David Benham

Anti-Choice Activists With Extremist Ties Given Top Billing At Values Voter Summit

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is scheduled to address the Values Voter Summit, an annual Washington, D.C., event hosted by the Family Research Council, tomorrow. In doing so, he’ll be sharing the stage not only with extreme anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim activists, but also with activists who are rooted in the radical fringes of the anti-abortion movement.

Trump will address the summit soon after David and Jason Benham take the stage. The Benhams are twin brothers who became Religious Right megastars in 2014 after HGTV cancelled a show they were set to star in following Right Wing Watch’s revelations about their extreme anti-gay, anti-choice activism.

The Benhams’ status as martyrs within the Religious Right has too often obscured the true radicalism of their activism.

The brothers’ activism is rooted in the work of their father, Flip Benham, a North Carolina preacher who took over the anti-abortion protest group Operation Rescue after the infamous Summer of Mercy, in which anti-abortion activists spent weeks laying siege to Wichita, Kansas, in 1991. Benham later changed the name of his group to Operation Save America and expanded its work to include anti-gay and anti-Muslim activism. (The group is now led by Rusty Thomas, although Benham remains involved.)

David and Jason Benham worked closely with their father and Operation Save America but also became activists in their own right. Leading one protest outside a Charlotte abortion clinic in 2013, David Benham told protesters they were standing against the “gates of hell” and the “altars of Moloch.” He has also called abortion “child sacrifice.” David and his wife lead and fund a Charlotte-based group called Cities4Life that leads sidewalk protests outside of abortion clinics and distributes “abortion pill reversal kits.” On its website, the group compares legal abortion to the Holocaust and explains why it uses graphic signs in its protests:

Women are rarely told the truth about abortion. Without the truth, Satan is free to rob, kill, and destroy. It is urgent for these women to know the truth about this hidden evil, done in secret. We must lay bare the demonic lie that an unborn baby is not a human life. When we shine the light of truth about this “legal” procedure, it wakes up the sleeper and moves them to action.

The Benhams continue to associate with the fringes of the anti-abortion movement that their father represents. This spring, for instance, it was announced that they would appear in a movie directed by Patrick Johnston, an Ohio “personhood” activist. In 2008, the Colorado Independent revealed that Johnston had ties to militia groups and once wrote a troubling essay on the website of the violent anti-abortion network Army of God attacking a pastor for criticizing Paul Hill’s murder of abortion clinic doctor John Britton and his bodyguard.

Also speaking at the Values Voter Summit will be David Daleiden, the young activist who’s undercover “sting” videos of Planned Parenthood took the anti-choice movement by storm last year.

Like the Benhams, Daleiden’s work is rooted in the fringe world of the anti-abortion “rescue” movement. Troy Newman, who runs the group now called Operation Rescue—which has been in a years-long feud with Flip Benham’s Operation Save America over its name—helped Daleiden to get his project off the ground. Newman, who moved his group to Wichita in 2002 in order to go after Dr. George Tiller, who was later assassinated, has written that the U.S. government has “abrogated its responsibility” to execute abortion providers and argued that a man who murdered an abortion provider should have been allowed to argue that the homicide was justifiable. Newman’s second-in-command at Operation Rescue is Cheryl Sullenger, who has spent time in jail for conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic.

The Benhams and Daleiden have both been embraced by the “mainstream” Religious Right despite their roots in the radical fringes of the anti-choice movement. And now all three are speaking alongside the Republican Party’s presidential candidate.

Donald Trump's Extremist Allies: Who's Who At The Values Voter Summit 2016

Donald Trump is slated to join conservative activists and a number of GOP elected officials at next weekend’s Values Voter Summit, the annual Washington, D.C., event sponsored by the Family Research Council.

The GOP nominee has been busy recruiting Religious Right leaders, often while waving the Bible in the air and boasting about his plans to appoint conservative jurists to the bench and end the “War on Christmas.”

The activists joining Trump at the Values Voter Summit are some of the country’s most extreme opponents of LGBT rights, vocal conspiracy theorists and outspoken critics of the separation of church and state:

Tony Perkins

As the president of the Family Research Council, the summit’s main sponsor, Tony Perkins heads the organization’s efforts to erode gay rights, reproductive rights and the separation of church and state.

Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He has:

  • Warned that LGBT rights advocates will launch a holocaust against Christians, placing those who oppose same-sex marriage into “boxcars.”
  • Denied that there is a correlation between anti-gay bullying and depression and suicide, saying instead that gay and lesbian teens know they are “abnormal” and therefore “have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict.
  • Warned that lawmakers who voted to repeal the military ban on openly gay service members would have “the blood of innocent soldiers on their hands.”
  • Predicted that marriage equality would “create a revolution” that would “break this country apart.” and lead to “the dissolution of the republic.”
  • Called Islam “evil.”
  • Said Obama is paving the way for the Antichrist.

Jerry Boykin

Family Research Council vice president and retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the fight against terrorism as a holy war between Christianity and Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. He has:

  • Suggested that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell led to the “absolute destruction” of our military.

Peter Sprigg

Peter Sprigg is a senior fellow for policy at the Family Research Council, where he supports policies including criminalizing homosexuality and exporting homosexuals. Sprigg:

  • Advocated for gay relationships to be outlawed and met with “criminal sanctions,” calling homosexuality “objectively harmful to the people who engage in it and to society at large.”
  • Defended Uganda when it sought to make homosexuality a crime warranting long jail sentences and in some instances the death penalty, saying that Uganda was under attack from those trying to force the “homosexual agenda down the throats of other countries.”
  • Insisted that homosexuality can “go away” once “the underlying psychological problems are addressed.”

James Dobson

James Dobson is the founder of the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family and currently hosts the “Family Talk” radio program. Recently, he signed on to advise Trump as part of the GOP nominee’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board. Dobson:

  • Alleged that Obamacare would deprive the elderly of life-saving treatments.
  • Insisted that bisexuality means “orgies.”

Todd Starnes

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes has become notorious for filing false reports based on right-wing conspiracy theories, especially about the supposed persecution of Christians in America, which of course makes him a favorite “journalist” among conservative activists. Starnes has also:

  • Speculated that public school officials oppose abstinence-only programs in order to protect their “condom profits” from the “free condoms” they distribute.
  • Asserted that Obama refuses to take action against ISIS because he wants to “accommodate the Islamic faith at the expense of all other faiths.”
  • Blamed Obama for “orchestrating” the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, in an effort to exacerbate racial tensions.
  • Baselessly accused the University of Wisconsin of intentionally inflating grades to boost the academic performance of minority students.
  • Said that defeats for anti-gay activists are a sign of “the end of days.”
  • Compared officials who back the removal of Confederate symbols from government property to ISIS terrorists.

