Mat Staver Unable To Explain How Anti-Gay Discrimination Is Different From Other Forms Of Discrimination

Testifying before a House committee today about supposed threats to religious freedom in the U.S., Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver struggled to defend his support for allowing businesses to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler grilled Staver about his view that it would be wrong for a wedding photographer to discriminate against a Jewish couple because of a religious objection, but that the photographer is free to discriminate against a same-sex couple.

First, Staver tried to avoid the question by saying a photographer wouldn’t refuse to work for a Jewish wedding, but ultimately agreed that such anti-Jewish discrimination is in fact a violation of the law.

“I don’t see any difference at all” between refusing a Jewish couple and a gay couple, Nadler said.

He continued: “I’m holding out myself in commerce and my religious belief is that I don’t want black people or Jewish people or gay people in my restaurant and the federal government says that is discrimination, is that a violation of the freedom of religion?”

“No,” Staver conceded.

Ted Cruz And Rick Santorum To Join Iowa Pastor Who Predicted Marriage Equality Would Increase The Murder Rate, Destroy America

Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum are slated to appear at a September “American Heritage Summit” in Washington, D.C., hosted by a right-wing Iowa pastor Cary Gordon of Cornerstone World Outreach.

Along with Gordon and the pair of likely presidential candidates, the guests include conservative pseudo-historian David Barton, Iowa-based talk show host Steve Deace and Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King.

Gordon became heavily involved in politics during the 2010 campaign to remove Iowa Supreme Court Justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality, and he endorsed Santorum’s 2012 presidential campaign, helping the former Pennsylvania senator to win the Iowa caucuses.

At an anti-gay marriage rally in 2011, Gordon described marriage equality as a demonic attempt that would bring about America’s destruction, warning that Iowans must “protect the virtue of true Americanism from our own mental barbarians who attack our minds with the God-hating secularism of Europe” or risk being “extinguished from the earth.”

Gordon even predicted that gay marriage would increase the murder rate: “The natural problem that causes is an overt immorality. The crime rates go up, people suffer, people are stealing and murdering and [doing] all the things morality tells you not to do.”

The pastor, insisting that it is a “glaringly obvious fact that being ‘gay’ is a behavior, and has nothing to do with civil rights,” charged in a 2010 blog post that the same-sex marriage ruling put Iowa on the road to Nazism: “True pastors, in the fashion of Christ, will not and cannot bow before the arrogance of Caesar and Herod. We have learned from our past mistakes. We will not repeat the mistake made by Lutheran pastors when confronted with German fascism.”

“[T]o the intelligent religious man, homosexuality will always be un-natural for a myriad of obvious reasons one shouldn’t have to explain,” Gordon wrote. “To the intelligent evolutionist, it will NEVER agree with the doctrine of ‘survival of the fittest.’”

Gordon’s church also released a video asserting that same-sex marriage would legalize incest, pedophilia and bestiality.

The Ten Commandments And The 4,300-Year-Old Dinosaur: Michael Peroutka's Web Of Christian-Nation Influence

Two weeks ago, the Creation Museum — the anti-evolution themepark run by the advocacy group Answers in Genesis — received a huge gift: a $1 million dinosaur skeleton meant to help the museum illustrate its belief that dinosaurs were part of the original creation 6,000 years ago and coexisted with humans until well after Noah’s flood.

The benefactor that gave the museum Ebenezer the Allosaurus was the Elizabeth Streb Peroutka Foundation, a family foundation run by Maryland-based right-wing activists and brothers Michael and Stephen Peroutka and Michael’s daughter Elizabeth. Observers immediately noted that this dinosaur came with some contemporary human baggage: Michael Peroutka is an extreme right-wing activist who is a frequent supporter and former board member of the neo-Confederate League of the South and who believes that the Union’s victory in the Civil War brought on all of America’s ills, including “homo-sodomite unmarriage.”

But the Peroutkas’ influence extends far beyond fringe anti-gay, neo-Confederate activism and providing a real-life dinosaur to illustrate made-up science. Through a set of debt-collection businesses, the Peroutkas finance a host of anti-choice groups and promote a troubling Christian-Nation ideology in Maryland and throughout the country. Michael Peroutka, a 2004 Constitution Party candidate for president, is also largely self-financing his campaign for local office in Anne Arundel County.

