February 2012

Barton: Obama is a "Christian Atheist"

We have said it before, but it bears repeating: for the Religious Right, attacks on a political figure's faith is an act of unmitigated anti-Christian bigotry ... unless that candidate is President Obama.

In recent weeks, we have seen several examples of right-wing leaders openly proclaiming that Obama is not only a bad Christian but, in some cases, not even a Christian at all.

And then trend continued today on "Wallbuilders Live" where David Barton proclaimed that even thought President Obama may call himself a Christian, he is really just a "Christian Atheist":

The President, you know he's gone to church to twenty years in Chicago but he's really secular.

A Christian Deist is someone who wears the label "Christian" but they really act and live as if God doesn't really get involved in affairs and He's not really close. And I would even call them Christian Atheists. They're Christians by label but they really act like God's not alive.

I've got a lot of folks I can point to who are Christian Deists or Atheists and I'd put the President in there as one of them. He's more secularist but he'll tell you he's a Christian. He gets offended if you say he's not and he's always challenged anyone who claims he was a Muslim, not a Christian. Great, alright, but you're a Christian Atheist, you're a Christian Deist.

So it's really a distinction on how pious you are.

Pat Robertson Tells Viewer it's His Own Fault, Not Robertson's, that Healing Didn't Work

One of the most sad and telling claims of so-called ‘faith healers’ from Benny Hinn to Todd Bentley is that the reason people are not healed at their healing conferences or through their television ministries is not because the faith healer wasn’t able to cure the ailment or sickness but because of the lack of faith of the person (and often the inadequate size of their financial gifts) who sought the healing. If only the person had genuine faith, so it goes, then the healing would’ve worked, so don’t blame the healer!

Today on the 700 Club, we saw an example of that when a viewer called in wondering why it is that when he prayed with Pat Robertson during his show for a healing of his knee pain the pain came back the next day. Robertson responded that people can “give up” his healings because “you don’t believe that it’s real” and never claimed the healing, “this is mine.” He also maintained that the return of the pain “may be Satanic and the things come back on you, they come back and you need to rebuke it and command it to leave you, permanently.”


Religious Right's Claim that Obama is Undercutting Religious Freedom Becomes Even More Pathetic

Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who today is testifying at Rep. Darrell Issa’s male and conservative dominated hearing on whether the “Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience,” earlier appeared on James Dobson’s program Family Talk to claim that “aggressive secularity” is “becoming the established ‘religion’ in our country today.”

After discussing the contraception mandate, Lori went on to claim that gay rights measures are attempts to “force us out of foster care and adoption.” To be clear, no group has been ‘forced out’ of such services, some church-affiliated organizations did not receive taxpayer dollars for such services because they insisted on using taxpayer money while discriminating against gay and lesbian taxpayers. Lori went on to lament that public schools are denigrating Christianity while affirming homosexuality:

Lori: When in a state they’re proposing a same-sex marriage law, they always say to religious people ‘you don’t have to solemnize these marriages so we’re protecting your freedom,’ but they want to force us out of foster care and adoption, they want to force us to provide benefits for same-sex couples. The other thing we should not miss is that when we send our kids off to public schools and a lot of places its being drilled into them that the sexual mores taught by the churches are bad, repressive, that same-sex marriage is OK, that homosexuality is all right. Of course if you look at a Western Civ. course the role of Christianity is always portrayed in a negative light, as an impediment to progress. As I say, there is an established religion, it’s really an un-religion, an aggressive secularity, that’s a system of belief and that’s becoming the established ‘religion’ in our country today.

Dobson also angrily claimed that the Obama administration is trying to use the term “freedom to worship” to replace the freedom of religion:

Dobson: You know that brings tears to my eyes, literally, just the importance of this issue. We’re dealing with things here that can’t be compromised, it’s the freedom of everybody to express their beliefs and not only in private. What bothered me is the Obama administration this last year and Hillary Clinton and others began talking about the ‘freedom to worship.’ No! It’s the freedom of religion!

As we have pointed out over and over again, both Presidents Obama and Bush have used the phrase “freedom to worship,” and President Obama has far more frequently employed the phrase “freedom of religion.”

