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Bruce Wilson
Bruce Wilson is cofounder, with journalist Frederick Clarkson, of the blog Talk To Action, which covers the intersection of religion and politics.

In May 2008, Wilson posted a 3 and 1/2 minute video widely credited in mainstream media with precipitating then-GOP presidential candidate John McCain’s decision to reject his long-sought political endorsement from influential Christian evangelist, Texas megachurch pastor and Christians United For Israel founder John Hagee. The video featured an audio excerpt from a late 2005 Hagee sermon (broadcast internationally on Christian networks) in which pastor Hagee claimed that God sent Hitler and the Nazis to force Europe’s Jews to Palestine. The audio excerpt from Wilson’ video was broadcast widely both by domestic US media and also foreign media.

In Fall 2008, as part of a two-person research team, Wilson correctly identified the specific religious tendency which then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is most closely associated with, the New Apostolic Reformation. Wilson’s effort was the first to publicize Palin’s association with Kenyan evangelist Thomas Muthee, a professed witch hunter, and also Palin’s personal friendship with Alaska evangelist Mary Glazier, who heads Sarah Palin’s personal prayer group and also claims, like Muthee, to have used prayer to fight a witch. Muthee and Glazier are top leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation movement, which purports to be the most radical change in Christianity since the Protestant Reformation. NAR leaders advocate forced wealth transfer and the the driving unbelievers from “the land.”

Bruce Wilson is currently working on his first book.

Entries by Bruce Wilson

Trump Campaign Tied To Second Leader of White Nationalist Party

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 8:59 AM

Even as Donald Trump seeks to tack to the center, and leave behind his earlier, wildly controversial statements on Hispanics and Muslims, mounting evidence concerning the Trump campaign's ties to racist white nationalists -- including two of the six directors of the American Freedom Party -- threatens to...

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Ted Cruz' Religion Adviser Talks to God, Can Add Scripture to Bible

(144) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 1:44 PM

In early March, the Cruz for President campaign announced the formation of an official Religious Liberty Advisory Council. One of the members of Cruz' advisory council, Bishop Harry Jackson, appears to have the official power, through his participation in a major prophetic organization associated with the radical

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White Supremacist Interviews Donald Trump, Jr. Gets VIP Parking at Trump Rally

(28) Comments | Posted March 2, 2016 | 11:39 AM

"For blacks in the Americas, slavery is the greatest thing that ever happened to them" -- James Edwards, founder and head of The Political Cesspool, August 11, 2008

Underscoring the status of the Trump for President campaign as America's de-facto political flagship for white nationalism, on Monday March...

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Will Cruz, Like McCain in 2008, Reject Endorsement From "God Sent Hitler" Pastor ?

(15) Comments | Posted January 27, 2016 | 1:28 PM

"McCain Rejects Hagee Backing as Nazi Remarks Surface", reported the New York Times on May 22, 2008. Once again, as in 2008, a short Youtube video I've compiled is making waves in national politics, driven -- as in 2008 [1, 2] initially by coverage from liberal...

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Rubio Accepted Endorsement From Dominionist Who Claims Constitution Based on Bible

(17) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 2:08 PM

Yesterday, in an April 14, 2015 Huffington Post blog post, I covered Senator Marco Rubio's close ties to the Miami, Florida megachurch Christ Fellowship, which boasts an anti-gay hiring policy and whose head pastor, Rick Blackwood -- whose sermons Rubio says he specifically goes to the church to hear...

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Marco Rubio's Miami Church: Exorcisms, Creationism, Anti-Gay Policies

(515) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 1:19 PM

"On most Saturday nights, we still attend services at Christ Fellowship, especially if Pastor Rick [Blackwood] is preaching the sermon. His sermons still inspire me to grow in my Christian faith... Some of my Catholic friends occasionally express concern over my continued association with Christ Fellowship. But I don't think...
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'Half-Breed Jew' Committed Holocaust, Claims Netanyahu Ally John Hagee

(343) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 2:39 PM

Who committed the Holocaust? For the overwhelming majority of historians and, needless to say, Jews it's a settled question: Hitler, and his Nazis. But Christians United For Israel (CUFI) head John Hagee, one of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's closest American allies, has a different answer: "half-breed Jews."

