Fighting the Right

Gheen: Immigrants 'May Smile At You As They Hand You Your Cheeseburger' But They Really Want 'You And Your Whole Family To Die'

In an interview with the Tea Party News Network on Saturday, William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) claimed that Mexican American immigrants “may smile at you as they serve you your cheeseburger or cruise across your lawn with a weed eater” but in reality they want “for you and your whole family to die.”

Gheen claimed that Mexican schools teach students to hate America, so those who immigrate to the U.S. show “no type of mercy” to “anyone out there that’s not a flaming socialist, communist or liberal” and will vote Democratic, based on “racial identity” and “what they consider to be reparations.”

There’s no type of mercy that anyone out there that’s not a flaming socialist, communist or liberal is going to receive from these people. You’re not going to be able to just stand up and say, ‘Please, please spare us from this invasion.’

They’re like, look, they’re bringing in, they’re using in drug cartels to bring in a new block of 80, 90 percent Democratic voters. And there will be no way the Tea Party or any other grassroots organization is ever going to be able to succeed against 20 million that are voting on racial identity and that will vote for more benefits and what they consider to be reparations. Some of them hate us for their perceived status in life. They’re taught in Mexican schools that the reason they’re so poor is because their evil neighbor to the north stole all their mineral-rich land, and of course our ancestors slaughtered all of their ancestors.

And when you teach people this from the time they’re children, they develop a kind of hatred. They may smile at you as they serve you your cheeseburger or cruise across your lawn with a weed eater, but underneath it, when they look at you, they see a person who they blame to be responsible for their poverty and the genocide of their ancestors, and the only way you can make that even-Steven with them is for you and your whole family to die.

UPDATE: We have slightly edited the transcript of Gheen's remarks for accuracy.

Matt Barber Says Gay Rights Advocates Act 'Like A Horde Of Locusts'

Matt Barber warned Saturday that gay people have “swarm[ed] in like a horde of locusts” and “homosexualized the Boy Scouts.”

Barber was speaking with Mission America’s Linda Harvey, who told him that she had been outraged at the sight of Boy Scouts at the Columbus, Ohio, LGBT pride parade. Barber replied that he wasn’t surprised, since “the homosexual activist agenda” is “at the forefront of child corruption, that is a major part of their agenda.”

“It is absolutely reprehensible that they are exposing these children to this perversion, to this highly sexually charged, open acts of public displays of nudity, it is just absolutely appalling,” Barber said.

“It is simply disgusting to watch, it’s appalling to watch. They take every institution, they take things that are noble and good and they swarm in like a horde of locusts and they don’t care what damage is done because it helps further their agenda, then they fly away and what’s left is a husk of what was there to begin with.”

Bryan Fischer Uses Science To Explain Hobby Lobby Ruling, Abortion, And Global Cooling

On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer reacted to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision by praising the court for relying on "good science," by which he means science that corresponds to what the Bible says, in recognizing that certain forms of contraception cause abortions.

While praising Hobby Lobby for standing on the side of science, Fischer went off on a tangent about how science also shows that global warming is "just complete bilge" because the world is actually heading into a period of global cooling, which liberals simply refuse to acknowledge.

"It's crazy," Fischer said. "They're just blind to that. They're willfully, obtusely blind to science," he continued, eventually getting back to the court decision by stating that "Hobby Lobby is the one that is locked into science here" because it recognized that contraception causes abortion:

The Time A Corporation Cited Religious Freedom As A Way To Avoid Desegregation

In her dissent in the Hobby Lobby case today, Justice Ginsburg mentioned a 1968 precedent in which the owner of a chain of barbecue restaurants in South Carolina “refused to serve black patrons based on his religious beliefs opposing racial integration.”

Samuel Rodriguez: New General In Global Anti-Gay Culture War

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 Counselpraised 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."

Sandy Rios Cites Fake Obama Quote To Prove He Is A Marxist-Muslim

On her Friday radio show, Sandy Rios of the American Family Association chatted with a caller about whether Islam is the “whore of Babylon” mentioned in Revelation, which naturally gave her the opportunity to rant against President Obama.

“The President is a Marxist” whose “sympathies are most definitely with Islam,” Rios said, before telling listeners that they should be “prepared to die for their faith” in the face of supposed anti-Christian persecution.

