Matt Barber

Can Religious Right Leaders' Disgust For Trump Be Overcome By Future Of Supreme Court?

Religious Right leaders believed this was their year. In Ted Cruz they had a candidate unquestionably committed to their agenda. Cruz was anointed the movement’s candidate at a secret endorsement meeting in Texas, followed by a wave of public endorsements by movement leaders. With only a couple of notable exceptions like Jerry Falwell Jr. and Phyllis Schlafly, Cruz had the overwhelming backing of the Religious Right’s institutional leaders. 

But it wasn’t to be. David Gushee, a Christian ethicist and author who has ruffled a lot of feathers with his move to an LGBT-affirming stance, calls the Trump victory “a major defeat” for “the Christian Right agenda.” Indeed, many Religious Right leaders and activists are bitter that Republican primary voters, including many self-described evangelicals, chose Trump over Cruz, and some have declared that they have no intention of backing Trump now that he is the presumptive GOP nominee.

The Wilks brothers, leaders of a billionaire fracking family that poured millions into a pro-Cruz super PAC, are planning to sit out the presidential race, reported Bloomberg. A family spokesperson called Trump a liar whose “despicable statements and actions” are too numerous “to count in a reasonable amount of time.”

Anti-gay activist Matt Barber is in the same camp, tweeting with the hashtag #NeverTrumpOrHillary and asking, “But what about when neither of the two evils is lesser?” On Friday, Barber tweeted, “I don’t oppose #Trump because I’m Republican & he’s not. Nor because I’m conservative & he’s not. I oppose Trump because I follow #Christ.”

A contributor to Barber’s BarbWire website, history professor Alan Snyder, wrote in piece titled “The Republican Obituary” that he “cannot, in good conscience, support Donald Trump.” Snyder slammed Republican voters for choosing “a man who rejects nearly every line in past Republican platforms.”

In an angrily bitter diatribe against Trump supporters at Charisma, Bert Farias of Holy Fire Ministries wrote that Cruz’s defeat “exposes the corruption of the American soul.” Maybe, he says, exposing the “corruption of the American soul and lukewarm church” is what God raised up Cruz to do. “While many celebrate the apparent victory of their amoral candidate, the darkness grows and moves in yet closer.” Faris even recalled, “Benny Hinn prophesied on New Year's Eve 1989 that a woman would one day be president of America and would destroy this nation.” Adds Faris, “It seemed like a far-fetched prophecy then, but not so much anymore.” Kevin Swanson, the anti-gay pastor who says the government should execute gays, suggested that God may be raising up Trump to be president as part of a divine plan to destroy America for its disobedience.

“Don’t blame us,” writes Napp  Nazworth, an editor at Christian Post. “Evangelicals led the opposition to Trump.”

Trump has already been a disaster for the Republican Party, essentially dismantling the Reagan coalition and undermining its efforts to retain control of Congress. A Trump presidency would be a disaster for the entire nation, given that he is entirely unfit, in character and experience, to be president.

For those reasons, it's important to set straight the historical record — evangelicals led the opposition to Trump.

Trump has won a lot of votes from people who call themselves evangelicals, but there’s evidence that the most frequent church-goers, probably the same people most likely to listen to Religious Right political leaders, have been much less likely to support Trump.

In February, the Christian Post editorialized against Trump, the first time ever it had taken a position on a political candidate:

"As the most popular evangelical news website in the United States and the world, we feel compelled by our moral responsibility to our readers to make clear that Donald Trump does not represent the interests of evangelicals and would be a dangerous leader for our country," they wrote.

Republican voters have concluded that morality, integrity, the rule of law, and the Constitution must be discarded in their headlong dash into an angry reaction against all politicians, even someone like Ted Cruz who has fought the good fight for Biblical and constitutional principles all his life.

In doing so, they have brought this nation to the brink of near-total collapse. No matter who wins in the fall, Republican or Democrat, Christian values will be subjected to even greater governmental suppression. No matter how Trump fares in the general election, the very fact of his nomination is a dismal indication that whatever honor and principle remained in the Republican party is now in the past.

Some high profile right-wing pundits remain in the #NeverTrump camp, like Erick Erickson. Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace reacted to Cruz’s withdrawal by resigning from the Republican PartyJerry Bader, conservative talk radio host in Wisconsin, is with him:

“I do not want to see Hillary Clinton as president; however, I do not see Donald Trump as a better choice. Important point: There is no lesser of two evils," Mr. Bader said. "I have no reason to believe his Supreme Court nominees would be any more palatable than hers because I have nothing to go on but his word, and that don't mean much to me."

U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska is probably the highest-ranking Republican official who has made it clear that Trump will not get his support. He said recently that he is resisting calls from “party bosses and politicos” telling him he has to support Trump. Sasse is trying to generate support for a third-party or independent candidate to enter the race.

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, a strong supporter of Cruz, is among those hedging their bets, saying evangelicals “won’t necessarily fall in line” with Trump as the nominee. While he has made his disappointment clear, he says he is “waiting to see the substance of a Trump administration and the vision he has for America.” Anti-gay activist Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage is also taking a wait-and-see approach. And Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference has criticized Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric but says Hispanic evangelicals “are still up for grabs.” Religious Right activist Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association told The Hill that Cruz should “keep his powder dry and not do anything right now” while waiting to see how Trump behaves in the general election.

Of course, the most intense focus going forward will fall on Ted Cruz, the Religious Right’s anointed candidate. As runner-up and as a GOP senator, he would normally be expected to endorse the victor. But the ugly personal tone of Trump’s attacks, and the refusal of some Cruz backers to go along with the party’s ultimate choice, might make this year an exception.

Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is more enthusiastic than many of his fellow Religious Right activists: “Donald Trump broke the code, owned the media, and inspired the masses. I will be all in to help him defeat Hillary Clinton and I call upon all fellow Republicans to unite in defeating Hillary and abandoning and repudiating the hapless ‘Never Trump’ nonsense.”

The Washington Times reports that party officials are using the prospect of future Supreme Court nominations to cajole #NeverTrump people into getting on board the Trump train.  As Miranda has reported, the Supreme Court is the main reason that anti-abortion activists are reluctantly lining up with Trump. Perkins said this week, “We can live with bad trade deals or high taxes, but we cannot live with bad judicial nominees.”

Indeed, Trump has already said that he will let the Heritage Foundation, the conservative group led by Religious Right icon Jim DeMint, draft a list of potential justices.

Right-wing activist Grover Norquist thinks Cruz should make a deal, reports The Hill. “Norquist said Cruz will stay aloof for a while but ultimately back Trump, perhaps in exchange for a promise to be appointed to the Supreme Court.”

 

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 2/16/16

  • Southern Baptist Convention minister James Linzey explains that he is endorsing Donald Trump because "when Mr. Trump speaks, he hits all the major issues forthrightly and honestly. Being a Conservative means being honest with everyone about everyone. Honesty cuts across all party lines, offending those in any camp who are dishonest on the issues at hand." 
  • Veteran anti-choice activist Joe Scheidler claims that he influenced Justice Scalia's opinions on abortion clinic buffer zones.
  • Matt Barber laughably argues that "GLAAD is an extremist homosexual censorship group that, for its defamatory antics, was certified last year by the well-respected American Family Association as an 'openly bigoted anti-Christian organization.'"
  • Kansas governor Sam Brownback has endorsed Marco Rubio.
  • Finally, Mike Bickle seeks to do damage control as his controversial remarks begin to cause problems for Ted Cruz's presidential campaign.

Liberty Counsel Growing Increasingly Desperate In Its Effort To Smear Planned Parenthood

Last week, Miranda noted that Liberty Counsel is representing Sandra Merritt after she and her Center for Medical Progress colleague David Daleiden were indicted by a grand jury in Texas over their failed efforts to expose Planned Parenthood for supposedly illegally selling fetal tissue for profit. 

Liberty Counsel seems to have decided to defend Merritt by attacking Lauren Reeder, one of the 300 attorneys in the Harris County District Attorney's Office who had nothing to do with the investigation of Merritt and Daleiden, because she serves on the board of the local Planned Parenthood affiliate. But since Liberty Counsel cannot attack Reeder on the merits, given that she disclosed her relationship with Planned Parenthood and had nothing to do with the DA's investigation, the right-wing legal organization has decided to attack her instead for having once worn "hot pants and a very revealing tank top" to a Planned Parenthood fundraising event.

Reeder attended the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast's "Party Like A Rock Star" event dressed as a dancer from Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" video and on Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast today, Mat Staver and Matt Barber attacked her for wearing "what looks like a bra but it's actually a very low-cut tank-top and also, hot pants, very short shorts."

Even more upsetting to Staver was the fact that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast's director of development, Ed Benyon, attended the event in make-up and a shirt covered in blood.

Benyon was clearly dressed as Alice Cooper, which was somehow scandalous to Staver.

"He's got a white, like almost a lab coat," Staver said, "and on the left shoulder, all covering the entire shoulder and the left part of his chest, dripping down the left side of that shirt is what appears to be blood."

Barber, of course, was equally scandalized.

"I guess they think that is funny, somehow?" he sneered. "That's cute? To wear this lab coat with blood dripping down it? I don't know if they're mocking pro-lifers, but it does underscore just how they devalue human life here, that they were even jokingly mock themselves for what they do."

Scott Lively Names Anti-Gay 'Inquisition' Advocate Theodore Shoebat Among The Anti-Gay 'Heroes' Of 2015

Earlier this week, extremist anti-gay activist Scott Lively released his list of the "Top Ten Pro-Family Heroes of 2015," highlighting anti-gay activists "who showed courage under fire or whose words and actions gave special encouragement to our movement."

As the "2015 Pro-Family Hero of the Year," Lively rewarded Brian Camenker of MassResistance with a $500 donation and urged his supporters to financially support these other "worthy organizations" to "help them in their work":

1) 2015 Pro-Family Hero of the Year
Brian Camenker, MassResistance, for consistent dogged determination, effective activism, and optimism in the face of overwhelming opposition in the most homosexual-controlled state in the union.

2) Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel, for his bold, principled defiance of the United States Supreme Court in the Obergefell “gay marriage” ruling, and his defense of conscientious objector Kim Davis who refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals in Kentucky.

3) Janet Folger, Faith 2 Action, for her tenacious “Restrain the Judges” campaign, culminating in a press conference on the steps of the Supreme Court asking Congress to remove jurisdiction over “gay marriage” from the United States Supreme Court, and for her subsequent valiant efforts to force SCOTUS to reconsider its Obergefell decision.

4) Arthur Goldberg, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) for standing firm through a terrible lawsuit brought against JONAH by the Southern Poverty Law Center claiming that offering recovery to homosexuals amounted to consumer fraud under New Jersey law.

5) Peter LaBarbera, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, for his consistently gracious and courageous cultural analysis, activism and journalism at great personal cost.

6) David Kupelian, WND.com, for his ongoing fearless publication of the truth and his newest book, “The Snapping of the American Mind.”

7) J. Matt Barber of Barbwire.com for establishing a wonderful new medium for Christian witness and defense of the truth.

8) Diane Gramley, American Family Association of PA, for her steady, persistent and unflappable defense of family values. 

