Fighting the Right

Anti-Gay Warm-Up Act To World Congress Of Families: 'This Is War'

On Monday, the day before the World Congress of Families conference opened in Salt Lake City, some of America’s most strident anti-gay voices convened for an all-day session they dubbed #Stand4Truth.

Turnout was small — about 50 during the day, a bit more in the evening — and the lunchtime press conference was delivered to a room devoid of press, but organizers filmed the speakers in hopes of turning the footage into a documentary or other resource for anti-gay activists.

The 11-hour-plus event (counting short breaks for lunch and dinner) was hosted by Sandy Rios of the American Family Association, one of the groups sponsoring the gathering. Also sponsoring the event was the Family Research Council, whose senior fellow Peter Sprigg delivered the morning keynote; Rev. Bill Owens of the National Organization for Marriage-affiliated Coalition of African American Pastors delivered the afternoon keynote.

Sprigg, who is also scheduled to speak at WCF on Wednesday, set the tone for the day by challenging the “gay identity paradigm” and urging social conservatives to avoid as much as possible using the words “gay” and “lesbian” because he said they refer to someone’s innate identity. Sprigg urged activists to separate sexual attraction, sexual behavior, and a person’s self-identification and instead to focus on gay relationships, which he called “objectively harmful to the people who engage in it and to society at large.”

He was also one of many speakers who insisted that advocacy for anti-gay policies is not motivated by hate but by love. For example, Sprigg said that while he mourns the gay men who died of AIDS, “the reason they died is because they chose to have sex with men, not because conservatives told them not to. We do no one a kindness by denying the truth.”

Sprigg, who argued against legal nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people, was one of several speakers who spoke, directly or indirectly, in opposition to this year’s “Utah compromise,” in which the Mormon Church agreed to support passage of limited LGBT nondiscrimination protections in return for religious liberty exemptions. Sprigg warned that compromise with the LGBT rights movement is “unwise” and “unsustainable.”

Also arguing for an uncompromising stance and “zero affirmation of the gay rights paradigm” was Americans For Truth About Homosexuality’s Peter LaBarbera, who urged anti-gay activists to stop playing defense and go on the offense, reclaiming the moral high ground by always opposing homosexual behavior. One way to go on offense, he said, would be by proposing state bans on hormone therapy and surgery for transgender youth.

Other notable anti-gay activists who addressed the gathering included Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver (via video) and Brian Camenker of MassResistance. Camenker said he respectfully disagreed with those who called for always speaking the truth in love. “I think there is a place for being insulting and degrading, and I think I can back that up by scripture,” he said. “I think we have to look at this as a war, not as, you know, a church service.” Rios agreed, saying, “I do think that evangelicals have gotten a little bit soft and not understood warfare.”

Camenker said that in the Old Testament, “God has two sets of laws regarding how you treat your fellow man.” One is how you treat your neighbor, who you might work with and forgive. “There’s a whole different set of rules for people who want to tear down society, who want to push immorality, who want to tear down the moral structure of society.” That set of rules is “very brutal,” he said. “God says those people who want to do that must be destroyed.”

He said the LGBT movement is a “house of cards” that is “held together by force, intimidation, and propaganda” and can be destroyed by standing up to it, the way communism was. “We are in a war,” he repeated, saying of gay-rights advocates, “They would send us to concentration camps if they could.”

Among the other participants were North Carolina’s Michael Brown, Houston Pastor Dave Welch, ex-gay therapists Robert Vazzo and David Pickup, and former California lieutenant governor and anti-porn activist John Harmer.

One premise of the #Stand4Truth gathering is that the LGBT movement and their allies in the media suppress evidence about the causes of homosexuality, the medical and mental health harms associated with it, and the possibility of change through “authentic” ex-gay therapy. The evening session began with a panel seemingly designed to portray LGBT people as lost and miserable: a few “ex-gays,” a person who experienced “transgender regret” and Canadian activist Dawn Stefanowicz, an author whose book “Out From Under” recounts growing up with a gay father and his many sex partners and is portrayed as a cautionary tale against gay parenting.

More to come.