“There’s no question about that, in his own book he said whenever there is a dispute about where I’m going to come down, I’m always going to come down on the side of Islam,” Rios said. “And he’s done that, he’s said that our space program was to help in the education of Muslims.”

Actually, Obama did not say that in his book. A bogus chain email claims Obama wrote in Dreams From My Father that “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” The real quote doesn’t even mention Islam:

Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern. In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.

Rios’ claim about NASA similarly has its origins in baseless right-wing paranoia

Hobby Lobby: 'Closely Held' Does Not Mean 'Mom and Pop'

In the Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby, the Court held for the first time ever that a for-profit corporation counts as a “person” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and that a “closely held” corporation basically shares the religious exercise rights of its owners.  This leads American law into a treacherous minefield, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg made clear in her dissent.

It’s worth pointing out, as Justice Ginsberg also noted, “’Closely held’ is not synonymous with ‘small.’” Hobby Lobby is a massive corporation employing some 13,000 people, but there are other closely held companies that are much larger. In a footnote, Ginsberg mentions family-owned Mars, Inc. and closely held Cargill, which are both among the largest five private companies in the country. Guess which is number two? Koch industries, with $115 billion in revenue and 60,000 employees. Brothers David and Charles Koch reportedly own 84 percent. Rounding out the top five private companies are Dell and Bechtel. Those five companies employ more than 436,000 people. What religious claims might their owners find useful to make in undermining laws that protect their workers?

PFAW Foundation

Joyner: Science Proves God Created The Universe At The Big Bang When He Said 'Let There Be Light'

While preaching at his MorningStar Fellowship Church last week, Rick Joyner revealed that he spends hours every week studying science, which has led him to conclude that science has proven that God created the universe at the Big Bang when He said "let there be light."

"The Big Bang Theory did confirm," Joyner explained, "there was a point of creation. There was a nanosecond where nothing existed in the physical universe and a nanosecond later, all of the matter and all of the energy in the universe now was there instantly. And this has been pretty much a theory confirmed that everything came in one burst, at one time, and it was when God said 'let there be light'":

PFAW Foundation Statement on Harris v. Quinn

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.”

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Anti-Gay Activists Hopeful Hobby Lobby Will Lead To License To Discriminate

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:

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:

Religious Right Reacts To Hobby Lobby Decision: A Victory Over King George III And 'Subsidized Consequence Free Sex'

The Religious Right’s reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case — in which the Court’s conservative majority ruled that some for-profit businesses must be exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate — has started rolling in.

Erick Erickson sees the decision as a victory over the promiscuous:

Eric Metaxas thinks King George III would have been on the side of contraceptive insurance:

The Franciscan University of Steubenville compared businesses that don’t want to provide their employees with contraception coverage to religious martyrs in ancient Rome:

Steve Deace called the Green family, which owns the Hobby Lobby chain, "the Rosa Parks of the religious liberty fight" and urged the movement not to "settle" with just the Hobby Lobby victory:

If we play our cards right, and God grants us a favor, we can use this as a momentum changer. That’s mainly thanks to the Green family, who just became the Rosa Parks of the religious liberty fight. Just as her refusal to comply with an unjust edict on a bus one day blew the lid off the civil rights movement, perhaps the Greens’ refusal to comply with Obamacare’s unjust edict can accomplish the same for a similarly worthy cause.

But that won’t happen if we “settle” for this win like we have all too many others.

AFA’s Bryan Fischer thinks he knows Chief Justice John Roberts’ motivation to vote with the Court's majority:

And finally, the American Family Association is taking a poll:

Hobby Lobby: Religious Rights For Secular For-Profit Corporations … Just This One Time

Writing for the majority in the Hobby Lobby case, Justice Alito emphasized [PDF] that the ruling, which partly overturned the Obama administration’s rules on birth control coverage, does not apply to other cases involving religious objections to government regulations:

This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to hold that all insurance-coverage man-dates, e.g., for vaccinations or blood transfusions, must necessarily fall if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs. Nor does it provide a shield for employers who might cloak illegal discrimination as a religious practice.



