Beware The Gay Antichrist! The Seven Most Appalling Moments In Values Voter Summit History
Every year since 2006, Republican leaders have joined some of the country’s most notorious anti-gay, anti-choice activists and fringe conspiracy theorists at the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voter Summit.
This week’s summit will be no different, as potential GOP presidential contenders rub elbows with people who want to deny First Amendment protections to Muslims, defend laws criminalizing homosexuality, and think President Obama used the health care reform law to raise a private army of Brownshirts.
Don’t be surprised if summit speakers venture off into the deep-end of the right-wing fringe this week. Far from anomalies, intolerant rhetoric, self-serving claims of persecution and doomsday predictions are a Values Voter Summit tradition.
Here, we’ve collected seven of the worst moments from previous Values Voter Summits.
1. The Antichrist Will Be Gay
The Values Voter Summit is often an educational affair, and one thing we learned at the 2006 conference is that the Antichrist will be gay. Right-wing pastor Dwight McKissic told the VVS audience that year that the gay rights movement is a “Satanic” effort birthed “from the pit of Hell itself,” before suggesting that “the Antichrist himself may be homosexual.”
“The gay rights movement, I believe, was birthed and inspired by the Antichrist,” McKissic added, while conservative pastor and co-panelist Wellington Boone lamented that it is no longer socially acceptable to call people “faggots.”
2. Hillary Clinton Will Imprison Christians, ‘Shut Down’ Churches
Remember when Hillary Clinton destroyed the Constitution, closed churches and put all Christians in jail? No? Well, 2012 speaker Kamal Saleem predicted that by the end of her term as secretary of state, Clinton would “subjugate American people to be arrested and put to jail and their churches and synagogues shut down.”
Saleem has made a career as a phony ex-terrorist who converted to Christianity, and has concocted several other insane conspiracy theories.
Of course, the Values Voter Summit regularly features warnings that the U.S. has morphed into Nazi Germany and will establish concentration camps for Christians.
3. Mormonism Meltdown
On one rare occasion, even a Republican politician couldn’t ignore the rank bigotry that takes place at the Values Voter Summit.
In 2011, televangelist Robert Jeffress, who introduced then-presidential candidate Rick Perry at the summit, blasted Mitt Romney in a post-speech interview as a cult member and fake Christian, comments thatcame as no surprise since Jeffress had railed against the Mormon faith and Romney in previous speeches.
Romney, incidentally, was set to speak that year immediately prior to American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who is notorious for his incendiary comments about gays and lesbians, immigrants, African Americans, Native Americans, Muslims and, yes, Mormons. During his speech, Romney criticized Fischer’s “poisonous language,” prompting Fischer to lash back at Romney. Romney ally Bill Bennett also jumped in, criticizing Jeffress for promoting “bigotry” while Perry went back and forth between ignoring the controversy and eventually distancing himself from Jeffress.
While Romney may have spoken out against Fischer during the summit, Fischer had the last laugh as he succeeded in his campaign to oust a gay official from Romney’s presidential campaign.
That wasn’t the last time we would see infighting at the Values Voter Summit. Last year, Rep. Louie Gohmert accused Sen. John McCain of supporting Al Qaeda, to which McCain responded: “Sometimes comments like that are made out of malice, but if someone has no intelligence I don’t feel it as being a malicious statement.”
4. Demand Abortions Be Performed In Public
Lila Rose, the anti-choice activist known for her campaigns against Planned Parenthood, had a modest proposal at the 2009 summit: “If I could insist, as long as they are legal in our nation, abortions will be done in the public square.”
Rose, who sees herself as the Malala Yousafzai of America, said that mandatory public abortions are necessary so we can “hear angels singing when we ponder the glory of conception.”
Many other Values Voter Summit speakers have also shared memorable messages for the women of America.
5. Perkins Mocks Gay Soldiers
At the 2010 summit, in the midst of the fight over the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins warned that if the ban on openly gay service members was lifted, then the U.S. military would become nothing but a parade-marching force.
Speaking on a panel with Bob Maginnis, FRC’s senior fellow for national security, Perkins said that militaries that allow openly gay members — which by that time included Israel and NATO allies such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany — are the “ones that participate in parades, they don’t fight wars to keep the nation and the world free.”
Maginnis also predicted, wrongly, that military chaplains would be forced to perform same-sex weddings and made fun of transgender service members.
6. A Bigger Crown In Heaven
Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean told the 2009 conference that while she may have lost the beauty competition, which she said was a result of her answer to a question about gay marriage, she knew “that the Lord has so much of a bigger crown in Heaven for me.”
In fact, she said, the “vicious” reaction she received following the pageant was one of worst incidents of persecution in American history.
Prejean later sued Miss USA for discrimination but settled the case for legal fees after a sex tape she had made materialized.
7. Obamacare ‘Is The Worst Thing That Has Happened In This Nation Since Slavery’
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Values Voter Summit speakers have been in a fierce competition to see who can come up with the most insane reaction to the law. Michele Bachmann pilloried the health law as “DeathCare,” Ken Cuccinelli blasted it as “the greatest erosion of liberty” in modern history and Rick Santorum linked it to the French Revolution.
But Ben Carson outdid them all, telling the conference last year that “Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery, and it is slavery in a way.”
After all this, it is no wonder that Santorum told the Values Voter Summit in 2012 that “we will never have the elite, smart people on our side.”