Sen. James Lankford And Rep. Randy Forbes Want To Protect 'Corporate Conscience' So Christians Are Free To Discriminate

Earlier this year, the restaurant chain Chipotle stopped selling pork at several hundred stores after cutting ties with one of its suppliers for violating the chain's animal welfare standards.

Today, Sen. James Lankford and Rep. Randy Forbes published a truly absurd op-ed in The Christian Post using Chipotle as an example of the importance of protecting the "corporate conscience" of Christian business owners who want to discriminate against gay customers.

Seemingly unaware of the very clear difference between a company refusing to do business with a particular supplier and one openly discriminating against an entire class of people, Lankford and Forbes argue that "protecting corporate conscience" is vital so that the right of Christians to discriminate against gays is protected in the name of religious freedom:

It is crucial that the same freedom enjoyed by the leadership of Chipotle remains equally available to business owners of faith. Indeed, much more so as freedom of religion is explicitly protected by the First Amendment. We cannot simultaneously laud the leaders of a business motivated by a commitment to environmental sustainability and discriminate against the leaders of a business motivated by religious belief.

If a decision based on moral convictions is celebrated, shouldn't a decision based on the free exercise of religion – a right guaranteed in the Constitution – be even more so?

To be sure, religious freedom is not just a choice of convenience – it is a fundamental right given to all Americans by the Constitution. As we recognize Chipotle's decision, let's remember that a clear constitutionally supported civil right of religious freedom should be cherished and respected in every corner of this nation.

We live in a country whose laws respect freedom and diversity, and our Constitution has always had robust protections for all Americans to live and work by their religious convictions. Americans do not check their religious freedom at the door when they leave their home or place of worship and enter the public sphere.

We must not fall prey to the hypocrisy of defending the freedom of operating a business on convictions of sustainability, but reject that same freedom when the convictions are based in faith.

Stakelbeck: Grover Norquist, André Carson & Huma Abedin Part Of 'Fox In The Henhouse Strategy' Of 'Stealth Jihad'

Anti-Muslim activist and conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney scored a major PR victory last week when, with the help of Glenn Beck, he convinced the National Rifle Association to launch an investigation into its board member Grover Norquist’s supposed radical Islamist ties. Gaffney has been trying for years to frame the anti-tax crusader as a Muslim Brotherhood agent, a campaign that he has also extended to former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and Democratic Rep. André Carson of Indiana.

On his “Secure Freedom Radio” program on Monday, Gaffney discussed this theory with Christian Broadcasting Network reporter Erick Stakelbeck, who explained that Norquist, Abedin and Carson are part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “fox in the henhouse strategy” to perpetrate “stealth jihad” hidden behind “suits and ties,” “fluent English,” and “eloquent tones, at least in public.”

“You have Huma Abedin, a woman closely associated with the Brotherhood back in the news because she’s purging Hillary Clintons emails; you have André Carson, a man closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, representative from Indiana, put by Nancy Pelosi on the House Intelligence Committee; you have the president lauding the Islamic Society of Boston as a model for countering violent jihadism; and you have Grover Norquist, now under an ethics investigation by the NRA, who’s been closely tied to the Brotherhood as well,” Gaffney told Stakelbeck.

“How seriously is this civilization jihad component of all of this effort that jihadists are making here at home?” he asked.

“Frank, crucial, crucial, crucial component of the jihadist movement and the global strategy of Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood,” Stakelbeck responded. “Look, ISIS represents one leg of the global jihad, Frank, the violent jihad. We know they want to behead you, we know what ISIS wants. But the Muslim Brotherhood, to me, in many ways is more effective because they lead this stealth jihad of this global jihad, where it’s suits and ties, it’s fluent English, it’s speaking in moderate, eloquent tones at least in public, it’s having entrée to the White House, to the halls of power. That is the fox in the henhouse strategy.”

“And the four cases you outlined, Frank, I don’t know which is more disturbing,” he said.

