Early this morning, before the official opening of the Values Voter Summit, the Religious Right legal and advocacy group Liberty Counsel hosted “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition,” a breakfast panel on threats to the Second Amendment. On the menu: conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama and the United Nations plotting to disarm Americans, and rhetoric of resistance.
In addition to Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, the speakers were the Family Research Council’s Ken Blackwell (also a board member of the National Rifle Association) and gun-rights advocate Jan Morgan, who also appeared at Liberty Counsel’s Awakening conference earlier this year.
Morgan portrayed a United Nations treaty meant to restrict the illegal international trade in weapons as a UN plot to take Americans’ guns (false), and the Obama administration’s decision to sign the treaty as an ominous step. Blackwell portrayed the “assault” on the Second Amendment as an assault on the Constitution and on God himself, warning that nations that fall to tyranny or big-government socialism first must destroy the family, silence the church, and disarm their citizens. The Obama administration, he said, thinks it has replaced God in people’s lives. Asked how Americans should respond to the signing of the treaty, he said, “resist, resist, resist.”
Morgan celebrated the Colorado recall of two state senators who had supported the state’s new gun law, and she praised southern governors who she said are looking to put the “Firearm Freedom Act” into law in their states, which would threaten the arrest and prosecution of federal agents who try to enforce federal gun regulations in their state. She ended with a dramatic call for conservatives to “pull ourselves out of this pity party” and channel the fighting spirit of the founding fathers.
Last night, Rachel Maddow aired a segment on the American Religious Right’s involvement in shaping Russia’s anti-gay laws, crediting Right Wing Watch’s research.
She also calls out prominent GOP politicians for their support of the National Organization for Marriage, whose president, Brian Brown, traveled to Russia to push the country’s ban on adoption by gay couples.
Watching the segment:
Senator Mike Lee of Utah was the first speaker that this year's Values Voter Summit, which he kicked off by telling the audience that the problem with conservatives is not that they have focused too much on issues relating to the family - such as school prayer, abortion, or marriage equality - but have not focused on those issues enough:
- Rob Shryock @ Religion Dispatches: UPDATE: Air Force Not Persecuting Christians After All.
- Josh Feldman @ Mediaite: Glenn Beck Rips ‘Establishment GOP Hacks’: Tea Party a ‘Threat to Their Power and Existence.’
- Hunter Walker @ TPM: Arizona Lawmaker Denies 'De Fuhrer' Obama Comment Was Reference To Hitler.
- David Nir @ Daily Kos: Asked about the shutdown, Republican Rep. Gary Miller shoves the cameraman.
- Zack Ford @ Think Progress: It Gets Even Worse: New Russian Bill Seeks To Ban Same-Sex Surrogacy.
- Jeremy Hooper: Head of Illinois 'protect marriage' effort: Gay activists 'hate God.'
- A spokesperson has confirmed that Tony Perkins is considering running for Congress.
- On an ironic semi-related note, FRC's Robert Schwarzwalder can't believe "the irrational, vicious language being used about conservatives and the GOP by those who oppose them."
- Bryan Fischer insists that Christmas is mentioned in the Constitution.
- Mike Ditka thinks that he could have prevented Barack Obama from becoming president.
- Today, The Blaze debunked two popular right-wing talking points which, of course, probably won't stop Glenn Beck from continuing to repeat them.
American Family Association talk show host Sandy Rios this week once again connected the gay community to child abuse, this time telling Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality that the fact gay people want to serve as Scoutmasters or Big Brothers or Big Sisters is “big proof” they are pedophiles.
LaBarbera, whose upcoming AFTAH banquet will feature Rios as the keynote speaker, didn’t dispute her claim, and argued that “homosexuality itself is immoral behavior so we would expect one sin to have other sins lead to it, and that’s exactly what we find.”
LaBarbera: All these things: pedophilia; sadism; masochism, are overrepresented in the homosexual movement then it would be in the rest of culture.
