religious persecution rhetoric

Ben Carson: 'PC Methodology' Is Persecuting Christians

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson told Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV yesterday that there is rising anti-Christian sentiment in America because people “buy into the PC methodology.”

“I don’t think most people, if they really stopped and thought about it would say, ‘I’m anti-Christian,’ but they buy into the PC methodology and hence they find themselves going with that crowd,” he said.

One way to stem the tide, he said, would be for Congress to pass legislation undermining the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision. “I’m not an anarchist, it is the law of the land, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change it,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that there isn’t a reason that we have separation of powers and checks and balances, and clearly when one branch oversteps their boundaries, it’s time for the next one to act.”

Later in the interview, Malzberg claimed that President Obama doesn’t care about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East or terror attacks in Israel, falsely claiming that the White House didn’t respond to an attack that killed three rabbis in a Jerusalem synagogue last year.

“I don’t think he’s moved by dead Christians or dead Jews,” Malzberg said, “I think he’s moved by dead Muslims and dead thugs at the hands of police.”

“Well, you know, the sad thing is that a lot of people are buying into his way of thinking,” Carson responded, “and it’s very dangerous. We need to understand that America is a unique place. You can be, you can have an American dream. But is there a dream for any other place? I don’t think so. And we shouldn’t be so anxious to give it up, give up all our values and principles for the sake of political correctness.”

Michael Farris: Gay Marriage Leading To 'Heresy Trials' Of Christians, A New 'Dark Ages'

Michael Farris, the homeschooling activist and founder of Patrick Henry College, joined South Carolina pastor Kevin Boling on his “Knowing the Truth” radio program yesterday, where he claimed that Christians have entered a new “dark ages” of religious intolerance and “heresy trials” thanks to gay marriage.

Recalling the ideologically diverse coalition that worked to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993 (which included us at People for the American Way), Farris claimed that the “political left” has since abandoned religious freedom and freedom of speech, causing the coalition to fall apart. In fact, it was the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case that drastically reshaped the federal RFRA, turning it from a shield to protect religious liberty into a sword allowing people to impose their beliefs on others. Subsequent state-level versions of the bill, such as a law in Indiana that was quickly amended, have sought to even further expand the power of individuals and corporations to cite religious liberty in discriminating against others, especially LGBT people.

Farris claimed, however, that gay rights have brought American Christians back to a time “no better than the era of William and Mary’s Toleration Act” of 1688.

“In the intervening 20 years [since the passage of RFRA], because of increased secularization and especially because of the advance of the homosexual rights movement, particularly in the homosexual marriage arena, that coalition of across-the-board, left-right coalition that gave us the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has completely disintegrated,” he said. “The political left today no longer believes not only in religious freedom, but they don’t believe in freedom of speech, they don’t believe in freedom of association. They want to crush people that dissent.”

“And so we’ve really gone frankly to … no better than the era of William and Mary’s Toleration Act,” he said, “where if you didn’t differ too much from the Church of England, you could get away with some stuff but not too much. So that’s really the era that we’re living in.”

“We’re back to that,” he later added. “If ... Christian people differ on same-sex marriage there are what amount to heresy prosecutions. And so we have gone full circle, we’ve gone away from liberty and gone toward toleration, and with toleration comes persecution and heresy trials and we’re back to the dark ages before liberty in the United States. It’s very distressing.”

Later in the interview, Farris blasted the Obama administration for denying asylum to a family of German homeschoolers he was representing when “they’re willing to have the Muslims come here from Syria, they’re willing to have homosexuals who were persecuted in other countries come here.” (The German family was eventually allowed to stay in the country indefinitely.)

This led Farris to bring up contentions that President Obama is secretly a Muslim, which, he said, he wasn’t sure about either way.

“I don’t really know what his personal faith is, one way or the other, and it really almost doesn’t matter in this sense,” he said. “What I can see and what I can tell, and I’m not judging his heart, is that his political actions give favoritism to Muslims and his political actions punish Christians on a systematic basis, so that bias is very obvious.”

“We are at war on a religious freedom basis,” he added, “and the question is, are Christians going to stand up or are we just going to roll over on this one.”

Pat Robertson: Gays Are 'Persecuting' And 'Taking Away The Rights Of Everybody'

Today on “The 700 Club,” Christian Broadcasting Network correspondent David Brody sat down with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman, who both became right-wing heroes after they lost legal battles in their attempts to justify anti-gay discrimination. Stutzman told Brody that their cases are paving the way for the censorship of journalists and the stripping of law licenses from attorneys who defend people accused of hate crimes.