Stakelbeck added that he was happy the NRA is investigating Norquist: “Thank God that that’s going on, but the stealth jihad continues unabated.”

Religious Right Activists Warn 'Lawless' Marriage Equality 'Undermines The Whole Nature Of America'

At Saturday’s Awakening conference, an annual Religious Right confab organized by Liberty Counsel, the mood surrounding LGBT rights had reached full-blown panic.

Nearly two years after the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision let loose a cascade of federal court decisions legalizing marriage between same-sex couples in dozens of states, the Religious Right activists gathered in a megachurch in Orlando were bracing for a Supreme Court decision that could establish marriage equality nationwide.

At a panel titled “Activism in the Age of Lawlessness,” four Religious Right leaders — John Eidsmoe, Rick Scarborough, William Murray and Harry Mihet —  gathered to suss out what the movement’s response should be to pro-LGBT court rulings that they find to be “lawless.”

John Eidsmoe, the influential Christian nationalist thinker who served as a mentor to Michele Bachmann, outlined the issue, explaining to the audience that “‘rule of law’ ultimately means ‘rule of the highest law,’” or God’s law.

Eidsmoe, who now works for the Religious Right group founded by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is urging judges in his state to defy a federal court ruling on marriage equality, argued that you are only disobeying the law if you disobey “the law of God.”

“You disobey a law only when those who have that law are breaking a higher law, the law of God,” he said. “And in fact, if you follow the decree of a tyrant when he is defying the law, you are complicit in his defiance. Disobedience then becomes not only a right, it becomes a duty.”

Eidsmoe explained that the idea of civil disobedience had been perverted since biblical times, since the idea of not violating your conscience should only apply if “your conscience is in accord with the word of God.”

Rick Scarborough, the head of Vision America, warned that a Supreme Court decision for marriage equality would be worse for the Religious Right than Roe v. Wade because “with abortion, you can opt out, you don’t have to participate in that.”

He claimed that, in contrast, a marriage equality decision would outlaw anti-gay speech, the exact same erroneous prediction he made following the passage of the 2009 Hate Crimes Law.

“We’ll get up the day after that ruling, and in fact a few hours after that ruling when it’s widely disseminated, and you’ll find yourself, those of us who believe that homosexuality is a sexual sin — perversion if you will — those of us who believe that homosexual marriage is unnatural and forbidden by God and who have taught that our entire lives…when that law is passed you are then going to breaking the law when you preach or teach what you’ve always taught or what you’ve always preached,” he claimed.

“Fundamentally, it undermines the whole nature of America,” Scarborough concluded.

Liberty Counsel attorney Harry Mihet, who was moderating the panel, echoed Scarborough’s dire warnings when he declared that there would be “no way to escape this issue” and that it might “in the near future” land anti-LGBT pastors in jail… just like Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We have to draw the line in the sand and stand firm on the truth of the Word, and not to shy away from a fight, not to quit, not to be silent, but to actually speak truth and love to a society that has a desperate need to hear it,” he said. “And there may come a time when you will have to lose your job because that’s what you’ve done. There may come a time in the near future when you have to lose your liberty and go to jail like Martin Luther King did.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/17/15

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 3/17/15

  • Amid mounting questions about misuse of funds, Rep. Aaron Schock abruptly announced today that he is resigning from Congress.
  • What kind of prophet is Glenn Beck when he admits that the actual order, place, and timing of the events that he has predicted "will vary wildly"?
  • Speaking of Beck, we challenge you to watch this segment from last night's program explaining what is "really" going on in Ferguson and see if you can manage to understand any of it.
  • Frank Turek says that the Supreme Court cannot possibly find a right to marriage equality in the Constitution because "every person has the same equal right to marry someone of the opposite sex."
  • Bryan Fischer's latest column: "Homosexual Relationships Cannot Satisfy the Purposes of Marriage."
  • Finally, Fox News contributor Stacey Dash and D-list actor Kevin Sorbo need a half-million dollars so they can make a movie about Meriam Ibrahim: "We know that if Hollywood makes this movie then Meriam’s story will be made completely politically correct, Christianity will be watered down, and Sharia Law will be protected." 

