A group of hard-right religious-right leaders is hosting “America at the Crossroads: A 911 Call for Pastors,” which will be held at a resort near Dallas, Texas, at the end of the month. The event page describes the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 gathering as “three days of R & R, fellowship, food and training on Black Lives Matter, White Privilege, Critical Race Theory, Cultural Marxism, Covid-19 and the calls for Global Government!” Guests will be welcomed by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
“America at the Crossroads” is being organized by Liberty Pastors, which is led by the Oklahoma-based pastor Paul Blair, a right-wing nullification activist who urges state officials to ignore Supreme Court rulings like Roe v. Wade and Obergefell, the marriage equality ruling. Blair promotes the Christian reconstructionist idea that the Bible does not give the government authority to care for the poor: “There’s nowhere in the Bible where God commands the civil authority to use the sword to take from those who are working hard and then redistribute to those that simply refuse to work.”
Here’s more from the event’s registration page, which describes the event as sold out:
America is in peril! We see rioting in the streets with showing no regard for life or personal property. For the first time in America’s history, we intentionally collapsed our economy over a viral threat originating in Communist Red China. Mayors and Governors are demanding that Churches and businesses close, while abortion clinics, liquor stores and big box stores are open. People are gripped with fear, yet where is the Prophetic voice of Almighty God?
The event shows the extent to which conservative evangelical support for President Donald Trump has further blurred distinctions between what might have once been considered “mainstream” and fringe religious-right groups.
Blair and his clergy colleague Dan Fisher, who is also scheduled to speak at this month’s conference, are both on the organizing committee of Gone 2 Far, an aggressively anti-LGBTQ coalition launched last year with a press conference that smeared advocates for LGBTQ equality, including the late civil rights icon John Lewis.
Notorious anti-LGBTQ extremist Scott Lively is scheduled to speak at the event, as are anti-equality religious-right legal advocate Mat Staver and Trump cheerleaders and megachurch pastors Robert Jeffress and Jack Hibbs.
Lively, author of “The Pink Swastika,” is among the most notorious anti-LGBTQ activists in the world. Among his homophobic attacks are his claim that homosexuality is a worse sin “by far” than slavery and his assertion that he would rather be beheaded than forced by the government to wear a mask. As Right Wing Watch noted recently:
He has supported anti-LGBTQ legislation in Uganda, Russia, and around the world. Last year he helped launch an extreme anti-LGBTQ group with comments charging that the transgender movement is really about promoting the “pedophilia agenda.” In 2015, he said homosexuality was worse than murder and genocide and warned that if the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, it could lead to the rise of the Antichrist by the end of the year.
Lively recently told WND readers, “Reelecting President Trump is not a political choice but an act of self-defense for every American who loves the Holy Bible and the U.S. Constitution.”
Lively has also called for defiance of public health restrictions on churches, which he says are invalid because the church is a separate “sovereign.” Lively explained in an Aug. 10 WND column:
Government attempts to regulate church attendance and worship practices violate not only the law of our land, the US Constitution, they violate the law above the law, and because of that every Christian pastor should individually be in open defiance of restrictive “mandates” and collectively in active civil rebellion against the state and local governments issuing them.
While other churches and congregations might have acquiesced to the court’s illegitimate authority, I am not bound by their decisions, having newly established my own church totally independent of them. I have not registered First Century Bible Church with the government and have no intention to do so.
As an Ambassador of the Church of Jesus Christ I do not recognize the authority of the Supreme Court — an arm of the state — to legislate from the bench on church/state matters. It retains authority to regulate the state in church/state matters, but not the church.
Scheduled “America at the Crossroads” speakers include the following individuals:
- Bob McEwen is a former member of Congress who heads the Council for National Policy, an influential and secretive network of right-wing officials and activist leaders.
- E.W. Jackson, right-wing pastor and radio host and Republican nominee for Lt. Gov. in Virginia in 2013, said earlier this year that he sees no substantive difference between American progressives and the totalitarian regime in North Korea. Jackson has warned that a “homovirus” is devastating the family and American society. Jackson promised members of his congregation that God would prevent them from becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus and called Rep. Adam Schiff “treasonous” for suggesting a commission to examine the federal government’s response to the pandemic.
- Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz and a religious-right activist, is an anti-LGBTQ zealot who has claimed falsely that the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling—which he charged was the work of Satan—legalized marriage “between two men and a horse.” Rafael Cruz had supported his son’s presidential bid by saying that God had raised Ted up and that electing him would spare America from divine judgment. In 2016, he said that President Barack Obama had been trying to take people’s guns away as part of a plan to install a communist dictatorship.
- Dan Fisher, who co-pastors Blair’s church, calls for “bringing back the Black Robed Regiment,” a reference to colonial-era pastors who mobilized support for the revolt against Great Britain. He served two terms in the state legislature before running unsuccessfully for governor in 2018 on a platform that including abolishing and criminalizing abortion and asserting state sovereignty to disobey “wrong” Supreme Court rulings. He drew just under 8 percent of the vote in the Republican primary.
- Rick Scarborough called AIDS “God’s judgment on a sinful generation” and said that marriage equality is part of Satan’s effort to “destroy this country.” He falsely claimed that the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling “made it unlawful and illegal for Christians to hold position” in government; years earlier he falsely claimed that the passage of the federal Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Act in 2009 would “criminalize pastors and ordinary citizens who speak out biblically against homosexuality.” At the 2013 Values Voter Summit, he warned that “infidels” in the Obama administration were “hell-bent on silencing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” His Recover America Now has abandoned its plans to hold 75 gatherings across Texas this year and, according to the group’s website, has “entered into a partnership with the Jonathan Project to register and mobilize thousands of Christian Voters across America, targeting with special outreach Texas, Florida and North Carolina.” The Jonathan Project is a voter identification, registration and mobilization effort. RAN has hosted online calls with Jeffress, David Barton, Mat Staver, and others in an effort to maximize conservative Christian turnout this fall. Scarborough hosts a podcast that describes separation of church and state as a “myth.”