American Family Association

Fischer: If America Doesn't Repent For Abortion, There Will Be A Second Civil War

On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer responded to a caller who sobbed over the issue of legal abortion by warning that if the United States does not collectively repent for the sin of abortion and beg God's forgiveness, it will result in a second civil war.

"What I'm saying," Fischer explained, "is that if we do not, as a nation, come to the place of national repentance over the sin of abortion, there's going to be civil war again in this country; there is going to be anarchy, there is going to be unrest, there will be growing violence":

Fischer: Government Licensing Is The Mark Of The Beast

On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer took a call from a listener who suggested that Obamacare's individual mandate was really a Mark of the Beast; an assessment with which Fischer agreed, saying that, in fact, we had already gone pretty far down that road before Obamacare was even passed.

Pointing to a case out of Louisiana where the state board of funeral directors unsuccessfully sought to prevent a local monastery from selling caskets without a funeral director's license, Fischer said that government licensing requirements were actually the Mark of the Beast.

"Well what is that?" Fischer asked. "That's the Mark of the Beast. You can't buy, you can't sell without permission from the Beast, without permission from the government. So anytime you've got the government involved in deciding who gets to engage in commerce and who doesn't and they can't engage in commerce unless they get some kind of official permission from the government, that's the Mark of the Beast":

Starnes: Obama Will 'Turn The Military Against The People' And Attack Christians

On a radio commentary this week, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes warned that the US military may come after Christians, pointing to a training session in Mississippi that included the American Family Association on a list of hate groups.

Besides the patently absurd claim that the American Family Association is a “well-respected ministry” — you know, the one that thinks black people “rut like rabbits,” gays caused the Holocaust and God wanted the Native Americans slaughtered — Starnes falsely claimed that the military “labeled evangelical Christians and Catholics as extremists.”

Starnes went on to suggest that President Obama may be training the military for a potential attack on Christians in America.

“I am beginning to wonder if the Obama administration is trying to turn the military against the people,” Starnes said. “And what better way to do that than to train young soldiers that the folks down at the local First Baptist Church are members of a right-wing extremist hate group?”

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/16/13

  • Tim Wildmon says "we are probably going to be taking legal action" against the military for labeling the AFA as a hate group. Good luck with that.
  • FRC and the Liberty Institute have released the 2013 "Survey of Hostility to Religion in America."
  • Oh good, anti-gay bigot Ken Hutcherson's show premiers on Glenn Beck's network tonight.
  • Want to attend the "Art of Homemaking Conference" on October 25-26? Of course you do!
  • "Coach" Dave Daubenmire says parents needs to get their kids out of public schools.
  • Finally, Ben Carson now claims that he wasn't equating Obamacare with slavery when he said that Obamacare is "the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery." Well, you certainly fooled us.

Illinois Anti-Marriage Activist Compares Himself To WWII Veterans, Claims 'America Will Collapse' Under Marriage Equality

David E. Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, a state affiliate of the American Family Association, sent out a fundraising appeal today warning that if anti-gay activists fail to stop marriage equality legislation in Illinois, “America will collapse” like Sodom and Gomorrah.

Smith compared his own fight against the "evil agenda" of gay rights to that of American soldiers in World War II: “We should be inspired to defend marriage with the same courage, conviction, tenacity, and sacrifice that the greatest generation fought to defend American principles and to honor their fallen.  If we don’t stop the enemy from achieving his goal of destroying the family, there won’t be any monuments to visit.”

As a father of six children, I often wonder what Illinois will be like in twenty years.  What will it be like for your children and grandchildren?

We cannot know for sure.  We can’t predict the future.  Only God knows for certain.

I do know, however, that things are sure to be worse, much worse for our children, if we don’t do something now to stop the moral collapse, which will be hastened if our lawmakers undermine marriage by legalizing same-sex “marriage.”

I am doing everything in my power to prevent that from happening.  I’ve put tens of thousands of miles on my car and logged weeks away from my family to fight this evil agenda in 2013, and I need your help today.

I’m not alone in making sacrifices.  Many courageous people are stepping up and doing their part, including the staff and a dozen or so dedicated volunteers at IFI.  I need you to do your part today.

The Chicago Sun Times admitted this week that Leftists are still “shy” of the votes they need to pass homosexual “marriage.”  And that is because you have refused to stay silent.  Now we must finish what we started earlier this year.  We must show up in Springfield again.  The politicians need to know how strongly you feel about this attack on common sense, reason, and decency.  They have to understand that marriage redefinition isn’t as popular as some politicians and media pundits want you to believe it is.

