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Gallagher: The People Of Maine Know A Chicken Is Not a Duck

Maggie Gallagher says that those who fought for marriage equality in Maine wasted their time and money because the voters in the state were smart enough to know that it is gays who are the real bigots and haters:

The $4 million spent to pass gay marriage in Maine was wasted. Even Americans in liberal states do not believe that two guys pledged to a gay union are a marriage. Politicians can pass a bill saying a chicken is a duck and that doesn't make it true. Truth matters.

Americans have a great deal of goodwill toward gay people as friends, neighbors and fellow citizens. Most of us do not want to hurt them or hate them or interfere with anyone's legitimate rights to live as they choose. But we do not believe gay marriage is a civil right; we think it is a civil wrong. And we do not appreciate the increasingly intense efforts to punish people who disagree with gay marriage as if we were racists, bigots, discriminators or haters.

Case in point: Don Mendell, a school guidance counselor at Nokomis Regional High School in Maine, now faces ethics complaints for his decision to appear in a TV ad for the Yes on One campaign in the closing days of the contest. If substantiated, the ethics complaint could lead the government to yank his license as a social worker and, therefore, threaten his livelihood. What kind of movement spurs people to act like this? Meanwhile, a teacher of the year who campaigned for gay marriage faces no such threat to her livelihood. Is gay marriage really about love and tolerance for all?

The people of Maine are certainly entitled to wonder.

Jackson: We Care About Divorce Too ... But We're Not Going To Spend Millions Fighting That

Appearing on MSNBC, Bishop Harry Jackson insists that the Religious Right's fight against marriage equality is really part of a two-pronged effort to protect marriage as an institution, with the second prong being the fight against divorce. 

I don't know about you, but I don't recall having seen them dump millions of dollars into the latter.

Speaking of the vote in Maine, Jackson said "the church was the engine behind the [GOTV] machine, but the argument was sociological in that people really believe that the society would be tampered with, that this is an experiment that we can't afford to have at the expense of children at schools around the country":

Via Joe.My.God.

Oklahoma Prison to Be Run By Christians, For Christians

Reading through this article about a proposed Christian prison in Oklahoma, I kept thinking to myself that there has got to be some Religious Right involvement in this ... and lo and behold there is, as Pat Robertson's ACLJ has already agreed to defend it against any constitutional challenges:

A 150-acre site on the edge Wakita has been selected, and an agreement has been reached with Corrections Concepts Inc. to manage the 600-bed prison if and when it is built ... [Bill] Robinson said the $42 million project would be financed with bonds.

A bond underwriting company said that if a government jurisdiction will commit to sending 310 inmates at a cost of $42.80 a day, bond sales can begin, and the project can proceed.

...

Robinson, himself an ex-con and prison minister, said he had been working for years on the idea of an all-Christian prison, and he had invested $1.3 million so far on construction plans and other expenses.

He said a lot of prisons have faith-based or Christian units, but he knows of none with an all-Christian staff.

"The staff, being all born-again believers, will see this as a mission," he said.

"I want people to understand what it's about. It's about changing criminals into citizens."

The prison would accept only men near the end of their sentences who volunteer to come into the prison and sign an agreement to participate.

They would work full time at private industries that operate inside the prison, get job training, and earn money.

The money would go to support their families, pay restitution to their victims, contribute to their own room and board, and produce a nest egg they can take when they leave prison.

Classes in literacy, General Educational Development requirements and life skills would be offered, and Wayland University, a Christian college in Plainview, Texas, has agreed to put a satellite campus in the prison.

"They don't have to go to church, or Bible study, but they have to participate in the curriculum, which is Christ-centered," Robinson said.

He possesses legal opinions that say that as a religious organization, the prison will be able to hire only people of like faith, he said.

If constitutional challenges arise, he said, the American Center for Law and Justice, a major Christian law firm, has agreed to represent the ministry for free.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Alan Colmes: Louisiana Justice Of The Peace Who Wouldn’t Marry Interracial Couple Resigns.
  • Sarah Posner: How not talking culture war turned yesterday’s elections.
  • Could Michael Steele be a bigger embarrassment?
  • Sarah Palin sure does have an odd sense of what constitutes "variety."
  • Wendy Norris: Extremists Turn Focus to Carhart.
  • The New York Times Magazine profiles Dick Armey and his FreedomWorks activism.
  • Finally, Americans United says that it will be looking into Liberty University's use of official resources for seemingly partisan political purposes.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Regent University students and alumni are elated over the election of Bob McDonnell.
  • Josh Gerstein: Judge muzzles author over CAIR files.
  • Randall Terry announces more attention-seeking protests ... and that he plans to join Rep. Bachmann's rally against healthcare reform.
  • FRC unveils a new anti-healthcare reform ad.
  • Finally, are you unhappy with your job?  Maybe you just need to go to church more often.