Phil Robertson

“Duck Commander” Phil Robertson and his family were already reality TV celebrities when they were launched into a new role as right-wing activists after Robertson made racist and homophobic comments in a 2013 magazine interview. Since then, Robertson has appeared at Republican events and in campaign ads, including one for Ted Cruz, and he is now starring in a “Christian war film” called “Torchbearer,” directed by Trump campaign CEO Steven Bannon. Robertson has:

  • Claimed black people during Jim Crow were not mistreated but were “singing and happy.”
  • Described marriage equality as “wicked” and “evil” and said of its supporters: “We have to rid the earth of them.”
  • Suggested that AIDS is God’s “penalty” for “immoral conduct.”
  • Attacked secular government as Satanism.

David and Jason Benham

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

  • Urged the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, to deny permits to an LGBT Pride event, calling it a “vile” and “destructive” activity that “should not be allowed in our city.”
  • Called an Islamic community center a “den of iniquity” and referred to Muslims as “the enemy attacking" America.
  • Organized a prayer rally to coincide with the 2012 Democratic National Convention, declaring that America must repent for “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.”
  • Led protests outside of abortion clinics, praising anti-choice demonstrators for taking a stand at “the gates of hell” and confronting the “altars of Moloch.”

William Federer

William Federer is a conservative author, columnist and media commentator who focuses on the role of Christianity in American history. He has been embraced by many Republican leaders such as Ben Carson, who plagiarized from Federer’s writings without attribution. Federer has:

Michele Bachmann

While she is no longer a member of Congress, having retired in the midst of a campaign finance scandal, Michele Bachmann has continued to be a vocal conservative activist and End Times forecaster. Bachmann, who recently became a member of Donald Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board, has:

Allen West

Former congressman Allen West has remained active in conservative politics since losing his re-election bid in 2012, joining Fox News as a contributor and becoming executive director of the National Center for Policy Analysis. West has:

  • Demanded that Khizr Khan seek God’s forgiveness for his “stunt” at the Democratic National Convention.
  • Said feminists were making men “subservient” and denounced the “women that have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness.”
  • Wondered if Obama was waging “biological warfare” against Americans through enterovirus D68 or the Ebola virus.

Star Parker

Star Parker is a longtime Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-choice advocacy. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust and blamed “sexual promiscuity” for nearly all financial and societal problems. At previous Values Voter Summits, she claimed that God was getting ready to punish America for marriage equality and legal abortion, urged gay people to “keep it private” and lamented that “homosexuality is now dividing us and bringing horrible hostility into the public square.” Parker has also:

  • Said LGBT-inclusive rules in schools amount to the “molestation” of children.
  • Tied same-sex marriage to failing public schools.
  • Mused that family life for African Americans was “more healthy” under slavery than it is today.
  • Referred to the Congressional Black Caucus as “the overseer today” that wants to torture black people and keep them “uneducated” and “on the plantation.”

Elaine Donnelly

A veteran of social conservative campaigns such as the successful effort to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment, Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness is an outspoken critic of attempts to include LGBT people and women in the military. She has:

  • Criticized a Pentagon office focusing on preventing sexual harassment, saying it would become the “Office of Male Bashing.”
  • Insisted that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell “could put remaining troops in greater danger, and break the All-Volunteer Force.”
  • Called on the military to ban same-sex wedding ceremonies on bases.

Kirk Cameron

Actor Kirk Cameron has emerged as a favorite on the Religious Right speaker circuit, where he publicizes his movies about the War on Christmas and preaches about how he is persecuted for being conservative. Cameron also styles himself as a historian, although he is not very good at it. He has:

  • Made a film about how bananas disprove the theory of evolution.
  • Said of homosexuality: “I think it's unnatural, I think it’s detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many foundations of civilization.”
  • Urged voters to oppose Obama in order to “hold back the flood of moral and spiritual evil that has been pouring into the country.”

Kevin Swanson: 'It's Amazing That God Has Not Judged America' For Gay Rights & Legal Abortion

Kevin Swanson, the Colorado pastor and homeschooling activist who last year hosted three GOP presidential candidates at a conference in Iowa, hosted an event near Cincinnati over the weekend to help families prepare their children to avoid cultural pitfalls and be prepared to enter the metaphorical Noah’s ark of Christianity. Among the speakers were Ken Ham, the Creationist activist who just completed a life-sized replica of Noah’s ark near the site of the conference, and GOP favorites David, Jason and Flip Benham.

Swanson started things off by impressing upon attendees the need to prepare their children to fend off and avoid God’s wrath by declaring that it’s “amazing that God has not judged America” already for gay rights and legal abortion.

“It’s amazing that God has not judged America in 1973,” he said, “hard to believe that God didn’t judge America in 2001 [sic] with the Lawrence v. Texas decision, it’s hard to believe that God didn’t judge America with Obergefell.”

“It is amazing that God has not brought judgment upon this world shortly after [the Obergefell decision] happened in July [sic ]of 2015 or in August of 2015 or even in September of 2015 or maybe even October,” he added.

“So be assured, my friends,” Swanson said, “judgment is coming. I have no idea when it will come. Will it be 120 years from 1900? Will it be 120 years from 1890? Will it be 120 years from 1973, Roe v. Wade, the decision to eliminate hundreds of millions of babies in America and of course all around the world, same thing has happened since the 1960s? Will it be 120 years from 2015, the day on which the most powerful court in the world ruled against God’s institution of marriage in one of the most radical, arrogant insults against Almighty God? When will God’s judgment come? I have no idea, but I will tell you, it will come.”

(It took Noah 120 years to build his ark before the Flood came, thus the 120-year delay in judgment that Swanson is suggesting.)

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 7/26/16

  • A warning from the Benham brothers: "We believe if the sexual revolution is left unchecked it will become a crime to confess biblical truth in today’s America. Those that dare hold a biblical view of sexuality will spend time in jail. Those that refuse to participate in gay weddings or gay pride events will lose their business license. Perhaps it may even become a crime to teach our children biblical values when it comes to sexuality."
  • Tom DeLay is upset that the RNC allowed Peter Thiel to give a speech "glorifying homosexuality" and so is Peter LaBarbera.
  • Liberty Counsel says that "parents and colleges should beware" of Paul Singer because "while Singer supports Israel, he is also focused on advancing his LGBT agenda in America, and he is working to reach young millennials."
  • Pat Buchanan says that “maybe [Vladimir] Putin deserves a Pulitzer.”
  • Finally, Brad Dacus declares that "it is very difficult to see how a parent who is truly concerned about their children's moral upbringing from a Judeo-Christian worldview could have their children enrolled in a public school this coming school year in the state of California."