9) Dr. Michael Brown, Line of Fire Radio Ministry, for the encouragement he has provided to the movement with his fearless radio commentary and especially new book, Outlasting the Gay Revolution.

10) Dr. Don Welch: Center for Enriching Relationships, for being the first-named of three litigants against California’s SB1172 law preventing professional psychotherapists from helping gender identity confused adolescents who possess a biblical worldview.

In addition to these "heroes," Lively also provided a list of those who "deserve honorable mention" and one name, more than any other, jumped out at us: 

Rev. Franklin Graham, for his many media appearances in which he courageously articulated the truth.

Robert Reilly, for his outstanding book, “Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior is Changing Everything.” 

Anne Paulk, executive director of Restored Hope Network for pulling the remnants of Exodus International back together and moving forward with grace, energy and truth.

Robert Oscar Lopez for his many articles, his brave stand, his amicus brief in the Obergefell case, and his book “Jephthah’s Daughters.”

Bryan Fischer and AFR radio for outstanding exposition of and defense of the truth.

Pastor Steve Branson, Village Parkway Baptist Church, San Antonio, TX for his strong public support of Master Sgt. Phillip Monk

The pastors who championed the HERO case in Houston, TX.

Dr. Steven Hotze, Conservative Republicans of Texas

Bill Wiesner, TCFamily.org, Michigan.

Aaron and Melissa Kline, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Oregon.

Baronelle Stutzman, Arlene’s Flowers, Richland, Washington.

Jack Phillips, Masterpiece Cake Shop, Lakewood, CO.

Kim Davis, Morehead, KY.

Ed Hernandez and Mark Bonkiewicz, Nebraskans for Founders Values.

Phil Sevilla, Texas Leadership Coalition

Bradlee Dean: SonsofLibertyRadio.com

David Skinner of England.

Julio Sevaro of Brazil.

Theodore Shoebat

Very Special Thanks to pro-family hero Linda Harvey of Mission America for her help in compiling this list.

Theodore Shoebat is, of course, a truly deranged anti-gay activist who has openly and repeatedly called for a"global inquisition" to force gay people to either submit to Christianity or be put to death:

Mat Staver: Obama Bringing In Refugees Because He 'Has No Love For This Country'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver declared that President Obama is bringing in Syrian refugees because he "has no love for this country" and wants to undermine and destroy America.

Staver and cohost Matt Barber were ostensibly discussing last month's terrorist attacks in Paris, though most of the discussion was aimed at attacking Obama for bringing Syrian refugees into America, which Staver insisted is going to lead to a Paris-like tragedy here as well. 

Barber was at a loss to understand Obama's desire to "bring in potential ISIS terrorists by the thousands," wondering if it is sheer incompetence or something he is doing intentionally. 

"It's not incompetence," responded Staver. "It's intentional. This person that occupies the White House has no love for this country and, in fact, does so many things to undermine the moral, the unity and the security of this country. It's absolutely unbelievable. If he were someone else, the media would be all over him, but he gets away with all this because they don't hold him accountable. Frankly, this particular president, his legacy will be that he has weakened America and that he is making us vulnerable to some serious attacks."

Barber agreed, declaring that if any sort of terrorist attack occurs in America on Obama's watch, "he will have blood on his hands and there's a word for that and that word is 'treason.'"

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 11/20/15

  • Peter LaBarbera attacks Target for supporting the Equality Act or, as he refers to it, the "Criminalizing Christianity Act" or "Homosexual Superiority Act."
  • Bruce Engelman of Triumph Baptist Church is calling on "Christians across the globe to unite and to demand a public apology for the remarks that President Obama has made in Turkey, and elsewhere this week, denigrating evangelical Christians of all faiths and stripes."
  • A typically reasonable column from BarbWire's Gina Miller: "None of what Barack Obama (or whatever his name is) does makes sense, unless you realize that he is a tool of the devil. His motivation is to do the evil will of his spiritual father, who hates everything of God."
  • Matt Barber says the fact that the National Portrait Gallery is displaying a photo of transgender activist Sylvia Rivera "establishes once again how far America has fallen from grace, that we are a nation in rebellion against God."
  • Finally, Theodore Shoebat once again insists that gays must be put to death: "In the sodomite utopia, children, youths and young men would be raped; pederasty would be completely acceptable, and not only that, it would be mandatory. This is the truth and this is why the Bible says that sodomites are to be put to death. They are all evil and slaves to the darkness. Its not just Muslims that we should expose, but the sodomites."

Matt Barber: 'A Revolution Is At Hand,' Led By Kim Davis

Matt Barber appeared on Joe Miller's radio program yesterday to discuss the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling and Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis' refusal to allow her office to issue marriage licenses in its wake. Davis eventually wound up in jail as a result of her actions, which allowed her subordinates to issue licenses in her absence, at which point she was released on the condition that she no longer interfere with the issuing of such licenses in the future.  

Davis has been back on the job for well over a month now and her office has continued to issue marriage licenses, yet somehow Barber and Miller claim that Davis emerged the victor in the showdown and forced the government to back down.

After complaining that America is now living under "homofascism," Barber called on Christians all over the nation to rise up in civil disobedience because "a revolution is at hand, not an armed revolution necessarily, as of yet" brought on by Davis, who has demonstrated that just one woman can stand up, declare "the tyranny is over" and get the government to back down.

"The beauty if this is that when people do stand up like Kim Davis did," Miller added, "the feds almost always back down. That's effectively what this judge did and it kind of reminded me of what happened at the Bundy ranch in Nevada. Cliven Bundy, he decided, right or wrong, he stood up to it with a lot of other people and the feds backed down."

