Values Voter Summit

How Many Myths Of Anti-Christian 'Persecution' Can Kelly Shackelford Cite In One Speech? At Least Three

Whenever a new tale of supposed anti-Christian "persecution" begins to sweep through the Religious Right echo chamber, the chances are probably pretty good that it originated with The Liberty Institute. So it was only fitting that LI's president Kelly Shackelford kicked off the afternoon session of today's Values Voter Summit by citing at least three of these false tales as proof that Christians are under attack in America today:

The first claim about the young girl who was supposedly told she was not allowed to pray before eating her lunch turned out to be totally false, as it was a story that was completely ginned up by Liberty Institute, Todd Starnes, and the man in charge of marketing Starnes' latest book about ant-Christian persecution.

The second incident Shackelford cited is a myth that has been floating around Religious Right circles for nearly twenty years and was debunked nearly as long ago when school officials explained that the student in question was disciplined for fighting in the lunch room, not for praying.

The final claim about Sgt. Phillip Monk is something that Shackelford has been promoting for several years now, mainly by fundamentally misrepresenting what actually took place.

It is pretty telling that Shackelford's narrative of anti-Christian persecution in America relies on multiple incidents that are demonstrably false.

Robert Dees: 'Islamic Sanctuaries' Throughout America Are Protecting Terrorists

When not reflecting on Common Core’s threat to national security, Major Gen. (Ret.) Robert Dees told Values Voter Summit attendees that Nashville, Tennessee, Lackawanna, New York, Greenville, North Carolina and Dearborn, Michigan are “all Islamic sanctuaries in the United States within which there are fundamentalist sleeper cells.”

“We have been infiltrated,” he said. “The enemy is within.”

Dees, who now works at Liberty University, also claimed that “entitlements” and policies “catering to illegal immigrants” represent “a pervasive culture of appeasement” that are undermining America’s strength and might.

David Dewhurst: Prayer Rugs On Border Prove ISIS Is Here

Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst lost his re-election bid in the GOP primary this year because he was seen as too liberal, and before that he lost to Ted Cruz in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

But Dewhurst isn't exactly a flaming liberal.

In a speech to the Values Voter Summit, Dewhurst followed Cruz by attacking abortion rights and immigration reform. Dewhurst said President Obama “literally opened up the red carpet” for a “tsunami of unaccompanied children” with an immigration law signed in 2008, the year before Obama became president.

“If we don’t stop the bad guys at the border, they’re going to be in your hometown tomorrow,” he said.

He later claimed that prayer rugs found in Texas are proof that ISIS members may be crossing the southern border to “mobilize terrorist Islam against the United States.” We wonder if Dewhurst is referring to the Breitbart News story which confused a prayer rug with an Adidas jersey.

Bachmann Says America Is Engaged In 'Spiritual Warfare' Against Islam

While addressing the Values Voter Summit for the last time as a member of Congress, Michele Bachmann blasted President Obama for not realizing that America is engaged in "spiritual warfare" against Islam in our fight against ISIS and other terrorist organizations.

"This is spiritual warfare and what we need to do is defeat Islamic jihad," Bachmann proclaimed as she criticized Obama for not acknowledging this fact.

"Yes Mr. President, it is about Islam!"

Bachmann then once again offered her sage advice to defeating ISIS, advice she seems to think that Obama is ignoring as he launches airstrikes against them: "You kill their leader, you kill their council, you kill their army until they wave the white flag of surrender. That's how you win a war!"

Jerry Boykin: 'Don't Pray For God's Blessings On America,' 'Pray That God Will Forgive Us' For Abortion And Pornography

In an interview with the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios at the Values Voter Summit this morning, Family Research Council Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin predicted that God will soon humble America with a Civil-War-like reckoning for legal abortion and pornography, which he equated with “the evil, the sin of slavery.”

“If we ask God to humble us, if we ask God to bring us to a point where we do turn back to him… we’ve got to be prepared for greater persecution, we’ve got to be prepared to be knocked to our knees, not just invited to our knees, but knocked to our knees,” he said.

“Pray that God will forgive us,” he added. “Don’t pray for God’s blessings on America, I stopped doing that three years ago.”

He then said that legal abortion, pornography, and families “disintegrating at an incredible rate” have brought the country to a similar point that brought about the Civil War, which he said happened because “Americans realized that slavery was wrong and they began to repent for the evil.”

Every great revival in America, every great awakening in America started with an attitude of repentance. If you look at the Civil War, it came about because Americans realized that slavery was wrong and they began to repent for  the evil, the sin of slavery, which brought about the second Great Awakening, which brought about the Civil War. That’s where we are right now, where we’ve brought so much evil, we’ve killed 55 million of our children, we’ve destroyed our families, they’re disintegrating at an incredible rate, pornography is a multi-billion dollar evil. All that is evil that we’ve brought into our society and called it good.

Ted Cruz Throws Red Meat: Save America By Repealing Common Core And Obamacare

Ted Cruz knew just what Values Voter Summit attendees wanted to hear today, delivering a speech about how Democrats in Congress want to repeal the First Amendment’s free speech and religious liberty protections along with the Second Amendment. He even spoke out against Democrats for threatening the “right to privacy,” which ironically many conservatives believe is not part of in the Constitution but actually a liberal invention.

“Defend the values that are American values, we stand for life, we stand for marriage, we stand for Israel,” he said. 

Cruz, while applauding his own applause lines, then laid out the agenda for a GOP-controlled Senate.

“We abolish the IRS,” Cruz said, and “we repeal Common Core” — an odd agenda item since Common Core was not passed by Congress but enacted by various state legislatures controlled by Republicans and Democrats alike.

And of course, repeal Obamacare.

Values Voter Summit: Common Core, Not Climate Change, Threatens Security

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and former general Robert Dees appeared on a foreign policy panel at the Values Voter Summit this morning, where they and their fellow panelists spent a good amount of time discussing the 2012 Benghazi attack and President Obama’s supposed un-American attitude.

Dees said that Common Core is also a threat to America’s security, saying that the school standards initiative, just like the White House account of Benghazi, is a left-wing effort to promote “historical revisionism” that undermines the country’s “spiritual infrastructure.”

“The historical revisionism that we see in Benghazi is symptomatic of historical revisionism we see across our country, across the world of politics and even in the Common Core curriculum of the Obama administration,” he said, claiming White House officials “change the truth to fit our liberal agenda objectives.”

Meadows, for his part, mocked government officials who are concerned about climate change’s implications for national security: “How ridiculous is that when you have our fighting men and women, they get up and they say, ‘man it’s a little chilly, maybe today is the day that we’ve got to worry about climate change.’ It’s just ridiculous.”

Tony Perkins And Sandy Rios: Islam Is The 'Total Opposite Of Christianity,' 'Honors A God Of Death'

In an interview on American Family Radio at the Values Voter Summit this morning, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios discussed what they believe is President Obama’s attempt to purge Christianity from the military. They said America must fight Islam, which they described as “a movement that honors a god of death” and the “total opposite of Christianity.”

“Faith is a very strong component in a lot of lives of those who serve in our nation’s military,” Perkins said.

“And you know, the counter to that, of course, the Islamic movement, one of their goals, their top of the charts goal, is to express themselves as a religious movement, a movement dedicated to Allah,” Rios responded. “They don’t hide it, they call his name when they murder, so we are opposing a movement that honors a god of death, really. So this is no time to be shy about who it is that we serve.”

“Right, we’re 180 degrees from those that are pushing the Islamic religion, ISIS and others,” Perkins responded. “Contrary to what the president says, they are Islamic and they are pushing that religion, which is the total opposite of Christianity.”

Perkins then added a plug for Christianity’s “exclusive invitation” to salvation.


