Values Voter Summit

Fischer: "Homosexual Agenda" Is America's "Greatest Immediate Threat"

Earlier today at the Values Voter Summit Bill Bennett called on speakers not to "give voice to bigotry," Bryan Fischer however did not get the memo. As part of a much longer speech against the supposed "threat" of "the homosexual agenda," Fischer said that "we must choose as a nation between homosexuality and liberty, because we cannot have both."

Watch:

Fischer: I believe we need a president who understands that just as Islam represents the greatest long term threat to our liberty so the homosexual agenda represents the greatest immediate threat to every freedom and right that is enshrined in the First Amendment, it's a particularly threat to religious liberty.... We need a president who understands that every advance of the homosexual agenda comes at the expense of religious liberty. We need a president who understands that we must choose as a nation between homosexuality and liberty, because we cannot have both. A president who understands that we must choose between homosexuality and liberty, and who will choose liberty every time.

Romney Calls Out Bryan Fischer's Bigotry

Earlier this week, when we found out that Mitt Romney would be speaking directly before anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-Mormon extremist Bryan Fischer at the Values Voter Summit, we called on Romney to "prove us wrong" and call out Bryan Fischer. And today he did, even if not by name. The implication was clear when Mitt Romney said that the speaker following him, Fischer, crosses the line and uses "poisonous language."

Watch:

Our values ennoble the citizen, and they strengthen the nation. We should remember that decency and civility are values too. One of the speakers who will follow me today, has crossed that line I think. Poisonous language does not advance our cause. It has never softened a single heart nor changed a single mind. The blessings of faith carry the responsibility of civil and respectful debate. The task before us is to focus on the conservative beliefs and the values that unite us – let no agenda, narrow our vision or drive us apart.

Parker: God Will Judge Us For Abortion, Gay Marriage

Star Parker ended tonight's Values Voter Summit by mourning Roe v. Wade and marriage equality, declaring, "We are sick as a country, and we are going to have to recognize how deep this sickness is." She went on to compare legal abortion and gay marriage to slavery and the holocaust, warning that God in the same way "is going to answer the question of abortion and He is going to answer the question of marriage; He already defined marriage and God is true and man is the liar."

Watch:

Parker: He is going to answer these questions, and we've been yearning, and we've been begging, and we're 35 years, 36 years now with Roe v. Wade. And we're talking about all of the millions of people whose lives were touched, how deeply abortion has scarred this country. And now we're yearning, waiting, to protect the interest of marriage, such a most humble position God would put us in, the marital sacrament, to recognize how personal and private that is. It's absolutely under attack to the degree that in California they now have to stop a law, they have to form an initiative to stop a law, from teaching their children gay history. We are sick as a country, and we are going to have to recognize how deep this sickness is.

So that when we get to November 3rd, regardless of the outcome, the same way big moral questions were on the table before, God would answer what we are praying for. And as with slavery when He turned the history clock on and we saw pictures, and we said, 'what happened? We were founded on such principles? These founding fathers prayed. How did we go eighty years, 600,000 dead later to answer a simple question, that was just unlawful in God's eyes. The protection of innocent life, to give that life that liberty, and that opportunity to pursue their personal property and happiness.' We saw it again in the Holocaust, they turned the history clock on after He answered that big question and we said, 'How did this happen? What were we doing? How did the churches that were there just turn their music up and sing a little longer?' Well, He is going to turn the history clock on on today too, He is going to turn the history clock on because one day He is going to answer these questions. He is going to answer the question of abortion and He is going to answer the question of marriage; He already defined marriage and God is true and man is the liar.

Values Voter Summit Conflicts With Jewish High Holy Days for Third Year in a Row

One of the values being touted loudly at this year’s Values Voter Summit is U.S. support for Israel – Rep. Eric Cantor got the first standing ovation of the event when he said, "We have, and we always should, stand by Israel”– but observant Jews will be out of luck if they want to attend the whole conference. As the National Jewish Democratic Council points out in an email, this is the third Values Voter Summit in a row to be scheduled during the Jewish High Holy Days.

Even tomorrow’s panel on “Why Christians Should Support Israel” will take place on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

NJDC writes:


Conservatives have been aggressively targeting Jews recently by touting their pro-Israel positions. But what they continually fail to understand is that pro-Israel rhetoric only goes so far. Polling consistently shows that the sweeping majority of American Jews abhor the conservative domestic policy positions -- particularly on social issues -- that will be discussed this weekend. With this in mind, American conservatives should explain how they intend to make Jews feel welcome in a political movement that advances an agenda opposed by most in the Jewish community and continually holds its flagship conference on the Jewish High Holidays.
 

