Andrea Lafferty, the anti-LGBT crusader who runs the Traditional Values Coalition, visited “Breitbart News Daily” this morning, where she warned parents not to “let your young girls and teen girls buy their summer clothes or bathing suits at Target” because of the company’s transgender-inclusive facilities policy.
She added that Target and Hershey Park have now become “pedophile magnets and pervert magnets” because they allow people to use the restroom of the gender with which they identify.
Lafferty then suggested that customers go into Target and fill up their shopping carts, go to the register, and say “Uh, I’m not going to buy this. Look at how much money I would have spent.’”
Yesterday, American Family Association official Sandy Rios criticized the confirmation of Eric Fanning to be Army secretary. Rios didn’t find anything wrong with Fanning’s qualifications, she was just upset that he is a gay man.
As a gay man, Rios said, Fanning cannot be an “alpha male.”
“When it comes to leading men into battle, when it comes to being secretary of the Army, I’ll take an alpha male any day,” she said. “I’m sorry. I know these war-like men too well and I don’t think most of them — very few of them are gay. You that are in the gay community, if you were to describe your friends and colleagues who are in this community, I don’t think you would describe them as warriors. I’m sure there are some, but still, I would prefer an alpha male.”
Rios compared Fanning’s confirmation to the controversy surrounding Jerry Boykin after the Religious Right activist made remarks threatening violence against transwomen.
“That’s where we’ve come: an openly gay man is the secretary of the army while the founder of the Delta Force, because he disapproves of transgender bathrooms in North Carolina, is fired from teaching at a college,” she said. “It’s just amazing.”
Liberty Counsel, a Religious Right legal group that is actively promoting efforts by right-wing judges, lawmakers and activists to nullify U.S. Supreme Court rulings on abortion and marriage equality, is raising money for its ongoing support of suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. As Miranda reported yesterday, Moore’s backers are holding a rally on Saturday to support his defiance of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.
In a direct mail letter, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver warns that Moore and other Christian leaders “are facing intense backlash for upholding God’s unwavering TRUTH.”
“In Alabama and across America, state judiciaries and legislatures are standing up against the federal judiciary, resisting tyrannical rule and upholding the moral law of God,” writes Staver, who asks for money to “defend Christian leaders who are being targeted by deep-pocketed, radical activists.”
Staver says “you and I must continue to pray and take an active stand against the forces destroying the foundations of our nation.” More from his letter:
I support Chief Justice Moore’s action that sends a “shot across the bow” regarding the Supreme Court’s egregious 5-4 marriage opinion on same-sex “marriage.” The United States Constitution does not prohibit states from affirming the natural crated order of one man and one woman joined together in marriage.
Like Daniel in the lion’s den, Chief Justice Moore is being persecuted for his faith by liberal legal professionals and radical LGGBT activists. But like Daniel, Chief Justice Moore will not bend, having faith that God will protect those who seek and follow His Word.
Staver asks recipients of the letter to sign and return (along with some money) a “Vote of Confidence” letter to Moore, which says in part:
Thank you for not bowing your knee to the U.S. Supreme Court’s egregious 5-4 marriage opinion on same-sex “marriage.” No civil authority, including the U.S. Supreme Court, has the authority to define marriage as anything but the union of one man and one woman!
I pray that God continues to guide and protect you, and to give you and other Christian leaders the continuing strength to turn the tide of immorality sweeping our nation.
Staver also includes a card reminding people to pray for Moore that he suggests placing in your Bible or on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror.
In a press release today, the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel took credit for a bill that passed the Oklahoma legislature yesterday that would make it a felony to perform abortions in the state. The group also claims that Paul Blair, a far-right Oklahoma pastor and activist who was embraced by Ted Cruz’s failed presidential campaign, “initiated” the legislation.
“SB 1552 was authored by Sen. Nathan Dahm,” the press release says. “Yet this legislation was initiated by a local pastor, Paul Blair, with the support and guidance of Liberty Counsel.”
“Life begins at conception,” the press release quotes Liberty Counsel’s founder Mat Staver saying. “Preborn children are in fact children, not merely fetuses, and their lives should be protected from the moment of conception. This bill is a very positive step toward affirming the value of human life by taking away ability to murder children. Liberty Counsel stands ready to defend this legislature if it is challenged.”
Liberty Counsel is perhaps best known for its role representing Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who tried to stop her office from issuing marriage licenses after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. The group and Staver have a long history of vicous anti-gay activism, including defending criminal bans on same-sex relationships . The group has also taken credit for the wave of anti-transgender laws sweeping the country, althought the Religious Right behemoth Alliance Defending Freedom seems to have played alarger role.
Blair also has a long history of extreme anti-gay rhetoric, including saying that the source of the “radical homosexual agenda” is Satan and declaring that the success of the movie “Brokeback Mountain” was proof that Americans are “under attack” from the devil. He is also a vocal advocate for states to ignore Supreme Court rulings with which they disagree — including Roe v. Wade.
