Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum: Democrats 'Sold Their Souls' For Immigrant Votes

Several months ago, fact-checkers completely debunked one of Rick Santorum’s talking points, that all of the net new jobs created in the U.S. since 2000 went to immigrants. However, just because the contention has absolutely no factual basis, doesn’t mean the former senator and likely presidential candidate has stopped making the claim.

Santorum trotted out the dishonest talking point once again during his speech today to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.

Not only did Santorum push the patently false claim, he then blamed Democrats for the mythical problem of immigrants stealing 6 million jobs from U.S. workers.

“The sad part is that the Democratic Party that used to be the party of working people have now sold their souls because they have read the polls and they realize the more people they can bring into this country, the higher percentage of votes they’re going to get,” Santorum said. “So they’re for unlimited immigration. Why? Because they’re going to get a high percentage of those votes, that’s what they care about. They care about workers who see their wages depressed and opportunities scarce? No. No they’ve long abandoned working men and women.”

Rick Santorum: Obama Community College Plan Meant To Create 'Another Layer Of Government Schools'

Rick Santorum, speaking on the Iowa conservative radio show Caffeinated Thoughts in March, argued that President Obama does not want to grant free community college to all in order to raise the number of college graduates and create an educated workforce, but rather wants to “eliminate” private sector programs in order to make way for “another layer of government schools.” 

 “It’s the same old stuff from the president,” he said, “which is, ‘Our schools don’t work, our schools don’t function to educate our children enough so they can get a job, so we’re going to bring in another layer of government schools to try to do this and you’re going to pay for it.’”

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Santorum criticized Obama’s effort to improve access to college as “snobbery” and a threat to “our freedoms.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/15/15

  • Brendan James @ TPM: Judith Miller And James O'Keefe Discuss Ethics In Journalism.
  • Media Matters: Limbaugh: The Civil Rights Movement Has Become "An Off-Shoot Of An Effort To Segregate People".
  • Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Boehner would fail his own test of patriotism.
  • Tom Boggioni @ Raw Story: Rick Santorum: Bruce Jenner can call himself a woman — but ‘obviously and biologically’ he’s not.
  • Kyler Geoffroy @ Towleroad: RNC to Approve Resolution Reaffirming Support of Discriminatory 'Religious Freedom' Measures.
  • Alan Colmes: Alex Jones: Jade Helm Purpose Is To Prepare Us For ‘Police State’.

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/14/15

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/13/15

Rick Santorum: Supreme Court Marriage Ruling Could Lead To Christians Being 'Persecuted And Maybe Even Prosecuted'

Rick Santorum’s movie studio, EchoLight Studios, issued a press release yesterday in anticipation of today’s arguments in the marriage cases before the Supreme Court, warning that a decision in favor of marriage equality could lead to the persecution of people who reject “the secularism that is now coming from the government.”

In the press release, Santorum warns that those “who want to live their life consistent with biblical teachings are not being given space to do that."

"It is an increasing view that if you are not with this new orthodoxy, the secularism that is now coming from the government, that these are the values that the government values. If you don't live up to those values, well then you can be persecuted and maybe even prosecuted for doing so," he added.

Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments to determine if same-sex marriage should be nationally recognized in the United States starting April 28. The outcome of these hearings, set for late June, could cause a potentially damaging ripple effect for conservative business owners who, based on their personal religious beliefs, do not want to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies as was explored in the award-winning EchoLight Studios documentary, "One Generation Away."

"One of the biggest changes in this country in the last four or five years is the level of hostility rising toward people of faith taking public viewpoints in their business or in the public square, even in schools and the military," said Former Senator and EchoLight CEO Rick Santorum. "Those who want to live their life consistent with biblical teachings are not being given space to do that. "

The backdrop to the Supreme Court holding this hearing is a number of high-profile cases of Christian business owners being forced by the government to provide services for same-sex weddings. As highlighted in "One Generation Away," which was released last September, there is a growing understanding that the redefinition of marriage cannot be separated from a loss of freedom.

"It is an increasing view that if you are not with this new orthodoxy, the secularism that is now coming from the government, that these are the values that the government values. If you don't live up to those values, well then you can be persecuted and maybe even prosecuted for doing so," concluded Santorum.
 

Santorum & Huckabee Join Anti-Gay Extremists In Vowing To Resist Marriage Equality Ruling

Likely GOP presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee have joined more than 200 anti-gay activists in signing a pledge vowing to resist any Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality.

The pledge, which was co-written by Mat Staver of the right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel and Deacon Keith Fournier, a Catholic activist who recently argued that marriage equality is quite literally an attack of the Devil, recycles the language of a similar document circulated by right-wing groups when the Supreme Court took up a previous set of marriage cases in 2013. Staver and a number of other activists introduced the current pledge at a press conference this morning.

