Marco Rubio’s new director of faith outreach has some thoughts and feelings about gay people

Marco Rubio just hired Eric Teetsel to handle faith outreach for his campaign, and Red State’s Erick Erickson is thrilled.

The Huffington Post explains why:

A prominent young voice among evangelicals, Teetsel was the executive director of the Manhattan Declaration, a 2009 manifesto declaring the “sanctity of life” and marriage signed by more than 550,000 people.

In June, after the Confederate flag came down on the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol in the same week the Supreme Court ruled gay marriage legal in all 50 states, Teetsel lamented on Twitter that the U.S. “traded one symbol of illiberalism and sweeping cultural sin for another.”

Teetsel also blogged at length on First Things following the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, arguing that it was incumbent upon good Christians to “point [LGBT people] toward the better way” after the Supreme Court “bestowed its imprimatur to homosexuality as both an identity and a way of life.”

In short, this guy clearly believes that not only is being gay harmful and sinful, it’s a lifestyle choice that committed Christians can talk you out of. I wonder how that’s gone for him.

Teetsel’s firm belief in Christians’ obligation to convert LGBT people away from their sinful ways meshes well with Marco Rubio’s understanding of “religious liberty” as it’s laid out on his website. In his one-pager, Rubio lays out his vision to “Protect Religious Liberty in the New American Century” that would be much more accurate if it were simply titled “Christians are Better.”

From the very URL of the page ( it’s clear that Rubio’s conception of religious freedom is very, very different from the rest of ours. But it doesn’t end there; as Rubio opens the post (emphasis added), “Religious liberty is the right to live according to your religious teachings and to have the opportunity to spread it to others instill it in your children and live it in your everyday life.” He continues:

Marco Rubio, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Marco Rubio, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Those of us of the Christian faith understand we are called to be Christians in every aspect of our lives and we are called to influence the culture around us.

In the new American Century, we need a president who understands that protecting religious liberty means understanding the Constitutional principles of the right to exercise your faith in every aspect of your life.

If I’m president, we are going to have Supreme Court Justices, who we appoint, that will defend liberty and we’re going to have a Justice Department that will protect ALL Americans from discrimination.

The logical and cultural contortions at work here are as staggering as they are predictable. Not only is Christianity the only religion mentioned in Rubio’s homage to religious freedom, Rubio also alludes to the supposed right for Christians to use their religion as a trump card whenever they see fit — even in the context of government functions or public accommodations. He then closes with the implication that the Supreme Court’s decisions as they pertain to religious freedom — by which he means Obergefell — have discriminated against Christians and that the Justice Department is looking the other way at clear cases of religious persecution against our country’s still-dominant faith.

What’s more, Rubio has previously admitted that being gay is not a choice (while still opposing marriage equality). This being the case, it’s a bit odd that the Christian face of his campaign is someone who believes, rather emphatically, that being gay is absolutely a choice — a dangerous, sinful choice that Christians have an obligation to call out as such.

Christians have the religious freedom to try and spread their faith to others, but those others have the religious freedom to tell Christians to shove off when they do. Believe it or not, “this aspect of your identity is actually a grave sin and you should know better” isn’t a welcoming message, whichever way you slice it.

But it sure does play well in a Republican primary!

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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52 Responses to “Marco Rubio’s new director of faith outreach has some thoughts and feelings about gay people”

  1. Moderator3 says:

    Again, what is the source material?

    His? I don’t think I’ve ever met a man named Amanda.

  2. Kalcen ♛ says:

    Why do you view his post as anti-semitic?

    Is what he posted factually untrue?

  3. Don Chandler says:

    Remember, we are not suppose to be so literal ;)

  4. Moderator3 says:

    I don’t think I will delete this even though your comment is very anti-Semitic. I really am doing this so people can see how deep someone can sink. I hope someone flags this comment. It would help if you would post the source of this material.

  5. amanda sanchez says:

    Okay, about the Jews, Israel and who did what:

    Here is the proof who destroyed the last Temple in Jerusalem 70 AD

    You’ve been brainwashed to think that it was the Romans. An eyewitness to the unfolding events, Josephus saw the destruction very differently. According to Josephus, and I believe him, it was the Pharisee Jews that WANTED the Temple destroyed .

