Liberty University

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 10/21/14

  • Mat Staver has resigned from his position as dean of the Liberty University School of Law.
  • Samuel Rodriguez declares that the supposed threat to religious liberty is "the single greatest civil rights threat of our time."
  • Jerry Boykin and Kamal Saleem have written a novel together!
  • Gina Miller declares that Christians must fight gay marriage with everything that they have because this is "just the beginning of the war on our freedoms being waged by the soldiers of Sodom West.  It is more important than ever that Christians and other right-minded people resist this evil movement."
  • Finally, BarbWire continues to provide a venue for all sorts of virulently anti-gay columnists to post their bigoted rants: "[I]f you have a problem with me using terms like 'queer,' 'homosexual,' and 'sodomite,' you might want to check yourself. This is what these people are. They are not 'gay.' They are degenerates and they have your children as a target."

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 9/2/14

  • Todd Starnes, Rick Santorum, Oliver North, Kirk Cameron, and the Benham Brothers are among those scheduled to speak at Liberty University this semester.
  • Scott Lively is running for governor in Massachusetts in order to "restore a biblical worldview among conservatives here in this state and other values voters."
  • It is always worth reminding people that Kimberly Daniels is a sitting city councilwoman in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Laurie Higgins is predicatbly outraged that Judge Richard Posner did not buy the Religious Right's arguments against gay marriage.
  • Uh oh, creationists have "evolutionists on the run."
  • Finally, Glenn Beck returned from vacation with some smart thoughts on the news that various female celebrities had their private photos stolen and posted on the internet. Just kidding.

Staver: Same-Sex Marriage Not A Right Because Homosexuality Used To Be A Crime

On a recent episode of Liberty Counsel’s “Faith and Freedom” radio program, Mat Staver argued that marriage equality can’t be a fundamental right because it’s not “deeply rooted in our history that you have to protect it,” and in fact “homosexuality has always been considered a crime against nature” and “something that’s been criminalized in our culture.”

A fundamental right in constitutional law has to either be specifically articulated in an enumeration of the Constitution — so a fundamental right would be freedom of speech, freedom of religion, so it’s part of the First Amendment, it’s actually absolutely articulated — and if it’s not articulated, the court has said it has to be deeply rooted in our history such that if you were to not protect it, it would literally unravel the concept of ordered liberty that is so essential to who we are and it is so deeply rooted in our history that you have to protect it. Parental rights can be something that falls within a category such as that.

Now, here, obviously, the issue is, did same-sex marriage become a fundamental right? And the answer clearly is no. If they really were honest, it’s no. And to the contrary, same-sex marriage or homosexuality has always been considered a crime against nature. Instead of protection deeply rooted, it’s been something that’s been criminalized in our culture, not just in America but around the world.

Later in the program Staver discussed the recent appeals court decision striking down Virginia’s marriage equality ban with Liberty University Law School’s Rena Lindevaldsen. Lindevaldsen argued that because the court acknowledged that people in same-sex relationships sometimes raise children from opposite-sex relationships that it undermined the argument that being gay is a fundamental characteristic. “Now they’re saying, by the way, we can have relationships with whoever we want to and we still get this right to marriage,” she lamented.

Michael Peroutka Campaign Spox John Lofton: Public Officials' Job To 'Administer' God's Law

We’ve been reporting on the candidacy of Michael Peroutka, the 2004 presidential nominee for the U.S. Constitution Party and now the apparent GOP nominee for a county council seat in Anne Arundel, Maryland.  It is frankly hard to imagine a more extremist candidate for public office.  

He is a radical Christian Reconstructionist and southern secessionist who argues that the Maryland General Assembly is “no longer a valid legislative body” because it has passed laws he thinks are violations of “God’s law.” He took part in Larry Klayman’s “revolutionary” rally last November, which did not achieve its stated goal of forcing President Obama out of office. He asked the white nationalist League of the South for help in his campaign. His family foundation gave a dinosaur fossil to the Creationist Museum to keep it out of the hands of evolution-promoting scientists. And notably, for a GOP candidate, he disparages “the Republican Party and their brand of worthless, Godless, unprincipled conservatism.”

Peroutka’s partner at the Institute on the Constitution, David Whitney, ran for the same seat in the Democratic primary, and lost. But another ideological compatriot, Joseph Delimater, won the uncontested GOP primary for county sheriffFrederick Clarkson points out that Delimater’s campaign website argues that it’s the responsibility of a county councilman and sheriff to resist implementation of any law that violates God’s law.

Peroutka’s campaign spokesman John Lofton told the Capital Gazette newspaper that the candidate “would evaluate each piece of legislation to be sure it was authorized by God in the Bible, the U.S. Constitution and the Anne Arundel County Charter.” Lofton was communications director for Peroutka’s 2004 presidential campaign and has also served as communications director for Peroutka's Institute on the Constitution

Like Peroutka, Lofton has expressed contempt for the Republican Party, calling himself a “Recovering Republican,” and explaining on his website, “Being a Republican is not a disease; it is a choice – a very bad choice, but a choice nonetheless.”

Lofton was a movement conservative until he became enamored of Christian Reconstructionist R.J. Rushdoony and disillusioned that the conservative movement was not sufficiently focused on God. A few years ago he denounced the conservative movement, saying that “Dunghill Rejects” was the “perfect name” for “for the Godless, anti-Christian, modern ‘conservative movement.’”

Lofton has been invited to speak about God and Government at Liberty University’s Helms School of Government. He said the purpose of the Institute on the Constitution’s God and Government project – which encourages individuals to use public comment periods at local government meetings to deliver packaged two-minute statements – is “to tell our elected officials that government is from God and therefore their first duty is to obey God and to administer and apply his law.”

