Marriage Equality

Oath Keepers Send Armed Guards To Protect Kim Davis From US Marshals

The Oath Keepers, the anti-government “Patriot” group that mounted an armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management at the Bundy Ranch, stationed armed guards outside of military recruitment centers after the Chattanooga shooting, and unsettled Ferguson protestors when they showed up carrying assault weapons, is now offering anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis a “security detail” to protect her from further arrest if she continues to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes announced yesterday that he had reached out to Davis’ lawyers at Liberty Counsel to offer the protection of his group, which he says is already forming a presence in Rowan County, Kentucky, where Davis was recently released from jail after prohibiting her office from issuing marriage licenses. Rhodes said in a statement that his position has nothing to do with gay marriage, but rather his conviction that Davis had been illegally detained by the federal judge who held her in contempt for violating multiple court orders.

In a phone call with former Jackson County, Kentucky, Sheriff Denny Peyman and other local Oath Keepers activists, Rhodes said that he was on his way to Kentucky to help with the Davis operation. Although the group had originally intended to picket outside the home of the judge who held Davis in contempt, he said, they had changed their plan when she was released on Tuesday.

Rhodes said that the Rowan County sheriff should have blocked U.S. Marshals from detaining Davis, but since neither the sheriff nor the state’s governor will do their “job” and “intercede” on behalf of Davis, the Oath Keepers will have to do it instead. “As far as we’re concerned, this is not over,” he said, “and this judge needs to be put on notice that his behavior is not going to be accepted and we’ll be there to stop it and intercede ourselves if we have to. If the sheriff, who should be interceding, is not going to do his job and the governor is not going to do the governor’s job of interceding, then we’ll do it.”

Peyman suggested that he meet with the Rowan County sheriff to “educate him” on his responsibility to block the actions of the federal courts, but in the meantime, Rhodes said, “our guys are already there and more coming” and they are ready to “lead by example” by preventing Davis from being arrested again.

When Rhodes asked Peyman what he would have done if he were sheriff of Rowan County when Davis was detained, Peyman said he would have stopped the arrest.

“This is exactly the kind of thing that our Founding Fathers dealt with when dealing with the magistrates and the officers of the crown who wanted to run roughshod over the rights of the colonists without a jury indictment, without any of that,” Rhodes declared. “Same thing. They’re going to show their power and show you who’s boss.”

Although Rhodes's anti-government extremism doesn't always align with the Religious Right, his rhetoric on Davis not far from that of the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, who said that U.S. Marshals and county prison officials should have refused to participate in Davis' detention because they have no obligation to follow “laws that have no moral foundation that are actually in contradiction to moral law and truth.”

UPDATE: Rhodes reports that Davis, through her Liberty Counsel attorneys, has declined Oath Keepers' offer and he has ordered members of his group to "stand down."

This post has been corrected to note that Peyman is the former sheriff of Jackson County.

Kim Davis Attorney: Marriage Equality Will Bar All Christians From Public Office

Mat Staver, the head of Liberty Counsel and the attorney representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her effort to bar her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, claimed yesterday that if Davis doesn’t get her way then Christians will be effectively barred from holding all public offices.

Interviewing Staver on his “Washington Watch” program, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that he was “very disappointed” in Republicans who have suggested that Davis resign from her position if she is unwilling to perform a major part of her job.

“That would establish a reverse religious test where if you hold an orthodox religious view of marriage, you would be barred from holding public office,” Perkins said.

Staver agreed with Perkins, noting that Davis “believes God called her” to run for clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky.

“But if what we do is follow the advice of some of these Republican candidates that say she needs to resign, well what does that mean?” he asked. “That means that Kim Davis and anyone else who is an elected official … that means you have to check your faith at the ballot box. And once you’re elected, you have to change your faith, put it aside, transgress it, you cannot have your conscience accommodated. ‘No more Christians need to run for office,’ that’s essentially the message, and if you’re in office you need to resign your post immediately. Now what kind of America is that? It’s certainly not the America that the Founders envisioned and I don’t think it’s the kind of America that most people want.”

“It won’t stop with this issue, Mat,” Perkins warned. “It will be something else next. This is the time to stand and exercise our religious freedom lest we lose that religious freedom.”

Staver claimed that Davis was merely seeking the “simple accommodation” that her name be removed from marriage licenses in the county — a new line from the attorney who has been urging public officials to defy the marriage equality decision lest they run afoul of God’s law .

Davis, he said, is the first of many Christians who will be jailed “for their religious beliefs” thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision.

“This is a tragedy, it’s the first Christian jailed since the decision of the Supreme Court on June 26 on marriage,” he said. “But unfortunately, Tony, as you and I fear, I don't think this is going to be the last Christian jailed for their religious beliefs and conscience that collide with this issue of same-sex marriage.”

“No, not as long as there are Christians who are willing to live their lives according to their faith,” Perkins agreed, “and there are a lot of them out there.”

