Maddow Spotlights Political Religious Liberty Conference That Advocates Death To Gays


Rachel Maddow exposes the violent anti-gay rhetoric preached at a conference attended this weekend by Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal.

Over the weekend, as NCRM reported several times, Republican presidential candidates shared the stage with a preacher who literally - and repeatedly - has called for gay people to be put to death. Pastor Kevin Swanson, a powerful "man of God" who created the National Religious Liberties Conference and whose radio show has a wide syndication, this weekend played host to three GOP presidential candidates, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal.

Monday night, in the video above (starting just before the 6 minute mark) Rachel Maddow exposed Swanson's anti-gay attacks, death threats, and hate speech in an extensive segment. Maddow rarely reports on the actions of the far religious right, but given that Swanson's call for gay people to be put to death is well-known, it certainly is news when Republicans running for president show up and speak with him.

"This is a political event," Maddow explained. "This is a Republican presidential candidates event. This is an event in Des Moines, Iowa, in which three Republican presidential candidates made appearances. Those were not the 'kill the gays' ravings of the guy hosting this event from some time in his past. This was not something we dug up that he said a long time ago, that maybe these presidential candidates didn't know about. This was actually the host of the event speaking this weekend, where these three Republican presidential candidates were speaking with him."

Maddow made clear that these GOP presidential candidates knew exactly what they were getting into, noting that Ted Cruz as early as the day before the conference was informed by CNN's Jake Tapper of Swanson's speeches. 

"Whether or not he knew it in advance," Maddow said of Cruz, he knew "once he had been questioned about it on CNN before he went." She noted a "significant portion" of what was talked about at the conference "was the exact contours, the exact language of what they believe is a biblical commandment that gay people in the United States should be rounded up and executed."

"There were denunciations of Harry Potter," Maddow continued, referring to this video. "There was a big, long soliloquy about the evils of a movie called 'How to Train Your Dragon.' There was a big, screaming denunciation of how country music radio stations need to repent, repent, repent because they've gone over to the gay side too."

"It really was a 'kill the gays' call to arms. This was a conference about the necessity of the death penalty as a punishment for homosexuality."

"Part of the way all three of them are campaigning for president is by attending a 'kill the gays' rally at Hi-Vee Hall in Des Moines, Iowa. And I don't know if that is considered to be a scandal anymore in Republican politics."


Image: Screenshot via MSNBC 

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