Pastor Paul Blair
Pastor Paul Blair
Pastor Paul Blair

Oklahoma Pastor Paul Blair, who recently generated headlines by comparing marriage equality to Nazism and slavery, will offer next Saturday’s session-opening prayer at the Clouds Over America Conference in Oklahoma City. He will then speak to attendees about the “Biblical Principles of Self Defense,” which may refer to a new right wing social media meme that is just as awful as you think it is.

Held at the Character Inn, a conference center run by the Institute in Basic Life Principles, Clouds Over America is sponsored by the Oklahoma chapters of the John Birch Society and Reclaiming America for Christ. Mr. Blair founded Reclaiming America for Christ and has relentlessly promoted it across the state. Past speakers at the organization’s summits have included Rick Scarborough, the anti-gay crank who wants to start a class action lawsuit against gay people; Glenn Beck’s favorite pseudo-historian David Barton, who wants the government to regulate gay sex; and Ken Ham, the creationist who recently debated evolution with Bill Nye.

The venue is not an actual hotel: most rooms lack televisions, and management reserves the right to refuse service to anyone who does not meet their standards of religious devotion. We cannot just dismiss all of this as fringe stuff, however, because the Institute in Basic Life Principles appears to be a mainstream Christian nonprofit organization. And as we reported last week, the John Birch Society appears to have won mainstream acceptance as a conservative organization in Oklahoma. (If you find those words frightening, then you know how we feel about writing them.) The name of the conference is a clue to the pessimism in its program, which includes sessions on “states rights” and “nullification.” These formerly-fringe ideas are emerging themes among mainline conservative activists, who see them as the last line of defense against the dire threats to freedom posed by gay weddings, Obamacare, and the United Nations.

It is in that context that “Biblical Self Defense Principles” sounds very much like an actual call to arms, as if Oklahoma’s conservatives are on the verge of secession over Adam and Steve’s marriage. David Barton has described the topic to Glenn Beck through his customary prism of John Bircher-style “secret history.”

“In the case of the American Revolution, if the Founding Fathers had not been able to take on that illegal British government coming … so for them, it is not a matter of you have too many bullets in your magazine, it’s not whatever the government has, that’s we have got to have the same thing,” he said. “If they have an AK-47 and we only have a bb gun, then that is not a deterrent. The whole purpose of the Second Amendment is to make sure that you have equal power with whatever comes against you illegally. At that point, this is what has to control the gun debate.”

We take this to mean that Barton believes the Second Amendment protects private ownership of surface-to-air missiles, antitank weapons, and heavy artillery guns. If you are planning to go to war against the United States government anytime soon, that is the kind of equipment you will probably need, because even a high capacity magazine in a semiautomatic assault rifle is not going to be enough.

In 2011, Right Wing Watch described Paul Blair as “not just some local pastor mobilized to run for office because of supposed threats from gay activists; he’s a full-blown anti-gay Religious Right activist who is now seeking to turn his radical agenda into state law.” An NFL star before turning to God for a second career, Pastor Blair teaches his flock that 9/11 was God’s judgment and that the marriage equality movement is a satanic communist conspiracy. His speaking style is fire and brimstone, rife with classic paranoid John Bircher themes like Common Core, Agenda 21, creeping Sharia law, and the invisible Marxist cabal scheming against his “freedom” to shut down any speech that is too gay.

We will continue to monitor this story.

Video: Pastor Blair speaks to the Oklahoma Liberty Rally in March, 2013

[youtube]http://youtu.be/EgS6kEeNsFw[/youtube]

  • Sgt. Jeffery Humphrey

    To all those who think this “Biblical Self-defense” rhetoric is merely ego inflation or a convention circuit scheme need to look to the Harper’s 2009 article entitled “Jesus Killed Mohammed”. This is the last down at the 1yrd line play by these people and they have a network within the Military rank structure to back them up. According to Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation they have people (from here on out referred to as sleeper cells, and those are my words) waiting for events to happen they just need the spark. According to internal stats they have atleast 35% of the officer and NCO corp in the military under their wing. So as you see this article makes a non-issue about martial arms the real issue because they DO have access to anti-tank weapons, artillery peices, and even nuclear armaments. Look up the “Jesus Loves Nukes” issue.

