Yesterday, we reported that Matt Barber’s conservative website BarbWire published an anti-gay column by Philip Stallings, a self-described “theonomist” who recently advocated for the “lawful execution” of gay people – or “sodomites.”
Stallings’ column has disappeared, and today Barber tweeted at us, “Wow! Thanks for the tip. We obviously weren’t aware of that & find the position appalling. The answer is life in Christ.”
Well. It’s good to have Matt Barber say he finds the idea of executing gay people appalling. We agree.
But if that’s the case he ought to consider vetting the material he promotes a little more carefully. Just over a week ago we noted that BarbWire had run a column praising Pastor Steven Anderson, who has called for the execution of gays, and has said, “You want to know who the biggest hypocrite in the world is? The biggest hypocrite in the world is the person who believes in the death penalty for murderers and not for homosexuals.”
And given how much anti-gay extremism is promoted by Barber and his Religious Right allies, that got us wondering if anything else short of calling for the killing of gay people would cross the line for Barber.
We collected some other statements that Barber apparently doesn’t find appalling, because they’ve all been in columns promoted on his site:
Here are some other things we find appalling that Matt Barber seemingly does not:
Jeff Allen, a BarbWire editor, compares the gay rights movement to “a malignant cancer” and says, “Each victory for the homosexual activists represents another nail in America’s coffin.” Allen has supported brutal anti-gay laws in Uganda, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, which include imprisonment not only for sexual conduct but also for joining social clubs or advocating for equality. Allen was upset when criticized for his “innocent mistake” of calling a fake photo of “NAMBLA for Obama” an example of “the undeniable link between homosexuality and pedophilia.” More Allen: “Satanism, sodomy, and slaughter are each part of the Devil’s sinister agenda to destroy America.”
BarbWire content editor Gina Miller has written that the “demonic” gay rights advocates are advancing “Satan’s tyrannical desire to crush Christianity” and warned last year that if gays get their way “Christians here in America will be in danger of state-sanctioned murder for their beliefs.” In June, Miller responded to the announcement that some Boy Scout troops would march in New York’s LGBT pride parade by calling it “a perverse attack on young boys who are being used as little tools by an evil movement of sexual degenerates who cannot reproduce, so they must recruit.”
This spring, BarbWire published a column by former Indiana lawmaker Don Boys recounting his attempt to recriminalize homosexuality. In a similar column a few years earlier, Boys had explained that he wanted to make homosexuality a crime punishable by up to twelve years in prison.
Robert Oscar Lopez wrote for BarbWire that almost every situation “involving a same-sex couple with exclusive custody of small children is adult misconduct at best or a crime against humanity at worst.”
BarbWire publishes notorious anti-gay activist Scott Lively, who wrote this summer that the US and its State Department had become “The Great Satan” of the world for opposing anti-gay legislation overseas. Lively has promoted anti-gay policies in Uganda and around the world.
And that’s just a sampling of the anti-gay extremists who have found a home on BarbWire. Not to mention Barber himself, who says he has been “called by God” to “sound the alarm” about the fact that gay sex is always sinful, and “The wages of sin is death.”
We’re just scratching the service. BarbWire’s extremism is not limited to anti-gay activities. It publishes just about anything you could imagine about President Barack Obama. BarbWire has published calls for God to “cut short” Obama’s presidency and claims Obama worships “Lucifer/Moloch” and intends “to turn the USA into the Marxist-Islamic North American Caliphate.” Among the conspiracy theories it promotes:
We don’t know about Barber, but we find that appalling.
In an interview with Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute last month, marriage equality opponent and author of gay erotica Robert Oscar Lopez said that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are “more likely to be bisexual” and “more likely to experiment,” leading them into “a lot of problems that we know statistically are more prevalent in gay social networks than in heterosexual social networks.”
“I have to be realistic that when you enter into homosexual relationships, you’re entering into the gay culture, and that social setting has very high rates of eating disorders and suicidal tendencies, it has very high rates of addictions of all kinds, domestic violence, sexual assault, depression, anxiety, steroid abuse, sexually transmitted diseases,” he said. “There’s a lot of problems that we know statistically are more prevalent in gay social networks than in heterosexual social networks.”
“So I think to the extent that people can avoid it, I think it’s better if you’re not going to be gay over the longer course of your life then there’s really no reason to dabble in that world, because there are social consequences that might hurt you. So, there’s really no reason to experiment,” he said.
Dacus agreed, adding that children of gay and lesbian parents are victims of “this agenda that has now been thrust upon them and they just want to live normal lives.”
Earlier in the interview, Lopez noted with alarm that when he was growing up, most gay and lesbian couples who were raising children had been divorced from their previous spouses, whereas today he sees gay men intentionally breaking up marriages in order to get custody of children.
“There was a clear shift by the 2000s where now gay couples now wanted to go out and adopt or they wanted to get children through sperm banking or through surrogacy contracts,” he said. “And I did come across cases where I know with gay men, they intentionally broke up an existing marriage so they could get together with the husband and then sue for custody of the children.”
“Oh wow,” Dacus gasped.
