Les Riley

Kevin Swanson: 'Muslims Come in and Kill our People so we Elect a Muslim as President of the United States'

Pastor Kevin Swanson of the Colorado-based Generations Radio took a break from ranting against gays and the Muppets yesterday when speaking to Les Riley, the secessionist who led the unsuccessful Personhood Mississippi campaign. Riley and Swanson said that Americans did not do a very good job repenting following the Aurora shooting massacre or the September 11 attacks. “We see the Muslims killing our people and so we elect a Muslim,” Swanson lamented. “Seems to me like we’re not turning back to the true and living God here, are we?”

Riley: I was in Aurora a few weeks ago helping collect signatures for the personhood amendment out there and help with some of the pro-life work out there and we stayed not far from the theater with a family and I drove by that memorial and it was just a real sobering picture of how ridiculously people would respond to a crisis when they don’t repent, when they don’t turn to God, when they don’t acknowledge their Creator. You see this shooting and rather than crying out to God there’s this big memorial with teddy bears and it’s great that people want to be part of something bigger than themselves but rather than turning to their Creator they again turn to their folly.

Swanson: On Sunday I was preaching from Isaiah Chapter 9 and 10 when people are warned not to embrace those nations that are striking them and I got to thinking about 9/11, remember 9/11, which is probably the most devastating thing which has happened since the War of 1812 at least in terms of an invasion upon our land. God has preserved us for many hundreds of years; we’ve had relative security and peace in this nation for a long time, so 9/11 shows up. These Muslims come in and kill our people so we elect a Muslim as President of the United States. Maybe not a pure Muslim but at least a man who has been very well indoctrinated, rooted, grounded and founded in Muslim theology and he is certainly more sympathetic to the Muslim religion than any other President we’ve ever had in the history of the nation. Five years after the Muslims came in and killed our people! There’s something odd about this, what’s going on here? We see the Muslims killing our people and so we elect a Muslim. Seems to me like we’re not turning back to the true and living God here, are we?

Riley: No, we’re not.

Personhood USA Regroups in Mississippi, Aims for Florida Vote

The unexpectedly staggering defeat of the personhood amendment in Mississippi last month has not slowed down Personhood USA’s campaign to put stringent anti-choice laws on the ballot in states across the country. In fact, the group wants to put personhood laws back on the ballot in Colorado, where it was defeated twice, and even make a second attempt in Mississippi.

Personhood Mississippi head and Christian separatist Les Riley and Personhood USA’s Jennifer Mason told the Washington Times that activists are committed to passing the amendment in Mississippi:

“I can tell you that we are going to press forward. … We’ve got plans to continue a massive grass-roots campaign,” as well as work with the legislature, said Les Riley, leader of Personhood Mississippi.

“We realize we are changing a culture, and we can’t expect to change the culture with one election. That’s why we are willing to do this as many times as it takes,” said Jennifer Mason, spokeswoman for Personhood USA, which supports coast-to-coast measures seeking to establish human rights at conception.



“We think that by including a little more information to prohibit our opposition from using these scare tactics will benefit us, while easing voters’ minds,” said Mrs. Mason, who is married to Personhood USA President Keith Mason.

Another state Personhood USA is targeting is Florida, where the state affiliate plans to gather signatures in support of a new Florida ProLife Personhood Amendment:

Have you heard the news? Personhood FL has launched a new prolife petition called the Florida ProLife Personhood Amendment. Personhood FL will collect petition signatures from registered Florida voters January 2012 – December 2013. We need your help to contact every church, every pastor in your county!

Because of a bill passed by the FL Legislature this year that changed the shelf life of the petition signatures from 4 years to 2 years, we are launching a new two year petitioning effort beginning January 2012. We have taken this opportunity to launch the new Florida ProLife Personhood Amendment based on language endorsed by Family Research Council and the American Family Association. The new petition language has been designed by a think tank of prolife personhood attorneys and satisfies 11 conditions needed to unite pro-life ministries. Adapting this language enables all states to come into unity anticipating and facilitating a federal prolife personhood amendment.

Personhood USA Decries 'Paternalistic Government,' Calls For Conversions To Christianity

The director of Personhood USA writes in USA Today this morning that Mississippi voters should back his group’s far-reaching “personhood” law in order to put the brakes on big government and decries the fact that “the American people are being treated paternalistically by a government, media and public sector elite that stands in direct opposition to our traditional American values.” That’s right, the personhood law which would criminalize abortion, common forms of birth control, stem-cell research, in-vitro fertilization and the treatment of ectopic pregnancies, says Gualberto Garcia Jones, is actually a way to curtail the size of government because it seeks to overturn Roe v. Wade:

Increasingly, the American people are being treated paternalistically by a government, media and public sector elite that stands in direct opposition to our traditional American values. Using the courts as its instrument, this American elite has emasculated a once independent America.