 

 

Boykin: Obama Doesn't Trust Military Leaders Because They Love America

Family Research Council Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin moderated a panel entitled "America Abroad: Our Role in the Global Quest for Freedom" at today's Values Voters Summit, which he closed out by declaring that President Obama will not listen to the advice of military leaders because those leaders love America, which is something the president can never understand.

Blasting Obama for sending U.S. soldiers to help contain the Ebola outbreak but not sending troops to fight ISIS, Boykin said "this president is thinking like a community organizer, not a Commander-in-Chief that takes the lives and futures of his soldiers, sailors, airman, and Marines seriously."

"We've got a community organizer that has surrounded himself with people that know everything about climate change, everything about Marxism, everything about the LGBT agenda, but virtually nothing about national security," Boykin said. "And he's unwilling to listen to his real professionals, that's the military professionals, because he doesn't trust them because they represent something that he's never been able to understand, and that's a love for America":

Tony Perkins Compares 'Bullying Of The Left' To Imprisonment Of Meriam Ibrahim

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios broadcasted her radio show live from the Values Voter Summit this morning, and her very first guest was Family Research Council president and VVS host Tony Perkins. (The American Family Association is also a major sponsor of the event.)

The two got things started by talking about Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian woman who was imprisoned for refusing to convert to Islam, who will be speaking at the summit tomorrow. Perkins, of course, quickly compared Ibrahim’s plight to the supposed persecution of conservative Christians in America, telling Rios that the story provides a good example to American “Christians who are so quick to go silent on their faith because of the intimidation and the bullying of the left.”

“We’re not backing up, we’re not going anywhere, we’re going to stand and defend our rights as Americans and we’re going to speak the truth,” he said. “We’ll speak it in love but we’re going to speak the truth.”

Later in the program, the two defined what the “values” in Values Voter Summit means.

“You know, when we say ‘VVS,’ the ‘values’ does mean values,” Perkins said.

“Not the ones the president describes, this redefinition of, what, multicultural, diversity, fairness, whatever. Those are not American values,” Rios replied.

“Those are the values that lead to a global nondescript society,” Perkins agreed. “That is not what made America an exceptional nation. It is those Judeo-Christian values that made the West distinct from the East.”
 

15 Values Voter Summit Speakers Who Think The US Is Becoming Nazi Germany

At the Values Voter Summit, which begins this Friday, Republican politicians and Religious Right leaders will come together to rebuke President Obama, attack the gay community and decry the current state of affairs in the U.S.

Subtlety and nuance aren’t this crowd’s strong suits. In fact, it wasn’t that hard for us to come up with a list of at least 15 scheduled summit speakers and panelists who believe that America has gotten so bad under Obama’s leadership that the country has become just like Nazi Germany.

1. Tony Perkins

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins thinks that gay rights supporters are bent on ushering in an anti-Christian holocaust. When are LGBT activists “going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians?” he asked in June.

Soon afterwards, Perkins said a caller on his “Washington Watch” radio show “hit the nail on the head” when she claimed Christians in America are about to be “loaded in cattle cars like it was when the Nazis took over.”

2. Mike Huckabee

Former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee agreed last year that it was “the truth” that bills introduced to prevent gun violence are just like what happened in Nazi Germany. “[T]hey’ll start saying, ‘Oh there you go comparing to the Nazis.’ And I understand the reaction, but it’s the truth,” Huckabee said. “In every society and culture where dictators take over, one of the things they have to do is get control of the military and the police and ultimately all of the citizens and make sure the citizens are disarmed and can’t fight in the streets.”

Huckabee has also claimed that the legalization of same-sex marriage will compel Christians to defy the government in order to uphold their religious beliefs, just like people who aided Jews broke the law during the Holocaust : “It was ‘illegal’ to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. But I am sure that if I had lived in Germany during that time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers even though it was illegal.”

3. Sandy Rios

American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios said last year that the “War on Christmas” is driving Christians underground and oppressing religious expression: “This is exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany.”

4. Glenn Beck

Unsurprisingly, Glenn Beck is pretty sure that “we are Germany 1930.” Earlier this year, Beck agreed with venture capitalist Tom Perkins that billionaires in America are just like Jews under Nazi oppression and said that officials like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are aspiring concentration camp guards. He has also predicted that the government will “scoop up” Tea Party members and “be remembered as the most evil nation in the history of the world, we will dwarf what Germany did.”

Beck predicts that President Obama is on the verge of breaking down, at which point he will “round up” conservatives and “put them in a camp.”

5. Jerry Boykin

Family Research Council executive vice president Jerry Boykin accused President Obama of reviving Hitler’s Brownshirts through the health care reform law.

“Remember Hitler had the Brownshirts and in the Night of the Long Knives, even Hitler got scared of the Brownshirts and killed thousands of them. So you say ‘are there any signs that that’s happened?’ And the truth is, yes,” Boykin said in 2010. “If you read the health care legislation which, by the way nobody in Washington has read, but if you read the health care legislation it’s actually in the health care legislation…. It's laying the groundwork for a constabulary force that will control the population in America.”

6. Michele Bachmann

At a campaign stop in New Hampshire during her presidential bid, Bachmann said that government inaction on the national debt reminded her of the world’s silence in the midst of the Holocaust. “We are seeing eclipsed in front of our eyes a similar death and a similar taking away. It is this disenfranchisement that I think we have to answer to,” she said.

Bachmann has also accused the Obama administration of setting up “reeducation camps for young people” through service-oriented programs like AmeriCorps.

In 2012, Bachmann alleged that the administration was “aiding and abetting” an Islamist plot to take over America and the rest of the world, calling on people to read about the Islamic “belief system” and find out “what they truly believe” just like how “the most important thing a person could do in World War II during that conflict was to read the book that the leader of Germany wrote.”

7. Jim Bob Duggar

In a speech to the 2013 Values Voter Summit, Jim Bob Duggar said his visit to Nazi concentration camps reminded him of the U.S., saying that the Holocaust is “where we are at in our nation.” When asked by reporters about his statement, Duggar said that America is experiencing “a baby holocaust.”

8. Todd Starnes

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes said last year that the so-called “War on Christmas” and purported acts of anti-Christian persecution under the Obama administration made him wonder if he was living in the U.S. or Nazi Germany: “This is not 1930s Germany, gentlemen, this is the United States of America, and unless people of faith stand up and put a stop to this, we very well could be facing a 1930s Germany here.”

9. Mat Staver

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel believes that the U.S. under President Obama’s leadership is now actually worse than Nazi Germany. He said this month that the Obama administration surpassed Nazi Germany’s crimes by “forcing” people to “participate in a genocide” through the contraceptive coverage mandate. He has also repeatedly argued that legal abortion is the same as the Holocaust.

Earlier this year, Staver drew a Nazi analogy while demanding that conservatives more strongly oppose gay marriage: “This is not an issue in which you can remain silent any more than you can remain silent during Nazi Germany.”

10. Louie Gohmert

Texas congressman Louie Gohmert — who early on in Obama’s term agreed with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ predictions that the president would introduce policies reminiscent of Hitler — took to the House floor in May to accuse gay rights advocates of treating their opponents in the same way that the Nazis demonized the people they oppressed:

So it is amazing that in the name of liberality, in the name of being tolerant, this fascist intolerance has arisen. People that stand up and say, you know, I agree with the majority of Americans, I agree with Moses and Jesus that marriage was a man and a woman, now all of a sudden, people like me are considered haters, hate mongers, evil, which really is exactly what we've seen throughout our history as going back to the days of the Nazi takeover in Europe. What did they do? First, they would call people "haters" and "evil" and build up disdain for those people who held those opinions or religious views or religious heritage. And then the next came, well, those people are so evil and hateful, let's bring every book that they've written or has to do with them and let's start burning the books, because we can't tolerate their intolerance.