As Peter wrote earlier this year, Blair has been working to convince state lawmakers to defy court rulings on abortion rights and marriage equality:
Reclaiming America for Christ , a ministry of Blair’s church in Edmond, Oklahoma, is promoting “Protect Life and Marriage,” an effort “dedicated to the proposition that the state of Oklahoma has federal and state constitutional authority to (1) protect the institution of natural, traditional marriage and; (2) protect innocent, unborn children from abortion; and that in the face of unjust, unlawful U.S. Supreme Court actions it is time for Oklahoma to exercise this authority.”
Blair said his group has 980 pastors and over 20,000 supporters, and is working with the governor, attorney general and state legislators to promote a nullification strategy: “We are trying to stop this legally, lawfully, politically, actually using the Constitution initially…”Speakers at a Protect Life and Marriage rally at the Oklahoma state capitol last October included U.S. Sen. James Lankford and Rep. Jim Bridenstine, along with state legislators and pastors. Blair also said people supporting some kind of state-led resistance are working through different channels in Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and Texas.
At a conference in March, Blair distributed copies of an interview he did with the magazine of the John Birch Society in which he says there is no need for constitutional amendments reversing Supreme Court decisions on marriage equality and abortion rights because states can simply cite the 10th Amendment to ignore them. He said in the interview that “we want Oklahoma to be a ‘sanctuary state’ for marriage, life and the Constitution.”
Blair told The New American that Obergefell is illegitimate, unconstitutional, violates natural law and “celebrates immoral conduct.” The decision, he said, “is an attempt to force everyone to celebrate a behavior that violates conscience and the Holy Scriptures, and to force the acceptance of that behavior on our children through public education.”
Supporters of Chief Justice Roy Moore of Alabama are planning to hold a rally on Saturday in defense of the judge, who has yet again been suspended by the state’s judicial inquiry committee, this time for attempting to defy federal court rulings on marriage equality.
A list of speakers hasn’t been released yet, but it will likely include John Eidsmoe, the Christian Reconstructionist scholar who works at the foundation that Moore founded, and Moore’s friend and former spokesman Dean Young, both of whom spoke last Thursday at a press conference where they announced plans for the event.
Speaking to reporters at the press conference, Young singled out Ambrosia Starling, a drag queen who’s a member of the coalition that filed a complaint against Moore and who has become an accidental celebrity since Moore claimed that she was leading the effort against him.
Young said that it’s a “travesty” that a “transvestite” was able to file a complaint against Moore when “these are the kind of people who want to come into the bathroom of your children, boy or girl.”
He then warned that marriage equality would destroy the country. “At the end of the day,” he said, “our civilization was founded on the Judeo-Christian values, and when you start saying that a man and a man can get married, you’re destroying the very foundation of this nation.”
Young compared “redefining marriage” to changing the measurements of a foot or an ounce.
“The entire foundations are destroyed when you start redefining words, and especially what marriage is, and that’s between a man and a woman,” he said.
Young praised Moore for being “the only one in this entire country that’s standing.”
“If they take Judge Moore down, they’re going to come after your pastors, they’re going to come after your businesses if you don’t make the kind of cake they want, they’re going to make you go out of business,” he warned. “If you don’t want to perform a wedding like that, you’re going to go out of business.”
He added that “this is either Valley Forge or the Alamo, I just don’t know which one.”
Young, who once said that if gay people “don't like the laws of Alabama…then maybe they need to go back to California or Vermont or wherever they came from," lost a Republican congressional primary in March.
Rusty Thomas, the radical anti-abortion activist who heads Operation Save America, has also announced that he’ll be speaking at the rally in support of Moore on Saturday. Thomas, who insists that terrorist attacks are God’s judgment for legal abortion, invoked both the Bible and a movie version of “Robin Hood” to declare that it is Moore who is following the law because the federal government is imposing “lawlessness.”
Thomas subscribes to a version of nullification that holds that “lesser magistrates” — state and local officials — must defy federal laws and court rulings that they believe violate divine law. The leading proponent of this theory is anti-abortion activist Matt Trewhella, one of the signers of a 1993 document supporting violence against abortion providers, who spoke alongside Thomas at a recent abortion “abolition” event in Arizona.
Thomas writes in a press release today that he hopes Moore’s example “will spread like wild fire to inspire governors, state legislators, sheriffs, and other lower magistrates to rise up with one voice to say no to the federal beast, place the chain back on our federal government, restore law and order, and reestablish the checks and balances necessary to secure a future and hope for our nation in Jesus' mighty name!”
The prophet Isaiah warned, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20). Our nation has long rejected Biblical truth and now we labor under a stupor of delusion. When good becomes evil, it should not be surprising that the good guys become the bad guys. The movie Robin Hood stated our current situation well, "In the days of lawlessness, those who keep the law become the outlaw."
Our federal government for decades has been codifying evil into law. In the name of new federal values, they are destroying Christian and family values. In the name of government, they betray their sacred trust as government. In the name of the Constitution, they violate the Constitution. Under the color of law, they impose lawlessness upon the citizens of America and upon the great state of Alabama.
Our federal government continues to make straight what God has called crooked, turn moral wrongs into civil rights, and demand that "We the People" tolerate the intolerable. In the midst of this tyranny and moral anarchy, God has raised up a champion, none other than Chief Justice Roy Moore.