The Constitution, a document written to prevent tyranny, has, as Thomas Jefferson predicted, become "a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into any form they please."

No greater example exists of this abuse of raw judicial power than Roe v. Wade, a decision by seven unelected men to impose abortion on all 50 states.



This simple amendment has become ground zero in the fight over abortion because it challenges not only the legal foundation of Roe v. Wade— that the child in the womb is a non-person — but also the source of the power that has allowed the liberal elite to reshape America in its own image.

Les Riley, the extremist head of Personhood Mississippi, told OneNewsNow today that he hoped Mississippi’s personhood referendum, Initiative 26, would help lead people to convert to Christianity. Riley was previously a blogger for the Christian secessionist group Christian Exodus and is the Chairman of the far-right Mississippi Constitution Party, which seeks to “restore” government to its “Biblical presuppositions.” In the interview with OneNewsNow, the media arm of the American Family Association which backs Initiative 26, Riley said supporters should “pray not only for victory in the election, but that many people who are outside of Christ would be brought to him by our efforts -- even those opposing the amendment”:

Proposition 26, otherwise known as a personhood amendment, declares that a person is a human at the moment of fertilization. And as the vote approaches, Les Riley, the director of Personhood Mississippi who launched the Yes on 26 drive, is encouraging supporters to utilize a major weapon: prayer. He asks believers to request that God would glorify himself and work in a way that is far beyond "what we've even got the sense to ask for."

"We would just ask that God would work in a way that would astonish the whole world and that it would be clear that he was the one working and not us," Riley says. "And maybe, perhaps specifically pray not only for victory in the election, but that many people who are outside of Christ would be brought to him by our efforts -- even those opposing the amendment."

The pro-lifer goes on to note the significance of the amendment.

"You know this will be the first time in history that a state has recognized the humanity of the unborn and their God-given right to life," he points out. "It would make abortion illegal within our borders and would also challenge notions about abortion."

Since such a challenge would apply both nationally and internationally, he concludes that tomorrow vote is "hugely important."

Mississippi Personhood Campaign Draws More Scrutiny, Questions

With few Mississippi politicians speaking out against a proposed “personhood” amendment on the state’s ballot next week, Personhood USA is hoping that the Magnolia State will be the first to adopt its radical anti-choice legislation, which has been resoundingly defeated multiple times in Colorado. Personhood USA’s Keith Mason said on Friday that Mississippi’s Initiative 26, “looks like it’ll be the first one to pass in this country.”

Mississippi already has some of the most restrictive anti-choice laws in the United States. But opponents of the personhood initiative have started succeeding in educating voters over the far-reaching consequences of the proposed law, which would not only criminalize abortions without exceptions for rape, incest or health of the mother, but also potentially ban certain forms of birth control, the treatment of ectopic and problem pregnancies and in-vitro fertilization. One opponent of Initiative 26 said that polling shows that the more voters learn about the full impact of Initiative 26, the less likely they are to support it: “It’s the largest movement on numbers I’ve seen, in terms of the undecideds. It reverses the position…They’ve given us all the ammunition we need to defeat it.”

On Friday, Rachel Maddow discussed the grassroots campaign to defeat the personhood amendment and investigated the amendment’s radical roots – specifically, the role of Personhood Mississippi’s leader, Les Riley. As Maddow noted, Right Wing Watch first uncovered that Riley previously blogged for a secessionist group that wanted to create an independent theocratic state in South Carolina. In addition, Riley heads Mississippi’s far-right Constitution Party and is a past member of the neo-Confederate League of the South.

Maddow had as her guest Cristen Hemmins, who shared her story as a rape survivor who twenty years ago was kidnapped and raped by two men who shot her when she tried to flee. Hemmins told the Huffington Post that one of the bullets pierced her uterus, but if she had gotten pregnant and ifthe personhood law had been in effect at the time, she would have been prohibited by law from terminating the pregnancy.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Huckabee To Keynote Fundraiser For Personhood Mississippi

Mike Huckabee is scheduled to be the featured speaker at a fundraiser for Personhood Mississippi, the group running the campaign to pass Amendment 26, which would criminalize abortion with no exceptions by giving rights to zygotes. In addition to banning abortion, the personhood amendment would also make certain forms of birth control, in-vitro fertilization and the treatment of problem pregnancies a crime. The American Family Association, which is based in Mississippi, committed $100,000 to fund the effort to pass Amendment 26 in November.

