Marriage Equality

CGBG Helps Finance Rabidly Anti-Gay Liberty Counsel

Since the Charity Give Back Group was forced to defend its financing of right-wing organizations like the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, spokesman Kevin McCullough (who himself has propagated virulent anti-gay rhetoric) has stated that the campaign to have companies withdraw from the CGBG represents bullying. Tony Perkins, the president of the FRC, even said it was an attempt to “censor” Christians. After Apple dropped out of the CGBG, which was previously known as the Christian Values Network, McCullough told The Christian Post, “We're not asking Apple to embrace our position or the other side's position. We just want them to stay neutral,” and the FRC is calling on activists to tell companies to “remain neutral in the current cultural battles.”

But by indirectly assisting the FRC and Focus on the Family, two of the major ‘culture war’ players, companies listed in the CGBG’s virtual mall are inadvertently finding themselves anything but ‘neutral’ parties. Both groups are heavily involved in the electoral politics and lobbying, which makes it difficult to consider them purely charitable organizations. FRC is one of the most prominent Religious Right advocacy groups in Washington D.C., and Focus on the Family has a policy arm (CitizenLink) dedicated to political activism. If companies really wanted to ‘remain neutral in the current cultural battles,’ that is more reason to drop out of the CGBG’s list.

While FRC and Focus have received the most attention, another group listed as an affiliated organization is Liberty Counsel.

Liberty Counsel is a sister organization of Liberty University and Liberty Action, part of the network established by the late Jerry Falwell. Liberty Counsel’s Liberty Alerts depict their legal victories as “Gaining Ground in the Culture War,” and the head of Liberty Counsel, Mat Staver, wrote a book called Take Back America that he descried a Liberty Action flyer called “an Invaluable Resource to Help Win the Intensifying Culture War!” Staver’s deputy at Liberty Counsel Matt Barber even described liberalism as “hatred for God” and demanded President Obama’s impeachment for providing family benefits to federal employees in domestic partnerships. Most recently, they defended Lisa Miller, who kidnapped her daughter and fled the country to escape a court order granting her former partner custody of the child, and the Florida teacher who used his Facebook to post anti-gay messages. Like FRC and Focus, Liberty Counsel consistently propagates the most stringent anti-gay rhetoric.

Barber has argued that marriage equality is “rebellion against God,” held that gay and lesbian youth who commit suicide do it because they intuitively know homosexuality is “immoral” and called anti-bullying programs part of a “a homosexual activist political indoctrination agenda.” Such anti-gay rhetoric is extremely similar to that used of the FRC and Focus. The FRC’s Perkins claimed that homosexuality is “man shaking his fist in the face of God” and said that gay and lesbian children are likely to commit suicide because they “recognize intuitively that their same-sex attractions are abnormal.” Focus on the Family led the push against anti-bullying programs across the country, calling them efforts “to promote homosexuality to kids.”

Liberty Counsel and the FRC also defended Malawi’s law that criminalizes homosexuality and attacked American efforts to alter it.

Despite right-wing criticisms of the pressure campaign on companies tied to the CGBG, Liberty Counsel launched their own pressure campaign against schools that allowed students to participate in the ‘Day of Silence,’ which protested anti-gay bullying. Liberty Counsel also conducts an annual campaign against companies that they believe are supposedly undermining Christians, and Staver calls on customers to “shop elsewhere” if the store is not seen as sufficiently respectful of Christmas.

Liberty Counsel even joined forces with the militantly anti-gay Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, Illinois Family Institute, and the American Family Association to launch a boycott and pressure campaign against McDonalds after it made a donation to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Barber lashed out at McDonalds for working with “militant homosexual activists” in front of their company headquarters.

Who else supported the boycott and pressure campaign against McDonalds?

Why, none other than the Family Research Council, which supported the boycott against McDonalds and lauded “McDonald’s agreement to stop financing the homosexual agenda.”

Now, will FRC and its allies please stop complaining that pressure campaigns against companies represent “discrimination” and the undue influence of ‘cultural battles’ into the corporate world? Probably not.

Bachmann To Address FL Group Responsible For Gay-Marriage Amendment

John Stemberger is a leading Religious Right activist in Florida.  He was deeply involved in the Rifqa Bary saga and also serves as the President of the Florida Family Policy Council, which was the organization behind the successful 2008 Florida For Marriage effort to pass a constitutional amendment outlawing marriage equality in the state.

On Saturday night, Michele Bachmann will be the keynote speaker at FFPC's 6th Annual Policy Awards Dinner:

We hope you will be able to join us for our Florida Family Policy Council, 6th Annual Policy Awards Dinner on August 27, 2011 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando

In addition to celebrating the amazing and historic pro-life, pro-family victories achieved recently in Florida, and announcing exciting new developments here at your FFPC, you are sure to enjoy hearing from U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, our special Keynote Speaker!

Recently, I had the opportunity to personally experience hearing Congresswoman Bachmann speak in a live forum. I was so impressed, that I wanted you to have the opportunity to hear from her personally as well. (There is nothing like being there in person!)

This year’s theme is “Igniting A Cultural Transformation” and I can’t think of a time in our history when it was needed more!

If Bachmann doesn't want to talk about "fringe" issues like gay marriage on the campaign trail because she doesn't judge people, perhaps she shouldn't be keynoting events for Religious Right groups that dedicated to fighting "fringe" issues like gay marriage.