As we’ve noted before, Matt Barber’s website BarbWire has become quite the outlet for extremists. Today, BarbWire promotes as one of its “Top Stories” a column called “Repent! For the Kingdom of Sodom is At Hand.” Columnist Philip Stallings bemoans growing support for LGBT equality among millennials, blaming it on “the public school system’s indoctrination of wickedness.” Stallings praises civil magistrates in North Carolina who have refused to issue marriage certificates to “sodomites.” And, of course, he cites the over-hyped controversy over subpoenas in Houston, and the Alliance Defense Fund’s concocted controversy about the “Hitching Post” wedding chapel business in Idaho to portray equality advocates as enemies of religious liberty:
When are we going to realize that this is war? There can be no doubt that the trend now is not only to bully and wreak havoc among Christians, but to lock up Pastors and anyone else that stands for the truth until God’s Law is eradicated from their mist.
This is nothing less than a war and Christians need to be standing up everywhere in this nation contending earnestly for the faith! We should be getting just as passionate in our message of “change” and call upon this nation to repent and to follow God’s Law on this matter.
Stallings is identified on BarbWire as a “Political Theonomist.” That’s a term used by Christian Reconstructionists who believe government should be enforcing their interpretation of Old Testament law, like Gary North and Michelle Bachman mentor John Eidsmoe.
Turns out that’s exactly what Stallings believes. His Twitter feed links to a Christian radio show on which he spent nearly half an hour on August 25 arguing that the government should execute homosexuals – or “sodomites.”
It’s my position that the role of the state is morally obligated to obey God’s law…I am for lawful execution of the homosexual.
When the show’s surprised hosts pushed back and asked whether he would support other things called for in the Old Testament, like the stoning of rebellious children, Stallings said God commanded whole nations to be destroyed “all the way down to their children” and that the rebellious son in the Bible was “refusing their parents’ commandments and was openly rebellious in the community.”
And, yeah, I’m for what the Bible teaches in that regard, along with the murderer, and the rapist, and the kidnapper, and in this case the sodomite.
Stallings described his understanding of Theonomy as meaning that “God’s law is implemented. The civil magistrate must be moral, and the only way we could say someone is moral is if they’re obeying God’s law. In other words, the state is not an autonomous being. It is not executing the law morally if it’s being disobedient to God’s law.”
Excerpts below from Stallings on “Reformation Nation”
In his weekly radio broadcast earlier this month, the Pacific Justice Institute’s Brad Dacus interviewed Randy Sharp, who runs the American Family Association’s programs targeting retail stores and television shows that the group deems too pro-gay or insufficiently celebratory of Christmas.
The two were full of praise for Chick-fil-A and WalMart, but were not so happy with Target. In fact, Dacus told Sharp a harrowing story about a time when his family had been browsing greeting cards at Target and his children had encountered some cards designed for married gay and lesbian couples.
He then decided that he would no longer shop at the chain because he did not want to support this greeting card “propaganda campaign that’s going to lead a lot of young people to make bad decisions, very costly, potentially deadly decisions in their life.”
My wife and kids were in Target and they were looking for some birthday cards and they saw a category — at a very low level, so little kids could read them — cards that were, you know like “husband to wife,” but this was like “husband to husband,” “wife to wife.” Right there at the lower level. And you know, we complain, but they don’t do anything and they’re all about being PC and just assuming that people are going to continue to shop there.
And I told my wife, I said, you know what, let’s avoid Target. If this is their agenda, if this is what they’re going to push, then why am I going to give them my money to push and be a part of the propaganda campaign that’s going to lead a lot of young people to make bad decisions, very costly, potentially deadly decisions in their life.
In his October newsletter, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson has a pretty clear message: Because of gay rights, America is at risk of joining Pompeii and Ancient Rome in the ranks of societies “so corrupted by evil that divine judgment eventually destroys them.”
“We have not yet reached the depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah, but that appears to be where we are headed,” Dobson warns, citing the Supreme Court’s decision striking down “sodomy” laws and subsequent lower court decisions preventing marriage discrimination.
“His justice will prevail when unrestrained lust, violence, perversion, and other forms of grievous sin have run their course,” Dobson declares.
Modernists, libertarians and atheists today recognize no condemnation of sexual perversion in the Bible. However, this historical account illustrates how God views it. The outrageous behavior of the wicked men of Sodom and Gomorrah sealed their doom. Fire and brimstone fell from the sky on both cities and utterly destroyed them. Henceforth, men who commit homosexual acts have been called “Sodomites,” although that term has become politically offensive since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized and protected sexual perversion.
The story of Abraham and Lot also illustrates how entire societies can become so corrupted by evil that divine judgment eventually destroys them, or they simply fade away. It happened to the people of Greece, Rome, Pompeii and other cities and cultures where wickedness became the order of the day. One thing is certain. God is the holy Sovereign Lord of all heaven and earth, and He will not be mocked. His justice will prevail when unrestrained lust, violence, perversion, and other forms of grievous sin have run their course.
Why have I chosen to recount this biblical story from so long ago? Because I am convinced that America and other Western Nations are sliding in the same direction. We have not yet reached the depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah, but that appears to be where we are headed. Judge Robert Bork, the brilliant jurist who was shamefully denied a seat on the Supreme Court, wrote a book about this danger 18 years ago. It was titled, Slouching Towards Gomorrah. I think he had it right.
Many influential men and women of the judiciary are leading us toward perdition. One of them is Judge Richard Posner, a federal judge sitting on the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He became a hero of the pro-gay marriage community by helping to “discover” a provision in the Constitution that laid the foundation for legalizing same-sex marriage. The American people in thirty-one states voted that their Constitutions would henceforth define marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman. Posner and other imperious judges and Justices had a better idea. They simply overrode the will of the people and issued “court made law.” Whatever happened to Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg in which he said this government is designed to be “Of the people, for the people, and by the people?” It’s no longer true.