By supporting Amendment 26, Huckabee places himself even to the right of the National Right to Life Committee, which refused to back Colorado’s failed personhood amendment because they thought it was counter-productive and likely to be struck down as unconstitutional.

Moreover, the founder and director of Personhood Mississippi is far-right extremist Les Riley. Riley used to be a featured blogger for the Christian separatist group Christian Exodus, until his posts were conspicuously removed from the group’s site. But luckily, he left a paper trail:

According to Christian Exodus’s mission statement, “The initial goal was to move thousands of Christian constitutionalists to South Carolina to accelerate the return to self-government based upon Christian principles at the local and State level. This project continues to this day, with the ultimate goal of forming an independent Christian nation that will survive after the decline and fall of the financially and morally bankrupt American empire.”

The group, which is closely tied to the neo-confederate League of the South, attempted to set up an independent, theocratic state in South Carolina by 2016 but has since moved on to creating theocratic settlements in Panama and Idaho.

Riley is also chairman of the Constitution Party of Mississippi and stated that its goal is to “restore American government to its Constiutional [sic] limits and American jurisprudence to its Biblical presuppositions.” According to their platform, “The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law.”

But for Huckabee, it seems no activist is too radical to work with.

Personhood Movement Announces 50-State Strategy

The anti-choice movement to use state ballot initiatives to give fetuses and embryos legal rights has announced a nationwide petition drive to bring their radical measure to all fifty states. Opponents of reproductive rights hope to use “personhood amendments” to criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, and common forms of birth control by giving zygotes constitutional protections. While the amendment failed miserably at the polls in Colorado, Personhood USA hopes to bring personhood amendments to states such as Florida, Mississippi, Montana, and Wisconsin, among others.

Personhood activists have their hopes set on Mississippi, where the amendment will be voted on in November. Personhood Mississippi is led by Les Riley, a member of an extreme separatist organization called Christian Exodus, and Riley’s campaign has received the support of notable Republicans like Congressman Alan Nunnelee and Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate Phil Bryant, and groups such as the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel.

Now, Personhood USA has launched petition drives in every single state. According to the group, they already have gathered over 900,000 signatures:

"Now in every state in America, prolife volunteers are engaging their communities with the truth of personhood, and are working to change the laws as citizens or lobbying the lawmakers in their state to do their job and protect every person by love and by law, " stated Keith Mason, cofounder of Personhood USA. "We are thrilled to have met our goal to be in all 50 states in just two years, and we are so thankful to be closing in on 1 million signatures defending the personhood of the preborn child."



"Personhood USA functions as a support system, giving as little or as much help as needed, and we have truly been blessed by Jesus Christ as He is accomplishing so much through us in just the past two years. We can't wait to see what He does, in all 50 states, in 2011," added Cal Zastrow, cofounder of Personhood USA. "We will keep working hard for the rights of preborn children, knowing that this is the best chance we've ever had to end abortion in America."

Watch Les Riley explain to the AFA’s Director of Issue Analysis Bryan Fischer back in October about the Personhood movement’s plan to overturn abortion rights:

Leading Republicans Embrace Personhood Amendment and “Christian Exodus,” Separatist Advocate

Last week Right Wing Watch reported on the success of anti-choice activists to place a “Personhood Amendment” on Mississippi’s 2011 ballot to coincide with the gubernatorial election. The radical group Personhood USA hopes to use the so-called “Personhood Amendments” to criminalize abortion, common forms of birth control, stem cell research, and even in-vitro fertilization, by giving legal rights to fetuses and embryos.

Major anti-choice organizations including the National Right to Life Committee have generally shied away from “Personhood Amendments” due to the extreme nature of the measure and the fringe Personhood USA. Colorado voters rejected three different Amendments from Personhood Colorado by wide margins, with the 2010 measure failing with less than 30% of the vote.

Activists in Mississippi, however, have made great headway in receiving support from the Religious Right and the GOP. Leading Religious Right groups and Republican politicians, including the American Family Association (AFA), Liberty Counsel, and Congressman-Elect Alan Nunnelee, have backed Personhood Mississippi’s efforts. Mississippi’s Republican Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate Phil Bryant has embraced the Personhood Initiative as well. Bryant, when announcing his bid for governor on the AFA’s radio program, claimed that “one of my goals in public life is to end abortion in Mississippi, so we’re going to work really hard on that.” A vocal and ardent supporter of the “Personhood Amendment,” Bryant called the initiative “another way of trying to stop abortion in Mississippi and simply allow once and for all the opportunity for the people to say we want to do that and we feel so strongly about it that we want to add it to our Constitution.”

Today, Personhood Mississippi (the state affiliate of Personhood USA) will be hosting a rally in Jackson to celebrate the measure’s inclusion on the 2011 ballot, and Bryant is scheduled to speak at the event.

