Today People For the American Way (PFAW) and NextGen Climate released a new Spanish-language TV ad highlighting the stark contrast between GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner’s record of supporting polluters and Democratic candidate Mark Udall’s commitment to protecting the health of Colorado children. The ad will air in Denver and Colorado Springs.
“The difference between these two candidates could not be greater,” said Randy Borntrager, political director of People For the American Way. “Udall is fighting for everyday families while Gardner is pushing a destructive agenda that benefits the few. Access to clean air and clean water is critical in the lives of real Coloradans, including those in the Latino community. We’re making sure voters keep these differences in mind on Election Day, and reminding them how easy and important it is to cast a ballot.”
“Congressman Gardner's polluter-friendly policies threaten the safety and health of the Latino community, and Colorado families across the state,” said Georgie Aguirre-Sacasa, state director of NextGen Climate Colorado. “Latino voters have the power to keep Gardner and his harmful policies out of the Senate.”
Two weeks ago, PFAW and NextGen Climate released a first Spanish-language TV ad challenging Gardner on his record of standing on the side of polluters and wealthy donors.
This ad push is the latest step in People For the American Way’s multi-year, nationwide campaign to engage Latino voters in key states by shedding light on the agendas of GOP candidates on issues ranging from immigration to education to the environment. NextGen Climate Colorado is working on the ground in Colorado’s communities to expose Gardner’s extreme positions on critical issues like climate change, and to empower voters to hold him accountable at the ballot box.
The script of the TV ad reads:
Este es tu poder. Poder, para frenar al republicano Cory Gardner, quien apoya a contaminadores multi-millonarios que envenenan el agua y el aire. Poder para elegir al demócrata Mark Udall, quien lucha para proteger la salud de nuestros hijos.
Marca la boleta que recibiste y envíalo por correo inmediatamente. ¡Así de fácil! Usemos el buzón del correo para votar y elegir a Mark Udall. Este es tu poder. ¡Úsalo!
VO Disclaimer: People For the American Way y NextGen Climate Action Committee son responsables por el contenido de este anuncio.
This is your power. The power to stop Republican Cory Gardner, who supports billionaire polluters that poison our air and water. The power to elect Democrat Mark Udall, who’s fighting to protect the health of our children.
Mark the ballot you received in the mail and send it back immediately. It’s that simple! Let’s use our mailboxes to vote, and elect Mark Udall. This is your power. Use it!
VO Disclaimer: People For the American Way and NextGen Climate Action Committee are responsible for the content of this advertising.
On Tuesday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins chatted with a listener, James, who claimed President Obama has a “deliberate” plan to make an Ebola “epidemic occur across the United States” in order to “institute quarantine and martial law restrictions.”
Rather than dismiss the caller’s paranoid remarks, Perkins responded that Obama administration officials “certainly give rise to those who would interpret it that way.”
Perkins claimed that the administration is ignoring “commonsense procedures” like banning travel from West African countries, a move that manyinfectious diseaseexperts say could actually put the U.S. at greater risk.
“You’re absolutely right, James, it just does not make sense,” Perkins said. “I have to strike it up, as I said before, incompetence, it’s amazing how bad this administration has been on so many issues. This election shouldn’t even be close but I believe, based upon what I saw in 2012 and what I’ve seen so far in this election cycle, is the problem is not that the Republicans are too conservative, it’s that they don’t provide a clear contrast with the Democratic candidates.”
Werthmann, who was a child in Austria when it was annexed by Hitler’s Germany, spent the program going through what she saw as the similarities between that regime and America today, which Hice was eager to agree with.
“The parallels as you’re talking are just incredible with what we are seeing in America,” he said, adding that “like a politician here in America,” Hitler “made all these wonderful promises” before transforming into the “monster you never saw coming.”
“And so, you’ve got the nationalized education, nationalized banking, nationalized press that you alluded to, the nationalized medical care,” Hice said later in the program. “It sounds like you were describing America. And the last thing that you mentioned was the gun control. It sounds like you were describing to us tomorrow’s newspaper here in America. Every one of these issues we’re facing right now.”
