Equality For All

Bob Vander Plaats: How Will Lindsey Graham Fight Radical Islam If He Won't Fight LGBT Rights?

Last week, after Caitlyn Jenner introduced herself on the cover of Vanity Fair, prominent Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace told Republican candidates that if they wouldn’t speak out against Jenner’s transition, “you might as well just forfeit the 2016 election now.” When CNN’s Dana Bash asked Sen. Lindsey Graham about Deace’s comments in an interview over the weekend, he responded that while he’s “a pro-life, traditional marriage kind of guy,” Jenner is “welcome in my party.”

He then addressed Deace directly: “Here's what I would say to the talk show host: In the eyes of radical Islam, they hate you as much as they hate Caitlyn Jenner. They hate us all because we won’t agree to their view of religion. So, America, we’re all in this together.”

All of this, unsurprisingly, did not go over very well with Deace, who addressed Graham’s comments yesterday during his weekly discussion of presidential candidates with Iowa social conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats, saying, “If you’re not going to defend the idea of male and female, you’re not going to defend any of those other things that you just claimed to be for, Sen. Graham.”

Vander Plaats, an influential force in Iowa Republican politics, agreed, saying that if Graham wouldn’t speak out against people like Caitlyn Jenner, he could never fight radical Islam.

“The thing of it is, you can go out and you can have empathy and compassion for Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner,” he said. “However, you have to be able to stand up and say, but God still created us male and female. That’s the basic point here.”

“That’s our issue with Lindsey Graham,” he added, “is that you can say you’re pro-life, you can say you’re for God’s design for the family in marriage, you can say that he created them male and female, but when you never take a stand on those issues, it’s awfully hard for us to trust, then, that you’re going to take a stand against radical Islam or any other domestic matter or foreign matter that may come up during a presidency. That’s why I think in Iowa not many people take Lindsay Graham seriously.”

Mike Lee: Supreme Court Marriage Decision Would Be 'Disruptive Of The Constitutional Order'

Sen. Mike Lee of Utah joined Phyllis Schlafly on her “Eagle Forum Live” radio program last month, where he took a call from a listener who asked if he agreed “that the original Constitution didn’t give the Supreme Court the power to rule anything about marriage” and that even Justice John Marshall, who established the principle of judicial review, “never said that the court could change the definition of marriage.”

“Where did the Supreme Court get the power to change the definition of marriage?” the caller asked. “And all the justices, all nine of them, even though they disagree, they all seem to think that they have the power to make that decision.”

“They don’t have that power, the Constitution didn’t give it to them,” Lee responded.

“There are a few who appear to take the position that something in the Constitution, something in the 14th Amendment in particular, gives them this power,” he said. “I strongly, strongly disagree with that viewpoint. I don’t think it does, and I think they are mistaken in that conclusion. And it think it’s wrong, I think it’s disruptive of the constitutional order for them to take a debatable matter and take it beyond debate, to take a state matter and take it to the federal government, not just to Congress, but to the Supreme Court, to a group of nine lawyers dressed in black robes who are not elected, but who are appointed for life. And I think that’s a big problem.”

In an interview with WorldNetDaily posted on its YouTube channel last week, Lee had a similar warning, saying that if a bill he has introduced allowing religious groups to discriminate against gay people doesn’t pass, a Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality could cause churches and religious organizations to shut down because of the government “retaliating against religious individuals or institutions.”

“I fear that what could happen is that the government could start discriminating against religious individuals and religious institutions that have a religious belief about the definition of marriage,” he said. “I don’t want that to happen. I hesitate to imagine what an America that would have that as part of its legal system would look like.”

Huckabee Stands By 'Commonsense' Transgender Locker Room Joke

Former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee stood by a joke he made at the expense of transgender people, telling Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace on Friday that his off-color joke was a “commonsense answer to the insanity that’s going on out there.”

In a speech to the National Religious Broadcasters convention in February, Huckabee joked that when he was in high school he would have liked to have pretended to be transgender in order to shower with the girls in gym class. The comment gained national attention after the conservative website WorldNetDaily posted it on YouTube last month, shortly before Caitlyn Jenner’s introduction in Vanity Fair put transgender rights in the media spotlight.

When Deace asked Huckabee if the criticism of his locker room joke was an example of the media’s “misplaced priorities,” Huckabee responded, “It’s absolutely an example.”

“And by the way, Steve, I take nothing back from that speech,” he added. “I’m kind of glad it’s posted because people, if they watch the whole clip, what they’re going to see is that I’m giving a commonsense answer to the insanity that’s going on out there. Because I hear people, everybody wants to be politically correct, everybody wants to be loved by the media and loved by the left and loved by the elitists. But, you know, I know I’m not going to be, so let’s just get it over with. I’d rather be a commonsense candidate for people who did take their brains to work today.”

Religious Right Angry At Business Support For Marriage Equality

Conservative religious leaders have been delighted to work with parts of corporate America – most notably the Koch brothers’ political networks – to elect candidates who back right-wing social and economic policies. Religious conservatives have championed Citizens United and the demolition of regulations on campaign cash. The Kochs even promote Religious Right leaders who tell their followers that the Bible opposes minimum wage laws, unions, and progressive taxes. But many of America’s biggest companies have also become supporters of equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, and that’s making religious conservatives angry.

When a number of major corporations pushed back hard against an anti-gay “religious freedom” law in Indiana, Gov. Mike Pence asked the legislature to amend the law to state that it would not allow businesses to discriminate. And that made the Religious Right furious. Reliably pro-business Republican presidential candidates like Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal have been attacking big business support for gay rights in a sometimes awkward attempt at right-wing populist rhetoric.

