Now that the Supreme Court has ended the discriminatory ban on marriage rights for gay people, The Raw Story is curious to see the relative accuracy of various prophesies conservatives have advanced in recent months surrounding legal gay marriage's impact on the country. These dire predictions include, but are not limited to, holy war, secession movements, and mass emigration to other lands, by the millions.
What follows is a list of six conservative leaders with influence in religious, political, or media spheres -- and the crazy things they have said will happen now that gay people are legally allowed to get married. How likely do these predictions sound to you?
1. Rick Scarborough
A Texas pastor with influence in conservative political spheres, Scarborough says a Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage could -- by criminalizing Christianity -- fill the nation's prisons up with men of the cloth.
Scarborough has further threatened to light himself on fire.
"No matter what the cost, we are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and we will burn," Scarborough says of evangelicals' reaction to legal gay marriage in the United States. "The preachers need to get out front, the leaders need to get out front, out front of these ordinary citizens and say, ‘Shoot me first.’”
Scarborough predicts an uptick pastor arrests will stretch the capacity of law enforcement. Authorities "better have a lot of prisons and jails" to keep up with demand, Scarborough says.
2. Glenn Beck
Beck, a prolific peddler of right-wing conspiracy, tells listeners of his radio show that a ruling in favor of equal citizenship rights for married couples -- regardless of sexual orientation -- means a persecution of Christians so severe, the faithful will be forced to go underground.
“Persecution is coming... I mean serious prosecution," Beck warns. "Mark my words... If gay marriage goes through the Supreme Court and gay marriage becomes fine and they can put teeth in it, so now they can go after the churches, 50 percent of our churches will fall away, meaning the congregations. Within five years, the congregations, 50 percent of the congregants will fall away from their church because they won’t be able to take the persecution.”
Beck says his own church might have to shut down, or hold worship services in private residences.
"The stigma of going to church will be too much," according to Beck, "and people won’t want to risk their jobs, their livelihoods or their reputations."
In protest, Beck says he will emulate Martin Luther King and launch a series of demonstrations.
Describing his post-court ruling plans, Beck says, "I'm going to begin where Martin Luther King began. On August 28, I'm going to be in Birmingham, Alabama in a church just down the street from where Martin Luther King began his historic stand against Bull Connor... We are going to begin to gather like-minded people and we are going to begin to train ourselves for non-violent resistance and civil disobedience."
3. James Dobson
Dobson, who founded right-wing advocacy group Focus on the Family, says legalizing gay marriage could lead to civil war or the general downfall of the United States.
“Talk about a Civil War, we could have another one over this," Dobson tells fellow anti-gay activists in a conference call this spring. “I really believe if what the Supreme Court is about to do is carried through with, and it looks like it will be, then we’re going to see a general collapse in the next decade or two. I just am convinced of that."
4. Joseph Farrah
Conservative media personality Joseph Farrah predicts millions of Americans will emigrant, or stay and demand secession.
"I’ve heard some chatter about civil disobedience," Farrah says, of evangelical Christian plans following a Supreme Court ruling making gay marriage the law of the land. "That’s all well and good. But I don’t see much in the way of serious organization taking place."
Farrah urges sycophants to "pull up stakes and move to another country that honored the institution of marriage as it was designed by God – a union between one man and one woman."
If international relocation is not an option, Farrah calls on his followers to rebel against the Union. "Is there one state in 50 that would not only defy the coming abomination, but secede in response?" Farrah asks. "The rewards could be great. I would certainly consider relocating. How about you?"
5. Cindy Jacobs
Televangelist Cindy Jacobs warns gay marriage as a legal practice could increase the country's supply of natural disasters.
Jacobs claims Hurricane Katrina was divine punishment that the residents of New Orleans could have saved themselves from if they had listened to her prophecies before the rains came: “I mean I don’t want [natural disasters] to come, it’s not like I’m saying ‘oh great they’re coming,’ but the point is a prophet has to say what is to come, it’s like you’re reporting. We have displeased the Lord and the earth is going to answer,”
6. Sandy Rios
Rios, the director of governmental affairs for the American Family Association, urges Christians to be ready for holy war in the event of legal gay marriage in the United States.
Should the Supreme Court rule in favor of gay rights, Rios tells a gathering of sympathetic activists, "every single person in this room is going to be forced to make a choice, and I’m just telling you: Even if you don’t want to engage in this battle, you will and your people will, and you’d better stand.”
“You must prepare for martyrdom,” Rios announces. “I don’t know what it’s going to look like, but it’s coming.”