Phil Robertson

The Five Most Outrageous And Ridiculous GOP Ads Of 2014

False, misleading, racist, cynical and just plain strange campaign ads are nothing new in politics. But thanks to a recent string of court rulings gutting campaign finance regulations, such ads are now more plentiful than ever.

Thanks to this flood of spending, it probably won’t be long before the next round of outrageous campaign ads hits the airwaves. But in the meantime, we’re taking a look back at some of the best — and by “best” we mean “worst” — Republican campaign ads of the 2014 cycle.

5. Bibles & Guns, Bibles & Guns

Zach Dasher, nephew of “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson, is hoping that his family’s newfound fame can help get him elected to the U.S. Congress this year. The Louisiana Republican wants to make it clear that he is for the Bible and guns and against all those government officials plotting to take them away any day now.

And what better person to convey that message than Phil Robertson himself, who says in an ad financed by Dasher’s campaign he is supporting his nephew’s congressional bid due to his brave pro-Bible, pro-guns stance.

4. Gay Marriage Afoot

The National Organization for Marriage has joined other Religious Right groups including the Susan B. Anthony List’s Women Speak Out PAC and the National Right to Life Committee in spending big in North Carolina in an effort to take down Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan.

NOM attacked Hagan for voting to approve a federal judge who overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, while lauding her Republican opponent Thom Tillis for his opposition to marriage equality. Incidentally, Tillis hired NOM’s chairman John Eastman to help preserve the ban.

Judge Max Coburn Jr., as Jeremy Hooper notes, was confirmed by a 96-0 vote, meaning that Senate Republicans, including North Carolina’s Republican Sen. Richard Burr, also supported the judge that Religious Right activists have derided as a liberal activist.

3. Sharknado!

After the Michigan GOP’s last Senate candidate drew criticism for running a racist ad during the Super Bowl, the party now seems to be playing it safe by sticking to pop culture references. In a new ad, “Gary Peters’ Loan Sharknado,” the state party suggests that Peters, a Democratic congressman running for the open Senate seat, has relied on the funding of a loan shark gangster.

The ad refers to Tomo Duhanaj, a restaurant owner convicted of loansharking, who contributed to Peters a total of $7,400 during the years before Peters’ Senate bid, and prior to Duhanaj’s arrest. “Federal records show the contributions to Peters were returned at the time of his arrest, on Aug. 3, 2012,” the Michigan website MLive.com notes.

In the end, the unintentionally hilarious ad may be more interesting than the flimsy attack itself.

2. Willie Horton Revisited

Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., backed the GOP’s government shutdown in 2013, but wanted to be clear that he thought he was still entitled to receive his paycheck. “Dang straight,” Terry said at the time. “I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college, and I’ll tell you we cannot handle it. Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That's just not going to fly.”

Terry is now facing a tough re-election battle and needs what help he can get from the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is on the air in his district with an ad that many commentators are calling an updated version of the infamous 1988 Willie Horton ad.

The ad refers to a “good time” bill backed by Terry’s Democratic opponent Brad Ashford, along with every single member of Nebraska’s unicameral legislature and the state’s Republican governor, that was designed to reduce the sentences of some convicted criminals for good behavior in prison.

Nikko Jenkins, whose face is placed next to Ashford’s in the NRCC ad, is a diagnosed schizophrenic who murdered four people after he was released early from prison after serving time for an assault conviction.

The widely panned ad, which was also criticized by some Republicans, backfired spectacularly when the killer publicly endorsed Terry during a court hearing.

“Vote Lee Terry guys, greatest Republican ever,” Jenkins shouted. “Vote for Lee Terry. He’s a great guy.”

1. My Opponent Funds Terrorists, Probably

If Georgia GOP Senate nominee David Perdue is to be believed, his Democratic opponent Michelle Nunn is funding radical Islamic terrorists … through former president George H.W. Bush’s Points of Light Foundation.

Before Nunn took the top job at Points of Light, the foundation had a business which allowed eBay users to donate part of their proceeds to a charity of their choice from a list of 20,000 nonprofit organizations. The list included Islamic Relief USA, which, according to Perdue and his allies at the conservative pro-corporate group Ending Spending Action Fund, is “tied to radical terrorists.”