Right Wing Round-Up

Liberty Counsel Declares The APA To Be A “Pseudo-Scientific Organization”

As researchers continue to challenge and discredit right-wing claims that gays and lesbians can be transformed by reparative therapy and are harmful to children, anti-gay activists simply deny the validity of the science. For example, when the journal Pediatrics found that children with same-sex parents “were psychologically well-adjusted and had fewer behavioral problems than their peers,” then-president of Concerned Women for America Wendy Wright said that the study must be wrong simply because their finding “just defies common sense and reality.”

Today on Faith & Freedom, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and Matt Barber similarly attacked the American Psychological Association because the group’s research on sexual orientation and same-sex parenting didn’t comport to their anti-gay views. Staver and Barber were provoked by a recent 157-0 vote by the APA on a resolution endorsing marriage equality and condemning attacks on gay rights, which was bolstered by numerous studies showing that “homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexual orientation” and that gays and lesbians face harmful discrimination.

Although the APA used a trove of scientific research to show that gays and lesbians deserve equal rights and shouldn’t experience unfair treatment, Barber concluded that the APA has become “a pseudo-scientific organization” and is now “purely a politician organization”:

Staver: You know, we’ve known for many years about the APA’s liberal background and their bent since 1973, but this 157-0 vote shows that it is clearly a political organization that is hopelessly embroiled in politics and not in science.

Barber: Clearly and purely a political organization, a pseudo-scientific organization that the left looks to a great deal to affirm many of their radical leftist political policies to try to get that quasi-scientific support.

Santorum: Same-Sex Marriage Helped Destroy The Economy

Yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum appeared on Today’s Issues on American Family Radio, along with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and the American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon, to discuss the Ames Straw Poll. After celebrating his fourth place finish in the straw poll, Santorum told Perkins and Wildmon that marriage equality, or what he calls the “redefinition of marriage,” secular government and legal abortion are responsible for the country’s economic collapse and created “a society that’s broken”:

Santorum: Letting the family break down and in fact encouraging it and inciting more breakdown through this whole redefinition of marriage debate, and not supporting strong nuclear families and not supporting and standing up for the dignity of human life. Those lead to a society that’s broken.



If you think that we can be a society that kills our own, and that disregards the family and the important role it plays, and doesn’t teach moral values and the important role of faith in the public square, and then expect people to be good, decent and moral when they behave economically, if you look at the root cause of the economic problems that we’re dealing with on Wall Street and Main Street I might add, from 2008, they were huge moral failings. And you can’t say that we’re gonna take morality out of the public square, morality out of our schools, God out of our schools, and then expect people to behave decently in a country that requires, capitalism requires some strong modicum of moral consciousness if it’s gonna be successful.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Matt Barber is not happy with Ann Coulter for joining GOProud's Advisory Council.
  • Speaking of GOProud, the groups is not happy about being tossed-out of CPAC.
  • PBS takes a look at Francis Schaeffer and his work, which had a big influence on Michele Bachmann.
  • Albert Mohler says the the biggest problem with marriage equality "is not that homosexuality will be normalized and accepted, but that homosexuals will not come to know of their own need for Christ and the forgiveness of their sins."
  • Finally, it seems that Focus on the Family is still angry about the American Family Association being labled a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Maybe they should watch this.

Fischer's New Definition of "States' Rights"

I always thought that when conservatives used the phrase "states' rights," it meant that the federal government was to have limited powers and the individual states were to have the right to decide how to legislate issues for themselves.

Once upon a time, Gov. Rick Perry was a supporter of that idea ... until he decided he wanted to run for president and realized that "states' rights" meant that states could recognize marriage equality and a woman's right to choose. 

Seeing as such things are diametrically opposed to the agenda of the Religious Right base he needs to court to win the GOP nomination, Perry quickly flip-flopped on that position, announcing his support for constitutional amendments to outlaw both abortion and gay marriage.

But make no mistake, Perry's cowardly pandering has not gone unnoticed by those he seeks to court ... but don't imagine that they are holding it against him becuse they are not.  In fact, Bryan Fischer is praising and defending Perry for taking this stand by unveiling a rather novel new definition of what the term "states' rights" really means:

Gov. Rick Perry has been castigated by some conservatives and 10th Amendment aficionados for his public support of federal amendments to protect the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.

They accuse him of abandoning his commitment to federalism, states’ rights, and the 10th Amendment and committing unpardonable Tea Party heresy in the process

But to consider amending the federal Constitution as an abandonment of the 10th Amendment and states’ rights absurd.

You can’t get any more “states’ rights” than amending the Constitution, for one simple reason: only the states can amend the Constitution in the first place.

Unless proponents can get voters in 38 states to agree with them, our supreme legal document remains unchanged.

When the Constitution is amended, this is the exact opposite of the federal government imposing something on the states, but is rather a manifestation of the states expressing their political will. If anything, it’s the states imposing something on the federal government. Everybody ought to get pumped up about doing something like that.

So it turns out that "states' rights" doesn't mean that the states have the right to decide the issues as they see fit, but rather that the majority of the states have the right to decide what the minority must do.

Is this any surprise, coming from a man who doesn't believe the First Amendment covers non-Christians?

