The Family Research Council announced today that its president, Tony Perkins, has been invited to testify at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing tomorrow on “protecting religious freedom abroad.”
The inclusion of Perkins threatens to turn a hearing about a critically important issue into a political sideshow. Perkins has consistently used the persecution of Christians abroad as a political bludgeon at home, claiming that LGBT rights in the U.S. are fueling religious persecution worldwide and falsely asserting that President Obama has done nothing to stop the oppression of Christians because he secretly sympathizes with Islamic radicals.
And, even as he accuses the Obama administration of ignoring the plight of Christians, Perkins has attacked international human rights efforts aimed at combating violence against and government oppression of LGBT people.
Perkins routinely trots out the claim that conservative Christians are being persecuted in America to blame the Obama administration and the LGBT rights movement for very real anti-Christian persecution throughout the world. In an interview with Rick Santorum in November, Perkins insisted that there is a “correlation” between the supposed persecution of Christians in America and violent attacks on Christians and churches in the Middle East and elsewhere. “They feel like if it’s not a priority for us to have religious freedom here at home, then certainly it’s not going to be a priority for us to speak out for the persecuted peoples abroad,” he said.
Claiming that nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBT people are in fact discriminatory against Christians, Perkins said in November that combating such laws “will give hope to far-away places around the world” where Christians are being oppressed by tyrannical governments.
He similarly blamed advances in LGBT rights in the U.S. for encouraging religious persecution in Iran and North Korea, citing the case of an Atlanta fire chief who lost his job after distributing an anti-gay book to claim that “tyrants abroad see an administration that is not only not interested in protecting religious freedom but actually persecuting.” At another point, he warned of “deadly consequences” for Christians abroad if marriage equality succeeds in the United States.
Last year, Perkins linked the case of Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was imprisoned for converting to Christianity, to an effort to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, saying “we keep our freedom of religion by working to keep our freedom of speech, and political speech is actually what’s under attack here.”
Perkins frequently brushes aside the evidence he is presented with to suggest that President Obama is ignoring the plight of Christians throughout the world. Throughout Ibrahim’s plight, Perkins insisted that the Obama administration had “done nothing” for her…even after sources including Fox News and a conservative Republican congressman told him that the administration had been working diligently to set her free. Even after diplomatic pressure led to Ibrahim’s release and she was granted asylum in the United States, Perkins claimed in a fundraising letter that there was “no evidence that the Obama State Department did anything to intervene.”
Similarly, when the administration secured the release of Kenneth Bae, a Christian pastor held in a North Korean prison camp, Perkins used the opportunity to falsely claim that the administration was doing nothing to help another Christian political prisoner, Saeed Abedini, in Iran.
Perkins hasn’t just exploited the cases of persecuted Christians to attack Obama — he has also used them in an effort to lend legitimacy to his fight against LGBT rights in the United States.
He frequently portrays protecting LGBT people from violence and protecting Christians from religious persecution as an either-or choice…and, unsurprisingly, claims that Obama has chosen the former. In a direct mail piece in August, for instance, Perkins vowed to fight the administration’s “devotion to the cause of sexual immorality and their simultaneous indifference toward Christians suffering persecution for their faith.”
Perkins may portray the issues as mutually exclusive because he vehemently opposes any U.S. efforts to protect LGBT people from violence and persecution from their governments. Back in 2010, he defended a Uganda bill that would have imposed life imprisonment for consensual sex with someone of the same sex and the death penalty for so-called “aggravated homosexuality,” saying it was an effort to “uphold moral conduct.” When then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched an initiative to promote LGBT rights throughout the world, he accused her of promoting a “radical social agenda” including “special rights for homosexuals and homosexuality”… while claiming that she had remained “silent” on anti-Christian persecution.
Religious persecution around the world is certainly a worthy topic for the Senate to address. But including Tony Perkins in such a hearing is not the way for a committee to convey that it is taking this issue seriously.
Sen. Ted Cruz told Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday that he plans to introduce a constitutional amendment to allow states to ban gay and lesbian couples from marrying because court decisions in favor of marriage equality present “a real danger to our liberty.”