“That’s right, that’s why I’m so fearful, it’s going so fast,” Werthmann replied, before warning that Obama’s appointment of “czars” signals the end of democracy.
Conservative talk show host Steve Deace has been focusing his program over the last couple weeks on what he calls the “rainbow jihad” of gay rights, in particular the situation in Houston involving a lawsuit filed by Religious Right activists attempting to take down the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance. On his program yesterday, Deace welcomed the self-appointed star of the Houston dust-up, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who told him that pro-equality Democratic lawmakers are waging an Alinsky-inspired plot to silence dissent and that anti-gay conservatives may soon have to resort to civil disobedience.
“The problem is the modern Democratic Party, the professional politician, whether it is Democratic senators in Washington or whether it is the mayor or the city council members in the city of Houston, they have gotten so extreme that their objective is not to win an argument but it is instead to try to silence dissent and to crush and destroy anyone they deem to be their political opponent,” Cruz said.
“You know, Saul Alinsky, who both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton studied carefully, Saul Alinsky said you never want to debate your opponent because it humanizes them,” he continued. “Instead you simply want to silence them. And that is the reality of the modern Democratic party, the elected politicians.”
Later in the interview, Deace asked Cruz if “we are coming to the point” where anti-gay conservatives will have to participate in “organized civil disobedience” like that of the civil rights movement.
“Well, listen, if government tries to silence pastors, if government tries to force believers to violate their faith, it is my hope that believers honor their faith and disregard unjust edicts from government,” Cruz responded.
Peter LaBarbera was the guest on Cliff Kincaid's "America's Survival" program last week where the two spent an entire hour railing against all things gay, with LaBarbera warning that Americans cannot trust the government to handle the Ebola threat because it has never taken the steps necessary to stop gay men from spreading HIV.
Nobody in the government is telling young men "do not practice anal sex, do not practice homosexual behavior," LaBarbera griped, complaining that the government is instead "promoting" homosexuality even though it spreads disease and represents a danger to public health.
LaBarbera was particularly outraged about bath houses where "homosexual men go for indiscriminate, anonymous sexual contact with other men," demanding to know why the CDC and the federal government have not shut them all down.
"Condom-less anal sex and homosexual promiscuity are the two largest risk factors in the spread of disease," LaBarbera said. "They can't even close down a bath house? I mean, they're not serious about that disease so why should we trust them on Ebola?"
Later in the interview, Kincaid and LaBarbera discussed allegations that gay Republican congressional candidate Carl DeMaio had sexually harassed a former staff member. DeMaio said the allegations were false and prosecutors determined that there was not enough evidence to press charges, but LaBarbera sees it as just the latest example of a "homosexual politician" getting caught in a sex scandal.
"You know, it makes sense," he said, "if homosexuality is a perversion, as we both believe it is, if it's immoral, you would expect all of these homosexual politicians and candidates, like DeMaio, to be involved in these awful sex scandals and, lo and behold, they are":
Michael Savage urged his listeners this week to support Republican congressional candidates in November in hopes that a GOP-controlled Congress will order the arrest of President Obama.
The right-wing talk radio host said on Tuesday that a potential executive action to defer deportation proceedings against some undocumented immigrants amounts to “criminal activity” that should trigger an attempt by Republicans to arrest the president “for usurping the Constitution and Congress.”
Savage later declared that if the president were to take such an action, it would amount to “a treasonous act against the American people,” for which he could “then be arrested and tried for treason.”
He then wondered if Obama will “spend a few years in Indonesia or Kenya” following his treason trial.
Savage said a push to impeach and remove Obama from office would be too easy on the president, arguing that Obama is a “mad man” who should be arrested for treason just like Aaron Burr.
However, he warned that the upcoming election has “already been stolen because there’s been over one million absentee ballots cast already, mostly for Democrats, they’ve already rigged the election. Then you have the issue of the illegal aliens voting, rig the election.”
Mark Creech, director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, wrote in the Christian Post yesterday that he was “heart-broken” (sic) by the federal court decision striking down North Carolina’s marriage equality ban, calling the decision “a terrible tragedy — an evil — an injustice in our day.”
