Rick Santorum

President Santorum Won't Enforce Gay Marriage Ruling Since It's A 'Violation Of The First Amendment'

Rick Santorum called into Glenn Beck's radio program this morning, where he warned that if the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage, it will be an unconstitutional establishment of religion that, when he becomes president, he will not enforce.

Citing the absurd claims made by David Barton on his radio program yesterday, Beck warned that if the Supreme Court strikes down gay marriage bans, the government will strip churches of their tax-exempt status and force them to perform gay marriages, and asked Santorum how he would respond to this if he is elected president.

"This is tantamount to government establishing religion," Santorum said. "When the United States government comes in and says this is what you are going to believe, this is how you're going to practice your faith, this is a new religion. This violates, in my opinion, the Establishment Clause in the Constitution that says that Congress shall make no law with respect to an establishment of religion. If the government goes around and tells churches what they have to believe in and what their doctrine is, that is something that is a violation of the First Amendment."

Santorum said that he holds out hope that the Supreme Court will rule against marriage equality advocates "because there is no way that the left will stop at mere tolerance, they will demand conformity, they will demand it from the church, they will demand it from every institution, they will demand it from businesses and there will be no tolerance to a different point of view on this issue."

But if the Supreme Court does legalize gay marriage, Santorum said that, as president, he will fight it.

"If they get it wrong and the consequences are what I suspect they will be toward people of faith," he said, "then this president will fight back."

Religious Right Angry At Business Support For Marriage Equality

Conservative religious leaders have been delighted to work with parts of corporate America – most notably the Koch brothers’ political networks – to elect candidates who back right-wing social and economic policies. Religious conservatives have championed Citizens United and the demolition of regulations on campaign cash. The Kochs even promote Religious Right leaders who tell their followers that the Bible opposes minimum wage laws, unions, and progressive taxes. But many of America’s biggest companies have also become supporters of equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, and that’s making religious conservatives angry.

When a number of major corporations pushed back hard against an anti-gay “religious freedom” law in Indiana, Gov. Mike Pence asked the legislature to amend the law to state that it would not allow businesses to discriminate. And that made the Religious Right furious. Reliably pro-business Republican presidential candidates like Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal have been attacking big business support for gay rights in a sometimes awkward attempt at right-wing populist rhetoric.

Today’s mail brought a direct mail letter from the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins complaining, “Big Business has joined the anti-Christian bullies!” Perkins warns that “the seduction of Big Business by the homosexual rights movement is the main reason that movement has gained such momentum over our freedom to believe and live according to those beliefs.” Perkins asks for donations to “Stop Big Business’s Assault on Religious Freedom” and to support an FRC initiative to talk to business leaders and bring them around.

Another direct mail piece from Perkins, this time for FRC’s political arm, FRC Action, arrived the same day, in an envelope emblazoned with, “When you can’t make a living because you’re a Christian…THAT’S NOT FREEDOM.” The letter complains that “big corporations are foolishly aligning with the Left’s social agenda” and pledges that FRC Action will help states “create and pass a protective wall of religious freedom laws.” Perkins gripes about business opposition to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act:

The media published incredible false claims about what the law said and what the law would do. Hollywood celebrities, giant corporations, sports leagues, and even other states became a national lynch mob. They threatened and enacted boycotts of the state.

Tragically the governor ultimately caved in to these pressures. With the corporate community threatening boycotts and economic loss to the state, it appears that many political leaders in the state were more concerned about economic issues than moral truth, religious freedom, and the well-being of the family.

Over at conservative journal First Things, University of Notre Dame Professor Patrick Deneen says it is clear that in Indiana, “Republicans and Christians lost, Democrats and gay activists won.” (Of course this simplistic formulation ignores the Christian leaders who were allied with LGBT activists in opposing the law.) Deneen, a critic of both corporate capitalism and liberal democracy, blames the outcome in Indiana on business involvement:

Had the only appreciable opposition to RFRA come from gay rights activists, RFRA would have been a smashing political success for Republicans. It would have made the right enemies while generating gratitude and energy in the base. They did not expect their usual friends in corporate America to join the opposition, which was an idiotic miscalculation given the fact that establishment outrage scuttled the Arizona RFRA last year.