    Josephus was not a traitor to the Levite Priests (Sadducee) of the Jerusalem Temple. He was loyal to them and he was one. He correctly exposes the corruption of the Pharisee Jews (common men), the eternal nemesis of Sadducee in his writings. Jews think him a traitor, but he’s only a traitor in their eyes. Josephus is a hero to those who are born to protect the interests of Torah, the Levite Priests.

    The Pharisee Jews destroyed the Temple and destroyed the house of God, the sanctuary, commanded by God in Torah. There was some RELUCTANT Roman help. There was an exchange: The Romans got the Temple treasury and the Jews got religious control. It was this deal that forced Sadducee into the hands of death and escalated the rebellion of the Jews to create a very new religion, Judaism.

    Why would Pharisee Jews destroy the Temple?
    It’s a rebellion that started hundreds of years before 70AD with the Sadducee/Levite Priests having been chosen by God to minister, to atone, to protect Torah and to govern the Land of Israel. Pharisee Jews felt then as they do now disenfranchised by God, being common men and they figured incorrectly, that by merely studying Torah that this divine knowledge would bring them ‘closer to God’. They think that by being ‘Torah savvy’ that they’re superior to the bloodline of Aaron (who God chose) and would somehow gain them favor with God. They were wrong then and they’re still wrong today.

    After kicking the Pharisee Jews from the land of Israel 1500 years ago, God allowed them to return via ignorant UN leaders decisions.

    Will there be another Temple in Jerusalem under Pharisee Jewish rule?
    No. You must understand why there will never be another sanctuary/Temple under Jewish rule. Its because Jews hate the concept of a Priesthood and King, the entire concept God commands in Torah of rule and leadership. Coupled with a Sanctuary comes the Priests and with the Priest, the common man rabbis lose control of the people.

    For that it was a rebellion of our own that destroyed it (the Temple) and that they were the tyrants among the Jews (Pharisee) who brought the Roman power upon us, who (Romans) unwillingly attacked us, and occasioned the burning of our holy TEMPLE

    Josephus, The Wars.

    “After this, I shall relate the barbarity of the tyrants (Pharisee) towards the people of their OWN nation, as well as the indulgence of the Romans in sparing foreigners and how often Titus, out of his desire to preserve the city and the TEMPLE, invited the rebellion to come to terms of accommodation.”

    Josephus, The Wars.

    The Jewish Rebellion in Writing
    It took the Jews a few hundred years to organize their ‘Oral Traditions/Laws’ into a written document they call Talmud. It was a celebration and culmination of a thousand years of illegal laws under Priestly rule that were in the shadows, when Jews formulated the final version of the new Jewish Religion. Never before was such a document like Talmud allowed and never will such a document be allowed in the Land of Israel, per God. It was created when the Pharisee Jews, with some Roman help, destroyed the guardians of Torah, the Levite Priesthood (or Sadducee at the time) and their home (beit) the Sanctuary. But as God is eternal protector of the Land of Israel from evil, the Jews and their new Talmud were kicked from the Land for over 1500 years only to return now with American help, the most powerful and influential army in the world.

    The Government of Israel
    Israel is being governed like a democracy, but it’s not what God our Creator wants. What God wants is a Theocracy under the watchful guidance of literal Torah as it was for 1500 years from crossing the Jordan up till the destruction of the last temple and the rebellion of the Jews against God.

    The Jewish state, the democratic Jewish state, will not stand the wrath of God. Already, after just 70 tumultuous years, the world is turning its back on the rebels that entered the Land again, claiming to be the chosen People of God. It’s an abomination that this sham continues.

    The Fix, the Fear
    Rest assured there is remedy for the worldwide chaos brought on by the Pharisee Jews: It’s called FEAR. God has used FEAR in the past and its worked wonders to set straight the crooked and align them with the righteous. It’s through FEAR that the Pharisee will flock to the religion of God in droves, begging for forgiveness, for mercy in exchange for their obedience: To swap out their stubbornness and haughty contempt for God for obedience, love and fear for God. I will require it of him should be taken very seriously – DEUTERONOMY 18:19. And it’s not only the Jews that must choose, but all other religions, other than the religion of God, that will need to convert to religion of God or be kicked from the Land of Israel.

