"Respected prophet" Cindy Jacobs and her husband Mike preached at a church in Ohio last week that is run by Frank Amedia, who has played an important role in mobilizing Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians to support Donald Trump.
In their sermon, the Jacobses urged those in the congregation to be sure to vote in November in order to stop the U.S. from promoting LGBT rights throughout the world.
Mike Jacobs declared that as he and Cindy travel abroad, they are constantly having to repent to their fellow Christians "for actions taken by the leadership of the United States of America" in pushing homosexuality upon other nations.
They recounted a recent mission trip they took to Costa Rica, where they discovered a gay pride flag flying outside the U.S. embassy. "That embassy represents you," Mike Jacobs fumed as he displayed a photo of the rainbow flag flying outside the embassy. "Are they representing you when they do that?"
Cindy was similarly outraged, saying that local Christian leaders in Costa Rica "were all complaining to us about America and what we're doing, how the ambassadors that were chosen were homosexual couples that were put in and sent into all the schools of their country, even though it was against their laws to have same-sex marriages and they were mad at us because we're polluting their nations."
"It matters who you vote for because who you vote for will put ambassadors in that will be our voice in the nations," she said. "So we began shooting off emails, Mike did and and I did, to people we know in the U.S. and the next day that gay flag was down."
For the record, the U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica is S. Fitzgerald Haney and he is not gay:
Ambassador Haney was born in Nashville, Tennessee and grew up outside of Chicago, in Naperville, Illinois. He and his wife, Rabbi Andrea Haney, have four children and most recently resided in Englewood, New Jersey.
Andrew Bieszad, a contributor to Shoebat.com, the website run by anti-gay extremists Walid and Theodore Shoebat, has some thoughts about Hurricane Matthew, which is expected to strike the East Coast of the United States in the coming days: "Hurricane Matthew Is The Wrath Of God Poured Out On The Cities Of Orlando And Savannah For Supporting The Evil Sodomites."
God is sending this hurricane, Bieszad states, as "a sign of His anger" against America for tolerating homosexuality and to thwart a gay pride festival scheduled to take place in Orlando this weekend.
"You want to stop not this hurricane, but future catastrophes?" he asks. "Then stop sinning, especially with sodomy":
The Bible clearly teaches that in the Old Testament whenever the Hebrews were very disobedient towards God, He would send punishments against them, many times in the forms of natural disasters. Christian history also recognizes the same, where God will use His creation to execute judgment against the wicked. While not all bad weather is necessarily a sign of sin, both sacred scripture and sacred tradition clearly note that it can be so. Now we know that Florida is an area that is infected with sin, especially cities such as Miami and Orlando, which are veritable dens of sodomy. But instead of looking at mere particularities, I thought I would ask a broader question- Is there any “homosexual” activities going on this month in either the Orlando or Savannah areas? Sure enough, I found that both Orlando and Savannah are having massive sodomite pride parades this month, especially in Orlando, which is sponsoring this very weekend as the hurricane is about to hit a massive “coming out” parade sponsored no less than with the major support of the city itself and major corporate backers ... How interesting it is that Matthew is set to smash Orlando and Savannah during their sodomite parades!
A hurricane- the storms from an evil being- named after the New Testament Evangelist whose symbol is an angel- a messenger of God and and executor of His will among and upon men- is about to make landfall on the exact area where two massive sodomite parades are taking place and almost to the day for the largest one, and the exact day the hurricane is scheduled to hit is the Feast Day of the Holiest Prayer in the Catholic Church used to fight the most wicked of sins and heresies given by the Mother of God herself.
Coincidence? You be the judge. Personally, given America’s love affair with the worst forms of perversity, it is a sign of His anger against us for our obstinate attitude towards sin and refusal to repent for our evil ways.
You want to stop not this hurricane, but future catastrophes? Then stop sinning, especially with sodomy, as it is one of the four sins in the Bible which cry out to God for vengeance, which we are seeing now.
In Nairobi earlier this monthto speak at a World Congress of Families regional conference, WCF spokesman Don Feder joined a talk show on a Kenyan affiliate of the Christian broadcasting giant TBN, where he warned a panel of Kenyan and Nigerian activists that they should be “horrified” by the results of LGBT rights advances in the U.S.
Feder’s appearance on the program was promoted in a recent email from WCF president Brian Brown.
The host of the “Crosstalk” program, Vincent Kimosop, asked Feder what African activists could learn from the experience of the U.S. in the area of LGBT rights. Feder responded that Africans “should be horrified” by what they see in the U.S.
“The problem is this is a way people are living and they’re demanding that it be respected, they’re demanding that all of society be changed for their comfort and their convenience,” Feder said. “We’re not saying that these people have to be persecuted, we’re not saying that you can’t have compassion for them, of course you can, but you can’t let this be the role model and you can’t allow Christians and other religious people to be persecuted because they refuse to go along with this agenda.”
“You know, other people have demanded minority status based on their religion, based on their race,” he continued. “This is the first group that demands minority status based on what they do in their bedrooms. And that’s what makes it so dangerous. And if you look at the United States, I mean if Africans look seriously at the United States, they should be horrified at what’s going on.”
He went on to warn of the rise of “transgender bathrooms.”
Same-sex intimacy is currently illegal in Kenya, though there is an active movement to change that. Nigeria enacted a harsh anti-gay law in 2014 that hassparked vigilante violence; some American Religious Right groups backed that law or have spoken out against the Obama administration’s efforts to oppose similar legislation around the world.
Vision America's Rick Scarborough spoke at a "Pastors Appreciation Brunch" in Orlando, Florida, last week, urging the pastors in the audience to get involved in politics and to mobilize their congregations to vote because Christians in American are being driven into the closet and being robbed of their religious liberty.
Scarborough alleged that Christians didn't vote in recent elections and, as a result, President Obama was able to name two new justices to the Supreme Court and, consequently, "in June of last year, the Supreme Court countered our founders" by legalizing marriage equality.
