Election 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Mike Huckabee

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

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

Posted by Mike Huckabee on Thursday, September 3, 2015

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

RedState founder Erick Erickson mentioned civil war:

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

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

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

Posted by Todd Starnes on Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mike Huckabee: Appoint Antonin Scalia 'Clones' To The Supreme Court

After fielding questions from slavery apologist Douglas Wilson about gay marriage and Planned Parenthood in a recent Google hangout with Religious Right activists, Mike Huckabee also told the fringe pastor about his vision for the Supreme Court.

Huckabee said that Antonin Scalia is his “favorite” justice on the bench, adding that the justice had proved himself to be “a heck of a shot” on their hunting trips together. Huckabee also complimented the “brilliant” Samuel Alito, the “very solid legal scholar” Clarence Thomas and even Chief Justice John Roberts, commending his dissent in the Supreme Court’s “derogatory” marriage equality ruling.

“I would find out if they had been cloned and, if they had, I’d go look for those people,” he said referring to Scalia and Thomas.

Mike Huckabee: 'Great Idea' To Give Medal Of Freedom To Anti-Planned Parenthood Hoaxers

Mike Huckabee recently chatted with a number of conservative activists, including slavery apologist and anti-gay extremist Douglas Wilson, in a Google hangout, where he addressed the deceptively edited videos targeting Planned Parenthood and discussed plan to outlaw abortion through executive fiat.

When Wilson proposed that Huckabee give David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, the group behind the sting videos, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Huckabee called it “a great idea,” praising Daleiden as “a Wilberforce for our time,” a reference to British abolitionist William Wilberforce.

Beyond just “defunding one abortion organization,” Huckabee vowed to “be the president that would invoke the Fifth and 14th Amendments to declare that it is imperative that we afford unborn children their constitutional rights of the Fifth and 14th Amendment.” He said that this presidential declaration would bequeath personhood rights “at the moment of conception,” saying that he is tired of conservatives having to “play the defensive role for 42 years when all along we had the Fifth and 14th Amendments.”

Mike Huckabee Vows To Ban Abortion Even If It Causes 'Riots In The Streets'

During a recent Google hangout with right-wing activists, Mike Huckabee pledged that if he becomes president he will sic the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service on Planned Parenthood, but also said that such steps are “secondary” to his “more important” plan of outlawing abortion through a sweeping executive fiat that grants personhood rights to zygotes.

Huckabee vowed that he will criminalize abortion, no matter the consequences: “I think that the bolder and more important and more urgent position is to invoke the constitutional rights of the unborn, recognizing them as persons, expecting lawsuits, expecting extraordinary pushback, and goodness, perhaps riots in the streets.”

“I think that we have tinkered around the edges so long that we failed to go back to the original purpose of the Bill of Rights and we have simply not applied it,” Huckabee said. “Frankly, I don’t know of any of us who are pro-lifers who would argue, ‘well that is really not a person,’ so the question is: Do we believe that the unborn child is a person? If we do, then we ought to act like that is a person and give them the protections that they are due under the Constitution.”

Mike Huckabee Will Never Refer To Gay People's Marriages As 'Marriage'

GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee promised in a recent Google hangout with conservative activists that he will never call gay people’s marriages “marriage” because “marriage does have a definition and that’s not it.”

Huckabee fielded a question from Douglas Wilson, a controversial Reconstructionist pastor who once proposed exiling gay people and coauthored with a Southern separatist a pamphlet defending slavery, about what he would do to prevent “the same-sex mirage” from victimizing Christians, prompting the former Arkansas governor to declare that he would not recognize same-sex couples as married.

“The agenda here is not simply to have the freedom for same-sex relationships called marriage, I refuse to say that that’s marriage because marriage does have a definition and that’s not it,” Huckabee said. “The assault is on something deeper than just the institution of marriage.”

Predicting that gay marriage will put Christian-led hospitals and universities “out of business,” Huckabee said he would direct the Justice Department to defend people who are supposedly being oppressed by gay marriage. He specifically pointed to the Oregon bakers who violated a state nondiscrimination law — not marriage law — by denying service to a gay couple.

