On yesterday's "Hagee Hotline," televangelist Matthew Hagee called upon viewers to contact their legislators in support of legislation like Indiana's "religious freedom" law, warning that if they don't, "we will lose the battle for righteousness in America."
"We have turned out back on values that have made us great," Hagee said, "and we have embraced the values that deteriorate society. We accept what others in past civilizations would have called appalling and yet we call appalling any individual who is willing to stand up and speak truth based on their convictions."
After asserting that God is very clear in both the Old and New Testament that homosexuality is "an abomination," Hagee called upon "people of faith and those who love truth" to contact their legislators in support of efforts to fight gay rights because this is a war between good and evil.
"Believe me, it is a war," he said. "It is a war between good and evil. It is a war between light and darkness. It is a war in which you have to make up your mind to either fully engage or become an ally of the Adversary who would like to see a lie become a truth and the truth become a lie":
Writing today in WorldNetDaily, Liberty Counsel communications director Charla Bansley proposed that pastors and “those victimized by religious intolerance” from all around the country hold a massive rally in Indianapolis to defend Indiana’s ‘religious freedom’ law.
“Gov. Pence is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of 2015,” the Religious Right activist wrote.
She also made the erroneous claim that the Indiana law is just like other versions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Can conservatives responding to the recent controversy in Indiana over religious freedom learn anything from liberals about messaging? After the Michael Brown shooting, liberal leaders from the left, such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and secular progressive communities from across America seized the opportunity and flocked to Ferguson, Missouri, to take over the narrative, blaming Brown’s death on “institutional racism.” Universities as far away as George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, held diversity discussions. College students from all over the country joined the crowds walking the streets chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
Today, the church must contend for the faith and the faithful in like manner. What churches and religious universities will take a page out of the liberal playbook to rally, to march, to hold candle vigils and to speak out? What pastors will go to Indianapolis to stand by Gov. Mike Pence and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act? Which organizations will help pay the way for those victimized by religious intolerance – bakers, photographers, venue owners – to make their way to Indianapolis? When will we as a church begin matching our words with action? If not now, then when?
Pence said Sunday that the new state law “is not about discrimination. This is about empowering people to confront government overreach.” Unfortunately, those words went over the heads of most people watching the interview. Homosexual activists went to the streets claiming the law would legalize discrimination, and Americans believed the false narrative. The truth is a federal RFRA was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, and 19 other states have passed similar laws, but not one case of discrimination exists. The real cases of discrimination are the religious businesses who have been sued for refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding: the Catholic B&B owners who didn’t want to host a same-sex wedding in Vermont, the baker in Oregon, the photographer in New Mexico, the florist in Washington and a host of others.
Gov. Pence is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of 2015, courageously defending the bakers, photographers, florists, ministers, county clerks, and owners of wedding venues who, after a lifetime of acquiring skills and building businesses, have seen their livelihoods destroyed, forced to pay exorbitant fines and even threatened with jail.
On “The 700 Club” today, Pat Robertson denounced elected officials and business leaders for “caving” to the “gay lobby” in criticizing a new “religious liberty” law in Indiana.
“They’re not liberal, they’re totalitarian dictators,” Robertson said of the law’s critics. “They’re going to force you into their mold, they’re going to make you conform to political correctness, they’re going to make you do what the Left thinks is right, they’re going to make you acknowledge homosexual marriage, they’re going to make you embrace lifestyles that you think are anti-biblical despite your religious belief.”
Robertson continued: “The fact that these gays are making such a fuss of it and businesses are caving, businesses all over the country are caving, they are terrified of the gay lobby, terrified of the gay lobby. Don’t we have any backbone left in this country?”
On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer seized upon a news report that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who is believed to have deliberately crashed a German flight last week, killing everyone on board, had "trawled gay porn websites and sites relating to suicide" to raise the possibility that Lubitz's alleged homosexuality may have played a role in the crash.
As Fischer explained, "it's striking that one of the health risks that's associated with homosexual behavior is an increased risk of suicidal ideation ... Now we are discovering that, perhaps, [Lubitz] was involved in homosexuality, was taking drugs for depression, and perhaps that would explain his suicidal crash of that plane":
Lubitz had a girlfriend at the time of the crash, a fact that seemed to be lost on Fischer, who has suggested in the past that homosexuality is a chosen behavior rather than an innate orientation.