I will tell you personally the preservation of the family is the Cause for which I was born. I knew it when I was 20 years old. Today, I have a continuing, unrelenting burden for today’s children and young adults who are being warped and twisted by those who would “fundamentally change” the world in which they are growing up. Everything we have known and valued is being swept away.
Dobson also quotes at length from the virulently anti-gay group Mass Resistance to warn parents of “LGBT propaganda” in schools: “Well, how about it, parents? Are you willing to send your children off to a public school that is required by law to teach LBGT propaganda to students? I pray not.”
Minnesota activist and Michele Bachmann pal Bradlee Dean reacted on his radio show Saturday to the incident in Houston in which a group of Religious Right activists sued the city over an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance and a number of pastors who had helped collect signatures to repeal the bill received subpoenas.
Dean declared that the Houston hubbub was “a prime example” of his claim that “the homosexual agenda is there to upend your sovereignty.”
He argued that Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who is a lesbian, backed the nondiscrimination law in order “to attack the church that was calling her out for her crimes against nature.”
Later in the program, he contended that openly gay elected officials and executive branch appointees are destroying the country: “God didn’t give us a right to institute, friends, a bunch of homosexuals into federal government in this country.”
He also argued for impeaching Obama’s “criminal administration,” which he said is “attempting to implement Sharia law.”
In an interview with an Iowa newspaper this week, Rep. Steve King suggested that gay people as well as those who are divorced and cohabiting will have unfavorable prospects in the afterlife, saying, “I’ll just say that what was a sin 2,000 years ago is a sin today, and people that were condemned to hell 2,000 years ago, I don’t expect to meet them should I make it to Heaven.”
In response, King simultaneously stood by what he said and claimed that the story was “false” and had been “fabricated.”
“What I said was it’s between them and God. And I said what was a sin 2,000 years ago is a sin today. That was what I said. And I stand on what I said, and they’ve manufactured this,” he insisted.
He added a dig at the people who had reported the story: “So maybe I won’t meet the people who distort the truth in the next life either, and I’m going to do my best to get to Heaven.”
Earlier this month, West Virginia started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the state’s Republican attorney general conceded that an appeals court ruling striking down the state’s marriage ban was “final and binding.”
This did not sit well with the West Virginia Family Foundation — a state affiliate of the American Family Association — which sent out an email to supporters today with the headline, “November Election & Gay Agenda Is Upon Us!”
The group’s chairman, Ray Lambert, writes in the breathless email that the state’s refusal to keep fighting marriage equality in court means that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin “cast his lot with Sodom and Obama” and that his “legacy is tarnished now by endorsing deviant and sinful sexual behavior.”
“Will homosexuality blossom in West Virginia?” Lambert asks. “The likelihood is yes. All WV schools, from K to grade 12 are now required by state law to teach and indoctrinate public school students to be tolerant of homosexuals and promiscuous.” Not only that, he warns, but schools will be forced to “provide new gay recruits.”
Lambert refers readers to Brian Camenker’s anti-gay group MassResistance for confirmation of his claims and to learn more about “the negative impact homosexuality has on gays and society in our daily lives.”
On the issue of Gay Marriage, West Virginians have been betrayed by our Governor, liberal federal judges and our own liberal West Virginia (WV) legislators!
I'm especially alarmed at how fast Governor Tomblin "threw in the towel" on our state's DOMA law which opened up our state to gay marriages. His announcement was fast and very unexpected. I think our Governor wrongly believes that homosexuality is worthy of special considerations. Governor Tomblin's legacy is tarnished now by endorsing deviant and sinful sexual behavior. He could have been known as the Governor who strengthened our state's marriage law but, sadly, he has cast his lot with Sodom and Obama. I believe it was done for political favor from his party.
Senate Speaker Jeffrey Kessler, from Wayne county, is eager to pass pro-homosexual laws. His pet law requires Christian and conservative business owners, and landlords, to employ or rent to men and women who practice sodomy. He overlooks existing civil rights law that guarantee us all freedom of religion. His view is that "gay rights" trumps Christians' rights.
Called the Employment and Housing Non-Discrimination Act (EHNDA), his legislation grants civil rights status to those who commit sodomy. This has far reaching ramifications, especially for Christians, whose Bible identifies sodomy sin. Abusing one's self through sodomy is a behavior, just like someone abusing tobacco, drugs, alcohol or even body piercings. Human behaviors can change and many step out of the gay lifestyle altogether. And because their "behavior" is mutable, unlike race, origin, age, etc. which is immutable. Society reserves civil rights protections for what we are, not the ever changing what we do.
Will homosexuality blossom in West Virginia? The likelihood is yes. All WV schools, from K to grade 12 are now required by state law to teach and indoctrinate public school students to be tolerant of homosexuals and promiscuous. Our schools will provide new gay recruits, just as it's being done today in Massachusetts' LGBT Conferences. More proof can be seen at the first annual Appalachian Queer Film Festival in Lewisburg. This four day event, going on now, brings Anne Sprinkle in to headline the event. Anne is characterized as the most vile and depraved lesbian in America by Peter LeBarbara, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. Will Lewisburg become the Key West or San Francisco of Appalachia. Isn't it strange that our WV newspapers aren't covering this "queer event"? Could it have something to do with the nearing election? I think so; just more media manipulation of the masses.