Creech took some comfort, however, from this month’s lunar eclipse, during which God told him that things will get better. “God makes all things beautiful in its appropriate time,” he writes, including “even death, war, killing, the escalation of wickedness, and yes, even the atrocity of legalizing same-sex marriage.”
October 10th marks the infamous day for the Tar Heel state. Judge Max O. Cogburn in Asheville declared in accord with a 4th Circuit Court ruling that North Carolina's marriage amendment was unconstitutional. The decision was not only egregious, but an act of judicial supremacy. I readily admit I was heart-broken, but it wasn't as though I was altogether unprepared.
The Lord had spoken to my heart two days before Cogburn ever slammed down his gavel. With the Supreme Court's inaction and what it would mean heavily on my mind, I awakened about 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 8th, and couldn't go back to sleep. Restless, I got up and piddled about the house and made myself an early breakfast. I noticed the local television news was reporting a lunar eclipse was taking place. I thought to myself, "I want to see that." So, in my pajamas and housecoat, I made my way outside to see this glorious display in the heavens. I must say the sight of it was other-worldly, awesome, and even breathtaking.
Then, while watching the earth's shadow fall across the moon's surface, I heard the sweetness of God's voice. "See Mark," the Lord said, "the light may be eclipsed for a time, but be assured the light of God always returns to shine."
To all of my friends and colleagues in North Carolina and other states negatively impacted by the US Supreme Court's indecision – a choice that opened the door for gay marriage in 11 more states. Let me say that if you've been like me, confused, depressed, and sometimes even angry at the recent turning of events, then take a lesson from the lunar eclipse: "The light may be eclipsed for a time, but be assured the light of God always returns to shine."
What has happened is a terrible tragedy – an evil – an injustice in our day. But God makes all things beautiful in its appropriate time, meaning even death, war, killing, the escalation of wickedness, and yes, even the atrocity of legalizing same-sex marriage. God turns it. He makes it all work beautifully to accomplish His purposes in the end. We may not understand it. Nevertheless, He remains lovingly sovereign over it. We can trust Him in all things.
The light may indeed be eclipsed for a while, but the brightness of God's light will always return to shine.
Rick Santorum thinks that young people would have come around to his anti-gay political stances if only the “statists” in the gay community hadn’t “silenced” him and other Religious Right figures.
The former senator and likely presidential candidate made the claim yesterday in an interview with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, where they discussed the case in Houston where pastors sued the city for rejecting their petitions to repeal a non-discrimination ordinance. The city in turn subpoenaed several pastors, which Santorum and Perkins considered an affront to pastors’ rights.
“I really believe in this subject matter at hand with the gay community that a Judeo-Christian worldview cannot survive with a worldview that is as rabidly secular as this movement is,” Santorum said.
“One is going to battle the other and I can tell you that the statists, these secular statists, do not want the competition that comes from the church and so they are going to do everything they can to marginalize them, to force them out of the public square to be quiet,” he continued. “They’re going to use, as they have, the Johnson amendment, try to use the IRS and the tax code to do so, they’re going to use every lever of power the government has to keep this competition of ideas silent so they can win the argument.”
Santorum added that young people support gay rights simply because they have never heard any arguments to the contrary: “The arguments are being won among young people. We are losing in this particular area among young people not because we’re out there and competing, it’s because they have effectively silenced the church on a lot of those issues and young people don’t even know what the opposing view is on these issues.”
This summer, we spent a couple of scintillating days listening the archives of a radio program hosted by Georgia pastor Jody Hice, who won the Republican primary for an open U.S. House seat and is now the favorite to replace outgoing Rep. Paul Broun.
From Hice, we learned that by accepting homosexuality, “we are enslaving and entrapping potentially hundreds of thousands of individuals in a lifestyle that frankly they are not,” that the Sandy Hook and Aurora gun massacres were the result of the separation of church and state, and that we ought to have our “antennas up” that blood moons coinciding with Jewish holidays could signal “world-changing events.”
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah reminds us today that October 23 is the day that 17th-century scholar James Ussher deduced was the day on which God created the Earth in the year 4004 BC, thus making today the Earth’s 6,028th birthday.