Ted Cruz: Obama 'Letting Millions Of People Into This Country Illegally' To 'Fundamentally Transform This Nation'

Yesterday, Glenn Beck sat down with Sen. Ted Cruz to discuss his presidential campaign and the Texas Republican boasted that he is uniting conservatives of all stripes behind his candidacy by acting as a leader “who will do what they said they would.”

Cruz also criticized more moderate Republicans for their stances on “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants, calling it “a defining issue in this election.”

“Barack Obama meant it when he said he wants to fundamentally transform this nation by letting millions of people into this country illegally from all over the world, making them citizens and doing to America what was done to California,” he said. “He wants captive voters.”

Obama, of course, never said anything close to that. In a speech delivered five days before the presidential election in 2008, Obama told supporters that “we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America” by pushing Wall Street reform and “policies that invest in our middle class.”

However, many conservative activists have falsely claimed that the remark was really about bringing immigrants into the U.S.

If Obama is planning to bring people in “illegally” so they can then become citizens and therefore be eligible to vote, he’s not doing a very good job of it. The number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. has leveled off during Obama’s presidency and the bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill endorsed by the president would make eligible undocumented immigrants wait about 13 years before they could become eligible for American citizenship.

Theodore Shoebat Praises Russia, Again Calls For Gays To Be Executed

Last week, Russian lawmakers introduced legislation that would make it illegal for anyone to admit that they are gay, imposing jail time or fines on anyone who makes a "public confession of his non-traditional sexual orientation."

Predictably, radical anti-gay activist Theodore Shoebat is championing the effort, posting a video over the weekend declaring that "this is what needs to be done" and, once again, calling for gays to be put to death.

"It's the sublime words of Moses that tell us how to deal with this evil," he stated. "Those who have sex with animals, men who have sex with men, women who have lesbian intercourse with each other, they are to be arrested and they are to be executed."

Celebrating the fact that "the laws in Russia are increasingly becoming more and more intense against this evil," Shoebat predicted that eventually Russia will start putting gays to death because "the average Russian wants execution for this nonsense and absolutely, I completely agree."

Homosexuality is "straight up evil," Shoebat declared as he asserted that any Christian who does not support putting gays to death is nothing but a fraudulent liar and a heretic.

Michael Savage: 'Republicans Have Egg All Over Their Face' After Clinton Benghazi Hearing

Conservative pundits have largely panned the performance of Republican members of the Benghazi Special Committee at last week’s hearing with Hillary Clinton, describing it as a “disaster” and “waste of time.”

Radio talk show host Michael Savage similarly tore into Republicans last week for failing to trip up Clinton. “I think it’s over, I think she comes out the winner and I think Republicans have egg all over their face,” he said.

“I don’t even know why they went ahead with the hearings,” Savage said, lamenting that they didn’t call upon former generals whom he claim “know the truth” about the nonexistent Benghazi stand-down order. “How do they expect to win this fight if they have no smoking gun?”

Savage ended up arguing that the GOP’s performance was so weak that the Republican committee members must have been secretly trying to help Clinton.

Because Republicans didn’t ask her about the refugees entering Europe, Savage reasoned, “I’m starting to get a sneaky feeling that the whole committee hearing is somewhat staged, that they’re all in on it together because nothing’s coming of this.”

“There’s something wrong with this picture,” he said.

Gordon Klingenschmitt: Planned Parenthood Execs Possessed By Demons, 'Blood Dripping From Their Fangs'

Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt, the Religious Right activist and Colorado state representative, is adept at “discerning the spirits” within his adversaries and applied his talents to the leaders of Planned Parenthood on his “Pray In Jesus Name” program this weekend.

Absurdly claiming that a recent Planned Parenthood decision to stop accepting legal reimbursements for fetal tissue donation at the two clinics that currently accept such reimbursements was an “admission that they were selling aborted baby parts,” Klingenschmitt declared that the women’s health organization’s executives should be “in jail for multiple felonies, not only for killing children — some justices think that’s legal, in God’s eyes it’s never legal — but profiting for it.”

“I don’t believe these people for a moment, do you?” he asked. “In fact, we can discern upon them the spirit of lying, the spirit of death, the spirit of murder, the spirit of greed. I mean, whenever I look at a picture of those executives, if you look in the spirit, at the demons inside of them, you can see the blood dripping from their fangs. These people are just evil.”

