Ryan Anderson's Road Map for Marriage Resisters

The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson, celebrated as the anti-marriage movement’s fresh young face, is promoting his new book Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom, which promises to tell anguished opponents of marriage equality how to respond in to the Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to be legally married. Anderson’s book will be available July 20, but there’s probably no need to order it, since he has been flooding the media with his analysis of the ruling and advice about what anti-equality Christians should do in its wake.

Anderson is a protégé of Robert George, the Princeton professor and current intellectual godfather of the anti-gay movement. Like George, Anderson has made the case that the dispute over marriage is not about discrimination but about definition. Same-sex couples cannot be married, they argue, because marriage is by definition a relationship between a man and a woman, “uniting comprehensively, creating new life, and uniting new human beings with their mother and father.”

Anderson repeats that argument in his legal analysis of the Supreme Court’s ruling at Public Discourse, complaining that Justice Anthony Kennedy did not seriously engage with the main arguments of anti-marriage-equality advocates in his majority opinion. Anderson is unmoved by analogies to bans on marriage by interracial couples:

The problem with the analogy to interracial marriage is that it assumes exactly what is in dispute: that sex is as irrelevant to marriage as race is. It’s clear that race has nothing to do with marriage. Racist laws kept the races apart and were designed to keep whites at the top. Marriage has everything to do with men and women, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers and their children, and that is why principle-based policy has defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Anderson has previously pointed to the anti-abortion movement as the model for long-term resistance to marriage equality. Since the Court’s ruling in Obergefell, Anderson has been more explicit about what the strategy means. In a panel discussion at the Heritage Foundation on June 30, Anderson declared, “The central thesis of my new book…is that the pro-marriage movement is in the same exact situation culturally that the pro-life movement found itself in 42 and a half years ago after Roe v. Wade.”  In the 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision, that movement has been all too successful at getting legislatures to restrict women’s ability to access reproductive health care, and at convincing courts to go along. In the Boston Globe, Anderson explained how that happened:

The pro-life community stood up and responded to a bad court ruling. Academics wrote books and articles making the scientific and philosophical case for life. Statesmen like Henry Hyde, Edwin Meese, and Ronald Reagan used the bully pulpit to advance the culture of life. Activists and lawyers got together, formed coalitions, and devised effective strategies.

At Heritage, Anderson identified three steps taken by abortion foes that he says must now be pursued by anti-marriage-equality advocates.

  1. Identify the decision as illegitimate judicial activism.
  2. Act to protect the rights of “conscience.”
  3. Wage a long-term campaign of “rebuilding a truthful, strong marriage culture” to “bear witness to the truth” within a culture that has been told a lie, in this case about the nature of marriage. This will be a long-term, “generational” effort, “something our children and grandchildren will be responding to.”

Anderson and other right-wing leaders have certainly been ready to carry out his first piece of advice, denouncing the ruling as judicial activism and, in Anderson’s words, “a significant setback for all Americans who believe in the Constitution, the rule of law, democratic self-government, and marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” His mentor Robert George responded in kind, saying, “we must reject and resist an egregious act of judicial usurpation. We must, above all, tell the truth: Obergefell v. Hodges is an illegitimate decision.” Anderson’s colleague Matthew J. Franck, called it an “appallingly illegitimate decision.”

As for the second step, acting to protect the “rights of conscience,” Anderson says, “There is an urgent need for policy to ensure the government never penalizes anyone for standing up for marriage. We must work to protect the freedom of speech, association, and religion of those who continue to abide by the truth of marriage as one man and one woman.”

Anderson and other anti-equality leaders are pushing for passage of the so-called First Amendment Defense Act in Congress, and for passage of similar laws at the state level. He says that the First Amendment Defense Act would allow individuals, organizations, and businesses to “act on the belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman” – in other words, to discriminate against same-sex couples without facing any legal consequences.

Just as the pro-life movement ensured that no pro-life citizen would ever have to pay for an abortion or perform an abortion, so too must we work to ensure no one is coerced on marriage. Rather than forcing people and institutions of faith to go to court for their religious liberty, this bill would prevent the government from ever acting unjustly in the first place.

As we noted recently, this strategy has the potential to lead to increasing restrictions on the ability of same-sex couples and their families to experience the equal dignity the Court has said they deserve.

Shortly after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v Wade, laws were passed to allow doctors who had religious objections to performing abortions to refuse to do so without experiencing negative professional consequences. There has been little opposition to such laws. But over the past few decades, at the urging of anti-abortion activists, the scope of that kind of religious exemption has been expanded wildly to include people ever-further removed from the actual abortion procedure, and expanded to include even marginal participation in the provision of contraception. In emergency situations these accommodation could come at high cost, including the life of a patient.

