June 2010

The Return of James Robison?

It was just yesterday that I wrote a post about Mike Huckabee's ties to James Robison, a now rather obscure figure who, back in the 1980s, was a powerful Religious Right leader. 

In that post, I noted that Robison was still active and had recently had Jim Garlow on his program. Shortly after that post went up, some glitch on Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition website caused an old post to show up in my RSS reader and lo and behold it was video from last year of Reed appearing on Robison's show to pitch the need for his new organization on the grounds that "democracy doesn't really work at all unless there's a citizenry animated by a moral code that derives from their faith in God."

For his part, Robison stated his conviction that the Constitution was written so as to be in "harmony with Biblical truth" and Judeo-Christian ethic, while warning that the country was "racing toward Marxism" and complaining that "the most discriminated against people on the planet are Christians today."

The clip below is the second part of the interview - you can see Part I here:

I realize that I can't declare that James Robison is attempting making a return to prominence among the Religious Right based on three pretty random appearances by him on this blog in the last week ... but it is still kind of odd that I'm mentioning him for the third time in one week after having written about him only one time in the last four years. 

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Joe.My.God: Texas GOP Platform Calls For Making It A Felony To Perform Gay Marriages.
  • Wonk Room: Texas Can’t Afford To Buy New Far-Right Textbooks, But Rick Perry Still Resists Federal Aid.
  • Alvin McEwen: Is the LGBT Community Plotting to Make Children 'Crossdress?' Of Course Not.
  • William Saletan: If it's OK to Reject Blood from Gay Men, What About Blacks?
  • Bruce Wilson: Leading Biblical Law Advocate "Jubilant" To Endorse Angle For Senate.
  • Iowa Independent: National Organization for Marriage heading to Iowa.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Janet Jenkins' attorney Jennifer Levi regarding the Liberty Counsel's continuing efforts to represent Lisa Miller in court despite the fact that she reportedly fled the country in order to avoid court orders: "It doesn’t make sense for a lawyer unable to communicate with a client to pursue very important issues at the appellate level. Clearly, they have a broader legal agenda in continuing this legal fight, which is all but dead."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • If you need a simple reason to support Elena Kagan, they fact that Robert Bork opposes her seems like a pretty good one.
  • The National Organization for Marriage is asking the Maine ethics commission to dismiss the investigation into its fundraising during last year's gay-marriage vote.
  • Ted Haggard uses Twitter to predict the end of the Religious Right.
  • Speaking of Twitter, why is Matt Barber's Twitter feed made up of nothing but WorldNetDaily and OneNewsNow articles?
  • Tom Tancredo lashes out at those who are trying to keep immigration off the Tea Party's agenda.
  • You know what will finally stop the oil spill?  Prayer and divine intervention.
  • Finally, I am very much looking forward to hearing J.D. Hayworth's explanation for why he was pitching "get free money from the government" seminars in 2007.

Will the "Pastors' Declaration of Godly Citizenship" Turn Back The "Fourth Reich of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid"?

The last time we wrote about Dave Welch, executive director of the US Pastor Council, he was apologizing for having let the "enemy" triumph in Houston when openly gay candidate Annise Parker was elected mayor and warning that Parker's election was a evidence of the "cancer of the soul" of America.

Now Welch is back to dispute the idea that one can be a Christian and vote for Democrats and to offer up a plan for defeating the "Fourth Reich of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid":

The political awakening birthed by the Fourth Reich of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid regime has inspired tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of Americans to step up and get involved. That is a good thing and may result in a major political shift in one branch of Congress as well as state legislatures and more governors – again.

The bottom line is that the pulpits of this nation had better get back to the business of preaching the undiluted, uncompromised word of God as applied to all vital current issues and then demand that Christians vote those principles.

If just 10 percent of our moderate- to large-size churches will effectively execute the AMERICA Plan in their churches, we not only will make temporary political changes, but will have pumped the bilgewater out of the hold and set the ship back on the right course.

Don't get mad at politicians for failing on border security, immigration, fiscal responsibility, sanctity of life, defense of marriage and family, etc., if you don't vote in every election and vote God's values, not yours.

In addition to his AMERICA Plan, Welch has unveiled a Pastors’ Declaration of Godly Citizenship [PDF] through which religious leaders vow to get every member of their church to vote and to do so in accordance with the values set out in the declaration:

We believe that the Holy Bible is inerrant, infallible and inspired by God; it is the only revealed source of all truth relevant to the governing of the person and of nations.

We believe that all authorities are subordinate to God, including family, church and government authorities, therefore the actions and decisions of each will be accountable to Him.

We believe that the primary agent for transforming personal lives, society and culture is a clear presentation and acceptance of the hope found exclusively in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

We believe that Jesus’ prayer to the Father for oneness within the body is an absolute necessity for us to endeavor to fulfill, transcending all racial, cultural and ethnic barriers in order to receive His on-going presence and guidance.