Today’s mail brought a direct mail letter from the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins complaining, “Big Business has joined the anti-Christian bullies!” Perkins warns that “the seduction of Big Business by the homosexual rights movement is the main reason that movement has gained such momentum over our freedom to believe and live according to those beliefs.” Perkins asks for donations to “Stop Big Business’s Assault on Religious Freedom” and to support an FRC initiative to talk to business leaders and bring them around.

Another direct mail piece from Perkins, this time for FRC’s political arm, FRC Action, arrived the same day, in an envelope emblazoned with, “When you can’t make a living because you’re a Christian…THAT’S NOT FREEDOM.” The letter complains that “big corporations are foolishly aligning with the Left’s social agenda” and pledges that FRC Action will help states “create and pass a protective wall of religious freedom laws.” Perkins gripes about business opposition to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act:

The media published incredible false claims about what the law said and what the law would do. Hollywood celebrities, giant corporations, sports leagues, and even other states became a national lynch mob. They threatened and enacted boycotts of the state.

Tragically the governor ultimately caved in to these pressures. With the corporate community threatening boycotts and economic loss to the state, it appears that many political leaders in the state were more concerned about economic issues than moral truth, religious freedom, and the well-being of the family.

Over at conservative journal First Things, University of Notre Dame Professor Patrick Deneen says it is clear that in Indiana, “Republicans and Christians lost, Democrats and gay activists won.” (Of course this simplistic formulation ignores the Christian leaders who were allied with LGBT activists in opposing the law.) Deneen, a critic of both corporate capitalism and liberal democracy, blames the outcome in Indiana on business involvement:

Had the only appreciable opposition to RFRA come from gay rights activists, RFRA would have been a smashing political success for Republicans. It would have made the right enemies while generating gratitude and energy in the base. They did not expect their usual friends in corporate America to join the opposition, which was an idiotic miscalculation given the fact that establishment outrage scuttled the Arizona RFRA last year.

Deneen wrote last year that “The modern corporation and modern marriage are born of the same philosophical roots: rootless individuals seeking self-gratification in whatever way they see fit, short of ‘harming’ another.” In his First Things article, he portrays corporations standing with LGBT groups as a smart business decision given pro-gay shifts in public attitudes. But he calls the gay-rights collaboration between cultural and economic “elites” a dangerous alignment that is “ready to steamroll anyone in their way.” After Indiana, he says, “religiously based opposition to gay marriage is now more likely than ever to be treated by our society as tantamount to a hate crime,” and warns that the “elite-sanctioned attack on ‘bigotry’” will “reach inevitably into the sanctuaries of the churches themselves.”

Mike Huckabee: Gay Marriage Will Criminalize Christianity by Elevating 'A Lifestyle To The Status Of A Civil Right'

This month’s issue of Billy Graham’s Decision magazine contains, along with a fawning profile of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a “special report” on the upcoming Supreme Court gay marriage decision, featuring panicked interviews with GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver.

In an interview with Decision, Huckabee repeated his warning that marriage equality will lead to the “criminalization of Christianity,” saying, “When you elevate a lifestyle to the status of a civil right, I don’t think a lot of believers fully understand or comprehend that once it’s risen to that level and our government accepts it, then anyone who disagrees with it could be at least civilly liable, but more than likely would be criminally liable.”

He warned that if marriage equality is legalized nationwide, it will become a “criminal act” for a pastor to preach against gay marriage. Of course, this has not yet happened in any of the states where gay marriage is currently legal, nor did it ever become illegal to preach against interracial marriage after that was legalized by the Supreme Court nearly 50 years ago.

Similarly, Staver warned that marriage equality is an attack on “the very image of God” and urged churches to prepare for civil disobedience in the mold of pastor and anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “We’re no longer going to just talk like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we’re going to act like Dietrich Bonhoeffer.”

“To attack marriage attacks the very image of God,” said Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel and former dean of the School of Law at Liberty University.

“It puts the State in the position of acting as though it knows better than God and, in fact, is the creator, with the ability to redefine God’s natural created order.”

A decision in favor of same-sex marriage would set off an unprecedented avalanche of threats on religious liberties, potentially affecting virtually every church, pastor, ministry and Christian-owned business.

“The implications are staggering,” Staver said.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee warns that it could even lead to the “criminalization of Christianity.”

“When you elevate a lifestyle to the status of a civil right, I don’t think a lot of believers fully understand or comprehend that once it’s risen to that level and our government accepts it, then anyone who disagrees with it could be at least civilly liable, but more than likely would be criminally liable,” Huckabee, a Republican presidential candidate, told Decision during a recent visit to the Billy Graham Library.

“The impact is this: A pastor getting up in the pulpit and proclaiming God’s Word that marriage is the act of one man and woman joining together for life would violate the civil rights of a same-sex couple. … That would make it a criminal act.”

Proponents of same-sex marriage—backed by the Obama administration—say LGBT couples are being discriminated against and deserve marriage equality protections.

Regardless of how the case turns out, Huckabee made clear that the true definition of marriage will stand.

“Even if the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is OK, it doesn’t make it OK because the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being,” he said. “The ultimate rules for marriage were not made by the Supreme Court, but by God. He is the One who gave us the blueprint.”

Liberty Counsel’s Staver said of the threat to religious liberties: “You’re not going to be able to have your own opinion if it’s a contrary opinion because the force of the police state will require individuals not just to remain silent, but to affirm and promote same-sex unions and immoral sexual behavior.”

[Liberty Institute president Kelly] Shackelford said it will be difficult for churches to follow their doctrine without interference from the government.

“Almost every ministry is going to have implications,” he said. “Every Christian organization and every church is going to find themselves in a situation where they’re going to have to decide, in many cases, whether to follow man’s new law or God’s law.”

Staver said churches, ministries and individual believers must be willing to practice civil disobedience if that’s what it takes to obey God’s Word.