And our politicians need to know that we aren’t going to allow them to ignore the best interests and rights of children and individual religious liberties without a fight.  I can do no less for my children.  It is my duty.  It is our duty.

A friend told me about a group of WWII veterans from Iowa that drove all the way to Washington D.C. this week. They risked arrest by passing through the barricades set up by the president to keep veterans from viewing their monuments. We should be inspired to defend marriage with the same courage, conviction, tenacity, and sacrifice that the greatest generation fought to defend American principles and to honor their fallen.  If we don’t stop the enemy from achieving his goal of destroying the family, there won’t be any monuments to visit.  America will collapse.  It is only a matter of time.  Read Genesis 19.

(Emphases are ours.)

AFA Lunch at VVS: Call for 'Aggressive' and 'Offensive' Church in Culture War

The American Family Association hosted a luncheon on Friday at the Values Voter Summit. The featured speaker, Rep. Randy Forbes, was a no-show, though the audience was assured his non-appearance had nothing to do with ads being run in his district urging him to stay away.  Whatever was keeping Forbes so busy that he couldn’t break away didn’t prevent Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) from making it to the VVS hotel to give some opening remarks. Aderholt praised the activists, saying that the only way for America to be saved is for the country not to forget its founding values.  In Forbes’ absence we also heard from Jerry Boykin, the retired general who is now a VP at the Family Research Council, and Lea Carawan, the director of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation.

Boykin was his blunt self, asserting, “we are in a culture war today like America has never been” and complaining that the problem was with the church in general and with “Christians in name only” in particular.  “The majority of the Christians in America today are dead, asleep,” he groused. “They are not involved in what’s going on in our culture. They’re not engaged in this culture war. They are not putting their faith into action.”  He said it was the church that brought about the Revolutionary War and the abolition of slavery through the Civil War.  When he looks at America today, he said, “There is no other solution to our ills than for the church to wake up, get off your dead behinds and get in this culture war that we’re involved in.”

Carawan picked up on Boykin’s message, saying that members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus and affiliated members in state legislatures are disappointed that they aren’t getting more backup from churches.  For example, she said, members of the Maine legislature have had to do the organizing to get pastors involved in a push for a “religious liberty” bill.  Carawan said the caucus was committed to an “offensive strategy” – one example she gave was Pennsylvania legislation requiring the display of “In God We Trust” in all the state’s public schools. 

Carawan said the prayer caucus favors a neutral public square and religious liberty for all Americans, but in the next breath said “we are equally committed to advocate, aggressively engage the public for advocating that Judeo-Christian values be reflected in our laws and policy, because somebody’s values are going to be reflected in laws and policies.” The founding fathers, she said, fought “so that we could have Judeo-Christian values reflected in our government, laws, and policy.” The founders understood, she said, “that it is only Christianity, Judeo-Christian principles, that provides the only valid moral basis that will secure freedom for all Americans.”

Carawan warned that “the strategy of the secular progressive agenda is simple and dangerous:  use the limitless financial resources at their disposal and the power of government to overwhelm and bury religious freedom in the ash heap of history. And that’s their plan. Not on our watch. Not on our watch. We’ve relied on defending our freedom in the courts. But this isn’t sufficient. We have to go on the offensive. We have to be aggressive. We have to stand up. We have to be intentional and strategic.”

Rios: Gays Wanting To Become Scoutmasters, Big Brothers Proves They Seek To Abuse Children

American Family Association talk show host Sandy Rios this week once again connected the gay community to child abuse, this time telling Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality that the fact gay people want to serve as Scoutmasters or Big Brothers or Big Sisters is “big proof” they are pedophiles.

LaBarbera, whose upcoming AFTAH banquet will feature Rios as the keynote speaker, didn’t dispute her claim, and argued that “homosexuality itself is immoral behavior so we would expect one sin to have other sins lead to it, and that’s exactly what we find.”

LaBarbera: All these things: pedophilia; sadism; masochism, are overrepresented in the homosexual movement then it would be in the rest of culture.

Rios: I guess one big proof that we should have some concern, the activists’ hell-bent determination to make sure that Boy Scout leaders can be gay men and that Big Brothers and Big Sisters can be—well they’ve succeeded with that—Big Brothers and Big Sisters now has no — that’s fine with them, with that organization, that a person be gay or a lesbian and be a Big Brother or Big Sister. Now they are really determined to make sure they break down Boy Scouts completely, they’ve succeeded to some extent. But that to me indicates an interest of older people being with younger people. I don’t know, am I rushing to a conclusion on that Peter?

