February 2011

Euteneuer Resigned From HLI For "Violating The Boundaries Of Chastity" While Engaged In The "Ministry Of Exorcism"

Last August, Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, the president of Human Life International, warned that failure to stop gay marriage would lead to the end of civilization:

While we respect all people as they are, we don't have to respect such a wholesale assault on everything that is sacred to us and good for our society; no, in fact, we must fight against it with our very lives. The question is not whether or not we can win the battle; the question is whether we will join it. Will we accept the challenge to defend the sacred or not? We are called to be faithful and obedient to the Plan of God for our world, and within that, God will bring forth the victory. There is no doubt that, if it is not already there, gay marriage will be coming to your state soon. If we don't fight it, our souls, our families and basically, our very civilization, will find themselves at "the end" of the line in very short order.

Shortly thereafter, Euteneuer resigned from his position at Human Life International, claiming that he needed a "break."

That, as it turns out, was not true.

Euteneuer really resigned because he violated "the boundaries of chastity with an adult female" who was under his care as he carried out his "ministry of exorcism," as he admits in a new statement:

The circumstances that led to my departure from HLI were related exclusively to my own decisions and conduct within the ministry of exorcism that I carried out independently from my responsibilities at HLI. The vast majority of my decisions and conduct, both personally and in this ministry, were morally sound and consistent with all standards of pastoral care of persons. Moreover, they were all motivated exclusively by my desire to give priestly assistance to people in great spiritual distress. I must acknowledge, however, that one particularly complex situation clouded my judgment and led me to imprudent decisions with harmful consequences, the worst of which was violating the boundaries of chastity with an adult female who was under my spiritual care.

I take full responsibility for my own poor judgment, my weakness and my sinful conduct that resulted from it. I offer no excuse for my professional or moral failures, nor do I shift the blame to anyone else. I state without reserve that I am deeply sorry for my actions. I have personally apologized, where possible, to anyone I have harmed.

...

I therefore affirm and will never deviate from my affirmation that the following are true:

  • My violations of chastity were limited to one person only, an adult woman;
  • The violations of chastity happened due to human weakness but did not involve the sexual act;
  • The accusation that I “targeted” vulnerable women or otherwise sought them out for spiritual direction is utterly false and a serious defamation of my character and ministry;
  • With rare exceptions, my exorcism/prayer ministry was always conducted with prayer helpers (third parties) present; situations where prayer or pastoral care occurred without helpers present were exceptional situations where I believed it was necessary for me to act quickly in order to help the afflicted person; while not proper protocol, these departures from the norm were never done with a motive to be alone with vulnerable women;
  • I repudiate any allegations of financial impropriety in conducting my prayer/exorcism ministry; I never, under any circumstances, solicited money for the ministry other than travel-related reimbursements, nor did I use HLI donor funds to carry out this work; any gifts offered to me were unsolicited and only accepted so as not to offend the giver and in most cases immediately given to those more needy than myself;
  • I have no knowledge of any persons who received any financial settlement in this matter, nor have I asked for that to be given.

Euteneuer Resigned From HLI For "Violating The Boundaries Of Chastity" While Engaged In The "Ministry Of Exorcism"

Last August, Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, the president of Human Life International, warned that failure to stop gay marriage would lead to the end of civilization:

While we respect all people as they are, we don't have to respect such a wholesale assault on everything that is sacred to us and good for our society; no, in fact, we must fight against it with our very lives. The question is not whether or not we can win the battle; the question is whether we will join it. Will we accept the challenge to defend the sacred or not? We are called to be faithful and obedient to the Plan of God for our world, and within that, God will bring forth the victory. There is no doubt that, if it is not already there, gay marriage will be coming to your state soon. If we don't fight it, our souls, our families and basically, our very civilization, will find themselves at "the end" of the line in very short order.

Shortly thereafter, Euteneuer resigned from his position at Human Life International, claiming that he needed a "break."

That, as it turns out, was not true.