Rios: I guess one big proof that we should have some concern, the activists’ hell-bent determination to make sure that Boy Scout leaders can be gay men and that Big Brothers and Big Sisters can be—well they’ve succeeded with that—Big Brothers and Big Sisters now has no — that’s fine with them, with that organization, that a person be gay or a lesbian and be a Big Brother or Big Sister. Now they are really determined to make sure they break down Boy Scouts completely, they’ve succeeded to some extent. But that to me indicates an interest of older people being with younger people. I don’t know, am I rushing to a conclusion on that Peter?
LaBarbera: First of all, homosexuality itself is immoral behavior so we would expect one sin to have other sins lead to it, and that’s exactly what we find. We both know, we’ve been around a long time and we know these stories of so-called gay men who had child abuse in their own past, their own upbringing, and incredibly they make no connection between the pedophilia they experienced as boys and girls, some of them, and their adult gay identity. Common sense would say that’s wrong but sadly there’s this thing in the movement.
Three speakers at August’s pitiful Ex-Gay Pride rally recently appeared on a podcast, Deeper Waters, to explain how ex-gays in America like themselves are just like the Jews living under Nazi Germany. Deeper Waters hosted PFOX’s Greg Quinlan, Douglas McIntyre of Homosexuals Anonymous and Grace Harley, who says she is ex-transgender.
“The Lord brought to me the Jewish Holocaust in my prayer time and it brought tears to my eyes, because He said, ‘as the Jewish people were being victimized, demonized, demonized to the point that all the Germans and all the people started believing and accepting it, guess what folks? That’s happening here in America,” Harley said, with Quinlan in agreement. “Ex-gay people like myself — we are being so demonized and hated and this is your God they’re hating.”
“Jesus did not walk into one voting booth and pull the lever for the current administration,” Harley exclaimed.
Later in the program, McIntyre also compared the plight of ex-gays to that of Jews under Nazism: “I took a tour of the Holocaust Museum and I went through the early years and looked at exactly the same techniques of lying, suppression and propaganda were exercised there as are being played out today, almost word for word.”
Quinlan likened the impact of the gay rights movement, which he described as demonic, to the wreckage of a tornado hitting a town. “We have lost our country,” he lamented.
“We have something they will never have, we have a victorious Christ, all they have is a defeated Devil,” Quinlan said. “We can win this but we have to take back our culture.”
Harley claimed that many gay people who are “determined to go to Hell with their father, they are literally determined to go with Satan, and realize there are a lot of homosexuals that are in the occult.”
Moments later, Harvey said that Obama has “homosexual orientation tendencies,” proving that we are in the Last Days: “The spirit will not dwell with us too much longer because we truly are in the End Times. Any time you have the head of a country with homosexual orientation tendencies, and I say that because Jesus said, ‘if you look at a woman with lust you have committed adultery,’ if you have the heart of the homosexual in your heart and your mind then you are without even committing the act, you are there. We have countries, or America—it’s devastating what’s going on.”
On his radio broadcast today, in the midst of a discussion of Obamacare, Glenn Beck suddenly became very agitated over the fact that all the things predicted in science fiction books like 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and Brave New World were all coming true and nobody seems to realize it or care.
Even more terrifying to Beck was the fact that, in the near future, the world of the Terminator movies will be upon us!
"America, I ask you sincerely, are you out of your mind?" Beck wondered. "They're actually talking now about creating drones that can decide to kill or not kill themselves. I don't think that's a good idea. I mean, I saw The Terminator movie; I know it's not real but I don't think that's a good idea ... Have you lost your mind?":
On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer asserted that a nation's military strength is intrinsically linked to its spiritual strength and, as such, America's military is growing weaker because President Obama is waging a war on Christ.
"Our Commander in Chief is waging a war on Christ in the military," Fischer said. "Now you can disguise it, you can say 'well, he's going after Christianity or he's going after Christians,' but why is he going after them? Well, because of the first syllable in those words. What's the first syllable in Christianity? It is Christ. What's the first syllable in Christian? It is Christ. What's the first syllable in Christmas? It is Christ. So make no mistake, when you've got an attack faith, on religious liberty, it is an attack on Christ. So we've got a President that is waging war against the King of King and the Lord of Lords. He's waging a war against Christ and his welcomed presence in the military and in all of our institutions":
by Brian Tashman and Miranda Blue
Republicans and Religious Right activists are set to come together this weekend at the Values Voter Summit, the Family Research Council conference where politicians will push the right-wing line regarding the government shutdown, Obamacare, gay rights and the supposed end of freedom.