Bauer: Hoffman's Loss a Win for Conservatives

It seemed like lately, whenever Gary Bauer issued a press release, he made sure to note that he "was one of the first conservatives to endorse Doug Hoffman in his bid to take the New York house seat" and that his Campaign for Working Families had "committed tens of thousands of dollars in contributions and independent expenditures ... to promote conservative candidates and mobilize conservative voters."

Bauer was obviously counting on a Hoffman win to boost his own profile, but that didn't happen ... and Bauer has an explanation:

Hoffman ran a simple campaign with a single message, 'I will not be a vote for Nancy Pelosi.' With the Republican establishment against him, with the media against him, with the Democratic establishment against him, Hoffman pulled in 46 percent of the vote on a confusing ballot on which he was not listed at the GOP's candidate. If Hoffman's performance is combined with the numbers of failed Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava, who was listed as the GOP's candidate, he would have carried the day.

Hoffman would have won if a) he had been the Republican candidate because b) then the ballot wouldn't have been so confusing and thus c) the people who voted for the actual GOP candidate, Dede Scozzafava, would have voted for him.  

In Bauer's fantasy world, "the fact that a district which went so solidly for Obama came so close to electing an unknown third party candidate shows the power of [conservative] ideas."  

It should be pointed out that this congressional seat had been held by a Republican for the last 138 years.

It is now held by a Democrat.

And somehow that is a victory for conservatives.

Warren's Reader's Digest Project Crashes and Burns

Last year, Reader's Digest announced that it was partnering with Rick Warren "to produce an inspirational multimedia platform called The Purpose Driven Connection."  Just a few months later, the magazine announced that the effort had been such a success that it was going to become the model for the future as the magazine.

Well, now a few more months have passed and the project is shutting down:

The Reader's Digest Association is dropping its high-profile joint venture with TV evangelist Rick Warren, due to a lack of subscriptions to the Purpose Driven Connection, The Post has learned.

The magazine will cease publication after the Christmas issue due out in mid-November.

Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church in California and author of the bestselling book "Purpose Driven Life" said that he and RDA will transition the project into a web only venture over the next few months.

RDA, which is operating in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, will cease funding the operation entirely in March 2010 and turn the project over to the Warren’s company.

UPDATE: Warren and Reader's Digest are claiming that they are shutting down the magazine because the website has been so successful:

"Impressive reader feedback has prompted us to focus all our energies on our digital format, so our content can be expanded, international, interactive and free," Warren explained. "The positive response from readers was so overwhelming we didn't want the content to be limited only to Americans who could afford a subscription to a magazine."

...

"Our biggest discovery was learning that people prefer reading our content online rather than in print, because it is more convenient and accessible," said Warren. "Cell phones now allow us to take content everywhere. And, from our viewpoint, an online magazine allows us to minister to people internationally; provide more content and features than we could fit in a print magazine; create interaction and two-way dialogue; and offer it for free.

"So when we heard the feedback and noticed subscriptions to the print magazine lagging behind Internet usage, in spite of strong retail newsstand sales, we jumped at the chance to go all digital," Warren concluded. "Thankfully, Reader's Digest was willing to help us make the transition."

Will Cass Call For Violence to Protest Hate Crimes Protections?

Last week, when President Obama signed the legislation expanding hate crimes protections, various fringe activists vowed to challenge it by engaging in some pointless grandstanding.  And, by gum, that is exactly what they are going to do:

A rally is being planned in Washington to raise the alarm over the nation's new "hate crimes" law and to force Attorney General Eric Holder to confront the unconstitutionality of the measure's "thought" penalties, according to a Christian leader working on the event.

Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission told WND there are a series of approaches being considered to challenge the restrictions on expression of religion and speech contained in the law signed last week by President Obama.

At the rally, set for 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 16, ministers will preach from the Bible on the prohibition against homosexuality, then will present a letter to Holder demanding that the religious liberty of all Americans be respected.

Specific legal challenges to the restrictions of the "hate crimes" plan also may be announced then, Cass said.

The "Rally for Religious Freedom" in front of the Department of Justice in Washington is intended to force Holder either to address the issues or be put in a position of ignoring those who say they are violating the provisions of the federal law, Cass said.

"We're basically going to defy the law, and challenge it," Cass told WND. "We're going to declare the whole counsel of God, including those parts that some may consider 'inciting a hate crime' to see if the attorney general is going to come down and arrest a group of peaceful clergy exercising their First Amendment rights."

Of course, as we pointed out last time, the legislation contained explicit free speech and religious liberty protections, so they run no risk of prosecution and they know it.  Unless, that is, they intend to "plan or prepare for an act of physical violence" or "incite an imminent act of physical violence against another."

