Tony Perkins

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/5/15

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/1/15

Tony Perkins: 'Future Of Western Civilization' At Stake In Gay Marriage Ruling

Yesterday, after a caller to his “Washington Watch” program wondered about the legal prospects of human-house marriages if the Supreme Court strikes down state bans on same-sex marriage, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins lamented that “there’s so many crazy things that come” from marriage equality.

Warning that furthering the legalization of gay marriage will weaken families and therefore undermine the future of society, Perkins questioned why the justices would make “such a drastic, fundamental, radical change based upon a few years of experience” with legal gay marriage.

“This really will determine the future of Western Civilization,” Perkins said. “It really will, this is very serious.”

GOP Rep. Bill Flores Links Baltimore Riots To Gay Marriage

Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins hosted Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, to discuss the anti-marriage-equality rally outside of the Supreme Court that both had attended that morning.

During the interview, Flores bizarrely suggested that gay marriage will somehow lead to a breakdown of the family model and an increased number of single-parent-led households, contributing to poverty and the conditions which led to the Baltimore riots:

Let’s talk about poverty, for instance. The single best indicator of whether or not a child is going to be in poverty or not is whether or not they were raised by a two-parent household or a single parent household, so the breakdown of the family has contributed to poverty. Look at what is going on in Baltimore today, you see the issues that are raised there. Healthy marriages are the ones between a man and a woman because they can have a healthy family and they can raise children in a way that’s best for their future, not only socially but psychologically, economically, from a health perspective. There is nothing like traditional marriage that does that for a child. Each of us have a mother and a father and there is no way to get around that.

Flores also alleged that 80 percent of Americans oppose a Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide (when actually 50 percent [PDF] support the court doing just that). 

Tony Perkins Just Lies On 'Face The Nation,' Insists He Never Called For SCOTUS Impeachment

Time and time again, conservative figures have one message for right-wing media outlets and a completely different one for the mainstream press. Tony Perkins, the Family Research Council president, gave us the latest example of this phenomenon during an appearance on “Face the Nation” this Sunday to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court marriage case.

Last week, as we first reported here on Right Wing Watch, Perkins told conservative Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage rights would lead to “open season on people of faith" and agreed with Mickelson's suggestion that Supreme Court justices who vote in favor of marriage equality be impeached.

But when Schieffer asked Perkins about those comments on Sunday, he had a very different answer, flatly denying that he had ever called for the impeachment of justices who favor marriage equality.

Via RawStory:

Unfortunately for Perkins, we have the audio of him saying exactly that.

After Mickelson went on a rant about how Congress should attempt to strip the court of its jurisdiction on marriage and “impeach [their] sorry keisters,” Perkins responded: “I don’t disagree with you, I think you are absolutely right.”

In fact, Perkins has also predicted that there will be a full-scale revolution if the Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage.

Revolution! Anti-Gay Activists Threaten Uprising If Supreme Court Approves Marriage Equality

Speaking from the pulpit of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in May 2004, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Dobson’s words were simulcast into churches across the country as part of a “Battle for Marriage” rally that just happened to coincide with President George W. Bush’s hard-fought reelection campaign. Three months earlier, the president himself hadannounced to the nation that “to prevent the meaning of marriage from being changed forever, our nation must enact a constitutional amendment to protect marriage in America.”

Opposition to same-sex marriage emerged as a key component of the president’s reelection strategy that year, as the Bush campaign worked with Religious Right leaders, including Dobson, to marshal conservative voters to the polls to back state constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage and other unions. Ballot measures in 11 states, all successful, aided the president’s reelection bid and helped to swing the momentum, for a time, to the side of the anti-gay Right.

While a federal constitutional amendment banning marriage for gay and lesbian couples had failed to clinch the required votes from either house of Congress, after the 2004 election, Dobson stressed that “mainstream Americans” supported such an amendment, knowing that they “could not stand idly by while the radical gay agenda was forced down their throats.”

A decade later, Dobson left Focus on the Family, reportedly in part because the organization he had founded refused to give a leadership position to his divorced son. Dobson and his son Ryan now host a radio program called “Family Talk” and Focus has moved on under the less fiery leadership of Jim Daly. Ted Haggard, the pastor of the church where Dobson spoke at the 2004 “Battle for Marriage,” eventually left his post after acknowledging that he had relationships with men. An architect of Bush’s 2004 re-election strategy, Ken Mehlman, announced six years later that he is gay. Another Bush campaign strategist, Karl Rove, said in 2013 that he could see a future GOP presidential nominee endorsing gay marriage.

Public opinion has also changed dramatically in the decade since Bush’s reelection. Polling now consistently shows majority support for marriage equality, which is legal in 37 states.

This dramatic shift toward marriage equality may culminate this year when the Supreme Court hears arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, a collection of cases challenging the constitutionality of the remaining state-level bans on same-sex marriage.

But the Religious Right is not ready to give up what was, until recently, a winning culture-war issue.

Now, as even many conservative pundits are predicting that the Supreme Court will strike down the remaining state bans on same-sex marriage, Religious Right leaders are preparing their response.