Barton: "Hang These Four Republican Scalps Over The Senate Rail" For Supporting Marriage Equality

Today on WallBuilders Live, David Barton and co-host Rick Green had the National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher as a guest to discuss NOM’s efforts to defeat senators that voted for the marriage equality law in New York, especially the law’s four Republican supporters. Following Gallagher’s interview, Barton lauded NOM’s campaign and warned that unless those Republicans are defeated, “Ken Mehlman,” the former head of the Republican National Committee and Bush campaign chief who recently came out as gay, “and his kind [will] come in and start rewarding these guys for going against pro-family stuff.” Barton went on to say that “this is where you hang a bloody scalp over the gallery rail,” to intimidate other Republicans who consider supporting equal rights for gays and lesbians:

Barton: If you allow the Ken Mehlman kind of Republicans to come in, and Melhman’s the guy who ran the Republican National Convention, he’s the guy who came out, who’s openly homosexual, trained with Karl Rove and was an understudy to Karl, if you allow those guys to be able to facilitate the Republicans to turn on these issues and other squishy Republicans across the country will say, ‘hey I can take on these pro-family people,’ they’ll start doing the same thing. Then you’ll lose your opportunity to have at least one party that still has the ability to allow people to talk about biblical, moral issues. You just cannot let this happen. Here I sit in Texas, I’ll contribute to the campaign to take these guys out, I’ll send money from Texas to New York.

Green: It’s kind of like the Iowa deal, going after judges up there and the necessity to defeat them.

Barton: Hey, you think that didn’t scare a bunch of judges straight in other states? You bet it did. And I want to see pro-family guys scared straight that are squishy on this issue, and if we can’t take out these four Republicans and the Majority Leader in New York, we will have opened a huge door for Melhman and his kind to come in and start rewarding these guys for going against pro-family stuff, and you just can’t let that happen.



Barton: No disrespect to our Native American friends, but this is where you hang a bloody scalp over the gallery rail. You hang these four Republican scalps over the Senate rail and every other Republican senator looks up and sees those scalps and says, ‘my gosh, I’ll be hanging up there beside them if I don’t stay with this pro-family stuff.’ And that’s exactly what has to happen.

Perry, Prayer, Politics and the Presidency

Casual viewers of “The Response,” including some political reporters who don’t pay a lot of attention to the Religious Right, may have watched Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally on Saturday and wondered what all the fuss was about.  Most of the time was taken up with prayer and praise music.  Few of the speakers seemed overtly political.  Nobody used the occasion to endorse Perry’s pending presidential bid.

But context is everything, and the context for this event was remarkable: a governor launching a presidential bid by teaming up with some of the nation’s most divisive extremists to hold a Christians-only prayer rally that suggested Americans are helpless to solve the country’s problems without divine intervention. Some media coverage is missing the boat: the issue wasn’t whether it was ok for a politician to pray, or the size of the audience, but the purposes of the event’s planners and their disturbing vision for America.

Organizers argued (unconvincingly) that “The Response” was about prayer, not politics. But groups like the American Family Association (AFA), which paid for the rally and its webcast, and organizations like the Family Research Council, whose president was among the speakers, are not designed to win souls but to change American law and culture through grassroots organizing and political power-building.  They have a corrosive effect on our political culture by promoting religious bigotry and anti-gay extremism, by claiming that the United States was meant to be a Christian nation, and by fostering resentment among conservative evangelicals with repeated false assertions that liberal elites are out to destroy religious liberty and silence conservative religious voices.

By calling for this rally, and partnering with the far right of the evangelical world, Perry aligned himself with all these troubling strategies.  When he drew criticism for the event and the extremism of its sponsors, Perry suggested his critics were intolerant of Christians.  Speakers returned to the theme, with one of them declaring that “there is an attack on the name of Jesus.” Such claims of anti-Christian persecution are a tried-and-true strategy of the Religious Right for rousing conservative Christians to political activism.  And for those who actually believe that Christianity is on the verge of being criminalized in America, Perry’s event defined him as a defiant and courageous defender of the faith. 

As journalist Dave Weigel writes, “That's the brilliance of what Perry has done here…He doesn't need to talk about politics, or do anything besides be here and understand this event. The religion is the politics. These worshippers understand that if they can bring ‘the kingdom of God’ to Earth, economic problems, even macroeconomic problems, will sort themselves out.”

A major chunk of the day was given over to Mike Bickle, who runs the International House of Prayer (IHOP) movement, which recruits young people into “radical” devotion to prayer and fasting. Yes, he’s the guy who said that Oprah is paving the way for the Antichrist. Bickle’s associate Lou Engle has organized a series of stadium events pushing prayer, fasting, and politics under the banner of “The Call,” which provided the model for “The Response.”  Bickle and Engle are hard-core dominionists who believe they are ushering in a new Christian church which will take its rightful place of dominion over every aspect of government and society.  But in spite of their well-documented extremism, they are embraced by Republican leaders.  Engle, for example, took part in a Family Research Council prayer-a-thon against health care reform, at which he introduced Rep. Michele Bachmann.

