Religious Liberty

Liberty Counsel Will Defend Scott Lively

Last week, a Ugandan gay rights group sued anti-gay activist Scott Lively in US court for allegedly violating international law over his role in Uganda's proposed "Kill The Gays" bill.

So naturally the good folks at Liberty Counsel have stepped up and agreed to defend Lively in this case: 

Liberty Counsel has agreed to represent Rev. Scott Lively, an evangelical pastor who was sued in a Massachusetts federal court by a foreign group called Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG).

...

The suit is a direct attempt to silence Rev. Lively because of his speech about homosexuality and pornography ... Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, commented: “This lawsuit against Rev. Scott Lively is a gross attempt to use a vague international law to silence, and eventually criminalize, speech by U.S. citizens on homosexuality and moral issues. This suit should cause everyone to be concerned, because it a direct threat against freedom of speech.”

Former Rep. Hostettler Laments Church’s Extraction from Government, Agrees Schools are Hiding Truth about the Constitution

Former Indiana Rep. John Hostettler lamented yesterday that the “church has extracted itself from government,” creating a vacuum filled by “those adversarial to biblical truth.”

Hostettler, talking with Truth in Action Ministries’ Carmen Pate on the organization’s radio program, agreed with Pate that the education system is controlled by “those who really don’t want our kids to understand what the Constitution has to say” – namely, as Hostettler, puts it, that “government is an institution that is not just a God-centered one, but it was ordained by God.”

Hostettler represented southwest Indiana in Congress from 1995 through 2007, and is now president of the Constitution Institute, which dedicates itself to providing state legislators and others with “a greater understanding of the United States Constitution.”

Pate: You know, it seems to me, Congressman, it’s very clear that the founding fathers intended for the government’s role to be limited, and they based this Constitution on biblical principles and truths. Yet we know that those on the left, the secular humanists, see the importance of a big government, not limited, because then they can wield more power over the people.

Not to sound conspiratorial here, but I wonder if there have been attempts perhaps by those secular humanists, those on the left, to really not allow or to take away some of the opportunities for learning more about what the Constitution has to say. Say in our public schools, you mentioned in school you didn’t learn all these things. I didn’t either. It wasn’t until I got out of school and started working with pro-family organizations that I really dug into the Constitution.

Have we allowed the education of our children to be given over to those who really don’t want our kids to understand what the Constitution has to say?

Hostettler: Well, Carmen, you’re exactly right. That is what has happened. Because the church has extracted itself from government and we have fundamentally forgotten, as Dr. Kennedy taught, that government is an institution ordained by God. Just as the family was ordained by God, and just as the church was ordained by God, government is an institution that is not just a God-centered one, but it was ordained by God.

So we have extracted ourselves from it – the church, the body of Christ has – we’ve handed it over to others, and we’ve forgotten that just has nature abhors a vacuum, politics and public policy and government likewise abhor a vacuum. Someone is going to occupy that space, some philosophy is going to occupy that space. And it’s either going to be fundamentally a philosophy that is sympathetic and is agreeable to biblical truths, or it is a philosophy that is adversarial to biblical truth. It’s going to be one of the two. And as you pointed out, it has been a philosophy overall that is adversarial to biblical truth.
 

Dennis Terry and Crew Try to Scrub the Web of his 'Get Out' Sermon

As we have noted several times already, Greenwell Springs Baptist Church pastor Dennis Terry is now desperately trying to deny that he told those who disagree with his views that  there is only one God and America was founded as a Christian nation that they should "get out!" of the country during an event at his church on Sunday featuring Rick Santorum.

Terry has been claiming that his words were taken out of context and misreported ... but we have the video that proves otherwise.

Now, you would think that if Terry really believed that we had taken his statements and presented them out of context, he'd be encouraging people to go and watch the original video in an effort to prove that . But that does not seem to be the case, as all of the videos from Sunday's night's event with Rick Santorum have now been removed from the Greenwell Springs Baptist Church's UStream archive:

On top of that, Greenwell Springs' Worship Minister Jeremy Dailey posted a message on his Facebook page yesterday asking that all church members "remove from Facebook and/or any other public site, any video showing footage from the Sunday Evening service of March 18, 2012":

None of this really does much good, considering that we have the orginal video that we recorded live during the event and our video featuring the "highlights" from Terry's introduction is still posted on YouTube for the whole word to see:

Dennis Terry Continues to Play the Victim

Earlier today we noted that Greenwell Springs Baptist Church pastor Dennis Terry is now trying to claim that he is being misquoted and his views misrepresented over the heated rhetoric he used on Sunday evening at an event with Rick Santorum when he told those who "don’t like the way we do things" that they can "get out" of the country.