Farah marks the occasion by taking on some of the scientific quibbles with Young Earth Creationism, including the science showing that the earth is billions of years old and that dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago.
While science “can never prove the age of the Earth,” Farah argues, ”God can, however, prove the age of the Earth because He was there. And someday, when He returns to judge His creation, He might just do that.”
He then argues that ancient depictions of mythical beasts are proof that humans coexisted with dinosaurs. “Is it crazier for me to believe the world is around 6,000 years old than it is to accept as scientific fact that it is actually millions or billions of years old?” he asks.
One thing we know for sure: Science can never prove the age of the Earth. Because science requires a methodology of observation and empirical testing that could never be done on an event that occurred thousands of years ago, millions of years ago or billions of years ago. God can, however, prove the age of the Earth because He was there. And someday, when He returns to judge His creation, He might just do that.
Until then, we have the detailed historical record He left us with in written form – the Bible.
I know what some of you are thinking: “Farah, what about the dinosaurs that were tens of millions of years old? How do you explain that?” Quite simply, I don’t believe it. Throughout man’s history, in every culture, we have stories, pictures and sculptures depicting dragons and leviathans and sea serpents. Are we to believe these were all concocted in man’s imagination? Even the Bible references such observations. If behemoths like the one described in chapter 40 of the Book of Job somehow threatened the Bible account of history, I don’t think it would be there.
But here’s the bottom line: Is it crazier for me to believe the world is around 6,000 years old than it is to accept as scientific fact that it is actually millions or billions of years old?
WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush thinks that President Obama is not only acting like “a seasoned domestic abuser or crack interrogator,” but also a member of the Gestapo working in concentration camps.
In his weekly column, Rush also writes about his concern that “Obama looks completely deranged” in a still photo taken from a recent address, conceding that it was probably just a frame of Obama blinking.
Nevertheless, Rush explains, Obama likely has “deep psychological problems” to the extent that now even the media is trying to make “the president look like a long-term psychiatric patient.”
The Jews who had emerged from cattle cars, alarmed because they’d just been ordered to remove their clothes, were also reassured by the Gestapo. They’d had a long, hard trip, they were told, and were only being stripped down for a “common shower.” Of course, the “shower” was a gas chamber, and the rest is history.
This is a hell of a psycho-dynamic Obama is using, in my humble opinion. Telling a population that has every reason to be alarmed not to be alarmed and to trust him and his minions when everything they’ve said to date has been a lie (or at least inaccurate, to those who aren’t fully awake yet) is not only audacious, but it smacks of the subtle manipulation one might encounter from a seasoned domestic abuser or crack interrogator.
Last weekend, Obama addressed the threat to America from the Ebola virus during his weekly television and radio address. Leaving aside the gross inaccuracies and misrepresentations contained therein, what caught my attention was a photograph from the video of the address released by a news agency in which Obama looks completely deranged.
Now, in all fairness, a single-frame representation of an individual blinking (which I believe Obama was doing at the time) can be deceptive. There are many who believe that Obama has deep psychological problems, but my question is this: Out of a video of tens of thousands of frames, why would a news agency choose one that made the president look like a long-term psychiatric patient?
Well, Obama has been slighting news agencies for a long time. Perhaps they’ve had enough.
In the wake of a ruling striking down his state's gay marriage ban, a North Carolina magistrate resigned from his position rather than perform same-sex weddings, and for this he is being hailed as a hero by Gordon Klingenschmitt for "rising up and taking back your country."
On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program posted yesterday, Klingenschmitt praised magistrate John Kallam for resisting "the government's absolutely tyranny" as well as "these demonic judges who are imposing the Devil's law upon the people":
Rep. Louie Gohmert was an in-studio guest on the "Point Of View" radio program yesterday, where he went off on a bizarre tangent about Ancient Greece in trying to make the case that allowing gays to serve in the military "is not a good idea."
The Texas Republican had been railing against the Obama administration's decision to send several thousand members of the U.S. military to Western Africa to assist in the effort to control the Ebola outbreak, saying that it was just the latest example of the administration demonstrating its fundamental disdain for the military.
