November 2009

Scarborough: Anti-Gay Activists Are Just Like MLK

As something of a follow-up to my last post, Rick Scarborough just issued yet another press release about the upcoming press conference challenging hate crimes legislation in which he compared those participating in the event to Martin Luther King:

On October 28, President Barack Obama signed into law a measure extending the federal hate crimes statute to include so-called sexual orientation. The ministers believe this will criminalize all criticism of homosexual behavior, including that contained in the Bible.

To test this belief and protest a clear violation of First Amendment freedom of speech and religion, various clergy will preach short sermons and read passages from the Bible regarding homosexual behavior. Like Dr. Martin Luther King and the Sixties Civil Rights movement, they will engage in civil disobedience to protest injustice.

On a semi-related note, here's another short clip of Scarborough on Janet Porter's radio program saying what while President Obama was "so careful in choosing his words and calling for caution" after the shooting at Fort Hood, "he threw all that to the wind when George Tiller was shot in his church ... There was no hesitancy in this particular presidency to immediately assume that there were conspirators ... There was a quick jump to judgment in that issue":

For the record, here is President Obama's statement on the murder of Tiller:

I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.

Right Wing Anti-Hate Crimes Protest Picks Up More Support

It looks like the fringe right-wing press conference to challenge hate crimes legislation keeps picking up more support, as Rick Scarborough went on Janet Porter's radio program yesterday to discuss it and Porter pledged to join them in standing outside of the Department of Justice as they seek to get arrested for preaching the Bible. 

According to the program, Porter, Scarborough and the others will also be joined by Matt Barber and Gordon Klingenschmitt (as well as Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance.)

In the audio clip below, Scarborough explains that he was the one who initiated this plan to challenge the recent expansion of hate crimes laws to cover sexual orientation was , saying they seek to "force the hand of the Department of Justice" by defying this law, which is "designed to silence preachers from preaching what the Bible says about homosexuality." As such they are going to challenge the DOJ to arrest them, though Scarborough admits that he doesn't expect to be arrested on Monday ... instead, he expects to be arrested "in the dead of night," hauled away when nobody is around to see.

Scarborough explains that the effort is urgent because they need to challenge this law in the courts and get the case before the Supreme Court which, Scarborough says, has a majority that will side with them ... but they can't do that unless they get arrested first:

Liberty University's Four Day Anti-Choice Rally

Earlier this year, Liberty University announced that it would not recognize its campus Democratic club because the national party's platform went against the school's moral principles and trotted out the head of the school's Student Government Association to explain the decision:

Matt Mihelic, President of the school's Student Government Association, spoke on behalf of the school and says the club's views were counter-intuitive to the mission of the school.

"The administration felt that the college democrats and who they supported did not coincide with the purposes of the university," said Mihelic.

Do you know what does "coincide with the purposes of the university"? Apparently, officially-sanctioned anti-choice rallies:

To represent those lives that have been lost to abortion since its legalization, a fourth of the Liberty student body wore black shirts to convocation, while the rest wore white.

The Liberty University Student Government Association (SGA) is speaking up for the unspoken this week by hosting the largest fully student-initiated Pro-Life conference to be held on a college campus.

In response to the 50 million lives that were ended before taking a first breath, students at Liberty felt called to take action and educate others on the significance of the tragedy in hopes that their generation will be the force to put an end to abortion in America.

“This is the first pro-life conference that Liberty has ever held and we are calling it R.O.S.E. (Reclaiming Other’s Sacred Existence) and we’ve got speakers from all over the country that are here to inspire us and tell us information that has been suppressed for the last 36 years,” said Liberty University Student Government president, Matt Mihelic.

The conference kicked off with Wednesday’s convocation dedicated to the pro-life cause featuring special guest Norma McCorvey, who was the plaintiff “Jane Roe” in the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court case of 1973 ... A short video clip of McCorvey’s testimony was shown followed by a standing ovation from the students for her transformed life and dedication to fight for the truth.

McCorvey was followed by an address delivered by Mathew D. Staver, dean of Liberty University School of Law.

Staver, whose mother chose to give him life against her doctor’s recommendations to carry out an abortion, is very passionate about the issue. During his speech, he used a series of photographs of infants in the womb at different stages of a pregnancy to give evidence of human traits even as early as three weeks.

“The debate as to when life begins has been settled a long time ago within the medical and scientific world,” Staver said. “The debate today is no longer when life begins, but what value do we put on life.”

Mihelic declared that they have one simple goal: "we want to see the full-scale repeal of Roe v. Wade and the conclusion of the era of legal abortion in the United States, and we want to see this in our generation." And that mission was echoed throughout yesterday's event:

McCorvey was praised by university leaders, including Mat Staver, dean of LU’s law school, and SGA President Matthew Mihelic, the student who conceived the event.

“The student body of Liberty University stands with you and we have your back,” Mihelic said.

Last spring, Mihelic ran for student body president on the platform of unifying the student voice on abortion. Record numbers of students came out to vote, he said, and the conference is the culmination of his vision.

