Ted Cruz Nabs Another Anti-LGBT Endorsement

Ted Cruz won a major victory in his effort to consolidate support from the Religious Right today when he was endorsed by Bob Vander Plaats, who leads the Iowa-based conservative group, The Family Leader.

Vander Plaats, a two-time gubernatorial candidate who in the two previous election cycles backed Iowa caucus winners Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, respectively, offers one of the most highly sought after endorsements in the state: Donald Trump reportedly joked that he would turn his plane around to join The Family Leader’s presidential forum if Vander Plaats would guarantee him his backing.

Vander Plaats is one of several right-wing figures to coalesce behind Cruz, who has attracted the support of ultraconservative activists like Troy Newman, who wishes the government would execute abortion providers; Ron Baity, a pastor who links gay rights to Ebola; Flip Benham, a convicted abortion doctor stalker who holds protests at gay couples’ weddings; Sandy Rios, a virulently anti-LGBT radio host and hate group official; Dick Black, a Virginia lawmaker with noxious views on marital rape and “baby pesticide”; and Cynthia Dunbar, who thinks gay rights advocacy is “the same type of thing that was done in pre-Holocaust Germany.”

While Vander Plaats and Trump would have made a strong team, as they are both birthers who admire Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Iowa activist said that Trump disqualified himself when he failed to show up at last month’s family forum. Instead, Vander Plaats hailed Cruz as “the most consistent and principled conservative who has the ability to not only win Iowa but I believe to win the nomination.”

The importance of Vander Plaats’ endorsement reveals how the GOP has moved ever so steadily to the right, as Vander Plaats is one of the party’s most extreme figures. Vander Plaats, as we’ve reported, may be sought after by GOP candidates but he should not at all be considered part of the political mainstream:

5) Slavery Rhetoric

Warning Republicans not to “abandon their base” by softening their opposition to gay rights, Vander Plaats insists that fighting same-sex marriage is not a losing issue for the GOP. He believes that Republicans should stand up and be proud of their refusal to support marriage equality, just as the party fought to curb slavery during its founding era.

“We actually stand for what God has designed because, just like with slavery, the truth is on our side,” Vander Plaats said last year in an interview with right-wing talk show host Steve Deace. “We can win this battle.”

He told another outlet that Republicans shouldn’t even take the position that the states should decide their own marriage laws since same-sex marriage, like slavery, is unequivocally immoral: “You don’t leave slavery up to the states, nor should you. It’s either right or it’s wrong.” In a speech in 2012, Vander Plaats said that a court ruling in favor of marriage equality should be viewed as judicial overreach on the level of Dred Scott.

During the last presidential primary season, Vander Plaats tried to get Republican candidates to sign a pledge that, among other questionable provisions, suggested that African-American families were more stable under slavery than they are today.

4) Conspiracy Theories

In Vander Plaats’ world, the right to speak freely about “faithful heterosexual monogamy” is under attack, “Sharia Islam” is a menace in American politics and President Obama’s birth certificate is missing. (Vander Plaats has praised Donald Trump’s quixotic birther crusade as “bold.”)

Perhaps no issue has Vander Plaats more concerned than gay marriage, which he has called a grave threat to liberty and a Satanic plot. One video his group produced showed images of terrorist attacks and shootings alongside stories about same-sex couples’ weddings and gay members of the Boy Scouts to make a point about the “darkness” sweeping America

3) Gay Marriage Predictions

In his campaigns against marriage equality, Vander Plaats has done whatever it takes to scare voters about the dire consequences of gay rights. He warned that the legalization of same-sex marriage would lead to “tyranny” and sanction “a parent marrying their child.”

He defended his group’s comparison of homosexuality to second-hand smoke by explaining that both represent “a public health risk,” adding: “If we’re teaching the kids, ‘don’t smoke, because that’s a risky health style,’ the same can be true of the homosexual lifestyle.”

Vander Plaats also took the time to criticize an Iowa anti-bullying conference that focused on the targeting of LGBT youth, saying that the state should instead be promoting abstinence-only summits.

2) Crush on Putin

Vander Plaats may still be weighing which Republican candidate to endorse this year, but he has already thrown his support behind one foreign leader: Russian President Vladimir Putin. When Putin signed a law that effectively bans speech in support of gay rights, Vander Plaats praised the Russian president for saying “you know what, don’t bring this homosexual propaganda into my country.”