LaBarbera: First of all, homosexuality itself is immoral behavior so we would expect one sin to have other sins lead to it, and that’s exactly what we find. We both know, we’ve been around a long time and we know these stories of so-called gay men who had child abuse in their own past, their own upbringing, and incredibly they make no connection between the pedophilia they experienced as boys and girls, some of them, and their adult gay identity. Common sense would say that’s wrong but sadly there’s this thing in the movement.

Fischer: 'Our Commander In Chief Is Waging A War On Christ'

On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer asserted that a nation's military strength is intrinsically linked to its spiritual strength and, as such, America's military is growing weaker because President Obama is waging a war on Christ.

"Our Commander in Chief is waging a war on Christ in the military," Fischer said. "Now you can disguise it, you can say 'well, he's going after Christianity or he's going after Christians,' but why is he going after them?  Well, because of the first syllable in those words. What's the first syllable in Christianity? It is Christ. What's the first syllable in Christian? It is Christ. What's the first syllable in Christmas? It is Christ. So make no mistake, when you've got an attack faith, on religious liberty, it is an attack on Christ. So we've got a President that is waging war against the King of King and the Lord of Lords. He's waging a war against Christ and his welcomed presence in the military and in all of our institutions":

Fischer Praises Putin, Calls Him A 'Lion of Christianity'

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer began his radio program yesterday by reading a series of quotes from a mystery public figure, asking his listeners to guess “what country do you think this guy is the president of?”

The big surprise is that the quotes – encompassing such topics as European rejection of “Christian values that underlie Western civilization,” the pursuit of policies that “put large families and same-sex partnerships in the same category” and “excesses of political correctness” – are from Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has escalated his crackdown on LGBT people in recent months.

“Who is it?” Fischer asked. “Which president is the lion of Christianity, the defender of Christian values, the president that’s calling his nation back to embracing its identity as a nation founded on Christian values? Those, ladies and gentlemen, are quotes from Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia.”

“The contrast between that president and our president could not possibly be more striking,” Fischer continued. “Just a bizarre day. To ever think we would get to the day that Russia would be more advanced spiritually than the United States. I mean, it’s just staggering to see what is happening to this country.”

Back in August, when Putin signed a ban on gay “propaganda,” Fischer gushed that “this is public policy that we’ve been advocating and here is a nation in the world that is actually putting it into practice.”

Fischer has not yet commented on reports that Putin’s increasing embrace of a theological hard line has also threatened the religious freedom of evangelical Christians.

Fischer Calls For The Use Of Corporal Punishment In Public Schools

Bryan Fischer spent a large portion of his radio program today hailing the effectiveness of spanking as a biblically-approved form of discipline and cackling as he recounted how he and his wife used a wooden spoon to spank their own children on their bare bottoms because "the bottom is just designed by God for that."

Eventually, Fischer got around to calling for the use of corporal punishment in public schools, saying failure to allow teachers to physically discipline children is why there are so many behavioral problems in school and why children today are getting such a poor education.

"I want to tell you," Fischer said, "we are not going to have a functional education system where kids are actually learning, you're not going to have an environment conducive to learning until we bring corporal discipline back into our elementary schools, into our public schools. That is the only way you're going to be able to maintain the kind of environment in a class room where kids can actually learn something":

AFA Falsely Claims Obama And Kerry Refuse To Condemn Attacks On Christians

In a press release last week, the American Family Association accused President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry of deliberately refusing to condemn anti-Christian attacks or extremist groups.

In the past two weeks, radical Islamists have murdered hundreds of Christians around the world.

Without question, Christians are being targeted for assassination solely because of their faith in Christ. Entire families, including children, are slaughtered in their homes, churches and public gatherings.

Ironically, while Christian lives are being silenced by radical jihadists, the United States White House is silent in its response. These killings have not been condemned by the president, his secretary of state, or his administration.

Below, we have summarized the senseless slaughter of Christians over the past two weeks. Join us in asking President Barak Obama [sic] and Secretary of State John Kerry to speak out and use the influence of the United States to halt the slaughter of Christians by radical jihadists.

At a time when even members of Congress are accusing Obama of supporting Al Qaeda, let’s see if the AFA’s claims that Obama refuses to condemn groups committing anti-Christian violence hold water:

Sunday, September 22 - Peshawar, PAKISTAN

Islamic suicide bombers mingled with Christians gathering after morning worship service at All Saints Church for dinner on the grounds. The Islamists blew themselves up, killing 90 Christians and injuring 120 more.

