Monday, September 29, 2014

More Quotes from the 2014 Values Voters Summit

The Values Voters Summit has a long history of inflammatory speakers, and the 2014 gathering was no exception. Family Research Council has posted videos of the 2014 Values Voters Summit online, giving us a peak into its speeches and panel discussions. For your reading pleasure, I've gathered up more quotes from last weekend's Values Voters Summit.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, opened the summit with unkind words about so-called "statism" and "political correctness".
"We will continue building a conservative coalition, a winning team, that despite occasional setbacks, like the last six years, we will never, never never surrender to the forces of statism and political correctness. [Applause] Now we hear almost every day that conservatives are on the wrong side of history, that we want to turn back the clock. I see it differently. We stand for what the clock cannot measure, for that which is timeless and eternal."
Perkins accused the left of suppressing dissent and disregarding the First Amendment, oblivious to the irony of his words.
"Today's left has developed a genius for division masquerading as unity. They have heralded an age of diversity while championing a stark uniformity of opinion and politics. And so bold are they in this strategy that in order to stifle their opponents in the political arena, they are even ready to rewrite and limit the First Amendment of our Constitution."
Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) claimed that America was suffering from a "spiritual crisis". His comments about the "acknowledgement of our supreme being in our classrooms" revealed a disturbing disregard for church-state separation.
"The first amendment is not about keeping religious people out of government, it's about keeping government out of religion. [Applause] Some seek to separate the issues of our day, separate our debt from the issue of life, separate our charity from our education, separate our values from our government. This doesn't work. Obamacare tries to force us to separate our faith from our business. Fortunately, the Supreme Court thought otherwise ... We seek to protect the unborn, to end the manipulation of school children by utopian planners, and permit the acknowledgement of our supreme being in our classrooms."
Former Arkansas governor and Fox News commentator Mike Huckabee spoke at length about the ISIS threat, lacing his speech with jabs at the Obama administration's response to the crisis. After waxing poetic about Israel, Huckabee turned to reproductive matters, claiming that the Affordable Care Act was a threat to unborn life. If emergency contraception access was at the root of Huckabee's ire toward the ACA, he should remember that emergency contraception and abortion are two different things.
"Every human life in this country has worth and value. There is no such thing as a disposable person. There is no such thing as a person who is expendable. Every life has value, and if Obamacare is intent on trying to protect the idea of ending a human life for no rational reason, then they need to know that there will be millions of Americans who will say no and take it all the way to the mat to fight for life, and again, we will not apologize to anyone for standing for human life."
Huckabee raged against the IRS, indignant that the IRS imposes political restrictions on tax-exempt churches. These guys don't like church-state separation very much, I mused.
"I say if we'd ever pass the Fair Tax, we would repeal the 16th Amendment, we would get rid of the IRS, and never again would this rogue criminal enterprise called the Internal Revenue Service threaten pastors and pulpits by telling them what they can and cannot say. It is not the business of the government to tell a pastor what he can say from his pulpit, ever."
Finally, Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, spent the first few minutes of his speech describing the 1st century eruption Mount Vesuvius and the devastation it left in its wake. Staver compared modern Americans to ancient people living near Mount Vesuvius, oblivious to the horror about to overtake them.
"I think that we're living like they are, in a sense, in the shade of Vesuvius. We're living at unprecedented times in American history ... Never before in the history of world humanity have citizens of any government been forced to participate in human genocide. We know that governments have participated in genocide ... but the people were not forced to participate in it. But now, now, in America of all places, you and I are being forced to participate in human genocide by the HHS mandate. It's not just Hobby Lobby that dodged the bullet by a 5-4 decision."
First of all, no "genocide" is taking place in America. Reproductive freedom is not morally equivalent to the extermination of entire races. Staver's comment was deeply insulting to all those who experienced true genocide. Second, I have no idea where Staver got the idea that Americans are being forced to fund or participate in reproductive procedures against their will. Under the Affordable Care Act, no health care plan is compelled to cover abortion. Conscience protections related to abortion are in place for recipients of HHS funding. The Hyde Amendment forbids the use of federal funds to cover many abortions. Isn't Staver aware of these policies? If Staver was referring not to abortion but to emergency contraception access under the ACA, someone should remind him that emergency contraception does not induce abortion.

Later in his speech, Staver dismissed same-sex marriage but insisted that he was not a "hater".
"I believe in God's natural created order of male and female and marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and for that, for believing in something that predates religion -- and it predates every civil government; it is as much as part of our natural, observable, created order as the law of gravity is -- for me, believing in something that obvious, I am considered by some groups to be a hater. But I hate no one. I hate no one. But I believe in God's truth, and I will not be silent in the face of intimidation."
In the same breath, Staver hatefully condemned same-sex marriage. He raged that any family arrangement other than a mother and father would harm children, despite evidence to the contrary. Furthermore, his assertion that LGBTQ families are a modern anomaly ignores LGBTQ history.
"Same-sex marriage as a policy matter, from a governmental policy matter, says this: that boys, you don't need fathers, and girls, you don't need moms. Boys and girls, moms and dads are absolutely irrelevant to your well-being. It makes absolutely no difference in your well-being. And that is an absolute lie from the very pit of hell. [Applause] Beyond how it will ultimately harm our very first government, the family, and disintegrate family, and ultimately hurt children by permanently, permanently removing father or mother from the life of that young boy or young girl, how dare we ultimately create a policy that says we'll put children in these homes, and you'll never have a father or mother, and it doesn't matter because it's okay. How dare we as a society do that? We've never in world history crossed that precipice."
In conclusion, the Values Voters Summit brimmed with its usual homophobic, anti-choice, anti-establishment clause rhetoric. Increasingly, however, progressive and moderate observers are watching, listening, and remembering.


  1. Very disturbing quotes indeed. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Donna -- The Values Voters Summit never fails to provide disturbing quotes.

  2. Almost every one of those comments can be summed up thusly: "Be afraid. Be very afraid."

    1. Agi Tater -- Appealing to fear is a tried and true tactic, sadly.


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