Ted Cruz: 'If An Extra 10 Million Evangelical Christians Show Up On Election Day,' I'll Win In A Landslide

Glenn Beck dedicated his entire television program last night to a one-on-one interview with Sen. Ted Cruz in which the GOP presidential hopeful once again declared that mobilizing right-wing Christians is they key to solving this nation's problems, proclaiming that if his campaign can mobilize 10 million more Christians to vote in the 2016 election, he will win it in a landslide. 

Beck noted that Rafael Cruz, Ted's father and chief surrogate, is out on the campaign trail on his behalf, working to motivate pastors to mobilize their congregations to vote because supposedly "54 million Christians didn't vote last time around" and so the key to a Cruz election victory lies in "waking the churches up."

"Absolutely yes," said Cruz. "Imagine in 2016, only 44 million Christians stay home. Now, if that happens, we have done a horrible job; I mean, what a miserable failure if 44 million stay home. But if an extra 10 million evangelical Christians show up on election day, we will not be up at two or three in the morning wondering what happened in Ohio or Florida; they'll call the election at 8:37 PM. That's the difference!"

the Texas Republican went on to assert that his father's efforts, coupled with David Barton's work to restore the "Black Robe Regiment," is paying dividends because he is "seeing more and more pastors waking up and being energized."

Cruz has been heavily courting Religious Right leaders, as Politico reported just today that he is now working with former Southern Baptist leader Paul Pressler and has been courting activists such as Tony Perkins and Bob Vander Plaats.

For more than a year, Cruz has aggressively courted social-conservative leaders such as Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, who has not endorsed yet but will appear next month with Cruz at a South Carolina rally for religious liberty. One critical movement convener, Paul Pressler, on whose ranch Christian leaders gathered in early 2012 to throw their support behind Rick Santorum, has already backed Cruz. And the Cruz campaign expects two other influential Iowa leaders — The Family Leader’s Bob Vander Plaats and Rep. Steve King, whose son is working for Cruz’s super PAC — to line up behind him. “I think it would be a stunner if they didn’t,” said a senior Cruz operative.

Klingenschmitt Prays That God Will 'Save The Children From The Perverts In Houston'

Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt, a Religious Right activist and Republican member of the Colorado House of Representatives, predicted on his “Pray In Jesus Name” program on Saturday that a vote to repeal Houston’s nondiscrimination ordinance next week will succeed because the people who say they are “undecided” in polls are actually “against sharing public bathrooms with crossdressing men but they’re afraid to tell the pollsters.”

Latching on to the Right’s favorite transphobic angle in fighting antidiscrimination measures, Klingenschmitt claimed that the ordinance allows transgender women to “expose themselves to little girls” in restrooms and concluded that transgender people are possessed by “a demonic spirit.”

“God is against you, Mayor Annise Parker,” he declared after predicting that “the lesbian mayor will eventually have egg on her face.”

“Father, save the children from the perverts in Houston,” he prayed.

Pat Robertson Hails Guatemalan Dictator Charged With Genocide

Following a Christian Broadcasting Network report today about the victory of comedian Jimmy Morales in Guatemala’s presidential election, televangelist Pat Robertson praised one former Guatemalan president: Efraín Ríos Montt.

Unlike Morales, Ríos Montt came to power in a coup, although his military regime was overthrown in another coup just one year later.

“At the height of the bloodshed under Ríos Montt, reports put the number of killings and disappearances at more than 3,000 per month,” Patrick Daniels of the Guatemala Solidarity Network noted. “Such was the extent of the violence that in 1999 the UN commission concluded that it constituted acts of genocide.”

His regime specifically targeted indigenous communities with violence and displacement, and in 2013 Ríos Montt was convicted of genocide for crimes committed against the Maya Ixil community. “Hunger, systematic rape and forced displacements were all used as tools of war against the Ixil people,” the BBC reported. However, the conviction was overturned due to a legal technicality and Ríos Montt was later declared unfit to stand for retrial.

Today, Robertson gushed over Ríos Montt, claiming that he was the real victim because he was targeted by liberals just for being a good Christian.

“I know Efraín Ríos Montt, who was the president there,” Robertson said. “He’s a terrific guy, he was with the El Verbo Church and they had a marvelous government but the left got after him and he couldn’t survive. They just went after him and attacked him and attacked him, the United States State Department went after him, it was terrible.”