Islamic Relief USA, which received about $13,500 through the eBay program, strongly denies that it is affiliated with terrorists and it in fact has ties with the U.S. government aid programs. As PolitFact notes, the group is “not on the U.S. government’s terrorist watch list.” Amazingly enough, Perdue’s campaign cited a Nunn campaign memo about possible false attacks against their candidate as proof that the attack was true.

Neil Bush, son of the former president, called Perdue’s charges against his father’s organization a “ridiculous” and “shameful” smear.

One Georgia columnist pointed out that a similar charity contribution program for federal employees also lists Islamic Relief USA, noting that if “Points of Life funds terrorism, then by the same distorted logic the U.S. government also funds terrorism.”

In fact, since Perdue is effectively linking George H.W. Bush to a terrorist funding scheme, and Perdue successfully sought Bush’s endorsement, then Perdue may be, according to his own campaign, implicating himself in terrorism!

Phil Robertson Helpfully Announces That He Won't 'Take A Leak' In The Women's Restroom

Last night, anti-gay activists gathered in Houston, Texas, for an event called "I Stand Sunday" to rally against subpoenas issued by the city government to five local pastors as part of a lawsuit filed by activists in an effort to overturn the city's nondiscrimination ordinance.

The subpoenas have been withdrawn, but right-wing activists are still demanding that the petitions they had submitted to put the nondiscrimination ordinance on the ballot be honored by the city, rallying around the cry of "let the people vote!"

The main contention of the activists is that the ordinance would, in the words of one pastor featured in a promotional video played during the event, create a nightmare scenario of "a grown man going into the restroom with a six-year-old girl, standing alongside of her, using the restroom."

The fear of men using women's restrooms was played up by Phil Robertson of the reality television program "Duck Dynasty," who opened his remarks at last night's event by assuring thet women in the audience that when he needs "to take a leak," he will not use their bathroom.

"For all you ladies in Texas, trust me when I tell you this," he said, "when you're seated in your restroom, putting on your Maybelline, when I need to take a leak, I'm not going there":

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 10/29/14

  • Houston Mayor Annise Parker has announced that the subpoenas sent to five area pastors have been withdrawn.
  • David Benham was on hand in Ohio last night to a support radical right-wing pastor's fight against a local strip club.
  • A good question: "Is Ebola a Sign of Judgment or a Prophetic Warning?"
  • Is anyone surprised that there is now a right-wing effort underway to get nurse Kaci Hickox fired from her job for refusing to submit to involuntary quarantine after she returned from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone?
  • Janet Mefferd is not happy with Russell Moore for "playing right into the hands of Big Gay."
  • Personhood Alliance has announced a "ground-breaking campaign to launch pro-life ballot initiatives at the county and municipal level across the country in 2015."
  • Finally, Phil Robertson says that Christians need to "vote godly!"

Alan Robertson: Satan Attacked 'Duck Dynasty' Clan Because We're So Great

“Duck Dynasty” family member Alan Robertson spoke to the Values Voter Summit last night about criticism of his father Phil Robertson’s racist and anti-gay statements.

Robertson said his father was a victim of a plot by “the Evil One,” who wants to “derail [his] message” about “a return to godliness,” which apparently includes waxing nostalgic about Jim Crow and smearing gays and lesbians.

“We’re talking about undergoing that change and trying to help other people see that because now you realize we’ve got generations of people in our nation that really don’t understand godliness at any level, they don’t know,” he said.

Later in his remarks, Robertson prayed that the heathens outside of the Values Voter Summit will one day become just as wise and godly as the Robertson clan: “I pray for even our American brothers and sisters who aren’t there yet, I pray for them, because I want our nation to rise up and be great again.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 9/10/14

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 6/23/14

  • Phil Robertson continues to display his love for the gays: "I'm trying to help those poor souls and turn them to Jesus."
  • Glenn Beck is beginning to have deep misgivings about Rand Paul.
  • Joseph Farah declares that if Hillary Clinton becomes president, she will "eliminate the First Amendment and the Second Amendment in one fell swoop" because "she’s every bit as un-American and evil as Barack Obama."
  • Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for refusing to convert to Islam, has been freed.
  • Finally, Robert Knight says he used to be a liberal but then turned toward conservatism. Why? "In my formative years I also noticed that many leftist men, who supposedly bought into feminism, treated women badly. Their idea of being a gentleman was making sure someone — preferably not them — paid for the girl’s abortion while they scored a bag of weed."

