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CBN Asks Donald Trump: Do You Think God Raised You Up For The Presidency?

Yesterday, Donald Trump gave an interview to the Christian Broadcasting Network following his speech at the American Renewal Project’s gathering in Orlando, a speech that received a rave review from CBN founder and “700 Club” host Pat Robertson.

CBN reporter Jenna Browder asked Trump the question that has been on everybody’s mind: “You know, a lot of Christians believe that you have been chosen for such a time as this. Do you believe that’s true? Have you ever considered that maybe this is a divine calling?”

“Well you know, I’ve heard that from others,” Trump said. “I’ve heard it from pastors. I’ve heard it from others. I don’t really want to think about it because it’s too big of a burden but I can say this, that if I can do what I’m saying I can do, and I’m not only talking with the military and building up and safety and security, you know, our country’s in such bad shape in so many ways.”

When Browder asked Trump how he would “protect” the “Christian business leaders” who “are getting attacked because they don’t want to support gay couples or they don’t want to provide services,” Trump spoke vaguely about what he had said in his speech.

Robertson, meanwhile, hailed Trump’s “refreshing” remarks, while alleging that the IRS is persecuting “conservative Christians.”

Trump Campaign's Latest (?) Easily Refutable Lie

Donald Trump and his campaign lie so frequently that a headline reporting “the latest” is likely to be out of date by the time it's posted. But it is still somewhat remarkable that the campaign tells unnecessary lies that are so easily refuted by publicly available factsa phenomenon we have noted about other right-wing leaders we monitor like “historian” David Barton.

In a Friday morning email from the Trump campaign, which begins, “I’m amazed at the lies the liberal media spews day after day,” Trump lists a number of accomplishments that he says show that “we continue to prove them wrong.” One of the bullet points is this:

  • Pulling off an incredible Republican National Convention, with much higher viewership than the Democrats’ disastrous convention

Some aspects of this might be debatable. Many would agree that the Republican convention was “incredible,” though I suspect not for the same reasons as Trump.

The post-convention polls, which have moved solidly toward Hillary Clinton, seem to undermine the idea that the Democrats’ convention was “disastrous.” In fact, as the Washington Post reported, “A majority of respondents, 51 percent, said they were less likely to vote for Trump after seeing his convention”—the only time that’s ever happened according to data going back to 1984.

What is indisputably false is the claim that the Republican convention had “much higher viewership” than the Democrats. In fact, as it has been widely reported, Democrats drew millions more viewers than Republicans on three out of the four nights, and overall. It’s true that more people watched Trump’s final-night speech than Clinton’s, but that wasn’t good news for Trump, because more people disliked the speech than liked it

Glenn Beck Can't Believe People Can't See That We're Living Under God's Judgment

Last night, Glenn Beck told his studio audience that he simply cannot believe that his fellow Americans cannot clearly see that this nation is under God's judgment. 

God wants us all to be happy and get along, Beck said, but He also gives us free will, which we are using to make terrible choices, leading us to suffer the consequences of violating God's laws.

"Because of our choices as a nation," Beck said, "He's really clear, I mean, He does this every time. My gosh, I can't believe that we are the people that you read in the scriptures where you're going, 'These people are are so stupid.' I mean, I can't believe it, every time you read it and I've never understood it. I think I remember asking when I was young, 'How come the people in the Bible are always so stupid? Didn't they see?' No. No, they didn't see, and it's amazing to be living in that time and seeing how many people are just blind to it."

"So what does He do? He wakes us all up," Beck continued. "At some point, dad walks in the room right before you're going to be late for school and he turns on the light and rips the sheets off of you and all of a sudden you're freezing when you were toasty warm and he's like, 'Get up, now!' That's what's coming, but He's only doing it because He loves us."

LGBT Rights Opponent Newt Gingrich To Address Log Cabin Republicans

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is scheduled to headline the Log Cabin Republicans’ Spirit of Lincoln event in September, despite a long history of opposition to LGBT rights.

