WASHINGTON — Today the Senate failed to overcome a Republican filibuster of the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act (S. 2578), a bill to fix the harm done by the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision.
People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement:
“With today’s filibuster, Senate Republicans aligned themselves with the Supreme Court’s conservative majority in valuing the ‘rights’ of corporations over the rights of real women. And once again, they’ve refused to allow a critically important issue even to come up for a yes-or-no vote.
“This blatant obstruction is unacceptable. The majority of Americans understand that businesses shouldn’t be able to deny women health care. But Congressional Republicans sent a clear message to women: your access to birth control is less important than pushing our own right-wing agenda.”
More than 100,000 people have signed People For the American Way’s petition urging Congress to override the damaging Hobby Lobby decision.
Gordon Klingenschmitt, who is the GOP nominee for a state legislative seat in Colorado, is obviously not pleased with the Colorado county clerks who have started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
On his “Pray In Jesus Name” program yesterday, Klingenschmitt reminded the clerks that “homosexuality is not only an abomination, not only worthy of death,” but comes with a “penalty” that amounts to “spiritual death.”
“They say, ‘Oh, it’s all about love.’ No, it’s about lust, it’s about selfishness,” he said. “They don’t care about the other person, they want self-gratification for themselves, contrary to their own nature, contrary to what God designed for them. And they receive in themselves the penalty for that error.”
“The penalty for that sin is not just STDS or some biological curse, not just AIDS, but they receive into themselves the demonic spirit that rules their hearts, and with that comes ultimately the consequence of spiritual death.”
Klingenschmitt adds that he is just the “messenger” when he tells gay people that “you’re going to hell.”
On a segment of “Sandy Rios in the Morning” last week, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera lamented the plight of the lowly Religious Right activist.
An expert on the evils of the LGBT movement, LaBarbera warned Rios that lawmakers, businesses and citizens are increasingly beholden to the demands of the “homosexual lobby,” regardless of their religious convictions. While LaBarbera and Rios wasted no time directing barbs at President Obama and pro-equality Democrats, LaBarbera mostly reserved his scorn for religious leaders and establishment Republicans for allegedly “bowing to the pressures” of gay rights advocates.
Rankled by the supposed lack of opposition to LGBT rights within the conservative movement, LaBarbera wondered, “I’m not sure anymore if evangelical Christians can actually be effective cultural warriors, so many are unwilling to confront the reality of evil, which is the promotion of the sin movement.” He contrasted the vigor of the gay rights movement, “which is implacable, which is always moving forward,” with the Religious Right, which he said is waging the “politics of defeatism.”
The idleness of conservative leaders, LaBarbera argued, has paved the way for the “special treatment” of LGBT people who believe that “laws don’t apply to them.”
Discussing recent LGBT Pride events, he also noted that while pornography, adultery and promiscuity are still considered taboo, the LGBT community is celebrated, perhaps, he posits, to “overcompensate” for knowing in their “heart of hearts” that homosexuality is also sinful.
Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Iowa-based Religious Right group The Family Leader, held a revival event yesterday that also happened to be a good marketing opportunity for his new book about the “urgent call for revival” in America.
Vander Plaats introduced the event — which also featured a Q & A with Chuck Norris and a performance by the Christian rock band the Newsboys — by showing a video of the “darkness” in America that he identified as calling for a spiritual revival. Featured in the video are images of terrorists attacks and mass shootings….along with images of same-sex weddings, the Boy Scouts’ admittance of gay members, Justice Anthony Kennedy, gambling and rallies on behalf of legalizing marijuana.
Vander Plaats mentioned at the end of the video that many of the national leaders he frequently speaks with share these concerns. He’ll have a chance to discuss them in more depth next month, when GOP leaders including Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Tim Scott come to Iowa for Vander Plaat’s annual Family Leadership Summit.