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 5/17/16

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

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 5/16/16

  • Donald Trump once admitted to posing as his own spokesman, “John Miller,” but is now denying it. 
  • We hope Ben Carson is right and that Trump is seriously considering Sarah Palin to be his running mate. 
  • Arizona taxpayers “have already fronted more than $41 million in [a] class-action suit against” Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was recently held in civil contempt, and may need to contribute “$13 million more toward the legal costs in the racial profiling case against” him. 
  • David and Jason Benham lament that America is experiencing “total lawlessness and a meltdown of civil society.”
  • Chuck Norris says Harriet Tubman was not “some secular progressive or liberal Democrat waiting for her entitlements” but a symbol of “freedom from all forms of oppression and tyranny by the federal government, including the ginormous national debt that is suppressing future generations and us.”

Anti-Gay Activists To Rally In Defense Of North Carolina's New Anti-LGBT Law

Anti-gay activist Mark Creech of the Christian Action League, who once declared that gay marriage is "an attempted gang rape of our culture," is organizing a show of support for North Carolina's recently passed anti-LGBT law.

In a video posted on his website, Creech asks people to demonstrate their "strong support" for the law and to push back against the "smear campaign" against it by joining him for a rally on Monday, April 11, at the state Capitol where they will hear from anti-gay activists like David and Jason Benham, Harry Jackson, Frank Turek, Ron Baity and others speak out in defense of the law and the lawmakers who enacted it:

Benham Bros.: Sexual Revolution Is 'Forcing Itself On Everyone'

After failing to block the Charlotte city council from approving a nondiscrimination ordinance protecting the LGBT community, conservative activists successfully persuaded North Carolina’s GOP-led government last month to pass a sweeping law blocking Charlotte’s measure.

Two of the most visible conservative activists advocating for the move were Jason and David Benham, who, along with their father, Flip Benham, have campaigned against LGBT rights in Charlotte and elsewhere for years, including calling for the Charlotte city government to deny permits to LGBT pride events and organizing a rally against gay rights when the Democratic National Convention was held in the city.

In a WorldNetDaily column today defending the new state law, the Benham twins write that just as the men in the city of Sodom tried to rape the angels who appeared in Lot’s house, now “the newest fruit of the vine of Sodom is the sexual revolution — and it’s poisoning our land. It has nearly taken over everything and is forcing itself on everyone.”

The brothers argue that just as the rapists of Sodom refused Lot’s offer that they rape his daughter instead of the angels, the sexual revolutionaries in America do not believe in compromise or accommodation and simply seek to destroy anyone who doesn’t go along with their demonic agenda.

“Today, the sexual revolution of Sodom has pervaded every sphere of society,” the Benhams write, “capturing both young and old. And anyone standing in the way will be surrounded by an angry mob demanding participation.”

“The sexual revolution is ‘blind’ to its own rage and hate,” they write. “It has no capacity for reason. It has no ability to see its own hypocrisy or discern its hopeless future. It just forces itself on others regardless of cost or consequence.”

America has fallen to this “demanding and pervasive” spirit, the Benham’s continue, “and nothing short of a miracle will stop its deadly poison.”

The Religious Right 'Liberty' Icons Behind North Carolina's Appalling Anti-LGBT Law

Earlier this week, North Carolina’s legislature passed a shockingly restrictive bill barring transgender people from using restrooms of their identifying gender and preventing localities from instituting protections for transgender people. (While they were at it, they also barred cities from setting their minimum wage higher than the state’s.) The bill was the result of a hurried special session convened in response to the passage of an LGBT nondiscrimination bill in Charlotte.

Ironically, the most public spokespeople against the Charlotte measure and in favor of calling a special legislative session to undo it were David and Jason Benham, two brothers who have built a high profile on the Religious Right by claiming that they are victims of persecution at the hands of LGBT-rights activists.

Back in 2014, the Benham twins were set to star in a house-flipping program on HGTV when we reported on their long history of virulent anti-gay and anti-Muslim activism, which was about to get a boost with a national TV platform. Faced with an outcry, HGTV cancelled the show, but the Benhams got their national platform anyway. They quickly became the latest — and the most photogenic — examples of conservative Christians who claimed to be martyrs at the hands of LGBT activists. They took their show on the road, becoming staples at conservative events and Republican campaign rallies.

Most recently, the Benhams endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential candidacy and joined his campaign's “religious liberty advisory council” that recommended that a President Cruz roll back federal employment protections for LGBT people.

While the Benhams claim in their frequent presentations that they lost their TV show because of their personal views against marriage equality, they in fact had a long history of very public activism against what David once called “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.” In 2012, David led a prayer rally outside the Democratic National Convention which he said was necessary to stop “demonic ideologies” like gay rights from taking “our universities and our public school systems.” In 2004, the brothers tried to get the city of Charlotte to deny a permit to an LGBT pride parade, with David saying, “This is filth, this is vile and should not be allowed in our city.” Jason urged the city council to “deny [LGBT activists] every permit that they ask for.”

Then, last year, when Charlotte began to consider a LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance, the Benhams used their new right-wing celebrity to lead the campaign to stop it. Using the anti-LGBT’s movement’s new messaging on such bills, David called it a “transgender bathroom ordinance” and warned that it would put religious liberties “under attack."

David called the proposed ordinance “depraved” and the latest example of “the radical gay agenda’s plan to change America.”

The 2015 ordinance was defeated, but the city council considered it again this year, and this time it passed.

The Benham brothers, after speaking out against the ordinance at a hearing, responded to its passage with a Facebook video in which Jason said that he and his brother could now “declare ourselves women” and play in the WNBA. David surmised that the “ungodly ordinance” was the “direct result of God’s judgment” for legal abortion and claimed that it would allow “young women and girls” to be “victimized.”

David said that he prayed the ordinance would be “overturned at the legislative level.”

 

 

We lost the battle at the Charlotte City Council meeting over the transgender bathroom bill.....but, God is still on the throne. Boom.

Posted by Benham Brothers on Monday, February 22, 2016

 

Shortly afterward, the Benhams headlined a protest calling for a special legislative session to overturn it and promoted a petition campaign calling on the legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory to overturn the Charlotte law.

Speaking at the Awakening summit in Florida earlier this month, the Benhams cited the Charlotte ordinance as an example of “ungodly laws” that must be resisted with “biblical obedience” — their new phrase for civil disobedience.

This week, the Benhams got what they wanted, thanking Gov. Pat McCrory for signing the bill overturning the Charlotte ordinance and severely restricting the freedom of transgender people.

What happened in North Carolina this week underscores the reality behind the Religious Right’s claims that they are being persecuted in America. In the view of people like the Benhams, “religious liberty” doesn’t just mean the right to live freely as you choose; it also means the ability to restrict the freedoms of others as they see fit.

Benham Brothers Back Cruz

It’s nearly impossible to keep up with the string of endorsements for Ted Cruz from Religious Right political activists, including some of the most extreme activists in the movement. It started in the summer, when we asked, “Is Ted Cruz Winning the Christian-Nation Primary?” but it really got going after dozens of Religious Right leaders anointed Cruz as their candidate at a secret endorsement meeting in Texas in December.

