The Five Most Outrageous Statements from the Value Voter Summit
Last week the Religious Right got together again for the Value Voter Summit—an annual gathering of conservative pundits and politicians.
This year’s event drew almost all of the Republican presidential candidates to D.C. to discuss among other things, “protecting America”, “championing traditional values”, and “limiting government”. Ironic, since a lot of what was said focused on removing the separation of church and state that protects Americans from religion— thus expanding the government’s reach into citizens’ personal lives.
It was a weekend filled with extreme, inaccurate and overreaching statements, and while it was difficult to pick out the craziest ones, here’s our take:
1: Voters Should Choose the Candidate Who is a “Born Again Follower of Jesus Christ”
"In a few months, when the smoke has cleared, those of us who are evangelical Christians are going to have a choice to make….Do we want a candidate who is skilled in rhetoric, or one who is skilled in leadership? Do we want a candidate who is a conservative out of convenience, or one who is conservative out of deep conviction? Do we want a candidate who is a good moral person, or do we want a candidate who is a born-again follower of the Lord Jesus Christ?” — Robert Jeffress, the senior pastor of the 10,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas.
This is the same guy who has said that voters should always support Christians over non-Christians at the polls. I guess he didn’t see the “No Religious Test Clause” of the U.S. Constitution (Article VI, paragraph 3), which states, “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Or, maybe he just doesn’t care. If it were up to him, all office holders would be Christian. Unfortunately for him, not everyone agrees. In fact, he may have violated a tax law when he endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry on his church’s website, which could prompt an investigation by the IRS.
2. Rick Perry Says He’s Fiercely “Pro-Life” (But Only When It’s the Life of a Fetus)
"For some candidates, pro-life is an election year slogan to follow the prevailing political winds. For me, it's about the absolute principle that every human being is entitled to life." —Rick Perry, Texas Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate
Regardless of your stance on abortion, this is outrageous due to the sheer hypocrisy. Perry drew riotous applause at a September Republican presidential debate when he said he has “never struggled” with presiding over 234 executions — more than any governor in the modern history of the death penalty. Perry boisterously said he has no remorse even though he may have presided over at least one wrongful execution—that of Cameron Todd Willingham in February 2004.
3. Gays and Islam are the Largest threats to American Society and the First Amendment
“Just as Islam represents the greatest long-range threat to our liberties, so the homosexual agenda represents the greatest immediate threat to every freedom and right that is enshrined in the First Amendment.” —Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association
Interesting, considering that Fischer dislikes homosexuals and Muslims due to his religious beliefs and the First Amendment outlines the separation of church and state. You know, it’s that pesky amendment that states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Pretty sure that covers all religions (and the non-religious) —not just Fischer’s brand of Christianity. Fischer went on to say that the government should not “legalize” or “protect” “homosexual behavior”, and called on participants to reject “the morally and scientifically bankrupt theory of evolution.” More violations of the First Amendment he wants to “protect”.
4. The Separation of Church and State is “Mythical”
“No matter what you think of the mythical separation between the church and state, it is not possible for there ever, in the United States of America, to be a separation between God and government.” —Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association
Firstly, the separation of church and state is not mythical, it’s actually in the U.S. Constitution (that pesky First Amendment again). And second, not only is it possible, but preferable. That Fischer could call the separation of church and state mythical while citing the First Amendment is utterly ironic. What more can you say?
5. The U.S. Constitution is Based on the Christian Bible
Retired Army Gen. William Boykin said that parts of the Constitution are based on the Bible – in fact they were based on colonial sermons. In reality, several of the prominent Founding Fathers were anti-religion – especially when it came to politics. For example, Thomas Jefferson opposed religious institutional power and influence in all aspects of public and political life. And others, like Thomas Paine, didn’t believe in organized religion.
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