Homophobic pastor prefers killing ‘tens of millions’ children to letting them read Harry Potter

This video from the USA says about itself:

RWW News: Kevin Swanson Says The Bible Requires The Death Penalty For Homosexuality

Right Wing Watch reports on the extreme rhetoric and activities of key right-wing figures and organizations by showing their views in their own words. In this video, Kevin Swanson asserts that both the Old and New Testament require the death penalty for homosexuality.

The ‘Reverend’ Kevin Swanson is a political ally of Republican presidential candidates Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz. See also here.

If this would not be so dangerously serious, then I might say that the religious right Tea Party in the USA never looked anything like the 1773 Boston Tea party the name of which they hijacked; but that these teabaggers look more and more like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, described by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland.

Now, from Alice in Wonderland to Harry Potter.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Better to drown children than let them read ‘homosexual’ Harry Potter, says extreme right-wing pastor

Kevin Swanson believes America should repent that Dumbledore ’emerged as a homosexual mentor to Harry Potter’

Jess Denham

Monday 9 November 2015

Parents should drown children before they let them read the Harry Potter books because of gay character Dumbledore, an extreme right-wing pastor has said.

Preacher Kevin Swanson was speaking at the National Religious Liberties Conference when he made the staggering suggestion during an impassioned rant against homosexuality.

“Friends, we are on the very cusp of judgement as I see it. We need to call America to repent. Repentance from defying the almighty. Repentance of abortion, the hundreds of millions of dead bodies, I don’t know how many,” he began, before bizarrely targeting JK Rowling’s bestselling wizarding novels.

“America, repent of Harry Potter. Repent that Dumbledore emerged as a homosexual mentor for Harry Potter.”

Not content at stopping with Harry Potter, Swanson went on to attack adorable animated movie How to Train Your Dragon. “Children are raised to be stumbled by the Dumbledores and Hiccups on How to Train Your Dragon,” he said. “My friends, America needs to repent.”

Then, came the closing comments that surely even Voldemort himself would not have dreamed up: “For tens of millions of parents it would be better that a millstone be hung around their neck and they be drowned at the bottom of the sea.”

Naturally, those who have watched this video soon began posting mocking comments deriding its ridiculousness. “If God will judge America for Harry Potter, but not Twilight, then He is not worthy of worship,” one YouTube user wrote.

Let us not forget that Swanson is the same man who, in March 2014, declared Disney hit Frozen “very evil” gay propaganda. “You wonder sometimes if maybe there’s something very evil happening here,” he said.

“I wonder if people are thinking: ‘You know I think this cute little movie is going to indoctrinate my 5-year-old to be a lesbian or treat homosexuality or bestiality in a light sort of way’.”

Swanson went on to attack the studio, claiming that if he were the Devil wanting to do something “really, really, really evil” to young children in US Christian families, he would “buy Disney in 1984”.

He believes Christians will one day be burnt at the stake by homosexuals but ended his speech by saying he wants to give the LGBT community time to repent before using the death penalty against them.

A judge in the US has ruled that a baby be taken away from its lesbian foster parents and placed with a man and a woman because “children do better in heterosexual homes”. April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce said they were “shattered” by the court order handed down this week by a juvenile court in Utah. … But the couple told local media that they believed Johansen had acted on his own religious beliefs and only cited vague “myriad” studies to support his decision: here.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) ended his presidential campaign on Tuesday: here.

European parliament fines far-right members for nazi salutes

This video says about itself:

Too far: Polish MEP gives Nazi salute, shouts fascist slogan in EU parliament

10 July 2015

The EU parliament is certainly a place for free debate, but a recent statement by an MEP has raised doubts over how far lawmakers can go in their comments.

Legislator Janusz Korwin-Mikke used a Nazi Germany salute to protest against a German-led motion to introduce travel tickets valid all over the EU.

Poland’s Foreign Minister has since issued an apology, saying he was ashamed by the incident.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Nazi Salute costs MEPs 3000 euros

Today, 13:21

A Polish and an Italian MEP have been fined and suspended because they brought the Nazi salute in July in the European Parliament. That happened during a debate on European transportation.

Janusz Korwin-Mikke from Poland and the Italian Gianluca Buananno are controversial. The 73-year-old Korwin-Mikke called refugees recently human waste. He also claimed that women are too stupid to play chess.