Now that we’re just days from the Iowa caucus, the Cruz campaign is picking up the pace. Today it announced endorsements from Jason and David Benham. According to the Cruz campaign statement, the Benhams declared that “Ted Cruz is the convictional leader we desperately need in America today.”

The Benham brothers have been regular speakers on the Religious Right circuit ever since their planned real-estate reality show was cancelled amid controversy about their far-right political activism. The Benhams emceed Cruz’s religious liberty-themed event at Bob Jones University last fall.

The Cruz campaign announcement plays up the Religious Right’s narrative portraying the Benhams as religious liberty martyrs who have been persecuted for their faith. But it’s worth recalling that the Benhams, like many of their Religious Right colleagues, are quite selective in whose freedom they champion. The brothers and their Religious Right activist father, Flip, were all part of a group of people who went to a Charlotte, North Carolina, city council meeting in 2004 to complain about a gay pride event that had taken place in a city park:

“This is filth, this is vile and should not be allowed in our city,” said David. Jason urged city council members to reject future permits for Pride celebrations – and seemingly for any LGBT-themed event.

They have a right to apply for this permit, but you have a right and responsibility to deny it. I [implore] you not to be governed by the fear in which you feel. If you deny them this permit you will open a can of worms but you in your leadership position have to take that responsibility and you have to not allow the fear of making this homosexual community mad. You have to accept that responsibility and deny them every permit that they ask for.

In the words of Charlotte Pride organizers, “The Benham brothers once tried to silence us. They failed.”

The Benham twins have repeatedly attacked gay people as pawns of Satan while comparing themselves to people murdered by ISIS.

Also today, former Concerned Women for America official Janice Shaw Crouse, who was the executive director of the World Congress of Families summit in Salt Lake City last fall, released a gushing endorsement of Cruz, comparing him to Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and crediting him for “the shift to faith-based campaigning” in the GOP presidential campaign. 

Five GOP Candidates To Join Pastor Who Says AIDS Is God's Punishment For Gay People

In yet another example of what the Religious Right’s recent focus on “religious liberty” is really about, five Republican presidential candidates are scheduled to speak this weekend at a “religious freedom” event hosted by a conservative pastor who has repeatedly declared that AIDS is God’s punishment for gay people’s “immoral act” and has called for a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality.

Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee are scheduled to join a “Free to Believe Broadcast” on Saturday, hosted by the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and Vision America’s Rick Scarborough, two of the most outspoken anti-gay activists in the country.

Both, even while attempting to curtail the rights of LGBT people, have claimed that it is their rights that are being violated by the LGBT movement: Perkins has said that the supposed persecution of anti-gay Christians in America is inspiring ISIS, and Scarborough has declared that he is ready to burn to death in the fight against gay marriage.

But neither Scarborough nor Perkins has ever been particularly interested in a “live and let live” truce with LGBT people.

Scarborough has declared that AIDS, “a homosexual disease,” is God’s “judgment as a result of an immoral act.” Just last year, he repeated his belief that AIDS is “God’s judgment on a sinful generation, adding that “God would probably give us the cure for AIDS today” if the U.S. stopped supporting gay rights:

He also said last year that marriage equality is part of Satan’s effort to “destroy this country,” warning that gay parents will lead their children “into an early grave called hell”:

Scarborough is so concerned about gay people that back in 2013 he brought up the idea of issuing a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality, much like actions taken against the tobacco industry:

In 2014, Scarborough agreed with Islamic fundamentalists who call America the “Great Satan,” saying that God would be perfectly justified in sending a nuclear bomb to destroy the country because of such sins as President Obama’s appointments of a handful of gay ambassadors:

And that’s just Scarborough. Perkins has a vile anti-gay record of his own, which Brian summarized last month.

Also appearing at the event will be Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who has warned that gay people seek to “groom” and “entrap” children, and David and Jason Benham, brothers who became Religious Right martyrs when they lost a TV show they were set to star in after their anti-gay activism came to light.

Cruz might not mind appearing with an activist who has said that God is punishing gay people with AIDS — after all, he has praised Scarborough before and has David Barton, an activist who has said similar things, leading a super PAC in support of his candidacy. Cruz and Huckabee similarly showed their willingness to cozy up to the most radical people in the anti-gay movement when they appeared last year at a conference hosted by Kevin Swanson, who spent much of the event expounding on what he interprets as the Bible’s call for the death penalty for gay people.

But if any of the other candidates have an ounce more shame, they might want to think twice about appearing at Saturday’s event.

Ted Cruz To Rally With Activists Who Link Gays To Satan

Fresh off attending a conference whose host, Kevin Swanson, voiced support for the execution of gay people, Ted Cruz will stage a “Rally for Religious Liberty” in Greenville, South Carolina, on Saturday featuring a number of Religious Right activists who have referred to gay rights advocates as demonic enemies.

The rally is taking place at none other than Bob Jones University, the fundamentalist school that in the 1970s and 1980s famously cited “religious liberty” in an attempt to uphold its racist policies, which its leaders claimed were rooted in the Bible. The school’s chancellor apologized only recently for past comments he made about the need to stone gay people in order to “solve the problem post-haste.”

Just as Swanson believes that “the homosexual Borg is the power in the principality of the demonic world,” a number of the Religious Right activists who will be speaking alongside Cruz in Greenville have claimed that their battle against gay rights is really a spiritual war against Satan.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has referred to gay activists has “hateful” and “intolerant” “pawns” of the Devil and, like Swanson, has defended the notorious Ugandan bill that would have made homosexuality a death penalty crime in some cases.

Another speaker, Virginia-based activist E.W. Jackson, has described gay people as “spiritually darkened,” adding, “Their minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.” He also thinks that with President Obama “we’re really dealing with an evil presence.”

Texas-based pastor Dave Welch similarly portrayed Houston’s lesbian mayor as spiritually evil: “She literally is one of those who is caught in the snare, in the web of her darkness and her condition. I pray, we do pray for her, that God delivers her and sets her free from that.”

David and Jason Benham have made no bones about their belief that gay people are under the Devil’s thumb. They even wrote an entire column explaining why they think the gay rights movement is motivated by Satan.

Of course, Cruz’s father and campaign surrogate, Rafael Cruz, who will also be attending the Bob Jones event, has frequently depicted the gay rights movement as a sinister force, even going so far as to blame the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling on the Devil.

Michael Brown Joins List of Religious Right Endorsements for Ted Cruz

In August, we asked whether Ted Cruz was winning the Christian Nation primary, with fracking billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks pumping $15 million into a pro-Cruz super PAC and political operative David Lane promoting Cruz’s anti-Planned Parenthood efforts. In September, Religious Right “historian” David Barton was tapped to take over a Cruz super PAC, and CNN reported that top officials of Online for Life are “playing a growing role in the super PACs backing Ted Cruz.” Yesterday, Glenn Beck declared that Cruz “was truly raised up for this purpose at this time.”