Terry has now turned to CBN's David Brody to present his side of the story because Brody is the one Religious Right journalist that they can reliably count on to take whatever they say at face value and report it.

So here is the statement Terry released exclusively to Brody:

Sunday night our church was privileged to host Sen. Rick Santorum, a candidate in the Republican Presidential contest. As stated Sunday night, Greenwell Springs Baptist church has invited all of the candidates, including President Barack Obama to visit our congregation.

Prior to Senator Santorum speaking on Sunday night I gave a short exhortation to our congregation on why we as Christians should be involved in the political and public policy process. My message was based in 1 Peter 2:11-17. In my remarks I said the following:

“This nation was founded as a Christian Nation. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, there is only one God. There is only one God! And his name is Jesus!

I’m tired of people telling me I can’t say those words, I’m tired of people telling us as Christians that we can’t voice our beliefs or we can no longer pray in public. Listen to me if you don’t love America or you don’t like the way we do things I‘ve got one thing to say get out!”

These comments have been misreported saying that I suggested those who do not believe like me should leave the country. I said no such thing. I said those who do not love America and what she stands for should leave. Chief among the principles that America is founded upon is that of religious freedom, and that includes Christianity. I will not be made to feel as if we as Christians should apologize for our faith or that we should take the backseat as America is morally and spiritually being driven in the wrong direction.

Muslims, Hindus, people of different religions or no religions have the right to be here in America, but they do not have the right to force me to be silent while they work to transform our nation.

My comments on Sunday night were my comments as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The validation of my comments is found in the response by those who are screaming separation of church and state.

You will notice that Terry conveniently left off the intro sentence of his statement where he declared "I don't care what the liberals say, I don't care what the naysayers say, this nation was founded as a Christian nation  ..." 

That is kind of a key element to understanding what Terry was saying since he was not simply saying that those who don't love America should leave but was specifically talking about liberals, claiming that liberals are the ones who are telling him he can't pray in public and that if they don't love America and don't share his views, they ought to "get out" of the country.

The video speaks for itself, as anyone who watches it can see.  But Brody, of course, simply accepts Terry's claims wholesale and reports that the controversy Terry has created is "a good example of how the mainstream media just doesn’t understand the evangelical worldview."

Dennis Terry Responds to Controversy: 'I Love America'

On Sunday evening, Rick Santorum joined Family Research Council President for an event at Perkins' home church, Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, in Louisiana where Santorum and Perkins were seated on stage as Pastor Dennis Terry declared that America "was founded as a Christian nation" and those that disagree with him should "get out!":

I don't care what the liberals say, I don't care what the naysayers say, this nation was founded as a Christian nation, the God of Abraham, the God of Issac, and the God of Jacob, there's only one God. There's only one God and his name is Jesus.

I'm tired of people telling me that I can't say those words. I'm tired of people telling us, as Christians, that we can't voice our beliefs or we can no longer pray in public. Listen to me, if you don't love America and you don't like the way we do things, I got one thing to say: Get Out!

This outburst has, not surprisingly, generated a good bit of news and forced Santorum to try to distance himself from Terry. 

Yesterday, WBRZ news in Baton Rouge interviewed Terry about the controversy he has created and, of course, he responded by claiming that "people are misquoting" what he said and "twisted and edited" his words because all he meant was that "I love America":  

You will notice that Terry never explains how he had been misquoted or had his words twisted .... and that is probably because the original video of Terry telling liberals and all others who don't share his right-wing views that they should "get out" of the country clearly speaks for itself.

Pastor Dennis Terry Introduces Rick Santorum, Tells Liberals and Non-Christians to 'Get Out' of America

Greenwell Springs Baptist Church pastor Dennis Terry introduced presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins tonight in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with a rousing speech railing against liberals and non-Christians and condemning abortion rights, "sexual perversion," same-sex marriage and secular government. Terry said that America "was founded as a Christian nation" and those that disagree with him should "get out! We don't worship Buddha, we don't worship Mohammad, we don't worship Allah!" Terry, who has a long history of attacks against the gay community, went on to criticize marriage equality for gays and lesbians, and said that the economy can only recover when we "put God back" in government.

