Opponents of marriage equality in Minnesota recently came under fire for comparing the campaign tactics of gay-rights supporters to the tactics of Germanyâ€™s Nazi Party in the lead-up to the extermination of approximately 6 million Jews and thousands of gay people and others during World War II. This is the second time in six months that such a comparison has been drawn during this campaign.
The Nazi link was embedded in a sample sermon distributed by the Family Research Council, an influential religious-right advocacy group based in Washington, D.C, which has been sending the sermon to pastors since 2006. The text has been used in battles over same-sex marriage in a half-dozen states. However, following outrage from Minnesotaâ€™s Jewish community, the group quietly stripped the Nazi reference from the sermon.
In an invitation on its website to attend an anti-gay-marriage event called â€œStand for Marriage Sundayâ€ earlier this month, a group calledÂ Minnesota Pastors for MarriageÂ included the aforementioned sample sermon, which accused same-sex marriage proponents of using Nazi-like tactics. Minnesota Pastors for Marriage, which is fighting a proposed state bill that would legalize same-sex marriage, is funded by the Minnesota Family Council, a conservative Christian lobbying group affiliated with the Family Research Council.
TheÂ documentÂ titled, â€œMinnesota Stand For Marriage Sermon Starter,â€ reads, in part (emphasis added):
Homosexuals claim: â€œWe were born this way; it is in our genes; God made us gay.â€ They cite old â€œgay geneâ€ studies predominantly conducted by researchers who are homosexuals; studies that have been repudiated by credible research. Yet these same biased and discredited studies have been widely publicized by the liberal media as true and factual.Â They essentially practice Joseph Goebelâ€™s [sic] Nazi philosophy of propaganda, which is basically this: Tell a lie long enough and loud enough and eventually most mindless Americans will believe it.
But shortly after news broke in Minnesota late last month that gay-rights and Jewish groups had condemned the groupâ€™s sermon, the Family Research CouncilÂ edited the sermonÂ to take out the offending section. The above passage was captured by ThinkProgress, which broke the story.
However, the Family Research Council missed a few versions of the unedited sermon including on the groupâ€™s affiliatedÂ â€œWatchmen on the Wallâ€ website.
This sermon was included in aÂ messageÂ from John Helmberger, CEO of the Minnesota Family Council and chairman of Minnesota for Marriage, and Kenyn Cureton, vice president of church ministries at the Family Research Council. Cureton authored the sermon starter.
The Family Research Council is a socially conservative organization co-founded by Focus on the Familyâ€™s James Dobson in 1983. The group has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group, because Family Research Council leaders have repeatedly attempted to link homosexuality with pedophilia.
â€œSame-sex â€˜marriagesâ€™ could be performed in Minnesota as early as August 1, 2013,â€ Helmberger and Cureton wrote. â€œThatâ€™s why we are asking you to consider â€˜Stand For Marriage Sunday,â€™ to convey a sense of urgency to your members to call both their state legislators ASAP and ask them to vote â€˜Noâ€™ on Senate File 925 and House File1054. To help you with this, we have created â€œStand For Marriageâ€ materials. To view these materials, click onÂ Sermon Starter,Â Stand For MarriageÂ andÂ Bulletin Insert.â€
Stand for Marriage
The Stand for Marriage sample sermon appears to have beenÂ first published inÂ SBC LIFE, the journal of the Southern Baptist Convention, in 2006, when Cureton, the sermonâ€™s author, was vice president for convention relations for the Southern Baptist Convention, the worldâ€™s largest Baptist denomination.
By late 2006, Cureton had joined the Family Research Council as vice president for church ministries. According toÂ his biography, the Stand for Marriage kit containing the sermon has been sent to more than 20,000 churches, â€œnotably in California, Arizona, Florida, Maine, and North Carolina in support of their successful efforts to uphold traditional marriage.â€
A version sent to pastors oftenÂ contained a warningÂ about its content.
