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Irony Alert: Glenn Beck Says Those Who Defame Others Should Be Destroyed Through Lawsuits

On his radio program yesterday, Glenn Beck spent a segment discussing the situation in which a Texas pastor who had threatened to sue Whole Foods, claiming that employees had written an anti-gay slur on a cake that he had ordered, admitted to making up the story. 

Whole Foods, which had initially responded by threatening to counter-sue the pastor, announced that it was dropping its lawsuit after receiving an apology and Beck was upset that this guy was going to get away with trying to smear Whole Foods and destroy its reputation.

"Again, we find over and over and over, the leftist activists that run false flags," Beck said. "They make this stuff up or set people up and then run with it and then it's found out and nobody does anything about it. There is never a consequence ... You were trying to destroy their business. You were calling them the worst names you could. You were going to make them into a sub-human in their own community, and an apology is okay? Is there no consequence any more?"

"Don't drop the lawsuit," Beck said, because baseless smears like this "destroy people."

"You have to now teach others: Don't you dare even try it," Beck stated, "because if you're lying about it, I will destroy you ... Don't bring a knife to a gun fight. That's what I'm saying. You pull a knife on me, I got a gun so I'm gonna defend myself. Keep your cute little knife, but if you're trying to smear me, you're trying to defame me and you're taking me to court, okay, you could win, that's fine. But should we, as companies, go after those people and say, 'No, that's not enough, that's not enough, I want to teach everybody else, I'm putting an end to this nonsense.' You don't do that. You don't do that. Where everybody else settles and walks away and is just like forget it, let's just get back to work. I'm not sure that's the right thing to do anymore."

That is an interesting position for Beck to take, considering that he and his company are currently being sued for defamation and slander by Abdulrahman Alharbi, who was injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and whom Beck spent weeks accusing of being an al Qaeda "control agent" and "money man" who had financed the bombing and recruited the Tsarnaev brothers to carry it out.

Anti-Gay Activism Trumps Religious Freedom At UN 'Family' Event

Religious Right activists say they’re fighting to save religious liberty in America from the gay rights movement, but many of the same leaders are happy to partner with the most religiously repressive regimes in order to resist advances toward LGBT equality around the world.

Consider Monday’s “Uniting Nations for a Family Friendly World” event at the United Nations. It was sponsored by anti-gay and anti-choice groups like the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam, formerly known as the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute) and Family Watch International, which work to keep LGBT-friendly language out of international documents and agreements. Their cosponsors included the 25 countries that make up the Group of Friends of the Family (GoFF), a coalition of UN member states created last year to “reaffirm that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”

Among the freedom-loving members of GoFF whose representatives spoke at Monday’s “high-level event” was Iran, which the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom has just accused of seeking to “eradicate” the country’s Baha’is.

In fact, there’s a lot of overlap between GoFF members and countries identified by the Commission, currently chaired* by social conservative strategist Robert George, as the worst in the world for religious freedom: Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Malaysia, Egypt, and Iraq. Also included in GoFF are countries where anti-LGBT religious and political leaders have been generating hostility and threatening the lives and freedoms of LGBT people, including Nigeria, Uganda, Indonesia, and Kyrgyzstan.

But there was no talk of that unpleasantness at Monday’s three-hour event, which featured GoFF delegates pushing to have the U.N. emphasize “pro-family” policies in the implementation of sustainable development goals. The GoFF “Statement in Support of the Family” was presented by Valentin Rybakov, deputy minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Belarus, where, according to Human Rights Watch, authorities “pressure and arrest human rights activists and critics on spurious charges” and “regularly harass independent and opposition journalists.” Of course, there’s a similar situation in Russia, which doesn’t keep American Religious Right groups from swooning over Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay policies.

One of Putin’s defenders is C-Fam’s Austin Ruse. In a Monday email to his supporters, Ruse bragged that C-Fam “was asked by a number of Member States to organize this conference,” adding that “the family is under extreme pressure at the UN from those who want to redefine the family and to accept the notion that two people of the same sex can create a family and adopt children.”

At the UN, Ruse singled out Sudan and Saudi Arabia for praise, citing situations in which their representatives had “saved” UN documents from unwanted language on the family. For the record, the USCIRF calls Saudi Arabia “uniquely repressive” when it comes to religious freedom and says Sudan’s government “represses and marginalizes the country’s minority Christian community.”