Obama condemned the attack during his speech at the United Nations [PDF].

Sunday, September 29 - Potiskum, NIGERIA

Members of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram shot 50 college students and burned the school as the students slept in their dorms. Although the victims included both Christians and Muslim students, the name of the assassins, Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden."

The State Department in its report on religious freedom in Nigeria condemned Boko Haram, including the group’s attacks on Christians and churches. Earlier this year, President Obama called Boko Haram “one of the most vicious terrorist organizations in the world,” and chief of staff Denis McDonough similarly denounced their attacks on Christians and Muslims.

Saturday, September 21 - Nairobi, KENYA

Jihadist members of Somalia's al-Shabab took hundreds of hostages and killed 67 Christians at the Westgate Mall, after people who identified themselves as Muslims, and who could give the name of Mohamed's mother to leave.

Obama condemned the Westgate Mall attack during his speech at the United Nations [PDF].

Wednesday, September 18 - Maaloula, SYRIA

Islamists arriving in this 2000-year-old village, which is one of the only places in the world where Aramaic is still spoken, announced, "We are from the Al-Nusra Front and have come to make lives miserable for the Crusaders"; (an Islamic slur meaning Christians). After many deaths, the town was retaken by the Syrian Army, but only about 20 families remain.

The State Department designated Al-Nusrah Front as a terrorist organization and denounced the group’s many attacks against civilians.

Saturday, September 21, 2013 - Dorawa, NIGERIA

Jihadists killed a pastor and his son and burned their church in the northern state of Yobe where Islamists are attempting to impose Sharia law.

The State Department in its report on religious freedom in Nigeria condemned attacks on Christians and churches.

Wednesday, September 25 - Derna District, LIBYA

Two Christian men, Waleed Saad Shaker, age 25, and Nash 'at Shenouda Ishaq, age 27, were traveling on a rural road when they were surrounded by a crowd of Muslim men. The Christians were robbed, tied up and beaten. Then the Muslims demanded that they recite the shahada, the declaration of conversion to Islam. When the Christians refused, they were shot. Shakar died before they were found by a shepherd. Ishaq died in hospital.

The State Department in its report on religious freedom in Nigeria condemned anti-Christian violence.

Maybe the AFA should do a simple Google search before sending out this statement, unless they are boycotting Google.

Fischer Claims Obama Will Use Future Shutdowns To Withhold Health Care From All But The Young and Loyal

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who last week claimed that President Obama wants to arrest veterans attempting to visit memorials during the government shutdown and “haul them off to jail,” is now warning that the Obama administration will use the Affordable Care Act to curtail health care services during future shutdowns.

On his radio show yesterday, Fischer read enthusiastically from a Rightwing News blog post that claims that the administration will withhold health care from all but “those who are young enough, correct enough or wealthy and powerful enough”:

And so it goes from nudge, to shove and very soon, to shoot. Surely Americans now see they are living under the iron fist of a dictator. They are using lands and monuments that belong to America against us – held hostage as wards of the State, not property of the free. What makes Americans think that with the government in control of healthcare that they won’t use the same tactics? Comply or no antibiotics for you… submit or no chemotherapy… kneel or no transplant. And even then, only those who we deem young enough, correct enough or wealthy and powerful enough will receive the benefits of the all-controlling Marxist State. America has become Russia’s protege thanks to the enemies within.

“If you’ve got a government that with a phone call can shut down a war memorial, can send orders to police to lock people up that go there, that can issue $100 fines for jogging in a national park, what makes us think they can be trusted with our health care?” Fischer said. “If they can do that to Americans when it comes to access to national parks, what are they going to do when we’re talking about access to health care?”
 

Civil Rights Groups Urge GOP Leaders to Skip Values Voter Summit

This weekend, Religious Right leaders and GOP politicians will gather in Washington for the Values Voter Summit, an annual event that highlights the cozy relationship between Republican elected officials and extreme right-wing groups.

The event is hosted by the Family Research Council, a group with a long record of pushing false anti-gay propaganda. And one of the event’s major sponsors is the American Family Association, whose extreme right-wing views are expressed on a daily basis by its spokesman Bryan Fischer.

On Friday, People For the American Way joined with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Faithful America, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza to send a letter to every public official scheduled to speak at this year’s Values Voter Summit, urging them to withdraw from the event.