Along with Huckabee and Santorum, signers include former House GOP leader Tom Delay; big players in the Religious Right including John Hagee, Samuel Rodriguez and Focus on the Family’s James Dobson; and fringe anti-gay activists including Peter LaBarbera, Matt Barber, Cindy JacobsLinda Harvey and Bradlee Dean.

Comparing any sweeping decision in favor of marriage equality to the Dred Scott case, the activists vow that they will not recognize such a decision and indicate that they would try to convince national and state executive branches not to enforce it.

The full text of the pledge:

We stand together in defense of marriage and the family and society founded upon them. While we come from a variety of communities and hold differing faith perspectives, we are united in our common affirmation of marriage.

On the matter of marriage, we stand in solidarity. We affirm that marriage and family have been inscribed by the Divine Architect into the order of Creation. Marriage is ontologically between one man and one woman, ordered toward the union of the spouses, open to children and formative of family. Family is the first vital cell of society, the first government, and the first mediating institution of our social order. The future of a free and healthy society passes through marriage and the family.

Marriage as existing solely between one man and one woman precedes civil government. Though affirmed, fulfilled, and elevated by faith, the truth that marriage can exist only between one man and one woman is not based on religion or revelation alone, but on the Natural Law, written on the human heart and discernible through the exercise of reason. It is part of the natural created order. The Natural Law is what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., referred to as a higher law or a just law in his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail.

Marriage is the preeminent and the most fundamental of all human social institutions. Civil institutions do not create marriage nor can they manufacture a right to marry for those who are incapable of marriage. Society begins with marriage and the family.

We pledge to stand together to defend marriage for what it is, a bond between one man and one woman, intended for life, and open to the gift of children.

The institutions of civil government should defend marriage and not seek to undermine it. Government has long regulated marriage for the true common good. Examples, such as the age of consent, demonstrate such a proper regulation to ensure the free and voluntary basis of the marriage bond. Redefining the very institution of marriage is improper and outside the authority of the State. No civil institution, including the United States Supreme Court or any court, has authority to redefine marriage.

As citizens united together, we will not stand by while the destruction of the institution of marriage unfolds in this nation we love. The effort to redefine marriage threatens the essential foundation of the family.

Experience and history have shown us that if the government redefines marriage to grant a legal equivalency to same-sex couples, that same government will then enforce such an action with the police power of the State. This will bring about an inevitable collision with religious freedom and conscience rights. The precedent established will leave no room for any limitation on what can constitute such a redefined notion of marriage or human sexuality. We cannot and will not allow this to occur on our watch. Religious freedom is the first freedom in the American experiment for good reason.

Conferring a moral and legal equivalency to any relationship other than marriage between a man and a woman, by legislative or judicial fiat, sends the message that children do not need a mother and a father. As a policy matter, such unions convey the message that moms and dads are completely irrelevant to the well-being of children. Such a policy statement is unconscionable and destructive. Authorizing the legal equivalency of marriage to same-sex couples undermines the fundamental rights of children and threatens their security, stability, and future.

Neither the United States Supreme Court nor any court has authority to redefine marriage and thereby weaken both the family and society. Unlike the Legislative Branch that has the power of the purse and the Executive Branch which has the figurative power of the sword, the Judicial Branch has neither. It must depend upon the Executive Branch for the enforcement of its decisions.

As the Supreme Court acknowledged in the 1992 decision of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, its power rests solely upon the legitimacy of its decisions in the eyes of the people. If the decisions of the Court are not based on the Constitution and reason, and especially if they are contrary to the natural created order, then the people will lose confidence in the Court as an objective arbiter of the law. If the people lose respect for the Court, the Court’s authority will be diminished.

The Supreme Court was wrong when it denied Dred Scott his rights and said, “blacks are inferior human beings.” And the Court was wrong when Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in Buck v. Bell, “three generations of imbeciles are enough,” thus upholding Virginia’s eugenics law that permitted forced sterilization. Shamefully, that decision was cited during the Nuremburg trials to support the Nazi eugenic holocaust.

In these earlier cases, the definition of “human” was at issue. Now the definition of “marriage” is at issue. The Constitution does not grant a right to redefine marriage — which is nonsensical since marriage intrinsically involves a man and a woman. Nor does the Constitution prohibit states from affirming the natural created order of male and female joined together in marriage.

We will view any decision by the Supreme Court or any court the same way history views the Dred Scott and Buck v. Bell decisions. Our highest respect for the rule of law requires that we not respect an unjust law that directly conflicts with higher law. A decision purporting to redefine marriage flies in the face of the Constitution and is contrary to the natural created order. As people of faith we pledge obedience to our Creator when the State directly conflicts with higher law. We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross this line.