“I’d love for the Department of Justice to be sent in to defend the Klein’s against an outrageous attack on their religious liberty,” he said.

In the conversation, which W. Scott Lamb of Reformation Press posted online two weeks ago, Huckabee also repeated his call for elected officials to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling and his warning that gay marriage will lead to anti-Christian persecution

Huckabee: Denali Naming Shows Obama 'Doesn’t Think That There Are Any Limits'

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is outraged by President Obama’s decision to restore the original name of the country’s highest peak, Denali, after years of campaigning by Alaskans including the state’s Republican senators.

Huckabee told Newsmax TV yesterday that he’d like to see Republicans in Congress block the move and joked that Obama might next want to change the name of the Washington Monument to the “Obama Monument.” The GOP presidential candidate continued his anti-Denali crusade in an interview with Iowa conservative radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday, saying that renaming the mountain is “outrageous” and shows that the president “doesn’t think that there are any limits” on his power.

Huckabee placed part of the blame on Republicans in Congress who, he said, have been indulging the president like a spoiled child. “It’s almost like the child,” he said, “that if you keep on letting him get cookies out of the cookie jar and nobody ever slaps his hand and says you can’t do it, he’s going to keep eating cookies. And this president is going to eat the last cookie in the jar all the way up to his last day in office.”

When Mickelson suggested that renaming national monuments could be a good “opportunity for fundraising” for a president, Huckabee joked, “If I’m president, I think we’ll name the Arkansas River the Huckabee River, why not?”

“This could be how he finances his presidential library,” he joked of Obama, “he sells naming rights to various national monuments all over the country and Mt. Rushmore becomes ‘Mt. Schwartz.’”

Huckabee: Planned Parenthood Like ISIS Because Both 'Take People's Heads Off'

Mike Huckabee said in an interview with Newsmax TV yesterday that Hillary Clinton owes him an “apology” because after criticizing him for claiming that the Iranian nuclear deal would march Israelis to the “door of the oven,” she made an oblique reference to “boxcars” in a recent speech about immigration.

Huckabee also lit into Clinton for saying that the Republican Party’s “extreme views on women” are what you might expect from “some of the terrorist groups. Planned Parenthood, Huckabee insisted, are the ones who are “most like terrorists.”

Saying that the media had applied a “total double standard” in its coverage of his "legitimate and appropriate" Holocaust remark, Hucakbee said, “It was also a double standard when she was talking about Planned Parenthood and Republicans are like terrorists."

"I’ll tell you what terrorists do," he said. "Terrorists take people’s heads off, that’s what they do. Planned Parenthood takes the heads off of unborn children and sells the body parts. So if you want to talk about what is most like a terrorists, is it a Republican trying to save a human life or is it Planned Parenthood murdering human life and selling the body parts as if they were selling parts of a car.”

Huckabee made a similar comparison between Planned Parenthood and ISIS at a campaign stop in Iowa last week.

Cruz And Perry Join Pastor Who Warns God Will Wreak Judgment On America For Gay Marriage

GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rick Perry tried to burnish their Religious Right credentials this weekend by speaking at a “We Stand With God” rally in front of the South Carolina capitol, where Perry promised that he would root out corruption in Washington just like Jesus kicked the money changers out of the Temple and Cruz warned that the U.S. will soon be throwing pastors in jail like Iran.

The keynote address of the event was given by North Carolina Baptist pastor Ron Baity — previously known for warning that God would send a calamity worse than the Ebola virus in punishment for gay marriage — who told the crowd that marriage equality and legal abortion are inviting God’s judgment on America.

Pastors, he said, must stand up to criticism and preach that homosexuality is an “abomination” and “preach against Planned Parenthood.”

“The judgment of God will eventually fall on a nation that cheapens marriage,” he warned. “God had an urban renewal program for Sodom and Gomorrah!”

