religious persecution rhetoric

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.”

Scott Lively: 'Religious Freedom' Only Applies To Christians, And That's Why God’s Punishing Us With Gay Rights

In an interview with The Dove TV on Friday, anti-gay activist Scott Lively insisted that Christians are being denied their First Amendment rights because of gay rights, while simultaneously asserting that the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom applies only to Christians.

In fact, Lively explained, it is because the United States has grown to accept “religious pluralism” that God is now punishing us with abortion rights and LGBT equality.

“Well, I don’t actually believe in ‘religious freedom,’ the way that the term is used,” Lively explained. “I know that when you use it and when most people use it, you’re talking about Christianity. We’re not talking about freedom for Islam and freedom for Buddhism and Hinduism as if they’re equal with God.

“The number-one Commandment is ‘You shall have no other gods before me.’ And when we forget that and we start accepting this concept of religious pluralism and we say that Jesus Christ is really no higher an authority in America than Buddha or Mohammed or even Satan, that’s when we have really dropped the ball and we have brought disfavor from God on us.”

Legal abortion (or, as he put it, the “pro-abort juggernaut of death”) and gay rights, he insisted, could have been stopped if America had earned “the favor of God.”

“If even one man, just one man, had the favor of God,” he said, “with the flimsiest of plans, he could have stopped that, he could have stopped the gay agenda in very short order.”

He went on to mourn for the soldiers in the Revolutionary War who “died with the cry ‘no king but Jesus’ on their lips” and for “all the patriots since them who have died on the battlefield believing that American values meant godliness and morality, not sexual perversion and killing.”

Lively then, with great self-awareness, lamented that the First Amendment is “being chipped away very rapidly” leading to the “persecution” of people like himself.

Later in the interview, Lively claimed that thanks to abortion rights and LGBT equality, “we really are now under occupation.. by cultural Marxists” just as France was occupied by the Nazis in World War II.

The “cultural Marxists,” he said, have now ensured that everyone in America is “forced to participate in gay culture,” and are working toward the next step, which is “punishment of all dissenters.”

“The folks that are pushing this, they want to come after every Christian,” he warned, “they hate Christianity, they want to punish, they are going to aggressively pursue every person.”

But he had some good news: “I’m more blessed than I’ve ever been, and yet I’m being persecuted more than anybody else in America.”

NOM: Equality Act Should Be Called 'The Persecution Of Americans Act'

The National Organization for Marriage takes the persecution complex to a new level today, claiming in a fundraising email that a proposed federal law preventing discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations “puts in the crosshairs anyone who believes God created people male and female.”

NOM’s president, Brian Brown, writes that The Equality Act should instead be called “The Persecution of Americans Act” because it will extend the supposed “persecution” of bakers, florists and other wedding vendors who refuse service to gay and lesbian couples to “impact Americans in virtually every area of life":

The legislation puts in the crosshairs anyone who believes God created people male and female. It would declare that a traditional view of human sexuality is hateful and bigoted and treat Christians, Jews and other people of faith just as the law treats racists. HR 3185 specifically denies someone who has been targeted the ability to rely on the provisions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a defense against the complaint of discrimination.

Americans across the land are witnessing the persecution of wedding professionals who are being forced by homosexual activists to participate in same-sex ceremonies even though doing so violates their deeply held religious beliefs concerning marriage. Bakers, photographers, florists, inn keepers and others have been persecuted, sued and fined simply because they do not wish to personally participate in a gay 'wedding.' HR 3185 will extend this persecution far beyond the wedding industry and will impact Americans in virtually every area of life.

Under HR 3185, all that a gay, lesbian or transgendered person needs to do is allege that an individual or business has somehow discriminated based on sexual orientation or gender identity and the full force of the federal government can be brought down on the person accused.

Just imagine how this proposed law would be used. Virtually any time a LGBT person feels they have been discriminated against they would be able to pursue a special legal claim using the force of the federal government as a powerful stick to punish people.

What lies "beyond marriage equality" is persecution. And that's what HR 3185 should be called — The Persecution of Americans Act.