 

King: Marriage Equality Will Erode America's Foundations

Iowa congressman Steve King, who once claimed that gay rights will lead to children raised in warehouses, told the Values Voter Summit that marriage equality for gays and lesbians will lead to the downfall of civilization. King argued that progressives only want to lead an "assault" on marriage because of their hatred for moral values and later discussed his "bus tour" to remove Iowa judges who ruled in favor of marriage equality, arguing that LGBT rights activists are the "most unhappy people" he's ever met:

Robert Jeffress Endorses Perry, Thinks America’s Doomed Anyway

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Robert Jeffress, a leading figure on the Religious Right, has announced that he will endorse Rick Perry for president later today at the Values Voter Summit.

Jeffress’s choice of Perry is not hugely surprising – in the past, he has attacked Mitt Romney for his Mormonism, saying, “Even though he talks about Jesus as his Lord and savior, he is not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. Mormonism is a cult” and saying that Mormons “worship a false god.”

In 2010, Jeffress urged Christians to vote solely based on religion, saying “I believe we should always support a Christian over a non-Christian."

Mormonism isn’t the only religion Jeffress condemns – he has called Islam an “evil, evil religion” and said, “What we label today as ‘pluralism,’ God called ‘idolatry.’” This “idolatry,” Jeffress warned, has opened up the nation to “God’s wrath.”

Jeffress may have found a presidential candidate he likes, but he’s not too optimistic about the future of the United States. In September, he launched a series of sermons called “Twilight’s Last Gleaming,” in which he posits that America is doomed and Christians need to see the nation’s collapse as an opportunity to spread the Gospel.

 

Staver: Gay Rights Will Destroy Western Civilization

While speaking on the American Family Association's American Family Radio about his upcoming appearance at the Values Voter Summit, where he will be introducing Rick Santorum, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel said that gay rights and marriage equality is one of the gravest threats to the future of Western civilization and freedom itself.

Watch:

Staver: We are facing the survival of western values, western civilization. And I think those survival, whether they win or lose, what will the future of America be will be determined in our lifetime.... One of the most significant threats to our freedom is in the area of sexual anarchy with the agenda of the homosexual movement, the so-called LGBT movement. It does several things, first of all it undermines family and the very first building block of our society, but secondly, it's a zero sum game as well and it's a direct assault on our religious freedom and freedom of speech.

Religious Right Hoping to Exploit Hispanic Frustration with Obama

Even before the opening bell at the Values Voter Summit, the Liberty Counsel hosted a breakfast on messaging and outreach to Hispanic Americans. Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver shared the stage with Tony Calatayud, a Miami-based activist who works for the Spanish language arm of Christian radio Salem Communications.   Calatayud, who helped Marco Rubio get elected to the U.S. Senate from Florida, now travels the country helping to identify and support conservative Hispanic candidates with the group Conservadores.

Staver said that Hispanic unhappiness with Barack Obama is “a really good thing going into 2012.” Calatayud agreed. The growing Hispanic community could be a huge electoral force for conservatives, he said, if only Republicans would stop alienating Hispanic voters with “idiotic” anti-immigrant rhetoric. He said “the Hispanic evangelical movement in this country is exploding” and said repeatedly that Hispanics are “conservative in nature” and share the Religious Right’s values on social issues. Polls suggest, in fact, that Latinos are pro-LGBT equality, but also that Latino evangelicals are more politically conservative than Latino Catholics.
 
Calatayud argued that conservative leaders need to make a “covenant” with “Kingdom-minded” Latino leaders and support an approach to immigration that includes four points: border security first; family reunification; a guest worker program; and “just integration” (a term he attributed to Sam Rodriguez) of the 12-15 million undocumented people already in the country. Calatayud said he didn’t want to hear the word “amnesty” ever again; he and Staver complained about Republicans who use the word “amnesty” to describe anything short of mass deportation. Calatayud got a polite but quiet hearing from the audience for his presentation on immigration; the only applause came when, in response to a question, he affirmed his belief that everyone must learn English.
 