In any event, our decision in these cases is concerned solely with the contraceptive mandate. Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs. Other coverage requirements, such as immunizations, may be supported by different interests (for example, the need to combat the spread of infectious disease) and may involve different arguments about the least restrictive means of providing them.

Apparently, the Supreme Court has determined that contraception, unlike immunizations, just doesn’t cut it in terms of public health.

In a footnote, Alito cites findings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to back up claims that the government should be allowed to require immunizations over the religious objections of people who oppose vaccinations.

Of course, the contraception rule, the New York Times points out, “relied on the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, an independent group of doctors and researchers that concluded that birth control is not just a convenience but is medically necessary ‘to ensure women’s health and well-being.’”

It is undeniable that the advent of contraception, used by around 99 percent of sexually active women, and family planning has had an extraordinary impact on public health on a level similar to the creation of new vaccines. Unless, of course, your worldview leads you to believe that such pills are simply used by women as tools to have an abortion.

Justice Ginsburg points out in her dissent that the Supreme Court has rejected past religious objections to generally applicable rules from non-persons, including church-operated schools:

And where is the stopping point to the “let the government pay” alternative? Suppose an employer’s sincerely held religious belief is offended by health coverage of vaccines, or paying the minimum wage, see Tony and Susan Alamo Foundation v. Secretary of Labor, or according women equal pay for substantially similar work, see Dole v. Shenandoah Baptist Church? Does it rank as a less restrictive alternative to require the government to provide the money or benefit to which the employer has a religion-based objection?

Indeed, the high court previously rebuffed religious-based challenges to laws regarding the minimum wage, equal pay and regulation of illicit drugs.

Religious groups that believe in the subservience of women, reject vaccines and blood transfusions or seek to use controlled substances as part of religious rituals, according to the majority opinion, don’t have as much “religious liberty” than a secular for-profit corporation such as Hobby Lobby.

Ginsburg adds:

Hobby Lobby and Conestoga surely do not stand alone as commercial enterprises seeking exemptions from generally applicable laws on the basis of their religious beliefs. See, e.g. Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, Inc (owner of restaurant chain refused to serve black patrons based on his religious beliefs opposing racial integration)…

[H]ow does the Court divine which religious beliefs are worthy of accommodation, and which are not? Isn’t the Court disarmed from making such a judgment given its recognition that “courts must not presume to determine…the plausibility of a religious claim?”

Would the exemption the Court holds RFRA demands for employers with religiously grounded objections to the use of certain contraceptives extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations (Christian Scientists, among others)?

[A]pproving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be “perceived as favoring one religion over another,” the very “risk the Establishment Claus was designed to preclude.”

While Alito stresses that only closely-held corporations are involved in this case, what about a company board dominated by Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists, or evangelicals like David Barton who believe “that the Bible opposes the minimum wage, unions and collective bargaining, estate taxes, capital gains taxes, and progressive taxation in general”?

With Congress currently debating the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, what if Hobby Lobby’s owners cited their religion as a reason to discriminate against LGBT employees? Or refuse to cover HIV/AIDS treatments?

With this ruling, it seems that the court wants to decide for itself what counts as a necessary government strategy to protect public health, and what doesn’t.

PFAW Mobilizes Latino Voters to Save the Senate, Has First Spanish Language Ad in North Carolina Race

The National Journal just cited our work in an article about how control of the Senate could hinge on Latino voters. The story focused on the North Carolina race and noted that PFAW was the first group out with a Spanish Language ad targeting extreme Republican candidate Thom Tillis. PFAW’s political director, Randy Borntrager, spoke with the National Journal about why Tillis is out of touch with North Carolinians, and why his extreme agenda is bad for Hispanics.

From the article:

"North Carolina is the first state we've gone into because Thom Tillis's extreme agenda is forcing our hand to get involved early," said PFAW political director Randy Borntrager. "We're extremely concerned about the Latino community understanding what's at stake, so we engaged quickly."

Borntrager said Tillis's record on Medicaid, education, and tax breaks for the wealthy, combined with a history of "foot-in-mouth" comments when it comes to minorities, was something PFAW would make sure all Latinos were aware of come November.

"He's so bad on so many issues that's it is an incredible motivation to get out and vote," Borntrager said.

