Southern Baptist Convention

Robert Gagnon At FRC: Bible Says Gay Sex Worse Than Incest

Earlier this year, Christian author Matthew Vines published a book entitled “God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.” Vines’ book so angered Religious Right leaders like Matt Barber that its publisher was pushed out of the National Religious Broadcasters.  The Southern Baptist Convention rushed out an e-book: “God and the Gay Christian? A response to Matthew Vines.”

Today the Family Research Council continued the barrage against the very idea that committed, loving gay relationships might be acceptable in the sight of God.  FRC welcomed anti-gay theologian and activist Robert Gagnon to discuss “Jesus, Scripture, and the Myth of New Knowledge Arguments about Homosexual Unions.”

Gagnon used his hour to dismiss efforts by some scholars and Christians to question traditional interpretations of biblical passages on sexuality – including the ones about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Gagnon is having none of it.

Gagnon insists that examination of Old and New Testament texts makes it clear that only sex in the context of a lifelong marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to God.  It all goes back to the creation of Eve from part of Adam, resulting in male and female images of God that are sexually incomplete without the other.

Gagnon says Jesus actually had more restrictive views of acceptable sexuality, closing “loopholes” in the Old Testament that, for example, made it easier for men to divorce women.  He extrapolates that because some of the biblical patriarchs engaged in incest, and there’s some polygamy going on, homosexual sex is worse than either of those, the worst sexual sin apart from bestiality.  And it’s no better in the context of a loving relationship.

 

When FRC’s own ardently anti-gay Peter Sprigg asked about the Matthew Vines book, Gagnon dismissed Vines, saying he is young, lacks expertise, and isn’t as significant as other scholars he intends to take on.

Another questioner said it is hard for Christians with gay friends who believe that being gay is their identity, and who aren’t really open to hearing that they must not give in to what Gagnon calls their “innate urges.”  Gagnon responded that Christians may well have to give up those gay friends if they don’t want to hear the truth. Christians who don’t warn their friends to abstain from gay sex, he suggested, and let them go to hell for their sins, will be judged by God for failing to warn them.

 

Evangelical Leaders Warn Of 'Secular Totalitarianism' And 'Jail' For U.S. Christians

Religious Right leaders love to claim that Christians are threatened in the U.S., the subject of a forthcoming PFAW report on the Religious Right’s persecution complex. The latest example comes from the just-completed annual conference of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Russell Moore, who heads the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, hosted Rick Warren, David Platt, and Samuel Rodriguez for a June 9 panel on religious freedom in America through the lens of the Hobby Lobby case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

According to an account by Tom Strode in the Baptist Press, Rodriguez, who heads the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, warned, “Today’s complacency is tomorrow’s captivity. The firewall against secular totalitarianism is religious liberty and religious pluralism.”

“Secular totalitarianism” in this context is the requirement, being challenged in the Hobby Lobby case, that for-profit businesses provide insurance coverage that includes contraception methods to which the company’s owners have religious objections.

“The justices will decide whether “there is the freedom to dissent and the freedom to accommodate these conscientious objections in the governing of people’s lives and the running of their businesses,” Moore said. “This will have everything to do with everything that your church does for the next 100 years.”

Moore of course is ignoring, or rather obfuscating, the clear constitutional, legal, and policy distinction between churches, who are exempt from the requirement, and for-profit corporations, whose claim to a religious conscience is at the core of the Hobby Lobby case.

Rodriguez and Warren agreed that religious liberty is the civil rights issue of the future.  And panelists spoke as if Christians are on the verge of being jailed for their beliefs:

“I’m spending all of my time right now making sure that we stay out of jail,” [Moore] told the audience. “But there is one thing worse than going to jail, and that’s staying out of jail and sacrificing the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Warren responded, “This issue may take – just as it did with Martin Luther King – it may take some pastors going to jail. I’m in.”

The idea that pastors are going to be thrown into jail is a ridiculous argument that Religious Right leaders have used to oppose hate crimes legislation and laws against anti-gay discrimination in the workplace. This kind of rhetoric is not only ridiculous, it is also irresponsible and damaging. As People For the American Way Foundation’s Twelve Rules for Mixing Religion and Politics says in explaining that religious and political leaders should not “cry ‘wolf’” about religious persecution:

Inflammatory charges about religious persecution can lead to an angrier and more divisive political arena. If you believe your political opponents are actually out to take away your religious freedom, shut down your church, and literally criminalize Christianity—goals that some Religious Right figures attribute to political liberals—you have little reason to treat your opponents civilly or engage in a search for constructive common ground or compromise. Creating that kind of environment is not good for our country.

 It is possible to have a vigorous debate about political issues and about the separation of church and state without resorting to falsehoods about religious persecution.

The panel wasn’t a total bust, apparently. Unlike some Religious Right leaders, who claim that religious liberty protections apply only to Christians – or to a particular subset of Christians – news reports indicate that Rodriguez, Warren, and Moore said Christians should promote religious liberty for everyone in the context of religious pluralism. We don’t say this often about these guys, but we agree.

Republican Congressman Threatens Civil Disobedience On Romeike Case

The Home School Legal Defense Association announced today that the Romeike family, the German homeschoolers who lost their petition to have asylum in the US, will be granted “indefinite deferred status” by the Department of Homeland Security.

While Religious Right activists like HSLDA head Michael Farris blamed President Obama personally for the Board of Immigration Appeals decision not to grant the Romeikes asylum status, we aren’t holding our breaths for them to thank the Obama administration for the DHS’ decision.

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, for one, is still milking the case for all it’s worth.

The Fox pundit today published an interview with Republican congressman Phil Roe, who told Starnes that it may take “civil disobedience” to prevent the Romeikes from facing deportation. Roe added that he blames Attorney General Eric Holder for the initial Board of Immigration Appeals decision, calling Holder “one of the most dangerous people in the country.” The congressman also described the Obama administration’s stance as un-American.

Roe, ironically, is a vocal opponent of immigration reform and the DREAM Act.

Farris, for his part, told Starnes that Tennesseans will organize like Rosa Parks to defend Romeike family, and one Republican state lawmaker called the case an “attack” on “Christian values.”

Southern Baptist Convention spokesman Roger Oldham added that the Romeikes are only facing legal problems because “this family is the antithesis of this administration’s political agenda – a heterosexual married Christian couple desiring to teach their biblical values to well-grounded children.”

Christians in an east Tennessee community are vowing to engage in civil disobedience if the Obama administration initiates deportation proceedings against a Southern Baptist family from Germany who sought asylum in the United States so that they could home school their children.

“It may require civil disobedience with this bunch,” said Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), who represents the congressional district where the Romeike family lives.

“I am furious about this,” the congressman told me. “You’ve got law-abiding people who did everything right who simply want to home school their kids. We used to be that great shining city on a hill. There’s some rust on that city if we are doing free people this way.



Rep. Roe told me the Justice Department needs to “butt out.”

“I don’t know what the Germans are thinking, but we’re not Germany,” he said. “I don’t want to be Germany. I don’t want to be Europe. I want to be America. And right now we’re not acting very much like the America I know with the administration we have.”

Roe called Attorney General Eric Holder “one of the most dangerous people in the country” and called his department’s assault on the Romeike family “appalling and worrisome.”



“The Romeikes have become a part of our family,” said Dean Haun, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Morristown, where the family attends. “I don’t think there’s any question that there will be some people who will be willing to stand with them to the very end – even if it means our imprisonment.”