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Anti-Gay, Anti-Mormon Hate Group Sponsors Reince Priebus' RNC Israel Trip

(62) Comments | Posted January 31, 2015 | 3:17 PM

If the National Republican Party had embraced the Ku Klux Klan or the American Nazi Party, would mainstream media pick up the story? Probably.

The American Family Association, sponsor of the Republican National Committee's upcoming Israel trip (organized and led by pastor David Lane), is no less extreme and...

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"Wage War To Restore a Christian America", Urged Pastor Behind Reince Priebus' RNC Israel Trip

(7) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 12:12 PM

[Image, right: Pastor David Lane, screenshot from Right Wing Watch videopastor David Lane]

"Where are the champions of Christ to save the nation from the pagan onslaught imposing homosexual marriage, homosexual scouts, 60 million babies done to death by abortion and red ink as far as the...

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NYT's David Brooks, WaPo's Michael Gerson to Speak at Funding Confab for anti-LGBT Hate, Climate Change Denial

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 3:43 PM

2014-09-26-gathering.jpgIn honor of the 2014 incarnation of the event known as The Gathering, I've given an interview with Jay Michaelson, writing for the Daily Beast, on what Michaelson has chosen to call The $1-Billion-a-Year Right-Wing Conspiracy You Haven't Heard Of.


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Most Americans 18-29 Years Old Believe in Demon Possession, Shows Survey

(11) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 3:51 PM

Are Americans becoming less religious? While church affiliation is probably declining, don't expect the atheist revolution anytime soon:

Over one half (63 percent, to be exact) of young Americans 18-29 years old now believe in the notion that invisible, non-corporeal entities called "demons" can take partial or total control...

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Video: Ted Cruz Anointed by Antigay, Pro-Religious War Pastors

(19) Comments | Posted October 13, 2013 | 6:53 PM

Below: Anointing of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul (short version):

In the video, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by pastors who claim the Constitution is based on the Old Testament, appear to endorse biblical slavery, depict gay marriage as a socialist plot against the traditional family, and call for a Christian war on secular society.

Over the last few years the religious right, rumored to be in decline, has receded from American secular consciousness. But amidst the current government shutdown, some of the more astute political analysts on the left, such producer Joshua Holland and the The Nation's Lee Fang are beginning to point out that, respectively, 1) today's Republican Party has, by objective measures, become truly radicalized and, 2) the main force behind the current government shutdown is the religious (and largely Christian) right.

Conforming to that pattern, over the weekend two of the leading Senate Republican Tea Party leaders behind the shutdown, Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, attended the Family Research Council's annual "Voter Values Summit," at which, according to CNN, FRC head Tony Perkins-- whose organization has been identified as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of the FRC's promotion of anti-LGBTI propaganda -- dubbed Cruz the "de facto" leader of the GOP.

During the FRC event, reports the New York Times, both senators, who are each considering a 2016 bid for the presidency, will meet with evangelical and right-wing power brokers such as Perkins and direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie.

The two senators could also be found last summer, along with RNC Chair Reince Priebus (by some accounts), being publicly blessed and anointed, with the laying-on of hands, by dominionist pastors, at the July 19th-20th 2013 Iowa Renewal Project pastors' gathering held at the Des Moines Marriott Hotel. Following the event, video from the event, the public blessing of Rand Paul, gained minor notice from the secular press. But video showing the blessing of Senator Ted Cruz is far more notable.

Below: Anointing of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul (longer version):

In the video, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by pastors who claim the Constitution is based on the Old Testament, appear to endorse biblical slavery, depict gay marriage as a socialist plot against the traditional family, and call for a Christian war on secular society.

The first two attributes in that list belong to an evangelical leader David Barton -- who Ted Cruz has warmly endorsed, in a September 2013 statement to Politico in which the Texas senator called Barton "a good man, a courageous leader and a friend" whose "historical research has helped millions rediscover the founding principles of our nation."

In the lead-up to the Iowa pastors' event, in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody, Ted Cruz suggested that gay marriage would lead to Christian pastors being charged with hate speech. During his address to the hundreds of pastors assembled at the two-day Iowa Renewal Project event, Senator Cruz cited militant Biblical scripture such as Ezekiel 33, depicted opponents of a Texas ban on late-term abortions as Satan worshipers, and claimed Christians in the military can be court-martialed for sharing their faith.

