American Family Association

The GOP's Hate Summit: A Who's Who Of The 2014 Values Voter Summit

This weekend, Republican elected officials including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Gov. Bobby Jindal will take part in what has become an annual ritual for potential GOP presidential contenders: they will seek to curry the favor of the Religious Right by speaking at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit.

In doing so, they put themselves in the company of some of the most radical groups and activists working today to dehumanize LGBT people, roll back reproductive rights, tear down the wall between church and state, and deny free exercise rights to religious minorities.

The Values Voter Summit’s sponsor, the Family Research Council, regularly issues false and demeaning smears about LGBT people and advocates for an America ruled according to the dictates of a small sliver of right-wing Christians. Just this month, the group’s president Tony Perkins suggested that the Constitution’s religious liberty protections do not apply to Muslims.

The other primary sponsors of the event, the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, and Gary Bauer’s American Values have equally if not more egregious records of extremism. In addition, a number of fringe groups are contributing to the conference by sponsoring exhibition tables, including Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), which pushes discredited conversion therapy on LGBT people; the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR); and the World Congress of Families, which works with activists throughout the world to push harsh anti-gay laws.

But the Values Voter Summit’s speakers do not have to visit the event’s exhibition hall to encounter extremism. They will find plenty of that in their fellow speakers. Below is an introduction to some of the speakers who will be sharing a stage with prominent GOP elected officials at this week’s summit.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the chief sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Now a widely recognized spokesman for social conservative causes, Perkins served two terms as a Republican legislator in the Louisiana House of Representatives before launching a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2002. Perkins has:

  • Contended that the anti-bullying “It Gets Better” project is “immoral,” “disgusting,” and promotes “perversion.”
  • Defined efforts by the Obama administration to advance LGBT rights abroad as a push for “radical sexualism” and “global homosexuality.”
  • Praised a Uganda bill that would have condemned gays and lesbians to death as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.”
  • Warned that LGBT rights advocates will launch a holocaust against Christians, placing those that oppose same-sex marriage into “boxcars.”
  • Suggested that Christian clergy who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious liberties as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”
  • Warned that lawmakers who voted to repeal the military ban on openly gay service members would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin earned a public rebuke from President George W. Bush when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the "War on Terror" as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. In 2012, he was named executive vice president of the Family Research Council.

Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative, and once told the group that President Obama used health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him. Boykin has also:

  • Suggested that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell led to the “absolute destruction of our military.”
  • Described CIA head John Brennan as “very sympathetic to the jihadist cause.”
  • Denounced the repeal of laws banning women from military combat service.
  • Blamed the Sandy Hook school massacre on the presence of secularism in society.

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the dean of the Liberty University School of Law and the founder and chairman of its affiliate, Liberty Counsel, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government in order to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and Western civilization. Through his position at Liberty Counsel, Staver has:

Gary Bauer

Gary Bauer is the president of Values Voter Summit sponsor American Values, a former president of the Family Research Council, and one-time Republican presidential hopeful. While serving in the Reagan administration as a Department of Education official, Bauer was named chairman of the president’s Special Working Group on the Family. Bauer has:

  • Reacting to A&E’s suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for racist and homophobic remarks, declared that progressives are waging a “jihad against America’s cultural norms,”
  • Warned that President Obama is “obsessed” with LGBT issues, and claimed that his “secular” agenda will “destroy” America.
  • Claimed that Supreme Court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage were acts of “judicial terrorism” putting America on “the verge of criminalizing the Book of Genesis.”
  • Wondered why African Americans keep “falling through the cracks  of society despite the fact that “every major goal” of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been reached.

Benham Brothers

Twin brothers Jason and David Benham were catapulted to national attention this year when an HGTV show that they were set to star in was cancelled following revelations about their anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Muslim activism. Since the show’s cancellation, the brothers have become a cause célèbre for the Religious Right, which has lifted them up as an example of the supposed persecution of conservative Christians in America. One or both of the brothers have:

  • Asserted that the LGBT equality movement is part of a “spiritual fight" between God and the “kingdom run by Satan.”
  • Urged the city of Charlotte, NC to deny permits to an LGBT Pride event, calling it a “vile” and “destructive” activity that “should not be allowed in our city.”
  • Compared the fight against marriage equality to opposing Nazi Germany.
  • Called an Islamic community center a “den of iniquity” and referred to Muslims as “the enemy attacking" America.
  • Organized a prayer rally to coincide with the 2012 Democratic National Convention, declaring that America must repent for “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.”
  • Led protests outside of abortion clinics, praising anti-choice demonstrators for taking a stand at “the gates of hell” and confronting the “altars of Moloch.”