11. Mark Levin

Conservative talk radio show host Mark Levin claimed last year that President Obama was organizing a Brownshirt paramilitary to defend and promote the Affordable Care Act. “All they need is special uniforms,” Levin said of Obamacare supporters. “Learn how to march and salute and carry flags. I think brown would be good, you know, Brownshirts.”

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Levin said then-presidential candidate Obama was “really into these big German-like events” reminiscent of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

12. Ed Vitagliano

After the 2008 election, the American Family Association’s Ed Vitagliano urged the organization’s members to pray for President Obama just as one would pray for Adolf Hitler to veer away from his wicked ways. He especially urged his readers to pray to block Obama’s “plans to push both abortion and the gay agenda.”

“Obama is like Hitler because, while Hitler primarily slaughtered the Jews in the Holocaust, Obama’s support for abortion is similarly evil,” Vitagliano said. “Now I think the moral equivalency of the Holocaust and abortion is a good, defensible argument. Both objectified a category of human beings and then took horrifying steps to pursue their murder. The depths of evil connected to the Holocaust and abortion are equally difficult to comprehend.”

13. Harry Jackson

Religious right activist and preacher Harry Jackson said in 2012 that the success of “radical gay activists” was turning America into Nazi Germany:

They want to impose their will on the culture and if you cannot reproduce you may try to recruit, and what I mean by that is what is going on is an attempt to reshape, refashion the mind, hearts and desires of the next generation. Many Christians are sitting back and we aren’t speaking out, but the reality is just like during the times of Hitler we have people coming after one group after another group after another group, and folks are saying, well this doesn’t affect me I’ll let this slide, we have a problem that really we have a whole generation of people who want to affect not only their lives and choices but the choices of another generation.

14. Rick Santorum

After losing his 2012 presidential bid, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum became a Christian film producer, and he recently unveiled a new movie called “One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty.” Santorum’s latest film depicts the U.S. in a dire state eerily similar to Nazi Germany, warning that America’s transformation into a tyrannical, Nazi state will be complete thanks to the silence of conservative Christians. You can get some of the flavor of the film from its trailer, which includes footage of Germany in the 1930s.

While campaigning against for president, Santorum also told a church gathering that people should get involved in his bid to defeat Obama just as the Greatest Generation fought the spread of Nazism.

15. Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz launched his faux-filibuster against Obamacare by arguing that refusing to fight the implementation of the health care reform law was just like appeasing Adolf Hitler, and people who didn't support his plans to stop the law were like Neville Chamberlain.

As Jon Stewart explains, “Ted Cruz says we’re at Defcon Nazi.”

 

Ted Cruz's Dream Cabinet: Values Voter Summit Speakers Ready To Serve In The Cruz White House

It is no secret that Sen. Ted Cruz is a favorite of Religious Right activists. After all, at last year’s Values Voter Summit, the Texas Republican received a euphoric welcome and when one member of the audience declared that God supported Cruz’s effort to shut down the government, he was met with an enthusiastic round of applause. It’s no wonder that Cruz has won the hearts of the GOP’s far-right base, given his penchant for paranoid and incendiary rhetoric along with his boasts about his superior religious convictions.

And the affection seems to be mutual. If Cruz were to win the presidency in 2016, we imagine that his cabinet would look a lot like this week’s Values Voter Summit lineup.

So, we’ve decided to help Cruz out and pick him out a “dream cabinet” consisting exclusively of Values Voter Summit speakers.

Tony Perkins, Secretary of Homosexuality

To say that the Family Research Council leader and Values Voter Summit host is obsessed with homosexuality would be putting it mildly. Perkins fears that gays and lesbians are such a threat that he predicts they will bring about a holocaust of Christians. He calls gay people “vile” and “hateful” pawns of “The Enemy” — Satan — who are “engaged in activity, behavior and an agenda that will destroy them and our nation.”

Perkins spoke out in favor of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which, at the time, included a provision making homosexuality an offense punishable by death in some cases. He has also labeled pedophilia a “homosexual problem.”

What’s more, Perkins comes with a built-in circle of anti-gay advisors: For instance, one of his FRC colleagues once suggested that the U.S. “export homosexuals” because “homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Mike Huckabee, Secretary of Women’s Issues

After vigorously campaigning on behalf of failed Senate candidate Todd Akin and defending the Missouri Republican’s “legitimate rape” comments, Huckabee somehow managed to become the RNC’s “model” for speaking about social issues. Huckabee further displayed this model behavior at an RNC meeting this year, where he claimed that Democrats see women as “helpless and hopeless creatures” who need help from “Uncle Sugar” because they “cannot control their libido.”

Huckabee is a strong supporter of “personhood” laws that would criminalize abortion in all cases, along with common forms of birth control. Although he said rules ensuring that Hobby Lobby employees have birth control coverage would destroy the freedom of religion, as governor of Arkansas, he signed regulations on contraception coverage that had a wider impact on religiously-affiliated groups than the federal rules he now denounces as abortion subsidies and threats to liberty.

Sandy Rios, Secretary of Chain Emails

Thankfully, American Family Radio talk show host Sandy Rios breaks through the biased liberal media filter by citing the news sources America trusts: chain emails. Rios has repeatedly pointed to spurious Internet hoaxes and urban legends to warn about how same-sex marriage is encouraging incest or to expose President Obama’s Muslim writings.

Rios has also cited erroneous right-wing chain emails to shine light on Obama’s purported plan to Islamize America and his real birth place (Kenya). While such stories may not technically be true, they definitely feel true!

Michele Bachmann, Secretary of Truth

Many politicians pretend to believe in outlandish things as a way to throw red meat to their party’s base, but the Secretary of Truth pretends nothing. Whatever you may think about Michele Bachmann, she really does seem to believe that vaccinations cause mental retardation, Obamacare death panels will “literally kill” people, gays want to “freely prey on little children sexually” and AmeriCorps programs are really “re-education camps.” Bachmann also claims to be an expert in Islam, Judaism and the End Times (or, as she believes, the present day).

In fact, Bachmann speaks so much truth that the Associated Press had to impose a fact-checking “quota” on her remarks.

Sarah Palin, Secretary of Syntax

Sarah Palin is known for her captivating way with words and is always providing new material for observers of an evolving English language. Since Cruz sees Palin as a “fearless” leader of the conservative movement, certainly she can serve in a role greater than poet laureate. After all, it’s not everyone who is able to rewrite (with help from the Internet) the works of Dr. Seuss:

Todd Starnes, Secretary of Scam Artistry

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, ever the muckraker, claims to have blown the whistle on dozens of scandals involving anti-Christian persecution in America.

However, many of his reports have been completely debunked, including his stories about forced lesbian kisses in schools and discrimination against Christian athletes, kindergartenersfirst gradersmilitary service members and people celebrating Christmas. He has also falsely accused the military of court martialing Christians and blocking access to a church website, and made bogus statements about “gangs of roving thugs” and anti-Christian zealots running New York.

But don’t worry, none of these false reports have in any way negatively impacted Starnes’ career or his reputation, as he swears he only reports on “the most accurate information possible.”

Glenn Beck will also be addressing the summit, meaning that Starnes will have a real fight on his hands for this prestigious Cabinet office.

Jerry Boykin, Secretary of Islam

Protecting religious liberty is one of the major issues of the Values Voter Summit this year, and religious liberty has no better friend than FRC Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin, who cherishes the First Amendment so deeply that he wants to ban mosques and strip Muslim-Americans of their First Amendment rights (a view that FRC’s president, Tony Perkins, shares). Boykin insists that the Constitution should not protect Muslims because their religion will “destroy” America “from within.”

Boykin also believes that the Obama administration’s actions are part of a spiritual war against Christianity which will provoke people to “take up arms” against the government and even prompt military leaders to hope to “fulfill their constitutional duty and take out the president.”

