer said Trump is merely advocating what he called for years ago:

Conservative columnist Diana West called it a “perfect” plan:

John Nolte of Breitbart offered a more unusual defense:

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/2/15

Todd Starnes: Obama Would Rather See A US City Nuked 'Than Profile Someone Who Might Be A Terrorist'

Falsely suggesting that Syrian refugees are being admitted into the U.S. without being vetted, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes claimed today that the Obama administration “would rather have a nuclear bomb go off in an American city than profile someone who might be a terrorist.”

In an interview with St. Louis radio host Jamie Allman this morning, Starnes first claimed that Muslims hadn’t done enough to denounce 9/11 and the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and then absurdly claimed that the Obama administration “objects” to vetting refugees.

“I just think it’s prudent to take your time and vet these people coming into the country,” he said. “And the Obama administration objects to this, but the fact of the matter is it may be a moot point, Jamie, we just don’t know who’s been coming across our southern border and I suspect that we’ve got a lot of these folks just lurking and living among us.”

In reality, those applying for refugee resettlement in the U.S. go through a stringent vetting process that takes an average of two years to complete.

“Jamie, I honestly think that with this administration, the moral high ground, they would rather have a nuclear bomb go off in an American city than profile someone who might be a terrorist,” Starnes added. “I think they think in their minds, the moral high ground, that would be the moral high ground. It’s just really outrageous.”

Todd Starnes: Mizzou Protests Will Destroy America

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes appeared on “Washington Watch” last week to share “his analysis on exactly what’s happening on the University of Missouri campus.”

As one could imagine, neither Starnes nor the program’s host, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, were particularly sympathetic to the protests of the university’s handling of race issues, which they labeled as a threat to the survival of America.

They even questioned whether state universities should still receive public funding. “We could be funding the demise of America,” Starnes said. “We are funding these colleges and universities and they’re the ones that are espousing these fascist and socialist ideas.”

Starnes went on to say that if people don’t “wake up” and “stand up and say we’re not going to tolerate this with our tax money, then we may not have a country much long.”

Mike Huckabee Warns Of Cover-up After Investigation Debunks Phony IRS Scandal

Mike Huckabee said last week that a Justice Department investigation that debunked right-wing claims that the IRS targeted conservative groups only confirms in his mind that the IRS was going after conservatives all along.

Speaking with Fox News pundit Todd Starnes, who was guest-hosting the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” radio program, Huckabee said that the fact that investigators didn’t find any wrongdoing at the tax agency proves that the DOJ is covering up the supposed scandal and — like the IRS — has become politicized under the Obama administration.

“That’s exactly what I expected them to do,” he said. “This is a Justice Department that cannot be trusted to really look at things objectively. It’s been a very politically run Justice Department.”

The Republican presidential candidate added that the DOJ’s decision not to press charges in the matter “is just the kind of thing that makes people increasingly frustrated, angry and ready to start the revolution against Washington.”

Todd Starnes: Rainbow Doritos Benefit 'A Bunch Of Godless Sickos'

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes used his recent radio commentary to announce that he will be boycotting Frito-Lay because of the release of Rainbow Doritos.

Starnes is particularly upset that proceeds from the limited run will benefit Dan Savage's "It Gets Better Project," which supports LGBT youth, declaring that he will not buy another Frito-Lay product until the company "stops giving money to a bunch of godless sickos who bash Christians."

It appears that Frito-Lay would rather do business with the likes of Dan Savage than America’s good, church-going people.

Look, it’s not my business where you dip your Dorito, but as for me and my house, I can promise you this, not a single Frito, not a single Cheeto until Frito-Lay stops giving money to a bunch of godless sickos who bash Christians.

Starnes, of course, has previously claimed that boycotts of businesses are "anti-capitalist" and "un-American."

Who's Who At The Values Voter Summit 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tony Perkins

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

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

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

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

Jerry Boykin

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

Mat Staver

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

Jonathan Cahn

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

Todd Starnes

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

Star Parker

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

David and Jason Benham

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

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

Kim Davis

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

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

Casey Davis

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

Brigitte Gabriel

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

Pat Fagan

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

Erick Erickson

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

Craig James

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

Aaron & Melissa Klein

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

Ed Vitagliano

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

Brent Bozell

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

Bozell has:

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/15/15

 

 

 

 

Todd Starnes: Judge Should've Ruled With Catholic Church Over The Constitution!

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes is incensed that Judge David Bunning, the son of a former Republican U.S. Senator who identifies as a Roman Catholic and personally opposed the Supreme Court’s landmark marriage equality ruling, decided to enforce the law when it came to Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ refusal to let her county office issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Starnes told “AFA Today” host Crane Durham yesterday that the judge should have instead upheld the teachings of the Catholic church that gay marriage is wrong.