Deneen wrote last year that “The modern corporation and modern marriage are born of the same philosophical roots: rootless individuals seeking self-gratification in whatever way they see fit, short of ‘harming’ another.” In his First Things article, he portrays corporations standing with LGBT groups as a smart business decision given pro-gay shifts in public attitudes. But he calls the gay-rights collaboration between cultural and economic “elites” a dangerous alignment that is “ready to steamroll anyone in their way.” After Indiana, he says, “religiously based opposition to gay marriage is now more likely than ever to be treated by our society as tantamount to a hate crime,” and warns that the “elite-sanctioned attack on ‘bigotry’” will “reach inevitably into the sanctuaries of the churches themselves.”

Rick Santorum 'Worries' About Anti-Government Rhetoric. Has He Heard His Own Speeches?

Former Pennsylvania senator and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said yesterday at a campaign stop in Iowa that he worries “about anti-government rhetoric,” according to a local paper and to Washington Post reporter James Hohmann, who tweeted about the remark:

Really? The Santorum we know has spent the entire Obama presidency stoking mistrust of the federal government. Here are just fifteen examples, in no particular order, of Santorum’s anti-government rhetoric in the past few years.

1. When he claimed that Obama is a ‘tyrant’ hell-bent on destroying America

2. When he said that Obama “intentionally turned his back on evil and let it prosper around the world”

3. When he argued that Obama is establishing a secular theocracy that will carry out the “persecution and prosecution” of Christians

4. When he had this calm reaction to Obamacare:

5. And this reaction to Obamacare

"If we have a system where the government is going to be the principal provider of health care for the country, we're done. Because then, you are dependent on the government for your life and your health...When Thatcher ran for prime minister she said - remember this, this is the Iron Lady - she said, 'The British national health care system is safe in my hands.' She wasn't going to take on health care, because she knew once you have people getting free health care from the government, you can't take it away from them. And the reason is because most people don't get sick, and so free health care is just that, free health care, until you get sick. Then, if you get sick and you don't get health care, you die and you don't vote. It's actually a pretty clever system. Take care of the people who can vote and people who can't vote, get rid of them as quickly as possible by not giving them care so they can't vote against you. That's how it works."

6. And this reaction to Obamacare

7. When he claimed that in Obama’s America, religious people are on “the path” to being beheaded like clergy in the French Revolution

8. When he warned that Christians must fight “persecution” in America to stop us from turning into Nazi Germany

9. When he claimed Obama is faking a war with ISIS and allowing the persecution of Christians

10. When he warned of the hidden Obamacare agenda of using pre-natal testing to “cull the ranks of disabled” who are “less able than the elites who want to govern our society”

11. When he said the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities would empower the government to kill his daughter

“In the case of our 4-year-old daughter, Bella, who has Trisomy 18, a condition that the medical literature says is 'incompatible with life,' would her 'best interest' be that she be allowed to die? Some would undoubtedly say so.

So if the state, and not Karen and I, would have the final word on what is in the best interest of a child like Bella, what chance would a parent have to get appropriate care in the days of increasingly government-funded medical care?

Proponents have said that Section 7 would not affect a parent’s right under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, but the education standards of CRPD do not repeat the parental rights rules of past U.N. human-rights treaties. Omission of these rules combined with Section 7 could lead to the elimination of parental rights for the education of children with disabilities.

These issues become real for parents because, despite what the proponents insist, ratifying the treaty will require changes to U.S. laws to comply with the U.N. provisions. Section 4 requires any country that adopts this treaty 'to adopt all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention.'”

12. When he claimed the health care reform’s contraception mandate is “a descendent of the French Revolution”

13. When he told Bryan Fischer that business owners who refuse service to gay customers have been sent to “reeducation camps” and pastors will soon be jailed or martyred

14. When he said the Democrats are worried Obama will go to Indonesia and “bow to more Muslims

15. And, last but not least, when he said that the president “has a deep-seated antipathy toward American values and traditions

“Watching President Obama apologize last week for America's arrogance - before a French audience that owes its freedom to the sacrifices of Americans - helped convince me that he has a deep-seated antipathy toward American values and traditions.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/27/15

Rick Santorum's 5 Worst Smears: Attacking Gay Rights, Working Women & Church-State Separation

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum announced today that he will once again be running for president. And why not, since while he failed to clinch the Republican nomination in 2012, by coming in second place to Mitt Romney he helped resuscitate a political career that had ended with a blowout reelection defeat in 2006.