Jim Bob Duggar, Secretary of Historical Analysis

Reality TV star Jim Bob Duggar, a frequent right-wing campaign surrogate whose son Josh serves as executive director of the Family Research Council, made a splash at last year’s summit when he said that a visit to a Nazi concentration camp reminded him of the U.S. today. Speaking of the Holocaust, he said, “that’s where we are at in our nation.” In Duggar’s telling, the Nazis are pro-choice advocates who have taken over America, while Duggar and his conservative movement allies are like concentration camp liberators.

While defending his remarks to the press, Duggar said Roe v. Wade has led to “a baby holocaust” no different than what took place in Nazi Germany.

Louie Gohmert, Secretary of Intelligence

Louie Gohmert, an actual congressman, has many smart things to say. For example, he believes that Obamacare will “absolutely kill senior citizens” and set up a “secret security force”; thinks America is worse off now than it was during the days of slavery; worries that “extreme leftists” and “radical jihadists” are working together to bring terror babies into the U.S.; and claims that Obama is “supporting” Al Qaeda and Democrats are hoping for terrorist attacks “to create a new jobs bill.”

He is also a zoologist, having warned that a wildlife protection bill would send animals to China and we would “end up with moo goo dog pan or moo goo cat pan.” He once also memorably defended oil pipelines by linking them to caribou sex.

Gohmert is an expert in the field of human sexuality, although he asserts that sex-ed classes are reminiscent of the Soviet Union. The Republican especially knows a thing or two about homosexuality, warning that gay marriage signals the collapse of civilization and will lead America “down the road to the dustbin of history”; claiming that those of “the persuasion of being homosexual” violate “the plumbing that God created”; insisting that gay people undermine humanity’s evolution (which he insists he doesn’t believe in himself); fearing that America will cease to exist because of gays serving openly in the military; and positing that gay marriage will lead to bestiality and extreme restrictions on gun rights.

Mat Staver, Secretary of Ex-Gays

While not an “ex-gay” himself, Liberty Counsel attorney Mat Staver is a leading proponent of sexual orientation conversion therapy and is attempting to bring his defense of the discredited, pseudo-scientific practice to the Supreme Court.

Staver has also been tied to an “ex-gay” client’s alleged kidnapping of her daughter to Central America to avoid sharing custody with the daughter’s other mother. He claims that gay people want to “entrap” and “groom” children and force them “into a lifestyle of destruction” by barring the use of ex-gay therapy on minors.

Staver will likely have many immediate policy changes to suggest, as he fears that the Obama administration supports “forced homosexuality” and likens fading opposition to gay rights to silence in Nazi Germany about the Holocaust.

Tim Sheets: Time For God's Chosen Ones To Rule And Reign With Him

As Religious Right activists descend on Washington, D.C., for this weekend’s Values Voter Summit, dominionist and self-described apostle Tim Sheets is calling on God’s chosen ones to be ever more bold and aggressive. Sheets is an Ohio-based pastor who, like his brother Dutch Sheets, is a partner of self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs. And while the Sheets brothers and Jacobs are not on the Values Voter Summit agenda, VVS host Family Research Council has partnered with their ministries in the Freedom Federation and its Awakening conferences, and in a 2012 campaign meant to influence the 2012 elections.

In a new Prophetic Insight column for Charisma Magazine, Tim Sheets delivers a call to arms:

The alarm clock of heaven is now ringing on the night stand of a sleeping church; time to rise, time to rise to the occasion, time to get up! The Lord says, "I have lions hidden in My remnant, not wolves. They will now rise to patrol and remove the defeated ones, wolf packs, that have come to scatter My flocks. My lions will be fierce, bold, aggressive and unintimidated. They will not flinch when adversaries advance. They will stand strong," says the Lord, "and fearless. 

"A new roar will be heard from My tribe announcing territorial dominion. A roar claiming geographical and spiritual jurisdiction shall now sound from My remnant; a roar establishing that the throne of the territory is occupied and guarded. A rule against hell's power shall be sounded. A roar of authority in My Name shall come against hell's intrusions. My called-out ones, My sent ones, will now become step-forward ones.

"They will move forward in My power. They will manifest their rights as sons and daughters of God ruling and reigning with Me. As intended, My heirs are stepping from the shadows of cultural bondage. They shall now display disdain of enemy princes, mights, thrones, dominions and rulers of darkness. No longer will they compromise in shared rule; no longer settling for cohabitation, no longer accepting shared occupancy.

For people not familiar with this kind of rhetoric, it is at the heart of the dominionst notion of a new generation of anointed followers “ruling and reigning” with God. Tim’s brother Dutch Sheets preaches that the church is meant to be God’s government on earth. Lou Engle, who has gained infamy for traveling to Uganda to “encourage” anti-gay leaders there, has said,

“The church’s vocation is to rule history with God…The same authority that has been given to Christ Jesus for overwhelming conquering and dominion has been given to the saints of the most high…We’re God’s rulers upon the earth…We will govern over kings and judges will have to submit…We’re called to rule! To change history! To be co-regents with God!”

That’s the same Lou Engle who introduced Rep. Michele Bachmann at the Family Research Council’s 2009 “prayercast” that called on God to defeat health care reform.

Back to Tim Sheets’ new column, where he channels a God who is ready to clear the decks of humanism and anti-Christ dominions:

"Passive appeasement has now been replaced with backbones of steel, lips set on fire with Holy ingots, and a shout of the King is in their voice indeed. Jericho's shout decree is in their mouth. Determined faith shall now be seen in My faithful ones as they march to remove demon philosophies and doctrines of devils from the land. No shared rule," says the Lord.

"My rule, My rule shall prevail. My words shall prevail. Power to prevail is being poured out. Power to prevail is soaking My remnant. Power to overcome hell's strategies; power to overcome demon doctrine and rebel government; power to more than conquer demon tactics is being released. Those who stand with Me shall see hell's fire misfire.

"So arise and rule. Rise and roar with My authority. I will fill your enemy's mouth with sand and their hearts with quicksand. They will find themselves stuck in their own mire. Roar with My freedom. Roar with My liberty. Let rejoicing roar out of Zion. March in to battle with confident peace.

"Great revival fire will now begin to burn through intercession-soaked regions as My awakening begins to roll. The regions will now become activated by My glory. My shaking has come. I am shaking earth. I am shaking heaven. Walls, strongholds, obstacles and hell's defenses are being shaken down, and My remnant is being shaken free. My shaking will open ancient wells of revival. The revival in the womb of My intercessors will now be birthed.

God, writes Tim Sheets, is also “removing arrows” of betrayal, deceit, and gossip from his “royal priesthood” in preparation for the coming battle:

"I am now coming to My remnant. And I am now coming as Lord Sabaoth-Lord of Angel Armies. Because of alignment with My purpose, I will now align My hosts to assist aggressively. There is now a convergence of the angel armies and the church's prayer army into a divine coalition; the coalition of My willing; those who run to battle, not from it.

"My earth and My heaven's armies will now challenge thrones of iniquity, thrones of idolatry, thrones of rebellion, thrones of witchcraft, thrones of humanism and antichrist dominions. Battalions are dispatched and await the decrees of My word through the saints to overthrow iniquitous thrones so My saints can sit with Me.

"My greatest campaign on Earth is due. Decree it," says the Lord. "Align your words with Mine, and angel forces shall align with you. Align with angel forces in your regions, and I will accelerate an alignment within your nation. Yes, revival is now. The harvest is now," says the Lord. "Victory is now," says the Lord. "Arise and pursue My cause. Arise and roar. Arise and fight. Arise and shine. Your light has come, and the glory of your God shines upon you."

If all this whets your appetite for more Tim Sheets, you can find more of him on YouTube.

PFAW & Allies Send Open Letter To RNC Chair: 'Where Does The GOP Stand On Gay Bashing?'

In anticipation of this weekend’s annual Values Voter Summit, a multi-day event where GOP elected officials and presidential hopefuls rub elbows with Religious Right leaders, People For the American Way President Michael Keegan joined the leaders of the Southern Poverty Law Center and five other civil rights and LGBT organizations in an open letter calling on Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus to ask members of his party to disassociate themselves from the summit.