Somehow that discussion eventually prompted him to launch into criticism of the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in the most perfectly Gohmert-esque fashion imaginable.
"I've had people say, 'Hey, you know, there's nothing wrong with gays in the military. Look at the Greeks,'" he said. "Well, you know, they did have people come along who they loved that was the same sex and would give them massages before they went into battle. But you know what, it's a different kind of fighting, it's a different kind of war and if you're sitting around getting massages all day ready to go into a big, planned battle, then you're not going to last very long. It's guerrilla fighting. You are going to be ultimately vulnerable to terrorism and if that's what you start doing in the military like the Greeks did ... as people have said, 'Louie, you have got to understand, you don't even know your history.' Oh yes I do. I know exactly. It's not a good idea":
Anti-immigrant activists William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC and James Neighbors of Overpasses for America warned yesterday that if President Obama takes executive action to prevent the deportation of certain undocumented immigrants, they will respond with “60s era sit-ins” and chain themselves to the doors of government offices charged with distributing identification documents.
“We’re going to need some very brave people who are willing to face arrest by peaceably conducting ‘60s era sit-ins to actually go in and block those offices that will be set up all over the place to start giving ID to these illegal immigrants,” Gheen said. “We’re going to have to march into those offices and try to physically stop them from doing what they’re doing, hoping that that will awake this nation.”
Neighbors one-upped him, promising to “chain myself to the front door” of offices issuing documents to immigrants so “they’re going to have to arrest me.”
“I’ll chain my arm to yours, brother, and we’ll put a big piece of PVC around them so they can’t cut the chain and we’ll chain ourselves to the door and do what we need to do,” Gheen responded.
Today a group of Michigan pastors held a rally to declare that they are getting “ready to go to jail” if a non-discrimination bill passes the state legislature. Stacy Swimp warned that the “anti-freedom” gay rights movement is bent on putting pastors behind bars, while another pastor claimed that his “rights are being threatened.”
The group came out to protest a bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity protections to the state’s nondiscrimination law, the 1976 Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which already covers categories including “religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, or marital status.”
Pastors and Christian leaders gathered on the steps of the state capitol Wednesday morning to demand the state legislature refuse to amend Michigan's civil rights act to include the LGBT community.
"The homosexual movement is an anti-freedom movement," declared Stacy Swimp, a right wing advocate and minister in Flint and Jackson. Swimp is also a convicted felon. He spent time in Michigan's prison system after being convicted in 1994 of assault with intent to murder.
Pastor Tim Berlin of Warren told the crowd, inclusion of the LGBT community in the civil rights act was "a dangerous slippery slope to an unknown destination."
Bridgeport minister R.B. Ouellette said the group did not seek "to deny anyone their rights," adding, "Our rights are being threatened."
… Swimp said if the amendment is passed, Christians will disobey the law.
"We must be ready to go to jail if we resist," he told those gathered.
As Brian has written about quite a bit, there is some strifein the ranksof birthers over the potential presidential candidacy of Texas senator and Tea Party hero Ted Cruz.
Birthers believe (falsely) that President Obama was born overseas to one parent who was an American citizen and one who was not, and so, they claim, is not a “natural born citizen” eligible for the presidency. But many prominent birthers have made clear that they would be absolutely fine with the presidential candidacy of Cruz, who was actually born overseas to one parent who was an American citizen and one who was not.
Most mainstream legal observers hold that Cruz is still eligible to be president — just as Obama would have been even if he had concocted an elaborate scheme to lie about his place of birth — but the case highlights the hypocricy of the anti-Obama birther movement.
One prominent birther has at least decided to stay consistent. Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff who now heads the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association — a guild of officers who believe the county sheriff has the authority to defy and arrest federal officials — said in a recent Blog Talk Radio interview that he believes Cruz is ineligible for the presidency.
In response to a caller who argued that the Constitution bars the Canadian-born Cruz from being president, Mack said, “That is correct, I try to say that to a lot of people. Ted Cruz cannot run for president of the United States.”
“I like Ted, I’ve met him several times and he’s kind of a friend of mine, but he can’t run for president,” he continued.
