Mat Staver

Stop Persecuting Us! Five Religious Right Tactics On Clear Display At The Values Voter Summit

One thing was clear at last week’s Values Voter Summit: many of the Religious Right’s leaders and allied politicians know that their stances on abortion rights and LGBT equality are becoming more and more toxic to the average voter, and less and less popular within the GOP.

Many speakers at the conference tried to reframe the debate on issues such as same-sex marriage, insisting that opponents of LGBT rights are becoming an oppressed minority in America. This delusion even seeped into matters such as foreign policy, with speakers attacking President Obama as an Islamist sympathizer who refuses to take military action against ISIS, even while he was doing exactly that.

Naturally, one politician was able to prey upon the many fears and fantasies of the far-right: Ted Cruz.

Even as the Values Voter Summit subtly changed its tone on some familiar issues, five tried and true tactics of the Religious Right were unchanged at last week’s event:

5. Make Audacious Persecution Analogies

While addressing the plight of Christians in the Mideast and people such as Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan and Saeed Abedini in Iran — both of whom are actually the victims of shocking anti-Christian persecution — Values Voter Summit speakers often attempted to claim that conservative Christians face similar abuses and comparable treatment in America.

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel attempted to paint the Obama administration as more malicious than the government of Nazi Germany, and twins Jason and David Benham — who lost a planned HGTV reality show after we reported on their anti-gay political activism — even had the gall to compare themselves to the victims of ISIS.

Todd Starnes and Kelly Shackelford rattled off cases of purported anti-Christian persecution in America, “Duck Dynasty” star Alan Robertson said his family’s reality TV show was briefly suspended as the result of demonic attacks, and a Colorado baker who gained national attention after denying service to a gay couple broke down in tears.

Maggie Gallagher, the founder of the National Organization for Marriage, told attendees that marriage equality opponents will be “oppressed” due to their opinions, and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel predicted Big Government persecution of Christians on behalf of “the intolerant homosexual lobby.”

4. Demand Religious Freedom… Except For Muslims

For a conference dedicated to protecting religious liberty and addressing the supposed persecution of Christians in America, there sure was plenty of animosity towards Muslims.

Conference speakers including Michele BachmannRobert DeesGary Bauer and Brigitte Gabriel dedicated their remarks to the threat of Islam, with several conflating Al Qaeda and ISIS with all of Islam and suggesting that the U.S. government somehow declare war on the religion.

Prior to the conference, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, whose group was the summit’s chief sponsor, suggested that Muslim-Americans be stripped of their rights under the Constitution.

3. Brazenly Ignore Reality

It was surreal to watch several Values Voter Summit speakers criticize President Obama for not going after ISIS at the same time as a U.S.-led coalition was launching a daily torrent of airstrikes against ISIS and the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria and Iraq.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a likely GOP presidential candidate, said Obama doesn’t believe that ISIS leaders need to be “hunted down and killed and destroyed.”

Bachmann declared that the president was ignoring her sage advice on how to handle ISIS: “You kill their leader, you kill their council, you kill their army until they wave the white flag of surrender. That’s how you win a war!”

2. Push Back Against The GOP

There was a palpable fear throughout the conference that the Republican Party is moving away from the Religious Right, as more and more GOP candidates either refuse to highlight the movement’s anti-choice and anti-gay positions or are openly trumpeting support for abortion rights and gay marriage.

Just before the conference took place, Focus on the Family, the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council issued a letter announcing their vow to defeat two openly gay Republican House candidates and the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Oregon, who is pro-choice and running advertisements boasting of her support for marriage equality.

NOM president Brian Brown criticized Republicans for blaming the party’s stances on social issues for losses in the 2012 election. “It’s not our fault,” Brown insisted as he introduced unabashedly anti-gay politician Rick Santorum at the summit.

Later, at a NOM-sponsored panel, Brown accused gay rights supporters of attempting to “hijack” the GOP. While one panel at the summit attempted to explain the potential for libertarians and social conservatives to build a political alliance, it seems many in the audience didn’t want anything to do with the libertarian message.

1. Throw Them Red Meat

Ted Cruz once again won the summit’s presidential candidate straw poll, with Ben Carson, who didn’t attend the summit this year but was well-represented by campaigners from the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, finishing in second place. Cruz and Carson notably outpaced Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, two favorites of Religious Right movement who both spoke at the summit.

Cruz packed his speech with warnings about imminent threats to the Second Amendment and religious freedom, and listing objects of conservative derision: IRS, Common Core and Obamacare.

Conference organizers said Jeb Bush and Chris Christie were not welcome at the summit, but they wouldn’t have been able to stand a chance against Cruz’s easy applause lines anyway.

Who Does Glenn Beck Really Stand With: Russian Gays Or America's Religious Right?

Shortly after Russia passed its new spate of anti-gay laws, Glenn Beck said he was so offended by one Russian commentator who called for the mass killing of gays and lesbians that he would “stand with GLAAD” against the growing tide of anti-gay bigotry and “hetero-fascism” in the country.

At the same time, however, Beck was heaping praise on anti-gay activists such as Mat Staver, the Liberty Counsel attorney who endorsed draconian anti-gay laws in Russia and Malawi.

Then, this weekend, Beck took the same stand against growing Russian “hetero-fascism” in his closing speech at the Values Voter Summit, even though many of the summit’s sponsors and his fellow speakers have openly backed harsh anti-gay laws in Russia and throughout the world.

To begin with, Tony Perkins, the president of the summit’s chief sponsor, the Family Research Council, defended Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill when it included provisions making homosexuality a crime punishable by life imprisonment or death.

Beck’s fellow Values Voter Summit speakers included not only Staver and Perkins but also Peter Sprigg, the FRC spokesman who called for the U.S. to export gay people and criminalize homosexuality. The American Family Association also sponsored the summit, and its spokesmen Bryan Fischer and Sandy Rios have also endorsed Russia’s anti-gay policies, with Fischer even backing Uganda’s law.

Maybe Beck was trying to hold Religious Right leaders at the summit to task for their support of brutal anti-gay policies. But if that’s the case, Beck should start confronting them directly when they come on his show, rather than singing their praises and appearing at their conferences while calling policies they support “fascist.”

Liberty Counsel Warns The 'Nanny State' Will Target Anti-Gay Christians

On Saturday afternoon, Liberty Counsel hosted a panel discussion at the Values Voter Summit on “The Assault of Constitutional Rights Under a Nanny State.” The discussion linked concerns about NSA surveillance – a concern shared by many progressive groups – to the Religious Right’s fear of anti-Christian persecution through the Affordable Care Act and LGBT rights.

Liberty Counsel founder and chair Mat Staver quickly used a discussion about the danger of letting national security agencies collect reams of data to stoke fears about government persecution of conservative Christians.