We believe that the church has a unique and sacred role in proclaiming God's principles to leaders of a city, state and nation, with government limited to its Biblical and Constitutional purpose as protector of the innocent, punisher of the evildoer and NOT provider of our wants or needs.

We believe that all innocent life from conception to natural death must be protected and valued by the people and our government to the fullest extent of the law as the highest priority of government.

We believe that marriage is a God-created relationship as the lifetime union of one natural man and one natural woman for the blessing of both, the good of the people and the foundation of the family for legitimate procreation.

We believe that the traditional, nuclear family of a married father and mother raising their biological and/or adopted children in a nurturing and protective environment is the essential building block of a stable community and a nation; it therefore must be promoted and protected by both church and state.

We believe that equal justice based on God's eternal standards - not the 'will of the majority' - to punish evil and protect the innocent regardless of color, gender or creed is fundamental to legitimate government.

Accordingly, I commit my role as Senior Pastor to lead my congregation by training them in these principles to apply them in their homes, workplaces and voting decisions at all levels; to actively seek 100% levels of voter registration and turnout, and finally to stand with all other pastors in my community who join me in this declaration.

Mike Huckabee: Schlafly, Robison, and Jokes About Gay Marriage

I am sure that by now you have seen posts about the profile on Mike Huckabee in the New Yorker in which he admits that his opposition to gay marriage stems, at least in part, to "the ick factor" while also joking that he'd be fully in support of gay marriage if his only choices were Nancy Pelos or Helen Thomas. Typical Huckabee.

Anyway, I want to focus on some of the other interesting nuggest contained in the piece, like this:

In her kitchen is a watercolor painting of a house surrounded by trees, with the words “To Janet Huckabee, 1995 full-time homemaker of the year, presented by the Eagle Forum and Phyllis Schlafly.”

The profile also looks at how Huckabee got his start back in 1970s working for right-wing evangelist James Robison:

In 1976, after college, Huckabee was enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Texas, when he came into contact with the televangelist James Robison. It was Robison who famously declared that he was “sick and tired of hearing about all of the radicals and the perverts and the liberals and the leftists and the Communists coming out of the closet,” and was ready “for God’s people to come out of the closet” and take back the nation. Despite Huckabee’s inclination toward a forgiving Christianity, Robison’s passion drew him in. He dropped out of seminary after one year to take a job as Robison’s director of communications.

“The way the Moral Majority movement was actually started was there was a rally that James Robison did in 1979 that I helped coördinate,” Huckabee said. “It was all because of the local television station in Dallas throwing him off the air, because, in a sermon that he preached on television, Robison said homosexuality is a sin. Think: 1979, it wasn’t really an outrageous statement. Anyway, they got some complaints and they told him he couldn’t be on television. Well, Texas? Are you kidding me?” More than ten thousand Christians came to a “Freedom Rally” at the Reunion Arena, in Dallas, to protest Robison’s expulsion. “There was this amazing energy coming up from these evangelical Christians,” Huckabee said. “I remember almost being frightened by it. If someone had gotten to the microphone and said, ‘Let’s go four blocks from here and take Channel 8 apart,’ that audience would’ve taken the last brick off the building.”

Today, the name Robison is almost unknown, but he is still around and active - in fact, the video I posted of Jim Garlow just last week was taken from an interview he did with Robison earlier this year.

Back in the Religious Right's heyday in the 1980s, Robison was a key leader and so this seems like a good time to repost this video we put together back in 2007 to provide a sense of just who Huckabee dropped out of seminary to follow: 

Brody Gets Company As Right Freaks Over Obama Recognizing "Two Fathers"

You know, if David Brody had just waited a few hours, he would have actually had a few instances of Religious Right leaders voicing their outrage over the White House Father's Day proclamation that he could cite instead of having to pass off his own outrage as analysis.

For instance, Peter LaBarbera:

Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) President Peter LaBarbera today condemned President Barack Obama for “gaying down” the noble institution of fatherhood by extolling “nurturing families” with “two fathers” in his Father’s Day proclamation yesterday.

Obama is the most pro-homosexual-agenda president in American history, and is currently working to subvert both the legal ban on open homosexuals serving in the military, and the Defense of Marriage Act, which affirms traditional marriage in federal law ... [E]ven if two homosexual men keep their disordered relationship “faithful,” homosexual parenting would not be worthy of celebration, LaBarbera said: “It is wrong to force children into a situation where they have two men modeling immoral behavior — condemned by God and all major religions — as the most important role models in their lives.”

“Gay parenting is a selfish social experiment whose long-term effect on children has not yet been determined — biased homosexual-authored studies notwithstanding,” he said. “We know that dad-and-mom-led homes are the best for children. That is the timeless brand of fatherhood that Obama should be promoting.”