As a Lesser Magistrate, Chief Justice Roy Moore, is standing in the gap between federal tyranny and the life, liberty, and property of the citizens of Alabama and our nation. It is my sincere prayer that his example will spread like wild fire to inspire governors, state legislators, sheriffs, and other lower magistrates to rise up with one voice to say no to the federal beast, place the chain back on our federal government, restore law and order, and reestablish the checks and balances necessary to secure a future and hope for our nation in Jesus' mighty name!
Update: Moore’s wife, Kayla Moore, who heads the foundation that he founded, is also scheduled to address the rally.
Over and over again, we have heard about the supposed demise of the Religious Right and how the Republican Party will stop focusing on issues like LGBT equality and abortion rights, especially in the age of Donald Trump.
As Ari noted last week, these claims come at a time when women’s “access to birth control is still a matter of public debate and gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals can still face discrimination across wide swaths of our country in the workplace, in housing, and even when attempting to access basic services.”
Trump, the candidate hailed by some pundits for minimizing such social issues, just put out a list of anti-abortion, anti-LGBT, ultraconservative jurists he would pick from when choosing his Supreme Court nominees.
The release of the list comes after Trump has made repeated vows to use the judicial nomination process to challenge the Roe v. Wade and Obergefell rulings, the landmark decisions on abortion and marriage equality, respectively.
Indeed, anyone paying attention to the actions of House Republicans over the last few days can see that the party is still committed to undermining LGBT rights.
“During debate on a military spending bill, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) offered an amendment to nullify a provision in a separate bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, that the House passed late Wednesday,” Jennifer Bendery of the Huffington Post writes today. “The provision opens the door to government contractors citing religious liberty as grounds for firing or harassing employees who are LGBT.”
The vote was 213-212. President Barack Obama has issued an executive order that bars discrimination against LGBT employees by federal contractors, and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., had offered an amendment to a spending bill that would have prohibited using taxpayer dollars to violate the order.
The vote for Maloney’s amendment peaked at 217, one short of the majority needed for passage, before it began a slow, sporadic decline. Members of the Republican whip team, whose job is to round up needed votes, were stalking the House chamber’s aisles where GOP lawmakers seat, openly pleading for support.
“Need two more votes,” Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla., one of the GOP whips, said loudly as he prowled among Republicans.
Russell was the same congressman who introduced the anti-LGBT amendment that, according to the Advocate, allows groups “doing business with the U.S. government to fire or punish any employee based on their sexual orientation or gender identity” under the guise of religious freedom.
Also this week, Oklahoma Republican lawmakers passed “a bill that would make it a felony to perform abortions” and Texas Republicans expanded their already firm opposition to LGBT rights.
But remember, the culture wars are dead!
House Democrats shout “shame” at Republican colleagues after a vote on an LGBT amendment https://t.co/JvMdaKSypk— POLITICO (@politico) May 19, 2016
Religious Right activists say they’re fighting to save religious liberty in America from the gay rights movement, but many of the same leaders are happy to partner with the most religiously repressive regimes in order to resist advances toward LGBT equality around the world.
Consider Monday’s “Uniting Nations for a Family Friendly World” event at the United Nations. It was sponsored by anti-gay and anti-choice groups like the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam, formerly known as the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute) and Family Watch International, which work to keep LGBT-friendly language out of international documents and agreements. Their cosponsors included the 25 countries that make up the Group of Friends of the Family (GoFF), a coalition of UN member states created last year to “reaffirm that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”
Among the freedom-loving members of GoFF whose representatives spoke at Monday’s “high-level event” was Iran, which the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom has just accused of seeking to “eradicate” the country’s Baha’is.
In fact, there’s a lot of overlap between GoFF members and countries identified by the Commission, currently chaired* by social conservative strategist Robert George, as the worst in the world for religious freedom: Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Malaysia, Egypt, and Iraq. Also included in GoFF are countries where anti-LGBT religious and political leaders have been generating hostility and threatening the lives and freedoms of LGBT people, including Nigeria, Uganda, Indonesia, and Kyrgyzstan.
But there was no talk of that unpleasantness at Monday’s three-hour event, which featured GoFF delegates pushing to have the U.N. emphasize “pro-family” policies in the implementation of sustainable development goals. The GoFF “Statement in Support of the Family” was presented by Valentin Rybakov, deputy minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Belarus, where, according to Human Rights Watch, authorities “pressure and arrest human rights activists and critics on spurious charges” and “regularly harass independent and opposition journalists.” Of course, there’s a similar situation in Russia, which doesn’t keep American Religious Right groups from swooning over Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay policies.
One of Putin’s defenders is C-Fam’s Austin Ruse. In a Monday email to his supporters, Ruse bragged that C-Fam “was asked by a number of Member States to organize this conference,” adding that “the family is under extreme pressure at the UN from those who want to redefine the family and to accept the notion that two people of the same sex can create a family and adopt children.”
At the UN, Ruse singled out Sudan and Saudi Arabia for praise, citing situations in which their representatives had “saved” UN documents from unwanted language on the family. For the record, the USCIRF calls Saudi Arabia “uniquely repressive” when it comes to religious freedom and says Sudan’s government “represses and marginalizes the country’s minority Christian community.”