The Texas Republican deflected Mickelson’s questions on whether states could simply ignore a Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality, saying he preferred his constitutional amendment as a solution. “If the courts were following the Constitution, we shouldn’t need a new amendment, but they are, as you put it quite rightly, making it up right now and it’s a real danger to our liberty,” he said.
Cruz told a group of Iowa pastors yesterday that judges who have made decisions in favor of marriage equality are “ignoring their oaths, ignoring the Constitution and legislating from the bench.”
Americans For Truth About Homosexuality’s Peter LaBarbera joined Janet Mefferd on Friday to discuss the Supreme Court brief filed by a number of prominent conservatives in favor of marriage equality, along with a Buzzfeed article labeling Jeb Bush “2016’s gay-friendly Republican.”
Needless to say, LaBarbera and Mefferd were not pleased with these developments, and speculated that Christians will start to leave the Republican Party if support for gay rights begins to gain a foothold in the party.
LaBarbera warned that Republicans need to not only hold onto their opposition to marriage equality, but also start speaking out against things like a kiss between two teenage boys on a recent episode of the TV show “The Fosters.”
“In my mind, if the Republican Party can’t even talk about something as fundamental to morality and our nation’s future as whether it’s okay to push young people into homosexuality and to model that as a positive thing, if Republicans can’t even handle that issue, then I think there’s not a good prospect long term for the Republican Party,” he said.
Earlier in the interview, LaBarbera said it was impossible for “a real, faithful conservative” to support LGBT rights and blamed the GOP’s very slight feints toward LGBT rights on libertarians, whom he lamented “end up supporting a lot of the homosexual agenda, even though much of the homosexual agenda is against liberty”:
If you’re endorsing the idea of marriage between two people of the same sex, an act which God calls an abomination, which is decidedly against nature — our Declaration talks about “nature and nature’s God,” homosexuality is decidedly against both — I can’t see how a real, faithful conservative could support that.
In the case of homosexuality, you’re seeing pro-homosexual arguments, the idea of attaching the perversion of homosexuality to the noble institution of marriage, being advanced as a conservative idea. And I think we can take the libertarians for that. The libertarians, I believe, are going to end up causing a lot of trouble in the Republican Party, because they end up supporting a lot of the homosexual agenda, even though much of the homosexual agenda is against liberty.
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore told the audience at the Family Research Council’s “Faith and Family Summit” on Friday that if the Supreme Court rules that states don’t have the right to impose bans on same-sex marriage, it would give immense power to the federal government. If marriage and family life become federal issues, Moore warned, “they’re going to be taking your children simply by the same logic they’re following.”
“They’re going to define who your children can be and who they answer to,” Moore said. “People will say, ‘oh we couldn’t go there, ‘well we’re going somewhere else right now that we didn’t think we would be going.”
Moore told FRC President Tony Perkins that “Christians need to stand up and do their duty to God as their duty to their country” by fighting gay rights. He declared that the issue of marriage rights is much more important than foreign affairs, immigration, economics or the national debt: “This is the most critical issue that faces this country. And I want to disagree a little bit with what I’ve heard about asking our presidential candidates [about marriage rights]. We should not have to ask them, Tony. If they haven’t come up and said it, they should not even be considered.”
If the court introduces the “redefinition of a word that existed for thousands of years before this country came into existence, and if we go there, then we’ve ruined the definition of the family and we’ll go to parent-and-child [marriage] next.”
On Friday PFAW Foundation joined the Anti-Defamation League and an expansive coalition of religious and civil rights organizations in submitting an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to rule state-level marriage bans unconstitutional in the four marriage cases before them this term. One specific religious conception of marriage, the signers argue, should not define our nation’s laws on it.
The brief outlines instances in our country’s history in which discriminatory laws have been justified on the grounds of “religious and moral disapproval,” from laws supporting slavery to segregation to discrimination against women. But, the signers note, the Supreme Court has rejected these types of arguments over and over – and should again with regard to the marriage bans.
The brief also takes apart the “religious liberty” arguments of those opposing marriage equality, noting that overturning the bans will not threaten freedom of religion since religious groups will still be able to define what marriage means in their tradition:
[C]ontrary to the arguments of some who defend the marriage bans, invalidating the bans will not jeopardize religious liberty. As an initial matter, the cases before this Court concern whether same-sex couples are entitled to the benefits of civil marriage. Religious groups will remain free, as they always have been, to choose how to define religious marriage and which marriages to solemnize…. Religious liberty should serve as a shield, not as a sword to discriminate against members of a disadvantaged minority group.