On his Christian Post blog, Lofton has asked whether President Obama is wearing a “What Would Satan Do?” bracelet and decreed that sending children to public schools is “spiritual child abuse” and a sin.

And in reference to an article about evangelicals disagreeing on budget priorities, he wrote that “there should be no disagreement among those who believe the Bible is true. Because it is crystal clear that in God's Word He gives NO AUTHORITY to civil government (Caesar) to give health, education or welfare to ANYBODY. If people need help, it is the role of the Church --- God's people --- to provide this help and NOT government.” He insists, “Man-made ‘laws’ that contradict God's Law are not law.”

Lofton’s Facebook page indicates that he shares Peroutka’s contempt for many contemporary political figures. He writes that President Obama “heads up the most powerful terrorist organization in the world, the American government.”

This week Lofton dismissed as “IDOLATROUS LINCOLN-WORSHIPPING CRAP” an article in which the Religious Right’s intellectual godfather, Robert George, wrote that Lincoln had, by saving the union, “completed, in a sense, America’s founding.”

On the 4th of July Lofton bragged that his local paper had printed his letter to the editor, which denounced the Laurel, Maryland, City Council for allowing a Hindu to open a meeting “by invoking false Gods,” which he called “an act of appalling idolatrous idiocy which invites God – the God of the Bible, the only true God there is – to curse us.”

Back in 2002, Lofton was interviewed by Stephen Colbert for The Daily Show. He denounced Lynn Cheney’s children’s book as “child abuse” for including Martin Luther King and a reference to the Day of the Dead holiday, which he said is “from the pit of hell.”

Glenn Beck Lashes Out At Those Attacking Liberty U For Allowing Him To Speak

Last month, Glenn Beck was invited to deliver a Convocation message at Liberty University where, in addition to delivering a prophetic message that God was coming to settle scores, he also preached Mormon theology, which did not sit well with certain Religious Right activists, such as Janet Mefferd.

On his radio broadcast today, Beck lashed out at "people who claim to be followers of Christ" in "the so-called Christian Right" who are attacking Liberty U for allowing him to speak, saying that they are progressives and "there is no difference between you and the people who are trying to run other people out of the square."

"You think you're standing for something," Beck said, "when indeed you're standing for hate and bigotry":

Bobby Jindal Courts 'Christian Nation' Crowd For 2016 Presidential Bid

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would like to be president, so he spent the weekend at Liberty University doing what a Republican presidential wannabe does: courting Religious Right leaders by assuring them that he is one of them and shares their vision for America.  Jindal spoke at Liberty’s commencement address on Saturday, where he spouted Religious Right talking points about the “war” on religious liberty by a “left” that wants to “silence people of faith.” And on Friday night, he spent two hours talking about his faith in a session with politically influential pastors organized by Christian-nation zealot David Lane.

The Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger reports that Jindal talked the pastors through his conversion from Hinduism to Protestantism in high school, while not spending much time on his conversion to Catholicism a few years later in college. Jindal positions himself solidly in the conservative religious coalition by calling himself an “evangelical Catholic.”  According to the Post,

The visiting pastors flew to Lynchburg over the weekend at the invitation of the American Renewal Project, a well-funded nonprofit group that encourages evangelical Christians to engage in the civic arena with voter guides, get-out-the-vote drives and programs to train pastors in grass-roots activism. The group’s founder, David Lane, has built a pastor network in politically important states such as Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and South Carolina and has led trips to Israel with Paul and others seeking to make inroads with evangelical activists.

The group that Lane invited to Lynchburg included Donald Wild­mon, a retired minister and founder of the American Family Association, a prominent evangelical activist group that has influence through its network of more than 140 Christian radio stations.

As regular RWW readers know, the Post’s description, while accurate, only begins to describe David Lane, who we reported last year is “an anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Mormon, Christian-nation absolutist who has declared war, not only on secularism and separation of church and state, but also on establishment Republicans who don’t embrace his vision of an America in which the Bible serves as ‘the principle textbook' for public education and a ‘Christian culture’ has been ‘re-established.’” Lane believes Christians “must be retrained to war for the Soul of America and quit believing the fabricated whopper of the ‘Separation of Church and State.’” He says America must repent for breaking the founders' covenant with God or face the wrath of God, which he said last year would include car bombings in Los Angeles, Des Moines, and Washington, D.C. as a consequence of abortion rights, the national debt, and “homosexuals praying at the inauguration.”

Jindal’s personal appeal to Religious Right leaders may encourage them to take a closer look at his record. Given his hostility to abortion rights and LGBT equality and his record of privatizing public education, using tax dollars to promote creationism, and rejecting Medicaid expansion, far-right pastors will probably like what they see. 

Right Wing Leftovers - 4/29/14

  • "History is repeating itself": Glenn Beck says that Alex Jones' attacks on him are just like Malcolm X's attacks on Martin Luther King.
  • Speaking of Jones, Cliff Kincaid can probably expect to become his next target after he called Jones and his followers a bunch of lunatics who are "poisoning the minds of many conservatives and Tea Party members."
  • Is anyone surprised that three graduates of Liberty University Law School are serving as law clerks for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and played a key role in crafting the court's recent abortion decision?
  • David Barton and Sarah Palin will both be speaking at a fundraiser for a Christian school in October. That ought to be enlightening.
  • Similarly, Mat Staver and Kamal Saleem will be speaking at the American Decency Association’s summer conference.
  • Finally, the candidate who ran an ad mocking John Boehner’s "electile dysfunction" has lost his job teaching at a Christian college as a result.