Rick Santorum: A Religious Right Crusader Masquerading As A 'Blue Collar' Conservative

Since losing to Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican presidential primary season, Rick Santorum has tried to position himself as the “anti-Romney.” The former Pennsylvania senator isn’t just a conservative warrior on issues like immigration, legal abortion and gay rights;

RNC Faith Director Warns LGBT Activists Are 'Coming For The Church'

Chad Connelly, the Republican National Committee’s official in charge of reaching out to evangelical voters, told a breakout session at the far-right Awakening conference on Saturday that conservative pastors must get involved in politics because LGBT activists are “coming for the church.”

When an audience member in a session about abortion rights asked what to do about a pastor who refuses to participate in politics, Connelly responded that “voting is not political, it’s spiritual” and urged pastors to violate rarely-enforced regulations that prevent churches from being involved in partisan politics in order to keep their tax-exempt status.

Referring to cases where businesses have run afoul of nondiscrimination laws by refusing service to gay and lesbian couples, Connelly said, “Who would have thought that a florist or a baker or a photographer or, for goodness sakes, a wedding chapel would be sued when there were competitors that they could have gone to? They’re coming for the church.”

Listen, voter registration is not political, it’s spiritual. Voting is not political, it’s spiritual. So witness and testimony to the community what you believe in. No wonder we get legislation we don’t agree with, no wonder we get candidates and elected officials we don’t agree with, because our people aren’t engaged.

So if your pastor’s saying, ‘It’s a legal issue, I can’t do this,’ ask them how many churches have lost their tax-exempt status. It’s a finite number: zero. By definition, you’re tax exempt. If there’s no freedom of speech in the pulpit, there’s no freedom of speech, brothers and sisters. And if we can’t say the truth from the pulpit, guess what, we can’t say the truth anywhere.

Who would have thought that a florist or a baker or a photographer or, for goodness sakes, a wedding chapel would be sued when there were competitors that they could have gone to. They’re coming for the church.

He ended by asking the audience to “please help us pressure your pastors” to get involved in elections, but adding that “it’s not a party or political issue.”

Later in the same discussion, far-right pastor Rick Scarborough warned that “every pastor is going to be directly assaulted” by the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on marriage equality, claiming that a pro-equality ruling would force churches to “participate in same-sex marriage” or face fines or imprisonment.

Sandy Rios: Conservatives Should Fight Gay Rights Instead Of 'Overblown' Sex Trafficking

Sandy Rios, the right-wing radio host and American Family Association governmental affairs director, is outraged at the GOP’s handling of legislation to combat sex trafficking, a bipartisan bill whose passage may be threatened because of an anti-abortion provision quietly added in by Republican leadership.

Rios said her problem isn’t with the anti-choice add-on, which she supports, but with the fact that Republicans are pushing for the legislation at all at a time when they should instead be fighting to stop gay rights.

She claimed that conservatives should see the fight against sex trafficking as “secondary” to combatting homosexuality since the latter is “threatening the culture” while trafficking “has been overblown.”

This is where misguided people are really affecting the system in a bad way. And this is going to be very controversial what I’m about to say, but I’m going to say it. This whole business of sexual trafficking in the United States, I’m not saying it’s not something of note, I’m not saying it’s something I approve of, but I suspect, methinks, it has been overblown, methinks this is much like the homeless issue that was absolutely blown completely out of proportion by the press and by others many years ago. I think there may be some problem because we have such massive immigration from countries that actually practice this. I doubt it is the huge, huge, huge, huge, huge issue that people want you to think it is.