Michael Peroutka runs the Institute on the Constitution, an “educational” group through which he promotes his Christian Reconstructionist viewpoint that “the function of civil government is to obey God and to enforce God’s law” — that is, Peroutka’s idea of what constitutes God’s law. Peroutka, for instance, claims that there are no such thing as “civil rights” enforceable by the government, because “rights come from God.”

The Institute on the Constitution, according to the group’s website, is “sponsored” by and shares an address with Peroutka and Peroutka, the debt-collection firm Michael runs with his brother Stephen, who was also a  co-founder of the Institute.

It’s through the law firm and its debt-buying arm, Pasadena Recievables, that the Peroutka brothers finance the Elizabeth Streb Peroutka Foundation, which is named after their mother.

From its founding in 2003 through 2012, the last year for which tax records are available, the family’s foundation has been almost entirely financed by grants from the Peroutkas' pair of debt-collection businesses, along with investment income and a few personal donations from Michael and Stephen. Together, the family and its businesses have put $5.2 million into the foundation over nine years.

Its biggest asset, until now, has been the Allosaurus.

Ebenezer the Allosaurus was originally dug up in 2002 by a team of homeschoolers led by a conservative Christian family from Florida that ran a business providing anti-evolution excavation adventures. Also leading that expedition was Doug Phillips, a leader of the anti-feminist Quiverfull movement, who is now facing charges of sexual battery and assault against a young follower.

From the moment the bones were found, their discoverers vowed to keep them out of the hands of scientists, who estimate that the Allosaurus lived roughly 150 million years ago. “I am sure the evolutionists would love to get their hands on these bones," Phillips said at the time. “Who can blame them. It is like a gold mine for paleontologists.”

Peroutka cited those fears at the Creation Museum unveiling last month, when he told of how he came to purchase Ebenezer. He was determined to keep the dinosaur out of the hands of “anyone with a ‘millions of years’ mindset,” he said, and to keep it under the guardianship of those who believe the skeleton is just 4,300 years old:

While snatching the dinosaur from the evolutionists has been the Peroutka family foundation’s priciest project, Michael explained in his remarks at the museum that the foundation was “primarily intended to offer financial aid to groups who were dedicated to ending the holocaust of abortion.”

Of $3.6 million in grants that the Peroutka Foundation has dispensed over nine years, about one-quarter — $920,000 — has gone to the National Pro-Life Action Center, an anti-choice lobbying group chaired by Stephen Peroutka. (The Center is one of a tangled web of right-wing organizations run out of the same office in Washington). Stephen Peroutka was also the founder of National Pro-Life Radio, a network run out of the same building as the brothers’ law office that aired shows from anti-choice activists including Janet Porter, Jay Sekulow, Frank Pavone, Jesse Lee Peterson, and both Peroutka brothers.

The foundation has heaped much of its largesse on Maryland-based abortion clinic protest groups and crisis pregnancy centers, including contributing a total of $236,000 to the Baltimore-based abortion clinic protest group Defend Life, perhaps most infamous for organizing a protest outside the middle school attended by the daughter of an abortion provider’s landlord.

And although anti-choice groups have received the bulk of the foundation’s grants, it has also taken on some other causes close to Michael Peroutka’s heart.

Most notably, the foundation has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to groups associated with Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, one of the nation’s loudest proponents of Christian Reconstructionist ideology, who shot to fame in 2003 when he was ousted from his original position on the state supreme court for refusing to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from his courthouse.

In 2004, after the far-right Constitution Party failed to recruit Moore to run for president, Peroutka took his place as the party’s candidate. That same year, the Peroutka Foundation spent $120,000 bankrolling Moore’s nationwide speaking tour “regarding morality and the Ten Commandments” and gave $12,000 to the National Coalition to Restore the Constitution, a group that organized rallies backing Moore in an effort drum up support for a measure preventing federal courts from hearing many church-state separation cases .

In addition, the Peroutka Foundation has contributed a quarter of a million dollars to the Foundation for Moral Law, the group that Moore ran before returning to the Alabama Supreme Court, and which is now run by Moore’s wife. Under Moore’s leadership, the Foundation for Moral Law hosted a neo-Confederate “secession day” event, and the group employs John Eidsmoe, a Michelle Bachmann mentor who has white supremacist ties. One of Moore's activities at the group was representing protesters who had disrupted a Hindu opening prayer in the U.S. Senate. “It's a shame that not one U.S. Senator stood up to defend a tradition that goes back to the very first Continental Congress of acknowledging the one true God of the Holy Scriptures," he lamented.