Bob McDonnell Joins Liberty University's Jesse Helms School Of Government

Beset by legal troubles, former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has joined Liberty University as a visiting professor in government.

In a press release yesterday, Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr. (son of the school’s founder, televangelist Jerry Falwell) praises McDonnell’s conservative bona fides and welcomes him to Liberty University’s Jesse Helms School of Government — yes, that Jesse Helms.

McDonnell, a longtime friend of the university, said he is delighted to contribute to Liberty’s world-class academic programs and to train students to make a significant positive impact at every level of government.



Liberty President Jerry Falwell said the university will tap McDonnell’s extensive career experience in business, law, public policy, and government.

“Gov. McDonnell will add another dimension to the educational experience of Liberty students by teaching leadership,” Falwell said. “He achieved great success as governor in making Virginia one of the nation’s most business-friendly and fiscally sound states while getting people to work together for the common good. These experiences uniquely qualify him to teach our students about every aspect of serving in public office.”

Dr. Shawn Akers, dean of the Helms School of Government, said the governor’s recent visit was a pleasant surprise to the students, who were eager to learn from a seasoned leader.

“The students’ eyes lit up when he walked into the class. They were so excited to hear directly from someone who has been on the frontlines of the important public policy battles in America,” Akers said. “The Helms School is proud to welcome Governor McDonnell, who has a proven record in public policy and conservative activism, and who shares in the biblical principles and servant leadership that are so important to Liberty University.”

Shawn Akers, the dean of the Helms School and McDonnell’s new boss is best known here at Right Wing Watch for his extreme anti-gay rhetoric, such as his comparison of gay rights activists to Nazis and his claim that the military now imposes a “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” on Christian service members.

Akers has also derided anti-bullying programs as “a form of indoctrination and reeducation that smacks of socialist and communist countries” and accused gays of bullying Christians, whom he called “the weakest members of our society.” He even believes that “the homosexual activist community” is a religion.

McDonnell is a graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University (then called CBN University), where he wrote a now-notorious thesis, and it was widely rumored that he might lead Regent after he left office.

The Prophet Glenn Beck Has A Message From God: 'I Am Coming And I Will Settle Scores'

On Friday, Glenn Beck spoke at Liberty University's convocation where, in between crying jags, he announced that his charity, Mercury One, would be donating $50,000 to the school because its students give Beck hope for the future.

For most of his speech, Beck, a Mormon, lectured the large audience on what it means to be a Christian, beseeching them live their lives in such a way that they can "demand miracles, expect miracles, call down miracles" in the name of "the awesome power of Jesus Christ and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

Later, Beck recounted the "Restoring Courage" event he put together in Jerusalem back in 2011, saying that he had no idea why he held it other than that God told him to.

Saying that he was overwhelmed by the fact that he was to be among "the first Christians to ever speak at the Temple Mount," Beck had no idea what he was even supposed to say ... until God finally told him that the message that he was supposed to deliver was that "I am coming and I will settle scores":

In 2012, Liberty's decision to invite Mitt Romney to speak at its graduation ceremony sparked protests from students and alumni, so it was genuinely amazing to watch the audience at Liberty now shower Beck with applause as he preached Mormon theology from the stage during convocation, at one point declaring that "nobody in the Grand Council" chose to come to earth from Heaven in order to be an accountant or make t-shirts for a living, which is a distinctly Mormon theology.

Ergun Caner Loses 'Fair Use' Lawsuit In Failed Attempt To Silence Critics

Ergun Caner has lost his lawsuit against a blogger who criticized the Religious Right figure as a fraud, with a federal judge ruling last week that Caner’s case had no merit.

After the September 11 attacks, Caner built a career around his purported conversion from Islamic extremism to Christianity, but his testimony was later exposed as fictitious. Not only did he completely fabricate details about his background — including facts about his birthplace, upbringing, and his family — but he also spoke gibberish during his speeches, which he claimed was Arabic.

Caner led Liberty University’s theological seminary at the time but the university cut ties with him following the revelations and he now heads Brewton-Parker College, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

A federal judge dismissed Caner’s lawsuit, a thinly veiled attempt to shut down criticism, against blogger Jason Smathers, as the Associated Baptist Press reports today:

Ergun Caner, president of Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Ga., filed a lawsuit last summer claiming ownership of two videos that Smathers posted of Caner speaking as an expert on Islamic culture in training for U.S. Marines preparing to deploy in 2005.

U.S. District Judge Terry Means, however, said Caner failed to make a case and that Smathers used the material fairly, as copyright law permits, for “purposes such as criticism, comment, [or] news reporting.”

“His sole purpose was to expose the inconsistencies in Dr. Caner’s biography and criticize a public figure,” the judge determined. If the unauthorized reproduction of his lectures caused Caner any financial loss, he continued, it was the result of “legitimate criticism” of his words.

The misuse of video “takedown notices” — the same method employed by another Religious Right activist who tried to shut down Right Wing Watch’s YouTube page — was one of the focuses of the trial. As the judge notes in his ruling [PDF], the blogger’s actions are protected as fair use.

In 2013, Dr. Caner filed a “takedown notice” with Viddler.com, claiming that the videos were posted without authorization and in violation of his copyright. Smathers challenged the removal of the videos, which ultimately resulted in the present lawsuit by Dr. Caner, alleging copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. §§ 106,506.



Smathers claims that he posted he videos featuring Dr. Caner as a religiously based criticism of a public figure and, thus, his posting constituted fair use.