Phil Robertson Tells The GOP 'You Cannot Be Right For America If You Are Not Right With God'

Following the Republican Party's embarrassing showing in the 2012 elections, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus put together a task force to analyze just what was wrong with the party and which eventually resulted in the release of a report that found that the GOP's ultra-right-wing ideology was making it increasingly unappealing to voters who see the party as nothing but a bunch of "narrow-minded" and "out of touch ... stuffy old men."

Naturally, the GOP has then gone about systematically ignoring all of the recommendations made in this autopsy report, which is why an anti-gay bigot like Phil Robertson was given a prime speaking slot at last night's Republican Leadership Conference, where he was introduced by Sarah Palin, no less.

And Robertson was every bit as insightful as one would expect, declaring that when it comes to President Obama, "we’re up against evil like I’ve never seen in my life" and telling the GOP that if it wants to win elections, the party needs to "get Godly":

Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson kicked off the Republican Leadership Conference at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans on Thursday with an entertaining speech in which he mixed his faith in Jesus Christ with an admonition to the GOP to return to the Bible and the fundamental principles of freedom upon which the nation was founded.

“You lose your religion, you lose your morality, you lose your freedom,” Robertson said. “You cannot be right for America if you are not right with God.”

In an event the GOP billed as an “unofficial kickoff” of the 2016 presidential campaign, Robertson drew repeated applause and more than one standing ovation by insisting, “If the country does not turn to God at a fairly rapid clip, we are going to lose the United States of America.”

Robertson jokingly suggested, “The GOP must be desperate to call a person like me.”

Looking at the outfit that is now linked with his Duck Dynasty television persona, Robertson insisted, “These clothes are the best I own.”

What Robertson did not hesitate to speak about was his strong faith in Jesus Christ.

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians. Where there is no Jesus, the love rate is always real low and the crime rate is always real high. It’s just that simple GOP. You want to turn the Republican Party around, get Godly.”

He rejected the secular society created by Supreme Court decisions he interpreted as an attack on religion.

“We threw God out of the schools. We threw God out of the courthouses,” Robertson said, in a speech that featured quotes from several Founding Fathers, including George Washington, John Adams, and James Madison.

“Separation of church and state? I’m telling you right [now] what our Founding Fathers said and it doesn’t sound like separating God Almighty from the United States of America. It’s a lie. You remove the Bible out of schools, it was said more 200 years ago, and you are going to be wasting so much time punishing criminals. Education is useless without the Bible. Take the Bible out of schools and there’s going to be an explosion of crime.”

Robertson subtly rebutted charges of prejudice, making it clear comments he made to GQ magazine regarding homosexuality derived solely from his religions conviction.

“There is only one race on this planet and that is the human race,” he insisted.

“Look at all humanity as the human race. Therefore, you do not have the right to color code anybody. We are all one family and we are all made in the image of God Almighty. The color of your skin does not determine the character of your person. In the GOP we have the libertarians, and the conservatives, and the establishment party, but you need to get off all of this divisive talk and be one party united.”

Commenting that, “You can tell a lot about a man when you hear him pray,” Robertson recalled George Washington praying at the founding of the nation.

He then transitioned to discussing Barack Obama.

“I watch what I see coming out of the White House and it is downright embarrassing. How many lies are we going to tolerate? Our Founding Fathers created the greatest republic on the face of the earth and we screwed it up in 238 years. But I’m not throwing in the towel yet on it. As was said, the surest way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

Robertson railed against abortion, asking the GOP audience how a nation killing its unborn children possibly thought it could survive.

“The strength of this nation is not the Constitution,” he insisted, “but the law of God and the Ten Commandments upon which the Constitution was founded.”