Yesterday, Micah Clark of the American Family Association’s Indiana chapter, who helped craft Indiana’s new “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” and even stood right behind Gov. Mike Pence during the signing ceremony, said that any effort to clarify that the act will not sanction discrimination would “totally destroy” the law.
Clark repeated that message today on “Sandy Rios in the Morning,” where he told guest host Fred Jackson that his state is right now bogged down in “spiritual warfare” over the fate of the law, which Clark falsely claimed was the exact same law as RFRA statutes enacted on the federal level and in other states.
While he helped pass the broad, controversial law that effectively allows businesses to discriminate against certain customers, such as gays and lesbians, Clark said that Religious Right activists like hisemlf are the real victims in the fight.
“The first thing you have to do is pray, because this is a spiritual war,” Clark told listeners. “There is no doubt about that, by the Twitter comments I get, by the email comments and threats from the opposition, some pornographic things that are out there and obscene things being said. This is a campaign of fear and lies and so this is a spiritual war that people must pray about.”
“I said a few years ago, ‘if we won’t stand for marriage, what will we stand for,’ but if we won’t stand for our own religious freedom, what will we stand for as a church?” he added.
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes is joining his network colleagues in linking President Obama to a tourist who took a selfie at the site of an explosion in the East Village.
Because one of the women who took a selfie in the East Village worked as a field organizer for Obama’s 2008 campaign for four months, Starnes wondered during his radio bulletin today if she was simply taking a cue from the president.
“The self-absorbed generation, ladies and gentlemen,” Starnes said. “Maybe she was just emulating the man she helped get elected to the White House. I mean, how can we forget President Obama taking selfies during Nelson Mandela’s funeral — a funeral!”
Glenn Beck opened his radio program today by continuing his defense of the recently passed Indiana law that allows business owners to discriminate in the name of "religious freedom" by warning that attacks on such laws will lead to people being placed in concentration camps and killed.
Declaring that "gay activists will boycott, will make it uncomfortable, they'll smear them, they'll just ratchet up the hate" against any business owner who refuses to provide services to a same-sex wedding in an attempt to drive them out of business, Beck insisted that everyone just has to "heal our hearts" and realize that religious business owners are not motivated by hate but rather by their faith.
"Let's stop forcing each other to do things," Beck begged. "You don't change anything. That ends up in concentration camps. You just start grinding and grinding and grinding away until you're in separate worlds and nobody talks to each other and then, whoever has the power, round 'em up and kill 'em because those guys are the problem."
"That's how it happens," he said, which prompted his co-host Stu Burguiere to quip that Beck managed to make it a mere fourteen minutes into the radio show today before he started warning about people being rounded up and locked away in concentration camps:
End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles is embracing radical conspiracytheories about the Army’s upcoming Jade Helm 15 training exercise, telling listeners of Friday’s edition of “Trunews” that the drill is “the preparation for or the actual implementation of a round-up of patriotic men who have the capacity to influence and inspire the citizenry to resist a coup against the Republic.”
He added that the training could be a “two-month-long Night of the Long Knives.” (Wiles similarly warned last year that the government will unleash the Ebola virus on America “as the cover to round up patriots who resist the takedown of the Republic.”)
“Several years ago, Satan launched his D-Day invasion and the church at large has no idea of the scope and depth of the Satanic, military operation against it, and make no mistake, this is a Satanic military operation against the body of Christ,” Wiles said.
This demonic attack apparently includes Right Wing Watch: “Satan’s people are intimidating Christians, telling us to shut up; well, the Holy Spirt is telling us, ‘speak-up.’ This radio program is monitored daily by the extreme left, the enemies of the Cross, many of you may be indifferent about whether we continue or not but I assure you, the far-left is not indifferent about the future viability of ‘Trunews.’ They want to bring us down. How many other radio programs are they monitoring like they monitor ‘Trunews’? What does that tell you? They consider ‘Trunews’ to be a serious threat.”
Right-wing megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress spoke at Liberty University's convocation this morning, where he told the student audience that America's complete collapse was unavoidable, thanks to Supreme Court rulings banning organized prayer and Bible study in public schools, legalizing abortion, and striking down bans of gay sex.
