religious persecution rhetoric

Liberty Counsel: 'Oppression Of America's Churches' Reminiscent Of Nazi Germany

In an email to supporters yesterday, Liberty Counsel chairman Mathew Staver repeated his claim that the U.S. is turning into Nazi Germany, warning that the “oppressive” Obama administration is working with liberal groups to push “America’s Christians into a ‘spiral of silence.’” This same “spiral of silence had devastating results in Nazi Germany,” he added.

Staver, the anti-gay attorney who won national attention for representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, urged members to “recapture our government, our culture, and our freedom from the clutches of tyrannical leadership, rampant socialism, and moral relativism.”

“We need to stop the ‘spiral of silence’ in America induced by the Obama administration to mute the voices of their adversaries,” he wrote.

We are living under an oppressive regime that is pushing America's Christians into a "spiral of silence." I am calling on every friend of Liberty Counsel to rise up and be heard!

German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann coined the term "spiral of silence." Noelle-Neumann began her career working for a newspaper during Hitler's era. She found that people conceal their views when they think they are in the minority or may face reprisal for their beliefs. Of course, the spiral of silence had devastating results in Nazi Germany.

Silencing people of faith in the public square has always been the goal of those who realize the influence that pastors, churches, and people of faith have on elections and the culture. We have countless times seen and experienced the oppression of America's churches, ministries, and Christian believers by the Obama administration's use of the Department of Justice, the IRS, and even non-government organizations like the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Canter [sic].

It's time to stand against this oppression! Pastors and Christian leaders must cast off fear, remove their muzzles, and replace them with a megaphone. We need to stop the "spiral of silence" in America induced by the Obama administration to mute the voices of their adversaries.

We MUST recapture our government, our culture, and our freedom from the clutches of tyrannical leadership, rampant socialism, and moral relativism.

Liberty Counsel believes God's answer for America is going to come through her committed Christian pastors and other church leaders in every community and state in our nation.

GOP Senator: People Of Faith The New Targets Of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

As we have continually noted over the last few years, the Religious Right is in the process of an attempt to radically redefine the term “religious liberty” to encompass not just the right to live out one’s own faith but also the right to cite one’s faith as justification for infringing on the rights of others, whether by denying service to gay people in public accommodations, kicking people out of housing because of their sexual orientation, or preventing your employees from accessing affordable birth control even if you don’t pay for it.

So it was startling last week to hear Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, in an address on religious liberty to the Family Research Council, claim that it is in fact progressives who have redefined the term “religious liberty” in order to persecute people of faith, making believers, in Lankford’s words, the targets of a new “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

“We have an undercurrent of conversations happening in the country, where there’s become a redefinition of the term ‘religious liberty,’” Lankford said. “ Is this a term that has the same meaning as we use it out in the common vernacular? And I would tell you, across the country and multiple places that I’ve visited, no is the correct answer. This term is attempting to be redefined by our culture to say if you’re for religious liberty, then you’re hatred [sic] towards other people, you’re exclusive, you’re divisive, you’re a person who needs to be isolated because you’re for religious liberty.”

“I would say to you, people of faith in the workplace and in public settings have become the new individuals that are targeted towards ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’” he added. “If you have faith, don’t tell anyone and don’t ask anyone if you have faith, and if you have it don’t live it out publicly because people don’t want to see it.”

Lankford, for the record, has said that he would oppose workplace protections for LGBT people because “ homosexuality is a choice.”

World Congress of Families Closer Everett Piper: WCF Critics Hate God

The closing keynote address at the recent World Congress of Families conference in Salt Lake City was given by Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. As we noted in our overview of WCF, Piper did not abide by the standard suggested by the conference’s opening keynoter, Mormon Elder Russell Ballard, who said, “We demonstrate our discipleship when we refuse strident tones, when we refuse derisive labels, and when we enter the public square seeking fair outcomes through understanding and mutual respect.”

Piper, by contrast, enthusiastically embraced strident tones and derisive labels in his closing keynote. Piper may have been trying to interest conservative Christian parents in sending their kids to his school, which commits itself to honoring “the Primacy of Jesus Christ, the Priority of Scripture, the Pursuit of Truth, and the Practice of Wisdom.”

Piper spent much of his time denouncing a culture and approach to education that promote bad ideas and sexual promiscuity, and values clarification rather than moral absolutes. Early in his speech he set the tone:

Imagine that we live in a time and a place where the wise and learned in our courts, and in our classrooms, and, unfortunately, even in our churches, actually work to remove a man’s soul and expect him to stay out of hell.

