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.”
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.”
James Dobson is out with his latest monthly newsletter and he is predictably still freaking out about the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling and its implications: "It is the beginning – an open door to the entire gay and lesbian agenda coveted and lusted after since the 1960s or before."
Bill Donohue reveals that he will be among of group who will be meeting with Pope Francis when he visits the United States later this month.
Sylvia Thompson issues a dire warning: "What Kim Davis faces is pure fascism cloaked in victimhood, and the evil must be fought and fought vigorously, lest this nation become the latter-day Sodom on which path it is currently headed."
Jan Markell says that Sen. Al Franken has "engaged, I think, in the worse form of treason and committed the most gravest of crimes."
Finally, CBN's David Brody proclaims that the jailing of Kim Davis is a victory of the Religious Right:
Look, can we get real for a moment? Liberals, if she ends up back in jail, do you really think that’s a victory for you? Hardly. If she goes back to the slammer, the evangelical voices and mobilization will just increase exponentially. No, if Kim Davis goes back to jail the sleeping giant (evangelicals in America) will arise even more. Trust me, that’s the last thing liberals want. Evangelicals, especially pastors in the pulpit have been relatively silent as the culture has deteriorated for decades. Don’t you want them to stay sleeping? You’re playing with fire.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin, used his time at today’s House hearing on Planned Parenthood to demand that the single pro-choice witness at the hearing choose between federal funding of Planned Parenthood’s preventative health care services for low-income women and “feeding starving children.”
“Could you please tell us why Planned Parenthood needs to get over half a billion dollars of federal funding every year when there are other pressing needs, such as feeding hungry children, that maybe we should put that money into?” Sensenbrenner asked Yale Law School’s Priscilla Smith.
“I’d like to know what your priority is,” he repeated, “Planned Parenthood or feeding hungry children?”
When Smith noted that Planned Parenthood’s services, such as affordable contraception, STI testing and cancer screenings, help the “mothers of those children,” Sensenbrenner was baffled.
“How can they be the mothers of the children when children are aborted through Planned Parenthood?” he asked.
Naturally, he has now been tapped to take over the super PAC supporting Ted Cruz's presidential campaign:
David Barton, an influential Christian author and activist, is taking charge of the leading super-PAC supporting Ted Cruz.
The super-PAC, Keep the Promise PAC, is the umbrella for a group of related pro-Cruz political committees that raised $38 million in the first half of the year, more than the super-PACs supporting any other candidate with the exception of Jeb Bush.
"From the outset, the Keep the Promise PACs made their mission to provide a voice for the millions of courageous conservatives who are looking to change the direction of the country," Keep the Promise PAC said in a statement today. "Barton's involvement is an important step signaling that the effort will not be run by a D.C. consultant but by a grassroots activist."
Yesterday, anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was released from jail and almost immediately took the stage at a campaign rally for Mike Huckabee, arm-in-arm with the GOP presidential candidate and with her attorney, Mat Staver, the head of Liberty Counsel.
Much of the public attention on Staver has focused on his bizarre, and so far unsuccessful, legal argument that Davis should be able to order her entire county clerk’s office to follow her personal religious views, even in defiance of several court orders. Staver has gone all-in on the Religious Right’s claim that LGBT rights is leading to the persecution of Christians, claiming that obeying gay marriage law is tantamount to handing over a Jewish person to Nazi enforcers and comparing Davis to victims of the Holocaust.
But it’s important to remember that when Staver is not playing the victim of LGBT rights, he is spouting virulently anti-LGBT rhetoric, going so far as to suggest that supporters of gay rights are ineligible to hold public office and defending laws criminalizing homosexuality in the U.S. and abroad.
As these 10 anti-gay comments make clear, Staver isn’t seeking a live-and-let-live world, but rather one where the government is a religious tool of conservative Christians and LGBT people are forced into the shadows.
While he has portrayed himself as a defender of freedom and liberty at home, Staver has actually praised moves in Russia, India, Malawi and Nigeria to outlaw homosexual relationships or speech in favor of gay rights. The group also defended U.S. anti-sodomy laws by citing [PDF] a satirical essay that joked about how gays “will sodomize your sons.”
3) Compares Gays To Terrorists
The Liberty Counsel founder has claimed that there is no need to negotiate or compromise with gay rights supporters because they are acting like terrorists.
“It’s kind of like with these terrorists, it’s hard to negotiate with terrorists because they have a zero-sum game,” he said of gay rights advocates during the debate about Indiana’s so-called religious freedom law. “It’s hard to negotiate with these people who simply are irrational and are inventing things that just simply don’t exist.”
Staver, who once warned that gay people seek to “groom” and “entrap” children, recently claimed that the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to “allow homosexual young boys in the Scouts and allow homosexual leaders in the Scouts” will lead to “all kinds of sexual molestation” as the organization transforms into “a playground for pedophiles to go and have all these boys as objects of their lust.”
6) Wants Gay Rights Supporters Out Of Office
Staver had strong words for members of Vermont’s legislature who voted for a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state, saying that they were unfit for office: “It is a sad day in America when elected officials are clueless about the definition of marriage. If they cannot understand this basic human relationship between a man and a woman, then they are not competent for public office.”
7) Warns Gay Marriage Will Cause A Crime Wave
Staver predicted that the legalization of gay marriage will lead to a new generation of criminals, claiming that the children of two women are more likely to turn to a life of crime:
He even claimed that transgender people will use the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to rape and kill women and girls: “So you can go into these restrooms or changing rooms, if you’re a man, and want to go in and molest, or watch, or sexually assault young girls…. This will ultimately, in addition to colliding with religious liberty, in addition to forcing a radical agenda on people, this also will put individuals at risk and ultimately result in significant damage and even death of some individuals.”
