September 2008

Doing Away With VAWA

Apparently, tomorrow the Eagle Forum and RADAR [Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting] are co-hosting an all-day event entitled “The Conflict between Federal Domestic Violence Policies and Traditional Family Values” [PDF] at The Heritage Foundation that will focus on how to do away with the Violence Against Women Act: . 

The Violence Against Women Act, which now costs the federal government $1 billion a year, has spawned an industry that undermines Constitutional protections, thwarts welfare reform, weakens military readiness, fosters immigration fraud, and is harmful to families. This conference will probe how to rein in a federal law that increasingly encroaches on the personal lives of millions of Americans.

Just check out the forum’s agenda:

9:30
Feminist Fatherphobia and Domestic Violence
Phyllis Schlafly – Eagle Forum

10:00
How Marriage Protects Against Domestic Violence
Robert Rector – Heritage

10:45
How Domestic Violence Policies Weaken Families and Harm Children
Stephen Baskerville, PhD – Patrick Henry College
Foundation

11:15
VAWA: Victimizing All Taxpayers Act?
Benjamin Foster, PhD, CPA – University of Louisville College of Business

11:45
Impact on Military Readiness
Elaine Donnelly – Center for Military Readiness

It’s easy to understand that “marriage protects against domestic violence” provided that you share Schlafly’s view that wives cannot be raped by their husbands.

More Layoffs at Focus on the Family

Has Focus on the Family been promoting abortion or the homosexual agenda?  Because, as everyone knows, that is what is responsible for our current economic crisis.  What else could explain the fact that Focus has to lay off nearly fifty employees:

Focus on the Family has announced a restructuring within its distribution arm that will affect 46 employees through layoffs or reassignment.

Over the last several years, Focus has experienced a significant decline in its sales of books, CDs and DVDs because of competition from online retailers and large retailers like Wal-Mart.

The restructuring is tied to Focus' partnership with Christian Book Distributors, which will take over its product distribution, according to a news release from Focus.

"We are accountable to our donors to spend their money in the most cost-effective and productive manner possible," Focus Chief Operating Officer Glenn Williams said in a statement. "It is certainly heartbreaking that in this case fulfilling that duty means having to say goodbye to some members of our Focus family, but industry realities really leave us no alternative."

This comes on top of last year’s round of lay offs, in which Focus was forced to shed thirty employees.  If this isn’t proof that  abortion, weak families, and the homosexual agenda are destroying our economy, I don’t know what is.;

James Dobson’s Special Election Message

Focus on the Family is getting involved in House and Senate races in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas, sending out scorecards in which Republican candidates are praised for their “consistently pro-life and pro-family records” and the Democrats are blasted for having “taken audaciously liberal positions – particularly on life and marriage.” 

The text of all the mailers are more or less the same, with the exception of the paragraphs about the specific candidates – here is the text of the one targeting the Minnesota Senate Race [PDF]:

It’s not every day that individuals find themselves in a position to significantly impact the direction of an entire nation, but that’s exactly where you are today. As a Minnesota voter, you are right in the middle of one of the most important and closely watched Senate races in the country.

The stakes in this contest could not be higher. If Barack Obama wins the White House—a very real possibility—the U.S. Senate will be the last defense against his liberal agenda on abortion and marriage. Sen. Obama has already promised to support the Freedom of Choice Act, which would overturn every pro-life law on abortion in the nation. He has also pledged to abolish the Defense of Marriage Act and to allow open homosexuality in our military. The only hope of stopping this radical onslaught will be a strong showing of commonsense conservatives in the Senate.

A conservative Senate will be no less important under a McCain presidency. If John McCain should emerge victorious in November, he’ll need every Senate vote he can get to confirm Supreme Court judges who will uphold the Constitution and restore sanity to our courts.

That’s why Minnesota’s Senate race is so critical. The contrast between the candidates is sharp. Norm Coleman has maintained a stellar pro-life record and a generally pro-family record in the U.S. Senate. Al Franken, on the other hand, has not only taken strikingly liberal positions since returning to Minnesota, but his comedic record in New York is an embarrassment to those who
care about family values.

Please take a careful look at the issue checklist to the right. It contains details regarding the candidates’ stands on life, marriage and the judiciary, as well as insights on other issues that are important to families—such as gas prices and the threat of higher taxes.