"Our founders created a nation unlike the world had ever seen based upon natural law and nature's God," he said. "The heartbeat of the birth was that God had a higher law than man's law, but our Supreme Court looked a biblical revelation and natural law and countered both and said the Constitution, unbeknownst to its founders, contained a right of same-sex unions."
"And now, like a hammer, this false teaching is being used to drive you and I in the closets and to rob us of our freedom of religion," he warned.
And to make matters worse, he said that some U.S. embassies are now flying the rainbow flag during Gay Pride Month.
"The rainbow was a reminder of God's judgment and His grace, but now it's embraced to promote homosexuality; not only in America, we export it around the world," Scarborough said. "And you wonder why they call us the Great Satan?"
A group of Religious Right activists, including prominent advocates of dominionism, have joined together to circulate a “Declaration of Dependence upon God and His Holy Bible” in which signers vow to “refuse any mandate by the government that forces us to fund or support abortion” and to “oppose same-sex marriage, polygamy, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion prohibited by Holy Scripture.
Colorado Springs pastor Andrew Wommack, who wrote the pledge, says that he will spend $500,000 promoting it online and in newspaper ads. On Sunday, Wommack’s ministry bought a pricey full-page ad in the New York Times that showed the full text of the “declaration” and some of its most prominent signers.
Among those who have signed Wommack’s pledge, according to the ad, is Religious Right activist David Barton, who has been teaching students at a Bible college run by Wommack to retake the “mountain” of government in accordance with the Seven Mountains dominionist belief that conservative Christians must take control of the seven areas, or “mountains,” of society.
Other signers are Jerry Boykin, the executive vice president of the Family Research Council; Focus on the Family founder James Dobson; prominent televangelist Kenneth Copeland; leading Seven Mountains advocate Lance Wallnau; prosperity gospel preacher Creflo Dollar; and Kelly Shackelford, whose First Liberty Institute has been at the forefront of the narrative that conservative Christians are losing their religious liberty in America.
Among the signers are some prominent supporters of Donald Trump’s presidential bid. Dobson and Copeland are members of Trump’s evangelical advisory board. Boykin was recently one of the retired military leaders to sign a letter supporting Trump, which was promoted by the GOP nominee’s campaign. Wallnau is a member of the “National Diversity Coalition for Trump” who has argued that Trump can help reclaim the “seven mountains” from Satan.
In a video message, Wommack says that he believes he was “divinely inspired” to write the declaration, warning that “Satan is fighting for the heart and soul of this nation.”
Another video promoting the declaration shows Fox News pundit Todd Starnes reacting to the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, saying, “The Supreme Court’s decision means gay rights now trump religious liberty. If you think the cultural purging of the southern states has been breathtaking, wait until you see what the activists are about to release on American Christians.” In the video, a young girl turns to her grandfather and asks, “Grandpa, we’re Christians, aren’t we?”
Wommack’s declaration reads like a shorter version of the Manhattan Declaration, a 2009 document that joined conservative Catholic and evangelical leaders in a pledge to commit civil disobedience in the face of the supposed impending government persecution of Christians.
Here’s the full text of the “Declaration of Dependence upon God and His Holy Bible”:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Since our Creator gave us these rights, we declare that no government has the right to take them away. Among these rights is the right to exercise our Christian beliefs as put forth in God’s Holy Bible.
We therefore declare that God grants life at conception and no one has the right to take that life unless it is a direct threat to the life of the mother.
Marriage was instituted by God between one man and one woman. The Lord gave only this family unit the responsibility to have children and raise them in the fear of the Lord.
We therefore respectfully reserve the right to refuse any mandate by the government that forces us to fund or support abortion. We also oppose same-sex marriage, polygamy, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion prohibited by Holy Scripture.
We proclaim that Jesus has provided the cure for all sin and therefore reach out to the sinner in love, but do not embrace the sin, knowing its destructive nature.
Therefore, we, the undersigned—not only as Christians but also believing we have the constitutional rights as Americans to follow these time honored Christian beliefs—commit to conducting our churches, ministries, businesses, and personal lives in accordance with our Christian faith and choose to obey God rather than man.
The National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown has been attempting to mobilize U.S. support for activists in Mexico who are trying to stop President Enrique Peña Nieto from putting marriage equality into the country’s constitution.
Today, NOM hosted a rally in front of the Mexican embassy in Washington, D.C., along with the World Congress of Families, which Brown also now leads, and CitizenGo, an international petition platform whose board Brown sits on.
The rally drew a grand total of 11 people, not counting a handful of children in strollers, bystanders and reporters:
Brown, who has said he is traveling to Mexico City for anti-marriage-equality marches there this weekend, was not in attendance. One activist who was there was Gualberto Garcia Jones, a fetal “personhood” advocate who now runs an organization called the International Human Rights Group, which shares a Washington office with Brown’s CitizenGo.
At the rally, activists read a letter that they said they were delivering to the Mexican ambassador announcing that they were joining “in spirit” the protests this weekend led by the National Front for the Family.
The letter stated the group’s support for “natural marriage as a stable relationship between one man and one woman,” saying that “several scientific research studies” have shown that this is the best environment for children. It claimed that “extracting marriage from its procreative and educative purpose … weakens the legal, social and cultural fabric” of a society. The letter also included a reference to adoption by gay couples and a plea to keep “content and ideologies that do not belong to the public educative sphere” out of school curricula, instead demanding that curricula be based on “scientific criteria.”
Earlier this month, anti-LGBT activist Mike Heath of MaineResistance interviewed fellow extremist Religious Right activist Scott Lively, who continued to heap praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin for his crackdown on LGBT rights and hoped that, under a President Trump, similar anti-gay laws could be enacted in America.
Lively, who has called the passage of laws banning the spread of gay "propaganda" in Russia "one of the proudest achievements of my career" and urged the implementation of similar bans all over the world, voiced his hope that President Trump would "delegate to the church the task of shaping the culture."