With the amount of metadata that can be collected off a smart phone, Staver said, “they can actually know that someone was at the Values Voter Summit and list those people as suspect conservative activists.”

“Of course, this administration would never want to do that,” he added sarcastically.

Bringing up fears that the IRS is targeting conservative organizations, Staver said, “I believe every other administrative agency is being used in a very similar way to target the opponents of President Obama.”

When a questioner asked about the danger of the government spying on Christians under the guise of national security, Staver agreed: “Your concern is a legitimate one and we’re going to see more and more of that.”

The bulk of the discussion focused on fears that gay rights will lead to the persecution of conservative Christians.

Staver and Liberty Counsel attorney Harry Mihet pointed to the lawsuit against anti-gay activist Scott Lively by the group Sexual Minorities of Uganda for Lively’s role in crafting draconian anti-gay legislation in Uganda. Staver warned that the lawsuit, which is still pending in U.S. courts, represents an attempt by “the intolerant homosexual lobby” to “punish people who travel overseas to speak on pro-family or pro-life issues in other countries” and to “intimidate” others into not going.

Mihet saw a deeper goal. “The end game plan here is to punish not only speech that takes place overseas but also speech that takes place here in the United States,” he said. “They are not bashful or subtle about the game plan here, this is it.”

They also discussed bans in California and New Jersey on providing “ex-gay” therapy to minors, which Mihet said were part of an “intense and coordinated effort to silence people of faith when it comes to the subject of homosexuality.”

“Folks, we’re talking abut the United States of America, not China, not Russia, not communist Romania where I grew up,” he said, adding that he saw a future where “the only thing that matters is the sexual orthodoxy that the government wants you to adopt.”

One of the more surprising parts of the discussion came when Staver directly addressed the tension between the Religious Right’s call to defy court rulings it doesn’t agree with on gay rights and what it sees as the Obama administration’s ignoring of court decisions that it doesn’t like. “We have the Supreme Court being the ultimate arbiter and everybody abides by that,” he said, but  “it wasn’t always that way.” He mentioned that Presidents Jefferson, Jackson and Lincoln all bucked court decisions that they felt were wrong. “We’re seeing that in the opposite way today with Eric Holder,” he continued. Although he disagreed with many of Holder’s decisions, he said, “this is something that Jefferson, Jackson and Lincoln did back in history.”

Staver: 'You And I Are Being Forced To Participate In Human Genocide By The HHS Mandate'

While addressing the Values Voter Summit this morning, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver trotted out his favorite claim that the contraception mandate means that America is literally worse than countries like Nazi Germany or Rwanda because those nations never forced their citizens to directly participate in carrying out genocide.

"Now, in America of all places, you and I are being forced to participate in human genocide by the HHS mandate," Staver said.

"We've never been forced in any time in world history to participate in the killing of innocent people and yet today we are," he continued. "No generation has faced what we currently face now ... and we cannot be silent in the face of this tragedy [of] human genocide being forced upon Americans":

Mat Staver Is Furious About Being Labeled An Anti-Gay Extremist

Mat Staver spent a good portion of his speech at the Values Voter Summit today fuming over a letter sent by People For the American Way, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and five other civil rights and LGBT organizations to Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus, asking members of the GOP not to participate in the conference, citing the anti-gay extremism of its sponsors.

Staver's organization, Liberty Counsel, is among those very sponsors and he is not very happy about being labeled an anti-gay extremist, despite this long and documented record of being one. Staver fumed that he is being attacked merely for believing "in God's natural created order of male and and female and marriage as the union of one man and one woman."

"For me believing in something that is that obvious," he complained, "I am considered by some groups to be a hater. But I hate no one. I hate no one, but I believe in God's truth and I will not be silent in the face of intimidation."

In an effort to prove that he is not an extremist, Staver then went on to liken himself to Jesus when he turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple before declaring that marriage equality teaches that children do not need mothers or fathers.

"That is an absolute lie from the very pit of Hell," he said:

15 Values Voter Summit Speakers Who Think The US Is Becoming Nazi Germany

At the Values Voter Summit, which begins this Friday, Republican politicians and Religious Right leaders will come together to rebuke President Obama, attack the gay community and decry the current state of affairs in the U.S.

Subtlety and nuance aren’t this crowd’s strong suits. In fact, it wasn’t that hard for us to come up with a list of at least 15 scheduled summit speakers and panelists who believe that America has gotten so bad under Obama’s leadership that the country has become just like Nazi Germany.

1. Tony Perkins

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins thinks that gay rights supporters are bent on ushering in an anti-Christian holocaust. When are LGBT activists “going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians?” he asked in June.

Soon afterwards, Perkins said a caller on his “Washington Watch” radio show “hit the nail on the head” when she claimed Christians in America are about to be “loaded in cattle cars like it was when the Nazis took over.”

2. Mike Huckabee

Former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee agreed last year that it was “the truth” that bills introduced to prevent gun violence are just like what happened in Nazi Germany. “[T]hey’ll start saying, ‘Oh there you go comparing to the Nazis.’ And I understand the reaction, but it’s the truth,” Huckabee said. “In every society and culture where dictators take over, one of the things they have to do is get control of the military and the police and ultimately all of the citizens and make sure the citizens are disarmed and can’t fight in the streets.”

Huckabee has also claimed that the legalization of same-sex marriage will compel Christians to defy the government in order to uphold their religious beliefs, just like people who aided Jews broke the law during the Holocaust : “It was ‘illegal’ to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. But I am sure that if I had lived in Germany during that time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers even though it was illegal.”

3. Sandy Rios

American Family Association governmental affairs director Sandy Rios said last year that the “War on Christmas” is driving Christians underground and oppressing religious expression: “This is exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany.”

4. Glenn Beck

Unsurprisingly, Glenn Beck is pretty sure that “we are Germany 1930.” Earlier this year, Beck agreed with venture capitalist Tom Perkins that billionaires in America are just like Jews under Nazi oppression and said that officials like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are aspiring concentration camp guards. He has also predicted that the government will “scoop up” Tea Party members and “be remembered as the most evil nation in the history of the world, we will dwarf what Germany did.”

Beck predicts that President Obama is on the verge of breaking down, at which point he will “round up” conservatives and “put them in a camp.”

5. Jerry Boykin

Family Research Council executive vice president Jerry Boykin accused President Obama of reviving Hitler’s Brownshirts through the health care reform law.

“Remember Hitler had the Brownshirts and in the Night of the Long Knives, even Hitler got scared of the Brownshirts and killed thousands of them. So you say ‘are there any signs that that’s happened?’ And the truth is, yes,” Boykin said in 2010. “If you read the health care legislation which, by the way nobody in Washington has read, but if you read the health care legislation it’s actually in the health care legislation…. It's laying the groundwork for a constabulary force that will control the population in America.”