Alan Robertson Says His Family Is 'Taking Back Territory' From Satan

After making racist and homophobic comments in a magazine interview last year, “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson is slated to address the Republican Leadership Conference tomorrow along with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and U.S. Sen. David Vitter, the Louisiana Republican previously embroiled in a prostitution scandal.

Phil’s son Alan Robertson, who at last week’s FRC “Watchmen on the Wall” conference hailed his father as a “21st century prophet” akin to John the Baptist, appeared on American Family Radio last week to claim that his family is in a fight against Satan for influence in the media and culture.

Alan told host Cherylyn LeBon that “there is always going to be a cost for doing the right thing,” referring to his father’s brief suspension from A&E for his remarks about Jim Crow and gay people. “We’re against an enemy that wants to kill and destroy.”

After suggesting that God “raised up” his family to combat purported anti-Christian persecution and promote conservative Christians in Hollywood, he said that the Robertson clan is “part of that process of hopefully taking back some territory that Satan has had for far too long.”

AFA's Love Letter To Phil Robertson

On Valentine’s Day, I found a stack of boxed “Duck Dynasty” valentines on the 50 percent clearance shelf at Food Lion. America seems to have moved on from December’s flap over offensive remarks by Phil Robertson – along with many of the show’s former viewers – but the American Family Association hopes that fond memories of the family patriarch’s anti-gay sentiments will encourage AFA’s contributors to dig deep.

A new fundraising letter from AFA’s Tim Wildmon is built around a postcard to Robertson that Wildmon asks people to sign and return to the AFA, along with a check. The postcard reads:

Dear Phil,

By simply expressing the truth of God’s moral law you have encouraged other Christians to speak out in opposition to those who would convince our society that homosexuality is morally equivalent to heterosexuality.

Following your example, I intend to be bolder and more active in defense of God’s truth.

I am praying for you and your family. May God bless you.

Wildmon’s letter, which recounts Robertson’s brief suspension by the A&E network, portrays the support for Robertson from Christian conservatives as an opportunity to “uproot the entrenched evil that’s killing the soul of our nation.”

Will Christians and other like-minded Americans seize the moment? Will we capture the energy Phil Robertson has generated and draw on that energy to confront the entrenched fortresses of error and sexual anarchy that now dominate our social landscape?

The homosexual lobby’s outrageous demand – and A&E’s capitulation – has awakened social conservatives from their slumber and brought them to the point where they’ve had it with being insulted, demeaned and deprived of their basic rights to freedom of religion and speech.

That being the case, we’ve got to harness the outrage of Christians and direct it at helping uproot the entrenched evil that’s killing the soul of our nation.

If we fail to do this, then all this righteous anger will dissipate and our cultural wasteland will remain just that: a cultural wasteland. On the other hand, using the support that you and other AFA ministry partners provide, we will act quickly and decisively to turn this attack on Phil Robertson into a victory for our nation and for those who are to come after us.

It’s worth noting that while sometimes, when AFA radio host and spokesman Bryan Fischer says something even more offensive than usual, he and the organization claim (unconvincingly) that he doesn’t speak for the AFA, Wildmon happily quotes Fischer’s defense of Robertson and his criticism of “Big Gay.”

PFOX: If 'Homofascism' Isn't Stopped, 'We Will Lose America And Our Souls'

Religious Right activists seem to believe that the controversy over Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson’s racist and homophobic remarks and his ensuing suspension represents a watershed event in their fight against gay rights.

Case in point: Greg Quinlan’s group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), which sees itself as the ex-gay alternative to PFLAG, now claims that the Robertson incident will “awaken Americans” to the dangers of “homofascism.” PFOX claims that like Robertson, they too are victims of the “gay lobby” which seeks “to keep ex-gays in the closet.”

“Unless we stop it now as was accomplished with the Duck Dynasty backlash, homofascism will spread to persecute anyone who dares to disagree with the gay lobby, regardless if you live in Manhattan or the woods of Louisiana – no one will be spared,” PFOX warns in a statement released yesterday. “All who call themselves Christians must speak out against injustice and homofascism. Otherwise, we will lose America – and our souls.”

Will Duck Dynasty Controversy Awaken Americans?