But if Dobson wants to claim that the mere use of the phrase “freedom to worship” is a sign that Obama seeks to weaken the freedom of religion, then Dobson must not only believe that Bush too wanted to undermine the freedom of religion, but that he himself opposes the freedom of religion. Why? Because Dobson earlier this year claimed “freedom to worship” was a central freedom in the U.S.:

Remember, according to Dobson’s own absurd rule the use of such a phrase is an attack on the freedom of religion, so maybe Dobson should reconsider saying that anyone who speaks about the freedom of worship must therefore want to curtail the freedom of religion.

George Allen Pays Pastor Who Blamed Haiti Earthquake on Pact with the Devil

In January of 2010 televangelist Pat Robertson notoriously blamed the deadly earthquake in Haiti on the country’s supposed “pact to the Devil.”

While Robertson’s remarks sparked outrage, the televangelist refused to back down and even found support from Rev. Joe Ellison of the Virginia Pastors Coalition, who claimed Robertson spoke the “truth” and the practice of voodoo among Haitians was responsible for the earthquake:

Today, the Washington Post reports that Ellison has been paid close to $25,000 in consulting fees from George Allen’s campaign to return to the U.S. Senate. Ironically, the delegate Ellison was introducing in the video where he endorsed Robertson’s remarks, Bob Marshall, is now running against Allen in the GOP primary:

Former governor and senator George Allen (R) is amending his campaign disclosure forms filed with the Federal Elections Commission to indicate that Richmond minister Joseph Ellison has been added to the payroll of his U.S. Senate campaign for clergy outreach.

Allen’s campaign originally wrote that it hired Ellison as a “fundraising consultant’’ but spokesman Bill Riggs said that was a “mistake” and as soon as staff learned about it they began working to fix it.

Ellison was paid $22,500 last year, according to the documents. He also received nearly $2,000 for mileage reimbursement, meals and lodging.

“Twenty five thousand dollars is a huge chunk of campaign cash, and George Allen needs to explain exactly what that money paid for,’’ said Matt Thornton, spokesman for American Bridge 21st Century. “But with his long history of not answering even the most basic questions like who his consulting clients are, Virginians shouldn’t hold their breath waiting.”

Ellison has appeared with other Republicans, including Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and has been a long time supporter of Allen’s when he ran for governor and senator. He attended Allen’s 2006 victory party and organized a group of local black ministers to meet with Allen.

Since Allen is trying to repair the damage from his ‘macaca’ outburst in 2006, paying a pastor who believes that Haitians suffered as a result of divine punishment may not be the best way to start his 2012 campaign.

Michelle Obama's Brownshirts and the Case of the Confiscated Lunch

Whenever we see the Religious Right collectively begin to cite some new tale of government overreach and/or Christian persecution at some public school, the name "Raymond Raines" comes to mind.

As we've explained before, back in the 1990's, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson and the entire conservative community were outraged about an incident in which a student named Raymond Raines had supposedly been sentenced to a week of detention for simply praying before eating his lunch in the cafeteria of an elementary school in St. Loius. 

Of course, it was entirely untrue, as Raines had actually been disciplined for fighting. 

So now, whenever we start seeing Religious Right groups cite a story like this one out of North Carolina about a four year-old preschool student who supposedly had her homemade lunch confiscated by a Department of Health and Human Services employee for not being healthy enough and was forced to eat school-approved chicken nuggets instead ... well, we get a little suspicious.

So far, the story has been promoted by the Eagle Forum and the Family Research Council, which sees it as proof that "the Left's goal is not just to control you. The goal is to control your children. And the more authority it can siphon away from parents, the better its chances are."

Gary Bauer also featured it in his daily email, declaring "welcome to Obama's brave new world. If the government can force us to buy specific products, force religious institutions to violate their values and send lunchbox inspectors to sort through our kids' food, Chinese-style 'commissars' are in our future."

And, never one to be outdone, Bryan Fischer was apoplectic that Michele Obama's army of Brownshirt/Stormtrooper/Stasi thugs are out there confiscating the lunches of little children:

Now, who among us will be surprised to learn that this whole thing is false and all of this outrage is rooted in the misunderstanding of one little girl?

School and state officials say a misunderstanding resulted in a West Hoke Elementary School preschooler's homemade lunch being replaced with chicken nuggets.

An agent from the Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Child Development and Early Education was at the school Jan. 30 assessing the pre-kindergarten program, said Bob Barnes, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Hoke County schools.

The agent examined the lunches for the six students in the class and believed one did not meet nutritional requirements spelled out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Barnes said.

