July 2010

The Omniscient Edwin Graning

I know that I mentioned the situation regarding Edwin Graning yesterday, but the level of hypocrisy involved is just so staggering that it almost defies belief ... or at least it would if hypocrisy wasn't seemingly the foundation of everything the Religious Right does.

Basically, Graning had been working for a bus service in Texas for less than a year when he was assigned to bring a woman to a Planned Parenthood facility in South Austin and refused:

Before picking her up, Graning called the clinic in advance to confirm someone would be there on her arrival. As he was waiting to leave a message, he listened to a list of the clinic’s services.

Graning – an ordained Christian minister – could not go against his religious beliefs.

“Dear God, this woman’s going to have an abortion,” he said. “I went ahead and called my supervisor at home and told her, ‘I can’t be a part of this.’”

Graning said he was told to park the van immediately. He was fired the next day.

I have a simple question:  how did Graning know that the woman was going to have an abortion? Did it ever occur to him that maybe she worked at the facility?  Or that maybe she was going there to get a pregnancy test, or a HIV test, or a STD test, or a Hepatitis vaccine, or a breast exam, or a cervical cancer screening, or a pap test, or any one of the other countless services offered by the facility

Heck, for all Graning knew, this woman was going to Planned Parenthood to get some abstinence education, which they also offer. 

But Graning decided for himself that she was going for an abortion and refused to take her and was justifiably fired ... and now his case has been taken up by Pat Robertson's ACLJ and he's been turned into a Religious Right cause célèbre.

I'm sure that if Graning had refused to take someone to church, the Religious Right would have had an entirely different response.

Newt Gingrich's First Amendment Hypocrisy

Wasn't it just the other day that I was writing about the Religious Right warning Christians that the Obama administration was out to destroy their "freedom of religion" by referring to it merely as "freedom of worship"?  

So how do they justify this bigoted rant from Newt Gingrich arguing for the need to limit the religious rights of Muslims in America?

There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over.

...

America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization. Sadly, too many of our elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could.

No mosque.

No self deception.

No surrender.

The time to take a stand is now - at this site on this issue.

As Steve Benen points out, Gingirch's suggestion doesn't even make any sense

So, by Newt Gingrich's estimation, Saudi Arabian officials are wrong to squelch religious liberty in their country -- so we should be equally wrong in ours. Gingrich sees Saudi Arabia discriminating and showing a lack of tolerance for spiritual diversity and, in effect, concludes, "Let's follow their lead."

But in addition, how exactly does does Gingrich plan on going about preventing this Mosque from being built considering that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"? 

I thought the Religious Right was willing to lay down their lives to defend religious liberty

And doesn't limiting free exercise of religion in America directly contradict the mission of Gingrich's own organization, Renewing American Leadership?

How To Renew American Leadership

So what should Americans who love their country, and believe in its ideals, do to reclaim the vision so ably constructed for us by the founding fathers and every legal immigrant who has come here to achieve the American Dream? Our initial prescription for Renewing American Leadership can be summarized in four points.

1. It is imperative to teach Americans the truth about the greatness of their country.

2. It is imperative to return to limited government by restoring our system of constitutional checks and balances.

3. It is imperative to protect and encourage the free exercise of religion in America.

4. It is imperative to take control of our borders, and reform our immigration system to admit people able to contribute the skills and the values we need for America’s future.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The AFA is now boycotting Home Depot ... or, as they refer to it, "Homosexual Depot."
  • Leave it to Alan Keyes to make the Shirley Sherrod saga even more ridiculous than it already was.
  • Think of it as Vacation Bible School, as run by Glenn Beck.
  • Texas Lawyer has named Kelly Shackelford of the Liberty Institute as one of the state’s greatest attorneys in the past quarter-century. That doesn't reflect too highly on TX lawyers, now does it?
  • You know AZ's draconian immigration law is good because it is supported both by the Constitution and the Bible.
  • Finally, quote of the day from Bryan Fischer, responding to the settlement in the Constance McMillen case: "This is how evil advances in America - one weak-kneed group of kind-hearted, wimpish people at a time ... what this situation called for was not niceness but goodness, not capitulation but courage."