These rulings, Jeffress declared, have "so weakened the moral and spiritual infrastructure of our nation that our collapse is inevitable," explaining that the 9/11 terrorist attack was God's judgment upon America for the sin of abortion.
"All you have to do is look in history to see what God does with a nation that sanctions the killing of its own children," he said. "Just look at the nation of Israel ... Because they got involved in the worship of Moloch, the pagan god, and they sacrificed their children on the altar, what did God do? He raised up the godless Babylonians and Assyrians to bring judgement on his own people."
"People ask me all the time," Jeffress continued, "'Well, I just don't understand why God wouldn't protect our nation and he would allow these radical Muslims in 2001 to kill 3,000 of our citizens and why God doesn't protect us. Surely, God doesn't use pagans to bring judgment upon his own people, does he?'"
"Just read the Bible," he said. "God will not allow sin to go unpunished and he certainly won't allow the sacrifice of children to go unpunished":
Last week, conservative talk show host Michael Savage spoke to Walid Shoebat – who claims amidmuchskepticism to be a former terrorist – to discuss “Obama's love affair with Islam.” While Shoebat has previously claimed that President Obama’s family is of the radical Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam, he now apparently believes that Obama is a Shiite Muslim, explaining to Savage that Obama is advancing Shiite Islam.
But Savage was on to a bigger story: how the Obama campaign logo was an Islamic subliminal message.
“What is the symbol or campaign logo of the Obama administration?” Savage asked. “What are these Obama bumper stickers? Let’s see, a blue crescent over fallen red and white stripes. What is the crescent? Is that not the symbol of Islam? And the blue stripe over the red stripe represents the states that vote Democratic red over the states that vote Republican blue, and so he now unites them under the banner of Islam.”
Savage may need to take a second look at the logo, but he continued to explain that “Obama wants to promote Shia Islam and see a new Persia arise,” and has a plan to “subordinate the West for the spread of Islam.”
The two went on to claim that Obama’s alleged support for socialism and immigration also comes from Islam. Shoebat alleged that Obama’s socialism “comes right from the heart of Islam itself” and seeks to use immigration to “flood this country and change its demography completely.”
Later in the program, Shoebat said Obama will unite the Islamic world to invade Israel, which will result in “Israel unleashing its hydrogen bombs” on its opponents. Israel, he continued, “will unleash hell on the Islamic powers and the world will see the true power of Israel, and then the whole world will realize that God is in control.”
Carly Fiorina may have lost her post at the McCain-Palin campaign and her race in a closely watched U.S. Senate election in California, but now the former Hewlett-Packard CEO is planning on another foray into the political field by running for president.
Long before winning a seat in the Colorado State House, Gordon Klingenschmitt became a right-wing martyr over his claim that he lost his position as a Navy chaplain for saying “Jesus” in his prayers. Klingenschmitt sued, launching the “Save Chaps” and “Pray In Jesus Name” campaigns, and he held up his purported firing as an example of anti-religious, anti-Christian hostility in government.
Klingenschmitt, however, lost his lawsuit, as a judge found that there was never an effort to “limit Dr. Klingenschmitt’s right to engage in any religious practices (including presenting an opening prayer at the event or invoking the name of Jesus in his prayer),” noting that he was appropriately disciplined for breaking well-established military rules which prohibit people from appearing at political events in full military garb.
But like other right-wing activists, Klingenschmitt never let this key detail get in the way of his narrative that he and other conservatives Christians in America are the victims of persecution.
So it is comes as no surprise that Klingesnchmitt is now creating yet another narrative about religious persecution in wake of recent comments he made about the gruesome attack on a pregnant Colorado woman. Klingenschmitt said on his “Pray In Jesus Name” televangelist program that the attack was the “curse of God upon America” for legalizing abortion: “part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our pregnant women are ripped open.”
His remarks quickly incited an uproar, which Klingenschmitt hoped would die down after he made a donation to the woman’s recovery fund, regularly boasting about his contribution in media interviews. However, the woman’s family rejected his donation, and Democrats and Republicans alike condemned Klingenschmitt’s statements. He refused to apologize, insisting that he was only being criticized for “quoting the Bible in church” and standing up “against evil.”
He eventually offered an apology, but only after insisting that he was the victim of a media campaign to distort his remarks: “Klingenschmitt's apology in Monday's video comes after 23 minutes of recapping the tragedy and criticizing media reports about him. He accuses reporters of misquoting him and lying, and says the Gazette retracted its story, which is not true.”