“We know we are the largest evangelical university in the world and we intend on using every ounce of that grassroots influence to stop this blight on American history,” Mihelic said in a news release. “Under our watch, our generation will fight with all our might to make abortion history.”

Staver, the keynote speaker, drew on personal experiences, Christian values and legal arguments to make the case for why abortion should be categorically illegal. He charted his transformation from a young, pro-choice preacher in the 1970s to the staunch anti-abortion advocate he is today.

“I was a pastor and I didn’t know anything about abortion,” Staver said. “I thought it was just a blob of cells … I would have said I’m pro-choice because I didn’t think it was a life.”

At the end of the talk, Staver rallied the students to be leaders in “restoring the culture of life” in America.

“If we don’t stand together for those most vulnerable and innocent children in our very midst, if we drive by an abortion clinic and never even realize the holocaust that’s taking place, then God help us, because all the other liberties we enjoy are illusory.”

The conference continues through the end of the week, featuring other speakers including Rep. Trent Franks and Clenard Childress, founder of BlackGenocide.org.

Are You a Real Christian? Better Ask Matt Barber

Last month, a coalition of clergy formed to support marriage equality in Washington, DC.  Calling itself Clergy United for Marriage Equality, the coalition issued the following declaration:

We are District of Columbia clergy and religious leaders of many faiths, races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. We represent religious institutions in every ward in the District. We have worked together over many years for peace and justice and now join our voices again to speak a faithful word for freedom and equality.

We declare that our faith calls us to affirm marriage equality for loving same-sex couples.

The declaration was signed by approximately 200 representing nearly every faith, but Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel, who is not a minister, isn't fooled and declares that every person who signed this declaration is not a real Christian:

Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs at Liberty Counsel, hopes the faith community is not fooled by the coalition known as D.C. Clergy United For Marriage Equality.

"Well, this is just a cheap political stunt," he responds. "These are a group of leftist secularists essentially dressed up in the garb of clergy....[W]hat do you do call clergy who abandon the fundamental tenets of their faith and adopt instead the lies of the world? I call them counterfeit clergy."

Barber adds that "they want to have their religion cake and eat it too." He explains.

"They are going to push a leftist political agenda that runs completely counter to biblical principles," he asserts. "The ridiculous and oxymoronic notion of same-sex marriage flies in the face of every major world religion."

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Congratulations to Pam, Joe, Andy, and Bil for being honored at the NYC Anti-Violence Project's Courage Awards.
  • Rupert Murdoch says Glenn Beck was right when he said President Obama is racist.
  • Stay classy, Laura Ingraham.
  • The Tea Party now has its own PAC.
  • Bruce Bartlett explains why reading legislation is a waste of time.
  • David Weigel: Anti-Tax Movement Ponders Two Big Defeats.
  • Jodi Jacobson: The "Real Life" Effects of Stupak-Pitts: An Analysis by Legal Experts at Planned Parenthood.
  • Finally, Michael Steele says that he scares white Republicans.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Pat Buchanan longs for the days when "Eisenhower's America [which] was a nation of 160 million with a Euro-Christian core and a culture all its own."
  • I am fascinated by how Carrie Prejean has managed to turn her egomania and victimization into a career.
  • Gary Bauer says nothing can stop President Obama from "making fundamental, unchangeable alterations in American society."
  • Newt Gingrich is no longer conservative about his religion.
  • Finally, Bill Donohue blasts President Obama for supposedly betraying Catholic Bishops. Apparently, Donohue thinks that even non-Catholics are obligated to do the Church's bidding.

Remember Back When the Right Hated The Filibuster?

Once upon a time, activists on the Right were vehemently opposed to the use of the filibuster against judicial nominees, declaring on principle that its use was flagrantly unconstitutional and calling on Senate Republicans to do away with the Democratic minority's ability to use them against President Bush's nominees.

But then President Obama took office and made a Supreme Court nomination and those "principles" went right out the window and suddenly those who had been, just a few years earlier, decrying the filibuster as downright evil were championing it.

Which brings us to this new Conservative Action Project "Memo to the Movement" demanding a filibuster of Seventh Circuit nominee David Hamilton:

We agree with Senator Sessions that indeed this is one of those extraordinary circumstances where the President should be informed that his nominee is not qualified. "Extraordinary circumstances" is the standard agreed to by the bipartisan Gang of 14 for when it is permissible to block a confirmation vote against judicial nominees. The Senate should apply it now to stop the Hamilton nomination ... Judge Hamilton is precisely the kind of liberal judicial activist who would use our federal courts as his own super-legislature. The Senate should vote no on the cloture vote to stop this nomination.