He said that Putin now encapsulates the traditionally American values of “military might, decisive action, core values, morality, beliefs.”

“He’s taken what used to be our strengths, which has now defaulted into our weaknesses because of Barack Obama, no leadership, and he’s making them his strengths and he’s emerging now on the world stage as a newly discovered leader,” Vander Plaats said back in 2013.

1) No Separation of Church and State

While Vander Plaats’ prediction about gay marriage ushering in adult-child marriage has come true in exactly zero of the dozens of states with marriage equality, he was prophetic in one respect: Vander Plaats advocated for governors to ignore court rulings on the marriage question well before it became a widespread sentiment among conservatives.

Vander Plaats insists that a governor can simply set aside any ruling that violates his or her reading of the Bible, insisting that if a judge legalizes marriage equality in a state, the state’s governor should simply issue an executive order “that places a stay on the judge’s decision” since it “goes against the law of nature and the law of nature’s God, which means, it’s against the Constitution.”

Vander Plaats believes that the U.S. government must fall under God’s jurisdiction and follow “God’s principles and precepts,” not just on social issues like marriage but also in economic and foreign policies.

“If you believe what you say you believe, that marriage is foundational and it’s between a man and a woman, which is what He says he believes, then you got to stand up for that, because that’s the law of nature, that’s the law of nature’s God, that’s the Declaration of Independence, which this whole country was founded on,” he said last year.

Vander Plaats specifically pointed to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, calling it a travesty that created a “constitutional crisis” by “defying the law of nature and the law of nature’s God” and “going against the document that predates the Constitution.”

Alex Jones: Democratic Party Is A Nazi Cult

While speaking with conservative commentator Tucker Carlson yesterday, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones insisted that “the average Democrat” now wants the government to round up and murder gun-owners and cheers on assassination threats against Donald Trump.

“It just seems like it’s now a dumbed-down power cult like the Nazis or the Soviets,” Jones said of Democrats, labeling them “deranged crazy people.”

Carlson agreed with Jones’ assessment that the Democratic Party is a “gang” that wholly relies on power-hungry intellectuals and people on welfare, with Carlson claiming the party is devoid of “normal people” and reliant on accusations of white racism to win votes.

Bachmann: 'Donald Trump Is Right' On Muslim Immigration Ban

Former Rep. Michele Bachmann praised Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. yesterday, telling WorldNetDaily that “Donald Trump is right” and that his plan "is the only one that ensures the innocence, safety and security of all Americans, Muslims included":

Former GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann said the media is reacting as though citizens of foreign countries have constitutional rights to enter the U.S.

“Donald Trump is right,” said Bachmann, of Minnesota, which has had its share of problems with Islamic terrorists recruiting young Somali refugees.

“Obama’s insane open-door immigration policies are getting innocent Americans killed.

“No one has a right to enter the United States,” Bachmann continued. “Until we can set up a working, fail-safe vetting system, Trump’s idea is the only one that ensures the innocence, safety and security of all Americans, Muslims included.”

 

Alex Jones And Tucker Carlson Trash 'Hippo' Huma Abedin

Fox News pundit and Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson joined radio host Alex Jones yesterday to discuss Donald Trump’s success in the polls, which led the two commentators to hurl insults at Huma Abedin, a Muslim-American who is one of Hillary Clinton’s top aides, for saying that “Trump wants to literally write racism into our law books” by banning Muslim immigration.

Jones compared Abedin to a hippo featured in a Ringling Bros. poster that was displayed behind Carlson: “Let’s take Huma Abedin, who I notice you have a picture behind you of her on your wall of that Ringling Bros. [poster]. That actually does look like her, Hillary Clinton’s special friend.”

He went on to say that if “Trump or a conservative” had a “special friend” like Clinton does, the media would be all over it. “Her whole background, she seems to just get away with everything,” Jones added. “I think that also sticks in people’s craw that these Democrats and establishment Republicans are above the law, they don’t get reviewed, they don’t get looked at, and then Hillary’s little hippo, she can do whatever she wants, stay in the same hotel room or whatever, this should be looked into.”

Calrson, who was apparently amused by Jones’ joke about Abedin looking at a hippo, took issue with Abedin’s “insane” characterization of Trump’s policies as racist: “That is exactly the kind of language of rhetoric that divides people, that makes people hate each other, that whips the population into a greater frenzy. That’s every bit as irresponsible as anything Donald Trump has suggested and, unlike Donald Trump, she’s actually in a position of power.”