Buonanno wore during a visit by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the European Parliament a mask of her face. …

The president of the European Parliament Schultz is fed up with the behaviour of the two, and gave them a fine of 3,000 euros for bringing the Nazi salute. They have been suspended for ten days.

Translated from the Italian wikipedia entry about Gianluca Buonanno, member of the European parliament for the racist Lega Nord party; formerly a member of the neo-fascist Mussolini fans of the MSI party:

On 19 September 2014, during the radio program La Zanzara, he was asked about same-sex unions. He proposed to “blacklist homosexual couples” and give them bananas:

“In Borgosesia [where he lives] there will be a dozen gays, but maybe they have increased. Maybe it would be best if I would blacklist them. Since they want to advertise their love, they have to be registered. If I were asked to celebrate homosexual marriage in the municipality where I would be the mayor, then I would say that it is better that you do a forced drugging cure. At best, offer gays bananas. Or a salad or a pansy.”

Homophobic preacher’s equal marriage boycott fails

This video from Texas in the USA says about itself:

Raging Homophobe Checked By Cowboy Hat Wearing Bystander

27 October 2014

“An angry man was caught on video last week attacking a fellow passenger at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, apparently because he thought the man was gay. But then, a group of bystanders, including a man in a cowboy hat, quickly took action to bring the man down, according to the video.

That was homophobia in practice. Now, about the theory of homophobia.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Conservative pastor tries to get Christians to boycott same-sex weddings, fails

Posted an hour ago by Evan Bartlett

A Baptist pastor in the southern states of the US is trying to get Christians to shun same-sex weddings – even of their own children – claiming that attendance justifies the “sinfulness of homosexuality”.

The problem for Rev Al Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, is that not many people seem to be listening.

The Southern Baptist church was founded in the nineteenth century by pro-slavery Baptists who disagreed with anti-slavery Baptists in the northern states of the USA.

In a new book called We Cannot Be Silent, the right-wing pastor claims that same-sex marriages are sinful and even urges transgender people to consult their church leaders about “reverting“.

According to the Huffington Post, the controversial Mohler has even claimed in the past that the Pope holds an “un-Biblical” office and has stated that Christians shouldn’t practice yoga.

At some point, attendance will involve congratulating the couple for their union. If you can’t congratulate the couple, how can you attend?

Rev Mohler

Despite Mohler’s calls, Think Progress has charted the growing movement of pro-LGBT Christians in the US who are rejecting his hateful message.

The Presbyterian Church (USA), Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and United Church of Christ (UCC) all now marry those in the LGBT community and a recent study showed that the majority of most religious groups in the US support equal marriage.

Perhaps Rev. Mohler is worried that if parents attend such a wedding, all they will see is a sacred and holy commitment being made between two people and an invitation to God to be present in the couple’s relationship — as Christian as any marriage could be.

Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay man ordained as an Episcopal bishop, speaking to ThinkProgress

Separately, the Huffington Post quotes Stephen Arterburn, a Christian author and radio host, who said: “I have to extrapolate that Jesus would be all for attending a same-sex marriage ceremony,” based on Jesus’ example of dining with prostitutes and drunkards.

Jesus called us to love one another, not boycott our friends and family. Perhaps Rev Mohler is concerned that if he attends a same-sex wedding, the real miracles won’t be Jesus turning water into wine, but hatred into compassion.

Alex McNeil, head of pro-LGBT advocacy group More Light Presbyterians

This music video is called Leon Redbone- Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now).

Talking about Louisville: according to this music video, there was once a man there called Big Bad Bill. However, he changed his behaviour for the better. So, maybe the ‘Reverend’ Big Bad Al from Louisville will one day see the error of his ways, and become Sweet Albert.

United States Republican candidates support breaking equal marriage law

This 4 September 2015 video from the USA is called Meet Homophobic Christian “Hero” Kim Davis.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Six Republican presidential candidates back defiance of gay marriage ruling

7 September 2015

Six of the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination have come out publicly in support of Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, who has been jailed for refusing a court order to begin issuing licenses for gay marriages.

The open defense of anti-gay bigotry is an indication of the drastic shift to the right in American capitalist politics, in which arguments based on religious doctrine are increasingly accepted by both parties as legitimiate in making policy decisions.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Texas Senator Ted Cruz have taken the most strident public positions, joined by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

Several more Republican hopefuls, like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, have expressed sympathy for Davis’s actions and urged the Kentucky state legislature to find a way to accommodate anti-gay bigotry and the Supreme Court’s decision striking down legal barriers to marriage equality.