Pat Robertson, host of “The 700 Club,” naturally agreed, warning that gay people seek to “persecute anybody who disagrees with them” in order to see them “bankrupted” and “put in jail.”

“We’re not talking about having rights from the ‘poor, oppressed gays,’ we’re taking away the freedoms of everybody who disagrees with them,” he said, adding: “They’re taking away the rights of everybody.”

Franklin Graham: 'Middle East Is Burning' Because Obama's Too Focused On Gay Rights

In an interview on Newsmax TV last night, Rev. Franklin Graham blamed the Syrian refugee crisis on President Obama’s support for LGBT rights, claiming that “the Middle East is burning” because the Obama administration has been “more focused” on LGBT rights “than anything else.”

Host J.D. Hayworth, a former GOP congressman, asked Graham: “Why do you think President Obama has taken so little interest in helping to protect Christians in the Middle East?”

“Well, he’s more interested in policies that are against Christians,” Graham responded, “in this country, and going around the world promoting same-sex marriage and the agenda of the gay and lesbian community. And I’m not here to bash the gays and lesbians and they certainly have rights, I understand all that, but this administration has been more focused on that agenda than anything else and as a result the Middle East is burning and you have more refugees moving today since World War II, and it could have been prevented.”

Graham then praised Pope Francis for reportedly meeting privately with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has attempted to prevent her county office from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, saying that Davis is a victim of discrimination simply for standing up for her view that “homosexuality is a sin against God.”

“Christians need to be protected from these new laws that are coming out and discriminating against Christians and forcing Christians to do things that go against their conscience and go against the teaching of the Bible,” he said. “Again, homosexuality is a sin against God. Now, if a gay or lesbian person is watching, I’m not here to bash you or anything like that, I’m just here to tell you the truth, that this is what the Bible teaches.”

Religious Right's Persecution Complex On Full Display At The Values Voter Summit

We understand how difficult it might be for Religious Right activists to find cases of “anti-Christian persecution” in the U.S., especially for people like Todd Starnes and Bryan Fischer, who have done their best to rile up Christian conservatives in an effort to depict themselves as the truly marginalized and victimized class in America.

Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Institute tried his best at the Values Voter Summit last week — just as he did at last year’s summit — to portray America as a country that is no different than the former Soviet Union in how it treats Christians.

Shackelford whipped out a mix of new and old “persecution” cases. He told the crowd, for instance, that his organization had defended “senior citizens who were told that their federally funded meals were being taken away because they were praying over their meals and that would violate the separation of church and state.” Unsurprisingly, that’s just not true. As Chris Rodda pointed out after Shackelford told this story at an event last year, what actually happened was that back in 2003 three senior citizens in a Texas town complained that a city-owned senior center was hosting pastors and gospel bands during meal hours. The city council tried, in a move that was ultimately rejected in court, to restrict such activity — it did not take away anyone’s meals.

Shackelford then went on to allege that a Florida college professor directed his students to step on a sheet of paper with “Jesus” written on it. The lesson in question was created by a professor from St. Norbert College, a Catholic institution in Wisconsin, and was not about religion at all, but rather the importance of symbols:

One of the "most distinguishing features" of humans (compared to other animals) is the way they view symbols, some of which are quite powerful, he said. That's the message of the exercise. When the students hesitate to step on the word "Jesus," they understand that a piece of paper has meaning to them because of the word, which helps them understand the force of symbols, he added.

At St. Norbert, [Jim] Neuliep said he has been doing the exercise for 30 years -- without any complaints. He said that the discussion that follows tends to involve students "talking about how important Jesus is to them, and they defend why they won't step on it. It reaffirms their faith." And at the same time, he said, they learn about symbols.

The most dishonest point of Shackelford’s speech, however, was when he described the case of Marco Perez, a Florida father who said his daughter was told by a cafeteria worker that it is “not good” to pray before she eats. At the time, Perez was working to promote Starnes’ book on supposed cases of anti-Christian persecution in America and Starnes was, coincidentally, the first one to report on the story. Starnes did not mention his connection to Perez in his original report, only adding the disclosure later after the connection was revealed.

