The weekend in question was 6-7 November, and the occasion was a hatefest called the National Religious Liberties Conference in Des Moines.
But the liberties in question at the conference included the liberty to conduct a gay holocaust.
From Katherine Stewart, writing in the 16 November edition of the New York Times [emphasis added]:
Earlier this month, in Des Moines, the prominent home-schooling advocate and pastor Kevin Swanson again called for the punishment of homosexuality by death. To be clear, he added that the time for eliminating America’s gay population was “not yet” at hand. We must wait for the nation to embrace the one true religion, he suggested, and gay people must be allowed to repent and convert.
Mr. Swanson proposed this at the National Religious Liberties Conference, an event he organized. Featured speakers included three Republican contenders for the presidency: the former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
Mr. Huckabee later pleaded ignorance. Yet a quick web search will turn up Mr. Swanson’s references to the demonic power of “the homosexual Borg,” the unmitigated evil of Harry Potter and the Disney character Princess Elsa’s lesbian agenda.
Mr. Cruz apparently felt little need to make excuses. He was accompanying another of the featured speakers at the conference: his father, Rafael Cruz — a politically connected pastor who told a 2013 Family Leadership Summit that same-sex marriage was a government plot to destroy the family.
Yep, Ted’s pappy was right there, spouting his own brand of venomous bile, the kind that was meat and potatoes to his young son as he grew up.
Rachel Maddow brought the conclave to a broader audience in a trualy remarkable video from RightWingWatch.org. From MSNBC:
GOP Hopefuls Speak At Anti-Gay Conference
Rachel Maddow shows that while Democrats were participating in a candidates forum, Republicans Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz were guests at “religious freedom” event led by a pastor who preaches that homosexuality should be punished with death.
For more on the extreme beliefs of conference organizer Kevin Swanson, see this catalog of horrors from Right Wing Watch.
And from the New York Daily News, here’s one example:
“America, repent of your rebellion against God!” he yelled in his hysterical speech.
“America, repent of stumbling the little ones! America, repent of ‘Harry Potter’! America, repent of ‘How to Train Your Dragon!’
“America, repent that Dumbledore emerged as a homosexual mentor for Harry Potter, that Hiccup’s mentor in ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ emerged as a homosexual himself in order that history might repeat itself one more time.”
And what if your kid turns out to be gay [or is seduced by Satan into turning gay, which the good reverend seems to think is how it’s done]?
The good pastor has a suggestion:
“There are families, we’re talking Christian families, pastors’ families, elders’ families from good, godly churches whose 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 is what I would do and I’m not kidding, I’m not laughing.”
And from Jeff Rouner of the Houston Press comes this observation:
I was watching The Rachel Maddow Show the other day. . .when I heard a sentence that cannot possible have ever been uttered by human lips before in history: “Don’t you dare carve happy faces on open, pussy sores.”
So how did the candidates respond? Here’s the headline from a piece on the rant from the Des Moines Register:
Candidates won’t call out host citing death for gays
Of course they won’t. Cruz and Jindal are no doubt in agreement with the pastor’s pronouncements, though we’re not so sure about the Huck-ster.
Now consider this: Just substitute Jew for gay, and nothing the preacher says wouldn’t have fit right in the speeches of a certain Munich beer hall orator back in the 1920s.
And he has the imprimatur of a possible nominee for President of the United States.