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Right-Wing Reaction to New York Marriage Court Case

“This is a good day for the revolution,” said Traditional Values Coalition spokesman James Lafferty following the decision by New York State’s highest court to end a lawsuit seeking marriage rights for same-sex couples. The Right Wing roundly applauded the New York decision, in which a judge cited his own “Intuition and experience” in matters of child-rearing, and applauded another decision in Georgia that a constitutional amendment was not improperly posed on the ballot. But despite their victories, activists on the Right are still pushing for a federal constitutional amendment. “The only real solution will be a federal marriage amendment because we believe there are forces that will not stop as long as there is any chance for them to advance their agenda,” said Rev. Bill Banuchi, executive director of the Christian Coalition of New York.

Right Thinks Judges Are "Finally Getting the Message"

CitizenLink, the news service of Focus on the Family, reports on recent state court rulings against marriage equality and claims judges are finally getting the message

James C. Dobson, Ph.D., chairman of Focus on the Family Action, said the courts may finally be realizing their proper role.

"These rulings represent a significant victory for America's families," he said, "and, I hope, signal an awareness by the judicial branch that the people don't want courts acting as superlegislatures … We can only hope that judges in other states where marriage-protection laws and amendments have been challenged have gotten the message, too."

One has to wonder what “message” the Right thinks it has been sending – most recently it has been “rule our way or we will make your lives miserable.”

Religious Right’s Efforts to Influence Bush's Global AIDS Policy

The term “abstinence” has become a point of confusion—while educators in the U.S. incorporate an abstinence message, along with safer sex messages, into comprehensive sex[ ] education, many groups on the Right use the term to mean abstinence-only education, which excludes other messages they say would conflict with abstinence. And these abstinence-only programs often actively discourage other messages: Abstinence-only funding by the Bush administration has provided for teaching public-school students “that abortion can lead to sterility and suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for the AIDS virus, and that touching a person's genitals ‘can result in pregnancy,’" according to a 2004 report by House Democrats. And an abstinence-only program in Louisiana told students that, “The condom's biggest flaw is that those using it to prevent the conception of another human being are offending God.”

Less visible is a similar effort by the Religious Right to change the way international aid is spent in preventing HIV/AIDS in Africa and elsewhere by emphasizing abstinence over condoms.

A New Right-Wing Hero?

05liberty.1901.jpgThe New York Times reports on the unveiling of The Statue of Liberation Through Christ outside World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church in Memphis, TN

As the congregation … looked on and its pastor, Apostle Alton R. Williams, presided, a brown shroud much like a burqa was pulled away to reveal a giant statue of the Lady, but with the Ten Commandments under one arm and "Jehovah" inscribed on her crown.

And in place of a torch, she held aloft a large gold cross, as if to ward off the pawnshops, the car dealerships and the discount furniture outlets at the busy corner of Kirby Parkway and Winchester that is her home. A single tear graced her cheek.

According to the official website

THE TEAR represents Lady Liberation’s despair over America’s rapid decline from its Judeo-Christian values. She weeps for our nation’s self-destruction as the protective hand of God is removed. Yet, she realizes that there is still hope for America if we return to God through Jesus Christ.

 

The Times reports

The pastor is not shy. His church has bought full-page advertisements in The Commercial Appeal, the Memphis daily, condemning homosexuality. At the World Overcomers' previous location, neighbors complained that trees were felled unnecessarily; Mr. Williams said it had to be done so that people could see the church from the road.

Mr. Williams said his statue's essential point was that Christianity should be the guiding ethos of the nation. But because the church he leads is predominantly black, as is he, there is an added dimension to the message.

In "From Slavery to Lady Liberty: Lady Liberty's African Connection: The Key to Black America's Liberation," he pointed out that the real Statue of Liberty wears a broken shackle around one ankle, and revisited evidence that the statue, a gift from France, was originally intended not to welcome immigrants but to celebrate the emancipation of slaves.

Williams recently appeared on “Hannity and Colmes” where he defended the statue, saying [watch the video: Broadband or Dial-Up]

And as much as people may not want to hear that this was intended to be a Christian nation by the intent of our Christian -- whether our Founding Fathers. And just watching the condition of our nation and seeing so many people moved from their moral values and just looking at the condition of the nation as a whole, I was just concerned and wanted something that would symbolize America coming back to its Judeo-Christian values.