Religious Right Working to Limit Reproductive Choice At Home and Abroad

It is important to remind ourselves occasionally that right-wing anti-choice groups don't just want to control the rights of women in America, they want to control the rights of women everywhere.

Case in point: Pat Robertson's ACLJ has been deeply involved and spent tens of thousands of dollars in trying to keep abortion out of the constitution being drafted in Kenya ... and now it looks like dozens of other Religious Right leaders are backing the effort:

With just two weeks to go until Kenyans vote on a new Constitution, World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs announced the conclusion of a successful petition drive "In Support Of The 'No' Campaign -- Kenyans Opposed To The Pro-Abortion Constitution."

In less than a week, the Congress gathered signatures from more than 170 pro-life and pro-family leaders in 21 countries. Signers include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Former Boston Mayor and Vatican Ambassador Ray Flynn and Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay ...

Organizations whose leaders are represented include:

-- Priests for Life
-- Tradition, Family and Property
-- Concerned Women for America
-- Alliance Defense Fund
-- Human Life International
-- Liberty Counsel
-- Americans United for Life
-- National Right to Life Committee
-- LifeSiteNews.com
-- Eagle Forum
-- Vision America Action
-- Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
-- The Beverly LaHaye Institute
-- Focus on The Family
-- Family Talk [w/James Dobson]
-- Traditional Values Coalition

While the Religious Right is working to outlaw abortion overseas, they are also working to limit access to legal abortions here in the US in increasingly imaginative ways, which is why the ACLJ is representing a Texas bus driver who lost his job after refusing to take a passenger to a Planned Parenthood facility because it performed abortions:

[Edwin] Graning had asked his wife to call the facility; she heard a recording directing callers to call 911 in case of abortion complications. "I said, dear God in heaven, this woman's gonna have an abortion," he said.

Graning said that no protocol for orders to drive people to abortion clinics had ever been discussed. "I'm a Christian ... I love the Lord and I'm not going to be a part of something like this," said Graning, a former pastor. He pointed out that the woman quickly received a ride from another bus.

When he told his supervisor that he would not make the drive, Graning says the supervisor replied, "Then you are resigning." He objected, but was later directed to bring his vehicle and belongings back to CARTS, and received a letter of termination on grounds of insubordination.

Graning, 63, who celebrated his 40th wedding anniversary last month, is a father of two and grandfather of three.

He is being represented by lawyers from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

FRC's Webcast Exposes The Fatuous Fraudulence of Their DADT Campaign

Last night the Family Research Council hosted a webcast entitled "Mission Compromised: How the military is being used to advance a radical agenda" which featured several members of Congress along with Religious Right activists discussing both efforts to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell and efforts to allow abortion at military facilities. 

In this first clip, Oliver North tells Tony Perkins that conservative, home-schooled kids who read the Bible instead of looking at porn will stop joining the military if DADT is repealed because it will eventually lead to NAMBLA members being allowed to serve:

Next up is Rep. Todd Akin who tells Perkins that our military actions have always been just, but that if we allow abortions to take place at military facilities and gays to serve openly, the fundamental justice of our military will be lost:

In this next clip, Perkins and Army Sgt. Benjamin Ratliff claim that letting gays serve would cause real problems for soldiers because they might be reluctant to "spoon" in a life-threatening situation because they might have concerns about the guy next to them:

But no clip better exposes the utter fradulence and fatuousness of the right-wing campaign against DADT's repeal than this. First you have the AFA's Bryan Fischer claiming that allowing gays to serve would cause all those with good, conservative Christian values to leave the military; this has been a favorite right-wing talking point, but it is entire undermined by Sgt. Ratliff himself, who states that even if DADT was repealed, he would continue to serve and would urge others to do so as well because even though he would disagree with it, he loves his country more:

