'Death Penalty For Gays' Literature At Right-Wing Conference

Phillip Kayser is among the several speakers joining Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal at the National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa this weekend, and as we've reported, he, along with the conference's chief organizer, Kevin Swanson, has called on the government to execute gay people. Kayser's views are so extreme that back in the 2012 election, Ron Paul's campaign tried to cover up his endorsement.

However, it seems that in today's GOP, calling for the execution of gay people isn't beyond the pale.

At the conference, where he is giving two speeches on how local officials and others can defy the Supreme Court's marriage equality decision, Kayser distributed the very pamphlet calling for the death penalty for gay people that caused a stir back when he endorsed Paul.

In the pamphlet, “Is The Death Penalty Just?,” Kayser unsurprisingly concludes that the death penalty is in fact just, and lists homosexuality among the offenses deserving of capital punishment. Ironically for a "religious liberties" summit, he also claims that the government should treat "breaking the Sabbath," "blasphemy and cursing God publicly," "publicly sacrificing to other gods" and "apostasy" as death penalty crimes as well.

He writes that government officials are "subject to Biblical statutes and judgments," claiming that "Christians should advocate the full implementation of all God's civil penalties in every age.... Every Old Testament statue continues on the books, and without those statutes, we could not have a consistent ethnical standard." Even "pagan" nations are obliged to follow biblical law, he writes, as "God held gentile kings accountable to these civil laws."

Kayser believes that the government should execute murderers, among whom he includes abortion providers: "What could be more pro-life than having the state pass laws establishing a certain date after which all doctors who continue to perform abortions will be executed? Certainly, a handful of doctors might be killed [pro-death for killers], but think of the millions of little lives that would be saved!"

He writes that the death penalty should also apply to those who commit acts of blasphemy; apostasy; breaking the Sabbath; sorcery and witchcraft; kidnapping; rape; adultery; prostitution; bestiality; and of course, homosexuality.

But don't worry, Kayser has good news for the gays who rather not be stoned to death or get "thrown off a cliff," methods he mentions as biblically approved ways to execute someone.

While "these crimes are so heinous that they deserve death in God's eyes," he writes, with cases "of sexual sins, people who kept these things to themselves could not be prosecuted because it would require two or three witnesses (depending on judicial discretion), the pressing of charges by a victim-citizen, the exclusion of government from spying, sting operations, etc., and other checks and balances."

Essentially, Kayser says that the government should put gay people to death, but only if they get caught.

"Even after a society implemented Biblical law and made homosexuality a crime, execution would be rare," he explains, because "the civil government could not round them up." What a relief!

"Only those who were prosecuted by citizen-victims could be punished, and the punishment could take a number of forms, analogous to the flexibility in dealing with adultery — which ranged all the way from forgiveness, to divorce, to death," he continues. "Some people characterize this as a victimless crime since homosexuals cannot get married. But there are plenty of circumstances (homosexual rape, homosexual incest, homosexual death threats against politicians, etc.) where victims might be motivated to bring charges."

Kayser writes that "natural knowledge" endorses the view that homosexuality is "worthy of death."

"It is not just the sinfulness of homosexuality that is known, but also the justice of the death penalty for homosexuality," he said. "The reason men have an innate sense of justice is because God's law reflects not only His holiness but also His justice and goodness (Rom. 7:12). Romans 13 says that magistrates are subject to all three."

And remember, this is the kind of literature being promoted at a "religious liberty" conference.

SCOTUS Will Hear Latest Contraception Coverage Refusal Cases

The Supreme Court today announced that it will hear several cases involving the accommodation for religious nonprofits seeking to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage requirement.  This is not a surprise; as People For the American Way Foundation wrote in its Supreme Court 2015-2016 Term Preview:

Under the accommodation, the employers simply tell the insurer or the federal government of their objection, at which point the insurer must offer the coverage separately to employees who want it. This way, the employees can get the coverage without their employers having to contract, arrange, or pay for it.  But some religious nonprofits assert that even the accommodation violates their religious liberty under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).  Under RFRA, no federal law imposing a substantial burden on religious exercise can be sustained unless it is the least restrictive means of achieving a compelling government purpose.

The list of circuit courts that have roundly rejected this argument is long:  The DC Circuit, the Second Circuit, Third Circuit, the Fifth Circuit, the Sixth Circuit, the Seventh Circuit, and the Tenth Circuit.  But in September 2015, the Eighth Circuit ruled in favor of the nonprofits and found the accommodation violated RFRA.  Now that there is a circuit split, it seems likely that the Supreme Court will take up the issue via the appeals from one or more of these circuit decisions.