Right-Wing Pundit: Obama Wants To 'Padlock' Black Churches But Ignores 'Racist' Planned Parenthood

John Zmirak, the conservative columnist and senior editor of James Robison’s “The Stream” website, told Wisconsin talk radio host Vicki McKenna on Tuesday that President Obama wants to “padlock” the black church in Charleston that was targeted by a racist gunman even as he supports “the most racist organization in the country,” Planned Parenthood.

Zmirak managed to tie together two false right-wing memes, claiming that the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision will cause churches to lose their tax-exempt status (it won’t) and that Planned Parenthood is selling “babies’ brains and livers for profit” (it isn’t).

“Let’s keep in mind that the Obama administration is talking about taking away the tax exemption of churches that won’t perform same-sex marriages, but they’re going to keep a tax exemption for an organization that sells babies’ brains and livers for profit,” he said. “Wrap your mind about that one and then think of Barack Obama singing ‘Amazing Grace’ with a straight face in Christian church.”

“By the way, the church where he sang will lose its tax exemption and probably have to close,” he continued. “That black church where there was that horrible shooting in Charleston, they don’t do same-sex marriages. So Obama, even though he sang there, his people are getting ready to padlock the place but they won’t padlock the abortion mills of Planned Parenthood. That’s the kind of bizarre world we live in.”

McKenna concurred, citing a debunked right-wing myth that Planned Parenthood “has had as its goal the elimination of black children because black people, according to its founder, were unfit, unfit, we need to reduce the number of black people having children because black people are lesser humans.” Instead of focusing on the Confederate flag, she said, the U.S. should just “get rid of Planned Parenthood.”

“Absolutely,” Zmirak agreed. “Planned Parenthood is the most racist organization in the country. As far as I know, even the Ku Klux Klan does not advocate killing black people. They have a lot of despicable views, but they don’t actually talk about extermination. Planned Parenthood is actually doing it.”

RNC Member: Confederate Flag Was 'A Symbol Of Dukes of Hazzard And Fun' Until Liberals Used It To Divide People

Iowa Republican national committeewoman Tamara Scott, also the state director of Concerned Women for America and a lobbyist for The Family Leader, said on her radio program last week that the shooting of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, by a white supremacist gunman was not a “racial issue” but instead part of a “targeted assault” on Christianity exemplified by the Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage. She also criticized efforts to remove the Confederate flag from state property, saying that the flag is a Benghazi-like “diversion” from the real things dividing America: the media, public schools and rappers.

The Charleston shooting, Scott said, is “being hijacked to a racial issue.” Her interviewee, South Carolina pastor Brad Atkins — the state head of the American Family Association’s American Renewal Project who led the planning of Gov. Nikki Haley’s “The Response” prayer rally last month — agreed, saying the victims “lost their lives primarily not because they were black and the killer was white, but because they were gathered together at the church.”

“There really was no debate” about the flag, Atkins said, up until the “secular media” used it as a distraction from the fact that the shooting actually “happened because of a lack of Christian influence in society”

Scott agreed, saying that the real cultural problems that led to the shooting are “a media that relentlessly pit groups against each other, voters in the elections where they pit voters into blocs against each other, or the education system that consistently creates a class warfare and an envy system in their children at an early age, or rappers with their racist rants about rape and everything else. There are several things that are feeding into this, but it’s not a gun and it’s not a flag.”

She added that until the recent debate, younger generations primarily associated the Confederate flag with the TV show “Dukes of Hazzard”: “For them the flag was a symbol of affection for a fun show and some culture known in the South. The unfortunate thing is this discussion is now creating a divide and a dialogue that would have died out decades ago had we not brought it up again over this. We’re continuing a problem that was actually, literally dying out.”

The Confederate flag, she concluded, is “the same distraction that the supposed video tape was for Benghazi.”

Scott discussed the issue with Atkins again on Tuesday, when she guest hosted conservative talk radio host Jan Mickelson’s program:

Atkins told Scott about another incident at a mostly white church in South Carolina, where a man had entered with a gun while a number of his family members were worshipping, which Scott said “we don’t hear about” in the media “because it can’t be made into a racial issue.”