Euteneuer really resigned because he violated "the boundaries of chastity with an adult female" who was under his care as he carried out his "ministry of exorcism," as he admits in a new statement:

The circumstances that led to my departure from HLI were related exclusively to my own decisions and conduct within the ministry of exorcism that I carried out independently from my responsibilities at HLI. The vast majority of my decisions and conduct, both personally and in this ministry, were morally sound and consistent with all standards of pastoral care of persons. Moreover, they were all motivated exclusively by my desire to give priestly assistance to people in great spiritual distress. I must acknowledge, however, that one particularly complex situation clouded my judgment and led me to imprudent decisions with harmful consequences, the worst of which was violating the boundaries of chastity with an adult female who was under my spiritual care.

I take full responsibility for my own poor judgment, my weakness and my sinful conduct that resulted from it. I offer no excuse for my professional or moral failures, nor do I shift the blame to anyone else. I state without reserve that I am deeply sorry for my actions. I have personally apologized, where possible, to anyone I have harmed.

...

I therefore affirm and will never deviate from my affirmation that the following are true:

  • My violations of chastity were limited to one person only, an adult woman;
  • The violations of chastity happened due to human weakness but did not involve the sexual act;
  • The accusation that I “targeted” vulnerable women or otherwise sought them out for spiritual direction is utterly false and a serious defamation of my character and ministry;
  • With rare exceptions, my exorcism/prayer ministry was always conducted with prayer helpers (third parties) present; situations where prayer or pastoral care occurred without helpers present were exceptional situations where I believed it was necessary for me to act quickly in order to help the afflicted person; while not proper protocol, these departures from the norm were never done with a motive to be alone with vulnerable women;
  • I repudiate any allegations of financial impropriety in conducting my prayer/exorcism ministry; I never, under any circumstances, solicited money for the ministry other than travel-related reimbursements, nor did I use HLI donor funds to carry out this work; any gifts offered to me were unsolicited and only accepted so as not to offend the giver and in most cases immediately given to those more needy than myself;
  • I have no knowledge of any persons who received any financial settlement in this matter, nor have I asked for that to be given.

Republican Leaders Continue To Embrace Bryan Fischer

As we have said time and time again, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer is among the most openly and viciously bigoted Religious Right leaders active today ... but that does not seem to bother any of the Republican leaders who continually appear on his radio program.

Just last week, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker joined Fischer to discuss his anti-choice legislation, and before that it was presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty telling Fischer he'll reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

This is in addition to past appearances from Sen. Jim Inhofe, Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep. Alan Nunnelee, and Rep. Raul Labrador.

And the pattern continues, as in the last few days Fischer has had two more Republican members on Congress on his program, starting last Friday with Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey who joined Fischer to discuss his anti-choice efforts:

And then on Monday, Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia also joined Fischer to discuss his appearance on Bill Maher and defend his Creationist views:

Bryan Fischer spends the majority of his time viciously attacking gays and Mulsims (and bears) and yet Republican leaders are eager to make time to regularly join him on his radio program.

 

Republican Leaders Continue To Embrace Bryan Fischer

As we have said time and time again, the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer is among the most openly and viciously bigoted Religious Right leaders active today ... but that does not seem to bother any of the Republican leaders who continually appear on his radio program.

Just last week, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker joined Fischer to discuss his anti-choice legislation, and before that it was presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty telling Fischer he'll reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

This is in addition to past appearances from Sen. Jim Inhofe, Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep. Alan Nunnelee, and Rep. Raul Labrador.

And the pattern continues, as in the last few days Fischer has had two more Republican members on Congress on his program, starting last Friday with Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey who joined Fischer to discuss his anti-choice efforts:

And then on Monday, Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia also joined Fischer to discuss his appearance on Bill Maher and defend his Creationist views:

Bryan Fischer spends the majority of his time viciously attacking gays and Mulsims (and bears) and yet Republican leaders are eager to make time to regularly join him on his radio program.

 

Live Action Gives Planned Parenthood the ACORN Treatment

It appears that Lila Rose’s group Live Action was behind the covert actions that led to an FBI probe of a possible prostitution ring after all. Planned Parenthood wrote to the FBI about a pattern of incidents where men would travel to their offices across the country and describe their role in illegal sex trafficking, warning that while the pattern could be part of an elaborate hoax, the FBI should investigate the potential lawbreaking:

Last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder summarizing the visits and requesting an FBI investigation. If the man’s assertions were true, she wrote, they would indicate possible violations of federal laws dealing with interstate sex trafficking of minors.