The Southern Baptist pastor said should that day come, he would be counted among the local residents willing to go to jail to save the family from deportation. “If that’s what it took, yes,” the pastor said. “This is an assault in the face of Christianity in America.”



Roger "Sing" Oldham, a spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, told me he was deep distressed by the Obama administration’s actions.

“I’m not sure what’s more chilling – that this administration views their presence in rural east Tennessee as a threat to our nation’s economic and political well being or that this administration lobbied to deport this family to a nation determined to coercively indoctrinate the children in government sanctioned ‘tolerance’ training,” Oldham said.

Oldham said the case is simply perplexing.

“This family is the antithesis of this administration’s political agenda – a heterosexual married Christian couple desiring to teach their biblical values to well-grounded children,” he said. “For whatever reason, our government does not want them in our nation.”

State Rep. Tillman Goins told me the community is “up in arms.”

“Everybody in Morristown knows the Romeike family,” he said. “You have a family who is doing it the legal way, taking every legal step they can to ask to come to this country and to participate as citizens in this country – only to be persecuted by the United States.”

Goins introduced a resolution calling on Tennessee’s congressional delegation to defend the family.

“I don’t know if all religious liberty is under attack in this country,” he said. “It seems like Christian values are under attack more than any other religion.”

Should the day come when the immigration agents show up to take the family away, Goins said he would meet them at the front door.

“Let’s hope that it doesn’t get to that point,” he said. “(But) should it come down to it – absolutely.”



Farris predicted that if the Romeikes are deported, it would spark a movement among religious liberty supporters.

“If they come for this family, it’s going to ignite a movement that’s going to be the same as when they told courageous Rosa Parks to go to the back of the bus and she wouldn’t go,” Farris said.

“I think we may be approaching a similar moment in our country.”

Southern Baptist Official Calls David Barton's Propaganda 'Satanic'

Yesterday, we noted that a top Southern Baptist Convention official blasted David Barton and Kenneth Copeland for their “profoundly ignorant” comments on soldiers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Barton and Copeland advised soldiers not to look for psychosocial help, and instead can simply “get rid of” PTSD by reading the Bible because they are God’s warriors. Joe Carter, the communications director for the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, elaborated in a blog post for The Gospel Coalition.

He calls the two right-wing speakers “fools” who are “among the last people who could be relied on to intelligently interpret a text,” adding: “Their mishandling of Scripture is inexcusable, but what makes it unconscionable is they use God’s Word to shame and berate veterans with PTSD.”

“Barton is still, inexplicably, trusted by many conservative evangelicals, he has himself built his reputation on twisting and misrepresenting historical documents for ideological and propagandist purposes,” Carter writes. “For Copeland and Barton to resurrect this ‘blame the victim’ trope and coat it with the veneer of Biblical warrant is Satanic.”

"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes." Proverbs gives us two approaches and expects us to use wisdom in knowing when they should be applied.

How then should we answer the fools Copeland and Barton? While it is tempting to ignore them completely, I believe that would be a mistake. Had they merely proffered another laughably inept reading of the Bible, it would have hardly been worthy of notice. Throughout his career, Copeland has been accused of various heresies, most of which he created through his inept handling of Scripture. And though Barton is still, inexplicably, trusted by many conservative evangelicals, he has himself built his reputation on twisting and misrepresenting historical documents for ideological and propagandist purposes. They are, in other words, among the last people who could be relied on to intelligently interpret a text.

Yet many people will erroneously believe that Copeland and Barton speak as experts on the Bible and that their interpretation is the natural result of a literal or inerrant view of Scripture.

To those who are unclear on that point, let me express what I believe is the shared opinion of Biblical scholars, intelligent laymen, and just about anyone else who has ever bothered to read the Bible: Copeland and Barton's application of Numbers 32:21-22 to modern veterans suffering from PTSD is one of the most profoundly stupid interpretations ever uttered.

When those verses are read in the context of the chapter, and in the context of book of Numbers, and in the context of the Old Testament, and in the context of the entire Bible, it becomes almost impossible to imagine how anyone with an elementary school level of reading comprehension could have come up with such an interpretation.



Their mishandling of Scripture is inexcusable, but what makes it unconscionable is they use God's Word to shame and berate veterans with PTSD. Barton and Copeland imply that PTSD is due to guilt over actions carried out in wartime that leads to self-condemnation. This is a profoundly ignorant view of both the causes of combat-induced PTSD and the motivations behind medical and psychological based treatment.

PTSD is psychological trauma that can change how the brain and mental processes function. While in combat, veterans are exposed to the stresses of hyper-violence while living in a near constant state of hyper-vigilance. As psychiatrist Jonathan Shay explains in Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character:

A human enemy strikes not only at the body but also at the most basic functions of the human mind. The Vietnamese enemy defeated the soldier's perception by concealment and his ability to understand what he saw by camouflage. The basic mental state of intention and will was attacked by ambush, deception, surprise, and anticipation . . . . The cumulative effect of prolonged attacks on mental function is to undermine the soldier's trust in his own perceptions.

On returning from combat, the veteran is no longer exposed to violence, yet the reflex for hyper-vigilance -- whether conscious or subconscious -- may remain intact and beyond the person's control. "Exposed to continuous threats of warfare," says Shay, "the body remains mobilized for battle indefinitely." Veterans suffering from PTSD can lose some of the authority over mental processes, such as perception and memory, which civilians take for granted.

Throughout most modern wars, from World War I to Vietnam, both the military and civilian worlds denied or downplayed the existence of this form of psychological trauma. It wasn't until the post-Vietnam era that the medical community began to recognize that experiences of PTSD sufferers were not only real, but also that the causes were likely rooted in genes and brain chemistry, rather than a defect in the veteran's character.

For Copeland and Barton to resurrect this "blame the victim" trope and coat it with the veneer of Biblical warrant is Satanic. Christians need to counter this demonic, gospel-destroying message by letting the men and women who are suffering from combat related PTSD know what the Bible really says about hope, healing, and deliverance through Christ Jesus.

Southern Baptist Spokesman Condemns Barton And Copeland For 'Shocking And Unconscionable' PTSD Remarks

David Barton is coming under fire from the Southern Baptist Convention, with a spokesman for the conservative denomination’s political arm condemning the pseudo-historian’s recent remarks on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The right-wing activist recently spoke to televangelist Kenneth Copeland about PTSD, suggesting that soldiers are warriors for God and therefore should never suffer from such a condition. They advised against psychological help and said that simply reading the Bible will “get rid of PTSD.”

Joe Carter of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission said their remarks demonstrate how Barton and Copeland are “profoundly ignorant about theology and history,” arguing that by “downplaying the pain of PTSD” they have “denigrate[d] the suffering of men and women traumatized by war.”

Carter, who also writes for The Gospel Coalition and The Acton Institute, added: “[F]or them to denigrate the suffering of men and women traumatized by war — and to claim Biblical support for their callow and doltish views — is both shocking and unconscionable.”

Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton, whose book Getting Jefferson Right helped convince Thomas Nelson to pull Barton’s book on Jefferson from publication, noted that Barton and Copeland’s “naïve and potentially offensive” comments show “they do not have knowledge of the condition.”

PTSD has been a recurring issue among military veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs classifies PTSD as a mental health problem that can occur after a traumatic event like war, assault, or disaster. In 2011, 476,515 veterans who were diagnosed with PTSD received treatment VA medical centers and clinics.