PFAW's award-winning program to mobilize the Latino vote has made a difference in key races over the last several election cycles – including major impacts in several presidential swing states in 2012. As Latino voters become more and more critical to progressive victories at the ballot box, our program will continue to grow with the support of allies who understand the urgent need to speak directly to this long-overlooked community.

Read the entire article here.

PFAW

Barber: Gay Marriage Is 'The Brainchild' Of Satan

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Mat Staver and Matt Barber cited recent remarks made by Pope Francis about how "the Devil wants to destroy" the family in order to declare that gay marriage is "the brainchild" of Satan himself.

"Marriage is the cornerstone institution of any healthy society," Barber asserted, "and so clearly the Father of Lies, the Enemy of the World hates marriage, wants to destroy marriage and so this concept of counterfeit marriage, of same-sex marriage, that is the brainchild, Mat, of none other than the Father of Lies himself."

Staver was in complete agreement, saying that gay marriage is an effort to "abolish all truth" as part of Satan's "attack on God."

"Ultimately, at the end of the day," Staver said, "it is a spiritual attack ... This is the bidding of the Devil. This is a spiritual assault on all of us who are made in the image of God":

Self-Aware Bobby Jindal Is Tired Of 'Candidates Who Tell Us One Thing Then Go Do Another'

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."

Paranoia-Rama LGBT Pride Month Edition: 'Gay Gulags,' 'Reeducation Camps' And HIV Cure

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

In honor of LGBT Pride Month, we have dedicated this week’s edition to looking at five of the most bizarre anti-LGBT stories coming from the Right Wing just in the past week.

5. Rick Santorum Fears Gay ‘Reeducation Camps’

Religious Right activists continue to stoke fears about gay rights supporters organizing an anti-Christian holocaust, and Rick Santorum is happy to help. The former senator and presidential candidate, out with a new film about the purported loss of religious freedom in America, warned this week that Christians in the U.S. are being sent off to “reeducation camps” and face jail and martyrdom. Santorum was speaking to none other than Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association radio host who believes gay people are to blame for the Holocaust and are modern-day Nazis.

4. Gay Gulags

If you thought Santorum’s remarks were a rare occurrence in the Religious Right, just read today’s commentary from BarbWire senior editor Jeff Allen, who warns that the “gaystapo” wants its opponents “summarily shipped off on the ‘highway’ to the ‘gay’ gulag of sensitivity training — actually, reeducation camp to receive a government-provided, pro-perversity lobotomy.”

He warns about “alarming homosexual efforts at shredding the dictionary, distorting of the Constitution, creating false rights out of thin air, rewriting civil laws to criminalize deeply held moral convictions, hijacking science to promote a deviant political/social agenda, and eliminating all religious and conscience protections for business owners,” adding that “every advance of the militant ‘gay agenda’ comes at the literal expense of true democracy and freedom.”

“Many of the vindictive items on homosexual agenda are designed exactly as vengeance against their supposed oppressors,” Allen writes. “Unlike the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s in which African Americans united and fought against the truly heinous injustices of racial inequality and unprovoked acts of violence, the homosexual rights movement has no intentions of being peaceful. Nobody should fool themselves, this is a hostile takeover of America.”

3. Gays Want To Molest Their Kids

Those of you who haven’t been shipped off to a gay FEMA camp yet may want to consider this brilliant analysis by Mission America’s Linda Harvey, who this week alleged that gay parents are much more likely than others to sexually abuse their children because “when you are open to sinful, God-defying behavior in one profound way, violating other boundaries happens more easily.”

2. More GOP Rebranding

Speaking out in opposition to amendment to prohibit charter schools from discriminating in hiring on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, North Carolina House Speaker Pro Tem Paul ‘Skip’ Stam compared gay people to pedophiles and “distributed a flier titled ‘What Is A “Sexual Orientation”?’ that compares being lesbian or gay to mental disorders such as apotemnophilia (sexual arousal associated with an amputee’s stump) and coprophilia (sexual arousal associated with feces).”

The handout reportedly originated from the far-right Traditional Values Coalition. Catherine Thompson of TPM notes that “Stam did not mention that the information in his handout, which dated back to 2000, had been updated in the APA manual to classify those attractions as ‘disorders’ rather than ‘orientations,’ according to the news station.”

