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Ted Cruz's Hearing on Supreme Court's Marriage Equality 'Tyranny'

Senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has repeatedly called recent Supreme Court decisions on marriage and health care reform “tyranny.” On Wednesday, he used his platform as chair of the Senate’s Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts to hold a hearing on “Supreme Court activism” in which he said that the marriage equality ruling was “the very definition of tyranny” and that “Justice Kennedy’s pop psychology has no basis in the text and history of the Constitution.”

Among the witnesses Cruz called was John Eastman, chair of the National Organization for Marriage. Eastman said a simple majority of states should be allowed to override Supreme Court decisions. (While we’re talking about “tyranny,” let’s not forget that Eastman recently defended Uganda’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Act and hoped for its swift reinstatement.)

Cruz is far from the only right-winger crying “tyranny” over the prospect of gay couples getting married. We have seen right-wing activists and politicians denounce the marriage equality ruling in the most apocalyptic terms, and charge that it will bring unprecedented religious persecution to the U.S. Right-wing Catholic Hugh Brown of the American Life League even said that Justice Kennedy had “betrayed” Jesus. Another, Michael Hichborn of the right-wing Catholic Lepanto Institute, said Kennedy should be excommunicated.

Some have been calling for states to resist or ignore the ruling (Liberty Counsel is defending county clerks who refuse to do their jobs), or negate it with a “creative” law. Some are focused on passing laws to allow government officials and business owners to discriminate against same-sex couples – like the proposed federal First Amendment Defense Act. Some are calling for constitutional amendments to overturn the marriage ruling. And some are looking at the 2016 presidential election as an opportunity to pack the Court with far-right justices.

Cruz has called for a constitutional amendment that would require justices to face retention elections, and has said he would also support term limits on justices, an idea promoted by fellow presidential contender Mike Huckabee.

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/23/15

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 7/23/15

  • Donald Trump may run as a third party candidate if he fails to win the GOP nomination .... or maybe he won't. Who knows?
  • Russell Moore of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will interview Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio at a Southern Baptist Convention rally next month.
  • Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey is refusing to pay dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee because it sometimes supports gay Republican candidates.
  • Eagle Forum's Cathie Adams urges Republican presidential candidates to go after Planned Parenthood hard: "It is no different from something that I saw just a very few years ago in Dachau."
  • Finally, FRC prays against Planned Parenthood: "Please pray and encourage your friends to pray with great determination for the whole truth about Planned Parenthood to come out in these investigations. Pray that not only the selling of baby parts would stop, but also other serious wrongs that are perpetrated by PP abortion clinics every day. Pray also that Lawmakers will get serious about defunding this American evil and return all gifts they have received!"

'The Civil War Was Peanuts Compared To What We're Going To See'

As we’ve noted, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins often speaks with some very interesting callers on his “Washington Watch” radio program, and yesterday’s edition was no different, as one caller told Perkins that Jewish tradition predicts a massive civil war and martial law coming to the U.S.

“Our leader, the super-left-socialist-Marxist-Muslim that we have in our Oval Office, is bringing this country down to its knees and our faith is being battered,” the caller said. “We are going to be persecuted, the day is here, the fight is on, we have to stand. And here’s the striking thing about it: Next year marks, in September and October, marks the Jewish moth of the Shemittah.”

“You’re right,” Perkins responded.

But the caller wasn’t done yet: “We will see martial law come into this country, next year. President Obama likes to be a president, likes the power, he’s not done and he is going to usher in a time when an election will not take place in this country and there will be civil disobedience in this country and the Civil War was peanuts compared to what we’re going to see.”

Perkins then said that while it would “take me a whole week to unpack all of that,” he plans to bring messianic rabbi and Religious Right activist Jonathan Cahn onto his radio show to discuss “from a historical perspective as well as a biblical perspective” the “interesting stuff” involved in the Shemittah. According to Cahn, the September 11, 2001 attacks and the 2008 Financial Crash were all part of the Shemittah cycle.

Unfortunately for the caller, the Shemittah actually falls this September, not next year, so if Obama wants to declare martial law and incite a massive bloodbath he’d better do it soon!