Bobby Jindal: 'If You Disagree With Gay Marriage, They Put You In Jail'

Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana claimed yesterday that people are being put in jail in the U.S. because they “disagree with gay marriage,” even as Hillary Clinton remains “one email away from going to jail.”

When Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway asked Jindal about Clinton’s apology for use of a private email server while at the State Department, the Republican presidential candidate replied, “I thought she was apologizing for this failed foreign policy, I thought she was apologizing for Benghazi, for failing to stand with Israel, for allowing Iran to become a nuclear power. She’s got a lot to apologize for.”

Jindal contrasted Clinton with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was briefly held by U.S. Marshals when she was found in contempt of court for barring her office from issuing marriage licenses, which he claimed shows that you can be put in jail if “you disagree with gay marriage.” (Back in 2009, Jindal took a very different tack with a justice of the peace who cited his personal beliefs in refusing to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple, demanding that the official lose his job.)

“Here’s where we are in our country today,” he said. “If you disagree with gay marriage, they put you in jail, as you see what happened in Kentucky, and yet if you mishandle national security information you’re allowed to run for president. It’s a crazy, crazy world we live in.”

Staver: Requiring Kim Davis To Do Her Job Is Like Forcing Her 'To Grant A License To Sodomize Children'

Mat Staver, the Liberty Counsel attorney who is representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis during her ongoing refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses, appeared on the "WallBuilders Live" radio program today, where he said that requiring Davis to issue such marriage licenses is like requiring her to provide licenses to "sodomize children."

"A clerk provides licenses to do something," Staver explained. "A license to operate a motor vehicle on the road, a license to build a particular facility or a license to do this or a license to do that or a license to operate a business. So that person is licensing someone to do something and in this case, they're licensing what? They're licensing something that is directly contrary to the core of their religious convictions, to engage in sinful activity among same-sex relations and sanction something that is contrary to the Scriptures and that is marriage of two people of the same sex."

"To force someone like that to give a license for something that will legalize, that will put a stamp of approval on something that is absolute rebellion against God, sinful, then that is a direct collision of unprecedented magnitude," he continued, saying that requiring Davis to do her job is like requiring her "to grant a license to engage in pornography, to grant a license to sodomize children or something of that nature."

Christian Reconstrucionist Michael Peroutka Joins Kim Davis Fan Club

Michael Peroutka, a neo-confederate whose Institute on the Constitution promotes a far-right Christian Reconstructionist view of religion and government, has joined the chorus of right-wing voices that have gathered to defend Kim Davis, the county clerk jailed for contempt of court after refusing to obey a court order that she issue marriage licenses to qualified same-sex couples.

Peroutka appeared at a rally with other Davis supporters over the weekend, declaring, “Kim Davis has given all believers a lesson in faithfulness.”

Peroutka ran as a Republican and won a seat on the county council of Ann Arundel County, Maryland, last year, once declared that the Maryland General Assembly had no legitimacy after passing gay-rights legislation that he said violated God’s law. Peroutka is also a long-time funder of the right-wing activism of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has also been promoting resistance to the “tyranny” of judges who rule for marriage equality.

An NBC News story on Peroutka’s support for Kim Davis quoted him saying, “There is no law that requires her to grant a marriage license to people of the same sex. The Court has had many opinions ... but they are not law."

Earlier this year, Peroutka’s Institute on the Constitution warned U.S. Supreme Court justices that striking down state bans on marriage equality “could bring God’s judgment on the Nation.”

'There Will Be Blood': Bryan Fischer And Caller Agree The Kim Davis Controversy Is 'A Pivotal Point In American History'

American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer spent the first hour of his radio broadcast today voicing his outrage at the news that Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis had been held in contempt of court and taken into custody for her ongoing violation of court rulings ordering the county clerk's office to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Fischer was not alone it his outrage, as he took a call from a listener who declared that conservatives are tired of "being pushed back to a cliff" and called for "a massive national demonstration of solidarity" with Davis, warning that if 10 million people do not come together and "flood Washington, D.C.," then all will be lost.

"The media belongs to the Antichrist," the caller said. "We're at the point now where there must be a massive national upheaval. If we cannot have it, I will predict, I will prophesy to you, there will be blood and it will be massive."

Fischer agreed, declaring that "this is a pivotal point in American history" and asserting that Davis will "wind up being the person on which American history turns."

Asserting that this is proof that "every advance of the homosexual agenda comes at the expense of religious liberty," Fischer proclaimed that every GOP presidential candidate must now be "pushed to the wall, backed into a corner" and forced to state a position on the controversy because this issue is now "the dividing line in the GOP nomination campaign."

