Hate Crimes

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

As we head into the last days of 2009, we are doing some end-of-the-year fundraising so we can keep going strong as we prepare to keep tracking, exposing, and fighting the Right in 2010. 

So, in honor of that effort, here is a look back at the ten most popular Right Wing Watch posts of 2009:

1. God Commands You To Kill Gays

2. Sally Kern's Proclamation for Morality

3. Terry Declares That Tiller "Reaped What He Sowed," Then Asks If Someone Will Buy Him Lunch

4. Rep. Trent Franks Declares President Obama an "Enemy of Humanity"

5. Putting "Christ" In Your Christmas Tree. Literally.

6. Virginia GOP Chair goes all Cro-Magnon on Darwin, on his birthday

7. Robertson: Will Hate Crimes Protect Someone Who "Likes to Have Sex With Ducks"?

8. Wiley Drake Prays For Obama's Death

9. The Religious Right's New Demand: Stop Calling Us the Religious Right

10. Halloween is Satan's Holy Day and Candy Is How Demons Steal Your Soul!

It is your support that makes it possible for us to do this work and help turn stories such as these into national news. Please considering making a donation today, so that we can go into 2010 prepared for the battles that lay ahead.

Bauer Suddenly Concerned About Hate Crimes

Gary Bauer writes that Jews are under attack here in America and seems to think that the best way to stem anti-Semitism is for more people to become Christians:

It is true that the citizens of the U.S. are more pious than those of many European countries, where the decline of faith has been much reported. Still, in the U.S., legal attacks on Christmas have become as much of the tradition as the holiday itself, and church attendance among American youths has reached all time lows. Those are only a few of the signs of declining faith ... America’s secular momentum coincides with an increase in persecution of American Jews. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently released 2008 hate crimes statistics showing that 65.7 percent of religion-motivated hate crimes were anti-Jewish. There were 1,013 cases of hate crimes motivated by anti-Semitism last year, the most since 2001.


Theologically, Christians believe God came into this world through the Jewish people and that the Jewish faith is the foundation of all that was to come. That God has directed Christians to love His people is a great counter weight to increasing anti-Semitism in the U.S ... Christians and Jews have also reached an important time in their relationships with one another. In an increasingly hostile world, Christians and Jews must stand together to defend against attacks on Judeo-Christian values. It is a friendship as old as Abraham, as new as a baby in a manger.

And since when did members of the Religious Right start caring about hate crimes?  I thought all crimes were hate crimes and it didn't matter what the race or religion or sexual orientation was of the victim.

Apparently Bauer only believes that hate crimes laws "are neither necessary nor constitutionally authorized" when it comes to sexual orientation.

Religious Right Threatens CPAC Boycott Over Gay Group's Sponsorship

Earlier this year, GOProud, a new gay conservative group, appeared on the scene intent on finding ways to sell the conservative agenda to gays. 

Their approach has been to eschew the "traditional" gay issues like hate crimes protections or the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in favor arguing that healthcare reform would be bad for gays, that "the inheritance tax is really a gay tax," or claiming that the best way to stop hate crimes is to expand gun ownership.

But GOProud does also support things like marriage equality and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell ... and for that reason the Religious Right's professional anti-gay activists at Americans for Truth and the Liberty Counsel are now threatening to boycott the annual CPAC conference if GOProud is allowed to serve as an official co-sponsor:

Folks, for years religious conservatives have been complaining about getting the shaft from CPAC, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. There is usually only a token panel or two dealing with “Culture War” social issues like abortion and homosexuality (and rarely one explicitly on fighting the “gay” agenda) – as organizers seek to appease the CPAC libertarians, some of whom support goals like homosexual “marriage” that are anathema to socially conservatives.

Now CPAC’s tenuous ”Big Tent” could collapse altogether as social conservatives led by Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber threaten to launch a boycott of the conference (scheduled for Feb. 18-20, 2010) unless CPAC drops a homosexual activist group, GOProud, as a co-sponsor. Barber, my good friend, an AFTAH Board Member, and the Director of Cultural Affairs at Liberty Counsel, is leading the charge to keep the CPAC sponsorship list … conservative.


It boils down to this: there is nothing “conservative” about — as Barber inimitably puts it — “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’” Or two women awkwardly mimicking natural procreative relations or raising a child together in an intentionally fatherless home. This does not mean that people practicing those and other immoral (and changeable) behaviors cannot think and act conservatively on other issues like lowering taxes, cutting government spending, ending abortion, etc. But let’s be honest: the “proud” in GOProud is not about pride in opposing the death tax, or defending the right to bear arms; it’s about proudly embracing sinful homosexual behavior – and that is hardly a conservative value.