The Court notes that Dr. Caner has apparently conceded this issue since he has offered no argument in his response with respect to Smathers’s assertion of fair use.



Dr. Caner’s concession notwithstanding, the facts of this case support the application of fair use.

The affirmative defense of fair use is codified at 17 U.S.C. § 107 and provides that “the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies . . . , for purposes such as criticism, comment, [or] news reporting . . . , is not an infringement of copyright.”



All of Dr. Caner’s claims of copyright infringement against Smathers are hereby DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

Peter LaBarbera Demands Liberty University Fire Openly Gay Choreographer

Americans For Truth About Homosexuality head Peter LaBarbera is demanding the notoriously anti-gay Liberty University fire theatre artist Geoffrey Goldberg, who was hired to choreograph the school’s production of Mary Poppins, because he is gay. On Voice of Christian Youth America’s Tuesday edition of Crosstalk, LaBarbera and host Vic Eliason ganged up on Liberty University and demanded Goldberg’s ouster.

Liberty University has responded to news reports by saying that Goldberg is an “independent contractor supplied to the university through a third-party association who has never been employed or applied for employment” at the school. 

LaBarbera name-dropped fellow anti-gay activists at Liberty including Mat Staver, Matt Barber and Rena Lindevaldsen, and urged the school to “do the right thing” and part ways with Goldberg. He even demanded Liberty and other universities refuse to allow “open homosexual advocates as students” and called on Grove City College to fire professor Warren Throckmorton over his criticism of ex-gay therapy and anti-gay laws in countries like Uganda.

Not to be outdone, Eliason worried about “percentage of homosexuals that have invaded the arts such as drama” in order to “capture the minds of individuals.”

Eliason: Christian News carried this story with the headline, ‘Liberty University Hires Open Homosexual Advocate To Choreograph Its Upcoming Broadway-Style Mary Poppins Production,’ what more do you know about this thing?

LaBarbera: I don’t know a lot about this one. Apparently he was a contractor and I think that the woman who spoke out on his behalf probably did not have the clearance of the university before she did that. I know the people I’ve worked with at Liberty and I hope they fix this problem because this is such a great organization, it’s done so much good work. Jerry Falwell did such tremendous work, Ronald Reagan would never have been president without Jerry Falwell, the founder of Liberty University.

The bigger story Vic is the one that didn’t get much play which is: Liberty University and other Christian universities who call themselves Christian, will they allow open homosexual advocates as students? In the old days if a student was out there celebrating sin, there would be consequences. But apparently that doesn’t happen much. We have other examples of course of universities gone bad. Good golly, Grove City College has some wonderful professors but they also have Warren Throckmorton who is pretty much a de facto gay activist now; a professor at Grove City College, which calls itself Christian and advertises in World Magazine and other Christian places, they have Warren Throckmorton who is pretty much a gay activist the way he advocates for homosexuality.

Eliason: It’s alarming when you see the percentage of homosexuals that have invaded the arts such as drama. But drama ends up being a tool to persuade the minds of people. It becomes a tool to do some mind-bending or to capture the minds of individuals. They’re starting now and you can see using Open Core [sic] and right on through the core idea of training children from right on up government-controlled education, and now we see what’s happening at the options of a university that could have put the brakes on this and said no, we’re going to look for someone who is really a representative of the lifestyle that we’re doing here. Does not Christianity have people of talent enough to do the choreography of a dramatic presentation without having to go to someone who openly endorses same-sex marriage?

LaBarbera: I think they do and I hope that Liberty does the right thing. Mat Staver, Matt Barber, Rena Lindevaldsen are just wonderful people and I think Liberty really has to watch it because of course the homosexual activists want to undermine Liberty, of course they want to undermine Christian institutions.

The AFTAH president went on to condemn gay rights advocates as the “Gay-KK” and “Gay-Stapo,” warning that the movement is a “homo-Marxist” effort based on “idiocy” and “tyranny.”

Eliason: I’ve heard of people talk about homo-fascists but you’ve got another term that’s been brought forward which is a little bit different.

LaBarbera: Well I’m using homo-Marxist and homo-fascist. Homo-fascism suggests this bully mentality, this idea that the homosexual activists know what is best for everybody and they’re going to take people down, anybody who gets in their way, undemocratic, that’s where that came from and now it’s really starting to gain popularity. Other pejorative sort of joking terms like the Gay-KK and the Gay-Stapo, but I’m also using homo-Marxist and here’s why I think it is actually more accurate.

The Communists, the Marxists, they’re the ones who had this radical egalitarianism, they thought they were going to make everybody equal and what did it do, it led to tyranny. Look at the homosexual lobby, they’re trying to pretend that homosexual behavior is somehow equal to the real deal, they call it marriage equality, that somehow two men getting ‘married’ is equal and deserves the same benefits and rights and standing in society as real marriage, and of course that’s idiocy, that’s nonsensical.

The interview concluded with a truly bizarre rant by Eliason calling transgender people and women construction workers “disgusting” and attacking “the Islamics, who can grow a beard now, which who knows it can get caught in a barbed wire fence, that wear a turban to designate who they are, I wonder if they’re trying to look for sympathy so that no one would shoot a guy with a turban on. I don’t understand.”

Eliason’s group is based in Milwaukee County, where in 2012 a white supremacist murdered six Sikhs, whose adherents wear turbans, at their Oak Creek temple.

LaBarbera: If they allow transsexuals into the military, you’re going to see guys and women joining the military just to get their body-altering, these terrible sex-reassignment surgeries paid for by the taxpayer.

Eliason: Mutilation, if you please.

LaBarbera: Mutilation, right.