Staver: It's Reasonable To Force 20,000+ KY Residents To Drive 30 Minutes For A Marriage License To Protect Kim Davis

It is not a coincidence that Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who is currently at the center of a heated legal battle over her refusal to allow the county office to issue any marriage licenses in order to avoid having to provide them to gay couples, is being represented by Mat Staver and his organization Liberty Counsel, as both he and the organization have a long history of vehemently anti-gay activism. While the Supreme Court has rebuffed Davis' legal challenges, Staver has continued to insist that she and other anti-gay clerks are justified in violating the law.

Today, Staver appeared on Steve Malzberg's Newsmax program, where, amazingly, he declared that it was entirely reasonable for the more than 20,000 residents of Rowan County, Kentucky, to have to drive 30 minutes to another county in order to obtain a marriage license in order to protect Davis' personal religious convictions.

"The simple issue that can be resolved is her religious conscience and convictions," Staver said. "You have 120 counties in Kentucky and you have additional jurisdictions that can issue licenses. So it's 130-plus venues; you drive 30 minutes in any direction in Kentucky and get a marriage license. You don't have to force Kim Davis herself to issue the license."

Staver went on to warn that if Davis, who has also ordered deputy clerks not to issue marriage licenses, is actually required to do her job as an elected official and public employee, soon the government will go after churches, Christian universities, and Christian businesses as well because "what the end goal is is to stamp out freedom."

Pat McCrory Tries To Have It Both Ways On Political Prayer Rally

North Carolina’s Pat McCrory is the fourth Republican governor to agree to host a “Response” prayer rally organized by Christian-nation extremist David Lane and other dominionist activists. Rick Perry used a “Response” rally to launch his doomed 2012 presidential bid; since then Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and South Carolina’s Nikki Haley have hosted rallies in their states.

As we have repeatedly explained, there are serious problems with governors lending their name and the power of their office to events that are built on the premise that the only answer to the nation’s problems is for the country to “return” to Jesus. They are exclusionary events that suggest only Christians — more specifically, Christians who share the Religious Right’s views — can be part of solving the nation’s problems. And, while pretending to be nonpolitical, they use politicians to give credibility to their anti-gay, anti-choice, America-as-Christian-nation agenda. They turn politics into spiritual warfare and political opponents into enemies of God.

The North Carolina “Response” event is scheduled for September 26 at the convention center in Charlotte. On Monday, organizers placed a full-page ad in the Charlotte Observer, featuring a photo of McCrory and the invitation, “Come Join Me in a time of worship, prayer, fasting and repentance.”

McCrory is getting some negative feedback, and the Observer reported yesterday that McCrory has distanced himself from the ad, with a spokesman saying the governor had agreed to speak but had not given permission to use his name in inviting people to the event. McCrory reportedly said he’s “proud to attend the event and be a part of what hopefully will be a constructive dialog.”

But either McCrory hasn’t done his homework or he’s being disingenuous. Response events are not meant to be a dialogue. They are part of a strategic public relations and political strategy being advanced by men like David Lane, who is trying to mobilize an “army” of conservative Christians to turn the 2016 elections and to remake the United States along the lines of what Lane sees as the country’s covenant with God. America, Lane says, is a nation founded by Christians “for the Glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”

This event, like other Response rallies, will be hosted by “apostle” Doug Stringer and paid for by David Lane’s American Renewal Project, which operates under the umbrella of the viciously anti-gay American Family Association. In advance of the rallies kicking off Perry’s and Jindal’s presidential bids in Texas and Louisiana, organizers distributed materials that blamed supposed national sins like the acceptance of homosexuality for Hurricane Katrina.

Boykin: God Will Judge Gay-Affirming Pastors For Keeping People In 'Aberrant Lifestyle'

Jerry Boykin, the retired Army general who got in trouble during the Bush administration for framing the wars in the Middle East as a Holy War between Christianity and Islam, is now the executive vice president of the Family Research Council, where he applies his fire-and-brimstone approach to theology to issues ranging from foreign policy to LGBT rights.

In a speech to FRC’s “Watchmen on the Wall” pastors’ event in Dallas last week, Boykin delivered a fiery appeal to conservative pastors to continue leading the fight against LGBT rights after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, in the form of “spiritual warfare” that he said would require bravery like those of his men on a failed mission to rescue American hostages in Iran in 1980.

Pastors who “compromise” on LGBT rights, he warned, will be judged by God “for what they’ve done to confuse the people in this country” and keep them in “an aberrant lifestyle.”

These gay-affirming pastors, he said, just want an “easy way out” because “they don’t want to fight, they’re not warriors, they don’t have the courage.”

Boykin, who has previously said that Jesus was a real “man’s man” who will return carrying an AR-15 assault rifle, told the Watchmen pastors that Christ will come back “riding a white horse, wearing a blood-stained white robe, leading a mighty army with a sword coming out of his mouth to destroy his enemies” and will be covered with “the blood of his enemies,” ready to "slay those who have stood against him and his kingdom."