Savage: Civil War Is 'The Only Thing That Could Save Us'

Conservative talk show host Michael Savage reacted to the shooting of military service members in Chattanooga last week by railing against the media and the government for supposedly trying to cover up any mention of the shooter’s religion.

Savage said on his program Friday that Americans will be driven to civil war if the media try to portray terrorist attacks as anything other than Islamic terrorism, a war he thinks is needed to save the country.

“I don’t know what it’s going to take for this country to change — I do know what it’s going to take, it’s going to take the big one. It’s going to take the big one and mark my words if, God forbid, the big one comes, like the dirty bomb or something horrible like that, you’re going to wait and see what the media says, ‘We provoked it, we shouldn’t have been in Afghanistan, we’re not sensitive to Muslims, what did we do to offend them, we have to reach out,’ that’s the end of the road, there’ll be a civil war,” Savage said. “And by the way, it’ll be overdue. That’s the only thing that could save us.”

He added that while he hopes there isn’t a war, America’s enemies have already “infiltrated” the government, which is now pushing the people to the breaking point since it is “at war with us by enabling the enemies of our very survival.”

David Barton 'Appalled' By The South's Civil War Revisionist History, Likens Confederate Army To ISIS

David Barton, a Religious Right activist often hailed as the movement's premier historian, has a habit of promoting wildly revisionist history (including about his own life) to an enthusiastic conservative audience. So we were somewhat surprised today when Barton delivered a forceful condemnation of revisionist history about the cause of the Civil War.

On his "WallBuilders Live" radio program today, Barton took a question from a listener on the controversy over the Confederate flag and the idea that the Civil War was really fought over the principle of states' rights and not the issue of slavery.

Barton outright rejected this sort of "revision of history" and spent more than ten minutes explaining that the Civil War was explicitly fought over the issue of slavery, as he declared that it appalls him to see schools named after Confederate generals like Nathan Bedford Forrest and compared the actions of Confederate soldiers to ISIS.

"It was not about states' rights," Barton said. "It was about slavery."

As Barton explained, the documents written and speeches given by those who supported secession regularly cited the preservation of slavery as the primary factor. The idea that the Civil War was fought to protect states' rights, Barton said, is absurd considering that the Confederate constitution explicitly prohibited states from abolishing slavery.

"It was not about states' rights, it was about slavery," Barton said. "What we've seen as a result of this is a lot of revision of history. And today, it literally appalls me to see that throughout the south, they still have elementary schools named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was one of the great Confederate generals in the Civil War. But you know, Nathan Bedford Forrest was also the founder of the Ku Klux Klan ... We've got elementary schools named after a great murderer?"

Barton went on to praise the removal of the Confederate flag from outside the South Carolina capitol and elsewhere, saying that those who fly it and defend it "know nothing" about its history or the "values" it represented.

To make his case, Barton cited the massacre at Fort Pillow, in which Bedford's Confederate troops ruthlessly murdered hundreds of surrendering black Union soldiers.

"When the blacks surrendered, when Union forces surrendered, having surrendered, they slaughtered them on the spot," Barton said. "I mean, ISIS-like atrocities: they skinned 'em, they burned them alive, the buried 'em, they drowned 'em, the drug 'em, they hung 'em. These were guys who surrendered, they were prisoners of war. The Confederacy had a standing order that any black that you capture is to be killed on the spot. That's not similar values to the north, we're not talking the same value base here."

Barton went on to liken Confederate prisoner of war camps for Union soldiers to Nazi death camps as he revealed that of all the official prayer proclamations that he collects for this library, he will not accept any Confederate proclamations from the likes of Jefferson Davis "because what they were praying for to God is like ISIS praying."

"Look at the pictures, read the accounts," Barton said. "Read what happened to blacks, read the hearings in Congress on the various things that were done to blacks. It's not human. It's what Germans did to Jews, saying 'Well, they aren't human, we can do this to them.'"

Barton said that he realizes that lots of Confederate leaders and soldiers were strong Christians "but that doesn't mean what they fought for was right ... The bottom line is you judge a tree by its fruits and the states' right they fought to preserve was that of keeping blacks as non-people, as non-humans and they treated blacks and they treated Union soldiers in that manner and that's just unacceptable."