During his remarks at the event, Ruse said the powerful force that “family” advocates are up against is the sexual revolution, which portrays family as a “patriarchal prison where pleasure and freedom go to die.” Without any apparent sense of irony, he declared that “tyrants have always known” that the family is “the real enemy to what they want” and its destruction is “how they get to the individual.”
Ruse announced the creation of a new coalition, Civil Society for the Family, which he said would be active in supporting GoFF’s work in defense of “traditional morality.”
The event also featured remarks from C-FAM’s Susan Yoshihara, Family Watch International’s Sharon Slater, the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg, Human Life International’s Shenan Boquet, CitizenGo and HazteOir’s Gregory Mertz, the Institute for Family Policy’s Lola Volarde, and anti-marriage-equality activists Sherif Girgis and Helen Alvaré. Religious leaders who spoke included California pastor and anti-gay activist Jim Garlow, Imam Shamsi Ali of the Jamaica Muslim Center in Queens and Catholic Bishop John O’Hara of the Archdiocese of New York, who assured the group that they have Cardinal Dolan’s “enthusiastic support.”
A few highlights from other speakers:
The statements from GoFF representatives were short and often repetitive statements about the centrality of the family to achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals.
The Russian delegate discussed Putin’s promotion of “traditional family values” and noted that the Commonwealth of Independent States, a confederation of former Soviet republics, has named 2017 the Year of the Family. The Russian representative also said it is important to UN organizations to stay within their mandates and for countries that support traditional families to speak up so that silence isn’t considered an acceptance of “dangerous trends.” He made a reference to pro-LGBT stamps issued by the UN Postal Administration in February, which infuriated some “traditional family” supporters. He said supporters of the traditional values need to be more active at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The representative of Sudan also talked about the divinely created complementarity inherent in “the nature of each sex.” He complained that many international documents on women do not recognize the natural family but “deliberately seek to weaken and erode it.” Efforts to promote alternative forms of the family are incompatible with universal principles in human culture “which distinguish us humans from the rest of God’s creation.”
The event had a bit of theater as well. A short video from Family Watch International showed a succession of people saying nice things about families, including Janice Shaw Crouse and Alexey Komov — who are currently attending another global social conservative event, the World Congress of Families in Tbilisi, Georgia — among others. In addition, half a dozen children took turns reading “A Declaration on the Rights of Children and Their Families: A Call from the Children of the World,” a document promoted by the UN Family Rights Caucus that they say has been signed “by thousands of children from every continent of the world.” Among its claims: Every child has a right to a married mother and father and the “right to innocence and childhood”— which is cited to attack sex ed programs and could be used to defend the kind of anti-gay “propaganda” laws that Russia and other countries are using to squelch advocacy for equality in the name of protecting children.
* Update: House Speaker Paul Ryan announced on May 18 that Robert George has completed his second term and has been replaced on the Commission by the executive director of the Becket Fund, Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz.
Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, praised his state’s leaders yesterday for refusing to comply with an Obama administration directive on facilities access for trans students in public schools, saying that “it’s time for an all-out rebellion against this absolute tyranny of the Obama administration.” He added that business interests pressuring lawmakers not to enact anti-LGBT measures are a greater “threat to freedom of religion in America” than ISIS.
Jeffress, a key Religious Right ally to Donald Trump, discussed the topic yesterday with Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, who was guest-hosting the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program.
Jeffress said that the U.S. needed to admit that “we are a country based on the Judeo-Christian foundation, and whether you’re Jewish or Christian, I mean, we believe that gender is something that is assigned by God.”
Recognition of transgender rights, he said, means that “we are headed toward chaos,” adding that “at the root of this is society’s rebellion against the plan of God, that’s what this is all about.”
Jeffress and Starnes praised Texas officials’ resistance to the administration’s directive, with Jeffress noting that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick “often” worships at his church when he’s in Dallas.
“I think they’re going to stand firm on this and I hope that every governor of every state will have the guts to do that,” Jeffress said. “I think it’s time for an all-out rebellion against this absolute tyranny of the Obama administration.”
When Starnes noted that Mississippi has announced that it will comply with the administration guidelines, Jeffress laid the blame on the Chamber of Commerce and business interests, which he said were a greater threat to American liberties than ISIS.
“It comes down to money, Todd, that’s what it’s about,” he said. “And when states are being faced with the loss of business, they tend to fold real quickly. And I’ve said often that the greatest threat to freedom of religion in America is not ISIS, it’s the Chamber of Commerce. I mean, it’s the businesses that say to our representatives, ‘Oh, don’t pass laws like that, don’t pass these religious freedom laws because people will interpret that as anti-gay and we’ll lose business.’”
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, blasted the Obama administration on Saturday for a new directive on transgender equality in public schools, joking that the administration won’t be satisfied until all students are “transgendered [sic] vegans” and lamenting a “downhill” descent in the United States that includes the Supreme Court rulings recognizing women’s right to access birth control.
King discussed the Obama administration letter to school districts in the “Caffeinated Thoughts Radio” podcast on Saturday, saying that “pranksters” in their last week of high school are probably “lined up right now” to take advantage of transgender rights to get into girls’ bathrooms.