The gay bullying and intimidation deployed against Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson is nothing new to the ex-gay community. For too long in this country, gay rights organizations have incorporated ex-gay bashing as an integral part of their mission. Christian ex-gays are ridiculed for their faith, while people seeking therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions are painted as dangerously delusional. On this one-way street of intolerance, former homosexuals are accused of being liars or fakes while transgenders are celebrated for changing their gender identity. Using their political power and mainstream media support, gay activists work to keep ex-gays in the closet while demanding legal recognition of single-sex marriage as an equal right.

This well-organized and heavily-funded bullying of former homosexuals and ex-gay speech is known by the ex-gay community as ‘homofascism.’



Is bullying and persecution a gay civil right? No, it’s not; homofascism is wrong. Unless we stop it now as was accomplished with the Duck Dynasty backlash, homofascism will spread to persecute anyone who dares to disagree with the gay lobby, regardless if you live in Manhattan or the woods of Louisiana – no one will be spared. When irrational fears of male-female heterosexuality instigate demands for public censorship and obedience to the gay lobby, silence is not an option.

All who call themselves Christians must speak out against injustice and homofascism. Otherwise, we will lose America – and our souls.

Fischer: 'Duck Dynasty' Controversy Proves 'We Are The Mainstream'

On his radio broadcast yesterday, Bryan Fischer spoke with a caller about the "Duck Dynasty" controversy and declared that the main lesson of the entire thing is that the views put forth by Phil Robertson and, by extension, Fischer and his audience, are widely shared by the vast majority of Americans.

"One of the take-aways of that whole episode," Fischer said, "is that Phil Robertson and the American people like you and me that agree with him, that we are the mainstream. It's the gay activists, it's the gay lobby, they're the ones that are on the fringe ... [The 'Duck Dynasty' cast] represent the values that you and I and the great majority of Americans share":

Duck the Halls: The Religious Right's Own War on Christmas

If you’re already tired of the Duck Dynasty flap, I have some bad news for you: Religious Right leaders aren’t going to drop it. On Christmas Eve, while millions of Americans were finishing Christmas preparations and gathering with loved ones, Janet Porter and Rick Scarborough were holding an emergency conference call to launch Porter’s latest gimmicky scheme: sending rubber ducks to A&E executives to protest the suspension of Phil Robertson.

Porter has been warning about a war on American Christians for years – she even wrote a book called The Criminalization of Christianity.  So she clearly sees this as her (current) last chance to save America.  Faith2Action has launched a website MailTheDuck.com, at which you can hand over your contact information to Porter so that she can send a postcard on your behalf to Nancy Dubuq, CEO of A&E Networks, declaring “You Can’t Camouflage Anti-Christian Bigotry!” The postcard demands an apology and warns of a boycott until Robertson is reinstated.  You can also fork over some cash if you want to send a rubber duck or ten to A&E to be sure they get the message.

The opening image of the website is, unfortunately, a big lie. It’s a picture of Robertson with the word FIRED stamped across it. In fact, Robertson hasn’t been fired for making offensive comments in a magazine interview, just suspended. Americans who have wanted to get their Duck on this week have been able to watch a Duck Dynasty marathon. Even WND, in its story on the project, notes: “According to Entertainment Weekly, sources close to the show report nine of the 10 remaining episodes of season four have already been shot, and the network has no plans to cut out the footage featuring the senior Robertson.”

But on the conference call Porter and Scarborough had with activists, freedom was hanging by a thread. Robertson’s suspension is “an atrocity,” “an attack on religious liberty” and an effort to “shut down Christians.” Faith itself is at risk of “being declared unlawful.” Porter even compared Robertson to the famous Chinese activist who stood in front of a tank (yeah, that’s just the kind of risk Robertson took by spouting off to GQ magazine). Porter says Americans can courageously stand with Robertson by sending  millions of ducks (probably made in China, come to think of it) to A&E.

Porter mentioned that she is working on a documentary about anti-Christian persecution. A caller who described herself as a former lesbian urged Porter to include the story of Lisa Miller, the woman who became a far-right folk hero when she kidnapped her child and fled the country rather than obeying court ordered custody arrangements involving Miller’s former partner.  Porter said Miller’s story is part of her film project.