We look forward to folks like Todd Starnes now relentless attacking Barton for engaging in "cultural cleansing."

Right-Wing Pundit: Obama Wants To 'Padlock' Black Churches But Ignores 'Racist' Planned Parenthood

John Zmirak, the conservative columnist and senior editor of James Robison’s “The Stream” website, told Wisconsin talk radio host Vicki McKenna on Tuesday that President Obama wants to “padlock” the black church in Charleston that was targeted by a racist gunman even as he supports “the most racist organization in the country,” Planned Parenthood.

Zmirak managed to tie together two false right-wing memes, claiming that the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision will cause churches to lose their tax-exempt status (it won’t) and that Planned Parenthood is selling “babies’ brains and livers for profit” (it isn’t).

“Let’s keep in mind that the Obama administration is talking about taking away the tax exemption of churches that won’t perform same-sex marriages, but they’re going to keep a tax exemption for an organization that sells babies’ brains and livers for profit,” he said. “Wrap your mind about that one and then think of Barack Obama singing ‘Amazing Grace’ with a straight face in Christian church.”

“By the way, the church where he sang will lose its tax exemption and probably have to close,” he continued. “That black church where there was that horrible shooting in Charleston, they don’t do same-sex marriages. So Obama, even though he sang there, his people are getting ready to padlock the place but they won’t padlock the abortion mills of Planned Parenthood. That’s the kind of bizarre world we live in.”

McKenna concurred, citing a debunked right-wing myth that Planned Parenthood “has had as its goal the elimination of black children because black people, according to its founder, were unfit, unfit, we need to reduce the number of black people having children because black people are lesser humans.” Instead of focusing on the Confederate flag, she said, the U.S. should just “get rid of Planned Parenthood.”

“Absolutely,” Zmirak agreed. “Planned Parenthood is the most racist organization in the country. As far as I know, even the Ku Klux Klan does not advocate killing black people. They have a lot of despicable views, but they don’t actually talk about extermination. Planned Parenthood is actually doing it.”

Michael Savage: Obama Gave Me The Flu!

On Tuesday, conservative radio host Michael Savage told his listeners that he recently got “wiped out” by the flu, an illness he promptly blamed on President Obama.

Last year, during a summer spike in undocumented immigrant youths coming to the U.S., Savage warned listeners that the largely Central American immigrants were spreading Enterovirus D-68 to the U.S., which he referred to as “the Honduran flu.”

Savage lamented that “my body really got wasted by the Honduran flu brought in by Obama’s children last summer on those trains.”

Of course, experts report that there is no connection between immigrants and the enterovirus, and the law that blocked immediate deportation of the Central American minors was signed into law by President Bush, not Obama.

Barton: Gay Marriage Ruling Will Force Churches To Hire Pedophiles To Run Day Care Centers

Earlier this week, David Barton appeared on Missions Radio, where he doubled down on his false claim that the Supreme Court ruling striking down gay marriage bans has now legalized pedophilia, asserting that churches will be forced to hire child molesters to run their day care centers.

After repeating his false warning that gay marriage will lead to the elimination of gender-specific bathrooms and locker rooms, Barton claimed that the ruling, along with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which he wrongly asserted was passed into law in 2006, will now also force churches to hire pedophiles.

"The Supreme Court said gender cannot be used as a basis of why you do things," Barton said, "what you use is sexual identity. At this point, there are 82 distinct sexual identities ... so whatever I identify myself as this morning, you now have legal standing for that. So what you've seen is, we used to have bathrooms based on gender, but you can't identify gender so now you have to do no genders. So we've already seen in Utah that a number of guys have signed up and moved into the girl's dorms and you can't stop that because you can't base it on gender any more. Well, guess what that's going to mean for sports teams, guess what that's going to mean for bathrooms all across the country, guess what that's going to mean for all sorts of stuff."

"And then, Congress has passed what’s called ENDA, Employment Non-Discrimination Act," he continued, "passed this in '06 under [Nancy] Pelosi and [Harry] Reid and at that point in time, it says you cannot discriminate on the basis of hiring. As a result, the president has now announced that faith based groups have to hire homosexuals; not an option, you have to because federal law says you cannot discriminate on the basis of identity. So if a pedophile comes to the church and says, 'I want to run your nursery,' you can’t say no because that’s discriminating on the basis of identity. If a homosexual comes and says, 'I want to be your youth director' and you say no, you can’t do that, you can’t distinguish on the basis of gender."