The letter, printed in the Washington Post and The Hill this morning, highlights the repeated and vicious demonization of LGBT people by the groups responsible for the summit, including its host, the Family Research Council:

Its president, Tony Perkins, has repeatedly claimed that pedophilia is a “homosexual problem.” He has called the “It Gets Better” campaign — designed to give LGBT students hope for a better tomorrow — “disgusting” and a “concerted effort” to “recruit” children into the gay “lifestyle.”

… Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, a summit sponsor, has said the U.S. needs to “be more like Russia,” which enacted a law criminalizing the distribution of LGBT “propaganda.” He also has said, “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine, and six million dead Jews.”

By participating in the summit, Republican Party leaders risk legitimizing this kind of virulent extremism. Given that reality, the letter asks a simple question: where does the GOP stand on gay bashing? Reince Priebus himself has said, “People in this country, no matter straight or gay, deserve dignity and respect.” But will he walk the talk and, as the letter asks, “tell the members of your party to shun groups that demean other people and deny them dignity?”

You can read the full letter here.
 

This post originally appeared on the PFAW blog.

PFAW & Allies Send Open Letter to RNC Chair: “Where Does the GOP Stand on Gay Bashing?”

In anticipation of this weekend’s annual Values Voter Summit, a multi-day event where GOP elected officials and presidential hopefuls rub elbows with Religious Right leaders, People For the American Way President Michael Keegan joined the leaders of the Southern Poverty Law Center and five other civil rights and LGBT organizations in an open letter calling on Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus to ask members of his party to disassociate themselves from the summit.

The letter, printed in the Washington Post and The Hill this morning, highlights the repeated and vicious demonization of LGBT people by the groups responsible for the summit, including its host, the Family Research Council:

Its president, Tony Perkins, has repeatedly claimed that pedophilia is a “homosexual problem.” He has called the “It Gets Better” campaign — designed to give LGBT students hope for a better tomorrow — “disgusting” and a “concerted effort” to “recruit” children into the gay “lifestyle.”

… Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, a summit sponsor, has said the U.S. needs to “be more like Russia,” which enacted a law criminalizing the distribution of LGBT “propaganda.” He also has said, “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine, and six million dead Jews.”

By participating in the summit, Republican Party leaders risk legitimizing this kind of virulent extremism. Given that reality, the letter asks a simple question: where does the GOP stand on gay bashing? Reince Priebus himself has said, “People in this country, no matter straight or gay, deserve dignity and respect.” But will he walk the talk and, as the letter asks, “tell the members of your party to shun groups that demean other people and deny them dignity?”

You can read the full letter here.
 

PFAW

Beware The Gay Antichrist! The Seven Most Appalling Moments In Values Voter Summit History

 
Every year since 2006, Republican leaders have joined some of the country’s most notorious anti-gay, anti-choice activists and fringe conspiracy theorists at the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voter Summit.
 
 
Don’t be surprised if summit speakers venture off into the deep-end of the right-wing fringe this week. Far from anomalies, intolerant rhetoric, self-serving claims of persecution and doomsday predictions are a Values Voter Summit tradition.
 
Here, we’ve collected seven of the worst moments from previous Values Voter Summits.
 
1. The Antichrist Will Be Gay
 
The Values Voter Summit is often an educational affair, and one thing we learned at the 2006 conference is that the Antichrist will be gay. Right-wing pastor Dwight McKissic told the VVS audience that year that the gay rights movement is a “Satanic” effort birthed “from the pit of Hell itself,” before suggesting that “the Antichrist himself may be homosexual.”
 
“The gay rights movement, I believe, was birthed and inspired by the Antichrist,” McKissic added, while conservative pastor and co-panelist Wellington Boone lamented that it is no longer socially acceptable to call people “faggots.”
 
 
2. Hillary Clinton Will Imprison Christians, ‘Shut Down’ Churches
 
Remember when Hillary Clinton destroyed the Constitution, closed churches and put all Christians in jail? No? Well, 2012 speaker Kamal Saleem predicted that by the end of her term as secretary of state, Clinton would “subjugate American people to be arrested and put to jail and their churches and synagogues shut down.”
 
Saleem has made a career as a phony ex-terrorist who converted to Christianity, and has concocted several other insane conspiracy theories.
 

Of course, the Values Voter Summit regularly features warnings that the U.S. has morphed into Nazi Germany and will establish concentration camps for Christians.
 
3. Mormonism Meltdown
 
On one rare occasion, even a Republican politician couldn’t ignore the rank bigotry that takes place at the Values Voter Summit.
 
In 2011, televangelist Robert Jeffress, who introduced then-presidential candidate Rick Perry at the summit, blasted Mitt Romney in a post-speech interview as a cult member and fake Christian, comments thatcame as no surprise since Jeffress had railed against the Mormon faith and Romney in previous speeches.
 
Romney, incidentally, was set to speak that year immediately prior to American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who is notorious for his incendiary comments about gays and lesbians, immigrants, African Americans, Native Americans, Muslims and, yes, Mormons. During his speech, Romney criticized Fischer’s “poisonous language,” prompting Fischer to lash back at Romney. Romney ally Bill Bennett also jumped in, criticizing Jeffress for promoting “bigotry” while Perry went back and forth between ignoring the controversy and eventually distancing himself from Jeffress.
 
While Romney may have spoken out against Fischer during the summit, Fischer had the last laugh as he succeeded in his campaign to oust a gay official from Romney’s presidential campaign.
 
That wasn’t the last time we would see infighting at the Values Voter Summit. Last year, Rep. Louie Gohmert accused Sen. John McCain of supporting Al Qaeda, to which McCain responded: “Sometimes comments like that are made out of malice, but if someone has no intelligence I don't feel it as being a malicious statement.”
 
4. Demand Abortions Be Performed In Public
 
Lila Rose, the anti-choice activist known for her campaigns against Planned Parenthood, had a modest proposal at the 2009 summit: “If I could insist, as long as they are legal in our nation, abortions will be done in the public square.”
 
Rose, who sees herself as the Malala Yousafzai of America, said that mandatory public abortions are necessary so we can “hear angels singing when we ponder the glory of conception.”
 
Many other Values Voter Summit speakers have also shared memorable messages for the women of America.
 

 
5. Perkins Mocks Gay Soldiers
 
At the 2010 summit, in the midst of the fight over the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins warned that if the ban on openly gay service members was lifted, then the U.S. military would become nothing but a parade-marching force.
 
Speaking on a panel with Bob Maginnis, FRC’s senior fellow for national security, Perkins said that militaries that allow openly gay members — which by that time included Israel and NATO allies such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany — are the “ones that participate in parades, they don't fight wars to keep the nation and the world free.”
 
 
6. A Bigger Crown In Heaven
 
Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean told the 2009 conference that while she may have lost the beauty competition, which she said was a result of her answer to a question about gay marriage, she knew “that the Lord has so much of a bigger crown in Heaven for me.”
 
In fact, she said, the “vicious” reaction she received following the pageant was one of worst incidents of persecution in American history.
 
Prejean later sued Miss USA for discrimination but settled the case for legal fees after a sex tape she had made materialized.
 

 
7. Obamacare 'Is The Worst Thing That Has Happened In This Nation Since Slavery'
 
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Values Voter Summit speakers have been in a fierce competition to see who can come up with the most insane reaction to the law. Michele Bachmann pilloried the health law as “DeathCare,” Ken Cuccinelli blasted it as “the greatest erosion of liberty” in modern history and Rick Santorum linked it to the French Revolution.
 
 

After all this, it is no wonder that Santorum told the Values Voter Summit in 2012 that “we will never have the elite, smart people on our side.”