6. Michele Bachmann

At a campaign stop in New Hampshire during her presidential bid, Bachmann said that government inaction on the national debt reminded her of the world’s silence in the midst of the Holocaust. “We are seeing eclipsed in front of our eyes a similar death and a similar taking away. It is this disenfranchisement that I think we have to answer to,” she said.

Bachmann has also accused the Obama administration of setting up “reeducation camps for young people” through service-oriented programs like AmeriCorps.

In 2012, Bachmann alleged that the administration was “aiding and abetting” an Islamist plot to take over America and the rest of the world, calling on people to read about the Islamic “belief system” and find out “what they truly believe” just like how “the most important thing a person could do in World War II during that conflict was to read the book that the leader of Germany wrote.”

7. Jim Bob Duggar

In a speech to the 2013 Values Voter Summit, Jim Bob Duggar said his visit to Nazi concentration camps reminded him of the U.S., saying that the Holocaust is “where we are at in our nation.” When asked by reporters about his statement, Duggar said that America is experiencing “a baby holocaust.”

8. Todd Starnes

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes said last year that the so-called “War on Christmas” and purported acts of anti-Christian persecution under the Obama administration made him wonder if he was living in the U.S. or Nazi Germany: “This is not 1930s Germany, gentlemen, this is the United States of America, and unless people of faith stand up and put a stop to this, we very well could be facing a 1930s Germany here.”

9. Mat Staver

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel believes that the U.S. under President Obama’s leadership is now actually worse than Nazi Germany. He said this month that the Obama administration surpassed Nazi Germany’s crimes by “forcing” people to “participate in a genocide” through the contraceptive coverage mandate. He has also repeatedly argued that legal abortion is the same as the Holocaust.

Earlier this year, Staver drew a Nazi analogy while demanding that conservatives more strongly oppose gay marriage: “This is not an issue in which you can remain silent any more than you can remain silent during Nazi Germany.”

10. Louie Gohmert

Texas congressman Louie Gohmert — who early on in Obama’s term agreed with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ predictions that the president would introduce policies reminiscent of Hitler — took to the House floor in May to accuse gay rights advocates of treating their opponents in the same way that the Nazis demonized the people they oppressed:

So it is amazing that in the name of liberality, in the name of being tolerant, this fascist intolerance has arisen. People that stand up and say, you know, I agree with the majority of Americans, I agree with Moses and Jesus that marriage was a man and a woman, now all of a sudden, people like me are considered haters, hate mongers, evil, which really is exactly what we've seen throughout our history as going back to the days of the Nazi takeover in Europe. What did they do? First, they would call people "haters" and "evil" and build up disdain for those people who held those opinions or religious views or religious heritage. And then the next came, well, those people are so evil and hateful, let's bring every book that they've written or has to do with them and let's start burning the books, because we can't tolerate their intolerance.

11. Mark Levin

Conservative talk radio show host Mark Levin claimed last year that President Obama was organizing a Brownshirt paramilitary to defend and promote the Affordable Care Act. “All they need is special uniforms,” Levin said of Obamacare supporters. “Learn how to march and salute and carry flags. I think brown would be good, you know, Brownshirts.”

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Levin said then-presidential candidate Obama was “really into these big German-like events” reminiscent of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

12. Ed Vitagliano

After the 2008 election, the American Family Association’s Ed Vitagliano urged the organization’s members to pray for President Obama just as one would pray for Adolf Hitler to veer away from his wicked ways. He especially urged his readers to pray to block Obama’s “plans to push both abortion and the gay agenda.”

“Obama is like Hitler because, while Hitler primarily slaughtered the Jews in the Holocaust, Obama’s support for abortion is similarly evil,” Vitagliano said. “Now I think the moral equivalency of the Holocaust and abortion is a good, defensible argument. Both objectified a category of human beings and then took horrifying steps to pursue their murder. The depths of evil connected to the Holocaust and abortion are equally difficult to comprehend.”

13. Harry Jackson

Religious right activist and preacher Harry Jackson said in 2012 that the success of “radical gay activists” was turning America into Nazi Germany:

They want to impose their will on the culture and if you cannot reproduce you may try to recruit, and what I mean by that is what is going on is an attempt to reshape, refashion the mind, hearts and desires of the next generation. Many Christians are sitting back and we aren’t speaking out, but the reality is just like during the times of Hitler we have people coming after one group after another group after another group, and folks are saying, well this doesn’t affect me I’ll let this slide, we have a problem that really we have a whole generation of people who want to affect not only their lives and choices but the choices of another generation.

14. Rick Santorum

After losing his 2012 presidential bid, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum became a Christian film producer, and he recently unveiled a new movie called “One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty.” Santorum’s latest film depicts the U.S. in a dire state eerily similar to Nazi Germany, warning that America’s transformation into a tyrannical, Nazi state will be complete thanks to the silence of conservative Christians. You can get some of the flavor of the film from its trailer, which includes footage of Germany in the 1930s.

While campaigning against for president, Santorum also told a church gathering that people should get involved in his bid to defeat Obama just as the Greatest Generation fought the spread of Nazism.

15. Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz launched his faux-filibuster against Obamacare by arguing that refusing to fight the implementation of the health care reform law was just like appeasing Adolf Hitler, and people who didn't support his plans to stop the law were like Neville Chamberlain.

As Jon Stewart explains, “Ted Cruz says we’re at Defcon Nazi.”

 

Ted Cruz's Dream Cabinet: Values Voter Summit Speakers Ready To Serve In The Cruz White House

It is no secret that Sen. Ted Cruz is a favorite of Religious Right activists. After all, at last year’s Values Voter Summit, the Texas Republican received a euphoric welcome and when one member of the audience declared that God supported Cruz’s effort to shut down the government, he was met with an enthusiastic round of applause. It’s no wonder that Cruz has won the hearts of the GOP’s far-right base, given his penchant for paranoid and incendiary rhetoric along with his boasts about his superior religious convictions.

And the affection seems to be mutual. If Cruz were to win the presidency in 2016, we imagine that his cabinet would look a lot like this week’s Values Voter Summit lineup.

So, we’ve decided to help Cruz out and pick him out a “dream cabinet” consisting exclusively of Values Voter Summit speakers.

Tony Perkins, Secretary of Homosexuality

To say that the Family Research Council leader and Values Voter Summit host is obsessed with homosexuality would be putting it mildly. Perkins fears that gays and lesbians are such a threat that he predicts they will bring about a holocaust of Christians. He calls gay people “vile” and “hateful” pawns of “The Enemy” — Satan — who are “engaged in activity, behavior and an agenda that will destroy them and our nation.”

Perkins spoke out in favor of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which, at the time, included a provision making homosexuality an offense punishable by death in some cases. He has also labeled pedophilia a “homosexual problem.”