Kim Davis' Attorneys: The Government Is Coming After Us!

Just as Kentucky clerk Kim Davis played the victim after she defied court orders and continued to discriminate against same-sex couples, so too have her lawyers at Liberty Counsel been readily playing the victim after they came under fire for, among other things, repeatedly telling falsehoods during Davis’ unsuccessful legal battle.

In an email to members yesterday, Liberty Counsel head Mathew Staver found another opportunity to embrace the victim narrative, this time highlighting a new Justice Department effort to combat homegrown extremism.

Unsurprisingly, conservative activists have reacted to the DOJ program by predicting that the government will begin to go after Republicans, veterans and gun owners, the exact same claim they made after the Department of Homeland Security issued a report on far-right domestic terrorism in 2009.

Back when the DHS report was released, Liberty Counsel offered its members cards declaring “I’m Proud To Be A Right-Wing Extremist,” which included the group’s phone number just in case cardholders were “confronted by an agent of the Department of Homeland Security.” While it seemed odd for groups like Liberty Counsel to deliberately equate themselves with violent organizations, it presented a new way to raise money and raise the alarm about coming governmental persecution.

In its latest email about the supposedly looming government attack on conservatives, Liberty Counsel compares itself with Christians who are actually facing persecution in the Middle East and insists that the U.S. government considers conservative Christians “more dangerous than radical jihadists and ISIS.”

“Mentored by radicals, including Bill Ayers, President Obama embraces ideologies that conflict with Christian values and the very principles upon which our nation was founded. That's why we are now in the Obama administration's crosshairs,” the email says. “Help us continue to stand against the radical onslaught being waged against Christians right here in America.”

A dangerous new chapter in the persecution of Christians is underway. No, not in the Middle East, but shockingly, right here in the United States!

Last week, we learned through that President Obama's assistant attorney general for national security, John Carlin, revealed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is creating a new position called the "Domestic Terrorism Counsel," to combat the "real and present threat" of domestic terrorism...

And who are they identifying as posing that threat? Christians!

…in the opinion of President Barack Obama and his administration, you and I are considered more dangerous than radical jihadists and ISIS operatives which the State Department admits are being actively recruited in the United States.

Even more troubling is the fact that the DOJ is depending on the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to help root out domestic terrorists. In earlier messages, we explained how the SPLC operates, placing groups — including conservative, Christian groups — on its "Hate List" based on their ideology, not their propensity for violence. Liberty Counsel has been added to that list!

As columnist Bryan Fisher so aptly wrote about the DOJ's methods of identifying domestic extremists, "[T]he folks at SPLC are still useful to the DOJ, which is desperate to paint conservative Christians as a greater threat to our domestic tranquility than people who are determined to decapitate us in the name of Allah."

Given the facts, why would the Obama administration name the SPLC as the DOJ's right arm in the effort to root out “domestic terrorists"?

Look no further than Barack Obama himself. Mentored by radicals, including Bill Ayers, President Obama embraces ideologies that conflict with Christian values and the very principles upon which our nation was founded. That's why we are now in the Obama administration's crosshairs.

…we can no longer ignore the increasing legislative and legal efforts to discredit and demonize our faith. This latest announcement should drive all of us to reinforce the walls for a battle that is already well underway!

Liberty Counsel has long fought on your behalf against those eager to silence believers while driving every vestige of Christian faith from public life. But we need help...

Your generosity is needed more than ever — both in prayer and through financial support. We are facing well-funded adversaries who are being emboldened by the President and his administration — and we must rise to the challenges!

Click here to help us with a special tax-deductible gift today.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Liberty Counsel's inspired defense of life, liberty, and family.


P.S. Help us continue to stand against the radical onslaught being waged against Christians right here in America. Your special gift will encourage us and help us overcome a significant budget shortfall this month.

Steve King: Monarchs 'Lost Their Head' Because Of Behavior Like Boehner's

In an interview with Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway yesterday, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, compared the power that the speaker of the House wields to “the scenario that brought about the Magna Carta” and caused “many British kings” to “lose their heads.”