This amicus brief was one of a stunning array of briefs filed in the Supreme Court last week in favor of marriage equality, including briefs signed by more than 2,000 clergy; 200 police officers, EMTs, and firefighters; 400 companies, including forty of the nation’s largest corporations; more than 200 mayors; and more than 300 conservative leaders.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins broadcast his “Washington Watch” radio program live from FRC’s “Faith and Family Summit” on Friday where the major topic was, predictably, the supposed persecution of conservative Christians at the hands of the LGBT rights movement.
Perkins invited Craig James, the former pro football player who joined FRC after being fired as a Fox Sports commentator, to discuss the decision of several professional sports teams to join a brief on behalf of gay marriage at the Supreme Court.
James worried that the decision by the New England Patriots, the Tampa Bay Rays and the San Francisco Giants to join the marriage brief could cause an “implosion” in team locker rooms and intimidate players who oppose marriage equality from speaking their minds.
“If I were a current player in that locker room and my livelihood depended on me being quiet or losing it because of my belief system, I worry, I wonder,” he said. “So, that’s Satan working on us.”
Later in the interview, Perkins warned of a coming clash between LGBT rights and religious liberty, saying, “There’s no avoiding this conflict, it’s coming, as we redefine marriage and with it everything else in society. “
“It’s not so much about the marriage altar, this redefinition of marriage, it’s about altering all of society,” he added.
James agreed, adding that he had recently been studying the book of Genesis and found that the story of Adam and Eve proves that if you support gay marriage, you “have a problem with God.”
Back in 2012, University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus published a study claiming that children raised by same-sex couples are more likely to be molested, abuse drugs and alcohol, do poorly in school, and experience any number of other maladies. The study quickly made its way into anti-LGBT talking points around the world, even as Regnerus’ fellow academics began to find serious problems with his methodology.
The main issue with Regnerus’ work was that he based his conclusions on same-sex parenting on respondents who said their parent had been in a same-sex relationship at some point when they were a child – not necessarily adults who had been raised by a same-sex couple. Ultimately, only two of the people he studied were actually raised by same-sex couples. He also failed to control for destabilizing childhood events like divorce. Sociologist Darren Sherkat summarized the problems with the Regnerus study in a 2013 interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center:
The key measure of gay and lesbian parenting is simply a farce. The study includes a retrospective question asking if people knew if their mother or father had a “romantic” relationship with someone of the same sex when the respondent was under age 18. This measure is problematic on many levels.
Regnerus admits that just two of his respondents were actually raised by a same-sex couple, though I doubt that he can even know that, given his limited data. Since only two respondents were actually raised in gay or lesbian households, this study has absolutely nothing to say about gay parenting outcomes. Indeed, because it is a non-random sample, this study has nothing to say about anything.
It failed to take into account normal family effects on wellbeing, to control for known sources of positive or negative outcomes. Indeed, since he only had two stable lesbian “couples” (or at least a young adult who said that, retrospectively, in a non-random, convenience sample), he instead just constructed differences from a group of people who were raised in unstable environments. Sexuality has nothing to do with that.
Then, earlier this year, Catholic University professor Paul Sullins published a paper with conclusions similar to those put forth by Regnerus...and similar methodological flaws.
As Emma Green wrote in “The Atlantic” recently, most social science “suggests that there are no differences between kids raised in stable households by gay or straight parents” — in other words, most scientists are finding that it’s the stability of their household, not their gender of the parents, that most affects the wellbeing of kids.
But now Regnerus is defending the findings of his and Sullins’ studies by arguing essentially that families headed by same-sex couples are inherently unstable — so there is no need to control for stability in studying the wellbeing of children raised in by same-sex parents. Regnerus told World Magazine this week that divorce is “still, so far as I can tell, the primary means by which a child comes to be in a same-sex household,” so “I think we should evaluate reality as it exists, not complain about the ideal data situation that does not”:
Critics of Sullins’ study claim it can’t tell us anything meaningful about same-sex parenting because it includes children of divorce, who are themselves more likely to suffer from emotional, behavioral, and academic problems. In order to fairly represent gay parents, critics seem to suggest, surveys should only include children who did not experience divorce and were raised from infancy by stable gay couples. In other words, the childhoods Lopez and Barwick experienced should be tossed out of the data pool.