"I wish we would be able to duplicate that all over the world," Lively said of passing Russian-style anti-gay laws. "That would really solve the problem."
"Frankly, if Trump wins in November," he stated, "then he could turn out to be like Putin in Russia and push back Marxism like Putin did and invite the church to come back in an guide the culture, like Putin did. He delegates, that's his way of governing and his way of doing business and I think he is going to delegate to the church the task of shaping the culture."
"The culture war has always been a battle between cultural Marxists and Christians, always, especially homosexuals among the cultural Marxists," Lively continued, "and [Trump is] pushing the cultural Marxists back and that's his primary target, political correctness, you know, the whole slate of the hard left agenda, he's just pushing back. And that's going to create a vacuum that the church is naturally going to fill because we're the ones who were guiding the culture before the Marxists took it away from us."
We have previously reported that Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage and the World Congress of Families is lending his support to the growing backlash against marriage equality by religious conservatives in Mexico. Turns out the intensely anti-gay Brian Camenker of MassResistance is also helping out.
In a September 16 post on its website, MassResistance wrote that over the summer Camenker responded to a plea for help from organizers of Mexico’s National Front for the Family. Camenker sent the group digital files of the Spanish-language version of his group’s booklet, “What same-sex ‘marriage’ has done to Massachusetts: It’s far worse than most people realize” and a Spanish version of his group’s video, “What ‘gay marriage’ has done to Massachusetts.” (Among the “shocking” things the video mentions are requirements that insurance companies must recognize legal marriages by same-sex couples and lawyers must learn about legal equality.)
The National Front has invited Camenker to Mexico City for what the group hopes will be a massive anti-marriage-equality rally this Saturday, September 24, building on other rallies that have taken place across the country this month.
The post says that the California chapter of MassResistance is planning to hold a rally in solidarity at the Mexican consulate in Los Angeles and hopes that other chapters will get on board. The National Organization for Marriage has announced plans for an anti-marriage-equality rally at the Mexican embassy in Washington, D.C. this Friday, September 23. CitizenGo, a conservative platform for online organizing that has mobilized on behalf of anti-gay efforts around the globe, is also promoting the D.C. event.
Camenker was a speaker at an anti-gay summit that was held in Salt Lake City last October on the eve of a World Congress of Families summit. Camenker disagreed with people who urged anti-LGBT activists to always speak the truth in love. “I think there is a place for being insulting and degrading, and I think I can back that up by scripture,” he said. As we reported at the time:
Camenker said that in the Old Testament, “God has two sets of laws regarding how you treat your fellow man.” One is how you treat your neighbor, who you might work with and forgive. “There’s a whole different set of rules for people who want to tear down society, who want to push immorality, who want to tear down the moral structure of society.” That set of rules is “very brutal,” he said. “God says those people who want to do that must be destroyed.”
He said the LGBT movement is a “house of cards” that is “held together by force, intimidation, and propaganda” and can be destroyed by standing up to it, the way communism was. “We are in a war,” he repeated, saying of gay-rights advocates, “They would send us to concentration camps if they could.”
We have written before about My Faith Votes, a supposedly nonpartisan organization chaired by Donald Trump surrogate Ben Carson and supported by Religious Right activists including Robert Jeffress, Richard Lee, Alveda King and Kirk Cameron. The group, which sponsored the meeting this summer between Trump and hundreds of Religious Right leaders, says on its website, “My Faith Votes won’t tell you who to choose but we can make the process easier.” In fact, the group is not at all shy about telling Christians who they should vote for, as a recent interview with conservative Hispanic evangelical Samuel Rodriguez made clear.
Rodriguez also has a long track record of posturing as a political independent who is not wedded to, as he puts it, the agenda of the donkey or elephant, but of the lamb, Jesus Christ. Rodriguez, who had been critical of Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric earlier in the election process, now says he has had a “wonderful conversation” with Trump and has seen a “significant pivot” from the candidate when it comes to dealing humanely with people who have been in the country illegally for many years.
During the online interview and Q&A session for My Faith Votes, Rodriguez repeated Religious Right alarms about religious liberty, saying that there is a Jezebel spirit in the land, one that intimidates and threatens Christians based on fear and hatred of Christianity and the “biblical worldview.”
Rodriguez fielded a couple of questions from people who are not happy with either of the presidential candidates and were not feeling motivated to vote. He was not having it, telling one person, “In my personal opinion, the number one deliverable from the next president will be the Supreme Court.” Citing the potential for the next president to nominate three or four justices, he said, “Who I vote for has to be connected to which nominee…has committed to nominating justices on the court that will protect life and religious liberty and respect the image of God in every American. That’s what compels me to vote in 2016.”
In response to another discouraged voter, he argued that his very freedom to preach the gospel is at risk:
We have to rise up and look beyond the candidates. We have to look at the issues that are at play here. What’s at risk, truly? Will anything impact me? If I do not vote, will I personally suffer any consequences? Well, if you’re a Christian, if you’re a Bible-believing Christ follower, the answer is yes. There are legislative initiatives right now, that serve, that actually carry the great potential of limiting our expression of our Christian faith.
What if I tell you there are initiatives out there that would attempt to silence us from preaching about what the Bible may deem as sinful, and that speech may be deemed as hate speech, because it runs counter to a cultural narrative out there, a cultural thread or a cultural dynamic? Not only that; recently, as I alluded to in the beginning of this broadcast, in California there was an attempt to punish Christian colleges and universities for believing the Bible and preaching the Bible. It’s this sort of thing taking place, not only in California but across the nation.
So staying home may very well jeopardize my ability as a pastor to reach people with the loving gospel of Jesus Christ. Without a doubt, staying at home carries the potential of enlarging and increasing the number of abortions that take place in this country. How about this: and around the world, because there are candidates that are committed to funding abortions around the world. My taxpayer money going out and helping someone else terminate a life. So if you care about the sanctity of life, and if you care about religious liberty, then you should care about voting this election.
