Starnes: Pastors Will Be Charged With Hate Crimes If SCOTUS Legalizes Gay Marriage

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes was a guest on the "Hagee Hotline" yesterday where he warned host Matthew Hagee that Christian pastors could soon find themselves arrested and charged with a hate crime for preaching from the Bible if the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage.

"I do believe that if the Supreme Court does move forward and affirm this ruling," he said, "I suspect that it is going to open up the floodgates. And I believe, Pastor Matt, that you are going to see militant LGBT activists directly target churches and directly targeting pastors and I think that we, in the very near future, could see American pastors brought up on hate crime charges for preaching from the Bible":

Of course, this is exactly the same argument that anti-gay activists made before passage of hate crimes legislation back in 2009 and none of their fear-mongering warnings have come true. Nor has a single pastor faced this possibility in any of the 37 states where gay marriage is currently legal.

GOP Rep. Bill Flores Links Baltimore Riots To Gay Marriage

Yesterday on “Washington Watch,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins hosted Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, to discuss the anti-marriage-equality rally outside of the Supreme Court that both had attended that morning.

During the interview, Flores bizarrely suggested that gay marriage will somehow lead to a breakdown of the family model and an increased number of single-parent-led households, contributing to poverty and the conditions which led to the Baltimore riots:

Let’s talk about poverty, for instance. The single best indicator of whether or not a child is going to be in poverty or not is whether or not they were raised by a two-parent household or a single parent household, so the breakdown of the family has contributed to poverty. Look at what is going on in Baltimore today, you see the issues that are raised there. Healthy marriages are the ones between a man and a woman because they can have a healthy family and they can raise children in a way that’s best for their future, not only socially but psychologically, economically, from a health perspective. There is nothing like traditional marriage that does that for a child. Each of us have a mother and a father and there is no way to get around that.

Flores also alleged that 80 percent of Americans oppose a Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide (when actually 50 percent [PDF] support the court doing just that). 

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/28/15

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 4/28/15

  • Peter LaBarbera turns against Ben Carson after he endorsed Sen. Rob Portman, since Porter supports marriage equality.
  • The filmmakers behind the new Christian movie "Little Boy" suspect that something nefarious is going on since pretty much every critic hated it.
  • Glenn Beck has some more deep thoughts about the sorry state of America.
  • Rafael Cruz is Ted Cruz's biggest champion and primary surrogate on the campaign trail.
  • Finally, Michael Brown is believes that "ultimately, the gay revolution will fail. I believe that ultimately, there will be a turning of the tide because we are plunging into a time of sexual anarchy. We are plunging into a time when even gender distinctions are becoming meaningless. Society can’t be sustained like this. We may crash and burn first on some level, but I do believe that a change will come."

War And Terrorists And Floods, Oh My! The Right's Five Worst Predictions About Marriage Equality

Mike Huckabee thinks Christianity will soon be outlawed to make room for gay rights. Ted Cruz fears “liberal fascism; and a pro-gay “jihad” are destroying liberty. Bobby Jindal believes freedom will soon be extinguished as reality stars lose their apparent constitutional right to appear on television.

These GOP presidential hopefuls are not shying away from the gay marriage issue, which comes as no surprise since the GOP’s right-wing base has been whipped into a frenzy by conservative talk radio hosts and activists who have insisted that freedom will be no more if the Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage.

Here are five of the far right’s wildest predictions about what would happen if gay marriage becomes legal nationwide:

1) War!

Several Religious Right pundits believe that a Supreme Court ruling striking down same-sex marriage bans would spark a full-blown rebellion, if not a civil war.

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson said that the country could witness a second civil war over the Supreme Court’s decision, while Mat Staver of the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel said the court “could cause another civil war” if it legalizes same-sex marriage.

The Texas chapter of Eagle Forum warned the Supreme Court in an amicus brief that a ruling that “imposes homosexual marriage” on the country “would cause vastly more conflict” than the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision. Not to be outdone, conservative activist Alan Keyes predicted that marriage equality will lead to mass murder and “the separation and dissolution of the United States.”