Calatayud also insisted that the eventual Republican candidate must build a “covenant” relationship with Latino evangelical pastors and devote real money to campaign outreach. He said he had hoped Marco Rubio would run this time around; he predicts Rubio will not accept a VP slot this year, but believes he will be the GOP nominee in 2016 or 2020.

Fischer: I Am Persecuted For Telling The Truth

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association broadcast his radio show today from Washington, where he is attending this weekend’s Values Voter Summit. Fischer spoke with Family Research Council senior fellow Peter Sprigg about how gays and lesbians should simply suppress their sexual orientations, with Fischer saying that his anti-gay outlook represents a “more noble view of humanity” than the worldview of gay rights advocates. Sprigg went on to say that “in terms of their identity, we as Christians believe that every human being is born in the image of God, and to be born in the image of God is a far higher and better thing than for anyone to be born gay”:

Fischer also addressed People For the American Way’s letter to Mitt Romney and the New York Times story on the issue that asked why Romney is appearing directly before Fischer, despite his virulent anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-Native American and anti-Mormon rhetoric. Fischer said that he has “done nothing but tell the truth about homosexuality, about gay rights, about Muslims and Mormons,” and that when you “tell the truth, as far as the left concerns, [it is] unmitigated bigotry.”

Watch:

The New York Times piece goes on to say “The conference, from Friday to Sunday in Washington, is sponsored by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association” that would be us, “and other evangelical Christian groups. It aims to energize social conservatives and test the fidelity of the candidates.” All true. “The conference planners have obliged Mr. Romney, scheduling him to speak right before Bryan Fischer, who is chief spokesman for the family association and is known for his strident remarks on homosexuality, gay rights, Muslims and Mormons.” Now again, when you just tell the truth, that’s all I’ve done, I’ve done nothing but tell the truth about homosexuality, about gay rights, about Muslims and Mormons. That’s all I’ve done. I didn’t make anything up; I have just told the truth. You tell the truth as far as the left is concerned, that makes you strident. In fact my comments, my speech, is gonna be followed by a panel of same-sex marriage opponents. And then the New York Times guy talks about People For the American Way calling on especially Mr. Romney to publicly disassociate themselves from Mr. Fischer and his quote “unmitigated bigotry.” So once again, tell the truth, as far as the left concerns, “unmitigated bigotry.”

Right Wing Round-Up

No First Amendment Protections For Mormons? Romney Camp Bravely Offers No Comment

Earlier this week, we here at People For the American Way called on the Republican presidential hopefuls who are scheduled to speak at the upcoming Values Voter Summit to denounce the unmitigated bigotry of the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer.  

We singled out Mitt Romney because he is scheduled to speak directly before Fischer on Saturday and Fischer has recently begun asserting that the First Amendment does not apply to any "non-Christian religions," including Mormonism.

Given that Romney is going to be directly preceding Fischer on stage at the Values Voter Summit, you'd think that he might have something to say regarding Fischer's extreme views - but today the New York Times' Erik Eckholm took note of our effort and reached out to the Romney campaign for a statement and, not surprisingly, the Romney camp has so far refused to comment:

The liberal advocacy group People for the American Way has called on the presidential candidates, and especially Mr. Romney because he will share a stage, to publicly disassociate themselves from Mr. Fischer and what it called, in a statement on Wednesday, his “unmitigated bigotry.” The Southern Poverty Law Center has made similar appeals to the candidates.

...

Mr. Fischer has stood out for his harsh statements on his daily radio show, likening gay rights advocates to domestic terrorists, arguing that gay men and lesbians should be barred from public office and repeating the far-fetched theory that homosexuals built the Nazi Party. He has said that American Muslims should be banned from the military and that Mormons, let alone Muslims, should not enjoy First Amendment protections because these are reserved for true Christians.

“If Mitt Romney wants to appeal to mainstream audiences, he should publicly disassociate himself from Fischer’s bigotry before handing him the podium,” said Michael Keegan, president of People for the American Way.

The Romney campaign did not immediately comment on the call to distance the candidate from Mr. Fischer.

The Values Behind The Values Voter Summit

Earlier today we posted a memo examining the views and statements of some of the key speakers and sponsors with whom several Republican presidential candidates will be associating with the upcoming Values Voter Summit.