“We’re no longer going to just talk like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we’re going to act like Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” Staver said, referring to the German pastor who was imprisoned for resisting Hitler’s Nazi regime.

“We have to say we will not move and we will not compromise. We must say that this is a line we cannot cross, not because we want a controversy or a conflict, not because we’re being belligerent, but because it is such a stark assault on our religious freedom and our Christian beliefs that we cannot cross it. We have to render to God what belongs to God.”

Jindal: Left Trying To 'Outlaw Firmly Held Religious Beliefs That They Do Not Agree With'

Last month, after a Louisiana House committee rejected a bill championed by Gov. Bobby Jindal that would have protected discrimination against gays and lesbians under the guise of “religious liberty," Jindal issued an executive order implementing the policy anyway.

All of this followed an op-ed Jindal had written in the New York Times swearing that he would stand up against the “bullying” by gay rights advocates who had been resisting similar laws in other states.

That op-ed earned Jindal, who is also a likely GOP presidential candidate, a glowing portrait in this month’s edition of Decision, the magazine published by Billy Graham’s ministry, in which he declared that by resisting such “right to discriminate” measures, liberals are trying “to essentially outlaw firmly held religious beliefs that they do not agree with.”

He also claimed that the Louisiana bill that was ultimately rejected was “not about discriminating against folks.”

Jindal says the debate over gay marriage really transcends the marriage issue and reveals the agenda of the secular left.

“The left is now in full battle mode against the right to religious freedom that is guaranteed by the First Amendment, and we’re seeing it firsthand in my state,” Jindal said. “You saw the bullying tactics they recently used to intimidate other states when the states tried to pass laws protecting religious freedom. … This is a battle by the left to essentially outlaw firmly held religious beliefs that they do not agree with.”

Jindal emphasized to Decision that the Louisiana law would not allow for discrimination against people because of sexual orientation, and he disputed the charges by opponents that protecting the religious liberties of Americans is somehow “hateful.”

“This is not about discriminating against folks or about judging people,” Jindal said. “This is simply about protecting the essential religious freedom rights in the First Amendment.”

Roy Moore: Gay Marriage Will 'Literally Cause The Destruction Of Our Country'

In an interview with CNS News published over the weekend, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore warned that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality would “literally cause the destruction of our country”:

“What [the court is] doing is they’re toying with something that’s like dynamite and will destroy our country,” Justice Roy Moore told CNSNews.com in an exclusive interview last week during the Family Research Council’s annual pastor’s retreat in Washington, D.C.

Moore said a favorable ruling would mean Americans would be forced to accept homosexual marriage and support it through goods and services for those ceremonies.

“I think there’s an attempt to destroy the institution of marriage and I think it will cause, literally cause the destruction of our country or lead to the destruction of our country over the long run,” Moore said. “And I think there are people who would like to see this country destroyed.”

“I’m not saying that everyone who’s homosexual wants to see the country destroyed,” Moore said. “I’m not saying that. I’m saying there’s a push for it.”

CNS News posted an audio clip of part of the interview:


 

Sandy Rios Predicts Major Worldwide Disaster In Divine Punishment For Gay Marriage

On her radio program Friday, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios predicted that God will send a “major shift or disaster” to punish the world for gay marriage.

Rios was responding to social media comments from an LGBT rights supporter named Peter, who pointed out that none of the countries that have legalized marriage equality have yet fallen to ruin because of it.

“There are some effects already early on, there are here in this country as well,” Rios responded. “But it’s too early to see any kind of major shift or disaster that I think most of us who believe that God’s word is true are predicting for the whole world, really, Peter, for the whole world. For God will not let us just continue to be debauched and ignore him.”

Rios also responded to “a very good point” that Peter made about “the sanctity of marriage and the divorce rate.”

She explained that while “God does hate divorce” it is “not a sin” and it is allowed under some circumstances. “But gay marriage is never allowed,” she said. “Gay marriage is a subject of a whole different matter, and it strikes at God and his design for man, creating male and female from the very beginning, giving women to man at the very beginning.”

Marriage Equality Opponent: Gay Marriage 'Mess' Started With Contraception

The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson — the fresh face of the movement against marriage equality — agreed with an interviewer last week that the road to marriage equality started with widespread contraception use, saying that the acceptance of gay marriage came about because “we’ve had a culture since the ‘60s, since the sexual revolution, that has largely made a mess of human sexuality, the family and marriage.”

Patrick Coffin, who hosts a podcast for the group Catholic Answers, asked Anderson whether “the widespread acceptance of contraception” was “the first domino to fall” on the way to marriage equality.

“Yes, the sexual revolution explains quite a bit of this,” Anderson agreed. “We only arrived at the place where we are today, in 2015, at the cusp of a potential Supreme Court case redefining marriage everywhere because we’ve had a culture since the ‘60s, since the sexual revolution, that has largely made a mess of human sexuality, the family and marriage. It’s only after a generation or two of premarital sex, non-marital childbearing, the hookup culture, pornography, no-fault divorce, that you’d then be at the point of saying, ‘Oh, yeah, marriage has nothing to do with men and women.’”

Opponents of marriage equality don’t always acknowledge that the rights that they would like to roll back don’t stop with gay marriage. But just as the gay rights and women’s rights movements have been intertwined for decades, so has the opposition to those advances.

In fact, Anderson made this very argument in a 2006 essay in defense of the radically anti-contraception Quiverfull movement (made famous by the Duggar family), in which he wondered if a backlash against gay marriage might lead Christians to reexamine their "sexual practice" and come to realize "the immorality of contraception":

As people continue to see the bad results of the sexual revolution, they are likely to reevaluate their current attitudes toward sex, and while doing so they may find that the logic of human sexuality leads right back to traditional Christian orthodoxy. Might the continued push for same-sex "marriage" and the normalization of homosexuality prove to be the tipping point, the catalyst for a widespread reexamination of Christian sexual practice? Might these issues push the envelope so far that, as faithful Christians reflect on the reasons why they must conclude that homosexual acts fail to embody the truth of human sexuality, they come to realize that these same reasons entail the immorality of contraception? (For the moment I’ll assume that anyone entertaining this line of thought has already concluded that premarital and extramarital sex likewise fail to embody the truth of human sexuality.)

