Matt Barber, the anti-LGBTQ activist who left Liberty Counsel and created the far-right, conspiracy-theory-promoting media platform BarbWire, has launched another new project, which he’s calling Christian Civil Rights Watch and describing as a “principled and aggressive Christian legal/public policy organization.” Religious Right activist and former state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt is a co-founder.
Barber and Klingenschmitt are soulmates of a sort in their anti-LGBTQ extremism. Klingenschmitt says gay-rights activists are inhabited by demonic spirits, while Barber once demeaned “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’” In August, Barber appeared on Klingenschmitt’s “Pray in Jesus Name” webcast where they agreed that it is “unconscionable” that gay couples are allowed to adopt children.
Klingenschmitt, while promoting a new book in October, said Christians must run for office so that the church can “take over the government” and “become the state” and implement the will of God on earth. Along those lines, CCRW says it wants to help everybody “understand reality in the context of the Christian worldview—which is total truth” and to help “return our nation to her Christian moorings.”
Restoring Christian civil rights is the civil rights struggle of our time. Cultural Marxists, church-state separatists, “progressive” anti-Christian religious segregationists and “LGBT” sexual anarchists now openly attack our liberty. Who watches them?
That’s just the start of CCRW’s enemies list. CCRW has a page devoted to what it calls “Anti-Christian Extremist Groups,” which includes us here at Right Wing Watch, the Southern Poverty Law Center and just about every organization in the LGBTQ equality movement—even Log Cabin Republicans!—along with Amnesty International, the United Nations, the American Federation of Teachers, and even a number of scientific and medical organizations like the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine and Boston Children’s Hospital Gender Clinic.
If that seems like an odd compilation, consider how CCRW casually tosses the murderous Islamic State terror network into a list of American legal and advocacy groups: CCRW says it needs money for a project “compiling comprehensive list and updated report of anti-Christian extremist groups (e.g., SPLC, ACLU, HRC, Antifa, PFAW, ISIS and many more).”
Barber’s CCRW appears to be an effort to cash in on the Religious Right’s years of fomenting hostility toward the gains of the LGBTQ equality movement and promoting the idea that Christians in America are being persecuted for their beliefs.
CCRW’s website echoes the Religious Right’s assertion that LGBT equality and religious liberty are fundamentally incompatible. But it goes even further, declaring, “‘Gay pride’ necessitates anti-Christian hate. It must.” Same-sex marriage, CCRW declares, is “evil” and “a puerile farce.” Another gem: “Most homosexuals know intuitively…that their lifestyle is unnatural and immoral” and that’s why they must force others to affirm their “self-destructive” lifestyle.
CCRW’s site—whose url is www.truecivilrights.org—invokes Religious Right activist Alveda King in support of its claims that Martin Luther King Jr. would have “led the charge against” marriage equality. CCRW claims that it is “honoring the true beliefs, work, life and legacy” of MLK with its request that supporters of the “historical civil rights movement stand together and demand that ‘progressive’ propagandists stop misusing and abusing the language of genuine civil rights to propagate self-interested moral wrongs.” It’s worth noting that King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, was an outspoken advocate for full legal equality for LGBTQ people.
Stop us if you’ve heard all this before. CCRW’s rhetoric about LGBTQ equality being an attack on religious freedom is familiar precisely because there’s already a massive Religious Right infrastructure of legal, political and media organizations making these arguments and waging these battles in the courts and court of public opinion. When you have a $50 million giant like the Alliance Defending Freedom and a network of other groups bringing these cases to court, what’s the rationale for one more organization that says it needs money to file amicus briefs?