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Ted Cruz's Religious Right Support Carries Him To Iowa Victory

So much for the much-expected death of the Religious Right.

Last night, Ted Cruz came out on top of the Iowa caucuses by building a base of conservative evangelical supporters.

According to CNN, about 64 percent of caucus-goers identified as “born-again or evangelical Christians,” up from 57 percent in 2012. Evangelical Republicans put Cruz over the top: He won 28 percent of the vote overall, but was at 34 percent among evangelicals. Cruz came in third among non-evangelical voters, behind Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.

Throughout the presidential race, Cruz has been painting himself as not just the candidate of conservative Republicans and Tea Party members, but the candidate of Christians — or, at least, the Christians who share his particular brand of theology and politics. Cruz’s father and top campaign surrogate, Rafael Cruz, has said that his son has a divine anointing and likened him to Jesus, claiming that his campaign is all about sharing “the love of Jesus Christ” with “every person in America.” Glenn Beck, for his part, hailed the Texas senator as God’s answer to his prayers. To be successful, Cruz said, “we have to awaken and energize the Body of Christ.”

“Sorry, Ted, but an awakened and energized Body of Christ serves the Kingdom of God, not your political agenda,” Christian author Rachel Held Evans wrote in response to the senator’s bold claim.

Cruz and his father may portray his candidacy as a divine mission, but for the Religious Right, doing God’s will requires not just sufficient piety but the political power to get things done.

Sensing a chance to drive the GOP even further to the right, and to put the power of the White House behind their political agenda, the movement’s leadership has almost entirely rallied behind Cruz. And with good reason — he has vowed to implement their agenda with promises to defy the Supreme Court on gay marriage, consider engaging in anti-gay civil disobedience, sign sweeping anti-abortion legislation, go after Planned Parenthoodappoint ultraconservative justices to the bench and block threats to religious liberty of Christians, which he says are rampant in America. For good measure, he announced his candidacy at Liberty University, the institution founded by evangelical firebrand and conservative powerbroker Jerry Falwell.

Cruz assiduously courted both Iowa-based and national Religious Right leaders. In Iowa, Rep. Steve King, far-right radio host Steve Deace and activist Bob Vander Plaats, who helped steer Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum to victory in the state in 2008 and 2012, respectively, all endorsed Cruz. He ended his Iowa campaign by stumping with the trio along with national figures including radio personality Glenn Beck, anti-gay hate group leader Tony Perkins, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas.

Trump, in an effort to keep up, trotted out his own evangelical endorsements, including former Gov. Sarah Palin and Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., and launched a bizarre attack on Cruz’s faith, claiming that “not a lot of evangelicals come out of Cuba.”

But there has been little question that Cruz is the Religious Right’s candidate.

Cruz is betting that stature in the Religious Right will help him drive up evangelical turnout in the upcoming South Carolina primary and on Super Tuesday, colloquially known as the “SEC primary” because it is dominated by Southern states. He has insisted that winning evangelical support in the Republican primary will translate into success in the general election, claiming that Republican nominees have lost the last two contests because the party’s insufficiently conservative nominees failed to motivate the Religious Right base.

To inspire that base, the Texas senator is spouting toxic rhetoric about his ideological opponents and hyping purported threats to the religious liberty of American Christians, all while courting endorsements from the Religious Right’s most extreme wing.

At times, Cruz lifts his apocalyptic rhetoric about impending dangers to freedom straight from his most extreme supporters. Cruz borrowed Deace’s line about a gay-led “jihad” threatening religious liberty on the stump and has pushed bogus persecution stories concocted by Religious Right groups about Christians coming under assault.

Last Fall, Cruz appeared in Iowa alongside a pastor who has called for the government to use the death penalty to punish homosexuality. Days before the caucuses commenced, Cruz campaigned with Perkins, the head of an anti-LGBT hate group who helped coalesce Religious Right support behind his candidacy, and Robertson, the reality TV star who told Cruz supporters that they must “rid the earth” of gay marriage advocates because they are ushering in “evil” and “depravity.” Robertson said that voters should pick Cruz because he “loves James Madison,” before sharing a quote on the biblical origins of U.S. government that is falsely attributed to Madison.

