A lawsuit seeking in excess of $50 million has been prepared against MSNBC and its talk-show entertainer Rachel Maddow over statements she made about a Minnesota-based ministry.
Word of the development comes in an announcement from the YouCanRunButYouCannotHideInternational ministry run by former rock artist Bradlee Dean.
The attorney handling the case is Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and now of Freedom Watch, who said money is not the issue.
“This case is filed as a matter of principle,” he said. “We need more Bradlee Deans in the world and hateful left wing television commentators must be made to respect not only his mission but the law.”
The team announced a news conference tomorrow at the Midtown Executive Club in New York to respond to reporters’ questions about the dispute.
Dean, a renowned hard metal rocker who became a Christian after suffering a hard life as a young boy, has dedicated his life to his ministry’s mission, the group said.
He once made a statement on the radio criticizing his fellow Christians for not taking a stronger stand about the “gay” rights lobby promoting homosexuality in schools. According to the ministry announcement, he made a strong reference to Muslims taking the issue more seriously than Christians, referring to Islamic law, but did not condone their practices. It was Bradlee’s intent to focus attention on the issue, not to advocate harm to anyone, the statement said.
Despite the clear statement by Dean on his ministry’s website and elsewhere that he was not calling for the execution of homosexuals, according to the announcement, “MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and others seized on and accused Dean on her show of supporting the killing of homosexuals, as is the practice in some radical Islamic countries. This seriously has harmed Dean and the ministry, who pride themselves on respect and love for all people.”
The ministry announcement said, “In an interview earlier this year, MSNBC’s president Phil Griffin admitted that the network, to boost its ratings, caters to the so-called ‘progressive left.’ This explains the malicious attacks on Bradlee Dean and his ministry, which are being used to harm the presidential campaign of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who is a conservative Christian.”
The organization noted that Dean and his ministry have been complimented by presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., for their promotion of values for the nation’s youth.
“The left wing media’s effort to defame Dean is an obvious way to try to harm Bachmann’s presidential prospects,” the group said.
An earlier report from the ministry said Maddow contended on her program that Dean said: “The Muslims are calling for the execution of homosexuals in America. This was just released yesterday and it shows you that they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God. But they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality’s an abomination. If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that.”
The quote, however, was an edited version of Dean’s original message, which was a benign warning to the homosexual community that the Bible calls the behavior a sin, which has consequences, so they should “flee” from it. Dean explains he was only trying to urge the Christian community to take the radical leftist homosexual agenda more seriously.
According to Dean’s ministry, his actual statement was:
Muslims are calling for the execution for homosexuals in America, this was just released yesterday and it shows you that they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible, the Judeo Christian God. They seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do. Because these people are livid about enforcing their laws, they know homosexuality is an abomination. And I continually reach out to the homosexual communities on this radio show, and I warn them, which ones love? Here you have Obama condemning it behind the backs of the homosexuals but to their faces he’s promoting it. I say this to my gay friends out there the ones that continuously nitpick everything I say. Hollywood is promoting immorality and the God of the Heavens in Jesus names is warning you to flee from the wrath to come, yet you have Muslims calling for your execution. If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that’s what you’re seeing in America today. Read Leviticus 26 America.
Klayman told WND that the original distortion of the comments was made by writer Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent, who headlined a story “GOP-linked punk rock ministry says executing gays is ‘moral’.”
The ministry wrote to the newspaper to correct the impression, and Birkey noted Dean’s statement that, “We have specifically rejected, as all Christians do, the Islamic doctrine, and actual practice, of executing homosexuals. But some have claimed, in effect, that by merely mentioning the execution of homosexuals (as a criminal practice of Islam), on our radio broadcast, we have suggested it for consideration. Obviously this is absurd. The whole point was to contrast the Islamic position with the Christian position. This may not have been as clear as we would have otherwise planned it to be. Live radio is not scripted. But everyone who knows us knows that this is our position because we have stated it consistently for years.”
But since the Independent report and its followup, Klayman noted, the original accusation has spread. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune said Dean’s comments were “read as advocating executions for gay people,” KARE- TV in Minneapolis reported his “controversial statements about gay persons,” and the City Pages said Dean “has praised religious extremists who execute suspected homosexuals.”
ABC jumped into the fray with a blog comment that Dean “has suggested homosexuals be executed.”
Activist sites such as Rightwingwatch took it even further, stating Dean said “that Muslim nations that execute gays are more moral than American Christians.”
State Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party Rep. Karen Clark accused Dean of saying that “extremists who call for the execution of American gays are morally justified.”
A WND request to Maddow’s program for comment did not generate a response.
But MSNBC contacted WND after a news conference by Klayman and Dean to discuss their action and stated, “This suit is baseless and we stand by our reporting.”
You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, founded by Dean, has reached more than 500,000 young people with a message of truth and hope across the country. His message focuses on basic constitutional issues. He’s also spoken at churches, festivals, prisons, detention centers and on radio and television programs.
Dean also is drummer for Junkyard Prophet, which has sold over 40,000 albums in the Minneapolis area alone. Bradlee is endorsed by world-class companies such as Sonor, Buttkickers, Beatnik (including his own signature drum pad), Hornet Drumsticks (including his own signature sticks) and Soultone Cymbals.
The antagonism against Dean heated up again in just the last few weeks after he, by invitation, delivered a prayer to open the House session at the Minnesota Legislature.
The Associated Press accused Dean of making “derogatory remarks about gay people,” though Dean’s prayer made no reference to homosexuality.
The AP explained how the House in Minnesota instructs ministers on the content of their prayers, noting they must be “ecumenical” as well as “interfaith.”
Dean insisted that his prayer was not on behalf of any denomination but on behalf of Christians.
“The head of the denomination is Jesus, as every president up until 2008 has acknowledged,” he said.
Dean has said he believes he is being unfairly used as a scapegoat by elements of the radical leftist gay community, such as Maddow, to harm Bachmann’s presidential campaign.