The memo is signed by the following group and I have taken the liberty of highlighting those individuals or organizations who, during the Bush presidency, signed on to letters [PDF] demanding an end to the use of the filibuster

Marion Edwyn Harrison, President, Free Congress Foundation
Edwin Meese, former Attorney General
Mathew D. Staver, Founder & Chairman, Liberty Counsel
Wendy Wright, President, Concerned Women for America
Cleta Mitchell, American Conservative Union Board of Directors
J. Kenneth Blackwell, Visiting Professor, Liberty University School of Law
Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List
Curt Levey, Executive Director, Committee for Justice
Colin A. Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring
Susan Carleson, Chairman & CEO, American Civil Rights Union
William Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government
Kay Daly, President, Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
T. Kenneth Cribb, former Counselor to the U.S. Attorney General
Andrea Lafferty, Executive Director, Traditional Values Coalition
David Keene, Chairman, American Conservative Union
Gary Bauer, President, American Values
Phil Burress, President, Citizens for Community Values

Jim Martin, President, 60 Plus Association
David McIntosh, former Member of Congress, Indiana
Tom Winter, Editor in Chief, Human Events
Richard Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com
Alfred Regnery, Publisher, American Spectator
Becky Norton Dunlop, President, Council for National Policy
Rev. Lou Sheldon, Chairman, Traditional Values Coalition

By my count, 15 of 24 individuals listed of this memo demanding a filibuster of Hamilton either signed, or represent an organization which signed, a letter just a few years back demanding an end to the use of the filibuster.

Stemberger Demands Everyone Take His Wild Accusations Seriously

John Stemberger, who represented Rifqa Bary in her Florida dependency case, has been given space in the Orlando Sentinel to complain that the paper never took any of his wild allegations seriously, saying the paper's coverage was "consistently biased and disingenuous" and accusing the paper of having a "religious-like commitment to protect Islam from any and all examination or criticism." 

Of course, one reason for the Sentinel's failure to take Stemberger's allegations seriously might have something to do with the fact there was essentialy no evidence to support any thing he said.  But Stemberger doesn't see it that way:

[T]he Sentinel never quoted directly from the Koran or other Muslim holy books, stating what Islam clearly teaches about punishment of apostate believers, or that the United Nations reports 5,000 Islamic honor killings each year. The Sentinel also ignored the Facebook page with Rifqa's photo that included 120 members from Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia and Columbus and listed its purpose as: "We need to kill her."

There are millions of Muslims in the U.S. who are peaceful and law-abiding citizens who should be fully embraced as fellow Americans. However, there is a growing minority of Muslims in our country who are radical and dangerous. We need to protect the former and expose the later. The Sentinel, in caving to political correctness, has refused to make this critical distinction.

"Political correctness"?  That sure does seem to be the word of the day when it comes to right-wingers complaining about Islam.

You know what else the Sentinel never reported?  This:

An attorney suing Dollar Rent-A-Car has apologized for filing a lawsuit that characterized the Irish as hopelessly tethered to pubs and pints and unfit to drive the highways of America.

John Stemberger admitted he made a mistake and promised Wednesday to rewrite the negligence lawsuit he filed in March.

The suit was filed on behalf of the family of Carmel Elizabeth Cunningham, an Irish woman who was killed last year when her boyfriend, Sean McGrath, crashed their rental car. He is also Irish.

Prosecutors say McGrath, 33, was drunk at the time of the crash and have charged him with manslaughter. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

In the suit, Stemberger claimed Dollar "knew or should have known about the unique cultural and ethnic customs existing in Ireland which involve the regular consumption of alcohol at `Pubs' as a major component to Irish social life.''

He went on to charge that Dollar "knew or should have known that Sean McGrath would have a high propensity to drink alcohol.''

All I can conclude from this is that the Sentinel's commitment to protect Stemberger "from any and all examination or criticism has compromised its ability to objectively understand and report the news in this case."

AFA's Fischer Demands Religious Test for Military Service

The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer went on Alan Colmes' radio program yesterday to defend his claim that it is time "to stop the practice of allowing Muslims to serve in the U.S. military."

Fischer explains his view:

The problem is that the more devout a Muslim is, the greater a threat he represents to our national security. And until we have a way of identifying which Muslims are the ones we have to worry about, we just cannot afford to take the chance ... If the Muslim community could come up with a fool-proof way to identify which Muslims were going to go off on American soldiers and support us in rooting them out of the military, then there would be a way for Muslims to continue to serve.

Colmes continually pressed Fischer to explain why members of an entire religion should be barred from military service based upon the actions of one man, but Fischer was adamant that devout Muslims are required to kill Americans, saying that "until we can get a guarantee from them [military members] that they will never, ever take their religion seriously" then they should be banned from serving. He also demanded to know "how many American soldiers you are willing to sacrifice on the altar of political correctness":

Robertson: Muslims Should Be Treated Like "Some Fascist Group"

Via Think Progress we see that Media Matters has caught Pat Robertson blaming the Fort Hood shooting on "political correctness" and declaring that Islam is “not a religion,” but “a violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination”:

ROBERTSON: That is the ultimate aim. And they talk about infidels and all this, but the truth is that’s what the game is. So you are dealing with not a religion. You’re dealing with a political system. And I think we should treat it as such and treat its adherences as such as we would members of the Communist Party or members of some fascist group. Well, it’s a tragedy. Our hearts go out to the families who suffered. But those in the Army should be held on account for the fact they let this man loose.