And again, if you can’t vote for a candidate, vote for the platform, vote for the party platforms, and the party platform that best will protect your right to be a Christian and reach others with the loving, grace-filled message of Jesus Christ.
And in response to a questioner complaining that church leaders are not willing to talk to people about how to vote, he said:
Elections have consequences. Because 25 million Christians did not vote in 2012, the institution of marriage suffered a radical transformation via the conduit of judicial and executive fiat. Elections have consequences. Because 25 million Christians did not vote in 2012, we have more and more children that were aborted, and we had an agency in America that sold aborted baby parts, and they were protected…This time, the stake is even higher and greater. The consequences are more egregious and more serious. So I would tell them, if you care about the future of America, if you care about the future of Christianity in America, you must vote. And you must vote righteousness and justice. And you must vote life and religious liberty. You must vote.
Anti-LGBT activist Mike Heath of MaineResistance recently interviewed Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality regarding what he considered to be the failure of the Religious Right movement to go on offense against the LGBT rights movement.
LaBarbera said that while groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association are committed to resisting LGBT rights measures when they are proposed, they are far less willing to go on the offensive in order to actually reverse the gains that the LGBT community has made in recent years.
This position makes no sense, LaBarbera said, because anti-gay activists have God and truth on their side.
"That's the shame of our movement," he said. "The homosexual activists behave as if they have the truth. We act as if we're ashamed of the truth when, in reality, we have the truth. Look at homosexuality; God says it's an abomination. Well, what a shocker that the behavior that God says is an abomination is vastly disproportionately represented among sexually transmitted diseases. Gee, Mike, what a shocker!"
Saying that syphilis cases are surging because of gay men, LaBarbera declared that "what we're finding in the science is that homosexuality is as bad as God said it was and you can't change that."
Marriage equality has been spreading across Mexico as activists have engaged in a long-term strategy challenging discrimination in the federal courts and state legislatures. But after President Enrique Peña Nieto announced this summer that he would like to put marriage equality into the country’s constitution, conservative religious leaders have been mobilizing a backlash. Now, U.S. anti-gay activist Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, who became president of the anti-LGBT World Congress of Families earlier this year, is headed to Mexico to show his support.
Anti-equality activists at the National Front for the Family organized marches in multiple cities last weekend that were supported by Catholic Church officials. They’re following up with a national anti-equality march scheduled for September 24. Religious conservatives would like to amend the constitution to ban abortion and sex ed as well as marriage by same-sex couples.
In a Wednesday email from the World Congress of Families, Brown writes:
WCF is launching a petition drive to give you and citizens across the globe the opportunity to add your own voice to the National March for the Family in Mexico City. Even though most people can't be there in person, you can lend your name and voice to the effort to uphold marriage, protect children from "gender ideology" and support the right of parents to direct their children's education according to their own values and principles.
I will personally deliver this petition to the leaders of National Front for the Family, including my friend, Rodrigo Ivan Cortes, when I meet with them in Mexico City.
The National March for the Family has the potential of being the largest single demonstration of support for marriage, children and parental rights in history. Beyond its significance in the domestic affairs of Mexico, this march also can help advance the worldwide movement to support marriage, religious liberty and the truth of gender that we were made male and female.
Matt Barber, an anti-gay pundit and Liberty University law professor, attended last weekend’s Values Voter Summit, which he told Virginia-based radio host Rob Schilling felt “like an island of reason in a sea of insanity” because “this United States of America right now is more insane than certainly you and I have seen in our lifetimes.”
Schilling agreed, noting the rainbow display on the White House last year, which he said put “a spiritual target on the building.”
Our leaders, Barber said, are “devolving into ancient pagan sexuality of the Sodom and Gomorrah type and touting it as good, it makes you worry for your country.”
“Well we saw what happened to those places, Matt,” Schilling responded, “and I’m very concerned. And certainly maybe even a decade or at least for sure two decades ago, this seemed like a fortress that was protected by two oceans and nothing could touch us. And now you and I know there are many ways that this nation could be obliterated almost instantly.”
Barber agreed that there are “so many threats to this country right now” and that “the frog is just about dead that is boiling in the pot.”
“And I think we recognize now that we are in trouble, serious trouble as a nation, more so than any time immediately preceding the Civil War,” Barber added. “That’s how volatile the situation is here domestically, I’m just speaking about, you throw the global threat into the mix and these are tumultuous times.”
As this weekend’s Values Voter Summit got underway, Jerry Boykin, the executive vice president of the summit’s sponsor, the Family Research Council, said that he hoped the event would help conservative Christians become “comfortable” with the idea of voting for Donald Trump.
The event ended up being packed with references to the importance of voting for Trump over Hillary Clinton. And, on Saturday, FRC members received a direct mail piece from the organization making an argument for conservative Christians to support the GOP nominee and his fellow Republicans in order to fight Democrats who are trying to put “the priority of sexual unrestraint ahead of religious freedom in every area of our lives.”
While never mentioning Trump or Clinton by name, the mailing, signed by the group’s president, Tony Perkins, makes its point clear.
Perkins first boasts of the FRC’s role in shaping the ultraconservative Republican platform, contrasting it with the Democrats’ platform of “sexual unrestraint”:
[T]he major political parties have confirmed their nominees, and in spite of the understandable misgivings of many true conservatives, this election now presents America with a clear choice:
· One party has declared in its platform that they will continue putting the priority of sexual unrestraint ahead of religious freedom in every area of our lives.
· The other party has committed itself to the most strongly conservative platform of any we’ve seen in a century.
And you had a hand in this platform victory. Your support for FRC Action made it possible for us to bring maximum influence to bear on the Republican Party platform-development process.
With your strong support, I was able to add eight amendments to the platform and was able to work with other delegates on dozens more, many of them designed specifically to champion and protect religious liberty. Your investment in FRC Action produced a tremendous return.
He then moves on to a defense of Trump, citing the GOP nominee’s promise to appoint judges who will uphold the Religious Right’s priorities, his vow to repeal IRS restrictions on politicking by churches that receive nonprofit tax breaks, and his “support for the freedom to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in the public sphere.”