But such “ideal” same-sex parent situations are rare and would be difficult to measure using a random representative survey. Besides, is it fair to ignore the very factor that often precedes same-sex parenting situations: divorce?
“[Divorce] is still, so far as I can tell, the primary means by which a child comes to be in a same-sex household,” said Mark Regnerus, a University of Texas at Austin sociologist whose own survey of same-sex households in 2012 found children of gay parents were more likely to be unemployed, depressed, unhealthy, promiscuous, and to have a negative view of their childhood. “I think we should evaluate reality as it exists, not complain about the ideal data situation that does not.”
It’s not surprising that since same-sex marriage — and the child custody rights that come with that marriage status — is a relatively new development there isn’t a huge pool of data on children raised by married same-sex couples. But that doesn’t mean, as Regnerus suggests, that sociologists should simply conflate same-sex parenting with household instability.
Writing today in BarbWire, Tea Party activist Bob Ellis declared that the anti-gay movement needs its own Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. to resist the "tyranny" of marriage equality.
Ellis praised the Alabama Supreme Court's ruling against marriage equality, writing that other state bodies should follow Alabama's example in defying federal court rulings in favor of marriage equality.
"State governors, attorneys general, judges, court officials and anyone else involved in upholding the law in a state should have been telling these judicial activists where they can shove their tyranny (i.e. the same place homosexual activists like to shove things)," he wrote.
Ellis added that the anti-gay Right needs its own champions like Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr. who will resist the legalization of same-sex marriage: "Indeed, we need a whole lot of refusal to cooperate with these tyrants, just as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and their fellow civil rights champions refused to cooperate with the Democrats who were trampling freedom and the Constitution."
It is so refreshing to finally see at least one state (Alabama) stand up and push back against the tyranny of the federal government and judicial activists.
This is what ALL state officials (going all the way back to the 2003 judicial activism in Massachusetts when Governor Mitt Romney rolled over and began the domino of counterfeit marriage in America) should have been doing all along, as Leftist tyrants have been usurping the federal and state constitutions, the rule of law, and the will of the people (not to mention usurping the institution of marriage itself). State governors, attorneys general, judges, court officials and anyone else involved in upholding the law in a state should have been telling these judicial activists where they can shove their tyranny (i.e. the same place homosexual activists like to shove things).
Indeed, we need a whole lot of refusal to cooperate with these tyrants, just as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and their fellow civil rights champions refused to cooperate with the Democrats who were trampling freedom and the Constitution.
Hopefully, the courage and backbone of a few good men in Alabama will help good people in other states to grow some anatomy and start to push back against this tyranny and usurpation. Our nation’s founders would be aghast and ashamed of their posterity for the cowardly way so many of us have behaved. These actions in Alabama (and hopefully a new and growing number of other states to follow) may yet restore some of the faith of the founders.
BarbWire, the website created by anti-gay activist Matt Barber, has become home to some of the most out-there right-wing anti-gay punditry imaginable. But the site is not resting on its laurels. The latest installment comes from Linda Wall, who calls herself a “former lesbian” and founder and CEO of Virginia Mass Resistance.
Wall is a friend of Lisa Miller, another “former lesbian” who fled the country illegally rather than comply with courts’ custody rulings regarding the daughter she had with her former partner. In 2012, Wall argued that Hurricane Sandy was part of God’s vengeance against America for Lisa Miller’s plight.
In her latest post, Wall gets right to the point. Who is behind the LGBT movement? “It is none other than Satan himself.” It’s hard to do justice to Wall’s description of the “world of darkness” she experienced when working for an art gallery owner and managing his rental properties, so we’ll let her words speak for themselves, though they sound more like an overwrought movie treatment than an op-ed column. Wall describes a vision she had the night before she was scheduled to clean out the basement of her boss's house to get rid of a "homeless squatter's belongings."
