Steve Deace

Sam Rohrer Ties Orlando Massacre To Gay Rights Victories: God Has 'Removed His Hand Of Protection'

American Pastors Network president and former Pennsylvania lawmaker Sam Rohrer linked Sunday’s mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando to Supreme Court decisions securing rights for LGBT people, telling conservative talk radio host Steve Deace this week that Supreme Court decisions involving marriage equality and “God’s order for human sexuality” have helped to cause God to remove “His hand of protection” from the country.

Rohrer told Deace that he has a “great deal of compassion for those who are involved” in the shooting and also believes that “these kind of events are only going to be increasing” for a number of reasons, including that “the Islamists, the Muslim Brotherhood folks, they have made it clear that they’re going to do that”; that “our president and those in office are soft, refuse to even identify the enemy ideology of Islam as the enemy”; and, finally, “it’s a large part because I believe God has removed his hand of blessing on this country because we’ve turned our back upon him, and when he removes his hand of protection, these kinds of things come forth.”

“God has made very clear,” Rohrer explained, “that every nation that He has established — and He establishes all nations, we’re told that all nations are established by God, even the very geographical boundaries of the nations are determined — that when a nation, any nation, does what God says, meaning that they fear Him, that they uphold and enforce God’s moral law and God’s design for the family and for the family and for civil government, all of those are His, when those things are done, then God will bless a nation.”

“One of those blessings are the increase of wealth, one of those things is a security and protection from the neighbors around them,” he continued, “even the enemies will be at peace with them, we’re told in a number of places in Scripture. But when a nation backs off of that, particularly a nation such as ours that has a very biblical basis in an understanding of biblical principles — that’s where our Constitution came from, Declaration of Independence before that came out of that. When those things were there and put in place, when a nation turns their back on those things as we have and [are] increasingly, arrogantly doing, then at that point the justice of God says ‘I cannot any longer bless’ and these things which you’re doing will lead to not His lack of blessing, but insecurity and so forth.”

Deace returned to the theme later in the interview, saying that America’s current standing with God is “essentially like when a parent has an unruly child that persists in a behavior or an addiction that is destructive and has tried repeatedly to reach them, has tried repeatedly to intervene, they will not listen, and so they reach a point where you essentially have to allow them to hit rock bottom on their own in order to get the message and just kind of pray that they don’t kill themselves in that process.”

Rohrer agreed that this was a “fairly accurate representation” of what is going on and outlined a number of ways that he believes that Americans have “turned their back on” God, including marriage equality and a redefinition of “God’s order for human sexuality.”

“You know,” he said, “God has established, and made it very, very clear, that He’s established the family, He’s established the church, He’s established the institution of civil government … But when a nation, when a family, when the church fails to employ, fails to do and, even worse, turns their back on God’s moral law and His design, there is nothing but difficulty and trouble that comes and follows from that.”

“And, unfortunately, as a nation, we’ve once known God,” he said, “‘In God we trust’ is our motto. But … Congress wouldn’t even pass that motto now, they wouldn’t even bring it up and the president wouldn’t sign it. And our courts declare to be immoral what is moral, we redefine God’s institution of marriage, we redefine God’s order for human sexuality and we expect God to sit back and continue to bless? He can’t.”

Okla. Congressional Candidate: Afghanistan Like Mexican Border But 'We Were Allowed To Shoot 'Em'

Jarrin Jackson, an Oklahoma Republican congressional candidate, told conservative radio host Steve Deace on Friday that his service in the Army guarding the Afghanistan-Pakistan border was like guarding the U.S.-Mexico border “except for we were allowed to shoot ‘em.”

During the interview, Jackson discussed his two tours of service in Afghanistan. “The first go-around, I was a platoon leader just a few miles away from the Pakistan border,” he said, “and really, what we were doing was shore up a porous border kind of like, imagine our southern border, except for we were allowed to shoot ‘em.”

Steve Deace: Conservatives Using Supreme Court As 'Fig Leaf' As They 'Sell Their Souls' To Trump

After Donald Trump released a list of 11 people he would consider nominating to the Supreme Court if he were elected president, some conservatives who had been wary of supporting the presumptive GOP nominee began using it as an excuse to rally behind him. But not all of Trump’s conservative critics are convinced that he would actually pick from the judges on his list, many of whom were hand-picked by the conservative Heritage Society.

Among the skeptics is Steve Deace, the conservative Iowa talk radio host and vocal Trump critic, who said on his radio program yesterday that he did not believe Trump would actually nominate any of those judges when push comes to shove and that conservative activists are just using the Supreme Court list as a “fig leaf” as they “sell their souls” to Trump.

Deace’s guest, Daniel Horowitz of Conservative Review, predicted that Senate Democrats would never allow the confirmation of “a true originalist in the mold of Clarence Thomas” and that Trump would end up compromising on his court picks.

Deace agreed. “Why does anybody believe, anybody, unless they just want to be deceived, why does anybody believe that he would follow through on any of those things?” he asked.