One of the pastors blessing and laying his hands on Cruz's shoulders was head of the sponsoring organization the Iowa Renewal Project -- David Lane, who only a few weeks earlier had written an op-ed that called upon the faithful to "wage war to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage."

Only a few days after blessing Senator Cruz, Lane stated that "car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa" would be merciful punishment from God for legalized abortion and "homosexuals praying at the Inauguration." Without such divine "mercy," suggested Lane, America might "get judgment like Nazi Germany."

The Iowa Renewal Project is part of Lane's American Renewal Project, an effort targeting 12 US states that seeks to register voters, and politically mobilize Christian pastors, in advance of the 2014 election.

Lane's national project is in turn sponsored by the American Family Association, an organization designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group. AFA spokesperson Bryan Fischer has stated that "Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews."

Another pastor laying hands on Senator Cruz was David Barton, former vice chairman of the Texas GOP who has played leading role in creating an entire genre of Christian nationalist revisionist history used to promote the myth that the United States was created as an expressly Christian nation. The genre is used to stoke anger among the faithful - because America's Christian heritage has allegedly been subverted and stolen - and thus fuel Christian right political activism.

Barton maintains that Jesus opposes the minimum wage, and claims the United States Constitution was based in concepts drawn directly from the Old Testament including the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. He also claims there's no such thing as the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state.

In September 2013, Senator Ted Cruz told Politico reporter Stephanie Simon that,

"David Barton is a good man, a courageous leader and a friend. David's historical research has helped millions rediscover the founding principles of our nation and the incredible sacrifices that men and women of faith made to bequeath to us the freest and most prosperous nation in the world."

But the fact that Ted Cruz is a personal friend to David Barton, described in 2005 by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America, comes as no surprise given a staggering revelation, in a 2011 book by former Special Assistant to U.S. President George W. Bush Timothy Geoglein, with a forward written by non other than Karl Rove, that ties Ted Cruz to very heart of of the what used to be called, in the days before the Tea Party, the "radical religious right."

As Goeglein recounts, in 1999 while working as a Bush for President campaign aide, Ted Cruz helped broker a deal with one of the top architects of the religious right -- Paul Weyrich -- who Cruz appears to at the time been a personal friend of. The deal Cruz brokered enabled the Bush campaign to lock down the Christian conservative vote and so edge out other contenders for the nomination, including Senator John McCain.

The fact that Ted Cruz, then only 29 years old, helped swing the 2000 election, because he was a personal friend to Paul Weyrich -- a titan of the new right and religious right who helped create much of the early infrastructure that powers the current conservative movement -- including the Moral Majority, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is astonishing. Cruz also served on the elite team of lawyers fighting the legal battle that revolved around the disputed Florida vote recount in the 2000 election.

But by then Cruz had already served as a legal aide to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, rumored to be a member of the secretive Washington D.C.-based elite evangelical association known as "The Family" or "The Fellowship," and the young Cruz had another, even more direct, in:

Another of the pastors next to Senator Ted Cruz at the June 19th, 2013 Iowa anointing was Cruz's father, businessman and pastor Rafael Cruz -- who in 1979 joined another Paul Weyrich co-founded effort, the Religious Roundtable, that mobilized millions of evangelical Christians to vote for candidate Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election. As pastor Cruz told his audience at an August 10, 2013 religious rally in Ames, Iowa,

"[in 1979] I became very involved in an organization called the Religious Roundtable. The Religious Roundtable was a Judeo-Christian organization that mobilized millions of Christians all across the United States and helped elect Ronald Reagan. It was a precursor of the Tea Party, even before the Moral Majority."

During his jeremiad, pastor Cruz declared,

"Socialism requires that government becomes your god. That's why they have to destroy the concept of God. They have to destroy all loyalties except loyalty to the government. That's what's behind homosexual marriage. It's really about the destruction of the traditional family than about exalting homosexuality -- because you need to destroy, also, loyalty to the traditional family."

Rafael Cruz went on to deploy a version of a falsified history myth promoted by Davis Barton, regaling his audience with,

"Have you ever heard of the 'Black Robe Regiment'? The Black Robe Regiment were a series of pastors that wore long black robes, many of them had the Continental Army uniform underneath the black robe. They would preach on Sunday, take off that robe, and with half their congregation they would go out and fight for independence."

