Tony Beam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cruz thanked Beam for the “tremendous” introduction:

Obama, Castro, and Marx

Mike Huckabee supporter Tony Beam says that evangelicals must beware Barack Obama and his rhetoric of change: "There can be no doubt that Barack Obama is both a Leftist dream and an Evangelical nightmare. He supports the most extreme agenda ever proposed for the American people. Yet most of his supporters don’t have a clue because all they know is he represents 'change.' It would be good to remember that Karl Marx brought change to Russia and Fidel Castro brought change to Cuba. Both forms of change came complete with chains that still bind people to the lie of Marxism. Change without knowing which direction the change will take us is a scary proposition."

Tony Beam Making Our Jobs Easier

Dr. Tony Beam is Vice-President for Student Services and Director of the Christian Worldview Center, so that apparently makes him a part of the Religious Right, even if we have never heard of him.  But apparently he has heard of us and is concerned that all of the right-wing disarray and infighting is making our jobs easier:

The election of 2004 taught the Left in America an important lesson. A unified Christian conservative base means big wins for the political Right. To make sure they don’t suffer the agony of defeat again the Left launched a campaign to confuse and divide Evangelicals by minimizing the core social issues that have long kept us unified. By elevating environmental issues and overplaying the plight of those who suffer from injustice, Leftist leaders hoped to cause division in the Christian conservative base and thus neutralize one of the largest conservative voting blocks in the country.

We can expect no less from the likes of MoveOn.org or People for the American Way. But we certainly should not be guilty of making it easier for them to reach their goal by doing their work for them. In football, one of the most frustrating events is when your team coughs up the ball at a critical moment giving possession to the other team. The frustration is multiplied if the fumble comes at a critical point in the game where a shift in momentum could lead to the defeat of your team.

Beam goes out of his way not to criticize James Dobson for trying to place the kiss of death on Fred Thompson, but does criticize a “good friend” of his who did dare to criticize Dobson.  But mostly, Beam is troubled that all this airing of their dirty laundry in public is threatening them with the “complete loss of our influence in the political arena”:

There has been quite a bit of ink spilled in response to Dobson’s comments. A good friend of mine who I respect very much wrote an op-ed piece which called his remarks a “cheap shot” and he went on to suggest that his the comments were “less than smart.” With all due respect to my friend what is “less than smart” is for the Evangelical community to begin to turn on each other at the precise moment in history when unity is the only thing that will save us from the complete loss of our influence in the political arena. The culture war must be fought in the market place of ideas and the political arena is where we decide whose ideas will ultimately be backed by the force of law. There should be no energy spent venting our in- house disagreements in the public square.

The Right’s fear of completely losing its influence in the political area is exactly what we have been suggesting is behind the current tumult, so it was nice of Beam to explicitly admit it. 

Thanks for doing our work for us.

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