To accompany that document, we decided to go through our video archives and put together a compilation of past statements made by leaders associated with three of the Values Voter Summit's main sponsors - Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel, and Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association:

Who’s Who at the Values Voter Summit 2011

This weekend, nearly every major GOP presidential candidate, along with the top two Republicans in the House of Representatives, will speak at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of the leaders of the movement to integrate fundamentalist Christianity and American politics.

The candidates – Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – and the congressmen – House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor – will join a who’s who of the far Right at the event. The organizers of the Values Voter Summit and many of its prominent attendees are on the frontlines of removing hard-won rights for gay and lesbian Americans, restricting women’s access to reproductive healthcare, undermining the free exercise rights of non-Christian religions and breaking down the wall of separation between church and state.

In perhaps the starkest illustration of how far even mainstream Republican candidates are willing to go to appease the Religious Right, Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak immediately before the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, a man whose record of hate speech should be shocking by any standard. Along with regularly denigrating gays and lesbians, Muslims, and other minority groups, Fischer has no love for Romney’s Mormon faith. In a radio program last week, Fischer insisted that Mormons have no right to religious freedom under the First Amendment and falsely claimed that the LDS Church still sanctions polygamy.

People For the American Way has called on GOP presidential candidates appearing at the conference to denounce Fischer’s bigotry. Last year, PFAW issued a similar call to attendees, which was met with silence.

The following is a guide to some of the individuals with whom the leaders of the GOP will be rubbing shoulders at the Values Voter Summit this year.

Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer is the Director of Issues Analysis at the American Family Association, which is a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Fischer acts as the chief spokesman for the group and also hosts its flagship radio program, Focal Point, on which he has interviewed a number of prominent figures including Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum and Mike Huckabee.

On his radio program and in blog posts, Fischer frequently expresses unmitigated bigotry toward a number of minority groups, including gays and lesbians, Muslim Americans, Native Americans, low-income African Americans and Mormons.

Fischer has:

At a speech at last year’s Values Voter Summit, Fischer said that if Christians don’t get involved in politics, they “make a deliberate decision to turn over the running of the United States government to atheists and pagans.” Of the gay rights movement, he warned, “We are going to have to choose, as a nation, between the homosexual agenda and freedom, because the two cannot coexist.”

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the main organizer of this weekend’s summit. Perkins leads the group’s efforts against gay rights, abortion rights and church/state separation.

The FRC famously expressed its hostility to religious pluralism in a 2000 statement blasting a Hindu priest who was invited to give an opening prayer in Congress: "[W]hile it is true that the United States of America was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage…. Our Founders … would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference."

The FRC has one of the most anti-gay platforms of any major political organization, including expressions of support for the criminalization of homosexuality. Earlier this year, the group called on members to pray for the continuation of Malawi’s law prohibiting homosexuality , under which a gay couple was sentenced to fourteen years in jail. Senior fellow Peter Sprigg said he would “much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society.”

Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He:

At last year’s Values Voter Summit, Perkins managed to simultaneously insult U.S. servicemembers and several important U.S. allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that armies that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly “ participate in parades, they don’t fight wars to keep the world free .”

Mat Staver

Mat Staver is the head of the Liberty University School of Law and its legal affiliate, Liberty Counsel, both sponsors of the Values Voter Summit. Liberty Counsel vehemently opposes rights for gays and lesbians, and in July filed the lawsuit to overturn New York’s Marriage Equality Act . The group’s Director of Cultural Affairs Matt Barber has called marriage equality “ rebellion against God” and said LGBT youth are more likely to commit suicide because they know “ what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, [and] is immoral .” Barber has also described liberalism as “hatred for God” and said the president and Democrats “are anti-God.” In fact, Liberty Counsel claimed that Obama is “ pushing America to move under the curse ” of God and “ jeopardizing our nation” for purportedly not supporting Israel.

Through his role at Liberty Counsel and on his radio program Faith & Freedom, Staver has:

Staver aggressively promotes “ex-gay” reparative therapy and warns that gays and lesbians are “ intent on trampling upon the fundamental freedoms ” of others. He is also closely linked to the saga of Lisa Miller, a woman represented by Liberty Counsel who kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America after a court granted custody to her former partner, a lesbian woman. Although Liberty Counsel denies involvement in the kidnapping, earlier this year Miller was reportedly staying at the house of Staver’s administrative assistant’s father in Nicaragua . Staver has also taught the Miller case in his law classes as an example of an instance where “God’s law” preempts “man’s law.”