E.W. Jackson

The 2013 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, E.W. Jackson is a longtime activist who has likened the Democratic Party to the Antichrist, said Planned Parenthood is worse than the Ku Klux Klan, suggested that President Obama is a Muslim and demonic, and fought against efforts to desegregate public housing. Jackson’s most pernicious rhetoric has focused on LGBT people. He has:

  • Referred to gays and lesbians as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”
  • Criticized abortion and in vitro fertilization as “evils” that carry “the mark of Satan.”
  • Argued that gay marriage will release a “torrent of wickedness” that will result in man-animal marriages.
  • Said homosexuality is connected to pedophilia and that homosexuality also “poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things we can think of.”

Star Parker

Star Parker is a longtime Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-choice advocacy. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust and blamed “sexual promiscuity” for nearly all financial and societal problems. At the 2011 Values Voter Summit, she claimed that God was getting ready to punish America for marriage equality and legal abortion. Parker has also:

  • Declared that LGBT people are forcing Christians “into the closet.”
  • Mused that family life for African Americans was “more healthy” under slavery than it is today
  • Argued that the rate of HIV infections in Washington, D.C., would spike once the city legalized marriage equality, “transforming [the city] officially into Sodom.”
  • Tied same-sex marriage to failing public schools.

Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes, a Fox News commentator and the author of several books including this year’s “God Less America," specializes in generating stories of dubious accuracy purporting to illustrate the persecution of conservative Christians in America. Recently, he has:

  • Speculated that public school officials oppose abstinence-only programs to protect their “condom profits.”
  • Asserted that Obama refuses to take action against ISIS to “accommodate the Islamic faith at the expense of all other faiths.”
  • Blamed Obama for “ orchestrating” the protests in Ferguson, Mo., in an effort to exacerbate racial tensions.
  • Baselessly accused the University of Wisconsin of intentionally inflating grades to boost the academic performance of minority students.
  • Worried that LGBT rights advocates will inevitably demand the deportation of Christians.

Sandy Rios

Sandy Rios, a former president of Concerned Women for America, now hosts a daily radio show on American Family Radio, the network run by the American Family Association. At last year’s summit, she promoted ex-gay therapy and said Matthew Shepard’s murder was a “complete fraud.” Like other AFR hosts, she frequently promotes right-wing conspiracy theories, including claims that President Obama was not born in the United States. Rios has also:

  • Insisted that one of Obama’s first priorities as president was to resettle thousands of Palestinian refugees in the U.S. and provide them with food stamps.
  • Advanced the myth that the health care reform law “says that Muslims will be exempt from the government mandate to purchase health insurance.”
  • Compared the relationships of same-sex couples to those of kidnapper Ariel Castro and his captives.
  • Warned that the “homosexual takeover” of the military would jeopardize the effectiveness of the armed forces.
  • Frequently links the gay community to child abuse.

Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte Gabriel is the founder and president of ACT! for America, where she works with local activists throughout the country to promote fears that Sharia law is taking hold in the U.S. and must be banned and to challenge textbooks that she believes are insufficiently critical of Islam. She makes frequent media appearances to warn of what she calls the “ secret Islamification” of the West. Among other attacks on Mulsim-Americans, Gabriel has:

This post was updated to include Brigitte Gabriel following an FRC announcement that she would speak at the summit. A previous edition of this post listed incorrectly listed James Dobson, one of the founders of the FRC, as a speaker.

American Family Association

The American Family Association (AFA) has been a long-time promoter of "traditional moral values" in the media, particularly television. AFA built its reputation on organizing boycotts against sponsors of TV shows with "anti-Christian" messages and ideas, or against companies it claims support the so-called "homosexual agenda" or marriage equality.

Bryan Fischer Wants To Require All Immigrants To Convert To Christianity

On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer recommended that the United States adopt an immigration policy based upon the Bible, meaning that all immigrants must convert to Christianity and completely leave behind their native practices, beliefs, culture, and language.

If we "did immigration God's way," Fischer said, that would mean that "those who came to our shores would be expected to adopt our religious values and traditions — that would mean Christianity and not Islam — and they would leave behind their religion and their god."

"That would mean leaving behind Islam and Allah," he explained, as well as adopting Judeo-Christian values, which means they they would not be allowed to complain about the sale or consumption of bacon or the inability to obtain Halal foods.

"If this were to happen," he concluded, "we would have one god, we would have one law, we would have one culture, and we would have one language":

Interestingly, Fischer made this recommendation once before but the idea was so outrageous that the American Family Association yanked his original column and changed it.  Despite that, Fischer, of course, has not actually changed his views one iota.

Tony Perkins Uses Meriam Ibrahim To Promote Anti-Obama, Anti-Gay Agenda

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins has excitedly touted a big “get” for this week’s Values Voter Summit: Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman who was persecuted by the Sudanese government over charges of apostasy. Evangelicals in the U.S. were part of the international chorus of voices who worked to keep a spotlight on Ibrahim’s plight, and Ibrahim may wish to thank some of the activists who advocated for her freedom.

But Perkins and FRC have another agenda entirely: They have been using Ibrahim as a prop in their relentless, over-the-top attacks on the Obama administration — and their claims that Christians in America are themselves facing government persecution.