In 2007 and 2008, the Peroutka Foundation contributed $60,000 to Moore’s now-defunct Coalition to Restore America. In the summer of 2007, Moore spoke at a conference in Maryland organized by Peroutka, where, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, “he and a string of far-right activists peddled ‘Christian nation’ rhetoric, bashed Islam, belittled American culture and the federal government and displayed an alarming affinity for the neo-Confederate states’ rights cause.” Also speaking at the conference were Eidsmoe and Gordon Klingenschmitt, the former Navy chaplain who now supplies the world with an endless supply of YouTube rants about gay “demonic spirits.” At the end of the day, everyone gathered under a Confederate flag to dedicate part of the Peroutkas’ land as “Judge Roy Moore Field.”

In 2011, the Institute on the Constitution presented Moore with an award for “choosing to obey God, and acknowledging Him both in word and in deed, regardless of the consequences” and resisting “a government which thought it was God.”

The next year, when Moore successfully ran to reclaim his seat on the state supreme court, Peroutka provided the bulk of his campaign chest.

The affinity between Moore and Peroutka extends to the issue of evolution. Moore contends that the theory of evolution is incompatible with the Constitution; Peroutka insists the “promotion of evolution is an act of disloyalty to America”:

While anti-choice groups and Moore have been the biggest recipients of the Peroutka Foundation’s generosity — at least until Ebenezer moved into the Creation Museum — the foundation has also offered smaller grants to a smattering of extremist ministries and Confederate history enthusiasts.

The Foundation has given $24,000 over six years to Pass the Salt, the ministry of unhinged anti-gay extremist “Coach” Dave Daubenmire (the one who complained last year that he was "sick and tired of being sodomized by the left"). In 2012, it gave a $6,000 grant to “You Can Run By You Cannot Hide,” the ministry of Bachmann acolyte Bradlee Dean, who travels to unsuspecting public schools to give disturbing anti-gay “seminars.”

Since 2006, the foundation has given an annual $1,000 grant to restoring a Confederate cemetery in Maryland, a project organized by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group that has cozied up to the racist extremists in its ranks. In 2004, it donated $2,250 to a Confederate reenactment troop for "education of the public as to the causes of the War between the States."

The Peroutkas are also frequent donors to state and local campaigns. According to Center for Responsive Politics data, Michael, Stephen and Stephen’s wife Deborah  contributed $35,900 to their congressman, Rep. Andy Harris, between 2007 and 2011.

Not the least of the beneficiaries is Michael Peroutka himself, who has lent $30,000 to his own campaign for Anne Arundel County Council, about half of the $62,000 he has raised so far. His political ambitions may continue to run higher — it was rumored that he considered running for state attorney general this year before setting his sights on the county council.

Peroutka’s web of influence shows that he is more than, as one libertarian scholar put it, a "wackypants anti-gay crusader.” Peroutka's activism and  philanthropy illuminate the connections between the Creationist movement, the Christian-Nation philosophy of people like Judge Moore, anti-choice agitators, fringe anti-gay extremists like Daubenmire and Klingenschmitt, and the network of Confederate nostalgists that can never quite hide its racist roots. All are striving for a biblical and constitutional purism that exists only in the minds of those who adhere to it, and a return to an imagined past where dinosaurs stowed away on Noah’s ark, the Constitution mandated an exclusively Christian nation, and the Civil War didn't turn out quite right.

Research contributed by Ian Silverstone

Beck Warns Wave Of Immigrant Children Will Create Israeli/Palestinian-Type Conflict In America

On last night's television program, Glenn Beck asserted that President Obama was "directly responsible" for the waves of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who have crossed the U.S.-Mexican border so far this year, saying that Obama's announcement in 2012 that the Department of Homeland Security would temporarily halt the deportation of children who were brought into this country illegally by their parents was code to parents in Latin America to start sending their kids to the United States in order to overwhelm the system so that Obama could then use it in his effort to pass immigration reform and amnesty.

On his radio show today, Beck expanded upon this theory, declaring that this flood of children will result in an Israeli/Palestinian-like crisis here in America by creating permanent camps along the border and then using the existence of these camps to eventually press for the United States to hand Arizona back to Mexico.

"What are they doing to our border? They are making camps," Beck said. "I’m warning you right now, mark my words: If it lasts five to 10 years, they will say exactly the same thing. ‘You know what? We should give them their own state. We should give them Arizona. We took it from them in the first place. That’s land that we stole from Mexico.’"