In a conference call with other movement figures, Dobson was steadfast in his opposition. If the Supreme Court strikes down the state bans and states across the country fail to convene “a state constitutional convention to re-examine the Constitution” on marriage, Dobson warned, “we’re going to see a general collapse in the next decade or two.”

Worse, Dobson said, there could be a war: “Talk about a Civil War, we could have another one over this.”

This style of apocalyptic rhetoric surrounding the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision is not uncommon in a movement whose leaders are preparing to commit civil disobedience and calling on states to defy the court if it issues a broad ruling in favor of marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.

Manhattan Declaration

The Religious Right’s current strategy in the fight against marriage equality — claiming to be the real victims while making wild warnings about imminent anti-Christian persecution — was previewed in the 2009 signing of the Manhattan Declaration and the campaign against the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act the same year.

Warning that America is on the brink of turning into a Nazi-like state where religious freedom is a thing of the past, a group of Roman Catholic and evangelical leaders, including prominent Religious Right figures, signed The Manhattan Declaration, pledging their commitment to civil disobedience in the face of what they described as the tyranny of gay rights laws and legal abortion.

Signers asserted that supporters of gay marriage and abortion rights are bent on trampling their religious freedoms. They compared themselves to Christian martyrs, civil rights leaders like Martin Luther, resisters to Nazi tyranny, heavenly angels and the signers of the Declaration of Independence. One of the declaration’s architects, the late Religious Right leader Chuck Colson, worried that Christians in America would soon end up in jail, while Dobson wondered if Americans will be forced to “leave this beloved country and spend the rest of our lives in exile.”

That same year, Religious Right activists launched a relentless, but unsuccessful, campaign against the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which expanded the federal hate crimes law to include crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The Right alleged that the bill would criminalize Christian teachings and the Bible, throw pastors in jail, quash free speech and legalize pedophilia and other illegal sex acts. In the five years following the law’s enactment, none of the wild predictions about its effects have come close to materializing. But that hasn’t stopped the Religious Right from recycling the very same discredited claims to warn against nationwide marriage equality.

For example, Rick Scarborough, a prominent Texas pastor and activist with close ties to politicians including Sen. Ted Cruz, has repeated his unfounded claims about the 2009 hate crimes act almost verbatim when discussing the potential dangers of legalizing same-sex marriage. As did Mike Huckabee, who told pastors on a conference call that preaching against homosexuality will be criminalized. Just this month, Scarborough warned that if gay couples are no longer barred from marriage, preaching from the Bible will become a crime and anti-gay conservatives will be thrown in jail. Five years ago, he made almost exactly the same dire warning about the hate crimes act.

Influential Religious Right groups including the American Renewal Project, led by GOP organizer David Lane, and the Family Research Council are asking pastors to tell their congregations that marriage equality could bring about the end of freedom and, according to Lane, “a complete moral breakdown .” Lane has previously warned that legal equality for LGBT people will eventually lead to America’s “utter destruction” and even terrorist attacks.

Others have taken to likening themselves to Jews living in Nazi Germany and African Americans during the Jim Crow era.

The Religious Right’s apocalyptic rhetoric about marriage equality has only become more incendiary as many of the ban’s defenders begin to expect that they will lose at the Supreme Court.

Nazi Germany, Jim Crow comparisons

Increasingly, Religious Right leaders have been portraying the push for equal rights for the LGBT community as a fascist, Nazi-style movement that will usher in a wave of oppression. And much like how Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement resisted Jim Crow, these activists argue, conservatives must also defy gay rights laws that they view as equally if not more oppressive.

Bryan Fischer, the conservative radio host and former American Family Association spokesman, regularly claims that gay people are modern-day Nazis and to blame for the rise of Nazism in Germany, asserting that Adolf Hitler was “an active homosexual” who recruited gays into his cause because “homosexual soldiers basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has also wondered when gay rights supporters will “start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians.”

Mat Staver, chairman of the conservative legal advocacy group Liberty Counsel, has likened a potential pro-equality Supreme Court ruling to the infamous Dred Scott decision and urged people to defy such a ruling just as they would “if the government forced you turn over a Jew in Nazi Germany.” Staver, who has warned about the prospect of “forced homosexuality” and repeatedly compared gays to terrorists, insists that the Supreme Court could spark a new Civil Rights Movement, this time to oppose gay rights.

An alarming number of anti-gay activists have compared themselves to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran theologian who was executed for defying Nazi rule. “This is a Dietrich Bonhoeffer moment for every preacher in America,” Scarborough told participants in the recent activist conference call hosted by Dobson. Staver offered a similar message to conservatives in a recent radio interview: “This is a Bonhoeffer moment.”

David Lane has said that Christians in America “must risk martyrdom” over the issue of marriage equality. Likewise, American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios has repeatedly urged opponents of gay rights to “prepare for martyrdom.”

Conservative pundit Glenn Beck told his show’s viewers this year that gay rights advocacy is leading to concentration camps and “a Christian holocaust.” Other conservative commentators have similarly suggested that gay people are pushing for anti-Christian persecution and genocide.

