The Five Most Outrageous Statements from the Value Voter Summit

Last week the Religious Right got together again for the Value Voter Summit—an annual gathering of conservative pundits and politicians.

This year’s event drew almost all of the Republican presidential candidates to D.C. to discuss among other things, “protecting America”, “championing traditional values”, and “limiting government”. Ironic, since a lot  of what was said focused on removing the separation of church and state that protects Americans from religion— thus expanding the government’s reach into citizens’ personal lives.

It was a weekend filled with extreme, inaccurate and overreaching statements, and while it was difficult to pick out the craziest ones, here’s our take:

1: Voters Should Choose the Candidate Who is a “Born Again Follower of Jesus Christ”

"In a few months, when the smoke has cleared, those of us who are evangelical Christians are going to have a choice to make….Do we want a candidate who is skilled in rhetoric, or one who is skilled in leadership? Do we want a candidate who is a conservative out of convenience, or one who is conservative out of deep conviction? Do we want a candidate who is a good moral person, or do we want a candidate who is a born-again follower of the Lord Jesus Christ?”  — Robert Jeffress, the senior pastor of the 10,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas.

This is the same guy who has said that voters should always support Christians over non-Christians at the polls. I guess he didn’t see the “No Religious Test Clause” of the U.S. Constitution (Article VI, paragraph 3), which states, “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Or, maybe he just doesn’t care.  If it were up to him, all office holders would be Christian. Unfortunately for him, not everyone agrees. In fact, he may have violated a tax law when he endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry on his church’s website, which could prompt an investigation by the IRS.

2. Rick Perry Says He’s Fiercely “Pro-Life” (But Only When It’s the Life of a Fetus)

"For some candidates, pro-life is an election year slogan to follow the prevailing political winds. For me, it's about the absolute principle that every human being is entitled to life."
  —Rick Perry, Texas Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate

Regardless of your stance on abortion, this is outrageous due to the sheer hypocrisy. Perry drew riotous applause at a September Republican presidential debate when he said he has “never struggled” with presiding over 234 executions — more than any governor in the modern history of the death penalty. Perry boisterously said he has no remorse even though he may have presided over at least one wrongful execution—that of Cameron Todd Willingham in February 2004. 

3. Gays and Islam are the Largest threats to American Society and the First Amendment


“Just as Islam represents the greatest long-range threat to our liberties, so the homosexual agenda represents the greatest immediate threat to every freedom and right that is enshrined in the First Amendment.”Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association

Interesting, considering that Fischer dislikes homosexuals and Muslims due to his religious beliefs and the First Amendment outlines the separation of church and state. You know, it’s that pesky amendment that states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Pretty sure that covers all religions (and the non-religious) —not just Fischer’s brand of Christianity. Fischer went on to say that the government should not “legalize” or “protect” “homosexual behavior”, and called on participants to reject “the morally and scientifically bankrupt theory of evolution.” More violations of the First Amendment he wants to “protect”.

4. The Separation of Church and State is “Mythical”


“No matter what you think of the mythical separation between the church and state, it is not possible for there ever, in the United States of America, to be a separation between God and government.”Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association

Firstly, the separation of church and state is not mythical, it’s actually in the U.S. Constitution (that pesky First Amendment again). And second, not only is it possible, but preferable. That Fischer could call the separation of church and state mythical while citing the First Amendment is utterly ironic. What more can you say?

5. The U.S. Constitution is Based on the Christian Bible


Retired Army Gen. William Boykin said that parts of the Constitution are based on the Bible – in fact they were based on colonial sermons. In reality, several of the prominent Founding Fathers were anti-religion – especially when it came to politics. For example, Thomas Jefferson opposed religious institutional power and influence in all aspects of public and political life. And others, like Thomas Paine, didn’t believe in organized religion.