I challenge every thinking conservative to explain why we should jettison our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage (which clearly rejects homosexual acts as immoral) for some new, secularized brand of “conservatism” that fails to conserve natural, normal, and noble sex within God-ordained marriage. Where does the expansion of “conservatism” stop? Would CPAC welcome “Republicans for Abortion” as a co-sponsor? How about “Conservatives For Higher Taxes”? We doubt it. So let’s stop the double-standard on one issue — homosexuality — that happens to be politically incorrect in this decadent age.

The American Family Association is also voicing its opposition:

Bryan Fischer is director of issues analysis for the American Family Association and host of the radio program Focal Point with Bryan Fischer. He says CPAC chairman David Keene and CPAC organizers have a serious problem on their hands.

"The bottom line is that homosexuality is not a conservative value," Fischer states emphatically. "There are any number of co-sponsoring organizations that I believe are going to have a real problem with the fact that they are giving such a prominent place to an organization which is such an active proponent of gay rights."

"And it's GOProud, they're identifying themselves with the Republican Party...and yet their legislative agenda is directly contrary to the platform of the Republican Party."

As I wrote last year, though there is significant overlap, those who attend the CPAC conference have distinctly different priorities from those who attend the strictly Religious Right conferences like the Values Voter Summit.

It'll be interesting to see how CPAC organizers managed to handle this controversy.  I'm guessing that GOProud will eventually "voluntarily" withdraw their sponsorship.

Sarah Palin Is The "New Negro"

A few weeks ago in his column for WorldNetDaily, Ken Hutcherson penned this line:

I think Christians are the new Negro – but that's an issue for a follow-up column.

Well, that follow-up column is here:

Many reading this may not understand where I came up with this concept of calling Christians "the new Negro."

The reason is because there are undeniable similarities. Jim Crow laws were passed to keep me from having my constitutional rights and my rights under the Declaration of Independence of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Even though the Constitution gave me those freedoms, man was smart enough to be able to keep me from living those freedoms by saying I was "separate but equal."

Today, my constitutional right of freedom of religion is being eroded again by laws such as the Hate Crimes Bill and repeated attacks by the politically correct crowd. Threats that came along as a result of an African American wanting to get out from under Jim Crow laws were formidable and scary and designed to keep African Americans quiet. The same thing is happening to Christians today.


Sarah Palin is another example.

The politically correct crowd has a very difficult time dealing with Sarah because of who she is. Mrs. Palin is a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-traditional marriage, pro-hunting, white, conservative, Christian male who happened to have been born a woman! The politically correct crowd knows exactly what to do with a white male with those attributes, but a woman?

She is the perfect picture of the politically correct woman – strong, beautiful, able to both buy and fry the bacon, take care of the family, run an entire state and still take care of her baby. But because of who she is, and because she does not subscribe to politically correct thinking, she has been attacked for no other reason than her Judeo-Christian values, just as African Americans were attacked for no other reason than their skin color.


The only difference between Christians and African Americans is that Christians put up with this intolerance while standing behind the false disguise of humility and love. We are obsessed with showing the world our love when our primary job is to tell them the truth. The Bible does not say, "Sensitivity shall set you free." It says, "The truth shall set you free." Are we not the truth-tellers?

When are we as believers, like the African Americans that came before us, going to say, enough is enough? No more "separate but equal!" Our battle cry is "We are the salt of the earth, onward Christian soldiers and to God be the glory! For in unity we will stand and we will not be stopped!

Another Right Wing Hate Crimes Horror Story Goes Down

During the debate about expanding hate crimes legislation to cover sexual orientation, one of the standard scare tactics employed by the Religious Right was to point to pastors in other nations who had been arrested for speaking out about homosexuality and warning that, if this legislation passed, the same thing would start happening here.

One of the incidents they regularly pointed to involved Canadian pastor Stephen Boissoin ... in fact, Sen. Jim DeMint explicitly mentioned Boissoin in his speech on the Senate floor opposing the legislation:

Today in the United States, only actions are crimes. If we pass this conference report, opinions will become crimes. What is to stop us from following the lead of European countries and American college campuses, where certain speech is criminalized?

Can priests, pastors, and rabbis be sure their preaching will not be prosecuted if they say certain things are right and wrong? Again, in Canada, for instance, Pastor Stephen Boissoin was so prosecuted by Alberta’s Human Rights Commission for publishing letters critical of homosexuality.

Or will this provision serve as a warning to people not to speak out too loudly about their religious views, lest federal agents come knocking on their doors?

What about the unintended consequences, such as a pedophiles and sex-offenders claiming protected status under this provision as being “disabled”?

There is no such thing as a criminal thought, only criminal acts. Once we endorse the concept of thought-crime, where will we draw the line? And more importantly, who will draw that line?


