Posts Tagged As: Ralph Reed

Trump To Meet With 900 Evangelical Leaders Tomorrow, Announce Religious Advisory Board This Week

Jim Burroway

June 21st, 2016

More than 900 conservative Evangelical leaders are making their pilgrimage to Trump Tower for a meeting with The Donald, who has been making a cynical play for the gay vote following the Pulse night club massacre in Orlando. When the meeting was organized last month by Ben Carson, about 400 social conservatives were announced as attending. Back then, the the roster included a veritable Who’s Who of anti-gay politics, and it has, obviously, only grown since then. The Wall Street Journal says that one outcome of tomorrow’s meeting will be a new religious advisory board, with an announcement coming out sometime “this week”:

Among the people likely to be named to Mr. Trump’s religious advisory board: Jerry Falwell Jr., the son of the late televangelist and president of Liberty University; Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition; Paula White, senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Fla.; Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention; Robert Jeffress, host of a national radio and television ministry and the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas; Jay Strack, president of Student Leadership University in Orlando, Fla.; and Jack Graham, pastor at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.

Here’s a rundown of the names that are being floated:

Jerry Falwell, Jr.: What can I say? Like father, like son, more or less, although the son has taken a much lower profile in anti-gay politics than his father. Instead, he seems to prefer that others to the dirty work for him. He employs the rabidly anti-gay extremist Matt Barber as the associate dean of the university’s law school. Falwell has been an avid supporter of Donald Trump since last January.

Ralph Reed: As head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Reed’s anti-gay political activities go all the way bach to the 1989 when he was named the Executive Director of Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition. He started the Faith and Freedom Coalition in 2009. In 2013, he has called the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act “a dagger aimed at the heart of religious freedom for millions of Americans.” In 2014, Reed compared Federal District Court decision striking down bans on same-sex marriage to the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1856 which held that African-Americans who were imported as slaves, and their descendants, could not be U.S. citizens. He also compared the fight against same-sex marriage to the flight against slavery.

Paula White: The televangelist and head of New Destiny Christian Center outside of Orlando, Paula White treads the same ground was a lot of her fellow prosperity gospel preachers in the model of Joel Osteen: don’t say anything controversial that could possibly interrupt the flow of checks. She doesn’t seem to have any particular anti-gay agenda. In fact, she doesn’t seem to have any agenda at all, except money. Which makes her such a good match for Trump. Last October, White said that “any tongue that rises against him (Trump) will be condemned according to the word of God.” In March, she said she presented Trump a Bible and a letter, purportedly written by Billy Graham, containing a “prophetic word.”

Ronnie Floyd: He is the current president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He his anti-gay history goes back decades. He once said in a sermon, “Satan has taken his tool of homosexuality, a gross and evil sin, and done a con job on the American culture, making it seem like all is okay when you are gay. …This is not a skirmish or a conflict or a disagreement, but it is a war. The war they have declared against our culture has an agenda and we need to be aware of it.” That was in 2003. There’s no reason to believe his views have changed much since then. Just last year, before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision overturning bans on same-sex marriage, Floyd told the SBC’s annual meeting in Columbus, “We are in spiritual warfare. This is not a time for Southern Baptists to stand back…. It (the Supreme Court’s decision) would add fuel, more fuel, to the already sweeping wildfire of sexual revolution and move it beyond all control.”

Robert Jeffries: He is the pastor of Dallas’s influential First Baptist Church, which runs a school, a college and radio stations. Last Thursday, on the very day that Trump was in Dallas asking “Who is better for the gay community than Donald Trump?”, Trump re-tweeted a photo of himself standing beside Robert Jefferies. Just last February, said that because of same-sex marriage, “I believe that we are getting desensitize… which will pave the way for that future world dictator, the Antichrist, to persecute and martyr Christians without any repercussions what-so-ever.”

Jay Strack: He is the head of Orlando’s Student Leadership University, and the lead author, with Dr. Richard Land, of Mercury Rising: 8 Issues That Are Too Hot To Handle. One of those issues — yeah, you sorta guessed it — was teen homosexuality. His book touted ex-gay ministries as a way to deal with teen homosexuality, and directed teens to look up the Exodus International web site. That book came out in 2003. In 2013, Exodus shut down after its president, Alan Chambers acknowledged more than a year earlier that ” 99.9% of them … have not experienced a change in their orientation.” Chambers also issued a formal apology to the LGBT community.

Jack Graham: He is the previous head of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, a 40,000 member megachurch in Dallas’s far-north suburbs near Plano. In anticipation of the Obergefell decision, Graham said that “there’s coming a day, I believe, that many Christians personally and churches corporately will need to practice civil disobedience on this issue. …There are many Christians today who are preparing if necessary to go to jail.”

Trump Calls for Defense of “Christian Americans”

Jim Burroway

June 11th, 2016

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump spoke before the Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington, D.C. yesterday, where he spoke of his admiration for Reed and Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell, Jr., Trump also spoke about the need to “restore respect for people of faith.”

Trump, who was never known to be much of a religious man, was there to talk about the values he says he shares with Evangelical Christians. Among “our shared values,” according to his teleprompter, were “marriage and family as the building block of happiness and success. So important.” Also: “Religious freedom. The right of people of faith to freely practice their faiths. So important.” Also, “We need to bring out nation together. We’re going to bring our nation together.” So important.