She repeated her point that the shooting in a black church by a gunman with white supremacist views who specifically stated his desire to start a race war wasn’t as much a “racial issue” as an attack on religion. The Charleston shooting, she said, is “being made into more of a racial issue than it was,” when the shooter “could have gone anywhere – mall, sporting event, anywhere — and shot a race of people, but this was in a house of worship.”

Atkins agreed, lamenting that the shooting has led to an effort to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds: “It’s gotten the issue off what the real issue was and put the focus on what the side issue was in this situation.”

“It’s not the presence of a confederate flag at a capitol,” Scott agreed, “it’s the absence of a Christian faith in a community.”

Scott then accused the Confederate flag’s critics of turning a symbol of “fun” into something divisive.

“Creating this stir about the flag now forces dialogue that I think had died out decades ago,” she said. “It starts the divide all over again in younger generations that otherwise would have had absolutely no ill feelings on this flag. For this generation that I know, it was a symbol of Dukes of Hazzard and fun and a culture of the South. So I hate this dialogue that has started that has created a new generation of divisiveness.”

Agreeing that the Confederate flag is “an issue that really was not an issue” until the current debate, Atkins warned that removing the flag from government property could set a precedent that threatens Christianity.

“It was a symbol that this individual used to promote his hatred toward a group of people,” he explained. “And if we’re not careful, what we’re going to see happen, you’ll take fringe groups like Westboro Baptist Church, who supposedly use the word of God to justify their hatred and animosity toward different groups, and if we’re not careful, groups like that will then in turn cause even the word of God to be used as a symbol of hate.”

Herb Titus: Christians Must Defy Gay Marriage Ruling Or Abandon Government To Heathens & Satan

Herb Titus, the Christian Reconstructionist, “biblical birther" and longtime brother-in-arms of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, is urging conservative Christian public officials to deny marriage licenses to gay couples in defiance of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, rather than simply resign from their positions and abandon “civil society to the heathen and to the Enemy.”

Titus told Alaska GOP politician Joe Miller in a radio interview posted online over the weekend that thanks to a Supreme Court majority that embraces a “postmodern worldview,” Americans are adrift at sea.

“Instead of writing law, they write poetry, they write philosophy, they write sociology and psychology,” he said of the Supreme Court justices. “We no longer have any fixed principled by which to measure what is right and wrong, what is constitutional, what’s not constitutional. We’re basically at sea in a ship which is manned by nine people, and you don’t have much to say about anything anymore because they’re in control of the ship and the storm is out to sea and you can’t get off the ship.”

When Miller asked if there is now a “confrontation” between this postmodern worldview and people who believe in “immutable, natural law,” Titus agreed, saying, “It’s a very small minority of people who have any sense whatsoever of the law of Nature and of Nature’s God, that is the law as revealed by God in Nature and in the Holy Scriptures.”

He blasted public officials who are implementing marriage equality laws or resigning from their posts rather than follow the law, saying that those officials should instead say, “I’m going to stay in this job and I’m not going to issue marriage licenses and if you come after me, you can come after me. I’m going to take a stand.”

Christians, he lamented, have “abandoned civil society to the heathen and to the Enemy” and will soon be “thrown in jail” and otherwise “persecuted” because of it.

Later in the interview, Titus warned that if conservative Christians give up on trying to shape government to biblical specifications, they will end up like the Amish, with special protections for their religion but “no influence in the greater society”

“God didn’t call us to just be in a closed-off, religious community, God called us to exercise dominion,” he said.

He repeated that public officials who disagree with marriage equality should defy the law and “make people remove us from office, if that’s what it’s going to take you, ‘you can remove me, but I’m not going to just ask you to give me a special privilege, or resign and will no longer function in a civil capacity.’ What that does, I think, is basically sounds the bugle of retreat.”