In the meantime, Santorum has been writing for the conspiracy theory website WorldNetDaily and managing, not very successfully, a Christian film studio.

Santorum hopes to build support from the farthest right base of the GOP, one which adamantly opposes gay equality and any step towards immigration reform and wants to turn back the clock on women’s rights. Santorum’s candidacy, as evidenced by his 2012 victories in Iowa and the Deep South, show that the Republican Party’s polarizing far-right flank has held on to its influential role, even as it jeopardizes the party’s ability to win elections and improve its image with the general public.

Here are five of Santorum’s worst policies, which give just a taste of what the GOP’s far-right base is craving:

1) Gay Equality

Santorum may have won the most publicity, or notoriety, for his fiery attacks on not only gay marriage but gay rights in general, boasting about his support for laws banning consensual gay sex and predicting that gays will “murder” the Boy Scouts.

He has warned that same-sex marriage could possibly lead to sibling marriages“man on child” and “man on dog” marriages, the criminalization of free speech and “the destruction of our republic.” Calling marriage equality a violation of “natural law” and the “death knell” of marriage, Santorum also warned that same-sex marriage could threaten the future of civilization itself.

He has also pushed for bans on adoption by same-sex parents as a “common sense” strategy to help children.

2) Church-State Separation

Insisting that the notion of the separation of church and state is an un-American idea that actually comes from communism, Santorum points to church-state separation as a reason to criticize the Obama administration, gay rights and secular government.

“We have the state establishing a new religion, a secular state religion, a secular orthodoxy that everybody is going to have to comply with,” he said last month. “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.”

Public schools, according to Santorum, should ban secular teachings from the classroom because secularism has become “a religion.” He also said there will be “agitation” in American society until civil laws “comport” with divine laws.

He also produced a film with the far-right Family Research Council, which he also appears in, warning that gay rights laws violate the “wall of separation.” Santorum criticized laws barring discrimination against gay people as “a violation of the Establishment Clause” and signed a petition vowing to defy any Supreme Court decision striking down gay marriage laws.

3) Women’s Rights

In 2012, Santorum pledged that if he were elected president he would discuss “the dangers of contraception in this country,” claiming that contraception is “not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” He claimed contraception access is an “important public policy issue” since it negatively impacts society and makes people “deconstruct” sex “to the point where it’s simply about pleasure.”

During his 2012 campaign, Santorum signed a Personhood USA pledge to support personhood laws, which would ban common corms of birth control, and railed against the health care reform law’s contraception mandate by calling it a “descendent of the French Revolution.”

A supporter of criminalizing abortion in all cases, Santorum expressed nostalgia for back-alley abortions and advocated banning abortion even in cases of rape and incest, when the fetus has no chance of survival and when the pregnant woman’s health is at the risk.

Santorum advised survivors of rape who get pregnant that they should “accept what God has given” them and “make the best out of a bad situation.”

He has denounced not only reproductive rights but also women entering the workforce, which he said was the result of a “radical feminists” bent on “undermining the traditional family.”

4) Immigration

Santorum has called on the GOP to amp up its anti-immigrant rhetoric as a way to appeal to working-class voters, falsely claiming that every new job created in the U.S. over the last decade went to immigrants instead of native-born workers. He has also demanded that the U.S. cut legal immigration to levels last seen around 1880.

While criticizing Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration reform, Santorum denounced Obama as a “tyrant” who “acted against the Constitution” and “back[ed] Americans in a corner.”

He pledged to veto the DREAM Act, saying that young people brought to the U.S. as kids should simply “go back” to “Mexico.” However, he said that the U.S should immediately grant legal status to a German family who refused to go back to Germany because of its country’s laws limiting homeschooling.

5) Conspiracy Theories

While working with a far-right homeschooling group, Santorum was the public face of a successful campaign to block Senate ratification of a disability rights treaty. Santorum warned that the treaty could empower the government to kill his daughter, who has Trisomy 18, and told Glenn Beck that the “radical” treaty was inspired by “Marxist-socialist/progressive” ideas.