And how will he do that? “We will restore faith to its proper mantle in society. That’s what we have to do. We have to do that soon. We will respect and defend Christian Americans. Christian Americans.” I guess all other American citizens are on their own.

Other Christian values included keeping people fleeing death and violence from seeking safety and refuge, turning our foreign policy over to Israel, and appointing judges to the U.S. Supreme Court who have the full backing of the Heritage Foundation.

Here is the full speech:

Donald Trump To Court Anti-Gay Extremists

Jim Burroway

May 24th, 2016

Time magazine has reported that the Trump campaign is actively courting religious and social conservatives as he turns his attention to the fall general election. A meeting has been set for June 21, and invitees represent just about the entire anti-gay brain trust:

The invitation. (Click to enlarge.)

The invitation. (Click to enlarge.)

Former presidential candidate Ben Carson is working with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, and Bill Dallas, who leads United in Purpose, to plan a closed-door session for about 400 social conservative leaders to meet with Trump in the coming weeks in New York City. A broader steering group of about 20 people includes people like American Values president Gary Bauer, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, and Family Leader president Bob Vander Plaats.

“We are looking for a way forward,” Perkins says. “The main thing here is this is to have a conversation.” He described the planned meeting as “a starting point for many.” The Trump campaign has not publicly confirmed that the meeting will take place.

Other anti-gay activists include Phil Burress (Citizens for Community Values), Ken Cuccinelli, Ronnie Floyd (Southern Baptist Convetion), E.W. Jackson, Harry Jackson, Cindy Jacobs, Joseph Mattera, Penny Nance (Concerned Women for America), Ralph Reed (Faith and Freedom Coalition), Pat Robertson, Rick Scarborough (Vision America), and Tim Wildmon (American Family Association).

Trump’s outreach doesn’t end there:

Trump campaign surrogates are separately organizing a more official faith advisory committee for the candidate, with Mike Huckabee being discussed as a possible national chairman. Televangelist Paula White, a Trump supporter and a senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Florida, have been organizing the group behind-the-scenes with Tim Clinton, president of the 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors, according to several people familiar with the project.

The Daily Agenda for Friday, October 7

Jim Burroway

October 7th, 2011

Campus Pride College Fair and Prep Day: Boston, MA. Campus Pride’s College Fair is an opportunity for LGBT students and their families to discuss educational opportunities with participating LGBT-affirming colleges and universities. The fair features expert advice about LGBT-friendly colleges, scholarship resources and even effective tips for campus visits. The Northwest Region College Fair takes place today at Boston’s City Hall, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information can be found here. Future College Fairs will take place in Los Angeles (Oct 15) and New York (Nov 4).

AIDS Walks This Weekend: Columbus, OH; Indianapolis, IN and Kent/Sussex, DE.

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Atlanta, GA; Orlando, FL; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Tucson, AZ.

Also This Weekend: Iris Prize Film Festival, Cardiff, UK.

Values Voter Summit: Washington, D.C. The Family “Research” Council, one of only a handful of organizations tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center for being an anti-gay hate group, kicks off its annual Values Voter Summit in the nation’s capital this morning with a breakfast talk by Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty Unversity’s Law School. Members of Staver’s Liberty Counsel and law school staff have been implicated in the Isabella Miller-Jenkins kidnapping case, while teachers have instructed law students to ignore “man’s law” in favor of “God’s law.” And so as you might expect, the Summit just goes straight downhill from there. Other speakers include House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and GOP Presidential candidate Sen. Rick Santorum. And all of that is before lunch, when voting begins for the Summit’s straw poll. Afternoon speakers include GOP presidential candidates Herman Cain, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, plus Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). The evening plenary session features another GOP presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), as well as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. The craziness just goes on and on and on through Sunday morning.

Exodus International Florida Regional Conference. Leesburg, FL. Exodus International will conduct a two-day conference with the theme “Chosen for Freedom,” beginning today and continuing through Saturday. The conference’s featured speakers include Exodus International president Alan Chambers, former Exodus president Joe Dallas, and former Exodus vice president Randy Thomas. Also speaking is Dr. Julie Hamilton, a former president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and whose book, Handbook of Therapy for Unwanted Homosexual Attractions, includes a final chapter by discredited ex-gay activist George Rekers. As we reported in our original investigation of Rekers’s “treatment” of four-year-old Kirk Murphy, Rekers claimed that he had successfully turned the “effeminate pre-homosexual” boy into a straight man. He built his entire career on that supposedly groundbreaking success story. Except there were a couple of problems: Kirk grew up to be gay, and he ultimately committed suicide over the lifelong conflicts he struggled with as a result of that therapy. Yet in Hamilton’s book, Rekers boasted that Kirk “had a normal male identity,” six years after Kirk took his life. Hamilton’s book with Rekers’s boast is still on sale at NARTH’s web site, and I have no doubt that it will also be available at the conference, which takes place today and tomorrow at the First Baptist Church in Leesburg, FL.

Minnesota Anti-Marriage Strategy and Briefing Session: Bloomington, MN. The Minnesota Faith and Freedom Coalition, supporters of the latest proposed constitutional amendment to make same-sex marriage even more illegaler in the Gopher state, will hold a Strategy and Briefing Session at the Doubletree Inn in Bloomington, MN this morning from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Invited speakers include GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and former Christian Coalition honcho Ralph Reed.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?


Featured Reports

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In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

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