Colorado House Republican Leader Brian DelGrosso yesterday decided to remove Klingenschmitt from the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee, although he will remain on another committee dealing with local government as a “kind of disciplinary action.”
The move inspired Klingenschmitt to fall back on his earlier claim that he is facing persecution for just quoting the Bible: “I am literally being punished for quoting unpopular Bible verses in my Sunday church, or interpreting the Old Testament differently than Leader DelGrosso interprets it, during my private ministry outside the Capitol. Is that suddenly a crime?”
House Republican leaders weren’t the only ones to incite the wrath of Klingenschmitt, as he also accused Right Wing Watch of persecuting him by quoting excerpts from his television program verbatim, as part of his long career of portraying himself as a perpetual victim of discriminatory practices that only exist in his own mind.
On his radio broadcast yesterday, Glenn Beck weighed in on the controversy surrounding Indiana's new law which grants business owners the right to discriminate in the name of "religious freedom," by defending the law ... so long as the business owner practicing the discrimination is actually religious.
Under Beck's scenario, businesses are not allowed to discriminate against anybody unless the owners can adequately prove to the government that they are really living their faith and not just engaging in rank bigotry.
"This is the key here," Beck said. "You actually have to be religious. You can't just be somebody like 'I hate them gays so I'm not going to do it.' No, tell me a little bit about your religion."
Beck said that members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), for instance, which recently voted to allow its pastors to preside over same-sex marriages, wouldn't be allowed to deny their services to a gay couple.
"Sorry dude, you're making a wedding cake because you say you belong to this church [and] they happen to agree with it," Beck said.
"Show me about how you're living your life in your church," he said. "If you're living your faith, well then I can't say anything about it since its your religious right. And gay people have to get over it. And anybody else who might be bigoted and you own a bakery — I don't want to sell anyone them cookies — well, dude, you have to and that's just the way it is. You need to get over it":
Suppose for a moment that Beck's standard was actually adopted and government officials were tasked with determining whether individual business owners are "living their faith" enough to qualify for this exemption and then just try to imagine the screams of outrage that would ring out from Beck and other Religious Right activists once the state started denying such exemptions because it had determined that the people in question just weren't religious enough.
As we noted yesterday, after several days of controversy, Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt finally apologized for having said last week that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman in the state was due to the "curse of God upon America" for legal abortion.
But it seems that his apology is not making the controversy go away, as yesterday the Republican leader in the Colorado House of Representatives stripped Klingenschmitt of one of his two committee assignments as punishment for his statement:
The leader of the House Republicans on Monday stripped Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt from one of his two committee posts, saying the lawmaker's "curse of God" comments about a woman whose fetus was ripped from her womb were in "poor taste" and "insensitive."
Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso said he removed Klingenschmitt from the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee because he believed "there needed to be some kind of disciplinary action."
"This is one of the few tools I have in my toolbox, and this seemed like the appropriate course of action," said DelGrosso, a Loveland Republican.
Klingenschmitt, of course, is not happy with the move and is complaining that he is being unfairly persecuted for quoting the Bible and being a Christian:
Now The Denver Post reports that because I quoted unpopular Bible verses from the pulpit in my Sunday ministry, the legislative branch of the Colorado government will remove me from a committee.
While I respect his position, I disagree with Leader Brian DelGrosso's decision, because it clearly establishes an unprecedented religious litmus test for which representatives can sit on what committees.
I was not driving drunk, I was not arrested by the police, I am literally being punished for quoting unpopular Bible verses in my Sunday church, or interpreting the Old Testament differently than Leader DelGrosso interprets it, during my private ministry outside the Capitol. Is that suddenly a crime?
This is not the first time that a branch of the government has reached into my chapel and punished me for my sermons. It also happened when I was a chaplain in the Navy in 2005. That unlawful punishment helped launch 300,000 petitions and I was eventually vindicated by Congress, because their voters demanded religious freedom. Will we?
Here in Colorado, officials can't claim we have freedom to preach, then levy government punishments for doing that. That endangers everybody's religious freedom.
The government is now forcing me to choose between obeying God on Sunday, and representing the people Monday through Friday. That's a hard choice. I want to do both, but party leaders are essentially saying I cannot.