At least one conservative author thinks that the states of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina should consider seceding from the U.S. and establish their own country in order to preserve gay marriage bans. This new country, naturally, will be named “Reagan.”

2) Terrorism!

David Lane, a conservative political organizer with close ties to the GOP and several Republican presidential candidates, has warned that God will soon usher in a wave of terrorist attacks as punishment for America’s acceptance of homosexuality and abortion. Infuriated by “homosexuals praying” at President Obama’s second inauguration, Lane claimed that God can show the country mercy but it will be a “very painful process,” including “car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa.”

American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer warned that because America’s “gay gestapo” is acting like the men of Sodom who tried to rape angels, God will “run out of patience with the United States” and “use pagan armies to discipline his people if they turn from him in rebellion and disobedience and descend into debauchery.”

“What if God will use the pagan armies of Allah to discipline the United States for our debauchery?” he wondered.

Neither prediction holds a candle, however, to talk show host Rick Wiles’ frequent prediction that gay rights will lead to a nuclear attack on the country.

3) Apocalypse!

Pastor Robert Jeffress, a Fox News contributor and author of “Countdown to the Apocalypse,” has called gay marriage “the greatest sign of the End Times that we see in our country right now,” warning that the Supreme Court will embolden pro-gay “extremists” to “make us all bow down and bless what God has called a perversion.”

Janet Porter, an anti-gay activist who held a rally outside of the Supreme Court yesterday, has said that “we are uniquely positioned for the return of Christ like no other time in history” as a result of the Supreme Court marriage cases.

Another conservative pundit, Linda Harvey, claimed in an interview with End Times broadcaster Jan Markell that the legal and political success of gay marriage advocates means that “we’re heading into the End Times, and it sure looks like we may be, or the end of America — or both.” 

Michele Bachmann, a frequent guest on Markell’s program, told the End Times evangelist that legal abortion and gay marriage, along with President Obama’s foreign policies, are among the signs that we are entering the Last Days. God will remove his “hedge of protection” from America as punishment for its increasingly “pagan” culture, she warned, and “and we will suffer the consequences as a result.”

4) Flood!

Gay rights advocates are not only turning America into Sodom and Gomorrah (as Pat Robertson claims), but they are also risking the destruction of the planet, argue some far-right pundits who believe that Noah’s Flood was divine punishment for homosexuality. Scott Lively, the pastor best known for his work promoting anti-gay laws in countries like Russia and Uganda, claims that “the Great Flood of Noah in Genesis 6-9 was precipitated by homosexual sin.”

“We need to remember that in the time leading up to the Flood what the rabbis teach about the last straw for God before He brought the Flood was when they started writing wedding songs to homosexual marriage,” Lively said, “and Jesus said that you’ll know the End Times because it will be like the days of Noah. There’s never been a time in the history of the world since before the Flood when homosexual marriage has been open and celebrated, and that’s another sign that I believe that we’re close to the end…. I think this is the issue of the End Times: homosexuality.”

Another pastor claimed God “brought the flood” because he “knew that the people of the earth were going to destroy themselves through same-sex marriage.” Porter has similiarly called gay marriage “the final straw that led to the Flood.”

5) Antichrist!

The destruction of freedom and America at the hands of gay rights advocates, some Religious Right voices warn, will eventually lead to the coming of the Antichrist.

Jeffress said that the purported gay persecution of Christians “will pave the way for that future world dictator, the Antichrist, to persecute and martyr Christians without any repercussions whatsoever,” while Gordon Klingenschmitt, a televangelist and Colorado Republican state representative, called LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination laws a “sign that the End Times are really upon us. When the Antichrist rises up to persecute Christians and behead us and throw us in jail for our Christian faith, you don’t think it’s going to be over things like this?”

Lively explicitly linked the coming of the Antichrist to the marriage cases before the Supreme Court, writing that “if we are on the verge of ‘birth pangs’ we will likely know it by Passover, but in either case we should brace for serious judgment on the United States in the form of natural and/or man-made disaster if the Supreme Court established sodomy as a basis for marriage under our constitution.” The one who will “not yet be exposed to the world as the Antichrist” will emerge around September of this year, Lively wrote, noting that “the Biblically literate would recognize him.”