“This is not an evangelical Christian candidate,” Perkins writes, “but these are connection points with evangelical Christians who have seen their beliefs constantly attacked in recent years. These are starting points for a new administration with a renewed friendliness toward Christian values”:
The candidate of one party has consistently reached out to Christian groups. The other has opposed everything we believe and everything we’ve worked for.
· One of these candidates would continue to appoint liberal activist judges and justices who will deny religious liberty for families like the Stormans…continue to use the sexual revolution (new “genders,” redefining marriage, etc.) to attack religious freedom…and will continue allowing the killing of unborn children.
· The other candidate has committed to appointing judges who will adhere to the confines of the Constitution. This candidate has also embraced the cause of religious liberty.
This candidate has specifically called out the Johnson Amendment, which restricts the freedom of churches to address political issues. This candidate has even expressed support for the freedom to say “Merry Christmas” in the public sphere!
This is not an evangelical Christian candidate, but these are connection points with evangelical Christians who have seen their beliefs constantly attacked in recent years. These are starting points for a new administration with a renewed friendliness toward Christian values.
All emphases are from the original.
At a panel at this weekend’s Values Voter Summit, activists representing the event’s organizer, the Family Research Council, and other conservative groups laid out what they will press Republican lawmakers to do in the first 100 days of the next presidency.
Under a Hillary Clinton administration, the conservative activists said, Republicans in the Senate should do as much as they can to obstruct her nominees to the judicial and executive branch. If Donald Trump is elected, they had a wish list of priorities for his administration, focusing on rolling back advances to LGBT and reproductive rights that have taken place during the Obama administration.
Mandi Ancalle, the FRC’s general counsel for government affairs, reminded the audience that FRC had helped to shape the Republican Party’s ultraconservative platform at the GOP convention in Cleveland and was hopeful that a Republican president—i.e. Trump—would help to make much of it law.
Ancalle said that the FRC is “working to generate a comprehensive list” for the Trump administration of executive orders, executive guidance and administrative regulations that a President Trump should rescind soon after taking office, and of Bush-era policies that he should reinstate. She said that the group was working with contacts on Trump’s transition team to get their wish list into the GOP nominee’s hands.
Among the priorities that she said FRC is pushing for in the first 100 days of a Trump administration:
Although Ancalle did not explicitly name them among FRC’s first-100-days priorities, she also criticized the Department of Education’s guidance on access for transgender students in public schools; the Department of Health and Human Services' contraception mandate; the “completely lawless” Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance on access for transgender people in the workplace; and President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
She also indicated that the FRC would urge a President Trump to undo the Obama administration’s work pushing LGBT and reproductive rights abroad, saying that the administration has “in some ways become a lobbying organization” and that “ambassadors that are appointed and sent overseas to represent American values have not only kind of flipped on their head what Americans stand for, what you and I stand for, but have really begun to lobby governments in attempting to accept same-sex marriage, in attempting to accept this gender identity dysphoria and attempting to push abortion acceptance and pro-abortion legislation in those different governments.”
She reminded the activists in the room that executive branch nominees—including nominees for ambassador—can be confirmed or blocked by the Senate, and urged the Senate to broadly exercise its power to block these nominees, whoever becomes president.
“It’s important that as we maintain a majority in the Senate that we’re encouraging our senators to not defer to what the president—honestly, whether it’s a Trump or a Hillary Clinton presidency—not to just defer to the president,” she said. “We’ve heard some senators say ‘elections have consequences’ and just put their stamp of approval on any secretary, on any nominee, and it’s really important that senators are out here in Washington, D.C., representing you all as you’re back at home, and representing your views on who those heads of these very authoritative departments and agencies are.”
Donald Trump is set to appear Friday at the Values Voter Summit, a Washington, D.C., conference organized by the Family Research Council that brings together what we’ve called “some of the country’s most extreme opponents of LGBT rights, vocal conspiracy theorists and outspoken critics of the separation of church and state.”
Several of the summit’s organizers and speakers are so radical that they have even backed laws criminalizing homosexuality.
But pandering to extremists is nothing new for Trump. And he himself has found political success by promoting many of the Religious Right’s fears about supposed anti-Christian persecution in America and a pro-Muslim bias within the Obama administration.
Trump will be joining some of the country’s most hateful groups at the Values Voter Summit. Here are just 10 of the convening’s sponsors and exhibitors:
1) Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX)
PFOX is dedicated to promoting ex-gay conversion therapy and “educating society on the facts about sexual orientation in order to eliminate negative perceptions and discrimination against ex-gays and those trying to overcome same-sex attraction.”
The group’s materials have described coming out as “a kind of murder of the family” and railed against “homofascism.” One of the group’s top officials, Greg Quinlan, has claimed that President Obama and Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and Elena Kagan are all secretly gay and has accused gay people of “sexual cannibalism.” Quinlan even blamed suicides among gay youth on gay “recruitment”: “We’re making martyrs out of kids that we’re recruiting to behave as homosexuals when no one is born that way, and that’s the problem and that’s the issue.”
FRC President Tony Perkins, who has defended PFOX’s work giving “options” to children “struggling” with homosexuality, successfully lobbied the Republican National Committee to adopt a resolution opposing laws that seek to curb the use of ex-gay therapy on minors as part of its 2016 party platform.
2) The John Birch Society
Since its founding, the John Birch Society has been a racist clearinghouse of far-right conspiracy theories.
JBS has accused Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, Civil Rights Movement leaders and advocates of water fluoridation of advancing a communist plot…a plot that goes all the way back to the founding of the Illuminati. More recently, the group linked the Sandy Hook massacre to “the assault on white men” that includes everything “from ‘affirmative action’ to massive Third World immigration,” and attacked the GOP for turning into the “Gay Old Party.”