Watch:

Update: At the end of the event, Terry prayed over Santorum and asked God to "have favor upon Rick Santorum" and to "do a mighty work" in President Obama's life:

The Right's Rules for Politicizing Prayer

Remember how right-wing leaders were outraged – OUTRAGED! - when President Obama supposedly politicized the National Prayer breakfast by talking about how his Christian faith influenced his approach to issues like progressive taxation? Such complaints from the likes of Ralph Reed – whose career has been devoted to politicizing faith – were clearly pushing the hypocrisy meter to its limits. As Kyle noted yesterday, Religious Right folks have been celebrating the prayer breakfast speech by Eric Metaxas, a biographer of the Hitler-resisting pastor Dietrich Bonhoffer, because Mataxas made a comparison between the Holocaust and legal abortion, suggesting that supporters of reproductive choice were modern-day Nazis – and certainly not Christians.
 
This morning a “special bulletin” from the dominionist Oak Initiative republished a National Review column from a few weeks ago that we hadn’t noticed at the time. The column by conservative author and producer Mark Joseph is one long extended gloat about just how political – and how anti-Obama – Metaxas’s keynote was. Joseph delights in Metaxas using the prayer breakfast to send “a series of heat-seeking missiles” in the president’s direction:
If the organizers of the national prayer breakfast ever want a sitting president to attend their event again, they need to expect that any leader in his right mind is going to ask — no, demand — that he be allowed to see a copy of the keynote address that is traditionally given immediately before the president’s.
 
That’s how devastating was the speech given by a little known historical biographer named Eric Metaxas, whose clever wit and punchy humor barely disguised a series of heat-seeking missiles that were sent, intentionally or not, in the commander-in-chief’s direction….
Joseph belittles Obama’s speaking of his faith, and giddily cites Metaxas, suggesting that Obama’s references to scripture were actually demonic.
Standing no more than five feet from Obama whose binder had a speech chock full of quotes from the Good Book, Metaxas said of Jesus:
 
“When he was tempted in the desert, who was the one throwing Bible verses at him? Satan. That is a perfect picture of dead religion. Using the words of God to do the opposite of what God does. It’s grotesque when you think about it. It’s demonic.”
 
“Keep in mind that when someone says ‘I am a Christian’ it may mean absolutely nothing,” Metaxas added for good measure, in case anybody missed his point. 
Joseph also mocks Obama for discussing how other religions share with Christians the values contained in the Golden Rule: "Translation: Christianity is great and so are the other major religions, which essentially teach the same stuff."  In contrast, Joseph celebrates Metaxas for insisting on the uniqueness and centrality of Jesus and suggesting that those who support women’s access to abortion live apart from God and Jesus.
 
So, to recap the ground rules for the National Prayer Breakfast: President Obama talking about the values he as a Christian shares with those of other faiths, and how he understands Christian teaching about the responsibilities of those who have had good fortune = bad. Religious Right speaker insisting on the superiority of Christianity, and calling those who disagree with him demonic Nazis = good. 
 
Something to keep in mind next year.

 

Gaffney Likens his Critics to the Ku Klux Klan

Frank Gaffney today in the Washington Times had strong words for his detractors, claiming that anyone who points out his malicious anti-Muslim bigotry is just like a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Progressives and Muslim-Americans aren’t the only ones who have documented Gaffney’s consistent attacks on Muslims, as even the American Conservative Union passed a resolution denouncing Gaffney and prominent conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell found in an investigation that not only does Gaffney routinely make completely baseless allegations about two of his rivals in the ACU, Suhail Kahn and Grover Norquist, but also that his “hatred” of Norquist is “fueled by the fact that Grover is married to a Muslim-American woman.”