Think of this: This is the last week of school for a lot of high school seniors. Some of these boys, especially, are a little rowdy when they’ve got their grades already in the bank and are just kind of waiting to go down and accept their diploma. … But, think of this, all over America, they’ve got to be lined up right now, the pranksters, going, ‘I’m going to go into the girls’ room,’ ‘I’m going,’ ‘I dare you,’ ‘Well, the two of us will go,’ ‘The three of us will go.’ There’s a line-up in some school right now and no school can discipline them because the federal government will come in with the Justice Department and jerk their No Child Left Behind funding.
He half-joked that the government would next announce that “‘We’re going to make you all vegans,’ transgendered [sic] vegans would satisfy them.”
“It’s the unhumorous humorous reality of how perverse our society has gotten under Barack Obama,” he added.
When asked if schools would resist the administration’s directive, King was pessimistic, saying that he had seen society “capitulate” to Supreme Court rulings on prayer in schools, abortion rights, and same-sex marriage, along with the court’s rulings in Griswold v. Connecticut and Eisenstaedt v. Baird, which established the right of married and unmarried people, respectively, to access birth control.
With all of these developments, King said, the U.S. has gone “downhill fast” as society has allowed the courts to “change the protocol of the civilization that goes back to Adam and Eve.”
Well, I was sitting [as] a freshman in high school when Murray vs. Curlett came down that ordered that there be no more prayer in the public schools. And I thought then, that was 1963, and I thought then, how are they going to stop us from praying in our schools? They could tape our mouths shut, that doesn’t do it. The only way they could stop us would be to empty the schools out. And in my mind’s eye, I can still see the images that were conjured up: two U.S. Army personnel standing there guarding the doors that were chained shut on our high school. … It was the image that came to mind, the only way to stop us from praying in public schools was to empty the schools out and guard them so we couldn’t sneak in and pray.
And, yet, what happened was, society capitulated to the command of the Supreme Court, and then we saw a watershed that went downhill: Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, Griswold v. Connecticut, Eisenstadt, on and on and on ... but we went downhill fast. And then you saw, we were all part of the battle against what our Iowa Supreme Court did when they commanded that there be same-sex marriage in Iowa, and then we saw the Supreme Court order, just create a new command in the United States Constitution. So now we’ve got to submit to five members of the Supreme Court and one president and simply let them change the protocol of the civilization that goes back to Adam and Eve? And I’m going to say, society will capitulate because they didn’t fight on marriage.
Listen to the full audio of the interview at Caffeinated Thoughts; the discussion with King begins at around the 3-minute mark.
Among the Religious Right activists reacting calmly today to a reported Obama administration directive on transgender rights in schools was American Family Radio’s Bryan Fischer, who said that the move showed that President Obama is “doing the devil’s work” and that it might prompt Texas to secede from the Union.
Fischer read from a passage in Revelation in which the devil goes down to the earth and “is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
“So, again, I want to be clear, I’m not saying President Obama is the devil,” he said. “But is he doing the devil’s work? Yes. And he’s immitating the Enemy of our souls because he’s motivated by anger against America as founded, anger against the Judeo-Christian ideals that have founded and shaped this country, and he knows he’s running out of time.”
Later in the segment, a caller asked Fischer “what keeps the states from seceding from the Union and declaring their own government free from the United States with these executive orders.”
“The state of Texas is having their convention this weekend, their state convention, and there is a resolution that the Republican convention in the state of Texas is going to be voting on … about whether Texas ought to secede from the Union,” Fischer said, referring to a planned vote at this weekend’s state GOP convention . “And, trust me, after what President Obama has done today, there’s going to be a lot of energy behind that.”
As we have been noting throughout the day, Religious Right leaders have not been reacting well to reports that the Obama administration will direct schools to allow transgender students to use the restroom corresponding with their gender identity.
After claiming that the president is “sacrificing children to advance an evil agenda” and is intentionally causing “social chaos,” Perkins told Fox News’ Todd Starnes today that Congress should launch impeachment proceedings against the president in retaliation:
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told me Congress must intervene to stop what he called an imperial president.
“If the president chooses to go forward with this outrageous order – then congress should begin impeachment proceedings,” he said.
Perkins said the decree should be “resisted with ever legal and moral instrument we have available to us in this country.”
“Every parent, every school board in America should absolutely refuse to sacrifice the safety of their children for the threat of taking away nine federal pennies that make up every educational dollar,” he said.
Starnes also quotes the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ronnie Floyd, who told him that the planned directive is “an outrageous attack on our Creator Himself, upon human sexuality and morality and a further advancement of the flagrant attack on religious freedom in our culture.”
Starnes added some thoughts of his own on the matter, comparing the transgender nondiscrimination directive to the challenges faced by executed anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
The time has come for all Americans to stand up and defy this president's immoral agenda. If losing federal funding is the price we must pay to protect women and children – then so be it.
We will not betray what we know to be true for the government’s 30 pieces of silver.
The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer warned us about a time such as this. Not to speak is to speak, he once said. Not to act is to act.
Far too long American pulpits have remained silent on controversial cultural issues. Preachers don’t want to rock the boat. Parishioners don’t want to cause trouble. Far too long society has turned a blind eye as President Obama fundamentally transformed our nation.
But now the country stands at the edge of a great moral abyss. And we must ask ourselves -- do we defy the president and save the nation or do we keep the peace and sacrifice our children?