Shackelford insisted that Perez’s daughter ultimately received an apology for the incident. What he conveniently left out was the fact that the culprit identified by Perez’s daughter wasn’t in or near the cafeteria at the time and the school found no evidence whatsoever of the incident taking place. A spokesman said the school “apologized for the incident she believes occurred, but there was nothing warranted or found” in the investigation. Liberty Institute senior counsel Jeremy Dys, who was representing Perez, at first accepted the school’s apology but then rejected it, saying it wasn’t a “real apology.”

That’s right: Liberty Institute’s senior counsel rejected an apology because the school’s investigation found that the student’s story was baseless, and now this is the same apology that Liberty Institute’s president is citing as proof that the school admitted fault.

Another tale that Shackelford told the Values Voter Summit was that a “girl was punished” for “saying ‘God bless’ and ‘bless you’ when somebody sneezed,” a charge that was denied by girl in question’s the school.

He then brought up the cases of Sgt. Phillip Monk, whose tall tale of “persecution” was roundly debunked when his story fell apart under an Air Force investigation, and Cpt. Wes Modder, whom Shackelford claimed was going to be kicked out of the military simply for opposing same-sex marriage, which, as you may have guessed, was not the case.

If Shackelford wants to find some more false examples of persecution that have been parroted by the Religious Right, we are happy to provide him with further cases, seeing that it seems that he doesn’t mind giving a speech riddled with dishonest claims.

Mike Huckabee: Launch Proceedings Against Judge In Kim Davis Case

In an interview on American Family Radio on Friday, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee denounced the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling as “illegal” and “unconstitutional,” insisting that if he is elected president, his administration will not recognize such a ruling.

“It is not the law of the land because it has not been affirmed by the people’s representatives,” Huckabee said, seemingly unaware of the concept of judicial review. “There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Supreme Court the authority to decide what states should do about marriage. Nothing.”

A future Huckabee administration, he said, would defend people like Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis, who repeatedly defied court orders requiring the county to issue marriage licenses to all eligible couples, and would ensure that “proceedings started against the judge who overreached” in the case because Davis was “put in jail because she’s a Christian.”

Mike Huckabee Has The Most Absurd Reaction To Obama's Pope Francis Remarks

At a White House ceremony welcoming Pope Francis today, President Obama called out violence against Christians around the world and thanked Francis for speaking out about such persecution:

You remind us that people are only truly free when they can practice their faith freely. Here in the United States, we cherish religious liberty. Yet around the world at this very moment, children of God, including Christians, are targeted and even killed because of their faith. Believers are prevented from gathering at their places of worship. The faithful are imprisoned. Churches are destroyed. So we stand with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and intimidation.

Mike Huckabee, however, took issue with Obama’s remarks… because of Kim Davis:

The Obama administration, of course, had nothing to do with Davis’ case, as Huckabee’s Vine implied.

But it revealed how the Religious Right thinks about “persecution.”

Davis’ detention by U.S. Marshals due to her continued refusal to let deputy clerks issue marriage licenses in defiance of a court order was seen by conservatives like Huckabee as part of the “criminalization of Christianity,” no different than actual violence perpetrated against Christians in parts of the Mideast or the imprisonment of Christians in countries like China.

Huckabee marked the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests last year by declaring that “China is becoming more like the United States used to be and the United States is becoming more like China used to be.” He has also claimed that pastors will soon face “criminal charges” for refusing to gay couples’ weddings and said that gay rights supporters won’t stop “until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel.”

“We are moving rapidly towards the criminalization of Christianity,” he often states.

“We’re seeing, certainly at the national level, internally, this battle on marriage, but globally what we’re seeing is that there is an assault on the Christian faith in general,” Huckabee said in response to a pastor who likened gay marriage activists to ISIS members during a conference call earlier this year.

Huckabee isn’t the only one making such dramatic claims about anti-Christian persecution in America.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council compared Davis to a woman who was imprisoned in Sudan for converting to Christianity and Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who also led Davis’ unsuccessful legal battle, likened Davis to Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Davis, who was trying to impose her own religious views on others, is not a victim of religious persecution, but that won’t prevent politicians like Huckabee from using her case to whip up claims that American Christians, just like Christians in China or the self-styled Islamic State, are facing oppression from the government.

Huckabee: Obama Only 'Pretends To Be' A Christian

Mike Huckabee said in an interview with Newsmax TV yesterday that President Obama only “pretends to be” a Christian, as evidenced by his invitation of several pro-gay-rights and pro-choice Christians to a reception with the pope this week and the fact that he has, according to Huckabee, made it “very difficult for people to practice their Christian faith” in America.