Barber likewise proclaimed that Davis had forced the government to back down, claiming that Judge David Bunning "didn't just walk back his contempt of court ruling, he ran it back."

"He let her out of jail because of the Martin Luther King, Jr. comparison," Barber claimed, "because of the Rosa Parks comparison ... As with Rosa Parks, she shook a nation; Kim Davis has shaken a nation and it's amazing what one person again, who will stand firm on their principle and refuse to violate their conscience, what they can accomplish."

Barber may not want to look at the polls on the Davis matter, as they consistently found that a majority of Americans (and Kentuckians) opposed Davis’ stance and supported her jailing.

Barber: Criticism Of Kim Davis Reminiscent Of Sodom And Gomorrah, The Inquisition

On Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program today, Matt Barber declared that the vitriol aimed at Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis for prohibiting her office from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples is reminiscent of the days of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Inquisition, as LGBT activists insist that everyone "come on board with our pagan sexuality or we will literally kill you."

"This whole saga," he said, "is reminiscent of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19 ... The homosexual men of Sodom and Gomorrah, they surrounded the house and they said, 'Send them out' and they pounded on the doors and there is this spirit of anger and lust. This white-hot hatred that we see levied toward Kim Davis and her family and Liberty Counsel right now ... the attitude is we demand that you affirm our position, that you call evil good and good evil, that you go against your conscience and what the Bible teaches about sex and sexuality and the reality of marriage as being between a male and female. You must leave all that and come on board with our pagan sexuality or we will literally kill you."

"They also want to crush dissent," he continued, "and compel people to make some kind of public statement, an overt act that affirms and confirms the sin that these folks are engaged in. If somebody won't do that, or even if they do do that, just the idea that they themselves, in their own mind and in their own conscience, continue to disagree; you know, we saw with the Inquisition and other things where folks would do all the steps, but just the fact that they still held in the heart of hearts opposition to certain theological differences or, in this case, political and spiritual differences, just because they hold that in their heart of hearts, the only thing left to do is to kill somebody. And it's that kind of white-hot hatred and anger that we see rising up with these death threats and these vile attacks."

Barber: Issuing Gay Marriage Licenses 'Would Be The Most Hateful Thing' Kim Davis Could Do

On an upcoming episode of the "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver discuss the case of Kim Davis with Matt Barber, who, though he has has reportedly left Liberty Counsel to start his own ultra-right wing website called BarbWire, still regularly appears as Staver's co-host on the organization's daily radio program.

Staver and Barber discussed Liberty Counsel's representation of Davis, a Kentucky county clerk who has been jailed due to her ongoing refusal to allow her office to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, with Barber declaring that if Davis relents and agrees to issue such licenses, it would be "the most hateful thing that she could do."

If Kim Davis were to put her "put her stamp of approval ... on counterfeit gay marriage," Barber said, "that is the least compassionate, most hateful thing that she could do, to issue same-sex marriage licenses to people who are about to enter into a counterfeit and false institution that is rooted in mortal sin, in the sin of homosexual immorality."

Homosexuality is an "abomination," Barber continued, "and if she were to engage in this, she would be leading others and supporting others in sin, putting her own self in danger of judgment. She wants a clear conscience before she stands before God."

With Kim Davis In Custody, Conservatives Anoint Her As A Martyr

The decision by a federal judge to put Kim Davis in the custody of U.S. Marshals for repeatedly violating the law and refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples has solidified the Kentucky clerk’s status as a Religious Right martyr. Following the court’s ruling, conservative leaders and commentators immediately defended Davis.

Mike Huckabee, who has called Davis to offer his support, repeated his talking point about the “criminalization of Christianity” and announced plans to travel to Kentucky to support her legal battle.

Huckabee started a petition demanding President Obama “free Kim Davis”:

Dear President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, & Judge Bunning:

Immediately release Kim Davis from federal custody. Exercising Religious Liberty should never be a crime in America. This is a direct attack on our God-given, constitutional rights.

Sincerely,

Mike Huckabee

He also warned on Facebook that others, including pastors and caterers, may soon join her in jail:

Having Kim Davis in federal custody removes all doubt of the criminalization of Christianity in our country. We must...

Posted by Mike Huckabee on Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fellow presidential candidate and Davis defender Rand Paul told CNN that “it’s absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberties,” wondering why federal courts are involved in the matter in the first place.

Ted Cruz released his own statement decrying the supposed “persecution” of Davis by the Obama administration, which had nothing to do with the case:

“Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny. Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith. This is wrong. This is not America.

“I stand with Kim Davis. Unequivocally. I stand with every American that the Obama Administration is trying to force to chose between honoring his or her faith or complying with a lawless court opinion.

...

“I call upon every Believer, every Constitutionalist, every lover of liberty to stand with Kim Davis. Stop the persecution now.”

Liberty Counsel, the virulently anti-LGBT organization representing Davis, said that she is not going to jail for contempt but just for being a Christian:

“Kim Davis might be jailed for her conscience, but her conscience is free,” Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver told Glenn Beck’s The Blaze. “He’s just putting her behind bars and treating her as a criminal.”

Liberty Counsel radio host Matt Barber said that Davis will now have to “bow a knee before ‘LGBT’ gods” or burn to death, likening her to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

RedState founder Erick Erickson mentioned civil war:

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said in a statement that the judge has imposed an unconstitutional religious test for public office: “If this is not resolved in a manner that accommodates the orthodox religious beliefs of Clerk Davis, this will, in effect, establish a reverse religious test barring those who hold biblical views of marriage from positions of public service. Such a religious test by proclamation or practice is wrong.”