    Secondly the issue streches farther then just the Birchers. Organizations like the American Family Ass. Focus on the Family (of which Disgraced Gen. Jerry Boykin is now vice pres), Liberty Council, the American Center for Law and Justice, Eagel Foruml and a number of other RW 501c4s now organize themselves under the secretive Council for National Policey of which members lime Tim LeHaye (Think “Left Behind Series”) and even Eric Prince of Black Water are members. This is a power organizeation related to cStreet and the Dominionist Christian lobby in D.C. They now openly call for their adherents to join local militias which is why I think you have seen the 900% increase in the Patriot Militia Movment since the election of Obama.

    What we have in this country is the hall marks of the real fascist coup funded by the likes of the Kochs Bros and Fox News promoting it. The Tea Party is just the lipstick on the pig if you would forgive the pun. Come 16 May 2014 the “American Spring” protest is going to be the hot op that all other RW protests were the dry run for. That one is being ran not by political talking heads like Beck but ret. 2 and 3 star generals resembling that of the first attempt by corporate money to over throw the presidency of Hoover if it were not the actions of Honorable Military Men like Smedley Butler. And they do have the ground troops do not mistake that, one only needs to look into the 1%ers in uniform and the Oath Keepers.

    We are in the twilight of the republic people and its been a manufactured quiet for the sime purpose of letting the players and pieces to be moved on the boards with little resistance and their aim is nothing less then to rewrite the US Constitution in a Constitutional Convention either through election, which I think they may lack the political power to do, or by force. It is a combined effort of Dominionist Christian machine with corporate backing that is making this a possibility. In this I say one must stay politically active, know your enemy and prepare.

    Long Live the Republic!

    Sgt. Jeffery Humphrey (Honorably Discharged)
    U.S. Army Infantry 1998-2005
    Samarra Iraq 2004-2005
    Purple Heart recipient
    B.A. Philosphy B.A. Theology Western Kentucky University 2011
    Odinist

    P.S. I will post links to claims I have made and as many as I can as time and this Android device lets me.

    • The religious right has made conscious efforts to inflame and exploit Islamophobia ever since they realized that marriage inequality was a losing issue. Thank you for your service to the state, and welcome to the website.

  • Sgt. Jeffery Humphrey
    • Thank you for the links, we are aware of American Spring.

  • Be sure to duck out the back door when the Kool-Aid is served.

  • Jeebus, these people are scary as hell. Watching that video gives me the heebie-jeebies. Blair is a fascist wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross!

  • Hofenbrau

    Thank you for those links Jeffery. Also, thank you for your service. I agree with what you are saying too. These are indeed very scary times. In olden days these guys would have been locked up quick, today however they seem to have plowed through the government by infiltrating into it.

  • maria

    Sgt. Jeffery Humphrey thank you for the many links, I have quite a reading list to go through in the next week. Thank you for your service & for sharing the information you have.

    • Humphrey is totally illogical in equating those who advocate limited government like the Kochs fascists. Fascism advocates for an all-powerful government – the very antithesis of what constitutionalists believe in. Also, far from wanting a constitutional convention and a new constitution, one of the John Birch Society’s main emphases has been to warn against such a convention and a new constitution. The threat to our freedom is from the left who wish to create an all-powerful government.

      • We always find this an intriguing talking point. The Koch brothers spend hundreds of millions of dollars attempting to control all levels of American government for the advancement of their own interests. They empower culture warriors who spend every day trying to impose their peculiar values on every American. And to carry out this program, they offer material support for conspiracy theories in which “liberals” are a straw man that wants to erase the Constitution and replace it with a communist paradise. The only thing missing in your narrative is any shred of actual proof that Sgt. Humphrey, or anyone else for that matter, has any sinister designs on the U.S. Constitution.

        It has rather been our experience that “liberals” want to extend the Constitutional rights that already exist to cover all Americans, regardless of creed or culture, so that no denomination of any religion is preferred over any other. Tearing up the Constitution would seem to run contrary to that ideal, would it not?

  • DillonMstrs

    Are you kidding? The Koch Brother’s father made his money in the Soviet Union (last known as a communist country) helping them develop their oil industry. “And to carry out this program, they offer material support for conspiracy theories in which “liberals” are a straw man that wants to erase the Constitution and replace it with a communist paradise.” Might this be the pot calling the kettle black? Do your research before embarrassing yourself.

    • I don’t think that phrase means what you think it means. “Pot calling the kettle black” would require an accusation that also applies to the accuser. IOW, if I was a billionaire funder of political causes, then I would be the “pot” if I decried the Kochs for being “black kettle” billionaire subsidizers of tea parties. So maybe you’re the one who should learn what certain words and phrases mean before embarrassing themselves?