Jerry Boykin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the War on Terror as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. Boykin rejects religious freedom for American Muslims, claiming that Islam “is not just a religion, it is a totalitarian way of life.” In an interview with Bryan Fischer, he called for “no mosques in America.”

Boykin is a leading member of the dominionist group The Oak Initiative. In a speech at the group’s conference in April, he declared that George Soros and the Council on Foreign Relations conspired to collapse the U.S. economy in order to help President Obama get elected. Last year, he told the group that President Obama was using his health care reform legislation as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him .

Star Parker

Parker is a long-time Religious Right activist who is particularly active in anti-gay and anti-abortion rights work. As Washington, DC was poised to legalize marriage equality, Parker warned that it would lead to more HIV infections in the city, which would “ transform officially into Sodom.” In a recent radio interview with Tony Perkins, Parker mused that black family life was “ more healthy” under slavery than it is today and has accused liberals of treating Justice Clarence Thomas and Gov. Sarah Palin like runaway slaves. She has called legal abortion a “genocide” on par with slavery and the Holocaust.

Ed Vitagliano

As the AFA’s research director, Ed Vitagliano helped co-produce the 2000 anti-gay documentary “It’s Not Gay,” which is riddled with misleading statistics about gays and lesbians and promotes “ex-gay” reparative therapy. The “documentary” starred ex-gay leader Michael Johnston, a self-described “former homosexual,” who was later revealed to have been secretly having sex with other men. Vitagliano’s anti-gay work has continued apace — on the AFA’s radio program this year, Vitagliano argued that gay men are “ abusing the nature of the design of the human body” and said homosexuality is not a “ natural and normal and healthy activity.” Vitagliano also scolded congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis for supporting marriage equality , saying that Lewis “thumbed [his] nose” at God and “needs to go back and read his Bible.”

Bishop Harry Jackson

Jackson, who built his career as an avowed opponent of rights for gays and lesbians, is a regular speaker at Religious Right conferences. He has called for a “SWAT Team” of “Holy Ghost terrorists” to work against hate crimes legislation that protects gays and lesbians, and said that black organizations that support gay rights have “ sold out the black community” and have been “ co-opted by the radical gay movement .” Jackson claims that gay marriage is part of “ a Satanic plot to destroy our seed” and that the larger gay rights movement is “ an insidious intrusion of the Devil.”

Along with his fierce opposition to LGBT rights, Jackson has compared legal abortion to “lynching” and urged the Senate to defeat Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court because she is not a Protestant (Kagan is Jewish). Jackson has even described his political efforts in apocalyptic terms, telling a Religious Right group before the 2010 elections, “God is saying to us ‘I want to pick a fight in which I can wipe out my enemies and cause them to be silenced once and for all.’ This is where America is; if we do not recognize and repent, we are going to see our way of life destroyed as we now know it.”

Lila Rose

Rose is the anti-choice activist responsible for carrying out a deceptive hit job against Planned Parenthood this year. Members of Rose’s group, Live Action, went to Planned Parenthood clinics around the country posing as clients seeking help with a child sex trafficking ring. Planned Parenthood alerted the FBI about the activity, and the one staffer who handled the supposed traffickers inappropriately was promptly fired. Nevertheless, Rose claimed that her hoax proved “beyond a shadow of a doubt that Planned Parenthood intentionally breaks state and federal laws and covers up the abuse of young girls it claims to serve.”

Rose is no newcomer to the Values Voter Summit: in a speech at 2009’s summit, she called for abortions to be performed “in the public square.”

Glenn Beck

Until Beck’s Fox News program was canceled earlier this year, he was one of the Right’s most visible fear-mongers and conspiracy theorists. When his violent rhetoric inspired some real threats against progressive leaders, he laughed off the critics who urged him to choose his words more responsibly. Beck’s elaborate conspiracy theories include the idea that socialists and Islamists were planning a global caliphate, with the help of American progressives; an obsession with the progressive funder George Soros, at whom he leveled a number of anti-Semitic smears including a personal attack that the Anti-Defamation league called “horrific”; and a distrust of President Obama, who he once said was “racist” with a “ deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture .”

On air, Beck joked about killing prominent progressives (for instance, poisoning Nancy Pelosi’s wine), but frequently insisted that it is progressives who were urging violence, even predicting his own martyrdom. In one 2010 broadcast, he warned that "anarchists, Marxists, communists, revolutionaries, Maoists" have to "eliminate 10 percent of the U.S. population" in order to "gain control."

