Televangelist Tells Viewer To Commit Suicide

Bill Keller, a right-wing televangelist who frequently goes on rants against Mormonism and homosexuality, told a caller on his “Live Prayer” show to commit suicide.

Keller, who has worked with conservative activists including Janet Porter and Rick Wiles, told the viewer that he should think about suicide and that “it might help the world.”

Video of Keller’s comments was posted by a number of YouTube users today. The viewer’s comments to Keller are inaudible. Keller later denied making the claim and said suicide is a sin.

Barber & Staver Want To See Russian-Like Anti-Gay Laws 'Right Here In The United States'

As Peter noted in his post earlier today, it is a little difficult to take seriously the new Imago Dei campaign aimed at softening the Religious Right's bigoted, extremist language considering that someone like Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver is one of the leaders of this effort.

Nothing better demonstrates this point than this "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast in which Staver and Matt Barber wholeheartedly praise foreign nations like Russia, Uganda, and Nigeria for passing draconian anti-gay laws and declaring that the same sorts of laws ought to be passed here in America:

Staver: President Obama has been going in a direction to really deconstruct this and to create this idea of same-sex marriage, which is really an oxymoron. But, at the same time, the rest of the world seems to be going exactly opposite of the president and some of the states.

Barber: Yeah, and it's encouraging to see what's happening around the world. I think many nations, you think of Russia, you think of some of the African nations around the world, are looking to a liberalized Europe and are looking to the United States under this Obama Administration and they're rejecting this notion that you can take the institution of marriage and radically redefine it by sanctifying what every major world religion and thousands of years of history and uncompromising human biology have long held: that homosexual behavior and conduct is both immoral, unnatural and self-destructive to the individuals engaged in the behavior and that you don't have a marriage built upon this immoral behavior.

...

Staver: Well, it seems as though, if people are having AIDS and most of that, as the CDC comes down and says, it is transmitted by male homosexuality, by and large, what are you going to do? Are you going to say, are you going to elevate that to a preferred status and say, well yeah, men ought to be able to marry men? That's an oxymoron. What Nigeria has done by reaffirming marriage as between one man and one woman is what a number of countries are doing around the world. They're reaffirming marriage as one man and one woman. Russia is one of those countries recently that did that. Latin American countries have reaffirmed marriage as one man and one woman. Then other countries around the world are reaffirming marriage as one man and one woman and rejecting this radicalized homosexual agenda.

...

Barber: This is a very dangerous lifestyle that countries like Russia are, in addition to reestablishing and saying no, marriage is what it's always been, they're saying additionally we are going to stop this homosexual activist propaganda from corrupting children in our nation and we need to see that right here in the United States.

Glenn Beck Thinks Demonic Forces Are Keeping His TV Network Off Cable

Glenn Beck has a new theory as to why cable providers are refusing to carry his television network, The Blaze. No, it’s not because his previous job at Fox News lost viewers and scared off advertisers: it’s because of demons!

Beck shared his theory with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Washington Watch yesterday, where he was promoting his “Get The Blaze Day of Action” campaign in which he urges fans to call their cable providers and demand they add Beck’s news channel The Blaze.

Beck told Perkins that The Blaze is the only “non-partisan” and godly network available. “What’s missing is a very small government voice that also truly respects God,” Beck said.

For instance, he said, The Blaze will report miracles as true: “I refuse to read on my own website or see on my own network the phrase, ‘Some believe this is a miracle.’ If we’re going to print it or we’re going to say it, it’s either a miracle or it’s not. I believe in miracles. Do we believe in miracles or not? As a company we do, as a nation we used to and if we’re going to survive, we must.”

Later, Beck suggested that demonic powers are trying to keep his television network off of cable, telling Perkins, “You also have other forces at work that aren’t necessarily earthly forces that would like to see voices silenced.”

We should also note that Glenn Beck gave this interview to the enthusiastically anti-gay Perkins just one day after he insisted that he doesn’t “know anybody who is anti-gay.”