As Peter noted, “Religious Right’s leaders are working to merge their activists’ anti-abortion and anti-gay zeal with the anti-government extremism of the Tea Party” and even “give the Tea Party’s agenda a biblical foundation.”
Ted Cruz and Rand Paul will be the event’s biggest speakers, along with Republican congressmen Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Jim Bridenstine, Scott Turner, Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan.
These GOP officials will speak alongside some of the most radical figures in the conservative movement:
Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, the main organizer of this weekend’s summit. Perkins leads the group’s efforts against gay rights, abortion rights and church/state separation. The FRC has one of the most anti-gay platforms of any major political organization, including expressions of support for the criminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and abroad in countries law Malawi and Uganda. Perkins himself frequently reflects the extreme views of his organization. He:
- Linked sexual assault, suicide and pedophilia to gay people, arguing there is “a correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia.
- Warned that anti-bullying efforts are “disgusting” efforts to encourage “perversion” and that same-sex unions are part of a government “population control” plot.
- Lamented the ties between Democrats and the “Jewish lobby.”
- Attacked Islam as an “evil” religion.
- Criticized the military for offering “yoga and meditation classes.”
- Maligned proponents of the separation of church and state as “cultural terrorists.”
Family Research Council vice president and retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin sparked a controversy when, as a high-ranking official in the Bush Defense Department, he framed the War on Terror as a holy war against Islam. He has since built a career as a Religious Right speaker, specializing in anti-Muslim rhetoric and anti-Obama conspiracy theories. He:
- Says that “Islam is evil” and that “Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections,” and wants to ban mosques.
- Warned Obama is using the health care reform law as a cover to establish a private army of Brownshirts loyal just to him.
- Claimed the bailout of AIG led to the establishment of Sharia law and that George Soros and the Council on Foreign relations conspired to collapse the U.S. economy in order to help Obama get elected.
- Said that American Jews were misled into supporting Democrats by wrongly thinking Adolf Hitler was right-wing extremist; also thinks that Jews must be converted to Christianity.
The Virginia Republican nominee for Lt. Governor, E.W. Jackson is a longtime activist who has likened the Democratic Party to the Antichrist, said Planned Parenthood is worse than the Ku Klux Klan , suggested Obama is a Muslim and demonic, and fought desegregation efforts. Jackson’s most pernicious rhetoric has focused on LGBT people. He has:
- Referred to gays and lesbians as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”
- Argued that gay marriage will release a “ the torrent of wickedness” that will result in man-animal marriages.
- Said homosexuality is connected to pedophilia and that homosexuality also “poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of.”
Brian Brown is the president of the National Organization for Marriage, the funding machine behind anti-marriage-equality measures throughout the country. Fighting an increasingly losing battle at home, Brown has set his sights abroad, supporting French anti-gay activists and testifying before the Russian Duma in favor of a law banning adoption by gay couples and single people in countries that allow marriage equality. He is also a vocal supporter of the World Congress of Families, an Illinois-based group that supports anti-gay measures throughout the world. Back at home, Brown has:
- Warned of a slipperly slope from marriage equality to legal protections for pedophilia, asking, “Will pedophiles become ‘minor-attracted persons’ in our culture”?
- Touted phony “ex-gay” science and encouraged parents to send children to an “ex-gay” conference to “prevent your child from embracing this destructive way of life.
- Led NOM to develop a plan to “drive a wedget between gays and blacks” by “fanning the hostility” that they claim existed between the two communities.
Mat Staver is the head of the Liberty University School of Law and its legal affiliate, Liberty Counsel, a sponsor of the Values Voter Summit. Liberty Counsel has been implicated in the Lisa Miller kidnapping case, where a client kidnapped her daughter and fled to Central America after a court granted custody to her former partner. At a previous Values Voter Summit, Staver claimed that progressives are using LGBT rights and secular government in order to “ultimately implode America” and that the “agenda of the homosexual movement” is to destroy freedom and western civilization. Through his role at Liberty Counsel, Staver has:
- Argued that President Obama “does not respect America” and wants to intentionally cripple America so he can have global power and create his own personal army of Brownshirts.
