The right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel has been encouraging public officials from county clerks to governors to ignore the Supreme Court’s decision striking down gay-marriage bans nationwide, and as part of this work is representing Kim Davis, a Kentucky clerk who is refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
Liberty Counsel’s main argument in the Kentucky case is that Davis’ religious liberty is being violated because she is being forced to do her job and issue licenses for legal marriages between people of the same sex.
In fact, LC argues in a recent court filing, marriage equality actually imposes an unconstitutional “religious (or anti-religious) test for holding office” because people like Davis who don’t want to issue marriage licenses to gay couples aren’t allowed to refuse to do so.
They want, the court filing explains, “to induce irreversible and substantial harm to the religious conscience of Davis.”
“If Davis’ religious objection cannot be accommodated under the circumstances of this case, then elected officials have no real religious freedom when they take public office,” Staver warned.
The brief argues, “There is no constitutional right to have a particular person authorize a SSM license and affix their imprimatur to that permanent public record, especially if that person holds deep religious convictions prohibiting her from participating in and approving of SSM.”
It continued, “Contrary to plaintiffs’ insatiable demands, such individual rights and freedoms so fundamental to liberty are neither surrendered at the entry door of public service nor waived upon taking an oath of office. To suggest otherwise creates a religious (or anti-religious) test for holding office – which the United States and Kentucky Constitutions expressly forbid.”
In an interview with The Dove TV on Friday, anti-gay activist Scott Lively insisted that Christians are being denied their First Amendment rights because of gay rights, while simultaneously asserting that the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom applies only to Christians.
In fact, Lively explained, it is because the United States has grown to accept “religious pluralism” that God is now punishing us with abortion rights and LGBT equality.
“Well, I don’t actually believe in ‘religious freedom,’ the way that the term is used,” Lively explained. “I know that when you use it and when most people use it, you’re talking about Christianity. We’re not talking about freedom for Islam and freedom for Buddhism and Hinduism as if they’re equal with God.
“The number-one Commandment is ‘You shall have no other gods before me.’ And when we forget that and we start accepting this concept of religious pluralism and we say that Jesus Christ is really no higher an authority in America than Buddha or Mohammed or even Satan, that’s when we have really dropped the ball and we have brought disfavor from God on us.”
Legal abortion (or, as he put it, the “pro-abort juggernaut of death”) and gay rights, he insisted, could have been stopped if America had earned “the favor of God.”
“If even one man, just one man, had the favor of God,” he said, “with the flimsiest of plans, he could have stopped that, he could have stopped the gay agenda in very short order.”
He went on to mourn for the soldiers in the Revolutionary War who “died with the cry ‘no king but Jesus’ on their lips” and for “all the patriots since them who have died on the battlefield believing that American values meant godliness and morality, not sexual perversion and killing.”
Lively then, with great self-awareness, lamented that the First Amendment is “being chipped away very rapidly” leading to the “persecution” of people like himself.
Later in the interview, Lively claimed that thanks to abortion rights and LGBT equality, “we really are now under occupation.. by cultural Marxists” just as France was occupied by the Nazis in World War II.
The “cultural Marxists,” he said, have now ensured that everyone in America is “forced to participate in gay culture,” and are working toward the next step, which is “punishment of all dissenters.”
“The folks that are pushing this, they want to come after every Christian,” he warned, “they hate Christianity, they want to punish, they are going to aggressively pursue every person.”
But he had some good news: “I’m more blessed than I’ve ever been, and yet I’m being persecuted more than anybody else in America.”
Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver joined VCY America’s “Crosstalk” program on Thursday to discuss his work urging government officials to defy the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality.
Staver urged governors and other elected officials to “stand up and resist” the Supreme Court’s ruling, praising officials in Alabama and Texas who are pushing back against it.
Such officials, he said, could create “sanctuary cities” free from gay marriage and abortion rights, just as some cities have become sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants.
“You know what, if some cities can create sanctuary cities for illegal aliens, why can’t a city or a state create a sanctuary city or state to protect the preborn?” he asked.