Cahn: America Will Experience Judgment, Anti-Christian Persecution For 'The Institutionalization Of Sin'

Jonathan Cahn delivered a video message to the Family Research Council's emergency "Watchmen On The Wall" summit last week, where he reiterated his warning that America will soon receive God's judgment for legalizing gay marriage and that Christians must prepare for persecution.

"What happened at the end of June was a tectonic event," Cahn said. "It was culture changing, it was a paradigm shift with profound ramifications, not only concerning marriage but for America's future. Not only America's future, but concerning persecution, concerning society, law, education, apostasy, and even judgment."

"It represents the breaking of nothing short of the order of God," he continued. "If anything represents the disregarding of the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven has ordained, it is this, what just happened. It represented a profound rejection of the nation's Judeo-Christian foundation and the Word of God on which this nation was initially built. An officially post-Christian nation or even an anti-Christian nation. It is the institutionalization of sin, and when that happens, persecution happens."

Perkins: Obama Shook His 'Fist In The Face Of God' With White House Rainbow Light Display

Last week, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins convened an emergency meeting of his “Watchmen on the Wall” pastors’ group to address “the aftermath of the seismic Supreme Court ruling on marriage.” Perkins told the group gathered at a Dallas Baptist church that thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision, “we are at a moment of urgency unprecedented in the history of this country.”

Perkins told the story of King Uzziah, who according to the Book of Chronicles, ruled competently over Judah until he became proud and attempted to burn incense in the Temple, something only priests were allowed to do. Ultimately, the priests stopped Uzziah and God smote him with leprosy, he was ostracized and died.

Perkins, he said, was struck by the “parallel between Judah under King Uzziah and America under Barack Obama.”

“What struck me was that on the eve of this Supreme Court decision, on June the 26th, if you watched the news you saw that the president had bathed the White House in the colors of the so-called gay pride,” he said. “The parallel between the pride of Uzziah and the pride of our national leader shaking his fist in the face of God was stark and alarming.”

Like the priests in Chronicles, he said, American pastors today have the duty to stand up to such heresy, even if it means going to jail, which he said is possible.

“I know many have talked to me, saying, ‘As pastors are we going to face prison, are we going to face jail, Are we going to be forced to do same-sex marriages?’” he said. “That may come if we fail to act today, but the greater threat is to the men and women sitting in your pews every Sunday morning.”

He urged pastors to “encourage your people to stand firm in the faith” even when that means facing a “reverse religious test” in which they aren’t allowed to use their religious beliefs as a reason to discriminate against LGBT people in the public square.

Rafael Cruz: 'The Devil Overplayed His Hand' With SCOTUS Gay Marriage Decision

As we have noted before, Rafael Cruz, father of senator and Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, is essentially a poor man's David Barton since a significant amount of his stump speech consists of information that he has lifted directly from Barton's own presentations.

While speaking last week to a gathering in Georgia, Cruz incorporated Barton's latest false claim that the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling will now force churches to hire gays into his own speech as well.

During his speech, which was clearly a campaign event for his son as the father is a frequent campaign surrogate and he finished his remarks by explaining why Ted is the best candidate in the GOP primary before handing out endorsement forms to those in attendance, the elder Cruz declared that "the Devil overplayed his hand" with the gay marriage decision.

"The Devil always overplays his hand," he said, "and the Devil overplayed his hand with that decision on June 26. You've got to realize that that decision was not about homosexual marriage, that decision was a decision against religious liberty. What was the basis for their decision? It was the 14th Amendment. That means they're calling homosexuality a civil right. Understand me well, if they're calling homosexuality a civil right, that means that the next obvious step is a homosexual may come to your church and demand to be hired, whether as pastor or a janitor is immaterial, and if you say, 'I'm sorry I cannot hire you because it violates my religious faith,' you're going to be slapped with a civil rights discrimination lawsuit. Or they may come to your Christian ministry or to your Christian school or to your private business. Civil rights discrimination lawsuits are going to be a dime a dozen."

RNC Rep: If Gays Are Born That Way, Why Do They 'Recruit' Kindergartners?

Iowa Religious Right activist and state RNC committeewoman Tamara Scott invited Summit Ministries founder David Noebel onto her “Truth for Our Time” radio program last week, where the two discussed how, in Noebel’s words, teaching tolerance for LGBT people in schools amounts to “child molestation" and the LGBT rights movement wants to "destroy Christianity."

Scott shared a number of thoughts of her own on the issue, telling Noebel she would “confront hypocrisy” on the left even though she risked a “social jihad” in response to her comments.

Making clear for “all those haters out there” that she was just “asking the question,” Scott asked listeners to ponder this during a commercial break: “If homosexuality is something to be celebrated by the left, by Hollywood, then why does it need all of these protections? And if it needs these protections, then why do we promote it as an everyday lifestyle and a regular choice for our youth?”

After the break, she rephrased the question: “If homosexuality is truly just something that happens, then why, one, do we have to recruit it in our kindergarten through college-level educational system and, if it’s just an everyday thing, why does it need all these special protections in the civil rights?”