When Cruz faced criticism from opponents like Huckabee who said that Cruz and his supporters weren’t serious about outlawing abortion, the senator’s campaign unveiled a “pro-life coalition” co-chaired by a radical activist who believes a just government would execute abortion providers .

What’s good for Cruz is bad for our increasingly diverse country. When Cruz portrays himself as the candidate of “the body of Christ” and claims God’s blessing — and embraces the most extreme wing of his party as he’s doing it — he signals not to just non-Christians but to Christians that don’t share his particular worldview that he’s not interested in working for them. But that is the very reason why Cruz is the candidate who the Religious Right has desperately been seeking: someone who will give them his undivided attention in a country where they are terrified of losing relevance.

Rafael Cruz Says The 'Presence Of The Holy Spirit' Convinced His Son To Run For President

Rafael Cruz, father and chief campaign surrogate of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, appeared on The Dove TV's "Focus Today" program last week, where he revealed that the "presence of the Holy Spirit" convinced his son to run for president.

As the elder Cruz explained, Ted and his family "spent six months in prayer" trying to decide if he should seek the presidency, which culminated in a two-hour prayer session at his church where his family and top advisers "spent two hours on our knees seeking God's will about this decision."

During that prayer session, Cruz's wife received "inspiration from God" and told Ted to "seek God's face, not God's hand" and, at that moment, the Holy Spirit descended upon everyone in the room and convinced Ted to run.

"It was as if there was a presence of the Holy Spirit in the room and we all were at awe," Cruz stated, "and Ted, all that came out of his mouth, he said, 'Here am I Lord, use me. Here am I Lord, I surrender to whatever Your will for my life is.' And it was at that time that he felt a peace about running for president of the United States."

Mike Huckabee Quits Presidential Race, Can Now Spend More Time Peddling Bogus Diabetes Cures

Mike Huckabee suspended his campaign last night after winning the support of less than two percent of Iowa caucus-goers.

But even before he officially dropped out of the race, the former Arkansas governor and 2008 caucus winner had begun lashing out at the Religious Right leaders who had almost completely coalesced behind Ted Cruz.

After all, Huckabee had vowed to outlaw abortion with a sweeping presidential decree, promised to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling before it criminalized Christianity and destroyed America, and literally turned Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ release from detention into a campaign rally, volunteering to go to jail on her behalf. The former Arkansas governor even pledged to boycott Doritos because the company released rainbow-colored chips benefiting an LGBT suicide prevention group and starred in a bizarre anti-gay film.

Nonetheless, Cruz captured most of the momentum on the Religious Right, offering similar promises to flout the Supreme Court on gay marriage and ban abortion, although Huckabee tried to attack him as a tithe-withholding phony.

But Huckabee’s loss won’t prevent him from leaving a legacy as a mean-spirited politician who tried to advance his political career by bashing gay peoplemocking transgender youth and spouting apocalyptic rhetoric.

At least Huckabee has a fallback career advertising fraudulent “cures” to diabetesAlzheimer’s and cancer.

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/1/16

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 2/1/16

  • It sounds like things are not going so well over at Glenn Beck's media empire.
  • You won't find this kind of hard-hitting news anywhere else! "BarbWire ahead of the Game in Reporting on Obama’s Breastfeeding Troops."
  • Steven Andrew provides four reasons why Mike Huckabee "would be the greatest president since Lincoln."
  • Rep. Steve King says that Donald Trump is buying his endorsements and Trump-endorser Sarah Palin thinks that King might be "huffing ethanol."
  • Jerry Johnson, president and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters, says that he wants the NRB "to be for the First Amendment, what NRA is for the Second Amendment."
  • Finally, Donald Trump is now openly encouraging his crowds to "knock the crap" out of hecklers and promising to pay any legal fees.