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is not pleased with the recent Politico Magazine story on the increasing embrace of LGBT rights among evangelical Christians. In a column this weekend, Farah took issue with Politico’s description of conservative evangelicals’ “longstanding hostility toward gay people,” calling the description “hellishly bigoted.”
Gay-affirming churches are the “ones who are truly hostile and unloving to homosexuals,” he argues, and “are actually condemning them to death.”
Meanwhile, Farah contends, anti-gay Christians will soon face “persecution and martyrdom” that will be “unlike anything previously experience [sic] in America.”
I just read a Politico magazine piece that demonstrates why biblically minded Christians are becoming the targets of real bigotry and will, almost assuredly, soon be the victims of real persecution – unlike anything previously experience in America.
Titled “Evangelicals are changing their minds on gay marriage,” the article, written by a religion reporter for the Orange County Register, focuses on “The Reformation Project,” which is described as “a nationwide network of pro-gay evangelicals committed to ending their church’s longstanding hostility toward gay people.”
Let me first say that this is a hellishly bigoted comment by people who claim to be fighting bigotry.
Today, in the popular culture, it’s cool to be “gay” – a word that has been hijacked by a political movement that embraces sin.
It may be popular to embrace sin today, but those who do so in the name of Christ are the ones who are truly hostile and unloving to homosexuals. They are actually condemning them to death.
There is nothing loving about rationalizing sin as an alternative lifestyle.
I don’t doubt that there is a new movement within the church that takes this upside-down view of what Christianity is all about.
But notice the way those who disagree with the view – all those who follow biblical Christianity – are portrayed: They are “hostile to gay people.”
Where does that kind of thinking lead?
It leads only one place – bigotry and persecution.
This movement is not about rejecting bigotry as it claims. It is about creating a new form of bigotry – against those with sincerely held, biblically supported worldviews.
The Ruth Institute's Jennifer Johnson wrote on the organization's blog yesterday that marriage equality advocates who criticize the Religious Right for singling out gay marriage while ignoring straight divorce "have a point."
"Have we been too focused on “same sex marriage” and not focused enough on divorce?" she asks. "I think so."
"Divorce is a big problem that Christians have not confronted adequately," she writes. "Thus, we have lost our witness and moral authority in regards to the institution of marriage. At least, that’s how it looks to me. "
The Ruth Institute — which until last year was affiliated with the National Organization for Marriage — doesn't always conform with the Religious Right's messaging, most recently taking issue with the movement's "whining" persecution rhetoric.
That's not to say that the rest of the Religious Right doesn't care about divorce — the advent of no-fault divorce is frequently brought up as as a milestone in the slippery slope of the sexual revolution, and "covenant marriage" laws are popular among some activists. (Family Research Council president Tony Perkins sponsored the nation's first covenant marriage law when he was a Louisiana state legislator.) But the movement as a whole knows that villainizing people who get divorced is going to be a less popular strategy than scapegoating the much smaller LGBT population.
Anti-gay activist and author of gay erotica Robert Oscar Lopez has compiled a list of 300 incidents that he thinks illustrate the scourge of “homofascism.” He writes today in the American Thinker that “homofacism” is “less nationalistic than past fascisms, though more invasive and consuming because it polices interpersonal relationships and interior thoughts in a way that earlier police states did not.” He adds that the movement “it is violent, even though we tend not to think of the movement as violent because many still stereotype gays as delicate, and the violence is usually carried out through the seemingly legitimate auspices of the state.”
There is a mass movement aimed at stifling the autonomy of natural relationships – friendships, familial love, romantic love, human reverence for the divine – and subverting such relationships to the punitive power of an intrusive state. It is as sweeping and menacing as past isms, including fascism, to which it reveals a number of striking resemblances.
It is difficult to comprehend, partly because it operates so often with emotional subterfuge, and partly because it is unprecedented. It is less nationalistic than past fascisms, though more invasive and consuming because it polices interpersonal relationships and interior thoughts in a way that earlier police states did not. I have come to realize, though, that it is violent, even though we tend not to think of the movement as violent because many still stereotype gays as delicate, and the violence is usually carried out through the seemingly legitimate auspices of the state.