Ibrahim’s vividly compelling case — for being a Christian, she was shackled to a prison floor with one small child while pregnant, then gave birth in jail — drew worldwide attention. Ibrahim had a Muslim father but was raised by a Christian mother, and in 2011 she married a Catholic American, Daniel Wali.  She was arrested last September after being charged with apostasy — abandoning the Muslim faith — and for adultery given that the court didn’t recognize her marriage to a Christian.  This May she was sentenced to receive 100 lashes and be hanged.

An Amnesty International campaign on her behalf generated more than a million signatures. European leaders condemned her treatment and called for her release. In the U.S., religious and political leaders called for her freedom. A petition on the White House website pushed by Perkins and others gained more than 50,000 signatures.

On May 15, the White House condemned her sentence in a statement by National Security Council Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden, which urged the government of Sudan to respect Ibrahim’s religious freedom andto respect the fundamental freedoms and universal human rights of all its people.” The State Department also expressed concerns in May; Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement in June.

Ibrahim was freed on June 23, then re-arrested and detained briefly when she tried to leave the country. She was sheltered by the U.S. embassy for about a month until she was permitted to leave Sudan in late July. She is now living with her husband and children in New Hampshire.

Perkins has repeatedly used Ibrahim’s plight as a way to hammer the Obama administration. 

In late May, Perkins fumed:

While many international groups have taken up efforts to pressure the Sudanese government to release Meriam and her children, the Obama administration has said little, and done nothing.

Think about this: two innocent American children are imprisoned abroad as their life hangs in the balance. If President Obama will not act in a situation like this, what will he act upon? Does Obama care?

Fox News’ hosts got in on the act, even as its own website was contradicting those claims.  A May 31 Fox News story by Joshua Rhett Miller was headlined, “US 'fully engaged' in case of Sudanese woman sentenced to die for Christian faith.” It included a quote from the State Department:

Through the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, the White House and the State Department, we have communicated our strong concern at high levels of the Sudanese government about this case,” State Department spokeswoman Nicole Thompson wrote FoxNews.com in an email. “We have heard from many, many Americans that they are deeply alarmed by [Ibrahim’s] plight. We have conveyed these views to the Government of Sudan.”

Yet the video at the top of that very story on the Fox News website featured Perkins saying the U.S. government was doing “so far, nothing that we can tell” other than condemning Ibrahim’s treatment. Megyn Kelly fumed that the State Department had “refused to say bupkis” about what the U.S. government was doing. If Perkins or Kelly were aware of the possibility that U.S. officials may have believed that quiet diplomacy would be more effective, they gave no hint of it.

Other conservatives piled on: On June 11, Nina Shea at the Hudson Institute wrote, “And, as Ibrahim looks toward an appeals court review of her case, President Obama and the U.S. State department have been silent about it.”

On June 12, FRC and Concerned Women for America held a rally in front of the White House. Perkins was joined by Obama-bashers Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Trent Franks. Perkins’ remarks were wildly inflammatory.  “There was a time when people of faith could sit down inside the White House and talk about these issues,” he said. Claiming that administration inaction was threatening the lives of Ibrahim’s children, Perkins said, “If this president is content with the blood of small children on his hands, then God help him.”

Perkins continued throughout the summer to complain that the Obama administration was doing nothing to help Ibrahim, even though he was told otherwise on his own radio show by a Republican congressman. On June 23, Perkins had Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., on his radio show to talk about the case. As Brian reported in RWW, Meadows undermined Perkins’ attacks on the administration:

Asked if the State Department was working to help Ibrahim and her children, Meadows reported that the U.S. has in fact worked vigorously behind the scenes to free Ibrahim: “I got off of a call not more than an hour or so ago and a number of agencies across the board are working hand-in-glove to make sure that this is handled quickly and efficiently. And I am heartened by what I heard on that phone call and really encouraged that this is a government that cares about people. Sometimes I wish they would speak up louder and quicker, but I can tell you behind the scenes a number of agencies are working to make sure that they are safe.”

In July, Perkins testified about the case at a congressional subcommittee hearing. One of his fellow panelists, Grover Rees, who served as a U.S. ambassador during the George W. Bush presidency, said that even though Ibrahim’s husband had said he was rebuffed by a U.S. consular officer when he sought help, Rees believed that government agencies were doing what they could. Rees said that “the State Department seems to be making amends, supplying appropriate attention and care.”

Perkins has even kept up the Obama-bashing rhetoric since Ibrahim’s release and safe passage to the U.S. In August, Perkins cited the case as a reason people think Obama is a Muslim.

Perkins isn’t alone. In August, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer allied himself with ISIS’s characterization of Iraq’s Yazidi minority and griped, “Obama will fight for Satan-worshipers but not for Christians!”

ISIS has been beheading Christian children and crucifying Christians by the side of the road. Christians for months have been fleeing Iraq in droves ahead of the murderous hordes of Al Qaeda. And Obama yawns.