The night before I was due to accomplish this dreaded assignment, I did something I had not done in fifteen years or more; I got on my knees to pray. Somehow I knew I was about to face the rulers of the darkness of this world.
After asking God to be with me and protect me, I jumped into bed. What happened next must have been a vision because not enough time had passed for me to be asleep and dreaming. I saw the pile of junk I was to remove from the basement and watched a snake crawl out from beneath it. In my ignorance of the dark side of the supernatural I thought God was telling me to watch out for the snake, but He was warning me about a much bigger serpent!
The next day I gathered some 50 gallon trash bags, a spotlight and an iron pipe and headed into the cellar. Entry to the earthen floor basement was an exterior entrance much like a tornado shelter. As I swung the heavy wooden cellar doors open my heart raced with fear. While I climbed down the steps I began banging the pipe on anything that would make a noise in hopes of scaring off any snake. Once my feet were on the ground I began shining the spotlight all around.
I felt like I had stepped into a live horror story. Enormous spider webs were hanging everywhere. The place was damp and cold. What was this place of darkness I had entered? All through the basement were wooden stalls with doors that one might keep animals behind. My imagination went wild as I could only imagine what was going to take place in this basement behind these “cages.”
Humanly, I was alone in the basement, but I could sense there were many eyes watching me. I began to sing hymns I use to sing as a kid in church. I couldn’t remember all of the words, but what came to mind I sang out loudly. I knew my only line of defense was God’s Word from those “old –timey” hymns.
As in fast forwarding a movie, I began to stuff the unwanted items into the plastic bags and in a flash the task was completed. What a relief when I exited the cellar and slammed the door. I had been expecting to be captured and locked up any moment the entire time I was down there.
I caught my breath and immediately entered the house to retrieve my car keys and sunglasses. Before leaving, I noticed all of the eyes in the pictures glaring at me. Often I had studied the art work, but for the first time I understood what they all had in common. It was the eyes. It was Satan himself glaring at me.
All of a sudden my brain put little incidences together to paint a bigger picture. Many times I had been invited to attend the “calling of the dead” that occurred weekly in the room of this house where the windows were painted black. It seemed that every time I turned around my employer was trying to get me to drink something or eat something that was described as “good for you.” There had also been an ongoing campaign at the gay bar I frequented to convince me to be hypnotized. I had a feeling I had truly encountered the occult.
On Sunday, I visited the Unitarian church where my employer was also a preacher. He had supposedly been away all week at a seminar for pastors to be alone with God. Even though the dots were connecting to indicate satanic activity, I was still curious enough to attend the service. It ended up being my last.
When he began to preach he went into a “trance” speaking with a different accent and under the name of St. Benedict. As I watched this unexplainable happening, I saw the devil’s head on his body and knew God Almighty was intervening and saying, “get out!”
Stay tuned for Wall’s “Satan and the GLBT Demons – Part 2.”
In a sermon earlier this month, Gil McKee, the pastor of the Tuscaloosa church attended by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, recalled how he pleaded with the governor to stand with the state’s Chief Justice Roy Moore and refuse to follow a federal court ruling legalizing marriage equality in the state.
Bentley provoked the ire of some of his fellow conservatives when he said he wouldn't stop state probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, putting him in direct conflict with Moore.
McKee told his congregation that he had had a long talk with Bentley urging him to defy the courts on marriage, implying that same-sex marriage could lead to the collapse of the United States.
“Here’s what I said to our governor yesterday,” McKee said. “'Governor, I don’t care if all 49 other states go for this same-sex marriage business, let’s be different in the state of Alabama. Let’s do what we know is the right thing to do … The reality is, we’re still living in a very conservative state. The people who are conservative and who are Christian, if you’ll just step up and lead out on this thing, if you’ll give the word to our chief justice to call all our probate judges…and say, "listen, don’t you issue one single license until the federal government does its thing and we decide whether we’re going to follow it or not, don’t you issue one of those." I’m telling you, the people of this state would rally behind that.'”
He added that he would be willing to go to jail in protest of same-sex marriage, because “there’s nothing gray about this issue. Not if you’re going to go by what God says, and God has made it very clear that marriage is between one man and one women, period. That settles it. That’s it.”