During his remarks at the event, Ruse said the powerful force that “family” advocates are up against is the sexual revolution, which portrays family as a “patriarchal prison where pleasure and freedom go to die.” Without any apparent sense of irony, he declared that “tyrants have always known” that the family is “the real enemy to what they want” and its destruction is “how they get to the individual.”

Ruse announced the creation of a new coalition, Civil Society for the Family, which he said would be active in supporting GoFF’s work in defense of “traditional morality.”

The event also featured remarks from C-FAM’s Susan Yoshihara, Family Watch International’s Sharon Slater, the Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg, Human Life International’s Shenan Boquet, CitizenGo and HazteOir’s Gregory Mertz, the Institute for Family Policy’s Lola Volarde, and anti-marriage-equality activists Sherif Girgis and Helen Alvaré. Religious leaders who spoke included California pastor and anti-gay activist Jim Garlow, Imam Shamsi Ali of the Jamaica Muslim Center in Queens and Catholic Bishop John O’Hara of the Archdiocese of New York, who assured the group that they have Cardinal Dolan’s “enthusiastic support.”

A few highlights from other speakers:

  • Sharon Slater, representing Family Watch International and the UN Family Rights Caucus, said she is deeply concerned about the “global assault” on the “health and innocence of children” from comprehensive sexuality education, which she called a “war on children and our families.”
  • FRC’s Peter Sprigg said that attempts to create a new definition of marriage that distances it from its roots in the “order of nature itself” are inconsistent with countries’ responsibility to protect and support the institution. Marriage, he said, “predates all other forms of government” and “it is not the place of government to redefine or interfere with the natural family.”
  • Gregory Mertz, representing what he said are the 4.3 million members of CitizenGo and HazteOir, online organizing platforms for social conservatives, said the definition of family is “routinely under attack” and that the U.N. ignores its obligation to protect it. Last year when GoFF’s creation was announced, CitizenGo asked people to sign a petition praising these “brave governments” in order to “show these courageous countries” that “we stand behind them 100 percent.”
  • Sherif Girgis, co-author with Robert George and Ryan Anderson of a book on marriage, said that undermining the “stabilizing norms of marriage” will hurt “every aspect of the common good that a stable marriage serves.”
  • Susan Yoshihara told a story about being shut down by school officials when she wanted to opt her young daughter out of a reading of a book that talked about families with two dads or two moms. She said there would have been more of a conversation before the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, but that officials’ attitude now is “we won, you lose” — which she said was an example of why the law matters, and why it is important to resist changes in international law.
  • Helen Alvaré described defense of the family as both a rational and noble calling and said one can simultaneously affirm the “radical equality” of men and women while also recognizing their intrinsic complementarity, the topic of a 2014 Vatican conference for which Alvaré served as spokesperson. 

The statements from GoFF representatives were short and often repetitive statements about the centrality of the family to achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals.

The Russian delegate discussed Putin’s promotion of “traditional family values” and noted that the Commonwealth of Independent States, a confederation of former Soviet republics, has named 2017 the Year of the Family. The Russian representative also said it is important to UN organizations to stay within their mandates and for countries that support traditional families to speak up so that silence isn’t considered an acceptance of “dangerous trends.” He made a reference to pro-LGBT stamps issued by the UN Postal Administration in February, which infuriated some “traditional family” supporters. He said supporters of the traditional values need to be more active at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The representative of Sudan also talked about the divinely created complementarity inherent in “the nature of each sex.” He complained that many international documents on women do not recognize the natural family but “deliberately seek to weaken and erode it.” Efforts to promote alternative forms of the family are incompatible with universal principles in human culture “which distinguish us humans from the rest of God’s creation.”

The event had a bit of theater as well. A short video from Family Watch International showed a succession of people saying nice things about families, including Janice Shaw Crouse and Alexey Komov — who are currently attending another global social conservative event, the World Congress of Families in Tbilisi, Georgia — among others. In addition, half a dozen children took turns reading “A Declaration on the Rights of Children and Their Families: A Call from the Children of the World,” a document promoted by the UN Family Rights Caucus that they say has been signed “by thousands of children from every continent of the world.” Among its claims: Every child has a right to a married mother and father and the “right to innocence and childhood”— which is cited to attack sex ed programs and could be used to defend the kind of anti-gay “propaganda” laws that Russia and other countries are using to squelch advocacy for equality in the name of protecting children.