â€œPastoral Warning: I have preached messages like this many times and it never fails to offend somebody,â€ Cureton wrote. â€œIn fact, Iâ€™ve had people walk out on me during the sermon, and others leave my church membership.â€
He added: â€œThere is no substitute for the pastorâ€™s leadership from the pulpit, preaching the word of God without fear or favor, and applying it to burning issues such as abortion, the radical homosexual agenda, judicial tyranny, pornography, racism, gambling, etc. Remember, Godâ€™s word offends people. Donâ€™t preach it if you canâ€™t handle the consequences.â€
Versions of Curetonâ€™s sermon have been used in many of the state-based battles over same-sex marriage. His sermon was distributed to pastors in California during the battle over Proposition 8, which ended marriage rights for same-sex couples in that state.
According toÂ documentsÂ filed with the U.S. District Court for Northern California in the federal lawsuit against Proposition 8, Curetonâ€™s sermon was heavily edited for use in California, but the Nazi references remained.
West Virginia for Marriage, a project of West Virginia Family Policy Council,Â offered the sermonÂ to pastors for the Stand for Marriage Sunday in 2009, when social conservatives were pressing for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in that state.
In New York state, aÂ version of the sermonÂ â€“ without the Nazi reference â€“ was used in opposition to a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in 2011.
The sermon wasÂ distributed to pastorsÂ last year in North Carolina, where voters approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The Cornerstone Conference Ministry Center still has theÂ sermon availableÂ on its website, complete with Nazi references.
Cureton toldÂ The American IndependentÂ via email that the offending reference will remain deleted from future sermons. He declined to comment further.
Minnesotaâ€™s Jewish community responds
AfterÂ ThinkProgress reportedÂ on the document on March 28, Minnesotans United for All Families, the primary lobbying force in support of the marriage-equality bill, quickly responded, calling the tactics â€œdisgusting.â€
â€œThis just clearly shows that the folks at Minnesota for Marriage have no interest in a civil dialogue. They have no interest in an honest conversation about marriage,â€ Minnesotans United for All Families spokesman Jake LoeschÂ told Minnesota Public Radio. â€œMaking claims that anyone in any way is comparable to Nazi tactics is disgusting. Itâ€™s appalling and has no place in public square or in public discussion about what marriage is.â€
But this was not the first time that gay-marriage opponents in Minnesota have likened the other side to Nazis.
Pastor Brad Brandon last year served as the director of church outreach for Minnesota for Marriage, when it was campaigning for a failed amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and toured the state with a PowerPoint presentation that included Nazi references.
â€œWhat Iâ€™m simply saying is that Adolf Hitler took away two fundamental rights from a group of people in order to suppress them,â€ Brandon, said according to audience recordings provided to localÂ media outlets. â€œThose two fundamental rights are the same rights that are being taken away from the Christian community,â€ he added, alluding to the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Brandon and Minnesota for Marriage laterÂ issued a statement sayingÂ that his words were taken out of context and being used by opponents to make the campaign â€œseem to be extreme.â€
And following the more recent Nazi reference, Minnesota for Marriage again accused opponents of using it as a distraction.
â€œThe reality is that there are many, many people of faith who believe based on teachings from the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, and other religious texts that marriage is between one man and one woman,â€ Minnesota for Marriage spokeswoman Autumn LevaÂ told theÂ StarTribune, â€œThis attempt to discredit Minnesota for Marriage is really a looking glass that allows Minnesotans to see that those attempting to force gay marriage on this state do not, in fact, care about peopleâ€™s deeply held beliefs.â€
That statement appeared to inflame tensions further, and leaders in Minnesotaâ€™s Jewish community pulled together a press conference on March 29.