A number of American Religious Right leaders will be headed to the former Soviet republic of Georgia next week for the annual World Congress of Families, which is organized by the Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society. As Peter noted earlier this week, the event will coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, which the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church has designated the “Day of Family Strength and Respect for Parents.”
It’s not a coincidence that WCF will be in Georgia on that day, May 17, or that Georgian Orthodox leaders picked the anti-homophobia day to commemorate “family strength.” As Tbilisi-based journalist Giorgi Lomsadze noted in EurasiaNet.org yesterday, the renaming of the anti-homophobia day and the timing of WCF coincide with the anniversary a violent attack on LGBT-rights protesters three years ago:
The convention, timed to coincide with the day of a violent 2013 mob attack on an anti-homophobia rally in Tbilisi, will be hosted by a Levan Vasadze, a dagger-sporting homophobic knight dressed in Georgian national attire. Vasadze participated and is alleged to have helped organize the 2013 attack that relegated Georgia’s nascent LGBTQ-rights movement to the periphery of national discourse.
To counter the symbolism of the May 17 anniversary of the mob attack on LGBTQ supporters as a day for celebrating gender and sexual diversity, Georgia’s Orthodox Church pronounced that date as the Day of Family. The Illinois-based World Family Congress subsequently announced its tenth annual conference would also coincide with the anniversary.
The New Yorker’s Natalia Antelava described the violence that erupted after a group of clergymen led a “huge mob” against a small anti-homophobia demonstration in Tbilisi in 2013, ultimately injuring 17 people:
“Fuck your mothers,” a priest shouted.
Another priest came armed with a stool. Their followers carried rocks, sticks, and crucifixes. “Kill them! Don’t let them leave alive,” they screamed.
They smashed heads, windows of shops, and a minibus in which activists tried to escape. Twelve people, including three policemen, were seriously injured.
“Before the van arrived, about ten girls—gay rights activists—were being taunted by a growing, frothing mob. A stone was thrown and split a girl’s head open.… This mob was the creation of the Georgian Orthodox Church and the Georgian government has so far been gutless in standing up to the Church to protect the rights of its citizens. Shame on you, Georgia. Shame on you,” Paul Rimple, a Tbilisi-based journalist, posted on his Facebook page. He later wrote about it for the Moscow Times.
The BBC captured footage of anti-gay protesters attacking a van carrying the anti-homophobia protesters.
Lomsadze notes that WCF’s cheerleading of anti-LGBT sentiment in Georgia, “wittingly or not, might be helping a Russian foreign policy agenda in the region” since the Kremlin has used the issue of LGBT rights in an effort stir up anti-Western sentiment and solidify its influence in the region:
As it descends upon Georgia, the World Congress of Families, wittingly or not, might be helping a Russian foreign policy agenda in the region. Fanning the flames of homophobia has long been Moscow’s soft-power way to urge its former Soviet satellites, including Georgia, to distance themselves from the West. Before Georgia signed an Association Agreement with the EU in 2014, the Russian propaganda machine was put into gear, describing the landmark treaty as essentially Georgia’s gay marriage with Europe. Brussels had to issue public assurances that the treaty, meant for political and economic harmonization, does not contain any fine print requiring Georgia to allow same-sex marriages.
In reality, same-sex marriage is a non-issue in Georgia, where LGBTQ people cannot gather safely in public much less demand marriage rights. Nevertheless, some of the country’s own politicians run on an anti-gay marriage platform, pandering to widespread conservative attitudes and the position of the much-revered Georgian Church. A pending parliamentary vote seeks to amend the Georgian constitution to state that lawful marriage is limited to opposite sex partners.
“Would you want such marriage in your family, men in bridal veils, hairy, bearded men?” asked Tamaz Mechiauri, of the Georgian Dream Party, when asked to explain the reasoning for the bill.
Sally Kern, the Oklahoma Republican lawmaker best known for repeatedly declaring that gay people pose a greater threat than terrorists, said farewell to the Oklahoma House of Representatives this week the only way she knew how … by comparing gay people to terrorists.
In a speech on the House floor on Wednesday, which was posted online by Troy Stevenson of Freedom Oklahoma, Kern once again insisted that “the homosexual agenda is worse than terrorism” and that children are being recruited into homosexuality:
“The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation, it’s just a fact,” she said back in 2008, adding: “I honestly think it’s the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam.”
In 2011, Kern said that while “we don’t have to deal with a terrorist attack every day,” Americans “are bombarded” by pro-gay messages on a daily basis, claiming that homosexuality is “more dangerous” than terrorist attacks “because it will tear down the moral fiber of this nation.”
“[E]verybody understands terrorism destroys people’s lives, it destroys property,” she said. “All I meant was, all I was saying was the homosexual agenda is destroying people’s lives.”
She told anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera that Satan “wants to destroy us” and is “using sexual perversion to destroy the future of America.”
As the Republican lawmaker elaborated in her book, “The Stoning of Sally Kern”:
Terrorists seem to do damage to our nation and to its people. Yet we, the American people, are bringing the wholesale destruction of our nation upon ourselves as we wholeheartedly embrace homosexuality, a lifestyle proven to be dangerous and deadly. We are currently very vigilant against the terrorist threat against us. We seem oblivious to this more pervasive inner decay.