Eliason: I can only imagine the confusion that would be there if here is some guy dressed in a big skirt trying to look feminine climbing into the left seat in a bomber or into a jetfighter and getting his dress all snarled up trying to climb in. We’re talking about guys running jackhammers and making bunkers and things like that, if there’s anything disgusting it’s to see, and I mean this kindly but women are made of God to be very special, and one day I was driving down the street and I saw this, well this lady was pretty hefty, but she was operating a jackhammer and what it did to her was absolutely astounding, it was wicked, it was a violation of the very purpose of the wonderful gift of femininity.

If we’ve got people here now suddenly all on the altar of being able to — it’s not just the transgenders [sic], now if you feel like you’re feminine one day and feel like you’re masculine the next day, you can change back and forth, switch-hitter. And of course we have to be fair, so we have also turned the option to the Islamics, who can grow a beard now, which who knows it can get caught in a barbed wire fence, that wear a turban to designate who they are, I wonder if they’re trying to look for sympathy so that no one would shoot a guy with a turban on. I don’t understand.

Right Wing Leftovers - 4/7/14

  • Gary Glenn and the American Family Association of Michigan oppose a proposed anti-discrimination ordinance in Saginaw because "we consider these ordinances to be, themselves, discriminatory."
  • Liberty University clarifies that it is not involved in a partnership with Benny Hinn.
  • If Hollywood is going to make movies based on the Bible stories, then those movies must "adhere strictly to the details of the original story."
  • Former Congressman Bob Dornan has endorsed Bob Marshall for Congress.
  • Finally, Erik Rush continues to advocate that Muslims be slaughtered en masse.

Right Wing Leftovers - 3/31/14

  • Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas will deliver the keynote address at Liberty University’s Convocation on Wednesday.
  • This is a phrase that ought to automatically disqualify anyone who is running for office: "Dan Bongino: Guest of honor at WND Christmas party."
  • Scott Lively has now taken up the case of Justina Pelletier and is challenging his fellow gubernatorial candidates to do the same.
  • Phyllis Schlafly has "endorsed Bob Marshall for Congress in the upcoming April 26 primary to fill the vacancy left by Congressman Frank Wolf’s retirement in Virginia's 10th Congressional District."
  • Finally, Matt Barber is calling for revolution: "Look around. We are no longer the United States of America. We have become The Communist States of America. Which means, for those who love liberty, revolution is once again at hand."

Glenn Beck, Liberty University, And The Right To Be Different

Last week, we noted that it was a little odd to watch Glenn Beck heap praise upon Religious Right activist Mat Staver not too long after denouncing anyone who supported the anti-gay crackdown taking place in Russia, given Staver's long history of anti-gay activism and support for these very sorts of laws.

On today's radio broadcast, Beck was discussing the most recent developments in the Justina Pelletier case and once again praised Staver and Liberty University, where he serves as dean of the law school. So impressed with Staver is Beck that he announced that, when he dies, he is going to leave a lot of money to LU:

This is odd for a number of reasons, most notably the fact that Liberty U has not been particularly welcoming of Mormons or Mormonism.

Beyond that, just last week Beck made a crusade out of defending a gradeschool boy who was told not to bring his "My Little Pony" backpack to school, using his entire network to support the boy and even bringing him on his television program.

"I thought it was important to send a very clear message to Grayson and everybody else that it’s okay to be different," Beck declared last week.  "It is critical that you remain different. It is critical that you say, ‘This is who I am, and if you don’t like it, go pound sand. I don’t really care.'"

This week, a similar sort of story emerged out of Virginia where a Christian school has asked a young girl to leave because she is too much of a tomboy and is not modeling a properly feminine "biblical lifestyle."

"We believe that unless Sunnie and her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education," shool officials wrote in a letter sent home with the student.

Wouldn't you know it, but this school just so happens to have a close relationship with none of than Liberty University and, according to news reports, school officials are referring any inquiries about the incident to Mat Staver's Liberty Counsel:

School officials declined a request to speak with MSNBC, referring the matter instead to Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization. Timberlake administrator Jeff Abbett did send a statement to WDBJ7, however, saying the school was “heart-broken” over the latest developments.

Will Glenn Beck come rushing to defend Sunnie’s right to be different? Or will he continue to stand with Staver and heap praise upon Liberty Counsel even as his organization defends this school's decision to refuse to allow her to attend because she chooses to "remain different"?

As we have pointed out before, Beck has a tendency to decry the very things that the people with whom he chooses to associate all vocally support, all while pretending that he doesn't even know anybody who supports those sorts of things. And this is another perfect example of Beck's myopic hypocrisy as one week he is decrying efforts by a school to force a student to conform and then, the very next week, endlessly praising someone who is defending a school that is forcing a student to conform.

Right Wing Leftovers - 12/30/13

  • The number of Republicans who believe in evolution has actually gone down since 2009 and is now a minority viewpoint.
  • We can only imagine how Religious Right activists would react if the Obama administration decided to have the government cover the costs of abortion services, but since it is the Israeli government they probably won’t say anything.
  • Liberty University is teaming up with the Trinity Broadcasting Network for a New Year’s Eve party and the re-launch of their “edgy” network, JUCE TV.
  • Robert Knight insists (falsely) that Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson’s “crime was to coarsely express the normal male preference for female anatomy.”

Sorry Sarah Palin, But Thomas Jefferson Led The War On Christmas

Sarah Palin seems to be under the impression that Thomas Jefferson would stand with her and the folks at Fox News and Liberty University in protesting the non-existent “War on Christmas” and set straight “those who would want to try to abort Christ from Christianity.”