The persecution theme seems to have struck a chord. Leading GOP figures including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, along with several Republican congressmen, all appear in a film to be released this year that alleges that the gay rights movement plans to outlaw Christianity. Huckabee has repeatedly invoked Nazi tyranny while discussing gay rights, and even said that the gay community seeks to ultimately destroy churches and the Gospel. Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz accused gay rights supporters of waging a “jihad” against freedom.

Even more frequently, anti-gay activists maintain that gay rights will usher in a new form of slavery and Jim Crow.

“Apparently someone forgot to tell the Stormtroopers in the homosexual movement about the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, and freedom of both will and conscience,” Fischer said last year. “The leaders of the Gay Gestapo have become our new slave masters. They can now send us to the hole if we refuse the massa’s demands.”

Fischer has also charged that gay rights measures violate the constitutional ban on slavery, and even declared that as a result of gay rights, “Jim Crow is alive and well, we’ve got Jim Crow laws right back in operation, Christians are the new blacks.”

Some activists are calling for an anti-gay version of Rosa Parks. One even suggested that gay marriage opponents should follow in the footsteps of the “sidewalk counselors” who stand outside of abortion clinics in order to dissuade women from entering.

Brian Brown, the head of the National Organization for Marriage, has similarly claimed that gay rights advocates are practicing an “anti-religious” version of Jim Crow, while Fox News pundit and RedState editor Erick Erickson has said that “gay rights activists use the tactics of Bull Connor to push for what they declare civil rights.”

Revolution

Perkins, the Family Research Council leader, is one of the most visible and vocal figures in the Religious Right, frequently appearing on national television and hosting his own daily radio show. Perkins also organizes an annual conference, the Values Voter Summit, which brings top Republican politicians together with Religious Right activists. But despite his veneer of respectability, Perkins is just as extreme as activists considered to be on the far-right fringe: He has spoken out in defense of Uganda’s “kill the gays” measure and called gay rights supporters Satanic, among other things.

Perkins has also taken to warning that if the Supreme Court sides with marriage equality advocates, the U.S. will see a full-blown revolution.

Perkins warned in 2012 that if the Supreme Court were to strike down same-sex marriage bans throughout the country, “I’m telling you what, I think you will create a firestorm of opposition. I think that could be the straw that broke the camel’s back, when you look at a nation that is so divided along these moral and cultural issues that you could have — I hate to use the word — a revolt, a revolution. I think you could see Americans saying, ‘you know what, enough of this,’ and I think it could explode and just break this nation apart.”

“They’re sowing the seeds of the disillusion of our republic,” Perkins said of gay marriage supporters in 2014. “I think there’s coming a point that they’re going to push Christians to a point where they’re not going to be pushed anymore, and I think we’re very quickly coming to that point.”

As the Supreme Court considered a pair of marriage cases in 2013, Perkins said that the threat of a revolution may keep the justices from striking down same-sex marriage bans:

I believe the court will push as far as they think they can without creating a social upheaval or a political upheaval in this country. They’re smart people, I think, they understand how organizations and how societies work and if you get your substructure out of kilter with the superstructure, if you get government out of whack with where the people are and it goes too far, you create revolution. I think you could see a social and cultural revolution if the court goes too far on this.

Just last month, Perkins again predicted that the Supreme Court could trigger an uprising with a ruling in favor of marriage equality: “If the court imposes upon the nation a redefinition of marriage, I don’t think the nation is going to accept it, I absolutely don’t, and the conflict that is going to come as a result of it.”

Perkins may not find much support for his anti-gay revolution from the public at large, but he may find his some willing participants in his fellow Religious Right leaders.

Liberty Counsel founder Mathew Staver has claimed that a Supreme Court ruling favorable to marriage equality would take the country “back to the days of the American Revolution” and create the “groundswell of a potential new American Revolution.”

“Martin Luther [King] was always speaking of non-violent protest and I would hope that’s what we would do here but you never know what happens,” he cautioned.

Staver warns that an adverse Supreme Court ruling, along with President Obama’s pro-gay-rights policies and the possible passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, would have “catastrophic consequence[s] for our religious freedom, for the very function of the family, for marriage, for our human existence, for civil society and for any area of our liberty.”

“The church and people of faith and values need to rise up” against such a ruling, he said in 2013. “We just simply cannot allow this to become the law of the land.”

The previous year, Staver warned that marriage equality “could be the unraveling of the United States” and trigger a civil war:

This is the thing that revolutions literally are made of. This would be more devastating to our freedom, to our religious freedom, to the rights of pastors and their duty to be able to speak and to Christians around the country, then anything that the revolutionaries during the American Revolution even dreamed of facing. This would be the thing that revolutions are made of. This could split the country right in two. This could cause another civil war. I’m not talking about just people protesting in the streets, this could be that level because what would ultimately happen is a direct collision would immediately happen with pastors, with churches, with Christians, with Christian ministries, with other businesses, it would be an avalanche that would go across the country.

After the Supreme Court struck down a key portion of DOMA, Staver declared that the country was “crossing into the realm of rebellion, we’re crossing into the realm of revolution.”

The Alabama Example

After the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision led to a string of federal court decisions striking down bans on same-sex marriage, Religious Right leaders pleaded for governors and other state officials to openly flout the rulings.