To see where WV is headed, visit Mass Resistance's web site. It's a conservative Massachusetts organization that's been fighting against sexual perversion for ten years since Governor Romney brought gay marriage to their state. You'll see WV's future if we don't stand firm against the gay agenda in our state. Educate yourself with these web sites plus one more, Family Research Institute. This organization brings scientific facts on homosexuality that counters the liberal media's sanitizing of homosexuality. You'll be amazed at the negative impact homosexuality has on gays and society in our daily lives.
Conservative talk show host Steve Deace has been focusing his program over the last couple weeks on what he calls the “rainbow jihad” of gay rights, in particular the situation in Houston involving a lawsuit filed by Religious Right activists attempting to take down the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance. On his program yesterday, Deace welcomed the self-appointed star of the Houston dust-up, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who told him that pro-equality Democratic lawmakers are waging an Alinsky-inspired plot to silence dissent and that anti-gay conservatives may soon have to resort to civil disobedience.
“The problem is the modern Democratic Party, the professional politician, whether it is Democratic senators in Washington or whether it is the mayor or the city council members in the city of Houston, they have gotten so extreme that their objective is not to win an argument but it is instead to try to silence dissent and to crush and destroy anyone they deem to be their political opponent,” Cruz said.
“You know, Saul Alinsky, who both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton studied carefully, Saul Alinsky said you never want to debate your opponent because it humanizes them,” he continued. “Instead you simply want to silence them. And that is the reality of the modern Democratic party, the elected politicians.”
Later in the interview, Deace asked Cruz if “we are coming to the point” where anti-gay conservatives will have to participate in “organized civil disobedience” like that of the civil rights movement.
“Well, listen, if government tries to silence pastors, if government tries to force believers to violate their faith, it is my hope that believers honor their faith and disregard unjust edicts from government,” Cruz responded.
Mark Creech, director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, wrote in the Christian Post yesterday that he was “heart-broken” (sic) by the federal court decision striking down North Carolina’s marriage equality ban, calling the decision “a terrible tragedy — an evil — an injustice in our day.”
Creech took some comfort, however, from this month’s lunar eclipse, during which God told him that things will get better. “God makes all things beautiful in its appropriate time,” he writes, including “even death, war, killing, the escalation of wickedness, and yes, even the atrocity of legalizing same-sex marriage.”
October 10th marks the infamous day for the Tar Heel state. Judge Max O. Cogburn in Asheville declared in accord with a 4th Circuit Court ruling that North Carolina's marriage amendment was unconstitutional. The decision was not only egregious, but an act of judicial supremacy. I readily admit I was heart-broken, but it wasn't as though I was altogether unprepared.
The Lord had spoken to my heart two days before Cogburn ever slammed down his gavel. With the Supreme Court's inaction and what it would mean heavily on my mind, I awakened about 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 8th, and couldn't go back to sleep. Restless, I got up and piddled about the house and made myself an early breakfast. I noticed the local television news was reporting a lunar eclipse was taking place. I thought to myself, "I want to see that." So, in my pajamas and housecoat, I made my way outside to see this glorious display in the heavens. I must say the sight of it was other-worldly, awesome, and even breathtaking.
Then, while watching the earth's shadow fall across the moon's surface, I heard the sweetness of God's voice. "See Mark," the Lord said, "the light may be eclipsed for a time, but be assured the light of God always returns to shine."
To all of my friends and colleagues in North Carolina and other states negatively impacted by the US Supreme Court's indecision – a choice that opened the door for gay marriage in 11 more states. Let me say that if you've been like me, confused, depressed, and sometimes even angry at the recent turning of events, then take a lesson from the lunar eclipse: "The light may be eclipsed for a time, but be assured the light of God always returns to shine."
What has happened is a terrible tragedy – an evil – an injustice in our day. But God makes all things beautiful in its appropriate time, meaning even death, war, killing, the escalation of wickedness, and yes, even the atrocity of legalizing same-sex marriage. God turns it. He makes it all work beautifully to accomplish His purposes in the end. We may not understand it. Nevertheless, He remains lovingly sovereign over it. We can trust Him in all things.
The light may indeed be eclipsed for a while, but the brightness of God's light will always return to shine.
Jody Hice, the GOP nominee for an open House seat in Georgia, said on his radio program in 2011 that “totalitarian” liberals have turned public schools into “camps for indoctrination,” a strategy he likened to Nazi Germany.
Hice launched into his commentary by citing a similar argument made by Chuck Norris in WorldNetDaily before adding his own spin to the issue.
Hice seems to imply that the very existence of public schools is a Nazi-like scheme, but that liberals in particular are trying to maintain their “clutch” on public schools in order to control “the minds of children” and raise money from teachers’ unions:
Obviously, if we have government — which is what the public school is — if we have government indoctrinating what students are learning, then we have a problem. This took place in Germany, friends. I’m not trying to say we are necessarily headed in that direction, but it is undeniable that one of the first things Hitler did was to grab, so to speak, the minds of the youth. And once he was able to instill in those young minds his own ideals and his own philosophy and that of the Nazi Party, then the rest of it was pretty much a piece of cake. It was a cakewalk to go through once you had the minds of the schoolchildren at every age level.
It is likewise just as dangerous what we are witnessing today. And it’s obvious that the liberals in this country are going to be fighting tooth and nail to protect the public school system from getting out from underneath their total, absolute, totalitarian control. If it gets out of their control, they not only lose the minds of the children in this country, but they also lose enormous financial resources, as the teachers’ unions are the number one biggest supporter politically to liberal ideology. So there’s a lot at stake for the liberals to continue their clutch on the public school system.