Last month, during the Supreme Court arguments in the Obergefell v. Hodges marriage equality cases, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg challenged the idea that the definition of marriage has existed for “millennia,” pointing out that the ground for same-sex marriage was paved by a “change in the institution of marriage to make it egalitarian” for women. More recently, the legal fight for reproductive rights for women — starting with defending the right to contraception — has gone hand in hand with the fight for LGBT rights.

This post has been updated with Anderson's 2006 article.

CWA: Gay Leaders Will 'Dismantle' Boy Scouts And 'Put Our Young Sons At Risk'

Concerned Women for America is joining the right-wing freakout over Boy Scouts head Robert Gates’ suggestion that the organization lift its ban on gay troop leaders. In a fundraising email today, CWA president Penny Nance declares that the Boy Scouts “have taken a radical turn” and that allowing gay leaders will “dismantle one of the last remaining traditional institutions that make America great” while putting “our young sons at risk.”

Dear ____,

The Boy Scouts of America have taken a radical turn.

Last week, Robert Gates, president of the Boy Scouts, called for an end to the ban on homosexual leaders ... effectively caving to the forces of political correctness ...

• Betraying parents

• Betraying young scouts

• Betraying the Scout Oath to remain "morally straight"

• And betraying the Boy Scouts' decades-old record of courage and leadership.

I will not stand by while activist groups dismantle one of the last remaining traditional institutions that make America great - and put our young sons at risk.

Sex and politics don't belong in the Boy Scouts.

Please sign CWA's Open Letter to Robert Gates - to protect America's children from becoming caught up in a cultural fight started by radical proponents.

Homosexual activists long ago declared war on the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and have for years delivered blow after blow against them for their stand against open homosexuality within their leadership.

The Scouts have stood with dignity and valor through every attempt, but that's about to change ...

Homosexual activists are on the brink of finally bullying them into submission. and BSA President Gates needs to know just where you stand regarding his lack of courage.

Sign our Open Letter right now and demand moral leadership from Robert Gates: Do not lift the ban on "gay" Scout leaders, destroy the Scouts' reputation, and put our sons' safety at risk.

Don't let the Scouts become just one more institution where Christians will be forced to compromise their convictions. .

Join us as we call on the Boy Scouts of America to remain faithful to their founding and to, above all, be courageous in pursuing their core principle of "Duty to God."

Sincerely,

Penny Nance
Chief Executive Officer and President
Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee

PFAW Telebriefing Explores Ferguson, Baltimore and the Fight for Racial Justice

As police violence plagues cities across the nation, communities are actively responding with initiatives to mitigate violence and work toward justice. Elected officials, faith leaders and community activists have come together to strengthen their communities in places such as Ferguson and Baltimore. As Pastor Barry Hargrove, president of the Progressive Baptist Convention of Maryland and an active minister in our African American Religious Affairs Program, explained, “There are lots of things happening behind the scenes, happening on the ground, that are not being reported.”

On Tuesday, PFAW hosted a telebriefing for members about the Black Lives Matter movement. PFAW Communications Director Drew Courtney moderated a dialogue among Hargrove, Missouri State Senator and member of affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network Maria Chappelle-Nadal, PFAWF Director of Youth Leadership and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, and PFAWF Director of African American Religious Affairs Leslie Watson Malachi.

In the telebriefing, these leaders answered questions about Baltimore and Ferguson and discussed progressive measures taking place in their own communities. In both Baltimore and Ferguson, local leaders have turned toward broad and responsive solutions – such as community policing, social justice education curricula, and prayer rallies – to address targeted violence against minorities.

Despite these steps, Chappelle-Nadal noted that there are still “a significant number of issues that have not been addressed by the legislature.” Chappelle-Nadal, as well as Hargrove, Gillum, and Malachi, encouraged participants to continue advocating for local policies that can help to provoke a systemic change in police practices and empower communities.

Call participants posed many productive questions, including a member who asked what steps could be taken to address tension between the police and communities. Hargrove suggested working within “spheres of influence,” whether it be faith-based organizations or public policy proposals. He also encouraged dialogues between police and community members; Chappelle-Nadal echoed this sentiment by urging citizens to build connections based on commonalities rather than differences.

Listen to the full briefing here:

PFAW

Religious Right Groups Warn Gay Boy Scout Leaders Will Sexually Molest And Recruit Boys Into Homosexuality

Even as the Religious Right’s favorite reality TV family is rocked by a sexual abuse scandal, the American Family Association is urging its members to pull their sons from the Boy Scouts out of fear that gay troop leaders will sexually molest them and recruit them into homosexuality.

Former AFA official Bryan Fischer, who hosts a daily program on the organization’s radio network, called Boy Scouts head Robert Gates’ support for admitting gay troop leaders “a disaster, a moral catastrophe.” If gay men are allowed to lead Boy Scout troops, he said, “It’s no longer going to be Boy Scouts of America, it’s going to be Gay Pedophiles Scouting For Boys”:

The AFA’s Randy Sharp told the organization’s OneNewsNow news outlet today that lifting the ban on gay troop leaders would present a “clear and present danger” to boys and that there for parents should “immediately remove their sons” from the organization:

He was hinting at a policy revision to allow open homosexuals to act as leaders and mentors to scouts.

Randy Sharp, director of Special Projects at the American Family Association, says the Boy Scouts are playing with a "clear and present danger" and parents should be aware.