Today Gaffney writes that the supposed encroachment of Sharia law in US courts has placed us in “the civil rights struggle of our time,” and says that anyone who opposes him are similar to the “Ku Klux Klan’s members” who “reviled an earlier generation of civil rights activists”:

In short, we find ourselves in what is, properly understood, the civil rights struggle of our time. Those who stand up for freedom against Shariah are quite literally protecting the rights of women, children, people of faith and other minorities sure to be abused by its misogynistic, intolerant and domineering doctrine. That means protecting, as well, Muslim-Americans who have come to this country to escape the long arm of Shariah law. In due course, though, Shariah’s repressive strictures would not simply be a threat to these communities. They would be a toxic blight upon all of us.

Ironically, today, it is defenders of our freedoms who are being denounced as “racists,” “bigots” and “Islamophobes.” Such terms are, in truth, being used in much the same way and for precisely the same purpose as the Ku Klux Klan’s members reviled an earlier generation of civil rights activists for loving blacks: to defame, threaten and isolate their opponents. We cannot, and certainly must not, tolerate the Islamists’ intolerance.

Muslims are, of course, free to practice their faith in America like anyone else - provided they do so in a tolerant, peaceable and law-abiding way. What they are not entitled to do, in the name of religious practice, is subvert our Constitution, deny us our rights or engage in sedition without facing concerted opposition - if not prosecution.

Today, every bit as much as in the civil rights struggles of the past, there are those who are prepared to go along with what they know is wrong in order to get along. Now, as then, the few who recognize that any such accommodation makes more certain the ultimate triumph of evil, may be vilified and even harmed. But now, as then, more and more Americans are emerging who see the danger posed by our time’s totalitarian threat - Shariah - and will do their part to secure freedom against it, both here and, as necessary for that purpose, elsewhere.

FRC’s Religious Freedom Expert would Force Raped Woman to Give Birth to Rapist’s Child

The Family Research Council bragged earlier this week that Jeanne Monahan, the head of its Center for Human Dignity, would be testifying today before Congress on how mandatory contraceptive coverage is an affront to Americans’ religious freedom.

However, FRC and allies like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have an odd of understanding of freedom. It’s really just the freedom for everyone to live according to their religion, and only a very narrow interpretation at that. Monahan, who holds a master’s degree in theology of marriage and family from the Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, is no exception.
 
In a blog post from January entitled “A Pro-Life Hero: Minka Disbrow,” Monahan wrote the following (emphasis mine): 
In 1928, as a young and innocent teenager, Minka Disbrow lived in South Dakota and worked on a dairy farm. One day while enjoying a picnic, Minka and a friend were jumped by three men and raped. Innocent to the degree that she didn’t comprehend how babies were created, months later the 17-year-old Minka was confused and surprised to find her body changing and growing. Her parents soon found an adoption agency. […]
 
In a similar story, Ryan Bomberger, of the Radiance Foundation was conceived in an act rape. Like Minka, Ryan’s mother chose to carry her child to term. Ryan now dedicates his life to promoting and protecting the dignity of every person. For a recent lecture by Ryan on the hope and joy of adoption click here.
 
All can agree that rape is a horrific act of violence that no one should ever undergo. But abortion after a rape robs an innocent victim of a very beautiful life.
While it’s incredible that Monahan would suggest that Minka Disbrow “chose to carry her child to term,” given the description she provided, the bigger issue is that she would force a woman to give birth to her rapist’s child.
 
In a column from last November, Monahan spoke out against providing the full range of medical care to female victims of human trafficking. Her overriding concern was that women who had become pregnant after being raped might choose abortion (emphasis mine):
Evidence exists that shows women who seek an abortion after rape add to their suffering: they now struggle with the coupled pain of the rape and the abortion; the abortion can become what some have termed “a second rape.”
 
Additionally, a recent peer-reviewed meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Psychiatry revealed that women who choose abortion have a significant increase in mental health problems including depression, anxiety and suicidal behaviors. A situation where a woman is trafficked and becomes pregnant is extremely difficult, but such women deserve loving and honest care and attention, and abortion is not part of that.
Monahan’s writing makes it plainly clear that she is far less concerned about helping women and defending human dignity than she is with forcing all of us – women in particular – to live by the narrow religious views of herself and her employer. That’s what they really mean when they talk about religious freedom.
 
UPDATE: Here's a recent video of Monahan, who is testifying now, on her views on reproductive rights:
 

FRC’s Religious Freedom Expert would Force Raped Woman to Give Birth to Rapist’s Child

The Family Research Council bragged earlier this week that Jeanne Monahan, the head of its Center for Human Dignity, would be testifying today before Congress on how mandatory contraceptive coverage is an affront to Americans’ religious freedom.

