Pompeo, Huckabee, Benham Brothers High Record of New ‘Fellows’ as Liberty College Rebrands Tradition Warfare Arm

Liberty University’s Standing for Freedom Center – known until recently as the Falkirk Center – announced its new class of scholars on Thursday, making it clear that the organization may have a new name, but its purpose, the “biblical worldview” of religious Right to promote, has not given up. in culture and politics. The new fellows are former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Arkansas Governor and failed presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, abortion rights activist Abby Johnson and brother duo David and Jason Benham against LGBTQ.

Earlier this year the university dropped the Falkirk name, presumably to distance the center from its nefarious co-founder and former President Jerry Falwell Jr. She has also said goodbye to her previous group of fellows, which included Falkirk Center co-founder Charlie Kirk, president of right wing youth organization Turning Point USA; Jenna Ellis, a Trump attorney who is now hosting her own TV show, unironically called “Just the Truth”; Expert, conspiracy theorist and so-called stop the steal activist Eric Metaxas; and Steve Bannon acolyte and former White House advisor Sebastian Gorka.

The managing director Ryan Helfenbein remains in place. As Right Wing Watch discovered in December when the center celebrated its first anniversary, Helfenbein pointed out the aggressive stance of the organization and said: “We don’t want to be just an organization that barks. We want to be an organization that bites. “The center boasted that it“ consistently encouraged churches and pastors to oppose pandemic-related “lockdown orders”. One of the centre’s first year achievements was Get Louder, a “Faith Summit” held last September, attended by Christian reconstructor Gary DeMar on a panel moderated by Metaxas.

The Standing for Freedom Center’s new fellows have the qualifications one would expect from a religious-right center that aims to bite:

Mike Pompeo used his position as State Secretary to promote the religious law agenda at home and abroad. He created the Inalienable Rights Commission, which was rejected by the Biden administration, to justify a narrow view of human rights in US foreign policy. As Secretary of State, Pompeo opened doors to Bible study in other countries teaching officials that the Bible requires them to support right-wing social, economic, environmental, and criminal policies. The Minister for Pompeo and Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, worked to form a new global “family-friendly” coalition of anti-LGBTQ and anti-electoral regimes and to enforce “traditional” religious values ​​in relation to gender, Celebrate sexuality and family. Pompeo is a long-time favorite of the religious right who, as a member of Congress, promoted Christian nationalism and was associated with anti-Muslim activists. Axios reported this week that Pompeo is “putting money into a new PAC called Champion American Values,” apparently in preparation for a 2024 presidential election. Update: Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal ethics governing the use of taxpayer-funded resources when he and his wife Susan asked State Department staff more than 100 times to perform tasks on their own Take advantage of it, as a government guard decided to do, ”Politico reported on Friday.

Mike Huckabee, Running for Republican President nomination in 2008 and 2016, he has remained active in religious rights politics since his failed campaign in 2016, since he turned to the pandemic. The former Arkansas governor is the honorary chairman of Operation My Faith Votes, which was active in the 2020 election, including the Georgia Senate runoff. Huckabee spoke at the Falkirk Summit last year, “Get Louder,” and appeared in a September call for Intercessors for America warning that the government would force churches to close if Conservative Christians did not vote. He also appeared in Trump 2024: The Post-Trump World, a right-wing documentary that promoted Trump’s re-election. Last year, Huckabee said, “The redefinition of gender and sexual identity is the” greatest threat “to America’s moral fiber.” Huckabee has railed against the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, claiming the president could criminalize abortion without a Supreme Court ruling or constitutional amendment. Huckabee’s daughter, former Trump White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is following in her father’s footsteps and becoming the next governor of Arkansas.

Abby Johnson is an anti-abortion lawyer who spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention and participated in the so-called Stop the Steal campaign to dismiss the results of the 2020 presidential election. Johnson has become a sectarian superstar with her controversial story, dramatized in the movie Unplanned, after working for Planned Parenthood before having a revelation on abortion. The day before the January 6th Capitol riot, Johnson spoke at the DC rally where Stop the Steal’s Ali Alexander cheered “Victory or Death!” Johnson told the crowd she was there “to defend the most sociable president we have ever had in United States history.” She said she was tired of “compromising,” which resulted in “our houses of worship being unconstitutionally closed for months and months.” Speaking at the January 5 rally, she shamed American Christians for not doing more to close abortion clinics and said, “It is time, patriots, to stop worrying about them Insulting your neighbor and worrying about offending the heart of God. “She also targeted COVID-19 vaccine research, saying,” Shame on us for accepting and selling vaccines made on the back of aborted babies. ” And she admonished: “It’s time to get up. It’s time to fight back. It’s time to be brave. Enough! Enough of these cowardly leaders! Johnson once said it would be “wise” for the police to racially profile their adopted biracial son because “statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent crime against my white sons”.

David and Jason Benham. The Benham brothers became popular religious heroes and martyrs of “political correctness” in 2014 when HGTV canceled plans for a television show with the duo after Right Wing Watch and others reported on their anti-LGBTQ activities. The brothers, who have repeatedly set out the “homosexual agenda” in line with Satan, were actively involved in enforcing anti-LGBTQ law in North Carolina in 2016. They had previously urged the Charlotte city government to refuse permission for LGBTQ pride events and organized an anti-gay prayer rally when the Democratic National Convention was being held there. The brothers are also active opponents of reproductive choice. In 2017, a month before their appearance at the Values ​​Voter Summit – not for the first time – they said that hurricanes hitting the United States were a warning for the country to repent because they were “the limits of God.” exceeded ”in terms of gender, sexuality and marriage. This summer they declared: “There is simply no discrimination against gays.” Earlier this year, the two said they would skip the Super Bowl halftime show with Lady Gaga, warning, “The vine of Sodom pierced and permeated our nation in one of the biggest sporting events of the year.” The Benhams initially backed Senator Ted Cruz as President in 2016 and joined a campaign advisory board that recommended a President Cruz withdraw federal job protection for LGBTQ people. In 2015, David Benham spoke at the allegedly “apolitical” prayer rally organized by Christian nationalist political activist David Lane, berating the LGBTQ movement and the Church for not doing enough to stop them.

In other news, Liberty sued Falwell on Thursday for $ 10 million. He claimed he had “withheld scandalous and potentially harmful information from the Liberty Board of Trustees while negotiating a generous new contract for himself on false pretenses,” the New York Times reported. The lawsuit also alleges that Falwell failed to disclose his “personal impairment from alcohol”.

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here with permission.

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