“This is being done to offer a fig leaf to give conservative leaders and conservative voters who supported Ted Cruz permission to cross over and to say ‘We can now vote for Trump,’” he said. “And they have plausible deniability, if he doesn’t nominate any of those guys, then they’re victims later on, ‘Well, we went with his words, we had no other alternative, there’s nothing else we could do, we didn’t want Hillary to win, it’s all on his head.’ That’s what this is. It’s nothing more, nothing less, than a fig leaf to give Ted Cruz’s conservative infrastructure permission to sell their souls and to bow the knee and kneel before Zod.”

Anne Graham Lotz: 9/11 Was Warning From God About Evolution, Church-State Separation

Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, visited Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace today to discuss her new book, “The Daniel Prayer,” and once again urged Americans to turn to God in order to avoid divine wrath caused by things like church-state separation and the theory of evolution.

Lotz told Deace she was praying that “some of this craziness would settle down” in a nation that “seems to be shaking its fist in God’s face and telling him to get out of our politics, get out of our schools, get out of our businesses, get out of our marketplace, get off the streets” and is “basically abandoning God as a culture and as a nation.”

When we abandon God, she said, “the Bible says God abandons us and He backs away and takes His hand of favor, blessing, His hand of protection away from us and He abandons us.”

If Americans repent, she said, then “there will be peace on our streets” and God will begin to "reveal the plots of our enemies and terrorists before they are carried out” and “control the weather patterns and protect us from these violent storms that are taking human life.”

She added that “God allows bad things to happen” like the September 11 attacks and the mass shooting in San Bernardino “to show us that we need Him, you know, we’re desperate without him.”

She later told Deace that the U.S. is under the judgment of God in part because of the embrace of the theory of evolution, which started “this downward spiral away from God.”

If America does not return to God, she said, we’ll keep seeing “just the chaos at every level”… such as the Justice Department’s lawsuit against North Carolina for its new discriminatory anti-LGBT law, which she said is “evidence that God has backed away and he’s removed His hand of blessing, favor, protection, and he’s just turning us over to ourselves.”

Steve Deace Promises To 'Troll Like A Mother' Against Mike Huckabee And Other Trump Endorsers

Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace, who has become a vocal player in the state’s Republican politics, renounced his Republican Party membership following Donald Trump’s apparent victory in the party’s presidential nominating contest, and is determined that none of his former Religious Right allies will get away with backing the thrice-married mogul.

On Wednesday, after Deace’s chosen candidate, Ted Cruz, dropped out of the presidential race, Deace blasted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — whom he campaigned for in Iowa in 2008 —  for endorsing Trump.

“Donald Trump has done us a favor, it appears, in pruning off all of the rotten fruit off of the tree,” Deace’s cohost Aaron McIntire said.

“I am going to troll like a mother the next few months, though, I’m going to do that,” Deace promised. “I am. Huckabee and all these guys, I’m going to scorched-earth them all and I’m going to enjoy doing it, actually. Maybe more than I should.”

True to his word, Deace spent several minutes on his program today trolling Huckabee for backing Trump.

In 2008, Deace said, he helped pick the former governor “up off the dirt floor at negative nine percent, when nobody knew how to pronounce your name or that funny-sounding Baptist college you came from” and “risked my job, put my family on the road, became a six-month infomercial on your candidacy.” He claimed he also did the opposition research that “you didn’t have the balls nor the money to do” on Mitt Romney, who came in second to Huckabee in that year’s caucuses.

“So I think it is only fitting, gentlemen, it is only poetic that Mike Huckabee brought me into this world and is now ushering me out,” he said. “We have come full circle.”

Huckabee, Deace said, is pandering to Trump in a futile hope “to get a sell-out, which makes it all the more pathetic”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Steve Deace Breaks Up With The Republican Party

Conservative Iowa talk radio personality Steve Deace, who became a prominent endorser of Ted Cruz’s presidential run, has reacted to Donald Trump’s ascendance to presumptive GOP nominee by breaking up with the Republican Party, filing paperwork today to renounce his party registration.

On Facebook and on his radio program last night, Deace declared that the United States is like a “petulant brat” who is “crying out to be spanked” by God.

He declared on his radio program that “the Republican Party ended for me today.”

“I just will not belong to something that has zero interest in the things of God,” he said, “and it’s clear to me that this party does not. I will not belong to something that has, whose character has sunk so low that it could nominate a man like Donald Trump as its standard-bearer.”

To the members of the “Trump cult,” he said, “Congratulations, you won, here’s the keys to your lemon.”

He and his cohosts then compared leaving the Republican Party to breaking off a toxic relationship or watching a loved one die of a slow, painful disease.

“You know what’s funny about this, though?” Deace said. “I just feel like this huge burden has been lifted off of me. I feel like the dude who knows his girlfriend’s been cheating on him this whole time and has a drinking problem.”

Once you break off such a “toxic” relationship, he said, “that’s when you can care about that person again because you don’t feel like they’re betraying you now and you’re like, ‘No hard feelings, I shouldn’t have let it go this far, you really need counseling.’”