Sheriff David Clarke: Might Take A 'Lexington-Concord Type Moment' To Stop Gay Rights, 'Socialist Agenda'

In an interview with WorldNetDaily last week, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, an emerging Tea Party hero who has been courted by Gov. Scott Walker, said that the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality might be a “catalyst” for a conservative movement to resist President Obama’s “socialist agenda,” but added that he wasn’t sure what could stop it “short of a Lexington-Concord type moment.”

The “Alinskyite” Obama, Clarke told WND, has “created all this division, stirring up racial animosity in our cities, rich against poor in the Occupy movement, and now it’s this religious divide” with gay marriage. “We had a Civil War. We see a great divide forming again,” he said.

He said that he hoped the marriage ruling would be a “catalyst” for conservatives to “defy this stuff,” lamenting, “[W]ho would have thought that in the 21 century homosexuality would come out of the closet and churches would be forced to go into the closet?”

“After a big decision like this, people scream and holler, ‘This is bad for the country,’ and then we just acquiesce,” Clarke said. “I believe one of these decisions might just be a catalyst to not just say we don’t like it but to actually do something, to defy this stuff.

“And that’s what churches are supposed to do is resist. And if the court comes back and says you don’t have a right to exercise your religion, then they’re going to have to decide what to do next. … But who would have thought that in the 21 century homosexuality would come out of the closet and churches would be forced to go into the closet?”

The Constitution is being “obliterated,” and “our democratic way of life is being transformed into a socialist agenda, and I don’t know what it’s going to take short of a Lexington-Concord type moment,” Clarke said.

“We had a Civil War. We see a great divide forming again. That’s a part of the landscape that has come from Obama; he’s an Alinskyite, and he knows you have to create a critical mass. So they’ve created all this division, stirring up racial animosity in our cities, rich against poor in the Occupy movement, and now it’s this religious divide. That’s why I keep telling people gay marriage is not the issue; you’re missing it. You have to peel back the layers and look at this transformation. It happens subtly right before your eyes, and you’ll miss it.”

Clarke said division in the conservative movement also aids the left.

“They will have to band together and decide what they’re going to do, but I think the first act is defiance,” he said. “Justices Alito, Scalia, Roberts, Thomas said this is unconstitutional. I’m going with that, and what these four justices said went against the language of these five oligarchs. Amend the Constitution if we don’t like it because we’ve done it, what, 27 times?”

Jonathan Cahn: God Will Judge America For Rainbow Lights On White House, World Trade Center

Back in April, the day after the Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of state gay-marriage bans, End Times rabbi Jonathan Cahn spoke to members of Congress gathered at an event in the Capitol and told them that a ruling in favor of marriage equality would cause God to pass judgment on America .

Speaking at a conference in Pennsylvania this weekend, Cahn repeated the warning he had given to members of Congress, saying that following the Supreme Court’s ruling, we are “watching a civilization approaching judgment” as we witness “the apostasy, the falling of America.”

Cahn was particularly concerned by the decision to project rainbow colors on the White House following the marriage equality ruling. “Just a few days ago, the highest house in the land, representing the American government, was bathed in colors representing not the American flag but of another flag representing the celebration of what the Bible calls evil,” he said. This, he added, was an attempt to “desecrate” the name of God.

Cahn also tied the decision to light One World Trade Center in rainbow colors to his somewhat convoluted theory that an inscription President Obama left on a beam of the building in 2012 was in fact an invitation for God’s judgment on America.

“God is long suffering and merciful,” he said, “but God is not mocked.”

Cahn also predicted that Christians in America will soon face persecution on par with that faced by victims of violent religious persecution in the Middle East.

Tom Tancredo: Marriage Equality Will Criminalize Support For The Confederate Flag, Criticism Of Islam

Former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo managed to tie two of the biggest issues of the week together on Tuesday when he railed against efforts to take down Confederate flags, saying that the Koran is an even more dangerous symbol, and then claimed that thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent marriage equality decision, such comments will soon be illegal.

When Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg asked Tancredo to discuss a Facebook post he recently wrote comparing the Confederate flag to the Koran, Tancredo responded that efforts to “erase” the flag are misguided.