But who is behind Personhood Mississippi and the Personhood Amendment’s sponsor?

The head of Personhood Mississippi is right wing activist Les Riley, a featured blogger of the group Christian Exodus, which has “goal of forming an independent Christian nation that will survive after the decline and fall of the financially and morally bankrupt American empire.”

Christian Exodus had attempted to move thousands of supporters to South Carolina in order to “form a biblically inspired government and secede from the United States,” and also has close ties to the separatist and Neo-Confederate League of the South. Christian Exodus also is encouraging adherents to move to Panama and Idaho in order to build theocratic settlements.

Lt. Governor Bryant said he wanted to “personally thank Les Riley” for his work, and Les Riley told AFA Radio that Mississippi’s Personhood Amendment is “the biggest news in the pro-life movement in twenty years” because it will not only eradicate reproductive rights in Mississippi but also set up a challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

As the “Personhood Amendment” movement finds more allies and greater support in the Religious Right and Republican Party, its extremist leaders and radical beliefs have not changed.

Syndicate content

Les Riley Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 08/31/2012, 5:05pm
Pastor Kevin Swanson of the Colorado-based Generations Radio took a break from ranting against gays and the Muppets yesterday when speaking to Les Riley, the secessionist who led the unsuccessful Personhood Mississippi campaign. Riley and Swanson said that Americans did not do a very good job repenting following the Aurora shooting massacre or the September 11 attacks. “We see the Muslims killing our people and so we elect a Muslim,” Swanson lamented. “Seems to me like we’re not turning back to the true and living God here, are we?” Riley: I was in Aurora a few... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 12/06/2011, 1:40pm
The unexpectedly staggering defeat of the personhood amendment in Mississippi last month has not slowed down Personhood USA’s campaign to put stringent anti-choice laws on the ballot in states across the country. In fact, the group wants to put personhood laws back on the ballot in Colorado, where it was defeated twice, and even make a second attempt in Mississippi. Personhood Mississippi head and Christian separatist Les Riley and Personhood USA’s Jennifer Mason told the Washington Times that activists are committed to passing the amendment in Mississippi: “I can tell you... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 11/07/2011, 11:25am
The director of Personhood USA writes in USA Today this morning that Mississippi voters should back his group’s far-reaching “personhood” law in order to put the brakes on big government and decries the fact that “the American people are being treated paternalistically by a government, media and public sector elite that stands in direct opposition to our traditional American values.” That’s right, the personhood law which would criminalize abortion, common forms of birth control, stem-cell research, in-vitro fertilization and the treatment of ectopic... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 10/31/2011, 11:05am
With few Mississippi politicians speaking out against a proposed “personhood” amendment on the state’s ballot next week, Personhood USA is hoping that the Magnolia State will be the first to adopt its radical anti-choice legislation, which has been resoundingly defeated multiple times in Colorado. Personhood USA’s Keith Mason said on Friday that Mississippi’s Initiative 26, “looks like it’ll be the first one to pass in this country.” Mississippi already has some of the most restrictive anti-choice laws in the United States. But opponents of the... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 08/31/2011, 12:40pm
Mike Huckabee is scheduled to be the featured speaker at a fundraiser for Personhood Mississippi, the group running the campaign to pass Amendment 26, which would criminalize abortion with no exceptions by giving rights to zygotes. In addition to banning abortion, the personhood amendment would also make certain forms of birth control, in-vitro fertilization and the treatment of problem pregnancies a crime. The American Family Association, which is based in Mississippi, committed $100,000 to fund the effort to pass Amendment 26 in November. By supporting Amendment 26, Huckabee places himself... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 01/10/2011, 3:13pm
The anti-choice movement to use state ballot initiatives to give fetuses and embryos legal rights has announced a nationwide petition drive to bring their radical measure to all fifty states. Opponents of reproductive rights hope to use “personhood amendments” to criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, and common forms of birth control by giving zygotes constitutional protections. While the amendment failed miserably at the polls in Colorado, Personhood USA hopes to bring personhood amendments to states such as Florida, Mississippi, Montana, and Wisconsin, among others.... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/04/2011, 4:42pm
Last week Right Wing Watch reported on the success of anti-choice activists to place a “Personhood Amendment” on Mississippi’s 2011 ballot to coincide with the gubernatorial election. The radical group Personhood USA hopes to use the so-called “Personhood Amendments” to criminalize abortion, common forms of birth control, stem cell research, and even in-vitro fertilization, by giving legal rights to fetuses and embryos. Major anti-choice organizations including the National Right to Life Committee have generally shied away from “Personhood Amendments... MORE >