Perkins said that states should not “listen to these courts” that make decisions “inconsistent with scripture.” Staver agreed, claiming that the states must defy any court which has “literally lost their mind.”

Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate, said state and local officials should simply refuse to enforce such rulings, explaining: “Well, the courts have spoken and it’s an important voice, but it’s not the voice of God and the Supreme Court isn’t God.”

Finally, they found their answer in Roy Moore, the elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

Moore emerged as a conservative hero over a decade ago, when he defied orders to remove a Ten Commandments monument that he installed in the courthouse rotunda during his previous term as chief justice. When the standoff eventually led to Moore losing his post, he parlayed his newfound fame into two unsuccessful gubernatorial campaigns and even a presidential “exploratory committee.” Moore also launched his own far-right legal advocacy group, the Foundation for Moral Law.

Moore returned to the court after winning a statewide election in 2012 and two years later, he once again made national headlines when he ordered state probate judges, who are responsible for issuing marriage licenses, to disregard a Bush-appointed federal judge’s decision striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Moore demanded that the state flout the ruling, saying that it had no need to implement the decision.

Moore has contended that gay marriage will “destroy the very foundation on which this country was built” and “destroy this country,” warning that the country will “suffer” divine judgment for embracing Satanic gay rights. “No society is prepared to deal with the problems arising out of same-sex marriages: child abuse, adoption, divorce, foster care, alimony, and the list could go on and on,” Moore told one anti-marriage-equality rally. In his prior stint as chief justice, he wrote that homosexuality is an “inherent evil” and “criminal lifestyle” that “should never be tolerated.”

Insisting that his personal reading of the Bible trumps the federal court’s ruling, Moore believes that any decision which contravenes his understanding of God’s law is inherently unconstitutional since the Constitution, he claims, is based on divine precepts.

His case against marriage equality is simple: “Homosexuality is wrong and we all know it. Marriage of the same sex is wrong and we all know it.” Moore’s legal advocacy organization, now led by his wife, defended his order to probate judges by explaining that “homosexual conduct is still sin, and we must stand firm for what is right.”

Conservative politicians hailed Moore. The head of the Alabama GOP thanked Moore for saving the state from God’s wrath; Religious Right preacher Cindy Jacobs said God had told her that He is using Moore “to reverse what Satan has done”; NOM’s Brian Brown praised Moore’s “principled stand” against “tyranny”; and Bryan Fischer said that Moore acted in the finest tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. by "waging the civil rights battle of this decade.”

Moore took his show to the road, telling a rally in Texas held in his honor that he hopes he will not have to “give his life” in the fight against gay marriage. He warned at a Family Research Council event that the government will soon legalize “parent-and-child” marriages and justify “taking your children simply by the same logic they’re following.”

“Christians need to stand up and do their duty to God as their duty to their country,” he said.

Some Republicans and their allies in the Religious Right hope that Moore’s defiant stance will serve as a model for the rest of the country.

A bill introduced in Texas not only declares that the state does not have to follow any U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, but it goes one step further by blocking funding for the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The bill would go so far as to punish state employees who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, barring such employees from “a salary, pension, or other employee benefit.”

In North Carolina, a group of Republican lawmakers want to create a religious exemption for officials in charge of issuing marriage licenses who don’t want to follow a recent court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Staver’s group, Liberty Counsel, filed a lawsuit “requesting emergency protection from the state courts for any magistrate who refuses to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple.”

GOP lawmakers in Oklahoma reacted to a court ruling striking down their state’s marriage ban by proposing a bill which would remove any judge who issues a marriage license to a same-sex couple and deny salaries, benefits and pensions to any state employees involved in marrying gay couples. Another bill in Oklahoma would remove judges from the marriage licenses process altogether and instead restrict marriage duties to “an ordained or authorized preacher or minister of the Gospel, priest or other ecclesiastical dignitary of any denomination who has been duly ordained or authorized by the church to which he or she belongs to preach the Gospel, or a rabbi.”

End of the Line

While social conservative leaders have mostly focused on the purported repercussions of a decision that they see as unfavorable, they also have a plan in case the court sides with their arguments: demand that states roll back same-sex marriage rights and re-impose bans previously removed by the voters, lawmakers or courts.

For now, though, right-wing leaders will be focused on doing what they always do: misleading their supporters about the so-called dangers of gay rights, making reckless charges of religious persecution, and supporting unconstitutional means to promote their discriminatory goals.

However, Dobson and his allies do see the silver lining of legal gay marriage. In a conversation with Dobson the week before the Supreme Court’s oral arguments in the marriage cases, pastor Jim Garlow and former National Organization for Marriage president Maggie Gallagher predicted that Americans will ultimately reject gay marriage once the country experiences its horrible consequences; that is, if America is able to survive that long.

Tony Perkins: Impeach Supreme Court Justices Who Rule For Marriage Equality

Update: Perkins later denied making his comments about impeachment on "Face the Nation."

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins spoke with Iowa-based radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday about the upcoming marriage case at the Supreme Court, which Perkins predicted will end with the court striking down bans on same-sex marriage across the country. Once this occurs, Perkins warned, “it will be open season on people of faith.”