* UpdateHouse Speaker Paul Ryan announced on May 18 that Robert George has completed his second term and has been replaced on the Commission by the executive director of the Becket Fund, Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz.

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/17/16

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 5/17/16

  • David and Jason Benham will receive the 2016 "National Heroes of Faith Award" from Vision America in September, while their father, Flip, will recieve the "Don Wildmon Pastor Award."
  • Alex Jones says that "Glenn Beck is a Benedict Arnold, he is a sleeper cell."
  • Scott Lively calls Christians to battle: "Let’s help the populists defend national sovereignty and defeat the Cultural Marxists, AND be fully prepared to reoccupy the positions of cultural influence that the Marxists stole from us as they are pushed back across the cultural battlefield — similar to the way the Russian Orthodox Church under Putin has re-claimed the positions of cultural influence in the Russian Federation from the Soviet Communists."
  • TeaParty.org wonders if Michelle Obama is transgender: "It would explain a lot."
  • Finally, David Lane identifies the problem and the only solution: "Cannot secularists recognize what Secularism has done to America? Freedom is endangered. Secularists have imported destruction on America ... What do we do? Prayer must be re-established in our churches. We must beseech King Jesus to return to public education, higher learning and the public square in America."

Trey Gowdy Concedes: The Military Could Not Have Gotten To Benghazi In Time To Save Lives

A central element of conservative conspiracy theories spread in the aftermath of the September 11, 2012 attack on our diplomatic facility and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, has been the myth that the military could have responded to the attack more quickly and therefore saved lives.

In the most outlandish version of this story, President Obama or Hillary Clinton ordered the military to “stand down” rather than come to the aid of the Americans who were under attack.

Earlier this week, a letter from two House Democrats to Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican who is chairing the select committee investigating the Benghazi attack, revealed that the GOP’s own chief investigator acknowledged during the investigation that nothing “could have been done differently to affect the outcome in Benghazi.”

In an interview on Fox News today, Gowdy responded to this newly released information by acknowledging, “Whether or not they could have gotten there in time, I don’t think there is any issue with respect to that — they couldn’t.”

This conclusion is in line with the findings of previous Benghazi investigations. For example, after the House Armed Services Committee completed its investigation of the attack, Buck McKeon, the California Republican who was then the committee’s chairman, told reporters, “I think I've pretty well been satisfied that given where the troops were, how quickly the thing all happened and how quickly it dissipated, we probably couldn't have done more than we did.”

After spending more than two years and $6.9 million asking questions that have already been thoroughly answered, it is time for this investigation to conclude. At a minimum, those who propagated lies about the military’s ability to respond that night should now apologize.

Far-Right Pundit: 'God Is Using Donald Trump' To 'Show The Political Sins Of This Country'

Last week, televangelist Jim Bakker chatted with survivalist Steve Quayle as part of an End-Times-themed program called “The Days of Noah are Almost Upon Us,” and asked Quayle why he believes Donald Trump has been so successful in the GOP presidential contest.

Quayle declared that God is using Trump to reveal the sins of America, and that the Bible may even speak about the business mogul when it mentions the word “trumpet.”

“I believe God is using Donald Trump, whether you like him or hate him, I believe God is using him to trumpet the nature of what America believes and, in essence, we believe a lie,” he said. “Trump’ [sic] is in two times in the New Testament, ‘the last trump [sic] of God.’ The thing that’s fascinating for me is that God has used him as a prosecuting attorney to show the political sins of this country.”

Connecting The Dots With Frank Gaffney

For years, we have been covering the attacks that anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney has been leveling against Grover Norquist, a fellow conservative activist who has referred to Gaffney as his “stalker.”

Indeed, Gaffney has launched a very personal battle against Norquist, accusing the Americans for Tax Reform leader of helping the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist terrorist groups infiltrate the conservative movement. These attacks, which often invoke the fact that Norquist is married to a Muslim-American woman, have been demonstrated to be completely unfounded.