After conducting a fawning interview with Davis, Fox News pundit Todd Starnes continued to defend her, warning that “these are very dangerous days for America”:

Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was taken into federal custody today. Federal Judge David Bunning says she will remain behind...

Posted by Todd Starnes on Thursday, September 3, 2015

Pat Robertson: Kentucky Clerk Victim Of 'Sodomy [As] The Law Of The Land'

While introducing a news report today about Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who is defying the Supreme Court by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, “700 Club” host Pat Robertson offered an “I told you so” message to viewers.

Boasting that he and others warned people that the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling would undermine freedom, Robertson lamented that “there will be persecution time and time again against those people who disagree with the prevailing view that sodomy should be the law of the land and should be practiced openly and without any restraints whatsoever.”

Liberty Counsel, the right-wing legal organization that has represented Davis in her unsuccessful legal fight, urged its supporters to back her stand against the “militant homosexuals” seeking to exercise their right to get married:

Pray for Kim Davis! Late last night the Supreme Court denied our emergency appeal to keep Kim out of jail. Even though they can go to any of 137 other clerks, today the militant homosexuals who sued her will be on her front step FORCING her to choose between obeying Scripture or going to jail.

Liberty Counsel radio host Matt Barber praised Davis as a modern-day Rosa Parks:

Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio has similarly compared Davis to Nazi resistors and abolitionists:

Staver And Barber Liken Ben Carson To A Nazi Doctor

A few weeks ago, amid the ongoing smear campaign falsely alleging that Planned Parenthood profits off the illegal sale of body parts from aborted fetuses, it was revealed that GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson had done medical research using tissue from aborted fetuses in the past.

Carson defended the practice but his explanation didn't make much sense and it certainly has not convinced Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver or Matt Barber, who likened Carson to a Nazi doctor on their "Faith and Freedom" radio program today.

While never mentioning Carson by name, Staver and Barber made it clear that they do not buy his "convoluted" defense, with Staver saying that "any of the research on these aborted babies is immoral, unethical, and contributes to the abortion practice," and so "there is no way that you can legitimately defend that practice."

Barber agreed, saying, "During the Nuremberg trials with Nazi Germany, there were some doctors that were placed on trial ... As he was on trial and kind of trying to rationalize the atrocities that he took part in, he basically said, 'Well, as long as they were torturing and killing these Jewish people anyway, it would be stupid not to take their body parts and to do medical research on them.' That's exactly what this Republican candidate, by the way, said relative to the research on these aborted children. There is no difference."

Liberty Counsel Tells Kentucky Clerk To Defy Federal Court Ruling, Keep Refusing Marriage Licenses To Same-Sex Couples

Religious Right legal group Liberty Counsel, which opposes LGBT equality in the U.S. and around the world, has been urging resistance in the form of mass civil disobedience to the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. On Wednesday, a federal court ruled against Liberty Counsel and its client, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who has refused on religious grounds to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples.  U.S. District Judge David Bunning  issued a preliminary injunction ordering her to do her job and comply with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Bunning, a Bush appointee, stated the issue this way:

At its core, this civil action presents a conflict between two individual liberties held sacrosanct in American jurisprudence. One is the fundamental right to marry implicitly recognized in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The other is the right to free exercise of religion explicitly guaranteed by the First Amendment. Each party seeks to exercise one of these rights, but in doing so, they threaten to infringe upon the opposing party’s rights. The tension between these constitutional concerns can be resolved by answering one simple question: Does the Free Exercise Clause likely excuse Kim Davis from issuing marriage licenses because she has a religious objection to samesex marriage? For reasons stated herein, the Court answers this question in the negative.

The judge analyzed the case under the U.S. Constitution, the Kentucky state constitution, and the Kentucky Religious Freedom Act (which is patterned after the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act). He considered and rejected various arguments raised by Liberty Counsel defending Davis’s right to refuse to provide marriage licenses.

Davis contends that “[c]ompelling all individuals who have any connection with the issuance of marriage licenses . . . to authorize, approve, and participate in that act against their sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage, without providing accommodation, amounts to an improper religious test for holding (or maintaining) public office.” The Court must again point out that the act of issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple merely signifies that the couple has met the legal requirements to marry. It is not a sign of moral or religious approval. The State is not requiring Davis to express a particular religious belief as a condition of public employment, nor is it forcing her to surrender her free exercise rights in order to perform her duties. Thus, it seems unlikely that Davis will be able to establish a violation of the Religious Test Clause….

As the Court has already pointed out, Davis is simply being asked to signify that couples meet the legal requirements to marry. The State is not asking her to condone same-sex unions on moral or religious grounds, nor is it restricting her from engaging in a variety of religious activities. Davis remains free to practice her Apostolic Christian beliefs. She may continue to attend church twice a week, participate in Bible Study and minister to female inmates at the Rowan County Jail. She is even free to believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, as many Americans do. However, her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County Clerk.

Liberty Counsel has filed an appeal of the ruling and requested a stay. Chairman Mat Staver denounced the judge’s ruling:

“Judge Bunning’s decision equated Kim’s free exercise of religion to going to church. This is absurd! Christianity is not a robe you take off when you leave a sanctuary,” said Staver. “The First Amendment guarantees Kim and every American the free exercise of religion, even when they are working for the government.”

“Kim Davis cannot license something that is prohibited by her religious convictions,” Staver continued. “To provide a license is to provide approval and places a legal authority behind what is being licensed. The First Amendment protects actions and not mere thought. Kim Davis should not be forced to violate her religious beliefs,” Staver concluded.