This strange fascism has grown under the guise of advocating for a marginalized and even obscure population – homosexuals and bisexuals – whose interests are in no way served by this movement, and who are themselves some of the people most vulnerable to repression by it. The stakes are huge, the urgency serious. We have to call it something, and its name should evoke the dramatic emergency it is presenting to the globe. So let’s just call it “homofascism” for simplicity’s sake.
The thought crosses my mind quite often: could I have made a difference if I’d come forward and spoken out in 2004? In 2000? In 1994? Homofascism feeds on silence. The less you confront it, the more it hunts you down and strikes at you. It is a strange beast. Perhaps if conservatives had stopped being so afraid of offending people and taken this threat seriously twenty years ago, many of the victims catalogued in our 300 list would not have been prey for the search-and-destroy missions of the gay lobby.
But regrets do little. We need to move forward. My allies’ purpose in archiving the history of homofascism is to provide a resource, to make sure that people on our side know how high the stakes are, and how false the veneers of the other side are. We are facing a vicious, lethal enemy, and we have to fight back accordingly. Ever forward.
The Madison Project, the Tea Party group backed by Sen. Ted Cruz that’s pushing far-right challengers in Republican congressional races, marked the Fourth of July this year by lamenting that the “illegal invasion,” the “anti-family agenda,” Social Security, and the rest of the social safety net make them “feel like strangers in our own country.”
Sadly, many of us are spending this 4th of July wondering if our Founders would recognize that republic – that beacon of freedom built upon a strong civil society and ordered liberty. So many ordinary Americans feel our republic is long lost to a foreign socialist utopia centrally managed by an elitist oligarchy in the form of two corrupt political parties.
This small minority of radicals has completely vitiated our most fundamental characteristic as a republic – our sovereign borders. We are now languishing from the flood of over 100,000 illegal immigrants teaming over our southern border, adding to the millions of illegals already here. At stake is nothing less than the preservation of our civil society, sovereignty, and solvency as a nation and as a stable economy. They drain our resources, health care, education, and criminal justice system.
We feel like strangers in our own country.
Even without the illegal invasion, our republic is hanging on by a thread.
Almost every American is involuntarily subservient to the federal government for his or her retirement security and healthcare. Over 46 million people, and one-in-four children, rely upon government for food stamps. Under the new Obamacare mandates, an estimated 79 million Americans will be enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. This culture of dependency, an anathema to our spirit of independence, has saddled us with over $1 million in debt and unfunded obligations for every American taxpayer.
Meanwhile, ordered liberty in a constitutional republic needs a strong civil society and strong families in order to thrive, much like fish in water. Yet, the cultural degeneration, promulgated and encouraged by this small societal elite, has permeated every aspect of American life – to the extent that those of us who adhere to traditional family values are now ostracized and castigated. We have reached the point where we need a group of unelected judges to grant us small morsels of religious liberty from their high benches in Washington. The small minority who push this invidious anti-family agenda now seek to eradicate the very existence of gender to the degree that private individuals and businesses are now being forces to accommodate bizarre and licentious practices.
The “Republican” Party was supposed to serve as the bulwark against attempts to supplant our republican form of government, yet they have become part and parcel of the problem. Decades’ worth of treachery directed towards the party faithful from its leadership has finally culminated with the Mississippi election last week. A long-serving Republican, with the blessing of the entire party establishment, engaged in fraud and race-baiting to repudiate his own party base and steal the election.
We are now living through the worst consequences of elective despotism that James Madison warned about in Federalist 48. Indeed we are strangers in our own country and in our own party.
The editor of Herman Cain’s website is upset by the news that Burger King is planning to sell an LGBT pride themed burger at one San Francisco location, but is consoled by the fact that his own ability to cook has landed him a “super-hot wife” who’s “a girl, by the way.”