According to the USDA, schools are required to provide lunches that include one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

The 4-year-old, whose name was not released, brought a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, potato chips and apple juice.

The Department of Health and Human Services declined to say which requirement was not provided in the child's lunch.

The girl thought she had to go through the lunch line for a new meal, Barnes said.

The Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement that it is investigating. In the statement, the department denies that its employee inspected the lunch and denies instructing "any child to replace or remove any meal items."

Typically, if a teacher sees a student with a lunch that does not meet the nutritional requirements, he or she will offer the child the missing components free of charge, Barnes said.

In this instance, Barnes said, the girl misunderstood her instructor and believed she had to get a new lunch rather than receive an additional element.

Rule of thumb: The amount of outrage being generated among the Religious Right to any given story is generally inversely proportional to the truth of said story.

Is This Woman ‘Fracking’ Crazy? – Ann McElhinney of Frack Nation at CPAC

Ann McElhinney is very upset about dumb, lying environmentalists and very excited about fracking, which is a miraculous gift from God. She’s making a film about it – Frack Nation – and she pitched the CPAC crowd last Saturday on her right-wing response to the critically acclaimed documentary Gasland.
The thesis of McElhinney’s manic, meandering speech is that fracking is the best thing to ever happen to us, but it could be squandered by ignorant and dumb people who have been tricked into opposing it by scheming, dishonest environmentalists who agree with Vladimir Putin and secretly hate the Bald Eagle.
During the course of her screed, and in between all the “fracking” puns, she suggested that drinking water in the US has always been flammable and that renewable energy sources only work while, for instance, the sun is out or the wind is blowing.
Here is a highlight reel for your viewing pleasure:


Right Wing Round-Up - 2/15/12

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/15/12

  • Does the Christian Defense Coalition's Pat Mahoney do anything other than protest outside the White House and vow to get arrested?
  • Based on the truly terrifying introduction Callista Gingrich delivered at CPAC, I can't imagine how this is a good idea.
  • Rick Santoum wins the heavily influential Megadeth endorsement.
  • First it was balloon, then teddy bears, and now Janet Porter is flooding the Ohio state house with roses.
  • It is amazing how the Religious Right seems to think that being a conservative Christian entitles them to say whatever they want without consequence and that any criticism of them is anti-Christian bigotry.
  • Jay Richards and James Robison say "it's hard to not conclude that his administration is the most militantly secularist in history."
  • Finally, why can't Sen. Orrin Hatch's staff just admit that he was wrong instead of claiming that he "misspoke"? Making demonstrably false assertions is not misspeaking.

Religious Right Leaders Deride Obama's 'Overt Anti-Christian Hostility'

When one wonders why polls show that the number of Americans who don’t believe President Obama is a Christian is actually rising, consider the harsh rhetoric of Religious Right leaders like American Family Association head Tim Wildmon and Rick Scarborough of Vision America. On Today’s Issues, Wildmon and Scarborough told listeners that President Obama is not a Christian and that there are “no fruits of [Christian faith] in his public policy positions.” In fact, the Religious Right leaders argued that he is “anti-Christian”:

Wildmon: I’m just somewhat stunned by the secular, anti-Christian, anti-life attitude and statements and policies of President Obama, it’s just one thing after another. He claims to be a Christian, I see no fruits of that in his public policy positions, you claim to be a Christian yet you’re for murdering unborn babies in the womb. How do you put that together?

Scarborough: At some point finally you have to look at the man’s life and determine whether to believe the rhetoric or not.

Scarborough: You have to conclude, something is wrong, something is missing, the rhetoric doesn’t match the life.

Wildmon: I think there’s an anti-Christian, overt anti-Christian hostility.

Fischer: Women are Emotionally Unfit for Combat

Last week, Rick Santorum explained that he was opposed to any plans by the Pentagon to place women in combat positions, asserting that the "types of emotions that are involved" would compromise combat effectiveness.

Santorum quickly "clarified," saying that he didn't mean that women were emotionally unsuited for serving in combat but rather that male soldiers would be protective of female soldiers and inclined to compromise the mission in order to defend them.

Not surprisingly, Bryan Fischer agrees with Santorum ... and is even willing to defend the view that Santorum himself rejected: that women are inherently emotionally unfit for combat:

But not only are women emotionally unfit for combat but also physically unfit because, as Fischer explained in his column today, "the average female soldier does not even have the arm strength to throw a grenade far enough to keep herself from getting blown up."