Tony Perkins Uses Meriam Ibrahim To Promote Anti-Obama, Anti-Gay Agenda

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins has excitedly touted a big “get” for this week’s Values Voter Summit: Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman who was persecuted by the Sudanese government over charges of apostasy. Evangelicals in the U.S. were part of the international chorus of voices who worked to keep a spotlight on Ibrahim’s plight, and Ibrahim may wish to thank some of the activists who advocated for her freedom.

But Perkins and FRC have another agenda entirely: They have been using Ibrahim as a prop in their relentless, over-the-top attacks on the Obama administration — and their claims that Christians in America are themselves facing government persecution.

Ibrahim’s vividly compelling case — for being a Christian, she was shackled to a prison floor with one small child while pregnant, then gave birth in jail — drew worldwide attention. Ibrahim had a Muslim father but was raised by a Christian mother, and in 2011 she married a Catholic American, Daniel Wali.  She was arrested last September after being charged with apostasy — abandoning the Muslim faith — and for adultery given that the court didn’t recognize her marriage to a Christian.  This May she was sentenced to receive 100 lashes and be hanged.

An Amnesty International campaign on her behalf generated more than a million signatures. European leaders condemned her treatment and called for her release. In the U.S., religious and political leaders called for her freedom. A petition on the White House website pushed by Perkins and others gained more than 50,000 signatures.

On May 15, the White House condemned her sentence in a statement by National Security Council Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden, which urged the government of Sudan to respect Ibrahim’s religious freedom andto respect the fundamental freedoms and universal human rights of all its people.” The State Department also expressed concerns in May; Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement in June.

Ibrahim was freed on June 23, then re-arrested and detained briefly when she tried to leave the country. She was sheltered by the U.S. embassy for about a month until she was permitted to leave Sudan in late July. She is now living with her husband and children in New Hampshire.

Perkins has repeatedly used Ibrahim’s plight as a way to hammer the Obama administration. 

In late May, Perkins fumed:

While many international groups have taken up efforts to pressure the Sudanese government to release Meriam and her children, the Obama administration has said little, and done nothing.

Think about this: two innocent American children are imprisoned abroad as their life hangs in the balance. If President Obama will not act in a situation like this, what will he act upon? Does Obama care?

Fox News’ hosts got in on the act, even as its own website was contradicting those claims.  A May 31 Fox News story by Joshua Rhett Miller was headlined, “US 'fully engaged' in case of Sudanese woman sentenced to die for Christian faith.” It included a quote from the State Department:

Through the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, the White House and the State Department, we have communicated our strong concern at high levels of the Sudanese government about this case,” State Department spokeswoman Nicole Thompson wrote FoxNews.com in an email. “We have heard from many, many Americans that they are deeply alarmed by [Ibrahim’s] plight. We have conveyed these views to the Government of Sudan.”

Yet the video at the top of that very story on the Fox News website featured Perkins saying the U.S. government was doing “so far, nothing that we can tell” other than condemning Ibrahim’s treatment. Megyn Kelly fumed that the State Department had “refused to say bupkis” about what the U.S. government was doing. If Perkins or Kelly were aware of the possibility that U.S. officials may have believed that quiet diplomacy would be more effective, they gave no hint of it.

Other conservatives piled on: On June 11, Nina Shea at the Hudson Institute wrote, “And, as Ibrahim looks toward an appeals court review of her case, President Obama and the U.S. State department have been silent about it.”

On June 12, FRC and Concerned Women for America held a rally in front of the White House. Perkins was joined by Obama-bashers Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Trent Franks. Perkins’ remarks were wildly inflammatory.  “There was a time when people of faith could sit down inside the White House and talk about these issues,” he said. Claiming that administration inaction was threatening the lives of Ibrahim’s children, Perkins said, “If this president is content with the blood of small children on his hands, then God help him.”

Perkins continued throughout the summer to complain that the Obama administration was doing nothing to help Ibrahim, even though he was told otherwise on his own radio show by a Republican congressman. On June 23, Perkins had Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., on his radio show to talk about the case. As Brian reported in RWW, Meadows undermined Perkins’ attacks on the administration:

Asked if the State Department was working to help Ibrahim and her children, Meadows reported that the U.S. has in fact worked vigorously behind the scenes to free Ibrahim: “I got off of a call not more than an hour or so ago and a number of agencies across the board are working hand-in-glove to make sure that this is handled quickly and efficiently. And I am heartened by what I heard on that phone call and really encouraged that this is a government that cares about people. Sometimes I wish they would speak up louder and quicker, but I can tell you behind the scenes a number of agencies are working to make sure that they are safe.”

In July, Perkins testified about the case at a congressional subcommittee hearing. One of his fellow panelists, Grover Rees, who served as a U.S. ambassador during the George W. Bush presidency, said that even though Ibrahim’s husband had said he was rebuffed by a U.S. consular officer when he sought help, Rees believed that government agencies were doing what they could. Rees said that “the State Department seems to be making amends, supplying appropriate attention and care.”

Perkins has even kept up the Obama-bashing rhetoric since Ibrahim’s release and safe passage to the U.S. In August, Perkins cited the case as a reason people think Obama is a Muslim.

Perkins isn’t alone. In August, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer allied himself with ISIS’s characterization of Iraq’s Yazidi minority and griped, “Obama will fight for Satan-worshipers but not for Christians!”

ISIS has been beheading Christian children and crucifying Christians by the side of the road. Christians for months have been fleeing Iraq in droves ahead of the murderous hordes of Al Qaeda. And Obama yawns.

When Christian wife and mother Meriam Ibrahim is imprisoned in Sudan for being a Christian, and forced to give birth in a filthy jail cell while shackled to the wall, Obama yawns. While Christian pastor and American citizen Saeed Abedini languishes in the hellhole of an Iranian prison, Obama yawns.

But when worshipers of Lucifer get in trouble at the hands of the same blood-thirsty savages, suddenly Obama springs into action.

What this reveals about the president’s religious sympathies I will leave for others to decide. But it can’t be good.

Real Persecution vs the Religious Right’s Persecution Complex

We have previously suggested that American religious conservatives should be ashamed of equating their policy disagreements or losses in legal disputes with the kind of brutal religious persecution experienced by Meriam Ibrahim and so many Christians and other religious minorities around the globe. But Perkins and others have been happy to use her case to promote their narrative that Christianity in the U.S. is on the verge of being criminalized.

Advocates for LGBT equality are often portrayed as persecutors of Christians, as in Perkins’ statement in June that he was wondering, “When are they going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians?” As part of FRC’s announcement that Ibrahim would be speaking at the Values Voter Summit, Perkins said: 

"Meriam's bold stand for Jesus Christ as she faced death has touched the hearts of people in every nation. Her incredible example of courage should inspire Christians in America to be bold and courageous in their faith as we witness growing religious hostility here in our country.”

At a July 23 hearing by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, Perkins said:

“It is difficult to look at these facts [about Ibrahim’s case] and not understand then in the light of the current administration’s unilateral reinterpretation of religious freedom domestically. This administration believes religious beliefs should be quarantined to private spaces and excluded from the public space. This truncated view of religious freedom domestically, more accurately described as the freedom of worship, is matched by the administration’s failure to even address the growing threats to religious freedom internationally.”

In August, Dusty Gates, who works for the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, wrote in Crisis magazine that liberals were uncomfortable supporting Ibrahim because they don’t support religious freedom in the U.S.

Naturally, this victory for freedom (liber) is being celebrated, at least to some degree, by liberals of all kinds. A human being freed from oppression, especially from such extreme persecution as Ibrahim faced, seems to be a grand slam for the liberal cause. But with the Ibrahim case, as well as the larger situation of global anti-Christian persecution, is causing liberals to sweat a little. Just as they stand up to cheer, it seems that their impending jubilation is cut short; subdued by a palpable fear that maybe they shouldn’t be celebrating the thing they want to celebrate. “A victory for freedom? Hoora… Oh wait, for religious freedom? Uh oh….”