Following pastor Cruz's speech at the event was his son Senator Ted Cruz, who depicted pro-reproductive rights demonstrators at the Texas State Legislature who protested legislation banning late-term abortions as Satan worshipers, called for the abolition of the Internal Revenue Service, and declared, "if we can hold 41 Republicans in the U.S. Senate or 218 Republicans in the U.S. House, we can defund Obamacare."

During the June 19th, 2013 Iowa blessing of Senator Ted Cruz, a voice leading the ceremony can be heard beseeching God, with urgent intensity,

"Father, we believe that, indeed, no weapon formed against him will prosper, and every tongue that rises up against him in judgment will be condemned -- for this is the heritage of the servant of the Lord. And his righteousness is of you, Lord. Father, you have said that, and we believe that today. Father, we ask today that you would give him the tongue of the learned to speak that word. Father, we ask that your blessing would come upon our nation. Father, those like our senator, father, that they would receive these words."
A few months before, in a statement for the May 1, 2013 National Day of Prayer, Cruz stated,
"We understand that our rights come not from a king or queen, not from government, but from the Lord God almighty. But if America is going to continue to stand strong, we must first be on our knees." -Senator Ted Cruz, National Day of Prayer statement, May 1,...
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The Tea Party Plan to Shatter the Republic

(42) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 11:10 AM

The point of this essay is not to unpack the origins of the Tea Party, a co-creation of Ron Paul and the Koch brothers which reorganized and re-energized the activist cadres of the religious right, who dominate the movement, and who swept in to take Congress in 2010.


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Tea Party Republican -- Linked Religious Right Leader Calls for 'Military Takeover'

(142) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 9:55 AM

"We estimate that between 28 percent and 34 percent of officers and NCOs (non-commissioned officers) in the U.S. military would either back or be extremely sympathetic to Joyner" -- Mikey Weinstein, founder and head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation

Amidst chaos in Washington, while Republicans in Congress are...

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Ron Paul to Speak at Holocaust Denier's 'Gala Dinner Fundraiser'

(188) Comments | Posted September 6, 2013 | 5:43 PM

In a heated September 5th interview with MSNBC's Alex Wagner, Former U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, who is currently surfing a wave of mainstream media appearances due to his strong criticism of the push from the Obama Administration for U.S. military intervention in Syria, defended his planned September 11th, 2013...

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Billy Graham Prays With Romney but Website Still Indicates Mormonism Is 'Cult'

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2012 | 11:21 AM

After Billy Graham prayed with, and effectively endorsed, Mitt Romney, it was pointed out that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website had an article which openly called Mormonism a "cult." So, the BGEA scrubbed the offending article -- but it missed another that identified Mormons as...

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GOP Convention Blessed By Pastor in Movement That Burns "Unholy" Books and Art

(0) Comments | Posted August 30, 2012 | 3:04 PM

[Note: a related story, from Religion Dispatches editor Sarah Posner, covers Samuel Rodriguez' appearance at the Republican National Convention from outside the frame of his participation in C. Peter Wagner's New Apostolic Reformation]

On Tuesday, the opening night of the Republican National Convention was brought to a...

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Humans and Fire Breathing Dinosaurs? Romney Education Plan Would Fund Bizarre K-12 School Curriculum

(49) Comments | Posted June 27, 2012 | 11:55 AM

" it possible that a fire-breathing animal really existed? Today some scientists are saying yes. They have found large chambers in certain dinosaur skulls... The large skull chambers could have contained special chemical-producing glands. When the animal forced the chemicals out of its mouth or nose, these substances may have...
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Ugandans Pelt 'KONY 2012' Leaders With Rocks, But White House Door Is Open

(4) Comments | Posted April 25, 2012 | 4:18 PM

We are trying to hit as many high schools, churches, and colleges as possible with this movie. We are able to be the Trojan Horse in a sense, going into a secular realm... it's not driven by guilt, it's driven by an adventure and the adventure is God's."
-- Invisible...
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KONY 2012 Effort a Ministry in Antigay Evangelical Barnabas Group, Reports LGBT Rights Nonprofit

(16) Comments | Posted April 10, 2012 | 7:35 PM

Mounting suspicions about the evangelical nature of the Invisible Children nonprofit, which released the blockbuster KONY 2012 viral video hit in early March, have now been confirmed. As reported by the LGBT rights nonprofit Truth Wins Out, in 2007 Invisible Children officially applied to become one of the...

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