Matt Barber is a member of the well-funded, politically powerful anti-gay lobby andÂ one of the radical religious right’s most-out-spoken professional anti-LGBT activists. Like many, they cloak their personal hatred of gay people and homosexuality in a coat of faux religion and faux public policy “expertise,” when in reality they are often struggling with personal demons and see gay people as public — and personal — enemy number one.
Barber’s bio at the uber-conservative Town Hall reads:
Matt Barber is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He is Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action and serves as Associate Dean and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at Liberty University School of law. In addition to his law degree, Matt holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from Regent University.
On Friday, Barber wrote a horrifically condescending opinion piece, “An open letter to homosexuals,” in which he tells gay people they are going to hell, their “lifestyle” is causing them an emotional and spiritual death — not to mention an early physical death — calls gay pride “sin pride,” calls homosexuality an “abomination,” and operates as if all gay people are drug addicts, alcoholics, and sex-fiends.
But aside from making ugly and false assumptions about gay people, Barber crosses many other lines.
I write this to my fellow travelers in life â€“ average, ordinary people, male and female, young and old â€“ who happen to call themselves â€œgay.â€ I write this out of obedience to God.
Matt, no one cares. Keep your God to yourself. I guarantee you, your God does not think what you are doing is right — or righteous — and there will be a price to pay, if not in this life, surely, after it.
My intentions are pure and my motives upright.
Really, Matt? You’re assuming that whomever reads this letter doesn’t know the real you, the one who makes his living attacking gay people.
In April, BarberÂ advocated violence by people of faith against â€œthe secularist leftâ€ whom he called â€œbullies,â€ saying they need to be punched in the face.
What is that, Matt? Religious liberty? Matt Barber’s special brand of “tolerance”?
Let’s stop for a moment and look at the image, right, to remember that no one escapes Barber’s special brand of attacks on anyone who is an “other,” including the President.
In March, BarberÂ Barber falsely claimed there is â€œno evidenceâ€ of anti-gay violence but the â€œspecterâ€ of violence against gay people has forced churches into the closet. A lie, and the FBI has mountains of data stating otherwise.
And GLAAD notes that Barber:
Has said that gay male relationships constitute “one man violently cramming his penis into another manâ€™s lower intestine and calling it â€˜loveâ€™â€
Says gaysÂ make up violenceÂ “as a Trojan Horse to force, toÂ compel nations and individuals and groups and churches that embrace traditional values, relative to sexual behavior, to push them into the closet and say â€˜no, no, you have to adopt a full affirmation of these perversions.â€™”
Says gay rights presents a “clear and present danger” and “internationally the greatest threat“
Really, Matt, you can’t say all those things then turn around and claim, “My intentions are pure and my motives upright.” You just cannot, and no one in America with a dash of common sense or human decency would say you can.
In his offensive and condescending — not to mention, untruthful — “open letter to homosexuals,” Barber writes:
What I write may offend you. It may even infuriate you. But I hope it makes you think. Know this: Your friends have lied to you. Christians do not hate you. We love you intensely. We love you because of who you are, not because of what you do or because of who you think you are.
Still, to love someone and to lie to them is to hate them â€“ especially when that lie inevitably leads to a tragic and hopeless end.
If you have a loved one, blindfolded and running full speed toward cliffâ€™s edge, do you not yell, stop! Would you not run after them, even tackling them if need be to prevent them from plummeting to certain death? What would we think of the person who said: â€œKeep running; all is well.â€
All is not well, and you know it. On this path, â€œitâ€ decidedly does not â€œget better.â€ It only gets worse. You will fall and you will die â€“ perhaps not physical death, straight away â€“ but certainly, an emotional and spiritual death. Homosexual activists, â€œprogressives,â€ Hollywood, the media, academia and popular culture are telling you to keep running.
Iâ€™m yelling, stop!
Your lifestyle â€“ homosexuality â€“ is always and forever, objectively and demonstrably wrong. It is never good, natural, right or praiseworthy. If you have â€œgay pride,â€ you have â€œsin pride.â€ Although homosexuality is not the only sexual sin, it is, indeed, sin. Scripture is unequivocal on this fact throughout both the Old and New Testaments.
No, Matt, you stop. No one cares what you think. You cannot save gay people because there’s nothing to save us from — except the likes of you and your fellow anti-gay religious right prosthelytizing haters.
And then there’s Barber’s attack on people with HIV/AIDS. Barber falsely claims:
Unnatural behaviors beget natural consequences. So-called â€œhomophobiaâ€ is not responsible for the fact that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-in-five â€œgayâ€ men and adolescents in major cities across America have been infected â€“ through bad behavior â€“ with HIV/AIDS.