I urge my colleagues to consider the implications of what we’re doing, just the raw cynicism of attaching this type of controversial legislation to the bill that funds the defense of our country. What type of legislative extortion will they consider of next? I have a choice to vote for hate crimes legislation that I feel would undermine the very justice system in our country or against the defense of my country. I don’t think we could be more cynical.

Well, guess what happened yesterday?

A Court of Queen's Bench judge has ruled an anti-gay letter written by a former Alberta pastor in 2002 was not a hate crime and is allowed under freedom of speech.

Justice E.C. Wilson overturned a 2008 ruling by the Alberta Human Rights Commission that the letter by Stephen Boissoin that was published in the Red Deer Advocate broke provincial law.

At the time, the commission said it may even have played a role in the beating of a gay teenager two weeks after it was published.

The commission had ordered Boissoin to refrain from making disparaging remarks about homosexuals and to pay the complainant, former Red Deer high school teacher Darren Lund, $5,000 in damages.

Neither order can now be enforced, as Wilson declared them "unlawful or unconstitutional."

The letter carried the headline "Homosexual agenda wicked" and suggested gays were as immoral as pedophiles, drug dealers and pimps.

Boissoin had argued he was simply commenting on government policy by criticizing homosexuality being portrayed positively in the public school curriculum.

On Thursday, Boissoin said he was thrilled with the judge's ruling, calling it a victory for "freedom of speech and religious expression in Canada."

Of course, this won't stop the Religious Right from continuing to cite this case as proof of their claims, just as they continue to cite the case involving two grandmothers arrested a few years back in Philadeplhia, as we explained in our Right Wing Watch In Focus on the issue:

One story Religious Right leaders like to tell revolves around the arrest of some Repent America protestors at a Philadelphia gay pride rally. This incident has become the stuff of mythology on the right, in part due to ads produced by Repent America in 2007 featuring a couple of grandmothers who were supposedly arrested for sharing the Gospel. The way they tell it, it’s understandable that it would concern people. So it’s worth finding out what really happened.

The kernel of truth under the pile of propaganda is that a group of Repent America activists were in fact arrested while protesting Philadelphia’s OutFest, and a local prosecutor did charge them with violations of several laws, including the state’s hate crimes law. But none of those charges were for “sharing the gospel.” Repent America – and the religious and political leaders who tell the same story – don’t mention that the police in fact were careful to protect their right to protest. The court found that among other things the protesters “blocked access to vendors, and disobeyed direct orders from the police, who were trying to preserve order and keep the peace.”

The First Amendment allows equality advocates to rally, and allows those with a different point of view to protest. But it doesn’t mean that the protesters have the right to disrupt the rally or drown out its speakers. It is universally recognized that public safety officials can place reasonable “time, place, or manner” restrictions on people exercising their First Amendment rights in order to preserve public order and prevent one group from trampling another’s rights. The court, which noted that Repent America did not get a permit for its protest, found that the police applied the law reasonably when the bullhorn-wielding Repent America protesters refused a request to move to another location and instead sat down in the street.

It’s also important to note that the court ruled that the prosecutor’s decision to file charges under the hate crimes law was a misapplication of the law – and charges against the protesters were dismissed. The court affirmed that the hate crimes law did not apply to the protesters’ speech or even to their disruptive behavior and refusal to obey police requests. That’s not exactly the impression you’ll get from listening to Religious Right leaders. It’s also important to note that federal courts rejected Repent America’s claims that the city and Outfest organizers had violated their First Amendment rights.

Putting WND's "Pink Slip" Effort Into Perspective

For the last several week, Janet Porter and Joseph Farah have been urging activists to spend $30 to send members of Congress a "pink slip" warning them that if they vote to support "government health care, cap and trade, 'hate crimes,' or any more spending" they'll be voted out of office in their next election.

They've recently been highlighting their "success" in all sorts of ways ... some more realistic than others:

If you stacked the 7.8 million pink slips Congress has received warning members away from support of the health-care bill, big spending, hate-crimes legislation and energy taxes, the pile would tower over the tallest buildings in the world.

Laying them end to end would result in a trail that would stretch across two-thirds of the United States from East to West.

And there's no sign the "Send Congress a Pink Slip" campaign is tailing off after two months.

In fact, says Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND, who organized the campaign with WND columnist Janet Porter, it seems to be picking up since a half-dozen members of Congress held a press conference last week to announce their support of the effort – an event that was covered widely by television and print reporters.

Farah said over the weekend the total of pink slips sent to Congress has reached 7.8 million.

Now, 7.8 million pink slips sounds like a lot, but remember that one order through WND sends 535 individual pink slips to Congress.

As such, the 7.8 million individual pink slips represent less than 15,000 individual people.

