Rick Santorum

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!”

Jindal, Huckabee And Santorum To Join Far-Right Activists At Liberty Counsel's 'The Awakening'

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, after teaming up with Christian nationalist extremists to host his “The Response” prayer rally in Baton Rouge earlier this year, is now continuing his project of endearing himself to the far fringes of the Religious Right by addressing an annual conference hosted by Liberty Counsel this weekend.

Liberty Counsel’s “The Awakening” event will bring Jindal, along with fellow likely GOP presidential hopefuls Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, together with some of the most unapologetically extreme Religious Right leaders, including Sen. Ted Cruz’s dad Rafael.

With speakers from John Eidsmoe, a founding father of the Religious Right’s current Christian nationalist thought, to Kamal Saleem, the phony ex-terrorist and prolific anti-Obama conspiracy theorist, the candidates are sure to be treated to an exciting array of far-right ideas.

Mat Staver

The Awakening is organized by Liberty Counsel, a legal arm of Liberty University founded and chaired by Mat Staver. Staver is particularly invested in anti-LGBT activism both in the U.S. and abroad, where he has spoken out in favor of laws criminalizing homosexuality. Here at home, he has warned that marriage equality will help bring about God’s destruction of America and will be “the beginning of the end of Western Civilization.”

Staver’s extremism is not limited to LGBT rights. For instance, at the 2010 Awakening conference, Staver agreed with an audience member who asked if the Affordable Care Act created a private army of Brownshirts for President Obama.

Kamal Saleem

Kamal Saleem claims to be an ex-terrorist who worked for a number of Islamist groups before coming to America to build sleeper cells and ultimately converting to Christianity. The fact that Saleem’s story doesn’t add up — and that he’s suspiciously reluctant to talk about the details — hasn’t stopped him from being a popular speaker on the Religious Right conference circuit, where he impresses audiences with his insider knowledge that President Obama is a secret Muslim out to destroy America.

Saleem uses his literally unbelievable personal story to sell a wide range of conspiracy theories, including claims that President Obama attends a mosque in Washington, DC, on Christmas (while he is simultaneously in Hawaii) and that Islamists are working through Sasha and Malia Obama’s babysitters to establish a shadow government.

In 2012, he told The Awakening that when President Obama appeared to be pledging allegiance to the flag, he was actually taking part in an Islamic prayer. The same year, he warned the Values Voter Summit that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be shutting down churches in America within the year:

John Eidsmoe

John Eidsmoe is one of the leading voices behind the Religious Right’s effort to rewrite American history and law to reflect a specific “biblical worldview.” Former Rep. Michele Bachmann, who was a research assistant on Eidsmoe’s influential 1987 book “Christianity and the Constitution,” cites him as an in influence and his work has permeated the segment of the Religious Right that seeks to take “dominion” over America to avoid God’s judgment.

Eidsmoe has specifically warned that gay rights will bring about divine judgment on the U.S. and wrote a whole book, “Gays & Guns,” arguing against allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, warning that they might molest children.

Eidsmoe, who has gotten in trouble in the past for speaking to white supremacist groups, is currently the “senior counsel and resident scholar” at the Foundation for Moral Law, the Christian nationalist group founded by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, a longtime ally.

Rick Scarborough

Rick Scarborough, a Baptist pastor and the head of the Religious Right group Vision America, is one of the most extreme voices in the anti-LGBT movement. Although he insists that he is neither a Democrat or Republican, but a “Christ-ocrat,” he frequently allies with likeminded Republican politicians including Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee to get his followers to the polls.

Scarborough maintains that AIDS is God’s “judgment” for “an immoral act,” warns that the appointment of gay ambassadors would be perfect justification for God to nuke America, and once suggested filing a class action lawsuit against homosexuality.

Scarborough has also dabbled in anti-immigrant nativism, warning that “more non-white families” in the U.S. would lead to fewer Christians and that “if this country becomes 30 percent Hispanic we will no longer be America.”

Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham, a son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, couples his international humanitarian work with an apocalyptic approach to American politics. He predicted that President Obama’sreelectionwould bring about God’s destruction of America and railed that Americans “turned our back on God” by reelecting the president.