And Tim Wildmon:

"This is the first time in our nation's history that a president has used Father's Day as an excuse to promote the radical homosexual agenda and completely redefine the word 'family,'" said AFA president Tim Wildmon. "Virtually all Americans have the common sense to recognize that children need both a mother and a father. Rudimentary biology tells us it's impossible for a child to have two fathers. But here we have the leader of our nation and the Democrat Party celebrating sexual behavior which is contrary to nature and pushing a household structure that we know is harmful to children. This is a sad day for the American family.

Added Wildmon, "This again shows how out-of-step the president is with most Americans. Same-sex parenting is not in any way the moral or functional equivalent of the parenting done by a mom and a dad. Yet our President is so committed to normalizing homosexual conduct that he is putting the twisted sexual desires of adults ahead of the needs of children.

Lou Engle Supports The Criminalization of Homosexuality

Sarah Posner interviewed Lou Engle in an effort to try and understand's Engle's claims that he doesn't support Uganda's legislation that carries the death penalty for gays while supporting Uganda's effort to take a "principled stand" against the homosexual agenda.

And what she found out is that while Engle might not support the death penalty for gays, he certainly does support their criminialization:

[Engle] made absolutely clear that he supports the criminalization of homosexuality, believes there could be a biblical basis for a death penalty, that the United Nations has promoted the "homosexual agenda" to Uganda's detriment, and he lauded the bill's promoters' efforts to take a "principled stand" against that.

...

I pressed Engle to explain what he meant by a "principled stand" and a "principled bill." I asked him whether he supported a law that dealt with homosexuality in some way, and he stated that there needs to be "some kind of restraint from the homosexual agenda:"

Most definitely. For instance, the court case Lawrence v. Texas, is the court case that basically decriminalized homosexuality in the U.S. Everybody knew that when that bill passed, or when that court case shifted, then it opened the door for the legalization, for the definition, or the legalization of same-sex marriage, which is now rolling into America. We knew that. So I’ve always had -- yes, there needs to be a principled stand. There needs to be some kind of restraint from the homosexual agenda being able to roll over this, a nation that does not want it.

...

I pressed him about which penalties in the bill he didn't support -- and he did say that although he could see someone supporting the death penalty, he did not, and he did not support "hard labor" as punishment or the requirement that churches report LGBT people to the authorities. But when I asked him if he would support a bill with less harsh penalties, he added: 

My main thing is to keep -- is to not allow it to be legalized, so to speak, so then it just spreads through the legal system of the nation. So I’m not -- I’m not making a statement as to what I think the penalties should be. It’s not my job to do that. I do think, I do think that these leaders are trying to make at least some kind of statement that you’re not just going to spread the agenda without some kind of restraint, a legal restraint and punishment. And I don’t know what the line is on those, but I can’t go that far as I understand that bill already said. [emphasis mine]

Fischer: God Is Cursing Us With Bear Attacks For Failing To Follow The Bible

Last week, researchers at Yellowstone National Park trapped a Grizzly Bear, tranquilized it and fitted it with a radio collar.  Shortly after the bear awoke, it attacked and killed a man who had apparently "ignored warning signs posted advising hikers to avoid the area because of the likelihood of a dangerous bear encounter."

So you know that means - Bryan Fischer is back with a new post about how this tragic death is proof that God is cursing us for failing to abide by his Biblical rules:

History reveals that God’s covenant with an ancient nation suggests that one of the consequences for a nation which walks in his statues is that it will have nothing to fear from wild animals. “If you walk in my statutes...I will remove harmful beasts from the land” (Lev. 26:3,6).

On the other hand, “[I]f you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments...I will let loose the wild beasts against you” (Lev. 26:14,22).

A wholly preventable tragedy occurred outside Yellowstone National Park last week as a bear that only hours before had been trapped and tranquilized by researchers woke up from his induced slumber just in time to maul a 70-year old man who was out for a stroll.

The man was, according to the AP, mauled at almost exactly the same site where the researchers had left the bear after he’d been tranquilized.

The grizzly is a predator, a fierce, savage unstoppable killing machine. Lewis and Clark did not believe the stories they’d been told by Indian peoples about grizzlies until they started running into them. It was not long before their “curiosity” was “quite satisfied” about the grizzly.

Because these researchers were intent on studying the grizzly rather than killing him to protect innocent human life, a husband, father and grandfather is dead today. This was an utterly unnecessary death which could have happened only because our culture has jettisoned a biblical view of the relative value of human life compared to animal life.

Because this animal was given a nap instead of a bullet, a human being is dead, and a savage animal is alive, on the prowl, and ready to kill again.

Earlier this year, I reminded readers that if biblical precedent had been followed, the whale that killed SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau would have been euthanized in 1991 when it killed its first human victim. Ms. Brancheau would be alive today if the principles of the Judeo-Christian tradition had been followed.