“However,” he continued, “there is something else out there, our president really happens to enjoy it, we teach about it in the public schools, we tell people, kids in the public schools to respect it. It’s called the Koran and it’s responsible for far more, far more murders, enslavement, the most horrible things, and it’s still going on. It’s not history, it’s still happening. And that, we don’t ban it, heavens no, we even tell kids we gotta read it in our schools and respect it.”

Malzberg then changed the subject, asking Tancredo about the Supreme Court’s marriage decision, which Tancredo said was connected. Not only will the decision eventually lead to the criminal prosecution of pastors, he claimed, but soon “everything I just said” about the Confederate flag and the Koran will be “outlawed” due to the institution of unconstitutional hate speech prohibitions.

“Mark my words, that’s what’s coming,” he said. “Dark days ahead, Steve.”

Tony Perkins: US 'Hostility' To Christianity Gives A 'Green Light' To Terrorists

In his sermon to Robert Jeffress’ First Baptist Church of Dallas on Sunday, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins claimed that the U.S. government’s supposed “hostility” to Christians in America is giving the “green light” to groups like ISIS that persecute and kill Christians abroad.

“If we step back and allow this growing intolerance of Christianity here at the hands of our own government,” he said, “Christians, listen to me friends, Christians will die in lands far away.”

Following a discussion of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision and the persecution of conservative Christians that groups like the FRC claim will result from it, Perkins told the congregation, “We have allowed our own government to send a message that Christians in America don’t care about Christianity here at home. How could they possibly care about it in the Middle East?”

He then related a horrific tale of four Christian boys being beheaded by ISIS, violence that he claimed the American government gives a “green light” to because of its “hostility” toward U.S. Christians.

“We’re not being asked to die for Christ in America. We’re simply being asked to live for Christ in America,” he said. “But when we as Christians here in America shrink back from living for Jesus and we tolerate our own government’s hostility to Christianity, terrorists and tyrants in other governments will see that as a green light to persecute and to kill our brothers and sisters, and we cannot tolerate that as Americans.”

This is just Perkins' latest attempt to connect the Religous Right's claims of persecution at the hands of a secular government to the violent persecution of Christians at the hands of oppressive governments and terrorist groups like ISIS.

Richard Land: Marriage Equality Ruling Could Send Pastors To Jail

Warning that the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision puts religious freedom “absolutely, unquestionably and unequivocally” at risk, former Southern Baptist Convention political official Richard Land said today that the decision could even land pastors in jail for refusing to perform same-sex marriages.

“Unless we have a spiritual awakening in America, the battle for traditional marriage is over and the battle for religious freedom has begun,” Land told Newsmax’s J.D. Hayworth.

“I know it’s difficult for liberals to understand this, but we have convictions,” he said. “And convictions can’t be coerced and they can’t be intimidated and they can’t be threatened. We’re going to speak the truth in love. Just because five lawyers say same-sex marriage is legal, that doesn’t make it moral and that doesn’t make it right.”

When Hayworth asked him if the Supreme Court’s decision means pastors could end up in jail for refusing to perform marriages for gay and lesbian couples, Land responded that “it could” after a few “intermediate steps.”

Of course, in the dozens of states that allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry before last week’s decision, not one pastor has been thrown into jail for refusing to perform such a marriage, just as nearly 50 years after the Supreme Court struck down interracial marriage bans, clergy are still free to refuse to perform such marriages. Even some of Land’s fellow Southern Baptist leaders have denied the possibility that pastors will be sent to jail for refusing to perform gay couple’s weddings.

Alabama Official: Courts That Recognize Gay Rights 'A Bigger Threat To The United States Than ISIS'

UPDATE: We've posted some video clips of the press conference's highlights.

The mood was apparently apoplectic at a press conference held by gay-rights opponents in front of the Alabama state judicial building yesterday, as one Republican state official called the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision “an assault on God, on Christian heritage and on our culture” and warned that the “runaway judiciary is a bigger threat to the United States than ISIS” and “liberal judges have done [more] harm to our country and our Constitution than Al Qaeda.”