Furthermore, Focus has also customized each mailing … seemingly using backdrops leftover from the 1970’s:

Some Concerned Advice for Palin

Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women for America is quite proud of her PhD, proclaiming herself “a recognized authority on sex trafficking, the United Nations, U.S. domestic issues, as well as national and international cultural, children's and women's concerns.”  Of course, it turns out that her PhD is actually in Communication Theory from the State University of New York at Buffalo, so how that makes her an expert on sex trafficking is hard to understand.

But now comes a situation in which her PhD is actually relevant and so she is offering debate advice to Sarah Palin:

Dr. Janice Crouse, political commentator for Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, is an expert on presidential communication.  The former presidential speechwriter (Bush 41) said, “In a move distinctly different from Eisenhower’s abandonment of Richard Nixon when he got in trouble with the press, John McCain (R-Arizona) invited Palin to his ranch in Sedona, Arizona, where she will spend two days preparing for the debate — thus sending a signal of his continued support for his veep pick and providing a haven where she will be able to regroup from the vicious attacks and regain her confidence before she faces the ultimate test of her candidacy.”

How chivalrous of McCain to protect Palin from the mean old press so that she can cram for a few days before her big test.  And what expert advice does Crouse have for her?

(1)   First and foremost, be yourself, and remember — as Thomas Paine wrote in Common Sense — we are endowed with the intelligence to equip us for self-governance: the colonists didn’t need a monarch to rule them, Reagan didn’t need State Department geeks to tell him how to win the Cold War, and you don’t need inside-the-beltway pundits to tell you how to be Vice President.  Your life experiences and intuition equip you just fine for the job.

(2)   You don’t have to know everything or be an expert in foreign affairs; you are training for a debate, not a television quiz show like Jeopardy.  If you duck and dodge like the vast majority of Washington pols, you will not retain the public’s admiration (52 percent favorability rating even after all the attacks).

(3)   Counter Sen. Joe Biden’s (D-Delaware) phony talk about his blue-collar background with the facts regarding the elitism of the leftist ticket, focusing on Sen. Obama’s (D-Illinois) extreme voting record, his radical friends and associates, and the extraordinary number of Obama earmarks in his short Senate tenure.

(4)   Push your actual executive decision-making experience in contrast to Obama’s appalling number of “present” votes during his Senate tenure.

(5)   Emphasize the role of Frank Raines (Obama’s financial advisor) and the leftist Congress in the current financial crisis.

(6)   Last, your primary job is to convince the public that you can be trusted, that you are honest, and that you are authentic.  The election, ultimately, will depend on the public’s assessment of the candidates’ trustworthiness — especially in this time of national upheaval over the national financial crisis.

Because nothing will demonstrate Palin’s honesty and authenticity and show that she can be trusted quite like engaging in thoroughly bogus attacks about earmarks and Obama’s advisors.

Will “Chaps” Swing The Election?

Last week we wrote about Gordon Klingenschmitt’s – or, as he’s known to his allies, “Chaps” - latest crusade to save the jobs of several police chaplains in Virginia who, he says, were forced to resign by Gov. Tim Kaine after they refused to stop offering prayers in Jesus’ name.  Of course, that was not the case at all, as both Kaine and Virginia State Police Superintendent Steven Flaherty pointed out – but that doesn’t matter to Klingerschmitt who knows an opportunity for self-aggrandizement when he sees one and has now organized a press conference with a variety of other Religious Right C-list activists who are threatening to hold a rally and swing the election if they don’t get their way:  

PRESS CONFERENCE DETAILS:

WHO: Bishop Gerald O. Glenn (Apostle, Church of God in Christ, Who's Who In Law Enforcement), Victoria Cobb (The Family Foundation of Virginia), Mark Goodell (Christian Coalition of Virginia), Rev. Rob Schenck (National Clergy Council), Former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt (The Pray In Jesus Name Project), and all pastors in Virginia are invited to attend and briefly address the media.

WHEN: 1:00 pm EST, Wednesday, 1 October 2008.

WHERE: General Assembly Building, 1000 E. Broad St, Richmond, Virginia (First Floor Press Room near House Room C).

WHAT: Prominent Christian leaders in Virginia will address the media, revealing a letter they presented to Gov. Kaine last Friday in which 86 Virginia Pastors vowed to mobilize their people to vote, in response to the Kaine Administration’s verbal ban on public prayer "in Jesus' name," which forced 6 State Police Chaplains to resign.