Exemptions have been extended to or claimed by nurses who don’t want to provide care to women after an abortion, pharmacists who don’t want to dispense a morning-after pill prescribed by a woman’s doctor, even a bus driver who refused to take a woman to a Planned Parenthood facility because he said he suspected she was going for an abortion.

Law professors Douglas NeJaime and Reva Siegel describe these as “complicity-based conscience claims” – claims that are about refusing to do anything that might make one complicit in any way with another person’s behavior that one deems sinful. They note that the concept of complicity has been extended to allow health care providers not to even inform patients that some potential care or information has been withheld from them based on the religious beliefs of an individual or the policies of an institution.

The resistance to complying with the requirement under the Affordable Care Act that insurance plans cover contraception takes the notion of complicity to almost surreal lengths.  Just days after the Hobby Lobby decision, the Court’s conservatives sided provisionally with religious conservatives who are arguing that it is a burden on their religious freedom even to inform the government that they are refusing to provide contraceptive coverage, because that would trigger the process by which the coverage would be provided by others. Cases revolving around the simple act of informing the government of an objection are working their way back toward the Supreme Court….

Given what we know about the intensity of the anti-gay movement’s opposition to marriage equality, it is not hard to imagine how far that movement could run with the principle that religious beliefs about “traditional” marriage are a legitimate basis for discriminating against same-sex couples.

As for Anderson’s final step, waging a generational culture war to promote the idea that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman, he offers several strategies:

  1. Conduct “rigorous social science” on family structures, which he says could be used to sway future conservative justices to overturn Obergefell. Anderson is editor of Public Discourse, published by the Witherspoon Institute, which is probably best known for financing the notorious Mark Regnerus study on “family structures,” which anti-equality groups continue to cite even though the study and the way it has been used by marriage equality opponents have been thoroughly discredited.
  2. Use “better spokespeople.” Anderson says the movement should make more use of gays and people raised by same-sex couples who oppose marriage equality.  Anderson complained at Heritage that both groups filed amicus briefs but that the Court did not acknowledge either.
  3. Live out “the truth about marriage” by demonstrating the beauty, truth, and holiness of one-man, one-woman marriage. Anderson acknowledged that gay and lesbian people did not cause family breakdown, heterosexuals did that through contraception, divorce, and other aspects of the sexual revolution. “Justice Kennedy’s philosophy of marriage is the natural result, the logical result, of the past 50 years of the breakdown of the American family. It’s the natural, logical conclusion of the sexual revolution.” Anderson said "We have ourselves to blame” for 50 years of “failing to live out the truth about marriage.”  Still, he said, “redefining marriage will not do anything to strengthen the family; but it will likely make the family even weaker.”

Anderson has achieved folk-hero status among the anti-gay right and many are likely to follow his road map. The National Organization for Marriage is praising his “encouraging words and advice” on how to “continue the fight to defend marriage as it has always been defined – the union between one man and one woman.”

 

Bradlee Dean Warns America That The 'Gay Agenda' Will 'Pervert All Comprehension'

Anti-gay activist Bradlee Dean claimed that LGBT people “are not ruled by law” on Monday’s episode of his “Sons of Liberty” radio program. Dean criticized the media for spreading the “gay agenda,” and attempting to “pervert all comprehension” and “confuse the younger generations.”

Dean briefly touched on the recent Supreme Court marriage decision, advising listeners that “nothing is good enough” for the LGBT community. “You’re gonna be destroyed by those you tolerate,” Dean warned, before urging his followers to “hold these people responsible because they are sick in the mind.”

His rant also included his theory that society is “using the Bruce Jenners of the world” to distract Americans from God’s teaching. “We’re telling you to wake up!” Dean shouted, before continuing into a tirade against the LGBT community.

Though not a politician himself, Dean has regularly worked with fellow Minnesotan  Michele Bachmann. Dean publicly advocates against LGBT rights, and has previously suggested that gay marriage would usher in another Holocaust.

Glenn Beck Pretty Sure Non-Existent Navy Yard Shooter Was Probably A Muslim

Early this morning, it was reported that a shooter was on the loose at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., but those reports eventually turned out to be false after D.C. police responded and found "no signs of a shooter, no shooting and no injured."

Predictably, Glenn Beck opened his radio program this morning by reporting the news of an active shooter at the Navy Yard and didn't hesitate to suggest that the shooter was Muslim and that President Obama would use the shooting as an excuse to "take our guns," while repeatedly admitting that he literally had no information about the incident at all.