We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve. While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross.

h/t RWW reader Erik

Santorum: Not Allowing Christians To Discriminate Is 'A Violation Of The Establishment Clause'

Earlier this week, Rick Santorum warned on the Family Research Council's radio program that not allowing Christian business owners to discriminate against gay customers in the name of "religious liberty" was essentially establishing a new secular theocracy in America.

This has obviously become Santorum's new line of attack, because he used it again when he recently sat down for a short interview with Randy Robison, son of Religious Right televangelist James Robison.

Santorum said that the courts and liberal activists have flipped Thomas Jefferson's famous "separation of church and state" on its head so that now Christians are being prohibited from exercising their faith in the public square.

"The separation now is people of faith can't tell the government what to do," he said. "In other words, we can't bring our faith claims into the public square to live them out fully. And that is an interesting thing because what people say now is 'anywhere the government is, faith can't be.' Well, where isn't the government?"

"I think you're also starting to see a violation of the Establishment Clause," Santorum continued, "because what we're seeing now is an establishment not of a traditional church that you and I [know], a Bible-based church, but a liberal orthodoxy that says you have to believe these things or else you're going to run afoul of the federal government":

Rick Santorum: Obama Established A Secular Theocracy

Rick Santorum appeared on Tony Perkins’s “Washington Watch” radio show yesterday to discuss national security threats from ISIS and Iran, but Perkins eventually moved the discussion to the “domestic threats” to the country: namely, gay marriage.

Perkins thanked Santorum for working with the Family Research Council on creating a short film about the dangers of marriage equality, which will be shown in participating churches on the Sunday before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Santorum told Perkins that, for the first time ever in U.S. history, religious liberty is under assault from a new secular theocratic system:

For the first time in the history of our country, the government is attacking people, prosecuting people, calling for people to be rehabilitated, constraining in the military with our chaplaincy. We now see chaplain after chaplain being dismissed for not accepting the secular orthodoxy that this administration wants to put forward, criticizing people for holding biblical truth and counseling them in a biblically coherent way. We see businesses being prosecuted. We see all sorts of activity on the legislative front, where they are pushing — as we saw in Indiana — pushing bills that simply protect employees’ rights to be able to practice their faith consistent within an employment situation. And those things which were unanimously passed are now being fought against.

It’s a hostility to religion that we’ve never seen in the history of our country. And I read an interesting article the other day; it’s actually not the free exercise of religion that is being attacked, it’s actually a new religion that is being established. So we have the state establishing a new religion, a secular state religion, a secular orthodoxy that everybody is going to have to comply with. We don’t have as the threat was at the time of our Founders, the Church of England imposing the English church on America. We have now the secular church that is being imposed on this country and anybody that defects is subject to persecution and prosecution. That is a very serious threat to liberty in America.

Anti-LGBT Group: Gay Marriage Violates Separation Of Church And State

The Family Research Council announced today that it has partnered with Rick Santorum’s film company, EchoLight Studios, to produce a short film for churches to air during the April 26 event “Stand for Marriage Sunday: Religious Freedom at Risk.

In the film, which features appearances by Santorum and Mike Huckabee, the FRC warns that a Supreme Court ruling striking down bans on same-sex marriage would jeopardize religious freedom and undermine the separation of church and state. The film mentions cases in Oregon and Washington state where a baker and florist, respectively, were sued for violating their states’ non-discrimination laws — not marriage laws — for refusing service to gay customers. (The baker and florist both lost their cases).

The new FRC film, narrated by the group’s president, Tony Perkins, points to the lawsuits as signs of a dark future in which the government will infringe on the rights of religious people in order to promote gay equality.

Watch highlights here:

Five Things To Know About Iowa GOP Kingmaker Bob Vander Plaats

Four Republican presidential candidates are set to appear at a forum in Iowa tonight hosted by one of the state’s best known political organizers: Bob Vander Plaats. Vander Plaats’ group, The Family Leader, along with the National Organization for Marriage, is hosting Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal for a “family leadership regional summit.” 

It’s no surprise that the candidates are courting Vander Plaats: He is widely seen as the organizing powerhouse behind Huckabee and Santorum’s successful 2008 and 2012 Iowa caucus campaigns. It’s even less surprising that Republican candidates are seeking to ingratiate themselves to one of the country’s most radical Religious Right activists.

Vander Plaats, although he has been unsuccessful in his own three attempts to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination, has put together a political coalition in Iowa that, along with carrying Huckabee and Santorum to caucus victories, helped to oust three state supreme court judges who had ruled in favor of marriage equality in the 2010 election. While a similar attempt two years later was unsuccessful, Vander Plaats has nonetheless become a major force in the state’s conservative movement.

