World Congress Of Families Spokesman: Rest Of World Should Be 'Horrified' By LGBT Rights In US

In Nairobi earlier this monthto speak at a World Congress of Families regional conference, WCF spokesman Don Feder joined a talk show on a Kenyan affiliate of the Christian broadcasting giant TBN, where he warned a panel of Kenyan and Nigerian activists that they should be “horrified” by the results of LGBT rights advances in the U.S.

Feder’s appearance on the program was promoted in a recent email from WCF president Brian Brown.

The host of the “Crosstalk” program, Vincent Kimosop, asked Feder what African activists could learn from the experience of the U.S. in the area of LGBT rights. Feder responded that Africans “should be horrified” by what they see in the U.S.

“The problem is this is a way people are living and they’re demanding that it be respected, they’re demanding that all of society be changed for their comfort and their convenience,” Feder said. “We’re not saying that these people have to be persecuted, we’re not saying that you can’t have compassion for them, of course you can, but you can’t let this be the role model and you can’t allow Christians and other religious people to be persecuted because they refuse to go along with this agenda.”

“You know, other people have demanded minority status based on their religion, based on their race,” he continued. “This is the first group that demands minority status based on what they do in their bedrooms. And that’s what makes it so dangerous. And if you look at the United States, I mean if Africans look seriously at the United States, they should be horrified at what’s going on.”

He went on to warn of the rise of “transgender bathrooms.”

Same-sex intimacy is currently illegal in Kenya, though there is an active movement to change that. Nigeria enacted a harsh anti-gay law in 2014 that hassparked vigilante violence; some American Religious Right groups backed that law or have spoken out against the Obama administration’s efforts to oppose similar legislation around the world.

Gordon Klingenschmitt: Demonic Spirits At ABC Are 'Bringing Sodomy' Upon America

On a recent episode of his "Pray In Jesus Name" program, Religious Right activist and Colorado state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt railed against the ABC television network for developing a new drama about the "fictional town of Grace, Missouri [that] centers on a family of adult siblings whose lives are upended when their stalwart minister father reveals to his family that he is gay."

"ABC News [sic] is defaming and attacking the true church by mocking the Bible and even mocking pastors who denounce homosexuality," Klingenschmitt complained, before reciting the biblical tale of Sodom and Gomorrah as a warning.

"Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? Because of the sin of homosexuality," he declared. "So, if you're a pastor of a megachurch and you don't believe the Bible, beware; you're bringing sodomy and maybe the consequences thereof upon America, and we discern that demonic spirit inside of the producers at ABC television."

Lance Wallnau: God May Have Led Trump To Hire Steve Bannon

Seven Mountains dominionist Lance Wallnau has been one of the most shameless advocates of Donald Trump's presidential candidacy in the Religious Right, repeatedly explaining that God sometimes anoints secular figures like Trump to carry out His will.

As Peter mentioned earlier today, Wallnau penned a defense of Trump for the cover of the most recent issue of the Pentecostal magazine Charisma. In an interview with Charisma’s Steve Strang that Strang posted on his website on Wednesday, Wallnau said that in the interest of getting Trump elected president, God might have contributed to Trump’s decision to hire Steve Bannon to chair his campaign and might even send an “incident” to trip up Hillary Clinton during a debate.

After Trump’s disastrous feud with the Khan family sent his campaign reeling, Trump fired his top campaign staff and brought on pollster Kellyanne Conway and Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon, a promoter of the racist alt-right movement , to run his campaign. According to Wallnau, this was likely because Trump had received a message to pray to God for help turning his campaign around.

After the Khan debacle, Wallnau said, Trump “brought a woman on as his chief of staff and brought a guy on from Breitbart” and then “he came back, and he started coming back and coming back” in the polls.

Wallnau told Strang that “most people don’t know” the backstory behind this transformation, which is that one of Trump’s faith advisers “received a prophetic word” for Trump that “basically said, ‘If you will humble yourself and pray and call upon the name of the Lord, you’ll be the next president of the United States.’” The pastor conveyed this message to Trump via one of his sons, who “personally handed it to his father and told him to read it on the plane.”