What’s more, Perkins comes with a built-in circle of anti-gay advisors: For instance, one of his FRC colleagues once suggested that the U.S. “export homosexuals” because “homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Mike Huckabee, Secretary of Women’s Issues

After vigorously campaigning on behalf of failed Senate candidate Todd Akin and defending the Missouri Republican’s “legitimate rape” comments, Huckabee somehow managed to become the RNC’s “model” for speaking about social issues. Huckabee further displayed this model behavior at an RNC meeting this year, where he claimed that Democrats see women as “helpless and hopeless creatures” who need help from “Uncle Sugar” because they “cannot control their libido.”

Huckabee is a strong supporter of “personhood” laws that would criminalize abortion in all cases, along with common forms of birth control. Although he said rules ensuring that Hobby Lobby employees have birth control coverage would destroy the freedom of religion, as governor of Arkansas, he signed regulations on contraception coverage that had a wider impact on religiously-affiliated groups than the federal rules he now denounces as abortion subsidies and threats to liberty.

Sandy Rios, Secretary of Chain Emails

Thankfully, American Family Radio talk show host Sandy Rios breaks through the biased liberal media filter by citing the news sources America trusts: chain emails. Rios has repeatedly pointed to spurious Internet hoaxes and urban legends to warn about how same-sex marriage is encouraging incest or to expose President Obama’s Muslim writings.

Rios has also cited erroneous right-wing chain emails to shine light on Obama’s purported plan to Islamize America and his real birth place (Kenya). While such stories may not technically be true, they definitely feel true!

Michele Bachmann, Secretary of Truth

Many politicians pretend to believe in outlandish things as a way to throw red meat to their party’s base, but the Secretary of Truth pretends nothing. Whatever you may think about Michele Bachmann, she really does seem to believe that vaccinations cause mental retardation, Obamacare death panels will “literally kill” people, gays want to “freely prey on little children sexually” and AmeriCorps programs are really “re-education camps.” Bachmann also claims to be an expert in Islam, Judaism and the End Times (or, as she believes, the present day).

In fact, Bachmann speaks so much truth that the Associated Press had to impose a fact-checking “quota” on her remarks.

Sarah Palin, Secretary of Syntax

Sarah Palin is known for her captivating way with words and is always providing new material for observers of an evolving English language. Since Cruz sees Palin as a “fearless” leader of the conservative movement, certainly she can serve in a role greater than poet laureate. After all, it’s not everyone who is able to rewrite (with help from the Internet) the works of Dr. Seuss:

Todd Starnes, Secretary of Scam Artistry

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, ever the muckraker, claims to have blown the whistle on dozens of scandals involving anti-Christian persecution in America.

However, many of his reports have been completely debunked, including his stories about forced lesbian kisses in schools and discrimination against Christian athletes, kindergartenersfirst gradersmilitary service members and people celebrating Christmas. He has also falsely accused the military of court martialing Christians and blocking access to a church website, and made bogus statements about “gangs of roving thugs” and anti-Christian zealots running New York.

But don’t worry, none of these false reports have in any way negatively impacted Starnes’ career or his reputation, as he swears he only reports on “the most accurate information possible.”

Glenn Beck will also be addressing the summit, meaning that Starnes will have a real fight on his hands for this prestigious Cabinet office.

Jerry Boykin, Secretary of Islam

Protecting religious liberty is one of the major issues of the Values Voter Summit this year, and religious liberty has no better friend than FRC Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin, who cherishes the First Amendment so deeply that he wants to ban mosques and strip Muslim-Americans of their First Amendment rights (a view that FRC’s president, Tony Perkins, shares). Boykin insists that the Constitution should not protect Muslims because their religion will “destroy” America “from within.”

Boykin also believes that the Obama administration’s actions are part of a spiritual war against Christianity which will provoke people to “take up arms” against the government and even prompt military leaders to hope to “fulfill their constitutional duty and take out the president.”

Jim Bob Duggar, Secretary of Historical Analysis

Reality TV star Jim Bob Duggar, a frequent right-wing campaign surrogate whose son Josh serves as executive director of the Family Research Council, made a splash at last year’s summit when he said that a visit to a Nazi concentration camp reminded him of the U.S. today. Speaking of the Holocaust, he said, “that’s where we are at in our nation.” In Duggar’s telling, the Nazis are pro-choice advocates who have taken over America, while Duggar and his conservative movement allies are like concentration camp liberators.

While defending his remarks to the press, Duggar said Roe v. Wade has led to “a baby holocaust” no different than what took place in Nazi Germany.

Louie Gohmert, Secretary of Intelligence

Louie Gohmert, an actual congressman, has many smart things to say. For example, he believes that Obamacare will “absolutely kill senior citizens” and set up a “secret security force”; thinks America is worse off now than it was during the days of slavery; worries that “extreme leftists” and “radical jihadists” are working together to bring terror babies into the U.S.; and claims that Obama is “supporting” Al Qaeda and Democrats are hoping for terrorist attacks “to create a new jobs bill.”

He is also a zoologist, having warned that a wildlife protection bill would send animals to China and we would “end up with moo goo dog pan or moo goo cat pan.” He once also memorably defended oil pipelines by linking them to caribou sex.

Gohmert is an expert in the field of human sexuality, although he asserts that sex-ed classes are reminiscent of the Soviet Union. The Republican especially knows a thing or two about homosexuality, warning that gay marriage signals the collapse of civilization and will lead America “down the road to the dustbin of history”; claiming that those of “the persuasion of being homosexual” violate “the plumbing that God created”; insisting that gay people undermine humanity’s evolution (which he insists he doesn’t believe in himself); fearing that America will cease to exist because of gays serving openly in the military; and positing that gay marriage will lead to bestiality and extreme restrictions on gun rights.

Mat Staver, Secretary of Ex-Gays

While not an “ex-gay” himself, Liberty Counsel attorney Mat Staver is a leading proponent of sexual orientation conversion therapy and is attempting to bring his defense of the discredited, pseudo-scientific practice to the Supreme Court.

Staver has also been tied to an “ex-gay” client’s alleged kidnapping of her daughter to Central America to avoid sharing custody with the daughter’s other mother. He claims that gay people want to “entrap” and “groom” children and force them “into a lifestyle of destruction” by barring the use of ex-gay therapy on minors.

Staver will likely have many immediate policy changes to suggest, as he fears that the Obama administration supports “forced homosexuality” and likens fading opposition to gay rights to silence in Nazi Germany about the Holocaust.