Jeet Heer of The New Republic writes that the Birchers’ conspiratorial nature helped set the stage for Trump’s nomination: “Far from belonging merely to the lunatic fringe, the Birchers were important precursors to what is now the governing ideology of the Republican Party: Trumpism. Bircherism is now, with Trump, flourishing in an entirely new way. Far from being drummed out of conservatism, it has become the dominant strain.”
3) Americans For Truth About Homosexuality
A former Family Research Council official, Peter LaBarbera founded Americans For Truth About Homosexuality in order to apply “single-minded determination to opposing the radical homosexual agenda” or, as he sometimes calls it, “the hydra-headed monster of the Homosexual/Transsexual Lobby.”
LaBarbera, an outspoken defender of laws criminalizing homosexuality and banning pro-gay speech , has warned about the threat of what he calls “Gayria law” and “homofascism,” calling for “civil disobedience on a massive scale” to prevent same-sex couples from marrying.
He has said that the people really being persecuted today are anti-gay activists,comparing himself and others to Jews living in Nazi Germany. He has claimed that anti-LGBT activists like himself can’t help but follow their “natural inhibition against homosexual behavior,” while gay rights advocates use “ political terrorism” to advance “like an insatiable, devouring monster” while promoting “Satan’s plan.”
LaBarbera has lamented that anti-gay violence is no longer “normal,” called pedophilia “a subset of the larger deviance of homosexuality,” said that he’d “love to see” a group organize a class action lawsuit against homosexuality and found it “reassuring” that the gay community is affected by STIs and violence.
In LaBarbera’s ideal America, the government would imprison doctors who perform sex reassignment surgery for transgender people, close the door to refugees who are gay, launch a campaign against “homosexual behavior” just as it did against tobacco products and “re-stigmatize” homosexuality.
4) Family Watch International
With a global focus, Family Watch International has promoted ex-gay therapy and laws criminalizing homosexuality overseas.
One of the most glaring examples of its activism is in Nigeria, where the group’s leadership pushed the country’s lawmakers to adopt a law that “punishes those who enter into a same-sex marriage with up to 14 years in prison” and “prohibits anyone from officiating a gay union, bans same-sex ‘amorous relationships’ and membership in an LGBT advocacy group.” The law has led to dozens of arrests.
The group has been particularly active in promoting ex-gay pseudo-science and opposing United Nations resolutions calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality. For a time, FWI even worked withMartin Ssempa, an extreme anti-gay activist in Uganda, and praised Iran as “one of the strongest nations in standing up for family values at the UN.”
5) Liberty Counsel
Liberty Counsel is a conservative legal advocacy firm with close ties to Liberty University, the school founded by Jerry Falwell. The group recently gained national attention for its work representing Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and Alabama state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who defied federal courts by attempting to obstruct the recognition of marriage equality in his state.
Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver has called for mass disobedience against the Supreme Court’s landmark decision striking down bans on same-sex marriage, warning that the ruling will lead to revolution and civil war. Staver, as we’ve reported, has also “predicted that President Obama will impose ‘ forced homosexuality’ upon the nation, regularly likened gay people to terrorists, labeled the gay rights movement as ‘demonic’ and defended countries that outlaw same-sex relationships. Gay equality, Staver warns, will lead to the end of civilization and cause America to ‘implode’ and ‘unravel.’”
Anita Staver, Staver’s wife and the president of Liberty Counsel, recently said that she would take her gun into restrooms in reaction to Target’s decision to let transgender customers use the restroom that matches their gender identity, although she was unable to connect the store’s policy to any criminal acts.
6) Thomas More Law Center
The conservative legal group the Thomas More Law Center, as we’ve noted, is “best known for its unsuccessful lawsuit against Planned Parenthood and the Shepard-Byrd hate crimes law as well as its botched defense of a Pennsylvania’s school’s Intelligent Design curriculum.”
While the group wrongly predicted that the 2009 Hate Crimes Act would “criminalize the Bible,” that didn’t stop it from similarly insisting that marriage equality would lead to the end of “intellectual liberty.” The Thomas More Law Center has also warned that Arabic lessons in school will train kids to become terrorists and claimed that Islam is not a religion but a “Trojan Horse” seeking “to destroy America.”
7) American Family Association
The American Family Association has truly earned its designation as a hate group.
It’s one-time spokesman Bryan Fischer, who still hosts a radio program on the group’s affiliate American Family Radio, has repeatedly called for homosexuality to be outlawed, while cheering on countries like Uganda that criminalize homosexuality, calling for an “Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households” and declaring that God will use ISIS terrorists to punish Americans for their tolerance of homosexuality. Upon learning that the Boy Scouts of America rescinded its ban on gay members, Fischer said that the group should change its name to the “Boy Sodomizers of America.”
Fischer has also “likened homosexuality to terrorism and blamed the Holocaust on gay people, and said that non-Christians have no First Amendment rights and that non-Christian immigrants should be forced to convert to Christianity. Fischer has repeatedly defended the massacres and expulsions of Native Americans from their lands as divine justice and once lamented that welfare makes African-American women ‘rut like rabbits.’”
The AFA’s current governmental affairs director, Sandy Rios, has linked homosexuality to terrorism, train crashes and pedophilia.
8) Intercessors for America
Intercessors for America, as we’ve reported, has “prayed to stop anti-bullying laws to protect LGBT and LGBT-perceived youth, warning they ‘can only lead to God’s judgment,’ and that support for marriage equality ‘leads a soul to eternal damnation.’” The group also “believes that federal government is developing technology to implant microchips in all citizens as a form of mind control.”
9) Tradition, Family And Property
The Roman Catholic organization Tradition, Family and Property is a group of men who dress up like knights with trademark red capes and costumes and tour the country protesting events they perceive as anti-Catholic, as well as abortion rights and same-sex marriage. The group is particularly active in its opposition to gay rights, advocating for colleges to disband LGBT clubs and protesting Desmond Tutu due to his “affirmation of the homosexual agenda.” One of the group’s board members suggested that tornadoes were God’s judgment for gay marriage .
10) Family Research Council
The Values Voter Summit’s chief sponsor, the Family Research Council, is far from a mainstream group.