The Christian-nation crowd, like Response speaker David Barton and AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer, who says the First Amendment protects only Christians’ religious liberty, shares a certain vision for America’s future.  Some of the political goals of “The Response” sponsors were brutally clear at the rally; a series of speakers prayed for an end to legal abortion.  While rhetorical gay-bashing was surprisingly absent at an event whose sponsors include the most vehemently anti-gay groups in America (including the AFA, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), it is clear that in the America envisioned by “The Response” planners, same-sex couples would have no chance at legal recognition or protection for their families.  Shortly before the event, Perry himself was forced to walk back from his very brief flirtation with a states’ rights defense of New Yorkers’ decision to extend marriage equality to same-sex couples -- and to vow his support for a federal constitutional amendment that would strip married same-sex couples of their rights and make sure that in the future gay couples could not get married anywhere in the U.S.
And lest anyone think that Perry’s religious agenda is limited to social issues, he made clear that a rigid conservative economic agenda was central to his spiritual mission. Just days before the rally, on “The 700 Club,” Perry said he’d be praying for “our country’s economic prosperity. There just so many people that can’t take care of their family because government’s over-taxed, over-regulated, over-litigated, it caused roadblocks to economic prosperity.” Those words echo the theology of activists like Barton, who have preached that the Bible condemns progressive taxation, the minimum wage and collective bargaining.
 
Perry is clearly positioning himself to enter the Republican presidential primary as a political savior to right-wing activists who are underwhelmed with their choices so far.  Yet, oddly for someone who wants to be president, he insists that America’s problems are beyond human ability to fix. (Sadly, that may only be true to the extent that enough legislators believe that God, like Grover Norquist, is opposed to any tax increases.)

Perry’s worldview and that of “The Response” organizers seems to see no useful role for non-Christian Americans, whose religious beliefs were denigrated at “The Response.”  When Perry told Americans on Saturday that we, “as a nation,” must return to God, it’s clear he meant God as understood by the event’s organizers.  Jim Garlow, who organized anti-marriage equality pastors in California before being hired by Newt Gingrich to run one of his political groups, told journalist Sarah Posner on Saturday that “The Response” was “not about whether Perry becomes president, it’s about making Jesus king.” Perry used the event to let right-wing religious voters and churches nationwide know that for those who see politics as spiritual warfare, he is the warrior they have been waiting for.

Santorum: Marriage Equality Will "Destroy The Family"

Presidential candidate and former senator Rick Santorum spoke with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council on Friday’s Today’s Issues to discuss New York’s new same-sex marriage law. Santorum said that it is “absurd” that “they’re using this idea of equality” to advance the legalization of same-sex marriage, which he believes is part of “an agenda that is ultimately going to destroy the family.” He went on to tell Perkins that marriage equality is part of the left’s effort to take “more control of your lives” by weakening “the family and the church.”

Perkins: But you see what’s behind this with the homosexual activists that they will not rest with simply accommodation but they want to force every state in the nation to change their laws to recognize same-sex marriage.

Santorum: Yeah. They want to force their worldview on us and they’re using this idea of ‘equality,’ which is absurd. This has nothing to do with how two people want to live their lives. It has everything to do with an agenda that is ultimately going to destroy the family, weaken the family and weaken our religious liberties in this country. This is going to transform, you know, the left is very enthusiastic about this agenda because it is an opportunity to get after the things that they see standing in the way of them taking control, more control of your lives, which is the family and the church. And so what better to do that than by destroying the institution of marriage and by saying anybody who opposes them is a bigot and therefore, and that includes people in the clergy.

Fact Sheet: Gov. Rick Perry’s Extremist Allies

Updated 8/5/2011

On August 6, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will host The Response, a “prayer rally” in Houston, along with the extremist American Family Association and a cohort of Religious Right leaders with far-right political ties. While the rally’s leaders label it a "a non-denominational, apolitical Christian prayer meeting," the history of the groups behind it suggests otherwise. The Response is powered by politically active Religious Right individuals and groups who are dedicated to bringing far-right religious view, including degrading views of gays and lesbians and non-Christians, into American politics.

In fact, a spokesman for The Response has said that while non-Christians will be welcomed at the rally, they will be urged to “seek out the living Christ.” Allan Parker, a right-wing activist who participated in an organizing conference call for the event, declared in an email bearing the official Response logo that including non-Christians in the event "would be idolatry of the worst sort."

Perry told James Dobson that the rally was necessary because Americans have “turned away from God.

The following is an introduction to the groups and individuals who Gov. Perry has allied himself with in planning this event.

The American Family Association

The American Family Association is the driving force behind The Response. Founded by the Rev. Don Wildmon in 1977, the organization is based is best known for its various boycott campaigns, promotion of art censorship, and political advocacy against women’s rights and LGBT equality. The organization also controls the vast American Family Radio and an online news service, in addition to sponsoring various conferences frequented by Republican leaders, including the Values Voter Summit and Rediscovering God in America. The AFA today is led by Tim Wildmon, Don’s son, and its chief spokesperson is Bryan Fischer, the Director of Issues Analysis for Government and Public Policy and host of its flagship radio show Focal Point.

Fischer routinely expresses support for some of the most bigoted and shocking ideas found in the Religious Right today. He has:

Other AFA leaders and activists are just as radical:

  • AFA President Tim Wildmon claims that by repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell President Obama shows he “doesn’t give a rip about the Marines or the Army” and “just wants to force homosexuality into every place that he can.”
  • AFA Vice President Buddy Smith, who is on the leadership council of The Response, said that gays and lesbians are “in the clasp of Satan.”
  • The head of the AFA’s women’s group led a boycott against Glee because she accused it of indoctrinating children in homosexuality and idolatry.The editor of AFA Journal Ed Vitagliano said that gay pride months are an affront to the Founding Fathers and will usher in “a return to pagan sexuality.”
  • A columnist for the AFA demanded Christians stop practicing yoga because it was inspired by the “evil” religions of Buddhism and Hinduism.