“Just telling someone to get rid of it is naive and potentially offensive to someone who is suffering with PTSD. It is obvious that they do not have knowledge of the condition,” said Warren Throckmorton, a Grove City College psychology professor who has written on Barton. “Copeland and Barton err theologically as well by taking specific Scriptures written in relationship to Israel and apply them to American armies.”

This isn’t the first time Copeland and Barton have been “profoundly ignorant about theology and history,” said Joe Carter, an editor and communications director for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

“But for them to denigrate the suffering of men and women traumatized by war — and to claim Biblical support for their callow and doltish views — is both shocking and unconscionable,” Carter said. “Rather than downplaying the pain of PTSD, they should be asking God to heal our brothers and sisters.”

Russell Moore: 'I'm Not Seeking A Pullback' From Politics

Religious Right activists were none too pleased with Dr. Russell Moore’s interview with the Wall Street Journal, fearing that the new leader of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is throwing them under the bus. On his personal blog, Moore took issue with the article’s title, “Evangelical Leader Preaches Pullback From Politics, Culture Wars,” calling it “awfully misleading.”

In an interview with The Christian Post, where his ERLC predecessor Richard Land serves as executive editor, Moore reassured conservatives that in no way is he steering Southern Baptists away from political activism.

Much like Republicans who called on the GOP to only change their tone but not their actual political positions, Moore explained that he is “not seeking a pullback” from politics but instead a shift to less hateful and bellicose rhetoric:

Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, clarified some misleading information from a profile of him in The Wall Street Journal, and praised his predecessor, Dr. Richard Land, in a Wednesday interview with The Christian Post.

The Wall Street Journal article was titled, "Evangelical Leader Preaches Pullback From Politics, Culture Wars." In the article, reporter Neil King Jr. appeared to suggest that Moore, who was recently inaugurated to head the SBC's public policy advocacy group, wanted Southern Baptists to be less involved in politics, while adding that Moore is not "seeking to return the Southern Baptists to a past in which it shunned politics entirely."

Moore clarified, though, that he thinks Christians should be more involved, not less involved, in politics, and he is also concerned with how they are involved. "I'm not seeking a pullback," he said. "I'm seeking a change in priority, which means a wide and deep political engagement, but a political engagement that keeps Christ at the forefront. A gospel-centered, kingdom-focused political engagement is what is needed."



Another part of the WSJ article suggested that Moore would avoid controversial issues like gay marriage and abortion. King wrote that Moore's "advice meshes with those in the Republican Party who want the GOP to back off hot-button cultural issues to stress themes such as job creation and education."

"Goodness no," Moore responded, "I don't avoid issues that are controversial. As a matter of fact, I'm engaging in issues that are controversial every day, from abortion and same-sex marriage all the way through to questions of surrogacy and immigration reform."

The goal is not to avoid controversial issues, Moore explained, but to communicate on those controversial issues in a way that mirrors Jesus, which means that Christians should not hate those they disagree with.

"We disagree and we disagree strongly, but we don't hate the people who are opposed to us. The issue is whether or not we communicate the way Jesus did – convictionally, but with the sort of kindness that recognizes our ultimate goal is the gospel."



Moore was dealing with the controversial transgender issue long before it became a hot topic in California and other places, he recalled.

Many of the recent media profiles of Moore since he took the helm at ERLC have emphasized the differences between him and his predecessor, Dr. Richard Land, who recently became president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and has continued his position as executive editor for The Christian Post. Moore believes it is only natural for the media to be interested in what is different during a transition, but also suggested that the differences have been overplayed.

"It's expected," he said, "that people would look at a transition, particularly a generational transition, and seek to mine the points of difference. But there are so many points of commonality."

Just a few issues, Moore explained, in which "Dr. Land and I are exactly the same" include human life, the centrality of marriage, racial reconciliation and justice for immigrants.

In writing about the differences between himself and Land, Moore believes that some miss "the way that Richard Land was himself quite a prophetic voice in many places, who was unwilling to simply attach Bible verses to whatever his allies were putting in front of him."

Huckabee Claims Gay Unions Twist Marriage into 'Perversion' and an 'Unholy Pretzel,' Chides Jason Collins

Mike Huckabee delivered a politically charged speech at the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting on Monday, telling attendees that “holy matrimony” will be “twisted into perversion” and “formed into an unholy pretzel” as a result of same-sex marriage. Huckabee went on to criticize the armed forces and the Boy Scouts for becoming “test labs for social experiments” and Jason Collins, whom he mockingly called “a hero for announcing his sexual proclivities.”

Baptist Press, the media arm of the SBC, further reports that Huckabee urged pastors to speak out against the “ungodly and unholy” culture and put the Republican Party on notice in case they “ease off” on “issues like the sanctity of life and the holiness of marriage.” The future of abortion rights, Huckabee said, would determine “whether or not our civilization will survive as a nation” and if “our nation will stand or fall.”

"Jesus is talking about good food, biblical food," Huckabee noted, lamenting that "we are living in a time of biblical ignorance."

"People who attend church, especially young people, have an extraordinary lack of biblical depth," he said. "According to recent surveys, the kids who grow up in our evangelical churches do not really know the biblical definition of marriage, and that really does concern me."

"We need to be clear that, when holy matrimony is formed into an unholy pretzel, twisted into perversion -- and when the military and the Boy Scouts become test labs for social experiments -- we need to be very clear that, male and female, [God] created them," Huckabee said.



Citing veteran NBA center Jason Collins, who revealed his homosexuality on a sports website, Huckabee said the national media called Collins "a hero for announcing his sexual proclivities."

Huckabee asked, where are the "accolades for Tim Tebow who announced that he follows Jesus? He was told to shut up."

"It should concern us that we're living in a culture where a person announces a sexual preference and it's heroic" and another "announces he loves Jesus Christ, and he's told ... to keep that to yourself."



Clarifying that the hope of America is not in the next election, Huckabee said, "I would never suggest, ever, that you would turn your pulpit into some political podium. But I would urge that the pulpit would be a powerful, prophetic and purposeful punch in the gut to a culture that is ungodly and unholy."

Huckabee then lamented abortion, where "every year more than a million babies lose their lives in what ought to be the safest place on earth in their mother's own womb. How can we be silent?"

Abortion is not a political issue, but is one of "whether or not our civilization will survive as a nation that honors the God who created that precious life" or whether that life is "expendable, disposable."

"This is an issue upon which our nation will stand or fall," he said, "and the pulpits of America must not be silent." Christians must have "broken hearts not just for the babies, but for the mothers who are often exploited and twisted and turned and forced and cajoled into having the abortion that deep down in their maternal souls they know they don't want to have."

Regarding evangelicals' stance on social and moral issues, Huckabee said some in the Republican Party are saying "that maybe we need to dial it back a little bit when it comes to issues like the sanctity of life and the holiness of marriage, and maybe just ease off."

The crowd erupted into sustained applause when Huckabee said, "Well, I've got a news flash for the GOP: I plan to take my last ride in life on a white horse, not on an elephant and not on a donkey. And I will stick with the Word of God. And if the party, any party, goes a different way, I stick with Jesus. I believe He is forever."

Southern Baptist Leader Equates Homosexuality with Cancer

LifeSiteNews posted a column today by Southern Baptist leader Al Mohler in which he equated homosexuality with cancer: “They argue that to tell a homosexual he is a sinner is uncompassionate and intolerant. This is like arguing that a physician is intolerant because he tells a patient she has cancer.”

Mohler writes that “there is no compassion in such a deadly deception,” referring to attempts by some churches and schools to, in his words, “promote homosexuality as a legitimate and attractive lifestyle option.”