Conway asked King about the efforts of Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., to reinstate an Army sergeant who was reportedly discharged for hitting an Afghan police commander who had raped a boy, efforts that he said were being held up by House Speaker John Boehner. King, who has endorsed Dan Webster, the favored speaker candidate of the House’s far-right members, told Conway that there have been “lots of discussions of how to change the rules” in the House “so that it brings out the will of the group.”

“Their job is not to impose their will on the group, as we have seen repeatedly,” he said of the House Republican leadership, “but instead to bring out the will of the group that you represent. And if you don’t do that, if you’re imposing your will on them instead of bringing out the will of them, you’re replicating the scenario that brought about the Magna Carta, for example. And how many British kings lost their head because they didn’t listen to their constituents? They don’t teach that in the history books very well, but I’m sure that heads rolled multiple times throughout history because of that, and that’s of course the big reason why the United States became the United States and separated itself.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/26/15

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 10/26/15

  • Guess who said it: “It has not been easy for me, and, you know, I started off in Brooklyn my father gave me a small loan of $1 million.” 
  • A new warning from Jesse Lee Peterson: “Chaos is on the rise in our cities. And I blame Barack Obama for stoking it. He has opened the gates of hell on America.” 
  • The first couple denied a marriage license by Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis have married
  • Speaking of Davis, Justice Kennedy appeared to address her case at a recent Harvard Law event where he said that “the rule of law is that, as a public official in performing your legal duties, you are bound to enforce the law.”

Televangelist: Gay Rights Will Lead To 'Catastrophic Natural Disasters' And Violent Persecution

Tennessee-based televangelist Perry Stone posted a “Major Alert” on his Facebook page yesterday to issue a dramatic warning about a plan to fine and imprison pastors who “publically say that the gay lifestyle is a sin.”

Of course, Religious Right activists have been making this bogus claim for years , but Stone reports that this nonexistent bill to criminalize free speech “has the support [of] over 100 House members and numerous Senators.”

He warned that violence and natural disasters are coming to America as a result of the gay rights movement: “It is the days of Elijah all over again, where the Spirit of Jezebel is after the heads (voices) of the men of God. There is serious government persecution coming to all who stand for truth, and when the ‘left’ becomes violent, as did the men of Sodom against Lot, threatening to rape him for his rebuke of their iniquity, God will change the game and the United States hedge will be removed and catastrophic natural disasters will be unleased.”

MAJOR ALERT: I have just been informed of a major plan by the extreme left, that has the support over 100 House members...

Posted by Perry Stone Ministries on Sunday, October 25, 2015


Linda Harvey: Halloween Hands Kids Over To Satan On A Silver Platter

On Friday, Mission America’s Linda Harvey delivered her annual Halloween warning, this time telling parents to keep their children away from the holiday festivities.

“Halloween celebrates the spirits of darkness like no other event,” she warned, claiming that demonic forces “are more active than ever in recent times in America because we are inviting their activity in our lives. So here’s my question about Halloween: Why hand your children to dark spiritual powers on a silver platter?”

While it starts with children trick-or-treating for candy, she said, it then turns into parties, which she said are demonic and dangerous.

Paul Ryan Is Not The Moderate The Far-Right Says He Is

Paul Ryan is the latest in a stream of Republicans to aim for the position of speaker of the House after John Boehner announced his plan to step down last month. The House Freedom Caucus, the far-right group of members with Tea Party ties, was at first reluctant to back Ryan, and is even now catching criticism from conservatives who believe Ryan is not conservative enough to represent far-right values as speaker.

The fact that Ryan is now seen as a “moderate” in the Republican party shows just how far to the right the party has moved.

Ryan has courted the far-right for years. He has spoken at the Values Voter Summit, an event sponsored by the radically anti-gay Family Research Council, the American Family Association, and others. At the 2012 summit, Ryan’s appearance was billed alongside a litany of ultraconservative leaders and even a self-proclaimed “former terrorist” Kamal Saleem, who told summit attendees that Hillary Clinton would ban churches before leaving the State Department. Ryan has also courted the Religious Right at Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference. Religious Right activists were ecstatic after Mitt Romney selected Ryan as his running mate, with Reed praising Ryan for his stellar anti-choice voting record.

Ryan also promotes a far-right policy agenda. He is vehemently anti-choice, going so far as to support forcing pregnant victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term. Ryan even partnered with Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin to introduce a bill that would have given zygotes personhood, effectively criminalizing many forms of birth control.