“I feel the least amount of hostility toward the Republican Party tonight than I have maybe in my broadcast career … and it comes, not coincidentally the night that I am no longer a Republican,” he declared.

“You’re describing,” his co-host Todd Erzen said, “how people feel at the end of a long, slow, painful slog that is a certain kind of death, that comes with a certain kind of disease. And you don’t want your loved one to go away, you’re remembering all the good times, you’re remembering the potential, whatever; when it finally comes, there’s peace.”

Deace continued to disparage “Trump’s campaign con,” labeling the presumptive GOP nominee’s message “Louis Farrakhan for white people.”

'God Help Us': Religious Right Leaders Mourn Ted Cruz's Defeat

For years, Religious Right activists have dreamed about a presidential candidate like Ted Cruz. The Texas senator pledged to bring tens of millions of new evangelical voters to the polls by running on his hostility to abortion rights, Planned Parenthood and Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality and the separation of church and state.

He won nearly unanimous support from movement leaders, who hoped that by uniting behind Cruz, they would finally get their candidate of choice in position to win the GOP nomination. Focus on the Family founder James Dobson gushed that Heidi Cruz would be the country’s “very first pro-life first lady” and many leaders fawned over Cruz’s firebrand preacher father.

In the end, Cruz was defeated by Donald Trump, who questioned whether Cruz was a true Christian, threatened to “spill the beans” on his wife and accused his father of plotting the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

While Trump has won the support of several movement figures such as Phyllis Schlafly, Robert Jeffress and Jerry Falwell Jr., and was a regular presence at Religious Right events, he did not win many fans with his frequent flip-flops on abortion rights, kind words for Planned Parenthood or his sordid personal history.

When Cruz dropped out of the presidential race last night, Religious Right leaders were quick to express grief:

Robert P. George, one the movement’s intellectual leaders and the founder of the National Organization for Marriage, put it simply:

Conservative pundit Steve Deace reaffirmed that he’d never support Trump:

Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, joked about how he will likely write in a vote for Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse rather than back Trump:

American Family Radio host Bryan Fischer, however, suggested that people should write in Cruz in the general election:

Erick Erickson, the founder of the conservative website RedState, said that he’d leave the GOP over a Trump nomination because he is “not down with white supremacists.”

“You’ve got Klan members, David Duke, the Aryan Nation supporting Donald Trump,” he told The Daily Beast. “If the Republican Party is willing to go along with that, then I think it’s fair branding, I think it’s very fair. If Republicans aren’t going to stand up to having their party hijacked by a group of Aryan Nation-types, then they get what they deserve.”

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, who has an off again, on again relationship with Trump, asked God to “have mercy on our nation” after hearing the news about Cruz:

But like many other conservatives, Starnes said he still hopes Trump will win in November: “[I]f we can survive eight years of President Obama, we can certainly survive a charlatan like Donald Trump. But I'm fairly certain we could not survive four years of Hillary Clinton.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/28/16

Carly Fiorina Once Said 'Ted Cruz Cannot Possibly Beat Hillary Clinton'

Back in December, a top Ted Cruz surrogate launched a sexist attack on Carly Fiorina, tweeting that Fiorina went “full vagina” during a debate.

Steve Deace, an Iowa-based talk show host, not only endorsed Cruz but is also a prominent campaign surrogate for the Texas senator. Cruz has hailed Deace as “a truth-teller, a courageous conservative, and a powerful voice for liberty,” featured him in a campaign advertisement and added him to his Iowa leadership team.

Deace eventually apologized for the anti-Fiorina tweet, saying that his wife told him to.

When Fox News' Megyn Kelly asked Fiorina about Deace's comments, Fiorina noted that Deace “is more than a radio talk host, he is a major surrogate of Ted Cruz and a major endorser.”

“And this is why Ted Cruz cannot possibly beat Hillary Clinton,” Fiorina said.

In an interview weeks later, Fiorina said that “Ted Cruz is just like any other politician, he says one thing in Manhattan, he says another thing in Iowa, he says whatever he needs to say to get elected and then he’s going to do what he pleases.”

Today, Cruz will reportedly name Fiorina as his running mate in his foundering bid for president.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 4/21/16

