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04/01/2014

Liberty Counsel continues penchant for inciting 'revolution'

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 At 8.23.48 AmWhile they share common attack lines, most of the prominent anti-LGBT spokes folks stand out to me for certain niches that they feel. For Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver, it happens to be his seeming attempts to lead us to revolutionary war. On multiple occasions, the popular conservative attorney and pundit (he was on Huckabee just this past weekend) has suggested that the rise of marriage equality should lead opponents to rise up and fight “another American Revolution.” Elaborating on this call, Mat once said:

"[The marriage fight] is the thing that revolutions literally are made of. This would be more devastating to our freedom, to our religious freedom, to the rights of pastors and their duty to be able to speak and to Christians around the country, then anything that the revolutionaries during the American Revolution even dreamed of facing. This would be the thing that revolutions are made of. This could split the country right in two. This could cause another civil war. I’m not talking about just people protesting in the streets, this could be that level because what would ultimately happen is a direct collision would immediately happen with pastors, with churches, with Christians, with Christian ministries, with other businesses, it would be an avalanche that would go across the country."

He seems eager about this. Which is kind of weird. And scary.

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 At 8.23.03 AmBut today, Joe Jervis tips me to yet another call for "revolution" from yet another Liberty Counsel employee. Matt Barber, Staver's secondhand man and cohost, wrote the following on conservative site WND (formerly WorldNetDaily):

"A preferred ploy of left-wing change agents is to ridicule critics when they point out the undeniable parallels between the goals of today’s 'progressive' movement, to include the Democratic Party in general, and the goals of the early, and very much still alive, communist movement. If, for instance, one mentions the historical fact that nearly every adult who, at any time, was in any position of influence over a young, soon-to-be-radicalized Barry Soetoro was an avowed communist, to include his own parents, then one is immediately mocked and dismissed as a neo-McCarthyite hack pining for the bygone days of the Red Scare. This is an evasive, ad hominem strategy employed by those who are caught, for lack of a better word, red-handed. To all this I say, if the jackboot fits, wear it. If it quacks like a commie and goose-steps like a commie, then a commie it is. Look around. We are no longer the United States of America. We have become The Communist States of America. Which means, for those who love liberty, revolution is once again at hand." [SOURCE]

Again, so eager. So weird. So scary.

When you hear people like this laying such groundwork, it's easy to dismiss them. I do it too. For one, it's highly unlikely that they will succeed at whatever goals they are seeking, so most of us move on to concerns about our taxes or tonight's dinner or whether the sadly underwatched Trophy Wife will receive a second season (watch it; it's enjoyable). But also, this stuff is so over-the-top that many of us file it to that crazy place in our brain where it might exist, but it exists in an alternate, caricatured reality that poses no real world harm. We just kind of move on, neither bothered nor concerned enough to give it intellectual mind.

I have a much harder time doing that., mainly because I know too much. I know that both Barber and Staver are firmly connected to the larger "pro-family" movement (again, Staver was just on Fox News, where he's a regular; Barber makes the rounds as well), and that this thread extends all the way up the conservative movement pole. I also know, based on both of these men's uber vicious rhetoric banks, that they actually do mean what they say. No, they might not ever muster the kind of support they would need for actual "revolution," as I hope that the vast majority of potential allies still see this kind of talk as as crazy as it truly is. Even so, I think the fact that these two men are talking like this without completely destroying their credibility and access within GOP circles is something worth noting. It's pertinent to make note of what still passes for proper and even welcome engagement on that side.

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