When Christian wife and mother Meriam Ibrahim is imprisoned in Sudan for being a Christian, and forced to give birth in a filthy jail cell while shackled to the wall, Obama yawns. While Christian pastor and American citizen Saeed Abedini languishes in the hellhole of an Iranian prison, Obama yawns.

But when worshipers of Lucifer get in trouble at the hands of the same blood-thirsty savages, suddenly Obama springs into action.

What this reveals about the president’s religious sympathies I will leave for others to decide. But it can’t be good.

Real Persecution vs the Religious Right’s Persecution Complex

We have previously suggested that American religious conservatives should be ashamed of equating their policy disagreements or losses in legal disputes with the kind of brutal religious persecution experienced by Meriam Ibrahim and so many Christians and other religious minorities around the globe. But Perkins and others have been happy to use her case to promote their narrative that Christianity in the U.S. is on the verge of being criminalized.

Advocates for LGBT equality are often portrayed as persecutors of Christians, as in Perkins’ statement in June that he was wondering, “When are they going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians?” As part of FRC’s announcement that Ibrahim would be speaking at the Values Voter Summit, Perkins said: 

"Meriam's bold stand for Jesus Christ as she faced death has touched the hearts of people in every nation. Her incredible example of courage should inspire Christians in America to be bold and courageous in their faith as we witness growing religious hostility here in our country.”

At a July 23 hearing by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, Perkins said:

“It is difficult to look at these facts [about Ibrahim’s case] and not understand then in the light of the current administration’s unilateral reinterpretation of religious freedom domestically. This administration believes religious beliefs should be quarantined to private spaces and excluded from the public space. This truncated view of religious freedom domestically, more accurately described as the freedom of worship, is matched by the administration’s failure to even address the growing threats to religious freedom internationally.”

In August, Dusty Gates, who works for the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, wrote in Crisis magazine that liberals were uncomfortable supporting Ibrahim because they don’t support religious freedom in the U.S.

Naturally, this victory for freedom (liber) is being celebrated, at least to some degree, by liberals of all kinds. A human being freed from oppression, especially from such extreme persecution as Ibrahim faced, seems to be a grand slam for the liberal cause. But with the Ibrahim case, as well as the larger situation of global anti-Christian persecution, is causing liberals to sweat a little. Just as they stand up to cheer, it seems that their impending jubilation is cut short; subdued by a palpable fear that maybe they shouldn’t be celebrating the thing they want to celebrate. “A victory for freedom? Hoora… Oh wait, for religious freedom? Uh oh….”

Gates even slammed the welcome given Ibrahim by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, saying the Nutter’s comparison of Ibrahim to Rosa Parks rather than to other religious martyrs was “a subtle attempt to hijack Ibrahim’s story: taking it out of its full context and using it as a vehicle for the liberal agenda.”

In June, Christian author Benjamin Corey called out right-wing claims of religious persecution in the United States:

Meanwhile in the United States, we’re going about our daily lives panicking with cries of religious persecution as well…although, they’re not the cries one would think. Instead of a collective focus on wide-spread human rights abuses and religious persecution in places like Sudan, North Korea where an estimated 33,000 Christians have been incarcerated in prison camps, or the estimated thousands who actually die for their religious faith each year, we’re focused on a first world version of persecution that’s not really persecution at all.

When A&E temporarily made the decision to disassociate with Phil from Duck Dynasty over anti-gay comments he made in the media, it was labeled as “persecution”.

When public business owners in the baking industry have insisted on the right to discriminate and faced just accountability, it becomes another example of “persecution”.

We even have potential presidential candidates perpetuating such a persecution complex, with figures like Rick Santorum falsely stating that people who oppose same sex marriage are being sent to re-education camps.

With all of the legitimate and horrifying human rights violations occurring in the world, some in America have sadly adopted a very first world, privileged, and self-centered version of persecution. Instead of doubling efforts to shed light on international abuses, we’ve seen a flood of first world persecution claims– from internet trolls right up to the right wing members of government.

…Let’s reserve the “persecution” word for the real thing– such as what we saw in the case of Meriam Ibrahim.

Using Ibrahim to Attack LGBT Human Rights

Perkins has also used Meriam Ibrahim’s case to promote his attacks on the Obama administration’s advocacy for the human rights of LGBT people who face brutal persecution in many countries. In June, he wrote,

President Obama, who can't find a few minutes to call for Meriam Ibrahim's release from a Sudanese prison, had plenty of time to fly to New York and fundraise for homosexual activists.

In a late August direct mail piece, Perkins complained angrily about the “utterly shocking” fact that the rainbow flag was flown over the US embassy in Israel during a gay pride celebration.

“This would be outrageous enough all by itself—but the reality of the big picture is more frightening by far. The global Obama crusade for gay rights is happening against a backdrop of the total collapse of his real foreign policy responsibilities. We are witnessing an unprecedented level of anti-Christian persecution around the world, a colossal, international, multifront assault on religious freedom. Yet in response to these atrocities, the administration has remained all but silent….This administration is pressuring other nations to adopt Barack Obama’s radical gay agenda—but not to observe the most basic universal human right of religious freedom.”