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, invited Rep. Mark Meadows to his “Washington Watch” program on Wednesday to discuss a recent report alleging that there are “unbelievable” amounts of child pornography on the computers of employees of U.S. defense and intelligence agencies, which gave Meadows an opportunity to discuss a bill he has introduced trying to block porn on government computers.
Perkins, who has linked the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to everything from suicides to sexual assaults to the Secret Service prostitution scandal, was quick to draw a line between porn viewing by government employees and the Obama administration’s having “interjected sex into any and everything.”
After Meadows told Perkins that along with harming the individuals involved, the porn “creates an unhealthy workplace” for everybody, Perkins responded:
Well, and a good example of this is in the military, where I was just reading a story in the Army Times where they’re suggesting that upwards of 20 percent of those in the military are addicted to online pornography. But then, we’ve seen how this administration has interjected sex into any and everything and, in particular, the military, where sexual assaults are going through the roof. Now, there are a number of factors that come into play there, but certainly this has to be part of it.
Perkins returned to the topic later in the program, once again linking sexual assaults in the military to the policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly and linking porn viewing by government employees in general to the “sexually charged environment” promoted by Obama.
“Of course, the military has been ground zero in the president’s sexual agenda, first repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, women in frontline combat … and guess what’s happened?” he said. “I know this will surprise you, but sexual assaults have gone through the roof.”
“That’s the result of this sexually charged environment, the results of policies of the Obama administration,” he said. “So we shouldn’t be surprised that every other agency is having these issues.”
When far-right pundit and anti-gay activist Gordon Klingenschmitt won election to Colorado’s House of Representatives in 2014, he suggested that he might be toning down his extremist rhetoric, which had included charges that gays want to rape children and that President Obama is ruled by 50 demons. "I would say it is time for people of good will on both sides of the political debate to come together to have reasonable discussions about these issues," he told the Colorado Springs Gazette after his election. “Maybe that includes me. Maybe I need to tone down my rhetoric…”
Whatever motivated that particular moment of introspection (Klingenshmitt said he had been receiving death threats), it didn’t last, as RWW’s continuing coverage of “Dr. Chaps” makes clear. During his first year as a legislator he was temporarily stripped of his seat on the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee after saying that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman was a sign that God had cursed America for allowing legal abortion.
Today Klingenschmitt is reviving a charge he made three years ago against anti-bullying legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota. Religious Right groups have long opposed efforts to prevent anti-gay bullying in schools. Language from Franken’s Student Non-Discrimination Act is included in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin, complains Klingenschmitt, who calls it the “No Child Left Unmolested” amendment. He says it “mandates a pro-homose xual [sic] federal curricula for all public schools” and “bullies your Christian kids and teachers” and threatens schools with lack of funding “if they refuse to teach kids that sin is normal.”
Franken’s “No Child Left Unmolested” amendment will teach your kids to violate your Christian values, and like the Brownshirts teach your kids to report YOU as a hater or bully, if you fail to endorse homose xuality as normal. Is there no end to their depravity?
In the same email, Klingenschmitt attacks the Obama administration’s directive on the rights of transgender students as “a direct threat tantamount to child abuse.”
Klingenschmitt’s annoying use of “homose xual” — with a space in the middle of the word — is presumably meant to let his missives sneak through “family friendly” filtering software promoted by Religious Right groups.
E.W. Jackson, the Virginia pastor who was the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 2013, has a mild and reasonable response to a planned Obama administration directive on school restroom access for transgender students:
We are witnessing American society's descent into moral darkness. With each passing day we fall farther and faster into an abyss where truth and fixed ethical guideposts do not exist. It is the moral equivalent for the nation of the advanced stages of Alzheimer's for an individual, when the victim forgets his own identity.
When an educated and articulate United States Attorney General stands before the public and says that the long held expectation that males and females use specifically designated restrooms is a mere "pretext" for discrimination, we have fallen through the rabbit hole. When the President dictates bathroom policy for the entire public school system, we are witnessing official delusion at the highest level.
The news media, once thought of as guardians of truth, have surrendered to the censors and propagandists. Journalists are supposed to be fair to both sides of an issue. Instead, as with climate change, many reporters have sided with the speech authoritarians to deny a platform to those who disagree.
We want to teach our children Judeo-Christian morality, which by the way does not entail hatred of people who live differently. We want to be left alone to live our lives, and we want to leave others alone to live theirs. Unfortunately, that will never be enough for the cultural communists. They want a dictatorship of the sexual proletariat, and all must adhere or be punished. Christians have been fired from their jobs, driven from their businesses, dragged into court, fined and even put in jail. This is cultural terrorism, sanitized of explicit violence, but nonetheless using fear to force conformity.
We must vehemently oppose it, but have compassion for the people trapped in the modern sexual liberation movement. They are indeed victims, but of indoctrination, not discrimination. Only a Third Great Awakening will bring our society out of this confusion. America was founded on the solid rock of self-evident truths, but in the modern age the Creator of truth is being rejected. We have forgotten who we are and why we are a shining city on a hill. May the moral darkness that threatens to enslave us give way to the light of truth that has always made us free.