    The religion of God THE HEBREWS, is the religion of Moses, detailed in Torah and eternal inheritance of Levite Priests: The religion, which dominated The Land of Israel for 1500 years under the blessings of God.

    Was Europe a better home for Judaism?
    Jews were in fact better off as a people in Europe, safer and free to live their Jewish life the way they have for hundreds of years without much interest in The Land of Israel or its sacredness. But Europe didn’t want them. In fact nobody wanted the Jews and now they’re back in Israel and there’s no escaping their obligations and commitments to an everlasting covenant with God. Europe is not The Land of Israel. Europe doesn’t have Torah commanding its inhabitants to obey God. This is probably why Jews never made much effort getting back to the Land in the 1500-year period since their last expulsion. They came back to the Land because there was nowhere else to go.

    Worried much?
    You should be very concerned about this. It should bring chills to your spine. You shouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing that you’re now living in the Land under God and Torah, in the Land, which God created for a specific religion that you do not observe. The Jews do not obey Torah, the Christians do not obey Torah and the Muslims do not obey Torah. It’s a terrifying prospect to defy God AND claim that you’re obedient.

    Who are the Legal Inheritors of The Land of Israel?
    Anyone from any religion, color or creed, that chooses to give of themselves to the religion of God are, according to God, Legal Inheritors of The Land of Israel. YOU are an inheritor of the Land. If you’re a Levite Priest obeying religion of God, you have no inheritance in the Land. Our inheritance is the Law, Torah and our connection is with God.

    Open your hearts to a life in the Land of Israel as a Legal inheritor of the Land living under the blessings of God, our Creator. Be fruitful and multiply!

    Fight the lies with Truth!


  6. to_tell_the_truth says:

    That’s pretty much how it is in America too. The religious ceremony means nothing to the State. Civil marriage requires not a syllable of ‘God-talk’. And, no religious ceremony – by itself – makes a couple legally married in America, either. It bestows zero of the 1,138 effects that flow from marriage.

    Civil marriage is a ‘Caesar’ thing in America, and it’s time the religious rendered unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.

  7. jackbutler5555 says:

    The country-was-founded-by-Christians folks seem to be stuck in a time warp. Over the many decades, they have resisted efforts to promote tolerance. As they die off, fewer of their offspring will be able to carry on. And as laws evolve, the anti-gay folks will see that locomotive of tolerance speeding down the tracks and will stand between the rails with their arms extended.

  8. Steven Jaeger says:

    Which is why I keep saying we should take marriage out of the hands of the churches and keep it completely civil, Kim Davis not withstanding. If a person then wants a big hunky dory bells and whistles, kneel three times, spit over your left shoulder and stand on your head religious wedding afterwards fine. GO to the church (taxed also- no more tax free garbage) and do it.

  9. GayEGO says:

    But they must smite any who dissent within their religion which is their right but it is not their right to smite any who dissent outside their religion. All of our rights are inalienable and the Christians who act to force their beliefs on those outside their religion are committing alienable acts.

  10. GayEGO says:

    Why not use the word “straights” which is comparable to “gays”. Fortunately there are a lot of straights who side with us, more than not, most of them are not GOPs! :>)

  11. GayEGO says:

    No surprise here, a GOP, the discriminators against LGBTs who cannot keep church and state separate because they have been brainwashed by their religions!

  12. goulo says:

    True, I had not previously noticed that it was only a 2-letter difference! :)

  13. Rick B says:

    As long as the Southern Baptists support segregation they are the bad guy religion. And who was that preacher who wanted to spread cow manure all over his body if his son decided to marry another guy? Definitely, Bad Guy Religion. You know them by their works.

  14. Rick B says:

    Which is why I have learned not to feed the feral cats near my house. Problems.

  15. Rick B says:

    The history of the European religions were largely centered on the identity of a state with an official religion. It unified the state, but was a prescription for war.

    The Jewish Religion was the tribal religious identity of the Jewish tribes who were taken to Babylon in the Captivity. It created a tribal identity so strong that the Roman Legions found they could not conquer the Jews. They had to destroy their tribe and temple. The resulting diaspora created a mostly Greek-speaking tribe of merchants operating in Jewish quarters around the Mediterranean. Paul created a new tribal religion for those of the diaspora.