Later in the program, Hice elaborated on his concerns, citing a book lamenting “political correctness" on college campuses to warn that public schools are training students to “disdain America” and to defend homosexuality and “the green agendas.”
“What happens when our schools become just nothing other than liberal – or, soften it up a little, progressive – camps for indoctrination, which in essence is what they have become?” he asked.
He warned that schools are engaging in “the intentional training of students to dislike, to actually disdain America” and “encouraging students to freely experiment with all forms of sexuality, forcefully defend issues like abortion and homosexuality and also just encouraging students to become cultural advocates for political correctness, and there’s no tolerance for political incorrectness.”
“There’s the push for relativism, for globalization, for environmental agendas, the green agendas and tolerance for everybody,” he continued. “All of this stuff is now being pushed upon children in the public school system.”
Last week, we reported on the quiet effort of national right-wing groups to, in the words of the Family Research Council, “flip” the Supreme Court of Montana by electing former state solicitor general Lawrence VanDyke, who has indicated that he will be friendly to business interests and social conservative causes.
We first heard of VanDyke’s campaign for the officially nonpartisan office at last month’s Values Voter Summit, where the Family Research Council’s political action committee had decided to highlight the race at a $100-a-head fundraiser featuring Rick Santorum, Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and a number of Republican members of Congress.
Yesterday, VanDyke’s campaign issued its fundraising report for the period that included the FRC fundraiser. In the period, the campaign brought in $48,000, nearly doubling its supply of cash. It’s impossible to tell how much of that came from the FRC’s fundraiser — much of it came from Montana residents and out-of-state attorneys but FRC’s impact is shown in a few notable contributions.
The FRC Action PAC itself contributed $320 to VanDyke’s campaign, the maximum contribution allowed so far. William Saunders, the top lawyer at the anti-choice group Americans United for Life, also contributed $320, while Gary McCaleb, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom contributed $200. An organizer for the Koch group Americans for Prosperity also kicked in $200.
Although we can’t know the impact of the FRC’s fundraiser — and we can't know for sure that these contributions stemmed from the event — these numbers illustrate the fact that in VanDyke, Corporate Right and Religious Right activists throughout the country have found common cause in a little-noticed but pivotal state court race.
Conservative religious leaders have a long track record of hyping supposed threats to religious liberty in America — specifically, to the religious liberty of conservative Christians. In fact, portraying Christians as a persecuted minority under siege by anti-freedom LGBT activists and secular humanists has become the right's primary strategy for reversing the advance of equality in America. But even in the long context of crying wolf over threats to religious freedom, Sen. Ted Cruz and his religious right allies have set new records for dishonest hype in their response to this week's controversy over subpoenas sent to a few religious leaders in Houston.
Cruz told the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody that there is a "real risk" that preachers will be hauled off to jail for preaching against homosexuality, recycling an old and equally ludicrous charge that hate crimes laws would result in pastors being dragged from the pulpit.
Some in the media ridicule that threat saying there is no danger of the government coming after pastors. That is the usual response." But he adds: "The specter of government trying to determine if what pastors preach from the pulpit meets with the policy views or political correctness of the governing authorities, that prospect is real and happening now.
As exciting as it is to hear the alarm bells and read the hyperventilating emails, the truth is far less dramatic. Sorry, Sen. Cruz, but the government is not policing sermons for political correctness. It's not going to start tossing anti-gay preachers in jail.
So what is the real story?
The immediate cause of the ruckus was a subpoena sent by attorneys for the city of Houston to several pastors who had been active in opposition to the city's new anti-discrimination law. Conservatives ran a signature-gathering campaign to put the law before the voters, but city attorneys ruled that so many of the signatures were not valid that the effort did not qualify for the ballot.
The Alliance Defense Fund, a Religious Right law firm, stepped in and sued the city over that decision. As part of the discovery process in the lawsuit, attorneys for the city sent subpoenas to five prominent pastors asking for sermons and other communications they had about the ordinance, the signature gathering effort, and the controversy over homosexuality and gender identity.
Here's the problem. The subpoena was sent to pastors who are not party to the lawsuit, and it asked for some materials that do not seem directly relevant to the determination of whether signatures were collected in accordance with the law. By giving pundits something to scream about, the subpoena was a gift to Religious Right leaders and their political allies, who thrive on promoting the myth of anti-Christian religious persecution in the U.S. And they have run with it.
On Friday the city narrowed the scope of their discovery request somewhat. And it's entirely possible that a judge will further limit the amount of materials the city can collect in the Religious Right's lawsuit. That's how our legal system works.
It's terribly inconvenient to the Religious Right's narrative that progressive religious leaders are among those who have criticized the Houston attorneys' subpoena. Among those who criticized the city's subpoena as troubling and overly intrusive were supporters of LGBT equality and church-state separation. Baptists of all stripes weighed in. Both progressive religious leaders and atheists publicly agreed. Even the ACLU! So much for the supposed enemies of religious freedom.
Even some religious conservatives have denounced the Houston hype. In reality, the entire episode undermines right-wing claims that religious liberty is hanging by a thread in America. Indeed, it demonstrates that Religious liberty is widely respected as a core constitutional principle and a fundamental American value — by people across the religious landscape and our fractured political spectrum. If only Ted Cruz and his allies were as committed to the constitutional and legal equality of Houston's, and America's, LGBT citizens.
