Courtesy of Atlah Church in Harlem.
Discrimination is discrimination. But, here’s how Christian TV is covering “victimized cake bakers”:
Here’s a good recap of the nonsense spewing from BarbWire.com — entertaining and scary all at the same time. Reprinted from MediaMatters.org press release:
The vice president of a notorious right-wing legal organization has spent much of 2014 developing one of the most extreme anti-LGBT “news” sites on the internet. Now he’s using the site to hawk a treasure trove of right-wing merchandise and souvenirs.
In January of 2014, Liberty Counsel vice president Matt Barber launched BarbWire.com, a website that claims to offer news and opinion “from a decidedly biblical worldview.”
Though BarbWire isn’t exclusively an anti-LGBT website – the site spares some vitriol for immigrants, Muslims, reproductive choice, and President Barack Obama – LGBT topics have dominated its content since its inception. BarbWire’s first post championed Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for his comments comparing gay people to murderers and equating homosexuality with bestiality.
In its short existence, the site has featured commentary some of America’s most notorious homophobes; Scott Lively, an American pastor closely linked to anti-LGBT persecution in Uganda and Russia; the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who blames gay men for the Holocaust; Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute, another anti-LGBT hate group; and Robert Oscar Lopez, an anti-gay activist who has made a second career of publishing bizarre gay erotica novels.
Unsurprisingly, BarbWire has become a hub for the kind of anti-LGBT propaganda that even many conservative news sites shy away from:
- Marriage equality is a slippery slope towards pedophilia and incest.
- The United States should stop condemning anti-gay atrocities in countries like Uganda.
- Gay people are conspiring to establish a “homofascist tyranny.”
- The Obama administration wants to use public schools to turn your child gay.
- The left’s ultimate aims are to “purge Christians” and normalize “adult-child sex.“
But BarbWire is more than just a platform for publishing the Right’s more unsavory anti-LGBT sentiments – it’s also a money-making scheme for Liberty Counsel’s Barber.
In July, subscribers to BarbWire’s mailing list began receiving emails peddling products from Patriot Depot, a website that offers “supplies for the conservative revolution.”
There’s the “‘Say Hello To My Little Friend’ Garden Gnome,” available for $18.95:
You could purchase an “Obama’s Last Day Countdown Clock” for $12.95:
And nothing will stick it to liberals quite like Rise, Kill, & Eat, a paean to “edible wildlife” from “Genesis to Revelation” featuring a foreword by Ted Nugent:
BarbWire And Liberty Counsel
BarbWire’s anti-LGBT extremism closely mirrors the work Barber is known for at Liberty Counsel.
Led by Mathew Staver, Liberty Counsel is the legal arm of the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University. Billed as a nonprofit “litigation, education, and policy organization,” Liberty Counsel is notorious for championing even the most extreme anti-gay causes in the name of religious freedom. The organization defended Scott Lively against a federal human rights lawsuit stemming from his role in a 2009 bill that would have imposed the death penalty for homosexuality in Uganda. While Liberty Counsel fancies itself as a serious conservative legal organization, it also churns out bombastic statements denouncing LGBT-inclusive education as “sexual assault” on the nation’s children.
Despite his fondness for fringe causes, Staver’s connections in conservative media and politics have helped elevate Liberty Counsel to a prominent position on the Religious Right. A close associate of Fox News host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Staver is a repeat guest on Fox and has testified before Congress in support of “ex-gay” therapy. In recent weeks, Liberty Counsel garnered headlines for defending Florida’s same-sex marriage ban in court.
And though Liberty Counsel is not formally affiliated with BarbWire.com, Staver hasn’t hesitated to be a frequent contributor to his deputy’s website. (Sample headlines: “Obama Puts Homosexual Rights Over Children’s Innocence,” “Sharia Law Is A Growing Threat To American Culture,” and “36,000 New Reasons To Impeach Obama.”)
For years, conservative outlets like Fox have reliably offered Liberty Counsel favorable, accountability-free treatment, allowing figures like Staver to depict Liberty Counsel’s work as part of a noble effort to defend religious liberty and obscuring the group’s true extremism. Now, in order to disseminate that extremism unfiltered, the group’s vice president felt compelled to create his own “news” site – offering an ugly look at the animus that motivates his organization’s work.
Pastor Bert Ferias, in a lengthy and jaw-droppingly vile essay published today by Charisma News, provides his readers with utter nonsense in sharing his views on homosexuality. In his article ‘The Raw, Naked Truth About Homosexuality,’ Ferias is not shy in sharing his demonic theories about LGBTs:
The choice to be gay, however, has far greater risk in that it ties one to lust, illicit passions, and unclean practices that open up a person to the demonic. I will explain this further below.
We’ve got this whole thing muddled up because people don’t speak plainly and clearly anymore. They beat around the bush and are obsessed with political correctness and being loving and tolerant. The truth is that everyone makes choices every single day. You can choose to believe in God or not. You can choose to believe the Bible or not. You can choose to surrender your life to Jesus Christ or not. You can choose to be a liar, a thief, a whore-monger, a murderer, an alcoholic or a drug addict. Quit blaming it on your genes or your addictive personality, unfortunate circumstances, or your background and upbringing. Yes, our culture and surroundings influence us, but we don’t have to yield to its evil influences.