But Palin might want to read The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, or The Jefferson Bible, from which the nation’s founder actually removed passages from the Bible, including the virgin birth and angelic visitations detailed in Matthew and Luke, at the center of Christian teaching on Christ’s birth:

1: And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2: (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3: And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4: And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5: To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6: And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7: And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8: And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS.

9: And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.

Disgraced Former Liberty Dean Ergun Caner Gets New Job, Seeks To Silence Critics

If you were the trustee of a troubled college fighting to keep its accreditation, would you hire as your new president someone who was forced out of a previous academic post for lying about his past? That’s what the trustees of Brewton-Parker College in Georgia have just done; the college announced this week that it has hired Ergun Caner to be its new president. 

Caner is the former dean of the seminary at Liberty University who was removed from that job in 2010 when the school could no longer ignore the evidence that the Jihadi-to-Jesus life story Caner had been peddling since the 9/11 attacks turned out to be a pack of lies. (Caner said, for example, that he was raised in Turkey and trained as an America-hating jihadist; in reality he was born in Sweden and moved to the U.S. as a very young child.)

It’s not as if the Brewton-Parker trustees were unaware of Caner’s controversial past. A press release from the college quoted an unnamed trustee saying, “We didn't consider Dr. Caner in spite of the attacks; we elected him because of them. He has endured relentless and pagan attacks like a warrior. We need a warrior as our next president.”

The mind reels. Caner’s most relentless critics are not “pagan” but born-again evangelicals who take great offense at Caner’s lying to fellow Christians from church pulpits. It’s hard to see how Caner’s hiring is evidence, as outgoing president Mike Simoneux claims, of the school’s “decision to honor Jesus Christ in every area.”

In fact, the timing of the announcement is a bit awkward for Caner and the college, because it comes just days after the filing of a detailed motion in a legal suit being brought by Caner against some of his critics.

Let’s backtrack just a bit. The most devastating weapon in the arsenal of Caner’s critics has been Caner’s own demonstrably dishonest words, captured in this digital age for everyone to see. Caner, who has taken a bullying, blustering approach to his critics, set out this summer to purge the online evidence of his lying.  In May this year, he had 34 videos that critics had posted online taken down from YouTube by filing copyright claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. (Sound familiar?) In June, he filed a lawsuit  against Jonathan Autry and Jason Smathers, claiming they had “willfully and purposefully infringed” on his copyright.

Among Caner’s claims is that Smathers and Autry (operating separately) violated his copyright by posting video of speeches Caner gave to U.S. Marines in 2005 training sessions. They had obtained video of the speeches by filing Freedom of Information Act requests with the Marine Corps. Then they posted the videos online so that others could see and hear Caner’s claims firsthand and judge whether they were taking his remarks out of context. The videos showed Caner misrepresenting his past in order to bolster his credentials as an expert on Islamic terrorism.

It’s easy to understand why Caner would like to cleanse the public record of his lying to Marines. But a description of the case on Smathers’ website makes it sound like Caner wants to go beyond silencing his critics to punishing or destroying them. Smathers writes that even though Autry took down Caner’s videos, and offered to sign a non-disparagement agreement, he faced escalating demands that he could not afford to meet. Says Autry, “Dr. Caner has continued with the lawsuit for apparently no reason other than to seek attorney fees that I cannot afford to pay.” In a sworn statement, Autry says Caner demanded that Autry’s wife and three young children also sign non-disparagement agreements, and that Caner threatened to bankrupt him by following up his copyright suit with a defamation claim.

Just before Thanksgiving, attorneys for Smathers and Autry filed a motion to dismiss the charges; their filing is worth reading. It provides documentation of Caner’s duplicity as well as a sense of the flimsiness of his legal claims. The attorneys conclude that “Dr. Caner’s motive is simply to lock the videos away so that no one can expose his dishonesty.” Among the assertions in the motion:

  • Caner made his speeches to the Marines as a government contractor; therefore the government, and not Caner, owns the lectures.
  • It is a longstanding principal of Freedom of Information Act law that “a release to one is a release to all.”  Since the USMC released the video of Caner’s speech, it is available to every member of the public.
  • Caner’s copyright claims are bogus because he has not shown that he has copyright to the videos in question. The videos were posted online in 2010; he now claims that his applications are pending.

The attorneys also note, “It is a crime to falsely represent the truth on a copyright application.”

Caner has also gone after another persistent critic, James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries. When Caner was at Arlington Baptist College, White says, the school tried to get a local church to cancel a presentation White gave about Caner’s “many fraudulent claims,” and charged White with criminal trespass when a former student distributed flyers on campus about his upcoming speech. (White wasn’t even in the state at the time; the charges were dropped.) White is basically begging Caner to sue him, saying he would love to depose Caner, his colleagues, and his family about the claims he made repeatedly over the years.

Brewton-Parker’s trustees are not the only people willing to overlook Caner’s dishonesty. Arlington Baptist College made Caner provost after his demotion at Liberty. And in May this year Caner was invited to address the Family Research Council’s “Watchmen on the Wall” conference for pastors.

White seems personally offended by Caner’s behavior, saying it is a sin for Caner to sue Christian pastors to “suppress the truth about his own lies.” Autry is also personally troubled by Caner’s behavior; he says he attended college and seminary at Liberty while Caner was the seminary’s dean.

But the trustees at Brewton-Parker College see something else in Caner. Trustee Bucky Kennedy said in the school's press release that Caner’s “character and love for God are admirable and inspirational.”

It makes one wonder what Brewton-Parker teaches its students about the definition of “character.”