This morning, Davis’s office defied the Judge Bunning’s order and turned away gay couples who sought marriage licenses.  According to the Associated Press, “Davis wasn't at her office Thursday, but deputy clerk Nathan Davis said the office was advised by its attorneys with the Christian law firm Liberty Counsel to continue refusing same-sex couples as it appeals.”

Last year, after a federal court struck down North Carolina’s ban on same-sex couples getting married, Staver and anti-gay activist Matt Barber urged magistrates in the state with similar religious objections not to resign but to “stand their ground” and refuse to obey the ruling.  

Staver & Barber: Red States Should Band Together To Create Abortion-Free 'Sanctuary States'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and Matt Barber called for the creation of "sanctuary states" where Planned Parenthood facilities are defunded and shut down and abortion is simply outlawed by Republican governors and state legislatures.

Praising the right-wing smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, Staver reiterated his call for the creation of abortion-free zones as he urged Congress to defund the organization and for states to follow suit, because Planned Parenthood should not be receiving "any more for genocide."

"But beyond that, we need to stop abortion," Staver declared, urging governors to "just simply say, 'Enough is enough, we're not going to kill children in our state.'"

Saying that is it not enough to simply defund Planned Parenthood, which is "like funding the Holocaust," Staver advocated the creation of "sanctuary states" where abortion would be against the law.

"You've got these so-called sanctuary cities," he said, "setting these up for the protection of illegal aliens, we should set up a sanctuary location, a sanctuary city, but particularly a sanctuary state that says that children within our state, they're protected, we will not stand by and allow them to be slaughtered in the womb."

Barber eagerly agreed, suggesting that Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma and other "red states" should all "come together" and declares themselves to be "sanctuary states for the preborn."

Barber: Iran Deal Is 'Treason,' Akin To Giving Nukes To Nazi Germany

On Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program today, Matt Barber attacked the nuclear deal worked out between Iran and United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany, blasting President Obama for engaging in "treason" and stating that the deal is akin to the United States giving Adolf Hitler nuclear weapons in the middle of World War II.

"There was a time, before we entered this age of lawlessness," Barber said, "where what Obama and John Kerry are doing here and have done here would have been called what it is, would have properly been called treason. This is a president who is aiding and abetting the enemies of the western world, America, Israel, and elsewhere, aiding and abetting them, literally giving them the nuke. This is like Neville Chamberlain on steroids, the difference being that Neville Chamberlain didn't give Hitler nuclear weapons. Obama is doing that to the modern-day Hitler."

"Imagine," he continued, "the United States is negotiating with Hitler, it's 1941, we're at war with Germany and imagine the president goes to Hitler and they get together and he says, 'You know what? I know we're at war with you but here's $700 billion for you to develop more weapons and to allocate in ways that will help you win the war and destroy America and have Naziism become a global phenomenon.' That is the parallel we're seeing here."

"It makes you wonder what possibly can be motivating this president to do this," Barber said. "Does he really hate America that much?"

Matt Barber: Nondiscrimination Laws Let 'Perverts' In 'Miniskirts' Put 'Women And Young Girls At Risk'

Liberty Counsel activists Mat Staver and Matt Barber are jubilant over a court ruling that a Houston nondiscrimination ordinance must be put up for a popular vote, even after the city found that opponents had not gathered enough valid signatures to put it on the ballot.

Barber declared on a recent episode of LC’s “Faith and Freedom” program that not only was the Texas Supreme Court decision a “victory for the rule of law,” but it was a victory for women and children who will no longer be in danger of being attacked by “perverts” in “miniskirts.”

“This is a victory for those of us who are standing firm for the rights of children and women not to have their privacy violated by men in miniskirts who are pretending to be women,” he said. “Who knows what sort of perverts and potential predators we’re talking about here, placing women and young girls at risk, primarily.”

Staver added that Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker, “this pro-open-lesbian” pursued the nondiscrimination policy because, like President Obama, she has no “moral compass.”

“You get these kinds of people in power,” he said, “and it’s dangerous because they don’t have any parameters of moral compass that will direct them to do what’s right, even though it goes against heir personal opinion. They just want to achieve an objective.”

Religious Right Hero Vladimir Putin Okays Polygamy, Sharia Law

Vladimir Putin has become a bona fide hero to American Religious Right activists, who see him as a conservative Christian counterweight to President Obama and his support for LGBT equality. Anti-gay activists, for instance, rallied around the Russian leader after the Kremlin approved a ban on speech dealing with “homosexual propaganda” to minors.

Evangelist Franklin Graham hailed Putin as a hero for taking “a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda” even as “America’s own morality has fallen so far on this issue”; Bryan Fischer called Putin a “lion of Christianity” and called upon U.S. lawmakers to adopt similar speech prohibitions; Matt Barber marveled that Putin was able to “out-Christian our once-Christian nation”; Sam Rohrer called Putin “the moral leader of the world”; Scott Lively lavished praise on Putin for “championing traditional marriage and Christian values”; and Rush Limbaugh applauded Putin for stopping “a full-frontal assault on what has always been considered normalcy.”

Officials with the World Congress of Families have lauded Putin as a savior of the entire world. The group  organized a meeting for conservative activists at the Kremlin, which also played host to Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, who traveled to Russia to defend the country’s anti-LGBT crackdown in face of a Western “attempts to silence those of us who stand for the truth of marriage.”

Much of Putin’s anti-LGBT stance is part of a broader campaign to discredit the European Union, antagonizing nationalists to rise up against the EU and its support of progressive values like LGBT rights, and empower the Russian Orthodox Church.

U.S. Religious Right activists have prioritized their absolute contempt for the LGBT community above solidarity with Protestants in Russia, who have come under attack by the state and its allies in the Orthodox Church, which views evangelicals as heretics. Protestants in the occupied area of eastern Ukraine have faced violent attacks from Putin-backed forces.