Other denominations are tottering on the brink, and without a massive conservative resistance, they are almost certain to abandon biblical truth and bless what the Bible condemns. Within a few short years, a major dividing line has become evident–with those churches endorsing homosexuality on one side, and those stubbornly resisting the cultural tide on the other. The homosexual rights movement understands that the evangelical church is one of the last resistance movements committed to a biblical morality. Because of this, the movement has adopted a strategy of isolating Christian opposition, and forcing change by political action and cultural pressure.

Can we count on evangelicals to remain steadfastly biblical on this issue? Not hardly. Scientific surveys and informal observation reveal that we have experienced a significant loss of conviction among youth and young adults. No moral revolution can succeed without shaping and changing the minds of young people and children.

Inevitably, the schools have become crucial battlegrounds for the culture war. The Christian worldview has been undermined by pervasive curricula that teach moral relativism, reduce moral commandments to personal values, and promote homosexuality as a legitimate and attractive lifestyle option.



The tragic fact is that every congregation is almost certain to include persons struggling with homosexual desire or even involved in homosexual acts. Outside the walls of the church, homosexuals are waiting to see if the Christian church has anything more to say, after we declare that homosexuality is a sin. Liberal churches have redefined compassion to mean that the church changes its message to meet modern demands.

They argue that to tell a homosexual he is a sinner is uncompassionate and intolerant. This is like arguing that a physician is intolerant because he tells a patient she has cancer. But, in the culture of political correctness, this argument holds a powerful attraction. Biblical Christians know that compassion requires telling the truth, and refusing to call sin something sinless. To hide or deny the sinfulness of sin is to lie, and there is no compassion in such a deadly deception.

Religious Right Conspiracy Theory on Military Blocking Baptist Website Completely False

The Religious Right went into a frenzy this week over charges that the military was deliberately blocking access to SBC.net, the official website of the Southern Baptist Convention’s, as part of an anti-Christian ploy.

“What we are seeing here, I want to be very clear here, we are seeing under the Obama administration a Christian cleansing underway in the United States military,” Fox News' Starnes maintained.

David Limbaugh accused the military of acting like a “thought police” who “selectively suppress[es] First Amendment freedoms” that “our armed forces are charged to protect,” and the SBC’s top ethicist Richard Land said it was an “outrageous” move and the person who blocked the website “needs to be fired.”

The American Family Association called the incident an example of the military’s “hostility towards faith and religious freedom” and its spokesman Bryan Fischer claimed it was part of an Islamist-secularist conspiracy to classify the entire denomination as a “hate group that spews nothing but ‘hostile content.’”

SBC.net was in fact blocked, but not as a result of anti-Christian bias, but because of malware on the SBC’s website.

Don’t just take our word for it, the Baptist Press, the news arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, reported that “the military's software filters detected malware at SBC.net and blocked the website.” Due to malware, not the content of the website, SBC.net was considered “hostile content.”

But don’t hold your breath for Land or Fischer to retract their inflammatory claims.

A military official says malware was to blame for the Southern Baptist Convention's website being blocked on some military bases.

Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a Defense Department spokesman, said the military's software filters detected malware at SBC.net and blocked the website. The malware since has been removed off the website, and the denomination's website unblocked, he said.

"The Department of Defense is not intentionally blocking access to this site," Pickart told The Tennessean in an email. "The Department of Defense strongly supports the religious rights of service members, to include their ability to access religious websites like that of the SBC."



Chris Chapman, the SBC Executive Committee's director of information systems, said SBC.net -- like the websites of many other organizations -- is a target for hackers. He also said the military's filters are at an "optimum level" in blocking content, not simply "recognizing invading viruses" but also blocking anything that possibly could be harmful.



"The recent situation impeding access to our website for some was aggravated by a misunderstanding of a term familiar to those in the information technology field. That term is 'hostile content.' To technical administrators, it simply means some sort of vulnerability or virus. It might not even be an actively harmful element, but simply an exploitable or potentially exploitable condition. We now live in an age where defending against or removing 'hostile content' is a daily undertaking, especially for any organization that maintains multiple Internet servers.

Wiles: Luter 'Tucked His Tail Between His Legs like a Frightened Puppy' In Recanting Anti-Gay Remarks

Yesterday on TruNews, End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles lashed out at Fred Luter, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention, for initially denying and then retracting his remarks that tied gay rights to nuclear threats from North Korea.

But Wiles is not backing down from his claim, which Luter had agreed with, that there is a connection between “gay rights fanatics” and North Korea’s desire for a nuclear strike on America. Yesterday on his program, he condemned Luter for disavowing his comments during an interview with Anderson Cooper.

“Poor pastor Luter, he wilted under the heat of CNN’s cameras, he recanted what he said on TruNews,” Wiles said, “He tucked his tail between his legs like a frightened puppy; he made Joel Osteen look like the winner of the tough man contest.”

He went on to maintain that Supreme Court decisions on the separation of church and state, legal abortion and gay rights have put the US on “a rapid descent into darkness,” which has prompted God to remove His “hand of divine protection over this nation” and make the country “vulnerable and ripe for destruction.”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper was talking about me last night on CNN, he had Southern Baptist President Fred Luter on CNN last night regarding my comments linking North Korea’s threats to nuke America to America’s slide into debauchery. Poor pastor Luter, he wilted under the heat of CNN’s cameras, he recanted what he said on TruNews. He tucked his tail between his legs like a frightened puppy; he made Joel Osteen look like the winner of the tough man contest. Where are the real men of God in this country? Have they all lost courage to speak for God when this nation is facing destruction? I promise you I will not recant, I will not bow, I will not run and I will now cower. Will you stand with me? We need your support now more than ever.

What has Anderson Cooper, Alan Colmes, Salon magazine and the Huffington Post in an uproar about TruNews? It’s because I dare to declare that the United States of America is quickly approaching its day of reckoning. Since the 1962, 63 Supreme Court rulings banning prayer and Bible reading in the public schools to the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing the murder of tens of millions of innocent babies to the upcoming court decision on homosexual marriage, the USA has been on a steady downhill slide as a nation. We are now in a rapid descent into darkness. There is a Holy God in Heaven who made this nation great. It is my Heavenly Father who blessed America; it is my Heavenly Father who made this country wealthy, made it powerful and made it mighty. It’s the same God who built this nation because of the righteousness of the early generations of Americans who will be the same Holy God who will remove His blessings and protection from this land because the nation has chosen debauchery and open sin as its way of life.

His patience with this nation is nearing its end. It isn’t God who is destroying America. He is trying to save this country. We are committing suicide as nation. God is withdrawing His hand of divine protection over this nation; He is stepping back, removing the spiritual dome that for hundreds of years shielded America. He will be silent as America’s enemies encircle this nation and see that our moral defense shield is down and we are vulnerable and ripe for destruction.

Fred Luter Says He Didn't Mean To Link Gays to North Korean Threats

It is always fun to watch Religious Right leaders say one thing when speaking to right-wing audiences and then something completely different while speaking to mainstream ones. It is even more fun to see what happens when they get called out on it.

Take for example Fred Luter, the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

As we reported last week, Luter told End Times radio host Rick Wiles that he doesn’t think it is a coincidence that North Korea’s military threats are coming at the same time the US debates marriage equality and allowing gays to join the Boy Scouts.

During an interview with Anderson Cooper, however, Luter quickly backtracked.