For example, I could say to my wife, “It’s so natural for me to have sex with other women, so I think I will. I just can’t help myself!” Just because a woman opens her blouse to me and entices me to have sex with her doesn’t mean that I will. The fact is some people just want to do what comes naturally or what feels good, and the devil eats them up. He will feed you all the lies and perversion you are willing to receive.
Here’s the raw, naked truth: Homosexuality is actually a demon spirit. It is such a putrid-smelling demon that other demons don’t even like to hang around it. A genuine prophet of God told me that the Lord allowed him to smell this demon spirit, and he got sick to his stomach. And yet as humans, many embrace this demon. Yes, you heard me right: Being gay is demonic.
You heard it here, folks. And the comments are hilarious. From ‘Polish Bear’:
DEAR REVEREND FARIAS:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. (After all, all things in the Bible should be taken and followed as the literal law)
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to follow them.
1: When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
2: I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3: I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). But how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4: Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. How do you suggest I obtain slaves from Canada?
5: I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
6: A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?
7: Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
8: Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?
9: I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10: My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev.24:10-16) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
Obviously you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
Go here to add your two cents.
Related articles across the web
Matt Barber is evil. Just plain evil. In his latest anti-LGBT demeaning attempt at attacking our community, he coopts an image to make a hateful argument. His latest column, titled “The Coming Christian Revolt,” is another reason the religious right is becoming more and more irrelevant in the hate world. Via Right Wing Watch:
Featuring a picture of African American demonstrators being shot with water hoses behind a superimposed rainbow image, Barber writes that the anti-gay Right is the direct descendant of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, and must similarly engage in “widespread civil disobedience” in the face of water hoses.
From behind a smoking sniper rifle high atop his ivory tower peers the secular “progressive.” He surveys his many victims, strewn across the American landscape below and mockingly sneers, “War on Christianity? What war on Christianity?”
He then resumes shooting, all the while insisting that those uncooperative Christians who scatter for cover behind the word of God and the U.S. Constitution somehow suffer from a “persecution complex” (the baker, the photographer, the florist, the innkeeper, the Christian school administrator, etc.).
For every law, regulation, activist court ruling or presidential edict that demands Christians violate their sincerely held religious beliefs and adopt a postmodern, moral relativist way of life, there increases, in exact proportion, the likelihood of widespread civil disobedience – disobedience of the sort we haven’t seen since the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and ’60s.
Indeed, if, in the spirit of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., we, his fellow Christian travelers, must again face the water hoses, then face them we shall.
While there are those who will give way out of fear, weakness or a desire to conform to the world, there are many others who will not. Christians must peacefully come together, lock arms and redouble our resistance to evil.
Even when that evil is adorned with the presidential seal and signature.
Time for an Adavan. My anger is about to cause me a migraine.
But, Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters has an amazing rebuke as to why Barber has gone too far:
There will be no “coming Christian revolt,” Mr. Barber because no Christian in this country is being discriminated against. Being told to treat everyone the same is not discrimination. Providing goods and services to people whose taxes pay for the safety of your business is not discrimination.
Your disagreement with the fact that lgbts should have the same rights as heterosexuals is just that – YOUR disagreement. You have a right to believe that, but you don't have a right to codify it into law, particularly if your codification involves junk science, cherry-picked science, or out-and-out lies.
You are not entitled to anything, Mr. Barber. If you are, please educate me. And by all means, please tell me how the elimination of your entitlements ranks next to being denied the right to vote, segregation, lynching, being called “boy” or “gal” as a deliberate sign of disrespect. And if that's too difficult for you, then answer me this:
Where the hell do you get off exploiting the images and legacy of Americans who suffered for simple freedoms to justify the fact that you don't want to get off that pedestal of yours; a pedestal which you created based upon your concept of being a Christian.
Well played. I couldn't have said it better myself.
But I still need my Adavan.
Theresa Santai-Gaffney (above), the Schuylkill County clerk, has petitioned the Supreme Court to put a stop to same-sex marriages in Pennsylvania, reports SCOTUS Blog.
In May, U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage. Last month, Jones refused to allow the clerk to intervene so that she could appeal his decision. On Thursday, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals barred Santai-Gaffney from the case and dismissed her appeal.
Santai-Gaffney’s Supreme Court application is based on the argument that the court’s January order putting on hold temporarily a federal judge’s decision striking down the ban on same-sex marriage in Utah “signaled to all lower federal courts” that they must act “to preserve the enforcement of man-woman marriage laws” until the Court rules on the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage.
Santai-Gaffney’s petition can only continue if Justice Samuel A. Alito or a Supreme Court majority allows her to intervene . Alito can also seek a response from challengers of the Pennsylvania ban before acting on the clerk’s application.
She is backed by the Family Research Council (of course):
I am so sick of the “victim” messaging when the right discusses “religious liberty.”
