Values Voter Summit

Mark Levin: Obama Needs To 'Sit Down And Shut Up'

Conservative talk show host Mark Levin today sat down with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council for an interview at the Values Voter Summit, where Levin claimed that President Obama, Congress and the Supreme Court, due to the court’s decisions on gay marriage, are imposing “tyranny.”

At the end of the discussion, Levin said he thinks Obama needs to “sit down and shut up.”

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Rubio: There Is A 'Rising Tide Of Intolerance' Against Conservative Christians

Speaking at the Values Voter Summit, Sen. Marco Rubio told the audience that they can never stop fighting for their social values if they hope to save this nation and complained that there is a "rising tide of intolerance" that is being directed against anyone who stands up for them.

Laughably claiming that the Christian conservative agenda is "not about imposing our religion on anyone," Rubio said people in America have a right to worship any way they choose, but he chooses to "believe that Jesus Christ is God," which elicited a thirty second standing ovation:

Ted Cruz Jokes Obama Will Try To Kidnap Him

Ted Cruz spent most of his speech at the Values Voter Summit getting drowned out by immigration hecklers in the crowd, whom he claimed were “Obama’s paid political operatives.”

But there was no doubt he was the darling of the Religious Right, as before he even started his speech he “received the blessing” of a supporter who shouted out: “If God is for you then who can be against you?”

Cruz claimed that the Obama administration is “determined to violate every single one of our Bill of Rights,” including the 3rd amendment on the quartering of soldiers in homes. He even joked that the White House may soon try to kidnap him.

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Conspiracy Theories for Breakfast at Values Voter Summit

Early this morning, before the official opening of the Values Voter Summit, the Religious Right legal and advocacy group Liberty Counsel hosted “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition,” a breakfast panel on threats to the Second Amendment.  On the menu: conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama and the United Nations plotting to disarm Americans, and rhetoric of resistance.

In addition to Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, the speakers were the Family Research Council’s Ken Blackwell (also a board member of the National Rifle Association) and gun-rights advocate Jan Morgan, who also appeared at Liberty Counsel’s Awakening conference earlier this year.

Morgan portrayed a United Nations treaty meant to restrict the illegal international trade in weapons as a UN plot to take Americans’ guns (false), and the Obama administration’s decision to sign the treaty as an ominous step.  Blackwell portrayed the “assault” on the Second Amendment as an assault on the Constitution and on God himself, warning that nations that fall to tyranny or big-government socialism first must destroy the family, silence the church, and disarm their citizens.  The Obama administration, he said, thinks it has replaced God in people’s lives. Asked how Americans should respond to the signing of the treaty, he said, “resist, resist, resist.”

Morgan celebrated the Colorado recall of two state senators who had supported the state’s new gun law, and she praised southern governors who she said are looking to put the “Firearm Freedom Act” into law in their states, which would threaten the arrest and prosecution of federal agents who try to enforce federal gun regulations in their state. She ended with a dramatic call for conservatives to “pull ourselves out of this pity party” and channel the fighting spirit of the founding fathers.

Lee: Conservatives Have Not Focused Enough On The Family

Senator Mike Lee of Utah was the first speaker that this year's Values Voter Summit, which he kicked off by telling the audience that the problem with conservatives is not that they have focused too much on issues relating to the family -  such as school prayer, abortion, or marriage equality - but have not focused on those issues enough:

Who's Who At The Values Voter Summit 2013

by Brian Tashman and Miranda Blue

Republicans and Religious Right activists are set to come together this weekend at the Values Voter Summit, the Family Research Council conference where politicians will push the right-wing line regarding the government shutdown, Obamacare, gay rights and the supposed end of freedom.

As Peter noted, “Religious Right’s leaders are working to merge their activists’ anti-abortion and anti-gay zeal with the anti-government extremism of the Tea Party” and even “give the Tea Party’s agenda a biblical foundation.”

Ted Cruz and Rand Paul will be the event’s biggest speakers, along with Republican congressmen Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Jim Bridenstine, Scott Turner, Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan.