When Newsmax’s Ed Berliner asked Huckabee about his GOP presidential rival Ben Carson’s comment that there should never be a Muslim president, Huckabee responded that “there is no religious test to hold public office in America,” and that he was more concerned about people like the president whose faith lacks “authenticity.”

“I’m less concerned about what faith a person has. I’m more concerned about the authenticity of their faith and how that plays out in their policies,” he said. “I’m also concerned about a guy who believes he’s a Christian and pretends to be and says he is, but then does things that makes it very difficult for people to practice their Christian faith.

“I’m disappointed if a person says, ‘I’m a Christian,’ but you invite the Pope into your home and then you invite a whole bunch of people who are at odds with the Catholic Church policy. I think there’s something very unseemly about that.”

Huckabee said earlier this week that the president’s guest list for the pope’s visit is another reason why his administration “will go down as the most anti-Christian in American history."

Roy Moore: Christians Like Me Are Being Forced Out Of Public Office

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was forced to leave his first post on the state’s high court back in 2003 after he defied a court order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from state grounds. This, he said in an interview with Eagle Forum Live on Saturday, was all part of the anti-Christian persecution in America that he claims is forcing believers like him out of public office.

Anne Cori, Phyllis Schlafly’s niece and the guest-host of the program, asked Moore “how can Christians today live fearlessly” when they are afraid of being “branded a public enemy” for beliefs like opposing marriage equality.

Moore responded that the separation of church and state is now being “used to exclude Christians from holding public office.”

“Well, that’s what they did to you!” Cori interjected.

“Yes, and that’s what they did to others. They’re saying you can profess your beliefs elsewhere, but when you’re under government you cannot,” Moore said.

“Christians are being forced to give up their position in government or else succumb to something that they don’t believe,” he added. “And that’s the whole point, in my opinion, of what’s going on. They want to force anybody who has a belief, in the sanctity of marriage, for example, not to hold public office.”

Earlier in the program, Moore explained that the idea of separation of church and state came from the Bible and therefore actually requires the government to acknowledge the “soveriengty of God” through things like his Ten Commandments display.

“Don’t you think there’s a misunderstanding of this phrase, the separation of church and state?” Cori asked.

“Yes, it’s a complete misunderstanding,” he replied. “In fact, the separation of church and state can be related to the Bible, if you really want to go back. It’s the way God separated the priests out of the tribe of Levi, the family of Aaron from the kings out of the tribe of Judah, the family of David. The priesthood and the civil government were not to interfere with each other. And in today’s society, you see the government actually interfering with the church and with our religious liberty.”

“If you separate God from our government, from our laws, then you lose your religious liberty,” he said. “And that’s so basic an understanding of religious liberty that most Christians and most Americans do not have.”

“Would that mean that the judges today when they throw out the Ten Commandments as their law, then they are really putting themselves above God?” Cori asked.

“Well, they not only threw out the Ten Commandments, you’ve got to understand, it was never about the Ten Commandments per se, it was about the sovereignty of God,” Moore replied. “And, yes, whey they say you can’t acknowledge the sovereignty of God, then they dispute the whole basis of religious freedom and the rights you get from that. So, basically, the battle over the Ten Commandments was a battle over acknowleding the soveriengty of God. And that was never to be permitted to be interfered with by government.”

Roy Moore: First They Came For Kim Davis…

Before Kim Davis, there was Roy Moore, the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who invoked divine law in his effort to block his state from enforcing a pre-Obergefell federal court decision striking down its ban on same-sex marriage.

Moore ordered state probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, railing against the “rejection of God’s law by the federal judiciary” and insisting that “the laws of this state have always recognized the biblical admonition stated by our Lord.”

Moore was the keynote speaker at Eagle Council 2015, a St. Louis conference hosted by Phyllis Schlafly’s group Eagle Forum last week, where he naturally brought up Davis’ similar fight in Kentucky against marriage equality. The Alabama justice dedicated his entire speech to attacking the Obergefell decision and, like Davis’ lawyers, compared the clerk to victims of the Holocaust. 

After reading Martin Niemöller’s poem “First They Came For The Socialists…,” Moore decided to write his own version in honor of Davis: “Ladies in gentlemen, we can say the same thing today. They came for the bakers, I didn’t bake cakes. They came for the florists, but I didn’t deal with flowers. They came for the little clerk down in Kentucky by the name of Kim Davis, but I’m not a clerk, I have nothing do with issuing licenses. Then they came for me, and nobody was left.”