Dan Calabrese wrote last week at Cain TV that “when I get ready to consume my lunch, the thing I want to be thinking about is dude-on-dude action.”
“… I don't remember the last time adulterers, murderers or drunk drivers convinced a burger chain to name a product after them, and publicly declared their pride in what they do,” he added. “You're the ones who are making it an issue, not me.”
Sigh. I can tell you for sure that when I get ready to consume my lunch, the thing I want to be thinking about is dude-on-dude action.
Hold the pickles
Hold the lettuce
Lunch and gay sex can't upset us!
I actually prefer the Whopper to its counterparts at McDonald's and Wendy's, and the ice cream shakes are really good when the machine doesn't break (which is sadly not that often).
You tell me not to judge you for what you do that is in blatant rebellion against the Word of God. OK. You tell me not to be a hater and not to obsess over certain sins when others are just as troubling to God. Fair enough.
But I don't remember the last time adulterers, murderers or drunk drivers convinced a burger chain to name a product after them, and publicly declared their pride in what they do. You're the ones who are making it an issue, not me. I'm just telling you what God's Word says. If you don't want to hear that, then don't insist on constantly making it a topic of public conversation. (Then again, the thieves have the Hamburglar, so there is that.)
So if Burger King wants let its affiliation be known in the culture war, again I say, fair enough. One more reason I'm glad I learned to cook in college. Not only do I not need Burger King, but it helped me to attract a super-hot wife who remains super-hot even after 17 years of marriage to me.
She's a girl, by the way.
The American Decency Association, meanwhile, is all but declaring a boycott of the chain, telling OneNewsNow, "When we hear of a corporation that is just making decisions such as this, this is clearly a time for people to use whatever means they can to express that concern at their local Burger King.”
Iowa-based talk show host Steve Deace, for his part, is suggesting that the “Proud Whopper” discriminates against Christians:
Like many of us, Scott Lively spent the Fourth of July weekend reflecting on the “gay agenda,” and on Sunday published a WorldNetDaily column arguing that said agenda very much exists and in fact “reflects an insane and Satanic delusion which breeds chaos."
Lively argues, as he does frequently, that he didn’t mind when the gay rights movement was about “the right to be left alone,” but he doesn’t like what he sees as the post-Stonewall turn toward the “radically Marxist goal” of destroying the family and all of society.
Mentioning the “gay” agenda in the presence of an LGBT activist or any other Cultural Marxist is like pulling the string on a Sheriff Woody doll, you hear precisely the same recording each time: “What gay agenda? There is no gay agenda.”
But, of course, the audacious lie that the now-global LGBT political movement has “no agenda” is as transparent as the Emperor’s new clothes. Indeed, their agenda is not only undeniable, it has unfortunately become unavoidable!
An agenda is simply a plan or list of matters to be acted upon by a person or group related to a strategic goal to be achieved. By definition, every person or group with a goal has one.
The original goal of the “gay” movement was best summarized by Dale Jennings of the Mattachine Society as “the right to be left alone.” Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context, Phd Dececco (John), John Dececco, Phd, Vern L Bullough, Vern L Bullough, RN, PhD, Haworth Press, 2002, p 88. That goal can be translated as “tolerance.” I think it is fair to say that the vast majority of pro-family advocates and activists in the world today (including this writer) would gladly support that goal.
However, with the violent Stonewall Riot of June 28, 1969 (celebrated annually today as “Gay Pride Day“), the movement adopted a radical Marxist goal and agenda heavily influenced by Herbert Marcuse of the Frankfort School of “Cultural Marxists.”
In conclusion, the “gay” agenda is to eliminate the existing Judeo-Christian model of civilization, grounded in marriage-based procreative sexuality, to make way for an irrational and impossible Cultural Marxist model which imagines family-less unlimited “sexual freedom” (anarchy), while somehow preserving orderliness in every other aspect of human society. It reflects an insane and Satanic delusion which breeds chaos, and can only be stopped by unceasing reaffirmation of Biblical values and the natural family by the rest of us.