Gaffney has recruited other conservative leaders into his fight, including commentator Glenn Beck and Family Research Council official Jerry Boykin, and was involved in a campaign to get Norquist thrown off the board of the National Rifle Association.

Gaffney claims that he “saw terrorists in [Norquist’s] office space” and uses guilt-by-association logic to tie Norquist to all sorts of unsavory figures through the anti-tax activists outreach to Muslim voters on behalf of conservative causes. Recently, Beck tweeted a scandalous photo of Norquist and his wife “palling around with Keith Ellison,” a Muslim Democratic congressman from Minnesota who, according to the Beck’s tweet, is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and wants to “put thousands of prison converts to jihad on the streets.” Naturally, as one source of this “information,” Beck cited Gaffney’s group, the Center for Security Policy.

However, the recall vote against Norquist failed, representing a major rebuke to Gaffney’s efforts.

“The recall was simply the most recent nonsense from Frank Gaffney—my stalker of the last 17 years. The NRA membership defeated his effort last April and again this year,” Norquist said.

Now that the NRA members have kept Norquist on its board and rejected the message from Gaffney and others, it is clear that Gaffney, using his own connect-the-dots/guilt-by-association logic, is involved in the Muslim Brotherhood:

  • Frank Gaffney was a senior adviser to Ted Cruz
  • Ted Cruz has spoken several times at NRA events and praised the group.
  • The NRA board includes Grover Norquist.
  • Norquist is, according to Gaffney, a Muslim Brotherhood agent.
  • Therefore, Gaffney is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood!

While obviously it is patently absurd to suggest that Gaffney (or Norquist, for that matter) is a Muslim Brotherhood agent, his connect-the-dots logic works both ways, and can even be used against Gaffney himself.

Glenn Beck Fails Once Again In His Effort To Remove Grover Norquist From The NRA

Last year, when anti-tax activist Grover Norquist was up for re-election for a seat on the National Rifle Association's board of directors, Glenn Beck threatened to cancel his lifetime membership in the organization if Norquist retained his position. Insisting that Norquist was a front man for the Muslim Brotherhood, Beck declared that Norquist "is a very bad influence and a very bad man [and] if this is who the NRA decides to put on their board of directors, I don't think I can be associated with them."

Following Beck's threat, NRA president Wayne LaPierre reached out to Beck and promised that the organization would launch an investigation into Norquist that would be fully transparent and the results of which would be posted on the NRA website for all to see in order "to get to the bottom of this once and for all."

A year passed and the NRA investigation, whose results were never made public, reportedly found that the allegations against Norquist were without merit, which prompted Beck to switch course and throw his support behind a recall effort to remove Norquist from the board via a vote of NRA members.

For the last few months, Beck has used his radio and television shows to continue to make the case against Norquist and urge his audience members to vote to remove him from the NRA because he is a dangerous, deep-cover agent for Islamic radicals.

The deadline for votes to be submitted was May 1 and the results have now been tallied and, according to Paul Bedard of The Washington Examiner, Beck's crusade has failed:

A left field attempt to paint the nation's No. 1 tax foe as a closet Muslim radical was tossed in the trash this weekend when National Rifle Association members voted to reject a recall effort of board member Grover Norquist pushed by his foes led by radio ranter Glenn Beck.

"I greatly appreciate the strong support the NRA membership and the entire Second Amendment community provided in defeating the recall effort," Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, told Secrets.

Pointing a finger at a champion of the recall effort, he added, "The recall was simply the most recent nonsense from Frank Gaffney—my stalker of the last 17 years. The NRA membership defeated his effort last April and again this year."

...

Elected to the board six times, Norquist found support among top NRA officials and key former government officials like former Reagan-era Attorney General Ed Meese and former Bush Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

In an email to Secrets, Todd Rathner, an NRA board of director, said, "I was confident the membership of the NRA would see this recall vote for what it was, an attack on the NRA in a year when we must be focused on critical elections. With the Supreme Court hanging in the balance, I am glad this petty distraction is behind us."

And Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, said, "Grover Norquist is a great asset to the gun rights movement. It was important to the cause of freedom that he won this unjustified recall effort."