In an interview with Newsmax yesterday, former Southern Baptist Convention public policy chief Richard Land reacted to the controversy over subpoenas issued to Houston pastors , warning that the incident is a harbinger of a future shaped by the gay “agenda” in which pastors will be prosecuted under unconstitutional hate speech laws.
“Are you afraid at some point that your sermons are going to have to be dictated?” the Newsmax host asked Land.
“Well, I think that there’s certainly the danger that they’re going to try to make any biblical reference to homosexuality hate speech,” Land responded.
He added: “I think that this is a warning. This is an overreach by a group that, let’s make no mistake about it, their agenda from the beginning has been not only to have their lifestyle tolerated but to have it affirmed and have it paraded before our children as normal and healthy and to marginalize anyone who disagrees with that to the level of being Klansmen. They want to turn us into Klansmen.”
Eugene Delgaudio, a Loudoun County, Virginia Republican supervisor who heads the group Public Advocate of the United States is warning his supporters that gay people are preparing to “terrorize daycare centers, hospitals, churches and private schools” by teaching schoolchildren “perverted sex acts” and getting married, at which point “[y]ou’ll see men hand-in-hand skipping down to adoption centers to ‘pick out’ a little boy for themselves.”
In a fundraising email yesterday with the subject line, “They say you support homosexual ‘marriage,’” Delgaudio told supporters that he is the only one who can reverse the “Homosexual Agenda” in Congress.
You see, the radical homosexuals are storming through Washington demanding passage of their agenda.
And with the Democrats dominating the Senate and Barack Obama calling the shots in the White House, they say NOW is the time to push their perverse “lifestyle” on every man, woman and child in America.
And they insist YOU actually support them.
To make matters worse, more and more Republicans in Congress are coming out in favor of the Homosexual Agenda .
The Homosexual Lobby has already rammed through Thought Control and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I can only begin to imagine how much more damage the radical homosexuals will do now that they’ve broken the ranks of the opposition party.
As the President of Public Advocate of the United States, I’ve devoted thirty years to battling the radical homosexuals in Washington.
Backed by Hollywood celebrities, the media, and millions of your tax dollars, the radical homosexuals have many Congressmen, both Democrat AND Republican, quivering with fear -- and because of that they have a radical homosexual-friendly majority in control of Congress.
That’s why pro-Family Senators and Congressmen are counting on me to find out if you really support the Gay Bill of Special Rights and homosexual “marriage” as the radical homosexuals claim .
Frankly, if you really do support the radical Homosexual Agenda -- or if you just no longer care enough to stand up for the Family -- insiders in Congress say the entire Homosexual Agenda could pass in a matter of months.
Passage of the Homosexual Agenda will ignite a firestorm that will rip through families, communities and businesses:
* Special job rights for homosexuals. Businesses may have to adopt hiring quotas to protect themselves from lawsuits. Every homosexual fired or not hired becomes a potential federal civil rights lawsuit.
Radical homosexuals will terrorize daycare centers, hospitals, churches and private schools. Traditional moral values will be shattered by federal law.
* Same-sex marriages and adoptions. Wedding gown-clad men smooching before some left-wing clergyman or state official is just the beginning.
You’ll see men hand-in-hand skipping down to adoption centers to “pick out” a little boy for themselves.
* The Homosexual Classrooms Act, which pushes their agenda into our schools. Your children or grandchildren will be taught homosexuality is moral, natural and good. High school children will learn perverted sex acts as part of “safe sex” education.
With condoms already handed out in many schools, radical homosexuals will have little trouble adopting today’s “if it feels good do it” sex-ed curriculum to their agenda.
But the email doesn’t stop there. Delgaudio goes on to tell the harrowing story of a recent “stormy night” in which he drove to a deserted warehouse where “long-haired, earring-pierced” men were printing gay-rights petitions until they spotted him and chased him away, shouting, “This time, Delgaudio, we can’t lose!” [UPDATE: Joe points out that this story is a favorite of Delgaudio's.]
One stormy night, I drove to a mailshop hidden deep in a nearly deserted stand of warehouses. I’d heard something was up and wanted to see for myself.
As I rounded the final turn, my eyes nearly popped. Tractor-trailers pulled up to loading docks, cars and vans everywhere and long-haired, earring-pierced men scurrying around running forklifts, inserters and huge printing presses.
Trembling with worry, I went inside. It was worse than I ever imagined.
Row after row of boxes bulging with pro-homosexual petitions lined the walls, stacked to the ceiling .
My mind reeled as I realized hundreds, maybe thousands, more boxes were already loaded on the tractor-trailers. And still more petitions were flying off the press.
Suddenly a dark-haired man screeched, “Delgaudio, what are you doing here?” Dozens of men began moving toward me. I’d been recognized.
As I retreated to my car, the man chortled, “This time, Delgaudio, we can’t lose !”
Driving away, my eyes filled with tears as I realized he might be right. This time the radical homosexuals could win.
You see, even though homosexuals are just 1% of the population, if every one sent a petition to Congress, it would generate a tidal wave of two or three million petitions or more.
Hundreds of thousands of pro-homosexual petitions will soon flood Congress , and my friends in Congress tell me there’s virtually nothing on Capitol Hill from the tens of millions of Americans like you who oppose the radical Homosexual Agenda and the Gay Bill of Special Rights.
