The group Return America came to some attention back in 2011 when it was behind a campaign to pass an amendment to North Carolina’s constitution that would ban same-sex marriage (already barred by statute). Pastor Ron Baity is their leader. To rightwing radio host Janet Parshall he explained their motives: “I’m afraid defense is down in our country,” said Baity. That would be the defense against the one who is really behind the move toward marriage equality, Satan himself: “Right now in our economy and everything else we’re experiencing in our nation I don’t think is anything less than God trying to get our attention.”
He has other arguments as well:
- He has implied that gay people are worse than maggots.
- He has compared gay people to murderers.
- He has expressed a wish to “save” gay people so they will “quit being homos.”
- He has claimed that accepting gay people would make society “more filthy”.
- That gay people are embracing a “learned lifestyle,” regardless of what the evidence might say.
- That gay people are not “normal”, implying that being “not normal” is morally wrong.
- That gay people are promoting “perversion” in schools.
- That the LGBT community wants to use their “lifestyles” to “recruit” others toward the “urban renewal program” experienced by Sodom and Gomorrah, since gay peoples’ “pleasure in doing evil” is “the one sin in the Bible that causes God to act swiftly.”
- That gays and gay marriage are signing America's “death warrant”.
- That pedophilia and bestiality are next.
- That we were smarter when homosexuality was prosecuted.
- That, with regard to LGBT activists, “since they cannot produce they must recruit young people to their perverted, warped agenda. One cannot think of anything more nauseating, debased, lewd and immoral than recruiting precious young people into such shameful conduct.”
- That if “a generation endorses same-sex marriage, that generation will be the last generation on the face of the Earth.”
These arguments promptly won Ron Baity a top “pro-family” award from the Family Research Council, personally handed to him by Tony Perkins. The gay community is also behind the Ebola virus, though somewhat indirectly: “We are bringing the judgment of God on this nation,” Baity said. “As sure as Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed, don’t be surprised at the plagues, don’t be surprised at the judgment of God. You think Ebola is bad now? Just wait.”
Baity doesn’t seem particularly keen on just waiting, however. In 2014 he offered his support for Mark Harris in the GOP primary to take on Democratic North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan; Harris’s views on social issues are, by the way, pretty much the same as Baity’s.
Diagnosis: “I don’t like gays, and if you disagree with me, well, I know this really big guy and am confident he’s on my side, and if you continue to disagree with me he’s gonna beat you up.” It’s a venerable type of argument, but most people stop using it at some point in their lives. Baity proudly belongs to the special type of people who didn’t.