“Now, we do not know what Donald Trump did on that plane,” Wallnau said, “but I can almost prophesy, in his state of mind by himself on the plane looking at the problem he had, I believe he closed his eyes, read that, and in his own way humbled himself and asked God for help. Boom! Within 24 hours the campaign pivoted, he made two critical decisions and it’s been competitive ever since.”

As Peter noted, Wallnau also discussed the presidential debates (the first debate had evidently not happened yet when the interview took place), saying that there was “speculation” as to whether Clinton has the “stamina or ability” to handle a 90-minute face-off with Trump and that God might step in to cause Clinton to stumble.

“So if there is something that’s going on that the public doesn’t know about in terms of stamina or ability,” he said, “it’s quite possible in the course of these debates that something will surface that wasn’t expected. So that’s what a lot of people are wondering, is there going to be an unveiling of an incident that’s going to happen that was unanticipated? Because God is really involved with what’s happening right now, and I think if there was ever a time where the chariot wheels of Pharaoh come off, I think now we ought to be praying that God speeds his path for His purposes because America cannot afford another 48 months of the destructive spiral that it’s in right now.”

Roy Moore Suspended For Defying Federal Courts On Marriage Equality

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, famous for having lost his seat on the court in 2003 when he defied a federal order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building, has been sanctioned yet again by the state’s Court of the Judiciary, which ordered today that Moore be suspended without pay for the remainder of his term in office, this time for defying federal court decisions on marriage equality.

Moore was already under temporary suspension until the court heard his case. The court ruled unanimously that the suspension be continued until Moore’s term in office runs out in 2018.

The Court of the Judiciary’s ruling is a brutal smackdown of the attempts by Moore and his attorney, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, to justify the chief justice’s efforts to stop marriage equality from taking effect in his state.

The court’s judges make clear in the ruling that their decision on Moore’s case has nothing to do with their opinions about the Obergefell ruling, which they note “some members of this court did not personally agree with or think was well reasoned.”

However, they reject Moore’s recent attempt to claim that his January order requiring state probate judges to defy Obergefell and refrain from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples was nothing more than a “status update” on the law. In fact, they note that a press release from Staver himself the day the order was issued completely contradicts that claim:

Chief Justice Moore’s arguments that his actions and words mean something other than what they clearly express is not a new strategy. In 2003, this court’s order removing Chief Justice Moore quoted the following testimony from him before the [Judicial Inquiry Commission]:

“I did what I did because I upheld my oath. And that’s what I did, so I have no apologies for it. I would do it again. I didn’t say I would defy the court order. I said I wouldn’t move the monument. And I didn’t move the monument, which you can take as you will.”

Just as Chief Justice Moore’s decision that he “wouldn’t move the monument” was, in fact, defiance of the federal court order binding him, a disinterested reasonable observer, fully informed of all the relevant facts, would conclude that the undeniable consequence of the January 6, 2016, order was to order and direct the probate judges to deny marriage licenses in direct defiance of the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell and the Strawser injunction.

Indeed, to see that the January 6, 2016, order can be reasonably read as requiring defiance of the United States Supreme Court and the district court in Strawser, we need to look no further than a press release issued by Mat Staver—Chief Justice Moore’s own counsel in these proceedings and one of the counsel of record in API—that was issued the same day as the January 6, 2016, order. In that press release, which solely addressed the January 6, 2016 order, Staver asserted:

“In Alabama…state judiciaries…are standing up against the federal judiciary or any one [sic] else who wants to come up with some cockeyed view that somehow the Constitution now births some newfound notion of same-sex marriage.”

Chief Justice Moore’s contention that the only purpose and plausible reading of the January 6, 2016, order is that of a “status update” is entirely unconvincing.

In fact, in a public press release this morning after the ruling came down, Staver claimed again that Moore’s order was “merely a status report"and, ironically, accused the court of throwing “the rule of law out the window.” However, in an email to Liberty Counsel supporters, he declared, “Liberty Counsel upholds 'just' laws—and the moral law of God. In Alabama and across America, in state judiciaries and legislatures, Liberty Counsel's legal team is standing against the federal judiciary, resisting tyrannical rule, and upholding the moral law of God.”

UPDATE: Moore released a statement saying “This was a politically motivated effort by radical homosexual and transgender groups to remove me as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court because of outspoken opposition to their immoral agenda.”