5) Slavery Rhetoric

Warning Republicans not to “abandon their base” by softening their opposition to gay rights, Vander Plaats insists that fighting same-sex marriage is not a losing issue for the GOP. He believes that Republicans should stand up and be proud of their refusal to support marriage equality, just as the party fought to curb slavery during its founding era.

“We actually stand for what God has designed because, just like with slavery, the truth is on our side,” Vander Plaats said last year in an interview with right-wing talk show host Steve Deace. “We can win this battle.”

He told another outlet that Republicans shouldn’t even take the position that the states should decide their own marriage laws since same-sex marriage, like slavery, is unequivocally immoral: “You don’t leave slavery up to the states, nor should you. It’s either right or it’s wrong.” In a speech in 2012, Vander Plaats said that a court ruling in favor of marriage equality should be viewed as judicial overreach on the level of Dred Scott.

During the last presidential primary season, Vander Plaats tried to get Republican candidates to sign a pledge that, among other questionable provisions, suggested that African-American families were more stable under slavery than they are today.

4) Conspiracy Theories

In Vander Plaats’ world, the right to speak freely about “faithful heterosexual monogamy” is under attack, “Sharia Islam” is a menace in American politics and President Obama’s birth certificate is missing. (Vander Plaats has praised Donald Trump’s quixotic birther crusade as “bold.”)

Perhaps no issue has Vander Plaats more concerned than gay marriage, which he has called a grave threat to liberty and a Satanic plot. One video his group produced showed images of terrorist attacks and shootings alongside stories about same-sex couples’ weddings and gay members of the Boy Scouts to make a point about the “darkness” sweeping America

3) Gay Marriage Predictions

In his campaigns against marriage equality, Vander Plaats has done whatever it takes to scare voters about the dire consequences of gay rights. He warned that the legalization of same-sex marriage would lead to “tyranny” and sanction “a parent marrying their child.”

He defended his group’s comparison of homosexuality to second-hand smoke by explaining that both represent “a public health risk,” adding: “If we’re teaching the kids, ‘don’t smoke, because that’s a risky health style,’ the same can be true of the homosexual lifestyle.”

Vander Plaats also took the time to criticize an Iowa anti-bullying conference that focused on the targeting of LGBT youth, saying that the state should instead be promoting abstinence-only summits.

2) Crush on Putin

Vander Plaats may still be weighing which Republican candidate to endorse this year, but he has already thrown his support behind one foreign leader: Russian President Vladimir Putin. When Putin signed a law that effectively bans speech in support of gay rights, Vander Plaats praised the Russian president for saying “you know what, don’t bring this homosexual propaganda into my country.”

He said that Putin now encapsulates the traditionally American values of “military might, decisive action, core values, morality, beliefs.”

“He’s taken what used to be our strengths, which has now defaulted into our weaknesses because of Barack Obama, no leadership, and he’s making them his strengths and he’s emerging now on the world stage as a newly discovered leader,” Vander Plaats said back in 2013.

1) No Separation of Church and State

While Vander Plaats’ prediction about gay marriage ushering in adult-child marriage has come true in exactly zero of the dozens of states with marriage equality, he was prophetic in one respect: Vander Plaats advocated for governors to ignore court rulings on the marriage question well before it became a widespread sentiment among conservatives.

Vander Plaats insists that a governor can simply set aside any ruling that violates his or her reading of the Bible, insisting that if a judge legalizes marriage equality in a state, the state’s governor should simply issue an executive order “that places a stay on the judge’s decision” since it “goes against the law of nature and the law of nature’s God, which means, it’s against the Constitution.”

Vander Plaats believes that the U.S. government must fall under God’s jurisdiction and follow “God’s principles and precepts,” not just on social issues like marriage but also in economic and foreign policies.

“If you believe what you say you believe, that marriage is foundational and it’s between a man and a woman, which is what He says he believes, then you got to stand up for that, because that’s the law of nature, that’s the law of nature’s God, that’s the Declaration of Independence, which this whole country was founded on,” he said last year.

Vander Plaats specifically pointed to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, calling it a travesty that created a “constitutional crisis” by “defying the law of nature and the law of nature’s God” and “going against the document that predates the Constitution.”

Santorum Says He'll Be A Strong Leader Because He Backed Gay Sex Bans

At a meeting with Iowa state legislators yesterday recorded by the Iowa conservative blog Caffeinated Thoughts, Rick Santorum boasted that he proved himself as a strong leader when he opposed the 2003 Supreme Court decision striking down anti-gay “sodomy” bans. Without such leadership against LGBT rights, he warned, “life as we know it, particularly the family, is going to be on a very, very bad track over the long term.”

