May 14, 2019

He’s still alive, and he still hates the gays: Televangelist Pat Robertson claims that passage of the Equality Act will force God to destroy America.

Right Wing Watch reports:

On “The 700 Club” this morning, televangelist Pat Robertson warned that passage of the Equality Act, which seeks to add protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity to existing civil rights laws, will cause God to destroy America.

On his widely circulated television program Robertson spoke with anti-gay conservative Christian activist Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel about the Equality Act currently being considered by Congress.

Speaking with Robertson, a dishonest Staver claimed that the common-sense legislation that would simply protect LGBT people from discrimination would be “the biggest threat to religious freedom and freedom in general” ever to be considered in Congress.

After the interview Robertson railed against the proposed legislation, asking his viewers to call Congress while claiming that passage of the Equality Act would “bring the judgment of God on this nation” and cause God to destroy America:

This is a devastating blow to religious freedom and to the sanctity of America. If you want to bring the judgment of God on this nation, you just keep this stuff up. You know, I was reading in Leviticus where it said, ‘Because of these things, the land will vomit you out.’ Vomit you out. I think God will say, ‘I’ve had it with America, if you do this kind of stuff, I’m going to get rid of you as a nation.’

There is plenty of stuff that is going on. When you look at the potential of atomic war, when you look at the potential of a solar strike or something on our [electric] grid, you could go down the line of devastation that could happen to our nation. We don’t want that. We want the blessing of God, not the curse of God.

Commenting on the story, Joe.My.God. notes:

For those of you keeping track, Robertson also predicted that God would destroy America upon the legalization of same-sex marriage. And Orlando because of Disney’s Gay Days. And on and on and on.

Bottom line: Pat Robertson is still alive, he still hates the gays, and he claims that passage of the Equality Act will force God to destroy America.

Pat Robertson Promises God Will Destroy America If Equality Act Passes (Image via Screen Grab)
Pat Robertson Promises God Will Destroy America If Equality Act Passes (Image via Screen Grab)
November 10, 2017

Prominent evangelist Jerry Falwell Jr. and other leading conservative Christians stand by their man, Roy Moore, child molester.

After dramatic revelations concerning Roy Moore sexually abusing a 14-year-old-girl, and sexually pursuing other teenage girls, conservative Christians are lining up to deny, defend, and justify the Alabama senate candidate’s deplorable and criminal behavior.

In emailed remarks published Friday by the Religious News Service Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, made it clear that he would stand by the child molester, writing:

It comes down to a question who is more credible in the eyes of the voters — the candidate or the accuser. The same thing happened to President Trump a few weeks before his election last year except it was several women making allegations. He denied that any of them were true and the American people believed him and elected him the 45th president of the United States.

Falwell was not alone in defending Moore. Multiple other conservative Christian leaders are stepping forward. More from the Religious News Service (RNS):

American Family Association President Tim Wildmon, who has endorsed Moore, told RNS in an email the report “does not change our support for Roy Moore.”

“I don’t think this kind of story will change support for him among Christians since he has categorically denied it. Most will see it as dirty politics,” Wildmon said.

Liberty Counsel Chairman Mathew Staver also continued to back Moore, saying, “Having personally known Roy Moore and his wife of 32 years, Kayla, I know him as a man of integrity who respects women.”

Adding insult to injury, Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler claims the Bible justifies the GOP senate candidate’s deplorable behavior.

Commenting on the explosive scandal, Ziegler told the Washington Examiner:

There is nothing to see here. The allegations are that a man in his early 30s dated teenage girls. Even the Washington Post report says that he never had sexual intercourse with any of the girls and never attempted sexual intercourse.

After asserting that “there is nothing to see here,” Ziegler went on to use scripture from the Bible to defend Moore’s criminal behavior. Ziegler said:

He’s clean as a hound’s tooth. Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist.

Ziegler then went on to invoke Christ to defend Moore:

Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.