The rest of Perkins’ letter goes back and forth between portraying the administration as fixated on gay rights and unconcerned about persecuted Christians. “We had no choice but to stand up for Meriam — because the Obama administration wouldn’t, and didn’t.”

“I urge you to stand with FRC Action again today as we fight back against the Obama administration’s outrages — their devotion to the cause of sexual immorality and their simultaneous indifference toward Christians suffering persecution for their faith.”

All the while Perkins portrays advocacy for the human rights of LGBT people — who certainly face brutal persecution in many parts of the world — as extremism.

When we see the rainbow flag of the homosexual movement flying over our embassies in Tel Aviv, London, and Prague, we can see with our own eyes what an extremist is sitting in the Oval Office.

Similar language appears in a September 6 fundraising email from Perkins, which says in part:

With President Obama promoting the homosexual movement around the world through the Obama administration, yet not working to prevent Christians from being persecuted, jailed, even tortured and killed for their faith, FRC Action’s work has grown more important than ever before.

As far as we can tell, Perkins and other Religious Right leaders haven’t raised much of a ruckus about the persecution of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi who faces 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes after being convicted of “insulting Islam” by calling for religious tolerance, or about the imprisonment in Indonesia of Alexander Aan for publicly declaring himself an atheist.

The Values Voter Summit

Meriam Ibrahim may consider an appearance at the extremism-heavy Values Voter Summit as an opportunity to thank the thousands of Americans who advocated on her behalf while she was suffering in a Sudanese prison cell, and to celebrate the freedom of religion that she and her family enjoy in America.

Unfortunately, her attendance at the Values Voter Summit will put her in the company of people like the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who argues that the First Amendment does not protect religious minorities in the U.S., and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, who argues that Christians whose beliefs on the equality of LGBT people differ from his do not deserve “true religion freedom.” And it will include many activists, like the Benham Brothers, who cry anti-Christian persecution despite their own record of working to restrict the religious and political freedoms of others.

Americans of every political and religious stripe can admire Ibrahim’s exceptional strength and courage in the face of real persecution. The same cannot be said for those who are trying to exploit her moral authority to advance their own political agendas.

Fischer: Rising Sea Levels Are Of No Concern Because God Will Never Destroy The Earth With Flood Waters

On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer informed his audience that climate change is a total "hoax," telling them that there is no need to be worried about rising sea levels because God explicitly promised Noah that He would never again destroy the earth with flood waters.

"People have been out there ringing their hands and trying to stir up all this agitation and fear because the oceans are going to rise, Manhattan is going to be under twenty feet of water, Hawaii is going to disappear under the waves," Fischer said dismissively before assuring his audience that none of this would ever happen because, in Genesis 9 "God says 'look, I am not going to destroy the earth with the waters of a flood ever again."

"Every time you see a rainbow in the sky," he said, "that's what it is all about":

Sandy Rios Cites Hoax Story To Warn Of Scourge Of Mother-Daughter Couples

On her radio program today, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios promoted the upcoming Ex-Gay Awareness Month — at which she will be receiving the prestigious “Friend of Ex-Gays Freedom Award” — by repeating a hoax story about a mother-daughter lesbian couple.

Rios read her guest, ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle, an article from the website Stuppid.com that supposedly tells the story of a mother-daughter couple named Vertasha and Mary Carter.

But as the myth-busting website Snopes.com reports, the story is a complete hoax.

“The fight against this movement, it’s like a powerful force of immorality that threatens to overtake us,” Rios said of the fictitious story, before comparing ex-gay activists like Doyle to “Muslims who don’t declare their devotion to jihad.”

Doyle added: “There’s people out there that are trying to normalize this craziness. Where does it end?”

Fischer: The Sale Of Bacon Proves That America Is A Christian Nation

On his radio show yesterday, Bryan Fischer brought up a three year-old incident in which an employee at a Halal-friendly KFC in Australia was suspended for abusing a customer who asked for bacon as concrete proof that America is a Christian nation.

"You want one single item of proof that America is a Christian nation and not a Jewish nation and not an Islamic nation?" he asked. "One single bit of proof is all you need: we freely allow restaurants and grocery stores to sell and to serve bacon. That can only happen in a Christian country."

"So the sheer fact that we freely allow the sale and consumption of bacon," he continued, "is absolute proof that we are, in fact, a Christian nation":

Sandy Rios Attacks Slain Aid Worker David Haines' Brother, Accuses Him Of Helping Islamists

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios is outraged that the brother of David Haines, a British aid worker who was beheaded by ISIS, said that Muslims were not to blame for the violent actions of the extremist group.

“His lack of understanding is just amazing and his spiritual confusion is just overwhelming,” Rios said on her American Family Radio program today. “He represents, I think, millions of American and British post-Christians who believe it’s ‘live and let live,’ it’s ‘coexist,’ it’s ‘whatever it takes to have peace among all men,’ not understanding that the Muslim faith is absolutely to blame for ISIL.”