Back to the ducks.  In addition to Scarborough’s Vision America, Porter’s new project is being cosponsored by the dominionist Oak Initiative (Porter is a board member) and by Liberty Counsel, the Religious Right legal group that used to represent Lisa Miller. Of course, Porter and Scarborough aren’t the only ones trying to cash in on the Duck Dynasty controversy. Among those who have launched  petitions are the National Organization for Marriage and Mike Huckabee.  Huckabee and Porter are longtime allies; she declared his 2008 presidential candidacy anointed by God.

What Persecution Looks Like

Nothing like putting things in perspective.

At the end of a week in which Religious Right leaders, cable TV pundits, and conservative politicians acted as if freedom were being destroyed because a rich TV star was suspended for making offensive racist and anti-gay comments, the Parliament in Uganda passed a bill that threatens gay people with life in prison.

And with that vote, all the alarmist bluster about persecution from Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal and every Religious Right leader who saw a chance to boost year-end fundraising by jumping on the martyrdom bandwagon was made to look ridiculous.

This week’s news gave us plenty of evidence about real persecution, and it had nothing to do with Duck Dynasty. The face of persecution is not Phil Robertson, but the terrified LGBT people in Uganda who fear that they are about to be hunted.  Persecution looks like gay teenagers in Russia being beaten by thugs, and like gay parents who have the ability to leave Russia fleeing because anti-gay political leaders are threatening to take their children from them. Persecution looks like LGBT people all over the globe whose lives and freedom are threatened by new laws that enshrine discrimination and define them as criminals. Persecution looks like LGBT teens in Jamaica facing vigilante violence.  And on and on.

Newsweek reported a week ago that Ethiopia had declared war on gay men this year, noting, “A representative from the Ethiopian Inter-Religious Council Against Homosexuality announced that the council was making ‘promising’ progress in convincing the government to introduce the death penalty to punish ‘homosexual acts.’”

How do American conservative religious and political figures respond to this kind of persecution? Not with shouts of outrage but with enthusiastic cheering. It is no small irony that many of those most loudly screaming "persecution" over Robertson's suspension have been equally vocal supporters of international efforts to literally criminalize homosexuality. 

Brian Brown, Pat Buchanan, Matt Barber, and a sad parade of other religious conservatives fawn over Russia’s violently anti-democratic strongman Vladimir Putin as if he were Christendom’s new Defender of the Faith. Putin, in Barber’s words, is being allowed to “out-Christian our once-Christian nation.” (Of course many American Christians want nothing to do with Barber or his interpretation of the faith.)

And to their lasting shame, American Religious Right leaders’ financial and political support have been inflaming anti-gay passions in Uganda for years.  Lou Engle and Scott Lively actually traveled to Uganda and helped rally support for the bill. The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, who takes such umbrage at FRC’s designation as a hate group, dismissed criticism of the Uganda law in its earlier and more sinister incarnation, calling the proposed law an effort to “uphold moral conduct.”

There’s no indication that the Uganda bill’s passage is causing any noticeable soul-searching among the far right.  Far from it. The American Family Association’s always-repellant Bryan Fischer invoked the Duck Dynasty flap in celebrating the passage of the anti-gay law in Uganda: “Uganda stands with Phil. Makes homosexuality contrary to public policy. It can be done.”

Actually, as offensive as Phil Robertson’s statements were, they pale in comparison to Fischer’s. Robertson hasn’t suggested, as far as I know, that gay people should be arrested and put in prison for life. And I seriously doubt that Robertson has ever traveled to Russia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, or Australia to promote legal discrimination against and criminalization of LGBT people or anyone who advocates for equality, the way right-wing figures like Engle, Lively, Brown, Mat Staver, Peter LaBarbera, Paul Cameron, and others have.

No worries about the Olympics on the American Right.  In fact the Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society is excited about having its 2014 “World Congress of Families” summit in Moscow, which they see as a new stronghold for “traditional values” against the secular moral squalor of Western Europe.