Barber: Marchers Should Denounce 'Homosexual Enslavement Lifestyles' At St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Earlier this month, organizers of New York's annual St. Patrick's Day parade announced that, for the first time, they would allow a gay group to march in the parade. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who is serving as grand marshal of the parade, said that he has "no trouble with the decision at all" and that is not sitting well with Mat Staver and Matt Barber, who used today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast to blast Dolan as "unchristian" and to call upon other parade participants to protest this "evil" decision.

Barber said that there was no reason for parade organizers to make this sort of change because doing so is "completely counterbiblical" and the parade has now put its stamp of approval upon mortal sin. He then blasted Cardinal Dolan for his "unchristian statement" in support of the change as Staver called upon Catholics to voice their outrage to Dolan and parade organizers in protest.

Barber completely agreed, suggesting that other parade participants should carry banners and signs during the parade protesting the participation of gay groups and use the parade as an opportunity to preach that "there is actually freedom from these homosexual enslavement lifestyles."

"This is an opportunity to use that which is intended for evil," Barber said, "and this is evil, we need to be very clear here, use that which is intended for evil for good."

"Why would you put on parade someone who is promoting harmful, destructive behavior such as this?" Staver asked, wondering if parade organizers would also allow adulterers or drunkards or swingers to march. "Why would you put on parade something that is immoral, such as same-sex activity?"

The GOP's Hate Summit: A Who's Who Of The 2014 Values Voter Summit

This weekend, Republican elected officials including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Gov. Bobby Jindal will take part in what has become an annual ritual for potential GOP presidential contenders: they will seek to curry the favor of the Religious Right by speaking at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit.

In doing so, they put themselves in the company of some of the most radical groups and activists working today to dehumanize LGBT people, roll back reproductive rights, tear down the wall between church and state, and deny free exercise rights to religious minorities.

The Values Voter Summit’s sponsor, the Family Research Council, regularly issues false and demeaning smears about LGBT people and advocates for an America ruled according to the dictates of a small sliver of right-wing Christians. Just this month, the group’s president Tony Perkins suggested that the Constitution’s religious liberty protections do not apply to Muslims.

The other primary sponsors of the event, the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, and Gary Bauer’s American Values have equally if not more egregious records of extremism. In addition, a number of fringe groups are contributing to the conference by sponsoring exhibition tables, including Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), which pushes discredited conversion therapy on LGBT people; the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR); and the World Congress of Families, which works with activists throughout the world to push harsh anti-gay laws.

But the Values Voter Summit’s speakers do not have to visit the event’s exhibition hall to encounter extremism. They will find plenty of that in their fellow speakers. Below is an introduction to some of the speakers who will be sharing a stage with prominent GOP elected officials at this week’s summit.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the chief sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Now a widely recognized spokesman for social conservative causes, Perkins served two terms as a Republican legislator in the Louisiana House of Representatives before launching a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2002. Perkins has:

  • Contended that the anti-bullying “It Gets Better” project is “immoral,” “disgusting,” and promotes “perversion.”
  • Defined efforts by the Obama administration to advance LGBT rights abroad as a push for “radical sexualism” and “global homosexuality.”
  • Praised a Uganda bill that would have condemned gays and lesbians to death as an effort to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.”
  • Warned that LGBT rights advocates will launch a holocaust against Christians, placing those that oppose same-sex marriage into “boxcars.”
  • Suggested that Christian clergy who support LGBT rights should not have the same religious liberties as anti-gay conservatives because “true religious freedom” only applies to those he believes hold “orthodox religious viewpoints.”
  • 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.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin earned a public rebuke from President George W. Bush when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the "War on Terror" as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. In 2012, he was named executive vice president of the Family Research Council.

Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative, and once told the group that President Obama used health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him. Boykin has also:

  • Suggested that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell led to the “absolute destruction of our military.”
  • Described CIA head John Brennan as “very sympathetic to the jihadist cause.”
  • Denounced the repeal of laws banning women from military combat service.
  • Blamed the Sandy Hook school massacre on the presence of secularism in society.

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the dean of the Liberty University School of Law and the founder and chairman of its affiliate, Liberty Counsel, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government in order to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and Western civilization. Through his position at Liberty Counsel, Staver has:

Gary Bauer

Gary Bauer is the president of Values Voter Summit sponsor American Values, a former president of the Family Research Council, and one-time Republican presidential hopeful. While serving in the Reagan administration as a Department of Education official, Bauer was named chairman of the president’s Special Working Group on the Family. Bauer has:

  • Reacting to A&E’s suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for racist and homophobic remarks, declared that progressives are waging a “jihad against America’s cultural norms,”
  • Warned that President Obama is “obsessed” with LGBT issues, and claimed that his “secular” agenda will “destroy” America.
  • Claimed that Supreme Court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage were acts of “judicial terrorism” putting America on “the verge of criminalizing the Book of Genesis.”
  • Wondered why African Americans keep “falling through the cracks  of society despite the fact that “every major goal” of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been reached.

Benham Brothers

Twin brothers Jason and David Benham were catapulted to national attention this year 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 a cause célèbre for 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.”
  • Urged the city of Charlotte, NC 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.”

E.W. Jackson

The 2013 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, E.W. Jackson is a longtime activist who has likened the Democratic Party to the Antichrist, said Planned Parenthood is worse than the Ku Klux Klan, suggested that President Obama is a Muslim and demonic, and fought against efforts to desegregate public housing. Jackson’s most pernicious rhetoric has focused on LGBT people. He has:

  • Referred to gays and lesbians as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”
  • Criticized abortion and in vitro fertilization as “evils” that carry “the mark of Satan.”
  • Argued that gay marriage will release a “torrent of wickedness” that will result in man-animal marriages.
  • Said homosexuality is connected to pedophilia and that homosexuality also “poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things we can think of.”

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:

  • Declared that LGBT people are forcing Christians “into the closet.”
  • Mused that family life for African Americans was “more healthy” under slavery than it is today
  • Argued that the rate of HIV infections in Washington, D.C., would spike once the city legalized marriage equality, “transforming [the city] officially into Sodom.”
  • Tied same-sex marriage to failing public schools.

Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes, a Fox News commentator and the author of several books including this year’s “God Less America," specializes in generating stories of dubious accuracy purporting to illustrate the persecution of conservative Christians in America. Recently, he has:

  • Speculated that public school officials oppose abstinence-only programs to protect their “condom profits.”
  • Asserted that Obama refuses to take action against ISIS to “accommodate the Islamic faith at the expense of all other faiths.”
  • Blamed Obama for “ orchestrating” the protests in Ferguson, Mo., 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.
  • Worried that LGBT rights advocates will inevitably demand the deportation of Christians.

