June 2010

Ken Hutcherson Officiated Rush Limbaugh's Wedding

I guess that it shouldn't come as a surprise that the man Rush Limbaugh tapped to officiate his latest wedding was none other than militant anti-gay activist Ken Hutcherson:

The preacher who signed Limbaugh’s and wife Kathryn Rogers‘ marriage license, Washington State-based mega-church boss Ken Hutcherson, is an internationally known critic of the gay rights who believes that many of the world’s ills stem from homosexuality.

Just last year, Hutcherson came to Limbaugh's defense by claiming that Limbaugh was the victim of the "Minority Thought Pattern," which is the refusal to realize that everything great about America has been accomplished by God through white males.

All I have to say is that I sure hope that no "soft men" at Limabugh's wedding made the mistake of holding the door open for Hutcherson:

Reasonable people can disagree over whether gay marriage is a good idea. But Hutcherson goes beyond reasonable, at least to judge by the report of Seattle psychologist Valerie Tarico. … On a Sunday when Tarico was present, Hutcherson was preaching on gender roles. During his sermon, Hutcherson stated, "God hates soft men" and "God hates effeminate men." Hutcherson went on to say, "If I was in a drugstore and some guy opened the door for me, I'd rip his arm off and beat him with the wet end."

The Company That FRC Keeps - Part II

Yesterday I noted that Family Research Council President Tony Perkins had co-authored an op-ed opposing the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell with General John Sheehan who earlier this year blamed the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica on gay soldiers.

Today I noticed that FRC has scheduled an event for next week that will address DADT, ENDA, and other such issues that includes not only Sheehan, but also Sen. Jim Inhofe and the AFA's Bryan Fischer: 

FRC will be tackling these topics -- and more -- next Tuesday, June 22 with the people who know this issue best. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) from the Senate Armed Services Committee will join us, as will retired Marine General John Sheehan, who served as the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic for NATO and as Commander-in-Chief for the U.S. Atlantic Command. FRC's Bob Maginnis will speak, along with Commander Jim Sims of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Austin Nimocks of Alliance Defense Fund, and Bryan Fischer of American Family Association. Circle your calendars for next Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. (ET) to hear from leaders who know exactly what's at stake in this debate.

Fischer's vicious anti-gay attacks are well-known and yet FRC has decided to include him once again .. maybe hoping that he and Sen. Inhofe can recapture some of their magic:

If Gays Can Serve Openly In The Military, God Will Cause Us To Lose Wars

You might remember Rabbi Yehuda Levin from his statement earlier this year that repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell was the "equivalent of the spiritual rape of our military" and would cause untold natural disasters because "homosexuality is a spiritual cause of earthquakes."

Well, today he is back with another warning that letting gays serve openly will cause the US to lose wars because God will "repel [HIS] Divine Grace from our military's struggles, and beyond":

"Passage of such evil legislation would expedite our hurdling towards Sodom and Gommorah. It would also threaten to repel Divine Grace from our military's struggles, and beyond. We call upon the Senate to unapologetically filibuster this legislation. We also ask all people of faith to adhere to our previous declaration that it is forbidden to vote for office-seekers who support the homosexual agenda.

"We wish to express our deep anguish, and apologize to the American people for the role Senators Lieberman and Levin have played in advancing this 'abominable' legislation. WE CONDEMN THEM. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."

Daniels Doubles Down

Last week, when writing about the Religous Right's outrage over Gov. Mitch Daniels' suggestion that we needed to call a "truce" in the culture wars in order to focus on bigger problems, I predicted that Daniels would respond by claiming that he had been taken out of context or that he point was being misinterpreted.

That shows how much I know, because Mark Hemingway reports that yesterday Daniels called him to assure him that he is entirely serious: 

Daniels called me to say that he's dead serious about the need for the next president to declare a truce. "It wasn't something I just blurted out," he told me. "It's something I've been thinking about for a while."

He's emphasized the need to focus like a laser beam on the existential threats facing the country -- the two big issues he's previously identified being the war on terror and the country's precarious fiscal position. "We're going to need a lot more than 50.1 percent of the country to come together to keep from becoming Greece," he said.

He did, however, want to clarify that he's not just singling out controversial social issues. "I'm talking about all divisive issues," he said. Clear and unified priorities are the only way he sees the country rallying around common purposes.