These GOP officials will speak alongside some of the most radical figures in the conservative movement:

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the main organizer of this weekend’s summit. Perkins leads the group’s efforts against gay rights, abortion rights and church/state separation. The FRC has one of the most anti-gay platforms of any major political organization, including expressions of support for the criminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and abroad in countries law Malawi and Uganda. Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He:

  • Compared homosexuality to alcoholism and called gay rights advocates “pawns” of Satan.
  • Lamented the ties between Democrats and the “Jewish lobby.”
  • Attacked Islam as an “evil” religion.

Jerry Boykin

Family Research Council vice president and retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy 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. He:

E.W. Jackson

The Virginia Republican nominee for Lt. Governor, 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 Obama is a Muslim and demonic, and fought desegregation efforts. 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.”
  • 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 that we can think of.”

Brian Brown

Brian Brown is the president of the National Organization for Marriage, the funding machine behind anti-marriage-equality measures throughout the country. Fighting an increasingly losing battle at home, Brown has set his sights abroad, supporting French anti-gay activists and testifying before the Russian Duma in favor of a law banning adoption by gay couples and single people in countries that allow marriage equality. He is also a vocal supporter of the World Congress of Families, an Illinois-based group that supports anti-gay measures throughout the world. Back at home, Brown has:

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the head of the Liberty University School of Law and its legal affiliate, Liberty Counsel, a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Liberty Counsel has been implicated in the Lisa Miller kidnapping case, where a client kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America after a court granted custody to her former partner. 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 role at Liberty Counsel, Staver has:

Joseph Farah

Joseph Farah is the editor-in-chief of the conspiracy theory clearinghouse WorldNetDaily and a friend of Sen. Rand Paul. He most recently worked with Michele Bachmann on a 9/11 prayer event which he claimed was “our last chance” to save America from God’s judgment, which includes homosexuality, terrorism and President Obama. Farah:

Todd Starnes

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes has become notorious for filing false reports based on right-wing conspiracy theories, which of course makes him a favorite “journalist” among conservative activists. Starnes has also:

  • Said that defeats for anti-gay activists are a sign of “the end of days.”

Sandy Rios

The former Concerned Women for America president is now a radio talk show host on American Family Radio, the network led by the American Family Association. Like other AFA hosts, she promotes right-wing conspiracy theories, including claims that Obama was not born in America and is actually from Kenya, resettled thousands of Palestinian refugees in the US and exempted Muslim-Americans from Obamacare. Rios will be a good fit for the anti-gay conference as she:

  • Compared same-sex couples to the relationships kidnapper Ariel Castro had with his captives.
  • Warned the “homosexual takeover” of the military will jeopardize the effectiveness of the military.

Rick Scarborough

A leading Religious Right organizer based in Texas, Rick Scarborough of Vision America claims he is fighting the country’s supposed decline. Scarborough has said that it is “sad” to see “more non-white families” in America, claimed that the growing Latino population will destroy America and blamed societal ills on shows such as The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory. He even said that the Benghazi attack occurred as a result of the country being “mired in sin.” But that’s not all.  Scarborough:

  • Demanded that people only refer to gays and lesbians as “sodomites.”

Janet Porter

Ohio-based activist Janet Porter opposes abortion rights, gay equality and now Obamacare, which she says will be used tomurderconservatives. She asked God to stop Obama from being sworn in as president and prayed for right-wing Christians to take control over the media and the government, because she:

Frank Gaffney

Anti-Muslim activist and birther Frank Gaffney believes that Islamic extremists have infiltrated the conservative movement, the FBI, the CIA, the State Department, and the White House. He most recently has:

  • Pushed the conspiracy theory that the US knew beforehand about the chemical weapons attack in Syria as a pretext to intervene .

Glenn Beck

Where do we even begin?

Religious Right Will Cheer Tea Party Extremism at Values Voter Summit

Boehner threatens the global economy w/ default, the Tea Party shutdown continues & a new Supreme Court term could do harm to campaign finance, reproductive choice & church-state separation...perfect week for the Values Voter Summit!

Civil Rights Groups Urge GOP Leaders to Skip Values Voter Summit

This weekend, Religious Right leaders and GOP politicians will gather in Washington for the Values Voter Summit, an annual event that highlights the cozy relationship between Republican elected officials and extreme right-wing groups.

The event is hosted by the Family Research Council, a group with a long record of pushing false anti-gay propaganda. And one of the event’s major sponsors is the American Family Association, whose extreme right-wing views are expressed on a daily basis by its spokesman Bryan Fischer.