Gates even slammed the welcome given Ibrahim by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, saying the Nutter’s comparison of Ibrahim to Rosa Parks rather than to other religious martyrs was “a subtle attempt to hijack Ibrahim’s story: taking it out of its full context and using it as a vehicle for the liberal agenda.”

In June, Christian author Benjamin Corey called out right-wing claims of religious persecution in the United States:

Meanwhile in the United States, we’re going about our daily lives panicking with cries of religious persecution as well…although, they’re not the cries one would think. Instead of a collective focus on wide-spread human rights abuses and religious persecution in places like Sudan, North Korea where an estimated 33,000 Christians have been incarcerated in prison camps, or the estimated thousands who actually die for their religious faith each year, we’re focused on a first world version of persecution that’s not really persecution at all.

When A&E temporarily made the decision to disassociate with Phil from Duck Dynasty over anti-gay comments he made in the media, it was labeled as “persecution”.

When public business owners in the baking industry have insisted on the right to discriminate and faced just accountability, it becomes another example of “persecution”.

We even have potential presidential candidates perpetuating such a persecution complex, with figures like Rick Santorum falsely stating that people who oppose same sex marriage are being sent to re-education camps.

With all of the legitimate and horrifying human rights violations occurring in the world, some in America have sadly adopted a very first world, privileged, and self-centered version of persecution. Instead of doubling efforts to shed light on international abuses, we’ve seen a flood of first world persecution claims– from internet trolls right up to the right wing members of government.

…Let’s reserve the “persecution” word for the real thing– such as what we saw in the case of Meriam Ibrahim.

Using Ibrahim to Attack LGBT Human Rights

Perkins has also used Meriam Ibrahim’s case to promote his attacks on the Obama administration’s advocacy for the human rights of LGBT people who face brutal persecution in many countries. In June, he wrote,

President Obama, who can't find a few minutes to call for Meriam Ibrahim's release from a Sudanese prison, had plenty of time to fly to New York and fundraise for homosexual activists.

In a late August direct mail piece, Perkins complained angrily about the “utterly shocking” fact that the rainbow flag was flown over the US embassy in Israel during a gay pride celebration.

“This would be outrageous enough all by itself—but the reality of the big picture is more frightening by far. The global Obama crusade for gay rights is happening against a backdrop of the total collapse of his real foreign policy responsibilities. We are witnessing an unprecedented level of anti-Christian persecution around the world, a colossal, international, multifront assault on religious freedom. Yet in response to these atrocities, the administration has remained all but silent….This administration is pressuring other nations to adopt Barack Obama’s radical gay agenda—but not to observe the most basic universal human right of religious freedom.”

The rest of Perkins’ letter goes back and forth between portraying the administration as fixated on gay rights and unconcerned about persecuted Christians. “We had no choice but to stand up for Meriam — because the Obama administration wouldn’t, and didn’t.”

“I urge you to stand with FRC Action again today as we fight back against the Obama administration’s outrages — their devotion to the cause of sexual immorality and their simultaneous indifference toward Christians suffering persecution for their faith.”

All the while Perkins portrays advocacy for the human rights of LGBT people — who certainly face brutal persecution in many parts of the world — as extremism.

When we see the rainbow flag of the homosexual movement flying over our embassies in Tel Aviv, London, and Prague, we can see with our own eyes what an extremist is sitting in the Oval Office.

Similar language appears in a September 6 fundraising email from Perkins, which says in part:

With President Obama promoting the homosexual movement around the world through the Obama administration, yet not working to prevent Christians from being persecuted, jailed, even tortured and killed for their faith, FRC Action’s work has grown more important than ever before.

As far as we can tell, Perkins and other Religious Right leaders haven’t raised much of a ruckus about the persecution of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi who faces 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes after being convicted of “insulting Islam” by calling for religious tolerance, or about the imprisonment in Indonesia of Alexander Aan for publicly declaring himself an atheist.

The Values Voter Summit

Meriam Ibrahim may consider an appearance at the extremism-heavy Values Voter Summit as an opportunity to thank the thousands of Americans who advocated on her behalf while she was suffering in a Sudanese prison cell, and to celebrate the freedom of religion that she and her family enjoy in America.

Unfortunately, her attendance at the Values Voter Summit will put her in the company of people like the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who argues that the First Amendment does not protect religious minorities in the U.S., and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, who argues that Christians whose beliefs on the equality of LGBT people differ from his do not deserve “true religion freedom.” And it will include many activists, like the Benham Brothers, who cry anti-Christian persecution despite their own record of working to restrict the religious and political freedoms of others.

Americans of every political and religious stripe can admire Ibrahim’s exceptional strength and courage in the face of real persecution. The same cannot be said for those who are trying to exploit her moral authority to advance their own political agendas.

The GOP's Hate Summit: A Who's Who Of The 2014 Values Voter Summit

This weekend, Republican elected officials including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Gov. Bobby Jindal will take part in what has become an annual ritual for potential GOP presidential contenders: they will seek to curry the favor of the Religious Right by speaking at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit.

In doing so, they put themselves in the company of some of the most radical groups and activists working today to dehumanize LGBT people, roll back reproductive rights, tear down the wall between church and state, and deny free exercise rights to religious minorities.

The Values Voter Summit’s sponsor, the Family Research Council, regularly issues false and demeaning smears about LGBT people and advocates for an America ruled according to the dictates of a small sliver of right-wing Christians. Just this month, the group’s president Tony Perkins suggested that the Constitution’s religious liberty protections do not apply to Muslims.

The other primary sponsors of the event, the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, and Gary Bauer’s American Values have equally if not more egregious records of extremism. In addition, a number of fringe groups are contributing to the conference by sponsoring exhibition tables, including Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), which pushes discredited conversion therapy on LGBT people; the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR); and the World Congress of Families, which works with activists throughout the world to push harsh anti-gay laws.

But the Values Voter Summit’s speakers do not have to visit the event’s exhibition hall to encounter extremism. They will find plenty of that in their fellow speakers. Below is an introduction to some of the speakers who will be sharing a stage with prominent GOP elected officials at this week’s summit.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the chief sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Now a widely recognized spokesman for social conservative causes, Perkins served two terms as a Republican legislator in the Louisiana House of Representatives before launching a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2002. Perkins has:

  • Contended that the anti-bullying “It Gets Better” project is “immoral,” “disgusting,” and promotes “perversion.”
  • Defined efforts by the Obama administration to advance LGBT rights abroad as a push for “radical sexualism” and “global homosexuality.”
  • Praised a Uganda bill that would have condemned gays and lesbians to death as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.”
  • Warned that LGBT rights advocates will launch a holocaust against Christians, placing those that oppose same-sex marriage into “boxcars.”
  • Suggested that Christian clergy who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious liberties as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”
  • Warned that lawmakers who voted to repeal the military ban on openly gay service members would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin earned a public rebuke from President George W. Bush when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the "War on Terror" as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. In 2012, he was named executive vice president of the Family Research Council.

Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative, and once told the group that President Obama used health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him. Boykin has also:

  • Suggested that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell led to the “absolute destruction of our military.”
  • Described CIA head John Brennan as “very sympathetic to the jihadist cause.”
  • Denounced the repeal of laws banning women from military combat service.
  • Blamed the Sandy Hook school massacre on the presence of secularism in society.