When I pressed him, Daniels did seem to concede that perhaps he hadn't taken into account how the D.C. media would respond to his remarks by playing up the controversy. But Daniels repeatedly affirmed that this is a serious governing proposal, not an electoral strategy or a case where a politician tells people what he thinks they want to hear.

I think it is pretty obvious that this is not some sort of "electoral strategy or a case where a politician tells people what he thinks they want to hear" because this is exactly the opposite of what the Religious Right wants to hear, which would be an absolutely horrible electoral strategy.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Raw Story: Republican candidate suggests landmines at US-Mexico border.
  • Andy Birkey: New PAC aims to put conservative Christians into Minnesota courts.
  • Sarah Posner: Is Sarah Palin The New Leader Of The Christian Right?
  • HRC Backstory: Prop 8 Trial to Conclude on Wednesday After Lengthy Hiatus.
  • Washington Independent: Rep. King: Spot Illegal Immigrants by Their ‘Shoes,’ ‘Grooming,’ ‘Accent’ or ‘a Sixth Sense’.
  • David Weigel: Grover Norquist joins GOProud.
  • Joe.My.God: McDonald's COO: I'm A Christian And That Gay Ad Will Never Play In America.
  • Justin Elliot: Sharron Angle Left Far-Right Third Party For Electoral Expedience, Members Say.
  • Simon Maloy: Glenn Beck's The Overton Window: A conspiracy to bore you senseless.

Right Wing Leftovers

Huckabee Issues Second Statement Condemning Any "Truce," Saying Morality Is Key To Protecting The Economy

Mike Huckabee has already weighed in on Gov. Mitch Daniels statement that there might need to be a "truce" in the culture wars so that we can focus on economic issues, saying that he "cannot" and "will not" ever accept such a truce.

That seemed pretty clear, but apparently Huckabee was not content to let this issue go and so he has released a second statement saying that, contrary to Daniels' assertion that social issues must be put aside in favor of economic ones, it is actually the morality at root of the social issue fights that can solve our economic problems: 

Sadly, Gov. Daniels is not alone in his way of thinking and it’s not a new concept. During the last presidential election – many reporters, Republicans and Democrats suggested the same moratorium on morality. The political winds began to whisper of stopping the discussion on morality and starting the discussion on the “important issues.”

Let me be clear – MORALITY AND THE ECONOMY are inextricably linked.

• The collapse of morality and ethical business practices preceded the collapse of Wall Street – unchecked greed caused the downfall;

• A decrease in morality preceded an increase in the prison population – state budgets via taxes, increase every year to pay for prisons; and,

• We don’t emphasize character in our public schools, and ignorance is expensive-- a national high school drop out rate of 1 in 3 students produces poverty – crippling our economy in countless ways.

I’m not saying Wall Street, prisons and poverty are not the only influences on our economy – there are countless others – nor am I saying morality solves every economic crisis we face. But I am saying strong moral fiber would prevent many of our nation’s economic disasters.

Should we focus on the economy and the staggering and crippling debt? Absolutely! But I fear that talk of a “truce” means that we are making excuses for compromise on moral issues, and there is no need to separate economic issues from the social issues. We can and must focus on both.

Now is not the time to shift focus from moral issues we need to shift focus toward moral issues.

The idea that there is a "connection between traditional social issues like abortion and gay marriage and the economy" has been the Religious Right's standard response ever since the economy tanked back in 2008 ...and apparently it is one that they are sticking with. 

The Company That FRC Keeps

A few months back, retired General John Sheehan generated outrage when he blamed the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica on gay Dutch troops

In July 1995 Bosnian Serb forces overran the Bosnian Muslim enclave under the protection of Dutch UN peacekeepers and killed 8,000 Muslim males, making the event a traumatic national disgrace for the Dutch.

Following recent remarks from Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, that Europeans had gone soft, Sheehan argued that changes after the end of the cold war had reduced Europe's appetite for combat.

"They declared a peace dividend and made a conscious effort to socialise their military – that includes the unionisation of their militaries, it includes open homosexuality. That led to a force that was ill-equipped to go to war," he said.

"The case in point that I'm referring to is when the Dutch were required to defend Srebrenica against the Serbs. The battalion was under-strength, poorly led, and the Serbs came into town, handcuffed the soldiers to the telephone poles, marched the Muslims off, and executed them. That was the largest massacre in Europe since world war two."