“Coach” Dave Daubenmire defended Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore in a column yesterday, praising the anti-LGBT justice for standing up to the “judicial tyranny” that is “breaking out all across America” as “sexual deviants” have created a “sodomy-focused army” to “ram-rod sexual anarchy down the throats of mainstream America.”
Moore was suspended last week over charges that he violated judicial ethics when he flouted federal court rulings on marriage equality.
Daubenmire directs readers to a website maintained by far-right activist Matt Trewhella, who urges state and local officials to defy the federal courts on issues that violate what they interpret as God’s law.
Judicial tyranny is breaking out all across America, as Obama’s Justice Department is being used to “fundamentally transform” this nation. This transformation is being accomplished by the out-of-control oligarchy currently masquerading as a court system.
I have a stunner to share with you…but let me lay some ground work for you.
“Transgender” restrooms are all of the rage in America today. In fact, they have become so important to the sexual deviants that it has now garnered the support of the Obama administration, as they try to ram-rod sexual anarchy down the throats of mainstream America.
This fight is not about restrooms, although that is the avenue that they have chosen to drive their legal bulldozers down in their attempt to change the landscape of America. This sodomy-focused army is hell-bent on removing all sexual standards in this nation. Their blitzkrieg through the courts would rival the cultural destruction of Sherman’s march to the sea.
And it is built upon a lie…a Two-Card Monty …that would make even the world’s greatest magicians envious…and they have been able to pull it off in full view of the brain-dead American people.
Here is the skinny. Sodomy-based marriage is not now, nor has it ever been, legal. It is a lie. As I will show you in just a few sentences, it is the all-time greatest legal sleight of hand ever pulled in any society…ever.
Judge Roy Moore is standing on solid ground. We must awaken Americans to the sham that five unelected judges have pulled on this nation. This is tyranny at its most egregious.
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, is reacting with characteristic calm to the planned Obama administration directive on schools letting students use the restroom that matches their gender identity.
Last night, Perkins wrote on Twitter that the Obama administration is “sacrificing children to advance an evil agenda”:
Nothing new – sacrificing children to advance an evil agenda: abortion, sexual anarchy, etc. Congress, time to act! https://t.co/r6NllKYkh7— Tony Perkins (@tperkins) May 13, 2016
He followed up his tweet with a fundraising email today warning that the directive is all part of a plan to “break down all sexual inhibition and morality,” cause “social chaos” and “destroy Christian morality, religious freedom, and the next generation”:
FRC has a plan to counteract this outrage, and you are part of it . But first, let me explain why public school restrooms have become "Ground Zero" in the effort to destroy Christian morality, religious freedom, and the next generation, using "gender identity" as a weapon.
Let's answer some of the most pressing questions I am often asked:
QUESTION: "Why is the Obama administration trying to mainstream 'transgenderism' and force schools to accommodate students who want to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex?
ANSWER: It's all part of a radical movement trying to destroy the fact that God created man and woman -- and that somehow people can choose what gender they want to be. The ultimate goal is to break down all sexual inhibition and morality -- a goal that would result in social chaos.
And the only way they can pull off this scheme? Big government .
Think of it. If government can force the "normalization" or even the celebration of something as universally unnatural as men using women's restrooms and vice versa, then it can force the rest of its agenda on the American people very easily.
And consider this, if the White House can dictate the bathroom policies of the nation, then what is beyond its reach? The answer is absolutely nothing.
QUESTION: "Do you think that the ultimate goal is to destroy the impact of Christianity in our country?"
ANSWER: Definitely, yes.
Christianity is a hindrance to what the secularists in the Obama administration and "Progressive" special interest groups ultimately want to do.
QUESTION: "The federal government . . . state governments . . . municipalities . . . even corporations and pro sports teams seem to be pushing special rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Can we really turn back the tide?"
ANSWER: Yes! We can and will if we have the courage to take a stand and call this foolishness what it is. But we are at a point where Christians have to lose their fear of what other people say -- or do.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant joined the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins on his “Washington Watch” program yesterday to discuss the criticism he’s been receiving for a law he signed that permits businesses in the state to refuse services to LGBT people and others.
Perkins told Bryan that the ACLU is suing the state over the new law because it only cares about religious freedom claims “that don’t conflict with its sexual agenda.”
“Well, of course,” Bryant said. “I mean, they cherry-pick these issues. If they had any integrity at all, they would say, ‘We understand Mississippi is actually trying to make sure that Christians and people of other faiths are not discriminated against.’ It is a nondiscriminatory law. It prevents discrimination against simply that segment of the population that has a deeply held religious view about marriage.”
He added that his “dear friend Pat McCrory,” the governor of North Carolina, is facing similar backlash for a sweeping bill aimed at removing legal protections for LGBT people.
“And we’re criticized, we’re threatened, we’re bullied, we’re told by corporations that we’re doing the wrong thing?” he asked. “Where on earth have we come to simply say, ‘I do not wish my daughter in her school or in her university to have to have a male in the shower and in the dressing room and in the restrooms.’”
He said, however, that he had some hope: “I think the rest of the nation is beginning to wake up and say, ‘What world do they think we’re living in? This is not Hollywood, this is not more liberal areas, this is America, where common sense still prevails.’”