Among the scheduled speakers are Sens. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Tim Scott and Reps. Paul Ryan, Randy Forbes, Michele Bachmann, Jim Bridenstine, Louie Gohmert, Jim Jordan, Steve King, Steve Scalise and Scott Turner.

The letter [pdf] reads in part:

We understand that you’ve been invited to speak at the upcoming Values Voter Summit being held in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 11-13. Given the demonizing lies about the LGBT community spread by the host, the Family Research Council (FRC), and another major sponsor of the event, the American Family Association (AFA), we urge you to not lend the prestige of your office to the summit.

The FRC has amassed an extensive record of vilifying gays and lesbians with falsehoods – portraying them as sick, evil, incestuous, violent, perverted, and a danger to the nation.  Perhaps its most insidious claim is that gay men molest children at a far higher rate than heterosexual men – a claim refuted by all credible scientific authorities, including the American Psychological Association. Yet the FRC has continued to smear gays and lesbians by claiming  that pedophilia, in the words of FRC President Tony Perkins, “is a homosexual problem.”

Perkins also says the “It Gets Better” campaign, an initiative designed to give LGBT students hope for a better tomorrow, is “disgusting” and part of a “concerted effort” to “recruit” children into the gay “lifestyle.” One senior FRC official has even argued that homosexuality should be illegal.

The AFA’s Bryan Fischer, who serves as the group’s spokesman and director of issue analysis, frequently blames homosexuality for the Holocaust and Nazi Party: “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” He also promotes the views of the American architect of the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda.

Demonizing the LGBT community has consequences. As FBI data demonstrate, it is one of the groups most likely to be victimized by violent hate crimes. Defaming them publicly day after day – as the FRC and the AFA do – only throws fuel on the fire.

The bigotry of the FRC and the AFA is not limited to gays and lesbians. Fischer, for example, has said that African Americans “rut like rabbits” and argued that women should be kicked out of politics and the military. He’s also stated that Hispanics are “socialists by nature”  and come here to “plunder” our country. The FRC’s executive vice president, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, has said Jews must be converted to Christianity and has argued that “Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections” – a statement that is antithetical to American ideals.

In 2011, we urged Mitt Romney not to share a stage with the extremists, and particularly Fischer, at that year’s Values Voter Summit. Although Romney still attended, he also made a point of calling out Fischer’s “poisonous language." This year, Fischer was noticeably not listed as a speaker at the summit, although his employer remains a sponsor.
 

Fischer: Obama Wishes He Could Arrest WWII Veterans And Throw Them In Jail

Even though House Republicans blocked funding for the National Park Service by shutting down the government, the right-wing media knows that President Obama is the one to blame for park closures and that he is personally trying to harm and maybe even kill veterans trying to see the World War II memorial.

In fact, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer said that President Obama would like nothing more than to “arrest these vets, haul them off to jail, handcuff them to a cot.”

“He sent more guards to the Mall to stop veterans than he sent to Benghazi to stop Muslims,” Fischer falsely claimed, “which gives you an indication of his priorities.”

Watch:

What Happens When You Get All Of Your News From Bryan Fischer

Today on Focal Point, Bryan Fischer took a call from Ricky from Baton Rouge, who told the American Family Association spokesman that he gets “80-90%” of his news from Fischer...and the rest from David Barton and Tony Perkins.

Ricky urged Fischer to stop treating President Obama as a legitimate president since “George Soros and the ungodly Demon-crat Party” used fraud to help President Obama and Harry Reid win re-election.

“You’re exactly right,” Fischer said.

Fischer agreed and demanded that Obama’s “election ought to have an asterisk by it” because he used voter fraud to increase Democratic votes and the IRS to repress conservatives.

We don’t expect Ricky to see that claims of 2012 voter fraud and Tea Party persecution by the IRS have been wholly discredited, but will sadly continue to get all of his news from disreputable sources like Fischer, Perkins and Barton.

American Family Association Takes Aim at Public Art in Kansas

The American Family Association of Kansas and Missouri, the state-level chapter of the national AFA led by the husband and wife team Phillip and Cathy Cosby, lists as its number one priority: “Promoting sexual integrity and confronting the pornification of our culture in all venues, secular and sacred.”

As part of this mission, the Cosbys have taken it upon themselves to wage a years-long campaign to remove one statue owned and publicly displayed by the city of Overland Park, Kansas – a campaign that has included multiple public petitions and a change in state law, and has forced the city of Overland Park to rack up $35,000 in legal fees.

Now, the Cosbys are starting the process all over again, hoping to force the city to once again pay thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend its right to display the art in its collection.