"We would urge all parents to immediately remove their sons from the Boy Scouts of America," Sharp, speaking for the pro-family group, tells OneNewsNow.

He says homosexual leaders are poised to influence boys about their sexuality and their presence subjects boys to opportunities for sexual abuse by their trusted leaders.

John Stemberger, head of the rival organization Trail Life USA, similarly warned that such a “tragic” move by the Boy Scouts would endanger “the safety and security of its boys” and even allow “the homosexual agenda to infiltrate the church”:

John Stemberger, chairman of the board for Trail Life USA, said in a statement that Trail Life is "saddened" by the Boy Scouts' announcement.

"It is tragic that the BSA is willing to risk the safety and security of its boys because of peer pressure from activist groups," he said.

Many churches that sponsored Boy Scout troops also dropped their support and Sharp says Gates' announcement is an "opportunity for the homosexual agenda to infiltrate the church."

Meanwhile anti-gay activist Michael Brown told WorldNetDaily that allowing gay Boy Scout leaders not only “opens the door for sexual predators,” it also “opens the door for gay boys to be flirting with straight boys under the auspices of the Boy Scouts’:

Michael Brown, who holds a Ph.D. from New York University and has researched and written a number of books on homosexuality, says he is not surprised by the Scouts.

“I said from the start that gay activists would not stop at having openly homosexual boys in the Boy Scouts, but now it’s openly homosexual leaders.”

Brown, whose books include “Can You Be Gay and Christian?” and the upcoming “Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism Is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide,” believes if the Boy Scouts accept openly homosexual leaders, they will cease to be a positive moral force in the lives of American boys.

“This sets a wrong role model for these kids,” Brown told WND.

Yet, Brown says parents should have further concerns.

“This opens the door for sexual predators, a real danger, and it opens the door for gay boys to be flirting with straight boys under the auspices of the Boy Scouts,” he said.

Americans for Truth About Homosexuality’s Peter LaBarbera, for his part, told OneNewsNow that by allowing gay leaders, the Boy Scouts would “promote the acceptance of sexual perversion”:

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality says the presence of open homosexuals will destroy the scouting organization.

"Because you cannot be a wholesome organization and promote the acceptance of sexual perversion at the same time," he warns.

As Brian wrote earlier today, evangelist Franklin Graham has warned that the move “would put young, innocent boys at risk,” while conservative author Paul Kengor said that a lack of “courage” from the Boy

Tony Perkins: Gay Rights Encouraging ISIS, Pastors Will Be Dragged 'Kicking And Screaming' Out Of Church

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins wrapped up his group’s annual “Watchmen on the Wall” pastors’ conference by warning the conservative pastors in the audience that although they “may have five years” before they are dragged “kicking and screaming” out of their churches if the Supreme Court strikes down same-sex marriage bans, they should start preparing their congregations for “persecution.”

“We are about to be challenged to the very core of what it means to be a Christian,” he said. “If the court hands down this decision redefining marriage for America, they’re not going to come and take you, dragging and kicking and screaming out of your church in the next six months. You may have five years.”

“But let me tell you who’s going to face it first,” he said. “It’s your folks that are sitting in the pew.”

He said that pastors should tell their congregations that there is no middle ground on gay rights and that “they live all for God or they don’t live for him at all.” It’s “time to teach them” to “resist unrighteous and unlawful government,” he added.

Perkins told them that he was not being hateful because “I love God and I love people.”

“I cannot think of anything that would be a greater display of hate than to know the truth and not speak it,” he said.

Later in his speech, Perkins repeated his claim that the supposed persecution of Christians in America resulting from LGBT equality and reproductive rights  is encouraging the violent oppression of Christians in the Middle East by groups like ISIS.

“Understand that we don’t live in a vacuum here in America,” he said. “What we do here has consequences elsewhere. If we step back and allow this growing intolerance of Christianity here at home at the hands of our own government, Christians will die at the hands of terrorists and tyrants in faraway places. If we are silent about the intolerance here at home, we have given the green flag for those abroad to target and persecute our brothers and sisters in Christ.”

US Groups Warn Ireland: Marriage Equality Means 'Homosexual Activists' Will 'Censor' & 'Punish' Christians

Ireland is voting today on a referendum that, if successful, would make the country the first in the world to institute marriage equality by popular vote — a development that has alarmed marriage equality opponents around the world, including in the U.S.

On Wednesday, a group of U.S. and Canadian marriage equality opponents sent a “ message of caution to the Irish people ” warning them that the progress of LGBT rights in the United States has “produced serious and troubling consequences for religious freedom” and led “homosexual activists” to “censor, silence, coerce, and punish religious believers who criticize, oppose or resist them.”

Signatories of the letter, which was published on the website of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, include Brian Camenker of MassResistance, Human Life International President Shenan Boquet, John Horvat of the group Tradition, Family and Property, and John-Henry Westin, editor of the Canada-based LifeSiteNews.

The examples of supposed anti-Christian persecution cited in the letter include fines imposed on businesses that refuse service to gay and lesbian customers (which are the result of nondiscrimation laws, not same-sex marriage), a misprepresentation of an exchange in the recent Supreme Court marriage arguments about discrimination by religious schools, and the fact that employers have to provide spousal benefits to their legally married gay employees.

American groups seeking to stop LGBT rights initiatives abroad are increasingly leaning on the “religious liberty” messaging that they are using at home. In fact, the ways that LGBT equality and abortion rights supposedly trample on the religious freedom of their opponents will be the theme of the next World Congress of Families gathering in Utah.

From the Catholic Action League’s press release about the letter to Ireland:

“The progress of same gender marriage in the United States has produced serious and troubling consequences for religious freedom in America, including limitations on free speech, discrimination against Catholics and other religious believers, and state sponsored coercion, characterized by harshly punitive measures against Christians and others who refuse to violate their consciences in this matter,” the signatories said in a statement released earlier today.