However, FRC and allies like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have an odd of understanding of freedom. It’s really just the freedom for everyone to live according to their religion, and only a very narrow interpretation at that. Monahan, who holds a master’s degree in theology of marriage and family from the Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, is no exception.
 
In a blog post from January entitled “A Pro-Life Hero: Minka Disbrow,” Monahan wrote the following (emphasis mine): 
In 1928, as a young and innocent teenager, Minka Disbrow lived in South Dakota and worked on a dairy farm. One day while enjoying a picnic, Minka and a friend were jumped by three men and raped. Innocent to the degree that she didn’t comprehend how babies were created, months later the 17-year-old Minka was confused and surprised to find her body changing and growing. Her parents soon found an adoption agency. […]
 
In a similar story, Ryan Bomberger, of the Radiance Foundation was conceived in an act rape. Like Minka, Ryan’s mother chose to carry her child to term. Ryan now dedicates his life to promoting and protecting the dignity of every person. For a recent lecture by Ryan on the hope and joy of adoption click here.
 
All can agree that rape is a horrific act of violence that no one should ever undergo. But abortion after a rape robs an innocent victim of a very beautiful life.
While it’s incredible that Monahan would suggest that Minka Disbrow “chose to carry her child to term,” given the description she provided, the bigger issue is that she would force a woman to give birth to her rapist’s child.
 
In a column from last November, Monahan spoke out against providing the full range of medical care to female victims of human trafficking. Her overriding concern was that women who had become pregnant after being raped might choose abortion (emphasis mine):
Evidence exists that shows women who seek an abortion after rape add to their suffering: they now struggle with the coupled pain of the rape and the abortion; the abortion can become what some have termed “a second rape.”
 
Additionally, a recent peer-reviewed meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Psychiatry revealed that women who choose abortion have a significant increase in mental health problems including depression, anxiety and suicidal behaviors. A situation where a woman is trafficked and becomes pregnant is extremely difficult, but such women deserve loving and honest care and attention, and abortion is not part of that.
Monahan’s writing makes it plainly clear that she is far less concerned about helping women and defending human dignity than she is with forcing all of us – women in particular – to live by the narrow religious views of herself and her employer. That’s what they really mean when they talk about religious freedom.
 
UPDATE: Here's a recent video of Monahan, who is testifying now, on her views on reproductive rights:
 

Franks: Obama Assaults Catholics While Apologizing to Muslims

Last week, President Obama issued an apology after NATO mistakenly burned copies of the Quran, which not only set off riots in Afghanistan while the apology predictably outraged Republicans here at home.

Today, Rep. Trent Franks joined Tony Perkins and Tim Wildmon on the "Today's Issues" radio program, where all three voiced their disgust with President Obama, whom they accused of undermining the troops while appeasing the enemy.

Franks was so incensed that he even managed to compare Obama's apology for this incident to his push for contraception coverage in health insurance, saying Obama has no problem about blatantly insulting and assaulting Catholics while groveling before Muslim.  Franks then went on to warn Catholics that if Obama is willing to "crush under foot their religious freedom in an election year, God help us when he gets re-elected ... because you ain't seen nothing yet":

AFA: Vote to end ‘Evil’ Obama’s ‘all-out war on Christians’

It’s not exactly a surprise when the American Family Association, home of the consistently unhinged Bryan Fischer, uses over-the-top rhetoric in its attacks on President Obama.  Still, the latest fundraising letter from AFA President Tim Wildmon is memorably apocalyptic in tone:

In a very real way the year 2012 is as important to our nation as was the year 1776.

Just as then, this year Americans must choose between freedom and tyranny.

Wildmon goes on to call the administration’s recent regulations on insurance coverage of contraception “but the latest instance of the Obama Administration’s all-out war on Christians.”

Wildmon cites "the choice God put before the Israelites before He would allow them to enter into the Promised Land" and says

I believe God is asking America to make that same choice now:

              Life and good … or death and evil.

Wildmon suggests Obama’s re-election would bring God’s wrath on America:

 …everyone here at AFA is convinced that the elections this November will determine whether or not America will survive as a nation. After all, God has been long-suffering with us for decades now. How long will his patience last?