On Friday, People For the American Way joined with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Faithful America, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza to send a letter to every public official scheduled to speak at this year’s Values Voter Summit, urging them to withdraw from the event.

Among the scheduled speakers are Sens. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Tim Scott and Reps. Paul Ryan, Randy Forbes, Michele Bachmann, Jim Bridenstine, Louie Gohmert, Jim Jordan, Steve King, Steve Scalise and Scott Turner.

The letter [pdf] reads in part:

We understand that you’ve been invited to speak at the upcoming Values Voter Summit being held in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 11-13. Given the demonizing lies about the LGBT community spread by the host, the Family Research Council (FRC), and another major sponsor of the event, the American Family Association (AFA), we urge you to not lend the prestige of your office to the summit.

The FRC has amassed an extensive record of vilifying gays and lesbians with falsehoods – portraying them as sick, evil, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation.  Perhaps its most insidious claim is that gay men molest children at a far higher rate than heterosexual men – a claim refuted by all credible scientific authorities, including the American Psychological Association. Yet the FRC has continued to smear gays and lesbians by claiming  that pedophilia, in the words of FRC President Tony Perkins, “is a homosexual problem.”

Perkins also says the “It Gets Better” campaign, an initiative designed to give LGBT students hope for a better tomorrow, is “disgusting” and part of a “concerted effort” to “recruit” children into the gay “lifestyle.” One senior FRC official has even argued that homosexuality should be illegal.

The AFA’s Bryan Fischer, who serves as the group’s spokesman and director of issue analysis, frequently blames homosexuality for the Holocaust and Nazi Party: “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” He also promotes the views of the American architect of the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda.

Demonizing the LGBT community has consequences. As FBI data demonstrate, it is one of the groups most likely to be victimized by violent hate crimes. Defaming them publicly day after day – as the FRC and the AFA do – only throws fuel on the fire.

The bigotry of the FRC and the AFA is not limited to gays and lesbians. Fischer, for example, has said that African Americans “rut like rabbits” and argued that women should be kicked out of politics and the military. He’s also stated that Hispanics are “socialists by nature”  and come here to “plunder” our country. The FRC’s executive vice president, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, has said Jews must be converted to Christianity and has argued that “Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections” – a statement that is antithetical to American ideals.

In 2011, we urged Mitt Romney not to share a stage with the extremists, and particularly Fischer, at that year’s Values Voter Summit. Although Romney still attended, he also made a point of calling out Fischer’s “poisonous language." This year, Fischer was noticeably not listed as a speaker at the summit, although his employer remains a sponsor.
 

Is Bryan Fischer Too Bigoted Even For The Values Voter Summit?

The last time Bryan Fischer spoke at the Values Voter Summit was back in 2011, when organizers tried to hide his involvement in the conference because of his long history of unabashed bigotry.  The effort failed as the decision to allow him to speak badly backfired when Mitt Romney, who was also speaking at the event, called out Fischer's bigotry from the stage and repudiated it.

In 2012, VVS organizers wised up and dropped Fischer from the program altogether, though Fischer insisted at the time that he was not being shunned, but was simply giving up his normal speaking slot to AFA President Tim Wildmon:

“The explanation is quite simple,” Fischer wrote. “I was filling in the last couple of years for our president, Tim Wildmon, who has had scheduling conflicts in the recent past. As a devoted father, he didn’t want to miss any of his son’s high school football games. Now that his son has graduated, he’s back on the podium at VVS, and I happily defer to him. I will be there, broadcasting my radio program on both Thursday and Friday as I have done in previous years.”

The next annual VVS is taking place next month and once again it looks like organizers have decided to drop Fischer from the program since he appears nowhere on the list of confirmed and invited speakers.

Despite the fact that the AFA is one of the primary sponsors of the event, neither Fischer nor Wildmon appear on the speakers' list even though other radical Religious Right activists like Rick Scarborough, Janet Porter, Jerome Corsi and AFR radio host Sandy Rios are all confirmed:

Is it really possible that Bryan Fischer has finally become so toxic that he is not being allowed to speak at an event that his own organization is co-sponsoring?