"I'm sure the president is going to be looking into more stress, somebody is probably really stressed out," Beck said, sarcastically. "Yes, yes, of course, they're Muslim, but they were just stressed out. That's what we'll probably find out, and it has nothing to do with Islam."

After admitting that "it could be a guy who has nothing to do with Islam" who was responsible for the non-existent shooting, Beck declared that "I'm tired of everything being a lone gunman who has nothing to do with Islam; it's just his three middle names and his last name are Muhammad and that's no big deal."

"We have no information here," Beck once again stated, before he then proceeded to declare that "we're going to lose our guns."

"With the shootings, they're just going to start taking away guns," he said. "They're going to try to take away the guns."

Everyone Get Ready For 'Gay Sharia'

John Zmirak is a conservative columnist who actually believes that Christians in America are facing a holocaust just like Armenians in Turkey in 1915 and Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.

In an interview with Alaska GOP politician and conservative talk show host Joe Miller that was posted online today, Zmirak maintained that gay rights advocates pose a greater threat to the U.S. than ISIS since they plan to impose a version of “gay Sharia” where Christians will be forced to pay a discriminatory jizya tax.

In an interview yesterday on “The Eric Metaxas Show,” Zmirak predicted that all churches and groups that oppose same-sex marriage will now lose their tax-exempt status, claiming that Justice Anthony Kennedy surreptitiously suggested that churches will lose their freedom of religion.

“He was opening a door for the future destruction of orthodox Christian churches in America,” Zmirak said. “It was conscious, it was intentional and I think if we have a president like Hillary Clinton, in the first 100 days of her administration, you will see the tax-exemption of every faithful church and synagogue in America revoked. It will be presented as progress, ‘love has won and now it’s time to shoot the prisoners.’”

Metaxas claimed that the U.S. is now turning into “Germany in the ‘30s” when people “had no idea” where Nazism “would end up.”

Tom Tancredo: Marriage Equality Will Criminalize Support For The Confederate Flag, Criticism Of Islam

Former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo managed to tie two of the biggest issues of the week together on Tuesday when he railed against efforts to take down Confederate flags, saying that the Koran is an even more dangerous symbol, and then claimed that thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent marriage equality decision, such comments will soon be illegal.

When Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg asked Tancredo to discuss a Facebook post he recently wrote comparing the Confederate flag to the Koran, Tancredo responded that efforts to “erase” the flag are misguided.

“However,” he continued, “there is something else out there, our president really happens to enjoy it, we teach about it in the public schools, we tell people, kids in the public schools to respect it. It’s called the Koran and it’s responsible for far more, far more murders, enslavement, the most horrible things, and it’s still going on. It’s not history, it’s still happening. And that, we don’t ban it, heavens no, we even tell kids we gotta read it in our schools and respect it.”

Malzberg then changed the subject, asking Tancredo about the Supreme Court’s marriage decision, which Tancredo said was connected. Not only will the decision eventually lead to the criminal prosecution of pastors, he claimed, but soon “everything I just said” about the Confederate flag and the Koran will be “outlawed” due to the institution of unconstitutional hate speech prohibitions.

“Mark my words, that’s what’s coming,” he said. “Dark days ahead, Steve.”

Michael Savage: Obama And Pope Francis Bringing Communism And Chaos To America

In would be an understatement to say that Michael Savage is no fan of Pope Francis. The right-wing radio host continued his rantings against the pope on Tuesday, telling his listeners that Francis is nothing more than “a naked Marxist posing as a pope.”

“This faker pope is coming to America to talk not to you in the pews, but to prisoners, transgendered [sic] and homeless,” Savage shouted. “You tell me there’s not a worldwide Marxist revolution occurring right under your noses. Go ahead, tell me that, make my day. And if you think it ends well, you’re wrong. Remember how many died under Communism. A hundred million.”

On Monday, Savage attacked his other least favorite communist: President Obama.

Savage accused Obama of working with the media and the “insane left” to squelch the freedom of speech of conservatives like Donald Trump.

“Obama’s [been] engaged in a civil war from the day he began,” Savage said, claiming that “this man is trying to burn the country down.”

Ryan Anderson: Gay Marriage Will Make Sexual Revolution's 'Mess Of Marriage' Worse

Ryan Anderson, senior fellow at Heritage Foundation and founder of “Public Discourse,” joined Eric Metaxas on his show Tuesday to discuss the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.

Anderson provided listeners with a historical backdrop to the ruling, arguing that for “the past 50 years heterosexuals have failed to live out the truth about marriage.” Heterosexuals mistakenly “bought into a bad ideology; it was called the ‘sexual revolution.’” This, he said, made “a mess of the family, whether it was the hook-up culture, pre-marital sex, non-marital childbearing, lots of divorce.”