Scott also complained to Noebel that “it’s the left and the progressives who are always throwing the cards, whether it’s the black card, the sex card, the female card, the war on women,” saying that liberals are hypocritical to want gender equality when they are also fighting for transgender rights.

“They want 50 percent male and female [in the House and Senate] by the year 2020,” she said. “Well, my thought is, how can you do that? You don’t even want to call somebody a sex, that's a changeable thing every day.”

Noebel: Teaching Gay Tolerance In Schools Is 'Child Molestation'

Iowa Religious Right activist and state Republican Party committeewoman Tamara Scott invited Summit Ministries founder David Noebel onto her “Truth for Our Time” radio program last week, where the two agreed that the ultimate goal of the “homosexual revolution” is to “destroy Christianity.”

Gay marriage, Noebel warned, is going to “affect everything,” pointing out that even before the Supreme Court ruled on marriage equality, children in public schools were learning about the existence of gay people, which he said amounts to “child molestation.”

“They were already down in kindergarten, first, second and third grades teaching the younger innocents,” he said, “And you talk about child molestation. This, to me, was child molestation. When you start teaching first-, second- and third-graders about the glories and wonders of the homosexual lifestyle, you know you’ve got a problem.”

Lamenting that “the Obama administration put a flaming homosexual in charge of a good portion of our public education,” he warned that “this is very serious stuff.”

“The game plan is to destroy Christianity,” he concluded, to Scott’s agreement. “That’s the game plan. Because they contend that Christianity has been very tough on the homosexuals for 2,000 years and now it’s time to get back at the whole thing and show them who’s really boss. So we’re in a very explosive cultural revolution.”

He added that he wasn’t sure if Western civilization could “survive another generation.”

Over Half Of NOM's Anti-Gay Campaign In Maine Came From Megadonor Sean Fieler

The National Organization for Marriage today released a list of donors to its successful 2009 campaign to overturn Maine’s marriage equality law, revealing that one activist, New York hedge fund manager and social conservative megadonor, almost single-handedly funded the effort.

NOM revealed the source of the $2 million that it funneled to Stand for Marriage Maine to fight the marriage equality law after a court found that NOM had attempted to “shield its donors and skirt Maine’s donor disclosure law.” According to the Portland Press Herald, NOM’s $2 million in contributions made up approximately two-thirds of Stand for Marriage Maine’s budget for the campaign.

According to NOM’s filing, only one major donor to its Maine campaign lived in the state, and $1.25 million of its funding — nearly half of the total ultimately spent by Stand for Marriage Maine — came from Fieler.

We have written in the past about the quiet influence that Fieler is exerting over social conservative causes. His Chiaroscuro Foundation dispenses millions of dollars each year to anti-gay and anti-abortion groups. Fieler is also the chairman of the board of the American Principles Project, a group founded by former NOM chairman Robert George and employing former NOM president Maggie Gallagher that seeks to move Republicans to the right on social issues. In addition to being the major financial backer of APP’s affiliated PAC, Fieler has personally contributed to 77 candidates in 19 states since 2008, according to an RH Reality Check analysis.

Through the Chiaroscuro Foundation, Fieler has also funded the research of Mark Regnerus , author of a discredited study on gay and lesbian parents that continues to be cited by anti-gay activists around the world.

Although NOM’s 2009 campaign was successful, just three years later the statevoted to institute marriage equality. As NOM’s mission has been faltering, so has its fundraising, making Fieler’s one-man social conservative funding shop ever more important for the group and its allies.

Cahn: America Should Prepare For God's Judgment For Gay Marriage In September

Jonathan Cahn released a video today warning viewers to prepare for God's judgment for the nation's growing "apostasy" to fall upon America in September in the form of economic collapse, natural disaster, or a terrorist attack.

Or maybe not ... as Cahn was careful to hedge his bets by also asserting that possibly nothing at all will happen because God "is sovereign and He doesn't have to work according to our schedule or understanding." But even if nothing happens, Cahn said, America still deserves God's judgment because of things like the legalization of gay marriage.

"I believe a great shaking is coming to America and the world," he said. "We have watched the apostasy of America continue, it has continued and it accelerating. The harbingers have not stopped, they have continued to manifest, which are indications of a nation progressing to judgment."

"How does judgment come?" Cahn continued. "It can come in the form of collapse economically, financially, the nation's blessing, sustenance being removed. It can also come in the form of natural disaster, earthquakes, famines, other things, many ways in the natural realm. It can also come in the form of man-made disaster, as in terrorism, war, as in 9/11."

And America is ripe for such judgment because of the recent Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide, he said.

"This summer, America crossed the line," he warned. "This was a tectonic event, a seismic change with ramifications not just about marriage but about the future of the culture, of society, of religious freedom, of persecution and, I believe, judgment."

