Fresh off attending a conference whose host, Kevin Swanson, voiced support for the execution of gay people, Ted Cruz will stage a “Rally for Religious Liberty” in Greenville, South Carolina, on Saturday featuring a number of Religious Right activists who have referred to gay rights advocates as demonic enemies.
The rally is taking place at none other than Bob Jones University, the fundamentalist school that in the 1970s and 1980s famously cited “religious liberty” in an attempt to uphold its racist policies, which its leaders claimed were rooted in the Bible. The school’s chancellor apologized only recently for past comments he made about the need to stone gay people in order to “solve the problem post-haste.”
Just as Swanson believes that “the homosexual Borg is the power in the principality of the demonic world,” a number of the Religious Right activists who will be speaking alongside Cruz in Greenville have claimed that their battle against gay rights is really a spiritual war against Satan.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has referred to gay activists has “hateful” and “intolerant” “pawns” of the Devil and, like Swanson, has defended the notorious Ugandan bill that would have made homosexuality a death penalty crime in some cases.
Another speaker, Virginia-based activist E.W. Jackson, has described gay people as “spiritually darkened,” adding, “Their minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.” He also thinks that with President Obama “we’re really dealing with an evil presence.”
Texas-based pastor Dave Welch similarly portrayed Houston’s lesbian mayor as spiritually evil: “She literally is one of those who is caught in the snare, in the web of her darkness and her condition. I pray, we do pray for her, that God delivers her and sets her free from that.”
David and Jason Benham have made no bones about their belief that gay people are under the Devil’s thumb. They even wrote an entire column explaining why they think the gay rights movement is motivated by Satan.
Of course, Cruz’s father and campaign surrogate, Rafael Cruz, who will also be attending the Bob Jones event, has frequently depicted the gay rights movement as a sinister force, even going so far as to blame the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling on the Devil.