Earlier in the program, Mack discussed the president’s birth certificate, saying that it was “real easy to determine that that was a fake and a fraud,” and alleged that the people “who helped fabricate all of these things and people who know about” aren’t coming forward because they’re “all fearing for their lives.”
“I know the person who has done this, they’re all fearing for their lives, obviously, but it’s time to come forward,” he pleaded. “The more light you shed on this, the less likely you are to be killed or hurt or put away.”
Yesterday, the organization FCKH8.com released a video featuring a bunch of young girls railing against inequality and sexism while dropping lots of F-bombs in the process and Glenn Beck is predictably outraged, calling the video "despicable" and saying that the parents who allowed their daughters to appear in the video have scarred them for life.
"No parent says to a six year-old girl, 'Hey, hey, hey, you can say this,'" Beck declared. "Go ahead. It's cool. Use the F-word. Drop the F-bomb a few times. Nobody says that. Nobody! Nobody who is a decent parent ever would say that."
"It's despicable," he continued. "This is going to scar them. This is setting their feet on a path, they have shaped these girls and taught these girls something that you will never be able to unteach them":
Similar dire warnings about the federal hate crimes law that was passed five years ago today have proven to be utterly false.
The apocalyptic rhetoric is a reaction to the advances in LGBT rights, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in dozens of states and the passage of non-discrimination ordinances in municipalities across the country. Along with categories such as race, gender, religion, age and ability, more localities are recognizing sexual orientation and gender identity as traits warranting protection from discrimination in the public domain.
As anti-gay politicians lose in the courts, Congress, state houses, town halls, and perhaps most importantly, at the ballot box, many have taken to conflating political defeat with a loss of rights and liberty. Only by depriving other people of their rights, so they claim, can conservatives and people of faith in this nation truly be free.
This month, many Republicans latched onto a complicated legal case in Houston to justify their hyperbolic warnings about impending doom for Christians in America. After Houston passed an equal rights ordinance this year, a pastor-led group tried — and failed — to collect enough valid petition signatures to force a referendum on repealing the ordinance. When a group of conservative activists and pastors filed a lawsuit demanding that officials accept the invalid petitions, pro-bono attorneys working for the city subpoenaed several pastors’ communications, including sermons, on petition collecting and related issues like homosexuality as part of the discovery process.
While many groups from the left and right alike called out the subpoenas as overly broad and intrusive, the Religious Right cited the legal move as proof that pastors will be, as the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody put it, “hauled off to jail for a hate crimes because they are speaking for traditional marriage.”
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who in 2012 warned that America was “at the edge of a precipice” and would soon see non-existent “hate speech” laws used “against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages [or] who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage,” agreed with Brody’s assessment.
(In a similar episode this month, the owners of a for-profit wedding chapel business filed a lawsuit against their hometown over a nondiscrimination ordinance, arguing that city officials have threatened them with prosecution and jail time for denying service to same-sex couples — even though officials haven’t pursued any legal action against the couple.)
We’ve seen this movie before. In 2007, members of a group called Repent America were charged after disrupting a gay pride event and refusing to abide by police orders. The way conservatives tell the story, godly missionaries were punished by law enforcement for exercising their First Amendment rights and “sharing the gospel,” but as court records show, the group tried to disturb the peace and protest inside an event without a permit.
In fact, if Religious Right were correct in their warnings, America should have experienced a wave of arrests targeting pastors, church-goers and Republicans following the passage of the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Predictions about the criminalization of the Bible, pastors locked in jail cells and concentration camps for Christians never came true, mainly because these prophecies had no basis in reality.
The Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Law was passed by Congress five years ago today, and so far, the far-right’s twisted and baseless claims about the law have all been proven false. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t stopped making the exact same discredited arguments five years after the bill’s passage:
1.End of Free Speech
Despite the hate crimes law’s provision making clear that it is applicable only to cases of violent crime and nothing “shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs,” Religious Right activists and their allies in the GOP nonetheless predicted that the 2009 law would bring free speech to an end.