Ziegler concluded:

There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.

That’s right. Let that sink in for a minute. According to Ziegler, in Alabama, sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl is “nothing immoral or illegal,” but “maybe just a little bit unusual.”

Note: Ziegler in not denying the charges against Moore. Instead, Ziegler is assuming the charges against Moore are true, and arguing that even though the charges are true, “there is nothing to see here,” because Jesus.

Bottom line: Nothing says Christian love like defending a child molester and blaming the victim.

Conservative Christians Defend Roy Moore Child Molester (Image via Screen Grab)
Conservative Christians Defend Roy Moore Child Molester (Image via Screen Grab)
October 10, 2017

Conservative Christians celebrate new guidelines allowing taxpayer funded discrimination in the name of “religious freedom.”

Late last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued new instructions to federal agencies giving government workers, federal contractors, and others legal permission to ignore federal bans on discrimination against women and LGBT people.

The Daily Beast reports on the new guidelines:

… the guidance takes the most pro-right-wing and anti-women/anti-LGBT interpretation of the constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). As a result, the federal government will not prosecute religious organizations for discriminating in the hiring and firing of employees (even those whose work has nothing to do with religion, from hospital janitors to cafeteria cooks), will not take action against businesses who turn way gay customers (or anyone else), and will allow government-funded adoption and foster agencies to refuse to place children with gay families.

In addition to the new guidelines allowing taxpayer funded discrimination in the name of “religious freedom,” last week the Trump administration also cancelled the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. The action takes effect immediately, and will allow virtually any employer to deny women birth control coverage for “religious reasons.”

Taken together, the two actions in the name of so-called “religious liberty” represents a huge victory to hateful conservative Christians who wish to penalize and stigmatize women, gays, and other minorities who fail to conform to their narrow and bigoted world view.

The following is a sample of the joyous reactions as conservative Christians celebrate their new found power to hurt those that fail to share their particular religious superstitions:

 While the Obama administration quarantined religious beliefs as if they are a plague — the Trump administration is restoring our First Freedom to where it’s belonged since the founding of our country. Federal agencies are on notice: you will not only respect the freedom of every American to believe, but the free exercise of religion.

We commend President Trump for instructing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to send a strong message to the rest of America that religious freedom must be protected. The President has reversed the Obama-era policies and committed to protecting and promoting the religious freedom upon which this nation was founded. The Department of Justice must now vigorously enforce all Americans’ civil right of free exercise of religious liberty. This is an extremely positive step in the right direction.

The American Family Association is heartened to see strong action taken on two issues that have long troubled those with closely held religious beliefs. No one should be forced to either pay for a service or perform a service that violates their faith. AFA thanks President Trump for his continued commitment to religious freedom, and for the real and tangible ways his administration is creating policies to protect Americans’ constitutionally granted liberties.

The Obama administration’s repeated violations of conscience were deeply contrary to the core of our nation, which was built on the foundation of respect for the individual freedoms of the people and deeply held religious beliefs. We thank President Trump for fulfilling a core promise to voters of faith and conscience who elected him.

The story should be that this is a president who is truly committed to liberty. He is committed to America, and he is working to keep his word to the American people. That is incredibly honorable and noble.

All Americans should have the freedom to peacefully live and work consistent with their faith without fear of government punishment. The guidance that the Trump administration issued today helps protect that First Amendment freedom. As CEO of the largest religious freedom legal organization in the world, I commend the president for taking another step to honor his campaign promise to make religious liberty his ‘first priority’ by directing the Department of Justice to issue this guidance, which simply directs the federal government to adhere to its legal and constitutional obligation to respect existing religious freedom protections.

In short, conservative Christians celebrate their new license to discriminate against anyone as long as they cite a sincere religious belief as a justification for doing so. The new rules represent a profound threat to the secular values upon which this nation was founded, and is yet another indication of the creeping Christian theocracy threatening the United States.