Sandy Rios: Liberals Bringing Soviet 'Sexual Chaos' To America

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios invited anti-marriage-equality activist Ryan Anderson onto her radio program last week to promote his new book “Truth Overruled,” written in reaction to the Obergefell decision.

Anderson repeated his lament that marriage equality is a “symptom” of the “disintegration of marriage and family” that began with “the hookup culture, the rise of premarital sex, the rise of non-marital childbearing, the rise in the divorce rate, the redefinition of divorce laws with no-fault divorce laws.”

Rios agreed, saying she had been distraught in the decades since the 1960s watching the “fabric of our morality” tear, with “everyone acting out on their own sexual whims in any way they chose, and not wanting boundaries for themselves or anybody else.”

“It’s sexual chaos," she said, "which is what the left has been proposing since a long time ago, in fact back in communist Russia, and then the Weather Underground in the ‘60s wanted to practice, smash monogamy. It was the destruction of the family. I don’t understand that, but it is absolutely their goal and they’ve really done a good job of it.”

Religious Right Freaks Out About TD Jakes Comments on Gay Rights, Church-State Separation

Just after John Oliver’s pointed take on “prosperity” televangelists, Bishop T.D. Jakes, a Dallas-based megachurch pastor, best-selling author and media personality once described by TIME magazine as possibly “the next Billy Graham,” launches a four-week test run of a new daily talk show today. But Jakes has spent much of the last two weeks responding to a backlash from conservative evangelical Christians over comments he made about gay rights and church-state separation.

During an August 3 Huffington Post Live interview with journalist and scholar Marc Lamont Hill, Jakes said his thinking on homosexuality is “evolved and evolving” and that it is “absolutely” possible for the gay community and the black church to coexist. "I think that it's going to be diverse from church to church. Every church has a different opinion on the issue and every gay person is different." 

LGBTs of different types and sorts have to find a place of worship that reflects what your views are and what you believe like anyone else. And the church should have the right to have its own convictions and values. If you don’t like those convictions and values, you totally disagree with it, don’t try to change my house, move into your own. And establish that sort of thing, and find somebody who gets what you get about faith, and, trust me, I’ve talked to enough LGBT and they’re not all the same.

Jakes said that members of the LGBT community, like all American citizens, deserve equal protection under the law.

We bought, the church bought into the myth that this was a Christian nation. And once you get past that, which a lot of people are going to criticize me because they’re still gonna think it’s a Christian nation, which is a whole different show, but once you begin to understand that democracy, that a republic actually, is designed to be an overarching system to protect our unique nuances then we no longer look for public policy to reflect biblical ethics…

If we can divide, or what you would call separation of church and state, then we can dwell together more effectively. Because atheists, agnostics, Jews, all types of people, Muslims, pay into the government, the government then cannot reflect one particular view over another, just because we are the dominant group of religious people in the country, because those numbers are changing every day. We need a neutralized government that protects our right to disagree with one another and agree with one another.

Jakes suggested a posture of spiritual humility: “Once you understand that you’re not God, you leave yourself an out clause to grow.”

How did the Religious Right hate this interview? Let us count the ways: Jakes spoke of his thinking on homosexuality “evolving,” a term used by President Obama to describe his move toward support for marriage equality; he encouraged LGBT people to find affirming churches; he spoke positively about church-state separation and described the idea that America is a Christian nation as “a myth.”

The Huffington Post interview was not the first time Jakes has said such things. On the Sunday after the Supreme Court's marriage equality ruling, Jakes told his congregation, “I’m not really as concerned about this as a lot of people are. I’m really not as concerned about it. I think that we should not lose our mind about the world being the world and the Church being the Church. This is not a news flash.” He also said, “The Supreme Court is there to make a decision based on constitutional rights and legalities that fit all Americans. They are not debating Scripture," which led to applause from the congregation.

There doesn’t seem to have been a huge reaction to those initial comments on the Court ruling. But after the Huffingon Post interview, Heather Clark at Christian News published  an August 7 story – tagged “Apostasy” – with a headline blaring that Jakes had come out for gay marriage and LGBT churches and was evolving on homosexuality. The article fumed, “Megachurch leader and author T.D. Jakes says that homosexuals should attend congregations that affirm their lifestyle and that politics do not need to reflect biblical ethics, adding that his position on homosexuality is both “evolved and evolving.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states must legalize same-sex “marriage,” igniting a battle between the Church and State over the issue. In his comments on Monday, Jakes advocated for the separation of Church and State, which would allow for “all types of people” to have whatever rights they desire despite biblical prohibitions. He said that politics don’t need to be based on Christianity.

That seems to have set off enough outrage that Jakes posted a statement to his Facebook page on August 9 responding to the criticism. Without naming Clark or Christian News by name, Jakes slammed his critics:

Just because a so-called Christian publication chooses to misconstrue my words using lazy journalistic tactics to further their own agenda and draw attention to their site does not make their statements an accurate depiction of what I said or meant.