Furthermore, Ryan has vowed to oppose marriage equality and is a climate change denier. This record has won Ryan the praise of Religious Right activists including Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, and the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who noted that Ryan’s voting record fit with “biblical understanding” of the environment.

Ryan has also tried to put a Christian face on Ayn Rand-inspired economics. In the budget plan he unveiled in 2012, much of the spending cuts came from programs for the poor, such as food stamps, housing assistance and employment services, in addition to slashes to Social Security. Ryan made his feelings toward low-income people known when he blamed poverty on the “culture” of “inner city men” and insinuated that kids who receive free lunches at school don’t have caring parents. While Ryan cited his faith for the creation of his budget, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urged him to reconsider his policies and Jesuit scholars from Georgetown University wrote in a letter to Ryan that his budget plan “appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

While Tea Party members clamor that Ryan is too moderate, his anti-choice, anti-LGBT, anti-environmentalist, and draconian economic record shows just how extreme he is.

God Gives Mike Huckabee An 'A,' Flunks Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump, According To Pastor

While several candidates’ campaigns have tried to claim the support of the Almighty, perhaps no one has laid it out more clearly than Rev. Steven Andrew of USA Christian Ministries, who released a statement today titled “God: Mike Huckabee ‘A,’ Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton ‘F.’” And by God, he means Steven Andrew.

Andrew cited his group’s American Christian Voting Guide, which importantly notes, “A higher score means the greater God will bless the USA. Liberty, better jobs and God’s protection come from higher scores. Helping those with lower scores means more troubles from God’s judgment for disobeying the Holy Bible, as well as unjust laws against God.” The guide mentions Huckabee’s defense of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis as the reason why the former Arkansas governor came out on top of God’s list of candidates.

Huckabee may be the highest scoring current candidate, but he can’t compete with the Founding Fathers, to whom the guide gives an “A+” grade.

“Huckabee came from behind to win Iowa in 2008,” Andrew wrote in his statement today. “With Trump dropping in the Iowa polls, people will study the candidates further. I think they will see Huckabee is the most on God's side, especially for Christian religious liberty. That means voting for Huckabee will bring God's economic recovery and protection, since God rewards obedience.”

Andrew has previously claimed that “Starbucks hates God” and that “Starbucks, Nike, Amazon and others are doing the devil’s work” by backing gay marriage.

Religious Right Leader Reportedly Used Unwitting Missionaries As Spies, Endangering Christian Aid Workers

Before joining the Family Research Council (FRC) as its executive vice president, Gen. Jerry Boykin served in the Bush administration, where he most notably was repeatedly rebuked by the president after giving speeches in uniform painting the war on terror as a holy war against Islam. (The Army later reprimanded him again for leaking classified information).

Boykin has since claimed again and again that he was a victim of anti-Christian persecution during his time in the administration. Now, as a full-time Religious Right activist, Boykin frequently claims that President Obama is persecuting Christians at home and abroad.

He has claimed that the president backs terrorists who murder Christians and has even alleged that the president’s support for LGBT equality and reproductive rights at home are putting Christian lives at risk abroad. He has even charged that the Obama administration is pushing for anti-Christian violence here at home, talking about meeting Americans who want to “take up arms” and “fulfill their constitutional duty and take out the president.”

As it turns out, it seems that in his time in the Bush administration, Boykin was the one who was putting Christians at risk. The Intercept reported today that Boykin created a Pentagon program that put Christians in harm’s way by using missionaries, some of them unwitting, as spies.

By turning a Christian NGO into an American spy front, experts warned reporter Matthew Cole, Boykin’s program could endanger all Christian charitable workers who can now be accused by foreign governments of secretly working as American spies, possibly leading to imprisonment or execution.

Cole writes that Boykin’s “brainchild” was an operation to secretly steer around $15 million from the Pentagon to a group known as Humanitarian International Services Group (HISG), which Boykin and others then turned into a spying operation against North Korea.