Jewish Community Action released aÂ statementÂ saying that it â€œbelieves that to continually make analogous the tactics used to spread a message of hate and drive the near destruction of a people to a campaign which at its core is about love, commitment, and family, is ridiculous. To do it during Passover, a holiday that commemorates freedom from oppression, is shameful.â€
Karen Yashar of the Minneapolis Jewish FederationÂ told reporters: â€œThis vile and repugnant comparison has no room in even the most heated and contentious political debates. The introduction of Nazi labels and comparisons into the American political debate sends a collective chill up the spine of the Jewish communityâ€¦ We call on Minnesota for Marriage to withdraw their statements, and once and for all refrain from using the Nazis or the Holocaust to make their case.â€
â€œWe are troubled by the fact that this is the second time in less than six months that Minnesota for Marriage has made reckless and historically inaccurate comparisons between Nazi Germany, and the tactics which it employed, and the proponents of marriage equality,â€ said Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), inÂ a statement. â€œAs we have in the past, the JCRC strongly urges advocates on all sides of deeply controversial issues to refrain from making Nazi comparisons. Such analogies are almost always inappropriate and are offensive to not only the Jewish community, but also the many gay people who were targeted and murdered by the Nazi regime.â€
Shortly after the press conference, Minnesota for Marriage eventually apologized but without taking responsibility for the Nazi reference.
â€œMinnesota for Marriage regrets that statements considered by many to be offensive appeared on the website of a separate organization, Minnesota Pastors for Marriage,â€ the group said in a statement. â€œAlthough Minnesota for Marriage is not responsible for the content of that website, nor the content on the websites of other supportive coalition members, we nevertheless regret any hurt those statements have caused.â€
The Minnesota Family Council followed suit,Â releasing a statementÂ claiming ownership for the documents.
â€œMinnesota Family Council is responsible for the content of the Minnesota Pastors for Marriage website. We regret that a sermon and other materials received from another organization and posted to the Minnesota Pastors for Marriage website were not properly reviewed.â€
The document in question may have been on the website for at least nine months. Bloggers hadÂ postedÂ about it as early as June 2012.
The group said the documents had been removed from the website. Attached to the apology wasÂ a statementÂ written by Pastor Jeff Evans of Minnesota Pastors for Marriage, which appeared to contradict the apology.
â€œThis attack by Minnesotans United on marriage has very little to do with an ill-advised quotation but rather the continued assault on the religious liberties of pastors to proclaim the full counsel of God about marriage in their pulpits,â€ Evans said of Minnesota Pastors for Marriage. â€œPastors need not apologize about passages in the Bible that some find offensive. On the contrary, pastors answer to their heavenly Father as to whether they speak and teach His Word to a world that needs to hear His good news.â€
According to theÂ Rochester Post-Bulletinâ€™s editorial board, that apology may not be enough.
â€œThe good news is Minnesota for Marriage and The Minnesota Family Council have been trying to distance themselves from the Nazi reference, saying that these materials â€˜werenâ€™t properly reviewedâ€™ and stating the use of the Minnesota for Marriage logo on some of these documents was â€˜unauthorized,â€™â€ the staff wrote. â€œBut after-the-fact apologies wonâ€™t undo all of the damage thatâ€™s been done to these organizationsâ€™ credibility.â€
This article originally appeared atÂ The American IndependentÂ and is republished here by permission, and with deep gratitude.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
‘Just Shoot Them’: Trump Told Top US General to ‘Crack Skulls’ and ‘Beat the F’ Out of Civil Rights Protestors: New Book
President Donald Trump told America’s highest-ranking general and top law enforcement officials to “shoot” civil rights protestors in Seattle and Portland, “crack their skulls,” and “beat the f–k” out of them, according to a new book by a Wall Street Journal reporter.
“The President would highlight videos that showed law enforcement getting physical with protesters and tell his administration he wanted to see more of that behavior,” CNN reports, citing excerpts from Michael Bender’s book, “Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost.”
“That’s how you’re supposed to handle these people,” Trump told his top law enforcement and military officials, according to Bender. “Crack their skulls!”
Trump also told his team that he wanted the military to go in and “beat the f–k out” of the civil rights protesters, Bender writes.
“Just shoot them,” Trump said on multiple occasions inside the Oval Office, according to the excerpts.
But Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley (photo, right) refused, Bender reveals, with Milley and Attorney General Bill Barr often finding themselves the only ones willing to push back against the president.