Right Wing Leftovers - 11/22/13

  • Rick Scarborough, who once lead the charge to eliminate the filibuster, is now vehemently opposed to the elimination of the filibuster.
  • FRC prays that God will "raise up leaders in each state, 'blue' and 'red' to champion righteous public policy and defeat policies that coerce businesses, schools, military, non-profit groups, families and individuals to do what the Scriptures call evil."
  • Speaking of FRC, the RNC has hired a former FRC staffer to serve as liaison to Tea Party and Religious Right groups.
  • Larry Klayman's call to revolution is too radical even for Alan Keyes.
  • Finally, Sarah Palin will be the speaker at Liberty University's Fall Convocation. She'll probably quit half way through her speech.

Ken Cuccinelli Donor Linked To Kidnapping Case, Anti-Semitic Newspapers

While Ken Cuccinelli may be the top law enforcement officer in the Commonwealth of Virginia, that hasn’t stopped him from taking campaign contributions for his gubernatorial bid from a Religious Right activist linked to a kidnapping investigation. Blue Virginia notes that Cuccinelli donor Philip Zodhiates of Response Unlimited is tied to the Lisa Miller kidnapping case.

Zodhiates was named in a RICO lawsuit [PDF] filed by Janet Jenkins, whose former partner Lisa Miller kidnapped their daughter, Isabella, and fled to a Mennonite community in Central America. Before leaving the country with Isabella, Miller broke off a civil partnership with Jenkins after she renounced homosexuality and moved to Virginia and joined the church founded by Jerry Falwell, who also established Liberty University. Miller abducted Isabella after refusing a court order to transfer custody of their daughter to Jenkins.

The lawsuit depicts how Zodhiates and Liberty University School of Law, which represented Miller, were connected to the kidnapping:

36. Unbeknownst to Plaintiff Janet Jenkins, on September 21, 2009, Lisa Miller and Isabella were transported, in disguise as Amish-Mennonites, to the Canadian border by Philip Zodhiates and at least one other Response Unlimited, Inc. employee. Lisa Miller and Isabella crossed the border at the Rainbow Bridge in a taxi in the early morning hours of September 22, 2009, just days prior to the contact ordered by the Rutland Family Court in its September 2009 Interim Order.

37. In the days prior to September 22, 2009, Lisa Miller and Philip Zodhiates conspired with Kenneth Miller, a member of the Virginia Beachy Amish-Mennonite Brotherhood with whom both Victoria and Philip Zodhiates were acquainted, to arrange the purchase of plane tickets from Canada to Nicaragua for Lisa Miller and Isabella Miller-Jenkins.



41. Unbeknownst to Plaintiff Janet Jenkins, in 2009 Victoria Zodhiates (now Hyden) was an employee of Response Unlimited, Inc., and also a "student worker" at Liberty University School of Law. On information and belief, Victoria Zodhiates sent an email during this time period to her co-workers at the law school requesting donations for supplies to send to Lisa Miller to enable her to remain outside the country. Lisa Miller's attorney, Matthew Staver was the Dean of the Law School and Ms. Zodhiates's boss. Matthew Staver and Philip Zodhiates were also personal acquaintances at this time. On September 20, 2009, both Philip Zodhiates and Victoria Hyden called Lisa Miller's father, Terry Miller in Tennessee to assist in arranging her and Isabella's transportation from a Walmart parking lot in Lynchburg, Virginia, to Waynesboro, Virginia, from whence they would depart for Canada and Nicaragua the next day.

42. In early November, 2009, elders of the Thomas Road Baptist Church packed up the personal belongings of Lisa Miller in two bags. These bags were picked up from Lynchburg, Virginia by Philip Zodhiates who arranged to have the bags transported to Nicaragua by sending them with his son's school teacher who was taking some children on a mission trip to Managua. Philip Zodhiates arranged for the teacher, John Collmus, to deliver the bags at the airport to Timothy Miller. The bags also contained some supplies for Lisa Miller, such as peanut butter. –



53. In May of 2010, Philip Zodhiates contacted Kenneth Miller purportedly to arrange the purchase of hydrangea plants from Millmont Greenhouses, Inc., for his daughter Victoria's wedding. As stated above, Kenneth Miller was an employee of Millmont at that time. Upon information and belief, this transaction with Mr. Zodhiates was never recorded in the normal course of business, but instead, was fraudulently transferred through a payroll account into a check to Andrew Yoder, for $500. Andrew Yoder was never an employee of Millmont Greenhouses, Inc. On August 10, 2012, Andrew Yoder testified under oath that he received a check to cash from Kenneth Miller to enable him to bring cash to Nicaragua to transfer to Timothy Miller. Yoder testified that he believed this cash was related to Lisa Miller.

Zodhiates’ company is also closely tied to Nativist and anti-Semitic groups. Author David Neiwert described how Response Unlimited worked with anti-immigrant “Minutemen” groups in his book And Hell Followed With Her:

Headed up by Diener’s Phil Sheldon and a man named Philip Zodhiates, Response Unlimited makes its money by brokering mailing lists—hundreds of them, gleaned from right-wing organizations and political campaigns, and made available to fundraisers and organizers who can select a list of thousands of names based on their specific interests. Besides the [Minutemen Civil Defense Corps] and readers of the conservative Weekly Standard, among the lists offered by RU is one culled from readers of the notoriously anti-Semitic weekly the Spotlight.

The Southern Poverty Law Center adds that even after Spotlight closed down, Zodhiates maintained ties with its successor:

Response Unlimited, based in Waynesboro, Va., and headed by Christian Right activist Philip Zodhiates, charges $100 for the rental of every 1,000 names of subscribers to the now-defunct Spotlight newspaper. Founded by veteran anti-Semite Willis Carto, The Spotlight carried anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic and wildly conspiracist articles interspersed with ads for Klan, neo-Nazi and related hate groups.