Local Religious Right activists quickly rushed to Stam’s defense after word of the flier got out.

This isn’t the first time Stam has tried to pull off this sort of stunt: he made similar claims while denouncing the School Violence Protect Act.

1. HIV/AIDS Cure At Pride

The latest religious group to claim to be able to cure HIV comes out of Minnesota, where an evangelical coalition is insisting that they will cure people of HIV at the upcoming Twin Cities Pride.

Andy Birkey of The Column reports that the group’s leader, Steven Uggen, believes God told him that he has the “healing power” to cure people of HIV, although most will not be grateful:

One of the words we got out of this outreach, the Lord really wanted to demonstrate his goodness to this community by releasing healing of HIV and AIDS, so we believe we’re going to see people healed of HIV and AIDS and we’re just, we’re carrying that word of the Lord into this outreach. And that will be part of our training just praying with boldness for the releasing of healing power and then sending them back to their doctors literally after praying for them. ‘Here’s what I want you to do: go to your doctor, get tested for HIV or AIDS and when you come back negative, you’ve got a decision to make whether you’re gonna serve the God who just healed you’ and then give them some gospel materials that they can take with them and encourage them to call on us and let us know and I’m confident that we’re going to have people healed of HIV and AIDS that are going to be contacting us. The funny thing is Jesus healed the 10 lepers and only one came back to acknowledge him so there may be 10 that get healed but only one come back, you know. This is a strategy that God wants to use so the very fruit of their sin is what he wants to, like, take away to show them his kindness and his goodness. I mean it’s just totally Jesus. I mean it’s like totally his way so we’re excited about that.

The Creationist Grand Canyon Trip You Always Wanted

Tired of hearing “anti-God, evolutionary explanations of the [Grand] Canyon’s formation”?

Then Ken Ham, the head of Answers In Genesis and the Kentucky-based Creation Museum, has just the vacation for you:

No matter where you go when visiting America’s national parks, city zoos, and other attractions, the religion of evolution and millions of years permeates the culture. To help combat these lies and proclaim the authority of God’s Word, every year Answers in Genesis partners with Canyon Ministries to hold creation raft trips through the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. Canyon Ministries has been presenting the Grand Canyon from a biblical perspective since 1997. The trips were done while rafting through the canyon, showing guests firsthand the evidence of Creation and Noah’s Flood. But now Canyon Ministries has added something new.

Last year, Canyon Ministries began providing land-based rim tours of the Grand Canyon along its South Rim, operating under the name A Different View Tours. Now, rather than go to the rim and hear the anti-God, evolutionary explanation of the Canyon’s formation, I encourage you to consider a tour with Canyon Ministries. It will provide you with a Bible-based presentation of the geology of the Canyon and how it confirms the Bible’s account of a global Flood and belief in a young earth. The teaching is very similar to what you would receive on a raft tour, and it is done in the comfort of a vehicle.

Canyon Ministries, which holds that the “account of origins presented in Genesis occurred in the span of six consecutive twenty-four hour days six to ten thousand years ago,” attempted to have its Creationist material used by the National Parks Service but was rejected [PDF].

Benham Brothers Ready To Die In Battle

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!"

One Year After Passage Of Gay Propaganda Ban, American Right Continues To Look To Russia As A Guide

The Human Rights Campaign released a report today to mark the first anniversary of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s signing of his infamous ban on “gay propaganda” and related anti-LGBT legislation. HRC reports “an uptick in violent attacks on LGBT people” since the bills’ passage that has accompanied a spike in “anti-LGBT sentiment” in the public square.

Yet despite the dangerous consequences of the increasing use of LGBT people as scapegoats — both in Russia and in neighboring Eastern European and Central Asian countries — and the place of anti-gay politics in Putin’s expansionist agenda, many on the American Religious Right continue to celebrate Putin’s crackdown on gay rights and even to hail it as a model for the United States.

The issue has been divisive on the Right. For instance, Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid — hardly a fan of gay people — got into a memorable shouting match earlier this year with World Congress of Families representatives, who he accused of cozying up to Putin.