However, Richards said the visits could be part of a hoax resembling some past actions by anti-abortion activists.

“Once inside, these people have recorded ‘undercover’ videos of their conversations with our clinic staff and then selectively and maliciously edited the videos,” she wrote. “This may be happening once again. If so, this kind of activity should be firmly condemned.”

Today, Live Action released “Caught on Tape: Planned Parenthood Aids Pimp’s Underage Sex Ring.” Of course, Planned Parenthood’s request to the FBI to investigate the possible sex ring clearly contradicts and discredits Live Action’s claim that Planned Parenthood is colluding with lawbreakers.

The video of a fake pimp and prostitute greatly resembles James O’Keefe’s highly edited and misleading tapes where he posed as a pimp with a prostitute at ACORN offices. As Talking Points Memo points out, O’Keefe and Live Action’s head Lila Rose have collaborated before and first met at the right-wing Leadership Institute.

Rose has become a rock star of sorts in the Religious Right community. At the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, she called for abortions to be performed in public:

Live Action Gives Planned Parenthood the ACORN Treatment

It appears that Lila Rose’s group Live Action was behind the covert actions that led to an FBI probe of a possible prostitution ring after all. Planned Parenthood wrote to the FBI about a pattern of incidents where men would travel to their offices across the country and describe their role in illegal sex trafficking, warning that while the pattern could be part of an elaborate hoax, the FBI should investigate the potential lawbreaking:

Last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder summarizing the visits and requesting an FBI investigation. If the man’s assertions were true, she wrote, they would indicate possible violations of federal laws dealing with interstate sex trafficking of minors.

However, Richards said the visits could be part of a hoax resembling some past actions by anti-abortion activists.

“Once inside, these people have recorded ‘undercover’ videos of their conversations with our clinic staff and then selectively and maliciously edited the videos,” she wrote. “This may be happening once again. If so, this kind of activity should be firmly condemned.”

Today, Live Action released “Caught on Tape: Planned Parenthood Aids Pimp’s Underage Sex Ring.” Of course, Planned Parenthood’s request to the FBI to investigate the possible sex ring clearly contradicts and discredits Live Action’s claim that Planned Parenthood is colluding with lawbreakers.

The video of a fake pimp and prostitute greatly resembles James O’Keefe’s highly edited and misleading tapes where he posed as a pimp with a prostitute at ACORN offices. As Talking Points Memo points out, O’Keefe and Live Action’s head Lila Rose have collaborated before and first met at the right-wing Leadership Institute.

Rose has become a rock star of sorts in the Religious Right community. At the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, she called for abortions to be performed in public:

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 2/01/11

Michele Bachmann

SOTU: “Tea Party State of the Union Response” is widely panned, mocked on SNL (HuffPo, 1/31).

Budget: Veterans groups blast Bachmann’s proposal to slash veterans benefits (UPI, 1/28).

Congress: Invites Religious Right notable and anti-Islam activist to teach class on Constitution (RWW, 1/26).

Haley Barbour

Civil Rights: Congressman says Barbour's civil rights work in Mississippi more symbolic than substantive (Clarion Ledger, 1/30).

South Carolina: Privately meets with top South Carolina GOP activists (CNN, 1/25).

John Bolton

Foreign Affairs: In CNSNews interview, claims Obama “basically doesn’t care” about foreign and national security issues (1/31).

Budget: Tells neoconservative group that defense department shouldn’t face budget cuts (Philly Daily News, 1/28).

Mike Huckabee

PAC: Leadership PAC “plagued by anemic fundraising” (Politico, 1/31).

Health Care: Lauds ruling on reform law, says “it’s nice to see the courts upholding the Constitution” (Sunshine State News, 1/31).

Foreign Affairs: Justifies Israeli settlements by saying they are building in “the place that God gave them.” (AP, 1/31).

Polls: Ahead of rivals in early GOP polls with strong support among conservatives (TPM, 1/27).

Jon Huntsman

2012: Leaves post as Ambassador to China, advisers start New Horizons leadership PAC (Salt Lake Tribune, 1/31).

Religion: Will Huntsman’s Mormon faith hurt his presidential aspirations? (WaPo, 1/31).