Graham’s opinion of the Obama administration was only reinforced when he was disinvited from speaking at an event at the Pentagon because of hishistory of anti-Muslim rhetoric. He has since claimed that the White House has been “infiltrated by Muslims” and is being run by Muslims who “hate Israel and hate Christians.” Just this week, he speculated that Obama’s mother “must have been a Muslim,” which he said explains why the president supposedly won’t fight ISIS.

While he may worry that God is getting ready to judge America for President Obama, Graham has implied that the Almighty is smiling on Russian President Vladimir Putin because of his crackdown on LGBT rights in his country. Graham, who has long claimed that Christianity is on the road to being criminalized in the U.S., said last year that pastors must be prepared to get their “heads chopped off” in the fight against gay rights.

Matt Barber

Matt Barber, a former Liberty Counsel official who still hosts a daily radio program with Staver, is best known for his over-the-top bigoted anti-gay rhetoric.

Barber often frames his battle against LGBT equality and reproductive rights as a “spiritual war” in which he is on the side of God. He has called marriage equality the “bidding of the Devil” and warned that by legalizing same-sex marriage, America is “ tempting the wrath of God.” He claims that HIV/AIDS is divine punishment for homosexuality.

Barber is fond of comparing his opponents to Nazis, calling supporters of reproductive rights “modern day Nazis” and LGBT rights advocates “Rainbowshirts” who have “broken out the long knives” to go after Christians. At the same time, he has supported repressive anti-LGBT regimes around the world, praising Russian President Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay crackdown and saying he’d like to see a ban on “gay propaganda” in the U.S., and defending Uganda’s harsh criminal penalties for LGBT people.

Last year, Barber launched BarbWire.com, an online emporium for right-wing vitriol which he sees as part of his “war” against the “lies” that Satan tells through progressives.​

Rick Santorum Birther Joke At CPAC Falls Flat

Rick Santorum worked a few jokes into his CPAC speech today, deriding President Obama as the “weatherman-in-chief” for believing in climate science and even making a birther joke, which was met with tepid applause.

“The Obama-Clinton foreign policy team” has been “disastrous,” Santorum said. “In fact the president’s popularity is so bad around the world today that I heard this report from a source that the Kenyan government is actually developing proof that Barack Obama was actually born in America.”

PFAW And Allies Call On GOP Presidential Candidates To Distance Themselves From CPAC’s White Nationalist Sponsor

Today, People For the American Way, America’s Voice and ColorOfChange.org called on GOP presidential candidates to distance themselves from Conservative Political Action Conference’s ties to ProEnglish, a group led by white nationalist Robert Vandervoort.

As we reported last week, ProEnglish is sponsoring a booth in the event’s exhibit hall, which costs $4,000. ProEnglish has been allowed to sponsor the event for the past several years, despite Vandervoort’s well documented ties with white nationalist groups. Nearly every major Republican presidential contender is scheduled to speak at the event this weekend.

Here is the full text of the open letter from PFAW, America’s Voice and ColorOfChange.org:

Dear Gov. Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Rand Paul, Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rick Santorum, and Gov. Scott Walker:

We understand that you are scheduled to speak at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, an event which is being partially sponsored by ProEnglish, a group led by white nationalist Bob Vandervoort. We urge you to decline to speak at CPAC unless it cuts ties with ProEnglish and Vandervoort.

ProEnglish has sponsored CPAC for the past several years, despite Vandervoort’s well documented ties to the white nationalist movement. As the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights has reported, Vandervoort is the former leader of Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, a group dedicated to supporting the ideals of the infamous white nationalist publication American Renaissance. One member of the group described its mission as encouraging “white survival and maintaining white majorities.”

Vandervoort’s own writings reflect these views. He has expressed concern about the need to “halt the cultural and racial dispossession of the West's historic people” and expounded on “racial differences” in “intelligence and temperament.” He has wondered how “race realists and pro-Western Civ nationalists” like himself can counter historical comparisons to the Holocaust and slavery.