15,000 people is not insignificant ... but it certainly isn't enough to toss too many members out of Congress for ignoring the campaign's demands.

Rick Scarborough: Still Waiting to Be Arrested

Rick Scarborough of Vision America has sent out an urgent fundraising email seeking to capitalize on the anti-climatic anti-hate crimes legislation rally held week, warning that he still expects to be arrested and saying that even though they were ridiculed in the press, God was quite pleased:  

Vision America needs your generous support NOW to stay in this battle.we need partners NOW to stand with us in prayer and financial support if we are to continue this battle. Please select here to make the largest tax deductible gift you can to this effort NOW. I believe our right to hold our deeply held religious beliefs as well as freedom of speech is at stake and therefore the soul of our nation. You can select here to make a donation. For more than 10 years I have stated that if and when speaking out against sexual deviancy was declared to be illegal by federal law, I would defy that law and obey God. I have followed through with that promise. Our legal team believes this law can be overturned in Federal Court, but

A number of Christian news agencies and talk programs covered our event, but the secular press was strangely silent, even though they covered the event, or worse, as in the case of the Washington Post, they chose to ridicule us.


No one was arrested. (Our lawyers tell us that will come later!) .. From the world's perspective, nothing noteworthy took place, but in Heaven, I believe God looked down and said, "Well done!" to those who stood for traditional values and on the truth of God's Word. He was able to say on that day that in Washington, D.C. there was a remnant that said, "We stand with God."

The Manhattan Martyrdom Declaration: Dobson Vows To Leave America

Last week, nearly 150 Religious Right leaders and activists signed on to the Manhattan Declaration, vowing to join together in an effort to stop America's descent into a totalitarianism, and not surprisingly signers are comparing themselves to Martin Luther and those who resisted the Nazi's

[Richard] Land said, "It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of the process that produced the document. It is a sterling and forthright declaration of first principles. To paraphrase Martin Luther: Here we stand; we can do no other."


[David] Dockery said, "Not unlike the 1934 Barmen Declaration [the statement of the confessing church in Nazi Germany], the Manhattan Declaration is a clarion call for Christians of every tradition to stand together in biblical faithfulness for foundational matters of society and culture like commitments to life, marriage and family.... I pray that God will use this declaration among leaders and laity in churches, the academy and parachurch organizations to join hands together for the sake of the kingdom of God."

On today's radio program, James Dobson hosted Chuck Colson and Robert George to discuss the manifesto during which Dobson explained that if their values are "not preserved at this moment of destiny, this nation and most others in the Western world will fold and freedom itself will go down with it." Saying we are facing a "defining moment in America and the Christian Church," Dobson declared that the statement "deserves our most careful attention, I just want to emphasize that in every way that I can," before asking George just what precipitated this document, to which George explained that it was basically the election of Barack Obama and Democratic majorities in Congress who are out to destroy traditional marriage and basic Christian values. Finally, Dobson stated that with the passage of hate crimes legislation, "it could get very costly to follow this Christ," meaning that pastors and Christians are about the come under direct attack from the government, to which George responded that Christian "martyrs have [always] been called on to pay the ultimate price rather than to deny the Lord or to do what is evil in his sight": 

Eventually, Dobson turned to the supposed "monthly abortion premium" that Rep. John Boehner has been claiming is included in health care reform legislation, which Dobson vowed he would never accept, saying he and his wife Shirley would pay ruinous fines, go to prison, or even "leave this beloved country and spend the rest of our lives in exile": 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • I, for one, can't wait for Ken Hutcherson's follow-up column: "I think Christians are the new Negro – but that's an issue for a follow-up column."
  • CafePress has decided to remove all Psalms 109:8 designs for its website.
  • The full text of Rick Scarborough's remarks at the anti-hate crimes legislation rally has been posted on his website.
  • You want a fight? Bill Donohue will give you a fight
  • Finally, this, amazingly, is not a joke:

ENDA: Same Strategy, Different Target

Have you missed the steady stream of lies about how some proposed piece of legislation will criminalize Christianity and give gays "special rights" now that hate crimes protections have been signed into a law?

Well, then you are in luck because, judging by this Family Research Council fund-raising email, it looks like the Religious Right is dusting off those same claims and re-tooling them for its fight against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, even deploying the same tactic of renaming the legislation to better suit their fear-mongering agenda: 

A grave threat to your traditional values and religious freedom is resurfacing.

Deceptively, it's called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Truthfully, it should be called the "Discrimination Against Christians in the Workplace Act."

I know that sounds far-fetched, but this is what ENDA will do . . .

ENDA will redefine your faith as illegal workplace bigotry . . . make the government a full partner in the homosexual rights movement . . . and force churches, small businesses run by Christians, and faith-based charities to hire nonbelievers or face federal investigation.