Copies of the letter, with the names of 86 pledging Virginia Pastors, (and the details of what they want), will be available to all press or media personnel who personally attend on October 1st. All others may view the letter (on October 2nd) at www.PrayInJesusName.org

Depending on Gov. Kaine’s response to this letter, the unified Pastors are contemplating bringing their churches together for a state-wide prayer-rally to honor the chaplains, entitled "Virginia, Stand Up For Jesus," on November 1st at 10am at the Capitol Square Bell Tower, (900 Bank Street), Richmond, within earshot of the Governor’s Mansion, just three days before the election.

"This could impact the national election, since Virginia is such a close race," said Former Navy Chaplain Klingenschmitt. "These 86 Pastors pledged to mobilize their people to vote accordingly, so the courage of these six Police Chaplains who were forced to resign because they prayed 'in Jesus name,' could turn America's head on November 4th. Just imagine if all churches in Virginia united at a prayer-rally to Stand Up For Jesus on November 1st, near the Governor's mansion. But first, we'll wait to see how Gov. Kaine responds to our letter."

I can tell Klingenschmitt that Kaine will probably say what he’s been saying all along: that he “gave no directive to the state police; there is no mandate prohibiting police chaplains from mentioning Jesus Christ. No one has lost their jobs or positions because of this.”  

So Klingenschmitt, Schenck, and the others ought to just save themselves the trouble of hosting their little press conference and get right to work on planning their extremely influential rally.

The Right-Wing Solution to Our Economic Crisis

Last week, we noticed Tony Perkins blaming the current financial crisis on a “breakdown in the family” and the idea that social issues are somehow behind our current economic woes seems to be gaining traction among the Right.

Today, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel blasted Google’s opposition to California’s Proposition 8 by declaring that it will hurt their bottom line and cited WaMu and Wachovia, which both failed recently, as evidence:

"Google should focus on technology instead of warring against marriage and family values held by the majority of people worldwide," said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of the Liberty University School of Law. "Marriage between a man and a woman is the norm throughout the world. Google executives should be searching for ways to make the Internet more usable rather than promoting a radical redefinition of marriage.

"Companies that promoted anti-family policies have learned the hard way that such policies are bankrupt," Staver continued. "K-Mart learned its lesson several years ago. Washington Mutual and Wachovia, both of which actively promoted the homosexual agenda, have come to realize that anti-family policies will bankrupt the bottom line."

Maybe instead of fighting over a bailout of Wall Street, Congress should just outlaw the homosexual agenda, since that is obviously what is causing our current economic panic.  

But OneNewsNow informs us that there is some good news to come out of all the chaos:

A well-known pastor and author says the current economic crisis facing the United States should be a wake-up call for Americans to turn to Christ.

Dr. Charles Stanley is pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia, and founder of In Touch Ministries. He says there is no question that America needs a spiritual awakening -- and he believes the ongoing economic woes could cause some in the country to turn to the God of the Bible.

"When God gets a hold of Americans' money -- whatever messes with our money gets people's attention, but we need enough heartache that drives us to God," Dr. Stanley contends.

Now if only Congress would start listening to the Religious Right instead of all those egghead economists and just get Americans to turn to Christ, stop having abortions, and defeat the homosexual agenda, all of our economic problems would be solved.

On the Cover of the Rolling Stone

One of Mike Huckabee's not-so-hidden talents was skill on the electric bass. Unfortunately for him, his muscial career didn't pan out so he was forced to find another line of work behind the pulpit and eventually in public office.  But that doesn't mean he had to give up his dream of appearing on the cover of music magazines:

Was Drake Freelancing?

Last week we wrote a few posts about the Alliance Defense Fund's "Pulpit Initiative," which took place over the weekend, and Pastor Wiley Drake's planned participation in the effort that so that he could endorse his own campaign

The event unfolded as planned and Drake was featured prominently in the press coverage but we've noticed something odd: the ADF has issued a press release trumpeting their efforts and accompanied it with a list of the 31 pastors [PDF] who took part and you'll notice that Drake's name is nowhere to be found.

Was Drake an official participant in the ADF's scheme or was he just using it as an opportunity to get some press coverage for himself? 