While Gingrich, a confidant of Donald Trump and a favorite of Religious Right activists, may have softened his views on LGBT issues since his time in Congress and failed campaign for president, and has been open to at least supporting the legal recognition of same-sex relationships, his record speaks for itself. Gingrich has:

  • Warned about the threat of “a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, is prepared to use harassment.”

The thrice-married Gingrich, it seems, has not viewed his own marital history as a reason to rethink his opposition to marriage equality, blaming his extramarital affairs on his patriotism.

The Log Cabin Republicans are mulling an endorsement of Trump, although the GOP presidential nominee has yet to meet with the group. Trump, however, is scheduled to speak to the anti-LGBT activists at the Values Voter Summit in September.

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/11/16

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/11/16

  • David Lane declares that "America is being assaulted by two fascism's: militant Islamic fascism and militant homosexual fascism."
  • Donald Trump will be speaking at the Values Voter Summit again this year.
  • Ann Coulter's latest column is every bit as reasonable as expected: "Craven Republicans who blame Trump for the media's lies may as well blame a rape victim for wearing a short skirt. Except with Trump, it's the Muslim standard: They're blaming a woman's rape on being a woman." 
  • Michael Bresciani asserts that "Trump is no knight in shining armor, but he is without doubt a Good Samaritan willing to step out from all those within the beltway and help."
  • Finally, FRC prays for voter I.D. laws: "May future presidents take seriously their biblical, constitutional duty to exercise true justice! May they nominate judges at every level who will affirm common sense systems, programs, and protections to prevent voter fraud. May God deliver our nation from the lawless spirit that has pervaded our land from the White House to the city streets. May He intervene to prevent voter fraud this year and expose every criminal act. May criminals be exposed, and brought to justice!"

Trump: Church Attendance Will Rise When I'm President

In his typically incoherent way, Donald Trump told a meeting of right-wing pastors today that church attendance has declined in America “and a lot of it has to do with the fact that you’ve been silenced.”

“You’ve been silenced like a child has been silenced,” he told the pastors at an Orlando event organized by the American Renewal Projectmaking the bogus claim that pastors are barred from addressing political issues. “Your power has been totally taken away.”

Trump said that “they took away your voice” but he can restore it by repealing the Johnson Amendment, which he claimed will in turn increase church attendance.

He then expressed dismay that people don’t even know about the existence of Sunday school: “I mean Christianity, when you think of what’s happening and you look at the numbers, I talk about Sunday school and people don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore, it’s true, they don’t even know what I’m talking about.”

“We’re gonna bring it back because it’s a good thing, it’s a good thing,” he said“They treat it like it’s a bad thing but it’s a great thing, not a good thing, it’s a great thing.”

Donald Trump: Vote For Me To Help Me Get Into Heaven

A decidedly low energy Donald Trump addressed the far-right American Renewal Project’s Orlando gathering today, where he stayed clear of any mention of issues like abortion rights or marriage equality, even though the event’s chief organizer, David Lane, had hoped he’d discuss “homosexual totalitarianism.”

Instead, Trump spoke about how he would increase the political power of Christians by repealing the Johnson Amendment, which he falsely claimed prohibited pastors from endorsing candidates and undermined the ability of Christians at large to speak freely about politics. Americans United explains:

In 1954, then-U.S. Sen. Lyndon Johnson championed an amendment to the federal tax code that prohibits all 501(c)(3) non-profits – not just churches – from endorsing or opposing candidates for political office. If they do not follow this rule, they risk paying a fine or losing their tax exemption.

The rule does not, however, stop 501(c)(3) groups from discussing candidates and their positions, nor does it stop houses of worship from advocating for or against legislation and ballot initiatives. Pastors are even allowed to endorse candidates as long as they make clear their endorsement is personal and they do not use the resources of their church to help or hurt specific politicians.

Trump seemed to undermine his own claim that Christians have no political clout or organizational ability in America today when he called on pastors to use their churches to increase voter turnout and distribute early-voting ballots for his presidential bid.