8) Blames Gay Marriage For Bank Failure
During the 2008 Wall Street meltdown, Staver said that the failure of two of the country’s biggest banks, Washington Mutual and Wachovia, was a price they had to pay for supporting gay marriage: “Washington Mutual and Wachovia, both of which actively promoted the homosexual agenda, have come to realize that anti-family policies will bankrupt the bottom line.”
9) Warns Gay Marriage Will Destroy Civilization
Staver believes that marriage equality will “has a catastrophic consequence for our religious freedom, for the very function of the family, for marriage, for our human existence, for civil society and for any area of our liberty” as it leads to “the unraveling of the United States.”
“Same-sex marriage is the beginning of the end of western civilization,” he said in an interview last year. “It really is, it’s that serious.”
This is the thing that revolutions literally are made of. This would be more devastating to our freedom, to our religious freedom, to the rights of pastors and their duty to be able to speak and to Christians around the country, then anything that the revolutionaries during the American Revolution even dreamed of facing. This would be the thing that revolutions are made of. This could split the country right in two. This could cause another civil war. I’m not talking about just people protesting in the streets, this could be that level because what would ultimately happen is a direct collision would immediately happen with pastors, with churches, with Christians, with Christian ministries, with other businesses, it would be an avalanche that would go across the country.
Today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on what the committee’s Republican leadership called “the horrific abortion practices at the nation’s largest abortion provider” was supposed to amplify the Center for Medical Progress’ recent smear campaign against Planned Parenthood. But seeing as neither a representative from Planned Parenthood nor from the Center for Medical Progress was invited to testify, it turned into a catch-all discussion of various efforts to turn back reproductive rights.
Rep. Trent Franks, the Arizona Republican, used his time at the hearing to call for the defunding of Planned Parenthood and to push his 20-week abortion ban, which passed in the House earlier this year.
Franks said that legal abortion after 20 weeks — a point at which only a tiny percentage of abortions take place — is “the worst human rights atrocity in the history of the United States,” claiming that many fetuses aborted after 20 weeks “cried and screamed as they died, but because it was amniotic fluid going over the vocal chords instead of air, we couldn’t hear them.”
“What is so liberating about brutally and painfully dismembering living, helpless little human babies?” he asked.
Claiming that he was “protecting these little babies and their mothers” against the “evil acts” of legal abortion and Planned Parenthood, Franks declared, “The sands of time should blow over this Capitol dome before we give Planned Parenthood another dime of taxpayer money.”
Yesterday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” to defend Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who barred her county office from issuing marriage licenses after the Supreme Court struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban.
Perkins, who usually loves to talk about the supposed rise of Islamic law in America , dodged Fox News host Megyn Kelly’s question about whether a Muslim county clerk could deny a marriage license to an interfaith couple, saying that it is up to the voters to decide whether that Muslim clerk should keep his or her position.
Perkins also claimed that there is no religious objection to interracial marriage because “interracial marriage is very difficult to point to in scripture.” Public opposition to interracial marriage was actually much higher when the Supreme Court struck down 16 state bans on interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia than opposition to same-sex marriage is today, and many of the Religious Right leaders of that day denounced interracial marriage as unbiblical. As the trial judge in the Loving case said: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”
In fact, Perkins attended Liberty University, an evangelical school founded by Jerry Falwell, an interracial marriage opponent who got his start in politics by attempting to stop the federal government from stripping Bob Jones University of its tax-exempt status over the school’s ban on interracial dating.
“If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made,” Falwell said of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision in language reminiscent of anti-gay preachers today. “The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.”
Perkins also falsely claimed that Davis is not barring her deputy clerks from issuing marriage licenses.
Kelly: You know the argument on the other side though. What if somebody goes in there and says, my sincerely held religious beliefs and now we're back in 1952 say, blacks and whites shouldn't get married. And therefore, I don't care that the Supreme Court said it's legal, I object and therefore, no.
Perkins: Well, it's much different. You have a long standing orthodox view about marriage in the Bible. The issue of interracial marriage is very difficult to point to in scripture. Are there some that hold that view? Yes. But it is --
Kelly: What about Muslims? What about Muslims who say, a Muslim man may not marry a Christian woman and therefore you applying to me on the Muslim clerck? I'm not giving you that marriage license.
Perkins: If -- are you saying if there is a Muslim and clerk that --
Kelly: The Muslim clerk says, I want a religious accommodation -- how many accommodations can we grant?
Perkins: Right. In this particular case. What you have are the voters of this district, of this region of the country that elected her as the clerk. If they don't like what she is doing they can kick her out. It is not up to some unelected judge to impose his views on her and hold her in contempt of basically whatever he wants.
Kelly: And she may yet be if somehow she interferes with future licenses to be issued by the deputies although it doesn't sound like she is going to do that if they changed the issue.
Perkins: Well, here is all she wants. All she wants is to have her name off the license. She is not saying nobody in my office can issue this. She's saying, I just don't want my name --
Last night on Fox News’ “The Kelly File,” Ben Carson defended Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis’ decision to prevent her office from issuing marriage licenses because she has religious objections to gay marriage.
Ironically, Carson said that gays are trying to force their “way of life” on Davis: “I don’t actually believe that they have the right to force their way of life upon everybody else, nor would I want to force my way of life upon everybody else.” Of course, it is actually Davis who is using a public office to impose her religious views on others, and gay couples are only asking that she follow the law.
When host Megyn Kelly asked Carson if he believes that a Muslim county clerk should have a right to “refuse a marriage license to Muslims who want to marry Christians,” the GOP presidential candidate said that Christians can cite their religious beliefs to refuse marriage licenses because “this is a Judeo-Christian nation in the sense that a lot of our values and principles are based on our Judeo-Christian faith.”
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.”