It doesn't really matter either way, because he and several of the other pastors who participated got what they wanted, now that Americans United has complaints filed against them.

FOF Issues an Apology, Eventually

It has now been more than two weeks since it was reported that vendors at the Values Voter Summit were selling the offensive "Obama Waffles" and Focus on the Family's Jim Daly, who spoke at the event  which his organization also co-sponsored, is just finally getting around to issuing an apology ... while saying that FOF had nothing to do with it and blaming the Family Research Council:

You should know we were appalled by the product, and embarrassed that it was sold at an event bearing our name. Although we did not have direct responsibility for reviewing or approving vendors for the Values Voter event (that was the duty of the chief sponsor, Family Research Council Action, which has acknowledged its mistake), the truth is we should have done more to ensure the appropriateness of the displays. We apologize for our failure to do so in this instance, and have already taken steps to ensure similar things do not happen again — either in our event sponsorship or in our ministry alliances.

You should also know that Dr. Dobson had absolutely nothing to do with the product, despite some misleading media reports he cited in his radio broadcast. The truth is, Dr. Dobson was 3,000 miles away working on his latest book when the Values Voter Summit was held — and he only heard about “Obama Waffles” when references to them turned up in the news with Focus’ name attached. When he learned of the product, he was outraged by its ugly, racial stereotypes.

Racism is a blight on the American conscience. As Christians, we must also call it what God calls it: sin. Those who speak or act in racist ways, such as those who engage in any form of sin, must seek restoration through prayer and, of course, full repentance.

It is disturbing, even if not surprising, that we have seen an increase in racist public statements coinciding with Sen. Obama becoming the first African-American to win a major party’s presidential nomination. Racism is always deeply hurtful and offensive; but in the midst of a presidential race, it also detracts from the kind of substantive debate needed in the public square. It has no place even at the fringes of our political discourse.

Let me reassure you again that Focus on the Family Action will do everything in its power to prevent another such unacceptable situation in the future.

More on Gambling and the Religious Right

Just a few hours ago I wrote about the DNC efforts to highlight John McCain's ties to the gambling industry and target that message at Religious Right voters who vehemently oppose gambling and consider it a sin. 

Now, on a related note, Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post has a piece up about Freedom's Watch, noting that "in the past 10 days, [it] has dropped more than $1.6 million on ads in six House races and two Senate contests" as part of its effort to help Republican candidates. The man behind the organization is Sheldon Adelson, the third richest man in America who just so happened to make his fortune as a Las Vegas casino mogul and, as Cillizza reports, the Religious Right is not happy about his efforts:

Democrats have sought to make Adelson an issue in their response to Freedom's Watch's activities and, in Alabama's 2nd district, got a boost from the state Christian Coalition today.

"Sheldon Adelson does not share our values as Alabamans, and Freedom's Watch's underhanded attack ads do nothing but cheapen the political discourse in this state," said Dr. Randy Brinson, president of the Alabama Christian Coalition. "Where Adelson has placed his treasure makes it quite clear where his heart is: in gambling and in backing the regime in China that persecutes Christians."

For the record, The Christian Coalition of Alabama broke with the national Christian Coalition last year and now goes by the name Christian Action Alabama. But before the name change, they were the ones who were duped into accepting gambling funds by Ralph Reed as mentioned in the previous post.  

According to the recent New York Times article on McCain's ties to the industry, there were concerns that his gambling forays might create the appearance of impropriety and alienate the base, which McCain dismissed:

For much of his adult life, Mr. McCain has gambled as often as once a month, friends and associates said, traveling to Las Vegas for weekend betting marathons. Former senior campaign officials said they worried about Mr. McCain’s patronage of casinos, given the power he wields over the industry. The officials, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on condition of anonymity.

“We were always concerned about appearances,” one former official said. “If you go around saying that appearances matter, then they matter.”

The former official said he would tell Mr. McCain: “Do we really have to go to a casino? I don’t think it’s a good idea. The base doesn’t like it. It doesn’t look good. And good things don’t happen in casinos at midnight.”

“You worry too much,” Mr. McCain would respond, the official said.

Considering that the Religious Right is willing to publicly blast Adleson's political efforts because of the source of his wealth, it seems that it might have been prudent of McCain to have paid a little more attention to the concerns of the base on this issue.