Pentecostal Leaders Pray God Will Knock Clinton’s Chariot Wheels Off To Help ‘Anointed’ Trump

Charisma magazine and its affiliated online Charisma News are part of Steve Strang’s publishing empire, aimed at Pentecostal Christians who see American politics enveloped in constant spiritual warfare between believers and demons. (See, for example, senior editor Jennifer Claire’s “Is Hillary Clinton the Antichrist or an Illuminati Witch?”) Charisma has endorsed Trump and has energetically promoted his candidacy, playing a major role in the  Religious Right push to convince conservative Christians that Trump’s candidacy has a divine anointing.

On Sunday evening, Charisma posted an article calling for “urgent prayer” for Donald Trump for Monday night’s debate. The article said that former Trump adviser Frank Amedia had received a revelation from God and “began making phone calls to drum up support for the Kingdom Wide Prayer Watch.” Among those who got involved were Cindy Jacobs, Rick Joyner, Mario Bramnick, Lance Wallnau and Paula White.

Trump is on the focus of the October issue of Charisma magazine, whose cover story is Lance Wallnau’s tale about how God told him that He is raising up Donald Trump like the biblical King Cyrus. This week Strang posted a two-part podcast interviewing Wallnau about Trump’s “anointing” as a “prophetic” instrument of God’s purposes.

Wallnau said people should pray that God will intervene, perhaps during one of the debates, to unveil a Clinton medical problem or otherwise derail her candidacy:

God is really involved with what’s happening right now. And I think if there was ever a time when the chariot wheels of Pharaoh come off, I think now, we ought to be praying that God speeds his path for His purposes because America cannot afford another 48 months of the destructive spiral that it’s in right now.

Of course, most people would hardly describe Trump’s debate performance as an answer to prayer.

Which brings us to the extent to which Charisma is promoting far-right conspiracy theories. This week Bob Eschliman wrote that Clinton’s much celebrated shimmy after Trump said he had a better temperament to be president was in fact evidence of “medical episode”—Eschliman laughably mischaracterized Clinton’s mocking “whew, OK” as a “Howard Dean yell” and described her shimmy as troubling a “shudder” and “tremors.”

Eschliman is also flacking right-wing conspiracy theories that Clinton “cheated” during the early national security forum and Monday night’s debate by wearing a hidden ear piece that she could have used to get instructions from her campaign team. Eschliman said it could have been a hearing aid, a receiver, or an “anti-seizure device,” adding, “None of these paint a particularly good picture for the Democratic presidential nominee. Either she has an as-yet undisclosed health condition, ranging from mild to severe, or she's been cheating during the televised debates.”

In his podcast interview with Wallnau, Strang said he was worried that there isn’t enough “clear solidarity” from preachers and prophets to get enough believers to the polls. Wallnau blamed that possibility on “the left” and some Christian leaders who are trying to mute enthusiasm for Trump by portraying him as a flawed candidate, “morally or whatever.” Wallnau insisted that isn’t true, saying that Trump “has been on a metamorphosis…a total transformation track.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert: Democrats Rely On Votes Of 'Them Who Have No Regard For The Law,' 'People That Can’t Speak English'

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins interviewed Rep. Louie Gohmert yesterday about reports, which turned out to be erroneous, that the man who shot five people in a Washington state mall last weekend had voted three times despite not being a citizen. Gohmert was positively jubilant about the false report, saying that it was “the perfect evidence” to contradict “liberal judges” who say that there is no widespread voting by noncitizens.

Gohmert, a Texas Republican, then linked the story to efforts to pass criminal justice reform legislation, claiming that Democrats are relying on the votes of “felons,” “people that can't speak English”—who he claimed are unable to follow the news—and undocumented immigrants in order to win elections.

“But, you know, what does it say about your party if you want felons to vote and you want people who don’t speak English to vote and you want people that are here illegally to vote?” he asked. “If your platform will only get voted into office by those people—felons, people that can’t speak English and haven’t been able to follow personally what’s actually going on in politics without getting an interpretation, and those who are illegally here, show no regard for the law—I would think you’d need to think about changing your platform.”