Rios: African Americans Are The Only Racists, Thanks To Obama

American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios was upset last week about a message from a listener, Andre, who accused her of racism against black people.

Rios responded on her program by denying that white people in America are racist, and insisting that if they are, it’s the fault of black people. “I think the racist garbage coming from a lot of blacks right now who are just filled with bitterness and rage is just amazing to me,” Rios said. “It is racism, I am seeing it constantly here in DC, and it’s causing white citizens to become more racist than they ever were.” 

“I think for the most part, the American Anglo-Saxon crew really has moved past racism, they did it quite a long time ago,” she added, citing President Obama’s election as proof of white people’s lack of racism. “But it seems to be raging, racism seems to be raging in the black community.”

“I think what’s causing it is people like Barack Obama and Eric Holder who can’t say enough and stir the pot enough to create anger and hatred and bitterness,” she continued, before comparing this alleged anti-white racism to feminism. “They do the same thing with women, it’s the same thing in feminism, that’s why I’ve never been a feminist, I hate feminism.”

The Cuomo Hypocrisy Controversy Comes Full Circle

We didn't think anything could top Glenn Beck's hypocrisy over Governor Andrew Cuomo's statement that "extreme conservatives ... have no place in the state of New York" but, of course, we were wrong, as we always are whenever we think that the Religious Right has reached its nadir.

To remind us of our folly was none other than Matthew Hagee, who used yesterday's broadcast of "The Hagee Hotline" to blast Cuomo for his comments.

Falsely asserting that Cuomo made the remarks duing his State of the State address (they were actually made during a radio interview), Hagee compared Cuomo's statement to George Wallace's attacks on those fighting for civil rights as well as the dehumanization and murder of millions by the likes of Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler:  

To hear Hagee tell it, it is extremely dangerous when leaders begin declaring that people who do not share their particular views have no place in their own nation ... and keep in mind that Hagee's own father has used this very same sort of language, declaring on multiple occasions that atheists are not wanted in America and should get out of this country:

Rodriguez Civility Campaign Partners With World's Most Uncivil People

Rev. Sam Rodriguez, who heads the evangelical National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, has an extraordinary talent for self-promotion – and for positioning himself as a moderate evangelical while being a fully engaged culture warrior with close ties to both mainstream Religious Right groups and fringier dominionist ones.  His reputation is based on the fact that he parts ways with the right on a few issues, like comprehensive immigration reform, for which he has been an energetic advocate.

Rodriguez has repeatedly portrayed himself as a voice of reason calling for more civility in public discourse.  His latest gambit is the Imago Dei campaign, whose goal, according to TIME’s Elizabeth Dias, is “to change the narrative of evangelical engagement in the public square, especially when it comes to traditional culture war issues.”

Rodriguez says that too often evangelicals in the United States have become known for what they oppose, and not for what they propose, and younger generations have had enough. “The church of Jesus Christ and the word hatred should not even appear in the same sentence,” Rodriguez says. “What if every single person can recognize the image of God in the other? Wouldn’t that bring down the noise of the hateful rhetoric? Wouldn’t that build a firewall between intolerance and bullying? Wouldn’t that build a firewall against extremism?”

This might sound like a big deal to people who either aren’t familiar with Rodriguez or with the Religious Right leaders who have signed on to his campaign. But it’s hard to see anything new here. Back in 2010, Rodriguez was a signer of the “Covenant of Civility,” which said in part,

“We believe that each of us, and our fellow human beings, are created in the image of God… We pledge that when we disagree, we will do so respectfully, without impugning the other’s motives, attacking the other’s character, or questioning the other’s faith, and recognizing in humility that in our limited, human opinions, “we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

In 2011 he was part of a Christianity Today ad campaign talking about disagreeing with love and civility. That same year, in the wake of the public shooting in Tucson, he was among religious leaders who signed a letter to members of Congress that said “This tragedy has spurred a sorely needed time of soul searching and national public dialogue about violent and vitriolic political rhetoric. We strongly support this reflection, as we are deeply troubled that rancor, threats and incivility have become commonplace in our public debates.”  In 2012, he told Patheos blogger Timothy Dalrymple, We want to look at a new narrative of evangelicalism, one that’s less hostile, less confrontational and more full of civility.”