Now Cruz has announced the endorsement of another Religious Right activist, Michael Brown, a North Carolina preacher and author of “Revolution! The Call to Holy War.” Brown participated in the anti-gay “Stand4Truth” conference that was held as a lead-in to the World Congress of Families last week.

Brown is scheduled to appear, along with David and Jason Benham and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, at a Cruz-organized “religious liberty” rally at Bob Jones University on November 14. As we noted a few weeks ago, “the ‘religious liberty’ Bob Jones is most famous for defending was its long insistence that its segregationist policies were mandated in the Bible.”

Brown has already been portraying marriage equality as a dire threat to religious freedom in America. Back in June, when the Supreme Court released its decision affirming marriage equality nationwide, Brown wrote a snarky note to Justice Anthony Kennedy to thank him “for confirming what we have been saying for many years now, namely, that gay activism is the principle threat to our freedoms of speech, religion and conscience.” Brown also thanked Kennedy “for bringing unprecedented religious persecution to the shores of our nation,” adding, “Despite the darkness and pain ahead, this will only cause the Church to wake up and grow stronger.” 

David Benham's Gay-Bashing Tirade At 'Nonpolitical' Prayer Rally

Last weekend’s Response rally in Charlotte, North Carolina was another in a series of supposedly nonpolitical gatherings organized by political strategist David Lane. Like other Response gatherings, the event served as a platform for culture warriors associated with Christian-nation dominionism to promote anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-church state ideology all while proclaiming that they are simply bringing Christians together to pray for the state and nation.

Among the culture warriors to take the microphone in Charlotte was David Benham, half of the Benham Brothers duo who have parlayed a cancelled television show into Religious Right folk-hero status.

David and his brother have a long record of anti-gay rhetoric and activism. They once urged Charlotte officials to deny permits for the city’s pride celebration. David has repeatedly linked gays with Satan, so it is not terribly surprising that he portrayed the LGBT equality movement as a force of darkness in a spiritual battle for the soul of America:

As we shift into individual repentance I want to provide a little context for where we’re meeting right now. Eight years ago, I came to the Charlotte convention center, and sat in a meeting with 1500 individuals in the room directly above this room. It was a meeting with the Human Rights Campaign. The president stood on the stage and said that we are going to take the key to Charlotte, we are going to take North Carolina, and we will force our agenda on this nation. And all of you bigots that think that you can stand against us, you can do nothing about it because you sit in your living rooms laughing at our humor on television.

And I listened to that from the Human Rights Campaign and I found it very interesting that just a few months ago I sat at a city council meeting with the transgender bill that sat and was about to be voted upon. And the city attorney was asked, who was in the meeting helping you craft this ordinance, and he said, the Human Rights Campaign.

At the time the nondiscrimination ordinance in Charlotte was being debated, Benham called it “depraved” and “craziness.”

Benham argued, as is customary among Religious Right leaders, that America’s biggest problem is that “the church” hasn’t been aggressive enough in the culture wars.

The problem today is not the presence of darkness. The problem is the absence of light. This is nothing new in America. The spirit of the age is the spirit of Babylon, the same spirit that Daniel spoke about in his book, and this Babylonian spirit that seeks to remove Christian influence, that seeks to demonize and come against those who hold the commandments of God and keep the testimony of Jesus Christ.

This is the spiritual battle that is now waging before us in this nation, the home of the brave and the land of the free. And it’s time for the church of Jesus Christ to get off the sidelines and to step into the game. We don’t have a second Chronicles 7:14 moment – if my people who are called by my name, and the healing of the land – we don’t have that moment if it does not first begin with 1 Peter 4:17.

It is time for judgment to begin in the House of God.

Benham went on to talk about the sins “manifest in Israel” before the captivity in Babylon:  

“…the worship of the goddess of Ashera, sexual perversion of all kind, and the worship of the god of Moloch, child sacrifice. That is what we are finding in America, and we see it in North Carolina, that the shedding of innocent blood – 60 million unborn babies – have been slaughtered while we grow church. C’mon!

And we are now watching, as God is allowing our sexual perversion, not just the homosexual agenda, but adultery and divorce and pornography that are rooted in the church and it is time for us to fall on our faces before God and to repent of our sins.

Benham said God had a purpose in placing The Response directly below the room where that HRC meeting had been held:

It is no coincidence that we are in a basement underneath the room where the Human Rights Campaign issued their secular declaration that they would take this nation. Now it’s time for us to issue our declaration, that God we are sorry, forgive us of our sins, heal our land, O God.

In Daniel chapter 9 in Babylon he says this, I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed my sins and said alas, Lord, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant in loving kindness for those who love him and keep his commandments. We have sinned. We have committed iniquity. We have acted wickedly and rebelled. We have turned aside from your ordinances and commandments.

It’s time for us, as God has positioned us in this room, to get on our faces and to humble ourselves. We can point at our elected leaders. We can point at the secular media. We can point at Hollywood, and DC and New York City, but the finger points right to the church of Jesus Christ.

And we know that the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but are divinely powerful for the destruction of strongholds, those strongholds that come to rob, to kill, and to destroy. So let’s enter in now, this is not something that you can just sit there and watch. We must get on our faces before God for the sake of this nation, for the sake of our children and for the sake of the kingdom of heaven…

God we have sinned. God we have concerned ourselves with our rights but have forsaken our responsibility to be salt and light. God we have turned our backs Lord and gotten comfortable with American Christianity. Bring us back to biblical Christianity, oh God. Forgive us Lord Jesus for the perversion that is in our own ranks, God. Forgive us Lord Jesus for turning a blind eye to the shedding of innocent blood. God we ask you Lord forgive us. We intercede on behalf of our land knowing that we are the ones responsible. So Lord Jesus forgive us now as we enter individual repentance knowing that the only ones that ascend the hill of the Lord is he who has clean hands and a pure heart.

 

Who's Who At The Values Voter Summit 2015

Next weekend, GOP presidential contenders and top lawmakers will mingle with some of the most extreme Religious Right activists in the country at the Values Voter Summit, an annual event in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, American Values, and others.

Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham and Ben Carson have all confirmed that they will be speaking at the event. Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich have been invited but have not yet confirmed their attendance, according to the event’s website. Jeb Bush, who was snubbed by FRC at last year’s event, declined to attend but will send a video address. Donald Trump is the only presidential candidate to have publicly turned down the invitation, provoking the ire of FRC’s president, Tony Perkins.

Candidates who attend the Values Voter Summit choose to align themselves with some of the most radical activists and organizations working to dehumanize LGBT people, erode reproductive rights, demolish the separation between church and state, and eliminate First Amendment rights for religious minorities.