The statue in question, called “Accept or Reject,” was given to the city in 2011 by a Chinese artist as part of a cultural exchange and is currently on display in the town’s arboretum. I’ll let Phil Cosby describe it: "It is a nine-foot-tall bronze statue of a totally nude woman. Her arm is extended, and she's taking a picture of herself, in essence sexting herself."

Here’s a picture of Phillip Cosby with the sculpture in question (the signage is his):

Cosby contends that “Accept or Reject” is not only “toxic,” but that it violates Kansas’ anti-obscenity statute and should therefore be removed from the public park.

Last year, Cosby used a novel tactic to try to get the statue removed. Kansas is one of six states that allows for “citizens grand juries” – grand juries called by a petition of citizens rather than a prosecutor. The 1887 Kansas law has been revived in the last several years by right-wing activists to go after abortion providers and pornography.” In 2006 and again in 2008, anti-choice activists gathered enough signatures to launch a grand jury investigation of Wichita abortion provider George Tiller. Tiller’s attorney described the process as “a perfect example of a system which has virtually become active vigilantism.” The year after the second investigation, Tiller was assassinated by an anti-choice extremist.

In the mid-2000s, Cosby used the law to launch grand jury investigations into 20 adult bookstores and a handful of strip clubs, which he claimed violated obscenity laws.

So last year, Cosby returned to the “citizens grand jury plan, gathering enough signatures on a petition to convene a grand jury to investigate whether “Accept or Reject” was criminally obscene. The grand jury dismissed the case within a day, but that didn’t stop Cosby’s crusade. Instead, he contended that the jury dismissed the case because prosecutors didn’t pursue it with adequate zeal.

Earlier this year, Cosby worked with anti-abortion groups, with the support of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, to change the citizen grand jury law to give more power to people who file the grand jury petitions, including letting the petition filer himself open the proceedings in the grand jury and let anybody who wants to apply to testify.

With the rules changed, Cosby’s now trying again to gather enough signatures to bring the sculpture before a new citizen grand jury, hoping that the new rules will produce a different outcome.

Cosby’s crusade is far from universally popular. Last year, Overland Park spent $35,000 defending the statue. And as the Kansas City Star’s editorial board pointed out last week, it’s far from the only nude sculpture publicly displayed in the area.

But Cosby claims that if allowed to call his own witnesses before a grand jury, he can present “a solid case on the harms to minors.” As part of his case, he’s been circulating this audio recording of a boy reacting to the sculpture with a  loud “Whoa!” and claiming that “a city agency putting in front of children an act, that if they mimicked, would be the illegal manufacture of child porn by children”

Cosby must gather about 4,000 signatures to convene the grand jury.
 

Globalizing Homophobia, Part 1: How The American Right Came to Embrace Russia’s Anti-Gay Crackdown

This is the first post in a four-part series exploring how American right-wing groups have supported Russia’s recent spate of anti-gay laws and its crackdown on LGBT citizens.

This summer, as part of a larger effort to channel political dissatisfaction by scapegoating minorities, the Russian government escalated its crackdown on the rights of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual citizens. President Vladimir Putin and his allies found support and guidance in their anti-gay efforts from a group eager for an opportunity to notch some victories in the battle against LGBT freedom and equality: the American right.

On June 11, the Russian Duma passed a law banning “propaganda” about homosexuality to minors, essentially a gag rule criminalizing any advocacy for LGBT equality. (Moscow had already instituted a 100-year ban on gay pride parades.) Weeks later, on July 3, Putin signed a bill banning the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples abroad and by single people in countries that allow marriage equality. Shortly afterward, a member of the Duma proposed a law that would revoke gay people’s custody of their biological children. The bill’s sponsor said in an interview that children would be better off in orphanages than with a gay mother or father.

Throughout this process, Russian gay rights groups reported a surge in anti-gay hate crimes. Journalist Julia Ioffe has documented some individual stories.

Russia’s crackdown on LGBT people comes amidst a broad crackdown on the rights of minorities and political dissenters or, in the words of one lawmaker, a campaign “to defend the rights of the majority.” On the same day the Duma passed its ban on gay “propaganda,” it also approved a harsh anti-blasphemy law promising jail time for “offending religious feelings.” The blasphemy measure was meant to strenghthen the laws that led to the political prosecution of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, whose members were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for a performance that was deemed to offend “religious sensibilities.”

Russia’s repression of LGBT people and the Pussy Riot case have provoked an international outcry, intensified by the  the country’s role as the host of next year’s winter Olympics.