FRC Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg has called for bans on homosexuality and the exportation of gays from the U.S., and its executive vice president, Jerry Boykin, has promoted a wide range of bizarre conspiracy theories .
But the group’s most extreme official is its president, Tony Perkins, who has defended Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” bill, connected homosexuality to pedophilia , asserted that same-sex relationships are a government “population control” scheme, depicted LGBT rights supporters as terrorists and minions of Satan bent on murdering Christians, called for a revolution to stop same-sex marriages and denounced anti-bullying efforts for spreading “perversion.” He has also suggested narrowing the definition of religious freedom to exclude Muslims and liberal Christians, and once falsely claimed that it has been a “federal crime” to be a Christian since 2009.
In an interview with a West Virginia radio station yesterday, “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson linked drug addiction and other social ills to the country forgetting “the God of the Bible” and instituting legal abortion and “perversion.”
Brian Sexton, a host with WVHU in Huntington, asked Robertson what he had learned from ministering to drug addicts and other troubled souls.
Robertson connected these issues with the themes of an upcoming "documentary" he’s starring in, which is directed by now-Trump campaign chief Steven Bannon.
“The documentary is what happens to any empire or culture, nation, what happens to them when they forget the God of the Bible, the God of Creation,” he said. “You forget Him and what they do is they allow men to determine what’s right and wrong instead of God, they let men decide what’s good and evil instead of God, and they allow men to decide how much your life is worth. So once that happens, you start seeing these, like in America, these court cases. I mean we’ve legislated the murder of our own children, we’ve legislated perversion, and instead of vetting our thinking through the word of God, we just decided, no, well, we know more than God.
“And now we look around and we see what we have, we’ve confined God inside these structures, everybody’s got a different sign, you know, there’s a church on every street corner, and it became so splintered and divided and the government came along and made sure, they basically said keep Him in those church buildings but do not bring Him out in public education, they ran Him out of there, saying ‘don’t bring Him into the public square.’”
He added that he is now being criticized just for quoting “a few Bible verses,” just like Jesus.
Donald Trump is scheduled to speak this week at the Values Voter Summit, the annual confab hosted by the Religious Right powerhouse the Family Research Council. While Trump has claimed that he will be a better “friend of LGBT Americans” than Hillary Clinton (just “ask the gays”), his appearance at VVS shows the extent to which he has cozied up with some of the country’s fiercest opponents of LGBT equality, going so far as to offer them their pick of Supreme Court justices.
Many of the summit’s organizers and speakers have a long history of anti-LGBT rhetoric and promoting anti-LGBT policies, from denigrating gay and lesbian armed service members to falsely linking homosexuality with pedophilia. In fact, a glaring number of VVS participants have defended laws criminalizing homosexuality in the U.S. and around the globe.
While the Religious Right has changed its messaging in recent years to claim that conservative Christians in the U.S. are facing persecution from LGBT rights activists, it was not long ago that many of the same groups were fighting to preserve laws that made gay people criminals—and some still support enacting these policies at home and abroad.
The Family Research Council, which is the chief organizer of the conference, is a case in point. In 2003, when the Supreme Court was considering the constitutionality of Texas’ ban on “sodomy” in the landmark Lawrence v. Texas case, the FRC filed an amicus brief on behalf of the state. When the court ruled against Texas in the case, the FRC called it “a direct attack on the sanctity of marriage” and the group’s president, Tony Perkins, declared, “What’s at stake here is the very foundation of our society, not only of America but all Western civilization.”
Not only has Perkins defended state laws criminalizing same-sex relations, he once defended a notorious anti-gay bill in Uganda that at the time he discussed it proposed life in prison or even the death penalty for people who have sex with someone of the same sex. Perkins lauded this bill as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable,” criticizing President Obama for opposing it. The FRC even spent $25,000 to lobby Congress about a resolution denouncing the Ugandan bill—the group later claimed that it didn’t oppose the resolution, it just wanted to make its language less friendly to gay rights. In 2011, FRC asked its members to pray to give Malawi the “courage to withstand U.S. coercion” and maintain its ban on homosexuality.
Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow at the FRC who will have a speaking slot at this weekend’s summit, has perhaps been the most clear about the organization’s views on the subject. Asked by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews in 2010 if he thinks “we should outlaw gay behavior,” Sprigg replied, “Yes.” In a 2008 television interview, Sprigg mused, “I 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.”
The American Family Association, another sponsor of the Values Voter Summit, likewise backed Texas in the Lawrence case, writing in the amicus brief that a law like Texas' could prevent the “injury caused to the public by same-sex sodomy” and would even protect the gay people it targeted by sparing them “illness, disease and death resulting from [their] conduct.” That same year, the AFA published an essay lamenting that the disappearance of sodomy laws showed that “Judeo-Christian views” were being abandoned in favor of “moral relativism.” In 2011, then-AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer said that homosexuality should be a “criminal offense.”
First Liberty, another sponsor of the event, likewise backed Texas in the Lawrence case (under its previous incarnation as the Liberty Legal Institute), with the group’s leader Kelly Shackelford—also a speaker at this year’s VVS—declaring that there is “no constitutional right to engage in homosexual sodomy.”
Other figures at the Values Voter Summit have also supported criminal bans on homosexuality.
Rick Santorum, who will have a speaking slot, has boasted of his opposition to the Supreme Court’s Lawrence decision. Family Watch International, which is sponsoring a booth at the event, frequently works with some of the world’s most repressive governments to keep LGBT-friendly language out of UN documents and has supported harsh anti-gay legislation in Nigeria. Liberty Counsel, which will also be sponsoring a booth in the summit’s exhibit hall, backed Texas in the Lawrence case and defended a homosexuality ban in Malawi. Radical anti-LGBT activist Matt Barber said on a Liberty Counsel radio program he co-hosts that the U.S. should adopt a ban on “homosexual activist propaganda” similar to Russia’s. Fischer, the former AFA spokesman, also advocated enacting a similar law in the U.S.