International House of Prayer

The Response’s leadership team includes five senior staff members of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), a large, highly political Pentecostal organization built on preparing participants for the return of Jesus Christ. In a recent video, IHOP encouraged supporters to pray for Jews to convert to Christianity in order to bring about the Second Coming. IHOP is closely associated with Lou Engle, a Religious Right leader whose anti-gay, anti-choice extremism hasn’t stopped him from hobnobbing with Republican leaders including Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee. Engle is the founder of The Call, day-long rallies against abortion rights and gay marriage, which Engle says are meant to break Satan’s control over the U.S. government. One recent Call event featured “prophet” Cindy Jacobs calling for repentance for the “girl-on-girl kissing” of Britney Spears and Madonna. Perry's The Response event is clearly built upon Engle's The Call model.

Engle has a long history of pushing extreme right-wing views and advocating for a conservative theocracy in America. Engle:

IHOP’s founder and executive director, Mike Bickle, who is an official endorser of The Response, like Engle pushes radical End Times prophesies. In one sermon, he declared that Oprah Winfrey is a precursor to the Antichrist.

The International House of Prayer, incidentally, remains locked in a copyright infringement lawsuit with the International House of Pancakes.

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is a co-chairman of The Response. At the FRC, Perkins has been a vocal opponent of LGBT equality, often relying on false claims about gay people to push his agenda. He:

Jim Garlow

One of the most prominent members of The Response’s leadership team is pastor Jim Garlow. The pastor for a San Diego megachurch, Garlow has been intimately involved in political battles, especially the campaign to pass Proposition 8. Garlow invited and housed Lou Engle to lead The Call rallies around California for six months to sway voters to support Proposition 8, which would repeal the right of gay and lesbian couples to get married. He claims Satan is behind the “attack on marriage” and credits the prayer rallies for the passage of Prop 8. He said that during a massive The Call rally in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium “something had snapped in the Heavenlies” and “God had moved” to deliver Prop 8 to victory.

Most importantly, Garlow is a close spiritual adviser to presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and leads Gingrich’s Renewing American Leadership (ReAL). Garlow is a principal advocate of Seven Mountains Dominionism, and wants to “bring armies of people” to bring Religious Right leaders into public office and defeat their political opponents.

Garlow has a long record of extreme rhetoric. He:

John Hagee

While Senator John McCain rejected John Hagee’s endorsement during the 2008 presidential campaign for his “deeply offensive and indefensible” remarks, Perry invited Hagee to join The Response. Hagee leads a megachurch in San Antonio, Texas, and is a purveyor of End Times prophesies. Like members of the International House of Prayer, Hagee utilizes language of spiritual warfare and says he is part of “the army of the living God.” He runs the prominent group Christians United For Israel, which believes that eventually a cataclysmic war in the Middle East will bring about the Rapture.

John McCain was forced to disavow Hagee for a reason as the Texas pastor:

James Dobson


James Dobson, an official endorser of The Response, is one of the most prominent figures in the Religious Right. Founder of both Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council , Dobson has been instrumental in bringing the priorities of the Religious Right to Republican politics, including campaigning hard for President George W. Bush. But many of the views that Dobson pushes are hardly mainstream. Dobson:

  • is no fan of the women’s movement, writing that women are just “waiting for their husbands to assume leadership” ;
  • claims that marriage equality will “destroy the Earth”;
  • insists that the Religious Right’s fight against Planned Parenthood is “very similar” to that of abolitionists who fought against the slave trade.
  • Asked if God had withdrawn his hand from America after 9/11, Dobson responded: “Christians have made arguments on both sides of this question. I certainly believe that God is displeased with America for its pride and arrogance, for killing 40 million unborn babies, for the universality of profanity and for other forms of immorality. However, rather than trying to forge a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the terrorist attacks and America's abandonment of biblical principles, which I think is wrong, we need to accept the truth that this nation will suffer in many ways for departing from the principles of righteousness. "The wages of sin is death," as it says in Romans 6, both for individuals and for entire cultures.”

David Barton


David Barton, an official endorser of The Response, is a self-proclaimed historian known for his twisting of American History and the Bible to justify right-wing political positions. Barton’s strategy is twofold: he first works to find Biblical bases for right-wing policy initiatives, and then argues that the Founding Fathers wanted the United States to be a Christian nation, so obviously wanted whatever policy he has just found a flimsy Biblical basis for. Barton, “documenting” the divine origins of his interpretations of the Constitution gives him and his political allies a potent weapon. Opponents who disagree about tax policy or the powers of Congress are not only wrong, they are un-American and anti-religious, enemies of America and of God.


Barton uses his shoddy historical and biblical scholarship to push a right-wing political agenda, including:

  • Biblical Capitalism: Barton’s “scholarship” helps to form the basis for far-right economic policies. He claims that “Jesus was against the minimum wage,” that the Bible “absolutely condemned” the estate tax,” and opposed the progressive income tax.
  • Revising Racial History: Barton has traveled the country peddling a documentary he made blaming the Democratic Party for slavery, lynching and Jim Crow…while ignoring more recent history.
  • Opposing Gay Rights: Barton believes the government should regulate gay sex and maintains that countries which “rejected sexual regulation” inevitably collapse.