“That’s the kind of thinking that is just perfect targets for the Islamists,” she continued. “They’re not moved by this, they’re not moved by the fact that he says his family’s not Muslim, that means their heads will be more on the chopping block, they’re not won by this kind of spiritual blandness and confusion.”

“They don’t understand what just happened to their son and brother, they don’t understand it,” she added. Rios said Haines’ remarks about nonviolence will actually help ISIS spread its evil and only “make it worse.”

Fischer: Janay Rice 'Getting Knocked Out In a Casino Elevator' Shows The Dangers Of Unbiblical Cohabitation ​

On his "Focal Point" radio program today, Bryan Fischer offered his insights into the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal by saying that Rice's then-fiancée, now-wife Janay Palmer Rice was essentially responsible for her own abuse, which was the result of engaging in unbiblical cohabitation.

As Fischer explained, the Bible strictly prohibits premarital cohabitation, so Ray Rice and Janay Palmer were guilty of engaging in illegitimate sexual immorality and living in sin. This biblical position is reinforced by social science research, he said, that shows that such relationships are more dangerous for women than marriage or living alone.

Fischer said that since Palmer had apparently "not been educated, did not understand biblical standards, she put herself in a place where, if her eyes were open and she was thinking clearly and she had been educated as she should have been in our school system, by her parents, at church, she would have known that the most dangerous place for me to be as a woman is living with a guy I'm not married to."

"If you want to have reasons not to do it," Fischer concluded, "getting knocked out in a casino elevator, that's the only reason that you need ... When biblical standards of morality are ignored, people get hurt":

Bryan Fischer Calls For Atheists To Be Banned From Serving In The Armed Forces

One of the very first posts we ever wrote about the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer highlighted a column he wrote calling for Muslims to be banned from serving in the military. That was nearly five years ago and now Fischer is finally getting around to calling for atheists to be banned from serving in the U.S. armed forces as well.

Responding to a situation in which an airman was denied his request to re-enlist in the Air Force because he refuses to take an oath containing the phrase "so help me God," Fischer asserts that atheists should be prohibited from serving in all braches of the military because "there is no place in the United States military for those who do not believe in the Creator who is the source of every single one of our fundamental human and civil rights":

[O]ur military exists to uphold and defend our Constitution, and the Constitution in turn identifies the "unalienable rights" the Declaration refers to that our government is obligated to protect.

These rights do not come from government, they do not come from the commander-in-chief, and they most certainly do not come from some activist judge. They come from God himself. We are not evolved, as this wannabe-enlistee believes, but we are "created," and "endowed by (our) Creator with certain unalienable rights."

This is an absolutely foundational, non-negotiable, bed-rock American principle: there is a Creator - with a capital "C" (you could look it up) - and he and he alone is the source of the very rights the military exists to protect and defend.

An individual who does not understand and believe this has no right to serve in the U.S. military. Military service should rightly be reserved for those who believe in and are willing to die for what America stands for - and what America stands for is a belief in God as the source of our rights.

A man who doesn't believe in the Creator the Founders trusted certainly can live in America without being troubled for being a fool. But he most certainly should not wear the uniform.

The other branches of the military do not require the same oath - yet. But they should. Military service should be reserved for genuine Americans and genuine Americans, like the Founders, believe in God.

UPDATE: Fischer reiterated this view on his radio program today:

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/9/18

  • Ray Comfort's next film is going to be about homosexuality, so that ought to be enlightening.
  • Liberty Counsel says it desperately needs to raise "$50,000 before the end of the month in order to meet our monthly budget."
  • Bob McDonnell is no longer teaching at Liberty University. We wonder why?
  • The American Family Association is now officially boycotting Target.
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer continues to praise other nations for criminalizing homosexuality.

Santorum: Call Secularism A Religion So We Can Ban It From Public Schools

It was just yesterday that the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer was calling for people with HIV to be quarantined in the name of protecting the public health. So naturally, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum appeared on Fischer's radio program today to share his excitement at having partnered with the AFA on his most recent film "One Generation Away."

During the discussion, Santorum said that Christians have allowed their faith to be removed from the public square and need to start fighting back, arguing that removing the Bible from public school classrooms is not neutrality but rather the promotion of the secular worldview. He suggested that conservative Christians should respond by "calling secularism a religion because if we did, then we could ban that too."

Claiming that the absence of religion is itself a religion, Santorum said that Christians must reassert themselves and insist that Christianity "should be taught in the schools" instead of worrying about offending people:

Fischer: Those With HIV Should Be Quarantined Like Ebola​ Patients

During his "Meet The Press" interview yesterday, President Obama said that the United States would begin providing military support to the effort to control the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which Bryan Fischer cited on his radio program today in order to argue that people with HIV should be quarantined as a public health measure.