I made up my mind that night to write to you and as many other patriotic Americans as possible. To stop the radical homosexuals and protect marriage, there must be an immediate outpouring of support from folks like you.
Delgaudio then repeats his fundraising plea to reach “twice as many” families as “all the homosexuals in America” so that he can finally let Congress know that the “radical homosexuals are lying.”
I’ve identified nearly 10 million families I believe would join our struggle for morality if only I can reach them. That’s more than twice as many as all the homosexuals in America ... and most of these families represent two or three voters each. But without your financial help, I’ll never be able to reach them.
My hope is you care enough to contribute sacrificially so I can reach these families.
A generous gift of $25 will let Public Advocate reach 45 more families. $50 will help us rally more than 97 homes. And a special gift of $100 will generate over 215 contacts.
Only you know whether chipping in $10, $20, or more is best suited to your budget.
I ask you to do what you can.
The radical homosexuals boast you support same-sex marriage, special job rights and the promotion of homosexuality in schools.
Please let Congress know the radical homosexuals are lying.
H/T RWW reader Erik
The Family Research Council’s Ken Blackwell, formerly the secretary of state of Ohio, was a guest on FRC’s “Washington Watch” program yesterday, where the exclusive topic was, of course, the subpoenas of a number of pastors in Houston.
“There are two things throughout human history that welfare states, totalitarian states, utilitarian states have done to maintain their control and to force their worldview on all who are under their governance, and that is they have destroyed the family and they have silenced the church,” Blackwell told guest host Craig James.
The Houston subpoenas, he said, are part of “the big welfare state’s attempt to silence the church, to marginalize the church, to silence Christians so that they can actually concentrate power on reshaping not only their cities, their towns, their states, but also the country.”
He then urged Christians to speak out or else “buy into a domestic version of the terrorists outside of our country” who think “America is evil.”
Conservative Christians must fight back against the “political powers that ride roughshod over us when we relegate ourselves to the sidelines and fall into silence in the face of this sort of abuse of power and cultural attack on what has made us not only the freest country in all of human history, the most prosperous country in all of human history, but has also made us the most diverse country in all of human history,” he said. “So for folks to buy into this ‘blame America first,’ ‘America is evil,’ to buy into a domestic version of the terrorists outside of our country is ridiculous and cannot stand.”
Elsewhere in the program, Blackwell called the subpoenas “a blatant attempt to criminalize Christianity” and alleged that city officials are “engaging in a good, old-fashioned inquisition.”
“Just as the inquisition of old, it wasn’t arrested until good people overtook evil,” he added.
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
While secretly plotting to use foreign forces to impose martial law on America, President Obama is also unleashing Ebola on Americans. Or maybe that’s just God punishing us for letting gay people be free. Either way, it may be too late for America because we all failed to listen to the wise words of Keith Ablow and Steve Stockman.
5) Gays To Blame For Ebola
It was only a matter of time before someone blamed the gays for Ebola, and North Carolina pastor Ron Baity was happy to be that brave person.
Back in 2012, Baity helped spearhead the campaign to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions in his state. When that ban was struck down by a federal court this week, Baity connected it with something else he was seeing in the news, predicting that God will punish America with the Ebola virus because of the fall of same-sex marriage bans and laws criminalizing homosexuality.
“We are bringing the judgment of God on this nation,” Baity said in a sermon captured by Jeremy Hooper. “As sure as Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed, don’t be surprised at the plagues, don’t be surprised at the judgment of God. You think Ebola is bad now? Just wait.”
4) Obama To Blame For Ebola Because He Hates America
Fox News therapist Keith Ablow believes he has the distinct ability to speak from “deep inside the president’s psyche.” And in that psyche, Ablow finds a bitter, racist man who wants to bring Ebola to America.
Eric Hananoki of Media Matters reports that during an appearance on Fox News Radio this week, Ablow reported that that while treating Obama over the TV, he discovered that the president hates America and “has it in for us.” According to Ablow, Obama’s “affinities” are with the people of Africa and he subsequently sees it is a matter of “fairness” that more Americans contract Ebola.
In his make-believe examination of Obama, it turns out Ablow also found a collection of right-wing memes from the 2012 election: “Let me speak as though I’m coming from deep inside the president’s psyche. You miserable people have destroyed so much in the world in terms of good things, and now you're going to build a wall? Really? To insulate yourself from things that are devastating other nations when your gains are ill-gotten? And the very fact that you can build a wall — you’re using wealth that you never should have had to build it. This is just another manifestation of you didn't build that, business. Right? You didn't build the right to make yourself immune from something that is devastating a country with lesser resources.”
Phyllis Schlafly also speculated this week that President Obama wants to bring Ebola to America to make the country more like Africa: “Obama doesn’t want America to believe that we’re exceptional. He wants us to be just like everybody else, and if Africa is suffering from Ebola, we ought to join the group and be suffering from it, too. That’s his attitude.”
3) Obama To Blame For Ebola Because He Hates Freedom
Rep. Steve Stockman thinks something is fishy about the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak, and the Texas Republican is just going to put it out there that maybe Obama is sabotaging the government response because he wants the virus to spread, giving him an excuse to seize dictatorial power.