The Family Research Council routinely smears LGBT people with false and degrading pronouncements and campaigns for a United States ruled by the dicta of a small faction of fundamentalists Christians. Another principal sponsor of the summit, the American Family Association, has an equally extreme record.

In addition to the abhorrent record of the sponsors of this event, the presidential candidates will also be joined by a host of radical Religious Right speakers.

Below is an introduction to some of the people who will be sharing the stage with the Republican presidential hopefuls.

Tony Perkins

As the president of the Family Research Council, the summit’s main sponsor, Tony Perkins heads the organization’s efforts to erode gay rights, reproductive rights, and the separation of church and state.

FRC continually expresses hostility to the rights of Americans who don’t share his conservative brand of Christianity. Last year, Perkins suggested that the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections do not apply to Muslims, not surprising for the leader of an organization that once issued a statement that read, “[W]hile it is true that the United States of America was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage…. Our Founders … would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference." He similarly suggested that Christians who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious freedoms as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those whom he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”

Perkins has also overseen one of the most anti-gay platforms of any major political organization. FRC officials have expressed support for the criminalization of homosexuality not only in the United States, but also in Malawi and Uganda. Senior fellow Peter Sprigg once said he would “much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He has:

Jerry Boykin

Family Research Council vice president and retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the fight against terrorism as a holy war between Christianity and Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. He:

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the founder and head of Liberty Counsel, which is the organization currently representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her campaign to deny marriage licenses to gay couples in her county. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government as part of an effort to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and western civilization. Staver has:

Jonathan Cahn

Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn is best known for his novel “The Harbinger,” which asserts that the 9/11 attacks were a result of America losing God’s protection due to its sins.  Cahn also:

Todd Starnes

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes has become notorious for filing false reports based on right-wing conspiracy theories, especially about the supposed persecution of Christians in America, which of course makes him a favorite “journalist” among conservative activists. Starnes has also:

Star Parker

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

David and Jason Benham

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

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

Kim Davis

Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, became a Religious-Right folk hero this summer when she refused to allow her office to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. Davis, saying that she was acting under “God’s authority” and wanted to use her county office to spread “God’s word,” spent five nights in jail after a federal judge found her in contempt of court for violating multiple court orders to begin issuing licenses. The viciously anti-gay group Liberty Counsel and its founder Mat Staver has been active supporters of Davis and have been representing her in court

At the summit, Davis will receive FRC’s “Cost of Discipleship” award, which previously went to Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was actually persecuted for her Christian faith. Tony Perkins, the president of FRC, has previously compared Davis’ experience to that of Ibrahim, who was imprisoned for converting to Christianity and was later granted asylum in the U.S.

Casey Davis

Casey Davis (no relation to Kim Davis) is another Kentucky clerk who has refused to grant marriage licenses to gay couples. Davis called the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality a “war on Christianity,” and vowed to go to jail — and even die — in order to protect his “freedom” to deny gay couples marriage licenses.

Brigitte Gabriel

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

Pat Fagan

Pat Fagan is the director of summit sponsor the Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religious Research Institute. He has compared a UN report criticizing the Vatican over its handling of sexual abuse cases to Kristallnacht, the spate of violence in which Nazis attacked Jews and destroyed their property while German police turned a blind eye, and  has advocated for coming up with new names for gay marriage, such as “garriage,” “larriage” or “harriage,” so that when he says “marriage” it will be clear he means heterosexual marriage. He has said that Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Supreme Court ruling that allowed the distribution of contraception to unmarried people, may be “the single most destructive decision in the history of the Court,” explaining that “functioning” societies “punish” and “shame” people who have sex outside of marriage.

Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson is a Fox contributor and the editor of conservative blog RedState. Constantly pushing for the conservative movement to move further to the right, Erickson has:

Craig James

Former sportscaster Craig James joined the Family Research Council in 2014. In addition to claiming that Obama may secretly be a Muslim, James has:

Aaron & Melissa Klein

Aaron and Melissa Klein are the owners of an Oregon bakery who were sued for violating the state’s nondiscrimination laws when they refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. They have since become Religious Right martyrs and were featured by Sen. Ted Cruz in a campaign video. Aaron Klein has said that denying a cake to a gay couple was part of his fight against “Satan.”

Ed Vitagliano

As research director of the American Family Association, Ed Vitagliano is a vocal anti-gay activist. Not only does he believe “pray away the gay” works, but he also claims that gay rights will lead to the destruction of America.

Brent Bozell

Bozell is the Founder and President of the Media Research Center, which works to expose what it claims is rampant “liberal media bias.”

Bozell has:

Benham Brothers Defend Kim Davis With Fake George Washington Quote

Jason and David Benham, two right-wing activists with experience in portraying themselves as Christian martyrs, hailed the latest “victimof religious persecution, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, in a column for the far-right outlet WorldNetDaily this weekend:

Her jailing last week reveals that we have deep spiritual and political fractures in our foundation as a nation.



We have abandoned the God of the Bible, the very God of our founding. Our spiritual foundation has been compromised.

George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”

When we reject God’s law by removing His influence from every vestige of society, how can we rightly govern ourselves?

The answer is: We can’t, and we’re not.

Of course, Washington never actually said that.

As the Mount Vernon Association points out, this remark that is sometimes attributed to Washington first emerged in 1835, decades after Washington’s death.

(Incidentally, the Benham’s father, Religious Right activist Flip Benham, has led protests at the home of Judge David Bunning to hold him "in contempt of the Court of Almighty God.") 

Nonetheless, the Benham twins went on to claim that gay marriage is still illegal in Kentucky:

The power to define marriage is not delegated to the federal government anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, according to the 10th Amendment, individual states have the right to define marriage. And the way to do this is to amend a state constitution, which dozens of states have already accomplished by votes of the people. This is the beauty of our system. “We the People” get to decide on our laws (democracy).

Kentucky did this very thing in 2004, saying, “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

This is the law in Kentucky.

So, based on our system of government, Kim Davis did what was right by refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses because she was upholding Kentucky law. And the 10th Amendment protects the law that Kentuckians put in place.

So the question is, if Kim Davis is sitting in jail as a lawbreaker today, what law did she break? Did the U.S. Congress pass a gay-marriage law when we weren’t looking? Was a same-sex marriage amendment voted on by the people of Kentucky without notice? The answer to all of these is “No.”

The fact of the matter is that five members of our Supreme Court have gone rogue and become tyrannical, disregarding our constitutional and federal system of government. And we the people believe that their opinion (decision) actually made a new law, legalizing gay marriage.

Benham Brothers: Gay 'Bully Agenda' Coming At Christians With 'Guns Blazing'

David and Jason Benham, who have become Religious Right heroes since their anti-gay activism got them fired from HGTV, joined former Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller on his radio program Saturday to publicize their new book, “Whatever the Cost.”