But what the CDC actually said is that “Overall, one in five MSM [men who have sex with men] participating in the study was infected (19 percent.)”
Big difference, and while the prevalence of HIV should not be underestimated or minimized, it’s important to actually deliver facts, not fear and lies, Matt.
Barber then claims that “Sin is responsible” for HIV/AIDS rates of infection, ignoring what the CDC says on the next page:
Social discrimination and cultural issues: For some MSM, social and economic factors, including homophobia, stigma, and lack of access to health care may increase risk behaviors or be a barrier to receiving HIV prevention services.
I’ll take facts over your religious opinion any day of the week, Matt.
Scripture admonishes: â€œFor the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lordâ€ (Romans 6:23). This does not simply mean physical death, but something far worse: spiritual death.
Barber would do well to walk through his Bible a little more introspectively.
Image of Matt Barber via Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, a certified anti-gay hate group, of which Barber is a board member.
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‘Unprecedented’: Trump Tried to ‘Exert Extreme Partisan Influence Over the Census Bureau’ Docs Reveal
The Trump administration tried to exert tremendous influence over the 2020 Census, which is now being used in a nationwide redistricting program, often handing Republicans even stronger gerrymandered congressional districts and in some cases attempting to dissolve districts of Democratic members of Congress, while eliminating some majority-Black districts.
Then-President Donald Trump was directly and possibly “illegally” involved, as The Brennan Center for Justice, NYU Law School’s nonprofit public policy institute, reports. The Trump administration also worked directly with an anti-immigrant group that appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of nativist hate groups, a “think tank” devoted to anti-immigration efforts, and with an individual known for “promoting voter suppression efforts.”
“The Trump administration attempted to exert extreme partisan influence over the Census Bureau,” The Brennan Center reveals . It filed multiple Freedom of Information requests with at least ten federal agencies and was forced to sue the Trump administration when it unlawfully refused to produce the requested documents.
The Brennan Center adds that “career Bureau officials pushed back at those attempts. An email among senior officials at the Census Bureau from September 14, 2020, discusses the Commerce Department’s ‘unusually high degree of engagement in technical matters, which is unprecedented.'”
“Other records suggest that the Commerce Department planned to have Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross [photo, above] make personal calls to Republican state governors to urge them to provide state administrative records to the Census Bureau to ‘enhance the frame from which citizenship status is determined.’ (The Brennan Center did not uncover evidence that Commerce planned to make similar calls to Democratic governors.)”
Citing a “a complete lack of public transparency,” The Brennan Center reports “President Trump issued a memo in July 2020 stating that he would illegally attempt to remove undocumented populations from the apportionment count due at the end of December 2020.”
The Trump administration collected or attempted to collect an unprecedented amount of personal data targeting usesrs of welfare programs from dozens of states: “28 states had entered into agreements to share Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) records with the Bureau, 21 to share Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) records, 30 to share Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) records, and three to share driver’s license data.”
Our FOIA records show Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, emailing directly with Secretary Ross in December 2019. The Center for Immigration Studies is an organization classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-immigrant hate group that “has a decades-long history of circulating racist writers, while also associating with white nationalists.” The email also refers to a call from Secretary Ross.
The Center for Immigration Studies was founded by eugenicist and white nationalist John Tanton.
“Commerce Department employees were also engaging with the anti-immigrant Heritage Foundation,” The Brennan Center adds. “An email chain shows a Commerce Department official putting political appointee Nathaniel Cogley into direct contact with Heritage’s Hans Von Spakovsky, an individual the Brennan Center has previously flagged for his extensive background promoting voter suppression efforts.”
‘You Singlehandedly Blocked the Emmett Till Antilynching Act’: Rand Paul Scorched Over His MLK ‘Commemoration’
Many House and Senate lawmakers are honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., today, but social media users are correcting the record of so many Republicans who are trying to use the late, great American civil rights leader and icon as a shield for their own egregious attacks on civil rights and Black Americans.
Take, for example, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, who posted this tweet attempting to paint himself as a bipartisan actor “working together for change” – which many were quick to provide proof of how he is not:
As we honor MLK today, may his courage inspire us to redouble our commitment to working together for change. Let’s commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King by uniting the two Americas into one: an America that includes justice for one, and justice for all. #MLKDay
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 17, 2022
Sen. Paul’s Democratic challenger in the upcoming 2022 race, Charles Booker, offered some of the best examples:
Sincerely, save your empty words.