  • The American Family Association is now "calling for a boycott of Target after the retail giant said it would allow men to use the women's restrooms and dressing rooms in their stores."
  • Steve Deace fumes that Donald Trump "bows to the Rainbow Jihad on the Today Show and says he's fine with creepy dudes ogling and assaulting our daughters in the ladies restroom."
  • Ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle says "the LGBT lobby is like a kid in a candy store with unlimited credit. The kid is high on sugar and bouncing off the walls while demanding more, all the while disturbing the other customers. The North Carolina Legislature and Governor are the brave candy store owners by saying no, and now the kid is out of control and will stop at nothing to get his way."
  • David Kupelian declares that "by rolling over for the opposition to these ‘transgender bathroom laws’ and the perverse, bizarre worldview underlying it, we are in the process of corrupting and morally confusing an entire generation of Americans into believing delusion is truth and that commonsense decency and discernment amount to ‘discrimination’ and ‘hate.'"
  • Finally, FRC continues to pray that anti-LGBT laws will be passed in every state: "Lord, show those who see this as trivial that every assault on religious liberty is an assault to the foundation of all liberty. If the government can coerce us to abandon our core biblical faith and practice as it pertains to marriage, it can force us to believe and do anything. Shake your people to pray, to speak out, and to take action. May pastors and churches lead the battle to pass common sense laws in every state. May those who live in anti-religious liberty states fight to restore religious liberty, flee to a free state, or be prepared to stand in the fiery trial that will soon come to every jurisdiction in America."

Cruz Endorser John Zmirak: LGBT People 'Fundamentally Dissatisfied With The Way God Made Them'

Conservative columnist John Zmirak, whose endorsement Ted Cruz proudly posted on his presidential campaign website last month, reacted last week to a controversial anti-trans law in North Carolina by writing a column titled “There’s a Bearded Trannie in the Stall Next to Your Daughter and You’d Better Learn to Like It.”

Zmirak’s perceptive thoughts on this issue naturally earned him invitations from a few conservative radio hosts to discuss it further. In an interview yesterday with Steve Deace, an influential Iowa radio host and fellow Cruz supporter, Zmirak insisted that laws targeting transgender people won’t affect transgender people as long as they “make some attempt to alter their appearance.” He also claimed that the “gay lobby” will never be satisfied because they’re “fundamentally dissatisfied with the way God made them.”

“It boils down to this,” Zmirak said. “The gay lobby will never be satisfied. They cannot be satisfied because they’re fundamentally dissatisfied with the way God made them. They are in rebellion and they’re in permanent rebellion. It is literally impossible to satisfy the gay lobby because even if you give them everything they want, they will be just as miserable and just as angry, because it’s not about politics, it’s about them struggling and suffering because their lifestyles are out of accord with natural law.”

He went on to claim that a law like North Carolina’s wouldn’t actually affect transgender people. “Of the people who identify as transgender,” he said, “most of them make some attempt to alter their appearance so that really nobody would know their sex going into the bathroom. They’re wearing a wig, you know, maybe that’s just an ugly woman. So these bills, these laws that make bathrooms gender neutral are designed specifically for men who dress as men to go into the women’s room, women who dress as women to go into the men’s room. What is that about? It’s about undermining the idea of heteronormativity.”

LGBT people, he said, “can’t stand the fact that they’re 2 percent of the population, they want to convince us that they’re actually 30 or 40 percent, that everyone’s secretly a little gay, and that is to assuage their sense of guilt, their sense that they are violating natural law. Natural law is the law that God wrote on our hearts, which even pagans, if they use their reason, can see.”

In a separate interview with Pennsylvania talk radio host Bobby Gunther Walsh on Monday, Zmirak said that the LGBT movement is pushing its messages in schools because “they want to make sure that as many people end up gay as possible,” which he said showed the movement’s “incredible intolerance.”

Steve Deace: Trump Campaign 'Is Very Dangerous,' Ben Carson Is A Scam Artist

Conservative talk radio hosts and Ted Cruz supporters Steve Deace and Sandy Rios sat down last week to discuss the state of the presidential race during the National Religious Broadcasters convention, focusing particularly the rise of Donald Trump and Ben Carson’s unwillingness to quit the race.

After Rios blasted Trump’s “careless” and “dangerous” campaign tactics – pointing to his veiled threat to the Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, after Marlene Ricketts donated millions to an anti-Trump super PAC – Deace suggested that Trump’s election would be something that Satan would do to bring down the United States, warning: “This is very dangerous.”

The two also went after Carson, who has been accused of running his campaign more as a money-making scam that bilks his donors rather than a legitimate political operation, for staying in the race even though he has no chance of winning the GOP nomination, with Deace commenting that Carson “rides in a limo behind his [campaign] bus” and is “not running to win and hasn’t been running to win almost from the very beginning.”

“It’s the worst scam campaign of all time,” Deace said. “He didn’t campaign for the whole week in New Hampshire. I believe he did only a handful of stops in South Carolina. One of the ones he publicized was to a business group and he had to pay to speak to them, by the way. Where is he out on the campaign trail right now?”

Carson, incidentally, was making an appearance at the same conference for religious broadcasters that Rios and Deace were attending.

Deace continued: “He’s not competitive absolutely anywhere. They went on a book tour for months in Iowa, he was on a book tour and didn’t campaign. His campaign actually went out and got a bus with his face on it and drove it around Iowa to make people think that he was campaigning when he wasn’t there.”

Rafael Cruz: Evangelicals Who Support Trump Aren't Real Evangelicals

There has been much hand-wringing among some of Sen. Ted Cruz’s supporters about Donald Trump’s success with evangelical voters, once thought to be a safe voting bloc for Cruz. Exit polls in South Carolina showed the thrice-married, biblically shaky Trump winning the plurality of white evangelical and born-again Republican voters, with Cruz, who has made his faith the centerpiece of his campaign, coming in second among that group.