Sandy Rios

Sandy Rios, a former president of Concerned Women for America, now hosts a daily radio show on American Family Radio, the network run by the American Family Association. At last year’s summit, she promoted ex-gay therapy and said Matthew Shepard’s murder was a “complete fraud.” Like other AFR hosts, she frequently promotes right-wing conspiracy theories, including claims that President Obama was not born in the United States. Rios has also:

  • Insisted that one of Obama’s first priorities as president was to resettle thousands of Palestinian refugees in the U.S. and provide them with food stamps.
  • Advanced the myth that the health care reform law “says that Muslims will be exempt from the government mandate to purchase health insurance.”
  • Compared the relationships of same-sex couples to those of kidnapper Ariel Castro and his captives.
  • Warned that the “homosexual takeover” of the military would jeopardize the effectiveness of the armed forces.
  • Frequently links the gay community to child abuse.

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:

This post was updated to include Brigitte Gabriel following an FRC announcement that she would speak at the summit. A previous edition of this post listed incorrectly listed James Dobson, one of the founders of the FRC, as a speaker.

Staver: Contraception Mandate Just Like Nazi Gas Chambers

The topic of today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program was the lawsuit filed by the Little Sisters of the Poor against Obamacare's contraception accommodation for non-profit religious organizations, which Matt Barber and Mat Staver once again compared to Nazi Germany.

Under the accommodation, non-profit religious organizations that object to providing contraceptive coverage for employees simply have to file a letter noting their objections and then they "will not have to contract, arrange, pay for or refer contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds" as such contraception coverage will then be provided separately by the insurance provider.

That compromise, to Barber and Staver, is nothing short of pure evil and no different than the Nazis forcing people to gas the Jews.

"If you are being forced to pay for the gas in the chamber that is injected into that chamber to kill a Jew, that's one thing." Staver said. "On the other hand, if you are required to say 'you go right, you go left,' the ones that go to the left, they go to the gas chamber, you don't have to pay for that, but you have to make the decision to do it, it's the same thing. Whether I have to exchange a dollar or ten dollars or a thousand dollars to facilitate the death of a human being or whether I have to say 'I can't do it, I can't pull the trigger so therefore don't make me pull the trigger,' consequently since I've objected now a third party has to pull the trigger. There's no difference."

Barber agreed, saying that those who object "are still being forced to be complicit in that abortion homicide," which is exactly what President Obama wants because he "in large part, lives his life to enable people to kill others."

"This is good versus evil," Barber said, "and there's little question who's on the side of good here and who's on the side of evil":

Paranoia-Rama: Obama's 'Demon Spirit,' 'Feminizing' Football And Hollywood's Gay Trickery

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

While the entertainment industry is slyly tricking women into becoming lesbians, President Obama is forcing Americans to engage in same-sex marriages as part of his Nazi plot against America.

5. ‘Girl-On Girl Movies’ Are Making Kids Gay

Pat Robertson is back with more words of wisdom about homosexuality, sharing his views yesterday on why some people, particularly young women, are gay.

According to Robertson, Hollywood’s penchant for “girl-on-girl movies” — along with sexual abuse — is to blame.

4. Obama’s Alien/Demon Pal

Jim Garrow has managed to bring several of his anti-Obama conspiracy theories together, including his claims that Obama believes he is the Mahdi of a branch of Shia Islam, communicates with aliens and is secretly gay .

Bathhouse Barry referring to himself as the "Voice in the Wilderness, like John the Baptist for Jesus". This was in reference to his belief that he will introduce the mahdi to the world (possibly an alien as in transdimensional being) aka demon spirit. You can't make this stuff up. Obama is doing far too much blow and weed. Someone needs to curtail his meetings with Reggie Love.

Sadly, Garrow has no new information on Obama’s plan to nuke America or attack us with Canadian troops.

3. Feminists ‘Chickifying’ The NFL

Who will speak up for the downtrodden, heterosexual male? Rush Limbaugh will, that’s who. After fretting about Michael Sam’s “assault” on heterosexuality, Limbaugh expressed his displeasure with those who are angry with the way the NFL handled the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal.

“Folks, this, none of this, this is crazy, we’re feminizing this game and it’s a man’s game and if we keep feminizing this game we’re going to ruin it, if we keep chickifying this game, we’re going to ruin it,” Limbaugh said, lashing out at the “feminized,” “politically correct” men who apparently dominate the NFL and sports media.

Limbaugh also linked the scandal to the Democratic Party (who of course are the real sexists), suggesting that NFL players are probably Democrats who abuse their wives: “‘War on women,’ these guys beating up their wives, are they all Republicans or are they voting Democrat [sic] you think? Who is really conducting the war on women here? Who is actually doing it? Who has brought all this about? All this supposed abuse on women takes place in the NFL, who are these guys, think they’re voting Republican? I kind of doubt it. I did just ask that, are these guys who are engaging in domestic violence, which is a war on women, are they voting Republican or are they voting Democrat? I think the odds are they’re voting Democrat, aren’t they?”

Media Matters captured the audio:

2. Obama Is Worse Than Hitler

Did you know that people are being forced against their will to participate in abortions and same-sex marriages?

At least, that’s the story according to Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver and his “Faith & Freedom” radio show co-host Matt Barber.

Staver, who once warned of “forced homosexuality” under Obama, said Christians have never faced such a horrible or more persecuted time in American history than they do under Obama’s presidency, and things have gotten so bad that the U.S. government is more punitive and cruel than Nazi Germany.

1. Dirty Democrats Helping ‘Uneducated’ People Vote

Unable to back up claims about the hazards of voter fraud with any actual proof, Republican officials now just seem to be giving away what their “election integrity” campaigns are all about.

Georgia state Sen. Frank Millar, for example, is upset that a government officials plan to open a polling location at a mall “dominated by African American shoppers” and “near several large African American mega churches,” and has pledged to stop the plan from going forward.

Millar explained that he isn’t upset that black people are voting, just that uneducated people (wink, wink) are voting: “I would prefer more educated voters than a greater increase in the number of voters. If you don't believe this is an efort [sic] to maximize Democratic votes pure and simple, then you are not a realist. This is a partisan stunt and I hope it can be stopped.”

Not to be outdone, Georgia’s top elections official, Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, expressed dismay that “the Democrats are working hard, and all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there.” Kemp cited ACORN, a group which no longer exists, to substantiate his worries about voter fraud.

Vic Eliason And Mat Staver Link ISIS Beheadings To LGBT 'Meltdown Of Morality'

On yesterday’s edition of “Crosstalk,” Voice of Christian Youth America’s Vic Eliason and Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver connected same-sex marriage in the U.S. to beheadings committed by the terrorist group ISIS.

Discussing recent marriage equality legal victories, Staver made his standard prediction that the legalization of same-sex marriage will pave the way for polygamy. Eliason responded by accusing gay rights advocates of destroying morality and biblical values, leading to a decadent, anything-goes society.