Addressing the controversy over so-called “religious freedom” measures in Arkansas and Indiana that were softened by legislators to make it more difficult to use them as a cover for discrimination, Santorum lamented that “what happened there was the media created a firestorm and leaders didn’t lead.”

“I’ve been through that firestorm,” he explained. “I go back 13 years to when I was in the Senate and stood up and said, ‘If the Supreme Court decides a case this way, then all these bad things are going to start happening.’ And I said we would have same-sex marriage in this country in ten years. I was wrong: it was five years. And I was put through a national wringer like no one had been put through and I have been put through over and over and over again because I am not going to back down from what I believe is the right course for our country.”

Although Santorum likes to claim that all of his dire predictions about the aftermath of Lawrence v. Texas came true, that isn’t exactly accurate. He told CNN at the time: "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything."

“I always say, whether it’s religious liberty now or the marriage issue or a whole bunch of other things, we’re losing these arguments simply because we’re not making them,” Santorum said in Iowa. “We’re not making them because we’re intimidated from them. If that continues, then life as we know it, particularly the family, is going to be on a very, very bad track over the long term.”

He added that he was a strong leader during the Indiana and Arkansas controversies because he was “fighting for the truth and not the perversion that we saw the media try to ram down the public’s throat about what Indiana and Arkansas were doing.”

Rick Santorum: 'Rise Up' Before Liberals Destroy Freedom

On the weekend edition of the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch,” Rick Santorum told Tony Perkins that the fights in Indiana and Arkansas over right-to-discriminate laws are part of a larger “assault” on religious freedom.

“The corporate community now has bought in with the popular culture and bought in with the left,” Santorum said. “This is not the gay community, this is the left of America trying to impose their will on the church and on the family and really to, in my opinion, devastating consequences.”

The former Pennsylvania senator and likely presidential candidate said Americans must “begin to push back and rise up” against left-wing officials who are bent on “imposing their will on people of faith.”

Paranoia-Rama: Gays To Blame For California Drought & Obama's Plan To Nuke Charleston Exposed!

While liberals are busy destroying freedom, committing voter fraud and “glitter bombing,” it seems that many of us failed to hear the news that President Obama almost nuked an American city. Thankfully, God stopped him...

A Spiritual Battle For America's Future: Five Takeaways From The Religious Right's Awakening Conference

On Saturday, roughly 2,000 activists gathered at Faith Assembly, a megachurch in Orlando, for the Awakening, an annual “Prayer and Patriotism event” organized by the Christian Right legal group Liberty Counsel. The Awakening, which Liberty Counsel organizes under the auspices of an amalgam of Religious Right groups called the Freedom Federation, brings together activists from the evangelical Right with the GOP politicians who want their votes.

At this year's event, GOP politicians including Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal (via video) and RNC faith director Chad Connelly shared a stage with far-right activists including "ex-gays," a phony ex-terrorist and at least two Religious Right leaders who insist that AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality. 

Here are five takeaways from a day with the core of the Religious Right.

1. Gay Marriage Will Send Christians To Jail

While some on the Right may be trying to shy away from the issue of marriage equality now that it could be on its way to a Supreme Court victory, the activists at the Awakening were not among them. Throughout the conference, marriage between gay and lesbian couples was portrayed as a demonic and existential threat to liberty, one that if allowed to proceed would end in Christianity being outlawed and Christians thrown in jail.

The Republican National Committee’s faith outreach director, Chad Connelly, who was moderating a panel on abortion rights, echoed the Religious Right’s rhetoric when he warned that LGBT rights activists are “coming for the church.”

Far-right pastor Rick Scarborough, who was sitting beside him, agreed that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality, pastors will be forced to “participate in same-sex marriage ” or be thrown in jail. Liberty Counsel’s Harry Mihet, moderating a separate panel, issued a similar warning.

Scarborough repeated his warning when he told activists that a pro-equality Supreme Court ruling would outlaw anti-gay speech, thus undermining “the whole nature of America.”

Multiple speakers compared a potential Supreme Court decision on marriage equality to Dred Scott, the infamous pre-Civil War decision that barred African Americans from citizenship, declaring that it should be met with similar resistance.

2. Losing The Church on Gay Rights Issues

Although the Awakening took place in what appeared to be a generationally diverse, multiethnic church, the crowd at the conference was overwhelmingly older and white. Throughout the conference, speakers bemoaned the fact that the Religious Right was losing support among younger Christians for its political agenda, especially its opposition to LGBT rights.