Luter claimed he told Wiles that he didn’t “think there’s any connection” between North Korea’s threats and gay equality but had to backtrack after Cooper played the recording of Luter saying exactly that.

After Cooper confronted Luter about his claim that a favorable decision on marriage equality from the Supreme Court may lead to America’s “destruction” a la Sodom and Gomorrah, Luter again tried to backpedal. Luter said that homosexuality is a sin comparable to abortion, gun violence and racism, but then told Cooper that he does not believe that homosexuality is a sin on par with gun violence.

Southern Baptist Leader Fred Luter Links North Korean Threats to Gay Marriage, Boy Scouts

Fred Luter, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, appeared Wednesday on TruNews with Rick Wiles, the Religious Right talk show host who is convinced President Obama is literally a demon.

After Wiles shared with Luter his theory that gay rights activists are to blame for North Korea’s threats to launch a nuclear strike against the US, Luter explained that while he is “not that strong in prophecy” he would not be surprised that there might be a connection.

“I would not be surprised that at the time when we are debating same-sex marriage, at a time when we are debating whether or not we should have gays leading the Boy Scout movement, I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that we have a mad man in Asia who is saying some of the things that he’s saying,” Luter said.

Listen:

Wiles: You know at precisely the same time the Supreme Court is hearing these arguments on same-sex marriage in Asia a crazy man in possession of nuclear weapons, Kim Jong-un, is openly saying: I have ordered our military to position our rockets on US targets in Hawaii, Japan, Guam and the mainland of the United States. He has gone into a full state of war this week. I don’t know, Pastor Luter, I don’t know if anybody is — I know they’re not — they’re just not putting this together. You got this happening over here and you got this happening over here: could the two be connected? Could our slide into immorality be what is unleashing this mad man over here in Asia to punish us?

Luter: It could be a possibility, I’m not that strong in prophecy but I would not be surprised that there’s not a connection there simply because of the fact we’ve seen it happen in scripture before. I would not be surprised that at the time when we are debating same-sex marriage, at a time when we are debating whether or not we should have gays leading the Boy Scout movement, I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that we have a mad man in Asia who is saying some of the things that he’s saying.

Indeed, Wiles started the program by warning that the US is being “transformed into a socialist, homosexual, anti-God, anti-biblical morality cesspool” and will commit “national suicide” if the Supreme Court rules “that homosexuals can marry.”

I have to admit I’m at a loss to understand the complacency and apathy of tens of millions of American Christians who are standing by, twiddling their thumbs while their nation is transformed into a socialist, homosexual, anti-God, anti-biblical morality cesspool. I fear that the moral decay has accelerated and worsened to such a degree that it is now impossible to halt the decline without a major catastrophe crippling the nation.



The Bible is full of examples to what happens to a nation that goes into idolatry and witchcraft and sexual sin, it always ends in disaster, always. So why aren’t we telling the American people that if you allow the Supreme Court to rule that homosexuals can marry, you have just committed national suicide. Why isn’t anybody standing up?

Luter told Wiles that he agreed with his analysis that the US may end up being “destroyed” like Sodom and Gomorrah over same-sex marriage.

Wiles: If the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, what are the ramifications for this nation? Luter: Oh man I would hate to think of it. You talked about Sodom and Gomorrah in your introduction and I can just see that happening man, it would be like America is pointing its finger at God and saying: ‘I know what your word says God, I know what the scripture says but we want to be our own king, we want to do things our own way.’ The last time a nation did that they were destroyed, Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed. I just see things getting consistently worse in America because of our decisions that we’ve made to just get farther and farther away from God and God’s word.

Wiles: Do you think the average evangelical Christian in America comprehends the spiritual ramifications of this country endorsing same-sex marriage, do you think people sitting in the pews of churches, are they aware that once we go down that road….

Luter: I don’t think so. I don’t think they are Rick because I think if they were we’d have more of us standing against it, shouting out and saying that enough is enough. I don’t think they are aware, I don’t think that they are aware of what the consequences of these decisions and choices can be to our nation and to our families and to our churches.

After Wiles said that ten million Christians should stop going to work in order to protest the nation’s alleged immorality, Luter said that the country needs “about ten million Rick Wileses” to “start revival in America.”

Wiles: The country, the economic system would be on the verge of collapse if ten million productive Christians — guess who goes to work every day, the Christians; guess who pays their taxes, the Christians — if ten million productive Christians simply said ‘we’re going to sit things out until this craziness stops,’ I think it would be over in a couple days.

Luter: That would be powerful, that would be a phenomenal statement to America and I think also to the world. The challenge would be getting those ten million Christians together to make it happen.

Wiles: Apparently they don’t believe the Gospel enough.

Luter: I agree, we need about ten million Rick Wileses in the world, it would be radical.

Wiles: That would be a scary thought.

Luter: I think it would start revival in America, I really do.

Southern Baptist Convention Poll More Bad News for Anti-Gay Activists

The Southern Baptist Convention’s polling arm LifeWay is out with a new poll revealing widespread support for gay rights, particularly among young people. According to the survey, a clear majority of Americans believe that “homosexuality is a civil rights issue like gender, race and age,” agree that same-sex marriage is “inevitable” and oppose employment discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The denomination is a fierce critic of marriage equality and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and last year passed a resolution “opposing the idea that gay rights are the same as civil rights.”

Richard Land, the denomination’s top political spokesman, has claimed that the Devil is behind homosexuality and warned that gay rights will lead to divine judgment and “paganization.” While the SBC believes it is wrong to consider gay rights a civil rights issues, Land compared his own anti-gay activism to Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership of the Civil Rights Movement.

Key findings from the poll include:

  • 64 percent of those polled agreed “it is inevitable that same-sex marriage will become legal throughout the United States.”
  • “80 percent of Americans disagree that employers should be allowed to refuse employment to someone based on their sexual preference.”
  • 58 percent of respondents agreed with the question: “like age, race, and gender, homosexuality is a civil rights issue.”
  • A majority of Americans believe rental halls and landlords should not be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples.
  • “More Americans do not believe homosexual behavior is a sin than those who believe it is a sin.”

The poll also found that women, young people and people with college degrees were more likely to favor gay rights.

LifeWay’s survey appears to line up with a new bipartisan analysis of exit polls which found that opposition to marriage equality is concentrated among the elderly, white evangelical Christians and people without college degrees.

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/21/13

  • The Republican Party’s approval rating continues to nose-dive
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) warns that gun safety laws will make us more susceptible to Sharia law
  • Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) offers some extraordinarily bad logic in his letter asking the Obama administration to withdraw Chuck Hagel’s nomination. 
  • Fox News loves Dr. Benjamin Carson.
  • American Family Asssociation spokesman Bryan Fischer puts it more bluntly: “If Tim Tebow doesn’t reverse field here, much more than his NFL career is in jeopardy.”

Ever Classy, FRC Says VAWA's Cost to Taxpayers Is the 'Real Abuse'

Last night, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to proceed on a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, despite strong opposition from the Religious Right. But as the legislation moves to the House, the fight is far from over. The Family Research Council has joined Religious Right activists and organizations including Phyllis Schlafly, Gary Bauer, Concerned Women For America, the Southern Baptist Convention, in opposing the reauthorization because it includes new provisions protecting LGBT people, immigrants and Native Americans. In an email alert last night, the FRC denied the positive impact of VAWA, which has contributed to a dramatic decrease in intimate partner violence, and said that the “real abuse” is VAWA’s cost to taxpayers.