Later in the service, McKee prayed for elected officials to defy laws that go against God’s law:
“Lord we want to pray for those who are in places of leadership in our county, Lord, in our city, Lord, in our state. Lord, for those who are Christians, if it comes to the point of defying a law or an order that goes against your law and order, then God give them the courage to do it.”
Concerned Women for America’s legal counsel, Mario Diaz, stopped by Iowa CWA director Tamara Scott’s radio program last week to discuss the Supreme Court’s upcoming consideration of a number of marriage equality cases.
Scott, who is also a Republican National Committee member, told Diaz that LGBT rights advocates, “the group that exploits the term ‘tolerant’ as their poster,” are actually “so incredibly intolerant to anyone with an opposing view.”
Diaz agreed that a collision between LGBT rights and religious liberty is “inevitable,” and that a Supreme Court marriage equality victory would lead to the “criminalization of religious beliefs.”
“And it is one of the great tragedies that I think I put now at the feet of the Supreme Court, if they are considering finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in the Constitution, they must consider, and I hope they are, that they will be effectively opening the door for the criminalization of religious beliefs, especially Christian beliefs.”
Later in the interview, Scott and Diaz agreed that LGBT rights victories in the courts amount to, in Diaz’s words, a “transformation of the form of government we have.”
Pointing to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s comment that it wouldn’t take “a large adjustment” for Americans to adapt to same-sex marriage, Diaz said she is planning to wave a “magic wand and declare that the country’s ready now to move to same-sex marriage.”
“And in a few years, when the country’s ready for polygamy, then the country’s ready for that also, and we continue down that track to anything that the majority of us agree about. It’s just preposterous,” he added.
National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown joined Iowa Republican National Committee member Tamara Scott on her radio program last week, where the two discussed the upcoming Supreme Court decision on marriage equality.
Brown told Scott that a pro-equality decision would be “illegitimate” and anti-LGBT groups would have to emulate the anti-choice movement after Roe and “build a movement that continues to stand and proclaim the truth.”
He compared a potential marriage equality decision to infamous Supreme Court rulings upholding the Fugitive Slave Act, the prohibition on citizenship for African Americans, and school desegregation.
“It may be a generation or two down the line, but this lie about what it means to be a human being cannot stand. It cannot stand,” he said. “And just because the Supreme Court says it’s so, it doesn’t make it so. The Supreme Court has had horrible decisions in the past, horrible decisions like the Dred Scott decision, Plessy v. Ferguson, the Fugitive Slave Act, Roe v. Wade. Just because the Supreme Court said it was so didn’t make it so, and there was an obligation for people living in those times to stand up and say ‘no this is wrong’ and to fight with every ounce of their being for the truth.”
He added that the movement would have to contend with “some weakness from Republican leaders on the marriage issue.”
Earlier in the interview, Scott asked Brown about the decision to approve hormone therapy for Chelsea Manning, which Scott joked was part of a “witness protection program.”
“Well, I don’t know about that, but I do know that once you redefine what it means, or attempt to redefine what it means to be a man and a woman, then this clearly is the next step,” Brown responded. “And I don’t think people, at times we may not think deeply about what we’re being asked to accept, especially on the issue of same-sex marriage, but what we’re essentially being asked to accept is the very deconstruction of what it means to be a mother and father, husband and wife, and what it means to be a human being.”
“And once you go down this road of acting as if the biological reality of mothers and fathers, husbands and wives doesn’t matter, it doesn’t exist, then the next step is to say that gender itself is a construct. And we’re seeing that across the country, the next step on quote-unquote ‘transgender rights,’” he said.
He added that transgender rights measures would have "profound consequences" that are being seen "across the country."
Matt Barber joined Steve Deace on his radio program yesterday to discuss the actions of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who’s urging judges in his state to defy a federal judge and refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
Barber told Deace that whether or not the United States Supreme Court has “the authority to redefine the institution of marriage, which cannot be done, it’s contrary to reality to say that it’s anything other than the male and female,” Moore is on “solid legal ground” in claiming that the Alabama Supreme Court takes precedence over the federal district court that issued the marriage ruling.
Deace asked Barber why the conservative movement was less willing to defy the federal courts during Judge Moore’s 2003 standoff over placing a Ten Commandments monument in his courthouse or after Roe v. Wade, “when the court said, ‘We’re going to start just massacring, dismembering little innocent babies.’”