What gets me about Judge Bunning, I saw a profile piece over the weekend and they said that he is a devout Catholic man who opposed the Supreme Court’s decision on this issue. So what does that tell me, Crane? It tells me this man is not a man of strong character if in fact he ruled against the basic tenets of his own faith. So I think we are dealing with a lot of unscrupulous characters here.

Starnes’ insistence that the judge cite Catholic teaching over constitutional law in this matter, and that his refusal to do so shows that he lacks character and is an “unscrupulous” individual, reveals a lot about how the Religious Right views the Davis case. (Ironically, it is usually Religious Right activists who allege that “activist judges” are putting personal feelings ahead of the law).

Starnes believes that the judge should have sidestepped the U.S. Constitution and imposed his personal religious beliefs on the people in his courtroom, just as Kim Davis imposed her personal religious beliefs on the people seeking a marriage license from the county.

But the courthouse isn’t Bunning’s church, just as the county clerk’s office isn’t Davis’ church.

It seems that those supporting Davis believe that public officials should make sure that everyone else in the country has to follow their personal reading of God’s law, as long as that personal interpretation of God’s law corresponds with the political agenda of the Religious Right.

Mike Huckabee: Government Treating Gitmo Detainees Better Than Kim Davis

Promoting his Tuesday rally in Kentucky defending county clerk Kim Davis, Mike Huckabee told Fox News that the government has been more accommodating to detainees in Guantanamo Bay than to Davis, who was jailed for contempt after violating court orders to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

If gay people want to receive a marriage license, Huckabee said, then they should wait until Election Day to vote for a new county clerk.

Huckabee isn’t the only one bestowing martyrdom status on Davis.

In yet another column defending the Kentucky clerk, Fox News pundit Todd Starnes said that “perhaps one day, students of history will read not only letters from a Birmingham jail, but letters from a Kentucky jail.” He even likened Judge David Bunning, the Bush-nominated judge who held Davis in contempt of court, to Bull Connor:

 

Federal Judge David Bunning did with a gavel what Bull Connor tried to do with dogs and fire hoses. Please...

Posted by Todd Starnes on Friday, September 4, 2015

 

Todd Starnes: Jails Will Soon Fill Up With Christians

Fox News pundit Todd Starnes has been at the forefront of the Religious Right’s campaign to turn anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis into a martyr, and appeared on American Family Radio yesterday to denounce the judge who put Davis in the custody of U.S. Marshals because of her continued violations of the law.

“I warned people of faith that this kind of stuff is coming,” Starnes told “AFA Today” host Crane Durham. “Now we know that it is here and this is a very dangerous and very disturbing development. But quite frankly, you know what, we all knew, Crane, those of us who read our Bibles, we all knew that there was a time coming in this country where the persecution would happen and it seems as though, at least in the case of Mrs. Davis, that time is right now.”

Discussing his recent interview with Davis, in which she said that she wouldn’t resign her position because she plans to use the county office to spread “God’s word” and act as “a vessel God,” Starnes said that Kentucky lawmakers failed to even meet with Davis about legislative remedies for her supposed plight. He added: “I hope that the folks listening to this program in Kentucky will call their state legislators and their representatives right now and demand that they take action to protect other Christians in the state of Kentucky, otherwise I suspect the jails are going to start filling up pretty quickly.”

With Kim Davis In Custody, Conservatives Anoint Her As A Martyr

The decision by a federal judge to put Kim Davis in the custody of U.S. Marshals for repeatedly violating the law and refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples has solidified the Kentucky clerk’s status as a Religious Right martyr. Following the court’s ruling, conservative leaders and commentators immediately defended Davis.

Mike Huckabee, who has called Davis to offer his support, repeated his talking point about the “criminalization of Christianity” and announced plans to travel to Kentucky to support her legal battle.

Huckabee started a petition demanding President Obama “free Kim Davis”:

Dear President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, & Judge Bunning:

Immediately release Kim Davis from federal custody. Exercising Religious Liberty should never be a crime in America. This is a direct attack on our God-given, constitutional rights.

Sincerely,

Mike Huckabee

He also warned on Facebook that others, including pastors and caterers, may soon join her in jail:

Having Kim Davis in federal custody removes all doubt of the criminalization of Christianity in our country. We must...

Posted by Mike Huckabee on Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fellow presidential candidate and Davis defender Rand Paul told CNN that “it’s absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberties,” wondering why federal courts are involved in the matter in the first place.

Ted Cruz released his own statement decrying the supposed “persecution” of Davis by the Obama administration, which had nothing to do with the case:

“Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny. Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith. This is wrong. This is not America.

“I stand with Kim Davis. Unequivocally. I stand with every American that the Obama Administration is trying to force to chose between honoring his or her faith or complying with a lawless court opinion.

...

“I call upon every Believer, every Constitutionalist, every lover of liberty to stand with Kim Davis. Stop the persecution now.”