Bottom line: Our long national nightmare continues, and conservative Christians celebrate. 

Conservative Christians Celebrate Trump’s New ‘License To Discriminate’ (Tony Perkins Image via Screen Grab)
Conservative Christians Like Tony Perkins Celebrate Trump’s New ‘License To Discriminate’ (Image via Screen Grab)
September 23, 2016

Kentucky clerk’s stand for anti-gay Christian hate could be expensive.

Earlier this week the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky filed a motion in federal court seeking to recover $233,058 in attorneys’ fees and other expenses associated with fighting Kim Davis over marriage equality.

Last year the Kentucky county clerk and Christian extremist refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses because of her “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

The Advocate reports the ACLU of Kentucky is seeking to recover $233,058 in attorneys’ fees and other expenses associated with the lawsuit it brought on behalf of several couples last year after Davis shut down marriage license operations in Rowan County, where she is the elected county clerk.  

Last year, rather than issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land, Davis refused, and eventually went to jail, making her a Christian martyr for some, and the darling of right-wing Christian conservatives like former Republican presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee.

Both Davis and Rowan County are named as defendants in the motion, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. But “the motion does not call for Davis to personally pay the fees,” ACLU spokesman Ryan Karerat told BuzzFeed.

ACLU of Kentucky Legal Director William Sharp said Monday that he wanted the fees to send a message about the high price of violating people’s rights. He explained in a statement:

Courts recognize that when successful civil rights plaintiffs obtain a direct benefit from a court-ordered victory, such as in this case, they can be entitled to their legal expenses to deter future civil rights violations by government officials.

Sharp added:

By filing today’s motion, we hope to achieve that very objective — to send a message to government officials that willful violations of individuals’ rights will be costly.

However, Liberty Counsel, the Christian advocacy group that represented Davis in court, called the attempt to recoup fees a “Hail Mary” from the ACLU.

Mat Staver, the group’s chairman, said the ACLU is not entitled to attorney’s fees because the case was ultimately dismissed. In a statement Staver said:

County clerks are now able to perform their public service without being forced to compromise their religious liberty. The case is now closed and the door has been shut on the ACLU’s attempt to assess damages against Kim Davis.

Bottom line: Ignoring the law and denying individuals basic rights because of “sincerely held religious beliefs” is not only immoral, it can also be expensive.

Kim Davis (Image via Carter County Jail)
Kim Davis (Image via Carter County Jail)
June 9, 2016

A “small” bomb exploded in a women’s bathroom at a Target store in Illinois.

No one was hurt in the explosion, and a  44-year-old woman described as a person of interest was taken into custody, according to the Chicago Tribune.

While the bomb caused minor damage, no person was injured. The bomb was made with a plastic bottle but did not contain nails, tacks or other projectiles, according to police.

Many have speculated the bomb was related to Target’s transgender-inclusive bathroom policy, a policy that has sent some conservative Christians into an apoplectic rage.

Recently Target upset conservative Christians by announcing that transgender customers would be permitted to use the bathrooms that they are most comfortable using.

However, local police reject any connection between the bombing and the company’s transgender friendly policy. The following is an excerpt from a statement concerning the bombing issued by the city of Evanston:

On Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at approximately 4:08 PM, the Evanston Police and Fire Departments were called to the Target Store in the 2200 block of Howard Street for a minor explosion that occurred in the women’s bathroom.  There were no reported injuries and the damage was confined to a stall inside the bathroom.  Police and Fire personnel secured the scene and requested assistance from the Cook County Bomb Squad prior to collecting any evidence.  A preliminary examination revealed the explosion may have initiated from a plastic bottle that was observed in the stall.  There were no threats or other suspicious activity prior to, or since the incident occurred.  

In the course of their investigation, detectives took a 44 year old female person of interest into custody.  The investigation is still ongoing and no charges have been filed.  The detectives are not currently looking for any known additional suspects and as this point there is no indication that the incident is related to any policies that the Target store has in place.  This release will be updated when new information is obtained.  

