July 2010

What Happens When The Right Buys Its Own Lies

Since the establishment conservative movement never stops trying to co-opt the Tea Party mantle for itself, I guess that means I have to keep covering their efforts as well.

I've written about the Conservative Action Project before, noting that it is one of the many right-wing coalitions that exist to establish the party line of the issue of the day, often though "Memo for the Movement" statements that it releases. These memos tend to be mostly meaningless collections of bullet points and links, but apparently members of the coalition feel they serve some purpose, which is why they keep issuing them.

The latest memo carries the names of a wide variety of right-wing leaders - including Ed Meese, Wendy Wright, Grover Norquist, Gary Bauer, Mat Staver, Curt Levey, Andrea Lafferty, and Louis Sheldon - who have joined together to commend the Tea Party Movement for its "fidelity to the Constitution."

And after the memo's standard pointless bullet points, this paragraph appears:

Earlier this year, many Tea Party Movement leaders and conservative leaders found common ground at a meeting and ceremony at the Collingwood Library & Museum in Alexandria, VA-- part of the original Mount Vernon Estate owned by President George Washington. The Mount Vernon Statement, issued on February 17, 2010, restates the ideas of the American founding as articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It was signed by over 100 leaders-including Tea Party Movement leaders--representing tens of millions of conservative activists nationwide and re-enforced the principles of Constitutional Conservatism for the 21st Century.

Do you remember the Mount Vernon Statement?  It was the attempt earlier this year by these very same activists to co-opt the Tea Party movement by merging it with the establishment conservative movement.

But it was all for naught, as a short time later the Tea Party movement released its own "Contract From America" manifesto which explicitly excluded any and all social issues.

The Tea Party movement's consistent refusal to adopt the Religious Right's agenda as part of the Tea Party agenda has infuriated establishment conservatives to no end, which is why they have continuously worked to co-opt the movement for their own ends ... leading to situations like this where the conservative establishment drafts and signs a document proclaiming its own agenda while unilaterally claiming that it represents the Tea Party movement - and then later, using that same document as an excuse to commend itself for its "fidelity to the Constitution."

Obama Speaks on Immigration and ALIPAC Accuses Him of Treason, Seeking a North Amercian Union

Today, President Obama spoke at American University in Washington DC , delivering a speech on the need for comprehensive immigration reform ... so, of course, the early responses from anti-immigration groups like ALIPAC have been entirely reasonable

"We call on all candidates for Congress to clearly state their opposition to Comprehensive Immigration Reform Amnesty," said William Gheen of ALIPAC. "President Obama is committing a form of Treason against the American public by refusing to adequately enforce our existing immigration and border laws at the behest Global corporations and financial influences intent upon usurping the self-governance of the American public. Americans want immigration enforcement, instead of Obama's Amnesty and we expect voters to punish Amnesty supporters in the 2010 elections."

...

Obama's speech was made at American University, which is where Dr. Robert Pastor has advocated the formation of a North American Community, which has been called a North American Union by those opposed to the components of the plan that calls for a path to citizenship for illegal aliens. Obama also used the words 'Security and Prosperity' in his speech to convey his support for the Pastor plan, which was manifest during the Bush administration as the Security and Prosperity Partnership or SPP.

A Devastating Exposé On How David Barton Perpetuates His Pseudo-History

I have written a great many posts here about David Barton and his pseudo-history and how he uses it to advance his Religious Right agenda.  Portraying himself as a historian of America's forgotten Christian heritage, Barton selectively edits the past until it reflects his preferred view and then presents that manipulated view as the "real" history of our nation.

I have tended to focus primarily on how Barton seeks to use his biased history to advance his Religious Right political agenda and less on his actual manipulation of history, which is why I want to highlight this absolutely amazing video by Chris Rodda, the Senior Research Director at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and author of "Liars For Jesus."

In this video, Rodda takes on the lies that Barton has been spreading via his regular appearances on Glenn Beck and Rodda's debunking of Barton's tricks and manipulations is absolutely devastating:

This post is about another mainstay of Barton's presentations: an 1809 letter from John Adams to Benjamin Rush that Barton butchers to make it appear that Adams thought that all governments, including, of course, the government of the United States, must be administered by the Holy Ghost in order to be legitimate.

On Beck's show, Barton also incorporated his other lie about this letter, claiming that this was the letter that magically reunited Jefferson and Adams, who had been on the outs since Jefferson got elected president in 1800. Why does Barton do this? Because it allows him to combine two completely unrelated parts of Adams's letter into a claim that it was really God, working through his "prophet" Benjamin Rush, who restored the friendship between Adams and Jefferson.

No, Mr. Beck, John Adams Did Not Think Governments Must be Administered by the Holy Ghost from Chris Rodda on Vimeo.

