Last Satuday, Rick Perry — long-term Texas governor, evangelical Christian, and expected GOP presidential hopeful — hosted “The Response,” a religious revival in Houston for “a nation in crisis.” Among the prominent Christians whose support is being trumpeted by event organizers: Oklahoma City-based pastor John Benefiel, who heads up the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network. Here’s what Benefiel thinks about the Statue of Liberty: “You know where we got it from? French Freemasons. Listen, folks, that is an idol, a demonic idol right there in the middle of New York Harbor.”
Homosexuality is a great way to control the population. Do you understand? I’m serious about this and I’ve seen this in lots of places, that the entity that we call the Illuminati which is really over, above Free Masonry, has stated it as their goal…to limit the world population to no more than 500 million. Do you realize that means getting rid of all of us? Because there’s between 6 and 7 billion people in the world today, and to get from 6 to 7 billion down to 500 million you gonna have to kill a lot of people off. What do you think the health care bill is? Oh yes, it’s a death culture. What about homosexuality, that’s a great way to limit the population. It’s not a great way it’s a perverted way, isn’t it.
All this has been known for a long time. Yet Benefiel’s name and photo still sit on The Response’s web site along with other “endorsers.”
I’ve reported before about the normalization of conspiracy theories in the evangelical, Tea Party fringe of the Republican Party. The fact that an allegedly mainstream GOP contender like Perry would publicly flaunt the endorsement of an out-and-out homophobic wing nut and conspiracy theorist like Benefiel suggests that Black Helicopters are continuing to find plenty of landing pads in America’s Republican heartland.