God said a curse would fall on a land which turned its back on him, and one consequence would be more tragic deaths at the hands of predatory animals. The truly sad thing here is that we are bringing this curse upon ourselves.

Have I mentioned that Fischer is still listed as a "confirmed speaker" at the next Family Research Council Values Voter Summit along with Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. Mike Pence, and Mike Huckabee?  Just want to keep pointing that out. 

More Right Wing Opposition to Daniels' Call for a "Truce"

Conservative activists continue to pile on Gov. Mitch Daniels for suggesting a "truce" in the culture wars, with Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council citing this statement from Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values:

Unless he knows something we don’t, using the word “truce” when family values are under increasing attack can only mean surrender. Does he have knowledge that the other side is going to stop performing abortions during this “truce”? Are homosexual activists going to stop promoting same-sex marriage during this “truce”? Is what Governor Daniels really wants is for the pro-family movement to stop talking about his record so he can run for President?

For his part, McClusky suggests that Daniels ought to be trying to address fiscal issues by defunding groups that support reproductive choice:

If a President Daniels were to cut funding to these organizations as long as they performed and promoted abortions he could save taxpayers millions of dollars, while also possibly saving hundreds of thousands of lives every year. If he is serious about a “truce” on social issues he needs to make sure that he doesn’t continue taxpayer funding of one side during this so called “truce.” That is something nearly a decade of Republican rule in DC failed to do and would make him a hero of social and fiscal conservatives alike.

Meanwhile, Frank Cannon, who is the President of American Principles Project and Treasurer of the Susan B. Anthony List, calls Daniels' proposal a "profound insult to the public’s intelligence" and likens it to "asking the kid being pummeled by the schoolyard bully to stand down": 

The Hoosier governor’s truce talk is wrong on so many levels. It needlessly demeans one portion of the conservative coalition – the “ethnic, Catholic (and, more recently, evangelical) blue collar” vote that Ronald Reagan led into fealty with the GOP’s traditional hawks and economic conservatives. And social conservatives are not just a portion of that coalition – they hold views on issues like federal abortion funding and protecting the definition of marriage that represent a significant majority.

Second, calling for a truce on social issues is a little like asking the kid being pummeled by the schoolyard bully to stand down. All the kid is doing is holding his hands in front of his face to ward off the blows. Social conservatives did not launch campaigns to exploit the definition of marriage for their own gain, whatever that would mean. Instead, they have only fought to preserve the natural and perennial status of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. They have faced, and in most cases defeated, judicial elites who have sought to impose same-sex marriage on the populace.

...

At the end of the day, Mitch Daniels’ truce talk is a profound insult to the public’s intelligence. Defenders of life in the womb and the marital bond cannot sit back while yet another administration tells them to take a pounding because “bigger issues” like excess government spending deserve all the attention.

David Brody Is Very Upset That Obama Recognzied Families With "Two Fathers"

Everyone once in a while, CBN's David Brody likes to put on his analyst hat in order to explain how some outrageous thing the Democrats have done is going to outrage the Religious Right. 

In reality, what Brody is explaining is how said thing has outraged him.

Since he is a professional journalist, Brody is not supposed to let his personal views on issues influence his reporting, so instead he "reports" on how these issue will play with the social conservatives ... and their views inevitably happen to perfectly mirror his own. 

Case in point is this blog post he wrote on how President Obama's Father's Day Proclamation mentioned families with "two fathers" was going to "come back to haunt him": 

In his Father’s Day Proclamation, Barack Obama became the first President ever to use the occasion to say that “two fathers” are a nurturing family unit. Homosexual groups must be beaming with delight today but this is the type of line that can really come back to haunt him. Do NOT underestimate the power of those two words.

First of all, by putting “two fathers” in your proclamation you are really running the risk of alienating networks of pastors and church goers who may buy into the President’s overall but draw the line when it comes to traditional marriage. You put these normally supportive pastors in a tough situation because the fact of the matter is the whole ‘two fathers” scenario DOES NOT play well in most Churches in America. And that is completely understandable.

Secondly, what is the upside here? To let the homosexual community know that they are a priority? Or is to march the ball down the field with language like this so it becomes more accepting as time goes on? I don’t know the reason but regardless, the political downside is much larger here than the political upside. That’s for sure.

Finally, let me just say that the President has a pretty neat and important event today on his Father’s Day initiative. (coming in a separate blog post) So why dilute the impact of that with these words? Father’s Day should NOT be controversial. The “two fathers” scenario is a very divisive issue. Why bring it up and take away from the big event of the day?

Brody knows that recognizing that some families have "two fathers" at Father's Day is "divisive" and "controversial" and very, very upsetting to pastors and "most Churches in America." 

And the reason he knows that is because is it very, very upsetting to him personally.