- Defended Malawi’s law criminalizing homosexuality and said U.S. opposition to criminalization was “immoral.”
- Urged schools to prohibit students from holding a “Day of Silence” to protest anti-gay bullying and said teaching LGBT history in schools amounts to “sexual assault.”
- Alleged that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act will lead to child molestation, sexual assault, and even death and “harm women and children” if passed.
- Warned that the Supreme Court’s decision in the DOMA case would cause the United States to cross “into the realm of revolution.”
Joseph Farah is the editor-in-chief of the conspiracy theory clearinghouse WorldNetDaily and a friend of Sen. Rand Paul. He most recently worked with Michele Bachmann on a 9/11 prayer event which he claimed was “our last chance” to save America from God’s judgment, which includes homosexuality, terrorism and President Obama. Farah:
- Publishes the work of “reporter” Jerome Corsi, a leading birther who also claims that President Obama is secretly both Muslim and gay, wears a wedding ring from his marriage to his Pakistani roommate and joined a “down low club” to have sex with men whom he later had killed.
- Questioned President Obama’s eligibility for the presidency, calling him a “radical, Chicago-style gangster” who is “at war with God,” and once speculated that the president’s grandmother was actually his mother.
- Warned the President Obama would use future government shutdowns to deny health care, would use FEMA to stifle dissent, and allowed the Navy Yard shooting to happen in order to “render the population helpless.”
- Claimed that Obama’s Israel policy caused tornados in the Midwest and that an earthquake on the East Coast was God’s judgment on America.
- Wants to curtail immigration by Muslims, whom he claims are working with gay people to destroy America.
Fox News commentator Todd Starnes has become notorious for filing false reports based on right-wing conspiracy theories, which of course makes him a favorite “journalist” among conservative activists. Starnes has also:
- Suggested that President Obama is secretly having a gay affair.
- Warned that the Obama administration and gay rights laws are ushering in fascism and second class citizenship for straight people.
- Said that defeats for anti-gay activists are a sign of “the end of days.”
The former Concerned Women for America president is now a radio talk show host on American Family Radio, the network led by the American Family Association. Like other AFA hosts, she promotes right-wing conspiracy theories, including claims that Obama was not born in America and is actually from Kenya, resettled thousands of Palestinian refugees in the US and exempted Muslim-Americans from Obamacare. Rios will be a good fit for the anti-gay conference as she:
- Compared same-sex couples to the relationships kidnapper Ariel Castro had with his captives.
- Warned the “homosexual takeover” of the military will jeopardize the effectiveness of the military.
A leading Religious Right organizer based in Texas, Rick Scarborough of Vision America claims he is fighting the country’s supposed decline. Scarborough has said that it is “sad” to see “more non-white families” in America, claimed that the growing Latino population will destroy America and blamed societal ills on shows such as The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory. He even said that the Benghazi attack occurred as a result of the country being “mired in sin.” But that’s not all. Scarborough:
- Charged that AIDS is divine punishment of the gay community.
- Demanded that people only refer to gays and lesbians as “sodomites.”
- Claimed Obama will arrest him and other conservative activists following the passage of the hate crimes law (and made the same absurd prediction prior to the Supreme Court’s recent gay rights rulings).
Ohio-based activist Janet Porter opposes abortion rights, gay equality and now Obamacare, which she says will be used tomurderconservatives. She asked God to stop Obama from being sworn in as president and prayed for right-wing Christians to take control over the media and the government, because she:
- Suggested that Obama will set up internment camps, put people into FEMA concentration camps and starve them to death or kill everyone with the swine flu vaccine.
- Predicted that Obama will commence negotiations with Osama bin Laden.
- Claimed that hate crimes laws will throw Christians in jail.
Anti-Muslim activist and birther Frank Gaffney believes that Islamic extremists have infiltrated the conservative movement, the FBI, the CIA, the State Department, and the White House. He most recently has:
- Pushed the conspiracy theory that the US knew beforehand about the chemical weapons attack in Syria as a pretext to intervene .
- Smeared Huma Abedin as a Muslim Brotherhood agent .
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