Public Service Commissioner Chip Beeker, who made the ISIS remarks, was joined by Joe Godfrey of the Alabama Citizens Action Project, who warned that Christians will soon be fired from their jobs just for attending church and by John Eidsmoe, the influential Christian Reconstructionist thinker and Michele Bachmann mentor, who said that the Supreme Court’s decision is moot because two justices who had performed legal same-sex weddings should have recused themselves.

Eidsmoe is the senior counsel at the Foundation for Moral Law, the organization started by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has been clashing with the federal courts over marriage equality. The group, which is now led by Moore’s wife, Kayla, has questioned the “validity” of the decision and vowed to keep on fighting it.

The Montgomery Advertiser was on the scene of the press conference:

Public Service Commissioner Chip Beeker told the crowd that "five unelected and unaccountable justices imposed their will on the people of Alabama and the United States."

"This was not an interpretation of the Constitution. It was an assault on God, on Christian heritage and on our culture," Beeker said.

"The runaway judiciary is a bigger threat to the United States than Isis. Liberal judges have done harm to our country and our constitution than Al Qaeda."

Joe Godfrey, executive director of the Alabama Citizens Action Program, which lobbies the Legislature on behalf of churches, said people who attend churches that oppose same-sex marriage could be threatened with losing their jobs.

"I predict it's going to happen when big corporations, CEOs, tell people that work as their employees, ''You know, if you keep going to that church that teaches against homosexuality, teaches what the Bible says, we're going to have to let you go.'

"So they're going to be forced to make a choice between a church that they attend and have been attending for years, and their job."

[John] Eidsmoe also said the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision was illegitimate because two of the justices who supported it -- Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan -- had performed same-sex marriages.

The foundation had filed a motion for Ginsburg and Kagan to recuse themselves from the case.

"They were incapable of considering this question objectively," Eidsmore said. "And therefore, they had every duty to recuse."

FRC Warns Obama Trying To 'Eliminate' Christianity Through Gay Rights

The Religious Right’s fear-mongering of impending anti-Christian persecution in the wake of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision reached a crescendo last night with a fundraising email from the Family Research Council warning that President Obama plans to “eliminate” Christianity and demanding contributions “before it is literally too late.”

“[S]ame-sex ‘marriage’ is not the ultimate issue,” FRC President Tony Perkins warns in the email, “it is a stepping-stone. The real issue is the Obama administration's dogged determination to eliminate anything and everything that stands in the way of the President's radical agenda. Silence dissent. And to do that, you punish speech -- and belief.”

“Orthodox Christianity's truth doesn't change,” he adds, “and as long as we remain tethered to this transcendent, unchangeable truth, we are a problem for them. If you can't change it, you must eliminate it. Which is what they are seeking to do.”

“With the Supreme Court ruling to redefine marriage, things are going to get rough for Christians in America,” he writes, comforting his flock by quoting Jesus’ warnings to his disciples about persecution.

All emphases are in the original:

It is no exaggeration to say that this is a crisis.

FRC Action is moving fast on this. We are pushing for passage of FADA -- the First Amendment Defense Act: legislation that will help protect people of faith from their own government. It would prohibit discrimination against individuals, organizations and small businesses because of their belief in natural marriage.

Under FADA (similar to legislation previously known as the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act) the same institutions that Verrilli warned about -- child welfare organizations, private schools, religious universities, relief providers, abstinence groups, military religious contractors, adoption agencies, Christian hospitals, political nonprofits and others -- would be spared the government's crackdown.

But we need your help on this.

I'm asking you to take immediate action -- give a generous contribution to help us fight back before it's literally too late, and the exercise of our religious freedoms are relegated to a few hours on Sunday morning.

The Supreme Court case that revealed the government's intentions made it clear: same-sex "marriage" is not the ultimate issue; it is a stepping-stone. The real issue is the Obama administration's dogged determination to eliminate anything and everything that stands in the way of the President's radical agenda. Silence dissent. And to do that, you punish speech -- and belief.