“This will touch every person in this room, every child in this room eventually,” he said of Obergefell. “This opinion is not like other opinions that have been issued.”

Jindal: Gays Pushing 'Discrimination Against Christians'

Yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins guest-hosted Bill Bennett’s show “Morning in America,” where he spoke to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has been trying to use religious persecution rhetoric to boost his struggling presidential campaign.

Jindal told Perkins that the Supreme Court had no authority to rule on marriage equality: “As a Christian, I don’t think a court can change the definition of marriage as the Supreme Court has tried to do away from what God instituted between a man and a woman.”

“They don’t believe in our First Amendment rights,” he said of gay rights advocates who have filed a lawsuit against Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who attempted to block her office from issuing marriage licenses. “This is an assault, this is discrimination against Christians who want to live their lives according to their sincerely-held beliefs.”

Insisting that the government will “soon be coming for Christian schools and one day the pastors and the churches,” Jindal went on to say that liberals believe that “if you don’t believe in gay marriage, you go to jail.”

Michael Bresciani: Gays Plan To Murder Christians

Far-right pundit Michael Bresciani is out with a new column today explaining that “Sodomites” are following the lie of Satan that they are “born that way” and will never have to “account for the choices they have made and the life they have lived.”

Since they are following Satan’s schemes, Bresciani predicts that gay people will eventually begin to murder Christians like Kim Davis in order to snuff out Christianity and impose their demonic agenda.

“When all his lies have rooted in one generation the only thing left to do is eliminate the light that remains and proceed to live in permanent, deep and inglorious darkness,” he writes. “To accomplish this he will cause the righteous to be denied, disadvantaged, dismissed and in the final days — killed. Starting with the persecution, fining and jailing of cake bakers and county clerks who will not perform ‘homosexual weddings’ it will take only a few short steps to bring it to the arrest and murder of the faithful.”

One of the chief reasons that Christians were dragged into the arenas and the Coliseum was because they would not heel to the Roman law that required that they name no other King besides the Roman emperor.

For true Christians not naming Christ as our King would be the equivalent of blasphemy. The world does not understand that if we would proclaim his name to our own hurt, including death that means we accept everything God has said as ultimate authority.

If Christ says marriage is only real between one man and one woman we don’t care if Sodomites proclaim that they were born that way – we know who provoked that lie and it was not the Father of mankind, but it is the father of lies. (Jn 8: 44)

He spearheads the age of enlightenment even as a plunges the world into entire darkness and wholesale wickedness. (1 John 5:19) He craftily omits the promise of God that every creature will have to account for the choices they have made and the life they have lived. He is careful to exclude from their knowledge that there will be no excuse entitled “we were born that way” to erase our culpability.

Yet all of this is not enough. The same Savior who labeled him as the father of lies also said he was a murderer. (Jn 8; 44)

When all his lies have rooted in one generation the only thing left to do is eliminate the light that remains and proceed to live in permanent, deep and inglorious darkness. To accomplish this he will cause the righteous to be denied, disadvantaged, dismissed and in the final days – killed. (Rev 20: 4) Starting with the persecution, fining and jailing of cake bakers and county clerks who will not perform “homosexual weddings” it will take only a few short steps to bring it to the arrest and murder of the faithful.

Jindal: America Is 'Trying To Criminalize Christians'

Bobby Jindal, who has conveniently changed his mind just in time for the presidential election on whether clerks should have to perform their job duties when it comes to issuing marriage licenses, appeared on “The Steve Deace Show” last week to continue to make his claim that clerks like Kentucky’s Kim Davis should be allowed to impose their personal religious views on public offices.

“Apparently, if you mishandled classified information in America, you can run for president, but if you don’t believe in gay marriage you go to jail,” the Louisiana governor and GOP presidential candidate said, repeating his new talking point.

The Louisiana governor then claimed that practicing Christianity is now a crime in America and that the Supreme Court had no authority to rule on marriage.

“This is ridiculous,” he told Deace. “The fact that they are now trying to criminalize Christians, whether it is clerks or business owners, in America we should not have to choose between keeping our jobs, we should not have to choose between keeping our businesses and being able to follow our conscience. I agree with you, I don’t think any earthly court can change the institution of marriage as instituted by God as being between a man and a woman. I think this is nonsensical.”