Steve Deace, a conservative Iowa talk radio host and Cruz supporter, asked Cruz’s father, Rafael, about the development in an interview yesterday at the National Religious Broadcasters convention, which is taking place this week in Nashville.

“How in the world does Donald Trump win evangelical voters in South Carolina?” Deace asked. “What does that say about where we’re at as a church, or does it say anything about where we’re at as a church across the board?”

The Texas Republican’s father responded that the evangelicals who vote for Trump may not be real evangelicals, but have instead been influenced by a “politically correct” culture and forgotten the “word of God.”

“Well, I think that they’re defining evangelicals in a very loose manner,” he said, “If we look at the numbers, those that are people that call themselves born-again Christians that are committed to the lord, we won overwhelmingly among that group. Unfortunately — and this is a message that I have been carrying to America, as you said, for several years — there are too many people in the church that have actually become lax about the word of God, that they are being more concerned with being politically correct than being biblically correct, they have diluted the word of God in order to be palatable to everyone.”

Deace, for his part, wondered if those who identify as evangelical in South Carolina and other southern states are merely reflecting a “cultural Christianity” and are not actually faithful, practicing Christians.

“Is it possible that people, because they’re conforming to a cultural standard, think because they celebrate Christmas and Easter and ‘I love America and I believe in the Second Amendment, that makes me an evangelical’?” he wondered.

Cruz agreed that this explanation “is entirely possible.”

Steve Deace: Trump Voters Are Like Pagan Cult Followers

Earlier today, Iowa talk radio host and Ted Cruz endorser Steve Deace unloaded on Cruz’s critics in an interview with American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios following the Texas Republican senator’s victory in the Iowa caucuses.

Deace was particularly angry about Mike Huckabee’s “absolutely heinous” and “despicable” attacks on Cruz’s faith, but he also spent time going after Donald Trump’s supporters, including Sarah Palin and Jerry Falwell Jr., claiming that the two Religious Right leaders overlooked all of Trump’s liberal stances and dirty tactics because of his tough anti-immigration rhetoric.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” Deace said of Trump’s prominent backers, alluding to rumors propagated Rep. Steve King, another prominent Iowa endorser of Cruz, that Trump’s more prominent supporters had financial motives to back the business mogul.

“He was essentially betraying us on every single issue,” Deace said of Trump, likening the billionaire to Ahab, the idolatrous king of Israel who was married to Jezebel. “I can’t even begin to tell you how intellectually dishonest Donald Trump was in Iowa the last couple of weeks of this campaign,” he continued. “He did everything but call Ted Cruz an illegal alien. I’ve never seen anything like it … There was nothing Donald Trump would not say, there was nothing Donald Trump would not do.”

Later in the broadcast, Deace compared Trump voters to cult followers who are embracing “nationalism” and “worship of the state” over their Christian faith.

“I have never seen a cult, and I’m including Obama, I have never seen a cult surrounding a candidate in my life like the one around Donald Trump,” he said. “You engage his followers on social media and they don’t want to know any truth and they’re proudly, belligerently ignorant about it. And I want to just say this to our fellow believers on your program this morning: Be wary of nationalism. Nationalism is a pagan philosophy and when it co-opts the church it always leads to tyranny.”

Steve Deace: Cruz Campaign Overcame 'Spiritual Warfare' To Win Iowa

Earlier today, Sandy Rios and Steve Deace, two conservative talk show hosts who have endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, spoke on Rios’ morning radio show about their candidate’s victory in last night’s Iowa caucuses.

Deace, who is based in Iowa, spent much of his time lashing out at Gov. Terry Branstad, Donald Trump, Sen. Marco RubioSen. Rand Paul, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee for their criticism of Cruz.

Deace said “the extreme amount of bitterness” from the Huckabee, Paul and Santorum campaigns “toxified the atmosphere,” charging that their supporters were “calling people liars and, ‘You’re sell-outs,’ and ‘You’re not real Christians.’”

“I don’t want to necessarily get metaphysical but there was real spiritual warfare happening,” Deace said.

“This was more than just a political victory last night, this was a spiritual one,” he said, “and there’s a reason why Sen. Cruz, one of the first things when he took to the stage last night was ‘to God be the glory.’ I’ve never seen a candidate or a campaign have to wade through so much misleading and false material as he did the last few weeks.”

Deace said that the media, including Fox News, “fired every single bullet” at Cruz and accused Branstad of issuing “a kill order against Ted Cruz over ethanol.”