 

No one ought to be surprised when Williams soon finds himself courted by The Patriot Pastors or speaking at the Right’s next “War on Christians” conference.  

 

Say It Ain't So, Ms. Coulter

According to the New York Post

Conservative scribe Ann Coulter cribbed liberally in her latest book, "Godless," according to a plagiarism expert.

John Barrie, the creator of a leading plagiarism-recognition system, claimed he found at least three instances of what he calls "textbook plagiarism" in the leggy blond pundit's "Godless: the Church of Liberalism" after he ran the book's text through the company's digital iThenticate program.

He also says he discovered verbatim lifts in Coulter's weekly column, which is syndicated to more than 100 newspapers, including the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Sun-Sentinel and Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle.

...

A separate, 24-word string from the chapter "The Creation Myth" appeared about a year earlier in the San Francisco Chronicle with just one word change - "stacked" was changed to "piled."

Another 33-word passage that appears five pages into "Godless" allegedly comes from a 1999 article in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald.

Notice how we properly attributed the above words to their source rather than just stealing them and passing them off as our own?  

It is really not that difficult. 

Voting Is Patriotic – Isn't It?

With the 4th of July came a new Gallup poll, showing that Americans from all cross-sections of society remain overwhelmingly patriotic—95 percent of respondents said they were proud of their country. That includes liberals, conservatives, the rich and poor – but to some on the Right, “patriotism” is just another word for the right-wing agenda.

For example, RightMarch.com, whose motto is “Patriotism In Action,” sent out an alert Monday celebrating the temporary defeat of reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act of 1965:

Thanks to the efforts of thousands of patriotic Americans, the scheduled vote on H.R. 9, reauthorizing the VRA, was POSTPONED over this issue -- enraging liberal activist organizations like People for the American Way, NOW and NARAL.

The provision RightMarch.com is attacking is the requirement that bilingual ballots be created in areas with substantial language minorities. Not surprisingly, RightMarch.com connects the anti-VRA campaign to the anti-immigration effort:

In light of the Senate recently passing a bill granting AMNESTY to 12 million illegal aliens and importing up to 66 million NEW legal immigrants, America needs linguistic unity more than ever. Offering foreign language ballots while at the same time emphasizing the importance of learning English sends mixed signals to those seeking to assimilate into American society.

A vote on the VRA has thankfully been postponed, but this is only a temporary reprieve -- your Congressman needs to hear from you! [emphasis added]

Interestingly, even Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and the co-sponsor of the severe House immigration bill, which would make an immigration status violation a felony, is pushing strongly for reauthorization of the VRA this year, including the bilingual-ballots provision.

"I have always said that English is the language of commerce and people who came from countries where English is not the first language, if they want to achieve the American dream, had better learn how to speak and function in English," the Wisconsin lawmaker said Wednesday.

"But this deals with the right to vote, and these people are United States citizens," Sensenbrenner said. "They aren't illegal immigrants, but they've gone through the process and they have been naturalized and it seems to me these people should not be confused because they don't have the proper instructions on how to vote (for) the candidates of their choice."

House Leaders Coordinate With Radical Right for Last-Minute "Values Agenda" Push

Looking to maintain their majority, Republicans in the House of Representatives are pushing what they call the “American Values Agenda” – a series of bills, most of which will fail, aimed at energizing the right-wing base for the mid-term elections in November. The package consists of:

  • A bill to strip the courts of jurisdiction over hearing challenges to “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance;
  • A bill to deny court costs to successful litigants of church-state claims;
  • A constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage;
  • A bill requiring doctors performing an abortion to tell the woman that “she has the option of choosing anesthesia for the child, so that the unborn child's pain is less severe”;
  • A bill to ban human cloning and restrict stem-cell research;
  • One bill to weaken the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and a second bill to prevent confiscation of guns during national emergencies;
  • A prohibition on Internet gambling;
  • Something called the “Freedom to Display the American Flag Act”;
  • And tax cuts.

According to CNN, “House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) told CNN's Deirdre Walsh that Republican leaders decided on the 10 legislative items after meeting with about two dozen outside groups in February as well as receiving input from the House GOP's ‘Values Action Team’ headed by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pennsylvania).” Right-wing stalwart Paul Weyrich – co-founder of the Heritage Foundation and founder of the Free Congress Foundation – described this “Values Summit” as effective coordination between the Right and Congress:

Earlier this year the GOP leadership began what it terms a “Values Summit.” I have been privileged to attend every one thus far. At a values summit each of us is given a few minutes to tell the leadership what we think is important. The leadership, tilted more toward the House of Representatives than the Senate, primarily listens. Questions are asked about timing. If, for example, an organization wants to do a huge grassroots mailing then it is very helpful for that group to know how much time it has to get the mail out the door.