Davis remains in jail for defying the order of US District Judge David Bunning to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Five of her six deputies—the exception was Davis’s own son Nathan—began issuing licenses Friday in her absence.

The Rowan County clerk has drawn national attention and support from Christian fundamentalist groups. She is one of three Kentucky county clerks to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples, along with a dozen or more from Alabama and a scattered few in other states.

A Democrat elected in 2014, Davis is a member of an Apostolic Church that adheres to a literal interpretation of the Bible. While presenting her actions as an assertion of her religious freedom, Davis is really trampling on the freedom of others, using her position as the issuer of marriage licenses in Rowan County to prevent gay couples from gaining the legal sanction for their relationships that they are entitled to receive under the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Walker discussed the case on a right-wing talk show Thursday, claiming that Davis was only exercising her freedom of religion. “I read that the Constitution is very clear that people have freedom of religion,” he said. “You have the freedom to practice religious beliefs out there, it’s a fundamental right.”

Santorum told CNN’s “New Day” program Friday, “What Kim Davis did, in my opinion, was heroic.” He claimed that the Supreme Court “acted unconstitutionally” when it ruled that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.

Jindal declared, “I don’t think anybody should have to choose between following their conscience — their religious beliefs — and giving up their job or facing financial sanction,” adding, “You should be able to keep your job and follow your conscience.”

Rand Paul, speaking on CNN, said, “It’s absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty.” While Paul has in the past presented himself as “socially tolerant,” supposedly because of his libertarian views, he has pandered to the Christian fundamentalists in Kentucky, his home state, where he will be a candidate for re-election to the Senate next year.

The most strident defenses of Davis came from Cruz and Huckabee. Cruz issued a vitriolic attack on Judge David Bunning, a conservative Republican appointed by George W. Bush, for ordering Davis to comply with the Supreme Court decision, declaring, “Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny. Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith. This is wrong. This is not America.”

This assertion is preposterous. Davis is jailed not for “living according to her faith,” but for refusing, as an elected public official, to carry out her duties under the law. When Christian pacifists attempt to disrupt the functioning of US nuclear weapons facilities, they are invariably arrested, and reactionaries like Cruz do not shed any tears, let alone howl about the persecution of nuns.

“Those who are persecuting Kim Davis believe that Christians should not serve in public office,” Cruz said in a statement this week. “That is the consequence of their position. Or, if Christians do serve in public office, they must disregard their religious faith — or be sent to jail.”

Here theocracy raises its ugly head. Cruz & Co. seek to impose the religious views of a specific Christian sect on the entire population of a vast and diverse country, in defiance of the constitutional separation of church and state laid down in the First Amendment.

Cruz cited the dissenting opinions in Obergefell v. Hodges, particularly that of Justice Antonin Scalia, who predicted that local and state officials might choose to defy it—demonstrating that the ultra-right faction on the Supreme Court was deliberately appealing to the most backward and reactionary forces in American society.

Even more vocal was Mike Huckabee, the former preacher who is basing his campaign on the mobilization of evangelicals, home schoolers and the like. He devoted his entire appearance on the ABC Sunday interview program “This Week” to the Davis case, and announcing a rally in Kentucky Tuesday against what he called “the criminalization of Christianity,” and plans to visit her in her prison cell.

Huckabee absurdly compared the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage to the Dred Scott decision before the American Civil War, grossly distorting both the historical context and consequences of that decision. His interviewer, the abysmally superficial George Stephanopoulos, entirely ignored this issue, if he even recognized it.

Stephanopoulos did press Huckabee on the separation of church and state, playing a recording of the famous declaration by John F. Kennedy reassuring an audience of Baptist ministers that his Roman Catholic faith would not determine government policy. Would a President Huckabee carry out the terms of the Supreme Court decision on recognition of gay couples, for example, on health benefits for spouses of gay federal employees? Huckabee simply avoided responding.

Only a handful of the Republican candidates have adhered to a traditional constitutional position, that the Supreme Court interpretation of the law was binding, and that Davis, as a public official, had to carry out the law and not her personal religious beliefs.