As mentioned in our coverage of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision earlier today, religious leaders close to The White House sent a letter to President Obama on Tuesday, petitioning for a “robust religious exemption” to President Obama’s earlier announced executive order that would make it illegal for all federal contractors to discriminate in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, The Washington Post reports. This letter comes on the heels of a previouis letter from 140 religious leaders asking for a similar exemption. Importantly, Tuesday’s letter was sent in the immediate wake of the Hobby Lobby decision at the Supreme Court. The letter argues that religiously affiliated organizations should be able to discriminate against LGBT people:
The letter reminds Obama of his own earlier faith-based opposition to same-sex marriage, as well as the government’s massive partnerships with faith-based social service groups that work on issues including housing, disaster relief and hunger. […]
“An executive order that does not include a religious exemption will significantly and substantively hamper the work of some religious organizations that are best equipped to serve in common purpose with the federal government.,” it said. “When the capacity of religious organizations is limited, the common good suffers.” […]
“Without a robust religious exemption .?.?. this expansion of hiring rights will come at an unreasonable cost to the common good, national unity and religious freedom.”
None of the groups mentioned in the letter have explicitly said they would pull out of their partnerships with the White House if they do not get an exemption.
For some reason, I don’t believe that the group will remain content with the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision. More details and a copy of the request here.
Related articles across the web
As a town in Wisconsin was hearing arguments for and against an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance, this guy (who reminds me of Archie Bunker) took the mic to make an argument against gay rights and he goes on…and on…and on. You can also here his supporters cheering. His best material:
Some of Lobsinger’s more amusing comparisons, which he seemed to believe were valid reasons for opposing equality included, “the gas pump does not belong in the radiator,” and, “if someone is in the lunchroom, and put a banana in his ear – instead of his mouth – every one of you would say there was something wrong with him!”
The ordinance did end up passing, thank goodness. Watch…
We haven’t heard from mock Christian historian David Barton (above) lately, so here he is with his latest tall tales about LGBT rights:
Last fall, the city council in San Antonio, Texas passed a non-discrimination ordinance that added protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to the existing law. These sorts of non-discrimination ordinances exist in hundreds of cities all over the nation but, for some reason, David Barton is obsessed with lying about this one in particular, appearing recently on a program called “America Stands 2014: Election Coverage In The Spirit Of Faith” where he declared that in passing the ordinance, the city council had voted to “criminalize Christian beliefs and behavior” in the city of San Antonio.
Barton falsely claimed Christians who oppose gay marriage or criticize homosexuality are now barred from running for office and, if already serving in office, would be removed from their position, charged with a crime, and fined $500 a day, while also asserting that Christian-owned companies are now prohibited from doing any business with the city:
None of that is true, of course, as the ordinance passed by San Antonio simply prohibits city officials and departments from engaging in “discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or disability” and explicit contains an exemption for religious organizations … but that won’t stop Barton from repeatedly lying about it.
…because wing nuts hate the inability to discriminate.
Related articles across the web
Today marked NOM’s long-promoted “March for Marriage” in DC – which featured a plethora of rabid anti-gay speakers and a scarce crowd (above, via Joe.My.God).
— Zack Ford (@ZackFord) June 19, 2014
…and no one went. The digest:
Right Wing Watch: Brian Brown Is Confident That Anti-Gay Activists ‘Stand On The Right Side Of History’
Speaking at the March for Marriage rally today, National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown declared that those fighting against marriage equality will never give up and will eventually be victorious because “we stand for the truth about marriage.” “We know that some day,” Brown proclaimed, “whether it’s one year, ten years, twenty years, or decades from now, people will look back at this time and remember those of us who stood up for the truth.”
Hmm. I thought most of them were in wheelchairs or used walkers.
Right Wing Watch: Jim Garlow Prophetically Declares That God’s Definition Of Marriage Will Rule The Land
— Fred Karger (@fredkarger) June 19, 2014
SFist: Here’s What The Archbishop Said At That Anti-Gay Marriage Rally Today; Also, S.F. Church Giving Away Free Weddings
Every child comes from a man and a woman, and has a right, a natural human right, to know and be known by, to love and be loved by, their own mother and father. This is the great public good that marriage is oriented towards and protects. The question is then: does society need an institution that unites children to the mothers and fathers who bring them into the world, or doesn’t it? If it does, that institution is marriage — nothing else provides this basic good to children.
Where do the altar boys come in?
Right Wing Watch: Huckabee: Failure To Stop Gay Marriage Will Unleash God’s Judgment Upon This Nation
Mike Huckabee closed out the March for Marriage today with a speech dedicated primarily to excoriating the nation’s judicial system for striking down various bans on gay marriage and demanding that legislators, political leaders, and citizens alike all stop abiding by such rulings, warning that failure to do so will result in God unleashing his judgment upon this nation.
“There is no doubt in my mind,” Huckabee said, “that this country would not exist had it not been for the providential hand of God. And I’m also convinced that if we reject his hand of blessing, we will feel his hand of judgment.”
NOM will now sit down and enjoy all your donations and feast on caviar and champagne. Your NOT invited. #March4Marriage
— American Putz (@papalputz) June 19, 2014