Extreme right-wing preacher Bradlee Dean must pay the court costs of cable news host Rachel Maddow, Minnesota reporter Andy Birkey, MSNBC, and defunct website The Minnesota Independent, a Washington, D.C. judge has ruled.
Dean’s You Can Run But You Cannot Hide ministry sued Maddow, Birkey, MSNBC, and the Independent last July for slander, and sought damages of $50 million. Though Dean’s attorney confidently predicted that the suit would end Maddow’s career, it appears the suit is not going as well for Dean as he expected.
Dean’s ministry will have to pay $24,625.23 in court and attorneys’ fees. While the suit has not yet been dismissed, legal experts have found the case to be largely without merit.
Dean rose to prominence in Minnesota after founding his own “rock and roll” ministry. His group has proudly admitted to using deception to gain access to public schools in order to preach to children. The ministry preaches an extremely conservative version of Christianity, arguing in favor of proscribed gender roles, against homosexuality, and against the separation of church and state. Nevertheless, the group has received support from prominent Minnesota Republicans, including Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and former Secretary of State and current State Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake.
Dean received opprobrium after giving the invocation at the Minnesota House of Representatives, in which he questioned the religious faith of President Barack Obama. House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, struck Dean’s appearance from the record, later telling the House, “I am offended at the presence of Bradlee Dean on the floor of the Minnesota House of Representatives. I denounce him, his actions and his words. He does not represent my values or the values of this state.”
In his lawsuit, Dean said that Maddow and Birkey took him out of context when they used a quote from his radio show:
Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America. This just shows you 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 is an abomination … If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that.
Dean denies that he supported violence against homosexuals.
What comes next for Dean is anyone’s guess. While his lawsuit appears to be dead in the water, Dean has been very good at using controversy to support himself. But it’s questionable whether major political figures, even ones as extreme as Bachmann, will be fundraising for Dean anytime soon.
Image Source: Minnesota House of Representatives