This law would punish anyone in the workplace who dares oppose homosexual behavior, cross-dressing and other unhealthy behaviors. The liberals intentionally want to define "discrimination" very vaguely so that their allies in the courts and federal and state agencies will have broad latitude to silence traditional moral viewpoints about sexuality.

Pro-homosexual members of Congress--with the administration's complete support--would like to pass ENDA before it becomes an issue in the 2010 elections.

And that's why we must act immediately.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Campaign Against Feldblum Goes Into Overdrive

Tomorrow, there will be a hearing on Chai Feldblum's nomination to serve as Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and, as such, the Religious Right is gearing up for “Armageddon.”

The American Principles in Action, an arm of the American Principles Project, founded by National Organization for Marriage Chairman Robert P. George, has issued a call to action:

Feldblum intends to use her position of influence as EEOC commissioner to force private institutions to follow her radical vision of society, through the enforcement of aggressive and intrusive employment non-discrimination laws.

She is a master at using the language of moral imperatives to further her agenda.

Feldblum is a lesbian activist who supports government recognition of gay marriage as a way to convey approval of gay relationships and homosexuality in general. She has also argued for the equality of "polyamorous" relationships and almost any conceivable sexual relationship to traditional marriage--a position squarely out of line with American tradition, principles, and the mainstream of public opinion.

Far from believing that government should not be involved in private relationships, she is a champion of government interference in moral and religious traditions where they intersect with her personal crusade ... In other words, Feldblum believes that every organization must ascribe to her vision of society or else face penalties from the EEOC.

Worse than this, the potential damage from Feldblum's nomination is not limited to her use of the EEOC as a weapon against traditional marriage and private institutions. It is even possible to imagine Chai Feldblum as a future nominee for the United States Supreme Court, should she be successfully appointed as EEOC commissioner.

That means it is urgent to defeat her Senate confirmation now, while Americans still have a say. Send a message to your Senator (and the Committee hearing her nomination) today and let them know that Feldblum should not be confirmed.

The idea that Feldblum must be stopped now in order to keep her off the Supreme Court seems to be an emerging right-wing talking point, as it was also made by the Traditional Values Coalition:

Feldblum would impose the LGBT agenda on all of our nation’s public and private schools – and our children would be forced to affirm gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered individuals as both teachers and as students.

Feldblum also rejects the concept of traditional marriage in favor of polyamory – where three or more men and women engaged in sex acts is considered a “marriage.” Traditional marriage will become meaningless if Feldblum achieves her goals.

Feldblum’s position on the EEOC is a steppingstone to the U.S. Supreme Court, where she could end up with a lifetime appointment to push the LGBT agenda on all Americans.

The Family Research Council has also gotten involved, releasing a heavily edited video of Feldblum speaking at an FRC event, full of ominous quotes seeking to portray her as radical ... but apparently not so radical that FRC refused to invite her to participate in the event or for Tony Perkins to deliver a gracious introduction.

According to FRC, this is all part of a nefarious plan by gays to destroy religious liberty:

Their plan is clear and logical. Play the victim and pass hate crimes giving sanctioned and special protected status to those who engage in homosexual behavior ... [T]hey will continue the victim routine and take this special status into the private workforce and use the weight of the EEOC to force acceptance of not only homosexuality, but cross dressing and other forms of sexual deviancy through the passage of the so-called employment non-discrimination act. What is interesting is there is no evidence that suggests what is called the GLBTQ community is economically disadvantaged, in fact, they enjoy a higher standard of living than heterosexuals. Once private businesses are forced to hire cross dressers and homosexuals the next target is the military. If private employers can’t discriminate then neither should our nation’s military. And once our nation’s military falls – the defense of marriage Act will be utterly defenseless, leaving rouge judges and liberal legislators to impose their radical views on the entire nation.

Don’t doubt for a minute that they have a plan and they are working their plan.

Highlights From the Anti-Hate Crimes Legislation Rally

We've compiled the "highlights" of the right-wing anti-hate crimes rally held earlier this week:

Pay particular attention to the segment featuring Gracy Harley, who claims that she used to be a lesbian but that God made her straight and cites Luke 13:13:

And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

There is a reason she cites the King James Version, and that is because in other translations, the passage says "straightened up," which make sense considering that story is about Jesus healing a woman who was "crippled," not gay

10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues

11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.

12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity."