The language used to launch the Imago Dei campaign comes from Rodriguez’s 2013 book, The Lamb’s Agenda. In the book he says, it is wrong to “marginalize or malign those with whom we disagree….The day of angry evangelicalism is officially over. The day of a loving, Bible-believing community espousing truth with love officially commences right now.”

Well, at least he keeps trying, right?

There are two major problems here: one is Rodriguez’s own rhetoric, which doesn’t always meet his civility standard. Sometimes he comes across as conciliatory, as when he described a meeting with President Obama as “a conversation amongst believers.” But there’s also the Rodriguez who suggests that his political opponents represent “the forces of darkness.” In a Religious Right “prayercast” that unsuccessfully asked God to defeat health care reform legislation, he declared, "the same spirit of Herod who 2000 years ago attempted to exterminate the life of the Messiah today lives even America. The legislation that incorporates death and infanticide all under the canopy of reform.”

In 2012 after Obama came out in support of marriage equality, Rodriguez said the promotion of marriage equality is “an attempt to silence the church of Jesus Christ.”

I do believe that the power of the pulpit in addressing truth and righteousness is critical.  We can’t sacrifice Biblical truth because at times it becomes confrontational. Listen, Jesus Christ had very strong confrontational moments. This idea that this is a patsy sort of Christianity. That’s not the Christianity that we follow and adhere to. Sometimes, truth hurts.

But much worse than Rodriguez’s own  rhetoric is the fact that his group has formally partnered with Liberty Counsel, an organization whose spokespeople regularly spew some of the most hostile, bullying, confrontational, uncivil rhetoric in the public arena. 

To put it bluntly, it is hard to treat with any seriousness a “civility campaign” that features the face of Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver. As Kyle wrote in 2012 when it was announced that Liberty Counsel had become NHCLC’s official legislative and policy arm, “Few groups operating today can match Liberty Counsel in terms of unmitigated hostility toward gays and Muslims and those with whom they disagree or in terms of overall general craziness ...”

In a press release announcing the Imago Dei campaign, Mat Staver is quoted:

"We should continually remind ourselves that every human being is created in the image of God," said Staver. "This has profound consequences. In the blogosphere and social media culture where people are dehumanized, bullied, and slandered, and where political rhetoric has polarized the populace, the Imago Dei in every person compels us to love and respect all people, including those who disagree with us."

It’s hard not to laugh out loud while reading this. Staver regularly denigrates his opponents, and his Liberty Counsel colleague Matt Barber is even worse.

Just a few examples from an ocean of possibilities: Staver says Planned Parenthood "is not interested in the health and well-being of women" but is really only interested in "their death agenda" and in "damaging the very core and foundation of who we are as Americans and a people of faith and values." Of the movement toward marriage equality, Staver says, “This whole assault on marriage is really an attempt to obliterate not only morality but Judeo-Christian morality, to obliterate marriage and to even obliterate the idea that there even is a God.” And he compares Republicans who are soft on the issue to cockroaches.

Here’s the mini-profile of Staver we prepared for our preview of the 2013 Values Voter Summit:

Mat Staver is the head of the Liberty University School of Law and its legal affiliate, Liberty Counsel, a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Liberty Counsel has been implicated in the Lisa Miller kidnapping case, where a client kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America after a court granted custody to her former partner. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government in order to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and western civilization. Through his role at Liberty Counsel, Staver has:

Staver says Obama and his “bloodthirsty administration” are worse than King George. He denounces “homofascists” and praised Putin’s anti-gay laws and the Indian Supreme Court decision criminalizing homosexuality.

We could go on. And on.