Despite the police report there is good reason to suspect a disgruntled Christian is behind the explosion, given the rhetoric coming from leading Christian conservatives.

Late last month Focus on the Family founder James Dobson actually told his audience that transgender people using public restrooms should be shot and killed.

And last April, Anita Staver, president of the conservative Christian law group The Liberty Counsel, issued a thinly veiled death threat to transgender people via Twitter, declaring that she would carry a gun to Target so she could shoot any transgender bathroom users, implicitly encouraging others to do the same.

In fact, fueled by irrational fear and bigotry, over one million Christians have promised to boycott Target because of its transgender-inclusive bathroom policy.

The boycott is being sponsored by the American Family Association, a Christian hate group that promotes propaganda and hate speech against transsexual people while pretending to protect children.

(Image via Twitter)
(Image via Twitter)
May 1, 2016

Fueled by irrational fear and bigotry, over one million Christians boycott Target.

More than one million people have signed a petition promising to boycott Target because of its new transgender-inclusive bathroom policy.

The petition, sponsored by the American Family Association, a Christian hate group, promotes propaganda and hate speech against transsexual people while pretending to protect children.

Ostensibly, the petition claims to protect “women and children,” but in reality it is a thinly veiled expression of Christian bigotry and hatred towards the transgender community.

The petition advocates for a boycott against Target after the company released a statement in support of transgender people’s right to use the bathroom. In the statement Target says it encourages transgender people to use whichever restroom or fitting room that matches their gender identity, saying inclusivity is a “core belief at Target.”

Yet what should have been a non-controversial statement of tolerance set off a firestorm of Christian panic, and the petition and boycott campaign against Target is the result of that panic.

In response to the transgender bathroom hysteria aimed at Target, a counter petition at MoveOn.org has been launched. Currently the petition has over a 100,000 signatures and reads:

I pledge to support Target and any other business that stands up for transgender rights and accommodates transgender people in their restroom use.

The boycott and petition against Target is part of a shameful and vile attack on transgender people that promotes a discredited and malicious myth that transgender people using public bathrooms pose some sort of threat. However, the facts show that transgender people using public bathrooms do not pose a threat to others.

Yet despite the facts, the myth continues. Last week a notorious conservative Christian lawyer threatened transgender bathroom users with gun violence. Anita Staver, president of the theocratic law group The Liberty Counsel, issued a thinly veiled death threat to transgender people via Twitter. Staver said she will carry a gun to Target so she can shoot transgender bathroom users.

In response to the hate, good people need to reject the transgender bathroom hysteria sweeping the nation, and stand up for transgender individuals and those who support transgender individuals, like Target.

Bottom line: Target’s brave stand for fair treatment of all citizens should be rewarded, not punished.

(Image via Twitter)
(Image via Twitter)
April 27, 2016

Transgender people using a public bathroom in Oxford, Alabama now face a $500 fine and six months in jail.

Tuesday the city council of Oxford, Alabama voted unanimously to criminalize the use of public restrooms by transgender citizens. The new law restricts a person’s use of public bathrooms and changing rooms to the facilities designated for use by those of the gender listed on his or her birth certificate.

The new law applies within both the city’s limits and police jurisdiction. Violations can result in a $500 fine or six months in jail.

Oxford City Council President Steven Waits said in a statement that the ordinance came in response to Target’s new restroom and changing room policies. Target has a store in the Oxford Exchange shopping center.

Recently conservative Christians have worked themselves into a lather over Target stores’ decision to allow transgender customers to use restrooms designated for their expressed gender.

In a statement issued last week Target said transgender people should use whichever restroom or fitting room matches their gender identity, saying inclusivity is a “core belief at Target.”

In response to the humane statement, paranoid conservative Christians launched a #BoycottTarget campaign on social media.