Liberty University’s Rena Lindevaldsen told the audience at a breakout panel on “sexual rebellion” that when fellow conservative Christians ask her what the “big deal” is about LGBT rights, she responds “it’s a big deal because it’s a big deal to God.” Marriage equality, she told the enthusiastic audience, matters to God because it is “the heart of where Satan’s attacking”:

Evangelist Franklin Graham also lamented that “a lot of pastors have quit preaching against homosexuality” out of fear of offending people in their churches who might have gay relatives. He told the audience that “God will bless you and he’ll honor you” if you “don’t shut up” about gay rights and abortion:

This was a crowd that had not given up on discredited “ex-gay” therapy. An “ex-lesbian” activist, Janet Boynes, was given a main stage speaking slot and “ex-gay” activist Greg Quinlan earned a roaring round of applause from the audience at the “sexual rebellion” panel when he announced that he had been “out of homosexuality for 27 years.”

3. A Spiritual Battle Against Islam And Progressivism

Just as the crowd at the Awakening was upset that the conservative movement and the church have supposedly become less invested in fighting LGBT rights, they were also wary of any overtures between Christians and Muslims.

Graham declared that “Islam is a wicked system” and blasted Christians who say that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.

Kamal Saleem, the self-proclaimed “ex-terrorist” whose personal story has never quite held up to scrutiny , also warned that churches are being “invaded by ‘Chrislam,’” lamenting that Americans are oblivious to the dangers of radical Islam: “We’re watching American Idol and they are doing jihad.” He also warned of what he called “jihad of the womb,” or Muslim immigrants giving birth in order to outnumber Christians.

What activists at the Awakening saw as a war against Islam was merely part of a larger “spiritual battle” between good and evil, God and Satan. In the panel discussion he led on LGBT rights, Matt Barber declared that there is an “Islamo-progressive axis of evil” with a “common enemy”: Christians.

Maine pastor Ken Graves repeated that theme when he declared that American Christians are fighting “militant Islam” and “militant homofascism” and secularists who want to establish a “secular humanist caliphate”:

4. Time Is Running Out On America, And It’s Up To The Church To Save It

Throughout the day, speakers warned that America is running out of time before it is lost forever, and that it is up to conservative Christians to get involved in politics to save the country.

Graham told the crowd that he is more politically outspoken than his father, Billy Graham, because America is in a more dire state of secularism. “When my father was born, the Ten Commandments were on the wall of every school in America. When my father was born, the teachers still led the class in the Lord’s Prayer. Our country is not that anymore,” he said, declaring that the 2016 election is the last chance for the Religious Right to save the country.

Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate, delivered a similar message, warning that “we are heading down in a direction that, let’s be honest, no civilization has ever been able to recover from.” Conservative Christians, he declared, must reinvest themselves in politics in order, to among other things, put the Bible in public schools:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, another likely GOP presidential hopeful, told the crowd that prayer was needed to bring about “spiritual revival” and change the political direction of the country: “If God’s people truly pray down a spiritual awakening, then the political landscape will change.”

“This country did not start because some people had some brilliant ideas, although they did. This country happened because God’s providence was the foundation of their brilliant ideas,” Huckabee said. “Because of his inspiration, this country has been sustained throughout all of its history because of God’s specific intervention in helping us to win battles we should never have one and in keeping us from losing battles we should have lost.”

The RNC’s Connelly also made a plug for conservative churches to engage in partisan politics , urging pastors to buck IRS rules preventing politicking from the pulpit and declaring that “voting is not political, it’s spiritual.”

5. The Religious Right And The GOP Still Need Each Other

One of the strangest moments of the day came when a George W. Bush impersonator walked onto the stage with Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver as he introduced Huckabee. Staver jokingly reassured the audience that it was not the former president’s brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has clashed with the Religious Right over gay rights issues. It seemed to be a spontaneous addition to the program, it was hard not to see it also as a reminder to the audience of the potential power of the evangelical vote.

Unlike the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, which has become the flagship gathering of the GOP and the Religious Right, the Awakening tends to attract only true believers in the cause. This year, Santorum and Huckabee spoke, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal submitted a video message. Connelly, who heads the GOP’s outreach to evangelical voters, moderated a panel on abortion rights, but largely deflected difficult questions from the far-right crowd.

Connelly did not, however, shy away from right-wing conspiracy theories, responding to a question about the “culture of death” in end-of-life care by claiming that the Affordable Care Act’s mythical “death panels” are “a reality":

It was clear throughout the day that however wary the Religious Right and the GOP establishment may be of each other, they still need each other. Speakers like Graham urged conservative Christians to revive the powerful Religious Right pressure machine to win GOP politicians to their side, whether or not they agreed with their issues. Meanwhile, the presence of the GOP candidates and Connelly indicated that this is a voting bloc that is still important to the party, however extreme its priorities may be.

Remember That Time Obama Almost Nuked Charleston?