    Constantine needed an Imperial religion to unify his takeover as Emperor, so he invited Bishops who had been proselytizing non-Jews to Nicaea. Along with collecting the writings of some bishops and publishing them in the official canon, the created a formal religious hierarchy which became the core of a religion that any Roman Citizen could join without giving up tribal identity.

    Religion in Europe has normally been in support of the state in the Jewish and Christian traditions. When the remains of the Roman Empire reformed as competing nations and empires. the respective religious hierarchies also broke up into Protestant (in a variety of flavors) versus Catholic. As long as the religious hierarchy had control of the state military and courts, and based decisions on the state religion, Europe had religious wars. The only way to end those wars was to separate the interests of the religious hierarchies and the state hierarchy (which was more urban and related to the merchants.)

    The writers of the U.S. Constitution were fully aware of the history.

  16. Rick B says:

    Which is why much of Europe applies Napoleonic Law to the issue of marriage. The state declares which “marriages” it will recognize for purposes of law y (especially inheritance and other forms of property ownership and required support of children or some disabled persons) and if people want a religious marriage ceremony that is between the married couple and the religious hierarchy.

    Civil marriage provides a standardized method of predetermining inheritance and family personal support which, without the marriage, would required a preexisting contract written by lawyers.

  17. woodroad34 says:

    Rubio sucking at the Teetsel of religious zealotry, a heterosexual believing in a heterosexual construct….*yawn*

  18. to_tell_the_truth says:

    The image of Kim Davis rubbing up against someone makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

  19. to_tell_the_truth says:

    There’s minimal difference between Sharia law and Scalia law.

  20. to_tell_the_truth says:

    Great come-back. I ‘practiced’ so well, I could have been a concert homosexual.

  21. to_tell_the_truth says:

    Um, most rational folk don’t view two people committing to one another in marriage as an act “against peace and good order”.

    Besides, the topic is civil marriage, no ‘God-talk’ required.

    And, of course, there are also many religions that “teach” that SSMs are a good and holy thing.

    Which, because of the 14th Amendment (and the 1st, if you think about it), means it is NOT “time enough” for government officers to “interfere”, because the government cannot establish the anti-equal marriage religions’ tenets into the secular, civil law. IOW, it cannot interfere with the religious teachings of pro-equal marriage faiths.

    The government isn’t interfering with the anti-equal marriage churches teaching what they want, but their teachings only apply to their adherents. This is something the 1st Amendment protects – on both sides of the issue, not just on the anti-equal marriage side.

  22. to_tell_the_truth says:

    Re: “Teetsel also blogged at length on First Things following the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, arguing that it was incumbent upon good Christians to “point [LGBT people] toward the better way”.

    Talk about hubris! You’re HETEROsexuals, not ‘better-o-sexuals’. Teetsel’s comments create a false division – that there are “good Christians” and … those other people (who apparently don’t count).

  23. Glen Thompson says:

    The Seventh Day Adventists used to call on us early early. One day she asked if I was a practicing homosexual. I just looked at her and stated: “Lady, I’m 64 years old, I don’t need to practice any more.” Gee, haven’t seen her since.

  24. mf_roe says:

    It is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere [in the propagation of religious teachings] when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order.

    — Thomas Jefferson, Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. Papers, 2:546

  25. mf_roe says:

    Might want to rethink the privilege angle, they proclaim it as a Right. Privilege implies a responsibility for meriting special status. Christians need not earn anything, their Faith gives them the Right to smite any who dissent.

  26. BeccaM says:

    Christian privilege on pure jet-fuel. They get the right to do whatever they like, and to proselytize, and nobody else’s beliefs are ever to be tolerated, much less respected.

  27. Butch1 says:

    It appears as though these republicans are in full-throttle retrograde to reverse all of the rights and the laws that we gays have won through the court system if they can do it. If they can gain control of all of the branches of this government and start writing new bills and make them laws, we, the people are going to be very busy in the courts fighting them to get them erased from the books. That will NOT be fun or good if they start placing religious-conservative justices into the Supreme Court either.

    We really need to start reversing this trend and we need to vote the tea-party out of office as well as make sure no republican gets into the White House.

  28. The_Fixer says:

    That’s a perfect response to these people!