Sarah Palin

PAC: Led other potential presidential candidates in final quarter fundraising (National Journal, 1/31).

Second Amendment: Defended gun rights and praised conservationism at Safari Club (AP, 1/31).

SOTU: Rants against Obama’s “WTF” moments, says he can’t be trusted (Facebook, 1/27).

Tim Pawlenty

Iowa: Courts Religious Right activists in next visit to Iowa (Iowa Independent, 1/31).

Foreign Affairs: Says Obama Administration’s response to crisis in Egypt was “inconsistent and bordering on incoherent” (Minnesota Post, 1/31).

PAC: Freedom First PAC has about $155,000 on hand after midterm election (WaPo, 1/28).

Religious Right: Meets with anti-choice radical Rob Schenck (RWW, 1/28).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Obama aide says administration “got some good ideas” from Romney’s Massachusetts health law (CNN, 1/31).

PAC: Raised more than all other prospective candidates in 2010 (NYT, 1/31).

New Hampshire: Meets with New Hampshire businessmen (Union Leader, 1/31).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Set to address the far-right group Catholic Citizenship (AP, 1/29).

Iowa: Hires staffers with ties to corporate-backed group to lead Iowa campaign (RWW, 1/28).

SOTU: Pens New Hampshire op-ed criticizing Obama’s State of the Union (Union Leader, 1/27).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 2/01/11

Michele Bachmann

SOTU: “Tea Party State of the Union Response” is widely panned, mocked on SNL (HuffPo, 1/31).

Budget: Veterans groups blast Bachmann’s proposal to slash veterans benefits (UPI, 1/28).

Congress: Invites Religious Right notable and anti-Islam activist to teach class on Constitution (RWW, 1/26).

Haley Barbour

Civil Rights: Congressman says Barbour's civil rights work in Mississippi more symbolic than substantive (Clarion Ledger, 1/30).

South Carolina: Privately meets with top South Carolina GOP activists (CNN, 1/25).

John Bolton

Foreign Affairs: In CNSNews interview, claims Obama “basically doesn’t care” about foreign and national security issues (1/31).

Budget: Tells neoconservative group that defense department shouldn’t face budget cuts (Philly Daily News, 1/28).

Mike Huckabee

PAC: Leadership PAC “plagued by anemic fundraising” (Politico, 1/31).

Health Care: Lauds ruling on reform law, says “it’s nice to see the courts upholding the Constitution” (Sunshine State News, 1/31).

Foreign Affairs: Justifies Israeli settlements by saying they are building in “the place that God gave them.” (AP, 1/31).

Polls: Ahead of rivals in early GOP polls with strong support among conservatives (TPM, 1/27).

Jon Huntsman

2012: Leaves post as Ambassador to China, advisers start New Horizons leadership PAC (Salt Lake Tribune, 1/31).

Religion: Will Huntsman’s Mormon faith hurt his presidential aspirations? (WaPo, 1/31).

Sarah Palin

PAC: Led other potential presidential candidates in final quarter fundraising (National Journal, 1/31).

Second Amendment: Defended gun rights and praised conservationism at Safari Club (AP, 1/31).

SOTU: Rants against Obama’s “WTF” moments, says he can’t be trusted (Facebook, 1/27).

Tim Pawlenty

Iowa: Courts Religious Right activists in next visit to Iowa (Iowa Independent, 1/31).

Foreign Affairs: Says Obama Administration’s response to crisis in Egypt was “inconsistent and bordering on incoherent” (Minnesota Post, 1/31).

PAC: Freedom First PAC has about $155,000 on hand after midterm election (WaPo, 1/28).

Religious Right: Meets with anti-choice radical Rob Schenck (RWW, 1/28).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Obama aide says administration “got some good ideas” from Romney’s Massachusetts health law (CNN, 1/31).

PAC: Raised more than all other prospective candidates in 2010 (NYT, 1/31).

New Hampshire: Meets with New Hampshire businessmen (Union Leader, 1/31).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Set to address the far-right group Catholic Citizenship (AP, 1/29).

Iowa: Hires staffers with ties to corporate-backed group to lead Iowa campaign (RWW, 1/28).

SOTU: Pens New Hampshire op-ed criticizing Obama’s State of the Union (Union Leader, 1/27).