“People see something they want, they steal it or they kill somebody or behead them. Some of this stuff now that’s going on, the beheading, which has become literally a religious, I don’t know what you’d call it— it becomes a very sacred thing to the Islamics to behead somebody because that is a special right that is deserved by the infidels,” Eliason said.

Staver naturally agreed and said it was all President Obama’s fault: “Yeah, that’s exactly right. I think what we’re seeing today is a meltdown of morality. That’s what certainly President Obama has been pushing, he is very much pushing a disintegration of Judeo-Christian values not just here in the United States but he’s actively doing that around the country [sic] promoting abortion and same-sex marriage, he’s trying to do that in every way possible across the world.”

Staver: Obama's America Is Worse Than Nazi Germany

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Mat Staver and Matt Barber declared that this current period in time is the worst persecution that Christians have ever faced throughout American history because they are being forced to participate in both abortion and gay marriage.

Bizarrely, Staver claimed that, under Obamacare, Christians are not only being required to fund abortion but are literally being "forced to participate in genocide," which is something that not even the Nazi government forced the German citizens to do.

"Even in Nazi Germany," Staver said, "the government participated in genocide but the individuals, the citizens weren't forced to participate in it ... The people were not forced to push people into the gas chamber or pull the trigger, but now you're being forced to pull the trigger, you're being forced to participate in a genocide, that's different than anything before."

Barber agreed, saying "this is the most oppressive time in terms of religious liberty in the United States," not only because of abortion but also because Christians are also supposedly being persecuted for opposing gay marriage.

"Everyone is going to have to make a decision to either obey the laws of God or to obey the laws of man," Barber said, "and this is unprecedented."

Staver warned that Christians are being compelled to "participate in a Romans 1 platform" by affirming those whom God has given up to a reprobate mind.

"Romans 1 says that when you reject God as the Creator," he said, "God gives you up to a reprobate mind and one of the consequences of that is the people turn towards the same sex for sexual activity and pleasure":

Mat Staver: LGBT Acceptance Is 'Very Dangerous' To Society

Last week, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver appeared on “In The Market with Janet Parshall” to argue that the LGBT rights movement is eroding America’s moral compass.

Staver pointed his finger at Christians who either support LGBT equality or have given up fighting against it, realizing they are on the losing side of a political showdown.

“There is some resolution to say, ‘Oh, we’ve lost this battle, we just need to figure out how to move forward and coexist,’” he said. “And that is a wrong, very dangerous position to be in. You cannot coexist, you cannot give up on something, that is literally an attack on God himself.”

Staver added that marriage equality is part of a larger agenda that seeks to “abolish gender, abolish sexual morals and norms” in an act that defies the “natural created order.”

“To assume that you can go against the created order is hubris, it’s arrogance, it’s dangerous and it is not something in which we can simply say, ‘the battle’s over, we need to figure out how to coexist.’ There is no coexistence,” he said.

Barber And Staver Warn That Gay Marriage Will Make Straight Couples Less Monogamous

For the last two days, Mat Staver and Matt Barber have been discussing the Family Research Council's "Ten Arguments From Social Science Against Same-Sex Marriage" document on their daily "Faith and Freedom" radio show. On today's broadcast, the two cited reason number six - "Same-sex 'marriage' would undercut the norm of sexual fidelity within marriage" - to argue that legalizing gay marriage would somehow result in straight couples becoming less faithful.

Citing quotes from gay writers like Andrew Sullivan and Dan Savage, Barber and Staver argued that gay male couples are more likely to have open relationships, which they then used to bizarrely assert that letting gays get married would ultimately undermine the practice of monogamy within straight marriages.

"You start doing that in a marriage relationship with a man and a woman," Staver said, "and the woman's just not going to do it."

"We know that women serve to domesticate men," Barber added. "That's not an opinion, that's the social science that shows that women ultimately bring men into their role as father, as provider, and protector for the household and they domesticate men and that lends itself toward monogamy."

There are plenty of straight couples, of course, who engage in open relationships, so what any of this has to do with gay marriage is anybody's guess.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/29/14

  • Ben Carson says that he is "an instrument that’s being used to help restore this country."
  • Peter Sprigg is very mad that judges on the 7th Circuit did not seem to buy the right-wing arguments against marriage equality.
  • Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver is also mad and blames it all on Alfred Kinsey.
  • Gary Cass says it is hypocritical for America to be horrified by ISIS: "In Iraq there are foreign invaders brutalizing and beheading children. In America we brutalize and behead our own children! Surgical abortion is nothing less horrific or less brutal than what we see happening to the children in Iraq, only WE ARE DOING IT TO OUR OWN CHILDREN!"
  • Chris McDaniel made yet another appearance on Bryan Fischer's radio show today.
  • Finally, speaking of Fischer, he delivered another insightful science lesson today when he explained that Jesus is the magic force that holds the entire universe together:

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/27/14

  • Pastor Steve Kern, husband of rabidly anti-gay Oklahoma legislator Sally Kern, lost his own bid for state office yesterday.
  • William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC is organizing "71 rallies across the country this weekend to rally support for the nation's beleaguered law enforcement officers and veterans."
  • Mat Staver says the fact that judges keep striking down gay marriage bans is undermining the legitimacy of the judiciary: "When judges begin to cross the line - and I think they certainly do when they have the audacity to say that you cannot affirm the natural, created order of marriage as between a man and a woman - that ultimately undermines confidence of the people in the judiciary."
  • The American Decency Association is targeting Michigan Governor Rick Snyder for agreeing to speak to The Islamic Society of North America because ISNA "is a radical Muslim organization that owns and runs mosques throughout North America, functioning as an 'umbrella organization' and 'clearinghouse' to connect all Muslim activities in the United States."
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer spent an entire segment of his radio broadcast today discussing Michael Sam's showering habits.

Mat Staver & Samuel Rodriguez Film Ads Promoting GOPFaith.com

Last week we noted that David Barton had begun promoting GOPFaith.com, a new effort from the Republican National Committee to mobilize a hundred thousand Religious Right activists on behalf of GOP candidates that is being headed by South Carolina GOP chairman Chad Connelly.

South Carolina GOP chairman Chad Connelly

Now it looks like Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference's Samuel Rodriguez have also climbed on board, as both have now filmed videos promoting the effort as well.