Barber agreed that states should have simply ignored the court’s ruling in Roe: “Why, back when the courts issued their ridiculous, non-scientific ruling in Roe v. Wade, why didn’t states like Texas and other states say, ‘Okay, well thank you for your opinion, but nope, here in the state of Texas, you kill an unborn child, you’ve committed murder, we’re going to throw you in jail for it’?”
Later in the interview, Deace repeated his prediction that a sweeping marriage ruling would ignite an even greater culture war battle than Roe did.
Barber agreed, saying the “goal all along” of the “sin-based, sodomy-based marriage” movement has been to persecute Christians.
“Religious liberty and so-called gay marriage cannot coexist in harmony,” he said. “If the Supreme Court goes Roe v. Wade on this decision and divines a new-fangled right to sin-based, sodomy-based marriage, Christians will be being persecuted across the country. They will be told, ‘You either put your stamp of approval on sin or you will be pushed to the fringes and marginalized and you will not be able to carry a job or function in society.’ That’s been their goal all along anyway.”
In an interview in January, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver warned that the Supreme Court could “change Western Civilization” if it “goes the wrong way” and strikes down bans on same-sex marriage.
Marriage equality, he said on the conservative radio show “Point of View,” might even lure children into homosexuality.
“It also changes everything in the school when they begin to learn not just about same-sex relationships, but about same-sex activities,” Staver said. “They ultimately get encouraged to pursue this kind of lifestyle. They have gender confusion when young boys naturally are gravitating towards one another and young girls towards one another, if you now inject the same-sex sexual activity into the school curriculum, it will suggest to them and ultimately push them on a road of experimentation where they might engaged in same-sex activity.”
Staver also saw the bright side of a gay marriage victory, claiming that the effects of legal same-sex marriage will be so devastating that “we could see the greatest revival of our country and the church standing up being the church.”
If not, Staver warned, “we’re going to see persecution.”
“This is going to be the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s for religious liberty,” he said.
When E.W. Jackson ran for lieutenant governor of Virginia in 2013, he flatly denied making a litany of extreme anti-gay statements, despite the fact that there were plenty of audio and video records of his remarks. Now, with the campaign over, Jackson seems to be less shy about his views on gay rights.
On yesterday’s edition of “Trunews,” Jackson told broadcaster Rick Wiles that marriage equality for same-sex couples will lead to divine punishment on America, which Wiles speculated might be in the form of a Russian invasion.
Jackson said that if the U.S. doesn’t adopt a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage to “protect us against this onslaught,” then conservatives must prepare for a “long haul fight of civil disobedience and refusal to go along with the program and having Christians punished and incarcerated and fined and lose their jobs.”
“Of course, there’s a third possibility, which is a spiritual possibility, and that is that because of our absolute rebellion against God in this issue, which is exactly what is happening, because of our absolute rebellion against God, the judgment of God will fall on my beloved country in a way that I don’t desire to see and no American should as a result of the fact that we are literally shaking our fist at God,” Jackson said. “That’s not a happy or blessed or hopeful position for a nation to be in and I certainly don’t want my country in that position, but that’s where we are.”
Wiles went on to tell Jackson that “we are going to get clobbered very soon if we don’t turn around as a nation,” pointing to “warning signs” such as Russian submarines and warships near the U.S. and Great Britain.
The Ruth Institute’s Jennifer Roback Morse joined Phyllis Schlafly on “Eagle Forum Live” last week for a special Valentine’s Day episode on how “radical sexual revolutionaries” are destroying marriage and the family.
Morse told Schlafly that the “goal all along” of the “radical feminists” and “radical sexual revolutionaries
was to advocate for liberalized divorce laws in order “to break down that dividing line between public and private and just scoot that family court right into your living room, right into the backseat of your minivan, right into your bedroom and taking jurisdiction over the life of the family.”
“This is a gross expansion of the power of the state,” she said. “And gay marriage will only accelerate that, because gay marriage now will create a whole series of situations where family courts will be deciding who actually counts as a parent in the first place.”