In that August 9 statement, Jakes affirmed his religious opposition to same-sex marriage while also reiterating his stance separating his religious beliefs from public policy positions, saying, “For the record, I do not endorse same sex marriage but I respect the rights that this country affords those that disagree with me.” His statement, which attracted hundreds of comments, also said, “I have come to respect that I can't force my beliefs on others by controlling public policy for tax payers and other U.S. citizens. Jesus never sought to change the world through public policy but rather through personal transformation.”

For the Religious Right, them’s fightin’ words. On August 10, Jennifer LeClaire at Charisma wrote, “Leaders from across the body of Christ were contacting me all weekend” about Jakes’ interview. The Washington Times also reported on the controversy. LeClaire took note of Jakes’ clarification on Facebook, but seemed unsure whether it was enough, noting that anti-gay activist Michael Brown was asking for more.

Brown’s column, which circulated on right-wing media, said Jakes’ HuffPo comments “appeared to be intentionally ambiguous.”

At best, your comments left your hearers in the dark; at worst, they gave the impression that you now support same-sex “marriage.”

Surely this is not a minor issue, and surely a shepherd has a responsibility to the sheep. What, dear sir, do you believe?

Brown seemed particularly offended that Jakes had encouraged LGBT Christians to find a church that they were comfortable with.

I thought the church was called to bring people to Jesus, to stand for righteousness, to care for the needy, to shine like light in the darkness, to declare God’s will and to live it out. And don’t you have a responsibility as a leader to warn people about deception?

He also took umbrage with the idea that the U.S. as Christian nation is a myth, and the suggestion that Christians shouldn't expect public policy to reflect biblical ethics, asking whether Jakes would have said the same about slavery or rape.

But is it a myth that America was founded on Christian principles and that our founders presupposed that Christian religion would be the foundation of democracy and morality? Is it a myth that, throughout our history, we have overwhelmingly professed to be Christian in large majority?

On August 11, Jakes posted another, somewhat exasperated comment to Facebook, noting that his answer to Marc Lamont Hill had spurred “a virulent diatribe in cyber-Christian land.” He said “the vast majority of people” seemed to understand his first clarification, but that for those who didn’t, he would try again, “rather than play ‘whack-a-mole’ with the online Christian media.” And, he predicted, “there are those that will never be satisfied.” From his second clarification:

I firmly believe that marriage is ordained by God as a union between a man and a woman… My stance on the topic has never wavered. It is fixed, steadfast and well documented...I believe that all sex outside of that sacred union is sin and that would include but is not limited to, homosexuality…

I also believe in balancing that truth with grace, so that the word becomes the personification of Jesus Christ, his love, mercy and compassion…Because truth absent of grace fails to exemplify my heart or the heart of the Father, I draw the line at the extra-biblical exercise of calling people names, ostracizing or humiliating them because our beliefs fall on opposite sides of the spiritual chasm.

That attitude hasn’t shifted the tide in the battle for men’s souls in the last 30 years…

My hope is that the church will always be “evolving” in how we address and minister to the LGBT community in ways that are in line with our biblically-based beliefs without losing sight of Christ like compassion.

On Wednesday, Jennifer LeClaire at Charisma said that the second “crystal clear” statement from Jakes “should put an end to the questioning.” But as Jakes had predicted, some people are still not satisfied.

Back at Christian News, far-right activist Jesse Lee Peterson slammed Jakes for trying to “ride two horses at the same time” in an attempt to “appease” both the “homosexual” and Christian community.

“He’s trying to back pedal by lying about what he said and what his intent was behind what he said,” Peterson told Christian News Network. “For this man to speak out of both sides of his mouth indicates that he is a hypocrite.”

He said that he doesn’t believe Jakes’ comments to the Huffington Post were misconstrued, but rather that Jakes’ was telling the outlet—as reported—that while he has personal beliefs about homosexuality, he simultaneously believes that homosexuals should have their “rights” as the nation operates outside of biblical values—and in that sense, Jakes does support same-sex “marriage.”

…Peterson also expressed concern about Jakes’ remarks asserting that homosexuals should attend churches that affirm their beliefs instead of seeking to change Bible-based churches… “A real man of God would not suggest that a homosexual go to a church that agrees with their lifestyle,” Peterson added. “He would suggest that they repent and turn to God.”

On Thursday, Joseph Mattera, who heads the U.S. Coalition of Apostolic Elders, weighed in via Charisma specifically to challenge Jakes’ comments “related to biblical ethics and society.”

The fact is, the USA is no longer a Christian nation. But that is different from saying it should not be a Christianized nation and/or that it was never originally founded upon Christian principles. 

The writings demonstrating America's Christian history are so numerous I will not attempt to debate that in this article. Suffice it to say that the wording of the Declaration of Independence showed a Christian worldview, the U.S. Constitution was replete with principles from Scripture, and all the original state constitutions based their civic laws as well as their public school education on the teaching of Scripture. 