Conservative activists were prepared to see Phil Robertson as a victim of religious persecution because they’ve been primed for years with the “religious liberty” narrative being pushed by Religious Right leaders and their conservative Catholic allies. They portray criticism as persecution. They equate being on the losing side of policy debates with being under the heel of oppression. And when courts and legislatures struggle with the challenge of balancing religious liberty with other constitutional values like equality under the law, they see only black-and-white battles between good and evil.

Their rhetoric cheapens and distorts the meaning of terms like tyranny. Anti-religious persecution is a violent, heartbreaking reality for Christians in many parts of the world. But not for the privileged and powerful figures in the United States who wrap themselves in the mantle of martyrdom.

The next time you hear some talking head on Fox talk about persecution, think about people in the Central African Republic who are caught in sectarian violence verging on genocide. Or think about LGBT people whose lives and freedom are threatened every day in the name of Christian values.  

Fischer: Phil Robertson's Suspension Is 'The Mark Of The Beast'

Just in case the Religious Right's response to the "Duck Dynasty" controversy has not already been ridiculously over-the-top enough, Bryan Fischer decided to officially turn into a total farce by declaring on his radio broadcast today that Robertson's suspension is literally "the Mark of the Beast":

Phil Robertson Becomes Religious Right Hero

It seems that every Religious Right group has put out a petition this week defending Phil Robertson, the Duck Dynasty star who was suspended after he made racist and homophobic statements in an interview with GQ. We are not surprised that the Right has pounced on the opportunity to play the victim and grow their email lists.

  • This National Organization for Marriage’s petition claims Robertson was suspended merely for stating “his belief in the truth of the Bible,” insisting that “nothing that Phil Robertson said is hateful” and that A&E “succumbed to the demands of bullies like the HRC and GLAAD, which is disgraceful for an entity whose very existence depends on the free exchange of ideas.”
  • The American Family Association has its own petition thanking Robertson for “declaring the truth of God’s word” and charging that the network undermined the reality star’s “rights to religious freedom and freedom of speech”…because apparently the First Amendment says that no one can ever be disciplined in their job over things they say.
  • Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition is urging men to grow beards in “support for Phil and Christian Values,” while asking women to “lovingly tolerate the facial scruff” of men who grow their Phil-beards.
  • Even the ex-gay organization Voice of the Voiceless has its own petition, warning that America will soon “turn into a fascist society” if gay rights groups aren’t stopped.
  • Americans For Truth About Homosexuality head Peter LaBarbera complains that Robertson is a victim of “homo-fascism” while “Christians and moral-minded Americans must rally behind Phil Robertson.”
  • Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel salutes Robertson as “a breath of fresh air in this Miley Cyrus culture” who is bravely restoring America’s Christian heritage.

Clearly, making homophobic and racist comments is all it takes to become a Religious Right hero.

Update: Of course, the inevitable Rosa Parks comparison:

In a fundraising email to supporters, Ian Bayne, who is running in the Republican primary to challenge Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) in the 11th District, compared Robertson to Rosa Parks. The fundraising email began: "Today, Ian Bayne called Phil Robertson, star of the A&E series "Duck Dynasty," the 'Rosa Parks' of our generation."

Fischer: 'What We Need Is About A Hundred And Fifty Million Phil Robertsons'

It is no surprise that professional anti-gay bigot Bryan Fischer has come out in support of "Duck Dynasty's" Phil Robertson, defending the anti-gay comments that got Robertson suspended from the show.

In fact, on his broadcast yesterday, Fischer called upon conservative Christians all over the nation to follow Robertson's example and speak "biblical truth about sexuality and marriage" in "every circumstance, every situation, every conversation."

Saying that the entire controversy is rooted in the "spiritual warfare" that Satan is waging on humanity over the issue of homosexuality, Fischer declared that the only way to fight back is to "continue to speak the truth," which is why everyone ought to emulate Robertson every chance they get.