Last year, when it first came up for reauthorization, Democrats intentionally loaded the bill with provisions the GOP cannot support--like millions more in spending and special rights based on certain sexual behavior. Their goal was to make the legislation so objectionable that Republicans would be forced to oppose it and fuel the lie that the GOP is anti-woman. Sen. Pat Leahy's (D-Vt.) version, which leaders will vote on this week, is a five-year extension of the Act. Among the bill's most egregious parts is a provision that would ban funds to grantees who may have religious objections to homosexuality--even if no documented case of refused services has been found. It also includes special assistance for homosexual victims.

Although Sen. Leahy promises to have a 60-vote block of support, FRC has warned the Senate that we will be scoring the vote. You can help by contacting your Senators and urging them to vote against VAWA and end the real abuse of taxpayer dollars.

Southern Baptist Convention Claims End of Gay Ban 'Will Be a Death Blow to Scouting'

The Southern Baptist Convention is warning that its members may boycott the Boy Scouts if they drop their national prohibition on gay members, even if the new policy would allow local troops to have the autonomy to either end or maintain the ban.

Frank Page, the president of the SBC’s Executive Committee, argued in a conference call with Boy Scout leaders that any shift “will be a death blow to Scouting.” SBC official A.J. Smith warned that “such a move is fraught with danger and is an affront to their core convictions on human sexuality.”

“Many Baptist charter organizations and Baptist parents will decide not to send their youth to such camps for fear of them being exposed to persons advocating a homosexual lifestyle,” Smith said. “This move appears to fly in the face of both the Scout Oath and Law.”

The Baptist Press reported on the call:

The Boy Scouts released a new statement Monday describing the proposal, saying that the national policy would be rescinded in favor of a policy allowing local councils to determine their own policy. That means that in each city, one council might allow gay leaders and another might not. The Boy Scouts board is expected to vote on the proposal next week.

Page told the Scout leaders that although the new policy might allow the sponsoring organization to set local policy, such autonomy would disappear when there is a national or even regional meeting.

"National policy will always trump local autonomy" in such situations, Page said. "I believe this will be a death blow to Scouting. ... I think this is a self-inflicted wound."



Meanwhile, the president of Association of Baptists for Scouting -- A.J. Smith -- says passage of the proposed policy "will likely be viewed as an affront by most Baptist church leaders." He also is urging people to voice their position to the national Boy Scouts office (see below).

"Such a move may result in a loss of units chartered through Baptist churches as well as a loss of Baptist youth currently registered through other charter organizations," Smith said. "It will, no doubt, be argued that under the proposed new guidelines the charter organization will have greater liberty in determining membership standards, and that would be true. Some Baptists will be more agreeable to that, certainly. Still, the move opens the door for hiring practices at council and national camps that would allow homosexuals in those settings. The BSA will have no legal recourse to prevent such applicants from filing discrimination suits if their applications are denied. In light of that, many Baptist charter organizations and Baptist parents will decide not to send their youth to such camps for fear of them being exposed to persons advocating a homosexual lifestyle. In short, from a Baptist perspective, such a move is fraught with danger and is an affront to their core convictions on human sexuality."

Many people, Smith said, will wonder if current Boy Scouts leaders "are truly committed to the principles and values of Scouting as envisioned" by Scouting founder Lord Baden-Powell.

"The goal or aim of Scouting is to instill in youth the ability to make moral and ethical decisions over a lifetime by a careful application of the Scout Oath and Law. However, this move appears to fly in the face of both the Scout Oath and Law."

Anti-Gay Activists Slam Boy Scouts for Endorsing 'Deviant Sexuality'

The Religious Right continues to push back against the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to reconsider their sweeping ban on gay members, many resorting to unfounded claims that homosexuality is tied to child abuse.

Talk show host Janet Mefferd pointed to a major sex scandal and cover-up in the BSA as a reason to maintain the prohibition on gay membership, and then agreed with a caller who compared letting gays serve as troop leaders to “letting the fox watch the hen house.” 

Later, Mefferd attacked LGBT rights advocates for “trying to silence and trying to shame” supporters of the anti-gay policy and said that any shift in position will “decimate the Boy Scouts.”

WorldNetDaily’s David Kupelian wrote that “a little bit of America will die” if the Boy Scouts rescind their sweeping ban on gay members, and warned that the Scouts will lose the trust of the public and God. He also pointed to the Catholic Church as an example of how open homosexuality leads to sexual abuse, which is an odd choice seeing that the church, like the BSA, already has a prohibition gays in positions of authority.

Now the big question in all this, of course, is the following: With these sex-abuse cases within the Boy Scouting organization, just as those within the Catholic Church, are we dealing with actual “pedophiles” or with predatory homosexuals?



America is in a time of great crisis on many fronts, and much that is good we are in danger of permanently losing. The Boy Scouts of America is one of the most important and loved and truly valuable organizations in American history. It is literally a sacred trust between one generation and the next. The Supreme Court is on their side. Public opinion is on their side. God is on their side.

Why on earth would they trade all this away by giving in to pressure from people who detest them and everything they stand for?

A little bit of America will die if the Boy Scouts organization gives in to the pressure and makes this decision. You might want to let them know how you feel. You can reach the Boy Scouts of America at 972-580-2000. Tell them how much you appreciate them – and tell them to stand strong.

Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality accused the Boy Scouts of “capitulating to immorality” and promoting “deviant sexuality among the boys.”

"If you take all that and you still come out strong, that's a victory," he says. "But if you allow all of that pressure to then change your values -- which is what they're doing here -- to accommodate homosexuality, then you've given in. You've let the bad buys win."

"It's very sad to see the Scouts cave on this," he continues. "If you capitulate to the homosexual lobby, you're capitulating to immorality; and you're not being morally straight as the Boy Scout creed says."

According to LaBarbera, parents do not want homosexual Scoutmasters going with their boys on campouts. "And you don't want homosexual Boy Scouts either because you don't want to have one homosexual Scout going around telling everybody about his homosexuality and how he's out and proud and everything. You don't want that influence of deviant sexuality among the boys itself."

"... Parents need to contact the Scouts and say Stick to the original policy ... Keep the Scouts morally straight."

Southern Baptist Convention vice president Sing Oldham claimed that the Boy Scouts are “spelling their own death knell.” SBC president Fred Luter warned that churches may withdraw their sponsorships of BSA troops:

"If that is what the leadership is doing, then I think it will be a sad day in the life of the Boy Scouts of America," Luter told Baptist Press. "This is a tradition that so many of us across the country grew up in. We were in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in elementary school, and this organization has always stood for biblical principles -- all the things that grounded our lives as a young kid growing up. To now see this organization that I thought stood on biblical principles about to give in to the politically correct thing is very disappointing."

Luter also said he believes the Boy Scouts will "lose a whole lot of our support," with Southern Baptist churches choosing instead not to sponsor a unit.

"A lot of them will just pull out," Luter said. "This is just something we don't believe in. It's unfortunate the Boy Scouts are making this decision."

Oldham even said that the SBC is ready with a replacement for the Boy Scouts, called the Royal Ambassadors:

"Churches of all faiths and denominations, including Southern Baptist churches, will be forced to reevaluate whether they can, in good conscience, continue to host Scout troops given that the Scouts appear poised to turn their backs on this clear biblical and moral issue," Oldham said. "If the Scouts adopt these changes, I anticipate the SBC Executive Committee will issue a statement at its February board meeting expressing its deep dismay at this decision of the Scouts. This move may result in a boost for the convention's Royal Ambassador program as churches scramble for an alternative boys organization that remains grounded in a consistent, biblical worldview."