Meanwhile, Staver’s Liberty Counsel Matt Barber is a bully who rivals Bryan Fischer in the realm of “rhetorical pornography.” He calls Islam “satanic” and people who don’t get it “useful idiots.” He says marriage equality isn’t about marriage or equality but is a political weapon designed to destroy religious liberty. Barber praises Putin and supports laws criminalizing homosexuality. He says Americans are living under “a tyranny of a secularist minority that wants to engage in religious cleansing." There’s much more.

And to repeat, for emphasis: Staver is a leader of Rodriguez’s new Imago Dei campaign, and Liberty Counsel was chosen by Rodriguez to function as the official legislative and policy arm of his National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

Just today, Barber tweeted:  "Gay marriage" is a disordered, sin-based & oxymoronic novelty that mocks God & defiles any church in which the silly stunt is performed...”

Paging Rev. Rodriguez.

Garrow: God Stopped Obama/Satan From Killing Me!

Speaking with Erik Rush last Friday, right-wing hoaxer Jim Garrow said that President Obama and his allies are killing his colleagues in the intelligence community in order to cover up Obama’s secret plan to nuke America.

He told Rush that while God didn’t protect his friends from Obama’s hit squads, God saved him from an assassination attempt: “They are being eliminated, now they tried to kill me a few days ago but it didn’t work because God intervened; we are not alone in this fight against lies and Lucifer and those people who would like to take down first of all the blessing of God from America but also take down America as an entity on the earth.”

Garrow also believes that God stopped Obama from nuking the US.

Ex-Gay Activist: Gay Rights Movement To Blame For Anti-Gay Laws In Uganda, Nigeria & Russia

Ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle claims that while he doesn’t necessarily approve of harsh anti-gay laws in Uganda, Nigeria, India and Russia, he believes that the laws are fitting responses to the gay rights movement in the United States for being mean to anti-gay activists like himself.

“Gay activism has forced a political correctness on many Western cultures, [Doyle] says, which prevents those who believe in traditional marriage from sharing their beliefs without repercussions,” the Christian Post reports, while noting that such laws are “‘overly punitive’ and could create an environment of fear instead of one where people struggling with [same-sex attraction] can get help.”

In a blog post today, Doyle seems to deny that these crackdowns on gay people are even taking place, and is angry that such stories are receiving media attention: “Gay activists continue to play the victim card around the world, but their story is getting old. However, the media still plays into their narratives.”

Doyle also believes that “intolerant” gay rights advocates are bent on attaining Communism and “global dominance.”

Gay activists continue to play the victim card around the world, but their story is getting old. However, the media still plays into their narratives. For example, just this week Bill O’Reilly had Juan Williams and another commentator slam Vladimir Putin’s recent comments, telling gays to “leave the children in peace” when athletes come to Sochi for the Olympic games in February.

O’Reilly and company joked about how un-evolved and ignorant Putin is when it comes to gay rights while condemning the Russian anti-gay propaganda law, which passed in their legislative body 436-0. But in actuality, O’Reilly and just about the entire mainstream media are really the ones who are unable to think critically on this issue.

As I said in The Christian Post article, anti-gay laws in countries like Uganda, Nigeria, India, and Russia are not being created in a vacuum. I would argue that they are also not in direct response to indigenous gay rights movements. These countries are enacting laws as a response to gay activists’ intolerance towards traditional views on marriage and sexuality, and their attempts to silence the speech and beliefs of those who disagree with them. These activists are largely succeeding with their goals in Western countries, and are now importing their Communist strategies into other non-Western countries to achieve global dominance.

Beck: Bill Nye Is Like Those Who Tried To Silence Galileo

On his television broadcast last night, Glenn Beck again dedicated his opening monologue to decrying Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent comment that "extreme conservatives ... have no place in the state of New York," warning that Cuomo is on the wrong side of history and will be looked back upon with shame by future generations.

But it is not just Cuomo who is on the wrong side of history; so are supporters of Common Core and even Bill Nye, because, according to Beck, his opposition to teaching Creationism makes him no different from those who tried to silence Galileo:

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/21/14

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