Other Allies


Among the other far-right figures who have signed on to work with Gov. Perry on The Response are:

  • Rob Schenk, an anti-choice extremist who was once arrested for throwing a fetus in the face of President Clinton, and who allegedly had ties with the murderer of abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian.
  • Loren Cunningham, who is working to mobilize support for the rally is a co-founder of the radical “Seven Mountains Dominionist” ideology. Cunningham says that he received the “seven mountains” idea, which holds that evangelical Christians must take hold of all aspects of society in order to pave the way for the Second Coming, in a message directly from God.
  • Doug Stringer, The Response's National Church and Ministry Mobilization Coordinator, who blamed American secularism and the increased acceptance of homosexuality for the 9/11 attacks, saying “It was our choice to ask God not to be in our every day lives and not to be present in our land.”
  • Cindy Jacobs, self-proclaimed “prophet” and endorser of The Response, who famously insisted that birds were dying in Arkansas earlier this year because of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
  • C. Peter Wagner, an official endorser of The Response, is one of the most prominent leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation, a controversial movement whose followers believe they are prophets and apostles on par with Christ himself (other adherents include Engle, Jacobs and Anh). Wagner has advocated burning Catholic, Mormon and non-Christian religious objects. He blamed the Japanese stock market crash and later the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the country on a traditional ritual in which the emperor supposedly has “sexual intercourse” with the pagan Sun Goddess.
  • Che Ahn, a mentor of John Hagee and official endorser of The Response, who endorses “Seven Mountains” dominionism and compares the fight against gay rights to the fight against slavery.
  • John Benefiel, a self-proclaimed "apostle" and official endorser of The Response, who claims the Statue of Liberty is a "demonic idol" and that homosexuality is a plot cooked up by the Illuminati to control the world's population, and that he renamed the District of Columbia the “District of Christ” because he has “more authority than the U.S. Congress does.”
  • James “Jay” Swallow, official endorser of the rally, who calls himself a “spiritual warrior” and hosts “Strategic Warriors At Training (SWAT): A Christian Military Training Camp for the purpose of dealing with the occult and territorial enemy strong holds in America.”
  • Alice Smith, who advocates "spiritual housecleaning" because demons "sneak into" homes through everyday objects.
  • Willie Wooten, a self-proclaimed “apostle” who claims that God is punishing the African American community for supporting gay rights, reproductive freedom and the Democratic Party.
  • Pastor Stephen Broden – Broden, an endorser of The Response, has repeatedly insisted that a violent overthrow of the U.S. government must remain “on the table.”
  • Timothy F. Johnson – Johnson, a former vice-chairman of the North Carolina GOP, was elected to that post despite two domestic violence convictions and still unresolved questions about his military service and educational record.
  • Alice Patterson – Patterson, a member of The Response's leadership team, insists that the Democratic Party is controlled by a "demonic structure."

 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • It looks like Tim Pawlenty will also sign the National Organization for Marriage's pledge.
  • Speaking of NOM, they are unsurprisingly not impressed with the American Psychological Association's support for marriage equality.
  • Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's hatred of Gov. Rick Perry continues, as she announces she won't endorse him for president.
  • Apparently, praying at Gov. Perry's prayer rally is just like being Indiana Jones.
  • Finally, is there any anti-gay activist more obsessed with gay sex than Peter LaBarbera?

Right Wing Round-Up

Jackson: Prophets Coming To The Halls Of Congress

Harry Jackson, the anti-gay preacher and face of the Religious Right’s efforts to stop marriage equality in Washington D.C. and Maryland, appeared on Trinity Broadcasting Network’s flagship show Praise The Lord where host Phil Munsey lauded the right-wing preacher as a “Prophet of God.” During the interview, Jackson predicted that a “great awakening” and “reformation” is coming to America “when those who are saved begin to prophesy in the halls of Congress and the legislatures.”

Jackson discussed his belief in the radical “Seven Mountains” dominionist ideology, which calls for fundamentalist Christians to identify specific individuals to take power in the seven cultural mountains of society: business, media, education, arts and entertainment, family, religion and the church, and government. Jackson said that God was going to raise up such figures, saying God is “gonna raise up some disciples, like the guy that went to the great Apostle Paul when he was basically the Osama bin Laden of his day.”

Watch:

Lively: Gay Marriage Is A Sign Of The End Times

Earlier this year the The Boston Globe profiled notorious anti-gay activist Scott Lively and reported that he was going to be "toning down his antigay rhetoric and shifting his focus to helping the downtrodden."

Needless to say, this "kinder and gentler" Scott Lively was rather short-lived ... so it is no surprise that he is now writing pieces that are literally titled "'Gay Marriage' as a Sign of the End Times":

God has chosen rampant homosexuality to be a key warning sign for judgment of the world as a whole, and not just of individual nations ... I have made this point before, but it bears repeating. I am 53 years old. When I was born homosexuality was illegal throughout the entire world. In the space of just half a century this tiny 1-3% of the population have made themselves a global political power with greater influence in the courtrooms and legislatures of the world than the Church of Jesus Christ. This astonishing transformation surpasses that of Darwinism, Marxism, and even Islam in its speed and breadth of reach. To my thinking, this can only have been accomplished by the god of this world (Satan 2 Cor 4:4) who knows his time is short and is making his move. What is more alarming is the shocking apathy of the church, which I take as a sign of the apostasy warned about by Jesus in Matt 24:12. The “love of most” for the truth of God truly has grown cold.