Baity warned that the U.S. will soon have to change its national bird from the eagle to the buzzard because “we have come to a time in America where we are ashamed of the old-time religion, we are ashamed of the Word of God, we are ashamed by the pastor that would stand in the pulpit, dare to raise his voice, point his index finger and dare to say, ‘Here’s the way, walk me in.’”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cruz thanked Beam for the “tremendous” introduction:

'Onward Christian Soldiers!': Rick Perry Will Clear The Greed And Corruption Out Of Washington, D.C., Just Like Jesus

On Saturday, Rick Perry and Ted Cruz joined several thousand right-wing Christians for a "We Stand With God" rally on the steps of the South Carolina capitol building, where Perry went into full-blown preacher mode as he likened himself to Jesus in his willingness to clear the money changers out the temple and sought to mobilize an army of Christians soldiers to take back this nation.

"Literally the foundation of America is under attack from those on the left," Perry thundered. "It's under attack from Washington, D.C. You know, talking about Washington, D.C., early in the ministry of Jesus Christ, he saw corruption in the temple and he got angry about it and he did something about it. He went in there and he overturned the tables of the money changers. He saw corruption, just like today we need somebody that's got the backbone to go to Washington, D.C., and turn over the tables of the money changers, of the corruption, of the greed that we see in Washington, D.C. And the question is: Will you join me in that effort? Will you load up? Are you ready to sacrifice? Are you ready to stop the corruption, the crony capitalism, the greed that we see in that temple of government in Washington, D.C.?"

"Jesus was angry," Perry said. "I'm angry. I hope you're angry."

"What are you willing to die for?" he continued. "Are you willing to rise up and stand for God and to go forward and live for the principles and the values that this country were based upon ... Are you ready? Onward Christian soldiers!"

Ann Coulter: Trump Is The Only Candidate Who 'Genuinely Loves America'

Ann Coulter has made no secret of her love for GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, gushing at a campaign rally in Iowa earlier this week that “President Trump” is proof that “God hasn’t given up on America yet.” Coulter took the Trump love-fest to Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway’s program yesterday, declaring that in Trump, the Republican Party finally has a candidate “who genuinely loves America.”

Coulter told Conway that she understands “why the Democratic Party wants to transform America into a third-world hellhole” through immigration reform, because Latinos “have been trained to memorize the symbol of the Democratic Party and will go and bloc vote for the Democrats,” but that she was baffled by “why the Republicans are going along with it.”

The answer, she said, was because of pressure from all their big corporate donors who do not care about America” or “American culture.” But thankfully, she said, “Trump is exposing them all.”

“We finally have someone who genuinely loves America and is not beholden to the donors,” she said. “He will be beholden to no one but regular Americans when he, well I hope, when he becomes president.”
 

 

Ted Cruz Urges Pastors To Preach Against Planned Parenthood This Sunday

In recent weeks, Ted Cruz has really stepped up his efforts to become the Religious Right's candidate of choice in the GOP primary, even partnering with radical Christian nationalist David Lane for a conference call earlier this week seeking to mobilize right-wing pastors to pressure Congress to shut down the government, if necessary, in the effort to defund Planned Parenthood.

Cruz is continuing this effort by sending out an email today via David Barton's WallBuilders network urging pastors to use their sermons this weekend to preach against Planned Parenthood and even providing a link to a sample sermon for them to use.

Provided by Lane's American Renewal Project, the sermon warns that God will harshly judge America for the sin of legal abortion and explicitly calls upon those in the congregation to contact their representatives in Congress to demand an end to any funding for Planned Parenthood:

Proverbs provides clear insight into God’s character. He has a personal hatred for seven things. God judges them to be so odious that they are an abomination to Him. His character will never allow His hatred of an abomination to evolve into a toleration of it.  His children should be resolved to reflect His character, not to redefine it.

The Wise give shape to their personal and national character by loving what God loves and hating what God hates. Fools worship gods created by their vain imagination. They drift from the compass of God’s character. Their ears become deaf to His voice and their hearts become calloused to the touch of His hand. Any accumulative error of moral judgment is disastrous on a personal and a national level.

The abomination of any individual or any nation begins with the first act of disobedience to God. He finds rebellion disgusting, abhorrent and repugnant because it leads to a separation from Him and a loss of intimacy with Him.