Others sought to square the circle, giving lip service to the separation of church and state while seeking to appease the Christian fundamentalist right.

Jeb Bush said, “It seems to me there ought to be common ground, there ought to be big enough space for her to act on her conscience and for, now that the law is the law of the land, for a gay couple to be married in whatever jurisdiction that is.”

Chris Christie said, “We have to protect religious liberty and people’s ability to be able to practice their religion freely and openly, and of course we have to enforce the law too.”

Marco Rubio issued a statement: “While the clerk’s office has a governmental duty to carry out the law, there should be a way to protect the religious freedom and conscience rights of individuals working in the office.”

Billionaire Donald Trump, who leads in polls of Republican voters, said that Davis “can take a pass and let somebody else in the office do it.”

These statements ignore the fact that Davis has ordered her deputies to enforce the prohibition of gay marriage. In effect, she has made her own religious views the basis of official action by everyone in the clerk’s office, regardless of their individual beliefs.

What is involved here is an effort to legitimize government-imposed bigotry and overturn constitutional principles established more than 200 years ago in the Bill of Rights, which barred the government establishment of any particular religion, or of religion in general.

THE KNOW-NOTHING CANDIDATES “The 2016 campaign, especially on the GOP side, is setting a modern record for vacuity and even pride in ignorance about government. The widespread lack of civic education, the failure of media interest and growing public cynicism have made not knowing any details a perverse qualification for the highest office.” [Howard Fineman, HuffPost]

Oregon judge against same-sex marriage displayed Hitler photo in courthouse. Vance Day, who is under state ethics review for refusing to marry gay couples, said he put up picture of Nazi dictator to honor second world war veterans: here.

Israeli government abuses racist violence for attacking civil liberties

This video from Israel says about itself:

We are the majority – marching the streets

28 June 2012

Israeli social protest is taking a more assertive approach as a response to the latest homophobic remarks of MK Anastassia Michaeli, the refusal of the Tel-Aviv city hall to allow the re-opening of tents on Rothschild Boulevard, and the aggressive arrests of protesters that have become common lately.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Israelis will also be jailed without trial

Today, 10:36

The Israeli inner cabinet has made it possible for Israelis suspected of violence against Palestinians to be jailed without trial. The measure was announced following the arson last week in two houses of Palestinians in the West Bank, where a Palestinian child was killed.

Suspects can be held for months under the measure. This so-called ‘administrative detention’ was so far only for Palestinians. The measure has been criticized internationally because the suspects have no rights in those circumstances.

So, now ‘legal equality’ for Israeli citizens and Palestinians by, after first undermining civil liberties for one group, undermining them for another group as well. While there is a clear danger that this policy will not just be applied against ‘Israelis suspected of violence against Palestinians’, the only category of Israelis which the NOS report mentions. Might it not also be applied against ‘Israelis suspected of OPPOSITION TO violence against Palestinians‘? Against Israeli opponents of homophobia, including homophobia in Israeli political parties in the coalition government; against people like the recently murdered girl Shira Banki? Against some of the many Israeli opponents of the Netanyahu government’s ‘austerity’ economic policies? Etc.

Wouldn’t it be better to have ‘legal equality’ for Israeli citizens and Palestinians by not having arbitrary jailing for anyone? And by thorough investigation, which there has not been so far, of the violent extreme right in Israel, their anti-Palestinian crimes, their bigotry against African refugees, their homophobia, etc.? Including their relationships to some politicians in Israeli coalition government political parties?

Israel’s Netanyahu government widens use of anti-democratic detention orders: here.

Forbidding Asylum Seekers From Living in Tel Aviv or Eilat Reeks of Racism. Israel’s government continues to abuse African asylum seekers without offering any kind of solution: here.

Even with an imperfect knowledge of Dutch, it was not difficult to make out that the article, covering an entire page, was referring to the murderous attack on the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem and the immediately following arson of a Palestinian family home at the village of Duma near Nablus, where a father and his baby son died. From Jerusalem, correspondent Derk Walters informed the Dutch readers of the alarming increase of violent extreme right groups upholding a Nationalist-Religious Messianic ideology. He recounted the openly voiced explicit calls for attacking Arabs and homosexuals and for the torching of Christian churches, and quoted extensively the sharp denunciations made from all parts of the Israeli political spectrum. The article ended with a question: “Is the Netanyahu Government capable of taking serious measures against the settlers, when some of the cabinet ministers are themselves settlers?”. Quite a few Israelis are asking themselves the same question.
Read more: here.