“Even as the rest of the world lauds its ‘savior’ and embraces his government, the Christian believers (and Torah-faithful Jews) would be increasingly reviled and hunted,” Lively wrote. “I don’t think there is any question, Biblically, that the cultural celebration of ‘gay marriage’ portends judgment from God. The only real question in my mind is whether it truly signals the imminent ‘beginning of sorrows’ or is just another step in the path leading to God’s wrath at a later time.”

Beck: America Has Reached The Point Where The President Could Literally Get Away With Murder

On his radio program today, Glenn Beck and his co-hosts were discussing various right-wing conspiracy theories about President Obama supposedly refusing to leave office at the end of his term and the segment eventually got around to discussing the conspiracy theory that Bill and Hillary Clinton had dozens of people killed during their time in office, which Beck used to warn his audience that America has now reached a point where the president could literally get away with murdering their opponents.

While Beck did not buy into any of the other conspiracy theories they discussed, he was quite serious about this one.

"I do believe this president, the last president, the next president, we're in the territory where, if somebody wants to do this, oh, he'll kill you," Beck said. "He'll kill you because nobody is going say anything. You'll get away with it if the press likes you."

Beck made it clear that he was not saying that this president or any previous presidents had done this, but was simply warning that "we're at the point to where, if we get a really nefarious guy in there, you're going to have problems":

Rick Santorum: Supreme Court Marriage Ruling Could Lead To Christians Being 'Persecuted And Maybe Even Prosecuted'

Rick Santorum’s movie studio, EchoLight Studios, issued a press release yesterday in anticipation of today’s arguments in the marriage cases before the Supreme Court, warning that a decision in favor of marriage equality could lead to the persecution of people who reject “the secularism that is now coming from the government.”

In the press release, Santorum warns that those “who want to live their life consistent with biblical teachings are not being given space to do that."

"It is an increasing view that if you are not with this new orthodoxy, the secularism that is now coming from the government, that these are the values that the government values. If you don't live up to those values, well then you can be persecuted and maybe even prosecuted for doing so," he added.

Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments to determine if same-sex marriage should be nationally recognized in the United States starting April 28. The outcome of these hearings, set for late June, could cause a potentially damaging ripple effect for conservative business owners who, based on their personal religious beliefs, do not want to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies as was explored in the award-winning EchoLight Studios documentary, "One Generation Away."

"One of the biggest changes in this country in the last four or five years is the level of hostility rising toward people of faith taking public viewpoints in their business or in the public square, even in schools and the military," said Former Senator and EchoLight CEO Rick Santorum. "Those who want to live their life consistent with biblical teachings are not being given space to do that. "

The backdrop to the Supreme Court holding this hearing is a number of high-profile cases of Christian business owners being forced by the government to provide services for same-sex weddings. As highlighted in "One Generation Away," which was released last September, there is a growing understanding that the redefinition of marriage cannot be separated from a loss of freedom.

"It is an increasing view that if you are not with this new orthodoxy, the secularism that is now coming from the government, that these are the values that the government values. If you don't live up to those values, well then you can be persecuted and maybe even prosecuted for doing so," concluded Santorum.
 

The Two Faces Of Samuel Rodriguez

For years we have been noting how Rev. Samuel Rodriguez has somehow managed to craft a reputation as a moderate and nonpartisan religious leader while simultaneously serving as a leading anti-gay Religious Right activist.

Nothing better illustrates this duality than the fact that Rodriguez was among those who have signed the right-wing pledge never to accept any Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage and today announced that the board of his organization, the National Hispanic Leadership Council, has unanimously signed it as well:

Today, the board of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Counsel-CONEL [sic] unanimously voted to sign the Marriage Pledge. NHCLC-CONEL represents 40,118 Evangelical Hispanic churches in America and about 500,000 in Latin America and Spain. The unanimous vote occurred at the board meeting in Houston while the Supreme Court was hearing oral arguments on the marriage case. NHCLC-CONEL’s board is comprised of 140 members.