Jerry Boykin Explains How Progressives Are Like Hitler, Stalin, Lenin and Marx

When Jerry Boykin was named Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council in July, some of us wondered if Tony Perkins would make him put away his conspiracy theories and act – in public at least – like a somewhat reasonable person. The answer is no. 

Speaking during the “Religious Hostility in America” panel at the Values Voter Summit, Boykin riffed on some of his favorite conspiracy theories. For instance:
  • “Adolf Hitler was a progressive” – previously
  • “America is moving rapidly to Marxism under the influence of these people who call themselves progressives” – previously
  • the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center “are following, to the letter, the Marxist model” – previously 
Boykin argued that progressives are attacking him, not because of his bigoted attacks on gays, Muslims, and others, but because of his Christian faith. Going further, he said that progressives, just like Marx, Stalin, Lenin, and Hitler, are leading a Marxist attack on Christianity so that God can be replaced with government.
 
Boykin’s analysis, if you can call it that, doesn’t seem to be grounded in any real understanding of the various ideologies, quotes and terms he throws around. From his right-wing fundamentalist perspective, Hitler may as well be Marx, a liberal atheist may as well be an Islamist, President Obama may as well be Mohammed Morsi, and a Christian who doesn’t agree with him may as well be a secular Jew.
 
 

 

Fox News Host Wants Federal Investigation into 'South Park' for Blasphemy

Fox News’s Todd Starnes is sick and tired of ‘South Park’ and Hollywood getting a free pass. The Fox News commentator participated in the Values Voter Summit panel on “Religious Hostility in America” over the weekend.

The panel featured the familiar argument that Christians in America are somehow a beleaguered minority that is under constant assault. Starnes claims to have a pile of stories stacked up on his desk about “instances of people who have been facing attack because of their faith in Jesus Christ.”
 
Speaking of the controversy surrounding the laughably bad “Innocence of Muslims,” Starnes asked why the federal government isn’t investigating “shows like ‘South Park,’ which has denigrated all faiths.” He also demanded to know why President Obama hasn’t denounced Hollywood.
 
We have the seen the administration come out and say, "we condemn anyone who denigrates religious faith." And they come out in regards to this anti-Muslim film.
 
Well, that's well and good, but my question is, when has the administration condemned the anti-Christian films that are coming out of Hollywood? Where are the federal investigations into shows like ‘South Park,’ which has denigrated all faiths?
 
Where is the outrage when people of the Christian faith are subjected to this humiliation that is coming out of Hollywood?
Religious Right activists have been the most vocal supporters of the filmmakers, if you can call them that, and have rightfully pointed out that the First Amendment protects their activities. Starnes, however, seems to have a double-standard when it comes to speech that he deems offensive to his religious views.
 
As it turns out, the only investigation going on around the “Innocence of Muslims” concerns whether one of the purported “filmmakers” violated the terms of his probation. Otherwise the government has no place policing speech, regardless of who is offended, and the president is not the film critic in chief. President Obama can be excused, however, for speaking out when Americans are being killed over an amateurish YouTube video.

 

Where does Harry Jackson live now?

A few years ago, anti-gay activist Harry Jackson claimed that he had moved from Maryland into the District of Columbia in order to lead an unsuccessful campaign against marriage equality in the District.  Jackson’s legal residency was the topic of much debate at the time; Jackson signed an affidavit affirming his DC residency.  But now, Jackson is supporting an anti-marriage equality campaign in Maryland.  Will he be eligible to vote against marriage equality in Maryland?  At the Values Voter Summit this past weekend, Jackson bragged that he had ordained and pastored Derek McCoy, who directs the Maryland Marriage Alliance and asked VVS attendees for financial support. Jackson, in a workshop promoting his own campaign to use marriage as a wedge issue against Obama and other Democrats in seven swing states, caught himself when talking about the struggle over marriage in Maryland.  “I live in – have a church in that state,” he said. 