Seeing that American conservatives are more than happy to ignore Putin’s campaign against Protestantism since he is, after all, the defender of traditional marriage against gay rights, it is more than likely that they will look the other way now that he is “potentially allowing — or at the very least turning a blind eye to — polygamy among Russia’s estimated 16 million Muslims.” 

Julia Ioffe explained in Foreign Policy last week that the Russian government allowed for a friend of Chechnya’s leader to take a second wife in a case that received widespread attention in the country.

As Ioffe writes, “Christian warrior Vladimir Putin” has allowed for the Chechen government to enforce Islamic religious law within its boundaries. Putin’s decision to allow Chechnya to become “a small Islamic state within the borders of the Russian Federation” has paved the way for the legalization of polygamy.

Ioffe points to a case where a teenage girl was married to a 57-year-old police chief who was already married at the time in an arrangement that had all the appearances of a forced marriage. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who, like Putin, has a notorious human rights record, made sure that the wedding took place and even appeared at the reception.

One of polygamy’s noted defenders ended up being the country’s foremost supporter of the “homosexual propaganda” law: Yelena Mizulina. Ioffe writes:

[W]hen a lone member of the parliament proposed a law criminalizing polygamy, the initiative was duly shot down by Yelena Mizulina, the parliamentarian who was among the most vocal supporters of Russia’s anti-gay laws and other “traditional values” initiatives. Criminalizing polygamy, Mizulina said, was “absurd.” The reason for polygamy, she argued was that “there are not enough men, the kind with whom women would want to start a family and have children.” Last week, Mizulina was promoted to the upper chamber of parliament.

Mizulina authored the ban on “homosexual propaganda” and pushed through a law “banning the adoption of Russian orphans by gay couples, unmarried couples and single people in countries where same-sex marriage is legal.”

Putin’s “ombudsman for children’s rights — who was behind Russia’s ban on American adoptions,” Ioffe adds, justified the wedding by claiming that “in the North Caucasus, puberty hits earlier, so 16 was a great age for marrying. ‘There are places where women shrivel up by 27,’ he said.”

The Religious Right’s support for Putin, an authoritarian leader who has infringed on basic liberties and the democratic process, undermined the freedom of religion, particularly for Protestants, and allowed for the creation of a Sharia law enclave where polygamy is legal, once again proves that for a certain segment of American conservatives, everything comes down to opposing homosexuality.

Staver: 'The President Of The United States Has Put The Cloak Of Sin Over The White House'

To say that the Supreme Court's recent decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide has sent Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver completely over the edge would be something of an understatement, as he has spent just about every radio program since it came down railing against its supposed illegitimacy while warning that God's judgment will soon befall this nation.

That trend continued today, as Staver again used the "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast to declare that he was ashamed for this nation after seeing the White House lit up in rainbow colors following the decision and warning that America cannot escape God's judgment.

"No nation in history can rebel against God and assume that it will continue to exist," Staver said. "It just simply won't happen. You have, as individuals, consequences to your actions and nations have consequences to their corporate actions as well. What just happened with regards to this opinion of marriage by five lawyers at the Supreme Court, an illegitimate decision as it is, and even then the Obama administration participating and celebrating sin is an act of defiance against our Creator and it will bring judgment upon our nation. Make no mistake about it."

After co-host Matt Barber declared that lighting up the White House in rainbow colors is "a harbinger of God's judgment" brought about by the "arrogance and haughtiness in celebration of the sin of Sodom," Staver declared that upon seeing it, he became ashamed to be an American.

"It's unprecedented in American history that the president of the United States would be so in-your-face immoral and impose that immorality and sin on the rest of the country," Staver said. "I wept when I saw that and thought about what a horrible example that is to the rest of the world. I just felt shameful to be an American at that point in time, that this is my country and look what my country has come to. The president of the United States has put the cloak of sin over the White House, the cloak of shame over the White House."

Matt Barber's New Book Publishing Venture

Great news, everybody! BarbWire, far-right online outlet created by anti-gay activist Matt Barber, is going to start publishing books and e-books! “Many of the initial releases will be short, low-cost e-Books consisting of three to five chapters on subject matter ranging from America’s moral abyss, to Islamic terrorism, the economy, history and what it means to be a man in today’s emasculated America,” says the release announcing the launch of the publishing company.

Barber and his buddy Tristan Alexander Emmanuel, CFO of the new venture, have seemingly decided that there is insatiable demand for the kind of bigotry, frothing-at-the-mouth Obama hatred, conspiracy-theorizing, and end-times fearmongering featured on the site. It’s hard to blame them – after all, somebody keeps buying Ann Coulter and Dinesh D’Souza’s dreck.

The announcement declares, “BarbWire Books is committed to publishing hard-hitting, culturally relevant e-Books and Books from its family of BarbWire contributors and columnists and other top-notch Christian thinkers and leaders.”

The first of these “top-notch Christian thinkers and leaders” to be published by BarbWire Books will be Jeff Allen and his Shattering Liberal Lies About the Bible: Vol 1: Is God A Slave Master? Here’s how we summarized Allen’s contributions to BarbWire last year:

Jeff Allen, a BarbWire editor, compares the gay rights movement to “a malignant cancer” and says, “Each victory for the homosexual activists represents another nail in America’s coffin.”  Allen has supported brutal anti-gay laws in Uganda, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, which include imprisonment not only for sexual conduct but also for joining social clubs or advocating for equality. Allen was upset when criticized for his “innocent mistake” of calling a fake photo of “NAMBLA for Obama” an example of “the undeniable link between homosexuality and pedophilia.” More Allen: “Satanism, sodomy, and slaughter are each part of the Devil’s sinister agenda to destroy America.”