16-year-old Israeli girl murdered by ultra-religious homophobe

Shira Banki, 16-year-old Israeli girl before she was murdered by an ultra-religious homophobe

From daily Haaretz in Israel:

16 Year Old Stabbed in Jerusalem Pride Parade Succumbs to Wounds

Shira Banki was critically wounded in an attack by an ultra-Orthodox man on Thursday; Netanyahu: She died for bravely supporting everyone’s right to live in dignity.

Also from Haaretz: Why the Israeli government’s condemnation of Jerusalem Gay Pride attack is hollow

See also here.

Yaniv Kubovich Aug 02, 2015 6:16 PM

Three days after being critically wounded by an ultra-Orthodox man that went on a stabbing rampage at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade, Shira Banki, a 16-year-old Israeli teen succumbed to her wounds Sunday afternoon. Five other people were wounded in the attack.

Police confirmed that the suspected stabber is Yishai Schlissel, a Haredi man from Modiin Ilit who stabbed three participants in the 2005 Gay Pride march. He was recently released from prison after serving a 10-year sentence.

Banki was a high-school student from Jerusalem, studying at the Hebrew University High School. She took part in Thursday’s parade to show solidarity with her LGBT friends. She is survived by her parents and three siblings; her family decided to donate her organs.

In a statement issued Sunday, her family said: “Our magical Shira was murdered because she was a happy 16-year-old – full of life and love – who came to express her support for her friends’ rights to live as they choose. For no good reason and because of evil, stupidity and negligence, the life of our beautiful flower was cut short. Bad things happen to good people, and a very bad thing happened to our amazing girl. The family expresses hope for a less hatred and more tolerance.” The family requests the public respect their privacy as they grieve.

As of Sunday afternoon two of those wounded in the attack alongside Banki were still in serious condition and remained hospitalized, though medical officials said their condition was improving. Three of the other people wounded in the attack were released home after suffering lighter injuries.

Opposition Chairman Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) also issued a statement, saying Banki was a victim of “Jewish terror”. “I cry for Shira… she is the age of my children. We will not tolerate violence, racism or LGBT-phobia of any kind,” he said, reiterating his demand that the prime minister outlaw extreme right-wing groups which he said “incite hatred” in Israel.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) said in a statement: “It’s a dark day for Israel… in which a high school girl is murdered for her opinions and positions.” “There is no principle in the world worth the life of a young girl,” said Bennett, who was supposed to address an LGBT rally Saturday evening, but canceled after refusing to sign a commitment to act on behalf of the gay community. This is “a day in which we became darkness unto the nations instead of a being light unto the nations,” he added.

On Saturday, thousands of Israelis took to the streets to protest the stabbing as well as a deadly arson attack in the West Bank that saw a Palestinian infant killed.  “Flames have engulfed our country,” President Reuven Rivlin said at the rally in Jerusalem’s Zion Square. “Flames of violence, flames of hatred, flames of false, distorted and twisted beliefs.”

An estimated 10,000 people turned up for a rally in Tel Aviv’s Gan Meir, which was already planned to mark six years since two people were killed in a shooting at Barnoar, a Tel Aviv gay youth center. …

The attacker, Schlissel, was sentenced for 12 years in prison for the 2005 attack after his conviction on charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault. However, in 2007, following an appeal, the Supreme Court mitigated his sentence to 10 years. He was deemed sane and fit to face trial on Friday.

After his release, Schlissel returned to his hometown, where residents said that he distributed hand-written pamphlets in which he called on “all Jews faithful to God” to risk “beatings and imprisonment” for the sake of preventing the parade.

Right-wing MK: Jerusalem pride parade is an ‘abomination’. Habayit Hayehudi lawmaker Betzalel Smotrich calls anti-violence protest held in wake of stabbing a ‘witch hunt’ against those opposing LGBT rights: here.

Israel Police to probe failure to monitor Jerusalem gay pride parade assailant. Yishai Schlissel, who served 10 years for 2005 parade stabbing attack, urged self-sacrifice against ‘abomination parade’ following his recent release: here.

Gay people in Ramallah, West Bank: here.