Tea Party activist Jesse Lee Peterson’s group BOND held a conference on “fatherhood and men” in Los Angeles earlier this month, at which Peterson moderated a panel discussion featuring radio host Morris O’Kelly, author and pundit Andrew Klavan, and Dr. Albert Gibbs, a clinical psychologist.
Gibbs seemed to have not known what he was getting into, and spent the entire discussion responding in disbelief to to Peterson’s unhinged questions.
For instance, at one point, Peterson asked Gibbs if a man should “be the head of his wife.” When Gibbs responded that he and his wife are partners in the relationship, Peterson told him that he shouldn’t use that word because “that term partner came from the homosexuals” and that any marriage based on partnership means “the man is weak.”
WASHINGTON – In response to today’s 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the female clergy members of People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council released the following statement:
“In today’s Hobby Lobby decision, the men of the Supreme Court’s conservative majority took special pains to argue that companies can’t dictate all of their employees’ health decisions, just those about women’s health.
“This is a full-scale attack on women, and it’s unacceptable. Today’s ruling threatens to prevent countless women from accessing the reproductive health services they need. Women’s health decisions should be between them and their doctors, not them and their employers.
“As faith leaders, we are deeply concerned about the distortion of the concept of religious liberty in today’s decision. Allowing corporations to infringe on the rights of their employees in the name of religious freedom is not what our Constitution’s framers had in mind, and it’s not in line with our values as Americans.”
Last month the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference announced that it was merging with Conela, a Latin America-based organization, to become “the world’s largest Hispanic Evangelical association” claiming to represent more than 500,000 churches. As Kyle reported, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver had encouraged the NHCLC’s Samuel Rodriguez to expand into Latin America after Staver’s visit to Peru, where he encouraged legislators to resist legal equality for gay people and same-sex couples.
The wildly anti-gay Matt Barber, also with Liberty Counsel, praised the merger as a way for the NHCLC to join the Religious Right’s global war against LGBT equality:
"And so NHCLC," Barber said, "is really putting up a firewall to protect Latin America from, unfortunately, this cancerous invasion of immorality and [this] exporting [of] radical homosexual activism and radical pro-abortion activism, ultimately a culture of death.”
In a new interview with the Christian Post, Rodriguez uses similar language about creating a “firewall against moral relativism” and discloses some details about the merger and the combined group’s plans. Rodriguez is the CEO of the new merged NHCLC/Conela, while Conela’s former President Ricardo Luna is the executive director.
Rodriguez says Conela had already adopted NHCLC’s agenda and so the new group can go to work immediately building out an infrastructure in Latin America.
Conela already has been functioning with the Lamb's agenda and our 7 Directives, so it's a matter of creating infrastructure and amplifying the media and messaging platforms in Latin America.
If the question is whether or not we are going to be as active on the social political front in Latin America as we are in America, the answer is yes, again, not in the spirit of political advocacy, but in the spirit of prophetic activism.
Let me give you an example. Two weeks ago, in Baja California, the Mexico chapter director met with the governor of Baja California with hundreds of pastors united to discuss the issues of religious liberty, to discuss the issues of the 7 Directives as it pertains to Mexico.
He says they’re still working out the structural details.
We are in the board restructuring phase right now and a number of events taking place. One in October in Panama and there's one in December with 1,000 pastors in Mexico, there's one taking place in Europe at the beginning of the year.
My objective is to travel around Latin America with Ricardo, get to know the key influential pastors and leaders as we structure this global network and provide the resources that national pastors and regional leaders need to advance the Lamb's agenda.
Rodriguez, in spite of his media treatment as an evangelical moderate, made crystal clear that his organization is part of the Religious Right political movement when it reached a formal agreement to make the far-right Liberty Counsel the NHCLC’s official legislative and policy arm, and when Staver became a board member and chief legal counsel to the group.