But throughout all this, one group has cheered on Putin’s actions: the American Religious Right and its international allies.

Even as tensions have grown between Russia and the United States, several Religious Right leaders have spoken loudly in favor of Putin’s crackdowns on gay people and political dissenters:

  • Conservative commentator and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan praised Putin for “trying to re-establish the Orthodox Church as the moral compass of the nation” by going after gays and political dissent and suggested that the United States follow his lead.
  • The anti-feminist group Concerned Women for America hailed the Pussy Riot prosecution, saying that the band displayed an “utter lack of morality.”
  • Religious Right activist Bob Vander Plaats, whose Family Leader events in Iowa have become must-attends for Republican presidential candidates, praised Putin’s “decisive leadership” on anti-gay laws.
  • American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer declared that Russia’s gay “propaganda” ban was exactly the kind of “public policy that we’ve been advocating” and that, if anything, the ban didn’t go far enough.
  • Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality praised the propaganda law, writing, “Russians do not want to follow America’s reckless and decadent promotion of gender confusion, sexual perversion, and anti-biblical ideologies to youth.”
  • Scott Lively, an American activist linked to Uganda’s push for the death penalty for gays, wrote that under Putin’s leadership, Russia has become a “beacon of freedom” while the U.S. has descended into a “gay version of the Soviet Union.” Lively also gave himself credit for “indirectly” assisting the ban on “homosexual propaganda,” calling it “one of the proudest achievements of my career.”
  • Vision America’s Rick Scarborough suggested that God would rebuke President Obama over his condemnation of Russia’s anti-gay crackdown, saying that Obama’s criticism of the propaganda law “puts our country in a very precarious place.”
  • Radio host Linda Harvey, head of the group Mission: America, praised the gay “propaganda” ban, declaring that any “responsible adult” would support it.
  • Rush Limbaugh praised Putin for “putting [his] foot down” against gay peoples’ “full-frontal assault on what has always been considered normalcy.”
  • Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) called the Russian law a “good thing” and claimed that “most of the people in the United States” would support a similar measure.
  • Larry Jacobs of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families hailed the propaganda law for “preventing [LGBT people] from corrupting children" and declared  that "the Russians might be the Christian saviors to the world."
  • Six American Religious Right groups, including the World Congress of FamiliesMission: America and C-FAM , joined an international coalition of right-wing groups in signing a statement supporting the anti-gay crackdown and condemning the international outrage against it.

American conservative groups haven’t just praised Russia’s crackdown on gays. Working through several channels, American anti-gay activists quietly provided intellectual backing and international support that directly and indirectly fueled the resurgent anti-gay movement in Russia and in other former Soviet states like Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine.

In a series of posts today and tomorrow, we’ll look at how American activists influenced Russia’s anti-gay laws by funding anti-gay activism in Russia, testifying before the Duma, providing false research to fan the flames of anti-gay laws abroad, and building an international movement to back the harshest anti-gay laws around the world.

Rios: If Only Speaker Boehner Had The Courage Of Terrorists

American Family Association radio host Sandy Rios spoke to Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) yesterday about the government shutdown, and the congressman spent most of the time attacking President Obama for not capitulating to the GOP’s demands to derail Obamacare in order to keep the government running.

Stockman laced into Obama, calling him a “Machiavellian, amazing man that can call John Boehner a terrorist, it’s just beyond the pale.”

“It really is, oh that he did have the kind of courage that some of the—oh that’s kind of a dangerous statement I just made,” Rios replied, implying Boehner should have the same courage as terrorists. “I think many of us are praying that he will have more courage, there’s no question about that.”

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/1/13

  • The AFA's Tim Wildmon says that the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling is "frustrating the will of shareholders in private companies" because ExxonMobil started offering benefits to same-sex couples.
  • Peter LaBarbera complains that "the media now is practically part of the homosexual movement."
  • "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt insists that Syria's chemical weapons came from Iraq, which is why UN weapons inspectors could not find any WMDs.
  • Bryan Fischer says Washington, DC is like a caliphate and "we are dhimmis who must pay submission tax."
  • Finally, Russell Moore, head of the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, declares that Pope Francis' recent interview was "more than just confusing. It’s a theological wreck."

Fischer: Liberals Seek To 'Eliminate Us From Public Society'

Seizing upon a video of some guy telling anti-abortion activists that he wants to live in a world "where all your churches burn," Bryan Fischer repeated his warning that the Left will soon start forcing Christians to wear identifying patches and do to them exactly what the Nazis did to the Jews.