But Deace reserved his greatest fury for Huckabee, taking issue with the 2008 caucus victor’s efforts to question Cruz’s faith because the Texas senator doesn’t tithe and once seemed to downplay his opposition to gay marriage at a New York fundraiser:

Mike Huckabee ran ads in Iowa that literally called Ted Cruz a fake Christian. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was heinous, it was despicable and he ought to be ashamed. I don’t know what else to say. He’s a 60-year-old man and a former pastor and it’s just shameful. I understand being disappointed, Sandy, but the people of this state made Mike Huckabee a very wealthy man, they made him a very successful man, multiple New York Times best-sellers, five years in a row he was on Fox every night, built himself and his family a really nice beachfront home down there in Florida. And how did he do it? Because over 40,000 Iowans went through this for Mike Huckabee eight years ago. Fox and the machine said he couldn’t win and he wasn’t any good, and they did what they thought was right then and life has been pretty good.

And I say this as someone that knows Mike and likes him, I’ve been about as disappointed with Mike Huckabee and his antics for the last few weeks as I’ve ever been with a believer in the civic arena. Particularly in a small state like ours, Sandy, that has been a very huge blessing to him and to toxify the atmosphere the way that he did down the stretch — we saw a lot of men, from Mike Huckabee to Rand Paul to Rick Santorum, really reveal through adversity that the attacks they made on Sen. Cruz, ‘He’s not ready,’ ‘He’s immature,’ ‘He’s not authentic,’ that maybe we see through a mirror darkly and we ought to be looking at our own reflection first before we use a political campaign to cast aspersions on the spirituality of a fellow believer like that.

You want to rip each other’s spleens out over the issues? Hey, that’s why they play the games, and it’s good preparation for what you’ll face from the Democrats. But I thought that was just absolutely heinous. If you want to know why Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum and Rand Paul got a combined six percent last night among them? It’s because Iowans just really turned on them for the way they behaved.

Beyond The Pale: Ted Cruz Puts Extremists At The Center Of His Campaign

Before winning the Iowa caucuses, Sen. Ted Cruz won a straw poll of Religious Right leaders who were determined to coalesce behind a single candidate before voting went underway. Since then, hardly a week has gone by without the Cruz campaign announcing the support of a new right-wing leader, on top of the campaign’s frequent suggestions that the Texas Republican has divine support for his presidential bid.

It seems that no figure is too extreme to be embraced by Cruz, including those who would wish to see the government putting their adversaries to death.

Last Fall, Cruz appeared in Iowa alongside a pastor who has called for the government to use the death penalty to punish homosexuality. Not stung from the criticism he received for courting the radical pastor, Kevin Swanson, Cruz he later released a statement touting the support of an anti-abortion extremist, Troy Newman, who has said that a just government would punish abortion providers with death. Again facing criticism, Cruz doubled down and appointed Newman co-chair of his “pro-life coalition.”

As it turned out, Newman was just one of the first of many extremists whose support has been touted by Cruz’s campaign.

Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBT hate group, helped coalesce Religious Right support behind Cruz and campaigned with the senator in Iowa. Cruz apparently sees it as helpful to campaign alongside Perkins, who has defended Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” bill and claimed that gay rights advocates are pawns of the Devil.

Perkins joined Cruz on the trail in Iowa along with Glenn Beck, the conspiracy theory radio host; David Barton, the right-wing pseudo-historian who heads one of the leading pro-Cruz super PACs and who, like Beck, has declared Cruz to be God’s answer to his prayers; reality TV star Phil Robertson, notorious for making bigoted remarks; James Dobson, the anti-gay radio personality who founded Focus on the Family; Rep. Steve King, the congressman known for his anti-gay and anti-immigrant tirades; Bob Vander Plaats, the Iowa political organizer who describes homosexuality as a “public health risk” similar to smoking; and far-right radio broadcaster Steve Deace.

Other endorsers touted by the Cruz campaign have included North Carolina activists who have referred to gay people as Satan’s minions; a North Carolina pastor who has likened gay people to “maggots” and linked them to Ebola; an Oklahoma preacher who warns that homosexuality is part of a demonic communist conspiracy to bring down America; a Virginia radio host who has blamed gays for everything from terrorism to train derailments; and a Virginia lawmaker who has sponsored an assortment of bizarre anti-gay bills.

Most recently, Cruz welcomed the endorsement of Mike Bickle, the leader of a church that many have criticized for using cult-like practices, who has referred to Oprah Winfrey as a harbinger of the Antichrist, called gay rights as a Satanic plot that will usher in the End Times, and explained that Adolf Hitler was raised up by God to be a “hunter” of Jews.

Cruz’s decision to tout such radical activists — not to mention his own extreme policy positions, such as promising to defy the Supreme Court on marriage equality and abortion rights — is no accident, as he is basing his campaign strategy on the hope that he can motivate tens of millions of conservative evangelicals to go to the polls.

With Cruz now seemingly working his way into front-runner status, we fully expect to see him pick up more, and even more radical, Religious Right endorsements as the GOP primary heats up.

Ted Cruz's Religious Right Support Carries Him To Iowa Victory

So much for the much-expected death of the Religious Right.

Last night, Ted Cruz came out on top of the Iowa caucuses by building a base of conservative evangelical supporters.