Recently the State of New York legalized “gay marriage,” just in time for the “Gay Pride Parade” (that included many of NYC’s political elites), and for the first time, the United Nations officially declared homosexuality a “human right.” I am finding triumphal emails in my in-box from homosexual activists, gloating over their latest victory. In the past I would have found these irritating, but now they simply confirm my impression that the time is very short. I believe it is the same triumphalism described in Revelation 11:7-10 upon the murder of God’s two witnesses: “When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified…And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.” Why is the great city (Jerusalem) mystically called Sodom in the final days? I think because of the centrality of the spirit of sexual perversion in the Anti-Christ system. What “torments” worldly people? The simple truths of God.

Coming Soon: AFA 'documentary' could save the Republic from secularists and gays

Another reason to get your tickets for this year's Values Voter Summit: a fundraising letter from the American Family Association promises that its new "documentary" -- Divorcing God: Secularism, Sexual Anarchy and the Future of the Republic -- will debut at the VVS, the major annual political gathering for the Religious Right movement.

The letter from AFA President Tim Wildmon indicates that the group is eager to maintain its status at a top source for over-the-top anti-gay rhetoric and religious bigotry. Wildmon writes that Divorcing God "connects the dots" among three movements that have "contributed to America's moral decline" -- the secular/humanist movement, the sexual revolution, and the homosexual movement. But it's really about the latter.  "In the relentless drive to convince our society that homosexuality is the moral equivalent of heterosexuality, we see the convergence of all three movements. The New York [marriage equality] vote is a potent case-in-point."

Wildmon cites a verse from the biblical book of Jeremiah in which he says God complains about humanity's rebellion against His law, and then Wildom writes:

Doesn't this describe the past 60 years of America's attempt to run from God?

It began when the humanists insisted that God be driven from the public square through the so-called 'separation of church and state.'

It continued into the 1960s with the transformation of the marital embrace from an act of love and creativity to an act of mere self-pleasure and self-worship that ultimately led to the legalization of abortion.

Now our nation's rebellion has reach [sic] the point that homosexuality is seen as normal, and same-sex marriage is embraced as a civil right.

In Romans 1, Paul uses homosexuality to describe the ultimate idolatry and rejection of God and His dominion over us, since it is a violation of the natural law that God wrote on the hearts of all mankind.

Fortunately, says Wildmon, God hasn't abandoned America...yet.  God is "calling us back to Himself," says Wildmon, "And one way He is doing so is through the voice of the AFA, especially the message of Divorcing God: Secularism, Sexual Anarchy and the Future of the Republic."  And if the AFA can raise "literally hundreds of thousands" of dollars to get Divorcing God onto cable networks and into churches across America, it just might be possible to save the Republic.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Just 6,000 people have RSVP’d so far for Perry’s The Response.
  • A Houston judge dismissed the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s lawsuit against Perry.

Barton: Only Small Minority Supports Marriage Equality

Selective reading of material to support presupposed right-wing views is David Barton’s forte, so it comes as no surprise that the pseudo-historian is using a shoddy poll on same-sex marriage by an ultraconservative organization to claim that very few Americans support marriage equality.

On WallBuilders Live yesterday, Barton and co-host Rick Green hosted Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund to discuss their opposition to equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians. Barton and Green ended the interview by discussing the ADF poll which claimed that 62% of Americans were against marriage equality. ADF’s findings were something of an anomaly, given that most other recent polls show the majority of Americans are in favor of marriage equality, a number which even Republican pollsters admit is rapidly increasing. Unlike other polls, the ADF survey didn’t ask participants whether they believe gay and lesbian couples should be legally allowed to marry but instead asked if they agreed with the claim, “I believe marriage should be defined only as the union of one man and one woman.” As Dan Nejfelt of Faith in Public Life points out:

A key difference is that these polls focused on legality rather than the "definition" of marriage. Given that the political debate surrounding same-sex marriage pertains to legislation rather than the contents of the dictionary, it's hard to see the relevance of ADF's data. It certainly is interesting, but it's not even close to a refutation of the overwhelming body of current nonpartisan opinion research pointing to majority support for legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

But for Barton and Green, the poll demonstrates that the country is united against marriage equality, which they say only has the support of a tiny but vocal minority.

Barton: If you can get a Christian spirit going, it unifies people like crazy. And that’s what we got going on the marriage issue, that’s what we have going on the school prayer issue. The other guys are screaming that it’s dividing. No. When it’s 82 to 18 that’s not dividing, when it’s 62 to 35 that’s not dividing, that’s unifying.

Green: Well the way to divide everybody is to take an issue where only 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 percent are for it and force it on the whole country.

Barton: That’s right. Oh, are you talking about gay marriage here?

Green: I’m not even sure 15 percent are for it. Even when we say 62 percent are for traditional marriage I don’t think you can say 38 percent are for gay marriage, but they might be saying ‘I don’t really know if I want to make that decision.’

Barton: See, that’s when you have to look in the polls to see who are strongly for it. And when you get strongly for, very few. And I love the point he made too, he said they want to do this against the will of the people, that’s why they file lawsuits. I mean, they did not give the people of New York a chance to vote on this, and typically they do not. They file lawsuits against marriage because they can’t win at the ballot box. This is the thing, when it comes to the people they can’t win, which is another great indication that this is a minority driving this agenda. It’s not a majority, it’s not a unifying issue.