Liberty Counsel, the virulently anti-LGBT organization representing Davis, said that she is not going to jail for contempt but just for being a Christian:

“Kim Davis might be jailed for her conscience, but her conscience is free,” Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver told Glenn Beck’s The Blaze. “He’s just putting her behind bars and treating her as a criminal.”

Liberty Counsel radio host Matt Barber said that Davis will now have to “bow a knee before ‘LGBT’ gods” or burn to death, likening her to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

RedState founder Erick Erickson mentioned civil war:

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said in a statement that the judge has imposed an unconstitutional religious test for public office: “If this is not resolved in a manner that accommodates the orthodox religious beliefs of Clerk Davis, this will, in effect, establish a reverse religious test barring those who hold biblical views of marriage from positions of public service. Such a religious test by proclamation or practice is wrong.”

After conducting a fawning interview with Davis, Fox News pundit Todd Starnes continued to defend her, warning that “these are very dangerous days for America”:

Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was taken into federal custody today. Federal Judge David Bunning says she will remain behind...

Posted by Todd Starnes on Thursday, September 3, 2015

Kim Davis Vows To Use County Office To Spread 'God's Word,' Act As Divine Vessel

UPDATE: Kim Davis was just found in contempt of court and taken into custody by U.S. Marshals.

Being interviewed by Todd Starnes is a rite of passage that nearly all phony Religious Right martyrs undergo as they turn themselves into the latest victims of anti-Christian bigotry, so it came as no surprise that Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis offered an “EXCLUSIVE” interview with the Fox News pundit today.

Telling Starnes that she is “prepared to go to jail” if she is held in contempt of court for preventing the county from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Davis added that she refuses to step down from her position as an elected official because she is “a vessel God has chosen for this time and this place” who wants to use the county office to spread “God’s word.”

The four-times-married clerk also said that others should learn from her “sordid past” and repent: “They too can receive the cleansing and renewing, and they can start a fresh life and they can be different. They don’t have to remain in their sin, there’s hope for tomorrow.”

“I’ve weighed the cost and I’m prepared to go to jail, I sure am,” Mrs. Davis told me in an exclusive interview. “This has never been a gay or lesbian issue for me. This is about upholding the word of God.”

“This is a heaven or hell issue for me and for every other Christian that believes,” she said. “This is a fight worth fighting.”



“I would have to either make a decision to stand or I would have to buckle down and leave,” she said, pondering her choices. “And if I left, resigned or chose to retire, I would have no voice for God’s word.



She once lived for the devil, but now she lives for God. She’s a sinner saved by grace.



So how does she handle the reporters and talking heads who call her a hypocrite?

“All I can say to them is if they have a sordid past like what I had, they too can receive the cleansing and renewing, and they can start a fresh life and they can be different,” she said. “They don’t have to remain in their sin, there’s hope for tomorrow.”

Davis did not seek the national spotlight. She had no intention of becoming a spokeswoman for religious liberty, and she bristles at the idea that she is a hero of the faith.

“I’m just a vessel God has chosen for this time and this place,” she said. “I’m no different than any other Christian. It was my appointed time to stand, and their time will come.”

Such remarks come as no surprise from an official who earlier this week cited “God’s authority” as a reason why she doesn’t have to respect the court system and who told one gay couple at her office that they should prepare for God’s judgment.

Another Kentucky clerk who refuses to follow the marriage equality ruling, Casey Davis (no relation), has said that he is not only willing to go to jail over the matter, but is even ready to lose his life.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/1/15

  • Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis continues to refuse to abide by court orders to provide marriage licenses to gay couples because, she says, "it is a Heaven or Hell decision."
  • Due to her refusal, Davis now gets to appear in court later this week to explain to a judge why she shouldn't be held in contempt.
  • The National Organization for Marriage, of course, fully supports Davis and declares that, like her, "NOM will never bow to a lie, nor will we salute what is evil."
  • Franklin Graham has some thoughts: "Isn’t it a shame that universities all across the country are allowing the LGBT community to push their propaganda on America’s young people!"
  • Todd Starnes also has some thoughts: "Friends - the time has come for President Obama to order the race agitators to stand down. Immediately!"
  • Glenn Beck knows what is "really" going on with the Mt. McKinley name change: It's all misdirection!
  • Finally, a "Christian woman" explains her support for Donald Trump using, quite possibly, the least convincing argument ever:
  • "Although I am not sure that Donald Trump has ever decisively made Jesus the Lord of his life, I have seen something about his heart by observing his current views. There is a somewhat curious repentance that seems to have taken place in his life—a dramatic shifting away from the ungodly liberal ideologies, and a determination to further Christian-friendly policies. Simply put, if not born again, Mr. Trump’s heart does seem to be steered by the Lord. When he changes his view about a matter, it seems to be because of a realization on his part that his former paradigm was simply wrong. From what I can tell, his switching of positions has nothing whatsoever to do with politics and everything to do with conscience."
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