According to CNN, about 64 percent of caucus-goers identified as “born-again or evangelical Christians,” up from 57 percent in 2012. Evangelical Republicans put Cruz over the top: He won 28 percent of the vote overall, but was at 34 percent among evangelicals. Cruz came in third among non-evangelical voters, behind Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.

Throughout the presidential race, Cruz has been painting himself as not just the candidate of conservative Republicans and Tea Party members, but the candidate of Christians — or, at least, the Christians who share his particular brand of theology and politics. Cruz’s father and top campaign surrogate, Rafael Cruz, has said that his son has a divine anointing and likened him to Jesus, claiming that his campaign is all about sharing “the love of Jesus Christ” with “every person in America.” Glenn Beck, for his part, hailed the Texas senator as God’s answer to his prayers. To be successful, Cruz said, “we have to awaken and energize the Body of Christ.”

“Sorry, Ted, but an awakened and energized Body of Christ serves the Kingdom of God, not your political agenda,” Christian author Rachel Held Evans wrote in response to the senator’s bold claim.

Cruz and his father may portray his candidacy as a divine mission, but for the Religious Right, doing God’s will requires not just sufficient piety but the political power to get things done.

Sensing a chance to drive the GOP even further to the right, and to put the power of the White House behind their political agenda, the movement’s leadership has almost entirely rallied behind Cruz. And with good reason — he has vowed to implement their agenda with promises to defy the Supreme Court on gay marriage, consider engaging in anti-gay civil disobedience, sign sweeping anti-abortion legislation, go after Planned Parenthoodappoint ultraconservative justices to the bench and block threats to religious liberty of Christians, which he says are rampant in America. For good measure, he announced his candidacy at Liberty University, the institution founded by evangelical firebrand and conservative powerbroker Jerry Falwell.

Cruz assiduously courted both Iowa-based and national Religious Right leaders. In Iowa, Rep. Steve King, far-right radio host Steve Deace and activist Bob Vander Plaats, who helped steer Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum to victory in the state in 2008 and 2012, respectively, all endorsed Cruz. He ended his Iowa campaign by stumping with the trio along with national figures including radio personality Glenn Beck, anti-gay hate group leader Tony Perkins, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas.

Trump, in an effort to keep up, trotted out his own evangelical endorsements, including former Gov. Sarah Palin and Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., and launched a bizarre attack on Cruz’s faith, claiming that “not a lot of evangelicals come out of Cuba.”

But there has been little question that Cruz is the Religious Right’s candidate.

Cruz is betting that stature in the Religious Right will help him drive up evangelical turnout in the upcoming South Carolina primary and on Super Tuesday, colloquially known as the “SEC primary” because it is dominated by Southern states. He has insisted that winning evangelical support in the Republican primary will translate into success in the general election, claiming that Republican nominees have lost the last two contests because the party’s insufficiently conservative nominees failed to motivate the Religious Right base.

To inspire that base, the Texas senator is spouting toxic rhetoric about his ideological opponents and hyping purported threats to the religious liberty of American Christians, all while courting endorsements from the Religious Right’s most extreme wing.

At times, Cruz lifts his apocalyptic rhetoric about impending dangers to freedom straight from his most extreme supporters. Cruz borrowed Deace’s line about a gay-led “jihad” threatening religious liberty on the stump and has pushed bogus persecution stories concocted by Religious Right groups about Christians coming under assault.

Last Fall, Cruz appeared in Iowa alongside a pastor who has called for the government to use the death penalty to punish homosexuality. Days before the caucuses commenced, Cruz campaigned with Perkins, the head of an anti-LGBT hate group who helped coalesce Religious Right support behind his candidacy, and Robertson, the reality TV star who told Cruz supporters that they must “rid the earth” of gay marriage advocates because they are ushering in “evil” and “depravity.” Robertson said that voters should pick Cruz because he “loves James Madison,” before sharing a quote on the biblical origins of U.S. government that is falsely attributed to Madison.

When Cruz faced criticism from opponents like Huckabee who said that Cruz and his supporters weren’t serious about outlawing abortion, the senator’s campaign unveiled a “pro-life coalition” co-chaired by a radical activist who believes a just government would execute abortion providers .

What’s good for Cruz is bad for our increasingly diverse country. When Cruz portrays himself as the candidate of “the body of Christ” and claims God’s blessing — and embraces the most extreme wing of his party as he’s doing it — he signals not to just non-Christians but to Christians that don’t share his particular worldview that he’s not interested in working for them. But that is the very reason why Cruz is the candidate who the Religious Right has desperately been seeking: someone who will give them his undivided attention in a country where they are terrified of losing relevance.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 1/15/16

  • Steve Deace loved Ann Coulter when she was outraging liberals, but now that she is attacking his candidate of choice, Ted Cruz, she has become a "sad caricature" and a "useful idiot."
  • Glenn Beck wants to make it very clear that he will not be buying Al Jazeera America because "not one dime will ever go to pay a state that harbors and infects the rest of the world with twisted ideology that leads to terror."
  • Tony Perkins explains that conservatives love Ted Cruz because is willing to "challenge the darkness -- of terrorism, Christian persecution, same-sex marriage, abortion, religious hostility, radical Islam, family breakdown, even the economy."
  • Meet Dan Wilks, the billionaire sugar daddy for Ted Cruz and Religious Right.
  • Finally, the MRC's Dan Gainor is no fan of the upcoming film "Norm of the North" because in it, Gainor says, "Norm goes on his own little polar bear jihad against capitalism."