He predicted that the court will issue a ruling similar to Roe v. Wade, further dividing Americans and contradicting “natural law.”

Mickelson suggested that if this happens, members of Congress should try to “remove” the Supreme Court’s “jurisdiction” over the marriage issue and “nullify” its decision, sending the message to the justices that “if you try it again we will impeach your sorry keisters.” Perkins heartily agreed: “I think you’re absolutely right.”

Mickelson also said that Justices Kagan and Ginsburg should recuse themselves from the case since they have both officiated weddings for same-sex couples, claiming that the two are trying to impose their religion of “secular progressivism” on the country.

“Why should a religious minority like Kagan or Ginsburg, I’m not talking about their Jewish background, I’m talking about their secular progressivism, their form of religion, why does their religion get a seat at the table and everybody else’s view gets vilified?” he asked.

Tony Perkins: Evolution Proves Homosexuality Is Wrong

Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins blasted President Obama and Hillary Clinton for “evolving” on the issue of marriage equality, prompting one listener to chime in and tell Perkins that he doesn’t believe in the theory of evolution anyway.

Perkins agreed with the caller’s take on evolution, stating that “the evidence is overwhelming” that evolution doesn’t occur. However, since Obama and Clinton believe that “we are constantly in this state of evolution,” Perkins said, then they should oppose gay rights.

“If you logically game this out, the idea that somehow same-sex marriage or same-sex attraction, homosexuality, could be the advancement of evolution,” he said, “well, it would be the end of the road. It is a dead-end street. You’re certainly not going to reproduce.”

Mike Huckabee Draws Connection Between Gay Marriage And ISIS Threat

In the same conference call today in which he claimed that gay marriage will outlaw religious freedom, Mike Huckabee suggested that the supposed threat to religious freedom posed by the gay rights movement is part of a broader attack on the rights of Christians, including anti-Christian violence.

When a pastor on the call, which was organized by the Family Research Council, asked Huckabee if the U.S. is facing a two-pronged threat of ISIS terrorist attacks and the “equally intense assault on marriage as defined by God,” Huckabee replied that the caller was “exactly right.”

“We’re seeing, certainly at the national level, internally this battle on marriage, but globally what we’re seeing is that there is an assault on the Christian faith in general,” Huckabee said, before warning that ISIS will soon “physically assault” Christians in America.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who hosted the call, repeated his claim that gay rights efforts in the U.S. are linked to the murder of Christians by ISIS members in the Middle East.

“If we go silent on religious freedom here at home, I think that sends a message to the terrorists and the tyrants abroad that they are free to persecute our brothers and sisters in Christ,” Perkins said.

Huckabee said that Americans are closer than ever to losing their religious freedom because conservative Christians aren’t speaking out. “The other side is vocal and they sound like they are a lot more than they are but as a result they are winning battles that we should be winning,” he said.

Mike Huckabee Defends Ex-Gay Therapy, Warns Gay Rights Will Outlaw Christianity: 'God Help Us All'

In a conference call with conservative pastors today organized by the anti-gay Family Research Council, Mike Huckabee let loose with a litany of falsehoods about how marriage equality will lead to the “criminalization of Christianity” and demanded that states simply defy the Supreme Court if it strikes down bans on same-sex marriage.

“Christian convictions are under attack as never before,” Huckabee said in the call, which was meant to rally pastors to participate in the FRC’s upcoming “Stand for Marriage” event. “Not just in our lifetime, but ever before in the history of this great nation. We are moving rapidly towards the criminalization of Christianity.”

The former governor and likely GOP presidential candidate predicted that the government will bring “criminal charges” against those who oppose gay rights and pastors who preach against gay marriage. He even defended ex-gay therapy, claiming that the government is barring chaplains from telling those they counsel to “seek assistance” for a “homosexual lifestyle.”

Huckabee also blasted the “ruling class” and “donor class” for treating opponents of gay rights as “pariahs,” adding that “supposedly conservative donors and conservative office holders are running away from the issue.”

(Audio note: Because of apparent technical difficulties with the conference call, there are beeping noises throughout the call signifying participants dialing in.)

Huckabee told the pastors that no matter what politicians or the polls say about the legalization of gay marriage, God is against it and so they should stand strong against the “small minority pushing this agenda.”

Huckabee claimed that if same-sex marriage bans are struck down nationwide, any pastor who refuses to conduct a same-sex wedding would be breaking the law.

“If the courts rule that people have a civil right not only to be a homosexual but a civil right to have a homosexual marriage, then a homosexual couple coming to a pastor who believes in biblical marriage who says ‘I can’t perform that wedding’ will now be breaking the law,” he said. “It’s not just saying, ‘I’m sorry you have a preference.’ No, you will be breaking the law subject to civil for sure and possible criminal penalties for violating the law…. If you do practice biblical convictions and you carry them out and you do what you’ve been led by the spirit of God to do, your behavior will be criminal.”

This, of course, is a categorically untrue claim that has not materialized in any of the dozens of states where marriage equality has been adopted.

“God help us all,” he said.