"What we need is about a hundred and fifty million Phil Robertsons out there," he said:

Defending Phil Robertson By Calling For Gays To Be Put To Death

It is remarkable how, for the Religious Right, the First Amendment seems to mean they are allowed to say anything they want without receiving any criticism or suffering any consequences, but that appears to be the belief of everyone who is rushing to Phil Robertson's defense.
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Phil Robertson Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 11/03/2014, 2:45pm
False, misleading, racist, cynical and just plain strange campaign ads are nothing new in politics. But thanks to a recent string of court rulings gutting campaign finance regulations, such ads are now more plentiful than ever. Thanks to this flood of spending, it probably won’t be long before the next round of outrageous campaign ads hits the airwaves. But in the meantime, we’re taking a look back at some of the best — and by “best” we mean “worst” — Republican campaign ads of the 2014 cycle. 5. Bibles & Guns, Bibles & Guns Zach Dasher... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 11/03/2014, 10:20am
Last night, anti-gay activists gathered in Houston, Texas, for an event called "I Stand Sunday" to rally against subpoenas issued by the city government to five local pastors as part of a lawsuit filed by activists in an effort to overturn the city's nondiscrimination ordinance. The subpoenas have been withdrawn, but right-wing activists are still demanding that the petitions they had submitted to put the nondiscrimination ordinance on the ballot be honored by the city, rallying around the cry of "let the people vote!" The main contention of the activists is that the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 10/29/2014, 4:30pm
Houston Mayor Annise Parker has announced that the subpoenas sent to five area pastors have been withdrawn. David Benham was on hand in Ohio last night to a support radical right-wing pastor's fight against a local strip club. A good question: "Is Ebola a Sign of Judgment or a Prophetic Warning?" Is anyone surprised that there is now a right-wing effort underway to get nurse Kaci Hickox fired from her job for refusing to submit to involuntary quarantine after she returned from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone? Janet Mefferd is not happy with Russell... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Saturday 09/27/2014, 12:50pm
“Duck Dynasty” family member Alan Robertson spoke to the Values Voter Summit last night about criticism of his father Phil Robertson’s racist and anti-gay statements. Robertson said his father was a victim of a plot by “the Evil One,” who wants to “derail [his] message” about “a return to godliness,” which apparently includes waxing nostalgic about Jim Crow and smearing gays and lesbians. “We’re talking about undergoing that change and trying to help other people see that because now you realize we’ve got generations of... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 09/10/2014, 4:52pm
Jeremy Hooper: Phil Robertson tells Tony Perkins that sexually transmitted diseases are God's punishment. Alexandrea Boguhn @ Media Matters: NRO Questions Wendy Davis' "Convenient" Account Of Her Abortions. Caitlin MacNeal @ TPM: Lawmaker Cites Hobby Lobby In Case To Ban Birth Control For Daughters. Evan Hurst @ Truth Wins Out: Russian ‘Pro-Family’ Conference Exposing Internal Dissension Among American Religious Right Leaders? Josh Israel @ Think Progress: ‘Anonymous Tip’: Homeschooling’s Obsession With ‘False’... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 06/23/2014, 4:29pm
Phil Robertson continues to display his love for the gays: "I'm trying to help those poor souls and turn them to Jesus." Glenn Beck is beginning to have deep misgivings about Rand Paul. Joseph Farah declares that if Hillary Clinton becomes president, she will "eliminate the First Amendment and the Second Amendment in one fell swoop" because "she’s every bit as un-American and evil as Barack Obama." Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for refusing to convert to Islam, has been freed. Finally,... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 05/30/2014, 9:17am
Following the Republican Party's embarrassing showing in the 2012 elections, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus put together a task force to analyze just what was wrong with the party and which eventually resulted in the release of a report that found that the GOP's ultra-right-wing ideology was making it increasingly unappealing to voters who see the party as nothing but a bunch of "narrow-minded" and "out of touch ... stuffy old men." Naturally, the GOP has then gone about systematically ignoring all of the recommendations made in this autopsy report, which is why an... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 05/28/2014, 3:10pm
After making racist and homophobic comments in a magazine interview last year, “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson is slated to address the Republican Leadership Conference tomorrow along with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and U.S. Sen. David Vitter, the Louisiana Republican previously embroiled in a prostitution scandal. Phil’s son Alan Robertson, who at last week’s FRC “Watchmen on the Wall” conference hailed his father as a “21st century prophet” akin to John the Baptist, appeared on American Family Radio last week to claim... MORE >