The congressman added that the Washington shooter “seems to be a big fan of Hillary Clinton,” which shows who “the Democrat drones” are.

Perkins responded that the Obama administration is “trying to basically flood the zone” with “Syrian refugees and others” in order to help Democrats.

“Exactly,” Gohmert replied. “And they know which party will be most helpful to them who have no regard for the law.”

People who have served time for felonies are in fact allowed to vote in many states, thanks to bipartisan efforts to restore their voting rights. While most naturalized citizens are required to pass an English test, in many cases election materials are translated for those with less English proficiency. However, Democrats are not allowing undocumented immigrants to vote without obtaining citizenship, as Gohmert asserts.

Religious Right Activist Convicted In Ex-Gay International Kidnapping Saga

Back in 2009, we started covering the story of Lisa Miller, a self-declared former lesbian who had become a hero to the Religious Right for defying legal orders to allow her former partner, Janet Jenkins, to see their daughter. After the couple had separated, Miller had moved from Vermont to Virginia, where she joined Jerry Falwell's church, renounced her homosexuality and then refused to allow Jenkins to see the daughter they had had together. During the legal battle, Miller was represented by Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and lawyers affiliated with Liberty University, both of which are connected to Falwell's church.

Eventually, due to her intransigence and refusal to follow visitation orders, a judge in Vermont ordered Miller to transfer custody to Jenkins, but Miller refused and disappeared with her daughter.

Anti-gay activists heaped praise upon Miller for defying the court order and absconding with her daughter, while Liberty Counsel immediately went silent and began to try and wash its hands of the case,insisting that it had no idea where Miller had gone and that it had nothing to do with her disappearance.

Eventually, it was discovered that Miller had fled the country and, according to an FBI affidavit, wound up at a home in Nicaragua owned by Philip Zodhiates, a Religious Right activist whose daughter just so happened to be an administrative assistant at Liberty University Law School, where Miller's Liberty Counsel attorneys, Mat Staver and Rena Lindevaldsen, both worked. Even more amazingly, Miller's attorneys reportedly just so happened to be teaching law students at Liberty University that Christian lawyers handling a case like Miller's have a religious duty to counsel their client that they have an obligation to ignore the law and engage in "civil disobedience" in order to uphold God's law.

In 2012, Liberty Law School was hit with a RICO lawsuit by Jenkins for allegedly playing a role in Miller's kidnapping of their daughter, while Zodhiates was charged with conspiracy and international parental kidnapping in federal court. 

Zodhiates' case concluded yesterday with a guilty verdict:

A Waynesboro businessman has been found guilty of international parental kidnapping after getting involved in a Vermont same-sex couple's child custody fight.

A federal jury in Buffalo returned the verdict against Philip Zodhiates (zoh-dee-YAH'-taze) on Thursday following a trial that began last week. Zodhiates was also found guilty of conspiracy.

He faces up to eight years in prison.

The verdict, which followed a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, is the latest development in a case that has captured the nation’s interest and cast a spotlight on issues such as same sex marriage and parental rights.

Prosecutors say the Waynesboro, Virginia, resident helped a woman - Lisa A. Miller - and her 7-year-old daughter leave the country in 2009 when it was clear the woman — who had renounced her homosexuality — was losing a custody battle to her former partner.

Prosecutors say that Zodhiates drove Lisa Miller and the child from Virginia to the Rainbow Bridge, in western New York, where they crossed into Canada on their way to Nicaragua.

Prosecutors say the kidnapping was Miller’s attempt at keeping Isabella away from Janet Jenkins, her former partner, and what Miller now calls “the homosexual lifestyle.

True The Vote's Latest Fail: Discovering That A Citizen Voted

True the Vote, the Texas-based Tea Party group that is on a mission to uncover widespread voter fraud in order to promote suppressive voting measures, thought it had a winning story earlier this week when it announced that it had discovered that Arcan Cetin, the man accused of shooting five people at a mall in Washington state last weekend, had illegally voted as a noncitizen in three elections.

The story was quickly picked up by conservative media hoping to fan the flames of the story that noncitizens—and even murderous noncitizens—are out in great numbers stealing our elections.

The only problem was that Cetin is in fact a naturalized U.S. citizen and therefore was legally eligible to vote.