The revelation that the Pentagon used an NGO and unwitting humanitarian volunteers for intelligence gathering is the result of a monthslong investigation by The Intercept. In the course of the investigation, more than a dozen current and former military and intelligence officials, humanitarian aid workers, missionaries, U.S. officials, and former HISG staffers were interviewed. The U.S. government officials who were familiar with the Pentagon operation and HISG’s role asked for anonymity because discussing classified military and intelligence matters would put them at risk of prosecution. The Pentagon had no comment on HISG or the espionage operations in North Korea.

Before it was finally dismantled in 2013, Hiramine’s organization received millions in funding from the Pentagon through a complex web of organizations designed to mask the origin of the cash, according to one of the former military officials familiar with the program, as well as documentation reviewed for this article.

The use of HISG for espionage was “beyond the pale” of what the U.S. government should be allowed to do, said Sam Worthington, president of InterAction, an association of nearly 200 American NGOs. The practice of using humanitarian workers as spies “violates international principles” and puts legitimate aid and development workers at risk, he argued.

“It is unacceptable that the Pentagon or any other U.S. agency use nonprofits for intelligence gathering,” Worthington said. “It is a violation of the basic trust between the U.S. government and its civic sector.”

HISG had experience shipping “medical equipment, clothing, and disaster relief supplies around the world,” and would later use those services to move military equipment.

The Pentagon tasked [HISG founder Kay] Hiramine with gathering the intelligence it needed inside North Korea, and Hiramine would in turn utilize HISG’s access to the country to complete the assignments, according to two former military officials with knowledge of the effort. Hiramine, in his role as CEO of HISG, tapped Christian missionaries, aid workers, and Chinese smugglers to move equipment into and around North Korea — none of whom had any idea that they were part of a secret Pentagon operation.

Because American intelligence has so few assets inside North Korea, much of Hiramine’s task was to find transportation routes to move military equipment — and potentially clandestine operatives — in and around the country. The Pentagon would eventually move sensors and small radio beacons through Hiramine’s transportation network, according to another former military official. Much of what Hiramine was doing was what the military refers to as “operational preparation of the environment,” or OPE, a category that encompasses clandestine intelligence gathering and prepositioning equipment inside a country for future conflicts.

The North Korean government frequently accuses its foreign prisoners of spying for the West or trying to overthrow the government. One such prisoner was American missionary Kenneth Bae, whose case become a cause célèbre of the FRC, which used his imprisonment in North Korea to criticize Obama for supposedly failing to defend Christians abroad. As Lee Fang, a contributor to the Intercept report, put it, Boykin condemns Muslims and gays for supposedly “persecuting Christians” while his own actions “endangered Christian charities across the world.”

Programs like the one Boykin reportedly helped create threaten to give governments like North Korea a reason to clampdown on NGOs and aid workers, including missionaries, by claiming that they are working as American spies.

Fears that this would happen led to the dissolution of the program, and HISG not-so-coincidentally shut its doors not long afterwards. A group steering Pentagon dollars to HISG also closed down, donating “its remaining funds as a gift to the federal government.”

The longer HISG operated and became more legitimate, the more opportunities would be available to U.S. military and intelligence officials to run operations in other countries as they had in North Korea. In other words, Hiramine’s ability to use HISG to form partnerships and working relationships with other unsuspecting aid workers and missionaries would give the Pentagon more places to spy, according to one of the former military officials. That official would not say whether Hiramine was tasked with operating in countries besides North Korea.

“If these people had been caught and tried and executed in downtown Pyongyang you’d really understand the risk,” said Robert Baer, a retired CIA officer who spent more than 20 years conducting espionage operations.

Using humanitarian and aid workers for gathering intelligence has always been risky. U.S. intelligence policy prohibits using American clergy, journalists, or Peace Corps volunteers as a cover to conduct espionage. Using NGOs is not strictly prohibited, but though it is not unprecedented, it is dangerous.

In recent years, the risk of using legitimate aid workers as cover for spying has had deadly repercussions.

In 2012, now-retired Adm. William McRaven, the commander of the Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida, who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid, shut down the North Korea spying program.

McRaven told us he shut it down because he was nervous about the flap if it ever got out that the Pentagon had used a bunch of evangelicals and missionaries as spies,” said one former military officer, adding that if the program had produced better intelligence McRaven would have considered keeping it up and running. McRaven did not respond to a request for comment.