Zodhiates also peddles lists of subscribers to the American Free Press, which replaced The Spotlight when that tabloid was shut down amid legal and financial troubles surrounding Carto. The Free Press began immediately after The Spotlight fizzled in 2001 and picked up many of its predecessor paper's propagandists. Today, the Free Press carries stories on Zionism, secret "New World Order" conspiracies, American Jews and Israel. Mixed in are advertisements for outfits like Pete Peter's Scriptures for America and Kingdom Identity Ministries -- practitioners of Christian Identity, a theology that claims that Jews are the literal descendants of Satan.

Right Wing Leftovers - 9/24/13

  • Doesn't it seem a little ironic that Liberty University thrives in large part due to the $775 million a year it takes in through federal student loans and grants?
  • Self-aggrandizing Religious Right activist Patrick J. Mahoney is heading to Turkey on an "historic mission" to "attempt to secure a meeting in Tehran with President Rouhani and Iranian government leaders to discuss Pastor Saeed."
  • The American Renewal Project declares: "Unless politicians see scalps on the wall, they will never respect our policies, marches, sermons or prayer rallies. Registering people to vote prepares the constituency to move to the voting booth, and remove politicians who have a tin ear to Christian values and no appreciation for God-given rights. David Lane, founder of the American Renewal Project is catching the attention of those who are afraid that the movement is on the right track, and intend to stop him."
  • Even the Wall Street Journal doesn't like Ted Cruz.
  • Finally, Steve Lonegan had made yet another appearance on Bryan Fischer's radio program:
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Liberty University Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 10/21/2014, 5:30pm
Mat Staver has resigned from his position as dean of the Liberty University School of Law. Samuel Rodriguez declares that the supposed threat to religious liberty is "the single greatest civil rights threat of our time." Jerry Boykin and Kamal Saleem have written a novel together! Gina Miller declares that Christians must fight gay marriage with everything that they have because this is "just the beginning of the war on our freedoms being waged by the soldiers of Sodom West.  It is more important than ever that Christians and other right-minded people resist... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 09/02/2014, 5:31pm
Todd Starnes, Rick Santorum, Oliver North, Kirk Cameron, and the Benham Brothers are among those scheduled to speak at Liberty University this semester. Scott Lively is running for governor in Massachusetts in order to "restore a biblical worldview among conservatives here in this state and other values voters." It is always worth reminding people that Kimberly Daniels is a sitting city councilwoman in Jacksonville, Florida. Laurie Higgins is predicatbly outraged that Judge Richard Posner did not buy the Religious Right's arguments against gay marriage. Uh oh... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Thursday 08/07/2014, 11:37am
On a recent episode of Liberty Counsel’s “Faith and Freedom” radio program, Mat Staver argued that marriage equality can’t be a fundamental right because it’s not “deeply rooted in our history that you have to protect it,” and in fact “homosexuality has always been considered a crime against nature” and “something that’s been criminalized in our culture.” A fundamental right in constitutional law has to either be specifically articulated in an enumeration of the Constitution — so a fundamental right would be... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 07/11/2014, 9:50am
We’ve been reporting on the candidacy of Michael Peroutka, the 2004 presidential nominee for the U.S. Constitution Party and now the apparent GOP nominee for a county council seat in Anne Arundel, Maryland.  It is frankly hard to imagine a more extremist candidate for public office.   He is a radical Christian Reconstructionist and southern secessionist who argues that the Maryland General Assembly is “no longer a valid legislative body” because it has passed laws he thinks are violations of “God’s law.” He... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 05/20/2014, 12:26pm
Last month, Glenn Beck was invited to deliver a Convocation message at Liberty University where, in addition to delivering a prophetic message that God was coming to settle scores, he also preached Mormon theology, which did not sit well with certain Religious Right activists, such as Janet Mefferd. On his radio broadcast today, Beck lashed out at "people who claim to be followers of Christ" in "the so-called Christian Right" who are attacking Liberty U for allowing him to speak, saying that they are progressives and "there is no difference between you and the people... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Tuesday 05/13/2014, 10:11am
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would like to be president, so he spent the weekend at Liberty University doing what a Republican presidential wannabe does: courting Religious Right leaders by assuring them that he is one of them and shares their vision for America.  Jindal spoke at Liberty’s commencement address on Saturday, where he spouted Religious Right talking points about the “war” on religious liberty by a “left” that wants to “silence people of faith.” And on Friday night, he spent two hours talking about his faith in a session with... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 04/29/2014, 5:30pm
"History is repeating itself": Glenn Beck says that Alex Jones' attacks on him are just like Malcolm X's attacks on Martin Luther King. Speaking of Jones, Cliff Kincaid can probably expect to become his next target after he called Jones and his followers a bunch of lunatics who are "poisoning the minds of many conservatives and Tea Party members." Is anyone surprised that three graduates of Liberty University Law School are serving as law clerks for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and played a key role in crafting the court's recent... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 04/29/2014, 12:55pm
Beset by legal troubles, former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has joined Liberty University as a visiting professor in government. In a press release yesterday, Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr. (son of the school’s founder, televangelist Jerry Falwell) praises McDonnell’s conservative bona fides and welcomes him to Liberty University’s Jesse Helms School of Government — yes, that Jesse Helms. McDonnell, a longtime friend of the university, said he is delighted to contribute to Liberty’s world-class academic programs and to train students to make a... MORE >