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/13/16

  • Jon Green @ America Blog: Kim Davis wasn’t the only crusader for Christian privilege invited to the State of the Union. 
  • Hemant Mehta: Christian Preacher: I Moved Clouds and Stopped a Typhoon Because “I Have Authority Over the Weather.”
  • Warren Throckmorton: Glenn Beck: “Liberal Bastards” Had David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies Pulled from Shelves.
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Steve Deace Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Thursday 06/16/2016, 11:19am
American Pastors Network president and former Pennsylvania lawmaker Sam Rohrer linked Sunday’s mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando to Supreme Court decisions securing rights for LGBT people, telling conservative talk radio host Steve Deace this week that Supreme Court decisions involving marriage equality and “God’s order for human sexuality” have helped to cause God to remove “His hand of protection” from the country. Rohrer told Deace that he has a “great deal of compassion for those who are involved” in the shooting and also believes that... MORE >
Nabi Dressler, Tuesday 05/31/2016, 11:22am
Jarrin Jackson, an Oklahoma Republican congressional candidate, told conservative radio host Steve Deace on Friday that his service in the Army guarding the Afghanistan-Pakistan border was like guarding the U.S.-Mexico border “except for we were allowed to shoot ‘em.” During the interview, Jackson discussed his two tours of service in Afghanistan. “The first go-around, I was a platoon leader just a few miles away from the Pakistan border,” he said, “and really, what we were doing was shore up a porous border kind of like, imagine our southern border, except... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Friday 05/20/2016, 12:08pm
After Donald Trump released a list of 11 people he would consider nominating to the Supreme Court if he were elected president, some conservatives who had been wary of supporting the presumptive GOP nominee began using it as an excuse to rally behind him. But not all of Trump’s conservative critics are convinced that he would actually pick from the judges on his list, many of whom were hand-picked by the conservative Heritage Society. Among the skeptics is Steve Deace, the conservative Iowa talk radio host and vocal Trump critic, who said on his radio program yesterday that he did... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Thursday 05/12/2016, 2:15pm
Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, visited Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace today to discuss her new book, “The Daniel Prayer,” and once again urged Americans to turn to God in order to avoid divine wrath caused by things like church-state separation and the theory of evolution. Lotz told Deace she was praying that “some of this craziness would settle down” in a nation that “seems to be shaking its fist in God’s face and telling him to get out of our politics, get out of our schools, get out of our businesses, get out of our... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Friday 05/06/2016, 5:19pm
Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace, who has become a vocal player in the state’s Republican politics, renounced his Republican Party membership following Donald Trump’s apparent victory in the party’s presidential nominating contest, and is determined that none of his former Religious Right allies will get away with backing the thrice-married mogul. On Wednesday, after Deace’s chosen candidate, Ted Cruz, dropped out of the presidential race, Deace blasted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — whom he campaigned for in Iowa in 2008 —  ... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 05/06/2016, 4:36pm
Religious Right leaders believed this was their year. In Ted Cruz they had a candidate unquestionably committed to their agenda. Cruz was anointed the movement’s candidate at a secret endorsement meeting in Texas, followed by a wave of public endorsements by movement leaders. With only a couple of notable exceptions like Jerry Falwell Jr. and Phyllis Schlafly, Cruz had the overwhelming backing of the Religious Right’s institutional leaders.  But it wasn’t to be. David Gushee, a Christian ethicist and author who has ruffled a lot of feathers with his move to an LGBT-... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 05/04/2016, 2:54pm
Conservative Iowa talk radio personality Steve Deace, who became a prominent endorser of Ted Cruz’s presidential run, has reacted to Donald Trump’s ascendance to presumptive GOP nominee by breaking up with the Republican Party, filing paperwork today to renounce his party registration. On Facebook and on his radio program last night, Deace declared that the United States is like a “petulant brat” who is “crying out to be spanked” by God. He declared on his radio program that “the Republican Party ended for me today.” “I just will not... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 05/04/2016, 11:20am
For years, Religious Right activists have dreamed about a presidential candidate like Ted Cruz. The Texas senator pledged to bring tens of millions of new evangelical voters to the polls by running on his hostility to abortion rights, Planned Parenthood and Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality and the separation of church and state. He won nearly unanimous support from movement leaders, who hoped that by uniting behind Cruz, they would finally get their candidate of choice in position to win the GOP nomination. Focus on the Family founder James Dobson gushed that Heidi Cruz would be the... MORE >