Seattle’s King 5 yesterday updated a story in which it had questioned Cetin’s citizenship, confirming that he was indeed a citizen when he voted:

UPDATE: KING 5 learned Thursday that Arcan Cetin, the 20-year-old who killed five people at Cascade Mall on Sept. 23, is in fact a U.S. citizen.

For days after the shooting, Cetin was described by local and federal law enforcement as being a permanent U.S. resident. He immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey when he was a child, after his mother married an American citizen.

On Thursday, a federal official told KING that further investigation revealed that Cetin is a naturalized U.S. citizen. That means he was legally registered to vote.

KING's initial story on Sept. 28 questioned state officials about how Cetin could register and vote without being a citizen.

Flip Benham Blames Unrest In Charlotte Following Police Shooting on Passage of LGBT Rights Bill

Radical right-wing activist Flip Benham showed up at another Charlotte, North Carolina, city council meeting this week, this time to blame the unrest in the city that followed the recent shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by police on the passage of a measure aimed at protecting LGBT rights earlier this year.

After reading a passage from Isaiah 1, Benham thundered that "the Lord Almighty has spoken to you on July 25th these very words, that if you continue this rebellion against Almighty God, blood is going to course down the corridors of our schools, our workplaces and our streets!"

"You need to turn back to Him," Benham bellowed. "It is you who unleashed hell in our city when you tried to say that boy and girls are not that ... You did it! Now repent [Charlotte mayor] Jennifer Roberts, in the name of Jesus Christ!"

The Trump Campaign's Latest Tactic Is Straight From The Conservative Echo Chamber

NBC News is reporting that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, in an effort to regain momentum following the candidate’s poor performance in Monday night’s debate, has begun distributing talking points to surrogates encouraging them to talk about ‘90s era sex scandals.

Putting aside Donald Trump’s own philandering history, these new attacks demonstrate the GOP’s inability to pull themselves out of the right-wing echo chamber and have a broader conversation with voters.

In 2012, Mitt Romney fell victim to conservative insistence that the polls were skewed and that he was therefore all but certain to win the presidency. This belief was ultimately contradicted by voters, who it turned out did not need to be unskewed.  Now, Trump and his allies in the conservative media are doing something similar, pretending that unscientific online polls are the real authoritative sources on public opinion.

Trump’s campaign was born in the far-right media. His ascent to the top of the Republican Party was driven by birtherism and seeded in the deepest, dankest of fever swamps. Then in 2014, while he was preparing to run for president, it has been widely reported that Trump received daily memos outlining the issues and views raised by callers to conservative radio shows. Thus, harsh and often racist anti-immigrant rhetoric became a central tenet of his campaign.

From Rush Limbaugh to Ann Coulter to Michael Savage, many of the leading conservatives now supporting the Trump campaign built their careers on the impeachment of Bill Clinton and spent years attempting to use sex to toxify the president’s public image.

What seems to be forgotten by many in the media and the conservative movement is what a miserable failure their efforts were. Clinton was reelected in 1996 and Democrats gained seats in Congress that year and again in 1998. Republicans lost two House speakers, Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston, and completely extinguished the flame of their 1994 “revolution” in pursuit of prurient details that would take down the president. And the cumulative effect of this entire period was the elevation of Bill Clinton’s approval ratings.

Despite this failure, two decades later conservatives are once against returning to this same old playbook, but with a new twist. Now they would like to blame Hillary Clinton for the alleged foibles of her husband and use them to convince the American people that she is not suited to hold public office.

Along with the obvious strategic shortcomings of this plan, there is an even more obvious dose of sexism behind these latest attacks—blaming a wife for the actions of her husband. Yet the Trump campaign presses forward, beginning the week with the too-cute-by-half notion that their candidate was courageous for not raising these issues during the debate.

The right-wing echo chamber has been demanding for months that these issues be discussed and Trump is happy to once again oblige, now through his surrogates in the media.

While the symbiotic relationship between Trump and the right-wing media is perhaps greater than with any other Republican candidate in history, it is not wholly unique. That’s why it’s no surprise that in the seven presidential elections since Rush Limbaugh’s radio program was syndicated nationally, the Republican candidate has only been able to win a plurality of the popular vote twice.

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