13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

After all the Bluster, Religious Right 'Rally' on Hate Crimes a Bust

For weeks, the most anti-gay fringe of the Religious Right has been building up Monday's "rally” in front of the U.S. Department of Justice as an in-your-face challenge to the hate crimes law and the Obama administration.  Organizers like Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission promised some fire and brimstone in order to see whether the DOJ would have the cojones to arrest them: 

"We're basically going to defy the law, and challenge it," Cass told WND. "We're going to declare the whole counsel of God, including those parts that some may consider 'inciting a hate crime' to see if the attorney general is going to come down and arrest a group of peaceful clergy exercising their First Amendment rights."
The parade of players on the far anti-gay fringes of the Religious Right grew seemingly by the day. Among those whose participation suggested some fireworks were Scott Lively, author of The Pink Swastika and supporter of anti-gay repression in Uganda; Rick Scarborough, a self-described “Christocrat” who railed against “Sodomites” at the recent How to Take Back America conference, and Gordon Klingenschmitt, who had responded to the signing of the hate crimes law by quoting Bible verses that call homosexuals worthy of death. Before the event started, Klingenschmitt saw my People For the American Way pin and said he wanted to make sure I had a copy of his statement. It included these verses:
Romans 1:32 – “Men with men working that which is unseemly…who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death.”
Leviticus 20:13 – “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a  woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
But Klingenschmitt didn’t utter any of these verses. Neither did anyone else.   Maybe someone  decided that footage of Religious Right leaders reading scripture calling for death for gays was not, perhaps, a great public relations move. Or perhaps the presence of a dozen or more college-age counter protestors holding up signs saying “My love is legit” threw them off message.
Indeed, a number of speakers seemed to be tailoring their remarks to the counterprotestors, welcoming them to the event, inviting them to pray and repent along with the speakers.   Speaker after speaker insisted that they were motivated only by love for gay people and their desire to protect their right to offer homosexuals hope and God’s word.
Sure, we heard many of the Religious Right’s standard lies about the hate crimes bill being an effort to silence Christians, and, of course, Janet Porter waving her book about “the criminalization of Christianity.” We heard the inflammatory and inaccurate characterization of the bill as the “Pedophile Protection Act.” We heard from a Philadelphia grandmother with Repent America who in the Right’s inaccurate retelling, was arrested only for sharing the gospel with attendees at a gay pride event. We heard essentially irrelevant examples of anti-gay preachers being suppressed in other countries which don’t have the First Amendment protections Americans enjoy.  And we heard some preaching that God and the Bible say homosexuality is wrong. In other words, we heard standard and typically false Religious Right talking points about the hate crimes law, and a bit of standard anti-gay theology that is unquestionably protected by the First Amendment.
But there was nothing that anyone could remotely consider incitement to a hate crime, and nothing that even these speakers could say with a straight face had any chance of getting them arrested. Even Matt Barber, who typically does not shy away from disparaging comments about gay people and their supporters, gave a relatively dry recitation of the Liberty Counsel’s assertions that the law is unconstitutional.
So, what happened?  Did these culture warriors essentially chicken out? Did they feel outnumbered? In spite of the event being billed as a “rally,” the number of speakers gathered behind the microphone seemed to outnumber the number of people attending in support of their message. The “love is legit” folks had the most visible presence. Maybe the organizers just figured out that a “we love the homosexuals” message would play better than “God wants them dead.” 

We'll have some video posted soon.

Scarborough: Anti-Gay Activists Are Just Like MLK

As something of a follow-up to my last post, Rick Scarborough just issued yet another press release about the upcoming press conference challenging hate crimes legislation in which he compared those participating in the event to Martin Luther King:

On October 28, President Barack Obama signed into law a measure extending the federal hate crimes statute to include so-called sexual orientation. The ministers believe this will criminalize all criticism of homosexual behavior, including that contained in the Bible.

To test this belief and protest a clear violation of First Amendment freedom of speech and religion, various clergy will preach short sermons and read passages from the Bible regarding homosexual behavior. Like Dr. Martin Luther King and the Sixties Civil Rights movement, they will engage in civil disobedience to protest injustice.

On a semi-related note, here's another short clip of Scarborough on Janet Porter's radio program saying what while President Obama was "so careful in choosing his words and calling for caution" after the shooting at Fort Hood, "he threw all that to the wind when George Tiller was shot in his church ... There was no hesitancy in this particular presidency to immediately assume that there were conspirators ... There was a quick jump to judgment in that issue":

For the record, here is President Obama's statement on the murder of Tiller:

I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.

Right Wing Anti-Hate Crimes Protest Picks Up More Support

It looks like the fringe right-wing press conference to challenge hate crimes legislation keeps picking up more support, as Rick Scarborough went on Janet Porter's radio program yesterday to discuss it and Porter pledged to join them in standing outside of the Department of Justice as they seek to get arrested for preaching the Bible. 

According to the program, Porter, Scarborough and the others will also be joined by Matt Barber and Gordon Klingenschmitt (as well as Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance.)