Back in 2003, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore became a hero in the eyes of many Religious Right activists when he defied a court ruling to remove a Ten Commandments monument that he installed in Alabama Supreme Court building's rotunda. After defying a federal court's ruling to move the monument out of the courthouse, Moore was eventually removed from his position by the state's court of the judiciary, only to return to his old post nearly 10 years later after winning the 2012 election.
Now, Moore is back in the national spotlight thanks to his demand that state judges refuse to abide by a federal court ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. And, once again, right-wing activists are rallying to Moore’s defense, endorsing his claim that state sovereignty and his personal reading of the Bible trump the authority of the federal courts.
Leading anti-gay groups including the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council have defended Moore, portraying his standoff with the federal judiciary as the latest example in their increasingly absurd victimization narrative. As they see it, Moore is facing unfair treatment because of his deeply-held religious beliefs and is taking a courageous stance against judicial overreach... and Satan.
Here are five of the ways that right-wing activists are defending Moore's anti-gay campaign:
5) Roy Moore Is Just Like Martin Luther King, Jr.
American Family Radio’s Bryan Fischer is upset that some critics have compared Moore to the Southern leaders who openly defied federal laws and court orders during the civil rights era. Fischer, for his part, thinks that Moore is more like civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
Seeing that Fischer believes that gay rights laws have put "Jim Crow laws right back in operation" for Christians, it was only a matter of time before he argued that Moore is actually acting like King by "waging the civil rights battle of this decade."
The federal judge in the marriage case, according to Fischer, is the one "standing in the doorway" like Alabama Gov. George Wallace and following in the footsteps of Jim Crow supporters.
4) Roy Moore Is Just Like The Apostle Paul
After interviewing Moore on her radio program, American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios said that "Justice Moore in Alabama is standing on solid ground" while "the other justices around the country and attorneys general who have rushed to accommodate these federal judges have been out of line in doing that."
Rios added that "if the law contradicts something God has said in scripture" then people should "disobey the law."
"You may, like Justice Moore, lose your job, you may, like [the Apostle] Paul, lose your life," she said. "Some people may not like the way Justice Moore has done this but I admire any man who follows God, who is willing to give up things very precious to him in order to take a stand."
3) Roy Moore Is Stopping Satan In His Tracks
Cindy Jacobs, a self-proclaimed prophet, said God told her that Alabama will become a beacon of light to the nation that will stop Satan's control over the judiciary.
Jacobs proclaimed: "God says, 'There will be an anointing come out of Alabama that is going to reserve the judicial activism that has been in this nation,' says God. 'I am going to give weight to your voice, I am going to give strength to your voice, I say Alabama will be a first fruit state that will be a bastion that will begin to undo the agendas to take the values of Jesus Christ out of this nation,' God says. 'And I'm going to use Alabama to reverse what Satan has done and it will tip the nation.'"
2) Roy Moore Is Stopping Non-Existent Hate Speech Laws
The right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel has praised Moore and pledged to "aggressively defend" any Alabama judge who follows his orders to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples. These judges, Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver wrote in an email to supporters, are facing "an all-out assault from radical homosexual organizations, which are threatening and demonizing these law-abiding judges.”
Although Staver told supporters last week that Liberty Counsel had “filed suit to have same-sex 'marriages' [in Alabama] cease until the United States Supreme Court rules on the issue early this summer," he told a conservative radio network just a day earlier that he thinks the state "does not have to obey" any Supreme Court decision that favors marriage equality.
Staver even claimed that Moore is preventing Alabama from following in the footsteps of states where "Christians and people of faith and values have been silenced through ‘hate speech’ laws."
Of course, laws prohibiting hate speech are unconstitutional and do not exist anywhere in America.
1) Roy Moore Stopping God's Wrath
The Alabama Republican Party is thrilled that Moore is flouting federal courts. Its chairman, Bill Armistead, wrote on the state party website that Moore's actions may fend off divine wrath:
So, how is it that God’s truth can be turned on its head as the debate now rages in Alabama regarding the meaning of marriage? The answer is that we, as a society, have become our own god. We have made God in our image. But, God will not be mocked. The State of Alabama and the United States of America will reap God’s wrath if we embrace and condone things that are abhorrent to God, such as redefining marriage as anything other than a union between one man and one woman.