When an individual or a nation stiff arms the character of God and embraces an abomination as the law of the land, it ends in disaster. When rebellious people disregard the compass of the most powerful, it is a very short step to dismembering the bodies of the most vulnerable. Like other nations, America has taken that step. It is time for a turnaround.

...

Recent videos exposing the gruesome practice of Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of the organs of babies from their mother’s womb. Exposing evil to the light of day has brought waves of sorrow to millions of tenderhearted people. Sorrow is redemptive only when it leads to repentance. Repentance requires a stopping point and a turning point. Without both there is no Spiritual Awakening on a personal or a national level.

There must be a point in which the accumulative error of an evil decision thrust upon the nation by secularist jurists stops. It must be followed by a turnaround that is spiritual, not political. That day has come. Let the breath in your lungs be used to pray for it to begin in your own heart.

...

A repentant person turns towards Jesus, and receives God’s forgiveness. A praying church mobilizes an army of repentant people calling on God to use His children as instruments to guide lost people and a wayward nation back to The Father. God can do more in five minutes, through the life of one obedient person than millions of rebels can accomplish in 50 years of their own effort. Be the one. The Victory is His. Pray for it. It is only a breath away.

After you pray for your life to be back on course, pray for your Congressmen and Senators to hear from God regarding the ending of the slaughter of the innocent. Let them know that you are praying for them, and you are expecting them to do the right thing. You will no longer tolerate any excuse when they have the chance to vote to end government sponsored support of the murder and dismemberment of babies in this session of Congress. God hates it. You can stop it. For God’s sake, make it happen.

Rafael Cruz: 'The Devil Overplayed His Hand' With SCOTUS Gay Marriage Decision

As we have noted before, Rafael Cruz, father of senator and Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, is essentially a poor man's David Barton since a significant amount of his stump speech consists of information that he has lifted directly from Barton's own presentations.

While speaking last week to a gathering in Georgia, Cruz incorporated Barton's latest false claim that the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling will now force churches to hire gays into his own speech as well.

During his speech, which was clearly a campaign event for his son as the father is a frequent campaign surrogate and he finished his remarks by explaining why Ted is the best candidate in the GOP primary before handing out endorsement forms to those in attendance, the elder Cruz declared that "the Devil overplayed his hand" with the gay marriage decision.

"The Devil always overplays his hand," he said, "and the Devil overplayed his hand with that decision on June 26. You've got to realize that that decision was not about homosexual marriage, that decision was a decision against religious liberty. What was the basis for their decision? It was the 14th Amendment. That means they're calling homosexuality a civil right. Understand me well, if they're calling homosexuality a civil right, that means that the next obvious step is a homosexual may come to your church and demand to be hired, whether as pastor or a janitor is immaterial, and if you say, 'I'm sorry I cannot hire you because it violates my religious faith,' you're going to be slapped with a civil rights discrimination lawsuit. Or they may come to your Christian ministry or to your Christian school or to your private business. Civil rights discrimination lawsuits are going to be a dime a dozen."

Is Ted Cruz The 'Evangelical and Constitutional Warrior' the Right Has Been Waiting For?

We reported yesterday that Ted Cruz may be winning the “Christian nation primary” by building support among conservative evangelical funders, leaders and voters. It turns out others have been noticing the same trend.

Messiah College Professor John Fea, a reputable Christian historian who has challenged the inaccurate Christian-nation history of David Barton, wrote yesterday that Cruz may be the candidate “best suited to consolidate the votes of the powerful evangelical wing of the GOP.”

Among the factors Fea cites:

  • Cruz sees the world in black and white, with little room for nuance, and knows how speak “with a fierceness informed by his deeply held Christian faith”;
  • Cruz “speaks evangelical,” and is comfortable talking about the Bible and using terms like “revival”;
  • Cruz promotes David Barton’s view of American history and will be speaking at Barton’s “ProFamily Legislators Conference” in November.