Behold The Instructors and Curriculum for LaBarbera's 3 Days of Hate Conference

Peter LaBarbera has unveiled the instructor list and official curriculum for his upcoming three day anti-gay hatefest/"truth academy" ... and it is pretty much going to be the gay-hatingest thing you have ever seen: 

Truth Academy Instructors:

  • Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel ; Board Member, AFTAH
  • Cliff Kincaid, America’s Survival; Accuracy in Media
  • Prof. Robert Gagnon, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, author, The Bible and Homosexual Practice
  • Arthur Goldberg, Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH), author, Light in the Closet: Torah, Homosexuality, and the Power to Change
  • Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute
  • Robert Knight, Coral Ridge Ministries; author, Radical Rulers: The White House Elites Who Are Pushing America Towards Socialism, keynote presenter
  • Peter LaBarbera, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality
  • Prof. Rena Lindevaldsen, Liberty University School of Law
  • Greg Quinlan, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX); Pro-Family Network
  • Ryan Sorba, Young Conservatives of California

THURSDAY 

Welcoming Remarks, Peter LaBarbera, President, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality: “From gay pride to gay tyranny”

10:10 – 11:10 – Prof. Rena Lindevaldsen, Liberty University School of Law: “History of modern ‘gay’ activism and the courts”

11:20-12:20 – Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel; Board Member, AFTAH: “Masculine Christianity: a non-defensive approach to the Culture War over homosexuality”

1:20-2:20 – Ryan Sorba, Young Conservatives of California: “The ‘born gay hoax”

2:30 – 3:30 – Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute: “Using reason and logic in answering pro-homosexuality arguments”

3:40-4:40 – Arthur Goldberg, JONAH (Jews Offering Healthy Alternatives to Homosexuality), author, Light in the Closet: Torah, Homosexuality, and the Power to Change: “Can gays change? Is gay parenting good for kids? Presenting the research on homosexuality”

4:50-6:00 – PANEL DISCUSSION and Q & A:

Theme: “Can the effort to ‘mainstream’ homosexuality in American culture be stopped?”

Panelists: Rena Lindevaldsen, Matt Barber, Laurie Higgins, Ryan Sorba, Arthur Goldberg, and Greg Quinlan, Cliff Kincaid; Moderator: Peter LaBarbera

7:45 – 9:15 – Greg Quinlan, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX); Pro-Family Network: “An Ex-Gay Christian Discusses Love, Truth and Homosexuality”

FRIDAY

9:00 – 10:00 – Prof. Robert Gagnon, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary: “From abomination to ‘gay’: answering ‘queer theology’ — Old Testament”

10:10 – 11:10 – Prof. Rena Lindevaldsen, Liberty University School of Law: “The zero-sum game: homosexuality-based ‘rights’ vs. religious and First Amendment freedoms”

11:20-12:20 – Laurie Higgins, Illinois Family Institute: “Corrupting children, politicizing schools: the homosexual youth agenda”

1:20-2:20 – Arthur Goldberg, JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality: “The gender confusion agenda: ‘transgender rights’”

2:30 – 3:30 – Cliff Kincaid, America’s Survival, Accuracy in Media: “The battle over blood: ‘gay’ health risks and public policy”

3:40-4:40 – Prof. Rena Lindevaldsen, Liberty U. School of Law: “The legal strategy to stop homosexual ‘marriage’: triumphs and pitfalls”

5:00-6:00 – PANEL DISCUSSION and Q & A:

Theme: “Returning the debate to behavior – getting off the ‘GLBT’ playing field”

Panelists: Rena Lindevaldsen, Matt Barber, Laurie Higgins, Ryan Sorba, Arthur Goldberg, Cliff Kincaid, Robert Knight, Robert Gagnon, Gregg Quinlan; Moderator: Peter LaBarbera