If elected, Trump pledged to be great for “all religions,” joking that a successful presidency would be the only way he could get into heaven:

Bryan Fischer's First Amendment Theory Is So Incoherent That Even He Doesn't Understand It

As we have noted several times before, American Family Radio's Bryan Fischer regularly promotes an entirely incoherent theory about the First Amendment, insisting that its prohibition against an establishment of religion only applies to Congress while also insisting that its prohibition against infringing upon the free exercise of religion applies to just about any government entity.

Fischer made this nonsensical argument against on his radio program today when he praised Joe Kennedy, a former assistant high school football coach who is now suing his school district for firing him for refusing to stop praying with students after games. 

Despite the fact that, time and again, Fischer has insisted that the provisions of the First Amendment only apply to Congress and therefore cannot be violated by any other entity, Fischer bizarrely declared that the school district has violated Kennedy's First Amendment rights.

"Good for you, coach Joe Kennedy," Fischer declared. "He's taking the district to court for violating his First Amendment rights, which is exactly what they've done ... What does the First Amendment say? It says that Congress—and Bremerton [School District,] they interpret that to mean any governmental authority, that would include schools because they're government schools—is not allowed to prohibit the free exercise of religion. What did Bremerton School District do when they told Joe Kennedy, 'You can't pray at midfield after a game'? They prohibited his free exercise of religion! They told him, 'Your constitutional right—even though this is government property and the government is specifically prohibited from infringing on your free exercise rights—we are going to destroy the First Amendment here, doesn't apply in Bremerton, doesn't apply on a football field, you have lost that right. You have not only lost that right, you have lost your job.'"

Fischer's current assertion that Bremerton is violating Kennedy's First Amendment rights directly contradicts his longstanding assertion that only Congress can possibly violate the First Amendment. As he wrote just last year:

The truth is that it is constitutionally and historically impossible for a school to violate the First Amendment. Why? Easy. Because a school is not Congress.

As the very first word in the First Amendment makes clear, the First Amendment applies to Congress and Congress alone. “Congress shall make no law...” The only entity that is restrained by the Founders’ Constitution is Congress. Since Congress is the only entity restrained by the First Amendment, Congress is the only entity that can violate it. 

NOM To Its Supporters: You're Pathetic

The latest fundraising email from the National Organization for Marriage is not a happy one; it starts with a graphic of the U.S. Capitol and the text, “This is pathetic.”

 The chastising letter from NOM President Brian Brown complains:

NOM began our critical Summer Membership Drive on July 22nd. We're now three weeks into our drive — the halfway point — and we have only received 256 contributions from our members. We're only 17% toward our goal of receiving 1,500 membership contributions of at least $35.

That is pathetic.

Brown goes on to complain that with only a 17 percent participation rate, NOM can’t convince courts to uphold anti-gay “religious liberty” laws, fight President Obama’s “dangerous gender ‘identity’ agenda,” or “lobby the next President and the US Senate to only appoint and confirm Supreme Court justices who will reverse the illegitimate and anti-constitutional ruling redefining marriage.”

Brown, who recently gloated about NOM’s role in defeating a Missouri Republican state legislator who had voted against a constitutional amendment protecting anti-LGBT discrimination, fumed that unless his supporters start forking over cash, “It means that gutless, turncoat legislators who have betrayed marriage with their votes may get away with their treachery.”

Brown just doesn’t understand—he can’t imagine!why people would be unenthusiastic about continuing to support NOM's anti-gay activism:

I really don't believe — I just can't imagine the thought — that NOM's members have quit fighting for the institution of marriage as a union between man and woman. And yet, only 256 of you have responded with an urgently needed membership contribution during this critical period.

I'm going to be blunt: we need 1,500 people to step up with a membership contribution of at least $35 in order to raise the $52,500 we're short so far this year. Without that type of response, we'll have no choice but to lay people off, cut programs and stop pursuing some of our most important work.

Regardless of what kind of response NOM’s shaming email brings in, Brown will have plenty of anti-equality work to keep him busy, as he recently became president of the World Congress of Families, a network of organizations dedicated to resisting LGBT equality and preserving anti-gay discrimination around the world.