Claiming that if both Ebola and HIV are spread through the exchange of bodily fluids, then the same steps should be taken to protect the public in both cases, Fischer asserted that "this is how liberals will always betray, when they don't realize what they're doing, they will betray the reality that they are fundamentally conservative at the core."

"Here's President Obama saying when you've got a public health crisis that is caused by a virus that is transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids, what do you do?" Fischer asked. "You quarantine it! You even use military assets, if needed, to quarantine the people who have that virus so they cannot transmit it and spread it among the rest of the population":

Dr. Bryan Fischer Declares That President Obama Is A 'Pathological Narcissist'

On his radio show today, Bryan Fischer stated that he read an article last week about the characteristics of a person who is pathologically narcissistic and couldn't help but conclude that President Obama easily met that description.

Reacting to Obama's interview on "Meet The Press" this weekend in which he admitted that going golfing after delivering a statement on the murder of James Foley might have looked bad, Fischer was reminded of the piece he read last week that described narcissists as people with big egos who are highly sensitive to criticism and who are isolated because they do not believe that anyone else is worthy of sharing their company.

"You start reading this description of a pathological narcissist," Fischer concluded, "and it's just virtually impossible not to wonder how much of that applies to our president, because it sounds so familiar":

Fischer: NFL 'Discriminated Against Everybody But Michael Sam'

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who isn’t exactly a fan of Michael Sam, said that the only reason the Dallas Cowboys signed Sam to the team’s practice squad was due to pressure from NFL officials, even though Cowboys owner Jerry Jones flatly denied the suggestion.

The “Focal Point” host argued today that Sam is only on the practice squad “because he’s a homosexual.”

“What the NFL has done here is they have discriminated against every heterosexual football player that also got cut,” Fischer said. “They didn’t go to bat for those guys, they discriminated against everybody but Michael Sam.”

AFA: Satanic 'Forces Of Darkness' Behind Opposition To Uganda's Anti-Gay Law

Ugandan evangelist Troy Smith has built a partnership with the American Family Association through the Thomas Street Coffee Co., and he recently appeared on Bryan Fischer’s show “Focal Point” to promote the group’s work in the East African nation.

Fischer, never the one to pass up an opportunity to talk about gay people, asked Smith about his views on Uganda’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act, a law that Fischer said “honors God’s standard of sexuality.”

Smith said he shared Fischer’s support for the law, adding that the anti-gay law’s opponents are motivated by the Devil: “I believe that not only did Heaven notice but Hell noticed when they made that stance and that dedication and I think they were strategically zeroed-in on to say, ‘You’re really serious about this? We’re going to take you to task.’ I’m talking about the forces of darkness, of course, using human agents here.”

Sandy Rios: Muslim-Marxist Obama Is Friends With ISIS

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios spoke to a caller today who said that ISIS militants will soon “come to the White House” and “Obama is going to swing the door open and he’s going to have a feast prepared for them because he is a Muslim, he is one of them.”

“He hates America and he thinks he’s going to turn us into a Third World Muslim nation under the iron fist of the United Nations and I firmly believe that the reason he’s not doing anything about ISIS is because those are his friends,” the caller added.

Rios naturally thought the caller’s assessment made perfect sense: “I’m not going to argue with you. I think I’ve made indications enough that I think he is complicit. Whether he is an actual Muslim or a Marxist, I’m confused about that, he certainly has Muslim sympathies, that I have never denied. He does and that is where his friends are.”

Bryan Fischer Wants Michelle Obama To Start A 'Fight Obesity, Go Straight' Anti-Lesbian Campaign

Reacting to reports that the National Institutes of Health is conducting a study on why lesbians have a higher rate of obesity than other groups, Bryan Fischer said on his radio program today that if First Lady Michelle Obama is truly serious about fighting obesity, she should start a new program aimed at encouraging women not to be lesbians that will operate under the slogan "Fight Obesity, Go Straight."

"I would suggest that if Michelle Obama really cares about obesity," Fischer said, "she should be out there leading the charge against normalizing lesbianism. She should be at the head of a campaign to convince women not to get into lesbianism. Her slogan ought to be 'Fight Obesity, Go Straight'":

Fischer: Obama's Tan Suit 'Is Not Presidential Dress'

Bryan Fischer was very disappointed in President Obama choice of attire during yesterday's press conference, saying that his suit demonstrated that Obama simply "does not take the responsibilities of the office of the presidency seriously."

"This is not presidential dress. It's not professional," Fischer declared, asserting that President Ronald Reagan had so much respect for the office that he would not even take off his suit coat while he was in the Oval Office:

The myth about Reagan is, of course, totally false ... as is, apparently, Fischer's claim that wearing a tan suit is somehow unpresidential:

Sandy Rios: Women 'Brainwashed' By Women's Studies Programs To Ignore That It's Really Men Who Are 'Being Degraded'

On her American Family Association radio program this morning, Sandy Rios interviewed Malcolm Kline of Accuracy in Academia, a sister organization of the conservative group Accuracy in Media, about the supposed terrible liberal bias in academia.