It has also put some groups in tough positions. The World Congress of Families was forced to suspend its planned conference at the Kremlin, which was to be funded by a handful of people close to Putin, after Russia seized Crimea and groups including Concerned Women for America started backing out.

But we continue to hear right-wing activists heaping praise on Putin for his enthusiastic anti-gay politics and increasing embrace of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Just last week, Phyllis Schlafly praised Putin for “warming up to religious freedom” as “Americans are rejecting it”:

And earlier this week, WorldNetDaily announced that people around the world are “fleeing” to Russia to escape homosexuality in their own countries .

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer continues to push for the U.S. to adopt a “propaganda” ban like Russia’s:

Anti-gay activists including Pat Buchanan,Peter LaBarbera,Franklin Graham,Scott Lively,Keith Davies,Linda Harvey,Randall Terry,Gordon Klingenschmitt,Janice Shaw Crouse, Austin Ruse, Bob Vander Plaats , Rick Scarborough and, of course, the WorldCongress of Families have defended Russia’s anti-gay crackdown or called for similar laws in the U.S.

And, of course, some have directly lent their support to the passage of anti-gay laws in Russia: the World Congress of Families has an active network in Russia and Eastern Europe and just days before Putin signed the propaganda ban recruited the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown to warn Russian lawmakers about the risks of gay rights.

The support for laws that have dangerously scapegoated LGBT people in Russia is especially ironic coming from a movement that claims that the gay rights movement in the United States is persecuting them .

Rick Perry Doesn't Understand Why Everyone Is Hung Up On His Comparison Of Gays To Alcoholics

In a salivating profile of “Rick Perry 2.0,” Breitbart News senior editor-at-large Noel Pollack praises the Texas governor’s cool new glasses and his articulate, well-researched speeches to even the most “skeptical, if not hostile, audiences.”

“Indeed, Perry is so fluent and confident in the arcane details of cutting-edge policy issues that it is difficult to understand why he has developed a reputation for gaffes.”

Yes, that is a real sentence.

But don’t worry, Pollack reports that despite the fact that Perry is a genius, he is getting help from “some Hollywood conservatives who are advising him (though he will not reveal exactly whom, for fear of blowing their cover).”

Perry tells Pollack that he doesn’t understand why everyone focused on his comparison of gays to alcoholics, a connection he also made in his book “On My Honor”: “I spoke for 59 minutes about job creation and for one minute about that.”

When my Breitbart California colleague Adelle Nazarian and I met Texas Gov. Rick Perry at the magnificent La Valencia hotel in tony La Jolla, he looked more like a venture capital executive than a governor. He was dressed in shirtsleeves and a pale blue tie,

earphones plugged into his iPhone, tapping away on his MacBook Pro and wearing the dark-rimmed glasses that have become the trademark of the post-2012 Perry persona.

It's Rick Perry 2.0.



In addition to boosting California's fortunes, Perry seems keen on boosting his own--politically, at least, in advance of the 2016 presidential campaign. He is openly considering a second run at the job, after his 2012 effort foundered on immigration policy controversies and debate gaffes. And deep-blue California is the perfect training ground for Perry to hone his message and practice speaking to skeptical, if not hostile, audiences.

Perry has spent hours being briefed on domestic and foreign policy issues at the state's array of think tanks, including Stanford's Hoover Institution. He has spent days with tech entrepreneurs and scientists, and was deeply impressed, he says, by a visit this week to General Atomics, which is developing alternative energy sources. He has cultivated a connection to the Scripps Research Institute, taking interest in their work on adult stem cells.

Indeed, Perry is so fluent and confident in the arcane details of cutting-edge policy issues that it is difficult to understand why he has developed a reputation for gaffes. Yet his one-on-one spark sometimes fails to come across onstage.

Perry tells me he is working on that, too, practicing his presentation skills with some Hollywood conservatives who are advising him (though he will not reveal exactly whom, for fear of blowing their cover).

Perry is frustrated by missteps, such as the controversy over his remarks about homosexuality. "I spoke for 59 minutes about job creation and for one minute about that," he laughs.

Yet he regards such episodes as part of a learning process. In this case, Perry says, the lesson he took from San Francisco is to stay focused on the core issue--which, for him, is the economy. "Gay or straight," he says, "if you don't have a job, that's not good."
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