“It’s just bizarre there’s not enough action up front and I’m wondering if that’s — I’m not saying this — but I’m wondering if that’s intentional in order to create a greater crisis to use it as a blunt force to say, well in order to solve this crisis we’re going to have to take control of the economy and individuals and so forth,” the actual member of Congress told End Times soothsayer Rick Wiles. “It’s just a strange non-response, a strange way of handling it and I think that if it does go forward and we do not control it, there may be an overreaction where the government starts taking away the rights of those that aren’t that necessarily involved or need that to happen.”
After all, Stockman explained, “this current government uses crisis to advance their philosophy and their agenda” and Obama already gave himself the authority to exercise “emergency powers to take over control of the economy and everything.”
Stockman insisted that he was “not saying this,” just asking the question!
2) Why Hasn’t The Military Staged A Coup?
When a GOP official in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, wrote a Facebook post this week asking why the military hasn’t yet staged a coup to overthrow the Obama administration, she made sure to use the “just asking the question” framing we see so frequently from conservative pundits and politicians who are trying to escape any responsibility for their statements.
Debbie Dunnegan Waters, Jefferson County’s recorder of deeds, an elected office, wrote on Facebook: “I have a question for all my friends who have served or are currently serving in our military … having not put on a uniform nor taken any type military oath [sic], there has to be something that I am just not aware of. But I cannot and do not understand why no action is being taken against our domestic enemy. I know he is supposedly the commander in chief, but the constitution gives you the authority. What am I missing?”
See, she wasn’t saying the military should overthrow Obama, just asking why it hadn’t.
“Something innocent and simple got twisted into a disaster because it’s an election,” she explained after her Facebook post attracted national attention. “I meant no ill intent toward the president. I meant no ill intent toward anybody.”
Well, that settles that!
1) Vets Must Prepare For A Coup!
Alex Jones knows why the military hasn’t staged a coup yet, and the answer may surprise you!
The “Infowars” host said on Wednesday that whenever he goes out and about, military service members and police officers keep approaching him to sing his praises and confirm his fears about fluoridated water, FEMA camps and Agenda 21.
While speaking with survivalist James Wesley Rawles on Wednesday, Jones reported that the government has been brainwashing service members with messages that “Christians are bad, gun owners are bad, the founding fathers were bad. It’s like something you’d expect to see in the Red Dawn movie when they show the reeducation camp at the sports stadium with the movie screens going ‘George Washington was a pig, gun owners are bad, capitalism is bad.’”
Fortunately, Jones thinks that as a result of his show getting the truth out there, such moves have turned the military against the government: “The propaganda of the people running things is so horrible it makes you think they’re inept because this is the stuff bad guys would tell the military. I think their attempt to demonize the liberty movement has totally backfired on them and is strategically one of the biggest defeats they’ve had.”
Rawles confirmed that service members “have woken up, they have done their homework, they can see what’s really going on and they are no longer falling for the lies the administration is trying to push,” thus thwarting Obama’s plans to impose martial law: “It’s very encouraging because if they ever tried to institute martial law, they’re not going to be able to do it with American troops, they’ll have to bring in overseas troops to try to institute martial law in this country because the American military is not going to put up with it.”
Even better, Rawles noted that once there is a “situation where there is a war of resistance in America,” then “all those returning veterans are going to form the core cadre of resistance.”
Jones, however, cautioned that the Hitlerian military now treats veterans as “enemy number one.”
The Institute on the Constitution’s Michael Peroutka was a guest on Steve Deace’s radio program on Wednesday, where the two obviously discussed the latest Religious Right controversy brewing in Houston.
Deace declared that nondiscrimination laws like the one in Houston and transgender nondiscrimination laws being considered throughout the country are ultimately meant to “silence the church” and elevate government to the level of God.
Lawmakers, Deace argued, are “using sexual perversity and immorality as the means to silence the church so that there is no institution capable of challenging the supremacy of the state.”
Peroutka — who is also a GOP candidate for a county office in Maryland — agreed, saying “If you believe that you are God, as government has proved over and over again that it believes it is…you don’t want there to be another God, you don’t want anybody to have an allegiance to the one true and living God, the God of the Bible whose son is Jesus Christ, because if that exists it is the enemy of your own idolatry.”
Georgia Republican congressional candidate Jody Hice devoted his most recent radio commentary to the controversy over subpoena’s served to a number of Houston pastors as part of litigation over the city’s recently enacted nondiscrimination ordinance.
Although city officials have been backing away from the subpoenas, attributing them to overly zealous pro-bono lawyers, the Religious Right has turned the incident into a cause celebre, and Hice is on board, declaring on his radio program that the Houston incident is “the new Alamo” for anti-gay activists.
“This is the battleground now over traditional family,” he said. “And what is going to occur over this development is that we are either going to see this in Houston, Texas, be the beginning of the end of the LGBT assault, if you will, on freedom to practice religion and of traditional family values being rightfully defended, or this is going to be a huge step toward the ultimate collapse of religious liberty in America.”
He warned listeners that if they don’t get involved in Houston, “one day the government is going to be knocking on the door of your pastor.”
“This is the first attempt in this country where we have a widespread attack on pastors in an entire region. And if it is not stopped here, we are in for a serious problem regarding the attacks of religious liberty in this country,” he said.
Earlier in the program, Hice alleged that the subpoenas — which were related to a lawsuit over the validity of petition signatures — were in fact part of a scheme by Houston’s openly lesbian mayor to find sermons that she “might deem to be offensive or whatever” and bring charges against pastors for preaching from the Bible.
“They may be actually trying to bring legal charges against these pastors for sharing with their congregants scriptural passages,” he guessed.