Rafael Cruz, the father of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, is joining David Barton in spreading blatant mistruths about San Antonio’s revised Nondiscrimination Ordinance. That ordinance now bars discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Barton told hundreds of pastors gathered in Austin earlier this month that the ordinance bars anyone who criticizes homosexuality and same-sex marriage from serving on the San Antonio City Council. That is an outright falsehood.

But now Cruz claims that the ordinance allows pastors to be fined for criticizing homosexuality. Our friends at Right Wing Watch quote Cruz speaking on a conference call last week for the right-wing group Tea Party Unity:

“All we have to do is turn on the news and every day we see more and more encroachment upon pastors from this administration. All they have to do is be aware of what’s happening around us and to be aware, for example, that in the city of San Antonio, if a pastor speaks on Romans 1, he could be even fined $500 a day until he retracts what he said.”

As Right Wing Watch points out, some interpret Romans 1 as a condemnation of homosexuality.

Rick Scarborough, the East… Read More

Our friends at Right Wing Watch have more about United in Purpose, one of the group’s behind a religious-right conference a at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport hotel today. We reported about the conference earlier this month. Following is a cross-post from Right Wing Watch:

Today, Religious Right leaders including Rick Scarborough, David Barton, Jim Garlow and Glenn Beck are meeting with Religious Right and Tea Party activists in Dallas at a summit “bringing together leaders of conservative organizations from around the country to brainstorm and strategize on how to get out the vote for the 2014 midterm elections.”

The summit is being jointly organized by Rick Scarborough’s Tea Party Unity and United In Purpose, a voter-mobilization group funded largely by Silicon Valley venture capitalists that partnered with several dozen Religious Right and Tea Party groups in the lead-up to the 2012 elections with the goal of getting five million new evangelical Christian voters to the polls .

United In Purpose, which received national news coverage for its data-driven efforts in 2011 and 2012, has what you might call a long-term goal: it is closely tied to advocates of “Seven Mountains Dominionism,” who aim to have conservative Christians take control of every… Read More

Religious-right activists can’t be a happy lot today. The week started with the U.S. Senate voting Monday to short-circuit attempts to filibuster the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), which would protect LGBT people from job discrimination. A Senate vote to pass ENDA is expected this week. Rick Scarborough of Texas-based Vision America denounced the Senate’s vote in a Tuesday email to his list:

“In practice, this means that Christians, observant Jews and others who don’t want to hire or promote people who flaunt dysfunctional sexuality will face government tyranny and ACLU lawsuits.  As already is the law in California, businesses that will not subsidize same-sex relationships will be denied government contracts. Beyond all this, the bill is flatly immoral. It means that government coercion will be used to encourage people to remain trapped in sinful behavior instead of seeking help to overcome it.  This makes the government an enemy of biblical morality.”

Also on Tuesday, voters rejected two stridently anti-gay and anti-abortion candidates, Ken Cuccinelli for governor and E.W. Jackson for lieutenant governor, in Virginia state elections. And today the Illinois General Assembly voted to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in that state.

Religious-righters… Read More

Tea party activists like to argue that they simply want a small government that doesn’t intrude on the freedoms of Americans. But that’s hard to do believe when you see tea party and religious-right activists marching together with locked arms.

Consider, for example, Rick Scarborough, head of the religious-right group Vision America, which is based in the East Texas town of Lufkin. Scarborough has worked to tie the tea party and religious-right movements together. In fact, he created Tea Party Unity, a project of Vision America, “to provide services and recognition to Tea Parties across the nation, and to help build a tsunami of grassroots activism that will restore our nation to her Judeo-Christian heritage.”

Today’s Tea Party Unity e-newsletter promotes an essay by Lee Duigon, a contributing editor for the Chalcedon Foundation. Chalcedon, founded in 1965 by the late Rousas John Rushdoony, promotes Christian Reconstructionism. That radical movement advocates for a theocratic government and a society based on libertarian economics. Mother Jones has described the movement as “an obscure but increasingly potent theology whose top exponents hold that Christian crusaders must conquer and convert the world, by the sword if… Read More

Here they go again — another effort to drag churches into partisan politics.

This fall Vision America, a religious-right group based in Texas, is sponsoring “40 Days to Save America” — which calls on Americans to pray, fast and repent for “our national and and personal sins against the God of Heaven.” Rick Scarborough, Vision America’s president, says of the event:

“While we are deeply troubled by the direction in which our nation is headed this is not a political effort. The political problems which beset us are symptoms of a deeper spiritual malaise. In times of national tribulation, our people have often been urged to humbly turn to God in prayer.”

It’s not a political effort? So then why have those 40 days stretch from September 28 to November 6 — election day? And the official list of supporters includes right-wing Republican congressmen and a virtual “who’s who” of religious-right groups that typically back GOP candidates, such as the American Family Association, Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America. Of course this is “a political effort.”

“Our national survival is at stake,” the organizers declare on the “40 Days” website. And in what has… Read More

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