Jindal said that as president, he would issue an executive order on his first day in office to protect people practicing anti-gay discrimination, insisting that the Davis case may inspire the IRS to “go after Christian schools, Christian pastors and Christian churches.”

Religious Right Martyr Kim Davis To Receive Award For Fighting 'Legal Tyranny'

As many predicted, Kim Davis is cashing in on her new role as a right-wing celebrity. The Family Research Council announced today that Davis will receive its “Cost of Discipleship Award” at the upcoming Values Voter Summit.

FRC head Tony Perkins has already compared Davis to the previous award winner, Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who, unlike Davis, actually faced persecution for her faith, as she was arrested and imprisoned by Sudan’s government for converting to Christianity. Leading up to Ibrahim’s appearance at the FRC event, Perkins attempted to use her story to attack the Obama administration, even though her U.S. supporters actually thanked the State Department for working diligently to secure her release. An attorney working on Ibrahim’s case, who is also a Religious Right figure, criticized Perkins for his rhetoric.

In announcing the award, Perkins praised Davis for her “courage” in standing up to “militant secularists”:

“We are pleased to announce that Kim Davis will be honored at this year's Values Voter Summit. After meeting with her last week, I can tell you that Kim Davis wasn’t looking for this fight, but she is not running from it either. What militant secularists are almost certainly afraid of is what is coming to pass: courage is breeding courage. When other people might have cowered in fear, Kim took a stand. And today, millions of Americans stand with her and for the religious freedom upon which our nation was founded.

“Far from the media's portrayal, Kim isn't trying to impose her views on anyone, she is simply asking that her orthodox religious views be accommodated.

“The courage of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis isn't just changing the conversation -- it's changing the political landscape. In places like Missouri, where state officials watched with horror as Davis was hauled off to jail for her Christian beliefs, leaders are moving quickly to protect their people from the same fate. The Supreme Court created this mess -- now it's incumbent on states to protect the victims mired in it.

“While the Court redefined marriage, it did not redefine the First Amendment. Thank goodness for people of courage like Kim Davis, who refuses to let religious liberty be trampled by legal tyranny. We applaud her. In the face of intense pressure, she's shown more courage than 99 percent of the elected officials in Kentucky,” concluded Perkins.

Another county clerk in Kentucky who is trying to prevent same-sex couples from receiving marriage licenses, Casey Davis (no relation), is also scheduled to speak at the summit. He has gone so far as to say that he may die in his fight against gay marriage.

Perkins addressed the rally in front of the Kentucky prison where Davis was detained after a federal judge held her in contempt of court but doesn’t seem to know some basic facts surrounding the case. For example, Perkins told Fox News that Davis wasn’t barring her deputy clerks from issuing marriage licenses, even though Davis explicitly said at the time that she was doing just that.

Tony Perkins' Surprisingly Apt Kim Davis Analogy

The Religious Right activists who frequently claim that they are simply seeking to “live and let live” in a country that increasingly favors LGBT rights and other social progress sometimes compare themselves to the Pilgrims, citing the historical myth that the American concept of religious liberty originated with early Puritan governments.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, made this argument on his “Washington Watch” radio program today in response to a caller who claimed that the arrest of Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who attempted to bar her entire office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, portends laws making it “illegal to pray in the military” and is reminiscent of Nazi “legislation trying to annihilate the Jews.”

“It’s just kind of sad that if you have religious beliefs you can’t be an elected official,” the caller said.

Perkins agreed, attacking the “intentional” “misconception” that “religious liberty is simply the freedom to pick the church of your choice” rather than the freedom of people like Kim Davis to impose their religious views on everyone else.

“Do you really think that William Bradford and the Pilgrims came to America, to this land, seeking just to move their church membership because they couldn’t find a church that they really liked there in England or Holland, where they were before they came back to England?” he asked. “I don’t think so. And, in fact, they had religious freedom in Holland but they didn’t have the ability to build community and a framework to live under based on their religious freedom. That’s why they risked it all to come to what we now know as the United States of America.”

“They came here for the same thing that Kim Davis is asking for,” he said, “religious freedom. Not freedom of worship, but the freedom of religion.”

Perkins may have accidentally made the perfect Kim Davis analogy. The Puritans traveled to Plymouth Colony after a stint in Holland where, as historian Robert Tracy McKenzie notes, they “encountered a religious tolerance almost unheard of in that day and age.” In America, he writes, “they hoped to live by themselves, enjoy the same degree of religious liberty and earn a ‘better and easier’ living.” In doing so, they set up a theocracy, where, as PBS writes, they sought “religious freedom—but only for themselves.”