In January 2013, Hiramine and his fellow HISG executives announced to their employees that they were shuttering the organization. “We got no warning,” said Jennings, the former HISG program director. “We had no jobs, no severance, and no explanation. All they said was ‘we lost our funding.’”

Michael Savage Warns That SNL And Larry David Are Ushering In Sharia Law

Last week, conservative radio host Michael Savage fumed over Larry David’s impersonation of Bernie Sanders on Saturday Night Live, saying it was a direct attack on him as it ignored his much better impersonation of Sanders.

He claimed that SNL tried to cover up Sanders’ supposed “Soviet-style politics” by purportedly avoiding jokes about his views on socialism.

“The reason Saturday Night Live made believe that they were ridiculing Bernie Sanders was to weaken Michael Savage’s strong performance, where not only is ‘Bernie Sanders the lunatic’ ridiculed, but more particularly Bernie Sanders’ more insane Soviet economics are exposed through my comedy,” he boasted, before claiming that when shows like SNL “see a genuine threat emerge on the other side in the form of someone who is as talented as I am and they take on one of their cultural icons, they bring in their biggest guns to try and triangulate the opposition.”

Savage concluded that SNL was paving the way for the imposition of Sharia law in the U.S. by keeping people distracted from the supposed Muslim threat.

He alleged that Muslims “pretending to be refugees” from countries like Syria are part of a concerted Islamist campaign that “threatens to drown the world and drag us into a 1,000 years of darkness.” Thanks to SNL and “snide Brooklyn vermin like Larry David,” he said, Americans are ignoring this menace while “Muslims gain a majority through their multiple breeding” and “gain control of the military.”

The always modest Savage host then hailed himself as a hero for warning the people: “I am the George Washington of my time. I am the Paul Revere of my time.”

“My friends, if you want Sharia law then listen to Saturday Night Live while stoned on marijuana,” he said. “If you think you’re just smoking a j and having a good night, you don’t understand that they’ve been brain-deadening you for years.”

Because Hollywood is aiming to ruin the image of America and “make everyone doubt their own country,” Savage said, groups like ISIS now seem “not that bad.” Along with the entertainment industry, he also blamed Ivy League schools, which he said “pollute” the minds of students and “give your daughter a condom and tell her to sleep with her sorority sister,” for contributing to “the weakening of the moral fiber” of America and consequently “the meltdown of a nation.”

“Now nature abhors a vacuum,” Savage continued, a vacuum which he suggests will be filled by radical Islamists.

He concluded that David and other comedians have helped bring America down by having “melted the society down with their cynicism, juvenile cynicism,” and now “the Islamists are seeing this for what it is, utter weakness,” which they will in turn exploit with mass immigration.

Pat Robertson: Gay Marriage Is Still Illegal!

Televangelist Pat Robertson reacted to the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality with warnings about bestialityimprisonmenttyrannyfinancial collapse and God’s wrath.

And today, he advised a “The 700 Club” viewer to respond to gay marriage supporters by making the case that the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling is only an opinion that can only impact the “couple of people” directly involved in the case. The ruling would only have a wider impact if Congress or state legislatures pass gay marriage bills, Robertson claimed, making the same specious argument made by other Religious Right leaders such as Mike Huckabee.

“In the legal system, party A sues party B over marriage, ‘I want to get married to them,’ and the court says, ‘Okay, you can get married,’” he explained. “That doesn’t mean that I’ve got to get married to homosexuals, it doesn’t mean that you have to nor does it mean that it’s the law of the land. Congress didn’t pass any law. Your state legislature didn’t pass a law. So you’re not under anything, it’s a decision of the court having to do with a couple of people. Now they would like to make it bigger than that but, in terms of the Constitution, it isn’t.”

While Robertson is correct that no one will be forced to “get married to homosexuals,” the Obergefell ruling has struck down bans on same-sex marriage nationwide.

Pat Robertson: Husband Should Make Financial Decisions Because 'God Has Made You The High Priest Of The Family'

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson fielded a question from a man who wanted to know whether he should pay tithes on his entire paycheck or just half of it, since he shares assets with his wife who is opposed to tithing.

Robertson, unsurprisingly, said that he must tithe on the whole paycheck, since “like it or not, you’re the head of the household and God has made you the high priest of the family.”

“What comes into your paycheck is yours,” he said, so “you don’t have to split it.”

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