After a terrorist in Oslo killed dozens of young members of Norway’s Labor Party at an island summer camp, Beck attacked the victims , comparing the camp to “Hitler Youth” and calling it “disturbing.”

Perkins: If Obama Is Re-Elected, It Will Spell The End For America

Today, Tony Perkins stopped by The Heritage Foundation to participate in a Blogger's Briefing and promote the upcoming Values Voter Summit.

During the briefing, Perkins accused the media of seeking to ruin any conservative candidate that promotes an agenda that seeks to pull America back from the brink of social and fiscal destruction caused by the Obama administration, and asserted that if President Obama is re-elected in 2012, it will literally spell doom for this nation:

There is one thing that is very clear in my mind, and I think in many voters as I travel the country and speak in churches among social conservatives: there's a recognition that this administration, given another four years, will destroy this country. I don't think that the moral or fiscal fabric of America can withstand another four years of an Obama administration.

Maddow Admonishes GOP Field For Sharing The Stage With Bryan Fischer

On Friday, Rachel Maddow reproached Republican presidential candidates for planning to appear alongside American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer at the upcoming Values Voter Summit. Maddow pointed out that Fischer, along with being “outlandishly all caps bigoted against every other group in America that you can think of” with his anti-gay, anti-Muslim and anti-Native American rhetoric, believes that the First Amendment does not apply to Mormons, which makes it “particularly awkward” that Mitt Romney, a Mormon, is speaking immediately before Fischer at the conference.

Watch, with the clip beginning three minutes into the segment:

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Fischer: First Amendment Does Not Apply To Mormons

As mentioned in our earlier post, we are once again asking Republican leaders who will be attending the upcoming Values Voter Summit to denounce Bryan Fischer's long history of unmitigated bigotry. This time we are focusing on Mitt Romney because, according to the conference schedule, he will be speaking immediately before Fischer on Saturday morning.

Our efforts in the past to get someone, anyone within the GOP or Religious Right to condemn Fischer's relentless bigotry have not amounted to much, mainly because nobody within the movement seems to be particularly bothered by it, which is why GOP leaders continue to appear on his radio program and on stage with him at Religious Right events. 

But we wonder if Mitt Romney might finally raise some objections to sharing the stage with someone who openly declared just earlier this week that the First Amendment does not apply to Mormons and asserts that the LDS church still supports polygamy:

My argument all along has been that the purpose of the First Amendment is to protect the free exercise of the Christian religion.

One evidence that [the Founding Fathers] were not dealing ... they weren't even intending to deal with non-Christian religions is what they did with Mormonism in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Mormonism - they call themselves by the name of Christ, but it is not an orthodox Christian network of churches, it just is not. Mormonism is not an orthodox Christian faith. It just is not. They have a different Gospel, they have a completely different definition of who Christ is and so forth, I mean, the list could be multiplied endlessly.

And it was very clear that the Founding Fathers did not intend to preserve automatically religious liberty for non-Christian faiths, so when Mormonism came along, they practiced polygamy, they believed in polygamy, just like Muslims do today. It was a part of their revealed religion. God had commanded Joseph Smith to have multiple wives and commanded Joseph Smith to go tell your wife Emma, look you gotta room, I want my son Joseph to be able to have as many wives as he wants so you're just going to have to accept it. So God is telling Emma through Joseph Smith, look you're just going to have to live with this deal. So multiple wives in the Mormon Church until 1890 when the Mormon Church told their folks to obey the law.

The Mormon Church, by the way, has never denounced the practice of polygamy. It has not. What it did in 1890, if you go back to the Doctrines and Covenants, what the Mormon Church did is they advised - it wasn't even an order - they advised the members of the LDS Church to obey the law which said one man, one woman, period. So my guess is that if those that are trying to legalize polygamy, and they are working on it right now ... [Fischer cites court case pushing for recognition of polygamy and says it the same as using courts to push for gay marriage] ... If there is some activist court that says you have to recognize polygamous marriages in your state, you're going to start seeing the LDS church, I believe go back to the exercise of polygamy. If it's legal, because all they told their folks is obey the law, if the law says you can have multiple wives, I believe the LDS Church will be out in the front of the pack.

