It seems that the Republican Party has become so venomously hostile toward LGBT people that the party’s presidential candidates can attend — apparently without consequence — events at which speakers insist that gay people should be put to death. Ted Cruz, a presidential candidate as well as GOP senator from Texas, attended such an event in Iowa last week along with fellow candidates Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
Our friends at Right Wing Watch report what happened at the National Religious Liberties Conference, which featured right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson of Colorado:
“During his remarks, Swanson reiterated his view that both the Old and New Testament require the death penalty for the crime of homosexuality, as well as his position that any Christian who attends a gay wedding can only do so in order to hold up a sign informing the couple that they ought to be put to death.
He drove home his point with a passionate declaration that if he ever found out that his own sons was gay and that son invited him to his wedding, he would show up covered in “sackcloth and ashes” and then smear himself in cow manure as he sat on the steps of the church and wailed lamentations.”
Check out the Right Wing Watch video from Swanson’s speech (emphasis added in the transcription below):
“There are instances in which both the Old Testament and New Testament speak to the matter with unbelievable clarity. And friends, and this is the highest level, the very highest level of clarity where the word of God has spoken, both Old Testament and New Testament. Ought not to be any debate about it whatsoever about it. And you know what that sin is. It’s the sin of homosexuality. Romans 1, First Corinthians, Chapter 6, First Timothy, I think it’s Chapter 4, and of course Leviticus 18 and Leviticus 20. The word of God speaks there. In fact, in Romans Chapter 1, Paul affirms that this particular sin is worthy of death, in Romans, Chapter 1. So granted, there are varying levels of clarity/relevance relating to ethics, but still the Old Testament and the New Testament I believe speak with authority, and we ought to receive it.”
At one point in his speech, Swanson almost seemed to lose control:
“There are families, we’re talking Christian families, pastors’ families, elders’ families from good, godly churches. Their sons are rebelling, hanging out with homosexuals and getting married, and the parents are invited. What would you do if that was the case? Here is what I would do: sackcloth and ashes at the entrance to the church and I’d sit in cow manure and I’d spread it all over my body. That’s what I would do, and I’m not kidding, I’m not laughing.
“I’m grieving, I’m mourning, I’m pointing out the problem! It’s not a gay time! These are the people with the sores, the gaping sores, the sores that are pussy and gross, and people are coming in and carving happy faces on the sores! That’s not a nice thing to do. Don’t you dare carve happy faces on open, pussy sores! Don’t you ever do that. Don’t you ever do that. I tell you don’t do it! Sackcloth and ashes. This is what America needs. America needs to hear the message. We are messed up.”
“I’m not rounding up to the nearest scary thing. It really was a ‘kill the gays’ call to arms. This was a conference about the necessity of the death penalty as a necessity for homosexuality … part of the way [Huckabee, Jindal, and Cruz] are campaigning for president is by attending a ‘kill the gays’ rally. And I don’t know if that is considered to be a scandal anymore in Republican politics.”
It’s not, apparently.
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