In his video, Staver says that he is "excited about this outreach from the RNC to wake up this sleeping giant because our Judeo-Christian values of liberty and life, they're all at stake" if conservative Christians do not get involved in politics:

For his part, Rodriguez, who inexplicably still manages to maintain a reputation as a moderate, nonpartisan Christian activist, declares that he is "so excited that the Republican National Committee has launched a very powerful and vibrant outreach component. I commend and applaud the leadership of Chad Connelly and really believe that the best days are yet to come":

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/19/14

  • Glenn Beck's entire television program last night consisted of a somber, quasi-documentary featuring David Barton explaining how America is headed toward revolution and/or civil war.
  • The American Family Association continues to target companies that are running ads on Cartoon Network's "Black Jesus."
  • Mat Staver is hopeful that a Tennessee judge's recent ruling upholding the state's gay marriage ban will turn the tide on the issue because "any ruling against natural marriage is a ruling against legitimate state interest."
  • Bryan Fischer explains how "Ferguson proves the Bible is right."
  • Finally, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue knows why people are rioting in Ferguson: "Why is there is no such thing as a winter riot? Because it's cold outside. Quite frankly, it's not fun to riot when it's freezing. Moreover, when the temperature rises, so do the passions. Heat also makes it likely that young men — it's mostly young men — will take to the streets to act out."

Ted Cruz And Mike Huckabee Follow David Lane's Christian-Nation Road Show To Michigan

Christian-nation activist David Lane is engaged in a multi-year, multi-state project to get conservative evangelical pastors more involved in electing right-wing candidates, and he is intent on making sure that the GOP nominates a 2016 presidential candidate to the Religious Right’s liking.

In spite of his extremism, Lane regularly gets Republican presidential candidates to attend his American Renewal Project events. On Monday night, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee spoke at a Michigan Renewal Project “Pastors Policy Briefing.”

Lane generally tries to stay out of the media spotlight, unless it’s for a friendly face like the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody. Even the media-hungry Cruz and Huckabee slipped quietly into Lansing for the event, which the Detroit News picked up on a few days later.

Also speaking at the event was Chad Connelly, the former head of the South Carolina GOP who was hired by the Republican National Committee last year to strengthen the party’s relationship with conservative evangelicals. According to news reports at the time, the Southern Baptist Connelly was brought on to energize evangelicals, some of whom were feeling disillusioned by recent national GOP candidates and by what they saw as the party’s “softening” on marriage equality.

Among the other speakers listed in a promotion for Monday’s event in the August newsletter of the American Decency Association:  right-wing radio host Dennis Prager, “historians” David Barton and Bill Federer, the American Family Association’s Don Wildmon, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, former Congressman Bob McEwen, and Pastor Laurence White of the Texas Restoration Project.

It seems as if Cruz is equally at home in front of the camera and behind closed doors. The Detroit News reports that he “made a quiet visit to Michigan Sunday and Monday, meeting with Republican Party activists in events that were kept hush-hush until photos of the tea party stalwart and potential 2016 presidential candidate surfaced on social media.”

In addition to Lane’s event, the paper reports, “Cruz appeared at four events over the two-day period organized by Ron Weiser, the Ann Arbor developer and national Republican fundraiser with connections throughout the country.” The paper says Weisner is seeking the GOP nomination for a seat on the University of Michigan board of regents.  Among other attendees at Cruz events were Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and Tea Party activist Wendy Day, who recently lost a GOP primary bid for seat in the state House.

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Mat Staver Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 09/29/2014, 4:40pm
One thing was clear at last week’s Values Voter Summit: many of the Religious Right’s leaders and allied politicians know that their stances on abortion rights and LGBT equality are becoming more and more toxic to the average voter, and less and less popular within the GOP. Many speakers at the conference tried to reframe the debate on issues such as same-sex marriage, insisting that opponents of LGBT rights are becoming an oppressed minority in America. This delusion even seeped into matters such as foreign policy, with speakers attacking President Obama as an Islamist... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 09/29/2014, 2:10pm
Shortly after Russia passed its new spate of anti-gay laws, Glenn Beck said he was so offended by one Russian commentator who called for the mass killing of gays and lesbians that he would “stand with GLAAD” against the growing tide of anti-gay bigotry and “hetero-fascism” in the country. At the same time, however, Beck was heaping praise on anti-gay activists such as Mat Staver, the Liberty Counsel attorney who endorsed draconian anti-gay laws in Russia and Malawi. Then, this weekend, Beck took the same stand against growing Russian “hetero-fascism”... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Monday 09/29/2014, 10:20am
On Saturday afternoon, Liberty Counsel hosted a panel discussion at the Values Voter Summit on “The Assault of Constitutional Rights Under a Nanny State.” The discussion linked concerns about NSA surveillance – a concern shared by many progressive groups – to the Religious Right’s fear of anti-Christian persecution through the Affordable Care Act and LGBT rights. Liberty Counsel founder and chair Mat Staver quickly used a discussion about the danger of letting national security agencies collect reams of data to stoke fears about government persecution of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Saturday 09/27/2014, 10:57am
While addressing the Values Voter Summit this morning, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver trotted out his favorite claim that the contraception mandate means that America is literally worse than countries like Nazi Germany or Rwanda because those nations never forced their citizens to directly participate in carrying out genocide. "Now, in America of all places, you and I are being forced to participate in human genocide by the HHS mandate," Staver said. "We've never been forced in any time in world history to participate in the killing of innocent people and yet today we are... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Saturday 09/27/2014, 10:53am
Mat Staver spent a good portion of his speech at the Values Voter Summit today fuming over a letter sent by People For the American Way, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and five other civil rights and LGBT organizations to Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus, asking members of the GOP not to participate in the conference, citing the anti-gay extremism of its sponsors. Staver's organization, Liberty Counsel, is among those very sponsors and he is not very happy about being labeled an anti-gay extremist, despite this long and documented record of being one. Staver fumed that... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 09/25/2014, 1:50pm
At the Values Voter Summit, which begins this Friday, Republican politicians and Religious Right leaders will come together to rebuke President Obama, attack the gay community and decry the current state of affairs in the U.S. Subtlety and nuance aren’t this crowd’s strong suits. In fact, it wasn’t that hard for us to come up with a list of at least 15 scheduled summit speakers and panelists who believe that America has gotten so bad under Obama’s leadership that the country has become just like Nazi Germany. 1. Tony Perkins Family Research Council President Tony... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 09/25/2014, 1:10pm
It is no secret that Sen. Ted Cruz is a favorite of Religious Right activists. After all, at last year’s Values Voter Summit, the Texas Republican received a euphoric welcome and when one member of the audience declared that God supported Cruz’s effort to shut down the government, he was met with an enthusiastic round of applause. It’s no wonder that Cruz has won the hearts of the GOP’s far-right base, given his penchant for paranoid and incendiary rhetoric along with his boasts about his superior religious convictions. And the affection seems to be mutual. If Cruz... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 09/24/2014, 11:19am
Earlier this month, organizers of New York's annual St. Patrick's Day parade announced that, for the first time, they would allow a gay group to march in the parade. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who is serving as grand marshal of the parade, said that he has "no trouble with the decision at all" and that is not sitting well with Mat Staver and Matt Barber, who used today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast to blast Dolan as "unchristian" and to call upon other parade participants to protest this "evil" decision. Barber said that there was no... MORE >