But, he says, if tens of millions of Christians register and vote for men and women who “respect our Christian heritage, will fight to protect religious freedom, and will work to build America’s crumbing moral foundation,” then

We can literally save America! As a nation we can stand before Almighty God and tell Him:

We love You, Lord! As a people, we will walk in Your ways and keep Your commandments!

The response card accompanying the letter seeks donation to “help elect godly leaders and to restore America to a nation that honors the one, true God.”

Santorum Embraces the Religious Right's Latest Lie

We are getting really, really tired of hearing this now standard allegation from the Religious Right that President Obama is intentionally undermining religious freedom by refusing to use the phrase "freedom of religion" and replacing it with the phrase "freedom of worship."

As we have pointed out time and time again, this complaint it totally bogus, but that is obviously not going to stop the Religious Right from repeating it.

And it is certainly not going to stop Rick Santorum from adopting it and starting to work it into his presidential campaign:

Rick Santorum continued to talk about the separation of church and state one day before Michigan voters go to the polls on Tuesday, but insisted that this was not a distraction from discussing the economy and jobs but rather a core part of the argument he is making about economic and religious freedom.

Santorum also came close to calling Secretary of State HiIlary Clinton the "first lady," and then said that she and President Barack Obama are not for religious freedom but rather talk about "freedom of worship." Santorum said this term is an indication that Obama and Clinton want to tell churches and people of faith how they can live their lives when they are not in their place of worship.

Can we point out that just last week, both the State Department and the White House issued public statements roundly condemning Iran for handing down a death sentence for Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, declared "freedom of religion" to be a fundamental human right (emphasis added):

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms reports that Iranian authorities’ reaffirmed a death sentence for Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani for the sole reason of his refusal to recant his Christian faith. This action is yet another shocking breach of Iran’s international obligations, its own constitution, and stated religious values. The United States stands in solidarity with Pastor Nadarkhani, his family, and all those who seek to practice their religion without fear of persecution—a fundamental and universal human right. The trial and sentencing process for Pastor Nadarkhani demonstrates the Iranian government’s total disregard for religious freedom, and further demonstrates Iran's continuing violation of the universal rights of its citizens. The United States calls upon the Iranian authorities to immediately lift the sentence, release Pastor Nadarkhani, and demonstrate a commitment to basic, universal human rights, including freedom of religion. The United States renews its calls for people of conscience and governments around the world to reach out to Iranian authorities and demand Pastor Nadarkhani's immediate release.

Jeffress: 'Neutrality is really Hostility toward Religion'

After stopping by Family Talk with James Dobson, Robert Jeffress appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show where he expounded on his claim that the Supreme Court’s decisions in Engel v. Vitale, Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas is leading to the ultimate “implosion” of America. He said the first Supreme Court ruling which he argued set off “explosives” to the country’s “spiritual and social structure” is Engel, the Supreme Court decision which deemed public school-organized prayers unconstitutional.

Jeffress said the decision is wrong not because it barred the practice of government-sponsored prayers but because it doesn’t allow the government to endorse one religion over another. He acknowledged that many evangelical Christians rightfully do not want to pray non-sectarian, generic, government-composed prayers at school. Jeffress argued that his problem with Engel is that it doesn’t allow the government to endorse Christianity, maintaining that “neutrality is really hostility toward religion.”

Jeffress’ claim contradicts the stated argument of many Religious Right activists who advocate for school-organized prayer and a constitutional amendment overturning Engel and say that their stance has nothing to do with government endorsement of Christianity but simply about the need for children to pray.

Jeffress: I use the analogy of when we imploded about a million square feet of our facility at First Baptist Dallas and I learned a lot about how implosions work, what you do is you attach explosives to some key structural supports, you explode those supporting structures, there’s a delay and then the structure falls in on itself, it collapses. I said in this book “Twilight’s Last Gleaming,” there have been three explosive decisions by the Supreme Court in the last fifty years that have so destroyed the spiritual and social structure of our country that I believe our collapse is inevitable. We are living right now in that delay period between the explosions and the ultimate implosion. As you mentioned, that first decision was 1962, Engel v. Vitale, I know Christians say, ‘well that’s no big deal to remove a non-sectarian prayer,’ but it’s all the decisions that cascaded from that and it’s the basis on which that decision was made. It is impossible for the government to be neutral toward religion, neutrality is really hostility toward religion and especially the Christian religion.