I mean, not everybody in the LDS Church is going to do it any more than all the members of the LDS Church ever did it. It was a minority even in Joseph Smith's day - I mean, Brigham Young set some kind of world record for number of wives, I mean he was up there in Muhammad territory frankly. But most Mormons didn't do it, it was just a small percentage that had the resources to be able to do it. But I think it will come back, it will come back pretty vigorously in the Mormon Church, again, because all the church fathers said in 1890, just obey the law. Well, if the law says you can have multiple wives, they'll be back.

PFAW Urges GOP Candidates To Condemn Fischer

We reported yesterday that American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer will not only be speaking at the upcoming Values Voter Summit but will immediately follow Mitt Romney. Today, People For the American Way released a statement urging Romney and fellow Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum to condemn Fischer’s unmitigated bigotry rather than lending it legitimacy by appearing with him:

• Fischer, the chief spokesman for the AFA, has insisted that American Muslims have no First Amendment rights, has said that Muslims should be banned from the U.S. military, and has called for a ban on the building of new mosques in the U.S.

• Fischer has written that “gay sex is a form of domestic terrorism,” thinks gays and lesbians should be “disqualified from public office,” claims that gays are responsible for the Nazi Party and that gay people today will “do the same thing to you that the Nazis did to their opponents in Nazi Germany.”

• Fischer has insisted that Native Americans are “morally disqualified” from controlling American land and insists that American Indian communities are “mired in poverty and alcoholism” because not all have converted to Christianity.

• He has written that African American welfare recipients “rut like rabbits.”

• Last year, Fischer insulted Medal of Honor winner Sal Giunta, who saved the lives of two fellow soldiers under heavy fire in Afghanistan, saying “we have feminized the Medal of Honor” because "we now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them."

People For the American Way president Michael Keegan urged Romney and his fellow presidential candidates to denounce Fischer’s bigotry before appearing with him at the event.

“Bryan Fischer’s stunning record of public bigotry would make him a pariah in any sane political movement,” Keegan said. “But his long record of hate speech doesn’t seem to bother the supposed ‘mainstream’ GOP politicians like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry who are sharing the stage with him at an event sponsored by his employer. Candidates don’t have to agree with the views of everyone they appear with – but they should be wary of lending legitimacy to those who peddle hate and fear of their fellow Americans.

“If Mitt Romney wants to appeal to mainstream audiences, he should publicly disassociate himself from Fischer’s bigotry before handing him the podium.”

Are VVS Organizers Trying To Hide Fischer's Involvement?

Last month, we asked why Bryan Fischer was not being pictured among the confirmed and invited leaders to the upcoming Values Voter Summit.

Fischer has been a featured speaker for each of the last two years at the event and has always been prominently featured on the speaker's list in years past.  And considering that his employer, The American Family Association, is a co-sponsor of the event, it seemed rather unlikely that Fischer had been dropped, despite his long record of unmitigated bigotry.

The Values Voter Summit is being held next week and Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum are all pictured on the confirmed speaker list, as are dozens of other GOP and Religious Right leaders ... but Fischer is nowhere to be found:

But just because he is not listed on the speakers page, that doesn't mean that Fischer won't be speaking, because the event schedule has him listed as speaking directly after Mitt Romney on Saturday:

9:00 a.m. - Noon

MORNING PLENARY SESSION - Regency Ballroom

- Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), Republican Presidential Candidate*

- Dr. Bill Bennett, Host, Morning in America*

- Governor Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential Candidate*

- Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis, American Family Association*

Straight Talk on Gay "Marriage"

- Moderator: Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President, FRC Action
- Daniel Avila, J.D., Policy Advisor for Marriage and Family , U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops*
- Brian Brown, Executive Director, National Organization for Marriage
- Derek McCoy, President, Maryland Family Alliance*
- David Tyree, Former Wide Receiver, New York Giants

- General William Boykin (Ret.), Former Commander, Delta Force*

The asterisk by Fischer's name indicates that he is a confirmed speaker, so why are event organizers seemingly trying to conceal his participation?