7:45 – 9:15 – Robert Knight, Coral Ridge Ministries; author, Radical Rulers: The White House Elites Who Are Pushing America Towards Socialism: “From destroying DOMA to homosexualizing the military: Obama’s radical homosexual/transsexual agenda for America”

SATURDAY

9:00 – 10:00 – Prof. Robert Gagnon, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary: “’Jesus Never Said Anything about Homosexuality’”; Answering ‘Queer Theology’ — New Testament”

10:10 – 11:10 – Robert Knight, Coral Ridge Ministries: “Destructive legacy: Alfred Kinsey and the (Homo)Sexual Revolution”

11:20-12:20 – Greg Quinlan, PFOX, Pro-Family Network: “The big, pink plan for a lavender culture”/”How to lobby effectively”

1:20-2:20 – Cliff Kincaid, America’s Survival; Accuracy in Media: “Combating pro-homosexual media bias, confronting pro-gay ‘conservatives’”

2:30-3:40 – Prof. Robert Gagnon, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary: “Agreeing with God: a truly biblical approach toward ‘out and proud’ homosexuality”

3:50-4:50 – Ryan Sorba, Young Conservatives of California: “Confronting the zeitgeist: new strategies to turn around younger Americans on ‘gay rights’”

5:00-6:00 – Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel, AFTAH Board Member: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Bleed: stopping Obama’s campaign to homosexualize the U.S. military”

6:00-6:20 – Closing remarks, Peter LaBarbera, Americans For Truth

Manhattan Declaration: A Call To Christian Civil Disobedience

If you thought the Manhattan Declaration was mainly an opportunity for the Religious Right to declare themselves heroes of the Christian faith ... well, you were correct.  But that doesn't mean that organizers were not entirely serious about their pledge to be ready to give their lives to fight Obama's looming Nazi-like dictatorship.

That is a point that Manhattan Declaration founders Chuck Colson and Timothy George make in his new video, as George compares those who sign this document to both Martin Luther and Martin Luther King while Colson begs people to "understand the severity of the threats to our first freedom" which are coming from all sides and "realize the kind of fight we're in and be prepared for what we may face in the coming months":

Here is the video from a few weeks ago that Colson references in this new video, in which he takes up the claim which we addressed yesterday that the Obama administration is systematically out to destroy "freedom of religion" in order to promote the gay agenda and destroy Christianity:

Human Events Labels Sen. Graham a Euphemism for "Bitch" for Supporting Kagan

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-6 to send Elena Kagan's nomination to the full Senate for a confirmation vote, with Sen. Lindsey Graham being the only Republican on the Committee to support her.

Needless to say, Graham's decision is not sitting well with the Right, which is why Human Events responded by more or less calling him a "bitch":

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: People For the American Way, Public Citizen Launch Constitutional Amendment Pledge Campaign to Undo Citizens United.
  • Steve Benen: Meet Shirley Sherrod.
  • Jonathan Chait: The Journolist Conspiracy Continues.
  • Evan McMorris-Santoro: Mosque Ado About Fear-Mongering: Right Wing Takes On Muslim Worship Anywhere And Everywhere.
  • John Aravosis: I just took DOD's confidential DADT survey of the troops - three times!
  • Think Progress: Washington Times Runs Another Picture Of Kagan In A Turban To Claim She Will Impose Shariah Law On America.
  • Andy Kroll: Sharron Angle's Racist Tea Partier Problem.
  • Media Matters: The right wing's convenient Mark Williams amnesia.
  • Jim Burroway: Mississippi School District Settles With Lesbian Student Over Canceled Prom.
  • Jillian Rayfield: Good As Goldline: Congress And CA Law Enforcement Probing Glenn Beck's Favorite Gold Seller.
  • Justin Elliot: Vitter opponent sleeping with stepson's wife.