“And to protect marriage,” VCY’s Jim Schneider chimed in.
“…and to protect marriage, absolutely.”
Staver is representing one Kentucky County clerk, Kim Davis, who is refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, which he said she can’t do because she would be giving those couples a “license” to “engage in a sinful activity with a sinful relationship.”
“And understand what their dilemma is,” he said. “They provide a license to do something. They provide a license that gives you the legal authority to drive a car. They provide a license that gives you a legal authority to operate a business. So they’re providing a license that gives you a legal authority to do what? To engage in a sinful activity with a sinful relationship, a same-sex so-called marriage.”
Claiming that the Supreme Court’s decision put people like Davis in the “firing line,” he said that she was simply unwilling to “authorize someone to do something that itself is sinful, that is repugnant to her and the scriptures and to natural millennia of human history, natural law.”
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
This week, Americans marked the 50th anniversary of the death of freedom and the introduction of communism with the 1965 legislation creating Medicare and Medicaid. And as if things weren’t already bad enough for America, now we are witnessing a looming ban on dogs and the threat of gay-marriage-induced earthquakes.
However, no scheme is as serious as the one Savage exposed on his Monday show, when he suggested that Obama’s policies may lead to a ban on dogs.
Accusing the president of “bringing in 100,000” Muslims to the U.S. every month, Savage warned that the Islamists who will soon run the country may “ban dogs.”
Meanwhile, a fake conservative news site has already sparked outrage after publishing a story alleging that Dearborn, Michigan, banned alcohol as part of an effort “to turn Dearborn into an Islamic State.”
4) Confederate Flag Shielding Planned Parenthood Phony Scandal
Sarah Palin appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” this week to promote the myths that Planned Parenthood isprofiting off organ harvesting and targeting minority women to have abortions, alleging that people who care about the Confederate flag on public land don’t care that the women’s health organization is using black leaders like President Obama to “deceive” women into believing that they should have abortions.
The former Republican vice presidential candidate offered up this characteristically lucid explanation: “This is kind of symbolic of our political correctness absurdity and the absurdity of some persons’ priorities when they are concerned more about a symbol that had representative the negative many years ago compared to today. Thousands and thousands of babies, obviously, we’ve seen in the news over and over with Planned Parenthood, being butchered and having their baby parts sold, people in some parts are paying a whole lot more attention to the flag controversy than they are about what Planned Parenthood their barbaric practices are.”
3) Gay Pride Marches Cause Earthquakes
Forget what you learned in science class! Thanks to John McTernan of USA Prophecy, we now know the true sources of earthquakes and hurricanes.
“There has been tremendous disasters hitting America at the very same time that America is turning from God,” McTernan explained. “On gay pride day, there have been huge earthquakes, I’m talking about on the very day; Supreme Court decisions, pro-abortion, and that hurricanes slamming in, droughts and things like that. And I believe it’s God warning America to stop the course, actually repent and it will be the church to do this.”
“There’s not too much time left for America,” he said, adding that Christians will now face persecution by liberals who “hate us as much as the Nazis hated the Jews and they’re acting on it now” and “want to destroy us.”
2) Gays Cause Child Abuse
Klingenschmitt, who also serves as a Colorado Republican state representative, not only wants his viewers to know that gay pride demonstrations cause earthquakes, but also that gay people are bent on sexually abusing children.
But it almost wasn’t so. Back in the 1960s, Medicare proposals came under fierce attacks from conservatives, including future President Ronald Reagan , who said that the program would lead to the end of freedom as a tyrannical, socialist government dominated the country. Sound familiar?
Just listen to Reagan’s 1961 remarks, complete with fake quotes and baseless speculation about “socialized medicine,” to see how the Right has stuck to a familiar playbook even after all these years:
At last week’s Eagle Forum Collegian Summit, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, told a crowd of young conservatives that the Supreme Court was wrong in its “beyond breathtaking” ruling to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.
“People could get married before the Supreme Court ruling, two people could call themselves married” he explained, saying that same-sex couples could “go off at the beach and have flowers and play rock music” in a symbolic, but not legally recognized, ceremony.