The American Family Association in an action alert for members asserted that any policy change “will destroy the legitimacy and the security of this iconic institution.”

Next week, the Boy Scouts of America will decide on whether it will keep a long standing policy of not allowing homosexuals to serve as volunteer leaders, or to change that policy and allow open homosexuals to participate in the scouting program. See our story at OneNewsNow.

If the BSA departs from its policies on allowing homosexual scoutmasters and boys in the program, it will destroy the legitimacy and the security of this iconic institution.

While news articles conclude the latter as a forgone conclusion, the final decision has not been made.

Religious Right Activists Warn of Pedophilia if Boy Scouts Open Doors to Gay Members

After news reports came out today that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) may drop its national policy banning openly gay members in favor of “passing any decisions on gay membership to the local level,” outrage among Religious Right activists has just begun.

For example, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer suggested the move would allow Jerry Sandusky-like pedophiles to become troop leaders:

Conservative talk show host Janet Mefferd followed suit.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, which launched a boycott of UPS after the company stopped donating to the BSA for failing to meet its non-discrimination guidelines, said that the inclusion of openly gay members undermines “the well-being of the boys under their care”:

"The Boy Scouts of America board would be making a serious mistake to bow to the strong-arm tactics of LGBT activists and open the organization to homosexuality. What has changed in terms of the Boy Scouts' concern for the well-being of the boys under their care? Or is this not about the well-being of the Scouts, but the funding for the organization?

"The Boy Scouts has for decades been a force for moral integrity and leadership in the United States. Sadly, their principled stances have marked them as a target for harassment by homosexual activists and corporations such as UPS which are working to pressure the Boy Scouts into abandoning their historic values.

"The mission of the Boy Scouts is 'to instill values in young people' and 'prepare them to make ethical choices,' and the Scout's oath includes a pledge 'to do my duty to God' and keep himself 'morally straight.' It is entirely reasonable and not at all unusual for those passages to be interpreted as requiring abstinence from homosexual conduct.

"If the board capitulates to the bullying of homosexual activists, the Boy Scouts' legacy of producing great leaders will become yet another casualty of moral compromise. The Boy Scouts should stand firm in their timeless values and respect the right of parents to discuss these sexual topics with their children," concluded Perkins.

In an email to members, Perkins claimed that any policy change would have “devastating” consequences:

A departure from their long-held policies would be devastating to an organization that has prided itself on the development of character in boys. In fact, according to a recent Gallup survey, only 42 percent of Americans support changing the policy to allow homosexual scout leaders.

As the BSA board meets next week, it is crucial that they hear from those who stand with them and their current policy regarding homosexuality. Please call the Boy Scouts of America at 972-580-2000 and tell them that you want to see the organization stand firm in its moral values and respect the right of parents to discuss these sexual topics with their children.

The Christian Post, whose editor Richard Land leads the Southern Baptist Convention’s political arm, interviewed a top Southern Baptist who said the potential shift in policy “boggles the mind.”

A source who has knowledge of the situation told The Christian Post last week that the BSA's top executives had met with top leaders at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention, among others, over the last few weeks to inform them of the possibility of this policy shift.



"It boggles my mind to think the BSA would make such a move," said an executive in the Southern Baptist Convention who asked not to be identified. "If they have counted the cost of this decision in terms of relationships and numbers, then I believe they have miscalculated that cost."

Religious Right Angry over 'Dangerous' Decision to End Ban on Women in Combat

While the Religious Right reacted with apoplectic rage following the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the lifting of the ban on women in combat has brought dejected but relatively subdued responses from conservatives.

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who in December spoke out in favor of the ban by lying about the Israeli military’s policy on women in combat, tweeted that the decision was part of Obama’s plan to “feminize and weaken the U.S. military.”

Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness said that “lives could be lost unnecessarily” by the new policy, which “will harm men and the mission of the infantry as a whole.” “The administration has a pattern of irresponsible actions like this using the military to advance a social agenda,” she said, “This kind of a social experiment is a dangerous one.”

Faith and Freedom Coalition head Ralph Reed maintained that the Obama administration is “putting women in combat situations is the latest in a series of moves where political correctness and liberal social policy have trumped sound military practice.”

Richard Viguerie’s group claimed that “Obama’s plan to introduce women into frontline combat roles in the U.S. military is a dangerous and irresponsible social experiment, not an opportunity for women to serve their country and advance in their chosen profession.”

Radio talk show host Janet Mefferd on her Facebook page wrote that the move is further proof that the Obama administration is “intent upon undoing this great country” and will “stop at nothing to achieve it.”

Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin, who was reprimanded by President Bush after he made anti-Muslim and political speeches while in uniform, called the decision “another social experiment”:

The people making this decision are doing so as part of another social experiment, and they have never lived nor fought with an infantry or Special Forces unit. These units have the mission of closing with and destroying the enemy, sometimes in close hand-to-hand combat. They are often in sustained operations for extended periods, during which they have no base of operations nor facilities. Their living conditions are primal in many situations with no privacy for personal hygiene or normal functions. Commanders are burdened with a very heavy responsibility for succeeding in their mission and for protecting their troops.

This decision to integrate the genders in these units places additional and unnecessary burdens on leaders at all levels. While their focus must remain on winning the battles and protecting their troops, they will now have the distraction of having to provide some separation of the genders during fast moving and deadly situations. Is the social experiment worth placing this burden on small unit leaders? I think not.

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America said that the “majority of women” don’t care about the ban or want its elimination:

News of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's intent to lift the long-standing ban on women serving in direct combat is further proof that this administration simply does not care about the issues about which the majority of women care. Once again, their interest on women issues is driven by special interest groups. The point of the military is to protect our country. Anything that distracts from that is detrimental. Our military cannot continue to choose social experimentation and political correctness over combat readiness. While this decision is not unexpected from this administration, it is still disappointing. Concerned Women for America (CWA) and its more than half-a-million members around the country will continue to do all we can to see that our men and women in uniform are governed with the respect and resources needed to do the hard task of fighting for and protecting our freedoms.

“God help us,” lamented Denny Burk of the Southern Baptist Convention, who seemed to suggest that women shouldn’t be in the armed forces at all:

Are the fortunes of women in our country really enhanced by sending them to be ground up in the discipline of a combat unit and possibly to be killed or maimed in war? Is there a father in America who would under any circumstance risk having his daughter shot or killed in battle? Is there a single husband in this country who thinks it okay for his wife to risk being captured by our enemies? To risk becoming a prisoner of war? Is this the kind of people we want to be? Perhaps this is the kind of people we already are. I would sooner cut off my arm than allow such a thing with my own wife and daughters. Why would I ever support allowing someone else’s to do the same? Why would anyone?

What kind of a society puts its women on the front lines to risk what only men should be called on to risk? In countries ravaged by war, we consider it a tragedy when the battle comes to the backyards of women and children. Why would we thrust our own wives and daughters into that horror? My own instinct is to keep them as far from it as possible. Perhaps this move makes sense with an all volunteer force, but what if the draft is ever reinstituted? Are we really going to be the kind of people who press our wives and daughters to fight in combat?



Everyone in America ought to be scandalized by this news, but I’m wondering if it will even register on the radar of anyone’s conscience. To the extent that it doesn’t, we reveal just how far gone we are as a people. God help us.

Aaron Ahlert of FrontPageMag said the move is “sure to have deadly consequences” and represents the Obama administration “forcing gender radicalism down America’s throat.”