Farah: United States Should "Break Up" Over Marriage Equality

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah says that he would rather see the “break-up of the nation” than allow marriage equality for gays and lesbians anywhere in the United States. While criticizing Texas Gov. Rick Perry for saying that he believes New York has a right to decide its own marriage laws (although he supports the Federal Marriage Amendment), Farah contends that the country should dissolve itself to stop marriage equality:

My view of Perry changed from favorable but skeptical to highly unfavorable overnight this week after I read his comments to GOP donors in Aspen, Colo.

Essentially, Perry said he is just fine with New York state's decision to approve same-sex marriage.

"Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex," explained Perry. "And you know what? That's New York, and that's their business, and that's fine with me. That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business."

Of course, GOProud, the homosexual Republican group, was quick to praise Perry for his stand. I'm sure Perry is very proud of that endorsement.

What's wrong with his answer? So much it would take me more than one 750-word column to explain. But I will attempt to address his cowardly surrender of the national culture succinctly.

If America is to rediscover its greatness, citizens of all 50 states will need to rediscover the common values that brought us together as a nation in the first place – not just all go out and do our own thing, with every man doing what is right in his own eyes. The only viable alternative is, quite literally, a break-up of the nation.

What Rick Perry is advocating here is cultural surrender.



This would have been a more thoughtful response from a genuine Christian conservative from Texas: "Marriage between one man and one woman is the building block of any functional self-governing society. Abandoning a critical, time-tested, biblical institution like marriage – or redefining it according to a faddish new notion of political correctness – will have profoundly negative effects on any community, state or nation that tries it. I hope and pray New Yorkers challenge the decision by the legislature in New York because I can't believe it actually reflects their views. If we can't agree on fundamentals like marriage, the very fabric of what binds Americans together is becoming so badly frayed that we may have to consider going our separate ways."
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Marriage Equality Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 08/16/2013, 3:45pm
Focus on the Family spokesman Glenn Stanton, who called same-sex unions satanic, ironically told virulently anti-gay talk show host Janet Mefferd in an interview yesterday that the Religious Right should move away from the polarizing rhetoric of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson, the founder of Focus. While discussing a study pointing to greater acceptance of gay rights among evangelicals, Stanton said that people are moving away from the tactics and style of leaders like “Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, you know even speaking here from Focus, Dr. Dobson.” Stanton said... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 08/05/2013, 12:50pm
At a town hall meeting earlier this month, after he announced he would back birther legislation and accused Obamacare of being racist against white people, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) went after gay marriage, immigration reform and food stamp funding. “I think it’s a sad state of affairs in America today that we as a society are so confused that we have to redefine what marriage is,” Yoho lamented. “It’s an institution that’s been around for thousands years and I feel like it’s ordained by God; are we that confused as a country that we have to start... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/02/2013, 4:30pm
American Family Association talk show host Sandy Rios chatted with prominent Chicago pastor Erwin Lutzer today about homosexuality and the unsuccessful same-sex marriage bill in Illinois. Lutzer said one reason he opposes marriage equality is because of Chicago’s crime rate: “We have such crime here in Chicago, young people being slaughtered every night, we wake up in the morning and there’s been another murder, another teenager has been killed. They said in the midst of a society that is so desperate and so high-crime ridden, do we really now need laid upon this the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/02/2013, 11:35am
When former chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt appeared on The David Pakman Show, he was unable to come up with a single way how the legalization of gay marriage in some states has had an impact on his marriage to his wife. Klingenschmitt yesterday emailed members of the Pray In Jesus Name Project to claim that he has actually found seven ways that marriage equality hurt his family. The supposed harms of same-sex marriage on his family include that marriage equality “hurt our national security and therefore our family's safety by de-funding benefits given to straight couples or weapon... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/31/2013, 3:10pm
NewsMax TV interviewed Bill Donohue of the Catholic League yesterday where he spent most of the interview explaining that he, like the Catholic Church, has no problem with gay people as long as they are celibate or married to someone of the opposite-sex. After Donohue argued that the only purpose of marriage is procreation, host David Nelson asked him what he thinks then of married heterosexual couples who can’t have children. Donohue said there is nothing sinful about that…since they will serve as “ready substitutes” who will raise kids whose parents have died. He... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/30/2013, 4:40pm
Ohio-based Religious Right activist Linda Harvey today expressed outrage that a district court judge ruled on behalf of a gay couple, who are both Ohio residents but were married in Maryland, against the state’s ban on same-sex unions. One of the men has Lou Gehrig’s disease and is seeking to have his partner listed on his death certificate as his surviving spouse and be buried in the same family plot. Harvey called their lawsuit “nonsense” and charged that if the men wanted to be married, they should have married women: “There’s no discrimination or... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/29/2013, 12:40pm
Following CBN reporter Paul Strand’s heavily slanted report where he claimed that gay rights may be “biggest threat to religious liberty in all of America’s history,” Pat Robertson went on to argue that the gay community is on a mission to “destroy the church if need be, then to destroy the military if need be, then to destroy marriage if need be, then to destroy businesses if they need be.” He said that the gay rights advocates won’t stop until “the way they perform sex acts is acceptable” in society and turn America into Ancient Rome,... MORE