Sessions also took a page from Religious Right activists like Tony Perkins and Rick Wiles, and warned that Christians would soon be persecuted for their beliefs: “We are at a period of secularization in America that I think is very dangerous, it erodes the very concept of truth, the very concept of right and wrong, and there are people out there who enjoy attacking people who follow biblical directives.”
American Religious Right groups are teaming up with anti-choice and anti-gay governments and organizations from around the world in order to prevent a new United Nations development proposal currently being negotiated from including language that might lead to some recognition of families headed by same-sex couples, a possibility the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM) describes as “tragic.” (C-FAM was formerly known as the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute.)
Leftist governments, including the United States, are trying to convince the General Assembly to discard family language from the Universal Declaration [of Human Rights] and instead use phrases that critics consider to be ideologically freighted, specifically “all families” and “various forms of the family.” These types of phrases have been rejected in recent years but the Obama administration has made it a priority to have them used in this important development document.
C-FAM argues that language declaring that “the family is the natural and fundamental unit of society” must be kept in place to prevent Europeans and Americans from having any “wiggle room” to “promote same-sex relations as families through the UN system.”
C-FAM reports that a group of African and Arab nations are leading efforts to strip language about “all families” from the final draft of the “Post-2015 Summit outcome” by proposing language that “EXCLUDES any international recognition to relations between persons of the same-sex as a ‘family,’ as in the case of homosexual civil unions and so-called gay marriage.”
Shortly after the Supreme Court issued its ruling in favor of marriage equality last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told county clerks in his state that they could opt out of issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
It turns out that in doing so, he had the encouragement of some vocal and influential Religious Right activists in his state, including Steve Hotze of Conservative Republicans of Texas, who wrote to Paxton hours after the court handed down its ruling urging him to ignore the decision by Supreme Court justices who “hate God and want to let the Sodomites queer our country.”
“Greetings in the name of Christ our King!” Hotze wrote Paxton about two hours after the court ruled on June 26.
“Do what the Louisiana AG has done,” Hotze said in an email, urging Paxton to emulate that state’s Republican attorney general who said Louisiana didn’t have to comply because there was no specific line in the court ruling saying so.
“The illegitimate SCOTUS ruling does not name Texas, so fight those lousy bastards,” said Hotze, president of Conservative Republicans of Texas, a group influential in Harris County GOP primaries. “They hate God and want to let the Sodomites queer our country.”
On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program today, Gordon Klingenschmitt interviewed Bible prophecy "expert" John McTernan, who warned that with the legalization of gay marriage nationwide, we have "crossed that line now where there's not too much time left for America," before declaring that gay rights activists hate Christians "as much as the Nazis hated the Jews."
McTernan asserted that "there have been tremendous disasters hitting America at the very same time as America is turning from God," saying that earthquakes have stuck this nation in response to gay pride parades and that hurricanes have hit America because of legal abortion, all of which are "God warning America to repent."
Unfortunately, nobody other than McTernan seems to understand this obvious connection and so "we're at the point now where we have crossed the line of no return" and God's judgment is imminent.
When Klingenschmitt asked if there was anything that Christians could do to turn things around, McTernan said that "we must understand that the people that are in power now, I call them them hard-left reprobates, they hate us."
"They hate us because they hate God and we represent God," he said. "They hate us as much as the Nazis hated the Jews and they're acting on it now. This is not live and let live, Chaplain, they want to destroy us."
In an interview with far-right pastor and Colorado state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmit today, Phyllis Schlafly declared that the Supreme Court’s recent marriage equality ruling should simply be ignored while "we the people" decide if we want to overturn it.
"There's nothing in the Constitution about homosexual marriage," Schlafly said. "The judges made it up and some people think that because they did and the Supreme Court has spoken, therefore we have to accept it. We don't."
Likening the ruling to the Dred Scott decision, Schlafly said that "we don't have to obey it just because a few judges said so," before declaring that GOP presidential hopefuls must declare that they will flout the decision, something several candidateshavealreadydone.