Tony Perkins: Obama & Gay Rights Movement Inspire ISIS To Murder Christians

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has tried to use violence against Middle East Christians as a way to attack gay rights and campaign finance reform efforts in the U.S., and now he is linking the firing of Atlanta fire chief Kevin Cochran, who was found in violation of city employment practices when he distributed to employees a self-published book that included attacks on homosexuality, to the slaughter of Christians by the terrorist group ISIS.

Perkins tells FRC members in an email today that they should donate to his group so that it can stop the “administration’s persecution of Christians within our borders” and stand up for people like Cochran, insisting that the Atlanta official’s firing has emboldened anti-Christian violence abroad.

“The same rampage of ‘political correctness’ that attacked Kelvin Cochran's freedom to believe is coming to your state, your town, your church. Christians you know are targets . . . maybe Christians in your own home,” Perkins writes. “The same rampage of hate that destroyed the career of Kelvin Cochran tells the killers in ISIS, who closely watch America's domestic affairs, that our government doesn't value freedom of belief.”

I'm emailing you with the month more than half gone, and the struggle for the freedom to believe—the God-given freedom to live your faith without punishment—under growing attack.

That's why it's urgent that FRC receive enough funds from friends like you to TRIPLE our $50,000 "Free to Believe" Challenge Grant. Response from friends has been so strong that we have set a goal to triple the challenge.

This grant will help achieve our new goal of receiving $150,000 by April 31.

Why is this so urgent?

Ask Christian wives, mothers and daughters overseas. Their husbands, sons and fathers are being beheaded or shot by radical Islamic jihadists like ISIS. They are being driven from their homes. Children are being martyred. And our administration has done little to help, and for months resisted calling this massacre of Christians by Islamic jihadists what it is.

As General Boykin and I testified before the United Nations on Friday April 17, our administration's persecution of Christians within our borders is emboldening the attack on Christians worldwide.

Why would Islamist butchers fear our government, or believe the United States would defend Christians elsewhere when they do nothing to help Christians under attack for their faith right here in America?

Ask Kelvin Cochran—a veteran fire chief with a stellar record—who was fired by the City of Atlanta . . . for writing a book that expressed the biblical view of morality. Yes, fired. If Kelvin Cochran can be fired, any Christian is at risk.

If our government won't call religious genocide overseas what it is, any Christian, any place, is at risk.



The same rampage of "political correctness" that attacked Kelvin Cochran's freedom to believe is coming to your state, your town, your church. Christians you know are targets . . . maybe Christians in your own home.

The same rampage of hate that destroyed the career of Kelvin Cochran tells the killers in ISIS, who closely watch America's domestic affairs, that our government doesn't value freedom of belief.

No Christian is safe.

Friendly Tip: Tell A Gay Couple They Are Going To Hell On Their Wedding Day

On his radio program on Friday, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer advised listeners that if they feel that they must attend a gay couple’s wedding, they should first send the couple a letter explaining why they do not support the marriage. At least one listener was not happy with this advice, and called into Family Research Council President Tony Perkins’ “Washington Watch” program last night to voice his disagreement with Fischer.

The caller, who identified himself as “Ricky,” told Perkins that he was “shocked” by Fischer’s suggestion since a true Christian would only attend a gay couple’s wedding in order to interrupt the ceremony and tell the participants that they are going to Hell.

“The only reason that any Christian would ever attend a homosexual wedding is when the preacher says, ‘Is there any objection to the wedding,’ you stand up and say, ‘Yes, according to the Bible, sodomy, you will burn in Hell for this.’ That is the only reason why any Christian would ever attend a sodomite wedding,” Ricky told Perkins.

Perkins replied by saying that Ricky brought up a “good point” but that he doubted that a gay couple would “invite people to raise any objections to it.” He added that silence in the church about divorce has diminished the significance of the institution of marriage, leading “to this wholesale redefinition of marriage as a result.”

Rick Santorum: Obama Established A Secular Theocracy

Rick Santorum appeared on Tony Perkins’s “Washington Watch” radio show yesterday to discuss national security threats from ISIS and Iran, but Perkins eventually moved the discussion to the “domestic threats” to the country: namely, gay marriage.

Perkins thanked Santorum for working with the Family Research Council on creating a short film about the dangers of marriage equality, which will be shown in participating churches on the Sunday before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Santorum told Perkins that, for the first time ever in U.S. history, religious liberty is under assault from a new secular theocratic system:

For the first time in the history of our country, the government is attacking people, prosecuting people, calling for people to be rehabilitated, constraining in the military with our chaplaincy. We now see chaplain after chaplain being dismissed for not accepting the secular orthodoxy that this administration wants to put forward, criticizing people for holding biblical truth and counseling them in a biblically coherent way. We see businesses being prosecuted. We see all sorts of activity on the legislative front, where they are pushing — as we saw in Indiana — pushing bills that simply protect employees’ rights to be able to practice their faith consistent within an employment situation. And those things which were unanimously passed are now being fought against.