We also need to understand: With the Supreme Court ruling to redefine marriage, things are going to get rough for Christians in America. But we should not be surprised. Jesus warned us this would happen in John Chapters 15 and 16 when He essentially says, I've warned you they will hate you because you follow Me, so that you're not surprised when it happens and it doesn't cause you to be offended and fall away from the truth.

In the view of the Left, standing firm for biblical values is beyond preposterous: it's dangerous. By holding fast to what the Bible teaches about human interactions, you make yourself dangerous to this government. Orthodox Christianity's truth doesn't change -- and as long as we remain tethered to this transcendent, unchangeable truth, we are a problem for them. If you can't change it, you must eliminate it. Which is what they are seeking to do.

Our culture has become dangerous.

If we don't stop this march against freedom now, we will see a rapid erosion of our liberties . We will see the disappearance of tax exemptions for Christian ministries and institutions and student loans for Christian students. We will see a renewed push for ENDA (the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act), which would tie the hands of Christian business owners. We will see a host of executive orders issued by the President before he leaves office.

This radical President is sure to push the envelope. He will make every move he can, with a firm belief that Republicans will not have the political will and courage to undo any of them.

Jindal: 'White House Made A Mockery Of Itself' In Reaction To Marriage & Health Care Rulings

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is furious at the Supreme Court for its rulings last week rejecting a challenge to the Affordable Care Act and knocking down same-sex marriage bans around the nation. In an interview with Iowa conservative radio host Simon Conway on Friday, Jindal repeated his suggestion that “we just get rid of the Supreme Court,” adding that the “upcoming assault on religious liberty” that he has been warning about “is here.”

“So the Supreme Court’s basically saying words have no meaning, we don’t have to follow the Constitution,” he said. “Simon, I’m always looking for ways to save money. Why don’t we just get rid of the Supreme Court? Chief Roberts is maybe a great politician, but their job isn’t to be politicians, isn’t to be elected officials, their job is to read and apply the Constitution.”

“I’ve been very, very worried about the upcoming assault on religious liberty,” he added. “It is here. If the left, they condone discrimination against Christian florist, business owners and others that don’t want to participate in wedding ceremonies that violate their conscience or religious beliefs.

“If the left were really honest, Simon, they should just repeal the First Amendment to the Constitution. They don’t believe in it, they don’t believe in the freedom of religious liberty, they don’t believe in the Second Amendment, might as well get rid of that while they’re out of it, they might as well try to get rid of the 10th Amendment, they don’t believe in states’ rights.”

He added that the “White House made a mockery of itself” in its celebration of both rulings.

Michael Brown Thanks Justice Kennedy For Religious Persecution That Will 'Galvanize' Church

Anti-gay activist Michael Brown released a snarky thank-you note today to Justice Anthony Kennedy, author of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision upholding marriage equality nationwide.  According to Brown’s letter, the ruling will “galvanize” the anti-marriage-equality movement the way Roe v. Wade galvanized the anti-abortion movement.

In a moment of time, you have done more to energize our side than a string of political victories for us could ever have done.

You have so painted us into a corner and so overstepped the bounds of your office that you have singlehandedly strengthened our resolve to stand, even unifying groups and individuals that had not worked together before now.

For that, sir, I sincerely thank you.

I also want to thank you for confirming what we have been saying for many years now, namely, that gay activism is the principle threat to our freedoms of speech, religion, and conscience.

Brown says the marriage equality ruling has given justification to “a torrent of hatred” aimed at religious conservatives, and he cites a biblical injunction from Jesus to his followers to rejoice when they face persecution.

Thank you, Justice Kennedy, for bringing unprecedented religious persecution to the shores of our nation.  Despite the darkness and pain ahead, this will only cause the Church to wake up and grow stronger.

It is worth noting that Brown made similar remarks about a wake-up call for the Church, as well as a “fresh call to revolution”  among America’s pastors, two years ago after Supreme Court rulings that overturned key sections of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and opened the door for same-sex couples in California to get legally married.  In that broadcast, Brown told Christians not to get upset about “gloating” from gay-rights activists, but to pity them because God will “have the last word.”