"You mark my words: It’s coming," he continued. "They are making a Palestinian plea, and you’re watching the beginnings of it right now. Mark my words: That’s going to go all over today, and everybody is going to call me crazy. Whatever":

Allen West Blames Liberals For Radio Show Caller Who Wanted KKK To Kill Obama

During an appearance last week on “Sandy Rios In The Morning,” former congressman Allen West responded to a caller who said “the Ku Klux Klan ought to hang” President Obama by blaming liberals, alleging that the caller was a left-wing “plant” trying to make conservatives look bad.

“This is what they do, they’re very smart like that,” West said, before once again demanding Obama’s impeachment over the Bergdahl exchange.

West also wondered if Obama is sane, telling Rios that the Bergdahl exchange “really questions his competence and his sanity.”

Pat Buchanan: 'Third World Invasion' Causing West To 'Disappear Forever'

In his column today, Pat Buchanan responds to a flawed and misleading Center for Immigration Studies report by spouting off on “the Third World invasion of the United States.”

“[P]eoples from failed states of the Third World are steadily filling up our countries and reducing our native-born into slowly shrinking national majorities,” he laments. “If this continues over many more decades, Western nations as we knew them will disappear forever, and be remade in the image of those who have newly arrived, and the countries whence they came.”

How goes the Third World invasion of the United States?

America and the West must face up to what is happening to our countries and our civilization. Or we are going to lose them both forever.

Treating with contempt U.S. and European laws, peoples from failed states of the Third World are steadily filling up our countries and reducing our native-born into slowly shrinking national majorities.

If this continues over many more decades, Western nations as we knew them will disappear forever, and be remade in the image of those who have newly arrived, and the countries whence they came.

When, ever, did Americans vote for this?

What would constitute a pro-American immigration policy?

A moratorium on all immigration until unemployment among U.S. citizens falls below five percent. A 15-foot security fence from San Diego to the Gulf, with Border Patrol outposts every 10 miles. Fines and community service for businessmen who hire illegal aliens.

Klingenschmitt: 'The Ultimate Hate Speech Is To Endorse Homosexuality'

On today's "Pray In Jesus Name" program, Gordon Klingenschmitt praised Colorado bakery owner Jack Phillips for his refusal to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, declaring that not telling gays that they are destined for Hell is a form of "hate speech."

"By endorsing their sin" by making a cake for a gay couple, Klingenschmitt said about Phillips, "he would not be showing compassion to them; he would be showing cruelty. So the ultimate hate speech is to endorse homosexuality because you give them the impression that it's okay and that deceives them and ultimately trips them into Hell":

Pat Robertson Thinks 'Obama Has Just Gone Crazy'

Today on the “700 Club,” Pat Robertson blamed President Obama for the increase in unaccompanied children, predominantly from Central American countries, who are crossing the southern border, arguing that it “obviously is being done by the highest levels of this government.”

“It’s like Obama has just gone crazy,” Robertson said. “Is this the way to get immigration reform? I don’t believe it.”

Vic Eliason Warns Marriage Equality 'Defiles' People And 'Turns Them Into Perverts'

Vic Eliason of the Wisconsin-based group Voice of Christian Youth America was not pleased with a federal judge’s decision last week to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, a point which he expounded on at length on yesterday’s edition of “Crosstalk.”

“This same-sex marriage is a branch off of — it’s promiscuity, it’s passion out of control, it’s a violation of natural order, it’s a violation of literally — you cannot procreate — and they have literally defiled the very definitions of who people are and turned them into perverts,” he said.

Eliason’s guest, Julaine Appling of Wisconsin Family Council and Wisconsin Family Action, agreed with his assessment and claimed the judge effectively said she “knows better than God Almighty.”

Beck: Obama Is Fomenting Revolution By Making The Tea Party Feel Invisible

During his morning staff meeting yesterday, Glenn Beck once again lectured his staff about how President Obama is intentionally fomenting revolution in this country by intentionally ignoring the Tea Party and making them feel invisible.

"You have revolution when people feel invisible," Beck said. "When people feel invisible, they go for their guns. That is exactly what [President Obama] is doing."

Saying that while Obama is elevating gays and thugs and radicals and illegal immigrants, he is systematically telling Tea Party activists that they don't matter and dismissing their concerns.

"This government has taken a group of people," Beck proclaimed, "and diminished them and given them the Harry Potter cloak of invisibility":

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