It’s a hostility to religion that we’ve never seen in the history of our country. And I read an interesting article the other day; it’s actually not the free exercise of religion that is being attacked, it’s actually a new religion that is being established. So we have the state establishing a new religion, a secular state religion, a secular orthodoxy that everybody is going to have to comply with. We don’t have as the threat was at the time of our Founders, the Church of England imposing the English church on America. We have now the secular church that is being imposed on this country and anybody that defects is subject to persecution and prosecution. That is a very serious threat to liberty in America.

Perkins: Obama 'Has Endangered Our Country And Our Future' By Supporting Marriage Equality

The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins sat down for an interview with Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis when both men attended the National Religious Broadcasters convention earlier this year, during which Perkins warned that the Supreme Court will unleash total social chaos if it strikes down gay marriage bans and accused President Obama of endangering America by supporting marriage equality.

Perkins said that any Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage would be akin to the ruling legalizing abortion as he warned that anti-gay Christians will never accept it.

"If they think, like they did in 1973, that they're going to solve this issue by forcing it on the nation, they're wrong," Perkins declared. "They're not going to force a redefinition on Americans that they will accept. They will, I believe, launch us into the most tumultuous time culturally that I think our nation has ever seen."

He went on to assert that the fight for marriage equality is not a civil rights issue because gays are not a "disenfranchised minority" as evidenced by the fact that the movement has lots of political influence, including with President Obama.

"The president is trying to do this," Perkins said. "The president has used the military to do this. The president has endangered our country, he has endangered our country and our future to advance his radical social agenda":

Right-Wing Group Judicial Watch Says It Prevented A Terrorist Attack

Judicial Watch, the right-wing legal group founded by conspiracy theorist Larry Klayman, has been pushing to conservative media its new claim that the terrorist group ISIS has set up camp just south of the U.S. border with Mexico.

This weekend, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins spoke with Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, about the allegations, and Perkins announced that “authorities have confirmed” the group’s report about an ISIS base a few miles south of El Paso, Texas.

Actually, authorities have done exactly the opposite: The U.S. Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Northern Command, the Texas Department of Public Safetythe El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and the Mexican government have all denied Judicial Watch’s report. Reporters who have visited the location of the supposed ISIS base have also found no evidence at all of it existing.

Fitton nonetheless told Perkins that Judicial Watch’s research is so reliable that the group actually recently prevented a terrorist attack from occurring in the U.S.

“There was going to be an imminent attack around September which we reported, I think it was averted as a result of our report,” Fitton said, before acknowledging that DHS and other agencies have denied his group’s account of an ISIS border camp.

According to Fitton, the government is only disputing Judicial Watch’s work is “because it gets in the way of the open borders agenda, it gets in the way of the amnesty agenda.”

Trent Franks: Obama Allowing 'Jihad To Put Their Finger On The Nuclear Button'

On yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., accused President Obama of letting Iran develop a nuclear weapon, allowing “the potential of jihad to put their finger on the nuclear button.”

Franks said that the U.S. must show unequivocal support for Israel if the country launches an attack on Iran because “Israel is on the cutting edge of standing up to this global monstrosity called jihad.”

“There comes a time when Israel will not be able to reach from the air, without some ground forces, some of the potential facilities that could come into being and if they don’t do it at the right time, it may be essentially too late for them to reach that, so they’re in an extremely difficult circumstance,” Franks said.

“All I can say is that if America lets Israel down, America will be letting America down and America will be letting the world down.” Franks continued: “I sometimes do not have the intellectual wattage to overcome the bewilderment in my heart when an American president stands by and lets Israel, our most vital ally in the world, be threatened by a dangerous, hellish regime like exists in Iran today and allows the potential of jihad to put their finger on the nuclear button. It is a disgrace that literally defies description in the English language.”

Tony Perkins: Negotiating With Gays Like Negotiating With Satan

Yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins — still reeling from the fight over Indiana’s controversial “religious freedom” law — likened dealing with gay people to negotiating with Iran …and Satan.

Perkins said on his “Washington Watch” radio program that he agrees with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. should not negotiate with Iran (actually, Netanyahu said he supports talks in principle, just not the current negotiations), adding that “Ronald Reagan said ‘we don’t negotiate with terrorists.’”

“Did Jesus negotiate with the Devil? No, he said, ‘Away with you Satan.’ He goes on later in the scripture to talk about ‘what fellowship has light with darkness.’” Perkins said. “The same can be said of the cultural totalitarians who want to force everyone to embrace and even celebrate their view of morality. You cannot compromise, you cannot appease. Just ask Gov. [Mike] Pence and others who have compromised their values in an effort to appease these folks. It only increases their aggressiveness and their demands.”

Daniel Lapin: Liberals Want To Have Sex With Islamic Extremists

On Tuesday’s edition of the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program, Religious Right activist and rabbi Daniel Lapin repeated his bizarre claim that liberals are sexually attracted to radical Islam. Lapin told FRC President Tony Perkins that there is a “sexual dimension” to liberals’ supposed love for Islamic extremism, claiming “effeminate” liberals are sexually attracted to the “masculinity” of Islamic fundamentalism and are experiencing “Stockholm Syndrome.”

“There are countless studies showing that feminine-type behavior produces an excess of estrogen in men and vice versa,” Lapin said. “Essentially, the left has fallen in love with the masculinity of Islam.”