 

Benhams Celebrate Father's Day By Warning Of Impending Persecution, God's Wrath

Jim Garlow celebrated Father’s Day this year by inviting David and Jason Benham — conservative activists who became Religious Right martyrs when they lost a planned house-flipping TV show after their extreme views came to light — to speak about manly courage at his Skyline Church. As an extra bonus, the Benham brothers brought along their father, Flip Benham, a fiery street preacher and anti-choice activist who told the audience that the real problem of “fatherlessness” in America is the rejection of “the Heavenly Father.”

The elder Benham quoted the book of Malachi: “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, the hearts of the children to their fathers, or I will smite the land with a curse.”

“That is what is happening here,” he said, “fatherlessness. The Heavenly Father, we reject him, we’ve expelled him from school, we’ve banished him from the schoolyard and he’s been replaced with metal detectors, condoms, drugs and violence of unprecedented order, while we’re looking at each other with awkward amazement wondering what has happened here. When you move God, when you take Him out of the equation, violence always enters in.”

After the brothers told their story of persecution at the hands of gay rights activists, David Benham compared America today to first-century Rome, when Nero “started the persecution against the Christians” by using a “narrative that the Christians and Jews were haters of Rome because they would not bow to the emperor.”

“I’m telling you, the same spirit of Nero is in America,” he said, “and persecution is coming.”

Mat Staver Calls On Christians To Face Potential Gay-Marriage Martyrdom Like Daniel & Esther

In an interview with an Alabama Christian radio station on the day of the arguments in the Supreme Court marriage cases in April, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver warned that although “we have faced in Judeo-Christian history more dire times than this,” marriage equality opponents should be prepared to face martyrdom at the hands of an unjust government just like Daniel and Esther were in the Old Testament.

In anticipation of a decision striking down gay marriage bans, Staver said, “we must ask for God’s intervention, God’s grace, God’s forgiveness and God’s miraculous turn of events.”

If not, he said, marriage equality opponents should be prepared to emulate Daniel, who was thrown into a lion’s den, and Esther, who risked her life to save the Jews of Persia from execution.

“We may have to stand like that,” he said. “We may have to stand like people of old, like Martin Luther King, Jr., did when he faced unjust laws. And we have to be prepared to face the consequences. But one thing we cannot do, one thing we will not do because we cannot do it, we cannot betray our Lord, we cannot deny reality, we cannot disobey the scripture and the teachings of the church, that’s a line we cannot cross.”

Huckabee: If Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Marriage Bans, 'Everything Falls Away'

GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told Iowa-based talk radio host Simon Conway yesterday that if the Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage, “religious liberty in this country will radically change and it will never be the same again” and consequently all other liberties will fall away.

“The issue, for example, in marriage is really an issue about religious liberty,” he said. “That’s what the fundamental underlying issue, when the government can tell me how much I can believe, if it can restrict my faith and restrict my belief by putting a boot on religious liberty. Religious liberty is the heart of all freedoms, so if the government tells me what I can believe, they can tell me what I can say, what I can do, where I can go, with whom I can associate, they can restrict how much privacy I have. Everything falls away when the government takes away religious liberty.”

Laughably claiming that marriage equality isn’t “an issue that I’ve put front and center” but that the Supreme Court has forced him to talk about it, Huckabee insisted that the marriage case isn’t “about just having people who want to love each other.”

“No, this is not an expansion of marriage, this is a redefinition,” he said. “And when it changes, religious liberty in this country will radically change and it will never be the same again.”

Huckabee, who has vowed to block a pro-marriage-equality decision from the court if he becomes president, added, “By the way, I don’t think the Supreme Court can make a decision about same-sex marriage because they can no more suspend the law of nature than they can the law of gravity.” Such a decision, he said, would not be “the law of the land.”

“Judicial supremacy leads to judicial tyranny, and that’s where we’re headed,” he said.

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