Piper had harsh words for the educational establishment, which he said “is known not for pursuing truth, but rather for celebrating tolerance, and in the name of tolerance they then tell us that our intolerance is intolerable.” Citing a litany of examples of ideological intolerance against conservatives on campus, he declared it undeniable that there is a “war against Christians” in the academy and the broader culture.

Piper slammed gay rights advocates and other liberals for “ideological fascism,” declaring, “The result of this nonsense is that the rainbow banner of tolerance has become the dark flag of tyranny almost overnight.” And he went after President Obama harshly:

Where is our president in the midst of this? Where is the leader of the free world? Christians are losing their jobs, losing their businesses, losing their tenure, losing their education, and losing their freedom and he says nothing. He lectures us about the crusades rather than defend us in the courts. Christians are being enslaved and burned alive and beheaded across the Middle East and he is silent. Christians are being threatened and intimidated and sued and sequestered in the middle of America and mum’s the word.

For decades, Piper said, “we’ve sent our kids off to sit under the tutelage of faculty who have panned the Judeo-Christian ethic and praised its antithesis.”

“Why are we surprised now,” he asked, “that we have a White House that’s seemingly more aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood than Franklin Graham?”  The Muslim Brotherhood zinger was recycled from Piper’s appearance at the “Future Conference” organized by anti-gay activist Jim Garlow in June.

More from Piper’s WCF rant:

Our judges can’t find the word ‘marriage’ in the dictionary. Our State Department thinks the way to stop terrorists is to give them jobs. Our president says he appreciates the legitimate grievances of the terrorists who are crucifying children. Why are we surprised to see tens of millions of women buying the lie of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ when colleges have been promoting Sex Weeks on their campuses across the land, teaching these same women the virtue of bondage and dominance for the past several decades.

Piper concluded with a prayer, in which he asked God to forgive America for a long list of the kind of things he spent his speech blaming the liberal establishment for, among them “the foolishness of expecting cultural sanity while removing a culture’s soul” and “worshiping government more than God.”

“Please,” he asked, “rescue us from the ugly hell of our own making and give us liberty within the bounds of your law and free us from the bondage of our licentiousness.”

Piper repeated some of his gripes about education on Glenn Beck’s show, which was recorded the day before his WCF speech and broadcast a few days later. One of Piper’s talking points is that “opinions are dangerous; truth sets us free.” Among the dangerous people who had opinions, he notes, were Pol Pot, Mao, Robespierre, Chavez, Hitler and Mussolini. Piper has also appeared on David Barton’s radio show.

The week after the World Congress of Families wrapped up, Piper took to his blog to decry WCF’s critics, especially those who labeled the WCF a hate group.

The bold-faced duplicity of those condemning those who love the family is indeed hateful. Intolerance in the name of tolerance. Bullying while decrying bullying. Exclusion in the name of inclusion. Dumbing down the human being while arguing for human rights. Pretending to be pro-woman while using women as pawns and products. Hate under the banner of anti-hate… These ideas do not come from love, but rather from disdain: Disdain for children, disdain for family, and disdain for truth. Such ideas come from a hateful people who hate anyone who dares stand in their way of hating God.

If you like what Everett Piper has to offer, you’ll probably get plenty of opportunities to hear more of it. In the program book for the WCF gathering, he is listed as chair of the “SWAT Team” in charge of “Strategic Planning for the Future.”


Kevin Swanson Warns Criticism Of His Anti-Gay Comments Is Part Of Attempt To Shut Down Christian Media

When three Republican presidential candidates decided to address a conference in Iowa this weekend organized by Colorado pastor Kevin Swanson — a radical activist who thinks that Girl Scout cookies and the movie “Frozen” are turning girls into lesbians and has defended the death penalty for homosexuality — it showed once again that the Republican primary seems to be a competition of who can move farther to the right.

Swanson cleverly focused his Iowa conference on the theme of “religious liberties,” warning that “persecution against Christians is on the rise in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, China, Oregon, and Kentucky.” It was apparently an invitation that Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal — who are constantly harping on the theme that American Christians are on the road to facing persecution on par with Christians living under oppressive regimes — couldn’t pass up.