Santorum: 'You’re a Liberal Something, but You’re not a Christian'

Over the weekend, Rick Santorum made news when he attacked President Obama's "phony theology." Santorum clarified that he was talking about the president's environmental record and not his faith, insisting that he was not claiming that Obama was not a Christian.

But back in 2008, Santorum had a slightly different view, which he related during remarks he delivered at an Oxford Center for Religion and Public Life event on "The Press & People of Faith in Politics." 

During the Q&A following his speech, Santorum was repeatedly asked about Barack Obama's Christian faith, which he asserted was simply "an avenue for power" for Obama while claiming there was a "conscious disconnection" between Obama's proclamations of faith and his stances on public policy issues.

In fact, said Santorum, there really is no such thing as a "liberal Christian" at all and anyone who doesn't share his right-wing views doesn't really have any right to claim to be a Christian:

[I]s there such thing as a sincere liberal Christian, which says that we basically take this document and re-write it ourselves? Is that really Christian? That’s a bigger question for me. And the answer is, no, it’s not. I don’t think there is such a thing. To take what is plainly written and say that I don’t agree with that, therefore, I don’t have to pay attention to it, means you’re not what you say you are. You’re a liberal something, but you’re not a Christian. That’s sort of how I look at it.

When you go so far afield of that and take what is a salvation story and turn it into a liberation theology story, which is done in the Catholic world as well as in the evangelical world, you have abandoned Christendom, in my opinion. And you don’t have a right to claim it.

During the same Q&A, Santorum also complained about his treatment at the hands of the press when he was in office, claiming that he was constantly referred to as an "extremist" or "fundamentalist" or "zealot" simply because he stood in opposition to "sexual freedom":

And it’s just insidious. And it’s most of the time focused on the sexual issues. If you’re a hard-core free-market guy, they’re not going to call you “zealous”. They’re not going to call you “ultra-conservative”. They’re not going to do that to you.

It comes down to sex. That’s what it’s all about. It comes down to freedom, and it comes down to sex. If you have anything to with any of the sexual issues, and if you are on the wrong side of being able to do all of the sexual freedoms you want, you are a bad guy. And you’re dangerous because you are going to limit my freedom in an area that’s the most central to me. And that’s the way it’s looked at.

...

Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. The prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom.

All of the things are about sexual freedom, and they hate to be called on them. They try to somehow or other tie this to the Founding Father’s vision of liberty, which is bizarre. It’s ridiculous.

Religious Right Panics Over Marriage Equality

During The Awakening’s panel on “Messaging and Mobilizing a New General of World Changers,” the fear of swelling youth support for marriage equality laws was widespread. Religious Right activists were particularly worried about the results of a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll that found that not only did 53 percent of Americans favor marriage equality, but that support was even stronger among younger Americans: “In an ABC/Post poll five and a half years ago, for example, under-30s were the sole age group to give majority support to gay marriage, at 57 percent. Today it's 68 percent in that group – but also 65 percent among people in their 30s, up a remarkable 23 points from the 2005 level; and 52 percent among those in their 40s, up 17 points.”

While the early morning panel was composed of young conservative leaders and Liberty University students, the audience was largely older and a number of questioners expressed fear over rising support for marriage equality among youth. Thomas Hall, a close aide to Lou Engle and a board member of the dominionist Oak Initiative, lamented the youth energy and support for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and Ryan Sorba admitted that even conservative students are not rallying behind the opposition to marriage equality.

William Estrada, a leader of the homeschoolers group Generation Joshua and the Home School Legal Defense Association, argued that conservative youth are organizing. Estrada mentioned a homeschoolers group in Hawaii, the Guardians of Liberty, who he said singlehandedly convinced former Governor Linda Lingle to veto a civil unions law. “We’re seeing young people standing up for the cause of traditional marriage,” Estrada said. What he failed to mention was that just a few months later, newly elected governor Neil Abercrombie signed the civil unions bill into law with little public outcry.