"We just don't believe in accepting what some judge says is the new law," she said. "The Constitution starts with 'we the people,' and so what we need to do is say just because the Supreme Court has handed down a decision, we'll re-evaluate it and we'll decide whether we want to overturn it or not."
Anti-gay activists have been reeling ever since the Supreme Court issued its ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide. In response, David Barton and Rick Green interviewed Dr. Everett Piper of Oklahoma Wesleyan University on "WallBuilders Live" today, seeking his advice about how Christians should now go about arguing against gay marriage in the face growing support for marriage equality..
Piper, Green and Barton were all convinced that they have truth and logic on their side when, in reality, their arguments were little more than straw men that are capable of convincing only people who already shared their convictions.
For instance, all three men were all extremely impressed with their argument that sex does not equal love, which is the sort of thing that only works on people who refuse to realize that gay couples can actually love one another.
Piper explained that the best way to combat the "love wins" argument is simply to point out that "sex and love aren't the same thing."
"This isn't about love, it's about sex," he said, "so call a spade a spade. Define your terms. The debate in the culture right now is a debate of what sexual acts is acceptable, it's not a debate about love, so distinguish between the two. There are lots of people I love that I don't have sex with, nor should I have sex with. Love and sex are not synonymous, period!"
Gay sex, of course, was decriminalized over a decade ago, so obviously the marriage movement was not about seeking permission to have sex, but rather about committed couples wanting to express their love and have their families recognized and protected by the law.
But despite the obvious absurdity of Piper's argument, Green was convinced.
"That's good," he cooed. "You're spot-on, brother."
Barton was equally impressed.
"That's a great point. Love and sex are not the same thing," he said. "You don't have sex with everyone you love and because you have sex with someone doesn't mean you love them and so we've given away that argument. Sex equals love? No, it does not. It never has. It doesn't with prostitution ... That's a great point."
The fact that these men cannot even comprehend the possibility that gay couples might be having sex because they are in love does not bode particularly well for their efforts to win the battle against the idea that "love wins."
Senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has repeatedly called recent Supreme Court decisions on marriage and health care reform “tyranny.” On Wednesday, he used his platform as chair of the Senate’s Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts to hold a hearing on “Supreme Court activism” in which he said that the marriage equality ruling was “the very definition of tyranny” and that “Justice Kennedy’s pop psychology has no basis in the text and history of the Constitution.”
Earlier this week, David Barton appeared on Missions Radio, where he doubled down on his false claim that the Supreme Court ruling striking down gay marriage bans has now legalized pedophilia, asserting that churches will be forced to hire child molesters to run their day care centers.
After repeating his false warning that gay marriage will lead to the elimination of gender-specific bathrooms and locker rooms, Barton claimed that the ruling, along with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which he wrongly asserted was passed into law in 2006, will now also force churches to hire pedophiles.
"The Supreme Court said gender cannot be used as a basis of why you do things," Barton said, "what you use is sexual identity. At this point, there are 82 distinct sexual identities ... so whatever I identify myself as this morning, you now have legal standing for that. So what you've seen is, we used to have bathrooms based on gender, but you can't identify gender so now you have to do no genders. So we've already seen in Utah that a number of guys have signed up and moved into the girl's dorms and you can't stop that because you can't base it on gender any more. Well, guess what that's going to mean for sports teams, guess what that's going to mean for bathrooms all across the country, guess what that's going to mean for all sorts of stuff."
"And then, Congress has passed what’s called ENDA, Employment Non-Discrimination Act," he continued, "passed this in '06 under [Nancy] Pelosi and [Harry] Reid and at that point in time, it says you cannot discriminate on the basis of hiring. As a result, the president has now announced that faith based groups have to hire homosexuals; not an option, you have to because federal law says you cannot discriminate on the basis of identity. So if a pedophile comes to the church and says, 'I want to run your nursery,' you can’t say no because that’s discriminating on the basis of identity. If a homosexual comes and says, 'I want to be your youth director' and you say no, you can’t do that, you can’t distinguish on the basis of gender."