When the two inevitably got to talking about women’s studies programs, Rios told Kline about an encounter she had had with a young woman who had been “brainwashed” by a women’s studies program to think that “even in this day in this time, that women are somehow mistreated."

Rios said she told the young woman that because women now make up the majority of college graduates and men are supposedly not allowed to “speak up against anything about a woman” that in fact “men are the ones being degraded.”

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American Family Association Top Posts

This weekend, Republican elected officials including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Gov. Bobby Jindal will take part in what has become an annual ritual for potential GOP presidential contenders: they will seek to curry the favor of the Religious Right by speaking at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. In doing so, they put themselves in the company of some of the most radical groups and activists working today to dehumanize LGBT people, roll back reproductive rights, tear down the wall between church and state, and deny free exercise rights to religious minorities.... MORE >
The American Family Association (AFA) has been a long-time promoter of "traditional moral values" in the media, particularly television. AFA built its reputation on organizing boycotts against sponsors of TV shows with "anti-Christian" messages and ideas, or against companies it claims support the so-called "homosexual agenda" or marriage equality. MORE >

American Family Association Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Monday 09/22/2014, 4:13pm
On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer recommended that the United States adopt an immigration policy based upon the Bible, meaning that all immigrants must convert to Christianity and completely leave behind their native practices, beliefs, culture, and language. If we "did immigration God's way," Fischer said, that would mean that "those who came to our shores would be expected to adopt our religious values and traditions — that would mean Christianity and not Islam — and they would leave behind their religion and their god." "That would mean... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Monday 09/22/2014, 12:12pm
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins has excitedly touted a big “get” for this week’s Values Voter Summit: Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman who was persecuted by the Sudanese government over charges of apostasy. Evangelicals in the U.S. were part of the international chorus of voices who worked to keep a spotlight on Ibrahim’s plight, and Ibrahim may wish to thank some of the activists who advocated for her freedom. But Perkins and FRC have another agenda entirely: They have been using Ibrahim as a prop in their relentless, over-the-top attacks on the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/19/2014, 4:32pm
On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer informed his audience that climate change is a total "hoax," telling them that there is no need to be worried about rising sea levels because God explicitly promised Noah that He would never again destroy the earth with flood waters. "People have been out there ringing their hands and trying to stir up all this agitation and fear because the oceans are going to rise, Manhattan is going to be under twenty feet of water, Hawaii is going to disappear under the waves," Fischer said dismissively before assuring his audience that none of... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/16/2014, 12:40pm
On her radio program today, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios promoted the upcoming Ex-Gay Awareness Month — at which she will be receiving the prestigious “Friend of Ex-Gays Freedom Award” — by repeating a hoax story about a mother-daughter lesbian couple. Rios read her guest, ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle, an article from the website Stuppid.com that supposedly tells the story of a mother-daughter couple named Vertasha and Mary Carter. But as the myth-busting website Snopes.com reports, the story is a complete hoax. “The fight against this... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 09/16/2014, 11:38am
On his radio show yesterday, Bryan Fischer brought up a three year-old incident in which an employee at a Halal-friendly KFC in Australia was suspended for abusing a customer who asked for bacon as concrete proof that America is a Christian nation. "You want one single item of proof that America is a Christian nation and not a Jewish nation and not an Islamic nation?" he asked. "One single bit of proof is all you need: we freely allow restaurants and grocery stores to sell and to serve bacon. That can only happen in a Christian country." "So the sheer fact that we... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 09/15/2014, 1:20pm
The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios is outraged that the brother of David Haines, a British aid worker who was beheaded by ISIS, said that Muslims were not to blame for the violent actions of the extremist group. “His lack of understanding is just amazing and his spiritual confusion is just overwhelming,” Rios said on her American Family Radio program today. “He represents, I think, millions of American and British post-Christians who believe it’s ‘live and let live,’ it’s ‘coexist,’ it’s ‘whatever it takes to... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/12/2014, 4:38pm
On his "Focal Point" radio program today, Bryan Fischer offered his insights into the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal by saying that Rice's then-fiancée, now-wife Janay Palmer Rice was essentially responsible for her own abuse, which was the result of engaging in unbiblical cohabitation. As Fischer explained, the Bible strictly prohibits premarital cohabitation, so Ray Rice and Janay Palmer were guilty of engaging in illegitimate sexual immorality and living in sin. This biblical position is reinforced by social science research, he said, that shows that such... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 09/10/2014, 12:03pm
One of the very first posts we ever wrote about the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer highlighted a column he wrote calling for Muslims to be banned from serving in the military. That was nearly five years ago and now Fischer is finally getting around to calling for atheists to be banned from serving in the U.S. armed forces as well. Responding to a situation in which an airman was denied his request to re-enlist in the Air Force because he refuses to take an oath containing the phrase "so help me God," Fischer asserts that atheists should be prohibited from serving in... MORE >