He continued: “Today, after a 30- or 40-year epidemic of leftism that has swept its sordid stain across America, we’ve become much more feminized and we are attracted to the masculine strength and brutality of Islam. This is the girl in the high school being attracted to the bad, tough guy and that’s really what’s happening. There is no other way that I know of to explain this utterly irrational — and as soon as I said to myself that it’s irrational, I said, where else do you see irrational behavior? When people are sexually attracted you see irrational behavior. On a spiritual level, the feminized American left, show business, politicians, particularly academia, all the people who love Islam, when Christianity and Judaism are exactly the reverse.”

Or maybe the claim that liberals support Islamic extremism is a myth created by the far-right.

Anti-LGBT Group: Gay Marriage Violates Separation Of Church And State

The Family Research Council announced today that it has partnered with Rick Santorum’s film company, EchoLight Studios, to produce a short film for churches to air during the April 26 event “Stand for Marriage Sunday: Religious Freedom at Risk.

In the film, which features appearances by Santorum and Mike Huckabee, the FRC warns that a Supreme Court ruling striking down bans on same-sex marriage would jeopardize religious freedom and undermine the separation of church and state. The film mentions cases in Oregon and Washington state where a baker and florist, respectively, were sued for violating their states’ non-discrimination laws — not marriage laws — for refusing service to gay customers. (The baker and florist both lost their cases).

The new FRC film, narrated by the group’s president, Tony Perkins, points to the lawsuits as signs of a dark future in which the government will infringe on the rights of religious people in order to promote gay equality.

Watch highlights here:

The Five Worst Attacks On Hillary Clinton In The Last Five Days

Long a target of frenzied right-wing smear campaigns, Hillary Clinton faced attacks during her tenure as secretary of state from activists and pundits who claimed she was trying destroy the U.S., impose Sharia law and shut down churches across America. And that doesn’t even include the Benghazi truthers who have tried to exploit the deadly 2012 terrorist attack on an American diplomatic compound in Libya by coming up with bizarre, easily debunked, conspiracy theories about Clinton’s handling of the incident. 

Now that Clinton has officially announced her second presidential run, the right-wing media has kicked off its latest round of Clinton-bashing. Here are just five of the lowlights from the last five days of right-wing anti-Clinton hysteria.

5. Maybe She’s A Lesbian…

While Family Research Council President Tony Perkins argues that Clinton’s inclusion of two gay couples in her campaign launch video shows that she ultimately seeks “the complete demotion of the natural family,” the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios has a different explanation. Rios said on her radio show yesterday that “rumors swirl” about Clinton’s own sexual orientation, claiming that the former first lady and senator has a long history of “embracing homosexuality” and promoting “lesbianism.”

4. ‘Permanent Darkness’

Shortly after the news of Clinton’s impending announcement broke on Friday, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre kicked off his group’s annual summit — attended by several GOP presidential hopefuls — by rolling out a list of purported “scandals” that he blamed on Clinton, including the 1993 death of White House aide Vince Foster.

LaPierre also trotted out his patented paranoia, telling the NRA crowd that “Hillary Rodham Clinton will bring a permanent darkness of deceit and despair, forced upon the American people to endure.”

Rafael Cruz, Sen. Ted Cruz’s father and close adviser, delivered a similarly bleak message in a speech to a Georgia Tea Party group, asserting that “if we have someone like Hillary Clinton elected in 2016, you might as well kiss this country goodbye, this country’s gone.”

3. Chipotle? Scandal!

In another sign that Clinton will be criticized no matter what she does, one Fox News panel slighted her for visiting an Iowa Chipotle with her aide Huma Abedin, whom host Andrea Tantaros suggested was hungover. Tantaros even speculated that Clinton only ordered food from Chipotle because she is afraid that Sen. Marco Rubio may be consolidating the Latino vote.

2. Persecuted White Men

Bill O’Reilly, a staunch defender of the persecuted white Christian man, said that Clinton’s candidacy has potential because “traditional American values” are under assault. Reacting to the announcement of Clinton’s presidential bid, the Fox News host said that she has an “advantage” in a climate like today’s where “if you’re a Christian or a white man in America, it’s open season on you.”

1. Too Ugly To Be President

Surprising nobody, sexist attacks on Clinton’s age and looks began as soon as the news broke about her announcement. Fox News pundit Sean Hannity laid out his compelling case against Clinton like so: “She’s aging, out of ideas, often shrill, apparently, according to oral reports, angry and clearly not inspiring.” Conservative legal activist Larry Klayman called her the “Wicked Witch of the Left,” saying she is only “technically a woman.”

Don Feder, a Religious Right activist with the World Congress of Families, took it even further, writing that Clinton’s “hideousness factor” should preclude her from the presidency.

“Lyndon Baines Johnson was the last profoundly ugly candidate to be elected president, and he was a legacy of the martyred JFK,” Feder wrote. “Voters don't want a leader who looks frazzled or frumpy. We're told that Lincoln was too homely to be elected president in an age of television and paparazzi. But Lincoln's homely face had a dignity, a gravitas. If nothing else, we want a face that reassures us, not one that scares us, a la Night of the Living Alinskyites.”

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