Right-wing blogger Terresa Monroe-Hamilton also weighed in yesterday, declaring, “Ted Cruz is the evangelical and constitutional warrior we have waited for.” Earlier this month Monroe-Hamiltion praised Cruz as a “rock star” in the south and called him a “statesman” with “a spine of steel.” In her new post, she praises Cruz’s rhetoric about the “war on faith in America today” and his attacks on Planned Parenthood.

Ted Cruz is not only appealing to the evangelical vote, he’s fighting for Christians and for the lives of the unborn. His honest and obvious devotion to his Christian faith is one of the things that appeals to so many Americans. Approximately 1 in 4 voters have identified themselves as evangelical in exit polls since the 2004 election cycle. In key Republican contests such as Iowa and in some of the Southern states that Cruz has said are critical to his run, that figure was higher during the last presidential campaign — nearly 50 percent. The evangelical vote is key to Cruz’s campaign goals and strategies. He is gifted at motivating and mobilizing voters. He’s also the favorite son of the Tea Party conservatives. Cruz is just the warrior we have waited for.

 

Jindal Encourages Questioner Who Warns That UN Arms Treaty Will Lead To Gun Confiscation, Civil War

At a campaign stop in Pella, Iowa, yesterday Gov. Bobby Jindal took a question from an audience member who asked if President Obama and Hillary Clinton realize that if they “sign off our sovereignty to have the United Nations rule whether we have weapons or not” by signing the U.N Arms Trade Treaty that it “will cause a civil war.”

Rather than pushing back against the questioner’s unfounded claims and dire warning about the treaty, Jindal promises the audience that “I’m not for giving one ounce of America’s sovereignty to the United Nations or any other international body, period” and boasted of having received an award from the NRA, which has been aggressively pushing the conspiracy theory that the U.N. treaty will lead to private gun confiscation in the U.S.

“This whole idea that we’ll give away America’s interests or rights to international bodies makes no sense to me and shouldn’t be done and no president should do that and no politician should support it,” Jindal said. “Any politician that says that shouldn’t get another vote and should be kicked out of office regardless of their other positions, quite frankly.”

Jindal then played directly to the questioner’s fears: “If they don’t want law-abiding citizens to have guns, they should change the Constitution, they should stop trying to take away or give away our rights. But you know, they just don’t trust us. Let’s be honest. They don’t want us to have First or Second or 10th Amendment rights. The left doesn’t think we’re smart enough to live our own lives.”

Cruz: 'Liberal Fascism' Seeks 'To Persecute, To Punish, To Fine' Any Christian Who Opposes Gay Marriage

On Friday, Ted Cruz held a "Rally for Religious Liberty" in Iowa where the Republican presidential hopeful showcased a handful of Christians who have supposedly been persecuted for their religious beliefs and opposition to gay marriage.

Prior to the event, Cruz sat down with Ed Berliner on Newsmax to discuss the issue, which Cruz blamed on "liberal fascism" which has a "hatred and intolerance for Christians."

Berliner asked Cruz how he planned to bring both sides together when the Republican Party has a reputation that it "does not like homosexuals, that you are anti-gay" and that it supports anti-gay discrimination. Cruz, predictably, refused to address that issue, insisting simply that "I'm a Christian and Scripture commands Christians to love everybody" before declaring that the real issue is the supposed government persecution of people of faith.

After absurdly asserting that Christian business owners should not have to provide services to a gay couple any more than a Muslim imam should be forced to conduct a Jewish wedding, Cruz blamed it all on "liberal fascists" who hate freedom and American values.

"What we're seeing now," he said, "is this liberal fascism and intolerance where their object is to persecute, to punish, to fine any Bible-following Christian or believer that believes in the biblical definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. And that is profoundly inconsistent with who we are as Americans."

Berliner then again attempted to get Cruz to explain how, while holding such a position, he could ever hope to convince gay activists that he doesn't hate them, and again Cruz wasn't interested in answering that question.

"There are some activists who, frankly, manifest a hatred and intolerance for Christians, who are persecuting Christians," Cruz said. "That is unfortunate. As I said, I think we should love everybody."