As Warren Throckmorton pointed out, literally nothing Barton claimed is true:

No. Just no.

Barton is completely wrong about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. It never passed both houses of Congress during the same session, and it is not law today. It was not introduced in the 109th Congress (2005-2007). As an aside, the House speaker during that Congress was Dennis Hastert and the Senate president was Dick Cheney.  ENDA passed the House in the next Congress but not the Senate. Another version of the legislation passed the Senate in 2013 but not the House.

Barton told Mitchell’s audience that President Obama’s executive order forbidding discrimination by federal contractors came “as a result” of ENDA. Not so. Barton claims faith based groups have to hire homosexuals. However, this order only applies to federal contractors not all faith based groups. Then he uncorked a doozy by claiming that churches have to hire pedophiles who want to run church nurseries. Of course, this is ridiculous fear mongering.

Stop a minute to think about that claim. Anyone who has any knowledge of church work or volunteer work with children knows Barton’s claim is ridiculous. In many schools, you can’t volunteer to accompany your child’s classroom on a field trip without criminal and child abuse clearances. In recent years, churches have been required by liability insurers to screen all volunteers before working with children. Barton’s claims are absurd and irresponsible.

'Donald Trump Operates In A World Of Absolutes'

Christian Broadcasting Network politics reporter David Brody takes nearly any chance he can get to defend a Republican politician, and now he is offering his services to “explain” Donald Trump’s support among conservative evangelical voters.

You see, evangelical voters love how “Trump operates in a world of absolutes,” which Brody says is similar to how evangelicals operate, and will even excuse his claim that he never seeks forgiveness from God since his “honesty resonates with them.”

Of course, Trump’s “bold, “absolutist” image is nothing but a myth.

As Christopher Massie and Andrew Kaczynski of BuzzFeed helpfully note in “A Guide To The Radical Left Wing Ideology And Flip-Flops Of Fake Conservative Donald J. Trump,” Trump has previously endorsed universal healthcare, the 2009 economic stimulus, abortion rights and stricter gun laws. While similar “sins” made Mitt Romney an unacceptable candidate to many on the far-right, at least until he won the GOP nomination, it seems that Trump gets a pass because of his new image as an outspoken shouter of the unvarnished truth.

The only thing that Brody gets right about Trump is that he has a “hefty ego,” but that is also the only aspect of his character that Brody wishes Trump will change.

Donald Trump operates in a world of absolutes. A world of right and wrong; a world of winners (him) and losers (McCain, Perry, etc); a world of put up or shut up (literally). Trump’s world is colored in black and white. Their ain’t much grey. And what does Trump get for speaking out so boldly without holding back? Public ridicule.

Now, think of conservative evangelicals. In their quest to champion biblical values, their mindset is much the same. It is a world of absolutes. They believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God. Non-negotiable. They believe there is only one way to heaven and that is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Non-negotiable. They see the world through the lens of spiritual warfare (good vs. evil). And what do evangelicals get for speaking out so boldly without holding back? That’s right: public ridicule.

You see folks; Donald Trump and evangelicals are breaking bread together because there is this common bond that I just laid out above. They like his boldness. They relate to him because when they’ve been bold about their faith they get blasted too. It’s a kinship in a strange sort of way. Don’t ask me to go deeper than that folks. If you want that portion, go call Dr. Phil.



Here’s the point with evangelicals: they’d rather someone be honest about their views about God. The honesty resonates with them and you know what evangelicals will probably end up doing? Instead of hating Trump, they’ll put him on a church “prayer chain” and get on their knees themselves and pray that Donald Trump draws closer to God through this process. Liberals don’t snicker. It’s true.

One final point: when I talk to evangelicals about Donald Trump, as much as they like a lot of things he says, they don’t appreciate his name-calling and hefty ego. What they tell me is that if he can control those two aspects of his delivery and persona without losing who he is as a person, then that would help them get to an even more comfortable place.