“Among the examples of injustice directed at those who support the perennial understanding of marriage are the following:

  • Printers, photographers, bakers, florists, innkeepers and others have been the objects of lawsuits by homosexuals, and investigations, resulting in fines---some as high as $150,000---and other civil penalties, by administrative law, government enforcement agencies, for refusing to service same gender marriage ceremonies;
  • The Solicitor General of the United States, in arguments before the U. S. Supreme Court, admitted that religiously affiliated institutions, such as schools and charities, could lose their tax exempt status if they refuse to recognize same gender unions as marriages;
  • Military and naval chaplains have faced warnings and disciplinary proceedings, for counseling members of the Armed Forces that homosexual behavior is sinful;
  • In Massachusetts, a federal judge has ruled that public schools must instruct the children attending them, without parental notification or consent, that same gender marriage is the equivalent of traditional marriage;
  • In states where same gender marriage has been legalized, employers, including religious employers, must provide spousal benefits to the partners of homosexuals who have contracted civil marriages.”

“For three decades now, homosexual activists have portrayed themselves as victims of intolerance who are only seeking to end discrimination and achieve equality. The reality is very different. Wherever the homosexual agenda has prevailed, homosexual activists have sought to use the authority of the law, the power of the government, and the money of the taxpayers to censor, silence, coerce, and punish religious believers who criticize, oppose or resist them.”

“We respectfully urge the people of the Republic of Ireland to weigh carefully the implications of same gender marriage to their own freedoms, and to re-affirm the millennia-old definition of marriage by voting No on Friday.”

GOP Partner David Lane Calls For Christianity As 'Official Religion' of US

As Brian reported this morning, the Republican National Committee continues to partner with the American Renewal Project, which is run by Christian Nationalist and anti-gay extremist David Lane and is affiliated with the far-right American Family Association.

Lane is a busy guy these days. In addition to leading a training session at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, his American Renewal Project is gearing up for its next political prayer rally, this time hosted by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in the important early primary state. Previous Response rallies were hosted by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

All the events push David Lane’s divisive and exclusionary view of America as a nation founded by and for Christians — a view on display in an email alert Lane sent to his supporters last night.

Lane’s letter opens with a typically distorted view of American history:

Did you realize that America's Founders established Christianity as the official religion of America in the 13 Original state Constitutions? ... Then suddenly, following three and half centuries of meteoric rise and cultural distinction, a secular U.S. Supreme Court in 1963 pronounced that the Bible would no longer be the fixed point in which to structure and judge community.

Lane’s opening misses a few minor historical points: the adoption of the Constitution, First Amendment,  and Bill of Rights, and the fact that states with established official churches had disestablished them in the 18th and 19th centuries, long before the Supreme Court ruling Lane is complaining about.

Speaking of the Supreme Court, Lane declares, “God defines marriage, not secularist crusaders of the superior court.” And in order to be “completely transparent and unclouded on God’s position on homosexuality,” he quotes several Bible verses, including one from Leviticus that a man who sleeps with another man “shall surely be put to death.”

Lane denounces the American church for its “submission to secularists.”

Egregious and scandalous is the Church’s submission to secularists, and the resignation of America’s Founder’s mission, “We do hereby Dedicate this Land, and ourselves, to reach the People within these shores with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to raise up Godly generations after us, and with these generations take the Kingdom of God to all the earth.”

That’s another historical sleight-of-hand. In common usage, terms like “founders” and “founding fathers” typically refer to men involved in the Declaration of Independence and the writing and ratification of the Constitution. Lane’s quote comes from Robert Hunt, a leader of the British settlement at Jamestown nearly two centuries earlier.

Republicans who attend Lane’s candidate forums, invite him to conduct trainings, or join him on all-expenses-paid trips to Israel, can’t really claim ignorance of his agenda, which is crystal clear, as he states in this week’s email alert:

The American church has lost its commission in the public square, its purpose for being. Ultimately, unless we find the chart and compass used by Colonial America to establish Christianity as the official religion of America, America will no longer be.

 

Jindal: Protecting LGBT Rights Will Hurt Businesses In The Long Run

Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins yesterday that the corporations that oppose his recent anti-LGBT executive action “are making a big mistake” by abandoning their “traditional alliance” with social conservatives and “teaming up with the left’s radical social agenda” on LGBT rights.

After a Louisiana House committee voted down a proposed “religious liberty” bill that would have given for-profit corporations the right to discriminate against same-sex couples, Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an executive order yesterday protecting such discrimination. As has been the case in similar fights around the country, some of the staunchest opponents of Louisiana’s “religious liberty” bill were corporations that feared it would hurt their ability to recruit employees.

In an interview with Perkins on his “Washington Watch” program, Jindal said that Republican presidential candidates need to make promoting the freedom to discriminate a priority “because the left has made their assault on religious liberty a priority” and if they succeed, America is “going to lose the freedoms that are so fundamental,” including the freedom of speech and of association.

Jindal told Perkins that Republicans should avoid being “the party of big business,” but at the same time told pro-LGBT corporations that Republicans would do their bidding on issues such as environmental regulations and labor laws.

“One of the things, Tony, we’ve got to be on guard against, sometimes big business has allied itself with the radical left — you saw it in Indiana, you saw it in Arkansas, you saw a little bit of it here in Louisiana — against religious liberty,” he said. “They’re making a big mistake. The radical left, they want to tax and regulate businesses out of existence, they’re not for profit. So these businesses need to be careful. Economic liberty is the other side of the coin of religious liberty, two sides of the same coin.”