So is that was Cass and company are planning to do?  "Defy" the hate crimes law by calling for acts of physical violence against gays? 

Liberty University Take Credit for VA House Win

Last year, Jerry Falwell Jr. declared that he wanted to see Liberty University "go down in history as the college that elected a president" and set about registering students to vote, canceling classes on election day, and busing them to the polls. 

It didn't matter, as John McCain lost the state of Virginia, but Falwell was undetered and decided to do the same thing this year, canceling classes and busing students to the polls:

Liberty senior Caleb Mast, chairman of the College Republican club at Liberty University, worked past 4 a.m. Tuesday putting up campaign signs on campus and at Heritage Elementary School.

He returned to Heritage — the voting site for on-campus Liberty students — by 6:45 a.m. to greet student voters arriving by the busload.

As many as 3,200 LU students were eligible to vote. Mast said he kept an unofficial tally at Heritage and counted upwards of 800 student voters when he left at 5 p.m. More than 2,300 votes were cast at the precinct altogether.

To encourage a high turnout, Liberty cancelled classes and ran buses between the campus and the voting precinct every few minutes. The school did not keep track of how many students went to the polls, said Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr.

And while there was no presidential election at stake this time around, Mat Staver, Dean of Liberty University School of Law, declares that their efforts were responsible for delivering the local House of Delegates race for the Republican candidate:

In dramatic fashion, Virginia ushered in three pro-life, pro-family, conservative Republican candidates -- Governor-elect Bob McDonnell, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Conservative Republican candidates picked up five state House of Delegates seats, including a dramatic come-from-behind victory for Scott Garrett in Lynchburg, who unseated the Democratic incumbent, Shannon Valentine. Valentine was ahead by about 1,400 votes after 19 of the 20 precincts were counted. After the final precinct votes were counted at Heritage Elementary School, Garrett jumped ahead by 210 votes. The stunning victory is attributed solely to the voting block of the students, faculty and staff at Liberty University. Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. encouraged the students at Liberty to register and vote locally, resulting in more than 3,000 new voters. The majority of the students vote in Precinct 20 at Heritage Elementary School. The students voted for pro-life and pro-family values and for limited government.

Maine Has Made Matt Barber Proud

The results from yesterday's various elections are rather a mixed bag: Republican gubernatorial candidates won in New Jersey and Virginia, while right-wing darling Doug Hoffman lost in New York. The anti-discrimination ordinance passed in Kalamazoo and the domestic partnership law in Washington appears to be winning as well, while the right-wing effort to repeal marriage equality in Maine was victorious.

And to make that loss even more bitter, we are now going to be subject to a bevy of hateful press releases like this typically classless one from Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber:

Matt Barber, Director of Cultural Affairs with both Liberty Counsel and Liberty Alliance Action, issued the following statement on news that the voters of Maine have rejected counterfeit “same-sex marriage” by 53% - 47%:

“There’s good news and bad news here,” said Barber. “The good news is that even in one of the most liberal States in the Union, Maine, the people have once again rejected the ridiculous and oxymoronic notion of ‘same sex marriage.’ The momentum has again shifted – hopefully for good this time – in favor of protecting legitimate marriage.

"A counterfeit is a counterfeit. An orange is an orange no matter how much you want it to be a turnip. This isn’t about ‘marriage.’ It’s about hurting and broken people desperately seeking affirmation of an objectively deviant lifestyle. One that, even in their heart of hearts, they know to be a dead end. As for the militant ‘No on 1’ homosexual activists? I’m reminded of spoiled children dressing up and playing house, refusing to come in when mom calls for dinner".

“Here’s the bad news. The margin of victory could have been greater. Many behind the ‘Yes on 1’ campaign, rather than simply telling the truth, chose the Neville Chamberlain approach. They merely circled the wagons around the word ‘marriage,’ even suggesting that ‘domestic partnerships’ (‘gay marriages’ by another name) are acceptable. This makes no sense. If that’s a viable compromise, then why not simply allow 'gay' duos the word ‘marriage’? It’s an incongruity that demands an explanation.

"This is an historic battle for the minds and souls of our children – for our very culture. The mealy-mouthed approach must end. This is not just about ‘marriage.’ It has everything to do with forced affirmation of homosexuality – under penalty of law.

"Indeed everyone who fought hard to defend marriage in Maine is to be congratulated, but if it weren’t for a brave group of truth tellers – Paul Madore, Peter LaBarbera and Brian Camenker – who came to Maine in the final hour to hold a press conference and address the pink elephant in the room – homosexual deviancy and the radical ‘gay’ agenda – counterfeit marriage might have prevailed."

Even in victory, Barber is simply incapable of demonstrating even an iota of class or respect.