“And once you have made a mess of marriage in those ways,” Anderson continued, “there’s a certain logic to redefining it to include same-sex couples: if it’s just about consenting adult romance, why not?”

“That whole 50 years has been a problem,” he said. “Same-sex marriage didn’t cause the problem, but same sex marriage will make the problem worse and it will make it harder to create a strong marriage culture.”

Anderson made similar comments earlier this year in response to an interviewer who lamented that “the widespread acceptance of contraception” was “the first domino to fall” on the way to marriage equality.”

Tony Perkins: US 'Hostility' To Christianity Gives A 'Green Light' To Terrorists

In his sermon to Robert Jeffress’ First Baptist Church of Dallas on Sunday, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins claimed that the U.S. government’s supposed “hostility” to Christians in America is giving the “green light” to groups like ISIS that persecute and kill Christians abroad.

“If we step back and allow this growing intolerance of Christianity here at the hands of our own government,” he said, “Christians, listen to me friends, Christians will die in lands far away.”

Following a discussion of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision and the persecution of conservative Christians that groups like the FRC claim will result from it, Perkins told the congregation, “We have allowed our own government to send a message that Christians in America don’t care about Christianity here at home. How could they possibly care about it in the Middle East?”

He then related a horrific tale of four Christian boys being beheaded by ISIS, violence that he claimed the American government gives a “green light” to because of its “hostility” toward U.S. Christians.

“We’re not being asked to die for Christ in America. We’re simply being asked to live for Christ in America,” he said. “But when we as Christians here in America shrink back from living for Jesus and we tolerate our own government’s hostility to Christianity, terrorists and tyrants in other governments will see that as a green light to persecute and to kill our brothers and sisters, and we cannot tolerate that as Americans.”

This is just Perkins' latest attempt to connect the Religous Right's claims of persecution at the hands of a secular government to the violent persecution of Christians at the hands of oppressive governments and terrorist groups like ISIS.

Jeffress: Marriage Equality Decision, White House Rainbow Lights Signs Of End Times

This past Sunday, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins delivered the sermon at Robert Jeffress’ church in Dallas. Although Perkins’ visit had been planned more than a year in advance, Jeffress was delighted that it ended up falling just two days after the Supreme Court struck down gay marriage bans nationwide, which Jeffress called “the greatest, most historic, landmark blunder in the history of the United States Supreme Court.”

Jeffress had some good news, though: The Supreme Court’s decision and the ensuing rainbow-flag projection on the White House all just confirm the Bible’s reports of what will happen before the return of Christ.

“What happened Friday was nothing short of an affront in the face of Almighty God,” Jeffres said in his introduction of Perkins. “And how did our president respond? President Obama responded Friday night by bathing the White House, the people’s house, in colors that represent what the Bible calls degredation, depravity and sexual perversion.”

Jeffress and his church, he said, are “not going to be silenced by the liberal left, Barack Obama or the United States Supreme Court.”

“We’re not despondent, we’re not discouraged in the least,” he added, “because everything that happened Friday is simply confirmation of what the Bible says is going to happen before the return of Jesus Christ.”

Jeffress has previously called the gay rights movement and the book “Fifty Shades of Grey” signs of the End Times.

Perkins also addressed the marriage equality ruling, saying he was less concerned about being “on the wrong side of history” than on “the wrong side of the one who’s going to write the final chapter of history.”

The government, he said, had “usurped” issues like marriage and turned “the sacred into the secular.”

“I cannot see a more clear visual representation of where our nation stands,” he said, “than on Friday morning, our courts turned the sacred into the secular and that night, the president bathing the White House in the colors of Pride. God have mercy on America.”

Steve King Says Boehner Punished Him By Denying Him SCOTUS Tickets; Chief Justice Roberts Hooked Him Up

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, told radio host Jan Mickelson on Tuesday that House Speaker John Boehner tried to punish him for bucking House leadership by denying him tickets to see the Supreme Court oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the Affordable Care Act case, but then Chief Justice John Roberts saved the day in the end by finding him a seat.

“He’s also trying to block me from hearing oral arguments before the Supreme Court, on Obamacare, for example, so I went to Chief Justice Roberts and he gave me a couple tickets on his special front bench and we went ahead anyway,” King told Mickelson.

King also repeated his story of being pulled off a diplomatic mission by Boehner at the very last minute, which he later revealed was a congressional delegation to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. King ended up paying for his own ticket and showing up anyway, to the surprise of the delegation’s leader.

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