The net result of our summit was announced by the House Leadership last week. Even House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-OH), never thought to be sympathetic to the religious right, pronounced himself absolutely in favor of what the leadership is calling “the American Values agenda”.

Already, the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage failed by a large margin in the Senate, and the court-stripping bill on the Pledge did not make it out of a House committee with six more Republicans than Democrats. (Rep. Todd Akin (R-Kansas) told the audience at a “War on Christians and Values Voters” conference earlier this year that the Pledge bill is part of an effort to incrementally disable the ability of Americans to file suit in federal courts on a number of issues, culminating in a future bill to impeach judges for “making decisions not based on the U.S. Constitution.”)

But, as Weyrich acknowledges, many of these bills are bound to fail, but the idea is to make political ammunition. “Let’s get these Members on record. Let us see who supports a pro-family agenda and who does not.”

Ohio Televangelist and Political Activist Calls for Exodus from Public Schools

Ohio televangelist Rod Parsley urges his congregation and viewing audience to withdraw their children from public schools and enroll them “in the house of the Lord” – institutions like his Harvest Preparatory School.

Why would you give birth to a child, give it back to God, and then send it to be educated 33 hours a week in the halls of secular humanistic philosophy? Why would we ever do that? We have been sold a lie! But thank God, there is a possibility. There is a possibility that your child can walk hallways where the name of God is not banned but exalted. There is a possibility that your child can be in a classroom in science where they’re taught creation science and not the lie of evolution — that has never been proven and Darwin himself said it didn’t work. There is a chance for a great and righteous nation to arise out of the smoldering ash heap of moral decline.

View the video: Broadband or Dial-Up.

Parsley’s Center for Moral ClarityReformation Ohio has been closely allied with Ken Blackwell’s campaign, setting up rallies of “Patriot Pastors” to drum up electoral activism and hear Blackwell’s pitch. Blackwell supports expanding private school vouchers in Ohio, and in the past has even called for putting all school funding through a voucher system—which would give the anti-public education movement all the public funds they need.

Gays, Straights Talking Is “Risky Behavior,

Public schools should ban gay-straight alliance groups because they promote “risky behavior,” according to the American Family Association of Michigan. Gary Glenn, president of AFA Michigan, is targeting a school board in Forest Hills, Michigan, which rejected pressure to ban student groups that advocate tolerance and a safe environment for gay students. "In fact, the Lubbock (Texas) School District did exactly that. They found that the so-called Gay Straight Alliance would be promoting behavior that was self-destructive and harmful to young people," Glenn says, "and on that basis refused to allow such homosexual propaganda to take place in the public schools." Gay-Straight Alliance clubs are protected by the federal Equal Access Act, as People For the American Way Foundation and other groups have successfully argued in past cases. Glenn is citing a case two years ago in which a judge objected to links on a club’s web site.

According to Glenn, if the school district "truly cared about young people who are ensnared by deviant behavior, they would tell them the truth that homosexuality is harmful and to be avoided."

The Worst Insult Imaginable

A group of right-wing leaders affiliated with Manuel Miranda’s National Coalition to End Judicial Filibusters has responded to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s response to the Coalition’s first letter regarding Graham’s opposition to the nomination of Jim Haynes.

According to his own letter, Graham is “troubled that very distinguished military leaders have expressed strong opposition to the Haynes nomination” because of his role in creating this Bush administration's controversial policies regarding "unlawful combatants."

But the Right is having none of it and is demanding that Haynes receive a confirmation vote.  And they have chosen to up the ante by smearing Graham with the worst insult imaginable: comparing him to those allegedly unprincipled Democrats:

We are particularly concerned that your June 8 letter and the critics it quotes conflate policy disputes with improper behavior, frankly, in the way that Democrats do … [B]y blurring the distinction between Democrats' repeated use of obstructionist tactics and Republicans' principled treatment of judicial nominees, you are harming the GOP's chances in November.

There are 60+ Clinton nominees who never received a hearing or a vote in the days when Republicans controlled the Senate and they are probably a little confused as to just when the GOP became interested in the “principled treatment of judicial nominees.”