Confirmation of his victory came just one week before the annual NRA Convention, taking place in Louisville, Ky., beginning Friday. 

Given that Beck had warned that the effort to remove Norquist from the NRA was the last chance to stop him and that Beck had also publicly stated that he could not be a part of the NRA if Norquist was allowed to remain on the board, the only option he seems to have now is to stand by his principles and resign from the NRA.

Update: Predictably, Beck is already backing away from his threat to quit the NRA, saying on his radio program today that leaving would only weaken the organization and so he must "hold the line" and continue to "duke it out."

"What are you going to do, unplug from everything?" he asked. "Do you just unplug? Or do you stay in and pitch? I don't think we can unplug. I think that is a really bad idea, to unplug."

Jeffress: Pro-LGBT Businesses A Greater Threat Than ISIS

Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, praised his state’s leaders yesterday for refusing to comply with an Obama administration directive on facilities access for trans students in public schools, saying that “it’s time for an all-out rebellion against this absolute tyranny of the Obama administration.” He added that business interests pressuring lawmakers not to enact anti-LGBT measures are a greater “threat to freedom of religion in America” than ISIS.

Jeffress, a key Religious Right ally to Donald Trump, discussed the topic yesterday with Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, who was guest-hosting the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program.

Jeffress said that the U.S. needed to admit that “we are a country based on the Judeo-Christian foundation, and whether you’re Jewish or Christian, I mean, we believe that gender is something that is assigned by God.”

Recognition of transgender rights, he said, means that “we are headed toward chaos,” adding that “at the root of this is society’s rebellion against the plan of God, that’s what this is all about.”

Jeffress and Starnes praised Texas officials’ resistance to the administration’s directive, with Jeffress noting that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick “often” worships at his church when he’s in Dallas.

“I think they’re going to stand firm on this and I hope that every governor of every state will have the guts to do that,” Jeffress said. “I think it’s time for an all-out rebellion against this absolute tyranny of the Obama administration.”

When Starnes noted that Mississippi has announced that it will comply with the administration guidelines, Jeffress laid the blame on the Chamber of Commerce and business interests, which he said were a greater threat to American liberties than ISIS.

“It comes down to money, Todd, that’s what it’s about,” he said. “And when states are being faced with the loss of business, they tend to fold real quickly. And I’ve said often that the greatest threat to freedom of religion in America is not ISIS, it’s the Chamber of Commerce. I mean, it’s the businesses that say to our representatives, ‘Oh, don’t pass laws like that, don’t pass these religious freedom laws because people will interpret that as anti-gay and we’ll lose business.’”

Alex Jones: 'Michelle Obama Is A Man' Who Murdered Joan Rivers To Cover It Up

InfoWars broadcaster and Donald Trump ally Alex Jones is back to claiming that First Lady Michelle Obama is secretly a transgender woman, but this time he’s adding a new twist to his conspiracy theory: that Obama had comedienne Joan Rivers killed after she joked about the first lady being trans.

Jones told his listeners yesterday that he’s seen enough videos on the internet to substantiate the rumor.

“The national media takes it when I talk about this and acts like I’m crazy,” he said. “Listen, there’s hundreds of millions views on YouTube.” (There are also millions of views on videos claiming that Obama and other leaders are shapeshifting reptilian humanoids, another conspiracy promoted by Jones.)

He went on to say that the first lady acts like she’s “god” and that the president wants schools to “teach five-year-olds how to be trannies.”

“Don’t forget,” Jones said, “the famous comedienne Joan Rivers said, ‘Of course everyone knows she’s a tranny.’ She’s dead serious, ‘She’s a man.’ Deader than a doornail in a routine operation where basically she had fire poured down her throat and was a fire-breathing goblin. Dead on arrival. Shoot your mouth off, honey, you will die.”

Jones didn’t stop there.

“I really think — her daughters don’t look like her — I really think this is some weird hoax they did again,” he said, “just like he didn’t get sworn in on the Bible, it was the Quran. All this weirdness, I mean, I used to laugh at this stuff, but man, it’s all about rubbing our noses in it. I think it’s all an arranged marriage, it’s all completely fake and it’s this big sick joke because he’s obsessed with transgender, just like some weird cult or something. I think Michelle Obama is a man. I really do. I really do. I believe it.”