In a statement condemning the new anti-trans ordinance in Oxford, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) notes:

This anti-transgender law is unprecedented in its establishment of criminal penalties for violations of the law, and raises a myriad of privacy and legal concerns, including questions about how the law will be enforced. There is no clarity on whether all people in Oxford will be expected to produce birth certificates when using public facilities or, if not, how law enforcement officials will obtain evidence.

HRC Alabama State Manager Eva Walton Kendrick said:

This ordinance is a shameful and vile attack on the rights and privacy of transgender people. Transgender people are our neighbors, our coworkers and our fellow churchgoers, and every Alabamian has the right to live their lives without fear of discrimination and prejudice.

Kendrick is correct. The new law in Oxford is a shameful and vile attack on transgender people. The law plays on the discredited and malicious myth that transgender people using public bathrooms pose some sort of threat. However, the facts show that transgender people using public bathrooms do not pose a threat to others.

Yet despite the facts, the myth continues. Earlier this week a notorious conservative Christian lawyer threatened transgender bathroom users with gun violenceAnita Staver, president of the theocratic law group The Liberty Counsel, issued a thinly veiled death threat to transgender people via Twitter. Staver said she will carry a gun to Target so she can shoot transgender bathroom users.

However, there is no justification for the transgender bathroom hysteria exhibited by Staver and other conservative Christians. A recent report issued by Media Matters cites experts from twelve states – including law enforcement officials, state human rights workers, and sexual assault victims advocates – who debunk the myth that transgender non-discrimination laws and policies have any relation to incidents of sexual assault or harassment in public restrooms.

In fact, if one is concerned about public bathroom safety, it is Republican politicians, and not transgender people, that are most likely to be engaged in sexual misconduct. Multiple reports indicate that no transgender individual has ever been arrested for sexual misconduct in a public bathroom, while at least three Republican lawmakers have been arrested for sexual misconduct in a public restroom.

Bottom line: The new law in Oxford, Alabama that will punish transgender people for using a public bathroom with a fine and jail time is yet another example of the transgender bathroom hysteria that is sweeping the nation, a hysteria fueled by the ignorance and bigotry of conservative Christians.

(Image via OxfordAlabama.org)
(Image via OxfordAlabama.org)

 

April 25, 2016

A notorious conservative Christian lawyer threatens transgender bathroom users with gun violence.

Anita Staver, president of the theocratic law group The Liberty Counsel, issued a thinly veiled death threat to transgender people via Twitter. Staver  says she will carry a gun to Target so she can shoot transgender bathroom users:

(I’m taking a Glock .45 to the ladies room. It identifies as my bodyguard. #BoycottTarget @Target)

Staver’s tweet is dangerous, and has the effect of encouraging and legitimizing violence against transgender individuals.

Staver’s Liberty Counsel is a Christian hate group that represented Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who went to jail because she refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Anita Staver, Liberty Counsel’s president, is married to Mat Staver, head of the legal team that defended Davis in her effort to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.

Recently conservative Christian activists like the Stavers have worked themselves into a lather over Target stores’ decision to allow transgender customers to use restrooms designated for their expressed gender.

In a statement issued last week Target said transgender people should use whichever restroom or fitting room matches their gender identity, saying inclusivity is a “core belief at Target.”

In response to the humane statement, paranoid Christians launched a #BoycottTarget campaign on social media.

Staver’s tweet threatening transgender bathroom users with gun violence is just another example of the irrational backlash against Target’s humane bathroom policy in particular, and transgender rights in general.

Yet despite protests from paranoid Christian to the contrary, the facts show that it is a myth that transgender people pose a danger in public bathrooms, a myth promoted by conservative Christians who hate what they don’t understand.

In fact, if one is concerned about public bathroom safety, reports indicate that it is Republican politicians, and not transgender people, that are most likely to be engaged in sexual misconduct in a public restroom.