The premise of those challenging the accommodation is a severe distortion of RFRA and of the very concept of religious liberty set forth by the Court’s hard-right conservatives in the 5-4 ruling in Hobby Lobby.  That law was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 1993 as a means to protect the free exercise of religion.  But conservative ideologues have sought to transform RFRA from a shield into a sword, one that they can use to violate the rights of third parties.  The right wing’s enthusiastic embrace of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis shows just how far they want to extend the reasoning of Hobby Lobby.

Here, the conservatives argue that filling out a form so that insurance companies can know about their legal obligations to provide certain coverage is a substantial burden on the exercise of their religion.  That strained reasoning is a cynical use of religion to deprive women of needed healthcare, an effort to force women employees to live by their employers’ religious strictures rather than their own.  But what the Supreme Court said about the First Amendment in a 1985 case called Estate of Thornton v. Caldor is equally true of RFRA:

The First Amendment . . . gives no one the right to insist that in pursuit of their own interests others must conform their conduct to his own religious necessities. [quoting from a lower court opinion by Judge Learned Hand]

Justice Kennedy, who voted with the Hobby Lobby majority, is likely to be the deciding vote in this case.  His concurrence in Hobby Lobby hinted that he might not go as far as his fellow conservatives in granting people the latitude to use RFRA to deprive others of their rights:

Among the reasons the United States is so open, so tolerant, and so free is that no person may be restricted or demeaned by government in exercising his or her religion.  Yet neither may that same exercise unduly restrict other persons, such as employees, in protecting their own interests, interests the law deems compelling.  In these cases [involving for-profit employers] the means to reconcile those two priorities are at hand in the existing accommodation the Government has designed, identified, and used for circumstances closely parallel to those presented here [the accommodation for religious non-profits].

Given the circuit split on the accommodation for religious nonprofits, the Supreme Court had little choice but to take this issue on.  They do have a choice, however, in how they rule.  Hopefully, a majority of justices will take the first step in restoring RFRA to the law it was intended to be.

Bachmann: Convert As Many Jews As Possible Because Christ Is 'Coming Soon'

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins has been broadcasting his “Washington Watch” radio program from Israel this week, where he is helping to lead an FRC tour group. Also on the tour is former Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who joined Perkins on the program on Wednesday to share her view that biblical prophecy is being fulfilled all around her and that it is more urgent than ever to convert as many people as possible — including Jews — to Christianity to prepare for the imminent return of Christ.

“Almost every article in the paper” has to do with conflicts in Israel, Bachmann said, “and it ties with so much biblical prophecy. This week really was about biblical prophecy in many ways. And we’re seeing as events are speeding up, events are speeding up so quickly right now, and we see how relevant the Bible is, and we’re reading our newspaper, at the same time we’re learning about these biblical events, and it’s literally day by day by day, we’re seeing the fulfillment of scripture right in front of our eyes, even while we’re on the ground.”

“We recognize the shortness of the hour,” she said, “and that’s why we as a remnant want to be faithful in these days and do what it is that the Holy Spirit is speaking to each one of us, to be faithful in the Kingdom and to help bring in as many as we can — even among the Jews — share Jesus Christ with everyone that we possibly can because, again, He’s coming soon.”

If Kevin Swanson's Son Got Gay Married, 'I'd Sit In Cow Manure And I'd Spread It All Over My Body'

After interviewing both Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal at his "National Religious Liberties Conference" this morning, radical right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson returned to the stage to discuss the issue of how Christians are to live in an increasingly debased and secular society.

During his remarks, Swanson reiterated his view that both the Old and New Testament require the death penalty for the crime of homosexuality, as well as his position that any Christian who attends a gay wedding can only do so in order to hold up a sign informing the couple that they ought to be put to death.

He drove home his point with a passionate declaration that if he ever found out that his own sons was gay and that son invited him to his wedding, he would show up covered in "sackcloth and ashes" and then smear himself in cow manure as he sat on the steps of the church and wailed lamentations.

"There are families, we're talking Christian families, pastors' families, elders' families from good, godly churches," Swanson said, "whose sons are rebelling, hanging out with homosexuals and getting married and the parents are invited. What would you do if that was the case? Here is what I would do: sackcloth and ashes at the entrance to the church and I'd sit in cow manure and I'd spread it all over my body. That is what I would do and I'm not kidding, I'm not laughing."

"I'm grieving, I'm mourning, I'm pointing out the problem," Swanson screamed as he went off about people trying to "carve happy faces on the sores" of a society that is utterly "messed up."

Here is Swanson stating his belief that the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, declares that the punishment for homosexuality is to be death:

Paranoia-Rama: Imprisonment Of Christians, The Destruction Of Financial Markets, And The Transgender Agenda

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

This week, all the classics top the list of things the Right Wing thinks are threats to America: gay people, undocumented immigrants, transgender people and, of course, the Obama administration.