Perkins is absolutely right that Kim Davis and her supporters are seeking something similar to what the Pilgrims sought in the 17th century : not the freedom of religion, but a religious state, governed by them.

Kim Davis Attorney: Marriage Equality Will Bar All Christians From Public Office

Mat Staver, the head of Liberty Counsel and the attorney representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her effort to bar her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, claimed yesterday that if Davis doesn’t get her way then Christians will be effectively barred from holding all public offices.

Interviewing Staver on his “Washington Watch” program, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that he was “very disappointed” in Republicans who have suggested that Davis resign from her position if she is unwilling to perform a major part of her job.

“That would establish a reverse religious test where if you hold an orthodox religious view of marriage, you would be barred from holding public office,” Perkins said.

Staver agreed with Perkins, noting that Davis “believes God called her” to run for clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky.

“But if what we do is follow the advice of some of these Republican candidates that say she needs to resign, well what does that mean?” he asked. “That means that Kim Davis and anyone else who is an elected official … that means you have to check your faith at the ballot box. And once you’re elected, you have to change your faith, put it aside, transgress it, you cannot have your conscience accommodated. ‘No more Christians need to run for office,’ that’s essentially the message, and if you’re in office you need to resign your post immediately. Now what kind of America is that? It’s certainly not the America that the Founders envisioned and I don’t think it’s the kind of America that most people want.”

“It won’t stop with this issue, Mat,” Perkins warned. “It will be something else next. This is the time to stand and exercise our religious freedom lest we lose that religious freedom.”

Staver claimed that Davis was merely seeking the “simple accommodation” that her name be removed from marriage licenses in the county — a new line from the attorney who has been urging public officials to defy the marriage equality decision lest they run afoul of God’s law .

Davis, he said, is the first of many Christians who will be jailed “for their religious beliefs” thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision.

“This is a tragedy, it’s the first Christian jailed since the decision of the Supreme Court on June 26 on marriage,” he said. “But unfortunately, Tony, as you and I fear, I don't think this is going to be the last Christian jailed for their religious beliefs and conscience that collide with this issue of same-sex marriage.”

“No, not as long as there are Christians who are willing to live their lives according to their faith,” Perkins agreed, “and there are a lot of them out there.”

Bobby Jindal: 'If You Disagree With Gay Marriage, They Put You In Jail'

Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana claimed yesterday that people are being put in jail in the U.S. because they “disagree with gay marriage,” even as Hillary Clinton remains “one email away from going to jail.”

When Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway asked Jindal about Clinton’s apology for use of a private email server while at the State Department, the Republican presidential candidate replied, “I thought she was apologizing for this failed foreign policy, I thought she was apologizing for Benghazi, for failing to stand with Israel, for allowing Iran to become a nuclear power. She’s got a lot to apologize for.”

Jindal contrasted Clinton with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was briefly held by U.S. Marshals when she was found in contempt of court for barring her office from issuing marriage licenses, which he claimed shows that you can be put in jail if “you disagree with gay marriage.” (Back in 2009, Jindal took a very different tack with a justice of the peace who cited his personal beliefs in refusing to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple, demanding that the official lose his job.)

“Here’s where we are in our country today,” he said. “If you disagree with gay marriage, they put you in jail, as you see what happened in Kentucky, and yet if you mishandle national security information you’re allowed to run for president. It’s a crazy, crazy world we live 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:

Paranoia-Rama: Trump Fights 'War On Christmas,' Beck Stocks Up On Guns, Anti-Gay Clerk Fears Imminent Death

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

While it may be too late for Donald Trump to save us from stock market turmoil (he warned us!), he just might be the one who saves us from the even greater threat of refugees from war-torn nations, gay marriage and the “War on Christmas.”

5) Who Will End The War On Christmas?

Donald Trump, of course, and he’ll do it in a big way, very classy, and you’re going to love it. While speaking with an Alabama radio host, Trump declared that he is sick and tired of the “assault on anything having to do with Christianity” and promised that he “will assault that.”

“They don’t want to use the word Christmas anymore at department stores,” he said. “There’s always lawsuits and unfortunately a lot of those lawsuits are won by the other side. I will assault that. I will go so strongly against so many of the things, when they take away the word ‘Christmas.’ I go out of my way to use the word ‘Christmas.’ Some people say to me, some people do this very professionally, ‘Oh don’t mention the word Christmas.’ I said, ‘Like Hell I’m not going to mention it.’ I mention Christmas before I even start speaking. There’s a great assault on Christianity in so many ways.”