Santorum has also suggested that Obama travels the globe to “bow to Muslims,” warned of mass euthanasia in the Netherlands, called climate change science a “hoax” and an “absolute travesty” and insisted that conservative Christians are facing horrendous persecution, including potential jail time and martyrdom, in the U.S.

Satanic Bonus

While Santorum deflects any criticism of his interpretation of Christianity as an attack on religious freedom, he has no problem warning that mainline Protestant churches, along with universities and the government, are under the influence of the Devil:

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.

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Rick Santorum Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/21/2015, 4:40pm
Former Sen. Rick Santorum appeared on “Boston Herald Live” today, where he blamed the social safety net on the rise of single parenthood, which he somehow managed to link to gay-inclusive books in schools, and the supposed blackout of books about families led by opposite-sex couples. “I know in the schools in Massachusetts, in the grade school, they teach — there are books in place that say ‘Suzy has two moms,’ it’s okay to put a book that says ‘Suzy has two moms’ but you can’t put a book in there saying that moms and dads and... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/20/2015, 4:25pm
Last week on “Washington Watch,” Rick Santorum spoke to Family Research Council President Tony Perkins about an anti-choice group’s deceptively edited video targeting Planned Parenthood, arguing that the reproductive health organization has been corrupt from the get-go. “The person who started Planned Parenthood was a racist, was a segregationist, was a eugenicist, and they have not strayed far at all from their original idea, which is to deconstruct humanity,” Santorum said. Santorum also suggested that President Obama is hypocritical for supporting Planned... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/15/2015, 10:50am
Yesterday on “The Simon Conway Show,” Rick Santorum fielded a question about the heavily edited video purporting to show a Planned Parenthood official trying to sell fetal tissue. The unedited video makes clear that she was actually “discussing the reimbursement cost for consensual, legal tissue donations.” Santorum, ignoring the fact that the video’s claims were quickly debunked, called for a full-scale government investigation into Planned Parenthood and criminal prosecution. He also linked his war against Planned Parenthood to the recent debate over... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/13/2015, 11:40am
Rick Santorum has been boasting recently that his prediction of legal man-dog and adult-child marriages has come true with the Supreme Court’s decision last month to strike down bans on same-sex marriage, making the case once again last week on Family Research Council President Tony Perkins’ “Washington Watch” program. Santorum told Perkins that the recent marriage decision was “an inevitability” because of Roe v. Wade. “Roe v. Wade is the cancer that is eating away at the body of American freedom and we’re turning into this oligarchy of judges... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Friday 07/10/2015, 11:57am
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told the National Right to Life Committee’s convention this morning that the Supreme Court’s decision striking down bans on gay marriage was part of the spread of the “cancer” that began with Roe v. Wade. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is a very difficult time in America,” the GOP presidential candidate said. “We’ve seen some court decisions that I know have people very upset about what the future of the family and marriage and our culture is looking like.” Roe v. Wade, he said, is “the cancer... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 07/07/2015, 11:30am
Back in 2003, not long before the Supreme Court struck down laws criminalizing sodomy in 13 states in the Lawrence v. Texas decision, then-Sen. Rick Santorum made his infamous statement that if the court struck down such laws, it would ultimately destroy marriage and the family because then "you have the right to anything," including pedophilia and "man on dog" relationships: If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual 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... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/06/2015, 1:25pm
Delivering the keynote speech to a National Organization for Marriage gala last week, Rick Santorum denounced the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality, criticizing the ruling as “a loss for America.” At the gala, the GOP presidential candidate signed NOM’s candidate pledge, with his campaign boasting that Santorum was “proud to sign and fully support the National Organization for Marriage's presidential pledge.” As we’ve noted, NOM’s pledge is about much more than simply asking candidates to oppose same-sex marriage. Santorum also... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 06/26/2015, 11:36am
This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, effectively legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states. Needless to say, anti-gay Religious Right activists and Republican politicians who have repeatedly warned that such a ruling would literally destroy America have not reacted well, as exemplified by Bryan Fischer, who fired off a series of tweets declaring that Satan is now dancing in the streets of America: June 26, 2015: a date which will live in infamy. — Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) June 26, 2015 From a moral standpoint, 6/26... MORE >