You are the person who said you would have opposed the Civil Rights Act, singlehandedly blocked the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, and had the audacity to say racism no longer exists. https://t.co/YOKW8Nfgfb
— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) January 17, 2022
Several others joined in to chastise the right wing Senator:
You really DO have no shame. You sided AGAINST innocent black men that were murdered while handcuffed and unarmed. You sided AGAINST voting right. You sided WITH a virus that kills us all regardless of race so…maybe THAT is your equality moment? #MartinLutherKingDay https://t.co/KXRXsXgFMS
— Victor Ruiz -The Voice Of Rican- (@portarican_RT) January 17, 2022
— Greg Pinelo (@gregpinelo) January 17, 2022
What a hypocrite. Try practicing what MLK taught.
— PJnZoey (@jn_pickles) January 17, 2022
Stop trying to suppress the right of all people (especially Black people) to vote then, MLK fought for this, your words are empty and hypocritical
— Kanye South (@kanyesouth13) January 17, 2022
You must not assume you can speak on behalf of those who cherish MLK’s words and deeds. It’s actually repulsive.
— Marian Shuter (@shuter_marian) January 17, 2022
You are exactly the type of person MLK warned about and fought against.
— Ballardite (@SeattleHypno) January 17, 2022
‘Performative Drivel’: Marco Rubio Mocked and Schooled After Taking MLK Quote Out of Context
Washington Post National Political Reporter Eugene Scott set the stage Sunday evening:
Bracing myself for a slew of MLK quotes Monday from folks who have spent nearly every other day of the past year fighting against CRT …
— Eugene Scott (@Eugene_Scott) January 17, 2022
Sure enough, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio was only too happy to oblige, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
The Florida Republican, who almost daily posts a Bible passage to Twitter, is notorious for being among the many conservatives who are battling Critical Race Theory, the right’s latest non-existent boogey man.
Rubio has introduced legislation with far right extremist U.S. Senators Mike Braun (R-IN) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND), to “prohibit federal funding to promote divisive concepts, such as Critical Race Theory.” A companion bill was introduced in the House by U.S. Representatives Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) and Virginia Foxx (R-NC).
Just as Scott warned, Senator Rubio posted a tweet that reads:
“When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.” Dr. Martin Luther King (1963)
It’s from the third paragraph of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and it exposes Rubio’s ignorance and hypocrisy.
New York Times opinion columnist Jamelle Bouie was among those who asked, “so, uh, what’s the next line?”
Bouie offered Rubio the answer:
“It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given its colored people a bad check, a check that has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.'”
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) January 17, 2022
He was far from the only one to chastise and expose Rubio.
Equality Florida’s Press Secretary Brandon Wolf, a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub anti-LGBTQ hate crime massacre (which Rubio used to reverse his promise to never run for office again):
“It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds’.”
— Brandon Wolf (@bjoewolf) January 17, 2022
“And yet you filibuster his dream over and over,” tweeted American Independent Senior Writer Joshua Israel.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, the award-winning New York Times journalist and creator of “The 1619 Project”:
Missing smthg: It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds. https://t.co/tIxoPKyNIj
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) January 17, 2022
The whole speech is about how that promissory note is a bad check! Thieves, liars and cheats hand out bad checks that’s what King was saying about YOU and your government.
— Matt Deitsch (@MattxRed) January 17, 2022
You know that promissory notes aren’t a good thing, right? It’s an acknowledgement of a debt, something you owe. We inherited their debt.
The founders enshrined slavery and racism into our Constitution. The debt is paid when all citizens really are equal under/before the law.
— IrrevLyn is wearing a Bast-damned mask & BLM! 😷😾 (@Reverend_Lyn) January 17, 2022
— The Mean Progressive ™ (@MeanProgress) January 17, 2022
No. You don’t get to invoke his name in any righteousness cause you think you have. He called it exactly for what it is. The Jim Crow Filibuster
— Christopher Ryan (@FFChristopherRy) January 17, 2022
“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”
“It’s a cruel jest to a bootless man to say he ought to lift himself up by his own bootstraps.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. https://t.co/ld0I2Ej6jZ
— Mattison (@Mattison) January 17, 2022
You want to celebrate this day and this American hero? Support the John Lewis Voting Rights Bill. Otherwise, your words are performative drivel.
— David Sugerman (@DavidSug) January 17, 2022
— Grandma Antifa 😷🌊🌈🎗 (@jenclark95624) January 17, 2022
Marco is taking a break from quoting the Bible out of context to quote Martin Luther King out of context. https://t.co/mR2LHACRJI
— Radioactive Dinosaur (@JeffSaysStuff2) January 17, 2022
Don’t quote him unless you plan on ending the filibuster and protecting voters’ rights.
— Zingamomma 🎶🇺🇸😷🇺🇸🎶 (@tubawidow) January 17, 2022
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