Perkins agreed, saying, “the left is not going to help them when it comes to the environmental blockades when they try to expand, or the labor laws and issues that they deal with. In many ways, I see big business, by teaming up with the left’s radical social agenda, they’re cutting the path of expansion and prosperity out from underneath themselves.”

“Absolutely, it’s very short-sighted, these politically correct, these short-term alliances,” Jindal responded. “And then you wake up. Because you’re exactly right, the same radical left that doesn’t want Keystone, doesn’t want to lower the corporate tax rates, the same radical left that wants the EPA to strangle our economy, that also wants to pursue radical environmental agendas that will make energy more expensive, more scarce at home, this is the same left that corporate America has gotten into bed with.

“It’s an unholy, unnatural alliance, is what I’ve argued. They should remember they need to go back to fighting for liberty and freedom and understand that the two of them always go together. And that has been the traditional alliance, and I think that’s what we need to get back to.”

Earlier in the interview, Jindal claimed that LGBT rights proponents are at war with religion, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution:

One of the greatest threats to our freedom is the area of religious liberty. The left clearly wants to erode the right to religious liberty guaranteed in the First Amendment, and that’s the basis of our freedom of speech and freedom of association rights. The left wants to erase these firmly held religious beliefs they don’t agree with. Their battle’s not just with us, it’s with the Bill of Rights, it’s with the United States Constitution.

Rebuffed by Republican Legislators, Bobby Jindal Issues Executive Order on 'Religious Liberty'

In a Republican presidential field crowded with far-right candidates, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is trying to distinguish himself as the far-rightest candidate, especially on issues relating to marriage equality and its supposed threat to the religious freedom of conservative Christians.

Jindal’s latest came at the end of the day on Tuesday. Unwilling to accept the legislature’s failure to pass a so-called “religious liberty” bill (it was voted down 10-2 in a House committee), Jindal issued an executive order designed to protect any person who “acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.” The order explicitly defines “person” to include for-profit corporations and well as nonprofit organizations.

Jindal has adopted the rhetorical strategy promoted by the National Organization for Marriage and other opponents of LGTB equality: try to turn conversation about anti-gay discrimination “on its head” by declaring that laws protecting gay people are actually a form of discrimination against Christians. His statement about the executive order said it was designed to “prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Jindal’s order invokes the Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby, making it the latest sign that the decision – which granted corporations a right to claim legal exemptions based on the religious beliefs of company owners -- poses a threat to nondiscrimination measures and potentially a wide range of laws protecting the interests of workers. Jindal declared that his order is “not about discrimination,” even though its clear intent is to give legal cover to companies, government officials, and others who discriminate against same-sex couples.

Louisiana does not currently give legal recognition to same-sex couples, but Jindal is concerned that the state’s ban on marriage equality may soon be struck down by the Supreme Court, a potential ruling which his order seems to be a legally questionable effort to pre-empt. Jindal should be asked to clarify exactly what actions his legislation is designed to “protect”: a courthouse clerk who refuses to process marriage license paperwork? Religious schools getting tax dollars under Jindal’s education policy refusing to accept children of gay parents? Catholic hospitals refusing to recognize the spousal or parental rights of gay couples during medical emergencies?   

Jindal’s “religious liberty” bill had been opposed by business and tourism leaders as well as civil rights groups. The New Orleans Times Picayune reports that the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Stephen Perry had called the bill “a radioactive, poisonous message.”

But Jindal’s primary audience is no longer his Louisiana constituents; it's right-wing activists nationwide. Jindal boasted about the executive order by stopping by the radio program hosted by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, an anti-gay activist who once suggested that LGBT non-discrimination measures would lead to the Holocaust perpetrated against Christians.

Right-wing pundit and Iowa GOP activist Steve Deace reacted rapturously, proclaiming Jindal his “winner of the week” for standing up to “Republicrats.”

Jindal immediately stepped in and ordered that while he’s governor the state government is not going to be a tool of the Cultural Marxists’ Rainbow Jihad against religion — particularly Christianity….

This action by Jindal is an example of what will be required of the next president if he’s going to truly honor his oath of office to defend our Constitution against all enemies — “both foreign and domestic.”

Let’s face it, the vast majority of alleged conservatives won’t stand up to the Democrats. And almost none of them will stand up to the Republicrats. On perhaps the most important issue of them all — the First Amendment that allows us the freedom to peacefully and publicly stand on principle for everything else — Jindal has done both.

But he didn’t just stand up to them rhetorically, he actually did something about it. There are several potentially exciting presidential candidates this cycle. There’s even a couple that like Jindal have shown they will tell the Republicrats bleeding us dry to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

PFAW

Rebuffed by Republican Legislators, Bobby Jindal Issues Executive Order on 'Religious Liberty'

In a Republican presidential field crowded with far-right candidates, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is trying to distinguish himself as the far-rightest candidate, especially on issues relating to marriage equality and its supposed threat to the religious freedom of conservative Christians.

Jindal’s latest came at the end of the day on Tuesday. Unwilling to accept the legislature’s failure to pass a so-called “religious liberty” bill (it was voted down 10-2 in a House committee), Jindal issued an executive order designed to protect any person who “acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.” The order explicitly defines “person” to include for-profit corporations and well as nonprofit organizations.

Jindal has adopted the rhetorical strategy promoted by the National Organization for Marriage and other opponents of LGBT equality: try to turn conversation about anti-gay discrimination “on its head” by declaring that laws protecting gay people are actually a form of discrimination against Christians. His statement about the executive order said it was designed to “prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Jindal’s order invokes the Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby, making it the latest sign that the decision – which granted corporations a right to claim legal exemptions based on the religious beliefs of company owners -- poses a threat to nondiscrimination measures and potentially a wide range of laws protecting the interests of workers. Jindal declared that his order is “not about discrimination,” even though its clear intent is to give legal cover to companies, government officials, and others who discriminate against same-sex couples.