“Gay activists will use it against preachers who present the Biblical view of homosexuality,” Rick Scarborough said at the time. “The federal hate crimes law doesn’t target crime, but free speech.” He also warned that the law’s passage would “criminalize pastors and ordinary citizens who speak out biblically against homosexuality,” telling members of his group, Vision America, that he may face arrest for “speaking out against sexual deviancy.”
Scarborough, a Texas anti-gay pastor and political organizer close to Ted Cruz, hasn’t backed down from his claims even years after the law has gone into effect. At the 2013 Values Voter Summit, Scarborough declared that the “infidels” in the Obama administration are “hell-bent on silencing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Christians wouldn’t rise up against the attacks, he feared, “until a bunch of us are thrown into concentration camps.”
The Traditional Values Coalition went as far as to claim that the hate crimes law would imprison Jesus Christ.
“I believe that ‘hate crimes’ is the most dangerous bill in America, it is precisely what they are using to silence Christians around the world,” Janet Porter, a Religious Right activist with the group Faith 2 Action, said in an interview the year before the bill was passed. “How much of a stretch is it, really, to say that because I would say to you homosexuality is a sin or it’s dangerous behavior, before that speech alone is worthy of jail time? And that’s what we’re facing.” Porter told a Washington, D.C., rally shortly after the law was passed that it “criminalizes Christianity” and “sends pastors to prison for biblical positions and speech.”
In an 2009 email message with the subject line, “The Senate Will Vote To Silence You!,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claimed that “what ‘hate crimes’ legislation does is lay the legal foundation and framework for investigating, prosecuting and persecuting pastors, business owners, and anyone else whose actions reflect their faith.”
He also alleged that the law would “gag people of faith and conviction who disagree with the homosexual agenda” and that it “punishes a person’s beliefs — part of the Left's intolerant agenda to silence the voice of Christians and Conservatives in America and eliminate moral restraint.”
“If federal thought crimes laws are passed, your right to share politically incorrect parts of your Christian faith could become a federal crime,” Perkins warned. At another conservative event, Perkins said hate crimes laws will curtail freedom and breed “chaos in America.”
Rusty Lee Thomas of Operation Save America even encouraged opposition to the law by alleging that “there is a direct connection between the sins and crimes of abortion and the sodomite agenda and the Islamic terrorism that threatens our nation.”
One group of GOP and Religious Right figures claimed the law would be “a savage and perhaps fatal blow to First Amendment freedom of expression.”
E.W. Jackson, a Virginia pastor and GOP politician, told a conservative rally that the law “represents a virulent strain of anti-Christian bigotry and hatred” that is “another step in the process of robbing all Americans of the very freedoms the founding fathers pledged their lives for and the civil rights martyrs gave their lives for.”
Ohio-based televangelist Rod Parsley, best known for his work supporting George W. Bush’s re-election campaign and the passage of his state’s gay marriage ban, said that the hate crimes law would force him out of the pulpit.
“This deceptive ploy of liberal, homosexual agenda begins to lose its allure once you pull the mask back and take a closer look,” Parsley said. “The legislation that’s before our United States senators right now extends to speech and can punish people not for their actions but for their culturally incorrect thoughts. This legislation could become law, and you and I could find ourselves forbidden to speak from God’s word right here in America. I could no longer share my heart with you on critical issues, such as this, through the medium of television, or even in the pulpit of my own church.”
We can report that despite Parsley’s grim predictions, he is still very much “sharing his heart” as a preacher.
2.Outlawing the Bible
One group of Michigan pastors, joined by local Republican politician and American Family Association state chairman Gary Glenn, filed an unsuccessful legal challenge against the hate crimes law soon after it was enacted. The group’s legal representative, the conservative Thomas More Law Center, contended that “the sole purpose” of the law was “to criminalize the Bible and use the threat of federal prosecutions and long jail sentences to silence Christians from expressing their Biblically-based religious belief that homosexual conduct is a sin.”
Pastor Paul Blair of Reclaiming America for Christ also offered an ominous warning: “If preaching the Bible is now against the law, then let us be arrested.” One WorldNetDaily commentator said the law would “crack down” on Christians for “reading the Bible.”