Many Religious Right leaders have rallied behind Trump because he has promised to give them their ideal Supreme Court justices and lower court judges. Very recent history shows that these groups aren’t just interested in using the courts to reverse marriage equality—which would be harmful enough on its own—but also to severely roll back years of hard-won legal protections for LGBT people. Trump says that he’d be better for the LGBT community than Hillary Clinton—but we doubt that he’ll bring that message to the Values Voter Summit.
Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who died yesterday at the age of 92, was an early and ardent supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, one of the few Religious Right leaders who embraced the thrice-married, brash business mogul before they were left with no other option.
Schlafly’s love of Trump was hardly surprising: For decades, she has fought to build a Republican Party that rejects immigrants, stirs up fears of communists (and now Muslims), condemns “globalism,” eschews “political correctness,” and does it all with the veneer of protecting the “traditional family.” Trump was the candidate she had been waiting for.
Schlafly got her start as an anti-communist activist in the 1950s and 1960s, defending Sen. Joe McCarthy’s notorious communist hunt until the end and canceling her subscription to The National Review when it denounced the conspiratorial anti-communist John Birch Society. In 1964, she self-published a book called “A Choice Not An Echo,” urging the GOP to reject moderation and back Sen. Barry Goldwater’s presidential run; that year, Goldwater lost the presidential election in a landslide but made an indelible impact on the Republican Party.
But Schlafly really made a name for herself as the nation’s most famous anti-feminist, leading the successful fight to stop the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s. Throughout her career, Schlafly denounced “the feminists” and their goals, even as she became a successful career woman in her own right. (Schlafly’s niece later admitted that even as the activist exulted stay-at-home mothering as the natural role of women, she hired domestic help to help her manage balancing her career and childrearing.)
Through her group Eagle Forum, Schlafly remained active in a long list of conservative causes after the ERA was defeated.
Later in her career, Schlafly denounced equal pay legislation, saying that the “so-called pay gap” should actually be increased to help women find husbands who earn more than them. In 2007, she said that it was impossible for a husband to rape his wife because “by getting married, the woman has consented to sex.” A staunch opponent of abortion rights, Schlafly founded the Republican National Coalition for Life to ensure that the GOP remained an anti-choice party.
Hand-in-hand with Schlafly’s anti-feminism was her staunch opposition to LGBT rights. One of her primary arguments against the Equal Rights Amendment was that it would eventually lead to marriage equality and other rights for LGBT people. Her views on the issue didn’t waver even after her son John, who remains active in Eagle Forum, was outed as gay.
In recent years, Schlafly turned much of her attention to fighting immigration, and particularly to fighting efforts within the GOP to be more welcoming to immigrants. After the Republican National Committee responded to Mitt Romney’s loss in the 2012 presidential election by issuing an “autopsy” report that urged the party to stop alienating Latinos, partially by considering immigration reform, Schlafly lashed out, saying that there was no hope for the GOP to win Latinos. Latinos, she said, don’t “have any Republican inclinations at all” because “they’re running an illegitimacy rate that’s just about the same as the blacks are.” She added that Latinos “come from a country where they have no experience with limited government. And the types of rights we have in the Bill of Rights, they don’t understand that at all, you can’t even talk to them about what the Republican principle is.”
Schlafly attacked President Obama for bringing in “foreign ideas and diseases and people who don’t believe in self-government” and repeatedly declared that current levels of immigration are destroying America. In response to people skeptical of Trump’s plan to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, Schlafly scoffed. “In my mind’s eye,” she said, “I see those railroad cars full of illegals going south. That’s what they ought to do.” Schlafly made clear that her objection was not to immigration in general, but to the fact that many immigrants were coming from Latin America, saying last year that while it is “quite true that America was built by hard-working people from all over the world,” today’s immigrants are “not the same sort” as the mostly European immigrants who flocked to the country in the early 20th century.
She tried to square this anti-immigrant sentiment with her Christian beliefs by claiming that the Bible’s demands of “kindness and compassion” to strangers do not apply to the government’s treatment of immigrants.
It’s no wonder that Schlafly loved Trump, who offered to deliver the Religious Right’s policy priorities while putting his heart into fighting immigration and stirring up fears of the supposed radical Muslim infiltration of America. Schlafly stuck with Trump, whom she introduced at a St. Louis campaign rally, even as her support for his candidacy helped to tear apart both her organization and her family. In the month's before Schlafly's death, her daughter joined other Eagle Forum officials in a lawsuit that seeking the ouster of Schalfly’s handpicked, pro-Trump successor. Fittingly, Schlafly’s final book was released today. It’s called “The Conservative Case for Trump.”
Trump may seem like something new in the political system, but he’s exactly the kind of candidate Schlafly spent her life priming the GOP to accept.
Brian Brown, the National Organization for Marriage leader who was elected president of the global social conservative network World Congress of Families earlier this year, sent out a fundraising pitch for the international group on Friday warning that the “secular left,” aided by President Obama, is bent on creating all manner of harm for the “natural family,” including “normalizing pedophilia.”
These “forces of darkness,” Brown wrote, are working through “western powers” to impose these values on the rest of the world.
All around the world, we see liberal secularists using the power of government to seek to undermine the natural family. Urged on by wealthy elites, western powers — especially Barack Obama — demand that nations change their laws and policies in profoundly unwise and dangerous ways to embrace the agenda of the secular left — abortion on demand, an abandonment of marriage, acceptance of polygamy, normalizing pedophilia, transgenderism, stripping children of their inherent right to a mother and a father, etc.
While we've accomplished a tremendous amount over the years, the truth is that WCF can't continue to hold off the forces of darkness, and put them into retreat unless we are able to expand and grow. …
This is a pivotal time in history for the natural family. Good people around the globe are willing to resist the demands of the secular left and the pressures of western powers to change their cultures and policies. But they need the leadership of WCF to continue to be effective and to help sustain the worldwide movement in support of the natural family.