Alex Jones: Bernie Sanders Will Throw Us In Forced Labor Camps Like Mao Zedong

Earlier today, Alex Jones spoke with InfoWars reporter Richard Reeves about the upcoming Iowa caucus, with Reeves saying he’d “love nothing better than to see Bernie Sanders take a victory here in Iowa.”

“I agree, he would be great to defeat,” Jones responded. “But I don’t want to be put in his forced labor camp. I don’t want to be ruled over by that piece of crap.”

Jones continued: “It’s so creepy to have a hardcore commie who wants to put me in a forced relocation camp like Mao Zedong.”

“If Bernie Sanders somehow were to become president, I suspect that you and I would become illegal immigrants somewhere,” Reeves added.

'I Have Not Gotten The Big Things Wrong': Glenn Beck Begs Iowa Voters Not To Support Donald Trump

Today, Glenn Beck revealed that he has converted his radio studio into a full-scale replica of the Oval Office and will now be broadcasting his daily radio program from this room:

Why Beck spent who knows how much money constructing an Oval Office replica to be used for a radio broadcast is anybody's guess, not to mention how much it'll cost to ship it all to Jerusalem so Beck can continue to broadcast once America collapses.

And while he may have a fancy new set, not much else about the program has changed, as it still features Beck begging voters in Iowa not to vote for Donald Trump and to heed his warning "because I have not gotten the big things wrong."

"I beg you," Beck said. "If you have ever listened to me and you have heard 1999/Osama bin Laden, the banking crash of '08, the caliphate, and those are just the big ones."

Beck admitted that while he may have been wrong about a few small things here and there, "I've not gotten the ones wrong where I said, 'I'll fall on my sword,' have I? Where I said, "Listen guys, I know this one to be true.'"

"I have not gotten the big things wrong," Beck insisted, claiming that he foresaw 9/11, the 2008 economic collapse and, falsely, the rise of the caliphate in the Mideast. This, of course, conveniently brushes aside all of the things he has demonstrably gotten wrong as meaningless and unimportant, especially in comparison to the few "big things" that he supposedly got right.

Nevertheless, Beck insisted that his warning about Trump is one of those "big things" and therefore is something that should be heeded.

"If you have ever, ever taken to heart what I am saying," Beck told voters in Iowa, "please, please do not vote for Donald Trump. Please! ... This guy is a very dangerous guy."

Iowans should not vote for Trump, he continued, especially considering that they have an opportunity to vote for Ted Cruz.

"This is the guy," Beck said. "I've never felt this way. I've never endorsed anybody. Ever! This is the guy. I truly believe he was raise for this time!"

Anti-Planned Parenthood Lawyer Shames Attorney For Once Wearing A 'Very Revealing' Top

Last month, a grand jury in Houston that had been convened to investigate Planned Parenthood in the wake of undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) instead indicted CMP’s David Daleiden and his colleague Sandra Merritt on charges related to their infiltration of the women’s health provider.

Planned Parenthood opponents, searching for a way to spin the indictments, have latched on to the fact that one of the 300 attorneys in the office that launched the investigation is a member of the board of the local Planned Parenthood affiliate — never mind that the district attorney’s office disclosed the connection from the very beginning and made it clear that the attorney in question would have nothing to do with the case.

But the fact that the attorney with the Planned Parenthood connection had nothing to do with the activists’ indictments hasn’t stopped Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, the attorney famous for defending anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and who is representing Merritt, from questioning her influence on the case and calling her out for once wearing “hot pants and a very revealing tank top” at a Planned Parenthood fundraising event.

A post on Liberty Counsel’s website on Friday say that the “history and actions” of the district attorney’s office “raise serious questions about bias” and includes a photo of Laruen Reeder, the attorney who is on the local Planned Parenthood board, at a costume party fundraiser for the organization “wearing a revealing tank top and hot pants.”