Rodriguez’s rhetoric doesn’t seem to be changing.
Theologically speaking, we are on the same track. We are committed to biblical orthodoxy. We are committed to biblical truth. We are committed to making sure that truth is never sacrificed on the altar of expediency. We are committed to Billy Graham's message of salvation through Christ alone and through Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s March for Justice. So, we are committed to both righteousness and justice. We are evangelical. We do embrace the Manhattan Declaration. We would sign on to that.
Merging Billy Graham with Martin Luther King is the standard rhetoric of Rodriguez’s stump speech. Rodriguez has built allies among more progressive Christians by advocating for immigration reform and signing on to the Circle of Protection, a call from religious leaders not to sacrifice programs for the poor in order to reduce the deficit. But Rodriguez has also signed onto right-wing declarations that oppose progressive taxation, and embraced right-wing rhetoric about people being “enslaved” by government and “uber-entitlements.” And, of course, he is utterly opposed to marriage equality and legal access to abortion.
Rodriguez is connected to the dominionist New Apostolic Reformation and was a founding board member of the Oak Initiative, though he resigned after being confronted about the group’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and activities. He clearly has big ambitions for the new group.
"We are not drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid that Christianity is in decline, that this is the last hour of the Christian global narrative in a significant matter," Rodriguez told The Christian Post recently in an exclusive interview about the merger that took place on May 1. "We are not drinking the Kool-Aid. As a matter of fact, we have a very strong sense of optimism … we do believe the best is yet to come….
"It may very well be the largest Protestant network in the world, meaning that after the Catholic Church, this may very well be the largest Christian network organization in the world," he said. "I believe it speaks accolades to the growth of the Latino Christian demographic. I think it speaks accolades to Latino born-again Christians around the world because if this is the largest network in the world and now we are leading the charge of global evangelicalism."
WASHINGTON — In response to today’s 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in Harris v. Quinn, People For the American Way Foundation President Michael Keegan released the following statement:
“In yet another 5-4 decision that runs roughshod over the rights of working people, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority today put at risk the ability of many unions to have a strong voice for all workers.
“But working people have faced attacks before and will face them again. For many years the corporate and Religious Right has tried to undermine the progressive movement by attacking public sector unions. We stand with our friends in the labor movement as they continue to fight for fair treatment and better conditions for all working Americans.”
Anti-gay activists are rejoicing at the Supreme Court's decision in Hobby Lobby today, in part because they are hopeful that the decision will pave the way for one of their own policy goals: to use the religious liberty argument to push for broad exemptions for corporations from nondiscrimination laws.
Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber is hopeful that the decision bodes well for those trying to use religious freedom as a cloak to justify discrimination against LGBT people:
Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality has a similar take:
LGBT Left has been winning in the courts, but now we have hope that SCOTUS will honor small biz conscience exemptions on homosexuality #tcot— Peter LaBarbera (@PeterLaBarbera) June 30, 2014
There may be reason for them to be optimistic. As SCOTUSblog pointed out, the majority's opinion pointedly leaves open "the question of whether the Government has a similarly compelling interest in preventing discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual orientation."
With respect to implications for other kinds of religious-based discrimination, the Court writes that racial discrimination in hiring will not be permitted under RFRA because "The Government has a compelling interest in providing equal opportunity to participate in the workforce without regard to race, and prohibitions on racial discrimination are precisely tailored to acheive [sic] that critical goal." Note that this leave open the question of whether the Government has a similarly compelling interest in preventing discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual orientation.
UPDATE: TPM has more on this.
UPDATE II: Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association has joined the chorus:
What freedom means: if you want to hire homosexuals, you can. If you don't want to hire homosexuals, you don't have to.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) July 1, 2014
WASHINGTON — In response to today’s 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., People For the American Way Foundation President Michael Keegan released the following statement:
“Arguing that ‘closely held’ for-profit corporations have religious rights and can use those ‘rights’ to deny needed health care to employees is absurd. Threatening to prevent millions of women from accessing birth control doesn’t protect anyone’s religious liberty — it is a distortion of the very idea of religious liberty.