Cruz then went on to declare that religious liberty was "the foundational right upon which this nation was built and, for I, am proud to stand with these heroes gathered tonight to defend religious liberty."

Ted Cruz Allies With Pastor Who Said 9/11 Was God's Punishment

Ted Cruz is partnering with the American Renewal Project, the right-wing organization led by Christian Nation extremist David Lane, for what the Washington Post describes as “an ambitious 50-state campaign to end taxpayer support for Planned Parenthood.”

Lane won’t be the only radical activist organizing this campaign:

More than 100,000 pastors received e-mail invitations over the weekend to participate in conference calls with Cruz on Tuesday in which they will learn details of the plan to mobilize churchgoers in every congressional district beginning Aug. 30. The requests were sent on the heels of the Texas Republican’s “Rally for Religious Liberty,” which drew 2,500 people to a Des Moines ballroom Friday.



The Tuesday conference calls with pastors will begin with a message from Cruz, who will be followed on the call by Doug Stringer, a pastor who works with American Renewal and Response USA to plan statewide prayer rallies at the request of conservative governors such as [Bobby] Jindal and [Rick] Perry.

Stringer is a self-proclaimed apostle who has said that the September 11 attacks were divine retribution against America for abortion and homosexuality.

“The Response” prayer rallies Stringer organized for Jindal and Perry featured prayer guides similarly blaming Hurricane Katrina and deadly tornadoes on abortion rights and gay marriage.

As Peter mentioned earlier, Cruz has had no problem aligning himself with the most extreme of Religious Right activists, and has even borrowed their rhetoric verbatim:

Cruz has been positioning himself as the champion of religious liberty and defender of the conservative Christians he says are the targets of a “jihad” by gay-rights activists and an “atheist Taliban.” On Friday night he held a “Rally for Religious Liberty” in Iowa highlighting victims of “religious persecution” — in other words, business owners who have refused to provide wedding-related services to same-sex couples and gotten into trouble for violating anti-discrimination laws.

Steve King Claims Obama 'Apologized To Africa For Slavery' When 'There's Nothing To Apologize For'

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who has been very impressed with Donald Trump’s candidacy, joined Minnesota talk radio host Dan “Ox” Ochsner earlier this month to discuss Trump’s far-right positions, which he said have “tapped into the emotions of fed-up Americans.”

Americans, King claimed, are “fed up” with President Obama “dismantling our military” and apologizing to “every continent out there” for things like slavery when “there’s nothing for us to apologize for.”

“They’ve delighted in dismantling our military, and it seems as though he’s apologized to every continent out there,” he said, “you know, he apologized to Africa for slavery and genuflects to the Arabic princes and genuflects to the emperor of Japan, and it goes on and on. Americans are tired of apologizing, Ox. We’re a proud people. We’re the vigor of the planet and there’s nothing for us to apologize for until they come and thank us for the things we’ve done.”

Contrary to King’s claim, Obama has not formally “apologized to Africa for slavery” and never went on what the Right has called an “apology tour.”

Is Ted Cruz Winning The Christian Nation Primary?

Christian-nation activist David Lane has been fuming for years that conservative evangelicals divided their Republican primary votes in 2008 and 2012, allowing John McCain and Mitt Romney to capture the GOP presidential nominations even though neither was a favorite of the party’s Religious Right activists. Lane, who believes America was founded by and for Christians, has vowed to prevent that from happening again, and has been hosting events in early primary states giving conservative pastors a chance to hear from and evaluate GOP presidential candidates.

Lane has also been working to recruit and train an “army“ of pastors to run as candidates and bring thousands of conservative evangelical volunteers into the 2016 race. Those events have been attended by several GOP hopefuls, including Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal. But while Lane has not publicly thrown his support to a candidate, evidence suggests that Ted Cruz is being anointed to carry the hopes of Lane and his supporters.

One big sign came late last month, when news that broke that Farris and Dan Wilks had given $15 million to Keep the Promise, a pro-Cruz super PAC. Not coincidentally, David Lane told NBC News last year that, “With Citizens United…you can have somebody who gives $15 or $20 million into a super PAC and that changes the game.” The billionaire Wilks brothers from Texas have become sugar daddies to right-wing groups generally, and to David Lane’s Pastors and Pews events specifically.