“Christianity Is Now Outlawed,” declared the Christian Seniors Association, a front group of the Traditional Values Coalition, in a fundraising letter following the law’s passage. “Did you know that the new Hate Crimes Act that President Obama signed into law makes the Bible illegal ‘Hate Literature?’” the letter continued.
“Most Christians might as well rip the pages which condemn homosexuality right out of their Bibles because this bill will make it illegal to publicly express the dictates of their religious beliefs,” said Andrea Lafferty of the TVC. “The ultimate objective of this legislation is to claim that ‘hate speech’ — criticism of homosexuality — incites individuals to violence and must be suppressed and punished. This will violate the First Amendment rights of any person or group that opposes the normalization of homosexuality in our culture.”
In the paranoid conservative alternate reality, pedophilia has been legal for five years now thanks to the updated federal hate crimes law.
“The main purpose of this ‘hate crimes’ legislation is to add the categories of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity,’ ‘either actual or perceived,’ as new classes of individuals receiving special protection by federal law. Sexual orientation includes heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality on an ever-expanding continuum. Will Congress also protect these sexual orientations: zoophiles, pedophiles or polygamists?” asked televangelist Pat Robertson.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, similarly charged: “We have a record roll call vote that shows every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee voting to have pedophiles protected.”
King’s colleague Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, went one step further and said that as a result of the hate crimes law, courts would “have to strike any laws against bestiality” along with laws targeting “pedophiles or necrophiliacs.” Gohmert went on to warn that the law would effectively turn the U.S. into Nazi Germany.
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, for his part, predicted that the law would extend legal protections to “bisexuality, exhibitionism, fetishism, incest, necrophilia, pedophilia, prostitution, sexual masochism, urophilia, voyeurism, and bestiality.”
Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center claimed the law “elevates those persons who engage in deviant sexual behaviors, including pedophiles, to a special protected class of persons as a matter of federal law and policy.”
Porter dubbed the law the “Pedophile Protection Act,” “summarizing” the law by completely making things up: “Pushing away an unwelcome advance of a homosexual, transgendered [sic], cross-dresser or exhibitionist could make you a felon under this law. Speaking out against the homosexual agenda could also make you a felon if you are said to influence someone who pushes away that unwelcome advance. And pedophiles and other sexual deviants would enjoy an elevated level of protection, while children, seniors, veterans and churches would not.”
Pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia are still against the law and such laws have not been affected by the Hate Crimes Act, while declining “an unwelcome advance of a homosexual” is still very much legal. However, we are still waiting with bated breath for Porter’s lawsuit detailing how she was forced and legally bound to succumb to the charms of a homosexual enticer.
Can the Religious Right Be Trusted?
The many frantic, unfounded warnings about the perils the 2009 Hate Crimes Act are just one example of anti-gay activists’ penchant for manufacturing myths and brazenly distorting cases of supposed persecution.
Apocalyptic warnings and blatantly dishonest remarks have always been characteristic of the Religious Right's crusade against LGBT rights and we can expect such activists to continue to engage in such shameless fear mongering and misinformation before the 2014 election.
But, like the Religious Right’s warnings about the effects of the 2009 Hate Crimes Act, these dire predictions should be taken with a heavy dose of salt.
As if we needed more proof that Rep. Paul Broun’s likely GOP replacement in the House, Georgia pastor and activist Jody Hice, will be just as enthusiastic a Christian-nation advocate as his predecessor, we stumbled across this clip from a 2011 broadcast of Hice’s radio show in which he laments that the separation of church and state is turning government into God and thereby destroying America:
“The more we remove God individually from our lives or culturally, the more secular we will become, which means that in place of God we’re going to set ourselves up or we will set up the state, the government, to fulfill the role of God,” Hice opined.
“That’s the only option is that’s what happens, and that precisely is why secularism is not, cannot, be neutral,” he continued. “Secularism, the belief system in itself, by doing away with God in turn sets itself up as God, either as an individual or as a government. That’s where we’re moving. And we are experiencing what we are experiencing in this country simply because of our continual drifting away from our Judeo-Christian principles, drifting away from our awareness and understanding and belief in God for so long that now we are reaping the consequences.”