Then Trump moved on to the actual persecution of Christians under ISIS, before then falsely claiming that the U.S. refuses to accept Christian refugees.

Incidentally, it seems that this is yet another issue that Trump has evolved on, since he and his business empire were once enemy combatants in the War on Christmas.

4) Stock Market Is Down, So Buy Guns!

Glenn Beck knows the real reason behind the global stock market sell-off: “Progressive principles and Common Core math.”

The coming economic meltdown of course will lead to “fascism, communism, war, and hunger,” Beck explained, telling viewers that it is “not a matter of if” but when: “Are you prepared? Do you have food on hand? Do you have cash on hand? Do you have ammunition and guns and God, most importantly?”

3) Refugees Destroying America

The extremist Oath Keepers have discovered the latest attempt to “destroy the Republic”: refugees.

The group recently warned that refugees who may “harbor terrorist intentions” are coming to the U.S., egged on by Democratic politicians who want their votes and don’t care about committing “national suicide.”

Apparently, these refugees are assisted by churches, liberal organizations, George Soros and the United Nations, all in order to surreptitiously push their left-wing policies on America.

“I can say, without hyperbole,” writes Oath Keepers’ David Codrea, “this is a vital report addressing nothing less than the survival of the Founder’s Republic in the 21st Century, one that you ignore at your peril, and at the peril of everyone you love.”

2) Gays Coming To Recruit Your Kids

Conservative talk show host Tamara Scott, who also happens to be a member of the Republican National Committee and the Iowa leader of Concerned Women for America, said she is befuddled by people who think that gay people don’t choose to be gay.

She had this question for the “haters”: “If homosexuality is truly just something that happens, then why, one, do we have to recruit it in our kindergarten through college-level educational system and, if it’s just an everyday thing, why does it need all these special protections in the civil rights?”

1) Gay Marriage May Cost Lives

The small group of Kentucky county clerks who are refusing to let their offices issue marriage licenses following the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling are attempting to become the latest “Christian persecution” victims. While they haven’t found much luck in court, at least one of the defiant clerks, Casey Davis, said that he is prepared to die in the battle over gay marriage.

While speaking on a conservative radio show, Davis portrayed himself as a victim of the “war on Christianity” and lamented that “Christians just don’t have rights anymore” as a result of the Supreme Court’s “unconstitutional” gay marriage decision.

“Our law says ‘one man and one woman’ and that is what I held my hand up and took an oath to and that is what I expected,” he said. “If it takes it, I will go to jail over — if it takes my life, I will die for because I believe I owe that to the people that fought so I can have the freedom that I have, I owe that to them today, and you do, we all do. They fought and died so we could have this freedom and I’m going to fight and die for my kids and your kids can keep it.”

Liberty Counsel: Marriage Equality Imposes Unconstitutional 'Religious Test' For Public Office

The right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel has been encouraging public officials from county clerks to governors to ignore the Supreme Court’s decision striking down gay-marriage bans nationwide, and as part of this work is representing Kim Davis, a Kentucky clerk who is refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Liberty Counsel’s main argument in the Kentucky case is that Davis’ religious liberty is being violated because she is being forced to do her job and issue licenses for legal marriages between people of the same sex.

In fact, LC argues in a recent court filing, marriage equality actually imposes an unconstitutional “religious (or anti-religious) test for holding office” because people like Davis who don’t want to issue marriage licenses to gay couples aren’t allowed to refuse to do so.

WorldNetDaily summarizes LC’s argument:

They want, the court filing explains, “to induce irreversible and substantial harm to the religious conscience of Davis.”

“If Davis’ religious objection cannot be accommodated under the circumstances of this case, then elected officials have no real religious freedom when they take public office,” Staver warned.

The brief argues, “There is no constitutional right to have a particular person authorize a SSM license and affix their imprimatur to that permanent public record, especially if that person holds deep religious convictions prohibiting her from participating in and approving of SSM.”

It continued, “Contrary to plaintiffs’ insatiable demands, such individual rights and freedoms so fundamental to liberty are neither surrendered at the entry door of public service nor waived upon taking an oath of office. To suggest otherwise creates a religious (or anti-religious) test for holding office – which the United States and Kentucky Constitutions expressly forbid.”

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