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One of the things that I struggle with, as an atheist, is the unbelievably strong emotional attachment "christians" have to their beliefs. I feel this in my own life even as an unbeliever. Unfortunately, fear is a great motivator to believing in the myths. These people are great at rallying around their cause and are more motivated to vote than the ambivalent and the staunch atheists. I believe that we could outnumber them. We just don't have the numbers that actually are motivated to promote our cause. Ignorance is easier in the short run, but harder over the long term. "Thank god" for this organization. Ha ha..
I find myself just shaking my head at all of this. Religious people may say that atheists don't know what they're talking about but I myself grew up in a very religious family as my evangelical Christian grandparents took care of me after school (my parents are religious but never really tried to force it upon me seeing as they knew my grandparents did a good job of it) and whenever I see them, I'm forced to admit (albeit silently) that they are part of the idiotic right wing conservative force. I have actually heard them say stuff like this at family meals and all and I do my best to keep silent because I'd hate to cause a scene but it's just so frustrating when I see how narrow-minded they are. Especially since my grandfather claims to love science and the truth and then I see him watching The 700 Club...
As Douglas Adams did, I consider myself a "radical atheist." I will engage the religiots whenever and where ever I can. I believe I am very informed about xianity and how and why the bible is completely fallacious. When asked if I would be willing to listen to their "teachings", I invited a couple of good mormon boys into my house a couple of weeks ago. Of course, by the time I was done explaining how delusional their superstitions were, they decided it was time to run for the hills. I felt really bad (umm, NOT). People ask me why I have to speak out. Religiots have chastised me on blogs, asking me (well, actually more like demanding) why I can't just let people believe whatever delusional idiocy they want to believe. And I explain that, if they practiced what they preached, I would. But I will NOT stand for the self-righteous to force their stupidity on me and my children. I am amazed at how people just have no problem at all listening to the out-and-out moronic statements these people come up with. I have quite often explained why I think that, to be religious is, to it's core, un-American. Not only is this country NOT founded on the xian faith, but to hold xian beliefs is quite often to say that it is preferable to enslave the entire nation and indoctrinate every into the xian faith (as this article makes fairly clear). Religion is one of those topics that people just don't want to discuss. I don't understand that. I think it is imperative to openly discuss such beliefs. I know that most people are passionate about their religion, but let's face it: religion is nothing but fairy tales for grown ups. How can ANYONE within their right mind actually believe such nonsense? Just to be clear, I tend (sometimes I don't succeed, but I try) to be much more tactful when I am speaking on blogs. However, I do feel it is important to call out these people and make them explain WHY they hold such belief systems and challenge them to make sense of their delusions. I think this is why atheism is growing so rapidly in this country. We have a long way to go, but I think this lack-of-belief is actually growing at an exponential rate. As children grow up in the midst of the controversy and they see the religious staunchly and purposefully ignoring plain, clear evidence that is presented before them, they are leaning away from delusion. And that is another reason I engage these religious zealots: when I am debating them on blogs, I endeavor to stay calm, reasonable and rational. I never intend on or expect to "de-convert" the people I debate. My target is the audience. Those people who are reading to see who comes up with the best argument. I hope I have at least planted the seed for several people to start stripping off those rose-colored glasses.
I'm actually so disheartened by what is going on our political system this last decade. I've been living in Germany for the last three years due to my husband's job and thankfully even though the area we are in is predominantly Catholic, religion is not forced on us here as it was when we lived in Louisiana (in a primarily Baptist area). When we getting ready to to leave the area, a local Baptist church was fighting a city ordinance which only allowed structures that were 100 ft. tall or less. They wanted to build a 300 foot cross, because let's face it, 100ft, is just not enough. What can we do to fight this religious movement? Any suggestions would be helpful.
I'd really like a Christian conservative to explain to me how homosexuality is somehow a threat to civil liberties. Two men, or two women, living a life together in a manner they deem does that threaten my freedoms, exactly? Of course, these are the same people that have claimed my own marriage to a black woman (I'm white) is unnatural....
"We need a president who flatly, unambiguously, rejects, the morally and scientifically bankrupt theory of evolution." -Bryan Fischer of the AFA
This is so deeply disturbing to me.

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