General Milley, who made headlines Wednesday after delivering a stunning lecture on critical race theory and “wokeness” to U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who was not pleased by it, also pushed back against Trump senior advisor, white supremacist Stephen Miller.
During one Oval Office debate, senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller chimed in, equating the scenes unfolding on his television to those in a third-world country and claiming major American cities had been turned into war zones.
“These cities are burning,” Miller warned, according to the excerpts.
The comment infuriated Milley, who viewed Miller as not only wrong but out of his lane, Bender writes, noting the Army general who had commanded troops in Iraq and Afghanistan spun around in his seat and pointed a finger directly at Miller.
“Shut the f–k up, Stephen,” Milley snapped, according to the excerpts.
Read the entire report at CNN.
Image of President Trump and General Milley: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr
‘No Time to Waste’: DeSantis Blasted for Going on Fox News as Biden and Miami Mayor Urge Him to Request State of Emergency
Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis is taking time to pose for the cameras and talk to Fox News in the wake of the stunning partial building collapse that more than 12 hours later has left 99 people missing, and feared dead.
DeSantis reportedly added an interview with far right Fox News host Mark Levin to his calendar for Thursday.
.@GovRonDeSantis just added an interview with @marklevinshow to his public calendar, which is not generally the venue for discussing things like condo collapses or other life threatening emergencies pic.twitter.com/RfBrNvZ7s0
— Matt Dixon (@Mdixon55) June 24, 2021
President Joe Biden during a news conference announcing a bipartisan agreement on, appropriately, an infrastructure bill on-camera Thursday afternoon urged the Florida Republican governor to ask for a declaration of a state of emergency, but DeSantis has yet to do so – nor has he declared a state of emergency himself for the Surfside disaster. President Biden appears to have ordered FEMA to Florida to assess the situation, which is the most they are allowed to do until the governor acts.
FEMA is on the ground in Florida to assist with the partial collapse of a condo in Surfside, Florida.
Pres. Biden says he is ready to declare a state of emergency over the collapse if Gov. Ron DeSantis wants him to. https://t.co/J89hUE34A4
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) June 24, 2021
Also urging DeSantis to request a state of emergency declaration is Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who says “there is no time to waste.”
I just signed a declaration of local state of emergency that will immediately begin to allocate the necessary resources we need here on the ground. I urge @GovRonDeSantis to do the same at the state level. pic.twitter.com/SmezKHAqi9
— Daniella Levine Cava (@MayorDaniella) June 24, 2021
At this moment it is critical that @GovRonDeSantis declare a state of emergency for the building collapse in Surfside so the federal government can allocate resources we desperately need. I have asked the Governor to do this immediately – there is no time to waste.
— Daniella Levine Cava (@MayorDaniella) June 24, 2021
Apparently DeSantis believes there is, and many are blasting the likely 2024 GOP presidential hopeful.
A high-rise condo building collapsed in Miami-Dade and 99 people are unaccounted for but Ron Desantis is instead going on the far right Mark Levin show instead of addressing this crisis. This is what happens when we have a governor who only cares about his own political career. https://t.co/MDEIaMLByq
— Thomas Kennedy (@tomaskenn) June 24, 2021
Governor DeSantis cannot wait any longer. Each passing minute is critical to those impacted in Surfside today.
Miami needs federal resources. There is no time to waste. https://t.co/WlgKUoEz5X
— Aaron Parnas (@AaronParnas) June 24, 2021
Media strategy for @GovRonDeSantis while Miami goes through a tragedy:
❌ Answer questions from local reporters
❌ Immediately declare a state of emergency
✅ Book time with a right-wing nutjob https://t.co/eCczz2UblQ
— Abel Iraola (@miamiabel) June 24, 2021
Desantis sent Floridacops to the border but won’t order a state of emergency for Surfside.
What an unconscionable decision that is.