1) God Will Destroy Financial Markets Over ‘Sodomy’ In America

Pat Robertson has frequently warned of the destruction of the financial markets by an angry God, and this week Robertson claimed that “sodomites” in the United States will be the thing to provoke God’s wrath.

America, according to Robertson, is turning into Sodom now that the United States has “enshrined sodomy into the United States Constitution.” He explained: “I don’t want the wrath of God to hit this country, it’s a great country, I’d like to see America continue strong, but this is one way of weakening it. First of all, we’re going to have this financial collapse. We’re setting up for a massive financial collapse and I think if God is going to hurt this country that’s probably the way he’d do it.”

2) Undocumented Immigrants In Cities ‘Increases The Rate Of Disease’

Marc Siegel joined the hosts of Fox News’ “Outnumbered” to discuss the real danger of sanctuary cities: rampant disease. “When you let illegal immigrants into a sanctuary city, they don't come in with a card that says I don't have tuberculosis or I don't have the flu or I don't have this disease,” Siegel explained. “And these things spread around big cities like San Francisco. It increases the rate of disease, and it increases the pressure on the healthcare system.”

Host Harris Faulkner attempted to link undocumented immigrants in San Francisco to a global rise in tuberculosis deaths, adding that she “was reading just this week that tuberculosis is now leading most of the other diseases around the world in killing people.” Siegel assessed that this was a “really important” point.

3) Conspiracy To Eliminate Religion From America

Representative Randy Forbes gave a sermon warning of a government conspiracy to expunge religion from the “marketplace of ideas” last month at his home church in Chesapeake, Virginia, as part of the Pray USA effort, an initiative of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation.

"I could put up on this screen or on this screen or on both of them the proof that would show you this isn't some natural evolution, this is artificially driven,” Forbes explained. “I can show you organization after organization after organization to a network that would frighten you because it would be vast that you couldn't get it on that screen, of organizations that are funded and paid with a systematic approach to killing and destroying faith in America today."

4) Obama Wants To Imprison Christian Conservatives

Speaking of the plot to silence Christians, Bryan Fischer asserted on his radio program this week that President Obama would imprison all conservative Christians, if only he could get away with it.

Fischer responded to a caller who alleged that the Justice Department’s plan to release 6,000 nonviolent drug offenders from federal prisons was a plot to make room for Christians in prisons by agreeing, "I think that is where we would go if he had his way."

"I honestly do,” Fischer continued. “I believe that is where we would wind up, if he could do what he wanted to do without any kind of restriction, he would lock people up who disagree with him, and that's us. Conservative Christians are the ones who have the biggest problem.”

5) Transgender Women Are Predators

The Right Wing is outraged at the Obama administration this week after the Education Department found that “an Illinois school district violated anti-discrimination laws when it did not allow a transgender student who identifies as a girl and participates on a girls’ sports team to change and shower in the girls’ locker room without restrictions.”

Pat Robertson revealed this week that he is under the impression that transgender students only want access to locker rooms that match their gender in order to eyeball girls. “This transgender stuff, I mean, this was a boy and this boy, we don’t know what surgery was performed on him, if any, we don’t know what his parts are,” he said, “and yet he wants to go into the girls’ locker room and see all these disrobed little girls running around.”

Phyllis Schlafly has also been persuaded that the transgender movement is a threat. In an interview on Newsmax TV, Schlafly alleged that the Department of Education’s announcement is proof that transgender advocates are “trying to turn our boys into peeping Toms.” She added, “I can’t imagine why else they would want to go into their girls’ restrooms.”

Jindal: 'No Earthly Court Can Change The Definition Of Marriage'

Earlier today, Republican presidential candidates Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee spoke at a conference in Iowa organized by Colorado pastor and activist Kevin Swanson, who takes such hardline Christian Reconstructionist views as supporting the death penalty for gay people . (Ted Cruz is also expected to speak at the conference.)

Swanson introduced Jindal by declaring that whoever becomes president, Jesus Christ will rule over them “whether they recognize it or not.”

“Let’s acknowledge right now that Jesus Christ is king over the president of the United States, whether he recognizes it or not,” he said. “Jesus Christ is king over the Supreme Court of the United States, whether they recognize it or not.”

Jindal then gave a version of his “Christian persecution” stump speech, warning that the government is “coming after those of us who want to live our lives according to our Christian faith” and declaring, “No earthly court can change the definition of marriage; no federal government, no ACLU should be able to take away our religious liberty rights. We were given those by God almighty.”