CPAC has a troubling history of welcoming white nationalists. In 2012, the conference hosted a panel on race featuring Vandervoort and fellow white nationalist writer Peter Brimelow. And ProEnglish has continued to be allowed to sponsor the event even after civil rights groups have raised concerns.

Clearly, Robert Vandervoort and his group should have no place as a financial sponsor of the nation’s largest convention of conservatives. We urge you to distance yourself from Vandervoort’s views and refuse to speak at CPAC unless ProEnglish’s sponsorship is withdrawn.

Sincerely,

Michael Keegan, President

People For the American Way

Frank Sharry, Founder and Executive Director

America’s Voice

Rashad Robinson, Executive Director

ColorOfChange.org

Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal Join Israel Trip With Hate Group That Wants To Convert Jews

After dozens of members of the Republican National Committee went on a trip to Israel sponsored by a notorious hate group that has repeatedly claimed that that Jewish Americans have no First Amendment rights and argued that Jewish immigrants should be forced to convert to Christianity, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal are now taking part in a visit to Israel organized by an organization with similar views.

The Family Research Council announced in an email to members today it is organizing an Israel tour with Santorum and Jindal, two likely Republican presidential candidates, along with End Times author Joel Rosenberg.

Jindal and Santorum’s decision to travel to Israel with FRC may raise eyebrows, given the group’s history of making dismissive comments about American Jews and expressing hope that Jews in Israel will convert to Christianity, a central theme of certain End Times narratives.

FRC Executive Vice President Jerry Boykin said last year that Jews who convert to Christianity are “fulfilled Jews,” claiming that missionary efforts should focus on Israeli Jews, who can learn from their Arab Christian neighbors:

Boykin has rebuked anyone who dares criticize his attempts to convert Jews to Christianity:

Boykin also slammed Jewish Americans for largely backing Democrats, claiming that they don’t realize that Adolf Hitler was actually a leftist: “If you look at Hitler, one of the most disgusting things I hear is for people to call Hitler the extreme Right. The absolute opposite was true. It was the National Socialist Party. He was an extraordinarily off the scale leftist. But many Jews in America, for example, can't identify with the Republican Party because they're called the party of the Right, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.”

Like Boykin, FRC President Tony Perkins, for his part, once attacked the “Jewish lobby” for its ties to Democratic elected officials, lamenting that Democrats “enjoy the money coming from the Jewish community.”

The FRC is also well-known for its extreme anti-gay views. For example, Perkins believes that gay rights supporters are planning a holocaust of Christians and are quite literally pawns of the DevilAs we’ve previously reported, Perkins has “defended Uganda’s ‘kill the gays’ bill and connected homosexuality to a whole host of evils, including death, sexual assaultdepressionsuicide, government population control, and child abuse. He has even compared homosexuality to shootings, kidnappings and alcoholism.”

Such remarks aren’t that surprising, as the FRC is unabashed in its support for the criminalization of homosexuality and once had a spokesman say he wanted to “export” gay people from the U.S. since “we believe that homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Rick Santorum: 'Sexual Activity' Rights Encroaching On Religious Rights

On his radio show yesterday, Steve Deace played clips of interviews he held recently with likely presidential candidates on whether “the sexual revolution trumps the American Revolution,” or if “someone’s erotic liberty trumps your religious liberty.”

The Iowa talk radio host directed these questions at potential presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Scott Walker and Rick Santorum, along with consistent non-candidate Donald Trump.

All six Republican politicians agreed that no, “erotic liberty” does not trump religious liberty. Santorum stressed that freedom of religion takes precedence over “the newfound freedom to do whatever you want to do from a sexual orientation — not a sexual orientation — a sexual activity point of view, that to me is a much lower freedom because is an activity, it is not at the heart of who you are.”

Deace also discussed new claims that President Obama reversed his previous support for same-sex marriage as a presidential candidate in 2008 because he feared upsetting African American voters, asserting that Obama only hid his real stance on marriage equality in order to become “America’s first champion for sodomy in the White House.”

“There is a word we typically use to describe those who mislead their own tribe, mislead their own peer group, commit acts of treachery like this to manipulate them: this is traitorous, absolutely traitorous,” Deace said.