Swanson made clear what he meant by anti-Christian persecution in interview at the conference with Seattle-based radio host Michelle Mendoza, when he complained that media reports on his anti-gay comments, including his recent remarks that AIDS is “God’s retribution” for homosexuality, is part of a larger attempt to “shut down Christian media.”

Saying that the “liberal media” had taken his AIDS remarks out of context, Swanson proceeded to repeat the very same point to Mendoza.

“Any kind of disease,” he said, “this is the point I made in one of my broadcasts, any kind of disease is God’s wakeup call to us and it points us to the basic problem — Hey, there wasn’t disease, there wasn’t death in the world until sin came into the world with Adam and Eve. So, it’s a basic theological concept, every Christian in America would agree with me. Obviously, non-Christians may disagree but the fact of the matter is God has given us a warning. He gives us something of a warning with disease and death, and we ought to turn to Jesus Christ because he is the overall solution to this.”

Swanson said that in a conversation with Cruz at the conference, the Texas senator “agreed that it’s very possible that the FCC may shut down Christian media in the future if they continue to hold to the position that homosexuality is a sin.”

“Christian colleges may go away very soon, Christian media may go away very soon, conservative media may not survive, so this is going to affect every single part of life since the Obergefell ruling,” he said.

In an interview promoting the conference on the Kentucky radio program “Just Ask Joyce” last month, Swanson made a similar argument, warning that “you can kiss your liberties goodbye” if the right person isn’t elected president in 2016.

Christians must “prepare to see our radio programs and our ministries, and our churches, our schools, completely wiped out by … the homosexual forces” as a result of the Obergefell decision, he said. “This is a decision of seismic proportions for the entire socioeconomic system, for entire social systems, for entire civilizations, for our religions in our country.”

Jindal: 'No Earthly Court Can Change The Definition Of Marriage'

Earlier today, Republican presidential candidates Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee spoke at a conference in Iowa organized by Colorado pastor and activist Kevin Swanson, who takes such hardline Christian Reconstructionist views as supporting the death penalty for gay people . (Ted Cruz is also expected to speak at the conference.)

Swanson introduced Jindal by declaring that whoever becomes president, Jesus Christ will rule over them “whether they recognize it or not.”

“Let’s acknowledge right now that Jesus Christ is king over the president of the United States, whether he recognizes it or not,” he said. “Jesus Christ is king over the Supreme Court of the United States, whether they recognize it or not.”

Jindal then gave a version of his “Christian persecution” stump speech, warning that the government is “coming after those of us who want to live our lives according to our Christian faith” and declaring, “No earthly court can change the definition of marriage; no federal government, no ACLU should be able to take away our religious liberty rights. We were given those by God almighty.”

Carl Gallups: Making Fun Of Conservative Christians Will Lead To Another Holocaust

In an interview with WorldNetDaily last week, End Times author Carl Gallups said that conservative Christians in America are facing horrendous persecution, warning that simple jokes will put America on the path of Nazi Germany, but this time with a genocide targeting Christians.

After warning that the Obama administration is plotting to “take the guns” so “the population can be brought into submission,” he said that America is transforming into Nazi Germany. Christians, according to Gallups, are a chief target of this diabolical scheme because freedoms, such as the right to bear arms, are rooted in Christianity.

“Every nation that has eventually and finally either enslaved its people or Nazi Germany, just eliminated and exterminated whole sections of the undesirable populations, they didn’t begin with gun control, they began with a marginalization of that population, lampooning, lambasting [and] making fun of.” He added that the entertainment industry and public schools, which he referred to as “government reeducation camps,” were contributing to anti-Christian bias in America.

Gallups went on to warn that the Kim Davis saga and jokes about conservative Christians may cause the religion to be banned altogether. “You lampoon them first and then finally you get to the point where in most countries it’s outlawed,” he said. 

He then connected the shooting at a black church in South Carolina with the supposed persecution of the Kentucky clerk, saying, “There’s the targeting, Kim Davis, Houston, the church in South Carolina, the targeting of Christians and the government, rather than making peace, rather than speaking words of wisdom and words of balance, it’s this radical agenda of ‘we just got to take the guns.’”

Gallups praised Tennessee Lt. Gov. Chris Ramsey for calling on Christians to buy guns, saying that people like Ramsey know that Christians in America “are being targeted” due to the “huge Islamic influx,” “the radical abortion movement” and “the radical homosexual movement,” which he said plans to use the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling to “bring the whole culture down.”

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.

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