— Logan Rubenstein 🍊 (@loganrub_17) June 24, 2021
time for this partisan political bullshit but not enough time in his day to ask President Biden for federal assistance. performative clown. https://t.co/kFUczLLCUm
— SouthernMom® (@MauraLeeLang) June 24, 2021
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) June 24, 2021
Watch: MSNBC’s Joy Reid Takes Down Architect of the Critical Race Theory Culture War in Epic Debate
MSNBC host Joy Reid took on Christopher Rufo, the think-tank “scholar” who claimed to be an expert on race because he works as a “scholar” at a conservative think tank. Speaking Wednesday, Reid got him to confess that he’s neither an expert in race nor in law, which is where the idea of critical race theory is generally taught.
Rufo claimed that Reid was attacking him on air, which she corrected, saying that she was doing nothing more than reading the quote from his own documents.
Reid began by asking at what point “critical race theory” was invented, and he didn’t know, saying sometime in the 1980s or 1990s. Reid cited the Harvard University paper in which it was first mentioned in 1981 by Professor Derrick Bell, who died in 2011.
She cited Rufo’s “documentary” on critical race theory that cites professors or professorial types who he admits are academics who he claims are replacing equality with equity, which is a conservative charge Reid said she’s been hearing since she was in high school. “To ending individual property rights and even to committing reverse genocide or calling for reverse genocide.”
Rufo said that it wasn’t true, which is when Reid said she would play the clip if Rufo allowed her to do it, but he wouldn’t. He said that the term is counter genocide, a genocide perpetrated in retaliation to another genocide.
Rufo claims in his talking points that the father of critical race theory was Ibram X. Kendi, who told Reid that he wasn’t a critical race theorist.
“I admire critical race theory but I don’t identify as a critical race theorist. I’m not a legal scholar, so I wasn’t trained on critical race theory,” Kendi said. “I’m a historian and Chris would know that if he actually read my work or understood that critical race theory is taught in law schools. I didn’t attend law school.”
Rufo began to complain that Reid was citing things and not letting him answer, but she explained she wanted to go through her list of disputes.
Rufo claimed that he wasn’t a political operative, but Reid rolled a video of Rufo speaking at the Claremont Institute on May 18 in which he called critical race theory a political “cudgel,” meaning a giant political weapon. He went on to supplement his point by quoting Barbara Applebaum, who he said was a critical race theorist. She’s, in fact, listed as being trained in philosophy and education and “her research is heavily influenced by feminist ethics, feminist philosophy, and critical race theory.”
He also quoted American author Robin DiAngelo who did her thesis on whiteness in racial dialogues. She also is an education professor, not a critical theorist, according to her website.
“There are these very pathetic and very angry graduate students who try to fight me on these highly technical haggle interpretations,” said Rufo. “I don’t have time for this. Like I don’t give a sh*t.”
Reid noted that there again explains that critical race theory isn’t something being taught in kindergarten, it’s a graduate-level conversation among academics.
His argument fell apart from there.
See the videos below:
- News2 days ago
‘Florida Goes Full Fascist’: Ron DeSantis Sparks Furious Backlash With ‘Authoritarian’ Campus Political Surveys
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM3 days ago
Neo-Nazi Shared Plot With Followers to Use Snipers to Bring America ‘To Its Knees’: Report
- WHOA2 days ago
Watch: Joint Chiefs Chairman Incinerates Matt Gaetz With Epic Lecture on Critical Race Theory
- 'YOU GOT OWNED TODAY'1 day ago
‘Squashed Like a Bug’: Gaetz Smacked Down After ‘Rage-Tweeting a Slander on America’s Entire Military History’
- BYE2 days ago
Ivanka and Jared Are Distancing Themselves From Trump as He Has ‘Frequent’ Contact With Lindell: Report
- WTH?2 days ago
Video Shows Cop Tasing Black 16-Year Old Boy as He Arrived at His Girlfriend’s House — He Was Then Held for 21 Days
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
‘For Sure’: Mike Lindell Promises Right-Wing Activists ‘Donald Trump Will Be in Office by This Fall’
- News3 days ago
‘Monster’: Internet Makes #AbbottHatesDogs Trend After Texas Governor Vetos Bipartisan Anti-Cruelty Bill