Sex, Lies, and Bloodlust: What the Values Voter Summit Tells us About the Religious Right and the Republican Party

During this past weekend’s Values Voter Summit, the annual family reunion of the far right, RWW posted many memorable video highlights. What does it all tell us about the Religious Right and today’s Republican Party? First are foremost, Republican leaders are unwilling to distance themselves from the far-right fringes of their base, especially in an election year in which conservative evangelical voters are not tremendously excited about Mitt Romney. Romney took a pass this year, and it’s not hard to understand why. Last year, organizers maliciously put him on stage right before the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who had ridiculed Romney’s Mormonism. A supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry denounced Mormonism as a cult, and the flap over Romney’s faith was the dominant story coming out of the gathering. It was much safer to let Paul Ryan represent the ticket this year, and to have other speakers like Rick Santorum and Rick Scarborough ensure evangelicals that voting for Romney was in fact a good thing. Romney did send a tepidly-received video, which seemed almost an afterthought. What is motivating these activists is not enthusiasm for Romney but their hostility toward the Obama administration.

Rachel Maddow Slams Paul Ryan for Appearing at Conference with Extremists

Last night on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow called out Paul Ryan for speaking at the Values Voter Summit and lending credibility to the bigotry and pure crazy on display at the conference. Her report provided crucial context on the extremists who are appearing at the conference – something that has been sorely lacking in most media coverage so far.

Maddow paid particular attention to three anti-Muslim activists that we regularly cover – Jerry Boykin, Kamal Saleem and Frank Gaffney. As I said yesterday, the Values Voter Summit is making a mockery of diplomacy and the threat of terrorism by featuring Saleem, who has made a career for himself as a fake former terrorist, and Boykin and Gaffney, who are leading forces behind the Huma Abedin smear and helped spark anti-American protests in Egypt.
 
Watch:

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Santorum: 'We Will Never Have the Elite, Smart People on Our Side'

Rick Santorum tells the Values Voter Summit that the conservative movement will never have the media or the "elite, smart people" on its side, which is why it must rely on the church and the family:

Parker: 'HHS Mandate has Made Sandra Fluke a National Icon for Sexual Promiscuity'

Speaking at the Values Voter Summit, Star Parker blasted Sandra Fluke and hailed her own Christian conversion for saving her from her own "sexual rampage":

Staver: Efforts to Redefine Marriage are 'Unpatriotic'

Today, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver addressed the Values Voter Summit where he blasted those who "want to destroy the natural definition of marriage," declaring that any effort to "redesign the definition of marriage is, ultimately, unpatriotic" and an insult to the dreams of our Founding Fathers:

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Kamal Saleem tells Values Voter Summit that Clinton plans to 'Shut Down' Churches, College Professors work with Terrorists

We have been covering the absurd, bizarre and paranoid rantings of phony ex-terrorist Kamal Saleem as he emerged on the Religious Right scene, and today he had his biggest platform yet at the Values Voter Summit, where he was preceded by Ohio congressman Jim Jordan and a video message by Mitt Romney. Saleem told conference goers his made-up story about his time as a terrorist working for Lebanon, Syria, the PLO, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and even Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, until he moved to the U.S. to wage "cultural jihad." He claimed he and his fellow terrorists "met the professors" at American universities and colleges, which "were our playgrounds," in order to help "the professors to establish new curriculum purposefully" to brainwash students to change "your children to hit your nation with everything they've got."

Later, Saleem said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is working with Islamic countries to eviscerate the Constitution and "subjugate American people to be arrested and put to jail and their churches and synagogues shut down," which he says will happen early next year!

King: Obama and 'His Leftist Minions' are Working Every Day to Undermine America

Speaking today at the Values Voter Summit, Rep. Steve King declared that President Obama and "his leftist minions" are working every day "undermining the pillar of American exceptionalism, attempting to bring down the shining city on the hill [and] turn it into rubble."

But, he declared, "we are not going to let them do that" because "we're going to serve God and country, in that order" and defeat Obama in November, which will be a victory for God:

Ted Cruz Hails Rick Scarborough, Who Believes AIDS is God's Judgment for Immorality

Speaking during the afternoon session at the Values Voters Summit, Texas Republican Senate nominee was introduced by fellow Texas, Rick Scarborough of Vision America.

After Scarborough hailed Cruz as "a man grounded by faith and principle" and "a true champion of freedom," Cruz returned the favor, hailing Scarborough as a "tremendous patriot and voice for Christian values."

As we noted in our pre-VVS write-up, Scarborough spends most of his time warning that America is facing "sexual anarchy led by sodomites" and declaring that AIDS is God's "judgment for an immoral act":

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