Huckabee Promises Far-Right Conference That He'll Ignore Obergefell And Roe

This morning, Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal joined radical right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson on the stage of Swanson’s “National Religious Liberties Conference” in Iowa to hawk their candidacies to a crowd that includes several Christian Reconstructionists.

Huckabee knew just how to appeal to this group, using his short time on stage to repeat his promises to simply ignore the Supreme Court’s rulings on abortion rights and marriage equality if he were to become president.

“Here’s what the president should do, and if I were president this is what I would do,” he said. “On the same-sex marriage decision, I would simply say, ‘It is not law.’ It is not law because the people’s elected representatives have not made it law and there is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Supreme Court power to make a law. They are the Supreme Court, they are not the supreme branch or the Supreme Being.”

“And so,” he added, “when people say, ‘What can we do? Let’s introduce a constitutional amendment, let’s propose a — .’ No. Let’s just exhibit and exercise the power that is already within the constitutional authority and structure and the president simply say, ‘Thank you for your opinion, but we shall ignore it because there’s nothing in the Constitution that affirms that and we are not going to impose upon all 50 states something that the federal government has no control over, which is the definition of marriage.’”

On the topic of abortion rights, Huckabee repeated his support for radical “personhood” proposals that seek to bypass a constitutional amendment overturning Roe by simply granting full constitutional rights to zygotes.

“I don’t know how we honestly can pray ‘God bless America’ when we have acted like a savage, uncivilized country in relationship to unborn children,” Huckabee said.

“But once again,” he said, “instead of us wringing our hands and maybe pretending that we’re going to change the Constitution or overturn Roe v. Wade — which, by the way, overturning Roe v. Wade does absolutely nothing to stop abortion, it simply turns it back to the states, they can have all the abortions they want. But what we have not done is what we should be doing and what I would do, which is to say we would invoke the Fifth and 14th Amendment as it relates to this issue. Because here’s the fact: We don’t have to pass a constitutional amendment. We already have two of them.”

Kevin Swanson: Liberals 'Are, By Definition, Tyrants!'

Kevin Swanson kicked off his "National Religious Liberties Conference" in Iowa today — which is to feature GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal — with an hour long rant that was every bit as unhinged as one would expect from a radical right-wing preacher who advocates putting gays to death and who thinks that Disney movies are turning young girls into lesbians.

At one point, Swanson fumed about new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's support for marijuana legalization, declaring that it is all a plot to increase the size of the government.

"This is what liberals do best," Swanson bellowed. "This is their agenda. They are, by definition, tyrants!"

Later in his sermon, Swanson fumed over the existence of LGBT groups in public schools while waving his Bible over his head and declaring that "I've got the authority to bind by the tyrants."

"Governments achieve power and then they corrupt it," he stated. "They centralize control and then they turn it towards depravity and perversions ... That's what the liberals do! They centralize the power of the Babel state and they've done it again and again and again for 100 years. But why? Why do they do it? They centralize in order to pervert it. They centralize education and before long they're kicking God out in the 1960s and bringing the [Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network] clubs in ... selling the gay and lesbian to as many six- and seven-year-olds as possible."

Ted Cruz Dodges Question About Appearing With Wildly Anti-Gay Pastor

As we have been reporting this week, three Republican presidential candidates — Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal — are scheduled to appear this weekend at an Iowa “religious liberties” conference organized by wildly anti-gay pastor and activist Kevin Swanson. To give you a flavor of this event, three speakers, including Swanson, have advocated or defended imposing the death penalty on gay people.

So we were relieved yesterday when one of these candidates finally had to answer for his participation in Swanson’s conference. At the end of an interview with Cruz yesterday, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked the Texas senator how he reconciles his constant cries of liberal “intolerance” against Christians with appearing alongside such an intolerant figure as Swanson.

Cruz, predictably, dodged the question by claiming ignorance of Swanson’s record and launching into his standard stump speech about the supposed persecution of Christians in America.

You can watch the exchange starting about 15 minutes into this video:

Tapper ran out of time to press Cruz on the issue, but we hope that Cruz, Huckabee and Jindal will continue to face questions about their participation in this event.

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/5/15

  • PFAW: Over 25,000 Call on Cruz, Huckabee, Jindal & GOP to Renounce Kevin Swanson.
  • Alex Griswold @ Mediaite: CNN Investigates Ben Carson’s Stories of Childhood Violence, Finds No Evidence.
  • Tierney Sneed @ TPM: Ben Carson: Archaeologists Are Wrong, The Pyramids Were Built To Store Grain.
  • Eric W. Dolan @ Raw Story: Ben Carson: Humans walked on the moon because America was founded on God.
  • Rachel Percelay @ Media Matters: A "Religious Freedom" Legal Powerhouse Is Leading The National Fight Against Transgender Student Rights.
Syndicate content