Marriage equality still faces immense political hurdles, with just five states and the District of Columbia adopting equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians, but the discouragement over the lack of anti-gay fervor among youth at The Awakening should not be taken as a sign that Religious Right activists have any intention of giving up. If their “Religious Liberty and the LGBT Agenda” panel demonstrated anything, it's that the Religious Right is unleashing even more venomous and blistering attacks against gays and lesbians. That is, when they aren't denying the existence of gay people.

Dejected, angered, and confused, last week’s poll by the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow shows the increasing desperation and panic of the Religious Right:

Cynthia Dunbar: Using TX School Standards To Offset "Biblically Illiterate Society"

During the "Religious Liberty and the LGBT Agenda" panel at The Awakening 2011 that Brian mentioned in the last post, former Texas State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar admitted that the right-wing activists on the Board used the recent update to the state's social studies curriculum as an opportunity to counter the fact that "we have a Biblically illiterate society."

As she explained, they included in the new curriculum a requirement that students must learn about "the law's of nature and nature's God" so that they will be taught that "the 'laws of nature' is the will of our maker and because of the fallen state of man, we have to have the 'laws of nature's God' revealed through the Holy Scripture":

Knight: Gay Staffers Control Congress And Washington DC

At the Freedom Federation’s The Awakening 2011, right-wing activists unleashed their venom at the gay community and supporters of gay rights at the “Religious Liberty and the LGBT Agenda” panel. Robert Knight, a columnist for the Washington Times who is the executive director of the far-right American Civil Rights Union, maintained that gay congressional staffers represent one of the most difficult hurdles for opponents of LGBT equality. According to Knight, who has also worked for a wide range of conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Media Research Center, and Coral Ridge Ministries, gay staffers have “veto power” over legislation because they “work all hours and, I think, tend not to have family lives.” He went on to say that the “gay subculture” in D.C. “intimidates the overriding Washington culture” and that opponents of gay rights are “undermined from within”:

Right-Wing Continues To Panic Over Repeal Of Don't Ask Don't Tell, Warns It Will "Destroy Our Military"

With the Pentagon expecting to complete its training on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell by mid-summer, far-right activists are making a latch ditch effort to encourage fresh GOP attempts to block the repeal law’s implementation.

The head of the American Family Association’s Pennsylvania chapter is pushing her state’s congressmen who sit on the House Armed Services Committee to scuttle the repeal policy. Diane Gramley told the AFA’s media outlet OneNewsNow that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would literally “destroy” the military: “We are undermining our military [with this policy] and thus undermining our national defense, so we are encouraging them to get into the thick of the battle because that’s what it’s going to take to get this terrible law thrown out…If we allow this implementation to go forth, then it will destroy our military, and there’s no doubt about that. So we’re encouraging Pennsylvanians to contact Congressman Bill Shuster and Congressman Mark Critz and ask them to...protect our military.”

Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, sent out an email to members that the chaplaincy would collapse following the repeal. A spokesman for the Army chief of chaplains told USA Today that training with chaplains is “going very well [and] in no way are we giving the message, shape up or ship out,” and so far just one chaplain quit over the policy’s repeal. But according to Sheldon, the implementation of the repeal policy could ultimately ban Christian preaching and create “homosexual privileges”:

Could you imagine America's military chaplains banned from sharing the message of the Holy Bible?

It’s happening... and I am urgently scrambling to raise awareness and fight back.



Should a chaplain privately counsel an American soldier, or should an American soldier share his Christian faith with others, the military brass would have the right to discharge that chaplain or soldier -- AND RUIN THEIR CAREER.

On April 7th (this Thursday) there will be a full hearing with the House Armed Services Committee to go over the impact the repeal of the 1993 ban on gays and transgenders serving in the military -- and unless we make sure there are firm, solid protections for the rights of conscience and religious liberty, America's chaplains will no longer be able to share and counsel according to Biblical principles.

This goes far beyond mere tolerance. This is the whitewashing of any other perspective other than the ones agreed upon by Barack Obama and the extremist liberals -- not to mention the homosexual lobby for whom Obama appears to be willing to bend over backwards.



Gays and transgenders are now pushing well beyond mere acceptance. They have a friendly White House administration, and the homosexuals are pushing their advantage.

Only if the U.S. House realizes that America's military chaplains are being told to "shut up or resign" will we be able to turn back this implementation of homosexual privileges in America's military.

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