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Sam Brownback endorsed Rick Perry.
  • You will be forgiven for not knowing that Thad McCotter was running for president ... or that he dropped out and endorsed Mitt Romney.
  • John Eastman is now NOM's Chairman, replacing Maggie Gallagher.
  • Bobby Jindal has been added to the list of speakers at the Values Voter Summit.
  • The FRC's Bob Maginnis says it will "take a very courageous future leader to do anything about" reinstating DADT.
  • Finally, Tony Perkins will be holding a press conference next week, taking questions from the press.  I bet we can think of a few good ones to ask.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Focus on the Family and New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms do not appear to approve of our efforts to get New York town clerks to do their job.
  • Speaking of Focus, for all of the organization's talk of seeking common ground on the issue of abortion, The Colorado Springs Gazette is unable to find evidence that there has been any outreach.
  • Operation Rescue stands by Priests For Life.
  • Herman Cain has been confirmed for the Values Voter Summit.
  • Finally, is anyone surprised to find that WND is now publishing Bryan Fischer's bigoted columns?
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Values Voter Summit Posts Archive

Drew Courtney, Monday 09/22/2014, 11:37am
This weekend, Republican elected officials including Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, and Gov. Bobby Jindal will take part in what has become an annual ritual for potential GOP presidential contenders: they will seek to curry the favor of the Religious Right by speaking at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. In doing so, they put themselves in the company of some of the most radical groups and activists working today to dehumanize LGBT people, roll back reproductive rights, tear down the wall between church and state, and deny free exercise rights to religious minorities.... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 10/15/2013, 3:55pm
After enjoying Glenn Beck’s speech about supposed anti-Christian persecution by the Nazis, participants at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit attended breakout sessions focusing on how Christians in the U.S. are facing repression under President Obama. In a breakout session entitled “Standing Up To the Assaults On Our Faith,” Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily alleged that the Obama administration’s supposed persecution of Christians is so bad that it is proof we have entered the Tribulation, a key period in the End Times. Farah cited Pope Benedict... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 10/15/2013, 1:45pm
Glenn Beck devoted his address at the Values Voter Summit this weekend to the Obama administration’s supposed war on the religious freedom of Christians, a concept he illustrated with a collection of Nazi concentration camp badges. Beck suggested that those attending the summit would have been forced to wear a purple triangle patch. Conference attendees erupted in laughter after an audience member incorrectly claimed that the purple triangle, rather than the pink triangle, was used by the Nazis to mark gay people:   Seeing that Beck was making his remarks at an event sponsored by... MORE
Brian Tashman, Saturday 10/12/2013, 2:05pm
Reality TV star Jim Bob Duggar spent most of his speech at the Values Voter Summit imploring attendees to run for office, just like he did, in order to advance social conservative causes like an “army.” Duggar ended the address by retelling a story about a time when Mike Huckabee and his daughter visited a concentration camp, which he used to compare the current state of the US to Nazi Germany. “As they were walking out of that concentration camp, he said little Sarah looked up at him and she said, ‘Daddy why didn’t somebody do something?’ You know what,... MORE
Brian Tashman, Saturday 10/12/2013, 1:50pm
Anti-choice activist Ryan Bomberger laced into the NAACP at the Values Voters Summit today, criticizing the group’s “radical pro-abortion actions.” Bomberger, who alleged that legal abortion is a plot to realize black genocide, said that NAACP should stand for the “National Association for the Abortion of Colored People.” Later, Bomberger claimed that the gay rights movement is increasing “hostility towards Christianity in this country” while homophobia is nothing but a myth. He explained his love for gay people by comparing them to kleptomaniacs:... MORE
Brian Tashman, Saturday 10/12/2013, 1:10pm
Not only did American Family Association talk show host Sand Rios plug the ex-gay movement and warn that gay people are trapped in “a powerful web of deceit” during her Values Voter Summit speech yesterday, but she also cited Stephen Jimenez’s shoddy reporting on the Matthew Shepard case to call his murder a “complete fraud.” She lamented that schools host the play The Laramie Project to teach tolerance to students and said that Shepard’s murder was a result of a “drug deal gone bad.” Watch: Today, we should note, marks the anniversary of... MORE
Brian Tashman, Saturday 10/12/2013, 11:45am
Todd Starnes of Fox News continued his tradition of blatantly lying in order to support maintain his narrative that President Obama is persecuting Christians, this time telling the Values Voters Summit that President Obama refuses to address the case of Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor in Iranian jail. “Our President, who travels across the globe apologizing for the United States of America, yet he cannot utter the words ‘Saeed Abedini’ from his lips,” Starnes said. “What is our President doing about it? Why isn’t he picking up the phone, talking... MORE