Furthermore there was at least one Supreme Court justice who declared that America is a Christian nation.

…Jakes believes it is possible to have "neutrality" in regards to the ethos of a nation and its government. However, neutrality is impossible because every human government is based on some religious, ideological and philosophical foundation. Either it is man centered or God centered.

…Throughout human and biblical history, God's kingdom has been set against the kingdom and pride of men… God's Word never separates faith from policy and politics. There is no neutrality!

Political leaders who do not represent God's law/Word are illegitimate in the eyes of God and will ultimately be judged for their rebellious autonomy.

And on Friday, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer entered the fray. Fischer said Jakes’ comments were “enormously troublesome” and complained that he “couldn’t make sense” of Jakes’ clarification. Fischer was offended by Jakes’ “enormously problematic” description of the “myth” of the U.S. as a Christian Nation. He said he didn’t even know where to begin to describe how troubling it is that Jakes said policy shouldn’t be counted on to reflect biblical views. And he denounced Jakes’ description of homosexuality as a complicated issue.

“No it’s not, T.D. Jakes. Homosexuality is not a complex issue. It is an abomination. I mean, how simple and unambiguous is that? There’s nothing complex about that. It is contrary to the will of God. It is sexual perversity. What’s complicated about that?”

This isn’t the first time Jakes has found himself targeted by fellow Christians. He has previously faced criticism for preaching a prosperity gospel and teaching a Oneness Pentecostal theology that differs from traditional Christian understanding of the Trinity. Jakes publicly committed himself to a more orthodox understanding of the Trinity in 2012 under questioning from Mark Driscoll, then-head of Seattle’s Mars Hill Church – though it did not satisfy all his critics.

Dobson's Dire Warning: Gay Marriage Ruling Will Destroy Christianity And America

In his latest monthly newsletter, James Dobson warns his supporters that the recent Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide was not about achieving marriage equality at all, but rather is an attempt to oppress and persecute Christians and destroy Christianity.

The real goal, Dobson reveals, is for gay rights activists to shut down churches, destroy Christian businesses and organizations, and ultimately take control of your children ... just like Hitler did:

This Court decision is not about same-sex marriage, except only tangentially. Many gay and lesbian groups have admitted that marriage has never been their primary objective. Instead, it is about everything else. What’s at stake is the entire culture war. To begin, it is an expression of hostility toward people who take their Christianity seriously. As you probably know, certain groups and organizations hate us. It is about weakening the Church of Jesus Christ and limiting what pastors and ministers can say and do publicly. It is about undermining the religious liberties of Christians that are guaranteed by the Constitution. It is about attacking Christian schools, Christian non-profit organizations such as Family Talk, and Christian businesses, hospitals, charities, and seminaries. It is about Christian colleges and universities, and about whom their leaders choose as professors and what their students will be taught. It’s about government funding and accreditation.  It is all at risk. You’ll see.

Obergefell will also result in God-fearing laymen being dragged into court for trumped-up charges, such as those thrown at Aaron and Melissa Klein, who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony. Melissa has, by the way, not only been fined $135,000 for this “offense,” but has now been slapped with a gag order so she can’t even tell her side of the story. What ever happened to freedom of speech?

To continue, the Human Rights Campaign has recently sponsored HR 3185, which is beyond belief. It would allow gay and lesbian activists to persecute Americans in virtually every area of society, including employment, housing and public accommodations, credit, and dozens of other areas of civil life.

There is almost no limit to what will be imposed on the American public as a result of Obergefell. There is every indication that a barrage of court cases has been pre-planned and will be implemented against those who dare to disagree with the government’s view of marriage. Some will lose their jobs for failing to knuckle under.

Some will lose their professional licenses. Some will be persecuted, ridiculed and fined. Some will go to prison. After all, the Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is an inviolable Constitutional right that will trump other liberties considered untouchable for more than 200 years.


I grieve over what will happen to kids in public schools. They will be taught that right is wrong and wrong is right, and that the teachings of Scripture are unreliable and inaccurate. How unthinkable it is that in some states kindergartners, barely out of babyhood, are being taught adult perverse behavior that should never be discussed in the classroom. Soon, publishers of public school textbooks throughout the country will have to re-write and re-illustrate materials to make them conform to the demands of Obergefell. It matters not that these revisions will contradict the beliefs and convictions of Christian parents. It has already become the law of the land in some states.

Anything activists can dream up could be imposed on our children by liberal judges. LGBT propaganda will be blatantly taught to wide-eyed kids who are too young to understand how they are being manipulated. There is no consideration that the messages given will contradict the beliefs and convictions of millions of parents. The wishes of moms and dads will have been overridden and superseded by five Justices who have a better plan for their kids.

This is not the first time in recent history that children have been used as pawns in the hands of tyrants.

I’m reminded of the words of German dictator, Adolf Hitler, spoken as war in Europe approached. He said, “Your child belongs to us already . . . what are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing but this new community.”

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