Ben Carson Will Attend Iowa “Religious Liberties” Conference Held By Radio Host Who Wants Gays Executed

ben-carson-fncThe 2016 Republican primary field is really, really crowded this year. If you’re a candidate who doesn’t have tens millions of dollars of your own money to spend and you haven’t managed to score some super PAC funding, you really have to fight for every last vote you can get in order to have a chance at the nomination – or even just surviving past Iowa. Dr. Ben Carson is a famous surgeon and he’s pretty well off, but he doesn’t have the backing or finances that candidates like Donald Trump, Scott Walker or Jeb Bush have.


Governor Bobby Jindal is in the same boat as Ben Carson, having raised all of $9 million, much of it from outside funding and very little from direct contributions. However, Jindal as he currently polls wouldn’t make it into the Fox News debates next month, but Ben Carson would. As a result of having such a crowded field and so much competition for specific voter blocs, candidates like Rick Santorum, Ben Carson and Bobby Jindal have had to pander extra hard to their target audience which is far-right evangelical Christians – or as I like to call them, “Duck Dynasty Republicans.” Jindal has worked extra hard on winning this market, especially the Christian homeschooling groups that include the Quiverfull movement made famous by the Duggar family.

One of the main messages these candidates have been hammering home to their audience is that their religious freedom and heritage is under attack by liberals and activist judges. The recent ruling by the Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage is just one example that they point to as proof that Christians are being persecuted in America, and the right-wing Christian media has been having a field day with the persecution message as well.

Among these members of the far-right media is a guy named Kevin Swanson, who according to Right Wing Watch is a radio show host and homeschooling activist who operates out of his basement in Colorado. Kevin Swanson is relatively unheard of outside of his little radio show audience, but he has a long history of making statements about how he believes being gay should be a crime punishable by death, and he’s holding a National Religious Liberties conference this November in Iowa to which he has invited all presidential candidates.

I’m pretty sure that just about all presidential candidates as well as celebrities get sent invites to all sorts of events. Weddings are a hot one; so are birthday parties and other life events. That’s what Kevin Swanson apparently did for his National Religious Liberties conference which warns that “persecution against Christians is on the rise in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, China, Oregon, and Kentucky.” He didn’t just invite Bobby Jindal or other far right candidates, he invited everyone – including, according to his site, Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley.


Most of these candidates’ staff probably looked at the invitation, Googled this guy and promptly sent his email to their trash folder. But out of all these campaigns, two apparently said yes, and those two presidential hopefuls are Louisiana’s governor Bobby Jindal, and Dr. Ben Carson.

Steve Deace, a conservative Iowa radio host who frequently interviews GOP presidential candidates and is scheduled to speak at Swanson’s conference, spoke with Swanson about the conference last week and announced just that Ben Carson has already agreed to attend the event and that “Bobby Jindal is planning on being there.”

Deace’s statement followed a warning from Swanson that millions of American Christians will soon end up in prison because of advances in gay rights.

Indeed, the conference website lists Carson as a confirmed speaker.

We contacted the Carson campaign for comment but have yet to hear back.

As we’ve mentioned, Swanson’s record of extremism is truly unmatched.

Swanson, who hosts a daily “Generations Radio” broadcast from his basement in Colorado, not only believes gay people and their allies should be put to death, but also thinks that women are causing floods by wearing pants. (Source)

Right Wing Watch then goes on to point out a myriad of other incredibly strange and hateful statements that Kevin Swanson has made, such as how he believes working women hate their families, that are often repeated as fact on the far right. These are not the beliefs of just one weirdo hosting a radio show out of his basement, these are ideas of an element of the electorate that candidates are actively pandering to with the hope of winning early states like Iowa and South Carolina.

Now it is important to point out that this has not been officially confirmed by either the Jindal or Carson campaign. However, considering the fact that both candidates have taken a very hard right stance on social issues including gay rights, this is more than likely true. Few campaigns have made religious liberty the central theme of their platform like Bobby Jindal has, and Dr. Ben Carson has made a series of bizarre statements about the LGBT community that Kevin Swanson undoubtedly agrees with.

As we get closer to the Iowa caucuses, expect the rhetoric to ratchet up to a fever pitch. Back when I was a kid, the Republican Party at least made an effort to keep the lunatics in check, but now they let them drive the bus.



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  • Jillz

    Then perhaps Carson is running for President in the wrong country because gays have rights in the United States!

  • Florencio Villanueva

    Also in Christian countries in Africa.