It didn’t take long for the Obama administration to advance a pernicious piece of its promised radical agenda. Two days after the president laid out his far-left vision during the inauguration, senior defense officials announced that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will lift the military’s ban on women serving in combat. The move overturns a 1994 provision that prohibited them from being assigned to ground combat units. Panetta has given the various service branches until 2016 to come up with exemptions, and/or make any arguments about what roles should still reman closed to women. Thus, another bit of gender radicalism has been shoved down the nation’s throat through executive fiat — and this one is sure to have deadly consequences.

...

It stretches the bounds of credulity to believe that sexual tension, regardless of the legitimate or illegitimate motivation behind it, would be lessened under front line, life-threatening combat conditions. Nor is it inconceivable to think that close personal relationships of a sexual nature would make some soldiers take the kind of unnecessary risks to save a lover that might not only endanger themselves, but their entire unit.

...

Once again, elections have consequences. Barack Obama has made it clear that part of his progressive agenda includes forcing gender radicalism down America’s throat, absent any input from Congress. Once, the United States military was all about projecting lethal power around the globe to protect America’s interests. Now, it is all about promoting diversity, inclusion and equality of outcome, irrespective of military readiness and cohesion. For progressives, who have elevated political correctness above all else–national security included–such radical egalitarianism is cause for celebration. For Donnelly and countless other Americans, it is anything but. “No one’s injured son should have to die on the streets of a future Fallujah because the only soldier near enough to carry him to safety was a five-foot-two 110-pound woman,” she contends.

Religious Right Extremists to Ride on the Todd Akin Bus Tour

Missouri Republican senatorial candidate Todd Akin is organizing a “Common Sense Bus Tour” following Newt Gingrich’s visit to boost the congressman’s embattled campaign. While Akin seems to have lost the support of major GOP figures after he said that it is extremely unlikely for a woman to become pregnant as a result of “legitimate rape,” he has consistently held the support of Religious Right activists who adore his ultraconservative views. Eagle Forum, which is based in St. Louis, sent out this invitation:

Phyllis Schlafly invites you to join her at first stop of the Missouri Common Sense Bus on Tuesday, September 25 from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel Ballroom, 800 Washington Avenue St. Louis, Missouri.

You will find encouragement at each stop of the Missouri Common Sense Bus tour across Missouri. Each stop will feature some of Missouri's most well-known conservative leaders who are standing with Todd Akin for U.S. Senate.

With only a few weeks until the election, invite your friends and family to come out to hear why Todd Akin is the right choice to represent common sense in the U.S. Senate. Participants will vary by stop, but include the following:

• Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum
• Dick Bott, Founder of Bott Radio Network
• Rich Bott, President of Bott Radio Network
• Don Hinkle, Editor of "The Pathway" and Director of Public Policy Missouri Baptist Convention
• Bev Ehlen, Missouri President, Concerned Women for America
• Pastor David Smith
• Buddy Smith, Executive Director, American Family Association

While it comes as no surprise that such far-right activists are rallying to Akin’s defense, here is why they may not help Akin improve his image among voters.

  • Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum has repeatedly asserted that women cannot be raped by their husband and that marital rape is simply a myth, contrived by feminists, to get women to leave their marriages.
  • Bev Ehlen, the head of Concerned Women for America-Missouri, believes that gays should deal with discrimination just as “ugly” people do and even insists that “homosexuals molest children at ten times the rate of heterosexuals” and constitute the vast majority of child molesters.
  • Buddy Smith of the American Family Association has said that people “who are caught in this trap of homosexuality are in the clasp of Satan.”

Seeing that Akin has said that liberals hate God and warned gay rights will lead to the destruction of civilization, it is an unsurprising group of campaigners.

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Southern Baptist Convention Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 06/18/2014, 5:09pm
Earlier this year, Christian author Matthew Vines published a book entitled “God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.” Vines’ book so angered Religious Right leaders like Matt Barber that its publisher was pushed out of the National Religious Broadcasters.  The Southern Baptist Convention rushed out an e-book: “God and the Gay Christian? A response to Matthew Vines.” Today the Family Research Council continued the barrage against the very idea that committed, loving gay relationships might be acceptable in the sight... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 06/12/2014, 12:38pm
Religious Right leaders love to claim that Christians are threatened in the U.S., the subject of a forthcoming PFAW report on the Religious Right’s persecution complex. The latest example comes from the just-completed annual conference of the Southern Baptist Convention. Russell Moore, who heads the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, hosted Rick Warren, David Platt, and Samuel Rodriguez for a June 9 panel on religious freedom in America through the lens of the Hobby Lobby case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.  According to an account by Tom Strode in the... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 03/04/2014, 5:10pm
The Home School Legal Defense Association announced today that the Romeike family, the German homeschoolers who lost their petition to have asylum in the US, will be granted “indefinite deferred status” by the Department of Homeland Security. While Religious Right activists like HSLDA head Michael Farris blamed President Obama personally for the Board of Immigration Appeals decision not to grant the Romeikes asylum status, we aren’t holding our breaths for them to thank the Obama administration for the DHS’ decision. Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, for one, is still... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 11/14/2013, 12:35pm
Yesterday, we noted that a top Southern Baptist Convention official blasted David Barton and Kenneth Copeland for their “profoundly ignorant” comments on soldiers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Barton and Copeland advised soldiers not to look for psychosocial help, and instead can simply “get rid of” PTSD by reading the Bible because they are God’s warriors. Joe Carter, the communications director for the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, elaborated in a blog post for The Gospel Coalition. He calls the two right-wing speakers... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 11/13/2013, 11:40am
David Barton is coming under fire from the Southern Baptist Convention, with a spokesman for the conservative denomination’s political arm condemning the pseudo-historian’s recent remarks on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The right-wing activist recently spoke to televangelist Kenneth Copeland about PTSD, suggesting that soldiers are warriors for God and therefore should never suffer from such a condition. They advised against psychological help and said that simply reading the Bible will “get rid of PTSD.” Joe Carter of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 10/25/2013, 11:30am
Religious Right activists were none too pleased with Dr. Russell Moore’s interview with the Wall Street Journal, fearing that the new leader of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is throwing them under the bus. On his personal blog, Moore took issue with the article’s title, “Evangelical Leader Preaches Pullback From Politics, Culture Wars,” calling it “awfully misleading.” In an interview with The Christian Post, where his ERLC predecessor Richard Land serves as executive editor, Moore reassured conservatives... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 06/12/2013, 4:45pm
Mike Huckabee delivered a politically charged speech at the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting on Monday, telling attendees that “holy matrimony” will be “twisted into perversion” and “formed into an unholy pretzel” as a result of same-sex marriage. Huckabee went on to criticize the armed forces and the Boy Scouts for becoming “test labs for social experiments” and Jason Collins, whom he mockingly called “a hero for announcing his sexual proclivities.” Baptist Press, the media arm of the SBC, further reports that Huckabee... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/30/2013, 4:25pm
LifeSiteNews posted a column today by Southern Baptist leader Al Mohler in which he equated homosexuality with cancer: “They argue that to tell a homosexual he is a sinner is uncompassionate and intolerant. This is like arguing that a physician is intolerant because he tells a patient she has cancer.” Mohler writes that “there is no compassion in such a deadly deception,” referring to attempts by some churches and schools to, in his words, “promote homosexuality as a legitimate and attractive lifestyle option.” Other denominations are tottering on the... MORE >