This is the thing that bothers me: I see ministries and churches jumping on the bandwagon, they are all about saving the women who have been sexually trafficked, this is their great sacrifice, this is their great stand on social issues, at the same time will not say a word, not a peep, about homosexual marriage, hardly anything about homosexuality and what God says about it because that, you see, would cost something. But sexual trafficking, you see, ‘we’re outraged about that,’ not so much about gay marriage because that might be a little icky, we might offend people in the congregation. But sexual trafficking, that’s huge.

So John Cornyn from Texas, Mitch McConnell, they’re hearing from evangelicals who are into sexual trafficking, such a controversial issue, it raises a lot of money and nobody disagrees, it’s a safe issue. By the way, I’m not saying don’t help women who are sexually trafficked or little boys, whoever, but I’m saying it is the coward’s embrace, that’s my opinion. It is the secondary issue of our day, it’s not the one that is threatening the culture.

They think they are pleasing — this is their bone to evangelicals, this is their bone to Christians, we’re passing this victims of trafficking act and we’re saving lives while doing it, this provision that prevents money from going to women who are trafficked for having abortions, I’m not opposed to that, I’m in favor of that. But it is not the issue of the day, it is the coward’s issue of the day to sort of act like you’re doing something when you’re really doing nothing. So Mitch McConnell is not going to call Loretta Lynch’s vote if those Democrats don’t allow this bill to go through with a provision to prevent abortions, so that is how they are pretending as though they have chests when indeed they have none.

Religious Right Pundit: Taylor Swift Sings Gay 'Demon Songs'

Kevin Swanson is deeply disturbed by the “homosexual theme” and “homosexual connection” found in the Taylor Swift song “Welcome to New York.”

“That’s the way it goes as another nice little Presbyterian, Southern Baptist girl bites the dust, following the trajectory of Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, taking their 13-year-old fan club all the way,” the Religious Right broadcaster lamented on his radio program yesterday.

He added that parents should make sure that their children aren’t listening to musicians like Taylor Swift.

“They’re all riding the train and they start out with a benign Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus and before you know it they’re singing their demon songs and they’re making their attributions to their homosexual friends and that’s the way a national apostasy occurs,” Swanson warned.

Trent Franks: 'All Future Generations Will Suffer' If Obama Causes Netanyahu's Defeat

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., stopped by the Family Research Council radio program “Washington Watch” yesterday to discuss the Israeli election with FRC President Tony Perkins. Franks, despite once criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for approving public funding to cover abortions, all but endorsed Netanyahu’s campaign, telling Perkins that “all future generations will suffer” if he does not remain prime minister.

After Perkins told Franks that “we need to be praying” that Netanyahu retains his post as prime minister, the congressman worried that uninformed, naive voters would back Netanyahu’s opponents, just like American voters who supported President Obama.

“Keep in mind that I suppose a lot of us never would have believed that this country would have elected Barack Obama,” Franks said. “I have said that Barack Obama is not the real problem, it’s the amalgamation of the totally uninformed or totally self-focused that would elect such a man to be president, and for us to do it twice shocked the world. Keep it mind there are some of those same dangerous naivetés in Israel too and they may elect a leader that does not understand the danger of a nuclear Iran the way Bibi Netanyahu does and this is a big deal and, as you say, we better pray.”

Perkins stated that Israel may not survive an electoral defeat of Netanyahu and pushed discredited claims that the Obama administration is directly funding the prime minister’s opponents, leading Franks to warn that “if Bibi Netanyahu loses and it turns out that this president had any part in it, it’s another unprecedented moment in history where all future generations will suffer to some extent because of it.”

Franks said that he is incensed that “this president continues to insult [Israel] over and over again,” adding that he believes Obama’s presidency is a danger to the world.

“I want to you to know, I a long time ago had to let go of my personal feelings towards a president that would so casually dismiss the truth and the Constitution, but now I am starting to be afraid for my country with this man at the helm because I’m concerned that this kind of duplicity and this kind of arrogance is dangerous for this country and my children’s future,” he said.

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