Perkins: 'Only 16 Percent Of Islam Is A Religion' So Immigration Ban Not A 'Religious Test On Muslims'

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins jumped into the debate over Donald Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. yesterday, citing the same shoddy Center for Security Policy poll as Trump to say that “we shouldn’t be embarrassed to say that we oppose those who want to come to the United States to destroy it.”

In an email to FRC members last night with the subject line “How Do You Solve a Problem like Sharia?,” Perkins did not mention Trump’s proposal directly, but alluded to the “national discussion” about “who should and shouldn’t be in the country.”

Warning that unlike previous generations today’s immigrants don’t want to “come to America and assimilate,” Perkins declared that the U.S. may soon “lose our identity in the shadow of muliticulturalism.”

He then addressed the debate about Muslim immigration, writing, “What most people either don't realize or willfully ignore is that only 16 percent of Islam is a religion — the rest is a combination of military, judicial, economic, and political system. Christianity, by comparison, isn’t a judicial or economic code — but a faith. So to suggest that we would be imposing some sort of religious test on Muslims is inaccurate. Sharia is not a religion in the context of the First Amendment.”

How Do You Solve a Problem like Sharia?

The word "contentious" doesn't begin to describe the American immigration debate over the last two decades. But in recent days, the lines are being redrawn -- and with it, the national conversation. The focus is no longer being dominated by illegal immigration south of Texas but "legal" immigration coming from across the Atlantic, where a bold new enemy is exposing weaknesses in the West's tolerance.

Attacks in Paris, followed by a mass shooting in California have made believers of Americans, who doubted that radicalized Muslims were one of the greatest threats to our nation. Now, with President Obama offering to throw open the door to more Syrian refugees, more voters from both parties are ready to put the brakes on the process until a better, safer vetting protocol is in place.

As the national discussion turns to immigration, people are starting to stake out positions on who should and shouldn't be in the country. But first, we need to consider one of the unfortunate realities -- in America and elsewhere -- which is that the purpose of immigration has changed. It used to exist for people who wanted to come to America and assimilate. Now, in a dramatic shift from even our grandparents' generation, the "sensitivity" and "diversity" doctrine of the modern age is suggesting that we create cultural enclaves, where outsiders come to our country and live as if they never left home.

That doesn't work, as Europe will tell you. Instead, we lose our identity in the shadow of multiculturalism. It's happened in France, and it's happening in Britain. Leaders are learning a painful message that if you tiptoe around the global realities, you'll pay for it. If people want to live in America -- including Muslims -- they need to embrace our Constitution and our culture. Others have said in less artful ways what conservatives have been warning for years: there is no such thing as coexistence between Sharia law and our constitutional republic. That isn't religious prejudice, but an ideological reality.

What most people either don't realize or willfully ignore is that only 16 percent of Islam is a religion -- the rest is a combination of military, judicial, economic, and political system. Christianity, by comparison, isn't a judicial or economic code -- but a faith. So to suggest that we would be imposing some sort of religious test on Muslims is inaccurate. Sharia is not a religion in the context of the First Amendment. Under the framework proposed by Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rick Santorum, America wouldn't vet refugees based on religion but an ideology that's incompatible with American liberty. "I've proposed actual concrete things [like eliminating the visa lottery system] and immigration law that would have -- not the effect of banning all Muslims, but a lot of them," Santorum explained.

The bottom line is this: the U.S. Constitution is an agreement between people about how they'll be governed. What good is it if people immigrate to America with the sole purpose of undermining that contract? We shouldn't be embarrassed to say that we oppose those who want to come to the United States to destroy it. And while most Muslims are not radicalized, Sharia certainly encourages it. Based on polling from the Center for Security Policy, that's the system most would choose. The majority of Muslims in America believe they "'should have the choice of being governed by Sharia [law].' Sharia authorizes such atrocities as murder against non-believers who won't convert, beheadings, and more unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially women."