  29. Hue-Man says:

    After the calls to kill-the-gays, what’s the penalty for failing to proselytize?

  30. Hue-Man says:

    A neighbor had the god-botherers knocking on his door early Sunday mornings – until he answered the door in his birthday suit.

  31. mf_roe says:

    The clergy,
    by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine
    of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and
    religious rights of man.

    — Thomas Jefferson, to Jeremiah Moor, 1800

  32. Don Chandler says:

    Hey! Toads have feelings too.

  33. mf_roe says:

    Kim Davis ain’t no cat, toad maybe, cat no. (And the rubbing is marking behavior–cats don’t love they ARE)

  34. Don Chandler says:

    Thing to remember, most people invite a cat or dog into their house. And the pet agrees. It’s tacit, but they do accept the terms. Cuppy clearly felt there was some abrogation of terms and was only trying to discuss it with her owners. Authorities didn’t see it that way :( Neither will Rubio’s ilk. Rubio is a first amendment shredder.

  35. The_Fixer says:

    Ha! I remember that story. One has to wonder just what goes on in their little brains sometimes..

  36. Don Chandler says:

    And also, cats can be a problem when they get too insistent:

  37. The_Fixer says:

    Actually, that which I describe is more an instinctive thing, and I am being a little facetious. But having lived with a lot of cats over the years, I know that they do appreciate their human subjects – moreso when there’s food or something that they want involved.

    And that’s where we come back to “Christians” – they’re all friendly when there’s something in it for them.

  38. Don Chandler says:

    The zero’ith commandment: No Thy Limit.

  39. Don Chandler says:

    not bonding?

  40. The_Fixer says:

    Most cats, when rubbing up against you, want to spread their scent onto you as a sign of ownership.

    Not much different than Christians, I think.

  41. Don Chandler says:

    “Those of us of the Christian faith understand we are called to be Christians in every aspect of our lives and we are called to influence the culture around us.”–That is all ewwwwy!

  42. emjayay says:


  43. The_Fixer says:

    Well, he’s got part of this right:

    Religious liberty is the right to live according to your religious teachings and to have the opportunity to spread it to others instill it in your children and live it in your everyday life.

    Yes, you have the right to live according to your religious teachings – provided that one does not run afoul of the law when doing so. This is the part that gives them so much trouble.

    You do not have the right to spread it to me on my property. One warning to leave when I am in an uncharitable mood is all that the curbside prophets will get. Then the police get called. When in a charitable mood, they will get an argument from me, and they have no right to expect any different.

    I also have deep problems with the brainwashing of children into the religious world – but we’ll leave that for another day.

  44. Don Chandler says:

    When a cat rubs up against you, it wants affection or it wants to be close or it wants some food or it might actually love you. When Kim Davis rubs up against you, she wants you to be just like her. Ain’t going to happen.

  45. Don Chandler says:

    It’s Sharia law, except everyone becomes a kim davis–a judgmental, hypocritical, power hungry, attention nut.

  46. MoonDragon says:

    Personallly, I’m always amused by the Church of Idolatry of the Founders (blessed be their names and may their eternal blessings be on real Amurkans – and no one else). The founders were humans, people; flawed, self-interested, fallible products of their time. The nation they established was the result of compromise among men of sometimes profoundly disparate world views. Some were barely Christian (but not fool enough to acknowledge it outright), and, if one reads the dogmas as practiced at the time, even the devout would seem out of step with current conventional Christianity. The brighter among them would have adapted their world views based on new information and changing social realities.

  47. FLL says:

    The Republicans are very much a rump political party at this point. Winning the Republican nomination does not bode well for a candidate’s chances in the general election.

  48. mf_roe says:

    All religion is self interest posing as virtue, ALL.

  49. Indigo says:

    It’s a Them vs Us thing where Them and Us use the same tactics under different names. I call it Biblebeltery vs Sharia but as you say, the difference is too subtle for us (small u-) to grasp.

  50. goulo says:

    Oh, the difference is easy to see! These guys want the Good Guy Religion to have control over everyone, whereas Sharia wants the Bad Guy Religion to have control over everyone!

  51. Sally says:

    Exactly. And if a debate moderator dared pose that very question? He/she’d be tarred and feathered.

  52. MoonDragon says:

    And this differs from Sharia how?

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