Asserting that liberals are "the most totalitarian, close-minded ... intolerant bigots that you can find," Fischer warned his listening audience today that "if secular fundamentalists ever get the power, they will eliminate us from public society" by requiring Christians to wear identification markers, forcing them into ghettos, and banning them from running businesses, voting, or holding any sort of public office:

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American Family Association Top Posts

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

Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/23/2014, 11:25am
Sandy Rios told listeners of her radio show yesterday that President Obama is “no friend to Israel,” and even went so far as to suggest that the president is trying to cut off aid to the country while “sending aid to their enemies, the people they are fighting.” While speaking with conservative writer Sarah Stern, Rios insisted that Obama wants “no aid to Israel, just aid to Hamas.” Rios, of course, is brazenly misleading her audience, as Israel currently receives more U.S. aid than any other country, far outstripping even nations like Afghanistan. The... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/21/2014, 2:15pm
The American Family Association simply doesn’t understand why more and more Americans support equal rights for the gay community when, according to a recent study, just over two percent of people openly identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual … because as everybody knows that rights are determined by population size! AFA head Tim Wildmon, in a statement about the study today, criticized the gay community as “an extremely small population” that is bent on “inundating television shows” and “bullying” Americans until they are “given special... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 07/16/2014, 12:53pm
On her American Family Radio program this morning, Sandy Rios joined fellow anti-immigrant activists in spreading overblown fears about diseases being carried by the Central American refugees at the southern border. Rios suggested that the child refugees should be quarantined like lepers used to be. “I think of biblical times, the lepers were separated — right or wrong — they were separated,” she said. "It was understood that leprosy was so contagious. So there’s nothing wrong with wanting to separate your children. We used to quarantine people when they... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 07/15/2014, 3:51pm
According to a survey released by the Centers for Disease Control today, less than three percent of the US population identifies as gay, lesbian, or bi-sexual, which prompted Bryan Fischer to declare that it is bizarre that American society has allowed itself to be forced into accepting homosexuality by a "tiny little minority" of belligerent, intolerant bullies. "They are belligerent, they are intolerant, they are bullies," Fischer declared, "and we have been meekly capitulating to this tiny little cluster of belligerent bullies now for a couple of decades and it... MORE >
Ian Silverstone, Tuesday 07/15/2014, 2:48pm
On a segment of “Sandy Rios in the Morning” last week, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera lamented the plight of the lowly Religious Right activist. An expert on the evils of the LGBT movement, LaBarbera warned Rios that lawmakers, businesses and citizens are increasingly beholden to the demands of the “homosexual lobby,” regardless of their religious convictions. While LaBarbera and Rios wasted no time directing barbs at President Obama and pro-equality Democrats, LaBarbera mostly reserved his scorn for religious leaders and... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 07/15/2014, 9:23am
On Friday, Bryan Fischer voiced his disgust that Burger King had sold an LGBT pride themed Whopper at a San Francisco location a few weeks back and announced that the American Family Association was going to be issuing an action alert in response, warning that "if this kind of nonsense" isn't stopped, it'll spread across the nation. "When people sit down to eat a hamburger," Fischer said, "the last thing they want to be thinking about is two guys having sex": Today, the AFA issued that action alert, asking activists to email Burger King and warn that... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 07/11/2014, 2:35pm
As Miranda noted the other day, anti-gay activists were not happy with the news that Burger King is planning to sell an LGBT pride themed burger at one San Francisco location.  On today's radio program, Bryan Fischer said that the American Family Association is thinking about issuing an "action alert" about it out of concern that "if this isn't bottled up in San Francisco, this kind of nonsense, then it's going to be spreading across the entire fruited plain and you're going to be going to your Burger King in Des Moines, Iowa and you're going to have a... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 07/10/2014, 4:45pm
Anna Wolfe @ Jackson Free Press: Inside the AFA: How One ‘Hate Group’ Is Fighting the ‘Gay Agenda.’ David Neiwert @ Hatewatch: Militia Efforts to Converge at the Border Fizzle Out. Scott Kaufman @ Raw Story: Alex Jones sinks to a new low, calling Michelle Obama ‘the First Tranny.’ Dylan Scott @ TPM: Civil Rights Vet Who Defended Bundy Tapped As Tea Party Group's Leader. Michelle Leung @ Equality Matters: Fox News Defends Hate Speech With Misinterpretation Of The First Amendment. Christian Walters @ Towleroad: Minnesota Republican... MORE >