CPAC Superheroes: Who's The Hulk?

If “superhero” is not the word that comes to mind when you think of Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, or Rick Perry, you clearly aren’t CPAC material. The Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual right-wing gathering hosted by the American Conservative Union, is promoting this year’s event with a graphic inspired by the movie “Avengers” – or Disney’s animated series “Avengers Assemble.”

As in the Marvel universe, there are some household names, and some clearly second- or third-tier heroes. We’ll leave it to you to speculate on the superpowers wielded by Bobby Jindal, John Bolton, Laura Ingraham, Ben Carson, and others.

Rick Santorum: Liberal Media Using Pope Francis To Divide Catholics

Rick Santorum is still reeling from Pope Francis’ remarks about how people shouldn’t procreate “like rabbits” and appeared on Newsmax TV today to speak with host Steve Malzberg about the pope’s comments.

Santorum told Malzberg that the pope is just the latest victim of the liberal media, alleging that reporters want to goad Pope Francis into making statements that will divide Roman Catholics.

“No doubt the pope is as solid as the pope, that’s not the issue, it’s what the media will do with some phrases that are out there like the use of ‘trickledown economics’ and the use of ‘breeding like rabbits,’ these are phrases out there that I think can be just taken out of context,” Santorum said, adding:

The casualness of the conversation [with reporters] leads many who would love to see division leads them to take those and run with them in a direction that the pope certainly didn’t attend. It’s hard because I know the pope’s heart. I read his encyclicals, I read his statements and they’re brilliant, they’re perfect, they’re right, and then he will say something which allows people to twist them and that is why it is hard to listen to because I know his heart and yet he will say things that I know he means innocently and I know they’re innocent but it can be taken by those, let’s just say not so innocent, to try to twist what his meanings really is.

Malzberg replied: “You’re talking about the liberal media with their agenda.”

“Yeah,” Santorum said. “It is. They want nothing more than to drive a real division between the church, not just here but around the world.”

“It hurts me to see him throw up softballs to the media to twist, I know he’s not doing it deliberately,” he said.

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/21/15

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 1/15/15

  • The RNC has voted to censure David Agema for posting an article from a white supremacist magazine on his Facebook page.
  • Sure, CAIR immediately denounced the Charlie Hebdo attack, but Michael Brown doesn't believe them.
  • Finally, a cell phone service "for conservatives, by conservatives."
  • Mike Huckabee has no qualms about associating with the anti-gay bigots at the American Family Association judging by the fact that he called into the "Today's Issues" radio program this morning to promote his forthcoming book.
  • Rick Santorum also obviously has no qualms about standing with anti-gay bigots, as he'll be speaking at Liberty Counsel's "Awakening 2015" event in March.
  • Finally, "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt laughably insists that his role as a demon-hunting anti-gay exorcist will have no impact on his work as a Colorado state legislator: "I'm one person, but I might wear two hats. And my weekend job, what I preach on Sundays, is not necessarily related to my day job, which I do Monday through Friday here in the state legislature."
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Rick Santorum Posts Archive

Mikayla Bean, Friday 05/29/2015, 2:48pm
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: Santorum: "I worry abt anti-government rhetoric. I want to make sure we're talking to ppl where they are and not just to make them angry." — James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) May 28, 2015 Really? The Santorum we know has spent the entire Obama presidency stoking mistrust of the federal government.... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 05/27/2015, 5:34pm
Dana Liebelson @ Huffington Post: This Guy Used To Run Congress. Now He's Trying To Convince Them To Stop Gay Marriage. Imani Gandy @ RH Reality Check: Is Anti-Choice Ideology Driving Malpractice Lawsuits? Byron Calhoun and the Phantom Fetal Skull. Scott Keyes @ Think Progress: Ten Outrageous Ideas Rick Santorum Actually Believes. Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: Clemson’s Head Football Coach Will Accept Award from Anti-Gay Christian Group. Josh Marshall @ TPM: Reading the Duggar Police Report. Carlos Maza & Rachel Percelay @ Media Matters: Fox News... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 05/27/2015, 1:40pm
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... MORE >
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 >