That is apparently what passes for the “penetrating cultural analysis” that Emmanuel says is needed by “likeminded social conservatives and Bible-believing Christians” in these “days that are evil.” As Emmanuel says, “you can never have too much of a good thing.”

If you don’t have the patience to wait for Jeff Allen’s e-book, you can visit BarbWire’s bookstore and pick up some titles from Canadian conservatives warning of the “shock and cultural rot of antinomian, anti-Christian cultural Marxism” that plagues America’s neighbor to the North and offering “a sobering forecast of what is coming – that is, unless by God’s grace, American Christians wake up and take back their country.” 

Staver: Gay Marriage Ruling Has 'Brought Sin And Judgment Upon ... The Court And On The Country'

Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and Matt Barber are absolutely livid about the Supreme Court decision striking down state bans on gay marriage, declaring on today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast that they will never recognize, respect, or accept the ruling because the Supreme Court has delegitimized itself by issuing it and brought God's judgment upon themselves and the nation.

"This has literally delegitimized the Supreme Court and we need to move forward and treat it as an illegitimate decision," Staver said. "It's not the rule of law. Neither will individuals nor should our government officials respect it as the rule of law, it is not."

Barber agreed, repeatedly declaring that "God will not be mocked" and warning that Christians who accept the ruling are guilty of mocking God as well.

"The five justices have brought sin and judgment upon themselves and on the court and on the country," Staver added. "The question is whether the country will ultimately suffer from this judgment. God is not going to be mocked by this absolute absurdity, this shaking of a fist into the face of the Creator."

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Matt Barber Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Friday 05/06/2016, 4:36pm
Religious Right leaders believed this was their year. In Ted Cruz they had a candidate unquestionably committed to their agenda. Cruz was anointed the movement’s candidate at a secret endorsement meeting in Texas, followed by a wave of public endorsements by movement leaders. With only a couple of notable exceptions like Jerry Falwell Jr. and Phyllis Schlafly, Cruz had the overwhelming backing of the Religious Right’s institutional leaders.  But it wasn’t to be. David Gushee, a Christian ethicist and author who has ruffled a lot of feathers with his move to an LGBT-... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/16/2016, 6:30pm
Southern Baptist Convention minister James Linzey explains that he is endorsing Donald Trump because "when Mr. Trump speaks, he hits all the major issues forthrightly and honestly. Being a Conservative means being honest with everyone about everyone. Honesty cuts across all party lines, offending those in any camp who are dishonest on the issues at hand."  Veteran anti-choice activist Joe Scheidler claims that he influenced Justice Scalia's opinions on abortion clinic buffer zones. Matt Barber laughably argues that "GLAAD is an extremist homosexual... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 02/08/2016, 12:04pm
Last week, Miranda noted that Liberty Counsel is representing Sandra Merritt after she and her Center for Medical Progress colleague David Daleiden were indicted by a grand jury in Texas over their failed efforts to expose Planned Parenthood for supposedly illegally selling fetal tissue for profit.  Liberty Counsel seems to have decided to defend Merritt by attacking Lauren Reeder, one of the 300 attorneys in the Harris County District Attorney's Office who had nothing to do with the investigation of Merritt and Daleiden, because she serves on the board of the local Planned... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 12/17/2015, 12:13pm
Earlier this week, extremist anti-gay activist Scott Lively released his list of the "Top Ten Pro-Family Heroes of 2015," highlighting anti-gay activists "who showed courage under fire or whose words and actions gave special encouragement to our movement." As the "2015 Pro-Family Hero of the Year," Lively rewarded Brian Camenker of MassResistance with a $500 donation and urged his supporters to financially support these other "worthy organizations" to "help them in their work": 1) 2015 Pro-Family Hero of the Year Brian Camenker,... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 12/01/2015, 11:44am
On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver declared that President Obama is bringing in Syrian refugees because he "has no love for this country" and wants to undermine and destroy America. Staver and cohost Matt Barber were ostensibly discussing last month's terrorist attacks in Paris, though most of the discussion was aimed at attacking Obama for bringing Syrian refugees into America, which Staver insisted is going to lead to a Paris-like tragedy here as well.  Barber was at a loss to understand Obama's desire to... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 11/20/2015, 6:30pm
Peter LaBarbera attacks Target for supporting the Equality Act or, as he refers to it, the "Criminalizing Christianity Act" or "Homosexual Superiority Act." Bruce Engelman of Triumph Baptist Church is calling on "Christians across the globe to unite and to demand a public apology for the remarks that President Obama has made in Turkey, and elsewhere this week, denigrating evangelical Christians of all faiths and stripes." A typically reasonable column from BarbWire's Gina Miller: "None of what Barack Obama (or whatever his name is) does makes... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 10/28/2015, 2:32pm
Matt Barber appeared on Joe Miller's radio program yesterday to discuss the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling and Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis' refusal to allow her office to issue marriage licenses in its wake. Davis eventually wound up in jail as a result of her actions, which allowed her subordinates to issue licenses in her absence, at which point she was released on the condition that she no longer interfere with the issuing of such licenses in the future.   Davis has been back on the job for well over a month now and her office has continued to issue marriage... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 09/23/2015, 10:59am
On Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program today, Matt Barber declared that the vitriol aimed at Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis for prohibiting her office from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples is reminiscent of the days of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Inquisition, as LGBT activists insist that everyone "come on board with our pagan sexuality or we will literally kill you." "This whole saga," he said, "is reminiscent of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19 ... The homosexual men of Sodom and Gomorrah, they surrounded the house... MORE >