This video is actually a few weeks old, but somehow I missed it .. and though it is fifteen minutes long, I highly encourage you to watch the entire thing ... and then check out Rodda's other videos debunking some of the other lies that Barton and Beck have been spreading.

Robertson's TV Network Bails Out His University

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Pat Robertson's Regent University was in such dire financial straits that his CBN television network had to step in in order to keep it afloat:

Regent University is in dire financial straits, but it received help last week from the Christian Broadcasting Network, according to a report released on Wednesday by Moody's Investors Service.

M.G. (Pat) Robertson, the influential televangelist, founded both the network and Regent University, which was originally called CBN University. Both are located in Virginia Beach, Va., and Mr. Robertson is Regent's chancellor and president.

The university's fiscal footing began to slide in 2006, when its bond rating was downgraded because of deficits and weak fund-raising. Regent's money problems have accelerated since then. Annual operating deficits averaged 26 percent from 2007 to 2009, according to Moody's, and its endowment draw was a whopping 11 percent in 2008, more than double the normal payout rate.

While the balance sheet improved last year, thanks to increased tuition revenue from a growing undergraduate enrollment, Regent has a dangerously small amount of cash on hand to pay the bills.

Moody's reports that last year the university had only $1.3-million in liquid assets, which could cover roughly six days of operating costs. But Mr. Robertson's television network came to the rescue on June 24, relaxing restrictions on a $95-million gift it made to the university in 1992. The money had been classified as "permanently restricted net assets," but now Regent will be able to spend it freely, which will improve the university's liquidity crisis.

Putting the "Prophet" in Prophetic Intercessor

I've been writing a lot lately about the self-proclaimed "prophets" and "apostles" like Cindy Jacobs and Lou Engle and their increasing role within the "mainstream" Religious Right movement, so I wanted to just take an opportunity to point out something that I think is important in understanding this:  when they call themselves "prophets," they means that literally and believe themselves to have the same power and authority as the prophets of the Bible.

Case in point is this recent prophesy from Chuck Pierce, following up his recent discussion with Jacobs about the BP oil spill being due to President Obama's treatment of Israel, claiming that God has promised to stop the oil spill "supernaturally" and deliver the Gulf states from "occult spirits" with a wave of revival and prosperity that will wash over America ... note particularly that the sections in italics are reported to literally be the Word of God as it was spoken to Pierce: 

There is something peculiar in the seas that has yet to be uncovered in this situation. There will be a greater explosion to heal this explosion. There has to be something that creates a ripple and a move in the water deeper than anything we have ever seen. Some way or another the move in the water in the Gulf has to cause that which is defiled in that whole area to come out some way. We have to get into a move deeper than we know.

God says, "I am capable of moving in the waters deeper than you've seen Me move. But you're going to have to be willing to ride the wave when it comes." There is a move of God coming that is so deep, the waters are going to move so deep, it is going to create such an action that we will have to ride the waves in this coming year. I am announcing this. This is an announcement. We will have to learn to ride some unusual waves for the year ahead!

There are some occult spirits along that Gulf that the Lord is ready to move. I speak to Texas. I speak to Louisiana. I speak to Mississippi. I speak to Alabama. I speak to Florida. The Lord says, "Get ready. You are being delivered from an occult operation by MY supernatural power that is coming in some very unusual ways! I AM going to cleanse that area of divination. It is going to come through the power of MY display. I'm going to do this supernaturally. You've tried to do it with your brain and I'm going to do it supernaturally. You've tried to move one way in your thinking process.

"Watch Me go deep and push it out. I am going to start a move, and watch Me do unusual things in that Gulf Coast. I am going to go deep. I'm going to create swells. I'm going to bring in waves. I'm going to dispel things. Things are going to be thrown on land for you to wrap up and get out of the place. This is a beginning and this next year get ready to ride the waves for I will be moving people around. I will be changing locations. You get ready to ride the wave for I am going to push out that spiritual force that has held you captive and defiled the move of My Spirit. You are going to be released in a whole new way to hear Me and to move with Me and to prosper in a way you've not prospered."

This is a warning from the Lord. He says, "I can turn the Gulf upside down like I turn ponds upside down and bring the bottom to the top! I am getting ready to bring the bottom to the top. Be creative. Know that I can give you understanding on businesses. Know that I can tell you what to do. Things will be coming from the top to the bottom. Get ready because you haven't seen anything like you're about to see. BOTTOMS UP!"

Thank You, Lord, that there will be a new glory coming from the seas onto the land of America.

As Evan Hurst noted yesterday on his piece on Lou Engle, Engle likewise considers himself not a teacher but a prophet; the difference being that he has not come to "teach" us God's Word, but to "tell" us God's Word, so that God's Word and the words of the "prophets" are one and the same.