Bottom line: Anita Staver is a dangerous Christian bigot. And her thinly veiled death threat against transgender people using the bathroom at Target is yet another example of the transgender bathroom hysteria sweeping the nation.

(H/T Raw Story, Joe. My. God.)

Anita Staver (Image via Facebook)
Anita Staver (Image via Facebook)
September 11, 2015

Boots on the ground: The Oath Keepers, a heavily armed and self-described “Christian militia,” are on their way to Kentucky to prevent the arrest of Kim Davis if she continues to defy the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality.

Right Wing Watch reports that Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes claims he has already contacted  Davis’ lawyers at Liberty Counsel to offer the protection of his group, which he says is already forming a presence in Rowan County, Kentucky, where Davis was recently released from jail after prohibiting her office from issuing marriage licenses.

Raw Story reports that the Oath Keepers claim Davis, the elected clerk of Rowan County, was denied her right to a jury trial, a claim which is false. Davis was not entitled to a jury trial, and the judge who placed her in custody was merely enforcing the law.

Posting on the organization’s website, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes said in part:

We believe Federal District Court Judge David Bunning grossly overstepped his bounds and violated Mrs Davis’ due process rights, and in particular her right to a jury trial.  This judge has assumed unto himself not just the powers of all three branches of government, but has also taken on the powers of judge, jury, and “executioner.”  What matters to us is not whether you agree with her position on gay marriage or her decision to not issue marriage licenses.  What matters is that the judge is violating the Constitution in his anger and desire to punish her for going against his will.

Right Wing Watch reports Rhodes said that the Rowan County sheriff should have blocked U.S. Marshals from detaining Davis, but since neither the sheriff nor the state’s governor will do their “job” and “intercede” on behalf of Davis, the Oath Keepers will have to do it instead. Rhodes said:

As far as we’re concerned, this is not over, and this judge needs to be put on notice that his behavior is not going to be accepted and we’ll be there to stop it and intercede ourselves if we have to. If the sheriff, who should be interceding, is not going to do his job and the governor is not going to do the governor’s job of interceding, then we’ll do it.

The Oath Keepers are dangerous vigilantes with no respect for the U.S. Constitution or the rule of law. Their desire to defend an elected official who abandoned the U.S. Constitution and her sworn oath as an elected official makes a mockery of their stated cause, and shows them for what they truly are: un-American imbeciles.

(Image via Screen Grab)
(Image via Screen Grab)
September 8, 2015

Mat Staver, the attorney who is representing anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, claims a same-sex marriage licenses is like a license to “sodomize children.”

Staver displayed his obnoxious anti-gay Christian bigotry while appearing on the “WallBuilders Live” radio program, where he said that requiring Davis to issue same-sex marriage licenses is like requiring her to provide licenses to “sodomize children.”

The following is an excerpt from Staver’s remarks, via Right Wing Watch:

A clerk provides licenses to do something. A license to operate a motor vehicle on the road, a license to build a particular facility or a license to do this or a license to do that or a license to operate a business. So that person is licensing someone to do something and in this case, they’re licensing what? They’re licensing something that is directly contrary to the core of their religious convictions, to engage in sinful activity among same-sex relations and sanction something that is contrary to the Scriptures and that is marriage of two people of the same sex.

To force someone like that to give a license for something that will legalize, that will put a stamp of approval on something that is absolute rebellion against God, sinful, then that is a direct collision of unprecedented magnitude.

Staver continued, saying that requiring Davis to do her job is like requiring her “to grant a license to engage in pornography, to grant a license to sodomize children or something of that nature.

The moral depravity required to equate same-sex marriage with sodomizing children in unfathomable. Staver is a monster, and the Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, which has been correctly identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

(H/T Right Wing Watch)

From left to right: Mike Huckabee, Kim Davis, Mat Staver (Image via Reddit)
From left to right: Mike Huckabee, Kim Davis, Mat Staver (Image via Reddit)
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