A couple weeks later, Cruz stopped by the headquarters of the American Family Association. Lane’s American Renewal Project operates under the AFA’s umbrella, and Cruz sounded like he was reading Lane’s talking points. Cruz told AFA President Tim Wildmon that mobilizing evangelical Christian voters is the key to saving America, saying, “Nothing is more important in the next 18 months than that the body of Christ rise up and that Christians stand up, that pastors stand up and lead.”

Cruz has been positioning himself as the champion of religious liberty and defender of the conservative Christians he says are the targets of a “jihad” by gay-rights activists and an “atheist Taliban.” On Friday night he held a “Rally for Religious Liberty” in Iowa highlighting victims of “religious persecution” — in other words, business owners who have refused to provide wedding-related services to same-sex couples and gotten into trouble for violating anti-discrimination laws.

Iowa-based Religious Right radio host Steve Deace was rapturous, declaring the Cruz rally “the best candidate event I’ve ever attended” and saying Ted Cruz is the first candidate he has seen actually put on an event designed to ignite a “revival.” The rally, said Deace, was a reminder “that God’s not dead” and confirmed Deace’s decision “to support Cruz and do so early.”

And yesterday, the Washington Post’s Katie Zezima and Tom Hamburger reported that Cruz “will take a lead role in the launch this week of an ambitious 50-state campaign to end taxpayer support for Planned Parenthood” – a campaign announced via an email from Cruz that was distributed by Lane’s American Renewal Project.

David Carney, a Republican strategist who worked on that recall effort with David Lane, who leads the American Renewal Project, a group sponsoring this week’s pastor outreach effort. The two are joined by Wayne Hamilton, a Texas-based organizer who has worked in the past with Perry and was campaign manager in 2014 for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R). The effort appears to be funded through American Renewal, which officials said spent about $10 million supporting candidates in 2014 and is considered likely to spend $15 million or more this year organizing opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

In addition, religious broadcast organizations have pledged to air public service spots urging Christian viewers to contact their members of Congress. Carney said the effort has received commitments of support from the Bott Radio Network, which has 100 Christian radio stations in the Midwest, and from American Family Radio, which owns 190 Christian radio stations in 20 states as well as national religious-television broadcasters.

The Post reports that the anti-Planned Parenthood campaign will include conference calls for pastors this Tuesday. The calls will begin with a message from Cruz followed by Doug Stringer, a dominionist who has emceed Lane-organized prayer rallies for Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, and Nikki Haley, with more planned in the coming months, including one in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 26.

Cruz said at his rally on Friday that the reason Americans have a federal government that “comes after” free speech, religious liberty, life, and marriage is that 54 million evangelicals did not vote in the 2012 presidential election. “I’m here to tell you,” Cruz said, “we will stay home no longer.”

Cruz’s Iowa campaign chair, Secretary of State Matt Schultz, told the crowd at Friday’s rally that “Ted Cruz is the man who God has prepared for this moment.” He’s hardly the first. Cruz’s father Rafael, whose far-right rhetoric on the campaign trail has made him a Religious Right folk hero in his own right, says God has “destined” his son for “greatness.” And the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, who calls Lane a “good friend” and often functions as a promoter of Lane’s activities, has called Cruz’s political career “a thing of God.” 

 

Iowa GOPer: God Raising Up Ted Cruz To Save America

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, who chairs Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, introduced the Texas Republican at the candidate’s “Rally for Religious Liberty” in Des Moines on Friday.

Schultz told the crowd that just as Jesus Christ threw the moneychangers out of the Temple, Cruz will go to Washington D.C. to “throw the moneychangers out.”

“When you read the Scriptures and when you look at our country’s history, you can see that God prepares and raises special men and women to protect and fight for His people and I believe this is one of those moments in time,” Schultz said. “Ted Cruz is that man who God has prepared for this moment in time to be our champion, to fight for our husbands, our wives, our children, our grandchildren, for our country.”

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