But realizing that the comments he made on his television show have "begun to overshadow" his role as a state legislator, Klingenschmitt announced that he is suspending his ministry and TV program until the end of the state legislative session:
I therefore announce that I will suspend my Christian preaching ministry for the next six weeks, and I will take a Sabbatical from my television show until the end of this legislative session. We will air a few more new programs created this week, but starting next week we plan to only air TV re-runs until the end of the legislative session on May 7th.
Drawing on the right-wing conspiracy theory that Democrats encourage non-citizens to illegally cast ballots in U.S. elections, Phyllis Schlalfy told American Family Radio today that President Obama’s executive actions on immigration are part of a larger plot to rig the vote.
The Eagle Forum founder told host Fred Jackson that the “purpose” of “Obama’s amnesty” is to help undocumented immigrants unlawfully vote: “They want to jimmy the next election by making these illegals grateful to the Democrats and able to vote, and that’s just really a change in our system that we don’t approve of. It isn’t fair, it isn’t honest, but once they have a driver’s license and a Social Security number, you can’t stop them from registering to vote.”
So passionate is Fischer's defense of the new law that he went so far as to declare on his radio program today that the law does actually not sanction discrimination against gays but merely protects Christians from discrimination.
"This law is not something that provides for discrimination against gays," he said. "It is something that prevents discrimination against Christians ... This thing is an anti-discrimination bill because it prohibits governmental discrimination against Christians in the state of Indiana."
Fischer went on to declare that gay rights activists are seeking to utterly destroy religious freedom in America, saying that outrage over the law is entirely about "homosexual supremacy."
"Homosexual activists want special rights for homosexuals to trump every other single right that any American possess anywhere, at any time, in any place," he said.
So a law passed in order to give religious business owners a special legal right to discriminate against gay customers is, in Fischer's warped worldview, really an anti-discrimination bill need to protect Christian business owners from having to give gay customers "special rights" by treating them equally:
For several days last week, Colorado state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt found himself under attack for comments that he made on his "Pray In Jesus Name" program when he said that a brutal attack on a pregnant woman in the state was due to the "curse of God upon America" for legal abortion.
Initially, Klingenschmitt steadfastly refused to apologize for his comments, saying that anyone who disagrees with him really has a problem with him quoting from the Bible. But he appears to have had a change of heart over the weekend because today he released a half-hour video in which he sincerely apologized for his comments and asked for forgiveness.
While most of the video consisted of Klingenschmitt taking issue with specific reporters and others who, he felt, had intentionally misrepresented his initial comments, he capped off the video by issuing a heartfelt apology, saying that he was angry about the attack when he first reported on it last week, which caused him to speak insensitively and offensively about it.
"I do want to apologize for my words last week," Klingenschmitt said, "because I was so angry that I forgot to be compassionate. My words were not compassionate and therefore I apologize. My tone was wrong. My choice of words was wrong. My choice of scripture was wrong. Everything I did about that report was wrong and honestly I apologize to you, Dan and Michelle Wilkins; I apologize to you, the viewers; I apologize to the voters and constituents of Colorado Springs and anybody out there who actually did hear accurate reporting and was offended by my insensitive words, I apologize to you":
He told AFA President Tim Wildmon today that conservatives should call Pence and other state officials and demand that they oppose any effort to clarify that the law does not legalize discrimination: “That could totally destroy this bill.”(In Georgia, supporters of a similar bill also opposed a push to ensure that the legislation will not permit discrimination in business.)
Wildmon agreed, adding that the Indiana law is necessary to protect anti-gay business owners from “persecution.” The law’s critics, Wildmon claimed, are waging “spiritual warfare” against state officials.
Jeb Bush’s impending presidential campaign has brought the legal and political battle surrounding the Terri Schiavo controversy back in the news, with the Wall Street Journal today reporting that the former Florida governor is downplaying his role in the case of Terri Schiavo...
Higgins said that the Day of Silence was really focused on promoting a political agenda rather than protecting LGBT children, labeling anyone who disagrees as “haters.”
Harvey agreed, repeating her claim that LGBT people don’t actually exist: “It goes on and on with the strong-arming, emotional and mental strong-arming, by implying that there are such – again – lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. This is not an inborn lifestyle, there is no evidence of homosexuality — or being transgendered [sic], that you were ever born in the wrong sex body.”