Barton is completely wrong about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. It never passed both houses of Congress during the same session, and it is not law today. It was not introduced in the 109th Congress (2005-2007). As an aside, the House speaker during that Congress was Dennis Hastert and the Senate president was Dick Cheney. ENDA passed the House in the next Congress but not the Senate. Another version of the legislation passed the Senate in 2013 but not the House.
Barton told Mitchell’s audience that President Obama’s executive order forbidding discrimination by federal contractors came “as a result” of ENDA. Not so. Barton claims faith based groups have to hire homosexuals. However, this order only applies to federal contractors not all faith based groups. Then he uncorked a doozy by claiming that churches have to hire pedophiles who want to run church nurseries. Of course, this is ridiculous fear mongering.
Stop a minute to think about that claim. Anyone who has any knowledge of church work or volunteer work with children knows Barton’s claim is ridiculous. In many schools, you can’t volunteer to accompany your child’s classroom on a field trip without criminal and child abuse clearances. In recent years, churches have been required by liability insurers to screen all volunteers before working with children. Barton’s claims are absurd and irresponsible.
Jerry Johnson, president of the National Religious Broadcasters, appeared on TheDove TV last week to discuss the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down state gay marriage ban to warn that if the ruling doesn't mobilize a Christian revival in this nation, it will "bring the country down."
"This manufactured idea of so-called same-sex marriage," he said, "it's a rejection of the Creator and the created order for human sexuality ... I just know something that wrong can never be legally right."
"This cannot stand," he continued. "It will either bring the country down or we'll have a great renewal and a great revival and a great awakening and it can be reversed."
As Brian noted earlier this month, Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter is currently leading an effort to pressure Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine "to file a Motion to Rehear Obergefell v. Hodges" with the Supreme Court, so that the recently decided gay marriage case can be reargued, this time without the participation of Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom Porter insists must recuse themselves.
The window for filing such a motion closes tomorrow and having received no support from DeWine, Porter is now getting increasingly desperate and has expanded her call to the attorneys general of Michigan, Tennessee, and Kentucky, sending out an email today warning that they will be responsible when "Christianity is criminalized" and Christians are "carted off to jail" because they failed to get the gay marriage decision overturned:
Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace invited Florida Religious Right activist John Stemberger onto his program yesterday to push back against conservatives who are arguing that the government should just get out of marriage altogether after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, which Stemberger argues would actually expand government by destroying families and expanding the welfare state.
This is all what liberals want, he told Deace: “The left feeds on broken marriages and broken families. When families are strong, when there’s an economic system there, they start to understand the implications of taxes and all the economic implications of actually work and reward.”
This prompted Deace to share his theory that the sexual revolution was an outgrowth of the welfare state because before the expansion of the social safety net, most people were too poor to “act out immorally” by having “multiple wives” and “gay lovers” since “no one was subsidizing [their] depravity.”
“We have that today, which is why the sexual revolution came after the welfare state, because once it was obvious that people were not going to be held directly accountable for their actions, we removed the inhibitions against human nature that we already had,” he explained.
Stemberger agreed with Deace’s assessment, adding, “People who are hard-working and have to be self-sufficient and are not going to be propped up by the government don’t have the luxury of doing stupid, immoral things.”
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay joined “Wallbuilders Live” today to discuss the Supreme Court’s decision striking down bans on gay marriage, repeating his call for states to “defy” the “illegitimate” ruling.
DeLay was especially incensed at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for calling the Supreme Court’s ruling the “law of the land,” urging fellow Republican members of Congress to “revolt” against McConnell and start punishing the entire federal court system for the gay marriage decision by cutting courts’ budgets, limiting their jurisdictions and impeaching judge.
“The members should revolt against that and go after McConnell for saying that, because there’s a lot that Congress can do,” he said. “Not just limited jurisdiction of the courts, they can pass a constitutional amendment, they can impeach judges, they can cut the budgets of the courts — they can’t cut the Supreme Court, but lower courts — they can express themselves that way, express their abhorrence to the ruling by cutting the budgets. There’s just a lot of things that they can do to invoke the separation of powers.”