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the dean of the Liberty University School of Law and the founder and chairman of its affiliate, Liberty Counsel, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government in order to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and Western civilization. Through his position at Liberty Counsel, Staver has:

Gary Bauer

Gary Bauer is the president of Values Voter Summit sponsor American Values, a former president of the Family Research Council, and one-time Republican presidential hopeful. While serving in the Reagan administration as a Department of Education official, Bauer was named chairman of the president’s Special Working Group on the Family. Bauer has:

  • Reacting to A&E’s suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for racist and homophobic remarks, declared that progressives are waging a “jihad against America’s cultural norms,”
  • Warned that President Obama is “obsessed” with LGBT issues, and claimed that his “secular” agenda will “destroy” America.
  • Claimed that Supreme Court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage were acts of “judicial terrorism” putting America on “the verge of criminalizing the Book of Genesis.”
  • Wondered why African Americans keep “falling through the cracks  of society despite the fact that “every major goal” of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been reached.

Benham Brothers

Twin brothers Jason and David Benham were catapulted to national attention this year when an HGTV show that they were set to star in was cancelled following revelations about their anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Muslim activism. Since the show’s cancellation, the brothers have become a cause célèbre for the Religious Right, which has lifted them up as an example of the supposed persecution of conservative Christians in America. One or both of the brothers have:

  • Asserted that the LGBT equality movement is part of a “spiritual fight" between God and the “kingdom run by Satan.”
  • Urged the city of Charlotte, NC to deny permits to an LGBT Pride event, calling it a “vile” and “destructive” activity that “should not be allowed in our city.”
  • Compared the fight against marriage equality to opposing Nazi Germany.
  • Called an Islamic community center a “den of iniquity” and referred to Muslims as “the enemy attacking" America.
  • Organized a prayer rally to coincide with the 2012 Democratic National Convention, declaring that America must repent for “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.”
  • Led protests outside of abortion clinics, praising anti-choice demonstrators for taking a stand at “the gates of hell” and confronting the “altars of Moloch.”

E.W. Jackson

The 2013 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, E.W. Jackson is a longtime activist who has likened the Democratic Party to the Antichrist, said Planned Parenthood is worse than the Ku Klux Klan, suggested that President Obama is a Muslim and demonic, and fought against efforts to desegregate public housing. Jackson’s most pernicious rhetoric has focused on LGBT people. He has:

  • Referred to gays and lesbians as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”
  • Criticized abortion and in vitro fertilization as “evils” that carry “the mark of Satan.”
  • Argued that gay marriage will release a “torrent of wickedness” that will result in man-animal marriages.
  • Said homosexuality is connected to pedophilia and that homosexuality also “poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things we can think of.”

Star Parker

Star Parker is a longtime Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-choice advocacy. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust and blamed “sexual promiscuity” for nearly all financial and societal problems. At the 2011 Values Voter Summit, she claimed that God was getting ready to punish America for marriage equality and legal abortion. Parker has also:

  • Declared that LGBT people are forcing Christians “into the closet.”
  • Mused that family life for African Americans was “more healthy” under slavery than it is today
  • Argued that the rate of HIV infections in Washington, D.C., would spike once the city legalized marriage equality, “transforming [the city] officially into Sodom.”
  • Tied same-sex marriage to failing public schools.

Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes, a Fox News commentator and the author of several books including this year’s “God Less America," specializes in generating stories of dubious accuracy purporting to illustrate the persecution of conservative Christians in America. Recently, he has:

  • Speculated that public school officials oppose abstinence-only programs to protect their “condom profits.”
  • Asserted that Obama refuses to take action against ISIS to “accommodate the Islamic faith at the expense of all other faiths.”
  • Blamed Obama for “ orchestrating” the protests in Ferguson, Mo., in an effort to exacerbate racial tensions.
  • Baselessly accused the University of Wisconsin of intentionally inflating grades to boost the academic performance of minority students.
  • Worried that LGBT rights advocates will inevitably demand the deportation of Christians.

Sandy Rios

Sandy Rios, a former president of Concerned Women for America, now hosts a daily radio show on American Family Radio, the network run by the American Family Association. At last year’s summit, she promoted ex-gay therapy and said Matthew Shepard’s murder was a “complete fraud.” Like other AFR hosts, she frequently promotes right-wing conspiracy theories, including claims that President Obama was not born in the United States. Rios has also:

  • Insisted that one of Obama’s first priorities as president was to resettle thousands of Palestinian refugees in the U.S. and provide them with food stamps.
  • Advanced the myth that the health care reform law “says that Muslims will be exempt from the government mandate to purchase health insurance.”
  • Compared the relationships of same-sex couples to those of kidnapper Ariel Castro and his captives.
  • Warned that the “homosexual takeover” of the military would jeopardize the effectiveness of the armed forces.
  • Frequently links the gay community to child abuse.

Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte Gabriel is the founder and president of ACT! for America, where she works with local activists throughout the country to promote fears that Sharia law is taking hold in the U.S. and must be banned and to challenge textbooks that she believes are insufficiently critical of Islam. She makes frequent media appearances to warn of what she calls the “ secret Islamification” of the West. Among other attacks on Mulsim-Americans, Gabriel has:

This post was updated to include Brigitte Gabriel following an FRC announcement that she would speak at the summit. A previous edition of this post listed incorrectly listed James Dobson, one of the founders of the FRC, as a speaker.

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Religious Right Self-Victimization In Full Force At Values Voter Summit: Fear Of Christian Concentration Camps, Bishops In Jail

After enjoying Glenn Beck’s speech about supposed anti-Christian persecution by the Nazis, participants at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit attended breakout sessions focusing on how Christians in the U.S. are facing repression under President Obama.

In a breakout session entitled “Standing Up To the Assaults On Our Faith,” Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily alleged that the Obama administration’s supposed persecution of Christians is so bad that it is proof we have entered the Tribulation, a key period in the End Times. Farah cited Pope Benedict’s remarks “seemingly embracing homosexuality [and] seemingly embracing universalism” as further evidence of imminent doom.

Political efforts to curb the arrival of the Last Days are so few and far between, Farah said, that Christians can only rely on prayer. He urged attendees to “harness spiritual weapons that give us the real power.” Specifically, Farah called on people to join his 9/11 prayer initiative, which he hopes will guide their spiritual struggle.

Janet Porter [née Folger] also warned that the End Times are upon us, for which she naturally blamed gay people. She repeated her claim that gay marriage was responsible for Noah’s flood and announced a new project with Liberty University’s Judith Reisman to sue schools that “corrupt minors” with LGBT-inclusive curricula.

Vision America’s Rick Scarborough agreed with their dire assessments, saying that “infidels” now pull the strings of government. According to Scarborough, the Obama administration is “hell-bent on silencing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Christian unity, Scarborough feared, “is not going to happen until a bunch of us are thrown into concentration camps.”

He also concurred with Porter’s anti-gay rhetoric, telling the audience: “You are not born gay, you are recruited.”

The speakers on a later panel, “Where Do We Go From Here? Challenging Tyranny,” were just as pessimistic.

One person in attendance asked a question about the purported takeover of the legal system by “militant homosexual leftists” while another questioner, who said she was from Nigeria, claimed that the Obama administration is even worse than Nigeria’s former military dictatorship.

Kenneth Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state now with the Family Research Council, alleged that President Obama, through his supposed abuses of executive power, is giving cover to dictators who hope to undermine the rule of law. He described the President’s actions as a “disservice to humanity.”

Alabama attorney general Luther Strange charged the Obama administration with leading a “direct assault” on religious freedom and claimed that state anti-discrimination laws are inconsistent with the “fundamental fabric of the Constitution.”

Dean Clancy of Freedom Works lamented that the Supreme Court issued “tyrannical” decisions in Roe v. Wade, Lawrence v. Texas and US v. Windsor, accusing the Justices of “imposing [their] radical worldview” on America. To push back against the “tyrants” in “black robes,” he urged conservative activists to push for constitutional amendments to return power to the states.

Both Clancy and co-panelist Terry Jeffrey of CNSNews said that civil disobedience against the Obama administration is on its way.

Jeffrey predicted the imprisonment of Roman Catholic bishops, followed by the laity, under Obama, whom he called an “enemy of our freedom.”

He concluded: “We ought not surrender our souls to Barack Obama.”

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