When Rick Santorum joined other GOP presidential hopefuls for a “national security” summit hosted by right-wing conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney last weekend, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that they would encounter fringe conspiracy theorists in the audience, including one activist who asked Santorum a winding question about immigration, an imminent communist takeover and President Obama’s plot to nuke Charleston, South Carolina.

As we reported on Monday, Santorum responded to the activist’s accusation not by rebutting her conspiracy theory but by taking offense to her claim that Santorum, a former U.S. senator, had some responsibility for the congressional GOP leadership’s response to Obama’s immigration actions. He went on to label the president a “tyrant.”

The story of Obama’s purported plot to detonate a nuclear bomb in Charleston, which the questioner said occurred just “a few months ago,” has been circulating in far-right outlets for several years.

Essentially, the story goes that Obama planned to nuke Charleston as part of a false flag attack to build support for the U.S. entering the war in Syria or another conflict.

Dave Weigel posted a breakdown of the wild accusation, which unsurprisingly, involves “InfoWars” host Alex Jones:

Jim Garrow, a fringe activist who occasionally appears in far-right media outlets insisting that he is a former intelligence agent out to expose Obama’s plan to speak to aliens, launch a Canadian invasion of the U.S. and kill 300 million Americans, has also promoted the claim, with a twist involving George Soros.

Garrow pointed to a spike in dolphin deaths, which were likely caused by the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, as proof that three U.S. military officials thwarted Obama’s plot by detonating a nuclear bomb in the ocean, keeping Charleston safe from attack. 

He told Jones that these three patriots, along with God, stopped Obama by safely detonating one of the devices off of the Carolina coast. Garrow’s bizarre claims must have struck a chord, as he appeared last year alongside then-Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., and aspiring anti-Obama coup leader Paul Vallely at a Michigan “Freedom Summit.”

Rick Santorum: A Religious Right Crusader Masquerading As A 'Blue Collar' Conservative

Since losing to Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican presidential primary season, Rick Santorum has tried to position himself as the “anti-Romney.” The former Pennsylvania senator isn’t just a conservative warrior on issues like immigration, legal abortion and gay rights;

Rick Santorum: Obama 'Intentionally' Allowing Evil To 'Prosper Around The World'

Before criticizing President Obama as a “tyrant” hell-bent on destroying America, Rick Santorum told a conservative conference in South Carolina this weekend that the president is allowing “evil” to flourish across the globe.

“I can spend an entire speech talking about how this president has ignored evil, has misinterpreted evil, has maybe even intentionally turned his back to evil and let it prosper around the world,” Santorum said, in remarks first reported by The Hill.

Santorum added that war is on the horizon since “this president is doing everything that is necessary to create conditions for evil to expand and for war to break out.”

Rick Santorum Tells Wild Conspiracy Theorist That 'Tyrant' Obama Is Destroying America

When Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz decided to speak at a South Carolina summit over the weekend hosted by birther, anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney, it was no surprise that they encountered activists who were, let’s say, a bit on the fringe.

For example, one attendee asked Santorum why Republicans in Congress did nothing to stop “communist dictator” Obama from “destroying my country,” mentioning the president’s executive actions on immigration and the time when “Obama tried to blow up a nuke in Charleston a few months ago.” (In case you aren’t familiar, several far-right outlets and pundits have embraced a bizarre claim that Obama tried to nuke Charleston as part of a potential false flag operation). “I want him out of the White House, he’s not a citizen and he could’ve been removed a long time ago,” she added.

Santorum told the questioner that congressional Republicans are showing a “complete lack of leadership” in failing to stop Obama’s “dangerous” immigration actions: “As you’ve mentioned, the word tyrant comes to mind.”

He said that just as the courts have embraced “judicial supremacy,” Obama is now seizing powers from Congress, whose members don’t realize that “there is a fire ranging that’s going to burn the whole forest down as you worry about the tree in front of you.”

“This is the unraveling,” Santorum said, explaining that Republicans should have “shut down the government,” refused to confirm any nominee or “pass any bills” in order to have “hearing after hearing after hearing on the unconstitutionality of what this president has done.”

Later in the summit, an attendee told Santorum that Obama is an “Iranian plant” who is working with Valerie Jarrett to secretly help the Iranian regime.

Rick Santorum: 'Yes We Can' Put The Bible Back In Public Schools

In a speech Saturday to the far-right Awakening conference organized by Liberty Counsel, Rick Santorum told the audience of pastors and activists that it was up to them to save America by, in part, getting Bibles back in public schools.

“We are on a crossroads in American history, a crossroads that looks like we are heading down in a direction that, let’s be honest, no civilization has ever been able to recover from,” Santorum warned, adding that the nation needs to return to God.