“Unfortunately, this decision is not surprising coming from a Court that ruled only four years ago that corporations have the political rights of real people. Hobby Lobby is one more step in the Supreme Court majority’s ongoing attack on the rights of everyday Americans, handing corporations even greater power over our lives. What rights will corporations be given next? This decision opens up a minefield, potentially paving the way for all kinds of harmful claims in the name of corporate religious rights.”
Earlier this year, People For the American Way Foundation Senior Fellow Jamie Raskin authored a report on the case titled, “The Gospel of Citizens United: In Hobby Lobby, Corporations Pray for the Right to Deny Workers Contraception.”
In an interview earlier this month with the Iowa blog Caffienated Thoughts, noted paragon of consistency Bobby Jindal lamented about “candidates who tell us one thing then go do another” on judicial nominations.
Jindal was discussing recent court decisions in favor of marriage equality, which he suggested could be grounds for recalling judges. In 2012, Jindal joined the failed effort to recall an Iowa Supreme Court justice who had joined the court’s unanimous marriage equality ruling.
The Louisiana governor spent the first half of the interview deriding the Common Core education standards — which he previously backed — as a “federal takeover of education."
The Religious Right mythologizing of David and Jason Benham continues. The Benham brothers – whose plans for a reality TV show on HGTV were scrapped by the network after Right Wing Watch reported on the brothers’ anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Islam activism – were featured speakers at last week’s Road to Majority conference, sponsored by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. And they’re on the schedule for the much bigger Values Voter Summit in September.
A Christian Post story on their appearance at Road to Majority frames their experience in typical martyrs-to-their-faith rhetoric, saying their reality show “was canceled because they spoke about their Christian views.”
Now, we don’t know exactly what motivated HGTV’s decision, but it seems to be a pretty good bet that it had nothing to do with the fact that the Benhams are outspoken about their Christian faith, and more to do with the fact that they had been outspoken advocates of limiting other people’s rights – as when Jason urged Charlotte, North Carolina, officials to deny permits for LGBT pride events, or when David took part it protests against the Islamic community center that critics inaccurately dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque.”
The Religious Right revels in manufacturing martyrs. And the Benham brothers are happy to play the part, portraying themselves as targets of a demonic gay rights movement that is out to silence its critics. “If people remain silent, then it’s going to continue to get worse. But when folks step up, and speak boldly the truth, and then it can actually get pushed back,” David told the Christian Post. “You have to be willing to die. I mean, Jason and I had to be willing to lose our show. We had to be willing to lose a book deal…”
In their Road to Majority remarks, the Benham brothers portrayed themselves as warriors.
“We just remember June the 6th, 1944. We know what happened at D-Day. We know what happened on Omaha and Utah beach. There’s something about those men that our dad taught us when we were kids. And he said, ‘Boys, don’t you ever run from bullets. You run toward the bullets.’ There are cultural bullets flying, all over today, especially religious liberty. And what’s happening right now is many spiritual leaders, elected leaders, they are running from bullets. But there’s a remnant of people that are ready to stand and say ‘I’m not running from these bullets any more. I’m gonna take this beach…’”
One of the brothers invoked Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian woman who had been jailed in Sudan for refusing to renounce her faith (and who, it was reported today, is now safe in the US embassy), and then invoked Mel Gibson’s bloody battle epic “Braveheart.”
“Just like in the movie Braveheart, when all the Scottish Army was standing there, and they all had their gear on, and they were lined up and they were unified, and they were ready to fight but not a single one of them wanted to fight. And then as William Wallace and a few men rode in on horses with blue face paint on. They were ready to pick a fight. And what I see before me right now are a bunch of people with some blue face paint on – so let’s go get it!"