Louisiana does not currently give legal recognition to same-sex couples, but Jindal is concerned that the state’s ban on marriage equality may soon be struck down by the Supreme Court, a potential ruling which his order seems to be a legally questionable effort to pre-empt. Jindal should be asked to clarify exactly what actions his legislation is designed to “protect”: a courthouse clerk who refuses to process marriage license paperwork? Religious schools getting tax dollars under Jindal’s education policy refusing to accept children of gay parents? Catholic hospitals refusing to recognize the spousal or parental rights of gay couples during medical emergencies?   

Jindal’s “religious liberty” bill had been opposed by business and tourism leaders as well as civil rights groups. The New Orleans Times Picayune reports that the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Stephen Perry had called the bill “a radioactive, poisonous message.”

But Jindal’s primary audience is no longer his Louisiana constituents; it's right-wing activists nationwide. Jindal boasted about the executive order by stopping by the radio program hosted by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, an anti-gay activist who once suggested that LGBT non-discrimination measures would lead to the Holocaust perpetrated against Christians.

Right-wing pundit and Iowa GOP activist Steve Deace reacted rapturously, proclaiming Jindal his “winner of the week” for standing up to “Republicrats.”

Jindal immediately stepped in and ordered that while he’s governor the state government is not going to be a tool of the Cultural Marxists’ Rainbow Jihad against religion — particularly Christianity….

This action by Jindal is an example of what will be required of the next president if he’s going to truly honor his oath of office to defend our Constitution against all enemies — “both foreign and domestic.”

Let’s face it, the vast majority of alleged conservatives won’t stand up to the Democrats. And almost none of them will stand up to the Republicrats. On perhaps the most important issue of them all — the First Amendment that allows us the freedom to peacefully and publicly stand on principle for everything else — Jindal has done both.

But he didn’t just stand up to them rhetorically, he actually did something about it. There are several potentially exciting presidential candidates this cycle. There’s even a couple that like Jindal have shown they will tell the Republicrats bleeding us dry to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

 

Albert Mohler at CNP: Freedom To Preach Gospel Threatened By 'Erotic Liberty'

The secretive Council for National Policy (CNP) and the Conservative Action Project, right-wing coalitions that are trying to figure out how to get conservative evangelicals united around one of the many GOP presidential candidates vying for their support, met outside Washington, D.C. late last week to vet the presidentials and strategize for 2016.

While most of what happens at CNP gatherings is kept behind closed doors, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) was happy to brag that its president, Albert Mohler, had received the 2015 Edwin Meese III Originalism and Religious Liberty Award from the Alliance Defending Freedom on Friday. The award was presented by ADF’s Alan Sears and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, identified by the SBTS as president of the CNP.

Meese, who played a major role in the rise of the Federalist Society and the right-wing school of constitutional interpretation known as “originalism”— colloquially referred to as “strict constructionism” — was on hand for the event.  According to the SBTS account, Meese said originalism and religious liberty “go hand-in-hand” and asserted that “religious liberty is under attack as never before” in America.

That was also the theme of Mohler’s remarks, which took their title, “The Gathering Storm: The Eclipse of Religious Liberty and the Threat of a New Dark Age,” from Winton Churchill’s account of the period leading up to the World War II. “We are not facing the same gathering storm,” Mohler declared, “but we are now facing a battle that will determine the destiny of priceless freedoms and the very foundation of human rights and human dignity.”

Other excerpts from Mohler’s speech:

A revolution in morality now seeks not only to subvert marriage, but also to redefine it, and thus to undermine an essential foundation of human dignity, flourishing, and freedom….

Already, religious liberty is threatened by a new moral regime that exalts erotic liberty and personal autonomy and openly argues that religious liberties must give way to the new morality, its redefinition of marriage, and its demand for coercive moral, cultural, and legal sovereignty.

A new moral and legal order is ascendant in America, and this new order is only possible, in the arena of American law and jurisprudence, if the original intent and the very words of the Constitution of the United States are twisted beyond recognition….

We are in a fight for the most basic liberties God has given humanity, every single one of us, made in his image. Religious liberty is being redefined as mere freedom of worship, but it will not long survive if it is reduced to a private sphere with no public voice. The very freedom to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ is at stake, and thus so is the liberty of every American. Human rights and human dignity are temporary abstractions if they are severed from their reality as gifts of the Creator. The eclipse of Christian truth will lead inevitably to a tragic loss of human dignity. If we lose religious liberty, all other liberties will be lost, one by one. I am a Christian, and I believe that salvation is found in no other name than Jesus Christ and in no other gospel, but I will fight for the religious liberty of all.

 

Right-Wing Pundits: If Feminists Hate Men, Why Do They Want To Be Like Them?

Yesterday, Iowa conservative talk radio host Steve Deace invited Suzanne Venker, an anti-feminist activist and niece of Phyllis Schlafly, on to his program to discuss her latest Fox News article explaining why it’s all women’s fault that they can’t find husbands.

Deace took the opportunity to make a very important point about feminism, or at least his impression of what feminism is. “Explain to me,” he asked Venker, “why if feminists disdain the unique traits of masculinity, why they are so eager to bestow them upon themselves and to absorb them into their own paradigm. I don’t understand that.”

“I wish I could, but that is the ultimate paradox,” she responded. “And I think when it’s pointed out, that distinctly, which you did, it’s just so obvious that nobody should really associate themselves with this movement, because that in itself makes absolutely no sense.”

“There’s no question that they are disdainful of masculinity, that is just not debatable,” she added. “But at the same time, you’re saying, you don’t need a man…because you’re basically capable of everything he is capable of and you should aspire to be like a man in your life. That’s what makes you powerful and of value and equal to them. Which, as you say, makes no sense because you just said masculinity sucks. So make up your mind.”

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