NHCLC-CONEL is headed by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez. CNN, Fox News, NBC/Telemundo, Time magazine, and The Wall Street Journal have identified Rodriguez as one of the most influential Hispanic evangelical leaders in America.

Elsewhere today, Rodriguez was quoted in a Time magazine piece saying that he does not think that conservatives will react to such a Supreme Court ruling by demanding that it be overturned:

A longtime opponent of same-sex marriage, Pastor Samuel Rodriguez gave a benediction at the last Republican National Convention, sits on the executive board of the National Association of Evangelicals and will host two likely presidential candidates, Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee, at a gathering of 1,000 Hispanic leaders in Texas on Wednesday.

But if you ask the founder of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference how Republicans should react if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to legalize gay marriage nationwide this year, he doesn’t toe a very hard line. “The Republican position will not be, ‘We will fight arduously to turn back what the Supreme Court has ruled,’ ” he said. “I don’t think you will hear that at all, as a matter of fact.”

Rodriguez and his organization have both signed on to a pledge vowing never to accept such a ruling because "redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross" while, at the same time, he is telling Time that fighting against the legalization of gay marriage will not really be an important issue for conservatives.

Peter LaBarbera Is 'Hoping And Praying' For A 'Constitutional Crisis' On Marriage

Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality said last month that he is “hoping and praying” that if the Supreme Court strikes down state bans on same-sex marriage, enough states will follow the lead of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in defying the decision that it will “create a constitutional crisis.”

Calling Moore “a national hero,” LaBarbera told South Carolina pastor Kevin Boling on his “Knowing the Truth” radio program that while “the judicial system has largely sold out to the homosexual activist movement,” Moore has at least “tried to put [on] the brakes.”

“I’m hoping and praying that some state somewhere, more than one, many states will say ‘no’ if the Supreme Court decides to pull a Roe v. Wade on homosexual so-called marriage, which would be to nationalize it or attempt to nationalize this ridiculous homosexual marriage movement,” he said.

“If it is nationalized in June or whenever that decision from the Supreme Court comes down,” he added, “I’m hoping that there is, that this creates a constitutional crisis and states fight back like what’s going on in Alabama.”

Boling also asked LaBarbera the question that many Republican presidential candidates have been facing: Would he go to a gay or lesbian couples’ wedding?

Boling offered that he “absolutely” would not, and LaBarbera agreed, noting that he also would not go to the wedding of someone who had previously been divorced.

“I agree with you, Kevin, with one caveat. I guess the same should also apply if the guy is on his third trophy wife, we shouldn’t go to that wedding either,” he said.

This led LaBarbera to discuss how marriage equality is “one of the true evils of the homosexual activist movement” because it is trying to “change perversion by wrapping it in something that’s good.”

“I mean we’re talking about one of the true evils of the homosexual activist movement,” LaBarbera told Boling, “which is the wedding — pardon the pun — of perversion with the sacred institution that is meant to be the picture of our relationship with Jesus Christ. That is wicked.“
 
He cautioned that it’s not just the “extreme form” of the LGBT rights movement that is evil because “the so-called conservative end, which is basically domesticated homosexuality…is also evil.”

“It’s like taking an old, beat-up desk that’s full of stains and scratched and putting a thin veneer on top of it and then saying, oh look this is a great desk. You cannot change perversion by wrapping it in something that’s good,” he said.
 

 

Mat Staver Expects Every Presidential Candidate To Pledge To Disobey Any Pro-Marriage Equality Ruling From SCOTUS

Last week, Miranda noted that Mike Huckabee and Rick Scarborough had joined with dozens of anti-gay Religious Right activists in signing a pledge vowing not to obey any Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage.

Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver, one of the co-authors of the pledge, appeared on Newsmax's "American Forum" program on Friday to discuss the topic, where he declared that signing the pledge would now be a litmus test for all presidential hopefuls.

When host J.D. Hayworth asked Staver if he expected other Republican candidates to follow Huckabee and Santorum's lead in adding their names, he declared that he expected every candidate to sign on.

"We're going to ask every presidential candidate — Republican and Democrat — to sign on to this pledge and it's going to be very telling if they don't," Staver said at about the 3:30 mark of this interview:

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