“The left cannot be successful in a country of God-given rights,” he said. “It can’t. Because they want to be the purveyor of rights, and if God is the purveyor of rights, then they lose. We have an obligation to educate, to form, within our churches to preach, within our families to educate, and to fight within our schools. Why are Bibles no longer in public schools? Don’t give me the Supreme Court. The reason Bibles are no longer in the public schools is because we let them take them out of the public schools.”

He added a variation on President Obama’s campaign chant: “You say, ‘Well we can’t get them back in.’ Yes we can. Yes we can!”

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Rick Santorum Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Thursday 05/21/2015, 4:20pm
Several months ago, fact-checkers completely debunked one of Rick Santorum’s talking points, that all of the net new jobs created in the U.S. since 2000 went to immigrants. However, just because the contention has absolutely no factual basis, doesn’t mean the former senator and likely presidential candidate has stopped making the claim. Santorum trotted out the dishonest talking point once again during his speech today to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. Not only did Santorum push the patently false claim, he then blamed Democrats for the mythical problem of... MORE >
Mikayla Bean, Tuesday 05/19/2015, 3:17pm
Rick Santorum, speaking on the Iowa conservative radio show Caffeinated Thoughts in March, argued that President Obama does not want to grant free community college to all in order to raise the number of college graduates and create an educated workforce, but rather wants to “eliminate” private sector programs in order to make way for “another layer of government schools.”   “It’s the same old stuff from the president,” he said, “which is, ‘Our schools don’t work, our schools don’t function to educate our... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 05/15/2015, 5:36pm
Brendan James @ TPM: Judith Miller And James O'Keefe Discuss Ethics In Journalism. Media Matters: Limbaugh: The Civil Rights Movement Has Become "An Off-Shoot Of An Effort To Segregate People". Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Boehner would fail his own test of patriotism. Tom Boggioni @ Raw Story: Rick Santorum: Bruce Jenner can call himself a woman — but ‘obviously and biologically’ he’s not. Kyler Geoffroy @ Towleroad: RNC to Approve Resolution Reaffirming Support of Discriminatory 'Religious Freedom' Measures. Alan Colmes... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 05/14/2015, 5:34pm
Jeremy Hooper: Here's the latest conservative outlet equating gay rights with slavery; yes, slavery, and yes, literally. Andrew Kaczynski & Megan Apper @ BuzzFeed: Rick Santorum: Men Who Father Children With Multiple Women Are “Sexual Predators”. Eric Boehlert @ Media Matters: Where's The Media's Ebola Mea Culpa? David Edwards @ Raw Story: Allen West throws tantrum at Pope: He’s full of ‘disdain and anti-Semitism’ for recognizing Palestine. Dara Lind @ Vox: Fox News: We don't call the poor "leeches." Jon Stewart:... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 05/13/2015, 5:34pm
Simon Maloy @ Salon: The Ebola buffoons get humiliated: The politicians and pundits who were the wrongest about Ebola. Hatewatch: Anti-Abortion Extremist Neal Horsley Has Died. Joe Jervis: Austin Ruse: Satan Controls JMG Readers. Eric Hananoki @ Media Matters: How Fox News Viewers Ended Up On Mike Huckabee's Campaign Email List. Joan Shipps @ Raw Story: GOP congresswoman warns of Christian persecution in America — can’t name one example. MORE >
Miranda Blue, Tuesday 04/28/2015, 3:43pm
Rick Santorum’s movie studio, EchoLight Studios, issued a press release yesterday in anticipation of today’s arguments in the marriage cases before the Supreme Court, warning that a decision in favor of marriage equality could lead to the persecution of people who reject “the secularism that is now coming from the government.” In the press release, Santorum warns that those “who want to live their life consistent with biblical teachings are not being given space to do that." "It is an increasing view that if you are not with this new orthodoxy,... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Friday 04/24/2015, 2:05pm
Likely GOP presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee have joined more than 200 anti-gay activists in signing a pledge vowing to resist any Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality. The pledge, which was co-written by Mat Staver of the right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel and Deacon Keith Fournier, a Catholic activist who recently argued that marriage equality is quite literally an attack of the Devil, recycles the language of a similar document circulated by right-wing groups when the Supreme Court took up a previous set of marriage cases in 2013. Staver and a number... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 04/24/2015, 11:07am
Earlier this week, Rick Santorum warned on the Family Research Council's radio program that not allowing Christian business owners to discriminate against gay customers in the name of "religious liberty" was essentially establishing a new secular theocracy in America. This has obviously become Santorum's new line of attack, because he used it again when he recently sat down for a short interview with Randy Robison, son of Religious Right televangelist James Robison. Santorum said that the courts and liberal activists have flipped Thomas Jefferson's famous "... MORE >