In the audio clip below, Scarborough explains that he was the one who initiated this plan to challenge the recent expansion of hate crimes laws to cover sexual orientation was , saying they seek to "force the hand of the Department of Justice" by defying this law, which is "designed to silence preachers from preaching what the Bible says about homosexuality." As such they are going to challenge the DOJ to arrest them, though Scarborough admits that he doesn't expect to be arrested on Monday ... instead, he expects to be arrested "in the dead of night," hauled away when nobody is around to see.

Scarborough explains that the effort is urgent because they need to challenge this law in the courts and get the case before the Supreme Court which, Scarborough says, has a majority that will side with them ... but they can't do that unless they get arrested first:

Right Wing Leftovers

Which Leviticus Should We Expect to Hear?

Religious Right participants in the upcoming hate crimes legislation protest sure intent on generating some press for themselves, as in the last few hours both Gary Cass and Paul Blair have issued press releases about it. 

And this is raising an interesting question about just how they intend to go about challenging this legislation, because they seem to think that they are going to be challenging the law by simply preaching from the Bible:

Pastor Paul Blair, founder of Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, said, "Pastors have preached the Bible in America for over 400 years, pointing people to Jesus Christ and standing against sin. If preaching the Bible is now against the law, then let us be arrested. If not, may every pastor across America know that he can stand strong and proclaim Biblical Truth without fear of persecution or prosecution."

Of course, merely preaching that homosexuality is a sin is not going to be a violation of the hate crimes law, which even Cass seems to realize:

While the ministers do not expect to be arrested, they are willing to go to jail, if necessary, to stand for freedom of speech and religion.

The question really comes down to just how they intend to preach against homosexuality. Do they intend to preach Leviticus 18:22?

Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

Or do they intend to preach Leviticus 20:13?

If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

Judging by this quote from Cass by OneNewNow, it's difficult to know:

"We're going to exercise our First Amendment rights to preach [the entire] Bible, including those parts that deal with homosexuality and the truth of the sin of homosexuality," explains Dr. Cass. He further says this is being done as a way to clarify "....that this does not constitute a hate crime."

The legislation explicitly protects religious freedom and freedom of speech, but "does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence." So if they intend to preach that homosexuality is sinful, that is not much of a challenge, as that sort of speech is clearly protected. 

But since they obviously intend for this protest to be a direct challenge to hate crimes protections, that really only leaves them one option: demanding death for gays.

If that is the case, they ought to see if Steven L. Anderson is available to join them.

Participants at Right Wing Hate Crimes Rally Unveiled

As we noted last week, various Religious Right groups will be holding an event next Monday designed to challenge the expansion of hate crimes laws to include protections for sexual orientation.   At the moment, it is unknown just how they intend to go about challenging this, though openly calling for violence against gays seems to be pretty much their only option.

Now organizers have unveiled a website:

The intention of the rally the group is to assert the freedom of speech of ministers and Christians in general to declare biblical truth in the public square. The Rally will also expose the unconstitutional nature of the hate law.

Ministers from various denominations will preach from the Bible, especially those parts that speak to the sin of homosexuality. This will serve to reassure ministers and Christians that they are free to do the same.

According to the website, participants are set to include the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Liberty Counsel, Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, S.T.A.N.D., Vision America, and Jim Garlow.

The militantly anti-gay views of CADC and Vision America are already relatively well-known to readers of this blog, as is Mat Staver and his Liberty Counsel.  But S.T.A.N.D is a relatively new organization and Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ is a recent resurrection of the defunct Center for Reclaiming America for Christ effort founded by the late D. James Kennedy, while Garlow was a leader in the right-wing campaign to pass Proposition 8 in California.

Gossip Boy has a good run down of all the participating organizations and individuals, and we are going to keep tracking these developments to try and get a sense of just what they intend to do in order to "challenge" this legislation and what, if any, "specific legal challenges" they intend to bring.

Scarborough Exploits Fort Hood Tragedy To Attack Hate Crimes Protections

Earlier this week we noted that Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission was planning a rally to challenge the recently enacted hate crimes law expanding protections for sexual orientation.

It looks like Rick Scarborough of Vision America will be joining him and has decided to announce his participation via an incoherent press release linking the issue the shooting at Fort Hood:

Referring to the man being held in connection with the deaths of 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas yesterday, Scarborough observed: "We know that Dr. Hasan is a devout Muslim who once told a fellow officer that 'Muslims have a right to stand up against the U.S. military.' Clearly, yesterday's rampage was not motivated by love. Given Hasan's worldview, it's probable that he was motivated in part by an animus toward Christians and Jews. Assuming that murder charges are brought against him, will Hasan also be charged with a hate crime?"

Scarborough said this highlights the absurdity of hate crimes laws. "If convicted, Hasan could face life in prison or the death penalty. Fanatics are not deterred by the prospect of an additional penalty for hating."