He added that the Dutch chief of staff had told him that having gay soldiers at Srebrenica had sapped morale and contributed to the disaster.

So what does he do for a follow-up?  Pen a joint op-ed with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins opposing the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, of course:

Men and women should be allowed to serve in the military only if their character and conduct can help the U.S. armed forces achieve its mission. In multiple studies over the past 16 years, the addition of open homosexuality into the close quarters and tightly knit units of our military was predicted to add tension, not build unit cohesion.

“Unit cohesion” is essential to the success of the U.S. military. Respect for and loyalty and commitment to one another, to the point of a willingness to die for your buddy, is the single greatest imperative in any military force.

Yet homosexuality carries with it profound behavioral implications. Sexual attraction among members of the same sex — living, exercising, fighting and training alongside one another in the closest of quarters — could devastate morale, foster heightened interpersonal tension and lead to division among those who, more than virtually any other group in society, need to act as one.

...

In addition, the medical implications of Obama’s proposal are compelling. According to data released last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gay and bisexual men are 50 times more likely to have HIV than heterosexual men.

This would be devastating for military resources already stretched thin, and it has pronounced implications for battlefield blood transfusions.

This proposal is not about bigotry. Race is a superficial and benign element of one’s humanness, while homosexuality is a matter of behavior.

Homosexuality is not about civil rights but conduct detrimental to the discipline, trust and combat readiness of what has been — and still is — the world’s finest military.

If we want to keep it that way, we should not permit openly practicing homosexuals to serve in the U.S. military.

Bryan Fischer Says You Are "Unpatriotic" and "Un-American"

On his radio program yesterday, the AFA 's Bryan Fischer weighed in on Gov. Mitch Daniels call for a "truce" in the culture war by quoting this passage from George Washington:

Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.

Fischer then used that quote to call groups like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU both "unpatriotic" and "un-American":

Now what I want you to observe is that Washington had no hesitation in questioning the patriotism of anyone who would undermine either the indispensable support of religion or the indispensable support of morality for the simple reason, that he said in his words, you cannot experience "political prosperity" without them both.

And that's why I do question the patriotism of groups like Planned Parenthood - they are subverting morality. That's why I question the patriotism of groups like the ACLU, who are subverting the pillar of religion.

They are not patriots, ladies and gentlemen. They are unpatriotic and they are un-American ... Don't listen to me; that's according to George Washington.

Mike Huckabee: National Hero of Faith

According to this flyer [PDF] posted on Vision America's website, Mike Huckabee is scheduled to headline VA's "Heroes of Faith Gala" in August where he will receive the "National Hero of Faith Award": 

Vision America's President Rick Scarborough, who is among the most radical of Religious Right leaders, served on Huckabee's Faith and Family Values Coalition when he was running for president.

And Steve Hotze is another ultra right-wing Huckabee supporter who not only bankrolled the anti-gay attacks against Houston mayor Annise Parker but also happens to believe that disease is caused by sin

Hotze was able to better articulate his views in 1986, when he was one of dozens of ministers, professionals and laypersons who signed the Coalition on Revival's Manifesto for the Christian Church. The coalition claims on its Web site to be a national network of religious leaders aligned in a mission "to help the Church rebuild civilization on the principles of the Bible so God's will may be done on earth as it is in heaven." They want all aspects of life -- government, science and education -- to adhere to fundamental biblical beliefs. These beliefs include the following:

• A wife may work outside the home only with her husband's consent

• "Biblical spanking" that results in "temporary or superficial bruises or welts" should not be considered a crime

• No doctor shall provide medical service on the Sabbath

• All disease and disability is caused by the sin of Adam and Eve

• Medical problems are frequently caused by personal sin

• "Increased longevity generally results from obedience to specific Biblical commands"

• Treatment of the "physical body" is not a doctor's highest priority

• Doctors have a priestly calling

• People receiving medical treatment are not immune from divine intervention or demonic forces

• Physicians should preach to their patients because salvation is the key to their health

• "Christians need better health to have more energy, tolerate more stress, get depressed less often, and be more creative than our non-Christian counterparts for the advancement of God's Kingdom."

As I said yesterday, I have spent a lot of time chronicling Huckabee's ties to the radical Religious Right fringe and I'd hate to see it all go to waste if he decided not to run for president in 2012.