On today's "WallBuilders Live" radio broadcast, David Barton declared that Christians cannot vote for any candidate in the GOP primary that will not pledge to nominate Supreme Court justices who will overturn the court's recent gay marriage ruling.
"If you get a different administration, you can get some different Supreme Court justices," Barton said. "How many times in the last 30 years has the Supreme Court overturned itself? It did that on nativity scenes, it did that on Ten Commandments monuments, it has done that on homosexuality, it has done that on a number of issues where it reverses itself. So you get some different justices in there and they'll vote to bring a case back before them on this issue and you may see a complete change as a result."
After Barton and co-host Rick Green lamented how different things would have been had Robert Bork been confirmed to the Supreme Court instead of Anthony Kennedy, Barton declared that Republican candidates "are lining up now and you need to be asking the question of every one, where are they on the marriage issue and where are they on judges and if you don't get the right answer, then find a different candidate."
Last night, Vision America's Rick Scarborough spoke at St. Andrew Baptist Church in Panama City, Florida, as part of the church's weekly "Spiritual Revolution - Reclaiming America" series, where he declared that the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision will kill this nation and warned that children will now be adopted by gay parents and wind up in Hell.
"The reason Satan is trying to destroy this country right now is because we send more missionaries, do more good than any nation in history," Scarborough thundered. "But that's all at stake right now because by the act of five unelected judges mandated something upon this country that, for the first time could kill it!"
Gay marriage is far worse than abortion, he explained, because Christians can simply "opt out" and refuse to have abortions but "when homosexuals begin lining up to adopt those children, they will literally disciple them into an early grave called Hell."
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has not been hiding his displeasure about the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down gay marriage bans, telling Alabama church audiences that the ruling will result in Christians being “persecuted” and has, at the behest of Satan, “destroyed the institution of God.”
OSA, which was previously led by the Benham brothers’ father, Flip, is now under the direction of Rusty Lee Thomas, who memorably took to the streets of New York on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks to announce that the terrorist attacks were divine retribution for legal abortion. According to the group, Moore’s chief of staff, Ben DuPre, is an important localcontact, and DuPre introduced Moore at the Saturday event.
Moore told the audience that “America is under attack” as it moves away from God. "I'm sorry but this country was not founded on Muhammad. It was not founded on Buddha. It was not founded on secular humanism. It was founded on God,” he said.
AL.com reports that Moore addressed complaints about OSA’s radicalism, saying "You know, some told me 'you know they're a radical group.' I said yeah. They are radical for God.”
Thomas opened up the event by telling activists that in order to bring Heaven to Earth, they must end legal abortion and gay marriage, because there are “no babies being murdered in Heaven” and “in Heaven they’re not parading their sin like Sodom and trying to redefine marriage.”
Thomas then brought Moore up to the stage to accept a “Godly Statesman Award," after which he gathered the audience around the chief justice to pray that God would use him to “set an example for lesser magistrates throughout the United States of America that it’s time to say no to the federal beast!”
American Family Radio's news director Fred Jackson filled in on "Focal Point" today for a vacationing Bryan Fischer, where he interviewed Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries about the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.
The ruling, Markell said, is evidence that Christians are now "exiles in our own country" and warned that Religious Right ministries could soon be stripped of their tax-exempt status and shut down by the government.
"We are truly exiles in our own country now," she stated. "The Bible foretold that the world would hate us for doing what is right and it also foretold that there would come a time when the generation would be called perilous ... and I think we're there."
"Righteous Christians are truly beyond grieved," she continued. "They can't believe that this has happened, not just in the lifetime, but within a relatively short period of time, within a five to seven year period of time, it just seems like not just the world has been turned over to evil, but it seems like the greatest nation that certainly in the last many hundreds of years has been turned over to a reprobate mind."
"We may be totally silenced," Markell warned. "Who knows? American Family Radio, Olive Tree Ministries, maybe we'll be shut down. It would not surprise me at all ... They talk like this in North Korea, in China but now we're talking like this in America and I can only consider that it's probably judgment on us because too much of America has gone astray spiritually."