David Benham kicked things off by warning that “all of the things that are going on in our country in the name of equality and love and tolerance,” such as marriage equality, are really “just a disguise for a bully agenda that is going to turn its guns blazing towards religious liberty in this country.”

David cautioned Miller that he should definitely be “concerned about [his] radio station” because it is “especially the voices of Christians that say homosexuality is a forbidden practice” who are at risk of censorship. “When our country no longer honors the exercise of religion, which is what that is, in the marketplace of wherever we are, it’s a very scary place to be,” he said.

Jason Benham traced marriage equality back to the end of government-sponsored prayer in public schools, which he said is the reason “sex has moved” to become “the theme of culture.”

Marriage equality, he said, is “the worst thing that could have ever happened to our nation” but “the best thing that could have ever happened to the church,” because now Christians will “get a chance to experience real persecution” which will “purify” the church by separating “the wheat from the chaff.”

“I really believe that if we are going to embrace the purification process we have to welcome the fire that purifies,” he said. “And a Supreme Court decision like this is the very thing that God’s going to use to turn his church back to him.”

Jason brought up the concept of the “doom loop,” a phrase that author Jim Collins uses to describe companies that are in a downward spiral, which he said also applies to American culture. “It takes forever to get” the doom loop “to take one revolution around,” but “then once it gets going it just spins consistently and goes faster and faster and faster,” he said.

“This is what’s happening in the culture as well,” Jason explained. “The devil has been working overtime for a long time, and now it’s just spinning out of control.”

But, he said, Christians can fight back by “lovingly” correcting people they disagree with because we’re “not yet” in “a physical fight.”

“The first thing you gotta recognize, at least here in America, is we’re not in a physical fight, at least not yet,” he said. “It’s a spiritual battle going on, so we’re not trying to kill people or pull guns on people or anything like that. What we’re doing is saying to Christians, get involved in the spiritual battle. Get involved with ideas that present themselves against the knowledge of God. Stand up and say ‘no, that’s not true,’ while you reach out lovingly to the people who hold those ideas. That’s what Christ is calling for today: cultural warriors who will stand strong for him on truth.”

Benhams Celebrate Father's Day By Warning Of Impending Persecution, God's Wrath

Jim Garlow celebrated Father’s Day this year by inviting David and Jason Benham — conservative activists who became Religious Right martyrs when they lost a planned house-flipping TV show after their extreme views came to light — to speak about manly courage at his Skyline Church. As an extra bonus, the Benham brothers brought along their father, Flip Benham, a fiery street preacher and anti-choice activist who told the audience that the real problem of “fatherlessness” in America is the rejection of “the Heavenly Father.”

The elder Benham quoted the book of Malachi: “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, the hearts of the children to their fathers, or I will smite the land with a curse.”

“That is what is happening here,” he said, “fatherlessness. The Heavenly Father, we reject him, we’ve expelled him from school, we’ve banished him from the schoolyard and he’s been replaced with metal detectors, condoms, drugs and violence of unprecedented order, while we’re looking at each other with awkward amazement wondering what has happened here. When you move God, when you take Him out of the equation, violence always enters in.”

After the brothers told their story of persecution at the hands of gay rights activists, David Benham compared America today to first-century Rome, when Nero “started the persecution against the Christians” by using a “narrative that the Christians and Jews were haters of Rome because they would not bow to the emperor.”

“I’m telling you, the same spirit of Nero is in America,” he said, “and persecution is coming.”

Benham Brothers Recount Bravely Disrupting A Nonexistent 9/11 Celebration In New York

Remember when Muslims took to the streets of New York to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks? No? Well, Jason and David Benham remember that totally real 9/11 celebration and were in fact American heroes who traveled to New York just to put a stop to it.

The Benham brothers recently recounted their brave heroism in an interview with WorldNetDaily, the conspiracy theory outlet that publishes their weekly column, while promoting WND’s annual 9/11 Day of Prayer.

David Benham told WND that “on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Jason and I went to New York City and I remember watching radical Muslims marching through our streets screaming, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ and I stepped into the middle of the street and I began to proclaim the gospel and let them know that that stuff is not welcome in our nation.”

In fact, Jason Benham said, this brave stand against a pro-9/11 rally got the Benhams labeled “anti-Muslim” by us here at Right Wing Watch! “That is one of the things that Right Wing Watch had pulled out, some comments that he made during that celebration where they were saying, ‘Allah conquers everything,’ and David stood up and boldly proclaimed, ‘No he does not,’ and that’s how we got the label that we are anti-Muslim,” Jason said.

David added: “We’re not anti-Muslim, we love individuals and especially peace-loving Muslims, but I am anti-any idea that would seek to take our freedoms away and take the lives of innocent people, especially anybody that would want to silence biblical Christianity.”

In our report on the Benhams’ right-wing activism, activism which they at first strenuously denied in the midst of the controversy surrounding their planned HGTV show, we excerpted a single paragraph from a report published by the Anti-Defamation League about David Benham’s involvement in an anti-Muslim demonstration organized by Operation Save America, the far-right group run by David and Jason’s father Flip Benham:

David Benham, Flip Benham's son and an OSA spokesman, called the Islamic center a "den of iniquity," and referred to Muslims as "the enemy attacking" America. Benham, portraying the United States as a Christian nation, also drew this distinction: "The difference between Islam and Christianity: Islam takes life and enslaves it. Christianity lays its life down and sets you free." The day prior to the demonstration, OSA released a statement asserting that [it] seeks to convert Muslims who are "enslaved in the tyrannical bondage of Islam" to Christianity.

The demonstration that the Benhams were participating in was not a 9/11 celebration. Instead, it was a protest of plans to build an Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan, dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque” by anti-Muslim activists. (The community center’s detractors neglected to mention that a Muslim prayer room existed in the south tower of the World Trade Center and there was already a mosque four blocks away from the site.)

The ADL report continues:

Since Spring 2010, OSA has exploited the controversy surrounding the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero by renewing their efforts to demonize Islam. On the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, several OSA leaders organized a protest in downtown Manhattan against the Islamic center. At the protest, held the same day as the rally organized by Stop the Islamization of America, Reverend Rusty Lee Thomas, assistant director of the OSA, said that the religion of Islam was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. "[The center] is a dagger in the heart of our nation by a religion that killed 3000 of our citizens on September 11, 2001," he said.

Thomas also asked rhetorically, "But why are mosques springing up all over the United States of America? Why are Muslims coming in droves, buying us up and buying us out? Why were we blissfully ignorant of Islam on September 11, 2001, and now there is not a day under the Obama administration we are not being inundated with Islamic indoctrination?"

Ante Pavkovic, described by OSA as its regional director in Charlotte, North Carolina, told rally participants: "How is it…that they are on the verge of building a mosque and insulting us, and offending us, and trampling on the all those that died. Why is Islam gaining in our nation? Why are our leaders assenting to, appealing to, and appeasing the Muslims? Well, we know why. We as a nation have departed from our god."