Scarborough predicted that the expansion of the federal Hate-Crimes statute, signed into law by President Obama recently, will not prevent crimes like the Fort Hood shootings, but will instead be used to silence dissent.

"Gay activists will use it against preachers who present the Biblical view of homosexuality. Muslim groups will use it against those who speak the verifiable truth about Islam. The federal Hate Crimes Law doesn't target crime, but free speech," Scarborough charged.

Scarborough said Hasan's case also illustrates an entrenched double standard, noting that the Army psychiatrist had received poor fitness reports for proselytizing his patients for Islam. "If a Christian doctor witnessed for Jesus to his patients, I can guarantee he would have been discharged from the United States Army in a New York minute," Scarborough stated.

Rev. Scarborough will lead a demonstration of pastors and other clergy in Washington, D.C., on November 16, where they will preach the Gospel and hold a press conference enumerating their objections to the recently passed Federal Hate Crimes Law. Will the U.S. Attorney General prosecute them for violating the expanded Hate Crimes law?

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Hate Crimes Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Friday 03/18/2011, 11:09am
Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission has traditionally dedicated most of his energies toward attacking the standard Religious Right tagets: gays, hate crimes legislation, society, and President Obama. But now Cass has taken up a new issue: Glenn Beck and his Mormon faith. As we noted last week, there are some Religious Right activists who are growing alarmed that Beck seems to be passing himself off as a Christian in an effort to promote distinctly Mormon doctrines ... and now Cass has joined in with them, releasing a video claiming Beck's work is a "... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/15/2011, 7:04pm
PFAW: PFAW Condemns Abortion Provider Murder Bill.   Alvin McEwen: Family Research Council has yet to come out with 'detailed response' against SPLC charges.   Kate Conway & Julia Krieger @ Equality Matters: Rep. Steve King Proudly Recalls Confronting "Screaming, Profane Gays."   Todd A. Heywood @ Michigan Messenger: Anti-gay activists appeal ruling on hate crimes law.   Alan Colmes: Kansas State Rep. Knows An Illegal Immigrant Because “She Had The Olive Complexion.”   Jason Hancock @ Iowa... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/15/2011, 7:04pm
PFAW: PFAW Condemns Abortion Provider Murder Bill.   Alvin McEwen: Family Research Council has yet to come out with 'detailed response' against SPLC charges.   Kate Conway & Julia Krieger @ Equality Matters: Rep. Steve King Proudly Recalls Confronting "Screaming, Profane Gays."   Todd A. Heywood @ Michigan Messenger: Anti-gay activists appeal ruling on hate crimes law.   Alan Colmes: Kansas State Rep. Knows An Illegal Immigrant Because “She Had The Olive Complexion.”   Jason Hancock @ Iowa... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/09/2011, 4:14pm
With CPAC kicking off tomorrow, Metro Weekly profiles GOProud, the gay conservative group that has set off a culture war within the conservative movement and whose participation in the conference led to a boycott by several Religious Right organizations.  And while we don't agree with most of GOProud's agenda and believe their sense of smug self-satisfaction is annoying and entirely undeserved, we do whole-heartedly support their effort to drive a deep wedge into the conservative movement in order to marginalize the "nasty, anti-gay bigots" who make up the Religious Right... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 02/09/2011, 4:14pm
With CPAC kicking off tomorrow, Metro Weekly profiles GOProud, the gay conservative group that has set off a culture war within the conservative movement and whose participation in the conference led to a boycott by several Religious Right organizations.  And while we don't agree with most of GOProud's agenda and believe their sense of smug self-satisfaction is annoying and entirely undeserved, we do whole-heartedly support their effort to drive a deep wedge into the conservative movement in order to marginalize the "nasty, anti-gay bigots" who make up the Religious Right... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/09/2011, 1:08pm
CitizenLink, the policy and advocacy arm of Focus on the Family, is calling on members to put pressure on the House GOP to implement their far-right goals. Despite the initial claims of House Republican leaders that they would concentrate their work on economic issues, the GOP leadership has embraced a litany of anti-choice bills along with legislation that aims to block the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and revoke marriage equality in Washington DC. The group is now demanding Republicans pass harsh anti-choice bills that would cripple women’s health services, and also... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/09/2011, 1:08pm
CitizenLink, the policy and advocacy arm of Focus on the Family, is calling on members to put pressure on the House GOP to implement their far-right goals. Despite the initial claims of House Republican leaders that they would concentrate their work on economic issues, the GOP leadership has embraced a litany of anti-choice bills along with legislation that aims to block the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and revoke marriage equality in Washington DC. The group is now demanding Republicans pass harsh anti-choice bills that would cripple women’s health services, and also... MORE