In America, we have freedom under the construct of ordered liberty. Even the Wall Street Journal struggles with the clash of these ideologies. "Certainly Islam and the America way of life are compatible in as much as America is capable of welcoming Muslims who are not Islamic supremacists. On the other hand, it's always struck us that categorical statements to the effect that Islam [is peaceful] are far more hortatory than empirical -- which is to say that there is a gap between Islam as it actually exists and Islam as...President Obama would like it to be. How wide that gap is, and how dangerous, we do not know." Nor, I would argue, should we risk the future of our nation to find out.

Brigitte Gabriel: 'Trump Is General Patton Reincarnated'

ACT! for America’s Brigitte Gabriel is, unsurprisingly, a big fan of Donald Trump’s proposal to ban all of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims from the United States, telling Florida talk radio host Joyce Kaufman yesterday that Trump is “General Patton reincarnated.”

“I was talking with a friend of mine this morning,” Gabriel said, “and he said to me, ‘Trump is General Patton reincarnated. Trump is General Patton in a suit. General Patton, if he was alive today, he would be talking exactly like Trump, he would be doing exactly like Trump. This is the type of leaders we used to have which made America great, and what Trump is trying to do is make America great again. He is the General Patton of our lifetime.’ It was so interesting hearing those words, because you sit back and you think, Donald Trump, he has a way of saying words, but boy did he touch a nerve nationwide.”

Sessions Defends Trump On Muslim Ban, Says It's 'Appropriate To Begin To Discuss This'

Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican who helped Donald Trump craft his far-right immigration platform, came cautiously to Trump’s defense today after Trump proposed banning all Muslims from entering the United States. Sessions said that Trump was “treading on dangerous ground” but that it is “appropriate to begin to discuss” the issue.

“Well, he’s treading on dangerous ground,” Sessions told Stephen Bannon on Breitbart News’ SiriusXM program this morning, “because Americans are so deeply committed to freedom of religion, that is a major part of who we are.”

“But,” he added, “at the same time, we’re in an age that’s very dangerous and we’re seeing more and more persons enter and a lot of them have done terrorist acts and a lot of them believe it’s commanded by their religion … So I think it’s appropriate to begin to discuss this, and he has forced that discussion. We may even have a discussion about it in Judiciary Committee today. But, you know, it’s time for us to think this through and the classical, internal American religious principles I don’t think apply providing constitutional protections to persons not citizens who want to come here.”

“As a principle, we want to be not condemnatory of other people’s religion,” he continued. “And there are millions of wonderful, decent, good Muslims, hundreds of millions worldwide, and so we’ve got to be really careful that we don't cross that line and I guess Mr. Trump has caused us all to think about it more concretely.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/9/15

  • Sara Jerde @ TPM: Planned Parenthood Gunman Says He's 'Warrior For The Babies' In Court.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 12/9/15

  • Franklin Graham prays that God will open the eyes of leaders who dare to disagree with Trump’s Muslim immigration ban. 
  • Meanwhile, Jeb Bush thinks that Trump is “the other version” of Barack Obama. 
  • Mission America’s Linda Harvey claims Planned Parenthood and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network are “using children as change agents” and acting as “their escort service into hell.”

Déjà Vu, Global Radicalism Edition

Sometimes, covering the Religious Right every day, we feel like we’re hearing the exact same talking points repeated over and over again.

And then, sometimes, we actually are hearing the exact same talking points.

Earlier today, we wrote about a fundraising email that we got from the Family Research Council asking for money to fight the “sexual radicals” that are going to war with families throughout America. These were the first few paragraphs of FRC’s email:

I've never seen a year like 2015.

And 2016 may be worse—unless Christians like us get ready now.

In 2015, radicals in Washington (including the government), New York, Hollywood, big corporations, and every part of America have declared war on your values. Your family. Your religious beliefs and freedom.

Family Research Council (FRC) met every test head-on to counter and overturn many of the attacks. But now our team of experts and activists needs your year-end gift to end the year ready to protect your values in 2016.

So imagine our surprise when, this afternoon, we got this email from Austin Ruse of the Center for Family & Human Rights (C-Fam), making a very similar argument:

I have never seen anything quite like this.

And 2016 may be worse—unless Christians like us get ready now.

In 2015, radicals at the United Nations, Washington, DC (including the government), New York, Hollywood, big corporations, and every part of global radicalism have declared war on your values. Your family. Your religious beliefs and freedom.

C-Fam met every test head-on to counter and overturn many of the attacks. But now our team of experts needs your year-end-gift to end the year ready to protect your values in 2016.

Times are tough, we guess.

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