Staver continued this line of attack in an interview with Pennsylvania radio host Bobby Gunther Walsh today, in which he insisted that “it remains to be seen” whether Reeder influenced the investigation and added that she had once been “pictured in hot pants and a very revealing tank top” at the Planned Parenthood fundraiser.

Michele Bachmann: Obama Seeks Global Domination As Battle Of Armageddon Approaches

Former Minnesota Republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann said on Saturday that the Syrian Civil War is paving the way for an apocalyptic war between Israel and foreign powers.

Bachmann, who has previously claimed that President Obama and the gay rights movement are ushering in the Last Days, told radio hosts Jan Markell and Eric Barger that “the world is about to give legitimacy to the Islamic State” while, at the same time, Russian and Iranian military intervention in Syria on behalf of its dictator Bashar Assad has paved the way for a future invasion of Israel by the two countries in order to seize its energy resources, just as laid out in the Bible.

“I believe that they are positioning themselves so that someday they could invade Israel to be able to take over the vast stores of oil and natural gas that Israel is controlling,” she said, adding that “this very unique new partnership between Iran and Russia in Syria” with the support of China “lines up with scripture.” All of these powers, she said, are seeking “a global world order to keep their game going into the future and to support them if they would invade against Israel.”

And who will lead this global world order? Why, none other than Obama.

Bachmann cited a report from the right-wing outlet Investor’s Business Daily about a story that originated with the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida, which claimed that Obama is trying to become secretary-general of the United Nations while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is thwarting his bid. If this story sounds too strange to be true, that’s probably because it is: We haven’t been able to track down the original Al-Jarida article, but it is the same newspaper which fallaciously reported that Obama threatened to shoot down Israeli aircraft trying to bomb Iran’s nuclear program.

Nonetheless, Bachmann ran with the claim, insisting that Netanyahu is rallying Arab nations against Obama’s bid to lead the United Nations.

“Obama would only go into an empowered, powerful UN, powerful enough to see the United States come under the UN’s authority,” Bachmann warned.

Barger suggested that Obama may in fact be the Antichrist: “The whole idea of Obama being able to extend his presidency, even enhance it and expand it, I don’t think I need to say what I’m thinking because I think a lot of the listeners are thinking the same thing, and we all are too, and as you shake your head you wonder what’s coming next.”

Bachmann closed the program out by saying that we are witnessing the fulfillment of biblical prophecies and that we must warn others “with a Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other” about the coming apocalypse.

David Barton Falsely Claims Justice Breyer Acknowledged That 'The Bill Of Rights Came Out Of The Bible'

Last year, we posted a clip of David Barton falsely claiming that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer had stated in a court decision that "we all know that all of our due processes clauses in our Bill of Rights came out of the Bible." At the time, Barton failed to cite the case in which Breyer supposedly made this assertion, but we guessed that Barton was citing Breyer's 1999 concurrence in Lilly v. Virginia, in which he stated that "the right of an accused to meet his accusers face-to-face is mentioned in, among other things, the Bible, Shakespeare, and 16th and 17th century British statutes, cases, and treatises."

As we noted at the time, Breyer was not asserting that "all of our due process in our Bill of Rights came out of the Bible," but was simply acknowledging that the right to face one's accuser is mentioned in the Bible and elsewhere.

Of course, Barton is never one to let the facts get in the way of promoting his agenda and so we were not surprised to see Barton repeat this claim in his most recent episode of his "Foundations of Freedom" series, where he actually exaggerated Breyer's point even further to now claim that Breyer had asserted that "we know all of the Bill of Rights came out of the Bible":

In this instance, Barton actually cited the supposed source, which was indeed the Lilly v. Virginia decision and which anyone can look up and read for themselves to see that Breyer in no way made the assertion that Barton initially claimed last year, much less the even more outrageously false version that Barton put forth in his most recent DVD series.