David Benham, Flip Benham's son and an OSA spokesman, called the Islamic center a "den of iniquity," and referred to Muslims as "the enemy attacking" America. Benham, portraying the United States as a Christian nation, also drew this distinction: "The difference between Islam and Christianity: Islam takes life and enslaves it. Christianity lays its life down and sets you free." The day prior to the demonstration, OSA released a statement asserting that seeks to convert Muslims who are "enslaved in the tyrannical bondage of Islam" to Christianity.

OSA has been protesting at mosques and harassing Muslim worshippers since 2001, when the group described Islam on its Web site as a "false religion, birthed from the very pit of hell [that] has led to the eternal damnation of billions of precious people." For years, Flip Benham and his supporters approached Muslims outside their houses of worship to communicate that "Islam and Christianity cannot peacefully coexist. They are at war," according to OSA's Web site.

Such messages were delivered by the group on August 6, 2010, when Reverend Benham and other OSA activists harassed worshippers after Friday prayers outside Masjid An-Noor in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Activists reportedly shouted at worshippers leaving and entering the mosque that “Jesus hates Muslims” and “Islam is a lie.”

A few weeks later, OSA activist Pastor Mark Holick was arrested in Wichita, Kansas, after refusing to move his protest against the Islamic Center of Wichita to a location designated by police. Holick reportedly tried to disseminate OSA “Gospel tracts,” described later by media as “anti-Muslim DVDs,” to individuals on their way to the mosque.

Ted Cruz To Speak Alongside Gay-Wedding-Crasher Flip Benham, 'Faggots'-Basher Wellington Boone

Sen. Ted Cruz and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise addressed the “Watchmen on the Wall” summit today, an event sponsored by the radical Family Research Council, whose leaders have defended Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill, pushed the expulsion of gay people from the U.S. and fear an imminent anti-Christian holocaust in the U.S.

One speaker, anti-abortion-rights crusader Flip Benham, will speak alongside his sons, Religious Right activists David and Jason Benham. Along with his anti-abortion work, the elder Benham is notorious for heckling same-sex couples at their weddings, screaming at Muslim worshipers, organizing disruptions of liberal church services and linking gay people to Satan. The young Benhams have similar views, describing gay rights as demonic and stoking fears about homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.”

Another “Watchmen” speaker is E.W. Jackson, who joined the FRC after badly losing his race for lieutenant governor of Virginia and who has described gays as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “very sick people” and linked the Democratic Party to the Antichrist.

Wellington Boone will also speak at the event, even though he once told the audience at another FRC conference that he wishes he could call people “faggots.” At a 2006 event featuring FRC President Tony Perkins and Mitt Romney, Boone delivered a speech about the dangers of an island full of “sodomites,” defending laws making homosexuality a crime punished by the death penalty.

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David Benham Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Thursday 09/08/2016, 5:21pm
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is scheduled to address the Values Voter Summit, an annual Washington, D.C., event hosted by the Family Research Council, tomorrow. In doing so, he’ll be sharing the stage not only with extreme anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim activists, but also with activists who are rooted in the radical fringes of the anti-abortion movement. Trump will address the summit soon after David and Jason Benham take the stage. The Benhams are twin brothers who became Religious Right megastars in 2014 after HGTV cancelled a show they were set to star in following... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 09/02/2016, 1:00pm
Donald Trump is slated to join conservative activists and a number of GOP elected officials at next weekend’s Values Voter Summit, the annual Washington, D.C., event sponsored by the Family Research Council. The GOP nominee has been busy recruiting Religious Right leaders, often while waving the Bible in the air and boasting about his plans to appoint conservative jurists to the bench and end the “War on Christmas.” The activists joining Trump at the Values Voter Summit are some of the country’s most extreme opponents of LGBT rights, vocal... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Tuesday 08/23/2016, 4:50pm
Kevin Swanson, the Colorado pastor and homeschooling activist who last year hosted three GOP presidential candidates at a conference in Iowa, hosted an event near Cincinnati over the weekend to help families prepare their children to avoid cultural pitfalls and be prepared to enter the metaphorical Noah’s ark of Christianity. Among the speakers were Ken Ham, the Creationist activist who just completed a life-sized replica of Noah’s ark near the site of the conference, and GOP favorites David, Jason and Flip Benham. Swanson started things off by impressing upon attendees the need... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 07/26/2016, 5:31pm
A warning from the Benham brothers: "We believe if the sexual revolution is left unchecked it will become a crime to confess biblical truth in today’s America. Those that dare hold a biblical view of sexuality will spend time in jail. Those that refuse to participate in gay weddings or gay pride events will lose their business license. Perhaps it may even become a crime to teach our children biblical values when it comes to sexuality." Tom DeLay is upset that the RNC allowed Peter Thiel to give a speech "glorifying homosexuality" and so is Peter LaBarbera... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 05/17/2016, 5:30pm
David and Jason Benham will receive the 2016 "National Heroes of Faith Award" from Vision America in September, while their father, Flip, will recieve the "Don Wildmon Pastor Award." Alex Jones says that "Glenn Beck is a Benedict Arnold, he is a sleeper cell." Scott Lively calls Christians to battle: "Let’s help the populists defend national sovereignty and defeat the Cultural Marxists, AND be fully prepared to reoccupy the positions of cultural influence that the Marxists stole from us as they are pushed back across the cultural battlefield... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 05/16/2016, 5:15pm
Donald Trump once admitted to posing as his own spokesman, “John Miller,” but is now denying it.  We hope Ben Carson is right and that Trump is seriously considering Sarah Palin to be his running mate.  Roger Stone hopes President Trump will “turn off” CNN’s “FCC license.” Arizona taxpayers “have already fronted more than $41 million in [a] class-action suit against” Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was recently held in civil contempt, and may need to contribute “$13 million more toward the legal costs in the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 04/05/2016, 1:20pm
Anti-gay activist Mark Creech of the Christian Action League, who once declared that gay marriage is "an attempted gang rape of our culture," is organizing a show of support for North Carolina's recently passed anti-LGBT law. In a video posted on his website, Creech asks people to demonstrate their "strong support" for the law and to push back against the "smear campaign" against it by joining him for a rally on Monday, April 11, at the state Capitol where they will hear from anti-gay activists like David and Jason Benham, Harry Jackson, Frank Turek, Ron... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 04/04/2016, 5:15pm
After failing to block the Charlotte city council from approving a nondiscrimination ordinance protecting the LGBT community, conservative activists successfully persuaded North Carolina’s GOP-led government last month to pass a sweeping law blocking Charlotte’s measure. Two of the most visible conservative activists advocating for the move were Jason and David Benham, who, along with their father, Flip Benham, have campaigned against LGBT rights in Charlotte and elsewhere for years, including calling for the Charlotte city government to deny permits to LGBT pride events and... MORE >